My name is Jonathan Loppnow. I am descended from William Lewis of Jennings County, Indiana. During my research I have been privileged to meet and correspond with many distant cousins. In the mid 1990’s I began a correspondence with cousin Herschel Lewis. He was very generous with his research on our family line and sent me a set of audio tapes. The tapes were recordings of interviews with Mary Lewis Osterman which were conducted by him in the 1980’s.
Mary Lewis was, by all accounts, a very special lady, who had a great love of her family’s history and the history of the state of Indiana. This manuscript is derived from these interviews. It has been reorganized by topic, and in some cases information will be repeated. Mary mentions many surnames that are a part of the history and fabric of Jennings County, Indiana. Please note that the spellings of some of the surnames may not be accurate since this is a transcription from an oral record.
Both Mary Lewis and Herschel Lewis and myself, are descended from William Lewis, Senior, born ca 1783 and died May 1864, around the age of 81 (Vol III p 296 of Coffee Creek Baptist Church Minutes). William married a widow in New York State, Mrs. Sarah Miller Butler Lewis. She was born ca 1781 and died November 26, 1848. They both brought their family down the river by flatboat and arrived at Madison, Jefferson County, IN in1822. Their last child, John M. Lewis was actually born on the flatboat at that time. They eventually settled in Jennings County, Indiana not far from Paris Crossing.
The following is the obituary for Mary Hawthorn Lewis Osterman. She was born May 2, 1896 and died in July of 1986:
Mary L. Osterman, 90, of 517 Homestead
Avenue, Seymour (Indiana) died at ... at
her home. She was a member of the First Baptist Church, Seymour. She
was a former school teacher and member of the school board in the
1950’s. She was a member of the Seymour Tri Capa and Delta Zeta
sorority at Franklin (Baptist) College where graduated in 1920. She
was a member of the Huguenot Society, the Indiana Pioneers, Daughters
of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American
Colonists. She was born May 4, 1896 in Uniontown (Indiana) to
Ralph (Lewis) and Minnie Deputy Lewis. She lived most of
her life in Seymour. On August 31, 1941 in Paris, Kentucky, she
married Dr. Louis Osterman who died Decemer 12, 1966.
Surviving is her son Louis H. Osterman, Jr. of Indianapolis, three
grandchildren, Mark Osterman, Dallas, Texas, Richard McMinn
and Debra Howson of Indianapolis. Two sisters, Margaret
and Helen both of Seymour. One brother proceeded her in death.
Services are scheduled for 2:30 pm, Wednesday at Voss Chapel,
Seymour. Burial will be at Riverview Cemetery.
As stated, Mary Lewis was the daughter of Ralph Lewis and Minnie Deputy.
Ralph Lewis, Mary’s father, was the child of John M. Lewis.
Here is the family of John M. Lewis (Senior):
John M. Lewis, born April 25, 1822, on the Ohio River; died June 24, 1915.
John Lewis and Mary Jane Coryell’s
a. Maria Lewis, b. Oct 29, 1843 d. Sept 29, 1851
b. Gilbert Lewis, b. Nov 1, 1845, d. Jul 27, 1863
c. Oscar Lewis, b. Jan 9, 1848 d. 1929 m. Mary Jane Hoagland
d. Harriet Lewis, b. May 27, 1850 d. Oct 8, 1851
e. Sarah Jane Lewis, b. Sept 17, 1854 d. Oct 3, 1875 m. William Hoagland
f. George Lewis, b. Feb 5, 1857 d. 1924, m. Arabelle Pierson
g. Louisa Belle Lewis, b. Mar 27, 1860
d. May 1945, Denver, Colorado, m. James Clarence Morgan
h. Ralph Applewhite Lewis, b. Sept 5, 1864 or 65, d. Jul 30, 1950 married Minnie Deputy. Minnie was the daughter of Solomon Deputy and Lucretia Pierson.
Solomon Deputy was born October 30, 1828 in Indiana. He died July 23 1918 in Seymour, Jackson Co., Indiana. Solomon was the oldest son of William and Cassandra (Gassaway) Deputy.
William Deputy was born 1807 in Wood County, VA, son of Solomon and Sarah Deputy, who came to Indiana in 1810, being, it is claimed, the first settlers of Jennings County. William Deputy left several "old settler’s speeches"- on file at the Smith Memorial Library in the Indiana Historical Society section of the State Library.
Solomon married Lucretia Pierson on November 19, 1864. Lucretia Pierson was born May 6,1836 in Jackson Co., Indiana
Their children were as follows:
Minnie May Deputy b: 26 Sep 1865 in Jennings Co., Indiana
Mertie Deputy b: 12 Sep 1867
Laura Deputy b: 21 Dec 1868
Luella Deputy b: 20 Jan 1871
John M. Lewis and Rebecca Pierson Cook had John M. Lewis II.
The following begins the transcript. I have taken great editorial liberties in rearranging the conversations by topic, leaving out information that was not relevant and in some cases rewriting the sentence structure in order to clarify intent of the speaker. "M" stands for "Mary Lewis Osterman" and "H" for Herschel Lewis.
M: I went to that library on 42nd street and found these bound books on Lewisiana (by Carl Lewis). The first reunion (of the Lewis family lines) was in Bloom County New York, sort of in the Western part. People came from all over the country and would bring what they could of their family. He put all this together. They appointed a committee of 5 people to go back to Europe and get the facts about the origin of the family. I don't know if this is true but they said it was descended from Clovis and that he brought the Christian religion into France.
Origin of Lewis Family
M: It would be nice (to) go back to Ulster County and back to Falmouth. Did you know there was a bay named Lewis Bay near Falmouth?
I think there were 3 brothers and their father (was) in Holland. I think you'll find they were French Huguenots, and maybe that's what took him to Holland. I think the Lewis name naturally would go back to France. There was Lewis the German (but) he was a Frenchman. He got the territory of Germany so they called him Lewis the German. I think they (Ed. – the Lewis’) were French. They were educated and as history says, those ignorant kings just got rid of the cream of France when they got after the Huguenots.
I know this. The (Ed. - ancestor) who stayed or lived in Holland. He had boats that could go to the East. That has to be true, because I’ve gotten that from other sources, not just one. They got tea and coffee and spices and things that people couldn’t buy and they’d bring it back and they got good price for it. They made money. They were wealthy I guess.
The Boats from Holland
Ed. - Mary Lewis Osterman and Herschel Lewis are about to discuss the story of how our Lewis line came to America. It is not given in detail so I will provide a summary here:
A daughter of Daniel Lewis' brother. Rev. William B. Lewis (II), wrote of the family origins as passed down to her. "There were three brothers by the name of William B. Lewis. John I. Lewis. and George C. Lewis; all sailed in a ship of his own from Holland in 1787 and landed at Boston, Mass. And there was a storm on the ocean the night before they landed the next day. The brother by the name, George C. Lewis got lost from the other two and they never knew if he ever got to land or if his ship sank." - Mrs. Valentine Shearer.( Lodema Lewis - daughter of Rev. William B. Lewis)
NOTE: The dates are wrong, they came much earlier.
The story, aside from the dates, is corroborated by Selena Ann Lewis Edwards,
daughter of Daniel's brother Timothy B. Lewis. She wrote "The story of the first William Lewis to arrive in America was (that he was) a very rich man. His father's ships were trading in all the ports that those ships could go. They bought lots of things - silks and other articles in different ports of the world and then they traded for furs with the Indians then they sold the fur. They liked the colonies of the New World. So finally the sons of the old merchant came in from his ships with his gold. They bought about half of utchess (Dutchess?) County. They came from Holland with their wives and children, but there were more children born in York state. When the Revolutionary War came on, William and his brother must have enlisted. Seems to us that they spoke of another ship with another brother was (sic) lost." - Selena Ann Lewis Edwards, daughter of Timothy B. Lewis.
