Experience's Children

Painter Family Stories

Transcript of letter written by George W. Hudson

(1828-1888) to his wife Elendar "Nellie" Carr Hudson (1834-1907)
[original said to have been in the possession of Charlotte Painter Stollard.]

Nov. 16, 1863

Bridgeport, Ala. in 12 mi. of Chattanooga. In sight of Lookout Mt. The Rebs hold one half of this mtn. Rosecrans on one side and Bragg the other.

Dear Wife - the last time that I wrote to you was at Florence in this State. We have been on a long fatiguing march, over the Cumberland Mtns. and the Smoky Mtns. in Tenn. Chattanooga is in Ga. They have hard times marching this last month carrying our knapsacks and we have been on half rations. We have marched over 1000 miles in the last 6 wks. but I won't complain just so I live. We are going to march tomorrow. Our Brigade goes in first tomorrow. We have got to a place where it is death or victory. We stopped here last night (Sunday night) to rest a little and turned over our tents and wagons and horses and everything that is heavy so we can get along better. Everything is in such a hurry today.

You must not think it strange if I don't write much - I just now got a letter from you that had the print of Sampeys and Rosies and Wills hands. They looked pretty to me. I also got a letter from Mother at the same time that said she was 70 years old on the 12th of last Sept. I will not have time to answer her letter, you can tell her. Your letter did not say anything about the twenty dollars that I sent you by Mr. Hill of Raysville, Ind.

Well, Nellie, you told me about your dream. Dreams are very pleasant to me at times. I can say that I am well and thankful to God for it. I want you to be in good heart till I come home. There is no chance for furloughs till after this Lookout Mtn. battle. Make yourselves as comfortable as you can. You know that I have got myself in a fix that I can't come to your relief when I please. (Look on the other sheet.) You know that three yrs. won't last always. I don't think the war will end enyway soon the way things is going on.

I want you to stay where you are, let what will come. Everthing will work out right after while.

I have two nice rings for you that cost three dollars apiece. I wear them on each little finger. They are set with silver and pearl sets. I am afraid to risk sending them in a letter for fear you don't get them.

Now I must tell you how I look. I have not shaved for one year. The hair on my upper lip is as long as a goats. I know the children would not know me if I was to come home this way.

[Last part of letter lost.]

Stories of Zeke Painter, friends and family

by William Thomas Painter (1874-1956)

About 1850 a community in Franklin County, Indiana, were very much interested in stories of rich farm lands of Missouri and Kansas that could be acquired by homestead by families who would live on and improve them.

Men of adventure had traveled west to hunt and trap and trade with Indians, and returning would tell of the very productive lands out west. It so happened that a number of families from southeast Indiana prepared a wagon train, and in the spring of 1857 drove through to Kansas, and some wrote back to friends telling of rich lands and opportunities in Kansas.

So in the fall of 1857 another band of settlers decided to go west. They secured the necessary equipment, teams and wagons, and in September drove away from their native haunts, leaving friends and relatives. Included in this band were a number of people who were destined to take leading parts in many events in the development of the middle west - Ezekiel Painter, Wm. Nicholson, and others.

In 1857 steamboats carried a lot of freight on the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Many pioneers earned money by cutting wood and supplying the fuel for steamboats. Also by handling freight at the lands. In that early date railroads and highways were not often seen by the pioneers.

Travel was very slow - Zeke Painter had a son Bill. At that time Bill was 20 years of age and a giant, endowed with super strength. Zeke secured employment by a steamboat company, and worked on the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. He worked his way west to Westport Landing that is now Kansas City, MO. Zeke's plan was to work and earn some money while the wagon train was slowly moving west. They had decided to go to Kansas and would pass through Westport and meet other settlers there, hold a council as to just where they would locate and purchase necessary supplies. So off goes Zeke on a steamboat, trusting his family and property to his son Bill and other relatives and friends.

Zeke also had a daughter named Louise who was at that time 18 years of age, and married to Wm. Nicholson, and in her arms she carried a little son named George. Bill and Louise were Zeke's children by a first wife who died about 1843, and Zeke had married a second wife, Ollie McCafferty, and at the time of the westward move they had four children: David, the oldest, was about 10 years of age and a favorite of his half-sister Louise, and David was very fond of his half-sister Louise, and also very much attached to little George. Now Wm. Nicholson and brother John and a number of others had decided to go to Minnesota as some others had gone on before, and persuaded them to settle in that State.

