Great-Great-grandparents, Leander and Emma Mayne

Leander S. Mayne was born November 25, 1839 in Clark County, Ohio.  He was the second son of B.F. and Sarah Mayne; their first-born, Tobias, had died on February 9, 1839, age 19 months. Another bother, Emory, was born just a year later, December 10, 1840, and he died a month later, January 8, 1841.  Sarah got a break after that and her next child, Ellen, was born in 1843.  The family moved to Mt. Morris, Ogle County, Illinois in 1844 and while they were there two more siblings were born:  Kate, 1845; and Philander, 1847.  Sometime before 1850, they returned to Clark County, and another brother, Clark, was born in 1851.   Another brother, John, was born October 30, 1853; died November 21, 1853.   Leander’s sister, Emma, was born in 1854, when he was 15.

When Leander was 17 years old, his mother died.  She was only 38, but having babies every year will do that to you.  If you remember, B.F. was not one to stay unmarried, especially with six children, ages 3 to 17.   Within six months of Sarah’s death, B.F. married a widow with one son, and together they had a daughter, Fannie, in 1860.

Except for the foray to Illinois, Leander grew up on the Mayne Family Homestead in Ohio established by his grandfather, Adam Mayne.  The farms were around Xenia Road, about half-way between Springfield and Yellow Springs.  He went to school (where his uncle Gideon was the teacher for a while) and no doubt regularly attended meetings at Emery Chapel with his family.  Most of the Maynes of that era attended college, so Leander probably did, too.  The Homestead was very near Antioch College where Horace Mann was President from 1852 until his death in 1859.  So likely Life was looking pretty nice for Leander until that Damned Civil War…

Per the 1860 census, Leander was living with his father, step-mother, and siblings on the farm in 1860. They were prosperous, their real estate worth was 2-3x greater than most of their neighbors at $6200..

Just one farm over, the family of Orlando Harris was nearly as rich at $5000.  In 1848, Orlando Harris had married the widow of neighbor James Inlow (d. 1845). (Both James Inlow and Orlando Harris, along with B.F. and Adam Mayne, Anthony and James Leffell had founded Emery Chapel.  Eliza Jane Inlow came into the marriage with three young daughters, aged 6, 4, and 2.   By 1860,  Emma Inlow is 20; Rosetta, 18; and Margaret is 15.

But the War:  in 1861, Leander, now 22-years-old, volunteered to fight for the 31st Ohio Infantry.  Before he “shipped out” so to speak, he married his sweetheart, Emma E. Inlow, in June 1861.  I consider Leander to be the most handsome of my greats, though my grandfather looked a lot like him when he was young.  There’s a bit of emptiness in his eyes, but that could be the camera.  Emma looks like my great-grandad and Dad (and me), I think.


The crazy thing about Emma, for me, is that her name is Emma Eliza!  Those are the names of my NYC grandchildren…coincidence?  ancient alien theorists would say, “no”…

They married in June and Leander was mustered into the 31st Ohio Infantry in August, 1861.  He must have been able to take a leave around January, 1862, because Emma gave birth to their first child, a daughter she named Eva, in October of that year.

Remember how Dad was Civil War battle obsessed?  In that narrative was always the story of his great-grandfather, Leander, who had served under General William Tecumseh Sherman and been a part of the March to the Sea…  Of course, a soldier didn’t get to March to the Sea without surviving months of battles, and as I looked at the record of the 31st Ohio Infantry ! Lo and behold, Leander just so happened to fight in the very battles that Dad set up on the ping-pong table and all that “flanking” was the signature style of General Sherman.  So Now I get it…and Dad figured it all out without the internet!

 This is the most brief summary I could find of his service:

” Ohio Thirty-first Infantry. — Col., Moses B. Walker; Lieut. -Cols., Cyrus W. Grant, Frederick W. Lister, Milton B. W. Harmon; Majs., Samuel L. Leffingwell, John W. Free.

This regiment was organized at Columbus, in Aug. and Sept., 1861, to serve for three years. It left the state on Sept. 30 and on Oct. 2 reached Camp Dick Robinson, Ky., where a regular course of drill began, which rendered the regiment more efficient.

1862: It became attached to Buell’s army and was in the advance toward Corinth, during which it was engaged frequently in skirmishing with the Confederates. It participated in the siege and was engaged at times quite warmly. In July the regiment was divided into detachments, two companies being sent to Decatur and one to Trinity. The latter detachment, consisting of 28 men, was attacked by a force of some 200 or 300 mounted Confederates. The attack was repulsed, but one-half of the detachment was killed or wounded. Participating in the march to Louisville the regiment was under fire at the battle of Perryville, but was not actively engaged. It was actively engaged, however, at the battle of Stone’s river, where it acquitted itself nobly.

1863:  The regiment then enjoyed a few months’ rest and in June it started on the Tullahoma campaign. (1863) It was engaged at Hoover’s gap and, in connection with the 17th Ohio, carried a position defended by two Confederate brigades. The regiment was engaged on both days at Chickamauga and suffered severely. Its next engagement was Brown’s ferry and then followed Missionary Ridge, where it was among the foremost regiments to bear the loyal standard into the enemy’s works.”

“About this time ( early 1864) the regiment reenlisted, received a furlough of 30 days, and in the following spring it marched on the Atlanta campaign.”

After all that fighting, Leander took his furlough and made another baby with Emma; son, Harry, was born in August 1864.   After returning to War in March, Leander wrote some letters (or a journal?), describing a week or so in the beginning of the Atlanta Campaign. Toward the end he states he’s in Stevenson, AL, where troops gathered to start fighting their way to Atlanta with General Sherman. He talks about marching over the Stone’s River and Perryville battlefields, where the fighting had been so bloody just a year before.  I love these two pages, especially now that I understand where he’s writing from…I wish I had more.

