THE BAILEYS OF LAKE COUNTY, INDIANA
To set down in 1968 any account of the Baileys of Lake County, Indiana, chief reliance regarding affairs of earlier days has to be based on T.H. Ball’s “History of Lake County” (pub. 1903) and the Bryant Family History” (J.W. Bryant, 1927) plus what can be recalled that J.B. Bailey’s children related about what they knew of their forebears. Ball, no doubt, set down what he was told by each of these children but there were contradictions he didn’t bother to resolve in the individual biographies he published.
However, it is certain that the first of the Baileys in Northern Indiana was John who settled in the vicinity of Door Village, La Porte County, in 1832 and died in 1839, having married Matilda Bryant May 19, 1833 and fathered three children; Simon T., born March 26, 1838, who later had a large farm at Battle Grounds, IN; Mary, born 1834 who married a Thomas Hamilton who was a miller and operated mills in Momence, IL, Union Mills, IN and later in Minneapolis, MN, and Josiah B. Bailey from whom the later Baileys of Lake County descended. He was born October 23, 1835 near Door Village.
John Bailey’s burial place is unknown as a search 100 years later failed to locate any grave about Door Village. An explanation, aside from the likely loss of early records, may be found in the story handed down that he died while on a horse back trip to visit a place of previous residence or relatives in lower Ohio. In such a case, he probably would have been buried there due to lack of ready transport or communications through what was then truly a frontier region. Whether John died of an accident or from natural causes we do not know. Accidental deaths on the frontier were common. What can be safely assured is that John Bailey died in his prime after a lifetime spent largely on the frontier in an area including Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana, for the best information is that he traveled or lived in all those states. The adventures, perils, and hardships of the American frontier all must have been known to him from experience.
[I have no picture of John Bailey. The only item that I have with his name is an 1834 deed to 58+ acres. The penmanship below does not contain any of John's handwriting. William Bailey ]
John Bailey’s exact birthplace in Virginia is also unknown, as well as, is his date of birth which can be presumed to have been sometime around 1800. It is possible, if not probably, that John Bailey was considerably older than Matilda Bryant who was born in Kentucky in 1811. So the only authenticated date known is that of his carriage, license for which J.W. Bryant says was the sixth issued in La Porte County. (Lake County, at this time, was still occupied by the Indians as the land was not purchased from them until 1832 when John Bailey arrived at Door Prairie. There was no sale of Lake County land to settlers until 1839, although there were squatters.
Where John Bailey’s forebears lived after coming to America from Scotland in the 1700’s isn’t known with any certainty, except for Virginia and North Carolina. But perhaps Maryland should be included. The reason for this lack of information, according to my mother, Mary Grace Bailey Buse, lay in the fact that her grandmother, Matilda Bryant Bailey, John’s widow, would never tell her children much about their deceased father (and told grandchildren little more). This circumstance, according to my mother, arose from the fact that Matilda’s marriage to John was promoted by her father, J.W. Bryant, who, it is known was much impressed by John Bailey and his antecedents, whereas left to herself Matilda might have favored someone else.
On the other hand, Matilda seems to have been somewhat cross grained in some ways in her later years and certainly was not a favorite with her grandchildren as was “grandfather” Reuben Chapman of Connecticut whom she married sometime after being widowed. To this union one son, Oren Lemuel Chapman was born. He lived most of his life in Kansas. (He had a daughter, Minnie Chapman who came to stay for a time with J.B. Bailey, married Harold Sorenson, lived when first married in her grandfather Chapman’s house and mothered a fine family. Her descendants to this day have done well).
But while little remains known about Matilda Bryant Bailey Chapman except for her good looks and some of her foibles in old age, it must be said that she came of a family of solid citizens that had for generations been pioneers on the American frontier and which in her time and later produced local leaders, legislators, judges, preachers, teachers, and doctors in states ranging from Florida, north and westward. Members of her family fought in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and contended with the Indians on the frontiers for years on end. Further the same can be said for her mother’s family, the Turmans. So her contribution to the character and characteristics of the Baileys of the second generation and beyond in Indiana is not by any means discounted. Physically, Matilda was small, standing only 5 feet tall, although men of her family are described as tall and athletic for the most part.
What the reasons were for J.W. Bryant’s high regard for John Bailey we do not precisely know, but there is good reason to conjecture that John or his family had been known to the Bryants long before he appeared in Northern Indiana in 1832. My mother’s information was that John Bailey and members of his family had been living in North Carolina and John came north to Harpers Ferry and acquired some property there, but soon joined a party going on an expedition to Kentucky abandoning his property as there was no buyer ready at hand.
Considering that in the period of the Revolutionary War and for some years later the Bryants and Turmans lived in Montgomery, Floyd, and Henry Counties of Virginia, which adjoin or lie near the western Virginia-North Carolina line, the Baileys very likely lived in the same area and in adjacent North Carolina during the same period. Such a conclusion is bolstered by the fact that all three families or members thereof followed the westward course of the frontier, up or down the Shenandoah Valley and on to Kentucky, Ohio, lower Indiana and finally in the case of the Bryants and John Bailey, to Northern Indiana. (Much of this traveling was afoot, by horse and with pack animals to carry the few belongings pioneers required. Stock, including pigs, were herded along. The Bryants when leaving Ohio used wagons – and again when they moved to Northern Indiana. They may also have used some when coming from Virginia.)
People in these Virginia counties which stretched from the Carolina line, over the Blue Ridge and spilled into the Valley of Virginia may at that time been among those who were recruited to cross over to the western frontier earlier in the Revolution as a defense against the Indians and to form a base for continued resistance to British rule in the case the patriots were defeated along the coast – a project largely directed by John Sevier of nearby East Tennessee. It is probable, also, that men of the area joined the frontiersmen of Tennessee and Carolina who wrecked the British campaign in the South at the battle of Kings Mountain in 1780. It is interesting to note that in Montgomery County, Virginia today you will find numbers of both Bryants and Turmans still living in the Little River area, from which others so named departed for the west nearly 200 years ago – some, our forebears to settle in northern Indiana, others to follow the frontier all the way to the Pacific Coast. One of these was Mary Turman Bryant, mother of Matilda Bryant who married John Bailey. She was born in Montgomery County, Virginia in 1791, died in San Jose, California in 1890. Her youngest daughter Martha Cherrie was living in San Jose in 1912 when my mother visited her. My mother referred to her as Auntie Cherrie.
