Archive for the ‘genealogy’ Category

More on Thomas Hardin

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

I’ve wasted enough time that I should spend doing money work on Thomas Hardin. For now, at least. I have learned a few things in the meantime. The Elic White/Thomas Hardin was a different dude. There were lots of Hardins in the West Virginia/Kentucky region (there’s even a Hardin County) at the time, and quite a few folks moving west from the over-harvested forests back east to the virgin ones in the Pacific Northwest. The two Thomases with Comforts were probably some kind of cousins, and both lines kept the alternating generations of sons getting the recurring family names thang. Plus, different branches of Hardins were marrying and shooting different branches of Blankenships throughout the region at the time. It looks like Elic White lived a normal life after the episode which sent him to Oregon; the Thomas Hardin who shot my gg grandfather was a bad bad dude through and through.

When I wrote the previous post I wasn’t sure about the Bateman shooting/robbery in 1901. That really was our guy. One of the newpaper articles about the triple murder/suicide discusses the Bateman episode and tells how TH’s father and step father secured a pardon for him after only part of his sentence had been served.

A few of the articles about TH mention multiple wives, with some of them dead under suspicious circumstances. I haven’t been able to track them down. As I said, there were lots of Hardins and several Thomas Hardins in the area at the time. Several of them got married. But none of the documented marriages seem to be THAT Thomas Hardin. It’s likely that he didn’t document his conquests, but it’s also possible that the newspaper accounts exaggerated his nastiness.

There are also report that he torched a family member’s home, with several people narrowly escaping from the burning building. I can’t find a trace of that in the newpapers of the period.

The circumstances of his marriage to 12 year old Rosa Belle Smith seem really nasty, too. The newpaper accounts of the murder mention assault, possible drugging, kidnapping, etc. But details are hard to come by. Rosie’s father died in 1906. Did TH have something to do with it? I do not know.

Most of the articles about TH are on his page in the genealogy part of my site.

The Strange Case of Thomas Hardin

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

One of the intriguing frustrations about genealogical research is that each answer just generates more questions. Most of the questions are pretty mundane and interesting only to other relatives, but once in a while one stumbles into a web of intrigue and mayhem which is a great story regardless of ones ancestry. I’m trying to untangle one of those at present. I’ve got to get some money work done, so I’ll do a quick post about what I’ve found so far, then I’ll get back to the research later.

I’ve known for quite a few years that William H. Hagerman, Sr., my great-great grandfather, was a victim in a sensational murder in Chehalis, Washington in 1914. The event has intrigued me, and I’ve had fantasies of making a documentary about the murder. The other day, I took a break from work and poked around the web a bit to see what more I could find. The basic facts of the case are pretty simple. WHH and his (third) wife, Artha Mae Justice (I’ll refer to women by their birth names, rather than their married names) were sitting down to supper with Rosa Belle Smith (AMJ’s daughter by a previous marriage) and two other people. Thomas Hardin, estranged husband of RBS, broke in and shot and killed the three diners I’ve named, then went outside and shot himself.


In this round of  research, I’ve been focusing on the perpetrator, Thomas Hardin. He was apparently a very nasty fellow. It started with this newspaper article, which documents hearsay about his violent past without giving many details:



I set out to learn how much of TH’s past I could document. The Oregon City episode was pretty easy. The University of Oregon has an excellent online library of historical newspapers, so I could track down news of that episode. Yes, TH stabbed a man named Frederick Hoffman in 1911. TH was convicted of the crime, but received a suspended sentence because of his family. And I thought liberal judges were a product of the 1960s. The other episodes were not so easy. Without specific dates and locations it’s rather difficult to come up with much. But I did find news reports from Bluefield, WV about Thomas Hardin robbing and shooting a fellow named Bateman. TH was convicted and sentenced to ten years. There’s no age or place of birth given for this Tom Hardin, so I can’t be certain it’s the same dude. It’s also interesting that he was sentenced to ten years in prison just four or five years before the marriage to RBS. But other newspaper articles refer to him being from Virginia, and How many Thomas Hardins could there be going between the Virginia-W Virginia-Kentucky region and the Pacific Northwest around the turn of the Twentieth Century committing various acts of mayhem?

