Funeral services for Mrs. Barbara T. Jackson will be held at the home of L. A. Green in Dayton at 1 o’clock tomorrow afternoon, conducted by Rev. Hugh MacKenzie, pastor of the Congregational church. Interment will be in the family burying lot in Millington cemetery.
The death of Mrs. Jackson marks the passing of another of the county’s pioneers. She came to La Salle county with her parents from Ohio, where she was born almost a century ago. She knew La Salle county when Ottawa was only a settlement in a wilderness, long before the day of the railroads or the canal.
Mrs. Jackson was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mathias Trumbo, who came to La Salle county when there were less than a dozen houses in Ottawa, and who shortly afterwards went to Dayton, four miles northeast of Ottawa to reside.
The pall bearers at tomorrow’s funeral will be L. A. Green, Roy Grove, Frank Brown, Elias Trumbo, Glenn Matlock and Benton Harris.
Mrs. Jackson died at 11:15 yesterday morning.
[Barbara Jackson died February 21, 1927. Her obituary appeared the following day in one of the Ottawa newspapers.]
Dayton Cemetery Association holds its annual meeting on Memorial Day weekend and there is always a historical program following the meeting. On May 27, 1973, Ruth Brown Baker presented the following information on the Dunnavan family.
As broad as the United States is wide, so the Family Tree of Samuel Dunnavan spreads its branches from the Atlantic to the Pacific, covering the quick and the dead, the old and the young who have struggled or are striving to survive in an ever changing world.
Colonel (or Captain, there seems to be some discrepancy in the records) Samuel Dunnavan was born in the year 1780, probably in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. No definite information has yet been found regarding his parents.
On December 22, 1807, he was married to Elizabeth Lair, daughter of Persis and Joseph Lair. This marriage was solemnized in the Parish and County of Rockingham, Virginia. It is supposed that they moved to Licking County, Ohio, the following year and there they resided on a farm which they owned in Newton Township. Elizabeth and Samuel were parents of three sons, – Joseph Albert, William, and George Milton.
Samuel served in Williamson’s Ohio Militia during the Was of 1812 and returned home in a poor state of health. He died on June 22, 1816 at the age of 36 and is buried in the Evans Cemetery near St Louisville, Ohio. In the research notes of the late David Dunnavan he remarked that “To have attained a Colonelcy at such an early age bespeaks unusual qualities of leadership which might have carried him far had he been permitted to live.”
Some time later Elizabeth Dunnavan married David Letts, a widower with one daughter, Rhoda Ann. In 1830 they and their family joined the westward trek of pioneers to Illinois. Theirs may have been a rather sizable group by that time since it included some of all of the five children born to their marriage as well as her three sons and his daughter.
Their first years in La Salle County were spent in Eden Township near Cedar Point. Living conditions were primitive in those days with furniture consisting of three and four legged stools and tables all made of split timber. Records tell us the winter of 1830-31 was “remarkable for its severity, snow fell to a depth of three feet, drifting to stop all travel. Potatoes, hominy and wild honey were the rations of the settlers.”
David Letts became a very prominent citizen of La Salle County. He was the School Commissioner, a Judge, the first Road Commissioner authorizing the building of the first road from Ottawa east to the State line and the first Precinct election was held at his house. He kept store in Dayton and Ottawa. His fine character, no doubt, had a lasting influence on the lives of his family. He died in Lettsville, Louisa County, Iowa, in 1852.
Since I am mainly interested in George Milton Dunnavan, my great grandfather, I will leave the stories of the rest of the family for someone else to write.
George’s mother died in 1835 and is buried in the Dayton cemetery. In that year he settled on a farm which eventually encompassed over five hundred acres on Buck Creek Timber in Dayton Township. Following his brothers’ examples, George, too, married a daughter of John and Barbara Grove Green. He and Katherine Green were married on June 15, 1837. Their first child, Milton, was born June 24, 1838 but he lived less than three years. The mortality rate for small children was so high it is probably remarkable that they raised ten of their fourteen children.
