Denison Dennison Families of Mercer County, Illinois

Denison/Dennison Families

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Alternate Spellings - Denison, Dennison, Denniston, Deniston, Deneston, Deneson. Many of the Mercer County records are as "Dennison" but we have used Denison throughout for consistency (except where we quote a particular record) as son William signed as "Denison" in a paper found with the will of Isaac Willits in 1844. The majority of the marriage records are also as "Denison."

Links - Beeson, Beverlin, Finch, Gilmore, Jack, Swafford, Noble, Roberts, Ives, Thompson, Willits, Alyea,, Willett, Moore, Reed, Sheriff, Fuller, Prouty, Shaunce

There is an interesting poem written by Isaac Beard LaRue about 1875, telling of the hard times in Mercer County. He talks of shopping in Denison's store (probably Elmore Denison) in New Boston. The hard times are confirmed by the fact that Elmore had given up his store by 1880 (see below).

Contacts - We have heard from Amelia Sticher, a descendant of Minor Denison and she kindly shared information about him after he left Mercer County. We have appended her information at the bottom of the page.

William and Rachel John Denison

The progenitors of the Mercer County Denisons were William and Rachel John Denison. They came from Pennsylvania to Ohio, then to Wayne County, Indiana, and finally William and his son John arrived in Mercer County about 1827. The 1850 census gives John as born in Kentucky and possibly son Erastus was born in Kentucky, so they probably spent some time in Kentucky as well. Son Erastus married in Morgan County, Illinois, so they may have stopped there on the way to Mercer County; however it would not be at all unusual for a young man to be off exploring on his own. A surprise finding was the 1880 census of son Elmer J. [Elmore J.] Denison where he gives his father as born England and his mother born Wales. We would appreciate hearing from anyone who might shed some light on this {See About Us for email}.

The Denisons were among the first settlers in Mercer County (see History - Part 1 ). William Denniston and his son John bought land in the southwest quarter of Section 32 and portion of Section 31, Township 14 North, Range 5 West, on 5/21/1832, about a half mile south of the present town of New Boston (see New Boston township plat) . There they set up a wood yard for supplying the steamboats that were plying the River.

At the first meeting of the court in Mercer County in 1835, William Dennison was granted a license to run a ferry at New Boston, on the Mississippi River, for which Dennison had to pay four dollars tax (see more on Ferry page ). William and his sons bought much more land in 1839. We find it a little curious that William and his sons all paid full price for the land, as William is believed to have served as a private in the Revolutionary War, and he and his family would have been eligible for military land warrants. Descendants are eligible for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution and we know the surname of Rachel from DAR records. However, we also know that early in their existence the DAR did not check for proof that an ancestor served in the Revolutionary War.

William and Rachel John Denison had a number of children including John W., Erastus, James, Joseph, Ezra, Newton, William, Julia Ann, and Elmer[Elmore]. The list of children is from the History of Mercer County 1882. We have been able to verify all except Newton and feel he may have actually been the son of William, Jr. (more below). William Denison died 8/14/1840 in Mercer County and Rachel John Denison died 11/20/1852 in Mercer County. Both are buried in New Boston Cemetery. In November 2010 Jamie Paul sent us some interesting information about William's tombstone. There are actually two stones in two locations for William, one spelled Denison and the other Dennison, both showing died August 4, 1840, age 79. This kind of thing can happen sometimes when a tombstone is placed later by descendants who are unaware there is already a tombstone there, just under a different spelling.

The History of Mercer County 1882 tells us that the Denisons lived in close and friendly relations with the Indians who frequented the area for hunting and fishing and all the Denisons learned the Indian languages as few of the Indians could speak English. There is a great deal in the 1882 History about their relations with the Indians for those who are interested (this book is available for purchase from the Mercer County Historical Society -see our Resources page ). The information given in the History is probably quite authentic as it was given by Margaret Swafford Denison, widow of John W. Denison, from her own memories (she was still alive in the 1880 census). According to the History, daughter Julia Ann Denison was quite handsome and the Indians conceived a great fancy to buy her by any means - Mrs. Margaret Denison thought at one time they brought as many as thirty ponies. Julia later became the wife of Judge Ephraim Gilmore. Because of their friendly relations with the Indians the Denison's were warned to leave the area during the hostilities of the Black Hawk War. They did so and returned peaceably in 1832.

