Frances Herndon

Frances Herndon
b. 1791–92, Culpepper or Madison County, Virginia, to William and Mary (Bohannon) Herndon
d. 29 January 1865, Sangamon County, Illinois

m/1. 5 March 1812, Franklin County, Indiana
Henry Hammons

m/2. 13 February 1823, Franklin County, Indiana
Elisha James
b. about 1775, Maryland
d. 14 October 1841, Rush County, Indiana

Children with Henry Hammons:

  • Harrison (1812–1891)
  • Nancy (b. ca. 1820)

Children with Elisha James:

  • George B.
  • Frances “Fanny”

The minutes of the Pleasant Run Baptist Church recorded the death of Elisha James in the fall of 1841 in these exact words: “All the neighborhood attended the burying of Brother Elisha James last week; everybody know about it, why bother to record the fact.”

About 1841, and before the 1850 census, Frances and her children, Nancy Hammons, and George B. and Fanny James, moved from Rush County, Indiana, to Sangamon County, Illinois, to be near her brother, Archer Gray Herndon. Archer, who had been known as a great Indian fighter, assisted Frances in making a home and taking care of her children. She did seamstress work and tailoring for local residents.

Archer Gray Herndon and Abraham Lincoln and seven others were members of the “Long Nine”, the group that was instrumental in establishing Springfield as the capitol of Illinois. Archer’s son, William Henry Herndon, was the law partner of Abraham Lincoln and after Lincoln’s death wrote a three-volume biography of Lincoln.

Archer Gray Herndon, Frances Herndon James, and Abraham Lincoln are all buried at Oak
Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois.

Submitted by:
Sharon Hohimer
Chatham IL

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