By what route and over what period John Bailey came to Northern Indiana we do not know. The Bryants coming from Virginia to Kentucky crossed over to Miami County, Ohio in 1798 then to Sullivan County, Indiana in 1811, then to La Porte County in 1831, John Bailey arrived in Door Village only months after the Bryant family came there with Matilda. Being, as noted, a very handsome young lady, it seems probable that she was the attraction that drew John Bailey to the place. As noted, the paths of the Bryant and Bailey families may have crossed in any of a half dozen states in past times. Josiah Bryant, grandfather of Matilda, came for South Carolina to Virginia and Kentucky in the days of Daniel Boone, whom he knew well. Ball says Roy Bailey thought his grandfather John went on to Pennsylvania after leaving North Carolina – that he lived there and also in Ohio, which could be, as Harpers Ferry is not far from Pennsylvania and many travelled to the west that way and down the Ohio River, or overland through the dense forests until the prairies of the mid-west were come upon at Door Prairie. If indeed John Bailey did live for a time in Pennsylvania and Ohio there must have been others of his family in those places.
This abridged account of John Bailey’s travels brings to mind that many residents of the western reaches of the early American Republic, in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia migrated south through the Shenandoah Valley to the Carolinas; and some of them, notably Daniel Boone of Pennsylvania, after a period there traveled north again then west. Certain it is, as the travels of the Bailey, Bryants and Turmans attest, there was much moving about by pioneers of this country, first and last, and on that score a kinship between the Josiah Baileys of the several generations in Maryland, North Carolina and Indiana would not be at all surprising. I myself once saw Josiah Bailey, the Senator form North Carolina around 1930 and he looked “like the Baileys” to me. The Josiah Bailey of Maryland and that State’s attorney general in the early 1800s was a resident of Talbot County on the Eastern Shore.
Historian Ball [Timothy Ball] and his some times contradictory account of the Baileys to the contrary, I place considerable store by my mother’s account of her family. She had an avid interest in the family history and probably was more in the company of her grandmother Matilda than was the case with her brothers, and hence may well have gotten more information from her then they did. And then when she joined the D.A.R. in middle age the whole matter was gone over again and it was found that the chief ancestor in the Revolution was one who was on General Washington’s payroll as a scout or spy -- it is a record of history that Washington operated his spy network personally and paid them with special funds supplied by the Continental Congress. This ancestor was Benjamin Turman whose daughter Mary married Josiah Bryant, grandfather of Matilda Bryant Bailey, (see “History of Bryant Family” by J. W. Bryant, 1927).
My mother had still another source of information in the shape of a handful of letters left in the walnut chest which John Bailey brought from Virginia (which I now have). I recall seeing them when very young and was told they were letters from Virginian relatives to John and Matilda. My mother knew their contents. I never did, nor do I know whatever became of them. I recall being told all these letters were written before the Civil War.
Very apparently, however his southern antecedents counted with Josiah B. Bailey for the fact is that he did not join the Union Army, when drafted during the War Between the States but rather hired a substitute. Also he left Kankakee County, Illinois to return to Indiana soon after. I gathered from my mother that J.B. was a “Copperhead” and that there was neighborhood criticism of the hiring of a substitute when he was drafted. The reported price was $400.00. Considering that all of J.B.’s elders were born and knew their kinfolks in the south it was natural that his sympathies were for the south.
As to J.B. Bailey’s early life I never heard much of anything, nor is there much in the records prior to his marriage at age 22. Ball says after his father John died, he lived with his Bryant grandparents in Pulaski County, Indiana. Elsewhere it is said the same for Simon, his brother. Ball also says J.B. Bryant was brought to Lake County at an early age. He came of course with Reuben Chapman and Matilda Bryant Bailey Chapman, the date of whose marriage is not known, but it is further presumed that from the time of John Bailey’s death to her marriage to Reuben Chapman, Matilda and her children lived with her parents in Pulaski County.
It is recorded that Reuben Chapman came to Cook County, Illinois in 1831 and to Lake County in 1834. When he brought Matilda and young J.B. Bryant to Lake County isn’t exactly known, but there is positive evidence that it was before 1848. We do know that Reuben was buying land from the Government at $1.25 per acre in Section 13 and 24, Township 32, in 1834. The first lot now a part of the Old Bailey Homestead. (At the time Reuben Chapman brought Matilda and J. B. Bryant to the County there were few people there. The Census of 1850 showed only 715 families in all of Lake County.)
So it must be presumed that Josiah Bailey got his schooling and learned farming while living with his grandfather and for a longer period while living with his mother and step-father in Lake County, until about the time of his marriage in1857 to Nancy Kile. At about this time he acquired land in Yellow Head Township, Kankakee County, Illinois., just west of Sherburnville and north of the road to Grant Park. He may have worked somewhere for wages, before marrying, to earn money for land purchase, or John Bailey may have left an estate in which he shared upon coming of age, -- or step-father Reuben Chapman may have had money to loan him at the start.
He obviously was a hard worker considering the amount of land he acquired, starting practically from scratch. Of course, he had the help of three sons, part of the way. Many times I have heard it remarked that “J.B. and the boys worked awfully hard to get their land.” The children were Levi Elroy, born January 9, 1858 in Kankakee County, Illinois; Charles T., April 12, 1862, at the same place; Mary Grace, June 6, 1867 and George Bryant, March 22, 1870 born in Lake County, Indiana.
Business ability the record shows he had and it extended beyond farming and cattle business for he is known as the leader in the establishment of the Lowell National Bank, chartered at about the time of his death. He was included in a list of the “mid-West feeder cattle barons” in an article I read years ago. In connection with that business he was the first to have a telephone in West Creek so he could keep up to date on the Chicago cattle market.
Quite clearly J.B. (as he was always called in later life) had a mind of his own. And clearly he was revered by his children. For them the sun rose and set in their father. His orders were never questioned. Aunt Jule (Mrs. George Bailey) once remarked that had he told any of his boys to jump in the creek they would hve promptly done so.
And J. B. had a temper. If things didn’t go to suit him he could “raise cane” as the phrase was. And on such occasions an innocent horse or other near-at-hand farm animal might get a lick. This is the only not-so-pleasant thing I ever heard said of him. Perhaps a most important aspect of J. B. Bryant’s character was that he was self-reliant and had the power of decision. He could make up his mind, decide what ought to be done and then carry it through. Ball’s biography places emphasis on J.B. Bailey’s character as being “unimpeachable” and of his being of “serious mind.” Also speaks of “an influence emanating from his personality that affected family, friends and all with whom he came in contact.”
It would appear that he shared the widely-held views of the Victorian Age and the strictures arising from the religious revival of Civil War time. Card playing, dancing and the like were taboo; navel reading, too. But my mother in speaking of this said he would read some of the trashiest stories carried in the papers and journals of the day – and inferred it was Amelia (his second wife) most responsible for the above strictures in the household.