Back to the Ohio 31st in 1864:   It was engaged in an assault on the enemy’s line in front of Resaca, GA and lost heavily (but the rebels retreated). It participated in all the important engagements of the (Atlanta) campaign except the battle of Jonesboro, then moved with Sherman’s army to the sea (a march from Atlanta to Savannah, burning as they went), thence up through the Carolinas, and was mustered out on July 20, 1865.”  Whew…

Leander returned to Emma, Eva, and Harry (who he’d probably never met) in 1865.  Maybe after the War he wanted a fresh start, or maybe it was a family-planned venture, but in 1866 Leander bought some land in Lancaster, IL and moved his family there to farm.  Both Springfield OH and Lancaster were along the National Road and there were trains by then, as well, so they weren’t remote, but there were no cities nearby, either. His father and siblings followed in 1870 and lived on adjacent farms. Perhaps it’s just the Peace that Leander needed after The War.

The 1870 census finds the family has grown to include Frank, born 1867; Chester, b. 1868; and baby Leroy, just 1 month old at the time of the census…  Wait? Leroy?  Yes, that’s my great-grandfather, Ben L.  They must have called him Leroy when he was first born, but all subsequent censuses name him as Ben or Benjamin. Aunt Ruth always told me the “L” stood for Leroy, but then she’d laugh and I thought she was kidding..!

The decade of the 70’s brought more babies:  Nellie, b. 1873; Grace, b. 1874; Herbert, b. 1878.  (the family was completed with Lutie, born after the census in 1880)  Sadly, the oldest daughter, Eva, died in 1875, aged 13.

Checking up on Leander in the 1880 census, I see that Chester is not listed.  I have been intrigued by Chester since I was a youngster, riding around with my great-aunt-Ruth to the cemeteries.  He is buried in the same cemetery as Leander and other Maynes and she told me that he had accidentally shot himself when he was climbing a fence wearing a gun.  I always wondered about that…  So when I couldn’t find Chester in 1880, I thought maybe I had gotten his date of death wrong, but he would have only been ten or so if he’d died before.  Upon further research, I found that Chester was living with his grandmother, Eliza Harris, in Clark County.  He is 11 years old, attending school, and it’s a “temporary home”.  Well, now I really wonder…

In 1880, Leander applied for and received a Civil War Pension, listed as an invalid.  I don’t know how handicapped he was since family always said, “he was never the same after the war”.   I know that criteria for the pension was low, so it could be just that simple.  The Civil War was just so awful that I’m sure that anyone who survived it had PTSD in varying degrees. Young men left and Old men returned…

On February 15, 1886, great-great-grandfather Leander S. Mayne died. He was 46 years old.  I always assume that he died of some sort of fever, but I really don’t know.  Six months later, Chester had his accident and died.  Emma must have been reeling.

Since there is no 1890 census, I don’t know when Emma sold the farm, but I know it was a rough decade:  Herbert, her youngest son, died in 1893, age 15. Her older children were getting married:  Frank married in 1894; Harry in 1895.  Her daughter, Nellie, was 19 when she married Frank Blood in 1892.  He was a widower with a young son. Nellie gave birth to two daughters, Geneva in 1893 and Rae in 1895.. Nellie died in 1896.

Emma took in Nellie’s daughters and they lived with her on and off for the rest of her life. In the 1900 census they are living with her, along with Ben, a teacher; Grace, and Lutie.  She has moved from Lancaster to Edwards County, Illinois.  She says she is a farmer.  I like that.

Emma E. Mayne… abt. 1905

Great-great-grandmother Emma died the second of May, 1908. She was buried next to Leander in the Marion Church Cemetery.  Years earlier she had donated the land for building the church and burial plots.   All of her children had married except for Grace. Shortly after her mother’s death, Grace married a widower with several children, and was a mother to them.

Oddly, the name on Emma’s gravestone is Emily… I Never saw Any other name but Emma on Any document that I researched.  I don’t think the stone is original, though, as it looks too new.  Perhaps Ben L. replaced it and got the name wrong?  More weirdness!

As I did this research, I realized I had been placing much of B.F.’s family living in Richland or Edwards County, when many, including B.F.,  were actually in Wabash County. That’s partly because all of those counties squabbled constantly, changing boundaries and county seats.  I’ve uncovered several articles from the Mt. Carmel newspaper that mention the old relatives…some interesting stuff I’ll share.  I also plan on taking a trip over there and looking around again,  armed with my new knowledge of who was where…

Stay tuned…







Grandpa was a Button Cutter…

**this is a sort of Part II.  You can read Part I here:  Kirsches and Goodsons and Eatons, oh my

I’ve gotten to know quite a bit about the Pearl and Button Boom that completely “pearled out” rivers from Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana…  Just like they cut down forests and indiscriminately killed animals without thinking of the consequences on the environment, so did the people getting rich off of harvesting mussels. It was like the Gold Rush along the Rivers of the midwest as everybody looked for the pearls, but soon they found they could have a steady income using the shells to make buttons.  In the 1890s to the 1940s, hundreds of small factories across the Midwest turned out glossy “mother-of-pearl” buttons.

leavenworth button works(In 1910, three buttonworks in Leavenworth, Indiana, employed twenty-four families — most of the population of the town. This two-story Greek Revival building had once been City Hall. Long chutes connected upper windows to wheelbarrows below. Discarded shells were burned to produce lime. “Old” Leavenworth was permanently wiped out by the 1937 Ohio River Flood.)

Working in the button industry was far from quaint and actually proved a hazardous job.  Exposure to hydrochloric acid and poor ventilation took a big toll on workers.  Author Jeffrey Copeland notes that there were more cases of pneumonia, typhus and gangrene among button factory laborers than in any other industry.  Children as young as eight worked sixty-hour weeks carrying buckets of shells and acid to soften the material up.  Eye injuries and loss of fingers often occurred as workers “stamped” the buttons out of shells or operated lathes.  Even before the industry reached its turn-of-the-century heyday, gory accidents made it into the newspapers.

The biggest, most eye-opening discovery about the Leavenworth Button Factory that I made was this:  It was owned by Christina’s brother, Fred Kirsch!!  He is in this picture, top left, standing next to his brother, John, who was a manager.

It was always Mom’s story that Grandpa had been a button cutter at the factory in Leavenworth until it shut down, so surely he was working there at its prime in 1910.  However, more questions are raised about the “stories”.  The button factory closed down around 1917.   And what about him being married and working on Mother’s farm, just him and his mother?  To me, the family story has been shot right down.  As usual, though, there is a kernel of truth there, and a lot more questions…

Returning to the Goodsons:  Altie had married in 1911 and moved to St. Louis, MO.  Claude married Gladys Carr around 1916.  Flora (my grandma Flo) married Clarence Eaton around 1919 (kind of an old maid at 19).  Grace, only 16, married Robert Hart in 1919.

