^sgtxs"* s,tv " '
CURRENT and HOBSON
"Honour thy father and mother; which is the first command-
ment with promise, that it tn ay be well with thee and thou may-
estlive long on the earth." — Ephesians, 6, 23.
"A people that take no interest in the achievements of remote
ancestors will never achieve anything- worthy to be remembered
with interest by remote generations." — Macaulay.
HARE O. WATERS, NEW CASTLE, IND.
HAROLD B. LEE LIBRARY
QRtGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY
In undertaking this work, I was conscious that
it should have been done by one more competent
to gather and arrange the material comprising
such a volume. But, having at hand much of the
records and biographical sketches of the preced-
ing generations, I began to search for more, thus
renewing correspondence with absent relatives
and forming some new acquaintances who all
readily responded, expressing their interest in
the work and a readiness to do the part assigned
them. So, instead of the undertaking becoming
wearisome it was rather fascinating, leading me
on till it extended far beyond my original plan.
I hope my friends will overlook all imperfec-
tions in composition, rhetoric and otherwise, and
appreciate the history as it relates to facts, as I
have good authority for all the dates and records.
None of our ancestors or their desdendants have
been illustrious as individuals, though each gen-
eration have, in their time, when great national
issues were at the crises, performed their part on
the side of right, and some have even attained to
historical importance. None have been noted for
any kind of crime, and with few exceptions, all
have belonged to the predominant class of our
nation, the common people, and are remembered
chiefly for their religious principles, temperance
The Current ancestral record, I obtained of B.
F. Current, secretary of the Current Reunion; the
Jones sketches and record, of Prof. Clement R.
Jones and Mrs. Sarah Whitehair. The chapters
duly credited to the authors. In asking each
family to write their chapter, I gave no limit,
which accounts for the difference in the length of
the chapters. I must mention the help of my
dear niece, Mrs. Almina Williamson, in copying
a part of the manuscripts when I was so weary
and weak. We are especially favored in having
the printing done by one of the family, Mark O.
The family records and life sketches that have
been transmitted from generation to generation
would soon become obliterated by decay and for-
getfulness, if they were not put in print. I feel
that I have placed within the reach of many, the
records of their ancestors that they could have
obtained perhaps in no other way.
A.nnie E,. Current.
Redkey, Indiana, August 15, 1906.
One need not explain why he writes about
those he loves. It is a common thing to write of
such as have occupied positions of rank and trust
among men, but, alas, how true do the words of
Ike Marvel, in his "Dream Life," often prove, "I
care not how worldly you may be, there are times
when all distinctions seem like dust, and when
at the graves of the great, you dream of a coming
country, where your proudest hopes will be
But love never dims. It abides forever and
grows brighter at its own reflection. To make a
place in your hearts for those whom the woi Id, in
its mad career, forgets or over-looks, is one object
in writing this volume, of lives fitly represented
by the couplet in Gray's Elegy:
"Full manj' a flower is born to blush unseen
And waste its sweetness on the desert air."
It takes a hero to be a common man; to forego
ambitious desires and live only to be useful. And
we trust the perfume given out by the lives, as re-
corded on these pages may float in gem't° zephyrs
upon your life and fill all your days with sweet in-
cense of hope, love, courage, and an humble, holy
ambition. But we are not necessarily confined to
the common, in dealing with the lives of our an-
cestors. Some of them have been recognized as
out of the ordinary and have been "remembered
by what they have done," as will be seen by read-
ing the life sketches and incidents herein noted.
Our ancestors were the ancestors of a president of
ithe United States and there was an adage concern-
ing one of our family and name — "Hobson's
choice," which years ago had become so popular-
ized that Webster, the great lexicographer, found
for it a place in his standard dictionary. Should
the struggles and triumphs of the many families
herein represented, be written, that history would
be stranger than fiction, and dearer to the hearts
of those who are united by ties, even remote ties
of kinship, than the large volumes of praise and
laudation of some political poltroons, whom the
public, in many cases, would utterly despise, w r ere
they acquainted with their inner lives and the
means they used to attain such prominence.
There are heroes in private life just as great as
any that occupy the prominent pages of history
In fact it is almost an impossibility for one to rise
in the scale of public approbation unless, some-
way, perhaps thousands, boost him by the sacri-
fices of their own ambitions, and by their devo-
tion to the necessities of a common life. The un-
der-current of the great deep ocean bears upon its
bosom the upper waves, which rise in their pas-
sions and dash themselves to pieces by their own
The ancient character and origin of our ances-
tors have much of interest even to the general
public, but naturally much of this kind of infor-
mation is obtainable onl}- in broken bits, mere
fragments gathered here and there, from man}'
sources. This makes it impossible to give an} T -
thing like a connected history of our ancestors
over the sea, or prior to their settlement in Amer-
ica, but this we know; they lived a simple, pious
life, doing good to all that came to them and liv-
ing in the fear and admonition of the Lord. The
plain life of a plain people, as they were, could
not but bring its own reward, so they gradual^
grew to affluence and high standing. The absence
of display, pretense and ostentation gave them a
cnarm, reliability and sturdiness that won them a
name and a place among their neighbors and fel-
low citizens. These characteristic features have
been noticeable throughout the different genera-
tions so that their advice is often sought and no
one that comes to them goes away without assist-
ance of some kind, and in the hearts of the living
today there pulsates a strong desire for universal
peace, and an unconquerable faith in the brother-
hood of man, and a tenacious determination to
dare "beat the swords into ploughshares and the
spears into pruning hooks."
The incidents in the history of these pioneers
and their descendants, if given in detail, would
be interesting indeed, but would fill volumes. Be-
ing led by the angel of peace, for Christ's sake,
to emigrate to America, to plan, plant and build,
until a land for freedom was instituted, and then
again led them westward to reclaim the wilder-
ness and cause it to blossom as the rose.
Some of our kindred and name have had their
share in the victories of the battle-field, and have
directed victorious armies and battleships in
action and thus placed on the scroll of history, be-
yond question, their bravery and fidelity to their
country, as did the service of General Hobson in
resisting and driving out the force of troops in
that historical "Morgan's Raid" through Indiana
and Kentucky; and Lieut. Richmond Pearson
Hobson, in the sinking of the Merrimac, in the
mouth of the harbor at Santiago, in the face of the
Spanish fleet and forts; also others of equal and
greater renown, even as far back as the Hobsons
of the Scottish clans, in the early days of the
How glad we would be to make mention in
these pages, of others, of our more remote kins-
folk, but space will not permit. Perhaps others
may take up the pen where we leave off; this is at
least our hope, until all our families, scattered the
world over, will learn to sing together, with hearts
throbbing in unison:
"God bless the hearts that beat as one
Though continents apart,
We greet you brothers, face to face
We meet you heart to heart."
There are many lessons for us of the younger
generations, in the lives and examples of our an-
cestors, for they were all full of noble purpose
and high resolve to do the right. They endured
the hardships of the early settlers, deriving their
subsistence from Mother Earth, with implements
now obsolete, and by their stern necessities en-
dured privations aed border war-fare with the In-
dians, and the crucifying time of the great Civil
War, thereby opening up to their posterity a new
world, a new government, a new era, and have
only left for us, full-handed and equipped, to de-
velop "new life" like unto the son of man.
A.. "W. and E,. B. Hobson.
July 24, 1906.
CHAPTER I— Ancestry 1—24
CHAPTER II, Mary A. and Stephen Hobson _25— 38
CHAPTER III, Rachel and Ha Lake, 39—54
CHAPTER IV, Samuel J. and Eliza J. Current, 55—125
CHAPTER V, James Alfred Current „...126— 140
CHAPTER VI, James and Margaret Waters, 141—152
CHAPTER VII, Emmaline R. and Lewis Bird 153—158
CHAPTER VIII, Sarah E. and Daniel Bird, 159—176
CHAPTER IX, Arah M. and W. J. Hesser, 177—184
CHAPTER X, Emily E. and John Norris, _... .185—187
C H A PT ER I ,— Ancest ry , _ _ 191—21 1
CHAPTER II, William and Fanny Hobson, 212—232
CHAPTER III, Jose and Catharine Hobson, „.233— 245
CHAPTER IV, Margaret and Emanuel Furst 246—252
CHAPTER V, Jemima D. and Stephen Hobson 253—332
CHAPTER VI, James Rarden Hobson, ..332—336
CHAPTER VII, Sarah and Isaac Weathermon 336—350
PART Fl RST.
The: Current Family,
"God's kindness to our fathers shown
Their children's children long shall own."
The transactions of former days play an im-
portant part in life's role; and while these his-
torical records speak to us of the past, revealing
something of the brave, sturd}', Christian char-
acter of the progenitors of our family, we should
emulate their example of perseverance, courage
and Christian faith, striving to perform with no-
ble purpose the duties of the present. While we
of this generation are strangers to the hardships
THE CURRENT FAMILY
of pioneer life, we should not forget how they
suffered the deprivations and labors necessary to
develop this country from the unbroken forests
and swampy lowlands into the fertile ground and
healthful dwelling place it is today. The first
three or four generations faced the dangers of
being torn and eaten by the wild animals or
scalped by the savage Indians.
All of our ancestors were agriculturists along
with their other trades and professions, and
helped to lay the foundation upon which the
present generation builds. While we admire
their strong characters and independent courage
we should be most thankful for the Christian in-
heritance transmitted to us through their godly
lives and Bible training, coming down from one
generation to another through the family altars
and, each act our part in giving to present and
future generations the same blessed heritage,
In the year 1730 James Current was born in the
north of Ireland. The date of his coming to
America is unknown. He had two brothers who
were sailors. The3 T also came to this country,
THE CURRENT FAMILY
landing on the eastern shore of Maryland. One
brother died; the other returned to his native
James was married and had one son, William.
His wife died and the record of this marriage is
lost. His second wife was Margaret Richardson,
who was born in 1737. When he came to this
country, James Current settled in north-western
Virginia, trading a "gray" horse for thirteen hun-
dred acres of land where the city of Grafton, W.
Virginia, is now located. He lived to the age of
ninety T -two years on this farm, and died August
15, 1822. Margaret, his wife, died in 1830 at the
same place, when ninety-three years old. Their
bodies were buried on the Current farm in a cem-
etery now called Bluemont Cemetery.
Their long lives prove that the}* were well
suited to endure the hard toil and ever present
dangers of pioneer life. One of Virginia's poets
has written of them:
"Upon their dinted shields no crests;
Noglittering orders on their breasts,
But IROX in their blood."
"More resolute, honest and upright people
could not be found than were those sturdy daring
THE CURRENT FAMILY
Scotch-Irish immigrants who built their rough
cabins on the banks of the Monongahela river."
The children of James and Margaret (Richard-
son) Current were:
John, Martin, Molly, James and Enoch.
James and Margaret Johnson Current.
James, son of James and Margaret Richardson
Current was born March 25. 1773, in Virginia and
died in Henry County, Indiana, February 2, 1845
at the age of seventy-three years. He was mar-
ried to Margaret Johnson, March 31, 1796. She
was born in a blockhouse within a stockade, in
Pennsylvania, August 1777, and died in Henry
County, Indiana, January 23, 1875, at the age of
ninety-eight years. A stockade was an inclosure
for the protection of live stock, made of large
posts pointed at the top and planted close togeth-
er in a line surrounding a strong wooden fort
called a blockhouse, where the pioneers in time
of danger from Indians, assembled from their
homes, taking their stock and valuables and re-
maining until the danger was over. Strong men
brave patient women and innocent children, in
those days lived inconstant dread of the savage
yells of the cruel Indians. Those were times also
THE CURRE NT FAMILY 5
when the black people were held as slaves, and
sold like animals, by their owners. But this was
a custom which James Current and his descend-
ants believed to be wrong and they never owned
any slaves. His father divided his farm of thir-
teen hundred acres among his children. He gave
James three hundred acres and this son remained
with his parents as long as they lived.
In the year 1835 James sold the land and fol-
lowed his three sons, Peter, James and John, and
two daughters, Nellie and Mary, to Henry County
Indiana, they having settled there during the
two preceding years. All of his children that
were in Virginia, except the youngest daughter,
came to Indiana with their parents.
One marked trait of the Currents was, and is,
their respect for their ancestry. The command,
"Honour thy father and thy mother that thy days
may be long upon the land which the Lord thy
God giveth thee," includes a promise that was
fulfilled to many of them. They were so bound
by the ties of consanguinity, they verified the
old Scotch term "clannish" though liberal and
friendly to others. Settling on adjoining farms
they lived thus a number of years till the
THE CURRENT FAMILY
younger generation sought homes of their own,
the head of each family usually going with their
descendents, who settled near together as the
preceding generation had done. The forest fur-
nished the timber for their houses and furniture.
John had learned the trade of wheelwright, and
could make furniture and easy chairs that were a
comfort as well as ornament in those homely cab-
ins. He also made spinning wheels, reels and
looms with which women in those da} r s converted
the wool from the sheep's back into cloth for the
dresses for women and children and for men's
suitings also, which the} r made by hand. Blank-
ets and coverlets were made in the same manner.
Table linen, towels and sheets and summer dress
goods, for both sexes were made from flax and
James and George W. were blacksmiths, Wil-
liam was a shoemaker and all were industrious
farmers. Their frequent family gatherings were
lively times although always attended with such
hard work as "log rollings," "corn huskings,"
"harvesting," "wood chopping" and other labor
for the men and "wool pickings," "quiltings" and
"sewings" for the women, and as they worked.
THE CURRENT FAMILY
their cheerful voices kept time with busy hands.
Peter and George were Methodists and on Sun-
da}^ there were class meetings and preaching
services at the home of Peter. Others of the fam-
ily were Baptists, and after William moved to Jay
county the Primitive Baptists held services at
The children of James and Margaret (Johnson)
Peter; (See sketch further on.)
Nellie, born November 12, 1799; married John
Jones September 23, 1823, died October 12,
1867. Her husband died October 20, 1838.
They had six children.
John, born October 25,1802; married Mary Norris
February 19, 1829, died July 24, 1881. His
wife was born December 24, 1803 and died
January 9, 1875 They had nine children.
Susannah, born November 11, 1804; died Novem-
ber 20. 1806.
Mary, born April 14, 1807; married William Lake
Nov. 10, 1831 ; died Nov. 16, 1882. Her hus-
band was born August 9, 1811; died June 14
1846. They had five children.
James, born October 26, 1809; married Mary Pow-
8 THE CURRENT FAMILY
ers December 18, 1834; died May 30, 1895.
His wife was born October 14, 1810; died
September 11, 1899. They had seven chil-
Abraham, born October 25, 1812; married Eliza-
beth Lake, May 22, 1833; died February 20,
1886. His wife was born Nov. 28, 1813 and
died Feb. 12,1891. They had eight children.
William P., born May 15, 1815; married Rebecca
Lake,(sister of the two Lakes mentioned
above, and Ila Lake, another brother, mar-
ried Peter Current's daughter Rachel) July
29, 1835. He died January 19, 1904. His
wife was born December 1, 1818; died Oct.
13, 1893. They had twelve children.
George W. born Feb. 6, 1818; married Elizabeth
Lewellyn, April 19, 1838; died May 6, 1880.
His wife was born Feb. 22, 1818; died March
1902. They had eight children but only
three lived to maturity.
Nancy, born Sept. 24, 1820; died in Kansas in 1902.
Her husband, James Keener, is also dead.
They had ten children.
Nancy was the youngest of the family of James
and Margaret (Johnson) Current and was the only
THE CIRRENT FAMILY
one of the family that remained in Virginia, not
joining the western emigration until many years
later. "The circumstances under which Nancy
chose to remain in Virginia were quite romantic.
She started to Indiana with her people, in a cov-
ered wagon. They were accompanied for several
miles on the way by a number of the friends and
relatives on horseback. Among those friends
was her lover, and when the time came for the
two parties to separate, the one to continue on to
the new country, the others to return to their
Virginia homes, Nancy bounded from the wagon
and young Keener drew her up behind him on
the horse and they sped away to the settlement
where thev were married."
Brief SKetcK of Jones Family.
(Ancestors of Rebecca, -wife of Peter Currentl
The earliest ancestor of the Jones family of
whom we have any knowledge is Mrs. Samuel
Lewellyn. She was probably born in Delaware
between 1700 and 1710, though neither date nor
place can now be fixed definitely. We only know
that her oldest son Jacob Jones, was born in the
year 1732, near Wilmington, Delaware and was
|0 THE CURRENT FAMILY
left fatherless at an early age. The mother after-
ward married Samuel Lewellyn and lived in Lou-
don county, Va., until about 1770 when they went
across the mountains and settled on Cheat river
and established the old Lewelhm ferry in Monon-
gahela county, where the Pennsylvania railroad
now crosses the river.
Jacob Jones, born in 1732 and left fatherless al-
most from his birth, was adopted by a wealthy
planter near Wilmington and lived with his foster
parents until he became of age. In his earty man-
hood he married Dinah, or Diana, Stanton, a
young lady of the same neighborhood, three years
younger than himself. Jacob, always fond of
hunting and "a dead shot" early developed those
pioneer traits which distinguished his career.
Some time after his marriage he moved to Va.,
near where his step-father, and his mother, re-
sided and about 1770 moved with them into the
wilderness across the Alleghany mountains Un-
like his step-father, he settled on the west side of
tte Monongahela river on Dunkard Creek, near
the present town of Pentres, W. Va, This was
known then as the Indian side of the river and
THE CURRENT FAMILY M
the place he selected was then on the extreme
frontier. They started out in life poor and cast
their lot in the wilderness across the mountains
from the scenes of their } T outh; they brought
with them nothing, but at the close of their lives
they were well-to-do and were loved and respect-
ed by all. Their adventures, struggles and hard-
ships if full}- described would require volumes.
Fights with Indians and hunting expeditions are
still being told over and over again, but the} T left
as a legacy to their children something far better
than the land which they pre-empted, or tales of
adventure — purity of character, strong, vigorous
healthy bodies, piet} T , honesty and frugality.
These are the traits which have made their chil-
dren and their children's children leaders and
bulwarks of society in the communities in which
the} T have lived and still live.
The assetts of those times, however, consisted
in adventure and the bare necessities of life. Con-
stant vigilance w r as the law of life and the rifle
was as essential as any article of apparel. Always
in danger, they suffered from three well-organ-
ized raids of the Indians, 1774, 1777 and 1778.
In the outbreak of 1774 the settlers were warn-
12 THE CURRENT FAMILY
ed by scouts of the approach of the Indians and
most of the people were sent to fort at Morgan-
town, about seventeen miles away. Jacob Jones'
wife was not in condition to travel. The children
were sent to the fort and the father and mother
resolved to stay in their cabin and, if necessary,
die together. A scout by the name of Morgan
who was watching the approach of the Indians,
again warned them that the Indians were almost
upon them and practically forced Jacob and his
wife to set out for the fort. After proceeding for
about five miles, Dinah gave birth to William
Jones. Morgan carried the new-born babe and the
rifles, and Jacob, his wife, and the march to the
fort was resumed. The rest of the journey through
an untrod and unbroken forest and through
creeks and rivers, may be left to the imagination.
During the year 1775 or 1776 a fort was built on-
ly a short distance from their home on the old
Stattler farm, now owned by L. R. Shriver, and
during the outbreak of 1777. the families resided
at the fort and the men and children, who were
old enough, went out in armed squads to cultivate
their crops. On the evening of July 13, 1777, a
party consisting of Jacob Farmer and his daugh-
THE C LJRRENT FAMILY 113
ter, Susie, Jacob Jones and his oldest children,
Mary, aged twelve, and John aged eleven, Alexan-
der Clegg, Nathan Worley and John Marsh went
to the home of Jacob Farmer, expecting to hoe
corn on the morrow. The house was surrounded
by a band of twenty Indians and an attack was
made about daylight on the morning of the 14th.
Nathan Worley and Jacob Farmer were killed
and Susie Farmer and Mar} T and John Jones cap-
tured. Jacobjones escaped by rushing out past
the Indians, running first over the bank of the
stream and then alono- the waters' eds;e under
the protection of the bank. Three Indians fol-
lowed him and finally forced him to leave the
stream. He then ran up the hill along the fence
of the clearing. The Indians at first hoped to
catch him alive but finding that they could not
do this without endangering their own lives, they
each fired at him. One shot passed through his
ear, another hit his belt and a third passed be-
tween his legs. His escaps was almost miracu-
lous as he later stated that as he left the house
no less than fifteen Indians shot at him. On the
hill Jacob met Marsh who had gone out before
the attack to hunt game for breakfast. Together
U THE CUR RENT FAMILY
the} 7 saw the captured children being dragged by
the Indians up the hill on the opposite side of
the creek. Jacob started to follow but was re-
strained with difficulty by Marsh, knowing that
if Jacob had shot an Indian the children would
have been killed before their eyes. In the mean-
time Glegg had also escaped by running into the
stream and had carried the news to the fort
where he was soon joined by the other survivors.
The militia attempted to follow the Indians, but
nothing came of the pursuit.
The children were taken westward across the
Ohio. Susie Farmer was unable to keep up with
the warriors and was tomahawked and scalped,
the other children being witnesses of the bloody
scene. On the way John devised a plan to es-
cape, but was dissuaded by Mary who told him
that they could not find their way back and even
if the} 7 could they could not cross the big river.
John and Mary were adopted into different
families of the Wyandottes and lived near San-
dusky, Ohio. After arriving at Sandusky the
children were made to run the "gauntlet" which
they did successfully to the gratification of their
captors. On the whole the children were treated
__ THE CURRENT FAMILY [5
as kindly as the Indians' method of living would
admit and their hardships were probably no
greater than those which the Indians had to un-
dergo themselves. Mar} r was especially obedi-
ent and, consequently was held in high esteem,
but John never became reconciled and was always
planning to escape. Finding at last, after five
3 7 ears of persuasion, that he could not induce Ma-
ry to join him, John's desire to get away became
so great that he left his sister, ran away and final-
ly reached Detroit. Here he entered the family
of a Doctor Harvey where he was treated as a son
given as good schooling as the times afforded, and
as much knowledge of medicine as the Doctor
could give. John started for England to complete
his medical course and got as far as Montreal
when a desire to see his people if any were yet
living, caused him to return and go to Pittsburg
instead. Jacob Jones, learning of this fact went
after him and took him home. In all John was
away eleven years, five at Sandusky and six at
Mary remained with the Indians for ten 3-ears
during which the members of the family which
adopted her, all died. She made her way to De-
H> THE CURRENT FAMILY
troit and was taken into the family of General
McCoombs. Three }ears later she married Peter
Malott and settled first on Grosse Isle and then
at Kingsville, Ontario. The marriage was a most
happy one and their many descendants are among
the most prosperous and respected citizens of
that community. Peter Malott died in 1815 and
Mary or 'Aunt Polly' as she was familiarly known
still longing to see her people, set out in 1817 to
visit Virginia. She crossed the lake to Cleveland
and went the rest of the way on foot. A remark-
able family reunion thus occurred after a separa-
tion of forty years. On her return two of her
brothers accompanied her as far as Cleveland, all
It is now the custom of the Jones family to
hold its reunion every third year with the Malotts
at Kingsville, Ontario,
Returning to the further experiences of Jacob
Jones, Sr., after the capture of his children, he
moved his family to a safer position on Cheat
river, but he, himself served in the militia on the
frontier until the close of the Revolutionary war,
when the militiamen were replaced by regulars.
For some time afterward he lived on Cheat Bot-
THE CURR ENT FAMILY 17
torn, now Tucker county, W. Va. where be had a
grant of land. In 1794 he obtained a grant of
land near Knottsville, W. Va., where he spent the
remaining years of his life in peace and comfort.
Both Jacob and his wife died in the summer of
1828, aged, respectively,96 and 93 years. In 1904
the family reunion was held near the spot where
this remarkable couple was buried and a monu-
ment erected over their graves was dedicated to
The children of Jacob and Dinah Jones, in the
order of their birth were: Mary (Malott), John,
Benjamin, Samuel, William, Jacob Jr., Rebecca
(Powers), and Martha (Powers).
Mary married Peter Malott and had the follow-
ing children: Joseph, Mary, Anne and Peter and
two who died in infancy. She was born in Dela-
ware or in Loudon county, Va., in 1764 and died
in Kingsville, Ontario, Oct. 16, 1845.
John Jones was born in Delaware or Loudon
county in 1766 and died in 1850.
Samuel Jones, father of Rebecca, wife of Peter
Current, and son of Jacob and Dinah Jones, was
JS THE CUR RENT FAMILY
born on Dunkards Creek, Monongahela county,
Va.,Jan. 16, 1772. He married Rachel Lewellen,
a half cousin, Mar. 13, 1794 and lived on Three
Fork Bottom near what is known as 96 water
station of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad. Their
old house is still standing. They had twelve
children, two d} r ing in infancy, un-named. The
others were all daughters named as follows:
Mary, born Sept. 24, 1795; married Noah Warder.
Rebecca, born July 4, 1797; married Peter Current-
Nancy, born July 19, 1799; married George Bryan.
Dinah, born July 28, 1801; married Thomas Gough.
Martha(Patty) born Nov. 9, 1803; married Peter
Arah born Nov. 8, 1805; married Frank Gough.
Sarah born Nov. 30, 1807; married first to Joshua
Boyles and second to John F A urbee.
Elizabeth (Betty) born Nov. 17, 1811; married
Abagail, born Dec. 21, 1813; married Uriah Jones.
Matilda, born April 7, 1815; married Anthony
Samuel Jones was class leader at the old
Knottsville Methodist church for forty years.
Their home was a spiritual power-house where,
THE CURRE NT FAMILY 19
at the family altar, several of his children were
converted and shouted praises to God. On that
memorable night in 1833, when the stars fell, light-
ing up the universe, Samuel Jones was awakened
about three o'clock in the morning and, seeing
the phenomenal sight, he, like all who saw it,
thought it was the ending of the world or the
time of the promised return of Christ. He awoke
all his family, calling them to prayer. He made
such soul-searching supplications that his youn-
gest daughter, Matilda, was converted. When her
father arose from prayer and walked back and
forth shouting "glory, glory to God," she with the
rest was ready to join him in praising God, and
they were a whole family ready to meet the judg-
ment without fear.
Samuel Jones moved to Henry county, Indiana
in 1838 and died of paralysis in 1840, at the age of
sixty-eight. His wife, Rachel then went to Dela-
ware county, Ind., making her home with her
daughter, Matilda Shroyer, until 1866, when she
followed her husband to their home above. She
lived to the age of ninety-one years, having been
born January 5, 1775.
NOTE— For further history of the Jones Family see "A Brief
Sketch of the Early History of the Jones Family," by Prof. C. R.
20 THE CURR ENT FAMILY
Jones of Morgantown, W. Va. Prof. Jones is the family historian
and authority for most of the foregoing facts concerning the
Peter and Rebecca Jones Current.
Peter Current, son of James and Margaret
Johnson Current, was born in Monongahela coun-
ty, Va., January 27, 1797. He married Rebecca
Jones Feb. 6, 1817 She was born in the same
county July 4, 1797. Her father was Samuel Jones
son of Jacob and Dinah Jones. With the teach-
ing and example of such parents Peter and Re-
becca Current, made their start in the Christian
life and they had daily worship in their home.
After going to Indiana there was no church near
them and they opened their home for religious
meetings and for a few years it was the place for
the regular class, prayer meetings and preaching
services for the Methodists and each of the nine
children were converted, married Christians and
erected family altars.
In 1833 Peter with his brother James, then un-
married, and sister, Nellie Jones, severed the ten-
der ties that bound them to the place of their
THE CURRE NT FAMILY 21
birth, set out to found for themselves a new home
in Indiana, traveling thither in an emigrant wag-
on then called a 'wilderness carriage," now known
as a "canvasback," in the west.
Their father, James Current, and Peter's father-
in-law, Samuel Jones, accompanied them on
horseback for the double purpose of seeing them
safely through and to "spy out the land." One
looked after the comfort of the women and chil-
dren and the other would ride ahead seekingsuit-
able shelter for the nights, there being few "tav-
erns" and farm houses were far apart. But they
managed to find suitable shelter for the delicate
ones while the stalwart men and boys slept a-
round camp fires or in the wagons. They were
nineteen days on the road.
After seeing their children settled the fathers
returned to their Virginia homes with such glow-
ing reports of the opportunities open to settlers
they so fired the whole family with the spirit of
emigration that, two years later, Peter Current's
father, with all his sons and daughters except one
were settled on farms close together making a
"Current settlement" in Henry county, Indiana.
The Jones family came a few years later.
22 THE CURRENT FAMILY
Peter Current remained in Henr}- county until
1854 when he bought a farm in Jay county, Ind.,
adjoining a farm purchased the year previous by
his son, Samuel. His other son, Alfred, the same
year, bought a farm a mile distant. His brothers
John, George W., and William P. all had farms
within two miles of his. So another 'Current Set-
tlement" was formed, this time in Jay county.
Here, Rebecca, the beloved wife of Peter was
stricken with apoplexy and passed away April 11,
1866, at the age of sixty-nine years. She was en-
gaged in making garden about five o'clock in the
evening when she was paralyzed and was never
able to speak.
In 1870 Peter went to Nebraska with his
youngest daughter, who though married had al-
ways lived in her father's home, there to spend
the remainder of his days on earth. Previous to
this, four of his children had gone to make their
homes in Nebraska, where for nearly a year he
lived, enjoying the presence of children and
grandchildren. Here he entered into a deeper
Christian experience. He had no fears of the
"dark valley" as he passed to his home be} r ond.
Concerning his last days, his daughter Bmaline
THE CURRENT FAMILY 23
Bird has contributed for this history the following - :
"Our dear father, Peter Current, came to Nebras-
ka in April 1869, and died March 15, 1870. For
nearly one short year we had the privilege of his
society. He enjoyed his life here so much and
thought we had such a beautiful country. His
health was almost perfect for a man of seventy-
three years. He was able to walk two miles and
did so several times from the home of one
daughter to the home of another, accompanied
by the little grandchildren, and all had such a
happy time with him. But first of March 1870.
he took cold which terminated in pneumonia, or
lung fever and caused his death. The short
time he was with us he formed many friendships.
Shortly before his sickness there had been revi-
val meetings in which he took an active part. On
Sunday morning before his death on Tuesday, he
seemed to have a glimpse of heaven. He saw
such beautiful forms passing through the room.
He suffered great pain but was patient through
it all. His funeral was preached b} T Rev. Max-
field, from these words of Scripture: 'For before
his translation he had this testimony that he
pleased God,' Heb., 11:5. And now thirty-five
24 THE C URR ENT FAMILY
years have gone since thattirne and two of the
four sisters who eared for him in his last sickness
have gone to meet him and dear mother, with the
host of other loved ones. The last scene of that
sickness is still vivid in n\y memory and I ex-
pect it will remain until I am permitted to see
him again, in the Glory world."
E. R. Bird.
Mt. Pleasant, Nebraska, August 1, 1905.
The children of Peter and Rebecca Current
Mary Ann (Hobson), see Chapter II.
Rachel (Lake), see Chapter III
Samuel Jones, see Chapter IV
James Alfred, see Chapter V.
Margaret J. (Waters), see Chapter VI.
Emaline R. (Bird), see Chapter VII.
Sarah Ellen (Bird), see Chapter VIII.
Arah Matilda (Hesser), see Chapter IX.
Emily E. (Norris), see Chapter X.
THE CURRENT FAMILY
MARY A. and STEPHEN B. HOBSON
By REV. G. A. HOBSON.
Mar}' Ann, daughter of Peter and Rebecca Cur-
rent was born in Monongahela county, Virginia,
November 16, 1817
and moved with
her parents to In-
diana in 1833; was
converted and uni-
ted with the M. E.
Church in early
life; she married
Stephen B. Hob-
son, October, 2).
1843; moved to
Missouri in 1814,
to Nebraska in
1856, to California
in 1894; died at
San Fernando Cal-
STEPHEX B. AMD MART -A. HOBSO". ltOmiaJUlV J.1 JULM".
26 THE CURRENT FAMILY
Mary Ann was possessed of rugged, vigorous
elements of both mind and body which, owing to
her early surroundings and training, developed
a strong, practical personality characterized by
determination and independence in youth, dilli-
gence and endurance in middle life, and in old
age ripening and mellowing into restful patience
and wholesome resignation.
The spirit cast in this human mould was fitting,
the chief characteristic of which was a sense of
loving loyalty to Him who gave it. This made
her religious life easy, so easy that she had little
patience with doubters and little charity for
changelings. To her faith, speculations in relig-
ous things was simply impossible. In harmony
with this, her religious expression, always posi-
tive, generally buoyant, sometimes ecstatic, made
it easier for others to believe than to doubt. The
experiences she recited, the Scripture quotations
she made, the songs she sang, all these testified
to her strong hold upon eternal verities. Had
any one asked her, "Are you a Christian?" her
answer would most likely have been, "Why, of
course!" as though it were an economy of soul
THE CURREN T FAMILY 27
power to have confidence in God, rather than to
put confidence in princes.
The following was written by her daughter,
Mrs. Matilda Bates for the occasion of her mother's
eightieth birthday anniversary which they cele-
brated Nov. 16, 1897, at her home at San Fernan-
MARY A. HOBSON.
"Thou shi.lt come to thv grave in a full age, like
as a shock of corn cometh in his season."
"Far away in the Old Dominion near the Monon-
gahela river, lived Peter Current and his fair gen-
tle wife, Rebecca. On November 16, 1817, a tin} r
daughter came to gladden the home and was
given the name Mary Ann. The warm Virginia
sunshine fell softl}^ about the little house and the
air was sweet and rich with fragrance; so the babe
grew apace as the da}^s and months swept into
3'ears and sisters and brothers were added to the
household band. While the parents' hands were
busied in loving toil, the hills re-echoed the song
halloo and laughter of children's voices, as they
builded mimic castles among the rocks, or twist-
ed the world-famed laurel bloom into wreaths for
tiny heroes or made fairy wands of the slender
28 THE CURRENT FAMILY
sour-wood branches. So the happ3 T childhood
days quickly passed and when Mary Ann was
near sixteen, her parents decided to go west to
the untried wilderness of Indiana, and in the vir-
gin forests to hew them out a home wherein to
shelter their beloved. In this new land Mary
grew to womanhood, and early gave her heart to
Jesus. It was in a little prayer meeting in her
father's house that God's converting power came
to her. She had before that joined the church, in
which she holds her membership today. As eld-
est daughter she shared the mother's daily duties
and her deft .fingers drew the shining threads
from the silvery flax-covered distaff, or changed
soft, fleecy woolen rolls lying across the big spin-
ning wheel into finest, smoothest knitting yarn.
Other days, mounted on the high loom seat, she
wove piles on piles of blankets, and coverlets as
cannot now be bought at any price; and web on
web of whitest linen. So when the youthful
Stephen came a-wooing, her oaken chest was
filled with splendid dowry, her own handiwork
for "she had laid her hands to the spindle and
Stephen B. Hobson and Mary A. Current were
THE CURRE NT FAMILY 29
married October 20, 1843, and moved to the terri-
tory of Missouri, believing that it would come in-
to the Union as a free soil/There they built a
home, made them fields and gathered flocks and
herds about them; but when slavery over-ran the
young, new state they resolved to migrate again
rather than live where the land echoed the groans
of a race in bondage. In 1856 they removed to
Nebraska, an infant territorj" numbering a few
hundred inhabitants. Here they again made
them a home and planted orchards and vineyards
and "grew with the county" until now they love
the very name, Nebraska. Here they saw three
children grow up, settle in homes of their own,
and children's children become men and women.
The eldest son was given, for four happy years
but for nearly half a century has been a dweller
in that land where no sorrow comes. From a few
villages scattered along the banks of the muddy
Missouri river, they witnessed a great state de-
velop which counts its people by the thousands.
Nearly fort} T years Nebraska was a synonym for
home and it caused many a heart to pang to leave
it for another abode. In June 1894, the swiftly-
moving train carried them away from the beauti-
30 THE CURR ENT FAMILY
ful hills and thrifty vales they had so long called
their own, and now they dwell beneath the fair
Southern skies of California, where evergreen
boughs and sweet orange blossoms bring glad
premonitions of the better home beyond.
"Eighty years old is Mary today, as she sits be-
side me! Eighty years of toil and bereavements,
of happiness and joy; all mixed and mingled is
the web of life. Eighty years to love and serve
the Master; eighty years of help and cheer for
humanity. Oh, Mary, mother mine, what a long
blessed life! Thou, indeed, hast measured the
Father's promise, 'With long life will I satisfy
Him and show Him my salvation.' "
STEPHEN B. HOBSON.
The subject of this sketch was born of Quaker
parents, George and Deborah Hobson, in Wayne
county, Indiana, Feb. 12, 1822: was converted
when a little boy while listening to Quaker
preaching; was reared to manhood in Henry
county, Ind.; married Mary Ann Current Oct. 20,
1843; moved to Andrew county, Missouri in 1844:
to Cass county, Nebraska in 1856; to California in
1894; died at San Fernando, Cal., April 2, 1900.
In religion he may not have been so exhuberant
THE CURR ENT FAMILY 3[
as his wife but he was as hopeful, faithful and
tenacious. It would have been a nine days' won-
der to have seen Stephen B. Hobson backslide.
With him religion became a habit which domina-
ted all his other habits. He joyed more in want-
ing to do right and to be right than in anything
else and was more hurt and humiliated over the
consciousness of wrong committed than he was in
its confession. Such confidence had men in the
purity of his intentions that even infidels, while
they were living, respected his opinions and
when dying sent for him to say prayers.
Such traits of character as this pair possessed
may have, yea, must have, made it easy for their
children to be religious; certain it is that all who
lived to maturity sought to live the Christian life,
from childhood. Though the family lines have
diverged, some going here and some there, the
mother's faith and the father's prayers, have kept
the family one. By and by the prayer that for
the mornings of more than fifty years ascended
from their altar, "make us an unbroken family in
heaven," shall be answered, the family lines shall
converge, our weary steps shall incline toward
the root of our tree, at the thought of "going
32 THE CURRENT FAMILY
home," our pace shall quicken, and soon, very
soon, our lingering feet shall overtake them, and
"so shall we be with the Lord."
ANCESTRY of STEPHEN B. KOBSON.
George Hobson, age not known.
George Hobson, son of George, age not known.
Stephen Hobson, son of George(2), age not
Ann Hobson, daughter of Bringly Barnes and
wife of Stephen.
Stephen Hobson, son of Stephen(l) and Ann
Hobson, born Feb. 15, 1763; died Aug. 26,
1803. Rachel, daughter of Thomas and E
Vestal, wife of Stephen (2), born June 10,
1766; died Oct. 1, 1848.
George Hobson, son of Stephen(2) and Rachel
V. Hobson, born June 5, 1791; died Dec. 22,
1865. Deborah, daughter of William and
Elizabeth Marshall; wife of George(3), born
July 23. 1793; died Sept. 15, 1862.
vStephen B. Hobson. son of George(3) and Deb-
orah Hobson, born Feb. 12. 1822; died April
2, 1900. Mary A., daughter of Peter and
Rebecca Current, born Nov. 19, 1817; died
THE CIRRENT FAMILY
July 11, 1904. They were married Oct. 20,
DESCENDANTS of STEPHEN B. and MARY HOBSON.
Ivebeeca Matilda Hobson.
Peter C. Hobson, born April 23, 1848. Died Nov-
ember 18, 1852.
George Alfred Hobson.
