52 Ancestors in 53 Weeks

52 Ancestors in 53 Weeks
Amy Johnson Crow, on her blog No Story Too Small, has challenged fellow bloggers to post 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Click on the image to navigate to the blog site.

Friday, October 31, 2014

52 Ancestors - #43 Elizabeth Tyson and Charles Tilton Meeting Courtship and Marriage--in their words

Everyone loves a story, and a good love story is better. Rare it is that you have the records of your grandparents' meeting, courtship, wedding and honeymoon.
My grandmother Elizabeth C Tyson was a "project person" (lucky for me). When my grandfather was ill in the late 1980s she would bring a tape recorder to the home where he was being cared for. They'd spend the time covering his life or their life together. She gave me a copy of the tapes and digitized it.


In addition, Elizabeth had had the foresight to type out a hand written letter she'd sent to my grandfather Charles Tilton when they were engaged.

The original letter still exists, as does her typewritten version of the letter (likely done in the 1980s). The typewritten version has been scanned and I own a version in a PDF format.
I reviewed the taped interviews and transcribed them. I also retyped Elizabeth's entire letter to Charles.  Anything that is in brackets is information that I have added.

Let's start with a transcript of their version on meeting and wedding.

Elizabeth Tyson Meets Charles Tilton (from transcript)
Transcribed from tape-recorded interviews. Elizabeth Tyson Tilton and Charles Tilton reminisce:
How We Met - State College (Penn State)
Elizabeth:
Thee wants to talk about State College, how we met? and I’ll talk a little bit about how me getting there to start with.
Daddy [her father, Chester Tyson] had to go up there to a meeting with some of his Board of Directors, friends, I was enrolled to go-- I had been accepted for the next fall, so I wanted to go up and see what it was like.
So we went up.  I think that Don [her eldest brother] took over and took charge of me.

I think Don introduced me to Henrietta Hund who became my roommate the next year.
And I- uh- I don’t know where Don was, but Bob took me to dinner out at Alpha Gamma Rho [fraternity house] and in passing he introduced me to various ones of the brothers.
And- uh-he introduced me to Daddy [Charles].
and-so I’ll let daddy say a little bit about his reaction to that.
What did Thee think about this little pipsqueak from out in the country?
Charles:
Well I didn’t think anything about it. I knew Thy father was a big man at the college and they were very busy.
And you were there to be introduced to me and I did think any more of it than that.
Elizabeth:
Well, the way thee came across to me was, well I thought Thee was “okay” and of course I was kind of thrilled with being there.
But I knew that Thee was a big man on the “Collegian” [Penn State Collegian newspaper], and I thought that I really did not register with thee at all that day.
And still to this day I suspect that I didn’t..because thee didn’t bother to hang around at all… After dinner was over Thee just disappeared and then later on wherever Dad slept for the night (at Watts’?)…and Bob took me up because I slept at Mac Hall.
Well, by the time we left the fraternity it had started to rain and it had been raining a little bit but it had kind of stopped by that time, I guess.
So we went by the Collegian office and I remember that Daddy [Charles] came to the door and talked to us a little while.

I don’t remember anything about the conversation. I don’t think he was that excited about a little country girl that didn’t have that much of interest to talk about.
Charles:

I remember that, you stopping there, you and Bob, we had a conversation.
Elizabeth:

The next day we met with Dad [her father] and we went on home then. I remember one thing about going home-for some reason we couldn’t .. there were no buses running to Lewistown, that night so we had to go by the way of Altoona, and I remember about that it was Saturday night & it had been payday.
Charles: It was Tyrone, not Altoona.
Elizabeth:

I was impressed that the town was filled with drunks. They were sitting with their backs against the buildings and they were dead drunk.
Charles:

About Elizabeth, as she said, she didn’t particularly register with me, she was just another sister of a fraternity brother, not particularly impressed.
But things changed after that. Someone in the house, a friend of Bob's took her under his wing, and would often take her to the Lyceum.
And then I got jealous of another guy who seemed to have his eye on her.
But the showdown for me came when we were having a house party or some kind of party and Bart Oliver, one of the house brothers, had taken charge of her and was dancing with her.

But his idea of humor was to dance for a few steps and then just leave her standing in the middle of the floor.
I had no girl there and I just thought not the right way to treat a lady. Anytime he would leave her, I would go and dance with her, until he came and found that I had taken over.
It was little beginnings like that.
Elizabeth:

The funny thing about that was I was very naive coming from Biglerville and I did not know that that was not the right thing to do I didn’t feel hurt by it.
Charles:

I thought it was not anyway to treat a lady..
**They continue but jump ahead to their engagement, wedding and honeymoon. Courtship isn't really talked about but is explained in her letter, later in this post**
 
Engaged March 1926 – Elizabeth was in PA and Charles in Tarrytown, NY
Charles:
[I had been working in Warnersville on a farm, managing the bottling of milk. I got one day off a month]
I saw there was a job in Tarrytown, NY that wanted to hire a young man from a farm, send a photograph of yourself in your working clothes.

I remember there was an excursion going from New York to Reading at the time. Somehow or other I got in communication with my old hometown buddy Gene Smith and went on a vacation to New York.
I don’t know how he spent his time when I went out to Tarrytown, but I was interviewed by Mr. Harris at Rosedale Nursery in Tarrytown NY…
I accepted the job at 35 dollars a week, good money in agriculture in those days. I remember being so elated I had to work only 6 days a week!
Elizabeth:
So well, then, Thee was up in Tarrytown living and succeeding in that job when I began to get an interest in Thee again.

I had to give up college because I had trouble with infected teeth. And so I’d stayed home there and summer I was working in that office:Dad’s, Uncle Ned’s, and Uncle Will’s  office. Now that I think about it, they really made work: what I did was file the subject matter of agricultural and horticultural magazines and all the literature, and especially fruit growing stuff.
So, I was working and I was lonely.

And I had no social life at home, there and I was living at home and helping with the family I was cooking, and cleaning, and washing, and whatnot.
So then we got started to writing to each other and, uh, his letters were really just a wonderful gift out of the blue and he wrote beautiful letters and it just grew and grew and grew, over the winter.

And then that next spring why we, uh, arranged to meet in New York, and I went up and stayed at the YWCA.
I remember because Thee wasn’t allowed up above the first floor.
Then we had a date. Did we go to dinner first or after the theatre?
Charles:
Well, there is a little mix up here. Before I left [the farm in Warnersville] I had to knock off writing to Anna Hooker –
Elizabeth: Oh yes—
Charles: to tell her I had become engaged--not engaged—well, I don’t know what we were…
Elizabeth:
We were just writing to each other, that was all.
Charles: Well, No…
Elizabeth: Dearie, we got engaged in New York City!
Charles: I know, but how come I told Anna Hooker...?
Elizabeth --[seeing his point ] Oh, yeah-
Charles:… what hold did Thee have on me?
Elizabeth:Nothing, I think that was not me, well, I think it was that Floral..Flora? girl that thee was dating.
Charles: No [emphatically]
Elizabeth: Well, where did she come in?
Charles: No. She had been long gone.
Elizabeth: Oh.
Charles: No, that was Anna Hooker.
And, well she had been writing---the three of us had been writing.
And, I think it was Thee and I had got some kind of understanding.
And, Thee said that Thee didn’t think I should keep on writing to Anna as long as this arrangement existed…
Elizabeth: Oh…
Charles: ..and I agreed and wrote and told her that. And she said it was very fine of me to tell her that.