So, at this point I had a more or less coherent timeline for TH. I had census reports from 1880 and 1910. I had an outline of his family tree. The dates were a bit inconsistent, and there were hints of other violent episodes and wives which I haven’t been able to document. Then, I stumbled into “Tom and Comfort Hardin killed Levi Blankenship, a brother of Tom’s wife,
Peggy Blankenship” on the coalexchange site. I’ve visited that site quite a few times. It’s a fountain of (not necessarily reliable) information about the Hagerman family. This Hardin-Blankenship episode ocurred in 1895. The Tom Hardin who commited the murder-suicide had a father named Comfort (he also named a son Comfort, but the son wasn’t born yet). Other online researchers claim the TH of the Blankenship episode changed his name to Alec (or Elic) White, moved to Oregon, and lived under that name until 1932. Those researchers also document a more-or-less coherent timeline for a different (!?) Thomas Hardin. Different birthdates; different census reports, sometimes from the same years; different wives; different death dates. But both Thomas Hardins lived in both the Virginia-Kentucky region and Oregon. Both had close male relatives named Comfort Hardin. Both left a trail of violent crime in their wake. While Thomas Hardin is a fairly common name, it seems bizarre that there would be two of them in the same time period in the same geographic areas with the same strange father/brother/son name commmiting similar violent crimes. There’s got to be a connection…

More research to follow.


More Yeager-Patterson Family History

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, I posted the first part of a long newspaper article called “Yeager-Patterson Family History”. Here’s the second, and final, part. It is perhaps less interesting to people who aren’t related to the Yeagers and/or Pattersons, but it has lots of genealogical info, and some interesting tales about life on the prairie in the late 19th Century. Here goes:

Joseph Yeager, Sr. was a devout Christian and felt the need for a church in the community, so in 1879, was instrumental in having a church built on the corner five miles south of Oxford (where Alvin Williams lives.) The denomination was United Brethren and was named Yeager Chapel in his honor. Services were held there for many years but by 1909, interest waned and the building was sold to the Northern Baptist organization. The Baptists had been having services in the Jenkins schoolhouse the church building was moved two miles south, where it still stands, the Slate Valley Baptist Church.

At the time the Yeager-Patterson party (1874) came there were few acres in cultivation. Good land could be purchased for $400 to $600 a quarter. Farms having a large acreage broken out sold for as high as $1100 per quarter. There were few trees except along the streams, and no fences. Livestock had to he tethered out to pasture or be kept in small corrals. The Pattersons and Yeagers planted Osage Orange hedges and soon had living fences which also served as windbreaks.

Indians were still numerous and bothersome, altho not dangerous. They often camped on Mr. Yeager’s place on the hill above the ford on the Arkansas River. They would come to the Patterson’s beging food. While the squaws were at the house, an Indian man would be at the corn crib filling his arms with ear corn.

In 1877, Mrs. Joseph Yeager, Sr. [Elizabeth Lawrence] died and was the first person to be buried on Mr. Yeager’s farm overlooking the river. Not only was it a family cemetery, but others of the Rainbow Bend and Slate Valley community are buried there. One of the last persons interred there was Archie Patterson, 13 years old, son of the John Patterson’s in 1903.

Mr. Yeager later married a Mrs. Sarah Roe from Illinois and were the parents of a daughter, Grace, who became Mrs. Will Teter. Joseph Yeager, Sr. died January 18, 1898 at age 85. Mrs. Sarah Yeager died around 1906 or 1907. Both are buried in the Yeager cemetery.

