Tag Archives: cholera

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.

Richard and Mary ‘Polly’ Duerson

IMG_1700_1Richard Duerson, July 29, 1790 – October 2, 1855.  Polly Duerson, September 18, 1809 – July 28, 1902.  Winchester Cemetery, Clark County, Kentucky.

This blog started with just the one photo of the gravestone of Richard and Polly Duerson, taken in Winchester City Cemetery in Clark County, Kentucky.  But, of course, that is only the beginning.  There were no other stones that I photographed with this last name.  The hunt was on!

1850 2In the 1850 census of Clark County Richard Duerson is listed as 59 years of age, born in Virginia; Polly, 40, born in Kentucky; along with the following children – Henry, 17; Eldred, 14; Maria, 13; Charles, 11; Mildred, 9; Catherine, 7; Lucy, 4; Richard, 2.  1850 is usually where I start in the census records – it’s the first that names all individuals living in the household.  In the 1850 Slave Schedule for Clark County Richard Duerson is listed as owning 12 individuals – 8 females and 4 males that range in age from less than a year to 57 years of age.

Let’s back up to 1830.  In that census 10 individuals are living in the household – one male 30-39 – that would be Richard; one male 20-29.  Since Richard and Polly married December 23, 1823, there would be no children of that age – unless Richard was previously married and had a son (he was more than 10 years older than Polly).  It could also be a younger brother of either of the couple.  One female 20-29 – that would be Polly; and three females under the age of 5 – three daughters!  There are 2 black males less than ten, a male 55-99 and one female 24-35.  It is quite possible those three young daughters were married and in homes of their own by the 1850 census twenty years later, or more likely, since the 1910 census tells us Polly had 13 children and only 7 were alive at that time, these three young daughters died before 1850.  Of course, they may have married and died during childbirth.

deaht 1This very tiny photo says that Richard Duerson, 63, farmer, no parents listed (although in a Clark County newspaper I found that Jack and Mary Bush Duerson were named as his parents), died September 30, of diarrhea.  Cholera was listed but marked out.  I’m not sure why.  Eight other individuals listed on that page died of cholera.  Of the 82 deaths in Clark County in 1855, 13 were caused by cholera – 16%.

Gaitskill 1 2Polly was left a widow at the age of 46 – much like her mother, Ann Gaitskill, who was left a widow in 1812.  Ann was appointed guardian to ‘Susan, Sally, Nancy, Betsy, Emily, Polly and Mariah Gaitskill, orphans of Henry Gaitskill, deceased, whereupon she, together with James Stewart and Thomas Wright her securities, entered into and acknowledged their bond in the penalty of $10,000 conditioned according to law.’  Seven young daughters!  Could their father have been killed during the War of 1812?  This may also explain why Polly Gaitskill married at such a young age!

It was so exciting to find so many court/probate records for this family after the father’s death.  The first is a list of ‘articles promised and set apart for the use and benefit of the widow and infant children of Richard Duerson, deceased’.

admin 23 1Some of the items listed are two horses and gear, one plow and gear, two cows and calf, two beds, bedding and furniture; one loom and spinning wheel and card.  One pot and one oven, no stove on premises, six plates, six cups and saucers, one coffee pot and tea pot (thank heavens for that!  couldn’t be without tea!).  One half dozen knives and forks, one table, family Bible.  One saddle and appendages and bridle.  Six chairs, all the poultry on the farm, ten head of sheep, wheat, one two year old heifer for beef.  This was written October 18, 1855 – less than two weeks after Richard’s death.

Notice the children are listed as ‘infant children’.  I believe this would be any child under the age of twenty-one.  The children’s actual ages are Henry, at age 22 in 1855, down to Richard, aged 7.

admin 79 1The next interesting find was a map of Richard Duerson’s land showing the allotment of dower – Mary is now listed with her christian name rather than nickname – I suppose since she is head of household that raises her in the eyes of the public!  Notice the map shows where the ‘Mansion house’ was on the 254 acres of land.  There are several named roads on the map – Mt. Sterling Road, Winchester and Mt. Sterling Turnpike, Red Rive Ironworks Road – and a railroad, the Lexington and Big Sandy.  Mary also owns 38 acres of land next to the railroad.  In addition to all this information, the people living adjacent to her property are listed!  John Weaver, Thomas Hart, Philip B. Winn, John W. Redmon and a Mr. Kelly are her neighbors!

admin 80Another tract of land.

admin 81 2The division of slaves gives Mary Duerson the following – Austin, aged 35; Sarah, aged 14; Patsey, aged 9; and Delpha, aged 63.  We will return to this in 1870!

guardian 507 2Each of the children except Henry had guardians that looked after the portion of the estate given to their wards.  The above is one piece of information from April 4, 1857, for Maria.  Eldred and Catherine were wards of William Henry Duerson, probably their uncle.  Maria and Charles were wards of J. N. Winn, a neighbor.  Mildred was the ward of H. G. Poston; and Lucy and Richard were wards of William Halley Smith.

