Kalamazoo County Directory on Alphadelphia

I suppose I should look up the author, James M. Thomas, and see who he was.

— WITH A —


1869 and 1870.


…In 1843, one of those moral philosophers, who occasionally come to the surface and inflict their vagaries or “reforms” upon a community, came to Galesburg. His name was Shetterly and Dr. was his professional title. Fourierism was his hobby and the people of Tolland’s Prairie and other parts of the county were the victims. The story of this bubble is too long for these pages. The large building that was erected, and the farm that was purchased, for the ” Alphadelphia Society,” are the same now owned by the county and used as the Poor-House and Farm, the property having been purchased in 1849, after the society aforesaid had ” gone to the dogs.” It is on the southwest part of Tolland’s Prairie.

The Log Cabin of James Noyes and Rebecca Russell

I am assuming that the house of James Noyes, mentioned below, is that of James Noyes and Rebecca Russell.

From Pioneer Collections, Michigan State Historical Society:

In the summer or early fall of 1829, William Toland, of Ypsilanti, came to this region, and in conjunction with Josiah Rosencranz, “broke up” eighteen acres of land, and sowed it to wheat, on what was afterwards called “Toland Prairie.” Sticking his stakes and building a log house on what i now the Whitbeck farm, he removed here with his family a month or so later. James Noyes came from Ann Arbor, soon after Toland had finished his house, and locating just west of him, erected a log cabin on his land, which he afterwards sold to John Moore, who turned publican. His house was long known as the “White Cottage.”

Emery Dillingham Scagel and Eliza Betsey Henry

E. D. Scagel, retouched

Courtesy of Nancy Benton

Eliza Scagel, retouched

Courtesy of Nancy Benton

Only removed the yellow cast with retouching

The images of E. D. SCAGEL and his wife are 2-1/4 X 3-3/4 cartes-de-vistes images which have revenue stamps on the back indicating they were taken between 1864 and 1866. The tax stamps were required during the period 1 August 1864 to 1 August 1866. They were taken at the studio of S. O. Hersey in Montpelier, Vermont.

Emery D. Scagel was the son of Thomas Best Scagel and Chloe Fisk Dillingham, and a nephew of our ancestor Rachel Scagel who married Hiram Atwell.

William Henry Eldridge’s The Descendants of Samuel Henry and Lurana Cady Henry gives the following:

Eliza Betsey » Henry, (James Madison) was born in Waterbury, Vt., Dec. 31, 1837. She attended Chelsea and Barre Academies and taught school until the time of her marriage. She married Dec. 28, 1861, Emery Dillingham Scagel, born in Waterbury, Vt., Aug. 31, 1835. He attended Newbury Seminary and Fort Edward Institute. He was a chemist and druggist. She died in Waterbury, Mar. 14, 1866, and he died in Hoosick Falls, N. Y., Dec. 27, 1872. Both of their children were born in Waterbury : —

i. Dora Scagel, b. July 5, 1863; m. Aug. 4, 1885, Edwin Francis Cleveland. She d. Feb. 10, 1892.
They had four children: —
1. Mabel Floral Cleveland, b. Aug. 7, 1886: d. June 1895.
2. Frances Julia Cleveland, b. Apr. 30, 1888; m. in 1909, Perley G. Adams.
3. Ferdinand Scagel Cleveland, b. June, d. Oct. 1890.
4. Dora Eliza Cleveland, b. Feb. 9, 1892.

ii. Flora Scagel, b. Dec. 5, 1865. Resides 468 College St., Burlington, Vt.

Emery’s death is referred to in a letter from Sarah Atwell Gilbert to Caroline Atwell Noyes (both daughters of Hiram Atwell and Rachel Scagel, Caroline being our ancestor) written 21 Nov 1876.

“West went to VT this summer went to (unintelligible) at Waterbury took dinner with Uncle Best – Aunt Chloe is not there any more she died the last of July with softening of the brain Uncle Best said and that it was too much for her burying Mary and Emory I never have seen her since Mary was buried – the girls were there with him keeping home & going to school West went to the school house to see them said that Dora was quite slight and stooping but Flora was plump & very pretty. They have a little old house at the Mill Village.”

Flora and Dora were both daughters of Emery D. Scagel.

Olive Atwell FISK, sister of Hiram ATWELL, was living in Montpelier in 1880. It was in Montpelier that Sarah Atwell GILBERT, Hiram’s daughter, was buried in 1877 and was living there in 1870, but was in Boston at the time of her death.

Husband: Emery D. Scagel
Born: Cir 1835 – , , Vermont
Died: Bef 1876
Father: Thomas Best Scagel (1805- )
Mother: Chloe Fisk Dillingham (Cir 1814-1876)
Marriage: Place:

1. Census: 1840 Waterbury Center, Washington, Vermont, USA. pg. 355
Lorenzo D. SHEGILL – – – 1 – 1 / 1 1 – 1 1 1
pg. 357
Hiram ATWELL – 1 – – – 1 / – 2 1 – – 1
1 male 5 to 10, (which would be John most likely?, Hiram perhaps being
already dead), 1 male 30 to 40 (Hiram); 2 females 5 to 10 (would be
Sarah and Caroline), 1 female 10 to 15 would be ?, and a female 30 to
William LAMPHER?
Joseph HANES or BANES?
pg. 358
George SHEGILL – – – – – – – – – 1/ – – – – – – – – – 1
George SHEGILL Jr. – – – 1 – – 1 / 11 2 1 1 – 1
Patrick BRYAN – 1 2 2 1 – 1 / – 1 – 1 – – 1
Michael WELCH
Thomas B. SHEGILL 1 – – 1 – – 1 / – – – – 1 1

2. Census: 1850 Waterbury Center, Washington, Vermont, USA. Thomas’
household is a couple of pages over from Hiram ATWELL who had been
married to his sister, Rachel.

23 1843 1853 Scaggell Thomas 45 M
Grocer Vt
24 1843 1853 Scaggell Clara F 36 F
25 1843 1853 Scaggell Emery D 15 M
26 1844 1854 Ransom Hawley 46 M Clergyman
Meth. Ep. Vt
27 1844 1854 Ransom Lucy 45 F
28 1844 1854 Ransom Margaret 22 F
29 1844 1854 Ransom Dulcena 14 F

3. Census: 1860 Waterbury, Washington, Vermont. Source Citation: Year:
1860; Census Place: Waterbury, Washington, Vermont; Roll: M653_1324;
Page: 128; Image: 634; Family History Library Film: 805324.
1165/1237 Thomas B. Scagel 55 Post Master – – 300 VT
Cloe T. Scagel 46 MA
Emery D. 24 clerk VT
Mary E. 6

4. Census: 1870 Warren, Washington, Vermont. Source Citation: Year:
1870; Census Place: Warren, Washington, Vermont; Roll: M593_1626; Page:
286A; Image: 575; Family History Library Film: 553125.
144/154 Scagel E. D. 34 manufr of clap board 5000 1162 VT
T. B. 65 works about mill
Chloe 55
Mary E. 16
Dora 6
Flora 4

5. Photo: Photo of E. D. Scagel, , , Vermont.

The images of E. D. SCAGEL and his wife are 2-1/4 X 3-3/4
cartes-de-vistes images which have revenue stamps on the back indiciating
they were taken between 1864 and 1866. The tax stamps were required
during the period 1 August 1864 to 1 August 1866. They were taken at the
studio of S. O. Hersey in Montpelier, Vermont.

Olive Atwell FISK, sister of Hiram ATWELL, was living in Montpelier in
1880. It was in Montpelier that Sarah Atwell GILBERT, Hiram’s daughter,
was buried in 1877 and was living there in 1870, but was living in Boston
at the time of her death.

