Robert Harrington Johnson and Bathsheba/Bersheba Potter

Robert Harrington Johnson was born 11 Nov 1796 in VA, the son of Francis Johnson and Nancy Harrington. A biography gives him as dying on 21 Feb 1837 at McLean Co. IL at 40 and is buried at the Scoggin Hill Cemetery in Bloomington IL. There is however a problem with his death date as on the 30th of March 1837 he took out a land patent for 80 acres in McLean county.

Bathsheba/Bersheba Potter is given as having been born 1789 in TN, and died 2 Oct. 1859 in McLean Co. IL. She is also buried at the Scoggin Hill Cemetery in Bloomington IL.

Robert and Bathsheba were married Aug 1814 in Overton Co. TN.

If one looks at the census information below, it seems reasonable that Bathsheba would be related to the family of a Thomas Potter who was located several pages away in the 1820 Jackson County, Tennessee census, but there as of yet no known links to the family. Also, that family didn’t enter Tennessee until, it seems, not long before 1820, whereas Bathsehba gives herself as born in Tennessee. She would not be a child of that family as that Thomas married an Ann, and it appears that Bathsheba’s mother may have been a Sarah. In 1830 an elder woman was in the household, and in Dec. 1831 RH Johnson applied to the Court for relief for Sarah Potter, an insane person in his care. I’m unable to find any burial information currently for Sarah Potter.

When Bathsheba was widowed in 1837, the eldest of her 10 children was but 12.

The family story as to their daughter, Mary Jane (our direct line), is as follows:

John (Fowler) was a Union sympathizer and had to leave NC. Came to Bloomington, IL where he decided to settle. He disguised himself as a peddler and returned to NC to get the girl he loved. They eloped and were married and moved to Osage Mission, KS in 1863. Her family was so angry with her husband that she never heard from them again.

Nancy Benton notes that this was passed along to her from Cora Granger, related to the Brewers through the Spurlings, along with family sheets prepared by Dottie Skinner Elliott, and that there was no source given other than family story.

The Johnson family had actually migrated to ILL when Mary Jane was little (see Robert Herrington Johnson information), her father died when she was only 5 years of age, she is in the 1850 census with her mother, and her mother died in 1859 (so both parents were dead before the move to Kansas) and even in 1860 Mary Jane had family living in the McLean County area around she and John. So that’s one story that bites the dust, though it raises questions as to why the estrangement story would have arisen in the first place. The story may be accidentally assigned and belong to a relative, and it was thought because Mary Jane moved to Kansas that she was the one estranged, or there may have been an estrangement here which has become mixed with the story of yet another.

The following article is the source for new data on the family that places the Johnsons in IL by the 1820s.

The article notes a George Hinshaw having constructed a cabin for Robert and his family prior his arrival. This is George Hinshaw who married Susannah, Robert’s sister. Marietta Johnson married a brother of George, Jacob. George and Jacob Hinshaw with their families moved to Illinois in the Spring of 1827, preceding Robert Harrington Johnson.

Dr. E. Duis, The Good Old Times in McLean County, Illinois
(The Leader Publishing and Printing House – 1874)

ROBERT HARRINGTON JOHNSON

Robert H. Johnson was born November 11, 1796, in Virginia. His father was
Francis Johnson, and his mother’s name before her marriage was Nancy
Harrington. Francis Johnson was born in Ireland, and brought to America when he
was four years of age. Nancy Harrington was partly of Pennsylvania Dutch
descent. When Robert Johnson was only four years of age he was taken to Jackson
County, Tennessee, where he lived until he was twenty-six or seven years of
age. There he followed framing and tanning leather. He married in August, 1814,
Bathsheba Potter. In about the year 1822 or ’23 he went to Overton County,
Tennessee, where he lived until the year 1828, when he came to Illinois. He
came on his journey by team and arrived at Blooming Grove on the first of
December. He had no particular adventure except that his daughter Mathurza fell
from a horse which she was riding, and broke her thighbone, and the party was
delayed fifteen days in consequence. The party arrived at Blooming Grove in the
evening of December 1, when everyone for miles around was at church. As the
party passed the church, a bell on one of the colts was heard by the
congregation, and it was known that another family had arrived. The addition of
a single family to the neighborhood was then a great event, and at the close of
the meeting the entire congregation, which was not large, though it included
everyone in the country for a great many miles around, came to see the Johnson
family and give them a welcome. No one waited for an introduction, but each
shook hands cordially and said: “How are you, Brother Johnson?” and, “How are
you, Sister Johnson?”