In fact I think the word she used was “peachy” [emphasis] (Elizabeth chuckles) to tell her that. 
Elizabeth: But I don’t think that was after we were engaged was it?...or was it?
Charles:  well… it was before I left [the farm in Warnersville]
Elizabeth: Well I’m sure we were not engaged till Thee went to Tarry town. I’m sure of that!
Charles:No [agreeing]we got engaged down in New York City.
Elizabeth:

Yeah. Well, we wrote over that winter [1926] and met in New York. Did we go to the Chinese restaurant first? I think we did.
Charles: Yes, we did.
Elizabeth:
Yeah, that’s right. I mean didn’t either of us eat very much. Then we went to the Colonial Theatre, wasn’t that what it was?
Charles: I don’t remember the name of the theater
Elizabeth:
I think so, I remember we saw a movie called The Torrent. And it was written by Ibenz [she spells it out] I-B—E-N –Z . And , ah, the only thing I can remember about it was that were an awful lot of water.
Charles: Hmmm.
Elizabeth: What does Thee remember about the movie?
Charles: That’s all.
Elizabeth: 
And he proposed to me right there and put his fraternity pin on me. And, uh, I guess Thee kissed me. We went to a Chinese Restaurant and we ate a lot better. That’s the way I remember it.
Charles: Yeah. Those days we went to see Indian Love Song.
Elizabeth: Oh yes! that was --- ? Oh.
Charles: “MacDonald”
Elizabeth: What was her first name?
Charles: Jeanette?
Elizabeth:

Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. They sang..a song…
That’s right I think we went to the theatre and restaurant in the afternoon, then you proposed to me.
And we had tickets to that one in the evening [for that show]—and that was a lot more enjoyable and unforgettable.
Charles: That’s right.


Family sends her to California 1926 & Away from Charles
Elizabeth:
That next fall, in November, I couldn’t go back to school because of this tooth trouble. 

I had them out, I had four of them out by that time. They were killed by having them straightened. I wasn’t well enough to go back to college.
So, Ethel Wright wanted to go out to California to live with cousin Gladys Griest.


I don’t know how it evolved ... But she and I would talk about it I said I’d like to go too, so she said, well why don’t you? So that’s how it turned out.


By about the middle of November she and I left from Adams County and we – maybe somebody took me to Harrisburg on the train. 


When we got to Chicago it was a cold blustery wintery day. 
I was going to take a two hour or three hour bus trip out along the shore but the weather was so bad. And then there it was 15 of November! 
So we decided not to try that. So we went to Marshall Fields and spent 3 or four hours there and ate in their beautiful restaurant.
And as I recall it we went to a different station so our trunks had to get to another line. So we got on what they call the Southern Pacific.
And that was a very interesting trip and something I had never forgotten..it went through country.


For one thing on that train trip I had never seen Ohio and Indiana and Illinois and it was so flat I was really disappointed.
I didn’t realize there was an area as flat as that.

Their fields were laid out in squares and along the edge of the field there as an area as long as a ditch irritation ditch.
Our train swung southwest and went across … it stopped at Albuquerque and I was fascinated with Albuquerque, they had the adobe, Indian houses.
And at that time of year, they had strings of red pepper hanging at the door.
And we pulled in to Albuquerque and we had breakfast up at the counter at Harvey’s there and then we walked around and we were there for an hour.
The Indians were crouched along the corners of the adobe houses along the way there and they had turquoise jewelry and beautiful rugs.
Ever since I wished I had bought a rug there—ever since I have craved one and wanted one but one has never come into my hands.

Then we went on to Los Angles and we spent the winter there with …cousin Gladys. She was a widow.
And Ethel Griest –the grandchild of my grandmother’s oldest brother, Hiram Griest- went to work in a stationary store and worked there till she retired [owned by a relative].
They celebrated Hiram’s 90th birthday and they gave him a great big bible ,and I was a little girl, I think I was the youngest one mother took along. Gladys lived with Hiram Griest and never married.


The Griests took me to Catalina and up and down the coast. I had an interesting time.

I stayed there till February I got real homesick.
I did cashiering in Broadway’s department store but after Christmas they kind of laid people off or made it so people would quit.


~Note: Elizabeth had decided to return East in January and was home by February 1927 ~

Wedding and Honeymoon May 27, 1927
Elizabeth:
[while in California] I was having some pressure from Tarrytown [where Charles was living and working at the time] I have to admit, or maybe it was from me.


He [Charles] wanted to come out and get married out there, but my family didn’t want him to do that, but they had accepted the fact we were going to get married.

At that time they were having their own financial problems and couldn’t afford a wedding.

To that extent I guess I was strong willed and I insisted we get married that summer.

We got ready for the wedding.

I made my own wedding dress, veil, cake, cookies.
I made everything, and Mother and the family cleaned the place up we had a lovely lovely wedding

Charles:
I came over from New York.

I had not been rehearsed. But I was told I would know what to do when the time came.
So we all gathered in the living room. I remember the living room had been newly-papered.
We walked to the corner of the room and the family and friends sat all facing us.


After a period of silence, I noticed my father-in-law was looking somewhat distraught.
I realized I should say things at that point: so I said them and Elizabeth said hers.

All I remember about the reception was that people I knew swam into my vision and swam out. [Anna Black ran the reception… ]


We got ready to leave, we left in a top-heavy Buick and it began to rain… someone in the family had lent us a car.

Anna Black had offered us their cabin in Pine Grove, so that’s where we went. After we got a little ways down the road, we had a flat tire.

I hadn’t changed my clothes after the wedding. As I was changing the tire the wedding guests were starting to drive by as I was changing the tire –
Elizabeth: It was drizzling too.
Charles:
Finally one of the friends of the family stopped and gave me a hand. Elizabeth got a little homesick the third day.
We got visited by various brothers.
We’d walked up the road and walk down the road, and see the family.[June & Stanley?]
That was the end of our honeymoon. 

Early Marriage: Tarrytown, then Back to PA
Elizabeth:

So thee worked in Tarrytown for a month after we got married—and did they move the nursery?
Charles: No, it was on Sawmill River Parkway.
Elizabeth:
But the cost of a one-bedroom apartment was frightfully high! So, then Thee watched the magazines again and got a job down at...
Charles:

No, my mother. ..was eager to go back to Pennsylvania and,
Thee was eager to go back-
Elizabeth: OH!
Charles:

--and I saw that Howard [in Tarrytown] was going to open a nursery. Then  my mother wrote and told me that she had opened a drawer and found an old want ad I had cut out a long time before where a Park Valley Nursery
{something] at Evergreen Nursery were advertising for a salesman.
Elizabeth: Probably ornamental and evergreen-
Charles: --they were ornamental--
Elizabeth: Yeah.
Charles:

So I wrote to them and applied for the job [in PA] and they told me to come on over and apply for the job.
And there… I sold my brand new Model T Ford for 50 dollars. Much to my mother’s disgust.
So in the end I took the train back from Pennsylvania [to Tarrytown]
Elizabeth:

And we stayed with my folks for a month, up there in Flora Dale..[changing mind] No. it wasn’t Flora Dale.
Charles: No, we stayed with them...


They had gotten hitched, but what about the coursthip? The answer is in this letter Elizabeth wrote to Charles before she went to California.
She talks about her family & her early years. 
But, the gold mine is their off-again, on-again courtship from her point of view. 
She saved the original and had the foresight to type it up (probably in the 1980s).
I copied Elizabeth's letter that she sent to Charles in Oct 1926. Most of the letter is in the 3rd person.

