Enjoying a Beautiful Day

This is one of my favorite pictures in my collection:


Back Row: Herman Beiersdorf, Amanda (Steinhaus) Beiersdorf, Helen (Bendler) Beiersdorf, Marie (Beiersdorf) Knapton, Eldon Knapton
Front Row: August Beiersdorf, Fred Beiersdorf

These folks are all relatives on my Maternal side of the family. They lived in Sheboygan, WI. The outdoor scene shows water in the background, possibly the Sheboygan River, since there is land visible on the other side.

Herman & Amanda were my Great Grandparents. They were married in 1916. August and Helen were married in 1915. Eldon and Marie were married in 1914. Missing from the picture is Fred’s wife, Mary (Duchow). Perhaps she was taking the picture. Looks like all of them are having a good time.

A couple of other things to note in the photo:



Amanda and Helen are holding boxes.

Closer inspection shows that they are holding Cracker Jack boxes. The popular molasses coated popcorn & peanut candy first came out in 1896. This box design is seen in advertisements from around 1918, before the logo included “Sailor Jack” & his dog, “Bingo.”



Also, Amanda is wearing a bracelet.



I’m pretty sure that it is a bracelet that I now have. It is a gold-color bracelet with a nice floral design.




On the inner rim are her initials and the date, 1913. This would have been the date of her high school graduation.

What a cool connection to the picture!

So, that’s about it, a nice photo of a group of siblings and their spouses enjoying a day outdoors. I wonder what they did that day. Did they have a picnic? Or did they get together after some event? Maybe for a walk after Sunday dinner? Who knows. But does it really matter? I’m just glad they posed for the picture so that day could be remembered.

© MJM 2017

Another Civil War Story, Part 2

Continuing from last time, Clark Millikan was drafted into the Confederate Army and enlisted November 15, 1864. He was in Company A of the 6th North Carolina Infantry. The story of his short time in the Infantry has been recounted through the years. For the most part, the story is the same each time it is told, however, there are a few additions that I have found.

The most common account is the one printed in the book, The History of Hamilton County, Indiana, by John F. Haines, 1915, B.F. Bowen & Co, Indianapolis, IN. The book includes a biographical sketch of Clark Millikan. The Civil War part of that sketch follows:

Mr. Millikan and his family were still living in North Carolina at the opening of the Civil War. He was reared in the Friends church and was opposed to war and slavery. He was drafted for service in the Confederate Army, but hired a substitute to take his place. The limit age was raised later in the war and he was drafted and sent to the front. Before this he and three other members of the Friends church had paid a man $40 to a memorial to the Confederate Congress, asking that Friends be allowed to pay $500 and be relieved from war duty. He and his three friends were ordered to drill and refused to do so until they heard from Congress. They were arrested and tied up by their thumbs for half a day in the rain and snow. During the forenoon that they were thus suspended the water ran down their arms into their shoes, and after dinner they were bucked and bound and punished until one of their member declared he would die if the punishment was not stopped. To save their comrade, the other three agreed to drill. They drilled but watched closely for a chance to escape. After several months at detail work near home, for which they received 65¢ a day and board, they were sent to a regiment and within a month, while on picket duty near Petersburg, Mr. Millikan and a number of others left the lines and slipped over to the Yankee lines, more than one-half mile away. This happened one night while they were on duty and was probably the most exciting night’s experience through which Mr. Millikan ever passed.

On this particular night when he made his escape, Mr. Millikan and three others were guarding with a campfire behind a screen of limbs. Other guards were stationed in little groups along the lines with a fire to each group. In the group of guards next to Mr. Millikan and his friends was stationed one man whose duty was to watch the Friends constantly. About midnight this man who was watching Mr. Millikan and his friends drew his cape up over his head to protect himself from the cold wind and leaned down over the fire to warm. Immediately the four men, of whom Mr. Millikan was one, made a dash for liberty. They crawled rapidly as close to the ground as possible until they were 30 or 40 yards over into the pine brush, then jumped to their feet and made a dash for the Yankee lines, going up to the first Yankee sentry and surrendering. The four men, Millikan, Bell, Stewart and Beckerdite, immediately made themselves known. When they got to the guard and the Yankees saw the Confederate uniforms, the sentry shook hands and said, “Howdy, Johnnies,” and treated them well. The four men had been on one-fourth rations and were now given the first good meal they had had for several days. After they had fully explained their position the United States government took them in charge and pursuant to a proclamation just issued by President Lincoln they were sent where they would be safe from the Confederates. Mr. Millikan and about 80 others accepted the offer of the United States government and Mr. Millikan, along with some of the others, asked to be sent to Hamilton County, Indiana, where he had friends. Thus closed the war experience of Mr. Millikan, and certainly he should be honored as much as those who fought for the flag.