Joseph Yeager, Jr., and wife, Amelia Woods Yeager and family lived on their farm, six miles south and three-fourths east until 1883, when they rented the farm and moved to Oxford, where he engaged in the milling business and in a hardware concern. They moved to Winfield in 1890 where he sold mulberry coal and later was in real estate. They were the parents of six children namely: Irene ( Mrs. Willlam Spence); Addie ( Mrs. Eli Cott–maybe H. C. ‘s relatives ); Bertha ( Mrs. Calvin Collins); Stella ( Mrs. Frank Johnson); Leona ( Mrs. John Townsend) and Joseph O. Yeager who married Lena Wimer. Mrs. J. W Ycager died ‘Oct. ’9, 1917 and Mr. Yeager lived to past 98 years of age, dying Nov. 10, 1941. They are buried in the Oxford Cemetery.

Descendants living in this vicinity are grandchildren: Ray Spence, Harold Johnson, Mrs. Marie Collier and Mrs. Mabel Maddox, all of Winfield. Great grand-children:. Buddy Spence, Mrs. Howard Rush, Mrs. Alvin Williams and Mrs. James Delp, all of Oxford.

After Mr. Yeager’s death, the farm land was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Payton, who are living in the house built by Mr. Ycager in 1880 or ’81.

On the [Celia Yeager & John Davis] Patterson farm from that December in 1874 until the summer of 1910, when they moved to Wellington, renting their farm; the usual changes from the pioneer shanty to a more commodious house, as well as other improvements and increases of acreage, the joy of three weddings, the sorrow in the loss of those loved; truly, the living proof and example that “It takes a heap of livin’ in a house to wake a home.” Retirement from the farm, but not retirement from service to the family, friends, church and community. They celebrated their golden wedding in 1924 and had their 56th anniversary before John Patterson’s death in October, 1930 at age 79. Celia died February 26, 1959 just 4 days before her 104th birthday.

They were the parents of six children; Merton R.; Mabel (Mrs. Lee Condit); Ione ( Mrs. Fred. Woods); Archie L.; Noble W.; and Glen E. Mrs. Ione Woods resides at Riverview Manor and Glen lives in Leavenworth.

Residing in this community are grandchildren; Raymond Patterson, and Thoburn Woods of Oxford; Oleta (Woods) Barth of Wellington; Fern (Patterson) Pray and Velma (Condit) Hesket, both of Winfield; Helen (Condit) Hutchins, and Sterling Condit, both of Geuda Springs. Great grandchildren are Calvin Woods, Karen (Woods) Rebold, and Nelda (Woods) Miller of Oxford; Dale Hutchins, Donald Hesket and, Donna (Condit) Swanson of Geuda Springs, and Mabel (Hesket) King of Winfield.

The Patterson farms are still owned by the family: the Merton Patterson heirs, Glen Patterson and Mrs. Noble Patterson of Junction City.

The Frank [Francis Marion] Yeagers, (Mrs.Yeager [Amelia Louisa Patterson] was a sister of John Patterson) lived on the farm until 1902, when they sold the farm and moved to Centralia, Washington. Mrs. Patterson (Amelia) died October 8, 1940, age 84, having celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary, on May 22, of that year. Frank was a Civil War veteran and there were few alive at the time of his death, July 21, 1946, age 99 years.

They were the parents of fourteen children 10 growing to adulthood. The youngest daughter [Lula Geneva Yeager] is the only child living, and resides in Washington. None of the descendants live in Kansas.

Will and Grace Yeager Teter lived on the Joseph Yeager, Sr. homestead for many years, also in Oxford and Wichita. They celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary before Mr. Teter’s death in 1960. Mrs. Teter died in 1967, age 88 yrs. They were the parents of seven children, namely; Joe, Mary, Bertha (Mrs. Vern Holman), Donald, Dorothy, Leslie and Beulah (Mrs. Ray Lewis), The farm is the property of Mrs. Teter’s heirs and, is farmed by a grandson. Those living in the area are Mrs. Vern Holman, a daughter and grandsons, Gaylord and Jerry Holman.