**You can read the courtship below if you jump ahead to Part C. Part A & Part B are about the Tyson family.**

Dearest Oct 11, 1926 Home
I narrate ---
Part A -[About her paternal grandparents:]
Once upon a time there was man by the name of Edwin Comly Tyson who married Marie Cook. After a time they were blessing with a son, Isaac John. Then again came Charles Julian. After due time Charles Julian married Maria Griest. They moved to Gettysburg, and two months later, came the 3rd of July 1886 [she meant 1863]. They fled to New Oxford [PA].  Marie [his wife, Maria] was not well and Charles wheeled her most of the way in a wheelbarrow. After the battle they returned and Charles continued his photograph business taking pictures of many noteworthy people, among them Lincoln. Soon after this Edwin Comly [Tyson] was born. At this time Charles J. was tending a small garden which he was hugely interested in. He wished to enlarge it, so he moved further out to the outskirts of the town.  Then after about fifteen years, he wished to give up his photographic business, so he sold out to his partner, W.H. Tipton (who is now in business there) Charles J, with Maria and young Edwin came to a place, all wilderness, till they discovered an old home (Mapleton) and bought the place.  They built up all the farm buildings, and the lower house.   Then one day another son was born, Chester Julian. They planted trees and had lots of black servants etc.  The farm was composed of the very smallest part of the present home farm.  They then sent Edwin to West Chester where he met Mary W. Hauxhurst and married her.  She had three sisters, Caroline, Florence and Bertha Charity.   The youngest [sister] being but four years of age.  Things progressed apace.  Chester became much interested in Florence [Hauxhurst].  But became engaged to Bertha when she was 16.  When he had to stop school on account of his eyes, he married Bertha who was then 19.  The family did not wish them to marry so very young, because Chester had nary a cent, nor any prospects, except that he was going blind.
Part B-[About her parents, her siblings &  growing up:]
    But-they succeeded. They lived with the family for a few year, then they were blessed with a son, named Donald Charles, then the house was begun.  The family moved into the new home and a son, named Robert William was born.  They lived happily for a year and a month, then another baby arrived.  They had hoped very much for a girl, and their hopes were realized.
A baby girl, who was exceedingly pretty arrived. She weighed 4 pounds and was the tiniest baby you ever saw. They named her Elizabeth Charity for Chester’s favorite Aunt, and his wife Bertha Charity. She grew and got prettier, as babies do, frequently. At two she was the worry of Don & Bob’s life. She made life miserable for them.
During this year a number of events took place. First in February the barn burned. In May Margaret Janet was born. In July a run away horse came tearing up the road and jumped over Elizabeth, who had her face all bandaged up for tonsillitis. In August the family, except the new baby, were out riding, and the horses ran away, all were thrown out, but none were hurt.
     Then things progressed for a year and a half more, then Frederic was born. Elizabeth had to help care for him. The first one she did. Then Robert acquired the naughty habit of running away.  Elizabeth was a toady. She liked to do just what the boys did. They went down to their Uncle Amos’ corn field, with corn about two feet high, and how that corn did snap when one rolled in it!  And, at last a nice big patch was layed flat.  The boys were severely punished.  Elizabeth was so small that she was not expected to know better.  Then the next July Edwin Phillip was born.  That fall Elizabeth at the age of five started to school.  She played with the rest of the boys so much, that her mother finally kept her home the rest of that year, in despair.  The next year she had appendicitis when school started, thus missing six weeks of school.  Then in March of that year, Stanley was born, a poor weak baby, with terrible stomach trouble.   Mother was not well, and seven year old Elizabeth was very busy, helping take care of the boys. Phil was a terrible mischief [Edwin Phillip].  Stan lived on egg white and water for four months.  We had a trained nurse.  Things went on, apace. 
Elizabeth fell on a piece of coal, and cut a long cut in her knee, which she bravely watched the Doctor put five stitches in.  A few years later, Chester Julian, Jr was born.  By this time Bertha was leaning quite heavily upon her eldest girl, Elizabeth, who was fast learning the business of keeping house, and tending babies, the latter experience of which she will never forget.  A few years later, Ralph Watts was born.  He had eczema terribly on his face, and he was a very fretful baby.  At six months Bertha gave him up as a bad job, and very wearying, and gave him to the custody of Elizabeth, who raised him till he was six years.  Hence the reason why she is so fond of him.  She has had the experience with child that she would wish on no one.   Two years later Paul was born. He was fat and healthy and unnamed till six months of age, expect Dix.  Bertha and Chester began at this stage to take trips away from home for periods at a time, leaving 12 year old Elizabeth here alone with the children.  Two years later she started to George School [Quaker co-ed boarding school, NE of Phlly].  And she had some of the nicest time of her life there.  Two years later Alan Hauxhurst was born, while Elizabeth was at G.S. [George School].  The next years Bertha persuaded 17 year old Elizabeth to stay home and help, because another little one was expected.  She did, going to Biglerville High School for two classes, English and French, in the morning.  Staying at home in the afternoons.  On the 9th of December Norman Eugene was born. Donald and Elizabeth named him.  He was given his name on Christmas day, as a present.  After Xmas, Elizabeth began going to High School all the day.  She finished a junior, at the end of that year, she had never been a sophomore, consequently the next year she had to take extra work to graduate. 
Part C -[Their Meeting and Courtship begin here:]
  At the end of the year, for being such a help and giving up G.S. (George School) because of her mother; she was given a trip to State College, to see Bob and see the college that she was to attend.  

  That was a full weekend. On Saturday night she went on a hike to a picnic supper (F. U.) at the reservoir. Then the next day she went to the meeting at F.U. and Bob came for her, after dinner there. She went along to AGR [Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity house].
   It was raining. He placed his sister on the bend at the foot of the stairs, as each D.B. arrived on the scene, he introduced her. There are but three who are now remembered, Bart Oliver, Charles Tilton, and Bob McColmont, who was already known. 

She thought Charles Tilton was wonderful, but then she could not expect a Junior in college to be interested in a big gawky youngster like she, but he was wonderful.  I supposed he made enough of an impression to be remembered.  He payed some attention to her.  That night she stayed till nine o’clock and then Bob took her home.  On the way in town they passed a window, within which was seated Charles T. Bob called him out and he talked to them.  Again making a more lasting impression.
    That summer Elizabeth spent at the seashore working. This is not so very important, altho interesting.
    The next fall she entered Penn State, a co-ed.  Things went on apace.  She hoped that that nice Tilton fellow would pay some attention to her, but he never did.  So, after a while she became interested in men of this, that and the other house [fraternity house; Charles was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho], and her interest in Charles T. was forgotten, as tho it had never existed.  Then along came November Houseparty. Elizabeth was not asked. Of course she was not such a hot dancer, but then, and right then she began to realize what it was that the college men liked.  

So, she undertook to develop it.  It attracted Charles T but he didn’t have IT himself, so he was an interesting pastime for Elizabeth, but he was not the type she was after.  Nevertheless, she was interested in him, and many an enjoyable time did she have with him.  But, he was being his own dear self, while Elizabeth was TRYING to assume the Collegiate superficiality.
There are several events during that year that she will never forget, a certain eve in May! That night she never slept a wink, because there was pinned on her pajamas, a pin. The next day she returned it, because she was trying to measure Charles by the standards of some of her flighty co-ed sisters, and he was just not a fourflusher. So he lost that night.
Then soon after came finals and commencement.  When finals were over, and seven notebooks handed in and a dress finished she was to go to Houseparty.  The weather was hot, and four of the girls had to sleep in two beds, up under the eaves.  And that houseparty on the whole was misery.  The next to the last day, her family were going home, and they wanted her too, so she did.  She was all done up.  She also was suffering with tooth trouble.  She was so tired she was ill for several weeks afterward.  She wrote to Charles , but he was peeved, and never wrote, for a long , long  time, which hurt.  She of course did not realize that Charles was hurt too, because she left early.  She is not sorry for that.  But neither understood.
    The next year she was living with a fast crowd who were not used to REAL men. Lively dally men who were terrible (altho Elizabeth did not think so at the time)  They attracted her some, but not much.  She fell desperately in love with Bill Mellor of FU a Freshman, about the end of this affair Charles came up, to see Elizabeth.  

She treated him terribly, because of the mental condition and because of Bill Mellor.  But the next weekend she gave Bill the gate.  There were none who suited her after that.  She corresponded occasionally with Charles, only because he wrote to her.
    The next summer she went to L.P.C. she spent one night in Phila. where she had a ? lovely? , time letting a man kiss her.    

  The next day she spent with Charles T and he took her to a wonderful show, Rose Marie, that she will never forget.  The rest of the summer she wrote to him occasionally, when she thought about it, only because she hates to owe a letter.  On the way home she would not call or write to him, because of the lack of interest.  
  Then after she got home she had an “affair de coeur” with Herb Fisher of AZ which was soon over.  Then again she was off men.  Then she had an operation on her teeth and the winter progressed.  She began to really answer Charles’ letters for some[thing] to do.  And they became more and more interesting. At Christmastime he sent her a lovely little plaque, which she treasures.
    Then he expressed desires to see her.  So they met at Harrisburg, she deciding to be her very {nicest}  He apparently doing likewise.  And they had a wonderful time.  She was just a little mean then.  But, has never been since.  