Although these stories do not align with John M. Lewis' in detail we can still safely assume that the Lewis family came over from Holland (but not necessarily originated there) and they immigrated to Massachusetts, then to New York state.
Ed. - We now resume with Herschel and Mary's discussion:
H: We have one story about the Lewis family (Ed. - from Mrs. Valentine Shearer, who was Lodema Lewis, daughter of William B. Lewis II) that came here with the boats but it was after Cornelius is established in Falmouth.
M: I think that the dates came from William B. Lewis’ daughter. She went west. Her first husband died and she went west and my father wrote to her. And she wrote a long letter on a piece of wallpaper and rolled it up and sent it to him. She has the dates wrong. She has the early Lewis’ coming after the Revolution. Though she didn’t notice that, but that isn’t true.
H: You think the story’s right but the dates are wrong.
M: She could remember the story a little better than she could remember the dates. They (Ed. - the Lewis family) had the story. Your great-grandfather had it.
So Mrs Graham she just did this for me and she’s the one who found Cornelius and she said "now someday I’m going back to the historical library." I think that Cornelius is descended from William Lewis and his wife Sarah Jenkins.
H: Now this Mrs. Graham is the one in California?
M: No, New Jersey.
M: The quickest thing to do is to go to Ulster County. You could even find information in cemeteries.
Ulster County and the Siblings of Zadock
H: I don't think there is anything in Seneca county that is going to give very much.
M: No, I think you have to go back to Ulster. But this Mrs. Graham found this article that was written by, what was her name? She was in California in the 1930's and had written a book about the Lewis' of Ulster county. (Ed. – The book is The Lewis Family of Ulster County New York and Their Ancestors by Mrs. Edward W. Hulse, 1937) She (told) about Rebecca (Lewis Rhoades) the sister of Zadock and Elijah and Micajah.
M: You read in that history of the Lewis family how Elijah Lewis had a place on the Hudson river and people went there to get news. (Ed. – She is not referring to the book above, but not sure what book she means.)
Rebecca Lewis Rhoades (sp?)
M: Now some of this came from W. Howard Wood of Eldridge New York and that's in the Finger Lakes District, I think. He said that Elijah Lewis never married and was born in 1729, this from the Rhoades family Bible that was in the possession of Rebecca, I don't know when that was. Who was the daughter of Jeriah (?) and Rebecca Lewis Rhoades? And Rebecca Lewis Rhoades was the one sister we have of Zadock and she gives the names of all the children and no matter where you look they all have a Zadock.
And someway I believe that William Lewis (Zadock's son) was descended from Micajah. Wait, no grandfather (Ed. - John M. Lewis) said that Zadock was his grandfather and he would have known who his grandfather was. (Ed. - I think that there is a Micajah ancestor that precedes the brother to our Zadock.)
M: You would have to go to Ulster county to find those things.
Zadock and William Lewis
H: I don't know how far you've gone. Don't you think we ought to be able to get a firmer hold on William and Zadock?
M: I got to the place where I couldn't do more. When I was first doing it I couldn't go to the state library to do a lot of things. I think you could run Zadock down if you wrote to Ulster County and the county seat of Ulster is Marlborough town. I showed you that book didn't I that had a map and where the Lewis' lived?
(Ed. - The "Finger Lakes District" in New York state is the area the Lewis family settled in after they immigrated from Massachusetts.)
H: When you were in the Finger Lakes were there any cemeteries?
M: We couldn't find any that had what we wanted.
Zadock Lewis in Revolutionary War
M: That is Zadock Lewis' military record. There's a number there that's nice to know. He went up to a fort on Lake Ticonderoga and enlisted and then became a sergeant.
M: Somebody in Michigan wrote to grandfather (John M. Lewis, son of William B. Lewis Ist who was son of Zadock Lewis) and wanted to go into the DAR. I think it was a descendent of Lavinia. Lavinia was just older than Francis Marion (Lewis) of Daniel's children, I think. (Ed. - Daniel Lewis, son of William) This daughter of hers had married a Cox and lived in Michigan and she wrote to grandfather. And grandfather saved the letter and she sent us a copy of his letter to her. Grandfather said that his father was William Lewis that was in the war of 1812 in New York and that he came to Indiana in 1822, which was true, grandfather was born that year, and his grandfather was Zadock Lewis who fought in the Revolution and at the battle of Brooklyn Heights he was wounded and taken a prisoner.
M: I've got the record of that, his number. Now, that that I gave you, he was actually in the service and he was honorably discharged, sick. And then if they want more proof than that. I think they won’t need it.
Ed. - Here is a transcript of that letter:
John M. Lewis, (brother to Daniel and son of William Lewis) wrote that "My brother,
Daniel Lewis, was the son of William Lewis, the son of Zada Lewis who before the war of 1776, lived in New York City. was a soldier in the War of 1776, was wounded and taken a prisoner at the Battle of Long Island. His family fled to Steuben County, New York. where William Lewis my father, married Sarah Butler of Irish descent." - (The above js from a letter which my grandfather. John M. Lewis wrote to a Mrs. Cox of Michigan, daughter of Lavinia Lewis, a granddaughter of Daniel Lewis – Mary Lewis Osterman).
Ulster County 1790 Census of the Zadock Lewis Family and
The Lewis Family of Ulster County New York and Their Ancestors by Mrs. Edward W. Hulse, 1937
H: You don't think there's any worthwhile records as to William Lewis (son of Zadock Lewis) back in the Finger Lakes area?
M: Well... I went back to one of the counties east. Counties were cut off of old counties. I didn't find anything.
M: Mrs. Edward W. Hulse, she wrote a history of the Lewis' in Ulster County. She called it The Lewis Family of Ulster County New York and Their Ancestors.
I gave you her address didn't I? She said they had lost record all together of Zadock Lewis except what he did, he had little offices, highway something. I found him in the 1790 census still in Ulster County. He had about 4 sons (Ed. - Likely Daniel R. Lewis, Elijah Lewis, Zalmon Lewis and William B. Lewis (I) and 3 daughters (Ed. - unknown), but of course names weren't given and then I don't know what happened to him.
Wouldn't it be nice to get that history? I just wonder if you write to Berkeley, California and see if the university library might have a copy of that? And the congressional library might. She wrote this in 1937. You wonder how they would be in the Mayflower descendants vol. 19 page 30 (?) you'll find "a Cornelius Lewis sold land a ___" somehow they were connected with the Mayflower descendants.
H: I know that Falmouth was one of the first splits from Plymouth. The church got into an argument and some left and went to Falmouth.
M: Well some way we were connected with those people. It would be nice to find that.
H: I’ve written to my niece who lives within 20 miles of Berkeley. I’ve given her the information you gave me about this woman. I’m assuming there should be a copy of her book at the Berkeley Campus library or the county archives of the historical society.
M: Yes, I believe there might have been a copy at the congressional library.
Birth of William B. Lewis (Ist) in Ulster County New York
M: William was born in Ulster County NY in 1783. I don't know how long he was in Seneca County. We don't know who his mother was. William's wife was a Miller (Ed. - Sarah Miller, widow of a Butler).
Zadock's Wife's Name
And he (Ed. – don’t know who she means?) said his grandmother said, "no I don't know what Zadock's wife was named, she and her children fled to Western New York to get away from Howe".
The Lewis Farm in New York Near Gibson's Landing and Coryells
M: She (Ed. – a researcher that Mary corresponded with) wrote to me and said she thought the Coryell's and Lewis' were neighbors
M: Gibson’s Landing is on the west shore of Lake Cayuga (sp?) and I read that it was considered the "Lady of the Finger Lakes". It’s about the last one and shorter than Lake Seneca. The Lewis’ and the Coryell's had a farm on Lake Seneca. My grandmother (Ed. - likely Mary Jane Coryell, mother to Minnie Deputy who was Mary Lewis' mother) told my father (Ed. - Ralph Lewis, son of John M. Lewis who was son of William Lewis) that the winters were really terrible, that there would come a big snow, the snow would cover the fences and crust over and they could hitch up a horse and ride anyplace they wanted to right straight…
H: You said the farm was where?