All traveled in one wagon train to western Illinois, then the Nicholsons and others drove north, while Painters, McCaffertys, Learys, Raders, and others drove on west, crossing the Mississippi River above St. Louis on a ferry. But that parting was sad indeed for little David Painter as his loved his half-sister Louise who had always been like a mother to him. Yet he was comforted by his own dear Mother and big half-brother Bill just worshipped David. David and Louise never met again. There were others who parted there, never to meet again.

As travel was so slow and difficult, money and leisure time were nat as they are in this modern age.

After crossing the Mississippi River, they noticed two dogs that had been with them were absent. They wrote back to southeast Indiana and asked about the doges, and sure enough the dogs made their way back to Indiana, well over 200 miles. At St. Charles they crossed the Missouri River by ferry, and there David was riding horseback and it so happened that a brass band struck up some music. David's horse wad frightened and so was David as that was the first brass band that many of the emigrants had every heard.

But Uncle Ben Rader was there and a real horseman he was. He dashed to David's rescue.

The leaders of this band of emigrants had made calculations as to how they would progress along the trail and just about where they would be at a given time, and kept up a correspondence with friends and relatives, both back in Indiana and out west and north, and advised them as where to write. To be sure mail traveled slowly in those days, but it traveled much faster than the emigrants did. Danville, MO, was a town of importance in those days, and as the northbound travelers were to pass through Danville, they had requested others to write to them and address letters to Danville. When they reached Danville, they received bad news. Some of the emigrants who had gone to Kansas in the spring had been killed by Indians - at least that was the report. But later, other reports came - some assumed that white men killed the McCubbins and driven off their stock. Later it was a well known fact that some wicked outlaws made their rendezvous near the Kansas-Missouri border, and settlers were murdered and their stock and other valuables carried off by outlaws who tried to camouflage their crimes by insisting that the marauding Indians were the guilty parties.

As our band plodded onward, the weather turned bad, and although it was October it snowed and travel was very difficult. So our band decided to halt and camp at or near old Williamsburg in Callaway County, MO. They wrote to Zeke Painter at Kansas City and told him to come to Williamsburg in Callaway County, MO. Well, Zeke was no scholar and he had a difficult time making sense out of that letter. But after a time he decided to return down the river to Jefferson City and join the band at Williamsburg. After receiving more letters from Kansas, they decided not to locate in Kansas. They could not travel far as weather was getting colder, funds were low and roads were very bad. Callaway County, Missouri, was not so bad. There was plenty of timber to build with and to keep fires going, good water, fertile lands, and friendly neighbors. So they settled near Williamsburg.

They cleared land and split rails, and in the growing season they cultivated the land and produced corn, wheat, oats, tobacco, and hops. They set out orchards and vineyards, and by faithfully toiling and saving, they secured the necessary food and clothing to live and make some progress.

Now at this time in the years just previous to the Civil War there was no Public Domain, or what the settlers called Government Lands in Callaway County. One of my uncles showed me a brick house near Danville, MO, and said his Great-Grand-Father had built that in 1828. So we see the land in the surrounding country had been settled for about half a century before our band of emigrants arrived there.

They were still interested in free homes and were told that in the Ozark Mountains, one hundred miles or so to the south, there was yet to be found some Governments Land. The country was very rough and the settlers had selected the land that was more accessible and free from rocks. Yet as more people came in search of free lands, they gradually settled the rough rocky hills of the Ozarks.

But before we go farther into the Ozarks, we will follow some of our settlers who remained in old Callaway and Montgomery Counties. Big Bill Painter was soon known for miles around as the strongest man among the settlers. He could life a bigger log than any other; also out-run, out-swim, out-wrestle, out-jump, any other man that could be found. He was best with an ax or at most any manual labor.