Samuel Lee Hobson.
Rebecca Matilda and Jacob Bates.
Rebecca Matilda, daughter of Stephen B.
and Mary A. Hob-
son, was born April
29, 1845. Married
Jacob Henry Bates
November 9, 1865.
He was the son of
Leander and Mary
( De Gauno ) Bates,
born March 4, 1837.
REBECCA MATILDA BATES.
34 THE CURRENT FAMILY
Walter Lee Bates, born August 14, 1866, died
September 9, 1866.
Alfred Bates, stillborn, January 5; 1869
Milton Irving Bates, born January 5, 1869; died
Carrie Luella Bates, born Jan 8, 1871.
Roscoe Hobson Bates, born May 29, 1874; died Jan-
uary 28, 1876.
George Wilbur Bates, born Nov. 27, 1877.
Carrie Luella Bates and Elver Boaz, who was
born Sept. 14, 1870, were married May 21, 1895.
Edna Muriel Boaz, born Sept. 29, 1896.
Gilbert Leroy Boaz, born Oct 7, 1899.
Mary Evelyn Boaz, born Feb. 3, 1904.
George Wilbur Bates and Dollie E. Cresop
were married Sept. 20, 1905.
George Alfred and Anna M. Hobson.
George Alfred, son of Stephen B. and Mary A.
Hobson, was born March 16, 1851; married Anna
Mary Frew, daughtier of John and Eliza Ann
THE CURRENT FAMILY
(Gregg) Frew, born March 22, 1848 and they were
married Ma} 7 19,
Stephen Leroy, born
Mar. 19, 1871
born Aug. 8, 1872.
Maggie Ellen, born
Feb. 19, 1874.
Laona Emma, born
January 2, 1876.
Eunice Rose, born
July 5, 1880.
GEORGE A. HOBSON
Flora Mav, born March 6, 1882.
Stephen Leroy, son of George A. and Anna M.
Hobson, married Maggie Dunfee, Feb. 24, 1898.
She was born Oct. 6, 1887.
Lulu Mae, born September 13, 1899.
Alfred Earl, born November 25, 1901.
Orval Chester, born March 3, 1904.
Cornelia Matilda, daughter of George A. and
Anna M. Hobson, married William Shrader Dec-
36 THE CURREN T FAMILY
ember 25, 1892. He was born Mar.l, 18">7.
Kennetta Russel, born June 12 1894.
Carrol Raymond; born April 6, 1896.
Rose Margarite, born August 29, 1897.
Lois Alberta, born July 3D, 1899.
Bernice, born Februar}^ 15, 1901.
Wilbur Malcolm, born October 16, 1902.
Maggie Ellen, daughter of GeorgeA. and Anna
M. Hobson, married Charles Leonard Hoevel, son
of William and Lucy (Johnson) Hoevel, Mny 9,
1900. He was born Sept. 23, 1880.
Charles Alfred, born Mar. 15, 1901,
William Clair, born April 15, 1903.
Rex Leroy, born September 7, 190L
Laona Emma, daughter of George A. and Anna
M. Hobson, married William Eugene Underkofler
son of William B. and Polly (Spotz) Underkofler,
August 2, 1905. He was born January 20, 1873.
Sam\iel Lee Hobson and Descendants.
Samuel Lee, son of Stephen B. and Maiw A.
THE CURRENT FAMILY
Hobson was born September 20, 1854. Tie was
married to Emma
daughter of Wil-
liam and Susan
(Lin eh) Allhands,
Sept. 5, 1876. She
was born Sept. 13,
1857 and died Feb.
Walter Earl, born
Sept. 1, 1877.
Edith Pearl, born
Dec. 28, 1879.
Edgar Lorain born
SAMUEL LEE HOBSON
Sept. 13, 1881; died August 17, 1882.
Ethel Inez, born April 9, 1883; died Sept. 10, 1883.
Maude Adele and Mabel Fern, twins, born Dec.
31, 1884. Mabel Fern died August 7, 1885.
Samuel Lee Hobson married second wife, Ella
Magney, March 21, 1886. She was born Julv 25, '65.
38 THE CURRENT FAMILY
Roy S., born November 2,1886.
Rea, born May 5, 1888; died Sept. 28, 1892.
Clara Alvie, born August 25, 1889.
Clay St.Clair, born February 4, 1893.
Edith Pearl, daughter of Samuel ;Lee and
Emma S. Hobson, was married December 26, 1896
to George H. Riggle. He was born June 20, 1877.
Emma May, born September 15, 1899.
Claude Earl, born February 1902.
THE CURRENT FAMILY 39
RACHEL C. and ILA T. LAKE.
By MARY J. HELM.
Rachel Current was born in Monongahela coun-
ty, Virginia, May 10, 1819, being the second child
of Peter and Rebecca Current. When Rachel was
thirteen years old, her parents left the old Virgin-
ia home and friends to seek a new home in the
new state of Indiana, which was at that time in
man} r places an unbroken forest, and far away be-
cause of the difficulty of traveling over hills and
vales of unsettled territory, with no swiftl} r run-
ning palace cars to shorten the journe} r from
weeks into hours. Her father and mother, with
their five children, and such household articles as
the} 7 could pack with them into the big covered
wagon, or "wilderness carriage," with cheerful
hearts, journe} T ed weary weeks until they finally
reached the place where they decided to make
Here Rachel grew to womanhood. With a nat-
<0 THE CURRE NT FAMILY
urally pleasing personality she developed a
strong Christian character, diffusing happiness
with her sunny smiles and cheer} 7 words.
Among the friends of the Currents in Virginia
was the family of Jeremiah Lake, they three years
later, joining the western emigration, following
the Currents to Indiana. There the intimacy be-
tween the families was resumed; with the young
people it terminated in love and marriage. Ila
son of Jeremiah and Polly Baily Lake was born
in Monongahela county, Virginia, May 4, 1816,
and was married to Rachel Current in June 1838.
Ila Lake had bought a tract of land and built a
small log house in the woods and here he and his
young wife began housekeeping. Their dilligent
labors were soon rewarded and they were able to
build a larger and more substantial house. It was
not long before the young orchard they had plant-
ed began to bear fruit and the patch in the wilder-
ness took on a look of thrift and industry. On
this farm four children were born to them: Re-
becca Lavina, Mary Jane, William Peter and
Sarah Emaline Later they sold the farm and
moved to Blountsville, in the same county, where
Ila engaged in the mercantile business which he
THE CURRENT FAMILY 4[
carried on successfully for a number of years.
Here their fifth and last child, John Morrison,
was born. In 1867, they moved to Redke} T and
soon after, Mr. Lake entered the service of the
Pennsylvania railroad Company, of which he con-
tinued a trusted employee for more than thirty-
five years. A few years before his death he re-
tired from active business life and gave his time
and devoted attention to his wife who had become
a confirmed invalid; for five years before her
death she was a helpless sufferer from rheuma-
tism and dropsy. The devotion of these two
sweethearts, who had been all in all to each other
for more than sixty-five 3-ears was beautiful to see.
Though she suffered intensely she was always
bright and uncomplaining.
Ila Lake died December 28, 1902, after a short
illness and his stricken wife on December 19, the
following year. Their youngest son had taken
them into his home a few months before the fath-
er was taken away, and here the mother remained
and was lovingly cared for until she followed her
husband to the home beyond.
These two had led an ideally peaceful, congenial
life. The} T had met all the hardships and priva-
42 THE CURR ENT FAMILY
tions of their ear^ life, hand in hand, with a bra-
very, born of their strong Christian characters
and their devotion to each other. From their
youth they were members of the M. E. Church
and were earnest Christians and trusted workers
in the chureh until age and failing health depriv-
ed them of this service.
Rebecca LaKe and William Barnell
Rebecca Lake, eldest daughter of Ila T. and
Rachel Lake, was born near Blountsville, Henry
county, Ind., May 31, 1841. "I was converted and
joined the M. E. Church when a child at a meet-
ing held in my Grandfather Current's home. I
was united in marriage to William Barnell May
12, 1863. We lived in Delaware county, Ind., until
1869 when we came toJa} T count}-, having bought
the farm of my Grandfather Current, which he
sold when he left Indiana for Nebraska. William
Barnell was born in Rockingham county, Va.,
January 30, 1821. His grandfather was a native
of Ireland, coming to this country in early life
and settling On the James river iu Virginia. Wil-
liam's parents were James P. and Catharine Bar-
nell. James P. was a soldier in the second war
THE CURRENT FAMILY 43
with England; he died in Wayne count}^, Indiana,
at near seventy }ears of age and his wife, Cath-
arine Barnell died at the age of eighty years in
Henry count}', Ind. William Barnell located in
Delaware county, after his marriage in 1844 to
Miss Margaret Ann Jordan, who died in 1862, soon
after the loss of their home by fire, wherein one
of their children, (Stout) met his death and James
was badly burned. The children of William and
Margaret Ann Barnell were: John W., James R.,
William Jordan, Stout, Catharine M., Araminta A.
William Barnell was an earnest Christian. In
his young days he was greatly interested in mu-
sic and was a beautiful singer. He lived to the
age of eighty -five years and still took delight in
singing praises to God, spending much of his
time during the last year of his life reading his
Bible and singing hymns. He often expressed
his desire to go to heaven and was ready when
the heavenly messengers came for him Mar. 27,
1906. The funeral was conducted by the pastor,
using the text "He giveth His beloved sleep."
He is asleep in Jesus and, oh, how sadly I miss
him." Rebecca Barnell, June 1, 1906.
44 THE CURRE NT FAMILY __
CHILDREN of REBECCA and WILLIAM BARNELL.
Orus P., born May 10, 1885.
Olen, born October 7, 1866.
Corela, born May 16, 1868; died October 7, 1868.
Rodolph, born November 21, 1869.
Orns P. Barnell was married to Miss Etta Chalk
December 27, 1893. They have one child, Murray.
Olen Barnell was married to Miss Laura Sutton
April 3., 1887. Olen died August 26, 1900, leaving
his wife and four children. The children are:
Elfa, Edna, William and Fannie.
Rodolph Barnell and Miss Rosa Watson were
married June 2, 1894. They have two children,
Harrold and Ward.
Mary J. LaKe and Thomas J. Helm.
By MARY J. HELM.
Mary Jane Lake was born on her father's farm
near Blountsville, the second child of Ila T. and
Rachel Lake. Her early childhood was spent on
this picturesque farm, where with her brother and
sisters she enjoyed the wild freedom of country
life. When she was still a small girl her father
THE CURREN T FAMILY 45
left the farm and moved to Blountsville and a few
years later to Red key. It was here that Mary was
married to Thomas Jefferson Helm, youngest
child of Jacob and Elizabeth Slick Helm, Decem-
ber 31, 1867.
At this time Thomas lived on his father's farm
but soon after became employed as agent of the
C. C. C. & I Railroad at Farmland, Ind. Here
three daughters were born to them, Edna, Mil-
dred and Jessie. Edna died in infancy and Jessie
in early childhood
In 1880 they moved to Indianapolis where
Thomas was still employed by the same railroad
company. He here received several promotions,
but finally his health failed so he was compelled
to seek a different climate, going to Santa Fe, New
Mexico, in 1890. His health improved and he
accepted the position of General Superintendent
of the Sante Fe Southern Railway Compan}',
which position he held for some years. It was
here, in 1895, that their daughter, Mildred, was
married to Joseph Coolidge Kilbourne, son of
Major Charles Kilbourne of the United States
Army. Mr. Helm became interested in building
railroads and was the chief promoter of the Santa
46 THE CURRENT FAMILY
Fe, Central and Albuquerque Eastern railroads
which were not completed, however, until after
Although Mr. Helm's health was so greatly
benefited by the climate of Santa Fe, it did not
agree with his wife and she was forced to make
yearly pilgrimages to a lower altitude. These pil-
grimages usually took the form of visits to her
parents in the far away Indiana home. It was
while making one of these visits to her parents,
that her husband died very suddenly, of pneumo-
nia, November 22, 1902.
After her husband's death, Mary spent some
time in Indiana with her brother's family, help-
ing care for her aged mother, who had become
a helpless invalid. A year later her mother died
and then Mary went to make her home with her
daughter in Columbus, Ohio, where she still lives.
Joseph and Mildred Kilbourne have two sons,
Joseph Coolidge, Jr., born in Portland, Oregon in
1896 and Thomas Helm, born in Portland, Ore-
gon, in 1897. January 31, 1906
THE CURREN T FAMILY 47
William P. and Mary Lake.
William P., the first son born to Ila T. and Ra-
chel Current Lake, was born near Blonntsville,
Henry county, Indiana in 1847.
The family moved to Blonntsville, when he
was in his sixth year. He remained with his pa-
rents until he was eighteen years of age, assisting
his father as clerk in his general store. Then he
took employment as a clerk with the firm of An-
drew & Petty. Having acquired the knowledge of
keeping railroad books, he was appointed freight
and ticket agent for the Bellefontaine & Indian-
apolis Railroad, (now the Big Fonr).
In 1868 he was united in marriage wfth Miss
Mary Dangherty, daughter of James L. and Mary
Dangherty, of Mnncie, Ind. She was born in Del-
aware county, Ind. After their marriage they
moved to Indianapolis and he began breaking
on freight trains on the same road- Tiring
of this, they moved to Redkey, Indiana, and en-
gaged to work as a carpenter. While there, their
two children were born, Elf a in 1870 and Guy V.
in 1872. In 1873 they moved to Logansport, Ind.,
where he entered the service of the P. C. & St. L.
Railroad, now the Penns3'lvani a Lines. Step by
48 THE CURRENT FAMILY
step he worked his way up until he became a pas-
senger conductor, having served on all the five
divisions of the road centering at Logansport.
Severing his connection with this Company, he
was tendered a similar position on the New York
& New England Railroad, which was accepted
and he went East and ran between Boston, Mass.,
and Hartford, Connecticut. Not liking this posi-
tion he returned to Logansport, and accepted a
similar position on the Wabash Railroad, where
he remained until his eye sight failed so much
that he was compelled to retire from the railroad
service. They then moved to Muncie and en-
gaged in business where he is at present one of
the leading tobacconists of the city.
Their children were educated in city schools.
In 1891 Elfa was united in marriage with Charles
W. Sedwick, of Indianapolis, now the head of the
firm of J. B. Sed wick's Sons & Company, live
stock commission merchants of the Union Stock
yards To Charles W. and Elfa Sedwick have
been born two children, Marie S., in 1892, and
Theodore Lake , in 1902.
William and Mary Lake's son, Guy V., took up
the study of chemistry after a preparatory course
THE CURRENT FAMILY 49
in the drugstore of V E. Silverburg of Muncie,
he took his Junior course at Purdue University,
Lafayette, Ind., and his Senior course at the
Northwestern University, Chicago, graduating at
the earl}' age af twenty years. He then accepted
a position with the George H. Andrews Drug
Store where he remained until failing health
compelled him to retire and seek climatic change
in hope of regaining his health. He visited Cal-
ifornia, spent a year in Colorado; failing to re-
ceive benefit, he returned home where he linger-
ed with that dread disease, tuberculosis, until
April 4, 1897, when the summons came. He was
loved and honored b} r all who knew him, and we
never cease to mourn our loss, but we hope to
join him where there is no separation. Our home
has a vacanc} 7 that cannot be filled. Our daugh-
ter and family are a comfort to us.
William P. and Mary Lake.
May 3, 1906.
SaraK Emmaline and Johnathan Reveries.
Sarah E., daughter of Ha T. and Rachel Lake,
was born near Blountsville, Ind., June 8, 1851
50 THE CURRE NT FAMILY
"My parents moved to Redkey, Indiana when
I was twelve years old, only remaining there one
year but while there I joined the M. E. Church. In
the spring of 1865 my parents removed to Parker,
Ind., where they lived two years, moving back to
Redkey in the spring of 1867. While attending
school at Parker I formed the acquaintance of
Johnathan Kegeries and two years later, at Red-
key we were united in holy matrimony by Rev.
JamesRedkey. After our marriage we resided at
Our first child, Daru W., was born there Aug. 1,
1869, and the following November we moved on
a farm near Redkey. For ten years we resided
near to, or in Redkey. Clyde, our second child,
was born there May 13, 1871, and our third and
last child was born at Redkey, also, on June 8
1878. On May 22, 1879, my husband and I with our
family, bade farewell to all that was near and dear
to us, and went to try the realities of a Western
life. With a good team of mules and a covered
wagon, we wended our way through a strange
country, and among strange people. After stop-
ping to visit our relatives in Cass county, Ne-
braska, a few days, we continued our journey, ar-
THE CURRENT FAMILY 5[
riving at our destination in Smith count}', Kan-
sas, July 9, 1879. Then in fifteen months when
our crops had dried up, we moved back to Cass
count}', Nebraska, where we remained until the
spring of 1886, when we moved to western Ne-
braska and filed a claim on 320 acres of Govern-
ment land, where we made our home for twelve
years; but one dry year followed another, with oc-
casional hail storms, and we decided to try the
central part of the State, in Butler county, where
we stayed one year. In December 1899 I went
back to Redkey to visit my aged parents. My
mother was too frail to keep house but they could
not make up their minds to break up their home
and go to live with their daughter or son, living
in Redkey, who would gladly have taken them to
their homes; so in February 1900, my husband
and I decided to stay with them awhile and he
then came to Redkey. Though our dear mother
was not able to walk, yet not a murmur escaped
her lips. Her blessed Christian experience ena-
bled her to bear her afflictions looking forward
with joy and gladness to the Master's call.
The lives of this dear father and mother were
so blended together, and with their Christian
52 THE CURRENT FAMILY
faith, that to be associated with them would make
one better. We stayed with them almost three
years when the} 7 decided to break up their home
as both were so feeble, father being 86 years old
and mother, 83, They went to the home of their
son John and wife, where they were tenderly
cared for. Myself and husband returned to But-
ler county, Neb., and spent the winter with our
eldest son and his family. In April 1903 we came
to California where our other two sons were liv-
ing. In May 1904, we moved into our home in
Southern California, about three miles from the
grand old Pacific, and fifteen miles from Los An-
geles, in the land of sunshine and flowers. Our
oldest son Daru came to California, October 9,
1905, and with his family, is living at Redondo.
Daru was married to Nora Dearwester; they
have three children: Frances Ruth, born Oct. 27,
1892; Clyde Irwin, born March 5, 1896 and Ray,
born September 10, 1901.
Clyde, our second son, is unmarried and lives
in San Francisco. Lenson, our youngest son,
was married to Nellie Hall, August, 1905. They
are living at Trinidad, Colorado.
I feel that God has been very good to us. Death
THE GURRENT FAMILY 53
has never entered our home, nor the homes of our
boys. At the simeof the great earthquake, April
18, 1906, Clyde was at Los Angeles.
We expect to make our home in this summer-
land of flowers until we are called to our home
above." Emma Kegeries
May 4, 1906.
JoKn M. and Mary LaKe.
John M. Lake, son of Ila T. and Rachel Current
Lake, was born at Blountsville, Henry county,
Ind„ Sept. 12, 185L
When a small bo} T he moved with his parents
from Blountsville to Mt. Vernon, Ja} T county, Ind.
residing there one }ear, moving to Morristown,
Randolph county, Ind., from there moving back
to Redke3 r , formerl} r known as Mt. Vernon, before
the building of the Union and Logansport rail-
road. At the above place he entered the store of
his father as clerk which position he held for
some time, At the age of seventeen years he en-
tered the service of the Pittsburg, Cincinnati &
Chicago Railway as clerk in their office at Red-
key, which position he held for a number of years,
54 THE CURRENT FAMILY
succeeding his father as agent for the Railroad
On April 28, 1875, he was united in marriage
with Mary E. Carpenter of Redkey,Ind. To this
union two daughters were added, Bernice, who
passed away at the age of two years and seven
months, after a brief illness of only twenty-four
hours. Agnes M., who was deaf born, at nine years
of age entered the School for the Deaf at Indian-
apolis, Ind., attending this school regularly nine
months each year for ten years until June 6, 1906,
at which time she graduated, together with twelve
other pupils of the school.
John M. Lake has been continuously in the em-
ploy of the railway company for more than thirty
years. During this period he has never been ab-
sent from his duties more than thirty days at one
time and then he was away on a vacation at that
SAMUEL J. and ELIZA J. CURRENT.
By A. E. C.
Samuel Jones Current, son of Peter and Rebec-
ca Jones Current, was born in Virginia, May 17
1821. He was converted in his childhood and
came with his parents to Henry county, Indiana,
when he was twelv r e j T ears old. He loved to study
and attended school until he had as good an edu-
cation as one could obtain in the country schools
of those days. In his father's home he had a good
suppl}' of books and papers through which Sam-
56 THE CIJRREN T FAMILY
uel added to his stock of knowledge, information
on history, politics and religion, and was always
interested in the affairs of the country on these
lines. Some [years after his marriage, he im-
proved his education lyy attending school a few
He married Eliza J. Hobson, February 9, 1843.
They lived the first } T ear of their married life with
her parents near New Castle, Ind., then moved
with them to Andrew county, Missouri. It took
three months to drive the distance. The .season
was an unusually wet one, and when the} r came
to the Illinois river it was so wide they put their
wagons, teams and all their stock on a ferr3 T -boat
and rode over fine fields of grain; the}' could look
down in the water and see the ripe golden wheat
waving beneath them. They rented a farm and
lived in Missouri three years. Eliza's mother
died, and as they both liked Indiana better, they
returned, coming by boat from St. Joseph, Mo., to
Cincinnati, where Samuel's father met them and
took them in a wagon to their home in Henrj"
county. There were no railroads, telegraphs or
telephones, and the distance of six hundred miles
then, seemed almost as far as the Philippines
THE CURREN T FAMILY 57
do now. Samuel bought some land adjoining his
father's farm, where they lived six } r ears, then
sold it and bought a farm of one hundred and
sixty acres in Ja}*- county, same state, and moved
there in March, 1853. The farm was all wood land,
except ten acres which had been cleared, having
a log house on it. A good part being low ground,
he had to work very hard to clear and drain it.
At that time no post-office was there, but soon
after an office was granted, and Samuel was made
postmaster, and named the office "Halfway,"
being near Halfway creek. When the Pennsyl-
vania railroad was built in 1867 the station at that
place was called Redkey, and the name of the post-
office was soon changed to Redkey, as well as the
name of the little village, which before this was
called Mt. Vernon.
Like his father and his grandfathers, Samuel's
home was a resting place for the itinerant Meth-
odist preachers. This home was named by one
of them, "Saints' Rest." He said, "It is a place
to rest both soul and body." In the midst of the
busy cares of farm work Samuel always found
time to attend all the religious meetings of his
church, either at his own home, in the grove, or
58 THE CURRENT FAMILY
other places, especially the business meetings ;
he felt the responsibility of meeting all the obli-
gations and raising the funds. Sometimes the
quarterly meetings would come in the midst of
harvest, but he always said, "The Lord's work
comes first," and he trusted the Lord to keep his
hay or wheat from spoiling while he attended to
his Christian duties, and he was never disap-
pointed. Some instances of how the Lord took
care of that which was committed to Him : For
ten years, from 1870 to 1880, there was a ten days'
camp-meeting held at Albany, seven miles from
their home, and Samuel built a comfortable three-
room cottage on the camp ground, which all the
family occupied during the time of the meeting.
Their neighbors would say to them, "How can
you leave your farm, garden and home with no
one to take care of it ? " Samuel and Eliza said
they had left it all in the care of the Lord, except
they had engaged someone to give water to their
live stock, but the Lord sent showers and fur-
nished the water, so it required no person to do
that. Up to this time fruit trees had been scarce,
and one year, just as camp-meeting time came,
they had one plum tree full of fruit almost ripe.
THE CURR ENT FAMILY 59
It was the first they ever had, and in all the coun-
try around there were only a few such trees, which
the owners carefully guarded. This tree was in
full view of the public road and was a tempting
sight, but, according to their faith, the Lord kept
it out of the mind of any person to molest, and
not a plum was missed, though all were ripe when
they returned home.
While Samuel did not have the light on God's
Word that one-tenth of his income was the Lord's
by partnership right, that his family had later on,
he always freely gave of his means and time with-
out stint, until he felt the sacrifice, always seeing
that the expenses of the church were met.
When mother received the blessing of holiness,
they w r ere sitting around the fireside, after coming
home from a revival meeting at the school-house,
when father said, " Eliza, if I could control my
temper like you, I would seek for sanctification."
She replied, " I have been seeking that experience
for three years, though I have been taught that a
person is never sanctified until death; but I want
that blessing now, if it takes me out of the world
the next minute." Immediately the baptism of
the Holy Ghost came upon her, and all present
60 T H E C l R R E NT FAMILY
felt the wondrous power. The members of the
family and a friend present, who were saved, spent
three hours praising the Lord. The writer was at
the time only eight } r ears old and unconverted,
but was convicted from that time, until two years
later she was saved. Later on Samuel obtained
the experience of sanctiflcation.
He was a tender, affectionate husband, daily
telling his wife, as long as he lived, of his love for
her and of his confidence in her faithfulness as
wife and mother, as gently as a lover trying to
win a bride. He referred to her, chiefly, the work
of training the children. She believed in Solo- ,
man's saying, "Withhold not correction from the
child, for if thou beatest him with the rod he shall
not die; thou shalt beat him with the rod and shall
deliver his soul from hell," and she never punished
a child without quoting this scripture, or speaking
of it, and saying that was the reason for her seem-
ing severity. She never corrected her child in
anger, nor stopped till the spirit of anger had left
In 1870 Samuel urged the building of a brick
church in the little town of Redkey, and worked
hard to help in the building. (See engraving of
THE CURRENT FAMILY
first M. E. Church in Redkey.) After going to
that place he had paid off a debt on his farm and
FIRST METHODIST CHURCH IX REDKEY
built an eisfht-room frame house (see engraving
at beginning of this chapter) in 1860. He had also
given his children that were married some help,
and was again in debt, so that whatever he put in
the church besides his own labor must nearly all
be borrowed money. Realizing that he had always
had the blessing of the Lord upon his business,
THE CURRENT FAMILY
and wishing to do all in his power to advance the
cause of Christ, he borrowed at one time $500 00
to put into the building of this church, besides
making other payments on it.
In the year 1895, a larger building was needed,
so this one was taken down and a new one built
in its place (see engraving of second M. E. Church
SECOND M. TC. CHURCH IN REDKEY
in Redkey), Samuel's sons, William and Oscar,
taking the same interest in this that their father
THE CURRENT FAMILY 63
did in the first, but were each able to pay more
than double the amount he paid with far less
Samuel overtaxed himself in his zeal to have
means to give for Christ's cause and to help his
children get homes of their own, and he became
afflicted with spinal disease. Learning that his
disease was incurable, he had his business so
arranged that he-had no business cares. Selling
enough of his property to pay his debts, he gave
up hard work, and seemed to 'enjoy life as much
as ever. Though afflicted for ten } T ears, heenjoyed
his family and friends' society, and most of the
time was able to attend the services at church.
He and mother were very fond of music, and many
happy hours were spent in the family circle sing-
ing sacred songs. In 1871 he bought an organ.
At that time there was only one other organ, two
melodians and one piano in the township. I had
taken instrumental music lessons, and when the
organ came could play; Oscar learned, and even
our mother, near fifty years old, learned to play;
and many blessed hours swiftly passed as we
worshipped God in singing the songs of salva-
tion. During the last year of father's life he often
64 THE CURRENT FAMILY .
begged mother to quit praying for his life to be
spared, for he felt that his work was done and he
wanted to " go home." A peculiarity of his disease
was that frequently, without any warning,- the
blood would rush to the head, his face become red,
and he would say, "Blessed Jesus," then a sentence
or two of prayer or praise, after which he would
resume his conversation, or whatever he was doing,
unconscious that he had been interrupted.
The last three weeks of his life he suffered most,
having to lie in bed nearly all the time, but never
a day passed that he did not rise and conduct
family worship — even the day he took his last
sleep. When he was suffering intense pain during
those last days it was amazing how his pain was
soothed and his nerves quieted by the dear old
song, "Jesus, Lover of My Soul." Instead of taking
an opiate, he would have some of the family play
and sing that, or some other precious hymn, and
as the song went on one could see his nerves begin
to relax, a restful smile come over his face, and
sometimes before the singing ceased he would fall
into a peaceful sleep.
On Thursday afternoon, February 17th, he went
to sleep, in restful slumber, and slept until the
THE CURRENT FAMILY 65
following Saturday afternoon, February 19th, 1881
his spirit left his body, till the coming of Christ
at the first resurrection. The funeral service was
held at the home, attended by many loving friends.
Rev. P. J. Albright conducted the service, using
for text, Isaiah, 3:10.
ELIZA J. (HOBSON) CURRENT.
N TE- In January, 1010, 1 requested mother to dictate,
for me to write in her own words, the incidents of her
past life which she could then recall to her mind, and
this is what she gave me: A. K. C.
"My father and mother, George and Sally
Hobson, came to Henry county, Indiana, March
3, 1820. They bought a farm and settled where
New Castle, the county seat, is now located. When
they came there their only neighbors were In-
dians. For three months my mother lived there
before she saw any woman, except the Indians.
The} T were always kind to her. I was born there
November 22, 1822. Our home was a log cabin,
and the windows were made by sawing out a
piece of a log about three feet long, pasting oiled
p^per over it, letting in the light but keeping out
the cold. When I was one year old a cabin school-
66 THE CURRENT FAMILY
house was built on my father's farm, having the
same kind of windows as our house, but were, per-
haps, ten feet long. When four years old I went
to school one day, it being the third term ever
taught in the county. The only provisions for the
scholars to get a drink of water was for them to
take a long hollow stem of grass, and, stooping
down to the spring, draw up the water through
the stem. That first d iy of school at the noon
hour I had been drinking in this way from the
spring near b}^, and when "called to books" I
carried my grass stem into the house, and, child-
like, while playing with it made a chirping noise,
for which the teacher stood me on the "dunce
block," in front of the whole school. It almost
terrified me, and that day's experience was all the
school I wanted till I was old enough to study.
"On the day I was five years old my maternal
grandparents, Revel and Margaret Colburn, were
brought by my father from North Carolina to our
home. They brought with them a glass mirror.
I had never seen one before, and when they called
me to look at it, I thought certainly a strange
little girl was standing there. I looked behind
the glass to see her, and I remember how aston-
THE CURR ENT FAMILY 67
ished I was on learning that no girl was there. I
could not see how she could so quickly disappear.
Colburns moved into the school - house, and
another log cabin was built for a school-house that
same year; but the next year a frame school-house
was built, having glass windows and plastered
walls, the first I had ever seen of either. My
father built a frame dwelling house that year, also
having glass windows, but ceiled walls. Later a
fine seminar)' was built (fine for those days), in
which I received most of rny education. There I
had for one of my teachers Hon. George \V.
Julian, who afterwards became candidate for Vice-
President of the United States in the Abolition
party. I was then just as strong an Abolitionist
as I have been a Prohibitionist ever since that
party was organized.
" I can remember when first I learned there was
a God. When a very young child my mother took
me on her lap and told me that I had two little
brothers and a sister in Heaven, and there was a
good God in Heaven who had taken them there,
and if I would be good and pray to Him, He would
take me there some time. In those earl)' times
every child, as soon as it was old enough, was set
68 THE CURRENT FAMILY
to work at something. One thing I had to do was
to watch the gaps in the field while the men passed
from one field to another; I kept the stock out.
One day, when I was about six years old, while
sitting alone at the gap earnestly praying for God
to make me good and send my brothers and sister
back from Heaven, there came over me such
sweet peace and joy, and an inward whisper to
my heart that they could not come back to me,
but that some day I should go to them, and I
have had that assurance ever since that day. My
parents did not regularly attend church services.
My mother was an invalid from my earliest recol-
lection. Father was reared a Quaker, but lost his
membership by marrying a Methodist. Regularly
on Sunday mornings I saw one of our neighbors,
Mr. Rogers and wife, with all their children, going
to the house of worship, and I so much wished
our family would do the same. I then resolved to
have none but a Christian husband, so that we
could have family prayers, and if children were
given us they would always be taken to the house
of God on the Sabbath. Such a husband was given
to me by the Lord, when in my twenty -first year
year I was married to Samuel J. Current. As soon
THE CURREN T FAMILY 69
as we had a home, we established a famil} r altar,
where we daily read the Bible and prayed together
morning and evening. And always, when health
would permit, the famil} 1 - attended meetings for
Divine worship on th^ Sabbath. When we had
our first two children we lived in Missouri, where
we had to ride on horseback ten miles to get to
the place of worship, which we did regularl}^ at-
tending the weekly class meeting. At an early
age we saw our five children, who lived to account-
ability, converted to God, from which they have
never declined, and they each have daily family
worship in their homes.
" By experience I learned that I had a carnal
nature that caused evil tempers to rise up and
trouble me, though most of the time I had joy
and peace in communion with God. I often felt
very happy when reading the Bible, praying or
attending religious services; then, while engaged
in my daily toil, this consciousness of the Divine
presence would leave me, and a yearning came
into rm T heart for that conscious presence all the
time. For three years I prayed earnestly for a
religion that would keep me in abiding peace and
make me realize the presence of God all the time.
70 THE CLRR E NT FAMILY
I had always thought a person was never wholly
sanctified until just before death, but I got so
anxious for that cleansing and abiding peace that
I cried out, ' I want it now, if it takes me out of
the world the next minute!' Immediately the
blood was applied and the Holy Spirit came upon
me. I felt the might}' power throughout my whole
being — my head, my heart, my hands, my feet,
were filled and thrilled. My eyes were dazzled
with the brightness of the Divine presence From
that time I have believed that I was wholly sanc-
tified, and have been kept in the abiding peace
ever since. This occurred in November, 1861,
and now, in the year 1900, I am still rejoicing in
that holy rest, realizing the constant presence of
the refiner and purifier of my soul. He has been
with me all these years, teaching and revealing to
me the hidden things of God, and my stay and
strength in the nineteen years of widowhood. I
am looking forward to a happ} r reunion in the
Mother remained with us three years after the
above was written. When father went to Heaven,
Oscar and I were at home with mother and all her
THE CURRENT FAMILY 71
married children living near, and all tried to make
her life as happj T as possible. For twelve years
we lived thus in the dear old homestead after
father was gone.
In the }^ear 1893, when Oscar engaged in other
business and moved to town, the farm was rented
to Henry Adams, who ever since, with his family,
has lived in our old home. We built a cottage
home near sister Margaret's residence, where
mother finished her life work in holy quietness
and peace, loved and cheered by all her children.
Her naturally strong mind, strengthened by the
Holy Spirit, was clear to the last moment of her
stay upon earth. For two months she was daily
expecting the summons to "Come up higher."
She talked of going to Heaven in joyful anticipa-
tion of its bliss, saying to her dear ones, " It will
not be long till we all meet again." It had been
her daily prayer ever since she had a child that
not one of her offspring should so neglect their
soul's salvation t/hat they should have to spend
eternit} T in hell, and she did not live to see one of
them die unsaved.
She was so cheerful and bright during her da} T s
of weakness, it was a happ}^ privilege to take care
72 THE CURREN T FAMILY
of her and receive the benediction of her ripe,
Spiritual experience. She did not seem to suffer
much pain during her last days (though she took
no opiates), and her face shone and her e} T es
sparkled with heavenly radiance.
Not expecting her to go so soon, ner sons were
not present to see her leave; only Margaret and
I, with a nurse, were present at the time of her
translation. I was on the verge of nervous pros-
tration and almost heart-broken with the thought
of separation. About half an hour before mother's
flight, the heavenly messengers came — though
not seen, we plainly felt their presence. Not
knowing what it was, I exclaimed " Oh, mother,
what is the reason I am so changed? All my
weariness is gone and I am so happy ! Do 3 t ou
feel that way, mother?" Smiling, she answered,
"Yes." It seemed that a glorious, restful atmos-
phere pervaded the whole house. I praised the
Lord, and we talked a while of this peculiar and
blessed manifestation. To me, mother's was the
most beautiful face I had ever seen, all the wrinkles
smoothed out, and shining with the glory of God;
I feasted my eyes for a while upon the precious
sight. Not thinking of her going so soon, I said,
THE CURRENT FAMILY 73
"Mother, I am strong enough to read some to
3 7 ou; don't you want me to read about the coming
of Jesus?" She answered, "Yes; blessed Jesus is
coming soon." Her tongue was so dry and parched
she could not talk very much, and the only com-
plaint she made on the last day was that her
tongue hurt. I had read only a few lines when
dear mother raised up in bed, cast a good-bye
glance at her loved ones, lifting her eyes upward
and reaching up her hands — she was gone, car-
ried away by the heavenly visitants. But the
Comforter stayed to cheer our lonely hearts. As
I threw my arms around the dear lifeless form,
sitting there, and rubbed mother's warm, soft
hand against my cheek for the last time, I praised
the Lord again and again, so glad to see mother
go so easy; rejoicing in her victory, thinking of
the glorious vision now open to her view; no
more sickness or sorrow for her to endure; we
rejoiced with her, and, going from room to room,
we found the whole house was full of the "Minis-
tering Spirits," whose presence was plainly felt.
It did not seem like a house of mourning, but the
gate of Heaven. She left us at 3 o'clock p. m.,
April 23, 1903.
74 THE CURRENT FAMILY
The funeral service was held in the home, which
was so arranged that seven large rooms were filled
with loving friends, who could hear the whole serv-
ice, which was conducted by the pastor, Rev. Sher-
man Powell, and Revs. J. O. Bills, C. C. Ayres and
W. Loring, on April 25th, 1903. Many said the
service was more like a revival service than a
funeral. There were still such manifestations of
the presence of God all over the house, Brother
Bills walked back and forth in the room, shouting,
" Glory! glory!" and others praised the Lord aloud.
" Calm on the bosom of thy God,
Fair spirit rest thee now!
E'en while with us thy footsteps trod,
His seal was on thy brow.
Dust to its narrow house beneath!
Soul to its place' on high!
They that have seen thy look in death,
No more can fear to die.
Lone the paths and sad the bowers,
Whence thy meek smile has gone,
But, O, a happier home than ours,
In Heaven is now thine own."
THE CURRENT FAMILY 75
Children of Samuel J. and Eliza J. Current.
Rebecca Margaret; George Hobson; William.
Silas Peter, born September 17, 1851; died Febru-
ary 17, 1852.
Annie Eliza, born July 10, 1853; remained unmar-
Samuel Wesley, born June 15, 1856; died March
Jose Daniel, born September 22, 1858; died April
Redkey, Indiana, July 10, 1906.
REBECCA MARGARET WILLIAMSON
Rebecca M. Current was born March 9, 1844, at
New Castle, Indiana. When in her eighth year
at her grandfather Current's home, with her
father's youngest sister, Emily, and her two
cousins, Rebecca and Mary Lake, she united with
the M. E. Church. For more than fifty years they
76 THE CURREN T FAMILY
each have been earnestly trying to be lowly
followers of the Lord Jesus.
