John Marsh DeCAMP or John Marsh D'CAMP Letters


Son of William D'Camp and Nancy Williams
Born: 25 August 1792 Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey
Died: 18 December 1848 Preble County, Ohio
Buried: December 1848 Somerville Cemetery (aka Village Cemetery), Somerville, Butler County, Ohio

Letters written
John Marsh D'CAMP
Shared by his ggg-granddaughter, Nina Mack

Nina states, "...written by my gr-gr-gr-grandfather, John Marsh D'Camp, after his move from Woodbridge, New Jersey to Preble County, Ohio, in 1823, to his family in NJ. John worked as Postmaster at Williams' Store (aka Somerville) in Butler Co., and taught school in Butler Co., but did not live in Butler Co., OH. Letters are dated 1825, 1826, 1827, 1828, 1832, 1837, where he mentions other people from New Jersey, describes the area from Cincinnati [Hamilton Co., OH] to Preble County and how and what to pack for a move west.

I have in my possession 7 letters, 6 written by my gr-gr-gr-grandfather, John Marsh D'Camp, to his brother William Edgar D'Camp & family in New Jersey. One is about a land sale of New Jersey. The letters span from 1825-1837. Quakers, John Marsh D'Camp married Hannah D. Murphy 1814, in New Jersey and about 10 years later moved his family to Preble County, Ohio. John was a school teacher in Butler County, Ohio.

The letters are written on sheets of paper 15 1/4 inches wide and folded in the middle and are 12 inches long. They are folded in a certain way to 3 x 4 to 6 inches wide to form the envelope. 25 is written in the upper right hand corner of some but several have FREE printed and underneath "John M D'Camp dep. Post Master. When the letter arrives about 2 weeks later it has the date it was received written on the back. The receiver of the mail paid the postage till people would write the main topic on the outside of the envelope and the receiver would then refuse the letter. It was changed and the sender paid the postage.

William Edgar D'Camp did move his family to Butler County, Ohio by 1839. Wm. Edgar was a carpenter & bricklayer. Wm. Edgar and John Marsh, wives and unmarried children are buried at Somerville Cemetery in Preble County, Ohio."

[Bracketed information identifies people, places, and things.]

Additional information: lineages, relationships, notes, stories, etc. shared by Nina.

A couple thoughts concerning Isaac Dodder possibly being Isaac Vadder. (ASH=Audrey Shields Hancock]

Wages & found - wages with room & board provided.
Specie - cash
Viz - namely
Joiner - master carpenter.

The Envelope Part
Received: October 1
Addressed: To William E D'Camp     25 [cents]
Essex County, N[ew].J[ersey]. Rahway P[ost] O[ffice]

Dear Brother,
Township of Somers, Preble County O.[hio]
13th 8 mo. [August] 1825

After a long time of anxious expectation I receiv'd a few lines from under thy hand (of three several dates) about the middle of last month, in which we were truly happy to hear from our dear Parents, Brothers & Sisters once more, and as this is the only way we can converse together to make known to each other our situation as to health & welfare, while placed at so remote as distance. I sincerely hope thou wilt not be quite so remiss for the future, but write to me frequently, for it is by this our love is nourished and strenghened. I have been teaching a School this summer my quarter expires the 5th of this month and my employers do not care to send to me again because I keep but 6 hours in a day & they want me to teach 8 hours a day, which I'm not willing to do, tho, they are well satisfied as to my abilities and management. So, I leave them. I calculate to visit Cincinnati [Ohio] in a week or two from this, and try to get in with uncle Abraham [Williams] [s/o Benjamin Williams & Sarah Marsh] to work with him at his trade, &, give up the idea of school-keeping altogether. I understood that B Dunham [perhaps Benjamin Dunham, s/o Joseph Dunham & Mary "Polly" Miller from Westfield, NJ] makes out pretty well there. I have not seen him nor Sally [Believed wife of Benjamin Dunham, and somehow related to the D'Camp family, perhaps sister of John Marsh D'Camp] since they moved there. Isaac Vadder [perhaps is the same Isaac Dodder who married Charity D'Camp. See: References below: Isaac Vadder/Vudder] moved down to Cincinnati about 3 weeks ago, they were well at that time. I am clearing my land now a days though it has been so uncommon warm for this week past that I have done but little. I have hartly bargained for 4 acres of land adjoining mine at 7 1/2 dols per acre. But if I could but raise $300. I should buy 160 acres that lie about 20 miles north of me in this county. This quarter (a section of land has 20 acres cleared and under fence and about 10 acres deadened, the man wishes to sell it and will take 300 dols for it. I have seen it, and it has the handsomest mill seat on it that I am acquainted with in this country, & very good land. I was happy to hear that Philemon [D'Camp] thinks of coming out this fall to see us. I think he will never repent of his journey, provided he keeps his health on the road. Thou mayst inform him I shall be happy to see him and tell him to bring his flute & claronet along with him as it would please his uncle Marsh & John to a nicity, as they have no such kind of music short of Cincinnati. Also tell him not to let his coming end in talk altogether. I believe that Father does not think any more on coming to this country but if you all could but think it best. I'm sure if you could sell any way to advantage, that is if you could get $4000 dollars for that property it would get each of you as much of the best land at $2.00 per acre as you'd want. If Philemon [D'Camp] comes out here this fall he may have a chance to see that land as several men from about here are going to view it this fall. I have a receipt in my possession given to me by grandfather [Andrew] Hatfield [b abt 1730; d aft 1820, m Sarah [Marsh] Williams, widow of Benjamin Williams] for the 50 dols I p'd him dated in February 1820, which I show'd to uncle John W and he say his mother told him I had p'd it when he was out there. We are all about at this time except little Anna, she has been sick for more than a week. I hope these may find you all enjoying a good state of health. Please give my love to my Father [William D'Camp 1770-1829] & Mother [Nancy Ann (Williams) D'Camp], Brothers & Sisters and to thy Partner for life and accept the same thyself. Forever
John M. D'Camp
P.S. Please be particular in directing thy letters to "John M D'Camp William's Store Butler (not Hamilton) County, Ohio

Researcher of the Joseph Dunham & Mary "Polly" Miller family from Westfield, Union Co., NJ to Hamilton Co., OH and Miami Co., OH: Audrey Shields Hancock . Wish to make contact with other DUNHAM researchers of this family.