6. Correspondence Reference: 1876 Nov 21. His death is referred to in a
letter from Sarah Atwell Gilbert to Caroline Atwell Noyes 21 Nov 1876.

“West went to VT this summer went to (unintelligible) at Waterbury took
dinner with Uncle Best – Aunt Chloe is not there any more she died the
last of July with softening of the brain Uncle Best said and that it
was too much for her burying Mary and Emory I never have seen her since
Mary was buried – the girls were there with him keeping home & going to
school West went to the school house to see them said that Dora was
quite slight and stooping but Flora was plump & very pretty. They have a
little old house at the Mill Village.”

7. Edit : 2003 Aug.

Wife: Eliza Henry
Born: 1837 Dec 11 about – , , Vermont
Died: 1866 Mar 11
Buried: – Hope Cemetery, Waterbury, Washington, Vermont

1. Photo: 1864-1866, Montpelier, Washington, Vermont.

The images of E. D. SCAGEL and his wife are 2-1/4 X 3-3/4
cartes-de-vistes images which have revenue stamps on the back indiciating
they were taken between 1864 and 1866. The tax stamps were required
during the period 1 August 1864 to 1 August 1866. They were taken at the
studio of S. O. Hersey in Montpelier, Vermont.

The hair and what may be a hair ribbon in the in the image of Mrs.
Scagel, have the appearance of an etching which makes me wonder if
definition wasn’t added by the photographer.

2. Edit : 2003 Oct.

1 F Dora Scagel
Born: Cir 1864 – , Washington, Vermont, USA
Died: Unknown
Marr. Date:
2 F Flora Scagel
Born: Cir 1866 – , , Vermont
Died: Unknown
Marr. Date:

Source Information
Year: 1880; Census Place: Waterbury, Washington, Vermont; Roll: T9_1349; Family History Film: 1255349; Page: 265B; Enumeration District: 218; Image: .
42 324/347 SCAGEL Thomas B. wm 75 Laborer b. VT father b. ME
43 Dora wf 16 Granddaughter Teaching School b. VT parents b. VT
44 Flora wf 14 Granddaughter At school b. VT parents b. VT
45 WALDO Harriet wf 46 Servant Housework b. NY parents b. VT

Eliza B. Scagel’s tombstone at Findagrave.

George W. Chapman, Free-thinker and Co-Founder of the Cawker City Hesperian Library

Several months ago I received an email from Steven Richardson, president of the Hesperian Historical Society of Cawker City, Kansas, asking if I knew anything about a George W. Chapman’s interest in Liberal, Missouri.

Chapman was a physician who gave up his practice for the making of shoes, and a geologist who donated his collection to the Cawker City Hesperian library (now the Hesperian Library City Museum). He had a stipulation however, which was that a suitable building had to be completed by Jan. 1, 1885 or he would be sending his collection to an academy in Liberal, Missouri–and by this he would have meant a freethought academy in the town of Liberal, Missouri that had been founded in the 1880 as a freethinker haven.

A fortunate turn of events occurred when the newspaper announced that “Old Doc Chapman has thrown up the sponge, given up doctoring and will start a cobbling shop in Smith & Tucker’s old office.” Dr. Chapman offered the Woman’s Club his former office at his residence for use as a public reading room rent free for one year. His mineral collection, which was displayed in the room, was also made available for educational purposes. The women accepted the offer without hesitation.

On Dec. 17, the books were moved and soon the new reading room was open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m. Once settled in their new home, the women had time to take note of Dr. Chapman’s geological specimens and consider their educational value. It was decided to petition Dr. Chapman to donate the collection to the Woman’s Club if they would pledge to build a suitable building for it and for the public library. Dr. Chapman accepted their request but with the stipulation that the building must be completed by Jan. 1, 1885. If they failed to meet the deadline, his collection was destined for an academy in Liberal, Mo.

Source: “Old Library Celebrates 125 Years” supplied by Steven Richardson

The building, with a few delays, was nearly completed by the end of 1884, but had to wait until April for its plastering.

Unfortunately, I was unable to provide Steven Richardson any information on Chapman’s association with Liberal, and after looking here and there I’m still unable to elaborate.

Chapman was certainly an individual who would have been interested in Walser’s experiment with a freethought community when it was founded and began filling with people in the early 1880s, but he would likely have been later disappointed in its turn to spiritualism.

March 3 1886
Cawker City Journal
“Something New in Cawker”

MR. EDITOR–This morning I found a card that had been slipped under my door during the night, it has printed on it; have I given my time and talent to the cause of Christ or to the devil; and on the other side is printed, why am I not a Christian?

Now I wish to tell this cowardly night sneak that if he or she having a respectable backing, wish to hear my reasons for my Christian unbelief, they have only to command courage enough to step on to a free platform and I will pay all expenses, and will pay them as much money as any other person of this city receives for the same time of labor, and the challenge extends to all persons every where.


George Chapman lived by himself and proved difficult to find on the census. As he was interested in Liberal, and Mineral in Jasper County, Missouri is but 30 miles from it, though his bio gives him as moving to Waconda in 1871 from Canada, I’ve decided he must be a George W. Chapman, a doctor who is found in the 1870 and 1880 census in Mineral who also gave himself as widowed. What clinches it for me that they are one and the same man is that the 1880 census shows the George W. Chapman in Mineral is maimed or crippled. George W. Chapman of Cawker was maimed, having lost a leg as a child.

It seems, then, that Chapman, as he is given as settling in Waconda, Kansas on Sept. 1 of 1871, and residing there until he settled in Cawker City in 1880 (or 1885, two dates for moving are given), was traveling back and forth from Kansas to Mineral, Jasper, Missouri, close to where Liberal was founded.

View Larger Map

The 1870 census shows him in Jasper County, Missouri.

1870 Mineral Jasper Missouri
105 Chapman G. W. 51 doctor b. England

In 1875, he is in Cawker.

1875 Cawker, Mitchell, Kansas
G. W. Chapman 56 Drugist 150 England, immigrated through Missouri

In 1880 he is back in Mineral, boarding in the household of Judge Charles E. Elliott who was married to a Maria D. Holbrook (her parents were born in France). Elliott, also from England, had come to the U.S. from Ontario, Canada in 1856. Elliott’s bio gives that he was one of only 2 men in southwestern Missouri who voted for Abraham Lincoln in 1860, then fled to Kansas with the Civil War, where he enlisted in Company C, Sixth Kansas Volunteer Infantry. After the war, he returned to Missouri.

Given Chapman’s interest in minerals, I think it’s notable that Mineral was a mining town.

1880 District 59 Mineral Jasper Missouri
87/91 Elliott Charles E. 43 merchant England parents b. England
Maria D. 29 b. MO father b. NY mother b. France
Texton Francis E. 17 sister-in-law
Elliott Lily May 8 adopted b. MO
Chapman George 60 boarder physician b. England parents b. England

In 1885, Chapman was recorded in the Kansas census.

1885 Cawker Mitchell Kansas
Chapman G. W. 62 shoemaker b. England, emigrated through Missouri, widowed

I am unable to locate Chapman in the 1895 Kansas census.

Chapman’s will reveled he had a son, George Chapman, as well as a son and one or two daughters whose names and addresses were unknown to him.

George Chapman of Dumont, Clear Creek Colorado is the known son and I’ve located him in the Dumont census in 1900. He was also widowed, and as his eldest daughter was not born until 1873, it will be pretty much impossible to locate him on any earlier census. I have tried and not been able to find him.

