Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rocky Ford Sunday School 1904

Rock Ford Crossing Sunday School 1904
This photo was titled Rocky Ford Crossing Sunday School, Dec-11-04 and it was taken by Chas. Beindorf.  The photo was given to me years ago by Hollis Leffel.

Charles Leffel (our ancestor) is the 2nd on the far right side and his wife, Caldona, is 3rd from the right. Grandma Baldwin (Mabel Leffel) is the cute little girl in the 2nd row, right in the middle, standing to the left of the girl in the white dress and just behind all the boys sitting in the front row. She has a pouty little face, pigtails with bows and a dress made out of the same material as her mother, Caldona.

Great-grandpa Charles Leffel would often preach at the little church.

Rush Springs is one of the oldest communities in Grady County, Oklahoma. In 1901, Our Leffel family moved from Texas to the Rush Springs area. They probably lived in-between Rush Springs and Rocky Ford, since they attended church in Rocky Ford.

According to Hollis Leffel, others in the photo are: "All the Bud Barkers, Maggards, Stevensons, Arty Price and many others including Mr. & Mrs. Isenberger and Grandma & Grandpa Leffel." 
"You [Mabel Leffel] were in the front standing row, next to you were Emily Maggard, Lucy Wilhoit on your left down in front sitting on the ground was, Kirby, Wade & Henry Stevenson, and three other boys that I could not identify.  Behind Lucy, was Aunt Alice next to her was Cabeen Stevenson.  Lucle Lane [Layne] was in the back row.  Aunt Ann holding Chester in her arms was standing in the left foreground.  Pearl Davis (McDonald) standing next to her.  Uncle Bob standing just behind holding Charlie's hand.  Grandpa was the only man there bareheaded."

Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas 1862



In October of 1862 in Gainesville, Cooke County, Texas, 40 men suspected of Union sympathies were hanged by an extra-legal "Citizens Court," of which the majority were slaveholders. Two other men were shot trying to escape. North Texas (including Cooke and neighboring counties) was the center of opposition to secession from the Union. The opposition was fueled when the Confederate Conscription Act of April, 1862 was enacted with an exemption from the draft for the largest slaveholders. Those who were in opposition formed a Peace Party.
The Confederate Citizens Court consisted of a majority of slaveholders. Seven of the twelve jurors during Gainsville lynchings were slaveholders and they insisted on a simple majority rule in the decisions for execution. The slaveholder jurors alone could condemn a person to death! These men exerted power and influence far out of proportion to their numbers. The majority of slaves in Cooke County were owned by only 10% of the population. Two of the largest slaveholders in Cooke County were Colonel James Bourland and Colonel William C. Young.
Men were also killed in neighboring Grayson, Wise, and Denton counties. Most were accused of treason or insurrection, but very few had actually conspired against the Confederacy, and many were innocent of the charges for which they were tried.

David Miller Leffel, our ancestor, was one of the Union sympathizing citizens of North Texas who was charged with treason against the Confederacy by the "Citizens Court" in Gainesville, Cooke County in October 1862 and hanged in the Great Hanging at Gainesville.
Leading up to this tragedy, David's brother-in-law, William Boyles, encouraged him to attend a meeting of the "Peace Party" at the home of Rama Dye. At the meeting, the rescue of prisoners held by the Citizens Court was discussed. Fifteen men who attended the meeting Dye's home that night were later executed, David being one of them.
At his trial by the confederate "Citizen's Court", David states, "I was sworn by Wm Boyles, who gave me the signs, grip and password. I was sworn to support the old Constitution and Union." David Leffel was connected with the Ramey Dye meeting for the rescue of the prisoners. He and 19 other men were found guilty on Saturday, October 18 and hanged the next day.
David's hanging took place on Sunday, October 19, 1862. It is not known what happened to his body.
The Handbook of Texas Online has an article on the Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas 1862. Following is a link to the article: http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/GG/jig1.html

Note: Through an antique dealer, I found an original copy of the Franks Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, dated 20 Feb1864, that contained the above illustration.

Charles E. Leffel & Caldona Jane Box


Charles & Caldonia Box
I love this picture of them and keep it next to my computer. Charles has a kind face and a twinkle in his eye.




Grandma Baldwin called her father -- Papa. She told me that "Her Papa" was the kindest, sweetest, most gentle man she had ever known. She felt that he would do anything to make her and the rest of his children happy. Grandma (Mabel Leffel Baldwin) was the youngest of nine children born to Charles & Caldona Leffel.






Charles experienced a lot of sorrow and grief in his younger life.  Charles was born in Ohio and moved with his family to the Texas frontier as a young boy of seven.  In 1862, when Charles was only eleven years old, his father was murdered by a Confederate mob in what is called the Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas. The confederate vigilantes kept attacking and harassing the Leffel family for many years after the Civil War.  In 1869, Charles' mother, Susan Leffel, wrote a letter to the Governor of Texas, describing their sad experiences.
In May 1869, Charles married his first wife, a young widow named Sarah Ann Burkham Chapman.  Sarah died just a year later in 1870 after giving birth to their first child; a son, they named David after Charles' deceased father.  Charles was left a widower with a small son to raise alone for the next five years until he married again. In 1875, Charles married Caldona Jane Box, who is our great-grandmother. They had nine children.

The Charles Leffel lived in Texas until moving to Oklahoma in 1901. Charles was a deeply religious man and would often preach at their church meetings. He told his children to call him "Papa" because he felt the name "Father" was reserved for only one person -- Our "Father" in Heaven.



Caldona, Susan and Charles.

I love the way Charles is looking at his wife, Caldona, and daughter, Susan. You can tell he loves his family by the tender look on his face.






Leffel Family

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Maymie & Elmer


This picture of Maymie & Elmer walking in old downtown Yuma, Arizona, brings back many memories. I can remember walking down that very same street with Maymie. It had covered sidewalks up & down the street. I can also remember the Five & Dime store that can be seen behind them in the picture. Maymie & I often went downtown shopping. The five & dime store had tables full of all kinds of treasures for a 4 or 5 year old girl. I can remember that a pulley system (might have been in another store in old downtown) was used in order to pay for a purchase & receive change. A clerk would write up a ticket and put the ticket & money on a pulley and it was sent up to the second level and then a cashier would make the change and send it back down. While Maymie & I were shopping, Elmer would usually visit a bar down the street. One time he drank a little too much and forgot all about us and we were sitting out on the street after the stores closed. Wilber finally came and found us when Elmer showed up at home all by himself.