1 Andrew Hatfield b: Abt. 1730 d: Aft. 1820 of Westfield, NJ
.. +Unknown d: Bef. 1795 m: Aft. 1751
........ 2 Elizabeth Hatfield b: Bef. June 30, 1760
........ 2 Sarah Hatfield b: Bef. April 10, 1763
........ 2 Mary Hatfield b: Bef. June 14, 1767
........ 2 Phebe Hatfield b: Bef. September 18, 1768
........ 2 Andrew Hatfield, Jr. b: February 14, 1773
........ 2 Samuel Williams Hatfield b: July 25, 1782
*2nd Wife of Andrew Hatfield:
.. +Sarah Marsh b: October 01, 1749 Elizabethtown, New Jersey d: Aft. February 1827 New Jersey m: April 24, 1795 Presbyterian Church, Westfield, Essex Co. (now Union Co.), New Jersey; Father: Joshua Marsh; Mother: Sarah Hole

Will Abstact
NJ Calendar of Wills 1791-1795 p. 399

1792, November 7
Williams, Benjamin of Elizabeth Twp., Essex Co., NJ

Wife Sarah [Marsh] 1/3 of personal property.
1 mare and income of real estate until eldest son, Marsh is 21.
Eldest son Marsh, 7 acres of home plantation with house and 5 acres of woodland bought of David Mills.
Sons: David, Abraham, and John, remainder of home plantation divided between, when of age. Land in the Miamies, Columbia Twp., [Hamilton County, Ohio], divided between the 4 sons. Oldest daughter, Sarah, privilege of living at home and L60 [British money used in Colonial America], Daughter Nancy DeCamp, L5, Daughters Margaret and Elizabeth Williams, each L60, when 18. Residue to the 4 sons.
Executors-friends, Ephraim Marsh and James Ross.
Witnesses- Daniel Baker, Henry Baker and David Rogers.
Proved June 25, 1793. Lib. 33, p. 193
1793, June 13, Inventory, L533.0.3; made by Jehabod Ross and Charles Clark.
File 7814-7817G

In the name of God Amen I Benjamin Williams of the Township of Eliz'th and County of Essex and State of New Jersey, being in good health and of a Sound disposing Mind & Memory; Thanks be to God therefore _ Knowing that it is appointed for all Men once to die _ do this seventh day of November, in the Year of our Lord Christ one thousand seven hundred ninety two; make and publish This my last Will & Testament in name & form following _ First it is my Will, & I do hereby ordain that all my just debts & funeral Charges be paid _ Item I give and bequeath unto Sarah my beloved Wife the one equal third part of my personal Estate, as her Right of Dowry, also I give and bequeath unto my said Wife the whole Use, income & improvement of my real Estate until my eldest son Marsh Williams arrives to the age of Twentyone years, if she remains my widow. also I give my wife one two year old Mare of a grey cloure(?) _ and further, in order to enable her the better to educate and support our Infant family, Item I give and bequeath unto my four sons, Marsh Williams, David Williams, Abraham Williams and John Williams all my real Estate, lands and tenements, to them, their Heirs & Assigns forever, to be divided when my oldest Son Marsh Williams shall arrive to the age of Twenty one years, reserving the same for the use of my Wife as above said, to be divided as followeth _ Item I give and bequeath unto my eldest Son Marsh Williams that part of my home plantation, on which I now live _ Beginning at the West corner of my plantation on which my Buildings now stand, at a Stone by the brook at the Caun??ay, being a corner between me and Ephraim Marsh Thence running a Course as the line runs along the Road that leads to Rahway, all it comes by the Barn of Daniel Baker, on as far as to take in the Orchard fronting my Barn thence till it comes to the North east corner of said orchard from thence a course parallel with the first line along the Road till it comes to the line of Ephraim Marsh; from thence along said line to where it first began, be it more or less; also the brook, field across the Road before my Door, containing six or seven acres be it more or less _ also five acres of Wood land which I bough (as written) of David Mills _ the remainder of my home Plantation to be Equally divided between my three sons, David, Abraham & John in quanity & quality when my oldest son Marsh arrives to the age of twenty one years _ But in case of either of my Sons dying before age, not leaving lawful Issue his or their part or parts to be equally divided among the survivors to be held by them their Heirs & Assigns as a sure state of Inheritance forever _ Item, I give and bequeath unto my Son John Williams all my salt marsh or Meadow in Rahway meadowes reserving the same for the use of my Wife as above said till my son Marsh Williams comes of Age _ Item _ I give and bequeath unto my four Sons Marsh Williams, David Williams, Abraham Williams and John Williams, their heirs and Assigns forever all my Right of Lands lying in the Miamies, Columbia Township to be equally divided among them _ Item I give unto my eldest Daughter Sarah Williams the privilege of living in the house which I now live in during her life _ (Except she should marry) and privilege of Five. Also, I give unto my daughter Sarah, sixty pounds lawful Money out of my moveable Estate _ Item, I give unto my daughter Nancy Decamp, the Sum of five pounds lawful Money. Item, I give unto my daughter Margaret Williams the Sum of Sixty pounds lawful Money _ Item, I give unto my daughter Betsy Williams the Sum of Sixty pounds lawful money to be paid unto each of them , as each of them shall arrive to the age of Eighteen years, _ And my Will is if either of my daughters should die before marriage, or under age leaving no lawful Issue, then in such case her, or either of them their legacies to be equally divided among the survivors. Should there be any overplus of the moveables after paying th Debts & Legacies that remainder to be divided among my four Sons equally _ And I do hereby constitute ordain and appoint my truely friend, Ephraim Marsh, and James Ross Exq'r

Executors to this my last Will and Testament _ Revoking & disallowing all my other Wills Testaments & Executors, Ratifying and confirming this to be my last Will and Testament

In Witness where of I have here unto sett my hand and seal the Day and year for it above written _ N. B.
I also give the use of my Negro Joseph, unto my wife for the term of Ten Years
Sealed Signed & Delivered in the Presence of Benjamin Williams

Daniel Baker
Henry Baker
David Rogers
Daniel Baker & Henry Baker Witness to the written Will being duly sworn did depose & say that they saw Benjamin Williams the Testator therein named Sign & Seal the same and heard him publish Announce & declare the written writting to be his last Will & Testament and that at the doing thereof the said Testator was of sound disposing Mind & Memory as far as these deponents know & as they verily believe and that they signed their names as witness as to the said Will in the presence of this Testator & in the presence of each other.
Daniel Baker, Henry Baker
Sworn this 25th of June 1793 before me Attest ????
The foregoeing Will being proved probate was granted by his Excellency Richard Harrell ?
Ephraim Marsh & James Ross Esq'r Executors therein named they being duly sworn well and totally to perform the same, Exhibit a true & perfect Inventory and render a recent and true Account when thence _ unto Lawfully required given under the ???? Seal this Day & Year Aforesaid Bower Reed Reg.