Name: George Chapman
Home in 1900: Dumont, Clear Creek, Colorado
[Empire, Clear Creek, Colorado]
Age: 52
Birth Date: Apr 1848
Birthplace: Canada Eng
[Canada English]
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relationship to head-of-house: Head
Father’s Birthplace: England
Mother’s Birthplace: England
Marital Status: Widowed
Occupation: Teamster
Household Members:
Name Age
George Chapman 52
Grace L Chapman 17 b. Colorado father b. Canada mother b. NY
Ella C Chapman 13 KS
Florence A Chapman 13 KS
Frances J Chapman 10 Colorado
Georgia L Chapman 9
Lillie A Chapman 7

The 1910 census shows George Chapman in Lemon, Clear Creek, Colorado. His date of immigration isn’t given in the 1900 census but it is in the 1910. He is stated as immigrating in 1856, which happens to be the same year that Judge Charles E. Elliott had immigrated from Canada, the individual with whom the elder Chapman was boarding in 1880. Is this purely coincidental? Interestingly, in 1860, Charles E. Elliott was living in Neosho, Newton, Missouri in the house of Andrew Tibbetts who was a 29 year old shoemaker from Indiana. That seems also somehow relevant considering George Chapman was also a shoemaker. There aren’t many of those in the census.

It seems that George W. Chapman may have then immigrated as early as 1856. I am, however, unable to locate him in the 1860 census.

Letters of George Chapman to the local newspaper reveal he had a fervent interest in the area and how it might best profit, expounding on silk worms, bees, apples, mining and other subjects. Every so often a report, too, would be made of a new acquisition to his mineral trove. Only 4 months before his death he wrote suggesting the town, having acquired a library, should now get a good restaurant. 3 months before his death he wrote of having, after 20 years, managed to trade some of the rocks for coral, and extended an invitation for people to view the specimens.

Given that he had such a fondness for writing, I had thought I might find via Google Books letters he may have written to any freethought publications, but I’ve come across none.

George W. Chapman died the 1st of August, 1898.


One by one the old timers are passing away. It has been the duty of the RECORD in the past fifteen years to chronicle the deaths of many of the early settlers of this locality, but among them all none were so noted for peculiar characteristics as Dr. Chapman who died on Monday morning, the 1st, at his home in this city.

George W. Chapman was born December 27th, 1818, at Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England. While yet a small boy he lost his leg by amputation made necessary from white swelling. When about twenty years of age he left England for Canada, where he remained until his removal to the Solomon Valley, settling at Waconda, Sept. 1st, 1971. He established a shoe store, later adding a stock of drugs, and, having acquired a knowledge of medicine and law in his younger days, practiced as a physician and lawyer, and in recent years he has signed communications as “Cobbler and M.D.” He was also Justice of the Peace, and early settlers tell of some queer and arbitrary decisions made by him. Waconda was the frontier town of its day but Cawker City gained the ascendancy in 1871 by A. Parker locating his store here, and the decline of Waconda began, the settlers gradually moving themselves and buildings to Cawker City, Dr. Chapman vehemently protesting against the removal of the buildings, and tenaciously maintained his home there, the gable of his residence decorated with geological specimens which he had collected. But the Doctor finally succumbed to the inevitable and in 1884 moved to this place, bought a residence and later rebuilt, which he occupied as his home and shoe shop until the day of his death. The Doctor was a geologist and had made large collections of mineralogical and geological specimens, the most valuable of which he presented to the Woman’s Hesperian Club of this city with the understanding that they were to erect and pay for a Library building before they acquire ownership to the collection, which they did, and thus Cawker is indebted to Dr. Chapman for the Library, building and collection of specimens.

Dr. Chapman was very peculiar in his habits and manner living nearly the life of a hermit, for he repelled rather than attracted those who would have been friendly with him. He was a pronounced infidel and never neglected an opportunity to express his peculiar views, but he was strictly honest in his limited dealings with his fellow men, and though crippled, he was not dependent upon others for support, but was very frugal and always had a little surplus of money. His will names D. C. Everson, J. G. McClun and M. Meibergen as executors.

The Woman’s Hesperian Library Club gathered at the Library Building, where the remains were taken, at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. L. S. Tucker, as chairman of the meeting, spoke of the occasion, that had called them together and of Dr. Chapman, that though unable physically to compete with able bodied men in the battle of life, yet he had made a success, in that he had always a home and had never called on others to help him but he had helped them in his motto being: “The world is my country; to do good is my religion.”

Mrs. M. L. Mathews, as president of the Club spoke on their behalf, quoting Holmes, that “Life is a problem and we must know all the factors to solve the problem.”

Judge Smith stated that he had known the deceased 27 years and his whole life had seemed to be an ?, that he would question himself as severely as any one else or his position of today he would question tomorrow.

H. S. Potter stated that it is written: “Pure and undefiled religion is to visit the widow and fatherless in their affliction, and keep yourself unspotted from the world,” this the Doctor had done, when not able to visit he had put his hands in his pocket to help them.

Mrs. Alrich stated that it did not seem a mere chance that led Dr. Chapman to collect the mineral cabinet, and Mrs. M. L. Berry to interest women in a Library, and that their united efforts gave us the Library we now enjoy; also that though the two founders were dead, who plowed or sowed, matters not to the reaper in the harvest, we are only remembered by what we have done.

Rev. Aller spoke as a citizen that though they could not ask him as a minister, and that probably the Doctor would have requested that he be not present, he could not help testifying to the interest he had felt in him; and that the utterance of his last days had shown there was a pent up longing within, to know something of a hereafter–that this life was not the end.

The remains were interred in the Prairie Grove Cemetery.

Two sons are known to survive the deceased, one George Chapman, a miner residing at Dumont, Col., and another in Denver.

Waconda would be Wakonda, which is an American Indian name for the unseen, mysterious force, or spirit, that is in all and unifies all.

UPDATE: Had Liberal received Chapman’s geological specimens, instead of Cawker, they would have perhaps received a portion of the meteorite Chapman discovered in Kansas in 1873. The story about it is here.

UPDATE (November 19 2011): Another utopian colony with which George Chapman was involved was Silkville in Kansas, where he lived for a year. Out West has more information on this discovery. The name of the town suits what industry was intended for the community, that of silk farming. The utopian Alphadelphia Association was, as well, interested in the production of silk, both communities inspired by Albert Brisbane, a U.S. “disciple” of Charles Fourier. Henry R. Schetterly, who founded Alphadelphia, is given as a “disciple” of Brisbane, and Ernest Valeton de Boissiere, the French founder of Silkville, involved the utopians Albert Brisbane and E. P. Grant in the Silkville venture, meeting them in 1868, but I read that of them only de Boissiere remained, the hardships of life in Kansas proving too much for Grant and Brisbane. There was perhaps talk of silk at Liberal, MO, for Victor Hugo Noyes, whose father and grandfather had been at Alphadelphia, traveling to India and China in the 1880s, brought home silkworms and had the opportunity in his short life to experiment some with producing it.

Asa Clark Briggs and Mary Ann Noyes

Mary Ann Noyes, the daughter of James Noyes and Rebecca Russell, b. 1813 Jan 16 in Ontario, Wayne, New York, married Asa Clark Briggs. They appear, from the census, to have had 5 children: James F., Jane F., Asa, John and Abbie.

For some reason we’ve no photos of Mary Ann, but we do have this one of Asa. Judging from his appearance and style of clothing, I am wondering if this was taken when he was in his early to mid 50s, which would have been the early to mid part of the 1860s. It’s regrettable that we don’t have one of Mary Ann as well.

Removed some of the yellow cast

Courtesy of Nancy Benton

Following is the census information for them. In 1900, Mary Ann was said to be living with her daughter’s family in Tabor, Iowa. I located them on the census but Mary Ann wasn’t with them.