M: Lake Seneca, or Seneca Lake, on the east shore. We didn't see where the Lewis’ lived but we did see my great-grandfather Francis Coryell's farm. He sold his farm about ten years after the Lewis’.
The Death of Elizabeth Coryell Goodwin and Gibson's Landing
M: I told you about the sad ending of Elizabeth Coryell. She married a Goodwin.
It said they had gone to visit her sister Harriet (Coryell Gibson) and she was drowned. Harriet Coryell Gibson was my grandmother’s aunt (Ed. - Mary Jane Coryell who married John M. Lewis I). Harriet Coryell had married the oldest of the Gibson’s, Ira Gibson. And he was the founder of Gibson’s Landing.
(Ed. - Harriet Coryell, was sister to Elizabeth Coryell . Note: per a web page on family search I originally thought that Harriet (and by default Elizabeth and Francis) were children of David Coryell. I have since been informed (see below) that that would not be possible and it is much more likely that they are children of Samuel Coryell and Mary Ann Francis. I will keep both citations of parentage here but I think he is right. (As to Elizabeth, Harriet and Francis being siblings I knew this but did not clearly say this; Harriet and Elizabeth were aunts to Mary Jane Coryell, daughter of Francis Coryell and Maria Gibson.) "Martin Peters
Date: 2007-10-23 I have found valuable facts about the Coryells here, which I am grateful for. However, I am nearly certain that you have connected Harriet Coryell, b. 4 June 1796, to the wrong parents. I feel that Harriet, Francis, and Elizabeth (Betsey) are all children of Samuel David Coryell & Mary Ann Francis. The FamilySearch page that you referred to in your fine article about Mary Lewis Osterman shows that Betsey's parents were indeed Samuel and Mary Ann, and since Mary Osterman reported that Elizabeth and Harriet were sisters, then Harriet would also be their daughter. I have no actual evidence that Francis is a sibling of Harriet and Betsey, but since he bears the maiden name of Mary Ann Francis, it seems probable to me that this is the correct connection for him. One final piece of evidence that precludes the possibility that Harriet Coryell is son of David A. Coryell and Charity Sebring is that Charity was busy bearing my GGG grandfather, John Coryell, on 17 April, 1796, and could not possibly have been available to give birth to Harriet in June... Sincerely, Martin Fredrick Peters, a descendant of David A. Coryell b. 1762, John Coryell, b. 1796, Sarah Coryell, b. 1822, and her daughter Anna Grace Garner, b. 1865.
Here is the claim of alternate parentage: and daughter of David A. Coryell & Charity Sebring. David A. Coryell married Charity Sebring ca 1782 at Ridgeway, Ocean, New Jersey . David was the son of Samuel Coryell who was born 1718 and died 1760 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Samuel was the son of Abraham Coryell. Abraham was born Born: 1663 Place: Piscataway Twp., Middlesex, New Jersey Married: Abt 1703 Place: Piscataway, Middlesex Co., N.J. – (This from familysearch.org)
Harriet Coryell was born 4 June 1796 and died 13 May 1846. Buried in Glenview Cemetery, Pulteney, Steuben County, New York -from http://www.frontiernet.net/~halsey1/family/lason.htm#8
She married Ira Gibson ca 1816 at Orvid, New York (from familysearch.org).
Ira Gibson was born 16 October 1796 in Pulteney, Steuben Co., NY. He was a farmer. In 1825 his farm had 20 acres of improved land, 5 cattle, 70 sheep, and 2 hogs. Ira moved to Pulteney, Steuben Co. about 1825. Died 14 August 1884. Buried in Glenview Cem., Pulteney, NY. )
It was in Chautauqua County, I believe, maybe Steuben. It was in February. This was in a history book. The two men, Ira Gibson who married Harriet Coryell, and Elizabeth Coryell married this Alfred Goodwin. Alfred and Elizabeth had gone to visit her sister Harriet and so the man got cutters out and thought they'd take them for a ride across the lake and they got almost to the east coast and one cutter went through and that was our Aunt Betsy. And my grandmother (Ed. - Mary Jane Coryell Deputy) was living when that happened and she named her oldest daughter, Maria for her mother Maria Gibson who married Francis Coryell (ca 1821 in NY) and the next one she named Harriet for her Aunt Harriet (Coryell) Gibson.
M: Helen and I went out to Gibson’s landing. It was a sort of a settlement.
H: This was in 1954 or 1953 that you went, were there any Coryells left?
M: No, I asked but there was a Gibson, descended from Harriet Coryell Gibson. (tape ends)
The Lewis’ May Have Been Episcopal
M: I think Grandfather William (Lewis) and his wife Sarah (Miller Butler Lewis), and Zadock (Lewis) and his wife and those that went to Ulster County New York, went to the Episcopal church. There was a movement in Ulster County, 1743-1800 and the Baptists were really building churches all through New York and I think that’s where the Lewis’ became Baptists.
Sarah Miller Butler Lewis and Her Butler Sons
H: I wanted you to reiterate about Sarah Miller Butler Lewis.
M: My great-grandmother, Sarah Miller, married a Butler, but I don’t know what his name was and he died, I think. And she had two sons, Sidney and Lewis.
H: Now you know for a fact that they were her sons?
M: Yes, they were half-brothers of my grandfather (Ed. – John M. Lewis).
(Ed. – Herschel adds in a letter to Jonathan Loppnow: "Sidney and Lewis Butler had children born in New York well after the time of William’s arrival in Indiana so obviously they did not come to Jennings County until later. I have a note that says Lewis Butler sold his farm to his son-in-law Thomas Williams and moved to Michigan in 1873.")
Marriage of Martha P. Butler, daughter to Lewis Butler, half-brother to Daniel Lewis
This from the internet at
Submitted by Coe Wm. (Bill) Case, email@example.com
Marriage of Thomas Williams and Martha P. Butler
Thos. Williams - Martha P. Butler } Be it Remembered, that on this 26th day of December 1856 the following license was issued, Indiana, to-wit: Jennings County.
TO ALL WHO SHALL SEE THESE PRESENTS GREETING: Know ye, that any person legally authorized to solemnize matrimony is hereby licensed to join in marriage as husband and wife Thomas Williams and Martha P. Butler and for so doing this shall be his sufficient authority. SS In testimony whereof, I, Benjamin F Lewis Clerk of the Jennings Circuit Court, hereunto subscribe my name and affix the seal of said Court this 26th day of December 1856. (signed) Ben F Lewis Clk
Be it further remembered that on this 14th day of February 1857, the following certificate was filed in my office to-wit: Indiana To-wit: Jennings County. This certifies that I joined in marriage as husband and wife Thomas Williams and Martha P. Butler on the 28th day of December, 1856. (signed) Timothy B Lewis - Jennings County, IN marriage Book 5 (1850-1858) p. 450
Mary Thinks the Lewis Family and the Butlers May Have Been Related
(Ed. – Mary is looking at some type of document which shows Butler names.)
M: Now listen, there was a Lavinia Butler, and the oldest daughter of Daniel was Lavnia Lewis, isn’t that strange? And Zadock Lewis was my great-great grandfather now here is a Zadock Butler.
M: I think they were related. I think the first husband of Sarah Miller was related to William Lewis in some way.
H: But you don’t know what his name was?
H: What were the boys’ names?
M: Sidney and Lewis. It could be that her first husband was Lewis Butler.
M: Here is Sidney Butler, that I don’t know about. But he had a son, Chauncy Butler, well Chauncy was a name in the Lewis family. And Sarah A. Butler, well our great-grandmother was Sarah Miller (Butler Lewis).