Williams' Store (aka Somerville), Butler Co., Ohio

"Somerville was laid out by Jacob F. ROWE, October 7, 1831. John and Marsh WILLIAMS, from New England, were the first village store-keepers, in a log house in the southern part of the town. John removed to the West, where he died. Marsh, after several years in the village, opened another store half mile west, where his son Benjamin now lives. The WILLIAMSes came to this township in 1803."
[Note: The 4 brothers (Abraham, David, Marsh, & John) were willed this land according to the above will of their father, Benjamin Williams, above. ASH]

"Williams' Store--John WILLIAMS, January 27, 1824; Jeremiah S. WAUGH, January 20, 1834. Changed to Somerville, February 28, 1834."
(Source: Internet, 2005, 1882 History of Butler Co., OH: SOMERVILLE)

The WILLIAMS Brothers

1 Benjamin Williams of Elizabeth Twp., Essex County, New Jersey
.. + Sarah Marsh
.....2 Marsh Williams b: June 01, 1775 New Jersey; d: August 21, 1853 Butler County, Ohio
....... +Nancy Corey b: October 22, 1772 Westfield, Union County, New Jersey; d: December 05, 1855 Somerville, Butler Co., Ohio; m: January 16, 1796 Presbyterian Ch., Westfield, New Jersey Father: Jonathan Cory, Mother: Martha Miller
........... 3 Mary Pierson Williams b: October 28, 1796
........... 3 Elizabeth Williams b: December 14, 1798; d: Bef. 1801
........... 3 Elizabeth Williams b: July 04, 1801
........... 3 Benjamin Franklin Williams b: September 27, 1802
........... 3 Jonathan Williams b: February 08, 1805
........... 3 Sarah Williams b: March 06, 1807
........... 3 John Augustus Williams b: April 25, 1809; d: Bef. April 25, 1837 Cincinnati, Ohio
................... 4 John Williams b: Aft. 1830; d: moved to Illinois
........... 3 Samuel Cory Williams b: February 08, 1812; d: 1837
.....2 John Williams b: 1788 New Jersey d: Aft. 1837 prob Illinois
..... +Diadania / Deidania Bourne, d: March 24, 1837 Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio; m: 1814 Butler County, Ohio
[The oldest Bourne burial in the Somerville Cemetery (aka Old Presbyterian Cemetery & Village Cemetery) is Samuel Bourne, b. 09 Apr 1750. His wife was Diedamia/Diedema Leonard. Their children were Prince, Earl, Cynthia (m. Asa Nourse), Benjamin & Diadema (who is probably the Diadania (wf/o John Williams) d 1837.]
.....2 David Williams
.....2 Abraham Williams

Abraham, John & Marsh Williams lived 1820 in Milford Twp., Butler County, Ohio; brother David lived in Morgan Twp., Butler County, Ohio.

The DeCAMP Brothers & Their Siblings
Some Descendants

1 William DeCamp, b: March 07, 1770 Woodbridge, New Jersey; d: February 15, 1829 Woodbridge, New Jersey
.. +Nancy Ann Williams, b: Abt. 1774 Essex County, New Jersey; d: Bef. 1850; m: Abt. 1791; Father: Benjamin Williams; Mother: Sarah Marsh
........ 2 Caroline DeCamp, d: 1864
........ 2 Harriet DeCamp, d: 1863
........ 2 John Marsh DeCamp, b: August 25, 1792 Woodbridge, New Jersey; d: December 18, 1848 Preble County, Ohio; bur: Somerville Cemetery (aka Old Presbyterian Cemetery & Village Cemetery), Somerville, Butler County, Ohio [1970, located behind an old red brick church]
........... +Hannah Dell Murphy, b: June 29, 1796 New Jersey; d: May 06, 1876 Somerville Cemetery (aka Old Presbyterian Cemetery & Village Cemetery), Somerville, Butler County, Ohio [1970, located behind an old red brick church]; m: February 21, 1814 New Jersey; Father: Daniel Murphy; Mother: Lydia / Lidia Dell
..............3 Mary C. DeCamp, b: August 16, 1836 Preble County, Ohio; d: October 05, 1861; buried Somerville Cemetery (aka Old Presbyterian Cemetery & Village Cemetery), Somerville, Butler County, Ohio [1970, located behind an old red brick church]; m: March 25, 1858 Preble County, Ohio; Father: John Marsh DeCamp; Mother: Hannah Dell Murphy
.............. +Ezra Bourne, b: December 04, 1829 d: October 03, 1906 Butler County, Ohio b: bur: Somerville Cemetery (aka Old Presbyterian Cemetery & Village Cemetery), Somerville, Butler County, Ohio [1970, located behind an old red brick church]
..................4 John William Bourne, b: March 23, 1859 Preble County, Ohio; d: March 27, 1883; bur: Somerville Cemetery (aka Old Presbyterian Cemetery & Village Cemetery), Somerville, Butler County, Ohio [1970, located behind an old red brick church]
..................4 Benjamin Franklin Bourne, b: September 30, 1861 Preble County, Ohio; d: Abt. March 1912; bur: Somerville Cemetery (aka Old Presbyterian Cemetery & Village Cemetery), Somerville, Butler County, Ohio [1970, located behind an old red brick church]
........ 2 Charity R. DeCamp, b: Abt. 1796; d: 1827 Cincinnati, Ohio
............ +??? Eader
........ *2nd Husband of Charity R. DeCamp:
............ +Isaac Dodder d: Aft. 1829 probably Middletown, Ohio
........ 2 William Edgar DeCamp, b: January 16, 1798 Essex County, New Jersey; d: May 06, 1868; bur: Somerville Cemetery (aka Old Presbyterian Cemetery & Village Cemetery), Somerville, Butler County, Ohio [1970, located behind an old red brick church]
............ +Mary B. Richards, b: March 13, 1801 Elizabethtown, New Jersey; d: March 05, 1883; bur: Somerville Cemetery (aka Old Presbyterian Cemetery & Village Cemetery), Somerville, Butler County, Ohio [1970, located behind an old red brick church]; m: Aft. 1819
........ 2 Margeret DeCamp, b: Abt. 1803; d: February 13, 1841 Rahway, Union County, New Jersey; bur: Union County Cemetery, New Jersey
........ 2 Maria DeCamp, b: Abt. 1806; d: 1832 New Jersey
........ 2 Gideon L. DeCamp, b: Bet. 1807 - 1808 New Jersey; d: 1851 Woodbridge, New Jersey
............ +Elizabeth "Betsey" Marsh, b: Abt. 1810 New Jersey; d: Aft. 1870 Essex County, New Jersey; m: January 11, 1832 Westfield Presbyterian Church, Union County, New Jersey
........ 2 Philemon E. DeCamp, b: Abt. 1820; d: November 24, 1854

[Note: Nina says, "John, wife and unmarried children, as well as Ben. F. Bourne, are buried with Wm. Edgar D'Camp, wife and their unmarried children ...this Old Presbyterian cemetery (aka Somerville Cemetery or Village Cemetery) is located behind an old unused two story red brick Presbyterian church [located in Somerville, Butler County, Ohio] [as found by Nina in 1970]. (1882 History of Butler Co., Ohio) There is an old Quaker cemetery across the road from their homestead on Devil's Backbone Rd., but none of the family is buried there."]