In 1840 there is an extra female in the household, age 15 to 20. I believe this is likely Mary’s younger sister, Eliza Ann, their father, James Noyes, having died in 1835. John Wesley Noyes, Mary’s older brother, is living beside them. The older woman in the household is likely Rebecca Russell Noyes, their widowed mother.

1840 Michigan, Kalamazoo County, Brady
Page 224, Image 204, Roll M704_206
Phlo C. MCCOMBER – – – – 1 / – – – – 1
Daniel T. PIERCE – – – – 1 1
Benjamin TAYLOR – – 1 1 1 – – – 1/ – – – 2 – – – 1
Asa C. BRIGGS 1 – – – 1/ 1 – – 1 1
John W. NOYS – 1 1 – 1 1 / 1 1 – – – 1 – – 1
Benjamin TRIBBLE or TUTTLE 1 1 – – 1/ 1 1 – – 1

1850 Schoolcraft, Kalamazoo, Michigan
1366/1380 A. C. BRIGGS 37 b. VT
Mary A. 37 b. NY
James F. 13 (?) b. MI
Jane F. 10 b. MI
Asa 7 b. MI
John 5 b. MI
Alben ? (male) 2 b. MI

1860 Silvercreek, Mills, Iowa
668/610 A C BRIGGS 47 farmer 5000 1000 VT
Mary A. 47 NY
James F. 19 MI
Asa 16
John 14
Abbie 12

Below, Asa and Mary Ann are living next to their eldest son, James, given here as J. H.

1870 Logan, Dodge, Nebraska
197/185 BRIGGS Asa C. 57 Grocer 11,200 2000 VT
Mary Ann 57 NH
A farm laborer is with them, illegible name
198/180 BRIGGS J. H. 33 grocer 1060 2000 MI
Marthey 33 NY
Russell 9 IA
Olesen Margrett 16 domestic servant Sweden
Martin Christ 22 works in mill Prussia

In 1880, Clark (A. C.) Briggs, in the census as A. W. Briggs, and Mary Ann are living beside Mary Ann’s sister, Eliza, and her husband Phillip Rowe.

A. W. BRIGGS 51 VT farmer parents b. VT
M. A. 49 b. NY parents b. NY
Alta CRANE daughter 24 b. IA teaching school
Kate BRIGGS 17 b. IA
Charlie 15 b. IA farming
Winnie 12 b. IA
P. ROWE 65 NJ farmer parents b. NJ
Eliza 55 b. NY parents b. NY
Harry 18 b. IA farming (adopted son) b. IA parents b. NY
Alice 15 b. IA (adopted daughter) b. IA parents b. NY
William DUNAGAN household
D. C. BRIGGS 60 b. VT farming parents b. VT
Catherine 52 b. NY parents b. NY
Ida 20 b. IA
Carr BEEVE 26 b. MI farmhand
Salem CURTIS 26 b. OH farmhand
Adison COLWELL 18 b. IA farmhand

Pen sketches of Nebraskans By Edmunds, A. C. of Lincoln, Neb, provides the following bio on Asa.

ASA CLARK BRIGGS is not an aspirant for political place or power. He prefers the uninterrupted secular pursuits, which afford him not only a living but a comfortable home. He is a native of Vermont, where he was born September 12, 1812. His grandfather, on his father’s side, was a native of Rhode Island, but emigrated to Vermont in an early day, when the Green Mountains formed the western borders of civilization. Here, among the hills and mountain crags, he raised a family of five children, of whom the father of the subject of this sketch was the oldest. During his twentieth year, Asa accompanied his parents to Michigan. They settled in Kalamazoo county and engaged in farming and stock raising, in which the father continued up to the time of his death. Young Briggs, in casting about for himself, finally determined on the trade of a carpenter and engaged earnestly in that branch of labor, but he soon found an opportunity of exercising his gifts in a different channel by entering the list of traders. He became a merchant, and followed that line, with moderate success, until 1856, when he closed his accumulative business and removed to Mills county, Iowa, purchased a farm and became a tiller of the soil. In 1861 he purchased a mill in Dodge county, Nebraska, of which he took personal charge and where he now resides. He has added to his milling interests blacksmithing and merchandizing, in which he is winning equal success.

In 1861 he was in the midst of the Indian “scare.” His wife, who had not then removed to Nebraska, heard that her husband, with other frontiermen, had been murdered. But the glad-tiding of safety and “false alarm” was received in a few days, and there was joy again in that household.

In the fall of 1862 his son, with his family, removed to the new home of the father and took a half interest in the mill. This partnership still continues.

Not being an aspirant for office, and having no “axe to grind,” he has had but a limited place among the public men of the state. In 1867 he was elected county commissioner, and re-elected in 1869 for three years, illustrating the satisfaction of the people in his first official term. In 1870 he was elected to represent Dodge county in the eighth Legislature, of which he was a punctual, reliable, consistent member and faithful worker.

Politically his affinity was with the old Whig party until it was supplanted by Republicanism, of which he became an ardent supporter.

Mr. Briggs is one of those orderly, retiring, industrious men, who always find some useful employment for mind and muscle. If others are more polished with book knowledge and a fine exterior, none have a more true or loyal heart within. He will be missed from his circle, sadly missed, when his place becomes vacant.

Both Asa and Mary are found buried in the Logan Cemetery in Winslow, Dodge County, Nebraska. Asa died July 7, 1887 in Logan, while Mary Ann died Nov 13 1901 in Tabor, Fremont, Iowa, in the home of her daughter, Mrs. Laird.

Asa Clark Briggs memorial at the Logan Cemetery, Winslow, Dodge, Nebraska at Findagrave.

Findagrave offers the following obituary of Asa:

Fremont Daily Herald
July 8, 1887

Died – At his residence in Logan, on Thursday morning, Asa Clark
Briggs, aged 74 years, 9 months and 21 days. Mr. Briggs was one of
the early settlers of Dodge county, and well and favorably known in
this section. He was for several years county treasurer of Dodge
county, and a man universally respected where he was known. Few
men had more friends than “Uncle Asa” Briggs, and his death will be
sincerely regretted.

There is also the following, which provides an interesting note on the harshness of the winter of 1856:

The Hooper Sentinel
October 2, 1930

From Historical Sketch of Logan Mills Community By R. L. Briggs

A. C. Briggs was born at Plymouth Vermont, Sept. 12, 1812, the
eldest of a family of five. At 20 moved with his father to
Kalamazoo County, Mich. Selecting the occupation of a carpenter.
Worked in Detroit and Buffalo, N.Y. as a pattern maker.

Married Mary Ann Noyes, a daughter of a Methodist circuit rider in
New York and back to Michigan. In the summer of l856 he, with his
family of five children, drove a band of 700 sheep from Michigan to
Glenwood, Iowa. The winter of ’56 having been unusually severe, one
half of this flock were lost by drifting snow. He bought and
improved 320 acres of good Iowa land.

In the year 1861 he came to Logan, Nebraska, and bought half
interest in the Logan Mills.

Mary Ann Noyes Briggs’ memorial at Logan Cemetery, Winslow, Dodge, Nebraska at the Findagrave site.

The Findagrave site provides this obituary of Mary.


The Hooper Sentinel
November 20, 1902

Mrs. Mary A. Briggs was born Jan. 16, 1813 in Ontario county, New York, and died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. H. R. Laird (note: Jane F. married Hamlin R.), in Tabor, Iowa, where she had made her home for the past 8 years, last Friday morning, of heart failure. Her body was brought to Hooper, Saturday, and funeral services were held from the Methodist church, Sunday morning at 11 o’clock, Rev. Wm. Esplin officiating. The interment was in the Logan cemetery by the side of her husband who died in ’87. When she was quite young her family removed to Kalamazoo county, Michigan, where March 12, 1834, she was married to Asa C. Briggs. To this union were born four sons and one daughter, all of whom are living and were present at the funeral to say the last sad tribute to the memory of their devoted mother. In 1856 with her husband and children she removed to Mills county, Iowa, and in 1866 from there to Dodge county, Nebraska.

