Edward Wing “Doc” Huson and Clarissa Pettingell

Story by Fred Gahimer. 

For information about early Pettingell’s, see this story.

JACOB PETTINGELL was born in Bridgewater, Connecticut on August 1, 1763.  As a young man, he fought in the Connecticut Regiment in the Revolutionary War with his bother Oliver.  He served three years and was at the surrender of Cornwallis.  With a series of three wives, Betsy Wellington, an unknown #2, and Prudence Soper, he had eight children: Hiram, George, Philander, Jacob, ASAPH, Marietta, Sarah, and Edward, most of them born after he had moved to Erie County, New York prior to 1820.  He was a farmer in Aurora.  He died in 1838, and is buried next to his brother Oliver in the Pioneer Cemetery in East Aurora, New York.

One of JACOB’s ancestors is of special interest.  Francis Cooke and his eldest son John came to America in 1620 on the Mayflower.  His wife and remaining children came a year later.  Francis survived the first winter that killed about half of the pilgrims, and lived to old age.  The lineage is as follows:

1  Francis Cooke  1582 - 1663
+  Hester Mayhieu  Abt 1585 - Abt 1675
   2  Jane Cooke  Abt 1606 - Abt 1695
   +  Experience Mitchell  Abt 1608 - 1689
      3  Jacob Mitchell  Abt 1645 - 1675
      +  Susanna Pope  1649 - 1675
         4  Mary Mitchell
         +  Samuel Kingman  1670 - 1742
            5  Joanna Kingman  1701 - Aft 1735
            +  Akerman Pettingell  1700 - 1770
               6  Daniel Pettingell  1726 - 1808
               +  Hannah Soper  1732 - ????
                  7  JACON PETTINGELL  1763 - 1838
                  +  PRUDENCE SOPER  1778 - Aft 1850

Recently, however, it has been suggested that Jane Cooke was not a descendent of Francis Cooke but rather a different husband of Hester Mayhieu. This has not yet been confirmed.

Soon after JACOB PETTINGELL died, his sons ASAPH and Edward went to the upper midwest into the Wisconsin and Minnesota Territories.  In the 1850 census, they were farming together in the Buffalo District of Marquette County, Wisconsin.  ASAPH’s household consisted of himself (35), his wife SARAH (32) from New York, sons Charles (8), and James (6); and daughters SARAH [CLARISSA] (4), and Rachel (7/12).  Both Sarah [CLARISSA] and Rachel were born in Wisconsin, all others in New York, so they must have settled in Wisconsin about 1846.  ASAPH’s assets were valued at $300 real estate.  The household of his brother Edward D. (27) consisted of his wife Olive (21), daughter Mary J. (4), sons George (2) and Albert (8/12), and ASAPH’s and Edward’s mother, PRUDENCE [SOPER] (72) from Connecticut.  All of Edward’s children were born in Wisconsin.

Clarrissa Anne Pettingell as a girl. She later became Doc Huson’s wife).

In the 1855 Wisconsin state census they were listed as ASAPH PATTENGALL, with a household of 4 males, and 2 females; and Edward Pattengall, a household of 2 males, and 4 females.  In 1859, ASAPH PATTENGELL, of Goodhue County, Minnesota purchased Lots 1 & 2 in SW 1/4, Sec. 14, and land near the 1/4 post of the line of Sec. 23, T14, R11 from Maria Van Valkenburg of Marquette Co., Wisconsin for $1500.  Warranty Deed R-211; Dec. 21, 1859; recorded Dec. 24, 1859.

In the 1860 census, ASAPH and his family were in Kingston, Green Lake County, Wisconsin.  ASAPH’s household consisted of himself (47), wife Sally [SARAH ARNOLD] (44), sons Charles (16), James (14), and Jared (7); daughters CLARISSA (12), and Sarah (4); and ASAPH’s mother-in-law, Polly Arnold (63) of New York.  There is no mention of Rachel, so she may have died since the 1850 census.  CLARISSA, Jared, and Sarah were listed as being born in Wisconsin, all others in New York.  ASAPH’s assets were valued at $1200 real estate, and $300 personal porperty.  His brother Edward and family had moved to Wanaming, Goodhue County, Minnesota.

EDWARD WING HUSON (30) and CLARISSA ANNE PATTENGILL (15), ASAPH’s daughter, were married in Kingston, Green Lake County, Wisconsin on March 30, 1862.  They reportedly moved to Missouri and lived there briefly during the Civil War.  While there, the Rebels came and took his store, so they moved up to Iowa.  [No hard evidence has yet been found to substantiate their move to Missouri.]  They moved to northeastern Iowa in 1862.  Their first child, Willis Oren, was born at Waucoma, Fayette County, Iowa on December 27, 1863, according to the date and location of his birth given on his death certificate.  Also, the later census data indicates he was born in Iowa.

For more information about Edward’s younger years, see this story.

It is thought that by 1866 they had moved to Belle Plaine in Benton County, Iowa.  More children were born in rapid succession; HATTIE “KATIE” in 1866, Carrie Belle “Clara” in 1867, and the twins,  Asa and Sattie in 1869, living only a few months.

The 1870 Census found them still in Belle Plaine Township, Benton County, Iowa; Blainstown Post Office.  EDWARD was listed as Ed Huston (38), and was a grocer by trade.  Living with him was his wife CLARA (22), son Willie (7), and daughters KATIE (5), and Carrie (3).  Also living with them was a girl, Sheare Luvinia (16), probably a boarder.  EDWARD WING HUSON was listed as having $1,000 in real estate and $1,000 in personal property.  Living nearby was Royal Tucker (39), born in New York, his wife Frances (25), and children.  The Tuckers may have been relatives of EDWARD.

Jennie was born in 1872, and Sadie in 1873 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  While there, EDWARD started practicing medicine.  Unfortunately, he contracted typhoid fever and became violently ill.  He remained in ill health for some years.  Elizabeth “Lizzie” followed in 1875, and Gracie in 1877, the latter living only a few days.

They then moved to the southwest corner of the state to Tabor in Sidney Township in Fremont County where Harry H. was born in 1879, and Fred, also in Tabor in 1880.  In the 1880 census, EDWARD (48), was listed as a druggist.  The rest of the household consisted of wife CLARISSA (35), son Willis (16), daughters KATY (14), Clara (10), Jennie (8), Sadie (7), Lizzie (5), and son Harry (9/12).  CLARISSA’s parents, ASAPH (62) and SARAH (60) PATTENGILL and a daughter Phoebe (19) were living next door.

Front L – R: Jared (son of Asaph), Asaph Pattengill, Sarah (Arnold) Pattengill, Phoebe Pattengill. Back L – R: Edward Wing Huson, Clarrissa Anne (Pattengill) Huson. Photo must have been taken between 1866-1872.
On the back of the picture: “G.M.Huson husband G.P Huson Parents Pattengill” Presumably this stands for grandma and grandpa Huson (E W and Clarissa) and Asaph and Sarah Pattengill, Clarissa’s parents. Doc and Clarissa were married in 1862. Doc Huson: 34 in 1866, 40 in 1872. Clarissa: 19 in 1866, 25 in 1872 Jared: 13 in 1866, 19 in 1872 Phoebe: 5 in 1866, 11 in 1872

West To Wyoming

EDWARD decided to go to a high, dry climate for his health, so they started west in 1881 with oxen team and covered wagon, arriving in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  ASAPH and SARAH PATTENGILL went with them. In 1882, they moved on to Crazy Woman Creek at Trabing and lived in a dugout.  They were one of the first settlers there.

Remains of “Doc” Huson and Ephraim’s dugouts at Crazy Woman Creek
View of Crazy Woman Creek and “Doc” Huson and Ephraim’s homestead from dugout

Another daughter, Julia, was born that year, but lived less than a month.  The Indians camped a lot on the river and creeks.  CLARISSA was scared of them, but she fed them sometimes, giving them corn and other food that they raised on their homestead.  The Indians did them no harm.  They also became friends with one of the area’s most feared outlaws, “Rap” Brown. For more information on Arapahoe “Rap” Brown, see Arapahoe Brown.


The Hole-In-The-Wall
Thelma Gatchell Condit

Annals of Wyoming, V 30, n 2; Part V, Sect 3: Outlaws and Rustlers Andrew "Arapahoe" Brown

Excerpts from pages 178-180.

…later on an entirely different side of his dual personality is revealed in his association with the Huson family on Crazy Woman. EDWARD W. HUSON was born in Boston [of Erie Co., New York] where he had been educated to be a doctor [actually, learned from books]; but like so many others he wanted to go west.  So in the late 70's [actually 1842, with his parents] he went to Wisconsin where he found himself a good wife.  Next he went to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he started practicing medicine.  Here unfortunately he contracted typhoid fever and became violently ill.  After a long, seemingly endless period of convalescence he decided to get farther west into a high, dry climate. So in 1881 the family arrived in Cheyenne, Wyoming, with wagons and teams carrying their few worldly possessions.  It was here the Husons met John R. Smith, who was already firmly established at Trabing, Wyoming, notwithstanding the fact that the Indians weren't exactly peacefully inclined toward the few white settlers.

In 1882 [actually 1885, after living in Buffalo briefly] the Husons came on north and took up land on Crazy Woman [Creek] right below present day "Tipperary".  It was here they became acquainted with Arapahoe Brown.  They grew to be fast friends.  Arapahoe Brown proved indeed "A friend in need" as they built a homestead cabin and set up residence in this wild, unpopulated area. Dr. Huson and Arapahoe hunted buffalo and other wild game.  It was then that the doctor learned the ways of the great western outdoors and gradually and completely regained his good health.  Arapahoe and the doctor spent evening after evening in stimulating, social conversation, discussing events of the times, philosophy, poetry, books, etc.  It was very evident that Andrew Brown was a well-educated man.  He had by now grown a mustache and a small "goatee".

The Shoshoni and Arapahoe Indians used to camp on Crazy Woman below the Huson homestead, 1,000 at a time, to cut up and dry their buffalo meat and make the ever-needed pemmican.  This would have been indeed frightening had not Arapahoe Brown been there, for as Dr. Huson said, "He was quite an Indian fellow---could get anything out of a bunch of Indians."  He used to spend quite a bit of his time with the Indians when they were buffalo hunting.

But Rap, in spite of all this apparent sociality, was still mysterious and abrupt about his comings and goings.  After days of enjoyable hunting and visiting he'd suddenly be gone, to appear weeks later just before the evening meal.  Perhaps he'd come in all covered with snow, and, unfastening his heavy buffalo-hide coat remark, "Well, Doc, I think we're going to have a chinook tomorrow."  And they did.

It was while Arapahoe was doing a lot of visiting at the Husons, and soon after a Deadwood Stage robbery, that one dark night two strangers knocked at the door and asked if the doctor would set a man's leg.  They were tired-looking and heavily armed.  Both were red-eyed and dust-covered to the point where it was hard to tell what their faces were like normally.  They were tall, well-built fellows drooping with fatigue.  One said, "Doc, this man's needin' a doctor mighty bad. We're figgerin on bringin' him in".  Dr. Huson didn't see how he could rightly refuse such a request (or was it an order?) and while looking them over it flashed through his mind that it was very odd indeed that they had called him "Doc".  How had they found him?  At the same moment he had a queer prickly feeling up and down his spine sensing that it would be unwise to refuse the request had he had such a notion.

He told them to bring the man in and go stable their horses and have a bite to eat, said he could put them up for the night.  The fellow was in a bad way for sure, plumb used-up and suffering plenty, said his "horse had stumbled and fell on his leg."  After the doctor and his wife had finished working with him, they looked around but no one was there---the other two strangers had vamoosed.  Thinking maybe they'd bedded down in the barn, the doctor investigated, but the only thing he found was a big long-legged brown horse tied to the manger, tiredly eating oats.  It was plain to be seen that "he'd done some hard-going," for he was sweat-caked and muddy.  To one side lay "The swellest silver-mounted saddle and bridle a fella'd ever care to see."  "Odd, now wasn't it, if them fellas was in such a hurry to leave, why had they taken time to unsaddle that horse and give him some oats? How'd they know where them oats was, now you come to think of it?"

For a week or more the cowboy took a "heap of watching"---he was a sick man.  He stayed there for over a month, "him and his horse," but the Husons enjoyed the stranger's stay.  As Harry Huson, then a boy, said, "He was the finest lookin' man I ever saw---the pleasantest fella you could ever talk to---smart too, and well-raised and educated.  He was a good-hearted devil---had a smile a foot long.  He was a southerner, and very dark complected, musta been six feet tall and musta weighed 170 pounds.  He was sure nice to us kids.  We'd break our necks waitin' on him.  We'd do anything, just so he'd smile and tell us things in that fascinatin' southern drawl."

One day when he got so he could hobble around fairly well, the cowboy said, "Have the boys get my horse in the corral with the bunch. I aim to be leavin' in the morning."

So the following morning, sure enough, he saddled up and leading his horse back to the house, said, "Doc, how much do I owe you?  For the extra-special favors for me and my horse?"

"Well, you cowboys have a pretty hard life, have to work hard for your money---guess $25'll do the job; although, rightly, boy, I didn't figure on chargin' you a red cent.  We've all enjoyed having you here, even if we do have a tough time wondering where the next grub'll come from.  Tain't none of our business and ain't idle curiosity, just friendly interest, and if you're not sayin' won't matter.  But now that you're leavin', do you mind tellin' us what outfit you work for generally?  Hope it ain't too far away, so we'll be seein' you again soon."

The stranger didn't answer for a moment or two---just stuck his hand in his pocket and pulled out a big roll of money and handed the doctor several hundred dollar bills.  Then leading his horse, he limped over and sat down on an empty nail keg nearby and slowly and very painstakingly rolled a cigarette.  After carefully scrutinizing the finished job he lit a match and, looking up with that engaging smile of his, said, "Come on over here, you boys, and set down.  I want to tell you somethin'.  I want you to always remember it.  I'll tell you who I am---I'm Bob Dalton---just a plumb no-good train robber and outlaw, and I've been doin' this fer quite a spell; but mind now, I ain't advising you to do it.  Get what you get honest.  Do you hear?  Honest, get it honest.  Somethin' pretty bad happened to me awhile back, and for the life of me I can't seem to get it out of my head.  All the time I been a layin' here healin', it keeps popin' up and troublin' me.  My mother was on a stage I held up---she was comin' out here to find me, her son, 'cause she couldn't stand me never writin' and her never hearin' or knowin' where I was.  So after the holdup I rode into Cheyenne and hunted her up.  Hadn't seen her for ten years. She had no way a knowin' I was one of them that took her money and scared her till she was fit to be tied.  She was terrible upset.  Tried to get me to come home and get away from all this wicked country.  I gave her money and sent her back home promisin' I'd come soon; I leave her think I was doin' good and earnin' money---I mean earnin' honest money.  Boys, I lied to her and ain't atall proud that I had to tell them lies.  Boys, don't ever do nothin' that'll keep you from lookin' your ma in the eyes and knowin' you've rightly earned that proud way she has a lookin' at you.  It ain't good for a fellow to have to lie to his own ma."  And stomping his cigarette out with a boot heel he mounted and rode off at a gallop, waving goodby, as he disappeared over the hill.  The Husons never saw him again.

Although it has been questioned whether the outlaw in the story was actually Bob Dalton as the outlaw claimed, and as the documented life of Bob Dalton doesn’t mention any exploits in Wyoming, an analysis of Bob Dalton’s documented life, and the Deadwood stage indicates that this could have been Bob Dalton if it occurred around 1887 and if Bob Dalton had an undocumented life of crime in robbing the Deadwood stage (prior to his notorious life robbing trains and banks in 1890).

EDWARD WING and CLARISSA moved to Buffalo in 1882 and had one of the first log cabins on North Main Street.  There, in their home, on December 17, 1882, Katie Huson was married to Ephraim Worth Ford by Justice of the Peace, H. R. Mann, with her father, Edward Wing Huson and a man named John Paul signing as witnesses.

Three generations of Pattengill/Huson women. Mills’ Studio, Buffalo, WY. 1893? Back L – R: Lizzie, Jennie, Sadie  Front L – R: Clarissa Pattengill [m. Huson] (Doc Huson’s wife), Sarah Arnold [m. Pattengill]. On the back is written:  “Grandma Pattengill, Grandma Huson”

In 1883, the townfolk decided to remove several unsightly old Indian graves which were high up in the forks of trees on the southeast side of town.  In August, The Echo was established as the first newspaper in the area.  Dr. R. E. Hollbrook became the first dentist.  C. P. Organ and Company established a hardware and implement store, George Holt started the first drug store, R. H. Linn was the first saddle and harness maker, and Billie Hunt and James Convey established rival livery and feed stables.

After the turn of the century, when autos were becoming more common, a man was herding three horses down Main Street.  One of them was an old saddle horse which had frequently been kept at the livery, which in the meantime had been converted into the Central Garage.  The horse walked in, looked around at the shiny new cars and decided this wasn’t where he belonged, so he just calmly walked through the plate glass window and up the street.

Other businesses in Buffalo were the Cowboy, Senate, Charlie Chapin, Minnie Ha-Ha, and Kennedy saloons, the “Q.T” Bowling Alley and Saloon, the Germania House Restaurant and Beer Depot, Charles Burritt Attorney-at-Law, B. Hertzeman’s Merchant Tailor shop, Hopkin’s Meat Market, and Sam Lung’s Chinese Laundry.  Webster and Pratt set up a barber shop, and R. V. Stumbo started a restaurant.

On August 4, 1883, Helen Buell, the first white child born in Buffalo, was delivered in her father’s Occidental Hotel.

On March 3, 1884, the Territorial Legislature approved a charter for Buffalo, and it officially became a city.  The first court house was built that year, and the day after Christmas they had a Citizen’s Ball in honor of its dedication.  Tickets were $5 and included supper.  The Occidental and Monroe bands combined their talents to provide stirring music for the dancers.  At midnight, the revellers retired to the Occidental Hotel where they were served “the finest supper ever served in this county.”

The Homestead Act allowed any person to acquire 160 acres of land by living on it and cultivating it.  However, under the Desert Land Act, one could acquire 640 acres by irrigating any portion of it.

The first patent of record in Johnson County was issued to Verling K. Hart.  It was a desert claim and was located next to Fort McKinney.  This land became the original site for Buffalo.  Major Verling was the commanding officer of the fort from 1882 until his death in February, 1883.  His widow, Juliet Hart, was granted a patent for it on June 19, 1884.  She wasted no time in platting what is now Buffalo, and the plat was filed on July 29, 1884.  Until then, there had been no city plan for laying out streets or locating building sites.  People had put up buildings anywhere, and it was virtually impossible to get the plats to conform to what was already there.  The result was crooked streets.

While in Buffalo, “Doc” HUSON carried name cards listing him as “Dr. E. W. Huson, Buffalo City.”  He is reported to have treated some of the Frank James Gang for wounds.  They hung out in what is now Big Horn.

In addition to practicing medicine and running a drug store out of one of his Main Street properties, EDWARD made and fired bricks among other pursuits.  He made and fired the bricks for the Holland house built right across Main Street from his log house.  The Holland house was built in 1883 after Mrs. Juliet W. Hart offered William H. Holland an acre of land if he would build a two-story brick house costing more than $3,000.  All materials used in the house were native except the windows, hardware, and the walnut stair railing.  The bricks were made of clay and fired by Doc HUSON in the kiln south of the city park. They were 1/5th smaller in size than standard brick.  The house was still inhabited and in good shape in 1993.  Three of the original cottonwood trees are still in the yard.  The porch across the front was removed several years ago.  The house is on the northwest corner of Holland and Main streets.

Holland House in Buffalo, WY.  Doc Huson fired the bricks (notice the unusual size). Photo taken in 2000.

Doc HUSON was a Justice of the Peace in Buffalo in January 1883 performing marriages, etc.

Edward Wing Huson, Clarissa Anne Pattengill Huson

On August 29, 1883 he sold, by quit claim, part of his Main Street property to S. E. Webber for $50, described as, “the twenty feet front on Main Street on the north side of Clear Creek running east one hundred and twenty five back to the alley, the same being the lot next south of the lot occupied by the said E. W. HUSON as a drug store and residence on the south east corner of the said Main Street and the street running east to Clear Creek – directly in front of the School house in the village of Buffalo, County and Territory, aforesaid.” Book 1, p25.  Then on September 6, he sold the rest of the property to Webber, including the residence, for $300, described as, “the corner lot on the South east corner of Main and Nuel Streets twenty five feet front more or less on Main Street running east one hundred and twenty five feet more or less to the alley, across Main Street east, opposite the school house grounds, together with all the buildings now being or standing thereon, owned or occupied by the said E. W. HUSON as a Drug Store and Dwelling or otherwise.  And also all the estate and interest homestead or other claim or demand which the said party of the first part now has or may hereafter acquire of, in and to said premises.” Book 1, p26.  The HUSONs apparently moved to or were already living at their other property in Buffalo on lots two, three and four, at 315 North Main Street across from the Holland house.

He could not give a warrantee deed because he was a squatter, as were all early settlers of Buffalo since the land had not yet been owned or platted.  When Julia Hart inherited the land from her husband’s desert claim, she sold the land to the squatters.  Doc HUSON apparently had squatted on two locations and sold his squatters’ rights to one of the locations to S. E. Webber.

A daughter Edith was born in September, 1884.  CLARISSA became one of ten charter members of the Union Congregational Church there in October.


Oct. 25, 1884

HE WOULD GO ON A "TOOT".   Fisher, a cook who has been employed for the past two months at Hanna & Babcock's hotel in this town, hired a horse this week out of Farwell's livery stable for the purpose of going to Buffalo and seeing the sights. Evidently he saw more than he bargained for, and after the second day's visit he concluded to come home, but first filled himself skin-full of "booze," and, mounting the livery steed, rode quietly out of town, headed for Big Horn.  He had gone but a short distance when he became too top-heavy, and fell off, the saddle turning under the animal's belly.  The horse ran and bucked for all that was in him until he reached Billy Hunt's stable in Buffalo.  Enroute, he ran over Mr. W. W. Pringle, throwing him to the ground, knocking him insensible, and severely bruising his right shoulder, and otherwise injuring him.  Mr. Pringle lay insensible about two hours, when he was taken to his ranch south of Buffalo.  Dr. Wood, the physician who was called in, says the injuries will not prove fatal.

On October 28, 1884, Julia Hart sold to Doc HUSON lot 3, and parts of 2 and 4 in Block 16 of Buffalo for $200.  It was described as “the Northerly ten feet of lot two lot three and the southerly fifteen feet of lot four in Block 16 of Buffalo, Wyoming Territory.”  Book C, p101.

Edward Wing “Doc” Huson. 1833-1914

About December of 1884 EDWARD W. HUSON applied for a homestead on a quarter-section of land on Crazy Woman Creek (SE1/4 of S9, T51N, R79W).  EPHRAIM and KATE (HUSON) FORD had already moved to a 160 acre lazy-L shaped homestead in Section 10 (W1/2NE1/4 & S1/2NW1/4) and the HUSON’s homestead joined on their west side.  Both homesteads were on the creek bottoms just downstream from the confluence of Dry Creek and Crazy Woman.  It is not known exactly when the HUSONs moved to the homestead.  They may have lived part time at both places for a while as they obtained stock and built their home at the homestead.  They were definitely there in 1890.  Possible evidence of two dugouts at the edge of the Crazy Woman road at the homestead was found during a 1993 visit at the site.

The early homesteads in the west were obtained by either the Homestead Act of 1862 or the Desert Land Act of 1877.  Under the 1862 act, a homesteader could file for 160 acres of government land.  A five year residency and $1.25 value of improvements were required to make final proof and obtain a patent.  Mineral rights were included.  Up to 640 acres (lowered to 320 acres in 1891) could be patented by the Desert Land Act by constructing dams, ditches, etc., to provide irrigation, plus a payment of $1.25 per acre.  No residency was required, and the mineral rights went with the land.


May 2, 1885

The practice of shooting off firearms in town is getting to be a nuisance.  Those who wish to become perfect in this line should select some place for practice other than our principal streets.  A stray bullet might accidently hit the wrong mark.



May 30, 1885

Charles A. Trabing, of the firm of Trabing Brothers, Laramie City, died in Omaha last Sunday of blood poisoning.  Mr Trabing was one of the pioneer residents of Wyoming.  He was also the first man to open a store and trading post in this county, and a post office on the Wyoming stage line is named after him.



June 6, 1885

In Buffalo, under the new city ordinance, a fine of not under ten nor over twenty-five dollars will be imposed on each woman for appearing on the streets in a "Mother Hubbard."  This is a move which concerns us but little either way or the other, only that we would say to the makers of that law, please don't extend your city limits so that it would take in Big Horn.



Aug. 8, 1885

They Took Us In.   A small party of Crow Indians struck a picnic in Big Horn this week.  They loafed around several days and then interviewed THE SENTINEL office on the subject of horse racing, bringing to the office door a one-eyed, pigeon-toed, and ring-boned cayuse that didn't seem to have enough life in it to beat Charlie Round's slow mule in Buffalo, which made a record of a mile in ten minutes on the Fourth of July last.  Our "devil" had for some time been putting in trim his fleet-footed race nag, but being far minus of having enough funds in his exchequer, called upon the staff to make up the desired amount, in order that the Indians could return to the agency in a dilapidated condition financially.  The race came off, and on account of improper management on our part (we suppose this was the cause) the Indian pony came out a neck ahead.  A second race was made up the following day, with double the amount bet that was put up the previous day - and again the Indian managed to get his horse through about a neck ahead.  This was proof that either THE SENTINEL outfit didn't have a race horse, or that the Indians were equal to any emergency in the line of racing.



Aug 15, 1885

Bad Belly, a Crow chief who made a "clean-up" in horse racing in Big Horn last week, is reported to have gone north with several head of horses belonging to the Stoddard & Howard Live Stock Company.  If Bad Belly illegally came in possession of any horses belonging to a cow outfit, he will most likely receive a rounding-up from the cowboys in the form of a surprise party in the Crow camp.



Aug. 29, 1885

Col. Benteen, the officer who had charge of the pack train during Custer's campaign through this country in 1876 and who joined Reno on the Little Horn just before Custer and his command were taken in by the Sioux, is now stationed at Fort McKinney.



Oct. 17, 1885

Wanted, a barber -- Apply to the unshaven and unshorn inhabitants of Big Horn.


The Chinese must go" is the cry all over the territory.  Will one please stop at Big Horn to open a laundry?  We hesitate to advocate importation of "Chinese cheap labor", but as we must have clean clothes once a month, if not oftener, and no one else seems inclined to relieve our necessity, we apply to the last resort offered.



Dec. 12, 1885

The cold weather has driven a large number of range cattle into town, and they go wandering up and down the streets at all hours of the night in search of food and shelter.

The winter of 1885-86 was one of the coldest in Wyoming history, causing terrible loss of range stock.  After the spring thaw, masses of dead carcasses were found in the draws.


Jan. 23, 1886

Dave Larison, that grittiest of stage drivers, arrived in Big Horn Thursday last with a frozen finger on each hand, his eyes almost totally closed by the cold, and not withstanding all these ailments, any one of which would have been enough for any ordinary man to give up in despair, in all honor to his duty, this nervy fellow refused to lay over at Big Horn and permit a volunteer, of which there were several, to finish his drive for him.  After thawing out as much as possible he again grasped the lines and continued his drive - of which Big Horn is about the central station - in the face of a blinding storm of wind and snow.  Fit stuff for a hero in that man.


The cold spell continues with the thermometer thirty degrees below zero and a keen cutting wind from the northwest.



Jan. 30, 1886

Since Dave Larison, one of the drivers on the stage line from here north, was frozen so badly in the blizzard of last week, he has been laying up for repairs at Sheridan.



Feb. 20, 1886

The deepest snow of the season fell Wednesday night.



Mar. 6, 1886

The stages from the north have been delayed somewhat this week on account of the bad condition of the roads.

Julia Huson was born on December 2, 1885 and died two weeks later on the 17th.

EDWARD W. and “CLARRIE” A. HUSON mortgaged their home in Buffalo at 315 North Main Street to Charles Bilderback on March 29, 1886 for $265 for six months.  Book 2, p268.


Apr. 3, 1886

The drivers on the Wyoming stage line are a unit in declaring the present condition of the roads the worst in their memory.



June 5, 1886

Dave Larison, who pulled the ribbons on one of the coaches on the Wyoming stage line for a period of three years, and who recently located near Bingham to follow the life of a granger, has gone to Miles City, where he will list himself among the ranks of benedicts.  Dave's friends are legion in this neck o'the woods, who wish him joy and prosperity in his new departure.

On June 8, 1886 EDWARD W. and “CLARISA” A. HUSON sold their property across from the Holland house to John Phillips for $1,000 and and paid off the mortgage.  “KATTIE” (HUSON) FORD, their oldest daughter, was one of the two witnesses to the transaction.  Book C, p329.

On June 9, 1886 EDWARD HUSON bought 14 mares with 8 colts from Charles Builderback with a chattel mortgage for $270.20, to be paid four months later with interest thereon of 10 percent per annum. (Book B, 193-5)

The mares were as follows:
- one dark brown mare with colt running by her side
- one buckskin mare with yearling colt running by her side
- one dark bay mare 4 years old with yearling colt
- one light buckskin mare 4 years old with yearling colt
- one light bay mare with young colt running by her side
- one bright bay mare 4 years old
- one daple gray mare 8 years old
- one light gray mare 4 years old with colt running by her side
- one dark brown mare 5 years old
- one buckskin mare 5 years old
- one dark sorrel mare 3 years old with colt running by her side
- one chestnut mare with colt running by her side
- one light sorrel mare 3 years old
- one light bay mare 4 years old

All of said above being branded “P” on the left shoulder, colts unbranded.



Jul. 31, 1886

Grasshoppers are reported as doing considerable damage in some parts of the county.


A PUBLIC DISGRACE.  There is a period in the history of all frontier towns when it makes but little difference whether houses of prostitution are conducted openly in the principal business streets or not, but as towns build up and a better class of people become the controlling power, such places of infamy are usually consigned to the back streets and their inmates frequently brought before the city authorities and compelled to pay a fine in case they violate any of the city ordinances.  Different in this town.  A stranger coming to Buffalo need not wait until the gas light looms up in order to see the extent of vice.  The nigger houses of prostitution, conducted openly on Main street and the inmates thereof appearing in the street half clad, is sufficient for any ordinary being to become at once disgusted with the town and the men who have the power to enforce the ordinances.  Gentlemen of the city council!  We appeal to you on behalf of the business men of Buffalo, and for the sake of the better class of our female population, to make some move in the direction of compelling the colored prostitutes to take up quarters elsewhere than on the principal street, and to see that their appearance on the streets, in a manner beyond all lines of decency, will hereafter be a thing of the past.

On June 11, 1887, “Doc” HUSON bought some 5 horses from James Murray for a chattle mortgage of $250 to be paid November 11, 1888 with interest of 10 percent per annum. (Book B, p619-20) The mortgage was paid in full on November 12, 1889.

The horses were as follows:
- one dark grey stallion branded thus (see A below) on the left shoulder
- one bay mare with a star in the forehead
- two grey mares
- one brown mare

All the mares branded (see B below) on the left hip and (see C below) on the left shoulder.
Huson Brands

EPHRAIM and KATE received a formal printed wedding notice from her older brother William O. Huson addressed to E. W. FORD, Beckton, Wyoming Territory, postmarked received at Big Horn, Wyo., Feb. 10, 1888, one cent postage, as follows:

W. O. Huson
Florence Grove

Mr. & Mrs. W. O. Huson

Married January 23rd, 1888

After February 10th, 1888
Kingman, Arizona



Feb. 4, 1888

Elsewhere in this issue appears the announcement of a dance to be given in Big Horn, on the 22nd, in Skinners hall.  Big Horn has always been noted for its dances, and from the arrangements being made for this one we are led to believe it will surpass any previous occasion of the kind ever given in that town.  Tom Green has the affair in hand, and you may rest assured of a pleasant time should you attend.


in Skinner's Hall,

Wednesday Evening

The best of music and a general good
time for everyone.


Feb. 25, 1888


The dance given at Big Horn last Wednesday evening (Washington's birthday) was well attended, and proved to be one of the most enjoyable of the season.  Early in the evening the participants, who were mostly Big Horn people, began to assemble at the hall, and soon there were arrayed in their best about twenty-five of her fair ones ready to trip the light fantastic, which commenced at about 8:30 o'clock.  This time Big Horn was in excess of its chivalry, which no doubt had a consoling effect on the young men, as on other occasions they often got left.  The music, which comprised three violins, cornet, and organ, was excellent, and the prompting of J. W. Howard was good.  At twelve o'clock supper was served at the Oriental, by the landlady of that popular hotel, who on this occasion prepared one of the finest repasts ever spread before a gathering of this kind in the country - turkey, chicken, oysters, salads, pickles, sauces, jellies, etc., etc. - and it undoubtedly had the desired effect of satisfying the appetites of the merry makers.  After supper was served they repaired again to the hall and continued the pleasurable excitement until the wee small hours of morning, when all left for their homes well pleased with the evening's entertainment.



May 12, 1888

For the past ten days our town has been crowded with cowboys and wagons taking in supplies and making other preparations for the spring round-up which commenced near Ohlman on the 15th.  George Lord is captain, and it is needless to say the work will be done thoroughly and well.


Some of the saloons have the following notices posted on their front doors during Saturday:  "Have your Sunday bottles filled here."



July 21, 1888

There is a dog in town called Dick which performed the remarkable feat of traveling alone from Missouri this summer back to Sheridan.  He was owned by a man who formerly lived here, but returned to his home in the east last fall, taking the dog with him, and great was the surprise of the people when he put in an appearance a short time ago.  He is evidently stuck on the country.

In August or early September of 1889, KATE (HUSON) FORD is thought to have had a still-birth, and she and EPHRAIM sold their homestead on October 8 to Erain Wickard (Book E, p255) and went to his brother Jim’s ranch in Osborne County, Kansas with their three small children and belongings.  Kate died there on December 9, a month after arriving.


Nov. 24, 1888

The festive cowboy has returned from the range with his pockets filled with gold galore, after a season of hard toil, and asks for a new deal.  He will help make the town lively during the winter.

On December 7, 1889, EDWARD WING HUSON got the final receipt on their Crazy Woman homestead.  (Book H, p384)

In 1890, the family of Jerome F. Brown moved in next to the HUSONs on Crazy Woman Creek, and one of the children, Edna, wrote of their experiences there during the period.  [They may have taken over EPHRAIM and KATE’s homestead from Erain Wickard.]

"MY STORY" by Edna Brown Wood

pp XXXIX-LIII  (Buffalo, Wyoming Library)

The spring of 1890 Father [Jerome F. Brown] decided that he wanted to advance in the cattle business.  For this he needed more land, or rather more range.  He obtained a homestead on Crazy Woman Creek.  I think he bought a relinquishment or else he refiled on an abandoned claim.  It was situated 25 miles east of Buffalo, within 4 or 5 miles of the mouth of Crazy Woman Creek. [Actually it was about 15 miles southwest of the mouth]

It was around the first of April 1890 that we left the Hopkins Ranch and sallied forth on a new adventure.  I well remember the trip. I thought it was fun.  I rode Cub and helped drive the cows.  The roads were quite well dried up after the spring rains and snows except for a few mud holes.  We ate our lunches as we rode along.  Mostly crackers and cheese; it tasted mighty good.  It took two days to make the trip. About 15 miles east of Buffalo we came to a ranch where we stayed all night.  Then the next day we reached our new home early in the day. The hills were green with the first of the spring grass.  The house was a very crude affair of logs and dirt roof.  It had small windows.  It wasn't long, however, before work was begun on a new addition.  It consisted of one large room with a partition across one end which was divided into two bedrooms.  In the west end of the large room there was a large double window, which was filled with Mother's house plants of different varieties, which soon presented a mass of bright blossoms and beautiful foliage.  The addition was made of large cottonwood logs.

There were corrals and barns built and fencing done.  Sage brush grew tall and rank around the house.  So while the men folks were doing the building, Mother spent her spare time grubbing sage brush.  I helped sometimes.  In the evenings when we had a great pile of sage brush, we would have an immense bonfire around which all the family gathered with cheerful repartee.  And the milk cows were kept in the pastures while the rest of the stock was turned out on the hills.

In the fall Father was instrumental in obtaining a school for that locality.  A small hut fourteen by sixteen feet in size with dirt roof and a dirt floor, which stood on land about a half mile from our home, was utilized.  The teacher boarded at our home and the term of school covered a period of four months.  There were five other pupils besides Roy and me.

Through Father's efforts a post office was granted to this section of the country.  Our ranch being centrally located, Father received the appointment of Postmaster.  The duties of the office were performed in one corner of the living room in our house.  The mail route extended from Buffalo to Sundance and the mail was transported by the reliable Pony Express.  The settlers and cowboys came for many miles to get their mail at this office which was called Landgrove.

Our nearest neighbor was a family known as Huson.  There were several small children.  The oldest child was a girl about my age whose name was Lizzie.  We had many good times together.  Mrs. Huson was a very nice woman and every day or two she brought her sewing and spent the afternoon with Mother.  Lizzie and I learned to crotchet and we were together most of the time.  They lived about a half mile from us. The Husons later moved to Clearmont near the old U-Cross Ranch.  Just below us about a mile and a half was another ranch.  The owner's name was Sonne.  His wife was a notorious character.  A man by the name of Jack Miller lived with them.  Their reputations were not enviable.  But they didn't bother us much.

These people had a few cows on the range, enough to use for a "blind" which enabled them to sell beef cattle which they usually stole.  Jack Miller was under suspicion as a cattle thief, but authorities up to this time had not had sufficient evidence to convict him.  He was a pale-faced man with a restless, bleary eye.  He had the reputation of associating with lewd women.  Because of these rumors I always avoided him for I was afraid of him.  It was quite generally known that Mrs. Sonne was his mistress.  No other woman on the creek associated with her.

About three miles down the creek on another ranch lived another group of people who represented the type of small cattlemen who considered it their privilege to brand mavericks on the range according to a law which held that if a man possessed a bunch of cattle running loose on the range, he was entitled to brand an unbranded calf away from its mother.  It was practically understood that that was how the large cattle companies had increased their flocks.  Some had paid cowboys to rustle mavericks for them.  But things were changing now with the coming of the small ranches or settlers.  The cattle men were seeing a vision, which did not include him as the supreme being, or did not permit him the freedom he had once enjoyed.  Stricter laws were made, the enforcement of which came to be a mighty problem.  Then, on the other hand, here was my Father with perhaps 35 head of milk cows with I suppose a few head of young cattle, who had settled here in the hills that he might have free range, thus cutting the cost of feeding. The branding of mavericks did not provide any temptation to him for his only motive was to have access to this free open range.  He came to build a home, to promote and establish a better civilization.  "To live by the side of the road and be a friend of man".  When we settled on the banks of Crazy Woman he became what was called a "Nester", which the cattlemen considered a menace.  Father was well within his rights-¬he would never willingly be a menace to any man.

Thus, here within a radius of 10 miles, there were three distinct types of cattlemen, which were doomed to be at opposing points in a dangerous situation.  Jack Miller, a petty, sneaking cattle thief, who couldn't look himself in the eye while he shaved, let alone any other human being.  There was a bunch of cattle rustlers headed by Jack Bell who maintained that they were within their rights by taking what was as much theirs as anyone's.   All neighbors.

We made cheese back in a cave dug back in the bank that first summer.  Father made a trip to Buffalo every week.  There was butter, cheese, and eggs to sell.  Then he bought a magnificent Clydesdale stallion for breeding purposes.  He wanted to produce a larger strain of horse flesh from the small cow pony.  Taking care of the animal was a big job, for he had to be taken out of the stables for exercise twice or three times a day.  What a sight he was to see, dancing along the end of his rope, running in circles around his manager.

The mail came three times a week.  They changed horses and some times ate a noon meal at our place.  This was an exciting event for us. He brought a bit of news each time.  He usually had some interesting experience to tell about his trip - so we always looked forward to his coming.

As the summer advanced there was some riding to do.  Besides the cattle out on the hills, there was the bunch of mares and geldings to keep an eye on.  If they did not come in to water every two days, I had to go locate them and get them in if possible or if they happened to be near a water hole, I counted them and left them alone.  Thus began my experience as a "cowgirl".   I never learned to throw a rope, nor did I have a desire to ride a bucking horse.  But I knew the hills, I learned the habits of the herds of horses and cattle, so that when I set out to find certain ones of the range stock I could do so with such little trouble that Father said it was uncanny.  Sometimes out of the main herd of horses there would be one of the mares missing, then I would look for, and find her, in some ravine or secluded spot, with her wee baby colt.  This always gave me a lot of pleasure.  Father's brand was E-5 for both horses and cattle.  When at last he possessed a few colts old enough to break for the saddle or harness as the case may be, it fell to my lot to help with the "hazing" if for the saddle, and to hold the foot rope if for the harness.  In "hazing" for a bronc it was necessary to ride close by, ready to cut in and steer the bronco if possible away from a wire fence or a precipice.  It was fun to race along the side of a bucking, squealing, kicking bronco.

Cub was too slow for this, so in the course of time I was given a dapple grey horse to ride.  We called him Eagle and he was fast and smart.  When I rode close to a running horse to haze him away from trouble, I could feel Eagle push against the bronc.  This amused me for I knew that my horse understood what was expected of him.  He was a dear and I was more fond of him than of any one I knew in the whole world, excepting my own intimate family.

How I used to love to ride!  It might be thrilling to race over a paved road in an automobile at 80 miles an hour, but to me nothing can beat the feel of rippling horse flesh beneath the saddle as you take the trail together.  This horse became well known and admired by everyone.  He was spoken of as "The little grey the Brown girl rides". "Which Brown?"  "Why, Cheese Brown."  I was referred to as "Cheese Brown's girl."

When a new driving horse was broke to the harness, he was hitched up to the wagon with a large gentle horse.  Attached to one foot of the bronc was a long stout rope.  I was usually  detailed to go along and hold this rope.  Sitting on the seat by the driver or standing up some times, I was expected to keep cool while the wagon lurched and bounced around when the bronc took his first lesson in the harness.  I was not supposed to jerk the rope till the psychological moment when the driver would call "jerk it".  I did my stuff and the floundering victim in the harness would be thrown on his knees.  Tactics repeated once or twice would make a humble bronco out of him.  Sometimes we would upset.  The wagon seat seemed to have a fondness of following me through the air, but it never caught me, for when I felt solid earth under me, I kept right on rolling till I was away from all flying pieces of wreckage, even the driver.  My dexterity in making myself scarce at the right moment during these exciting mixups was a joke.

There came a time when serious rumors were afloat concerning the feelings between the so-called rustlers and the cattle barons.  Father was warned against Jack Bell and his gang who lived on a ranch just below us.  Father told me if I ever saw smoke rising from a small fire in an unexpected spot, or if I saw cowboys engaged in roping cattle, to give them a wide berth, for to surprise a rustler in the act of branding a maverick was regarded as a dangerous situation.  But I could not bring myself to think that Jack Bell and his companions could be utterly lawless.  These steady eyed, calm-mannered men, who were generous good neighbors.  They accorded Mother and me the old-fashioned courtesy of "home" folks.  The first year we lived there, Grandpa Martin held religious services in the front room of our home several times.  The families along the creek came and these cowboys came too. Jack Bell said, "It's sure been a long time since I went to a church". Some of the others said, "Ain't been to a church since I left home back in Missouri", or "down in Texas", or "in Virginia".  And they came dressed in their Sunday best.  They removed their spurs and their guns and they stood with bowed head while Grandfather prayed.  They were enthusiastic over the singing of hymns.  Once I caught a mischievious look in Jack Bell's eyes when one of the boys sang with more than usual gusto, and when the song was ended and the other boy saw that twinkle in the eyes of his friend, there were some hot looks exchanged.  In the course of the three years we lived as neighbors, these boys came to our house often.  Mother had a big Thanksgiving dinner for them once, and Father often asked them up to Sunday dinner.  For they were bachelors and enjoyed Mother's cooking.  In the long winter evenings they came to cards, "high five" being the popular game at that time.  Then too, Mother often shared her household medicines with them during an epidemic of grippe and treated their eyes for snowblindness.  They seemed fine and good, we were all fond of them.

Late in the fall of 1890, Frank Grouard rode in most unexpectedly. He told Father he came down to hunt deer and antelope that roamed the hills in large numbers.  After letting his pony, which he called "Cayuse", rest two days he planned on rising at 4:30 some morning, and take a day's hunt in the hills.  I wanted to go too, so I asked Mother if it would be all right to go hunting with him.  Mother said yes, if he didn't mind being bothered with me.  So at daylight we started out. I rode my grey Eagle; he rode his little Cayuse, which looked so small under him that I felt like telling him to get off and let the pony ride awhile.  We forded Crazy Woman Creek and went out towards the Powder River divide.  Once I started to talk and he motioned me to be still. That ride taught me how to ride in absolute silence.  I found it possible to guide my horse on soil so that his hoofs made no sound.  On seeing deer, Grouard gestured -- gave me orders of what to do by gestures.  This delighted me for I knew he was using his Indian prowess in this hunt.. I wish I could explain his cunning.  Some times using stealth, other times depending on his swift prompt action.  When we rode home there were eight deer lying "dressed" out on the hills. Grouard was without hat, coat, vest, neckerchief, outside shirt, both socks, pocket handkerchief, when we returned.  He left these articles of clothing on the "kill" to keep the coyotes away from them.  The next morning Father took the little team of mules, hitched to the running gears of the wagon, and went out to bring in the trophies of the hunt. Grouard and I went along on horseback.  We had many a laugh that day at Father's efforts to keep right side up when traveling on a side hill or crossing a deep gulch.  In fact, poor Father acted as though he was peeved at having to undergo such a harrowing experience.  It took several days to cut and dry some of the venison.  When it was ready to eat, it was the best dried venison I had ever tasted.  Grouard took most of this meat back to the garrison at Ft. McKinney.  Father hauled it in for him.

At round-up time when the round-ups neared Landgrove, letters came in the mail for the cowboys days ahead of time.  This colored the days with a little romance for me because I flirted with them quite openly. Since there was nothing else to do I thought why shouldn't I flirt with them just a little?  It was fun to see the cowboys look surprised when they saw Mother or me.  Evidently they expected the postmaster to be a grizzled old homesteader.  Their reactions to our home and surroundings were very amusing to us.  The window full of house plants always brought forth pleasant comments.  One day a certain cowboy who had been a previous visitor came to mail a bundle of letters.  I went to the desk to get the postage stamps.  In the act of handing me the money for the stamps, he placed his hat on the corner of the table close to me. When I turned I caught a glimpse of something unusual, then I saw that a large rattlesnake took the place of the usual band around the crown of his hat.  I was startled for a moment and gave a little scream which of course was what the cowboy expected I would do.  Then he at once began to apologize, saying, "Why, lady, I'm sorry - I didn't dream it would scare you.'  It didn't take much imagination on my part to see him telling this story to the other cowboys around the campfire that night.

When the roundup camped in our neighborhood, we usually paid them a visit.  It was fun to eat around the mess wagon.  The food was always of excellent quality.  And the cowboys were always courteous and sociable and jolly.  Sometimes great herds of longhorn Texas cattle passed our house.  Once I recall an extraordinary large herd that was about three hours in passing.  The riders accompanying these droves were always hot and dusty and thirsty.  They always received a welcome at our ranch, for whenever Mother heard the distant mooing of cattle, she would say to me, "Get a bucket of ice water ready".  And sometimes there was cold fresh buttermilk which they deeply appreciated.

It was about this time that the heifer that Roy and I had bought with the "pig money" presented us with a very handsome steer calf --the morning of the Fourth of July, 1891.  We had hoped, of course, that we might be fortunate enough to get another heifer.  But fate had a hand in this affair, though we could not see it then.  However, we accepted the "razing" about our rapid increase in the stock business cheerfully enough, until in sympathy Mother said, "Never mind, Edna, you can sell him for enough to get you an organ when he is two years old".  So, we named him Benjamin Franklin after that well-known exponent of independence, and planned accordingly.  But as time passed, the idea of an organ from his share of the calf did not appeal to my partner, so I proposed that Roy trade me his share of the calf for my share of the cow.  This proposition was accepted.  In due time Benjamine joined the "bucket brigade" and grew into a well proportioned skim milk calf, received his earmark, then the final badge of honor, the E-5 on his right side, turned out on the range, the prideful possession of Miss Edna Brown of Landgrove, Wyoming.

The public road passing our house became a popular highway.  In due course travelers stopped at our house for meals and to feed and rest their horses.  A stage route was established between Sundance and Buffalo which took the place of the mail carrier and pony.  It was a thrilling moment when the heavy overland stage drawn by four horses swung into a full gallop as they neared the gate.  From the gate to the barn nothing could hold them down and the lumbering old coach would turn in the gateway with the horses prancing on their hind feet.  It was exciting to watch while the fresh horses were being hitched up, which usually required three men.  The horse wranglers stood at the head of the lead team till the driver was in his seat with a sure control of the lines.  With a shout from the driver the four spirited horses would rear and plunge till they were well out in the road.  Then they were given a looser rein and would travel with a slow and steady trot.  Thus, living by the side of the road, meeting all kinds of people, gave a zest to our experiences and there were very few dull days during the summer months.  The name of Landgrove Post Office became the Landgrove Road Ranch.  The horses that were used on the stage route were kept in our stables and the wrangler boarded at our house.

Oath Speilman, a mail carrier who had showed me some attention was offered a job in Sundance, and decided to accept.  The day he made his last trip through with the mail, he asked me to saddle Eagle and ride with him a ways.  While I was putting on my riding habit he saddled Eagle for me and when he led him to the door for me to mount, Eagle was wearing some new martingales with lovely ivory rings and attachments, a gift from Oath.  Eagle danced along so proudly and I was pleased for anything to add to my riding equipment.  Oath talked seriously of his plans for the next spring when he would be coming back.  He asked me to write to him, to not forget him, and to wait for him.  Under the impulse of the moment, I promised him all those things.  Father soon discovered that I was writing to him and objected.  So I wrote to Oath that this could go on no longer.  He, however, had different ideas, and arranged with another mail carrier to pass our letters between us.  I soon looked back on these occurrences and laughed over them.  But at the time, they assumed serious proportions to me, and while the secret correspondence continued for some time, I silently accepted the situation brought about by my Father.  How funny life is after all!

Another family had moved in the community consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Stewart, and the two children of Mrs. Stewart's former marriage, Laura and Al Tytler.  I liked Laura; we were good friends.  She married Billy Cameron after the cattle war.  The man, Stewart, joined forces with the rustlers below us, but left the country the spring of 1892. Laura and I used to ride together a lot, she always admired Eagle and told me that we made a pretty picture together.  She was a very pretty girl, having many admirers among the cowboys.  We never regarded each other as rivals though.  We used to beautiful ourselves with buttermilk and real cream if we could snitch it off the pans and Mother not know it.  We used the juice of lemons too, for bleaching our skin.  Although we were outdoors constantly we did not allow our faces to get tanned. She never understood why my hands were whiter than hers, but I knew it was because I drew off the warm sweet "whey" from the cheese as it was being made and gave my hands a long bath in it.  Then I never exposed my hands to the sun.  We wore hats that completely shaded our faces, and gauntlet gloves always.  Thus we managed to keep our pink and white complexions.  You just weren't "in it" if you lost your white skin by the sun and wind, no matter how much you were outdoors.

When it came branding time that fall, Jack Bell offered to help Father, who gladly accepted the offer.  Jack came, bringing one of his men.  They worked all day and had dinner with us.  Heavy snows did not fall early that year; grazing was good until after the first of the year.  Father had some wild hay that he fed his milk cows.

On January 9, 1891, EDWARD W. and “CLARISSIE” HUSON sold the homestead on Crazy Woman for $500 to Aaron Kline, “a single man,” providing a warrantee deed for the “lands and premises” described as follows: “The South-East quarter (SE1/4) of Section Nine (9), in Township Fifty-one (51) North of Range Seventy nine (79) west of the Sixth Principle Meridian.”  Charles H. Burritt of Buffalo, Notary (Book E, p348)

On the same day they bought two lots in Buffalo from Aaron Kline for $150, described as: “Lots numbered Twenty Seven (27) and Twenty eight (28) in block Fifteen (15) in the City of Buffalo.”(Book E, p349)

On April 2, 1891 EDWARD and CLARISSA HUSON sold lots 27 & 28 in Buffalo they had bought just three months earlier.  They sold to Decatur Brown for $200.  (Book E, p543)

One can only speculate what happened here.  Three possibilities are that they wanted a place in Buffalo to stay for the rest of the winter before moving to Lone Tree Draw; buying the lots from Aaron Kline was simply a requirement of the deal for the homestead; or, they thought they would move back to Buffalo, and once there, changed their minds.

They moved over onto Clear Creek at the mouth of Lone Tree Draw. The family built a large stone house with rock quarried from a pit on Lone Tree Draw north and west of the house.  Two of the boys, Harry and Fred, packed mud for the rocks.  On July 16, 1892, CLARISSA’s mother, SARAH PATTENGILL, obtained a homestead patent (#614-T54N-R79W; E1/2NE1/4 & SW1/4NE1/4, S31) for 120 acres at $1.25 per acre. That same day she sold it to EDWARD WING for $3,000 total.  The house was used for a time as a stage stop on the Moorcroft-to-Buffalo route before Clearmont became an incorporated town.  Edward built a square rock building, with two open windows on opposite sides, about a mile west of the rock house, for a school.  [The school was still standing in 1993, but was not used.  The HUSON rock house was still occupied in 1993.]