The Envelope Part
William E. D'Camp     25 [cents]
William's Store [aka Somerville]
Middlesex County [New Jersey]

Butler C.[ounty] O.[hio]
15 Jan[uar]y [1826]
New Jersey Rahway P.O. [Post Office]

Dear Brother
Preble Co. Ohio
lst month [January] 13th 1826

This may inform thee that we are about as well as usual. I rec'd thy favour of June 4th 1825, and was happy to hear from you all. I wrote in answer to it & have rec'd no return. I have been looking out for Philemon [D'Camp] this fall but was disappointed, tho the roads has been uncommonly good and are tolerably so at this time. As we have had it very dry from June till now, that is, we have had no heavy rains. I was sorry that Philemon [D'Camp] did not came out here as he would chanced to have seen a better country, than any he has yet seen, or even my father saw. It is as follows lying on the wabash, a large and navigable stream, about 200 miles west from us. The land is of the first rate soil, as black as lamp black, and from 3 to 5 feet deep bordering on the grand Prairie, that is 340 miles long and 50 miles wide here it is that a man may have a farm at once, by buying wood land adjoining the Prairie, and prairie land that is as smooth as the salt meadow, without tree or stump. This land will be sold next fall, or the spring following, at 125 cts. per acre or 800 dols for 640 acres. People are flocking from all the states to this quarter & I presume to say that it will be thickly inhabited, in 3 or 4 years after the sales. Salt is manufactured within 15 miles of this land, and may be had # for # of wheat flour. Steam boats from New Orleans has been several miles above this land. I got this information from my nearest neighbor, Charles Jones [on Devil's Backbone Rd.--old 725 west of Camden] who was out there a few weeks ago to see it, and told me this as a secret as he does not wish his neighbors to know it. He has a good farm here, of 100 acres which he offers to sell for 1100 dols. It is for want of money, that prevents my trying to get some of this land, as it is said to be healthy, by people who live near it. I do not mention these things in order to over persuade any of you but this much I will venture to say that if you all entertained ideas like mine you would sell that property you live upon, if you could get but 4000 dols for it, and come here, as no person knows that in that country, the great difference in raising crops there, or here, for corn & wheat has always been a sure crop, and pork a cash article, also, the ground when plough'd is as mellow as ashes, and not a stone in the way. A man in this country who has only 50, or 60, acres of such land clear'd, I mean as I have had described can lay up from 200 to 250 dols a year, and do this with 1/4th the labor that he could in Jersey, now this may appear hard for some of you to believe, but I can explain it thus, 1 st this prairie land is already clear'd, and very rich, all it wants is fencing, to make it ready for the plow, then 25 acres put in corn (which is easier tended than Jersey land on acct of stone) will fatten 4 tons of Pork, which, at the usual price will amt, to 200 dols. 15 acres put in wheat will bring the 50 dols, besides leaving wheat and corn enough for family use and a large number of store hogs and some cattle sheep etc.

Edgar these are all facts that I have seen, and therefore do know from my neighbor Charles Jones [on Devil's Backbone Rd.--old 725 west of Camden] that lives here by me, does this very near every year and of no more land than I have mentioned, and his land is not as good as I have been describing. I liked this country pretty well at first, but now since I have become better acquainted with it I still like it better and think, did people know in Jersey the many advantages a man has on a good farm in this country they'd come here without hesitation. I can not deny but that I do sincerely wish my Father, Mother, Brothers & Sisters would embrace this opportunity of getting good land and so cheap as such a one does not offer every day. Now I fear it may be thought that I have said too much on this head, but so it is I have endeavourd to speak barely the truth as it is. Uncle Marsh [Williams] wrote to father a few weeks ago, and I expect mentioned the decease of our uncle David W.[illiams]; uncle Reuben Dunn deceas'd about the time Father was at Middletown Ohio, Sam'l M. Martin [Samuel Marsh Martin 1786-1825], son of Old Oliver Martin [1762-1829 m Susannah Marsh], Merch't in Cincinnati cut his throat and stabb'd himself and died a few weeks ago, I heard from Charity & Sally a few weeks ago and they were all well. I have not follow'd School Keeping this winter but work about at 1 bush wheat or 2 bush corn per day. I have 40 bush wheat nearly pd for I killed a hog that weigh'd 270 # and my black cow 110#. 40# tallow hide weigh'd 68#. I have bk salt and have paid for 4 acres of land adjoining me. I'm nearly to the bottom of my paper please give my love to thy wife my father and mother, Phil, and the rest collectively write soon and let me hear how you all like this letter & thy boys name and tell him his uncle John is in Ohio. Hannah joins me in unseign'd love to you all
John M D'Camp.

The Envelope Part
Reciev'd letter: 5 of March 1827     Free

John M D'Camp dep Post Master

Dearly Beloved Brother
2'd mo [February] 10 1827

Thy favor of the 31st of Oct 1826 we receiv'd in about twenty days from the time it was written, and I may say we were truley happy to hear once more from thee and our relations, but was made to feel for thee and thy family, knowing by experience the distress sickness occasions. As when four of the five of us were sick in Sussex, and we could get no girl to help for any consideration when, (as thee mentions in thy letter) I had to do all the house work Cook Bake etc. and as to my outward affairs when living near my Fathers they run in the same line that thine does at this time. I believe if we had moved to this Country at the time we were fixing for the Lake country which was in the year 1818, we should in all probability be a handsome property at this time, but so it is I had but one dollar in money when we arrived at this place. But blessed be the Lord we own 12 acres of good land, a snug frame house and barn, the Barn I put up this fall. I'm a few dollars in debt at this time, but hope with God's blessing to clear all up in the spring. I worked in the summer with Uncle Abraham in Cincinnati at the Joiners trade at 50 cts a day and found, but if I was a good workman and carried it on my self I could make two dollars a day, as they work by measurement in Cincinnati, and provisions there are very cheap.

