Category Archives: Montgomery County

Viola Compton

Viola Compton
b. 25 October 1865, Montgomery County, Indiana, to John H. and Sarah Jane (Hatt) Compton
d. 1949, Robertsdale, Baldwin County, Alabama

Viola Compton was a woman born before her time. She was always interested in learning and passed the exam to become a school teacher at the age of 17. She began her teaching career in District 7 of Montgomery County, Indiana, in 1882.

In 1903 Viola attended Moody’s Bible Institute in Chicago where she obtained the education to fulfill her life’s work of Christian charity. Despite ill health and a growing hearing loss, she moved first to Tennessee, was active in Kentucky, and also North Carolina. In each place, she helped found various schools, churches and other charitable organizations.

Viola traveled extensively through Yellowstone, the Ozarks, Texas, and New Mexico. She wrote about her home, childhood, family, ancestors, and incidents that affected who she was. She compiled a very thorough Compton family tree and documented her work with photographs and the written word.

In 1934, age and ill health dictated retirement so she transferred the assets of her business to Milligan College in eastern Tennessee and moved south to live with her cousin, Judith Lee Pitman, in Baldwin County, Alabama. She died there in 1949 and is buried in the Pitman family cemetery about one mile from the house.

Submitted by:
Sandra Rackard
Mobile AL

Raymond Austin Van Cleave

Raymond Austin Van Cleave
b. 4 March 1908, Crawfordsville, Montgomery County, Indiana, to William and Mary (Harper/Kirby) Van Cleave
d. 13 January 2000, Portland, Oregon

m. 21 April 1944, Portland, Oregon
Emma J. Timmerman/Maes/Carey
b. 2 May 1912
d. 9 Nov 1991

Children with Emma J. Timmerman/Maes/Carey:

  • Rosalie married David John DeMartino

Raymond’s mother died of childbirth in Indiana when Raymond was only eight days old. His maternal grandmother Martha Jane (Harper) Kirby took two of her daughters and Raymond to Portland, Oregon. He grew up there and as a young man, he played baseball, went fishing and played golf. While living with his grandmother, he worked at a drug store to help support her and put food on the table.

In his thirties, Raymond started to work for candy and cookie companies. During WWII he was deferred in order to make sweets for the military. It was at the candy and cookie company that he met his wife. He married shortly after his grandmother passed away.

Submitted by:
Rosalie L. De Martino
Salem OR

Rebecca Ann James

Rebecca Ann James
b. 13 December 1832, Crawfordsville, Montgomery County, Indiana, to William and Nancy (Doyel) James
d. 19 February 1909, Bushnell, McDonough County, Illinois

m. 4 October 1849, Putnam County, Indiana
James Hughs Wilson

Children with James Hughs Wilson:

  • William
  • Mary
  • Joseph
  • Levi Scott
  • Panetta
  • Miriam
  • Judge L.
  • Delaney E.
  • Lewis

In 1840, Rebecca, her brother Farmer and mother Nancy are found living with Grandfather Farmer Doyel. Rebecca’s father had moved to Texas. In 1848 her parents were granted a divorce in Montgomery County, Indiana. She was raised by her mother Nancy.

By autumn of 1850, Rebecca had moved with her husband and son William to Table Grove Township, McDonough County, Illinois. From 1860 until her death at age 76, Rebecca lived in Mound Township, McDonough County, Illinois. She is buried in Upper Mound Cemetery between New Philadelphia and Bushnell, McDonough County, Illinois.

Rebecca traveled in January 1876 to Van Zandt County, Texas for the division of the land she inherited from her father. Both she and her brother Farmer sold their portion to the other heirs.

Submitted by:
Yvonne James
Mineola TX

John A James

John A James
b. between January and July 1830, Montgomery County, Indiana, to William and Elizabeth (Turnham) James
d. 1870, Van Zandt County, Texas

m. 12 August 1852, Van Zandt County, Texas
Nancy Ann Bundy
b. to James T and Rebecca C. (Williford) Bundy

Children with Nancy Ann Bundy:

  • Nancy Ann
  • John Franklin
  • Julia F.
  • Mary Magdalene

John’s parents and brother Joseph emigrated from Kentucky to Indiana. John was born in 1830 and it is believed that his mother died in childbirth. His father remarried and had two more children. He was granted a divorce in 1841 and then returned to Shelby County, Kentucky with his sons, Joseph and John, leaving the children of his second marriage with their mother in Indiana.

