Story by Fred Gahimer.
Richard Dey (Derick Dytszen), Denmark
In “This Old Monmouth of Ours” by William S. Horner, it states that “Richard Dey, or Derick Dytszen, as it is sometimes written, is said to be the founder of the family that spells its name Dey or Dye in different branches of the family. He and his family are said to have been of the second party of six families and individuals that made up the second contingent of settlers of the present New York City. There were 45 in all and they arrived in 1625. Details of his family are not readily available, save that he is said to have had a son named Laurens.” It is also possible that he is of another branch of Dyes, and not the father of Laurens.
Laurens Duyksen (or Dytszen or Duyts or Dey); son of Richard
Born: 1610 in Holstein, Denmark Arrived in New Amsterdam in 1639
Wife: Ytie Jansen
- Margaret 12/23/1639 in New Amsterdam
- Jan Laurensen 3/23/1641 in New Amsterdam
- Hans Laurensen 9/28/1644
Wife: Gritje (Gertrude) Jansen (sister of Ytie) 1666
- Catharine, about 1667, died 1668 Bergen, NJ
The first Dye in America was, by most accounts, Laurens Duyts. He was born in 1610 in the province of Holstein, on the south shore of Zraland, a large island, which at that time belonged to Denmark; thus he was a Dane. He came to America in 1639 on the “De Brant van Trogan” (The Burning of Troy). His fellow passengers included the Danes Captain Jochem Pietersen Kuyter, Pieter Andriessen, and Jonas Bronck. Bronck had contracted Duyts and Andriessen to clear 500 acres of land he was to purchase from the Indians upon his arrival. The agreement is supposedly still extant. Bronck was to advance the two men 121 florins to pay their board on the ship. They were to have liberty to plant tobacco and maize on Bronck’s land upon condition that they should break up a certain quantity of new land every two years, surrendering the other to the owner for the planting of grain. The land became the New York Borough we know as the Bronx, named after Jonas Bronck. Laurens was commonly known in New Amsterdam as Laurens Goatschoe (Big Shoe).
The following lease was signed when Bronk engaged Duyts and Andriesen to clear the land:
(Lease of Land in Westchester County)Before me, Cornelis van Tienhoven, Secretary in New Netherland and the unsigned witnesses, appeared Sr. Jonas Bronk, of the one part, who amicably agreed and contracted as follows:First: Sr. Bronk shall show said parties a certain piece of land belonging to him, situate on the mainland oppostie the flats of the Manhates; on which said land they shall have permission to plant tobacco and maize, on the condition, that they shall be obliged to break new land every two years for planting the tobacco and maize and changing the place, the land, upon which they have planted to remain at the disposal of said Sr. Bronk. They shall be bound to surrender the land every time they change, made ready for planting corn and ploughing. They shall make use of said land, for three consecutive years during which time said Sr. Bronk shall make no other claim upon them, than for the land, which Pieter Andriessen and Laurens Duyts by their labor shall have cleared, who on their side shall be obliged to fulfill the above mentioned conditions. If Pieter Andriessen and Laurens Duyts demand within a year from said Sr. Bronk 2 horses and 2 cows on the conditions, on which at present the Company gives them to freemen, the said Bronk shall deliver the animals to them if he can spare them.Pieter Andriessen and Laurens Duyts further pledge their persons and property, movable and immovable, present and future, nothing excepted for the payment of what Sr. Bronk has advanced them for board on ship ‘de Brant van Trogan’ amounting to 121 fl. 16st., of which Pieter Andriessen is to pay 81.4 fl. and Laurens Duyts 40.12 fl. They promise to pay the aforesaid sums by the first ready means, either in tobacco or otherwise to acknowledgment and token of truth they have signed this respectively.Done at Fort Amsterdam the 21st of July, 1639.This is the mark X of Laurens Duyts.Peter Andriessen and Maurits Janse, Witnesses
Laurens married Ytie Jansen and they had three children: a daughter, Margariet, who was baptized on December 23, 1639, the sponsors being Gerrit Janses of Oldenburg (Ytie’s brother?), Teuntje Joris and Tyntju Martens; a son Jan, who was baptized on March 23, 1641; another son Hans, who was baptized in 1644. Jochem was sponsor at the baptism of the boys.
Laurens appears to have been farming in different places, leasing the lands he tilled. In March, 1654, he had a land dispute with Francoys Fyn. Fyn had a certain parcel of land lying on a long island over against Hog Island (now Blackwell’s Island). Laurens sold this without Fyn knowing about it, claiming it was his own land.
Laurens leased for some time the bowery of the Norwegian woman from Marstrand, Anneke Jans. He was to pay her two hogs in rent. As he had paid only one, he was sued in May, 1658, by Anneke’s son-in-law, Johannes Pietersen Vergrugge, later mayor of New York, and was condemned to deliver the hog to the plaintiff.
Laurens Duyts got into trouble with Pieter Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor of New Amsterdam, who was a tough customer with a wooden leg. On November 25, 1658 he gave Laurens a severe sentence for selling his wife and forcing her to live in adultery with another man and living himself in adultery. He was to have a rope tied around his neck and then to be severely flogged, and to have his right ear cut off. He banished Laurens for 50 years. In 1666 he married the sister of his first wife and they had a daughter.
His son Hans lived at Harlem in 1667. The other son, Jan, lived there also. Laurens died at Bergen, New Jersey, about 1668.
Hans Laurensen (Laurens) Duyts (Dye)
Born: Sep. 28, 1644 New Amsterdam
Died: After 1706 Staten Island
Wife: Marritie Satyrs
- James Hance;
2nd Wife: Sarah Vincent (1st husband Vincent Fountain)
- John, born 1687 in Staten Island;
- probably also James
- Laurens (Lawrence)
- Catherine (Caterina)
John Lawrence Dye
Born: 1687 in Staten Island
Died: March 8, 1751 in Middlesex Co., New Jersey
Wife: Anne Brown
Married: about 1710 Middlesex Co., New Jersey
- John, about 1711
- Ann, about 1715
- William, about 1718
- James, about 1720
- David, about 1725
John moved from Staten Island to New Jersey in 1725. On Dec 21, 1725, he purchased from Minert Johnson of Perth Amboy Twp., 200 acres of land, bounded on the south by Millstone River, and settled on this tract. This land is located near Prospect Plains and Cranbury, Middlesex Co., NJ, and is now owned and occupied by “Brick House” John Dey, a descendant of William Dey of 1718 (son of John’s half-brother James). John died before March 8, 1751 at age 63, and Anne died in 1763, both at Macheponix, Middlesex Co., New Jersey. John’s descendants are to be found in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, and other states.
