Starkweather Family Bible

Over the Christmas holiday, a message arrived through, announcing that an old Starkweather family Bible was being offered for sale on eBay. The writer explained that his hobby is matching up auction listings with people who have those same family names in their online trees, who might not otherwise know of the sale. He does not have a financial stake in the listings, only an interest in finding homes for these genealogical treasures. Not only did he notify potential relatives, he also saved the listing photos of the Bible and even took the time to transcribe all the birth, marriage and death records he could read from those same photos. 

The Bible was published in 1826 and had belonged to William and Abigail (Post) Starkweather of Herkimer County, New York. William was a son of Asher and Olive (Preston) Starkweather. Asher was a brother of my ancestor, Anna (Starkweather) Parrish. 

I couldn’t resist!! I had to buy it. It was a rather impulsive decision, but I couldn’t stand to see this family treasure slip away.

Of course I was and am very grateful to the man who alerted me to the sale, thereby committing an act of genealogical kindness, and told him so. It gave him great pleasure to know the Bible ended up in a Starkweather family, and that I was so excited about it!

Look for Starkweather family Bible photos soon on my “Lewis/Eastlick Family Tree” on

Starkweather Bible

Starkweather Bible records

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History Book References to our Otto Family, and some obituaries

An Illustrated History of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Civil, Political, and Military, from its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Including Historical Descriptions of Each County in the State, Their Towns, and Industrial Resources, By William H. Egle, M.D., M.A., Member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Second Edition, Revised and Corrected. Philadelphia; E.M. Gardner, 1880.

M’Kean County, by William K. King, Ceres, pages 923-930:

M’Kean county was separated from Lycoming county by the act of 26th of March, 1804. It was named in honor of Governor Thomas M’Kean, who at that period filled the executive chair. Previous to 1814 the county was for a time attached to Centre county, and the records were kept at Bellefonte. In that year M’Kean was attached to Lycoming for judicial and elective purposes. The counties of M’Kean and Potter were as formerly united, having one treasurer, one board of commissioners, and one of auditors. The commissioners held their meetings at the house of Benjamin Burt, on the Allegheny river, and a little east of the county line. In 1826 M’Kean county was organized for judicial purposes, and the first court was held in Smethport, in September of that year. The same year a substantial brick court house was erected.

M’Kean county is situated on the northern border of the State, being the third county east from the west line thereof. It has a length on the State line of nearly forty miles, and a depth of about twenty-five miles, containing about one thousand square miles, or six hundred and forty thousand acres. It may be considered an elevated table, broken by numerous streams which have formed in many places valleys of considerable width. The principal streams are…

…There are three boroughs, Smethport, Kane, and Bradford.

About the end of the last century a company of gentlemen, headed by John Keating, Esq., of Philadelphia, made an extensive purchase of wild lands in what are now M’Kean, Potter, Cameron, Clinton, and Clearfield counties. Francis King, an Englishman, member of the Society of Friends, then but recently from the city of London, was employed by the said company to examine different bodies of lands in this portion of the State, and spent nearly the whole of two summers in exploring the country, making careful and minute memoranda of the surface of the country, character of the soil, timber, rocks, streams, and natural routes for thoroughfares. Upon his report the selections were made, and the purchase consummated. In the spring of 1798, Mr. King left Philadelphia with a party of workmen; they proceeded to the upper settlement upon the West Branch of the Susquehanna river, in the vicinity of Jersey Shore. There they loaded their canoes, and taking their horses sometimes in the channel of the river, and sometimes upon the banks, they pushed their canoes to the mouth of the Driftwood branch, and then up it to what is now Emporium. Here, on account of the smallness of the stream, they abandoned their canoes, and loading their tools and provisions upon their horses, they started in a northerly direction. Passing up a small tributary of the Driftwood, and down a branch of the Allegheny, they cut a bridle path through the forest very nearly over the ground now traversed by the Buffalo, New York, and Philadelphia railroad from Emporium to Port Allegheny. This place was for many years known as the Canoe Place. At the latter place they halted, and having constructed more canoes from the trunks of the white pine, then abundant all along the valley of the Upper Allegheny, they loaded their baggage into them, and proceeded down the river to the mouth of the Oswaya, and up that stream about four miles, where they located, calling the place Ceres; built houses, cleared land, and commenced opening communications with other settlements. It was found that a small settlement had been commenced on the head-waters of a tributary of the Genesee river, and distant only fifty miles. This was the nearest white settlement in any direction. It was situated near the present village of Andover, on the New York and Erie railroad, and was known as Dike’s settlement. A sort of road was soon opened between the two points, and also between Ceres and the Canoe Place, and between Ceres and the settlements on Pine creek, distant nearly one hundred miles….

….About this time the territory of Ohio became in the minds of the people of the Atlantic States the earthly paradise, and the restless and discontented, as well as the enterprising and ambitious, strained every nerve to reach it. In 1804 a road was opened through the State of New York, from the east to the Allegheny river at Olean, then and for many years called Hamilton, a point only ten miles distant from the Ceres settlement; and immediately a current of emigration was pouring over this route that would be astonishing even at the present day. At Olean, boats, skiffs, canoes, and rafts were constructed, and the emigrants were floated down the streams to the country which was the Eden of their dreams….

In the year 1810 six families from the state of New York, following up the Allegheny from Olean to the mouth of Potato creek, and up that stream some five or six miles, located themselves in the neighborhood now known as Farmer’s Valley. Among them were three brothers, named Joseph, George, and Matthias Otto, whose descendants still reside in that neighborhood. George and Matthias both died many years ago. Joseph lived to be very old, and was one of the prominent men of the county. He held at different terms most of the county offices.”

A Pioneer Outline History of Northwestern Pennsylvania, by W. J. McKnight, 1905

Page 570, “The first commissioners were Rensselaer Wright and Jonathan Colegrove, for McKean, and John Taggart, for Potter County; Joseph Otto, treasurer.”

Page 573, “The first settlers of this county suffered great inconveniences; so much greater than those of the present day that there is scarce a comparison. They found here a dense wilderness, without a road, or an inhabitant, save the beasts of the forest, some of which were of a very ferocious character, while others served as a slender support to those who practiced hunting. The first settlement of which I have a correct account was made by six families from the State of New York, who came on about the same time, and located on Potato Creek, from three to seven miles north of Smethport, in 1810. They had great difficulty in getting to their new homes, having to bring their families and goods up the stream in canoes. There was no settlement within many miles of them; and they were even obliged for a time to bring their provisions in by canoes or on pack-horses. All kinds of eatables were very dear, even at the nearest settlements. This settlement suffered many privations; but those settlers are now well compensated, for they are the owners of flourishing farms, and are themselves in a prosperous condition. It is usually known by the name of the lower settlement.”

Page 577, “The pioneer court held in McKean County was presided over by Hon. Edward Herrick, on September 25, 1826. The Associates were Joseph Otto and Joel Bishop. The court was held in the court-house, which had been completed. The jail was in process of erection at that time, and was completed soon after. Up to that time the courts of McKean County had been held in Coudersport, Potter County.”

History of the Counties of McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter, PA, with Biographical Selections, 1890

Page 98, from notes in possession of Henry Hamlin, son of Orlo J. Hamlin:

“1810, Keating township (Farmers Valley), settled by Joseph and George Otto, the Stulls and others from Northampton county, Penn., six families.”

Page 106, “In 1816… in April Joseph Otto was appointed, vice Stanton, and in October he was elected with Nathan B. Palmer.”

“In January, 1818…Isaac Lyman, commissioner, vice Otto… John Taggart was appointed commissioner, vice Palmer….”

“In 1819 Rensselaer Wright was elected commissioner; Joseph Otto was appointed clerk, but did not qualify, leaving the office to Merrick.”

Page 107, “On May 31, 1827, the mason work on county buildings was accepted, and August 4 an order for $3,000 was given to the contractor, Solomon Sartwell, Jr. During this year deeds to a number of lots round the public square were sanctioned by the commissioners, White and Otto, they being the active members of the board. In November, that year, William Bell qualified, and in November, 1828, Messrs. Otto, Bell and Gallup formed the board.”

Page 112, “The first court of McKean county was held at Smethport, September 25, 1826. Edward Herrick presided, with Joseph Otto and Joel Bishop associate judges.”

Page 113, “In February, 1830, Judges Otto* and Bishop* were present”  *=deceased

“The May term of 1836 was held before Judges Otto and Bishop.”

Page 151, “Joseph Otto taught the second school in the county at his house. It was an eleemosynary institution, suggested by the ignorance and wants of the times, and, like the age, very primitive.”

Page 153, “James V. Otto, Buffalo, 1878” registered in 1881, on the list of “medical men who have registered in McKean county from 1881 to 1889, inclusive.”

