Genealogically Speaking....
September - December 1999


Weekly column published in The Rushville Times with information furnished by officials of the Schuyler Jail Museum.
Columns written by Susanne Miller, unless otherwise noted.

September 1, 1999
    The Schuyler Citizen April 25, 1860 -- A most shocking accident occurred yesterday evening in this city (Beardstown), by which the wife of our esteemed citizen, Dr. Benjamin Marshall met with a sudden and terrible death. She had mounted her horse for the purpose of accompanying her husband upon a brief pleasure ride when the animal became restive, and rearing upon its haunches, fell backward, the unfortunate lady beneath, and so crushed her that she died within 15 minutes. Truly this has been a terrible and awfully sudden bereavement to the relatives and friends of the deceased, in which they have the profound sympathy of the whole community. (Beardstown, Illinoian)
    Aug. 31, 1999 -- Seeking descendants of Hiram ELLIS(T)ON married 1st Lucy Wilson 1829 Morgan Co., IL, 1 son under 5 in 1830 census. Hiram married 2nd Jane . . ., then living 1850 Adams Co., IL, Northeast twp. with Robert (born 1832) and Sarah (born 1835). Are they Lucy's children? Hiram died 1890 Cedar Co., Missouri. Perhaps father of John B. Elliston living 1870 Adams Co., IL, Northeast twp., born ca 1830? Contact: Janet Pease [address unpublished here].
   We had visitors this past week from the Illinois towns of Mendon, Monmouth, Cuba, Vermont, Colchester and Beardstown. Name being researched was Greenlief.
    The Jail Museum will be closed this coming weekend, Sunday, Sept. 5 and Monday, Sept. 6 for Labor Day holiday.

September 8, 1999
    Researching the family of Nelson and Solomon Wells, who lived in Schuyler County, Ill., in the 1840s and believed to have moved to Texas, not on 1850 census of Schuyler County, Ill., is Mrs. C. E. Faulkner [address unpublished here].
    Researching Benjamin B. Metz, who is buried in or near Chambersburg, Ill., son of Phebe Metz Lawson, who is buried in Rushville City Cemetery, is Mrs. Patsy R. Smith [address unpublished here].
    Visit the Schuyler Jail Museum and Genealogical Center, open 1-5 p.m. daily until Nov. 1.

September 15, 1999
    When doing genealogical research, comparing notes with every distant cousin I can find has been most helpful. Every descendant has been handed down a story about the family, usually different somewhat from the one you might have been told. Just last night a distant cousin from Kansas City called. He gave me several dates I did not have on a distant ancestor, and I have some material ready to send him that he did not have. Sharing my information has always paid off for me. And this cousin is going to the Independence, Mo., library today to look for more. I can't wait to hear what he finds on our Logan line.
    We are very fortunate to have some very old obituaries from the Rushville newspapers dating back to 1859. Our obituary books are found in the Heritage Room and are very helpful to those doing research. Examples are as follows:
    The Schuyler Citizen Nov. 9, 1859:
    George Strong died after a brief illness at this residence in Browning Township on Wednesday the 2nd, age about 78 years. Mr. Strong was one of our early settlers in this county and was well known to many of its citizens. He retained a vigorous old age and we learned he was engaged at work in his son's mill at Pleasantview but a few days prior to his decease. He had been afflicted some time with the Palsy and it was thought he had overworked himself.
    May 2, 1860 -- Judith Duncan Black (I repeat this obituary because it gives a lot of facts for an obituary of such an early date, and because of the number of children it really is amazing.)
    Died in Frederick, Schuyler County, on the 14th inst., Mrs. Judith Duncan Black, wife of Mr. W. A. J. Black of that place in the 49th year of her age. Mrs. Black was born and raised in Shelby County, Kentucky and after her marriage removed first to Indiana and then to Illinois, of which she was a resident for 23 years. She had been a professor of the religion of Jesus Christ for 30 years, the last 18 years of which was spent in fellowship of the Christian Church. She died in the full assurance of a faithful and blissful hope of eternal life. She was the mother of 23 children, 8 of whom with the husband remain to mourn her loss. Of her it may be truly said, "None knew her but to love her, none named her but to praise."
    Visit the jail museum, hours 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily until Nov. 1.