J. B. didn’t drink or smoke, or use bad language – around the house that is. The only remembered instance to the contrary was one winter morning when he was going to Chicago and was seated by the stove putting on his congress boots – one of which he held in his hand while lost in thought. When someone reminded him that the train would leave Lowell in little more than an hour he started up exclaiming “gee -ee-us,” which scandalized his sanctimonious second wife. However, when at work outside – notably when unruly herds were driven, J. B.’s language if not down right profane was reported to have been suitable to the occasion and long remembered for its color and expressiveness. When his temper was up the air was likely to be blue. Otherwise his manner was mild enough an even judicious.
J.B. was short in stature, standing not more than 5’8” but was heavy set. He was dark complexioned with black hair and black eyes. At least in later life he wore a full beard which then was white.
The only recollections I have of J. B. were those gathered before age six. I remember being at the funeral but only the instant when the services were over everyone rose up and I was lost in the towering mass of adults and felt the urge to get clear and outdoors.
The first recollection I have was riding in a buggy behind Old Hank, grandpa’s favorite driving horse, and just in front of the Volney Footer place where there was then a slight rise in the road. J. B. reined up. Heavy rain of the night before had washed a rut in the road and exposed a stone big enough to give a buggy a solid jolt. I was ordered out to move it off the road. It was in the right hand track and after I’d gotten it of the out of the way, J. B. reached down and pulled me aboard again by one arm, holding the reins with his left hand so I could get back in the seat to the left.
Another recollection was like that funeral – just a passing instant. I was when dinner was over one day and J. B. was rolling up his napkin and putting it in his silver napkin ring, saying at the same time something that sounded impressive to your ears. He was seated at the head of the table in the dining room with his back to the east window.
Another recollection was of being out in the yard one summer morning when J. B. came off the porch letting the screen door slap behind him and burst into song, as it were. He sang the first two line of a Civil War ditty used in recruiting Germans for the regiments commanded by Siegel, Schurz and Shimmelfenig. The time was set to the bugle call for “assembly” that the army used in that day. And the words were “Come, Oh Come, Oh Come and fight mit Siegel. Drink a glass of lager beer.” (I identified the tune and the words when I heard them years later.) This was said to be the only time J. B. was ever heard to sing.
The […] recollection was of J. B. sitting obviously engrossed in thought. The pose, inclination of the head and general attitude was often observed exactly duplicated by my mother and I saw the same posture also assured by Uncle Roy and George. It was a distinct, if minor, family characteristic.
It is clear that J. B. Bailey was a sensitive person and not an extrovert. In fact it might be said he was shy in some ways. A perhaps revealing incident was recalled by my mother in connection with a local revival meeting. J. B.’s second wife dote on camp meetings and evangelists, as a great many women of the time did. As result, J. B. would contribute open handedly and attend sessions some times. One visiting evangelist, noting J. B.’s generous contribution called on him for public testimony during the meeting. To this J. B. did not accede. His remark later was that he “didn’t keep a dog and then do his own barking.”
The Camp Meetings annually held at Battle Ground were ones J. B. and Amelia often attended, as Simon lived nearby, and my mother attended with them. When we visited the old camp grounds years later my mother recalled that J.B. used to drive into town about every day to indulge in an ice cream soda, a new thing at the time, that he had a liking for. He also particularly relished watermelon and the old-fashioned musk melons he raised. Likewise, the Mexican sweet corn that had scattered blue and red kernels.
J. B. didn’t believe in temporizing. He spoke his mind and wanted others to do the same. May Bailey recalls that she and Ray were walking home from school one day when her grandfather came driving towards town and stopped to say “Do you children want a ride home?” Diffidently the answer was “We don’t care” – whereupon J.B. said “Well, if you don’t care you’d better walk. Get up, Hank.” And horse and buggy departed at a brisk trot.
Another authenticated anecdote of J.B. and his outspokenness in involved a preacher who drove into the West Creek place one summer forenoon, tied his horse to the hitching rail in the hot sun and went in to confer with “Sister” Amelia. He was invited to noonday dinner and when J.B. came in and it was time to set down to the table the preacher moved to do so. Whereupon J. B. said “Reverend if you aim to set before you feed and water that horse you can go elsewhere for your diner. The preacher went out and took care of the horse.
There was yet another tale of which I do not have the details. It involved and episode of the Civil War as told by an ex-Union cavalry officer – and at the time a cattle buyer. Gist of it was that this officer’s Yankee troop had appeared at a southern planter’s house where a mother and several daughters were home alone. The uninvited guests ordered dinner served the officers, then when finished they had driven the woman and children out of the house and set it on fire. J. B. on hearing this was reported to have exploded in wrath informing the gentleman what he thought of him and ceased doing business with him thenceforward.
My mother’s judgment, expressed on one occasion, was that her father, J.B., didn’t have any sense about women although he did about almost everything else. This with particular reference I gathered to his second marriage and some of the doings of the widow Sanger, one of which was the promotion of my mother’s first marriage at a tender age to Amelia’s neer-do-well nephew, one Barhite.
As to this my mother said she didn’t express her true feelings about the matter to her father until the wedding day, and she was about to leave for married life in New York State. Whereupon J.B. said “Now, Gracie, if that’s how it is and you don’t feel any different about it right soon, we’ll come and bring you right back home here.” Which was what transpired some months later and her first child was born at home. Yet Amelia Sanger Bailey was permitted to hang the moniker “Ceylon” on the defenseless new born. Just because she thought it sounded nice! My unfortunate half-brother who didn’t fortunately “take after” his father, was probably the only American ever to carry the name of England’s heathen island possession in the Indian Ocean.
J.B.’s rise to affluence was based, as was others, on early acquisition of low priced land shrewdly selected and the cattle raising and feeding business. Many in the mid-west took up feeding when the railways were built west to Kansas after the Civil War and Texas long-horns were driven over the road to railhead for shipment east. Prior to the coming of railroads to the mid-west, cattle were driven over the road from Ohio and Indiana to New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore and there then were many cattle raised in those states.
I never heard in detail how the western cattle feeding business initially was carried on except that horned cattle were bought in summer from Chicago yards, paid for in cash and driven home over the road, there dehorned and put to pasture and later in the feed lot. When fattened on the year’s hay and corn crop the herd would be driven back to Chicago and sold with payment taken in cash. The drive to the city I believe was started in the evening and the first problem was to get the herd across West Creek. Two or three days’ drive appeared to have been required and when sale was made and money collected departure was immediate and in daylight for fear of hold-up. Arms, at least in the earliest times, were carried so I was told. Of course when the Monon Railway started running through Lowell it was used to ship cattle in and out and the long over-the-road drives came to an end. And at this time it was J.B. greatly expanded his operations.