We wonder how much of the above stories are actually myth as three of the Denisons served in the Black Hawk War. William, Erastus, and Joseph are all three listed as serving. We have amended our History - Part 1 page to reflect this and there are links there to sources.

The Denisons were Baptists. The Concord Church was organized at the home of William Denison, in the vicinity of New Boston, on the second Saturday in August 1839. The church was a charter member of the Des Moines River Association of Primitive Baptist Churches. For more on the history of the Primitive Baptist Churches see our page Social Life in the 30’s and 40’s.

More on the Children of William and Rachel Denison

John W. Denison Family

John W. Denison married Margaret Swafford on 11/21/1820 in Fayette County, Indiana. In addition to the land purchased next to his father in 1832, John also purchased approximately 140 acres in Section 31 on 5/21/1832, and 200 acres in the NE quarter of Section 33 on 9/21/1839, both in Township 14 North, Range 5 West. A notation in the Mercer County History says that he was living in the timber out on Edward's Flats, having settled there on his return after the Black Hawk War in the autumn of 1832. This does not quite jibe with the land purchases in New Boston in 1832 but maybe John did not actually move back to the New Boston area until after 1832.

The History of Mercer County 1882, (page 513), tells a sad story: "In 1835 Mr. William Jack and his wife and a son and daughter were Mercer County, Illinois, by boat. When between Oquawka and New Boston, Mrs. Jack died of cholera. The stricken husband and children landed at New Boston, and the remains of Mrs. Jack were taken to the residence of John Denison... ." No doubt the emergency was detected by the Denisons who would have been working in their wood yard at New Boston. Mrs. Jack was buried in what was to become New Boston Cemetery; the only prior burial there being Mrs. Erastus Denison.

John W. Denison is found in the 1840 census next to brother Joseph in Township 14N Range 5 W: 1 male 40-50 (John); 1 male 15-20 (Minor); 1 male 5-10 (Henry); 1 female 40-50 (Margaret); 1 female 10-15 (Nancy J.); 1 female 5-10 (unidentified). John and Margaret are found in the 1850 census in T14NR5W (future New Boston) Township: John W. Denison, age 51, farmer, value of land $1000, born Kentucky; Margaret Denison, 47, born North Carolina; Minor F. Denison, age 27, farmer, born Indiana; Henry Denison, 18, born Illinois; Rachel Finch, 1, born Il; Samuel Eagleston, 55, born Pa, laborer. We have found the 1850 census to be quite accurate in most respects and his birthplace is clearly given as Kentucky. John's son Henry also gives his father's birthplace as Kentucky in the 1880 census. Margaret's birthplace is given as North Carolina but in later censuses it is given as Ohio. We do not know the identity of the baby, Rachel Finch. Son Henry Denison was indeed born in Illinois, the first white child born in Mercer County, according to the 1882 History.

We did not know the fate of Minor Denison as he is not found in Mercer County in 1860. We have since heard from a descendant who shared information with us that is appended at the bottom of the page. We do know that he married Lucinda Reed, daughter of Hardin and Mary Smith Reed, in Mercer County on 10/5/1845 and since Minor was living at home in 1860 she evidently died before then, probably in childbirth. Minor married Mary Catherine Parsons on 1/19/1851 in Louisa County, Iowa so their records are found in Iowa. Minor and Lucinda Reed Denison had a daughter Mary Lucinda Denison born 12/10/1846, who was raised by the Hardin Reed family - she is found with them in the 1850 census, age 3, as Lucinda Reed; and in the 1860 census with them, age 14, as Mary Lucinda Denison. Mary Lucinda Denison married Thomas J. Beverlin on 7/6/1865.

John and Margaret also had three daughters: Rachel and Nancy and one age 5-10 in the 1840 census, not identified. Rachel M. Denison was born 2/28/1829 and died 7/28/1838 in Mercer County and is buried in New Boston Cemetery. Nancy Jane Denison married William Willett on 7/20/1843 in Mercer County. There is a charming story of Nancy's experiences with the Indians on the Willet page as well as more information on their family. The unidentified daughter may have married a Finch and be the deceased mother of the baby, Rachel Finch, found in the 1850 census. We have not found a Finch marriage.

John W. Denison died 12/21/1855 in Mercer County and is buried in New Boston Cemetery. Margaret Swafford Denison lived a long life and died in 1882 in Mercer County. Son Henry acted as administrator for his father's estate and took care of his mother Margaret for the rest of her life.