This account almost word for word shows up in the Noblesville Ledger at the time of his 100th birthday in 1925.

Now to add a few more tidbits to the story.

First, the reference to communication to the Confederate Congress. The Guilford College Hege Library in Greensboro, NC has a collection of papers from John B. Crenshaw. He was a prominent Quaker minister who had connections with Union and Confederate government officials during the Civil War. The manuscript collection includes letters sent to Crenshaw from many Quakers who were conscripted into the Confederate Army. They asked for his help with their situations. The collection is digitized and available on the library’s website <library.guilford.edu>. Three letters in the collection were written by Clark & his companions. (transcribed below with no changes to spelling or grammar)

The first letter, written November 13, 1864:
Richmond Va
Dear Friend Crenshaw
We the under signed have bin arrested and brought hear under arrest for servis and assined to the sixth N.C. Regt. we the under signed friends wants thee to do something for us if the possibly can as soon as thee can hear we will gave the ouer names and meeting we be long to
Back Creeke Henry Stuart, William F. Bell
Molboro Clark Millikan, John R. Beckerdite

The second letter, written November 15, 1864 (page has piece torn off it):
Stanton Va
Friend Crenshaw
We the under signed Friends of N.C. have bin taken under arrest and brought heare for field servis we want thee to doo somthing to releave us ef thee posible can as thee posiblely kno soon as thee can we are …signed to the sixth North Carolina Regt
William F. Bell …nry Stuart Belongs Baccreak
Clark Millikan …Beckerdite Belongs at Molboro
we may stay hear several days be fore we go to the Regt. we ar assined we would be glad the would write to us as soon as those lines comes to hand

The third letter, written November 19, 1864:
camp near New Market Va
Friend Crenshaw we the under signed of N.C. Randolph Co. belongs to the Friends Sosiety and was taken by a reste and brought hear for field servis the officers show us no favors we wante the ef they is any thing don or can be don for us we want thee to let us kno it as soon thee possiblely can please come or write and let us kno what can be don for us soon
Henry Stuart, Wm. F. Bell, Clarke Millikan, L.R. Beckerdite
Derect thy letter Co A 6 Regt N.C. Troopes in care of leutenant Harden Richmond Va or Army Northern Va

There is no indication that Crenshaw was able to help the soldiers.

The statement that they worked near home for several months doesn’t make much sense in timing. As they enlisted on November 15 and deserted on December 11, 1864. However, perhaps they worked somewhere before being required to enlist.

I found another account of the story. It was William Bell’s story, recounted in the Fairmount News, from Fairmount Indiana, June 7, 1907. He says he worked for 2 years in the salt mines to avoid bearing arms. (There were salt mines in Wilmington, NC) But this work was “onerous and disagreeable” and he returned home. Then he was required to enlist. Another article from the same newspaper July 6, 1914 tells of a visit between Clark and Mr. Bell, who were “forced into service hauling saltpetre for the Confederate army.” So maybe Clark worked in the salt mines at some time before he enlisted.

Mr. Bell’s story also mentions how the men were hung by their thumbs for 3 hours and then bound for 3 more hours “in uncomfortable positions with ropes.” The practice of “bucking” was to have the man sit with his knees bent & arms out straight, a pole was placed under the knees and over the elbows. The hands and feet were then bound. So the man could not move out of this position. I’m sure it became quite painful after a while.

Mr. Bell also said that the Quakers refused to wear the Confederate uniforms. They were allowed to wear their own plain clothes. He said they were hungry & at one time they subsisted for 3 days on “a spoonful of green coffee and a slice of fat meat.” He said that he and Henry Stewart deserted together.