This cattle feeding business was carried on for a long period. One way and another J. B. Bailey was in some form of cattle business all his adult life and in all likelihood was familiar with it from earliest childhood. When living with his grandfather Bryant in Pulaski County in the years around 1840 he was located almost if not precisely in the locale of Indiana’s greatest ranches and market cattle routes to the east must have passed right by. As a youngster he may well have had a hand in driving and herding.
[On the next page is a view of the south part of West Creek Township where the Bailey land was. West Creek itself is visible as well as the Bailey Ditch. I have no special reason for including this map here. It could have been placed elsewhere – and I may move it if a better location appears. I attempted to color code some parcels – noting their owners.
Red is Uncle Murray & Aunt Elsie Bailey – Now Cousin Shirley Spry
Blue was Cousin Phyllis Bailey Grubb and husband – both deceased
Yellow is Ray and Helen Bailey McIntire – Leon Bailey was Helen’s father and Leon was Dad’s cousin.
Green – very tiny – is the West Creek Cemetery north of #2 and east of the Creek.]
Cattle ranching in Indiana at that time and for several decades later was big business as cattle raisers of the State took over from earlier “cattle barons” of Ohio and became “barons” in their own right.
It has been written that “there was vast cattle ranches, cowboys, branding irons, rustlers, stage holdups, vigilantes, Indians and all the rest” in the land of the Hoosiers when it was the wild west of its day. Indeed many ranching practices known later in the Plain states were developed in Indiana.” And as was later to be the case in the far west the business was largely in the hands of monied men of the east. Hoosier “spreads” in the heyday of local ranching ran as high as 40,000 acres or more. A Vermont man was said to have built up an Indiana ranch nearly the size of his native state!
Towns such as Templeton, Fowler, Atkinson, Earl Park, Boswell, and Kentland got their names from early Hoosier ranches and ranchers, whose livestock at first went to markets in New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore over the road. Before railroads came one Indiana rancher put a herd on the road to the east every two weeks from early spring to late fall.
J.B. Bailey’s farm operations were oriented to live stock raising and handling when at age 26 he had become well established and the Civil War began. It was the time when what was termed as the bonanza in farming had arrived in the American mid-west. Railroads to the east coast had come in. Money was to be made and J.B. set about getting his share.
In 1860 there was a huge wheat crop due to ideal weather in the new west – simultaneously there were crop failures in Europe for several years. Wheat and flour exports rose to 60 million bushels up from 16 million. The price rose to $1.23 a bushel in 1861. Right through the war years European demands were piled on top of government demands for feeding armies of men and horses in the field. Beef cattle sold for $7.75 cwt. In 1861, rose to $15.00 in ’65. Hogs did even better, rising from $3.45 cwt. To above $14.00. Horses for cavalry and supply wagons sold at premium prices.
Farmers were able to vastly increase production because new machinery was being rapidly introduced at just the right time – mowing machines, reapers, hay rakes, and threshing machines. Even plows were improved. With these farmers were able to till more acres even though sons were being called away to the Union armies. When necessary women went into the fields to drive the horses that powered those new and improved implements. With corn prices doubling 1861-62 and wheat selling as high as $2.50 a bushel late in the war, farmers indeed prospered. Those who owed money gained additionally because they paid off borrowings in money cheapened by wartime inflation. J.B. Bailey most likely was one of these.
Of course prices fell at war’s end, but J.B. was one who apparently held most his gains being able to sell out holdings in Illinois in 1866 and acquire Lake County, Indiana land to and advantage, for, ten years later he had upwards of 400 acres in West Creek fully stocked and was building what for its day was a large, elaborate and expensive house with new farm buildings to go with it. He was then age 40 and at that date he was raising and feeding cattle. Son Charles, then aged 12, were spending the long summer days with horse and dog herding the cattle on the unfenced southern end of the place.
The seven years later, in 1882, J.B. made the major move in his business career when he acquired the holdings of one Dr. Hittle of Pennsylvania. On April 10, 1882, he closed a deal for 1056 additional acres of land for $20,000. There were particular circumstances attending, about which there are several stories the third generation of Baileys heard from their elders. One is that J.B. and another agreed to buy this land jointly but the second party backed out at the last minute. A second version is that J.B. had signed the note of a man who had contracted for the purchase but defaulted (the sort of thing that had earlier got his grandfather Bryant in trouble in LaPorte County, causing him to sacrifice large holdings there and more to new land in Pulaski County.)
The third version is that a previous purchaser, after a considerable period, failed to make his payments and J.B. took over. As to this, title abstracts show that a J.B. Killinger bought 1,200 acres from Dr. Hittle in 1874 for $15,000 and title was indeed transferred in 1882 from Killinger to J.B. Bailey. This might be taken to support the last version of the affair. But in any case it was always agreed by all hands that local peopled at the time were of the opinion that J.B. had bitten off more than he could chew in this transaction. [I possess a lot of deeds with the name of Jacob Hittle from as far back as 1848. I have one with the name of John W. Killinger. Both were listed on the deeds as from Pennsylvania, except a couple say Hittle was from Butler County, Ohio. Interestingly most of the deeds involving Hittle pertain to sales TO Hittle.]
To swing it J.B. put down $9,000 in cash although that may have at least in part been raised by a mortgage on the home place. Then he borrowed $11,000 at 7% interest from John Brown of the Crown Point banking family who had himself large holdings in the area. A mortgage dated May 1, 1882 for this borrowing was put on the new property. Note were made payable starting in August, 1885 and each year till 1890. J.B. paid these off in full March 8, 1886.
But he had also borrowed $5006.70 June 3, 1883 from one James Brannon and this indebtedness was also covered by a mortgage on the Hittle property. Very apparently this money was needed for working capital – to buy live stock and machinery and to put up buildings on the new property. In any case J.B. put it to good use for, as seen, his larger mortgage was paid off in only four years and the second on March 30, 1891. Certainly the local “doubting Thomases” were proved wrong. It was indeed a notable accomplishment for a deal of this size in 1882 would in 1968 amount in money to $250,000 or thereabout. At today’s prices the land involved would approach $1,000,000. Certainly in successfully carrying through this transaction J.B. furnished fine farms and a measure of financial independence for his four children. And the deal has brought solid benefits to all his descendants to this day.
