Alice M Hawkins born 30 September 1886

Alice M Hawkins was born 30 September, 1886, in Plymouth, NH.  She was the only child of Andrew Jackson Hawkins and his second wife, Margaret Teresa Meagher.  In researching Alice, I reviewed Andrew’s records, and “discovered” his marriage record to Margaret.  They were both living in Winchester MA, where he worked as a laborer, and were married in Boston on 30 September 1885.  This record lists his parents as Cornelius D and Sarah W Hawkins, and Margaret was the daughter of William and Ann Meagher.   The marriage was apparently entered twice, and the other record lists his mother as Sally W.

Alice’s father committed suicide in 1889.  Her mother remarried, to Gilman Marsh, in 1890.  She was with him in the 1900 census, but Alice was not.  Alice was adopted by Charles H Cutter.  In 1900, she was with Charles and Lucy Cutter in Plymouth.  Charles was a farmer.

On 29 January 1910, in Plymouth, Alice married Perley A Plant, son of Frank Plant and Viola Miller.  Although the marriage record lists her name as Alice M Cutter, it does list her parents as Andrew J Hawkins, resident of Plymouth but deceased, and Margaret T Meagher, resident of Plymouth, housekeeper.  Alice and Perley were both residents of Plymouth.  He was a base ball pressman, she was a box folder.  This was the first marriage for both, performed by Denton Wilson, clergyman of Plymouth.  Draper-Maynard Baseball Factory manufactured sporting equipment from about 1880 to about 1930, including equipment used by Babe Ruth.  They developed the padded gloves, and were the first company to design gloves for specific fielding positions. 

In the 1910 census, Alice and Perley Plant were listed as living in Plymouth, living next door to his parents on Fairgrounds Road.  He was a ball presser at a baseball factory, and Alice was not employed.  Their first child, Melvin Perley, was born 15 November 1910 in Plymouth, and died at age two of cerebrospinal meningitis.  Their second child, Mildred Evelyn, was born in 1914 in Plymouth.  Alice and Perley divorced, and he married Alice M Perry.

On 17 February 1918, in Laconia, Alice married Byron Gibbs Herbert, as his second wife.  In this record, Alice lists her parents as Charles H Cutter of Santa Barbara CA, and Susan Odell Green, deceased.  I was not able to find marriage records for Charles Cutter, so don’t know if Susan is the same person as Lucy from the 1900 census.  Charles and Lucy (0r Lucia) seem to have been together since before 1880.  Alice and Byron were both residents of Laconia.  He was 41 and a car builder (not sure if automotive or railroad.)  Alice was 31 and a needle maker.  This was the second marriage for both, and both were divorced. 

In 1920, the family lived at 256 South Main in Laconia, boarding with Abbot M Cotton.  Byron was a laborer in a car shop, and Alice was a needle maker in a needle shop.  Mildred was 8.  The 1930 census lists Byron, Alice, and Mildred, but the image was so blurry that I could not read their occupations.  I found no records for children of Alice and Byron. 

I have not yet found a death record for Alice.  Mildred’s first marriage (1930 to George McEnnis) lists her father as deceased, her mother living.  Mildred’s second marriage (1932, to Charles Bernier) says that her mother is a resident of Plymouth. 

Byron died 18 July 1940 in Laconia.  The index did not list a cause of death, says he is married, and names his wife as Alice Meeker Cutter.  I suspect that she was actually named Alice Meagher, her mother’s maiden name.


John Henry C Hodges married Mary Jane Murphy 29 September 1866

John Hodges was born 7 April 1846, in Aylesford township, Kings County, Nova Scotia.  He was the ninth of 11 children of John Clear Hodges, an immigrant from County Cork, Ireland, and Rachel Parker, whose ancestors were Loyalists who went to Nova Scotia after the Revolutionary War.  The Hodges families were farmers and lived in the Morristown area near Berwick and Aylesford. 

On 29 September 1866, in Berwick, John married Mary Jane Murphy.  She had been born 8 December 1948 in Canaan, in Kings County, Nova Scotia, daughter of James Murphy and Susan Woodbury.  The record said that JHC Hodges was 21, a bachelor, farmer, born and living in Aylesford.  Mary Jane was 17, a spinster (obviously not a reference to her age), living in New Minas

In 1870, JHC Hodges sailed on the “Oriental” from Margaretville NS to Boston.     

The 1871 Canada census lists John H, of Irish descent, plus his wife, called Minnie in this record, plus their  three children:  Egbert Grant (born 22 March 1867), Aramenta (born 16 February 1869) and John born in February (18 February 1871).  John was a farmer. 

The 1881 census lists the same house hold of John H, Mary J, Egbert, Aramenta, and Frank.  The location was South Aylesford, which included Morristown, Millville, and other small communities. 

The 1891 census lists JH Hodges in Millville, with Mary, Egbert, Frank, and Aramenta. 

In 1892, a John Hodges merchant, sailed from Yarmouth NS to Boston.  The birth year matches this person.  In the 1890-1897 Nova Scotia directory, John H Hodges is listed as a farmer in Millville.  John and Mary Jane’s daughter Ariminta died 4 July 1895. 

In 1900, John H Hodges served as hog and cattle reeve, and inspector of apples, stock, and apple trees.  Reeves were appointed or elected to make sure that the stock did not run at large damaging gardens and crops.  The reeve could round up strays and hold them until the owner paid for damages, including the costs of holding the animals. 

The 1901 census lists John and Jane in Millville, living with their son Egbert, his wife Nancy, and their three children.  The family was Methodist.  The 1902 directory lists John H living with Egbert, a farmer in Millville.  Mary Jane died 29 July 1902 and is buried in the old section of the Morristown cemetery.  The 1907 directory lists John H Hodges as a farmer in Nicholsville.  He may have moved there from Millville, but it is also just as likely that the name of his neighborhood changed as the area was populated and boundaries changed. 

John was listed as a boarder with his son Egbert and family in 1911, in Millville.  John died 22 March 1929 in Millville, at age 83.  He had recovered from grippe but died four weeks later of no specific disease.  The record said he had resided there for his lifetime.  The informant was Edgar Hodges, son (should be Egbert).  John was buried at Morristown. 