In 1844, Joseph and John received their portion of their Grandfather John Turnham’s estate as heirs of Elizabeth (Betsey) Turnham. The land was sold to the other heirs before Joseph and John accompanied their father to Texas after he was mustered out of the Army.

John received a Mercer Colony Headright Certificate #553 for 320 acres in Kaufman County, Texas in 1850. John enlisted on 29 Mar 1862 and was assigned to Company J, Sweet’s Regiment, 15th Texas Cavalry. The unit was captured in Arkansas in January 1863. John and other prisoners of war were transferred to Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois. After three months, John was one of 600 prisoners paroled and exchanged; he was sent by train to City Point, Virginia. Although the parolees were not supposed to fight again against the Union, after a stay in a hospital in Georgia, John returned to his unit and remained until finally surrendering at Bennett’s House in Durham Station, North Carolina, on 26 April 1865.

Submitted by:
Yvonne James
Mineola TX

William James

William James
b. 1804, Kentucky
d. 1875, Texas

m/1. 25 September 1828, Shelby County, Kentucky
Elizabeth Turnham
b. about 1810, Kentucky
d. 1830, Indiana

m/2. 20 December 1831, Crawfordsville, Montgomery County, Indiana
Nancy (Doyel) Laswell

m/3. Between 1847-1848
Mary Scott

Children with Elizabeth Turnham:

Children with Nancy (Doyel) Laswell:

Children with Mary Scott:

  • Sarah Eliz. (b. ca. 1848)
  • Mary Ann (b. 1850)

Sometime between July 1829 and when son John was born in 1830, William and his family immigrated to Indiana. In 1831, William purchased Town Lot #48 in Crawfordsville, Indiana, and was later listed as the proprietor of the Crane House hotel in Crawfordsville in the Sugar Creek Saga.

After marrying for the second time in 1831, William moved on to Texas and received a Land Grant for 320 acres in Nacogdoches County in 1839. By 1840, Nancy, his second wife, was listed in the 1840 census as living with her father and her two children by William in Brown Township, Montgomery County, Indiana. In 1845, William and Nancy sold the Town Lot #48 purchased in 1831 and were granted a divorce that same year. Nancy retained custody of her two children.

William enlisted on 9 June 1846 as a 2nd Corporal, Company G, 1st Regiment of Kentucky Cavalry and found in the Mexican War, mustering out at New Orleans on 7 June 1847. Shortly thereafter, he married for the third time and by 1850 was living in Kaufman County, Texas, with his new wife and the children of his first marriage as well as two additional children of his third marriage.

Between 1851 and 1853 the county boundaries for Kaufman and Van Zandt counties were realigned and where William and family were living was then considered to be Van Zandt County. He was later listed a County Commissioner for Van Zandt County and was initiated into Masonic Lodge #133 in Dallas County, Texas.

While two of William’s sons, Joseph and John fought for the C.S.A during the Civil War and William acted as a Conscription Agent, his son Farmer J. James fought for the Union Army. William’s estate was probated in January 1876, listing the surviving widow Mary and the six children from three marriages as heirs. He is buried in the New Hope Cemetery

Submitted by:
Yvonne James
Mineola TX

Nancy Ann Doyel

Nancy Ann Doyel
b. 1 January 1801, Shelby County, Kentucky, to Farmer and Rebeccah (Cole) Doyel
d. 23 March 1863, McDonough County, Illinois

m/1. 20 December 1821, Shelby County, Kentucky
Moses Laswell

m/2. 20 December 1831, Crawfordsville, Montgomery County, Indiana
William James

Children with William James:

  • Rebecca Ann (b. 1832)
  • Farmer J. (b. 1838)

When William left Indiana for Texas in 1839, Nancy, Rebecca, and Farmer J., moved in with Nancy’s widowed father in Brown Township, Montgomery County, Indiana. In 1845, William and Nancy divorced.

Rebecca married and moved to McDonough County, Illinois, in 1849, but Nancy and Farmer J. remained in Indiana. By 1853, Nancy moved to McDonough to be near her daughter Rebecca, but her son remained in Montgomery County, Indiana. Nancy is buried in Upper Mound Cemetery in McDonough County.

