Thursday, March 29, 2012

John McKinny as Presented in The Centennial History of the Town of Springdale, Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948

Over the past few months, I have been posting articles from the Centennial History of the Town of Springdale,  Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948.  Sometimes these articles are about my McPherson family, but many times not.    Nevertheless, I continue to  hope that these stories will bring forth more contacts, family, friends and history of my McPhersons and the town of Springdale,  and to, perhaps, provide a link for those who had family in Springdale during those early years in Springdale.

In the 1860 Federal Census of the township of Springdale,Wisconsin, the John McKinney family is listed as follows:  John McKinne, 48, M, farmer; Sarah A, 41, F; Rosane, 17, F; Mary, 14, F; Elizabeth, 11, F; Sarah, 8, F; John, 1/12, M. All were born in Ireland, except for John who was born in Wisconsin.

The 1870 Federal Census for Springdale, lists the McKinney household as follows; John McKinney, 57, M, W, Farmer,with real estate valued at $3500 and personal estate at $880; Sarah A., 57, F, W, Keeping House; Annie McKinney, 24, F, W, Domestic Servant (perhaps this is Rosanne, and she worked outside the family home); Sarah J., 16, F, W, School Teacher: John A., 10, M, W.  The parents are listed as born in Ireland;  Annie, in Pennslvania; and Sarah and John A., in Wisconsin.  The household also included a farm laborer, James Scott, 26, from Nova Scotia, his wife Mary, 27, born in Pennsylvania, and their daughter Sarah J., 4, born in Wisconsin.  There is also a Domestic Servant, Elizabeth Herman, 21, born in Pennsylvania.

The 1880 Federal Census for Springdale, list John, 70, widower, farmer, and children, Sarah, 27, and John A., 19.

John McKinney
as presented on page 136,
Centennial History of the Town of Springdale
Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948


John McKinney, a native of Ireland came to Springdale in 1854 and located in Section 8.  He was married to Sarah A. Arnold in 1842.  They had eight children.  Mrs. McKinney passed away in 1878.
~ ~ ~

© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Andrew Peterson as Presented in The Centennial History of the Town of Springdale, Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948

Over the past few months, I have been posting articles from the Centennial History of the Town of Springdale,  Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948.  Sometimes these articles are about my McPherson family, but many times not.    Nevertheless, I continue to  hope that these stories will bring forth more contacts, family, friends and history of my McPhersons and the town of Springdale,  and to, perhaps, provide a link for those who had family in Springdale during those early years in Springdale.

In the 1870 Federal Census, Springdale Township, the Peterson family were listed as Andrew Pedersen,43, M, W, Blacksmith; Amanda Pederson, 44, F, W, Keeping house, 44; Andrea, 14, F,W, At home; Maria, 11, F. W, At home; Paulina, 9, F, W; Gina, 7, F, W; Peder. 4. M, W.  All were listed as born in Norway.  By the 1880 Federal Census, Springdale, the family was listed under Andrew Peterson.  The only children listed in the home were Paulina, 19, and Peter, 14.  By 1905, the Wisconsin State Census of  Springdale lists Amanda, 77, as a widow, and living with her son Peter, 39, his wife Annie, 33, and their two children Myra, 8, and Harry, 6.



Andrew Peterson
as presented on page 136,
Centennial History of the Town of Springdale
Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948

Andrew Peterson came to the township of Springdale in 1863.  He was born in Norway where he learned and worked at the blacksmith trade for twenty years.  He married Amanda Anderson in Norway in 1856.  They had five children.  He bought a dwelling and blacksmith shop including six lots right in the middle of the village of Mt. Vernon.