The headstone has Mary Jane, wife of John H. Hodges, and a blank place above her name where his would be expected to be added.  Since the death record says he was buried at Morristown, he is probably with Mary Jane, even though the name was not added to the headstone.  Named on the headstone is Lula Hodges who died 12 October in 1903. Another name on the headstone is Lewis Hodges, Feb 1896 – 12 Aug 1896.  These may be his grandchildren, but I’m not sure who their parents are.

The Kings County probate record for John names his heirs as his son Egbert, his son Frank (the name his son John used) and his grandson Irving, (probably the person I have listed as Egbert’s son Ervin Waldo Hodges.)  John had other grandchildren, so this list is not a complete list of his heirs.

Leah H Smith Strothman Mott

Leah Mott is not a relative.  She was murdered by her husband in 1903.  I have presented her character at our local cemetery’s Stories and Stones event. 

Leah Smith was born in 1861 in Iowa, the daughter of Joseph Smith and Adelaide E Smith.  She had eight brothers and sisters.  In 1870, the Smith family lived in Pleasant Grove, Iowa.  Joseph was a farmer, and his farm was valued at $2500, with $580 worth of personal property.  That was about average size for that neighborhood.

On 6 February 1877, in Des Moines county, Leah married William Strothman, son of Henry and Christiana Strothman, Prussian immigrants.  Leah’s son Henry L was born 22 May 1877 in Mount Pleasant, Oscar was born 13 December 1880.  William and Leah lived with his parents in 1880, and he worked as a farm laborer.

Leah’s marriage ended in divorce.  Leah went west, and was counted with her two sons Henry and Oscar in the 1885 Washington State census, living in Whitman, in Walla Walla county.

On 17 November 1888, in Seattle, Leah married Louis H Mott.  The marriage record doesn’t indicate Leah’s prior marital status, and she is listed as Mrs. Leah H Smith (her maiden name.)

Louis Henry Mott was born about 1856.  He was orphaned at an early age, and in the 1860 census, was living with his grandmother Mary, and other family members including his uncle Lemoine.  The 1860 census says he was born in Maryland.  In 1870, Louis lived with his uncle, who had adopted him, in the town of Des Moines, Iowa, and that record gave his birthplace as Indiana.  The 1880 census lists Luis H Mott living on Webster Street, employed at a laundry, and born in Mississippi.  The 1882 list of voters in San Francisco includes Lewis Henry Mott, age 26, born in Mississippi living at 1521 Eddy, occupation Laundry.  Louis also was in charge of the laundry department for the Park Transportation company in Yellowstone National Park for several years, but I don’t know if this was before or after his marriage to Leah.

Leah and Louis moved to Missoula MT, where they operated a laundry.  Leah had two more children born in Montana:  Alice F born May 1893 and Ethel born in October 1898.  The family moved back and forth between Spokane and Missoula.  In 1900, they lived at 1117 Maple in Spokane, and Louis continued his work as a laundryman.  Leah’s son Oscar was still in the household, and son William was newly married to Emma Swenson.  The family even had a live-in servant.  This record says that Leah has had four children, who are all still living.

The family moved back to Missoula, and operated the Troy Steam Laundry.  This seems to have been a chain of laundries, and promotional material of the era (from a Troy Laundry in another town) says that  “the establishment is thoroughly equipped with the most approved laundering machinery, wash, drying, and ironing rooms, and the facilities are the best for turning out the finest class of work.  Work is done here without the use of chemicals that rot and destroy goods of find texture.”

However, all was not well with the family.  Louis had a “nervous disorder”, which was made worse by his heavy drinking and use of morphine.  Leah tried unsuccessfully to have him hospitalized.  The laundry was in Leah’s name, with a $1400 mortgage.  Louis left the household and went to Mandan, North Dakota.  In his absence, Leah sold the laundry to Jones Brothers of Spokane.  When Louis returned, he was very angry about the sale of the laundry.  He complained that he had gone to North Dakota, and had successfully obtained money to invest in the business, and now Leah had ruined his business opportunities by selling the laundry.   But others said he had fled there to avoid creditors.

On Sunday, 4 January 1903, the family had their noon meal at their home above the laundry.  The group included the new owners of the laundry and their cook. After the meal, Louis had continued to complain about the sale of the laundry.  He sent their two daughters to another room.  Leah decided to leave the house, and as she went down the steps, Louis shot her four times in the back.  She fell to the bottom of the stairs.  Two policemen were nearby, and came to the scene, where they took Louis into custody and removed him to the jail.  Leah was taken to the hospital.  She was interviewed and named her husband as her attacker, saying that he was under the influence of drugs and liquor.  Leah died a few hours later, and was buried at the Missoula city cemetery.

Louis Mott stood trial for the murder.  His attorneys attempted to use a defense of mental illness, but Louis refused to cooperate with that defense, and he was convicted and sentenced to death.  After appeals, he was executed by hanging, on 18 March 1904.  Sheriff Harry Thompson conducted the hanging.  A temporary stockade was erected at the rear of the jail to keep people from watching.  The gallows was described as a gruesome-looking instrument of death, painted black.  After the hanging, Sheriff Thompson burned the rope to discourage souvenir hunters.

Louis had requested to be buried next to Leah, but her son Henry protested, and Louis was buried elsewhere at the city cemetery.

Leah’s son Henry Strothman had married Emma Swenson, and they had a son William J born 12 May 1917 in Spokane.  Henry worked as a locomotive engineer. He died 8 December 1918 in Spokane and was buried next to his mother in Missoula.  Emma did not remarry.  She died in 1969 and is buried with Henry and Leah.  The plot includes day-old Alice Strothman, perhaps young William’s daughter.

Oscar was living with Leah in 1900.  The news stories of the time name her two sons as Henry and John, so perhaps that was Oscar’s middle name or nickname.  The 1904 Missoula city directory lists John Strothman at the Troy Steam Laundry.  I have not found further records for him.

Alice went to live with Leah’s sister Anne Cardwell, and is with her in the 1910 census in Denver.  I have no more records for her.