At log rollings, house raising, clearings, and other gatherings and contests, no one could be found who could outdo Bill Painter,and he was quiet and modest, very kind and helpful to others. Very bashful among ladies, and often took his axe or gun and went into the forest when young ladies would come to the Painter home on visits. He had a very meager education, and never thought of trying to make money by exhibiting his great strength. He had no desire for publicity or professional honors. He enjoyed being with his folks and friends that he had known all his life. Thoughts of highly refined society, travel and wealth were not for him. He would gladly perform feats when those who were near and dear to him would request him to do so, as no man could be found who could throw him in a wrestle. They would gang up on him and yet he just laughed at them. He could lay flat on his back on the ground and outstretched arms and legs and just submit to their grasping any desired hold on him, and as many as could get close enough to hold on, and when they would announce they had him down and were sure they could hold him, he could roll them around as though they were just little children. He was ever careful to not seriously injure any one. But he would be up on his feet, laughing at them in a few seconds.

But our hero joined the Union Army and went south to fight for the Union. He was quiet and reserved among the soldiers and few of his comrades knew of his super strength. He was wounded once and went back home on a short furlough, and then returned to his regiment and gave his life for the Union cause, and was buried near Memphis, Tennessee.

Granny Leary was quite an old lady at the time, but was known far and near as the champion knitting woman. She could knit faster than she could talk, and she could talk faster than any of her friends. She had a way that no others attempted to imitate. This was knitting two socks at the same time, one inside the other, and the young folks were anxious to see her toe-off her two socks at once and just keep her needles going so fast it was difficult for the eye to follow. She just started two more socks - and just kept talking. As newspapers, books and magazines were very scarce in those days, Granny Leary was the Information Bureau, and her advice and counsel were sought after by many younger women. She was a great walker and knit as she traveled. The neighbors were always glad to see her coming.

Her son Wilson Leary was a venturesome lad and one day he was told to go to a thicket and cut a long pole with a hook on it, as the old oaken bucket had fallen in the well and the hook was to get it out. So off went Wilson Leary to cut a pole. But he didn't come back that day, and it was ten years later than in-walked Wilson with his long pole with a hook. He had gone far west and been successful securing employment, and was well fixed, as the settlers called it. There was rejoicing when he returned. But soon after that he and others went out west to Oregon.

Dave McCafferty settled north of old Montgomery on a farm, but he was a good mechanic and built many buildings in the surrounding country and raised a large family. Many of his descendants are yet living. One son, John, went to Alaska in the Gold Rush of 1898 and never returned. It is generally believed that he perished in the awful cold at Chilcoot Pass.

Nellie Hudson, a fine hand with needle embroidery, weaving loom, making willow baskets and chair seats.

Some of the original band did go on out west to California, while others feared the Indians and decided to go south into the Ozarks milder climate. Few Indians, plenty of wood and water. In the early days, fence material, building material on the prairies there was none, and good water was a problem. So the Land of the Ozarks had plenty of good water, spring fed, clear streams and rivers, fish, timber for all purposes.

It is well known how the early settlers could build their houses and other buildings with just an auger and a chopping axe - they made their own furniture and wagons, with just a little metal for axles and bands. Among the early settlers who chose the Ozarks were Wm. Jacobs, Ben Barton, Dan Passer, John Bowers, Parson Kent, Nancy Kent, John Roby. They settled not far from the Gasconade River. But as thousands of acres of that land was just steep, rocky hillsides and real good soil for the production of crops was mostly in the valleys, very few homesteads were all good land. Mostly a few acres in the valley good and many acres lay on rocky hillsides. Yet in some instances the settlers secured as much as a quarter section of good land in one valley or partly on gently rolling land with few stones to bother in cultivation. Some stones were used for various purposes on the homesteads. With wagon and team with stones were gathered and used for foundations and even rock fences.

Letter of William T. Painter

dated 3 January 1941

I can well remember Zeke Painter and was present when he was burried. I well remember my Grandparents on both sides. Grandfather Hudson fought in an Ind. Regiment (He was a Teamster), drove 4 mules for comisary all through Civil War. Died 1887 - 60 years of age was 6 ft. 6 in. high wore 14 shoe, lankey and strong, liked to play cards, worked hard. Lottie has a letter he wrote home in Nov. 1863 just before battle of Look-out Mountain. Grandma saved it.

