Category Archives: Clay County

Helen Marie Jeffers

Helen Marie Jeffers
b. 22 February 1922, Vigo County, Indiana, to Charles Harvey and Bessie Bell (Grissom) Jeffers
d. 9 September 2006, Stuart, Florida

m/1. 1940’s, Vigo County, Indiana
Harvey Knesek

Robert McWhirter

Children with Harvey Knesek:

  • Julia Ann (b. 1942) married Ray Rhein
  • Harvey, Jr. (b. 1944)
  • Linda (b 1948) married Ken Gailis

Helen’s father was a coal miner and farmer, whose father and grandfather had both lived in Indiana. They lived in Greene, Clay, and Vigo counties before leaving Indiana.

Helen graduated from high school in Riley, Vigo County, Indiana, and worked in Terre Haute. She met her first husband while he was a student at Indiana State Teachers College. He taught at various schools until he joined the General Motors Corporation and worked in Indiana and Illinois.

She was a secretary at Electro-Motive, Train Division, General Motors, in Chicago, Illinois. She and her second husband, Robert McWhirter from Scotland, lived for a short time in Riley, Vigo County, Indiana, before both retired to Jensen Beach, Florida, where they lived for 24 years.

Submitted by:
Jack L. Snow
Forest Park GA

John George Targett

John George Targett
b. Somerset, England

Margaret Morris
b. Scotland

Children with Margaret Morris:

  • Janet (1886-1971)
  • Ann (1890-1949)
  • George (1883-1977)
  • Henry (1897-1975)
  • Robert (1899-1969)

John immigrated to the United States in 1880. He was a coal miner and settled in Donaldsonville, now Brazil, Clay County, Indiana, where he met and married Margaret Morris.

Submitted by:
Janet Satterfield
Hyattsville MD

George Targett

George Targett
b. 8 April 1893, Brazil, Clay County, Indiana, to John and Margaret (Morris) Targett
d. 29 August 1977, Wilmington, New Hanover, North Carolina

m. 1914, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana
Alice Adeline Piper
b. 22 February 1893, Leetonia, Columbiana County, Ohio
d. 23 December 1962, Washington, D.C.

Children with Alice Adeline Piper:

  • Louis Ruth (b. 1922) married [–?–] Swartz
  • Janet Ann (b. 1932) married [–?–] Satterfield

George emigrated from Indiana in 1920 to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, then moved to Washington, D.C., in 1927.

After graduating from school, George worked in the coal fields while attending business school at night. In the early 1900’s, the family moved to Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana, where George obtained a job in the auditor’s office of the Vandalia Railroad. After the Vandalia Railroad was absorbed by the Pennsylvania Railroad System, he was transferred to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In the mid-1920’s, a railroad unit was formed in the Internal Revenue Service, and George moved his family to Washington, D.C. When the railroad unit was abolished in the 1930’s with the formation of the Railroad Retirement Board, he opted to remain with the Internal Revenue Service. According to his daughter, he co-authored the IRS Tax Forms 1040 and 1040A. Throughout his life, he was very proud of his Hoosier background.

Submitted by:
Janet Satterfield
Hyattsville MD

John L Sturdivant

John L Sturdivant
b. 15 November 1793, Virginia, to Randall and Disa (Rainey/Reney) Sturdivant
d. 6 July 1866, probably Boone County, Iowa

m. June 1817, North Carolina
Mary Green
b. 17 November 1793, South Carolina
d. 16 June 1889, Madrid, Boone County, Iowa

Children with Mary Green:

  • Rebecca (1826-1908) married (1) Benjamin Payne, (2) John Long
  • Nancy (1839-1936) married Corydon Lowell Lucas

John immigrated to Indiana from North Carolina in 1826. He emigrated from Clay County, Indiana, to Boone County, Iowa, in 1851. John and Mary probably had many other children.

Submitted by:
Lorraine Van Dolah
Wichita KS

George Hull

George Hull
b. 20 September 1779, Virginia, to Samuel and Martha (Glover) Hull
d. 16 January 1855, Douglas Township, Boone County, Iowa

Hannah Rees

m/2. May 1834, Indiana
Lucy Farris
b. 5 June 1795, Kentucky
d. 10 August 1852, Boone County, Iowa

Children with Hannah Rees:

  • Jesse H. (1807–1873)
  • Hannah (b. 1810) married John Grogan
  • Amelia (b. 1811) married William Wright
  • William (1813–1875)
  • Nathan R. (b. 1817)
  • John (1818–1883)
  • Rewanna (b. 1819)
  • Samuel A. (1823–1889)
  • Nancy (b. 1824) married John Reeves
  • Isam Channel (1827–1873)

Children with Lucy Farris:

  • George W. (1837–1862)
  • Mary (b. 1838)
  • Jackson (1841–1927)
  • Martin (b. 1842)
  • Martha Jane (b. 1844) married Isaac Long

George immigrated to Indiana about 1822 from Licking County, Ohio. He lived in four Indiana counties: Sullivan, Greene, Clay, and Putnam. He emigrated from Indiana about 1826 to Schuyler County, Missouri.

George enlisted in the War of 1812 in Virginia and was a lieutenant. Sometime after the war, he followed other members of his family who were moving west. George was a devout believer in the Methodist faith. Upon settling in Iowa, he opened his home on Sundays for public classes and prayer meetings, which he conducted.

Submitted by:
Lorraine Van Dolah
Wichita KS

John William Christy

John William Christy
b. 10 March 1886, Hendricks County, Indiana, to Robert K. and Margaret (Moatt) Christy
d. 12 February 1924, Sadorus, Illinois

Loretta “Lori” Maxwell
b. to James R. and Mary E. (Hoffman) Maxwell

Children with Loretta Maxwell:

  • Clarence
  • [–?–] married W. D. O’Neal
  • [–?–] married Clarence Bateman
  • [–?–] married Ervin Lewis
  • [–?–] married H. H. Fisher
  • Mildred
  • Harold

John moved to Clay County, Illinois, with his parents during his boyhood days.