  Then a few weeks later, there came a dream (early-morning dream) and then a wonderful trip to N.Y.  that she will never forget one detail of.  And---they were to be man and wife.  And from that day to this she has lived a life of pleasure in loving Charles, and in discovering what love is, and what a really wonderful man he is.  
   She is the most fortunate girl living, and she realizes it. Such character, build, appearance, temperament, soul, understanding, love and heart are not commonly found in one man.  Dearest—thee is {the} perfect ideal of my life.  I live but for thee, and I shall marry thee, if thee will marry me. Our day is before us.
    What, I really did start out to say was, “Happy Birthday!”   I wish I could be with thee on the 10th. But I shall next year.  Thee see!   I was thinking about thee all day. I hope dearest that thee is as happy  in love as thy wife is.  I am joyously happy, and have been every single day since March 5th.
    I sent thee a box of Marg’s [her sister, Margaret] candy.  I am afraid it is not very good.  She made if for Phil to give to his girl, on her birthday and there was some left over.
    I have given thee [another present?] I believe thee & mother will enjoy.
    I am so very thankful dearest for having  thee, thee can never realize how I do feel, altho I think thee now comes pretty near to understanding.
    There was something that happened that last day to thee, while we were there together, coupled with something that thee had told me, that gave me that same feeling of reverence toward thee, that thee says thee feels towards me. 

It is a new feeling I never experienced before.
    Dearest, I love thee, and I hope thee has a very happy birthday.
    from thy wife who loves thee and the ground thee walks on, says goodnight with happy tears in her eyes.
    ~Elizabeth

[END OF LETTER]
Elizabeth Tyson at home; end of high school

 
Charles as an Alpha Gamma Rho pledge.

Penn State friend & Elizabeth.
Elizabeth's letter to Charles Oct 1926
Same letter, typed by Elizabeth
Charles in Tarrytown, NY bef wedding
Wedding at home May 1927
Brothers posing with newlyweds, May 1927
Honeymoon Cabin May 1927
Tyson brothers stop by honeymooners May 1927
Wedding announcement, from Bertha's clippings

Saturday, October 25, 2014

52 Ancestors-Post #42 - Jacob Brinker, Butler Innkeeper, Sheriff, Councilman, Colonel

Occupations:  Innkeeper, Sheriff, Borough Councilman, Colonel

Jacob Brinker, Abraham Brinker’s son, lived at an exciting time in Butler. He came of age during the war of 1812 and died before the Civil War. It was exciting because that region of Pennsylvania he had a lent a hand in establishing the settlement so that would not only provide food and shelter to the families but also furthered their protection and nurturing. In this period and location, it seemed every able and willing person was involved in doing something of this sort. The American character was forming, Noah Webster was writing his dictionary of American English and Francis Scott Key had just penned the poem that eventually became the national anthem.

Butler County felt threatened when, in the 1820s, Joseph Smith of Illinois a boarder of the Hale family in Harmony, Butler County. He was the founder of a new religion decided to take the daughter of the family, Emma, as his (first) wife.  Shortly thereafter, Joseph Smith claimed to have found the Book of Mormon in upstate New York. A history book from the 1800s claims that Butler County residents were worried about Joseph Smith's religion, thought his ideas of polygamy in their county were too much to bear, and they said they had a “Mormon Problem.”

What did Jacob Brinker Look Like?
I have no photos of Jacob Brinker, but (unusually) I do have a description of Jacob:

“He inherited the patriotic spirit of his father, and took a deep interest in military affairs, but was unlike him in personal appearance, being a large, stout man.” Hmmm.. he must have been large if the history book remarks on his appearance.

Birth and Early Venture
Jacob was born in January of 1796. His parents were Abraham and Lousia (Moser) (Post #41).  His mother’s family, the Mosers, are mentioned as an early pioneering family of NW Pennsylvania, as are the families of Jacob’s wives (the Riddles and the Grahams).

Jacob’s father Abraham had opened the first “public house” or tavern in Butler. But it must not have suited him for he sold it within a few years and bought land outside of Butler to farm.
Jacob, however, was quite different from his father. Early in his youth he was an innkeeper, in the so-called Brinker’s Hotel, and was the  owner/innkeep for many years.

First Marriage
He married Matilda Riddle on March 28, 1822 when she was 20 years old, and he was 26 in Muddy Creek Twp, Butler County. 

Sheriff
As far as I can tell, beginning about 1826 and for many years thereafter, Jacob ran for and was elected the Sheriff (as well as working as an innkeeper).
Jacob Brinker Runs for Sheriffalty Jan 1827

Jacob Runs for Sheriffalty
Death of Matilda
In March 1827,  his wife Matilda died after a “long and protracted illness.” She was only 25 years old. 
The text of the newspaper says the turnout for the funeral was “possibly the largest yet.”  I don’t believe there were any children from this marriage.

Obit of Matilda Riddle Brinker 1827 Butler Sentinel

Remarriage
Within a few months after Matilda's death, in October of 1827, Jacob remarried. His second wife was younger than he. Sarah Anna Graham was 18 or 19 years old (based on her obituary record).  Jacob would have been 31 when he married Sarah Ann(a) in Butler.
Announcement of Marriage to Sarah A Graham. Butler Sentinel
Family
Jacob and Sarah Ann had 7 children. In order they were: William, Sarah J, Alfred, Addison, Margaret, HP (Henry P), and Isabell (Bella). Here they are in the 1850 census:


Borough Councilman - 1826, '27,'29, '39 and 1840
1826 1827 1829 1839 1840  Borough Councilman  Butler, PA
~BURGESSES AND COUNCILMEN~
"...he records of the borough council from 1817 show[s] the trials and struggles of the local lawmakers. The list …is as follows:" [removed the names of those serving with him]
1826—Council, Jacob Brinker
1827—Council, Jacob Brinker
1829—Council, Jacob Brinker
1839—Council, Jacob Brinker
1840—Council, Jacob Brinker

Colonel Jacob Brinker
The Butler County history records show that Jacob was also a Colonel in the local militia. The militias at the time were still local.
The account given in the  History1895 of the early militia sounds like it was a rollicking good time.  A bit like a Rod and Gun Club or perhaps more like a local Volunteer Fire Department, as they were necessary. When not in the business of drilling, they enjoyed socializing together.

"The appointments of officers for the Twenty-Fourth regiment, First brigade, Sixteenth division, Pennsylvania Militia, were made March 20, 1829, by Jacob Brinker, colonel of the command.
The staff comprised James Thompson, adjutant; J. L. Maxwell, quartermaster; John N. Purviance, seargeant-major; George Linn, surgeon; A. Spear and James Graham, assistant surgeons. The ten captains commissioned were Alexander McBride, Jacob Doudhiser, Thomas Dodds, Johnson White, Samuel Dodds, George Frazier, of the First Battalion; and Alexander Craig, John Weir, Thomas Jolly, J. B. McConnell and George Wolf, of the Second Battalion. The first and second lieutenants for the same companies were commissioned at that time [& etc]... "

School Trustee & Butler Schools
Every civilization needs a school.
The Butler Academy was set up in 1811, and  Jacob as served as one of the Trustees for the school, the first time in 1833 (but not the only time).
Jacob Brinker, Trustee of Butler Academy

As an aside, the Butler Academy consolidated with the Presbyterian school, the Witherspoon Academy, right after the Civil War in 1866.
Not co-incidentally, when Jacob’s son-in-law, PS Bancroft (Post #4 ) returned to Butler and married Jacob’s daughter, Bancroft needed money in the Panic of the post-Civil War period.
He conceived the idea of reviving the Witherspoon /Butler Academy, but running it as non-sectarian school, and renamed it the Witherspoon Institute.

The Samuel Mohawk Murders
Jacob was still running the Brinkers Hotel in the 1840. The census records him living in Butler at age 44.
A  few years later, now about 47, he was involved in the Samuel Mohawk incident, as the keeper of Brinkers Hotel (later the Willard Hotel, then the Pennsylvania House). Here is the telling of the story of the Samuel Mohawk murders by a historian who gave a presentation on the event based on his book:

"An Indian called Samuel Mohawk murdered the Wigton family 171 years ago in the Slippery Rock, [PA] area…"Something went wrong on one of his trips," Brad Pflugh said of how Mohawk ended up in the area, eventually killing the wife and five children of James Wigton. Pflugh [is] ..a board member of the Butler County Historical Society, head of the history department at Knoch High School, Butler County Community College professor and [is] author of the book "Rage, Murder and Execution! The Story of Sam Mohawk and the Wigton Family Massacre." …
Mohawk, a Seneca Indian was born Dec. 25, 1807, on a reservation in Cattaraugus County, N.Y.
…Native Americans like Mohawk would ride the Allegheny River on rafts, transporting logs, and stop in Butler, where they would take a stagecoach that passed through the area.
In late June 1843, Mohawk was spotted in Butler at least once, and he was known to have "problems with women," Pflugh said, adding he would make nasty comments and had been fighting with his wife when he left home.
He also had a severe alcohol problem that led to violent outbursts. Court documents detailing Mohawk's arrest show his path south at that time, starting in New York and ending up in Butler on June 29, [1843] when he was suffering serious alcohol withdrawal. Earlier that day, 11-year-old Catherine Herrit-Protzman said she had been jumped by Mohawk while walking alone and he tried to pull his knife on her; she was able to escape unharmed.

