Friday, August 31, 2018

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks - Week 35

Minnie Belle Wilson

Minnie Belle was the daughter of Ephraim Wilson and Louisa J. Alexander. Louisa was a sister of my great-grandfather, William Hays Alexander. Minnie was the only girl born to Louisa and Ephraim, among 5 children. She was born in Jackson County, Indiana, on March 6th, 1870.

I don't know much about her until she shows up with a son named Clyde. She was 19 when he was born and he took her name, Clyde Wilson. As I spoke of this in week 34 when I wrote about George Eisel. Minnie married George on November 11, 1896. Minnie was 26 years old, and Clyde was 7. From all written accounts, George treated Clyde as his own.

George died in 1923 and apparently left his business to Clyde. Minnie was living with him and his wife at the time of her death. Clyde continued with the Wilson Processing Plant, which was Wilson Meat Market when George died. It is my belief, only my belief, that Clyde took care of Minnie for the rest of her life.

Minnie died on March 12, 1950, at the home of her son. She was 80 years old.  Her Obituary below:

Jackson County Banner
March 15, 1950

Eisel-Funeral services for Mrs. Minnie Eisel, 80, were conducted Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the Zabel Funeral Home in Brownstown. She had died at the home of her son Clyde Wilson in Brownstown, at 6 a.m. Sunday.

Mr. John U. Phelps, pastor of the Brownstown Christian church was in charge of the service. Burial followed in the Fairview cemetery.

She was born in Jackson County on March 6, 1870, the daughter of Ephriam and Louisa Alexander Wilson, both of whom are deceased. She married George Eisel, who preceded her in death a few years ago, in Brownstown.

Mrs. Eisel was a life-long resident of this county. She was a member of the Brownstown Christian Church, where she had made many friends.

For the past nine months she had been ill in Brownstown. Surviving are her son, and a brother. Pirtle Wilson, also of Brownstown.

Jackson County Banner; Brownstown, Indiana; Wednesday, March 15, 1950; Page 1

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks - Week 34

George Eisel

Last week I wrote about Harry Wilson. George was Harry's step-grandfather. There is such tragedy in this family, I haven't been able to leave it, as of yet.

George was the son of John Eisel and Barbara Frederick. He was born on March 16, 1870, in Jackson County, Indiana. Both parents were born in Prussia, Germany.

On November 11, 1896, he married Minnie Belle Wilson. She had a son when they married named Clyde Wilson. He is always referred to as the step-son of George Eisel. Even Clyde's death certificate leaves the father line blank. I would think this would most likely indicate that Clyde was illegitimate. Whatever the circumstances of Clyde's birth, he seemed to be treated like a son to George by all accounts.

George owned a meat market in Brownstown, Indiana. He sold it about 1921, and tried his hand at farming. About 1923, he opened a new meat market, farming seemed to be over. I hate the part that comes next. George did not fare well, and his chaos seemed to be heading toward something bad. 

George died January 15, 1923, in Brownstown. This article will explain that, and seems to be the only death notice or obituary for him. He was buried in the Fairview Cemetery in Brownstown, Indiana.


Shot Himself Early Monday Morning At His Place Of Business


Despondency On Account Of Failing Health Supposed To Be The Cause.

George Eisel, aged 52, who has been engaged in the butchering business in Brownstown almost continuously for 25 or 30 years, committed suicide at his place of business early Monday morning by shooting himself in the head.

The discovery was made by Bruce Wilson, who worked for Mr. Eisel, when he started to work about 6:30 O'clock Monday morning. When he entered the middle room of the meat market just at the rear of the sales room. Bruce saw Mr. Eisel lying on the floor face downward, with blood flowing from a wound in the head. He was still breathing. A 22-calibre repeating rifle, which was used in killing live stock, was lying on a work bench just above where Mr. Eisel lay.

Mr Wilson went out and called Howard Fritz and together they went back and placed Mr. Eisel in a more comfortable position. In the meantime Dr. P. A. Zaring, who had been sent for, arrived and after a hasty examination pronounced the injury fatal.

Mr. Eisel lingered until almost nine o'clock when he breathed his last. It is supposed that he shot himself about 5:30 o'clock, as that was his usual time of going to work.

His horse and market wagon were hitched to the rack on the public square, just across the street from his place of business.

The hand and fingers of the left hand were powder-burned, also the hair around the wound, indicating that he had held the muzzle of the gun with his left hand against the side of his head, resting the stock of the gun on the work bench, and pulled the trigger with his right hand.

