The Worland Family in America and Beyond

I began my life in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, on an island filled with forests and wild rhododendrons. I was separated from my Worland family there at an early age. Recently, I was reunited with my family and learned of my heritage. And so, this journey to know my ancestors began. The Worlands, Gideons, Newtons, Conards... they were the colonists, the settlers, the pioneers. They fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War. This is their story, and the story of a nation. -Deci Worland MacKinnon

Sunday, June 28, 2009

1820 Indiana

Early settler's description of Shelby County (about 1820.)

"...without the assistance which money brings, they had come here to make war upon nature in one of her most forbidding forms. Where now we may see broad fields and wide pastures of open wildland, then thickly stood the great oak, the poplar, the beech, the maple, and the ash, their limbs and branches so closely intertwined that, when clothed in their summer verdure, a shade so deep and dark was produced as to shut out the sun from May to October. The forests were checkered over with the trunks of prostrate trees, some sunk half their diameter in the oozy as it was and is in organic matter mixing chemically with the watery element, rendered the paths and woods almost untraversable for man or beast."

1821 Indiana

Shelby County is formed. The name Shelby was assigned in honor of Isaac Shelby, twice governor of Kentucky and famous Indian wars soldier. Many pioneers had served under him.

1822 Kentucky

February 22,1822- Rachel Livers Hardy, wife of Solomon Hardy, dies in Scott County, Kentucky, at the age of 81.

1822 Indiana

July 4, 1822- Shelbyville, Indiana becomes county seat of Shelby County.

From Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana:

It should here be stated that the first few years the only source of revenue to Shelby County was from the sale of town lots in the newly platted seat of justice, Shelbyville. These lots had been donated to the county by citizens who desired the commissioners to locate the county seat at this point, instead of at another point- Marion village being among the lively rivals.
The first sale of lots occurred September 23, 1822. Fifteen dollars and seventy-five cents were the total cash receipts for the first lot sale, in cash, the balance being in notes and accounts. No one will ever know the amount, but it is believed that the approximate sum received from all sales was about three thousand dollars. But unfortunately, the county agent became involved and was a defaulter.
The first tax was levied in 1822, the rates being as follows:
Each horse or mule, more than three years old, thirty-seven and a half cents.
Two-wheeled pleasure carriage, one dollar each.
Four-wheeled pleasure carriage, one dollar and a half.
Three-year-old yoke of oxen, eighteen and a half cents.
Brass clock, one dollar.
Pinchback, or silver watches, twenty-five cents.
Gold watches, one dollar.

1823 Indiana

The first jail in Shelby County, Indiana is built on the Public Square. Built of logs, it cost about $200.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

1825 Shelbyville, Indiana

The first courthouse in Shelbyville, Indiana was built of brick in 1825. It was 50 by 60 feet and had one large room below and four above. It stood at the center of the Public Square and cost $3,300.

1825 Indiana

From a History of Shelby County:

1825 Biography: Mr. and Mrs. L.H. Worland, of Scott County, Ky., came to visit Mrs. Nancy Young, a sister of Mrs. Worland, and settled permanently in 1826.

(1827) Rev. Nathaniel Paul Hails The End Of Slavery In New York

In 1827 Rev. Nathaniel Paul, a minister in Albany, New York, hails the final abolition of slavery in that state. His address given on July 5, 1827 in Albany marks that occassion. The address appears below.

We look forward with pleasing anticipation to that period, when it shall no longer be said that in a land of freemen there are men in bondage, but when this foul stain will be entirely erased, and this, worst of evils, will be forever done way. The progress of emancipation, though slow, is nevertheless certain: It is certain, because that God who has made of one blood all nations of men, and who is said to be no respecter of persons, has so decreed; I therefore have no hesitation in declaring this sacred place, that not only throughout the United States of America, but throughout every part of the habitable world where slavery exists, it will be abolished.

However great may be the opposition of those who are supported by the traffic, yet slavery will cease. The lordly planter who has his thousands in bondage, may stretch himself upon his couch of ivory, and sneer at the exertions which are made by the humane and benevolent, or he may take his stand upon the floor of Congress, and mock the pitiful generosity of the east or west for daring to meddle with the subject, and attempting to expose its injustice: he may threaten to resist all efforts for a general or a partial emancipation even to a dissolution of the union. But still I declare that slavery will be extinct; a universal and not a partial emancipation must take place; nor is the period far distant. The indefatigable exertions of the philanthropists in England to have it abolished in their West India Islands, the recent revolutions in South America, the catastrope and exchange of power in the Isle of Hayti, the restless disposition of both master and slave in the southern states, the constitution of our government, the effects of literary and moral instruction, the generous feelings of the pious and benevolent, the influence and spread of the holy religion of the cross of Christ, and the irrevocable decrees of Almighty God, all combine their efforts and with united voice declare, that the power of tyranny must be subdued, the captive must be liberated, the oppressed go free, and slavery must revert back to its original chaos of darkness, and forever annihilated from the earth.

Did I believe that it would always continue, and that man to the end of time would be permitted with impunity to usurp the same undue authority over his fellow, I would disallow any allegiance or obligation I was under to my fellow creatures, or any submission that I owed to the laws of my country; I would deny the superintending power of divine providence in the affairs of his life; I would ridicule the religion of the Saviour of the world, and treat as the worst of men the ministers of an everlasting gospel; I would consider my Bible as a book of false and delusive fables, and commit it to the flames; nay, I would still go farther; I would at once confess myself an atheist, and deny the existence of a holy God.

But slavery will cease, and the equal rights of man will be universally acknowledged. Nor is its tardy progress any argument against its final accomplishment. But do I hear it loudly responded,—this is but a mere wild fanaticism, or at best but the misguided conjecture of an untutored descendant of Africa. Be it so, I confess my ignorance, and bow with due deference to my superiors in understanding; but if in this case I err, the error is not peculiar to myself; if I wander, I wander in a region of light from whose political hemisphere the sun of liberty pours forth his refulgent rays, around which dazzle the star-like countenances of Clarkson, Wilberforce, Pitt, Fox and Grenville, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Hancock and Franklin; if I err, it is their sentiments that have caused me to stray….We do well to remember, that every act of ours is more or less connected with the general cause of emancipation.

Our conduct has an important bearing, not only on those who are yet in bondage in this country, but its influence is extended to the isles of India, and to every part of the world where the abomination of slavery is known. Let us then relieve ourselves from the odious stigma which some have long since cast upon us, that we were incapacitated by the God of nature, for the enjoyment of the rights of freemen, and convince them and the world that although our complexion may differ, yet we have hearts susceptible of feeling; judgment capable of discerning, and prudence sufficient to manage our affairs with discretion, and by example prove ourselves worthy the blessings we enjoy.

1827 New York

1827- My great great grandmother, Elizabeth Johnson, wife of Aaron C. Johnson, is born in New York.

1828 Indiana

Taken from History of Shelby County, Indiana:

John Newton and family came in 1827, and Thomas Worland and family in 1828. The latter was a generous and pious Christian, and with him the Priests and Missionaries always found a pleasant and comfortable home.

From the The Shelbyville News, Saturday February 28, 1948:

Mr. and Mrs. Leo Worland were followed by his father, Thomas Worland with his whole family consisting of twelve children besides Leo. Thomas Worland came to be well known and justly so as the leading Catholic in the county during his time. He is the great grandfather of Ira and Thomas Worland now living in Shelbyville and Russell Worland of the Thompson Road.

From A history of the Catholic church in the diocese of Vincennes By Herman Joseph Alerding, Francis Silas Chatard:

Rev. George Eider, of St. Pius' Church, Scott County, Ky., came on a visit to his former spiritual children in the fall of 1828. The holy sacrifice of the mass was then offered for the first time in Shelby County, in the rude log cabin of Thomas Worland. The congregation numbered at this time about thirty members. Father Eider preached in the school-house, and attracted the attention of his Protestant audience by his eloquence and the doctrines of the Catholic Church, which seemed to be something new to most of them. Everybody was anxious to take a look at the Catholic Priest.

Friday, June 26, 2009

1830 Indiana

During the 1830s tensions increased among Indians, the United States government, and white settlers in Indiana. The U.S. government’s policy toward Indians during this period began in the 1820s with the appointment of Thomas L. McKenney as the first commissioner of the Office of Indian Affairs under the War Department. The 1830 Indian Removal Act set the tone for native-white relations for the next two decades. The forced migration of the Five Civilized Tribes is the most famous case of removal but this pattern repeated itself throughout the nation, including Indiana.

