The Marriage of David Green and Mary Stadden

    Green,-Stadden marriage license

On December 24, 1847, David Green, son of John and Barbara (Grove) Green, married his cousin, Mary Stadden, daughter of William and Judah (Daniels) Stadden. They lived in Dayton, in this house.

They had ten children, five girls and five boys.

Alice Cary Green was born October 20, 1848 in Dayton. She married Jesse Clark Allen in Dayton on June 20, 1867. She died in Des Moines, Iowa, January 7, 1933.

George W. Green was born September 3, 1850 in Dayton. On September 16, 1878, he married Emma Holton. They moved to Aurora, where she died October 14, 1931.

Ella Green, born July 8, 1852, married Dr. George H. Riley. They lived in Ottawa, where she died August 25, 1945. She is buried in the Dayton Cemetery.

John William Green was born about March 25, 1854 and died May 8 of that same year. He is buried in the Dayton Cemetery.

John Green was born October 28, 1855 in Dayton. He married Clara Moore October 2, 1889, in Appleton, Wisconsin. He died June 21, 1932.

Charles Green was born August 4, 1858 in Dayton. He was married on November 25, 1885, to Etta M. Skinner. He died in California on July 24, 1936.

Ada Green, born January 17, 1859, in Dayton, married William McMillen.

William Stadden Green, born in Dayton on March 12, 1861, married Lalla Brown.

Mary (Minnie) Green was born in Dayton on April 24, 1866. She died October 4, 1882 and is buried in the Dayton Cemetery.

Carrie B. Green, born in Dayton March 25, 1868, died October 5, 1883. She is buried next to her sister in the Dayton Cemetery.

David died of consumption at the age of 60 on September 2, 1880.  His wife, Mary lived to age 91, dying in Wheaton, Illinois, on December 10, 1918. They are also buried in the Dayton Cemetery.

Support for an Elderly Mother

support clause from deed

In May of 1833, widow Barbara Lionberger Grove, mother of Barbara Grove Green, came from Licking County, Ohio, to La Salle County, Illinois, with her son Elias. They joined her four daughters and two sons, who were already living in Rutland township, across the river from Dayton. She undoubtedly lived with one or more of her children, but which one is not clear until 1838. On December 12th of that year a deed was recorded from Joseph Grove to Barbara Grove, selling 40 acres of land to her for $1. The deed includes the following proviso:

now the condition of this obligation is such that If the said Joseph Grove shall maintain and support the above named Barbara Grove in a good and Decent like manner Both in victual and clothing during her the said Barbara Grove’s life then this obligation to be void and of no effect otherwise to be and Remain in full force and virtue in Law

So if Joseph did not support her “in a good and decent manner” she would own 40 acres of land she could use or sell for her support.

Why was this deed made?

Just six months before, on June 28, 1838, Joseph married Elma Jackson. By December of that year, it would have been apparent that she was pregnant. Perhaps the deed was made to reassure Barbara that the forthcoming child would not affect her status in the household.

Barbara Grove Green

Barbara Grove Green

Barbara Grove Green

Much of the information about Barbara Grove Green comes from notes written down by her granddaughter, Maud Green, which I now have. 

Barbara Grove was born near Woodstock, in Shenandoah County, Virginia, on the 15th of November, 1792, the daughter of John Grove and Barbara Lionberger. Both of her grandfathers, Christian Grove and John Lionberger, served in the Revolutionary War from Virginia.  The Lionbergers were Swiss immigrants who arrived in America in 1735. John Grove, her father, of Swiss and German ancestry, was “a large and powerful man who could pick up a barrel of flour under each arm and toss them on a wagon”.  Maud notes that Barbara had a vest which had belonged to her father, and that it was much too large for any other member of the family.

In 1805, when Barbara was thirteen, John Grove sold the land he had inherited from his father in Virginia and moved to Fairfield County, Ohio, where German and Swiss pioneers from Pennsylvania had already started a settlement.  Barbara never attended an English-speaking school until arriving in Ohio. Among the settlers already established in that part of Ohio was Benjamin Green, with his large family.

Barbara Grove and John Green were married on March 28, 1813. Sixteen years later, after the birth of nine children, and the death of two of them, they moved from Ohio to Illinois. Barbara was then 37 and her youngest child was 14 months old. The party consisted of 10 men, ten children, and four women. The other three women were Barbara’s 19 year old sister, Emma DeBolt, who had a 3 month old baby; her 24 year old sister-in-law Annie, wife of her brother David, who had a 2 year old child; and her husband’s 24-year old niece, Elizabeth Brumbach, who was 6 months pregnant with her second child. As the oldest woman in the group, Barbara was surely called upon to provide support to the entire party.

The trip from Ohio to Illinois was full of adventure. One of the county histories tells the story of how the  group was spending the night in a heavy rain (this is in November) and Barbara lay down in the wagon, trying to sleep and was frozen fast  and unable to get up in the morning.

Once they arrived in Illinois, there was also plenty of work to do to feed the family. As Jesse Green told the story:

The second and third winters we were here we had about two feet of snow, which lay on the ground most of the winter, and drifted badly and crusted over so that we could ride over fences without difficulty, and prairie chickens were so plentiful and tame that on a frosty morning, they would sit on trees so near our cabin that Father stood in the door and shot them, until some of the men said he must stop before he shot away all of our ammunition, and leave none to shoot deer and turkeys.  Our first winter here Brother David and myself trapped rising three hundred chickens, besides a large quantity of quail.  After eating all we could, Mother merely saved their breasts salted and smoked them.