County Coroner Geo. Manuel, of Seymour, was called and held an inquest rendering a verdict of suicide in accordance with the above facts.

Despondency over fast-failing health is supposed to have been the cause of Mr. Eisel taking his life. Weighing something over 200 pounds a year ago, he had fallen off in flesh to probably 130 pounds. About a year ago he sold his meat market on Main street and went to farming, but several months ago he re-opened a new meat market on Walnut street, in Arthur Greger's room opposite the court house. 

Deceased was born in Hamilton township March 16, 1870, and was united in marriage to Minnie Wilson of Brownstown, November 11, 1896, who survives him. He also leaves two brothers, Adam, of Topeka, Kan., and Philip, of Kansas City, Mo., and one step-son, Clyde Wilson, of Brownstown.

Funeral services were conducted at his late house this afternoon at 2 o'clock, under the auspices of the Red Men lodge, Rev. C. H. Earenfight, pastor of the Christian church, officiating. Burial in Fairview cemetery.

The family seemed to  be followed by tragedy. Such a sad tale!

Jackson County Banner; Brownstown, Indiana; Wednesday, January 17, 1923; Page 1.

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks - Week 33

Harry C. Wilson

This time it will be a short post. Not because I have nothing to say, but because the life of Harry C. Wilson was cut short, tragically.

Harry was born on October 13, 1907 in Brownstown, Indiana. He was the first and only child of Clyde Wilson and Hattie Wilson.  He worked with his father at the family business, meat butchering. It sounds like an awful business, but someone has to do it, and this family was the butchers of the town and surrounding area up until sometime in the 1970's.

Harry died on September 13, 1924. He was 16 years and 11 months old. It was such a shock to run across the means of his death.

Here is the article announcing the tragic end:

Jackson County Banner
Brownstown, Indiana
Wednesday, September 17, 1924
Page 1


Harry Wilson, Aged 16, Fatally Shoots Himself While Returning Home From Hunt


Was Trying to Knock Apple From Tree With Shot Gun, Holding Barrel in His Hands.

Harry Wilson, aged 16, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Wilson, of Brownstown, accidentally shot himself with fatal results Saturday morning about 9:30 o'clock while on his way home from a squirrel hunt. The entire charge of a No. 12 single-barrel shot-gun took effect in the right side of his chest, and he expired in about thirty minutes.

The young man, in company with Forrest Cockerham had gone squirrel hunting early that morning, in the vicinity of the Wegan church. When they decided to leave the woods, they discovered that they had become confused in directions and came out on the Wegan and Tampico road, near the residence of George Redicker.

They started walking west down the road and stopped under a small apple tree along the fence by the roadside, about 150 yards cast of the church. Both had knocked off an apple and the one Cockerham knocked off fell inside the fence. While he was climbing through the fence to get it he heard the report of Wilson's gun, and looking up saw that Harry has shot himself and blood near his shoulder. He asked where he was shot and the boy replied, "In the side, get a doctor." Cockerham began calling for help, and started across the field toward Mr. Rediker's house, when he was Harry fall to the ground.

Rev. W. H. Dau, pastor of the Wegan Lutheran church, heard the report of the gun and heard Cockerham's calls for help, and he ran to the scene arriving there within only two or three minutes. Cockerham seeing Rev. Dau coming also turned back, and both reached the scene within less than five minutes after the shooting by which time the boy had lapsed into unconsciousness.

By this time others in the vicinity began arriving, and word was telephoned to the boy's parents and to Dr. Ackerman, who reached there about ten minutes before the lad expired. His parents also reached there a few moments afterward.

Undertaker Frank Zabel was called and removed the body to town and prepared the remains for burial.

The load of shot took effect in Wilson's right chest near the shoulder blade and ranged almost directly downward. From all indications he was trying to knock off an apple with the butt end of his gun, holding the barrel in his hands. The probabilities are that he was punching upward at the apple to loosen it, when the hammer caught on a twig of the tree, discharging the gun. The apple still on the tree, showed several bruised places and a twig near it was broken.

As soon as life was extinct, Undertaker Frank Zabel was called and removed the body to town and prepared the remains for burial. Funeral services were held at the home Monday afternoon at 2 o'clock, Rev. Bannister of the Baptist church at Seymour, officiating, followed by interment in Fairview cemetery.

Harry Wilson was a bright young student in the Brownstown high school, and would have been a Junior this year. He was a member of the basket ball squad last year and would have been on the regular team this year.