I remember one of the Painters, as Dad told it was a great man for fine horses. Lived in Penn. Kept Race Horses, Great for Sports. One went to Virginia, got his name in Who's Who as an Educator, One of my other Relatives known as Uncle John Martin, was a noted builder and contractor in Indianapolis, Ind. and mother worked at his home some while she was a young lady. He did most building in Indianapolis for about 40 years, 1840 to 1880 (guess). Zeke Painter moved from Franklin Co., Ind. in the fall of 1857, settled near Williamsburg, Mo. Quite a story to move in a wagon train. No bridge on Mississippi at that time.

The Painters in Ind. were widely known for their hard work, really hustling, good farmers. Uncle Isaac (Pa's brother) was 5 yrs. younger than my dad. His first wife's name was Lizzie. I remember when she died she was the first corpse I ever saw. Uncle Ike went back to Ind. Spencer Co. I believe and married Aunt Nicey and her name was Painter before she was married. Some cousin, I dont know how near but do know she was a good woman, always sweet, patient, kind. She just died lately over 80 yrs. of age. Gold star mother.

Everett Painter, oldest son of Uncle Ike is just a little younger than I and we lived near neighbors in old Mo. Just a few years before Maim was born. Boys together for about 3 yrs, '87 to '90. Edna Balky is a daughter of Everett Painter, very nice. They live near N. Kansas City, Mo. R.5. She can tell a lot about Painters. There is a lot of Uncle Isaac's descendants in and around K. City, even to Great Grand Children.

Never knew a Painter to get hung or sent to states prison or go to the poor house.

Dave McCaferty married Nancy Carr. Nancy Carr was sister to Ellender Carr. Ellender Carr married Geo. Hudson. My mother's own aunt Nancy Carr was wife of Dad's own Uncle Dave McCaferty. So Dave Cafertie's children were first cousins to Zeke Painter's children through Grandma Painter and Dave McCafertie's children were first cousin's to Geo. Hudson's children through Grandma Hudson. Grandma Hudson's name: They called her Nellie, some say Ellender, we called her Grandma. Extra good at all needle work, good cook, quick temper, - many hardships, Grandma Hudson with family of small children to support while Grandfather served in war, 3 years. Jimie, Ellen, Will, Rosie, Samp - Monroe and Emma born after the war. I played with the two youngest in old Montgomery in the early '80s that would take a lot of time and energy to diagram that family. Mary Lucket if still living is my Uncle Jim Hudson's daughter (F.D.: she died last summer) and exceptionally good woman and has known what it was to be left with a family to support. She sure did a good job of it. Educated her children well and there is a great bunch, even of Uncle Jims, if she is there and in good health she may help quite a lot. Ike McCaferty lives in Montgomery yet so I have been told he is one of Uncle Dave McCafertie's sons. Dont think he would take much interest and he is getting old but one could talk with him. John McCaferty was a big strong man. Went to Alaska in the Gold Rush 1898, most likely died on the Chillcoot Pass (where many failed to get over the terriable mountain) never heard from. Some McCaferties live on farm near Montgomery. Uncle Dave McCaferty did not stay in Calloway Co. He settled on a creek called Elkhorn, just no. of Montgomery, and lived in Montgomery for years.

Alice McCaferty was a pal of my mother's for years, early 80's I remember, Alice took care of our mother June 1883 when Clinton was born. Alice married Jim Cole, and their Descendants are living in and near old Montgomery. Mary Lucket posibly could tell. Jim Cole Jr. so I have heard was a Truck driver, having a number of big trucks of his own. I believe he is in Audrian Co. No. of Montgomery. Pa's brother Will Painter was born in Ind. 1837, ten years older than Pa. exceptionally strong man, I believe we could find old timers to this day that could testify as to his super strength. He never married. Died in Memphis, Tenn. hospital after much exposure and being wounded in Civil War. Aunt Louise Pa's half sister about 18 years older that Pa [corrected to 8 years older] married Nicholson. It seems there were other Nicholsons of his relatives who had been to Minn. in early days and returned to Ind. and persuaded Wm., Aunt Louise's man, to go to Minn. They left Ind. at the same time Zeke Painter did, with the same wagon train. They parted in Ill., Nicholson went up near Winona first, later went to Lacquparel co., then Dawson. Dawson was not though of until the R.R. went thru. Pa often told me he so dearly loved Louise and how grieved they were to part. Louise had been married 1 yr., had her baby Geo. in her arms. He never saw Louise again or even saw her grave. She was a strong woman, faithful worker, kind and sweet. I was present in the fall of 1887 when Geo. Nicholson came to our home in old Pulaski, and my dad said Howdy Geo. How you have changed. Dad - 40 Geo. 30 at that time. Geo. was big man weighed about 200, looked much like Zeke Painter. Geo. worked in Pulaski Co., Mo. about 1 yr. and returned to Minn. I was in Dawson in 1913 and had a visit with Aunt Louise. She had experienced many hardships. Her husband Wm. Nicholson was a Farmer, also mechanic. He worked far, run an all around shop (Blacksmith, harness maker, wagon maker) and Aunt Louise ran a restaurant with light gro. for about 30 yrs. in Dawson. Steady and faithful, strickly honest. There were 3 children Geo., John, and Mattie. I know John and Geo. are dead. Mattie married a Montana Lumber man named Donaldson. Mattie had a great record as a school teacher. I believe plenty people around Dawson who well remember the Nicholsons - Wm, Louise, and John are buried in Dawson Cemetery and have Monuments, with Dates as usual, I saw them - as best I know no living descendants. Grandfather Hudson is burried in Montgomery Cemetery with Monument.

