Category Archives: Family Stories

Louise Fabry and August Abt – From Germany and Switzerland to Lincoln County

A year or so ago Ritchey and I visited three small cemeteries in Ottenheim, Kentucky.  Ottenheim is a small town in rural Lincoln County settled by German and Swiss immigrants.  There is the German Reform Church Cemetery, the Lutheran Church Cemetery and St. Sylvester Catholic Church Cemetery.  I believe at one time Ottenheim was a bustling little town and community, but today you could drive through without realizing you missed it!

Today I want to share with you information about the Abt family – August Abt and Louise Fabry – and some of the photos we took in St. Sylvester Cemetery.

At home, with a little research, I’ve found much more about this immigrants to Lincoln County.  Louise Fabry came from Germany with her parents and siblings in 1886, leaving from the port of Le Harve, France, on the steamship St. Laurent.  They arrived in New York on March 18, 1886.  Included in the family were the parents – Pierre, 50, and Madeline, 42.  The children were Michael, 17; Pierre, 11; Louise, 7; Emile, 3; and Marie, 1.  The family came to Kentucky and settled in the little town of Ottenheim.

According to the census records August Abt and his family came from the Aargau Canton, Rottenschwil, Switzerland, in 1884.  His parents, Leonz Plezidus Abt and Verena Huber, were both from the Aargau Canton of Switzerland – he from the town of Rottenschwil and she from Unterlunkhofen – about a twenty-five-minute walk from each other.  Leonz and Verena married February 15, 1863.  They had eight children – Kaspar, August, Maria, Joseph, Johann, Adolf, Anna and Joseph.

Louise Fabry married August Abt on September 27, 1899, in Lincoln County, at Oppenheim.  In the 1910 Census of Lincoln County August is 44, Louise is 33.  Children are Celia, 10; Elsie, 8; and Charles, 6.  Daughter Elfredia was born in 1912.

Louise Abt, May 24, 1878 – September 5, 1918, St. Sylvester Catholic Cemetery, Ottenheim, Lincoln County, Kentucky.

Unfortunately, a terrible accident took place on August 30, 1918.  Louise caught her fingers in the gear of a fruit press.  She died six days later of lock-jaw, a form of blood poisoning.  What a sorrow for the family.  Elfredia was only six.

Cecelia Abt, June 18, 1906 – November 3, 1923.

Daughter Cecelia died at the young age of of 23.  I believe there must be a mistake for her birth year on her gravestone.  She was ten in the 1910 census, and 19 in the 1920 census.  Cecelia must have been older than the seventeen years it shows on her stone.

August Abt, February 8, 1865 – September 11, 1844.

Four years later August Abt married Wilhelmine ‘Minnie’ Jedamzik.  She also had children from a previous marriage.  They lived happily together until August’s death on September 11, 1944.

Brown Family Buried in Maple Grove Cemetery

Brown Family Plot – Maple Grove Cemetery, Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky.

George I. Brown was born in Virginia in 1784.  He bought property in Jessamine County, Kentucky – quite a lot since his real estate was valued at $54,000 in 1850.  George married Sarah Perry, November 17, 1809, in Woodford County, Kentucky.  They had two sons, George and Moreau Brown.

Sarah, wife of G. I. Brown, born September 30, 1789, died May 6, 1832.

Sarah Brown died in 1832, and the next year George married Catharine W. McKinney, June 6, 1833, in Woodford County.  Since both wives came from this county perhaps there were family members living there.

In the 1850 census of Jessamine County George, 65, is listed as a farmer, born in Virginia.  Wife Catherine is 46.  Their three children are Mary Hannah, 15; William, 12; and Sally, 9.

George I. Brown, born December 11, 1784, died March 14, 1856.

Catherine lived another nine years before dying in 1867.

Catherine W., wife of G. I. Brown, born October 25, 1802, died October 2, 1867.

From this angle you can see son Moreau Brown’s gravestone on the right – with the statue at the top – and son George Brown’s would be on the left, next to the beautiful gravestone of his wife, Anne Hemphill.  A better view is in the first photo of this article.

 

 

Hugh McElroy’s Diary

Hugh McElroy, born September 19, 1795, died February 8, 1877.  Susan Frances, wife of Hugh McElroy, born December 29, 1807, died June 22, 1844.  ‘She had a smile for the joyous, an ear of sympathy for ill, and in act of kindness for all within her reach.’  Cemetery Hill, Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky.

If only all ancestors left diaries with the everyday happenings and the history they remember about their ancestors!