“Merely” is not the word I would use for salting and smoking three hundred prairie chicken breasts, but that was “women’s work” and Jesse didn’t seem to think too much of it.

The first year must have been a lonely one for the women of that small party, but the next year more settlers  arrived from Ohio, many of them relatives. Then in 1833 Barbara’s mother and brother Elias came to Rutland,as well, so she was surrounded by family.

The Black Hawk War affected much of La Salle County. The Indian Creek Massacre may be the most well-known of the local occurances, but here is how Barbara Green related her part of the action to her granddaughter, many years later.

On the 16th of May 1832, about ten o’clock in the morning, myself and the girls were washing at the spring near where the feeder bridge now is when Eliza came down on horseback and told us that the Indians were coming & that we would have to go to Ottawa right away.  Then we went to a place a couple of miles below Ottawa (to Penbrook) and stayed there all night the next day come up to Ottawa and next day home again.  This was Sunday and the next day the men made a stockade around the house out of plank.  After it was finished they tried it to see if a bullet would go through it, and it did, so they hung up feather beds all around.  There were about sixty people here at the time, we were so crowded that they had to sleep on tables, under the beds and all over the house.

The same night George Walker came and told us that we must go to Ottawa again, so we left right away and went down to the river to get in the pirougue, but when we got there we found that Daniels’ had taken the boat and gone before we got there, so we had to walk.  As I had forgot some of Rachel’s clothes and, coming back to the house, I found Jesse and David yet in bed.  They had been waked before we started so I supposed they were with us.  We followed the river bank all the way down and I had to carry Becky all the way because she would cry when anyone else took her.

Aunt Becky Trumbo was sick so that she could not walk and she rode on the horse behind old Mr. Letts.  Eliza Trumbo was left standing on the river bank and we went off and forgot her.  Wm Dunavan came back and got her.  When we got to Ottawa there was no fort there, only a log cabin on the south side of the river, but they soon built a fort on top of the hill.  We went to the fort but there was so much confusion there that we had the log house moved up on the hill and lived in it.  We women didn’t know what the trouble was til we reached Ottawa and then they told us about the “Indian Creek Massacre” where there were sixteen people killed.  Two boys who ran away and two girls who were taken prisoners, were the only ones that escaped.

The next day (?) a company of soldiers from the southern part of the state passed through Ottawa on the way up the river and two men Hazleton and Schemerhorn who lived at Mission Settlement intended to go with them to their farms but failed to get ready in time and so were an hour or two behind the soldiers.

The duties of a housewife on the frontier must have been endless. Maud writes that she remembers her grandmother making candles for them to carry upstairs. She also wrote “Grandma spent her time knitting socks and long stockings for all of us, out of factory yarn, and we had woolen underwear, skirts and dresses made of factory flannel”. The factory referred to is the Green’s woolen mill, which made both yarn and cloth.

John and Barbara Green had 70 grandchildren and they all came frequently to visit Barbara at her home in Dayton until she died in 1886, at the age of 93. Barbara also had over 200 great-nephews and great-nieces; the grandchildren of her 3 brothers and 3 sisters who lived across the river in Rutland. She had come a long way, from the little group of 24 pioneers to the senior member of a large family.

Family Record of Joseph & Nancy (Green) Dunavan

Dunavan family register

Joseph A Dunavan was
Born march 30 1812

Nancy Dunavan his wife was Born
April 26 1816

Joseph A Dunavan and Nancy his
wife was married January 26 1834

Cathrine Dunavan was Born
May first 1835

Samuel Dunavan was Born Aprile
9th 1837

Isaac Dunavan was Born october
30th 1838

David Dunavan was Born September
10th 1840

Amanda Dunavan was Born october
19th 1843 and Died January
15 1846

Joseph Dunavan was Born January
30th 1845

George Dunavan was Born July
26th 1847

John A. Dunavan
was born Dec 14 1849

Cynthia Jane Dunavan
was born Feb 3rd 1851

Col. John Stadden

Stadden cabin

The original Stadden cabin, now in the Dawes Arboretum, Newark, Ohio

From a history of Licking County, Ohio:

In the spring of 1800 two brothers, John and Isaac Stadden, came up the Licking Valley and entered upon some bottom land, partially cleared, a mile below Newark, now on the Jones farm, and built a hut or cabin. In September, 1800, Mr. Isaac Stadden removed his family from Pennsylvania into the cabin erected for them in the spring. He drove the first wagon that passed up the Licking Valley from Zanesville to Newark. The trip occupied two days, although his brother John and another man were along to assist in clearing a path for the wagon.

During the summer, John Stadden, having made the acquaintance of Betsey Green, daughter of Benjamin, became enamored of the fair maid of Shawnee Run, and after an honest courtship of reasonable length for pioneer times, she, nothing loth, having fallen into his notions on the subject, they resolved upon matrimony, and matrimony they committed, and it was the first offense of the kind in civilized life within the limits of Licking County.

A child born to them in the latter half of the year 1801, was the second birth in what is now Licking County, and its decease before the close of said year was the first death.