Submitted by:
Yvonne James
Mineola TX

Lucien Andrew Foote

Lucien Andrew Foote
b. 16 December 1824, Batavia City, Clermont County, Ohio, to Andrew and Jane (Tweed) Foote
d. 30 November 1910, Lake Geneva, Walworth County, Wisconsin

m/1. 3 December 1851
Susan Grier Sunderland
b. 23 April 1833, Rockville, Parke County, Indiana, to John and Elizabeth (Page) Sunderland
d. 1 April 1858, Rockville, Parke County, Indiana

m/2. 9 May 1860, Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin.
Ann Amelia Holt
b. 19 February 1832, Harper’s Ferry, Jefferson County, West Virginia
d. 18 November 1916, Lake Geneva, Walworth County, Wisconsin

Children with Susan Grier Sunderland:

  • Caroline Esther (1853-1932) married Walter Hiram Curtis
  • Eliza (1855-1915)
  • Ella Louise (1857-1922)

Children with Ann Amelia Holt:

  • Mary Florence (1861-1886) married [–?–] Kimball

Lucien came with his parents and siblings from Cincinnati in April 1833 via steamboat to the rapids below Vincennes, than by land to Rockville, Parke County, Indiana. Their household goods came by keelboat to Montezuma.

Besides being a Forty-Niner and purveyor of supplies in California, he had a bookstore, was Auditor of Parke County, Indiana, was Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Indiana, and Councilman in Crawfordsville, Indiana for three terms. He served on the school board at Crawfordsville for six years, served in the Civil War and became Grand High Priest of Masonic Grand Chapter of Indiana.

Submitted by:
Grace C. Eells
West Allis WI

Cornelius Mansfield Sweem

Cornelius Mansfield Sweem
b. 26 February 1813, Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio
d. about 1892, Parke or Montgomery County, Indiana

m. 23 November 1834, Butler County, Ohio
Penthacilla “Priscilla” Welch
b. 26 August 1813, Ohio
d. 13 March 1884 or 1885, Parke County, Indiana

Children with Penthacilla Welch:

  • Oscar D. (1838-1912) married Eliza C. Prior
  • Tilghman A. H.
  • Nancy
  • Eliza
  • Mary
  • Amanda
  • John Calvin

Submitted by:
Helen Magee
Hot Springs SD

Oscar Denreith Sweem/Swim

Oscar Denreith Sweem/Swim
b. 2 August 1838, Montgomery County, Indiana, to Cornelius and Penthacilla (Welch) Sweem
d. 3 March 1912, Greenwood, Cass County, Nebraska

m. 17 September 1859, Montgomery County, Indiana
Eliza C. Prior
b. about 1841, Indiana
d. 26 January 1864, near Crawfordsville, Montgomery County, Indiana

Children with Eliza C. Prior:

  • William Martin (b. 1860)
  • Francis Mansfield (b. 1862)

Oscar emigrated from Indiana before 1898 to Greenwood, Cass County, Nebraska. Oscar’s son, William, was serving as a deputy sheriff when he was shot at Rockville, Parke County, Indiana, on 25 April 1896. There were several other children by a second marriage.

Submitted by:
Helen Magee
Hot Springs SD

Elijah Smith

Elijah Smith
b. 16 January 1791, present-day Middle Smithfield Township, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, to Platt and Johnnah (Schoonover) Smith
d. 20 February 1865, Linn County, Iowa

m. 21 October 1817, Seneca County, New York
Jerusha Southwick
b. about 1790-91

Children with Jerusha Southwick:

  • Lucinda/Lovina (b. 1818/19) married Charles Biggs
  • [–?–] (b. ca. 1830) married [–?–] Miller
  • Joshua (b. ca. 1829/30) married Lydia [–?–]
  • Calvin (b. ca. 1830/31)
  • Melissa (b. ca. 1833/34)
  • Nancy M. (b. ca. 1835/36)

Elijah first resided in New York with his parents, who moved from the Delaware Valley about 1797 to Owego Town, Tioga County, New York, and later to Ovid Town, Seneca County, New York. Elijah and Jerusha lived in Seneca County several years before moving in about 1830 to Montgomery County, Indiana, where they resided for about 25 years before moving to Marion, Linn County, Iowa. Elijah and Jerusha may have had more children in the 1820’s. Jerusha applied for a military pension based upon Elijah’s War of 1812 service after his death in Linn County.

The contributor and a co-researcher have written an article about Elijah’s parents and siblings, which was published serially in Magazine of the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research in 1994.

Submitted by:
Judy Longley
Detroit MI