1860 2In the 1860 census Mary is listed with five of her children, each of which have their portion of their father’s estate listed.  Maria and Charles were probably married at this point.  Maria married a Mr. Bean and Charles became a doctor.

1870 2In 1870, the first census after the Civil War, it is interesting to note that Henry is back home, living with his mother; the other children all married and in homes of their own.  But the most important piece of information is Sarah and Bush Hall and their children that live with Mary Duerson.  Bush is a farm laborer and Sarah is a domestic servant.  Remember the young slave, Sarah, who was part of Mary’s dower?  I believe this to be the same woman, now employed rather than a slave.

In 1880 Mary Duerson is living alone, but in the 1900 census she is a boarder with Olivia Sewell.  Mary is listed as born in 1809, aged 90, a widow, gave birth to 13 children, 7 living, both parents born in Virginia.  Mary died two years later.

from The Winchester Democrat, Clark County, Kentucky

Tuesday, July 29, 1902

 Death of Mrs. Duerson

Mrs. Mary Gaitskill Duerson died yesterday morning of the decay incident to old age, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Maria Bean, on College Street, in the ninety-fourth year of her age. The remains will be buried this afternoon in the Winchester cemetery, services at the grave by Rev. J. J. Gilbert.

She was a native of this county, and before her marriage was Miss Gaitskill. Her husband, Richard Duerson, died in 1874.

She leaves three sons, Dr. Chas. Duerson, of Mt. Sterling, Henry and Eldred Duerson, of this city; also four daughters, Mrs. Maria Bean, Mrs. W. D. [Mildred] Thomson and Mrs. Chas. E. [Lucy] Stuart, of this city and Mrs. Kate Hieronymus of Mt. Sterling. She was perhaps the oldest white person in the city and was highly respected by all who knew her.




Today In Genealogy History – August 22

William Peter Montgomery died 103 years ago – August 22, 1910 – in Washington County, Kentucky.  William was the son of William Peter Montgomery and Mary Polly Yates, born August 7, 1833, six weeks after his father died of cholera.  William married Martha Ann Carrico December 30, 1862.  They had 10 children:  John Thomas, Robert E. Lee, Anna Laura, William Edward, Mary C., Samuel Howard, Louise Mary “Lilly”, Charles Hampton, Frances B. and Sarah Isabelle Montgomery.