The newspapers mention the youngest daughter, and that before Leah died, she requested that the baby be sent back to Iowa to live with relatives.  I have no more records for Ethel after the 1900 census, and news stories from 1903.


1870 census of Pleasant Grove, Iowa (Leah with parents and siblings)

1877 marriage record for Leah and William Strothman (FamilySearch)

1880 census of Franklin, Iowa (Leah, William, Henry)

1885 Washington Territorial Census (Whitman) Leah, Henry, and Oscar

1888 Washington marriage records Louis and Leah

1900 census of Spokane WA (Louis, Leah, Alice, Ethel, and Oscar

1900 census of Spokane WA (Henry and Emma)

1900 marriage records of Montana (FamilySearch) Henry L and Emma

The Missoulian January 6, 1903 – the murder story

The Missoulian March 18, 1904 – the execution story

1903/1904 Missoula/Ravalli directory Leah Mott’s death

Missoula County Sheriffs book p 25 – Harry W Thompson

1905 Missoula directory (Henry L at 316 N 1st W with Herbert Crego) Troy Team Laundry

1910 census of Whitman (Henry L and Emma)

1910 census of Denver (Alice with Aunt Anne Caldwell)

WW1 Draft Registration – Henry Strothman

Missoula Cemetery Interment Permits 203 (Leah) and 337 (Louis)

Missoula Cemetery Index (Leah, Louis, Henry, Emma, Alice)

1920 census Missoula (Emma and William J Strothman)

1930 census Missoula (Emma)

Montana Death Index (Emma, William J Strothman)



Dexter Walter Royce died 27 September 1938

Dexter Royce was born 10 October 1874 in Chelsea, VT, the son of Oscar H Royce and Alfasette (Alfarette?) Picknell.  Oscar and Nettie were related – Family Tree Maker says she was his “half aunt”. 

The 1880 census lists the family living in Chelsea.  Oscar was a laborer. His wife is called Maria in the census.  It is clearly written, so isn’t a transcription error when the index was made.  Perhaps that is Nettie’s middle name.  I didn’t find a marriage record for him to anyone named Maria.

In 1894, Dexter bought 150 acres of land from JS Bean.  The next April, and again in July, Dexter sold property to Bean.  I don’t know if it was the same parcel of land going back and fourth.                                                                 

On 16 November 1895, Dexter married Mary E Blood, (Minnie) daughter of George Blood and Sarah Picknell.  The record says that this is the first marriage for Dexter, and the second for Mary.  Dexter is Mary’s first cousin, once removed.  She is also his half first cousin.  Mary had previously been in a relationship with Calvin Dexter Royce (and had a son with him).  Dexter Walter Royce is Calvin Dexter Royce’s nephew.  FTM says that Mary and Dexter are related in eight different ways, but these are the most simple to describe. 

 In 1900, Minnie and her son Calvin were living in Camden, Maine, next to her daughter Grace and family.  Minnie listed herself as widowed.  I have not yet found Dexter in the 1900 census.  He was probably in the Sharon VT area, as he sold 150 acres of land to JS Bean in 1902, and more land in 1904. 

In 1906, 1908, and 1909, Dexter lived at 75 Bay View Avenue in Quincy MA.  Wives were not listed in the directory, but he had Minnie had reunited and she was in the 1910 census together in Quincy.  Dexter a teamster, was 43, Minnie listed her age as 32 but was really 53, and her son Clarence, age 25, was a shipper in a store.  They were still listed in Quincy in the 1912 city directory. 

In 1915, Dexter and family lived at 104 Elm, in Stoneham, where he worked at teaming and jobbing. In September, he was involved in a car/motorcycle crash.  He was driving the car, and the news article said the motorcycle driver was thrown from his machine and shaken up and bruised on the face and arms.  The article didn’t say who was at fault.   In the 1920 Quincy directory, they lived at 67 Walnut, and Dexter worked as a teamster.  The 1920 census lists them living in Hanover MA, where he continued to work as a teamster.  He gave his age as 52, Minnie claimed to be 51 (she was 63.)    

Dexter and Minnie moved to Boston, and were counted there in the 1930 census.  He was a laborer in a woolen mill.

Minnie died in 1934 in Hanover MA and was buried there.  Dexter paid for the cemetery plot, but did not put up a headstone.  Dexter married again, to Rose Freeman.  He moved to Lebanon NH, and worked as a farmer.  He died 27 September 1938 of coronary thrombosis, at age 63.  His place of death was Waterbury, VT.  The record indicates that he did not die in a hospital, and that his regular address was Lebanon.  Informant was Dan Royce, so Dexter may have been visiting in VT when he died.   

Other than her listing on Dexter’s death record, I have no information about Rose Freeman.

John “Jack” Laber died 26 Sep 1984

John Donald Laber was born in Beverly, MA on 4 February 1915, the only son of Eugene R Laber and Jessie Noseworthy.  Jack was supposedly adopted, but Eugene and Jessie are named as the parents in this record

The newspaper collection in Ancestry includes the Fitchburg Sentinel, and gives us a glimpse into Jack’s life, more than just the census or BMDs. 

In 1928, Jack participated in a junior high school band presentation.  In 1932, Jack acted in a church play called “Aaron Slick of Punkin Crick.” He was in the band, in track and field, and was on the First Baptist YMCA basketball team.

In 1933, Jack joined the amateur radio club. He was also president of the debating club, on the honor role, and senior play.  He also assisted at other church youth events during the year.  John assisted with the church’s centennial celebration.  Also assisting was Frances Angevine – I thought this might be his wife-to-be, but another news story has her marrying Franklin Boyle.    

The Fitchburg city directory list John D Laber as a salesman, residing at 87 Mechanic (his parents’ address).  He was also a church youth group leader.  In 1936, he played Amon in the church’s drama “Simon the Leper”.  In 1937, Jack was listed as “The Karmelkorn Shop”, a confectionary.  He might have been the owner, not just an employee.  In the late 1930s and early 1940s, he worked as a clerk.