As one of the pioneer women of the state, she saw many of the hardships and trials of the early days. Her life during her long residence here was like an open book in which can be read obedience
to her God, devotion to her family, faithfulness to her friends and charity for all mankind.

When but 13 years of age she joined the Methodist Episcopal church and when the church at Hooper was organized she became one of the charter members and remained a consistent member until her death. The very large number at the services Sunday was an eloquent testimonial of the love and esteem in which she was held in the community.

James Noyes Originally Owned the Land Upon Which is the University of Michigan

A mention of James Noyes is found in the History of Washtenaw County, Michigan” by Chas. C. Chapman & Co., published in 1881.

In August, 1827, Elisha W. Rumsey died in the house built by Mr. Osterhaut, and the tavern was occupied about this time by Oliver Whitmore. Mr. Rumsey was captain of the first militia company organized in this county, and the first training by the militia was in 1825. One small company then comprised the entire militia of this county. His brother, Judge Henry Rumsey, bought 80 acres of land from James Noyes, in 1825, including the grounds of the University of Michigan.”

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E. W. Rumsey was a co-founder of Ann Arbor, Michigan. But when I look him up I find that Elisha Rumsey was instead Walker Rumsey of Bethany, Genesee County, NY. And he was running from the law when he first arrived in Michigan.

…he bought pork at Canada and packed it. Rodney Taylor helped him cut and pack it, and send it to Albany. In this way he became acquainted with Trotter & Co., the firm in Albany who bought his pork, and who sent him $3000 to buy cattle with. He advertised for the farmers to bring in their cattle on specified days at the center of Bethany and Stafford, but he failed to appear. Some time before this his wife and he had become acquainted with Ann Sprague, a grass widow of prepossessing attractions. Now, Rumsey, after receiving the $3000, went with Ann Sprague to Canada with his pockets full of money. After getting there he found, if caught in that country, it would be worse for him than if caught in the states; hence, he now starts for Michigan.

Rumsey wasn’t committing bigamy, his wife had died by this time. He was found in Michigan and taken to Albany to jail twice before the matter was finished with. Because of this matter, he changed his name.

There’s an interesting bit on Judge Henry Rumsey from the website of the Ann Arbor Fraternity No.262:

Among the founding members of the Western Star Lodge was Mr. Henry Rumsey, the blood brother of one of the two men who founded the city of Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor was founded in 1824 by John Allen of Virginia and Elisha W. Rumsey of New York, who traveled from Detroit by one-horse sleigh with the purpose of establishing a town and selling land. John Allen sold the house he originally built in the area; at the corner of what is now Huron and First Streets, to his brother James in 1824. James Allen constructed on the log cabin home and increased its size to open it as “Allen’s Tavern,” which became well known as “Bloody Corners” because the building had a vivid red paint finish. It was in this very tavern that in 1827 the first Masonic Lodge in the area was formed by a number of local Freemasons including Henry Rumsey, brother of Elisha Rumsey. Western Star Lodge No. 6 received dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Michigan on January 16, 1827.

One thus can envision the bright red tavern of James Allen, who co-founded Ann Arbor with Elisha (nee Walker) in 1824.

I’m assuming that the James Noyes referred to here is the elder, born 1771, married to Rebecca Russell. They had settled in Michigan by 1824 with their family, and lived in Ann Arbor after its founding. His son James Noyes and Sally Marble had James Allen Noyes in 1826. I’m thinking that in all probability, the middle name of Allen was given James Allen in honor of the Allen family.

The following portion from a talk given to the Washtenaw County Historical Society, in 1997, by Dean Emeritus Russell E. Bidlack, School of Library Science at the University of Michigan, further reveals that the Allens were also on the run when they came to Michigan, and that Ann, the wife of John, didn’t think much of Ann Arbor.

John Allen was a widower with two children of his own which was fine except he was very much in debt as a result of some bad investments made by his father, Col. James Allen.

I can’t go into the story of John Allen today but debts that John assumed for himself for a while on behalf of his father amounted to $40,000, a horrendous amount of money.

Before the marriage, however, documents on file in the court records of Augusta County prove that John transferred the debts, along with his own farm his father had given him earlier, so that when the creditors foreclosed and took everything, it was the father that had owed the debts for the most part…

John, with Ann, moved to his unclaimed farm. His two children were with his parents, Col. James and Elizabeth Allen. Throughout their youth they were with their grandparents.

And, when Ann went with John to John’s farm, she left her two sons with James McCue, who had immediately declared himself their guardian, with a $10,000 bond, so they would be protected from their new step-father.

On May 10, 1823, Ann Allen gave birth to her only child by John, a daughter, Sarah Ann, the daughter whom I described earlier from the letter. She was named for her grandmother who happened to die the same year in Virginia.

That autumn Ann with her new daughter moved back to James McCue’s home, while John went on a money-making venture to Baltimore.

The stories passed down by different branches of the family vary somewhat. I have one written record along with the traditions but we know in any case that John took a herd of cattle to Baltimore.

That was the way you took cattle to market in those days. It’s 200 miles to Baltimore from the Staunton area yet to go to market you had to drive the cattle. He must have had some help, a boy or something. Of course these were not really his cattle. Either he had bought them on credit, which is one version, or the cattle actually belonged to the neighbors who couldn’t afford to take only one or two to market. According to the other version it was customary to get a herd together in the fall and somebody would volunteer to take them.

In any case everybody expected John to come back but he did not. Weeks, months passed. According to an account written by the son of James McCue, who grew up with Ann’s two sons, it became a general rumor that he’d been murdered.

Actually, he had sold the cattle for several hundred dollars. He was now 27 years old. He set out for Buffalo. He heard that you could buy government land for $1.25 an acre in such places as Ohio or Michigan Territory and somewhere he had read about how you could buy $1.25 land–lay out some lots, give some lots to merchants, mechanics blacksmiths and so on and start a town.

You could start a town and your property would increase in value so he had this in mind…

Meanwhile, back in Virginia, the rumor about murder had been cleared up. The tax collector in 1824 wrote one word after John’s name–absconded. That ended John’s career in Augusta County.

After spending November and December, 1823, in Buffalo and getting some advice there, John decided to go to Detroit. It was too late to cross on the lake so he hired a Frenchman to guide him through Canada.

…while in Detroit, I’m sure it was in a tavern–there were five of them in Detroit at that point–he became acquainted with another man who was also looking to buy land but definitely in Michigan Territory.

This was a man named Elisha Walker Rumsey…

…Governor Cass may have told him about a trip he had taken along the Huron River and he had discovered there was a very nice spot on the Huron with oak openings that would be a mighty nice place for a village.

I think that was exactly where Elisha and John set out for in their sleigh in February, 1824, to explore. I think they knew what they were looking for. In any case, they chose the spot that became Ann Arbor and began building.

How Ann and his parents learned of his whereabouts, I’m not sure when it happened. I know they received a letter in August 1824.

It happened that John had an aunt, Jane Trimble, his father’s sister. If you know your Ohio history, there was a Governor Trimble–that was her son. She was back in Virginia visiting relatives. She wrote her son back in Ohio on August 24, 1824.

She said that Col. James Allen had been to the McCue home where she was visiting. (Her daughter had married James McCue.) She said a letter had arrived directing John’s father which way to go to Ann Arbor. The wording suggests to me that this was not the first news the parents had about John’s whereabouts.