September 22, 1999
    Out of town visitors this past week were from Arizona, North Carolina, Tulsa, Okla., Laguna Hills, Calif., Aurora, New Lenox, Springfield, Macomb and Adair. Names being researched were Bryant, Sherrill, Luttrell, Mitchell, Fleming and Hoke.
    We are having a genealogical seminar Oct. 21. Registration begins at 6 p.m. Lecture 6:30-7:45, break, lecture 8:30-9:15 p.m. Leland K. Meitzler from Heritage Quest magazine will be the lecturer. There will be books to browse and buy, and CD-Roms, etc. Everyone is welcome to attend. For more information call 322-6975.
    Visit the Schuyler Jail Museum and Genealogical Center, hours 1-5 p.m. daily until Nov. 1.

September 29, 1999
    We are having a genealogy seminar Oct. 29. Call the museum for details and registration.
    Check the new bookshelf. We have many new Mayflower descendant books.
    We are happy to have Harold Brooks back working with us again after being off because of surgery and hospitalizations.
    Volunteers are working on the fall and winter "Schuylerites."
    An old time obituary is as follows:
    The Schuyler Citizen, March 28, 1860 -- Thomas Stroop, brother of Sidney and Almira Stroop, died at the Poor Farm on Thursday morning the 8th inst., and was buried in the graveyard belonging to the farm. He was about 35 years old, a widower and leaves a daughter of 8 to 10 years of age now living in Browning twp. He had been on the farm just 8 weeks, having been brought there in consequences of having consumption. He was a man of comparatively little information, having led a somewhat dissipated life, and died withour preparation.
    Visit our museum and genealogical center, hours 1-5 p.m. daily until Nov. 1.

October 6, 1999
    I think all family researchers come to a point when they must decide whether to hire a professional researcher to look for a missing ancestor. I think I'm to that point. In order to complete a family group sheet on the George W. Logan family, I need to find the final resting places and dates of two sons, James M. Logan and Samuel Logan. I have gathered a lot of information on James M. Logan, who was born Nov. of 1850 in Connorsville, Fayette Co., Indiana, to George and Malinda Martin Logan. He married twice that I know of, 1873 to Anna McAdair and 1875 to Levina Simmons. I found a biography on James M. Logan quite by accident by looking through a Davis Co., Iowa 1882 history. He was listed as a station agent in Bloomfield, Iowa (1882). He had been employed by CB & Q Railroad, then Burlington and Southwestern, then Wabash office in Bloomfield, Iowa. I even later found where his son, Andrew, died in Sept. 1909 in LaPlata, Missouri of TB. Again I found this by reading old newspapers. But Andrew was married and his parents were apparently not living in Missouri. Last word I have on James M. Logan was that he lived in Bradford, Iowa in 1915 when one of his older brothers died and this was given in the brother's obituary. So I wrote to library and historical societies in Bradford, Iowa area. A nice lady looked at cemeteries for me but did not find James M. Logan. I feel James M. Logan most likely died in the state of Iowa, but am stumped from 1915. I did put a query in the Iowa State Historical Society newsletter with no result.
    So when to hire a researcher? I feel after contacting local libraries, putting queries in society newsletters or even local newspapers in the area of your missing ancestor, working the internet and exhausting all avenues by mail and telephone, then hire the researcher near the last known location of the missing ancestor. First write to the researcher and ask fees. Send a stamped, self-addressed envelope for a reply.
    How to find a researcher? We have some genealogical publications that give researchers in almost every state. Stop by our genealogical center for help.
    We have people signing up for our genealogical seminar Oct. 29. Stop by the museum and sign up soon. Hours are 1-5 p.m. daily until Nov. 1.