H: Here’s a Phineas (?) Butler that’s on the Clerk’s…
M: That’s at Mount Venice (?) Listen, do you know, there was something about the Butlers, they didn’t like the Lewis’. Well, in Blotcher (?) You know where Blotcher (?) is? You go east from Austin and then you turn on three and go through this little town of Blotcher. My father knew that there was a Phineas Butler that lived in this big brick house. And one afternoon he said "I think he’ll tell us." But I want to tell you he wasn’t going to tell a thing. He was living alone in this big brick house. Phineas was one of Lewis Butler’s children (Lewis Butler was a child of Mrs. Sarah Miller Butler Lewis, mother to Sidney and Lewis Butler and mother to Daniel Lewis and John Lewis, etc.) He said he didn’t know they were related.
H: Here’s Phineas Butler and Daniel Lewis are on this same…
M: The Butlers and the Lewis’ were connected. And there was a Joel Butler who came to Queensville. He came to a settlement from Geneva New York which is up at the hill (?) at Seneca Lake, one of the Finger Lakes. And they named this township, Geneva, and they have a stone fence around the little cemetery. And Joel Butler was a Baptist minister and he built the first log church near Queensville, where he lived. Near Maggie’s Well. I’ve been out there, the stones are still preserved. It’s near Queensville in Jennings County. Geneva Township, they have orchards up there.
There are a lot of Chauncy Lewis’. He had a son, Chauncy Butler who went to Greensburg and his son went to Indianapolis to Irvington and he was one of the founders of Butler University. I can’t…
M: Yes, Chauncy was his father, and Joel was his grandfather. Joel was the settler, the immigrant. And he was a Baptist minister.
H: Now Joel Butler and Chauncy Butler. Did they have any connection to Sarah Miller Butler?
M: Well, I think that Sarah Miller married first a Butler, but I don’t know his name. And they had two children, Sidney and Lewis Butler. They were stepchildren of our great-grandfather William Lewis. I think they went up to Michigan first and then they came down to where their mother was. I have the will of Sidney Butler and I think Lewis…
H: You don’t know if they were any relation to Joel?
M: No, but having Chauncy Lewis and there was another one… (trails off).
H: You thought (Sarah Miller's) grandfather was a graduate of Oxford?
M: Those Miller's came to Jennings County and the first Miller that I have a record of was Martin Miller (Ed. – presumed father of Sarah Miller). (He) came to America from Ireland, and he was a graduate of Oxford University (or Cambridge). It said he was highly educated, very intellectual and it gave the date he graduated from Cambridge.
William Lewis Houseboat
M: The Lewis’ came (to Indiana) on a houseboat and the Langdon's owned it too. So the two families came together.
M: I think that our great-grandfather William Lewis and his wife Sarah were educated people. I think that that was a must. They must read and write, and you know they read good things. If they could get a paper from Cincinnati, or wherever, they read it.
M: This is a copy. You know William Lewis was in the War of 1812. He was a sergeant. G-grandfather Zadock , he was a veteran (Ed. – of Revolutionary War) too, of course he went in as a private and wasn’t in long. This was taken of our great-grandfather William Lewis. (Ed. – I wonder if she is showing a picture of William Lewis Ist, if so I have never seen one. I rather think she is referring to a photocopy of a war record.)
William Lewis Pension for War of 1812
M: And now here I thought you’d like a copy of that. That is where William applied to prove his pension for the war of 1812. And this, he was a sergeant and he had to have a certain outfit. And he bought it and the government said they would repay him and he has asked for it. (Ed. – William applied for his reimbursement money in 1851.)
H: When William went off to war Daniel was just a baby, I think. I noticed that William was discharged in March and by the following December they had another child.
M: I think he was in the War of 1812 but that he was near his home.
William Lewis and Bounty Land
M: (William Lewis) was in the War of 1812 and he got bounty land for his services. The earliest I could find of him buying land (in Indiana) was 1834. I thought that that was funny that he didn’t buy land before that. My sister decided that William Lewis owned land down by the Ohio river where they landed (Madison). So I called Miss Dunn who is the secretary of the Indiana Historical Society and the Pioneers of Indiana. I asked where would they have landed? She said, those who came along the Ohio River stopped anyplace they wanted to and rested and cooked.
H: And had babies.
M: Yes, and she said she just couldn’t tell us that, that there’s just no record of that. I told her that someone thinks that William Lewis bought land right down there where he landed. She said what makes you think that? I said it says he bought land in 1834 and I know he had to have bought land before that. She said that if it was bounty land there wouldn’t be a record of it, that it would be back in New York where they did service.
H: The recorder of Jennings County said we have no record of any bounty land in Jennings County. How could New York have records of Indiana land being transferred?
M: I don’t know. I don’t know how the deeds would be…
H: I think he had a warrant for land in Indiana and I think the government done him out of it, that the government never came through. She said that they didn’t need to buy land when they came to Indiana, that lots and lots of people just squatted and then if somebody bought it then they had to move off or buy land someplace.
M: I don’t think William would have to have done that.
H: He wouldn’t have had to, but why not?
M: Well, Caroline Dunn has been secretary of the Indiana Historical Society for quite a while and she said she would find out about it.
William Lewis' Agreement with His Children
M: This is the arrangement between William Lewis and his children. He did not leave a will, but he left this agreement. (Ed. – He deeded his land in March 1851 to his sons and sons-in-law with the stipulation that they each pay 22.50 a year as long as he lived; and also that he could live with them in his old age.)
The Blindness of William Lewis
M: William Lewis became blind and my father (Ralph Lewis) just worried about that. When dad was about 85 he fell and broke his hip because he missed the chair. He'd get up and go to the kitchen and put his shoes on, and he missed the chair. He talked to me a good deal about things, he said that his grandfather William Lewis was blind and he said "I could remember them leading him around." (Ed. – It is said that William Lewis died at the home of his son John M. Lewis. Coffee Creek Baptist Church records show he died May 1864.)
Grandfather (William B. Lewis Senior) lived at Grandfather’s (Ed.-John M. Lewis’ his son) because Dad (Ralph Lewis son of John M. Lewis Sr.) said he could remember that they led him around because he couldn’t see.
H: He probably lived with all of them because I saw in the 1850 census he was living with Daniel.
M: According to that arrangement as long as he could live by himself he was going to, but if he got sick and couldn’t take care of himself then he would go to his children’s.
H: Which eventually he did.
M: Yes, and in one census, I think 1860 he was living with Aunt Betsy (Elizabeth Lewis Hall daughter to William Lewis).
The sons of Zadock Lewis - Siblings of William
Editor: William Lewis is supposed to have 3 brothers that came to Indiana. Daniel Rowland Lewis, Zalmon, and Elijah. Of these only Daniel R. and Zalmon are confirmed via documentation. Zalmon owned a plot in the Keith/Lewis family cemetery. An Elijah is buried in the Coffee Creek Cemetery.
(Tape picks up in mid-sentence)
M: ...a man who was in the service. Mrs. Debutts and I wrote to him and his wife answered. She said he would be back around Romulous(?) and she said they understood there were 4 brothers, sons of Zadock. I think that Zalmon who is buried in the Keith cemetery with the Lewis' was a brother. And there was an Elijah who was buried in the Old Coffee Creek Cemetery, whom I believe was a brother, he was buried alone on somebody's lot. (Ed. - There is an Elisha that pops up as well.)
H: You know back east there were a lot of Zalmon's and Elijah's.
M: I believe they were brothers but I'm just surmising that.
Daniel Rowland Lewis, Brother to William Lewis, Uncle to Daniel Lewis
(Daniel Rowland Lewis is confirmed as brother to William Lewis (I) via his will and probate record.)
H: Do you suppose any of Daniel R. Lewis' children would have anything about where they came from?