Edward and Clarissa stone house two miles west of Clearmont, WY on highway. Stone house was built by Doc Huson. Photo taken in 1999.

“Doc” HUSON was the area’s doctor for a number of years.  In December 1892, EDWARD rode 60 miles to deliver a baby. When he got back, his wife CLARISSA had delivered a son, Samuel, their sixteenth and last child.

Across Lone Tree Draw from the house was a small settlement named Huson or Husonville, where EDWARD had a general mercantile store. There was also a bank.  EDWARD was the first postmaster, with the post office in his home, although only from April 29th to November 30th of 1892 before it was moved to Clearmont three miles east.

Fred Huson, Esther (Ely) Huson, baby Violet Leah Huson. Thought to be “Doc” Huson’s merchantile store in Clearmont, WY. 1911

This is thought by some surviving family members to be the location of Doc Huson’s mercantile in Clearmont, WY.

There was a small cemetery across from the HUSON home.  A flood washed the cutbank and exposed some of the caskets.  They had to be moved.  SARAH PATTENGILL’s casket was moved to Buffalo.  It is not known whether her husband Asaph was also moved.

Asaph and Sarah (Arnold) Pattengill (Clarissa’s parents, Doc Huson’s in-laws). Asaph died before 1892.


(Library; Buffalo, Wyoming)

He came by 4-horse stage from Suggs, which is where Arvada now is, and Jimmy Childs who was the stage driver tipped them over at Double Crossing.  That was this side of Clearmont about four miles, wetting all of them - 13 on this old Concord Stage and their luggage.  They stayed all night at old Doc HUSON's, that's about three miles west of Clearmont where the stone house is that Tex Ellis now lives in.  It was a half-way house then between Suggs and Buffalo.  Doc HUSON, Harry's father - Harry still lives here in Buffalo - was a Civil War veteran and a very colorful story teller.  And he entertained his guests after supper with stories of the old west.  One of the young ladies who was on the stage asked Doc, "Mr. HUSON, did you ever fight Indians?" "Well, did I ever fight Indians" he said.  "Why we used to fight them every fall here when we would go up hunting deer.  One time, we went up back of Big Horn hunting deer and we looked back and here come a whole bunch of Indians with war paint on following us up this canyon.  We thought we could go right up the canyon and then go out on top and get away from the Indians.  We got up to the top of the canyon and it was a straight up and down wall about 300 feet high and we couldn't do a thing.  We had to stop right there."  Old Doc kind of stopped and didn't say anything for a few minutes and one of the school teachers said, "Well Doctor HUSON, what happened?"  He said, laughing, "They killed every damn one of us."

In 1892 the Burlington-Missouri Railroad reached Huson.  Finding the location inadequate for its operation, the town site was moved 1 1/2 miles northeast to its present site and named Clearmont, after Clear Creek, and because you could see the mountains from there.  Prior to this, there were only two families living in the area.  The railroad reached Clearmont in early winter, and operations stopped for the winter while the decision was made as to which way to go from there. Sheridan was decided upon, and the following spring work was resumed. Fills and grades were made with horses, slips moving the dirt.  The town was teeming with activity.  The railroad construction crews consisted mostly of the kind-hearted, hard-working, hard-drinking Irishmen. The train crews had to stop and open the gates across the tracks.  The train picked up passengers along the way.

Town of Clearmont, WY in 2000 looking from the Sunnybrook Cemetery. The railroad runs in front of the town.

About 1914, a man named Duffy built a train from Clearmont to Buffalo on a slim budget.  The track was laid so poorly that the train could only go at a fast creep because of the sway of the cars caused by the uneven rails.  It was known as the BABM (Buffalo and Back – Maybe).

Joan Loafman opened a hotel in early Clearmont.  “Doc” HUSON had a store for several years.  He used to ride a donkey the three miles from the rock house to work each day.  Other early-day merchants were Billie Hunt, Ed Tway (better known as “Eat-Um-Up-Jake”), and J. R. Summers.

In August of 1893, Robert Foote, a prominent Buffalo mercantile owner, filed a civil lawsuit against Doc HUSON claiming that he owed $216.30 for merchandise provided. Reportedly Doc HUSON had received a check for $120.13 from J. J. McCullough of the Burlington Stage and Express Company on April 4, 1892 and endorsed it over to Robert Foote on the following day to pay his account. Robert Foote claimed that Doc HUSON subsequently purchased additional goods totalling $96.17. When Robert Foote presented the check to J. J. McCullough for payment, J.J. McCullough refused to pay. A summons was issued and Doc HUSON was not found in Johnson County. A second summons was issued in September and this time it was delivered. In October, Doc HUSON filed a motion requesting to see a copy of the uncashed check and a listing of reported goods purchased on account. In February of 1894, Robert Foote submitted an amended lawsuit now claiming that Doc HUSON had wittingly falsely endorsed a check payable to E. M. Husen. In May of 1894 Doc HUSON submitted a response to the lawsuit, stating he didn’t owe any money and asked that the case be dismissed due to lack of evidence. In June, Robert Foote provided a listing of goods allegedly sold to Doc HUSON and totaling $216.30. In November, Doc HUSON responded to the lawsuit with his side of the story. He started by stating that the list provided by Robert Foote was not a true account of goods that he purchased. Then he admitted that he had an outstanding balance, but said that he had endorsed the check in April 1892 and Robert Foote had accepted that as partial payment. Then Robert Foote, through negligence, failed to redeem the check in time from J. J. McCullough. Then in July of 1893 Doc HUSON attempted to pay the balance he owed, but since Robert Foote hadn’t collected the partial payment from J. J. McCullough, he refused to accept the payment on the balance and instead filed the lawsuit. Doc HUSON then petitioned the case to be dismissed. The judgment was missing from the court documents, but the card was marked “Judgement for the plaintiff, November 15, 1894.”

In his autobiography, Wyoming Peace Officer, p106-8, Joe LeFors tells how he convinced Ed Tway, who had been rustling cattle, to turn states evidence on his friends and neighbors, who were also rustling. Ed got them all together, and LeFores arrested them. (1896)

At this time (1890s) the country around Clearmont was a cattle range with annual round-ups.  The biggest operation in the area was the Pratt and Ferris Cattle Company.  One year they branded 30,000 calves. Clearmont became the supply center of the valley, shipping supplies to either Buffalo or Clearmont in three large covered wagons pulled by eight to ten teams.  There was also a stagecoach line for mail, passengers and a little freight.  A trip on the stage was a risky and adventurous experience.   At one time there were four saloons in Clearmont, and during this period the town was known as “Bloody Clearmont,” as almost every week cowboys rode in and shot up the town.  There were also private feuds that caused much gunfire.  The gun-play was characteristic of all new frontier towns, especially where railroad builders had camps.  The county seat, Sheridan, had its own “Bucket of Blood” saloon.

Jennie (Huson) Weeden died on June 15, 1899 in Buffalo, Wyoming.

In 1900, according to the Federal Census, Edward was a merchant in Clearmont, and his at-home family included Edith, Wing, Frances (Fannie), Samuel, and a lady school teacher named Sophie Roll as a boarder.

L – R: Edith (Huson) Patton, Frances “Fannie” (Huson) Donaldson. L. B. Glafcke Photographer, Sheridan, WY.

Sadie and her five children were living nearby.  Harry and Fred were on Harry’s place at Spotted Horse, and their sister Clara was living with them along with her three children by Billie Hunt.  Their 82-year-old grandmother, SARAH PATTENGILL, was also living with them. ASAPH PATTENGILL must have died prior to 1900.  ASAPH and SARAH PATTENGILL had eight children total, and two were still living in 1900 (CLARISSA was one).

Sarah Arnold [m. Pattengill] (Clarissa’s mother, Doc Huson’s mother-in-law); c. 1906. Sarah died in 1907.
In 1900, the Federal Census listed the HUSON’s neighbors at Clearmont to include a school teacher, saloon keeper, railroad pump engineer, railroad section foreman, telegraph operator, stage driver, bartender, roundup foreman, cook, many cowboys, and a cattleman.

Sadie (Huson) Arrington died on May 25, 1901 in Clearmont, Wyoming.

Sadie Clarissa (Huson) Arrington] (daughter of Doc Huson) c. 1901. 1/16/1873 – 5/25/1901

Sadie Clarissa (Huson) Arrington] (daughter of Doc Huson) c. 1901.

In 1905, Harry and Fred applied for separate homesteads.  Fred’s was a 280 acre tract located about two miles northwest of his parents’ stone house, and straddling Town Draw just north of Lone Tree Draw.  He received the patent in June 1910.  Harry’s was an L-shaped 120 acre homestead adjoining EDWARD WING and CLARISSA’s property on it’s north and east sides, and including the confluence of Clear Creek and Lone Tree Creek.  The main highway ran through the middle of it.  Harry received the patent in July 1910.

In 1910 in the Clearmont area, EDWARD, a doctor, and CLARISSA were still living in the stone house with son Sam, who was a laborer at odd jobs, and granddaughter, Lucina Hunt, Carrie’s 20 year old daughter.

Back L – R: Mabel (Kephart) Huson (Sam’s wife), Edith (Huson) Patton, Fannie (Huson) Donaldson and baby Harold Donaldson, Ted Patton, Bernard Patton. Front L – R: Harry Huson, Edward Huson, Clarissa (Pattengill) Huson, Carrie (Huson) Hunt, Irene Patton Back: Helen Hunt, Lucinda Hunt. c. 1911. Doc Huson died in 1914, Sam married Mabel in 1911.

Living nearby were:

  • Harry Huson, raising sheep, with wife May, and her 7 year old son Homer.
  • William Donaldson, freight depot agent, and wife Fannie (Huson).
  • Fred Patton, laborer at odd jobs, wife Edith (Huson), and children Irena, Bernard, and Theodore.
  • Theodore Weeden, widower of Jennie (Huson), and his daughter, Sylvia, in the home of his nephew, George Freede, laborer at odd jobs, and George’s wife Jennie.
  • Fred Huson, working as a wool grower.
  • Wing (Edward, Jr.) Huson, a herder on a stock ranch, and wife Mabel and son Gerald.
L – R: William Donaldson, Frannie (Huson) Donaldson, Doc Huson, Clarissa (Pattengill) Huson

EDWARD WING HUSON died at Clearmont on November 26, 1914, and was buried in the Sunnybrook Cemetery located on the hillside across the railroad tracks.  Other Husons buried at Clearmont include Fred, Sadie Arrington, Jennie Weeden (whose husband Theodore had his ashes scattered over her grave when he died), Harry Huson’s first wife May, and CLARISSA.

Sheridan Enterprise, Sheridan, Wyo.,
November 27, 1914


Dr. E. W. Huson, father of sixteen children and one of the pioneer settlers of Sheridan county died at Clearmont Wednesday morning after an illness of about two months.

Dr. Huson was born in Buffalo [actually Boston] N.Y., in 1833.  In 1862 he married Miss Clara Pettingell in Iowa.  In 1882 the Huson family moved to Northern Wyoming.  At that time there were only two settlers on the Big Goose [Creek] and only two or three families in the country north of Buffalo.  Dr. Huson was one of the first justices of the peace in Sheridan county. He moved to Clearmont in 1890, two years after the railroad reached there.  He was a devout Christian and leader in everything good in the community. He is survived by his wife and nine children: W. O. Huson, Klamath Falls, Oregon; W. E. Huson, Spokane; F. G. Huson and S. T. Huson, Clearmont; H. H. Huson, Buffalo; Mrs. Clara Hunt, Sheridan; Mrs. T. L. Avant, Riddle, Idaho; Mrs. Edith Patton and Mrs. Fanny Donaldson, Clearmont.

The funeral was held yesterday at Clearmont.  Dr. David E. Kendall of Sheridan officiated.  Burial was made in the Clearmont cemetery.

The Homesteads at Spotted Horse

The earlier Huson homesteads near Clearmont were obtained under the Homestead Act of 1862 which allowed filing for 160 acres with a residency requirement of five years to obtain a patent.  The Mondrell Homestead Act of 1909 allowed filing for 320 acres and reduced the residency requirement to three years.  Sam Huson and Fred Patton were the first in the family to file for 320 acre homesteads under the 1909 Act.  They received the patents for them in February, 1919.  The Additional Homestead Act of 1916 allowed homesteaders to increase their homestead acreage to 640 with no residency requirement.  Both Sam and Fred increased their homesteads to the 640 acre limit.  Fred received his patent in March 1920, and Sam received his in March, 1923.  Their 640 acre homesteads adjoined each other, and were located 6-8 miles north of the highway, and a mile east of the Sheridan/Campbell County line.  Sam’s northeasternmost part was within a quarter-mile of Spotted Horse Creek

Huson Homesteads (Harry, Fred, Clarissa) at Spotted Horse, WY in 2000.

CLARISSA and Harry also filed for the same mix of homesteads in the area.  Under the 1909 Act, Clarissa and Harry each received a patent in June, 1919, four months after Sam and Fred.  However, Harry only filed for 200 acres.  This suggests that he retained his Clearmont area homestead of 120 acres, which would have put him at the 320 acre limit of the 1909 Act.  He and CLARISSA both obtained 320 additional acres under the 1916 Act, receiving their patents in October, 1921.  Harry also obtained a patent for 120 acres in September, 1922, suggesting he had sold his Clearmont 120 acre homestead.  Harry and CLARISSA’s homesteads adjoined each other and were two miles due south of the south end of Sam and Fred’s acreage.  The only exception was a 120 acre parcel in CLARISSA’s second homestead in 1921 which was located two miles east of the north end of her main acreage.  It was an L-shaped parcel of bottom land along the South Prong of Spotted Horse Creek.  Perhaps she needed it for a water supply.

Six of Doc and Clarissa’s children. L – R: Carrie (Huson) Hunt/Fountain, Harry H. Huson, Fred Huson, Clarissa (Pattengill) Huson, Edith (Huson) Patton, Fannie (Huson) Donaldson, Sam Huson
Clarissa (Pattengill) Huson (wife of Doc Huson). Clarissa died in 1932.

Lizzie (Huson) Avent died November 10, 1918 in Mountain Home, Idaho.

In 1920, Harry Huson was listed in the Federal Census as a stockman in the Clearmont area with his wife Laura, and a live-in servant, Fred Dryer (a Wisconsin man, and probably Laura’s brother).  Fred Huson was a rancher on Harry’s Spotted Horse ranch in neighboring Campbell Co., with his wife Esther, and daughters Violet, June, and Louise.  Fred’s mother, CLARISSA (PATTENGILL) HUSON, was also living with them.  Willis O. Huson, a farm manager, was with his wife Margaret in Silsbee Township, Imperial Co., California.

Clarissa (Pattengill) Huson (wife of Doc Huson). Clarissa died in 1932.

Fred G. Huson died April 1, 1928 at Clearmont, Wyoming.

CLARISSA stayed with Fred’s widow and family for a while at the Spotted Horse ranch.  When she became ill, she moved to her son Samuel’s place.

She died there on January 24, 1932.  She was buried at the Clearmont Cemetery with EDWARD.  Her name is also listed at the top of a common marker at the Arvada Cemetery located across the Powder River from Arvada.

January 25, 1932


Clarissa Huson, 82,

Came to Region 50 Years Ago

Mrs. Clarissa Huson, who came to northern Wyoming a half century ago this spring, died at her home at Arvada late Tuesday morning.  She was 82 years old and had been in ill health for some time.

Mrs. Huson first settled with her Husband at Buffalo, later moving to a ranch near Arvada.

She is survived by five sons: Willis O. Huson of Cal., Harry H. Huson of Buffalo, Wayne E. Huson of New York, Fred G. Huson and Sam Huson both of Arvada, and by three daughters: Mrs. Clara Fountain of Washington, Mrs. Edith Patton of California, and Mrs. Mary Donaldson of Arvada.

Funeral services will be held from the Clearmont church at 1:30 o'clock Wednesday afternoon.  The Champion Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

According to her death certificate, she had an onset of chronic endocarditis, and died due to a week of acute myocarditis.  She was listed as being born on March 30, 1849 in Wisconsin, was widowed, was a housekeeper on a ranch, and lived for 82y9m26d.  Her son Harry Huson was the informant listed on the certificate.


Willis Oren Huson – Hattie “Katie” (Huson) Ford – Carrie Belle (Huson) Fountain – Jennie B. (Huson) Weeden – Sadie Clarissa (Huson) Arrington – Elizabeth (Huson) Avent – Harry Henderson Huson – Frederick Grant Huson – Edith (Huson) Patton – Edward Wing Huson – Frances Lee (Huson) Donaldson – Samuel Tucker Huson

Willis Oren Huson

Willis Oren “William O.” Huson was born December 27, 1863, Waucoma, Fayette County, in northeastern Iowa.  He reportly left the family in 1881 when they went west, and never returned to visit them in Wyoming.  However, local records in the Buffalo Library state that “Billy Huson, son of Doc Huson, learned the jewelry business from Chappell.”  In Buffalo’s First Century, 1984, p37, it tells how J. E. Chappell operated a jewelry store in Buffalo from 1884 to 1937. Therefore, Willis must have been in Buffalo with the family until the mid-1880s.  In the 1880s he carried oversized name cards with a thin gold rim and the name “W. O. Huson”.

Willis Oren “William O.” Huson.

In 1888, he sent a formal printed notice to his sister Katie and her husband Ephraim Ford addressed to E. W. Ford, Beckton, Wyoming Territory, postmarked Big Horn, Wyo., Feb. 10, 1888, one cent postage, as follows:

W. O. Huson.  Florence Grove.

Mr. & Mrs. W. O. Huson
Married January 23rd, 1888

After February 10th, 1888
Kingman, Arizona

They moved to Phoenix, where on December 11, 1888 his wife Florence gave birth to twin boys.  One died at birth.  The other was named Willis Edward Huson.

The Pleasant Valley War of 1887

Based largely on "A Little War of Our Own" by Don Dedera; Northland Printing Co., Flagstaff, AZ, 1988

Willis was a Justice of the Peace in Phoenix 1891-92.  He served an unpopular cause in Tempe, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, in 1892 in a feud called the "Pleasant Valley War of 1887."

The war was not simply a struggle between sheepmen and cattlemen, between cattle-running Grahams and the sheep producing Tewksburys.  Some ranchers ran both cattle and sheep.  The conflict was caused in part by the skyrocketing of the number of sheep and cattle in the 1880s.  The biggest sheep producers, the Daggs brothers, ran as many as 50,000 on the Colorado Plateau.  Their shareholding agreement with the Tewksburys, who drove several flocks of Daggs sheep into the Tonto basin, helped trigger the Pleasant Valley War.

Pleasant Valley was a high pocket of grass watered by Cherry Creek, located northeast of Phoenix, and was one of the most isolated spots in Arizona.  Consequently, the law was far away.  Once the feud started, it was difficult to stop, and was the bloodiest feud in Arizona's history.

An excerpt of an article by Sam Negri in the February 1996 issue of Arizona Highways magazine puts it very succinctly:

The principals in this feud were John Tewksbury, his four sons, and [the] brothers Tom and John Graham.  In 1879 the Tewksburys started ranching on Canyon Creek in Pleasant Vally.  Three years later, the Grahams also started ranching in the area.  Tom Graham's men were stealing cows.  One of the Tewksbury boys had been working for Graham, and when he told his brothers about the rustling activities, they urged him to quit.  That created hard feelings between the Grahams and Tewksburys, a situation that was exacerbated when another rancher, Jim Stinson, accused the Tewksburys of stealing his cows.

In the course of the five-year feud, some 30 people - members of both families and their respective supporters - were killed, and not a single person was convicted of any crime.  Never before had the theft of cows produced such vicious and prolonged bloodshed.  Because of the area's isolated location, its vast hidden canyons and caves, the few lawmen sent over from the county seat at Prescott accomplished nothing.

The first of the casualties was a Ute Indian shepherd for the Daggs and Tewksburys who was murdered in 1887.  It soon escalated into pitched battles, sneak attacks, and poisonous vendettas; the latter exemplified by Tom Graham, who, enraged by the murder of his younger brother, killed Frank Jacobs and John Tewksbury and then stood guard so that wild hogs could feed on the bodies.

The last to die in the war was Tom Graham, who was ambushed in Tempe in 1892.  John Rhodes and Ed Tewksbury were accused of shooting Tom Graham in the back.  On the morning Graham was killed, Rhodes was spirited off to jail in Phoenix under arrest.  He was exhibited like a zoo animal.

To most of the populace, his guilt was unquestioned.  The victim had named him as he lay dying.  His horse's tracks were found at the scene.  When arrested, he shook with uncontrollable nervousness.  He was related to the Tewksburys by marriage.

Because of overheated public sentiment, on August 4, officers "watched their chance" during the midmorning to hustle Rhodes to the courtroom of Justice W. O. Huson.  With defense and prosecution attorneys present, the magistrate set a preliminary examination for the following Monday.  Before a vengeful Phoenix could learn of it, Rhodes was whisked back to jail.

Promptly at 10 a.m. on Monday, Justice Huson called court to order, with the defense handled by two of Arizona's most expensive trial lawyers.  There was a strong suspicion that the Daggs brothers financed the defense.

One of the side effects of the feud was to encourage a lot of outside ridicule about the goings on there, and Arizona Territory in general.  There was definite concern about its effect on Arizona's ambition to become a state.  "If Arizona should have a few more feuds like that out in Tonto Basin, it would be difficult to get enough people together there ever to admit her as a state," sniffed the Los Angeles Times.

Most of the pre-trial examination time was taken by the prosecution weaving a tight web of incriminating circumstantial evidence, or so they thought.  However, Rhodes had a perfect defense.  Several witnesses, one of which was a prominent presence in the group that wanted Rhodes hanged, testified that Rhodes was somewhere else at the time of the murder.

In spite of a spirited 2 1/2 hour summation by the prosecution, the Rhodes alibi held up.  Late in the afternoon on Thursday, Justice Huson delivered his findings, as recounted in the next day's Phoenix Gazette.

Upon the conclusion of the District Attorney's argument, there was hardly a pause before Justice Huson rendered his decision.  He said, in a rather indistinct voice, "I have listened carefully to all the testimony in this case, and, although I was at first inclined to believe the defendant guilty of the murder, the defense has so conclusively proved their alibi that I must release the prisoner."

A look of disgust and amazement spread over the uplifted faces of his hearers.  There is no doubt but that the decision pleased very few.  Knots of men gathered all over the streets and discussed, somewhat angrily, the situation.

A number of wild propositions were made, the most popular being to hang the judge in effigy.  But a milder reaction followed, and none of the foolish schemes were carried out.

Rhodes elected to stay in the jail one more night for his own protection; then, escorted by a troop of heavily armed friends, he left town.

Rhode's release was decried by most of the Arizona press.  Typical was the editorial reaction of the Tucson Star for August 20:

It appears that Rhodes did not have a hand in the killing of Graham.  So Justice Huson of Tempe [Huson was of Phoenix, of which Tempe is now a suburb] thinks, if he is honest in his decision which turns Rhodes loose on the community.  If the Phoenix press reported the evidence correctly, and we have no good reason to believe otherwise, we cannot conceive upon what grounds the defendant was discharged.  Why go to the useless expense of an examination which is but a travesty upon law and justice?"

In Phoenix, the Herald of August 19 turned the screw tighter:

"...sufficient to alarm every good citizen and property owner in the country.  When dangerous men are turned loose with evidence almost sufficient to hang them, against them and a moral certainty that their freedom means additional murder or assassination, it is time for the people of this county to begin to consider the kind of men they choose to preside over their justice's courts and the influences that are brought to bear on these courts to defeat the end of justice and destroy the protection of law and government generally..."

The Gazette of August 21 reported:

"The following notice was found posted up on the street corner yesterday:  'Anny partes I am owing, call at my office, as I got money now, after Rhodes' trial.  Willis O. Huson, J.P.'"

Elsewhere, sarcasm vied with indignation:

The conflicting testimony at the examination of Rhodes...leads to the belief that Graham committed suicide.  He evidently dismounted from his load of grain, went behind the bushes, took deliberate aim and shot himself.  He then rode away.  If this theory proves correct, the lawyers in the case may succeed in proving that Tom Graham was not shot at all - that he died of typhoid fever.

Salt River Valley citizens likewise were furious, and appointed a committee to draft the following resolution:

Resolved:  That the action of one W. O. Huson, justice of the peace at the City of Phoenix, in relegating to himself the powers of judge and jury in the recent preliminary examination of John Rhodes, accused of the murder of Tom Graham, is hereby condemned as an unwarranted assumption of power.  That is the opinion of the meeting that the evidence presented at said examination was in the minds of all honest men sufficient to bind the accused over to await the action of the grand jury.

Ed Tewksbury was tried in Tucson.  The first trial was ended because of a procedural error.  The second was a protracted trial which ended in a hung jury.  Tewksbury was released on bail.  As time passed, interest waned, and in 1896, the prosecution asked that the charges be dropped.  Tewksbury's little war was over.

Decades later, a man by the name of Joe McKinney supposedly acquired a statement from Rhodes which stated that Ed Tewksbury killed Tom Graham, but that Rhodes was right there with him when it was done.

Edwin Tewksbury married and had children.  "His friends always remembered him, and his enemies never forgot," as an old western saying goes.  He served in various roles as lawman, and died in 1904.

John Rhodes served a hitch as an Arizona ranger.  He and John Tewksbury's widow married and had seven children of their own.  Rhodes was considered Arizona's best steer team roper in small-town and big-time rodeo.  He died in 1918.

Zane Grey wrote a fictionalized account of the feud in his book To The Last Man.</p>

The furor following Rhodes’ release apparently induced Willis O. Huson to move west to Yuma to continue his law practice.


Saturday, October 20, 1894

W. O. Huson, our nominee for District Attorney, is a young man, a native of Iowa and is 30 years of age.  Studied law and was admitted to the practice of his profession in 1890 in the Supreme Court of the Territory at Phoenix.  Has filled the office of Adjutant District Attorney of Yuma County a great portion of the time for the past 15 months.

The following from the Arizona Republican, the leading newspaper published at Mr. Huson’s former home, Phoenix, says: “The Republican congratulates both Mr. W. O. Huson and the Republican Party of Yuma County……man’s nomination for District Attorney.  Mr. Huson……a man of great ability and energy and will make…… And we heartily……our next District Attorney.”

Saturday, November 10, 1894


Practices in all the Courts of the Territory. Special attention paid to Land practice and Collections.  Office first door north of Oriental saloon, Yuma, A. T.

In 1898, Willis O. Huson is selected as one of eight men from Yuma, Arizona to serve as the first of the “Rough Riders”.

April 30, 1898


Yuma Sends Eight Fearless Fighters To The Front

Almost the entire populace of Yuma gathered at the depot last evening to bid adieu, perhaps for the last time, to our quota of "Teddy's Terrors" who left on the 5 o'clock train to join the cowboy regiment being mustered in at Prescott.

Last Tuesday County Recorder C. P. Cronin received a telegram from Col. Brodie asking him to muster in six good men for the cowboy cavalry.  Within an hour fifty or sixty men had signed the rolls, and if a hundred more had have been wanted they could have been furnished before night.  It was a difficult matter to select the proper men from so many applicants and a public meeting was held at the court house Wednesday afternoon for the purpose of deciding the question satisfactorily to all.  A large number of interested parties were present and C. I. Brown was elected chairman and Mulford Winsor secretary.  Upon motion the chair appointed a committee consisting of C. P. Cronin, U. G. Wilder, and Mulford Winsor to select the small number of men wanted from the large number of anxious applicants.  The rivalry for preference was exceedingly keen and after deliberation on the question for some time the committee reported four names and asked for twelve hours more time in which to complete the list.  After a short and hot debate the time was granted and the meeting adjourned.  In the mean time Mr. Cronin was in constant telegraphic communication with Gov. McCord and Col. Brodie in regard to qualifications, equipment and transportation.  He also asked for the privilege of sending more men and finally succeeded in increasing the number from six to eight men.

The committee completed the list Friday morning and reported the following well-known men ready for service:  J. H. Maxey, W. E. Marvin, W. O. Huson, Harry Moss, Al Neville, Al Wright, Jas. Denmark, and Al Hanser.  The selection gave satisfaction to all, with the exception of a few disappointed candidates who bitterly bewailed their misfortune in not being given an opportunity to smell the powder of the first gun fired in Cuba at the American army.  Most of the boys, however, took their defeat philosophically and are content to wait for the next call, which is liable to come at any time.

The men selected are all expert horsemen and crack shots and if given an opportunity at the front will crown themselves with glory and sustain the reputation of the Arizona cowboy as the idol of the world and the pride of the west.

Col. Cronin was the most enthusiastic man in Yuma county and deserves much credit for the part he took in this preliminary war measure.  Col.'s only regret is that he is not a full-fledged cowboy, qualified to take an active part in the liberation of suffering Cuba.  He has plenty of nerve, but is a trifle shie on the knowledge of firearms and experience with the festive western equine.  He chaperoned the boys to Prescott and will remain with them until they leave for Cuba.

Nearly the whole town turned out last evening to see the boys off and as the train pulled out amid the firing of sixshooters and husky shouts for the liberty of Cuba, Yuma realized for the first time that the war is actually on.
Requirements for Applicants

(Excerpts from Pictorial History of Our War with Spain for Cuba's Freedom, 1898, pp 372-3.)

According to the requirements of the war department applicants for enlistment must be between 18 and 35 years, of good character and habits, able-bodied, free of disease and must be able to speak the English language.  If one is addicted to the bad habit of smoking cigarettes it is quite likely that he will not pass the physical examination.  A man who has been a heavy drinker is apt to be rejected without ceremony.

Married men will only be enlisted upon the approval of the regimental commander.

Minors must not be enlisted without the written consent of father, only surviving parent, or legally appointed guardian.  Original enlistment will be confined to persons who are citizens of the United States or who have made legal declaration of their intention to become citizens thereof.

These requirements fulfilled a man is permitted to take the physical examination.  Few understand just how rigid this examination is.  Many have been rejected who thought they were in perfect physical condition.  A number of applicants who were confident that they would be allowed to enlist were rejected by the physicians on account of varicose veins.  Varicose veins are enlarged veins which are apt to burst under the stress of long continued exertion.  Closely allied to this is varicocele, which threw out a surprising large proportion of the National Guard and the recruits.

After a man is weighed and his height taken, he is turned over to the doctor, who places the applicant's hands above his head and proceeds to feel his flesh.  If it is soft and of flabby fiber the physician is not well pleased and if he finds that the bones are too delicate for the amount of flesh he turns the applicant down.  Fat men, however, get through if their bones are solid and there is no organic weakness of any description.  To discover the condition of the heart the applicant is made to hop about five yards on one foot and back again with the other.  The doctor then listens to the beating of the heart.  He lifts his head and says to some apparently fine-looking specimen of manhood the simple word: "Rejected."

This man has heart trouble, and, strange to say, he does not know it.  If a man be of pale complexion or rather sallow, the doctors will question him with regard to his stomach.  Of course the lungs are thoroughly tested.  It is not often, however, that anyone presents himself who is suffering from lung trouble.  One man in particular was rejected because of the formation of his chest.  He was what is commonly known as "pigeon-breasted."  The doctors said that there was not enough room for air in the lungs, and yet the rejected applicant was a well-known athlete.

But after all the organic centers have been found in excellent condition several things yet remain to be tested.  A man's feet must not blister easily.  His teeth must be good, because bad teeth interfere with digestion and are apt to develop stomach troubles.  Of course other things taken into consideration a particular defect may be overlooked according to the discretion of the doctor.  A man with his index finger gone stands no show.  A bow-legged man will be accepted, but a knocked-kneed man rarely.

The final test is of the eyes.  At a distance of twenty feet one must be able to read letters a half inch in size.  Many tricks were played to read the letters when the eager candidate could see only a blur before him.  The favorite method was to memorize the letters from those who had taken the examination and knew in just what order the letters were situated.

W. O. Huson was one of 16 lawyers selected for the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry known as the “Rough Riders.”  The roster listed him as: Huson, Willis O., Yuma, Ariz., 1st sgt., C Troop; 34, 5 ft., 7 3/4 ins., fair, dark-brown eyes, dark-brown hair; born Waucoma, Iowa; lawyer; joined May 2, Whipple Barracks; single; sick in line of duty.

The 1st Volunteer Cavalry regiment consisted of three squadrons of four troops each.  The Arizona squadron consisted of A, B, and C Troops from Arizona, and D Troop from Oklahoma.  The chain of command to W. O. Huson was Col. Leonard Wood, Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt (who Col. Wood allowed to lead the regiment), Maj. Alexander Brodie (Arizona squadron), Capt. Joseph Alexander (C Troop), 1st Lt. Robert Patterson, 2nd Lt. Hal Sayre, Jr., 1st Sgt Willis O. Huson.

The Arizona squadron left Prescott, Arizona for San Antonio and Camp Wood on May 4 by train in four passenger cars and one combination car.  They were the first group to arrive at Camp Wood.  The men had to be housed in the exposition building and grandstand for two weeks until the tents arrived.

By May 10, Brodie’s Arizona squadron was completely equipped with a McClellan saddle, stirrups, rifle boot, saddle bags, grooming kit, surcingle, latigo cinch straps, halter shank, saddle blanket, and other items.

On May 17, the Arizona Squadron was officially formed at Camp Wood.  It consisted of Capt. O’Neill’s A Troop with three officers and 68 men; McClintock’s B Troop of two officers and 65 men; and Alexander’s C  Troop of three officers and 67 men.  Each troop was to have one captain, one first lieutenant, one second lieutenant, one first sergeant, one quartermaster sergeant, six sergeants, eight corporals, two farriers and blacksmiths, two trumpeters, one saddler, one wagoner, and 55-59 privates.  The men of the Arizona squadron were aged 18-44, with an average age of 28; and in height 5′ 5″ to 6′ 6″ with an average height of 5′ 8″.

On May 20, the tents arrived.  These two-man “dog tents” consisted of two shelter-halves buttoned together and suspended from a cross pole, measured 4′ high,  4′ feet wide , and  6 1/2′ long.  The ground was covered with straw.  The enlisted men tents lined both sides of the troop “street.”   C  Troop named their street “Manila Avenue.”

By May 23, the men had their 30-40 caliber Krag-Jorgensen carbines, .45 caliber Colt revolvers, and canvas uniforms, and the first drills were started.  They were to be supplied with horses according to standards of the Regular Cavalry.  The horses were to be at least four years old, sound, 15 1/2 hands high or a little more, and 1100-1250 pounds.  Some of the horses did not meet these standards by being smaller, and some were unbroken, and had to be broken by the men. Each troop decided to outfit their units with horses of the same color by sorting.  C Troop chose browns.

On May 29, the Arizona squadron left San Antonio by train for Tampa, Florida, where they were to be transported to Cuba.  They were one of the last units to arrive.  There they met their division commander, “Fighting Joe” Wheeler.

When the regiment assembled at Tampa in early June prior to embarking for Cuba, the Army had enough transport ships to send only eight of the twelve Troops of Rough Riders.  Troops C, H, I, and M were left behind in Tampa for the duration of the War, and those who went had to leave behind their horses and revolvers, and serve as common infantry.  When the announcement was made to those to be left behind, many of them burst into tears.  To make matters worse, their encampment at Tampa was in a malaria-ridden swamp.  Three of the men in Troop C died of typhoid or malaria while there.  Nineteen others were sick and incapable of duty.  Disease and boredom were relentless enemies.

In early August, the four troops in Tampa were ordered to Long Island to prepare for discharge.  On September 15, 1898, the Arizona contingent of the Rough Riders was officially disbanded and W. O. Huson and his comrades headed home with bittersweet memories of their “war” experiences.  [For more details, read The Arizona Rough Riders by Charles Herner.]

Saturday, April 1, 1899

Probate judge Frank last Monday issued a marriage license and performed the ceremony which made W. O. Huson and Miss Amanda Rappet of Fortuna man and wife.

In 1900, he was listed in the Federal Census as William O. Huson, an attorney living in Yuma, Arizona with his wife Amanda he had married in 1899, who was a French immigrant of 1892, and whose parents were Belgian.

In 1904 he was living on Laguna Street in San Francisco, where he was listed as William Oren Huson.  He has so far not been found in the 1910 census.  He was listed as being in Klamath Falls, Oregon in 1914 at the time of his father’s death.  In 1920, the census lists him in Imperial County, California, working as a farm manager, with a wife named Margaret L. (Billings).  She is listed on his death certificate as his wife, the daughter of William Billings of Ohio.  Willis O. Huson died in the V. A Hospital in San Francisco on October 28, 1950.  No obituary was found.  His death certificate lists the cause of death as bronchial pneumonia, due to myocardial decompensation, due to arteriosclerotic heart disease.  It also lists him as a retired U. S. mail carrier living at 164 Beulah Street in San Francisco at the time of his death.  He was still married to Margaret.  Willis was buried in the Golden Gate National Cemetery by the Duggan’s Funeral Service on October 31.

Memories of W. O. Huson by Thelma (Patton) Bowers

Willis was in the Spanish-American War of 1898 with Cuba as a 1st Sgt. in Troop C of the Rough Riders.  Mom [Edith] and he kept in touch. He and his wife used to come from Arizona to visit us in southern California quite often.  My brother Bernard was in Tucson once, and he discovered at the courthouse that William was a judge in Arizona at one time.  From Arizona he came to the Imperial Valley and stayed there until he retired in 1936,  He bought a home in San Francisco and lived there until 1952 when he died in Veterans Hospital in Oakland.  He was buried in a Military Cemetery in San Mateo, California.  He was a good ole’ fella.  We missed him.


Memories of Willis Oren Huson by Pauline (Huson) Scafidi

As for my grandfather,Willis Oren Huson, I remember that he was a handsome man with beautiful snowy white hair.  We knew that he was a lawyer and a judge, but he became tired of that and left to work at the post office.  Apparently, my father sort of followed his life in some fashion, because he occasionally knew of him.  I met my grandfather, on two occasions; once when I was in high school, and again when I was in college.  The first time he just dropped in, unannounced and alone.  When we came home from school, there he was talking to my mother.  The second time he came by quite unexpectedly with a most unpleasant woman (wife no. 4, we were told).  They didn’t stay long, and disappeared, never to be heard from again.  For some strange reason he always came by when Father was at work.  It is rather amazing to learn later that my grandfather lived so close to us and yet never wanted to see his son or his grandchildren.  Willis George also remembers the only visit from him, when he came unexpected, stayed only a half hour, said very little, and left.

My sister Barbara saw Willis Oren’s death notice in the newspaper and persuaded our father to go with her to pay their last respects.  Upon arriving, Father would not go into the room because he felt that if his father didn’t want to recognize him in life, why should he go to his funeral.  Barbara went in alone and was greeted by his wife, who, upon finding out her relationship, immediately informed her that if she thought there was anything coming forth from the estate to forget it.  Barbara was shocked, because she just thought someone from the family should be there out of respect.  Willis Oren was dressed in the kilt of his Scottish clan.</p>

L – R: Thelma ???, Willis Oren Huson, Ilene ???

Willis’ son, Willis Edward Huson, married Paulina Marie Riechling.  They had four children – Willis George, 1917; Jeanne; Pauline; and Barbara.  Willis Edward died in San Francisco prior to 1977.

Willis Edward Huson (nephew of Doc Huson). Graduation from University of California, Berkeley. c. 1910

L – R: Pauline Huson, Willis George Huson, Paulina (Huson) Riechling, Jeanne Huson, Barbara Huson. Willis Edward Huson family. Wilis Edward was the son of Willis O Huson, brother of Doc Huson.

Willis Edward Huson (son of Willis O Huson and grandson of Doc Huson), Willis George Huson (son of Willis Edward)
The Willis Edward Huson Family by Pauline (Huson) Scafidi

Willis Edward Huson was born in Phoenix, Arizona December 11, 1888.  He lived with his mother, Florence (Grove) Huson, who was an actress and traveled extensively.  Since he spent so much time backstage, he read constantly because he was so lonely.  He especially loved poetry.  He memorized a lot while he was backstage with his mother.  There was a radio program when we were kids where the first line of a poem was given and a panel of four men had to identify what the poem was.  We always listened to it to see if our father would ever miss the answer.  He never did.  His mother died when he was about 11 or 12 years old, and he was sent to live with an Aunt Minnie in San Francisco.  He graduated from Lowell High School and went to the University of California at Berkley.  He wanted to study architecture, but he was also an excellent tennis player.  He had relatives by the name of Hodgekiss who wanted him to make a career of tennis.  In the meantime, he fell in love with Paulina Riechling, a catholic.  The family gave him a choice of tennis with financial backing but giving up Paulina, or he would be disowned.  He chose to become an architect and marry Paulina, so the family never spoke to them again.  Paulina tried to get together with the family several times, thinking that they might be interested in meeting the children, but to no avail.

Willis Edward went on to become a well-known architect, designing homes in San Francisco, the Peninsula, Pebble Beach, and Carmel.  He also worked on the Pan Pacific Exposition in San Francisco in 1913.  He did wonderful pen and ink sketches as well as charcoal drawings that were treasured by the family.

Willis Edward Huson died on June 28, 1960 of cancer, with a book of his favorite poet, Keats, on his nighstand.  He was buried with honors in the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno.  He had been an officer in the Naval Cadet Corps during World War I.

Paulina Marie (Riechling) Huson died in January 1982 at the age of 94 years of natural causes, and is buried beside Willis Edward.

Willis Edward and Paulina had four children: Willis George, Jeanne Marie, Pauline Therese, and Barbara Frances.

Willis George Huson married Dorothy D'Arco in 1941.  They had two daughters - Patricia Huson and Ellen (Huson) Frank.  Ellen and her husband Marty have three children: Daniel, a student at Sacremento State; and twins Lisa and Steven, both college students.

Jeanne Huson married Bruce Heiser, an architect.  They had five children: Gerald, a carpenter; Jennay Edwards, an accountant; Jane Storsetter, a homemaker; Kirk, a home designer; and Bruce, who sets up for conventions.  Gerald has a daughter, Sarah, and a son, Jason.  Jennay married John Edwards, and they have four children: Heidi O'Hare, a school teacher; Thomas Edwards, a paramedic; and Cassie and Roxanne, high school students.

Pauline Huson married Joseph Scafidi in 1949.  Joseph was Executive Director of the San Francisco Symphony.  They had four children: George Joseph, Anne Marie, Mark Edward, and Paul Thaddeus.

George is a financial planner and has two daughters, Jennifer and Emily; both in high school in Sonoma, California.

Anne, in 1975, married Craig Davey, who is in property management.  They have two daughters, Heather Marie and Lisa Marie; both in high school in Danville, California.

Mark Edward married Linda Valesquez in 1982.  They adopted a son, Gregory Willis, in June of 1995.  Mark is in the legal profession, and Linda is a psyiologist.  They live in Larkspur, California.

Paul married Joan Kania in 1982.  They have two sons, Daniel Joseph and Joseph Anthony, both in grammar school.  They live in Reno, Nevada.

Barbara Huson married Lawrence Caracciolo.  They had no children.  Larry died in 1992.  He was a maintenance engineer.  Barbara lives in Gardenerville, Nevada.


For the detailed story about Katie, see this story.

HATTIE “KATIE” HUSON was born June 15, 1866, probably in Belle Plaine, Benton County, in east central Iowa.  Shortly after moving to Buffalo, Wyoming with her family, KATIE HUSON was married to Ephraim Worth Ford on December 17, 1882 by Justice of the Peace, H. R. Mann, with her father, EDWARD WING HUSON and a man named John Paul signing as witnesses.  In the 1880s, EPHRAIM and KATE carried fancy name cards with a wide gold border, the upper left corner printed as if turned in, and a bow and the words “True Love” printed thereon in tiny script. Then, a glossy embossed colored bouquet of flowers, held by a lady’s hand with the words “Yours for ever” on the satin cuff, was glued at the cuff to the card so that the flowers covered the name “Mr and Mrs. E. W. Ford” until lifted up to reveal the name.

EPHRAIM had arrived in Buffalo in 1880-1881 and squatted on what later became Lot 24 in Block 18.  It is the lot on the east side of Main Street right at the main highway intersection by the Court House. During this time, Ephraim had carried plain name cards with the name “E. W. Ford” in large fancy script.

EPHRAIM homesteaded on a 160 acre lazy-L-shaped creek bottom plot in Section 10, T51N, R79W (W1/2NE1/4 & S1/2NE1/4) on Crazy Woman Creek near the Dry Creek Road in December 1881 and proved out on it in December 1886 (Book D, p535).  He sold the Lot 24 in Buffalo on September 18, 1884, for $1000 the same day he bought a deed for it from Juliet Hart for $10.  At that time they probably moved to the Crazy Woman homestead.  EDWARD WING and CLARRISA HUSON moved onto their 1/4 section homestead immediately to the west of Ephraim and Kate in 1885. EPHRAIM and KATE also lived on the prairie near Beckton and Big Horn in 1888.  They may have suffered severe losses in their stock in the winter of 1886-7, and EPHRAIM may have had to work for one of the big ranches in the Beckton/Big Horn area to survive.  They had three children: Mabel in 1885, MYRTLE in 1886, and Harry in 1888.

In August or early September of 1889, KATE (HUSON) FORD is thought to have had a stillborn child, and she and EPHRAIM sold their homestead on October 8 to Wickerd Ervin (Book E, p255) and went to his brother Jim’s ranch in Osborne County, Kansas with their children and belongings, including a herd of 35 cattle, calves, a bull, three horses, and a wagon; and perhaps the body of the stillborn child.  KATE died on December 9, a month after arriving, and is thought to be buried in the Cole Cemetery along with the body of the still-born child, to be joined by EPHRAIM’s loyal brother Jim, who tended her grave until he died two years later.  Three small FORD headstones mark the graves.  The Cole Cemetery is about two miles from Jim Ford’s ranch.  There is also a Pine Bluff Cemetery hidden in a woods at the edge of Jim’s ranch that is about the same size as Cole, but there are no Ford headstones.  No listing exists for either cemetery.

EPHRAIM returned to Indiana in 1900, from where his parents had started west, and went to the “Springs” in southern Indiana near Orleans to heal.  He put the children in separate foster homes.  He was married to Mary Alice Johnson of Orleans, Indiana from 1892 to about 1902 with one child, then separated or divorced.  He died at his sister Matt (Ford) Rooker’s home in Zionsville, Indiana in 1904.  He never reclaimed the three children.

Carrie Belle “Clara” Huson

Carrie Belle “Clara” Huson was born on November 15, 1867, in Belle Plaine, Benton Co., Iowa, as listed on her death certificate.  In the early 1880s, she carried white name cards shaped like a lady’s slipper with the fancy features of the shoe (bow and other markings) embossed on the card, and the name “Carrie Huson” in fancy script on the inside sole.  She married Billie Hunt in Buffalo, Wyoming on July 4, 1883 and they had four children: Gertrude, 1887; Ula Lucina, 1889; Helen A., 1891; and Willie A., 1893.  Billie Hunt ran a livery stable in Buffalo. In 1900 she and her three youngest children were living at Harry’s place at Spotted Horse with their grandmother, Sarah Pattengill.  Her eldest daughter, Gertrude, was living or visiting with the Thomas and Lizzie Avent family in Burlington, Wyoming.  At the time of her father’s death in 1914 she was listed in his obituary as living in Sheridan, Wyoming.  However, in the 1912-13 Sheridan City Directory, she is listed as having moved to Billings, Montana.  She later married Theodore Calvin Fountain from Oregon, who was nine years her senior. They lived in Washington, where her husband was a foreman at a sawmill along with Wing Huson, Clara’s brother, in 1920, in Blue Slide Precinct, Pend Orielle County.  They were still there at the time of Clarissa’s death in 1932.

At the time of her death, Carrie was a housewife living at 4770 South 9th Street in Seattle, Washington.  After a sixteen day stay in the King County Hospital there under the care of Dr. L. B. Kirchish, Carrie died of coronary artery schlerosis on March 10, 1952 at the age of 85.  She was buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Seattle on March 14, 1952.

Asa and Sattie Huson

Asa and Sattie Huson (twins) were born on July 27, 1869, probably in Belle Plaine, Benton Co., Iowa.  They died on September 16, 1869.

Jennie B. Huson

Jennie B. Huson was born January 8, 1872, probably in Belle Plaine, Benton Co., or Council Bluffs, Iowa.  In the mid-1880s, Jennie carried the same type of slipper-shaped name card as Carrie, with the name “Jennie Huson” printed in fancy script on the inside sole.  Jennie (18) was married to Theodore H. “Ted” Weeden (36) on November 17, 1888 by clergyman J. C. Rollins at the home of E. W. Huson, her father, with J. E. Chappell, a watchmaker and jeweller of Buffalo, as witness.  They had one daughter, Sylvia.

Ted Weeden was the wagon boss for the TH Ranch south of Buffalo prior to his marriage.  He then bought into a clothing store in Buffalo and later a livery business.  Later, he owned saloons in both Buffalo and Kaycee, Wyoming.  Ted bought the Clearmont merchantile store owned by his wife’s brother, Fred Huson.  He worked there five years before incorporating with Joseph Stone and Ben Nolan, the store being renamed the Weeden Merchantile Company.  Ted sold his interest and retired in 1919.  Later he became Vice-President of the Clearmont State Bank.

Jennie died on June 15, 1899 at the age of 27, and is buried in the Sunnybrook Cemetery at Clearmont.  In 1910, Ted and Sylvia were living in Clearmont at the home of his niece Jennie Freede.  In 1920, the census found him living alone at the age of 65 years on Front Street in Clearmont.  When Theodore died in Clearmont in 1936, he had his ashes scattered over Jennie’s grave.  Sylvia reportedly married Jack Ekstrand, a San Francisco newspaperman.  She also reportedly married a man named Peters, and they lived in Kennewick, Washington until he died.  As far as is known, she had no children.

Sadie Clarissa Huson

Sadie Clarissa Huson was born January 16, 1873 in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, Iowa as listed on the Mormon records.  In the mid-1880s, Sadie carried the same type of slipper-shaped name card as Carrie and Jennie, with the name “Sadie Huson” printed in fancy script on the inside sole.  She also carried the same type of fancy name card as Kate Huson, except the words in the corner were “My wish”, and the words on the lady’s cuff were “Accept my fondest love”.  Under the bouquet was her name, Sadie Huson.

Sadie (17) was married to Ezekiel “Zeke” Arrington III (27) of Texas on December 8, 1889 in the Occidental Hotel in Buffalo, Wyoming by clergyman J. C. Rollins with J. T. Wall, stagecoach driver, and  J. E. Chappell, jeweler, of Buffalo as witnesses.  Sadie used the name Sarah Jane Huson on her marriage certificate.  They lived in the Clearmont area and had five children: Minnie Lee, Ethel Pearl, Hilliard “Hillie” E., Ezekiel IV, and Raymond Courtney.  Ezekiel worked as a roundup foreman.  They reportedly lived near a cave which provided them with coal for their home and storage for their ice in summer.  “Zeke” is said to have been a rodeo performer.

Ezekiel Arrington III (Sadie’s husband, Doc Huson’s son-in-law)

In the 1900 census, Sadie was living at home with their children Minnie (9), Ethel (7), Hillie (6), Ezekiel (3), and Raymond (1), while Zeke was working as a roundup foreman somewhere else in the county and had five cowboys boarding with him, and a cook..

Sadie died on May 25, 1901 and is buried in the Sunnybrook Cemetery at Clearmont.

Sheridan Enterprise, Sheridan, Wyo.,

June 1, 1901

Mrs. Sadie C. Arrington, wife of Ezekiel Arrington of Clearmont, died at her home in that village Saturday May 25.  Mrs. Arrington, whose maiden name was Miss Huson, was born January 16, 1873.  She was married to Mr. Ezekiel Arrington at Buffalo, Wyoming, December 8, 1889. She leaves a husband and five small children to mourn her loss.  Short funeral services were held at the family residence and the remains were interred in the Clearmont cemetery Monday afternoon.

Ezekiel then moved the family to Mesquite, Texas, and began farming.  He married Lillian “Lillie” Novia Rowland on July 13, 1907 in Dallas.  Ezekiel then worked for the Corps of Engineers at lock and dam construction sites on the Trinity and Brazos Rivers.  Ezekiel and Lillie divorced about 1924 after having two sons, and she married her stepson, Ezekiel Arrington IV.

Ezekiel Arrington III lived at the Corps of Engineers’ houseboat office at Harrisburg, Texas, until he retired.  He died October 10, 1938 at Houston.  Lillian had died there March 28, 1933.

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Huson

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Huson was born on March 15, 1875, probably in Council Bluffs or Tabor, Iowa.  In the late 1880s, Lizzie carried the same type of slipper-shaped name card as Carrie, Jennie, and Sadie, with the name “Lizzie Huson” printed in fancy script on the inside sole.

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Huson

Lizzie (17) was married to Thomas Lewis Avent (32) on November 26, 1891 at the home of Mr. T. H. Weeden by gospel minister A. E. Gardner with Mrs. T. H. Weeden and W. H. Bowser of Buffalo as witnesses.  Tom Avent had been born in Houston, Texas on August 14, 1858.