October 6, 1999
    I think all family researchers come to a point when they must decide whether to hire a professional researcher to look for a missing ancestor. I think I'm to that point. In order to complete a family group sheet on the George W. Logan family, I need to find the final resting places and dates of two sons, James M. Logan and Samuel Logan. I have gathered a lot of information on James M. Logan, who was born Nov. of 1850 in Connorsville, Fayette Co., Indiana, to George and Malinda Martin Logan. He married twice that I know of, 1873 to Anna McAdair and 1875 to Levina Simmons. I found a biography on James M. Logan quite by accident by looking through a Davis Co., Iowa 1882 history. He was listed as a station agent in Bloomfield, Iowa (1882). He had been employed by CB & Q Railroad, then Burlington and Southwestern, then Wabash office in Bloomfield, Iowa. I even later found where his son, Andrew, died in Sept. 1909 in LaPlata, Missouri of TB. Again I found this by reading old newspapers. But Andrew was married and his parents were apparently not living in Missouri. Last word I have on James M. Logan was that he lived in Bradford, Iowa in 1915 when one of his older brothers died and this was given in the brother's obituary. So I wrote to library and historical societies in Bradford, Iowa area. A nice lady looked at cemeteries for me but did not find James M. Logan. I feel James M. Logan most likely died in the state of Iowa, but am stumped from 1915. I did put a query in the Iowa State Historical Society newsletter with no result.
    So when to hire a researcher? I feel after contacting local libraries, putting queries in society newsletters or even local newspapers in the area of your missing ancestor, working the internet and exhausting all avenues by mail and telephone, then hire the researcher near the last known location of the missing ancestor. First write to the researcher and ask fees. Send a stamped, self-addressed envelope for a reply.
    How to find a researcher? We have some genealogical publications that give researchers in almost every state. Stop by our genealogical center for help.
    We have people signing up for our genealogical seminar Oct. 29. Stop by the museum and sign up soon. Hours are 1-5 p.m. daily until Nov. 1.

October 13, 1999
    You are invited to our genealogy seminar on Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. Admission is free! Call the museum and register today. (This is Thursday, Oct. 21, corrected from Oct. 29, which was given last week.)
    Have you toured the museum? Time is short! Our museum section closes for the winter Nov. 1, and our genealogical center will be open Saturdays and Sundays only beginning Nov. 1, from 1-5.
    Most of us have ancestors that are in cemeteries but have no tombstones. I have three in Durham Cemetery, Hancock County, Illinois. One is my grandmother. Fortunately I have pictures of this pretty blonde lady that died in 1924, when my mother was only three years old. And I have a lot of information on my great-grandfather, Thomas Shinn who is also buried there without a stone. But, I wonder a lot about Thomas' wife, Catherine Estelle Bryant Shinn, born Sept. 7, 1849, near Warsaw, Hancock County, Ill. I do know she was the daughter of Hiram Christopher Bryant and Matilda Bryant. Matilda's father was also Hiram Bryant. Matilda and her husband were cousins. The Bryants came from Logan County, Ky. But there is no one left to tell me of the life of Catherine Bryant Shinn, my great-grandmother. She was the mother of four mischievous sons, two were baseball players. My grandfather, Arthur Shinn tried out with a professional Kansas City team when he was in his 30s as a pitcher, but I've heard his arm was too far gone to be effective by that time. Anyway, her life couldn't have been easy raising those boys back in the 1880s and 1890s. I wish I knew more. Hopefully, someday, I will be able to get stones for those three relatives, and fortunately, a friend of mine will soon publish a cemetery book on Durham Cemetery and my family will be listed, even though there are no stones.
    Does anyone have a picture of the Cuba Cubs baseball team 1913-15? My grandfather, Arthur Shinn was a member and we have a picture, but his face is drawn on in the picture. If anyone has a picture of the team, please contact Suzanne Miller at the jail museum. This is Cuba, Fulton County, Illinois.
    Also, we are looking for a school picture of Frederick 3-4 graders or the whole Frederick Grade School year 1953-54. If you have a picture we could photo copy, please contact Suzanne at the jail museum.
    Visit the jail museum, open daily 1 to 5 p.m. until Nov. 1.