I worked this winter at a house near at home for which I get 62 1/2 per day. I laid up 7.50 wt of pork for which I paid 2 cts a pound and 260 wt of beef at 2 1/2 cts a pound. I paid 1.5 cts a bushel for corn. Wheat is on the rise it is from 40 to 50 cts a bushel at this time, Butter 8 cts a pd, Tea $1.25 cts # pepper & Alspice 37 1/2 cts # Tallow 6 1/4 cts # Sugar 12 1/2 feathers 25 cts # etc.

We were glad to hear that thee intended to come out here and live. I have never wanted to persuade any of my relations to come, but sure am I that if they would sell and come, they would never repent it. If I was in thy situation I would certainly sell wood off the Mountain to pay that debt of Ludlows, then gather what money thee can and come out here next fall, as good land as ever was can be had at $1. 25 cts per acre about 40 miles from this, and as near Cincinnati, tho, it is taken up very fast and settled.

I want if thee should be favoured to come to this plentiful country (& if it the Lords will I hope thee may) I wish thee to bring that cyphering book I wrote & let thee have. Charity lost her little son Lewis, the latter part of the 9th month last, and was confined about 5 weeks since with another child that lived only about 8 hours. I have not seen Charity [Charity D'Camp, sister of John M. D'Camp, m Isaac Dodder (perhaps Isaac Vadder...ASH)] since her misfortune, therefore do not know whether the last was a girl or boy, she kept quite poorly the last I heard from her, which was about 2 weeks ago. I heard from Sally at the same time she and family were well.

Dear Brother I want thee to answer this letter and inform me how that Business of Old Phile's has been fix'd, also if grandmother is settled. I want thee to be more particular about home and let me hear from my Father & Mother, for I have not had a word from my mother since I have been in the country & my father never writes to me forgetting he has a son in Ohio, Philemon [D'Camp] & Gideon [D'Camp] forget they have a brother John. I wish thee to tell them of this, and that here in I have sent my love to them all, Father, Mother Brothers & Sisters, as I well remember you all.

Thee may also tell my father that we have another son by name of William a pretty stout boy he was born the 4th of l0th month 1826, which entitles him to a new fur hat from his grand-daddy, and a pair of Boots from his uncle William Edgar.

We are as well as usual at this time and our relations generally so. Dear Brother I hope there may find thee wife and child enjoying the Blessings of health.

I could write more by way of enquiry but must conclude at Present Remember me to thy wife and accept of that Love which nothing but death will separate Farewell

John M D'Camp
PS. when thee writes to me again direct thy letters in the following form Viz To John M D'Camp deputy post mas[ter]
W Williams store [aka Somerville]
Butler County, Ohio
In this case I get my letters free from postage which I'm entitled to.
Hannah sends her love to you all

Nina indicates, "It looks like this letter was delivered by their cousin Benjamin Crane. There is no amount written and no return address. It is addressed to William Edgar and "fav'd by B.W. Crane", is written on the side."

Preble County Ohio
5th month [May] 11th 1828

Dear Brother
Having a convenient opportunity, I joyfully embrace it. In directing a few lines to thee as this seems the only correspondence we can have while situate at so remote a distance I now salute thee in that love which no time nor distance can destroy. dear Brother I have waited in expectation of a letter from thee for nearly a year but am unhappily disappointed though I have written two and sent to thee by Post yet I have rec'd no answer, therefore cannot tell whether thee receiv'd them or not, but as I am ever mindful of thee I again venture to write this once that thee may know that I am still numbered among the living through the Mercy of an Everlasting God, to whom be praise Honor and dominion forever. Dear Brother our progress through life is short and that full of trouble, let us be mindful in this our day of the shortness of life and certainty of death and thus mindful we shall escape many snares of the grand enemy of our souls peace, and be thereby prepared when that awful summons of "Steward give up the Stewardship" Shall sound in our ears and found with our Lamps trimmed and our light burning and be ready to enter into the Bride chamber before the door is shut! Oh that this may be the happy Experience of thee my dear Brother and of all, of my relations and kindred with myself. Dear Brother as I have always had a desire of thy company and of seeing thy face once more still increases with my years. I wrote pretty lengthy in the last two letters I sent thee, I deem it unnecessary to go so lenthy in this. I have met with a great disappointment this winter as my school house door was locked up and I forbidden to go therein any more. This was done by only two men who are called School directors, this was thought by a majority of my employers as an act devoid of all principle belonging to men of breeding, as appears is actually the case of both of these being puffed up with pride in their office, think to swerve a whole district of their voice and power, but in this they are mistaken for though I lost by it about $30. and my employers the chance of sending to school. Yet we are united in opposing their mean measures, and expect to have a school of our own. Though I have told thee this trouble yet would not discourage thee in the least in coming out to live with me as it is a very plentiful country. I believe those who do justly love Mercy and walk Humbly before God shall be fill'd of the good things of this life and inheritance among the Blessed forever and ever. I cannot write to thee of late without pressing thee to move out here. Edgar I am a weakly person and working alone at the carpenters trade goes hard with me not being well enough acquainted with the trade and there is not a day goes over my head wherein I do not think of thee, and say with myself, O was Edgar only here to work with me we might get the best of work and enough for 4 hands.

Benjamin W. Crane I hope will inform thee of our situation and my desires more fully than I can express in this manner. I sincerely think, I might say I know, it would be best for you all to come out here. If I am spared with life and health at any time thee will come out where my house shall be thy welcome stopping place with what ever I am able to render to thy use.. What shall I say more. I could indeed talk with thee from morn till eve'n. I fear I shall never see thy face more as I'm persuaded I never shall if thee does not move out here nor any the rest of my relations in that country.

Edgar I want thee to be particular and write soon in Answer to this, and all the letters that I may send to Brothers and Sisters, and I have made it a rule whenever I get a Letter from thee to answer it pretty soon. Also I want thee to let me know whether thee rec'd the two last letters I sent thee, and whether thee has wrote one to me lately.

Direct thy letters to John M D'Camp, Williams Store Butler County Ohio.
I may now conclude in saying I am ready and willing to assist thee in any thing that may be lawful as a friend and Brother.

Please remember me to thy dear partner, to my Father, Mother Brother and sisters and all enquiring friends put my Brothers and sisters in mind to write I should be extremely happy to see my dear parents once more and one or all my brothers and sisters.

In love Farewell dear Brother may we live in the fear of the Lord and love of one another till death shall put and End to our sojourneying here.

