A Pre-Nuptual Agreement

My folks and I traveled to Randolph County, North Carolina a few years ago looking for the old family land. We spent time searching deed records, specifically looking up any deed reference to our Millikan ancestors. One item we came across was a pre-nuptual agreement from 1870. I figured “pre-nups” were relatively recent contracts, so I was surprised to find one in the deed records.

Bk36p288prenuptual

Mordecai Mendenhall & Sarah Millikan Marriage Contract 1870

This is from Randolph County deed book 36, page 288. It records the marriage contract between Mordecai Mendenhall and Sarah Millikan dated March 24, 1870. In the contract, each one of them agrees to release the rights to the other’s real estate & personal property. So who were they & how do they fit into my family?

Sarah Millikan was born Sarah Williams in 1806. She married Benjamin Millikan in 1824. Benjamin was the brother of my 4th Great Grandfather, Samuel (1789-1870). Samuel’s son, Clark, (1824-1926) moved from North Carolina to Indiana. I’ve written a few posts about Clark. Benjamin and Samuel each received part of the original Millikan land from their Father, Benjamin (1775-1842).

Sarah and Benjamin had 7 children: Milton (1825-1908), Daniel W. (1828-1914), Azel (1829-1890), Rebecca (1831-1911), Benjamin (1831-1915), Nancy (1833-?) & William P. (1835-1875). Some of their children moved to Indiana, others stayed on the family land in North Carolina. Benjamin died in 1836, leaving Sarah with the children to raise alone. She shows up in the 1850 Census as Sarah Williams (her maiden name) with real estate valued at $500. In 1860, her real estate is worth $800, with personal property worth $500.

Mordecai had also been married and had a family before he married Sarah. In the 1850 Census, his Real Estate was worth $200. By 1860, his wealth had jumped significantly. His Real estate was worth $7000 and Personal estate worth $8150. Maybe this is part of the reason for the pre-nuptual agreement.

The 1870 Census has Mordecai’s Real Estate worth $2500, Personal estate $5000. Sarah’s Real estate is worth $1000 with personal property $500.

1870Mendenhall

Mordecai died at the age of 87 in 1879 of “typhoid flux”. Sarah lived until 1884, showing up in the 1880 census living with her son, Daniel. Sarah was 77 years old when she died.

So while these two individuals weren’t immediate ancestors of mine, it is kind of interesting to see that even back in 1870 they intended to protect their individual assets. I didn’t find Mordecai’s will. There is no indication in Sarah’s will that she had any additional property from Mordecai. So, the assumption is that the children of each one’s first marriage inherited from them.

© MJM 2017

Aunt Angie, Crack Shot

I found a newspaper article the other day from the Sheridan News:

Hortonville—The daughter of Clark Millikan is a fine shot. She is not married and we are a little uncertain as to her age. She is staying in the home of Wm. Stanley on the township line. The other morning a hawk swooped down and grabbed a chicken which caused Miss Millikan to grab a gun and follow that hawk to his den, climbing over a barb wire fence. Taking a long shot, she killed him at the first fire, says she learned to shoot in Carolina.” –May 31, 1912 p7

The article doesn’t name the “daughter of Clark Millikan,” but it is pretty obvious to me that it was referring to Nancy Angeline Millikan.

AngMillikanrifle

 

 

This is one of the few pictures I have of her by herself. And she’s holding a rifle. She also has a few squirrels, which I’m sure she shot.

 

 

 

 

 

Nancy Angeline was the only child of Clark Millikan (1824-1926) and his first wife, Nancy Adams (1816-1852). She was born September 30, 1852 in Randolph county, North Carolina. Sadly, her Mother died when Angie was only 11 days old.

I can’t find her in the 1860 US Census. She is not listed in her Father, Clark’s household. Perhaps she was visiting someone.