Jerimiah (Jerry) Patterson, brother of John and AmelIa (Mrs. Frank) Yeager; and his wife Celia Smock Patterson came to Kansas in 1875 or ’76 and bought the farm mile north of the Rainbow Bend corner. They lived there the rest of their lives. Jerry died November 19, 1925, one month before their 55th wedding anniversary at the age of 75. Mrs. Patterson died May 31, 1943, age 91. Both are buried in the Oxford cemetery. They were the parents of six children. They are Laura (Mrs. Grant Zerger), Samuel, Worden; Libbie; Nora and Sadie (Mrs. Ora Johnson), None of their descendants are living in this vicinity.

Another brother Samuel B. and wife, Harriet Omstead Patterson came to Kansas in 1881 and bought the farm across from the Rainbow Bend school, where the Ralph Bell’s now live. Samuel died December 26, 1896, age 43. Mrs. Patterson died September 15, 1927 age 91, They were the parents of nine children. They are Ethel Keys Bigley; Chauncey E.; Elwood; Clare; Oakley; Gladys and Glen, twins; Vern and Vera, twins. Miss Vera Patterson formerly of Oxford, now resides in Wellington. Leslie Keys, formerly of Oxford is a grandson.

[Auto] Biography of Samuel Oliver Bereman

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Several months back, I inherited a box full of family stuff: photos, newspaper clippings, report cards, etc. One of the items in that box was a six-page handwritten biography of my mother’s father’s mother’s father, Samuel Oliver Bereman. Perhaps he wrote it for his GAR chapter, as the mentions his GAR post in the last paragraph, and says little else about his post-war life. I’ve transcribe the document as well as I could; the handwriting is a bit of a challenge. Here it is in its entirety:

Atchison Kansas March 11/02

The subject of this sketch, S.O. Bereman, was born at Bellville, Indiana February 22nd 1842.

In the fall of 1845 with his parents he moved by wagon to Henry County Iowa and spent his boyhood upon a farm and getting only a common school education. The year 1858 he spent in Kansas, six miles south of Topeka where his older brother had entered upon good land, and in 1860 he crossed the plains to the new gold fields of Colorado, on his return to his home in the early winter Abraham Lincoln had been elected President and the mutterings (?) of the great storm which was so soon to break upon the land were even then beginning to be heard.

On October 25th 1861 he enlisted in Co. K 4th Iowa Cavalry then being recruited a week into camp at Mount Pleasant the county seat, where the Regt. continued (?) drilling &  doing camp round duty until in Feby. ’62 when they were ordered south. Stopping a few weeks at Benton Barracks St. Louis the Regt. was ordered to join Gen [Samuel R.] Curtis then on his way to Little Rock Ark.

Gen Curtis failed to [take(?) looks like "nuch"] Little Rock and after a long and arduous march   through the heat and dust with scant substances(?) they reached Helena, Artkansas. The regt. had been in a few light skirmishes  and had its baptism having lost several men in killed and wounded.

During the fall and winter of 62/63 they lay in camp at Helena  making frequent scouts (?) into the interior and very nearly returning without having had a scrap with the Johnies. In the spring of 1863 the regmt. went aboard transports and went down the  Miss. to join Gen Grant, then begining preparations(?)   to capture(?) Vicksburg.

During the greater part of the seige the 4th Iowa Cavalry were the only cavalry troops with Gen. Grant’s army and their duties were arduous in the extreme. The men were in their saddles every day and many nights, upon one of their excursions toward Black River  beyond which Rebel Gen. Johnson (sic, should be Johnston) lay, and while felling trees to block the road a detail of 120 men of this regmt. were surprised and surrounded by Starks brigade of Rebel Cavalry and lost ji___(?) half their numbers in killed and wounded and prisoners.