Son Henry W. Denison married Lurana C. Moore, daughter of John and Hannah Moore on 12/2/1858. Henry was born 3/16/1832 in Mercer County, and Lurana was born 2/17/1844 in Mercer County. In 1861 Henry was taxed on 80 acres of land in the SW quarter of Section 28, New Boston Township for $14.21. We do not find a public land purchase for him so this was evidently a private purchase. Henry is listed as a farmer in census records. At the 6th Annual Mercer County Fair in 1859, Henry took a prize for best mare in the category "horses of all work." By 1880 he was following in his grandfather's footsteps and operating a wood yard close to New Boston.

Henry and Lurana Moore Denison had children: Carrie (born 4/1860 died before 1870); Sally (born about 1861) married Herbert Good; Alice (born about 1863) married John B. Fuller, 10/1/1880 in Muscatine County, Iowa; Margaret (born about 1872, died 11/1/1875); William (born about 1871, died 1/2/1874); Freddie (born 5/1880) married Nettie May Hill 12/13/1898 in Mercer County.

Henry and Lurana are found in New Boston Township in 1860: Henry W. Dennison, 28, farmer, born Il; Lurana, 16, born Il; Carrie 3/12, born Il; Margaret Dennison, 58, born Ohio. In 1870: Henry Denison, 38, farmer; Lurana, 26; Sally, 9; Alice, 7, all born Illinois; Margaret Denison, 67, born Ohio; In 1880: Henry W. Denison, 49, keeps a wood yard, born Il, father born Ky, mother born Oh; Lurana C., 36, born Il, father born Il, mother born NY; Alice 16; Fred 1/12, both born Il; Margaret Denison, mother, boarder, 77, born Ohio, parents born Pennsylvania.

Joseph A. Denison Family

Joseph Arnel Denison was born about 1801 in Ohio. We do not know the name of his first wife. They probably married in Indiana where son William B. Denison was born about 1822. We do not find an Indiana or Ohio marriage record. Daughter Catherine Denison was born about 1833 and Joseph's first wife probably died in childbirth. Joseph married second to widow Sarah Noble Hudson. They were married in Warren County, Illinois on 12/21/1834. Sally Noble was daughter of Lewis and Elizabeth Burgess Noble.

Joseph and Sally Noble Hudson Denison had children: Angeline (born 2/1836); Elizabeth Helen (b. 2/11/1839); and Nancy Matilda Denison (b. 2/16/1842). (There is much about these children in Cory Tarrant's book The Children of David and Sarah Fry Noble and Their Descendants)

Joseph Denison voted in the first election in Mercer County in 1835. According to the 1882 Mercer County History Joseph Denison had a house on the SW/4 of Section 34 which he had built in the spring of 1836. There was only one other house out on the prairie at that time. Joseph bought the land on 9/27/1839, E2SW and W2SE Sec 34, T14NR5W, 160 acres at $1.25 per acre. In the 1840 census Joseph was neighbor to his brother John Denison and just one farm away from his other brother William. Joseph's household consisted of: 1 male 30-40 (Joseph), 1 male 15-20 (William), 1 male under 5 (unidentified); 1 female 30-40 (Sally), 1 female 15-20 (unidentified), 2 females 5-10 (Catherine and one unidentified), and 2 females under 5 (Angeline and Helen). The male under 5 was probably a son who died before 1850. The unidentified 15-20 year old female may have been Charity Hudson, daughter of Sarah, who did not marry until July of 1840. She could also have been another child of Joseph and unknown first wife as the unidentified 5-10 year old female probably was.

Sarah Noble Hudson Denison died on 9/17/1849. The widower Joseph is found in the town of New Boston in 1850: Joseph A. Denison, 48, potter, born Ohio; Catherine, 17, born In; Angeline, 10, born Il; Elizabeth, 11, Il; and Nancy M., 8, Il.