The Toledo War of 1835

Barely a footnote in most U.S. history books, the Toledo War of 1835 was brief and had no fatalities, but it meant a great deal to the two states involved.
By 1835 Ohio had been in the union for 32 years, but its neighbor to the north—the Michigan territory—had yet to achieve statehood. In the eyes of Ohioans at that time, Michigan was nothing more than unclaimed wilderness which they could annex at will.
So the Ohio legislature disregarded the boundary set by the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and claimed its new boundary would run along a line north of the Maumee River. This gave it Toledo, and more importantly, access to Lake Erie. It was a section of land that totaled about 450 square miles and became known as the Toledo Strip. It was a wedge-shaped strip five miles wide at the Indiana border and eight miles wide at Lake Erie.
When Michigan petitioned to become a state in 1835, Ohio put pressure on Congress to support its new boundary arrangement. Governors from both states organized militiamen and marched into the marshes of the Toledo Strip. Shots were fired, but there was no contact between the troops. A decision by President Andrew Jackson officially put an end to the "war."
Jackson, who was entrenched in the election of 1836, sided for the state of Ohio and its electoral votes, awarding it the Toledo Strip. In exchange for giving up the land, Michigan was granted its statehood and awarded the western three-quarters of the Upper Peninsula (north of Lake Michigan), which didn't turn out to be such a bad deal considering that the 9,000-square-mile acquisition would turn out to hold some of the country's most valuable copper, timber and iron.

1835 Ohio

October 16, 1835- My great great grandmother, Caroline Wagoner, is born to Frederick and Lucinda Wagoner in Vinton County, Ohio.

Fact check: I have trouble verifying Caroline, I have come across her as Carolyn Wagner also.
I found the following in the Allamakee, Indiana 1860 Federal Census. No Caroline is listed, but then again, she would have married John Edward Randall in 1855.

Wagoner Ann 13 Ohio
Wagoner Casper 23 Ohio
Wagoner Catherine 6 Illinois
Wagoner Charles 11 Ohio
Wagoner Frederick 56 Prussia
Wagoner Frederick 17 Ohio
Wagoner Jacob 20 Ohio
Wagoner John 8 Ohio
Wagoner Lucinda 50 Pennsylvania
Wagoner Lucinda 9 Ohio
Wagoner Rachel 15F Ohio

I recently found this:
1850 Census; Clinton township, Vinton Co., Ohio - page 257/514; line 9
Frederick Wagoner age 43 farmer b. Germany
Lucinda age 41 b. Pennsylvania
Caroline age 14 b. Ohio
Casper age 12 b. Ohio
Jacob S. age 10 b. Ohio
Frederick age 6 b. Ohio
Rachel age 4 b. Ohio
Ann R. age 3 b. Ohio
Charles age 2 b. Ohio
Mary S. age 6/12 b. Ohio

The United States 1836

1836 New York

January 10, 1836- My great great grandfather, John Edward Randall, was born to Hiram and Lucy Randall in Masonville, New York.

1836 Virginia

August 13, 1836- Mary Catherine Ernst Gideon dies in Virginia. She was 93.
She is buried in Old Pott's Cemetary, Hillsboro, Loudon, Virginia.

(Some sources say she was also known as Mary Catherine McGloflin.)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Trail of Death 1838 - Indiana

The removal of the Potawatomi Indians from northern Indiana to Kansas took place September - November 1838. Leader Menominee resisted, but Indian Agent John Tipton captured him and 850 others, sending them west under heavy guard. The Indians walked most of the way, and typhoid, dysentery, and malnutrition killed 42 while another 50 escaped. They were marched at gun point for 61 days. So many died on the way and were buried by the roadside that it is called the Trail of Death.

1838 St. Vincent's Church- Indiana

This little church and flock at St. Vincent's, under the leadership of this good priest, held a meeting on January 6, 1838, to deliberate about building a church.
On September 9, 1838, they entered into contract for the sum of six hundred nineteen dollars to build a house of worship on a two-acre piece of ground donated by Thomas Worland.
In October, 1839, the first services were held in this newly built edifice, and dedicated it to the patron St. Vincent de Paul.

(Source, Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana.)

1838 Indiana

May 10, 1838- My great great great grandmother, Elizabeth Knott Newton, died in Shelby County, Indiana at the age of 53.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Something I Would Like to Read

Sister Mary Clara was the daughter of my great great great grandfather, Thomas Worland. She wrote the vital record dates of her family in a book called "Life of the Saints". It was found at the Convent of Oldenburg in Kentucky were she lived her life as a nun.

1839 Indiana

January 9, 1839- My great great grandparents, Sebastian Worland and Elizabeth Matilda Newton marry in Shelby County, Indiana.

Fashion on the Ohio Frontier: 1790-1840

For more views from this Kent State University exhibition, click here.

Armstead Gideon's brother Peter.

"Peter Miller Gideon was born in Ohio in 1820 and married Wealthy Hull in Clinton in 1849. In 1853 he took his family to the south shore of Lake Minnetonka, near Excelsior, Minnesota, a place which later become as Gideons Bay. He developed the Wealthy Apple and many other varieties of fruit through many long years of toil and research. Later he was made Superintendent of the Minnesota Experiment Station. He had six children. Peter Gideon died in Excelsior in 1899."
- Clinton 1835-1985, Dewitt County, Illinois 1839-1985; IL (Dewitt) HIS 1985, pp.227-228; Bloomington-Normal Genealogical Society Library, 201 E. Grove St., Bloomington, IL 61701

"Peter L. Gideon[sic], a brother, migrated to Minnesota where he was a horticulturist and became well known for his efforts in growing apples and peaches in the cold climates of that area. He is honored in Excelsior, Minnesota with a park, lake and statues."
- Clinton 1835-1985, Dewitt County, Illinois 1839-1985; IL (Dewitt) HIS 1985, pp.295-296; Bloomington-Normal Genealogical Society Library, 201 E. Grove St., Bloomington, IL 61701; submitted by Mary Robb Kolp

1840 Ohio

Dec. 23, 1840- My great great grandfather, Armstead Gideon, marries Lavina M. Martin in Woodstock, Champaign, Ohio.

Page from Afro-American Publication - Ohio, 1843

1843 Ohio

November 29, 1843- Valentine Miller dies at Champaign County, Ohio, at the age of 81. He is interred in Mad River Township, Champaign County, Ohio.
He was the father of Elizabeth Miller Gideon.

Prices for Slaves in Virginia

Taken from: Thirty years a slave. From bondage to freedom. The institution of slavery as seen on the plantation and in the home of the planter. Autobiography of Louis Hughes. (pub. 1897)

Servant women sold for $500 to $700, and sometimes as high as $800 when possessing extra qualifications. A house maid, bright in looks, strong and well formed, would sell for $1,000 to $1,200. Bright mulatto girls, well versed in sewing and knitting, would sometimes bring as high as $1,800, especially if a Virginian or a Kentuckian. Good blacksmiths sold for $1,600 to $1,800. When the slaves were put upon the block they were always sold to the highest bidder. Mr. McGee, or "Boss," as I soon learned to call him, bought sixty other slaves before he bought me, and they were started in a herb for Atlanta, Ga., on foot.

Last Will and Testament of Peter Gideon

In the name of God, Amen. I Peter Gideon of the County of Loudoun and State of Virginia being of sound mind and disposing memory and having now nearly reached my eighty-fifth year and being aware of the uncertainty of life do make the following my last will and testament, that is to say: I give to my wife Catherine one third of my farm , or the profits of my farm during her life; I also give to my said wife one half of my household and kitchen furniture to be chosen by her at the appraisement price. I also give her two cows and five hogs to be chosen by her.
At the death of my wife, I desire my Executors hereinafter named to sell my farm at public sale to the highest and I should be glad if my son William would purchase it if he thinks himself able to become the purchaser.
I give to Mahlon Morris, my son-in-law the sum of four-hundred dollars which is to be deducted the sum of eighty dollars which he owes me.
I also give my daughter Elizabeth Gore four hundred dollars from which is to be deducted the some of ninety four which her husband Mark Gore owes me. I also give to each of my daughters, Mary Evans and Sarah Blue four hundred dollars. I desire my Executors to put the money I design for Elizabeth Gore at interest during the life of her husband, and at his death be paid to his widow, if living, or to her heirs, the interest to be paid annually.
I give Mark Gore five dollars after the payment and just debts and funeral expenses. I desire the proceeds of the sales of my personal and real estate to be equally divided between my sons William, George and Henry. I charge my son George with the sum of four hundred and eighty dollars, and as George owes William one hundred and fifty dollars I wish George to be charged with his latter sum making together six hundred and thirty dollars which debt I require William to reburse, as I hereby give to him William the sum of six hundred and thirty before any division is made between my three sons.
I have advanced to Henry and I wish him to be charged with the sum of six hundred and twenty dollars but upon all the advances which I have made to my children I desire no interest to be charged nor upon the debts due to me by Mahlon Morris and Mark Gore,which I regard as advances to them, do I wish any interest to be charged.
I wish it to to be distinctly understood that my son William is to be allowed interest from the date of this my last will and testament upon the aforesaid sum of seven hundred and thirty dollars as he has received nothing in possession as yet from me.
I give to James Blackburn the sum of fifty dollars out of my personal estate to be paid to him (when) he arrives at twenty one years of age, I wish my Executor to have him bound out to a trade.
I wish my coloured girl Rosannah to be free at the death of my wife if she outlives me to have a bed, the one she occupies. I appoint my son William and Mahlon Morris my Executors--witness my hand this 30 Nov 1835.

his Peter X Gideon mark

Jas. McIlhany
Wm. Clendening
Edward Follin

At the Court held for Loudoun County March 11 1844. This writing purportingto be the last will and testament of Peter Gideon dec'd and was thisday presented to the Court and being proved by the oaths of Jas. McIlhaneyand Wm. Clendening two of the subscribing with pen thereto and orderedto be recorded. And on the motion of Mahlon Morris one of the Executors,therein and who made oath as such and together with James McIlhaneyand Wm. Clendening his securities entered into and acknowledged a bondin penalty of seven thousand dollars, conditions as the law directs-certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate thereof in due form.