Jack enlisted in World War II, from Worcester, on 25 Feb 1942.  His was described as having four years of high school, being single, without dependents.  He was 66” (5’6”) and 156 pounds, single, without dependents. 

In training, probably in Texas, Jack’s tank hit a dune. He hit his face up and was severely cut. Alfred recollects that Jack stayed in the hospital while the rest of his unit went to Africa, and was wiped out.  Jack was assigned to an anti-tank unit, and was hit again, in Italy.

The Fitchburg directory lists Jack as being in the US Army through 1946.  When he returned, he worked for Hudson cleaners from 1947 – 1957.  In 1950, he signed a petition opposing a proposal to raise the rates of auto insurance to cover the higher costs in the larger cities. 

In 1961, Jack was working in investment securities in Boston, and had moved to 43 Myrtle Avenue in Worcester.  In 1969, he sold that property.  He was also elected to the First Baptist Church audit committee for three years. 

Jack married a lady named Frances, some time after he enlisted in the Army – perhaps after the war.  I do not know the marriage date, her last name, or her death date. 

Jack died 26 September 1984.  I have no record of him having any children.

Rose Anna Ireland Miller VanAlstine 1853 – 1936

Rose is not related – at least that I know.  She is buried at the Missoula City Cemetery, and I will be telling her story at the next “Stones and Stories” event at the end of October.  Some of her story had been researched, and I filled in a few of the blanks. 

Rose Anna Ireland was born 16 September 1853 in New Bedford, Bureau, Illinois, the second of four daughters of Thomas Ireland and Sophia Walters.  Like many other families of the time, her parents moved farther west, looking for better land and more opportunities.  The family eventually reached Lake Shetek, in Murray County, Minnesota.  They lived in a cabin near the southeast corner of Owanka Bay. 

Unfortunately, a clash of cultures resulted between the settlers, and the Sioux who were trying to maintain their own ways.  As a result of this conflict, a band of Indians determined to attack settlers and push them eastward.  In mid August, 1862, when Rose Anna was 9, attacks began at several locations in the area.  The Irelands left their cabin to seek safety with others at a nearby home.  One group of Indians in the area told the settlers that they would not be harmed if they left immediately.  The women and children were put in a wagon and started away, but the Indians pursued, shooting at them.  The settlers sought refuge in a slough that contained high grass.  Rose’s parents were shot and injured, as were many other adults and children.  The Indians said that if the women and children would come out, they would not be harmed.  The women came out with their children.  Along with other women and children, Rose’s mother was shot and killed, as were her sisters Sarah Jane, 11, and Julianne, 3.   The slough got the name Slaughter Slough.

Rose Anna, her 7-year-old sister Ellen, four other girls, and two women were taken captive.  The group travelled about 800 miles in three months, trying to stay away from pursuers.  The captives had only the clothes they were wearing, and worn out moccasins.  When food was scarce, they were not fed.  Rose was the most favored above all the other captives, and she was given some blue trading beads, which she kept wrapped around her waist under her petticoat so that she would not lose them.  She was given the name “Ondee” meaning “Rain”. 

In November, a group of about ten Teton Lakota Indians negotiated with the captors for the release of the girls and women.  They risked their lives, and traded their own horses, guns, and other goods for the release of the prisoners.  Once freed, the captives were taken about 100 miles, in wintery November weather to Fort Pierre in South Dakota, then by stagecoach back to their homes.  These Indians were referred to as “Fool Soldiers” because of their efforts for peace with settlers.  

When Rose Anna and Ellen returned home, they found that their father had survived being shot 8 times.  He lived another 35 years. 

By the time she was 16, Rose Anna had moved away from Lake Shetek to Mankato, Minnesota.   In 1875, she lived with her father, step-mother Sally, and sister, in Mankato.  In 1880, she was a servant in the household of the Presbyterian minister.  In 1885, she was a servant for a Prussian couple.  Her step-mother had died earlier in the year, and her father lived with her.  Thomas died in 1897 in Mankato. 

Rose Anna moved to Butte, Montana by 1898, and was a live-in domestic for the family of Thomas Buzzo, a mine superintendant in Walkerville. 

In 1903, at age 50, Rose Anna married a widower, Joseph R Miller, in Butte.  Joseph was a carpenter from Missoula, and Rose Anna moved there.  Only 17 months later, Joseph died suddenly of heart failure at Orchard Homes. 

In 1906, Rose Anna married Samuel VanAlstine.  He had worked as a teamster in Lincoln.  In 1909, they owned a farm in Orchard Homes.  By 1915, they were living in town at 1117 Grand Avenue, and this was Rose Anna’s home for the rest of her life.

Family lore is that Rose Anna filed for divorce from Samuel for non-support.  However, the 1917 city directory lists Rose Anna as the widow of Samuel. A trip to the courthouse might result in finding a divorce record and/or death record for Samuel, as he is not in the Missoula cemetery. In 1920, Rose Anna worked as a cook at the YMCA.  In later years, the jobs were described as waitress, and helper, at the YW and YMCA. 

Rose Anna died 16 April 1936 in Missoula, of heart disease.  Her only surviving immediate relative named was her sister Ellen.  Rose Anna had no children of her own.  


Jacques Joseph Genest dit LaBarre born 24 September 1707

Jacques Genest dit LaBarre was born 24 September, and baptized 25 September, 1707, in Tilly, Lotbiniere, Quebec, the son of Jacques Genest dit LaBarre and Marie Francois Huot dit St-Laurent.  His grandfather Jacques was the immigrant ancestor of this line, who served in the Salieres Regiment, and who married Catherine Doribeau, one of the Filles du Roi (King’s Daughters).

Jacques and Madeleine Arsenault had a son Joseph, who was born in 1727 in Bécancour, Quebec.  It is believed that Jacques and Madeleine were not married. 

I have no more records for Jacques.  Unfortunately, looking at posted family trees on line causes more confusion than clarification.  Many trees say that he died 15 December 1741, while many of those same trees have that as also the death date of his father.  I was not able to find the death record for Jacques the elder, so do not know if it might have named his parents and clarified which man died that year.  I guess I shouldn’t complain – while looking for information in my own database about Jacques, I found a grandson of his for whom I have a death age of 7 days, yet I have given him a wife and 8 children.  I need to sort that out!

