Friday, January 14, 2011

An Interesting Story in My Paternal Line

Nathaniel Dexter, born 14 May 1771, was my third great-grandfather through my paternal grandmother's line (Mary Winnie Dexter Logue).  He married my third great-grandmother, Chloe Washburn, on 18 July 1796 in Winthrop, Kennebec Co, Maine (remember, this is my Mayflower line and her father, Japheth Washburn is my DAR Patriot).  Their oldest son was my second great grandfather, Lotan Dexter, born 30 January 1801.  It is unsure when Chloe Washburn Dexter died, but we find Nathaniel Dexter marrying Annie Bragg Fish in 1821, confirmed by Annie's son, Nathaniel - see below.

(Following is a Life History from Annie Bragg Fish's youngest son, Nathaniel Fish:
Life History  (Reba McMillan added this on 26 Mar 2009 to her family tree.)

LIFE HISTORY - written by Nathaniel Bragg Fish
    I, Nathaniel Bragg Fish, was born in the town of China, Kennebec County, State Of Maine, on the Fifteenth day of May 1813. My Father's name was Bolton Fish, who was born on Nantucket Island, off the cast of New Brunswick, or Maine, on the ____day of_____, in the year of 17__.  My mother's maiden name was Annie Bragg, who was born at__________, on the ____day of ________. 17__.  My Father's father's name was George Fish, who was born in _______, England, on the ___day of ______, A.D., 17__.
My Grandfather George Fish, was a Sea Captain, and went with foreign barges and was lost at sea.  My Father Bolton Fish, was his Father's only son.  My Grandmother, Jerusha Fish, wife of George Fish, was born on Nantucket Island, on the __day of ________17__.  My father was shot and killed at the Battle of Lundy's Lane, in (about) the year of 1812, while fighting with the United States troops; we was a private soldier.  My Mother died in the town of Dover, Piscataquis County, Maine, in old age, date and cause of death unknown to me.  The aforesaid Nathaniel Bragg was a Blacksmith and a Farmer, by occupation.  My Mother's mother's name was Moore, before she was married, date and place of nativity unknown, but, I think that she, as well as all thse of the old Bragg family, came from the vicinity of Nantucket Island.  I do not know what my Father's occupation was, but, I think it was farming.

    I was the ninth and last child of my parents.  My two oldest brothers were born in Penobscot County, Maine; their names were: Abial (the older) and George.  The other seven children, in the order of their birth, were: Randall, Amaibia, Ruby, Hiram, Ephriam, David, and myself,--Nathaniel.  All excepting the two oldest children were born in Kennebec County, ME.

    My mother, with such help as her children gave her, worked and maintained her family, making the clothes for each of her aforesaid nine children, from flax and wool. This was customary in that locality in those day.  When I was eight years of age, my mother married a man by the name of Nathaniel Dexter, a farmer by occupation, and a resident of Kennebec Co. ME.  Immediately after the marriage of my mother to Dexter, my mother, her husband and my brothers David, Ephriam, and my sister Ruby, moved to the town of Dover, Maine, where my mother continued to reside until the time of her death.

    I resided in Dover until I removed to Mitchell County, Iowa, which was in the year of 1869.  In the fore part of March, 1869, I arrived in Charles City, Iowa, and went from there in the next month, to Union Township, Mitchell Co., Ia., where I bought an eighty acre farm, for $14.00 per acre which I kept and resided upon until the fall of 1877, when I sold it for Twenty-eight Dollars per acre, when I went to Northwood, Worth County, Iowa, and bought an eighty acre farm for Fourteen Dollars per acre.  I resided upon that farm for three years, and then removed to Chas. City, Iowa, and rented the
farm.  I resided at Charles City until the year of 1882, where I lived with my son-in- law, Hiram Kramer, helping him on a farm, when I went to Osage, Iowa and bought the house and property in Osage, which I have ever since continued to own, and in which town I continue to reside.  Since coming to Osage, I have farmed so long as my health permitted, which was until the year of 1900, when I sold out the fifteen acres west of Osage.