John Stadden moved to “Hog Run” in 1802, and in 1808 was elected Sheriff (the first one) of Licking County, in which office he served two years. He was also for some years Collector of Taxes, and held other positions of honor and trust in military and civil life.  His son, Richard was Sheriff of this County from 1834 to 1838, and was, in the last-named year, elected a member of the Senate of Ohio.

Colonel John Stadden was a man of integrity, uprightness, and a fair degree of intelligence. Late in life he removed with his wife to Illinois, where they died. They were honored and highly esteemed while living, and died leaving a reputation untarnished. He and his wife were original members of the first Methodist society formed in this County, which was in 1804, by Rev. Asa Shinn.1

By 1840, they were living in Dayton, Illinois, where Betsey Green Stadden’s brother, John, had established a thriving settlement. John Stadden died there on January 26, 1855, at the age of 77 years, 4 months, and 2 days (as recorded on his tombstone) and was buried in the Dayton Cemetery. 


  1. L. H. Everts, 1875 History of Licking County, Ohio / Plus New Indexes / Adapted from the 1875 Atlas of Licking County (Knightstown, Indiana: The Bookmark, 1975), 48.

It Reads Like a Romance

little girl

First, a little background:

Marriages
In Dayton, Ill., Dec. 29th, 1880, by Rev. John Ustick, Mr. Alexander M. Alcorn, of Earl, and Miss Ella Courter, of Dayton, LaSalle Co., Illinois.
This marriage took place on the coldest day of the winter, the mercury that morning indicating from 20 to 24 degrees below zero according to exposure, and Elder Ustick rode 32 miles that day to keep his engagement. Irv. Smith drove out and back with him, and didn’t mind the cold until he found he’d gone two miles out of the way and to the wrong house; then he sputtered a swear or two and hurried on.1

[Son Harvey A. Alcorn, from 1900 census of Earl twp, was born Dec. 1881.]

BORN
Earl, May 29th, [1883] to Alex. Alcorn and Wife, a son. [This is Asa, died 1885.]2

BORN
On May 2nd, [1887] to Mr. and Mrs. Alex Alcorn a little daughter. Mother and child doing well.3

And now to the 1889 story from the Chicago Tribune:

IT READS LIKE ROMANCE
The Story Behind a Petition for the Possession of a Child
A. M. Alcorn, a La Salle County Farmer Appeals to the Courts to Recover his 2-year-old Daughter

A petition for habeas corpus was filed in the Circuit Court yesterday by Alexander M. Alcorn, a La Salle County farmer, to recover the custody of his little daughter May, 2 years old. Alcorn’s story read like a romance. Ten years ago he wedded a pretty young girl, who lived in Dayton, La Salle County. Their wedded life was happy for several years, until a young man named Samuel Mitchner engaged to work for Alcorn as a farm hand. The wife, Ella F. Alcorn, who had borne her husband two children, became infatuated, it is charged, with the brawny young tiller of the soil. Last Christmas Alcorn, who had business at the village near by, returned home to find that his wife had eloped with Mitchner. She had left their 7-year-old boy but took little May with her. For some time the heart-broken farmer plodded on at home, but he was not idle. Engaging the services of a detective he located the guilty pair in Chicago. Before they could be arrested they fled, leaving little May in the care of two women – Mrs. Lizzie Frazer and Mrs. Button. The women refused to surrender the child to her father, claiming that she was Mitchner’s child, so the father invoked the aid of the courts. Judge Tuley will hear the case this morning, and has ordered the production of the child in court.4

He Secured Possession of His Daughter

Alexander M. Alcorn, the La Salle County farmer who began a legal fight Wednesday to secure the possession of his 2-year-old daughter May, triumphed yesterday in the fight and bore his little one back to her country home. Alcorn’s wife eloped last Christmas with a farmhand in his employ and carried the little girl away. The father traced the guilty couple to this city [Chicago]. When they were discovered they again fled, abandoning the baby, leaving her with a woman named Mrs. Hutton, where the father found her. Mrs. Hutton refused to surrender the child, as she was not certain Alcorn was its father, but willingly gave her up when the court so ordered. The little one, so heartlessly abandoned by her mother, nestled confidingly in her papa’s arms and was seemingly quite content.5

and the Earlville Leader:

About the beginning of the present year the wife of Alexander M. Alcorn went to Chicago giving as a reason that she could make some money. She took with her their youngest child, a little girl in her second year. Their other child, a boy of about seven, was left at home with his father. About two weeks ago she returned. She claimed she was making $20 per week in the hair dressing business and that she could make more if she had more capital. Her husband let her have $200. Suspecting that all was not right she was followed into the city and found to be living with a man named Samuel Mitchner, who formerly worked for Mr. Alcorn on his farm. When the guilty couple found they were detected, they left before they could be arrested. The little girl, May, was left with two women, Mrs. Lizzie Frazer and Mrs. Button, who refused to give the girl to its father. Mr. Alcorn filed a petition of habeas corpus in the circuit court of Cook County. The writ was issued. Thursday Judge Tuly heard the case. After listening to the evidence, the Judge gave the child into his keeping. Mr. A. arrived home with her the same evening. It is not known where the guilty couple have fled.6