Page 253, “The Stulls and Ottos, to whom references are made in other chapters, must also be counted among the pioneers, while the Williamses, Youngs, Crows, Hamlins and fifty other families of whom mention is made in this volume, are connected with the beginnings of the progressive period.”

Page 254, “The resident tax-payers of Keating township in 1836-37 were… Nicholas Baker, C. D. Calkins (now at Smethport), Ghordis Corwin (who owned the grist- and saw-mill), Daniel and David Cornelius,… Thomas Curtis…Nathan Folsom…Jared and Jonathan Ketchum….Dr. William Otto, James, John, Jemima  and Charity Otto, W. D. Owen (merchant), Joseph Otto (saw-mill owner), W. S. Oviatt, Silas D. and Lewis Otto, … Asa Sartwell (fulling and saw-mill owner), Joel Sartwell (now of Cedar Rapids, Iowa), John Smith, Jesse Spencer… Sol. Sartwell, Jr., Sartwell & Arnold (traders), Sol. Sartwell, …Stephen Young, Hiram Spencer… Abner Lull, the assessor, recommended Jared Ketchum and Ghordis Corwin for collectors.”

Page 257, “Farmers Valley, Coryville and Frisbee may be called synonymous terms. They all form a part of the old settlement of Farmers Valley, of which so much is written in the general history as well as in this chapter. In 1812 Francis King surveyed the fifty-acre tracts donated by John Keating for the following named settlers in Farmers Valley: George, Joseph and Matthias Otto, Robert Gilbert, Jonathan Moore, Zachariah, Thomas and William Ashley.”

Page 258, “Joseph Otto came from Mifflin county, Penn., early in 1810, and settled two and one-half miles below Smethport with his young wife. The trip hither from Angelica was through sixty miles of wilderness without one inhabitant, and from the effects of such a journey he fell sick soon after settlement, and he and his wife were almost on the point of starving when he became strong enough to hunt.”

Page 289, J. V. Otto, president of the Star Hose Company No. 1.

Page 293, J. V. Otto listed as an original member of The Knights of Honor Lodge.

Page 295, W. J. Davis active in the McKean County Agricultural Society.

Page 526, “S. C. Sartwell, proprietor of the Sartwell House, Port Allegany, is a son of Joel and Elizabeth (Otto) Sartwell, and was born at Farmers Valley, McKean Co., Penn., in 1840. Solomon Sartwell, his grandfather, who was a native of New Hampshire, where he married, removed to McKean county, Penn., at a very early time, and located at Farmers Valley, where both he and his wife resided until their decease. Joel, son of Solomon, and father of S. C. Sartwell, was also a native of New Hampshire, and removed with his parents to Farmers Valley, where he married Miss Elizabeth Otto, after which they located at Farmers Valley, where he was engaged in the lumber trade, and where they raised a family of ten children, of whom but six are known to be living: Helen (who married the Hon. W. J. Davis), Joseph, Sylvia (now Mrs. J. L. Behn), S. C., Henry and Lucy (now Mrs. Dean Cheadle). Wilbur, who was born before these, went to California in 1857, and is probably deceased, as no tidings have been received from him. S. C. Sartwell was reared and educated in McKean county, and in 1865 married Rose Thomson, after which they located at Portville, where he was engaged in business. He afterward purchased a farm near Port Allegany, which he sold in 1874, and then removed into the borough where he became the owner and proprietor of the Sartwell House, a hostelry noted for the excellency of its management, and which has the exclusive patronage of the traveling public. Mr. and Mrs. Sartwell have two children living, Grace and Stephen (twins); two children, Willett and Winifred, are deceased. Mr. Sartwell is a member of the Democratic party, and one of the able and representative citizens of Port Allegany.”

History of the counties of McKean, Elk, and Forest, Pennsylvania, with Biographical Selections, J. H. Beers & Co., 1890

Haven’t studied this one yet… appears to duplicate the previous Beers collection.

Historical Gazetteer and Biographical Memorial of Cattaraugus County, NY, 1893

Page 1139, “Howard Otto is a son of Silas P. Otto and a grandson of Joseph Otto, of Farmer’s Valley, Pa. Silas P., a general wood worker and painter, came to Ischua in 1835 and married Hannah Stickland, of Lyndon; children: Sartwell, Joseph, Emma, Amelia, and Howard. The latter was born in 1847 and when sixteen enlisted in Co. K, 22d N. Y. Cav., serving in the Shenandoah valley. He was in the battles from Winchester to Cedar Creek, was on the left of the turnpike helping to stop stragglers when General Sheridan arrived there the day of his famous ride, was in the fight at Waynesborough, when the Second Brigade captured 1,300 rebels, and saw General Sheridan throw his arms around Custer in admiration of his splendid work. He was discharged in Aug., 1865. In 1870 he married Rose, daughter of Daniel Emery, of Belfast, N. Y. Children: Burna and Jessie. Mr. Otto came to Abbott’s in 1877, where he has been a merchant since 1880 and postmaster since 1888.”

The Descendants of James Brown 1716-1922, by John Jordan Brown, 1922

Page 11-12, James Brown

Page 15-21, John Brown, Sr.

Page 22-23, John Brown military records

Page 150-155, Mary Brown Otto family:

Mary Brown Otto, daughter of John and Mary Brugler Brown.

Mary and her sister Elizabeth were twins. They were born March 30, 1782. When Mary was eleven years old her mother died. There were three younger children in the family needing a mother’s care. Their father provided a step mother thirteen months after the death of his wife, Mary.  He married Mrs. Margaret Haines. She was the widow of Henry Haines, who was one of the wealthy men of the vicinity. Mrs. Haines had brought up in her home her sister’s daughter, Dorothy Nice. She took Dorothy with her to the Brown home. Mrs. Haines was an exemplary stepmother. No criticism is mentioned concerning her.

When Mary was fifteen years old the family moved to Columbia County, Pennsylvania.

Some four years after the family had settled in their new home, a young man by the name of Joseph Otto came into the community. He was a native of the state of New York. For that day a man of education. Joseph met Mary Brown. An acquaintance resulted, which ripened into romance. It is possible that the judgment of Mary and her family on this subject were not in accord. The facilities for obtaining information concerning the suitor were meager. Their knowledge of the young man, his worth, and his antecedents was limited to what he said, and what they saw. That was a practical age. As is usual in such cases the lovers had their way. They were married in 1802.

 The efforts of Mary’s friends in performing their duty to safeguard her welfare, resulted in some unhappiness. The father-in-law located them on one of his farms adjoining the homestead. Mrs. Otto’s daughter Ellen, in a letter said that, “she married a then poor man, and I suppose one who did not please the family.”

Mr. Otto was dissatisfied. There were no ties binding him here. He formed other plans.

In 1809 he visited McKean County, Pennsylvania. There he purchased land. During the fall of that year, he went on the ground, cleared some land, built a log house, and then went to his father’s home in the state of New York.

The next year he took his family through the wilderness to the McKean County home. It was in the heart of a virgin forest. Four years later she returned to her father’s home on a visit. Her brother-in-law came with her. Their journey took them seventy miles through a primitive forest. There was but one habitation on the way. Here they stayed during the night. Upon the return to her home in McKean County, she was accompanied by one of her nephews. Her father went to see her once in her new home.

In a letter to the author, Miss Ellen Otto, one of Mary Brown Otto’s daughters said that she never heard her mother say aught, that had the least tinge of unkindly feeling against her relatives. She also said that she always seemed sad at the mention of her old home. The family refrained from speaking on this subject. She was true to the principles of the Brown clan. However much they differed in opinions, the family love and loyalty predominated.

In one of her letters to the writer, Miss Ellen, her daughter said, a writer speaking of her mother, said that she was a remarkable woman. That by her dignity and ladylike deportment, she always commanded the notice of strangers. She also said in a letter to the writer, that when strangers looked at her likeness, they would say, “that is a picture of a lady.”

In one of her letters, Miss Ellen also said that her mother was the favorite daughter of her father, John Brown. She enjoyed his confidence in all things. She always carried his private keys, notwithstanding the presence of a stepmother and her adopted daughter.

Her father remembered her very substantially when he came to write his will. A copy of this document can be found in the appendix of this volume. Some one has said that there is a Divinity that shapes our ends rough, hew them as we may.

Mary Brown Otto died April 29, 1862. She bore her mother’s name, Mary.

HON. JOSEPH OTTO, married Mary, daughter of John and Mary Brown.

Hon. Joseph Otto was a native of the state of New York. His father was a man of means, but lost his property during the war of the American Revolution. The children were thrown upon their own resources.