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© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Monday, March 26, 2012

WDYTYA. WTCU, and Old Mac's Sons of Temperance

James Peter McPherson
Madison, Wis., c. 1860
Last Friday night I watched the Who Do You Think You Are's (WDYTYA) segment on Helen Hunt. The bit about Helen Hunt's grandmother's role in the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) brought back memories of my own feelings when I learned that my great-great grandfather was a card carrying member of the Sons of Temperance, Caledonia Division, New York City. My response was quite similar to that of Helen Hunt, with images of prudish, holier-than-thou types haunting the bars and pubs with their pamphlets and preaching. However this view did not resonate with what I knew of my great-great-grandfather James Peter McPherson, so then the historian/researcher in me took over.

Mary Burns McPherson
Madison, Wis., c. 1860
James Peter McPherson and his wife Mary Burns McPherson were married, according to his diary, July 16, 1842, the day they set sail for a new life in America. He was twenty-six years of age, and she, twenty-two, and both had worked in the flax mills of Dundee, Angus, Scotland. Unfortunately he did not keep a diary of those New York City days (August 1842 through April, 1850) or perhaps, he did and it was lost lost. So not much is known about those early days in New York City. The bits and pieces of their lives during those eight years included: the birth of four children, three boys and a girl; James P. worked as a tailor; and he was a member of the Sons of Temperance, Caledonia Division #31.

Just a month after James and Mary arrived on the American shore, a meeting of a group of sixteen men was held at Teetotalers Hall, 71 Division Street, New York (down in the Old Five Points area – think Gangs of New York) and the Order of the Sons of Temperance came into being on September 29, 1842. Not only was this a "brotherhood" of the temperance movement, but also a group for the mutual support of their members. The highly restricted “Sons” called not only for abstaining from all liquors of an intoxicating quality, but also each member had to be nominated by an existing member ("brother"), then investigated by three other brothers to determine the worthiness of the candidate. A member was required to pay a $2 initiation fee, which was approximately a week's wages for most workers in those days, plus a weekly membership fee of 6cents.

Postcard of the Order of the Sons of Temperance
The Sons of Temperance indeed had their secret rituals, signs, hand grasps, passwords, and regalia; however, more importantly, the organization acted as an insurance company which was required to pay thirty dollars to cover the burial cost of any brother who died and to pay fifteen dollars for the funeral cost of a member's dead wife. A bylaw required fellow brothers to visit any sick brother at least once a day, and at each meeting one of the items of business was to identify any brothers who were ill.

For an immigrant couple newly off the boat from Scotland, with no family and little money, the Sons of Temperance offered a family of sorts. Evidently there were a number of Scots who found this harbor in a sometimes hostile new world because in 1841 the Sons of Temperance's Caledonia Division, #31, of which James P. McPherson was a member, took part in the national anniversary celebration, with a reportedly 40 to 50 thousand in attendance, in front of City Hall of New York and the surrounding park. According to journal acknowledgment:
The Caledonia Division of New York City, accompanied by its members, with their bagpipes, appeared in original highland costumes. Their banner was beautifully decorated; on the forefront a brandy bottle full, a scotch thistle, and two crocodiles; the motto "Touch Us and We Sting" "The Cause of Temperance is Onward."


Even with this information, I wasn't satisfied that a brotherhood, insurance of sorts, and support system would lead that Scots great-great grandfather to fully give himself to the temperance movement. So I decided to jump back across the pond and see what I could find in his life in Dundee that might give me more information.

James P. McPherson was born in 1815, the year that saw the end of the Napoleonic wars that had embroiled England and France for decades. He grew up in an era during which England saw massive changes, and perhaps Scotland even more so. People were driven from their rural farms and homes by the economic times, enclosures, and clearances. In the awaiting industrial cities they were met by unemployment and low wages. Furthermore, the historic safety net of the lairds of the land and the church gave way to Poor Laws which were seen to break up families hit by hard times. This was the emerging middle class; although they tended to bear the brunt of these hard times, this mass of workers found that there was also a voice in their numbers.

The working folks of the Dundee flax mills, James' friends and neighbors, were representative of this collective unrest. They met in private homes or in the ale houses to share the cost of a newspaper; those who could read, such as young McPherson, read the news aloud so that all could know and talk about the issues of the day whether it be against the Poor Laws, long work days with low pay, child work laws, education, or temperance. 
 