Tom Avent, Elizabeth (Huson) Avent (daughter of Doc Huson). Wedding picture in Cheyenne, WY on Nov 26, 1891.

Tom and Elizabeth had nine children: Preston Nevel, Ivan Mervin, Ross Irvin, Eula Sible, Lois Nina, Shola Myrtle, Clara, Marvin Edward, and Fred Woodrow.  At the time of the 1900 census, they were living in Burlington, Wyoming where Tom had a general store.  At home were Lizzie (25), Preston (7), Ivan (6), Ross (4), a one-month-old daughter [Eula], and a niece, Gertrude Hunt (13) [apparently Carrie (Huson) Hunt’s daughter, possibly visiting].

L – R: Tom Avent, Preston Avent, Eula Avent, Ivan Avent, Lois Avent, Ross Avent, Elizabeth (Huson) Advent (daughter of Doc Huson). Photo taken about 1904. Lois was born in 1902. Next baby was born in 1905. Elizabeth died in 1918.

In the 1910 census, they were living in Hot Springs, Owysee County, Idaho where Tom (51) was farming.  At home were Lizzie (36), Preston (17), Ivan (16), Ross (13), Eula (9), Lois (8), Shola (5), and Clara (3).

Thomas and Elizabeth Avent home in Klamath Falls, Oregon
unknown (daughter), unknown (daughter), Elizabeth [Huson] Avent (Doc Huson’s daughter)
same as ju112.jpg
Elizabeth died on November 10, 1918 in Mountain Home, Idaho, of progressive muscular atrophy and was buried there in the Mountainview Cemetery.

By the 1920 census, the family had split up.  Eula (19), Shola (15), Clara (13), Marvin (9), and Fred ((8) were living with their brother Ivan (25) in Elmore County, Idaho.  Their older brother Preston (26) had married and was living with his wife Sarah (21), and sons Ronald (2), and Jack (1) on Alamo Avenue in Burley, Cassig County, Idaho.  Preston had apparently moved to Washington and back during the previous year or two, since their son Ronald was listed as being born in Idaho, and Jack in Washington.  They may have just stayed with relatives there for a while.

Their father, Tom, had apparently started tending sheep in the Idaho mountains by this time.  He later moved to Oregon, and died January 20, 1927 in Portland.  He was buried there in the Rose City Cemetery.

Marvin Avent (son of Elizabeth (Huson) and Tom Avent and grandson of Doc Huson). 1937
Eunice Avent, Marvin Avent (son of Elizabeth Huson and Tom Avent and grandson of Doc Huson). 3/12/1993

Memories of Marvin Avent

My father’s family owned slaves in Texas, but when Lincoln freed the slaves, they refused to leave because Dad had given them some land of their own to work for themselves.

Dad drove trail herd from Texas to Wyoming in the early days.  He and Kendricks, who later became governor and senator of Wyoming, took books as part of their pay.

Dad also went through the cattle wars in Wyoming when the cattlemen and sheep herders fought over the rangeland.

After Dad and Mother were married, he and his brother started a cattle ranch near Burlington, Wyoming east of Cody.  Later he sold out to his brother and ran a store in Burlington.  It was a small country store that sold everything from horse collars to groceries.  Later, Dad moved the family to Klamath Falls in south-central Oregon.  After a time in Oregon, Dad moved the family near Riddle, a small town in the sparsely populated southwest corner of Idaho, where he started a cattle ranch.  Dad, two of the boys, and Mother took up homesteads there.  Dad and the boys built a reservoir and made some nice meadows for hay.  I don’t remember everything, as I was pretty young.

I do remember Mother driving the wagon with a span of mules and taking my younger brother and me to the Post Office, which was several miles from the ranch.  She wrapped the reins around the brake handle and went in and picked up the mail.  When she came back, she reached over the wheel to get the reins when the mules suddenly took off with her hanging over the wheel and ran over a fence.  She finally got them stopped and took us home.  We were about three and five years old at the time, but I will never forget this accident.  I don’t think Mother ever recovered from her injuries, as she was in bed for quite a long time.

Dad sold the ranch and moved us to Mountain Home north of Riddle where Mother could be near a doctor.  She passed away in 1918.

After Mother died, Dad took a band of sheep to the mountains in Idaho near Mary’s Creek.  My younger brother Fred and I spent the summer with him.  We lived in a tent and cooked our meals on a camp fire.  Dad had a three-legged cast iron Dutch oven and he would set it on a bed of coals and make the best biscuits, stews, etc., that I ever ate.

Dad would graze the sheep to water in the morning, and Fred and I would clean up the camp and make a lunch and meet Dad at Mary’s Creek. We were camped in a grove of quaking aspen trees.  They are spooky looking as they are white with black spots on them and the leaves shimmer all the time.

One morning we had cleaned up camp and were ready to go meet Dad when a cougar screamed right in the trees where we were camped.  If you have never heard a cougar scream, it’s just like a woman in mortal agony only much louder.  When we didn’t meet Dad, he came looking for us to see what had happened.  He found Fred and me under the mattress with Dad’s rifle pointed at the tent door in case the cougar came in.

At night when the chores were done and we were in bed, Dad would tell us about things that happened during his days on the cattle trail from Texas to Wyoming; about brushes with Indians and how they had swam the rivers with the cattle; and how they had to give the Indians some of the cattle to keep them from running off the herd.

Dad had a long-barrel 25-35 rifle and he was an expert shot.  He very seldom missed when he shot at wild game.  They gave Dad the job of shooting wild game for the chuck wagon.

After that, our family was split up, with the younger kids staying with some of the older married brothers and sisters.  I stayed with my sister Eula and her husband Bruce Aaron.  In 1927 I came to Montana to go to school at Billings Polytechnic and I have been here ever since.

Gracie Huson

Gracie Huson was born on August 11, 1877, probably in Council Bluffs or Tabor, Iowa.  She reportedly died August 11, 1879.  [It is unlikely that she died exactly two years after the date of her birth. Probably the birth date is correct, and she died the same day]

Harry Henderson Huson

Harry Henderson Huson was born on August 16, 1879 in Tabor, Fremont County, Iowa.  He was a cowboy in the early days.  He homesteaded near the double crossing at Clearmont the day he turned 21 in 1900.  He worked for the Hi-Bar Dude Ranch in the Big Horns for 35 years.  Harry had money from his job, so he bought flour, etc., and gave it to the needy homesteaders nearby, much to the chagrin of some of the Huson family.

Harry H. Huson

Harry H. Huson (5th from left), Wing Huson (3rd from right)

Harry married May Knight in Sheridan County, Wyoming on June 7, 1905.

L – R: Harry H Huson (son of Doc Huson), Homer Huson (their son), May Knight [m. Huson] (Harry’s first wife); c. 1905
That same year Harry applied for a homestead of 120 acres which was an L-shaped tract contiguous on the two inside edges with the homestead of his parents at Lone Tree Draw which Edward Wing had purchased from his mother, Sarah Pattengill in 1892.

In 1910, Harry (30), May (22), and her seven year old son Homer were living in the lower Powder River area in Johnson County.  He was herding sheep.  May died later that year on October 4, 1910 and was buried in the Clearmont Cemetery among the Husons.

Fred and Harry were very close brothers.  Needing pasture for the horses, Harry bought and leased land in the Spotted Horse area.  Harry worked on the Dude Ranch in the summers, and Fred stayed at Harry’s place at Spotted Horse.

On August 8, 1910, Harry received the patent for the homestead next to his parents.

Harry was listed in the obituary as living in Buffalo in 1914 at the time of his father’s death. He married Laura H. Drier in Sheridan County on December 1, 1914.

About 1916, he applied for a 200 acre homestead in the Spotted Horse area , and received the patent June 2, 1919.  It was contiguous with the homestead which Clarissa had obtained at the same time.

In the 1920 census, Harry, a stockman, his wife Laura, and Frank Drier, listed as a servant, probably a brother of Laura’s, were living in the Clearmont area.  Laura died in 1922 at the age of 31 and was buried in the Arvada Cemetery.

Harry obtained another homestead in the Spotted Horse area of 320 acres adjoining his other one.  He received the patent October 26, 1921.  After apparently selling his original homestead of 120 acres in the Clearmont area, Harry obtained another homestead, of 120 acres in the Spotted Horse area .  He received the patent September 15, 1922.  This brought his homestead there to the maximum 640 acres.

The brothers had one misadventure in 1923 when Harry went with Fred and his family to Deer Park, Washington where their brother Wing Huson and Edith’s husband Theodore Fountain were foremen in a sawmill. Harry put up money for the business, but it didn’t work out, and Harry and Fred returned to Wyoming.

Harry met Mae Chase who was working at the IXL Ranch at Dayton, and they were married on September 24, 1927.

Harry H. Huson (son of Doc Huson), wife Mae (Chase) Huson. They were married in 1927.
Harry H. Huson and son Harry Marshall Huson.

After they were married, they moved from place to place leasing pasture, while Fred stayed on the place near Spotted Horse.  Harry was listed as living in Buffalo at the time of his mother’s death in 1932.  In 1939-40 they lived on Cottonwood Creek off Crazy Woman Road a few miles downstream from Doc Huson’s former homestead.  Harry ran a band of sheep there.  When the creek ran high, their three sons, Harry, Ed, and Russ, would climb the trees and swing across to a tree close by, then catch the school bus to Arvada.  Harry and Fred worked together at Spotted Horse cutting wood, etc.

In 1941, Harry moved his family to Clearmont and lived eight years in a two story house across the railroad tracks on Sheridan Avenue. Clearmont had a beet dump which Harry ran where farmers would haul their beets and dump them in piles.  Then Harry and Mae and others would load them onto freight cars.  It was back-breaking work.

They then moved to Buffalo.

Back L – R: Harry H. Huson (son of Doc Huson), Mae (Chase) Huson. Front L – R: Russ Huson, Ed Huson, Harry Huson.

Harry later died at the Sheridan Hospital on May 26, 1966 and was buried in the Willow Grove Cemetery in Buffalo.

Picnic picture showing Harry M. Huson (son of Harry H Huson and grandson of Doc Huson) Frederick Dale “Russ” Huson (son of Harry H Huson and grandson of Doc Huson) Vera Dabney [m. Huson] (wife of Harry M. Huson
Front Row : Marjorie Grenier [m. Bull] – Senior; Mary Severance [m. Enochs Leath] – Soph.; Harry Huson – soph.; Vera Dabney [m. Huson] – Soph.; Mary Catherine Smith [m. Fivecoats] – Junior Back Row: Velma Robinson [m. Drake] – Junior; Robert Frank Clabaugh – Junior; Darrell Clabaugh – Soph.; Frederick Dale Huson – Junior; Thomas “Johnnie” Shell – Senior; Walter Harry Fidler – Junior
May 28, 1966


BUFFALO - Harry Huson, 86 year old Johnson County pioneer, died Friday at the Sheridan hospital, and funeral services will be held Tuesday at 2:00 pm from the Adams Funeral Home with burial in Willow Grove Cemetery.

Mr. Huson was born Aug. 16, 1879 at Tabor, Iowa, and came to Johnson County in 1881 with his parents who homesteaded on Crazy Woman, and later moved to the Clearmont stagecoach stop.  As a young man he worked on roundups in the Clearmont and Powder River area, and for 35 years he worked at the Hi-Bar Ranch.  He ranched in the Buffalo area until 1941 and lived in Clearmont from 1941 to 1951, when he moved back to Buffalo.  He was married Sept. 24, 1927 to May Chase.

Survivors include his widow of Buffalo, three sons; Harry M., Casper, Ed of Buffalo, and Dr. F. Russell of Paris, France; a sister, Mrs. Frances Donaldson, Reno, Nev., seven grandchildren, several nieces and nephews.

Mae (Chase) Huson died in Buffalo in February 1989 and is buried with Harry in the Willow Grove Cemetery in Buffalo.

Frederick Grant “Fred” Huson

Frederick Grant “Fred” Huson was born on September 13, 1880 in Tabor, Iowa.

Fred Huson
Fred Huson

After meeting Esther Ely in Clearmont in 1908, Fred married her on September 16, 1909 in Sheridan.

Frederick Grant Huson (son of Doc Huson), Esther Melvina (Ely) Huson. Taken sometime after their wedding (9/16/1909).

They had five children: Violet Leah, Margaret June, Jessie Louise “Shortie”, Irma Ilene “Slim”, and Frederick Dale “Buck”.

Back L – R: Margaret June Huson, Violet Leah Huson Middle L – R: Esther (Ely) Huson, Fred Huson, Jessie Louise Huson [m. Amende] Front L – R: Frederick Dale Huson, Irma Ilene Huson

L – R: Frances “Fannie” (Huson) Donaldson, Violet Huson (Fred’s daughter).

Sheridan, Inn in Sheridan, WY in 2001. It was built and originally owned by Buffalo Bill.

On June 2, 1910, Fred acquired 160 acres of land in three parcels; S1/2NW1/4, NE1/4SW1/4, and NW1/4SE1/4, in T54N R80W S24.  They lived on a ranch or homestead near Clearmont, and their first three children were born there.  Then they lived on Harry’s place at Spotted Horse, while Harry worked at the Horton Dude Ranch.  Fred acquired 120 more acres of land on August 2, 1920: NE1/4SE1/4 and S1/2SE1/4 T54N R80W S24.

Fred and his brother Harry were very close brothers and worked as wranglers on several ranches in the Clearmont and Arvada area.  Later they were partners running cattle on Spotted Horse Creek known as Dana Cabins.  In 1920, the census showed Fred living on Harry’s Spotted Horse ranch with his wife, three daughters, and his mother, Clarissa.

Fred was known to be quite handy with a bullwhip.  One day he came upon a rattlesnake and popped it in the head with the whip.  One of the fangs flew up and stuck in his lower lip.  He pulled it out and squeezed his lip until he thought he had most of the poison out.  He was very lucky that he only got sick over the incident.

In 1923 they went to Deer Park, Washington, where Fred worked as a millwright at a sawmill along with Harry, Carrie (Huson) Fountain’s husband, and Wing Huson.  Their fourth child, Ilene, was born there in 1924.  When she was three months old, the mill failed, and they returned to the Spotted Horse ranch.

Their only son, Frederick Dale, was born in 1925 at Sheridan. Fred was so elated that he called him his little buckaroo, and the nickname “Bucky” stuck.  Fred continued working on Harry’s ranch until he died of pneumonia in the Sheridan Hospital on April 1, 1928.  He was buried at Clearmont.

Sheridan Post-Express, Sheridan, Wyo.,
Monday, April 2, 1928


All But Two Years of Life Spent in County

Frederick Grant Huson, longtime rancher of the Arvada community, died at the Sheridan County Memorial Hospital Sunday afternoon about 3:00 o'clock after a short illness.  He was 47 years old at the time of his death and had spent all but two years of his life in Sheridan County.

He came to Wyoming in 1882 with his parents.  His mother, Mrs. Clara Huson, is still living at [near] Arvada.  Those surviving are his widow, Mrs. Esther Huson, of Arvada; his mother, Mrs. Clara Huson, Arvada; four daughters: Mrs. Violet Lancaster of Arvada; Miss June Huson, Miss Louise Huson, and Miss Illene Huson at home; one son, Frederick Dale Huson, at home; four brothers: Harry Huson of the Horton HF-Bar ranch at Buffalo; Sam Huson of Arvada; W. E. Huson of Spokane, Wash.; and W. O. Huson, of California; and three sisters: Mrs. Fannie Donaldson of Everett, Washington; Mrs. Calvin Fountain of Washington; and Mrs. Edith Patten of Glendale, Cal.

Funeral services were held at the Clearmont Methodist church, Monday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock in charge of the Rev. E. K. Morrow. He was buried in the Clearmont cemetery beside his father's grave.

After his death, Esther and the children had to leave the ranch. Violet, the oldest daughter, married Leonard Lancaster, who was working on the ranch.  June, the second daughter, went to live with Aunt Fannie (Huson) Donaldson.  Jessie Louise went to stay with Sam and Mabel Huson for the summer.  Esther took the two youngest, Ilene and Frederick Dale and went to Missouri to visit her family for the summer.  Her father had died in June.  When she returned, she took June, Jessie, Ilene, and Dale to the Bert Smith place on South Prong Creek.  Grandmother Clarissa lived with them until she got very ill, and went to live with Sam and Mabel Huson at Arvada.  Esther and the girls then moved to the Perry Bryant place and lived there until 1933, when she married William Amende, and moved to his farm at Recluse, Wyoming.  William died in 1960 and Esther lived with her oldest daughter, Violet, and her family until her death in June 16, 1966.

Memories of Ilene (Huson) Terry

I do not remember a lot about our early days.   My father, Fred, died when I was four years and one month old.  I was born March 1, 1924; he died April 1, 1928.  We called our parents Mama and Daddy. Mama was a very quiet person and didn’t talk much.  If she told anyone anything, it would have been to my older sisters.  Shortie is the only sister left, and she doesn’t remember.

I do remember some things that happened at the ranch at Spotted Horse.  I can remember the ranch house, the bunkhouse, the chicken yard, the garage, the corrals, and the cellar.   I can remember sitting on Daddy’s knee when Mama got after me, and he was telling me to mind what Mama said.  I remember we had some geese and one old gander who chased me every time I went out of the yard.  It would grab my dress and shake it, and I stood there screaming for help. My sister, Shortie, would come and rescue me.  I remember our first radio.  It was the first one in the area.  Some of the neighbors came over to listen to it.  They came on horseback or in wagons.  It was in the winter, and just before dark a blizzard came up and they couldn’t go home, so they stayed all night. We kids gave up our beds to them.  I slept on a pallet behind the big heating stove.  I was supposed to go to sleep, but the stove was in the living room and that’s where the radio was.  So I listened and wondered where those people on the radio were hiding.

We had a big Buick car.  I can’t remember riding in it, but it was kept in a shed out by the corrals.  I think that is the same car that my sister Violet and Fanny Huson are sitting on in an old picture we have.

I can’t remember when Daddy died.  I do remember living in an apartment in Sheridan for a while.  It was cold and snowy, and my brother Buck and I watched kids sliding down the hill beside the apartment.  Daddy wasn’t there.  Later, Mama took Buck and me to Eaglesville, Missouri, and we visited her sisters and brothers. Shortie went to stay with Uncle Sam and Aunt Mabel Huson.  June went to stay with Aunt Fannie.  Violet had married Leonard Lancaster who had been working on the ranch.  When we came back from Missouri we stayed at the ranch a while; then Mama, June, Shortie, Buck, and I moved to Uncle Bert and Aunt Ruth’s place on South Prong.  We had a team and wagon, two saddle horses, and our personal things.  Mama couldn’t harness the horses, so June and Shortie did that.  Shortie had to stand on a bucket to do it.  It was a big team, and their names were Mike and Jum.  I was six years old and we went to the South Prong School.  We were there two years; then we moved again to Perry Bryant’s place on Spotted Horse.  We went to school there until 1933.  I think it was called Ivey Creek School.

In 1933 Mama met and married William Amende, a dry farmer.  He had a farm near Recluse, Wyoming</p>

Edith M. Huson

Edith M. Huson was born on September 16, 1883 in Buffalo, Wyoming. She married Frederick Leslie Patton on March 26, 1902.  They had five children: Irene, Bernard, Theodore, Earl, and Thelma.  In 1910 they were living near her parents in the Clearmont area.  Edith was a bookkeeper and was postmistress in Clearmont in 1914-15.  They tried farming in Wyoming for a while in the Spotted Horse area of Campbell County, but it didn’t work out.

They settled in Glendale, California about 1924.  Their last child, Thelma, was born there in 1926.  Edith started a dressmaking business in her home.  Her husband Fred became a barber and owned his own shop.  They were there 17 years.

In 1943, they retired to the San Fernando Valley and enjoyed building their own home with the help of their sons.  They raised their own fruits and vegetables.  Edith lived there until she had a stroke in 1961.  She was moved to the High Valley Lodge convalescent home in Los Angeles where she died four years later on May 12, 1965.  Her previous residence was at 11501 Gladstone Avenue in Lake View Terrace in Los Angeles.  According to her death certificate, Edith had suffered from generalized arteriosclerosis for the last ten years, and from cerebral arteriosclorosis with cerebral artery thrombosis for the last two.  She was buried by the Glen Haven Mortuary on May 17 in the Glen Haven Memorial Park.  Her son, Bernard E. Patton of Glendale, California, was the informant on the certificate.  Her husband Fred Patton had died in the same convalescent home the previous year.

Julia Huson

Julia Huson was born December 2, 1885 at the homestead on Crazy Woman Creek.  She died two weeks later on December 17, and was buried there.

Edward Wing “Wayne” Huson

Edward Wing “Wayne” Huson was born on November 7, 1886, probably on the homestead on Crazy Woman.  He married Mable Golden on February 29, 1909.  He worked as a herder on a stock ranch in the Clearmont area.   In 1910, Wayne and Mable and ten-month-old son Gerald W. were living in the Clearmont area close to his parents. He was working as a herder on a stock farm.  They had another son named Carl Wayne.

Wayne was listed as being in Spokane, Washington at the time of his father’s death in 1914.  He was listed in the 1920 census as living in Blue Slide Village in Pend Oreille County, Washington with an attorney partner, Lionel Campfield. Wayne was a planing foreman at a saw mill.  His sister Clara B. Fountain was a neighbor, living with her husband Theodore, who was also a foreman at the saw mill.  Wayne was joined in 1923 by his brothers Harry and Fred.  Apparently Harry put up the money to buy the saw mill.  The business failed in a year’s time, and Harry and Fred returned to Wyoming.

Wayne married Mildred Monroe as his second wife.  There were no known children.

Wayne was listed as being in Spokane, Washington in 1928 when his brother Fred died.

During the NRA days, Bill Donaldson, Jr., worked for Wayne at his lumber mill in Kinzua, Oregon.  Everyone worked for a while and then would be idle for a time.  Bill wanted to work all the time so he left and came to Reno.  While he worked for him, Wayne told him that “You will never amount to anything or have anything until you separate yourself from your family.”  Bill couldn’t do that.

He was listed as being in New York at the time of his mother Clarissa’s death in 1932.

About 1936 he married his third wife, Mabel Frances Krug.  They had a daughter, Carolyn F. about 1937.

In the 50s, he lived in Reno, Nevada for a year.  One day Bernice Donaldson’s boss was telling her about this fascinating man he met playing bridge.  She realized it was Wayne.  He knew Fannie lived there too.  Neither Wayne nor Fannie made an attempt to meet while he was there.

He married a fourth time, but her identity is not known.

He died on March 30, 1975 at the age of 88 in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida at the Manhattan Convalescent Center.  His residence at the time of his death was 6350 West Hillsborough, Apt. 7 in Tampa.  On his death certificate, he was listed as Wayne Edward Huson, born November 7, 1886 in Wyoming, widowed, and a contractor in the lumber business.  He had at some time officially changed his name.  The informant on the certificate was Charles H. Wells of the same address; either a roommate or neighbor.  The body was cremated by the West Coast Crematory in St. Petersburg.

Memories of Wayne Huson, by Carolyn F. Huson

Most of my knowledge is what my dad told me. As a young man he worked for Diamond Match, although I don’t know in what capacity.  At the time he and my mother, Mabel Frances Krug, met, he was working in Spokane, Washington as a city engineer, and she taught school there.  I don’t know whether they married  there or after they moved east.  At the time I was born (Jan 2, 1936) she was teaching math and remedial reading at Bronxville High School, and we lived for most of those years at 11 Wild Way, in a house they had built.  During this time, he had a sales office for Huson and Son Lumber Co., in the Grand Central Railroad office building, in New York City.  He spent about half time with us, and half time in Grants Pass, Oregon, where the lumber mill was.

At some point in his youth he was apprenticed to a baker/candymaker and when I was a kid, he made candy in huge batches every Christmas to give to our neighbors.  His caramels were particularly good.  When I was a pre-teen, he made it for sale for a while, under the Wayne’s name.  At this time, my mother had a book and gift shop (I don’t remember its name) near the hospital in Bronxville, and the candy was sold there.  I wish I had the recipes.

I don’t remember ever hearing him talk about any of his brothers or sisters.  The only relative of his I ever met was a cousin named Sylvia, who was considerably older than he.  She visited us during the time we owned Red Shield Farm.  I never heard him mention his mother.  He said that his dad was a doctor and missionary to the Indians.  He believed in God, but despised any kind of organized religion and all preachers.  My assumption was that this related  to his father.

He only mentioned one previous marriage, to Carl’s mother [Mabel Golden], and never mentioned other children of that marriage.  Nor did Carl ever say anything about having brothers or sisters.  Either Dad or Jean, his secretary, once said that Carl’s mother was an alcoholic who was in and out of mental institutions, and that her problems were due to being a victim of incest as a child.

Dad always had many interests in addition to his job.  When he was out west he did a lot of fishing.  At our home in Bronxville, he had a greenhouse and propagated plant specimens from all over into beautiful landscaping shrubbery for the house.  When that became less interesting, he built a workshop, where he made a silver clock which I still have, and jewelry boxes, and a hi-fi cabinet.  Some time in the late 40s he got the gentleman farmer bug, and bought Red Shield Farm near Goldens Bridge, New York.  Then he bought a bunch of fancy black Angus cattle and went into cattle breeding.  We also had horses (which was my favorite part), sheep, pigs, chickens, and an orchard.  This lasted about five years.  We spent all our weekends and vacations there.  He and my mom were avid duplicate bridge players and had many friends in Bronxville with whom they played.

In the early 50s, he lost the business, which by that time was no longer with his son Carl.  He said it was due to some extent to dishonesty of his then partner, in addition to changes in demand for the type of lumber he produced.  Before he could do much about starting up again, he developed catartacts in both eyes, and the operations left him with a lot of vision problems.  In an attempt to start up a business again, they sold the Bronxville house and spent a year living in Reno, Nevada.  This didn’t work because of his eyes, and they went back to Bronxville and lived in an appartment.  At this point, my mother, who had been playing lady of leisure for a number of years, went back to teaching in Bronxville.  I was in college at the time at Wellesley, but thanks to a college insurance policy taken out when I was born, my college was not interrupted.

In 1959, while I was a graduate student at the University of Chicago, my mother died of brain cancer, and my dad came out to Chicago to live with me.  He could see well enough to get around, but not enough to do much except watch TV, read a bit, and play solitaire.  We had a decent 2-bedroom apartment, and lived on my research assistant salary plus his social security.  This lasted a couple of years, and then he found his social isolation such that he preferred moving back to Bronxville.  At some point he married a widow (I think her name was Louise Anderson, but I am not at all sure), who had been my mother’s friend.  The two couples had been bridge friends, when all spouses were alive.  He moved in with her, but that did not work out and they divorced and he moved into an apartment by himself.  However, Bronxville was so cold that for several months of the year he could not get out at all, so he finally moved to Clearwater Creek, Florida, where he lived in a retirement home that was kind of like a motel.  I don’t remember the name of it.  When he could not take care of himself any more, he was put in a nursing home, where he died in a few months.  1975 sounds about right, because I came back from Santa Barbara in 1972.  Some time between these dates, I saw my half-brother Carl for the last time.  He was in Chicago on business (whatever that was) and called me.  I tried to get him to help support Dad, but he said he felt that was up to me, because I had been around for all the rich years, and his youth was spent while his parents were poor.  He never called again.


Memories of Wayne Huson by Pauline (Huson) Scafidi

Many years ago my parents, husband Joe, sister Barbara, and I were in Reno.  My father always looked up Husons in the phone book, and came upon Wayne Huson.  We met at the Motel, and he was a delightful person, telling us stories of the family.  He mentioned his sister, Wilma[?], who lived in southern California.  She had two sons, one of whom was an artist for Walt Disney Studios.

Frances “Fannie” Huson

Frances “Fannie” Huson was born on January 3, 1890, probably at the homestead on Crazy Woman Creek.  She married William Donaldson, a carpenter, on January 30, 1908.  He was the son of George Washington Donaldson.

William Donaldson and wife Frances “Fannie” (Huson) Donaldson.

They lived for a while in Clearmont.  William was a freight depot agent there according to the 1910 census. They were there in 1914 when her father died.  They had three sons, Harold, William, and Jim.  About 1916, they had a homestead at Tick Ridge on Crazy Woman Creek south of Clearmont for a while, but the Sheridan National Bank foreclosed on them.  About 1919, Bill and his brother, George Donaldson, Jr., also a carpenter, built a large two-story house in Clearmont for their parents and family.

Front L – R: William Donaldson, Fannie Huson [m. Donaldson] (Doc’s daughter) Back L – R: Jim Donaldson, Harold Donaldson, Bill Donaldson Jr.
same as JU110.jpg
Helen ?, Harold Donaldson, Fannie (Huson) Donaldson. Sheridan, WY. 1932

L – R: Donaldson son, Fannie (Huson) Donaldson (daughter of Doc Huson), Donaldson son

About this time, Bill and Fannie and their three sons moved to Washington, and were living in Seattle during the 1920 census.  William was working as a streetcar driver, while Fannie was at home with Harold (9), Bill (5), and Jim (3).  They were in Everett, Washington in 1928 at the time of her brother Fred’s death.  Willam Donaldson died there on July 9, 1930, on son Bill’s sixteenth birthday.  Fannie was listed in obituaries as being in Arvada, Wyoming in 1932 when her mother died, and in Reno, Nevada in 1966 when her brother Harry died.  Her son Harold died in a fire in an oil truck accident, and Jim died of cancer.  Fannie died on June 17, 1975 in Reno, Nevada, and was buried there in the Mountain View Cemetery, along with her son Harold.  Son Jim is buried in the Veteran’s Cemetery in Portland, Oregon.

Thursday, June 19, 1975


Frances L. Donaldson, 85, of Fernley, a longtime resident, died Tuesday in a Reno hospital after a lengthy illness. Born in Clearmont, Wyo., Jan. 30, 1890, her father ran a stagecoach stop where she met Buffalo Bill and Calamity Jane. She was graduated from the University of Wyoming with a teaching degree and taught in a one-room school near Clearmont. She lived in the Reno area since 1932, and was first employed as greeter at Harolds Club.  She later became known as a Bingo Queen, frequenting William Harrah's small 1940s establishment. She also ran a rooming house on Lake and Plaza streets and cooked at ranches around the area. Her son, Jim Donaldson, who died in 1973, worked as a local singer and in vaudeville. Surviving are a son, William H. Donaldson of Fernley, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. A funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at Walton Funeral Home, Reno.  Burial will follow at Mountain View Cemetery.

Memories of William Donaldson, Jr.

(stories told to him by his mother, Frances (Huson) Donaldson)

At one time [probably in Iowa or at Trabing, Wyoming], Willis “Will” was out playing with his small dog when several Indians rode up and took Willis and his dog.  It is not known how long they had him. Some other Indians came by the house with the small dog following. “Doc” Huson said to them, “That looks like my son’s dog,” and explained to them what had happened.  Some time later, the Indians returned Will to the family.

In Wyoming, not long after the Husons had built the stone house at Lone Tree Draw, an Indian stopped by and tried to push the house down. He expressed great surprise that he was unable to do so.

In the two decades bridging the turn of the century in the Clearmont area, the Huson family encountered some of the most famous characters of the west, including Tom Horn, Joe Lefors, and many of the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang.  In fact, Lefors, the famous lawman, reportedly stayed with the Husons once when he was in pursuit of the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang.

In his autobiography, Wyoming Peace Officer, Joe LeFors tells how he went to Buffalo, Wyoming on a cattle drive in 1885.  He stayed there and worked for the Murphy Cattle Company (Flying E Bar ranch) 18 miles north of Buffalo on Piney Creek.  In 1887 he went to work for the Wyoming Land and Cattle Company just below Arvada.  A year later it moved 4 miles south of Buffalo at the TH ranch.  He tells how “Theo Weeden [Jennie Huson’s husband] was the wagon boss and “above the average in honesty”.  In 1889, Theo quit the TH and Joe LeFors succeeded him as wagon boss.  During 1892-1900, LeFores worked for the state of Montana as a Livestock Inspector to recover Montana livestock which had been rustled and taken to Wyoming.  Rustling was rampant, and the rustling cowboys who were caught and blackballed by the ranchers went to the “reservation” (later called the Hole-in-the-Wall) with their cattle.  LeFors spent most of his time in the Buffalo/Clearmont/Arvada area pursuing rustlers, even entering the Hole-in-the-Wall after them.  He later made Buffalo his permanent home and he and his wife lived out their lives there.

Memories of Fannie (Huson) Donaldson by Marvin Avent

I traveled the Montana and northern Wyoming area for over twenty years, and the road from Sheridan through Arvada and Spotted Horse used to be the main highway.  I drove it many times, and went right by the old Huson home.  This was in 1942-45 when I first met Aunt Fannie Donaldson.  Fannie contacted me at the Crescent Hotel in Sheridan, which is where I stayed when I was in the area.  She took me out to Clearmont and introduced me to Harry Huson and his mother and younger brother .  They showed me that big old family trunk with all the old family heirlooms, including that big old family Bible.  I don’t remember if Uncle Harry was there.  Harry Huson [Harry’s son] had an automotive repair shop in Clearmont and I always stopped to see him and he used to buy some auto parts from me.  I saw Fannie several times after that.  She came to Billings once to see me.  I visited her at Fernley, Nevada when she was in the hospital shortly before she passed away.  I liked Fannie.  She was an attractive lady and real friendly. She knew my father quite well and said he was a fine man.

I always used to visit Bill Donaldson [Fannie’s son] in Fernley, Nevada.  Bill had a cabinet shop there and he did the most beautiful cabinet work I ever saw.  Bill and I became quite good friends.  He had a lot of records of his family that he showed me when I visited him.

Samuel Tucker “Sam” Huson

Samuel Tucker “Sam” Huson was born on December 20, 1892 at the stone house near Clearmont, and lived there with his parents until he married.  He married Mabel R. Kephart on May 16, 1911 in Sheridan County, Wyoming.

Samuel Tucker Huson (son of Doc Huson), 1st wife Mabel (Kephart) Huson.

In 1920, Sam and Mabel were living near Fred Huson and his family at Spotted Horse.  About 1924, the children of a widower, Edward Cook, stayed with Sam and Mabel for the summer while school was out.  Mabel later ran off with a ghandi dancer and Sam divorced her.

He then married Myrtle Sanders Lincoln.  She had a daughter named Helen by a previous marriage.  When Myrtle died in August 1930, Sam was named guardian of Helen.

Sam married Alma Larsen on March 7, 1931.  They had a daughter, Lois Elaine.  He died September 3, 1932, six months after Lois’ birth. After Sam died, Helen did not want to live with her natural father, and the court awarded guardianship to Alma, who raised Helen to adulthood with her own daughter Lois.

Samuel Tucker Huson (son of Doc Huson), 3rd wife Alma (Larsen) Huson.

Samuel Tucker Huson (son of Doc Huson), 3rd wife Alma (Larsen) Huson.


Sam Huson holding his daughter, Lois Elaine Huson.


Sheridan Press, Sheridan, Wyo.,

September 4, 1932


Prominent Arvada Man Succumbs During Operation

Samuel T. (Sam) Huson, prominent Arvada rancher, died at the Sheridan County Memorial hospital Saturday morning.  His death was attributed indirectly to injuries he received nearly a decade ago when a horse fell upon him.

Mr. Huson, who was 40 years old, was born at Clearmont on Dec. 20, 1891, and had lived in this county virtually all his life.

He is survived by his widow; a daughter, Lois Elain Huson; a foster daughter, Helen Lincoln; three sisters, Mrs. Edith Patton of Glendale, Calif.; and Mrs. Clara Fountain and Mrs. Frances Donaldson, both of Washington; and by three brothers, William Huson of El Centro, Calif.; and Wing Huson of New York; and Harry Huson of Buffalo.

His mother died in January of this year.

Mr. Huson became suddenly ill Wednesday morning and died on the operating table at the hospital here.

The body is at the Champion Funeral home.  [Interment in the Bellevue Cemetery, Sheridan]

Alma married Faires E. (Ted) Wintermute in 1935.  Ted and Alma live in Sheridan in 1993, as does her daughter, Lois.


  1. Ruth Kingan, a marvelous lady who grew up long ago in Big Horn, Wyoming but went to New York after marrying, saw my Huson query in New York, and referred me to Alma Wintermute in Wyoming.
  2. Alma Wintermute, another marvelous lady, who shared what she knew of the Edward Wing Huson family and gave me my first connection to the Huson cousins in Wyoming.
  3. Edie Martin; Marcia Knowles, and Mary Huson for freely sharing their research on the Husons.
  4. Suzanne Kulp, who shared her research on the early Quakers in the great migration from east to west New York.
  5. Cleo Claybaugh of Arvada, who helped guide me in the right direction as I started the research in Wyoming.
  6. Harry Huson, for his help with Harry H., and Fred Huson.
  7. Marvin Avent, for his memories of Lizzie and family and other Husons.
  8. Ilene (Huson) Terry and her sister Louise (Huson) Amende for the pictures and help with information on Fred Huson.
  9. Bill and Bernice Donaldson for their help with Fannie.
  10. Thelma (Patton) Bowers for her help with both Edith and Willis.
  11. Harry and Russ Huson, Alma Wintermute, and Lois Hall who met me on my September 1993 visit to the Buffalo/Sheridan area to see the ancestral sites, and who loaned me the great old pictures to reproduce.
  12. Gloria Jackson of Arizona for help on Willis.
  13. Nancy Jennings and Patty Myers of the Buffalo, Wyoming Library; and Helen Graham of the Sheridan Library for all the help they gave in helping me find the stories, obituaries, records, etc., that help so much to flesh out the history.  Also, the good people in the Johnson County Clerk’s office in Buffalo who helped me obtain copies of the old documents.
  14. John M. Arrington and Alton L. Johnson for their help with information on Sadie and Ezekiel; with a special thanks to Alton for sending me a “cleaned up” picture of Sadie.
  15. Alan Bunner of Alexandria, Virginia for sending me information on the descendants of my Huson branches, and his information on my line of the old Hughsons.
  16. My two sisters, Anna John and Martha Skillman, for their interest, encouragement and support of the family research.

John Ford and Elizabeth Dye

Story by Fred Gahimer. Cover Photo: Land of John Ford near Nevada, IA in 2000.
Children of John and Elizabeth:

 1. Mary Ellen
     Born:  April 12, 1839; Zionsville, IN
     Died:  August 15, 1839; Zionsville, IN

2. Mary Pricella
     Born:  April 11, 1841; Howard Co., IN
     Died:  April 4, 1874; Rock Creek Twp., Jasper Co., IA
     Buried:  Bevin's Grove Cemetery, Clemons, Marshall Co., IA
     Married: George See, Marshall Co., IA  December 25, 1866
     Children:  Sophia, James, Harriett, Conaway, Andrew

3. Sarah Parintha
     Born:  July 23, 1843; Howard Co., IN
     Died:  July 24, 1930; Buffalo Co., NE
     Buried:  Westlawn Cemetery, Omaha, NE
     Married: Alexander Boyce McCain; July 12, 1864
     Children: Dode, Orran Ford, Adell, Effie Maude, Elizabeth Gay & Isabella May (twins), Fannie Fern (Hewett), and Hattie (May) & Mattie (twins)

4. George Dye
     Born:  May 19, 1845; Howard Co., IN
     Died:  Jan. 25, 1912; Liberty Twp., Marshall Co., IA
     Buried: Bevin's Grove Cemetery; Clemons, Marshall Co., IA
     Married: Nettie A. Rooker, Polk Co., IA; Oct. 2, 1889
     Children: Chella E (Hale), Mary E., John W., Gertrude L.(Robinson), George S., Louis E., Lois, Gailerd B.

5. Martha Serepta "Matt"
     Born:  Nov. 27, 1847; Howard Co., IN
     Died:  Feb. 5, 1935; Lafayette, IN
     Buried: Zionsville Cemetery
     Married: James Webster Rooker; Dec. 23, 1880
     Children: None

6. John William
     Born:  July 28, 1850; Howard Co., IN
     Died:  Sept. 15, 1851; Howard Co., IN

7. William Nineva "Jim"
     Born:  Sept. 14, 1851; Howard Co., IN
     Died:  Dec. 23, 1891; Victor Twp., Osborne Co., KS
     Buried: Cole Cemetery, Covert Twp., Osborne Co., KS
     Married: No

     Born:  Feb. 14, 1854; Jasper Co., IA
     Died:  April 2, 1904; Zionsville, IN
     Buried: Zionsville Cemetery
     Married: Hattie "Katie" Huson; Buffalo, WY; Dec. 17, 1882
     Children: Mabel (McFatridge), Myrtle (Wagoner), Harry
     Married: Mary A. Johnson; Orleans, IN; Jan. 1, 1892
     Children: Oscar L.

9. Frances Emiline "Fannie"
     Born:  Dec. 27, 1857; Jasper Co., IA
     Died:  Feb. 26, 1932; Zionsville, IN
     Buried: Zionsville Cemetery
     Married: Paul J. Lang; Kattitas Co., WA; Feb 28, 1889
     Children: Nora (Shore), Myrtle (Stanley), Gene, Lloyd, Clyde

10. Effie Jane
     Born:  Nov. 24, 1859; Story Co., IA
     Died:  Feb. 16, 1937; Portland, OR
     Buried: Portland, OR
     Married: James H. Rice; October 25, 1884 in Big Horn, WY
     Children:  At least a son & daughter; names unknown

11. John Lincoln
     Born:  Aug. 15, 1863; Story Co., IA
     Died:  Oct. 11, 1863; Story Co., IA
     Buried:  Nevada Cemetery, Nevada, Iowa  with John and Elizabeth


1800 – John Ford and his wife [Mary] and one son were listed in the Federal Census in Ashe County, North Carolina, for the first time.  John became listed in the county history as one of the earliest of settlers, arriving 1790-1800.

1810 – John Ford was listed in the Federal Census with wife [Mary] and five children (4 females and 1 male), and three slaves.

1811 – John Ford, Jr., was born on September 22.

1820 – John Ford, Sr., and wife [Mary] were listed in the Federal Census in Ashe County as having five females and five males in their household plus one slave.

1830 – In the Federal Census, Mary Ford was the head of the household.  John, Sr., had apparently died since the 1820 census.  She had five males (including John, Smith, Ninava, and Ephraim) and five females in the household.  No slaves.

1838 – John Ford emigrated to Indiana 1830-1838, and he and Elizabeth Dye were married in Zionsville, Indiana by Warner Sampson, M.G., on March 11, 1838.

Elizabeth Dye Ford (wife of John Ford, mother of Ephraim)

1840 – John (28) and Elizabeth (20) are found in the Federal Census living in Zionsville next door to Elizabeth’s brother Jacob Dye and his wife.  John and Elizabeth’s first child, Mary Ellen, had been born the year before on April 12, and died four months later on August 15.

John’s brother, Smith Ford, was listed in the Federal Census as living in Ashe County with his own family, which included a female 50-60 years old; probably his mother Mary.  Two females, probably his sisters, were in the household also.

1841 – John (28) and Elizabeth (20) moved to Howard County, Indiana. Mary Pricella born April 11, 1841. Sarah Parintha born July 23, 1843. George Dye born May 19, 1845. Martha Serepta “Matt” born Nov. 27, 1847

1848 – John Ford received a letter from J. W. Mast, a lawyer in Sugar Grove, Ashe County, North Carolina, on July 12, telling him that he had “Sold land for $40 to G. M. Bingham and paid off various debts of John’s.”

Sugar Grove, N. C. 
10 cent postage
July 16
To: John Ford, Kokomo, Howard County, Indiana
From: Sugar Grove, Ashe County, N. Carolina, July the 12, 1848

Mr. John Ford

Dear Sir I have set down to inform you I have sold your land for forty five dollars in money.  I adverised it that I would sell on a certain day but there was not a man attended.  But G. M. Bingham he offered me the 45 dollars and no more and I excepted it he paid me the money and I made him a title and should have sent it to you before this time.  But Landrine Eggers talked of going to your county and I thought it would be safer to sent it to you by him than by the mail.  I thought that I would mail a part of it and forward it on to you.  I have not as yet been able to affect a settlement with Daved Lewis, he is holding some claims against you one from Jordan Councill for something over six dollars this claim  will have to be settle as it was taken out of his hands by as attachments he has another he says he got of you on Willis Megee for something over two dollars and he says he must have his pay out of the amount of the receipt and I find if I would allow him all his claims he is not willing to pay any interest on the ballance as he says that he has been ready to pay at any time when cald on how to settle with him about the note.  I do not know he has taken two judgments on the debt and could not find property to make the money out of and I do not expect that the money can ever begot of McGee as he cut his knee last January two year's ago and he was confind to his bed nearly two years and is now a criple and dose not work at all and is ensolvent.  You will please to as nite when these comes to and let me know all about how the note was traded to Lewis and how I must proceede about it whether to settle it out of the reciept or not I went to see Solomon Isaaks and his wife Sarah they informed me that soon after I got your first letter that they received a letter from Hugh Eggers with Twenty Dollars in the letter and they nor I neither know whether that is all that is coming to Sarah or not so I thought it would be best to send you a part of the money and you could inform me wether I should pay to her or not so I sill incloes twenty five dollars on the bank of the State of South Carolina all curent money.  Hear your mother is as well as could be expected for as old a woman as she is.  Your connections are all well as fare as I know.  Your brother in law Piolert Piolapt departed this life sometime last fall and your sister Polly Yelton has moved back from Tenneysie last fall.  Your mother  received a letter from Nannevi dated some time in March..  He writes that they Indians are some what troublesome in his country.  He was out two hundred miles from home after the Indians when he wrote the letter.  We had a tolorable moderate winter but the spring was wet and backward but our summer has been warm with the exeption of a few day about the midle of June when there was in several freazes an hard enough to kill the corn.  Our wheat crop are as good as the commonly get to be, oats are likely and forward corn looks very promising.  People are generally well though out this country as fare as my information extends.  With these remarks I conclude and remain yours most affectionately.

To John Ford                                    
J. W. Mast

1850 – The Federal Census lists John and Elizabeth Ford and children living in Howard County, Indiana and owning about $2,000 in real estate.  Mary, Sarah, and George are in school.

John William born July 28, 1850; died Sept. 15, 1851

William Nineva “Jim” born Sept. 14, 1851

The Federal Census shows John’s two brothers out in Oregon Territory.  Ninava (35 yrs) was farming in Clackamas Co., near Oregon City with his 20 year old Missouri wife, Martha, and their one year old son John J., who had been born in Oregon Territory.  Ephraim (29 yrs) was in Yam Hill Co., just west of Clackamas Co., in the northwest corner of Oregon Territory.

1852 – John Ford’s brother Nineveh wrote from Oregon City, Oregon Territory entreating John and Elizabeth to come west with their family.  He tells of their group finding about $5,000 worth of gold in California, including a single nugget worth $64 which he still had.  Their brother Ephraim Ford was with Nineveh, and had married the previous spring.


TO: John Ford,  Kokomo, Indiana
FROM:  Oregon Territory, Oregon City, March 16, 1852
John and Elizabeth Ford

Dear brother and sister

I can inform you that we rec'd yours of the 28 Dec. last which gave us great satisfaction to heare from you.  I have wrote since I returned from California.  Ephraim was married last spring to Miss Martha.Sarrijon.  We returned from California the fall after we went in the spring.  We had tolerable luck in the mines making near 5 thousand dollars between us.  I dug one piece of gold that was worth $64.

I have got it yet.  I wish you could come and see it.  I think you would like to dig some of the yealow stuff but if you was here you could get it and stay at home.  Those that stays at home does as well as those that goes to the mines, which you will see when I give you a feew facts.  The mines are being worked very extensively in Oregon in or near a rich fertile and in a healthy country.  You say that times is hard there.  You wish to know how land rates in Oregon is.  I will try to give you a general idea in relation to land here.  The Congress of the USA pased a law on the 21st Sept. 1850 granting to all american white settlers on the public lands over the age of 18 that was in Oregon at the pasage of the law or and those that got here before the first day of December 1850 one half section or 320 acres if he be single man, and if he be maried or shall become maried on or before the 1st day of December 1851 one section or 640 acres of land, one half to the wife and the other to her husband, the wifes half to be held in her own name.  The donation is extended to those that come since up to the first day of December 1853 in half the amount of the above.  So if you can get here before the 1st day of Dec. 1853 you can get 320 acres without paying anything.  One half to your wife which is one quarter section each after 1853.  I think land will be sold by government at $1.25 per acre.  If you have any notion of coming to this country, start next spring 1853, then you will git here in time to git your half section.  I can write as I have wrote before that this is the healthiest country that I have seen.  Winters are miled, summers plasant, not so hot as your summers.  Winters are so.....and mild that stock keeps fat all winter.  This winter past was near a total failure for snow.  I did not see one particle fall during the winter.  The best country for stock perhaps in the contenent.  They keep fat all the time without feeding.  When I say stok I mean all kinds.  Our beef is fater off of the range here than I ever saw it in the stats out of the stall.  Pork fat all the year and the range stock increases fast.

I have got letters from home generaly.  Brother Sinut died in '49.  His wife has maried again.  Syrena is maried.  I got a letter last summer from mother.  They condition was generly well.  I have wrote since and am looking for a letter now.  We are all well except colds.  Mrs. Ford is quit porly at this time with a cold.  Our little snow storm has set some of us to coughing.

If you do conclude to come to this country I would advise you by all means to sell out next fall and come to Missouri and winter there and start early in the spring with first that starts.  You will come with one and get you a good team at home.

I want you to write as soon as this comes and tell me what your calculations are and so I will know what to advise.  Never think of coming without our family.  It is too far.  Do not come without Elizabeth is willing.  Elizabeth, I wish you was here with your family.  I think you would be hapy and we would be brother and sister here.


Yamhill O. T.   June 9th  1852

Dear broth and sister,  threw the .... of diveme providence an blesses with the opertunity of writing you a few lines to let you know that we are still in the living and enjoying a tolerable .... of health at present wishing these lines may find you in posesion of the same blessing.

We have the pleasure of reading your letter baring date Decemba the 28  1851  which is a sorce of grate satesfaction to hear from you and to hear that you are still living and well but sarey to learn of your misfortune in loosing your child but we must be reconsiled to God as he is just in all things.

You requested us to write concerning our country as to climate.  I suppose yours are informed, but I will say that it is the best I have ever lived in with the acception of rain in the winter and as to agriculture purpeses fare before your country not withstanding it is a pore corn growing country but we can make that up in small grain and I find of late by manuring our land we can rase as good vegilables as you can in....., and as to stock rasing I believe we can but would, we can rase a hors or cow here with as you can a chicken there.

Land is what you would call high but if you wish to cum to this country do not let that stop you for I think you can make a living in this part of our republic easeyer than you can there at your prices

for produce.  Perhaps you wish to know how times is, times is good.  Health is good.  Money is plenty.  Goods is cheap.  Produce is high.  Good horses from 100 to 150 dollars american, mares from 150 to 200, cows from 50 to 75 dollars per head, sheep 8 dollars, hens one dollar, beef 8 dollars per hundred, pork 10, butter 50 cts per pound, egg 50 cts per dozen, wheat 1.25 cts per bushel, wages from $2 to 4 per day.

If you wish to cum to this country git you a well made light three hors wagon and three or fore yoke of cattle and start from Missouri about the first of aprile.  Start with only clothing and bedding to last you threw as it will not pay, start with plenty of provision and if you wish any further information write as soon as you can and I will answer the same and if you start to this country I want you to write to me before you leave Missouri and send your letter by the mail and when you git on the road write by the packers if you wish any asistance and I will try to administer to your wants.

If you calculate on emmigrating to this country I think it advisable to cum next spring so that you can have a chance to hold 320 acres of land under the donation act which will be out the first of December 1853 which is cum next year.  Nineveh is still living in Oregon city and was well the last acount and is making money very fast.  I am still marreyed and think I am settled for life as I am satisfide with this country that I can make faster and easer than any other in my knowing.

I have stock a plenty to answer my perpose and to spare and a moderate crpoe of grain and calculate on sowing plenty this fall for you and I in Pardenership.

I would be extremely happy to see you all but think sometimes we will never have the pleasure of meeting in this world but hope that we will meet in the next where parting and sorrow will never be nomore.

Direct your letters to Yamhill Co. Lafayette Po O. T.

We want you to give our love to your childer as we would be glad to see them.

So nothing more at present best remans your with respect.

From Ephraim and Martha Jane Ford


TO:  Mr. John Ford, Esq.,   Kokomo, Indiana
FROM:  Oregon Territory, Nov. 26, 1852

Dear brother and sister.  It is with much pleasure that we take the opertunity of writing you a few lines to let you know that we are still numbered with the living and enjoying a tolerable degree of health at present.  Wishing these lines may find you all in possession of the same blessing.  The last letter we recieved from you was dated December 28, 1851 which we answered before so that I do know that we share anything interesting to write to you unless it is in relation to your friends Joneses.  John Jones was at Nineveh's 4 or 5 weeks.  Since he stated that his father and brothers had got in about fifty miles of this place they had considerable sickness in the family while on the road, as there was much sickness in the last part of the immigration.  Jones could not giv any account what of your calculation was in relation to immigrating to this country but stated that your brother-in-law [Jacob Dye?] had sold with the calculation of immigrating to this country next season.