The picture below shows one of Elmer's favorite pastimes -- fishing.
I can remember going fishing with him.
Elmer even got me my own fishing pole. We would go fishing down
to the river or even went down to Old Mexico (San Felipe).

Monday, May 26, 2008

Revolutionary War Ancestors


This post is a tribute to my Revolutionary War Ancestors.
I have documented and proven lineage to Revolutionary War Patriot, Nathan Cole, but have many more direct line ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War or helped the cause of freedom and are considered patriots.

Direct Line Ancestors found in the DAR Patriot index:
Nathan Cole (Wilson line) served from RI 1775/1776 abt 6 months, re-enlisted in Hancock, MA.
Balzar Leffel (Leffel line) Oath of Allegiance, 1778 Berks Co. PA
John Leffel (Leffel line) Patriotic Service, 1783 Berks Co., PA
William Whitley (Baldwin line) Scout and soldier in the Virginia Troops
Robert Carothers (Wilson line) Served in Mecklenburg County, NC Militia.
David Wilson (Wilson line) DAR Roster of Soldiers of NC in the Revolutionary War, P. 401-2
Jonas Goble (Wilson line) Continental Army, Waggoner from Morristown, NJ
Ezekiel Goble (Wilson line) Sergeant in Eastern Battalion, Dunmore's War, NJ Militia
Andrew Cox (Cock) (Wilson line) Soldier, Patriotic Service, Montgomery County, VA Militia
William Jay (Wilson line) 96 District, SC, Patriotic Service - furnished supplies
Isaac West (Baldwin line) South Carolina, Patriotic Service, Attacked by British at Kings Mountain
John Belk (Baldwin line) North Carolina, Civil Service

Others who may have fought (some research needs to be done on these men):
James Thompson (Wilson line) ??some say he fought at CowPens, SC or Guilford Courthouse, NC??
Randolph Whitley (Baldwin line)
Thomas Lindley (Baldwin line) served from North Carolina -- must prove correct service
Phillip Peery (Leffel line)
Benjamin Johnson (Leffel line) -- military land grant
 
Note: These are just direct line ancestors -- many of their family members (brothers, uncles & cousins) also served by fighting in Revolutionary War or serving the cause of freedom is some other capacity.
If any of you know of any other Patriots in our family line, please let me know, and I will add them to the list.  You can visit the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) website to take advantage of their online research system or investigate how to submit forms for membership; go to: DAR Genealogical Research System or DAR Daughters of the American Revolution

Title: Yankee doodle 1776 / A.M. Willard. Creator(s): Willard, Archibald M., 1836-1918, artist Related Names: Ryder, James F., 1826-1904 , publisher Date Created/Published: Cleveland, Ohio : Pub. by J.F. Ryder, c1876. Medium: 1 print : chromolithograph. Summary: Print shows three patriots, two playing drums and one playing a fife, leading troops into battle.

Daughters of the American Revolution

"God, Home and Country"
Motto of the Daughters of the American Revolution.






I have been a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution since 1985. The DAR, founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women's service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through better education for children. Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution can join the DAR. The Patriot Ancestor I joined under was from the Wilson family line -- Nathan Cole.  But, we have quite a few other ancestors who were Patriots during the American Revolution.


I have been able to visit the DAR Library in Washington DC many times for research. They have one of the best genealogical research libraries in the country. The library is in the DAR National Headquarters which is located between the White House and the Washington Monument and faces the Presidents Park, known as the Ellipse. The DAR Headquarters also has a Museum and "state period rooms."  It's one of my favorite places to visit when I'm in DC.

The DAR Library has an online DAR Patriot INDEX on their website.   You can even do a virtual tour of their period rooms.:)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Gone to Texas


Gone to Texas, often abbreviated G.T.T. or GTT, was a phrase used by Americans immigrating to Texas in the mid-1800's. They moved to Texas for many reasons; often to escape debt, to start over again, begin for the first time, to get land or looking for adventure as well as for new fortunes. Obtaining "land" seems to be the driving force for most of our ancestors. "Gone to Texas" or "G.T.T." was often written on the doors of abandoned houses or posted as a sign on fences.

Many of our ancestors moved to Texas during this period of time. So just remember, that each of us who are descendants have a bit of Texas in our DNA.
Below is a list of some of our "Gone to Texas" (GTT) ancestors who moved to Texas during the 1800's:
* denotes a direct ancestor
+ denotes a "Republic of Texas" ancestor (in Texas 1836-1845)

GTT Baldwin Ancestors:
*+Samuel Washington Lindley & Elizabeth Whitley Family (son Jonathan died at the Alamo)
*+John Sadler & Bathsheba Lindley (John fought at the Battle of San Jacinto)
+Mills Whitley Family
+Sharp Whitley Family
*+Jane Baldwin Family (husband possibly William Baldwin)
+Benjamin Franklin Baldwin (with parents)
+Allen Baldwin (with parents)
*Henry Stewart & Betty Medlin Family

GTT Leffel Ancestors:
*Charles Edgar Leffel (with parents)
*David Miller Leffel & Susan Emeline West Family (David was killed at the Great Hanging at Gainesville 1862)
*Michael West Family
John W. West Family
Rebecca West & John Haning Family
Michael Perry West
*Grief Johnson Box & Roenna Johnson Family
*Caldonia Jane Box (with parents)
Thomas Box & Clarkey Carpenter Family
Mary Box & Hugh G. Henderson Family
+James Francis Box Family
James Jackson Box Family
William Young Box Family
+Stephen F. Box Family
James Pruett Hellums Family
Mary Ann Hellums Jeffery Family
Anna Hellums Jeffery Family
William Harmon Johnson Family
John Alfonzo Johnson Family
Alfonzo Sterret Johnson Family

GTT Wilson Family:
*William B. Wilson (with parents)
*Mary Polly Huff (with parents)
*+James Wilson Family
*David Wilson Family
Pleasant Wilson Family
William Carothers Wilson Family
Elizabeth Wilson Carruth Family
David Carroll Wilson Family
Margaret Wilson Null Family
Leonidas Wilson Family
*Matthew B. Huff Family (some family members later changed their name to Hoff)
Joseph Day Family

Samuel Washington Lindley - Character Certificate


The Governor of Illinois, John Reynolds, wrote this Certificate of Character for Samuel Washington Lindley in 1833 when Lindley was moving to Texas. This document can be found in the Texas General Land Office at Austin, Texas.