These were the times that molded my great-great-grandfather; by the time he was in his twenties, this collective pent up anger and frustration bore fruit as the Chartist movement, which proposed universal suffrage for the working man. Historian Dorothy Thompson defined the Chartist movement as the time when "thousands of working people considered that their problems could be solved by the political organization of the country." Much like today's Occupy Wall Street movement draws thousands with issues far from the initial protest against the banking community, the Chartist movement drew a wide array of  the disaffected of the day. Reports of marches that extended for miles, throngs of men and women, and sometimes children, sang songs and carried banners brandishing their own particular angst as they marched to an appointed hill, or town, or meeting hall to hear speeches.

Temperance was one of the many issues of that time and place. At once, brought forth by women who railed at men spending what little money they were paid at ale houses, when there was not enough food for the children – to say nothing of the family fights and abuse caused by alcohol. Workers, themselves, complained of drunkenness on the job, and that the mill owners gave out a grog of ale just so the workers could get through the long, hard 12 to 14 hour days. There were also those of the temperance movement that felt that in order for their demands of fair wage and better working conditions to be taken seriously, workers must to shake off the perception of being lazy, drunken and ill-disciplined.

As James was thrust into this milieu, so was his wife-to-be Mary Burns. She grew up in a "dissident"family (anti-Anglican and temperance), and molded by the beliefs of her father, William Gibson Burns, a devoted Chartist, and her uncle Jabez Burns, a well known Wesleyan/Methodist/Baptist preacher and a staunch advocate of the temperance movement. According to family history, the Burns family moved from Oldham, England to Dundee in the early 1830s, when Mary was about eleven years old. About the same time, her uncle Jabez accepted a call to the Baptist Church in Perth, Scotland, where he preached the gospel and temperance. 
 
In 1841, James, a well educated young man for that time, was working in the Dundee flax mills and supporting his old widowed mother Elizabeth Spink. (She was only 54 when she died in 1842, but very old for Dundee. The life expectancy in Dundee was just 32 years of age, two-thirds of Scotland's meager 45 year life expectancy of the time). James' wages as a flax dresser barely covered food and shelter, and a few candles, but he was surrounded by the Dundee radicalism of the times. Workers met in homes and ale houses (far from the eyes of the mill owners and management) to share and read radical newspapers of the day; the hecklers of the heckling room took turns reading the newspaper to their fellow hecklers. (Hecklers wielded the heckling tool to remove the debris from the flax so that the flax could be sent on to the weaving process.) Dundee hecklers and flax workers were known throughout England and Scotland for their radicalism and they acted almost as a prototype union in demanding benefits from the flax mill owners, often just an extra portion of ale to make it through the long hard day. James, part of this flax mill radicalism, was also in written contact with some of the political candidates of the time.


I don't know how James and Mary met – whether it was in the flax mill, or at some radical meeting related to the Chartist or temperance – or whether he was listening to a speech, perhaps by her father, or uncle, and noticed the bonny lass. What I know, that when James and Mary stepped ashore on that August day in 1842, she, and he too, had been molded by the religious and political convictions of her Burns family. He had cut his political teeth in the flax mills of Dundee. It is not surprising that he was open and looking for an avenue of like-minded men. The Sons of Temperance, bursting with energy and a purpose, struck a chord. And James was ready to become a part of that brotherhood of the Sons of Temperance, to march in the streets of New York City, joined by his Scots brethren with their bagpipes and in full highlander dress, to stand shoulder to shoulder, helping one another meet the hardships of being an immigrant in a city teeming with immigrants – and those who would take advantage of their immigrant status of being poor, newly come, and without yet a voice of their own.

As almost a postscript, I have noticed that Old Mac, as James was later known in Springdale, attended a few temperance meetings in Springdale during the early 1850s, but it appeared that was a connection that was no longer necessary in his life --- or possibly not relevant in the lives of those fellows in Springdale of the 1850s.