David Painter, our Dad, served in the State Militia (like National Guards) in time of the Civil War. He was on active Duty in spring of 1865, headquarters at Fulton. There was terriable times in that part of Mo. in those days the people were so much divided as to the north and south, and many outlaws took advantage of the situation, to murder and rob. Danville the Co. seat of Montgomery Co. at that time and the largest town between St. Louis and Kansas City in early days during the Civil War the Rebels raided Danville, killed all men they could, took all property they could carry off, and burned about all the buildings. The Malitia was orgainized to protect the citizens, and their property. Grandad Painter was strong for the Union and some Rebels come to his home in Calloway and knocked him on head with hatchet and left him for dead but he came out of it and lived about 20 years. Dad ranged from Fulton to Mexico, Mo, was on duty at Danville part time. Never Rec'd half the pay he was promised, and no pension. Dad served as an apprentice under Dave McCaferty for three years to learn the carpenter trade, and in those days it was so different to be a good carpenter. Many timbers were hewn out of logs by hand especially for framing. The foot Addz was a much used tool in those days, now almost forgotten and nails were much more expensive and held as of inferior stuff. Frame work was morticed and held with special wooden pins and then sanded off smooth on good jobs, but poor folks had ground floor or rough floors. In the summer of 1886 David Painter contracted to build a large barn just a little N.E. of Montgomery. I was out there many times, yet I worked at Tobacco factory steady then. Dad Hewed out Timbers and built that barn, and I saw it in Nov. 1930 44 yrs later and it still plumb true, not lop sided as so many old buildings and they had just put a new roof on it so it may be o.k. for yrs. Now where Andrew's family is in Calloway Co. is not so very far from where the old Painter home was in 1857. I was there in 1930 and the old pile of rocks where the fire place was and well walled with rocks and a very few pieced of timber still remained, I cut a small piece from what I calculated had been a plate over the door and I believe Lottie has it. The old timers still call it the old Painter place. I was on that place in the fall of 1885 and my dad showed me the knots on trees by the road side where he and other boys had thrown rocks at and shot at years before. And Henriettie, Aunt Fannie, and Dick and I believe, Margret, were born there, but none died there. Will Painter, in war, died in Memphis Hospital while others lived there. Margret was not born until after the war. I remember when she died. It was just a short time before Grandpa died. I believe it was blood poison, not sure. I am sure Aunt Henrieta had a daughter married to a farmer. Best I recall he was Thomas and I had dinner with Mrs. Thomas. She was very nice and I saw her daughter a young lady at that time 1930, was just planning her wedding. Now Aunt Henriettie never writes, very little schooling she had except hard work. She was born 1860 so you see if still living she is past 80 yrs. If you would write to her and send enclose a letter to her daughter I believe some of them would answer. I was told the Granddaughter married a banker. Aunt Henriettie has lived within a few miles of the old Painter house in Calloway also the one in Montgomery Co. for all these years and never been to see them, never traveled, just lived in Americus right near the church. She was noted for Good garden and chickens, good cook and housekeeper, no gossip, no rows. Never had a ride on a train and very little was ever in a car.