M: This Mrs. Debutts came from Sioux City Iowa every summer and we went up to the courthouse. I didn’t know that great-grandfather William (Ed. - William B. Lewis, Sr.) had a brother. And we learned that Daniel R. Lewis lived up in Sanford Township, now the older ones knew that, but my father (Ed. – Ralph Lewis) didn’t know.
H: I can’t understand how they lived in the same community (and didn’t know each other). I went to see Catherine (daughter of James W. Lewis, son Daniel Lewis) and she didn’t know that there was such a man as my father (Ed. – Herschel’s father was Oliver Grant Lewis son of Francis M. Lewis who was son of Daniel Lewis) and they were first cousins.
M: Mrs. Vivian Debutts’ grandmother was Jane Lewis. Jane Lewis and William Lewis and Chauncy Lewis were three of the children of Daniel R. Lewis. Mrs. Debutts came back from Sioux City every summer and I met her when she was looking for the father of Jane Lewis, the daughter of Daniel R. Lewis
H: Is that Sally Jane?
M: No Sally Jane was the second wife of Daniel R. Lewis. His first wife died before he left New York. His 3 children came with him and he married Sally Jane Carpenter (Ed. - This was Sally Jane Keith, younger sister to Harriet Keith. She married a Carpenter. When she married Daniel R. Lewis she became both sister-in-law and Aunt to Daniel Lewis, Daniel R. Lewis' nephew). And they had Samuel and Elizabeth and she was buried in someone's yard. I got a lot from Mrs. Debutts about this.
H: Mrs. Debutts was related to Daniel R. Lewis through the first marriage. She didn't know Daniel R.'s first wife's name.
M: Jane, William and Chauncey were the 3 children in New York. There were a lot of Chauncey's. I didn't know that there were relatives of William's here. Mrs. Debutts said that Daniel R. Lewis was her ancestor. She had gone to Uniontown and saw the stone for John M. Lewis (Mary Lewis Osterman's grandfather, son of Daniel Lewis.) and she started asking around and they told her no that she wouldn't be related to him but told her to call me and she did. I saw her each time she came. We found that Daniel R. Lewis was a brother of William and our Daniel was named for him. She hadn't known that they all came from New York. She's gone now, she died suddenly.
Zalmon Lewis Land Description: 1 NENE 33/ 5-N 7-E No 2nd PM IN JENNINGS
Elizabeth Lewis Hall
(Ed. – Elizabeth Hall was a sister to Daniel Lewis, both children of William Lewis)
Aunt Betsy married a Hall. I think it was this way, (the children of William Lewis:) Aunt Nancy Jane, Uncle Daniel and Aunt Betsy.
H: Would that be Elizabeth?
M: Yes. Aunt Betsy had no children. Aunt Betsy went back to New York to marry Samuel Hall.
She had tea and the Lewis’ all liked tea. And she liked to go and visit the people around her, her neighbors. She had a fine horse and a buggy and she took a bag of tea with her whenever she went and they all had a cup of tea when she’d visit.
John Peter Lewis, son of Daniel Rowland Lewis
H: Didn’t they (the Halls) take in one of the sons of Daniel R.(Lewis)?
M: They did, Peter. (Ed. - This must be John P. Lewis buried at new Coffee Creek Cemetery).
H: I saw in one of the census reports that a daughter of John M. Lewis was living with one of our side of the family. (Ed. – this was a daughter of Daniel Rowland Lewis, Harriet.) They didn’t have any children, I guess it was…
M: Aunt Betsy? Aunt Betsy married a Hall.
M: We called her Aunt Betsy.
H: She married a Hall and they didn’t have any children. I wondered what in the world she was doing with them. But then it occurred to me they didn’t have any children so they let her stay with them.
M: You know something, they didn’t build a home.
Death of Elizabeth Hall
M: Sooner or later Aunt Betsy died at Grandfather’s (Ed. – John M. Lewis) . She had finally, in her last years, come to live with Grandfather.
(When she was older and widowed) she lived at Grandfather Lewis’ (Ed. - John M. Lewis). He was the youngest and if any of the family needed help he took them in. When Uncle Samuel Hall died, Aunt Betsy was left alone near Paris Crossing. The woman ___ (arkoho?) who took care of her died and so Grandfather took Aunt Betsy in.
Elizabeth Hall and Children of Daniel R. Lewis; Daniel R. Lewis
M: And now listen, Aunt Betsy had Peter living with her (Ed. - John Peter Lewis, son of Daniel R. Lewis). (Ed. - Harriet Lewis and John Peter Lewis) were children of Daniel R. Lewis. Daniel R. Lewis’ wife died young, and he had 3 children who were born in New York and he came to Indiana and he married this Carpenter, Sarah Jane Carpenter
(Ed. – This is Sarah Jane Keith who married a Carpenter.)
Mary: I think that she was a widow. (Ed.- This is correct, she had married Orrin Carpenter, then Daniel R. Lewis and after his death James Swincher.) And they had about 5 children, one was Elizabeth and one was Samuel and one was Harriet and one was (John) Peter.
(Ed. – Daniel R. Lewis married unknown in New York then married Salley Jane Keith on Feb 19, 1840. Daniel’s children were:
SOURCE – census records and Daniel R.’s will and probate record Jennings County Bk 2 page 412)
Harriet Lewis, Daughter of Daniel Rowland Lewis
Mary continues: and I read in the record that, who was the man that took care of him (John P. Lewis)? And he would deal out the money?
M: Johnson. He was complaining about Harriet (Harriet R. Lewis, daughter to Daniel R. Lewis).
H: She was inclined to run about.
M: Yes, he (Johnson) said that she was wayward, very wayward, she liked clothes and things like that. And he had so much trouble with her. She did run away and went to Mississippi. I’d like to know what happened to her.
H: Did John M. have a Harriet?
M: Yes she died young though yes.
H: I am probably confused then, she probably didn’t live with Aunt Betsy then? John
M. Lewis’ Harriet?
M: No that was the other (Harriet, daughter of Daniel Rowland Lewis).
(Ed. – the Keith Cemetery, across the road from the old Samuel Adkins Keith farm, near Paris Crossing, Jennings County, IN, is the resting place for Daniel Lewis, his two wives, some of his infant children. His Uncle Daniel Rowland Lewis and Uncle Zalmon Lewis are likely there as well but have no stones. Many members of the Keith family are there as well. A cemetery canvas is online at http://www.geocities.com/jlopp.geo/).
M: I gave you the Keith Cemetery list, I copied this around 1930.
H: There's just not very many stones there.
M: I found that in 2 years stones can fall and ivy will grow over that, and freeze and decay and other growth. It takes just 2 years to hide a stone.
Coffee Creek Baptist Church Cemetery
(Ed. - The Coffee Creek Cemetery is near Paris Crossing, Jennings County, IN. It is the likely resting place of William Lewis (Senior) and his wife Sarah Miller Butler Lewis, and William’s daughter Elizabeth Lewis Hall. There is a stone for Elizabeth but none has ever been found for William or Sarah. This cemetery is in a very sad state. I have put the records online at http://www.geocities.com/jlopp.geo/ as well.)
M: There was a Dr. Bogardus in Austin, lives in Warsaw Kentucky I think now. He was a historian. He had 2 ladies from the historical society or something and they were copying graves in the Coffee Creek Cemetery. I had lost my glasses in the Coffee Creek Cemetery and when I was there it was covered in periwinkle and I saw Dr. Bogardus up there with these 2 ladies and I stopped and asked them if they had run into glasses. But they hadn't. And he had a long pole with a sharp point on the end and they could punch down about a foot to find stones.
Burial Place of William and Sarah Lewis and Elizabeth Lewis Hall and Samuel Hall
Now Aunt Betsy and Samuel Hall are buried there. Some member of Lodema Lewis' family told me that my great-grandfather William Lewis and Sarah Lewis are buried, (with) their plots next to them, but there are no stones for them. The people that have the stone are Aunt Betsy Lewis (and) Samuel Hall. It's been several years since I’ve been up there. It was overgrown at times but the ____ trustees clean those up. Aunt Betsy was grandfather’s (John M. Lewis') sister.