Will Book 2 B's Folio 6Test; Chas. Eskridge, ClkA Copy Test: E.O. Russell, C.C.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


1. Thou shalt name thy male children; James, John, Joseph, Josiah, Abel, Richard, Robert, William and Thomas.

2. Thou shalt name thy female children; Rebecca, Susannah, Elizabeth, Margaret, Mary, Martha, Maria, Sarah, Ida, Virginia, Maud and Matilda.

Thou shalt leave NO trace of your female children.

4. Thou shalt, after naming thy children from the above lists, call them by strange nicknames such as; Ike, Tub, Eli, Polly, Mollie, Fannie, Sally, Sudey and Sukey, --making them difficult to trace.

5. Thou shalt NOT use any middle names on any legal documents or census reports, and only when necessary, you may use only initials on legal documents.

6. Thou shalt learn to sign all documents illegibly so that thy surname can be spelled, or misspelled, in various ways; Hicks, Hix, Hixe, Hucks, Kicks, or Robertson, Robinson, Roberson, Robuson, Robson, Dobson.

7. Thou shalt, after no more than 3 generations, make sure that all family records are lost, misplaced, burned in a courthouse fire, or buried so that NO future trace of them can be found.

8. Thou shalt propagate misleading legends, rumors, and vague innuendo regarding your place of origin:
a.You may have come from; England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales . . . or Iran.
b.You may have Native American ancestry of the ___ tribe . . .
c.You may have descended from ONE of three brothers who came over from ___.

9. Thou shalt leave NO cemetery records, or headstones with legible names.

10. Thou shalt leave NO family Bibles with records of birth, marriages or deaths.

11. Thou shalt ALWAYS flip thy name around. If born John Albert, thou must make all the rest of the records in the name of Albert, AJ, JA, AL, Bert, Bart or Alfred.

12. Thou must also flip thy parents' names when making references to them, although "Unknown" or a blank line is an acceptable alternative.

13. Thou shalt name at least 5 generations of males and dozens of their cousins with identical names in order to totally confuse researchers.

Quacks me up.

1844 Virginia

February 5, 1844- My great-great-great-great-grandfather, Peter Gideon, dies in Leesburg, Loudon, Virginia at the age of 92.

The father of George Gideon, and grandfather to Armstead Gideon, he was an innkeeper and farmer.

He fought in the American Revolution, as a soldier in the Maryland Line of Washington's Army.

He is listed in the D.A.R. registry of Patriots of the Revolutionary War.

He is buried at Pott's Cemetary, Hillsboro, Loudon, Virginia.

1845 Indiana

April 27, 1845- My great grandfather, Thomas Clement Worland, is born in Shelby, Indiana. He is the child of Sebastian Worland and Elizabeth Matilda Newton Worland.

Charles Worland Question

I received a question from Rob Worland of England, this contains excerpts from two emails:

Hi Deci, ... AS far as this side of the pond goes it's my dad who is the geneologist in the family, ... I can tell you that he has traced the name Worland back at least as far as when Charles Worland founded his city. The name appears, although not all that common as you will probably guess, around that time in the Cambridgeshire area which is where I would be descended from. However I do quite like my Grandmothers theory (who is now deceased) that we were related somehow to and old Scicilian mafia family, to which one of them managed to escape gangster lifestyle and move to England! Somehow though I think that maybe a little far fetched... It would be interesting to know where Charles Worland came from in England.
I've probably got the christian name mixed up, but all i know is that there is a place in Wyoming called Worland, founded by a guy who i thought was called Charles Worland. My geography of the U.S is pretty bad but i don't think that is anywhere near Maryland. Anyhow, I figure that Maryland is on the east coast so it might make sense that we maybe on about the same person as the pioneers could have only gone west (my history aint too hot either)!

My reply:

Worland, Wyoming, was founded as a pioneer camp in 1903 by Charles Henry (Dad) Worland, son of William Theoplis Worland and Cornelia Ann Logan. Charles was from Missouri, he was descended from John, who was from England.
It is presumed that all Worlands in the United States are descendants of John Worland who came over to Maryland colony in 1662. I would like to trace him back into England also, but no luck yet. Charles Henry is not in my direct line. Was he related to your father?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Traveling through Illinois 1849

Excerpt from An excursion to California over the prairie, Rocky mountains, and great Sierra Nevada. With a stroll through the diggings and ranches of that country. By William Kelly ... published in 1851.

...but thence to Chichago I was obliged, with seven others, to travel in an open waggon.
There are some comfortable and improving farmers about Niles, and along the northern part of Indiana to Michigan city.
But after leaving this place, which is a dull, stupid village, built amongst sandhills, formed by the drift from the lake shores near which it stands, the road lies through a large forest; and as our progress was necessarily slow, there being no regular road, I took my rifle and started for a saunter, appointing to catch up at a distant landmark, and diverged off the path, in expectation of finding some deer, with which I heard the forest was well stocked; but after some hours' laborious beating about, without meeting game of any description, feathered or four-footed, I headed, as I thought, to the appointed place.
When I arrived there, I could not find any indication of travel, and being very much tired, sat down for an hour's rest; but as evening approached without any sing of the waggon, I became rather uneasy, firing my rifle at intervals; and no shot being returned, I struck off in a westerly direction, in hopes of crossing the trail, fagging over five miles without discovering a trace, until I came suddenly upon some Indians, who were in aswamp, killing musk rats, the skin of which is of some little value.
I would have retired, but seeing they observed me, I went towards them, it being bad policy to betray apprehension, as it often leads to aggression where otherwise you might have escaped unmolested.
I made signs to them that I had lost my way, but they were sulky and uncommunicative, and either did not understand my gestures, or would give themselves no trouble to inform me; so I was obliged to rely on my own resources, still pursuing a westerly course, resignedly considering how I should spend the night in the woods, when I heard the tinkling of some bells in the distance, and following the welcome sounds, found a large clearance and a little hut, in which there was a lone nigger woman, who came nearly a mile with me to point out a path that would lead me to where the few travellers who came that way were in the habit of stopping. It was three miles further, and though there was very good moonlight, I had considerable difficulty in picking out the trail, which was a very faint one. I, however, proceeded, slowly and cautiously, and when very nearly tired down, perceived a glimmering light, which pointed out the solitary hostelry, where my companions had put up; they were at supper, and in deliberation as to what course they should pursue regarding me as I made my appearance, greatly knocked up, and with a greater desire for rest than refreshment; but a savoury plate of stewed beef and a bowl of good coffee elicited a capacity I did not imagine I possessed.
We reached Chichago next day, and found it in a state of partial destruction, from an unprecedented flood, that carried away stores, wharves, and piers, bursting with such violence in the inner harbour, that ships and steamers were stove in by the force with which they were jammed against each other.
Chichago is one of the most rising towns in the Union; and now that the canal connecting Lake Michigan with the Illinois and Mississippi rivers is open, must grow apace, as ships can, for the future, sail from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico by means of inland navigation, the Illinois being a fine navigable river, flowing into the Mississippi about fifty miles above St. Louis.
Some of the best farming country in the States is in this region, particularly along the course of Fox and Rock rivers, the produce of which comes to market in Chichago; while large tracts of prairie around the city are under cultivation, producing the finest description of grain and vegetables. It is becoming a very favourite neighbourhood for emigrants to settle in; and were I to take up my abode in the country, I should fix my quarters here-abouts, with land of superior quality, great facilities for transporting produce, and good markets.
In walking over the common in the afternoon I witnessed a very melancholy occurrence, in the wounding of a lady of great respectability, who was leading her child by the hand for an evening stroll, when she was shot quite close to me by a fellow who, with a number of others, was indulging in rifle practice. He at first made an attempt to run for the suburbs, but afterwards waited until he was arrested. When I left next day, I heard the poor sufferer's condition was nearly hopeless; so that people in that country, inclined for an after-dinner saunter, had better arrange their affairs in the first instance, for I understand accidents of this description are of very frequent occurrence.
The next day's stage lay over a low prairie, which presented a surface of pools, lakes, and flashes, from the late thaws, that made it more a water than a land journey, and, as the fellow said who agreed to work his passage by driving canal horses, “I might as well walk as be after trudging in that manner;” being compelled to proceed most of the way on foot, as the horses were unable to pull the waggon through the miry ground, while, to add to our grievances, we were some miles from our quarters at sundown, and, in endeavouring to pick out the most favourable wading places in the gloaming, were frequently aswim in crossing the sloughs.
However, we reached an old Dutch settler's in safety, where we billeted ourselves for the night.

1849 Illinois

May 10, 1849- My great grandmother, Alice Marie Gideon, is born to Armstead and Lavina Martin Gideon in Clinton, DeWitt, Illinois.
She would later have a son named Alfred Leslie Worland, who was my grandfather.