Born: about 1720 in Staten Island, New Jersey
Died: before April 6, 1764 Middlesex Co., New Jersey
Wife: Sarah Lautz
Married: before 1744
- Andrew (married Sarah Minor, cousin to Martha Washington)
- Benjamin, about 1750
A notice in a newspaper in Middlesex Co., about 1750:
Stolen on the Night of the 26th ult. from the Sign Post of Gilbert Barton, Tavern-keeper in Cranberry, a sorrel Mare, with a bald Face, and white Mane and Tail, four white feet, a white Spot under her near Eye, about 13 Hands high, 5 Years old last Grass, shod before, branded on the near Buttock *, paces pretty swift, trots well, and has a Mark of a Rope-gall in her near Hough, and some small white Spots on the near Side of her Nose. Had on a Saddle and Bridle, the Saddle breasted both before and behind with red Plush Housing, and Curb Bridle. ‘Tis supposed she was stolen by one John Martin, who has lately been in the Jersey Provincials. Whoever takes up the Thief and Mare, shall have Six Pounds Reward for both, or Three Pounds for the Mare, Saddle and Bridle, paid for by James Dye, in Cranberry
Three of James’ sons, John, Andrew, and Benjamin were early settlers on Big Whiteley Creek in Greene Co., PA. Andrew went to Maryland before going to Pennsylvania. We don’t know about John and Benjamin.
Born: about 1750
Wife: Sarah Elizabeth Lemley; died 1793
- James; April 26, 1784, Dunkard Creek, Greene Co., PA
- George; Jan. 30, 1786, Greene Co., PA
- Sarah; 1788, Greene Co., PA; married William Willey in 1803; and died before 1850; probably buried in Noble Co., Ohio.
Benjamin is listed as enlisting in Maryland on July 25, 1776 and serving under Ensign Nathan Williams in the American Revolution. It is thought that he arrived in Greene County about 1779. He died in Greene Co., PA in 1788 leaving three minor children. Steven Gapen (a large land-holder in Whiteley Twp., Greene Co.) was appointed guardian of James Dye in Orphan’s Court on Sep. 12, 1799. Daniel Jones was appointed guardian of George and Sarah on Nov. 14, 1806.
GEORGE and SARAH (CALVERT) DYE
Born: Jan 15, 1808 in Green Co. PA
Died: May 18, 1879 in Zionsville, IN
Born: Feb 24, 1809 in Morgan Co. OH
Married: Jacob Stonking, Zionsville
Born: Dec 16, 1810 in Morgan Co. OH
Married: Elizabeth Clyne, Sep 25, 1834
Lived: Northfield, IN on farm
Children: 6 sons; 5 daughters, 10 surviving
- Jacob Dye, Union, Neb
- Burdetta Dye (a.k.a Mrs. Henry Reed, Northfield, IN)
- Mrs. J. R. Reed, Big Springs, IN
- Ingram Dye, Lebanon, IN
- Miss Ollie Dye, Union, Neb
- Mary Jane Dye (a.k.a Mrs. J. Ashley Johnson, Lamar, MO)
- Isaac Cline Dye, Union, Neb
- Ezekial Dye, Thornton, IN
- Mrs. D. W. Lapham, Lebanon, IN
- James W. Dye, Union, Neb
Born: Oct 28, 1812 in Morgan Co. OH
Married: Ruth Ann Harmon, Northfield, IN
Born: Aug 14, 1814 in Morgan Co. OH
Died: March 26, 1901, Zionsville, Boone Co., Indiana
Married: Martha King, 6-13-1839; died Apr 19, 1884
Married: Malora Owens, 1891
Worked for the firm of Anderson & Co. Bankers, Zionsville
6. George W. Jr.
Born: Oct 3, 1816 in Morgan Co. OH; moved to Oregon
Born: Oct 18, 1818 in Morgan Co. OH
Married: Margaret Miller, 12-28-1837, Zionsville
Born: Sep 13, 1820 in Morgan Co. OH
Died: Dec. 7, 1879; Nevada, IA
Married: John Ford, Mar. 11, 1838, in Zionsville, IN
9. Sarah “Sallie”
Born: Jan 12, 1823 in Morgan Co. OH
Married: Robert John Harmon
10. Samuel H.
Born: Nov 11, 1828 in Morgan Co. OH
Married: Malissa Hage, Dakota
James Dye’s 91st birthday in 1903 was at the home of his daughter, Mrs. John Cooney, Northfield IN. Present were: William Dye, wife, and daughter Chellie, T. J. Dye, Cal Dye, J. N. Harmon, Mrs. Jacob Dye (Malora Owens), John E. Dye and wife Ezekial Dye, Harry Dye and family, Mrs. Elmer Dye, Jennie Dye, James W. Rooker and wife (Matt), John Stephenson, 77, Mrs. Hulda Murphy, 76, H. N. Marvin, 82
1756 – Frances Calvert born Nov. 28 (Sarah’s Calvert Dye’s mother) Frances’s husband is unknown at this time.
1785 – Sarah Calvert born in Green County, Pennsylvania on Dec. 7.
1786 – George Dye born in Green County, Pennsylvania on Jan. 30.
1807 – George and Sarah married on Jan. 7. (Not listed in Greene Co.) George was a farmer, hunter, and Methodist preacher
1808 – Benjamin, their first child born on Jan. 15
Moved to Morgan/Guernsey County, Ohio. Dyes were already there.
Fannie born Feb. 24, 1809
Isaac born Dec. 16, 1810
James born Oct. 28, 1812
1812 – George Dye fought in the Copus Battle in the War of 1812. Three companies for the war were raised in Guernsey County. The companies commanded by Simon Beymer and Absalom Martin were stationed at Beam’s blockhouse near Mansfield, Ohio, awaiting orders from Colonel Bay, of whose regiment they were a part. Nine miles east of the blockhouse was the home of James Copus and wife and their nine children. He was a Methodist preacher who had brought his family into the western country from Pennsylvania three years before the War of 1812 opened. He had cleared about twenty acres of land and enclosed it with a rail fence. The home was the usual cabin of the Ohio pioneer.