In 1870, she shows up on the US Census with her Aunt & Uncle, Close & Annie Davis in Back Creek Township of Randolph County, NC. By then her Father and family had moved to Indiana. So I wonder if she was just visiting or if she lived with the Davis family. (I also haven’t found the Davis’ in the 1860 Census. So if I ever do, it may answer the question.)

After this, she is listed with Clark, and she reportedly lived with her Father until his death in 1926.

NancyAngelineMillikan

 

I copied this photo from a relative’s collection. The photographer’s mark on the back of the photo is from “G.N. Glass, North Side Gallery, Sheridan, IN.” The website, LangdonRoad.com, which is “Langdon’s List of 19th & Early 20th Century Photographers,” indicates that this photographer was in business from the 1880’s to 1890’s. So that gives a general time frame for this photo.

 

 

 

I don’t have much other information on Angeline. My Grandmother, Margaret Millikan McKinley, said, “Aunt Angie was bald. She wore a straw hat everywhere. For more formal gatherings, she had a hairpiece or bonnet that she wore.” I can’t tell from the few pictures I have if this is the case.

Nancy Angeline died from Influenza April 17, 1926 at the age of 73. She died 4 months after her Father. She is buried in the Union Grove Cemetery not far from Clark Millikan’s farm near Sheridan, IN.

One more picture of Angeline, here she holds a trophy—I wonder if it is the hawk mentioned in the newspaper article? By the way, she would have been almost 60 years old when she chased that hawk over the barb wire fence!

AngelineMillikanrifletrophy

© MJM 2017

 

 

 

Did They Go to the Race?

On May 30, 1911, a big event took place at the Indianapolis Speedway—the first running of the Indianapolis 500 mile race—200 laps around the track. It was called the 500-mile International Sweepstakes race back then. One story is that while there had been other races at the Speedway in the past, the owners wanted to pick up attendance, so they decided to run one special race—the Indy 500. At that time, the cars were “2-seaters.” There was a driver and a mechanic who also served as spotter—these days they have spotters up on the rooftop to help the drivers know what may be going on around them.

This picture was in my Grandmother, Margaret (Millikan) McKinley’s collection.

RalphDePalma

Ralph DePalma drove in that first race. He also drove in the 1912 race, where he lead for 196 laps, then came in 11th place after his car broke down and he and his mechanic had to push it across the finish line. He finished just out of the money. (Only 1-10th places were paid winnings). He won the race in 1915 & continued to race at Indy in the early 1920’s.

So how did this photo end up in Grandma’s collection? The assumption is that it belonged to her father, Arza Millikan. The only hint I have is from a letter that was written to Arza May 25, 1911. It was from a young lady, Bertha Shortridge, that he had met through her brother when they attended the Farmers Institute at Purdue. He kept up correspondence with her for a couple of years. Anyway, she wrote:

I know of several who are going to the races but I hadn’t thought of going myself. I did think of it tho’ after getting your letter to-day. Several boys and some men and their families are going but I do not know that any of the girls are going. I have relatives in the city and would like, not only to see them and the races but would be glad to meet you there but have decided it is impossible for me to go. To explain—I am making some of the graduating dresses and the commencement is next Thursday night and I cannot finish them and go to Indpls. too, so feel I must keep my word and get the work done by then. You know it is always, “business before pleasure.” Thank you for the arrangements you have so kindly made for my pleasure and am very sorry I cannot enjoy the day with you but hope you can go anyway. Tell me all about it if you do. I think there are one or two Connersville men to be in the races. Expect to hear of several meeting their everlasting. Two men were hurt there yesterday.”

So the assumption is that Arza went to the race, he had apparently made plans to include Miss Shortridge, but even though she turned him down, I bet he still went. He probably went with a group of friends. There was a report in the Sheridan News from June 2, stating the early Monon train heading to Indianapolis on race day was full & some people were delayed in getting there until after the race started. If he did go, it was an all-day event. To qualify for the race, the cars had to go at least 75 miles per hour—if you consider 500 miles at that speed, the race itself would have lasted about 7 hours. The news article said the race was over at 5pm. I expect it would have been quite dusty and dirty out at the track, not quite like it looks now on TV. So it is kind of interesting to imagine that Arza was there for the first Indy 500 race. Maybe he went to another race as well.