Character Certificate for Samuel Lindley

Samuel Lindley and several family members moved from Illinois to the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas in November 1833. He moved his family to Texas after securing a Mexican Land Grant on the present boundary of Montgomery and Walker Counties. There he founded the town of Danville. Texas was still part of Mexico and Samuel needed a letter of recommendation from a reliable citizen of the US before he could be admitted to Texas.

Governor of Illinois wrote SWL a character certificate and it reads:
"State of Illinois, Fayette Co., Sept 27, 1833,
The Bearer hereof Mr. Samuel Lindley has resided in the Sate of Illinois about 20 years during which time I have known him and a number of his family and hereby take pleasure in certifying that hehas uniformly maintained a character for industry and sobriety and honesty, and that his deportment has been that of a Christian. John Reynolds, Governor of Illinois."
The recommendation was signed byVehlein, a Mexican official who checked all papers of the people coming to Texas by way of Nacogdoches. It contained the notation "Located about one and a half miles south Cooshatee Trace a branch of the San Jacinto."

Family History Humor

Suzy Lee fell in love --She planned to marry Joe.
She was so happy about it all, --she told her pappy so.
Pappy told her, "Suzie Gal, --you'll have to find another.
I'd just as soon yo maw don't know, --but Joe is yo half-brother."
So Suzie forgot about her Joe --and planned to marry Will.
But after telling pappy this, --he said, "There's trouble still.
You can't marry Will, my gal --and please don't tell yo mother,
cause Will and Joe and several MO --I know is yo half-brother."
But mama said, "Honey chile, --do what makes you happy.
Marry Will or marry Joe, --You ain't no kin to pappy!"

DRT Library at the Alamo


If you are ever in San Antonio, make sure you visit the Alamo. While there also visit the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library. It is part of the Alamo complex. The Library has a folder of information on Jonathan Lindley. It has been 10 years since I was there to do research, so there may be a lot more information on Jonathan Lindley and the Lindley family.  It's a great place to research your Texas ancestors!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Remember the Alamo -- Jonathan Lindley


Above: Battle of the Alamo

Jonathan Lindley -- Alamo Defender

Jonathan Lindley was a younger brother of our direct ancestor, Basheba Lindley, wife of John Sadler.

Jonathan L. Lindley, born 12 Feb 1814 in Sangamon County, Illinois. Some say that Jonathan was a surveyor for early Texas colonists and a resident of Gonzales. He is reported as being a Private artilleryman in Capt. Carey’s artillery company of the Alamo garrison.
Jonathan was the third child and oldest son of Samuel Washington Lindley (b. 1788 NC) and Elizabeth Whitley. Samuel W. Lindley is said to have come to the DeWitt Colony from Illinois about 1833. According to descendants, Samuel's first wife Mary (Polly) Hall died after the birth to their first child Sarah. Samuel then married Elizabeth Whitley, with whom he had his remaining children except Amanda.
(**Note: Many histories still list Polly Hall as the mother of Jonathan. I believe this to be incorrect and believe Elizabeth Whitely to be the mother of Jonathan. Check out the Jonathan Lindley research file at the DRT Library at the Alamo for further info on the correct mother for Jonathan Lindley.)

On 3 May 1835, Jonathan, a single man, was granted a quarter league of land in the William Pace survey in Polk County, TX. He participated in the Battle of Bexar on 14 Dec 1835 after which he, as many others, returned home for Christmas hoping that the Revolution was over. Lindley joined Capt. Carey’s Company in the regular Texas Army in the fall of 1835. Lindley was at home in Gonzales when he joined the Gonzales Relief Force to return to his post at the Alamo. His heirs received 1280 acres bounty for service in Panola Co, TX near Carthage.
After the Battle of San Jacinto, the surviving Lindley family re-settled in MontgomeryCo, TX. In the Lindley Cemetery 5 miles north of Anderson in Grimes Co, TX is a HISTORICAL MARKER honoring Jonathan L. Lindley.
Jonathan's father, Samuel Washington Lindley, was born in 1788 in North Carolina and married a woman named Elizabeth [Whitley].  While still living in Illinois, ten children were born to that union: Barsheba (March 5, 1811); Polly (1812); Jonathan (February 12, 1814); Elizabeth (March 24, 1815); William (September 29, 1817); Martha (July 30, 1821); Samuel W. Jr. (July 30,1823); Rachel (1827); John (1829); and James (March 13, 1831).

Jonathan, the third child and eldest son of Samuel W. and Elizabeth (Whitley) Lindley, migrated to Texas with his family in 1833 to colonize land in the DeWitt Colony. As an unmarried man, on July 17, 1835 he was granted a one-fourth league of land (640 acres) as a headright in the William Pace Mexican League, originally titled May 3, 1835. Jonathan was a surveyor and spent most of his time surveying the land of other colonists.

Jonathan was greatly influenced by the early leaders of Texas during the pre-Texas Revolution period. Jonathan was with Ben Milam when the Texans took San Antonio in December, 1835. Jonathan with many others left San Antonio before Christmas, 1835 and returned to their families, believing that the revolution was about over. Tradition stated that Jonathan was the true spirit that kindled the flame for freedom in the Lindley family. As evidenced by a document containing information given by his father, Jonathan joined the Texas Revolutionary forces in the fall of 1835.

A document of the Republic of Texas signed May 14, 1839 by General Albert Sidney Johnston, Secretary of War, Republic of Texas, further gave evidence that Jonathan Lindley joined the army of Texas December 14, 1835 and served until his death at the Alamo March 6,1836. At Gonzales in late February, 1836 after calls for aid from Travis at the Alamo, Jonathan joined Captain Albert Martin's band of men who were later known as "The Immortal Thirty-Two Men from Gonzales." Jonathan Lindley, with the other defenders of the Alamo, was killed March 6, 1836.