October 20, 1999
    It's not too late to register for our genealogy seminar which is this Thursday night at 6 p.m., no admission fee. There will be genealogical publications on display which will be available to purchase. Call the museum or stop by and sign up for this Thursday, Oct. 21, 6 p.m. seminar.
    Our museum section will close for the winter Nov. 1. So, hurry on over and tour the museum, hours are 1-5 p.m. daily until that date.
  Rushville Times Oct. 18, 1883 - Church Dedication
    The dedication of Moore's Chapel in the Moore neighborhood five miles northwest of Rushville last Sabbath, was an occasion of great interest and importance to the people in that community. The day was ushered in with a dull, cold, cloudy morning, and in consequence of the rain the day and night previous the roads were heavy and bad. But at the hour of 9:30 a.m., the time appointed for the lovefeast, the people began to assemble. After a lovefeast, presiding Elder Goodwin, D. D. of Quincy preached an able and instructive sermon from the 5th and 6th verses of the 137 Psalm. Dr. presented the indebtedness of the church which was about $244, and in an unusual short time the people responded by giving him $255, after which the trustees of the church were called forward - said trustees being C. H. Moore, Reuben Moore, Samuel Moore, William Scott and Thos. Parrott - and the house was formally dedicated to the worship of Almighty God. The sacrament of the Lord's Supper was then administered to a large number of communicants.
    The people and church are largely indebted to the liberality and perseverance of C. A. Moore for this neat and commodious place of worship. The building is a solid structure, 26 x 40 on a good foundation. Many of the people in the immediate community where the church stands are entitled to much credit for their liberality and zeal in the matter. May they live long to enjoy the benefit of their labor.
    Visit the Schuyler Jail Museum and Genealogical Center, hours are 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. daily until Nov. 1.

October 27, 1999
    Twenty-four persons attended the genealogy seminar on Oct. 21 in the new room of our museum. Leland K. Meitzler, editor of Heritage Quest magazine, gave an interesting lecture on "Your Ancestor Didn't Die in the Courthouse Fire," giving us all some helpful suggestions, should there have been a fire in the courthouse where you were looking for an ancestor. These included finding out when the fire occurred, how extensive it was, and what records were destroyed. Also check the county for boundary changes. An example Mr. Meitzler gave was one person had never moved in his lifetime, but records were found on this ancestor in five neighboring county courthouses sue to changes in the county's boundaries. Also, if there is no hope of finding any courthouse records because of an extensive fire, check all other local records - cemeteries, newspapers, funeral home and coroner's records, school reports, voter registration, tax and church records.
    On Oct. 21, we purchased more new books and they will soon be checked in and available for your use in genealogical research. We also purchased the 1880 census in two volumes of Hancock County, Illinois, the 11 townships in the northern half of the county from La Harpe Historical and Genealogical Society, P. O. Box 289, La Harpe, IL 61450. They will be on our shelves soon, or you may purchase them from that society at the above address as they have more copies for sale - two large volumes of genealogical information for northern Hancock County, Ill.
    Our museum section will close Nov. 1 for the winter months and our genealogical center will be open on Saturday and Sunday only, from 1-5 p.m. for research. Dec. 10 and 11 from 1-5 p.m., we will have our Holiday Candy Sale at the Jail Museum. You may order candy in advance by calling Melba Brocksieck, Evelyn Eifert, Florence Hale [phone numbers unpublished here] or the Jail Museum at 322-6975.