There remains considerable information as to how J.B. did it all. Immediate and concentrated activity followed the …. of the new property in the spring of 1882. J.B. scoured the country side far and wide buying livestock to put to graze on 400-odd acres of pasture on the lower end of the new property. Arrangements had to be made with the two or three farmers living on the property to continue tillage of some 200-300 acres of already cultivated land Men had to be hired to help out and stack scores of acres of hay for winter feeding. Feed lots, holding pens, shelters, fences had to be built or readied before the fall of the year. A new house had to be built for son Roy, then married and farming in Illinois. He moved in early in 1883. And joined son Charles in the saddle when cattle were to be gathered, herded and sent to market. Son George, then 12 years old, did his share of herding nearer home.
At the same time operations had to be continued on the home place and apparently some western cattle continue to be bought, fed, and sent to market. With the new railway through Lowell opening in 1882 the long drives to and from Chicago were eliminated. J.B. took full advantage of the new time saving transport – perhaps indeed the new railway was a large factor in his decision to take on the Hittle property deal.
The new stock feeding operation was mainly a pasture and hay feeding with less corn and ground feed used that was the case on the home place as I later knew it.
Feed lots were cleaned in early fall and bedded down before feeder stock was turned in. At leas 12 head were put to a lot to feed in the fall then later sorted out and sent to market when some became ready – the new feeders added. Normally feed lots were kept loaded till grass came on in the spring.
But cattle were not handled exclusively. If he could buy right, J.B. bought sheep and horses as well. On occasion there were many sheep which Roy Bailey recalled herding days on end. J.B. apparently was as good as judge of horses as of cattle and sheep and was known to have had always plenty of horse power on hand. Another source of income was the pasturing of the stock of others on the ample pasture land he had at $1.50 to $3.00 per month,
No exact statistics survive that tell in any detail the scope of operations of the 1880s but certainly the live stock involved were a very great many and they were fed on literally mountains of hay plus some corn while many thousands of miles were covered in the saddle by all concerned during the nine years it took to free the 1056 acres of the last mortgage. The operation was a sizable one, an indication being supplied by an instance when J.B. appeared at the Momence Bank with a check for stock sold which called for more cash than the bank had on hand. Part of it had to be left on deposit for a time.
It was a general rule that feeding stock bought would double in weight in a season of pasturing and feeding. The key to profit being the judgment J.B. possessed that enabled him to buy at the right price and to sell at the right time, the condition of the fed stock and market considered.
Whether there was a celebration attending the paying off of the last mortgage in the spring of 1891 is not of record. By that time son Charles had married Tillie Grimes and had moved on the upper end of the little property in 1883 – a part of the land being deeded over to him as had previously been the case with son Roy. Charles paid a thousand dollars as a part of the settlement.
This left only son George at home and he and J.B. continued in the cattle feeding business until 1897 when he, too, was settled on a part of the Hittle property which adjoined land owned by Julia Foster whom he had married in 1891. From that date until 1897 they had lived in the “little house” on the road that had been the home of Reuben Chapman and grandmother Matilda, who had died earlier in 1891.
So with the three sons settled on the property the story of the Hittle property in the hands of J.B. was finished. By this time the 1056 acres were largely under cultivation and much necessary ditching had been done, chief feature of which was the digging of the Bailey Ditch which emptied into the Singleton Ditch.
This Bailey Ditch which is still so designated on present day maps was apparently dug soon after J.B. acquired the Hittle property in 1882. It was dug with horses and slip scrapers. It took care of surface water on at least 400 acres of the Hittle property and was several miles long [Roughly 3.25 miles]. Quite an undertaking and costly at the time. This ditch had lesser ditches and tile lines leading into it. It was later dredged with a floating rig. Presumably property owners on its lower part contributed to the work near the Singleton Ditch. J.B. apparently had a knack for handling such operations for he was for a number of years road supervisor for West Creek and his graveled roads were subject of much praise – being notably better than adjoining areas particularly as compared to existing roads across the line in Illinois. (It is interesting to note that for more than 50 years after the organizing of Lake County in 1837 there were no roads through the marshes nor bridges over the Kankakee River. So residents of Lake and Newton Counties lived practically as strangers while in distance were near neighbors. It was not until steam dredging was done in 1887-88 that some road building was done using sand the dredgers dug out. And it was not until 1889 that the first wagon bridge was thrown across the river and something like neighborly intercourse established.)
When J.B. Bailey died in 1903 he was accounted to be “well off.” He was in ill health for several years before his death suffering from what was then called “stomach trouble” -- most probably ulcers. A few months before death he made his first trip to the east. He had previously made a tour of the west. He wanted to see Washington and after some weeks there was over taken by more severe illness. Starting home he had to be taken from the train and hospitalized at Parkersburg, West Virginia for some days. He died November 25, 1902, not long after arriving home.
If J.B. wasn’t so constituted as to deal with some feminine foibles of the sort Amelia permitted herself, the family was freed from them at his death for a home in Lowell was provided for the widow and thereafter each of the four children required to pay $100 cash each quarter year, or semi-annually for her support. In that day either amount provided a substantial living. Incidentally Amelia was right there calling for payment when due dates arrived no matter how tight money might be at the moment for some of her step-children.
What J.B. Bailey bequeathed in character and characteristics to his children was apparent enough. What the contribution of Nancy Kile was it is harder to discern at this date because practically no testimony remains by which to judge. We know her children adored her and one is recalled as having said that she was beautiful. Theirs were early recollection, for she died suddenly of pneumonia at age 38 in 1876. She had been born in Lake County March 23, 1838 the year after family moved from Ohio. The land her father acquired was south of the Baileys in the marsh. Nancy Kile’s mother was the daughter of Abraham and Margaret Laflar who were residents of Lake County at least in later life for they died and were buried in the county. However, inasmuch as their daughter married Kile while he was still a resident of Ohio it may be the Laflars earlier were neighbors of the Kiles in that State. They may have come to Indiana at the time Nancy Kile’s father did, or subsequently.
I never heard anything about the Laflars from anyone in the family. The name would appear to be of French origin and it might be wondered if it isn’t a corrupted or anglicized version of LaFleur, a common name among the French in Canada. And in the century the French controlled the country over the mountains and the Mississippi River and traveled by canoe and bateaux from the lakes down the St. Joseph and Kankakee Rivers, men of that name were probably among them or were traders among the Indians of the area.
Dying as Nancy Kile Bailey died while her children were young, their recollection of her were not extensive so perhaps the best that can be done is to recount the character and career of her only brother, Ransome Kile, presuming he and his sister shared family characteristics.