The 1920 census finds this Entire Family, every last man–Halleck, Claude, Clarence, and Robert  living in Mt. Carmel, Illinois.  All of them are living within blocks of each other:  W. 5th, W. 6th, W. 7th Streets. renting.  Halleck and Claude are “farmers”.  Robert and Clarence are working at the button factory, where Robert was a laborer and Grandpa was a button cutter…   It was the Iowa Pearl Button Company and it was situated near the confluence of the Wabash and the White River.  As if that didn’t blow my mind, there’s this:

Remember Christina’s brother, Fred Kirsch, who owned the Leavenworth Button Factory?  He had married Gertie Onnebecker, the only child of the folks who owned the general store there in town.  When he closed the factory down, he simply returned to the general store.  His brother, John, however, moved to Mt. Carmel, IL in 1919 and was the foreman at the button factory.  He was promoted to manager in August, 1920.

Clarence and Flo started popping out their babies in 1920 with my Aunt Thelma Marie, followed by Almeda Fern in 1921.  Along came Claude Winfred in 1923; Clara Loretta, 1924; Eugene (whose original name was Melbern) in 1927; Clarence Nicholas, 1929; Ruby Christina, 1931; Joyce Evelyn, 1933; and Shirley Ilene in 1936.

The story has always been that Thelma, Almeda, Win, Clara and maybe Jr. were born in Crawford County.  I Know that Thelma was born in Mt. Carmel because the census was taken in June and she was born in August. I have not thus far found any birth certificates for any of them.

I don’t know why on earth they would have returned to Crawford County unless there were better prospects for employment there.  But I did find that the Mt. Carmel button factory burned down in 1923, putting about 50 people out of work.  Still, it was rebuilt and stayed open until the 1930s.  Halleck never claimed to be anything but a farmer throughout his life, so maybe he wanted to go back…I don’t know.  It’s something I’ll continue to research.

I know that by the 1930 census, Flo and Clarence were living in Grayville, Illinois, in the house on Martin Street that I remember so well.  They owned the house and it was worth about $400.  Clarence is employed at the Elk Pearl Button Factory as a button cutter.

Halleck and Christina also moved to Grayville with them, but they are renting and Halleck, as usual, says he’s a farmer, working on his own account.  Sometime before 1930, Claude had left his wife Gladys and run off with another woman; he was living in Chicago, working as an auto mechanic.  Somehow Grace’s husband, Robert Hart, had disappeared (died? divorced?) and she had married Wallace McCarty They were farming in Gibson County, Indiana, just across the Wabash River from Grayville.   Christina’s brother, John Kirsch, stayed in Mt. Carmel for the rest of his life.

Along came the Great Depression,.  The Elk Pearl Button Company closed around 1935 and Grandpa was out of work.  With nine mouths to feed, he worked for the Works Progress Administration.  The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was an ambitious employment and infrastructure program created by President Roosevelt in 1935, during the bleakest years of the Great Depression. Over its eight years of existence, the WPA put roughly 8.5 million Americans to work.  Grandpa was a Proud Republican and not a fan of FDR and mom always acted like he was ashamed when he took work from the WPA.  To me, a job is a job and we should have kept up the program…but then, people call me a socialist…

I’m assuming, of course, that he couldn’t really get any other work. There were some other factories in town, though, and in the 1940 census, his oldest daughter, Thelma, is working as a seamstress at the sewing factory to help support the family.  Scrolling through their neighbors, they are all employed:  chefs, carpenters, odd jobs, working at the box factory, you name it.  So Maybe there was some shame in working for the WPA…

The WPA program stopped in 1943; it was the last job Clarence ever had.   I don’t know how he managed to retire at age 53, but I think the children supported them.  I also know they were very poor.

The rest of the story gets kind of subjective, what with Clarence and Flo’s children being my mom, aunts, and uncles.   The census of 1950 will be available in 2022 and it will be fun to see what it reveals. I’ll finish up the story of Grandma and Grandpa Eaton in another post, and share some of Aunt Shirley’s stories about the family, as well.

I’m far from done, though…there are still stories to be explored and questions to be answered.  I’m planning a series of day trips to All of the Places I’ve been writing about.

Stay tuned…








Kirsches and Goodsons and Eatons, oh my

In my last post,  Rudys and Kirsches and Goodsons, oh, my!, I got in a hurry and moved way too quickly through the 1880’s.  Wouldn’t you know that I missed a complete person being born?  That story impacts the Kirsch Family.

Crawford County, Jennings Township, Indiana 1880…my great-great-grandparents Nicholas and Caroline Kirsch, both of them born in Germany, are now raising their family in the USA.  Married in 1864, by 1880 their family was complete.  They had Nick, jr (I couldn’t help myself) who was 13; John, 10; Fred, 9; Christina, 7; Peter, 5; Charles, 3; and Elizabeth, 3 months.  What I almost missed is that they had another child, Emma, in 1883.

That’s a birth that certainly had its impact on the family during the 1880s, but there were some deaths that took their toll. Their oldest son, Nicholas L., died in 1886, age 20.

Down the road, 2nd-great-grandparents North and Catherine Goodson, also lost their 18-year-old son, Claud,  about 6 months later.  Fevers would go through those areas and affect every family and TB was rampant.

So with those additions and subtractions, the 1890 census would most likely have shown all of our central characters still living with their respective parents on farms. I should note here, though, that neither Nicholas nor Northumberland were farmers in the 1880 census, the former being a stonemason and the latter a sawyer.  I don’t know if they still had those same jobs in 1890, but it’s likely they were working as laborers of some type.

In 1891, in Jennings Township, Crawford County, Indiana,  Nicholas and Caroline Kirsch’s daughter, Christina, married  North and Catherine Goodson’s son, Halleck.  Christina was barely 17 and Halleck was 24.  They had no doubt known each other all of their lives.  I assume they stayed around the farms, possibly even living with their parents.  Christina and Halleck are my great-grandparents.