Did Jacques go west and disappear into an area where no records were kept?  In the 1700’s, many French Canadian immigrants went west to participate in the fur trade.  Perhaps my 6th great grandfather was one of those.

John Heath married Jane Warbois 23 September 1871

John Heath was born 1 June 1841 in Derby VT, son of Daniel Heath and Phoebe Howe.  The family was counted in the 1850 census in Derby, and his father was a farmer.  I have not yet located John in the 1860 census.  His parents were in Derby, but John was not in the household.  It is possible that he was living and working away from home, and did not get counted. 

John was a Civil War soldier.  He enlisted from Derby as a Private on 24 July 1862, in Company K, 10th Infantry Regiment Vermont on 1 Sep 1862, and mustered out of Company K on 22 Jun 1865. He did have a pension later.    

A history of the 10th Infantry says that it was organized on 1 Sep 1862, and mustered out on 22 Jan 1865, so John was in for the duration of that regiment’s life.  Statics for the group indicate that 9 officers and 140 enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded, and 203 enlisted died of disease or accident. 

Rev. Edwin M Haynes, chaplain for the 10th Regiment, wrote the following history (edited for space): 

THE Tenth regiment was recruited from all parts of the State.  Mustered into the U. S. service September 1, 1862, the regiment left Brattleboro on the 6th, reaching Washington on the 8th, and went into quarters at Camp Chase near Arlington Heights the next day. On the 17th the regiment was posted along the Maryland side of the Potomac River in little camps of companies from Muddy Branch to Edward’s Ferry, and ordered to guard the fords.

Remaining in these scattered positions until the middle of October, the outposts of what were known as the Defences of Washington, the regiment was then ordered to assemble at the mouth of Seneca Creek, a low marshy spot, a place which proved to be a camp of fever and death. In this region, at Offut’s Cross-Roads, Rockville, White’s Ford, Conrad’s Ferry, Mouth of the Monocacy, and Poolesville, the regiment remained until the 24th of June, 1863, having been in the meantime brigaded with the Thirty-ninth Massachusetts, Fourteenth New Hampshire and Twenty-third Maine regiments. To this brigade were added Sleeper’s Tenth Massachusetts Battery, and a squadron of the Sixth Michigan Cavalry, commanded successively by Generals Stoneman and Grover, Colonels Davis and Jewett. The duties of these troops, during a period of nine months, were comparatively light, consisting of picket and guard duty at the fords of the Potomac and cross-roads a few miles into the country. Although there were a number of scares” and reports of “The rebels are coming,” still, during all these months, the regiment had no encounter with the enemy.

On the 22d of June the Tenth regiment received orders to march at once to Harper’s Ferry; it was soon after incorporated with the Army of the Potomac, and assigned to the Third Corps, First Brigade, Third Division. Thence onward this regiment participated in the battles and marches of the Third Corps during the remainder of the military existence of that Corps, and in the destinies of the Army of the Potomac up to July 6, 1864.

At the time of the reorganization of the Potomac Army in March, 1864, when the Third and the First Corps were broken up, the veteran troops of their heroic brigades were absorbed in the Divisions of the Second, Fifth, and Sixth Corps, and the Tenth regiment was assigned to the First Brigade, Third Division of the Sixth Corps.

The first engagement of this regiment, which rose to the dignity of a battle, was the action at Locust, or Orange Grove, Va., on the 27th of November, 1863. Gen. W. H. Morris, its brigade commander, speaks of it in the following terms: “The enemy was holding fence on the crest of a hill in our front. I ordered the Tenth Vermont to charge and take it, and the regiment advanced in gallant style and took the crest. I cannot speak of the conduct of the officers and men with too much praise; though the regiment had never before been under sharp fire, they behaved with the determined bravery and steadiness of veterans.” Our losses were thirteen killed and fifty-seven wounded. Capt. H. W. Kingsley was severely wounded, and Maj. Edwin Dillingham on General Morris’ staff was taken prisoner. Although this battle did not end the campaign, yet there was no more fighting in which this regiment was at all engaged.

In the Wilderness Campaign of 1864, the Tenth regiment was fortunate in its position, at least, in the first day’s series of battles, being upon the extreme right of the Union Army, and therefore suffered next to nothing from the fierce assaults made and sustained on the left and center. Still, the regiment steadily advanced in line of battle from the Rapidan River to Orange Pike, which the men crossed under a terrific shelling of the enemy’s batteries in plain sight, they springing over between discharges. The next morning, however, by a redisposition of the Union lines, these troops were crowded back to the north side of the pike, and to the rear of the main line. Here they remained undisturbed during most of the day; but about sunset they were suddenly called upon to meet a crisis. The enemy flanked the front line, and were pouring swiftly down upon the second line and swarming around it right when the order was instantly given to change front, and the Tenth Vermont and the One Hundred Sixth New York sprang to their feet and formed immediately across the line of our retreating troops and the pursuing rebels. Here the men fixed bayonets, and falling upon their knees, presented a barrier so formidable as to at once check the retreat, and cause the enemy to retire. The loss of the regiment was about a dozen men in killed and wounded.

In the bloody struggles around Spottsylvania Court House, the more strategic operations on the North and South Anna Rivers, Hanover Court House, and Totopotomoy Creek, the actions of the Tenth regiment may be partially summarized as follows: Many exhausting marches, eager watching face to face with the foe, skirmishing, fighting in a desultory or regular manner when practicable–all phases of warfare to occupy, but little by which any regimental command may be distinguished from another.

In the twelve days’ operations at Cold Harbor, the Tenth regiment suffered more than it had in all of its previous engagements in this campaign. Captains Frost and Darrah, Lieutenants Stetson and Newton were killed. Colonel Henry, Captains Blodgett and Hunt were severely wounded, and Lieutenant Thompson was taken prisoner. The several engagements of the regiment from June 1st to the 12th, reduced its numbers to twelve officers and three hundred and fifty-two men. But their services were highly commended in orders. Capt. S. H. Lewis captured a rebel Major and a Lieutenant single handed. The Fifty-first North Carolina regiment were made prisoners, the commanding officer surrendering his sword, with great formality, to Capt. E. B. Frost.