Joseph came to Pennsylvania. He married Mary, the daughter of John Brown a prominent business man of Columbia County, Pa., in 1802. Mr. and Mrs. Otto lived on what afterwards became the farm of Matthew Brown. Their daughter Ellen said that the farm was not very productive. That the price of other lands was prohibitive. In 1810 they moved to McKean County, Pa. Here was a better field for his abilities. In 1813 he became the first Justice of the Peace in McKean County. In 1818 he was appointed the treasurer of McKean and Potter counties. He was the first Associate Judge of McKean County. He held this office sixteen years. During his entire life of usefulness he was prominent in the public business of his county. As its treasurer he made annual trips to Philadelphia on horse back on business pertaining to his treasurer’s office.

On one of these journeys he visited his father-in-law, John Brown, in Columbia County. Mr. Brown was on his death bed. Miss Ellen Otto said that Mr. Brown seemed desirous to speak to him about family matters. But uncle Henry Bowman, who had charge of him, then entered the room, and immediately the conversation closed. Miss Ellen further said that he was not allowed to hold any further conversation with Mr. Otto.

Miss Ellen Otto further wrote that her father came to their country with but little means. A year’s sickness followed soon after his coming. This made matters worse. But that in due time he amassed considerable property. In the meanwhile he spent much time and money in developing the new country. She further said that no man ever asked for his influence, or money, in vain. This generosity and faith in humanity resulted in his financial undoing.

The children of Joseph O. and Mary Brown Otto were:

Elizabeth O. Sartwell. Lived at Marion, Ohio (sic).

Albert G. Otto, deceased.

Loretta B. O. Lelland, a widow. Of McKean County.

Silas P. of Catt, N.Y.

J. Amelia. Married Mr. Ketchum.

Desdamonia, deceased.

Mrs. A. O. Curtis. Lives at Smethport, Pa.

J. Celia. Married Mr. O. Day. Farmers Valley, Pa.

A. Jackson Otto, of Olean, N.Y.

Miss L. Caroline Otto, Farmers Valley, Pa.

Miss Ellen Otto, of Farmers Valley, Pa.”

(goes on to expand upon each of the childrens’ families)


Obituary of Joseph Otto, M’Kean County Miner, January 1869 edition:

DIED — In Farmers’ Valley, Dec. 22, 1868, Hon. Joseph Otto, in the 91st year of his age.

Mr. Otto is the last of the Pioneers or first settlers of M’Kean county. He came into this country in 1810, then an unbroken wilderness, and the next year with five others moved in with their families and located themselves where Farmers’ Valley now is, their nearest neighbors being 25 miles distant, through a dense forest without even a path. While others became discouraged and left the country he remained, being determined to sustain the settlement—make himself a home and grow up with the country; and for many years he endured all the privations and hardships of a pioneer life.

When the county became sufficiently populated it was organized, and County courts having been established, Mr. Otto was appointed an Associate Judge, which position with many others of responsibility, he filled with honor and credit to himself, enjoying the respect and confidence of a large circle of friends and acquaintances, and leading for many years before his death an exemplary Christian life.


Obituary of Mary Ann (Otto) Curtis

The McKean Democrat, Smethport, McKean County, Pennsylvania, Feb. 10, 1916

Mrs. S. G. Curtis Passes to Her Reward

Mrs. S. G. Curtis died at the McKean county home, Wednesday evening, February 2nd, 1916, in the 99th year of her age.

Mary A. Otto was born in Keating township on what is now known as the Martin farm, Aug. 29, 1817. She was a daughter of Hon. Joseph and Mary Brown Otto, and was the last of a large family. On February 26th, 1837, she was united in marriage to Stephen G. Curtis, who died Nov. 25th, 1895.

Hon. and Mrs. Joseph Otto were among the first settlers in this part of the country, having come here in 1809. Mr. Otto built the first frame house, taught the first school and held the first office in this county. He was at one time county treasurer, and made many trips to Philadelphia on horseback to transact business. He was the first Judge of this county, which office he held for sixteen consecutive years. Mrs. Curtis’ grandfather, on her mother’s side, was an eminent German geologist who came to this country in search of plant specimens for the German government, and who decided to make his permanent home in this country. Mrs. Curtis was a devoted Christian, a member of the Methodist church for many years and in her younger days was very active in church work. It has been said of her that she showed a true Christian spirit in trying to do all in her power to make other happy and aid in times of sorrow and trouble. She had a [fine] education and spent much time in her last years reading and writing, preparing many articles for publication. She had many friends who did much to brighten her pathway in her last days, by their kind and loving attentions, by visits which helped to pass away many a lonely hour and sending many tokens of love and esteem.

Mrs. Curtis is survived by six grandchildren, Leon, Lucy, Emma and Roy Curtis, of Keating township, Mrs. N. F. Adams and Elmer B. Curtis, and five great-grandchildren, of Cleveland, Ohio. Also her nieces, Mrs. Jane D. Young, of Smethport; Mrs. John L. Oviatt, of Farmers Valley; Mrs. B. F. Cory, of Coryville; Mrs. Ralph Lewis, of Burton, Neb.; Mrs. Lucy Cheadle, of Marion, Iowa, and nephews, Dr. D. B. Day, of New Jersey; Chas. A. Otto, Walsenberg, Col.; Leslie Otto, Santa Fe, N. M.; Sartwell Otto, South Park, Seattle, Wash., besides numerous other relatives.

The funeral was held Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the Methodist church, Res. J. S. Fleming officiating, and interment was made in the Smith cemetery, near Farmers Valley, Rev. W. D. Full[er] conducting the services at the grave.


As per our request, a grandson of Mrs. Curtis, Leon Curtis, of Keating township, furnished the DEMOCRAT with the above obituary notice of our old friend who has just been taken from us. The article is so complete that we publish it as it came to us as it would have been difficult for us to have improved on it, but we will add a few words to express our own thoughts on one whom we had well known for upwards of 25 years, and in times gone by had furnished the DEMOCRAT with many very interesting communications of the early history of the county in which she had spent her entire of nearly one hundred years. Mrs. Curtis was always a very warm friend of both the writer of this, and a staunch admirer of the DEMOCRAT for years, and for that reason we always held this grand old lady in the very highest esteem, and whenever we visited the County Home we always made it a point to call on this true and steadfast friend, who always accorded us a hearty welcome on our visits. The last time that we saw Mrs. Curtis was last October, at that time she was lying in her bed, where she spent much of her latter years, reading her bible, which she found to be a great consolation to her during her latter days. With a sweet smile on her pleasant countenance she warmly grasped our hand and told us how glad she was to see us again, as we had not seen her before in several years. The writer knew Mrs. Curtis well enough to know that if there was ever a true Christian character on the face of the earth that she was certainly one without guile. For about 23 years she had been an inmate of the Home, where her aged husband passed to his reward a short time after they had entered that institution, but this beautiful character always retained a cheery disposition up until the very last. Never during her long stay at the Home has the writer heard one complaint from the several superintendents of that institution that Mrs. Curtis ever gave them the least bit of trouble, and for that reason she was always held in the very highest regard by all who were connected with that institution, and for that reason she was loved by all who came in contact with her, and now that she has passed to her reward Grandma Curtis will be missed by all who enjoyed her acquaintance.

The funeral, which was held Saturday afternoon at the Methodist church in this borough, which the deceased was a devoted member for many years, was, considering the disagreeable weather, well attended by relatives and friends, and the pastor, Rev. Fleming’s remarks were most beautiful and appropriate to the occasion.

The writer who has lost a true and devoted friend, joins in extending his sympathy to the sorrowing relatives in the loss of one of the noblest characters that has been taken from us in a long time. May her spirit find that peace which she had so longed for in the closing years of her life.


 Obituary of Stephen G. Curtis

The McKean Democrat, Smethport, M’Kean County, Penna., Friday, November 29, 1895

(Pg 3, column 5)

Death of Stephen G. Curtis

Stephen G. Curtis died in Keating township on Monday last, aged 85 years.

Mr. Curtis was born at Granville, Washington county, N. Y., Sept. 10, 1810, of Puritan ancestry, of whom two were Revolutionary soldiers. When 13 years of age he came to Keating township with his parents, and for 72 years, with the exception of a short time spent in the West during his early manhood he resided in that township. In 1839 Mr. Curtis was united in marriage to Mary A., daughter of Judge Joseph Otto, the first Associate Judge of McKean county. This union was blessed with two children, one of whom, W. H. Curtis, of Keating township, and the aged widow, survive. The funeral was held on Tuesday afternoon, Rev J. W. Sanborn, officiating. The interment took place in Rose Hill cemetery.

Thus has passed to his final reward another one of McKean county’s pioneers.