I haven’t quite been able to tie the photo of Ralph DePalma to the Indy 500. In 1911, he didn’t drive a Mercedes. In 1912 he did and his car was #4, but I can’t find a picture of him in the car. There is a car in the Indy museum that is reportedly the car he drove, but it is a little different than what is in the picture, but then I wonder if they painted it a couple of times. In 1915 he drove a Mercedes #4 car and won, but that is a different car than what is in the picture. I did find a similar picture on-line & the caption indicates that it was of Ralph DePalma and his mechanic, Tom Alley in 1912 relating to the Elgin road race in IL. But he didn’t win that race until August 1912, well after the 500 was run. So there is still a little mystery to when the photo souvenir was acquired.

And I still wonder if Arza went to the first Indy 500.

© 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)

ClarkMillikanOathofAmnesty

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.

ClarkLydiatintype3

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.

MarlboroCMillikan641864

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

The Most Unforgettable Person…

My Dad wrote a composition for his 9th grade English class titled “The Most Unforgettable Person I Ever Knew.” He said he can’t remember writing it, but gave permission for me to use it anyway. (I transcribed it as originally written, even though it seems like he left something out.)

The Most Unforgettable Person I Ever Knew

Small, lean, slow, and deliberate in his movements, he could do more work than most men one half his age. My great-grandfather drove a tractor when he was 88. He rode a bicycle 4 miles a day in all kinds of weather until he wrecked it and couldn’t buy parts for it because of its age. My great-grandfather was 90 years old then. He then walked the four miles every day. He was 92 years of age when he painted it the last time. It was painted from ladders instead of from running boards because he might fall off a running board. The day he died he was digging a ditch. My great-grandfather was then 93 1/2 years of age.

My great-grandfather was a typical Quaker and was always studious. He read the Bible 26 times, and never missed a Sunday at church for 10 years.

My great-grandfather kept weather records for years. The weather bureau sometimes checked with him because his records were older and more accurate than theirs were.

My great-grandfather’s name was Lewis Elwood Millikan. He died in March 1949.

Lewis Elwood Millikan, the only son of Clark Millikan (1824-1926) & Lydia Hinshaw Millikan (1833-1917), was born October 10, 1855 in Randolph County, North Carolina. He moved to Indiana with his family soon after the end of the Civil War. He married Martha Ellen Barker (1858-1932) February 23, 1882. They had two children, Arza (1883-1964) and Edna (1886-1966). He raised his family on a farm on Mulebarn Road south of Sheridan, IN. His farm was not very far away from Clark’s.

When Arza got married in 1916, Elwood and Mattie moved to town and settled in a house on Sheridan’s Main Street. Elwood “retired” & Arza and his wife, Mary Boone Millikan (1897-1992), took over the farm. However, both Arza and Elwood worked their farm as well as helped out with Clark’s farm along with hired help until Clark died in 1926. So, when the essay says Elwood rode his bicycle 4 miles a day, he was riding from his house in Sheridan to the farm & back home.

Here’s a picture of him painting the farm house at the age of 92. Can’t say I’d want to be up on that ladder!

LEPaintingHouse

He was active in the Friend’s church. Some papers I have indicate he was a delegate to regional meetings as well as clerk for his Meeting. A news article from the time of his 92nd birthday, states that the church gave him a Bible for perfect attendance. He was a member of Sheridan Friends at that time. The church also held an open house to celebrate his birthday.

I’m impressed that he read the Bible through so many times. He was interviewed by Wayne Guthrie with the Indianapolis News sometime after he turned 93. He said he had read the Bible through 23 times and was reading the Gospel of Luke for the 24th time. He said he started reading it through in 1915. He said he liked reading the Gospels, “but it takes the whole Bible if you want to understand it right.” In one sense, I guess there weren’t as many distractions back then to interrupt the reading. Anyway, I admire his diligence.