When General Grant swung his army across the James River, instead of following the main force directly to the front of Petersburg, the Sixth Corps was sent to Bermuda Hundred to assist General Butler in a contemplated advance at that point, but aside from standing in the open field long enough to receive a vigorous shelling, which resulted in the loss of a few men, the regiment did nothing here, and soon returned with the Corps to the Army of the Potomac to join in the numerous engagements which finally completed the investment of Petersburg.

The Tenth remained in this vicinity seventeen days, moving from point to point, fighting, throwing up earthworks, tearing up railroads, and having a bad time generally, when, on the 6th of July it was ordered to Harper’s Ferry with the whole of the Third Division, in order to meet a rebel advance into Maryland. But this Division, or rather the First Brigade with one regiment of the Second Brigade, were stopped at Frederick City about noon on the 8th, and reported to Gen. Lew Wallace. Near here lay a rebel army, fifteen thousand strong, under Gen. Jubal Early. General Wallace’s forces consisted of the troops above mentioned, two thousand raw militia, one battery of six six-pound guns, and a small mountain howitzer, in all five thousand troops.

That night General Wallace withdrew his little force across the Monocacy River, and posted it so as to cover the Washington pike, three miles from the city. The next day it was utterly overwhelmed by the vastly numerical superiority of its adversary, after a most stubborn resistance of nine hours. The consequences of this heroic struggle, so long maintained and against such odds, were very great. Speaking of it in his “Personal Memoirs,” General Grant says: “General Wallace contributed on this occasion by the defeat of the troops under him, a greater benefit to the cause than often falls to the lot of a commander of an equal force, to render by means of victory,” and in referring to the retreat of Early from Fort Stephens on the 12th, three days later, he says: “There is no knowing how much this result was contributed to by Gen. Lew Wallace, leading what might well be called almost a forlorn hope. If Early had been but one day earlier, he might have entered the Capital before the arrival of the re-enforcements I had sent.” General Wallace in his report of the battle says: “It would be difficult to say enough in praise of the veterans who made this fight.” Early was detained at the Monocacy thirty-six hours by this engagement, severely punished, and utterly defeated in his purpose to capture Washington.

Moving to Washington by way of the Relay House, for the succeeding four weeks the regiment is occupied, with other troops, in marching up the Shenandoah River as far as Berryville, crossing the Potomac at Ball’s Bluff, back to Washington through Snicker’s Gap, and on over the same and different routes to Harper’s Ferry, down to Frederick and the Monocacy, and again to Harper’s Ferry. Here on the 8th of August was established the “Middle Military Department,” with Maj.-Gen. P. H. Sheridan in command. The Tenth is now a part of General Sheridan’s forces operating in the Shenandoah Valley, and continually engaged in that region between Harper’s Ferry and Mount Crawford, sharing in all the operations of Sheridan’s notable campaign in the valley.

At the battle of Winchester on the 19th of September the casualties in this regiment were ten killed and forty-six wounded. Among those mortally wounded were Maj. Edwin Dillingham, commanding the regiment, and Lieut. D. G. Hill. Lieut. L. A. Abbott was severely wounded, and Capt. George E. Davis slightly. Captain Davis did not leave his company.

At the battle of Fisher’s Hill the 22d, the Tenth lost four men killed and five wounded. Capt. John A. Hicks was severely wounded.

At the battle of Cedar Creek the 19th of October, the Tenth lost in killed twenty-two. Two officers–Capt. L. D. Thompson and Lieut. B. B. Clark, were killed. Eight other officers were wounded–Adjt. Wyllys Lyman, Captains Davis and Nye, Lieutenants White, Wheeler, Welch, Read, and Fuller.

Each of these battles is prominent and some of them are famous in history, and for the part taken in each the officers and men of the Tenth were complimented in general orders.

The regiment remained in the vicinity of Cedar Creek and beyond twenty days, then moving north to Kernstown, a little hamlet near Winchester, a little more desultory fighting took place; it was of small account, however, few troops only taking part in it.

Here on the 8th of November the Vermont troops held a Presidential election. On the 24th the army in the valley observed Thanksgiving Day. Each soldier was supplied with three-fourths of a pound of turkey or chicken, a gift of the loyal citizens of New York City.

On the 3d of December the regiment was ordered back to Petersburg, where it arrived on the 5th; actively engaged in the operations of the investing armies at Hatcher’s Run and on the Weldon railroad until the 23d, when it went into winter quarters near the last named place south of Petersburg, until the 29th of March, 1865, doing little except extraordinary picket duty during these four months. There was, however, a notable exception to this heavy routine on the 25th. On that date General Lee made his famous demonstration on Forts Stedman and Haskell; ordered to assist in the defeat of this movement, the Tenth was so skillfully led by Lieut.-Col. George B. Damon as to capture one hundred and sixty prisoners on the enemy’s entrenched picket line.

In the advance of the army on the 2d of April the position of the Tenth was in front of Fort Welch, and in the grand movement all along the line Lieutenant-Colonel Damon claims that this command was the first of the Division to plant its regimental colors inside of the enemy’s fortified line. On the 3d, the regiment entered Petersburg with the victorious army.

In the subsequent six days’ fighting and pursuit of the enemy, the Tenth was continuously occupied; but it would be impossible to designate the services of any particular regimental organization where all were whirled on to the supreme crisis reached on the 9th, where victory was shared alike by all.

On the 22d of June the officer in command, Maj. John A. Salsbury, transferred fourteen officers and one hundred thirty-six men to the Fifth regiment, and at Burlington on the 27th, the balance of the regiment, thirteen officers and four hundred fifty one men, were mustered out of the U. S. service.

After his service, John returned home, and was counted in the 1870 census with his parents in Salem VT.  His father was still farming, but John, age 26, was recorded as “at home” with no occupation listed.  This made me wonder if perhaps he was recovering from war injuries. 