Early in the year 1849, when Lucien, their sixth child, was about a year old, the “Gold Fever” hit George. This quotation I read recently in a Reader’s Digest book seems to describe it best. “The most important contribution to the opening up of the West was the discovery of gold in California. The rumor and the fact of gold had the effect of almost literally lifting men up out of their chairs, out of their homes, to leave their farms, their jobs, and families behind for the dangers and hardships of the Gold Rush.”
We are fortunate to have some of the letters written by George Dunnavan to his wife Katherine while enroute and after arriving in California. While we do not know exactly when the trip took place or with whom he traveled, one La Salle County History book describes the trip of A. F. Dunnavan, a nephew, as “being of six months on the road, going with eight teams and six yoke of oxen and cows and working in the gold mine in a place called Volcano.” They must have left home in the spring of 1849 since they arrived there before Christmas.
Although George left when the excitement caught him up along with the rest, he may have had second thoughts about it after he was on the road. With sickness, death, rainy weather and drought to contend with, the glamour of the adventure wore off quickly. He was concerned about his wife and family and good to write to them. His second letter written enroute ended with the admonition to “write to the boy.” Do you suppose he was getting a little homesick even before he crossed the Missouri?
In December of that year, news, written on July 6th, reached George in California. He was about to become a father again. In reply he wrote “I shall now wait with no little anxiety for the letter that will bring me the happy news of your good health after December. I shall be glad to see the little prize. I am sorry I can not be with you in such times but we are a great distance apart I hope the kind providence will protect you. Had I known the situation you were in the gold fever mite have raged for all me I should not have left.” He had the desire to send her some money but there was no way. Since George had heard from Esp. Pitzer that the baby had red hair he wrote “If the baby had red hair don’t name him George.” I guess she did anyway. He only lived about two years but I think that was long enough for his father to get home to see him.
George planned to return home in September of 1850because he was getting tired of the hard way of living and provisions were so high that he had to make money fast to save any. In October he still had not started because the cholera was so bad en route and he thought it advisable to stay in the mountains a few months more. He had opened a little store i Volcano and was hauling goods up there from Sacramento City. His Feb. 1851 letter set a departure date of the first of March. They had been making too much money lately to leave any sooner and he was hoping to hear how the Greens got along on their way home before he started. This might determine the route they would take.
We really don’t know whether he came back a wealthy man or not. He did have some of the gold he mined made into plain gold bands for his daughters and he is known to have sported a gold headed cane. Any wealth he may have had was later lost in the grain market, I have heard. However he did leave a heritage in his family of children.
Silas, born in 1840, was the oldest one left behind when his father went west. He must have inherited some of his father’s pioneering spirit. He is known to have traveled to Alaska and South America as well as mined in Butte, Montana. Frank, Charles, Silas, Ella Belle and Cora all went to the Butte-Walkerville area where they are listed in the city directories of the 1890’s. The men worked in the Alice copper mine and Cora taught school. She was married at one time to James Mc Fadyen and had one daughter who married and moved to Ashland, Oregon. Frank and Belle later moved out there to live with her. Katherine Dunnavan, after she was widowed, also lived in Butte during part of that decade.
Daughter Louisa married David, son of Isaac, and they had four sons. Their home was in Colorado.
Daughter Emma, my grandmother, married Andrew J. Brown. They had two daughter and three sons of which my father was the youngest. He (Walter Dunnavan Brown) now has 27 descendants as represented by my family and those of my sisters, Ethel Holmes and Helen Pottenger.
Mary E. Dunnavan married Rev. John Edmonson. They had four daughters, two of them married and each had four daughters. The Davenport girls are from one of these families.
Lucien and Edwin Dunnavan were the only sons to marry and have sons to carry on the family name. Lucien lived in Central City, Colorado.
Edwin Dunnavan had two daughters and one son and raised his family in Seattle, Washington.
George and Katherine Dunnavan were buried in un-marked graves in the Dayton Cemetery, he at the age of 79 and she at the age of 77. They were from sturdy American stock and while their way of living seemed rugged and full of danger, they lived in an era of many changes. One Judge, speaking at an Old Settler’s Picnic in 1869 remarked that “these past thirty or forty years will forever remain more memorable in the history of the whole world than will any equal period that has ever preceded it. Our progress during these forty years which would have been an incredible miracle a hundred years ago is only an illustrious and magnificent fact today.” Strangely enough, we can make the same remark today, a hundred years later, with just as much feeling.