Son William B. Denison was also a potter. He married Sintha Ann Bruner on 8/18/1842 in Mercer County. They are found in the town of New Boston in 1850: William B. Denison, 28, born Ohio; Syntha A. Denison, 27, born In; Sarah S., 7, born Il; Rachel A., 5, Il; William E., 2/12, Il. (The Ancestral File provides the name of another child, Ezra Dean Denison, born 12/5/1865 in Petaluma, Sonoma, California). The family is not found in Mercer County in 1860. They did indeed go to California, before 1863 according to the 1880 census in Napa, Napa County, California: Wm. B. Denison, potter, 59, born In, father born In, mother born Oh; Cintha A. Denison, 58, born In, parents born Ky; Edmond H. Denison, potter, 27, born Il; Ida A. Denison, 17, born Ca; Ezra D. Denison, at school, 14, Ca. Apparently one of the daughters married a Rambo as three grandsons are found with the Denisons: Isaac Rambo, works in pottery, 19, born Ca; Marshal Rambo, works in pottery, 17, born Ca; William Rambo, at home, 16, born Ca. All three give their father as born Indiana, mother born Illinois. Also with them is John Francis, potter, 38, born Ohio, parents born Ohio. Their pottery must have been quite an enterprise and it would be interesting to follow up for information on it.

There were several family marriages in the 1850's. Joseph Denison married widow Maria Swafford on 1/22/1851. Daughter Catharine married Eli C. Handly on 3/31/1851. Daughter Sarah Angeline married William D. Kennedy on 2/2/1856. Daughter Elizabeth Helen married Lorenzo Mallory on April 1, 1856 in Louisa County, Iowa. Daughter Nancy Matilda married David A. Steele on 4/7/1859. We do not find Joseph, Catharine, Angeline and their respective families in Mercer County in 1860. David Steele is found in Millersburg Township in 1860: David Steele, 28, farmer, born Pa; Nancy M., 18, born Il; William Jenkins, 12, born Il; Elizabeth Handley, 4, born In; Mary Steele, 66, born Pa. We do not know the identity of William Jenkins, age 12. Elizabeth Handley, age 4, born Indiana, may have been a daughter of Eli and Catharine Denison Handley but we do not know for sure since she was born in Indiana and she is not with the Steeles in 1870. In Millersburg Township in 1870: David Steel, 37, farmer, born Pa; Matilda (Nancy), 27, born Il; James A. Steel, 9; Mary Elizabeth, 7; William N, 4; John W., 1; Mary Steel, 77, born Pa.

Joseph is living with his son-in-law William Kennedy in Port Louisa, Louisa County, Iowa in the 1880 census: #49 William D. Kennedy, 46, farmer, born Oh, father Pa, mother Ky; Sarah, 43, Il, Oh, In; Frederick L, 20, Ia; Bertha E, 15, Ia; Orville, 9, Ia; Joseph A. Dennison, 79, father-in-law, born Oh, Pa, Wales. It is interesting that Joseph confirms the birthplace of Wales for his mother. Daughter Sarah provides the birthplace of Indiana for Joseph’s first wife.

Joseph died September 11, 1889 in Louisa County, Iowa, and is buried in the Mallory Cemetery in Toolsboro, Lot 4. Also on Lot 4 are his son-in-law L. Mallory, born 1834, died 19 Nov 1884, and his daughter Elizabeth Mallory, born 1838, died 1929. Since Joseph was buried in Toolsboro he was probably living with (or visiting) daughter Elizabeth when he died as she is found in the 1880 census in Toolsborough, Louisa Co, Iowa: 91 Lorenzo Mallory, 51, blacksmith, born Oh, parents born Conn; Elizabeth, 40, Il, Oh, Va; Viola Goodenough, 9, adopted daughter, Ill; Jessie A. Smice 11/12 (born Feb), Ia, Pa, Va. Jessie’s relationship is not given so perhaps there was an adoption in process?

James R. Denison Family

James R. Denison was born 12/25/1802, place unknown. He purchased four parcels of land in Mercer County in 1839: NE & SWFR Sec 4 in Township 13N Range 2W(future Suez Township) and W2SW and E2NE Sec 34 in T14N5W. He is found next door to father William in the 1840 Census: 1 male 30-40 (James); 1 male 10-15 (Elmore in wrong column?); 1 female 30-40 (Eleanor). James died 6/15/1846 in Mercer County and is buried in New Boston Cemetery. His widow Eleanor Denison is found in the Town of New Boston in 1850: Eleanor Denison, 39, born New York, no occupation; Elmore W. Denison, 13, born Indiana; Sabria A. Denison, 5, born Il; Jacob Sonio, 35, laborer, born Pa; Daniel McCurdy, 32, cooper, born Pa; E. Armel, 27, physician, born Pa; Simeon P. Smith, 44, physician, born Pa. Apparently Eleanor took in boarders for a living. They are living next door to Erastus Denison's widow and to Elmore Denison, brother of James, who was probably the namesake for son Elmore W. Denison. On 8/8/1850 widow Eleanor Denison married Daniel McCurdy. We do not find them in Mercer County in the 1860 census, nor do we find marriages for the children in Mercer County. We were unable to locate any of the family in the 1880 census.