When Jones was here Nineveh and his wife was sick, but have got a bout health is generaly good with the acception of the immigration last to this country in consequence of experience on the way to this country.  If you calculate on immigrating to this country I think next season will be the best time in consequence of the donations being out in December will this country American mares from one hundred and fifty, hundred dollars cows from 50 to 100 dollars, 8 and 10 dollars per head beef, 10 pork per hundred, wheat 3 and 4 dollars per flour, 15 dollars per hundred, labor 2 and 3 dollars per day, lumber fifty dollars per thousand and other productions of the country in protion.  If you come to Oregon and wish to bring stock I will advise you to bring scheap or cows and be shore to start in the first part of the emmigration for the reason that their is not half the sickings in the first part of the emmigration as the last.  if you cum write before starting and while on the road as we can git your letter in a very short time by male.

I am here for the purpose of proving my clame to a donation write to 640 acres of land.  We are at the same burruls that we was when we wrote last to you.  I have a good crop in and sold the .... of six hundred hogs this season and some beef cattle.

We send our love to our cousins and be glad to see them and if you do not cum this aunt wants you to take that perty boys likness that you wrote about having blew eyes and black hare and send it to her but much rather see him..........(mostly illegible)

with respect

Ephraim and M. J. Ford

To John & Elizabeth Ford
direct your letter to Yamhil Lafayett or Oregon City

1853 – John Ford (41 yrs) and family headed west to the gold fields of California in a party of 40 would-be miners.  John became concerned about the danger to his family in continuing the trip west, and they lived for a while in Jasper County, Iowa.

Ephraim Worth born Feb. 14, 1854

Frances Emiline “Fannie” born Dec. 27, 1857

1858 – John Ford and family moved in the spring to Story County, Iowa, east of Ames, where they purchased a farm south of Colo, in New Albany Township about thirteen miles east of the county seat, Nevada.

1859 – John and Elizabeth Ford have Effie Jane, born Nov. 24.

1860 – The Federal Census shows them in Story County, Iowa with Mary (19), Sarah (16), George (15), Martha (13), William “Jim” (8), Ephraim (6), and Frances (2).   John’s assets had increased to $10,000 real estate, and $500 personal property.

1862 – John’s brother Nineveh writes to him from Oregon

State of Oregon
Wayco County

Sept. 7, 1862
John Ford

Dear brother

We recd yours last evening of the 22nd of last June directed to the post master at oregon city stating that you had not herd from Ephraim and we since 18.., heared that you and George Dye came to Iowa and stoped.  We did not learn where you was   we have wrote to our relatives in carolina but learned nothing   I had nearly given up all hope of evering hearing from you thinking that the colery [cholera] had swept you all off on the plaines   my [heart] leaped for joy when I opened your letter, this being the first that I have saw since you came to Iowa.  Ephraim is living where he first settled, in 2 miles of McMinville, yamhill co.  I am living in middle oregaon east of the cascads over 300 miles from Ephraim 627 miles west of fort Benton in the Walla Walla Valey.  look on the map and you will see where I live   I have been living here 3 years and am well pleased with the country   I have not hered from home for a long time   we have 6 chilaern [children] living and one ded   John Thomas Jefferson is nearly grone   our 2nd Mary Simpson died at 9 years old, 4 boys living and 2 girls   you perhaps are posted in relation to the development of this country concerning the gold mines, graizing and agricutureal pursuits   the miners are still making new discoverys of new digings   some 15 to 20 thousand miners and traiders in middle oregon.  This is the fastest country that I have heard of   towns going up in a few days   men taking out their weight in gold dust in a short time and thousands doing no good and spending fortions in a few days   I have not worked in the mines here yet for what would it profit a man to gain the whole world and loose his own sole   we hope to gain the selistial [celestial] city and too much gold is dead weight some times on that pilgrimage   he that will run let him lay a side every weight and that sin that so easly beset us, that sin I think is unbelief   I once was young but now am old and I never saw the children of the riceous [righteous] beging bread (Soloman)

We should not trust in uncertain riches so says christ     dear brother and sister we would be hapy to see you all in this life, but if we should not be favored with that opportunity let us strive to meet each other in heaven where our dear little ones are gon, our parents have long since gained that heaven, and we too are hastening to that unseen world when we shall bid farewell to this vain world of woe.

Wrie when this comes to hand   direct your letters to (Walla Walla Washington Territory)

no more at present only our best wishes and brother and sister until death

Nineveh & M. R. Ford

To John & Elizabeth Ford

1863 – John Lincoln born Aug. 15; died Oct. 11.

1864 – James Webster “Webb” Rooker of Mitchellville, Iowa, about 25 miles south of Colo, enlisted in the Iowa Calvary volunteers on March 1, at 20 years of age.  Wounded at the battle of Harpeth Creek, Tennessee on Dec. 18; shot in the eye; the ball entering the right and coming out under the left, destroying the sight of both.

James Webster “Webb” Rooker holding Harriett Rooker

John Ford (52) died June 19, and was buried near the home farm in Indian Creek Twp., Story Co., with young son John Lincoln.  He had been under treatment by Dr. Mark D. Shelton, who filed claim for visits and medicine.  At the time of his death, John Ford owned 520 acres in Marshall County, at least 84 acres in Jasper County, and 147 acres in Story County, for a total of 751 acres. Elizabeth stayed on the home farm near Colo, east of Nevada, and had the oldest sons George and Jim manage the various farms. The other son, Ephraim, went to Burr Oak, Kansas to farm with relatives.

Sarah P. Ford married Alexander Boyce McCain July 12, 1864.  He was a Civil War Veteran wounded at Shiloh.

Sarah Parintha Ford (Ephraim’s older sister)

1865 – James W. Rooker was discharged from the Iowa Cavalry volunteers at Keokuk, Iowa on June 1, by reason of blindness.  He received a pension of $50 per month starting on June 4, 1874.

Elizabeth Ford sold 204 acres of land in Jasper County.

1866 – Mary Pricella Ford (25) married George See (27) Dec. 25, 1866 in Marshall County, Iowa, just east of Story County.

1870 – Elizabeth Ford is shown in the Federal Census living in the Colo area on the family farm, about 13 miles east of Nevada in Story County, with her children George (25), Martha (22), William “Jim” (18), Ephraim (16), Frances (12), and Effie (9).  Only William, Ephraim, and Frances were in school.  Elizabeth’s assets were $4,200 real estate and $550 personal property.  Her son George had $1,000 in personal property.   Maria Romane, a niece, was living nearby.

In the 1870 census, W. Rooker is listed as a blind farmer in Franklin Twp., Polk Co., Iowa, just south of Story County, with his wife Martha and two year old son James.

1874 – Mary Pricella (Ford) See died April 4, and was buried in the Bevins Grove Cemetery north of Clemons in northwest Marshall County, Iowa.

187? – Sarah and A. B. McCain write to her sister, she on the front page, and he on the back page.


home matters, etc, etc  Aprile the 20

Dear Sister

After our love to you then comes the Home matters   Orra says he looks for aunt marth in the morning.  he said he went home to grandmaws to stay till aunt marth come home.  Orra hasent forgotning you nor never will   he gets newespaps and reads letters from you and Chella   wants too write to you. he can spell and read a little and count.  The prospect for fruit is good   mother thinks she will have som apels [some apples]   Seet [sweet?] folks came from Story today they were all well at home.  Anna is such a seet [sweet] girl.  She says she likes us well a nought [well enough] to live with us.

We think we might keep her.

[A. B. McCain]

Ephraim has rented my corn ground.  which will relieve me of much travelling this summer.  George was over some time ago and stayed with us three nights.  He informed us his intentions were to herd cattle this summer and probably a herd of colts.  George and Priscilla's folks are all in usual health.  They and Ephraim have gone to Story yesterday.  will be back to day.  How much do you get a month for teaching school.  Is it a subscription school of is it a district schooll.  I have no other news of importance that would interest you.  Nouthing more.

Yours forever
A. B. McCain

1878 – Elizabeth Ford was living in Colo, Iowa; but upon becoming ill, moved to Nevada, Iowa, about 13 miles west.

A. B. McCain is listed in the Directory of Marshall County as “a farmer in Section 14; P. O. Bevins Grove; owns 80 acres of land, valued at $30 per acre; born in Armstrong Co., Penn., in 1834; came to Iowa in 1856.  Married Sarah P. Ford in 1864; she was born in Howard Co., Ind., in 1844; have seven children – Owen, Jo, Ben, Adel, Effie Maude, Isabella M., Elizabeth G., and Fanny.  Are members of Methodist Church.  Enlisted in Company H, 13th Iowa V. I., in 1861, and was wounded in the battle of Shiloh, and was discharged in 1863 on that account.”

1879 – On March 28, Ephraim Ford, and the rest of Elizabeth’s children, received their share in the estate from Elizabeth’s guardian (probably George Dye Ford), and each signed a hand written receipt.

Rec'd of Elizabeth Ford Guardian
the full amount of personal property
due me and I release said Guardian
from all liability on my account -

Nevada, Iowa
Ephraim W. Ford
March 28, 1879

Elizabeth Ford (59) died intestate on December 7, and was buried at Nevada, with husband John and last-born son John Lincoln, (moved from their prior burial in Indian Creek Twp. near the farm) about 100 feet inside the Lincoln Way entrance and to the left (east) about 100 feet.  George Dye Ford arranged the funeral and burial.  He purchased three lots (Lot #24) in Block 3 of the Nevada Cemetery for $10, and a large gravestone for $225.  He paid James Green $12 to dig the graves, and to move the bodies of John and John Lincoln from the Indian Creek Cemetery  to Nevada.  Dr. George Stitzell was paid $16 for sick calls to Elizabeth from Nov 29 to her death on Dec 7.

Obituary - Died in Nevada, Iowa after a protracted illness, Mrs. Elizabeth Ford, whose obsequies took place at her residence in this city on the 9th inst.  Mrs. Ford survived her husband fifteen years and leaves a large and respectable family.  She became united with the M. E. [Methodist Episcopal] Church at an early period of life, and continued a consistent member of the same till her death.  Her house was not only always open to the ministers of the gospel, but her hospitality was of that liberal christian character toward all, which can be observed in the fine and the good at all times.


Jim Ford writes to Ephraim at Burr Oak, Jewel Co., Kansas telling of their mother’s death, and asking him to tell Aunt Sally (Dye) Harmon.


TO: Mr. E. W. Ford, Burr Oak, Jewell Co., Kansas    3c postage
Forwarded to Colo, Iowa (13 mi. E of Nevada); arrived Jan 9, 1880

Black border on envelope, used when there is sickness or death. 

FROM: Nevada, Iowa   Dec 8, 1879

Dear Brother,

With a sorrowful mind I will try and write a few lines to let you know that our dear Mother is gone forever. She departed last night, and will be buried tomorrow at 2 o'clock. I wish you could have been there. She spoke so often about you.

Let Aunt Sally [(Dye) Harmon] know of her death. So goodbye.

Write soon.
As Ever,  Your Brother

We will bury her in the Nevada Cemetery

1880 – George See filed for Letters of Administration for his two minor children by Mary (deceased) as heirs of Elizabeth Dye Ford.

Matt and Effie were living with their brother Jim Ford on the home farm in New Albany Twp., Story Co., Iowa. just south of Colo.

Ephraim Ford went to Wyoming.  Fannie and Effie joined Ephraim there later in the year..

In the 1880 census, James W. Rooker was listed as living in Beaver Twp., Polk Co., Iowa with his four children: Nettie (11), William S. (8), Martha E. (5), and an unnamed daughter of four months.  His wife must have died at the birth of the child four months earlier.  Matt Ford married the blind Civil War vet Webb Rooker, December 23.

DesMoines   Sept 5/81

Rec'd of Martha S. Rooker One Hundred Dollars to apply on Note of Margaret J. Rooker and James W. Rooker to Mary Singer dated December 20th 1876 for $400.

W. A. Young

1881 – Ephraim filed for a 160 acre homestead out on the desolate rolling prairie on Crazy Woman Creek near the Dry Creek Road about fifteen miles northeast of Buffalo, Wyoming.

1882 – Ephraim Ford married Hattie “Katie” Huson on December 17 in Buffalo, Wyoming at the home of her parents, Edward and Clarissa Huson, by Justice of the Peace, H. R. Mann, with her father, Edward Wing Huson, and a man named John Paul signing as witnesses.  Katie was 17 years old. (Marriage Book 1, page 16). They moved to the Crazy Woman homestead, and were joined there by Katie’s parents and children, who took up a quarter-section homestead adjoining theirs on the east side.

1884 – In January, Webb Rooker receives a letter from H. U. Dale.

TO: Webster Rooker, Mitchellville, Iowa,
Sent Jan. 25 from Centerville, Iowa,  1 ct postage
Arrived: Jan. 28
Centerville, Iowa  1-25-1884

Dear Bro. and Sister:  In compliance to your kind request I write.  I arrived home safely yesterday and found all well except Mrs. Dale was suffering from severe cold.  The girls were almost in ecstacies over my return.  Edna said she felt so good that she could not laugh.  Craving an interest in your prayers and assuring you that you have in mine I remain your brother.


On August 14, Jim Ford bought the S1/2 of SW1/4 of Sect. 23 (80 acres) in Victor Township, Osborne County, Kansas from Robert and Mary E. Wilson of Gage County, Nebraska for $500.  (Osborne Co., Deed Book H, p597)

Effie J. Ford was married to J. H. Rice in Big Horn, Wyoming on October 22 by Herbert Probert, a Congregational minister from England, at the house of Mr. Haund and witnessed by her sister Fannie Ford and Mrs. Belle Babcock of Big Horn.

1885 – A son was born to Effie (Ford) and Jim Rice in Buffalo during the week of September 26, 1885 so they must have moved there beforehand.


Sept. 26, 1885

The wife of J. H. Rice, the barber, gave birth to a son this week in Buffalo.

1886 – Fannie went to Washington state with Effie and Jim Rice.

1887 – On May 20, 1887, Jim Ford bought the S1/2 of NE1/4, the SE1/4 of NW1/4, and the NE1/4 of SW1/4 of Section 23 (160 acres) in Victor Township, Osborne County, Kansas from William and Hannah Bradley of Independance, Osborne County, Kansas for $1800.  This was adjacent to his previous land purchase.

(Osborne Co., Deed Book N, p220)  On December 29, Jim obtained a Land Patent for the NW1/4 of SW1/4 of Sectiom 23 (40 acres) in Victor Township adjacent to the previous purchases.  This brought his total known acreage to 280.  (Osborne Co., Book AD, p468)

1889 – Fannie Ford married Paul Jackson Lang on February 19 in Kittitas County, Washington

Frances “Fannie” Emilene Ford Lang (Ephraim’s younger sister)

George Dye Ford married Nettie Anne Rooker (Webb Rooker’s daughter by his first wife) in Polk County, Iowa. Witnessed by Webb Rooker.

George Dye Ford (eldest son of John and Elizabeth Ford, Ephraim’s eldest brother)

Matt and Webb Rooker returned to Zionsville, Indiana.

In August or early September 1889, Ephraim Ford’s wife Kate apparently had a miscarriage or stillbirth. Late in 1889, Ephraim and Kate sold their homestead and suddenly moved with their three young children and belongings to his brother Jim’s ranch in Osborne County, Kansas.  Kate died a month after arriving.  The following spring, Jim and Ephraim returned with the children to Zionsville, Indiana.  Jim returned to his Kansas ranch.  Ephraim was ill, and left the children with his sister Matt and her blind husband Webb Rooker while he went to Orleans in southern Indiana to the “Springs” to get well.

1891 – Jim Ford died on 23 December at the S. H. Noyes residence in Victor Twp., Osborne Co., Kansas, where he had been staying for the past two years because of illness.  He died intestate. Mr. Noyes petitioned the court in Osborne to name C. W. Baldwin, of Baldwin & Co. Drugs, to be the administrator of the estate, consisting of nothing but a note for $250 owed by Noyes [probably for the sale of stock to him by Jim], and a few small notes from others for a total of about $300.  The entire estate was used to pay the doctor and medicine bills, the funeral ($44), coffin ($28), burial suit ($5), and past boarding bills from Noyes.  The 160 acre farm of Noyes was at the head of Covert Creek close to the Victor-Covert Twp line.  Jim Ford’s 280-acre ranch was about a mile northwest of Noyes.

There are three identical very small FORD headstones near the gate to the Cole Cemetery just over the Covert Township line, about two miles southeast of Jim’s ranch.  It is thought that after Kate had a stillbirth in Wyoming, they sold their homestead on Crazy Woman Creek near Buffalo and brought the body of the baby with them to Jim’s ranch, where Kate died.  The two were buried together in the Cemetery, to be joined two years later by Jim.  There are no burial records for the Cole Cemetery, nor was there an obituary in the local paper to tell us where he was buried.

Alexander and Sarah (Ford) McCain were farming in Pleasanton Twp., in Buffalo Co., NE outside Kearney.


L – R: Sarah Parintha Ford McCain (Ephraim’s older sister), Fannie McCain Hewett (Sarah’s daughter), Alexander Boyce McCain (Sarah’s husband)

1892 – Ephraim married Mary A. Johnson in Orleans, IN on Jan. 1 where he had been recovering from illness he had contracted out west.

1900 – Ephraim and Alice (Mary A. Johnson) Ford were living on North Pike Street in Shelbyville, Indiana with their six year old son, Oscar L.   Ephraim was an insurance agent, and Alice was a dressmaker.  He never reclaimed his earlier children.

George Dye Ford was farming in Liberty Township, Marshall County, Iowa with wife Nettie of ten years, and children Chella E. (8), Mary E. (7), John (5), and Gertrude L. (1).

Sarah (Ford) McCain and her husband Alexander were farm owners living in Kearney, Buffalo County, Nebraska with their daughters Isabel and Elizabeth (twins, 23), Fannie (21), and Hattie (18).  Isabel is a school teacher, Elizabeth a seamstress, and Fannie a milliner.

Fannie and Paul J. Lang were living in Wenatchee Lake, Chelan Co., Washington with Nora (10), Myrtle (8), Eugene (6), Lloyd (5), and Clyde (1).

1901 – Fannie and Paul Lang return to Zionsville from Washington over the Oregon trail in a covered wagon.  Paul had made a table which was carried on the back of the wagon.  Each night when they stopped, Fannie would set out the table and fix a formal dinner.  She was a well-educated woman (rare in those times) who always dressed very properly.

1904 – Ephraim Ford, apparently divorced from Mary, died at Matt and Webb Rooker’s home in Zionsville on April 2.  He was buried in the Zionsville Cemetery next to William and Margaret Dye.

1909 – Effie and Jim Rice were in Portland, Oregon, having arrived there sometime between 1906 and 1909.  They are first found in the City Directory of Portland in 1909.  They were listed in the personal listings as:  H. J. Rice, residence at St. Johns; in the business listing as: Barber; H. J. Rice at 8 Fourth Ave. N.

1910 – George Dye Ford was farming in Liberty Township, Marshall County, Iowa, with his wife Nettie of 20 years, and children Chella (19), Mary (17), John (15), Gertrude (11), George (9), Louis (7), Lois (7), and Gailerd (2).  Chella was teaching, and Mary was in school.

Alexander and Sarah (Ford) McCain were living at 1828 Ave. G in Kearney, NE.

1911 – Jim Rice had apparently died.  In the 1911 City Directory, only Effie is listed; as:  Mrs. Effie J. Rice, 248 1/2 Montgomery.

1912 – George Dye Ford died January 25, buried in Bevin’s Grove Cemetery north of Clemons, Marshall Co., Iowa.

TIMES REPUBLICAN, Marshalltown, Iowa

Jan. 26, 1912


George Ford, Well-Known Farmer, Meets Death From Trivial Accident

Marrow from Broken Leg Forms Clot On Brain

Becomes Unconscious a Few Hours After Log Slides From Load of Wood and Breaks His Leg - Wife and Eight Children Survive - Funeral Saturday Morning.

An accident that, in itself, would be classed as trivial, resulted in the death Thursday afternoon of George Ford, a well-known farmer living one and one-half mile north of Clemons in Liberty Township.

Ford's death resulted from a thrombus, which formed on the brain following the man's injury Tuesday afternoon when his left leg was broken by a heavy log which rolled off a sled.   Mr. Ford was hauling a load of wood from his timber to his home, and was in his own dooryard when the accident resulted.  Ford was walking beside the bob sled when the heavy log slid from the top of the load, falling against Ford's leg, and breaking it above the knee.

Marrow Carried Into Circulation

Ordinarily the accident would not have caused the victim anything more than the usual pain and inconvenience resulting from similar cases, but in this instance an unusual complication resulted.  Some

of the marrow from the fractured leg was carried into the blood, and by 2:30 o'clock Wednesday morning the patient became unconscious.  He never rallied from the comatose state, and the end came at 1:15 Thursday.

Was Well-Known Farmer

Mr. Ford was well known in his neighborhood, where he had lived for several years.  He was 67 years old, and is survived by his wife and eight children - four sons and four daughters.  Four sisters also survive, in the persons of Mrs. Sarah McCain of Kearney, Neb.; Mrs. Martha Rooker and Mrs. Fannie Lang of Indianapolis; and Mrs. Effie Rice of Portland, Ore.

Brief funeral services will be held from the house Saturday morning at 11 o'clock, and the funeral proper will take place an hour later from the Bevin's Grove Church.  Rev. C. S. Stauffacher, of the Zearing United Evangelical Church, officiating.  Interrment will be in the church cemetery.

1913 – Fannie Lang visited old friends at Nevada, Iowa on the way to visit her sister, Sarah McCain, in Nebraska.

Nevada, Iowa Newspaper


An Old Timer Returns

Mrs. Paul J. Lang of Indianapolis, who old timers remember as Frances Ford, is spending a few days with the Sam White family, and greeting other old friends and neighbors in Nevada, Ames, and Colo while pausing in her journey to visit her sister Sarah (Mrs. A. B. McCain) in Nebraska.

Mrs. Lang's father, John Ford, was an early settler of Story County.  He and Mrs. Ford and their four children came from Indiana to Iowa with a party of forty miners which were bound for California.

Mrs. Lang says the fair fields of Iowa lured them from their interest to cross the desert plains and the Fords tarried for a while in Jasper County, then located permanently on a farm in New Albany

Township [Story County], and there Mrs. Ford died in the later seventies.  Frances was a member of the Nevada High School during the first years of its existence in its present location, and was included successively in the Dan McCord, William Gatsa, and Jerry Franks families till at the death of her father, when her mother moved to Nevada and here died.  Frances and her sister Effie soon after went to Wyoming to visit their brother Ephraim, who is now deceased.  Both married in the far west, and there Effie, orMrs. J. H. Rice, remains.  The Langs returned to Indianapolis twelve years ago and there rejoice in two promising daughters and two sons, all grown and in active life.  Another of the Fords, Martha, now Mrs. J. W. Rooker, also resides in Indianapolis.  Frances the maiden is pleasantly remembered, and Mrs. Lang, the matron of wide and varied experience, is gladly greeted.

1914 – In July, Alexander and Sarah McCain celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.


The golden wedding of Mr. and Mrs. McCain was celebrated enjoyably, when surrounded by members of the family, whose congratulations and gifts they received, were entertained yesterday.  Mr and Mrs. McCain have lived in Buffalo County for over thirty years.  They have been blessed with eight children, three boys and five girls, and with twenty-five grandchildren.  The gifts which were presented to them on the occasion were very elaborate and mark the appreciation which the children felt for all the sacrifices which the parents have made for them in other days.

Two gold watches, a gold bracelet, breastpin, and a set of collar, cuff, and stud buttons were among the presents.  A sumptuous dinner was served at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon.  Captain S. James presided and made an appropriate presentation speech when giving Mr. and Mrs. McCain their children's gifts.  Mr. McCain responded and thanked those present for their loving remembrances.  After the dinner further speaking and musical numbers closed the enjoyable celebration.

The following children of the couple were present:  Mr. Orran McCain, Mr. Dode McCain, Denver, Colo.; Mr. Dell McCain, N. Platte, Nebr.; Mrs. Charles Wittlake, Omaha, Nebr.; Mrs. Charles Croston, Hazard, Nebr.; Mrs. Seymore Cruise, Mrs. Claude Hewett, and Mrs. Hattie May, Omaha, Nebr.

1915 – Effie Rice was listed in the Portland City Directory as: Effie Rice, 484 Burnside.

1917 – Alexander and Sarah (Ford) McCain were living in Omaha, Nebraska.

1919 – Alexander Boyce McCain died and was buried on the hillside behind the mausoleum in the West Lawn Cemetery in Omaha.

1920 – In the census, Effie (Ford) Rice (60), was living on Buck Street in Portland, Multnamah County, Oregon with her thirteen year old granddaughter, Donna Dixon.

Sarah McCain (75) was living in the home of her daughter, Fannie F. Hewett (40) and Fannie’s son Ross (6) on 42nd Street in Omaha, Nebraska.  Fannie was an office clerk.

Standing: Fannie McCain Hewett (Sarah’s daughter), Claude Henry Hewett (Fannie’s husband)
Sitting: Sarah Parintha Ford McCain (Ephraim’s older sister)


George Dye Ford’s widow, Nettie (50), was still farming the family farm in Liberty Twp., Marshall Co., Iowa.  Still at home were Lois and Louis, both 16, and Gailerd (12).  However, Nettie reportedly moved to Zionsville with Gertrude, Lois, and Gailerd, apparently during the last half of the year.  It is not known whether George S. came with them or came later.  Louis must have stayed, because he is buried in Bevins Grove next to his father George and sister Mary.

In the 1920 census, Paul Lang, at the age of 65, is living on Senate Avenue in Indianapolis with Forest Eaton, a boarder.

1923 – Webb Rooker died at age 79 in Lafayette, Indiana on Oct. 23; and was buried in Little Eagle Creek Cemetery southeast of Jolietville in Hamilton Co., Indiana next to Nellie G. Lutz (wife of his son, Wm. S. Rooker) and Mattie (daughter), both having died in 1900 in their 20s.

1929 – Nettie Anne (Rooker) Ford, widow of George Dye Ford, and daughter of Webb Rooker, died in Zionsville at age 60 and was buried next to her sister, Mattie, sister-in-law Nellie, and her father, Webb Rooker, in the Little Eagle Creek Cemetery.

Back row L – R: Fannie McCain Hewett (Sarah’s daughter), Alexander Boyce McCain (Sarah’s husband), rest ?
Front row L – R: Sarah Parintha Ford McCain (Ephraim’s sister), rest ?


1930 – Sarah Parintha (Ford) McCain died June 24 in Buffalo Co., Nebraska, and was buried alongside her husband in the West Lawn Cemetery in Omaha, Nebraska.


Sarah Parinthia (Ford) McCain, at the age of 86 years, 11 months, and 1 day, passed away June 24, 1930 at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Fannie Hewett of 3467 N. 42nd St., Omaha, Nebr.

Her father, John Ford, and family with two brothers, were enroute with the "Forty Niners" across the continent, but the father, being fearful for the safety of his family, left the caravan when they reached Story County, Iowa, and settled in the new country, when skins were hung for doors.

In 1864 she was united in marriage to Alexander Boyce McCain, a Civil War veteran.

In 1883 they moved with their family of three sons and six daughters to Buffalo County, Nebraska where they were pioneer residents of Pleasanton and Kearney.  Her husband preceeded her in death eleven years ago at the age of 84.

She is survived by two sons, Dode McCain, Hazard; and Dell McCain, Loretto; four daughters, Mrs. Maude Wittlake, Fanwood, NJ; Mrs. Charles Croston, Hazard; Mrs. William B. Rains, Hawk Springs, Wyo.; and Mrs. Hewett; and three sisters, Mrs. Martha Rooker and Mrs. Fannie Lang, both of Indianapolis, Ind.; and Mrs. Effie Rice of Portland, Ore., plus 25 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

She was known for her ever ready aid to those who were in sorrow, need, or distress.  As long as she  was able to be in active service for her Lord and Savior, her standard of living was, "In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me also", John 3:17.  Her ever ready advice was a repeating of the First Psalms.  Interned at the West Lawn Cemetery in Omaha, Nebr.

1932 – Fannie (Ford) Lang died Feb 26 in Zionsville at age 74 and was buried in the Zionsville Cemetery by Paul J. Lang, and near Ephraim Ford, Matt Rooker, and William Dye.

1935 – Matt (Ford) Rooker died in Lafayette, Indiana on Feb 5; buried on a Thursday afternoon in the Zionsville Cemetery near Fannie and Ephraim; reported in the Feb. 7 Zionsville Times:

Obituary - Mrs. Martha S. Rooker, 88 years old, a native of Boone County, died yesterday in a home for the aged in Lafayette.  She had lived in Indianapolis forty years and had spent part of her life in Iowa.  Her Indianapolis home was at 3609 N. LaSalle St.  Funeral services will be held in the McNeely & Sons mortuary, 1828 N. Meridian St. at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon.  Burial will be in the Zionsville cemetery.  A sister, Mrs. Effie J. Rice of Portland, Oregon, survives.

1937 – Effie Jane (Ford) Rice, the last surviving child of John and Elizabeth (Dye) Ford, died Feb 16 in Portland, Oregon.  She died in the Multnomah Hospital of coronary thrombosis and generalized arteriosclerosis, made worse by pulmonary emphycema.  She was 78 years old.  Effie was in the hospital for nine days prior to her death.  She was listed on the death certificate as a widow and homemaker living at 313 NE San Rafael Street.  No family informant was listed on the certificate.


Frances [Fannie] Ford was born in Story County, Iowa and educated at Iowa State College in nearby Ames, Iowa.  She taught for a while in Iowa, then went west to Washington Territory with her younger sister Effie.

Paul Jackson Lang was born near Copenhagen, Denmark.  He came to America with his family and settled in Wyoming Territory, where they were in the dairy business.  Paul was studying to be a Lutheran Minister when he got the urge to go farther west.  He gave up his studies and went to Washington Territory where he met Fannie.  They were married in Kittitas County.  They had daughters Myrtle and Nora, and sons Eugene, Lloyd, and Clyde [the latter dying at age two].

By Myrtle (Lang) Stanley, written Aug-Sep 1972:

Written 1972

I was born in South Prairie, Washington on September 16, 1891. My parents had lived in Wenatchee.  I don't remember that because it was before I was born.  Then we lived in Ellensburg.  The only thing I remembered about that was when we moved from Ellensburg.  Nora and I were in the covered wagon for the night.  I remember my first sense of fear was when I heard the wolves howling.  I heard my father say "We will keep the fire burning and that will keep the wolves away because they are afraid of fire and won't come near it".

When we got to the ranch, there was a log cabin, and that housed us until my father and his friend Mr. Cahill built two or three more rooms with a large stone fireplace in the living room.  Papa cut the logs and split the firewood, and Nora and I helped to carry in the firewood when needed.

Nora and I would go on horse to get cow.  We would lead the horse up to a tree stump, then get on the stump,  and then get on the horse, as it seemed to understand, and we would go for the cow, as we could hear the cowbell she wore.

One day, near forenoon, a young buck Indian came to the ranch.  Papa had built what was then called a shed over the back door and like a roof (more like our patios).  He then put up a rope swing for us.  Our swing board split and broke, and the Indian took out his hunting knife (when Momma saw him take out his knife, she was frightened she admitted later).  He made a new swing board for us and then played with Nora and I pushing the swing.  Momma had him stay for dinner.  I don't remember what we had - probably a meat stew.

There were many wild roses, and Nora and I would pick the pink petals.  Momma told us to put them in bottles and hang them in the sun, and that melted the petals forming as oil perfume, so Nora and I had our own perfume.

Momma was teaching the country one-room school, when one of the big land owners (and also the sawmill) refused to pay his share for school upkeep on what was called Chumstick School that was part of the country where we lived.

Then my parents sold the ranch and homestead, and moved to Leavenworth so we children could go to school, as Momma felt our education was more important than the ranch.  We lived nearer the mountains since that was where the best homes were.  The railroad was between us and the main street of stores, and back of them was the Wenatchee River.

I remember Gene as a baby on the ranch, but I don't think Lloyd was born until we moved into Leavenworth.


  1. Edie Mahaney, Curator of the Patrick Henry Sullivan Museum in Zionsville, and her staff who helped me get started on the history.  And all those who contributed to the files there.
  2. Ester (Mills) Compton, a marvelous lady and a Dye cousin of mine, who mentored me in my early Dye research, and who was a fountain of knowledge about the early days in Zionsville.
  3. Ross and Emily Hewett, who showed me the McCain gravesites in Omaha, and who entrusted to me many old pictures of the Fords.
  4. John Hook of Cicero, who provided the old letters written to John Ford from the western gold fields, the letter from J. Mast of North Carolina, and Myrtle’s memories.
  5. Charlene Shropshire of Carmel, for her help with the George Dye Ford family.

Ephraim Ford and Hattie (Kate) Huson

Story by Fred Gahimer.

Ephraim Ford’s father, John Ford, emigrated from Ashe County, North Carolina to the little village of Zionsville just north of Indianapolis, Indiana between 1830-1838. There he met and married Elizabeth Dye, the daughter of George Dye, an early pioneer, and one of the first settlers of the area. They were married by Warner Sampson, M.G., on March 11, 1838. John was 26 years old and Elizabeth was 17.

For more information about Ephraim’s younger years, see this story.

In 1852, at the urging of his two brothers in letters to John to join them in the western gold fields, John and a group of other would-be miners headed west with their families.  When they got to Iowa, John became fearful for the safety of his family if they continued, so he settled in Story County in central Iowa and became a prosperous farmer.  John died in 1862, and Elizabeth stayed on the home farm near Colo, east of Nevada, and had the oldest sons George and Jim manage the various farms.  The other son, Ephraim, went to Burr Oak, Kansas to farm with relatives.  In 1879, Elizabeth took ill and died.

Her son Jim sent Ephraim a letter telling of their mother’s death.

TO: Mr. E. W. Ford, Burr Oak, Jewel Co., Kansas 3c postage

FROM: Nevada, Iowa   Dec. 8, 1879

Dear Brother,

With a sorrowful mind I will try and write a few lines to let you know that our dear Mother is gone forever.  She departed last night, and will be buried tomorrow at 2 o'clock.  I wish you could have been there.  She spoke so often about you.

Let Aunt Sally know of her death.  So goodbye.  Write soon.

As Ever, Your Brother


We will bury her in the Nevada Cemetery.

The following year, 1880, Ephraim Worth Ford headed west for Wyoming.


Wyoming did not at first prove attractive to homesteaders except in the best valleys along the Union Pacific railroad in the southern part of the state.  It was then discovered that the bunch and buffalo grass of the plains made excellent feed for cattle.  Not only did they fatten on it in the summer, but the thick ripe bunches, retaining all their nutritious food elements, penetrated the thin snows of the wind-swept plains, enabling the herds to live and thrive all winter without extra food or care.  Also, cattle could be grazed at a distance from the railroad and when ready for market transported themselves.  Soon great herds of longhorns were on the way north from the overstocked ranges of Texas.  By the 1870s, the ranges of Wyoming were well stocked.  Herds increased rapidly and almost without expense.

Gen. George Crook’s campaign against the Indians was begun in early 1876 to stop the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho from raiding the settlers coming into the area along the Bozeman Trail.  The Custer disaster on the Little Big Horn in mid-year triggered a national desire to end the Indian problems.  More forts were built, more troops were sent, and in early autumn the campaign began in earnest.  By the end of 1878, most of the hostiles had been driven out of the Powder River country, and, except for small sporadic incidents, the Indian menace was over.  As a result, the influx of the classic, honest, hard-working, pioneer settlers greatly increased, which ultimately led to increased resentment and friction between them and the big ranchers.  The cattle industry, so prosperous in the late 1870s, passed into an era of troubles in the 1880s.  The range was soon overstocked.  Market prices dropped.

In 1877, August Trabing set up a trading post on the Bozeman Trail near the crossing at Crazy Woman Creek.  It became known as Trabing.  Two years later he pulled up stakes and moved all his belongings to the settlement which became Buffalo.  He built his log store where the Masonic Building and First National Bank now stands.  The store eventually became the John H. Conrad and Company.  O. P. Hannah, a buffalo hunter, settled near what is now Sheridan, and he and his partner, Jim White, hunted deer and elk, plus occasional buffalo, for sale to the Army at Fort McKinney, as by that time the commercial quantities of buffalo were gone.

The Buffalo and Sheridan area in Wyoming Territory in the 1880s was characterized by growing friction between the big ranchers and the cowboys and settlers.  Rustling was the only livelihood many of the men had in those days.  The marshall during that period, Frank M. Canton, outdid John Wayne’s Rooster Cogburn in tangling with such outlaws and rustlers as Arapaho Brown, Jack Flag, Big Nose George, Teton Jackson, and later broke up the Dalton gang in Oklahoma.  (Read his autobiography – “Frontier Trails”).

The trouble was, a lot of the so-called “rustlers” were cowboys and small ranchers who were running cattle on the open range along with the big ranchers.  Some of the “rustlers” were cowboys who would gather up mavericks (unbranded calves) born over the winter and would start their own herds, to the chagrin of the big ranchers, who viewed all such cattle as theirs.  The cattlemen tried to put a stop to it by not allowing the small ranchers to take part in the spring roundup, and started a brief war in 1892 which failed due to Army intervention.  Ephraim would have experienced the beginnings of this problem.


The first pioneer settlers of Big Horn were reportedly the family of W. F. “Bear” Davis.  After being a captain of wagon trains for twenty years, sometimes traveling through the Little Goose Creek area, he decided to settle his family there.  When his wagon train arrived at the creek on June 17, 1879, he found the Frank James gang there living in dugouts, with a corral of 300 stolen horses nearby.  As they tried to cross the swollen creek, the current was too much for the 4-mule teams, and they were stalled.  A black man came out of one of the dugouts and threw a lariat over one of the mule’s neck, climbed on a horse, and helped the first wagon across.  Bear recognized the man as “Nigger John”, who had belonged to his uncle, Redman Wolfly, back in southern Missouri prior to the Civil War. He had run away and joined the James gang during the war.  The wagon train moved on and camped in a circle.

That night, Nigger John, having recognized Bear, came to Bear’s wagon and talked to him in secrecy because the James gang would shoot him if they knew.  He told Bear to put their mules in the circle because the gang intended to take them and leave.  After doing that, the people danced all night to stay awake.  The next day Frank James and another member of the gang rode into camp.  They had come to say goodbye, for they were going up the trail.  A few years later, the James gang rode up to Bear Davis’ cabin where Mrs. Davis was alone.  She stood in the doorway while they replaced their guns in their holsters.  They politely asked if she could feed them.  She served them the company fare of a frontier kitchen: potato soup, venison steak, and buffalo berry pie.  They ate, and then courteously bowing and thanking her, they left.  In 1881, the settlers used the James gang dugout cabin for a school for a few months.  Outlaws were common in Big Horn and all around the Powder River area of Wyoming.

Ephraim Ford arrived in northern Wyoming and hunted buffalo, reportedly with Buffalo Bill; and worked as a cowboy in the area around the small unnamed settlement of forty hardy souls on Clear Creek at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains.  Later that same year, 1880, two of his sisters, Frances “Fannie” and Effie Ford joined Ephraim in the settlement which was soon to become Buffalo, where he had squatted on a site on the east side of what became Main Street.

Charles Buell and A. J. McCray built the Occidental Hotel at its present location on Main Street where it has been rebuilt and improved several times.  Later in the year 1880, in the bar of the hotel, Mr. Buell suggested that those present should write a name for the village of forty people on a piece of paper and that one of them be drawn from a hat.  The name drawn was “Buffalo” submitted by Will Hart, a young man from Buffalo, New York.

Many famous names have been entered on the Occidental Hotel’s register over the years, including Buffalo Bill (Bill Cody), Teddy Roosevelt, and Generals Crook and Sheridan.  Calamity Jane made her headquarters at the hotel when in town.

In the 1880s freight was hauled by trail wagons hitched in single file pulled by 7-10 yoke of oxen or eight mules or horses.  The stage coach lines ran between Rock Creek and Junction City, with stations at Rock Creek, Point of Rocks, Spring Canyon, LaBonte, Fort Fetterman, Sage Creek, Brown Springs, Weir Morlett’s Seventeen Mile Ranch, Powder River Station, Trabing, Buffalo, Big Horn, Dayton, Forty Mile Ranch, Crow Agency, Fort Custer, and after crossing the Big Horn Mountains, Ferry, and Junction City.  Holdups were frequent, and one point north of Fetterman was called “Hold-up Hollow”.

On October 4, 1881, E. W. Ford & O. J. Westman bought 80 cattle by chattel mortgage, probably in a partnership to run the cattle on the open range.  The herd was described as, “Twenty-four (24) cows branded JE on left side (56) fifty six stock cattle branded JE on left side making Eighty (80) head in all.  Known as Garvey and Brothers herd now running on Clear Creek about two miles east of Fort McKinney in the County of Johnson Territory of Wyoming.”  They mortgaged the herd from Garvey and Brothers for $500, to be paid on or before April 4, 1882 with interest at one percent per month.  [Chattel Mortgage Bk 3, p23-5]

Ephraim’s partner, O.J. Westman (25) married Mary Alice Dawson (21) on 9 Nov 1881 at the Johnson County courthouse. She was a resident of Marshall Town and he was a resident of Buffalo.

That same year, S. T. Farwell opened a cigar and tobacco store in Buffalo.  About December of 1881, Ephraim obtained a homestead of 160 acres of creek bottom land on Crazy Woman Creek just downstream of the junction of the Crazy Woman and Dry Creek roads.  It was made up of two 80 acre parcels in a lazy-L shape comprised of the W1/2 of the NE1/4 and the S1/2 of the NW1/4 of Section 10, T51N, R79W of the 6th Principal Meridian in Wyoming Territory.  He maintained his home in Buffalo, and probably went to the homestead during the ranching period each year.

The following year, on February 15, 1882, Ephraim apparently ended his partnership with O. Westman by selling 75 cattle to him.  Westman financed the purchase with a mortgage of $800 from Ephraim, to be paid on or before October 15, 1882 with interest of two percent per month.  On September 18, 1882, Ephraim was repaid and released the mortgage.  [Chattel Mortgage Bk 3, p63]

Seeing that much of the business in and around Buffalo involved providing supplies to Fort McKinney, Robert Foote saw an opportunity for growth, and opened a large log mercantile store across the street from Ephraim.  The Buffalo Flour Mill and the Fischer Brewery were established, and the first genuine physician, Dr. John Watkins moved to town.  Edward “Doc” Huson, a “country doctor,” merchant, and druggist, had moved to Buffalo from Trabing earlier in the year.  George “Pap” Myers, from Bavaria, organized the first band in Buffalo in 1882 (he was married to Alice Westman at the time, the mother of O.J. Westman), and was identified with every band in the city until his death in 1926.

Ephraim was married to Hattie K. “Katie” Huson by H. R. Mann, JP, on December 17, 1882 in Buffalo at the home of her parents, Edward and Clarissa Huson.  Witnesses were her father, “Doc” Huson, and John Paul.  Katie was 17 years old.  (Marriage Book 1, page 16)

For more information about Katie’s younger years, see this story.

Ephraim Ford and Hattie Huson Ford. Thought to be their wedding photo (Dec 1882).

In 1883, the townfolk decided to remove several unsightly old Indian graves which were high up in the forks of trees on the southeast side of town.  In August, The Echo was established as the first newspaper in the area.  Dr. R. E. Hollbrook became the first dentist.  C. P. Organ and Company established a hardware and implement store, George Holt started the first drug store, R. H. Linn was the first saddle and harness maker, and Billie Hunt and James Convey established rival livery and feed stables.

After the turn of the century, when autos were becoming more common, a man was herding three horses down Main Street.  One of them was an old saddle horse which had frequently been kept at the livery, which in the meantime had been converted into the Central Garage.  The horse walked in, looked around at the shiny new cars and decided this wasn’t where he belonged, so he just calmly walked through the plate glass window and up the street.

Other businesses in Buffalo were the Cowboy, Senate, Charlie Chapin, Minnie Ha-Ha, and Kennedy saloons. the “Q.T” Bowling Alley and Saloon, the Germania House Restaurant and Beer Depot, Charles Burritt Attorney-at-Law, B. Hertzeman’s Merchant Tailor shop, Hopkin’s Meat Market, and Sam Lung’s Chinese Laundry.  Webster and Pratt set up a barber shop, and R. V. Stumbo started a restaurant.

On August 4, 1883, Helen Buell, the first white child born in Buffalo, was delivered in her father’s Occidental Hotel.

On March 3, 1884, the Territorial Legislature approved a charter for Buffalo, and it officially became a city.  The first court house was built that year, and the day after Christmas they had a Citizen’s Ball in honor of its dedication.  Tickets were $5 and included supper.  The Occidental and Monroe bands combined their talents to provide stirring music for the dancers.  At midnight, the revellers retired to the Occidental Hotel where they were served “the finest supper ever served in this county.”

The Homestead Act allowed any person to acquire 160 acres of land by living on it and cultivating it.  However, under the Desert Land Act, one could acquire 640 acres by irrigating any portion of it.

The first patent of record in Johnson County was issued to Verling K. Hart.  It was a desert claim and was located next to Fort McKinney.  This land became the original site for Buffalo.  Major Verling was the commanding officer of the fort from 1882 until his death in February, 1883.  His widow, Juliet Hart, was granted a patent for it on June 19, 1884.  She wasted no time in platting what is now Buffalo, and the plat was filed on July 29, 1884.  Until then, there had been no city plan for laying out streets or locating building sites.  People had put up buildings anywhere, and it was virtually impossible to get the plats to conform to what was already there.  The result was crooked streets.

Ephraim Ford purchased Lot 24, Block 18, in Buffalo from Juliet W. Hart on September 18, 1884 for $10.  (Deed 547, Recorded in Book 1, Page 39).  He and Kate had been living as squatters (as all the early settlers of Buffalo were until Julia Hart inherited her husband’s desert claim for the land and had it platted).  Julia Hart sold the squatters’ land to them for a nominal sum (e.g. $10 for Ephraim’s lot).  On the same day, he sold the lot for $1000 to John A. Jones and J. C. Harrington, who went into a partnership in the first liquor store in Buffalo, apparently built on that lot.  The lot is on the east side of Main Street in Buffalo exactly where Highway 16 comes to a Tee at the main intersection at the Court House.  There was still a liquor store there in 1993, a century later.

Buffalo, WY courthouse. This would have been the view from Ephraim’s house. The courthouse was built in 1883 while Ephraim lived across the street. Photo taken in 2000.

One of Jones and Harringtons’ biggest customers was the “queen” of Buffalo’s night life, Nettie Wright.  She was one of the first women in Buffalo, and took advantage of that fact to ply the oldest profession there.  She could not read or write, but she knew how to make money.  She used the capital thus obtained, along with a loan from her friend, John A. Jones, to build a saloon and roller skating rink.  She bought 45 pairs of skates from Kansas City.

The Jones are also interesting.  John and his wife Ella were quite the business people.  They were handsome for those days, and were very busy running a variety of businesses while raising four children.  Their businesses at various times included a mortuary, liquor store, dress and milliner shop, a saloon, a furniture store, and they always kept about ten to twelve boarders, feeding them each day.

On September 25, 1884, Jim H. Rice purchased a barber outfit in Big Horn from Bernard Hertzman with a chattel mortgage (Book 3, p291-2).  On October 22, Ephraim Ford’s sister, Effie Jane Ford, at the age of 25, was married to Jim Rice (28) in Big Horn by congregational minister Herbert E. Probert, an Englishman, at the house of a Mr. Haund and witnessed by her sister Fannie Ford and a Mrs. Belle Babcock of Big Horn.


Oct. 25, 1884

J. H. Rice, formerly of Buffalo, has taken up his residence in Big Horn and has temporary quarters in the "Star of the West" saloon.  Mr. Rice is a barber of no small experience, and is securing a fair share of custom.
A quiet wedding took place in the parlors of the Oriental hotel the early part of this week, the contracting parties being J. H. Rice and Miss Effie Ford.  Rev. Herbert Probert officiated.  The newly wedded couple have been extended the congratulations of friends and acquaintances.
HE WOULD GO ON A "TOOT".   Fisher, a cook who has been employed for the past two months at Hanna & Babcock's hotel in this town, hired a horse this week out of Farwell's livery stable for the purpose of going to Buffalo and seeing the sights. Evidently he saw more than he bargained for, and after the second day's visit he concluded to come home, but first filled himself skin-full of "booze", and, mounting the livery steed, rode quietly out of town, headed for Big Horn.  He had gone but a short distance when he became too top-heavy, and fell off, the saddle turning under the animal's belly.  The horse ran and bucked for all that was in him until he reached Billy Hunt's stable in Buffalo.  Enroute, he ran over Mr. W. W. Pringle, throwing him to the ground, knocking him insensible, and severely bruising his right shoulder, and otherwise injuring him.  Mr. Pringle lay insensible about two hours, when he was taken to his ranch south of Buffalo.  Dr. Wood, the physician who was called in, says the injuries will not prove fatal.

On February 27, 1885, Ephraim Ford received a Stock Brand Certificate for his brand, best described as a running W with a F as the right stem.

Sign in Clearmont, WY with local brands. One brand is similar to Ephraim’s – on far right (WF)…but not exactly…

May 2, 1885

The practice of shooting off firearms in town is getting to be a nuisance.  Those who wish to become perfect in this line should select some place for practice other than our principal streets.  A stray bullet might accidently hit the wrong mark.

May 30, 1885

Charles A. Trabing, of the firm of Trabing Brothers, Laramie City, died in Omaha last Sunday of blood poisoning.  Mr Trabing was one of the pioneer residents of Wyoming.  He was also the first man to open a store and trading post in this county, and a post office on the Wyoming stage line is named after him.

June 6, 1885

In Buffalo, under the new city ordinance, a fine of not under ten nor over twenty-five dollars will be imposed on each woman for appearing on the streets in a "Mother Hubbard."  This is a move which concerns us but little either way or the other, only that we would say to the makers of that law, please don't extend your city limits so that is would take in Big Horn.

About this time, Ephraim and Katie moved to their Crazy Woman Creek homestead of 160 acres of creek bottom land just upstream of Bass Draw and the outlet of Dry Creek.  It was about 16 miles east and 4 miles north of Buffalo (as the crow flies).  Her parents moved onto Crazy Woman Creek in the SW1/4 of Section 9, immediately west of them.

Remains of “Doc” Huson and Ephraim’s dugouts at Crazy Woman Creek
View of Crazy Woman Creek and “Doc” Huson and Ephraim’s homestead from dugout

Mabel, the first child of Ephraim and Katie, was born that year at the homestead on Crazy Woman.  She was one of the first white children born in Johnson County, Wyoming.  She had golden hair, which the Indians fancied; and they had to keep a close watch over her lest the Indians kidnap her.  When the first white child had been born in Johnson County the previous year, the Indians tried to trade their best Indian ponies for her because she had blond hair.


Aug. 8, 1885

They Took Us In.   A small party of Crow Indians struck a picnic in Big Horn this week.  They loafed around several days and then interviewed THE SENTINEL office on the subject of horse racing, bringing to the office door a one-eyed, pigeon-toed, and ring-boned cayuse that didn't seem to have enough life in it to beat Charlie Round's slow mule in Buffalo, which made a record of a mile in ten minutes on the Fourth of July last.  Our "devil" had for some time been putting in trim his fleet-footed race nag, but being far minus of having enough funds in his exchequer, called upon the staff to make up the desired amount, in order that the Indians could return to the agency in a dilapidated condition financially.  The race came off, and on account of improper management on our part (we suppose this was the cause) the Indian pony came out a neck ahead.  A second race was made up the following day, with double the amount bet that was put up the previous day - and again the Indian managed to get his horse through about a neck ahead.  This was proof that either THE SENTINEL outfit didn't have a race horse, or that the Indians were equal to any emergency in the line of racing.

Aug 15, 1885

Bad Belly, a Crow chief who made a "clean-up" in horse racing in Big Horn last week, is reported to have gone north with several head of horses belonging to the Stoddard & Howard Live Stock Company.  If Bad Belly illegally came in possession of any horses belonging to a cow outfit, he will most likely receive a rounding-up from the cowboys in the form of a surprise party in the Crow camp.

Aug. 29, 1885

Col. Benteen, the officer who had charge of the pack train during Custer's campaign through this country in 1876 and who joined Reno on the Little Horn just before Custer and his command were taken in by the Sioux, is now stationed at Fort McKinney.
BIG HORN, : : : : : : WYO
For a Clean Shave or a Neat
Hair Cut give my shop a trial

A son was born to Jim and Effie (Ford) Rice in Buffalo during the week of September 26, so they must have moved there beforehand.


Sept. 26, 1885

The wife of J. H. Rice, the barber, gave birth to a son this week in Buffalo.

Oct. 17, 1885

Wanted, a barber -- Apply to the unshaven and unshorn inhabitants of Big Horn.
"The Chinese must go" is the cry all over the territory.  Will one please stop at Big Horn to open a laundry?  We hesitate to advocate importation of "Chinese cheap labor," but as we must have clean clothes once a month, if not oftener, and no one else seems inclined to relieve our necessity, we apply to the last resort offered.