1849 Indiana

August 20, 1849- My great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth Matilda Newton Worland, dies in Shelby, Indiana at age 33. She was the mother of my greatgrandfather, Thomas Clement Worland, who was only four years old when his mother passed away.

1850 Indiana

July 13, 1850- My great-great-great grandfather, Thomas Worland, dies in Shelby County, Indiana, at the age of 76.

The Will of Thomas Worland:

In the name of the adorable Trinity Father Son and Holy Ghost.
I Thomas Worland of Shelby County and State of Indiana, being weak and frail of body but of sound and disposing mind, knowing the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the time, thereof do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following:
I resign my soul to Almighty God who gave it, and my body to the earth to be decently buried.
I give, devise and bequeath to my beloved wife Verlinda Worland, during her natural life, all my estate, real personal and mixed for the discharge of my just debts and the support of herself and three children at home, namely Mary Ann Worland, Ellen Worland, and Eulilia Worland -And whereas I have given to my children as they married off or left home (in the following order) as portions of what they would be entitled to out of my estate on a final distribution thereof:
To John M. Worland the sum of two hundred and ninety-two dollars.
To Leo H. Worland the sum of one hundred and ninety-seven dollars.
To Thomas L. Worland the sum of twelve dollars.
To Stephen D. Worland the sum of thirty-two dollars.
To Robert A. Worland the sum of thirty-five dollars.
To Sebastian Worland the sum of sixty dollars.
To William Worland the sum of forty dollars.
To Rachel Worland now Rachel Wheeler, the sum of fifty dollars.
To Teresa Worland and now Teresa Newton the sum of thirty dollars.
Now as my estate will not be sufficient to give to each of my children a sum equal to what John M. Worland or Leo H. Worland hath received I have devised and delivered to John M. Worland one book, the title of which is "The Whole Duty of a Christian and Guide to Perfection", of the value of one dollar and fifty cent. -
I have devised and delivered to Leo H. Worland on book the title of which is "The Instruction of Youth in Christian Piety", of the value of one dollar and fifty cents.-
My will is that after the death of my wife Virlinda Worland, my property of description shall be sold (and if the amount of sales together with the sums heretofore paid by me to my children, namely John M. Worland, Leo H. Worland, Thomas L. Worland, Stephen D. Worland, Robert A. Worland, Sebastian Worland, William Worland, Rachel Wheeler, and Teresa Newton shall not amount to more than twenty-three hundred and sixty-five dollars, after paying all my just debts and funeral expenses of myself and wife Virlinda Worland) and equally divided among Thomas Worland, Stephen D. Worland, Robert A. Worland, Sebastian Worland, William Worland, Rachel Worland now Rachel Wheeler, Mary Ann Worland, Teresa Worland now Teresa Newton, Ellen Worland, Eulalia Worland, share and share alike taking in the amount that each one has received in my life time and before the final distribution of my estate, after setting apart the sum of five hundred dollars to be put at interest by my executors hereinafter named, for the support of Eulilia during her natured life, together with her equal portion of my estate, and the interest collected annually and paid to the person who may have care of her, and after her death the aforesaid sum of five hundred dollars to be equally divided among Thomas L. Worland, Stephen D. Worland, Robert A. Worland, Sebastian Worland, William Worland, Rachel Worland now Rachel Wheeler, Mary Ann Worland, Teresa Worland now Teresa Newton, Ellen Worland and their heirs share and share alike.
My will and desire is that one of my daughters, namely Rachel Wheeler, Teresa Newton, Mary Ann Worland of Ellen Worland shall take care of Eulilia Worland, for which they shall receive the interest on the aforesaid amount, and after the death of the said Eulalia Worland, they shall be entitled to whatever remains of the said Eulalia Worland's portion of my estate for their care and attention to her during her natural life.
My desire is that Sebastian Worland shall have the privilege of purchasing the ten acres of land on which he formerly lived at the time my property shall be sold, beginning at the north east corner of the land sold by W. Worland to Parkerson running west forty-three poles, thence north so far as to include the ten acres for the same price that the other land sells for, provided it does not injure the sale of the balance of the farm.
If the notes which I hold on Stephen D. Worland for the payment of money shall remain unpaid after the death of my wife Virlinder Worland, my will is that he shall not be charged with interest on them.
Lastly, I constitute and appoint Leo H. Worland and Robert A. Worland executors of this, my last will and testament.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 31st day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred fifty.

Thomas Worland

Signed & sealed in presence of Joseph W. Laws, Patrick Eagan, Thomas Ig. Worland.
Filed and recorded August 5th A.D. 1850.
Clerk's fee $1.50 paid in full.

History of Shelby, Indiana

Shelby County was part of a huge territory, known as the "New Purchase", which the Delaware and Native American tribes ceded by treaty to the United States, October 3, 1818, at St. Mary's, Ohio. The area was not opened for settlement until 1820, the Indians having agreed to vacate the ceded lands by that date.
Jacob Whetzel, (brother of the famous Indian-hater, Lewis Whetzel, one of Shelby County's pioneer settlers--who lies buried in the City Cemetary) had obtained from his Indian friend, Chief Anderson of the Delawares, permission to mark a wagon path through the forest from Franklin County in eastern Indiana to the "Bluffs" on White River, south of present day Indianapolis. Within a week after the treaty had been concluded, Whetzel and a few friends began to blaze this wilderness "road", since known as the "Whetzel Trace." The route selected by Whetzel crossed Shelby County in a northwesterly direction a short distance north of present Shelbyville.
It was by way of the Whetzel Trace that many of Shelby County's first settlers came to make new homes. One of them, a squatter by the name of James Wilson, with the help of three of his older sons, erected the county's first cabin near "little" Marion in late 1818. Early in January, 1819, the Wilson family---eleven in all---moved from Franklin to this new one-room, 16' by 16' cabin, and become the county's first settlers.
In 1820 the "New Purchase" was formally opened for settlement and most of the rich farm land which now comprises Shelby County was speedily claimed by purchasers at the Brookville Government Land Office.
The next year, late in December, the State Legislature at Corydon-then the state capital-authorized the organization of Shelby County and the establishment of a county "capital." The name Shelby was assigned to the new county in honor of Isaac Shelby, twice governor of Kentucky and a famous Indian Wars soldier under whose leadership many of the pioneer settlers had served before emigrating to Indiana. The State considered four sites for the county seat, finally deciding on the present location in the center of the county. A donation of 70 acres of land--40 acres by John Hendricks, 20 by James Davison and 10 acres by John Walker-- was a deciding factor. The decision as to the county seat's location was revealed on July 4, 1822, at a giant barbecue northeast of the present Fairgrounds, and was made official the next day.
The county was first divided into four civil townships, but since has been made into its present fourteen townships. Shelbyville is in Addison, the central township.
The first house in present Shelbyville was built by Francis Walker on the lot at the northwest corner of Washington and Tompkins Streets.
On July 4, 1834, Judge William J. Peasley, local railroad enthusiast, built and put into operation at Shelbyville the first "railroad" this side of the Allegheny Mountains. It was an experimental road, horse drawn, ran on wooden tracks, and extended only one and one-fourth miles east from the town to a picnic area on Lewis Creek. Soon it was abandoned. Today the Penn Central Railroad serves Shelbyville.
Shelbyville was incorporated January 21, 1850, by a special act of the Legislature, according to county histories.

1854 Indiana

November 25, 1854- My great-great-great grandfather, Joseph Pike Newton, dies in Shelby, Indiana at age 75.

The Will of Joseph Pike Newton:

Be it remembered that on the first day of December in the year 1854 an instrument of writing perporting to be the last will and testament of Joseph P. Newton was filed in the Office of the Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas of Shelby County for probate and record, which said will reads in the words and following towit.
In the oft said Amen, I Joseph P Newton of the County of Shelby and State of Indiana being of sound mind and memory and considering the uncertainty of this frail and transitory life do therefore make or claim publish and declare this to be my last will and testament that is to say. First after all my lawful debts are paid and discharged the residue of my Estate real and personal I give and bequeath to my beloved wife during the term of her natural life and after her death to be divide equally among my three youngest children. John Henry, Sarah Elizabeth and Constantine.
Likewise I make consitute and appoint my beloved wife to be executor after my last will and testament hereby revoking all former will by me made. In Witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my seal this third day of November the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and fifty four. /s/ Joseph P.

1858 Indiana

April 18, 1858- My great-great-great grandmother, Verlinda Hardy Worland (widow of Thomas Worland), dies in Shelby County, Indiana at age 77.