Jacob Brinker, owner of the Willard House hotel and tavern, had heard about Mohawk and took him in to calm him down, with the help of his daughter, and it's reported they bled him out. "He was just going crazy," Pflugh said.
On the morning of June 30, Jacob Brinker and William Beatty paid a stagecoach to take Mohawk away and it made stops in Prospect, Unionville, and at the Old Stone House, rented by John Sill, who ran it as a tavern and stagecoach stop at that time.
"The stagecoach took off and Sam Mohawk was not there," Pflugh said of how Mohawk stayed behind.
He had gone up the road to the home of Jesse and Margaret Kiester, an important family that had just turned part of their residence into a tavern known as the Kiester House; Mrs. Kiester was the only one home. "She is very lucky she was not killed that day," Pflugh said.
She offered Mohawk some milk, which he drank. He then fell asleep in the tavern and left after waking, returning that evening to the Old Stone House, where he fought with Sill because he refused to serve him alcohol.
Old Stone House, mentioned in this story
After the disturbance, Mohawk spent the night outside, sleeping not far from the Old Stone House, and on July 1, he headed in the direction of the nearby Wigton home, where Margaret, 29, was alone with her children: Elmira, 7; Jeninah Nancy, 6; Perry, 4; Amanda, 2; and John Wallace, about 8 months old.
James Wigton had left that morning...  Mrs. Wigton was cutting meat in an out-building and it's believed that Mohawk saw a light on, leading him to the property and some kind of argument. "She put up a fight," Pflugh said of Mrs. Wigton, who managed to cut Mohawk on the head with her knife.
He hit her with a rock, thinking he killed her, and went into the home, but she followed him and attacked him again.  Mohawk then proceeded to kill Mrs. Wigton, her four daughters, and the infant boy with blows to their heads with rocks. However, there were and still are some people who believe James Wigton murdered his family and framed the drunken Mohawk.
"And yet Mohawk admitted it," Pflugh said, adding that Mohawk also said he decided to kill the baby because if he lived, he would grow up to hate and kill Native Americans because one murdered his family.
As Wigton neared home that day, he was intercepted by Jesse Kiester, who by then discovered what became of the rest of the family; he urged Wigton to remain outside.  A crowd started to gather and the manhunt for Mohawk was on. Mills, mines and schools closed as news spread of what happened to the Wigton family. Mohawk fled to the nearby Kennedy family farm, where he hit one of the young boys in the head with a rock. …He was off and running again and ended up at the Philip Kiester farm, where he went into the home and began rooting around, not knowing that an angry mob was forming outside; some stories claim up to 100 people had gathered.  Kiester knew Mohawk was in his upstairs bedroom because he heard him playing his fiddle, but thankfully Mohawk didn't find the loaded pistols he kept in a drawer.
Mrs. Wigton's brother, Charles McQuiston, was in the crowd and several men took turns trying to lure Mohawk out of the home, throwing rocks at each other until they managed to knock Mohawk unconscious and drag him down the stairs and outside.
James Wigton showed up then and some folks wanted to bury Mohawk immediately, but he was soon escorted in a wagon to the Butler jail; the men on the walk were paid to do so.
[And, from The Old Home Week Book: Made Up of Sketches of History, Biography, Tradition and Reminiscences Pertaining to Prospect, Butler County, Pa, by Andrew White McCulloch and David Luther Roth, 1912, comes this addition:]
The Rev. Mr. Bassler, pastor of the Lutheran church in Prospect, who had opened a mission in Butler, visited the [Mohawk, the] Indian in jail and brought him to a sense of his sin.
The first evidence that he showed that his act was criminal was when he exclaimed, "Me break law. Me break law.
After satisfying himself and the Church Council that Mohawk was penitent and a believer in the merits of Jesus, Mr. Bassler baptized him. (End of section)
Continuing with the historian:
"The trial was held in December 1843 and Mohawk's attorney pleaded insanity, but he was indicted on six counts of murder. The governor agreed with the judge's ruling that he should be hanged - Butler County's first hanging.
On March 22, 1844, Mohawk confessed to the murders and converted to Christianity, and was then hung in the jailyard with about 20 witnesses including Wigton; about 100 people stood on the other side of the jailyard wall, unable to see what was going on. The Wigtons are buried at Muddy Creek Cemetery, Clay Township… "
[Cited here are portions of an article from Allied News.com of Grove City PA, dated Oct 19, 2014, the brief section added was from the book cited on Prospect PA)
Birth of His Last Child: Bella Brinker
In 1846 when he is 50 years old, youngest child, Isabell (Bella) Brinker, my great, great grandmother was born. Bella was the wife of Peter Sanford Bancroft (PS Bancroft of Post #4)
Bella Brinker, youngest child of Jacob & Sarah A Brinker
Jacob died when Bella was 7 years old, on July 4, 1853. He was 57 years old and still lived in Butler, Pennsylvania. His father, Abraham had died only 3 years before this, but his lived until 1865.

Jacob’s Wife, Sarah Ann Graham
His wife, Sarah Ann Graham was born about 1808 Pennsylvania, and died on 29 Jul 1889 in Butler, Pennsylvania. Here is a photograph of her late in life. She died in her daughter’s home in Butler.
Sarah Ann[a] Graham [Brinker]
Jacob’s widow had lived for more than 30 years after her husband, outliving her daughter Bella who died in 1874.
The Butler Public Library had this on record, which I recorded:
Butler Area Public Library
Obituary Index .
Obit Record .
Name: BRINKER, Sarah A 
Title: 
Extension: 
Nickname: 
 
Age: 79 Years 
DOB: 
 
Locality: Butler 
Relation Info: BRINKER, Jacob  w/o 
 Newspaper: Butler Citizen 
Date/Page: 26 Jul 1889 p3 
Film #: 
Comments:

------------------------------------------
How I am related to Jacob Brinker & Sarah A Graham:


Research in:
Butler Area Public Library: microfilm copies of Butler newspapers

And Sources:
History of Butler County Pennsylvania, R. C. Brown Co., Publishers, 1895
Allied News.com of Grove City PA, dated Oct 19, 2014
The Old Home Week Book: Made Up of Sketches of History, Biography, Tradition and Reminiscences Pertaining to Prospect, Butler County, Pa,
by Andrew White McCulloch and David Luther Roth, 1912

Source of photographs:
Family photographs.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

53 Ancestors-Post #41-Abraham Brinker (Louisa Moser) Pioneer of Butler County PA 1774-1850

Abraham Brinker of Butler Co, “Pioneer”
My grandfather (Charles Tilton) said once he'd gone to college "far from Butler" intentionally.  He made some reference to being too much a part of Butler. I looked closely at his ancestors who were born or had settled in Butler County, had to agree that his roots were very deep in Butler County.
The yellow boxes in the tree below indicate Butler people.
 
My grandfather's great-great grandfather, Abraham Brinker was born in 1774 in Easton, Northampton County (Bethlehem, Nazareth (partly in Lehigh County) PA and was the son Jacob Brinker and Susannah Hinkel (of Post #40) .
The Brinker family had moved to western PA to Franklin Twp, Westmoreland County (Denmark Manor,  SE of Pittsburgh).  In 1
800 Abraham was 26 years old.
 