Dec. 12, 1885

The cold weather has driven a large number of range cattle into town, and they go wandering up and down the streets at all hours of the night in search of food and shelter.

The winter of 1885-86 was one of the coldest in Wyoming history, causing terrible loss of range stock.  After the spring thaw, masses of dead carcasses were found in the draws.


Jan. 23, 1886

Dave Larison, that grittiest of stage drivers, arrived in Big Horn Thursday last with a frozen finger on each hand, his eyes almost totally closed by the cold, and not withstanding all these ailments, any one of which would have been enough for any ordinary man to give up in despair, in all honor to his duty, this nervy fellow refused to lay over at Big Horn and permit a volunteer, of which there were several, to finish his drive for him.  After thawing out as much as possible he again grasped the lines and continued his drive - of which Big Horn is about the central station - in the face of a blinding storm of wind and snow.  Fit stuff for a hero in that man.
 The cold spell continues with the thermometer thirty degrees below zero and a keen cutting wind from the northwest.

Jan. 30, 1886

Since Dave Larison, one of the drivers on the stage line from here north, was frozen so badly in the blizzard of last week, he has been laying up for repairs at Sheridan.

Feb. 20, 1886

The deepest snow of the season fell Wednesday night.

Mar. 6, 1886

The stages from the north have been delayed somewhat this week on account of the bad condition of the roads.

On March 11, 1886, Ephraim and Katie had their second child, Myrtle, while still living at the homestead on Crazy Woman Creek.  Ephraim had a ticket for a Pythias ball and supper for March 17 in Buffalo.  One of the men in charge of the reception at the ball and supper was Frank Canton, the famous lawman.  Ephraim must not have attended, since the ticket was among his mementos he brought back with him to Indiana.


Apr. 3, 1886

The drivers on the Wyoming stage line are a unit in declaring the present condition of the roads the worst in their memory.

June 5, 1886

Dave Larison, who pulled the ribbons on one of the coaches on the Wyoming stage line for a period of three years, and who recently located near Bingham to follow the life of a granger, has gone to Miles City, where he will list himself among the ranks of benedicts.  Dave's friends are legion in this neck o'the woods, who wish him joy and prosperity in his new departure.

Jul. 31, 1886

Grasshoppers are reported as doing considerable damage in some parts of the county.
A PUBLIC DISGRACE.  There is a period in the history of all frontier towns when it makes but little difference whether houses of prostitution are conducted openly in the principal business streets or not, but as towns build up and a better class of people become the controlling power, such places of infamy are usually consigned to the back streets and their inmates frequently brought before the city authorities and compelled to pay a fine in case they violate any of the city ordinances.  Different in this town.  A stranger coming to Buffalo need not wait until the gas light looms up in order to see the extent of vice.  The nigger houses of prostitution, conducted openly on Main street and the inmates thereof appearing in the street half clad, is sufficient for any ordinary being to become at once disgusted with the town and the men who have the power to enforce the ordinances.  Gentlemen of the city council!  We appeal to you on behalf of the business men of Buffalo, and for the sake of the better class of our female population, to make some move in the direction of compelling the colored prostitutes to take up quarters elsewhere than on the principal street, and to see that their appearance on the streets, in a manner beyond all lines of decency, will hereafter be a thing of the past.

On December 16, 1886 Ephraim gets final receipt on their homestead of 160 acres on the creek bottom of Crazy Woman Creek.  (Book D, p355)   Kate’s parents still had the one immediately west of them.

December 16, 1886

Received from EPHRAIM FORD of Johnson County Wyoming the sum of

Two hundred Dollars being in full for the

W1/2 of the NE1/4 and S1/2 of the NW1/4 quarter of Section No. Ten<br>in Township No. 51 N of Range No. 79 West, containing 160 acres at<br>$1.25 per acre.<br>


During 1888, Ephraim split his time between the Crazy Woman homestead, and the Bechton and Big Horn area, probably grazing cattle or working at one of the ranches there to augment his income.

View of countryside between Buffalo and Big Horn. Photo taken in 2001.
Big Horn, WY in 2001
Big Horn was on the Bozeman Train. Photo taken 2001

Ephraim and Kate received a formal printed wedding notice from her older brother William O. Huson addressed to E. W. Ford, Beckton, Wyoming Territory, postmarked received at Big Horn, Wyo., Feb. 10, 1888, one cent postage, as follows:

W. O. Huson.
Florence Grove.
Mr. & Mrs. W. O. Huson
Married January 23rd, 1888
After February 10th, 1888
Kingman, Arizona

Ephraim and Katie received an announcement of a social hop at Skinner’s Hall in Big Horn for Wednesday, February 22.  O. P. Hannah, the first settler in Sheridan County and a renowned hunter and scout, was on the invitation committee for the hop.


Feb. 4, 1888

Elsewhere in this issue appears the announcement of a dance to be given in Big Horn, on the 22nd, in Skinners hall.  Big Horn has always been noted for its dances, and from the arrangements being made for this one we are led to believe it will surpass any previous occasion of the kind ever given in that town.  Tom Green has the affair in hand, and you may rest assured of a pleasant time should you attend.


in Skinner's Hall,

Wednesday Evening

The best of music and a general good
time for everyone.

Feb. 25, 1888


The dance given at Big Horn last Wednesday evening (Washington's birthday) was well attended, and proved to be one of the most enjoyable of the season.  Early in the evening the participants, who were mostly Big Horn people, began to assemble at the hall, and soon there were arrayed in their best about twenty-five of her fair ones ready to trip the light fantastic, which commenced at about 8:30 o'clock.  This time Big Horn was in excess of its chivalry, which no doubt had a consoling effect on the young men, as on other occasions they often got left.  The music, which comprised three violins, cornet, and organ, was excellent, and the prompting of J. W. Howard was good.  At twelve o'clock supper was served at the Oriental, by the landlady of that popular hotel, who on this occasion prepared one of the finest repasts ever spread before a gathering of this kind in the country - turkey, chicken, oysters, salads, pickles, sauces, jellies, etc., etc. - and it undoubtedly had the desired effect of satisfying the appetites of the merry makers.  After supper was served they repaired again to the hall and continued the pleasurable excitement until the wee small hours of morning, when all left for their homes well pleased with the evening's entertainment.

Fannie Ford had gone to Olympia, Washington with Effie and Jim Rice.  She wrote to Ephraim and Katie at Bechton, Wyoming in April telling him about Washington and asking him to send some of her clothes.

TO: Mr. E. W. Ford,  Bechton, Wyoming

FROM:  Olympia, Washington    April 10, 1888

Dear Sister, Brother, and Girls,

As we have reached the jumping-off place. Jim got out of work at Walla Walla and got a job over here and they want me to come with them, so I might as well see this part of the world and its daisy. The nearer you get to the coast, the rougher it is.  This is the roughest looking town.  It is partly surrounded by water, and the rest by bluffs and pines.  It doesn't look as though there is a wagon road out. We was at the capital building. It's a two story white frame, four old-fashioned windows in front, and sets back in the pines or a place cleared just large enough for it. We came over the switch-back railroad over the cascades. Twas in the night when we crossed them and snowing. We could see far enough to see one track below running beside us.  You could look down into the canyons and up at the mountains.

Came from Tacoma about 5 hours ride on the Fleetwood Steamer on the bay.  There is one nice valley just on this side of Walla Walla, Yakima, and a county seat of the same name.  They have been trying to move the capital there.  Don't think I will stay here any longer than I can get away.  Gerdel's note is due the first of June, so I don't believe I will try to get a school here.  Have been sewing.

It's so rainy and cool here, still, flowers were in bloom when we got here and at Walla Walla three weeks before we left.  I never bothered the senator only the one time.  I don't think he would have done as he did sometimes if it hadn't been for his last wife.  She is hogdutch and his daughter Mary, she was so afraid he would help us.

They say it's healthy here, but if you could see the roofs that are covered with moss and wet, you wouldn't wonder.  I don't think it's as healthy as Wyoming.  It rains all winter here and they say they have delightful summers.

Say, there are nice farms a few miles from town.  Don't think you would like any place I have seen, only Yakima Valley.  It's so rough everywhere else.

May talks everything; knows all of your pictures, and talks about Maybell.  Says tell her Papa got some little dishes.  She is not as fleshy as when little.

We wrote to Chapman at B to get that horse.  He said while he had him, he had never been paid for him, and at first he claimed that I owed him - and was owing me.  Never paid me for that hay that was in the field.

Kate, wish you would send me my scarf right away by registered mail, and I will wait till I stop for good to send for the balance.  I wrote to you about your blankets and you didn't say where to send them or how.  I would have suffered on the road without them.

Eaf, I have wrote to that valley to see about land, and if there is a good show, I will write.  Think that was the nicest.  It was a mild winter there to what it was east of the range.  That's the most attractive feature of the west -nice winters and no cyclones.

We haven't heard from Chapman.  Do you know if W has that horse yet?  Everything is higher here than in Walla Walla.  Want you to write soon.  I wrote to McCain about land he said he could get.  Land in western Nebraska.  I thought I would go there till they have had such a hard winter and storms already.

Will send some pieces of dresses, blue and light maze, blue and plaid Effie's, brown mine.  Have just commenced ours.  I need my black dress bad.  It's so cool here.  Are wearing winter clothes.  If you can register mail at Bechton, you may send it.  Send them right away.  And write.  Had a letter from McCains.

Love to all.   Fan

May 12, 1888

For the past ten days our town has been crowded with cowboys and wagons taking in supplies and making other preparations for the spring round-up which commenced near Ohlman on the 15th.  George Lord is captain, and it is needless to say the work will be done thoroughly and well.


Some of the saloons have the following notices posted on their front doors during Saturday:  "Have your Sunday bottles filled here."

July 21, 1888

There is a dog in town called Dick which performed the remarkable feat of traveling alone from Missouri this summer back to Sheridan.  He was owned by a man who formerly lived here, but returned to his home in the east last fall, taking the dog with him, and great was the surprise of the people when he put in an appearance a short time ago.  He is evidently stuck on the country.

Nov. 24, 1888

The festive cowboy has returned from the range with his pockets filled with gold galore, after a season of hard toil, and asks for a new deal.  He will help make the town lively during the winter.

Katie gave birth to a son, Harry, in December.

L – R: Mabel Ford, Harry Ford, Myrtle Ford

In January 1889, Fannie Ford wrote to Ephraim and Katie at Buffalo, Wyoming telling of trouble with a man stealing money from her mail.

TO: Mr. E. W. Ford, Buffalo, Johnson Co., Wyoming

12 cents postage, registered mail

FROM: Ellensburg, Kittitas Co., Wash.    Jan. 8, 1889

Dear Brother, Sister, and Family,

As I haven't heard will write again and register, and now if I don't hear, will suppose you are dead or never intend to write. I don't know where you are. Was at Bechton but I couldn't hear from you there, and I directed to Bighorn and Buffalo.

Eaf, had a letter from Jim about two weeks ago.  He was better and was trying to sell to come out west.  Said he had written me a plain letter that he thought I would understand, but I never saw it.  He said he thought someone must be meddling with the mail.  Bice said he had never got any from him, but I suppose he did.  I told the postmaster not to let him have my mail and he said their mail come in my name as I did all the writing.  So I told him it didn't matter what he said, that he had better not let any more out of the office.

I sent Eaf $5.00 in a letter this winter with a fellow where I was at work, for her to send me a pair of shoes and the fellow gave the letter to Jim in his shop in the presense of another man that was with him when I handed him the letter, and he never was away from the other fellow after they started, and Bice says there was no money in the letter when he got it, and I went to town the next Sunday on the Train and asked Eff why she didn't send my shoes and she didn't know anything about it.  When he came to the house she asked him if he got a letter from me and said yes, it was at the shop.  He had forgot it.  And she told him twice to go and get it.  The women's mother was there when we got back with it.  The letter had been steamed open and a piece torn off large enough for the 5 gold piece to drop out (I couldn't get a bill) and said it was just that way when he got it.  So I took the letter and told the man what he said and he wrote to him and then went to town to see him, and he said Bice denied saying there was no money in the letter and he told him he was a lier.  He had said it and Bice flew at him to fight, and the man went and had him arrested and fined $25, and he said times was dull he would go to jail, but he didn't.  He got into the sheriff's sympathies so he gave him time and told him to go ahead and do the best he could, and he put the sheriff off 30 days and then told him he had no right to take him so him and the sheriff and deputy had a fight and the deputy drew a revolver on him and Eff went and got some men to go his bonds and he was out yet when I come from Yakima Christmas.  He is doing no good.  Nobody likes him.  He wants Eff to go to Jim [Rice].  Says he can't make a living there for her.  I never expect to go near them again.  I have got sewing here and can get all the work I can do.

I would like to see you all but we have such nice winters here.  I don't think I want to be on that side of the range another winter, although I may be there some time.  I will send you $5 and want you to send my things to me soon as posible by express.  Have my old bed sent from Beecer if it don't cost too much.

If you would rather have your blankets, I will send them, if not will send you the money for them.  Want you to tell me which and write soon without fail.  Send me the children's pictures if you have them.  Eff got Sophia's and her family's pictures.  Sophia has changed.  I didn't know her.  Has her hair shingled.  She wanted to know about Connie coming out here to get him away form her Pa.  I wrote to her that there was little dependence in Bice or her Pa and not to have him come unless Jim comes in the spring.  Now write without fail.

A great big kiss for Maybell and Myrtle.  As Maybell used to say that so sweetly.  Kate, you wrote direct to me and of course this is all.


Fannie Ford married Paul Jackson Lang in Kittitas Co., Washington on February 28, 1889.

In August or early September, Kate apparently had a miscarriage or stillbirth.

In September, Jim Ford, at his Victor Township, Osborne County, Kansas, ranch writes to Ephraim and Kate about having a horse ranch at head of Covert Creek, and sympathizes with their “sad bereavement.”

Covert, Kansas
Sept. 18, 1889
Dear Brother and Wife,

I just received your letter and was glad to hear from you.  Am sorry to hear of your bad health and sad berievement (remember what Mother used to say - it may all be for the best).

I got a letter from the girls a few days ago and answered it.  I haven't a letter from you or the girls but what I answered immediately.  I haven't any papers from you at all.

Well, Eaf, I never had as good health in my life.  Still, I am not very fat yet.  You know about how fat I am in the summer.  I wish you were close to me.  I have got lots of horses.  I tried to send you a team last spring by the fellow that Elias Hart used to go with running horses.  He said it would cost more than they would cost up there.

Well Eaf, you wanted to know what I am doing and how I am getting along, so here goes.  I have 13 forties of land on the head of Covert Creek 3/4 of a mile of the best timber on the creek.  My land all joins.  I have the best little stock ranch in Osborne County.  I have 25 head of Colorado horses from yearlings up, and a fine stallion 3/4 Noriker, weighs 14 hundred, 4 years old, and 13 head of yearling steers, and about $400 in notes drawing 12 percent.  A good wagon, two sets of harness, and a lot of other filth.  And I owe $600 that I am paying interest on, but I think I will make it all right.

But still, Eaf, I feel pretty blue sometimes.  I have a family engaged to come on my place.  He keeps one team to work and I furnish the rest of the horses and ten head of cows.  He does all the work and I give him half of what we make in the stock.  If you was here I would do better than that.  I have got to build this fall if he comes.  His name is Louis of Burr Oak.  You may know him.  He lived across the creek from the Jordans.

I would like to come and see you very much, but I can't get away.  I am fencing.  Got 60 acres of pasture, 6 forties to fence in the next one, so you see I have got something to do, as I always had.

Eaf, I am sorry.  I wish I had borrowed the money you wanted.  If you don't make a sale of your property, let me know.  Hope the girls is doing well, and you are feeling better.  Write soon and often.

As Ever,

Ephraim’s sister Martha “Matt” (Ford) and her husband James Webster “Webb” Rooker moved to Zionsville, Indiana.

On October 8, Ephraim and “Hattie” Ford sold the Crazy Woman homestead to Erain Wickard for $500 by Warranty Deed (Book E, p255).  Ephraim, Katie, and children then went to Jim’s ranch in Kansas, a trip of more than 500 miles as the crow flies, bringing their wagon, three horses, and herd of about thirty-some cattle plus calves and one bull.  Arriving in early November, Kate died a month later on December 9, 1889.

As reported in the local newspaper:

The Farmer, Osborne, Kansas

Wednesday, December 18, 1889

The wife of a Mr. Ford, of Victor Township, died Monday last.  She had been in this county only about a month, and was taken ill shortly after her arrival.

Fannie Lang (unaware of Katie’s death) wrote to Ephraim telling more of Washington and about Effie and Jim Rice in Seattle.

To:  E. W. Ford, Esq., Buffalo, Johnson Co., Wyoming Territory; forwarded to Osborne, Kansas; arrived in Jan.  l890
From:  Ellensburg, Wash., Nov. 17, 1889

Dear Brother and Sister,

As we have not heard from you for a good while, Fannie insisting on me a writing to you.  We would like to hear from you very much, and you must write to us when you receive this.  We quit the railroad in the month of August and come to this place.  Have bought a couple of lots here and have settled here for good.  We both like this place, and as property is advancing very fast in value, we likely will have a chance to make something of one of the lots.  The lots is 50 feet front by 140 feet back.  Paid $125 per lot, Fannie is busy doing sewing. Moved in to our new home a week ago.

This town was burned down last July, but it has built up wonderful since the fire, and it without a doubt will make a large place.  It is the best town between Spokane Falls and Tacoma.  It is about 250 miles west of Spokane Falls and 128 miles east of Tacoma.  It is situated 60 miles east of the Cascade Range in the Kittitas Valley.  Have the Yakima River a running a mile west of the town, and the valley extending about ten miles to the east.

The country is subject to irrigation, and without water the soil is useless.  Have two irrigating ditches through the valley, but they are not large enough to supply the want of water, but they are talking of running a canal next season which is supposed to be large enough to supply the want of water for irrigation.  Have not had any cold weather here yet, and am not liable to have any for Christmas.  I supposed you are having cold weather in Wyoming by this time.  Have been all through Wyoming some years ago, and I know it gets rather cold there.

James Rice and Effie is at Seattle.  Have not heard from Effie since she leaved.  We are both well.  No more for this time hoping to hear from you soon.  Yours sincere Brother and Sister

P. J. Lang and Fannie E. Lang

Jack and Agnes Davidson, friends from Buffalo, wrote Ephraim to offer their condolences at Kate’s death.

TO: Mr. Ephraim W. Ford, Osborne City, Osborne Co., Kansas     2c postage; arrived Jan 8, 1890, 9 AM

FROM:  Buffalo, Johnson Co., Wyoming Territory, Jan 2, 1890

Friend Ephraim,

Your letter of 24th Dec. 1889 came to hand this morning.  We were all very sorry to learn of your loss, as were all your friends.  I have told her friends of your bereavement.  Enclosed find Post Office Order for the sum of $5.  Trusting this will reach you safely.

I am your friend,

Jack Davidson

When asked who sends this, say Mrs. Agnes Davidson.

In February, Edith Morrison, a cousin in Longmont, Colorado, sent Ephraim her condolences at Kate’s death, and tells of her own recent loss of a month-old son due to lung congestion.

TO: Mr. E. W. Ford, Covert, Osborne Co., Kansas    2c postage
FROM: Longmont, Colorado, Feb 26, 1890, [black edge paper & envelope]

Dear Friend and Cousin,

How alike our troubles are.  Little did I think when I received your letter of poor Katie's death that next it would be my little family to be broken.  For Eaf, I have buried our little baby boy.  We only kept him one month, then God took him away from this world of sin and sorrow.  He was only a month old but no one could see him without loving him.  I think we all loved him too much to keep him here among us.  They say he looked like me with long dark hair and blue eyes.  I often wonder if in the other world if we know our relatives as we know them here.  If so, Kate will love my darling little angel boy.

It is hard to give up our loved ones, but God's ways are not our own.  Everything is for the best, I suppose, but it is hard to think so sometimes.  I am sorry you did not let us know Kate was sick.  I would of given so much to of seen her before she died.  I would of come to take care of her or Mother would of come either.  She was as dear to me as a sister.  It seems hard to think that we shall never see her any more.  How I wish you had come home with us.  Perhaps she would not of been sick then.  Mother says if the little ones were here she would take care of them for you.

We are still unsettled but Herb took a job today for six weeks, then we will go some place to settle for good.

I have been sick a good deal this winter, but am better now.  I believe Call is truly sorry for the way she treated Kate, for she has written to me.  She is quite different to what she used to be judging from her letters.

Jennie has a girl baby two months old.  Preacher Rollins has a divorce from his wife.  Mr. French is dead.  Will Fin married Ida Webber.  Herb says how is the chickens.

Are the children well?  Claud is growing fast.  He talks so much about Mable.  Herb and the folks send their regards and sympathies with your trouble.  Write soon.

Yours Truly, Edith Morrison

P. S.  The baby died with lung fever or congestion of the lungs.

In April, Ephraim’s sister Sarah (Ford) and husband A. B. McCain at Buffalo Co., Nebraska, wrote to Ephraim about their sadness at hearing of Kate’s death and how Sarah would like to come and take care of the three children, but must stay and care for her husband.

TO: [no envelope]
FROM:  Buffalo Co., Nebraska     April 16, 1890

Dear Brother,

We received your letter some days ago and we have been waiting, not knowing what to answer.  Sarah would like to go down and see you. It is impossible for me to go, as I am unable to yet sit up all day.  I took cold in one of my ears during my weakness, and it gathered and broke, and it is now affecting my head very much.

They fixed up the spring wagon and I lay down in it and they brought me to Kearney in order to doctor my head.

I am gaining strength very slowly.  Am able to walk through the house by being very careful.  It is possible she may come down, but at present she cannot think of leaving me.  However, we will try and let her go if possible.

The rest of us are in usual health.  I have not written all I can.  You must excuse me from writing further.  So goodbye.

A. B. McCain

[Written on the back of the above letter:]

Dear Brothers,

I cannot give up coming to you and your motherless children.  Pa has been so low all winter we could not leave him.  We are in Kearny now having his ear treated.  We sympathize with you in your affliction and bereavement.  We will come if possible.  I can't write any more I am so tired.  I wanted Dode and Maud to go and see you but it took all of us to wait on Pa.

Neal McCain was here all winter.  We kept him employed all the time Orra was at home this winter.  He wanted to come and see you but could not on account of Pa.

I will come if possible.

Love to all, Write soon
unsigned - [Sarah (Ford) McCain]

Also in April, Matt Rooker wrote to Ephraim at Jim’s ranch at Covert, Kansas telling of their disappointment that he and the children had not yet come to Zionsville.

TO: Mr. Eaf Ford, Covert, Osborne Co., Kansas; 2 cts postage
FROM: Zionsville, Indiana   April 17, 1890

Dear Brother and All,

We received Aunt's [Sallie (Dye) Harmon] and Maria's [Romane] letter last evening.  Uncle Jake [Jacob Dye], Willa [William Rooker], and I have been to every train for several days since we thought it possible for you to get here.  Webb and Willa went the most of last week, then Webb gave you up until today.  Said he thought sure you would come this morning.  Your letters always come from the south in the morning.

Before Willa and I got to the train, we saw two or three trunks tumbled off, then we thought sure they were yours.  Then we hurried faster if possible, but we soon saw by Uncle Jake's countenance that you wasn't there.  Then we went to the office, got your letter, read, and then we all wilted again.  Uncle said "I wish they hadn't written they thought of coming", he was so disappointed.  And, of course, we had to read it to Aunt Fannie [Dye], and she was feeling worse yesterday too, so that I fell afraid for her to know, but Uncle said she would have to know it all, so he went with me to Aunt's [Fannie (Dye) Stoneking].  Of course, she has been elated over Aunt's coming and felt so anxious for you boys, but said she felt like you wouldn't come.  She got quite nervous but took the news better than we thought she could.  She has had so many disappointments and shocks she has disciplined herself to meet almost anything now.  She thinks, and we all do, that when Jim gets able, that you will all come yet.  It is cold and backward here yet perhaps it will be more pleasant to come after a few weeks and better for the boys and children, but we don't want you to think of giving up coming only for the time being.  We won't tell you how disappointed we all are.  But Uncle Will [William Dye] said all the time you wouldn't come.  They have looked and hoped for you so much now I would show them that I could and would come home.

Uncle Jim [James Dye] and Ike [Isaac Cline Dye] have been coming down quite of late.  They too were very much set-up over you coming.  Poor Jim.  I do feel so sorry for him.  I am afraid his sickness is partly caused by worry and how wrong that is and absurd in him.  If he is bankrupted entirely, he is only one among thousands.  That is only a sacrifice of this world.  "What will it profit a man if he gains the world and loses his soul".  If we could only be more concerned about our future welfare, oh how much happier we would be.  I do hope and trust he will be more considerate hereafter, take care of himself, regain his health, then he can do all right.  With health and a willing mind, great things can be accomplished, and how well we all know that true happiness consists not in the things of this life.  How wicked for us to lay up treasures on earth.  His mind and health and soul is worth all on earth.  Now I want him to consider well his own welfare and quit his fretting.  Remember, "Do thyself no harm".  I trust when we hear again he will be very different, and as soon as he is able, I want him to start away from there, not waiting to get ready.

Send the children's pictures.  We had quit writing for them. Thought you would bring them.  Sis wrote so nice about them I already love the little things.  Tell them Aunt Matt wants to see them so bad, want you to write every few days, if only a few words.  I would have  written the first of the week, but Uncle Jake said  not, wait for them.  All usually well except Aunt [Fannie (Dye) Stoneking].  She is worked so much like Mother was, her limbs hurt her so bad now, we don't think she will ever get well.  She said as much a few days ago.  She had several.........for you.  They were waiting last evening.  Will go to Aunt's this morning.  Webb and Willa are hauling logs and make over $3 a day.  Don't blame you for not wanting to leave Jim, yet you can't be much benefit to him.  Do what you think best, but come as soon as you can.


In late April, Jim accompanied Ephraim and the children to Zionsville, Indiana.  Ephraim left his livestock, etc., at Jim’s ranch.

Back L – R: Ephraim Worth Ford, William Nineva “Jim” Ford (Ephraim’s older brother)
Front L – R: Harrison “Harry” Ford, Mabel Ford, Myrtle Ford (children of Ephraim)…thought to be taken soon after Hattie’s death.

Jim wrote several letters to Ephraim in the summer and fall after he returned to his Kansas ranch, telling of his troubles trying to sell out, and of going over to fix up Katie’s grave.

undated; probably in May

Well Eaf, I have been putting off writing to you for a long time as I had lots to do and to think of since I came back.  Alta, the girl that worked here came over the day we started for Indiana and had them buttons on her dress that was got for Katie's shroud and she had gone to Oklahoma when I came home, so I think she must have got the rest of the things.  As soon as I can hear of her I will find out for sure.

I am trying to trade for stock.  I don't know how I will make it. I want to get away this fall if possible.  Does Webb and Joe still talk Tenn.?  If I can turn my stuff into cash I will go with them, that is if I make the trade I am figuring on.  If not, I don't know what I will do.  I can hold the place for some time yet.

Well Eaf, I went over and fixed up Katie's grave.  Put a box around six inches high and filled it up with soil and Anna set out a lot of moss and flowers.  I put up a head and foot piece of wood.  It looks a lot better.  Write.  If there is anything you want to know that I haven't written, just write.  Liss was down from Jewell to get Line to plow her corn.  It is pretty dry up there.
June 22, 1890   At home alone

Well Eaf, I wrote you folks a postal at Osborne.  I had just delivered some stock.  I straightened up with the bank that day.  I let them have some of your cattle and put my cows and calves in the place of them for you.  So you have 32 cows, 31 calves, and one 3 year old bull, and Bill and Frank and Rowdy.  So if anything happens you will know what you have here.  Your wagon is here yet.  I have but one mortgage on stock and that is on hogs.  I will pay that off this week. 

It is very dry and hot, but I think we will have rain.  The grip is working on me again, but I think I can keep it off.  I took some medicine last night.

I don't know what to do.  I think some of going to Colorado and looking.  I will have to go up to McCains I suppose as I cannot get any word from them.  I wish you would write, or have Mattie or Willie if you are not able, and tell how you are, if you can walk or use your hands any, and how Aunt and Uncle are, and how everybody is and how you are satisfied.  I wish I had some of that mineral water.

Write All,   Jim

P.S.  I have bills as sent to the Office most every day for two weeks.  Have you changed your medicine, and what are you taking?  How is the children?  How I would like to see them all.  A big kiss for each one.

At home    Sept.  7, 1890

Am well and batching.  Have been for one week, and it is pretty lonesome, as I have been used to so much company.  But I guess I will get used to it.

I got your letter 2 or 3 days ago and thought I would wait until today for it.  Keeps me busy to cook and do the chores as I have all the water to pump and am trying to chop some wood.

I struck a man a few days ago to trade with.  Said he would bring his wife and look at the place.  I want to trade if I possibly can and get out of this country, for we have raised nothing this year.  I won't have a bushel of corn and only enough to feed a few days, and grass is terrible poor for hay.  There will be some fodder.

If I can I want to make a clean sweep, and if I don't, I will sell enough of something to comfort you and the children, and we will take the balance and go someplace.  I don't want you to get discouraged, for I will do all I can and as soon as I can.  There isn't much sale for anything at present.  Times is terrible.  Earred corn is 40 cts and scarce at that.  Aunts is all well.  How is crops and fruit with you?  Is Webb going to....  Love to all.  A big kiss for the children.


Aunt [Sally (Dye) Harmon] is talking of coming back to spend the winter.  Line went to Colorado to work and is on his road back.  Will get back with less money than he started with, and his horse's shin is poor.  The stock here is in good fix and I can get enough to winter on if we have to keep them.  All write.
Covert, Kansas

Nov. 13, 1890 Dear Brother,

I just received your letter.  Was surprised, I didn't know anyone had wrote about my sickness.  I had a bad spell but rallied, and thought I was getting along all right until I took a severe cold.  But am getting better.  It is the gripp.  I think I will be all right in a few days.  I have been waiting to hear from a trade I have on hands before I made any disposition of stock.  So I don't think it is worthwhile for you to come back home without you are out of danger, as I can ship the stock on the market and take what it brings.  I will write to Wash. and Kansas City for markets here in Kansas.  Does Uncle Will [William Dye] want a source of good cows?  I can pick out a carload of good milkers, some already fresh and will be coming in till May.  I will put them on the cars for $18 per head.  If not, I think of shipping one car of fat calves and trading the rest for good horses and bring a car of them.  You can't sell anything here for cash, so don't be uneasy for I am going to get out of this pretty soon.  So just rest easy and I will be all right.

As Ever, Jim

Covert, Kansas

In January, 1891, Maria Romane [a cousin] wrote from Covert telling about Jim being sick and staying with her for a few days, and how he is boarding at his neighbor’s – the Noyes.

Covert, Kansas Jan. 8, 1891

Dear Cousin Eaf,

Received yours of Jan 2nd Friday evening the 6th.  Was glad to hear from you and glad you are able to help yourself even a little.  That is an improvement over what you had been.  I do hope and pray for your return to health and strength so you will be able to care and look after your little ones.  Jim is sick most all the time.  Part of the time up and then down again.  He hasn't been able to do chores this winter; well I was going to say any, but he might a very few times, but I haven't heard of it.  I think he needs a change of some kind.  I don't know why he don't sell the cattle.  He could get them in at any price.  The calves are all that would bring anything like a living price, and they would only bring $10 apiece.  I don't know if he could sell the horses at any price, but he might on time and have notes, but I am only guessing at that.

We think if there is as heavy a harvest as people are expecting, that teams will bring a fair price just before harvest, but you see, that is in the future.  I suppose Jim wants to make the stock fetch all he possibly can is why he is holding back.  That must be it.

Carl, our second boy, has been herding the stock and doing chores for him since the 22nd of Dec.  They brought Jim up here last Monday and he stayed 3 days and said he felt better the day he left than he had for a month, and I know he did for he went at it that evening. Fixed a mop handle in for me, fastened it in the handle where it had come loose, but he was in bed again yesterday.  The children said he boards at Noyes and keeps the stock on his own farm.  I think they are good to him.  Seem to take as good care of him as if he was one of the family.

Feed is very scarce and you can hardly afford to buy it at the price it is, and stock so low.  We sold a fat cow ready to butcher for $10.  Just think of it.  I don't think I ever saw times any worse than at the present time.

Well, you know how it was when you was here and then a complete failure in crops.  This leaves us all, well, as usual.  Joe is never very stout any more.  Mother and Papa are still in Jewell County.  They are coming back in the spring.  They are all well when Lem wrote last.  Jim is here with us.  We are living here on Pap's place this winter and hope to hear you are improving.  First write again.  I did not show Jim yours.  I thought just as well not.  Goodbye.

Maria Romane

Ephraim was ill, and left the children with his sister Matt and her blind husband Webb Rooker while he went to Orleans in southern Indiana to the “Springs” to get well.

Mabel “Aunt Matt” Ford Rooker at her home in Indianapolis after husband James died

Matt wrote to Ephraim in March, unaware that he had moved north to Columbus, Indiana.

To: Mr. E. W. Ford, Orleans, Orange Co., Ind. forwarded to Columbus, Ind.

From:  Zionsville, Ind.  March 26, 1891

Dear Brother,

We received your letter.  Was getting anxious to hear.  We heard you stayed in the city overnight, so we concluded you would stay till Monday and go back with Wash, as he wrote, it would be as cheap for him to come home over Sunday as board.

The children are all well.  Myrtle and Harry playing, Maybell at Joe's.  We went up there Tuesday and she stayed.  The day we went with you to the train we went to Aunt Fannie's.  Stayed all day.  She is better than usual - all usually.

Well, nothing new to write - hope you are already improving.  You didn't write what the nurse there said of your case.  I feel sure that it will benefit you.  Uncle Jake said they claim those springs are the same as "French Lick", only not such a fashionable place.

We asked Harry why he don't take N. Webb to the barn.  He says cause mad dog bite.

Must close to send to Office.  Write soon and often as you can.


Myrtle's kiss                                

Harry's kiss

While Ephraim was at Columbus being treated by Dr. McLeod (a surgeon), Matt Rooker wrote the last two letters in April telling of the children and of things in Zionsville.

TO: Mr. E. W. Ford, c/o Dr. McLeod, Columbus, Bartholomew Co., Ind.
2 cts postage, [received same day sent]
FROM:  J. W. Rooker, Zionsville, Indiana    April 1, 1891

Dear Brother and Friends,

Received your letter from Columbus.  Was very much surprised at you leaving the Springs.  From what you had written us we were very much encouraged of your speedy recovery.  We are fearful you didn't give them a thorough trial.  "Uncle Jake" [Jacob Dye] says he wishes you had gone on to French Lick, yet it may all be for the best.  Will try to think so at least, and as far as Doctors are concerned, I think and trust her McCleod will do as much as most anyone can.

We were at Uncle Jake's the day we received your last letter.  Aunt Loe [Malora (Owen) Dye] said in answer to cousin Emily that she would like very much if she could see them in their new home, that they weren't fixed up yet, but they were quite well satisfied with themselves.  She was up this afternoon.  Said they had hired a boy to clean yard.  Waited until she was tired, then went at herself and spaded a bed and was tired and that Uncle laughed at her work.  They milk two cows, make butter to sell.

Billy's wife had another bad spell this week.  Aunt Fannie is better again.  She and Mrs. Jinler spent the day with us at Uncle Jakes.  Uncle Will took dinner there too.  Uncle Jim [James Dye] was down over Sunday week ago.  Harry and Elmer last in Madison came down Sunday to have a tooth pulled, but failed.  Said he had suffered very much with it.  Bertha has been down sick but not bad - is better.  Wanted to come to the entertainment, but they thought she wasn't well enough.  Dilla was up there several days.  Her father brought her home.  The relatives are usually well as far as I know.

Well Eaf, I have tried for a week to write, so today I got three lines written, when I had company from Lebanon.  The piano man (Stevens).  He asked me all about you and his .......... one of my old scholars and one of Betsy Roosi's girls which lost her husband this winter.  She was canvasing Parpel-Stretchers.  Said her mother was quite well, but so lonely.

Myrtle and Harry are in bed telling me what to write.  Myrtle says tell Papa her hair is long enough to braid.  Has two braids on each side.  Harry says a big kiss for Papa.  Write Papa.  Now he is telling how Edgar laughs ha ha.  They all sleep in your bed and think it grand.  They are all well and hearty.  Don't fret about them.  They are all right.  Wish you were half so well.  Besides, if anything gets wrong or that you ought to know, we will send word.  They and me worked in the  garden and flower beds most all forenoon.  They enjoy being out.  Maybell says tell Papa she has gone to two entertainments since you went away.  Thought it was so nice.  Last one Pa, Myrtle, and Harry stayed at the barn and ate Rea-nuts.  Pa says tell you to sleep good over the children, that if anything happens, we will telegraph you, that Harry is all right, only that he is too smart.  Says he will run off to the barn and hide in Prince's stall from Aunt Matt (they taught him).  We asked him why he don't take Jeb to the barn.  He says cause mad dog bite.  He talks most everything.

All tired and sleepy.  Will write again.  Pa says they are doing well, sold three at fair profits, think they will sell one tomorrow.  Nothing from Jim, do you?  We wrote you at the Springs.  Did you get it?  Write soon and often as you can.  We are very busy now.  Give our best regards to Dr. McC and his family.

Matt and Webb

P.S. Will send things as soon as I get time and chance to send safe.  Pa says tell you their "Bingo" horse is making a good start, hired a colored man to tend him, looks well.
To: Mr. E. W. Ford, Orleans, Orange Co., Ind forwarded to Columbus, Ind
From:  Zionsville, Ind.  April 5, 1891

Dear Brother,

After waiting to hear from you again I will write.  Received your two letters you last gave quite encouraging news.  Hope you are still improving.  The children are so glad you are getting better.  Harry says "Papa get well".  They send you kisses on all trains that go the way you started, then ask if that is Papa's train.  They are all well and hearty.  Their eyes are all right again.

They all sleep in your bed.  I think it is so nice.  May-Bell was at Joe's a few nights, so Harry, Myrtle, and Matt slept there.  They say wish Papa would come home.

Well, Aunt Fannie [(Dye) Stoneking] has had quite a poor spell again.  She caught her foot under her rug where she sits and fell.  Hurt her knee, hurt herself worse trying to get up She and Mrs. C was alone.  They worried so long before they could make it alone.  Thought she would have to call for help.  Is up and down.

Uncle Jim [Dye] and Matt was down this week.  Said Bertha had been quite sick, but better.  Uncle was down over Sunday.  They all seem anxious about you and read your letter to him.  He said he did hope you would get along, but to be careful what you done, not to do too much.  Uncle Jake said the same, he was afraid you would do something to hurt you.  I want to say you can't be too careful with your self and money.  I am afraid you will venture too far and maybe lose what you have.  Had better be quiet and use it for your health, then you can do all right, but if you lose that and no health, it will be far worse.  You are not able yet to undertake anything, so just be content for a few months at least.

I don't think they have used your money, but if they have, they can replace it, but that is not the object with me.  I want you to get able before you undertake anything.

Harry lost his old......mare last Sunday.  Acted like the other one did.  Got down and couldn't get up.  He is going to stop his "Nucter".  They are at the city now to straighten it.  That Stewart is a rascal.  Harry will come out behind as usual.  Now he sees it - when too late.

Billy Covel's wife has been very bad sick.  Thought she was losing her mind.  Is some better.  Uncle Jake is awful worried about them.  It is snowing this morning.  We got a hot bed partly made.  Will wait again for good weather.  No word from Jim yet.  Webb is afraid you will do something to hurt you.

Must close to send this to the Barn with MayBell.  Oh yes, we all went to our supper, had a good house, the band played on the stage.  Harry didn't take his eye off them while they were there.  They got cross and sleepy before they sold the baby elephant, but MayBell enjoyed that.  She says it was too quiet there.  The midget performed.

P.S.  You left both pairs of your glasses.  Did you mean to?  If you want I will send them to or anything else you want.  Got a letter from Mitchellville.  Another big fire there.  Several business men burned the Index office.  So we didn't get last week's paper.  Do you have lots of reading.  If not, will send you papers if you want me to.  Write often as you can without hurting you.

unsigned -  [Matt]

William Nineveh “Jim” Ford died on December 23, 1891, at the S. H. Noyes residence in Victor Twp., Osborne Co., Kansas, where he had been staying for the past two years because of illness.  He died intestate.  Mr. Noyes petitioned the court in Osborne to name C. W. Baldwin, of Baldwin & Co. Drugs, to be the administrator of the estate, consisting of nothing but a note for $250 owed by Noyes (probably for the sale of stock to him by Jim), and a few small notes from others for a total of about $300.  The entire estate was used to pay the doctor and medicine bills, the funeral ($44), coffin ($28), burial suit ($5), and past boarding bills from Noyes.

The 160 acre farm of Noyes was at the head of Covert Creek close to the Victor-Covert Twp line.  Jim Ford’s 280-acre ranch was about a mile northwest of Noyes.  There are three identical very small FORD headstones near the gate to the Cole Cemetery just over the Covert Twp. line, about two miles southeast of Jim’s ranch.  It is thought that after Kate had a stillbirth in Wyoming, they brought the body of the baby with them to Jim’s ranch, where Kate died.  The two were buried together in the Cole Cemetery, to be joined two years later by Jim.  There are no records of the burials in the Cole Cemetery, nor was there an obituary in the local paper to tell where Jim was buried.

Harry Ford, Mabel Ford, Myrtle Ford

On New Year’s Day of 1892, Ephraim married Mary Alice Johnson in Orleans, Indiana (16 miles northeast of French Lick, IN; 65 miles southwest of Columbus, IN). Mary was the daughter of Armstrong and Sophronia Johnson of Orleans, IN. Ephraim must have met Mary when he stayed in Orleans, IN after returning from Kansas.

On December 12, 1893, Ephraim and Mary had a son, Oscar L. Ford.

In 1895, the Columbus Republic posted a notice that E.W. Ford had mail at the post office that had not been picked up. He must have moved with his family to Shelbyville, IN by that time.

In 1900, Myrtle Ford (15) was boarding on the Peck family farm in Rush Co., Orange Twp., Indiana, and going to school.  The family consisted of the father, Newton Peck (67 yr), a carpenter and farmer, wife Harriet (63), and daughters Sallie Yager (30) and Georgia Peck (7).

Mabel Ford (15) was boarding with the Janis Allander family on their farm in Rush Co., Posey Twp., Indiana.

Harry Ford (12) was staying with Webb and Matt Rooker in Zionsville.

L – R: Mabel Ford, Myrtle Ford

Ephraim and Alice Ford were renting a house at 61 North Pike Street in Shelbyville, Indiana with their six year old son, Oscar L.  Ephraim was an insurance agent, and Alice was a dressmaker.  Ephraim never reclaimed Katie’s three children from their foster homes.

Ephraim was a member of the Washington Lodge of Knights and Ladies of Honor (KLH). The KLH fraternal organization originated in Louisville, KY in 1877 and is said to have been the first secret beneficiary society to admit women to equal social and beneficiary privileges with men. The headquarters were located in Indianapolis. Interestingly, one of their ritual odes recited at their ceremonies was:

“To take the orphan by the hand,
And lead him on aright,
To point him to that “better land,”
Should be our great delight. ”

In March, 1904, Ephraim became ill and began seeing Dr. G.F.H. Hossan, of Indianapolis (Ephraim was probably staying with his sister, Matt. Ephraim died from apoplexy on April 2, 1904 at Matt and Webb Rooker’s home in Zionsville, and was buried in the Zionsville Cemetery next to his sisters Matt Rooker and Fannie Lang and family, and his Uncle William Dye and family.

Obituary - Ephraim Worth Ford was born in Jasper County, Iowa, February 14, 1854, and died at Indianapolis April 2, 1904, aged  50 years, 1 month, and 18 days.  He was joined in marriage in 1881 to Catherine Huson.  To this union were born three children - Mabel, Myrtle, and Harry.  He obeyed the gospel and united with the Christian Church at Orleans, Indiana a number of years ago, and continued faithful until his death.  He was a lover of the Bible and delighted in it's study.  He was a good husband and devoted father.  He leaves to mourn his loss his children, four sisters, one brother, and a host of earnest friends.  He was a member of the Washington Lodge, No. 1352 of the Knights and Ladies of Honor.  In this he was a faithful brother and an earnest worker.  Only just a few days before his death he attended the lodge and made a very touching and earnest plea for the sick of the order.  To those in distress and trouble he ever extended a kind, helping, and sympathetic hand.  Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.  They rest from their labors and their works do follow them.

Descendants of Ephraim had speculated that he and Mary had divorced between 1900 and his death in 1904, but Ephraim’s death certificate shows that he was still married to Mary at the time of his death. It’s interesting that there is no mention of Mary or Oscar in his obituary.

Matt Rooker was appointed guardian for Mabel and Harry on May 2nd.

Oscar became a private in the Army and died of pneumonia at the age of 24 at Fort Dix, NJ.

Nothing else is known about Mary after the 1900 census.


At first, Mabel and Myrtle were placed as apparent boarders in the home of the Offutt sisters living in a big house on the southwest corner of the intersection of the Knightstown Road and State Road 52 in the middle of the town of Arlington in Rush County, Indiana.  They were reportedly treated rather harshly, and were subsequently placed in foster homes.

Mabel Ford McFatridge

Mabel was raised as a boarder on the Janis Allander farm near Carthage in Rush County, Indiana.  She married Charles McFatridge, a nearby farmer.

Mabel Ford McFatridge, Charles McFatridge

Mabel and Charles had no children.  After Charles died in 1938, Mabel went to Florida..  When Harry came to Florida after being permanently disabled, she cared for him there.  

Mabel Ford McFatridge
L – R: Anna May Gahimer, Mabel Wagoner Gahimer, William “Junior” Percell, Fred Gahimer, Claude Wagoner, Mary Rose Wagoner Percell, Martha Gahimer, Patti Percell, Beth Ann Percell Doddridge, Mabel Ford McFatridge, Huson Wagoner, Myrtle Ford Wagoner, Marjorie Wagoner, baby, Ruth Wagoner (Huson’s wife)

Anna Gahimer, Mabel Wagoner Gahimer, Bill “Jr.” Percell, Fred Gahimer, Claude Wagoner, Mary Rose Wagoner Percell, Martha Gahimer, Patty Percell, Beth Ann Percell Doddridge, Mabel Ford McFatridge, Huson Wagoner, Myrtle Ford Wagoner, Marjorie Wagoner, Ruth (Huson’s Ruth) Wagoner. At Wagoner place on 244 near Moscow.

Mabel died in 1961 and is buried with Charlie in the Arlington Cemetery in Rush County.  Mabel was well off.  She gave the bulk of her estate to the Christian Scientist Church, except for $3000 she gave to Myrtle to bury her.

Myrtle was raised as a boarder on the Newton Peck farm in Walker Township, Rush County.  They wanted her to carry water from a basement well, and to keep Mrs. Peck company when Newton was away on carpentry jobs.  The Pecks treated her very well, like one of the family.  She married Claude Wagoner, a nearby farmer, who was the son of William Bracken Wagoner, whose wife Lewie was the eldest daughter of the Pecks.  Myrtle and Claude had seven children.  She died in 1980 at the age of 93.  She and Claude were buried with the Wagoner families in the Moscow Cemetery in Rush County.

Claude and Myrtle Wagoner  Standing L-R: Nora (Lang) Shore, Mabel (Wagoner) Gahimer, Claude Wagoner, Myrtle (Ford) Wagoner, Herbert Wagoner, Martha “Matt” (Ford) Rooker, Frances “Fannie” (Ford) Lang, John Shore. In front L-R: Mary Rose and Norman Wagoner, John Shore’s daughter by a previous wife. 

Myrtle Ford

For more on Myrtle Ford, see this story.

Harry Ford

Harry lived with Matt for a while.  In the 1910 Indianapolis City Directory, a Harry Ford was listed as a clerk at the Kingston Hotel at 31-35 Monument Place.  He met and married Garnett Cleo Breen, a vaudeville dancer who performed with her sister Vivian at the Lyric Theatre in Indianapolis.

1907 Flyer for The Cleo Sisters Vaudeville Act

They had a daughter, Helen M., born in Danville, IL. While in Indianapolis, they had a daughter, Harriett Jane “Janie”, a son, James Breen, and a daughter, Betty Lee (called “Betty Lou”).

In 1917, Harry was a clerk at Nordyke Marmon & Company, manufacturers of milling equipment, located in west Indianapolis. Harry was of medium height, medium weight, with brown eyes and dark brown hair.

By 1920, they moved to Norfolk, VA. In Norfolk he was severely injured when a steel beam fell on him and pinned him, permanently disabling him, and he spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. In Norfolk, they had three more children: Martha Ann, John Harrison “Junior”, and Garnett Vivian. At some time, they reportedly moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he worked as a bookkeeper. On May 17, 1924, Garnett Cleo died. Helen left home, and Janie, about 13 years of age, quit school to take care of her younger siblings. Garnett Vivian was about a year old and was sent to an orphanage (she was still there in the 1930 census). In the 1930 census, Harry was living with Betty and Breen and Helen Buck, a housekeeper.

About 1938, Janie, who was living in Miami, FL with her family, drove up to Bethlehem, PA and brought Harry to live with her. In the 1940 census, he was living with them and his daughter Garnett.

A some point (1946?), they had a fire in their home, and Harry was saved by his grandson Jack.

Harry Ford saved from fire in 1946 by grandson Jack

Harriett moved to California with her husband Bill, and so Harry lived with Joan (“Joni”) who was still in high school. When Joni married and moved to California, Harry moved in with his daughter Garnett Vivian until his death. Harry’s sister Mabel visited a few times while she lived in Florida.

(Much thanks to Teddi Schrakamp, daughter of Joni, for providing the information on Harry’s life)

Harry Ford

Oscar Ford (son of Ephraim and Alice)

Oscar was born December 12, 1893, in Orleans, Orange County, Ind. He was a railroad employee.

He enlisted in the U.S. Regular Army in 1914 in Oxford, Iowa. He trained at Camps Dodge, Iowa, and Fort Dix, N.J. He was assigned to the Cavalry. He transferred to the Supply Company, 133rd Infantry, and served as Wagoner.

He died of pneumonia September 29, 1918 (age 24) at Camp Dix, N.J. He was buried in I.O.O.F. Cemetery, Orleans, Ind.

Early Dyes

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
  1. Margaret 12/23/1639 in New Amsterdam
  2. Jan Laurensen 3/23/1641 in New Amsterdam
  3. Hans Laurensen 9/28/1644
Wife: Gritje (Gertrude) Jansen (sister of Ytie)   1666
  1. 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
  1. James Hance;
  2. Catherine;
  3. William;
  4. Isaac
2nd Wife: Sarah Vincent  (1st husband Vincent Fountain)
  1. John, born 1687 in Staten Island;
  2. probably also James
  3. Laurens (Lawrence)
  4. Catherine (Caterina)
  5. Richard
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
  1. John, about 1711
  2. Ann, about 1715
  3. William, about 1718
  4. James, about 1720
  5. David, about 1725
  6. Vincent
  7. Joseph
  8. Catherine
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.
James Dye
Born: about 1720 in Staten Island, New Jersey
Died: before April 6, 1764    Middlesex Co., New Jersey
Wife: Sarah Lautz
Married: before 1744
  1. James
  2. Andrew (married Sarah Minor, cousin to Martha Washington)
  3. David
  4. John
  5. Benjamin, about 1750
  6. Mercy
  7. Rachel
  8. Anne
  9. Sarah
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.
Benjamin Dye
Born: about 1750
Died: 1788
Wife: Sarah Elizabeth Lemley; died 1793
  1. James; April 26, 1784, Dunkard Creek, Greene Co., PA
  2. George; Jan. 30, 1786, Greene Co., PA
  3. 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.


1. Benjamin
Born: Jan 15, 1808 in Green Co. PA
Died: May 18, 1879 in Zionsville, IN
2. Fannie
Born: Feb 24, 1809 in Morgan Co. OH
Married: Jacob Stonking, Zionsville
3. Isaac
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
  1. Jacob Dye, Union, Neb
  2. Burdetta Dye (a.k.a Mrs. Henry Reed, Northfield, IN)
  3. Mrs. J. R. Reed, Big Springs, IN
  4. Ingram Dye, Lebanon, IN
  5. Miss Ollie Dye, Union, Neb
  6. Mary Jane Dye (a.k.a Mrs. J. Ashley Johnson, Lamar, MO)
  7. Isaac Cline Dye, Union, Neb
  8. Ezekial Dye, Thornton, IN
  9. Mrs. D. W. Lapham, Lebanon, IN
  10. James W. Dye, Union, Neb
4. James
Born: Oct 28, 1812 in Morgan Co. OH
Married: Ruth Ann Harmon, Northfield, IN
5. Jacob
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
7. William
Born: Oct 18, 1818 in Morgan Co. OH
Married: Margaret Miller, 12-28-1837, Zionsville
8. Elizabeth
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)
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

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 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
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

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.

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

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.

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

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?

Died March 3, 1847.   No will.   Jacob Dye, Administrator.
Complete record.   Filed 3/23/47.   Settled Feb 1852.
Box 045.   Book I.