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© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Synopsis: 2012 March 25th

Nearly two months!  That's how long it's been since I published my last Sunday Synopsis.  A telling sign of the lack of structure, calmness and peace in my life.  When I am writing and thinking, then my days go better  --- and I am again writing and thinking and writing and thinking.

Over the last two months, I have had a number of posts, mostly excerpts from The Centennial History of the Town of Springdale, Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948.  The posts about these folks from the old days of Springdale have brought forth a number of contacts from their descendants  -- and, for me, each contact fills in the tapestry of Springdale.

I have also written several pieces (dare I say, chapters) of the the Ranch Years.  This project is going a bit slower than I had anticipated --- I thought I could whip out a Chapter a week.  Perhaps that might be possible, if that was my ONLY project.  Nonetheless, the story is starting to take shape.

My blog writing yielded a breakthrough with my posts on the Wanderers  and Fair and Square, Golden Rule .  I have two major posts that I am working on at the present time; one prompted by WDYTYA and the other for the COG (due April 1, Yikes!).  In addition, I have decided to forgo the Geneablogger daily prompts because how I think and write rarely fits in with a prompt.  Hopefully, I won't lose too many readers with this change.

Last on my writing to-do list is the ongoing saga of my Uncle Ralph's letters.  My granddaughter and I seem to be getting back into the groove.  Now I need to get up at o'dark early (5 a.m.), stagger into my office with tea cup in hand, place butt to chair and fingers to key board, and begin again to put these letters into book form.  I have a deadline for a "nearly-final" draft to take to my aunties for their blessing  --- that being the weekend of May 19th when the aunties, a cousins from Michigan, California, and Oregon get together.  There, I have put it out there for all to see.

These Sunday Synopsis posts are interesting.  I feel like I am talking to myself, but also to that Universe that surrounds me --- and surprisingly others seem interested as well  -- so March 2th synopsis, fly away now.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

William W.Abbott as Presented in The Centennial History of the Town of Springdale, Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948

Over the past few months, I have been posting articles from the Centennial History of the Town of Springdale,  Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948.  Sometimes these articles are about my McPherson family, but many times not.    Nevertheless, I continue to  hope that these stories will bring forth more contacts, family, friends and history of my McPhersons and the town of Springdale,  and to, perhaps, provide a link for those who had family in Springdale during those early years in Springdale.

William Wiley Abbott was often mentioned in the diary of my 2x great-grandfather James P. McPherson.  From the diary,  the two men seemed to be very interested and involved in activities of Dane County; however, I never found any indication of how Abbott came to be known as Major Abbott, though the title does seem to pre-date the Civil War

 Abbott's  Maine roots go back to the late 1600's.  He married  Elizabeth Betsey S. Guptil (this is apparently the correct spelling of her last name) in Maine about the time they left for Wisconsin.  According to his family, he left Maine for the west "when the rush was made for public lands  in 1853."  The Abbott family is listed in the following Census Reports: 1850 Federal Census, Maine; 1855 Wisconsin Census, Dane County (Belleville); 1860 Federal Census, Mt.Vernon;  1870 Federal Census, Springdale;  1880 Federal Census, Mt. Vernon.  

Abbott  had three children: Mary E., Ellen Cordellia, and Marshall  E. Abbott.  In an article In The Foot-Prints of the Pioneers, published in 1900, it was noted that after his wife's death in 1880, he lived with his daughter, Ellen, in Barneveld.  He died in 1885.

NOTE:  The above information came from the diary of James P. McPherson, Federal Census Reports, and Family Trees in Ancestry.com.


William W. Abbott (Major)
as presented on page 136,
Centennial History of the Town of Springdale
Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948

William Abbot, best know as Major Abbot, came to Wisconsin in 1852, and in 1854 he located in the township of Springdale and was the first blacksmith in the township.  he was married to Elizabeth Gupgil.  They had five children.  Horseshoeing was his specialty, and although his residence was in Springdale, his business was in Primrose, and his blacksmith shop was near the river on the farm now owned by Herman C. Efurth.