Also In 1891, a ways over in Union Township, Crawford County, Indiana, my great-grandparents George W. and Amanda Almeda Eaton welcomed their last child, a son they named Clarence Wordie, my grandpa.  George and Almeda were old compared to the Goodson parents.)

The young-ish Goodson family expanded to include Alta Fern, born 1892; Claud Charles, born 1894.  It was another 6 years before we see another child born, but most likely there were other pregnancies, possibly more infants and deaths.  In 1900, they were blessed with another daughter, Flora Ilene, my grandma.

The 1900 census shows the family of five still living near Leavenworth and Halleck owns his home, free and clear.  It is a house, not a farm.  He is working as a day laborer and had not worked in three months.  While I had seen before that Halleck had gone to school, it was unclear to me whether he could read or write.  This census, and subsequent enumerations, clearly say that he is illiterate.  Christina is not.

Between 1900 and 1910, there was a slew of deaths…Christina’s baby sister Emma died in 1903, age 20 (of “nasal hemorrhage of 20 days and cardiac exhaustion”–sounds like leukemia?;; her father. Nicholas Kirsch died in 1905.  Halleck’s mother, Catherine, died in 1907; his father, North, died early in January, 1910.  There was a birth, though!  Grace Marie Goodson, the last of Halleck and Christina’s children, was born in 1903.

Meanwhile, up near English, Indiana, the Eatons were going through even harder times.  Here’s the original backstory:

21-year-old George W. Eaton married 16-year-old Amanda Almeda Harris  in 1873.   They commenced to having children.  Amanda later states on a census that she had given birth to eight children, but I have found only five who survived:

William was born in 1876;  Lillie in 1878; Myrtle, 1881; Emma, 1886; and Clarence in 1890.

By 1900, Lillie and Myrtle had married and were living nearby.  Still left on the farm with George and Amanda were William, age 24; Emma, age 14; and Clarence, age 10.

On April 28, 1905  Emma died, age 18, of TB.    On July 16, 1905, George W. died of typhoid fever.  His death certificate says that it was of 16 days duration.  On August 18, 1905, Myrtle’s daughter died of gastroenteritis of 2 weeks duration.  She was 18 months old.

On June 24, 1906 Myrtle died, also of TB,  leaving no living children.

Lillie gave birth to a daughter, her fifth child,  on April 27, 1907.  Lillie died on June 2, 1907 ( of TB) and her little daughter died 12 days later, June 14, 1907..  Lillie was survived by her 3 sons, and a 4-year-old daughter, Rosa.

Doesn’t that just break your heart?  So by 1907, Clarence would be 17 years old.  Great-grandmother Meadie had been through hell, but she kept the farm.  Her son, William, 31-years-old, was still single, so she had her sons to help…I think…

This is great-grandma Meadie and her sister, Dora…great smiles…not sure which is which

In the 1910 census, Halleck and Christina are now living on a Farm, still down in Jennings Township,  and Halleck is doing general farming “on his own account”.  He still maintains his illiteracy.  The children listed are Claud, 16; Florrie, 11; and Grace 7.  At first I figured their oldest daughter, Altie, had probably married since she was 18 years old and these hillbillies consider that prime age for marryin’.  However, I found her living in Corydon with her aged grandmother, Caroline Rudy Kirsch.  She lived there until Caroline’s death in 1911.

1910 is when I “lost” grandpa Clarence.  His mother is still on the farm up in English, living with her oldest son, William (who is still single) and her grand-daughter, Rosa.

I have spent considerable time running down leads on where he might have been living, even found a Clarence that fit the bill up in South Bend, but he was from the Indy Eaton Family.  I finally catch up with the Real Clarence Wordie Eaton in 1915:  his WWI draft card…and it just gives me more questions…

See there where it says he is”farming” “myself & Mother” “on Mother’s farm”?  Then, there are no dependent children, but he is married, so Usually that line will say that his wife is dependent.  WTH?  Stories had always gone around that Grandpa had been married before he married Grandma, so I diligently searched searched Everywhere for a marriage license.  I scrolled census records in and around “Mother’s farm” to see if he was living with his in-laws.  I made sure he didn’t run off to California… I simply cannot find him.  Did he just say he was married to get out of serving in WWI?  I don’t blame him if he did.

He really was the only one on Mother Meada’s farm at the time, as his brother, William, had married and moved to Perry County, Indiana.  A book listing all the “boys” from Crawford County who served in WWI had Clarence Eaton’s name.  I know he did not serve, though, as I have his draft card listing him as a “2” deferment…

Hey, I’m just thrilled that he can read and write…and that signature is boss…

My theory is that in 1910 he was down near Leavenworth, working at the Button Factory, married or not, because if I heard it once, I heard it a thousand times:  Grandpa was a button cutter…**

Stay tuned…

**Read on:  Grandpa was a Button Cutter


Rudys and Kirsches and Goodsons, oh, my!

Christian Rudi, my 3rd-great-grandfather, was born in Baden-Wurttemburg, Deutschland in 1800.  I’ve not researched the German relations yet, but I know his parents were Johann Christian and Maria Elizabetha.  His father died when Christian was eight years old.  They were, of course, Lutheran.

Around 1822, Grandpa Rudi (sometimes spelled Rudy) married Susanna Elizabetha Walk and they proceeded to start their family:  Susanna, born 1824; Johanna Catherine, born 1825; a daughter who lived only a month in 1829;  Christiane. born 1832; Johann Andrew, born 1830; Caroline Christina, born 1842; Leonard Christian, born 1845.  I was able to find All of their Baptismal records, thank-you Lutherans!

In 1849, Christian, his wife Elizabetha, and five of his six children left Wurrtemberg, traveling to the port city of Havre, France, where they boarded a ship for America, arriving in the Port of New Orleans, Louisiana.  The children on the passenger list of the JH Glidden  are Susanna, 26; Andreas, 18; Christiane, 16; Caroline, 6; Christian, 4.  Christian lists his occupation as Farmer.

