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Tom Simkin on the Nugent JOURNEY at the Empire Prairie Sesquicentennial, Aug 2006

Tom Simkin traveled from Washington DC to attend the Empire Prairie Sesquicentennial the weekend of August 4th, 2006. He had never been to northwest Missouri and was quite interested in where his ancestors had settled and the conditions they experienced. The day he arrived he was met by a 3rd cousin, John Bennett at the airport, and subsequentely was joined by a 2nd cousin of theirs, Margaret Sandifer, and all proceeded to Oskaloosa, Kansas for some genealogical sleuthing. The following day all met at the Sesquicentennail opening events. That evening Tom spent the night with another cousin, Jack Spiking in King City, MO and became acquainted with such things as feeding cattle, riding on an ATV and simply enjoying the view from small town america. The next day was a continuation of the Sesquicentennial events, and Tom spent the night with Margaret's family prior to boarding a plane back to Washington DC. These pictures are of his trip, and some associated family photos that were discussed and placed for the family to view in this web site. Nugent Family Photos from 1916 and 1917

For his photos of the sesquicentennial itself, select More Photos by Tom Simkin

And now to get down to current business, the photo below shows the depth of research involved in discussing just where the Nugent farm was physically located on the prairie. You'd think that would be a simple thing to do! However, after 150 years, several iterations of maps, and the fact that the family did not reside there very long - it was a difficult, yet successful journey. We found it!

Sesquicentennial

That is Tom Simkin with the white beard, between John and Helen Bennett. Bennett Crawford is in the yellow shirt, Jack Spiking in cap, and Allan & Judith Christensen (Wisconsin) in lower left.

Oskaloosa,

Oskaloosa, KS. Some relatives were located in courthouse records. John

3rd Cousin - John Bennett at computer

Helen

Helen Bennett and her stash of fabric. Hostess for first night

Bennett

3rd Cousin - Bennett Crawford

Cousin Bennett Crawford views church in Rochester, MO., which was standing in 1869 when our mutual ancestor Edward Nugent was killed in an accident nearby (see Nugent family history).

Rochester

Old house in Rochester built before the Civil War. Local residents said is was "built by slaves". Newspaper accounts say Edward was taken to the Rochester Hotel, which Margaret later confirmed was on the other side of the village. The picture simply represents what at least one home looked like that came from that era. Unfortunately, many homes were destroyed during the Civil War in that part of the country, and few historical examples are still standing.

The

The creek just north of Rochester, that Edward Nugent was crossing when he was thrown from his wagon and killed.

Bennett

Corner post Andrew Bennett dug at about age 90, about 1972. A more complete story about the post episode is found on the main web page under Stories and narrative by John Bennett. In a nutshell, it was a very dry year, and other men were having a hard time digging, but the old man showed them how it was done - and in a matter of a few minutes!

Island

Island City store. This was the main population center between Empire Prairie and Stanberry. After Edward Nugent's death his 6 orphaned kids kept the farm going, but in 1873(?), the wife of oldest son Frank died, after only 14 months of marriage. They then sold the farm; Frank (Tom's greatgrandfather) moved to Island City; and others went to live with sisters who had married by then. We believe that Frank roomed in the second floor of this store.

Island

Island City. Some relatives of the cousins are buried about a mile west.

Margaret

2nd Cousin - Margaret Nugent Sandifer at her home place in Stanberry, MO. This is the last home of John Nugent, Edward's youngest. The house, now gone, was where Margaret (John's granddaughter) was raised.

King

King City house where Susannah Nugent Bennett, John Bennett's greatgrandmother lived in her later years. (Across the road from Jack and Effie Belle Spiking's house).

King

Downtown King City

Empire

Empire Cemetery, with Edward Nugent's grave in lower right.Star Chapel.

Combest

Farm of Sam and Sophia Nugent Combest, Empire Prairie, where the two younger brothers - Ed and John - came to live with newly married sister Sophia when the Nugent farm was sold. Foreground rubble, and brown weeds, are all that remain of the original farmhouse, that burned in 2005.

Sandifer

Sandifer family

Peaceful

Peaceful end to a very busy weekend