~ ~ ~

© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Friday, March 23, 2012

Christian Morig as presented in the Centennial History of the Town of Springdale, Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948

Over the past few months, I have been posting articles from the Centennial History of the Town of Springdale,  Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948.  Sometimes these articles are about my McPherson family, but many times not.    Nevertheless, I continue to  hope that these stories will bring forth more contacts, family, friends and history of my McPhersons and the town of Springdale,  and to, perhaps, provide a link for those who had family in Springdale during those early years in Springdale.

Christian Morig's name was noted often in my 2x great-grandfather James P. McPherson's diary;  the two families were close neighbors throughout their lives in Springdale.

Christian Morig (Mohrig, Mohrich) was living in Springdale at the time of the 1850 Federal Census, however, his name in Ancestry's census index appears as Christian Merry. Also listed are  his wife Fredrica, and children, Wilhelmina and Charles.  By the 1860 Federal Census, he is listed as Christian Mcrichy, as are Frederikka,  Wilhelmine, and Carl;  on the next page, his three younger children are listed as Mary A., Henriette, and Robert Morichy.  1870 brings a new variation of the name on the Federal Census, Morick.  Finally, in the 1870 Federal Census, 73 year old Christian and his 64 year old wife Fredericka are listed under the name Morig.  (According to the Census Reports he could have been 77 years old, with birth year reported between 1803 and 1807;  Fredericka's birth year was fairly consistent, approximately 1817)

To further complicate the name issues, on the 1862 platt map Morig's property, which is not far from that of my 2x great grandfather's, J.P. McPherson, is listed under the name of Mohrich.  (As a further teaser in the Morig's in Springdale, between J.P.'s land and  Christian's land, as  shown on the 1862 Springdale platt map,  is the property of William Morhich.  I do not have a clue as to the connection, or if there is one, between Christian and William Mohrich.

(Note: There is not a listing in the 1860 Federal Census of Springdale for a William Morhrich, Morig, or any of the other name variations for Morig.
Also, the problems with the Morig's names in the census appeared to be two fold;  a language issue between Morig's German accent and what the enumerator heard, plus equally unclear handwriting that blurred the lines between o's, e's. c's, g's, y's and g's.)




Christian Morig
as presented on page 136,
Centennial History of the Town of Springdale
Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948

Christ Morig was an early settler in Springdale the exact date of his arrival not being known.  He homesteaded the farm now know as the Lust farm and owned by Ervin Lust.  Robert Morig, a son of Christ Morig, married Sofie Showers.  They had five children, namely Robert, Al, Ralph, Wallis and Elda.

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© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

J. C. Penny's Fair and Square, the Golden Rule Store and Childhood Memories of Ruth Sigford


J.C.Penny new 2012 logo
Lately, every time I saw the “Fair and Square” ads for J. C. Penney's logo, there was a nagging in the back of my mind. Finally the other day, the nagging came to full awareness. “Fair and Square” finally equated in my mind to the “Golden Rule Store” of my mother's childhood.

Several years ago, while I was writing a little book about all of the homes where my mother's family lived, my mother spent hours telling me stories of her childhood. One of the phrases that kept coming up was: “We went to the Golden Rule.” At first the comments had little meaning, but upon questioning her about what and where was the Golden Rule, it became clear that it was some sort of store. Over the course of our discussions, it became obvious that her memories around this Golden Rule store were more important than I had imagined.

My grandparents, Frank and Agnes Laura Sigford nee Keyes never had much money, but my mother told with a childhood's delight about how she and her little sister Gail would go to the Golden Rule and sometimes they would even get a “penny” sack of candy as a treat. As she talked about those times, it was as if all good things came from the Golden Rule, a new dress,  tablet,  pencil,  pair of shoes, and of course, the little sack of candy.