As a follow-up to last weeks post, here is another letter the sisters sent to their brother in California. This one, written May 28, 1850, shows how badly they missed the adventurers.
My dear Brother
We received Father’s and Jesse’s letters. Father’s was written the 13th of March and Jesse’s the 4th. The first that we have heard from you since the last of December. We got them day before yesterday, It was the happiest day that we have had since you are gone. We have heard so many reports this spring so did not think we could have such good news. It was all good but one thing. Oh, Joseph, do give that up. Father wrote that you talked of staying and going round the oceans but if you do think of any such thing do come home first and then there will be time enough to travel all round the world and when you go I want to go with you. It would kill us to hear you have gone so much farther before you would come home. Do all come home together. Next fall we are going to look for you the last of October. Father wrote you would start the first of September he thought. We all feel happy now but Eliza she did not get a letter from William and not one of them mentioned him. When you write again be sure and tell us where he is. Uncle trumbo got a letter from Elisha how he said he had seen Dunavan in San Francisco but did not say when. David, Isabella, Nancy, Catherine and Mrs. Goodrich all got letters the 15th of this month. We all rejoiced with Mrs. Goodrich. We had heard that he was dead. She never expected to hear from him again. Now she says she is perfectly happy. We had a letter from Martha a few days ago. She said they had heard that Uncle William was going to appoint an agent to go in his place and he would come home but nothing certain.
We are all well. The friends are all [well]. There has been a good many deaths around this winter but none amongst our relatives. I think we are among the favored few. We have all enjoyed good health since you left. I will close and [give] Rebecca a chance. Give my love to all enquiring friends. Father, Jesse and yourself in particular. Your loving sister,
Dear Bro Joseph
I write you again feeling much better than when I wrote last Sunday from having such good news. For it was certainly much better than we had reason to hope for from the fact of our not hearing from you for 4 months and a half and the hearing of deaths in all letters received in Ottawa. Since you must know that our minds were ill at ease until we heard from you again but we now feel much relieved. Mrs. Goodrich in particular. She had no hope of ever seeing him from what Jesse had written to Richard Stadden. He told them not to let her hear of it but such things will leak out you know. We have a very good news carrier – Stickly stoped to hear our letters read and then reports accordingly.
Joseph you don’t know how we feel that you don’t get letters from us. We write once in 2 weeks without fail and very often once a week. If you don’t get them I beg of you not to lay the blame on us. David writes to you all and Rachel, Isaac and me write to you particularly every few weeks at farthest. It appears strange what the cause can be of your not receiving when the others do. But we will be particular and send them together hereafter. See if that will make any difference. We write so often that we many times send one at a time. We receive yours very irregular. Mrs. Snelling got hers of the same date some two or three days before we did and sometimes we receive one from one of you the middle of the month and another by the same steamer the middle of the next month so you see they are very uncertain but Joseph, do write often. You certainly know how much more good it would do us when we receive letters to get from you all. Elias Trumbo, Jonathan Stadden and Tom Jenkins write to you regularly, besides many others.
I do hope you will abandon the idea of going the journey Father speaks of till you come home first. Then we will give our consent for you to go see China and all the curiosities of the world if you promise not to be gone more than a year at a time.
We stood it pretty well till the first year you were gone but now time goes slowly. Folks told us after you started that our anxiety would soon wear off – it would get to be an old thing but, believe me instead of wearing off it increases daily. I know if you want to see us as bad as we want to see you you will not think of anything but coming home the quickest possible way. I hope you will find all the gold you want in the stream that you were turning till you are ready to start for home. Don’t too much. For we have considerable here – none of it wasted since you left. David does very good business both in the factory and mill and the farm is all let to good tenants. Daddy Hite still lives here. He is now hunting a farm but is rather hard to please. He has been around considerable but has now concluded to buy near here as he can find nothing to please him better. His money troubles him more, I expect, than your gold does among theives. He wants to get rid of it as soon as possible which I think is a good plan as I should hate to be in hot water as he is all the time.