    I was married on the 27th day of May, 1839, in the town of Dover, Maine, to Nancy M. Shepard, which was the first and only marriage of either of us.  Rev. Joseph Page, a Baptist Minister, performed the marriage ceremony, at the home of the bride.  My said wife was born in the town of Dover, in the year of 1817, to Joseph and Polly Shepard; Joseph Shepard being a farmer and wheelwright.  My wife's mother's name was Lambert; the Lamberts having come from the State of Maine.  My wife and I resided together until the time of her death in my house in the city of Osage, from the cause of Consumption, on the 9th day of October, 1883.  To my wife and myself, have been born nine children, all of whom, excepting only the second born, is still living.   The names of my children in the order of their birth, is as follows, to-wit:
    Rozilla, wife of Joshua M. Little field, of (Postoffice) Olds, Alberta, Canada......................
(Copied from an old manuscript-March, 1946) - I don't know who copied (typed) it. Since it was typed I'm rather assuming it was done by Uncle Stanley Nicol - but that is only a guess.   A copy was found in my father G. Everest Nicol's desk after his death in Feb, 1983.) Nantucket Island is off the coast of Massachusetts. ---cde
This was written by my Great Great Grandfather Nathaniel Bragg Fish who died 18 April 1904 in Osage, Mitchell County, Iowa and is buried in the Osage Cemetery.
Submitted to the Archives by Celene Eliason   11/98)

Note that Mr Fish mentions a sister, Ruby, that moved with his mother to Dover ME after the marriage to Nathaniel Dexter.  In 1821, Lotan Dexter would have been 20 years old and Ruby, born in 1801 too,  was also 20 years old.  Is it any surprise that 3 years later (1824) these two - Lotan Dexter and Ruby Fish, were married (The Owl, publication of the Wing Family of America, page 2563 - article compiled by Elizabeth Wright).

1850 Census, Dover ME

Lotan is mentioned in The History of Stark County, Illinois:
   "Lotan Dexter, deceased, who settled at Toulon in 1854, with his brother-in-law, O. Maxfield, in 1855 in Goshen, and who in 1856 established his permanent home at Toulon, was born in Kennebec county, Me., January 30, 1801. He married Miss Ruby Fish there, and in 1853, with five children moved westward. Those children were Bethana, of Newton, Kan.; Marshall, of Henry county, Ill.; George F., of Goshen ; Henry, deceased, and James W., of Galva. The father died in 1873, leaving a widow and large family, the former still residing at Galva. Henry served in the Thirty-seventh Illinois Infantry, was wounded at Pea Ridge, from which wound he died in 1873, in his thirty-seventh year. (Vide mil. ch.) James W. enlisted in Hyslop's Battery, Marine Artillery, and when this command was disbanded, reenlisted in another regiment."  -  Buried in Toulon Cemetery.

Dexter family in Illinois
[Note that my great grandfather, Walter M Dexter, is not mentioned as moving with the family to Illinois.  He is however, mentioned in the 1850 US Census of Dover ME, as a farmer and is listed with the family there - WM Dexter, 19.  Walter has his own bio in the Henry County: Cambridge Township book, pg 289 - Walter M. Dexter Farmer Sec. 32; P.O. Ulah; born in Piscataquis Co. Maine, Dec 19, 1831; Rep; Bapt; owns 160 acres land, value $9,600; lived in Maine about twenty- three years, then went to California and was there six years; came to Stark Co. this State and lived there twelve years; came to this county in 1874; has held office of School Director in Stark Co; holds same office here: married Miss Alida Jane Bennett, Nov 24 1862; she was born Pennsyvania and brought up in Stark Co. Ill; they have four children, one boy and three girls.]

It seems like Walter M Dexter was a wandering man - Maine to California to Illinois (Stark Co, then Henry Co) and then finally to Idaho with four of his five children.  He homesteaded in Long Valley (Central Idaho) and it was here that he lost his son, Lotan and his daughter, Keziah in July of 1890.  Keziah had gone to the river (North Fork of the Payette River) to catch minnows with a bucket when the force of the stream pulled her into the water.  Brother Lotan jumped in to save her, but both drowned.
Walter M and Alida Jane Bennett Dexter

W M Dexter, Alida Jane and Mary Winne on homestead in Long Valley Idaho    

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