104. Martin Bedwell61,68,69 was born on 21 Nov 1802 in Grayson
County, Virginia.125 He
died on 20 May 1862 in Rubio, Clay Township, Washington County, Iowa.126 He was buried in Evergreen
Cemetery, Rubio, Clay Township, Washington County, Iowa.127
Martin Bedwell was living in Lawrence County, Indiana in 1830, according
to the Federal Census. He is also listed in the 1851 and 1852 Iowa State Census
records in Washington County, Iowa.
1860 Census for Clay Township, Washington County, Iowa, taken in June
1860, shows Martin Bedwell, age 57, a farmer with $1600 in real estate and $600
in personal assets, living with wife Polly, age 55.
from Don Coffin's "Descendents of Lt. John Coffin" page (doncoffin@@juno.com):
When still a teenager Martin Bedwell, his parents, brothers andssister left their
native Blue Ridge Mountains of Grayson Co., VA andwent west to the Cumberland
Plateau in White Co., near Sparta, TN. Hemarried, started a family and remained
there about ten years. Theythen moved to near Bedford, IN in about 1838 and in
1839 migratedfarther west to what is now Clay Township in SW Washington Co.,
On 19 June 1839 he took up 106 acres just south of the SkunkRiver and 1.5 mi
SE of present day Rubio, IA. More land was addeduntil at one time his farm comprised
500 acres. He first built atemporary log cabin on an eminence overlooking Honey
Creek and laterbuilt a substantial hewed log house, weatherboarded outside, withfront
porch and kitchen in back. By much hard work and persistenceagainst great odds,
he and his family overcame the isolation,inconvenience and hazards of pioneer
life ands prospered.
His daughter Amanda Waters said of him: "Grandfather Bedwell was akind-hearted
man, a good neighbor, loaning corn to needy ones, andfair and kind to the Indians."
Abbrev: Morgan-Waters History I
Title: Typewritten history (8 pages) of the Morgan and Waters Families,1827-1967.
Author: Edith Wenger Morgan, 1888-1969
Text: MORGAN-WATERS HISTORY
We, Aunt Amy and I, are trying to write down the facts of our descendant's family
history as far back as we can learn them from themeager records that we can find.
We lament that we did not do thisearlier, for each generation forgets many of
the stories it has herdfrom the lips of its grandparents regarding the lives
of theirgrandparents. So often we would like to inquire again what we've onlytaken
for granted in years past -- now that the lips are silent whichthen spoke to
us of their early memories.
_____Following are several paragraphs of Morgan Family history,interesting but
irrelevant to the Coffin & Waters descendants.----
Now, let us direct our attention to another main root of our familytree, Grandma
Amanda Morgan's ancestry. Since her hame was AmandaWaters, we shall first explore
Richard Waters I came from London, England, to Salem, Massachusetts,in 1632,
twelve years after the arrival of the Mayflower. A friend ofGovernor Winthrop,
he was a gunsmith, son of James Waters, also agunsmith, and Phoebe Manning, daughter
of a gunsmith and a descendendof Mary Chaucer Manning, sister of Geoffrey Chaucer,
an early Englishpoet, writer of the Canterbury Tales. This Richard Waters I was
theprogenitor of a long line of descendants: John Waters I (1640-1707),Richard
Waters II (1669-1725), Richard Waters III (1700-1787), AbramWaters (1743-????),
John Waters II (1777--1829), who lived inScranton, Pennsylvania.
John Waters II was married three times. His first wife had fourchildren. The
name of the fourth child, born in 1815, was GeorgeWashington Waters, the father
of Amanda Waters Morgan. His thirdwife's oldest child was Sarah Waters (half-sister
to George WashingtonWaters) who married Alpha M. Eastman, studied in Oberlin
(Ohio)College, homesteaded near McGregor, Iowa, and both taught in Wapello,Mt.
Pleasant, and Oskaloosa. Their son, Charles, was the father ofHazel Eastman of
Kansas City, Missouri, from whose studies all theabove data, concerning the Waters
ancestry has been gleaned.
Her account tells also that Richard Waters II's brother Nathaniel'sdescendents
revolutionized the method of making gun barrels from handwelding and grinding
to turning them on a lathe, which made them muchbetter, speedier, and cheaper;
and that Abram Waters, Amanda'sgreat-great-grandfather, was one of the Minutemen
who responded to Paul Revere's summons on the memorable "19th of April,
1775," recounted in Longfellow's poem, "Paul Revere's Ride."
We think Hazel Eastman an extraordinary historian. We are sincerelygrateful for
her work on the Waters line, and wish for some suchhistory to clear away the
veil of oblivion from Grandma Amanda's otherlines, of which too little is known.
There is nothing except the briefrecordings in the old Bible now in Aunt Amy's
possession, such thingsas she had heard her mother tell, and an article on "Real
History ofClay Township," written by her mother for the Washington EveningJournal
of 31 Oct. 1931.
We know that Amanda's mother, Telitha Bedwell (sic), was born in 1825at Sparta,
Tennessee. She was the daughter, and only child to reachmaturity, of Martin and
Polly Pennington Bedwell, who were born at Sparta, Tennessee, in 1809 and 1804,
respectively, and married therein 1823.
Of their other three children, John Edmund died of a fall from a treeat ten years
of age; Nancy Jane died at eighteen months; and Maude, at five months. All this
family, parents and their four children, areburied in Evergreen Cemetery, Rubio,
Nothing whatever is known of Martin Bedwell's ancestry, and the only thing known
of his wife's is that she was the daughter of John and Nancy Pennington of Sparta,
Tennessee, who had nine other children. This fact was learned from a letter received
by Orville Morgan, inquiring of some one at Sparta, Tennessee. Aunt Amy sent
this letteron to a Mr. Roy Pennington, Compton, California, whose inquiry about
the Penningtons in Washington County she had seen in the WashingtonEvening Journal.