Researching this early "pioneer of Butler," I found probably too much (can it be?) on Abraham Butler. My earliest search rendered an old history of Butler from 1883 (but the 1895 history of Butler is more thorough).
The (better) 1895 History of Butler County contains this  biographical sketch of Abraham Brinker:
CAPT. ABRAHAM BRINKER was one of the pioneer tavern keepers of Butler, where he erected a log building on the site of the Citizen office in 1804. He was a native of Northampton county, Pennsylvania, whence he removed to Westmoreland county, and later to Butler. He carried on the Mansion House until 1809, and then sold out to Jacob Mechling, who conducted this well remembered hostelry for many years.                           After disposing of his tavern, Captain BRINKER purchased a tract of land on Bonny Brook, in what is now Summit township, and erected the old stone mill yet standing, about three miles northeast of Butler, at the mouth of Brinker's run, named in his honor. Here he operated a grist mill, a carding mill and a distillery, in connection with a large farm.                                                                                                                                              He was one of the prominent men of pioneer days, and a man of considerable enterprise and public spirit. He commanded a company under Col. John PURVIANCE at Erie in the War of 1812, composed of the hardy sons of Butler county.                                      He served as county commissioner two terms, was also a justice of the peace, and filled several of the local offices during his residence on Bonny Brook. Captain BRINKER married Louisa MOSER.
1804
At the age of 30 in 1804, he'd moved to the newly formed town of Butler, and he built a log house south of the site of the court house, in which he kept tavern called The Mansion House for a number of years.

1804-1809 - Buying Lots in Butler &  The Mansion House (Public House) in Butler

The first sale (auction) of lots in what was to become the new town of Butler, Pennsylvania was held on Aug. 10-13, 1803. Abraham Brinker bought:.
Lot #13 for  $126.00.
Lot #14 for      90.00.
Lot #95 for      10.50.
 
The second auction was held Aug. 14-16, 1804.
Abraham Brinker bought:
Lot #3 for $43.00.
 
Abraham and others also paid $20.00 each for Lots #150 & 151 to be use for a cemetery.
(However Abraham and others are in the Brinker Cemetery on Bonnie Brook Rd. off Hwy 422
in Butler Co., PA.).
Abraham build the fourth cabin in the new town of Butler.


Brinker nabs 1st sale of land lots in Butler town 1803



Abraham Brinker builds 4th log cabin in Butler 1804
Brinker nabs 2nd sale of land lots in Butler in 1804
 
The Mansion House  - Public House

“The Mansion House, which was erected by Abraham BRINKER soon after the town was laid out.
It was a log building, stood on the side of the Citizen and Record offices, and was a noted landmark for many years. He was granted his first license in 1805.

 
Mr. BRINKER kept the Mansion House until 1809, then sold it to Jacob Mechling, and removed to a farm on Bonny Brook, where he erected a grist-mill and carding-mill. “
 
 As mentioned above, Abraham sold The Mansion House in 1809 to Jacob Mechling.  Abraham was  35 years old when he did this, he moved out of town a bit.

Brinker’s Mills & Bonny Brook
Lands:
Thomas Smith came in 1796 to the township, and in 1813 Abraham Brinker purchased Smith's 200 acres. Abraham Brinker moved to the Bonny Brook area of Summit Township in 1813.
 
Mills and Farm
Abraham was "an extremely industrial man and within a year built a built a carding mill, saw mill and distillery, and in 1814 erected a stone grist mill. He kept a large farm."
He was described as “one of the most prominent and enterprising men of his time.” 
 
Brinker's Mills = Bonny Brook
A few years after Brinker moved from Butler into Summit Township a post office was established and at some point Bonny Brook post office became known as Brinker's Mills. "The name of this small community went back and forth an untold number of times."
 
Erects a School
The children of the pioneers of Summit township attended, in 1813, at a log school-house near Brinker’s mill. Then eventually the school had a frame building which Brinker, the Gilliands and Martins erected, about 1818.
 
War of 1812
 (from The History of Butler County:)
"At the City of Erie, a peninsula, over six miles in length, arches out into the water of Lake Erie forming an expansive natural harbor.

French explorers recognized the intrinsic value of the harbor and in 1753 constructed Fort Presque Isle on the mainland near the harbor entrance. The name Presque Isle means “almost an island” in French and referred to the nearby peninsula.

Fort Presque Isle and its portage was became a vital link between the French fur trade network in the Great Lakes and its colony on the Gulf Coast.

Control of the Presque Isle region was wrested from the French in 1760 during the French and Indian War, and following the Revolution, the area was incorporated into the State of Pennsylvania in 1792.
During the War of 1812, the harbor at Presque Isle was used to construct six warships, including the Brig Niagara, which played a role in Admiral Perry’s convincing victory over the British in the historic Battle of Lake Erie.

The first lighthouse at Erie, and indeed the first American lighthouse on the Great Lakes, was constructed on a mainland bluff in 1818, not far from the site of Fort Presque Isle.
 
On July 19, 1818, the appearance of the British fleet off Presque Isle, evinced a determination on the part of the enemy to not only compass the destruction of the half-finished American fleet, but to invade the State itself.
Commodore Perry, appreciating the gravity of the situation and the necessity for prompt resistance, sent a courier to General Mead, of Meadville, asking for reinforcements.
The next day, General Mead sent the following circular into every settlement within the Sixteenth Militia district:
CITIZENS TO ARMS
    Your State is invaded. The enemy has arrived at Erie, threatening to destroy our navy and the town. His course, hitherto marked with rapine and fire wherever he touched our shore, must be arrested. The cries of infants and women, of the aged and infirm, the devoted victims of the enemy and his savage allies, call on you for defense and protection.
Your home, your property, your all, require you to march immediately to the course of action. Arms and ammunition will be furnished to those who have none, at the place of rendezvous near to Erie, and every exertion will be made for your subsistence and accommodations. Your service to be useful must be rendered immediately. The delay of an hour may be fatal to your country, in securing the enemy in his plunder and favoring his escape
.
~~David Mead, Maj. Gen. 19th D. P. M.
The response was prompt. Butler County furnishing her full quota of men, and contributing to the notable naval victory that followed. In appreciation of the valuable services thus rendered.
Commodore Perry sent the following letter to General MEAD:
 
U. S. SLOOP OF WAR LAWRENCE
OFF ERIE August 7, 1813
    Sir:- I beg leave to express to you the great obligation I consider myself under for the ready, prompt, and efficient service rendered by the militia under your command, in assisting us in getting the squadron over the bar at the mouth of the harbor, and request you will accept, Sir, the assurances that I shall always recollect with pleasure the alacrity with which you repaired, with your division, to the defense of public property at this place, on the prospect of an invasion. With great respect, I am, Sir,
           Your obedient servant,                       
O.H. PERRY.
Maj. Gen. David MEAD,     Pennsylvania Militia, Erie

The 38 year old Abraham Brinker served as a Captain, commanding a company under Col. John Purviance at Erie in the War of 1812.
Brinker's Company, War of 1812
“Captain Brinker ...was noted for his polite manners and accommodating disposition.”
 
Public Offices
 
Abraham Brinker was one of the most prominent citizens of his time; served as Justice of the Peace and as County Commissioner.
 
Abraham Brinker, County Commissioner 1817 for the Newly Incorporated town of Butler, PA
“THE TOWN INCORPORATED
Almost a decade and a half elapsed before inhabitants began to think of taking a step forward by aspiring to a corporate government….Butler was incorporated as a borough by an act entitled "An act to erect the town of Milton, in the county of Northumberland, and the town of Butler, in the county of Butler, into boroughs,"… passed February 26 [1817] of the same month.
The charter was issued May 2, 1817, by Governor Snyder….
Thus was the borough brought into corporate existence…. The first vote recorded by the borough of Butler for State and county officers was that of October14, 1817.
LISTS OFFICES, CANDIDATES AND RESULTS, including:
Francis Fryer twelve, Abraham BRINKER fourteen, David Dougal eight, and Moses Hanlen three, for county commissioners;”

 Abraham Brinker had already served once before as County Commissioner in 1806.
 