Another chapter in the Alcorn elopement affair occurred last Saturday when Mrs. Alcorn returned from Chicago and again installed herself as mistress of the home which she some months ago deserted. Upon her appearance, it was suspected that she returned for the little girl, therefore a warrant was sworn out for her arrest and placed in the hands of Constable Boozel to be served. When he reached there an understanding had been arrived at between husband and wife, the wife forgiven for her escapade, and henceforth in all probabilities their relations will be the same as before.  Mitchner, the hired man, made his appearance, and caused a dark blot in the history of a happy home. Mrs. Alcorn threatens the existence of young Wood, the amateur detective, who shadowed her to Chicago and then lost her, as she claims it was he who caused her acts to be made so prominent.7

with a happy ending in 1910:

Married This Afternoon
Just as we go to press we learn of the marriage of Charles Louis Wold and Miss May Alcorn, two of the well-known and highly respected young people of this vicinity, the wedding ceremony taking place at the home of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Alex Alcorn, at 1:30 this afternoon. Rev. D. R. VonderLippe of the Presbyterian church officiated.8


  1. Earlville Gazette, January 7, 1881, p 8, col 2
  2. Earlville Gazette, June 2, 1883, p 1, col 3
  3. Earlville Leader, May 6, 1887, p 5, col 4
  4. Chicago Tribune, May 2, 1889, p. 12, col 1
  5. Chicago Tribune, May 3, 1889, p. 8, cols. 2-3
  6. Earlville Leader, May 3, 1889, p 5, col 4
  7. Earlville Leader, May 24, 1889, p 7, col 3
  8. Earlville Leader, May 19, 1910, p 4, col 3

Rev. Jesse C. Green

Jesse C. Green

Rev. Jesse C. Green

One of the Civil War veterans buried in the Dayton Cemetery is Jesse C. Green. He is buried there because he died unexpectedly while visiting his brother Basil, who lived in Dayton, but he lived his life elsewhere. He was born near Newark,  Licking County, Ohio, November 20, 1832, to Isaac and Elizabeth (Brown) Green.

In 1847 he moved to Crawford County, Illinois, with his parents, where he farmed with his father and brothers. On August 25, 1852, he married Isabel Whitmer in Crawford County, Illinois. They had one son, Hamer Herschel Green, born December 21, 1854. Isabel died in 1856 and in February 1857 he married Anne E. Brown, also in Crawford County. They had two daughters, Ida and Lula.

He didn’t remain in Illinois, though, as he was in Mississippi in 1860. He appears to have taken up his calling as a minister at that time. As the war approached, he returned to Licking County, and there enlisted as a private in the 95th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry. At that time he was 5 feet, 8 inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and light colored hair. He was married and a minister.

The Ohio 95th was mustered in for three years service in Columbus, Ohio, on August 19, 1862. The next day they moved to Lexington, Kentucky, and then  made a rapid march to Richmond, arriving there about midnight one week before the battle at that place on August 29th and 30th. The men lay on the pavement or ground the rest of the night and the combination of over-exertion and exposure injured his health. He was sent to the Regimental hospital and was captured in the battle which followed. He was retained as a nurse to wounded men, but overworked and became ill again. After the exchange of prisoners on November 20, 1862, when ambulances arrived, he was sent home to recover his strength. He returned to the Regiment in very feeble condition and was never able to make a single march of any considerable distance afterward without being taken into the ambulance and being sick for days or weeks afterward. (This description was given by the regimental surgeon in testimony to support Jesse’s request for an invalid pension, so may be somewhat exaggerated.) He was discharged for promotion December 14th, 1864, in order to re-enlist as the chaplain. He was mustered out in Louisville, Ky., Aug. 14, 1865, and in later years received a pension for the stomach disability resulting from the forced march.

Following the war, he came back to Illinois and was admitted on trial as a Methodist minister in the  Olney District in 1865,  He was appointed to various Southern Illinois Conference churches in Macon, Richland, Edwards, Wayne & Fayette Counties, Illinois.  In 1878 he moved to Oak Grove, Florida, but stayed only a year. Due to his ill health he moved frequently, always hoping for a better climate.  He spent several years each in Alabama, Colorado, Louisiana, and Georgia, finally settling in Sutherland, Florida in 1902, where he had a thriving real estate business.

On August 20, 1910, the Tampa Tribune noted that Rev. J. C. Green had gone to Illinois to visit a brother and other relatives. The brother was Basil Green, of Dayton, whom he had not seen for thirty years. During the visit a party celebrating the 80th birthdays of Rebecca Green Trumbo (September 8) and Basil (September 17) was held at Basil’s house. A group picture was taken at the party and one of the thirty-eight attendees was identified as Jesse C. Green (see picture above). Not long after, Jesse was taken ill and after several weeks of ill health he died October 9 and was buried in the Dayton Cemetery.

His obituary in the Tampa Tribune highlighted his association with Southern College:
Word has been received here of the death of Rev. J. C. Green in Illinois, where he had been visiting a brother. He was perhaps one of the oldest residents of Sutherland, having moved here just before Southern College was opened. Since he has been one of the most ardent supporters of the college and has likewise been a benefactor of almost every other institution of the church. He has been a liberal contributor to every religious movement and was always foremost in promoting anything tending to the spiritual welfare of the community.

The Paltry Sum of One Dollar

last will and testament

When Elizabeth (Snyder) Trumbo died in Dayton on May 1, 1873, she had been a widow for twenty years. She had moved off the farm, into a house in Dayton where she died. Her will indicated that most of her children had been previously provided for, but she left specific bequests to four people:

To her daughter Mary Jane, wife of Isaac Green, two thousand dollars and the house in Dayton;

To her grandson Walter Trumbo, son of John Trumbo deceased, eight hundred dollars;

To her daughter-in-law Rebecca (Green) Trumbo, wife of her son Oliver, eight hundred dollars plus the residue of the estate;

To her daughter-in-law Delia, wife of her son Ahab Christopher deceased, one dollar.

