Stories of the Nugent Family

Nugent Family
From Tom Simkin

Edward Nugent was apparently born in Ireland [Co Cavan?] 15 February 1827, and came to Canada with 6 siblings a year or two later. They settled in the Port Hope area, about 60 miles east of Toronto, where his father farmed until 1835, when he was killed by a falling log during a neighborhood barn-raising. Edward continued in farming, and about 13 years later married Jane (Jennie) Boles, who was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1816. They appear in the Clarke Twp census of 1861, with 6 of their 7 seven children, but left soon thereafter to follow oldest brother Charles' westward path to Wisconsin (although Charles had by then moved on to Iowa). They settled just west of Milwaukee, and there Jennie died in chilbirth at 48, 21 Sept 1864 in Sussex.

Edward and his 7 kids (a daughter, Susannah, married Charles Bennett, ergo the link to the Bennett page!) moved to NW Missouri in, apparently, early 1868. He bought a 120 acre farm near Empire Prairie (28 miles NNE of St Joseph) in April 1868. He bought it, interestingly, from James Wildish only 5 months after James' married Edward's oldest, Mary. Only a year later, Edward was killed in a trip to Rochester, the largest town on the way to St Joseph. He had just started the 12 mile return to the farm when his fully loaded wagon went into a "chuck-hole"; he fell from the front of the wagon and under its wheels, dying the next day, 16 April 1869. This left 6 orphans on the farm, with gGrandad Frank the oldest at 19. Frank bought most of the livestock & equipment when it was auctioned in Sept and, with sister Sophia, "held the family together." He brought bride Aretha Wood to the farm in late 1871(?), but she died of typhoid fever only 14 months later. This ended the Nugent farm. Sophia had married in December 1871 and the younger kids went to live with her or Mary on their nearby farms.

The next information we have on Frank is the birth of a son, Harry, in Island City (3+ miles NE of the farm) in May 1876. His second wife was Florence Williams, an Indiana girl who came to NW Missouri in 1872 with her stepfather Peter Hastings, and family. This family, enlarged by Frank and young Harry, moved back to Indiana in 1877, where Frank ran a general store in Maple Valley (25 miles E of Indianapolis, and 5 NW of Knightstown). There Frank and Florence separated, and Frank married Kizziah Overman 22 May 1879. They had a farm south of Maple Valley, where my grandmother Eva was born 13 Sept 1881. Their second daughter, Jesse, died at 21 months (24 Sep 1889) and this new tragedy apparently drove Frank from the farm. He went to work for the Pennsylvania RR in Ogden, just E of Knightstown, but after a few years shifted 25 mi east to Centerville, where he remained a crossing watchman until his death 30 Dec 1915.

The summary above is based on the work of many researchers and friends. They are (in my contact sequence):

1. Eva Nugent Commons - my Grandma, daughter of Frank, whose 1972 family history notebook (given to me shortly after our daughter was born, exactly 90 years and 3 days after her own birth) started all this.
2. John Smith - ggGrandson of Edward Nugent's younger sister Elenore born just 10 months after Edward.
3. Joy Miller - gGranddaughter of the mother of Frank Nugent's second wife.
4. Jean McNamara - ggGranddaughter of Edward's next older sister, Elizabeth Jemima Nugent Leach.
5. W. Jean Smith - helpful professional genealogist in Andrew Co. MO.
6. Erdine Nugent - her late Husband Dale was descended from Charles, the oldest of Edward's siblings.
7. John Bennett - gGrandson of Susannah Nugent McComb Bennett, Frank's youngest sister. Many documents and photographs give a wonderful feel of this family (and of NW Missouri life in the 19th century).

Family Photographs

Inherited captions on back of photos (most by Eva Nugent Commons) in quotes. Additional caption information by Tom Simkin, 4902 Rock Spring Rd, Arlington, VA 22207 and
Corrections welcomed!

1. Frank Nugent (1850-1915) Photo at left probably from Missouri years (1867-1877), and one at right during early married years with 3rd wife Kizziah Overman Nugent. They married in 1879 and moved to Centerville, Indiana in 1892, where this photo was taken.

2. Frank Nugent's sisters: (Left) "Ellen Jane Nugent Dick. Born Apr 15, 1854, this taken about 1900" 3rd daughter(1854-1929) of Edw & Jane (Jennie). She lived in Savannah, MO (12 Mi N of St. Joseph), had 3 children, and died 24 hours after her sister Mary in 1929.

(Upper)"Myra Elizabeth (daughter of James E. Wildish) Wildish and her Grandma Wildish (Mary Ann Nugent Wildish)" Frank Nugent's older sister (1849-1929). She was the first sibling to marry (1868, before the accident that killed their father in 1869). The Nugent's Missouri farm (1/2mi NW of the Wildish farm) was purchased from her husband James Wildish in 1868. The Wildishes had 7 children, one dying young. (Photo ca 1916)

(Right) "Aunt Susie (Susannah H. Nugent McComb) Bennett. Grandpa Nugent's sister who came and lived with them on the farm while she was having her baby Rpy's leg straightened". She was the youngest of FN's sisters, and her son Roy McComb was born 1880 by her first marriage. He had a club foot correction at an Indianapolis hospital near the Indiana farm where Susie's brother Frank and family lived in the early 1880's. Susie later married Charles Bennett and bore him 4 children. Their farm was immediately S of the Wildish farm on the E border of Andrew County near Empire Prairie (28 mi NNE of St. Joseph).

(Lower)"Aunt Susie & daughter Winnie". Winona May (1889-1988) was the youngest of Susie's children and lived on the farm with her mother after Charles died. Winnie married George Spiking in 1919. They had two sons, Jack and Bennett Spiking. For a photo of Susie at an age between those two, see Chas. Bennett page.

3. "Aunt Sophia & aunt Ellen" (Sophia Nugent Combest (1852-1924) & Ellen Nugent Dick (1854-1929). "These aunts came to Centerville soon after my father's death (12/30/1915); came with Frank Combest (eldest son of Sophia)". Sophia was next to Frank (1850-1915) in age, and was credited with him in holding the family together after their father Edward's untimely death, at 42, in 1869.

4. "Grandpa Nugent's brothers and sisters. Ed,____*, Sophie, Ellen(back),___*, John (front)", then (in parentheses at bottom, names of the unidentified pair: "Myra (Mary) or Susie". The place must have been NW Missouri because not all siblings came to Frank's (winter) funeral in Indiana.

5. Frank Nugent's brothers: "Edward James Nugent. Born March 15 1860, taken about 1907". Post card, embossed on lower right corner is "CLARK, 112 S Tejon St. Colo. Spgs., Colo". He died in Santa Cruz, CA, in 1929, after spending much of his adult life in Colorado (to Colorado in 1899, and California in 1924) and raising 7 kids with wife Meg Reardon.

5.(cont) John A. Nugent (1864-1919). He was the only child of Edward & Jane NOT included in the Canadian census of 1861, and his death was "soon after" his brother Frank (12/30/15) according to ENC's records. He settled in Burdett Nebraska after leaving NW Missouri, had 4 children and was living there in 1916 at the time of Frank Nugent's funeral.

Additional Family Photos

These photos were added to the page in 2006 and depict family photos taken in 1916-1917. Select: 1916-1917

Any corrections, additions, or general improvements to this brief summary will be welcome at: [email protected]