Erastus Denison Family

Erastus Denison was born 4/9/1809 in Kentucky. He either went on his own to Morgan County, Illinois, or the family passed through there on the way to Mercer County as he married Julia Ann Shaunce on 2/14/1830 in Morgan County, Illinois. We know this is the same Erastus Denison as Julia's Shaunce brothers soon followed to Mercer County. Julia Ann soon died, probably in childbirth, and was the first burial in New Boston Cemetery per a note in the History of Mercer County 1882. She died prior to 1835 as Mrs. Jack, who died in 1835,was the second burial.

Erastus S. Denison bought eight parcels of public land in Mercer County, between 4/1836 and 9/1839. Two were in Township 13N Range 2W (future Suez) and the other six were in Township 13N Range 4W (Future Abington).

Erastus next married Martha Jane Long on 9/28/1837 in Mercer County. She was born about 1820 in Ohio. They are found in the 1840 census: 1 male 30-40, 3 males 20-30, 1 male 15-20, 1 male 5-10; 1 female 20-30, 2 females 15-20, 1 female under 5. Two of the males were engaged in trade and 2 in agriculture. Obviously several brothers and sisters of Erastus were living with him. Erastus Denison died 2/23/1849, age 39 yrs 9 mo 14 dys and is buried in New Boston Cemetery.

Widow Martha Long Denison is found next door to the widow of James R. Denison (above) in the 1850 census: Martha Denison, 30, born Ohio; Julia A. Denison, 12, born Il; Josephine C. Denison, 10, born Il; Albert P. Denison, 7, born Il. No occupation is shown for Martha; perhaps she helped Eleanor Denison with her boarders. Erastus's brother Elmore lived next to Martha and it was probably his job to help out the two widows. There were three additional children: Ezra F. Denison, born 1/2/1842, d. 11/18/1846; Mary E. Denison, b. 4/1846, d. 1/23/1847; and Harvey D. Denison, b. 4/1848, d. 6/2/1848. All three are buried in New Boston Cemetery. Widow Martha Denison married Samuel Sheriff on 7/3/1850 in Mercer County.

Daughter Julia Ann married William Phelps on 7/4/1855. They are not found in Mercer County in 1860. Daughter Josephine C. Denison married Benjamin F. Thompson on 6/30/1858 in Mercer County. They are found in the 1860 census in New Boston, two doors from Elmore Denison and the two widows Denison: B. F. Thompson, 32, merchant, born Ohio; Josie C., 20, born Il; Blanche E., 1, born Il; A. E. Dennison, laborer, 16, born Il [Josie's brother Albert Erastus]. They are still in New Boston in 1870: Benjamin Thompson, 40, collector for railroad, born Ohio; Josephine, 29, born Il; Blanche, 11, Il; James S., 4, Il; Sarah E. Peterson, housekeeper, 22, Sw.

Son Albert Erastus Denison was born 1844, died 1881 in Mercer County and is buried in New Boston Cemetery. He married Elizabeth Roberts, daughter of Henry and Mary Baker Roberts. They had children Daisy, Henry Franklin, Josie and George A. Denison. Daughter Daisy Dennison married William B. Farver on 5/11/1887 in Mercer County and is buried in New Boston Cemetery (1866-1925). Son Henry Franklin was born 1868 and died 1896 in Mercer County and is buried in New Boston Cemetery, next to wife Vella (1871-1895) and infant daughter, died 8/6/1895. According to Mercer County marriage records he married Nellie May Minor on 4/5/1895 and she apparently died in childbirth. Daughter Josie [Josephine C. after her aunt] married Harve I. Prouty on 6/11/1887 in Mercer County.

William Harrison Denison Family

William H. Denison was born 8/6/1810, place unknown. He married Caroline Ives on 7/27/1837 in Mercer County. Caroline was born about 1819 in Connecticut. William Deniston purchased the W2NW of Sec 4 in Township 13N Range 4 W (future Suez), very near his brother James on 10/23/1839. He is living in New Boston Township in 1840 however. William died 11/6/1846 and is buried in New Boston Cemetery. He was a witness to the will of Isaac Willits and we have a copy of his original signature as "William Denison." William's son, Newton I. Denison was probably named for Newton I. Willits, Isaac's son.