1836 Telegraph and Texas Register (newspaper) listing some of the men who died at the Alamo.


Baker & Bordens, editor. Telegraph and Texas Register (San Felipe de Austin [i.e. San Felipe], Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 21, Ed. 1, Thursday, March 24, 1836, Newspaper; digital images, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth47891/ ), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, Austin, Texas.)


Following the independence of Texas, the grateful Republic of Texas posthumously awarded the heroes of the Alamo bounties of land. Under certificate #9132 dated May 14, 1839, Houston, Texas, Jonathan Lindley was awarded 1280 acres of land situated in Panola County, ten and one-half miles south, twenty degrees west from Carthage, Texas. It was patented March 9, 1860. The lawful heirs of Jonathan Lindley, namely his parents and his brothers and sisters, since he was not married, fell heir to the 1280-acre bounty plus his original Mexican Grant of 640 acres in the William Pace Survey in Polk County. His father, Samuel Washington Lindley, was appointed administrator of the estate of Jonathan; as such he administered and divided the estate.
After the battle of San Jacinto the Lindley family opted to re-settle in Montgomery County. In the Lindley Cemetery five miles north of Anderson, Grimes County was erected an historical marker honoring Jonathan Lindley as an Alamo hero. [The Lindley family was said to be close friends of Jesse Grimes, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence after whom Grimes County was named-WLM]

Much of the above information came from an article by Virginia Stewart Lindley Ford that was printed in The History of Gonzales County, Texas.

News of the Alamo's fall and the death of Jonathan Lindley, undoubtedly prompted his brother-in-law, John Sadler, to join Sam Houston's army and fight for Texan Independence from Mexico. John Sadler fought in Captain William Ware's Company and is considered one of the heroes who fought at the Battle of San Jacinto under General Sam Houston on April 21, 1836. John Sadler was the husband of Basheba Lindley Sadler, an older sister to Jonathan Lindley.



For further info on Jonathan Lindley try the following:
Handbook of Texas Online article on Jonathan Lindley.
Southwestern Historical Quarterly Online:



Friday, May 23, 2008

Susan Leffel Letter to Governor of Texas

Susan Leffel's Letter to 
Edmund Davis, Governor of Texas

Susan Leffel, widow of David Miller Leffel, wrote a very touching letter to Texas Governor Edmund Davis in 1869 informing him of the continued attacks and persecution upon her family as she pleaded for help for herself and other families of the victims of the Great Hangings at Gainesville, Texas 1862.

Please refer to the follow-up post about Susan's letter here.

Click on the page to enlarge.

Page 1


Page 2

Page 3


Page 4 - Letter cover


Texas Governor's Office Records, Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin
Susan Leffel gives Pilot Point as her place of residence in a letter to the Governor of Texas written on 11 Jun 1869, informing the Governor of the continued persecution by southern sympathizing vigilantes.

Transcription:

Pilot Point Denton Co. Tex, June the 11th 1869
{ To the Honorable Governor, Chief }
{ Executive of the State of Texas }

I wish to give you some statements of matters and facts of my condition and how I have bin treated: in the first place the vigilent committy hung my husband (at the time they hanged so many at Gainesville) on the account of his Union proclivities, and left me in a sad and mornful condition but still after I have had all that to endure and my family and many of our sympathizing friend (that the leader of their familys were taken off by those nocternal visitors and destroyed by the hanging:) are ever since the war as the carcas to the Eagel:) every now and then they will arest one or our party without a sine of a rit or any showing of any legal authority whatever: why sir some of their party came to my house & robed me soon after the war of my many jewelry and household plunder: (and nothing done with them & two of the party well known to us:) but thinking we would get protection after awhile; I still remained here and bore it, with many slanders and slams unjustly thrown uppon us by that party.
[Page Two]
Yet it seems that the lawiel [loyal] citizens will never scease to be maltreated and unsafe as they were during the war on the account of there lawielty [loyalty]; why sir it hasent bin two weeks since some of that dislawiel possie cameto my house, some 10 or 12, with foure sixshooters a piece and arested my son, without any legal athority, (with the plea that he had stolen a horse some 5 or 6 years ago)(of which charge is ever redy to prove his inocence) fired some 40 or 50 shots at him as he ran and arested him out in the field: a part of them came to the house: James Anderson of Sherman drew and cocked his sixshooter on a lady that I have a living with me, I was lying sick in the bed, he (Anderson) came to my bed with pistle presented and grabed hold of me jerked me out on the floor; from which abuse I came very neare diing for several dayes; He then turned and struck an other of my sons on the side of the head with pistle, disabling him from working out my crop; who was my only dependance to do anything: and roughly abusing another young lad that was at my house; and all with-out any cause at all, no one said or done one thing to them, but they cusing and abusing the Union Class of people generaly,
[Page Three]
It is indeed hart rendring that my husband, as kind as he was, and great sorce of my comfort & living should be hanged and his helpless family, (with many others) are as barbrsly treated as tho we were even aliving with the Indians; simply for them to take vengance uppon us becuase we were and are in favor of our Fathers Country and Government;I with many others have lost hope of protection from that partys abuse by the beloved Country and Government that we loved so dearly; if she can put down rebellion God knows she has had ample time it seems to me; and what to do or where to go to hide from them I can not tell But I thought it ment and rite that some of our Chief Officers shouldknow some of the particulars of the outrages of the enimys of our country.Yours Ever, Susan Leffel
[Page Four]
Pilot Point Denton, June 11th 1869
Susan Leffel relates the murder of her husband and persecution of herself, family & friends by ex rebels or rather extra devils.

Wilson Family Pictures

Dad Wilson family (Charles B. Wilson and Minnie Pearl Hatfield) in front of the Dry Valley home near Monticello. Picture taken about 1918.
Back row: Grandma Wilson, Vern, Maymie
Dad Wilson is holding Pat
Front row: Alma, John, Buck
Alfred Hatfield is on the horse and Susie is on the far right standing behind the post (tree?)