As part of the duties of executor of the estate, Oliver W. Trumbo sent Delia Leith, living at Mason, Effingham County, Illinois, a one dollar bill and this receipt for her to sign –

Received Mason Ill December     th 1877 of Oliver W. Trumbo executor of Estate of Elizabeth Trumbo deceased the sum of one dollar in full of legacy bequeathed to me by the will of Elizabeth Trumbo deceased.

Please insert date when you sign the above Receipt.

The reason that I know this is because the envelope containing the unsigned receipt (and the dollar bill) was returned to the executor and appeared in the probate file along with the following note:

Mr. O. W. Trumbo.
Dear Sir
Enclosed I return your one dollar. I do not propose to sign my name to any papers of the Estate for the paltry sum of one dollar.
Yours Truly
Fidelia Leith

When I saw this file in the probate court office, in 1988, the dollar bill, crumpled and worn, was in the envelope. Unfortunately, it is no longer there.

George W. Gibson

GEORGE W. GIBSON

For three-score years George W. Gibson has made his home in LaSalle county, having come here from Ohio with his parents in 1838, and he is not only familiar with the history of the county, but has also contributed his part toward its growth and development.

Mr. Gibson was born in Marysville, Kentucky, March 22, 1826, and along the agnatic line traces his origin to Scotland. His grandfather, Robert Yates Gibson, was a Scotch army officer, and when a young man emigrated to this country and settled in Pennsylvania. In Cumberland, Pennsylvania, John Gibson, the father of George W., was born and reared. He was a soldier in the war of 1812. He married Elizabeth C. Yates, like himself a native of Pennsylvania and a descendant of Scotch ancestry. Some time after their marriage they removed to Marysville, Kentucky, where they remained for two years, going thence to Licking county, Ohio, and in 1838 coming to Illinois and establishing their home in LaSalle county, where the father purchased a farm and where he and his good wife passed the rest of their lives and died, her age at death being seventy-five years, while he attained the venerable age of eighty-six. She was for many years, and up to the time of her death, a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal church. This worthy couple reared six children, as follows: Martha, wife of C. McKinley, is deceased; Maria is the widow of James Trenary; William, who died in Eldorado, Kansas, was a veteran of both the Mexican and civil wars, being colonel of the Fourth Illinois Infantry; George W., whose name graces this sketch, is also a veteran of the Mexican war; J. M. was likewise a soldier in the Mexican war; and Theodore, also a veteran of the Mexican and civil wars, was major of the Sixty-fourth Illinois Infantry, and has for years been a resident of Ottawa, Illinois.

George W. Gibson was a lad of eleven years when his parents first sought the Illinois prairies, and was reared in the vicinity of Ottawa, attending the Ottawa schools. In 1849, in company with his brother Theodore, he started westward to seek the gold fields of California; they made the trip with ox-team and were six months on the way. En route they passed large herds of buffalo and were often in terror on account of the bands of Indians along the trail. For three years he remained in the west, engaged in mining, returning to Chicago at the end of that time and thence to his home in LaSalle county. The return trip was made by way of the Isthmus of Panama and New York city. Aside from this western mining experience, Mr. Gibson’s life has been quietly devoted to agricultural pursuits. Although now seventy-three years of age, he is still active and vigorous, both physically and mentally.

Mr. Gibson was married first in 1856, to Miss Cynthia Robinson, and to them were born two children, Lewis and Clara. Lewis married Miss Flora Ditch, and they have two children, George P. and Mabel. Mrs. Cynthia Gibson died in 1861, and for his second wife Mr. Gibson married Miss Rachel Green. There were born of this marriage two children – John and Alta, who became the wife of William Miller, of Pennsylvania, and who has one child, Gertie. Mrs. Rachel Gibson died in 1883, and in 1889 Mr. Gibson was united in marriage to Mrs. Mary Ann Poole, his present companion. She was the widow of Joseph Poole, who was a native of England, and she is the mother of five children, three sons and two daughters.

While he has never been a politician in any sense of the word, Mr. Gibson has always in local affairs given his support to the men best suited for office, while in national affairs he has voted the Democratic ticket.1

George Gibson’s second wife, Rachel, was the daughter of John Green of Dayton. She is buried in the Dayton Cemetery.


  1. Biographical and Genealogical Record of La Salle County, Illinois (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1900), 1: 281-283.

Tangled Relationships

Family_tree

Though not royal or noble, the family trees of the early settlers of Dayton bear a certain resemblance to those of the noble family above. There was a limited number of possible spouses for the young people and, as a result, many of the marriages involved familial relationships.

Among the children of John and Barbara (Grove) Green :

David Green and wife Mary Stadden were 1st cousins once removed. Mary’s grandmother, Elizabeth Green Stadden, was John Green’s sister.

Jesse Green and wife Isabella Trumbo were 1st cousins. Isabella’s mother, Rebecca Grove Trumbo, was Barbara Grove Green’s sister

Sisters Eliza, Nancy, and Katherine Green married brothers William, Albert, and George Dunavan and when their descendants grew up, there were many cousin marriages.

Rebecca Green married Oliver Trumbo, while her brother Isaac married Oliver’s sister Mary Jane.