William apparently had a wife prior to Caroline as he is found in the 1840 census: William H. Denison, 1 male 20-30[William], 1 male 5-10 [unknown]; 1 female 20-30[Caroline]; 1 female 10-15 [unknown]; 2 females under 5 [Harriet and unknown].

William and Caroline had children: Harriet A. Denison; Isadora, Charlotte, Newton I., and William H. Denison(b 2/28/1847, d. 5/14/1848). Caroline was pregnant with young William when William Sr. died. Caroline married second to widower John Brooks Beeson, New Boston's first druggist and they are found in New Boston Town in 1850: John B. Beeson, 30, Clerk, born NC; Caroline, 31, born Connecticut; Orville Beeson, 4, Il [stepson to Caroline]; Harriet A. Denison, 11, Il; Isadora A. Denison, 8, Il; Charlotte R. Denison, 6, Il; Newton I. Denison, 4, Il. Caroline had a daughter Clara Vashti Beeson, b. 1851, d. 1/20/1852 and buried next to Wm. H. Denison, Jr. The family is not found in Mercer County in 1860 nor are marriages for the Denison children found in Mercer County.

We have received kind permission from Bill Hanlon of California to post his research on the Beeson and Denison family in California in connection with a sampler that he purchased that was probably made by Harriet Denison (Click for sampler story and photo).

Ezra F. Denison Family

Ezra F. Denison was born between 1817 and 1819 in Ohio. Ezra F. Denison bought the W2NW of Section 34 in Township 14N Range 5W on 9/27/1839 but we don't find him there in the 1840 census. He married Mary L. Satige probably in Louisa County, Iowa. They are found in Jefferson Township, Louisa County, Iowa, [just across the River from Mercer] in the 1850 census: Ezra F. Denison, 31, merchant, born Ohio; Mary L., 26, born Ohio; Eliza J, 5, born Ia; Julia A., 3, born Ia.

This family too went to California, before 1856, according to the census. They are found in San Francisco in 1880: E. F. Dennison, mine owner, 63, born Ohio, parents born Ohio [they definitely were not]; Mary L. Dennison, 56, born Oh, father born Va, mother born Md; William E. Dennison, bookkeeper, son, 24, born California. There may have been more children. His death is reported in the Grave Records of Louisa County, Iowa but he is not buried there. The record reads "Ezra Denison (reported May 25, 1923); wife May L. Satige."

Elmore J. Denison Family

Elmore J. Denison married Susannah Alyea, daughter of Joseph and Margaret Love Alyea on 5/1/1850 in Mercer County, and is found in the 1850 census in the town of New Boston: Elmore J. Denison, 26, Merchant, born Indiana; Susanah Denison, 25, born Indiana. He is living next to the widows of his brothers, Erastus and James, and was probably helping them.

Elmore Denison bought the W2NW Sec 22 and SWSW Sec 15 Township 15N Range 5W (Eliza Township) on 10/17/1855 (sold by 1875 - see Eliza Township plat map. At this time all descendants of anyone who fought in any war for the United states was eligible for free land but Elmore paid full price of $1.25 per acres for his 60 acres. Though he had purchased land they continued to live in town as they are found in New Boston in 1860: Elmore J. Dennison, Merchant, 36, born In; Susannah, 35, born In; Hamlin, 8, Il; Ella, 6, Il; Fletcher, 1, Il. In 1870 they are still in New Boston Town: Elmore Denison, Merchant, 46, born In; Susan, 45, born Ohio; Hamlin E. Denison, 19, clerk, Il; Ella S. Denison, 15; Fletcher Denison, 10; Victor Denison, 8. Other persons in the household: Anna Soderstrand, 29, housekeeper, Switzerland; Hannah Soderstrand, 32, housekeeper, Sw; William B. Danford, 23, clerk in store, La; Henry Pierce, 56, retired lumber dealer, Ma.

The 1880 census record indicates a complete change in their life. They are found in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois: Elmer J. Dennison, Electrical Worker Mfg., 56, born In, father born England, mother born Wales; Susan Dennison, 55, born Ohio, father born NJ, mother born Ky; Elmer H. [Hamlin] Dennison, bookkeeper, 29, born Il; Fletcher Dennison, hat and cap clerk, 20, born Il; Victor Dennison, cashier, 18, born Il. Daughter Ella S. Denison married William Stewart on 4/6/1874 in Mercer County.