John M D'Camp
To Wm E D'Camp

The Envelope Part
William E. D'Camp    25 [cents]
Middlesex, N.[ew] Jersey

William's Store Ohio [aka Somerville, Ohio]
rec'd 6 march 1829

Preble County
2nd mo [February] 27 1829

Dear Brother
Some time having elapsed since I had any lines from under thy hand. I rec'd a few lines from Benj. [Benjamin] W. Crane [See information below.] dated Jany 16th 1829. He informed me that he had married since he was out to this country. And felt desirous of moving out here to settle. I desired B[enjamin] W Crane when at my house to be sure to go and see my Brother W. [William] E.[Edgar] D'Camp and inform him that my greater desire was that thee would set off and come to this country with thy family. [Benjamin W.] Crane informed me in his letter that he went to see thee according to promised and thee told him that thee intended to come out here. I was indeed happy to hear that thee intended to come but as his letter did not inform me at what time. I have thought proper to arrest thy attention once more with a few scattered hints I answered [Benjamin W.] Cranes letter by the next mail, in which I desired of him that he might show it to thee. But as Uncle John W.[illiams] Rec'd by last mail a letter from Aunt Betsy and Uncle Steven [aka Stephen] Crane moving him out. I thought this perhaps would be a chance for thee, as thy family and Benjamins would make but a moderate load. I mentioned in that letter to Crane what things were only necessary. But fearing perhaps thee has not seen it I will here repeat the articles Viz If you can come together. One Teakettle, One Skillet & one small pot will be sufficient for both families to use on the road. Though if either or both have a Copper T Kettle or Brass Kettle, bring them along. Iron wear is cheaper here than there. Sell your feather Beds as you can get feathers here at 25 cts a pound (I mistook the price in Crane's letter and set it at 20 cts #) Bring all of your Bedding and Cloathing of every description and thy Chest of Tools. Make a box to fit exactly the sides of the waggon sufficiently large to contain all thy Bedding & Cloathes except what will be wanting to use on the road. Similar to that of mine which thee saw made of 1/2 inch pine and lined at the corners to stiffen and support it, fill this compleatly tight or solid, then nail down the top firm;. This will keep the articles from being injured by rubbing together as when put in loose. If thee cannot get a chance with Uncle Stephen Crane, try and fit out a one horse waggon and come in company with him. A nice one horse waggon would be as good as cash to thee here as Uncle Marsh would buy it of thee. I stated the advantages to be met with in this country (to the mechanick) in the answer to B. [Benjamin] W. Crane. I also mentioned in that, that if thee could not raise money sufficient to pay a man for bringing thee out. I would endevor to satisfy him for his trouble on his arrival here, and wait till thee was able to repay it.

Dear Brother at the last time we saw each other thee expressed a strong desire to come out here and I have frequently written to thee on the subject. Yet not withstanding I humbly desire that thee will not take up with my mind alone in this matter. But use thy own will herein. As I do not wish to over persuade thee or any of my friends. But have merely set forth the truth as appears to me. Crane was out here and knows a little about what I have stated at different times, and is desirous to move out and settle here. And well persuaded am I if he acts prudently (and apprehend nothing to the contrary) he will make his fortune in a few years. Silas Trembly was out here last fall and returned home and is back again to this country with a wife in order to settle here. If thee does conclude to come out this spring Aunt Betsy Vail [wife of Amos Vail] has some things she wants to send out to Hannah and if thee will get them and bring them out with thee I will pay for the carriage of them as also of that Cyphering book of mine. And if I could assure myself that thee would certainly come I could have a large job engaged ready for thee. Therefore I want thee to answer this soon as possible.

Thee informed me in they last that Philemon [D'Camp] complained that I never thought to write him but thee may inform him that this is incorrect, as I allow to write to him once more at least and wish he would once and while write to me as that would encourage me to answer him, As it is a long time since I rec'd any from him.

My family is about middling at this time except Hannah she still keeps poorly and confined to her bed more than half the time. I am not as hearty as usual. I hope these may find thee and thine all enjoying good health. Hannah joins me in love to Mary & thee and please to remember us in love to Father, Mother Brothers & Sisters, both individually and collectively. Also to Benjamin W. Crane and his wife, Uncle Stephen and Aunt Betsy and all inquiring friends.

Dear Brother I could write all day but perhaps it would not be very entertaining to thee. Yet I may inform thee that Isaac Dodder [perhaps Isaac Vadder...ASH] has lived at Middltown [See: References below: Isaac Vadder/Vudder] ever since the decease of our dear sister Charity [(D'Camp) Dodder or Vadder] [Charity D'Camp, sister of John Marsh D'Camp, m Isaac Dodder (perhaps aka Isaac Vadder...ASH)] and been in a poor state of health most of the time since. I was to see Sally Dunham a little before Christmas and they were all well. Sally informed me that her father in law Joseph Dunham was deceased, also Charlotte Scudder[See information below]. She having married and died in child bed with her first child. Sally's little girl Sally Ann was living with aunt Peggy Scudder [Margaret (D'Camp) Scudder] at that time. It will be 4 yrs this ensung spring since Uncle Abraham Williams moved from this place to Cincinnati and I expect upon a moderate calculation that he has cleared four thousand dollars by his trade. I have frequently asked him if he would not rather work in N. York again, he says No, for he can make double the wages in Cincinnati that he could in N. York.

Dear Brother, we have been acquainted long enough for thee to be aquainted with my disposition and therefore I have been plain in my observations. But knowing as I do the advantages in this country to be met with in raising a family, all of which I leave to thy own judgement and in much Love subscribe myself thy sincere friend and Brother till we meeet again
John M D'Camp

To W E DeCamp

Please answer this as soon as possible that I may hear of thy conclusions in this matter
Direct to John M D;Camp William's Store [aka Somerville, Ohio] Butler County O.[hio]

Benjamin W. Crane, s/o Stephen Crane & Elizabeth "Betsy" Williams. Elizabeth "Betsy" Williams was dau/o Benjamin Williams & Sarah Marsh. Benjamin W. Crane was married to Charlotte Littell, dau/o Moses Littell & Betsey Terry, who were also parents of William Terry Littell who married Sarah Dunham, sis/o Benjamin Dunham mentioned in above letter. Sarah was dau/o Joseph Dunham mentioned in above letter.

Charlotte Theresa Scudder b: May 06, 1803; d: October 28, 1828 Hamilton Co., OH
.. +Jacob Rybolt b: February 24, 1808 Green, Hamilton County, Ohio; d: February 03, 1889 Jameson, Missouri

Steven Scudder b: February 08, 1765 Essex County, New Jersey; d: March 23, 1832 Green, Hamilton County, Ohio
.. +Margaret DeCamp b: July 09, 1767 Essex County, New Jersey; d: May 29, 1848 Green, Hamilton County, Ohio; m: April 26, 1789 1st & 2nd Presbyterian Church, New York City; Father: Lambert DeCamp, Jr.; Mother: Charity Hunt. Steven & Margaret had 7 children.