Monday, June 15, 2009

John Worland Information

I received an email from Keith Worland of Missouri with the following information on ancestor John Worland:

During the 1600s, a set of laws were introduced and were referred to as the Penal Laws. These laws made it illegal for catholics to hold a position in Parliament, own land, or practice their religion. Punishments for practicing an illegal religion included torture, prison time, and death. This caused many of the Catholics to flee england(along with other regions and people who just wanted to leave). A lot can be learned by looking at where people fled too. Although many of Richard Worland kids fled to New Zealand, one man fled to America. John(1) fled to what is now just outside of Baltimore, Maryland, one of the original settlements. Lord Baltimore's territory quickly became a place for Catholics to flee from religion persecution from around the world. To help bring more people to Lord Baltimore territory, Lord Baltimore gave away 50 acres, to new settlers. One of the questions that "One Mans Family" raises is: why did John(1) wait so long to claim his land(about 5 years)? Although there is no proof, it is possible that John(1) paid for his trip to America by becoming an indentured servant. The average indentured servant served ether 5, 7, or 10 years. This would account for the fact the John(1) did not clam his land for the first five years he was in the country. John(1) claimed his free land on December 10 1672. John(1) had one son named John(2) born 1639. John(1) would eventuality own two plantations by the time he died on February 13 1701. It is believed he is buried on his first plantation. John(1) left behind one son John(2), who married a woman named Mary. John(2) and Mary would inherit John(1)'s two plantations along with opening an additional plantation. Mary would die on October 12 1711, and John(2) died on October 12 1754. They had one son John(3) who was born in 1720 and married 3 women. The first women is unknown but they had four children together: John(4), Charles,Anastasia, and Eleanor. John(3) would then marry a woman named Rebecca. John(3) and Rebecca would have four children: Henry, Mary, William, and James. Finally John(3) would marry a women named Mary Brady(born 1737) on June 11 1774. John and Mary would have five children together: Thomas, Walter, Barnaby, Lucy, and Rebecca. Upon hitting hard times, John(3) and Mary Brady along with John(3), inlaws and 60 other people left Maryland to Kentucky where he would farm tobacco. One of the great mysteries of John(3) is why after moving to Kentucky, why did he move back to Maryland where he would die? There are even a few records that would suggest John(3) lived in Kansas before moving back to Maryland. John(3) died February 18 1790 and Mary Brady died November 13 1754.

Thank you, Keith.

(I will add to this that "One Man's Family" states: "Although John entered the colony in 1662, he strangely did not prove his right to a land grant until December 14, 1670, when a warrant for two hundred acres was issued to him......In this period the proprietor granted fifty acres for each adult brought into the colony and twenty-five acres for each child under sixteen, but there is no indication of how John was entitled to two hundred."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

1858 Indiana

December 27, 1858- My great-great-grandfather, Sebastian Worland, dies in Liberty Township, Shelby County, Indiana at age 46. He was the father of Thomas Clement Worland.

His tombstone reads: Died Dec. 27, 1858
Aged 46 yrs. and 1 mo.
(the rest of the stone is below ground.)

(114 years later, my son, Michael Worland Saul, would be born on this date.)

Last Will and Testament of Sebastian Worland, Deceased
Will Record:
I, Sebastian Worland of the county of Shelby and state of Indiana, being infirm of body but of sound mind, memory and discretion do make and publish this my last will and testament in manor and form as follows, First I will that my funeral expenses and all my just debts be paid and the residue of my estate, personal and real, I will to my beloved wife, Elizabeth Worland to be freely possessed by her without any restraint whatsoever so long as she remain my widow; after her death, or should she marry, then the residue of my estate to be equally divided between the heirs hereinafter mentioned (Namely) Alfred Worland, Elizabeth Worland, Thomas C. Worland, Vincent Worland, William Worland, Mary Ann Worland, Nancy Worland, John M. Worland, David Worland, Frances S. Worland. I will that my six youngest children be sent to St. Vincent's Orphan Asylum at Vincennes to be educated and if they should not be taken in there that two or three of them provided with homes among my catholick relatives. I do hereby appoint William Allen Sr., and Robert A. Worland Executors of this my last will and testament.
Sebastian Worland
Attest: Stephen D. Worland
Wm. Worland
Admitted to probate May 28, 1859 on the testimony of Stephen D. Worland, and of the subscribing witness thereto.

1858 Minnesota

Minnesota becomes the 32nd State in the Union.

1858-59 Iowa

August- My great-grandfather, Aaron C. (Acy) Johnston, born in Allamakee County, Iowa.
He is the son of Aaron C. Johnson and wife Elizabeth. (He is my maternal grandmother's father.)

1860 Iowa

Allamakee co., Iowa
- 1860 - Federal Census -
Union Prairie Township; Allamakee Co., Iowa - P.O. Waukon, Iowa


A. C. [Aaron] age 40 b. NY c1820
Elizabeth age 33 b. NY c1827
I. Mary E. age 9 b. NY 1851
II. Charles H. age 6 b. Wisc. 1853
III. Martha A. age 5 b. Iowa 1855
IV. Francis F. age 4 b. Iowa 1856
V. Aaron C. jr age 2 b. Iowa 1858

Sioux Outbreak of 1862 - Little Crow's War, Minnesota

The Dakota War of 1862 (also known as the Sioux Uprising, Sioux Outbreak of 1862, the Dakota Conflict, the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862, or Little Crow's War) was an armed conflict between the United States and several bands of the eastern Sioux or Dakota which began on August 17, 1862, along the Minnesota River in southwest Minnesota and ended with a mass execution of thirty-eight Dakota on December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota.
On August 17, five American settlers were killed by four Dakota on a hunting expedition. That night, a council of Dakota decided to attack settlements throughout the Minnesota River valley in an effort to drive whites out of the area. Continued battles between the Dakota against settlers and later, the United States Army, ended with the surrender of most of the Dakota forces. There has never been an official report on the number of settlers killed, but estimates range from 400 to 800.
By late December, more than a thousand Dakota were interned in jails in Minnesota, and 38 Dakota were hanged in the largest one-day execution in American history on December 26. In April 1863, the rest of the Dakota were expelled from Minnesota to Nebraska and South Dakota, and their reservations were abolished by the United States Congress.

From the Handwritten Diary of Kate Dunlap, Pioneer.

May 15, 1864

The first emigrants saw hard times on account of bad roads, no grass and the great scarsity of hay. In the afternoon we drove on to Lewis , hoping to get hay but could not get any except we would put up bag and baggage at a hotel. We stopped at the Henderson House . I was relieved from cooking, it being the first time I had eaten at a table for two weeks. Our "Tom" is still worse of, Mr. Dunlap having had him thoroughly examined, it is blieved that he will not be fit for use for a long time. He had improv ed evry day since we started He is a perfect picture. One of Mr Helm 's horses is also lame.

Catherine "Kate" Cruikshank was born on February 14, 1837, in Lee County, Iowa. Her father, Alexander, was a native of Norway, while her mother, Keziah (Perkins) Cruikshank, came from Kentucky. The family included seven children. From a biography of James Cruikshank, Kate's older brother, we know that the Cruikshank children had access to several years of schooling and were raised as Methodists. In 1864, one month before her twenty-seventh birthday, Kate married Samuel Dunlap, an Ohio native. He was thirty-eight and had worked as a teacher at the Indiana Deaf and Dumb Asylum. Three months after their marriage the couple left Iowa for Bannack City, Montana Territory.

1864 Iowa

April 26, 1864- My great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth Johnson, dies in Allamakee County, Iowa at the age of 37. She was the wife of Aaron C. Johnson, and the mother of Aaron C. (Acy) Johnson.

1864 Illinois

Jan. 23, 1864- My great-great-great grandmother, Elizabeth Miller Gideon, dies in Dewitt, Illinois. She is buried at Woodlawn Cemetary in Clinton, Illinois. (She was the mother of Armstead Gideon.)

The obituary in the local paper, The Clinton Public, read:

January 28, 1864

DIED – In this town on Saturday, Jan. 23, 1864, Mrs. Elizabeth GIDEON, consort of George GIDEON, aged 72 years, 5 months and 7 days.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Letter from Uriah W. Oblinger to Mattie V. Thomas, November 12, 1865

(....signifies missing text.)

November 12th A.D. 1865
Morristown Minn

Dear Mattie

I am compelled to use the pen once more in addressing you, but I hope the next time will be by the word of mouth.
Since I last wrote you I have been out on the western frontier of the U.S. and a wild beatiful looking landscape it is and but sparsely settled and then only by half civilized people.
last monday night while on the frontier I stayed all night with a frenchman who had a squaw for a wife there were about 15 men stayed there beside myself and in the assembly there were Norwegians Irish Scoth Indians halfbreeds and french and there was card playing and swearing going on at a round rate but no liquor for the very good reason there could be none obtained nearer than 4 miles and all were two lazy to go after it and I tell you I heartily wished myself away from the place but there was no decent house to stay at nearer than ten miles and consequently I was elected to stay all night and sleep on the floor with one blanket and my great coat for covering and next morning paid my host 80 cts for staying and I tell you I bid farewell to the place as soon as I swallowed my breakfast.
and you my naturaly guess I did not want land in such a community and after looking at the country next day I started to return and am this far on my way and will probably remain here a few days and then trudge homeward and no preventing providence I will spend two weeks from this date with Mattie and then I will tell the whole history of my travels more satisfactory than pen can describe.
I am staying today with a Methodist & last sabbath with a disbeliever I not traveld on sabbath since I left home nor will not unless compelled.
Mattie I was far away when the quarterly meeting was in progress but my affections were there I should like to have been with you but it ....wall....was willed other wise but I prayed for the success of our cause and that it might cease till the world of mankind were brought to see the truth and be saved.
and if we never meet in this world let us try to live here that we may, on lovelier grounds with all the redeemed of earth and there without the .....absce..... absense of one loved face sing .....pray....praises to the Havenly Ruler and enjoy celestial bliss throughout Eternity.
Excuse my bad writing for my ink so poor it will hardly write at all I am enjoying perfect health and we are having beautiful weather, and hope these may find you ....eng....enjoying the same blessings
No mor but remain in spite of everything to the contrary your devoted love


Transcription of envelope
Miss Mattie V Thomas
Onward, Cass Co Indiana

"His Pipe" Sioux man

Photo by Upton. Taken in Minnesota some time between 1865-1875.