Obituary of Ellen Otto (Eleanor Gray Otto)

McKean County Miner, Smethport, Pa., Thursday, January 11, 1912


Ellen Otto Died in Ceres, N. Y., on December 24, 1911.

Entered into rest, Dec. 24, 1911, in her home in Ceres, N. Y., Eleanor Gray, youngest daughter of the Hon. Joseph Otto and Mary Brown Otto, his wife. Eleanor Otto was born in 1826, in Keating township. She was the youngest of a family of 10 sons and daughters born to Judge Otto and wife. Most of her life was spent in the family home in Keating township. Her father was an early settler in McKean county, but in spite of the many privations, which must of necessity have been the portion of the pioneer, this family maintained a marked dignity and their home was one of refinement and unusual culture. Many of the family founded homes of their own, and one by one left the homestead until but two remained, an older sister, Caroline, and the subject of this sketch, and she finally found herself alone in the home of her childhood. Here she lived until four years ago, when she removed to Ceres, where she passed away.

Eleanor Otto was gifted with an artistic temperament and a bright and cultivated mind, and though very retiring and reticent in her nature, little in the world of science, literature or politics escaped her scrutiny. She lived quietly within herself, and few were admitted to the innermost sanctuary of her heart. She was a faithful attendant at religious services and after her removal to Ceres attended in spite of her advanced age, the services of the M. E. church and at bible class. She died quietly as she had lived sinking gently and painlessly away on the Sunday afternoon before Christmas.

After her long life of light and shadow she might well had said with John, that ancient servant of God, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.”


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Will of Thomas Reeves, Washington County, Iowa

Will of Thomas Reeves, who died in 1846, Washington County, Iowa
Transcribed by Leslie Lewis
The original spelling and punctuation have been retained

In the name of god, amen– I Thomas Reeves, of being weak of body, but of Sound and perfect minend and memery and blessed be god for the Same Do make and publish this my last will and testament, in manor and form following (that is to Say) first, I give and bequeth Unto my beloved John S. Reeves and Margret A. E. Reeves, following discrebed tract of land to wit— No. 11691. In Washington County Iowa the North Est quarter of the South west quarter of Section No. 25 In Township No. 74 North of range No. 8 Wst containing forty acres be it more or less—I also give and bequeth to the Said John S. Rees and Margret A. E. Reeves all my personal property to wit one mare and colt tow cows and one Calf one Tow year old heiffer and Saw and Eight Shates and house hold and kitchen furniture and all Debts Cuming to me—
And I here by give to Joseph Reeves my oldest Son one dollar and I all So give to Elijah T. Reeves one dollar and I all so give to Susanah F. Hodges one dollar and I all So give Mary M. Crouch one doller and I all so give and bequeth to Delilah Harmon—one doller as to all the rest due and remainder of my person Estate of goods and Chatles of what kind and nature So ever, I give and bequeth to my Son John S. Reeves and Margret A. E. Reeves whom I here by apoint my Sole Executors of this my Last will and testament; Thereby revoke all former wills by me made In witness
There of I here Unto Set my hand and Seal this this 26th day of march A. D. 1846
Signed Sealed published and declared by the above named Thomas Reeves to be his will and testament In the prescents of us who have here Unto Subscribed our names as witnessess In the prescents of the testator

Thomas Reeves (his mark) Seal
John Grimsley  (Seal)
John H. Hoskinson (Seal)
Nelson Buel (Seal)

Territory of Iowa
Washington County
Thomas Reeves
SS—personly appeared before me the Undersigned and acting Justice of the peace of the Territory and County affore Said and acknolledges that he Signed Sealed and delivered the within will as his free act for the purposes affore Said
Given Under my hand this 26th day of March A. D. 1846
Cyrus McMillan J. P.

Will of Thomas Reeves, Washington Co IA

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Mystery of Alexander and Mahala (Harrison) Eastlick’s “son” Edward

October 14, 2012

I’ve always wondered about the “Edward Souan” living in Alexander and Mahala (Harrison) Eastlick’s household in 1850. The middle name was unfamiliar and unreadable. I could never find a son Edward Eastlick after he appeared with Alexander and Mahala in the 1860 census, also in Bureau County, Illinois. I assumed he must have died young. The lack of other children in the household made me wonder if the Eastlicks were unable to bear children… perhaps Edward was adopted. Or just being raised in their household as was commonly done in those days. Alexander’s deeds from Columbia County, Oregon stated he had no heirs at his death in 1900.

Then yesterday while digging around for Eastlicks to add to my Civil War database, I came across an Edward F. Eastlick (also shown as Estlick) in the Minnesota military records on Ancestry. He enlisted in Hatch’s Independent Battalion Cavalry in September 1863 at age 20. Another document revealed that he deserted his unit in November, a couple months later.

Research on Hatch’s Independent Battalion Cavalry shed light on that organization, formed to address the violence with the Indians on the frontier at that time. One article explained the group was stranded at one point, near starvation, losing 250 horses and cattle before obtaining relief. Perhaps the hardships of the unit drove Edward to desert.

Previously unable to find Edward Eastlick in subsequent census indexes, I decided to take a look at Alexander and Mahala’s listing in 1870 in LeSueur County, Minnesota. Often spelling errors are made by census enumerators and you never know what you can decipher directly from the images. I discovered, next door to Alexander and Mahala Eastlick, an Edward Sovereign and his wife Henrietta and children Charles 4 and Mary 1. Could be a coincidence that there was an Edward right next door, but he was about the right age and born in Indiana, as given in earlier records for Edward Eastlick, including his enlistment record.

It was clinched when I found the same Sovereign family (Edward, Henrietta, Charles, Mary and additional children) living in Nehalem, Columbia, Oregon ten years later… same place as Alexander and Mahala!

Then I found Edward’s Find A Grave memorial, with a burial in Oregon and 1898 death. The spelling of his name was Soverign, as well as other family records for his son Charles. Unable to locate his widow Henrietta after that, I googled Henrietta Sovereign of Oregon and found a newspaper notice of her marriage to Hon. J. H. Nosler on 31 Dec 1899 in Eugene.

Next I’ll flesh out Edward and Henrietta’s children and possibly find a living descendant with some information. Was Edward born an Eastlick? Was he the son of a family member or neighbor? Was his name Sovereign (or Soverign) just misspelled in the 1850 census? Would a Sovereign descendant be willing to take a DNA test to see if he matches Eastlick DNA?

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A 30-year error in our Swedish roots corrected!

One of the nicest things about genealogy is the wonderful people you correspond with. Such a person saw an error in my online tree ( and took the time not only to point out my mistake, but to hook me up with record images that proved her case. This is a true genealogical act of kindness!
I found out last week that I have had some incorrect information in our family tree since 1982. At that time, 30 years ago, I had written a request for and received information from the archives at Lund in Sweden. Remember those days, when we wrote snail mail letters and waited in great anticipation for the reply to arrive in our mailbox?
I was seeking the parents of my great-great grandfather, Pehr Pehrsson from Farstorp parish, Kristianstad lan, Sweden. The archivist reported back to me that she found a Pehr Pehrsson born June 6, 1824 in Farstorp, but not one born June 6, 1830. She then told me the names of his parents and that this was the Pehr who married Elna Troedsdotter at Farstorp in 1857.
I had seen the 1830 birthdate on his headstone in Swedeburg, Nebraska (below), but thought it must have been a mistake, as certainly the Swedish archivist would know the truth, right?
Person, Per and Elna gravestone, Swedeburg NE, photo 1983
Well, last week I was contacted by a person on Ancestry who pointed out how the Swedish records connect me to a younger Pehr, born June 6, 1830 in Norra Akarp, and not the Pehr born in Farstorp in 1824 (her ancestor). The archivist must not have seen my Pehr in the Farstorp records because he was not born in Farstorp, but rather in Norra Akarp. Logical mistake.
This wonderful person even sent me links to the birth and marriage records, in Swedish, and the “household examination” records which are much like our census records… only BETTER because they include each person’s exact place and date of birth.
Long story short, I now have the correct Per Person (Swedish spelling Pehr Pehrsson) with the correct birthdate: June 6, 1830, born in Norra Akarp, Kristianstad, Sweden. And now I have the correct parents of our Pehr: He was the son of Pehr Nilsson and Kjersti Pehrsdotter of Norra Akarp, who married on Dec. 15, 1814 in Norra Akarp.
Thanks, Cajsa!!
Kristianstad Län, Farstorp, Household examination, 1861-1869 Pehr and Elna family household
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Road Trip 2012

ROAD TRIP, August 13-29, 2012

Monday, August 13 – Pete and I drove my car to Seattle so that we could leave his Blazer in our carport at home and my Corolla at Mom and Dad’s. Dad then drove Mom, Pete and me to the Amtrak terminal, returned to get Blaine and they rode with a neighbor back to the station. Sue met us there after a day with girlfriends.