Charles "B" Wilson & Minnie Pearl Hatfield Family
Picture taken at Bug Point, Utah about 1926
Back row: Alma, Buck, John, Maymie
Front: Dad Wilson, Pat, Pearl

Wilson's Grocery - Cortez, Colorado

Wilson's Grocery Store, about one mile north of Cortez on the northeast corner of Road L and Highway 666. "B" and Pearl Wilson had this store from 1948 to 1951. They lived in a small house behind the store. Vern and Laura lived in a small house a little further back from Dad Wilson.

Grandma Wilson is standing by the gas pump and Dad Wilson is back by the side of the grocery.


Vern Wilson is standing by his truck in front of the Wilson's Grocery. Vern had a roofing company called "Valley Roofing".

Martin Farm -- Rock Island, Illinois

This is a winter scene of the John S. Martin Home in Rock Island, Illinois. This is where Elmer grew up as a young boy.



The picture below was labeled as the farm where Elmer lived in Illinois.

John Stephan Martin 1847-1919



These pictures of John show that he was a handsome man, with very light blue eyes. His son, Elmer, had very blue eyes.

"Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Rock Island County," Vol. II, Edited by Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, Chicago, 1914, Munsell Publishing Co., pg 1273-1274.

MARTIN, John S. --- After a man has spent thirtyseven years in one community, his character is generally pretty well known to his fellow citizens, who have had ample time to become thoroughly informed as to his manner of doing business, his ideas of public citizenship and his worth as a man of family and a neighbor, and the high esteem in which John S. Martin is held by all who know him, testifies to the fact that he is one of Bowling township’s representative men.

John S. Martin, who is the owner of a 320-acre tract of land on section 23, was born November 28, 1847, in Bavaria, Germany, the oldest of eight children of Mathias and Catherine (Castner) Martin. Mathias Martin was born November 39, 1809, and married in Germany to Katherine Castner, who was born June 5, 1828. In his native county, Mathias Martin learned the trade of shoemaker, and on first coming to the United States settled at Farmington, Jefferson county, Wis., where he followed his trade and engaged in farming for twelve years. He had come to this country in 1849, and in the following years sent for his wife and baby, who joined him at Farmington.
John S. Martin still loves to relate the experiences of the Wisconsin pioneer days, when on one occasion he froze his feet while keeping the deer from eating the winter crop of wheat on the home farm. In 1864, the family came to Rock Island county, where Mathias Martin purchased a farm, and here resided until his death, September 10, 1890, while his widow survived him until March 8, 1907.
John S. Martin received a public school education, and until twenty-seven years of age worked on the home farm. He earned his first dollar of wages as a wood chopper in the Wisconsin lumber camps, where for two years he worked at a wage of four dollars a month, the next year being paid six dollars and the last year twelve dollars per month. He assisted in building the house on the old homestead, but after coming to Rock Island county worked for Thomas Johnson for twenty-nine dollars per month, but was paid in "shin-plasters," currency which was much in use at the time but which averaged only about one dollar’s worth of gold money to two dollars and one-half of the "shin-plasters."
On November 22, 1882, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Weiss, who was born June 27, 1857, a daughter of Michael and Hannah W. (Hyme) Weiss, natives of Wittenberg, Germany, who came to the United States at an early date and were among the first settlers of Rock Island county. Mrs. Martin died March 8, 1903, having been the mother of five children, namely: Elmer M., born in 1888; John E., born August 1, 1890; Wilbur, born September 27, 1894; May, died March 8, 1903; and Emma, died August 30, 1907.
Mr. Martin is a consistent member of the Methodist church and is a democrat in his political views, having served as a pathmaster and a member of the election board of Bowling township. He has been successful in his farming operations, now being the owner of 320 acres of valuable land, and can look back over a useful and well-spent life.
****
Below is an interesting photo I found in Elmer's photo album. John S. Martin (holding his hat in his hand) is standing just left of the men boxing (kind-of half hidden behind the boxer on the left side). Apparently boxing was a past-time with the men in the area.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mother & Daughter Die Same Day

One of the saddest stories in my family history is the death of my great-grandmother, Elizabeth Dorothea Weiss Martin. She and her daughter, Margaret May, died on the same day of measles.





Elizabeth Dorothea Weiss Martin
Born 27 June 1857, Rock Island County, IL
Died 8 March 1903, Rock Island County, IL





















Margaret May Martin


Born 14 Jul 1885, Rock Island County, IL


Died 8 Mar 1903, Rock Island County, IL

May was engaged to a young man from Bowling township at the the time of her death. She was buried in her wedding gown.








Here are some obits & newspaper articles about their deaths:

Wednesday, 11 March 1903, unknown newspaper clipping
Funeral services over the remains of Mrs. John Martin and her daughter May, who died of measles Sunday, were held at noon yesterday from the home 5 miles south of Milan, in Bowling. Services for both were jointly conducted by the Medthodist ministers of Preemtion and Sherrard and both were buried in the same grave at Littles Cemetery. The daughter, who was engaged to be married to a Bowling young man, was buried in her wedding gown.
====
Rock Island Argus, Monday 9 March 1903
DIE ON SAME DAY
Mrs. John Martin and Daughter
Death has laid a heavy hand upon the family of John Martin, living four miles south of Milan, in Bowling township. At 3 o'clock Sunday morning May, the oldest daughter, aged 18, died of measles, and at 5 in the afternoon the mother died of the same disease.
Nearly all the members of the family had been afflicted with the measles and all but the mother and daughter had recovered. They took cold, however, suffered a relapse and both had been in a critical condition for several days.
The surviving members of the family are the husband and four children, John, Elmer, Wilbur and Emily, ranging in age from 14 down to 6 years. Mrs. Martin was formerly Miss Elizabeth Weiss. The funeral of the mother and daughter will be held from the home at 10 o'clock Tuesday morning with interment at Little's cemetery.
====
Obituary clipping from unknown newspaper
Margaret May Martin was born July 14, 1885 and died at her home four miles northeast of Preemption, Ill., Mar. 8, 1903, at 2:30 a.m. and at 5:30 p.m. of the same day, her mother, Mrs. John Martin, died at the same home and from the same disease, measles. May was the oldest of the family of Mr. and Mrs. John Martin, a beautiful young woman of excellent Christian character. Mrs. Martin, Lizzie Dorothea Weiss, was born in the town of Rural, June 22, 1857 and was united in marriage to her now bereft husband, Nov. 22, 1882. They went to housekeeping at the home above mentioned where they have since resided. The husband and four children, Elmer, John, Emma and Wilber are left to mourn the loss of a faithful, loving wife and mother and precious daughter and sister. So sad this double affliction to Brother Martin and family, but in this hour of sadness as they lean upon the everlasting arms, it is sweet to know that they are in the Heavenly Father's tender care and to realize that their many friends are praying for, and sympathizing with them. Sister Martin and May were members of the Preemption ME Church and were trusting in him who says, "He that liveth and believeth in me shall never die." And altho husband, father, brothers and sisters mourn with a large circle of friends, they mourn not without hope -- the hope of a Christian. The funeral services were held at the home Mar 10, 1903 at 12 o'clock, conducted by their former pastor, Rev G. W. Peregoy. The remains of mother and daughter were laid side by side in the same grave in Preemption cemetery to await the resurrection morn.
====
From "The Argus," Rock Island, Illinois, Thursday, December 21, 1972, newspaper article titled, "Towering tombstone at Preemption has unusual background."
Story by Sharon Esslinger.
From a letter written by Frank L. Rathburn in Feb. 1966, prior to his death, he writes:
"I expect I have attended several hundred funerals in this cemetery (Preemption), but one outstanding in my memory was in the month of March, I think about 1903. Mrs. John Martin and her daughter, Mae, were buried in a double grave, as both died on the same day. As usual in the month of March, roads were nearly impassable, as frost had gone out and mud was nearly hub deep some places. They had two hearses and each hearse was pulled by four horses and even then they had trouble getting through roads. The only time in my life I have ever experienced such a sight."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