Settlers Flee Sioux Massacre - Minnesota

Osakis, Douglas County, Minnesota

Osakis was first settled by Euro-americans in 1859. The town of Osakis was established June 15, 1866, this and Alexandria being the oldest townships of Douglas county.
The town was built on the south shore of Osakis lake. The word Osakis is derived from an Ojibwe word, "Sakis," meaning "place of danger." This area was once along a dividing line between territory controlled by the Dakota and Ojibwe nations.
In 1859 the stages running to Fort Ambercrombie had a station on the site of Osakis village, and the earliest settlers took claims; but the Sioux outbreak in 1862 caused these claims to be abandoned.
During the Outbreak, the maintenance of this line of communication was vitally important, and the route was constantly patrolled by troops.
The Minnesota Stage Company, owned by James C. Burbank, had begun as a stage and mail delivery company in the early 1850s, and by 1865 had gained a statewide monopoly, operating over 1,600 miles of routes. The 1856 legislature had authorized the opening of the St. Cloud to Fort Ambercrombie (near Breckenridge) Road, on which Osakis was located, but by 1859 it had yet to be developed. The route, which began at St. Cloud and traveled up the Sauk River Valley to Fort Ambercrombie on the Red River, was developed by crews of the stage company under the general management of Captain Russell Blakely. For the next ten years, this route was used by the military and the Red River stagecoaches.
The village was founded in 1866, and was incorporated February 21, 1881. The date of the first passenger train was November 1, 1878.

1865 Minnesota

February 16, 1865- My great-grandparents, (my grandfather's parents), Alice Marie Gideon and Thomas Clement Worland marry in Osakis, Douglas County, Minnesota.

Old Photos

I recently received some photos from a cousin that knew me as a child in Washington. The first photo is a picture of me at about seven years old.

I remember having this picture at one time. It brings back fond memories of my early childhood on Whidbey Island.

The second picture is of Cecil Worland, son of Rosella and Alfred Leslie Worland. He was my uncle and kindly cared for me as my father when I was a small child.

Button Tutorial

I spent hours this morning, trying to make a button for this blog. I found a great, simple tutorial here: Simply Fabulous Tutorials.

My blog button

Friday, June 12, 2009

1865 Iowa Pictorial Envelop (Civil War Era)

1865 Iowa

August 10, 1865- My great-grandmother, (my grandmother's mother), Estella Lucinda Randall is born in Allamakee County, Iowa.
She was the daughter of John Edward Randall and Caroline Wagoner Randall.

View of St. Paul, Minnesota. 1874

1874 Minnesota

April 8, 1874- My great-great-grandfather, Armstead M. Gideon, dies in Osakis, Douglas County, Minnesota at age 56.
He is buried at Lakeside Cemetary, Osakis, Douglas County, Minnesota.
Armstead Gideon was born in Ohio in 1818 and married Lavina Martin in 1840. (Interestingly, he also had a sister named Lavina.)
The family eventually settled in Minnesota and had at least four children, including my grandfather's mother, Alice Marie Gideon.

(Alice Marie Gideon was on the census for Osakis, Douglas County, Minnesota in 1870. Then, she appears in the census for Excelsior, Hennepin , Minnesota in 1880. She resided in Havre, Hill, Montana about 1900. Moved to Silverdale, Kitsap, Washington about 1917. She is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Seattle, King County, Washington. Cause of death: Carcinoma of the Stomach/Surgical Shock.)

Clinton, Iowa

1875 Iowa

My great-grandparents, Aaron C. (Acy) Johnson and Estelle Lucinda Randall marry in Iowa.

Azaleas and Rhododendrons for Minnesota

Azaleas and Rhododendrons are close relatives with nearly identical needs. Their native location is at the edges of forests, with lots of organic matter in the soil (leaf mold, etc.), very good drainage, and acid soil (pH of 4 to 5.5). They do not tolerate hot sites or winter winds. Rhododendrons prefer dappled light, while Azaleas like lots of sun during the growing season. Ample moisture is necessary for both. In Minnesota, the hardy 'Northern Lights' series of Azaleas was developed beginning in 1957.

Minnesota Facts

The name “Minnesota” comes from Dakota Indian words meaning “sky-blue waters.” The large number of lakes and rivers throughout the state is an important part of Minnesota’s unique identity. One of Minnesota’s nicknames is “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” but it really has closer to 11, 842 lakes. The state is on the shore of Lake Superior, which is the biggest of the Great Lakes. Minnesota is also the starting point of the world’s third largest river, the Mississippi.

1877 Minnesota

March 20, 1877- My maternal grandfather, Alfred Leslie Worland, is born to Thomas Clement Worland and Alice Marie Gideon Worland in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Family of Thomas Worland in 1880, Minnesota

1880 CENSUS Excelsior, Hennepin, Minnesota

Thomas WORLAND Self M Male W 35 IN Farmer KY KY
Alice WORLAND Wife M Female W 31 IL Keeping House OH OH
Armstead WORLAND Son S Male W 10 MN IN IL
Vincent WORLAND Son S Male W 8 MN IN IL
Lavina A. WORLAND Dau S Female W 6 MN IN IL
Sarah B. WORLAND Dau S Female W 4 MN IN IL
Alfred L. WORLAND Son S Male W 2 MN IN IL

Rhododendron prinophyllum in Illinois

In Illinois, Rhododendron prinophyllum is usually found on acidic, rocky soils in the understory of oak and oak-shortleaf pine forests. Common companion plants include small red maples (Acer rubrum L.), sour gum (Nyssa sylvatica Marsh.), flowering dogwood (Cornus florida L.), farkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum Marsh.), and the low-bush blueberry, Vaccinium vacillans Torrey. The azaleas often grow on north or west-facing slopes and generally do not flower well except along the edges of trails or where the forest was thin.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

May 7, 1880

My great-great-great-grandfather, George Gideon dies at age 92 in Clinton, Dewitt, Illinois. He is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Clinton.
George Gideon was born in Maryland in 1788 and married Elizabeth Miller of Virginia in 1812. During the War of 1812 he served in Leslie's Co., the Virginia Militia. Their three children were with them when they pioneered into Champaign county, Ohio in 1817. The Gideon family came to Clinton in the spring of 1847 when Clinton consisted of only a dozen or so houses. The trip from Ohio to Illinois was made overland in eight large prairie schooners. George Gideon conducted a hotel in Clinton and laid out the Gideon addition to Clinton. He died at the age of 92 years in 1880. His wife died at the age of 72 years in 1864. They raised a family of ten children: George William, Sarah, Catherine, Armstead M., Peter Miller, Ann, John Wesley, Samuel Hitt, Jacob Boucher and Elizabeth.

Rhododendron in Iowa

I found this lovely pale lavender rhododendron blooming on a wonderful blog called An Iowa Garden.

December 1881

My great-great-grandfather, Aaron C. Johnson, (my grandmother's grandfather) dies in Allamakee County, Iowa.
The next post relates newspaper accounts of his murder.