November 10, 1999
    WARDS - When I first came to Schuyler County from Hancock County in 1985, I noticed there were so many people with the last name of Ward. My husband has a Ward line and I was most excited to see if all these Wards descended from the Nathan Ward of Washington County, Kentucky line. Well, they do not. In my 1985 history of Schuyler County, I found Apollus and Jane (Bramble) Ward - wonderful pictures of this old pioneer couple with a short write-up. It states that Apollus was born July 29, 1805, at Madisonville, Ohio. He married Jane Bramble, June 28, 1835. She was born Feb. 23, 1815 in Hamilton, Ohio. And it also traces Apollus back two more generations saying he was the son of Uzal and Mary (Squires) Ward and grandson of Joseph and Phoebe Ward of New Jersey.
    Children of Apollus and Jane (Bramble) Ward were Major Andrew, Henry Moore, James Madison, Edward Marion, Mary Elizabeth, wife of William Acheson, Priscilla Jane, wife of George Utter, Ira Leander, Nancy Emily, wife of Thomas Dodds of Jackson. So even though my husband is not related to this line, I am happy to say that I've met many nice Wards since moving to Schuyler County.--Suzanne Miller.
    Be sure to come to our annual Holdiay Candy Sale at the Jail Museum Dec. 10 and 11 from 1-5 p.m. We even have sugar free candy. You may call ahead to order - Melba Brocksieck, Evelyn Eifert, Florence Hale [telephone numbers unpublished here], or the Jail Museum, 322-6975.
    Our museum section is closed for the winter months. Our genealogical center is open Saturdays and Sundays, 1-5 p.m.

November 17, 1999
    From the 1983 History of Schuyler County:
    John Kerr Family
    Near Five-Mile, County Fermanaugh, Ireland, John Kerr married Rebecca Weir, a native of Scotland. To this union were born five sons: Robert, who migrated to Canada, Joseph and William who stayed in Ireland, Alexander who settled in Newark, N. J., and John, who came to Schuyler County.
    John Kerr married Eleanor Bell Dec. 13, 1859, at Five-Mile Town. Two of their children, Katherine Bell and Joseph Alexander were born in Ireland. John Kerr, an expert weaver, then came to America and settled in Newark, N. J., where Anna Eleanor and Robert John were born. Later, he moved to Littleton, Ill., where he lived a short time before moving to Rushville.
    John and Eleanor Kerr were the parents of eight children: Katherine Bell, Joseph Alexander, Anna Eleanor, Robert J., James Frederick, William Thomas, Charles Albert and May Lizzie. For more information on the Kerr family, see the 1983 History of Schuyler County.
    Come to our Holiday Candy Sale Dec. 10 and 11 from 1-5 p.m. at the Schuyler County Jail Museum.
    Our museum section is closed for the winter months. Our genealogical center is open from 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

November 24, 1999
    Going home for Thanksgiving, looking forward to the superb food prepared by mother and sis, seeing some family members who I haven't seen for a very long time, makes me realize ahead of the big day how much I have to be thankful for. And there's always a little tugging in my heart when I think back to 1987 and my only brother had found out just before Thanksgiving that the doctors couldn't do anymore to help him and he wouldn't live much longer with his Ewing's Sarcoma. Most families weather the good times and the sad times.
    As my daughter and I prepared a turkey and took it to my brother's a few days later, he wanted to talk about my book of Durham Township Pioneers I'd recently compiled. One family we talked about was the Samuel Logan's - our third great-grandfather. As they gathered for Thanksgiving in 1853, it would've been a difficult one for them as they had lost their first grown son, Samuel Jr. Young Samuel had crossed the plains to the California gold fields, left his young wife and son in Maryville, Mo. But Samuel was killed near Placerville, apparently by a partner of his. So in 1853, Samuel and family did not get home for Thanksgiving. Samuel Logan, Sr. was born in Pennsylvania, grew to manhood near Connorsville, Ind., and fought in Indiana in the War of 1812. As Indiana became more populated, he came to the wilds of Illinois, where he remained until he passed away in 1859.
    When I go home for Thanksgiving, I will be just a few miles from where my third great-grandfather brought his family to settle near Lomax, Ill., in 1835. --Suzanne Miller
    Don't forget our Holiday Candy Sale at the Schuyler County Jail Museum Dec. 10-11 from 1-5 p.m.