Immediately after the city surrendered, the regmt. went with Gen Sherman to capture or drive off  Johnsons (sic, again) army  which fell back to Jackson, Miss. Coh___ after a siege of ten days Johnston evacuated and the troops returned to Black River near Vicksburg.

Early in the siege of Vicksburg,  S.O. Bereman was detailed as a courier for Gen Sherman and was on his staff until late in the fall when Sherman left that dept. The regmt. remained here all winter with occasional (?) scouting—one of which was to Natches and lasted several weeks.

In Feby. 1864 the regmt. went with Gen Sherman on the Meridian Expedition and on their return to camp, the most  of the men having   re-enlisted as Veterans for their years were sent home on a thirty day furlough.

Returning the early part of April they disembarked at Memphis Tenn. and remained there until Sept 2nd. During this summer they were almost constantly engaged in fighting Gen Forrest  and his army. One such engagement [the Battle of Brice's Crossroads] was at Guntown in  Miss. when Forrest completely routed our force under the miserable incompetence of Gen. Sturgis, the latter through blundering lost his train of 200 wagons—all his artillery and more than half his command. The brigade of cavalry to which the 4th Iowa belonged brought up the rear on two days and two nights—constant without rest or food and saved many of the infantry from capture. The four howitzers of the brigade were all the guns saved to the army. The regmt. lost 70 men in this engagement.

Immediately after this another army under A.J. [Andrew Jackson] Smith also had arrived at Memphis went out and at Tupelo paid back Gen Forrest with interest all we owed him. The regmt. was with Smith on this trip and suffered severely—but not so much as at Guntown.

On Sept. 2nd the Regmt.   Started on the “Price Raid” Expedition. Going to near Little Rock  it joined A.J. Smith’s Command and followed Price through Ark. Mo and Kansas and to the Arkansas River in the Indian Territory where the chase was abandoned  on Nov. 8th. Going into camp in the snow and cold they took a vote—it was unanamous for “Lincoln and the vigorous prosecution of the war”.

The next day they started back—??—half starved—half clad—in the snow and ice half the men dismounted—to St. Louis when they arrived on the 1st day of Dec. having been on the march constantly for 3 months.

On this trip Price’s army was completely destroyed or dispersed. There were several engagements—notably at Big Blue—Marais des Cygnes —Mine Creek & Newtonia.

From St. Louis the next move was to Louisville Ky on January 1st 1865, the latter part of Feby they were loaded onto boats and went down the Ohio to the Tenn. River & up that to Eastport near the Miss & Alabama line where Gen J.H. [James Harrison] Wilson had gathered an army of about 15000 cavalry and very soon were started south & for nearly two months heard no word from the north.

On this raid Selma and Montgomery, Columbus & Macon Ga. were captured after hard fighting. The enemy killed or captured on this raid exceeded the number of our[?] command. The ??? of property—such as arsenals—factories and war material—including one gun boat at Columbus—would aggregate many millions of dollars.

At Macon a flag of truce reached us on April 22nd—the first news we had had from the north— the war was over. It was while waiting for news that we heard of the assassination of Pres. Lincoln.

After a few weeks’ rest the army moved to Atlanta & on its way up the 4th Cavalry participated in the capture of Jeff. Davis. The regmt. had the honor of capturing seven of Davis’ cabinet— Alexander Stephens—vice pres.—Robert Toombs—Stephen R. Mallory sec. of Navy, B?? R. Hill—Senator & Gen & Hershel V. Johnson— but missed the great prize.

They lay at Atlanta until August 10th when they started north & arriving at Davenport Iowa were mustered out Aug.  25th. The regmt. lost in killed wounded and dischaged for disabilities [what happened to the rest of that sentence?]

Com??? Bereman was with his Regmt. the whole of its service & was in nearly every engagement & campaign of any importance. His family sent nine soldiers to the field—his father—six brothers & two brothers in law.