You may think me particular in writing nonsense but I write so often that I can’t always talk sense. I would be glad to get a little nonsense from you once in a while and think probably you will from me if I have nothing else to write. If you were here a while I would have enough to say no doubt but writing is different. I must close by giving my love to all. Mother sends her love to you and says you must not think of staying longer than the rest. She don’t want to see any till she sees you all. So, Joseph, I again beg of you to come with them and travel after you have made us a long visit.
Rachel and me have our miniatures, very natural, I would like to send them to you but can’t very well. We take a great deal of comfort looking at yours. My love to all from your loving sister,
Rachael and Rebecca were daughters of John and Barbara (Grove) Green. Rachael was born in 1826 in Licking County, Ohio and came to Illinois with her family in 1829. Rebecca was born in 1830 in Rutland township, La Salle County, Illinois.
Their three older sisters were all married by 1837, so Rachael, then age 11, and her sister Rebecca, age 7, helped care for their younger brothers, Joseph, and Isaac, at age 4 the baby of the family. We know some of the events that took place in Dayton during the absence of the men in California in 1849-1850 because Rachael and Rebecca wrote to their father and brothers.
Christ Stickley is postmaster now. he come hollering there is california letters before daylight. we was glad to get a specimen of the gold. it has to be showed to a great many as all are anxious too see what it was that took you away from your friends. Elias Trumbo Jonathan and Tom all got your letter to them with the gold in it.
we have had some ferstrate sleighing this winter and have improved it pretty well but we miss you every where. we have cotillion parties at our house every saturday night performance commences at six oclock and quits at ten we have verry pleasant parties there is some very nice smart folks living over in fords house they attend the parties Hites Boys have got to be good dancers Ben Hite lives with us this winter. Rachael
Letter to Joseph Green, dated January 1, 1850, transcription in possession of Candace Wilmot
I am going to school this winter to pass time as much as any thing else. we have a very good school. I have not time to write much I have just got home from school and the mail will go out in a few minutes. I see Rachel has been praising Ben Hite up at a great rate. they are very gracious. he is living with us this winter doing chores and working for himself
O Joseph if you could only be here next saturday night we have first rate cotillion parties. last saturday evening we had three musician’s and first rate music (and some pretty good dancing) but o how we miss you at them. do hurry and satisfy yourself and come back to gladden our hearts. dont be too hard to satisfy either for it is to hard for near and dear friends to be seperated for gold or anything else aint it. Joseph I must close by giving my love to all yourself in particular Mother sends her love to you all and says write often and make haste and return so good bye Rebecca
In 1854, Rebecca married Oliver Walcott Trumbo, and they had two daughters, Jessie and Frankie Rae. Frankie died of malarial fever at the age of seven. Jessie married Walcott Van Etten and they had three sons, Claire, Walcott, and Frank.
Rachael remained at home caring for her parents until, in 1863, at the age of 37, Rachael married George W. Gibson. He was a widower with 2 small children. He and Rachael had 2 children, John and Alta.
On September 24, 1857, Noah Brunk married Amanda Elizabeth Parr. Or was it Elizabeth Amanda Parr?
This form reads as follows: Noah Brunk Being duly Sworn Deposes and says he is engaged to be married to Miss Elizabeth Amanda F Parr that the said Amanda Elizabeth is under the age of Eighteen Years, and that he is above the age of Twenty-one Years. that he [has] the consent of the parents of said Amanda for her marriage with him at this time. [signed] Noah Brunk
The form was initially written for Amanda Parr. Perhaps she was always referred to as Amanda, but she pointed out, for the record, that her first name was Elizabeth. In 1850, at age 9, she was listed in the Thomas Parr family in the census as Elizabeth A. It appears that for official records her name was Elizabeth, but that she was always called Amanda. Her obituary listed her as Amanda E. (Parr) Brunk.
Noah Brunk was born in Rockingham County, Virginia on December 14, 1828. He came to La Salle County in 1855, and settled on a farm in the north part of Dayton Township. He married Elizabeth/Amanda Parr in 1857. They had six children: three died in infancy; one, Ida Bell, died at the age of 5 and is buried in the Dayton cemetery; a son, Thomas Lafayette; and a daughter Cora Bell, who married William D. Hedrick.