Early Pettingells


Richard Pettingell was born in England about the year 1620, as we learn from the following deposition:
The Deposition of Richard Pettingell aged 47 testiyeth that John Webster came to me of a Lords day before the sun was down & charged me and my son to take charge of John Atkinson untill he had occasion to call for him.

Afterwards we went to Mr. Thomas his house & John Atkinson proferred mr Thomas that if mr Thomas would pay him within one month what he owed to him he shold have that Cagg of sturgeon which was now in John Kents boat delivered to him for his use at boston againe but mr Thomas would not.     (Not signed.)

Testified at a meeting of the Commissioners for Small Causes in Newbury Sept.4, 1667.                         (Essex Court Files XIII, 49)
When giving testimony in the court of Hampton (now in New Hampshire), 14 (8) 1667, he       deposed  that he was “about 52 years old”; in 1678, when he took the oath of allegiance, he is said to have been “about 60.”  The statements were approximate, of course.  His testimony at Hampton was in a trial about the rights of certain heirs to Giles Fuller’s estate and was, viz.:  “Richard Pettingell aged about 52 years saith yt being very well acquaintd wth Giles Fuller of Hampton deceased & wth Mr. Fuller of Bastable doctor both in Old England & here in New England & now that Matth. Fuller doctor now of Bastable was ye nearest kinsman he had.
“Sworn before ye County Court held att Hampton ye 14: 8 m 1673 as attested.”  Fuller is positively known to have come from Topcroft in Norfolk, England,  and it is the opinion of one of the Fuller family who has investigated the problem that Pettingell came from Shottesham in the same county.  Elsewhere we present an article upon this subject.
Richard was a resident of Salem before 1641, and must have been a member of the church; for he was admitted to the freemanship of the colony June 2, 1641, a dignity to which none attained at that date except members of the church, recommended by the minister of the place.  He had a grant of a lot of land – 10 acres – at “enon” (afterward Wenham) in 1642, and removed to that section, where he resided several years.  He was received to the church there by letter from that of Salem 4(6)1649.  He witnessed the will of Samuel Smith at Enon 10(5)1642.
Richard Pettingell married Joanna Ingersoll sometime before 1644. Joanna (1624-1693) was the daughter of Richard Ingersoll (1587-1644). Richard’s great-great grandson, Captain Samuel Ingersoll (1744-1804) bought the House of Seven Gables in Salem, MA in 1782 from John Turner III. His daughter, Susanna, inherited the house upon Samuel’s death in 1804. She was the cousin of Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Nathaniel was well familiar with the house, having visited it many times, and used it as inspiration for his famous 1851 fictional novel “The House of the Seven Gables”.
Richard Ingersoll (1587-1644) – great-great-great-great grandfather of Susanna
– Joanna Ingersoll (1624-1693) – our ancestor
– John Ingersoll (1620-1684) – great-great-great grandfather of Susanna
  – John Ingersoll (1644-1694) – great-great-grandfather of Susanna
    – Samuel Ingersoll (1676-1739) – great-grandfather of Susanna
      – John Ingersoll (1712-1768) – grandfather of Susanna
        – Captain Samuel Ingersoll (1744-July 15, 1804)…father of Susanna, bought House of Seven Gables
          – Susanna Ingersoll (1784-1858) – Nathaniel Hawthorne’s aunt, as sole living child of Samuel, she inherited the House of Seven Gables when he died.

House of Seven Gables in Salem, MA (2016)
Richard Pettingell was a man of weight of character, as the following shows:  (from the Salem Town Records.)
At a general towne meeting held the sevent day of the fifth month 1644, ordered,  –  That twoe be appointed every Lords day to walke forth in the time of Gods worshippe, to take notice of such as either lye at home, or in the fields wthout giving good account therof, and to take the names of such psons, to present them to the magistrate, whereby they may be accordinglie pceeded against; the names of such as are ordered to doe this service are:  (here follows a list)……. in the seventh are Richard Pettingell and John Ingersoll.
He again made a change of residence to a place further east, the plantation of Newbury, where he bought a tract of land April 8, 1651, having sold his houses and lands on Wenham to Samuel Forster.  He made his home near what is known as “the Upper Green,” on the high road, on the right-hand side; part of the house is still standing (1900).  The town gave him, in 1651, 14 acres of marsh in consideration of his giving a right of way 4 rods wide through his land, situated on what is now called Ocean avenue (formerly Rolfe’s lane.)  In 1661 Richard Pettingell and others were chosen grand jurymen for the year.  In 1665 he was granted an island in Plum Island river near Sandy beach by a committee appointed by the town to settle the dispute between Richard Pettingell and John Emery regarding the division as laid out.  He was one of those chosen in 1671 “for a Jury of Tryalls at Ipswich court.”
July 15, 1695, in separate deeds, he conveyed certain houses and farms in Newbury and other interests to his sons Samuel, Matthew, and Nathaniel.  He died shortly after, his wife having died two or three years before.
The family became one of much note in Newbury; in the tax list of 1711 we find the following names of descendants of Richard:    Matthew, Matthew, Jr., Nathaniel, Nathaniel, Jr., John, Nicholas, Samuel Richard, Joseph, Thomas, and the widow Sarah.  Daniel and Cutting, of taxable age were also living in the town, as we believe, at that time.  In subsequent years, also, the family has been largely represented, as will be seen in the following pages.
Richard Pettingell married some time before 1644 Joanna, daughter of Richard Ingersoll (name sometimes written Ingerson and Inkerson), probably by his wife Ann.
Richard Ingersoll came from Bedfordshire, England to Salem in 1629, under contract with the Massachusetts Bay Company to take a place in the force of planters they were gathering.  His family was to be brought over, and he was well spoken of by the company’s secretary in a letter to Gov. John Endecott.  (See Suffolk Deeds, I.)  He maintained a ferry at Salem in 1636; had large property.  He died in 1644.  His will is interesting.
July the 21st : 1644

I Richard Ingerson of Salem in the County of Essex in New England, being weake in body; but through Gods mercye in pfectmemorye, doe make this my last will & testament as followeth, 

I give to Ann my wife all my estate of lands, goods & chattells, whatsoever, except as followeth


I give to George Ingerson my son six acres of meddow lying in the great meddow:

It.   I give to Nathaniell my youngest son a percell of ground with a little frame thereupon, which I bought of John Pe... but if the said Nathaniell dy. without issue his body lawfully begotten, then the land abovesaid to be equally shared, between John Ingerson my son & Richard Pettingell & William Haines my sons in law:

It.   I give to Bathsheba my youngest daughter two cowes.

It.   I give to my daughter Alce Walcott, my house at Tow.....with ten acres of upland & the meddow after my wives decease.

Richard V. Ingerson
his mark

I read this will to Richard Ingerson & he acknowledged it to be his will.

Presented in Court upon oath; 2: 11mo 1644 p. me Ralp ffogg and Ann
Ingersoll made executrix:
this is a true copy compd with the originall on file in Salem Court Records atestes
Hillyard Verlin.
It has been asserted that a certain house at Salem was built by Inkersoll and was the original of the romance by Hawthorne – “House of the Seven Gables.”  Ann, the widow, marries second John Knoght, Sen., of Newbury.  Some years later litigation arose over the farm her husband had willed her, and in the trial her son-in-law gave the following testimony:
“I, Richard Pettingell, aged about 45 years doe testify that this farm of land that is now in contriversy was Reserved by the widow Inkersoll to her self before her marriage to John Knight Senior and shee verbally gave this land to John Inkersoll her son.  I Richard Pettingell doe farder testify that about the year 52 the said John Knight cam home too Newbury and tould his wife that he had promised mr pain sum timber at the lot at frost fish river:  She was then troubled at it and said what have you to doe to sell my timber wher upon siad John Knight promised her twenty shillings:  and the saud John Knight senior did thenoun that he had no right in that land.”  (Essex Court Files, XIV, 28-32).  Mr. Knight then joined with his wife in conveying the farm to her sons John and Nathaniel “Ingerson.”  as the deed was written by the scrivner.


SAMUEL Baptized at Salem on Dec 9, 1644
MATTHEW Born at Enon (probably) about 1648
MARY Born at Newbury July 6, 1652.  She married Sgt. Abraham Adams Nov 6, 1670.  He was born at Salem in 1639, the son of Robert (born in England in 1601) and Eleanor Adams.  Abraham died at Newbury on June 14, 1714.  Mary died there on Sep 19, 1705.
They had ten children:
Mary Adams, b. Jan 16, 1672; m. George Thurlow, who died Jan 17, 1714
Robert Adams, b. May 12, 1674
Abraham Adams, b. May 2, 1676; m. Ann Longfellow, niece of Judge Samuel Sewall
Isaac Adams, b. Feb 26, 1678/79
Sarah Adams, b. Apr 15, 1681
John Adams, b. Mar 7, 1684
Matthew Adams, b. May 25, 1686
Israel Adams, b. Dec 25, 1688; m. Rebecca Atkinson Oct 15, 1714; died Dec 12, 1714 at Waltham, MA; no children
Dorothy Adams, b. Oct 25, 1691; unmarried in 1715
Richard Adams, b. Nov 22, 1693
NATHANIEL Born at Newbury Sep 21, 1654
A son, b. Nov 15, d. 17, 1657
Henry, b. Jan 16, d. 20, 1659


Samuel came to his manhood at old Newbury.  He was a good hunter, whether with traps or flint-lock gun deponent saith not; but the town paid him a bounty of a shilling for killing a fox in 1667.  In 1687 he is noticed on the town records as one of those who were raising sheep.  He took the oath of allegiance with other townsmen in 1678, “aged 33.”
He married, on Feb 13, 1673/74, Sarah, daughter of John Poore, an early resident of Newbury.  She was born on June 5, 1655, and was the second child of the name.  Samuel died in 1711.  In his will dated July 9, 1709, proved Jan 2, 1711, he bequeathed his property to his wife Sarah, and children:  Samuel, Richard, Daniel, john, Thomas, Mary, Sarah, joanna, and Benjamin.  His wife survived him and was recorded a member of the church in 1716
  1. A daughter Born Mar 13, 1674/75; died young
  2. SAMUEL Born Feb 3, 1675/76
  3. RICHARD Born Aug 26, 1677; died young
  4. RICHARD Born Jan 24, 1678/79
  5. DANIEL Born Feb 16, 1679/80
  6. JOHN Born Sep 20, 1680
  7. THOMAS Born Nov 12, 1682
  8. JOSEPH Born Nov 27, 1684
  9. MARY Born Jan 20, 1685/86.  Married Jacob Pillsbury, born at Newbury Mar 20, 1686, son of Abel and Mary Pillbury.
Children of Jacob and Mary (Pettengill) Pillsbury:
  1. Jacob Pillsbury, b. Feb 26, 1709; first settler in Boscawen, N. H.
  2. Joanna Pillsbury, b. Jun 14, 1710; m. Dec 7, 1726 Thomas Johnson
  3. Benjamin Pillsbury, b. Jul 16, 1716
  4. Mary Pillsbury, b. Jul 22, 1728
  5. SARAH Born Jan 20, 1685/86.  Married Aug 12, 1708, John Weed, Jr. (his 2nd wife)
  6. JOANNA Born Feb 10, 1688/89.  Married Jan 27, 1714/15, Samuel Wooster (his 2nd wife), born Oct 23, 1691, son of Timothy and Hulda (Cheney) Wooster.
Children of Samuel and Joanna (Pettingell) Wooster:
  1. Timothy Wooster, b. Nov 12, 1715; m. Nov 1, 1743 Elizabeth Clark
  2. Jemima Wooster, b. Dec 1722
  3. Richard Wooster, b. Oct 11, 1727
  4. BENJAMIN Born Dec 18, 1692


Daniel Pettingell was born in Newbury on Feb 16, 1679/80.  He married first Mary Stickney on Nov 13, 1699.  In 1700, Daniel applied for a sword.  Mary died on Mar 7, 1706/07, three days after the birth of their fourth child, Mary.
  1. AKERMAN Born June 30, 1700
  2. DANIEL Born Jan 5, baptized Mar 18, 1704/05
  3. MEHITABLE Born (?).  Married at Bridgewater on Oct 18, 1733 to Jonathan Pitcher of Norwich, Connecticut.
  4. MARY Born Mar 4.  Baptized April 6, 1707.  Published at Newbury Apr 8, 1727 to John Sampson
Daniel was married second on Mar 26, 1707/08 to Esther (Hesther) French, daughter of Samuel and Esther French of Salisbury.  She was born on Sep 22, 1688.  On Mar 21, 1707, they sold land in Salisbury which she had inherited from her grandfather, Edward French.  (Edward French was born in England in 1590, and died at Salisbury in 1674.)  They were admitted to the church on May 9, 1712
On Nov 3, 1715, Daniel Pettingell of Newbury bought 60 acres of land in Abington and Bridgewater, adjoining that of his brother, John, from Jacob Nash, for $60.  He then removed thither.  He was chosen constable in 1723.  He was a cooper by trade.  Daniel died at Abington May 12, 1726.  As his widow, Esther sold land Mar 15, 1755.
  1. A son Born Mar 6, 1708/09.  Died young.
  2. ESTHER Born Oct 24, 1712.  Died unmarried at Abington Jul 19, 1735.
  3. JOHN Born Feb 4, baptized at Newbury Feb 6, 1714
  4. JOSEPH Born at Abington May 28, 1717
  5. BENJAMIN Born Feb 16, 1719/20
  6. JOANNA Born Nov 10, 1722.  Died unmarried at Abington Beb 18, 1810.
  7. SARAH Born Feb 23, 1724.  Married Joseph Bates of Abington on Jan 9, 1746.
  8. OBADIAH Born with Samuel about 1710
  9. SAMUEL twin to Samuel
Akerman Pettingell was born in Newbury June 30, 1700.  He first married, at North Bridgewater on Sep 17, 1723, Joanna Kingman, daughter of Samuel and Mary (Mitchell) Kingman.  Joanna was born in 1701.  Akerman and Joanna had four children
  1. DANIEL Born Oct 10, 1726.
  2. NATHAN Born in 1732.
  3. JACOB Born in 1734.
  4. HANNAH Married at Preston, Connecticut on Dec 18, 1746 to Solomon Averill.  Lived at New London, Connecticut.
Akerman Pettinegll married second Mehitable.  They had two children.
  1. STEPHEN Born Apr 28, 1743.
  2. SILENCE Born Feb 9, 1745.  Married at Taunton, Jun 16, 1767 to Silas Aldridge, “both of Easton.”  Published at Bridgewater Nov 8, 1766.
He married third, at North Bridgewater, widow Deborah (Sprague) Colson on Aug 23, 1749.
He married fourth, Ann Byram, of Bridgewater, born 1712.  (Published Nov 20 and Dec 3, 1766)  Their banns were forbidden by both parties the first time, but they were published again and married.  Akerman was taxed in Bridgewater, North Parish, in 1744.  He bought land in 1722 and 1753, etc.  On Dec 29, 1737, he was forbidden by the town authorities from harboring William Melaford and family, who had been warned out.  He was one of the petitioners to General Court in 1738 for incorporation.  He was a surveyor of highways in 1747.  He died in 1770.
His wife Ann survived him and married John Kingman on Feb 13, 1772.  Solomon Averill and wife Hannah (Pettingell) conveyed their interest in a piece of land that had been Akerman’s.


Daniel Pettingell was born in Bridgewater on Oct 10, 1808.  He was a cooper.  He charged the town in 1775 for “whooping” several barrels of powder.  He held several town offices from 1754 to 1772.  There were several land transfers from 1771 to 1790.  He married Hannah Soper on Oct 15, 1750, daughter of Samuel and Esther (Littlefield} Soper.  Hannah was born in 1733.  Daniel and Hannah had ten children.
  1. OLIVER Born Aug 4, 1752 in Bridgewater.  Married Mary (?).  He enlisted in Capt. John Durkee’s Company, Col. Putman’s Regiment, of Norwich, Connecticut.  “Oliver was at the battle of Bunker Hill and was conspicuous for his bravery.  As Gen. Putman stood by a deserted field-piece, urging the retreating soldiers to make one more stand, Oliver came to his assistance; his smoking gun and begrimed face were evidence of his work, and amidst it all he calmly took a chaw of tobacco.”  (History of Windham County)  He settled in Aurora, Niagrara County [later Erie Co.], New York.  When the British invaded Buffalo, New York, on Dec 30, 1813, they made Oliver carry the torch that set Buffalo on fire, and then made him run the gauntlet.  He died in 1820.  His widow was still living in Aurora on Mar 1, 1821, and received a deed of land from her son John.
  2. MOLLY Born Aug 24, 1754
  3. SARAH Born Sep 22, 1756
  4. HANNAH Born May 2, 1759
  5. SYLVIA Born May 8, 1761
  6. JACOB Born Aug 1, 1763
  7. ASA Born Aug 14, 1765.  Married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Carr in 1789.
  8. SUSANNAH Born May 21, 1767
  9. SIBBEL Born Dec 23, 1771.  Married Josiah Hathaway Oct 6, 1788.
  10. SELA Born Dec 23, 1771; twin with Sibbel.  Published to Redding Carr March 23, 1792; banns forbidden by her a week later.


Jacob Pettingell was born in Bridgewater Aug 1, 1763.  He married first Betsy Wellington; second , a wife unknown, and third, Prudence Soper, born about 1780.
Jacob Pettingell of Bristol, Ontario Co., New York, formerly of Norwalk, Connecticut, enlisted in Nov or Dec 1781 for three years in the 1st Connecticut of Col. Grosvenor; was transferred to the 3rd Connecticut of Col. Webb, to the Company of Capt. Stevens.  He served three years; was at the surrender of Cornwallis.  He was paid from Feb 6 to Dec 31, 1781, as of Capt Steven Bett’s Co., of Norwalk, Connecticut.  He died in 1838.  He was buried in the Pioneer Cemetery on Oakwood Ave., between Elm St., and Olean Rd., in East Aurora, New York.  On his grave is a DAR replacement stone slab marker having at the top a cross inside a circle, with the following insriptions below it:


Jacob’s stone is in the 2nd row from the east, 11th stone from the north, Lot 41.  The cemetery lists him as born about 1764, died 1838;  wife Prudence.  Jacob’s brother Oliver is buried next to him with a similar stone.
He was a farmer in Aurora, New York in 1820.  Jacob had eight children.
  1. HIRAM
  2. GEORGE Born about 1804; unmarried
  3. PHILANDER Born about 1808
  4. JACOB WELLINGTON    Born Feb 26, 1810 in Aurora, New York
  5. ASAPH Born 1819.  Married Sally Arnold
  6. MARIETTA Born about 1820; died unmarried
  7. SARAH Married a Simmons
  8. EDWARD “youngest child”


Compiled by Charles I. Pettingell
Edited by Charles I. Pettingell
Boston, Massachusetts  1906
Fort Hill Press - Samuel Usher
176 to 184 High St.
Boston, Massachusetts

Thomas Edward Huson and Rhoda Tucker

Story by Fred Gahimer.
THOMAS EDWARD HUSON was born, 28 March 1796, at Queensbury, Washington County, New York, son of CORNELIUS and SARA (WING) HUSON. He married RHODA TUCKER, daughter of ABRAHAM and DEBORAH TUCKER of Queensbury, Warren County, on February 6, 1816, in Erie County, New York. Some of Abraham’s children became early settlers in Niagara (now Erie) County. The Tucker families were Quakers, and came to North Collins (from Westchester, Dutchess, and Warren Counties) in 1809, the first year of settlement there. North Collins began largely as a Quaker settlement. Because THOMAS was not yet a Quaker, RHODA was put under pressure by the Quakers for more than a decade before Thomas finally joined.
For more information about Thomas’ younger years, see this story.

Thomas Edward Huson (Doc Huson’s father)
5/2/1816 Queensbury, Warren Co., New York Quaker Meeting, minute of denial: Whereas Rhoda Huson formerly Tucker hath had a right of membership amongst us but hath so far deviated from the good order established amongst us as to keep company and marry one not of our society, therefore we do disown her from being any longer a member of our society until she shall make satisfaction for her outgoings.

Quaker meeting house, Huson cemetery, N. Collins, Erie Co., NY
On November 16, 1816, their first child, a daughter, Sarah Ann, was born in Queensbury.  Their second child, a son, John Thompson, was born in Queensbury on February 28, 1819.
In 1820, THOMAS and RHODA HUSON, as evidenced by land records, are thought to have moved to a location near the Brant – North Collins Road near the site of the present Huson Cemetery about a half mile west of the town of North Collins.  In the 1820 census they were in Niagara County (later Erie), in Eden.  Eden Township is just north of the town of North Collins.  Since the Quaker Meeting below states that they lived on the “verge” [edge] of Eden, they probably lived in the southwest tip of Eden Township, a little northeast of the Huson Cemetery.  It was here that their third child and second daughter, Hepsibah, was born on October 21, 1820.  Nothing further is known about Hebsibah other than she reportedly died in Illinois.
11/30/1820 Queensbury Quaker Meeting: Rhoda Huson forwarded to this meeting an acknowledgement with the tenor of which we are satisfied and she now resides in the verge of Eden Monthly Meeting..clerk requested to forward a copy of this minute to that meeting..
1/4/1822 Concord [later Collins] Quaker men's Meeting: the women’s meeting informed this that they are united in accepting Rhoda Huson as a member of our society...we unite (this was also noted in the Queensbury Meeting minutes of 4/4/1822)
A fourth child, Harriet, was born on September 8, 1822 in Collins.
THOMAS and RHODA’s fifth child, daughter Content, was born on August 24, 1824 in Collins.  A sixth child, Anna H. was born on July 13, 1826.
1/1/1829 Collins Orthodox Quaker Meeting: Collins preparative meeting forwarded to this a request from Thomas Huson to be joined in membership with us...visit him
1/30/1829 Ibid.: ..made him a visit to good satisfaction...accept him a member
Melvin Wing Huson, seventh child, was born in Collins on January 5, 1829.  One month later, Content Huson died on February 6, 1829 at age 3 1/2.  On June 27, 1830, the eighth child, Phebe Jane, was born.
In 1831, THOMAS and RHODA moved to East Hamburg.
4/28/1831 Collins Orthodox Quaker Meeting: Thomas requested a removal certificate for self and family directed to Hamburgh Orthodox Quaker Meeting.
5/26/1831: removal certificate from Collins to Hamburgh Orthodox Quaker Meeting for Thomas Huson, wife Rhoda, and little minor daughter, Phebe Jane accepted, Hamburgh meeting of 6/29/1831
Their eldest daughter Sarah Ann married a local farmer, Shadrack Sherman, in Hamburg on March 11, 1832.  Shadrack was a Quaker, and Sarah joined in 1834.  In 1836 they moved to Collins, and joined the Collins Quaker Meeting.
In Hamburg, RHODA delivered her ninth child, EDWARD WING, on March 20, 1832.  The following year, the tenth child, Charles Abraham, was born on August 16, 1833.  On May 17, 1834, Hannah, the eleventh child, was born.  And on March 1, 1837, the twelfth child, Deborah T. was born in Hamburg.
About 1838, their daughter Harriet married Ebenezer Cook Sprague, a Quaker ten years her senior, in Hamburg.
11/2/1838: Thomas Huson purchased land from the Holland Land Company at East Hamburg; 61 acres in Lot 32, Sub. D, T9 R7.
Finally, on March 5, 1839, the last of the Hamburg babies, and the thirteenth and last child, Byron Franklin, was born.
In the 1840 census, THOMAS (44) and RHODA (45) were living in Hamburg with their children, John Thompson (20), Anna H (14), Melvin Wing (11), Phebe Jane (10), Hannah (6), EDWARD WING (6), Charles Abraham (7), Deborah (3), and Byron Franklin (1).  Later that year, John Thompson Huson married Susan Rathbarn in Hamburg.
On July 14, 1841: THOMAS HUSON and wife, RHODA; and John T. Huson and wife, Susan; all of Hamburgh, sold property to Chandler Wells, T10 R7 (Hamburgh), part of Lot 31, $1100 (Deed Book L64, p211)
After selling their property in Hamburg, THOMAS and RHODA and the children, along with their son John Thompson Huson and wife Susan, moved to Collins, which was two townships due south of Hamburg.
1/26/1842 Hamburgh Orthodox Quaker Meeting: The overseers directed to this meeting through the preparative meeting a complaint against Thomas Huson that he had failed to perform his promises and pay his just debts and has made a distinction in his creditors paying nearly all where his relations were concerned and some others none, to which the clerk is directed to forward to Collins monthly meeting requesting that meetings care in his case and inform us the result.
2/22/1842: removal certificate from Hamburgh to Collins Orthodox Quaker Meetings for Rhoda, wife of Thomas Huson, and children: Phebe Jane, Edward, Abraham [Charles A.], Hannah, Deborah, and Thomas [Byron].
8/30/1842 Hamburgh Orthodox Quaker Meeting: Collins monthly meeting informed us that Thomas Huson acknowledges the complaints sent by this meeting against him and had given that meeting such satisfaction that they concluded to continue him a member.
SERVICE IN LOCAL FRIENDS MEETINGS: THOMAS was overseer, Hamburgh 1839; appointed to attend Quarterly Meeting, 1839; appointed to investigative committees, 1829-30, 1839-41.  RHODA was overseer, Hamburgh 1831; overseer of the poor, 1837-38; appointed to attend Quarterly Meeting, 1831-32, 1834, 1838-40; appointed to investigative committees, 1830-31, 1834-35, 1837-40; Sarah Ann (Huson) Sherman appointed to investigative committee, 1836.
In 1842, after the death of his brother, Wing Huson, and probably in the fall, THOMAS and RHODA moved to Southfork [now Kenosha], in the southeast corner of the Territory of Wisconsin where he acquired some government land.  Making the journey were THOMAS (46), RHODA (47), Anna H. (16), Melvin (13), Phebe Jane (12), Hannah (8), EDWARD WING (10), Charles A. (9), Deborah (5), Byron (3), and the married children and their families, Sara and Shadrack Sherman, John T. and Susan Huson, and Harriet and Ebenezer Sprague.  It is likely that other families from the Collins area joined them.
THOMAS died in 1843 at age 47 of kidney disease, probably in Kenosha.  Afterward, RHODA moved the family to Geneva, Walworth County, Wisconsin.
In 1850, they were in Marquette County, Wisconsin, near Kingston.  RHODA bought 160 acres of land on February  24, 1851 from her son, Melvin W. Huson, for $300.  It consisted of the N1/4, S10, T14N, R11E in the Green Bay Land District, and was recorded on  June 2, 1855.  (Deed Record J-134, 135)
In the 1850 census, the children had become somewhat scattered in Wisconsin.  Sarah and Shadrack Sherman were farming near Eagleville in Waukesha County with children Thomas and Etta.  Harriett and Ebenezer Sprague were still living in Kenosha with their children Albert, Hulda, Horace, Emma, and Julia.  Ebenezer was a carpenter.  Anna and Jacob Chapin were farming in Sharon, Walworth County, with daughter Almira.  Phebe Jane and George Dart were living in Kingston, Marquette County, with daughter Almira.  John T. and Susan Huson were living nearby in Marquette, Marquette County, farming with children Charles E., Emery, and Sarah.
It is probable that at this time Melvin moved to Illinois, where he is reported to have died on May 8, 1855 at age 26.  It may also be that his sister Hepsibah went with him, as she also reportedly died in Illinois.  Also in 1855, Sarah and Shadrack Sherman had moved to Middleton in Dane County just north of Madison, Wisconsin.
RHODA and her son Charles together bought 80 acres of land on July 16, 1855 from Jesse S. Sims and his wife Ruth Ann for $400.  The Quit Claim Deed for the N1/2, NE1/4, S15, T14N, R11E was recorded on July 23, 1855.  (Deed Record J-332)  In the 1855 Wisconsin State Census, RHODA was listed as living at Kingston as head of a household consisting of three males and two females.  RHODA bought another 80 acres on September 4, 1857 from M. W. Stevens and his wife Harriet for $1.  The Quit Claim Deed  for the N1/2, NE1/4, S10, T14, R11 was recorded on March 12, 1860.  (Deed Record S-375)
At about this same time, Harriet and Ebenezer Sprague and family moved back to East Hamburg, Erie County, New York and resumed farming there.  Perhaps they were unhappy with Wisconsin, or they may have returned due to Harriet having failing health.  She died on August 28, 1857 at age 35 and was buried in the East Hamburg Friends Cemetery.
In 1858, the eastern part of Marquette County was split off into a new county named Green Lake, which contained the towns of Kingston and Marquette.  In the 1860 census of Kingston, RHODA HUSON was listed as the head of the household, and sons EDWARD WING and Byron (listed as Thomas) were living with her.  Byron was also listed by his nickname Thomas in the list of Rhoda’s children in the Quaker removal certificate of 2/22/1842.
In the 1860 census, Sarah and Shadrack were still in Middleton, north of Madison where he was now a baptist minister (since 1853) and the only child at home was Etta.  Phebe Jane and George Dart were farming in Montello, Marquette County with children Almira, Alma, Wallace, and Henry.  Anna and Jacob Chapin had moved to Fremont Twp., Bremer County, Iowa with their children Almira, Eugene, Melvin, and Alice.
EDWARD WING HUSON met CLARISSA ANNE PATTENGILL in Kingston and they were married there on March 30, 1862.  Prior to 1866, EDWARD and CLARISSA HUSON moved to Belle Plaine, Benton County, Iowa where he was a grocer, as listed in the 1870 census with Clarissa and their children, Willie, KATIE, and Carrie.
EDWARD’s brother Byron Huson also lived in Belle Plaine in 1866, where he met Alice Campfield.  He married her on December 13, 1868 in Des Moines.  They were found in the 1870 census living in Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa with a daughter, Alena.  Byron was a carpenter.
In 1870, RHODA (75) was listed in the census as living in Nashua, Chickasaw County, Iowa with a newlywed 28 year old wagonmaker named Edwin Treadwell, his 27 year old wife Etta, and a 21 year old housekeeper Elizabeth Parke.  Their next-door neighbor was RHODA’s daughter, Sarah (53), with her husband, Shadrack Sherman (58), a clergyman.  Etta was Shadrack and Sarah’s daughter, and thus RHODA’s granddaughter.  Anna and Jacob Chapin were still living in Fremont Twp., Bremen County, Iowa, farming with children Eugene, Melvin, and Alice.
Since Bremer and Chickasaw Counties adjoin, it may be that prior to 1870, RHODA went with Sarah and Shadrack Sherman and they moved to Iowa to be near Anna and Jacob Chapin.  There, Sarah’s daughter Etta met and married Edwin Treadwell, and they took in and cared for the aging RHODA, with the help of her parents next door.  RHODA died in Iowa two years later on October 1, 1872; probably in Nashua, at the age of 77.


  1. Sarah Ann (daughter), b. 15 Nov. 1816 at Queensbury, Washington Co., N.Y.
  2. John Thompson (son), b. 28 Feb. 1819  at      ”           ”           “
  3. Hepsabah (daughter), b. 21 Oct. 1820     (as above); d. in Illinois
  4. Harriet (daughter), b. 8 Sep. 1822 at Collins, Erie Co., N.Y.; d. 28 Aug 1857 Erie Co., N.Y.
  5. Content (daughter), b. 27 Aug. 1824 at Concord, Erie Co., N.Y.; d. 6 Feb. 1829 in N.Y.
  6. Anna H. (daughter), b. 13 Jul. 1826 at Concord, Erie Co., N.Y.
  7. Melvin Wing (son), b. 5 Jan. 1829 at Concord, Erie Co., N.Y.; d. 8 May 1855 in Illinois.
  8. Phebe Jane (daughter), b. 27 Jun 1830 at Concord, Erie Co., N.Y.; d. 1907 in Washington State.
  9. EDWARD WING (son), b. 20 Mar 1833 at Hamburgh, Erie Co., N.Y.
  10. Charles Abraham (son), b. 16 Aug. 1834 at Hamburgh, Erie Co., N.Y.
  11. Hannah F. (daughter), b. 17 May 1835 at Hamburgh, Erie, N.Y.
  12. Deborah T. (daughter), b. 21 Mar. 1837 at Hamburgh, Erie, N.Y.; d. 14 Feb. 1856 in Wisconsin.
  13. Byron Franklin (son), b. 5 Mar. 1839 at Hamburgh, Erie, N.Y.
L – R: Hannah F. (Huson) Carter, Byron Franklin Huson, Anna (Huson) Chapin. c. 1906. Siblings of Doc Huson. Byron’s wife died in 1906. Anna died in 1909. Hannah died in 1914. Home of Eugene L. Chapin, Minneapolis, KS.

Sarah Ann

Sarah Ann was born on November 16, 1816 in Queensbury, Warren County, New York.  She married Shadrack Sherman on March 11, 1832 in Hamburgh, Erie County, New York.  Shadrack had been born on December 1, 1811, in Washington County, New York.
Shadrack was a Quaker in the Hamburgh Orthodox Meeting, and in 1834 Sarah joined the Quakers.
6/25/1834 Hamburgh Orthodox Quaker Meeting: Hamburgh preparative meeting forwarded a request signed by Sarah Ann Shearman signifying her desire to become joined in membership with friends (2 persons) appointed to take the necessary care.
8/27/1834 Ibid.: Sarah received into membership.
2/24/1836 (Erie Co., Clerk's record of deeds, L39, p280):  Shadrack and Sarah Ann of Hamburgh sold property to Seneca Hill of Hamburgh, T9, R7, NW part of Lot 23, $1219.
6/24/1836 (Ibid., L39, p160):  Shadrack and Sarah Ann Sherman of Hamburgh sold property to Noah Folsom, T9, R7, part of Lot 15, $620.
SERVICE IN LOCAL FRIENDS MEETINGS: Hamburgh; Sarah Ann (Huson) Sherman appointed to investigative committee, 1836.
2/22/1837 removal certificate from Hamburgh to Collins Orthodox Quaker Meetings for Shadrack and his wife Sarah, "having removed within the limits of your meeting."
5/1/1837 (Erie Co., Clerk's record of deeds, L44, p225):  Shadrack and Sarah Ann of Evans sold property to Joseph L. Shearman [his brother] of Hamburgh, T8, R9, part of Lot 21, 10 acres, 31 rods, except 3 acres in north end, $400.
5/26/1837 (Ibid., L44, p221):  Shadrack and Sarah Ann of Evans sold property to Bartholomew Fields, Sarah's uncle, at T8, R9, part of Lot 21, 3 acres, $100.
In the 1840 Census, Shadrack (29) and Sarah (24) were farming in Brant, Erie County with their children, Thomas (4), and Etta (2).
They moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin in late 1842 with her parents and others.  In the 1850 census, Shadrack (37) and Sarah (34) were farming in Eagleville, Waukesha County, Wisconsin, with their children, Thomas (16), and Rhoda [Etta], and a 19 year old woman from England.  Based on the locations of their children’s births in Wisconsin, they were in Wyocena, Columbia, County in May 18521; Beaver Dam, Dodge County in September 1856; and in Middleton, Dane County [just north of Madison] in April 1855.  Shadrack became a Baptist in 1853 and then became a preacher and peddler of religious goods.  In the 1860 census, Shadrack (49) and Sarah (43) were still in Middleton with their daughter Rhoda [Etta] (18).  He was still a minister, with assets of $500 real estate and $200 personal property.
Shortly after the 1860 census, they moved to Iowa, where Shadrack became an influential minister in a large area of the state around Nashua.  They may have moved there to be close to her sister Anna Chapin, as she and her family had moved into the county adjoining Chickasaw prior to 1860.
In the 1870 census, Shadrack (58) and Sarah (53) lived at Nashua, Chickasaw County, next door to their daughter Etta (27) and her husband Edwin [Clarence] Treadwell (28).  RHODA HUSON 75, Thomas’ widow, was living with the Treadwells as well as Elizabeth Parke, a 21 year old woman born in Wisconsin listed in the census as keeping house.  Shadrack had assets of $1,800 real estate, and $500 personal property.  Edwin, a wagonmaker, had assets of $400 personal propert, and Etta had $250 personal property.
Shadrack was in the ministry twenty years, half with the Cedar Valley Association of Iowa and the last three years with the Baptist church of Riceville.  In later years Shadrack was unable to travel the circuit on the prairie and retired to the Baptist church in Riceville.  He died of a stroke on January 3, 1875 at 63 years.
Sarah moved to Minneapolis, Ottawa County, Kansas in 1884, and died there on April 11, 1885 at the age of 68.  She was buried in the Highland Cemetery there.
Minneapolis Messenger, 
April 16, 1885

Mrs. Sarah A. Sherman, an aunt of the Chapin boys, died in this city last Saturday night.  She came from Iowa last summer; has been an invalid for some time but in the past two weeks has been very sick, with a complication of diseases.  She was 68 years old and her old age had as much to hasten death as anything.  The funeral services were held at the Baptist Church last Sunday afternoon.
Children (Source: Judith M. Treadwell Paschen, Yakima, WA):
  1. Emma – Born Feb 16, 1838 in Brant, NY.  Died Jan 18, 1844 in Brant.
  2. Thomas H. – Born Mar 3, 1838 in East Hamburgh, NY.  Married Semira A. Thomas Feb 18, 1887.  Died Mar 1922 in Whittier, CA
  3. Etta Rhoda – Born Dec 8, 1842 in Kenosha, WI.  Died Dec 9, 1915 in Ritzville, WA.  Married Edwin Clarence Treadwell
  4. James H. – Born Aug 12, 1845 in Eagleville, Waukesha Co., WI.;  Died on Aug 18, 1846 in Eagleville.
  5. Alice C. – Born May 24, 1851 in Wyocena, Columbia Co., WI.;  Died Aug 15, 1852 in Wyocena.
  6. Clarence – Born Aug 1, 1856 in Beaver Dam, Dodge Co., WI.;  Died Sep 8, 1856.
  7. Forest Orange – Born Sep 25, 1855 in Middleton, Dane Co., WI;  Died Apr 20, 1858 in Middleton.
On Feb. 2, 1916, two months after Etta’s death, 69 year old Edwin Treadwell wrote a letter to a grandniece which tells some of the story of Shadrack and also of he and Etta.
Dear Allice,
This is a snowy day almost like the one described in Whittier’s “Snow Bound”.  I hope it will not continue as long or be quite so severe.  I think it is such a day as book lovers like to cuddle down in some cozy corner by a good warm fire and a good book, and then you can nearly bid defiance to the elements without.
I am in my room with very pleasant surroundings.  The walls are nearly covered with pictures.  Some of them are almost sacred, as their dear faces represent years of happiness.  A bed is in one end of the room, and beside it a stand and chiffonier, a few easy chairs, carpet and furs on the floor, and a table partially covered with papers and books where I sit writing.  One of the most prized books is a Bible that has many places marked and interlined by her whom her Savior has taken home to be with Him.  This letter is written on stationery that was hers, so it will be in part a letter from her as well as from me.  Now I have given you just a brief look at my surroundings today.  I haven’t any special story or book to read today, so I think I will write a story for you to read, and for not knowing a better title for it I will call it a Love Story — and who does not love to read a good love story?  Its sparks touch the heart and set it aglow to the greatest faculty that God has given us.
Many years ago a young Quaker [Shadrack] and his wife came from New York State to Wisconsin and started a home there.  Soon after they were converted to the Baptist Faith and united with the Baptist Church.  He was engaged in the merchantile business for several years and finally felt his duty to go to work more directly for his master.  He entered the co-pastor work which he followed for a time, and also supplied many destitute churches on the Sabbath.
After a while he felt it his duty to give all of his time to the ministry.  He was ordained and held several very successful pastorates.  Several children came into their home, but most of them were taken home [died] in childhood.  The one I wish to speak of more particularly was a daughter, Ettie R.  She was educated in the common schools and finally took a partial academic course.
At the age of 18 she began teaching and taught two or three years in Wisconsin.  Then her parents moved to Iowa and soon after she followed them and taught there for a year or two when her health gave out, owing to the exposures of the severe winters and deep snows.  Sometimes she was obliged to stay at the schoolhouse for days and do what cooking she did on a box stove.
Then followed nearly a year of illness when her parents and friends nearly despaired of her recovery.  She finally took treatment from a doctor in New York City, and his remedies restored her to health again.  About that time a young man came from the East to Iowa, where he had a brother residing.
He visited with him for two or three weeks and then went out looking for work at his trade.  After visiting several towns without success, he came to the City of Nashua, Iowa, and there found employment.  After the business arrangement was completed , the young man inquired as to the Baptists in the town and was informed that there was a Baptist Church and a Baptist pastor of the church.
He informed me that he was doing some work for him at the shop and that he would soon be in as he had just passed down the street.  The minister soon returned and I was introduced to him.  He gave me a very cordial greeting.  I had left my baggage back to a town about 20 miles distant, could go back on the evening train and return on an early morning train.  (I see I have given myself away.)
I did, so I was kindly invited to come to the parsonage which was but a short distance away, and I gladly accepted the invitation.  I was received into the home very cordially by the minister, Rev. S. Sherman, and his wife.  After a while I was invited out to the breakfast table, and there for the first time I met their daughter, Ettie Rhoda Sherman.  I was seated beside of her, and I think I engaged her in conversation as much as I knew how.  However, I think the meal passed without any special event.  I was so pleased with the home that I persuaded them to board me (and thereby hangs the tale.)
My not being acqainted with the town I did not have any other place to spend my evening but at the home.  So we sang some and talked a great deal.  I knew something about the East but very little about the West.  She knew lots about the West and of course little about the East, so we had to swap off.
Time passed very pleasantly from weeks into months, and the first we knew Cupid had entered the circle and shot his arrows at both of us, and they sure were fatal shots.  We discussed the matter afterwards and it was a mystery how he ever got in for we kept the doors closed and the curtains down at the windows.  I had quite a severe cold for a while that winter and we drank ginger tea together.  But she never made it until the old folks had retired; that might have had something to do with it.  The winter passed away very happily and springtime came, also the birds and their mates.  There was a grove just back of the house, and it was full of songbirds.  We went out to hear and watch them, and perhaps it was them that induced us to do the same.  So one beautiful April day her father gave her to me.  We stayed with the father and mother a few months; then we went to a house of our own.  We were very happy in each other’s love and companionship.  We found many friends and enjoyed many pleasant hours with them.  After nearly two years a little babe came into our hearts and home – our Clarence boy.  Then we had the Golden Link to unite us closer than ever.  About three years later our Allie boy came to us and we had another tie to bind us close together.  Then next came little Mable, a beautiful sweet little girl.  I don’t know that we loved her too dearly, for she was taken away from us when 3 1/2 years old.  That was our first great sorrow, and sad indeed were our hearts at her loss.
In the meantime R. A. had come to us.  He was always our baby, although he is now over thirty years of age.
All three of the boys have always been very kind and thoughtful of us.  We lived in Iowa about thirteen years and then the climate was too severe for us, so in ’84 we moved to Kansas and lived in our home there nearly eighteen years.  We had a pretty little cottage home and had flowers and fruits in abundance.  We kept a horse and carriage so we could go whenever we pleased.
In the spring of 1902 all three of the boys came to Washington, well knowing that we would not stay behind them very long.  We were very lonely without them, so in the fall we came to Washington.  We had a good home at Colville where we lived for six years.  The town is located in a beautiful valley with mountains all around, fruits of all kind in abundance.  The snow air that came from the mountains was too severe cold for my companion’s lungs.  She took pneumonia and came very near dying.  That was four years ago this winter.  She partially regained her health so we were able to come here in the spring where it is much milder.  A year ago this winter she took pneumonia again and we despaired of her life for weeks, but she rallied again after severe suffering last spring.  As soon as she was able I took her out of her wheel chair, and we spent many happy hours together.  She was of a loving temperament, easily grieved and grieved herself very much if she saw any one else grieved.  Those that knew her best loved her the dearest.  I did not know how much I loved her until she was taken from me.
I dreamed a few nights since that I was lying on the bed and she came and bent over me and kissed me.  It almost seemed to me that her blessed spirit had come back to me as a ministering angel to comfort me.  When the angels took her home I wonder if she was greeted by our little Mabel and many others of our loved ones that have gone before, and will she be permitted to greet me when I go.  Our Heavenly Father permitted us to love each other so dearly here that it cannot be possible that death will separate our love.  God is love, and I think human love is next to God’s love.  We dearly love our Heavenly Father here, and we shall love him more dearly then, and why not our dear ones also?  My story is told.  I hope it may be of interest to you.  Kind regards to all the dear ones.
E. C. Treadwell
(Source: Judith M. Treadwell Paschen, Yakima, WA)

John Thompson

John Thompson  was born Feb 28, 1819 in Queensbury, Warren County, New York.  He was at times a farmer, wheelwright, and minister.  He married Susan Rathbarn in 1840 in Hamburg, Erie County, New York and lived in Collins, Erie County.
In late 1842 they moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin with his parents and others.  Between 1844 and 1848 they lived in Montello, Marquette County.  In the 1850 census John (32) and Susan (32) were in Marquette of the same county, and were farming with their children Charles (9), Emery (7), and Sarah (1).  By 1856 they had moved again to Bangor, LaCross County.
In 1868 they moved to Colfax Twp., Daviess County, Missouri.  In the 1870 census John (51) and Susan (52) lived in Grand River, Livingston County, Missouri with their children Emery (28), Herbert J. (19) a school teacher, and Clara E. (11).  John was farming, and had assets of $2880 real estate, and $2365 personal property.  His younger brother Charles Abraham Huson (38) and his wife, Celia A. (30), and their son Custis W. (9) were their neighbors.  Charles was a merchant, with assets of $600 real estate, and $800 personal  property.  Also nearby was John’s son Charles E. Huson and his wife Isabell and baby.  Charles E. was a farmer with assets of $2,880 real estate, and $500 personal property.  In the 1880 census, John (61) and Susan (62) were back living in Colfax.  The only child at home was an adopted daughter, Marriettie (10).  In 1886 he was the Pastor of the Congregational Church in Kidder, Caldwell County, Missouri.  The town of Breckenridge was a few miles east, where his daughter Clara E. (Huson) Hoyt, and son Charles E. and family lived.  John then moved to Kansas for a few years.
L – R: Charles Erle, Bert Huson (Charles’ son), Charles Edward Huson (John’s son), John T. Huson (brother of Edward “Doc” Huson).
 In 1889 John moved with his son Charles to South Bend, Pacific County, Washington.  By the 1900 census, Susan had died, and John was living as a retired minister on Monroe Street in South Bend, Alta Vista Precinct, with his son, Charles E. Huson and his wife Isabell.
Charles Edward Huson (nephew of Doc Huson). Nephew of Edward Wing “Doc” Huson. Son of Doc’s older brother, John.
Isabelle (Huson) Hogue (wife of Charles E. Huson, niece of Doc Huson, and daughter-in-law of John Thompson Huson).
John died there on February 6, 1902 at the age of 83.
South Bend Journal, Feb. 7, 1902, Vol. 13, No. 3
South Bend, Washington
Died, Wednesday, February 6, 1902, John Thompson Huson, aged 82 years.  Mr.Huson was one of the best known men in the upper part of the city and was always ready to offer advice and assistance to those whom he knew.  While his friends were saddened by his death, for him the end came none too soon, for his malady was a most agonizing and hopeless one, commonly called dry gangreen.  During the most tortuous illness, however, he showed a brave spirit and summoned all the cheerfulness possible to relieve the care and anxiety of those most dear to him, the family of his son, C. E. Huson, our county treasurer.  The funeral services were held by Rev. Wright in the Congregational church yesterday at 1 p.m. and were well attended.
The deceased was born near Buffalo, N.Y. in 1819, and was married in 1840.  Two years later he moved to Wisconsin, where he remained till 1868 when he moved to Missouri.  He remained in that state 14 years and then went to Kansas.  He resided there till 1889 when he came to Washington with his son, settling first east of the Cascades.  Two years later, when South Bend was a young city, he came here and has since remained.  He has made his home with his son, C. E. Huson continuously for more than 20 years.  Mr. Huson had always been a very active man and shored his mind with most useful knowledge.  He retained his full mental faculties till the very last and it was a pleasure to hear him talk.  On the 28th of this month he would have been 83 years old.  He leaves three sons, C. E. Huson of this city, H. S. Huson, superintendent of the coal mines at Fairfax, this state, and C. A. Huson, now located in Montana.  There are also two daughters, Mrs. Clare E. Hoyt of Kansas City, and Mrs. L. D. Morris of Canton, Montana.
  1. Charles Edward – Born in Brant, Erie Co., NY May 24 1842; Married Isabel Hogue; Died November 16, 1914 at South Bend, WA
  2. Emery Allen – Born in Brant, Erie Co., NY ca 1843; Died before 1914.
  3. Sarah A. – Born in Marquette Co., WI ca 1848; Married a Foster, then L. D. Morris.
  4. Herbert Sherman – Born in Montello, WI on May 29, 1853; Married Lide Bothwell. then Lavinia Whalley in 1892; Died in Oregon on Oct 8, 1927.
  5. Clara E. – Born in La Crosse Co., WI ca 1857; Married Cassius E. Hoyt Aug 27, 1875 in Daviess Co., MO.
  6. Marrietta (adopted) – Born in MO ca 1869.


Hepsibah was born October 21, 1820 in Eden, Erie County, New York.  She may have gone from Wisconsin to Illinois with her brother Melvin in 1855.  She reportedly died in Illinois.


Harriet was born September 8, 1822 in Collins, Erie County, New York.  She married Ebenezer Cook Sprague, ten years her senior, circa 1838.
3/27/39 Hamburgh Orthodox Quaker Meeting:  the committee in the case of Ebenezer Sprague [husband of Harriet (Huson)] report the appointment not answered and information being given to this meeting that he has since sending his acknowledgement transgressed the order of discipline this meeting concludes that the committee may return him his acknowledgement with the reasons herein stated.
In late 1842, they moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin with her parents and others.  In the 1850 census Ebenezer (39) was working as a house carpenter in the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin.  He had assets of $400 real estate.  In his household were his wife Harriett (29), and children Albert (9), Hulda (8), Horace (6), Emma (2), and Julie (5/12).  Horace was the first of the children to be born in Wisconsin.
They soon decided to return to farming in Hamburgh, Erie County, New York.  Perhaps Harriet’s health was failing.  Harriet died August 28, 1857 at age 35 and was buried in the East Hamburgh Friends Cemetery.
Ebenezer then married Mary Trelford.  In the 1860 census, he (44) and Mary (34) were farming in East Hamburgh with his children, Horace (17), and Florence (6).  He had assets of $1200 real estate and $150 personal porperty.
Ebenezer died October 15, 1902 at age 87, and was buried in the East Hamburgh Friends Cemetery near Harriet.
  1. Albert Huson – Born Nov 15, 1839 in Buffalo, NY.
  2. Hulda Ann – Born ca1841 in NY; married Edward Franklin
  3. Horace W. – Born ca1843 in WI; married Helen Smith.
  4. Emma J. – Born ca1847 in WI; married James Clark.
  5. Julia E. – Born Jan/Feb 1850 in WI.; married Willis L. Hampton on Sep 1, 1869 in East Hamburgh, NY; died 1876
  6. Flora Evelyn – Born Oct 24, 1853 in E. Hamburgh, NY; died Dec 13, 1885.


Content was born August 24, 1824 in Collins, Erie County, New York.  She died there on February 6, 1829 at age 3 1/2.

Anna H.

Anna H was born July 13, 1826 in Collins, Erie County, New York.  She moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin in late 1842 with her parents and others.  She married Jacob Chapin on March 19, 1846 in Hudson, Walworth County, Wisconsin.
In the 1850 census Jacob (29) and Anna (25) were farming in Sharon Township, Walworth County with their daughter Almira (1).  Jacob’s assets were $1,200 in real estate.
Prior to 1860 they moved to Iowa, and in the 1860 census they were farming in Fremont Township, Bremer County, which adjoined Chickasaw County where Sarah and Shadrack Sherman and Rhoda Huson lived in Nashua, having moved to Iowa after 1860, perhaps to be near Anna and Jacob.  In Jacob (39) and Anna’s (34) household at the time were their children Almira (11), Eugene (9), Melvin (5), and Marietta [Alice] (2).  Jacob died there on March 4, 1875 at age 54.  Anna died January 9, 1909 at age 83 in Delphos, Ottawa County, Kansas.
  1. Almira Adele – Born 1848-49 in WI; married Adeline (unknown)
  2. Eugene Lafayette – Born 1850-51 in WI; married Eva H. (unknown)
  3. Melvin William – Born Jan 5, 1829; died May 8, 1955
  4. Alice Marietta
Eugene Chapin (son of Anna Huson Chapin and nephew of Doc Huson).
L – R: Melvin Willie Chapin (called Will), Alice Marietta Chapin [m. Jordan] (called Ettie), Almira Adele Chapin [m. Sweet], Eugene Lafayette Chapin
Family of Eugene L Chapin, (son of Anna Huson and nephew of Doc Huson). Back L – R: Zella Chapin, George Chapin, Roy Chapin Front L – R: Elva Chapin, Eugene L. Chapin, Frank Chapin, Eva Adell (Kimbal) Chapin, Bertha Chapin. Anna (youngest child) is missing from photo – born in 1899

Melvin Wing

Melvin Wing was born January 5, 1829 in Collins, Erie County, New York.  At the age of thirteen he went with his parents to Wisconsin.  On February 24, 1851, Melvin sold 160 acres of land to his mother Rhoda for $300.  It consisted of the N1/4, S10, T14N, R11E in the Green Bay Land District, and was recorded on  June 2, 1855.  (Deed Record J-134, 135)  Perhaps it was his portion of government land that Thomas had acquired and distributed before he died.
It is probable that at this time Melvin moved to Illinois, where he is reported to have died on May 8, 1855 at age 26.  It may also be that his sister Hepsibah went with him, as she also reportedly died in Illinois.