John S. Martin Headstone



Family Headstone for John S. Martin,
wife, Elizabeth D. Weiss Martin
and daughter, May.
Preemption Cemetery, Mercer County, Illinois
Wife, Elizabeth, and daughter, May, died the same day of measles.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Family Birth Record for the William Wilson Family



This is the family birth record of the William B. Wilson Family. It was written by his daughter-in-law, Minnie Pearl Hatfield Wilson, and kept in her family bible. She was incorrect about William's middle name -- all other documents record his middle name as "B" or "Benton". This is the only source we have for the birthdates of all of the children in the William B. Wilson family. The birthdates for the family seem to match with other sources such as census records, court records, death records, obituaries, etc.

Here is what I have gathered so far for the WILLIAM B. WILSON FAMILY:

William B. Wilson (photo) was born on 13 Mar 1839 in Sumner County, Tennessee. He died in 3 Jul 1920 in Orr, Love, Oklahoma. He was buried in July 1920 in Reck Cemetery, Carter, Oklahoma. William joined the Civil War on 12 Feb 1862 in Weston, Texas was in Company "K" 6th Texas Calvary, CSA. He served for over three years or until the end of the war. Since he was living in Oklahoma, William received a small confederate pension from the state of Oklahoma, just before he died.
  • Telephone interview 25 Jul 1986 with Gr-daughter, Margaret Means Williams:  "Grandpa Wilson was in the Civil War for 4 years. When I asked him if he killed any Yankees he said, 'I killed as many Yankees as they killed me.' Grandpa Wilson is buried at Reck Cemetery, there is no headstone."
  • Telephone interview 14 Aug 1986 with gr-son, Joe Baily Means:  "Grandpa Wilson received a Civil War pension. He fought in 4 or 5 major battles. He never got shot at all. He lived in Georgia and Tennessee before Texas. Grandpa was called Willie."
  • Letter from gr-son, Champ Means, 29 Nov 1979:  "Grandpa did fight in the Civil War in the Cavalry. He furnished his own horse which ran away in the first battle through enemy lines and back through without injury to him or the horse. After the war he was discharged and received small pension. Died of high blood pressure - stroke. Lived about a year after."
  • Maymie Wilson Martin said that her grandparents lived in Greever Canyon, which is east and a little north of Estelle, Oklahoma. Estelle no longer exists. That part of Woods County became Major County in 1907.  After William came home from the war, he never settled down. He would go off gambling for months at a time. He also liked horse racing. He told stories to his grandchildren of Sam Bass and the Denton Mare.
On 20 Feb 1888, W. B. Wilson was convicted of Horse Theft (a serious crime in Texas) in Collin County, Texas and sentenced to five (5) years in the Texas State Penitentiary. He was incarcerated in Rusk Penitentiary. An application for pardon was started in behalf of W. B. Wilson in the spring of 1889 by concerned citizens of Collin County. There were numerous letters requesting the pardon -- from the sheriff, judge, county attorney, etc. Also a petition signed by over 200 residents of Collin. The application states a hardship case for William B. Wilson's family -- His wife, Polly, was blind and had a large family to care for. William also had an aged father to help care for. William escaped in January 1890 before the pardon was granted in May of 1890. in January 1890 before the pardon was granted in May of 1890.

William married Mary "Polly" Huff daughter of Matthew B. Huff and Theodota Day on 7 Dec 1858 in Collin County, Texas.