Margaret's childhood days, spent in her father's
home, were full of joy and gladness. Being the
eldest of eight children, and her mother's health
not good, she had to bear responsibilities while
young in 3 r ears. How precious the memory of
that loving mother, who in her earliest childhood
taught Margaret to pray and daily went with her
to secret prayer, and taught her to love and
cherish the Word of God, and all the means of
grace. She lived for thirt} T -one years in the justi-
fied relation to God, " Sometimes on the mountain
top, sometimes in the valley low." But in the
year 1883, having learned that there was for her a
better experience, she sought and obtained it,
after making an entire consecration to God, re-
ceiving the witness that the blood of Jesus cleansed
and sanctified wholly, and that she was on the
highwa} T of holiness, which remains to the present
time. She is one of the class leaders, and has been
a member of the Woman's Foreign Missionary
Society for thirt} 7 } r ears and of the Woman's Home
Missionary Societ} T for sixteen years, ever since
the Society was organized at Redkey. She has
REBECCA M. WILLIAMSON.
THE CURRE NT FAMILY 77
been a member and earnest worker in the Wo-
man's Christian Temperance Union for twenty-
On December 25th, 1864, Rebecca M. Current
was married to Andrew J. Williamson. In the
autumn of 1870, she, with her husband and three
children, moved to St. Clair county, Missouri,
remaining there only three years. During this
time the youngest of those three children, Hugh
Lesliej died, and Arthur was born there. Thej^
returned to Indiana in the year 1873, and settled
at Redkey, where she and all her living children
CHildren of Rebecca M. and A. J. Williamson.
Ora, born May 16, 1866.
Lee, born March 18, 1868.
Hugh Leslie, born July 12, 1870; died June 19,
Arthur O., born July 12, 1873.
Morton L., born August 14, 1875; died January 17,
James Clarence, born May 29, 1878.
Manford, born August 12, 1883.
THE CURRENT FAMILY
Ora Williamson married Lillie O. Cloe, March
17, 1888. To this union were born four sons and
one daughter — Chester, who died at the age of
five months; Ralph, Vergil, Fred and Clyde.
Lee Williamson married Etta McCarty, March
20, 1887. To them were born Harry and Prudence
Glendalea; Prudence lived only thirty-five days.
Etta (McCarty) Williamson died February 11,
Lee Williamson married Sallie Snyder, Septem-
ber 10,1899. To them was born one son, Leemore.
Arthur Williamson married Julia Coons, June 1,
1899. Arthur, one of the strongest, physically, of
the family, was stricken with typhoid fever, and
died October 19, 1900, leaving the testimony that
his sins were pardoned and he was saved.
Manford Williamson was married to Almina
Ralston, June 9, 1906. He is the youngest of his
mother's children, very thoughtful for her com-
fort, remaining in the home with her until his
LEKMORE, SON OF LEE AND SALLY WILLIAMSON
THE CURRENT FAMILY 79
Clarence is a teacher, still unmarried, and
during vacation employed in his brothers' imple-
The two eldest sons, Ora and Lee Williamson,
entered into partnership in the implement and
buggy business Februar}' 3, 1894, with very little
capital — in fact, none — and have continued in the
business for the past twelve years. Having been
very successful, they have added to their original
stock, until they now have one of the best stocks
of merchandise in the county, of hardware, stoves,
buggies, harness and implements. They have
just completed a new business room in Redkey
that is the largest business room in Jay County.
It is 225 feet long, with a nineteen-foot L, and two
stories high. They have property in town and a
good little farm of sixty acres six miles from Red-
key. They are also of a speculative nature, and,
while out on a vacation or a fishing expedition in
Minnesota, contracted for fifteen hundred and
fifty acres of land, which they own today, except-
ing one-third of which they sold to their uncle,
Oscar J. Current. In the business which they
have in Redkey, their actual sales for the year
1905 were $48,764, over $4000 per month. They
THE CURRENT FAMILY
expect to continue the business at this place, and
expect their sons — Harry, Ralph, Fred, Clyde and
Leemore — to keep tne business and name before
the people for the next fifty years or more.
July 6, 1906.
THE CURRENT FAMILY
GEORGE HOBSON CURRENT,
By G. H. C.
Georgre FT., son of Samuel J. and Kli/a J. Current
was born in Andrew county, Missouri, December
5, 1 845. "When I was one year old mv parents
82 THE CURREN T FAMILY
removed to Henry county, Indiana, where, with
them, I lived until, in 1853, we went to Jay county
There my boyhood days were spent, attending
the public schools during a part of each year and
helping to clear and cultivate the farm. To in-
crease the family income, I cut hoop poles and
hauled them to the railroad at Farmland, abont
twelve miles distant, driving an ox-team, for
which we received seven or eight dollars a load.
"A great revival meeting was held in our school-
house during the winter of 1860, and I joined the
i hurch and was converted then.
"When eighteen }*ears old I volunteered into
the service of my country, during the civil war,
in Company H, 130th Ind. Vol. Infantry, Second
Brigade, First Division, Twenty-third Army
Corps, in the Army of the Cumberland. After
serving nearly two years, at the close of the war
I received an honorable discharge. I was in some
of the hardest battles of the war, but I was pre-
served from injury, in answer to prayer, for
mother said when I volunteered that in answer
to her most importunate prayer, she had the as-
urance that God would preserve me and I should
THE CURRENT FAMILY 83
safely return home, which I did, having increas-
ed in size and strength.
"After returning from the war I w r orked on the
farm for father until I was twenty-one years old;
aft; r this, father paid me one hundred and fifty
dollars a year and expenses for three years for my
work on the farm. During this time I met, won
and married Miss Rhoda E. Allegre. We were
married June 22, 1869. I bought a small farm near
Red key, where we lived for two and one-half
years after our marriage. There our only child
was born. After we moved to Albany I sold this
farm and bought land adjoining the farm of my
wife's mother, Mrs. Julia Allegre. with whom we
have lived for thirty-four years. I am a Prohibi-
tionist, and have been ever since the first chance
I had to vote against the liquor traffic in 1884, and
our son has always voted the same way."
THE CURRENT FAMILY
RHODA E. CURRENT.
By R. E. C.
I was born March 20, 1850, on a farm adjoining-
Albany, Indiana, where I have resided most of
my life. Among my earliest recollections is that
of my mother telling me of God and Heaven, and
of my little sister Mary, who had been taken th^re
THE CURRENT FAMILY 85
before I was born. Mother had the confidence of
sister Martha and myself, her only two living
children. We relied on her judgment in all mat-
ters. I do not remember that it was any trial to
obey her in my y^outh. She made us understand
that our happiness was her happiness. If she
denied us an} 7 seeming pleasure, we were easily
convinced that she did it for our good. My girl-
hood dayswere carefully guarded by kind parents,
and so happily spent, I often wonder if the girls
of these days really enjoy life as I did. Our home
was near a beautiful woodland, and my^ sister and
I spent many happy hours where we had a variety
of entertainments. The Mississinewa river ran
through our fields, and great forest trees were
near the house, where the squirrels ran freely 7
about, and the bright plumage of the red birds,
the blue birds, the golden oriole and the little
humming birds delighted our eyes, and the sing-
ing of the birds produced such an orchestra as
inspired our hearts with gladness and joy, and w r e
tried, like the mocking bird, to imitate them,
while the plaintive notes of the whippoorwill
aroused tender thoughts and feelings. But these
childhood days were quickly 7 passed.
86 THE CURRENT FAMILY
When nineteen years old I was married, and
went with my husband to the little house on our
farm near Redkey, remaining there two and one-
half years. While there, we had many pleasant
associations, and planned to build us a beautiful
home. In December, 1871, my father, Erasmus
Allegre, came to visit me, as I was very sick.
The weather was extremely cold and stormy, and
he contracted a sickness, which terminated in
pneumonia and proved fatal. Learning that my
father was seriously ill, I, at that time unable to
sit up only a part of the time, was placed on a
feather bed in a big sled, and, carefully wrapped,
was taken to see him. Our little Orpheus was
then twelve weeks old.
Their home was about eight miles distant.
When conscious, my father was much concerned
to know if the trip had hurt me any. I got there
on Saturday, and the following Wednesday, De-
cember 20, 1871, he passed away, aged sixty-one
years. When father was gone, mother and sister
were left alone, and desired us to live with them,
and we moved back to my old home, but I did not
regain my usual health before the next June.
After this, though I often felt indisposed and
THE CURRENT FAMILY 87
sometimes used medicine, I never called a doctor
for thirty years, then had an attack of lagrippe
and sent for our son, who was practicing medicine
at Farmland, but have had no occasion to call him
While we have lived so many years in the
house (with some additions) which my father
built in 1850, he being a bricklayer as well as a
thrifty farmer, we have had many pleasant jour-
neys and have seen much of our beautiful coun-
try. With mother we spent one winter season in
the South, at New Orleans and in Texas. The
winter of 1897-8, with mother, we spent in Cali-
fornia, which will ever be a bright spot in my
memory. We have also been in Canada and
As I take a retrospect of my past life, it is
plainly evident God has ever been mindful of me.
Religious Experience — (Given by Request).
"When quite young, as I skipped over the
meadows, the landscape appeared so beautiful
and I felt so happy, I often caught myself whisper-
ing praises to my Creator. At the age of fourteen
88 THE CURRENT FAMILY
years I joined the M. E. Church, and tried to live
a consistent Christian life, but was never satisfied
as having a clear perception of salvation until, in
1878, during a camp-meeting at Albany, at the
morning service, our pastor, D. C. Woolpert, gave
a stirring appeal to sinners and to those who did
not have a certain knowledge of regeneration to
come to the altar as seekers. I, with many others,
hastened to the altar. So earnest were the seekers
that no opportunity was given for a preaching
service. I did not perceive that I made any
I did not get to attend the meetings any more
until the evening of the next day, when I again
went to the altar; still had no evidence. Brother
C. Harvey, who had taken much interest in my
case, told me to pray at home the next morning,
at the time of five o'clock service, and he would
pray at the same time especially for me; others
also promised to pray for me. The next morning
before the time I was awake and praying. Re-
membering that someone asked me if I felt I was
a sinner, and that I had replied, ' No; I have tried
to live right all my life, and that now I am seek-
ing assurance of my acceptance with God.' When
THE CIRRENT FAMILY 89
I thought of this, I asked God to show me wherein
I had sinned. Instantty I was shown that unbe-
lief was in the way. Not knowing that faith was
the simplest thing in the world, I wondered how
I could get saving faith. Knowing there was
much in the book of Romans about faith, I got
the Bible and began reading at the first chapter,
and read till I came to the 10th chapter, 13th
verse, 'Whosoever calleth on the name of the
Lord shall be saved.' I thought, this, God's
promise, is enough. I have been calling upon
Him; now I take His word and trust Him. This
pave me peace and rest, but no excited emotion
as some have. I believed that I was born again,
• By the Word of God, which liveth and abideth
forever.'— I Pet., 1:23. I had read the Bible
through several times, but now it seemed like a
new book, and I could not have time to read it as
much as I desired.
"On March 4th, 1885, I made a consecration to
God to be wholly and forever His. This was
another quiet and silent experience. But, by
faith, I took God at His word, and this time the
promise given me was: ' The blood of Jesus, His
Son, cleanseth us from all sin.' — I John, 1:7 I
90 THE CURRENT FAMILY
never can thank m}*- Heavenly Father enough for
the gift of faith. It became as eas} r to believe as
to breathe. All doubts and fears were taken
away. Many times since that I have been so
filled with the Holy Spirit as to be thrilled
throughout my being with unspeakable joy to
such an extent that I could not utter a word. I
have found much help from reading good books,
but to me the plainest path for the Christian to
follow is found by reading the book of books — the
THE CURRENT FAMILY
Dr. ORPHEUS CURRENT
By O. E C.
Orpheus Erasmus Current, M. D., son of George
H. and Rhoda E. Current, was born September
27, 1871, in a log house about a mile east of Red-
key, Indiana. "When about three months old
m)^ parents moved to my grandmother's home,
92 THE CURR ENT FAMILY
near Albany, and I attended the public schools of
that town until I was seventeen years old, when I
entered the preparatory department of Depauw
University, continuing there until I finished the
sophomore year. In the fall of 1894 I entered the
Medical College of Indiana at Indianapolis, from
which I graduated March 31, 1897. During the
summers of 1895 and 1896 I spent my vacation in
the office of Dr. L. N. Davis, who had married my
After graduating I again entered my uncle's
office at Farmland, Indiana, and remained with
him until December 28, 1898, at which time I was
married to Miss Esther McProud, of Farmland.
We started that same day on the evening train
for New York City, where we remained for about
three months. There I entered the New York
Polyclinic for a post-graduate course. We re-
turned to Farmland and went to housekeeping,
and I opened up an office of my own. We still
live in the same house, having purchased the
property, including the office. I am a Christian
and member of the M. E. Church."
THE GURRE NT FAMILY 93
E-stKer McProud Current
was born at Farmland in 1875 Her parents are
S imuel T. and Rebecca McProud. She gradu-
ated from public school and was a teacher eight
years, the last three teaching in the school she
had attended as a pupil. She is a -member of the
M. E. Church, as were her family for four genera-
CKildren of OrpHevis and EstHer Current.
George Roger, born April 2, 1901.
James Revel, born December 7, 1904
94 THE CURRENT FAMILY
WILLIAM CURRENT AND FAMILY.
By Jessie Current Luzzadder. , if
•— — ■ •; -?-• .(', ■ ■•-,
William, son of Samuel J. and Eliza J. Current,
was born December 20, 1848. All except the first
five years of his life he has spent in Jay County,
Indiana. After attending the common schools of
his vicinity, he attended Liber College, near Port-
land, Indiana, for a while, then went to Normal
School at Winchester, same State. He lived with
his parents until he was twenty-seven years old.
He worked on the farm for his father until, with
what he earned and what his father gave him, he
acquired enough to buy a forty-acre farm, and
had a good supply of live stock.
When married, he, with his wife, moved to this
farm, living there four years; then he sold this
land and bought another farm, containing one
hundred and twenty acres, just across the road
from the first one. Both these farms were adjoin-
ing his father's. Here for five years he and his
brother Oscar engaged in making drain tile.
Then they sold the tile factory and also this farm,
EM ALINE CURRENT.
THE CURRENT FAMILY 95
and he bought another farm not a mile away,
which he still owns.
In 1894 these brothers became partners in the
pipe -line construction work, at which they are
William Current and Emaline Bell were mar-
ried October 28, 1875, by Rev. J. W. Smith. She
was born at New Mount Pleasant, Jay County,
Indiana, June 4, 1855, the daughter of John and
Lavina (Kidder) Bell. Her parents were mem-
bers and supporters of the M. E. Church, and in
her childhood Emaline was converted and joined
the church, having since had many manifesta-
tions of the lovej.ajid power of God. One of these
was a marvelous case of
In , the beginning of the } T ear 1893, Emaline
Current (my mother) became seriously afflicted
with a disease which terminated in catarrh of the
stomach. We had the best physicians .we could
secure, and everything they could do was done to
effect a cure, but nothing gave her any relief, and
she continued to grow worse and worse, until
96 THE GURBENT FAMILY
finally only two persons at a time were permitted
in her room, and the doctors had no hope of
her recovery. It seemed to all that she could not
be spared, having six j^oung children, the young-
est only two years old. Mother had always had a
delicate stomach, and when she got so low there
appeared no hope, except by Divine power. Her
friends continually prayed for her recovery, and
special prayers were offered by the church for her
restoration. About two weeks before her healing,
while Grandma Current was at home praying for
her, she declared she had the witness that mother
would be healed, and never had a doubt from that
moment, though mother was so low she could only
take a few drops of nourishment at a time, and
continually the pain was so great the physicians
kept her under the influence of an anesthetic all
the time for weeks. About 3 o'clock Sunday after-
noon, May 7, 1893, after having watched all night,
thinking that every hour might be the last, those
who were taking care of her told the friends who
had gathered at our home and all of the children
we might go into her room, as they thought she
was passing away. The room was filled, and a
minister offered prayers for her, and for the fam-
THE CURRENT FAMILY 97
ily to be comforted in their bereavement. When
we arose from prayer, Aunt Margaret Williamson
started the song:
" What are our light afflictions here
But blessings in disguise?
They'll only make for us a home
Of rest beyond the skies.
'Twill all be over soon,
'Twill all be over soon ;
'Tis only for a moment here,
'Twill all be over soon."
During the prayer the thought catne to mother,
"Why don't you pray?" (she had been too weak
to think of praying before); then came the thought,
" What shall I pray for? " She thought of her fam-
ily, then of her pain and affliction, and how she
had been such a care to her loving friends, who
had so patiently attended her for so long, then
silenth 7 offered up just a sentence prayer, " Lord,
TAKE me or heal me." This was just as they were
singing the chorus after the first verse of the above
song. Just then the power and glory of the Lord
came down upon her and thrilled her throughout
her whole being. She cried out, " O, see the light!"
and, b} 7 the power of the Holy Spirit, she rose and
sat up in bed. Grandma said: " It is the light of
98 THE CURR ENT FAMILY
the Lord, and He has come to heal 3 r ou." Mother
exclaimed, "Yes; He has healed me!" She wanted
her clothes to dress, but her nurse and others
thought it was a sudden flash of strength as some-
times comes to the d} T ing, and they would not let
her get out of bed that evening. She praised the
Lord, and declared that, by His healing power,
she was well, talking all the evening. We children
could not understand, but she called us around
her bed and told us not to cr} T , for "Mamma is
going to be well now." She called for food, which
they gave her. She slept a restful sleep all night,
and at six o'clock next morning walked from her
bedroom through the sitting-room into the dining-
room, and ate a hearty breakfast.
She continued to gain strength till she became
much stronger than she had been for years. The
next Sunday she was strong enough to go to
church, but, as she was two miles awa} T and it was
a rain} T day, she did not go till the next Sunday,
when she testified to the healing power of God.
Every person in the church shook hands with
her, full} 7 believing her testimony.
My parents, believing that it is the Scriptural
way, are giving one-tenth of their income to the
THE CIRRENT FAMILY 99
Lord. This year my father gave $200 to the
church extension fund, to build an M. E. Church
in Virginia, and before this, with his brother
Oscar, had given enough to do the same at Blaine,
Washington, which church was named the "Cur-
rent Memorial Church." These are at places
where the people are not able to build a church.
Last year father took the support of eight
orphans and one native missionary in India and
China, besides giving largely to the home church,
and for the Prohibition cause and other things.
He has voted the Prohibition ticket ever since
1884, and feels that he must do so in order to be
free from the blood of souls that are lost through
the legalized drink traffic, and all of his sons and
son-in-law are voters in that party.
Children of Williom and Emaline C/urrent.
Jessie Florence, the oldest child of William and
Emaline Current, was born January 9, 1877; was
converted March 3, 1893, remaining a faithful
lover of Jesus; graduated in the common school;
was married to Emmett Luzzadder, May 9, 1896.
He wrs tern February 26, 1871. He is a Christian
THE GURRENT FAMILY 101
and one of the stewards of the M. E. Church at
Redkey, and we tithe our income for the Lord.
Our children are: Emma Ruth, born December
18, 1899. Helen Margaret, born September 19,
1901; died April 20, 1902. Fred Current, born
September 10, 1902.
John Russell, son of William and Emaline Cur-
rent, was born September 13, 1878; was married
to Etha Andrews, Jul}- 2, 1902. She was born
December 1, 1879. Their children are: Clyde
Donaldson, born May 9, 1904, and Mary, born
September 19, 1905.
George D., son of William and Emaline Current,
was born January 7, 1883, and married Vida
Novera Shepherd, September 17, 1905.
The rest of William and Emaline Current's
Watson Clarke, born September 13, 1884.
Agnes Anna, born March 19, 1888.
Cora Bell, born February 22, 1891.
(2 THE CURRENT FAMILY
OSCAR J. CURRENT AND FAMILY.
By Josephine Current.
Oscar J. Current, the } r oungest child of Samuel
J. and Eliza J. Current, was given to them on
November 13, 1860, and received the name Oscar
James. His mother came near passing through
death's valley at that time. Her attending physi-
cian, being a Christian, with her husband and
friends, called on the Lord to spare her life and
restore her to health. Their prayers were heard,
and she was raised up, as many times afterward
in answer to prayer she was healed, and her life
spared to finish four-score years.
When Oscar was near five months old, the two
little brothers next older than he, full of life and
bo3ash vigor, having filled the house with noisy
play all through the winter months, were sud-
denly stricken with diphtheria, and in a fortnight
were both translated to the heavenly home. Oh,
how quiet and lonely the rooms that had re-echoed
their shouts and happy laughter! Only the little
OSCAR J. CURRENT
THE CURRENT FAMILY 103
sleepy babe now left to amuse and cheer the older
members of the family. Eagerly the mother
watched her growing baby, longing for the time
to come when he would run and shout, making
the house again resound with the noise of running
feet and the loud prattle of playful boyhood, which
had so delighted her heart. Her baby grew into
healthful childhood, but, instead of the loud, chat-
tering, playful bo3 r she expected, he was a gentle,
quiet, studious child, hardly making any noise,
and as he grew, he spent his energy in doing
something of account, taking more pleasure in
study and work than he did in play. He wanted
to be good, but was sometimes overcome with a
temptation to do wrong, w T hich grieved him, and
he would tell his mother that she must whip him,
so that he would be good, and, until he was ten or
twelve years old, often on seeing a stick which he
thought would make a good switch, he would take
it home and say, "Mother, here is a good switch;
lay it up, and when I am naughty whip the old
bad man away." When ten years old he played
the organ in church. Though having a natural
talent and love for music, on account of business
cares being thrust upon him when so young, he
104 THE CURR ENT FAMILY
was deprived of cultivating that gift to an} T great
extent. He had a rich, soft voice, which he conse-
crated to God, never using it for worldly or sinful
song. He was converted and joined the church
in early childhood.
At the age of seventeen the management of the
farm was laid upon him, and, with the mind of
one of maturer years, he took up this responsi-
bility and successfully carried it on. When he
was twenty years old his father died, and his
mother leaned on him in her widowhood. He
was a loving and devoted son and brother.
In 1881 and 1882 he took a business course of
stud} T cit the Valparaiso (Indiana) Business Col-
lege. On returning home, he still carried on the
farm work, and, with his brother William, bought
a tile factor}-, and for five years made a success of
that business. His first ballot for President of
the United States was in 1884, and he voted the
In 1888 he became the leader of a male quartette,
going over the State singing of the evils and suf-
fering produced by the liquor traffic, and appeal-
ing to men to vote it out. The songs attracted
both friends and enemies. The liquor men were
THE CURRENT FAMILY 105
so enraged that they threatened his life, and eggs
and stones were thrown at them while singing.
In 1888 he met Miss Josephine Chodrick; their
acquaintanceship ripened into friendship, love
and matrimony. They were married February
13, 1890. Josephine was born at Fortville, Han-
cock County, Indiana, October 14, 1865. "My
father, William Chodrick, was born Mar. 28, 1810
in Fayette County, Pennsylvania and died at
Fortville, Indiana, April 8, 1883. He was a man
of sterling character, a member of the M. E
Church, a devout Christian and one of the most
highly respected men of the community in which
he lived. He came with his parents to Hancock
County when a young man, and his life was spent
in and around Fortville.
" In his young manhood he was married to
Miss Eliza Pints. To them were born four
daughters and two sons. His wife and three
daughters were taken away from him by death;
Rachel, Marion and George were spared, and are
still living — Rachel Thomas, at Indianapolis,
Indiana; Marion, at Fortville, and George, at San
" In 1852 my father was again married, to Anna
106 THE CURRENT FAMILY
Amick. To them were given three children —
Harvey, who died when but two years old; Saman-
tha, who died October 20, 1889, being thirty-two
years old, and Josephine. My father was a very
industrious man, and showed carefully laid plans,
system and neatness in all he did. He was a
farmer, and acquired a farm adjoining Fortville,
on which he built a beautiful home inside the
corporation limits, so that his family always had
the advantage of town school and church; also
country life, with its orchards, broad fields and
woodland. He was a great reader and well in-
formed on current events, and often expressed
his grief at the corruption of politics, the drink
traffic and the great evils of the day. He was an
ardent advocate of the temperance cause and was
identified with the Blue Ribbon movement, which
at that time took the lead in temperance reform.
"Our mother, Anna, was bereft of her mother
when only twelve years old. She was the oldest
daughter in a family of ten children, and the
younger ones looked to her for a mother's love
and care. She had been brought up under the
influence of the Campbellite doctrine, but became
deeply convinced of the need of a change of heart
THE GURRENT FAMILY [07
under the preaching of Father J. W. Smith, and
was wonderfully converted. She and her sister
Lizzie joined the M. E. Church, and were the
only ones of that large family who were not
"After a while her father married a woman who
had many good qualities, but was not strict in her
religious views. She almost entirely disregarded
the Sabbath by entertaining her friends and doing
much unnecessary work on that day, which was a
great trial to Anna; so she covenanted with the
Lord that if He ever gave her a home of her own
that she would honor His holy day, and in that
home He should be loved and obeyed. She always
remembered this covenant, and when the home
was given her, she endeavored to fulfil this
promise. Her home and her children she conse-
crated to the Lord.
"My mother, Anna Chodrick, was devoted. to the
downfall of the liquor traffic. At the time of the
'Crusade' movement a band was organized art:
Fortville, and she, with the minister's wife, Mrs.
J. B. Cams, headed the procession of brave women
who marched into a saloon, and she offered the
first prayer for its destruction. Through the
|08 THE CURRENT FAMILY ,
efforts of these Christian women, the town was
rid of every saloon and the drug stores surren-
dered their whiskey. In later years she became
a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance
Union and was an active member when she died.
A beautiful floral offering was made and a tribute
of their appreciation of her was read by one of the
members at the funeral service.
"The writer of this sketch feels that she owes
more than she can express to this precious
mother's training and influence. As early as I can
remember, she would take me with her, not only
to the family altar, but to some quiet place, where
she would talk to me of the Scripture — its laws
and promises — then we would kneel and she
would earnestly pray for me. At the age of ten
years, after a careful study of the Bible and Bun-
yan's " Pilgrim's Progress," I became convicted
of sin and the need of a change of heart- I suffered
for months terrible agony as the awfulness of sin
was shown me by the light of the Holy Spirit.
By wise counsel and prayer I was enabled finally
to accept the Saviour.
"In my seventeenth year a great sorrow came
to me in the death of my dear father. He had
THE CURRENT FAMILY 109
always been so loving, tender and indulgent, that,
had it not been for the firm, wise hand of my
mother, his baby would have been a woefully
spoiled child. He had alwaj^s been a man of
robust health, full of energ} T and life, but, becom-
ing suddenly ill, was taken from us after three
brief days., and mother and I were left in the
home alone. Only those who have had a similar
experience can understand our loneliness.
" I began teaching in the public schools when
seventeen 3-ears of age, and taught my first term in
the country — Green township, Hancock county —
and then took the primary work in our town
graded schools. I commenced teaching in Sunday
school when I was a child, and have most of the
time since had a class. I well remember and
cherish the memory of our loved Sabbath school
superintendent, Brother William Baker; also Mrs.
Jane Arnett, Mrs. M. Cutting, Mrs. Humphries,
Mrs. Rogers, and numerous other precious saints,
most of whom have been translated, and with
whom I have enjoyed such precious fellowship in
class and prayer meetings, which I always at-
tended with my mother; also the Woman's For-
eign Missionary meetings. Mother and I were
110 THE CURRENT FAMILY
both charter members of this society. Her friends
were my companions as well as my young friends,
and the memory of those dear sainted women is
precious to me. What sweet companionship and
tender relation existed between mother and I,
who were all to each other! Although she ap-
proved of my marriage and desired me to have a
home of my own, knowing that she could not
always be with me, she was so crushed at the
separation that her health began to fail. She had
that independence of nature and love for her own
home, church and town, that she remained in her
own home, though she loved to visit us and have
us with her. In the summer of 1897, after having
spent the winter with us, she came again for a
visit. One night, when she had been here about
two weeks, her spirit went home to God, who gave
it, and when we went to awaken her, she was not,
for the blessed Father had gently and tenderly
taken her, while unconscious in sleep, out of her
suffering to Himself. How blessed the memory
of that dear sainted mother, whose life, as I studied
it in childhood and still ponder over it, was one
sweet benediction of holy influence!
" In 1888, while attending a missionar}^ conven-
THE CIRRE NT FAMILY M[
tion at Redke3 r , I was entertained at the home of
Mrs. Eliza J. Current, and there met her son, Oscar,
for the first time. This acquaintance resulted in
our marriage about two } r ears later. His early life
has been given in this narrative by his sister
Annie, and I shall only refer to his life as I have
known it. The first three years of our married
life we spent at the home of his mother. During
this time he cultivated her farm and also engaged
in some real estate business, laying out two addi-
tions to the town of Redkey. He had bought the
farm which used to be known as the Phillips farm,
and in 1892 laid out nine acres into a beautiful
cemeterj". It is little more than half a mile from
the south side of town. Oscar's cousin, Captain
William P. Hobson, of Pueblo, Colorado, made
the draft for the plat and named it " Hill Crest."
In the center is a circular plat for fountain and
ornamental plants and trees; in other parts of the
cemetery are different shaped ornamental plats.
The sections, of different shapes and sizes, which
are divided into burial lots, are drained under
each row of lots and graded a foot or more above
the graveled avenues, which surround each sec-
tion, making one and one-half miles of driveways
112 THE GURR ENT FAMILY
in the whole cemetery It is one of the most
beautiful cemeteries in the State. Oscar had the
remains of his grandmother Current, his father,
brothers and nephew moved from the old ceme-
tery to the new one.
" In 1893 we bought us a home in Redkey and
moved into it, and that year Oscar, with his
brother William, engaged in contract work for
the Indiana and Ohio Gas Company, having con-
tinued in this work for the past twelve years.
They have been very successful in this, and have
bought farms, which, by wise management, yields
them good incomes. They were among the trus-
tees who so wisely and successfully planned the
new church and carried it to completion. In 1894,
although we had been giving liberally to the
Lord's cause, we were led to keep a book account
of our income, and thus be sure we were giving
one-tenth, as is taught in the Scriptures. We have
been wonderfully blessed in so doing, not only by
a material increase in our income, but by the satis-
faction that comes from the knowledge that we
are giving what God requires. As has been stated,
Oscar, at his first opportunity, allied himself with
the Prohibition party, and has supported the work
THE CURRENT FAMILY ... 113
by his means, as well as awakening sentiment and
winning friends to the cause by rousing quartette
songs. In the fall of 1905, while singing at Powers'
Station, near Redkey, a bullet whizzed between
the heads of Oscar and C. C. Ayers, the singer
standing next to him. Trusting in God to protect
them, they went back the next week to the same
place and sang again; unmolested. It was a saloon
keeper who shot, but no arrest was made.
"On February 25, 1891, a sweet little baby girl
came to stay with us, whom we named Pauline.
She is now fifteen years old, very studious and
industrious. She has considerable talent and love
for music and has made rapid advancement, hav-
ing high ambition to become proficient in this art.
She graduated last year in the common-school
branches, receiving the second highest grade in
the county. This 3 r ear she completed her first
year of high school, and at her examination re-
ceived 100 in all her grades. We are very thankful
that Pauline is a Christian.
" On October 3, 1895, our hearts were gladdened
by the advent of another little darling; we named
her Helen. This year (1906) she was in the fifth
grade at school and got promoted at the end of
M4 THE GURRENTf AMILV
the term. She has been studying rnusic about a
year and a half, making nice progress. She, too,
is a Christian, having a keen sense of right and
wrong. Both girls make a confidant of their
mamma, and have been taught not to listen to
anything they could not tell her.
"On April 14, 1903, our home was brightened
by another precious daughter; we named her
Martha Lucile. She has been a joy to her sisters
and parents, but sometimes she has to be cor-
rected. One day her papa had to punish her, and
was talking, to show her the wrong she had done,
when she put her arms around his neck and said,
1 Oh, papa, don't tell Jesus.' We hope our girls —
Lucile, Helen and Pauline — will become pure,
true women, living not for self, but to help make
the world better.
" March 13, 1906, was our sixteenth wedding
anniversary. As we look back over the years, we
feel that surely the Lord has been with us; yet we
have had some sore bereavements — our precious
mothers have left us, besides many other dear
ones. Sharing each other's joys and sorrows, we
have toiled together, happy in each other's love
and the love of our Father in Heaven. The Lord
THE CURRENT FAMILY
certainly answered mother's prayers when she
asked Him to direct my marriage. No intoxicating
drinks, noxious tobacco or profane language ever
polluted Oscar's lips, and he is a gentle, kind and
tender husband and father. May God help us
ever to do His will, and finally, with our loved
ones, dwell with Him throughout eternit}-.
Redkey, Indiana, July 1, 1906.
■ agin yagfr lugpr ngp 119111 jiijgiii uigut *]jj|«r -npr: nijjp: T~jjir
V Hv^'i;^ .-
THE CIRRENT FAMILY 117
CURRENT BROTHERS CONSTRUCTION
By E- E*. Luzzadder,
In the fall of the year 1886 the people about
Redkey were highly elated over the discovery of
natural gas in Indiana. The first well was drilled
near Eaton, in Delaware county. Soon companies
were organized, and drilling began in the locality
of nearly every town in this part of the State.
Redkey was not tardy in its organization, and in
May, 1887, a fine well was drilled in the north part
of town, and the people were soon enjoying the
luxury of having natural gas for fuel and lights.
Manufacturers from all parts of the country,
especially glass manufacturers and such as needed
a great deal of heat to accomplish their work, saw
a great opening for cheap fuel, and people seek-
ing employment in these factories swarmed into
the towns of the gas belt by hundreds, and large
growths were made by all small towns and a num-
ber of new towns were laid out and sprang up as
if by magic. A gas field in Ohio had been ex-
THE CURRENT FAMILY M9
hausted, and speculators from that field, knowing
its value, organized at Lima, Ohio, a company,
making large investments for the purpose of
thoroughly testing this Indiana field for gas.
Thousands of acres of land was leased around
Redkey and Eaton by this company and drilling
operations commenced in large proportions.
Great quantities of gas was discovered, and ar-
rangements were made at once for piping it out
of the 'State to Ohio cities and towns.
The panic of 1893 was no barrier to these opera-
tions, and farmers, being hard pressed for money,
began leasing more heavily than before, to the
dismay of the manufacturers, fearing the quick
exhaustion of the gas.
With the opening of the spring of 1894 a large
gas pumping station was built near Redkey, and
the gas was forced east for the use of the residents
and manufacturers of western Ohio. Then hun-
dreds of men, who a short time before had been
suffering from the effects of the depressed condi-
tion of the financial status, now found emplo}-
ment with the gas company as it began to con-
nect the gas fields in the vicinity of the pumping
station to the places to be supplied 03- large pipe
]20 THE CURRENT FAMILY
lines. Several large forces of men were engaged
along the line, to quickly finish the work. Soon
the company, wishing to reduce the work at the
main office, asked for bids for contract to deliver
the pipe from the railroads to the right of way
along the line from the Redkey pumping station
to Lima, Ohio. William and Oscar J. Current,
having always been partners in business inter-
ests, made a bid and received the contract, begin-
ning at once what they considered a large under-
taking; but, by hard work and good management,
the work was completed with mutual satisfaction.
Thus the Current Brothers Construction Com-
pany was formed in 1894. The gas company then
gave them a large contract for trench filling, at
which they worked until winter. The openings
for business of the gas company increased, and
they continued to give contracts to the Current
Brothers, who each year took more and more of
the construction of the lines, until 1898 they were
awarded the contract for the entire construction
work for both the Ohio and Indiana and the Red-
key Transportation Companies
They built a large pumping station at Mt.
Sterling and Sugar Grove, Ohio, and atFairmount
THE CURRENT FAMILY m
and Eaton, Indiana, doing all the carpenter work
and delivering the machinery to all the stations,
besides laying several miles of pipe each year'
ranging in size from two to twelve inches. Pipe
lining at first was done entirely by hand, the
trenches being dug by the old method of spade
and shovel, and the pipe joined together by tongs.
They were able each year to make improvements
in their devices for working, until they finally
made their trenches by the more modern and
rapid method of plowing and rooting out with
teams, and the pipe was screwed together with a
pipe machine. In this way they were able to lay
more line and greatly reduce the labor and
expense. Drilling was continued until several
hundred w r ells were drilled, but, with the great
amount of consumption, the natural pressure
began to decrease, until it had each year gradu-
ally dropped down from a pressure of 200 pounds
to only from 3 to 10 pounds.
It becoming no longer a paying investment,
the company began to abandon the field and take
up its lines until, in the year 1904, the field was
entirely abandoned. Then the Current Brothers
Construction Company was changed to a wrecking
THE CURRENT FAMILY 123
company, taking up the many lines and shipping
machinery to other newly discovered gas fields.
Getting the great heavy pipe from the trench and
conveying it to the stations and loading it for
shipment was a large undertaking, which required
machine^ to unscrew the pipe and lift it from
the trench. The plow and rooter were again put
to work to unearth the now useless pipe lines and
the pipe machine arranged to unscrew the pipe.
An expansion head was made to fit inside the
pipe and by having an attachment to their trac-
tion engine, made a novel machine for doing the
work. In this way the machine was self-propell-
.ing, being moved along from joint to joint, and
by a clutch, made to stand still, and unscrew the
pipe, or travel along the line. By this method
they were able to take up as much as two miles of
eight inch pipe in a day.
During the year 1905 the Current Brothers, in
order to hasten the completion of their contract,
employed one hundred and fifty men and fifty
teams. So S3 T stematic was the organization of the
different gangs that it was often said pipe which
lay unmolested in the trench in the morning, lay
that night in a gondola car enroute to the new
THE CURRE NT FAMILY \25
field where it was to be again laid and used for
the transmission of gas. After the forcing of gas
to Ohio was abandoned there remained enough
gas to suppl} 7 the residents with gas for heat and
light but not in abundance as at first.
For twelve years the Current Brothers Con-
struction company have been contractors for pipe
line work, just completing this year their last
contract in this field.
Redkej T , Indiana, Jul} T 9 1906.
THE CURRENT FAMILY
JAMES ALFRED CURRENT
By Elizabeth Current Roberts.
My father, James Alfred Current, was born at
Grafton, Va., June 25
1824. He was the
second son and
fourth child of Peter
and Rebecca Jones
Current. The first
ten years of his life
were spent at the old
home at Grafton.
About this time
his parents moved
to the then new
There, engaged at work on his father's farm, Al-
THE CURRENT FAMILY 127
fred grew to manhood. He was a strong vigor-
ous boy and delighted in the out-of-door sports
which filled np the pla3 r -time of pioneer boys, and
in later years nothing pleased his children more
than father's stories of 'coon hunting when he
was a boy. He had few educational advantages
but he attended such schools as were within reach,
and secured such education as at that time was
considered sufficient for a farmer bo} r .
At the age of seventeen years he was converted
and joined the Methodist Episcopal church and
remained a faithful consistent member during his
April 30, 1846, he was married to Miss Deborah
Hobson, daughter of George and Deborah Hobson
and sister of Stephen B. Hobson. (See Chapter
Two.) To them, in their home at Flatrock, Ind-
iana, were born two children, Mar}^ Jane and Me-
In 1849, with his little family, he moved to Mis-
souri. After stopping a short time in Holt coun-
ty, he settled in Andrew count}" about seven
miles from Savannah, the county seat. There his
wife died October 14, 1850, at the age of twenty*-
two } r ears.
128 THE CURR ENT FAMILY
Their eldest daughter, Mary Jane, was bor:i
May 30, 1847. She was married to Harvey D.
Hall, December 25, 1866. She with her husband
settled on a farm in Nodawry county, Missouri,
where they lived for several years, then removed
to Marysville, the count} 7 seat of Nodaway county
where they still live in their beautiful home, sur-
rounded by all they need to make them comfort-
able. They have no children.