After returning home being in very poor health he attended school & taught some until in 1868 he engaged in the drug business which he continued all his life. In July 1873 he came to Atchison Kansas & in 78[?]  joined John A. Martin—then Atchison Post 93 [of the GAR, a CW veteran's group] and has held the office of adjt.—Q.M. & Commander.

Ilinois to Kansas by Covered Wagon, 1874

Friday, February 17th, 2012

My brother gave me a photocopy of a newspaper article titled “Yeager-Patterson Family History”. Its source is not noted, but it appears to be from a Sumner County, Kansas newspaper from the late 1960s or early 70s. Here’s the first part, detailling my father’s mother’s family’s journey from Illinois to Kansas:

The Yeagers and Pattersons (John D.) came to Kansas, in October of 1874, the grasshopper year, from near Ottawa, La Salle County, Ill. Frank [Francis Marion] Yeager had almost frozen to death as he came home from work at a neighbor’s where he was shelling corn. That spring, he was unable to work, so hoped to find land in a warmer climate.

He came to visit relatives near Atlanta, Kan. He didn’t like it there. Someone told him to go to Oxford in Sumner County. There was good land there on the Arkansas River; so he hired a horse and rode over to Oxford and went to a land office. The land agent, Abbot, took him five miles south and in the mile east, he found what lie was looking for. He wrote his father [Joseph Yeager Sr.], who came out, by train to Wichita, which was the end of the line, and hired a horse and buggy and came to Oxford to look at the land. They purchased three farms in that mile and one a mile south, and returned to Illinois to dispose of their property there.

Here is the account of their journey to Kansas as told by Mrs. John Patterson [Cecilia F. Yeager], and taped by her son Glen, of Leavenworth. She was 82 years old when this was taped. She lived to within four days of her 104th birthday, dying February 26, 1959.

“We all sold our crops, our cow and pigs, four of them, and with $250 started out on the great adventure on September 22, 1874. My two brothers J.[Joseph Jr.] W. Yeager, wife [Amelia Jane Wood] and three children [Irene, Bertha, and Adell], Frank [Francis Marion] Yeager, wife [Amelia Louisa Patterson] and one child [Eva B. Yeager], and a Bill Weston who drove father’s team and wagon (wagons were covered). Brother Joe had an extra horse and we had a two year old colt “Fly”.

When we started, we had a sheet iron stove and we thought we would cook our dinners as well as supper and breakfasts. Just one day was enough of that. It wouldn’t cool and took so long to cook so after the first day we ate cold dinners and cooked supper and breakfast. I had packed a three gallon jar of butter before I left, being oetween 20 and 25 pounds, so we had butter all the way. We had a 20 pound cheese to start with. We bought another in Iowa and another in Kansas. We had plenty of sorghum, too. Every night we would cook a large kettle of potatoes and sometimes had sweet potatoes, too. We bought our bread of course; they were one pound loaves. Once we bought thirty-two loaves at once for $2.00, four loaves for a quarter, and ate six of them for dinner. We bought beef and pork steak for supper and breakfast and had a large coffee pot full of coffee for breakfast. We bought milk and had cream for coffee and milk for the children. We kept well.

We stopped two Saturdays at noon and did some washing and rested the horses. We rested two Sundays, too, and traveled the rest of them. Had a sick horse one evening. Along toward evening when we saw some hay, we all would stop and buy enough for the horses to feed that night. We were only in rain one day in Illinois and the rest was quite pleasant.

We left our home on Tuesday, September 22, 1874. We crossed the Mississippi River on the next Tuesday at Burlington, Iowa, on an open barge only large enough for two wagons and teams. The other two teams when they saw their companions pulling away from shore, had to he held hack, to keep them from attempting to swim the Mississippi. We went west about halfway across Iowa and turned south into Missouri on the next Tuesday, and crossed the Missouri River on a bridge at Leavenworth, Kan. the next Tuesday. We went to Big Springs and stayed a day and two nights with Uncle Jake (Jacob) Yeager. A week from the following Friday we landed in Oxford and there (rented) a store building until we could arrange to move out to our farm. This was October 23, 1874, our trip having taken 31 days.