In the Harrison County, Indiana of 1850 census the Rudi family has shrunk to Christian and Elizabetha,  Andrew (19 y.o. and working as a farm laborer), Caroline (7), and Christian (5).   Their daughters, Susanna and Christiane had married not too long after they arrived. There is another daughter, Catherine, that was not on the JH Glidden passenger list, who also married in Crawford County 1849, making me think something had been arranged prior to their departure from Baden.  Harrison County had a strong German community going well before the Rudys arrived and in this census he is living on land owned by the Floch family. Flipping backward and forward at the neighbors, I read page after page of German names, all identifying their birthplace as Germany…

Sometime before 1860 the family bought a farm about 15 miles west in Jennings Township, Crawford County, near Leavenworth,Indiana.  From the 1860 census we learn that his real estate is worth $400 and his personal belongings $300.  The only child still at home is Christian, who is 15.  Andreas/Andrew is missing, but he  would have been nearly 30 years old by then, so that’s not unusual. I found Caroline, age 18 in 1860, living in Corydon with her sister, Christiane.  Christiane had married a rich merchant who owned several businesses there in Corydon, which was the largest town in the area; she and her family are an interesting group of collateral relatives.

Along came the Civil War

…The Rudi Family were **Residents of Leavenworth, Indiana, where this happened in 1863, called the Hines Raid:

In June 1863, a 25-year-old Confederate spy from KentuckyThomas Hines, was sent by General John Hunt Morgan to ride north into Indiana and reconnoiter with Southern sympathizers there, whose dedication to the Southern cause Morgan drastically overestimated. Hines and his party of nearly a hundred men stole uniforms from a Union supply depot in Brownsville, Kentucky, then robbed a train in Elizabethtown to acquire Union currency. Dressed as Federal troops, they crossed the Ohio River on horseback a few miles downstream from Leavenworth, then struck out for Paoli, pretending to be in pursuit of Union deserters.

In French Lick, they met with the local Copperhead leader, Doctor William A. Bowles, who headed the Confederate-leaning Democratic party in southern Indiana and was a supporter of slavery. Bowles told them he was unable to help them. Indiana Home Guards were then in pursuit of the Confederates. Hines hired a Leavenworth local to guide them to a safe ford over the river where they could escape into Kentucky, but the local was actually a Union supporter and betrayed them.

**Residents of Leavenworth carried ammunition to Union troops, who gunned several of the horsemen down as they tried to get across the river at Little Blue Island. Three Confederate soldiers were killed and a large number were taken prisoner and kept in the Methodist Church in Leavenworth. The spy, Hines, escaped… (from wikipedia)

A couple of weeks later in Corydon, Indiana, where Caroline was living with her sister, Christiane,  and where sisters Catherine and Susanna were raising their families, this was happening:

The Battle of Corydon was a minor engagement that took place July 9, 1863, just south of Corydon, which had been the original capital of Indiana until 1825, and was the county seat of Harrison County. The attack occurred during Morgan’s Raid in the American Civil War as a force of 2,500 cavalry invaded the North in support of the Tullahoma Campaign. It was the only pitched battle of the Civil War that occurred in Indiana, and no battle has occurred within Indiana since.[3]

As news of an impending raid spread across the state, Governor Oliver P. Morton called out the state’s militia force, the Indiana Legion, to defend against the threat. Unaware of the size of the invading army, four companies of the 6th and 8th Regiments of the Legion, totaling about one hundred men, attempted to prevent the Confederates from crossing the Ohio River into Indiana, but were overcome by superior artillery fire, killing two of the defenders. The units retreated northward where they met with the main body of the 6th Regiment under the command of Col. Lewis Jordan. Along with the townspeople, they constructed breastworks that formed a defensive line south of Corydon. Despite promises of reinforcements from regional Legion commanders in New Albany, only about 450 men (consisting almost entirely of locals) were defending the town.

(The “locals” would have included the German community that helped Christian get started in America, as well as the Rudi sons-in-law.  They ended up surrendering the town, giving them all their money and supplies to keep them from burning down the town.)

Although the short battle cost the cavalry twice as many casualties as the outnumbered militia units, the battle resulted in a Confederate victory, which enabled Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan to secure supplies and money before continuing his raid through Indiana and into Ohio. The delay, however, proved critical in helping the pursuing Union army overtake and later capture Morgan and his forces……………………………………………………………………….wikipedia

(This was all part of Morgan’s Raid, a series of battles and skirmishes that is movie material. I understand why my dad admired so many Confederate generals)

Just 18 months later on November 23, 1864,  Caroline Rudi married Nicholas Kirsch in Louisville, Kentucky.  When I found their wedding license I was so thrilled! Caroline and Nicholas were my great-great-grandparents and I had heard a few stories:  that they were German, had lived in Louisville, and that they “had money” (whatever that means).  I had truly expected to find that Caroline’s parents had lived in Louisville, so I was surprised to follow them to a farm in Crawford County.

Who was Nicholas Kirsch? Why/how was Caroline, last seen living in Corydon with her sister, in Louisville getting married?    So many questions… Little did I know what a deep, winding rabbit hole I was about to jump in…

My best answer to the first qustion is this:

Nicholas Kirsch, born in Bodendorf, Rheinland, Prussia, arrived in New York City around 1853, according to his naturalization papers. I’ve had a lot of fun searching passenger lists, but no surprise that dates and ages are off.  I think he was only 16 when he arrived in 1854.   Later, he claims to be older, which isn’t too surprising.   What I’m sure of is that he somehow made his way to Louisville, Ky and in 1861 he volunteered for the Kentucky 4th Cavalry Regiment where he served as a bugler. I’m super impressed with the role of Buglers..

Was Nicholas the Bugler the same Nicholas who married in Louisville in 1864?  Back to Civil War Battles, I spent another couple of days studying the role of Louisville, Kentucky during the Civil War.

Louisville in the American Civil War was a major stronghold of Union forces, which kept Kentucky firmly in the Union. It was the center of planning, supplies, recruiting and transportation for numerous campaigns, especially in the Western Theater. By the end of the war, Louisville had not been attacked once, although skirmishes and battles, including the battles of Perryville and Corydon, took place nearby.

 That’s just the beginning…Most of those battles that Dad talked about were staged from there; literally Most of my Civil War Veteran ancestors were gathered there at one time or another between 1860 and 1865.  It is fascinating…but I had to focus on the 4th Kentucky Regiment and Private Kirsch.  Eureka!  He was in Louisville from November 9 – December 16, just in time to marry Caroline.