Nina notes, ".....written after the death of their father to sell the land. How different getting anywhere in those days by horse back or carriage."

Westfield [New Jersey]
Aug 28th 1832

Mr. & Mrs. E. D'Camp

Dr. Sir
I received a letter some little time since from your brother in Ohio by which he informed me that he had received the deed I sent him to be executed for the sale of his part of the land to your brothers that as soon as he received it he immediately set out with his wife to go before a Judge of the Superior Court to have the acknowledgement taken. The Judge was then attending a curcuit court 60 miles from where your brother lived & as he arrived the Judge had left the place to hold a court at another place still further off he returned home having ascertained the time the Judge would be at home when he intends to have the deed executed and will forward it to me immediately. I wish you would be so good as to inform your brother that I expect the deed soon and will call on them immediately after receiving it & shall be glad that they will be prepared to fulfill the contract I hope they will make the necessary preparation so that no further delay will take place
Yours respectfully
S. Rofs

[Note: The "fs" was written for the "ss" in those days, so the letter was from S. Ross. ASH]

The Envelope Part
To William E DeCamp    25[cents]
Rahway Middlesex County N.[ew] Jersey
on the back:
Receive'd This Letter October 26th 1837

10 mo. [October] 8th 1837

Dear Brother,
T'hy favour of the l6th of August last fell into my hands this morning in which I am glad to hear from thee and thy family, not having heard from any of you for more than one year during which time I was often on the eve of writing to thee or Gideon [D'Camp] yet withheld expecting that one or the other of you would write. I should be glad if Gideon [D'Camp] could & would send me the balance due me it being twenty five dollars as I am very much in want of it this fall it would be of great service in assisting me pay my debts. (I'm not complaining) still I wish Gideon [D'Camp] would send me a few lines and let me know how it is with him and whether he can send it or not, or if thee concludes to move out here this fall thee can bring it. T'hee wanted to know how times were here. I got a dollar a day at this time and boarded, at building cider mills & screw props and would have been glad to have had thy help as I cannot attend to half the calls, as it is difficult to attend to farming & mill making. Last evening I got home having finished two mills and I have two more engaged yet. I expect to commence one of them tomorrow morning (if well) I have had 5 other applications that time would not let me engage most of which are laid over for another year. Carpenters wages this summer and fall have been $1.25 pr day & found. Thee knows I have ever had some hopes of thy moving out here yet I have never advised thee, having stated things as they were from time to time in my communications in order thee might judge for thyself, at same time could not help believing this to be thy country, that is, if thee could see it so, it is not much more of a wilderness than Jersey. I live within one mile of the thriving little village of Camden, eight miles north of Camden is our county seat Eaton. Five miles south of Camden lies Yankee town in Butler County and 12 1/2 south of Yankee town is Hamilton County seat of Butler. The turnpike through all these places is in rapid progression and will be finished next summer from Cincinnati to Eaton a distance of 52 miles. This country is celebrated for corn and pork many farmers clear 1000 dols. a year in the article of pork. Corn generally sells from 25 to 37 1/2 a bus. and pork sold last fall from 5 to 7 dols pr. hund. wheat at this time 87 1/2 Oats .25. this to the farmer dry goods, common shiring 14 & 15 cts pr yd. calicos from 16 c to 50 c per yd. coffee 6 lb for one dol. Orleans sugar 10 c single pound &. I must inform thee of death of John A. Williams (uncle Marshs son) who was burried 25 April, uncle Johns [John Williams] wife, that is. aunt Diadama died 24 of March uncle John sold his house and 6 acres land in Yankee town and has moved up the Mississippi in the Illinois Country which he says is the handsomest he ever saw, Congress land for sale out there yet. I have not heard from Sally Dunham for nearly a year. John Williams left about $7000 in specie besides much other property, having follow'd Butter Huckstering about 7 years often times he clear'd 100 dols a month which was divided among his Brothers and sisters. As I had no barn on my place I put one up this summer which has involv'd me some in debt, yet I hope if health permits to get through yet I have a large family to struggle with, If Gideon [D'Camp] concludes to send me that money this fall I want him to send me a few lines before to let me know when he puts it in the office there then I may know when to call and take it out of the office here, He may put up two bills on the Rahway Bank in the form that certificate was and send them. I had some difficulty to get the money for that certificate having to pay discount 3 pr ct. I think Rahway bills will do better. Remember me to Mother Brother & sisters, to thy wife and accept a share thy self, at same time excuse the many blunders in compositions of
thy friend & Brother John M D'Camp
I had almost forgotten to inform thee that the mill seat and place are sold.

Freelove DeCamp married David Dunham (b 1751), s/o David Dunham b 1704 (wf, Esther Crane). David Dunham b 1704 was gf/o Joseph Dunham b 1763 (wf, Mary "Polly" Miller) mentioned in above letter.

Story of the Murder of Benjamin F. Bourne
Grandson of John Marsh D'Camp

"I [Nina] made several trips to the old homestead where their grandson, Benjamin F. Bourne, was murdered by a farmhand (and old schoolmate) for his money.

His body lay buried in the orchard for a year and the murderer died in the Ohio State Penitentiary.

The house sold about every year as people dug the foundation and yard looking for money.

Benjamin F. Bourne 1861-1912, was bound on his stomach, in front of the pot bellied stove in the parlor and an ax taken to the back of his head. When the house was sold the blood stains could not be removed from the floor so the realtor cut the stain out of the floor.

I have a tintype of Ben when he was a young boy. His brother John raised by his father and uncle, hung himself in the barn when he was 24 yrs old.

...And for the Rest of the Story from Nina Mack

Preble County News, Camden, OH
Thursday, May 29, 1913

Franklin Bourne reported on having been murdered and robbed several weeks ago.

According to word received here last week, Franklin Bourne an eccentric farmer formerly residing west of Camden, but for the last year employed as an engineer in a Mississippi lumber camp was killed and robbed about three months ago.

Letter received by Elwood Davis, who has tended his farm since Bourne left here, and a cousin, John Bourne, of Middletown, was the first inkling of his death which would indicate a tragedy according to the unsigned letters received by the above mentioned.

The letters were poorly written and in many instances, unreadable, giving little or no information concerning his supposed death. The letters were postmarked in Hamilton, Ohio and stated that Bourne was killed and robbed about three months ago stating further that the body had been buried, but no information that would lead to where the murder occurred. The writer was evidently a foreigner and intimated that he was enroute to his home country.