Ages of our gang:
Lottee - Sept. 26, 1873
W.T. - Nov. 23, 1874
Emerettie - April 11, 1876
Rose Azalia - Oct. 2, 1879
David Clinton - June 16, 1883
Ollie Ellender - Dec. 25, 1886
Mary Frances - Jan. 11, 1890
Andrew and Vanda: Howard Andrew and Hattie Vandalie July 30, 1892
David Painter born Dec. 15, 1847 - Died Dec. 16, 1928
Mary Ellen Hudson May 25, 1854 - Died Oct. 25, 1922
I believe Aunt Fannies birthday was Dec. 15th or 16, 1863.
One of Andrews sons (William) was born Feb. 29, 1924. Best of my knowledge Zeke Painter born 1803 or about. Geo. R. Hudson born 1828 - Died 1887. Grandma Hudson born 1832 - Died 1906 in Ind. Aunt Louise born - Died 1914. There is an old Painter cemetery on the old Painter Place in Montgomery Co. I could enjoy strolling over the old place and relating incidents that were impressed on my mind when I was a boy. The cemetery is marked by large flat stones No inscriptions. Aunt Fannie knows where each one lays and she is the only living one who does know. I saw some of them burried and have been told where each one was but never drew any plan and after years I could not be sure. Many of the old logs that Dad helped to hew out that were in the old Painter Home have been used in other buildings on the farm, and a frame house takes the place. Seem very nice folks. They held Painter Reunions for years but I never attended one and Dad never attended one and I fear that they will not have any more.

Some Painter lived in Mpls. years ago. They had business on Hennepin, I think Job Printing. I saw in a Cemetery west of Mpls. a large monument to Painter. One W.R. Painter was Lieutenant Gov. of Mo. about 26 yrs. ago.

7 come 11 Important date 7 month 11th day 1872 David P. and Mollie as he called her were married in Ind. 11 of April Emerettie '76 11 Jan. 1890 Maim. 11 Jan, 1909 Maim married in Wells

William R. Osburn

from History of Franklin County, Indiana, Indianapolis, B.F. Bowen & Co., Inc., 1915. Page 872. (source of transcript)

The Osburn family, worthily represented in Franklin county at the present time by William R. Osburn, was one of the very first families to locate in Franklin county. In fact, the first members of the family located here in 1799, a year before Indiana was made a territory, fourteen years before Franklin county was organized and seventeen years before Indiana was admitted to the union. During this long period of one hundred and sixteen years succeeding generations of the family have been active participants in every phase of development of the county. A complete history of the Osburn family and its connection with the various interests of the county would be, in a large measure, the history of Franklin county. In fact, the coming of this family to this county antedates, the county organization many years, the Osburns having been among the earliest and most prominent settlers of this section.

William R. Osburn, son of George Riley and Martha F. (Sutfin) Osburn, was born in Butler township, November 26, 1867. His father was born in the same township, September 26, 1828, and his mother was a native of the same township, the date of her birth being March 26, 1842. William R. Osburn is the only one of the nine children born to his parents who is now living.

George R. Osburn was educated in the public schools of his home township and remained at home until the opening of the Civil War. He enlisted January 1, 1862, in Company B, Fifty-second Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and served until he was finally discharged from the service September 10, 1865, at Montgomery, Alabama. Among many other battles in which he was engaged, he participated in the engagement at Fort Donaldson, Nashville and Mobile. George R. Osburn was married in 1866 and the year following moved to Denver township, Richland county, Illinois, where he lived until 1901. He then returned to the old homestead in Brookville township, Franklin county, Indiana, and lived there until his death in 1909. His wife had preceded him to the grave several years, her death having occurred in Illinois in 1901.

William R. Osburn moved with his parents to Illinois before he was a year old and lived in Illinois until 1901. In that year he returned to this county with his father and settled down on the old homestead of two hundred and sixteen acres which he now owns. He has engaged in general farming and stock raising with such success as to entitle him to the name of a progressive farmer.

Mr. Osburn was married in 1894 to Susie Willhite, who was born in Illinois, a daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Willhite, both of whom are deceased.