Phebe Jane

Phebe Jane was born June 27, 1830 in Collins, Erie County, New York  She moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin with her parents in late 1842.  She married George Hall Dart circa 1849, probably in Montello, Marquette County.  In the 1850 census, George (30) and Jane (20) were farming in Kingston, Marquette County with their daughter Almira (6/12).  George’s assets were $500 real estate.  In the 1860 census, they were farming in Montello, Marquette County.  Their household consisted of George (40), Jane (30), and their children, Almira (10), Alma J. (7), Wallace [George] (6), and Henry (3).  George’s assets had grown to $3,000 real estate and $450 personal property.
George died October 22, 1870.  Phebe Jane died in 1907 in Washington state.
  1. Almira L. – Born May 28, 1850 Montello, WI. Married Squire W. Peters Jul 2, 1870. Married Judge James Carr ca 1904.
  2. Alma Jane – Born Jun 30, 1852 Montello, WI. Married Berthold Octavius Ashdown Jun 15, 1854
  3. George Wallace – Born Feb 17, 1853 Montello, WI. Married Sarah Carr Aug 10, 1881.
  4. Henry Josiah – Born ca Sep 28, 1856 Montello, WI. Married Mary Dunavon Sep 28, 1857 or 58


EDWARD WING, born Mar 20, 1832, is covered in detail in a separate section. Follow this link.

Charles Abraham

Charles Abraham was born August 16, 1833 in Erie County, New York.  He married Celia A. ___ ca. 1860, probably in Iowa.
In the 1870 census, they were living in Grand River, Livingston County, Missouri next to Charles’ brother John T. Huson.  Charles (38) and Celia (30) had a son, Curtis W. (9) who had been born in Iowa..  Charles was a merchant with assets of $600 real estate and $800 personal property.  He reportedly died in 1894 in Idaho.
  1. Curtis W. – Born ca 1860 in IA.

Hannah F.

Hannah F. was born May 17, 1834 in Hamburg, Erie County, New York.  In late 1842 she went to Kenosha, Wisconsin with her parents  She married ___ Carter.  She was a Quaker, and was said to “sit and wait for the Spirit to move her.”  She died on March 20, 1914 at age 80 in Seattle, Washington, and was buried in the Lakeview Cemetery.
  1. Edith May – Born 1866. Married (?) Gilbert. Died Aug 1, 1946 Seattle, WA; buried with mother in Lakeview Cemetery
  2. Irwin – Born 1867. Died Dec 13, 1954; buried Lakeview Cemetery

Deborah T.

Deborah T. was born March 1, 1837 in New York.  She went to Kenosha, Wisconsin in late 1842 with her parents.  She died February 14, 1856 in Wisconsin.

Byron Franklin

Byron Franklin was born March 5, 1839 in Brant, Erie County, New York.  He went to Kenosha, Wisconsin in late 1842 with his parents.  In the 1855 state census, he was living with his mother Rhoda and siblings Edward, Charles, Hannah, and Deborah in Kingston, Marquette County.  In the 1860 census, he (21) and brother Edward (27) were still farming there with Rhoda.  Byron was called Thomas in the census, just as he was in one of the Quaker Meeting minutes, so it must have been his nickname.  Shortly thereafter he went to Belle Plaine, Benton County, in east central Iowa.  His brother Edward Wing Huson was also living there with his family.  There he met Alice Campfield, who had been born on Febraury 20, 1847 at Bucyrus, Crawford County, Ohio, daughter of William and Armelia Campfield.  Byron and Alice were married on December 13, 1868 in Des Moines, Iowa.  They were members of the Christian Adventist church.
Alice (Campfield) Huson (wife of Byron Franklin Huson, sister-in-law of Doc Huson).
In the 1870 census, Byron (31) and Alice (22) were living with their daughter Alena (8/12), in the 3rd ward of Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa, where Byron was working as a carpenter.  By the time of the 1880 census, Byron (41) and Alice (31) were living in Ladora in Hartford Twp., Iowa County, Iowa.  The children in the household , all born in Iowa, were daughter Alena (11), and sons Melvin (10), Eddie (6), Freddie (3), and Clyde (1).
In 1888 they moved to Atwood, Ottawa County, Kansas.  They moved to Kensington, Smith County, Kansas in 1898, then to Minneapolis, Ottawa County, Kansas the following year.  Alice died there on April 3, 1906.  The next year Byron was living in Athol, Smith County, Kansas, and in 1910 was back in Minneapolis.
Byron Franklin Huson (Doc’s brother) sitting next to deceased wife’s favorite chair. Byron would not sit in her chair once she died.
House of Byron Huson in Minneapolis, KS (younger brother of Edward Wing “Doc” Huson)
  1. Alena Alice – Born Nov 13, 1869 in Des Moines, IA. Married Aug 16, 1897 to Will J. Ratliff d. 1952 in Atwood, KS.
  2. Melvin Wesley – Born Mar 17, 1872 in Liberty Center, IA. Married Oct 16, 1904 to Ina Laird in Minneapolis, KS. Died Sep 27, 1921 in Medford, OR.
  3. Clara – Born 1872 in Liberty Center, IA. Died Sep 1873 Bedford, MO.
  4. Edward Byron – Born May 26, 1874 in Cariton, IA. Married Nov 29, 1905 to Elizabeth Voelker at Mankato, KS. Died Feb 7, 1928 at Eagle Pointe, OR.
  5. Fred William – Born Apr 28, 1877 in Ladora, IA. Married Jun 5, 1901 Edna Louise (unknown) in Minneapolis, KS. Died Jun 5, 1910 in Herrington, KS.
  6. Albert Clyde – Born May 14, 1879 in Ladora, IA. Married May 5, 1899 to Bertha A. Wait at Vaughn, KS. Died May 5, 1951 in Medford, OR.
  7. Edith Anna – Born Apr 11, 1884 in Ladora, IA. Married 1909 to Roscoe C. Hungerford at Atwood, KS. Died Nov 24, 1961 in Long Beach, CA.
  8. Luella May – Born Sep 16, 1886 in Ladora, (Des Moines) IA. Married Mar 7, 1910 to Harry Ward in Klamath Falls, OR. Died Nov 12, 1970 in Medford, OR.
Byron Franklin wrote the following about his life.
Written February or March, 1907
I, Byron F. Huson, was born in Erie County, N. Y., and father’s name was Thomas Huson, mother’s name was Rhoda Tucker.  I came to Green Lake County, Wisconsin with my parents when two years old, my father died the same year, 1841, leaving mother with eight children, the oldest boy 15 years old. [Actually went to Southfork (Kenosha) in late 1842, where his father died in 1843.]
I was the youngest of thirteen children.  Mother took a piece of government land, and the children would work in the field all day, and at night mother would get us all in the house, and read the Bible to us, and teach us the ways of righteousness, she kept the family together and raised us to manhood and womanhood.  In the winter of 1857 and 1858, at the age of 18, I experienced religion at a Methodist revival, but would not unite with the church until I had learned God’s way, so I read my Bible constantly, until I learned the truth as it is in Christ, then in the following March, accepted the Blessed Truth of the Second Coming of Christ, to raise the dead and judge the living and the dead in righteousness, and to destroy him that hath power over death, to purify and beautify the earth, and set up his Everlasting on the new earth.  In March 1858, I was buried with Christ in baptism in a beautiful lake by an Adventist elder, who name is forgotten, and I raised to walk in newness of life.  I united with the Christian Adventist Church, of which I am still a member.  My membership is now in Athol, Smith County, Kansas.  I received many persecutions from my brothers and sisters for the truth I taught, but, later my mother received the truth.  One of my brothers [John T.] became an Advent preacher, and the most of my brothers and sisters accepted the truth. At present, there are three of us left.  Sister Anna is 80, brother Edward is 74, and I am almost 68, so we soon shall be all asleep with Christ.  I came to Iowa in the spring of 1861 and it seemed to be my lot to always be isolated from all of those of like precious faith, although I never ceased to sow the good seed wherever I went, and the Lord gave me the increase which will be manifested in the judgement morning, but He has permitted me to see some fruits in every place that I have lived, praise His holy name.
I met Alice Campfield in Belle Plain, Iowa in 1866, and we were married in Des Moines, Iowa, Dec. 13, 1868.  To us were born 8 children, 4 boys and 4 girls, seven of which are still living, and by the grace of God assisting us, we tried to set them a good example and teach them the ways of right.  In the spring of 1888, we moved to Atwood, Kansas where we lived until the fall of 1898 when we moved to Kensington, Kansas and in the fall of 1899, we came to Minneapolis, Kansas where we lived and gained many true and loving friends, who can never be forgotten for their kindness and love shown us in our time of need and great bereavement.
On April 3, 1906, my darling Alice fell asleep in Christ, leaving me in my poor health and broken heart to mourn her great loss, but I hope soon to sleep beside her, to await the coming of our blessed Lord and master to make me poor in the world’s goods, but rich in faith and the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who has by his good pleasure weaned me entirely from the world, and all worldly pleasures as the last tie that bound me to the world now sleeps in Jesus, and my only desire now is to be laid beside her to await the second coming of Christ, and now may the blessings and grace of God the father and the Lord Jesus Christ rest and abide with you all my dear children, and keep you blameless both soul, body, and spirit until the coming of Jesus is the prayers of your humble father.
B. F. Huson
Even so come Lord Jesus and come quickly.  Amen
In July, 1912, Byron moved to Medford, Oregon, and moved in with his daughter Ina, then Luella.
Daughters of Byron Huson
Edith Huson [m. Hungerford], Luella Huson [m. Ward] (nieces of Doc Huson)
Alena and Clara were only 2-3 years apart (11/1869, 1872), but Clara died at a year of age. Edith and Luella were 2.5 years apart (4/1884, 9/1886)

Edward Byron Huson (son of Byron Franklin Huson, nephew of Doc Huson). 1874 – 1928
Elizabeth (Voelker) Huson (wife of Edward Byron Huson and daughter-in-law of Byron Franklin Huson).
Alena (Huson) Radcliff (daughter of Byron Franklin Huson, niece of Doc Huson). 1869 – 1952

L – R: Melvin Huson (Byron’s son), Darrell Huson (Melvin’s son), Ina (Laird) Huson?, Mrs. Ettie Rhoda Treadwell (Byron’s niece), Byron Huson
Back L – R: unknown, Mrs. Ettie Rhoda Treadwell (Byron’s niece), Ina Huson (Melvin’s wife), Melvin Huson (Byron’s son), Byron Huson Front L – R: Mildred Huson (daughter of Melvin), Darrell Huson (son of Melvin). abt. 1912 – Darrell was born in 1908.
When Alice was sick, Byron did not believe it, thought no one could be sick but him.  He pouted, would get mad at the family, and not speak for three days, and would not take seconds when the food was passed if he was mad.
He moved to Oregon after Alice died and rented a small house, then moved in with daughter Ina.  Ina could not keep him because she had two small children, so he moved in with daughter Lula.  He chewed tobacco, and would spit it out, sticking it on the wall by the window and mess it up, and rechew it.  Ina hated that bad habit.
Ina Huson
Byron died at Medford on June 17, 1923 at age 84.  Both he and Alice were buried in the Highland Cemetery in Minneapolis, Kansas.
Minneapolis Messenger,  Minneapolis, Kansas
Byron Franklin Huson, born in Erie County, New York, March 5, 1839, and died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. H. W. Ward, near Eagle Point, Oregon, June 17, [1923] due to infirmities of old age, aged 84 years, three months, twelve days.
When he was two years old, the youngest of eight children, his mother took a homestead in Green Lake County, Wisconsin, where she kept the children together and reared them to manhood and womanhood.
While still a young man he learned the trade of contractor and builder, which he followed practically all his life.
Mr. Huson was married to Alice Camfield Dec. 13, 1868, in Des Moines, Iowa.  To this union eight children were born, of which five are still living.
Besides the many friends to mourn his loss he leaves two sons and three daughters: Ed B. Huson of Seneca, NE; Albert C. Huson, Eagle Point; Mrs. R. C. Hungerford, Mullen, NE; Mrs. W. J. Ratclif, Los Angeles, CA; and Mrs. H. W. Ward, Eagle Point, Oregon.
Mr. Huson went to Medford, Oregon from Minneapolis, Kansas on July 27, 1912.
The deceased was an active member of the Christian church of Medford until a few years ago.  He was historian and Bible student.
The services were held at the Perl Funeral Home June 12 at Medford, and the remains shipped to Minneapolis, reaching here Saturday evening, June 23.  Interment was made in the Highland Cemetery, the burial service being read by Rev. W. M. Reynolds of the Baptist church. Mrs L. E. Harvey sang an appropriate solo.
The deceased made his home in Minneapolis for many years.  He was an uncle of Mrs. E. L. Chapin.

Cornelius Huson and Sarah Wing

Story by Fred Gahimer.

CORNELIUS (possibly CORNELIUS EDWARD) HUSON, born in Dutchess County New York, 30 October 1772, was the fifth son of THOMAS HUGHSON/HUSON born 1740. A legend passed down in this branch of the family concerns a son who fought on the American side in the Revolutionary War, while the father sided with the British. The two died only a few months or years apart. The split in the family that occurred during the War led to the name change from Hughson to Huson. While some of Cornelius’s brothers were Loyalists and migrated to Canada, CORNELIUS remained in New York and was “bound out” (apprenticed) to a blacksmith. It may be at this time he changed his name to Huson.

CORNELIUS and some of the members of his family appear to have shunned the U.S. census takers, for CORNELIUS cannot be identified with certainty in any but the 1800 census. He married about 1794, probably in Queensbury, Warren County, or possibly in Amenia or Northeast Township, Dutchess County, SARAH WING, born at Quaker Hill, Dutchess County, 5 December 1762, daughter of EDWARD WING, Jr. and his second wife HANNAH HOAG of the Nine Partners Patent. EDWARD WING, born 1727, was a son of EDWARD WING and SARAH TUCKER. HANNAH HOAG was a daughter of DAVID and KEZIAH HOAG. The Wing families were Quakers.

EDWARD and HANNAH (HOAG) WING moved from Nine Partners, Dutchess County, to Queensbury at Wing Falls, Warren County, in 1793. Many of the early settlers of Queensbury had come from Dutchess County and had known each other for years. Most were Quakers who were opposed to the Revolutionary War and took no part in it.

In 1800, CORNELIUS and his family (and possibly his younger brother John) were living in Half-Moon Township, Saratoga County, New York (close to the Hudson River north of Albany). By 1816 or earlier, CORNELIUS and his family had settled in North Collins, Erie County, New York. CORNELIUS died there, 24 March 1828, aged 55 years, 4 months and 24 days. SARAH lived later in Brant Township, Erie County, with her son Wing Huson. She died in Erie County, 24 July 1843 at age 80. Both she and Cornelius are buried in the Stickney/Huson Cemetery, halfway between Brant and North Collins, New York.


  1. Hannah (daughter), b.  Mar. 1792
  2. THOMAS EDWARD (son), b. 28 Mar. 1796 in Albany County, NY.
  3. Wing L. (son), b. 4 Nov. 1798 in Albany County, NY.
  4. Stephen T. (son), b. 1800 in Saratoga County, NY.
  5. Jane (daughter), b. 18 June 1801 in Saratoga County, NY.
  6. John Thompkins (son), b. 12 Feb. 1803 in New York State.
  7. Edward Hoag (son), b. circa 1806
  8. possibly others

They were listed in the census of 1800 in Saratoga County, New York, living in Half-Moon Township close to the Hudson River north of Albany.  In addition to CORNELIUS HUSTON (26-45, (28)) was a female (26-45), probably his wife Sarah (37), one male (16-26), unknown, two males (<10), probably Thomas (4) and Wing (1), and one female (<10), probably Hannah (8).

CORNELIUS (48) and SARAH (57) were farming in Queensbury, Warren County, New York in the 1820 census.  The others in the household were two males (16-26) and two females (16-26).  The males were probably sons John T. (17) and Edward Hoag (14?); and the females were probably their daughter Jane (19) and a boarder, the only other daughter Hannah having married about 1815.  Their neighbors were the families of Abraham, Jr., William, and Benjamin Wing, all 26-45 years of age, and probably nephews of Sarah.

Reported to be Cornelius Huson (father of Thomas Edward Huson and grandfather of Doc Huson). Cornelius Huson lived 1772 – 1828
Photo taken at W.W.Washburn, Artist, Cresco, IA

The above is another picture thought to be Cornelius Huson. This appears to resemble the man above. However, this seems unlikely as this picture was made by W. W. Washburn, Artist, Cresco, Iowa. There is no record of Cornelius ever being in Iowa and Cresco didn’t exist before April 1866 (Cornelius died 1828).


GALES & SEATON, 973.R2 ag v. 9
FHL 3/28/94


17 Congress, 1st Session
No. 594



Mr. Rhea made the following report:

The committee on Pensions and Revolutionary Claims, to whom was referred on the 19th ultimo, so much of the petition of Cornelius Huson as relates to a pension, have had the same under consideration, and submit the following report:

The petitioner states that while at Sackett's Harbor, in the year 1813, he, with his horses and sleigh, was impressed into the service of the United States by Jacob Tuckerman, then foragemaster in the said service, "to carry troops and loading for the use of the army from Sackett's Harbor to Gravelly Point;" that while in this service thus imposed upon him, "his horses and sleigh were utterly lost while passing over the ice on the lake, and himself desperately wounded by the breaking of his breastbone and several of his ribs."

The fact of impressment is satisfactorily proved.  The alleged fact of the petitioner's wounds rests on his own affidavit, and that of John Amringe.  The petitioner swears that "he received a wound from his sleigh on its plunging over the cakes of ice, which broke his breastbone and ribs on his right side, and occasioned the loss of the use of his right arm; and which wound for a short time totally disabled him, and deprived him of all sense and recollection."  John Amringe swears that he went from Albany to Sackett's Harbor in company with the said Huson; that while at the latter place both were pressed with their teams to carry loading to Gravelly Point; that the said Huson, "in performing this tour of duty, was wounded in his body by the operations of a sleigh, the ice being very bad and dangerous."  That the third day after the wound he (Amringe) "left Huson in such a situation that he supposed he would not live to see the next morning."

It also appears by the affidavit of Sebastian Visscher, who was appointed a commissioner by the district judge of New York to take the testimony of witnesses in relation to this subject, that the facts and the testimony forwarded to the War Office, and there lost or mislaid, necessary to support the petitioner's  claim, in the opinion of said commissioner, have been once proved,  and the testimony forwarded to the War Office, and there lost or mislaid.

It is also proved to the satisfaction of the committee that the petitioner's wound render him totally incapable of manual labor.

Although this case does not come within the provisions of the pension law, and although the committee are aware of the necessity of adhering in general to the principles of that law, yet in their opinion a case can hardly be conceived which has stronger claims on the justice of the country than the present.  The petitioner was compelled, against his will, to perform a service for his country, which no law but that of necessity can justify.  In the performance of this service he received wounds which disqualify him from all manual labor.  The Government cannot heal his wounds.  The least they can do is to afford him that support which his wounds (occasioned by an arbitrary act of theirs) disqualify him from acquiring by his own labor.  The committee, therefore, recommend that the said Huson be allowed a pension at the rate of $8 per month, to commence from the 3d day of December, 1821.

Source:  Edie Martin

A letter of John Thomas Huson indicated that his father, THOMAS EDWARD HUSON, came to Erie County, New York first, about 1816, and that CORNELIUS brought the rest of the family the following year.  That would have been 1817; but CORNELIUS and SARAH were still in Queensbury, Warren County in 1820, so it must have been in the early 1820s.  John also said in his letter that CORNELIUS took up land adjacent to that of John’s father, THOMAS, the land reportedly very close to the present Huson Cemetery just west of North Collins on the Brant-North Collins Road.  The Cemetery was originally named “Stickney” after one of the families nearby who may have donated the land; but the name was changed to Huson Cemetery, and a wrought iron gate was erected which at the top was, in large iron letters, “HUSON CEM,” and on top of the name was the date “1812”.

CORNELIUS died on March 24, 1828 at the age of 55 years, 4 months, and 24 days, and was the first person known to be buried in the Huson Cemetery.

It is thought that most of the Husons lived in the North Collins/Brant area during this period.  Two of CORNELIUS and SARAH’s sons, Wing L. and John T. Huson and some of their families are buried there also, including Wing’s son, Edward Wing Huson.  The names on the tombstones were all spelled Huson, including CORNELIUS.

On January 18, 1837, SARAH (WING) HUSON, THOMAS HUSON and his wife RHODA, Wing Huson and wife, Bartholomew Fields and wife Hannah, and Salma Hawley and wife sold 80 acres at T8 R9, part of Lot 11 for $1500 (Deed Bk L43, p350).  They had just bought it two months before on November 11, 1836.

After CORNELIUS’ death, SARAH lived with her son John T. and his wife Lydia until John died in 1835.  Then she lived with her son Wing and his family.  SARAH died on July 21, 1843, and was buried in the Huson Cemetery near North Collins.

File #11005 - Sarah Huson


The petition of Salma Hawley of the town of Brandt in the County of Erie, respectfully sheweth:  That Sarah Huson, late of the town of Brandt on or about the 3d day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty three being at that time an inhabitant of the county of Erie; that she died leaving a last will and testament, which is now produced in the Surrogate's Court of the said county of Erie, before the said Surrogate, which bears date the 14th day of July in the year of our Lord, 1842, and by which said last will and testament, the said deceased nominated and appointed your petitioner Salma Hawley sole executor thereof; that the said deceased died possessed of personal estate in the said county of Erie; and that the following named persons are all the next of kin of the said deceased; and their respective ages and places of residence are as follows, viz:

Thomas Huson who resides near Southport [now Kenosha] in the Territory of Wisconsin, a son of said deceased.  Hannah Fields, a daughter of said deceased & wife of Bartholomew Fields residing in Brandt aforesaid.  Jane Hawley another daughter of said deceased & wife of your petitioner residing in Brandt aforesaid.  Emma F. Huson, Mary Jane Huson, Edward W. Huson, Albert T. Huson, & Leander J. Huson children of Wing Huson deceased a son of said Sarah Huson, and all under the age of twenty one years & having no general guardian & all residing in said town of Brandt.

Your petitioner respectfully asks to have a special guardian or guardians appointed according to law for the purpose of taking care of the interests of said minors on the probate of said will and before you the said surrogate.

Your petitioner further sheweth, that he is desirous of having the said will admitted to probate, and of having letters testamentary granted thereon, and also of having the said will proved and recorded according to law, as a will of personal estate; and therefore prays that the same may be so proved and recorded as aforesaid, and that all such process and proceedings may be had and taken thereon, for that purpose, as are just and proper and as the law may require.  And your petitioner will ever pray, &c.

Dated, September 22d,1843         
Salma Hawley

On this 22d day of September, 1843, before me, the subscriber, came Salma Hawley, the petitioner named in the foregoing petition, and made oath that the matters set forth in the said petition are true, according to the best knowledge, information and belief of the said petitioner.

H. J. ?ow
Recorder of Buffalo

Source:  Edie Martin


Hannah Huson

Hannah Huson was born about March 1792 in New York.  She married Bartholomew Fields circa 1815, probably in Queensbury, where they were located during the 1820 census with their daughter, Delia (4).  Sometime during the next decade they moved to Evans in Erie County.  They were still there in the 1830 census along with their two daughters, Delia (14) and Minerva (5-10), and son, Nelson (<5).  An elderly woman (70-80) was also staying with them, possibly Bartholomew’s mother.  Farming nearby were the families of Wing and Anna Huson, Salmon and Jane (Huson) Hawley, John T. and Lydia Huson, and Henry Tucker.  Bartholomew and Hannah were still in Evans in 1836.  They have not been found in the 1840 census.

Prior to the 1850 census, they moved to Collins, Erie County, where Bartholomew (57) and Hannah (50) were farming with their daughter, Hannah Jane (10).  Their farm was valued in the census at $1,500.

Bartholomew’s will was drawn on July 8, 1852, which deeded real estate in T7 R8 L63 to Hannah:  Kerr’s Corners, Collins, 41/100 acre, “land I purchased from William Braham, 4 2/3 acres ” formerly owned by Patterson Kerr, 4 6/10 acres.  Bartholomew died the following month on August 13, 1852, at age 60 years, 5 months, and 13 days.  Hannah was the sole executor of his will; and it was  probated in 1856.  Hannah reportedly married a Barto(w) about 1853-56, and resided in Brant.

Children of Bartholomew Fields and Hannah:

  1. Delia P. – Born Aug 13, 1816. Married (unknown) Smith. Died Apr 26, 1842.
  2. Minerva – Married Benjamin Birdsall. Died before 1852
  3. Nelson H. – Married Elizabeth (unknown).
  4. Hannah Jane – Born circa 1840. Married George Koska about 1855.


THOMAS EDWARD HUSON born March 28, 1796, probably in Saratoga or Albany County, New York, is covered in detail in another topic. Follow this link.

Wing L. Huson

Wing L. Huson  was born January 4, 1799, probably in Half-Moon Township of Saratoga County, New York.  He married Anna Hart Cowles about 1824 in North Collins.  In the 1830 census, Wing (31) and Anna (27) were farming with a household of a man (30-40), son Seth C. (6), and daughters Emma F. (3) and Mary Jane (1).  Close neighbors were Wing’s siblings Jane and Salma Hawley, and John T. and Lydia Huson.  A little further away were Hannah and Bartholomew Fields.

Children of Wing and Anna:

  1. Seth Cowles, born Nov 26, 1824, North Collins; married Lydia Hilton; died Sep 10, 1843; 18y9m15d
  2. Emma Felicia, born Mar 17, 1827, North Collins; married Harmon Landon
  3. Mary Jane, born Sep 28, 1829, North Collins; married Steven T. Hussey
  4. Edward Wing, born 1832; died 1868 in Brant; married first Elizabeth (unknown), then Clara Barto(w).

Anna died on March 22, 1835 at the age of 32 years, 23 days, and was buried in the Huson Cemetery.  Wing married Lydia Taylor about 1835, and they resided in Brant.

Children of Wing and Lydia:

  1. Albert T., born 1837; married Mary Elizabeth (unknown); died after 1916
  2. Leander, born 1838; married Lucinda Hibbard
  3. Wing E., born 1842; died Oct 7, 1842

In the 1840 census of Brant, Wing had a total household of twelve people, three of which may have been a brother of his, age (40-50), and two of the brother’s sons, age (20-30).  His children: Seth (16), Emma (13), Mary Jane (10), Edward (8), Albert (3), and Leander (2) were at home, in addition to a 70-80 year old woman, probably his mother, Sarah (Wing) Huson (77), shortly before her death in 1843.  Their neighbors included his sisters’ families; Hannah and Salma Hawley, and Sarah and Shadrack Sherman as well as other relatives and friends as Henry, Enos, William, Samuel and Charles Tucker; Gilbert and other Stedwells; Elias Chapin; and Warren Hussey.

Wing died at the age of 43 years, 8 months, and 3 days, on August 7, 1842 in Brant, Erie County, New York, and was buried in the Huson Cemetery near his wife Anna.

At some time, Wing had purchased some land from Warren P. Hussey and his wife Sarah Jane.  Before his death, Wing had sold the property to Joseph Tabor of Easton, Washington County, New York for $840, taking back a mortgage.  His widow, Lydia, on December 20, 1844, deeded the property (Brant, north equal half of Lot 6 in Mile Block, 60 acres, bounded north by Lot 5, east by Lot 1, west by the Cattaraugus Creek, and south by the equal half of Lot 6.  Deed Bk. L77, p373) to the said Joseph Tabor.

In the 1850 census, Lydia (36) was still living in Brant, and owned real estate valued at $5,725.  Her household included two children of Anna’s; Mary (29) and Edward Wing (17); two of hers; Albert (13) and Leander (12); and her mother, Ann Taylor (61), of Maryland, widow of Enoch.  Although the family of Thomas and Rhoda Huson and others had gone to Wisconsin shortly after Wing’s death, Lydia still had Salma and Jane Hawley, Bartholomew and Hannah Fields, and the Enos Tucker families living nearby.

In the 1860 census, Lydia (43) was still farming in Brant, with her real estate now valued at $7,795.  In her household were son Albert (22), his wife Elizabeth (22), and Adam Rathbarn (13).  Lydia’s son Leander (22) was a neighbor, with his wife Lucinda (21), and a William Willane (13).  Jane and Salma Hawley had remained close neighbors, as had Gilbert Stedwell (76) and George (46), Eunice (37), and Content (35) Stedwell, probably Gilbert’s children.  Also in Gilbert’s household were boarders Clara Barto (16) a common school teacher, her brother Clarence Barto (10), and Clara’s second cousin and future husband Edward Wing Huson (26), a farm laborer and son of Wing Huson.  Gilbert Stedwell was prosperous, with his farm valued at $7950.

Lydia died at the age of 79 on February 4, 1892, and was buried near Wing and Anna in the Huson Cemetery just outside of North Collins.

Stephen T. Huson

Stephen T. Huson is believed to have been born around 1800 in Saratoga, New York. Nothing else is known about him.

Jane Huson

Jane Huson was born June 18, 1801 in Saratoga County, New York.  She married Salma Hawley, a farmer, on April 3, 1820, and resided in Evans, Erie County, New York.  In the 1830 census they were still living in Evans along with their children; Selina (8), Ira (6), Sarah (4), and Alonzo (2).  They were neighbors of her brothers, Wing Huson and John T. Huson.

In the 1840 census, Salma (44) and Jane (40) were living in Brant in Erie County with their children; Selina (18), Ira (16), Alonzo (12), John (10), Huldah (6), and Hannah (4). Their neighbors included her siblings’ families, Wing and Lydia Huson, and Sarah and Shadrack Sherman, as well as other relatives and friends such as Henry, Enos, William, Samuel and Charles Tucker; Gilbert and other Stedwells; Elias Chapin; and Warren Hussey.

In the 1850 census Salma (54) and Jane (49) were still living in Brant with children; Ira (26), Alonzo (22), John (18), Huldah (16), Hannah (14), and Salma (8).  Ira, Alonzo, and John were farming along with their father, and Salma owned real estate worth about $5,000.  They were still neighbors to Wing’s widow Lydia and the children, and Enos Tucker and Gilbert Stedwell, as well as many others.  Hannah and Bartholomew Fields were not far away in Collins.

In the 1860 census, Salma (65) was still living in Brant, but Jane was not listed.  Perhaps she was away visiting someone when the census was taken; or, her death date may be wrong and she died earlier.  In the household with Salma were son John (28) farming; S. L. (22) a female domestic [probably John’s wife]; son Salma B. (18) a domestic; H.J. (2) [probably John’s son]; and H. T. (1/2) [also probably John’s son].  Salma had real estate valued at $3,600.  Salma died in Brant on January 25, 1862, at age 65.  Jane reportedly died on May 7, 1868 in Brant.

Children of Salma Hawley and Jane:

  1. Selina – Born Nov 18, 1822. Married William Birdsall. Resided in Grand Rapids, MI
  2. Ira S. – Born Mar 13, 1824. Married Ann M. Kimball. Resided Perrysburg, NY
  3. Sarah W. – Born Nov 8, 1826. Married William Brown. Resided Evans, NY
  4. Alonzo M. – Born May 20, 1828 in Brant, NY.
  5. John Huson – Born Mar 29, 1832 in Erie Co., NY. Married 1st: Sarah D. Carrier, 2nd: Josephine P. Ackley. Was a farmer in North Collins, NY.
  6. Huldah A. – Born about 1834.
  7. Hannah M. – Born about 1836.
  8. Salma Bartholo – Born Aug 23, 1841.  Farmer in Grand Rapids, MI.

John Tompkins Huson

John Tompkins Huson was born on February 14, 1803 in Brant, Erie County, New York.  He married a Lydia L.

3/2/1827 Collins Quaker Meeting: women's meeting inform they have come to a conclusion to accept the acknowledgement of Lydia Huson with which this meeting unites


7/31/1828 Ibid.: women's meeting forwarded an essay of denial against Lydia Huson for being guilty of the sin of adultry which was approved and signed

In the 1830 census, John and Lydia were living in Evans in Erie County along with the families of Jane and Salma Hawley, Wing and Anna Huson, Hannah and Bartholomew Fields, Henry Tucker, and others.  Their household consisted of John (26), a female (20-30), (wife Lydia 22), two men (20-30), and an elderly woman (60-70), probably John’s mother, Sarah (Wing) Huson (67).

On August 21, 1832, John bought property described as T8 R9, part of Lot 11, Sub. A, 80 acres.  On January 23, 1833 he bought more property described as T7 R8, 50 acres, for $212.  And again on June 11, 1833 he bought another 80 acres in T8 R9, part of Lot 11, Sub. D.  All were bought from the Holland Land Company of Erie County.

John died on January 15, 1835 at the age of 31 years, 11 months, and 1 day in Brant, Erie County, New York.  He was buried in the Huson Cemetery.

John’s wife Lydia purchased property on October 22, 1835 described as T8 R9, part of Lot 1, 50 acres.

On December 14, 1836, SARAH (WING) HUSON, THOMAS HUSON and wife RHODA, Wing Huson and wife Lydia, Bartholomew Fields and wife Hannah, Salma Hawley and wife Jane (all except THOMAS were residents of Evans), sold property to Lydia Huson [widow of John T.] of Collins, T8 R9, part of Lot 1, 50 acres, in her possession now, for $300 (Deed Bk. L88, p190)

Lydia died on May 10, 1844 at age 36 years, 14 days and was buried near John in the Huson Cemetery.

Edward Hoag Huson

Edward Hoag Huson was reportedly born about 1806, but no trace of him has been found in the records, except possibly as the 16-26 year old male in the 1830 census of the family.

Early Wings

Story by Fred Gahimer.

Matthew Wing – John Wing – Daniel Wing – Daniel Wing – Edward Wing – Edward Tucker Wing – Sarah (Wing) Hughson

Much thanks to Raymond Wing and the Wing Family of America (WFA) for information and corrections on this topic. The Wing Family website has much more information on Wing’s in America.

MATTHEW WING was Merchant Taylor [tailor] in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England circa 1548.  He and wife MARY were married about 1573 (MATTHEW was 25 years old at the time). They later had five sons and five daughters, with his eldest son, Fulke, born about 1574.  The Parish Register at St. Mary’s Church, Banbury, record his children, except Fulke, where baptized there between 1576 and 1592. Since the register began in 1558, it is thought MATTHEW and MARY moved to Banbury about 1575. MARY was buried July 24, 1613; MATTHEW on October 19, 1614.  His will was made August 19, 1614, and was proved on November 15, 1614.  He was known to have a son, JOHN.

[Note: a previous version mentioned a Godfriedus Wingius as an ancestor of MATTHEW WING. It’s now thought that Godfriedus had two wives, but no children.]

THE REV. JOHN WING, son of MATTHEW WING, was baptized January 12, 1584.  He was a plebe at St. Alban’s Hall.  He matriculated at Queen’s College, Oxford, October 15, 1598 at age fourteen, and obtained a B. A. Degree on February 12, 1603.  He married DEBORAH BACHILER, daughter of the Rev. STEPHEN BACHILER (later descendants spelled this STEVEN BATCHELOR).

Rev. JOHN WING and DEBORAH had at least four sons and at least two daughters: Deborah, John, DANIEL, Joseph (presumed to have died young), Stephen, Matthew, and other daughters.  In the early married life, John and Deborah lived at Stroud, Kent, then about 1612 he moved to Sandwich, Kent. He became Vicar of Great Yarmouth, then Sandwich.  In about 1615 he moved to Hamburg, Germany, where he was Pastor of English Merchants. In about 1620 he became the Pastor of English Presbyterians in the island of Walcheron in Flushing, province of Zeeland (now part of the Netherlands).  From there he moved to the Hague about 1627. According to New England Families, he authored several printed books.  He died in England in 1630. In his will, he mentions his sons and daughters, but not by name, except Deborah who was already “advanced in marriage.”

THE REV. STEPHEN BACHILER was born in 1561.  He matriculated at St. John’s College, Oxford, on November 7, 1581, and obtained a B.A. degree on February 3, 1585.  It is thought he had a first wife, but there is no confirmed information about this.

STEPHEN became Vicar of Wherwell, now Horell, Hants, on January 26, 1587.  He married (ANN BATES? sister of Rev. John Bates?), and one of their children, DEBORAH, was born likely born about 1590.

From Raymond Wing,

“STEPHEN and the famous minister Rev. Roger Williams preached views not supported by the Puritan magistrates in Massachusetts Bay Colony and were punished by the authorities (with Williams being banished to Rhode Island while Bachiler eventually being stripped of his pastorate at Hampton, NH). It is believed Bachiler was the only Colony minister who voted against banishing Williams (records only mention where the vote was near unanimous, with one unnamed pastor voting against the banishment).”

Williams founded Rhode Island.

On August 9, 1605, STEPHEN was ejected from living for Puritanism.  He organized the Plough Company of emigrants and landed in New England on June 5, 1632.  Sometime before 1656 he returned to England and was buried in London on October 31, 1656.  He was the ancestor of Whittier, Daniel Webster, and William Pitt Fessenden.

DEBORAH BACHILER, as a widow, sailed across the Atlantic aboard the ship “William and Frances” with her father, Rev. STEPHEN BACHILER, and her four sons, landing at Boston, Massachusetts, on June 5, 1632.  They settled at Sandwich on Cape Cod. It is thought DEBORAH died before 1680 since the probate record of her son, Matthew, listed his three brothers (John, DANIEL, and Stephen) as heirs (and not DEBORAH).

DEBORAH’s daughter-in-law, Elizabeth, wife of John Wing (II) is thought to be the Goodwife Wing who died in Harwich, Massachusetts in 1692.

What thoughts must have passed through her mind as the ship William and Frances glided up the fairway in Boston Harbor in 1632 to anchor on the shore of a savage and trackless country.  With her four sons and her father, the forty-year-old mother had turned her back on European civilization for a journey to the New World.  How distant must have seemed the peaceful green fields, stately forests, and the solid villages nestled in the hills of the England she left behind.

True, England was just emerging from the Middle Ages.  London, for all its 250,000 people, still had its wall closing it in, but life there represented the continuity of centuries, the availability of food and goods, a settled government (soon to change), and the benefits of art and literature.  Dark clouds foreshadowed the struggle between King Charles I and Parliament, but even so, the Civil War was ten years distant.  Notables in literature and art included Sir Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, Anthony Van Dijck, and Inigo Jones.  William Shakespeare was alive when she was a girl.

Earlier, Mother Deborah had enjoyed a settled life in Holland, the richest nation of Europe, where Rembrandt and Rubens painted, and where the neat, clean homes and streets bespoke peace and safety.  Even the Thirty Years’ War, then at its height, did not touch the Wing family.

The beckoning shores of the New World held Mother Deborah and her brood (save for young Matthew).  With faith in their destiny, they remained to make a new life and eventually their descendants, a new nation.

by Herbert Gilman Wing, 1992 Wing Reunion


On June 28, 1640, Andrew Hallett conveyed certain landed property to DANIEL, the instrument being witnessed by JOHN WING and Edward Dillingham.

In 1641, DANIEL helped his younger brother Steven build the Wing Fort House in what is now East Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  The house is still standing, although it has been greatly enlarged, and is still owned by the Wing Family of America.  It is the longest continuous ownership of a structure by one family in America.

In 1643, DANIEL was enrolled with his brothers among those who were at time between the ages of sixteen and sixty, and therefore liable to bear arms.  In 1652, his name was among those appointed to take charge of the fishing interests of the place.

In 1654 a mill for the accommodation of the inhabitants, costing twenty pounds, was paid for by DANIEL and twenty-one other inhabitants.

In 1652 his name and a number of the prominent citizens of Sandwich were first mentioned in connection with a serious religious dissension in the town.  In 1657 the people called Quakers made their first appearance in Sandwich, and DANIEL early became an adherent to that faith.  In March, 1658, he was fined twenty shillings for entertaining Quakers in his home.  He refused to take the “oath of fidelity” because this particular oath would have pledged him to assist in the execution of an intolerant enactment.  He was therefore fined twenty pounds.  In December 1658, he was excluded from the number of freemen.

On September 5, 1641, DANIEL married HANNAH SWIFT, daughter of John Swift, of an old and honorable family in the western part of town.  DANIEL and HANNAH’s first child was born July 28, 1642, according to town records.  She was given the baptismal name of her mother, and was the first child born of Wing parents in America. When 19 years old, Hannah was mentioned in the will of her grandmother, Joan Swift, in 1662.  Joan left Hannah and her cousin Experience Allen (another granddaughter) “all her linen and pewter”.  In addition, Joan bequeathed Hannah her “best hat,” and directed that forty shillings be divided between Hannah and her brothers, Samuel and John.  A hat, in those days, was an article of no little value and consequence.  Women of mature years usually wore a steeple-crowned felt hat or perhaps one made of beaver.  Gov. Thomas Mayhew, grandfather of Jerusha Mayhue, who married Hannah’s cousin, Joseph, sold the island of Nantucket to its first settlers for a part consideration of “two beaver hats, one for my wife, and one for myself.”  We are justified in picturing Hannah in those days of her married life, wearing her grandmother’s high crowned hat.  The Swift packers of Chicago, all of whom are descendants of Joan, must look for at least a part of their ancestral family plate (pewter) among the descendants of Hannah.  Hannah was probably a member of her father’s family during the strenuous days of the Quaker persecutions.  When 25 years old, on May 20, 1668, Hannah married Jedediah Lombard of Barnstable, and after, perhaps of Truro.

It is noticeable that DANIEL made no mention of his daughter Hannah in his will executed in 1698, and this is likely attributable to one of two circumstances; either she was deceased at that time, or had incurred the stiff old Quaker’s displeasure by marrying “out of meeting.”

Lydia Wing, second daughter of DANIEL and HANNAH, was born May 23, 1647 according to town records, or Mar. 28, 1647 according to the Friend’s records.  Lydia is said by the Hoxie documents to have been married to Thomas Hambleton.  She is mentioned in the will of her father as “Lydia Abbott.”  Lydia is the only one of the daughters provided for in Daniel’s will, and although she is fifty-one years of age at the time, her father “constitutes and ordained to be over her John Jennings and Thomas Smith.”

Deborah Wing, the third daughter, was given the name of her grandmother, Deborah Wing.  She was born in Sandwich on Nov. 10, 1648, and died in 1659 at the age of eleven.

Samuel Wing, the first son, was born on June 28, 1652 in Sandwich.  Samuel was 7 or 8 years old during the years of his father’s persecution as a Quaker.  He was mentioned in the will of his grandmother, Joan Swift, who bequeathed him, “a mare foal of a year old,” and left 40 shillings to be divided between his brother John, sister Hannah, and himself.  He was a member of the Friend’s Meeting at Spring Hill, and the births of his children are recorded there.  He was admitted a townsman, and took the oath of fidelity at Sandwich in 1681.  He married about the year 1678 a wife named Mary.  In DANIEL’s will, Samuel is given his father’s “right of land on Scorton Neck” and it was also agreed that his brother Jashub should pay him the sum of 30 pounds four years after his father’s death.  Samuel lived and died in Sandwich, and his estate was administered in Barnstable County.  He died about 1701, and his estate must have been of some means, as it inventoried 384 pounds, and his personal property at 166 pounds, 5 shillings.

Hepzibah Wing, DANIEL and HANNAH’s fourth daughter, was born in September 1654.  Nothing else is known of her.

John Wing, second son of DANIEL and HANNAH, received the name of his paternal grandfather, the Rev. John Wing.  He was born on Nov. 14, 1656.  John took the oath of fidelity at Sandwich and was admitted a townsman in 1681.  He married Martha Spooner, daughter of the house of Spooner soon after, and then the next year, they settled on the west shore of Buzzard’s Bay.  His home was at Great Hill upon the extreme point of a neck of land extending far out into Buzzard’s Bay from the west shore, known for many years as “Wing’s Neck.” The home site is now an extensive park enclosed in a high stone wall, handsomely laid out with buildings erected by a New York Merchant named Searles, who had planned a magnificent estate.

John Wing signed his name with a mark.  He was the first of the sons of DANIEL to leave the home nest at Sandwich, and he was evidently a man with the instincts of a pioneer.  He left a large landed estate and made liberal provisions for his children in his will.  He died Aug. 1, 1717.  His will, dated Mar. 25, 1717, recites:

In the Name of God Amen The Twenty-fifth Day of March on one Thousand Seven hundred Seventeen, I, John Wing, Senior of Rochester in the County of Plymouth in the Province of The Massachusetts Bay in New England Cooper & Being of a disposing mind And Memory Thanks be given to God, And Calling to mind The mortality of my body & knowing it is appointed for all men once To Dye Do make and Ordain This my Last Will & Testament, That is to Say, I bequeath my Soul in to the hands of God who Gave it and my body to The Earth, to be buried after my decease at the Discretion of my Executors, And as Touching such worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to Bless me with, I dispose of the Same in the following manner & forme:  Imprimis I give & Bequeath To my Loving wife Martha Wing The Easterly End of my now Dwelling House, to be hers dureing her Natural life, as also one Cow out of my Stock at her Choice also two swine which is also to be of her Choice as also Twelve pounds money per year yearly paid her by my son Samuele Faile in Maintaining her In all respects as hereinafter I shall will & order him to Do.

Item I give & Bequeath to my Eldest son Stephen Wing & his Heirs and assigns besides what I have already given him by Deed, Twenty Shillings money to be paid to him or his Heirs out of my Estate by my son Samuel within one month after he come to the age of twenty-one uears, & That to be his full part and portion of my Estate.

And so on…

Beulah Wing, fifth daughter of DANIEL and HANNAH WING, was born on Nov. 6, 1658.  She married Aaron Barlow of Rochester, a son of the much hated Marshall George Barlow, who is held in detestation by the Quakers of Sandwich for his persecutions of them during the years 1658-9.

DANIEL WING was born November 21, 1664, and nine days later, on November 30, his mother died.  His older sister Hannah, then 21, probably assumed the care of the family household, for she seems not to have married until some four years later.


In 1686, DANIEL married DEBORAH DILLINGHAM, who was a daughter of HENRY and HANNAH (PERRY) DILLINGHAM, devout Quakers, and a granddaughter of EDWARD DILLINGHAM.  DEBORAH was five years older than Daniel, having been born on December 21, 1659.  Her father “lived in the field east of Sandwich Academy”.  After his marriage, DANIEL settled “up near the woods, somewhat by himself”, and he was the first to live on the Wing homestead upon Lake Shawme.  DANIEL was admitted a townsman in Sandwich in 1691.  He owned considerable property.

The children of DANIEL and DEBORAH were:

  1. EDWARD,  July 10, 1687
  2. Samuel,  August 12, 1690
  3. Jemima,  August 14, 1692
  4. Dorcas,  October 6, 1695
  5. Rebecca,  July 1, 1700
  6. Zaccheus,  April 3, 1702
  7. Hannah,  October 29, 1705

On May 13, 1717, DANIEL deeded an undivided interest in 100 acres of land he possessed in Dartmouth, Bristol County, to his son EDWARD.  This land now lies within the limits of the city of New Bedford.  In 1730, in a “list of heads of families in Sandwich”, mention is made of DANIEL, Nathaniel, Ebenezer, and “Widdow” Wing.

DANIEL must have had some trouble with one Thomas Debuke, because an old undated paper says:

Mr. Daniel Wing,

I have received forty shiling of Mr. Isaac Robertson and you are to pay the officer his fee upon Mr. Robertson’s request, he being a particular friend of mine.  I shall let the action Drop and so for the future I would have you take care what you say about men you know nothing off.


Thomas Debuke

While DANIEL and his son Zaccheus were coopers, they wanted land, and a good deal of it.  They were an ambitious people, and must have been very industrious; they were “thrifty”, and would not have been content with this small parcel of land”.  As early as 1719, DANIEL obtained a portion of the Joseph Foster twenty acre lot, and in the deed, which is still preserved, Foster speaks of it as having been “laid out to me for a part of my Lott in the first Division”.  Subsequently, the whole of this wood lot became a part of the Wing property; and in the division by the two brothers, the portion which fell to Paul has always been known as the “Foster Lot”.

When DANIEL was 67 years old in 1731, his son Zaccheus married Content Swift, and DANIEL conveyed to him the same year, “all upland, salt and fresh meadow land, swampy ground and wood lots which I am the owner or proprietor of in the town of Sandwich with the orchards, fruit trees, underwood and fences Belonging to all or any of said lands with the south-westerly end of my dwelling house and the Chamber over it (after my decease and my wife’s, the other part of the house also) together with my barn and all other buildings on said lands”.  The consideration stated was 400 pounds.

From the fact that there is scant mention of the vital records of the family of DANIEL and DEBORAH in the Friends’ records at Spring Hill, and because he was given credit for work in building the “minister’s house”, it is believed that DANIEL was not in good and regular standing among the Quakers.

It is probable that DANIEL WING died in the early months of 1740.  His will was probated in Barnstable County on May 3, 1740. It bore a date of March 22, 1737.  He appointed his son Zaccheus his executor; mentions children “of my two oldest sons deceased, and son Zaccheus, daughters Rebecca Hatch and Hanna; children of his daughter Dorcas, and gives to his granddaughter Susannah a cow which his son-in-law John Sheperd has in keeping”.


EDWARD WING, son of DANIEL AND DEBORAH (DILLINGHAM) WING, resided for some time in Sandwich, but in 1721 moved to Dartmouth, Bristol County, Massachusetts, where his father had been the owner of lands which were now deeded to him.  He was married three times. He married Desire Smith of Dartmouth in November, 1713, but she died before having any children.  On June 1, 1717, Edward married SARAH TUCKER, daughter of ABRAHAM and HANNAH TUCKER.

They had five children:

  1. Hannah, March 13, 1720
  2. Abraham, November 26, 1721
  3. Deborah, December 22, 1723
  4. Jemima, May 15, 1725
  5. EDWARD, July 27, 1727

EDWARD married Patience Ellis in October, 1728, and they had two children:

  1. Sarah, June 7, 1731
  2. Mary, May 27, 1733

In some legal instruments held by some of the Wing descendants are a number of receipts, notes, deeds, and conveyances, from which we are able to infer what must have been the relations of the several parties.  Among these is a certificate of marriage after the Friends’ form, of EDWARD WING and SARAH TUCKER, all of Dartmouth, dated, “First day of sixth month, 1717.”  Among the names appearing as witnesses to this document are:  John, John jun’, Joseph, Abraham, Henry, Ruth, and Content Tucker; Jedediah Allen; Adam, Jacob, and Elizabeth Mott; Matthew, Edward, Sarah, Samuel, and Dorcas Wing; Mary Lapham; Joseph, Joseph jun’, John, and Benjamin Russell; Susannah Jemkins; and William and Isaac Wood.  There is also a deed in which DANIEL WING, “a husbandman,” one-half of his undivided interest in his lands in Dartmouth; a Collector’s warrant for the town of Dartmouth, dated March 21, 1725-26, in which EDWARD WING is mentioned as a constable; two deeds, dated 1698, by which DANIEL conveyed to EDWARD WING two parcels of land, one of 85 acres, and another of 15 acres, in Dartmouth; two other deeds, dated respectively 1716 and 1727, in one of which EDWARD is styled an “innholder” and a “weaver.”


EDWARD WING, son of EDWARD and SARAH (TUCKER) WING was thought to be born in Sandwich, Barnstable County, Massachusetts on July 27, 1727, though some accounts say he was born at Dartmouth. His first wife was Content Wood of Dartmouth, who was born September 7, 1723.  Prior to 1754, he moved to “Nine Partners” in Duchess County, New York.  His wife died there while giving birth to twins, and according to the records of the Quaker Monthly Meeting at Oblong, the infant children were taken into the families of Friends.  Edward was a saddle and harness maker by trade.

The children of Edward and Content were:

  1. Thomas, born at Sandwich
  2. William, who died young
  3. Abraham T., June 12, 1754
  4. Russell, twin, June 12, 1754

On August 23, 1758, he married HANNAH HOAG, the daughter of David and Keziah Hoag of Nine Partners.  She had been born on November 22, 1735.  They had seven children.

  1. Content, June 8, 1759;
  2. Abigail, March 25, 1761; killed by lightning at age 13
  3. SARAH, December 5, 1762; m. Cornelius Huson in Dartmouth, Bristol County, Massachusetts, where her father and grandfather, both named EDWARD, had lived after the elder EDWARD had moved there from Sandwich, Massachusetts.
  4. Hannah, November 17, 1764; m. Roger Haviland; four sons
  5. David, April 28, 1767;
  6. Joseph, May 12, 1770; m. Irene Phelps; seven children
  7. John, June 2, 1779; m. Phebe Terrell; seven children

In 1793 they moved to Queensbury at Wings Falls (later Glens Falls), New York to join his brother Abraham Wing, who was the first settler in that area (and for whom it was name after), having gone there in August, 1763.