The train from Seattle departed at 4:40 p.m. We were excited to be on our way. Although we found seats together in the nice upper level coach car, we were disappointed that there were no restrooms up there. Mom was having difficulty with her right leg after her recent hospitalization and I had tweaked my knee some days before, so I was hobbling, too.

We had dinner–take out sandwiches from the dining car–and stayed overnight on the train, without a sleeping car… just sitting in our reclining seats. It was very uncomfortable and fitful sleeping until Pete went to stretch out in the lounge car that was added at the Spokane stop.

Food and beverages were pricey on the Empire Builder. My favorite meal was breakfast in the dining car: scrambled eggs, grits, coffee and juice. Pete and I sat across the table from an older couple who were traveling together to head home back east.

Tuesday, August 14 – In the morning, the train passed by Glacier Park. We watched from the lounge car. Beautiful! Due to recent high heat in the Midwest causing the rails to buckle, the train was delayed more and more at each stop. Sometimes the train would slow to a crawl. A train passing this way earlier had such “turbulence” that all the food slid off the tables of the dining car.

We arrived in Wolf Point, MT about three hours later than expected. We were picked up by the rental car guy, arranged by Blaine and Sue. The hotel reservations I had made months earlier with the Homestead Inn were adjusted to “plan B” when we found out they’d put us on the third floor with no elevator, which would have been difficult for my folks. Instead, we went up the road to the cheaper hotel annex where there was one ground-floor room left that Mom and Dad could use. The rest of us had rooms upstairs. The place was not deluxe by any means, but there was WiFi so I could check my mail, and comfortable king-sized beds so we slept soundly. Boy was I TIRED!!! Train sleep the night before had led to the grouchies but we had excellent sleep Tuesday night in Wolf Point!

Wednesday, August 15 – After a quick continental breakfast, Blaine drove us in our rental SUV to Poplar and the First Presbyterian Church. We were greeted there by friends and church members. It was wonderful to see so many people from our distant past, and they welcomed us so warmly! We took turns getting misty-eyed at the emotion of it all. They served coffee and refreshments and had gathered the church records from during Dad’s time as pastor, showing baptisms, marriages and funerals recorded in both Mom’s and Dad’s handwriting. After we had visited there for a couple of hours, we got to go through the manse where we lived from 1960 to 1965.

After that we caravanned to one couple’s ranch home for a lunch of yummy “slush burgers” (sloppy joes). Then we drove back to Wolf Point to return our rental car and catch the delayed 4:30 train. Another night on board the train was even more miserable than the first. Dad, Mom, Blaine and Sue got off in Fargo in the wee hours of the morning to rest at a hotel briefly before they would pick up their car rental and head to relatives in Park Rapids, MN. Pete and I continued on the train to Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Thursday, August 16 – We were relieved to finally arrive at St. Paul/Minneapolis in the morning, a few hours late. We picked up our rental car, a 2012 white Chevy Malibu, and drove south to Rice County, MN. After breakfast at a Perkins along the way, we headed straight for the Old Prairieville Cemetery east of Faribault, where we met Tim and Sue Lloyd and their genealogist friend Peggy. They showed us the cemetery and we took photos of John Spencer’s grave. What tremendous work they have done there reclaiming the old historic cemetery!

Old Prairieville Cem, Rice Co MN

Old Prairieville Cemetery, outside Faribault, Minnesota

John Spencer grave, Old Prairieville Cem, Rice Co MN

Headstone of my ancestor, John Spencer

Pete and I left the cemetery and headed back to Faribault and the Rice County Museum of History. In the museum, I was able to get some more info on the history of the Old Prairieville area. Then Pete drove me to the public library to use the internet to book our lodging at New Ulm. We drove on a blue highway (14) to the Microtel and had dinner across the parking lot at Appleby’s, where the nice waitress gifted Pete with a package of 100 cardboard beer coasters! We liked our clean third floor room with king bed, although I couldn’t get internet in the room as was advertised.

Friday, August 17 – After breakfast I sat in the lobby with my laptop to use the wireless and checked my mail while Pete chatted with other guests outside the hotel. The weather was perfect… sunny and gorgeous and not too hot. We first went to the Brown County Historical Society and Museum to view the 3rd floor display about the Dakota Conflict, but unfortunately that display was closed until the following Tuesday! OH NO! Disappointed, I instead purchased some books and a DVD about the conflict in their gift shop area. Then Pete and I drove up to see the Hermann the German statue and viewpoint. It was great looking out over beautiful New Ulm. Before we left town, we stopped for coffee at a fun coffee shop/used book store, then headed out of New Ulm toward Lake Shetek.

On the way, we stopped for gas in Sleepy Eye, MN at a Casey’s along highway 14. After he filled up the car, Pete chatted with the people inside the store, who informed him that the town was celebrating “Buttered Corn Days” at the town park and we should head over for some free sweet corn on the cob. So we did! We found the park, wandered through the craft booths and bought tickets for lunch. Tickets were 50 cents each, and my hot dog was 4 tickets ($2) and Pete’s burger was six tickets ($3). The sweet corn was free and DELICIOUS, served from vats of melted butter! Yum!! We were so glad to have taken the opportunity to do something interesting and spontaneous.

Buttered Corn Days, Sleepy Eye, MN

Buttered Corn Days in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota

Down the road in Walnut Grove, we also did something spontaneous by pulling over at the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum. There we took pictures and looked around in the gift shop.

Pete and I were the first of our bunch to arrive at the Lake Shetek Lodge. After we checked into our room, Pete and I drove around to the east side of the lake and into the State Park. We bought our 3-day pass at the park entrance and proceeded in to hear Paul Carpenter speaking for the Hatch group and the Fool Soldiers people there. There we also met Craig and Deb Eastlick and their son Ethan and family, including young Brett. When I told him we didn’t know how his Cornelius was related to our Alexander, he responded, “…yet!” and I said, “I like this guy!!” Craig and clan were camping at the new campground.

Saturday, August 18 – We were up early to get back to the park for the bus tour. Our guides were Jesse James, local retired teacher who has become very involved in Shetek history and lives on the Hurd cabin site, and Roseann, the park ranger we’d met ten years earlier. Back in 2002 she performed a memorized monologue as Lavina Eastlick telling her story, and she did so again this time.

Lake Shetek tour, monument

The monument at Lake Shetek

After the bus tour, we met Tom, Donna and Presley Eastlick who had arrived at Lake Shetek to join in the commemoration and were waiting to take the second bus tour. As they got on the bus, the six of us in the Lewis party went to lunch at the Trail’s Edge General Store near the park. We had sandwiches, burgers and root beer floats! It had been years since we enjoyed root beer floats!

Then we drove out to Slaughter Slough to see the new kiosk and hear Bill Bolin speak about the rock monument there. We didn’t walk the quarter mile out to the rocks as it was very hot and I was exhausted due to standing for too long with my bad knee. But we did drive back to the park and sit in on the video playing at the interpretive center, “Return to Shetek: The Courage of the Fool Soldiers,” the same video I had purchased at New Ulm the day before. It was wonderful, featuring interviews with Paul Carpenter, Bill Bolin, Marcella Labeau, Karla Abbott….all the main Shetek players. It was produced by Barbara Brittain, who had contacted me through my blog last year. She was there in attendance at the Lake as one of the Hatch descendants. We were all moved by the video, so much so that Blaine and Sue bought a copy of the DVD in the park office afterwards. Then we all went into the park to the picnic shelter and joined in a meal put on by the Friends of Lake Shetek, for descendants and relatives of the settlers and Fool Soldiers. I had a chance to visit with the other Eastlick relatives there, as well as Marcella Labeau and Barbara Brittain and her sister Bonnie. Then we went to see Roseann appear as Lavina Eastlick.

Sunday, August 19 – Today we just flaked out at the lakeside lodge. Blaine and Sue left to go back to Slaughter Slough and over to Walnut Grove, while Mom, Dad, Pete and I relaxed at the Lodge all day. I showed Mom and Dad my photos taken on the trip up to that point. That night we had dinner at the Key Largo restaurant two doors up from the lodge and we celebrated Dad’s 80th birthday early on our last night together on this trip. Blaine conspired with our waitress to bring chocolate cake with a birthday candle and we all sang “Happy Birthday” to Dad.

Monday, August 20 – Pete and I drove Mom via the interstate to Des Moines to catch her plane. We left bright and early and made good time to get her there early. After we dropped her off, we continued on blue highways to Washington, IA and our hotel Super 8. The gal at the front desk gave us a “welcome package” of maps and brochures and recommended the Frontier Family Restaurant just off the town square. We had our first “home cookin’ meal” and Pete ordered country fried steak… his favorite!! When we got back to our hotel, Pete washed a load of our laundry in the hotel machines.