At the beginning of the war the English incited the Indians of Northern Ohio to hostilities against the Americans. Copus was prevailed upon to bring his family to Beam’s blockhouse for protection. After remaining there several days, he decided to return to his home. Capt. Martin objected, telling him that the Indians were hostile, but he was determined and could not be dissuaded.
For the protection of Copus and his family, Capt. Martin ordered nine men from his own and Capt. Beymer’s companies to accompany them as guards. Among the nine Guernsey County men were George Shipley, John Tedrick, Robert Warnock, George Launtz, and George Dye.
Arriving at the cabin, they found that neither it nor the stock had been disturbed. When night came Mr. Copus invited the soldiers to sleep in the cabin, but they declined, saying they preferred the barn which was a few rods away. During the night the dogs kept barking incessantly, which caused Mr. Copus to suspect that Indians might be lurking about. Towards morning he called the nine men to the cabin and informed them of his fears.
To please him they remained inside until morning. After daybreak several of them went to the spring a short distance away to wash. Before going they leaned their guns against the side of the cabin. The Indians, who had surrounded the place, seized this opportunity to make an attack. They rushed in between the men and the cabin and began shooting. Three of the soldiers at the spring were killed and scalped. George Shipley, John Tedrick, and Robert Warnock fled to the woods. The two former were overtaken, shot, and scalped. Warnock, although wounded, outran the savages. His wound proved fatal, however; his body was found in the woods a few days later.
George Dye succeeded in reaching the cabin, although his hip was broken by a bullet from the gun of one of the warriors. Mr. Copus was wounded, dying an hour later. This left the two soldiers, the wounded Dye, Mrs. Copus, and the nine children to defend the cabin against forty-five Indians. The firing continued until about ten o’clock when the Indians retreated.
George Launtz, one of the two soldiers who did not go to the spring, was wounded; also one of the daughters of Copus. Several Indians were killed.
The unwounded soldier ran in haste to the blockhouse after the Indians left, and asked for assistance, which was sent immediately. Six Guernsey County men were killed in this battle, and two were wounded. Only one escaped unhurt.
On account of the danger, Mrs. Copus and her nine children could not remain at the cabin, and went to some relatives in a neighboring township.
In 1882 a monument was erected where the Copus cabin stood. Upon it are carved the names of the six Guernsey County men who were killed by the Indians.
1814 – George and Sarah Dye were still in Morgan County, Ohio
Jacob born on Aug. 14, 1814
George W., Jr. born Oct. 3, 1816
William born Oct. 18, 1818
Elizabeth born Sept. 13, 1820
Sallie born Jan. 12, 1823
Samuel H. born Nov. 11, 1828
1819 – At an early session of the Board of Commissioners of Morgan County in July, seven petitions for roads were presented, all of which seem to have been granted. The first ordered by Morgan County officials was Dye’s Road in Section 27, Township 11, Range 11 from Stanton Fordices (on Meigs Creek) by Ezekiel Dye’s and George Dye’s to the Guernsey County line.
1820 – At an election for township officers which was held on April 3rd in Noble Township, Morgan County (now in Noble County), Ohio, 43 votes were cast. Among the list of voters were George Dye and brother, James Dye.
George and James Dye were early settlers in Morgan County. George had a mill on the old McCleary farm on the road from Iiramsburg to Sarahsville. It was a small affair, and was erected by John Farley, millright. George sold to Cramlett and he to James McCleary. James Dye originally owned the farm on which the Children’s Home is located. He became quite wealthy, sold out, and moved with his sons to Illinois. Dye and his sons were all hunters. In the winter they made enough money on the furs which they captured to enter 160 acres of land where Rochester now is. They always kept about a dozen hounds, and hunted and trapped throughout the surrounding country. James Noble was also a trapper. In some way he incurred the enmity of the younger Dyes, who committed many depredations upon his property, and on one occasion fired bullets through his door. After years of lawing, he succeeded in lodging some of them in jail.
1829 – Land in Eagle Township, Boone County, Indiana offered for sale for the first time. Eel River Indians held a reservation in the county prior to that.
1830 – George Dye and family moved to Elizabeth Township, Miami County, Ohio near John and Andrew Dye. His brother James moved to Illinois. There were many Dyes in Miami County. They were among the very early settlers up to 1807. Many are buried in the Knoop Cemetery on Route 41 two miles east of Troy, Ohio. Andrew Dye is buried with his second wife, Ann Evans, in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery about eight miles west of Troy. There is a Dye Mill Road east of Troy going south off Route 41 just before crossing the Little Miami River. It led to the Dye Mill.
1832 – George Dye and family moved to Eagle Creek, Boone County, IN, passing through the “village of Indianapolis” on April 5. He bought 640 acres of land in what is now northeast Zionsville extending to Eagle Creek where he later built a mill. Families did not live close to each other in those days, and they were compelled to call one another neighbors when they lived miles apart. Neither Zionsville nor Eagle Village existed. About the only other settlers were Elijah Cross, David Hoover (who was the first county clerk), and Austin Davenport. Patrick Henry Sullivan and Mr. Sheets were down the creek a few miles. School houses and churches were spoken of as things that would come. The children received their schooling in private schools and their first religious training at home.
George Dye was reported in the Boone County history as: one of the best men that ever lived in the County, a Methodist, and a devoted member and public speaker, a great hunter, a very large, strong man, 6’1″ tall, and well made, a bold, fearless pioneer of Boone County
In a sketch of two early Eagle Village pioneers contained in the book Early Life and Times in Boone County, Indiana by Samuel Hardin:
George Dye and Frederick Lowe were to Boone County what Daniel Boone was to Kentucky; bold, fearless, and honest. Both came early, both were religious men, raised large families, and contributed largely of their time and means to build up a “good society”. Their houses were both open not only for the poor “new comer”, but to the itinerant preacher who follows close in the wake of civilization. The first time I ever saw Mr. Dye, he came to our house to see father about building a church in Eagle Village. He had his trusty big rifle with him, weighing nineteen pounds. Yes, I said trusty, for once he got a bead on a deer or turkey it was Uncle George’s meat, sure. That good old man did not live to see the church completed, for he died (in 1847). He went to Lebanon on some business and was taken sick and died. He was not what we now call a polished man, but he was more than that, he was useful. Early he built the Dye mill, which was of untold usefulness to the early settlers. Don’t forget George Dye.