December 1, 1999
    Our Holiday Candy Sale is fast approaching - Dec. 10 and 11 from 1 to 5 p.m. Come buy your holiday candy. We even have sugar free!
    The board of directors of the Schuyler Jail Museum met Monday, Nov. 29 at the jail museum. We have 478 members in our society, 50 some of which are exchanges with other societies. Now is the time to pay your dues for the year 2000. Stop by on Saturday or Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. We will close for the holidays after the candy sale Dec. 11 until the second weekend in January 2000.
    Eugene Byers is seeking information on these ancestors of Andrew Byers; his brother, Thomas Jefferson Byers (1820-1898), Johanna Haas (1828-1909) wife of Phillip Schramm; Elizabeth Hess (1792-1856) and her husband Peter Schramm; Thomas Parks (b. 1794) and his wife Mira Lyonel?? (d. 1862); William Trimble (d. 1894) and his wife Nancy (1820-1910); and John Peters (1776-1860) and his wife Catherine Lane (1781-1861). Contact Eugene Byers, [address unpublished here], or e-mail at [email protected]
    Members of the board of directors at the jail museum will meet Tuesday, January 4 at 1 p.m. to get ideas on arranging areas for next year.

December 8, 1999
    A distant cousin says as the holidays draw closer he will probably have to put his genealogy "on the shelf" until after Christmas. I know I should too, but probably won't. It should be a time to concentrate on my present family, but I will also find my mind wandering into the past. However, the genealogical center will close after our Holiday Candy Sale this coming weekend, Dec. 10 and 11th, until the second weekend in January. So you may put your genealogy "on the shelf" until the second weekend in January if you want.
    Janet Pease, [address unpublished here] is seeking information on descendants of Jonathan and Mary (Brown) Sowers, married 1876 Schuyler County, Illinois, living 1900 in Peoria, Illinois, 1910 at Tallula, Menard Co., Ill., two known children: Anna Jackson and Mildred Sowers. Contact Janet Pease if you have any information.
    Please come to our Holiday Candy Sale this weekend Dec. 10 and 11 from 1 to 5 p.m. Reminder: Our museum section is closed for the winter and our genealogical center won't open again until the second weekend in January 2000. See you then!

December 15, 1999
    We are having our Christmas dinner this coming weekend--going home for Christmas. How I love the thought! The plans are to meet at my parents' home in LaHarpe, the little house on Main Street where I've been going for Christmas ever since I can remember. Grandma's dinners were a feast and my mother's will be the same. My daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter will be here from near Kansas City and my niece and husband from near Pekin. So where does genealogy fit in? I don't know if I will be able to get anyone interested in the family tree or not, but my daughter's father's family came from Schuyler County and I just came across an obituary on Kim's great-great-great grandmother as follows:
    The Rushville Times, Aug. 14, 1929 (in part).
    Sarah Margaret, daughter of Jason and Catherine Byers Self, was born in Texas County, Mo., Sept. 22, 1853, and passed away in Bainbridge Twp. where she had resided for 43 years, Aug. 10, 1929.
    At an early age, during the Civil War, she, with her parents, made an overland trip to Texas in a covered wagon drawn by oxen, residing there only a short time. When she was 14 years of age they came to Illinois.
    In her girlhood days she was converted and baptised into the Union Baptist Church at Sugar Grove and although home duties and distance has kept her from attending there, she has ever been a reader of her Bible and lived a true Christian life.
    In October 1873, she was united in marriage to James A. Donaldson, who preceded her in death 13 years ago. She is survived by 10 children: Mrs. John A. Ward of Rushville; J. Walter of Vincennes, Iowa; Mrs. C. A. Ward, Mrs. Henry Kirkham and Mrs. Albert Caldwell, all of Beardstown; Timothy of Rushville; Edward of Frederick; Jason, Mary and Berton residing at home; one step-daughter, Mrs. J. S. Bell of Beardstown; 16 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; three brothers, James and William Self of Beardstown, and Luther Self of St. Louis, Mo.
    The funeral services were conducted by Rev. Rippy at Sugar Grove Church, interment in Langford Cemetery. Pallbearers were her nephews: Charles, Monroe, Perry, Robert, Denny and George Self.
    Perhaps I can show this latest find to my daughter at our Christmas get-together. Maybe she will start a history of the family for her daughter.
    Those who came to our Holiday Candy Sale and all our volunteers helped make it a success.
    The genealogical center will be closed until the second weekend in January. Our museum section is closed for the winter months.