But how did he know Caroline RudI?  He had been in the army since 1861; had they met earlier, antebellum? Probably, so I searched mightily to find him in the 1860 censuses, but if he was in Crawford County or Louisville, I would have found him.  And if he were in Crawford County, why would he have volunteered in the 4th Kentucky?  I found nothing between his arrival and his enlistment.

I was So excited to see their marriage license that at first I didn’t notice …  Look at who is the witness to the nuptials:  John Andreas Rudi, Caroline’s brother. Where on earth did he come from?  The goose-chase that ensued involved every member of the Rudy Family and while it was fascinating, it took days…

I can’t find any verifiable record of him except on several family trees who place him in Stephens, Illinois after the war.  He is called John Rudy consistently in the censuses from there and he has the proper birth year (1830), states that he and his parents were born in Germany, and that he served in the 55th Illinois Infantry during the war.  Hours went by as I tried to hook up the 55th Illinois with Louisville, Ky in 1864, but I am stymied.

I hate to admit how much time I have spent trying to figure out how he came to be the witness at his sister’s wedding, especially as I became immersed in the Civil War Battles, Morgan’s Raid, the role of Louisville in the union efforts… Add to that my efforts to answer the question of how Nicholas and Caroline met each other and you have my best explanation for why I haven’t blogged in so long!!!

I pick up the trail of Nicholas and Caroline in Louisville after the war:  Nicholas was assessed $9.17 in the Louisville records of special Taxation in 1865, the price of a license for a 4th class Peddler.  A 4th class Peddler was any person who sold out of a store or market, including a butcher, which is where I find Nicholas working in the 1866 Louisville KY directory.  He stayed at 97 Portland Ave., the heart of the German community known as Butchertown, according to the directories of 1867-1869…(hey, maybe he and Caroline met through her Uncle Leonard Keller’s business??) (make me stop)

While living in Louisville, Caroline gave birth to two sons: Nicholas L. born 1866; John C. born 1869.

Around 1870 Nicholas and Caroline Kirsch and their two sons moved to Jennings Township, Crawford County, Indiana, near Caroline’s family.  The census that year lists Nicholas as a common laborer.  He does not own property yet, probably living on part of the Rudy farm.  Caroline’s parents, Grandma and Grandpa Rudi, are still on their farm too,  along with their youngest son, Christian, his wife, Delila, and their daughter, Mary.

Also from the 1870 census,  just down the road (3 farms over)  lived my great-great-great grandparents, North and Catherine Goodson.  Northumberland Goodson married Catherine Sturgeon in 1866, just after his return from the War.   From this union came five children: Halleck, born 1867; Claud, born 1869; Alitha, born 1872; John, born 1876; Luzettie, born 1879.

In the 1880 census, the Kirsch family was living in the same place and had expanded to include Fred, born 1870;  Christina, 1874; Peter, 1875; Charles, 1877; and Elizabeth, 1879.  Nicholas Kirsch is working as a stonemason.  There are no questions that census regarding real estate value, but they own the farm.

Same census shows North Goodson is a sawyer, still living on the farm with Catherine and their five children. aged 10 months to 13 years old.

By 1880, the aged Christian and Elizabetha Rudy were living in Corydon with their daughter, Christiana Keller.  Their son, Christian, and his family were living on the old farmstead near Leavenworth, near the Kirsch family.

3rd great-grandmother Elizabetha died shortly after the census; Christian lived until 1885.   What an Adventure they had!  I would be way too lazy to pull up roots and start a new life halfway around the world at age 49, so I’m so impressed with their gumption.

You know about the 1890 census…. Going from 1880 to 1900 is a big jump in the lives of these families, so I have to rely on births, deaths, and marriages to fill in the 1890s…   Just for starters:

In 1891, great-great grandparents Nicholas and Caroline Kirsch’s daughter, Christina, married great-great-grandparents North and Catherine Goodson’s son, Halleck.  Christina was barely 17 and Halleck was 24.  They had no doubt known each other all of their lives.  They built a place on their family’s property and set about having children.

Also In 1891, a ways over in Union Township, Crawford County, Indiana, great-grandparents George W. and Amanda Almeda Eaton welcomed their last child, a son they named Clarence Wordie.

What does all of this have to do with the Button Factory?  We’re getting there…

Stay tuned…


Stalking the Scandals

In the beginning, I just wanted to write a bio of my greats and keep it to a timeline from the farthest back and proceeding to my parents. I did my best to keep my attention on the greats because I was concerned that I would not like what I found out as I followed the line down to my Dad’s parents.  There were secrets, things we did not talk about.  We heard just enough to make us curious, but we never got any real answers, just hints.

But I couldn’t do it –thank-you-very-much, ADD–I got bored with the Civil War and turn of the century stuff and went on a chase of some family scandals.  There is no way I can share these with you, as they involve people who are not within my family (or are they?), but I can tell you it is fun!  I feel like Nero Wolf, solving the mysteries from my desk…

But it’s also opened up a door into the secrets — what happened to my Dad’s Dad and Mom? The truth is heartbreaking.   I’d had plenty of hints, but seeing proof to either support my made-up-story, or shoot it down is mesmerizing.  It’s a tale of Love and Madness.  It’s not really meant for this blog, I don’t think.  It may be better as a short story.

So that’s one reason I’ve neglected this blog.  Another reason is that I blog weekly+ over at The News from Sonnystone Acres and my garden blog, Growing Every Season.

I’ll get back to Leander and Ben L. soon, though, as there’s a brick wall looming ahead in my scandal research.