I found Clark’s service record at a local college library collection & took grainy copies from the microfilm. Now, his Compiled Service record is available on-line at Fold3.com In essence, it consists of 7 cards containing basic information. His name is sClarkMillikanCivilWarRegisterpelled differently on some of the cards. The Confederate Muster Roll lists him as “C. Milichan” a private in Company A of the 6th Regiment of North Carolina Infantry. Enlisted November 15, 1864 at Camp Stokes, deserted Petersburg Va December 11, 1864. Union Provost Marshal forms spell his name as “Milliken” and indicate that he took the Oath of Amnesty at City Point, Va. on December 13, 1864 & was sent to Indianapolis, IN. He had a Dark Complexion, Black hair and Brown eyes. He was 6ft tall. (copies of records from Fold3.com, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers who Served in Organizations from the State of North Carolina)


Clark Millikan’s Oath of Amnesty

With the fact that Clark deserted from the Confederate Army, then signed the Oath of Amnesty to support the Union, he was better off staying in Indiana after the War. His family eventually joined him there. As far as I know, he did not go back to North Carolina when his parents died in 1869 & 1871. With War wounds still fresh, I doubt he would have been very welcome in the South. He did eventually visit again in 1903.

So there we have it, what we know right now of Clark Millikan’s Civil War story.

© MJM 2017


Another Civil War Story

I already wrote a little about my GGG Grandfather, Clark Millikan (1824-1926). At 101 years old, he was the oldest man in Hamilton County, Indiana before he died. But he didn’t start out in Indiana.

Clark was born in Randolph County, North Carolina to Samuel (1789-1871) & Sally (1800-1869) Millikan. He was the third of 8 children. When he married Nancy Adams in 1851, he received land from his father on Back Creek in Randolph County. Nancy died soon after the birth of their daughter, Nancy Angeline (1852-1926). Clark then married Lydia Hinshaw (1833-1917) in January, 1855. They settled on the farm on Back Creek. Clark had built a 2 story house there. Extended family members lived nearby. They had their first child together, a son, Lewis Elwood (1855-1949), in October, 1855.

Clark was a “birthright” Quaker. I have not found the early Friends Meeting records to confirm this yet. As I’ve mentioned before, Clark must have been disowned at some time, probably for marrying Nancy, as she was not a member of the Society of Friends. When Lydia and Clark married, Lydia was disowned for marrying him.


Clark & Lydia Millikan

Clark & Lydia started their life together as tensions were growing in the Southern United States. The Quaker beliefs of pacifism and anti-slavery put them at odds with their fellow Southerners. Many Quakers had left the state of North Carolina to settle in other parts of the country where they did not have to deal with the slavery issue.

Clark & Lydia’s second child lived only a month in 1857. They had a girl, Flora Ellen (1860-1923), in 1860. Then on April 12, 1861, Clark’s 37th birthday, Fort Sumter, SC was fired upon. This started the fighting that would disrupt the country for 4 years—the US Civil War. The first conscription law for the Confederacy included men ages 18 to 35 years old. Clark was too old to qualify.

Quakers were in a quandary at this time, they were against carrying arms and slavery. Early on in the War, men were permitted to pay a fee of $500 to avoid service and hire a “substitute.” But later in the War, as the Confederate Army needed more men, that was no longer an option and Quaker men were expected to follow orders when drafted. In 1862, the upper age for conscription was raised to 45, then in 1864 it was 50. Any man who was capable of carrying a weapon was drafted, whether they were willing to carry that weapon or not. Some men hid out and some left the state.

Being a Quaker, Clark was not willing to bear arms against his fellow man. The story goes that Clark paid the fine the first time he was called for the draft. So this would have been after 1862, when the age limit was raised.

On June 4, 1864, Clark was received into membership of Marlborough Friends Meeting in Randolph County.


Marlborough Friends Meeting Minutes June 4, 1864

It is interesting that there are several young men requesting or being admitted into membership at this time, including Clark’s brothers, John & Allen. Perhaps they were trying to have official paperwork to verify their religious affiliation. Lydia had their 4th child, Lunda (1864-1926) in August of 1864.

Then, Clark was called for the draft again. This time, he had no choice but to follow the orders. The records have his name as “C. Milichan” of Randolph County, NC. He enlisted at Mecklenburg County, NC on November 15, 1864. He is listed as a private in the Confederate Army, 6th NC Infantry, Company A.

To be continued…

© MJM 2017

Mystery Solved!…or is it?

Some of the first information I received from my Maternal Grandmother about her family included August and Augusta Beiersdorf’s family notes. I remember commenting to my Grandmother that the first 3 children in the family were born before August and Augusta got married. I was told that August had been married before, his first wife died and he married Augusta, who was her sister. But I didn’t have all of the pieces of the puzzle, so I couldn’t really put truth to this story.

First, August Beiersdorf (1858-1903) was married to ??? and they had Fred (1882-1963), August C. (1884-1974) and William G. (1887-1942).