Account from the Waukon Democrat, December 1881, Allamakee County, Iowa

Supposed Murdered By Poisoning
The Alleged Murderer Escapes

On Tuesday evening of last week a messenger came to town post haste for a doctor to attend A. C. Johnson whom he reported as very sick. Dr. Nitterauer went to see the patient but when he arrived there Johnson was dead. He had suffered from spasms in his death sickness which indicated poisoning, and to confirm this indication he said in the presence of Mr. E. B. Jones for whom he sent when he realized his approaching end, that he was poisoned by Mrs. Garvey, or more properly now Mrs. Curtin. That she had given him poison in chicken broth. The doctor returned to town and gave information of the affair to the authorities who sent Sheriff Hewit and Coroner Bowen to the scene. The sheriff arrested Mrs. Garvey and the coroner held an inquest on the body of the deceased.
Mr. E. B. Jones was the principal witness who testified about as follows:
I was sent for. When I got here one of them told me to hurry, that Johnson wanted to talk to me. I came in and went upstairs. He spoke and told me to raise him up. I put my arm under his head. He took a fit or spasm, commenced to shake and straightened back in bed, and lay still for a few minutes. When he came to he said he was going to die, and wanted me to write to his boys. He said he had his money in his pocket and wanted me to take it. I found $300 in one pocket and $40 in another. He showed me his overcoat and other coat and told me to take care of them. He said he was poisoned. I asked him how? He said in chicken soup. I asked him how long ago? He said about two hours. In the mean time he would have these jerking spells. In about half an hour after I got to him he took one of those fits and died. Mrs. Garvey's little boy were present and asked me what was the matter with Johnson. I told him he was sick, and Johnson spoke and said: “Your mother poisoned me”. Had no conversation with Mrs. Garvey. Her last husband's name was Curtin. The verdict of the coroner's jury was to the effect that Johnson had come to his death by poison administered by Mrs. Garvey. The lass was therefore brought to Waukon and as no jail was to be had, was watched by officers of the law, at the central House. During Wednesday and Thursday there was some delay in the holding a preliminary examination, but was fixed for Friday morning, when low, the dawn revealed hanging from the porch of the Central House------Not the body of Mrs. Garvey, but the sheet by which she slipped down to terra firma, and that worthy dame was no where to be found. At the present writing, Friday morning, the officers are searching for the bird that has flown.
A short review of the careers of the two principal actors in this drama, Mr. A. C.Johnson, generally known as "Lying" Johnson, and Mrs. Garvey, may be of some interest at this time.-- The former had for many years been a widower and the later a widow, they being neighbors, and, it is reported, on very intimate terms. At one time,it is said, they made arrangements to get married, and Johnson drove his stock and removed his personal property to Mrs. Garvey's place. But she having more love for the property than for him, backed down from the marriage arrangement, but managed to drive the stock off and fleece Johnson out of all the effects he had removed to her place. This is one of the many episodes of their late years. About a year ago, however Mr. Johnson picked up his traps and went out west somewhere, leaving several debts unpaid, the Democrat being one if his creditors, since which time nothing was heard of him until his recent return. Mrs. Garvey in the mean time, and all the time, being susceptible to Cupid's darts, and having an eye to business, managed, a few weeks ago, to captivate the heart of Mr. John T. Curtin, of this town. He became infatuated with her, and they were married. He decked her in gaudy colors, and on making her his bride, gave her $100 in gold for safe keeping. She kept it safe from him, and in four or five days after the nuptials, skipped out and went to Fort Dodge on a pleasure tour. She returned about two weeks ago to her house and farm in Union Prairietownship, and, as report has it, there was Mr. Johnson who had returned a few days previously from the west. They got along all right until Tuesday when Mrs. Garvey came to town and among her purchases brought a half drachma of strychnine at Kennedy's drug store, to poison the rats, she said. That evening when Dr. Nitterauer reached the house Johnson was dead in bed, up stairs, and she was drunk in bed downstairs. During the night when she awoke she asked where Johnson's money was, and on being told by Mr. Jones that he had it, she demanded $100, saying that it was hers and that Johnson was simply keeping it for her. She afterwards demanded the whole of it saying that Johnson and she had agreed to get married, and that she had the best right to it.It seems that Johnson had been sick some days previous to his death and that the chicken broth was given for nourishment. The evidence, as far is known, makes a strong circumstantial case against Mrs. Garvey, but circumstances often bring suspicion upon innocent persons, and it is always best to be slow in forming or expressing an opinion in such cases. She will no doubt be arrested and the law will take its course.P.S. -- Up to the hour of going to press Mrs. Garvey has eluded the search of the sheriff, though her track has been found. Mr. Hanson, Mr. Brownell's clerk, learned that she slept Friday night at Mr. Andrew Jacobson's, at the Iowa river. She simply walked beyond the circuit where search was supposed to be and where she was supposed to be and where search was made for her. The Sheriff and deputy sheriff spent all day Friday searching for her in the vicinity where she lived, and on Friday night a number of men made a very thorough search, looking through every house in the section where she was supposed to be. Mrs. Garvey played her game well, however, and it is probable that she is now out of danger.We should have mentioned above that Johnson's stomach, or at least its contents,were sent to Chicago for analysis, the results of which we have not yet learned.

Trial of Mrs. Curtin, Alias Garvey To the district court of Allamakee Co., Iowa:
Received notice early on the morning of Dec. 7 A.D. 1881 that the body of one A.C.Johnson was lying dead at the residence of Mrs. Curtin, Union Prairie Township,Allamakee Co., Iowa and that his death occurred under suspicious circumstances. In company with Geo. Hewitt, Sheriff I immediately proceeded to the residence of Mrs.Curtin, a jury was summoned... bringing in a verdict accusing Mrs. Curtin of administering deadly poison to Johnson with felonious intent. I ordered the sheriff to arrest Mrs. Curtin and issued a warrant to take her before a J. P for preliminary examination. There was found property belonging to the deceased of $341.00 in money which after paying necessary funeral expenses and taking out coroners fees as required by law was paid over to the clerk of courts for said county. Total expenses$43.55.D. M. Bouer, coroner of Allamakee Co., Iowa

State Of Iowa District Court of Allamakee County against Hanora Curtin - alias - Hanora Garvey Preliminary Information
The above named defendant Hanora Curtin is accused of the crime of Murder: For that she the said defendant did on the 6th day of December AD 1881 at Union Prairie Township in the County of Allamakee, State of Iowa, feloniously, Willfully and of Malice aforethought, deliberately and premeditate - Kill and Murder one A. C. Johnsonthen and there beings - by administering to him, the said A. C. Johnson by the hand ofone Goff, some chicken broth in which she the defendant had knowingly and willfully placed or caused to be placed a fatal dose of a deadly poison, believed by affidavit to have been Strychnine, with intent him the said A. C. Johnson to kill and murder, ofwhich the said poison administered to him as aforesaid the said A. C. Johnson did partake and there fore presently did die. Which said acts of the defendant were to the contrary to the forms of the statute in such case made and provided and against the peace and the that the state will further introduce as a witness on said trial, N.M.Sangland who resides in Decorah, Winneshiek County Iowa and is by occupation the sheriff of said county and that I expect to prove in substance by said witness:That on or about the 29th of December 1882 you were confined in the jail ofWinnesheik County, Iowa under the charge set forth in the indictment in the above entitled case.The grand jury in and for the county of Allamakee and the state of Iowa, in the name and by the authority of the state of Iowa, accuse Honora Curtin alis Honora Garvey of the crime of Murder committed as follows:The said Honara Curtin alias Honara Garvey at the county of Allamakee and in the state of Iowa on about 6th day of December A.D. 1881 did willfully, feloniously,deliberately and of her malice, aforethought and premeditatedly administer and give to one A.C. Johnson a certain deadly poison to wit: five grains of a certain deadly poison called strychnine with the specific intent in so doing, feloniously, willfully,premeditatedly, deliberately and of her malice aforethought to kill and murder the said A.C. Johnson, that the said A.C. Johnson did then and there take and swallow the aforesaid deadly poison, so administered and given to him by defendant as aforesaid and with intent aforesaid and from the effect of said deadly poison so administered and taken became mortally sick and then and there did die.

Witness Statements

J. F. Kennedy being sworn says:I reside in Waukon, am clerk in my brothers store. Sell several kinds of poison suchas strychnine, opium etc. On December 6, 1881 I sold defendant about one half dram of strychnine, I wrapped it in a paper, she said she wanted it to poison a skunk. A piece of paper shown witness, I think I have seen the piece of paper before. I think it is the paper I wrapped up the poison in. J. F. Kennedy
D. H. Bowen being sworn says: I am practicing Physician & Surgeon, reside in Waukon, Iowa. Last year coroner ofAllamakee Co., Iowa, as such coroner, was called to hold an inquest on the body of one A. C.. Johnson on the 6th day of Dec. 1881. Found the body of Johnson at the residence of the defendant in Union Prairie Township, Allamakee Co. The body was lying on a bed when I arrived there. The face presented a somewhat livid appearance.The fingers drawn in to some extent. I made a post-mortem examination, found the heart & lungs organically sound but the lungs were somewhat congested. I ligated the upper and lower openings of stomach then removed the stomach and placed it into a glass jar which I had carefully cleaned and sealed it up in the presence of the sheriff and since had it in my exclusive possession. D.H. Bowen
E. B. Jones being sworn says: My name is E. B. Jones, have resided in this Co. 25 years. Knew A. C. Johnson his lifetime, and know the defendant. [I] was called some time in the fore part of Dec. to the house of defendant, when I got there in company with my wife, found the defendant & A. C. Johnson, & some children at the house. A. C. Johnson was upstairs on the bed, he asked me to raise him up & was taken with a spasm clinching his hands & throwing his head back & the whole body appeared to be stiff, said he was going to die & that he had been poisoned, that he had three hundred & forty dollars and also wanted me to take charge of it and wanted me to write to his children. Had been poisoned, he thought, about two hours before in chicken soup. He said to my wife that she (meaning defendant) did it. Said also after my wife went away that the defendant had poisoned him. He had several slight spasms and then one severe Spasm in which he died, about one half hour after I got there. He said "I am poisoned by strychnine, don't this look like it?"He could hardly swallow anything. After death his head was bowed backwards relaxed. The expression of his face was frightful, his lips drawn apart so as to show his teeth and his face of a livid flush, eyes half open and bloodshot. E. B. Jones
Mrs. Lucinda Jones being sworn says: I am the wife of E. B. Jones. I went to the house of the defendant and there saw A. C.Johnson, he was in a spasm drawing his head back and clinching his hands, said he was going to die & had $340.00 & wanted my husband to take care of it and write to his children about it. Said he had been poisoned in chicken soup given him by defendant. He said it was strychnine & the soup had a bad taste to it, wanted a doctor and started with a Goff boy to get one. Lucinda Jones
William Garvey being sworn says: I am a son of the defendant, 11 years old, I knew A. C. Johnson for 4 or 5 years. He died at my mothers house last winter. I got home about 6 o’clock from town, did not eat supper at home, but know they had chicken soup for supper, saw some of it in the kettle. Johnson was up stairs and mother was asleep on the bed when I got home. Johnson was sick and called me upstairs & sent me after Mr. Jones, George Goff went with me after Mr. Jones. William Garvey