Pioneer History of Washington County, Kentucky, by Orval W. Baylor and Others, from newspaper articles

Hugh McElroy’s Diary

January 1, 1870.  This day I have read a long account of my grandfather, Anthony Hundley, and his family in the Christian Observer of December 22, 1869.  They moved from Charlotte County, Virginia, to this country in the year 1793, seventy years ago.  He settled on Pleasant Run near Sandusky’s Station.  The Indians were very troublesome on the road which they traveled.  They traveled with a large number of emigrants, as alone was very dangerous.  There was not a human habitation except a fort at Laurel River beyond the Cumberland Mountains and between Beams station at Crab Orchard in Kentucky.  Indian deprivations along the line were frequent.  On the route they saw the newly made graves of a large number of persons who had been massacred at night while encamped after a day’s journey.  My mother, then a young lady, and seventeen, was one of the company.  About the same time, my grandfather, Hugh McElroy, moved from Pennsylvania to this place and built the first brick house in the county.  Many of the bricks are now in this house I now live in, between the weatherboards and plastering.  My father helped to make them before I was born.  He married my mother in 1794 and I was born in 1795, 74 years ago.

June 30, 1873.  Sixty years the 20th of next November I came to this town (Springfield) to live, as a store boy with Mr. Elias Davison.  I lived with him six years.  I commenced my fourth year with him before I lost my first whole day.  My salary the first year was $50, the last year $100.  This has been a very wet, rainy Sabbath day and the first time I have been detained from Sunday School this year.

Deaths, 1873.  Ben E. Montgomery died last October, age 80 years.  Judge Booker on May 11th, age 87 years.  May York Sandusky on May 21st, age 80 years.  All these were neighbors.  Old Mrs. Briles died on the 9th June, age 97.

November 1, 1874.  Died this day, cousin William McElroy, 99.  July 18th Mr. Charles Powell died, age 83, and Presley Briles, age 74.

This day, September 19, 1873, I am 78 years old, have lived in Springfield 60 years, have been a school teacher over 40 years and superintendent over schools 20 years.  The cholera has been bad in several counties.  Lebanon and Marion County has suffered much, 84 deaths, most in the county.  Our town has escaped and very few cases in the county.  The Yellow Fever is very bad in the towns south, particularly in Memphis and Shreveport.

In October 1871, while at Louisville, I met an old uncle, Joel Hundley, which I had not seen for 20 years, he had come to Louisville to see his sister, Aunt Jane Thomas.  Courier Journal describes the meeting as follows:  A Romantic Meeting.  Mr. Joel Hundley and Mrs. Jane Thomas, as brother and sister, met in this city at the house of John H. Thomas, son of the venerable lady on Saturday last, after an absence of 54 years.  Mrs. Thomas was born in Virginia at the Charlotte Courthouse, in 1793, he was born in 1791, making her 78 years old and him 80.  She arrived here from her residence in Litchfield, Kentucky, and he, being informed of the fact, started from his home in Mt. Washington, after a late breakfast, and walked to Louisville, a distance of 21 miles to see her.  The meeting of so long a separation was a happy one.  His walk is remarkable, considering his advanced age, but it is not the first long tramp he has taken.  In olden times, before steam boats and railroads were known, and when flat boats were the only means of transportation down the river, he often made the trip from New Orleans to Kentucky on foot.  Mrs. Thomas is the mother of O. W. and J. H. Thomas.  Mr. Hundley is the father of Doctor Hundley.

September 19, 1874.  This day is my birthday, 79 years old.  How thankful I ought to be.  I never had better health in my life and have no pains in my limbs, yet I cannot walk without help, owing to my getting crippled ten years since.  I ride to my counting room in town every day and have missed but one or two days from Sunday School this year.

Charles H. Higdon Biography

Charles Higdon, November 11, 1835 – September 26, 1918.  Sara A. Higdon, February 9, 1950 – December 5, 1918.  St. Lawrence Catholic Cemetery, Daviess County, Kentucky.

from Kentucky – A History of the State, Perrin, Battle & Knifflin, 1883

Daviess County – Knottsville Precinct

Charles H. Higdon, farmer and stock-raiser, was born in this precinct November 11, 1835, and was a son of B. Henson and Henrietta (Milton) Higdon, both natives of Maryland.  He was reared on a farm, and received his education in the common schools of this county.  he was married in 1870 to Sarah A., daughter of John R. Duncan.  Eight children have been born to them, six now living – Charles I., Mary M., Francis K., Elmer L., Henson and an infant son.  Mr. Higdon owns 135 acres of well-improved land.  He and family are members of the Catholic Church.

John Edwin Smith and His Two Wives

John Edwin Smith is my gr-gr-grandfather.  He was the son of Samuel E. Smith and Nancy Cusick, born March 30, 1830, in Marion County, Kentucky.

He first married Ellen Lyons, daughter of Augustine Lyons.  The marriage probably took place in Marion County, before December of 1850, when their first child, Melvina Ann Smith, my great-grandmother, was born.  The Marion County Courthouse was burned in 1863 when John Hunt Morgan came through the area.  All records before that date were destroyed.

John and Ellen had four more children, Mary Isabella, Thomas Henry, John Richard and Mary Ellen Smith.  Baby Mary Ellen was born in 1859, Ellen died September 5, 1859, possibly due to childbirth or complications thereof.  Ellen Lyons Smith was buried in St. Charles Catholic Cemetery in Marion County.  Unfortunately her stone was destroyed during a storm when trees fell and crushed it.