He had planned to come to our family reunion in 1958, but was prevented from
doing so by poor health. Nothing more was everheard from him or the letter.
We do not know when the Bedwells left Sparta, but in the Journalarticle above
mentioned, Grandma Amanda says that they started in thespring of 1839 from their
home in Bedford, Indiana, for the new Territory of Iowa. We infer that they made
the trip in an oxen-drawncovered wagon, and years later Grandfather Waters drove
an ox-team to a Meeting in Brighton. They were accompanied by Polly's brother,
John Pennington, who was later elected to the County Board of Supervisors of
the combined counties, Keokuk and Washington (Iowa).
On their way they met a man who had been in what is now Clay Township,Washington
County. He reported to them that there was a stream of honey (Honey Creek) flowing
through the land.
They first stopped near the place where Pleasant Plain now is andcamped there
for three weeks, looking around for a permanent site. But the prairie, with its
poor drainage and scarcity of wood, did not appeal to them. They concluded it
would never be settled. So they chose for their homestead a tract of land in
Section 17, ClayTownship, Washington County, and on 19 June 1839 purchased it
from the government while James K. Polk was President. The cost was $1.25 andacre.
They built a temporary log cabin on an eminence overlookingHoney Creek. This
was the beginning of the Earl Morgan farm.
Later, they built a more substantial house of hewn logs, weather-boarded outside,
with one large room and a big fireplace downstairs, plus a lean-to kitchen and
front porch, and a bedroom onthe second floor. They lived In this house until
Martin Bedwell diedin 1862. When no longer used for a dwelling, it served as
a barn, withstables below and hayloft above. Aunt Amy remembers it in thiscapacity.
Amanda said that Grandfather Bedwell was a kind hearted man, a good neighbor,
loaning corn to needy ones, and fair and kind to the Indians. He died when we
was only fifty-nine years of age, probably from pneumonia (then called "quick
consumption") contracted by wadingCrooked Creek west of Washington on his
way home from doing jury duty.
We do not know the date of Polly's death, since it is not recorded in the family
Bible, which entries she probably made. Nor was there any stone marking her grave
until Omer Johnson procured one in 1966 (alsoone for Telitha's grave).
However, the death of her mother, Nancy Pennington, is recorded. It occurred
just three days before the death of John Edmund. Oh, whatsorrows can be inferred
from these old family records!
Amanda's mother, Telitha Bedwell, would have been fourteen years oldwhen she
came with her parents to Iowa. She was first married to a mannamed Mills. They
owned and occupied the Eugene Morgan and Omer Longfarms. They had one child,
a little girl, who died. Soon afterwards, Mr. Mills died, after which time two-thirds
of the property reverted by law to his brothers and sisters.
Soon she married George Washington Waters, a school teacher, the firstman teacher
in Clay Township. He had come to Clay Township in 1842 from Louisiana where he
had taught school, and where he had acquired a hatred for slavery when he heard
the screams of the slaves beaten by their masters, and when he saw the negro
mothers having their children torn from their arms and sold.
When he came to Clay Township, he was one of the first three men to vote for
the abolition of slavery and was called in derision "a black-legged abolitionist."
He conducted the first school in ClayTownship, a subscription school, since prople
were poor and wages were low. But he was no business man. He was a dreamer, an
inventor of impractical things, unable to keep a home for his wife and ten children,
Martin, Amanda, Frances, Sylvester, Jane, Henry, Etta, Minnie and Lyman. They
lived first on the Omer Long farm, until through his poor management they lost
They then moved to a log cabin ont he present Schmitter farm. It washere they
were living on 5 June 1849 when Amanda was born. Her father,George Waters, was
replanting corn that day in the field east of thehouse.
Having to move from this far, they lived for a while in the "lean-to"on
the north side of the cabin occupied by Telitha's parents. At sometime they must
have rented the farm which they had earlier lost, forAmandsa remembered living
there as a child.
In later years they lived in a long cabin on the Buffington place, butmoved from
there to a log cabin below the hill on the Earl Morgan farmshortly before Telitha
died of tuberculosis in 1879, leaving a family of nine children, the youngest
being eight years old, and Jane having preceded her mother in death. The father
had taught school in one of the log cabins in which the family were living before
Telitha's death.The older girls took care of the younger children, and their
father went to the home of Frances, who lived in Oregon. There he died and is
This typewritten history was written by Edith Wenger Morgan about1967. Edith
Morgan was the wife of Earl Morgan and daughter-in-law ofAmanda Waters Morgan,
who was the sister of Martin Luther Waters,father of Ida May Waters, who married
Joseph Elmer Coffin. It ismainly a history of the Waters and Morgan ancestors
of Amanda Watersand of her husband C. B. Morgan. The part excerpted here is the
partthat is relevant to George Washington Waters and Martin Luther Waterstheir
ancestors and immediate families.
Page: Page 3, Par. 5.
Martin Bedwell and Polly Pennington were married on 26
Jun 1823 in Sparta, White County, Tennessee. Polly
of John Pennington and Nancy [--?--]) was born on 26 Oct 1804 in Sparta, White
County, Tennessee. Martin Bedwell and Polly Pennington had the following
Edmund Bedwell129 was
born between 1823 and 1827. He died between 1833 and 1837.|
|Nancy Jane Bedwell129 was born in 1840.129 She died in 1841.129|
Bedwell129 was born
on 21 Apr 1846 in Washington County, Iowa.129,130 She died on 24 Sep 1846 in
Washington County, Iowa.129
She was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Rubio, Clay Township, Washington County,