Two of the Dye boys, James and Jacob, were solicited to clear the grounds in Lebanon for the Boone County seat public square and shooting deer and bear there.
James Dye also carried the mail from Indianapolis to Logansport on horseback for several years, it requiring several relays of men and horses for the daily trip. He also made many trips to Indianapolis with his father to bring grain “to mill”.
Jacob Dye (uncle of Ephraim Worth Ford)
BOONE COUNTY, INDIANA, DEED RECORDS Recorder's Office, Court House, Lebanon, Indiana NOTE: A fire in 1907 destroyed all the records prior to 1857. People were asked to bring their documents in to have them rerecorded. Thus, all the records described below were in volumes of "Deed Records Heretofore Recorded", or in the Tract Books. The records which were found are listed here in chronological order. No attempt was made to go beyond the 1854, since the objective was to determine the land holdings of George Dye, Sr. No record was found of the original purchase of the section of land as reported in some of the histories.
Oct 28, 1830 Tract Book 1; p98-99 George Dye bot 160 ac 80 ac W1/2 of SE Sect. 35, Twp 18, Range 2E 80 ac E1/2 of SW " " " “
Nov 25, 1833 Heretofore Book 6; p638 George Dye paid $800 to Austin Davenport for 160 ac 80 ac W1/2 of SW Sect 36, Twp 18, Range 2E 80 ac E1/2 of SE Sect 35 " " “
Mar 6, 1834 Tract Book 1; p99 George Dye bot 40 ac SW1/4 of NW1/4 Sect 36, Twp 18, Range 2E
1835 – The first brick house in Zionsville built on the Michigan Road by Austin Davenport. Later bought by George Dye.
Jan 26, 1836 Tract Book 1; p98 George Dye bot 40 ac SE1/4 of NW1/4 Sect 35, Twp 18, Range 2E
May 28, 1836 George Dye paid $1375 to Jacob Johns for 320 ac E1/2 of NE1/4 Sect 15, Twp 18, Range 2E W1/2 of NW1/4 & E1/2 of NW1/4 Sect 14, Twp 18, Range 2E W1/2 of NE Sect 14, Twp 18, Range 2E
1838 – George Dye built the first mill on a section of Eagle Creek east of Zionsville. It was fitted for making both flour and meal, and was well patronized in its day. Jacob and James Dye bought the mill and ran it for many years. The dam……………………………….being allowed 1/8 toll by law. After the season’s grinding was over the mill would be stocked with corn for which there was little or no market. One time they had a thousand bushels of corn stored that had been taken as toll, and no market for it closer than Cincinnati or Lafayette, and the price only 8 cents a bushel. This was the proceeds of a season’s grinding. (Zionsville Times)
In his Early Life and Times in Boone County, Indiana, Samuel Hardin recalls his first trip to mill – the Dye Mill of long ago:
The few hours I was in your vicinity last week were certainly very pleasant ones, full of interest to me in looking into the faces of those who I was acquainted with in years past. Here and there are old landmarks of the past to be seen in and about Eagle Village and Zionsville. Dye’s old mill-race is, I see, still visible, but the old mill and its ponderous wheel are gone. Forty-two years ago I rode up to the old mill with grist tied on. It was my “debut”. Jake Dye was there in all his glory, ready for fun as he always was. His first salutation was: “Boy, what in hell do you want?” I stammered out that I had come to mill. He took my sack and I went to warm at an old cracked stove. There were several older boys there parching corn. Jake saw there was a chance for fun. He went and got his hand full of flour, stuck it under my nose and said: “Boy, smell this;” then he dashed all of it in my eyebrows, eyes, and hair. I rushed out, half scared to death, and washed the flour out as best I could. And this was how I was initiated in going to mill. As I crossed the old mill race the other day, it was suggested to my mind. Yet the old mill is gone but Jake is living. I hope his last days may be pleasant and the sands of life not run out for years to come.
Sep 5, 1839 Heretofore Book 7; p274 George Dye paid $150 to Joseph Norris for 40 ac NE1/4 of SW1/4 Sect 1, Twp 17N, Range 2E
1845 – George Dye’s wife, Sarah (Calvert) Dye died in Zionsville on July 8, and was buried in the Eagle Village Cemetery.
Jan 16, 1846 Heretofore Book 8; p405 George Dye paid $650 to Jacob Dye for 80 ac 40 ac NW1/4 of SE1/4 Sect 1, Twp 17, Range 2E 40 ac N end of E1/2 of SE1/4 Sect 1, Twp 17, Range 2E
1846 – George Dye married Jane Davidson on January 17, and she signed a paper relinquishing her right to administer George’s estate and recommended his son Jacob. Patrick Henry Sullivan, the first settler of the Zionsville area, after whom the Zionsville Museum is named, witnessed the signing of the agreement.
1847 – George Dye, Sr. died at Lebanon on March 3; buried in Eagle Village Cemetery with Sarah and her mother Frances Calvert There was no will. Jacob Dye was named Administrator. A complete record was filed 3/23/47. It was finally settled in Feb 1852. Recorded in Box 045, Book I.
1847 – Bear fight at Dye’s Mill:
The bear fight at “Dye’s Mills” in the year 1847 was one of the largest gatherings, up to that time, perhaps ever assembled in the county. The Dye boys had a few months previous captured two bear cubs out in Howard County, kept them until about eighteen months old, when it was proposed to have a shooting match bear fight. The time finally arrived for it to take place. The result was a big crowd; the people came from far and near – sporting men from Indianapolis and many other places were there with their best guns and dogs. Not less than three thousand persons were present. The shooting match came first, and you may guess there was some good marksmanship on hand with their pieces in the best possible trim. The result was, first, second, and third choices went in different directions. After which came the dog and bear fight. The dogs of war was turned loose; it became apparent soon that bruin was on top every time, and one of or two dogs were killed outright. Notwithstanding this large, mixed crowd, there was no serious trouble. The bears were dressed and awarded in parcels, satisfactory to all as far as I know. The writer had a piece for dinner the next day, and it was the best bear meat he ever ate, for it was the only.