The Indianapolis News article also discussed his bicycle riding. He said he bought the bicycle in 1918. He said that he had to quit riding it because when he tried to fix it, it made it worse. No surprise, for a 30 year old bike that may have been used almost every day!

Weather changes were important for farming. My Grandmother gave me a few of Elwood’s weather journals. I have the records for about 1936 through 1949. Each day, Elwood would enter the temperature. Starting with the 1940 journal, he also entered the weather conditions every day. He added a few notations of his activities on some days. My Grandmother included temperatures & weather conditions in her diary entries as well. Elwood’s final entry was Wed. March 16, 1949. It was 22 degrees and cloudy. This was the day he died.

Elwood died of a heart attack while he was helping dig a ditch. He died at the farm. He was 93 years old. He had been widowed for 17 years. He was survived by his son & daughter as well as 7 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. He was buried at Union Grove Cemetery.

So there is a little more to share about Elwood’s early life & I hope to do that at a later date. But even without that, it does seem like Lewis Elwood Millikan was quite an Unforgettable Person.

© MJM 2017

A Sad Story…

I like reading old newspapers. At times I have found tidbits that have helped fill in the gaps of my family history research. The social columns weren’t just for the wealthy. Each week, there would often be reports of who was on the sick list, who visited whom, as well as any social gatherings in the community. I think there were “reporters” who told the newspaper of the local events in the smaller communities the paper served. My Grandmother told me that the newspaper would call folks to see if they had any news. Now that many old newspapers have been digitized and indexed, finding the information is a lot easier than it was in the past, when it required a trip to the library in whatever community I was researching in order to browse through microfilm copies of the papers. I have used Newspaperarchive.com for much of my Indiana newspaper research as it has the papers from Morgan and Hamilton Counties which correspond to the areas where Dad’s ancestors lived. I recently started a subscription to Newspapers.com as well. They were having a special offer & I was curious to see if their collection could give me any additional information on both Maternal and Paternal ancestors.

Of course, as I do with any new data collection, I plugged an ancestor’s name into the search box to see what they came up with. In this case, I searched for my GGG Grandfather, Clark Millikan (1824-1926).

One result was the following article dated Friday, September 29, 1899, from the Marshall County Independent, published in Plymouth, Indiana:

Afflicted with Black Diptheria—Westfield, Ind.–About two weeks ago Clark Millikan’s family returned home from the west, and on Sunday last one of the daughters 14 years old, took sick and died. Others of the family are reportedly dangerously ill with the same disease, which is said to be black diphtheria of the most malignant type. The people in that section are greatly alarmed. Every precaution is being taken to prevent a spread of the disease.

Diphtheria–caused by a bacteria & spread by respiratory droplets. An infected person would be contagious for 2-3 weeks. The disease is noted for the formation of a thick grey (or black) coating over nasal tissues, tonsils and throat which then caused breathing difficulty. Also, toxins released by the bacteria could affect the heart. From what I found, there were some treatments available for the disease in the mid 1890’s but it wasn’t until the mid 1920’s that the development and use of vaccinations helped decrease the prevalence of the disease.

So who was the 14 year old girl who died? I remembered a visit my folks and I made to a relative’s home. She had information on another branch of Clark Millikan’s descendants. Clark was married to Lydia Hinshaw (1833-1917). Their daughter, Alice (1864-1926), married Owen Dudley Cox (1861-1894). They had 2 daughters, Estella and Carrie. The lady we visited was Carrie’s daughter-in-law. She showed us the Cox family Bible.

Inside was a family photo of Estella, Owen, Carrie and Alice. Owen died when the girls were young, Estella was 8 and Carrie was 6.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cox Family: Estella, Owen, Carrie, Alice

Another item in the Bible was an obituary. I don’t know what newspaper it came from.