Abraham Brinker, Butler County Commissioner, twice (1806, 1818)
Abraham Brinker, Justice of the Peace
As a Justice of the Peace, Abraham settled differences, per this example:

Amicable action and on hearing the parties Judgment in favor of Plff's for seventeen dollars and eighteen cents--
   Credit as per Clark MCPHERRINS Recd for $6--Feb 12--1830.
   Feb 12th 1830 Sci Fa issued to James GLENN, 28th Aug 1830 to appear 3d Sept 1830--Then continued to the 27th inst--Def't met as summoned. James MCCURDY sworn on part of Plff, and after hearing the proofs I continued this case to the 11th day of Dec next under my own Judgment.
   Dec 11th 1830 Judgt in favor of Deft James MARTIN for forty-two cents.
   Dec 3d 1830 the Pl'ff appeals to the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County.
   I certify the foregoing to be a true transcript of a Judgment rendered by me from which the plaintiffs have appealed.
   Witness my hand and seal this 29th Dec 1830.
                                             ABM BRINKER [Seal].
It is deemed of sufficient interest to let it be seen how important (?) much of the litigation is upon which professional men are required to spend the knowledge they have acquired at a cost of time, money and mental exertion. Here was a case originating in a small indebtedness of $11. The defendant alleged he had paid it in the lifetime of the original creditor. The executors refused to believe this, and had a Sci Fa issued to revive this judgment. After a lengthy deliberation, the Squire gives judgment for defendant for 42 cents. From this the plaintiffs appeal; it is finally referred to arbitrators, and they, after giving it their best attention, render an award for defendant for 77 cents.

One history wrote of him:
"He was public-­spirited and generous, encouraged and supported schools and his influence was exerted for the good of the community and individual people.
 
He had sound judgment. Very often when any dispute arose among his neighbors they would say, "Let us leave the matter to Squire Brinker."
Many problems were settled quietly and to the satisfaction of all interested parties without the law in this manner.

There being no public houses near, his house and Squire McCurdy's, often gave entertainment to travelers on the pike.
Squire McCurdy was a religious man and his home was often visited by ministers, who came to preach at the schoolhouse.
As his house stood on one side of the creek and Mr. Brinker's on the other, it became a common saying among the settlers that Bonny Brook had the law on one side and the Gospel on the other."
 
Death and Burial:
Abraham predeceased his wife, dying at his home in Summit Township in 1850 and was buried in Bonny Brook cemetery.
Abraham Brinker's headstone

Abraham Brinker Bonny Brook Cemetery
His widow Louisa lived some years after him, and died in Butler at one of her daughter's homes.
Children of Abraham and Louisa Moser:
Note:~Alternative names and variant spellings are designated by / mark
~Jacob was also called John
~ Female married names are in brackets [ ]
Speculative :A) Abraham Jr’s birthdate
B) Maria is speculative (could be an iteration of Mary)
Note:
Henry appears in most histories without a birthdate.
All children were born in Summit Twp, Butler Co., PA
1. Jacob (AKA "John") (Col.) 1796-1853  
2. Abraham T  (a junior)
3. Catherine /Catharine Brinker [McCandless] B 1797-?
3. Mary / Polly  Magdalena   [Henry]  1799–1842
4. Susannah /Susan Brinker [Henry]  1800 -1895
5. ? uncertain Maria (possibly Mary) 1801 –
6. Elizabeth / Eliza / Elisa [Prosser] 1808 -1887
6.  Louisa  [McLaughlin, McGlaughlin]  21 JUN 1810– 1855
7. Sarah  [Zeigler] 1812– 1881
8. Margaret  1817 – 1822
9. Henry  1818 or 1819 -?
10. Amy M.  [Ritchie]  1820– 1857
A Free-bie
The 1895 History of Butler includes a biographical sketch with a mention of my great-grandmother (Flora G Bancroft), and a bio sketch of her father (Prof PS Bancroft, Post #4 ), and her mother Bella Brinker, her grandfather (Col. Jacob Brinker) and her great-grandfather (Abraham Brinker, Bella Brinkers' grandfather).
 
Bella Brinker [Bancroft], granddaughter of Abraham Brinker
 Sources:
Ancestry.com
History of Butler County Pennsylvania - 1883
History of Butler Co. Published by R. C. Brown Co., Publishers, 1895
Catherine Fox Snyder in Butler Freeport Community Trail Newsletter, Saxonburg PA 16056           Taped memoirs of Charles Bancroft Tilton

Post-script:
Abraham's Wife's name: Louisa or Eliza Moser?

The Mosers were one of the first settlers of the area. I believe the confusion with Lousia/Eliza Brinkers stemmed from the 1883 History, and was correct in the 1895 History. However, that there were so many Brinkers, and that Louisa Brinker and Abraham had a daughter Eliza, and a daughter Louisa does add to the confusion. 
I am 99.9% certain Abraham's wife was Lousia Moser, not Eliza.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

52 Ancestors-Post #40-Jacob Brinker & Susannah Hinkel from Switzerland to Western Pennsylvania

Jacob Brinker was born in 1727 in Switzerland and arrived in Philadelphia in 1735 with his parents at the age of 8.  I was working on a perplexing problem: why did they come? Why did these German-speakers take passage to Philadelphia.
Many researchers have assumed they were Mennonite or Moravian (as I did).
Once I looked at their life in the New World, I realized they either strayed far from that immediately or they weren't either of them.
There were so many religious groups finding freedom from religious persecution in Europe and many gravitated to Pennsylvania. It can be difficult to distinguish one group from another, but at that time, it would have been a good deal easier.
It Can Be Important to Get your Ancestor's Religious Affiliation Right
A family researcher wrote that a common ancestor of mine must have been a Mennonites and not a Quaker. But his "proof" was singular and it was inaccurate: he said, their religious affiliation had preachers in the 1700s, and "Quakers didn't have preachers." That's not true, the Quakers did have preachers prior to the Orthodox/Hicksite split in the early 1800s.
Confused?
There is a good reason why we get Mennonites, Amish, Shakers and Quakers confused.
In the early part of their history (not so much now), they all had two areas of PRACTICE (that which everyone saw, not theology) which overlapped: 1) pacifists 2) simplicity.

Areas which used to overlap
However, in theology, in religious belief, these groups were very different.
There were those "Anabaptists" (a broad term) which included some Protestant groups, many of which came from Continental Europe. Some examples of Anabaptists are Moravians, United Brethren, Hutterites, etc.
Amongst the Anabaptist groups which immigrated to Pennsylvania two were Mennonite and Amish.
How are those two related? See chart:
How the Mennonite & Amish were related

Two unique religious groups originated in England and not the Continent. They immigrated to New England, New York, PA and New Jersey (largely), and were related in similar way. These were not Anabaptists. They are the Society of Friends (called Quakers) and the Shakers.
How are those two related? See chart:

How the Quakers & Shakers were related.
But, how different is a Quaker from a Shaker?  Quite!
This chart shows the practices unique to Shakers, which the Quakers (Friends) have never shared.

Unique to the Shakers
To sum it all up, I made a handy-dandy "rough" guide. Though it's not comprehensive, the spaces with green indicates areas of differences, while the yellow spaces show general areas of similarities.
The Shakers & Amish are at the bottom, as they were derived from the group above it.


How did Andreas Brinker (Post #39) and his family fit in? As I searched I found no Lutheran or Moravian Church records, for him nor his son, Jacob Brinker (till much later). 
As a German-speaking Swiss, I figured Andreas was  a Moravian or possibly Mennonite. (Already knowing he was not Quaker). But I found nothing till I stumbled on the "Middle Way" or Schwenkfelder Protestants who had been forced out of their areas and finally from the protection of Zinzendorf (who had also helped Mennonites).
The Mennonites were quite helpful to the getting ocean passage for the Schwenkfelders  which may be why researchers thought Brinkers were Mennonites. And then I found Andreas Brinker on the Brigantine Mary with other fleeing Schwenkfelders. Had Andreas (and Jacob's) life in the colony been with Mennonites or taken a different route, I might not be so convinced he likely was a Schwenkfelder.


Ship List with Schwenkfelders 1735 & Andreas Brinker
What lead me away from the Mennonite theory and closer to the Schwenkfelder camp? To begin with, Schewenkfelders weren't required to be pacifists (a matter of conscience).
And, I noted that Jacob Brinker, who was 8 when he arrived, was on the Rev list as a patriot, and subsequent sons and grandsons all participated in a war.

Then for a time I was learning towards Jacob being a Moravian, since he lived not far from Bethlehem/Nazareth, communal home of Moravians. But Jacob Brinker moved too often and lived outside of the Moravian community. 


Also, once in Pennsylvania, Schwenkfelders are found marrying German-speaking Lutherans or other "Reformed" groups, and subsequently, participating in those churches.
Jacob's wife Susannah Hinkle (Henkel) may have been German. I know nothing about her parents. But, I do know that late in life Jacob and Susanah Brinker were attending a Lutheran/Reformed church.
 