Stay tuned…


4th great grandpa Adam Mayne, again…

Whilst researching info for the Leander Mayne bio, I found this Invaluable information…

This is a transcript from “The Centennial Celebration of Springfield Ohio, held August 4-10, 1901.”  The speaker is William M. Harris, the secretary of the Clark County Historical Society, my 1st cousin, 4x removed; the son of Lydia Mayne…

I was born in this city in 1832, and my earliest recollection is
that my father, William M. Harris, was running a sawmill about
four miles south of Springfield, on Mill Creek, about a half-mile
west of where Emory Church now stands. The family lived in a
log house that stood on the hill about half-way between the church
and sawmill.
In January, 1839, my father died. I went to live with my
grandfather, Adam Mayne, who came to this county from George
town, D. C, in 1825, and during the thirties kept a tavern on the
old stage road running from Cincinnati to Springfield. This tav
ern, called “Travelers’ Rest,” by A. Mayne, four and one-half
miles from Springfield, was run until the pike was built from Cin
cinnati via Dayton to Springfield, when the stage coaches and
travel mostly left the mud road. Did I say “mud road?” Well,
that word hardly fills the bill, for much of the year it was more
like a river of mud without any bottom, even after the corduroy
roads were built. They were too narrow for two teams to pass in
opposite directions, and woe to the team or teamster that had to
turn out into the ditch. It was never done without a great, big
kick, and sometimes blows ; and when the stage coach with the
United States mail came along, the other fellow had to give the
road. When the stage driver would meet any other team, he
would call out : “United States mail ! Turn out !” And turn out

he did, without a second invitation, for any person delaying the
United States mail was liable to arrest. Neil & Vorhees was the
name of the old stage line, and they had their troubles with these
new mud roads, for they drove all night, no matter how dark or
how hard it stormed. I saw one stage lying on its side near Mill
Creek, another astride a stump with the tongue broken, near where
Beattytown now is.
This tavern I spoke of was not only for people who
had their own conveyance, but the passengers on the stage
coach often took their meals there, and the stage company kept a
few extra horses in the barn. There was scarcely a day that some
of the horses were not disabled. No doubt some of the young
people wonder how the women did the work those days, and how
they did the cooking without stoves. Well, they did it, and did it
well. The bread and pies were mostly baked in a large brick oven
out of doors. I have often gone out to hunt for some old, dry and
broken fence rails to make bake-oven wood. Then the old kitchen
fireplace would take in four-foot wood, and the large crane would
hold quite a number of kettles at once. They had the large tin
reflector, the large waffle irons, with handles nearly four feet long,
and, last but not least, the Dutch oven. But the people had to be
careful and not let the fire go out, for that was before the day of
matches. I recollect when the neighbors came to our house to bor
row fire. I don’t think they ever returned it.
There was a boy, a near neighbor of ours, and about my age,
and he and I were nearly always together. This boy was after
ward Major Philip Kershner, of the Sixteenth Ohio Regiment.
The militia used to muster on Jacob Kershner’s (Philip’s father’s)
farm. That was what they called little muster. William Kershner
was the captain. He was afterward brigadier general of the Clark
County militia. Once a year all the militia in the county had
to turn out ; that was called the general, or big, muster. My uncle,
Benjamin F. Mayne, was an officer on the staff of the brigadier
general. At the little muster the people ate dinner in Kershner.s
barn. Some of the men took so much of something to keep them
cool that they got hot for a fight, and they had the fight in the
About 1838 I went with Philip out to the harvest field to see

the men reap. There were about twenty-five men cutting grain
with sickles. Philip took me to the shady side of a shock of wheat.
He put his hand between the sheaves and took something- out. I
said : ‘.What is that ?” He said : “That is whisky.” I said :
“What is it for?” “To drink,” said he. “What do they drink it
for?” I asked. He said: “To keep the men cool; they could not
harvest without whisky to keen them cool.” I thought that was
all right. He and I both tasted it. I thought it was real good, but
that is not all the story. That winter my father died, and as I said.
I went to live with my mother.s people. Early in the spring my
uncle, Benjamin Mayne, was sowing oats broadcast, and the
neighbor’s chickens would pick them up before they could be har
rowed under, so my uncle came to the house for me to keep the
chickens out ; but in a few hours the sun got very hot and I
started home. My uncle saw me going, and called : “Hey, there !
Where are you going?” I said : “Going home.” He said : “What
are you going home for?” “Oh, it’s too hot out here.” Uncle
laughed and said : “What will vou do when harvest comes ?”
“Oh,” I said, “we will have whisky then.” My uncle, while he
lived, took great pleasure in telling that story.
I recollect when the farmers went to wash their sheep in the
river, they took something to keep themselves from getting cold,
and I could never tell the difference between what they drank to
keep themselves cool when it was hot, and what they drank to keep
themselves warm when it was cold. It looked alike and tasted
alike, but I very soon learned that neither of them was good for
the purpose it was used.
This road by the tavern was a great thoroughfare for driving
fat hogs to market from the northern part of the State to Cincin
nati. It made a good home market for corn, for the farmers that
lived on the road. Our people sold nearly all their corn to the
drovers. Not only hogs, but some of the early settlers tell of large
droves of turkeys that were driven through to Cincinnati.
I think I could give the names from memory of nearly all the
people who lived on or near the road from Springfield to Yellow
Springs—that is, from 1836 to 1850; but will only mention a few
of them in addition to those already sooken of. In the first farm
house south of town lived William Huntington ; about three mile

out lived an old Revolutionary soldier, who was known by every
body as Grand-daddy Lane. About three and one-half miles out
was Mr. Reif. He was an all-.round mechanic ; he made nearly
all the grain cradles used in that part of the country ; that is, after
grain cradles came into fashion. I have already spoken of Jacob
Kershner. He was a soldier of the War of 1812. In early days
he ran a blacksmith shop, just a short distance north of where
Emory Church now stands. That was in the days when only char
coal was used ; no other kind could be had in this part of the
country. In the thirties a log’ schoolhouse stood in almost the
same place where Emory Church now stands. It was in the midst
of a thick wood ; it had two doors, one on each side ; a large
fireplace at each end. and a puncheon floor. Reuben Miller, for
merly of this city, taught school there, also Immanuel Mayne, the
oldest son of Adam Mayne, taught school there. Near by, a little
southeast, stood a log house in which lived “Granny” Layman, the
widow of a Revolutionary soldier. Six miles out there was an
other tavern and stage house, kept by Moses Mills, the father of
Jacob Mills, of this city.
Of one thing more I wish to speak ; that is, how the people
went to mill, market, and meeting. To church, if not too far away,
they walked ; if it was three to five miles, they went on horse
back, sometimes the wife sitting on the horse behind the husband,
carrying the baby in her arms. Later on the farmer would take
his whole family to church in the farm wagon. To market, they
went mostly on horseback, carrying the basket of butter and eggs
on the arm. Later they used the farm wagon for that, too.
Many times I went to the mill with corn in a bag, half in each –
end of the sack—that is, if it happened to be divided just right,
but sometimes there would be about five pecks in one end of the
sack and three pecks in the other ; then the bag would slip off, and
I would have to ride a long way to get some one to lift it on again.
My grandfather owned and used the only light vehicle in our
neighborhood for many years. It was called a carryall. It had
wooden springs, not leather thoroughbraces like the stage coach
or the large family carriages used in the city in those days. My
uncle, Gideon Mayne, had the first buggy with steel springs in our
neighborhood. That was about the year of 1844. It had a square

panel body and no top. There is an old gentleman here in this
city who borrowed that buggy in 1845 to R° to a wedding.