Ransome Kile was born in Knox County, Ohio, December 23, 1835, the year J.B. Bailey was born. He lived to be nearly 93, dying at Plain View, Nebraska, July 28m 1933. Apparently, Ransome’s mother held on to the Indiana land and her children were raised in Lake County. This may have been accomplished with the help of her family who were living in the county at the time as well as aid from her husband’s family in Ohio where it’s apparently Ransome spent some time in his boyhood. In any event he was in the county when the Civil War opened and enlisted in Company A of the 73rd Indiana Volunteers, and infantry outfit. After a period of fighting in Virginia and a bout with typhoid fever he came home. He re-enlisted later in the 33rd Indiana Regiment and was with Sherman in his march to the sea. He also participated in the gran victory parade in Washington at war’s end. Also, I believe he served with the guards of the Lincoln conspirators and witnessed their execution. He left at home his wife, Mary Powers Kile, whom he married in 1856.
After the war he moved by covered wagon to Cass County, Iowa, homesteading there for some years. Later when, he said “people got too thick in Iowa” he took to the road again to Nebraska, homesteading near Plain View. He was married twice. Two sons by his first wife became doctors.
Ransome Kile’s family in Ohio were mostly farmers and substantial ones living in later life around Dayton and Belle Fountain. While his father and Nancy’s died young, there were several aunts and an uncle in Ohio who lived to great age as Ransome did and judging from correspondence they were well educated people for their day and time.
Ransom was known as a fellow “ready of anything.” Something of an extrovert, as young man, he was full of fun. It was said he swapped horses all the way to Iowa and arrived with a totally new lot of them. He loved music. Liked to sing; was “good in school” as was then the phrase.
So the third generation of Indiana Baileys and those after may well have gotten from Nancy Kile a liking for boos, music and a sense of humor not found in like measure in the Baileys and Bryants. My mother thought Uncle Charley might have taken more after his mother Nancy Kile than either of her other two brothers. Uncle Roy she judged was most like his father J.B. I think my mother Grace could thank the Kiles for something of her cheerful outlook on life. Aa for Uncle Charley it’s certain that among his descendants is the only one who strongly resembles in appearance the picture I ever way of my grandmother Nancy Kile.
It would be interesting, but not known, where the Kiles came from before settling in Ohio and from what class of people they came. The only piece of furniture of Nancy Kile’s, known to have come with them from further east, would indicate they were people of some substance and discrimination. And it is to be doubted that the Kiles had for generations lived on the frontier and were pioneers as had the Bryants, Turmans, and probably the Baileys.
I saw “Uncle Ransome” a few times only when he came east after his first wife died in 1902 and he was courting his second wife, Flavia Felt of Hebron. My interest then was “what he did in the war.” He told me he fought in 33 battles and skirmishes. That “the thing to do” was “to get in the cavalry and save all that marching.” That the funniest thing in the war was the time they overran a Confederate camp just as the mail had arrived – which they captured. The “lovey-dovey stuff” those southern girls had written he said was hilarious. He still laughed about that.
But was wasn’t fun mostly he said, recalling how in the tense time when an attack was expected or an assault imminent, so many “went to the rear.” And the days he spent in the Valley of Virginia. The Shenandoah Valley he declared was the most beautiful place he ever saw. It was just lovely, --- all those fine farms, streams, and mountains and fine homes. And he said when “they” (the Union Army) started burning everything up and driving out those women and children “I couldn’t stand it and came home.” He said he had detested whipper-wills ever since the war. “We used to hear them at night when on picket down in Georgia and you never could tell whether it wasn’t those ‘Johnnies’ signaling to each other.” He recalled Andersonville with rancor and said the “Rebs” all along starved “our men” so when exchanged they would be “poor” while their men returned “fat and sassy.” (I later learned Confederates didn’t in fact fare so well in northern prisons from Elmyra to Rock Island. They also died miserably by the tens of thousands.) What Uncle Ransome had to say of the Civil Ware cast the first doubt in my young mind that the Union and its army was “all wonderful.”
And what I saw of Uncle Ransome and heard of his sister, my grand-mother, Nancy, made us happy to count the Kiles among our forebears.
A Turman Adventure
The pioneering era of the forebears of the Lake County Baileys end when the second generation passes on. And it might be of interest to later generations to consider the long life of one of them. Mentioned above is Mary Turman, born December 2, 1791 in Montgomery County, Virginia.
One spring day in 1798 when she was 6 years old there was enacted a scene endlessly repeated in the pioneer period in America when she, with her family, set out for a new frontier further west. No doubt it was a typical one – a move long planned and prepared when at last all was ready for the start. There would be gathered all the horses and other live stock including a fresh cow or two. All the family belongings would be packed in one or two short coupled wagons and/or pack horses and, before the sun had far risen, the last farewells would have been said and with singled hopes and fears the party would move away.
(Fears for little Mary might well have been engendered by a trip taken but a year earlier to Boonesboro, Kentucky to visit relatives there, when she and her father Benjamin had been captured by the Indians almost in the shadow of Boone’s stockade. Taken to near Chillicothe in Ohio, her father carrying her most of the 150 miles distance, after an Indian moved to tomahawk he when she could not keep up with the fast pace set. After an episode of gauntlet running in which Benjamin survived and gained favor with the Red Skins they slipped away one stormy night when guard was relaxed and somehow succeeded in getting back to Boonesboro, Benjamin swimming the Ohio River with Mary perched on his neck).
On this spring morning the women and small children would be riding in a wagon or on horses. Cattle would be driven in charge of some of Mary’s brothers of whom there were seven – two of them younger than herself. And when well under way, from some distant ridge the last view of their old home would be taken and the final salute given to kinery and friends left behind.
Then they would be truly underway, bound for Kentucky and on to Miami County, Ohio, which they would reach only after long weeks of travel via the old Wilderness Road and through Kentucky. Then over the Ohio River and again northward. The distance, start to finish, must have been at least 450 miles, probably 500 or more.
The Turmans carried with them all their portable belongings --- some tools, including plow shares and a number of axes, pots, pans, spiders, kettles, bedding, extra clothing, at least the working parts of a spinning wheel and loom, if no other furniture save a number of sturdy morticed chests in which things needing protection from the weather would be packed. Father Benjamin and older sons would carry rifles, powder horns and pouches of bullets, patches and flints, as well as stout hunting knives and hatchets. Packed safely somewhere would be molds and extra lead for making more ammunition. Also molds for candle making. Practically all the articles carried would have been made at home or wrought by handcraftsmen in small shops and smithies on the frontier. These people could provide for themselves most of the necessities of life. Most remedies for their ills were gotten form the fields and woods about them, as well.
While game killed on the way might be depended to a degree, much of staple provision were carried at the outset – hams, bacon, corn meal and salt.