Noah Brunk served a term as Dayton Road Commissioner and as Dayton Township Treasurer. He was also a Director of the Fox River Horse Collar Manufacturing Company of Dayton. He spent a few years around 1900 in Austell, Georgia, and then they moved to Peabody, Kansas, to be near their daughter, who lived in Wichita. He died there December 31, 1908. His wife continued to live in Peabody until she died there March 14, 1921.
SORROW IN WAKE OF FRANK TRUMBO DEATH COMMUNITY SHOCKED BY DEMISE OF PROMINENT MAN END CAME TUESDAY NIGHT1
Ex-Sheriff, Leading Politician and One of County’s Best Known Farmers and Citizens’ Goes to Reward
B. Frank Trumbo, one of La Salle county’s most prominent figures, passed away at 10 o’clock Tuesday night at his home, six miles north of Ottawa. Death was caused by valvular heart trouble, with which Mr. Trumbo had been ailing for a few weeks past.
When his health began failing him the deceased entered the Presbyterian hospital in Chicago, where he underwent treatment until last Friday. He was removed to his home benefitted only slightly. Sunday and Monday he showed little improvement and Tuesday the change for the worse came. Late in the afternoon it was known that it was only a matter of hours and the relatives gathered at the bedside, where they remained to the end.
Word of Mr. Trumbo’s death spread throughout the city leaving utterances of sorrow and regret no matter where the sad tidings traveled. Few men attained the success of the deceased ex-sheriff. He was a Democrat in his political views, but at no time did he permit politics or the glory of victory to interfere with friendship. Friends he had by the host and it was his loyalty to those he knew that made him such a popular favorite throughout the county.
On the farm, in the city, campaigning, in office or wherever business called him he was just Frank Trumbo. For the past few years he had been aware of the condition that would ultimately terminate in death. He maintained the genial and jovial nature that made him such a popular favorite in this vicinity, even against these odds.
In 1902 he was elected sheriff when large Republican majorities were the vogue. He conducted his office in the same manner he had his private business. Few officials left a record that could even be compared with his. Honesty and integrity were by-words with him and a close adherence to duty and his obligation toward the people, brought him into public favor from the start.
He was born November 25, 1862, on the Trumbo homestead in Dayton township. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Moab P. Trumbo, of Jackson street, this city; old pioneer residents of the county. Mr. Trumbo’s ancestry traces back to the seventeenth century when great-grandfathers located in Virginia.
Educated in the public schools and later taking a course in business college, Mr. Trumbo followed farming as his principal vocation. He placed the land under a high state of cultivation, adding all the modern improvements. In all of his work he had been practical and energetic, displaying perseverance and keen discrimination that won him results, establishing him in a position among the leading agriculturists of the county.
Surviving he leaves his sorrowing wife and two daughters, Helena and Josephine. He also leaves his aged parents and one sister, Mrs. Ed. F. Bradford, of this city. The deceased was a member of Occidental lodge No. 40, A. F. & A. M., Shabbona Chapter R. A. M., Ottawa Commandery No. 10, Knights Templar and Ottawa Lodge No. 588, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
The funeral was held from the home Friday morning at 10 o’clock. Interment was in the Ottawa Avenue cemetery, where Ottawa Commandery No, 10, Knights Templar, took charge of the services.
Married – At Dayton, in this county, on the 31st inst. (New Year’s Eve) by the Rev. David Newton, Mr. John Stadden to Miss Ann Maria Miller, both of Dayton.
Accompanying the above notice, was that which always gladdens the poor printer’s heart – a bountiful supply of Miller’s workmanship, in the shape of delicious wedding cake. The happy couple have our best wishes for their future happiness, hoping that the evening of their days will be as pleasant as the first dawn of 1841 met them agreeable and happy.1
They stayed in Illinois long enough to have two children, but about 1846 they moved to Texas, where they lived out their lives and had several more children.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.]
Earl, May 29th,  to Alex. Alcorn and Wife, a son. [This is Asa, died 1885.]2
On May 2nd,  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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Biographical and Genealogical Record of La Salle County, Illinois (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1900), 1: 281-283.
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 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.
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
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.
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