Submitted by:
Dawne Slater-Putt, from Clay County, Illinois, Roots, Fall 1993, p.49.

John C Chapman

John C Chapman
b. April 1820, Virginia or Tennessee, to William and Elizabeth (Fisher) Chapman
d. 13 November 1902, Worth County, Missouri

m. 20 August 1843, Campbell County, Tennessee
Orpha Riggs
b. 8 February 1826, Tennessee
d. 25 November 1910, Worth County, Missouri

Children with Orpha Riggs:

  • Polly Anna
  • Thomas Jefferson (d. 14 July 1864, Knoxville, Tennessee)
  • Millie
  • Lindsay
  • Nancy
  • Alexander
  • Olive
  • John
  • Absolom
  • Lavinia
  • William Perry

In the early 1850’s John and Orpha Chapman, along with several families of relatives and friends, relocated to Clay County, Indiana, from Campbell County, Tennessee. Orpha’s uncle, Alexander Cabbage, had moved to Clay County several years before. To provide for his growing family, John worked his farm and made barrel staves and shingles for a sawmill.

In 1856, John sold his Clay County land and in 1859, purchased 80 acres in Vigo County, Indiana. In December 1863, his eldest son, Thomas Jefferson Chapman, enlisted in the Union Army. Sadly, he became ill with dysentery and died in a Union hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee, on 14 July 1864.

By the summer of 1867, John and Orpha had settled near the town of Denver in Worth County, Missouri. Using timber from their own land, they built the two-room cabin, which was their home for the remainder of their lives. John’s brother William had already moved his family on from Indiana earlier and had written promising his brother a better living in northern Missouri.

Several years after John and Orpha relocated in Missouri, more of the Chapman relatives in Indiana followed. Polly Smith Myers, daughter of Elijah and Mary Ann (Chapman) Smith, wrote of the wagon train trip from Indiana to Missouri in 1874:

“It was a hot, dusty trip across flat Illinois. We were six weeks losing sight of the Capitol Building in Springfield…I was only 13 years old and grew homesick for my woodsy Indiana home with its rail fences, covered bridges, and wild turkeys…We crossed the Mississippi River, Hannibal, Missouri. Twelve wagons went onto the ferry and formed a circle. The twelfth wagon caused the ferry to dip, wetting mother’s nice quilts, which were three days drying. Brushy Missouri snagged my sashes and laces as I walked to school and church. I never saw Indiana again.” (Clay County Historical Society, History of Clay County, Indiana, 1984, p. 400.)

Submitted by:
Darla D. Vogel Davis
Hilton Head Island SC

Sarah Ann Chance

Sarah Ann Chance
b. 5 December 1865, Clay County, Indiana, to Caleb and Margaret [–?–] Chance
d. 4 February 1958, Pawnee, Oklahoma

m. 19 November 1882, Coffeyville, Kansas
W. F. Edwards
b. Indiana
d. 1949, Oklahoma

Children with W. F. Edwards:

  • Arthur
  • Maude married [–?–] Crowder
  • Lorn
  • Verda married [–?–] Cox
  • Glen
  • two children who died in infancy

Sarah moved to Kansas with her parents when quite small. She was an Oklahoma pioneer, moving to Oklahoma soon after her marriage. She saw the first railroad built into Claremore and Pawnee.

Submitted by:
Margaret Van Ness Nelson
Sanibel FL

Lewis Chance

Lewis Chance
b. 28 April 1818, Ohio, to Caleb and Comfort (Murphy) Chance
d. 29 August 1880, Montgomery County, Kansas

m. 29 September 1842, Warren County, Ohio
Margaret L. Lyon
b. 3 May 1822, Ohio
d. 22 April 1900, Montgomery County, Kansas

Children with Margaret L. Lyon:

  • Henry (b. 1845) married Martha E. Dunlevey
  • Caleb (b. 1845) married Matilda Bristo
  • Mary (b. 1847)
  • Joseph (b. 1848) married Emeline Johnson
  • Victoria Margaret (1853-1938) married James T. Gross
  • Emanuel (1856-1920) married Maggie E. [–?–]
  • Newton Lewis (1858-1952) married Eva D. [–?–]
  • Sarah A. (b. 1867) married William Edwards

Lewis immigrated to Indiana by 1850 from Union Township, Butler County, Ohio. He emigrated from Clay County, Indiana, to Parker, Montgomery County, Kansas, by 1880.

Submitted by:
Margaret Van Ness Nelson
Sanibel FL

John Carter

John Carter
b. 1791, Virginia or Kentucky
d. 5 January 1864, Clay County, Illinois

m/1. 26 July 1813, Harrison County, Indiana
Nancy Fleenor
b. 10 November 1795, possibly Virginia
d. 26 January 1857, Clay County, Illinois

m/2. 2 December 1857, Clay County, Indiana
Emaline Fielding
b. 1833, Tennessee

Children with Nancy Fleenor:

  • James
  • Sarah married [–?–] Brooks
  • Charles
  • Elizabeth married [–?–] Babbs
  • Mary married [–?–] Barnett
  • Manirua married [–?–] Bowers
  • Lucinda married [–?–] Babbs
  • Jasper

Children with Emaline Fielding:

  • Jefferson

John resided in Harrison and Washington counties in Indiana, and emigrated from Indiana in 1850 to Clay County, Illinois.

Submitted by:
Randall M. Grove
Dix IL