The family first moved to Three Mile Grove, now called Harley’s Grove, into a
log house fourteen feet square, with a few logs extending for a porch. This
cabin was put up for the Johnson family by George Hinshaw some months before
their arrival. It happened in the meantime that the Funks (Isaac and Absalom)
had driven a lot of pigs to this grove to eat the mast, and the latter had
taken possession of the unoccupied cabin. Pigs which have been running in the
timber, became wild, and when excited or aroused are more dangerous than any
other wild animal. During the night after the Johnson family moved into their
cabin, they heard their dog barking and fighting with the hogs. The cabin had
no door to it. A hole had been cut out for entrance, and also another for a
fire-place. In the latter a large fire was burning, and some green sticks were
near by. Mr. Johnson jumped up and grasped a long, green stick and met the
hogs, about seventy-five in number, in the door-way as they were attempting to
come in. He fought them there for life, while Mrs. Johnson prevented them from
coming in at the fire-place by throwing fire at them. Mr. Johnson fought until
he was exhausted completely. He battered their heads; he struck powerful blows,
and at last knocked off the snout of one of the hogs, which ran squealing away
to Funk’s Grove, followed by the whole drove. But Mr. Johnson, fearing the
return of the brutes, put his family into the wagon to protect them. The next
day Isaac, Absalom and Robert Funk came up to Harley’s Grove to whip the band
of villains, who, they thought, had been knocking out the eyes and breaking the
snouts of their hogs; but when they learned what a fight Mr. Johnson had made
to protect his family from being eaten up by the brutes, they left in a
different humor.

As the Johnson family was the first to settle in Harley’s Grove, the wild
animals were taken by surprise. A day or two after the hogs were driven off a
black wolf came up close to the door. During that winter Mr. Johnson killed a
great many deer within half a mile of the house. At one time he severely
wounded a deer, which turned on him and knocked him down several times; but it
was so badly hurt that he broke away and left it in a thicket within a few
hundred feet of the house. He went in for ammunition, and told the children to
stay inside and hold the door shut. But when he started for the thicket, the
children disobeyed orders and ran out and climbed the fence, and jumped on the
stumps to see the fun. The deer sprang up and ran towards the children, but the
dog grabbed it by the ear and Mr. Johnson shot it through the neck and it fell
within a few feet of the door. During the spring following, Mr. Johnson fenced
forty-five acres of land and planted nearly all of it in corn. But he was
unable to enter it immediately and soon afterwards a man named Jack Hougham
entered it away from him and gave him forty-five dollars for his improvement.
It was a custom among the old settlers never to enter a man’s claim away from
him; but Mr. Hougham had no such delicacy. He gave Mr. Johnson notice of his
intention and went to the land office and took up the land. Mr. Johnson then
settled on the south side of Twin Grove, improved a claim and entered the land,
and lived there until 1837, when he was killed by an ox which he was attempting
to yoke up to a wagon. This was on the twenty-first of February, 1837. He was a
very industrious man, and made shoes and looms in the winter, and worked his
land during the summer. He tanned leather for the whole country around.

Mr. Johnson had ten children, two of whom were born in the West. They are:

Nancy Johnson, who married Moses Wooden Brown, and lives at White Oak Grove in
Woodford County.

John S. W. Johnson lived at the head of the Mackinaw and died in 1865. Mathurza
Johnson, now the wife of Jeremiah Rhodes, lives three miles from Bloomington,
on the Leroy road. She furnished the items for this sketch, and seemed to have
very clear ideas and a good recollection.

Jacob H. Johnson lives between Brown’s Grove and Twin Grove.

Thomas P. Johnson lives near Osceola, Clark County, Iowa.

Benjamin M. Johnson lives about a mile and a half west of Bloomington.

Francis, Lewis S., and James B. Johnson, are dead.

Mary Jane Elizabeth Johnson married John Fowler, and lives in Osage Mission,
Kansas.

Mr. Johnson was about six feet in height, was possessed of immense strength,
but was very good-natured, kind-hearted and religious. He never wished to
quarrel with anyone, was always on good terms with his neighbors, and was very
honorable in all of his transactions.

================================================================================
Husband: Robert Harrington + Johnson
================================================================================
Born: 1796 Nov 11 – , Warren, Tennessee or Virginia
Christened:
Died: 1837 – Twin Grove, McLean, Illinois
Buried: – Scoggin Hill Cemetery, Bloomington, McLean, Illinois
Father: Francis + Johnson ( – )
Mother: Nancy Or Mary + Harrington ( – )
Marriage: 1814 Aug Place: , Overton, Tennessee
——————————————————————————–
Events
——————————————————————————–