StellaCoxObit

My assumption is that Estella Cox was the girl mentioned in the first article. Her obit. states that she contracted the disease from the children of Clark Stout who was her Uncle. He was married to another one of Clark Millikan’s daughters, Anna (1869-1945). The little children would have been Lester (5 yrs old) and LaRue (3 yrs old). Even though the first article mentions a trip “West” and the obit mentions a trip to North Carolina, I don’t think it matters where they had visited. Regardless, the dreaded Diphtheria came back with them.

One more thing about Estella Cox. She doesn’t show up in the US Census records. She was born after the 1880 US Census and died before the 1900 US Census. (The 1890 Census records were destroyed.) So only looking at US Census records, we wouldn’t even know she existed. Other records would have to be used to help prove the family connections.

She is listed in a couple of Quaker Meeting records from Eagle Creek Monthly Meeting in Hamilton County, Indiana.

First, the family was accepted into membership in 1893:

EagleCreekMMHamiltonCoINMensMinutesOwenCox

Then, after Owen’s death, Alice and her children moved to Lamong Monthly Meeting. They were living with Alice’s father, Clark:

EagleCreekMMHamiltonCoINCertifofRemovalAliceCox

The Cox family lived with their share of sorrow, with the loss of Owen and Estella. It’s also sad to think that the family members who traveled, probably to visit other relatives, never expected to return from their trip with a disease that infected their cousin and caused her death. I can’t imagine how the family coped with that. Alice lived with her father the rest of her life. Carrie, who was 11 years old when she lost her sister, eventually trained to be a nurse.

© MJM 2017

 

 

Dear Friend…

I have this letter in my collection. It was sent to “Miss Mary Boone, Sheridan, Ind.” The date of the letter is Feb. 16, 1915. Mary was 17 years old.

letterarzatomary1915a

letterarzatomary1915b

arzamillikan2

Arza Millikan

So Arza Millikan was asking Mary for a date! He was 31 years old. Quite a difference in age, but I guess they hit it off, as they got married November 22, 1916. They were my Great-Grandparents.

A few notes about the letter:

“Elfleda” was Elfleda Emery, a good friend of Mary’s. They were in the same class at Sheridan High School.

“Lamong” was probably Lamong Friends Meeting.

“Bob Wilson” was a neighbor of Arza’s Grandfather, Clark Millikan. Arza spent much of his time helping out at Clark’s farm. From what I can tell, “Hazel” Wilson survived the scarlet fever.

© MJM 2017

What’s in a Name?…

So what is so important about a name? To genealogists and family historians, names are the building blocks of our research. If the name is wrong, then the trail it takes us on is also wrong.

For instance, since I have the actual Army discharge papers for my ancestor, Allen Erp, I know that any official records for the Civil War would have him listed as “Allen Urp.” The Earp genealogy book that I used to connect the line to Wyatt Earp actually has my ancestor, Allen, listed as a Confederate soldier. So the authors didn’t know to look for the “Urp” spelling. I did send them a correction.

Clark Millikan is listed as Millican on his Civil War papers. This is not quite as drastic of a spelling difference, but it may also affect finding all of the correct records. (Yep, there is a story there…)

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Arza Millikan

The most challenging spelling difference is for my Great-Grandfather, Arza Millikan. In 1907 the Rev. Gideon Tibbetts Ridlon compiled a genealogy of Millikan and other related families. The book, History of the Families Millingas and Millanges of Saxony & Normandy, is the go-to reference for anyone researching the Millikan line. However, there are no sources listed in this book. My assumption is that Ridlon probably sent notices to as many people as he could with the Millikan and similar surnames and asked for them to return family information to him. The section of the book that includes my direct ancestors is “The Posterity of William Millikan.” I always know when someone has used this source for their Millikan research when they list my G-Grandpa’s name a Arza Hamer Millikan (p.713 of the Ridlon book). I mentioned this to my Grandmother, who very adamantly said “his name was Arza Homer, not Arza Hamer!” However, all of the records, notes and letters I had for him only had Arza H. So how do I prove that his name was Homer? Finally, I found a few records that gave his full name, the record of Union Grove Friends Meeting in Hamilton County, IN; his marriage record and his WWI draft registration. So I finally had evidence of what the family knew all along.