Melissa, the second daughter o. c Alfred and
Deborah Current, was born December 16, 1818.
She was married to Isaac Silvers Februar} r 11 1869.
They also settled on a farm in Nodaway county
Missouri where Melissa died July 8, 1872. To this
couple were born one daughter and one son The
daughter, Ethel, was born April 9, 1870. The son
was born July 5, 1872 and died when only a few
weeks old. Both these children were born in
After her mother's death, Ethel was taken by
her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Harvey D. Hall,
and reared as their own child, receiving the ad-
vantages and loving care which they were well
able and willing to give her. She passed most of
THE CURREN T FAMILY 129
her childhood and young womanhood in their
home at Marysville where she acquired a good
education and had the advantages of good soci-
ety. On December 28, 1892, she was married to
Bernard William Frost. They had four children;
Bernice Melissa., born January 8, 1897 at Marys-
ville, Missouri; Mary Wanda, born June 1, 1900,
died Sept. 29, 1900, at Cabool, Missouri; Harvey
Hall, born December 8, 1902, and Winona Esther
born June 30, 1904. These two last named were
born at Kaw City, Oklahoma. Mr. Frost is en-
gaged in general merchandise at Washango, Ok-
lahoma, where this family now resides.
Second Marriage of James Alfred Current.
On May 8, 1851, James Alfred Current was mar-
ried to Miss Caroline Colburn. She was the third
daughter and fifth child of the Rev. John Revel
and Elizabeth Petty Colburn. John R. was a son
of Revel Colburn. (For Colburn ancestry see
Part Second, Chapter One.
In 1852 James Alfred, with his wife and two lit-
tle girls, children of his first wife, returned to In-
diana, with his parents who had that } r ear gone to
THE CURRENT FAMILY
Missouri on a visit. After stopping a few months
in Henry county, he purchased a farm in Jay
county, one and one half miles south of the pres-
ent city of Redkey. At this place four of their
eight children were born. Elizabeth Rebecca,
(writer of this sketch) was born August 16, 1854.
Sarah Lee was born June 4, 1856. Martha Matilda
was born Jan. 29,
1859 and John Col-
burn was born Feb.
In 1863 Alfred Cur-
rent again moved to
Missouri, this time
buying and settling
on a farm near Fill-
more. Those were
troublous times, for
the great Civil War
raged and enveloped
our fair land in clouds of darkness and deluged it
with the blood of her sons. M3 7 father gave a
ready response to his country's call for help and
in the summer of 1863 enlisted among the State
troops as a Home Guard and for two years served
• -. • - -.
• . • ■ r- " • • . '
• • •
Caroline Current ,.
THE CURRENT FAMILY 131
his country faithfully, neither expecting nor re-
ceiving any remuneration.
After the close of the war he continued his oc-
cupation of farming and also engaged in the lum-
ber business, purchasing an interest in a saw mill.
He remained in Missouri until the Spring of 1871.
During their residence there, the two eldest
daughters, Jennie and Melissa were married, and
three children, a girl and two boys, were added to
the family. Myrtle Emily was born June 14, 1864.
William Peter was born Sept. 7, 1866, and Rich-
ard Elmer w r as born July 2, 1869.
In March 1871, having disposed of his property
in Missouri, James Alfred removed with his fami-
ly to Nebraska and settled near Mt. Pleasant, Cass
count3 T , where they remained until 1886, with the
exception of two years spent at Peru, Nebraska,
where the elder children attended the State Nor-
mal School. During their residence at Mt. Pleas-
ant two of their daughters were married.
Sarah L., the second daughter, was married to
William E. Latta, October 1, 1873. They settled
near Murray, Neb., where their three children
were born, Letta Oella was born August 10,1874;
\J2 > HE CURR ENT FAMILY
James Oscar, born August 9, 1877 and Robert
Bruce, born April 9, 1881. Bruce died Feb. 18,
Mr. and Mrs. Latta moved to Kenesaw, Nebras-
ka in 1889 where they remained until 1903 when
they moved to Culbeitson, Hitchcock county,
Neb., where they still reside and where he is en-
gaged in stock-raising.
While they lived at Kenesaw their daughter,
Letta, was married to Jesse L. Templeton, Oct. 26
1892. They have two children: Robert Bruce born
Nov. 18, 1893 and Floretta Fay, born Sept. 19, 1899.
James Oscar, son of William E. and Sarah L.
Latta, graduated from the medical school at Lin-
coln, Neb., in April 1901 and at once located at
Clay Center, Clay county, Neb., where he still re-
sides, engaged in the practice of his profession.
He was married January 20, 1903 to Miss Ada
Martha, third daughter of James Alfred and
Caroline Current, was married October 1, 1878 to
Robert N. Robotham. To this couple were born
eight children: Mary Caroline, born Sept. 9, 1879;
Grace, born December 6, 1880; Alfred Verne, born
THE CIRRENT FAMILY [33
October 14, 1882; Ivy, born December 1, 1884 and
died Jan. 18, 1886; Robert Glenn, born March 14,
1888; Barbara, born October 25, 1892. William
Moses, born August 9, 1898; Helen Ruth, born
February 26, 1903.
Mary Caroline, eldest daughter of Robert and
Martha Robotham, was married to Albert Hudson,
March 16, 1901. They have had two little girls:
Pearl, born Feb. 26, 1902, died August 12, 1905;
Alberta, born Sept. 8, 1903. This familj- reside
at Eagle, Nebraska.
Grace, second daughter of Robert and Martha
Robotham, was married June 24, 1903 to William
Gardiner. To them was born one son, Cornelius
Verne, born March 1, 1905. They also reside at
Eagle. Alfred Verne Robotham is in the employ
of the M. P. railroad as agent at Walton, Neb.
Robert Glenn Robotham is employed in a store in
Lincoln and the younger children live with their
parents at Lincoln, Neb., where their father is in
the employ of M. P. railroad.
In the autumn of 1886, Alfred Current purchas-
ed property and moved his family to Elmwood,
Neb., where he made his home until his death.
134 THE CURRENT FAMILY
While the family lived at Mt. Pleasant, Eliza-
beth the eldest daughter of Alfred and Caroline
Current, met with a severe accident which result-
ed in spinal injury from which she never fully re-
covered. She has been a cripple ever since, com-
pelled to use a crutch. Prior to the accident she
was engaged as a teacher in the public schools of
her county. For some years she was compelled
to give up teaching, but after the family moved
to Elmwood, she again took up the profession of
teaching until failing health forced her again to
give it up. Elizabeth R. Current and Dewe} 7 J.
Roberts were married August 16, 1892. They es-
lished their home at Kenesaw, Neb., where they
still reside. To them have come two daughters:
Caroline Janet, born December 7, 1893 and Marian
Lee, born January 22, 1896. Dewey Roberts is a
Myrtle Emily, the fourth daughter of Alfred
and Caroline Current, was also a teacher in the
public schools of Nebraska. She was married at
Elmwood, Nov. 13, 1889, to J. G. Oldham. The
first three years of their married life were spent
on a farm in Cass count} 7 , Neb., where their first
THE CURRENT FAMILY 135
child, Hazel Vera, was bora July 15, 1891. la 1892
they moved to Beaver City, Furaace couaty, Neb-
raska. On April 9, 1893, a little son was bora to
them but he lived but a few weeks. April 10, 1904,
their child Polly, was bora. They still reside at
Beaver City where Mr. Oldham is eagaged ia
Maude, the youagest daughter of Alfred aod
Caroliae Curreat, was bora at Mt. Pleasaat, Neb.,
December 9, 1871. She was married to Alford C.
Wright October 26, 1893. Their first home was
at Liacola where Mr. Wright was secretary to
Goveraor Thayer. Their daughter, Grace, was
bora at Liacola May 26, 1894. They moved from
Liacola to Elmwoodia 1897, where their first soa,
Charles Mark, was bora Deceaiber 24, 1897. Io
1900 they moved to Washiagtoa, D. C. where, oo
July 17, 1904 was bora to them a son, Elmer Clif-
ton. Mr. Wright is employed in the War De-
partment and the family still resides in Washing-
William Peter, second son of Alfred and Caro-
line Current, grew to nianhood upon his father's
136 THE CURRENT FAMILY
farm, securing such education as the public
schools of Nebraska afford. Father always de-
pended upon Will's help and judgment as long as
he remained at home. He was married to Miss
Effie Worley, October 1, 1888, at Elmwood. They
lived for a few years on a farm in Cass County,
Nebraska, where theirson Paul Elbert was born
June 25, 1889. In 1891 they moved to Beaver City
where Will began work as a carpenter. Hereon
July 17, 1897, Gail Butler, a son, was born. Soon
after this they returned to Elmwood where they
still reside and where two more children were
born to them; Marjorie Fay, born March 1,1899,
and Duane Worley, born April 23, 1903. Willis
a carpenter and contractor.
Richard, the youngest son of Alfred and Caro-
line Current, never having been very strong and
unable to do heavy farm work, on leaving school
learned the printer's trade, and has ever since
been engaged in newspaper work. He was mar-
ried April 29, 1901, to Miss Eva Bown at Fairfield
Neb. To them was born Nov. 15, 1904, a little son
who lived but a few hours. Richard is engaged in
publishing a newspaper at Kenesaw, Nebraska.
THE CURRENT FAMILY 137
John Colburn, oldest son of Alfred and Caroline
Current, was the one of their children who re-
mained in the home nest after all his brothers and
sisters had gone to homes of their own. He had
a good common school education and spent two
years at the State Normal School also two years
at the State University at Lincoln; then he en-
gaged for some years in teaching. After the
death of his father he remained at home with his
mother. He was married May 21, 1902, to Miss
May Horton at Elmwood. In 1903 he sold his
property at Elmwood and, going to Oregon, set-
tled in the beautiful city of Eugene where he now
lives, engaged in the grocery business.
In the autumn of 1897, the aged father and
mother made an extended visit to various parts
of the State, where their children lived, spending
some time w T ith each. On their way home the} T
stopped at Geneva, to visit a niece, Mrs. Libbie
Hesser Gapen. While there, on Saturday, Nov. 6
father was stricken w T ith apoplexy. He died on
Wednesday, Nov. 10. 1897 without regaining con-
sciousness, and was taken home to Elmwood,
Nov. 12, and his body rests in the cemetery at
138 THE CURRENT FAMILY
that place, to await the resurrection. He lived to
see all his children grown to Christian manhood
and womanhood and all, except two sons, settled
in homes of their own.
He was a kind friend, respected by all his
neighbors; an affectionate husband and -fath-
er and a faithful Christian and an honored
and useful member of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, to which he had belonged since boyhood.
He was deeply interested in the affairs of every-
day life, keeping himself in close touch with the
political, social and religious conditions about
him. He had been a member of the Masonic fra-
ternity for many years and at the time of his
death was said to be the oldest Mason in the State.
Two weeks before his death, while at Kenesaw,
he attended church for the last time and his clear
confident testimony at the class meeting on that
occasion has been of the greatest help and com-
fort to his children who heard it.
As old age crept upon him and he descended
the western slope and neared the sunset of life,
cares seemed to slip from him and he glided
peacefully into old age with the sweetness of a lit-
THE CURRENT FAMILY 139
What of his faithful wife, — our mother.? She
still lingers on the shores of time, passing her de-
clining years in the home of her oldest son, John,
patiently waiting the time when she shall go to
join her loved ones in the heavenly home.
Kenesaw, Nebraska, Jan. 3, 1906.
James Alfred Current and Descendants.
James Alfred Current married £)eborah Hob-
son April 30, 1846. She died October 14, 1850.
Mary Jane, born May 30, 1847; married Harvey
Hall, Decemer 25, 1866.
Melissa, born Dec. 16, 1848; married Isaac Silvers
Feb. 11, 1869; died July 8, 1872.
James Alfred Current married Caroline Colburn
May 8, 1851.
Elizabeth, born August 16, 1854; married Dewey
J. Roberts August 16, 1892.
Ssrah Lee, born June 4, 1856; married William E.
140 THE CURRENT FAMILY
Latta, October 1, 1873.
Martha M., born January 29, 1859; married Robert
N. Robotham, October 1, 1878.
John Colburn, born February 21, 1861; married
May Horton, May 21, 1902.
Myrtle E., born June 13, 1864; married J. G. Old-
ham, November 13, 1889.
William P., born September 7, 1866; married Effie
Worley, October 1, 1888.
Richard E.,born July 2, 1869; married Eva Bown,
April 29, 1901.
Maude, born December 9, 1871; married Alford C.
Wright, October 26, 1893.
JAMES L, WATERS.
MARGARET J. WATiGRS.
THE CURRENT FAMILY 141
MARGARET and JAMES L. WATERS.
By MARK O. WATERS.
Margaret J. Current, daughter of Peter and Re-
becca Jones Current, was born in Virginia, Jan-
uary 7, 1828, on the farm where the town of Graf-
ton is now located. When she was about five
years old, or in the fall of '33, when the stars fell
and the cholera raged, the fever of western emi-
gration was at its height. During that year her
father moved to the then far distant West, to get
a farm and build a home in the great Indiana for-
est. News traveled slowly in those days, yet sto-
ries of the vast opportunities of the new country
were sufficient to fire the hearts of the sturdy folk
of the Virginia hills and cause them to cast aside
tender associations of neighbors and friends,
home and birth-place, and set out on the long jour-
ney to the setting sun. It was no mean journey,
either, in those days, from Virginia to Indiana, a
journey which now can be made in a few hours,
142 THE CURRENT FAMILY
requiring at that time, days and weeks to com-
plete, with nights sleeping about the camp-fire,
or in the covered wagons, for there were few tav-
erns; fording rivers, for there were no bridges;
traveling slowly for the roads were mere paths
and rough with stumps, roots and ruts, tedious
with windings in and out, through the almost
trackless forest. Yet the spirit of emigration was
so strong with our fore-fathers as to cause them
to count all these difficulties as nothing.
So Peter Current set out to found a new home-
Though but five years old when this journey was
made, yet Margaret recalls many of the incidents
of the trip such as crossing rivers, etc.
They at first settled near the county line in Del-
aware county, but a mile or so from where they
finally made their home in Henry county. After
a clapboard cabin had been built and they were
settled to housekeeping, one of Peter's horses es-
trayed, and while he was absent searching for it
some prowling Indians or other desperate char-
acters, tried repeatedly to gain admission to the
hoese, but were kupt out by the brave mother and
her children. After this occurrence Mrs. Current
was prevailed upon to seek a location a little near-
THE CURRENT FAMILY 143
er the settlements and she was preparing to move
when her husband reached home. He considered
her judgment wise, and the family moved over
into Henry count} 7 , and later entered Govern-
ment land and set about clearing out a home in
the primeval forest.
Margaret was the fifth child of a family of nine,
four older and four younger. Her childhood was
the usual one of the pioneer days, so different
from the child-life of today; yet from the toil and
seclusion there came a training of character and
physical robustness which left its impress upon
her after life and upon the lives of her family.
Her father's house was the home of the preacher
as he came and went, strengthening the faith of
the widely scattered flocks, and her religious
training and faith were of the good old kind not
common enough in these days, yet most highly
On the 26th day of March 1846, she was united
in marriage with James Leonard Waters. He was
also a native of Monongahela county, Virginia,
coming to Henry county, Indiana, with his parents
George and Mary Davis Waters, in 1834. They
settled in the woods about seven miles northeast
144 THE GURRE NT FAMILY
of New Castle and three and one-half miles south-
west of the Currents James was seventeen years
old when the journey was made and he walked
nearly all of that portion of the trip which was
made by land, driving a cow which gave milk for
the travelers on the way. George Lowe, recently
deceased in New Castle was also one of the party.
The trip from Wheeling to Cincinnati was made
on a flat-boat.
When they arrived in New Castle they were
c mfronted with a situation which would have ap-
palled and disheartened any but pioneers. The
awful scourge of cholera had visited the town and
half the people had died; the roads were almost
impassible and in every direction stretched away
toward the horizon, dense forests of giant trees
which must be cleared away before the soil could
be made to afford a sustenance for the pioneer
and his family.
George Waters and his wife were true pioneers
however, and it was not long ere the blue smoke
ascended from a little cabin in the clearing and
the noise of the ax was heard early and late.
Here George and Mary Waters lived and died
and their bodies lie at rest in the Harvey Ceme-
THE CURRENT FAMILY 145
tery near by. The farm granted to them, the
original deed for which, bears the signature of
President Andrew Jackson, is now owned by two
of George Waters' grandsons, George M. and
Frank L. Waters. The large (and magnificent,
in its da} T ) two-stor} T log house, still stands.
Here James L. Waters helped to bring civiliza-
tion out of Nature's wildness, by working in the
clearing in the summer and teaching school in
winter. The ruins of the old "Bear Pond" school
house ma3 r 3 r et be seen, a few deca} T ed logs
through and about which trees have sprouted
and grown to large size, for now nearly seventy
have passed since James Waters taught there.
He was also something of a surveyor and assisted
in making some of the surveys of that early day.
After their marriage James and Margaret Wa-
ters remained for some time at the home of his
parents and in the meantime a tract of land ad-
joining, had been secured and when a little clear-
ing had been made on the highest point and a
cabin erected, the}^ moved to the location where
for nearly fifty } T ears they lived together, until the
husband and father was called from his earthly
home to the home on high. The log cabin served
146 THE CURRENT FAMILY
its day and gave place to more extensive and
modern structures; the forests melted 'neath the
the sturdy stroke of the woodman's ax and the
roaring flame of the log heap and the huge fire-
place, and in their stead fields of golden grain
appeared. There was much of privation and
hardship and hard labor from the opening of the
sugar camp, in the Spring, to the storing of the
crops and the gathering of the apples in the fall,
and what with the chills and the fevers and the
malaria and the milk-sickness, the services of old
Doctor Kerr were often necessary.
Traveling was mostly done on horseback and
many were the times Margaret Waters would take
one, two or even three children upon a horse with
her and make the trip to her father's home north
of Rogersville. This was also the mode of travel
to and from religious services or "meeting." The
time came, however, when a church was erected
and meeting held on the farm. This Methodist
church was known as Sugar Grove and was a
flourishing one in its day. James Waters and his
brother-in-law, James Stanford, who lived on the
farm adjoining on the east, were class leaders and
active in the maintenance of the organization.
THE CURRENT FAMILY 147
These homes were the headquarters of the preach-
ers as they came and went and their presence
was alwaj^s a benediction to the home visited.
October 18, 1847, the Waters home was glad-
dened by the birth of a daughter, Louisa Matilda,
but her sta} T on earth was limited to a little over
four happy years. She died April 3, 1852, from
the effect of inhaling steam from a boiling kettle
on a stove.
The other children of James and Margaret
Waters, and the dates of birth are as follows:
Sarah Ann, born December 7, 1850.
George Morrison, born July 30, 1853.
Coleman Peter, born October 19, 1856.
Frank Leslie, born Sept. 14, 1859.
Mary Rebecca, born October 4, 1862.
Mark Orange, born November 21, 1867.
Willie Claud, born August 17, 1871.
Sarah Ann Waters was married Sept. 25, 1892,
to John Graham. They live on the James Stan-
ford homestead adjoining the ancestral home in
Henry county, Indiana. Sarah and her brother
George, made a visit to the relatives in Nebraska
some years ago and the recollection of that visit
148 THE CURRENT FAMILY
has always been a pleasant one to her. She was
the last, hut one, to leave the home for a home of
her own, Mr. Graham is also of Virginia ances-
try and is a first-class farmer and a model hus-
GeorgeM. Waters was married to Sarah C. Rog-
ers, January 17, 1885. She died March 27, 1887.
On October 18, 1890 he was married to Miss Anna
Eckard. They have three children, Charles, born
January 3, 1892; Lucy, born March 20, 1894 and
Robert, born June 11, 1899. They live on a part
of the original Waters farm in Henry county.
With the exception of nearly a year spent in
Nebraska, his life has been spent in Henry coun-
ty. For several years he was associated with his
brother, Coleman, in the manufacture of drain
tile and in running a saw mill. His attention is
now devoted to farming and fruitgrowing.
Coleman P. Waters was married to Elida F.
Graham, sister of John Graham, Sarah's husband,
October 25, 1877, and to them were born three
children, Cora Lee, jDorn October 15, 1878, died
February 28, 1900; Kenneth L., born Sept. 14, 1880;
Cecil Earl, born Nov. 25, 1883, married Nellie
THE CURRENT FAMILY 149
Reece, March 26, 1903. To them have been born
two children, Richard W. and an infant, unnamed.
Coleman lives on apart of the old home farm.
He also owns p. part of the James Stanford farm.
Fiank L. Waters was married to Levada Smith
Sept. 7, 1889. They have one son, Wilbur, born
Nov. 27, 1891. They live on the home farm. In
company with his brother Coleman, Frank, in 1899
took a trip through the East, going by sea from
Norfolk to New York where they joined the crowd
that welcomed the hero, Dewey, home.
Mary R. Waters, was married Sept. 27, 1884 to
John Sloniker. They T have three children, Ross
W.,born Sept. 27, 1887; Hurst, born March 10, 1891
and Mark, born July 3, 1896. Rebecca became ac-
quainted with Mr. Sloniker when he taught the
district school she attended, and boarded at the
Waters home. He is interested in the lumber
business. After marriage they lived in Moore-
land, Ind., then in Cambridge City and from there
to Lima, Ohio where they lived until the present
summer, 1906, when they moved to Cincinnati.
Ross, the oldest son graduated from the Lima
[50 THE CURRENT FAMILY
high school, class of '06 and won first place in the
city oratorical contest.
Mark O. Waters was married to Alice Ma} T Ful-
ton, October 23, 1895. Alice Fulton was born near
Sacramento, California, and her father, William
Fulton, was a prosperous farmer in the Sacra-
mento valley. Upon his death, Alice and her
mother, Mrs. Helena Fulton, came to New Castle,
Indiana in 1891 and, soon after, met Mark O. Wa-
ters. The latter was educated in the district
schools, the New Castle public schools and in De-
Pauw University. After teaching for four } 7 ears
he entered the office of the New Castle Courier in
1891, as reporter, became city editor, assistant
manager, editor and manager, and finally, owner
of the plant which he successfully operated until
he sold out in 1901. He is a member of the New
Castle school board and a Knight Templar. He
has traveled extensively through the East and
South and has a desire to sometime, sooner or la-
ter, make his home back in ancestral Virginia,
but prefers the eastern side of the mountains.
Mr. and Mrs. Waters have made two very enjoy-
able trips with their mothers, Mrs. Margaret
THE CURRENT FAMILY 151
Waters and Mrs. Helena Fulton; one to Niagara
Falls in 1898, and the other to Chattanooga in
1899. They have three children, William James,
born Jan. 6. 1900; Helena Margaret, born Oct. 18,
1902 and Maurice Leonard, born July 26,1905.
Willie Claud, the last born child, was stricken
with illness in June 1886 and died on the fifteenth
day of that month after but a few days' sickness,
at the age of 14 years, 10 months and 28 days. He
died, murmuring the words of the song "The
Home of the Soul" and requesting those about
his couch, to meet him in heaven.
James L. Waters, the husband and father, grew
to a ripe old age and passed on to the reward of
the faithful, February 19, 1894, at the age of sev-
enty seven. He died as he had lived, in the faith
and triumph of a Christian, and bequeathed to his
sons and daughters a goodly heritage — the exam-
ple of a well-spent life. He lived to see the wil-
derness changed into beautiful farms and his
children grown to manhood and womanhood.
On August 16, of this year 1906, a family gather-
THE CURRENT FAMILY
ing was held at the old home and a very enjoya-
ble time was had. The mother, all the living
children, four sons, two daughters, three daugh-
ters-in-law, one son-in-law, nearly all the grand-
children and the author of this book, Cousin
Annie Current, were there.
New Castle, Indiana, August 23, 1906.
THE CIRRENT FAMILY 153
EMMAUNE R. and LEWIS BIRD.
By £. R, BIRD
Emmaline R. Current was born in Virginia, De-
cember 27, 1830, She was tHe sixth child of Peter
and Rebecca Jones Current. When she was two
years old her parents moved to Henry county, Ind.
where she lived a happy life in a pure Christian
home. In her twenty-fifth year, on July 5, 1855,
she was married to Lewis Bird, (brother of Dan-
iel Bird) at the home of her parents in Jay county
Indiana, where they had moved the year pre-
vious. With her husband she lived in Indiana
eight years, then in 1863, they moved to Nebraska
and bought a farm and they were then able to say
that their happy home was their own. They
were both Christians and members of the Meth-
odist Episcopal church. Following the example
of her parents and grandparents, they erected a
family altar and daily committed themselves and
family into the care of the Heavenly Father.
154 THE CURRENT FAMILY
The}' had six daughters, the two eldest, twins.
Their first three children were born in Indiana.
For more than forty years they have had, in Ne-
braska, a lovely Christian home, where half their
children were born, where all were married and
where death has never entered.
In 1893 they retired from farm life and moved
to Union, Nebraska, leaving Edward and Marga-
ret Mougey in charge of the farm. At their home
in Union, on July 5, 1905, the}' celebrated the fifth-
ieth anniversary of their marriage. All their
daughters were scattered, in homes of their own,
and had not all been together under the parental
roof for fifteen years, till the} 7 gathered home to
celebrate the "Golden Wedding" of their loved
father and mother. Two of the sons-in-law were
present, ten grandchildren, one great grandchild,
with many other friends — fort} 7 -five in all. After
the sumptuous dinner was over, one of the grand-
daughters furnished some fine music on the piano
the minister gave an appropriate talk, and a
touching prayer; then the guests took their leave,
and with them the memory of a pleasant, happy
day. The parents were soon parted from their
children and grandchildren, as the} T scattered
THE CURRE NT FAMILY 155
again to their various homes and perhaps may
never all meet again, on earth, but hope and pray
to meet in the home of 'many mansions" which
Jesus has gone to prepare for them that love Him.
CHILDREN of LEWIS and EMMALINE BIRD.
Rachel T )
R . a i twins, born in Jay county, Indiana,
December 1, 1856.
Olive May, born in Henry county, Indiana, July
Flora E., born in Nebraska December 24, 1863.
Sarah Margaret, born in Nebraska, May 6, 1866.
Osta E., born in Nebraska, November 30, 1872.
Rachel J. and William P. Webster
William P. Webster and Rachel J. Bird were
married October 7, 1874. They live in Cody coun-
Emma Adell, born June 18, 1875.
Lewis Elmo, born March 21, 1878.
A. R. Kirkland and Emma Adell Webster were
J56 THE CURRENT FAMILY
married Sept. 24, 1893. They have one child, Lois
Adell, born August 20, 1894.
Rebecca A., and Aaron Porter.
Aaron Porter and Rebecca A. Bird were mar-
ried April 2, 1882. They live in Eugene, Oregon.
R. Aletha, born August 2, 1885
Guy T., born May 4, 1889.
Olive May and A>. W. Searl.
A. W. Searl and Olive May Bird were married
November 13, 1879. They live near Elwood, Ne-
Mabel P., born Sept. 19, 1880.
Amy L., born October 17, 1884; married Frank
Swan, December 2, 1903, and died February 3,
Ona, born July 13, 1889 and died December 1, 1897.
Flossie, born May 5, 1892.
Flora E.. and CHarles L. Movig'ey.
Charles L. Mougey, (pronounced Mozay) and
THE CURRENT FAMILY [57
Flora E. Bird were married December 24, 1884.
They live near Oconto, Nebraska.
Ila Raymond, born March 4, 1886.
Alvin Bird, born February 1889.
Orpha E., born April 27, 1895 and died May 24,
Florence P , born December 10, 1896.
SaraK Margaret and Edward J. Moug'ey.
Edward J. Mougey and Sarah Margaret Bird
were married December 8, 1887. They live near
Iva Ma} r, born September 12, 1888.
Blanche F. born April 21, 1892.
Grace F., born February 9, 1897.
Lewis Bird, born March 23, 1899.
Naomi M., born February 3, 1903.
Osta E. and John Bird.
John Bird and Osta E. Bird were married Feb-
ruary 10, 1892. They had one child born to
them, Ruth A., born November 7, 1892.
I_58 THE CURRENT FAMILY
Osta E,. and Sanford Eddy.
Sanford Eddy and Osta E. Bird were married
March 25, 1195. They live in Cody, Wyoming.
Irma Blanche, born December 21, 1896, and died
December 12, 1898.
Ethel Norene, born January 10, 1901.
THE CURRENT FAMILY
SARAH E. and DANIEL BIRD.
By MARY A. BOW EN.
DAOTEL .AND SARAH BIRD
Sarah E. Current
daughter of Peter
and Rebecca Jones
Current, was born
in Henry county,
28, 1830. She was
converted and uni-
ted with the M. E.
church, in her fa-
ther's house when
she was a little
girl, and ever after
lived an exem-
life. She acquired
a good common
160 THE CURRENT FAMILY
and while a young girl she helped her father do-
ing most of the writing for him when he was
On Sunday, May 15, 1853, she was married to
Daniel Bird, son of Joseph and Rachel (Young)
Bird. His father was born in New Jersey, Au-
gust 27, 1803, and died in Henry county, Indiana,
December 12, 1877. His mother was born in New
Jersey, November 8, 1806 and died in Henry
county Daniel Bird was born in Sussex county,
New Jersey, May 12, 1831. He was the fourth
child among nine brothers and two sisters.
With his father's family he came to Henry
county, Indiana, when he was eight years old.
They settled on a farm near Blountsville. When
Daniel was in his "teens" he worked as an ap-
prentice with Jesse Cary in the latter's black-
smith shop in Blountsville, and could soon draw
the red-hot pig-iron into bars and form them into
useful articles. He preferred this occupation and
before he was married he had a shop of his own.
In someway when a boy, he acquired the tobacco
habit, but the summer that he was twenty-one
years old, while at work on the construction of the
Bellefountaine R. R., he broke off the useless hab-
THE CURRENT FAMILY 161
it. He threw his tobacco plug into a large pond,
making a vow never to use it again, which vow
he ever afterward kept.
Daniel was converted at a camp-meeting near
Windsor, Ind., where he joined the M. E. church
holding his membership at Blonntsville until he
moved to Jay county.
To Daniel and Sarah Bird were born four child-
ren: Mary A, who married Harvey Bowen; Re-
cecc l, who died in her early childhood, the first of
the family to enter Heaven; Arthur W., and Pres-
In March 1861, they moved. to Jay county, where
they t ought an eighty acre farm, three miles from
Mt. Vernon. now-Redkev. Xearlv all along the
way was a dense forest. A corduroy road, made
of logs, lain side by side, over the low wet ground
was very rough and generally the mud so deep
that the trip to town could seldom be made under
three hours. Sarah was very industrious and by
her hard labor was always able to have a supply
of vegetables from her garden and good things to
eat, with which her table was well supplied. Her
spinning wheel always stood handy, so she could
catch every moment to spin the flax into thread,
162 THE CURRE NT FA MILY
and the wool into yarn to be woven into cloth,
blankets and table linen. Often when Daniel was
working in his blacksmith shop (in an old cabin
adjoining the house) Sarah would make the beat-
ing of the loom keep time with Daniel's hammer
beats on the anvil. In the year 1863 the} 7 moved
to Redke} 7 and he worked at his trade until Sept.
1864, he entered the service of his country, serv-
ing eight months in Company K^ 21st Regiment,
Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He was honorably
discharged May 22, 1865. His health became so
impaired while in the service that he never fully
recovered. In the Spring of 1866 they went back
on the farm and built them a new frame, four-
room house, which in after years they enlarged
and remodeled. Daniel built a large bank barn
and improved the farm in everyway. They spent
theii lives very pleasantly together.
On the 16th of May 1877 he was the victim of a
terrible runaway accident, carrying the marks of
it on his face as long as he lived. His life was mer-
cifully spared but no doubt that shock hastened
On January 13, 1886, Sarah was stricken with
paralysis and was ever afterwards an invalid,
THE CURRE NT FAMILY 163
bearing her affliction without a murmur. The
memory of her beautiful Christian life will always
be cherished by her children. A kind and affec-
tionate mother, she was alwa3 r s interested in the
welfare and happiness of her children. She was
ever a gentle and loving wife, and in her afflictions
she showed her implicit confidence in her hus-
band, in a child-like trust. He cared for her
as tenderly as a mother would her babe. His de-
votion to her during the seven } 7 ears of her afflic-
tion was remarkable.
May 15, 1893, the fortieth anniversary of
their marriage, the beloved wife was taken to
Heaven; released from her suffering to await, the
resurrection morning. The funeral services
were conducted b} r her pastor, Rev. H. A. Davis,
at the M. E. church in Redke}, and the remains
laid to rest in Hill Crest cemeter}^.
Daniel and his son Preston were then left alone,
and truly their horn e was a lonely one, without
wife, mother or sister. It was hard for them to
get a housekeeper and most of the time they had
to do their own house work. They did the best
they could until August 14, 1894, after a short
courtship, Daniel married his wife's cousin, who
164 THE CURR ENT FAMILY
had buried two husbands, having been a widow a
long time. Her name was Nancy E. Current-
Miller-Anderson. Her parents were William and
Rebecca (Lake) Current. She was a faithful wife
and made him a happy home in his declining-
years. His cnildren loved and respected her, al-
ways regarding her as a mother. Nancy was
brought up by pious parents and was taught to
reverence the house of God. In her childhood her
parents had religious services in their home, con-
ducted by the Primitive Baptists. She attended
the first Sabbath school organized in Richland
township, Jay county. She was converted and
joined the Methodist Episcopal church in her
thirty-seventh year and has lived a consistent
Christian ever since. Together with the compan-
ion of his old age, Daniel Bird, was regularly at
the Sunday morning class and preaching service;
though living three miles from the church, he of-
ten went through inclement weather, leaving his
testimony that his "face was heavenward." In re-
ligion as in other things, he was strong and reso-
lute. In his business he was honorable and suc-
cessful and he lived to see his children well set-
tled in life.
THE CURRENT FAMILY 165
On Friday, January 22, 1904, he complained
of not feeling well; his wife telephoned in the
evening for his children and for the doctor to
come, but before either had reached the place,
and while his wife was out of the house, doing
her evening chores, the death angel came and his
spirit took its flight, while he sat in his chair.
On the last Saturday of his life his pastor vis-
ited him and he gave unmistakable evidence that
the Church and Kingdom of Christ were on his
heart When the pastor started he said, "Now,
Brother Powell, do all the good you can, do all
the good you cm!" At tiie last public service he
attended he doubled his contribution for the
spread of the gospel. He ended his march with
the church militant on January 22, 1904, and joined
the church triumphant after a probation of seven-
ty two years and eight months. The funeral ser-
vices were conducted by the pastor, Rev. Sherman
Powell, assisted by former pastors, Rev. J. O.
Bills and Rev. A. L. Forkner, and the remains
were laid to rest beside the wife of his youth, in
Hill Crest cemetery.
His wife and children amicably settled the es-
tate, selling the farm, and she bought her a home
166 THE CURRENT FAMILY
in Albany, Indiana, where she now resides. Be-
sides the seven children born to her while living
with her first husband, Mrs. Nancy Bird has been
a mother to eighteen step-children, each of her
three husbands being a widower when she mar-
Mary A., and Harvey Bowen.
Mary Ann Bird, daughter of Daniel and Sarah
E. Bird, was born December 27, 1853, in Henry
county, Indiana, where she lived with her parents
until they moved to a farm in Jay county in 1861,
where little Mary went to school in a log house,
one mile north of her father's home, always walk-
ing except when the road was too bad, then her
father would take her on a horse behind him, to
the school house. When she was ten years old,
her parents moved to Redkey(Mt. Vernon) where
they had their home for three years. Here Mary
went to school in a little frame school house on
the ground now occupied by the large high
school building. She went to Methodist meetings
and Sunday school in this same school house. In
one of the meetings she joined the M. E. church
THE CURRENT FAMILY 167
when about eleven years old. It was the first
time the Lord ever impressed it on her heart that
she was a sinner and that she needed the cleans-
ing power of Jesus to save her soul, and she then
began to pray for a clean heart. It was about
three 3 T ears afterwards that the Lord answered her
prayers and spoke peace to her soul, at a meeting
held in the new school house that had been built
one mile north of her father's farm house, for they
had again removed to the farm. \
It was through the influence of praying parents
that she was brought to Christ early in life
On Januar}- 4, 1872, Mary A. Bird was united in
marriage to Harvey Bowen, son of William and
Rebecca Evans Bowen, of near Dunkirk, Indiana.
They lived ver}^ happy together in the house
with his parents, having bought a part of the old
homestead, land entered by Harvey's father many
They lived in the house with his parents as
long as the latter lived and the relationship of the
two families was always congenial, never having
any harsh or unkind words.
On October 10, 1899, Harvey, too, was taken
away and Mary had to give up her husband, the
168 THE CIRRENT FAMILY
first time that death entered her family circle.
Harvey Bowen was converted in a camp-meeting
at Albany, Indiana, in the fall of 1871 and lived a
very devoted Christian life. He was a class lead-
er in Kingsley M. E. church, when he died.
To them were born four sons and one daughter.
The father lived to see three eldest sons convert-
ed to Christ and when the daughter and young-
est son ware old enough they gave their hearts to
Jesus. In November 1895, Earl, the second son,
was rabbit hunting and laid his gun against a log
to stoop down and look for the rabbit, when he
raised up he drew the gun towards him to start in
a hurry, the gun went off, shooting his left arm
so badly injuring it that it had to be amputated
six inches below the shoulder. He entered the
high school at Dunkirk in 1896 and graduated in
1900. In March 1902, having sold her land in
Blackford county, near Dunkirk, Mary Bowen
bought a farm in Jay county near where two
brothers had previously purchased homes for
themselves, and they are all comfortably situated
close together on the Salamonia river. Though
five miles from Pennville and six miles from
Portland, the county seat, there have daily com-
THE CURRENT FAMILY 169
munication with the world by the free rural mail
delivery and the telephone system. The children
are all married now except Ra3 T ,the youngest son
who is seventeen years old and living with his
mother on the farm. The married children have
all settled on farms in Current style around the
CHILDREN of HARVEY and MARY A. BOW EN.
Glenn Clifton, born October 21, 1876.
Arthur Earl, born March 30, 1880.
William Russell, born December 12, 1883.
Orilla May, born October 23, 1886.
Floyd Raymond, born August 9, 1888.
Glen C, son of Harvey and Mary A. Bowen,
was married to Martha B. Snyder, December 5,
1896. She is the daughter of John and Sarah Sny-
der, born October 17, 1877. Their children are:
Cecil Gerald, born July 16, 1900.
Herbert Floyd, born February 13, 1903.
Lena Hazel, born October 8, 1905.
Arthur Earl Bowen and Settie Mymm were
married October 21, 1904. She is the daughter of
r70 THE CURRENT FAMILY
Benjamin and Belle Mymm and was born May 9,
William Rttssel Bowen and Florence Rose
Coons were married November 22, 1902. She was
the daughter of Isaac and Phoebe Coons.
Orilla May Bowen and Charles Denny were
married December 3, 1904. He was the son of
Daniel W. and Hannah Denny, and was born De-
cember 5, 1874.
ArtKvir and Minerva Bird.
Arthur Warren Bird, son of Daniel and Sarah
E. Bird, was born in Jay county, Indiana, April,
1861. He was married October 22, 1881, to Min-
erva Bowen, daughter of William and Rebecca
Evans Bowen, at the home of her parents near
Dunkirk, Indiana, by Rev. P. J. Albright.