Then, August married Augusta (1868-1955) in 1887. They had Gustav (1888-1890), Marie (1890-1973), Albert G. (1892-1977), Herman (1895-1983), Otto (1896 stillborn), Ewald (1898-1971) & Frieda (1900-1974). As mentioned in a previous post, August, Augusta & the older children moved from Germany to Sheboygan, WI in 1889.

So, how do I find out who August’s first wife was? And if she really was Augusta’s sister?

First, I found August’s obituary when I took a trip to Sheboygan. He died in 1903. The obit. was in a German newspaper. Roughly translated, it confirmed that he came from Germany in 1889 and that his wife Auguste’s maiden name was Juergen. It made no mention of a previous wife.

Next, I found Augusta’s obituary in the Sheboygan Press. She died in 1955. Her obit. listed 2 surviving sisters: Mrs. Herman Kolbe & Mrs. Carl Kuehl living in Sheboygan. It also states 2 sisters and a brother died before she did. But it did not indicate her maiden name.

Then, using Newspapers.com I was able to find the obituaries for Mrs. Herman Kolbe & Mrs. Carl Kuehl.

Minnie Kolbe died in 1957. Her obit. indicates her maiden name was Jurgen. It lists one sister, Mrs. Christina Kuehl surviving her, 4 sisters and a brother preceding her in death.

I didn’t find Christine Kuehl, but I did find Ernestine Kuehl’s obituary. Her obit. from the Sheboygan Press in 1961 gives a little more information: Her parents were Gottfried and Christine Juergen & she was preceded in death by a brother & 5 sisters. So, with the last 2 obits, we gained another sister if I count correctly—Augusta, Minnie, and 3 other sisters. (where Augusta’s obit only listed 4 sisters, 2 living and 2 dead) I still don’t know the names of the brother or other sisters. But I did have the names of the parents.

Looking for Christine or Gottfried Juergen’s obits, I was unsuccessful finding Gottfried’s. Christine’s gave me another name: her son-in-law Christ Duckow. Christina died in 1913.

Then on to the search for Christ Duckow (or Duchow): his wife was Louise and she died in 1938. Her obit from the Sheboygan Press, stated she was the daughter of Gottfried Juergen. Her sisters are listed as Mrs. Minnie Kolbe, Mrs. Augusta Beiersdorf, Mrs. Marie Schrader & Mrs. Ernstine Kuehl. Her brother’s name was William Juergen. Now there are 2 more names in the family, Marie and William.

Marie Schrader died in 1954. Her obit. gives the same parents, Gottfried & Christina Jurgen; 3 surviving sisters, Augusta, Ernestina and Minnie; a sister (Louise) and brother (William) preceding her in death.

Next, William Juergen’s obituary from the Sheboygan Press in 1947: confirms the names of the parents and sisters. So no new information.

From all of those obits I have the following information: Gottfried and Christina Juergen were the parents of Louise (1859-1938), Minnie (1864-1957), Augusta (1868-1955), Ernestine (1871-1961), Marie (1874-1954) & William (1874-1947). The family members all settled in the Sheboygan area. However, none of the obits give mention of any other children of Gottfried & Christina.

So I figured I would look at US Census records next. Gottfried and Christina show up on the 1900 Census in Sheboygan, right next to Christ & Louise Duchow and their family.


This Census has a line related to how many children a woman had and how many were still living. Christine is listed as having 9 children with 6 living.

Then in the 1910 Census, Christine is living with the Duchow family and is listed as having 9 children with 7 living.


Still a little confusing, but it appears that Christina Juergen gave birth to 9 children which is 3 more than I knew about. Could one of them be August Beiersdorf’s first wife?

One last piece of information. When I met with the granddaughter of August, Gertrude Schwalbe, she gave me a copy of a torn and taped together piece of paper. It was the baptismal record of her father, August C.


Written in German script, it was a little hard to decipher the first time I looked at it. Now, it makes a little more sense. It seems to me that it starts with the statement that Carl August Beyersdorf was the legitimate son of Carl August Beyersdorf and Regina Christina Beyersdorf, born Jurgen.

So without digging into additional German databases, I’m pretty much convinced that Regina Jurgen, August’s first wife, could very well have been the sister of Augusta Juergen, August’s second wife. She would then be one of the 9 children that Christina Juergen gave birth to. Maybe someday I’ll look at more of the German records and confirm the suspicion.

So that mystery is considered solved in my book for now. Or is it…

My Great-Grandfather, Herman Beiersdorf’s Birth Certificate lists his Mother’s maiden name as “Auguste Radloff.” I guess I’ll have to keep digging to get the full story…

©MJM 2017