1. Birth: 1796 Nov 11 , , Virginia.

2. Migration: 1800, , , Tennessee.
Robert’s family migrates to Tennessee.

3. Marriage: Marries Barsheby POTTER., 1814 Aug, , Overton, Tennessee.

4. Child’s Birth: John born., Bef 1815.

5. Child’s Birth: Nancy born., Abt 1815.

6. Child’s Birth: Mathurza born, 1818 Nov 1.

7. Child’s Birth: Jacob born., Bef 1820.

8. Census: 1820 , Jackson, Tennessee.
1820 JACKSON CO TN CENSUS
pg. 72
JOHNSTON Francis – – – 1 – 1 1 3 – – (7)
JOHNSTON Robert 2 – – 1 – – 2 – – 1 (2)
Note: The 2 young males are John and Jacob, the 2 young females are
Nancy and Mathurza.
JOHNSTON Elizabeth 1 – – 1 1 – 1 2 3 – (8)
PG. 78
POTTER Thomas 1 – – – 1 – 2 – 1 – (2)
POTTER Zachrius – – – 1 – – 1 – 1 – (2)
POTTER James 1 – – 1 – – 2 – 1 – (2)
POTTER William 3 1 – – 1 – 2 1 – 1 (4)
POTTER Thomas 1 1 – – – 1 – – 1 2 (4)
POTTER Samuel – – – – 1 1 – – 1 – (4)

9. Child’s Birth: Francis born., 1821 Jul 17.

10. Migration: 1822, , Overton, Tennessee.

11. Child’s Birth: Thomas born., Cir 1825.

12. Child’s Birth: Benjamin born., 1827 Aug 22.

13. Migration: 1828, , , Illinois.
The bio of Robert mentions the family first moved to Three Mile Grove,
into a log house put up for the Johnson family by George HINSHAW some
months before their arrival.

14. Child’s Birth: James born., Cir 1829.

15. Census: Pg. 178 1830 Illinois, Tazwell County (Later Became
Mclean), Mackinaw Township.
Sam. John WILLIAMS
James BROWN
Shadrack WILLIAMS
WIlliam B. DADE
Miles BROOKS
George REYNOLDS
Ebenezer BARNS
Robt. H. JOHNSON 2 males under 5, 2 males 5 to 10,
2 males 10 to 15, 1 male 30 to 40, 1 female 10 to 15, 1 female 15 to 20,
1 female 30 to 40, 1 female 40 to 50
NOTE: The 2 males under 5 are Jame and Benjamin, 2 males 5 to 10 are
Thomas and Francis, 1 males 10 to 15 are Jackob and John. The 1 female
10 to 15 is Mathurza, the 1 female 15 to 20 is Nancy. An unknown female
40 to 50 appears. If she is on the far end of the 40 to 50 age group she
could be the mother of Bathsheba or the mother or Robert.
Benjamin HENSHAW
Stephen WEBB
WIlliam MCCORD
James A. DALE
John HERBERT
Landa HURST
Matthew HERBERT
Samuel BARKER
Aaron RHODES
Samuel RHODES
John MACCONNELL
James TOLIVER
John GREENMAN
Henry MILLER
James ALLEN
David WHEELER
James A. JOHNSON
William EVANS

16. Child’s Birth: Lewis born., After 1830.

17. He was involved in a court case in 1831 in , McLean, Illinois.
Title: County Records
Text: Dec. 1831 RH Johnson applied to the Court for relief for Sarah
Potter an insane person in his care.
NOTE: This was perhaps Barsheba’s mother, the older individual observed
in the household in 1830. There are no POTTERS listed in the Cemetery
Index for McLean County.

18. Child’s Birth: Mary Jane born., 1832 Feb 9.

19. Land Patent: 2 patents for 80 acres total, 1833 Oct 10, , McLean,
Illinois.

Patentee: Robert H. JOHNSON
Issue Date: 10 October 1833
Land Office: Danville
Cancelled: No
Mineral Reservations: No
Authority: April 24, 1820: Sale-Cash Entry (3 Stat. 566)
State: Illinois
Acres: 40
Metes/Bounds: No
Document Nr: 237
Acession/Serial Nr: IL0620_234
BLM Serial NR: IL NO S/N
Aliquot PARTS: SESE
Sec/Block: 32/
Township: 24-N
Range: 1-E
Fract. Section – No
Meridian: 3rd PM
State: IL
Counties: McLean
Survey Nr:

Also:

Patentee: Robert H. JOHNSON
Issue Date: 10/10/1833
Land Office: Danville
Cancelled: No
Mineral Reservations: No
Authority: April 24, 1820: Sale-Cash Entry (3 Stat. 566)
State: Illinois
Acres: 40
Metes/Bounds: No
Document Nr: 239
Acession/Serial Nr: IL0620__.236
BLM Serial NR: IL NO S/N
Aliquot PARTS: SWSE
Sec/Block: 24-N
Township: 1-E
Range: No
Fract. Section –
Meridian: 3rd PM
State: IL
Counties: McLean
Survey Nr:

October 1833 land patent

20. Occupation: Leather tanner.

21. Death: 1837 , McLean, Illinois.
There is a problem with Robert’s death date of 21 Feb as given in his
bio, for he took out a patent March 30 1837 for 80 acres of land.

An Index of McLean County Cemeteries gives JOHNSONS buried at Scoggin
Hill as:
Benjamin M Johnson–1827-1893–Scoggin Hill Cemetery pg13-Volume 5-Dale
Township
Nancy J Johnson–1832-1916–Scoggin Hill Cemetery pg13-Volume 5-Dale
Township
Merritt C Johnson–1860-1907–Scoggin Hill Cemetery pg13-Volume 5-Dale
Township
Emmet P Johnson–1867-____–Scoggin Hill Cemetery pg13-Volume 5-Dale
Township
Bathsheba Johnson–____-1859–Scoggin Hill Cemetery pg13-Volume 5-Dale
Township
Robert H Johnson–____-1837–Scoggin Hill Cemetery pg13-Volume 5-Dale
Township

22. Cause of death: Was killed by an ox which he was attempting to yoke
up to a wagon.

23. Land Patent: 80 acres, 1837 Mar 30, , McLean, Illinois.

Patentee: Robert H. JOHNSON
Issue Date: 3/30/1837
Land Office: Danville
Cancelled: No
Mineral Reservations: No
Authority: April 24, 1820: Sale-Cash Entry (3 Stat. 566)
State: Illinois
Acres: 80
Metes/Bounds: No
Document Nr: 3412
Acession/Serial Nr: IL NO S/N
BLM Serial NR:
Aliquot PARTS: W1/2SE
Sec/Block: 32/
Township: 24-N
Range: 1-E
Fract. Section – No
Meridian: 3rd PM
State: IL
Counties: McLean
Survey Nr:

24. Edit : 2003 Nov.

================================================================================
Wife: Barsheby (Bathsheba, Abersheby) + Potter
================================================================================
Born: 1789 Nov 2 – , , Tennessee
Christened:
Died: 1859 Oct 2 – , McLean, Illinois
Buried: – Scoggin Hill Cemetery, Bloomington, McLean, Illinois
Father: + Potter ( – )
Mother:
——————————————————————————–
Events
——————————————————————————–

1. Birth: Cir 1789 , , Tennessee.

2. Marriage: Marries Robert Harrington Johnson., 1814 Aug, , Overton,
Tennessee.

3. Child’s Birth: John born., Bef 1815.

4. Child’s Birth: Nancy born., Abt 1815.

5. Child’s Birth: Mathurza born, 1818 Nov 1.

6. Child’s Birth: Jacob born., Bef 1820.

7. Census: 1820 , Jackson, Tennessee.
1820 JACKSON CO TN CENSUS
pg. 72
JOHNSTON Francis – – – 1 – 1 1 3 – – (7)
JOHNSTON Robert 2 – – 1 – – 2 – – 1 (2)
Note: The 2 young males are John and Jacob, the 2 young females are
Nancy and Mathurza.
JOHNSTON Elizabeth 1 – – 1 1 – 1 2 3 – (8)
PG. 78
POTTER Thomas 1 – – – 1 – 2 – 1 – (2)
POTTER Zachrius – – – 1 – – 1 – 1 – (2)
POTTER James 1 – – 1 – – 2 – 1 – (2)
POTTER William 3 1 – – 1 – 2 1 – 1 (4)
POTTER Thomas 1 1 – – – 1 – – 1 2 (4)
POTTER Samuel – – – – 1 1 – – 1 – (4)

8. Child’s Birth: Francis born., 1821 Jul 17.

9. Migration: 1822, , Overton, Tennessee.

10. Child’s Birth: Thomas born., Cir 1825.

11. Child’s Birth: Benjamin born., 1827 Aug 22.

12. Migration: 1828, , , Illinois.
The bio of Robert mentions the family first moved to Three Mile Grove,
into a log house put up for the Johnson family by George HINSHAW some
months before their arrival.

13. Child’s Birth: James born., Cir 1829.

14. Census: Pg. 178 1830 Illinois, Tazwell County (Later Became
Mclean), Mackinaw Township.
Sam. John WILLIAMS
James BROWN
Shadrack WILLIAMS
WIlliam B. DADE
Miles BROOKS
George REYNOLDS
Ebenezer BARNS
Robt. H. JOHNSON 2 males under 5, 2 males 5 to 10,
2 males 10 to 15, 1 male 30 to 40, 1 female 10 to 15, 1 female 15 to 20,
1 female 30 to 40, 1 female 40 to 50
NOTE: The 2 males under 5 are Jame and Benjamin, 2 males 5 to 10 are
Thomas and Francis, 1 males 10 to 15 are Jackob and John. The 1 female
10 to 15 is Mathurza, the 1 female 15 to 20 is Nancy. An unknown female
40 to 50 appears. If she is on the far end of the 40 to 50 age group she
could be the mother of Bathsheba or the mother or Robert.
Benjamin HENSHAW
Stephen WEBB
WIlliam MCCORD
James A. DALE
John HERBERT
Landa HURST
Matthew HERBERT
Samuel BARKER
Aaron RHODES
Samuel RHODES
John MACCONNELL
James TOLIVER
John GREENMAN
Henry MILLER
James ALLEN
David WHEELER
James A. JOHNSON
William EVANS

15. She was involved in a court case in 1831 in , McLean, Illinois.
Title: County Records
Text: Dec. 1831 RH Johnson applied to the Court for relief for Sarah
Potter an insane person in his care.
NOTE: This was perhaps Barsheby’s mother, the older individual in the
household in 1830. There are no POTTERS listed in the cemetery index for
McLean County.

16. Child’s Birth: Lewis born., After 1830.

17. Child’s Birth: Mary Jane born., 1832 Feb 9.

18. Husband’s death: 1837 Feb 21, , McLean, Illinois. Robert Harrington
Johnson dies.

19. Census: Pg. 254 1840 , McLean, Illinois.
Wm. DICKSON
Jonathan MASON
Bersheba JOHNSON – – 2 3 2 / – 1 – – – – – 2
Macy STOUT
John PERRY
Simon MASON
Jacob HINSHAW
NOTE: The 2 10 to 15 males would be Lewis and James. The 3 15 to 20
would be Benjamin (though born about 1827), Thomas and Francis. The 2 20
year olds would be Jacob and John. Nancy and Mathurza are out of the
house. Mary Jane is the 5 to 10 female. Barsheby is given as 50 to 60.
There is also another unknown 50 to 60 year old female.

20. Census: Pg. 37 1850 Dry Grove, McLean, Illinois. Mary Jane is given
as Nancy J. in her mother’s household, 18 b. Illinois. Her mother is
given as Asherby. The family is residing between brothers Francis and
Thomas JOHNSON.

pg. 5
A 13 year old R. H. JOHNSON b. IL is given as living in the National
Hotel in Bloomington. I don’t know if there is a relationship to the
family but the initials are interesting.
pg. 37
(initial census number on each of these was cut off, so give the second
here)
781 John DEAL and Ellen and family
782 Peter MASON and Henerett and family
783 William D. HARBORD and Susan and family
784 Thomas JOHNSON 25 farmer $1000 b. TN
Eliza J. 21 b. IL
Nancy 1 b. IL
785 Abersheby JOHNSON 60 $200 b. TN
James 21 farmer b. IL
Nancy J. 18 b. IL

786 Samuel BARKER and family
787 Mariah BARKER and family
788 Francis JOHNSON 24 (or 29) farmer $1200 b. TN
Jane 25 b. IN
Thursy 8 b. IL
Francis W. 6
Charles W. 5
David W. 3
Martha 1
Mary 2/12

21. Death: 1859 Oct 2 , McLean, Illinois.

22. Cemetery: ? Scoggin Hill Cemetery, Bloomington, McLean, Illinois.
An Index of McLean County Cemeteries gives JOHNSONS buried at Scoggin
Hill as:
Benjamin M Johnson–1827-1893–Scogin Hill Cemetery pg13-Volume 5-Dale
Township
Nancy J Johnson–1832-1916–Scoggin Hill Cemetery pg13-Volume 5-Dale
Township
Merritt C Johnson–1860-1907–Scoggin Hill Cemetery pg13-Volume 5-Dale
Township
Emmet P Johnson–1867-____–Scoggin Hill Cemetery pg13-Volume 5-Dale
Township
Bathsheba Johnson–____-1859–Scoggin Hill Cemetery pg13-Volume 5-Dale
Township
Robert H Johnson–____-1837–Scoggin Hill Cemetery pg13-Volume 5-Dale
Township

23. Edit : 2003 Nov.

================================================================================
Children
================================================================================
1 M John S. W. Johnson
Born: Bef 1815 – , Jackson, Tennessee
Christened:
Died: 1865
Buried:
Spouse: Susannah Tolliver (1823-1879)
Marr. Date: 1842 Jan 7 – , McLean, Illinois
Spouse:
Marr. Date:
——————————————————————————–
2 F Nancy Johnson
Born: Abt 1815 – , , Tennessee
Christened:
Died: Unknown
Buried:
Spouse: Moses Wooden Brown (Abt 1816- )
Marr. Date:
Spouse:
Marr. Date:
——————————————————————————–
3 F Mathurza Johnson
Born: 1818 Nov 1 – Overland, Tennessee
Christened:
Died: 1899 Nov 14 – Bloomington, McLean, Illinois
Buried: – Illinois, Mclean County, Woodland Cemetery
Spouse: Jeremiah Rhodes (1806-1882)
Marr. Date: 1835 Mar 26 – Overland, Tennessee
Spouse:
Marr. Date:
——————————————————————————–
4 M Jacob H. Johnson
Born: Abt 1820 – , Overton, Tennessee
Christened:
Died: Unknown
Buried:
Spouse:
Marr. Date:
——————————————————————————–
5 M Francis Johnson
Born: 1821 – , , Tennessee
Christened:
Died: Bef 1860
Buried:
Spouse: Jane (1825- )
Marr. Date:
Spouse:
Marr. Date:
——————————————————————————–
6 M Thomas P. Johnson
Born: 1825 – , , Tennessee
Christened:
Died: Unknown
Buried:
Spouse: Eliza (1829- )
Marr. Date:
Spouse:
Marr. Date:
——————————————————————————–
7 M Benjamin M. Johnson
Born: 1827 Aug 22
Christened:
Died: Unknown
Buried:
Spouse: Nancy (1838- )
Marr. Date:
Spouse:
Marr. Date:
——————————————————————————–
8 M James B. Johnson
Born: 1829 – , , Illinois
Christened:
Died: Bef 1874
Buried:
Spouse:
Marr. Date:
——————————————————————————–
9 M Lewis S. Johnson
Born:
Christened:
Died: Bef 1874
Buried:
Spouse: Mary Ann Rhodes (1827-1888)
Marr. Date: 1846 Feb 12 – , McLean, Illinois
Spouse:
Marr. Date:
——————————————————————————–
10 F Mary Jane + Johnson
Born: 1832 Feb 9 – , Tazewell, Illinois
Christened:
Died: 1902 Jan 30 – Greenfield, Dade, Missouri
Buried: – Carr’s Chapel Cemetery, Greenfield, Dade, Missouri
Spouse: John B. + Fowler (1827-1883)
Marr. Date: 1851 Jan 7 – , McLean, Illinois
Spouse:
Marr. Date:
——————————————————————————–

================================================================================
Notes: Marriage
================================================================================

A courthouse fire in April 1865 destroyed almost all the public records from
the beginning of the county with the exception of the deed books.

Last Modified: 2011 Mar 12

John B. Fowler and Mary Jane Johnson

John B. FOWLER was born 5 Jan 1827 in Stokes, NC to William FOWLER and Elizabeth Louis WESTMORELAND. He died 22 May 1883 at Greenfield, Dade Co., MO. His grave is near the gate as one enters Carr’s Chapel Cemetery, Greenfield, MO.

John married Mary Jane JOHNSON who family history stated was born 9 Feb 1832 in NC and died 30 Jan 1902 in Greenfield, Dade Co. MO.

The family story is as follows:

John was a Union sympathizer and had to leave NC. Came to Bloomington, IL where he decided to settle. He disguised himself as a peddler and returned to NC to get the girl he loved. They eloped and were married and moved to Osage Mission, KS in 1863. Her family was so angry with her husband that she never heard from them again.

Nancy Benton notes that this was passed along to her from Cora Granger, related to the Brewers through the Spurlings (Mary Katherine Brewer, daughter of David Nathaniel Brewer and Delana L. Jane Fowler, married George Spurling), along with family sheets prepared by Dottie Skinner Elliott, and that there was no source given other than family story. Which is fine. That’s how family stories usually go. But this one turns out to have some problems with the uncovering of a few undeniable facts.

I’ve found that Mary Jane’s parents were Robert Harrington Johnson and Barsheby (Bathsheba, Abersheby) Potter, and the JOHNSON family had actually migrated to Illinois, from Tennessee, when Mary Jane was little, her father dying in McLean County when she was only 5 years of age. She is in the 1840 and 1850 census with her mother who would die in McLean County in 1859, so both parents were dead before Mary Jane moved to Kansas. And in 1860 Mary Jane had family living in the McLean County area around her and her husband, John. So, that’s one story that appears to bite the dust, though it raises questions as to why the estrangement story would have arisen in the first place. The narrative may be accidentally assigned and belong to a relative, and it was thought because Mary Jane moved to Kansas that she was the one estranged, or there may have been an estrangement here which has become mixed with the story of yet another.

At any rate we have a family legend composed of a number of elements, some of which preserve a few truths.

Legend: John was from North Carolina.
What we know: This is is true. Place of origin is preserved.

Legend: John was a union sympathizer who had to leave the south.
What we know: John’s family was in North Carolina up to at least 1849. I’m unable to find them in the 1850 census yet but he and his parents were in McLean, Illinois by 1851 as that is when John and Mary Jane married. This part of the story may preserve political and philosophical beliefs held by the family and say something about their reason for moving north. The story seems to imply that John went north by himself, however, as if there was a break between he and his family as well, which there wasn’t as his family also moved to Osage Mission.

Legend: Came to Bloomington, IL where he decided to settle. However, loving a girl in North Carolina, he returned there, disguised as a peddler, to fetch her.
What we know: This preserves another geographical point and is true. Not true is the beloved being in North Carolina as Mary Jane was living in McLean and her family had been there a long while. The additional detail of being “disguised as a peddler” wants to add weight and veracity to the story. John becomes heroic and a trickster as well. He is also a lover who will go to great lengths for his beloved.

It may be that John, or John and his father, William, went to Illinois first, before the families moved, to scout out the area, then returned to North Carolina to fetch the family.

Legend: The pair elope.
What we know: Did they elope? We don’t know. They might have eloped in McLean. For all we know, one side of the family or the other may not have approved of the marriage.

Legend: They move to Osage Mission in 1863.
What we know: This preserves the migration to the west from Illinois and is true except for the fact that it’s a couple of years early.

Legend: Mary Jane’s family was furious over the marriage and never spoke to her again.
What we know: Again, for all we know there may have been strife over the marriage to John. But, as noted, both of her parents were dead long before the move to Kansas.

The following facts are for subsequent their marriage:

Child’s Birth: Robert William is born., Cir 1853. Will marry Lucinda Workman.

Child’s Birth: Delana is born., 12 Sept 1854. DIRECT LINE. Will marry David Nathaniel Brewer.

Child’s Birth: Martha is born., Cir 1858.

Child’s Birth: Cassander is born., 1858 Dec 18. Wil marry John F. Menzies, born in Canada, son of John and Elizabeth McFarland Menzies.

Census: 1860 Dry Grove, McLean, Illinois.
pg. 83
(if two numbers for values, the first is for value of property and second
is for value of personal estate)
575/561
CUMMINGS William 33 m 500 800 NY
Maria 30 f VT
William 12 m NY
576/562
GREEN R. W. 47 m Post Master 1800 personal property b. NY
Jane 43 f
Eugene 12 m
Hank 4 m
SWEET Mary 80 f
RILEY James 56 m Farm laborer b. Ireland
BRAINARD Thomas 24 m b. OH
577/563
OCONNELL John 28 m Farmer property value 75 b. Ireland
Mary b. Ireland
578564
GREEN O. D. 27 m Farmer property value 500 b. NY
Caroline 24 F NY
Burke 4 M IA
Fred 3 M IA
579/565
GREEN Charles 21 m Farmer b. NY
Ann 23 F b. OH
Jenny 1 b b. IL
580/566
BEBUY or BELUY, Dicken 52 farmer 3000 1000 b. Canada
George 16 m b. IL
Charlotte 15 f b. IL
GILES Hays 12 b. iL farm laborer
581/567
HILL John T. 47 m Farmer 3500 900 b. NC
Maria 37 b. IN
Alonzo 15 b. IL
Augustus 13 m. b. IL
Helen 11 f b. IL
James 8 m. b. IL
WIlliam 4 m b.IL
Eddy 8/12 m b. IL
582/568 FOWLER John 35 m Farmer b. NC value of
personal estate 200
Mary 30 f b. IL
Robert 8 m
Jane 6 f
Cassandra 2 f
Martha 4 f

ENGLISH Thomas 25 m Farm laborer b. England
583/569
WEBB Stephen 63 m Farmer b. NC Value of personal estate and land both
2000.
Pemima ? 42 f b. PA or TN (difficult to make out)
KEWSHAW? Mary 87 f b. NC
WEBB Thomas 26 m 2000 300 b. IL
MIlton 25 m 2400 275 b. IL
Polly 18 f b. IL
GARRETT Celia 30 f b. TN
EWING Alice 17 f b. IL
MARTIN Rocine 10 f b. IL
Stephen 9 m b. IL
SYMAN Henry 35 m farm laborer 2000 50 b. OH
William 17 m farm laborer b. OH
584/570
DEAL Saul C. 44 m Farmer 16,000 2000 b. VA
Priscilla 43 f b. VA
John 21 m b. VA
Samuel 19 m b. VA
Elizabeth 16 f b. VA
Mary 10 f b. IL b. VA
Sarah 6 f b. IL b. VA
Emma 4 f b. IL b. VA
Virginia 1 m b. IL b. VA
DICKHARD E. 24 m. farm laborer b. VA
MURPHY Michael 20 m. farm laborer b. Ireland
NEWSON Nicholas 19 m. farm laborer b. NY
HAYS Tamau? 15 farm laborer b. IL

pg. 86
590/574
Jane JOHNSON 34 f Farmer 2700 450 b. IN
John 23 b. IL
Matherza 18 f b. IL
Franci 16 m b. IL
Charles 15 m b. IL
David 13 m b. IL
Martha 11 f b.IL
Ann 8 f b. IL
591/575
RHODES Robert 22 m personal value 250 b. GA
Martha 21 b. TN
JOHNSON Mary A. 30 property value 1200, personal value 500 b. IL
Robert 12 m b. IL
Francis 7 m b. IL
Amos 3 m b. IL
593/577 (no 592/576 given)
VACH ? Allen 25 m personal value 190 b. OH
Mary 24 f b. OH
Anson 1 m b. IL
594/578
FOWLER Alfred 28 m personal value is 200 b. NC
Sarah 23 f b. IN
Webster 2/12 m b. IL
pg. 93 641/625
FOWLER Samuel 30 m Farmer 500 300 b. NC
FOWLER Harriet 28 f b. IL
Francis 3 m b. IL
643/637
FOWLER Josiah 25 m 2000 300 b. NC
Sarah 24 f
Dilley 26 f
Jincy 18 f

Child’s Birth: Elizabeth is born., Cir 1861. She will marry Michael “Mike” Workman.

Child’s Birth: Thursa is born., 11 Sept 1865. She will marry John T. Cotner.

Migration: 1866 Oct, , Neosho, Kansas.

Child’s Birth: Dora is born., Cir 1869. She will marry Robert L. Trent. After Dora dies, he will marry Mary Catherine Brewer, daughter of David Nathaniel Brewer and Delana L. Jane Fowler. Her first husband was George Spurling, and her second a man named Rhodes.

On 1869 March 1 in Osage Mission, Neosho Kansas, Delana Fowler marries David Nathaniel Brewer.

Census: pg. 207 1870 Osage Mission, Neosho, Kansas.
86/84 FOWLER Alford N. 37 merchant $700 $300 b. NC
Sarah A. 33 b. IN
Webster A. 10 b. IL
Jesse C. 8
Oliver F. 6
(next house and so on)
TRALINGER Albert and family
LAMB James B. and Francis and family
WRIGHT Susan (in above household)
BOWN William and Sarah and family
TAYLOR Benjamin
DURHAM Sylvester and Elizabeth and family
pg. 218 (ancestry.com)
HUTCHINGS Bhat? and familys
GREAVES Joseph and family
LEE? Nathaniel and family
CASILLE? James and Juliett
LAIRD John H and Elizabeth
107/105 BAD James A. 35 b. NC
Melinda 27 b. AR
James A. 10 b. AR.
LONG Sanford 80 b. IL
Malinda 18 b.
NOE Martha 12
Nancy 30
108/106 FOWLER William 69 farmer $3000 $500 b. NC
ELizabeth 62 b. NC (parents of John)

109/107 NANDIER or HANDIER Margaret 54 motel keeper b. France
Gordon A. 36 laborer b. Ireland
BEAZE Ellen 20 housekeeper b. IL
BOODIE Thomas 32 carpenter b. MO
HILL Ansley 32 laborer b. IL
CASTER George 37 stone cutter b. IL
MALLOW Peter 28 stone cutter b. Ireland
HARELSON George 41 stone cutter b. Scottland
WILKES Peter 80 teamster b. IL
110/108 SOMMERS James and Eliza

pg. 209 (ancestry.com pg. 220)
HUSHINGS James (NY) and family (an Andy JOHNSON in the household, age 15,
b. Cherokee Nation, given as white)
GARDEN John and family
DILLON Asborn (OH) and family
FOOL Lucinda (NC) and family
123/121
FOWLER John 44 farmer $500 personal value b. NC
Mary J. 37 b. IL
Robert W. 17 farm laborer
Delana 15
Martha 14
Casander 11 (f)
Elizabeth 9
Marthurza 6
Nancy 1 b. KS

CONEY August 28 Cabinet maker b. Baden
124/122 SPREADLING John and family
(and so on)
DAVIDSON Charles and Mary and family
HIBBARD Edward and Harriet and family

Child’s Birth: Lizzie is born., Cir 1871.

Father’s Death: 1877 Dec 26. John’s father, William dies in Neosho
County, Kansas.

Census: Pg. 38 1880 Centery (Granville), Dade, Missouri.

Page no. 38
Supervisor Dis. 14
Enumeration Dist. 4
22nd day June
(pg 37 ancestry.com)
345/348
FOWLER John 53 Farmer North Carolina F-NC M-NC
Mary 48 b. Illinois Parents-TN
Martha A 22 Illinois
Nancy 11 Illinois
Lizzie 9 Illinois

Death: John B. Fowler dies 1883 May 22 Greenfield, Dade, Missouri.

Mary Jane is yet to be located in the 1900 census.

Mary Jane died 1902 Jan 30 at Greenfield, Dade, Missouri and is buried at Carr’s Chapel, Cemetery.

Note that Nancy Benton’s Brewer Genealogy (compiled from a variety of sources and
original documents) gives John B. FOWLER as dying 1883 in Dade County.
However, in Delana Fowler Brewer’s obituaries her family is recorded as
moving to Dade County from Barton in 1895. Unless I have missed
something, I don’t observe a record of John B. FOWLER being buried in the
Carr’s Chapel Cemetery in Dade county where his wife and many other
members of the family are buried.

Google Map showing Dry Grove, the Osage Mission at St. Paul in Neosho, Greenfield, Missouri.


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