Among items carefully stored would be extra powder, lead, seeds for planting in Ohio and such money as had been saved or realized for the sale of land and goods before leaving. The money would be in the form of Spanish dollars and bits. Probably in a small tight chest know as a Bible Box would be a Bible with its family records and a few school books including a speller, a reader and an arithmetic book. A similar box would carry herbs and medicines.
Traveling the Valley would, at the start, be made lovely by blooming dogwood and Judas trees and at the season mocking birds would be singing by day and by night. The direction traveled was southwestward. The first goal was to join the Wilderness Road commonly called “Boone’s Trail” which lead to a deep cleft in the wall of the Cumberland Mountains and on through to Kentucky. This Cumberland Gap route was the one that for many decades was followed by inhabitants of lower Appalachia on their way to people the lands of the western wilderness.
A-foot and a-horse, Boone took the first large party to Kentucky this way in 1775. It was he who cut a wagon track through what he described as “terrible cane-brakes “ in the low areas. [Cane-brakes http://www.nationalcenter.org/BooneKentucky.html] This Wilderness Road began in North Carolina highlands, crossed East Tennessee and extreme western Virginia and into Kentucky with the Gap being the dividing points of the three states. At the time of the Turman higera [?] it led on to Boonesboro and Harrods Station forts. And at that time many traveled as they did southward in the Valley of Virginia via the Cumberland Gap. Jonesville, N.C., Kingsport, Tenn., Gate City, Va. were on the route. New Powell, Holston Island, and Sullivan Court House as well. At one of these points the Turmans joined the “road” and for 100 miles beyond Gate City would pass through a jumble of close hill and narrow valleys. It would be exceedingly rough going before the shelter of Boonesboro would be reached and this part of the route was covered in the company of others. In 1798 safety required a company of some size.
Benjamin Turman having only a year or so earlier traveled the route both ways knew the way and its difficulties thoroughly. So in due course the party safely reached the Ohio River. This they crossed by crude ferry at Cincinnati, then marked by a single house. From here the route led northward to the headwaters of the Miami River and to what would be Miami County, Ohio.
This was Indian country, although they had lately been scattered and pushed westward, plenty of the savages still roamed the area. So a line of five small forts stood on the western edge of the Miami River Valley offering some protection or at least points of sanctuary. Ohio was yet a territory and would not become a state for five more years. The time of arrival at their new home isn’t known but it must have been in time to permit raising some late crops and the building of cabins before winter to shelter the numerous Turman tribe.
The Turman stay in Miami County was of some 12 years. There, on December 19, 1809 Mary Turman, 5 feet 2 inches tall, described as “well proportioned “ and 18 years old, married Josiah Bryant who, like Mary, had been born in southwest Virginia and whose family had moved to Kentucky some years before the Turmans set forth.
The following year, 1810, the Turmans sold their Ohio holdings for a handsome price and took up new lands in Sullivan County, Indiana. The newly-weds Mary and Josiah Bryant went with them but returned to visit Bryant relatives in Kentucky so their first child, Matilda, was born there, September 11, 1811.
Matilda was to be the wife of John Bailey and mother of Josiah B. Bailey and would die in Lake County in 1891. When she was but two weeks old her parents took her by horse back to their Sullivan County home, the trip being made in bad weather. Mary, carrying the baby, rode, her husband leading the horse while one of her brothers lead two pack horses.
There were many Indians still in Sullivan County when the Turmans and Mary Turman Bryant settled there and trouble came from them. First some drunken braves appeared and Mary, for the second time, was saved from tomahawking. Husband Josiah Bryant struck the savage down just as he swung his hatchet. Then when the British stirred up the savages again in the War of 1812 the Turmans and Bryants barely escaped a massacre that wiped out their nearest neighbors. Escaping to a stockade Mary and other pioneer wives watched while the men slept, molded bullets and helped dig trenches for the stockade. The Indians however were driven off before their small fort could be besieged. So Mary Turman’s adventures with the savaged ended after three hair raising experiences. And she lived on in Sullivan County on Turman Creek, raising a numerous brood of children until 1831.
(Mary Turman Bryant’s children were given a good education – the very best for their time and place. These people of the generations of which we know were emphatically not of the unlettered woodsmen that comprised so many of the pioneers of the era. In fact, Mary’s brothers were sent to the best college the territory afforded. One became a minister, another an Indiana state senator and later a judge in Florida. The earliest of the Turman ancestors of whom we know was a factor in charge of a Crown Commissary on the Potomac.)
After husband J.W. and 15-year old son Benjamin had gone north to survey the territory, the Bryant family moved on to La Porte County, Indiana. Wagons were used and again live stock – cattle, pigs, and sheep were driven before. This time a number of other families traveled with them and J.S. Bryant bought 1413 acres of Government land in Durham Township with money accumulated during two decades in Sullivan County.
Here they lived for another 12 years and here May 19, 1833 Mary Turman Bryant’s eldest daughter, Matilda, was married to John Bailey and in 1839 was widowed, then returned with four children to her parents for some years until remarriages to Reuben Chapman. So, Josiah B. Bailey, Mary Turman’s first grandchild, from whom Lake County Baileys descended, lived with her during his early childhood.
In 1844 the Bryants removed to Pulaski County. This move was occasioned because J.W. Bryant had signed too many notes of friends who had taken up land and, when these could not pay off their debts, he had to sell his La Porte County holdings to make good. Then he bought a considerable acreage of new land in Pulaski County with his remaining funds.
In the next two decades the Bryants again prospered. Then, selling out their land and stock went further west again, to Ottomwa, Iowa, ther living with Mary Turman Bryant’s youngest daughter, Martha Cherrie. Here J.W. Bryant died in 1870, aged 86.
Some time later the Cherries again west westward [Probably “went” and not “west”. One of the very few typos.], finally settling near San Jose, California. Mary Turman Bryant died in the home of her now widowed daughter March 23, 1890 in San Jose. To the end she retained a remarkable command of her faculties. So ended a most remarkable life of pioneering. One, indeed that could have had few parallels.
From the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia to California on the coast of the vast Pacific, travelling afoot, ahorse and covered wagon much of the way, is a very great distance. And from the 18th century year of 1791 to the last decade of the 19th century is a very long span of time.
When Mary Turman was born George Washington, in whose Revolutionary Army her father fought for seven years, was President of fifteen states with a population of less than six millions, all but a few of them lived east of the Alleghanies. When she died more than 98 years later in the decade to be known as the “Gay Nineties”, states of the Union spanned the continent. Benjamin Harrison was president. Americans would […] long number 100,000,000 and a whole […] of the machine had arrived, built on the broad lands the pioneers had won with courage and stamina not excelled in any age.