H: I’ll look for that. Aunt Betsy and Samuel Hall’s grave, they had markers?
M: Yes, but every year things deteriorate.
H: Now you told me that but I went and looked and couldn't find that:
M: Now they had a stone. There was a wire fence and they were buried right within the cemetery.
(Ed. – I found the stone they share, almost completely buried near the Southwest corner of the cemetery by the fence. It was a large imposing stone composed of at least three pieces.)
Coffee Creek Baptist Church and Coffee Creek Christian Church
M: (Speaking of the Coffee Creek Baptist Church near Paris Crossing, IN). Now they built the church, there probably was a log church up there.
H: Over back of that cemetery on the highway, there’s a Coffee Creek Christian church and they have a big cemetery and there’s Lewis’ over there.
M: Well I didn’t know that but there’s a lot of Deputy’s over there.
H: But that’s an old cemetery, that wasn’t a part of the Baptist cemetery?
M: No, the Coffee Creek Baptist cemetery is right on 250, now the (Coffee) Christian Church is over beyond on a little road. The first church (Coffee Creek Baptist) was way up on the hill on 250, as you come around, as you cross Coffee Creek.
M: The Baptists built that little brick house of a church, in Old Paris that’s just a Christmas card. It just hangs up there when it’s lit and no lights below.
Coffee Creek Baptist Church Cemetery
H: Where is the cemetery for the Coffee Creek Baptist Church?
M: The Coffee Creek Baptist church at first was outside of Paris Crossing. Paris Crossing came when the B & O Railroad came through. And Old Paris was up on the hill where my folks lived. There was a little church, the Coffee Creek Baptist Church, and I think the Lewis’ founded it (Ed. - The Lewis' did not found the church but were involved in it). It was right south along 250.
H: You mean west.
M: West. I think the church burned or something so they brought it into, the new church was built in Paris Crossing.
H: The cemetery is right on the road. (Ed. - You can see the "new" section right along the north side of the road, the "old" section is SW of it, across the road, up a hill, not easily noticeable.)
M: It is but you have to go up a sort of a cliff on the road.
William B. Lewis and Timothy B. Lewis and Coffee Creek Baptist Church Association
M: You know in the Baptist Coffee Creek Church records, that’s where I got the first history of William B. Lewis and Uncle Timothy. In their time they were outstanding Baptist ministers.
H: I went right to Frankfort library and started looking through some books, Baptist history books, I found their names in my local library.
Biographies of Timothy B. Lewis and William B. Lewis Jr.
H: How do you spell the name of the author who did those biographies?
M: Hergsheimer. It gave more than the Coffee Creek Baptist Church Assoc. book. Maybe it’s Hergesheimer (?) who wrote biographies of Timothy B. Lewis and William B. Lewis. I found it in the North Vernon library, but someplace I read that William B. Lewis became a member of the Brownstown association as well as Jennings County. It said that he was preaching around 1853 at New Liberty Baptist Church 3 miles southeast of Seymour. I’ve forgotten how long he was there, maybe not too long. He was the one who suggested it was time they were leaving the country and going into Seymour. He kept urging them until they bought their land down on the corner of Walnut and US 50 and they built a frame church and then they built the church were I grew up where I was baptized, the ___ church.
Origin of the First Baptist Church in Seymour
H: Naomi Sexton, she says the Coffee Creek society had a lot of information.
M: It tells you in this that William B. Lewis was minister of the Liberty Baptist Church that was the church that stood in the country three miles out. Some place it tells that William B. Lewis said that they were thriving and it was time that they moved into Seymour and he saw to it that they bought the lot at the corner of Tipton and Walnut street.
M: Now here are … of the pastors And the first one was Jessie W. Robinson, he married my Grandmother (Editor’s note: Mary Jane Coryell) and Grandfather (Editor’s note: John M. Lewis). And the next was William Gillaspy. Do you remember Dr. Gillaspy in Seymour, the eye, ears nose and throat man?
M: He was from around Uniontown.
Then next was William B. Lewis from 1856-1861 and Albert Ogle (?) from 1871 - 1885 and he had a daughter (Mrs. Goodell) growing up in Seymour and she’s the one that told me that Rev. William Lewis would come, while her father was minister at the Baptist church in Seymour, and preach. Oh she said she just loved to hear him. Now here is the little log church from 1840-1858 now let me find… (breaks off looking for something)
Mrs. Goodell’s husband was the president of Franklin college when I was a senior. She was especially nice to me. When she was growing up her father Ogle, was a Baptist minister at home. My folks knew the Ogles. She said, "Oh I knew William B. Lewis and he came and spoke before the church" when she was a little girl. She said "oh he was a good speaker, everybody thought he was a good speaker." He got into the Brownstown Baptist Association and he preached.
Mrs. Goodell…said they were always glad when he could come and talk at the First Baptist church, that was William B. and he was the one who got them to buy a lot in Seymour. This is a lovely church…
I thought maybe it would mention Uncle William B. in here. It was called Liberty Baptist and is now First Baptist church of Seymour.
Pictures of the Family of Seth Lewis, Son of William B. Lewis II
M: William Baker Lewis (II), was Susan’s (ancestor). I don’t know if you know Susan or not but she is working on the Rev. William Baker Lewis’ family.
You know I’ve got these, I wanted to show you pictures. I’m so glad to have Uncle Daniel’s and Uncle William B.’s and this girl. She’s descended from Seth Lewis and Osceola.
H: Who was that?
M: Seth was William B’s son, the only one that lived. He did as your father. He came to Indianapolis and she said he was a construction worker.
M: These are pictures that Susan gave me.
M: Susan Loestcher, she's Uncle William B's great granddaughter I believe and she grew up near Frankfort… and I think her (maiden) name was Pittman. Her mother was a Lewis and she came with her here one time.
H: I can't locate anyone by that name.
M: I just talked to her the other day. She told me everything I know about Uncle William.B. My father knew about him and knew that Lodema had gone west and he wrote to her, knew the address and she sent me a history of the Lewis', but it's like all of them, by word of mouth. They make so many mistakes about dates.
H: I think I've got it "Loestosher". You said that Osceola was the son of Seth Lewis, son of William B. (brother to Daniel). This Susan Pitten (sp?), her maiden name was Pitten.
M: She brought her mother out here one time and her mother was a Lewis.
H: This Susan Loetscher. I looked in the Frankfort telephone directory and there’s no such name.
M: No, I think she just moved. She married this David and he’s a Methodist.
M: Susan, was descended from Osceola. Seth was William B’s son. And she’s been over here about 3 times.
M: This (showing a picture) is Shelby Lewis and Osceola Lewis and Elizabeth Fawn (?) are there, Lewis, and Marshall and Ernest Lewis. Now they are all children of Seth. Now seated is Seth Lewis and Sarah Bridges Lewis. Those were her great-grandparents. Here is a picture of Seth and Sarah Bridges Lewis and this is Shelby Lewis, the son of Seth I believe.
M: Doesn’t she live on Lineland or something avenue? I have her address someplace there. Mrs. David M. whatever, Susan, and her son William David ____, and she lives at 9352 N Linewood Avenue, Indianapolis. Like your father, they left Seymour, there just wasn’t anything here and they went north. And she lives in Frankfort now.
M: She asked me if Uncle William B. could have gone to Hanover college. I said it could be true. He was born in 1816. He wouldn’t have been able to go before he was 20 which would have been around 1839 and Franklin was founded in 1834 and I think Hanover is a year or 2 older.
H: Now William B. did he end up out in Kansas too?
M: No he died in Crothersville (Ed. – and is buried in the Marion Baptist Church Cemetery.) That was Uncle Timothy (Ed. – who went to Kansas and is buried in the Grandview Cemetery, near Manhattan. It was relocated from an area that was to be flooded.).