I could never get a clear answer from my mother as to where the Golden Rule was located, just a vague answer that indicated that the store was located on Main Street in Klamath Falls. So, I “goggled” Golden Rule Store as well as Golden Rule store in Klamath Falls; the following information brought into focus the Golden Rule store that my mother knew:

In 1902, 27 year old James Cash Penny (Cash was a family name) started the Golden Rule Store in Kemmerer, Wyoming. He had two revolutionary ideas for his new store –  his goods were cash only for a fixed price (no haggling)  and do unto other as you would have them do unto you. Later he would describe that first day of business in these words:
When we locked up at midnight and went upstairs to our attic room after the first day's business to figure out how we stood, there was wasn't a great deal of paper or for that matter silver dollars, but there was an astonishing – to us – wealth in pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and half-dollars. Our first day's sales amounted actually to only $33.41 shy of the $500 savings we had put with the note for $1500 to pay for the partnership.

J. C. Penny working  in the RockSprings Penny's store, about 1906
from The Antiplanner's J.C. Penney, Entrepenuer, 11/19/2008

During the next decade more Golden Rule stores were opened, and in 1913 the decision was made to change the name to the J.C. Penny Company.  In my mother's home town of Klamath Falls, Oregon ,a Golden Rule store was opened in 1910 – nine years before my mother was born.  According to the April 1, 1930 edition of the Klamath Falls Evening Herald, the “Golden Rule store marks 20 years.” By 1937, evidently the changes in the J.C. Penny Company finally reached Klamath Falls, as noted in the November 8th special edition of the Klamath Falls paper: “J. C. Penny to open in former Golden Rule store at 803 Main Street.”

Now, in 2012, with J. C. Penny's logo of “Fair and Square” harkening back to it's roots of the Golden Rule, I  hope that many a small child of 2012 may find the same sense of wonderment in their stores as Ruth Sigford found in the Golden Rule of the 1920s.
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© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Surname Saturday: Patric Corr as presented in the Centennial History of the Town of Springdale, Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948

Over the past few months, I have been posting articles from the Centennial History of the Town of Springdale,  Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948.  Sometimes these articles are about my McPherson family, but many times not.    Nevertheless, I continue to  hope that these stories will bring forth more contacts, family, friends and history of my McPhersons and the town of Springdale,  and to, perhaps, provide a link for those who had family in Springdale during those early years in Springdale.

The date of birth in this excerpt about Patric Corr does not appear to be correct.  According to the 1860, 1870 and 1880 Census Reports Corr and his family were living in the Springdale township, in the hilly area between Riley and Springdale village.  His birth date was listed between 1833-35.  In the 1860 Census, he and Elizabeth were listed as Patrick and Eliza Cor;  the two later Census reports spell the name as Corr.  Only nine children were listed in the these census reports: Joseph, James, Patrick H, Bernard, Eliza, John, Frencis P, Anthoney, and Mary T. Corr.  The children were all born in Wisconsin.


Patric Corr
as presented on page 136,
Centennial History of the Town of Springdale
Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948

Patric Corr settled in Springdale in the winter of 1858.  He was born in Ireland in 1864 [probably 1834].  He built a store building 24x60 and started in the mercantile business.  The post office was in this building  and at the time it was known as Clontorf.  It lays one mile south of the village of Riley.  Pat Corr and his wife Elizabeth had ten children, eight boys and two girls.  He was considered a very good business  man and  having worked himself up from a poor boy
~ ~ ~

© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Surname Saturday: A. D. Coleman as presented in the Centennial History of Springdale, Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948

Over the past few months, I have been posting articles from the Centennial History of the Town of Springdale,  Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948.  Sometimes these articles are about my McPherson family, but many times not.    Nevertheless, I continue to  hope that these stories will bring forth more contacts, family, friends and history of my McPhersons and the town of Springdale,  and to, perhaps, provide a link for those who had family in Springdale during those early years in Springdale.