Harriet, wife of John E. Smith, born August 7, 1840, died October 20, 1898.  St Rose Catholic Cemetery, Washington County, Kentucky.

John Smith married Frances Harriett Carrico October 2, 1860, in Washington County, Kentucky.  She was a daughter of Pius M. Carrico and Mary Magdalene Spalding.  The couple had seven children:  James, Mary Catherine, Ann Elizabeth, George Robert, Cecilia Jane, George Washington and Victoria Mary Jane Smith.  Harriet Carrico Smith died October 20, 1898.

John E. Smith, born March 10, 1830, died February 17, 1907.

After burying two wives John Smith lived another nine years, dying February 17, 1907.  His obituary in The Springfield Sun, Washington County, names him as one of the ‘county’s best known citizens.’  It also said he was ‘born in Marion County March 10, 1830, and at one time owned a distillery in that county, and made considerable money while engaged in that business. In this connection it might be well to say that Mr. Smith was a remarkably temperate man. At the age of seventeen he signed a pledge to never again touch intoxicating beverages of any kind, and we are informed that this pledge was never broken.’  And finally the obituary ended with, ‘The deceased at one time was an extensive land owner in this county, owning 500 or 600 acres of good land, but this he divided among his children when he became incapacitated for business.  Mr. Smith was a liberal and kind-hearted man; he was a good neighbor and a kind and considerate father.’

The children surviving their father were Mrs. J. B. Carrico (my great-grandmother), J. Richard Smith, Mrs. F. M. Carrico, James E. Smith, Mrs. Barton Mattingly and G W. Smith.  Besides his children he left sixty-three grandchildren and twenty-one great-grandchildren.  What a legacy!

 

 

Major Daniel Branch Price Buried in Lexington Cemetery

Major Daniel B. Price, born May 1, 1789, died October 20, 1860.  Lexington Cemetery, Fayette County, Kentucky.

Major Daniel Branch Price was the son of John Price and Frances Branch, born May 1, 1789, in Powhatan County, Virginia.  His father came to Kentucky in the early years of the state, bringing his family with him.  At an early age Daniel Price was appointed deputy clerk for Samuel H. Woodson, Jessamine County Clerk.  Woodson resigned in 1816, and Daniel Price held the office until 1851 – a record of 35 years!

In 1813, Daniel Price married Eliza Crockett, a daughter of Col. Joseph Crockett.  Eliza died in the 1832 cholera epidemic.  Daniel married Mary Jane Stuart, daughter of Rev. Robert Stuart and Hannah Todd, in 1836.  He had several children from both marriages.  One son, by this first wife, Eliza, was Samuel Woodson Price (1828-1918).  Samuel was a Civil War Union Brevet Brigadier General, a commander of the 27th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry.  In the 1850 census of Jessamine County is listed as 22, an artist.  After the war, he became noted as a painter of portraits.

In the 1860 census of Jessamine County, Daniel B. Price is listed as 71, a farmer, born in Virginia.  His wife, Mary J., is 56.  They have the following children living with them:  Daniel B., 21; Eliza V., 19; Robert S., 17; and Margaret, 14.

Dr. Robert J. Breckinridge said of him, ‘Probably no citizen of Jessamine County was ever more favorably known, and certainly no one was ever more thoroughly respected.’  Daniel Price died October 20, 1860, and is buried in the Lexington Cemetery, in Fayette County.

Theodore Jennings Biography

from Kentucky – A History of the State; Perrin, Battle and Kniffin, 1888

Jefferson County

Theodore Jennings was born in Greencastle, Indiana, June 7, 1850, and is a son of Theodore C. Jennings, a miller, and an early settler of Indiana, who emigrated from Kentucky.  His mother was a daughter of Joel and Mary Yager, natives of Jefferson County, Kentucky.  The subject of this sketch was educated principally in the State University at Bloomington, Indiana.  In 1872 he engaged in a general merchandise business at Utica, Indiana, and in 1876 engaged in the drug business, which he followed until April, 1881, when he sold out and removed to Jeffersonville, and took charge of Lewman and Bros. drug business until 1884, when he came to Louisville, and engaged in the same business with F. Bender, on Shelby and Jefferson streets.  Having read medicine for ten years, he began attending a course of lectures in 1885, at the Louisville Medical College, graduating in 1887, and at once commenced practicing.  His office is at 909 East Jefferson Street, Louisville.  Dr. Jennings was married, in 1872, to Miss Maggie Summers, niece of James and Margaret Hobson, of Utica, Indiana, by whom he has three children: Anna, James and Maggie.  His wife died May 25, 1880.  He was next married, October 11, 1884, to Miss Maud Fogle, a daughter of Ebenezer Fogle, of Marion County.  By this second marriage he has one daughter, Nellie M. Jennings.