We had no bad luck on the road; only once we had a scare hut it proved to be only a scare. As we were coming through Platte County, Mo., not far from the home of the James boys who were train robbers and were thought to be dangerous, we met two men on horseback with their revolvers in their holsters on the saddles. It was the middle of the afternoon, but we thought nothing of it, but in an hour or so, the same two men passed us again and turned in their saddles to look into our wagons. We all noticed that. Then there was a fork in the road not far ahead of us and they turned in their saddles and motioned us to come the road they were taking. This was the road we took as there was a sign at the fork pointing to that road to go to Leavenworth. That night we camped in a nice little valley and as usual, we headed our wagons north, south, east and west with room at the back of each wagon for the horses to stand tied to each wagon. In the night we were awakened by a noise as of something taking a step or two and then silence. We listened a bit, then John raised up and peeked out the small hole in the back of the wagonsheet, and behold Belle, one of Joe’s horses, had come untied and was moving a step at a time and getting some grass. We were all awake, we found, and our fears relieved.

On this trip to Kansas, Joe Yeager [Jr.] once stated that their caravan met more than 300 wagons returning to the eastern states from Kansas where drought and the ravages of the grasshoppers had discouraged settlers. They heard some dire reports of conditions in Kansas. He also recalled having his 31st birthday somewhere in Iowa on the long tiresome trip to Kansas.

The day we drove into Oxford, we wrote a letter and sent it right back, that we were in Oxford and then father [Joseph Sr.] had his sale and they came as quick as they could; (Coming by train to Wichita and down to Oxford in a hired hack.) It was about the first of November before they got here. We moved to our farm in December and they built father’s house. He bought the material and had it all fitted and ready to put up, in Illinois. (Thus the first pre-fabricated house came to Sumner County.) A man who lived across the creek came to father and offered to put up the house for—what do you suppose now? Twenty-five dollars. He put up that house for twenty-five dollars. A dollar then was as big around as a hogshead.

The house on our farm was 10 ft by 14ft. made of cottonwood boards, up and down and battened with narrow thin boards. The boards warped and in some places were split. I can see Grandmother Patterson yet, going around with a case knife and a rag, stuffing them in the cracks to keep out the cold. We thought it too small as I had two beds and so we got some dimension lumber at a sawmill and pine boards and shingles in Wichita and built a lean-to bedroom 7 ft. x 14 ft. where we put our beds and my hope chest, which was a wooden box that in those days all dry-goods were shipped in. In the 10 x 14: room we had a bench for water pail and to wash on, a cupboard made of boards, a bureau, table, six chairs, flour barrel, stove and woodbox. The floor was of wide boards. Merton was born in that house November, 1875 and Mabel in May of 1880.

Before we moved down on the farm, we bought a Texas cow, paid $25.00 for her. She wouldn’t let a man milk her. When the men were hauling the goods from Wichita, we Lost our best horse, one father had given me. The summer of ’75 we had no ground broken out except enough for a garden, which did fine. That summer, John bound wheat on a Marsh Harvester, (two men bound the wheat as it was cut) for Mr. Somerville twelve days, receiving $2.00 per day. When the wheat was threshed, they asked him if he would haul a load to Wichita for them. Wheat was $1.00 a bushel and as high as $1.20 per bushel and they paid 15 cents a bushel for hauling. He thought lie could make $6.00 as 40 bushels was as much as they could haul and it took them 10 and one-half days to get it there. He took a load and lost another horse. Cost him $5.00 to have a veterinarian and get her hauled away, so now we had only one three-year horse. Father bought us an old mare and we broke out 19 acres, and John and brother Frank rented thirty acres of Somerville. He furnished the seed which left 15 acres for Somerville and seven and one-half acres for each of us. That fall (1875) father sowed our home place (this was done by broadcasting the plowing and sod breaking by a walking plow) and John harrowed it in.