Certainly Mary Turman played her part in the epic conquest of the wildness of America which took place in her time. And her many descendants, now scattered from coast to coast, might be pardoned for taking a measure of pride in their lineage when considering he long life and unflagging endeavors.
Recently come upon material, dealing specifically with pioneering of the period in the lands beyond the Alleghenies, at about the time the Turmans and Bryants were on the move, discloses an element which contributed to the penchant the pioneers had for frequent shifting from place to place, as was remarked about in the foregoing.
This was the belief that new land did not furnish a place for permanent residence as it could be expected to yield only a limited number of crops before wearing out as Tidewater, Virginia and Southern Maryland lands had been worn out in the 1600 and 1700s by continued growing of tobacco, in the absence of the use of lime, fertilizers, and soil conserving practices known to latter day farming. This belief persisted until the early 1800’s when experience dispelled it.
In the meantime, the westward trending pioneer when he settled on a promising piece of land did so expecting it to yield no more than a score of crops before a new move was indicated.
Of course the first years on the far frontier were spent in clearing the forests for fields and pastures and furs and peltry [animal pelts collectively ] were depended on to barter for iron, steel, lead and salt, when carried back over the mountains. When enough time had passed for raising of cattle and horses these were driven in what was termed “caravans” to markets in the East. Again it was a barter operation and in an early period a good cow and calf could be traded for a bushel of “alum salt” at the training post. A pack horse would be loaded with two bushels weighing 84 pounds each.
Frontiersmen of the day of course, made their own soap, candles and surprising made their own powder using salt peter found in […] of western Virginia and Kentucky canes. They tanned their own leather, wove their own cloth of wool and flax. The numerous men of the Turman and Bryant families when they set out for the west no doubt wore the linsey-woolsey long skirted hunting shirt with cape. Belted in the middle the “pouch” formed in the front was often used to carry food items like hard bread, jerked meat as well as […] for rifle barrel cleaning, bullet bag, etc. The belt was always tied in the back and from it were hung hunting knife and hatchet.
Moccasins were universally worn. These were made from a single piece of dressed deerskin and flaps at the side were tied about the ankle with leather thongs. They were stuffed with deer hair or leaves in cold weather and served very well. But in wet weather it was said wearing moccasins was a “decent way of going barefooted.” Moccasins required continued patching on an […] and extra leather was always carried.
While deer, turkeys and bear could be depended on for meat, the early pioneers needed corn for bread – the meal being ground by hand mortar and pestle fashion. Even when game was plentiful they suffered if these was no corn meal or potatoes, pumpkin or squash as a substitute. Much depended upon were pumpkins and squash and potatoes raised on what they called their “truck patch.” In the garden beans and cabbage were universally raised as well as some other root crops.
When making a move to a new frontier often some would go ahead in early spring to plant a crop so there would be food for the coming winter. Some times the family would not be brought over the mountains till the second season when a cabin could be provided. These frontiersmen needed only an axe, augur and one or two other simple tools to produce acceptable shelter.
It is probable that the Turmans in 1798 set out for Miami County, Ohio territory very early in the year in order to have time to provide against the winter. If they travelled with others and a considerable amount of manpower was available there may well have been an advance party for planting crops. Considering the distance the Turmans went and the fact that Mad Anthony Wayne had but so recently defeated the Indians in the area, it is likely that a considerable company moved together.
In pioneer cabins spinning wheel and loom were ever busy and a few women continued to ply their art after commercial cloth could be had. There were two samples of such work remaining in my time. They were woolen bed spreads --- white with blue designs woven in. They were really attractive pieces of work and bore the date 1848 – also woven in.
“Auntie Cherrie” Mary Turman Bryant’s youngest daughter then living in Ohio had raised the sheep, carded their wool, spun and woven these spreads. Amelia Sanger Bailey had one which was cut up years ago for use in a baby crib and I recall how horrified my mother was thereat.
The other spread which was in excellent condition my mother treasured all her days. But following her death when my father literally gave away the contents of a ten room house, the spread disappeared. I had hoped some member of the family had got it but do not know that such was the case. It is to be hoped it still exists and that its value is appreciated.
LETTER from ELLIOTT BUSE, EASTON MARYLAND
“I am trying to finish the Bailey history, I have only one vital question – the birth place of John Bailey. Not unti I found recently in the papers that May Bailey left did I learn she had seen the family Bible of Matilda which Nancy Bailey Love had before her death. But May copied only the dates of John’s birth and death. I have been trying for several months to locate that Bible that some of Nancy Loves children should have to see whether it would answer some questions of interest to you and me.
MR. BUSE’S ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS, THAT JUNE ASKED:
I left West Creek in 1912.
My mother (Mary Grace Bailey Barhite Buse) talked much about Grandfather Chapman (Reuben) and how in the 1880’s he took her with him to Conn. to visit his family after many years, traveling by train, which required many changes because he in his haste, boarded the first East bound train rather than waiting for through train they might have taken to N.Y. My mother regaled the natives in Conn. with many tall tales of the doings in the “wild west” that he was a great joker. [Hum]
His mother said that E, H, ,Conn. looked the same in 1923 as in the 1880s, only older and less settled. [Hum again]
When 6 years old (about), my family lived in Reuben Chapman’s little house on the road and I clearly recollect your Grandmother and Grandfather on a hot Sunday morning (Minnie was working in Chicago and brought your Grandpa out to the farm for a weekend). The pair came to our house where Grandfather Chapman’s old barn – across the road was being torn down. That day there was found in the horse manger a pair of old fashion streel rimmed reading glasses, which apparently had been Reuben Chapman’s. I recalled that then your young Grandpa was being a husky fellow and that he was wearing as a shirt the top of an old-fashioned short sleeved bathing suit. The first such I had ever seen and which I considered most remarkable.
The second recollection – Your grandparents had married and your father born and about 2-3 years old, and they were living in Grandfather Chapman’s old house. One winter morning I stopped by and went into the kitchen where your grandmother was doing house work, and you father was playing on the kitchen floor. I guess the reason I recall this visit was that he was playing with a heavy wooden packing box, hammer, saw, and nails, and showing very marked aptitude in the process. Your Grandmother remarked, however that such were the only things he liked to play with.
Mr. Buse has a small wooden chest that he (Reuben) brought with him when he travelled from Conn. to Indiana dow the canals and lakes.
[----- The end. I don’t know who was being talked about in this last set of paragraphs. Minnie? Who is the writer speaking to? June who? Maybe the characters in the second recollection can be clarified by material written in earlier sections of the history.]