Ann, too, had received a letter, included in the one to his father, telling her he wanted her to come to Ann Arbor and bring their daughter. He knew very well that her two sons would not be able to come–the guardian would keep them in Virginia.

The parents were expecting to go because in the foreclosure of all James Allen’s land he had been given until October 1, 1824, to move out of the mansion. A colonel in the militia, an elder in the Presbyterian Church, had come to this bad end….

They went by covered wagon. Happily, Turner Allen kept notes and later wrote a detailed account of the journey, exactly how they went, difficulties they had–the wagon tipped over at one point. They had four horses to pull the wagon, three to drive.

Ann rode almost all the way according to her own statements, carrying her daughter in her lap. She was an experienced rider as were all Southern ladies according to Dr. Faust, primarily because the plantations were so far apart and horseback was the only logical way of transportation. How did they ride? Sidesaddle. Imagine Ann on this almost two-month trip riding side saddle.

Ann greatly feared Indians. Turner Allen told about one time when they were camping near Indians and Ann said, “Their cattle even low savage.”

They arrived in Detroit. John was there to meet them; then they went to the new settlement and they arrived October 16, 1824. (Once I wrote October 24 for which I apologize.)

John showed Ann around. I can imagine Ann’s shock. Perhaps the best way I can describe that is to quote from a lady arriving two weeks after Ann. This was Harriet Noble who came with her husband, her husband’s brother and his wife and nine children in all, from New York.

They had been there earlier and John helped them find land near Ann Arbor village. They came to take up their land and build their cabins.

This is what Harriet Noble remembered: “There were six or seven log huts, occupied by as many inmates as could crawl into them. It was too much to think of asking strangers to give us a place to stay in even for one night under such circumstances.

“Mr. John Allen, himself, made us the offer of sharing with him the comforts of a shelter from storm if not from cold. The house was large for a log one but quite unfinished. There was a ground floor and a single loft above. (John’s family was in here along with two or three men he hired in Detroit to help build the huts.)

“When we got our things stored in the place we found the number to be sheltered to be 21 women and children and 14 men. There were only two bedsteads in the house and those, who could not occupy these, slept on feather beds on the floor.

“When the children were put to bed you could not set a foot down without stepping on a foot or a hand. The consequence was we had music most of the time.

“We cooked our meals in the open air, there being no fire in the house except a small box stove. The fall winds were not very favorable for such business. We would frequently find our clothes on fire.

“We did not often get burned but when one meal was over we dreaded to start the next. We lived in this way until our husbands got a log house with a roof on. That took them six weeks.”

I imagine Ann was fretting during this period.

The cabin that had been built by John Allen lasted until they could build a cabin for his parents. Then John’s two children by his first wife moved in with their grandparents, as they had always lived with them. John built a fireplace and in February 1825 he wrote a letter to Aunt Jane Trimble, which happily survives.

I’ll quote a paragraph. As I talk about him imagine a man who is always optimistic, always striving to be a leader, dreaming great dreams, imagining he would be wealthy as his father once had been, confident.

“We live in a small log house, one room down, one room upstairs or rather up ladder, with a good fireplace and cooking stove by which Ann does the work of our family with ease and none to fret or put her out of temper. When the business of the day is through with and we’ve seated ourselves around the fire there is none to disturb us. We lie down and rise up contented and happy.”

I would love to have a letter written by Ann about this.

Ann was deeply religious. She was a Presbyterian. She read a great deal of Presbyterian literature along with other literature.

She was certainly ill-prepared to be a pioneer wife. She did not find any Southerners in Ann Arbor; the rest of the settlers came from New York and New England. Except for her mother-in-law, she was alone among Yankee settlers.

She was sometimes referred to in later years as being melancholy. I suspect she had good reason. She had never performed domestic labor before and here she found herself a pioneer among Yankee women who were accustomed to not only working in the house but outdoors as well.

Furthermore, she had a growing feeling of guilt that she had left two little boys, motherless, back in Virginia. As weeks and months passed she wondered whether they would even remember her. I suspect Ann Allen had relatively few happy days in her 18 years in Ann Arbor.

One time she wrote to her son, Thomas, when he had suggested he might come to Ann Arbor to live. She urged him not to. She said the settlers are nothing but scapegoats who have made their place as a refuge from creditors for unlawful deeds. Unprincipled, they live by art and cunning. He who can outwit his neighbor is the better man–her view of Yankees.

John Allen took up Yankee ways himself. He began condemning slavery. He had owned eight slaves that he lost in the father’s debts. I suspect Ann never saw the evil in slavery.

1898 Ad for an Evercirculator from Liberal, Missouri

I found the below posted from Liberal, Missouri in 1898.

Volume XII. January 1898, No. 1
Cincinnati, Ohio

WANTED – Five or six correspondents in Benn Pitman phonography to form an evercirculator. JAMES H ROBERTS, Box 91, Liberal, Missouri

So, what was an “evercirculator”? I go to an article in the Sep 1949 “The Rotarian” and find that an evercirculator was built on the theme of the round-robin letter.

…the idea calls for the continuous circulation of a notebook of writings, with an editor and, say, six contributors living in widely separated regions.

The editor obtains a loose-leaf notebook of convenient size, allows ten pages for each contributor, writes the first article, and mails the book to the second person on the list. Each contributor should have the book for a limited time–say, a week. He should read the contributions of the others, add his, and send the book to the next contributor. When the book makes its second or succeeding rounds, each contributor removes his first article and adds a new one.

What was Benn Pitman phonography?


A John Roberts was included as an early (pre Walser) settler in the O. E. Harmon book The Story of Liberal. Perhaps James H. Roberts, who posted the requests for correspondents on Benn Pitman phonography, was a relative. Perhaps not.

I wonder if James got his evercirculator off the ground?

“The Decline of Faith” – A page from the Bengali translation from the belongings of Victor Hugo Noyes

19th Century Freethought pamphlet

19th Century Freethought pamphlet

This page from a leaflet of John E. Remsburg’s “The Decline of Faith”, noted as “translated into the Bengalee language by Kedarnath Basu M.C. a leader of the Freethought Movement in Bengal, India”, is believed to be from Victor Hugo Noyes’ travel to India pre 1886. The image is courtesy of Nancy Benton.

Who was Remsburg?

Remsburg, John E., author and lecturer, was born in Fremont, Ohio, Jan. 7, 1848, a son of George J. and Sarah A. (Willey) Remsburg. He enlisted in the Union army at the age of sixteen; married Miss Nora M. Eiler of Atchison, Kan., Oct. 9, 1870; was a teacher for 15 years, then a writer and lecturer in support of free thought, his lectures being translated into German, French, Bohemian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian. Bengali and Singalese. He was superintendent of public instruction in Atchison county, Kan., for four years; is a life member of the American Secular Union, of which he was president for three years; a member of the Kansas State Horticultural Society; author of a “Life of Thomas Paine,” 1880; “The Image Breaker,” 1882; False Claims,” 1883; “Bible Morals,” 1884; “Sabbath Breakers,” 1885; “The Fathers of Our Republic,” 1886; “Was Lincoln a Christian,” 1893; “Was Washington a Christian,” 1899; “The Bible,” 1903; “Six Historic Americans,” 1906; “The Christ,” 1909.

Page 570 from volume II of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. … / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.

The Wikipedia entry on Remsburg supplies more information.

“The Decline of Faith” was published in 1882 as part of a collection of Remsburg’s articles in The Image Breaker, put out by the Truth Seeker publishing company, out of New York. I find ads for “The Decline of Faith” published in a variety of freethought publications, but the real deal itself doesn’t appear to be online.

I would think it likely, Remsburg being a very popular speaker hailing from Kansas, that Victor Hugo Noyes had opportunity to see Remsburg speak in person. Perhaps Remsburg even had speaking engagements in Liberal, Missouri.