December 22, 1999
    A little round, bald, always a twinkle in his blue eyes, a pipe in his mouth, a lot like Santa, Grandpa was a Christmas shopper! I recall my mother looking forward to her father-in-law's gifts. She'd anticipate going to Grandma and Grandpa Eppley's house, wondering what Grandpa would come up with that would top last year's presents. We'd go riding over the rolling hills on the gravel road to our grandparents house, only about four miles away, begging Dad to speed up over the hills for a little thrill. He'd usually comply to make Mother holler. Dad's sister and brother with their families would be there, we'd have sandwiches and pie. We kids would bolt down our food in order to get to the presents. I don't remember much what we kids received as gifts, but I can always recall my mother getting new sheets, new bath towels or blankets of top quality that Grandpa had picked out. She'd rave about them all year long. Grandma was kind of sickly, so that's why he did the shopping.
    Bill Eppley was born William Chauney Eppley April 13, 1890 in York County, Penn., to Levi and Barbara (Ruth) Eppley, not too far from the Susquehanna River, 9th in a family of 10. His father died when he was 1 1/2 years old and when he was about seven years of age, he and several of the smaller children were put in an orphanage. In those days, farmers of the community would come to the orphanage and pick out children to work for them. Grandpa was "picked" and taken to a farm home until he was 18, then sent on his way with two suits of clothing and $25. He became acquainted with a family who had relatives in Disco, Hancock County, Illinois, and he decided to try and find Disco, thus coming to Hancock County and marrying my grandmother in 1915. I believe Grandpa was what you would call a "self-made man." He worked hard and bought his own farm of 160 acres and was also road commissioner for the township in which he lived for many years. The roads were never in better shape than when Grandpa took care of them. Grandpa died Jan. 17, 1972, and we don't know if he knew much of his heritage, except for his parents. Since that time I found out that his grandfather was George Eppley in the 1880 census of York County, Penn., and it stated he was born on the Atlantic Ocean 1815-16, and I'm still looking for George's parents. We all miss Grandpa, he was our Santa at Christmas time. --Suzanne Miller
    Our genealogical center is closed until the second weekend in January and the musuem section is closed for the winter.

December 29, 1999
    As the new year is fast approaching I still have many ancestors who have disappeared without a trace, and I am looking for new ways of trying to track them down. This coming weekend we plan to go to my daughter's home near Kansas City. She is on the internet, so I am hoping we can figure out how to put a query or two on-line.
    I still read as many old newspapers as I possibly can. Reading the local news items for the locale your ancestor is in or was in might give you a clue. In the Browning column of the Schuyler Citizen Sept. 4, 1884, I found where an early settler of Schuyler died in Nebraska, as follows: "Mr. J. M. Skiles of Nebraska accompanied by his two daughters is visiting in this vicinity. We learn from Mr. S. that Uncle Absalom Lynch, who emigrated to Nebraska about a year ago, died on the 16th of August. Mr. Lynch was one of the earliest settlers of Schuyler County. He was about 75 years of age."
    Of course, I get sidetracked and read a few amusing lines as well, such as: "A streak of lightning struck a red headed woman the other day and turned her hair black. And now there are so many red headed women running about in every thunderstorm that you would think the prairie was on fire." Old newspapers make for fun reading too. We have many old Rushville newspapers on microfilm for your research or reading pleasure.
    Come visit our genealogical center, open 1-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays beginning Jan. 8 and 9. The museum section is closed for the winter months.



 
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