Mr. Osburn always has given his hearty support to the Republican party and has always taken an intelligent interest in political affairs, although he has never aspired to office. His wife is a member of the Methodist church and Mr. Osburn contributes to the support of this denomination. He is a Mason, a member of the Royal Arch degree, holding membership at Brookville. He is also an Odd Fellow. Mr. Osburn is a man well worthy of the high esteem in which he is held throughout the community and is a sterling representative of a family which has always been active in promoting the best interests of Franklin county.

In view of the fact that the Osburn familv is one of the oldest families of the county, it seems particularly fitting that the following genealogical history of the family be here included, this history of the family not only being interesting from a personal standpoint but also valuable as throwing an interesting light on the early history of the county.

The paternal grandsire of the Osburn generation whose descendants settled in Franklin county, Indiana, was one of the first men in Kentucky, and was accidentally drowned in the Ohio river near the mouth of the Big Sandy, about 1796. This pioneer was of English nativity, his mother and father came from Wales and England and resided in Scott county, Virginia.

Wishing to seek a home in the West, the father was bringing his family to Kentucky when he lost his life by his canoe upsetting. His widow and only son, James T. Osburn, Jr., who was aged ten years, continued westward to the town of Boonsboro, Kentucky, where they remained one year, returning to Virginia in 1797.

In the spring of 1798, this young man and his mother came west the second time, traveling overland on horseback, his four sisters accompanying them. They started from Abington, Virginia, on the banks of the Clinch river, and finally after enduring many hardships reached Fort Washington, later on named Cincinnati, going from there to Boonsboro, Kentucky, a portion of this lonesome and wearisome journey being only a blazed trail, and the wilderness of timber through which they journeyed being inhabited by wandering Indians.

In the summer of 1799 these pioneers along with other emigrants came to the wilds of Indiana territory, and located temporarily on a tract of land near Metamora. The territorial lands had not at that early day been thrown open for entry or even taken as a homestead until September of 1804.

Something over one hundred years ago, this part of Indiana was not generally settled; there was plenty of land and only small colonies and settlements. It was fashionable to get married early in life, have large families and populate the country, for then a home could be secured almost for the asking and at not to exceed one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre.

In the autumn of 1809, James T. Osburn, Jr., who had passed his twentieth birthday anniversary, along with seven other young men of the West Fork community decided their happiness would be increased by committing matrimony by wholesale and creating a little excitement and fresh material for the gossips to digest.

Therefore, by a special agreement, the young men took their sweethearts horseback behind them and struck the trail leading to Big Cedar creek, to the home of Elder DeWeese, where they had their hearts and hands welded in matrimony. This itinerant preacher did not make any charge for his services because the Good Book suggested that mankind multiply and replenish.

This pioneer and his faithful wife set up housekeeping near the site of St. Mary's church at Haymond, Indiana, and during his lifetime, was prominently connected in the affairs of his community and county. He was a typical Virginian and prided himself on assisting the needy and distressed and demonstrating his hospitality. He considered a good name preferable to riches, yet he is said to have possessed both.

The result of James T. Osburn's venture and matrimonial union was eleven children, six sons and five daughters.

Just here will state for the Osburn descendants (who are numerous) that Captain James T. Osburn was a militia captain under General Noble.

It is related that Capt. James T. Osburn, who was a crack shot with a rifle, killed four black bears while going to a neighbor's cabin a few miles from Haymond. This frontiersman, while out hunting for deer one antumn, killed one of the largest timber rattlesnakes ever seen in Franklin county. It measured twenty-four inches in circumference and had twenty-four rattles, hence it could give warning if disturbed; he was an athlete and expert wrestler, and often mingled with the Indians and shot with a bow and arrow and with his trusty rifle at a mark.