Note in the below page of testimonials, published in 1887, a clip from the Atchison Globe stated, “An edition of 15,000 Image Breakers in India has already been exhausted.”

And we even spy a testimonial by Kedarnath Basu, the translator. “They are full of terse, trenchant, radical matter, and will open the eyes of every reasonable man.”

Roswell Ransom at Alphadelphia

Roswell Ransom was a stockholder in the Alphadelphia Association. A brother of his was Dr. Farnsworth Fletcher Ransom, whose wife was Elizabeth Noyes, a sister of John Humphrey Noyes who founded the The Oneida Community. My James Noyes and John Humphrey Noyes were only 4th cousins, but I still have found it interesting that Elizabeth’s husband would end up in close proximity of the Alphadelphia experiment (she had died by the time it was begun) and have wondered if he had any communication with John Humphrey Noyes and might have sent him his impressions of Alphadelphia.

Below are bios of Roswell Ransom and Farnsworth Fletcher Ransom that were written by Wyllys Cadwell Ransom. He gives an account of Roswell’s association with it and defines the Alphadelphia experiment as “evil”, “delusive” and “disastrous”.

Who was this Wyllys Cadwell Ransom? Born in 1828, he was the eldest son of the eldest son of Ezekiel and Lucinda Fletcher Ransom, who were the parents of the above Roswell and Farnsworth Fletcher Ransom. So he too lived in Kalamazoo, his family making its way out there in 1834.

Already a brother and sister, with their families, and an unmarried brother had made their way to Michigan, and the glowing accounts that they sent back of the beauty and advantages of the new home soon decided the lawyer to follow in their footsteps.

Wyllys’ father was Epaphroditus Ransom, a lawyer, banker and politician who was governor of Michigan from 1848 to 1850. He proved unpopular as he held a strong anti-slavery position.

* * * * *

Historical outline of the Ransom family of America
By Wyllys Cadwell Ransom

ROSWELL RANSOM, third son and sixth child of Major Ezekiel and Lucinda Fletcher Ransom, was born at Townshend, Vt., Nov. 21, 1802. He was named for that worthy great uncle of Revolutionary fame, Roswell Ransom, of Colchester, who was with the expedition to Quebec in 1777, was captured and thrown into a military prison to undergo almost unmitigated suffering until exchanged, when he returned to his command in the Continental line, in which he served to the end of the war.

Roswell, of Townshend, was reared on the farm at home and fitted as well as possible for his future career as an agriculturist. He remained with his father until about 1830, when he was seized with the idea afterwards ascribed as original with Horace Greeley, of going West, to grow up with the country. So with his bundle over his shoulder and a few dollars in his pocket, the savings that he had made since he had worked for himself, he bade farewell to his “ancestral halls” and started out for a long tramp for the new country beyond the great lakes, the fame of which was borne on every breeze from the far distant region. Full of hope and enthusiasm he began the tedious expedition, not knowing how far his venture would take him. Pushing on from one point to another he finally reached Tolland prairie, about 140 miles west of Detroit, which he at once decided was good enough for him, and within a few days he had bought out Tolland, the first settler on the prairie, securing the finest tract of land in that region, on which there was a log house uncompleted and a few acres under plough. After a short stay to arrange for the finishing of the house, and for the fencing and breaking of additional land the next spring, he returned to Vermont, where he passed the remainder of the winter and married Wealthy Lauretta Shafter, daughter of .Col. William, R. Shafter, of Townshend, a merchant and man of affairs generally. The newly married couple set out for their distant home in Michigan in May, 1831, and with their few household effects a month later reached their destination, both in good heart for the hard and trying experiences in store for them. Sept. 3, 1832, their first born, Elizabeth, came to them, and in a row, with strangely equal intervals until 1848, they had a happy array of seven children, five girls and two boys. After reaching their Michigan home, though encountering their full share of hardships incidental to the settling in a new country, the Lord seemed to prosper their undertakings, until in an evil moment Roswell was persuaded against the protests of all his friends to join in the Fourier experiment that was set on foot during the year 1841 by a group of visionary Socialists near Galesburgh, and close by his home. By their delusive project they succeeded in securing several large farms for co-operative uses, his among others, and notwithstanding for a time only rainbows with the fancied pot of gold at the foot of every one of them was in sight, it proved in the end a most disastrous venture for all that were engaged in it. The scheme was anything but a success, and’ the members soon fell to quarreling among themselves, each one for himself, to get out of the wreck with as little loss as possible. The whole affair finally collapsed, leaving the property once under its control involved in ruinous litigation. By dint of good management Roswell extricated himself from the tangle at last, and in course of time recovered possession of his farm, but encumbered with a mortgage liability, incidental to the closure with the Fourier association, and a few years later he was obliged to sacrifice his property to meet liabilities outstanding on that account.

After leaving his farm he moved into the village of Galesburgh, on the east edge of the prairie, and engaged in milling and mercantile business for many years, until his death, which occurred Nov. 13, 1877.

No more kindly-hearted, genial man ever existed than Roswell Ransom. He was one of those always more ready to confide in the good qualities of associates than to be suspicious and on the look out for their bad ones. Such confidence sometimes brought undesirable consequences in its train, but rarely did he resent an injustice by retaliation, seemingly willing to leave it to time, the great healer, to bring restitution for an injury and to “render unto Caesar the things that were Caesar’s.” For many years, politically, he was a Democrat, but when the agitation of the slavery question became rife all over the North, he soon joined the ranks of the Abolition party.

His wife, Wealthy Lauretta Shafter, born at Athens, Windham Co., Vt., Oct. 22, 1810, was a woman of irrepressible energy and force.

It was largely through her unfailing help and hopeful endeavor that they managed to “pull through” the adverse experiences that followed upon the mistaken plans of the early 40s. She died at Kalamazoo, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Mary Burdick, Aug. 28, 1892, and her remains were buried by the side of her husband’s, in the cemetery near Galesburgh.

They had a family of seven children, five daughters and two sons, all of whom still survive except Gertrude, the youngest daughter, who died at Nashville, Tenn., while engaged as a nurse at the Federal Hospital in that city, Dec. 28, 1865.

The remaining children are all married and have made homes widely separated from each other. Elizabeth, Mrs. Sutton, and Frances, Mrs. Van Doren are living at Los Angeles, Cal.; Helen, Mrs. Mills, resides at Kalamazoo, where her husband, Ephraim T., is the active secretary and treasurer of one of the most extensive manufacturing concerns in the West. Mary is also living at Kalamazoo; James Newton, the oldest son, is the proprietor of a large ranch in Texas, while his younger brother, Albert E., more familiarly known as “Loll,” lives at Salina, Kan., and not far away has a large stock farm, where he is engaged in raising fine horses.

The grand-children have turned out well, and seem to be enjoying prosperous and promising lives.

* * * * *

DR. FARNSWORTH FLETCHER RANSOM, second son and fifth child of Major Ezekiel and Lucinda Fletcher Ransom, was born at Townshend, Vt., Aug. 22, 1800. He was called, and usually signed himself, Fletcher in all business transactions. The name Farnsworth was after an early friend of his father, living at Shelburne Falls, Mass. He was brought up on the farm with his brothers and sisters, attending the public schools and academies of Windham County until he became of age, when he determined to be a doctor, and for a time he took up the study of medicine with his uncle, Dr. Luther Ransom, at Halifax, Vt., then a practitioner at that place. Subsequently, however, he went to Middlebury, Vt., where he took a partial course at Middlebury College, at the same time continuing his professional studies in the office of Dr. Jonathan Allen, a distinguished physician of that place. From Middlebury he went to the medical college at Castleton, Vt., from which he graduated in 1830, and located in Putney, Windham Co., in the medical practice, and was there married to his first wife, Elizabeth Noyes, June 28, 1831. He continued his practice at Putney until 1835, when he moved to Glenns Falls, Warren Co., N. Y. He remained there for about two years and then emigrated to Kalamazoo, Mich., where the most of his father’s family had already located. He decided to remain with them and to resume the practice of his profession. But it had never proved to his liking, and though not unsuccessful he determined to abandon it, and did. Shortly after he was elected Justice of the Peace, in which office he served acceptably, and was also chosen as representative in the legislature from Kalamazoo County, sessions of 1845 and 1846, where he was recognized as among the most useful members of the Lower House. Declining further office from his party he moved to the township of Alamo, Kalamazoo Co., to make it his home.