George Goff being sworn says: I am 13 years of age. I was at the defendants house from about 3 o'clock P. M. on the day Johnson died, ate supper there, had chicken & chicken soup for supper. Johnson did not eat supper at that time. It was about sundown at that time I brought some soup in a cup upstairs, but did not see Johnson eat it. Mrs. Garvey gave me the soup in the cup & went upstairs with me & I left her & Johnson there together. Johnson in about one & one half hour sent Wm. Garvey & me after Mr. Jones & said he was sick.Mrs. Garvey at this time was lying asleep on the bed. I came back to the house with Mr. & Mrs. Jones and afterwards went with Mrs. Jones for the doctor. George Goff
J. C. Beedy being sworn says: I was at the Garvey's house shortly after Mr. Johnson's death and saw the body of Johnson lying in the bed. The head was drawn back, the arms were drawn up and across the bosom, the hands were partially clinched & drawn out of shape.Countenance was very livid dark brown flush upon it. I straightened out the arms, straightened up the head & the legs were drawn up so I straightened them up. Mrs.Garvey was lying on the bed and did not get up until 4 or 5 hours after I got there. She went to the cupboard her back was toward me & it is my impression that she put something into her bosom. She went up-stairs & was gone from 3 to 5 minutes. Then came down and followed Mr. Jones & Mr. Steele out of the house. She & Mr. Jonescame back, she asked for the money, said Mr. Beedy is here you can count it out and give it to me. Said she was going to be married to Mr. Johnson and had the best right to it. Said several times she knew how much money he had that he had $300. in one pocket and had some in the other pocket but don't recollect the amount. John C.Beedy
Verdict: We the jury find the defendant guilty - of murder in the first degree and say that her punishment shall be imprisonment for life at hard labor in the state Penitentiary.

Pardon; May 24, 1890 State of Iowa executive Department To Marquis Barr - Warden, Penitentiary at Anamosa
Whereas: Hanora Curtin Now imprisoned in the Penitentiary at Anamosa by viture of a sentence of the district court of the county of Allamakee for the offense of Murder in the first degree was pardoned in due form of law on the 23rd day of May A.D. 1890.The same takes effect on the 24th day of May.Now therefore I, Horace Boies, Governor of the state of Iowa,by virtue of authority in me vested, do require you at the time designated to discharge from further custody or imprisonment for said offense the said Hanora Curtin and immediately thereafter to return this warrant with your doings thereon,to the secretary of State, at Des Moines.
Waukon Democrat - May 28, 1890 A petition was approved by the committee on the pardons of the recent legislature for the release from the Aramosa penitentiary of Mrs. Garvey, who was given a lifesentence from this county several years ago for murder. The pardoning is strongly urged by the penitentiary officials who claim that Mrs. Garvey is consumptive and will live but a short time. It is thought that Gov. Boies will sign the release papers in a few days. Since writing the foregoing the news has come that the governor pardoned Mrs.Garvey on Saturday. It is with the condition that she forever abstain from the use of intoxicating liquors. She has been in the penitentiary seven years.

Monday, June 8, 2009

1886 Minnesota Tornado

On April 14, 1886 the deadliest tornado in Minnesota history razed parts of St.Cloud and Sauk Rapids, leaving 72 dead and 213 injured. 11 members of a wedding party were killed including the bride and groom. It was the deadliest tornado in Minnesota history.

A few excerpts from local newspapers of the time:

Telegrams to the following effect were received from Sauk Rapids:“To Mayor AMES, Minneapolis: Can you send a special train with physicians to this city? A cyclone passed over the city this afternoon. A great many are believed to have been killed, but the number is not yet known.”
Immediately, upon the recept [sic] of these messages, preparations were made to respond to the call for help. A train for St. Cloud left at 6 o'clock.

The cyclone began about 3 o'clock in the basin of the Masonic cemetery, forming a whirlwind about 1,000 feet in diameter. It took almost every tree in the circle from the ground or twisted it off at the trunk. Great stones were tore up and carried along with the wind. Moving slowly along in a southeasterly direction it wrecked the Catholic chapel and several houses in its course across the prairie adjoining the town. It completely demolished JOHN SCHWARTZ'S large brick house and scattered fifty or more smaller frame houses like so many feathers. In most cases nothing was left to mark the site of dwellings but cellars. The prairies were strewn with timbers, furniture and clothing. The freight depot of the Manitoba road was a total wreck. Numerous cars loaded with freight were blown half a mile and rails wrenched from the track. It passed the limits of the town just west of Lieut. Gov. GILMAN'S residence, killing several horses. It crossed the Mississippi at the Sauk Rapids wagon bridge which it demolished. It here widened to six hundred feet, and levelled [sic] STANTON'S grist mill. From there it swept through the center of the town, taking the best of the business part of it, including the court house, hotel, public school and every important business building in the town except WOOD'S store. The village is virtually wiped out, four-fifths of the buildings being leveled. The fatalities in St. Cloud, though great, are not equal in number to those in Sauk Rapids. In every house most all of the inmates were more or less hurt.

A brief dispatch has just been received saying that between 40 and 50 bodies have been recovered from the ruins at St. Cloud and the search is not completed. The town presented a scene of utmost desolation as seen by the light of flickering lanterns and the groans of the wounded and lamentations of those who have lost relatives are heart rending in the extreme.

BIG LAKE, Minn., April 13(?), -- DRS. HIGBEE and DELLIVER of Minneapolis have just arrived. The latter told an Associated Press reporter that new bodies were being recovered hourly from the debris and being brought in from the country. Twelve injured people were brought in. Some of these will die. Druggist SCHAUBERT'S remains had just been brought in. Four have died of wounds since this morning. At a church cast of RICE'S thirteen of a wedding party were killed including the officiating minister.
At Sauk Rapids 31 are already dead. The list will be swelled to 40. DR. AMES of Minneapolis, on duty at St. Cloud, told DR. DELIVER at least 30 deaths can but result there. Capt. FARLEY, an old settler of Sauk Rapids weighing 280 pounds was blown 400 feet in the air.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


On July 3, 1886, my great-grandfather, Thomas Clement Worland, dropped dead off a wagon in Mound City, Hennepin, Minnesota. He was forty years old.

19th Century Minnesota - Soddys

In the nineteenth century Minnesota was a growing western outpost. Fort Snelling, built in 1819, was a lively meeting place for the Dakotah, Ojibway, fur traders and the increasing number of pioneer settlers. Saint Paul, once known as "Pig’s Eye" was a rapidly growing town and many people from the crowded eastern cities were looking for a place to call their own. Minnesota became a territory in 1849 and Saint Paul was named the capital. Many pioneers flocked to the new region.

At first, the pioneers hesitated to settle on the Great Plains, a land that was considered impractical to farm because of its tough sod and arid conditions. However, new farm machinery was developed, especially John Deere's steel plow, that made cultivation of the prairie lands practical. In 1862 the Homestead Act enabled settlers to acquire, for the cost of the recording fee, parcels of 80 or 160 acres of land, providing they lived on it and cultivated it.

The homesteaders took up their claims in a land where there was almost no timber. With very little wood available, pioneers often chose to dig their houses out of the ground. If the home could be situated against a small hill, the major portion of it would be dug into the hill, like a cave. This type of dwelling was called a dugout; the sod house, a soddy.

The common building material was sod—blocks of turf that could be stacked up to form a wall. If stones were available, the settler used these as building material. Where there were no stones and no turf, rough lumber had to be purchased at the nearest railway town.

Life in a soddy was a challenge. It was warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Although the roof was stable, the heavy rains of the summer would cause the roof and walls to drip mud onto anything in the soddy. The soddy was furnished with just the basics. There was a stove with a barrel chimney, a small bed, and a few family possessions.

Water was hauled at first from the nearest stream, while the homesteader drilled a well. There was often no wood for fuel, so buffalo chips and cow chips were burned, as were cornstalks and corncobs. When no other fuel was available, dry prairie grass was twisted into bundles and burned.
Another change from woodland-frontier life was the diet. Wheat grew well on the plains, and wheat flour replaced cornmeal as the main breadstuff. Cattle were more plentiful, and beef became a common meat.
The sod-house frontier was of short duration. More railways were built, more towns sprang up along them, and more markets were opened up to the plains farmer. Within a decade or two, most homesteaders had a frame house and barn, and were part of a well-settled rural community.