|Henry W. Hovis photo from the Lilly Library.|
Henry was born June 1, 1840 in Noble County, Ohio. His parents were Henry and Sarah Hoke/Hogg Hovis. He was the 4th child of 9. He moved to Indiana with his parents when they moved there around 1850. In the census, 1850 and 1860, his father was listed as a farmer. On July 9, 1864 in Nashville, Indiana, Henry married Elizabeth Ellen Bohall. She was born on June 17, 1844 in Jackson County, Indiana and her parents were George David and Catherine Draper Bohall. They are of the famous "Bohall basket" family.
Henry and Elizabeth had 4 children: Mary C., Seth, Margaret "Maggie", and Martha Jane. Of those, Maggie is my second great-grandmother.
Now to follow him around as best I can through the sources.
In the 1870 census, in Jackson County, Henry and Elizabeth live next door to Elizabeth's parents, George and Catharine Bohall. This is the first census that shows them as a family. Henry and Elizabeth were both with their parents before this time. Henry is listed as a farmer.(1)
In the 1880 census Henry and family has moved to Saltcreek township in Jackson County. Henry is 38 and still listed as a farmer. There are no family members living nearby.(2)
In the 1886 History of Jackson County Henry and Elizabeth are listed as members of the Martin Grove Church. It's located about 3 miles northest of Clearspring. Henry is listed as an Elder. The church was organized March 15, 1878 so it is less than 10 years old when the book was written. (3)
On May 20, 1897, in the local paper, Jackson County Banner, there is a small entry that states: "Elizabeth Hovis vs Henry Hovis, divorce denied, each party to pay their own costs." This was a surprise to me. Why was it denied? Did they change their minds?(4)
On July 22, 1897, same paper: "Mrs. Henry Hovis died Saturday night. Funeral services were held Sunday at the Bagwell Graveyard." This was all I could find on her death. Elizabeth died July 17, 1897.(5)
The following month Henry sells his land to Wm. Adams. 80 acres. At least part of it. Jackson County Banner, August 26, 1897 states, "Henry Hovis to Wm. L. Adams, 80 acres Salt Creek township-$450."(6)
Then on March 2, 1899, Jackson County Banner article:
"The north-west fourth of the south east quarter and the south-west fourth of the north-east quarter, all in section 34, township 7 north, Range 3 east, containing 80 acres.
Mortgaged by Henry Hovis and Elizabeth E. Hovis, his wife, on the 11th day of November 1893, and forfeited for the non-payment of Principal and Interest.
Amount of Principal $160 00
Amount of Interest 22 60
Amount of Damages 8 20
Amount of Cost 8 80"(7)
Would he be able to sell off part of mortgaged land? I had made a note that Henry had a land grant? Not sure about that, but it was 160 acres. That would mean he had divided his land in half. Perhaps he only mortgaged half.
In the 1900 Federal Census, Henry is living in Van Buren Township, Brown County. On line 76: Henry Hovis, son, aged 58, living with Sarah, 86, who is listed as the head, his mother. She also has a "servant", Margaret Hendershot, 18, living with her. Henry lists his occupation as Basket Maker. The census was taken in June.(8)
The Columbus Republican, Columbus in Bartholomew County, September 20, 1900, "Rev. Henry Hovis, the basketmaker, has taken up his stay with Rev. John R. Wilson of South Salem, and they will preach and make baskets together."(9)
Transformation from farmer to basket maker to preacher/basket maker.
Again, The Republic states, March 18, 1903: In an area called GRAND VIEW, "Henry Hovis continues to make baskets for the farmers of this and surrounding communities."(10)
The Republic, a newspaper in Columbus, Indiana on October 19, 1900 stated: "Rev. Henry Hovis is still with Rev. John R. Wilson of South Salem, and working away at his trade, that of basket maker."(11)
On October 15, 1903, published in The Republic: "Drs. Ralphy and Campbell, of New Bellsville, removed a large tumor from the shoulder of Rev. Henry Hovis one day last week. Mr. Hovis is in a fair way to recover."(12)
In the 1910 census Henry is renting a place on Henderson Creek Road. He is 68 and still listed as Basket maker.(13)
This is about my half-way point in the Henry Hovis saga. He is just all over the place. I cannot find that he even has a home to go to, except for the rental in 1910. He was only 57 when Elizabeth died. Certainly young enough to remarry.
Photo: Lilly Library Frank M. Hohenberger Photograph Collection 1928.
1200 East Seventh Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-5500
1. 1870 US Census. Page 4, Grassy Fork Twp. Jackson county, Indiana.
2. 1880 US Census. Page 33A, Saltcreek Twp. Jackson county, Indiana.
3. 1886 History of Jackson County, Indiana. Brant and Fuller. Page 422.
4. Jackson County Banner, Brownstown, Indiana. May 20, 1897. Page 5.
5. Jackson County Banner, Brownstown, Indiana. July 22, 1897. Page 8.
6. Jackson County Banner, Brownstown, Indiana. August 26, 1897. Page 4.
7. Jackson County Banner, Brownstown, Indiana. March 2, 1899. Page 5.
8. 1900 US Census. Sheet 1B, Van Buren Twp. Brown county, Indiana.
9. The Columbus Republican, Columbus, Indiana. September 20, 1900. Page 8.
10. The Republic, Columbus, Indiana. March 18, 1903. Page 4.
11. The Republic, Columbus, Indiana. October 19, 1900. Page 2.
12. The Republic, Columbus, Indiana. October 15, 1903. Page 2.
13. 1910 US Census. Sheet 5A, Pleasant Run Twp. Lawrence county, Indiana.