Oliver Trumbo was also the half 1st cousin of Jesse’s wife Isabella. Isabella’s father, Matthias Trumbo, was Oliver’s half-uncle.

Rachael married George W. Gibson, who was not related to her or any of her family.

In the later generations –

Elizabeth Dunavan married Cyrus DeBolt, her 1st cousin once removed. Barbara Grove Green, Elizabeth’s grandmother, was the sister of Emma Grove Debolt, Cyrus’s mother.

Louise Dunavan married David S. Green, her 1st cousin once removed. David’s father Isaac Green, was the brother of Louise’s grandfather, John Green.

Rachael’s son John Gibson married her brother Jesse’s granddaughter Mamie Green.

No wonder I have trouble keeping everyone straight!

Cora Watts – Artist

Cora Watts - artist

Cora Belle Dunavan was born June 20, 1879, the daughter of Samuel Dunavan and Amanda Miranda Munson. She was the granddaughter of Joseph and Nancy (Green) Dunavan and the great-granddaughter of John and Barbara (Grove) Green. Her maternal grandmother was Rachel Hall, one of the sisters captured by the Indians during the Indian Creek massacre in 1832.

She married Harry Wallace Watts on October 7, 1904. They lived and farmed near Leland, until Harry’s death in 1949.

As can be seen above, Cora lived a long and productive life, dying in Ottawa May 22, 1964. She was generous with her paintings and gave them away freely. I own several. One is a copy of a picture postcard of a Bavarian castle I visited and greatly admired, but my favorite, which hangs in my living room, is a picture of the home in Dayton where I grew up.

A Father’s Consent

Dunavan, G - Green, K - marriage consent

Dayton Ill June 14th 1837
J. Cloud Esqr
            Sir I have given my Consent For you to Lisen [license] George M. Dunavan & my Daughter Katharine to be joind in motrimony
John Green

Since Katharine Green was only 15 when she married George Dunavan, her father sent this note of consent to Joseph Cloud, county clerk. The following day Katharine and George were married.

Dunavan, G - Green, K - marriage certificate

State of Illinois
La Salle County
This may certify that the rites of matrimony were this day solemnized between Geo. M. Dunavan and Katharine Green, both of said county, by me the Subscriber, One of the acting Justices of the Peace in and for the county aforesaid.
Witness my hand & Seal this 15th day of June A D 1837.
Geo W Howe, JP

Mr. & Mrs. Moab Trumbo

Moab Trumbo

Moab Trumbo

Rebecca Kagy Trumbo

Rebecca Kagy Trumbo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Society Notes

Mr. and Mrs. Moab Trumbo, two of Ottawa’s most venerable and highly respected old people, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary last Tuesday in a most inconspicuous manner. The day was passed without any celebration to mark the event. This was due to the recent bereavement visited upon the aged celebrants in the death of their son, the late Sheriff Frank Trumbo. Despite their desire to pass the day quietly, many neighbors called informally to pay their respects and many beautiful bouquets were sent Mr. and Mrs. Trumbo. Mr. Trumbo is eighty-two years of age and his wife is seventy-six. Both enjoy the best of health and chances are bright for them to add several more years to their long and happy marital career. Moab P. Trumbo and Rebecca Kagy were united in marriage in Rutland township, February 27, 1862. Shortly after their marriage they moved to Dayton, where they resided up to the time of their coming to Ottawa to live, a few years ago. Mrs. E. F. Bradford, wife of the present mayor, is the only surviving child.


  1. The Ottawa Free Trader, 8 Mar 1912, p8, col 2

Mathias Trumbo – 1812 Veteran

 

Mathias Trumbo was the husband of Rebecca Grove, sister of Barbara Grove Green. He came to La Salle county in the second wave of immigrants from Licking county, Ohio, in 1830.

Mr. Trumbo came to this county in 1830, locating in Mission township, now known as Rutland township. Much of the land was still in its primitive condition and he took up a claim from the government, being one of the first settlers in this part of the county. Not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made upon his farm and he at once began its cultivation, his labors resulting in transforming the tract into richly productive fields. His ancestors were of German birth, although the family was founded in America in early colonial days. Mathias Trumbo served his country as a soldier in the war of 1812, enlisting in Rockingham county, Virginia, which was his native country. After coming to La Salle county he gave his attention to general agricultural pursuits in Rutland township for many years and there resided until his death, which occurred November 20, 1875, when he was eighty-eight years of age, his birth having occurred on the 23rd of July, 1787. His wife bore the maiden name of Rebecca Grove and was also a native of Virginia. She removed to Ohio, where she was reared from the age of ten years and there she remained until her marriage. She, too, spent her last days in Rutland township, La Salle county, passing away in 1865, at the age of seventy-one years. In the family of this worthy couple were eight children, of whom five are now living: John, who was born in 1819, died in 1841. Lavina, born in 1820, married West Matlock, and lived near Yorkville, Kendall county, Illinois. Isabella, born in 1822, became the wife of Jesse Green, who resides in Ottawa, but her death occurred in 1854. Eliza, born in 1826, died in 1904. Elias, her twin brother, is still living in La Salle county. Barbara, born in 1829, is Mrs. Jackson. Elizabeth, born in 1833, is now Mrs. Strawn, a widow living in Ottawa. Elma Anna, born in 1838, is the widow of L. C. Robinson and resides with her sister, Mrs. Jackson, in Ottawa.1


  1. U. J. Hoffman, History of LaSalle County, Illinois (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1906), 295-6.