He was seeking new land for the expanding Quaker families at the Oblong in Duchess County.  [The Oblong was a strip of land 580 rods wide which extended along the eastern side of the Counties of Duchess, Putnam, and Westchester in New York, which Connecticut also claimed, but finally conceded to New York.]

In 1765 Abraham purchased a partnership in a saw mill with Nehemiah Merritt for five shillings, and in 1771 also became a partner in a grist mill with Samuel Bronson.

At the annual town meeting held at Queensbury on Tuesday, ye 5 day of May 1767, for the township of Queensbury:

1 voted, Abraham Wing, Moderator
2 voted, Asaph Putnam, Town Clerk
3 voted, Abraham Wing, Supervispr
4 voted, Abraham Wing and Asaph Putnam, Assessors 
5 voted, Asaph Putnam, Constable
6 voted, Ichabod Merritt, Collector
7 voted, Benager Putnam, Pathmaster 
8 voted, Benjamin Wing, Pound-keeper 
9 voted, Abraham Wing and Ichabod Merritt, Overseers of the Poor
10 voted, Benjamin Wing and Phineas Babcock, Fence-viewers

On May 5, 1772, it was voted that “a Pound be Built about 10 rods North East from the house of Abraham Wing and to meet at the house of s’d Wing on Monday the first day of June at Eight o’Clock in the fore Noon to Build said pound on the penalty of Six Shillings each man for non-appearance.”

Abraham was a prominent leader in the area all his life, serving as Town Moderator 1766-69, 1772-80, 1783-88, 1790-94.  He died there in 1795.  The area had originally been called “Four Corners”, but became known as “Wings Falls” after Abraham.

The absence of fences led the settlers to mark their stock by “ear marks” to identify them similar to brands.

Most of the early settlers of Queensbury had come from Duchess County and had known each other for many years.  Most were Quakers who were opposed to the Revolutionary War and therefore took no part in it.  However, they often suffered from the Continental Army pilfering food and other belongings from the settlers.  After the battle of Saratoga in July 1777, the retreating Continental Army confiscated considerable livestock and grain, and dismantled the saw mill of Abraham’s without compensation.  He submitted claims to the army.  Having few fences back then, the pigs ran wild, and were identified by ear notches, much like cattle brands were later used in the west.  The farmers then had to “round up” their pigs when they needed them for butchering or for market.  These roving porkers were probably easy pickings for the Army.

When the war came their way, the settlers would hastily gather movable property and flee to their old homes in Duchess County, to return when the danger was past.  These were so frequent that, in the language of the old residents, “It got to be very easy to go, for they soon had but little to move.”

The settlers were also bothered by a concentration of Tories who lived about ten miles away, and who often raided them.

After the war was over, Colonel Jacob Glen moved into the area and rebuilt many of the mills which had been destroyed by the war. He became very prosperous and lived in a grand manner.  In 1788, he convinced Abraham Wing to allow the name of the town to be changed from Wings Falls to Glens Falls.

In either 1785 or 1800, the Quaker log church was built near the burial ground at the intersection of Bay and Quaker Roads.  It was the first church in Queensbury.  At this site in 1911 some Wing descendants erected a stone marker with a large bronze plaque thereon.


In memory of



They were descended from




She with four sons came to America in 1632. In 1762 King George gave a grant of the town of Queensbury to Abraham and Edward Wing and others. About 1785 the Society of Friends built a log meeting house on this ground. Here was kept the first school. Here was the first burial ground of the pioneer fathers.

*Erected By*


This plaque implies that EDWARD WING went with his brother Abraham in 1763, or joined him shortly thereafter, to the area of Four Corners (Wings Falls).  However, the Wing history has him going there in 1793, two years before Abraham’s death.  No mention of Edward has yet been found in the early history of Queensbury.

About 1794, SARAH WING, the daughter of EDWARD WING and HANNAH HOAG, married CORNELIUS HUGHSON (later Huson), probably in Queensbury.  In the Wing history, it is stated that: “Sarah, a daughter of Edward and Hannah (Hoag) Wing, married a gentleman named Hewson, and resided in the west.”

Early Tuckers

Story by Fred Gahimer

Origins of Tuckers in America

The name Tucker is derived from an occupation essential to the wool trade, as are the names Walker and Fuller.  All three names are taken from the job of walking on, washing, folding, and fluffing the wool cloth after it has been woven into thread and cloth.  Wool in its first stages of preparation is a coarse and stiff material.  The Walkers and Fullers beat the material and washed it to make if softer and the Tucker refined the cloth to give it fluffiness and body.  The name Walker became common in the northern and central areas of England; Fuller in the south and east; and Tucker in the south and west.  The traditional home of the Tuckers since early medieval times has been in the Barnstaple district of county Devon.  Today, the family name is primarily concentrated in Devon, Dorset, and Wiltshire.  The name is found on ancient English and early American records in the various forms of Tukere, Tuker, Toukere, Touker, Tucker, and others, of which Tucker is that most generally in use in America today.

It is believed that the first of the family in England was John Tucker, who came with William the Conqueror in the year 1066, fought in the battle of Hastings, and was assigned large estates in the County of Devon.  It is said that in the year 1110 his son, Stephen Tucker, was granted the privilege of wearing his hat in the presence of the King by Henry the First of England and was also granted the estate of Lamertin, near Tavistock, Devonshire.

Among the earliest definite records of the family in England are those of Roger le Tukere of Dorsetshire in 1273; those of Percival le Toukere in 1301 as a man who makes a substantial living cleaning and thickening woolen cloth; those of Robert le Tuckere in 1321; and those of William le Touker about the same time.  By the sixteenth century the name stabilized into its modern spelling and usage.

It is not known from which of the illustrious lines of the family in England the first emigrants of Tuckers in America were descended, but it is generally believed that all the Tuckers trace their descent from a common ancestor of a remote period.

Besides Captain Daniel Tucker, appointed Governor of Bermuda by the Virginia Company in 1616, there was a William Tucker in the Virginia Company at an early date and it is believed he was Daniel’s son.  William made his home in Elizabeth City, VA about 1610 and was the first justice of that place in 1632.

The first of the Tucker name in New England appears to have been Richard Tucker who came from England to Casco, in the New England Colony, in 1634.

Other Tuckers who settled in America in the 17th century were:

  • Alexander Tucker; Warrasquinoake County, VA in 1635
  • Allen Tucker; Henrico County, VA in 1636
  • Bartholomew Tucker; Upper Norfolk County, VA in 1639
  • John Tucker; York County, VA in 1642
  • Ailee Tucker; James County, VA in 1649
  • Leonider and William Tucker; Charles City County, VA in 1650
  • Robert Tucker, Glouster, MA before 1651

Another view is reported in the Family Origin and Coat of Arms referencing Matthew’s – American Armory:

The family name of Tucker is Anglo-Saxon meaning to be doughty.  Historical records consulted state that a Robert Tucker of Exeter County, Devon, England was granted his [Coat of] Arms before 1620.  Among the Tucker families in England was a William Tucker, D.D., Dean of Lichfield and of East Grinstead County, Salisbury.  The first descendant on record to come to America was Robert Tucker of Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1635.  He came from Milton-next-Gravesend, Kent, England.  He is reputed as having been a man of considerable wealth and a merchant.  Descendants of the Tucker family can be found throughout our country, prominent in political, social, and economic affairs.

Henry “The Quaker” Tucker

Henry Tucker, born in England about 1627, came to America from the County of Kent, England.  He may have been a son of the Robert Tucker who came from England to Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1635.  Henry settled in the town of Milton, Massachusetts about 1650.

He married Martha (unknown) on June 9, 1651, and they had seven children:

  1. Abraham, Oct 30, 1653, Portsmouth, Newport Co., RI
  2. John, Aug 28, 1656
  3. Martha, Jul 14, 1659
  4. Hannah, Jul 25, 1662, Dartmouth, Bristol Co., MA
  5. James, Mar 1664/1665, Dartmouth, Bristol Co., MA
  6. Mary, Aug 16, 1668, Dartmouth, Bristol Co., MA
  7. Sarah, Sep 20, 1674, Dartmouth, Bristol Co., MA

Not approving of the proceedings of the colonial government at Boston respecting the severe laws passed and judgments enforced against the Quakers, he left Milton and finally settled in Dartmouth, Bristol County, Massachusetts, within the limits of the Plymouth Colony, shortly after 1660.

An inscription on a tree near the residence of Benjamin Tucker in Dartmouth, copied May 5, 1844:

First Settled
By Henry Tucker 1660
who died 1694
succeeded by son John
who died 1751, aged 95
succeeded by son Joseph
who died 1790, aged 94
succeeded by son John
who died 1820, aged 88

In 1669 he bought from William Allen of Sandwich one third of the original shares into which the township as then held was divided.  In 1679 he made another purchase from James Sampson of Portsmouth, RI, of a limited number of acres in the undivided lands of the town.  By these, and perhaps other acquired rights, when the town was afterwards surveyed and divided among the proprietors in severalty, his two sons, Abraham and John (their father being deceased), became entitled to and received several hundred acres of land adjoining their respective homesteads.  This land mostly remained in the possession of their descendants until within fifty or sixty years.  It had, by 1883, all passed out of the name, except the homestead and some out-lots belonging to two of the Tuckers, which form part of the original tract settled by Henry, and laid out to his son John.

These first settlers and their descendants were mostly farmers, and worthy and exemplary members of the Society of Friends.  Living on their paternal farms, they pursued the even tenor of their ways in quietness and peace.  Having the respect of their neighbors and the community, they were called occasionally by their townspeople to places of trust in town affairs, and more often by the society of which they were members to fill important stations and perform various duties therein.

Henry Tucker died at Dartmouth on April 21, 1694, and his wife Martha died on Nov 9, 1697, also at Dartmouth.

Abraham Tucker

Abraham Tucker, son of Henry Tucker, married Mary Slocum, the daughter of Giles Slocum, on October 30, 1679 in Dartmouth.  Both he and Mary had been born in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and it is likely that the Slocum family had moved to Dartmouth with the Tucker family.

Abraham and Mary had five children:

  1. Henry, Oct 30 1680, Dartmouth
  2. Mary, Feb 1683/1684, Dartmouth
  3. Patience, Nov 28, 1686, Dartmouth
  4. Martha, Nov 28, 1686, Dartmouth
  5. Abigail, Dec 21, 1688, Dartmouth

Mary died on Sep 25, 1689, and Abraham married Hannah Mott on Nov 26, 1690.  Hannah was born in 1663.

Abraham and Hannah Tucker had seven children:

  1. Elizabeth, Aug 24, 1691, Dartmouth; m. James Barker
  2. Sarah, Apr 23, 1693, Dartmouth; m. Edward Wing Jun 1, 1717
  3. Content, Mar 12, 1695, Dartmouth; m. Benjamin Wing
  4. Abraham, Mar 5, 1697/1698, Dartmouth; m. Elizabeth Russell
  5. Joanah, Oct 14, 1699, Dartmouth; m. John Russell
  6. Ruth, Dec 16, 1701, Dartmouth; m. Nicolas Davis
  7. Hannah, Apr 22, 1704, Dartmouth; m. James Green

Abraham Tucker died at Dartmouth on March 16, 1724/1725.


Will of Abraham Tucker of Dartmouth, Yeoman, dated 20 Nov 1724, probated 20 Apr, 1724/1725.  Wife Hannah.  Sons Henry (eldest) and Abraham (youngest) Tucker.  Daughters: Mary Russell, Patience Wooley, Abigail Chase wife of Joseph Chase, Martha Thomas dcd, late wife of George Thomas of Portsmouth, Joanah Tucker, Ruth Tucker, and Hannah Tucker (last three under eighteen and unmar.).  Grandchildren.  Abraham Thomas (under twenty-one) and Mary Thomas (under eighteen) children of my dau. Mary Thomas dcd.  “My seven Daughters Namely Mary Russel, Elezebeth Barker, Sarah Wing, Content Wing, Joanah Tucker, Ruth Tucker, and Hannah Tucker.”  Son Abraham as Exec.  Overseers to be friends and brethren John Tucker and Jacob Mott.  Witns: Richard Bourden, John Tucker, and John Howland.   [5:79/80/81]


Inventory of Estate of Abraham Tucker of Dartmouth, Yeoman, dated 8 Apr 1724/5.  Presented by Abraham Tucker of Dartmouth, son and Exec.  Mentions: widows’ cows, Abraham’s cows, and steer belonging to Joannah, Ruth, and Hannah Tucker.  Appraisers:  John Akin, Nathaniel Soule, and Deliverance Smith.  [5:86/7/8]

Abraham’s wife Hannah died in Dartmouth on February 1, 1731.  She died intestate.



Appointment of Abraham Tucker of Dartmouth, Yeoman, to be Adm. Of Estate of his mother Hannah Tucker of Dartmouth widow dcd intest., dtd 20 Nov 1739. [1731?]   [9:298]



Abraham Tucker – Rhoda (Tucker) Huson

ABRAHAM TUCKER was from New Castle/North Castle, Westchester County, New York.  ABRAHAM was born circa 1745 (place unknown).  He married a woman named DEBORAH.

They had eight children while living there:

  1. Daniel, married Hannah Dean Jun 28, 1792 in Queensbury, NY
  2. Joseph
  3. Amy, born Sep 15, 1775 in Chappaqua (New Castle), NY. Married Stephen Dillingham Nov 20, 1794 in Saratoga Co. Died Oct 16, 1856
  4. Abram, born Sep 20, 1777.  Married Anna Lapham. Died Nov 26, 1856 in Persia
  5. Samuel, born Jun 30, 1779 in Westchester Co., NY. Married Hepsibah Lapham, then Elizabeth C. Scrafford. Died Apr 6, 1858
  6. Sarah, born Mar 1781 in Westchester Co., NY. Married Charles Wood. Died Feb 21, 1874 in Evans, Erie Co., NY
  7. Moses, born 1782. Married Phebe Lapham. Died Sep 15, 1830 in Collins, Erie Co., NY
  8. Rebecca, circa 1785

New Castle is ten miles north of White Plains, New York.  Indians called it Shappequa or Chappequa, which means “The Laurel Swamp”, or it may have been an Algonquin term “Chapacour” for “a vegetable root”.  The chief aboriginal proprietor of this area was the Indian Sachem Wampus.  He sold the area to Col. Caleb Heathcote and others for 100 pounds in 1696.  North Castle is four miles south of New Castle.  There were many Tuckers and Arnolds in the Quaker Meeting at Chappequa.  The Quaker meeting house was built at New Castle in 1753.  The population at New Castle had grown to 1,495 by 1846, and to 2,010 at North Castle.

Some of the offices to which the various Tuckers (and Arnolds) were appointed in the annual town meetings as listed in the North Castle/New Castle Historical Records, Vol. 1&2, are as follows:

Joseph Tucker, Sessor [Assessor?], April ye 1st 1746
William Tucker, Gilbert Arnold, overseer of the roads, April ye 1st 1765
Abraham Tucker, overseer of the roads, April ye 4th 1780
Nathaniel Tucker, constable, April ye 1st 1783
Gilbert Arnold, 7th Destricts of Roads, April 1, 1788

Also, from the same source, a sampling of the assigned identification markings for hogs, which, without fences, ran loose:

Joseph Tucker's Ear mark is a Crop on the off Ear and a half penny
Under the same & a Slit in the near Ear.  March 22, 1751

William Tucker's Ear mark is a Crop on the off Ear & a Slit in the
Crop and a nick under the same.  June 6, 1759

The Tax List for North Castle in 1779 included:

William Tucker, Jr.  12 Real estate, tax 12 shillings
William Tucker, Sr.  60 Real estate, tax 3 pounds
Abraham Tucker       30 Real estate, tax 1 pnd, 10 sh
Gilbert Arnold      120 Real estate, tax 6 pounds
Reuben Tucker       110 Personal estate, tax 2 pnd, 15 sh

ABRAHAM and DEBORAH TUCKER and family moved to Queensbury, Warren Co., New York in 1786, as described in the following:

From our Monthly Meeting held at Shapaqua the 20th of 4th Mo. 1786, To the Monthly Meeting at Saratoga: Dear friends, these may inform that our Friend Abraham Tucker and his wife Deborah with their Family is about to remove and settle within the Compass of your meeting and requested our Certificate, these to certify that they are members in Unity amoungst us and diligent attenders of our meetings both for Worship and Dicipline and Enquiry being made we find their outward affairs settled to Sattisfaction as far as appears as Such we recommend them with their Children whose Names are Daniel, Joseph, Anne [Amy], Abraham, Samuel, Sarah, Moses, & Rebeckah: to your Christian care and oversight with desires for their groath in the best things and in Love we Conclude and remain your friends

Brethren and Sisters


Signed in and on behalf of our Sd. Meeting

William Knowles, Clerk

Mary Underhill, Clerk

[Saratoga was called Easton after 1794-5, Saratoga-West-of-the-River taking the name of Saratoga thereafter, and Queensbury being set off from Easton in 1800]

After moving to Queensbury, ABRAHAM and DEBORAH had five more children:

  1. Henry, born Mar 12, 1787 in Queensbury, Warren Co., NY. Married Submit Wheeler Apr 2, 1809. Died Aug 19, 1843 in North Collins, Erie Co., NY
  2. Caleb
  3. Elizabeth
  4. Anna, married Richard Hallock Dec 10, 1807 in Queensbury, NY
  5. RHODA, born Nov 8, 1795 in Queensbury, Warren Co., NY. Married Thomas E. Huson Feb 6, 1816 in Duchess Co., NY

ABRAHAM TUCKER died in Queensbury in 1798, and his wife DEBORAH died circa 1810.



Dated: December 12, 1797     Probated: September 7, 1798

Mentions: wife Deborough; sons: Daniel, Joseph, Abraham, Samuel, Moses, Henry, Caleb; daughters: Amy Dillingham, Sarah, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Anna, Rhoda (3 yrs old); brothers: Samuel, Moses

Executrix: wife   Executors: Thomas Stringhan, Elisha Folger

Witnesses: Caleb Dean, George Southwick, Lydia Southwick

There was a great Quaker migration in 1810-12, and some of the Tucker children became early settlers in Erie County, New York in the area now populated with such towns as Collins/N. Collins, Brant, Hamburg/E. Hamburg, Evans, Concord, Aurora, and Boston.

Abram Tucker, brother of RHODA, went to the unsettled region in the southern part of Niagrara (now Erie) County, and in 1809 settled at the edge of what is now the town of North Collins, where he built a log cabin and covered it with bark.

Samuel Tucker also settled in the area, following the Indian trail by way of Water Valley and Eden Center.  It was the first team that passed over that trail.  His provisions consisted principally of a barrel of flour and a barrel of pork; these he rolled down some of the steepest hills, as he could manage them better by hand than on the sled.  He settled a mile and a half south of Abram.  He built a log house.  Having no table, he left a stump, nicely squared off, standing in the middle of his house, and this was the family table.  His first wheat for seed was procured by trading off a Log-chain, and it was two years before the light shone through a glass window onto his peculiar table.

Enos Southwich came with his family the same year, and Abram Tucker admitted them to the shelter of his hospitable mansion.  In that little bark-covered cabin was born George Tucker (Aug 1810), the first white child in the towns of Collins and North Collins.  If there had been a stump in Abram’s cabin, it would have been a mite crowded.

Henry Tucker followed his brothers into the region some time before 1812.

In March of 1812 the town of Hamburg was formed, including the area of the present town of East Hamburg.  John Green’s tavern, not far from the Hardwin Arnold place, was a noted hostlery of that period, and the town meetings and elections were sometimes held there prior to the formation of Hamburg.  At the Erie County Agricultural Society Fair of 1842, the first prize for cheese was awarded to H. Arnold & Son of Hamburg.  At the state fair held in Buffalo in 1842, the “Hamburg cheese” won first prize, and for many years “Hamburg” was famous among cheeses.

During the War of 1812, the region saw its share of fighting.  The British attacked Buffalo, and there was a big battle at the edge of town at Black Rock on December 30, 1813.  Most of Buffalo was destroyed.  Three men from Hamburg were killed in the battle.  Many fugitives from Buffalo fled through the Hamburg area, joined by many of the local residents.

Volunteers were recruited for the war, but not like in modern times.  As a general rule, if a volunteer of 1812 stayed on the line for three months he thought he had done something wonderful.  Also, there were almost no officers, since the military academies were not yet providing them.  They even formed a special militia of men too old to be called on for military duty.  They were called “Silver Greys”.  One old pioneer in the area, Oliver Pattengill, was an ensign in such a unit.  [Oliver was ASAPH PATTENGILL’s uncle]

The early settlers, in addition to Indian troubles, had severe predation by bears and wolves, especially on their sheep and hogs.  One farmer had a bear attack one of his old sows.  He found the bear struggling with the sow under a workbench in a shanty.  He beat the bear with a club to no avail.  Having powder but no ammunition, he broke the bail off a kettle, loaded his gun with it, and actually killed the bear with this makeshift ammunition.

In the 1820s, an especially sly and ingenious she-wolf enticed local dogs to join her in attacking the settlers’ stock.  The wolf eluded all attempts of the settlers to shoot or trap her.  They did discover her litter of dog-wolves, and killed and scalped them to get the bounty of $30 per cub scalp.  There was some argument over whether they should get the full bounty or just half for the half-wolves, but they received the full amount.  The wolf then moved onto the farm of Samuel Tucker.  He laid an especially skillfully disguised trap and did indeed snare the wily wolf.  Men and boys came from miles around to see the wolf.  The men executed the wolf with much rejoicing, and Samuel received the $60 bounty for the scalp.

Moses Tucker was the first settler in the Brant Area in 1816.  He reared three children, two of whom, Elijah and a daughter who married Charles Sherman, were later residents of North Collins.  Two years later Moses was joined by six other settlers, John Roberts, John West, Major Campbell, Ansel Smith, and Robert and William Grannis.  In 1819 Reuben Hussey, a relative of Moses, settled near him.  Samuel Butts moved from Hamburg to the Brant area in 1820 and built the first saw mill.  In 1825 Joseph Hubbard opened the first tavern.  Milton Morse built the first store in 1835, and the place was called Morse’s Corners for quite a period.  He was also the first postmaster after the town of Brant was formed in 1839.  The principal products of the area were produce for canneries, and cheese.

There were many Quakers in the region besides the Tuckers.  The first meeting house in the region was a log structure built at East Hamburg in 1801, and remained the only one until 1818.  A Meeting was eventually established at North Collins, and many Tuckers, Arnolds, and Husons were among those families.

PURCHASERS of LAND from the HOLLAND LAND COMPANY in ERIE COUNTY, NY (Arnold, Huson, and Tucker families):<br>

Purchaser; Date; Town; Lot; Sub.; Acres; Twp.; Range
Henry Arnold & David Eddy;10/02/1805;Evans;8;C;16;9;7
Aldrich Arnold;04/08/1815;Evans;7;C;46;9;7
Samuel Tucker; 03/04/1818;Collins;61;B;100;7;8
John Arnold; 07/15/1822;Collins;3;B;50;7;8
John Arnold; 08/29/1822;Collins;L67;E;120;7;7
Moses Tucker; 05/15/1823;Collins; 50;D; 61; 7; 8
Robert Arnold;03/05/1827;Collins; 68;D; 50; 7; 7
Abram Tucker; 09/22/1828;Brant; 11;E; 70; 8; 9
Abram Tucker; 10/27/1829;Brant; 1; C; 40; 8; 9
Lewis Arnold; 05/30/1831;Evans; 50;C; 63; 9; 8
Lewis Arnold; 05/30/1831;Evans; 47;B; 112;9; 8
Hiram Arnold; 08/22/1831;Collins; 68;E; 100;7; 7
Henry Tucker; 01/31/1832;Brant; 11;C; 80; 8; 9
John T. Huson; 08/21/1832;Brant; 11;A; 80; 8; 9
John T. Huson;06/11/1833;Brant; 11;D; 80; 8; 9
Samuel Tucker;11/08/1833;Collins; 53;F; 50; 7; 8
Oliver Arnold;06/20/1834;Evans; 11;C; 110;9; 7
Oliver & Hadwin Arnold;06/20/1834;Evans; 12;C; 52; 9; 7
John Arnold;10/01/1835;Collins; 67;D; 50; 7; 7
Lydia Huson ;10/22/1835;Brant; 1; C; 50; 8; 9
Samuel Tucker;10/23/1835;Collins; 53;E; 50; 7; 8
Samuel Tucker 2nd;12/21/1835;Brant; 12;A; 100;8; 9
William Arnold; 01/15/1836;Collins; 34;B; 100;6; 7
Sarah Huson and others ;11/10/1836;Brant; 11;B; 80; 8; 9
John Arnold;12/30/1836;Collins; 67;A; 50; 7; 7
Robert Arnold;12/30/1836;Collins; 68;C; 50; 7; 7
Abram Tucker; 09/12/1837;Brant; 2; A; 95; 8; 9
Abram Tucker; 11/01/1837;Brant; 2; B; 40; 8; 9
Hubbard W. Arnold;12/29/1837;Collins; 38;A; 97; 7; 8
Thomas Huson ; 11/02/1838;E. Hamburg;32;D; 61; 9; 7
Solomon Tucker; 04/09/1839;Evans; 19;D; 100;8; 9
Frederick Arnold; 05/17/1842;Evans; 28;B; 50; 9; 8
Martin L. Arnold; 12/08/1849;Evans; 35;A; 50; 8; 9
Oliver Arnold;09/28/1850;Concord; 12;a; 53; 7; 7
Oliver H. Arnold; 07/19/1851;Evans; 13;C; 100;9; 8
Martin L. Arnold; 06/01/1852;Evans; 46;D; 50; 8; 9
Nathan Tucker;11/24/1855;Brant; 12;b; 25; 8; 9
Joshua Tucker;02/23/1856;Evans; 19;a; 28; 8; 9
S. G. Huson;?; Evans; 8; D; 60; 8; 9


  • Our Tucker Family, 1776-1973, by Theodore Tucker
  • History of Bristol County, Massachusetts, with Biographical Sketches,     by D. Hamilton Hurd, 1883, pp212-3.
  • Bristol County, Massachusetts, Probate Records, by H. L. Rounds
  • History of the City of Buffalo and Erie County, by H. Perry Smith,      Vol. I, 1884, p526-9, 662-3.
  • Centennial History of Erie County, New York, by Crisfield Johnson, 1876, p142-3, 175, 187, 191, 208, 279, 306, 317, 339, 424.
  • Deed Tables, Erie County, New York, 1859, by Tobius Witmer, Holland      Land Company
  • Our Country and its People, Erie County, New York, by Truman C. White
  • New Castle Historical Records, 1977 Vol. 1 & 2
  • History of Duchess County, New York, by J. H. Smith
  • History of Duchess County, New York, by P. H. Smith
  • History of Warren County, New York, 1963, Edited by William H. Brown, p140-153, 224-233
  • History of Warren County, New York, by H. Smith
  • History of Washington County, New York, 1959, Wash., Co., Hist., Soc.
  • Hudson-Mokawk Genealogy, 5 Vols., by Cuyler Reynolds

Early Husons

Thomas Hughson – William Hughson – Thomas Hughson – Cornelius Edward Hughson

Thomas A. Dignacco has researched the early Huson’s and provides the information included in this section. The progenitor of this branch of the Hughson family was THOMAS HUGHSON, born about 1670, who came from England or Scotland about 1690 and settled at Dobbs Ferry, on the East bank of the Hudson River, in the Philipsburg Manor in Westchester County, in the colony of New York. Little is known of his origins except for traditions passed down in various branches of the family. One story, written down by John Ward Hughson in 1964 is that the Hughsons were Scottish, and came to America via England, settling first on Staten Island. “Finding that place too windy, they moved inland up the Hudson River…..” Another story, passed on by Edward Byron Huson is that the first Hughson immigrant was the son of an “English Lord” who bequeathed money to his son in America which was never claimed because Father and Son took opposite sides in some conflict involving the British. Still another legend, told by Hobart Huson, Sr. is that the Hughsons were French Huguenots (Calvinist Protestants) who fled to England following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) and thence to New York.

Regardless of these stories, it seems clear that THOMAS HUGHSON was an English-speaking immigrant who gave English names to all of his children. He married about 1694 MARIA DOBBS, daughter of Walter Dobbs and Mary Merritt. The parents of Walter Dobbs are said to have come from New England but no trace of this family name has been found there. Mary Merritt is said to have been born in England. However, there were Merritt families in Westchester County in 1670 and it is certainly possible that Mary Merritt belonged to one of these families. One John Merritt served on a New York (city) grand jury in 1641; a Thomas Merritt, 1634-1725, lived in Rye, New York, and a William Merritt was Mayor of New York in 1695. Which of these (or another) may have been the family of Mary (Merritt) Dobbs is unknown.

Walter and Mary (Merritt) Dobbs’ son John Dobbs was born about 1675 on Barren Island, Flatlands, Long Island, and did not settle at Wysquaqua (later Dobbs Ferry) until about 1698. THOMAS HUGHSON may have met and married Maria Dobbs at Flatlands, Long Island.

The births and baptisms of several of THOMAS HUGHSON’s children and grandchildren were recorded in the Church Record Book of Philipsburg between 1706 and 1754. THOMAS HUGHSON’s home is said to have been located at what is now the corner of Broadway and Cedar Street in Dobbs Ferry.

In the period 1698-1740 the Philipsburg Manor was controlled by the family of Frederick Philipse, whose Castle was just north of Dobbs Ferry and Tarreytown at Sleepy Hollow. Life on the Manors of New York was far less regulated than on the feudal manors of Europe. Land was cheap and plentiful in New York, and settlers were consequently reluctant to become tenant farmers on these vast tracts of granted land. In fact, Frederick Philipse often let families settle on his land without charge, as did Stephanus Van Cortlandt on his manor to the north, in return for their improving the land and helping to defend it against the French and the Indians. This cheapness of land and the high cost of labor was responsible for New Yorkers having to import many Negroes from Africa to supply their labor needs, a situation that later brought grief to the Hughson family. It is reported that the Manor of Philipsburg had only 20 tenant farmers in 1700, in an area that spanned much of Westchester County.

THOMAS HUGHSON’s death is unreported, but probably occurred soon after 1741.


  1. Thomas, b. About 1695
  2. John, b. about 1700
  3. WILLIAM, bapt. Philipsburg 13 Aug. 1706
  4. Richard, bapt. Philipsburg 13 Aug. 1706
  5. Mary, bapt. Philipsburg 16 June 1707
  6. Abigail, bapt. Philipsburg 10 Aug. 1708
  7. Benjamin, b. New York
  8. Walter,
  9. Nathaniel,

Thomas Hughson (WILLIAM’s brother)

Thomas Hughson (WILLIAM’s brother), born about 1695 in the colony of New York, married about 1715 Christina (Neythäber?). He is said to have resided in Dobbs Ferry on Broadway just below the present junction with Ashford Avenue. Christina’s family name remains unknown with any certainty. It is possible she had some New York Dutch ancestors, as some descendents in this branch of the family claim to a partial Dutch ancestry.

Henry Z. Jones, in his book on the Palatine immigrants to New York argues that Thomas Hughson married Christina Catherina Neythäber (Neidhöfer, Neidthöffer), who was baptized, 24 November 1689, daughter of Quirinus and Maria Elisabetha (Beck) Neythäber of Phillipsburgh. Quirinus (or John Quirinus) Neythäber was born possibly in Singhofen (5 kilometers south-east of Nassau) in 1666-67, a son of Johan Emrich Neidthöffer and married at Frücht (10 km. west of Nassau) 12 October 1686, Maria Elizabetha, daughter of Johan George Beck. This couple, members of the Lutheran church, was in the first Palatine arrivals at London in 1709. Quirinus was naturalized at New York City, 10 January 1715/16.

The baptism of only three children of Thomas and Christina Hughson is recorded in the Church Record Book of Philipsburgh. However, it seems likely that they had at least one other son, Thomas, and possibly other children, in order to account for the large number of Hughson’s living in Philipse Patent (southern Dutchess County) prior to the Revolution. The dates and places of death of Thomas and Christina have not been found. Thomas was not impeached at the time of the 1741 “conspiracy” trial and so he may have left Westchester County by this time, possibly settling in the Lake Mahopac area in Dutchess County (now Putnam County), where his son George lived.


  1. George, bapt. Philipsburgh 23 Apr. 1717
  2. Thomas, (possibly), b. about 1720
  3. Christina, b. about 1721
  4. Jeremiah (possibly), b. about 1722-1725
  5. Walter (possibly), b. about 1726
  6. 6. Elizabeth, bapt. Sleepy Hollow Church, 11 Oct. 1729
  7. 7. Isaac, (possibly) bapt. 1738 Records of the old Church (now Terrytown, N.Y.)

George Hughson (WILLIAM’s nephew), baptized at Philipsburgh 23 April 1717, married Susannah ________. She was born, about 1717. Her maiden name is still unknown. They were the first white family to settle (about 1740) in the region of Lake Mahopac (called Hughson’s Pond prior to the revolution), in the Philipse Patent in the southern precinct of Dutchess County. His farm was on the ridge just north of the lake, now in Carmel Township, Putnam County. George died about 1769 at Hughson’s Farm.

According to William J. Blake’s HISTORY OF PUTNAM COUNTY, the first settlement (in Carmel Township) was made by George Hughson, who located on the ridge just north of Lake Mahopac and west of the residence of Nathaniel Crane about 1740. Anthony Hill, who came from Holland to New York City about 1720 and had made a settlement at Fox Meadows (Westchester County), sent his two oldest sons Uriah and William (born 1728) to clear up a tract of land he had just bought from the Indians. One night young William Hill was pursued by wolves while searching for his cow. He escaped them by making a circuit to the north side of Lake Mahopac where early in the morning he came to the log house of George Hughson. This was the first he knew of a white man residing there. Hughson told William Hill that he had settled there about a year earlier.

The Philipse Patent, also known as the Highland Patent, was purchased in 1697 by Adolph Philipse, son of Frederick Philipse, baron of the Philipsburgh Manor. Adolph died in 1749 intestate, and the estate descended to his nephew Frederick, son of Philip Philipse. Frederick died in 1751, leaving his “Upper Patent” plus the immense Manor of Philipsburgh in Westchester County in parts to his sons Frederick and Philip and his 3 daughters. The portion including the Lake Mahopac Hughson settlement came into the hands of daughter Mary Philipse, born 1730, who married Col. Roger Morris. Following the Revolution, in 1782, Morris’ share was confiscated and sold in forfeiture.

Settlement of the colonial manors of New York became more rapid after 1750. The rugged highlands of Putnam County presented less attraction to farmers and were slower to be settled than Westchester to the south and Dutchess to the north. In 1766 some of the manor landowners tried to affirm their ownership of the unsold portions of their patents. In March 1766, the Philipse family tried to evict tenants in the Philipse Patent who had purchased their land directly from the Indians or in other ways had settled on Philipse land without paying rent. During what became known as the “Tenant Uprising of 1766,” George Hughson and James Livingston were two who testified (in September 1766) that they had never recognized the Philipses’ title to their land; had never paid or received demand for rent, and had never been registered on the rent rolls of the Philipses.

It is a legend among horse experts that the first begetter of the famous Dutchess horses was the beautiful white stallion of the Marquis de Montcalm of Quebec. Given as one of the spoils of the war against the French (1754-60) to Major Roger Morris, he was put to stud on the Hughson farm, perhaps about 1762.

George Hughson died in mid or late 1769. His wife Susannah died in 1771 or 1772  Both are presumed buried in the Hughson family plot on the Hughson farm near Carmel. His will, dated 25 April 1769, witnessed by Thomas Hughson, Eborn Haight and Robert Weekes, mentions only his sons Robert, James and Joshua, besides his wife Susannah, who is to “bring up my family”. It seems likely however that he had several children. A memorandum written by David T. Huson (1808 – 1889) and found in 1891 suggests that Thomas, James, Nathaniel, and possibly Elizabeth Land were brothers and sister.  No vital records for Fredericksburgh have been found for this period. The Thomas Hughson who witnessed his will may have been his son Thomas, or a younger brother.


  1. Robert, b. about 1739
  2. Thomas, b. 17 Jan. 1740
  3. John (possibly), b. about 1742
  4. George Thomas (possibly), b. circa 1745
  5. James, b. about 1746 in New York.
  6. Joshua, b. about 1749-53
  7. Nathaniel, b. 16 Jul. 1755
  8. Rachel (probably), b. 2 April 1758
  9. Sylvanus (possibly), b. circa 1759-60
  10. Chloe, b. circa 1762 in New York
  11. Elizabeth (possibly), b. circa 1765
  12. (possibly 0thers)

The New York Conspiracy of 1741

John Hughson (b. abt 1700), second son of THOMAS (b. abt 1670) became embroiled in a terrible episode which is still one of the most extraordinary events in American colonial history. Like the Salem witch trials, but much more murderous, the New York Conspiracy of 1741 led to the trials of 20 whites and more than 150 slaves accused of conspiracy. Eventually 35 persons were hanged or buried alive, and more than 70 were banished from British North America, including the HUGHSON family. The story is told in a recently reprinted rare book, originally written in 1741 by Daniel Horsmanden, one of the judges at the trials. The story provides an excellent but dreadful example of the destruction that may result when fear and hysteria grow in a populous and deeply suspicious society. The events began with a robbery involving both blacks and whites and a series of fires which, compounded by uneasiness over an unpopular war with Spain and anti-Catholicism, intensified the existing fear of a slave uprising. On 6 April 1741, when Cuffee, a slave of Adolph Philipse, was seen fleeing from the scene of a fire, a shout went up “that the negroes were rising.” Two days after this, John Hughson, alehouse keeper, and his wife Sarah were arrested for receiving goods stolen from Robert Hogg’s shop. Earlier, Caesar, another slave, was arrested after also being found with goods stolen from Hogg’s. The investigation of the connection between these two blacks and Hughson produced evidence that confirmed in some minds the suspicion that the fires and robberies were part of some concerted criminal activity. On 21 April, a grand jury was summoned and charged to consider the “many frights and terrors which the good people of this city have of late been put into, by repeated and unusual fires and burning of houses.”

The investigation into this affair interrupted the normal routine in New York for more than six months. Emotional excitement ran high; historians have characterized the mood of the populace as “hysterical” or “a plague of popular frenzy,” with a search for scapegoats. Undeniably, John Hughson entertained and served liquor to groups of blacks at his alehouse. Ten other alehouse keepers in New York were similarly found to be in violation of the law. In those times, it was illegal for slaves to be out unidentified at night, to travel through the city without permission, to meet in groups of more than three, and it was illegal for whites to serve liquor to slaves, although many alehouse keepers did.

The trial proceedings attracted controversy. While some people declared that no plot or conspiracy had existed at all, and others saw the affair as a public search for scapegoats and a product of mass delusion, most of the citizens of New York, who remembered a slave uprising in 1712, saw evidence of conspiracy in every testimony describing an incident in violation of the law.

From Horsmanden’s contemporary account of the proceedings, we learn several details about the life of the Hughson family in 1741. The book confirms that there were, living in the New York area at that time, THOMAS HUGHSON, yeoman, and his six sons, John (married with at least 3 children), Nathaniel, Walter, WILLIAM, Richard, and one other son (unnamed) who stood clear of impeachment. All the sons indicated that they had families. John’s daughters Sarah and Mary were both single in 1741. John’s wife Sarah had a sucking child at her breast at the Supreme Court hearing on June 4, 1741. John and Sarah had an indentured servant, Mary Burton, age 16, living with them and working as a maid in their public house. Mary had come to work for the Hughsons about mid-summer, 1740. Mary Burton’s testimony against the Hughsons was instrumental in their being jailed and convicted. Also lodging at John Hughson’s house was one Margaret Sorubiero, alias Salingburgh, alias Kerry or Carey, called “Peggy”, an Irish girl from Newfoundland, age 21-22, who was described as a prostitute. John Hughson is reported to have moved to his house at the north river in May 1738. His house was large, with several rooms, an upstairs, and cellars. John is reported to have had a boat, which he regularly used on the Hudson river. His daughter Sarah reported that they had lived at Ellis’s dock about a year earlier. His next-door neighbors included Francis Silvester and Geraldus Comfort.

Sarah’s mother (John’s mother-in-law), Anna Elizabeth Luckstead, was depicted in the trials as an elderly woman who told fortunes. The Hughson’s daughter, Sarah, insisted that she did not know of a plot, until she was sentenced to death and offered a pardon if she would confess, at which point she confessed to a plot involving her parents and several negroes. Their daughter, Mary, who would have been only about 12, was never arrested or interviewed.

Throughout the proceedings, the Hughsons maintained their innocence. Mary Burton, who was not indicted and who moreover was rewarded for her testimony, claimed that the Hughsons had conspired to burn the town down and murder all the white people, and set up a new colony with Hughson as king. Several slaves testified with similar stories.

John Hughson’s neighbor, Francis Silvester, testified that “when John Hughson lived next door to him on the dock, he reproached Hughson about keeping such a disorderly house” (dancing, and entertaining negroes after curfew). and Hughson replied that it was his wife’s idea to leave the country, where he sustained his family well by his shoemaker’ craft and his farm, and come to the city, but his wife felt they would live much better in town. Hughson told Silvester that he wished to return to the country again, for they hadn’t done that well in town, and his family was so large. Hughson said that his wife was the chief cause of having the negroes at his house, and he was afraid that some misfortune would happen to him. Others who testified for the Hughsons included Andrew and Eleanor Ryan, Mr. Blank, Peter Kirby, Adam King, Gerardus Comfort. Some of these testified that they had seen no gatherings of negroes at Hughson’s house; others that they had seen Hughson give a dram (of liquor) to a negro, but that Hughson was a civil man.

The prosecution charged that Hughson and the other prisoners “had entered into a most wicked and hellish plot to set on fire and lay in ashes the king’s house (Fort George, the residence of the royal governor), and this whole town, and to kill and destroy the inhabitants.” The court found some 33 persons, including John and Sarah Hughson, guilty as charged.

John Hughson, brother of WILLIAM, and John’s wife and Margaret Kerry were hanged on 12 June 1741. John Ury, a Roman Catholic school teacher, who insisted to the end that he didn’t know and had never met John Hughson, was hanged August 29. In addition, some 150 slaves were tried and 31 hanged or burned at the stake or buried alive. The slaves who were accused of conspiring to revolt for their freedom, ironically, were those who lived well and enjoyed considerable freedom of movement in New York. The names of the owner of the slaves involved in the plot read like a “Who’s Who” of colonial New York families: Roosevelt, DeLancey, Courtlandt, Jay, Livingston, and Philipse.

THOMAS HUGHSON, the father, and his sons Nathaniel, Walter, WILLIAM and Richard, who were all arrested June 12 or 13, 1741. On September 24, while still imprisoned in Westchester county jail, they petitioned the judges of the supreme court as follows:

“May it please your honours, our being so long confined in prison, and at this season of the year (harvest), has almost reduced our families to become a public charge, and we are likely to perish should we be continued here the approaching winter. We are innocent of the crime laid to our charge, and hope it would appear, were we to be tried: and we humbly pray, that if the law will admit of it, we may be delivered to bail, which we can procure, until you shall think proper to try us. But if the law will not admit us to be bailed, rather than to suffer here, and our wives and children should perish at home, or be burthensome to their neighbours, we are willing to accept of a pardon, to prevent our being further molested on account of the indictment found against us, and to depart this province, and never to make any settlement any more therein; and we humbly pray your honours to procure the same for us, and in such manner that we may be released as soon as possible; we remain, your most obedient, though distressed, humble servants, Thomas Hughson, Richard Hughson, William Hughson, Nathaniel Hughson, Walter Hughson.” (hors,mck)

THOMAS HUGHSON, and his sons Nathaniel, Walter, WILLIAM and Richard, were pardoned on 21 October 1741, on condition that they depart the province (of New York).

John Hughson (WILLIAM’s brother)

Children of John and Sarah (Lockstedt) Hughson:

  1. Sarah, bapt. Sleepy Hollow, 4 Sept. 1725
  2. William, bapt. Sleepy Hollow, 29 June 1728 or 1729
  3. Mary, bapt. Sleepy Hollow, 11 Oct. 1729
  4. Jane or Janet, b.
  5. possibly Jeremiah, b. Jan 1732
  6. Elizabeth, bapt. Sleepy Hollow, 21 Aug. 1734
  7. Margaret, bapt. Sleepy Hollow, 20 Nov. 17
  8. possibly Martha, b.
  9. possibly Samuel, b. New York, 1739
  10. possibly Lewis, b. New York, 1741


WILLIAM HUSON was born about August 13, 1706 in Dobbs Ferry, Putnam County, New York. He married Mary Dobbs in Philipsburgh, New York.

They had several children, and it is believed that THOMAS HUGHSON was the second son, and it’s not yet known whether Levi or Tartullis were born first.

  1. Levi, died in Revolutionary War as a Loyalist.
  2. Tartullis, died in Revolutionary War as a Loyalist.
  3. Mary, born about 1733
  4. THOMAS, born Jan 17, 1739/40
  5. Nathaniel, born about 1743, and possibly died before 1755.
  6. William, born about 1745
  7. Caleb, born about 1748
  8. Nathaniel, born about 1755

WILLIAM HUGHSON died in 1754 in Courtland Manor, New York.

THOMAS HUGHSON, born, 17 January 1740, in Fredericksburg, Dutchess County, New York.  It seems most likely that the Thomas Hughson who witnessed George Hughson’s 1769 will was his son, as there is no evidence yet found for a Thomas of an earlier generation. The earliest appearance of his name is as a taxpayer in Fredericksburg, Southern Dutchess County (today Putnam County), from 1767 to 1771. Certainly the children of Thomas considered themselves to be close relatives of the descendants of James Hughson, and Nathaniel Hughson.

This Thomas Hughson is possibly the same young man as the Thomas Hughson, born Philipsburgh 1739-40, who served in the New York Provincial Troops in 1760 and 1761. A Thomas Hughson, age 20, laborer, born Philipsburgh, Westchester County, standing 5′ 8″, with black hair and dark eyes, enlisted in Westchester County, 25 May 1760, into Capt. Tredwell’s Company, raised for Capt. Bayeux. He enlisted the same day, and into the same company, as his cousin Richard Hughson. Thomas re-enlisted in Westchester County, 11 April 1761, at age 22, standing 5′ 8 ½”, into Lieut. Horton’s Company and was a part of Capt. Jonathan Haight’s Company, 1 June 1761 as a private. However, Grenville Mackenzie’s manuscript places this Thomas as a son of William and Mary Hughson of Philipsburgh. William and Mary did indeed have a son Thomas, of about the same age as Nathaniel Hughson, listed his brother Thomas along with his sisters Abigail and Mary in his 1761 will.

We are fortunate that a letter has been preserved, written by John Thomas Huson in 1899, concerning his grandfather and his family. John wrote:

Thomas Huson, [was] born June 17th, 1740, I think in Manchester, England, and Jane Thompkins, his wife, born October 31st, 1745… My Grandfather, Cornelius Huson, was his son… Gen. Thomas Huson, when he became of age, being a second son of the family, had for his inheritance a commission in the British Army, and was stationed in command of the fort near Lake Ontario, and was killed about the close of the Revolutionary war at the battle of the White Plaines; hence at the close of the Revolutionary war they [the children of Thomas] were compelled to go to Canada in order that they might draw their pension and inheritance. All went but my grandfather, Cornelius Huson, who remained and preferred to be bound out to blacksmith. When of age he married Sarah Wing…. My father, Thomas Huson, moved into Erie County… in 1816. In about one year afterwards my grandfather and family came to him and bought land adjoining my father’s… We live within 40 or 50 miles of our relatives in Canada. We knew of them by hearsay only; never had any correspondence, for the reason that they urged my grandfather to come to Canada and claim his inheritance. That he could not do without taking the oath of allegiance to the King, which he never would do, and he pledged his entire familly never to do it, for he said he was American born.

In 1834 a young man by the name of Levi Huson, about 23 years old, came to us claiming that he came from Canada. He told us all about our relatives, and how they were prospering. He stayed about a year and a half. We have always had the greatest respect for our relatives in Canada….

A similar account was written by Allie Byron Huson, in  October 1964:

I know this much about the Huson family, it is a very old family. An old English family and goes back beyond the War of 1776. My grandfather [Byron Franklin Huson] did not mention the old family in the family record, and I don’t know why. According to my father [Byron Huson], the family record was a subject close to my grandfather’s heart.  …Although I cannot remember all the details [my father told me], being only a young boy and not too interested, I will write down what I do remember, and it is still very plain in my memory.

In the first place, our grandfather in the 5th or 6th place was an English lord. He was a great man and very wealthy. That was before the great war of 1775. This grandfather had a son, we do not know his name. This son came to this country before the Revolutionary War and settled, as far as I can find out, in New York State.

He was an independent sort of chap, and very hardy, as they had to be in those days in order to survive. Anyhow, when the Revolutionary War broke out, he joined the army against Great Britain. His father sided with his country Great Britain, of course, and .. they had harsh words, by letter of course. From that time on, father and son were enemies. The son refused to have anything to do with his father. In fact, he was so bitter that he changed our name.

Lord Hughson eventually died and left all his property, which was considerable, to his, I believe, only son. Some of his property was in today the heart of London. The son refused to claim the money, saying he did not want any filthy blood-stained English money, and there things stood. The son fiinallly died, and the money continued to grow as it piled up in interest. Several times English lawyers tried to settle the estate with the heirs, but the Husons were just not interested in English money,

Finally, Lord Hughson’s property was sold and all the money was deposited in the Bank of England where it grew so large the bank was forced to stop the interest on the principal. According to my father, it was in the millions of dollars.’

Finally, one of the Husons, a lawyer, decided it would be nice to have, and he set about collecting all the evidence the family would need to prove they were the legal heirs to the fortune. According to my father, he made a trip to London. He finally assembled all the proof, went before the family, and argued that he had gathered all the proof, and spent a lot of money, so they would have to give him the bulk of the fortune. The others told him they would give him his share plus a rich fee for his work. He angrily told the family they could come to his terms or they would not get anything. They refused to  come to his terms, so there things stood. Some time later this lawyer died, but before he died he burned all the records he had collected, stating that nobody would get anything, and there the matter stands to this day. No one has tried to get the money since. … According to my father, the lawyer was my father’s uncle”.

This story has interesting similarities to the story told in the paragraph on Gabriel Huson, concerning a Drake family estate. One possibility is that two (or more) stories are confused and intermixed here. First, the story of Lieut. THOMAS HUGHSON and some of his sons, who did indeed take opposite sides during the Revolution. The sons who took land in Canada as Loyalists probably did try to entice their American brothers to come to Canada and claim their lands as the sons of Loyalists. The second story mixed in here might be a much older legend concerning THOMAS HUGHSON the English immigrant, who was nick-named the “Earl of Warwick” in the 1710’s and might have come from a landed gentry family in England. It’s also remotely possible that Gabriel Huson (1738-1826), who was clearly a colorful character, contacted some of his American cousins to try to enlist them in his wild claims against Great Britain.

THOMAS married, 25 September 1765, JANE TOMPKINS, who was born, 31 October 1745. Her parents are not yet identified, but she might be related to the Joseph Tompkins Jr. who served in 1761-63 as executor to the will of Nathaniel Hughson. Descendent John Thomas Huson reported in 1899 that “Thomas, being a second son of the family, had for his inheritance a commission in the British army, and was stationed in command of [a] fort near Lake Ontario.” From the story passed down by other descendants, Thomas and “his elder sons” were Loyalists in the war of the Revolution, “yet did not rise in open war with their neighbors, or act as auxiliaries to the Indians, but their proclivities were against the struggle for liberty.” Thomas’s son Elijah claimed in 1798 that Thomas Hughson “served as a Lieutenant in Colonel Robeson’s Corps [Col. Beverly Robinson?] during the late War in America and was killed by the Enemy near the White Plains, when commanding a scouting party, and acting at that time as a Captain.” We assume that he died circa 1776-80. The Battle of White Plains, won by the British, was in October 1776. No record of Thomas appears in Fredericksburg after 1775.

THOMAS’ widow, JANE, married second Lieut. Richard Peters, who was born in 1748. Richard had first married Jerusha Sutton, who must have died young. Richard is said to have been a Revolutionary War soldier from New York State. In Elijah’s 1798 petition, Richard is said to have been “a very great sufferer during the late War in America.” Whether Jane lived in New York City or came to Canada is unknown.


  1. Caleb (son), b. 21 May 1766 prob. in Dutchess Co.; went to Canada
  2. Nathaniel (son), b. 22 Jul. 1767 in Fredericksburg, N.Y.
  3. Levi (son), b. 17 Nov 1768 in Fredericksburg, N.Y.
  4. Tartullus (son), b. 27 Nov. 1770
  5. CORNELIUS (son), b. 30 Oct. 1772 in Dutchess County
  6. Elijah (son), b. 24 Sep. 1774 in N.Y. State; went to Canada
  7. Thomas (son), b. 9 July 1776; died at childbirth.

Children of Richard and Jerusha (Sutton) Peters:

  1. Phebe (daughter), b. circa 1775
  2. probably others

Children of Richard and Jane (Tompkins) Peters:

  1. Unknown



  • 1THE HUGHSONS by Thomas A. Dignacco, et al