He had previously purchased from the government 3 large tract of lands and was able to go into the business of stock raising on an extensive scale. Such occupation was to his liking, and he continued in it until advancing years decided him to turn over the active management of the estate to his sons Charles and John, who had been with him constantly from their mother’s death, which occurred Oct. 16, 1840. He then resumed his residence in Kalamazoo and was there married to Miss Lucia Lovell for a second wife.. After his return to Kalamazoo he was badly crippled by a fall from a wagon, which disabled him from further participation in the active concerns of life. He died at Kalamazoo, Mich., June 3, 1867. Dr. Ransom was a man of far more than ordinary ability naturally, and had scholastic attainments of a high order. All through his earlier manhood he was an uncompromising Whig, but declined to follow that party into the Republican ranks, and joining the Democrat contingent, in full communion with his aforetime political enemies, died.

Caroline Atwell Noyes’ address book

Caroline Atwell Noyes’ address book shows:

J.A. Noyes Anna, Union Co., Illinois
N.W. Gilbert Montpelier, Vermont
Hannah M. Wolger 87 Hampshire St., Lawrence, Massachusetts
Mary Chilton Franklinville, N.C.
Marilla Wells Lawrence, Massachusetts

Written at another time:

Hannah M. Wolger No. 42 Broadway, South Lawrence, Massachusetts
Francis Barry Berlin Heights, Ohio

On second sheet, sometime later, in blue ink
Miss Carrie A. Hunkins Box 453 Waukesha, Wisconsin

SOURCE: Nancy Benton April 26 2003

J. A. Noyes in Anna, Union County, Illinois would seem to be noting when she and her husband James Allen Noyes were living in Anna.

The N. W. Gilbert is Norman West Gilbert, husband of her sister Sarah Ann Lydia Atwell who died in 1877. The 1870 census shows them in Montpelier.

I’ve no information on Mary Chilton or Marilla Wells.

The entry for Hannah Wolger on Broadway is likely to be at an earlier point in time than the Hampshire Street address, as her husband is seen on Hamphsire Street in the 1880 census, and Hannah appears to have died as her husband is then married to a Mary E. who was born in NY, not England.

The 1870 census for Lawrence Ward 3, Essex, Massachsetts shows:

280/579 WOLGER James G. 37 cotton weaver b. England
Hannah U. 31 b. NH
George A. 9/12 b. MA Sept.
GOULD Martha 63 b. MA

1860 shows:

Lawrence Ward 4, Essex, Massachusetts
1829/2592 Thomas HASELDIN 38 m Operator $75 pesonal property b. England
Alice 29 House keeper b. NH
Mary 18 Operator b.MA
1829/2593 James G. WOLGER 26 Operator b. England (Essex Co. 4 West Lawrence, page 342)
Hannah W. or M. (looks like a W but could be an M) 21 House keeper b. England
Martha GOULD 53 House keeper b. England

4th Ward (Essex Co., 5 West Lawrence, page 382)
1907/2710 George WOLGER 43 Laborer b. England
Annie 45 Housekeeper b. England
May A. 33 Operative b. England
Sarah 29 Operative b. England
James 26 Operative b. England
Hannah 24 Operative b. England
William 14 b. England
Elizabeth A. 4 b. England
Emmanuel CHARTSWORTH 37 Operative b. England

1850 shows:

Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts
66/83 Martha Gould 43 b. MA
Nehemiah 14 b. NH
Israel 13
Hannah W. 11

It is the Hannah Wolger, wife of James Wolger, who is in Carrie’s address book. James G. Wolger appears in the 1880 census living at 87 (or may read 89) Hampshire Street, but his wife is given as a Mary E., 42, born NY and her parents b. NY, so it seems Hannah may have died by 1880. Curiously, Wolger is a rare enough name and the 1880 census shows them in four areas. Wolgers from Germany are in Patterson, Pasaic, NJ. There is a pocket of Wolgers in, as mentioned, Lawrence, MA. There is a family with Wolgers in Thornapple, Barry Co., MI, and a family from England in Van Buren, Wayne County, MI.

It would seem Carrie knew the Wolgers from her time at the mill. The youngest child in the Lawrence Massachusetts Wolger families is 4 in 1860 and is given as born in England. If this is correct the Wolgers didn’t arrive in MA until at least 1856 and as Carrie wouldn’t have had an opportunity to meet them until at least 1856. Carrie was at Pacific Mills in Lawrence by 1854.

The Wolgers in Michigan in 1880 are a family that were in NY by 1845 and in Michigan by at least 1854, according to birthdates of children. I note this because it’s interesting they were in Michigan and Massachusetts, but it’s likely coincidental.

Francis Barry at Berlin Heights, Ohio, records her association with the free love community there. It was at Berlin Heights, Ohio that Carrie met James Allen Noyes.

As for Carrie Hunkins in Wisconsin, the 1880 census shows:

WI, Waukesha Co. Waukesha
A. S. HUNKINS widowed female 55 b. VT parents b. VT
W. F. son 23 b. WI
A. L. daughter in law 19 b. WI
Carrie daughter 24 b. WI
J. W. DRUITT other 26 b. MA merchant father b. VT
E. W. CHAPIN other 28 b. WI lawyer parents b. VT

This family would be that of Hazen Hastins Hunkins b. 19 May 1820 in Danville, Caledonia Co. VT, died 29 March 1879 Waukesha, Waukesha Co. WI and Aurelia Seymour Scagel (daughter of George Scagel and Deborah Hunkins) b. 4 Sept 1825 in Waterbury, Washington Co. VT, married 25 Nov 1847 in New Berlin, Waukesha Co. WI.

Carrie Hunkins was married in 1881 so this would have been noted previous to her marriage.

The family of Deborah Hunkins Scagel (mother of Aurelia) is the one Carrie would have stayed with in New Berlin, Waukesha, Wisconsin, after her time at the mill, which was why I was interested in when it seemed the Wolgers were first in Massachusetts.

Carrie Hunkins was related to Caroline Atwell Noyes in 3 ways. They were first cousins through Caroline’s mother, Rachel Scagel, and Carrie’s father, George Scagel Jr. They were 2nd cousins through Jacob Scagel and Rachel Lee (Aurelia as daughter of Deborah Hunkins who was daughter of Hannah Scagel, daughter of Jacob, while Caroline was daughter of Rachel Scagel who was daughter of George who was son of Jacob Scagel and Rachel Lee). And 2nd cousins through Captain Robert Hunkins and Lydia Chamberlain (Aurelia’s mother was Deborah Hunkins, Deborah’s father was Moses Hunkins son of Capt. Robert, while Caroline’s father was Hiram Atwell, son of Lydia Hunkins who was sister of Moses Hunkins).

Also, among some of (Caroline Atwell Noye’s) belongings I found a calling card for Mrs. H. H. Hunkins, edged in black, as though in mourning.
SOURCE: Nancy Benton 2 May 2003

Hazen Hastings Hunkins died 29 March 1879.