Washington County, Kentucky – Vital Statistics – Deaths – 1852-1860

Vital Statistics – Deaths – 1852-1860

Washington County, Kentucky

  • Lydia Moberly, age 3, female, single, resided and born Washington County, died August 17, 1852, cause not given, daughter of Edward F. and D. Moberly.
  • William H. Moberly, age 5, male, single, resided Washington County, born Madison County, died September 15, 1853, of scarlet fever, son of Samuel J. and Nancy Moberly.
  • Dorothy Mobley, age 45, female, died November 1, 1857, of consumption, daughter of Nancy Ross.
  • Mobley, not named, age 1 month, female, resided and born Washington County, died June 20, 1858, cause not given, daughter of S. and Jane Mobley.
  • Elizabeth Mock, age 1, female, died July 11, 1856, of flux, daughter of Daniel and Susan Mock.
  • Kitty Monarch, age 60, female, died October 15, 1857, cause unknown, parents unknown.
  • Eliza E. Monroe, age 2, female, single, resided and born Washington County, died July 16, 1853 of scarlet fever, daughter of Harrison and Besheba Monroe.
  • Ann Montgomery, age 70, female, married, farmer’s wife, resided, born and died near St. Catherine, August 19, 1858, of rheumatism, remarks:  “she was crippled”.
  • D. Montgomery, age 5, female, died August 1856 of flux, daughter of D. M. Scott.
  • D. Montgomery, age 70, female, died August 10, 1857, of flux, daughter of John and Nancy Maloney.
  • Jacob Montgomery, age 3, male, single, resided and born Washington County, died May 20, 1855, of hives, son of E. and E. Montgomery.
  • John W. Montgomery, age 2, male, died March 14, 1856, burnt, son of William Armstrong.
  • Lucy Montgomery, age 70, female, died Mary 12, 1856, of old age, daughter of Barton Montgomery.
  • Margaret Montgomery, age 80, female, widow, resided Washington County, born Virginia, died May 12, 1855, of old age, daughter of John and N. McCamic.
  • Nancy J. Montgomery, age 9, female, died 1857, cause unknown, daughter of William Montgomery.
  • Thomas A. Montgomery, age 12, male, resided and born Washington County, died October 1854, of white swelling, son of G. & S. Montgomery.
  • Thomas Montgomery, age 1 month, male, single, resided and born Washington County, died June 2, 1852, of croup, son of Thomas J. and Sarah E. Montgomery.
  • William Montgomery, age 2, male, died June 15, 1856, of flux, son of J. T. and Emily Montgomery.
  • Montgomery, not named, age 4 days, male, resided and born Washington County, died October 27, 1854, cause not given, son of J. B. Montgomery.
  • Montgomery, not named, age not given, male, died August 1858, cause unknown, son of L. Montgomery.
  • Edward Moore, age 3, male, resided and born Washington County, died June 3, 1854, cause not given, son of C. W. Moore.
  • Eliza A. Moore, age 9 months, female, resided and born Washington County, died November 28, 1854, of flux, daughter of John A. Moore.
  • Hartford P. Moore, age 2, male, single, resided and born Washington County, died March 8, 1852, of whooping cough, son of Harrison and Mary Moore.
  • John Moore, age not given, male, died December 28, 1853, cause not given, son of John and Elizabeth B. Moore.
  • Joseph Moore, age 82, male, farmer, died July 21, 1856, of old age, born Virginia, son of George and Elizabeth Moore.
  • Reuben P. Moore, age 29, male, died 1853.
  • S. C. Moore, age 3 months, female, resided and born Washington County, died October 1855 of flux, daughter of William and Elizabeth Moore.
  • Same Moore, age 2, male resided and born Washington County, died March 1855, cause not give, son of William and Elizabeth Lambert Moore, remarks:  “A few more and it will take the entire family.”
  • Luther Moore, age 4 years, male, single, resided and born near Glensville, died July 9, 1858, near Glensville, of scarlet fever, son of Henry Moore.
  • Virginia Moore, age 3 months, female, resided and born Washington County, died December 10, 1858, of erysipelas, daughter of W. P. Moore.
  • Moore, not named, age 3 months, male, died March 1856, cause unknown, son of William P. Moore.
  • Allen W. Morrison, age 10 months, female, died November 2, 1860, of scrofula, born, resided and died Hardins Creek, parent:  H. Morrison.
  • Eliza Jenny Mudd, age 35, female, married, resided and born Washington County, died July 1854 of consumption, daughter of Ben Montgomery.
  • Amanda Mullican, age 13, female, resided and born Washington County, died July 1, 1854, of cholera, daughter of Richard Mullican.
  • Edward Mullican, age 10 months, male, single, resided and born Washington County, died February 27, 1852, cause not given, son of William and Mary Mullican.
  • Lloyd Mullican, age 48, male, widowed, farmer, resided and born Washington County, died March 12, 1852, cause not given, son of Basil Mullican.
  •  Rosa Ann Murphy, age 44, female, widow, resided and born Washington County, died October 16, 1853, of consumption, daughter of Elijah and Martha Farris.
  • Nancy Murphy, age 30, female, married, resided Washington County, born Bourbon County, died August 23, 1854, of child birth, daughter of Charles and Frances Bunch.
  • Betsey Ann Myers, age 47, female, married, resided and born Washington County, died November 2, 1852, of consumption, daughter of Martin and Nancy Bottom.

Henry Hansmeyer, Biography

from Schuyler and Brown Counties

Henry Hansmeyer was born in Lippe-Detmold, Prussia, Germany, in 1833.  He came of pure German ancestry and of hardy stock.  His father, Fred Hansmeyer, married Wilhelmina Hoy of the same province.  In 1849 they took passage for America and landed in New Orleans after a seven-weeks voyage.  Thence the family came up the Mississippi, to St. Louis, where the mother and one child died of the cholera after being there one week.  The father and four children came on to Chicago, where Henry was attacked by the cholera and confined to the house for two weeks, later he joined his father and the other children at Watertown, and it was near there that the father died about one year later, being then in middle life.

Henry Hansmeyer is the second of the four sons yet living.  He came to this country in 1849 and lived on a farm in Jefferson County, Wisconsin, until 1851, working for $10 a month.  He came to Beardstown in 1851 and still worked by the month, for a time for $10; he saved his money, became a stock dealer and trader and did various things until he accumulated enough to purchase land.  In 1865 he found himself on safe ground for business, which he carried on successfully and extensively.  He was an active farmer and stock-raiser until 1880.  In that year he retired from business and moved into Beardstown.  He owns a fine farm of 306 acres, 250 acres of which is under the plow and the rest is pasture, good land and all supplied with first-class farm buildings.  He purchased this farm in 1865 and also owns some good residence prroperty in Beardstown, the opera house building at Mount Olive, Illinois, and other residence property there.

He was married in Beardstown, in 1857, to Miss Catharina Schmidt.  She was born in Hesse-Darmstadt.  She was the daughter of the Rev. George and Kate Schmidt, who came to the United States in 1856, settling in Beardstown, where they died.  Mr. Schmidt was for many years pastor of the Lutheran.  He was a fine minister and an anti-slavery advocate, a Republican in politics and a leader in his community.  Mrs. Hansmeyer is a great worker in the Lutheran Church and a very fine woman.  They have four children:  Augusta, wife of Henry Oetgen, a farmer in Schuyler County; Minna, wife of Henry Stock; Katie, wife of John Duvall, First State Bank of Beardstown; William, a miller by trade.  Mr. Hansmeyer is a public-spirited citizen, a Republican in politics and a member of the Fourth Street Lutheran Church, of which he has been a trustee for sixteen years.