Joan Black Lund
Biographic sketch from "American Pilgrimage for Lesan, Blachards, Swearingens" by Ruth Blanchard Knudson LDS film #1016921 Item 2 page 125-129:
John was a good farmer, they always said, and like a good big farm. He was also a family man who traveled in caravan with his in-laws when he came west in his youth. Too bad that his father-in-law Old Spence Dady and his brother-in-law, Johnson Dady, likes to feel footloose and fancy-free. In John's old age, his son-in-law, John McClaren was a little the same way. He was more townsman than farmer. John Sutley would choose a well-drained fertile farm site, put down his money and his roots, put up a set of comfortable building, and plan for more. Then the old folks -- or the young ones -- would drive up to say "we're moving back to Mason City. Don't like it here". John and Alzina would have a conference. John would sigh. "well, Mama and I've talked it over. We're going to sell and come along with you".
His grandchildren used to say "Wish I could see that thousand acres that Old John Sutley owned". But we don't even know where it was any more.
John gave up Ringgold county land [Iowa] so that Molly McClaren could be born in "civilized" Illinois. Back there, he surely carried her in his arms to see the bright blossoms in his garden near Mason City. He was dead before she was ten, but for this oldest grandchild he was probably a devoted and delightful babysitter.
John was the fifth of six children of Chris and Elizabeth Sutley. George, Michael, Simon and William were older. Sarah was the little sister. Only one of this family married back into the German community in Pennsylvania.
His mother, Elizabeth Shoemaker, possibly came from the closeknit clan that founded Shoemakerville northwest of Reading. Chris and his father were contractors entrusted with early public buildings of sold stone that were monuments to their workmanship for a century and may be there yet. I would like to see the courthouse they built but I wish I could have seen Venango County with the first Sutleys.
It was no wonder that John loved the land. When he was born there in 1810, Venango County was a fairyland of beauty, accoding to the histories; the Seneca Indians' place of worship. Oil put shimmering rainbow colors into its many springs, and bubbled up in marshy spots--a magical sight when touched by fire in a religious ceremoney.
John and his four brothers would dame up a stream and either skim the top or pull a blanket along the surface to absorb the oil they wanted to use. The waters were full of spackled trout and fed from an immense number of spectacular flowing cold springs. Good soil undulated over small coal banks.
George was the first Sutley on the account books at Ed Hale's store in 1798.
The second sawmill was on Sutley's run, built by Royal Brown who
married Susan Sutley, and went to Iowa-Wisconsin in 1864.
Alzina and John Sutley's children were: Hariet who died young; William Hastings Sutley who married Mary J. Mulford; Adelia Sutley who married John Thomas McClaren; Charles Suttley [sic] who married Mary Gerard; Albert Sutley married Sarah E. Nichols; Alfred married Susan Combs; Mary Sutley d 1911; Hariet A. Sutly [sic], died as an infant; and Laura Sutley married Bloomfield Ramsey.
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