Mercer County Cemetery Records for the Denison Family

These are taken from the DAR walkdown of the cemeteries in the 1960's. Given the condition of the tombstones, errors in transcriptions, and errors that are rather common on tombstone inscriptions, these records should be taken with a grain of salt! For cemetery locations see our Cemetery page linked on the home page.

New Boston Cemetery

Rachel Deniston, died 11/20/1852 aged 77
E. J. and S. Denison [children of] Edgar, died 11/23/1855; Clara died 2/22/1865, age 1 yr 6 m 25 dy; Bertie, died 9/12/1869, age 2 yr 5 mo
John W. Denison, died Dec 21, 1855, age 56 yr 9 mo Rachel M. Denison, daughter of J. W. and M., died July 28, 1838, age 8 yr 11 mo 28 dy
James R. Denison, died June 15, 1846, age 43 yr 5 mo 21 dy
William Denison, Sr, died August 14, 1840, age 79 yr 8 mo 29 dy
E. S. and M. J. Denison [children of] Harvey D., June 2, 1848, 2 mo 23 dy; Mary E., Jan 23, 1847, 9 mo; Ezra F., Nov 18, 1846 4 yr 10 mo 16 dy
Erastus S. Denison, died Feb 23, 1849 age 39 yr 9 mo 14 dy
William H. Denison, died 11/6/1846 age 36 yr 3 mo
William H. Denison, son of W. H. and C., died 5/24/1848 age 1 yr 2 mo 24 dy
Clara Vashti Denison, daughter of B. & C. Beeson, died 1/20/1852, age 13 mo
Children of B. F. and J. C. Thompson: Minnie S., May 14, 1864-Aug 14, 1865; James S., Aug 3, 1866-Dec 31, 1874
Father Albert Erastus Dennison, 1844-1881 Mother Elizabeth Roberts 1846-1907
Mother Daisy Dennison Farver 1866-1925
Henry Franklin Denison 1868-1896
Vella or Nella(?) Denison 1871-1895 (record says 1875 but was probably 1895)
Infant daughter of Frank & Nellie Denison, August 6, 1895

Davis Cemetery, New Boston Township

Mrs. Erastus Denison was the first burial there. Mrs. William Jack the second in 1835 (no remaining tombstones in 1960's or perhaps none were made at this very early date).

Viola Cemetery

Nancy Dennison, died June 23, 1904, age 83 years

Alexis Cemetery

Leman C. Dennison 1874-____Father Mary E. Dennison 1874-1957 Mother
Alta Lucille Dennison 1898-1935
John Dennison 1836-1920
Hannah R. Dennison 1848-1927

Minor and Mary Parsons Denison Family

Information is courtesty of descendant Amelia Sticher:

Iowa census of 1860: Minor T. "Dennison" was living in Jefferson township, Louisa county, Iowa, with his wife, Mary C. At that time they had 2 sons: "Elmor G." (actually Elmore J.-my great-grandfather), 5 y.o.; Edwin F., 2 y.o. Minor's occupation was farmer.

Iowa census of 1870: Minor and Mary were still living in Jefferson, Iowa, with the same 2 sons. Minor's occupation then was "wood boating."

Kansas census of 1880: Minor (recorded in the census as "Martin T.") and his wife, Mary, and their younger son, Edwin (22 y.o.) were living with their older son, "Edward" (actually Elmore-my great-grandfather) in the township of Scandia, Republic county, Kansas. Minor's occupation then was "RR laborer." Edwin was a baker.

Louisiana census of 1900: Minor T. was living with his son Elmore in Iberia parish, Louisiana. His marital status was "widower."

An obituary for "Mr. M.P. Dennison" was found in the New Iberia, La., newspaper, "The Daily Enterprise-Leader," 24 November 1906 issue. It reads:

Mr. Dennison's Death

The death of Mr. M.P. Dennison at Avery Island is reported. He was a native of Mercer County, Ill., and was 83 years old. He came to this part of the country several years ago and for the last few years had been in the employ of Mrs. Leeds of the Island. His son is a farmer a few miles from the city. Mr. Dennison was much respected by all who knew him and had made many friends here. (New Boston, Ill., papers requested to copy.)

There will be services in the Presbyterian church to-morrow at 11 o'clock a.m. and at 7:30 in the evening.