Jane Warbois was born 8 July 1852 in Derby, daughter of Thomas and Anna Warbois.  (The name is also seen as Warboys and Warboy.)  The family was counted in the 1860 census in West Charleston, where Thomas owned a farm valued at $350, with $100 worth of personal property – a modest valuation compared to his neighbors.  They lived in the same town in 1870, with the farm now valued at $500 and personal property at $125.  Jane’s brother Charles lived next door. 

John married Jane on 23 September 1871 in Salem VT.   He claimed to be 24 but was actually 30.  Jane was 19. 

The family was counted in the 1880 census in Salem.    John was a farmer.  The household included their first four children:  Ellsworth (1873-1921, he later married Lila Labor, then after her death, her sister Bertha, daughters of Louis Labor); Eliza E (1875-1912), Jane Emaline (1877-? after 1880), and John David (1879-1924).  Later children were Julia Ann (1881-1889), Lillian Belle (1884-?aft 1930), Ella (1886-after 1942), Caroline E (1889-1914), Benjamin Percy (1890-1956), Denison (1892-after 1910), and Eunice Francis (1895-1902).

Although almost all the 1890 federal census was destroyed by a fire at the archives, the 1890 Veterans Schedules still exists.  John Heath was counted in Derby.   This census confirms that he served three years, and that he suffered a gunshot wound in the face and neck, which affects his spine and brain.  This information seems to confirm my idea that in 1870, he was possibly an invalid.  Because John is not a close or direct ancestor, I did not order his Civil War pension record, but it is probably interesting reading.   

In 1900, the Heath family was still living in Derby.   The household included children Ellsworth, Ella, Carrie, Bennie, and Francis.  The record indicates that Jane had 11 children, 10 still living.  The only child for whom I have a death record prior to 1900 is Julia who died in 1889 from croup.

The 1910 census lists the family in Derby, but this time the record says that Jane had 10 children, with 8 still living.  I know that Eunice Francis died in 1902 from cerebral meningitis.  In the 1900 census, Bennie’s birth date was given as Sep 1893, age 6, but in his WW1 and WW2 draft records it is 21 Sep 1890.  I have not seen records for Denison other than the 1910 census, which makes him born in 1892, and it is clearly not a transcription error for Benjamin.  However, if Jane really only had 10 children and not 11, then I suspect that Denison in the 1910 census is really Benjamin, and it was an error in recording the census.  Maybe an old gunshot wound in the face made John hard to understand. 

Daughter Eliza died in 1912 from tuberculosis.  Caroline died in 1914 from ovarian cancer.

In 1920, John and Jane were in Derby, and none of the children still lived at home.  John was still listed as a farmer.   In 1921, son Ellsworth died of tuberculosis.  In 1924, son John committed suicide by shooting himself. 

John died 7 August 1929 from dilatation of the heart and senile debility, at age 88.  After his death, Jane filed for a Civil War widow’s pension. 

In 1930, Jane lived in Derby with her daughter Lilla (Lillian) Belle Bean. Jane died 23 March 1931 in Derby, from an acute gallstone attack.

Israel Hale married Fannie Amy Holmes 22 September 1841

Israel Hale was born 19 January 1812 in Boxford MA, the son of Joseph Hale IV and Martha Friend.  Fanny Amy Holmes was born 9 November 1817 in Stowe VT, the daughter of Nathan Holmes and Joanna Gould.  Israel and Fannie were marred 22 September 1842 in Stowe by Hiram Carleton, Minister of the Gospel.

In 1850, Israel and Fanny lived in Morristown VT.  He was a farmer, with a farm valued at $875.  This was considerably less than the value of all the other farms listed on that census page.  Martha’s four children had all been born by then – Martha Ann (1842-1906), Nathan (1845-1932), Cicero (1848-1926) and Emma Fanny (1850-1905).

By 1860, the Hales’ lot in life had improved.  Their Morristown property was now valued at $1200, and personal property at $555.  At age 16, daughter Martha was employed as a teacher, and son Nathan was working on the farm.

In 1870, the Hale’s farm was valued at $6000, by far the highest value in the area, and they owned $2250 worth of personal property.  They lived in the Cady’s Falls postal area. I don’t know that they moved – most likely the names changed as the area was settled and developed. Martha worked as a domestic servant, Nathan as a farm laborer, and Emma as a domestic.  Cicero was no longer living at home. 

In 1880, the Hales were still in Morristown.  Israel was still a farmer.  Fannie was listed as keeping house.  Martha and Emma still lived at home.  The household included two hired men, Lyman Irving and Olin Phelps. 

Israel died 22 April 1887, cause of death was listed as heart disease.  He was apparently prominent enough that his death was noted in the Vermont Watchman:  “Israel Hale died very suddenly Friday last.”  Israel’s death was also recorded in Boxford MA, where he was taken for burial.  Cause of death was reported as fever, but considering the “died very suddenly” item in the newspaper, it was more likely a heart attack than a fever. 

In 1900, Fanny was the head of the household, still living in Morristown.  She was listed as 78, widowed, farmer.  Her daughter Emma was in the household, as was her son Cicero.  (His daughter Carrie had married Marcel Labor.)  Cicero was not listed as widowed, although his two children  (Alva and Lottie) lived with him, and a wife was not listed.  The household included four servants, Ella Ladeau (housekeeper), Kate Detwiler (dressmaker – did Fanny have her own seamstress?), and farm laborers George Detwiler (probably Kate’s son) and Walter Sargent.  Fanny died of pneumonia on 4 February 1907 in Morristown.   

Not having subjective insight about Fanny and Israel, the records indicate that they improved their station in life dramatically. 


Lorette Proctor died 21 September 1885

Lorette Proctor was born 13 December 1824 in Rutland VT, the seventh of eight children of Philip Proctor and Dorcas Dimmick.  Philip was from Groton MA, and Dorcas from Sullivan NH.  They were married in Sullivan, and the first six children were born there.  Sometime after 1819, Philip moved the family to Rutland, where Lorette and Willard were born.  The family lived on a farm on Durgy Hill Road in West Rutland.  In 1831 Philip sold that farm and it became the town’s poor farm. 