Her brother, Harvey, had married Arthur's
sister, Mary. After their marriage Arthur and
Minerva Bird lived in the home of his parents
until June 15, 1882, they moved into a home of
their own. He had bought a small farm adjoin-
THE CLRRE NT FAMILY 171
ing his father's. They lived there until February
22, 1899, they rented a farm in the same neighbor-
hood, and lived there until October 21, 1900. He
bought a farm in Green township, the same coun-
ty, putting in as part pay, their little forty-eight
acre farm. This farm lies on the Salamonie river
and is very fertile, producing wonderful crops.
Being well -watered it is a fine stock farm.
After moving to that place, the Friends church
being within a quarter of a mile of their home,
and no Methodist church near, their family joined
the Friends church.
CHILDREN of ARTHUR and MINcSVA BIRD.
Harvey Lee, born August 11, 1882.
Charley Ned, born Jnne 4, 1884.
William Daniel, born January 14, 1886.
Sarah Ethel, bora September 27, 1887.
Trusie Gladys, born January 23,1890.
Ralph Homer, born March 15, 1892.
Lora Ma} r , born March 15, 1894; died September
Mary Rebecca, born October 16, 1895.
Clara Grace, born October 11, 1897; died August
172 THE CURRENT FAMILY
Teddy Roosevelt, born February 15, 1902.
Harvey Lee Bird was married to Ethel Gaskell
December 24, 1905.
Trusie Gladys Bird was married to James Cas-
tle, December 26, 1905.
The following lines were written by Arthur
Bird's son, William D., the latter not thinking of
their being used in this wa}':
Feeding The Five Thousand.
"Just as the day was then far spent
The disciples unto Jesns went,
And said, 'this land is scant and dry,
While eating- time is far passed by;
Send them away that they go out
Into the country around, about
And into the towns to buy them bread.'
But Jesus answered them and said:
'Give ye them to eat,' but now they
Unto Jesus, full of doubt, did say
'Shall we go out and buy them meat
Two hundred pennyworth to eat?'
But Thomas told him of a lad
Who two small fishes and five loaves had.
THE CURRENT FAMILY 17^
For two or three, there would be plenty
But what are they among so many?
But Jesus told them to sit down
In small companies upon the ground.
Then looking up to God in Heaven,
He blessed the food that had been giv'n.
Then broke the bread and passed it round,
To the people sitting on the ground.
Likewise the fish were given too,
Till each his hunger did subdue.
Five thousand men that da3~ were fed
From two small fish and five loaves of bread.
And the disciples then obtained
Twelve baskets full that still remained."
WILLIE BIRD, DECEMBER 5, 1904.
!ta ]iffliir._alBiir._iii']'5iir jiffllnr jnfiir nffiir. .nffliir .lifinr.
"W <V r W %'i"' ' J «KIF -W- Jl, » ir >%F W*W™» ,r
r. s»fc -«Q«r. .nifllm
THE CURRENT FAMILY
Preston S. and Emma I. Bird.
By PRESTON BIRD.
Enm; I. Bird Harrold W. Helen N. Preston Bird
Preston S., the youngest child of Daniel and
Sarah Bird, was born September 16, 1874, at the
old Bird homestead in Knox township, Jay county
Indiana, where his life, with the exception of one
or two summers, was spent until his marriage.
When Preston was quite young he had vague
ideas of the school room and dreaded for the time
to come when he must start to school. The time
soon came, and his parents started him down the
road to school. He went part of the way, then laid
THE CURRENT FAMILY 175
down in the dirt, getting his clothing so soiled
that he went home thinking he would get excus-
ed, but his mother put clean clothes on him and
his father went with him to the school house, tell-
ing the teacher to keep him until time to dismiss
for the day. After he got introduced to the school
it was no trouble to keep him there. Preston
soon learned to love the school room so that his
parents would have found it harder to keep him
away than it was to get him started. He was in
school until he was eighteen years old, going
seven terms in succession only missing two days
in all that time and that was when his mother
was first stricken with paralysis. He was a very
mischievous lad in school but always learned his
lessons. One winter while sitting in the school
room, his seatmate (the seats were double) stuck
Preston with a pin; Preston retaliated by striking
the boy with his lead pencil, on the back of his
hand; the lead broke off in the boy's hand and it
became so sore that he had to miss school for sev-
eral days. His hand healed with the lead in it
and still remains, as a reminder of his school
days. In the Spring of 1898, Preston went to
Livingstone county, Illinois, to w r ork on a farm
176 THE CURRENT FAMILY
but returned home in the Fall, remaining there
until his marriage.
On December 22, 1900, he was married to Emma
I. Hildreth, daughter of John H. and Elisabeth
(Offiel) Hildreth, by Rev. Curtis Bechdolt, of Col-
let, Ind. They settled in their own home March
7, 1901, on a small farm they bought near his
brother Arthur and sister Mary, on the Salamonie
river, in Green township, Jay county, where they
have a lovely country hotne. Mail reaches them
every day by rural route from Portland and they
are connected by telephone with all the towns
To Preston and Emma I. Bird have been given
two precious children:
Harrold Wiley, born September 3, 1901.
Helen Naomi, born August 30, 1905.
At Home, March 1906.
Since the above was written, this happy home
has been broken up by the death of the loved wife
and mother. Emma I. Bird died June 19, 1906, af-
ter a brief illness, with tuberculosis of the lungs.
She was happy in the prospect of Heaven, saying
just before death, that she saw Jesus. A. E. C.
THE CURRENT FAMILY
ARAH MATILDA and W. J. HESSER
By W. J. HESSER.
Arah Matilda Current, daughter of Peter and
_ Rebecca Current \\; s
born in Henry coui -
ty, Indiana, August
14, 1836. She was
converted and joined
the Methodist Epis-
copal church in her
youth. After her
brothers Samuel and
Alfred moved to Jay
county, she visited
them and there met for the first time, William J.
Hesser, who won her love and to whom she was
married at her father's home, December 24, 1854.
She lived with him a little over forty-five years,
and died at their home near Plattsmouth, Neb-
raska, April 1, 1900.
THE CURRENT FAMILY
'William J. Hesser.
I was born near
Washington C. H.,
Fayette county, Ohio
November 22, 1834.
My father and moth-
| er, Samuel and Elis-
abeth (Caylor) Hes-
ser, left that place in
the Autumn of .1837,
driving 1 a team to
- Jay county, Indiana,
and settled on a farm which they owned till their
death and which is now a part of Redkey. The
last night of our journey we stayed at the home
of my mother's brother, Samuel Caylor, nearly
four miles south of the farm my father bought.
There was no road and they had to cut a way
through the timber, till we came to the camping
place which my father selected just a little west
of the big pond, where we camped beside a big
oak log until father cut the trees and built a cabin
to live in.
THE CURRENT FAMILY 179
Though only three years old there was indelibly
impressed on my mind two incidents that occur-
red on the journey; soon after leaving Sam Cay-
lor's, while crossing Dinner Creek, the'horses got
stalled in the deep mire, and I vividly remember
seeing Uncle Sam's yellow dogrun around before
the team while I was sitting in the front part of
the wagon. Then, when we got to the Mitchell
farm (later Father Current's), which adjoined my
father's land, I remember that we stopped and
got fire to take to our camp. They made a torch
of splinters made of boards and carried to start a
fire at the camp. That was before matches were
invented, and when the fire went out they had to
goto a neighbor's to get coals or a torch, or strike
flint on steel to make sparks, with which to kin-
dle a fire.
In 1847 my parents moved back to Ohio to live
with Grandmother Caylor, but returned to their
Indiana home in 1850, where I lived with my pa-
rents until my marriage to Arah M. Current. Our
first home was in the little village called Mt. Ver-
non, later named Redkey. Three of our children
were born at this place. In September 1863, we
left Indiana for Nebraska, and arrived at brother
180 THE CURRENT FAMILY
S. B. Hobson's, November 1, 1863. We lived two
years on his farm, then bought land, and moved
into our own home near Plattsmouth, Nebraska,
where my wife finished her life work and where
I remained until May 5, 1904. While living there
I worked at my chosen occupation of florist and
fruit grower. On leaving there I came to Califor-
nia, the land of palms, flowers and fruits, where I
expect to end my days on earth.
DESCENDANTS of W . J. and ARAH M. HESSER.
Mary Emily, born at Redkey ,Ind., June 25, 1857.
Samuel Clayton, born at Redkey, Ind., July 5,1860
Rebecca Elizabeth, born at Redkey, Ind;, Febru-
Orange Lincoln, born June 5, 1865, died January 4,
Edgar Lewis, born at Plattsmouth, Nebraska,
January 28, 1869.
Lulu Elma, born July 20, 1872.
Flora May, born June 17, 1875, died December 27,
William Creighton, born October 30, 1879; un-
Harriet Inez, born July 31, 1882; unmarried.
THE CURRENT FAMILY j8[
Mary Emily and Robert Van Cleave.
Mary E. Hesser was married to Robert Van
Cleave June 25, 1883. They had two children;
William Roy, born June 27, 1887, died August 31,
Robert Paul, born December 14, 1889, died April
The father, Robert Van Cleave, died November
23, 1897. Thus in middle life, Mary Emma Van
Cleave was, by death deprived of all her family,
husband and sons, and left to face the battles of
life alone. In 1904, with her brother Willie, she
went to South Dakota, took up a land claim of
160 acres adjoining the claim her brother took,
and is there, meeting her contract with the Gov-
ernment to secure the title to it.
When they first settled there in the summer
of 1904, there were but two houses between their
claim and Fort Pierre, thirty miles away, and no
fences, while thousands of cattle and horses were
running the vast range, with no care at all except
at "rounding up" seasons. The free ranges will
soon all be fenced, by settlers. When the unbro-
ken prairie becomes cultivated the land yields
good crops of corn and small grain.
182 THE CURRENT FAMILY
Samuel Clayton and BertKa Hesser.
Samuel Clayton Hesser was married to Bertha
Searle, September 1889. She was born in 1873.
They have had the following children:
Clyde Elmer, born June, 21 1890.
James Oscar, born September 8, 1892.
Ora Edgar, born May 21, 1894.
Fannie Emma, born February 21, 1896.
Avis Rose, born October 14, 1897.
William Matthias, born May 18, 1899.
May Goldie,born Dec* 24, 1900; died June 20, 1902.
Margaret Inez, born December 1902.
Violet Matilda, born December, 5, 1904.
They live in western Nebraska.
Rebecca Elisabeth and John S. Gapen.
Rebecca Elisabeth Hesser was born at Redkey,
Indiana, and when only a few months old, was
taken b}^ her parents to Nebraska, near Platts-
mouth, where she grew to womanhood and where
April 15, 1891, she was married to John Samuel
Gapen. They made their home at Geneva, Neb-
raska until 1901, when they moved to Hyatville,
Big Horn county, Wyoming, where they continue
THE CURRENT FAMILY 183
to reside. The} 7 are very much elated on account
of a new railroad which runs within twenty -five
miles of them. Heretofore all freight, mail and
passengers had to come over a ninety mile drive.
This year they drove from their home to the Yel-
lowstone Park for a five weeks' outing and a de-
lightful one it was.
Mr. Gapen was born at Plattsmouth, March 2,
1858, and lived there until his marriage to "Li hbie"
Hesser. They have two children:
Loretta Rouene, born at Geneva, Neb., April 1,
John Clarke, born at Geneva, January 25, 1894.
Edgar Lewis and Rose N. Hesser.
Edgar Lewis Hesser was married to Rose N.
Wile} 7 , January 1, 1902. She was born at Platts-
mouth, April 21, 1874. They were married at
Rialto, San Bernardino county, California, where
they have since resided. They have one child, a
daughter, Arah Wiley, born October 12, 1902.
Lulu Elma and Albert CKurcHill.
Lulu Elma Hesser was married to Albert
THE CURRENT FAMILY
Churchill, May 3, 1892. He was born in 1868.
The} 7 have two children:
Melda, born March 6,1893.
Wiltna, born July 15, 1897.
THE CURRENT FAMILY 185
EMILY K. and JOHN C. NORRIS.
By EMILY E. NC^RIS.
Emily E., daughter of Peter and Rebecca
Jones Current, was born June 26, 1842., in Henry
count} r , Indiana. I went with my parents to Jay
county, when I was fourteen years old, and there
my childhood da} T s were soon ended. From my
earliest existence I was accustomed to religious
influences and examples as my parents and all
my brothers and sisters were Christians. With
the family altar and public worship in my home,
I was early in life led to join the M. E. Church,
and give my heart to God As the years passed
by there began a friendship between myself and
a young man I first met in Jay county, and whose
father's sister had married my father's brother
and he had been given the name of his, and my
uncle, John Current Norris. This friendship de-
veloped into love and we were married March 4,
1858. John C. Norris was born in Virginia, June
14, 1837, the son of William and Hannah Norris.
186 THE CURR ENT FAMILY
I was the youngest of my father's family, and,
all my brothers and sisters having married and
left the parental home, my parents desired my
husband and I to live with them, which we did.
In a few years two darling boys came to gladden
the old home. We lived thus happily togetner,
until in May 1866, my mother was suddenly trans-
lated to her home above, making a change in the
family circle. Still we remained with father, and
a dear little daughter was added to the household
After mother's death, father wanted to dispose
of all business cares and visit his children who
had gone to live in the State of Nebraska; so in
the beginning of the year 1869, he succeeded in
selling his property and settling up his estate as
he desired, and we, with our family, accompanied
him to Nebraska, where we purchased a farm and
established a home of our own, and father made
his home with us. For nearly one year we lived
together there, as described by E. R. Bird in
Chapter One of this book. Then after thirteen
years of married life, I first realized what it was
to live without father or mother.
The years have rapidly come and gone, and
THE CURRENT FAMILY 187
other daughters and a son were given us until we
had a large family of lively } T oung folks, with the
nsual amount of romance that might be expected
in such a famil}'; all ordinarily good and intelli-
gent and most of them Christians, their mother
dail} r pra} T ing that they may all seek the Lord and
be saved. As yet the number has not been bro-
ken by death. We now live at Altamont, Kansas.
We have bought a farm of 240 acres, two and one
half miles from Altamont. Our son, Burt, has
charge of the farm. He and Irene are unmarried
and live at home with us. We live in the Kansas
gas belt and have natural gas to burn in town.
We expect to have a new electric railroad finish-
ed this } r ear, which will go on one side of our farm.
We have thirteen grand-children and we think
some of them are unusually bright. Our children
are scattered; four of them are in Nebraska, one
is at Los Angeles, California, and one at Hia-
watha, Kansas. We moved to Altamont in March,
188 THE CURR ENT FAMILY
CHILDREN of JOHN C. and EMILY E. NORRIS.
Charles, born August, 9, 1859, in Indiana.
Ellsworth H.,born August 7, 1861, in Indiana.
Norma, born October 19, 1867, in Indiana.
Edna, born June 4, 1871, in Nebraska.
Ola, born December 31, 1873, in Nebraska.
Stella, born February 7, 1877, in Nebraska.
Burt, born February 26, 1880, in Nebraska.
Irene, born August 4, 1883, in Nebraska.
Charles Norris married IdaLundy, Sept. 6,1893,
at Plattsmouth, Neb. They have two children:
Donald, born Oct. 7, 1894 and Leslie, born January,
Ellsworth H. Norris married Anna Rose, Mar.
4, 1886. They have six children: Ray, Nellie
Rose, John W., Fred P., Lois and Ernest.
Norma Norris was married to W. E. Howard,
at Hiawatha, Kansas, January 5, 1902. They have
t.vo children, John G. and W. Norris.
THE CURRENT FAMILY
Edna Norris was married to B. O. Tucker, at
Nehawka, Nebraska, March 1, 1892. They have
one child, Marion Norris, born April 5, 1895.
Ola Noris was married to C. D. Mcllnay, at
Nehawka, Nebraska, May 30, 1899. They have
two children, John Norris and Florence.
Stella Norris was married to L} f nn H. Patrick
November 12, 1902, at Hiawatha, Kansas.
.- - -- f&^^^^jrj*F&
mSLt / ^
i te ^» vJ
*■ - -^ - -- -41M^lk .«K'd
-W£. : ■
^jH ■■£■:■ '^^l^l^Lr ^Ha^^H
"'^^K^^^Ws**/ ■ ^^^^
• 'i? \ -~^^lM
\ 1 J^
%r 45 n .
i vr-M :
. ■; "%' ■a^v^^B
*- - m * bk ^
, ,. ^
1 ' *^b
he Hobson Family.
-"W"«!liF W'^IF *HF J "!F WW '"IliU" 1 '"Hill 1 "' ' 1 "llill" rll IIIF
"Hobson's Choice, — A choice without an alter-
native; the thing offered or nothing.
HP" It is said to have had its origin in the name
of one Hobson, at Cambridge, England, who let
horses, and required every customer to take, in
his turn, the horse which stood next the stable
door." — Webster's Dictionary.
«ll'lk .mfliiir. lullllhir. .«ftu iiBiiuiBnr. jiiHtojiDk jiilSk .ullir. niftir. .mllllk
Three Hobson brothers emigrated from Eng-
land to America, during the colonial times of pri-
vation and danger. Their coming was previous
to the year 1739, but the exact date is unknown.
In regard to the remote ancestry, I quote from
A. W. and E. B. Hobson: "The Hobsons were of
the old English Quaker stock. The family had
its seat in Tuddington, Middlesex county, as earl}'
as the thirteenth century. Their characteristic
desires were for universal peace. Even the old
family crest showed this peaceful tendency, it be-
ing a heart, with a hand rising out of it, grasping
an olive branch, rather than a sword.
"They avowed their belief in the simple ways
and Christian faith of the Friends, or Quakers,
when to declare such things, was to court punish-
ment for witchcraft, by enduring the stocks, the
194 THE HOBS ON FAMILY
whipping post or the loss of an ear, or an arm,
yes, and sometimes suffering the penalty, of
death. So much persecution did they endure for
their religious freedom in England that they were
led to nsigrate to America and endure the hard-
ships of the new colonies. They escaped the per-
secutions endured by Ann Austin and Mary Fish-
er in Massachusetts, by settling in Surrey county,
North Carolina and in Virginia."
George Hobson was one of these brothers. He and
his wife, Hannah, were born in England,
about the year 1715. After marriage they
emigrated to America and settled first in
Frederick county, Virginia. We have only
the name and record of one of their child-
William Hobson, son of George and Hannah
Hobson, was born in Virginia, March 7,
1739. His wife, Sarah Hobson, was born
January 7, 1747, in Prince George county,
Maryland. Her parents were Johnathan
and Mary Williams. After their marriage
they moved to Orange county, North Caro-
lina, where their first five children were
born; the remaining nine were born in
THE HOBSON FAMILY 195
Chatham county, the same State. Their
William, born April 17, 1763.
John, born January 13, 1765.
Mary, born January 23, 1767.
Joseph, born December 10, 1768.
Samuel, born March 24, 1771.
Johnathan, born March 29, 1773.
Sarah, born Februar\ T 20, 1774.
Hannah, born October 10. 1776; married William
Polk, March 30, 1809; died May 29, 1869.
Elizabeth, born February 5, 1778.
Martha, born December 20, 1779; married
Nathan, born June 19, 1782.
Deborah, born November 16, 1784; married
Rachel, born January 4, 1787; married Blair.
George, born August 19, 1790; married Sally Col-
William, the first named above, died in Clinton
county, Ohio, March 1, 1815. Sarah, the wife of
William, died in Wilmington countj T , Ohio, April
196 THE HOBS ON FAMILY
William, their son, died in Chatham county, N.
Joseph, their son, died in Henry county, Ind.
Mary died in North Carolina December 28, 1768.
Johnathan died in North Carolina, July 15,1774.
Sarah died in North Carolina.
This family record was registered in Cane
Creek Meeting-house Book, page 28. Drawn off
by James Polk, at N. Pearson's, in Indiana."
George, son of William and Sarah Hobson, was
born August 19 1790. He was married to Sally
Colburn, September 7, 1807, when he was eigh-
teen days past seventeen years old. The circum-
stances concerning their wedding journey are ds-
scribed in Chapter Seven of thisPartof the book,
also in the photogravure sketch by A. W. Hobson.
Sally Colburn Hobson was born in Chatham
county, North Carolina, December 27, 1789. Her
father was Revel Colburn, whose parents were of
Scotch origin. Sally's mother was Margaret Polk
Colburn, the daughter of William Polk, who
THE HOBSON FAMILY 197
served seven years as a captain in the Revolution-
In 1780, wnen he was sixteen
years old, Revel Colburn volun-
teered to go to the war, as a sub-
stitute for a man who had been
drafted He served in Captain
Polk's company, and was promo-
ted to the office of lieutenant. A
friendship sprang up between
the young man and his superior
officer which led to the marriage
of Lieutenant Colburn to Cap- rr. margaret poxk
tain Polk's daughter, Margaret. (This profile was
(The Polk ancestry is at the end drawn in 1832 « b > r
James Polk, the
Of this Chapter.) son of her brother
Revel Colburn was born Sept-
ember 16, 1764, and died in Henry count}*, Ind-
iana, February 24, 1844. Margaret was born Jan-
uary 24, 1768 and died in Henry count} 7 , Novem-
ber 26, 1837.
William Hobson's son and daughter, Joseph,
and Martha Doan, had migrated to Ohio previous
to the time of George and Sally's marriage, and
they welcomed the weary travelers to their wil-
198 THE HOBSON FAMILY
derness home. Samuel, another son of William
Hobson, instead of going West, went to Alabama,
and he is theancestor of the Alabama Hobsons.
It is hard for later generations to comprehend
how much privation and hardship the pioneers
endured, in preparing this country for the civili-
zation and luxuries of the present day. Knives
and forks, iron utensils and everything they could
not raise or manufacture, had to be brought on
pack-horses across the Allegheny mountains, and
were very expensive and even salt was a luxury.
A writer describing that time and place says, "A
cow and calf was the usual price for a bushel of
salt, and it was measured with the utmost care,
and every precaution taken to prevent the loss of
a single grain." The following statements are
reported to me by A. W. Hobson, in "Stories told
by Mother, the Last Leaf on the Tree," Jemima D.
Hobson, the only living member of her father's
family at the present time: "One of our neighbors
bought a quantity of coffee when it first came into
their market, and they soaked the green coffee
for half a day, like beans — and disappointed them-
selves, as well as their guests, because the coffee
was not palatable at dinner-time. My father was
THE HOBSON FAMILY 199
a man of high stature, measuring six feet, two and
one-eighth inches high and was equally propor-
tioned; he had to stoop as he entered the door of
our home. Usually he weighed from 225 to 245
pounds; his eyes and hair were very black, but
few gray hairs appearing up to the time of his
death. He was pretty good-look-
ing My mother's hair never
turned gray, and her teeth were
always pretty and white.
My father was a Quaker by
birth-right, but on marrying a
Methodist, according to their
rules, he was dismissed from
their fellowship. He finally drop-
ped the Quaker style of conversa-
tion and never afterward joined SALI/Y hobson.
any church. It was a long time (This profile was
. r . . ... drawn in 18M2, by
before a church was organized in j ames p ik)
the new settlements and when a church society
was formed, mother's health prevented her going
out. I never heard him use any profane or bad
language. His children all obe} r ed him at his first
command intuitively perceiving his firmness of
character. He was a hard-working man, saving
200 THE H0BS0N FAMILY
and careful, never financier enough to get weal-
thy, leaving at his death about $400, to each of his
children. He was greatly attached to his wife,
whose health was very delicate for years. She
died of fever in Missouri, November 11, 1845.
"After she died father grieved much and s; : on
followed her to the grave, when but little past the
prime of his life. He also died in Missouri, of fe-
ver, on December 9, 1848."
This stalwart country man was possessed of the
love for adventure, always wanting to press on
further into the new. unsettled country. After
living in Ohio about twelve years, he went to In-
diana, stopping a short time in Wayne county,
while the surveys of the boundaries of Henry
county, were made, and then entered land and
settled in Henry county, March 3, 1820. The coun-
ty was organized the following year, and the
county seat, New Castle, located on a site imme-
diately joining their farm.
When they arrived at the place it was an unbro-
ken forest, and for a few months their only neigh-
bors were Indians Other settlers soon followed
so rapidly that by the Autumn of the next year
THE HOBSON FAMILY 201
one hundred homes had been founded in the new
The Hobsons had come from North Carolina, a
slave State, but being Friends they were strong
in their sentiment against slavery, as were also
nearly all the early settlers here, having come
from North Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia, and
in later years the anti-slavery sentiment was so
strong that this location became a line of the Un-
derground Railway, along which the timid slave,
fleeing from bondage, was guided by white friends
to a land of freedom.
A description of the first dwellings, school-
houses, stores, jail and court house, in New Cas-
tle, is given in the sketches of Eliza J. Current.
Jemima D. Hobson, Sarah Weatherman and in the
letter of Margaret Furst, and in the poem of
"Aunt Fannie," in this book, in their respective
George Hobson built their cabin on one of the
beautiful mounds supposed to have been left
there by the prehistoric "Mound Builders." La-
ter, in 1828, he built a large two-story frame house,
(see picture) with stone foundation and basement,
on the side of one of these mounds and in making
202 THE H0BS0N FAMILY
the excavation for the basement they found a
number of the relics of the ancient inhabitants;
skeletons and implements of stone and fragments
of pottery, to which they called the attention of
scientific men, who examined the relics and also
discovered many more. A Big Four Railroad
switch track now runs within one hundred feet of
the house, between the house and the old spring
and an electric railroad is being built, (Septem-
ber, 1906) which also runs close to the house.
In writing a letter to their friends they had to
pay twenty-five cents postage and could either
prepay or send and collect when delivered. They
had no envelopes at that time but a sheet of the
writing paper was folded and pasted together
with a little wax seal.
George and Sally persuaded her parents to come
west, and about the middle of August 1827, George
started back to North Carolina, to bring them to
Indiana, driving through with his horses hitched
to a big canvas-covered wagon, returning Novem-
ber 22, of that year, bringing Revel and Margaret
Colburn, their daughter Mary, who, after her
mother's death, married Zephaniah Leonard, and
their grand-daughter, Frances Colburn ("Aunt
THE HOBSON FAMILY 203
Fannie"), who afterward married William, son of
George and Sally Hobson.
Then for the first time since her wedding day,
over twenty years before, Sally met her loved
father and mother.
Revel and Margaret Colburn were well educa-
ted and though advanced in years, he taught sev-
eral terms of school after coming to Indiana. His
wife was a ph} T sician and went for miles round, on
horseback, through forest and mud, to attend the
sick. One of the pioneers' foes was malaria, caus-
ing ague. A sovereign remed} 7 for rheumatism,
and oth^r diseases, was "Rock Oil," put up in
small bottles. It was an oil that oozed through
the fissures of the rocks, and was found floating
on the surface of several springs , the petroleum
of today, and it was a sign, unknown then, of the
vast oil wells and natural gas which have been
developed in recent years by their grand-children
and others. (See oil well picture op. page 110.)
The Colburns were Methodists and lived devo-
ted Christian lives. Before a church organization
was effected, Sally Hobson became an invalid and
she and her husband never a^ain united in
membership with any church, bat they -oent the
204 THE HOBS ON FAMILY
Sabbaths in singing hymns of faith such as:
"How happy every child of grace
Who knows his sins forgiven;"
"Oh Thou in whose presence my soul takes delight;"
"Who suffers with their Master here
Shall sure before His face appear,"
and other inspiring songs, over and over again,
welled up from their hearts and helped to influ-
ence the young of this home, and turn their hearts
The children of George and Sally Hobson:
William P., see Chapter II, Part Second.
Revel C., born September 13, 1810; died January
Polly B., born March 1, 1813; died March 8, 1813.
Pale B.. born March 24, 1814; died April 11, 1815.
Jose K . see Chapter III, Part Second.
Margaret M., see Chapter IV, Part Second.
Jemima D., see Chapter V, Part Second.
Eliza J., see Chapter IV, Part First.
James R., see Chapter VI, Part Second.
George W., born August 12, 1828; died Nov. 1839.
Sarah A., see Chapter VII, Part Second.
THE HOBSON FAMILY 205
THE POLft FAMILY.
(Ancestry of Sally, -wife of George Hobson.)
The family was Scotch and of those who early
settled in the north of Ireland and constituted the
people known as Scotch-Irish, Scotch in blood,
Irish in locality.
There is a "Genealogical Tree of the Polk Fam-
ily," copy-righted, "entered according to act of
Congress in the year 1849, by T. B. McDowell in
the clerk's office of the District of Tennessee,"
and is owned by Mrs. Annie Darbyshire, Sabina.
Clinton county, Ohio. Her father, James Polk,
the son of William and Hannah Polk, owned it
before his death. This William was the brother
of Dr. Margaret Polk Colburn, (see page 197) and
their father William's name was on the 'Ti ee." It
is a valuable work of art and contains all the
names given below, to the children of the last-
named William, w r ho married Sabra Bradford.
Mrs. Darbyshire kindly sent me the "Tree" to
cop3 T the names and record for this history, and
the genealogy and biographical sketches are all
206 THE H0BS0N FAMILY
Robert Polk was born and married in Ireland;
his wife was Magdalen Tusker, the widow of Col.
Porter and heiress of Mowning Hill. Robert and
Magdalen had eight children: John, William,
Ephraim, James, Robert, Joseph, Margaret and
Robert and Magdalen Polk and their eight
children, about the year 1660, set sail from County
Donegal, Ireland, for America. They settled in
the colony of Lord Baltimore, now Dames' Quar-
tea, Somerset county, Maryland. All the sons
married and from them have descended some
men of historic note among them being Lieut.
Gen. Leonidas Polk, Bishop of Louisiana; Gover-
nor Charles Polk of Delaware; Governor Trusten
Pblk of Missouri. Robert, the fifth son of Robert
and Magdalen, married a Miss Peale, sister of
Charles Peale, the founder of Peales museum, and
Charles Peale Polk was a distinguished naval offi-
cer in the French war and was mortally wounded
on board his ship during a desperate engagement.
John Polk, son of Robert and Magdalen, first
THE HOBSON FAMILY 207
married Joanna Knox. Hie second wife was Jugr
ga Hugg; he had two children, William and
Nancy. Nancy married Edward Roberts, brother
William Polk, son of John and Jugga, married
Priscilla Roberts and they had eight children:
William, Charles, Debora, Susan, Margaret, John,
Ezekiel and Thomas.
William Polk, son of William and Priscilla,
married Sabra Bradford. To them were born
Sally, born March 13, 1766; married Thomas Stur-
Margaret, born January 24, 1768; married Revel
Colburn. (See page 197)
Nathaniel, born May 15, 1770. No trace of him.
Bridget, born June 3, 1772; married Thomas Clegg.
James, born April 4, 1774; married Elisabeth
Jane, born April 5, 1776; no trace of her
Robert, born June 3, 1778; never married.
208 THE H0BS0N FAMILY
Marcha, born September 27, 1780; married John
Amelia, bord October 13, 1782; married George
William, born July 5, 1784; married Hannah Hob-
son, March 30, 1809. They had five sons
an d two daughtersjames, William, Robert
Nathaniel, John, Sarah and Martha Ann
John, born March 12, 1786; was drowned while
The children of Margaret and Revel Colburn
were: John, Sally (Hobson), James, William,
"Aunt" Rhoads, Sabra (Twiford), Jane (Webster),
and Mary (Leonard). (These are all I know. A. E. C.)
John Colburn, son of Revel and Margaret, was
an ordained local preacher in the M. E. Church;
he married Elisabeth Pett}'. Their children were
Jesse, Sally, William, Martha and Caroline. Car-
oline married James Alfred Current. (See Part
First, Chapter Five.)
Sally, daughter of Revel and Margaret Colburn
THE HOBSON FAMILY 209
married George Hobson; their record is in the
first part of this chapter.
Between the years 1735 and 1740, the family of
William and Priscilla Polk moved to North Caro-
lina and settled on the banks of the Catawba river
in the county of Mechlenburg. Here Andrew
Jackson and his mother found protection with
them when they fled from their home at the Wax-
haw settlement as it was invaded by the British
soldiery under Cornwallis. "Early in the Spring
of 1775, the people of Mechlenburg county, heard
of the atrocities the British soldiers were commit-
ting in and around Boston. Public meetings
were at once called to discuss these invasions of
the public peace. By one of these meetings. Col.
Thomas Polk was authorized to call a convention
of the representatives of the people, to see what
should be done about the troubles in Boston. He
called the convention for the 19th of May, 1775, at
Charlotte, the county-seat.
"At this meeting the announcement of the bat-
tles of Lexington and Concord was made arc!
occasioned great excitement. The spirit of re-
sistance and independence was awakened. Reso-
2|0 THE HOBSON FAMILY
lutions were adopted and then read by Col. Polk
from the court house steps that we, the citizens
of Mechlen burg count} 7 , do hereby dissolve the
political bands which have connected us to the
mother country, and hereby absolve ourselves
from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that
we do hereb} 7 declare ourselves a free and inde-
pendent people. They were all staunch patriots
in the time of the Revolution."
From the spirit of this declaration — freedom
and independence, William Polk never swerved,
and at once entered the service of the Colonies
and served as a captain seven years. His son
William was a chaplain in the War of 1812, a reg-
ularly ordained minister of the Free Will Baptist
church and was agent for the Bible Society to dis-
tribute the Word of God to the soldiers. Later
Capt. William's descendants, Capt. William Polk
Hpbson, George H. Hobson and George H. Cur-
rent were active in the Union army of the Civil
The descendants of Ezekiel and Thomas lived
in Tennessee and other Southern States and dur-
ing the war were prominent in the Confederate
army. But William and his descendants were
THE hOBSON FAMILY 2M
Whi^s and opposed to slavery, earnestly working
until the revolutionary and slavery questions
were settled and in the great civil(?) conflict now
on hands, many of his descendants have taken a
stand against the liquor traffic that exposes them
to the attacks of the friends of, and dealers in this
great curse, but they have the inheritance of a
brave and fearless spirit that makes them press
on and work on, expecting God to give the vic-
THE HOBSON FAMILY
WILLIAM and FANNY HOBSON,
AND THEIR ONLY SON,
CAPT. WILLIAM P. HOBSON.
By A .W. and E. B. HOBSON.
William Polk Hobson was the first child of
George and Sally Hobson. He was born in Ohio
March 3, 1809; married
Frances A. Colburn,
("Aunt Fanny") on the
17th of November 1833
and died August 2,
I have heard my
mother talk of him un-
til I have pictured in
my mind a tall, fair-
sized man with dark
eyes and black hair,
much resembling his
father in stature and FANNV DOWEIX
THE HOBSON FAMILY 213
appearance, a man with ncble traits of character.
He must have been a lovable brother as I never
heard her say one word that would indicate any-
thing else. She must have loved WiHiam as a
favorite brother since I have often heard her
speak of the antics and tricks of the other child-
ren but not of him. She also has always talked of
William being obedient and kind to his mother
and her most vivid description of him was in tell-
ing us of their mother's dream concerning some
hidden treasures of gold, in the mounds of the old
Hobson homestead at New Castle:
"Three nights in succession your grand-moth-
er Sally Hobson, dreamed there were pots of gold
in the three old mounds upon our place," said
Jemima Doan Hobson more times than I can re-
member, to her children as we gathered about
her knees, and we never tired of hearing th^
story over again, for you know we had never seen
the place of her childhood.
"There were three mounds on my father's
farm," she said, "which were built, it was sup-
posed, by \he ancient mound builders. They
were made of clay which they must have packed
for more than a half mile away, as no clay of the
214 THE HOBSON FAMILY
same kind could be found any nearer. On the
top of the largest mound, they had planted five
trees in a position similar to the way you boys
put down five marbles, in your game — four in a
square, with your big bowler in the middle. That
must have been hundreds of years ago, as the
trees were very large when I was a little girl, and
no one, not even the Indians of the country, ever
knew or heard of the persons who built the
mounds, except as the mounds themselves tell
"Your grandmother's dream, thrice repeated,
that gold treasures were in those mounds, led
my brother William to dig in them. He toiled
in faith of his mother's dream, until great drops
of sweat ran down his face. I can remember as
well as if it were yesterday as we younger chil-
dren sat around anxiously watching him."
"And did he find the pot of gold?" We always
eagerly asked. "No, he did not. But I shall al-
ways believe it is still there and can never think
otherwise till I see the mounds fully explored."
Then seeing the disappointment in the faces
of her children, she continued. "But he did find
man} 7 things. He dug up bones of human be-
THE HOBSON FAMILY ____1!^
ings, and ashes, as bright as the day they were
put there, and birch bark, and many kinds ot
Lne trinkets, we called them, bat they mast
have been implements or some kind of religions
emblems, or charms, buried with the dead. A
small one, nearly the shape of a coffin, was tight-
ly grasped bv the skeleton fingers of one dead
sleeper, and a half sphere in the palm of another.
••When my mother, who was sick in bed, at the
time of his excavations, found out that the
mounds contained the remains of dead persons,
and believing them to be burying grounds, she
religiously forbade her son to dig any more. 1
could see the great disappointment on William s
noble face, but he obeyed sweetly without a
11 A 111 HA . ,
This ends my mother's story of our Captain s
father. Some of the relics are still to be seen in
the cabinet left, at the Captain's death, to his
widow, Sally Hobson, who is still living (1906) at
503 East 11th Street, Pueblo, Colorado. Some
specimens were sent by the Captain, to the
« I have frequently seen Aunt "Fannie" during
my boyhood in Missouri, after her second mar-
216 THE HOBSON FAMILY
riage to Mr. Dowell. She was perhaps less than
medium size, quick and agile, even in old age,
; !id had a kindly smile for ever3 T one; she had
large deep blue, and mischievously pleasant eyes,
(which do not show in the picture, the glowing
light, that sparkled when she greeted us.) I was
always glad when she came to visit at our house;
her presence left upon my soul an everlasting
blessing. She now lies buried beside her only
child — the Capta n-in the Pueblo Cemetery.
CAPT. WILLIAM POLK HOBSON.
In Henr} 7 County, Indiana, on the 16th da} T of
September 1834, the heart of a young widow was
made glad bj*- the birth of a son; and she named
him for his father, William Polk Hobson. The
father had died on the 2nd day of the month pre-
ceeding the birth of his child. With his mother,
Fannie Hobson, he remained for several years in
the home of his grandfather, George Hobson,
loved by all. He eagerry grasped every opportu-
nity for education. As a man, he usually wore
his hair long, and it hung in black clusters about
his neck; which was the custom of his ancestors.
With dark eyes and dark complexion, he had the
THE HOBSON FAMILY
intelligent face of a booklover; so pleasant of
countenance and alwajs cheerful — not merry-
hearted, but such sober
r -J '■'^r^F
cheerfulness, that you
could not help loving
this stalwart peaceful
About twenty years
after his father's death
his mother was mar-
ried again, to "Brad"
D owe 11 and they
moved to Andrew Co.,
Missouri, to live, and
there on September 23rd 1855, William P. Hobson
was married to Sarah Serena Hail.
Coming from sturdy Quaker stock, opposed to
war and loving peace, at all times calm — Yet, we
find him responding to his country's call in the
^rreat Civil conflict, where he made himself busy,
verj T busy, as an enlisting officer. He raised a
company of men and was given the rank of Cap-
tain. Their services, I believe, were proffered to
218 THE HOBSON FAMILY
the governor of the State of Missouri, and intend-
ed at first to be used as state militiamen; but af-
terwards if memory serves me right — enlisted as
a whole in the United States service.