One morning about nine o’clock, I took a chill and went to bed with ague (malaria). I was just about getting through with my chill when I heard the door open. I just thought, I wonder what’s happened now. Pa came in. I heard him taking off his boots and he came into the bedroom, and Oh, he did look so doleful and he was shaking too. And I couldn’t help but laugh, he looked so distressed. I was burning with fever. There we were, both with ague. We bought quinine in ounce bottles and took near a teaspoon at a time. It was powdered and we took it on the day before we had the chills, three or four doses. The chills came a week apart and if you took the quinine for about three weeks, we wouldn’t have any more chills for awhile — everybody had it nearly. We couldn’t afford to have a doctor.

That was in September. Merton was born in November and for six months we did not have a cent of money; no tea, coffee, nor sugar. John even did without tobacco. In May of 1876, John said to me one day, “Write to Sam (his brother) and tell him we want $20.00.” I did. We made that do until after harvest and we had some wheat to sell. We only had 19 acres and had 300 bushels. We were rich. We sowed about thirty acres that fall and never were we dead broke again.”

~ Celia F. [Yeager] Patterson, March 2, 1937, 82 yr.

Here’s the family of FM Yeager and AL Patterson a little later, circa 1890:

yeager/patterson family, Sumner County Kansas

genealogy redux

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Several years ago, I spent a whole heapa time putting together my family tree. While it took a lot of my time, I didn’t really do anything resembling original research, I just assembled my brother Ric’s stuff, my aunt Beth’s material, notes from various other family members, info from dozens of websites, etc. I put it into a modern gedcom format and created a site for it using PhpGedView. Once the site was up, I pretty much ignored it.

Anyway, last fall, in the Great Web Host Updating Debacle, the site stopped working. For some reason, in the new host configuration, the db script wasn’t working to connect to the database. I was too busy fixing my clients’ sites and doing my regular work to worry too much about it then, but things calmed down a bit at the start of the year, so I resurrected the monster.

Once I got it working, I realized that either my data wasn’t as complete as I thought or some stuff got lost in the shuffle. Information like grandparents’ death dates, which I have easy access to, was missing. So, I started filling the missing info in. And adding pictures and newspaper clippings. And returning to old research dead ends. Even after several years, the dead ends still are dead.

Charles Thomas Yeatts, Stella Susan Ann Barnard, and two of their children

But, my workload hasn’t eased up that much. I don’t have time to fall into bottomless time pits. If any family members out there want to add stuff, it’s pretty simple to set up an account on the site and make changes.

You can visit the site here.

my great-great grandfather was an SOB

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Samuel Oliver Bereman, my mother’s father’s mother’s father, left a journal of his adventures in the Civil War. I’ve had “plans” for some time to do a video blog project, following his journal through the South, visiting battle sites, interviewing historians, and profoundly ruminating. Eventually, I’d take the vlog footage and condense it into a two hour movie that I could sell, take to film festivals, etc. Next time I have a few thousand spare bucks and a couple of spare months… oh, well.

While my snarky family members generally refer to him by his initials, family letters refer to him as “Ol”, short for Oliver, his middle name, contrasting with his father, Samuel Emerson Bereman. I’ll use Ol here.

Anyway, a year or two ago, a bunch of my extended family members got together; I was unable to attend. A box was put aside for me with a bunch of Bereman stuff and miscellaneous tidbits from other branches of the family. Among these papers was Ol’s papers documenting his promotions and his discharge from the military after the war. It seemed like these were cool enough to throw up on the web and see if anybody cares.

Ol’s promotion to Sergeant

Ol’s promotion to First Sergeant

Ol’s discharge

There are a number of interesting documents in this box, including newspaper clippings of the deaths of several Bereman cousins and some personal letters. I’ll try to post a bunch of them as time permits.

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