On 7 February 1844, Lorette married William Johnson.  I have not identified his parents, except in later census records he reported that his parents were both born in VT.  William was born 26 December 1820 in Rockingham VT.             

The last record we have of Lorette’s father dates to 1845, where he signed papers relating to the sale of land.  History books about Sullivan say he went to Illinois. 

Lorette and William’s first son was born in 1845, but only lived about three weeks.  Lydia Ann was born in 1846, William Wallace in 1847, and Thomas Merrill in 1849 in Rutland. 

By 1850, Lorette and William had moved their family to Sandgate VT.  William was a farmer, and his farm was valued at $600.  Besides the above-listed children, the household included Jay Johnson age 8, and James Johnson age 7.  In 1850, the census did not list family relationships.  I suspect that they are not Lorette’s children because they were born before her marriage.  They might be William’s sons from a previously unidentified prior marriage, or they could be his younger brothers, or perhaps nephews.  Maybe researching these boys further will lead me to William’s parents, from another angle.  Antoinette Isabella was born in 1852.

In 1850, Lorette’s mother Dorcas was still living in the east, with her son Willard, in Rutland, and her father Philip’s location is not known.  It has been hypothesized that he might have helped facilitate a movement of Vermonters to Illinois.  A look at a map shows that Vermont town names were applied in Illinois.  At any rate, William and Lorette moved west to Illinois, and son James Philip was born there in 1855.    William Johnson is a common name, but I could not find one that felt was this family in the 1855 state census.

Lorette and her family were counted in the 1860 census in Lyndon, in Whiteside County, IL.  William was a farmer, with his real estate valued at $1200, and personal property at $225.  This was about average for the area.  Two more children were born – a son in 1863 who only lived a day, and the youngest, Lilly Gay, in 1866.

The Illinois state census of 1865 was designed similarly to early federal censuses, where only the head of household is named, and the rest of the family is counted by age/gender.  I did find a census record for Wm Johnson in Hahnaman, in Whiteside County, and the ages did correspond pretty well with the younger children, and Lorette and William. The value of livestock was $560, and the value of crops was $250.  There was another William Johnson in nearby Mount Pleasant, and the ages of his family members also corresponded to this family.

Lorette’s mother Dorcas died 15 December 1865 in Rutland, IL.  The state census listed Lorette’s younger brother Willard has having an older woman in the family, probably Dorcas as she was with his family in New Rutland IL in 1860.  A history written about the area mentioned Willard, and described his parents as being buried near their farm.  Dorcas was buried at Rutland IL, so it is presumed that Philip did die in Illinois, although that record has not yet been found. 

Lorette is next seen in the Hahnaman census in 1870, so I believe that the 1865 census for Hahnaman is the correct family in the state census.  In 1870  William was still a farmer, with his farm now valued at $2500, and personal property at $1050. 

In 1880, Lorette and William lived in Hahnaman.   William was still a farmer.  The only child still at home was Lillie G, age 14.  The household included Charles Black, their servant who worked on the farm. 

Other than the two sons who died as infants, all of Lorette’s children married and all but one had had children. 

  • Lydia married George Dir, and they had 13 children.  Lydia died in 1822.
  • William married Lavina Leota Colton, and had three children.
  • Thomas married Sarah Catherine Dolan and had four children, then Hattie Dugan and had nine, then Jennie Miller.
  • Antoinette married Charles Robinson, but died at age 20.
  • James married Catherine Thome and had four children.
  • Lilly Gay married Catherine’s brother Anthony Thome, and had six children. 

Lorette died 21 September 1885, at the age of 60.  She was buried in the IOOF section of the Coloma Township Cemetery, in Coloma IL.   

Last Will of Lorette Johnson

I Lorette Johnson, of Coloma, Whiteside Ill do make this my last will in manner following to wit.

First – I desire that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid with convenient speed. 

I give and bequeath to my dear husband Wm Johnson all my estate both real and personal of every kind & character to be used for his own benefit during his lifetime with full power to sell and dispose of said estate for his maintenance and support as he may deem wise and prudent (except as hereinafter reserved and provided) and at his death I desire that whatever part or portion of said estate may remain be divided equally share and share alike among our children Lydia A Dir of Hahmaman Ills Wm Wallace Johnson of Grinnell Iowa, Thomas Merrill Johnson of Arlington, Neb. James P Johnson of Grafton Neb. and Lillie Gay Johnson of Rock Falls Ills, after first paying out of said remainder to Lillie Gay Johnson one dollar and one half per week for all the time she remained at home and assisted in household affairs after she arrived at the age of eighteen years.

I further direct that said Lillie Gay Johnson shall have my sewing machine – her choice of my beds including springs – ticking feter bed & suitable bedding for the same and the quilt her grandmother pieced.

I further direct that my daughter Lydia Ann Dir shall have the picture of her grand mother Proctor and that all other personal property including furniture, dishes, wearing apparel etc be equally divided between my two daughters above mentioned share and share alike or to their children in case of the death of either of them before my demise.

I further give to James P Johnson the two volumes of the cottage Bible once the property of his grandfather Proctor.

I constitute and appoint Augustus Allen of Sterling Ills to be executor of this will.  In witness whereof I the said Wm Johnson have hereunto set my hand and seal this 30th day of April A D 1885.

Lorette Johnson ((Seal))

Then and there signed sealed, published and declared by the said Lorette Johnson as and for her last will and testament in presence of us who at her request, in her presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses.   Isaac I Bush     Geo W Chamberlin, witnesses

State of Illinois, Whiteside County

I, E W Payne clerk of the county court of Whiteside county, do hereby certify that the foregoing last will and testament of the within named Lorette Johnson, was this day duly proved in open court and was admitted to probate herein and was ordered to be recorded in the record of wills in and for said county.  Witness my hand and the seal of said court at my office in Morrison this 7th day of September 1889.  E W Payne, Clerk, by W A Payne, Deputy

The will makes reference to a photograph of “her grandmother Proctor” who would have to be Dorcas, plus Philip’s bible.  I don’t know who has those family heirlooms now – I would love to see them!

William Johnson died 17 Feb 1903 in Rock Falls IL, and was buried with Lorette.

« Older entries