The Captain resigned his commission when the
company left the State service, and busied him-
self again as a recruiting officer enlisting more
men. He had been instrumental in placing, at
the earliest call, from one hundred and fifty to
two hundred men, in the fore-front of his coun-
try's defense. I look at the man himself — he of
the Quaker descent — every outline of his figure a
nobleman, every lineament of his face brave and
peaceful. How could such a nature glor}^in war?
I would that the nature of every man on earth
should make him — not afraid, but ashamed to go
out and shoot down his brother man in war, and
manly enough to adjust all differences under the
banner of love. After the war, (Oh, how I long
for that universal after — forever after,) the Cap-
tain was elected treasurer of Andrew County.
He had a splendid education and w T hen young he
followed the profession of teaching. He had
taken special couree in civil engineering and in
architecture, and he preferred this work to
CAN' Now "AM')--i; TlIK ,\N<;els.
THE HO BSON FAMILY 219
teaching. He superintended the work of build-
ing the County court house of Andrew County,
Missouri. Along early in the "seventies," he
moved to Kansas, near Wichita. Here his heart
was almost broken beyond recovery, b} T the death
of his first child, and daughter, "Fannie," in whom
he took great delight, and had exceedingly high
hopes for her future as a talented musician. I
seldom heard him speak of her afterwards with-
out tears in his e} r es. You will not wonder at
this, when you look upon her beautiful face as
shown in the memorial picture, arranged by my-
self for this book, for the love I bear my cousin,
and childhood's merry playmate. After they
went to Kansas we corresponded. One night I
dreamed that I got a long delayed answer to my
last letter, but, on getting it into my hands it ap-
peared to become a box, which, on opening, I saw
contained nothing save a large black plume. On
awaking, I said to my wife, "something must be
the matter with cousin Fannie — she don't write".
Then after a while we heard that she was dead.
Her death had taken place at the time of my
dream. On earth she was an angel to me, and I
think of her as still w r atching lovingly over me.
220 THE HOBSON FAMILY
After his daughter's death the Captain's pros-
pects "looked bleak"; and he soon removed to
Pueblo, Colorado. There he engaged in archi-
tectural and civil engineering work. Many build-
ings in the city are built after his plans. I will
only mention the one owned by my brother on
the corner of Third Street and Santa Fe Avenue,
and bearing the name "Hobson Block." The
irrigating ditches, by which the country round
about was first developed, show his skill in sur-
veying and civil engineering, note: (The beautiful
cemeter}' at Red Key, Indiana, as described in Oscar J. Current's
sketch, was another of his tasteful and accurate works of civil
engineering-. A. E. C.)
In giving his obituary, the Pueblo Daily Chief-
tain said: "Hundreds of acres of land were made
susceptible of cultivation, by the building of the
ditch, which was taken out of the Fountain.
Several other large ditches were built by him in
the Arkansas Valley, and a number of reservoirs
projected. Captain Hobson had a plan for open-
ing up the arid land, which, if it had been carried
out, would have been worth millions to the state.
During the real estate excitement in 1889, he
took active part, and his lands east of the city
were put on the market as an addition (to Pueblo,)
THE HOBSON FAMILY 221
and the Fountain Lake Hotel built, in the center
of the addition of that name."
But the panic of 1893 spread a pall over the
growth of the city, and blighted the hopes of
many an anxious projector, and the same blight-
ing influences still hover over the city, giving it
the appearance of a monumental task on which
the builders had ceaeed to work — a city whose ex-
tentions, resemble ancient ruins. But the Cap-
tain heeds them not. He sleeps in the cemetery
in the midst of their desolation. While his sur-
viving widow in her old age, must spend the
remainder of her days in the lonely cottage, al-
most hid away among the flowers and shrubbery,
on the bank of the Fountain Qui Bouille. He was
a member of the Upton Post, G. A. R., which con-
ducted the funeral in militar3 T style. I shall
never forget the bugle's blast, as, in the hands of
a colored man, it w r ent skyward, announcing the
readiness of another comrade to fall into line, in
that grand army gone before. Appropriate, in-
deed, that one whom he helped to set free, should
sound for him heaven's reveille.
222 THE HOBS ON FAMILY
Copy of a Birthday Rhyme from the NEWCASTLE Courier of
November 22, 1877.
By Fannie A. Dowell, (age 67) to Aunt Mary Leonard, (age 75).
" Aunt Mar}', dear, had I been witty
I would have written some rhyme or
As I was not and rae.raory gone
The thing- will be but poorly done.
As senses stop, grammar's all I lack.
But don : t abuse me to my back.
If editors, preachers and law}ers vvereaway
I'm sure I could have done better today.
It's the first thing of the kind I ever did do,
But one thing I know it's all very true;
But no matter now, here goes off-hand,
This crowd's smart, they understand.
In 1802, so the records say,
A tiny babe in your bed you la}*;
It has been years, three score fiftee i,
And many changes you have seen.
As infancy passed and children came
And you had been called Mary b}* name
To do the errands you often went,
Obedient child by your parents sent.
As you got up a little older,
You took more work upon your shoul-
You cooked, swept and scrubbed the table
Before the people thought that you were
Still as some further on you went
You to more work than play was bent.
You would fill the quills and feed the dogs.
And fix the slop and feed the hogs,
THE HOBSON FAMILY 223
When work was done in Southern clime?
For play you would run to the tall old
Or with brothers a id sisters, in childish
Romp in the 3-ard under the walnut tree.
Among all your good there was some bad,
For }'ou would pout when you got mad.
One morning when you to milk did go
One cow was more trouble than the rest
5 r ou know;
She ran and ran and then would walk
And when you came back you could
And when your mother did ask the cause
Of all your grief against her laws,
'Twas then you rose in your girlish pride,
Said it was not a cow but a devil in her
Now come, Aunt Mary, don't deny,
I know it's true, for [ was by.
The Southern cotton j*ou carded and spun,
From morn till night the wheel you run
Then next in order came the loom
Which then did set in the kitchen room.
Well I know it was in the month of May,
"Strawberries got ripe" as the boys did
And then we were dispoed for fun
And after the fruit we'd often run.
I'd rush the wheel and you the loom,
That for such sport we might have room
And when all the boj-s and girls got thro'
We'd gather the buckets and baskets too.
THE HOBSON FAMILY
Away through the old sedge fields we'd go
To gather the musquidines, you know
Down on the river in the old canoe
And to keep them from falling in the
The boys would climb to shake them off,
And we would hold the table cloth.
Wild plums and grapes we'd gather, too,
Now you recollect it, I know you do.
THE HOBSO N FAMILY 225
There's one more joke 1 must tell
I know ynu remember it very well
Amonir your beaux one was not very wise,
And that's not all, he had cross eyes.
He wanted 3'ou, but he was lazy
Ycu didn't want him and he went crazy,
This is so bad, 3-ou just hush
I'll nottell names, so don't you blush,
For better things I'll tell of you.
You were a girl both good and true;
1 o the church you went, to the old camp-
\\ here all the people gathered round.
In about twenty-five years you gave your
To the church, and there its been the
In different climes this way you've tried,
Yet with it still 3'ou're satisfied.
In this busy world there's little rest,
And in 1827 3-ou started West,
Twenty-second November in that same year
Through both hardships and sport we
And I can tell, it will do no harm,
We landed down here on the Hobson
If 3^011'H exercise patience and not run me
I'll tell a little story of this very town.
•Twas laid out in '22, as I've been told,
Of course that makes it 55 years old.
Some fifty 3-ears ago this very month,
A little town it was, I know 'tis the truth.
A little log court house stood up in town
And a little log jail but it burned down.
I know the stra3 T pen close in sight,
In and around it was many a fight.
226 THE HOBSON FAMILY
The first little jury the court pent down
Sat on a log heap in the west end of town
There was one fine house, Crawford's little
A few little cabins with chimneys made
One little tavern, it was made of log,
And travelers could have plenty of grog
A little tiny house by Bedsaul owned,
And a few little gardens by the women
A little city tanyard with two or three vats,
With it a cabin to live in and a home
One little store room and it was very frail
And to make it strong the door was
filled with nails.
Dry goods, drugs and hardware were kept
on the shelf.
Gentlemen and ladies there got dress
There were few sidewalks but they were
paved with mud,
And oh, they were deep when there was
And as for the streets, I've seen wagons
Justin the public Square when people
Few little cows sick milk gave
And many a poor fellow was laid in his
Our dear old Dr. Reed was the first one here
Through swamps, rains and storms he
went without fear,
He had hard work and exposure and his liv
ing wasn't large,
Not like our Drs. now for they make it
by the charge.
THE HOBSO N FAMILY 227
A good girl at the tavern got 6 cents a da} r
Provided she was smart and didn't stop
to pi a j'
And when she went to bii3 T a dress, 37c a 3d.
She had to give for calico, and that was
In 1835 if I can make a guess
The first newspaper started here made
by a little press,
And Sweaz3 r was the editor, and "Banner"
was its name,
Tho' Grubbs claimed in his writing, the
first newspaper fame.
I'll now resume 1113' narrative, tell" of your
She's buried on the Hobson farm where
you did oft repair;
A woman of such intellect you could hard-
She went about doing good to both
bod3 r and mind.
(This was Margaret Colburn)
When near three score years, to see the sick
upon a horse she'd leap,
And go with almost car speed, tho' the
mud was deep;
Like Dr. Reed she lived slow, never made
But when she came to die, her treasure
it was large,
Laid up in heaven where it did not rust,
Because in the Lord she put her trust.
In 1837 she left all to dwell above in heaven
with Christ so dear,
And conscious to the last she closed
And went to dwell in Paradise.
228 THE HOBSON FAMILY
Almost a broken heart and spirit you had,
To do without mother you felt so bad;
But she was happier far than me or you,
By what she'd often said, you know this
To Uncle Zeph in marriage you then soon
gave your hand
Moved over the river onto his land;
You took your dear old father along with
And still he kept up his daily prayer,
(This was Revel Colburn)
Until in 1844, I think it was, he died,
Left you all things here below,
Picked his own text, went happy, too,
To meet his friends in worlds so new.
As time progressed, a dear little boy
Did crown your hopes and life with joy.
In 1845, I think it was, he came
You chose Marvin for him a given name
You were oft amused with his funny prattle
As he played at your feet, made a noise
with his rattle;
But, oh, the dreadful eve, you know,
When he reached up for the tomato;
The cruel sud9 did scald him bad
Which caused your heart to be so sad.
I helped you watch him that last night
Before he died and took his flight.
His patience it did far excel
Older ones with much less need,
And just before he closed his eyes
Looked up and said, "Mother, I must
And so it was in an hour, not more,
His spirit had joined those gone before,
And a sorrowful time you had 'tis true,
For Uncle was visiting away from you.
THE HOBSO N FAMILY 229
Weeks passed on, at length he came,
But, oh, the grief he felt and pain
There was no little boy to meet him now,
No sweet little lips to kiss his brow.
Then in 1851, so sick was he,
His friends all thought it cculd not be
That he could stay much longer here,
But to meet death, he did not fear.
In the course of time you broke up there,
And moved to town to live right here,
The children one and all together,
Have gathered round you as their
As children they do feel to yon
And now Aunt Mar3 r , is this true?
If it is not, then I don't know,
As for their good you always do.
Now Aunt Mary please look here,
Here's different things from friends
They've all joined and thrown together,
Calicoes, muslins, silk, lace and leather,
Fowls, meats, cakes, fruits, now feast your
These have been brought for }'our sur-
But best of all this book Divine,
Within its lids are things sublime.
Which you can read and understand
To guide you to that better land.
If none of you will tell of this poor rhyme
When I do the like again, it will be the
If you will excuse me, I shall be the winner,
Now I'll just stop here and we'll all go
230 THE H0BS0N FAMILY
Mary Leonard was sister to Sarah Hobson, mother of
Eliza J. Current. Their mother was a doctor and her
name was Margaret Colburn. Fannie A. Dowell was
niece to Mary Leonard and her first marriage was to
William Hobson, brother of Kliza J. Current; he died
and she married Mr. Dowell. She was brought up in her
grandmother's home with Mary Leonard.
The preceding 'ode' was copied in 1904 because the paper
in which it was printed was falling to pieces. A. E. C.
The following is the family record arranged
from the bible of Captain William Polk Hobson,
William Polk Hobson, born in Henry County,
Indiana, September 16, 1834; married Sarah
Serena Hail in Andrew County, Missouri,
September 23, 1855; died in Pueblo, Colo-
rado, May 23, 1895.
Sarah Serena Hail, born in Pulaska County, Ken-
tucky, March 2, 1834; married William Polk
Hobson as above, still living at No. 503 East
11th street, Pueblo, Colorado.
To them were born the following children:
"(Fannie") Frances Jane Hobson, born in Sa-
THE HOBSON FAMILY 231
vannah, Missouri, May 7, 1857; died near
Wichita, Kansas, October 16, 1877; was un-
married, but the nuptial day was set.
Joseph Alexander Hobson, born in Savannah,
Missouri, July 28, 1859; married Amanda
Cummings, still living at Hutchinson, Kan-
sas, and has two daughters; Sarah Margaret
("Maggie") and Ella.
Milton Perry Hobson, born in Savannah, Mis-
souri, February 6, 1861; married Jane Wil-
son, still living at Cripple Creek, Colorado,
and has six children, viz: Mary Francis
("Fanny") who is married to James Gard-
ner. Her husband is a fireman on the
suburban railway between Victor and Crip-
ple Creek, Colorado — the latter place being
their home; Walter Scott John, Fred, Myrtle
Hazel and Charles, who died as a soldier in
the Philippine Islands; belonged to com-
pany K 34th regiment, Colorado Volunteer
Infantry. His death was unknown to his
parents until the day they were notified to
receive his body which was returned to
Cripple Creek for burial.
Eliza Doan Hobson (called "Lida") was born in
232 THE HOBS ON FAMILY
Savannah, Missouri, January 5 1863; mar-
ried William Schaller, who has been a
noted engineer on the Colorado & Southern
Railway, for years — still living at William
Street, Denver, Colorado. She has one
daughter, Sarah-Elenore ("Nellie"); recent-
Sherman Matte Hobson, born in Savannah, Mis-
souri, September 5, 1864; married Philo-
mena Clee, still living at his mother's home
William Henry Hobson, born in Savannah, Mis-
souri, June 9, 1866; married Carrie Brewer,
still living at Wichita, Kansas, has four
children — one dead, three living. The liv-
ing are Bessie, Otis and Sadie.
Charles Harrison and Eddie Adolphus Hobson,
twins, born at Savannah, Missouri, May 8,
1871. Charles died March 8, 1879. Eddie
married Lucinda Ann England, still living
at Undercliff, Colorado. The names of his
four children are Stella Willie-Earl, Mary
and Eliza Doan.
THE HOBSON FAMILY 233
JOSE tt. and CATHARINE: HOBSON.
By THeir Grandson. A. E. SUTTON.
Jose K., son of George and Sally Hobson, was
born February 18, 1816. He was married to
Catharine Gochnauer, October 1, 1837, at New
Castle, Indiana. A year or two later he pur-
chased a farm in Blackford county, Indiana;
where they made their home until the year 1870;
he sold this farm and bought a piece of ground
near the city of Ft. Wayne, Indiana; there he and
his wife spent the remaining years of their lives.
In 1851, Jose K. Hobson received the com-
mission from Governor Wright to act as sheriff
of Blackford county. In this official capacity he
served the people with entire satisfaction, and
credit to himself; at all times keeping in mind
that "honesty is the best policy". Honesty being
a feature that marked the entire life of this re-
234 THE HOBSON FAMILY
He died August 24, 1878, and his remains were
laid to rest in the Gochnauer cemetery in Black-
ford county, Indiana, where the bodies of many
of our family relatives await the resurrection.
Catharine Gochnauer, daughter of Samuel and
Catharine Gochnauer, was born in the Shenan-
doah Valley, Virginia, June 4, 1820, and at the age
of seventeen years, she was married to Jose K.
Hobson. She was of German parentage and
learned the German language in her infancy.
This esteemed woman was possessed of great
vitality and never ceased to labor, until about a
year previous to her death, she met with an acci-
dent while at work in the home, which caused the
fracture of the femur bone; ihen she became a
helpless invalid, suffering much pain for weary
months. But she was tenderly nursed, and pa-
tiently waited, until she was called to the home
where sorrow and pain never enter. She died at
her home near Ft. Wayne, December 28, 1902.
When Lafayette was married, he with his wife
lived in the home with his widowed mother, and
his youngest brother Walter, who had remained
unmarried. To this young couple were born
three sons and two daughters; one son and one
THE HOBSO N FAMILY 235
daughter died in infancy; the remaining three
made the old home cheerful and bright with chil-
dren's merry games and happy faces. But their
young mother soon died, and the grandmother
once more had a mother's place to fill. When
she met with her accident these children were old
enough to repay in loving care, her kindness to
them; and "Lafe" and Walter spared no pains in
providing the things necessary for their mother's
comfort in her affliction.
CHILDREN of JOSE K amd CATHARINE HOBSON.
Benjamin F., born December 10, 1838; died Janu-
ary 10, 1839.
Sarah Catharine, born July 4, 1840.
James Perry, born September 23, 1843.
Margaret Ann, born October 1, 1846.
Jacob Elijah, born August 25, 1849.
George Lafayette, born April 6, 1852.
Walter March, born December 27, 1854.
SaraK Catharine and Daniel Sutton.
Sarah C, daughter of Jose K. and Catharine
Hobson, was born in Blackford count}', and was
236 THE HOBS ON FAMILY
married to Daniel Sutton, December 4, 1856.
Daniel Sutton was born in Green count}', Ohio,
August 20, 1835. When he was about two years
old, his parents moved with their family to Dun-
kirk (then called Quincy) Indiana. At this place
Daniel spent the remainder of his life. His
father, Isaiah Sutton, was a local preacher in the
M. E. Church and Daniel at the age of eleven
years, became a Ciiri-tian uniting with the church;
and, until his death which occurred June 20, 1875,
he was a zealous worker in the cause of Christ.
After his death Sarah Catharine kept her children
together in her home until the}' were married;
then she lived w T ith her second son Albert, near
Hartford City, Indiana, until April 27, 1898, she
died at his home, after a short illness with
The children of Daniel and Sarah C. Sutton are
as follows: Arthur E., Albert E., Nellie A., Jose S.
Adda, A. R., Eliza C, Minnie M., born December
25, 1873; died June 2, 1879.
Arthur E.. and Anna Eva Svitton.
Arthur E., the eldest son of Daniel and Sarah
THE HOBS ON FAMILY 237
C. Sutton, was born in Dunkirk, Jay county, Indi-
ana, December 11, 1858. In the fall of the year-
1875, his mother sold their farm near Dunkirk
and bought another in Blackford county, a few
miles from Hartford City. Here Arthur worked
on the farm and attended the public school until
he was twenty-one years of age. He then began
to teach in the public schools of the county; he
also studied for a few terms in the M. E. College,
which was then located at Ft. Wayne. He fol-
lowed the profession of teaching for ten years.
In the meantime he was married to Anna Eva
Schmidt, September 3, 1885. He took a position
as assistant agent for the P. C. C. & St. L. rail-
road company at Hartford City, and remained in
this service eight years. He then bought a gen-
eral store and moved to Matthews, Indiana,
where he now has a thriving business. He is a
Justice of the Peace and Councilman for the
Third ward in that city.
Anna Eva Schmidt Sutton, was born in Hamil-
ton county, Indiana, October 17, 1862, and went
with her parents to Blackford county, the eame
state, when she was about three years old. Her
parents were born in the German Empire and
238 THE HOBSON FAMILY
never acquired the use of the English language
to any extent. Eva naturally acquired the use of
the German language and the thrifty habits com-
mon to the Germanic race. The home of Arthur
E. and Anna Eva Sutton is a happ3 T one; and to
this day there has never been a cross word
spoken by either of them, to the other. Their
children are: Jacob Albert, born May 12, 1886;
died March 30, 1891. Nellie Gertrude, born No-
vember 19, 1887. Minnie Emma, and Mabel Ella
— twins, born February 2, 1889; Mabel E. died
August 6, 1889. Maggie Catharine, born January
22, 1893; died December 10, 1894. Chauncy
Myron, born October 21, 1894; died April 9, 1895.
Only three of these children are now living,
Nellie Gertrude, Minnie Emma and Nettie
Mildred. Thev are graduates and all have a tal-
ent for music and are making excellent progress
in that study.
-Albert H. and Leora Sxitton.
Albert E., son of Daniel and Sarah C. Sutton,
was born at Dunkirk, Jay county, Indiana, May
25, 1862; married Leora E. Burnsworth, Novem-
ber 16, 1887. She was born in Randolph count)'.
THE HOBSON FAMILY 239
Indiana, August 19, 1866. Immediate!}- after
their marriage the} 7 moved on his mother's farm
in Blackford county, where they still reside.
The children of Albert and Leora Sutton are as
Jose A., born August 30, 1888; Clara A., born
January 19, 1890; Arthur R., born October 31,
1891; Fred A., born March 8, 1894; Hober J. and
Hilda E.— twins, born July 4, 1896; Hilda E. died
February 7, 1897. Walter J., born February 12,
1899; died May 9, 1906. William E., born Decem-
ber 19. 1900; Clarence E.. born February 23, 1903
Nellie A. Walling Worley
Nellie Armina, daughter of Daniel and Sarah C.
Sutton, was born September 11, 1864; married
Walling Worley of Ohio. December 30, 1884. He
was born August 23, 1851. The children of Wall-
ing and Nellie A. Worley are as follows:
Maurice S., born October 20, 1889; Marion
Daniel, born June 10, 1895; Paul Max, born May
16, 1900. Mr. and Mrs. Worley are thrifty farm-
ers and reside near Hartford City, Indiana.
240 THE H0BS 0N FAMILY
Jose S. and A.nna Svitton.
Jose S., son of Daniel and Sarah C. Sutton, was
born January 29, 1867; married Annie Johnson,
September 6, 1888. Jose was employed as a con-
ductor on the P. C. C. & St. L. railroad, running
trains between Bradford Junction, Ohio, and
Chicago, Illinois, and was killed in a railroad ac-
cident at Brighton Park, Illinois, June 22, 1893.
His wife was born September 2, 1869. They were
the parents of two children, Georgia V., born Au-
gust 31, 1889; died December 26, 1891. Herschel
L., born July 26, 1891.
Anna Sutton, widow of Jose S., was married
November 17, 1900, to Dr. C. F. Dawson. They
now reside at Tyner, Indiana, where the doctor
has a large practice.
Ada V\. R. and Harry Shawhan.
Ada A. R., daughter of Daniel and Sarah C.
Sutton, was born March 31, 1869; married Harry
Shawhan of Ft. Ancient, Ohio, December 27, 1888.
Their children are as follows:
Georgia Armina, born February 16, 1890;
Clifford Harrold, born March 31, 1892; Ralph
THE HOBSO N FAMILY 241
Allen, born May 3, 1896; Cecil Edward, born April
17. 1899; Ruby Catharine, born October 8. 1903.
The two eldest were born at Ft. Ancient, Ohio;
the other three at Hartford City. Mr. and Mrs.
Shawhan live on a farm near Hartford
City. They are greatly interested in the
education of their children. Georgia graduated
in the common school at the age of fifteen.
E4iza C and MicHael ScHafer.
Eliza C, daughter of Daniel and Sarah C. Sut-
ton, was born October 8. 1871; married Michael
Schafer, June 29, 1893. He was born at Columbus,
Ohio, September 6, 1871. To this union was
born one child, Everett Victor, born April 12,
1894, at Hartford City, Indiana. Michael Schafer
is a window glass worker.
James Perry Hobson and Descendants.
James Perry, son of Jose K. and Catharine
Hobson was born September 23, 1843. He served
in the civil war in Company J., 138 Regiment, In-
diana Volunteer Infantry. He was married in
1866 to Minerva ' Baldwin. To this union was
242 THE HOBSON FAMILY
born one child, Nettie. She was born at Mont-
pelier, Indiana, December 22, 1868; married at
New Castle, Indiana, to Charles Luther Swingly,
April 9, 1890. They have had one child. Clarence
Dana, born at Hartford City, September 9, 1896.
James Perry Hobson was married to Julia A.
Morgan, his second wife, April 9, 1880. To them
were born four children— three sons and one
daughter. James Perry died at his home near
Hartford City, May 16, 1888, from a complication
of diseases contracted in the service of the
United States during the Civil War. It was said
of him that he was strictly honest and upright in
his dealings with his fellow-men.
The children of James Perry and Julia Hobson
are as follows:
Sindey Rolland, born January 22, 1881, married
Rachel Starr, October 15, 1904. They had one,
child born November 14, 1905, and died two days
later. Oscar Clementine, born September 23,
1882, still unmarried. Perry Albert, born Febu-
ary 9, 1885; married Bell Maitlen, August 17, 1904;
to them one child is born, Leroy. Myrtle Bell,
was born September 23, 1887; married Ralph
Crawford July 1, 1905. They have one child,
THE HOBSO N FAMILY 243
Marg'aret Ann and Abel Baldwin.
Margaret Ann, daughter of Jose K. and Catha-
rine Hobson, was born October 1, 1846; married
Abel Baldwin June 20, 1863. She died January
24, 1880. Abel Baldwin was born December 2,
1840. He rendered good service to his country
during the Rebellion. His great physical
strength and bravery carried him through many
conflicts, where many others would have given
up and fallen.
The children of Abel and Margaret Baldwin
are as follows:
Lindley Jose, born October 2, 1864; Mary Ester,
in 1865, died at the age of six months. Georgiana
Ernistine, born October 13, 1867; Chauncy
Jerome, born in 1869; Frederick G., born in 1871
died at the age of one year. Lawrence, born
March 23, 1874. He served in the Cuban and
Philippine war, with credit to his country and
himself. Thomas Austin, born July 23, 1877.
Two years after his wife's death Abel Baldwin
was married to Miss Alice Taylor on May 18,
1882. She was born April 25, 1862, and died July
244 THE HOBSON FAMILY
1, 1894. To Abel and Alice Baldwin were born
Elmina Jessica, born October 13, 1883; Amy
Rowena, born May 16, 1886; Bernice Gertrude,
born November 2, 1889; John Maurice, born June
Jacob E.. and Harriet Hobson.
Jacob E.. son of Jose K. and Catharine Hobson
was born August 25, 1849. He was united in
marriage to Harriet Amelia May, August 25, 1872.
She was born June 16, 1852. To Jacob and Hattie
were born five children: Rosalie, born June 28,
1873; Jose K., born March 24, 1877; Jacob Elijah,
born February 24, 1879; Edward Arthur, born
December 8, 1881; Oscar James, born October 3,
Rosalie Hobson, daughter of Jacob and Hattie,
was married to Oliver James McNally, Novem-
ber 27, 1889. He was born April 2, 1869, and died
September 27, 1903. Their children are as
William Roy, born June 13, 1891; died August 5,
1893. Blanch Esther, born September 20, 1873;
THE HOBSO N FAMILY 245
Harry Loyd, born May 17, 8897; Oscar James,
born September 5, 1900; Ruth Roealie, born Octo-
ber 4, 1902.
G. Lafayette and M. Anna Hobson.
George Lafayette, fourth son of Jose K. and
Catharine Hobson, was born April 6, 1852. He
was married to Mahala Anna Mills, May 3, 1880.
She was born June 15, 1854; died February 29,
1892. Their living children are as follows:
William Arthur, born August 27, 1882; Edith
Agnes, born March 18, 1884; Eli Bluford, born
May 6, 1886.
Lafayette and his brother Walter, have been
for several years, engaged in dairy farming, near
Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
Matthews, Ind., July 20, 1906.
246 THE HOBSON FAMILY
MARGARET and EMANUEL FURST.
Margaret McCoy Hobson was born in Clinton
county, Ohio, January 24, 1818. She was of a lov-
ing disposition, religious and gentle and kind —
this much I can remember of hearing ray mother
tell; but her death occurred before I was born,
and there is little of her history that I have been
able to get; therefore it is impossible for me to
write her life sketch as it should be done. Her
son has given me the family record and the let-
ter which she wrote to her cousin so many years
ago, which is all he could furnish me. She died
before he was six years old. He can remember
very little of her and did not have much of her
possessions saved for him.
We see by the record that Margaret was born
while her parents were yet young. Two of their
children died before her birth, and one when she
was a year old. Considering the condition of the
THE HOBSON FAMILY 247
country, and the hardships they had to endure, it
is certain that there were opportunities for the
kind offices of neighbors and friends.
From Aunt Jemima I get the following account
of how her parents came to give this child the
name — Margaret McCo} 7 :
"I must express my father's gratitude, and tny
own appreciation of the kindness to us all, of one
lad}\ an old neighbor — Mrs. Margaret McCoy.
My father gave my sister her full name, in mem-
ory of the help this lady gave him, when he was
in straitened circumstances, and she was so kind
and helpful. Our grandmother was also named
Margaret and shared in the honor". Margaret's
son, Thomas Furst, has a letter that his mother
wrote Nathaniel Polk before she was married.
It is folded in the old fashioned way they did, be-
fore envelopes were made. Thomas has per-
mitted me to copy this for her chapter. It gives
us the best glimpse of her that we can get now,
though she had limited opportunities for acquir-
ing an education her writing is plain and pretty,
and her spelling perfect. I give the letter ver-
batim, punctuation and all.
248 THE HOBSON FAMILY
"June the 17th 1838
State of Indiana, Henry County, New Castle.
Dear and affectionate cousin, I take tny pen in
hand to inform you that we are all in tolerable
health at this -time, Hoping that these few lines
will find you all enjoying the same blessings and
our relations are all well and have generally been
since you left here, we had about such a spring
as your letter spoke of. We had no sugarmaking
either. Corn wheat and oats look most excellent.
There is not so much fruit this season as we had
last, but enough to appease the appetite a few
times. My brother Jose expected to go to the
Salamonia in a few weeks when you was here,
but he did not get off. He has 8 acres of corn,
and works for father all the time except when he
is tending his own crop, and that does not take
long you know. He lives in the Carroll house
but if nothing happens, he will go to that lovely
land up north about the first or middle of
Our little city has improved but very little
since you was here, there is to be a Clerk's office
THE HOBSON F AMILY 249
built this Fall I think, 3J or 38 feet long and 18
or 20 broad, covered with tin, and the doors cov-
ered also. It seems like dull times, for Carpen-
ters, so far this season. You mention that you
have very fine stock on the farm. We have a
good many cattle, we only milk ten cows, eight
of which have young calves. Tell Aunt, that she
ought to come out and see us all. Aunt Jane has
got quite young, since she is the grandmother of
such a fine little girl as cousin Allen has. Its
name is Margaret Jane ("Aunt Jane" was her
mother's sister, Jane Webster, and "Allen" Web-
ster was her son. A. E. C.) I presume I must tell
you as I go along that I have to "dance in the
hog trough", but I do not care for that. (Her
sister Jemima, who was younger than she, had
got married first and this was the cause of the
above quotation. A. E. C.) I think I am as well
satisfied as any of them that are married. You
said you had a reel, if ii was here I should have
called it a Hoosier wedding, but I presume you
called it a buckeye one. On the 7th of June my
sister Jemima was married we had a very fine
little wedding. Myself and the Rev. Mr. L.
Brown were the attendants. She got S. Hobson.
250 THE H0BS 0N FAMILjY
She lives about six miles off on Flatrock. The
first time she came home, when she went to go
away again, I thought I never could give her up
to go away to stay; it seemed like I had buried
my beloved brother and sister, and should never
enjoy their company more, whose company was
my delight. * * * * * *
I expect to stay with the old folks perhaps as
long as I live. They say they do not intend to
let me leave them. I hope you will not think I
am making too free. Father always has me to
serve as a substitute for him in writing. I want
you to write again when you have the oppor-
tunity. They all join with me in sending love to
So farewell. Margaret M. Hobson
This letter was written when she was twenty
years old. She remained with her parents until
four years later — January 6, 1842, she was married
to Emanuel Furst. Her only child, Thomas, was
not six years old when she died, April 12, 1849.
She and her husband lived in Blackford county,
Indiana, not far from her brother Jose's home,
until in 1844 when her father's family, moved to
THE HOBSON FAMILY 25^
Missouri; she with her family went also, and re-
mained there till her death. Her husband was
afterwards married, but I have nothing further of
his record; he died several 3 T ears ago.
Their son Thomas remained in Missouri until
a few 3 T ears ago, he moved near Ft. Scott, Kansas.
His famil3 r record is as follows:
Thomas H. and Alice .A.. Fxirst.
Thomas Eaton, son of Margaret M. and Eman-
uel Furst, was born January 19, 1844. lie
married Alice A. Baker, March 25, 1867. She was
born May 1,1846. To them were born ten child-
John S., born January 16, 1868; died May 12, 1869.
Alta E. born October 8, 1869.
Robert S., born August 15, 1871.
Emanuel S., born October 20, 1873.
George H , born August 8, 1875; died June 8, 1877
George F., born March 18, 1877.
John, born March 17, 1879,
William R, born February 17, 1881,
Myrtle Geneva, born September 29, 1883.
Charles G., born March 5; 1886.
252 THE HOBSON FAMILY
I am sorry I have not more of the history of
this interesting famil}', but I never saw any of
them except Myrtle. I met her when in Pueblo,
in July of this year, but I did not then know that
I was to write this sketch or I should have gotten
more of their history then.
Kedke}', Indiana, October, 1905.
THE HOBSON FAMILY
JEMIMA D. and STEPHEN HOBSON
By A. W. and E. B. HOBSON.
ANCESTRY OF STEPHEN, ANOTHER FAMILY OF
The records immediatelv
following - here give
information of an-
other family of
porary with the
preceding and re-
lated to them, but
the exact relation-
ship we have been
unable to trace. It
will be seen that
there are traces of
an ancient family
or families by the
name of Williams
to be found in
THE HOBSON FAMILY
both branches. Also "Jemima Doan" is men-
tioned early in the records of the following
branch, while in Chapter One, George and Sally
Hobson named their daughter Jemima Doan.
The last named of Chapter One, married Stephen
Hobson of this other branch or famil} r and the
mother of this
was a Willi-
B y this
ch il d r e n re-
THE HOBSON FAMILY 255
may we say "Hobson of Hobsons, three quarter
bloods" if not more, were as follows:
Thomas Williams Hobson, Montrose, Colorado.
George H. Hobson, died at Pueblo, Colorado, Oc-
tober 2, 1900.
Sarah Jane Hobson died during childhood in
Missouri. December 17, 1847.
Elizabeth Priscilla Hobson (now Anderson),
James Raredon Hobson, Montrose, Colorado.
Charles S. Hobson, died during childhood in Mis-
souri, September 29, 1855.
Albert Weatherman Hobson, Lyons, Nebraska.
Asbury Eu^n^ Hobson, Guernse}', Montana.
Edward Butler Hobson. 833 E. 25th St. Los
All are now living (1906) except the father and
those noted above, and the living all have de-
cendants excepting the last named. Ma} T these
not truly say "If any are Hobsons, we are more
so." The mother and all her living children and
the wives of James, Albert and Edward are shown
in the family group, a picture taken in July 1905
for this book.
256 THE HOBSON FAMILY
A FAMILY RELIC.
"Holy Bible, precious Bible
Gift of God and lamp of life my beautiful Bible
I will cling to the dear old H0I3' Bible
As I hasten on my journey towards Home."
The oldest family relic we have among us is
"The Bible of Rachel Bond," grandmother of
Stephen Hobson. In its family record under the
heading of marriage, these words are written:
"Rachel Bond's Book, and it is my will that my
son, Thomas Hobson, shall have this Book when
I am dead and I want it to be in m) T Stephen's
care and for him to read in it till Thomas can g3t
(COPIED FROM THE OLD BIBLE.)
Thomas Vestal, Senior, was born the 8th of 9th
month, 1827. He also departed this life
12th day, 6th month, 1813, aged 86.
Elizabeth Vestal, wife of Thomas, was born 12th
of 2nd month 1737. She departed \his life
21st day of 7th month 1823.
THE HOBSON FAMILY 257
Hannah Piggot was born the 30th day of 10th
month, 1755. She died 6th of. 10th month
William Vestal was born the 20th of 11th month,
Jemima Doan, 8th of 3rd month, 1762.
Stephen Hobson was born loth of 2nd month,
1763. He departed this life 26th of 8th
Rachel Hobson, his wife, was born 10th day of
6th month 1766, and departed this life the
10th month 1st 1818. (It is supposed she
married a second husband when her name
became Rachel Bond-A. W. H.)
\\ illiam Hobson, son of Stephen and Rachel, was
born 18th day of the 4th month 1787.
David Hobson. son of Stephen and Rachel, was
born the 26th of the 7th month 1789.
George Hobson, son of Stephen and Rachel, was
born 3rd of 6th month 1791.
Anne Hobson, daughter of Stephen and Rachel,
was born 14th of the 3rd month 1793. (She
afterward became "Aunt Anne Marshall
and lived to a ripe old age; could see to
read and write and sew as well as ever af-
258 THE HOBSON FA M i I Y
ter she was 82 years old. She lived and
died near Marshalltown, Iowa, which city
Le<;rs her husband's name — A. W. H.)
Thomas Hobson, son of Stephen and Rachel, was
born 18th of 3rd month 179(1 (He was the
recipient of the Bible.)
Elizabeth Hobson, daughter of Stephen and
Rachel, was born*8th of 10th month 1798.
Stephen Hobson, son of Stephen and Rachel, was
born the 5th of 12th month 1800.
Isaac Hotson, son of Stephen and Rachel, was
born 26th of 4th month 1H3. Tied 1800.
Thomas Hobson on his death bed left this
Bible to Stephen Hobson, his son, to use as long"
as he lived and request 2d that it then be given to
Thomas W. Hobson, his namesake, and grandson,
so on March 1, 1898 it was delivered to Thomas
Williams Hobson, who is the first born and son of
Stephen and Jemima Doan Hobson. It is still in
his possession and his grandchildren listen to
those wonderful stories of old as they are read to
them by his children around his knee. Vene-
rated and aged book. How many the hands that
have turned thy pages seeking light on the path-
THE HOBSON FAMILY
way of life and consolation from the sorrows of
death, no one can tell; but we know the history
of those who have read thy precepts covers a
period of time greater than the Independence of
our own United States, yea, reaching back e\tn
Chrissie Hobsox Corxally.
260 THE HOB SON FAMILY
beyond the cradle of our beloved Washington.
More wonderful, more interesting, is this old
book to a Hobson who now takes it in his hands,
than fairy story can ever be, to say nothing of
its holy teachings and divine Author. Miss
Crissie Hobrn, lorn on a Clristrxas day, the
daughter of its present owner is the keeper of the
book at present and she lives with her broth. r
Charles Castle Hobson at Ouray, Colorado. If
the reader ever has the opportunity lot him look
at the book and tell his feelings if he will. (Since
the above was written Miss Chrissie lias married
Albert Cornally, DeeemLcr £0, 1C05, at Ouray,
From other family bibles, notably two in the
possession of Edward 13. Hobson, Los Angeles,
California, we find many corroborative facts and
glean the following additional record:
Rebecca Hobson, the wife of Thomas Hobson,
was the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Wil-
liams and was born November 1, 1708, and died
November 1'3, 1885. Her life wes neatly i-pent on
the farm in Andrew County, Missouri. She was
buried beside some of her children and grand-
children in a woodland cemetery near the old
THE HOBSON FAMILY 261
The children of Thomas and Rebecca Hobson
Stephen, born April 25, 1819; married Jemima
Doan Hobson (of the other branch of Hobsons)
June 7, 1838. He and his wife's father were
builders of the Old Mo. Mill. He died January
14, 1898 and was buried in the cemetery east of
Hillsdale, Iowa. Here he lies at rest beside two
of his grandchildren, Burt Hobson and Macey
Anderson, who were living with him at the time
of their deaths. Little Macey died Sep. 9, 1875 in
Missouri while away from home on a visit.
Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas and Rebecca,
was born Dec. 20, 1820. She married Thomas
Davis and settled near Glen wood, Iowa. She is
now a widow and still living— 1906— with her
daughter. Rebecca A. Bedwell near Neligh,
William Hobson, son of Thomas and Rebecca,
was born April 29 1823. He settled in Indiana,
did not join the exodus to the West and rarely
corresponded with his relatives in Missouri and
was last seen by them after his father's death up-
on the settlement of the estate.
Rachel, daughter of Thomas and Rebecca, was
262 THE HOBSON FAMILY
born October 25, 1825; married John Etchison of
Nebraska. She died May 4, 1854.
Rebecca, daughter of Thomas and Rebecca,
was born January 17, 1829; died May 12, 1856.
Hary, daughter of Thomas and Rebecca, was
born July 27, 1832. She married Stephen Davis,
a brother of her sister's husband and settled
nearest to and adjoining her father's place in An-
drew County, Missouri, where she still lives —
1906 — a widow.
Obedience Ann, daughter of Thomas and
Rebecca, was born Feb. 23, 1835. She married
William Reece from North Carolina, and settled
near her father in Missouri. She is now a widow
and lives with her children in Andrew County.
Eunice, daughter of Thomas and Rebecca, was
born September 26, 1837 and died August 1, 1855.
Jemima Doan, daughter of Thomas and
Rebecca, was born Jan. 6. 1840. She married
Daniel Vestal and settled near her father. She
suffered of consumption and died Jan. 22, 1859.
A woodland cemetery near the Old Mo. Mill is
the family burying ground of Thomas and
THE HOBSON FAMILY 263
Rebecca Hobson, where they and many of their
descendants are at rest. A photograph of
Thomas Hobson at a good old age is shown in
A SHOCK OF WHEAT FULLY RIPENED.
"He died a beautiful death, yea more it was as
natural a process as any Nature ever exhibits
herself in. Living as he did at the age of 93,
with his daughter, he came in from the yard one
day where he had been 'pottering round' at some
chore, and going to his room, remarked as he
went that he felt a little tired and he believed he
would lie down and take a nap. It was about 10
o'clock in the morning. His daughter stepped
into his room to arrange a few things left undone
and having completed these she saw him lying
on the bed asleep with his arms down by his
side. She gently closed the door to keep out the
noise and went about her duties and when dinner
was ready went to awake him but he was sleep-
ing as the righteous sleep, only to be aroused by
the call of Eternity's trumpet when Gabriel shall
call to the feast. He had made no move since
lying down except to place one hand across his
264 THE HOBS ON FAMILY
1. cart. "—Our Folk Lore, by Albert W. Hobson.
Stephen Hobson and Jemima D. Hobson were
married June 7, 1838. Their family Bible now in
possession of their youngest child, contains
re c oids from which we compile the following
facts concerning their children and grandchildren:
Thomas W., was born July 2, 1839; married Mary
Dunbaugh, Feb. 14, 1861. The names of
their children now living are Charles C,
Robert O., Elizabeth, Chrissie and Claude.
They have two daughters dead, Agnes M.
and Ida D. He has three grandchildren,
Klenor, Thomas and Blanche.
George H., was born May 29, 1841; married S. J.
Arbuthnot, April 5, 1892. No children were
born to them. He died October 2, 1900.
Sarah Jane, was born April 11, 1844 and died Dec.
Elizabeth Priscilla was born June 20, 1847; mar-
ried William J. Anderson, April 4, 1872.
Their living children are Birdie St. Isidore
and Grace. She has one daughter dead,
Macey. "Baby Breen" is her only grand-
THE HOBSON FAMILY
James R., was born Sept., 14, 1849; married M.
Alice Mackey, Sept. 27, 1874. Their living
children are Nellie, Georgia, Ada and
"Fannie", Frances. Bnrt, their only son, is
dead. The wife also died and James after-
ward married Mrs. "May" (Marian) May-
nard. He has four grandchildren, Belle,
Ross, Ralph and one unnamed.
Charles S., was born August 10, 1852, and died
Sept. 29, 1855.
266 THE HOBS ON FAMILY
Albert W., was born June 15, 1855; married
Elnora A. Maryott, Jan. 14, 1877. Their
only son is named Edgar Eugene. Their
only daughter, (adopted) is named Beth.
He has two grandchildren, Albert and
Asbury Eugene, was born Oct. 12, 1859; married
Cornelia Prindle, March 31, 1883. They
have one son, Stephen, and one daughter,
Edward B., was born October 5, 1862; married
Emma A. Hottell, November 24, 1885.
Stephen and Jemima have the following great-
grandchildren: Alben Diavolo and Josiah
Asahel, the two sons of Edgar Eugene
Hobson; Frances Elenore and Thomas,
daughter and son of Charles Castle Hobson;
Blanche, daughter of Robert Otis Hobson;
Peter (Baby Breen) son of Birdie (Ander-
son) Breen and an infant son of Fannie
(Hobson) Barnard, all of whom are living
at this time 1906.
THE HOBSON FAMILY 267
Stephen Hofcson was born April 25 1819 in
Surrey County, near Raleigh, North Carolina, the
oldest son of Thomas and Rebecca Williams
When nearly grown his parents obtained a
home at Flatrock, Henry County, Indiana. Dur-
ing the time he lived at Flatrock he was hired
awhile to work for George and Sally Hobson,
over on the Hobson homestead near New Castle.
Here he wooed and won the heart and hand of
his employer's daughter, Jemima Doan Hobson,
who was born March 29, 1820 and raised up to
this time on the old homestead. Of this time,
Jemima, now living (1906) with her son Thomas
at Montrose, Colorado, says: "Stephen worked a
few da}^s for my father and I first got acquainted
with him in peach time. The next winter he
boarded at my father's house and went to school
three months. The following June we were mar-
ried at my father's house, June 7, 1838, and Uncle
John Colburn the founder of the Methodist
church in New Castle, performed the ceremony.
268 THE HOBSON FAMILY __
(Her sister Margaret in writing to her cousin
Nathaniel Polk June 17, 1838, the letter being
given in full elsewhere in this book, said "On the
7th of June my sister Jemima was married; we
had a fine little wedding. JMyself and the Rev.
Mr. Brown were the attendants. She got S. Hob-
son. She lives six miles away on Flatrock.") At
first we lived a few days at my father's home and
then we went to his father's home five miles
away at Flatrock. During the first summer we
were much separated. I had to spin and prepare
the winter clothing for my father's family and
for myself while Stephen worked at his father's
place most manfully to get a start in life. Dur-
ing the spring I cut and burned twenty acres of
stalks and, later, covered all the corn with the
hoe." "We lived about three years on his father's
farm, which had been purchased from "Uncle
Thomas Wiles" the husband of Elizabeth Hobson
Wiles. Here Thomas and George H., (Tip) my
two Hoosier sons, were born." "Stephen's father
and my father went out to Missouri on horseback
'landlooking.' The country was not yet even
surveyed. They returned without 'squatting'.
Then Stephen's uncle, George Hobson, and my
THE HOBSON FAMILY 269
father went out to Missouri again looking for land,
but still they did not take any. Uncle George's
two sons, Isaac and George, Jr., were the first of
our folks to move to Missouri, in the spring of
1841. (Perhaps Uncle Tom Wiles had gone be-
fore this or about this time) and we moved out
the same fall. As we were getting ready to go,
Thomas Davis, the man who married Elizabeth
Hobson, Stephen's sister, concluded to go with
us, so the}" had a joint sale and we all set out to-
gether. We drove our old Buck and Berry to our
big covered wagon and led our cows behind.
The journejr was quite difficult and lasted five
weeks. Starting Sept. 5, 1841, we landed at Uncle
Tom Wiles' place October 13."
"Stephen bought 80 acres of prairie for $100
and then bought a 160-acre timber claim a mile
or so away for $300. It was partly improved and
we moved into the cabin — our first Miesouri
home. Here my daughter Sarah Jane was born.
She died before she Avas four years old, at the
Mill home Dec. 17, 1847."
"Stephen worked hard to clear the farm
and we were getting along nicel}" when
misfortune overtook us. We were called away
270 THE H0BS0N FAMILY
from home one night to sit by the side of a
sick neighbor. When we returned home the
next morning, Oct. 13, 1842, before breakfast, our
cabin was in ashes and the smouldering smoke
still ascending. We had lost everything except
the clothes we had on; even the eatables stored
away for the winter were gone. This was a hard
blow to us but Stephen went right to work to
build a new cabin and moved into it before the
chimney was finished and before there were any
windows or doors and only a puncheon floor.
The chinking had still to be done with mud from
under the floor for the ground was frozen outside.
On Christmas night with the cabin still in an un-
finished condition Stephen took down sick with
a fever which lasted for a longtime. He was just
recovering when Aaron Adams, a cousin, staying
with us, also took the fever. Then after I had
waited on them, doing my housework and the
chores outside, I, too, came down with a fever
which lasted eleven weeks."
It may be here stated that so far this was the
only severe sickness that Jemima has ever suf-
fered during her long life of 86 years. She has
always been able to sew, read and write
THE HOBSON FAMILY 271
without spectacles. Her narrative continues:
"In 1844 my father, George Hobson, having
sold the Henry County farm to John Powell
father of Martin L. Powell now living in New
Castle, Indiana, moved to Missouri. With them
came Eliza Hotson Current and her husband
Samuel and their daughter Margaret. James L.
Waters, who afterward married Samuel Current's
sister Margaret (see Chapter 6 Part 1) Margaret
Hobson Furst and her husband Emanuel and
Fanny Hobson and son William. My father
bought a mill site on the Hundred-and-Two river
and later a farm adjoining it on the west side of
the river. Sometime during the next two years
Stephen sold our timber home for $700 and
bought 80 acres on the east bank of the mill site.
We moved there and Stephen and my father
built the mill which was known far and wide as
Hobson's Mill. It was both a gristmill and a
"My mother died and father soon followed her
and so Stephen bought father's share and we
owned the mill alone then."
THE HOBSON FAMILY
The picture of the old mill drawn for this work hy Albert W.
Hobson shows the grist and sawmill from Stephen's side of the
river; a high bank on the other side is noticed; just in the trees
. -A.. <—■
r\tr\ORU !_D /*\«A\IIL -BUILT *9*i EAR.U
beyond this high bank was George and Sally Hobson's last
earthly home. Ruins of the old mill may still be seen. How full
of precious memories is this scene.
Both Stephen and Jemima worked very hard at
the mill. The dam often needed repairing and
the timbers necessary for it had to be obtained
and hauled from the woods which surrounded
their farm, or on their "clearing," winter as well
as summer and required vigorous w r ork in addi-
tion to their custom trade. Jemima often cooked
for thirty men in addition to her family duties.
THE HOBSON FAMILY 273
Three of her children, Lizzie, James and Charles
were born in their home here at the mill; the first
two in the cabin on the bank of the river close by
the mill, the latter in their new large frame house
which they built after they got the sawmill to
running and had made plenty of lumber.
These were really prosperous times to them,
but the expenses coupled with their bereave-
ments by the death of their daughter, Sarah Jane
and Jemima's father and mother, George and
Sally Hobson, caused them to become restless
and so Stephen finally sold the mill or perhaps
traded it for a stock of merchandise in the little
town about four miles away called Savannah, the
count}^ seat of Andrew county. But this was
only a change from worry and prosperity to more
worry, sorrow and misfortune and in the long
decade to follow, great toil and self sacrifice
The mercantile business venture failed through
the trickery of his partner, Joe Holt, who ab-
sconded between two da^vs after having got as
much cash into his hands as he could and piled
up the debts against the firm. Stephen closed
up the business, paying the debts as far as the
assets would do, then he moved to his father's
274 THE HOB SON FAMILY
farm about a mile and a quarter northeast of the
old mill. During their stay in Savanah their
seventh child, Albert was born in a little two
roomed brick house and their little son Charles
died, Sept. 29, 1855. He had once fallen down
the stairs at the old mill house and injured his
spine. This made the child an easy prey to
death when scarlet fever came upon him. He
was buried in the Savannah cemetery beside his
grandparents, George and Sally Hobson.
With ten years of their Missouri life gone, two
of their children dead, also her parents, once
burned out of home, failing in business by the
rascality of one whom they trusted too far, were
certainly discouragements enough to try their
brave hearts indeed, but this was not all. Judg-
ments at court were obtained against the mercan-
tile firm so large as to require the combined
efforts of Stephen and his whole family, two of
the boys being nearly grown, for the next ten
years to come before they could pay the last one
off with interest and costs. He might have taken
advantage of the bankrupt law but he scouted
the idea when it was suggested to him and God
rewarded him for his integrity.
THE HOBSON FAMILY 275
This was his last financial reverse and he lived
with a clear conscience to a good old age and de-
lighted to know that none of his children ever
had to appeal to bankrupt protection, while he
himself abl} r provided for his widow and divided
a snug little fortune between his seven living
children whose combined wealth run up into the
hundreds of thousands. On our father's farm,
our last Missouri home, were passed many mo-
mentous times. The Civil War took place and
Stephen and two of his sons volunteered. He
and Thomas served for some months in the State
militia and George was called into the United
States service and served throughout the war.
While they were away at the front, Jemima was
left on the farm with the younger children.
They were on the dividing line between the
North and the South and bushwhackers would
make raids, killing men and stealing horses.
She would sta} T at home all alone with her chil-
dren and manage the farm by the aid, now and
then, of some neighbor. One season the troubles
were so great that she lost her harvest, the grain
wasting in the fields. Still they did not leave
their home as they were ordered or "advised" to
276 THE HOBSON FAMILY
do by those neighbors who were rebel sympa-
thizers. She would, in the summer time, open
the doors of her house and sleep on the floor with
her children between the doors where she could
watch the stables to see if any one came to steal
After he came home Stephen was shot at twice
after night in the timber near his own door. He
was ordered away and at one time all his rela-
tives, living- a few miles south, abandoned their
homes and came as far as his house and wanted
him to leave the country with them and go to
Iowa. He said "No, I am not going to Iowa un-
til I pay all my debts," but they did lie out in the
bushes surrounding the house, for a few nights
until matters quieted down. The war over,
father turned his attention again to paying off his
debts and investigating the attractions of Iowa.
Thomas Wiles, Thomas Davis and John Hutch-
ens and other friends had gone there before the
war and the soldier boys from Iowa who stopped
at our house on their way to the front, led
Stephen to believe that by moving to Iowa he
might do better financially and also avoid the
more or less irritating contact with "Secesh"
THE HOBSON FAMILY 277
neighbors over the "late unpleasantness," so he
sold enough of his effects to pay the last $1,000 on
his debt and this included, amid the tears of
mother and children, not only the match team
but the young twin mules, and in March 1868
hauled the balance of his goods and his family in
covered wagons, to Iowa. He went back in the
fall after his cattle. He first rented a farm from
Thomas Davis for two } T ears then bought 160
acres about five miles southeast of Glenwood,
Mills county. It was a pretty place, cost $7.50 an
acre, and here he made a beautiful home for his
old age and God prospered him in wealth. He
raised seven of the nine children God gave him,
and taught them to be strictly honest and often
admonished them "If you make a bad bargain,
stick the closer to your duty and the right and
all will be well at last, and beware of partnership,
its an uncertain ship to sail on."
Many were the happy hours he spent in his old
age sitting in his arm chair on the shady porch,
talking to his friends who dropped in to see him;
or perhaps he was nodding or napping when
some neighbor, driving by would call "Wake up,
Uncle Steve, how are you today?" He was
278 THE HOB SON FAMILY
''Uncle Steve" to everybody and many were the
poor struggling onee who went from his home
laden with good things to eat.
• Here Jan. 14, 1898, he died from a lingering
chronic bowel and stomach trouble which had
given him considerable pain for years but he
died quite sudden 1}' not having been confined to
his bed but a few hours and with none of the
family present excepting the faithful wife and
devoted daughter. He had long been admon-
ished of God to be ready. He had joined the
Baptist church in Missouri after the war and
lived a constant life therein to his death. By
birth he was a Quaker but his act in marrying
out of the church excommunicated him from
them. As a public man he was modest and un-
assuming, never seeking office but was quite often
chosen to direct the affairs of the schools and
road districts. During the trying time of the war
he was chosen as secretary of the secret order of
"The Union League," a patriot order to preserve
the Union. In all those public places he dis-
charged his duties to the satisfaction of all and
his advice was often sought in public affairs, be-
cause of its practicability.
THE KOBSON FAMILY 279
He was a large-framed man of commanding
appearance and exceeding the average in
strength. During the last score years of his life
he reached the weight of 240 pounds. His hair
was lighter than medium, and white in his old
age; his eyes were blue; he had an unusually
large nose but well proportioned to his face; his
head was large and very bald and he usually wore
both beard and mustache, pure white in his old
age. Altogether he was a good looking, sturdy
benevolent farmer, a man of total abstinence and
without profanity. After the war he was unfortu-
nate in getting one leg crushed and broken. He
was hauling logs to build a barn with three yokes
of oxen, one yoke young and unruly, and they
turned quickly, dragging the long log across him,
its full length. The leg would have been severed
except for a pair of very high top boots. This
leg gave him considerable trouble ever afterward
and the foot was enlarged so that he always had
to have his shoes made to order.
He was a loving husband, a good provider for
his family, an exemplary father to his children,
seldom punishing but always securing their
obedience by their respect for him.
280 THE H0BS0N FAMILY
We miss him, oh, we miss him so, especially
since the old home was sold and we can no more
go back home to see him. He was laid to rest in
the Hillsdale cemetery about a mile and a half
east of Hillsdale, Iowa.
In regard to Jemima we can write but a little
more at this time. Since God has been so good
as to leave her with us yet we feel so thankful
that it will still be a future date before the "finis"
is written to her life. The history of Stephen's
struggles is also the history of the struggles of
his faithful, loving wife and her children can
never think of one without having the other in
Jemima was a small woman, seldom having
weighed over 100. Straight and supple as an In-
dian. She was born in a wilderness, as a child
was her father's "chore boy" working whenever
needed in the house, in the field or beside the
sick bed of friends. She was strong, though
small, and while living at the mill she shouldered
and carried up the gang plank, a two-bushel sack
THE HOBSON FAMILY 281
of wheat, to shame a customer who said he could
not carry them from his wagon into the mill.
At the age of eighty -five for three days in suc-
cession she walked two and three miles and back
again, merely for the enjo3 r ment of hunting wild
strawberries in Nebraska with her son Albert
and his family, and each time she picked a large
pail full of the berries. When she would return
at night she would onl} r say she was a "little
tired" and would be ready to go again the next
She is the onty one now left living of her
father's family, "the last leaf on the tree" and her
children now dote on her and anxiously listen to
hear from her own lips of the triumphs, trials
and histor3 T of their ancestry^ and the develop-
ment of the western world.
Her eyes are blue like those of her mother; the
others of her family being blacke} r ed Hobsons.
In character she was timid, modest and quiet al-
ways preferring to "help with the dishes" than to
be entertained in any other way. You could not
keep her from "helping" no matter how hard you
tried and what she did with her hands in helping
was only a sign of that boundless benevolence of
282 THE HOBSON FAMILY
her soul. She would give to those whom she saw
in trouble. She would deny herself and give the
last dollar in her purse to even a stranger if she
met him in trouble. Were it not for the suffering
she sees others enduring there would be no child
of God happier than she is today as at the age of
past 86 she waits for the Messenger of the Cove-
nant, who will right all wrongs, destroj' all suffer-
ing and give her a place in His Kingdom where
loving one another will be the daily rounds of
THOMAS WILLIAMS HOBSON
By REV. ALBERT W. HOBSON.
The joy of a mother's heart is surely as Script-
ure hath it, her "first born" — a son. Never is
there but one first born. Never can any other
entwine itself about the true mother's heart in a
manner like unto the first born.
Thomas Williams Hobson was our mother's
first born and she has been as true to him as the
pole-star to its place in the heavens, and we are
glad to record that he returns her love with a
THE HOBSON FAMILY 283
staunchness born of the knowledge of that moth-
er's self-sacrifice for him. What peculiar joy he
takes now in the sunshine of her presence and in
her extreme old age her wrinkled hands still
minister to his wants, not indeed as deftly as of
yore but just as faithfully. She is now living
with him, and, bereft of his wife, his children
either dead or away — out in the world for them-
selves — son and mother, sole occupants of the lit-
tle cottage on a Colorado Mesa, now tide the time
together or sit out in the umbrage of the benefi-
cent trees surrounding the cottage, only "waiting
till the shadows are a little longer grown," then
Eternity! Oh blessful habitation!
Thomas, son of Stephen and Jemima Hobson
was born at Flatrock, Indiana, July 2, 1839. He
was married to Mary Frances Dunbaugh, daugh-
ter of Castle and Elizabeth Dunbaugh, afterward
Lewis, in Missouri, Feb. 14, 1861. She was born
March 18, 1842 and died at Blair, Neb., Sept. 20,
1900 and was buried at L3 r ons. Her father went
over the plains at an early date and was never
heard of again. What was his fate and suffering
his family could onl} r guess, they knew only that
he was gone never to return.
284 THE HOBSON FAMILY
Thomas was a farmer, benevolent and honest,
the earliest riser of his father's family and none
more diligent. He was a soldier in the state mi-
litia during the early part of the war. They lived
for several years in Missouri, then moved to
Iowa, then back to Missouri, again to Iowa, then
to Nebraska where the beloved and faithful wife
died and was buried beside her two daughters.
Very soon after his wife's death Thomas moved
to Oura} 7 . Colorado, whither some of his children
had taken up their abode. Here he lived happily
with his children until about three years ago he
went to live near his brother James, near Mont-
rose, Colorado. He and his mother live in the
little cottage belonging to his brother James, and
Claude, his youngest child, and only one unmar-
ried lives with them. Pictures are given of all
his children except Claude. The children were
Mary Agnes, born near Savannah, Mo., July 18,
1862, died Feb. 1887.
Charles Castle, born near Savannah July 27, 1864;
married Lydia Anerlie Sparks, who was
born in Indiana, May 23, 1871. They live
in Ouray, Col., where he holds an excellent
THE HOBSON FAMILY
civic position. They have two children:
Elinor Frances, born Feb. 8, 1902 and
Thomas Francis, born October 3, 1903.
THE HOBSON FAMILY
Ida Doan, born August 21, 1866; died July 9, 1882
near Lyons, Nebraska.
Robert Otis, born in Missouri Oct. 20, 1868; mar-
ried Ethel Turner June 1898. Their child's
name is Madge, born June 15, 1902.
Robert at present is living at Columbia,
Arizona, and is largely interested in gold
mining at the great "Gold Field District.''
viftfcvov o$ t yy. Ky bsor*
Betty (Elizabeth) Maria, was born, probably in
Iowa, Sept. 23, 1870; married John W. Stauf-
fer, at Lyons, Neb., and is now living at
1103 4th St., Sioux City, Iowa.
Rosa, was born in Missouri, Oct. 21, 1875, died
Nov. 2, 1875.
THE H|OBSON FAMILY
Crissie, born at
1877; married Al-
bert Cornally De-
cember 20, 1905,
and lives at Ouray,
born at Lyons,
5, 1885 and still
lives with his
father as before
GEORGE HARRISON HOBSON
By K. D. HOBSON
George H., the second son of Stephen and
288 THE HOBSON FAMILY
Jemima D. Hobson was born May 29, 1841, in
Henry County, Indiana. While he was yet quite
young- his parents moved to Missouri where he
spent his boyhood days. He obtained a very
good common school education, for that day, and
became a very fine penman, which was really the
key to his success and recognition while in the
army. Many soldiers who could not write got
him to do it for them and his captain, who could
not write, often detailed him for office work and
thus he set on the road to promotion. When the
war broke out he was twenty years old and so
anxious was he to go that he volunteered at the
first call for six month's service. Later he rein-
listed for three years and then for a second three
years or during the war. Out of the thirty-five
who enlisted from his immediate neighborhood
with him, he was the only one to go through the
whole w r ar and live to be greeted as a victor, at
home. He was wounded at Helena and had on
other occasions counted his life as nothing to
serve his country, risking great danger to carry
out special orders, living on beans, hardtack and
bacon and suffering all kinds of exposure and
hardship. For his bravery he was several times
THE HOBSON FAMILY
promoted, from third to second and then to first
was also Captain a
part of the time.
thus earned and
his sword, he
brought home as
memorials of his
struggles and nar-
row escapes. The
sword he gave to
his infant brother,
Hobson, who child
though he was,
sword and begged
to have the stories of it told over and over.
When he was past fifty-one years of age the
"old bachelor" George H., was married and in
nine short years the whole of his estate, run-
ning up into the hundreds of thousands of dol-
lars, had passed into strange hands, notwithstand-
ing it was his express wish by a will probated
290 THE H0BS0N FAMILY
after death, that his brothers and sisters have a
reasonable portion as designated by him. The
sword went with the balance and so passed out of
the Hobson family. May it be the last and may
no sword, hereafter, forever, be taken up by the
hand of a Hobson.
When George was a small boy at the mill, the
workmen there nicknamed him "Tip" and to the
day of his death many people knew him by no
other name. His own family loved the nickname
and always called him Tip. It was given in hon-
or of Gen. Harrison, the hero of Tippecanoe and
of the campaign slogan "Tippecanoe and Tyler,
After the war he became assistant in the coun-
ty treasurer and clerk's offices of Andrew county,
Missouri, Capt. W. P. Hobson, having been
elected at the head. Here was the chance for
him to gain much practical knowledge denied to
him in earlier life and here has the opening door
to the field in which he gathered his large fortune
in later years. In 1868 he started for Colorado,
traveling by stage to old Fort Benton in Kansas
where the government troops were located. Here
he saw for the first time Kit Carson, the Indian
THE HOBSON FAMILY 29|
scout. He was to guide the wagon train the rest
of the \va} r across the plains and protect them
from the Indians, b} r the soldiers under his com-
mand. Tip was after gold and after it hard.
Heretofore he had been our "soldier;" now began
his career as the greatest financier of the family.
He located a cattle ranch in Colorado and formed
a partnership with Ike and Mack Pry or. They
made drives of thousands of cattle from Old Mex-
ico and did exceedingly well until one time their
large drove of over ten thousand head was caught
in a snow-storm, enexpectedly, while crossing
the mountains and many perished. This ended
the cattle dealing for awhile. He then turned his
attention to mining and real estate iu Pueblo and
became wealth}', the third largest taxpayer in the
city which had grown from a small town to a city
of perhaps forty thousand and, since he first land-
ed in it. He built on the then principal street, a
large building called the Hobson block, on Santa
Fe avenue. He became president of the Stock-
growers National Bank which was later consoli-
dated with tne American National Bank, becom-
ing the Mercantile National, of which he was
vice-president at the time of his death.
THE HOBSON FAMILY
He helped to develop the natural oil product of
Florence and was a large shareholder in the
beautiful Mineral Palace now owned as a public
park by the city. He had held the office of Coun-
ty Clerk in Pueblo county, yet he was no poli-
tician. He was after money and obtained it, but
to do so he cut himself off from his father's house
at the tender age of 17 and was ever after largely
separated from them all, dying in the midst of
strangers and not one of his own blood and kin
were invited to be at his bedside by those in
attendance. He was
buried in the River
View Cemetery at
Pueblo having died
October 2, 1900 be-
fore his 60th year.
Not religiously in-
clined he was be-
nevelent from a bus-
iness and personal
standpoint and often
expressed himself as
believing in a higher power. He was tall,
weighed near 170 pounds, black hair and whisk :
THE HOBSON FAMILY 293
ers, turning quite gray before fifty, good looking,
very quiet, well-liked and praised by his business
associates. He was unassuming and plain, never
given to society. We loved him. He was our
Soldier. He carried nearly sixty thousand dol-
lars life insurance but that did not keep him
ELIZABETH PRISCILLA HOBSON
By E. B. HOBSON
Elizabeth Priscilla Hobson, nearly always called
Lizzie or Pearl, was born in the log cabin at the
old mill, June 20, 1847. Stephen and Jemima had
two daughters, and Sarah Jane dying in early
childhood left Lizzie as the only girl in ner fath-
er's family. On this account she was looked up
to and made much of by her brothers. The
younger brother on realizing that she had mar-
ried and was not going to live at home any more,
was heart-broken and could hardly be reconciled.
At the age of 12 or younger, she was stricken
with scarlet fever which destroyed the hearing of
one ear and so injured the other that it grew
worse and worse and now she has to resort to
294 THE HOBSON FAMILY
an ear trumpet, in order to hear at all. How
much farther her deafness will go, none can say,
but we pray that she may never be wholly bereft
of her hearing. This fever left her for years in
such condition that her life was often despaired of
but still she lives and we thank God most hearti-
ly that she does. What would we brothers have
done without the sweet influence of at least one
sister? Not to have known the meaning of the
word "sister" would have left a vacuum in our
hearts. In Missouri she performed her "first
work in life" by teaching school at Cherry Grove,
near Uncle Mackey's. She was well-liked and
had a good country exhibition at the close of the
term which delighted all. She next entered a
millinery shop in Savannah, to learn the trade;
while here her parents moved to Iowa, near Hills-
dale, although the town was not started until
three years later when the Burlington R. R. was
built. Lizzie was left behind but she followed
the next fall. Not forgetting her baby brother
she had made for him with her own fingers, a
beautiful brown suit, covered with bright buttons
and made in fine style. Proud of it! — it was the
suit of his life.
THE HOBSON FAMILY
She was married April 4, 1872 at Plattsmouth,
Neb., to William J. Anderson. For a number of
months they kept a restaurant, then as her hus-
band was a splendid school teacher, they went to
live at Wahoo, Nebraska, where he taught several
terms. Here her first child, a daughter, was
born. This babe was the idol of her brothers.
Albert obtained permission to name her "Birdie
St. Isadore" Anderson. In after-A'ears when liv-
ing at Hillsdale, Iowa, near her parents, little
Mace} T came to them. She, poor child, was taken
sick and died in Missouri when her parents
were there on a visit. She was brought home
for burial. Here also Grace Laura, her third
daughter and last child was born Jan. 13, 1S78.
THE HOBSON FAMILY
She makes her home in Denver, Col. She has
never been very strong in health and is
Lizzie became her father's comfort and support
during his old age and last sickness. She lives
most of the time in Denver with her eldest
daughter who married Peter Breen. One grand-
child is hers, young Peter or "Baby Breen" as he
is lovingly called, a sweet child who will no doubt
gladden her life as she glides on into old age.
Lizzie was not large, had black hair and large
THE HOBSON FAMILY 297
black eyes. As a girl she had great ambitions to
make her own way in life but the frailty of her
body has given her disappointment. The follow-
ing is by her brother A. W. Hobson:
"I shall always remember my sister and how
lonely I always felt because she was not nearer"
my own age so we could play together as chil-
dren. She was nine years my senior and a bright
young lady at the time my memory first holds
her in view. I loved her most truly but the dif-
ference in age turned the love into longing for
companionship of a sister of my own age. I
shall never forget how T I prayed for her recovery
once as she lay bruised and unconscious, having
fallen from a wagon, on our return home from
the funeral of a neighbor. Little did she ever
know that her suffering developed my praying
"Again how proud I used to be of her as she
would ride home from school at evening time.
She rode from home on a pony. She was a per-
fect beauty to me as she gracefully sat upon the
back of the pony and swept up to the block at a
splendid pace. She was a picture for an artist at
such a time. Never will I forget the good effect
THE HOBSON FAMILY
one bad act — I thought it bad at first — had upon
my life. I obtained
my first New Testa-
ment and it was a
beauty and I loved
its appearance as
well as its teachings.
Lizzie had always
had a habit of pick-
ing up a book, read-
ing perhaps a few
moments and then
thing here or there
upon its pages, mar-
ring the appearance.
On taking up my-
' he fly leaf had not escaped her deft fingers. I
was about to chide her but changed my mind
when I read the following quotation:
"Kind hearts are the gardens
Kind thoughts are the roots
Kind words are the blossoms
Kind deeds are the fruits.
Love is the sunshine that warms into life
For only in darkness grow hatred and strife."
.IE MIMA HOBSON
THE HOBSON FAMILY 299
The sentiment appealed to my young heart
and peculiar state of mind. I went and, putting
m} T arms about her neck, pulled her down and
kissed her. That quotation written, as it was in
my favorite book, immediately became and has
continued to be of inestimable value to me and
entwined my only sister forever in my affections.
How beautiful the handwriting toda}- as I look
upon it and remember her.
JAMES R. HOBSON
By A. W. HOBSON
The name James Rardon was given by his
mother out of love to her brother of that name.
This faithful child of Stephen and Jemima was
born Sept. 14, 1849, while they lived at the mill.
Owing to conditions produced by the Civil War
he did not have the good privileges of schooling
as the others and when schools reopened after
the war he was large enough to help on the farm
and, in the demoralized condition of his finances,
his father could not spare him to go to school.
Father endeavored to make up for this deficiency
THE H0BS0N FAMILY
and repay him for his faithful work by boarding
him and sending
him to school one
winter at Cherr}'
Grove after he was
of age. Then
James w r ent to Col-
orado where he
had various ex-
periences as a cow-
boy or cattle
driver. I remem-
ber in one letter
he wrote "Dear
mother, if you
could only see me
come riding in to
the cabin on my bucking bronco you would sure-
ly want me to oim h)me. The bronco bucks
ever}' time I get on him and I have to watch
every move he makes through the day. I am in
the saddle all day and come in at night so tired
and you wouldn't know me for the blood on my
face and clothes which comes out of my ears and
nose because I have been bucked so hard. I am
THE HOBSON FAMILY
going to quit it and come
home." In the fall of
1872 he came home by
wa} r of Missouri where
he met his brother Al-
bert then and there on
a visit. Here they had
a happy time together
visiting the scenes of
their boyhood, the old
mill, the last home, the
neighbors, "Uncle Si-
mon" and other rela-
tives and not forget-
t'ng the cemeteries of
theird *i d.
Ada and Georgia Hi baox.
Cbildr r of James P, I;o' sor.
Two years later J'aircs re-
turned to make "Uncle S'mon"
another visit, and carried away
in marriage, his young daugh-
ter Mar}' Alice Mackey, Sept.
23, 1874. They soon moved
from Iowa to Burt County,
Neb. and bought a beautiful
THE H0BS0N FAMILY
quarter section of prairie, partly improved, for
$900. The village of Bertha in now located on
the southeast corner of it. Here they lived hap-
pily, yet not without many struggles incident to
or four of their
born here. He
and his brother
business in the
village of Lyons,
Neb., but this
proved a losing
so the farm was
sold, the debts
paid and all
s ough t new
fields of activity in Crawford county in the north-
west part of the state. The land moved poor
and Thomas returned soon and did not move,
James remained for years, proved his claim, and
finally went back to his father's in Iowa, but be-
THE HOBSON FAMILY
fore leaving he had the awful sorrow of a lifetime
to come upon him.
His beloved wife
sickened and died
leaving five chil-
dren to be cared
for in a land where
there were no
and but few neigh-
bors. But it seems
God tempers the
wind to the shorn
lamb. A near
neighbor who had
been most kind in
helping the wife and taking care of the children
during the last illness, soon had the misfortune
to lose her husband and she was left with three
children. Her S}'mpathy for James' condition
and his sympathy for her brought them near to-
gether and led him on July 26, 1891, to marry her.
Her name was Marian (now lovingly called "May"
by us all) Ma} T nard, and a loving wife and devoted
companion has she proved to be to him.
304 THE H0BS0N FAMILY
Soon after their marriage sickness came among
the children and that dread disease, diphtheria
took away two of the younger children of his wife
but all his own recovered. James mourned for
them as his own and tried to comfort his broken
hearted wife. Shortly after, James, at the request
of his brother Tip, went to Colorado and New
Mexico to look after some mining propositions.
He was there three or four months being called
back to Iowa by a sad accident which had be-
fallen Burt, his only son. Burt had gone to Iowa
to work for his grandfather and one Sunday in
attempting to ride a young horse, the animal
reared and fell over backward crushing Burt's
leg beneath the saddle. He was cared for but
gangrene set in and in ten da} T s he died having
passed through terrible suffering. James from
Colorado and his stepmother May from Ne-
braska arrived before he died.
The Crawford county homesteads were now
sold and they proposed to stay near father a year
or so, then they moved to Pueblo. Here the only
child May had left died after a painful operation.
Bereft of Lewis, her beloved son, now in his
twenty-first year, she indeed felt stricken and
THE HOBSON FAMILY
had to lean still harder on the comfort and sup-
port of her husband who has never failed her.
They have struggled together and have bought
them two small homes up on the Mesa about
four miles west of Montrose, Colorado, where
they are now living, making a happ}' home for
their advancing years. A few years since James
was thrown from a load and had one leg broken
and the fracture being improperly attended, that
leg is perhaps two and one-half inches shorter
than the other, but he complains not. He is a
God-fearing man and
very much of a home com-
panion for his family.
He is benevolent beyond
his means and is well liked
in the communit3'in which
he lives. His children were
all born of his first wife
and are as follows:
Burt, died in early man-
Nellie, married Will B. Al-
Bi'kt, Nellie and Georgie ■ • j *.u«. u^,r^
HOBSON. llSOn aDd the > h3Ve
306 THE HOBSON FAMILY
three children, Ralph, Bell and Ross. They
live in Custer, South Dakota.
Georgia, living in Montrose, Colorado.
Addie, living- in Montrose, Colorado.
Fannie, married J. M. Barnard, Jul}^ 4, 1904 and
has one son, James Fitts Barnard, born
Aug, 28, 1905. The}' have been living at
ALBERT W. HOBSON
By E. W. HOBSON.
Albert Weatherman Hobson, so named by his
uncle, Isaac Weatherman, is the seventh child of
Stephen and Jemima, and is the preacher of the
family. He was born June 15, 1855 in the small
house in Savannah, Missouri. While still an
infant the reverses in business came to his father
and they moved to the farm, their last home in
Missouri. As Albert grew into boyhood, the
troublous Civil War spread its clouds of sorrow
and desolation over the land. Its harrowing de-
tails told over and over again, doubtless had
much to do in setting his heart irrevocably and
THE HOBSON FAMILY
forever against war and made him a staunch ad-
vocate of universal peace, the old Quaker stock
and principles, silenced for nearly a generation,
now cropping out. He has always been a man of
peace and through all the struggles and difficul-
ties of his life he has tried to bear and forbear, al-
308 THE HOB SON FAMILY
\va}^s insisting that forgiveness even of an enemy
is God-like and he tries to lead others into the
way of the lowly Nazarine. He espouses the
cause of the poor since the Savior had not where
to lay his head, and he labors that all may be
brought into the Kingdom.