Grandpa Adam owned a Tavern!! and a farm!!  and a mill!!  And Uncle Gideon had a convertible!

Is this a clue to Adam’s occupation in D.C.?

I’d love to keep all this better organized, but you never know what is going to turn up…For instance, by studying up on the history of Springfield, Ohio, I recognized Many family names… That’s another post, as well…

Stay tuned…

Springfield Ohio 1830s

Springfield Ohio 1830s


Great-grandpa George Washington Eaton

My great-grandfather George W. was born in 1852 in Crawford County, IN, the sixth of eight children born to William and Margaret Osborn Eaton.  When he was 11, his brother Samuel died, a casualty of the Civil War.  Another brother, James, survived his four years in the Union Army.  A younger brother died at age 11 in 1870 when George was 18.

I can’t fill in much more between b. and d. for great-grandpa George.  I know that he lived in English, Crawford County, IN.  The town of Hartford that had been platted out in 1839 changed its name and incorporated as English in 1884, just after the Air Line Railroad came through town.  The railroad provided a much-needed outlet for timber, which became the county’s chief product.  The forests were decimated by the logging operations….  Today these lands have been re-forested by the USDA Forest Service and provide a lovely recreation area called Hoosier National Forest…  From their site:

Southern Indiana boasted some of the finest hardwoods in the world. With the advent of the sawmill in 1860, extensive commercial forest clearing operations began. During the period following the Civil War, thousands of sawmills operated in Indiana.

In 1899, Indiana led the nation in lumber production. Though most of the good farm land had been cleared and settled in the early 1800s, the steep hills and valleys which today make up most of the Hoosier National Forest, was harvested between 1870 and 1910. Cut over lands sold for approximately $1 per acre.horses in log_yard

The type of cutting that occurred in the late 1800’s had a profound effect on the composition of the present forest. The areas were often burned repeatedly to clear the brush.

Population during the 1800’s peaked in the 1890s, and then, in the Forest area, began to steadily decline as many farmers gave up…

small garden in the 1930s

Though some of my greats from English did work in the sawmills and logging,  not George.  He owned his farm and remained a farmer.

There was one other thing, a big thing according to my research, that occurred in Crawford County in those days.  I’m actually rather horrified by this history, but it would appear to be something that the county is “famous” for.

From Wikipedia:

White caps were groups involved in whitecapping who were operating in southern Indiana in the late 19th century. They engaged in vigilante justice and lynchings and in modern times are often viewed as engaging in terrorism. They became common in the state following the American Civil War and lasted until the turn of the 20th century. White caps were especially active in Crawford and neighboring counties in the late 1880s.  Between 1860 and 1910, at least 68 people were lynched; twenty were blacks and forty-eight were whites.

WTF?  What made people want to go around acting like that?

Moral police…

White caps groups began to spring up across the state over the next decade. The groups were most prevalent in the southern part of Indiana, and especially so in Harrison and Crawford Counties. Many of the groups started as enforcers of morality. They were known to target alcoholics, people believed to be idle, and men who did not provide for their families. Such people were often abducted and flogged.[3]

They soon began to target women who were not believed to be adequately caring for their home and children, children who were truant from school, and people who shirked from civic duty like working on road projects. By the late 1870s, the groups were beginning to target criminals for punishment, and continued to carry out sporadic lynchings.[3]

Whaa????   Targeting people believed to be idle??  Flogging?  Thankfully, I do not (yet) have any indication that my ancestors were involved in these activities, either lyncher or lynchee…  But ya gotta wonder…

Anyway, That’s the kind of world it was in Crawford County when 21-year-old George married 16-year-old Amanda Almeda Harris  in 1873.   They commenced to having children.  Amanda later states on a census that she had given birth to eight children, but I have found only five who survived:

William was born in 1876;  Lillie in 1878; Myrtle, 1881; Emma, 1886; and Clarence, my grandpa, in 1890.  The children attended school at the loghouse in English, all of them completing at least the 4th grade, able to read, write, cipher.

By 1900, Lillie and Myrtle had married and were living nearby.  Still left on the farm with George and Amanda were William, age 24; Emma, age 14; and Clarence, age 10.

Hard times…very hard times. were ahead…

On April 28, 1905  Emma died, age 18, of TB.    On July 16, 1905, George W. died of typhoid fever.  His death certificate says that it was of 16 days duration.

On August 18, 1905, Myrtle’s daughter died of gastroenteritis of 2 weeks duration.  She was 18 months old.

On June 24, 1906 Myrtle died, also of TB,  leaving no living children.

Lillie gave birth to a daughter, her fifth child,  on April 27, 1907.  Lillie died on June 2, 1907 ( of TB) and her little daughter died 12 days later, June 14, 1907..  Lillie was survived by her 3 sons, and a 4-year-old daughter, Rosa.

Doesn’t that just break your heart?  Tuburculosis was the leading cause of death in the United states in those years and so many families were affected.

George W. Eaton’s estate in 1905 was valued at $353, about $10,000 2019 money and Meadie stayed on.. The 1910 census shows Meada, her son, William (still single at 34), and Rosa, Lillie’s daughter, living on the farm.

My grandpa, Clarence Wordie Eaton, was 17, almost 18, by time all the dying ended…and that is where I lose him.

I catch up with Grandpa in 1915, and I’m still a little confused…

Stay tuned…