Little credence is placed in the report by many people. Bourne, though eccentric, was quite a genius with machinery and an expert engineer. He lived alone on his farm at Devil's Backbone Hills until a year ago last Easter, when he left for the south, leaving Elwood Davis in charge of the place, and has not been seen since. He returned to the farm last fall on a visit, telling Davis he was employed as an engineer with a southern lumber company.

He had no confidential friends and little was known of his personal affairs, having never even disclosed the name of the company he was employed with or the location, excepting that it was in Mississippi, which makes it impossible to substantiate the report. He very seldom wrote to local parties except on business and nothing strange had been thought of the fact that he had not been heard of since leaving here last fall.

Bourne was about 48 years old and while not wealthy, was generally conceded as to having considerable money, which he is supposed to have carried with him with the exception of the amount invested in bonds, which he was extensively interested in. With the exception of the cousin residing in Middleton, he had no close relatives, and it is understood this relative will investigate his reported death.

Preble County News
June 5, 1913

This was a lenthy article telling of the investigation of lumber companies in Mississippi which turned up no information on Bourne. The article also gave Mr. McDonald's account of returning home from a trip at 4:00 A.M., and seeing four men digging in the garden, about the time of Bourne's disappearance.

Witnesses placed Davis in Hamilton the day the letters were postmarked, letters sent to Davis and Franklin's cousin, telling of the murder and robbery. Davis was seen on the train to Hamilton, and also in a bar and buying whiskey there. One of the witnesses had gone to Hamilton that day to pay his taxes, and could remember and prove the date. Davis had told people that Bourne had come back to town in the fall, arriving late at night in a car with two men, and leaving early the following morning. After Bourne's disappearance, Davis started selling farm equipment and other things from the farm.

Preble County News
June 12, 1913

The paper described finding the body of Franklin Bourne, wrapped in a blanket and buried about three feet deep in a garden in front of his home. The body was covered with stocks from last years crop of corn, so he was buried there some time previous to corn planting season, in the spring of 1912. Blood on the living room rug indicated he had been on his stomach when hit in the back of the head with an axe. The body was found on June 10, 1913.

Elwood Davis is facing trial for life under indictment for the murder in the first degree. He stands charged with slaying Benjamin Franklin Bourne, eccentric farmer, who resided near Camden in th Backbone Hills. He is alleged to have murdered Bourne and buried his body in a shallow grave on the Bourne farm, where it lay for a year before its discovery . Money is supposed to have been the motive for the crime. Davis was arrested last June for the murder of Bourne, only to be released later, after it could not be proven that Bourne was dead or alive. A country wide search for Bourne was then instituted resulting in the discovery of his body.

It would seem that capital punishment is not overly favored in Preble County. This conclusion is drawn from the fact that a majority of the men drawn for jury duty in the Davis case, and who have been dismissed, expressed themselves as being opposed to capital punishment when convicting is secured upon circumstantial evidence.

Preble County News
November 6, 1913

Another long article in the paper, telling of the trial and the sensation presented when a witness swore he saw Davis digging in the garden and standing knee deep in a hole.

Letter from the editor of the Preble County News: B. Franklin Bourne, who met such a tragic fate in his old stone house, was reared there by his uncle and aunts named D'Camp. Their home must be situated where it was as close for Frank to go to the Lowe School as to Dist. No. 4 and when the fall schools opened, Frank would go to whichever place he liked the teacher best. Consequently, he was a schoolmate of mine, several different winters. He was several years older than I. He was a very bright scholar, always at the head of his class. He was of a reserved nature and after he was left alone in his home, led a very secluded life, but never a hermit as the present generation now termed him. His assailant was also his classmate, and each winter he attended District No 4. I for one, would have no fear of ghosts and goblins in that immediate neighborhood and I truly hope both Franklin and Elwood are happy in the great beyond.

Elwood Davis died December 2, 1920

A life-term sentence imposed in the Preble County Court early in November 1913, was closed late Saturday night when Elwood age 61, passed away following an operation at Ohio Penitentiary. The end was caused by the amputation of a limb which was taken as a desperate remedy to check tuberculosis developing soon after he was received at the pen, died 12 hours after surgery from shock. Convicted of first-degree murder upon circumstantial evidence in 1913 for the killing of Franklin Bourne who lived in what was then lonely Quarters of Devil's Backbone west of Camden. The trial lasted a full week and is on record.

It was interesting to talk to 'old timers' in a restaurant who told of families loading in wagons and driving to the old farm as word spread that the body had been found. The old farm wasn't far and the present owners were very hospitable. The original structure of the house has high woodwork/baseboards and a large wooden door in the parlor. The peach, pear and apple orchard is gone now. It had been on the east side of the house. The house was sold every few years and so much digging was done in the cellar for over twenty years looking for money that the stone walls had to be rebuilt. People still believe money is buried on the property. The present owners (when I was there in 1970s) bought the property in 1936, and refused all offers to help find the money with this answer, "We don't drink from the same bottle." The town's people still think others were involved in the murder though it was never proven.

My great-grandmother, Josephine D'Camp, cousin of Benjamin, said Benjamin was buried in the orchard and Elwood was seen in the lantern light digging the hole to bury Ben.

Benjamin's blood stained the floor through the rug, and the realtor could not get it out so he took a saw and cut a circle through the floor to the celler below which started a rumor that the body was buried in the cellar for a year. It would seem that a throw rug over the stain may have been a better choice.

When Hannah D'Camp died the property went to her son and two old maid daughters, as well as my gr-grandmother, her sister and Benjamin's brother. They all signed the property to the other heirs until Benjamin was the last one to live in the old D'Camp home.

Benjamin's mother had died in childbirth so Benjamin was raised by grandparents, John Marsh D'Camp & wife Hannah Dell Murphy. Benjamin F. Bourne was the son of Ezra Bourne and Mary C. D'Camp.

Benjamin's brother, John William Bourne, was raised with his father and uncle and hung himself in the barn at age 22. These people are all buried at Somerville Cemetery (aka Village Cemetery & Old Presbyterian Cemetery), Somerville, Milford Twp., Butler County, Ohio.

Other Sources for Information

  • 1882 History of Butler County, Ohio

  • Browsing Butler County Ohio

  • Economic Pattern of Middletown 1830-1850: Isaac Vadder:
    "Isaac Vadder operated a "cabinet wareroom," or furniture shop."
    "Thomas Wilson came to Middletown, bought the cabinet manufactory of Issac Vadder, and made furniture."
    "Ledman and Vudder [sic] operated a dry goods store and grocery; they asked gentlemen to call to examine their assortment of cloths and cassimeres of every color and quality. They also sold cotton warp and an assortment of cotton yarns, along with a good assortment of brown and bleached sheeting and shirting."

    E-mail:  Audrey (Shields) Hancock

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