Tuesday, August 21 – Since we’d had to rise early Monday, we slept in Tuesday. After breakfast at the hotel and a nice chat with Heather, our favorite hotel desk clerk, we drove out to Custer Cemetery and the location of Montgomery M. Crouch’s land. Although no one was home there, we did take some pictures of the house.

Headstone of my ancestor, Thomas Reeves

Headstone of my ancestor, Thomas Reeves

Leslie at Thomas Reeves grave

At the grave of my ancestor, Thomas Reeves

Then we went over to Pleasant Hill Church and Cemetery, where we got to chat with an older shirtless man who was painting the church hallway and basement. He gave us a bit of history. Pleasant Hill is where Mary (Reeves) Crouch’s brother Elijah T. Reeves and his wife Indiana (Custer) Reeves are buried. Then we drove past Samuel R. Young’s land, knocking on the door there to alert the owner before taking pictures.

Washington County, Iowa courthouse

Washington County, Iowa courthouse

After lunch, again at the Frontier Family Restaurant, I visited the courthouse and was able to get a copy of Thomas Reeves’ will! I was so excited to find out they even had it there! The typed summary I had received from the Washington County Genealogy Society by mail in 2009 had been transcribed from a book the volunteers could no longer locate, so I was worried there would be no way to see the handwritten version. Now I think that what was lost was the clerk’s transcript book, as this original-looking, yellowed handwritten will came from the attic at the courthouse!!

Will of Thomas Reeves, Washington Co IA

Will of Thomas Reeves, Washington County, Iowa

I got a Xerox copy and took pictures of the will with my digital camera. Then we went to the public library on the town square, housed in a brand new building since I was there in 2009, and I researched in the basement where the Genealogy Society materials are now stored. Then we drove on to our Super 8 in Burlington, IA.

Hancock County, Illinois courthouse

Hancock County, Illinois courthouse

Wednesday, August 22 – The next morning, we rose early and drove to Carthage, IL for a quick research stop at the courthouse and Kibbe Hancock Heritage Museum/Historical Society. While Pete rested in the car, I did a little research on Isaac Broadhurst, looking for clues about his third wife Catherine (Conner) Redeyford Broadhurst, as I do not know where and when she died. I found a marriage reference for him, but nothing on deaths or burials, so I’m sure they died elsewhere. I hope to find her obituary to learn more about her parents and hopefully their names. While there, I copied some cemetery info on the Rinckels. Then we went for breakfast, but the coffee was terrible due to the funny-tasting water caused by the lake “turning over” according to our waitress.

We drove on to Hannibal, MO, to meet Crouch cousins Nancy and  Fearn for lunch at the Mark Twain Dinette. We visited for over an hour and I showed them some Crouch family photos on my computer. Nancy gave me a little gold colored Quincy pin and we treated them to lunch. Cousin Patti was unable to make the trip north, so instead, we went south to see her.

Pete and I got lost coming out of Hannibal and mistakenly took the scenic route, but soon got back to highway 61 and headed south to Hillsboro. Heavy traffic was stressful and we missed an important turn, but were able to make it into town. We phoned her from town and she came to lead us back to her house. We had a nice, but brief visit. Her hubby Dave arrived home from work and Pete and he had an opportunity to visit over a beer as Patti and I put dinner on the table. She served delicious Italian spaghetti made from her mom’s recipe. It was so great to finally meet this cousin, the one who inspired me to join the DAR and my co-conspirator in Crouch/McCall/Reeves/Feurt/Pieret genealogy.

Pete and I wanted to get past St. Louis before nightfall, so we tore ourselves away right after dinner and headed on to our next hotel stop. It got dark before we could clear the city and its thick traffic. That was probably our most horrendous night due to being so late and driving after dark, with lots of road construction and missing our exit to the Effingham Super 8, having to circle back. A night I’d like to forget.

Thursday, August 23 – We slept in the next morning since it had been after midnight when we got to our hotel. We grabbed a Starbucks, then drove on the interstate to Terre Haute, then east and north on state and county roads to Crawfordsville, Montgomery County, IN. There we ate lunch on the way into town before heading to the beautiful public library and the helpful young librarian who had first become interested in genealogy when she was ten years old. She pulled records for me on the Crouch family and copied the microfilmed will of Andrew Crouch. Then Pete and I went out to Youngs Chapel Cemetery to see if we could find the Joseph Crouch grave listed in the cemetery records for that burial yard. We couldn’t find any Crouches there, but there were many missing and broken stones. Later in checking my records, I discovered MY Joseph Crouch was buried in a different cemetery so we were looking for the wrong Crouches, anyway, although these others are undoubtedly collateral relatives. I did some internet work to flesh out Andrew and his family before retiring that night in our Super 8 at Shelbyville, IN.

Friday, August 24 – We had fallen behind in our itinerary, so we made up for lost time by dispensing with the Delaware Co IN research stop. Instead, we drove from Shelbyville IN directly to Portsmouth, OH, stopping for breakfast at a Country Inn on the highway after the Cincinnati bypass. In Portsmouth we stopped at the Chamber of Commerce first to get a county map. They are big on townships out this way, so the map they gave us was great because it showed all the township boundaries.

Pete took me to the Public Library where they had a great genealogy collection in the basement. I madly copied references to the Feurts and Reeves. There may be some good tidbits in those papers but I won’t know for sure until I digest it all back at home.

The public library in Portsmouth, Scioto, Ohio

The public library in Portsmouth, Scioto, Ohio

At Portsmouth Public Libr

Researching Reeves and Feurt families, Scioto County, Ohio

Then we drove north to find the Feurt cemetery where Mary (Davidson) Feurt was buried. Although we got close to the right area, we gave up when it appeared access in the brush and trees across the train tracks was going to be impossible with the overgrowth and my bad leg. After a quick lunch we headed back over to Lombardsville, which we had passed that morning, to find the Garvin Cemetery where Joseph Feurt is supposedly buried, but found no stone. In rechecking the cemetery records, they only refer to his info as “taken from burial records,” not from a stone-reading. Another source says he is buried in the “Old Pioneer Burial Ground” near Lombardsville, so who knows where that is.

We decided to abandon another research stop to make up for lost time: Flemingsburg, KY. Instead, we left Portsmouth and headed south into Kentucky on a nice highway (23) through beautiful terrain. Pete reminded me that highway 23 is called the Country Music Highway. We stopped for the night at a Super 8 in Prestonsburg, KY. There we found out that a big Nascar race would be going on that weekend in Bristol, not far from Kingsport where we were headed. This pushed up hotel prices considerably, so we decided that we’d make our next hotel reservation in Black Mountain outside Asheville NC. I had stayed there in 2009 and knew Pete would enjoy that area.

Saturday, August 25 – We left Prestonsburg and continued driving south through the beautiful green hillsides of Kentucky on highway 23, arriving at Kingsport, TN by 11:00 a.m. or so. We immediately found the Netherland Inn and were struck by the beauty of the Holston River out in front of the inn, the green of the lawns and wooded hillsides. We walked around the grounds and met the caretaker. The official tour was to begin at 2:00 so we chose to go get lunch first and came back for the tour.

The Netherland Inn, Kingsport, Tennessee

The Netherland Inn, Kingsport, Tennessee

The Netherland Inn is on the National Historic Register, the only site that is both a stage coach stop and a boat yard. It was purchased in 1818 by my 4th great-grandfather, Richard Netherland, and the property stayed in the family for four generations. My branch, Richard Jr., actually moved away from Kingsport in the 1830s. Anyway, the volunteers were incredibly nice and seemed impressed to have a Netherland descendant pay a visit. We took the tour, and were given the royal treatment, including access to areas normally roped off to the public. Afterwards we purchased several items from the gift store, including a framed watercolor print of the Netherland Inn. The volunteers couldn’t have been nicer. I was so pleased with our whole experience there!

We then drove south through more gorgeous countryside and stopped at the most beautiful rest stop EVER, just over the border in North Carolina. Our hotel destination was the Super 8 in Black Mountain, the same one I stayed at in 2009. After our arrival, we were so pleased with the surroundings that we decided to stay an additional night so that we could relax the next day and prepare to ship items home first thing Monday morning from the local UPS Store.

Sunday, August 26 – Just like the previous Sunday at Lake Shetek, we relaxed the entire day. We slept in, lounged around the hotel room, went to the laundromat and bought a few more groceries for dinner. Sometimes you just need a day to kick back. We even found an incredible deal on a small shoulder bag for Pete’s iPad at the Goodwill Store. At that point we decided to stay a third night as our room was very spacious and clean and the price had been reduced to weekday rates after Saturday night. Plus we wondered what we’d do with ourselves if we showed up in Knoxville two days early. We would rather kill time in a quiet and beautiful small town in the mountains than in any city.