Marriage certificate for William B. Wilson and Mary Huff


Mary was born on 15 Jun 1840 in , Grayson, Virginia. She died about 1898 in Greever Canyon, Woods, Oklahoma. She was buried in Chester, Woods, Oklahoma.
  • She was called Polly and had red hair.
  • In the 1870 Census, Collin County, Texas, Weston Twp; Mary Polly is living with her in-laws, James & Martha Wilson; James, 55 yrs, TN; Martha, 54 yrs, SC; Mary, 30, VA; William, 8 yrs, TX; James, 4 yrs, TX; Laura, 2 yrs, TX. This census would fit with the scenario that Maymie Wilson Martin gave of her grandfather -- that after he returned from fighting in the civil war, he was never able to settle down to farming -- He would go off gambling for months at a time living Polly to care for the children on her own.
  • She became blind in middle age--she never able to "see" her son, Charles Bee Wilson.
William and Polly Wilson had the following children:
1. William David Wilson was born on 29 Sep 1862 in Collin County, Texas.  It is not known when or where he died.  William was two years old when his father returned from the Civil War. He worked on the 101 Ranch.
  • Family Legends:
  • "He was an outlaw -- killed first man when he was 12 yrs old. Had 22 or 23 notches in his gun. Caught with Frank Younger and served 5 years in Kansas Prision. Went to Mexico and was never heard of again. Thought the Mexicans had killed him."
  • Interview with Vonnie Wilson Mueller:  "Bill received land in Oklahoma land rush. Father got farm land, Bill got city lots. Sold them. Men paid him in counterfeit money. He was arrested in New Mexico for passing counterfeit money. Was shackled with Billy the Kid and rode in the back of a wagon to Las Vegas, NM to jail."
  • Interview with Elmer L. Martin:  "Two men had a rope tied across an alley between two houses and knocked Uncle Bill off his horse when he rode into the rope. Uncle Bill killed both of them. Uncle Bill gave a hankerchief to a girl at a dance. A cowboy took it away from her and then Uncle Bill shot him."
  • I have found Federal court documents, where a William Wilson was convicted of Larceny and giving liquor to the Indians in Indian Territory.  This may or maynot be our William Wilson.  (http://userdb.rootsweb.com/groups/  Select the Leavenworth Prison records from the drop down list and type in name.)
2. James Ervin Wilson was born on 17 Mar 1866 in Collin, Texas, United States. He died on 20 Nov 1941 in Ringling, Jefferson, Oklahoma. He was buried on 23 Nov 1941 in Reck Cemetery, Carter County, Oklahoma.
  • Family story as told by Maymie Wilson: "Jim's first marriage was while he was a young man to a woman named Rose ?. A traveling salesman came by and spent the night with Jim & his wife, Rose. The next day while Jim was working in the fields, the salesman stopped to say goodbye and told Jim that he had a really nice wife. Jokingly Jim told the salesman that he could have his wife for 2 bits. When he came in from the fields, Jim found that his wife, Rose, was gone and that there was 2 bits were laying on the table. Jim never saw or heard from his wife again.
James later married Melissa King (King was her married name -- maiden name not known) on 2 Oct 1900 in Woods County, Oklahoma Territory. Melissa was born in 1855 in Indiana. She died on 8 Jul 1938. Melissa had one son from a previous marriage that Jim helped to raise.

3. Laura May Wilson was born on 10 May 1869 in Collin, Texas, United States. She died on 19 May 1938 in Ringling, Jefferson, Oklahoma. She was buried on 20 May 1938 in Reck Cemetery, Carter, Oklahoma. Laura married John Newton Means on 30 Dec 1890 in Tussy, , Indian Territory, Oklahoma. John was born in 1853 in Alabama. He died on 1 Jan 1936 in Ringling, Jefferson, Oklahoma. He was buried in Reck Cemetery, Carter, Oklahoma.

4. Doris Belle Wilson was born on 5 Jun 1871 in Texas. She died in 1893/1898 in , , Montana.
Doris married John Robert Fanning, son of William H. Fanning and Mary Large about 1890 in Chickasha Nation, Oklahoma. John was born on 16 Aug 1865 in Gainsville, Cooke, Texas. He died on 31 May 1932 in Petersburg, Wrangell-Petersburg, Alaska.

5. Charles B. Venton Wilson was born on 6 Apr 1876 in Collin County, Texas. He died on 16 Dec 1951 in Cortez, Montezuma, Colorado. He was buried on 20 Dec 1951 in Cortez Cemetery, Montezuma, Colorado.
  • Charles was called "my little Honey Bee" by his mother. The name "B" stuck and he was called that most of his life. He went by Charles "B" Wilson, except for the Family Bible entry which gives his name as Charles Venton Wilson. His mother, Mary, was blind from before his birth and was never able to actually see him. Charles met Pearl Hatfield at a dance in Estelle, Oklahoma. She was 16 and he was 26 years old.
Charles married Minnie Pearl Hatfield daughter of Martin Monroe Hatfield and Nancy Abbagel McNeil on 14 Dec 1902 in , Woods, Oklahoma. Minnie was born on 27 Apr 1886 in Smith Center, Smith, Kansas. She died on 22 Feb 1966 in Cortez, Montezuma, Colorado. She was buried on 24 Feb 1966 in Cortez Cemetery, Montezuma, Colorado.
Charles B. worked on cattle drives around Santa Fe and Santa Rose, NM until he got married. He may have been "wanted" for stealing horses. There was a wanted posted for him at one time, according to some family members.

6. Rose Lee Wilson was born on 11 Jun 1879 in Texas. She died about 1901.
Rose married Daniel Bailey Baugh. Daniel was born on 4 Apr 1874 in Dade County, Missouri. He died on 18 May 1950 in La Junta, Otero, Colorado. He was buried on 20 May 1950 in Minneapolis Cemetery, Baca, Colorado.

7. Mary Lillian Wilson was born on 18 Feb 1882 in Texas. She died on 30 Nov 1915 in Oklahoma. Her son Charles was married to Stella Barnes
Mary married John L. Marrs, son of Joseph L Marrs and Delia, on 20 Mar 1898 in Estelle, Woods, Oklahoma. John was born on 16 Jan 1876 in Iowa. He died on 6 Jul 1963 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He was buried in Jul 1963 in Mtn. Pleasant Cemetery, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Sources for this family can be found on Ancestry.com.  Contact me and I can send you a FREE invite to the Wilson family tree on Ancestry.com.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

William S. McNeil Family Birth Record



This birth record for the William S. McNeil Family was found in the family bible belonging to Nancy McNeil Hatfield's daughter, Minnie Pearl Hatfield Wilson.

William S. McNeil was born on 21 Jul 1818 in Ohio. He died on 5 Feb 1894 in Cedarville, Smith, Kansas. He was buried in Feb 1894 in Cedar Cemetery, Smith, Kansas.
William married Sarah Margaret Cole daughter of Nathan Cole Jr. and Anna Margaret Goble on 17 Oct 1847 in Parke County, Indiana. Sarah was born on 21 Feb 1826 in Sullivan, Indiana. She died in 1905 in Smith Center, Smith, Kansas. She was buried in 1905 in Cedarville Cemetery, Smith, Kansas.
They had the following children:
1. Eliza Jane McNeil was born on 12 Aug 1848 in Parke, Indiana. She died about 1856.
2. Susanah A. McNeil was born on 19 Nov 1849. She died on 23 Jan 1930.
3. Thomas C. McNeil was born on 21 Jan 1852 in Terre Haute, Parke, Indiana. He died on 18 Nov 1923 in Smith Center, Smith, Kansas. He was buried on Nov 1923 in Fairview Cemetery, Smith, Kansas.
4. Roxie Ellen McNeil was born on 18 Feb 1857. She died on 22 Feb 1936.
5. Nancy Abbegal McNeil was born on 23 May 1860. She died on 18 Jan 1946.
6. Nathan H. McNeil was born on 25 Aug 1864. He died on 21 Apr 1939.
7. James Harmon McNeil was born on 18 Dec 1867. He died on 16 Jan 1936

Family Bible -- Charles Wilson Family



This family record is a copy from the Wilson/Hatfield family bible. It was written on the back side of one of the bible pictures and was written by Minnie Pearl Wilson. After Grandma Wilson's death in 1966, the bible ended up with the Clayton Ervin (Pat) Wilson family and is now (2007) with his widow, Anna. The bible is said to be in poor shape with missing cover & title page and loose pages.  We do not have a copy of the title page -- sorry.
Copies of the pages were made in 1972 and also in 2004.

Below is the reverse side of the above page from the bible. 

Friday, May 2, 2008

John Sadler Republic of Texas Land Certificate


John Sadler received this land certificate for having fought at the Battle of San Jacinto 1836.
John Sadler was born on 24 May 1811 in Tennessee. He died on 18 Apr 1885 in Oletha, Limestone, Texas. He was buried in the Ferguson Cemetery, Limestone, Texas.
John married Bathsheba Lindley, daughter of Samuel Washington Lindley and Elizabeth Whitley, on 18 Nov 1830 in Shelby, Illinois. Bathsheba was born on 5 Mar 1811 in Madison, Illinois. She died on 17 Oct 1885 in Oletha, Limestone, Texas. She was buried in the Ferguson Cemetery, Limestone, Texas. John and Bathsheba had 9 children.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Col. Joseph Leffel

According to this advertisement from the early 1900's, Col. Joseph Leffel of Springfield, Ohio, was the smallest businessman in the world. At the time of the picture, Col. Joseph Leffel was 72 years old, 46 inches tall, and weighed 65 pounds.





















This is the backside of the above advertisement:














Here is a bio from an 1881 Clark County, Ohio History:
THE HISTORY of CLARK COUNTY, OHIO; CONTAINING Biographies of Early Settlers and Prominent Men (and Women) , CHICAGO; W. H. BEERS & CO.; 1881, page 869.
JOSEPH LEFFEL, fruit and vegetable dealer, Springfield. There are few persons in Clark County who have not heard of Col. Joe Leffel, he being the smallest business man in Ohio, and, in fact, we might say, the United States. His size has not been a bar to his success in life, as he has always been recognized as successful in everything he has undertaken.
He was born in this county Sept. 21, 1833, and is the son of James P. and Elizabeth Leffel, as an infant he was attacked by a disease, which impeded his growth, and now in his 48th year he is but three feet ten inches in height.
He was married March 16, 1876, to Sarah B. Meade, daughter of Alfred and Mary (Hatcher) Meade, who was born in this county Feb. 14, 1857, of which union have been the issue, viz., Joseph F. and Gilbert W.
In 1865, Mr. Leffel opened a photograph gallery, in which he engaged one year, then went into the grocery business, at which he remained about the same time; was also in the bee culture for many years, and is at present engaged in the fruit and vegetable trade on West High street.
His parents were large robust people, his father being over six feet in height, and the family are among the prominent pioneer farmers of Clark County.

Baldwin Family Line - Ancestors of Jess Baldwin


Jess William Baldwin
The Baldwin family history contains the ancestry of Jess William Baldwin.
Jess was born in 1898 in Eliasville, Young County, Texas to Allen and Mary Jane (Stewart) Baldwin.
The main surnames in this family line are: Baldwin, Sadler, Lindley, Whitley, Stewart and Medlin.They are from Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee and Illinois.
This family tree may be viewed at Ancestry.com or Rootsweb.com.  Contact me for a free invite to the Ancestry.com tree.

Leffel Family Tree - Ancestors of Mable Edna Leffel Baldwin


Mabel Edna Leffel is on the left and her niece, Della Cotter, is on the right. Quite the hat Della is wearing!
This family tree contains the ancestry of Mabel Edna Leffel. Mabel was born in 1900 in True, Young, Texas to Charles E. and Caldonia Jane (Box) Leffel.
Surnames in this family include: Leffel, Miller, West, McKee, Box, Fulcher, Johnson and Hellums.
The Leffel family is originally from Germany, but settled in Ohio then Texas.
The Box side of the family is southern -- Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina.
This family tree may be viewed at Ancestry.com or Rootsweb.com.

Wilson Family Tree


This is a picture taken of Maymie Pearl Wilson when she was 19 years old.

The Wilson family tree contains information on the ancestry of Maymie Pearl Wilson, who was born in Woods County, Oklahoma in the early 1900's to Charles B. Wilson and Minnie Pearl Hatfield.

Maymie's ancestry contains the following surnames: Hatfield, McNeil, Cole, Huff, Coddington, Jay, Hockett, Caywood and Goble.This family tree may be viewed at Ancestry.com or Rootsweb.com.

Martin Family Tree

My Martin family tree starts with my grandfather, Elmer Matthew Martin.


This picture of Elmer was taken in Illinois, before he came west. Elmer was born 16 Mar 1887 in Rock Island, Illinois to John Stephen Martin and Elizabeth Dorothea Weiss.
Both the Martin & Weiss families had settled in Rock Island County, Illinois. Surnames in this family line include: Martin, Weiss, Castner, Heim, Traub, Thuring, Mueller, Maendle, Kissling, Schmid, Zwicker and Fickenscher. All of the families in the Martin family tree are of German heritage. The Martin family is from Oberfranken, Bayern, Germany and the Weiss family is from Donau, Wuerttemberg, Germany.
This family tree may be viewed at Ancestry.com or Rootsweb.com.