Dam Across Fox River at Dayton

Dam across Fox River at Dayton

The back of this stereoscopic view of the Dayton dam lists a number of other views taken by William E. Bowman, Ottawa photographer. Although (as seen below) he dealt with historic scenes and famous people, he also took many photos of local people and places.

Ottawa’s old time photographer, W. E. Bowman, is now leading a retired life near Los Angeles, Cal. His gallery became famous for his historic faces and scenes. Thousands of eminent men and women have been before his camera, including Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and other Presidents of the United States. He served as postmaster of Ottawa from 1882 to 1886. He was alderman in 1875-6, was the first secretary of the Riverside Driving Park Association, was trustee of the Academy of Natural Sciences, president of the District Union, which was composed of fifty temperance reform clubs, vice-president of the National Photographers’ association, president of the Memorial association, and generally active in all public affairs. Mr. Bowman was born April 28, 1834, at Huntington, Pa., coming to Illinois in 1837, and locating in Boone county. He came to Ottawa in 1865 and resided here until 1910.1

Back of stereo card


1. Ottawa: Old and New (Ottawa, The Republican Times, 1914), 129

The Will of Margaret Wagy Pitzer

In 1870, Margaret Pitzer, widow of Anthony Pitzer, died at the home of Oliver Trumbo. This is truly a death bed will, as she died on the following day.

I, Margaret Pitzer of the town of Dayton in the County of La Salle and State of Illinois, make this my last Will. My property consists of Notes of hand, which I wish to give and bequeath as follows, that is to say,

1st It is my will and desire that all legal and Equitable demands against my Estate Shall first be paid, which will consist in part, My Doctor Bill, Funeral Expenses, and my board bill and Expenses incurred while at the house of Oliver W. Trumbo of Dayton La Salle County Illinois. I particularly desire that a liberal compensation be paid to the said Oliver W. Trumbo as my disease has been one of no ordinary Character.

2nd I give and bequesth unto my sister Mrs. Elizabeth Davis, of Crawford County Illinois Two Hundred (200.00) Dollars.

3rd I give and bequeath unto my brother John Wagy of Kirkusville Licking County Ohio Three Hundred (300.00) Dollars.

4th I give and bequeath  unto my sister Martha Harris of Quincy Illinois Two Hundred (200.00) Dollars.

5th I give and bequeath unto my nephew William Wagy of Stones Prairie Illinois his Note and Interest, which is in my hands, and amounts to about THree Hundred (300.00) Dollars.

6th I give and bequeath unto Miss Eliza Gross my Neices Daughter, now about seven years old, and lives with Henry Wagy of Adams County Illinois, Eighty (80.00) Dollars in Gold, with interest, when she shall arrive at Eighteen years of age.

7th I hold a Note of hand against Jacob Pitzer of about Three (300.00) Hundred Dollars, which I wish to have divided Equally between the said Jacob Pitzer of Grundy County Illinois, and William Pitzer of Rutland La Salle County Illinois.

8th I give and bequeath unto my nephew Joshua Wagy of Springfield Illinois, Three Hundred (300.00) Dollars.

9th Should there be anything remaining after paying Expenses of settling up my Estate, I desire that one half of the Balance shall be given towards the Erection of a Methodist Church now in contemplation and to be located near the residence of William L. Dunavan in the Town of Rutland in the county of La Salle and State of Illinois, And the remaining one half to be given towards the Erection of a House of Public Worship, to be located in the Village of Dayton La Salle County Illinois.

I appoint Jesse Green of the Town of Dayton La Salle County Illinois as the Executor of this my Will.

In witness whereof I have signed and sealed and published and declared this instrument as my will, at Dayton on this sixth day of April A. D. 1870.

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Margaret X Pitzer     {{Seal}}
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Eliza Gross, seven years old in 1870, was to receive her inheritance in 1881, when she turned 18. In 1879 she married John W. Lanier, but unfortunately she died on the 20th of January 1880. Her husband made a claim on the estate and was awarded his wife’s share anyway.

Death of an Old Settler

William Pitzer tombstone

photo credit: Everett Ross, La Salle County Genealogy Guild

Wm. Pitzer, one of the earliest settlers of the county, died at his home in the town of Rutland on Friday of last week. We are not advised as to his age, but it must have been in the vicinity of the eighties. He was one of those sturdy, staunch, big and pure hearted men that make one think sometimes the early pioneers of this region belonged to a superior race. He had been a subscriber to the Free Trader from its first issue, in May 1840, and never failed to pay for it annually in advance – a fact which illustrates his scrupulously correct habits not only in business matters, but in all relations of life. His funeral took place on Sunday, the services being held at the Barnes school house, the Rev. A. White, of Sheridan, officiating, and notwithstanding the severe weather, was very largely attended.1

RUTLAND TOWNSHIP
PITZER WM. Farmer; Sec. 14; P.O. Ottawa; born in Licking Co., Ohio, Sept. 23, 1809; came to this Co. in 1831; Democrat; Methodist; owns 200 acres land, val. $15,000; married May 26, 1831, to Sarah Kite, of Licking Co., Ohio; she was born April 16, 1810; seven children, four sons and three daughters; was Justice of Peace for ten years, and has held various offices of trust in the place.2

William (Billy) Pitzer was the son of Richard Pitzer and Anna Green, a sister of John Green. Richard Pitzer died in 1819 and Anna, with her large family, came to La Salle County in 1831.