Alfred D. Coleman is listed in the 1880 Federal Census for Mount Vernon, Da ne, Wisconsin, as a wagon maker and finisher.   It appears that he did not stay in Dane County long because he, his wife and their six children are listed, the 1900 Federal Census for Chicago Ward  31.   In addition to Alfred and his wife Bell, the following children are listed in the 1900 Census: Jessie, Clarence, Pearce, Ray, Vera, and Dorothy.




A. D. Coleman
as presented on page 136,
Centennial History of the Town of Springdale
Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948

A.D. Coleman came to Springdale from Pennsylvania in 1878 and located in Mt. Vernon.  He was a carriage and wagon manufacturer.  He married Belle Conner in the same year.  The had one child Jessie.  He was considered a good business man.

~ ~ ~

© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Surname Saturday: The Monum Family from The Centennial History of the Town of Springdale, Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948

Over the past few months, I have been posting articles from the Centennial History of the Town of Springdale,  Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948.  Sometimes these articles are about my McPherson family, but many times not.   The Monum Family came to Springdale years after the McPhersons had passed on or moved on.  Nevertheless, I continue to  hope that these stories will bring forth more contacts, family, friends and history of my McPhersons and the town of Springdale,  and to, perhaps, provide a link for those who had family in Springdale during those early years in Springdale.

THE MONUM FAMILY
as presented on page 135,
Centennial History of the Town of Springdale
Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948
 
Mr. and Mrs John E. Monum and their five children, namely Garnet, Alice, Arthur, Harold and Jeannette came to Springdale in the spring of 1920, and resided on the Oti's farm near the Springdale Lutheran Church.  The family took an active part in all church and community affairs.  Mr. Monum, who took a special interest in civic affairs, held several public offices and took part in debates on political problems and other topics of interest to the Springdale community.  Mr. and Mrs Monum know as "JOHN and LENA" in Springdale, now live in Mt Horeb, Wisconsin, but their son Harold, and his wife, Evelyn, and daughter Carol Jean are operating the Monum homestead, and are generous contributor to Springdale affairs.

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© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Thursday, March 1, 2012

115th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: Flash Family History: Wanderers, Jabez and Elizabeth McPherson

Jasia, of Creative Gene again challenges us --- this time with Flash History.  This 115th  Carnival of Genealogy should be really interesting.  I have to confess that I came to this Carnival late and have only one Flash History to present.  My bad!

 Wanderers, Jabez and Elizabeth McPherson

A wandering man was my grandfather Jabez Burns McPherson. In December,1898, the 26 year old Scots married 16 year-old Elizabeth Alfreda Foss. Soon after, the couple joined his parents, a sister and brother-in-law as they traveled by way of a horse-drawn wagon and a fancy surrey from Madison, Wisconsin, to Iowa where a younger sister of Jabez's father lived. Jabez and Elizabeth stayed for at least a year as their daughter Bertha was born there in 1900.

Young Elizabeth delighted in this adventure; she had never ventured far from her parents' Madison farm. Little did she realize that this trip was a harbinger of trips to come. She married a wandering man, who came from a family unafraid of “picking up” and going to unknown places – and a McPherson traveled far to visit kith and kin.

Throughout her life Elizabeth gathered their children and belongings and followed Jabez from Madison, to Iowa, Madison, crisscrossed the country from Madison to Minnesota, on to California and back. Always together.

I ponder on their lives. A dedicated husband and father and a wanderer. How did that come about? Ah, his grandparents, James P. and Mary Burns McPherson, too were wanderers. In 1842, barely in their twenties the two, sailed from Dundee, Scotland to New York City. They could have raised their family in the immigrant-laden city, but chose to save and scrimp and travel up the Hudson, through the Erie Canal, then across the Great Lakes to Milwaukee. Springdale, Wisconsin was their destination and it was there J. P McPherson and his wife hewed out their home, farm and life. Then their nine children, wanderers too, spread to Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, Canada, Washington, Oregon and California. Always looking afar, unafraid of change. T'is in the blood.

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© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications