Joseph Mullenax born 14 January 1814

Joseph Mullenax was born 14 January 1814, the first of seven children of William Henry and Christina (Vance) Mullenax.  Joseph was born in Circleville, Pendleton County, Virginia.  Circleville was named for a Mr. Zirkle who once kept a store there.  After the Civil War, this area became part of West Virginia.  The Mullenax family lived on Northfork above Circleville.

On 5 November 1840, Joseph married Abigail Phares, in Pendleton County.  In 1850, the couple still lived in Pendleton County, with the first three of their nine children. The census records that Joseph could not read or write. 

Joseph and Abigail were part of the great westward migration.  The family moved to Missouri.  In 1859, Joseph had a homestead at Boonville, which is about half way between St Louis and Kansas City , The family was counted in the 1860 census in Breckenridge, Putnam County, Missouri.  Breckenridge township became Sherman township in 1865. 

In 1868, the family moved to Genoa, Wayne Co, Iowa.  The town of Genoa had been laid out in 1855, adjacent to the trail of the Mormons, who had trekked through the area some 8 years before. It was located upon the Red Rock line that separated the whites and the Indians, and near the Capitol Trail that connected Jefferson City, Missouri and Des Moines, Iowa. At one time, the hotel in Genoa was a way station on a trail to Kansas City.  In 1870, a new railroad bypassed Genoa, going through a nearby Seymour.  Many buildings were relocated in Seymour and Genoa declined. 

By 1870, the family was listed in the Franklin, Appanoose County, Iowa census, although still in the post office district of Genoa.  Wayne, Appanoose, and Putnam are all adjoining counties. Joseph’s farm was valued at $5000, and his personal property at $2457.  He was also listed in the 1870 agricultural census in Franklin.  He had a 200 acre farm, with 40 more acres of woodland.  His farm was valued at $5000 with $417 worth of equipment or improvements.  Of the 40 names listed on that particular census sheet, only 3 had farms of higher value, and his had the most acreage. 

Abigail died 18 May 1873, probably in Genoa.  Joseph died 21 March 1877.  Family trees posted on line seem about evenly divided in stating that Joseph died in Iowa, or in Kansas.   We do know that other family members moved to Kansas – for example, his son George [see prior postings on George and Mary (Funk) Mullenax.]  I have not located death records for Joseph.


1 Comment

  1. sooze471 said,

    March 8, 2016 at 18:28

    Update – Joseph and Abigail now have memorial pages at Find-A-Grave, buried at Livingston cemetery in Cincinnati, Appanoose, Iowa.

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