H: I saw some of his kids (Ed. – Timothy B.’s) were born here. One was born here, one was born there (Kansas) and one was born here in about 3 years.
William B. Lewis Jr.
M: Uncle William B., well, he was a very respected man. Daniel R. Lewis, who I think was a brother to William Lewis (Senior) and lived over in Sandcreek township, when he died Uncle William B. was the executor of his will. I told you that he not only belonged to the Coffee Creek Association but also belonged to the Brownstown association and was minister of what is now the Baptist Church of Seymour, but it was three miles out a little country church. I have a history of that.
William B. Lewis Jr and Francis Coryell
And William B. Lewis, I told you was a Baptist minister and married a lot of people and was an executor for a lot of their wills. This Francis Coryell and William B. Lewis were pretty close in Indiana. They belonged to the Scott County (Masonic Lodge). Francis had everything on the Masons. He had it all over his tombstone. I wrote to Scottsburg asking about it. I thought they might have the father of Francis, but they didn’t. But they did say that Francis and William B. Lewis came to meetings together and March of one year they asked to be excused from the meetings through March and April because of the clay, the wet weather. They couldn’t get there.
JOHN M LEWIS
John M. Lewis, Son of William B. Lewis, Senior: Birth
On this second page, this is from the Brownstown Banner: "March 9, 1904, 50 years ago in Jackson County, born on a raft", now that was grandfather (John M. Lewis Sr.), "probably the oldest person at the Republican Convention, Thursday, was John M. Lewis Sr., father of the chairman. Mr. Lewis Senior was born on a raft floating down the Ohio River with his parents from Pittsburg to Madison, April 25th, 1821", well he was born 1822.
H: I was going to ask you the origin (Ed. - source of the account) of the trip on the river.
M: He (Ed. - John M. Lewis, Sr.) had given this, that was from the Brownstown banner. You know they were all Republican.
Picture of John M. Lewis
H: I think that would reproduce.
M: That’s my Grandfather Lewis (John M. Lewis). He was the youngest. I think they had shirt fronts. They had a suit and then they put these white shirt fronts, maybe over a colored shirt.
H: I’ll get you that picture of Timothy.
John M. Lewis and the Bear Cubs at the Home of William B. Lewis Senior
They got up a rail fence around the house (Ed. – William B. Lewis, Sr. home) and he said they told him to never go through that fence, never to go out alone. But he thought he saw some bear cubs and he thought he’d like to go and see them and he was out there playing and I guess everybody was watching out for the children and they caught him and he said "they sure tanned my britches". And he said he would never forget it. Just think what would have happened to him if the mother bear would have come.
Second Wife: Widow Mrs. Rebecca Pierson Cook
H: You told me you remember your grandfather (John Lewis).
M: Yes, well. I was with him a lot. Grandfather (Ed. – John M. Lewis) married my mother’s Aunt (Ed. – Mrs. Rebecca Pierson Cook, a widow, must have been an Aunt to Minnie Deputy, wife of Ralph Lewis).
She brought into grandfather’s home, Aunt Cal, (Caroline Deputy, daughter of William Deputy) who was________
My father said that Aunt Becky when she married grandfather and went out there to live she threw all the pictures away. She had some pretty nice furniture. She was a Pierson. Her father was a Miller.
(Ed. – "Rebecca Pierson was the daughter of James Weathers Pierson and Lucretia Morgan. Her sister was Lucretia Pierson who married Solmon Deputy, their daughter Minnie Deputy married Ralph Lewis. After Ralph Lewis’ Mother, Mary Jane Coryell Lewis passed away, his wife’s Aunt, Mrs. Rebecca Pierson Cook, married John M. Lewis, thus becoming both Aunt to Minnie Deputy and stepmother-in-law to her.
James Weathers Pierson was previously married to Lanthy Shockly and had 6 children. He remarried to Lucretia Morgan, had 8 children. Three of the children were Henry Clay Pierson, Lucretia Pierson and Rebecca Pierson. The Piersons came to Scott County Indiana in 1818 from Fleming County KY. In the 1820’s he built one of the first mills in Vernon Township, Jackson Co, IN, at Slate Ford, east of Crothersville. He was born in 1794, the son of Shadrach and Rachel Clinch. It is believed they had 10 children..
Shadrach Pierson was one of triplets, Shadrach, Mesheck and Abednego Pierson born 1754 in Culpepper County VA.
Meshack and married Mary Jennings had at least 4 children. Abednego was killed somtime around 1773. Shadrach and Meshack and another brother Charles all served in the Rev. War, Charles being killed.
During the winter at Valley Forge Shadrach’s feet were frozen , which caused him to be a cripple the rest of his life." – this from a book in the Jackson County library, Seymour IN. Gen. Ref. IN J31, to which Mary Lewis Osterman was a contributor and also from the internet.)
We now resume with Mary’s interview:
H: Now was she (Ed – Rebecca Pierson) a widow?
M: Yes, she married a Cook and they had a daughter, Sonora. She and this Steven
(Ed. – Children of Rebecca Pierson and Stephen Cook who was born 24 Jan 1842 were:
1) Sonora Cook Born: 21 Jan 1866 Death: 4 May 1918 in Seymour,Jackson Co.Indiana - Marriage James K. Ritter b: 27 May 1864
2) Sudie G. Cook b: 28 Oct 1867
Family records of Dean Pierson great-grandson of Henry Clay Pierson.online at
The interview resumes:
H: You said she was your Aunt?
M: My mother’s Aunt. (Ed. – Aunt to Minnie Deputy)
One of the Sons of John M. Lewis Sr. Wanted to be a Lawyer
He wanted to be a lawyer but Aunt Becky said that Uncle John (John M. Lewis Jr) would be the only one that would be a lawyer. And my father and maybe none of the boys were as aggressive as Uncle John (John Lewis II) (Ed. – son of John M. Lewis and Rebecca Pierson Cook Lewis) and Aunt Becky just had her way for a while.
Children Lost to Tuberculosis
I’m going to try to tell you about our family as much as I can. They lost so many children to tuberculosis when they were real young.
Children of John M. Lewis
My father (Ed. – Ralph Lewis) told me so much about my grandmother (Ed. – Minnie Deputy Lewis). He was not in school and she entertained him a lot. He was home alone.
H: How many children did John M. Lewis have?
M: Well, he had Maria, she was named for my grandmother’s mother (Ed. – referring to Maria Gibson, mother of Mary Jane Coryell) and Harriet was named for my grandmother’s Aunt. And Gilbert, I don’t know who he was named for but it was in the Coryell family and Uncle Oscar was the oldest I believe and he married a Houghland.
(Ed. – He married Mary Jane Houghland.) Then there was Uncle William Francis and then there was Aunt Lou who was the only girl who survived and Uncle George and my father (Ed. – Ralph Lewis) and Uncle John was a half brother.
(Ed. – John M. Lewis Jr, son of John M. Lewis Sr. and 2nd wife Mrs. Rebecca Pierson Cook. His children are: Edward Dwight Lewis, Oren Ritter Lewis, George Graessle Lewis and John M. Lewis III)
Louisa Bell Lewis Morgan
M: You know, Aunt Lou was next to my father. She was born about 1860 at Newry.
John M. Lewis Children's Namesakes
(Ed. - The tape starts with Mary talking about who John M. Lewis' children were named after:)
M: ...on Maria Gibson Coryell (Ed. - she must have said that John M. Lewis' first daughter, Maria Lewis, who died about 9 years old, was named after Maria Gibson who married Francis Coryell, they were the parents of Mary Jane Coryell who married John M. Lewis.)