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Thursday, August 9, 2018

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks Week 32

Sarah Ann Hoke

For many years she was confused with Sarah Hogg/Houge, daughter of Hugh Hogg and Mary Patterson, who were located in the same area of Pennnsylvania as Sarah Ann Hoke, and her family. I have a book which simply claims that her name was misspelled on land documents, which led to the Hoke-Hogg confusion. I have always hoped to find one document to prove that was true. I was never able to fond anything which listed her as being a Hogg. Even if you use the soft g sound, it does not sound like Hoke. What really kept me looking to disprove the commonly held belief was the fact that I continued to see the Hoke name used today. It always kept me thinking that perhaps it was not a misspelling afterall. I actually solved the problem when I went after death records for her. It was a very good day!

Sarah Ann Hoke was born July 1, 1813 in York County, Pennsylvania. Her paents were Samuel Hoke and Elizabeth Weist. She was the third born child of seven.

She married Henry Hovis, August 23, 1830 in Noble County, Ohio, as her family moved there when she was young.

Together, She and Henry had nine children; Elizabeth, Jacob, John, Henry W., Sarah, Lewis H., Mary Ellen, Seth, and Amanda Hovis. These are the only children I hae been abe to find, but there may have been some that did not live into adult life. Seven of their children were born in Ohio, only the last two, Seth and Amanda were born in Brown County, Indiana. Henry moved the family to Brown County, Indiana about 1848 and homesteaded 120 acres in the Grandview area about 4 miles east of Stone Head.

In the 1850 U.S. Census, Sarah is present in Van Buren Township, Brown County, Indiana, with Henry, age 39, a farmer, her children; Elizabeth at 18, Jacob is 15, John, 12, Henry is 9, Sarah, 7, Lewis, 4, and Ellen is 3, she is, Mary Ellen.

The 1860 U.S. Census places them in the same place as 1850. Henry is 49 and still farming, Sarah is 47, Henry, 18, Sarah, 16, Louis, 14, Ellen, 12, Seth is 9 and Manda is 7.

In 1880, the census lists Henry, 69 still farming their land. Seth is living next door to them, and he is listed as a basketmaker. In the box that says, Maimed, Crippled, Bedridden or Otherwise Disabled, it says yes, for Henry. Sarah is 67, and her children are all gone.

Henry Hovis died on April 30, 1896, at 86 years old.

In the 1900 Census, for Brown County, Indiana, Sarah is 86. She is listed as having 11 children, 9 living. Her son, Henry W., is living with her. Also there is a Margaret Hendershot that is listed as a servant. Margaret is 18.

Sarah died on May 28, 1906 in Brown County, Indiana. She is buried in Grand View Cemetery, in Brown County Indiana.

Her Obituary:

The Columbus Republican
Columbus, Indiana
Thursday, June 7, 1906
Page 6

Mrs. Sarah Hovis, born August 1, 1813, in York county, Pennsylvania, died at her home in VanBuren township, Brown county, May 28, and was buried at Grand View cemetery, Brown county, at 3 o'clock p. m., May 29. Cemetery was conducted by Rev. A. Hancher. She was the mother of five sons and six daughters, two died in infancy. She was a member of Harmony Baptist church of New Bellsville, and a consistent Christian.

She was buried in the Grandview Cemetery in Brown County, Indiana.

1850 U.S. Census, Van Buren, Brown, Indiana; Dwelling: 72 Family 75, Digital GS number: 4193369, Image number: 00107 Reference number: 16, FamilySearch.
1860 U.S. Census, Brown County, Indiana, (Van Buren TWP); Page: 24 Dwelling 177 Family 177, Series: M653, Roll: 246, Heritage Quest.
1880 U.S. Census, Brown County, Indiana, (Van Buren); Dwelling 243 Family 244, Series: T9, Roll: 267 Page: 345, Heritage Quest.
1900 United States Federal Census.  Page: 1; Enumeration District: 0029; FHL microfilm: 1240361 Provo, UT, USA:
The Columbus Republican, Columbus, Indiana, Thursday, June 7, 1906, Page 6.

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Thursday, August 2, 2018

52 Ancestors, 52 Weeks, Week 31

Nancy Elizabeth Bearden

Nancy Bearden was my second great-grandmother. She was born on March 12, 1865 in Bennettsville, Alabama to Roland Bearden and Lucinda White. She was the 10th child of a full dozen. At least that is all I have found, which to me is quite enough.

In the 1870 Census, Nancy is found for the first time in proper records.  She is with her parents and siblings in Bennettsville, Alabama.  She is 4 years old.  Besides her parents, Roland and Lucinda, she has 5 sisters and 2 brothers in the house.  Her father is farming.