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Union Grove Friends record

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Arza Millikan WWI Draft Card

Now that we know his proper name, who was this guy? Well, Arza was my paternal Great-Grandfather. He was born near Sheridan, Hamilton County, Indiana on July 21, 1883. His parents were Lewis Elwood Millikan (1855-1959) and Martha Ellen “Mattie” Barker (1858-1932). He had one sister, Edna (1886-1966). Arza grew up on the family farm on Mulebarn road. He also worked on his Grandfather, Clark Millikan’s farm, which was nearby. He spent his entire life (except for about 1 year) on the farm. From what I can tell, he didn’t graduate high school. He did attend Farmer’s Extension classes at Purdue University.

He had a few girlfriends that I know of, as my grandmother kept some of the letters from these ladies. She also kept some of his journals as well. Seems like he was quite the “lady’s man.” Maybe it was that he was considered quite the catch being a successful farmer. Arza was a dairy farmer, winning prizes for his bulls and cows. He was also a bee-keeper. He had an orchard on the farm & grew corn and other crops as well. So farm life was quite busy for him and his family. He helped establish the Farm Bureau in Adams Township, Hamilton County, IN.

He married Mary Geneva Boone (1897-1992) in Noblesville, Indiana November 22, 1916 when he was 33 years old and Mary was 18. They set up housekeeping on the family farm, with Arza’s parents moving into town. Arza and Mary had 4 children: Margaret Pauline(1917-2007), my Grandmother; Miriam Frances(1918-), Betty Lou (1921-1990), and Arza Clark (1925-1975).

He and his family were members of the Society of Friends. He started in Union Grove meeting, then moved to Lamong Meeting when Union Grove dissolved. Arza died November 24, 1964. He was 81 years old. He is buried with family members in the Union Grove cemetery near Sheridan, not very far from where he lived. Arza was an interesting character & I expect there are a few stories to tell of him…

©MJM 2017

Autumn Sunday Eve in Indian’

My Grandmother, Margaret (Millikan) McKinley (1917-2007) wrote poetry. I didn’t know about it until she was close to 90 years old. I told her I had found her collection of poems & enjoyed reading them. She said she thought there were plenty of other folks who were more talented. I did put the poems together into a little book that I gave to family members. In all, there were 144 poems. Here is one of them, written October 7, 1935 when Margaret was only 18 years old.

How I love Sunday evenin’ here on the farm
Down in central Indian’
When soft twilight spreads an arm
‘Cross the eastern horizon.

Just to climb to the top of the silo
And view the neighborhood;
Watch the nearby stream a flow
Carryin’ an occasional leaf from the wood.

See the blaze of color in Nature
As Autumn puts on Her gown
Of wonderful hues of azure,
And orange, red, yaller and brown.

chickens

Millikan girls with the chickens

That orchard down yander is shinin’
With fruit that’s got to be picked,
And the old vinegar barrel is a pinin’
To get sum more sweet cider fixed.

Thers popcorn over there to gather;
And “sweet taters” yet to dig;
And fire wood to save frum the weather.
And walnuts to save frum the pig.

There’s Mother a callin’ the chickens
And the neighbors are callin’ thers too;
And the pigeons are gitten’ the pickens
Out there where the hogs are through.

A far off sheep bell is tinklin’;
And a sleepy bird warbles “good-night;”
And the cows are in for the milkin’;
And in a winder shines a light.

A few early stars begin tinklin’ and I reckon
The sun’s way down ‘hind the trees in the west.
A church bell rings a clear sweet beckon.
Don’t you love this time o’ day best?

 

 

 

© MJM 2016