Mrs. Jane Harvey, wife of Squire Harvey and eldest daughter of Capt. James T. Osburn and wife, furnished many thrilling incidents of her girlhood days. She related that her father when he went out on a hunting tour to be absent several days, carried punk and flint to start a fire, for matches had not been invented; a large needle, and thread made of catgut, plenty of powder, bullets and patching for his gun, a hunting knife, hand-axe, corn-pone bread, salt and pepper, and a turkey caller which composed his outfit. On one occasion, when he had his hunting dog along and had wounded a fine buck that had taken refuge in a hole of water in Pipe creek the dog swam to the deer and it ripped the dog open, its entrails protruding. After dispatching the deer, Mr. Osburn turned his attention to his only companion, the dog, sewed up the wound and the dog lived three years. Mrs. Harvey told how in early days, about 1829, the settlers put bells on the stock running at large. They had a herd of cattle in the woods; the wolves got after the cattle and they headed for home, the howling of the wolves and bells clanging on frightened cattle made a medley of sounds most discordant to the ear. The wolves killed one of the best heifers and devoured the animal. Captain Osburn with the help of neighbors erected a wolf trap and next night had the satisfaction of finding three full-grown wolves in the pen. Mrs. Harvey accompanied her father to the trap.

One special incident related by Mrs. Jane Harvey may he of importance to those interested in the early history of Franklin county regarding the Indians. Many of the pioneer trappers and hunters of the Whitewater found it was policy to keep on friendly terms with the red men. In the year 1833 when Mrs. Harvey was twelve years old, she accompanied her father and mother to the last camp of about forty Indians located on Indian creek in Metamora township, preparatory to their removal to a reservation. It was their farewell pow-wow and the Indians were loath to leave such fine hunting grounds.

Our readers will pardon us for giving incidents of pioneer people, but, as many enjoy reminiscences of this character, will relate a few more historical facts relating to the Osburn ancestors and their descendants. Everybody about St. Marys of the Rock and in the Pipe creek country knows Squire Osburn as the genial, honorable and generally hospitable farmer, who is the last son of the original Osburn family. He carries the ear marks as, regards sociability of his father and the Virginians of ancestral fame.

George Riley Osburn, whose death occurred November 20, 1909, was a soldier during the Rebellion. He enlisted on January 1, 1862, in Company B, Fifty-second Indiana infantry, and fought for the Stars and Stripes and the preservation of our Union.

As stated previously in this narrative, George Riley Osburn, the fifth child of his father's family of eleven, remained at the old homestead near St. Mary's and farmed and taught school until 1867, when he and his wife and family removed to Richland county, Illinois. He was the owner of three hundred acres of fine black soil, but sickness and the death of his wife and six children discouraged him to remain in a malarial country, hence Mr. Osborn sold out and he and his remaining son, William, returned to Franklin county where it was more healthful.

If our readers will be patient, will digress and give a brief historical account of the naming of Cincinnati and how it came about. The emigration westward from eastern and middle states in 1787 was very great. The commander at Fort Harmer, at the mouth of the Muskingum, reported four thousand five hundred persons as haying passed that post between February and June of 1788.

In January, 1788, Matthias Denman, of New Jersey, took an active interest in the "Simms Purchase," and located among other tracts the sections upon which Cincinnati has been built. Mr. Filson, who had been a schoolmaster, was appointed to name the town and he named it Losantiville, which interpreted means: ville, the town; anti, against or opposite to; as, the mouth; and L, for Licking river opposite.

Fort Washington was established after Fort Vincennes was erected during the earlier part of the troublesome Indian wars under General St. Clair and General Anthony Wayne, and the town proper was called by the name Losantiville. As stated, in 1799, its name was changed by Governor St. Clair to Cincinnati and was the headquarters of the military and capitol of the Northwest territory.

During the stampede from New Jersey, Virginia and the southern states by emigrants seeking homes in the northwest along the Ohio river to Kentucky and what was then called Indiana territory, there were thousands who settled in this state. Among these many settlers was the Osburn family. The wife of Capt. James T. Osburn, Ruth Nelson, was an own cousin of President William Henry Harrison.

To return to the Osburn genealogy, we have tried to give a scattering history, dating back to the Revolutionary War, from the fact that Captain Osburn's father and his father's brother were both veterans of the War for Independence.

Ruth (Nelson) Osburn died March 20, 1857. Captain James T. Osburn's death occurred April 5, 1859, in his seventy-third year.

It has been one hundred and fourteen years since the ancestral Osburn family emigrated from Kentucky to Indiana, and one hundred and twenty-seven years since Captain Osburn's father, who could not swim, fell out of his canoe and was drowned.

Squire Osborn, now in his seventy-sixth year, and Mrs. Mary Schakel, his aged sister, aged eighty-one years, are the only survivors of this historical family.


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