  1. The Free Trader, January 26, 1884
  2. Past and Present of La Salle County, Illinois (Chicago: H. F. Kett & Co., 1877), 508.

An Ottawa Tombstone in Colorado

The following article appeared in the Ottawa Daily Times. 7 Jun 1978, p.28

Story of Basil Green and his family begins in LaSalle County
By Joan Hustis

Dorothy Masters of suburban Chicago is a distant relative of Basil Green, the man who buried three children in Central City, Colo., in 1869.

Green died in 1911 and is buried in the family cemetery in Dayton. Although he has no direct descendants in this area, there are still several distant cousins who live in and near Ottawa.

Elmer Williams of Ottawa came across the tombstone earlier this spring when visiting near Central City. Elmer could find nothing on the Green family, but he took several photographs of the tombstone and loaned them to this column for reprint. The tombstone was engraved “Johnnie, Kittie and Charlie. 1869. Basil Green, Ottawa, Ill.”

Miss Masters is the Green family historian. She was in Dayton over the Memorial Day weekend, visiting with her cousin, Grace Clifford, and read the article on the Central City tombstone. She has old family diaries and also a narrative written by Basil Green in 1910, a year before he died. She loaned the narrative for reprint.

Basil Green was born in 1830 in Licking County, Ohio, and was married in Crawford County, Ill., in 1859. He may have been a freight hauler or a wagon master for he made several trips to California and back during the days of the gold rush. He lost a leg, something Miss Masters called a traumatic experience, but no mention of the incident is made in his narrative.

On one of his trips west Basil Green lost two of his children, but the narrative says nothing of their ages or why they died. He came back to Dayton later and placed an order with a Central City firm to lay a tombstone on the grave.

Miss Masters said Charles and Catherine, the “Charlie” and “Kittie” on the tombstone were Basil Green’s children. The “Johnnie” was not his child. This child was apparently buried with the Green children, but no mention is made in the narrative as to the reason why nor is the other child identified by any other than the first name on the tombstone.

Basil Green had three children when he was in Colorado. The third one survived. When Green returned to Dayton, he became the father of six more children, according to Miss Masters.

Green’s narrative is eight typewritten pages, all single spaced. Portions of this narrative are as follows through the courtesy of Miss Masters.

[The compete narrative may be found here.]

Reception and Matinee Musical

Mabel Greene musical reception

Mrs. T. Henry Greene of 55 North avenue will give a reception and matinee musical Monday afternoon, Oct. 26 at the Plaza hotel in honor of her daughter, Miss Mabel Velette Greene. The musical program will be presented by Miss Jessie Armager Power, canteuse, who will give a group of colonial cantiliations in costume, with Walter Brauer, ‘cellist, and Mrs. Perry J. Power at the piano. Miss Power will also present dramatic sketches, and Mr. Brauer will play a group of ‘cello solos representing Chopin, Popper, and Cui. Miss Mabel Velette Greene will offer two groups of songs, and Miss Grace Grove will play a piano solo, also supplying the accompaniments.1

Mabel Greene was the daughter of Harry Green, the granddaughter of Jesse Green, and the great-granddaughter of John Green, all of Dayton.


  1. Chicago Tribune, 22 Oct 1914, p 11, col 1

Trumbo – Hosford Agreement

Trumbo-Hosford Agreement

 

Jacob Trumbo arrived in La Salle County in 1853 with his wife Elizabeth and five sons, Oliver, Moab, John, Mathias, and Christopher. He purchased 160 acres of land, complete with house, from Abram Hosford. Because it was the middle of the growing season, arrangements had to be made to share the crops and produce equitably between the buyer and the seller.

Ottawa June 7th 1853
This article of agreement witnesseth that whereas Jacob Trumbo has this day purchased of Abram P Hosford the Northeast Quarter of Section No twelve in Town Thirty four North of Range No Three east of the Third Principal Meridian.  Now the said parties agree to the following conditions Viz  The said Trumbo is to have the entire crops now growing on the premises except a portion of the winter wheat to which Edward Bagley is entitled Viz  2/3 of twenty acres,  also except 1/2 of the garden sauce & roots and also 1/2 of a small piece of beans and sweet corn in orchard  also excepting the whole of a small piece of Osage orange now just planted in the orchard.

The said Trumbo is to furnish the same help at thrashing the wheat which E Bagley raises, as the said Hosford has agreed to  Viz  one hand  The said Trumbo is to have the North half of the division fence between the N East & N West quarter of section above named and the said Hosford the South half including rail fence and Osage Orange hedge

The said Trumbo is to have the possession of the cultivated land forthwith;  of the pasture land and three rooms in the house on the first day of July next and of the horse stable at the same time.  Also of three piles of wood now in wood shed and on or before the first day of August next the said Hosford agrees to give to the said Trumbo the entire possession of the premises except store room for some part of the corn now on the premises the whole of which the said Hosford agrees to have removed before the first of October next  Also the said Trumbo agrees to pay the taxes to become due next winter on the above premises.

Abram P Hosford                                                                                                                                            Jacob Trumbo

Unfortunately, Jacob was not to enjoy his property for long. He died on November 10th, just 5 months later. His widow and sons remained on the farm for many years.