Monday, August 27 – First thing in the morning, after sleeping in of course, was to take our big framed print of the Netherland Inn to the UPS store to have it wrapped and shipped home. Then we picked up a USPS Flat Rate Box to fill with my books and DVDs, padded by Pete’s bright orange Lake Shetek sweatshirt. Mission accomplished, we then went and ate breakfast at Louise’s, a local restaurant in an old house. We had a farm-style breakfast while seated on the broad front porch. It reminded Pete of a similar place in his past. We had a laugh when Pete discovered a stick in his grits. Other than that, we agreed it was our best breakfast on the road.

Later in the afternoon, we drove to Lake Tomahawk to check it out. We were rather underwhelmed by this man-made spot, although it was fun getting a little sun by the water. We saw some geese there, including a white one with feathers on his head that looked like he had an afro.

Tuesday, August 28 – We packed up and waited around our Black Mountain Super 8 long enough for me to do our airline check-in online. Then we drove toward Knoxville, but took a side trip to New Market, TN, so that I could show Pete the cemetery there.

New Market Cem, Jefferson Co TN, Goodykoontz stones by tree

New Market, Tennessee cemetery. The Goodykoontz lot is at the foot of the tree in the center back.

I took a few minutes in the hot sun to clean the lichens off the three Raymond stones and two of the Goodykoontz stones. The only one I didn’t clean was Jacob’s headstone, as the way it is tilted forward made it very awkward to get to. Also, unlike last time when Dad and I visited in 2009, the bushes had grown up and almost over the Goodykoontz plot. I would like to contact someone about cutting them back. Pete and I chatted with a man who showed up there to see the headstone of his buddy who died of cancer in 2010 and he suggested we contact the mortuary nearby.

After that we attempted a final “blue highway” route going to our Days Inn near the Knoxville airport. Unfortunately, we took a few wrong turns and ended up a bit lost. But thanks to helpful people at gas stations, we were able to get there. For dinner we ordered out pizza.

Wednesday, August 29 – We rose at 6:00 a.m. to allow PLENTY of time to return our rental car and get checked in at the airport. Both tasks turned out to be a breeze. We flew from Knoxville to Denver for a quick change of planes, then flew to SeaTac. We took a cab from there to Mom and Dad’s to get my car and drove home to PT.

Another incredible journey in the books….

My favorite highlights were:
Our warm welcome in Poplar
Our time at Lake Shetek
Old Prairieville Cemetery with Tim and Sue Lloyd
Finding the will of Thomas Reeves
Meeting Cousins Nancy, Fearn and Patti
Our experience at the Netherland Inn

Most restful sleep: Lake Shetek Lodge.
Worst sleep: Empire Builder.
Best research facility: (three-way tie) Crawfordsville IN Public Library, Washington IA Genealogy Room in the basement of the new library, Portsmouth Public Library genealogy collection in the basement.
Most helpful genealogy volunteer: Crawfordsville IN (although the older gentleman at Carthage was really nice).
Best home-cooked meal at a restaurant: (tie) Frontier Family Restaurant, Washington IA and Louise’s, Black Mountain NC.
Best REAL home-cooked meal: (tie) Beck’s slush burgers, Patti’s spaghetti.
Bed bugs: NONE.
Best hotel: Microtel, New Ulm MN; Super 8, Washington IA; Super 8, Black Mountain NC.
Friendliest hotel clerk: Heather, Super 8, Washington IA.
Worst drive: Hillsboro MO to Effingham IL.
Worst drivers: Missouri.
Best roads: Hwy from St. Louis to Hillsboro MO; Hwy 23 from Portsmouth OH to Kingsport TN.
Worst signage: Effingham IL construction zone, Pigeon Forge TN Dollywood area.
Most beautiful drive: around Lake Shetek; southern MN in the early morning; scenic road south of Hannibal MO; Hwy 23 through KY, VA.
Handiest laundry room: Super 8, Washington IA.
Best (only) welcome package: Super 8, Washington IA.
Disappointing lack of internet: Empire Builder, Lake Shetek Lodge, Microtel at New Ulm MN (none in room but lobby worked).
Best corn on the cob: Sleepy Eye MN.
Favorite town: (tie) New Ulm MN and Black Mountain NC.
Most picturesque historical courthouse: (tie) Washington IA and Carthage IL.
Worst dinner: Doritos and Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Burlington IA.
Best root beer float: Trail’s Edge General Store, outside Lake Shetek State Park.
Warmest welcome: Poplar parish, Patti & Dave, Netherland Inn volunteers, and the storekeepers of Black Mountain NC.
Best rest stop: just over the border into NC on Hwy 23.
Most unusual animal: afro-goose at Lake Tomahawk, Black Mountain NC.

Posted in Conner, Crouch, Eastlick, Feurt, Goodykoontz, Reeves, Spencer, Young | Comments Off on Road Trip 2012

Land and Heirs of William Eastlick (Easlick) of Crawford County, Pennsylvania

Land and Heirs of William Eastlick (Easlick) of Crawford County, PA
Deed Book A-2, page 86

Cornelius Easlick & others (heirs at law of William Easlick, decd) to Sidney Hawkins
Recorded August 11th 1847
Wm McLaughlin, Recorder

This Indenture, made this 20th day of May AD. 1845, Between Cornelius Eastlick, John Eastlick, William Eastlick, Stephen Olds & Mary his wife, Jasper Maybe Guardian of the heirs of Abigail Maybe, deceased, John Osburn & Betsey his wife, William Davis and Sarah his wife, Edward Priest & Elsa his wife, & Oliver Hitchcock & Lucrecia his wife heirs at law of the Estate of William Eastlick late of Crawford County Penna, deceased of the first and Sidney Hawkins of Crawford Co. Penna of the second part, Witnesseth, That the said parties of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred & eighty dollars to them in hand paid by the said Sidney the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, Have granted bargained sold aleined released and confirmed & by these presents do grant, bargain sell alein release & confirm unto the said Sidney Hawkins & to his heirs & assigns all the following described lot of land situate in the township of South Shenango Crawford County Penna and Bounded as follows viz Beginning at a post the South East corner of said lot of land, thence West Sixty one & eight tenth perches to a post, thence North by lands of same tract fifty five & five tenth perches to a post, thence West by lands of same tract twelve & eight tenth perches to a post, thence North by lands of D Hollister forty seven and five tenth perches to a post, thence East by Hollister and others Seventy four & six tenth perches to a post, thence South by land of Galbraith’s heirs one hundred & three perches to the place of beginning containing forty two acres of land be the same more or less.  Together with all and singular the rights privileges hereditaments & appurtenances whatsoever thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining, and also all the estate right title interest property claim and demand whatsoever of them the said first parties in law or equity or otherwise howsoever of in to or out of the same, To have and to hold lot hereby granted mentioned or intended so to be with the appurtenances unto the said Sidney his heirs & assigns to the only proper use of the said Sidney his heir and assigns forever, And the said parties of the first for themselves their heirs executors and administrators doth covenant promise grant and agree to & with the said Sidney his heirs & assigns that they the parties of the first part and their heirs the said above described lot or piece of land, hereditaments & premises hereby granted with the appurtenances unto the said Sidney Hawkins his heirs and assigns against them the said parties of the first part and their heirs & against all and every other person or persons lawfully claiming or to claim the same in, by, through, or under them their heirs or assigns or any of them, shall  & will warrant and forever defend by these presents.  In Witness whereof the first parties to these have hereunto set their hands and seals this twentieth day of May AD. 1845.

Signed, sealed and delivered in person of J. B. Herrick

Cornelius Eastlick
John Easlick
William Easlick
Elcy Priest
Lucretia Hitchcock
Mary Olds
Oliver Hitchcock
Edward L  x    Priest
for the heirs of Abigail Maybe
Jasper Maby

Mercer County ss
Before the subscriber a Justice of the peace in & for the said county appeared personally or by their agent the within named Cornelius Eastlick John Eastlick William Eastlick Stephen Olds and Mary his wife Jasper Maybe guardian for the heirs of Abigail Maybe deceased (struck through:  John Osburn and Betsy his wife by their agent John Eastlick) Edward Priest & Elsa his wife Oliver Hitchcock & Lucrecia his wife and acknowledged the within written Indenture to be their act and deed and consented the same should be admited of record as such.  In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 20th day of May A.D. 1845.