The 1880 Census has Nancy still with her family. It is taken in Attalla, Alabama, in Etowah County. She is with 4 sisters and 2 brothers. Her father is 60, and her mother is 52 years old. Nancy is 16 at the time. Though they are listed in the Attalla post office area, Roland is still farming.

On April 16, 1884, she married Charles Henry Beard.  He was called Charlie on most records, which made him hard to find.  At any rate, he was 32 years old at the time.  She was just 19.  I believe he had an earlier wife, but I have not, as of yet, confirmed that.  They married in DeKalb County, Alabama.

In 1900, in the census of Etowah County, Alabama, Charlie is listed as C. H. Barde, and Nancy as Nannie. She is 34 years old. They have 7 children: Sallie is 14, Chutley, 19, is my great-grandfather Charles Pinkney, Frank, 9, May, 8, Magey, 6, John is 4, and Joe is 5 months old.  I've gone over this several times to make sure that it is really them.  The spelling is so bad it is funny.

Charlie died on June 28, 1902 in Turkeytown, Alabama. He was 50 years old. Nancy is left alone, and never remarries.

The next time we find her in the records is 1910.  She is listed in the census as head of household and a farmer. She is 43 years old.  In the house is Roland, 18, Johnnie, 13, Joe is 11, Alma is 8, Sarah L. Farmer is 23, she is living with them now, Willie, 3, and Harvey Farmer, 2, are the grandchildren.

I've not been able to find her again in records until the 1940 Census. She is 72 at that time, and living in Attalla, Alabama. The head of household is her son Joe, age 40. His wife Cora, 39, children, Helen, 12, Edward, 10, Guy, 6, Howard, 4, and Nancy, listed as Mother.

My grandmother, Bizzie Lee Beard, talked about how much she had loved Nancy. She said she had lived with her for a while, I assumed it was after her mother died. She was a small child at the time.

Nancy died on the 28th of September, 1944. She was 76 years old.

Mrs. Nancy Beard Burial Rites Today - Etowah County Native Succumbs in Attalla
Mrs. Nancy Elizabeth Beard who lived at Wilson Addition, Attalla, died yesterday at 2 p.m. of a heart attack suffered a week ago. At the time of her death Mrs. Beard was at her son's home.

A native of this county, she lived for a short time in Dekalb County. Since early childhood the 78-year-old woman has been a member of the Baptist Church, having belonged to Old Bethlehem Baptist for the past several years.
Funeral services were held this afternoon at 2:30 at Carnes Cemetery near Ivalee. The Rev. Oscar Oliver officiated and Collier-Butler Funeral Home was in charge of funeral arrangements.

She is survived by four sons, Roland, John, Joe and Drew Beard, all of Attalla; three daughters, Mrs. Vester Clifton, Altoona; Mrs. Alma Duncan, Springville Route 1; and Mrs. Oma Pence, Attalla Route 2; 61 grandchildren, 59 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

The following served as honorary pallbearers: Dr. W.W. Rowan, Dr. O.R. Sigrest, George P. Walker, Sr., Dennis McClendon, Eulice McClendon, E.G. Lee, Walker Drake, and W.W. Brackett.

Active pallbearers will be grandsons, J.R. Beard, Ed Beard, J.R. Brown, Joe Beard, Louie Beard, Monroe Beard, Thomas Beard and Johnnie B. Duncan.

1. 1870 U.S. Census, Bennettsville PO, Etowah County, Alabama; Series: M593, Heritage Quest. 
2. 1880 U.S. Census; DeKalb, Alabama; Roll: 12; Page: 650A; Enumeration District: 058,
3. Marriage Record, 16 April 1884, Alabama Marriages, 1809-1920: 401; Alabama, FamilySearch
4. 1900 US Census, 1900 US Census, Hollis Precinct, Etowah, 
Alabama, United States; HeritageQuest.
5. 1910 U.S. Census, Cox, Etowah County, Alabama, Page: 12 Dwelling 36 Family 36.
6. 1940 US Census, Election Precinct 17, Etowah, Alabama; NARA Publication: T627, FamilySearch/NARA.
7. Death certificate; Alabama, Etowah County, Attalla. Center for Health Statistics. 
9. Obituary: Gadsden Times, Gadsden, Alabama, September 1944.

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A Short Break

I have stayed busy, just not as genealogically busy as normal. I did remove my DNA kit from FamilyTreeDNA. I had read all the TOS and Privac...