Life of Jacob Brinker, Son of Andreas
Jacob was 8 when he and his family arrived in Philadelphia (from Switzerland, via Rotterdam) in 1735.
He married his wife, Susannah Hinkle (or Henkel/Henckel), possibly a German woman in 1755 in Lower Saucon Township. For a time he lived on a portion of his father’s farm in Lower Saucon Township.
But by 1759, Jacob and Susannah had moved away from Lower Saucon Twp in Northampton County to Upper Saucon Township  (which is now Lehigh County).


His father's will, dated Mar. 12, 1764, shows Jacob was in debt to Andreas for 10 pounds, which was forgiven at the time of his death (was this the balance on a ten year loan?).
 

A Jacob Brinker obtained a land warrant on November 20, 1766 for 150 acres in the northern part of Northampton County, now Hamilton Township, in Monroe County.

But then Jacob appears in a colonial assessment of 1772 in which he is assessed as a “miller” in Hamilton Twp.
Is this Really Jacob “Brinkers Mill?”

Brinkers Mill in Sciota, PA
A mill which Jacob Brinker was supposed to have owned was in Sciota, Hamillton Township, Northampton County (which is the current Monroe County). 
A write-up says: 

“Off of  Business Route 209 in Hamilton Township (Monroe County) is a mill centuries old.” 
Documents claim:

“Built by Jacob Brinker in 1730, this old mill was originally a log structure. By 1800, the mill had been replaced by the stone structure which stands today.”
Most researchers believe “my” Jacob Brinker was the original owner of this “Brinkers Mill” in Sciota, PA.
The timeline doesn’t work out for me, so I’m open to the idea that Jacob purchased the mill with the land, then it subsequently became known as Brinkers Mill, or else it was a different Jacob Brinker.
What's wrong with the timeline for my Jacob Brinker? A few things--not making it impossible or improbable but giving me a few questions:
~The historical records from Monroe County say that "Brinkers Mill" was built 1730.
~However, this Jacob Brinker arrived in Pennsylvania only 5 years after it was built (in 1735), and he was 8 years old.
~The records indicate this "Brinkers Mill" was sold as part of an estate in 1796 and
~my Jacob Brinker moved to Westmoreland County-which is nearly across the state-at some point. He died two years after 1796, in 1798.
I’ve concluded either this is the wrong Jacob Brinker, or he was a very ambitious fellow. Still, it's quite possible this was his mill.
The “Brinkers Mill” in this photo was bought by a John George Keller in 1796, then in 1800 sold to a Mr. Fenner who added the stone.
What I believe is to be certain: "my" Jacob and Susannah Brinker lived in Lower Saucon, and then of Hamilton Twp (Northampton/Monroe County) before they moved on.
Jacob and Susannah Brinker ended their days in Westmoreland County, out in the frontier area of Pennsylvania, and where their children (Abraham Brinker) and their descendants explored and settled.

Revolutionary War Life in Hamilton Township (Now Monroe County)
As mentioned, Jacob was not a pacifist. During the War for Independence, the patriots were asked to man the local militia and supply the traveling "army" (such as Washington`s) with extra food, wagons, animals, and arms as they could. 
Legend has it that Jacob Brinker supplied flour for the part of Washington's army, for which he was never paid.
Jacob served as private in Capt. Henry Servitz's company, Northampton County, Pennsylvania militia:
"Jacob Brinker, Rev War: 5th Co; 6th Batt. Northamption, Rank: Pvt. 2nd Class." 

Moving to Denmark Manor (Export, PA)
Jacob moved his family to the “frontier “to Franklin/Penn Township in Westmoreland County, east of Pittsburgh. (Quite dangerous if you read accounts of Indian raids).
He had land in the Manor of Denmark, Lot 16 and part of Lot 17 (p. 42-45 of the History of Penn Township by John W. Mochnick).
[This land was later willed to his third son Jacob.]
Jacob and Susannah were living on Lot 16 in 1798, when his will was written.

Sciota, PA to Denmark Manor, PA (nearly 300 miles)
Housing in Demark Manor
In 1798, all citizens of the new United States were taxed on the value of their house (usually a log cabin) barn and land, he number of windows and panes or "lights" in the house being counted--thus this is often referred to as the window tax.


This appears in the tax list in Franklin Township:
#65, "B"list, house under $100--Franklin township=
Jacob Brinker, house 20 x 50 ft. land of 336 acres, value $2,352.

Closest neighbor=Widow Butler`s land others on the list named Jacob Brinker as their neighbor;
# 66 Jacob Barlin/Berlin (2nd husband of his daugher Susannah Brinker);
# 64 Hugh Gray; Andrew Nicholson

Denmark Manor's Origin & Jacob's Role
Denmark Manor was founded on property that originally had been set aside to attract wealthy Danes to this part of Pennsylvania. But instead, German farmers ventured to western PA to make a livelihood.
Jacob Brinker and Conrad Knappenberger originally donated the land which eventually became Denmark Manor United Church of Christ.  The church, founded by German immigrants, started as a simple gathering in homes to read the Heidelberg Catechism and to pray.  Communion would not be celebrated until John William Weber (the first ordained minister in Western PA) crossed the Allegheny Mountains in the late 1700s century.
Denmark Manor Church proper was finally officially founded on June 4, 1811.  Denmark Manor, like all of the churches that served the Lutheran and Reformed congregations in early Western Pennsylvania, was a Union Church, which meant it was built in partnership by both congregations.
Lutheran and Reformed pastors preached to the same congregations in the same church, but on alternate Sundays. Each pastor was required to baptize children of both faiths.
Jacob Brinker's Will
Jacob Brinker's will is found in Franklin Township, dated October 30, 1798, and proved November 16, 1798.
It lists his wife Susannah.
His children:
Henry, George, Jacob and Abraham;
Daughters, Katrin wife of John Seley, and Susannah wife of Jacob Barleen;
Daughter Margaret's son John Larner;  grandchildren: Jacob, Margaret and Elizabeth Shaver;
Wife, son Jacob and son-in-law Jacob Barleen executors:
Witnesses Andrew Nicholson, Jacob Barlin and Hugh Torrance.
Jacob Brinker is buried near Denmark Manor, Export, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

 * * *
More on the Schwenkfelder Church
Schwenkfelder Church from Wikipedia:[Abbreviated by me, bolded additions by me]
"The Schwenkfelder Church is a small American Christian body rooted in the 16th century Protestant Reformation teachings of Caspar Schwenkfeld von Ossig (1489–1561). Though followers have held the teachings of Schwenkfeld since the 16th century, the Schwenkfelder Church did not come into existence until the 20th century, due in large part to Schwenkfeld's emphasis on inner spirituality over outward form. He also labored for a fellowship of all believers and one church.
By the middle of the 16th century, there were thousands of followers of his "Reformation by the Middle Way". His ideas appear to be a middle ground between the ways of the Reformation of Martin Luther, John Calvin and Huldrych Zwingli, and the Radical Reformation of the Anabaptists.
Originally calling themselves Confessors of the Glory of Christ, Schwenkfeld's followers later became known as Schwenkfelders.
They often suffered persecution like slavery, prison and fines at the hands of the government and state churches in Europe. Most of them lived in southern Germany and Lower Silesia.  As the persecution intensified around 1719–1725, they were given refuge in 1726 by Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf in Saxony. When the in 1733, Catholic Church  sought the new ruler to return the Schwenkfelders to to their former home (where they had been persecuted).
With their freedom in jeopardy, they looked to the New World (some in 1742 to Silesia).
A group came to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1731, and several migrations continued until 1737. The largest group, 180 Schwenkfelders, arrived in 1734.
Unlike Mennonites and Amish, adult baptism and both infant baptism and consecration of infants is practiced depending on the church. Adult members are also received into church membership through transfer of memberships from other churches and denominations. Their ecclesiastical tradition is congregational with a strong ecumenical focus.
Unlike Mennonites, Quakers and Shakers, the Schwenkfelder churches recognize the right of the individual in decisions such as public service, armed combat, etc."


For me the big question has been settled: Jacob did not arrive in the colony as a Lutheran or Moravian, Quaker, or Mennonite, but likely a Schwenkfelder.