Joseph B. Herrick

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Will of Cornelius Eastlick, ca. 1790-1880

Crawford Co, PA Will Book E, Page 305

             In the name of God amen.  I Cornelius Eastlick of the Township of West Shenango, County of Crawford and State of Pennsylvania, being in ill health, but of Sound and disposing mind and memory, calling to mind the frailty and uncertainty of human life, and being desirous of settling my worldly affairs, and directing how the estates with which it has pleased God to bless me shall be disposed of after my decease, while I have strength and capacity so to do, do make and publish this my last will and Testament, hereby revoking all other wills and testaments heretofore by me made.

And, first I commend my mortal being to him who gave it, and my body to the earth, to be buried with decency by my executors hereinafter named.  And as to my worldly estate and all the property with which it has pleased God to bless me, or which I may die posessed of, or to which I shall be entitled to at the time of my decease, I devise, bequeathe and dispose of in the manner following

To wit..

My will is that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid out of my estate, as soon after my decease as shall by my executors be found convenient.

Item.    I give, bequeathe and devise to my wife Ellenor, the use, income and improvements of my Farm, situate in West Shenango T.P. Crawford County and State of Pennsylvania, together with all my property both personal or mixed which I shall die possessed of.  To have and to hold the same during her natural life.  And my will is after my wife Ellenor’s decease and her debts and funeral charges paid, that the residue be divided to my Sons and Daughters as follows

Item.    First I give to Frederick one hundred Dollars For Services rendered after he was twenty one years of age.

Item.    I give to Hiram C. two hundred dollars for work done after he was twenty one years of age.

Item.    I desire that Cornelius shall have fifty dollars deducted from his share on account of money that he has already received.

Item.    And my desire is that my Daughter Marilla Shall have Fifty dollars which I think is all that she deserves as her whole share and dowry.

And, finaly, After all the above moneys are paid as above bequeathed, together with all debts, funeral charges as before stated, then whatever money is left and the residue thereof, I desire shall be divided equally between my Sons and daughters to wit..  James W., Mary An, Hiram C., Frederick, Ira D., Cornelius, William, & George.  The property, both real personal or mixed is to be converted into ready money by my Executors So that the above may be complied with.

And lastly I do appoint my wife Ellenor and George W. Johnson to be the Executors of this my last will and testament

In testimony whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name to this my last will and testament and affixed my seal this third day of May eighteen hundred and seventy five (1875).

Instrument                                           [signed] Cornelius Eastlick

The above of one sheet of Paper was, at the date thereof declared to us to be the last will and testament of the testator Cornelius Eastlick and in our presence subscribed his name to the Same

[signed] T H. Johnson

[signed] V. Hitchcock


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Will of Alexander Eastlick, 1741-1821

The WILL of ALEXANDER EASTLICK (1741-1821), Steuben County, New York

 In the name of God, Amen–  I Alexander          of Reading County of Steuben and State of New York, considering the uncertainty of this mortal life, and being of sound memory blessed be Almighty God for the same, do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner and for following that is to say–  First I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Elizabeth Eastlick the East room of my dwelling house, messuage or tenement and garden east of said room containing about a half acre lying and being in the Town of Reading County of Steuben.  I do also give and bequeath to my son John Eastlick the west room of the above mentioned dwelling house, and twenty acres of land with the appurtenances to his heirs and assigns forever, which includes all my freehold estate lying and being in the town of Redding (sic) County of Steuben and State of New York– I further give and bequeath to my son William Eastlick the sum of four dollars, and my daughters Fanny Eastlick and Betsey Eastlick four dollars each, John to pay two of them and Jacob the other, and John to pay the debts that I am owing my personal estate goods & chattels of what kind and nature soever, and one third of the produce of my above described freehold I give and bequeath the same to my said beloved wife– further I do hereby appoint my son John Eastlick Administrator of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me made–

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty sixth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand, eight-hundred and nineteen

Alexander Eastlick.

Signed, sealed and published by the above named Alexander Eastlick to be his last will and testament in the presence of us, who have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses in the presence of the testator.

John Roberts
Henry F. Hall
Moses H. Benham

Steuben County Surrogates Office SS–
Be it remembered that on the 6th day of May 1821, personally appeared before me, John Metcalfe, Surrogate in and for the County of Steuben, Henry F Hall one of the subscribing witnesses to the last will and testament of Alexander Eastlick the testator, and affirmed according to law and saith that he was present and saw Alexander Eastlick sign the same, and acknowledged it to be his last will and testament in his presents (sic) and in the presents (sic) of the other two subscribing witnesses, (viz) John Roberts, & Moses H. Benham, and that they subscribed their names respectively, to the same in the presents (sic) of the testator as witnesses, and that the testator was at the time of a sound & disposing mind and  memory, and further this deponent saith not

John Metcalfe Surrogate

John Eastlick qualified as the Executor of the last will and testament of Alexander Eastlick deceased– this 14th June 182_ (last digit blank)

Recorded the 30th
day of October 1828
W Woods Surrogate

The People of the State of New York by the grace of God free and independent to John Eastlick Executor in the last will and testament of Alexander Eastlick late of the town of Reading in the county of Steuben, send greeting–

Whereas the said Alexander Eastlick deceased, as is alleged, made his last will and testament, and therein named you the said John Eastlick Executor of his Estate, having whilst living, and at the time of his death, goods chattels and credits within this State by means whereof the granting letters testamentary, and also the auditing and final discharging the amount thereof doth appertain unto us, and we being desirous that the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased may be well and faithfully applied and disposed of, do grant unto you the said John Eastlick full power by these presents to execute and perform and dispose of all and singular the said goods, chattels and credits, to the tenor and affect of the said last will and testament of the said deceased, to ask, demand, receive and recover the debts which unto the said deceased whilst living, and at the time of his death did belong, and to pay the debts which the said Alexander did owe so far as the law requires, thereby requiring you to make or cause to be made a true and perfect inventory of all and singular the said goods, chattels and credits which were of the said deceased, which have or shall come to your hands, possession or knowledge, and the same so made to exhibit into the Office of the Surrogate of the County of Steuben afforesaid (sic), at or before the expiration of six calender (sic) months from the date hereof, and also to render a just and true account of the Administration thereof when thereunto lawfully required– and we do by these presents depute, constitute and appoint you the said John Eastlick Executor the said goods, chattels and credits which were of the said Alexander Eastlick deceased-  In Testimony whereof we have caused the seal of our said Surrogates of our said County of Steuben to be hereunto affixed-  Witness John Metcalfe Surrogate of said County at Bath this sixth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand, eight-hundred and twenty one, and of our Independence the forty fifth year.

John Metcalfe Surrogate
Recorded the 6th day of June 1821
John Metcalfe Surrogate
Recorded the 30th day of October 1828
Wm Woods, Surrogate

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Old Prairieville Cemetery

2 September 2012

To the Editor, Faribault Daily News

My husband and I recently visited Faribault as one of many stops on a 16-day “genealogy road trip.” Our specific Rice County destination was the Old Prairieville Cemetery east of town. I descend from an early pioneer to that area, John Spencer, whose gravestone was recently discovered during the restoration of the cemetery. I found out about this discovery by accident back in January of 2011, when I stumbled upon the website about the cemetery. The website led me to Tim and Susan Lloyd, who have spearheaded the project of restoring the Old Prairieville Cemetery.

What an amazing amount of work they have done! What was once a thicket of trees and underbrush is now an attractive and peaceful spot. Not only have they handled clearing the underbrush, planting grass and maintaining the cemetery, but they have discovered buried headstones and coordinated those discoveries with the original plot location information. Many of the stones have now been raised and reset to their original places. Other community organizations have also contributed to the efforts there. Grants, individual gifts and donations of volunteer labor have been greatly appreciated. Genealogist Margaret Kelly has helped the Lloyds research the lives of these early Rice County pioneers, contributing to the collective knowledge of county history.

For Tim and Susan, their mission has been a real labor of love. During this process they have spent countless hours, not to mention their own funds, to restore this burying ground back into a respectful place to honor the people at rest there. What a service to genealogists like me all over the country who can trace a line of family back to Rice County’s early days. To top it off, Tim and Susan met us at the cemetery to give us the grand tour. We learned first-hand about the story of the cemetery and its restoration.

I urge anyone with family buried at Old Prairieville, or anyone interested in area history, to consider a donation of funds or labor to this fine cause. It doesn’t take long for Mother Nature to reclaim a cemetery when left unattended for a period of time; it takes continued maintenance. For further information, please see the website, The “Friends of Old Prairieville Cemetery” is a non-profit corporation formed in 2008 to support the restoration and preservation of this abandoned pioneer cemetery. Tax deductible donations may be sent to: Friends of Old Prairieville Cemetery, Box 450, Northfield, MN 55057.

We are making our donation today.


Leslie Lewis, 4th great-granddaughter of John Spencer (1781-1867)

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