His boyhood was spent in Missouri and after-
ward in Iowa learning from Nature and his Chris-
tian mother, to love God. In his life we see the
Polk and Colburn blood cropping out in the love
of books and the Hobson trait developing in its
sturdy industrious and fearless points.
His early bo3 T hood experienced the sensations
at school, of the old slabs for benches, and desks,
with holes bored in the log walls, pegs put in and
split boards lain across. He saw the transition
to the better school facilities of the present and
has, in fact, helped to make them. Not satisfied
with the knowledge gained in the common
schools in his youth he was daring enough after
marriage to take his family and enter college for
a classical course. The Western College at To-
ledo, Iowa, a denominational institution of the
United Brethren in Christ, was his alma mater.
While there he sent for his youngest brother
THE HOBSON FAMILY 309
Edward to come and live with him and he did so,
taking his degree in the business course. Their
college days were happy together. Together they
published an educational journal, 'The Teacher
and Student" and also a religious semi-monthly,
"The Palm Tree," a conference paper for the
Brethren. This was during their college life and
in addition to their studies. At the close of their
school days, the younger brother accepted a good
position in Glenwood, his home town, as book-
keeper and Albert accepted a call to preach at
He formed the habit early in life of arranging
all acquired knowledge in compact and exact form
and preserved documents of all kinds, clippings,
quotations from poetry, clippings of what others
said of him, favorably or against, which seemed
likely to be of any future uee to him or others.
These of course accumulated until now any book-
lover would be delighted to spend a day in his
Another habit resulting first from circumstan-
ces and his large study, coupled with the early
training of parents, that it is honorable to work,
was that of turning his hand to numerous and di-
310 THE H0BS0N FAMILY
versified persuits such as farming, teaching
school, job printing, managing a large daily pa-
per, painting, preaching, building, legal form
writing, newspaper correspondent, tax collector,
keeping tax list, working in assessor's office, all
these and others to which he has turned his hand
and succeeded. He says diversified employments
are a means of greater happiness and larger in-
dependence than a? specialists. He is able to
turn his hand to more avocations and make his
living by them than an} 7 man I ever met. He
says by this means, wherever he is upon the
earth, he feels at home and able to sustain life as
long as God gives him health.
In earl} 7 life he was very active in Sunday
school work and at the age of 12 committed to
memory the first 16 chapters of Matthew, 135
verses being committed in one week while bind-
ing "half a station" in the harvest field, in com-
petition for a prize He says he is glad to have
it recorded that he did not win the prize as a
neighbor, Josie Burns, had gotten into the 17th
chapter and his joy over her success revealed to
him that no place could be found in his heart for
THE HOBSON FAMILY
He is a specialist in one line however and that
is the Scriptures and he says if a person can
study medicine three years and be called a
"specialist" he surely has earned the title of
"specialist" in the interpretation of the Scriptures
after forty-five years of study, observation and
312 THE HOBS ON FAMILY
At the age of a little more than 21 he married
Miss Elnora Adel Maryott, a daughter of Asahel
K. Maryott, who had moved in an early day from
New York to Wisconsin, where his daughter was
born at Hustisford, April 7, 1861, and then came
to Burt county, Neb., where the marriage took
place January 14, 1877. After his marriage both
he and his wife were baptised by immersion and
united with the United Brethren in Christ. While
he was teaching school, the quarterly conference
of that church, without his solicitation or knowl-
edge sent him a "license to preach" and while he
detests titles and degrees, believing this to come
from God, he left his plow r.nd farm to prepare
himself at college, for the work. After his col-
lege days were over and he had preached awhile,
his finances running low, he was compelled to
return to his little farm. There being no organi-
zation of his church near at hand he would drive
for miles on Sunday organizing Sunday schools
and preaching the gospel never expecting re-
muneration other than the consciousness of work
performed for the good of others.
Next he took up printing a second time and
established a weekly paper in Lyons, Neb., called
THE HOBSON FAMILY 3[3
the "Logan Valley Sun," in 1888. It is still being
published under the name of the "Lyons Sun."
This brought him into relation with the Metho-
dist church and he aold his paper and took up
pastoral work with them. He also sold his farm
and invested in village property. He passed
through the courses of study required by the
church and was ordained as an elder by their
bishop at Wayne, Neb. After several years of
pastoral work his throat began to trouble him
with asthma and, his brother Tip, inviting him to
take -charge of a large printing plant which he
controlled, he left the pastoral work end became
manager of the Central Printing Company, then
the largest job office in Pueblo, Col., running
eight presses, with lithographing and book bind-
ing departments. This was soon sold and he or-
ganized the A. W. Hobson Co-operative Pub. Co.
with a membership of twenty or more practical
printers, and established the "Daily Pueblo
Herald," Disposing of this later he returned to
his property at Lyons, Xeb., and went to selling
agricultural implements. During these years he
improved every opportunity to preach and now
once more devoted his Sabbaths to going out into
314 THE HOBSON FAMILY
the school houses of the county. The world has
already heard from him and in his quiet, unob-
trusive way it will still hear from him both by pen
and word of mouth.
I must speak of his love and devotion to his ex-
cellent wife and of her faithful service to aid him
in earning a living for themselves and doing
good to others. But one son having been born
to them, they have taken into their home and
cared for no less than a dozen infants, for periods
ranging from one to eight months. They have
one daughter (adopted) an aimable child, whom
the father and mother delight in greatty. Her
name is "Beth." She was born Dec. 8, 1895.
Their son's name is Edgfir Eugene and he was
born at sun-rise Wednesday October 24, 1877.
Early in life Albert formed the best of social
habits and was ever distinguished b}^ dignified
affability and politeness. He was quiet, truthful,
and always in deep earnestness when in conver-
sation. Nothing annoyed him more than vul-
garity or coarse stories. If any were uttered in
his presence he would endeavor, in a quiet way
to counteract the possible evil influence by call-
ing attention to their evil tendencies. Always
THE HOBSON FAMILY
cheennl and happy, he was not jolly or even un-
truthful. In height
he was 5 feet 6^
inches, weighs 150
small yet of com-
He has blue eyet,
light hair and is
rather bald as a
result of having
home is Lyons,
is situated the lit-
tle White Church which he owns. They have a
home in Pueblo, Col., where they spend a portion
of their time in order to be near their son, Ed-
gar who was married on his 21st birthday to Bes-
sie M. Denham, at Sabatha, Kansas, Oct. 24, 1898.
He is a trusted emplo}^e of the Santa Fe R. R.
Edgar has two sons, Albert Diavolo, born July 22,
1902 at Pueblo and Josiah Asahel, born March 28,
1904, at Fayetteville, Arkansas. The grand-
THE HOBSON FAMILY
father and grandmother take great delight in the
ASBUmf EUGENE HOBSON
By E. B. HOBSON.
The eighth child of Stephen and Jemima Hob-
son, was born in their last Missouri home, Oct.
12, 1859, and was named Asbury Eugene by his
uncle, Wm. Reece.
Here his boyhood
days were spent
during the Civil
War period. His
youth was spent
and manhood de-
veloped on the
prairie farm at
He was the hu-
morist of the fami-
\y, a practical jo-
ker, a good talker.
THE HOBSON FAMILY 317
quick at repartee, always having an answer for
ever3 r one, so different from all the other children.
Different, too in the color of his hair, he was
called the "red head" of the family but his hair
was really a beautiful auburn. He could remem-
ber and tell jokes and could keep a crowd roaring
with laughter for hours, with his jokes and comic
songs. This trait naturally gave him a longing
for society and in this also he was different from
the others, who loved solitude rather than society.
Once it was his duty to carry water on a horse to
the hands in the harvest field and he did the
work satisfactorily all one forenoon. In the after-
noon there was a base ball game at Hillsdale and
he wanted to see it. After dinner he took the wa-
ter to the field and on the next trip to the house
he procured an umbrella and when he reached
the field, asked his father if he did not want to
take the umbrella and horse and rest by going af-
ter the next jug of water. It was very hot and his
father accepted the chance for a little rest and
whed he was gone 'Gene scooted for the ball
game and his father was in for a cool job all after-
In business 'Gene was always alive to his own
318 THE HOBSON FAMILY
interest and constantly looking- after the little
things where there is so much waste if left to
themselves. He was not close or small in his
dealings but was generous. He spent one year
in obtaining a business education at the Burling-
ton Business College; after this he went to Wahoo
Neb., and established the "Good Luck" grocer}^;
here he did well financially and soon induced Ed-
ward, his brother, to take a half interest in the
store. This life soon proved too prosy for Eugene
and they sold out, Edward going to Kansas City,
and later to Pueblo, as assistant cashier in the
stockgrower's National bank while Eugene went
to Crawford, Neb. and obtained position as assist-
ant cashier of a National bank. He was married
soon after leaving college and before entering the
business at Wahoo, to Miss Cornelie Prindle, at
Hastings, Iowa, March 31, 1883. At Crawford
were born to them a son and a daughter,
Stephen and May. They prospered here and
acquired considerable property; however in
the- panic of 1893 the bank went to the
wall and he suffered a great deal from it. He
managed to save a small house.
THE HOBSON FAMILY
He is seeking an opportunity to rise again
and we believe he has the pluck to do it, too.
THE H0BS0N FAMILY
EDWARD BUTLER HOBSON
By REV. A. W. HOBSON
n one of those peculiar days in
October that makes one think
of the passing of the harvest
days, the falling of the nuts
and the coming of Christmas-
tide, Eugene, my younger
brother, and myself both mere
lads, of 4 and 8 years, on re-
turning from a visit to Uncle
John Colburn's were led up to
the bedside of our mother and
a neighbor lady turned down the cover and
showed to our dumfounded gaze a baby brother,
destined to be the "baby" of the family for all
time. As the days went by I felt so proud of
him and I soon grew to regard him as more to me
than a brother, as a companion necessary to my
joy. It is perhaps well to state that among the
boys of my father's family, Tom and Tip, his
Hoosier sons, were close companions, being set
THE HOBSON FAMILY 321
apart by events incident to age and the Civil
War, from companionship of the younger chil-
dren, Jim and 'Gene became companions, sepa-
rated from the other two, "Al" and this "baby,"
whose natural tastes, were for books and study.
They could keep their things together in one box
without jar or hitch and so could the other two in
their box and any other arrangement brought on
It was hard to find a name suitable for the babe
and many were proposed such as Stephen, for his
father; Joseph Hooker and Burnside, two gener-
als, and a host of other family names, but the
selection being left to Tip, who was "at the front"
lighting for his country, he sent back word, "call
him Edward Butler, after General Butler and I
will give him my sword as a keepsake." So
Edward Butler Hobson was born into the home
of Stephen and Jemima Oct. 5, 1862, at the old
farm house in Missouri, a house made of lumber
sawed at the Hobson mill and covered witn hand
shaved shingles. Its location was at the edge of
the woods where it skirts the prairie. In the
back yard a half acre of holly-hocks made a play
ground for innumerable bees and humming birds.
322 THE HOBSON FAMILY
There also stood the old locust tree where the
swing always swayed. Memory still holds in
mind the ash-leak beside the cherry tree and the
old orchard with its precious fruits for body and
mind. How often have we gathered nuts from
the nearby- woods and cracked them on the stone
steps. The old well with its open curb and wind-
lass, a terror and a joy combined, a terror lest we
should topple over the curb and a joy from which
to slake our thirst and carr} r water from it to the
fields for father and then ride the horses through
the never-to-be- forgotten pasture to the watering
place for stock.
Here Edward's tenderest years were spent and
how prothetic now seems to have been the
epithet which our loved grandfather invariably
applied to him in calling him "Bud," and the
dawning period for blossoms leads us to look for
the fulfillment of Scripture, "That our sons may
be as plants grown up in their youth; that our
daughters may be as corner stones, polished after
the similitude of a palace; that our garners may
be full, affording all manner of store. Happy
is that people that is in such a case, yea happy is
that people whose God is the Lord."
\ ai;d B Hob
THE HOBSON FAMILY
Early in life
will power and
us all to hope
that his life
might some day
be wholly de-
these noble traits. Father especially cherished,
for years, the hope that his 'baby" might remain
with him to comfort his old age but this was not
to be as the misfortune of our sister necessitated
her living with father, who took great comfort in
the fact that his only living daughter could com-
fort his old age and allay the pains of his last
sickness and follow his body to the grave where
it was laid beside her own darling. Macey in the
One incident I must mention of his childhood
which shows the first budding d?sire for great
riches in order that benevolence might have
ample soil for cherished development, and right
324 THE HOBS ON FAMILY
here let me say that all through his life he was
ever tryingto aid others by his influence, sparing-
no pains to make the pathway of others success-
ful in this world. His ambition for riches to carry
out his noblest purposes, has, up to the
present been denied him by reason of two or
three causes. First his lack of good health and
then through the scheming of others his hard-
earned treasures, even his brother's sword, went
from him. It was shortly after father had been
baptized "for the remission of sins" ahat the gray
and aged Baptist preacher called at our old home
and remained over night. The visit over, just be-
fore leaving, all the family being gathered about
the style-block, he bade each good-bye. Coming
to the "baby" toddling after him, he once more
laid his hand upon the child's head and at this
the child looked up into the minister's face and
said "when I am a man, let's you and I build a
church;" "Amen," said the man of God. Suffice
it to say, in after life, the Baptist church was the
choice of this young would-be church builder.
But as to his church building we are reminded
of the words of "Bobby" Burns
"The best laid plans of mice and men
Gang- aft aglee."
THE HOBSON FAMILY 325
Sometime before this while playing around this
style-block a cow which our mother was milking
left her feed and ran upon the child, bearing him
down to the ground and goring her horns into
the earth on either side of his little body. She
would surely have killed him but for the sturdy
strokes from a heavy crutch in the hands of our
father, who with a fast-healing broken limb, hap-
pened to be resting on the block.
March 23, 1868, our father in a "Prairie
schooner" and two neighbors' wagons, moved to
Mills county, Iowa, and our baby has not seen the
place of his birth since, but how many memories
of that early home still cling to him.
This Iowa home upon the broad expanse of
prairie no doubt had a broadening influence upon
the life of "Ed" as he was now usually called,
"Eddie Bubber," his own baby way of designat-
ing himself, having been left behind with his
birthplace. Here he grew in stature and knowl-
edge, although disease early took chronic hold
upon him; yet he succeeded well on the farm and,
soon growing to manhood, began to teach school.
Later I induced him to attend College with me
at Western College, Toledo, Iowa. (This was
326 THE H03S0N FAMILY
after my marriage.) Here we enjoyed each oth-
er's companionship so dear to us both, as never
before. Here he met Miss Emma A. Hottel, an
estimable young lady of good family, and they,
having loved each other at first sight were mar-
ried on Thanksgiving day 1885 and I was called,
by th in, to perform the ceremony at her fath-
er's house. And what a happy day for me as
well as them, and this was a characteristic dis-
play of his careful love and thoughtfulness, as
well as that of his bride, in giving me this happy
duty to perform. It was my first experience in
"knot tying" but by no means my last. (I think
I can truthfully say at this writing that God truly
added his blessing and approval upon each couple
I ever pronounced husband and wife, not one of
them having forsaken each other or sought a di-
vorce.) My new sister was the youngest child of
her father's family so hereafter in this biography
we have two "babies" to reckon with. His strug-
gles are her struggles, his sufferings, hers. In
sickness or in health, in riches or in poverty, for
better or worse, she has labored by his side as
only a faithful wife can. Providence has denied
them the blessing of offspring to cheer their
THE HOBSON FAMILY 327
faithful lives. I am sorry to relate. Just prior to
marr ; affe he had obtained a college diploma, hav-
ing taken a business course, so, thus equipped he
felt strong enough to ask the world for a place in
which to work. For a few months he was given a
job of keeping books for a mercantile firm; then
he was induced by his brother Eugene to accept
a partnership with him in a general store at Wa-
ho >, Neb., but this was sold out soon, as it proved
a losing venture. From Wahoo, Eugene went to
Crawford, Neb., where he got a position as assist-
ant c.ishier in the State bank, while Edward
went to Kansas City, Mo., and later to Pueblo, Col.
wh«-re he, too, became assistant cashier and di-
rector in the Stockgrowers' National bank, of
which his brother Tip, (George H.) was the larg-
est stockholder. Over the desk at this bank he
spent twelve years of devoted labor that taxed
his always weak frame to its utmost and which
on two occasions brought him almost to the grave
and from which he has never fully recovered to
this day. Here he and his estimable wife, whose
devotion to him cannot be over-estimated, accu-
mulated considerable property, but he lost it all
and was again compelled to start anew. The fin-
328 THE HOBSON FAMILY
ancial panic of 1893 took all he had, even his loved
Tenth street home. July 4. 1896, he left Pueblo
and, after making a brief visit to his father's home
at Hillsboro, Iowa, he went to California and set-
tled near hiswife'^ people, who had moved here
a fewyears before; Here he soon made another
start by renting the Albena ranch near Pomona,
and succeeded in buying a beautiful ten-acre
orange farm in the suburbs, on Holt avenue. On
this he built a beautiful home, doing much of the
designing, decorating and painting, himself.
This put him again in debt which would have
easily been discharged had the conditions of the
orange market remained as at the time of pur-
chase but trusts began to be forined and soon
controlled the fruit growers' organizations and
fruit growing became an ever-increasing expense
rather than a profitable business. This discour-
aged him so that in 1905 he exchanged his beau-
tiful home in which he had hoped to spend the
remainder of his life, for property in Los Angeles
thus saving what he could. Renting these prop-
erties, both he and his wife, neither being in good
health, for the third time in life, went out seeking
by means of hard labor, to lay up something for
THE HOBSON FAMILY 329
a rainy day. May God grant them respite and
peace on earth and may their lives be happy
enough to compensate them for all their trials,
and I believe He will grant it. Our own father
was permitted to accumulate but little until he
had passed his fiftieth birthday, a point which
Edward has not yet reached, but whatever befalls
he may still sing
Over and over, yes deeper and deeper,
My heart is pierced through and through
with life's sorrowing- crj-,
But the tears of the sower and the songs of the
Shall mingle together in jo} - , b3*-and-b} T .
No mention of the name and life of Edward
Butler Hobson would be complete or just, with-
out a few words concerning his ability as an art-
ist. He never had the opportunity" to study un-
der the masters; he was without instruction save
that gained by hard knocks which this rigid old
world generall}' lavishes upon those who have to
make their own way, but in spite of the very
serious struggle for the simple bread and butter
sufficient to sustain life, he has succeeded in pro-
ducing some remarkable fine paintings, which
shows tnat there is a God-given power underly-
THE H0BS0N FAMILY
ing the frail body and proves the tenacity of the
talent under such conditions. He has produced
a number of really fine paintings that will exert
a g;ood influence
on future gener-
ations. The few
phot o graph i c
reprod u ct i o n s
found in this
book vll give a
slight idea of
some of the
paintings he has
cannot in any
sense bring out
the delicate tints
and touches of
his colors and
brushes. He did
his painting in
his spare time, taking advantage of what to others
would have been idle time. Coming in from
work, he would sit at his easel for a few minutes
UiuW'i'iyiut, rtitt JVaU lYl«»'
THE HOBSON FAMILY 331
or perchance an hour, or on half holidays which
others would have spent at the races or ball
tfames, putting on canvas that which would aid
in purifying the world.
His first effort at painting was when he was
about seven years old. He and his two older
brothers visited a photograph gallery and while
there he saw a painting "Kit Carson Fleeing
from the Indians." The photographer overheard
liim tell his brothers how much he would like to
copy the picture and said "Why, you can take it
home with you and copy it if you wish." In a
letter to me, speaking of that time he said "I was
dumfounded to think he would trust me, a
stranger, not even asking my name or where I
lived. I took the painting, purchased one brush
and four tubes of paint, made of muslin my own
canvas, and I do not think Napoleon ever got
more real enjoyment out of his achievements than
I got from making that first picture."
THE HOBSON FAMILY
JAMES RARDEN HOBSON
Largely By E B. HOBSON.
The infancy and childhood of James Rarden
Hobson, son of George and Sally, were spent on
the Indiana farm. There among the family in-
fluences of that loved homestead he formed those
habits and ways that made him the strong and
self-reliant man he has shown himself to be.
He migrated with his parents from Henry
THE HOBSON FAMILY
County, Indiana, to Andrew Count)-, Missouri,
where he married Kisiah Cox. They moved
irotn Missouri to Mills County, Iowa, driving
"Old Buck and Berry," the oxen that had drawn
Stephen Hobson and famity from Indiana to Mis-
souri, had drawn the logs to build their cabin and
many a load of flour to market and served him
faithfully for 16 years. No wonder tears came
to the eyes of mother and chil-
dren when they had to be sold.
James bought the oxen and
left Missouri, only a few
months before his mother and
father died, the one soon after
the other. He never saw them
again. From Iowa, not later
than 1852, and probably earlier,
he went in an ox team, to Cali-
fornia. Of the hardships he
and his family endured on this terrible journey
we have no tangible record.
They lived at Oroville, in northern California,
for some time and at Tehama during another
period. They prospered and reared a large fam-
334 THE HOBSON FAMILY
il3 r , all of whom are living in California, the loca-
tion not being known to the author, nor can we
give the names of any, save two, Isaac and Lean-
der. The large fields of wheat or barley which
James raised, sometimes 1800 acres in one field
would make some of his eastern relatives open
their eyes. The following is a letter written by
him in 1868:
"Willow CREEk, Colusa County, California,
March 29, 1868. Dear Brother & Sister. I now
take my pen in hand to inform you that we are
all alive and all well, except Kisiah, she has not
been well for a week, tho' she is about, and hope
these few lines ma}' find }'ou all well and doing
well. Stephen, I would like to have you out here
if possible. I have got me a new place again. I
have got land that is off of the grant ihis time.
I have 12 fortys, all joining and there are six
fortys more that I will get. It is school land and
I will have five years to pay for it in and it is
as fine land as you ever saw It is all good plow
land, level and nice. There is a creek running
through it. I have about 250 acres in grain and
some of it is jointing now. We have had a great
deal of rain here this winter and one little snow
THE HOBSON FAMILY 335
that lay on the ground four days. It would melt
a little every day until it was gone. 1
Passage is cheap now, you can come from New
York (Note: Stephen lived in Missouri —A. W. H.)
to San Francisco and back to New York for $50,
and stay one year, so that is cheap, if a man
wants to see the country, he has time to look over
the most of it. I will give you the prices of pro-
duce. Wheat from $2. to $2.50 per 100 lbs., Bar-
ley $1.50 to $1.75, Potatoes $2.25 to $2.50 per 100
lbs., Beans 5 to 6 cents per lb. Flour $4.25 per
100 lbs., even meal the same. Dried fruit from
14 to 16 cents per lb., coffee 25 cents. Sugar, 5y 2 ,
Bacon 16 to 18 cents per pound.
If you was here with a few thousand dollars of
your greenbacks, you could enter land that would
make you better interest than anything else you
could go into. The railroad takes so much of the
land that all the land outside of that line will
double fast, for the land in the boundary of the
Railroad cannot be settled until the road is fin-
ished, and that will be 4 or 5 years yet and then
the Government's half has to bring $2.50 per acre
and all good land on the outside will bring a good
price before that comes in the market again.
336 THE HOBSON FAMILY
T wrote Tip a few weeks ago though I have not
«rot an answer yet. I want you to tell "T W" &
"J. R" and ' W P" (Capt. Hohson) to be sure and
v rite to me and tell Pereilla (Elizabeth Priseilla)
to write too, and write soon."
James R. and Kisiah Hobson
To Stephen & Jemima Hobson & Family.
SARAH A. and ISAAC WEATHERMON
By SARAH B. JONES
Sarah Ann, was the youngest child of George
and Sally Hobson; born in Henry County, Indiana,
February 9, 1831. She was married to Isaac
Newton Weathermon, September 7, 1848 at four
o'clock p. m. About eight o'clock that evening,
her father coming in, sat down by her side, and
placing his arm around her said: "Sis, you are
the last child I have, and if I had thought of
something a little sooner, you would not be mar-
ried now." Being somewhat surprised, she ex-
THE HOBSON FAMILY 337
claimed; "Why, father, what is it?" He replied,
"Forty-one years ago tonight, about midnight, I
was married to your mother. If I had thought of
sooner, you snould have waited till midnight to
be married." The story of his marriage he then
related to her, as she remembers it through the
passing years, is as fallows: His father. William
Hobson, was starting to move from North Caro-
lina to Ohio. Though George was not eighteen
years old, 'he had no mind to leave behind," the
girl he had chosen to be his bride. He helped to
get his father's moving train read}', and started
on their long journey; then he went on horseback
to the home of Revel Colburn, the father of Sally,
his betrothed. Her parents willingly agreed to
their marriage, if they w r ould remain in North
Carolina; but objected to them going so far away.
Mr. Colburn therefore hid the young man's horse
in the smoke house, and locked the door; think-
ing, that, if he could delay them a day or tw r o, un-
til his father's emigrant train, had proceeded be-
yond his knowledge of the way, George would
consent to remain there. But finding them both
fixed in their purpose to go, her father yielded;
and about midnight, they were married. As soon
338 THE H08S0N FAMILY
as the marriage ceremony was performed, and
the congratulations expressed, they started out to
overtake the Hobsoti wagons. The youthful
George and his bride on the same horse, Sally's
father going with them, and taking her clothes
and bidding outfit on the horse with him. The
next morning, tjiey came to the place where the
Hobsons were encamped for the night. (See pict-
ure "George Hobson's wedding journey.") After
camping that night with them, Revel Colburn
returned to his home. Sally did not see her pa-
rents again, until twenty years later, her husband
went to North Carolina, and brought them to her
home at New Castle, Indiana.
When William Hobson's had proceeded on
their journey as far as the top of the Blue Ridge
mountains; and had stopped for dinner; they
were overtaken by Ends Blair, who came bring-
ing a minister with him, to claim his promised
wife — George's sister, Rachel. She had promised
to marry Enos, when he would come, a year later,
to their home in Ohio. kBuIj after she had started,
he concluded that a year ,\^asi;fcoo long to wait.
He therefore followed thefti; and there was a
wedding at the camp, on the very top of the
THE HOBSON FAMILY 339
mountain. Rachel returned to North Carolina
with her husband, and George did not see her
again, for more than twenty-five years.
After George and Sally reached the end of
their wedding journey, and settled in Ohio they
lived one year in the house with his parents.
According to established mode, George had to
work for his father till he was twenty-one 3^ears
old. At the end of the first year, he built a room
close to his father's cabin, and lived there, tilt he
worked out his time, and became "his own man,"
as they used to say. Some years after that, he
took his wife and babes to Wa} T ne County,
Indiana, and lived a while at the Indian fort.
While there, he accompanied some surveyors,
who were surveying the boundaries of Henry
Count} T , as cook and chain bearer. Then he soon
after settled where New Castle is now located—
the first white settler there, and for months Sally
did not see a white woman, but the Indian
women were kind to her. Though the Indians
were not trustworthy as is shown by the follow-
One morning George Hobson and another man
went after their horses that had been put out to
340 THE H0BS0N FAMILY
graze. When they started, they could hear the
bells on the horses, not far off; but they went on,
and on, never coming in sight of the horses,
though they could still hear the bells, until sun-
down, when they found them busily grazing.
They thought some Indian had stolen them and
ridden them away, and finding they were pur-
sued, they had turned the horses loose, and hid.
When George and the man returned to the fort,
their friends were about ready to start on foot, to
another fort three miles distant, supposing that
they had been killed by Indians. There, was
great rejoicing at their safe return.
Another time when George Hobson came in
late at night he went to his corn field to get corn
to feed his horses, and came out safely, but the
next morning another white man from one of the
forts, passed that same field and was shot by
Indians. The Indians had dug a hole in the
ground, in the fi±Id, and evidently, had been hid-
ing there for several days to get the man they ac-
cused of doing' them an injury.
During those times it was not safe for a person
t>g^outa,nv where, even to feed the horses,
milk the cows, or chop the fire wood, without
taking a .gun for protection. ;£ff! .
,.', • ■ :. ■ f' .-ei1 -} ■ "I! :
THE HOBSON FAMILY 341
The pioneer raised sheep and flax to furnish
material for the manufacture of cloth; and from
these two articles— wool and flax, the wearing
apparel for the entire family was made. The flax
required more labor than the wool, in preparing'
it for the loom. It must be grown; then when
ripe enough, pulled up by nand and placed in
running Water to rot the pith, or woody part of
the flax stems, so it could be separated from the
bark or fiber. This was accomplished by putting
the rotten flax, (the fiber did not rot,) through a
brake, a home-made device, which broke the
pith into short pieces. The worker then
took a scutch in one hand, and in the other, a
bunch of the broken flax; striking it downward
with the scutch, till it was sufficiently cleared of
the woody part to be ready for the hackle. Then
the flax was ready for the distaff, on the little
spinning wheel, to be spun into thread, w T hich
was warped into the loom, then woven into cloth.
The sewing thread was also spun from the flax.
George Hobson made leather for ehoes and
moccasins, from the skins of animals; they
braided straw to make hats; they made their own
342 THE HOBSON FAMILY
spoons from pewter, by means of moulds; they
made brass buttons for their clothes and horn
combs for their hair. When George Ilobson first
moved to Henry County, nearly the whole coun-
try was covered with fine timber and it was slow,
hard work to fell the trees and clear the land.
About the year 1840, some of the family decided
to move to Missouri and Jemima and Stephen did
go. Sally had promised her mother just before
the latter died, that she would not move away and
leave her father, Revel Colburn; so after his
death in 1844, she was willing to go and in a few
weeks they were on their on the long, tiresome
journey which is described elsewhere in this book.
Isaac N. and Sarah A. Weathermon, lived in
Andrew county, Missouri for two and a half years
after their marriage, then in 1851 they moved to
Nodaway county, same state and built for them-
selves a home in the wilderness. When they first
went, the nearest neighbor lived two miles away
and no others lived nearer than four miles; there
were plenty of deer, wolves, snakes, etc. It was
six years before there were enough settlers, with
children in sufficient number to form a school, so
their children were taught at hnne. Then wh'ti
THE HOBSON FAMILY 343
a schoolhouse was built and the school organized,
a lad}' teacher was hired for one dollar a week,
and board. The country was nearly all prairie
and it was a magnificent sight in early Spring or
in mid-summer when there was an ever-chang-
ing displa}- of wild flowers; and yet again in the
Fall after frost had killed the vegetation, the)'
burned the grass and long lines of fire made
a beautiful and sometimes fearful sight, for often
the fire would spread beyond the limit and peo-
ple would have to fight it for hours. This place
was the home of Sarah Weathermon for forty
years, the birthplace of all, except the two eldest,
of her children; where her children were marr ed
and where ten of her grandchildren were born —
the scene of many joys and sorrows.
At a camp meeting near Alathus Grove in 1858,
Isaac and Sarah were convertedand joined the M.
E. church, Anthony Clemens, preacher in charge.
At the dear old homestead, Isaac N. Weather-
mon died of consumption, Oct. 3, 1869, leaving
Sarah with the care of seven children, but her
trust was in the God af the widow and the father-
less. June 13, 1878, Harriet M., a dear girl of 21
years, followed her father and then M rgaret, a
344 THE HOBSON FAMILY
precious girl of 19, went to meet them in the
home above, April 2, 1880.
CHILDREN of ISAAC and SARAH WEATHERMON
Stephen Hobson, born August 18, 1849.
Martha Jane, born December 3, 1850.
Mary C, born November 24, 1852.
Jemima A., born July 21, 1855,
Harriet M., born July 9, 1857; died June 13, 1878.
Sarah B., born June 13, 1859.
Margaret J., born July 10, 1861; died April 2, 1880.
StepHen. H. and Emma J. Weathermon.
Note — The following- statement is a correct copy of the family
record of Stephen H. Weathern on and descendants up to this
date, as furnished by the persons interested, and copied by me,
Franklin B. Morse, Walla Walla, Washington,
834 Bayer Avenue August 12, 1905
Stephen H., only son of Isaac and Sarah A.
Weathermon, was born in Andrew county, Mo.,
August 18, 1849 and was married to Emma J.
Woods, of Marysville, Mo., October 16, 1873; wit-
nesses, Jemima D. Weathermon and Alfred Mar-
tin. She was born in Belmont county, O.June 20,
1852. Stephen H. died Dec. 3, 1889 in Walla Wal-
la, Washington, aged forty years. He was the fa-
ther of eleven children, the first seven being born
THE HOBSON FAMILY 345
in Nodaway county, Mo. March 15, 1900, ten
years after Stephen's death, his widow married
Franklin B. Morse; witnesses, J. J. Kauffman and
M. Davis. Mr. Morse was born July 11, at White
Hall, New York.
Children of STEPHEN and EMMA WEATHERMON
Alma Viola, born July 27, 1874.
Christopher Frederick, born September 18, 1875.
Anna Maude, born Jan. 14, 1877; died Feb. 23, 1890.
Sarah Harriet, born Nov. 2,1878.
Stephen Caswell, born March 28, 1880.
Mary Catharine, born October 23. 1881.
Ira Isaac Conrad, born May 26, 1883.
Roxie Amanda, born in Oregon Oct. 19, 1884.
George Newton, born in Washington Oct. 14, 1886.
Charles Bruno, b)r i in Ora^on Aug. 22, 1833.
Oscar Lester, born in Washington, Aug. 2, 1890.
Alma Viola, daughter of Stephen and Emma,
was married to George Henry Lemont, August 2,
1891. He was born ,at Bath, Maine, Aug. 25, 1854.
Their children. alKborn at St., Helens, Oregon,
are: Zina Hvde, bprpjiily f 31, 1894;ii^sther ! Minet,
born Dec 30, 1899;' Ruth L„ born Oct. 3, 1901;
Georgia Viola', t>om iM'ay 28, 190& J
,.,.„ :i -V11£?<
346 THE HOBSON FAMILY
Christopher F., son of Stephen and Emma, and
Nellie May Ainspaugh were married Oct. 13,
1897. Nellie was born in Adair county. Mo., Mar
13,1873. Their children were born in Washing-
ton and are: William Walter, born July 11, 1898;
Boon, born Dec. 8. 1899; Gladys, born Sept. 29,
1901; Pearl Cyrena, born June 5, 1905.
Sarah Harriet, daughter of Stephen and Emma,
was married Jan. 27, 1896 to Ed Krumbah, who
was born at Dubuque, Iowa, Jan. 7, 1870. Their
children, except the oldest were born at Walla
Walla and are as follows: Leona May, born in
Oregon, Jan. 5, 1897; Hazel Emmojene, born Feb.
5, 1898; Bonnie Ruth, born Jan. 22, 1899; Irene,
May 7, 1901, Charles Edward, born April 13, 1904.
Stephen C, son of Stephen and Emma, was
married to Josie Hodgen, Nov. 13, 1904. She was
born in Umatilla county, Oregon Jan. 20, 1883.
Mary C, daughter of Stephen and Emma, was
married March 19, 1905 to Lane Hoan, who was
born in Umatilla county, Oregon, Oct. 29, 1876.
Roxie A., daughter of Stephen and Emma, was
married to Ennis H. Morrison May 12, 1900. He
THE H'OBSON FAMILY 347
was born in Iowa, April 1, 1875. Children: Fern,
born Feb. 14, 1901 and Naomi Kinneal. born July
Martha Jane and John Brtttain.
Martha J., the eldest daughter of Isnac X. and
Sarah A. Weathermon, was born in Andrew coun-
ty, Missouri, Dec. 3, 1850. She was married to
John W. Brittain, April 6. 1871. To them were
born four children. Martha wns a consistent
Christian and member of the M . E. church at
Guilford, Mo. She died April 1, 1896. Their child-
ren were: Henry C, born April 2, 1877; died Mar.
28, 1896; Maggie A., born Sept. 2, 1879 and was
married to Charles Reynolds, Dec. 28, 1898. Their
only child, Leslie Brittain, is a bright boy of four
years, born in 1901; Ernest J., born March 12, 1885
married Caroline Stuart Mar. 12, 1905, and Arthur
Mary C. and L. C. Brittain
Mary C, daughter of Isaac N. and Sarah A.
Weathermon, was born in Nodaway count}', Mo..
Nov. 24, 1852; married L. C. Brittain, July 25, 1872.
No children came to fill their home, but content-
ed and happy in each other's love, they lived un-
348 THE HOBSON FAMILY
til his death, Oct. 7, 1892. Then Mary rented her
farm and lived with her sister, Martha J. Brittain
and family for five years. In 1897 she built a new
home in the little town of Guilford, Mo., and her
aged mother spent her remaining years with her
there. It was hard for her mother to leave the
old homestead where the associations of 40 years
produced such sacred memories. When she
moved to Guilford, Mary took up Sunday School
work in the M. E. church, of which she was a
member, and taught a class of little girls until
they became young ladies. She has been so faith-
lul and so prompt in attendance, sometimes not
missing once in a whole year, that they insist on
her continuing to teach them.
Jemima A. and Alfred Martin.
Jemima Ann, fourth child of Isaac and Sarah
A. Weathermon, was born July 21, 1855; married
to Thomas Alfred Martin, Sept. 24, 1874. To them
were born eight children, all in Nodaway county,
Mo , as follows: Charles Henry, born Oct. 30, 1875;
died Dec, 17, 1880; Sarah Minerva, born Aug. 30,
1877;died Dec. 22, 1880; Vida Catharine, born Dec.
13. 1878; Ida Rosalie, born Nov. 26, 1880;died Jan.
10. 1881; Mary Ann, born Jan. 6, 1883; Eliza Alice
THE HOBSON FAMILY 349
born July 2, 1886; John Alfred, born Sept. 20, 1887;
George Esty. born June 12, 1891.
Vida C, daughter of Thomas and Jemima, was
married to Walter C. Griffin in Nodaway county,
Mo., Oct. 28, 1898. To them have been born four
children: a son born April 2, 1900, died five days
later; Iva Bernice, born March 24, 1901; Thomas
Orland and Bessie, twins, born April 19, 1903.
Mary A., daughter of Thomas and Jemima, was
married to John O. Nelson, April 9,, 1902; they
have one daughter born October 13, 1903.
SaraH B. and A. D. Jones.
Sarah B., or "Bettie," as she is usuall} T called,
daughter of Isaac N. and Sarah A Weathermon,
married A. D.Jones, March 18, 1884. Her brother,
and all her sisters were married, so Bettie and
her husband remained at the home with her
mother, until after their five eldest children were
born. Now the} 7 are living in Gentry count} 7 , Mo.,
their post-office being Stanbury. Eight children
have been born to them: Isaac Leander, born Feb.
3, 1885; married Virgie Silvers June 8, 1904; Law-
rence E., born Nov. 26, 1886; Marville P and
350 THE H0BS0N FAMILY
Stephen H , twins, born Feb. 11, 1888; Therena C.
born July 8, 1890; Alexander R, born Nov. 3, 1895.
Dale Erie, born March 23, 1898.
Guilford, Missouri, September, 3, 1905.
Sarah A. Weathermon, the subject of the fore-
going chapter, dictated for her daughter to write
the sketch concerning the Hobsons, and the pio-
neer times, at the beginning of the chapter. It
was sent me on the above date and just eighteen
days later, Sept. 21, 1905, Sarah A. Weathermon
answered the call to "come up higher" and dwell
forever with the Lord. The manuscript for this
chapter was the first that I received for the nis-
tory. If they had deferred the work only a few
days, it would have been too late to get her inter-
esting reminiscence of the past. A. E. C.
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