1852 – the I. C. & L. Railroad put through Zionsville
1878 – the Dye mill at Zionsville collapsed in a storm
1901 – Jacob Dye, brother of Elizabeth Dye Ford and the Uncle Jake of Aunt Matt Rooker’s letters to Ephraim Ford, died March 26. His obituary was reported in the Zionsville newspaper:
Death of Jacob Dye Death ended the long continued suffering of Uncle Jake Dye at about eight o'clock Tuesday morning. His sickness had continued for many weeks and his death had been expected at any time for several days, and the coming was a shock to his many friends. Jacob Dye was one of the pioneers of this place, having resided nearly all his life in this immediate neighborhood. He was a man of sterling character and qualities, a representative of the early pioneers, who hewed this country out of the rough and made it habitable for the younger generation who know little or nothing of the hardships and privations of the early settlers. A history of his life would make an interesting book in which the good would largely outnumber those in which any wrong was intended to any person. His life was an open book in which there was no malice or harm toward anyone. He always had a kindly greeting for friend or stranger and was most esteemed by those who knew him best. He was a member of no church but lived an upright, honest life to the best of his knowledge and belief, leaving the unknown things of life here and hereafter to others. He was three times married and as he expressed it to a friend a short time before his death, "In my first marriage I made no mistake; in the second, you know and I know I did make a serious mistake, but in my last marriage I made no mistake." The last wife survives him and during his last illness was a patient, loving, and careful nurse, giving all her time and care toward his comfort. Uncle Jake will be sadly missed by those who knew him best.
The following story is about George Dye’s brother, James Dye
THE DYE MURDER CASE Perhaps the most exiting murder trial that ever took place in Fulton County [Illinois] was "The People vs. Rebecca Dye" in which the defendant was accused of killing her husband. The year was 1855. The case is interesting, from a historical standpoint, because at that time it was very rare for a woman to stand trial for a capital crime. Also, the story behind the trial is a fascinating tale of family hatred and hidden passion. Although it was tried at the Circuit Court in Lewistown, the case did not originate in Fulton County. James Dye was killed at his home northwest of Colchester on May 27, 1854. A McDonough County pioneer, he was born in Pennsylvania during 1787 and moved to Ohio early in the nineteenth century. He married a woman named Barbara (last name unknown), and they eventually had twelve children. During the 1830s the Dye family moved again, to Illinois. Their homestead in Hire Township, McDonough County, was established in 1836 or 1837. As the years went by, James Dye became a wealthy farmer. By the time of his death, he owned hundreds of acres of land and much livestock, as well as four tenant houses. Devoted to making money, he displayed little interest in his family. He neglected the education of his children and often quarreled with his sons. He ordered two or three of them off his property after they had come of age. After his first wife died in the mid-1840s, he married Rebecca Brown. That was in 1847. She was twenty-four; he was sixty. Dye's children, some of whom were older than their new step-mother, opposed the match. This situation is remarkably similar to the story line of Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms (1924). In that famous play, the father is a selfish, materialistic farmer who constantly quarrels with his grown sons and then marries a woman who is younger than they are. Coincidentally, that play was set during the 1850s - and it ends with murder. Little is known about the relationship between James and Rebecca Dye, but in the years that followed she commonly referred to him as "the old man" and addressed him as "Pap". Dye never expressed any dissatisfaction with his young wife and apparently came to trust her with money matters. Rebecca's opinion of him is unknown. They had three daughters. Dye continued to quarrel with his sons. Arguments, fights, and lawsuits occurred. During the early 1850's, for example, Peter Dye hit his father with a gun barrel during one fight, and the old man threatened to kill him if he set foot on the farm again. All of the older children feared that they would not be included in their father's will, and that Rebecca would get everything. At the time of his death, the old man, who apparently refused to recognize his advancing age, still had no will. In the early 1850s Dye rented one of his tenant farms to Reverend David B. Burress, a much younger man, who raised a small amount of livestock and occasionally preached at nearby Christian churches. During 1854 he quarreled with the old man, too, over the planting of corn on the rented acreage. Burress developed a liking for Rebecca, and she evidently was impressed with him. A love affair was kindled, but whether it led to adultery is one of the unresolved questions of the Dye murder case. Burress was planning to leave McDonough County at the time of the murder. Not long before the killing, Burress and the old man had a fight. When Dye ran and got a pistol, Rebecca took it away from him and broke up the quarrel. Apparently, their business disagreement had caused the fracas. Some of the neighbors also found Dye hard to deal with and didn't like him. One of them, Stokely P. Ray, evidently sent an anonymous letter to the old man, threatening his life, not long before the murder. Ray felt he had been cheated by Dye in a business deal. The murder took place on May 27, 1854. Dye had gone to bed for the night, and while he was sleeping, someone bashed his head in with an axe. Then he was shot in the chest. The neighbors, who later testified at the trial, heard Rebecca yelling and came to see what was wrong. According to Jessie Martin, when he arrived she cried out, "O, Jessie, some one has come here and killed the old man...". A coroner's inquest was held the following day, at which the older sons of James Dye directed suspicion toward Rebecca, who was the only person known to be in the house at the time of the killing. On May 29 she was arrested, along with David Burress and Stokeley Ray. All three were indicted by the grand jury, but Ray was later released for lack of evidence. The other two were held without bail until the fall term of the Circuit Court. Rebecca engaged the most noted criminal lawyer in western Illinois, Macomb's Cyrus Walker, who immediately requested a delay until the spring court term. He also got a change of venue to Fulton County and arranged to have Rebecca tried separately. The case attracted several other talented criminal lawyers. The prosecution staff included William C. Goudy of Fulton County, Alexander F. Wheat of Adams County, and Bryant Scofield of Hancock County. Aside from Walker, the defense lawyers were William Kellogg and Lewis W. Ross of Fulton County, and Julius Manning of Peoria. The case also aroused intense public excitement. The McDonough Independent called it "a most diabolical murder", both "horrible and heart-sickening". The very idea that a young mother might have committed such a deed was shocking, if not incredible. Nearly ninety residents of the county were called as witnesses. When the trial opened in April of 1855, the courtroom in Lewistown was jammed. There was no standing room left, and some who wanted to see the proceedings could not get in. Half of the spectators were women. Jury selection was a long process because so many residents had formed an opinion about the case during the year since the murder had been committed. Most people felt she was guilty. The case was not only sensational, but potentially historic. If the jury convicted Rebecca Dye of murder, she would be the first woman in Illinois to be hanged. THE PEOPLE vs. REBECCA DYE The trial of Rebecca Dye for the murder of her husband raised a number of important issues, including the value of circumstantial evidence, the problem of pre-trial prejudice, and the capability of females to commit premeditated murder. In general, it revealed much about the functioning of the criminal justice system during the 1850s, but very little about Rebecca Dye. William Goudy opened the trial by briefly stating the intent of the prosecution and stressing the value of circumstantial evidence. That approach was taken because there was no witness to the murder. In fact, he asserted that "circumstantial evidence, in many cases, was better than positive testimony, [because] the guilty mind always acts inconsistent with its innocence..." The opening statement for the defense was made by Cyrus Walker. He countered the notion that "circumstantial evidence could not lie", calling it an erroneous theory. Rather, he asserted that "as the enormity of the crime increases, so the character of the proof should be more certain". Walker also recognized that most people felt Rebecca Dye was guilty. After all, her husband had been an old man, and rumor had it that there had been some kind of relationship between her and Dye's tenant farmer, David Burress. Hence, the noted lawyer cautioned the jury against reaching a verdict on the basis of suspicions about an illicit love affair: "Suspicion [in the public mind] took the smallest circumstance and magnified it; and the natural disposition in every community to find out the cause - that restless, eager energy that seizes every point - directed attention toward the accused. I warn you, gentlemen, against any such restless eagerness, against the suspicion that blights without investigation, and condemns without proof. There is no contest here but as to who murdered Dye." More importantly, Walker made it clear that there were others who had strong motives for killing the old man: "He had frequent quarrels with his sons, fights and law suits. These engendered a bitter feeling between them, which often led to violence. After the old man's death, the boys were active to show the prisoner's guilt - they charged her with the murder and hinted of circumstances to cast suspicion upon her." In short, the sons of James Dye had spread the story about Rebecca and Burress. And, of course, if she were convicted of the killing, she would not inherit the old man's estate. His children would share it. Walker also strove to evoke the natural sympathy that jurors have for a young mother, especially one who had already suffered separation from her children: "Her life is in your hands. You can hang her up between the heavens and the earth, or you can send her home to her children, from whom she has been torn by the iron rule of law." It was a superb opening address, which also included remarks "questioning the propriety of capital punishment." Walker tried to make it as difficult as possible for the jurors to bring in a murder conviction. The prosecution did demonstrate that Rebecca and Burress had some kind of association involving money. She had apparently wanted to help him pay off a debt to her husband. And it was shown that Burress had quarreled with the old man. But there was no evidence of a love affair, although that was asserted by the prosecutors. Harrison Dye, one of the sons, was a major witness against Rebecca. He claimed that she had said his father "wasn't going to live long" and "she didn't see any satisfaction with him." He also asserted that Rebecca and Burress were "very friendly when there was no one there but them." (He apparently didn't find it illogical that he could know that.) Cyrus Walker did a superb job of impugning his testimony. The young man was forced to admit that he and his brothers had quarreled with the old man, that he had opposed the marriage to Rebecca, that his father had ordered him off the farm, and that he had spent $900 to pay for vigorous prosecution of the defendant. At one point, Walker demanded, "Do you want her hung?" and young Dye replied, "I believe it ought to be done." The most important witness for the defense was Calvin Simmons, a neighbor, who testified that threats of violence were exchanged between Dye and his sons, that the old man was about to make a will that would leave most of his estate to Rebecca, and that Dye trusted his wife and lived harmoniously with her. The weakest part of Rebecca's case involved her comments during the inquest. At that time, she indicated that she had been awakened by a loud noise, and had helped her wounded husband from the floor into bed, and had heard someone leave the house and run off. However, the coroner testified that James Dye probably couldn't have arisen from the floor with the wounds that he had. It was more likely that he was killed in bed, and that the bullet wound came after he was dead. (However, the assistant coroner, another physician, was not certain about either matter.) Another damaging point: the Dyes had four watchdogs, and any intruder would have had to get past them, coming and going. Rebecca Dye did not take the stand in her own defense. The concluding arguments occupied two days. While the prosecution portrayed Rebecca as "a criminal whose hands are reeking in the blood of her own husband," the defense asserted that her guilt was not proven. Moreover, they claimed that the very enormity of the crime raised reasonable doubts about the defendant's guilt. As Lewis W. Ross put it, "It is too unnatural to believe that the wife would do so foul a deed." Julius Manning relied on the same conception about the nature of women: "where the wife of a man's bosom is charged with the murder of her own companion, there is something so revolting in it that we shrink with horror from such a conclusion. Woman is not prone to crime..." Since the evidence was not conclusive, the jury had a difficult decision. They were split between those who wanted her hanged for murder and those who believed she was innocent. They eventually reached a compromise, one that allowed the law to punish Rebecca, as the probable murderer, and yet avoided the prospect of hanging a young mother. Nothing in the trial had suggested that Dye had been killed without premeditation, but the jury had been instructed at the outset of the proceedings that a verdict of manslaughter (killing without malice aforethought) was possible. So, Rebecca Dye was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison. The prosecution had failed to prove its case, had failed to demonstrate that there was animosity between James and Rebecca Dye, or that there was love between her and Reverend Burress. But the victim was old, and the accused murderers young, and everyone felt that illicit passion was at the bottom of it. In all likelihood, the decision to convict was morally right, but it was legally wrong. The pre-trial prejudice that Cyrus Walker had warned about, which centered around the rumors of adultery, had been a powerful factor. Interestingly enough, David Burress was never convicted. He broke jail while awaiting trial in Warren County, then decided to give himself up. But he changed his mind again, broke jail a second time, and was never caught. Rebecca Dye was taken to the state penitentiary at Alton, where she was a model prisoner. Before her sentence was half over, the warden recommended that she be pardoned, and Governor William Bissell released her. She returned to Macomb, where she lived quietly until her death in 1874. Because she did not testify in her own behalf, did not try to explain herself or accuse anyone else, Rebecca Dye will always be the embodiment of a poignancy that we will never know. But because her husband, "the old man", was such a selfish and insensitive person, and because his sons so obviously pursued "justice" for all the wrong reasons, it is not hard to sympathize with the young woman, in spite of the fact that she probably committed one of the most brutal murders in the history of McDonough County. SOURCE: McDonough County Heritage, [Illinois], p45-49
BOONE COUNTY, INDIANA, DEED RECORDS Recorder's Office, Court House, Lebanon, Indiana NOTE: A fire in 1907 destroyed all the records prior to 1857. People were asked to bring their documents in to have them rerecorded. Thus, all the records described below were in volumes of "Deed Records Heretofore Recorded", or in the Tract Books. The records which were found are listed here in chronological order. No attempt was made to go beyond the 1854, since the objective was to determine the land holdings of George Dye, Sr. No record was found of the original purchase of the section of land as reported in some of the histories. Oct 28, 1830 George Dye bot 160 ac Tract Book 1 80 ac W1/2 of SE Sect. 35, Twp 18, Range 2E p98 80 ac E1/2 of SW " " " p99 Nov 25, 1833 George Dye paid $800 to Austin Davenport for 160 ac Heretofore Book 6 80 ac W1/2 of SW Sect 36, Twp 18, Range 2E p638 80 ac E1/2 of SE Sect 35 " " p638 Mar 6, 1834 George Dye bot 40 ac Tract Book 1 40 ac SW1/4 of NW1/4 Sect 36, Twp 18, Range 2E p99 Jan 26, 1836 George Dye bot 40 ac Tract Book 1 40 ac SE1/4 of NW1/4 Sect 35, Twp 18, Range 2E p98 May 28, 1836 George Dye paid $1375 to Jacob Johns for 320 ac forgot E1/2 of NE1/4 Sect 15, Twp 18, Range 2E to W1/2 of NW1/4 & E1/2 of NW1/4 Sect 14, Twp 18, Range 2E record W1/2 of NE Sect 14, Twp 18, Range 2E source Nov 29, 1836 Isaac Dye bot 153 ac Tract Book 1 33 ac NW1/4 of NE1/4 Sect 2, Twp 18N, Range 1E p62 40 ac SE1/4 of SE1/4 Sect 36, Twp 19N, Range 1E p79 80 ac W1/2 of SE " " " p79 Jul 15, 1837 Isaac Dye paid $160 to Zachariah Turpin for 40 ac Heretofore Book 7 40 ac NE1/4 of SE1/4 Sect 10, Twp 18N, Range 2E p271-272 Sep 10, 1838 Isaac Dye paid $150 to W. S. for 120 ac Heretofore Book 4 W1/2 of SE1/4 & SE1/4 of SE1/4 of Sect 36, Twp 19, Range 1E p679 Sep 5, 1839 George Dye paid $150 to Joseph Norris for 40 ac Heretofore Book 7 NE1/4 of SW1/4 Sect 1, Twp 17N, Range 2E p274 Mar 14, 1840 Jacob Dye paid $120 to Joseph Norris for 20 ac Heretofore Book 8 E of SE Sect 1, Twp 17, Range 2E p409 Jun 18, 1841 Isaac Dye paid $110 to Samuel Lane for ? ac Heretofore Book 7 Beginning at NE corner of W1/2 of SE1/4 of Sect 10, p273 in Twp 18N, Range 2E; turning south 80 rods; thence west 20 rods; thence north 80 rods; thence east 20 rods to the beginning. Aug 16, 1842 Isaac Dye paid $440 to Henry Nicholas for 40 ac Heretofore Book 7 SW1/4 of SW1/4 of Sect 11, Twp 18N, Range 2E p280 Jan 16, 1846 George Dye paid $650 to Jacob Dye for 60 ac Heretofore Book 8 40 ac NW1/4 of SE1/4 Sect 1, Twp 17, Range 2E p405 20 ac N end of E1/2 of SE1/4 Sect 1, Twp 17, Range 2E p405 Jacob Dye paid $1000 to Jacob Jones for 12 ac Heretofore Book 9 N1/2 of E1/2 of SE1/4 Sect 3, Twp 18N, Range 2E p128 on east side of Michigan Road as below: Beginning at a stake on the edge of Mich. Rd. dividing lands belonging to Riley Hogshire where Samuel Nisely now lives, then running east at angles with said road to the section line dividing Sections 2 & 3, thence north on the section line to a Lin tree to lands owned by Daniel Heaton, thence west on Heaton's south line to the back of Rous lot, thence south on Rous lot to the corner of same, thence with the line of said lot to the Mich. Rd., thence on said road to the place of the beginning, except what is in streets and alleys between lots off of the foregoing premises supposed to contain seven acres be they more or less. Also another piece of land adjoining the foregoing and including the following boundaries to wit: Beginning at the northwest corner of the W1/2 of the S1/4 of Sect 2 in Twp aforesaid at a line thence east 40 poles to a stake near a large Burr Oak; thence south 45 degrees west 56 poles to a stake near a White Oak, thence north 40 poles to the place of beginning containing 5 acres by measure. Nov 2, 1850 Purchases from George Dye heirs: William Dye paid $934 for 81.5 ac Heretofore Book 2 Part of SW1/4 of Sect 35, Twp 18, Range 2E p530 Samuel Dye paid $530 for 58 ac Heretofore Book 2 Part of W1/2 of SW Sect 35, Twp 18, Range 2E p535 James Dye paid $289 for 60 ac Heretofore Book 8 40 ac NW of SE Sect 1, Twp 17, Range 2E p40 20 ac E of SE " " " p40 Jun 11, 1851 Isaac Dye paid $25 to John Murphy Heretofore Book 7 Part of the E1/2 of SW1/4 of Sect 11, Twp 18N p279 of Range 2E. Beginning at the SW corner of Henry Nicolas's tract, thence NE with the Nicholas/Murphy line to the center of Michigan Road, thence south far enough with the center of Mich. Rd. to make 2 acres south of said Nicholas lot so that the SW line will run parallel with the NE line SW to the west line of the above described 80 acre lot, thence north with said line to the beginning. Feb 15, 1854 Isaac Dye paid $1500 to Hiram McQuiety for 120 ac Heretofore Book 7 80 ac S1/2 of NW1/4 of Sect 1, Twp 18N, Range 2E p332 40 ac N1/2 of W1/2 of SW1/4 Sect 1, Twp 18N, Range 2E p332
DYES ON OHIO TAX ROLES 1810 Washington Co. * Miami Co. Ezekiel Dye p55 Anderson Dye Andrew Dye, Jr. Steven Dye Vincent Dye 1814 Guernsey Co. * Thomas Dye George Dye S12, T7, R9 James Dye, proprietor 1816 Miami Co. John M. Dye (2 entries) Stephen Dye Andrew Dye, Jr. Benjamin Dye, (2) Andrew Dye, Sr. Vincent Dye 1825 Morgan Co. * James Dye (5) George Dye (2) Ezekiel Dye Ezekiel Dye, Jr. Vincent Dye (2) Thomas Dye (2) John Dye (2) * Morgan County was formed in 1817 from part of Washington, Guernsey, and Muskingum counties. Noble County was formed in 1851 from parts of Morgan, Guernsey, and two other counties. I think the Dyes lived in the part that is now Noble County.
PENNSYLVANIA 1790 Washington Co. (later Greene Co.) James Dye >15 yr 3 females 1 boy <16 yr Andrew Dye >15 yr 4 males <16 yr 4 females Elizabeth Dye Benjamin Dye's widow? 1 female 1 male >15 yr 1 male <16 yr (George Dye, 4 yrs)?? Enoch Dye 7 females 1 male >15 yr 2 males <16 yr Also, Ezekiel Dye; and Jacob, John, and George Lemly
1800 PENNSYLVANIA; Green Co. James Dye 26-45 yr 1 female 26-45 yr 1 male 10-16 yr 1 female 10-16 yr 2 males <10 yr 3 females <10 yr Andrew Dye >45 yr Benjamin's brother 12101-01201 1 female >45 yr 1 male 16-26 yr 2 females 16-26 yr 2 males 10-16 yr (George Dye, 14 yrs)?? 1 female 10-16 yr 1 male <10 yr John Dye 26-45 yr 00010-40110 1 female 26-25 yr 1 female 16-26 yr 4 females <10 yr
PENNSYLVANIA 1810 Greene Co., Greene Twp. p79 & 107 John Dye 26-45 yr woman 26-45 yr woman 16-26 yr 2 girls 10-16 yr 2 girls 0-10 yr 2 boys 0-10 yr Greene Co., Wayne Twp. p29 James Dye 26-45 yr George Dye's father, Benjamin, died in woman 26-45 yr 1788 in Greene Co., a neighbor of his man 16-26 yr nephew James Dye. Benjamin's wife was woman 16-26 yr Sarah Elizabeth Lemley, who died 1793. boy 10-16 yr girl 10-16 yr There were several Lemley families 3 boys 0-10 yr listed in Greene Co., but none have been identified as her ancestors. Andrew Dye 16-26 yr woman 16-26 yr boy 0-10 yr Greene Co., Whiteley Twp., p035 Daniel Jones >45 yr 23101-201111 George Dye's guardian female >45 yr appointed 11/14/1806 female 26-45 yr male 16-26 yr female 16-26 yr 3 males 10-16 yr 2 males <10 yr 2 females <10 yr Where are George & Sarah (Calvert) Dye, having married 1/7/1807?? Where were they married? No record of it in Greene Co., PA.
PENNSYLVANIA 1820 Greene Co., Wayne Twp. p327 Andrew Dye >45 yr woman 26-45 yr boy 10-16 yr boy 0-10 yr 6 girls 0-10 yr 1820 OHIO Morgan Co. p82-84 George Dye 26-45 yr (34) 2 engaged in agriculture 1 f. (Sarah) 26-45 yr (34) 1 m. ??? 26-45 yr 1 f. ??? 16-26 yr 1 m. 10-16 yr (Benjamin, 12) 1 f. 10-16 yr (Fannie, 11) 5 m. <10 yr (Isaac, 11, James, 9; Jacob, 5; George, 3; William, 1) James Dye 26-45 yr 4 engaged in agriculture 1 f. 26-45 yr 1 f. 16-26 yr 3 m. 10-16 yr 2 f. 10-16 yr 1 m. <10 yr 3 f. <10 yr Also, John, Vincent, and Ezekiel Dye and families
OHIO 1830 Miami Co., Roll 136, p61 George Dye 40-50 yr (44 yrs) 1 woman 40-50 yr (Sarah (Calvert), 44) 2 males 15-20 yr (James, 19; Jacob, 15) 2 males 10-15 yr (George, 13; William, 11) 2 females 5-10 yr (Elizabeth, 9; Sallie, 7) 1 male <5 yr (Samuel, 1) Benjamin (22), Fannie (21), and Isaac (21) are not in household. George and Sarah move to Boone Co., IN in 1832. John M. Dye 50-60 yr 10111001-00110001 1 female 50-60 yr 1 male 20-30 yr 1 male 15-20 yr 1 female 15-20 yr 1 male 10-15 yr 1 female 10-15 yr 1 male <5 yr Andrew Dye 90-100 yr (91 yr) 000000000001-0000000001 1 female 70-80 yr
PENNSYLVANIA 1840 Ezekiel Calvert p110 Greene Co., Greene Twp. Reason Dye p005 " Jackson Twp Lyte Dye p005 " " James Dye p010 " Wayne Twp George Dye is not listed in the 1840 Indiana Federal Census. He died in 1847 in Lebanon, Indiana. Where was he in 1840?
GEORGE DYE ESTATE Died March 3, 1847. No will. Jacob Dye, Administrator. Complete record. Filed 3/23/47. Settled Feb 1852. Box 045. Book I.