M: The next girl who died young was named Harriet (Ed. - Harriet Lewis, daughter of John M. Lewis, born May 27, 1850 - died Oct 8, 1851). (And) a son Gilbert who died at the age of 18 of tuberculosis (Ed. - Nov 1, 1845 - July 27, 1863). Grandfather's oldest children died (Ed. - The order isn't correct, should be: Maria, Gilbert, then Oscar and then Harriet). The next son, I don't know who Uncle Oscar, the oldest of the (surviving) children was named for.
William Francis Lewis, Son of John M. Lewis
Then there was the boy William Francis. My father never said William or Francis or Bill, it was always William Francis. ___ talked about William Francis Lewis. Mother (Minnie Deputy Lewis) says that she remembered him, that he was tall, that he would come to the Paris Crossing church (Ed. - Coffee Creek Baptist Church). His mother was Mary Jane Coryell. He was named for his two grandfathers, William Lewis and Francis Coryell. He was John M. Lewis' boy, (who was) my grandfather
Grandfather had in his Bible from whom he bought it and he bought it soon after he was married. He had everything down, when the children were born and so on.
So many sad things happened. Uncle William Francis got a job on the B & O railroad and they were switching down near Mitchell. And grandfather said it this way, a train of cars went over his body and they buried him the next day. …and grandfather has it in his Bible.
He was married and he had 3 children and they all died.
John M. Lewis Jr.
H: Didn't you tell me that one of them got into politics? John M. Jr. or one of them?
M: That was my "Uncle" John as I called him. He was my father's (Ed. - Ralph Lewis, son of Daniel) half-brother and my mother's own cousin. He was a child by my father's step-mother who was Aunt Becky (Ed. - Mrs. Rebecca Pierson Cook, a widow, 2nd wife to John M. Lewis Sr.). Aunt Becky was my mother's Aunt.
Aunt Becky had a daughter who was my father's age, Sonora Ritter, her (maiden) name was Sonora Cook. She married Dr. Ritter, from Paola or someplace. He was teaching school, that's where they met. He wanted to become an eye, ear and throat specialist. So Sonora taught school and sent him (Dr. Ritter) to school to become that (an eye, ears and throat specialist). And they had 2 children, Harold and Fern and when Fern... now Harold had gone to Franklin and graduated, and Fern was in Franklin. Sonora (Ed. - left Dr. Ritter due to marital difficulties and ) went out and lived her last year's at grandfather's (Ed. - John M. Lewis').
The John M. Lewis Bible
I guess I showed you the Bible didn’t I?
H: You’ve got your grandfather’s (Ed. – John M. Lewis’) Bible is that right?
M: He said he paid 50 cents for it and bought it in June after they were married and my grandmother (Ed. – Mary Jane Coryell) Lewis was dead. (Ed. – this isn’t understandable but I think she was getting ready to tell about the death of William Francis Lewis and how it happened after Mary Jane Coryell Lewis was deceased.)
Coryell - Gillespy
M: (Francis William Coryell son of Francis Coryell) Francis was named for his grandfather, his father was the oldest and the family would tell it.
I had a cousin, Ethel (Houghland) she just kept track of the family. Her mother was a Gillaspy. (Ed. – I’m not clear about this: Mary Jane Houghland was the daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Gillaspy Houghland, so is Ethel the daughter of Mary Jane or Elizabeth and is Aunt Molly the same as Mary Jane?) and they were over at her grandmother's place and they were jumping from stumps they had ready to split for wood. She fell between two and injured her back. And Aunt Molly grandfather (Ed. - John M. Lewis), he said they could do something for that and he wanted to send her to Indianapolis. And Aunt Molly was superstitious and didn't believe in doing all those things so Ethel remained with a hunchback all her life. She lived at grandfather's a long time. Uncle Oscar (Ed. - Oldest living son of John M. Lewis, married Mary Jane Houghland) was the oldest and he I think he was having trouble...
George Lewis and Mary Jane Houghland
H: You said you remembered…
M: Oh my grandfather. Grandfather (Ed. – John M. Lewis) stuttered but it didn’t bother him. He would stutter and then straightened out. Uncle George (Ed. – son of John M. Lewis) lived across from Grandfather’s. He had 2 boys Carl and Collin. Collin was about my age. Then Aunt Lou (Ed. – Louisa Bell Lewis, daughter of John M. Lewis) if she came home she had 2 boys and I was sort of left alone and grandfather used to entertain me. And sometimes we went to Uncle Oscar’s, Uncle Oscar was the oldest. And he and Aunt Mollie (Ed. – Mary Jane Houghland) lived down near Langdon, on 250 now, their home was.
Buggy Rides with John M. Lewis Sr.
We’d go out to grandfather’s (Ed. – John M. Lewis) for the weekend and then maybe Aunt Molly would have us all over there for dinner on Sunday and I always got to ride with grandfather. He said I could ride with him and he had a buggy.
H: This was John M. Lewis.
M: Grandfather Lewis, yes. And he had a big cushion in his buggy because a horse ran away with him and broke his hip and he could never just sit down straight. He had to have a cushion. And so I sat beside him and my feet would just stick out straight. My legs were too short at that time and grandfather would tell me a lot of things about things along the road or something and would talk to me like a grown person. And he told me about how he came to Indiana. He was born on the flatboat, and then they came in to Jennings County not too far from Paris Crossing.
John M. Lewis – Louise Belle Lewis (Morgan)
M: Aunt Lou (Ed. Louise Belle Lewis, daughter to John M. Lewis) and the whole shebang graduated from Danville. We were out at Allan’s, Aunt Lou’s son…
John M. Lewis Land from Francis Coryell
Now the land where this house stands was purchased. I told you my grandfather, Francis Coryell was tailor and it was hard for men to get suits and overcoats. He made them for people. Whenever he got enough money, besides what it took for the family to live on, and put it in land and when my grandfather and grandmother were married he gave them this land where the house stands on 31.
The John M. Lewis Cabin
(It was) two story. It had 2 bedrooms above this living room and he said it had this breezeway and an open stairway that went up to the 2 rooms above the living room and then in the back of the breezeway but under the same roof were 3 little bedrooms. The first I’d heard of that, my father (Ralph Lewis) broke his hip and he said "I could just see those bedrooms, they were so little they had one doublebed and a dresser." He said "I used to watch the girls making the feather beds." That’s the way the old house was - that stood where that one is that you saw. I had never heard of it till my father told me.
Another Account of the John M. Lewis Cabin
He told me so many things. He told me about how they had built their second house which stood just back of where the house stands now, the main house. And he said it was log and was covered with clapboard. Well, my father (Ralph Lewis) told me that. It had two bedrooms above the living room and the living room was long, the width of the house, then there was a sort of a breezeway, at least they had an open stairway to the two bedrooms above the living room. And back of that they had 3 little bedrooms for the family. My father said that he could still see the girls that make the beds, they had feather beds, each bedroom had a big doublebed and a dresser and that was it.
John M. Lewis House
M: I told you I had grandfather's house didn't I? Because Earl and Ellen Morgan were not coming back. (Louisa Bell Lewis, daughter of John M. Lewis married James C. Morgan, Earl is likely her son). There's a lot of woodland there. I got this from the Courier Journal Louisville Times.
H: Does the house still look good?
H: Do you have anyone living there?
M: We've had an awful lot of trouble. We have two ladies that are going to rent it.
H: How long ago was this restored like this?
M: Just in the last few years.
H: Do you know when that house was built?
M: It's over a hundred years old. I think the woodwork was grained. They put a coat of white paint that you can't get off, then they put varnish on it, then they took a comb and put marks like the grain of wood. And the fireplace in the parlor looked like ferns, awful pretty really. The fireplaces were just old colonial fireplaces. The fireplaces are pretty they are not narrow and high but sort of colonial type.
Now this door goes into the hall and this is what they called the sitting room, the north room, and back of that is the dining room and back of that was the kitchen and back of that was two other rooms that I think belonged to the original house and the two rooms back of the kitchen had a big stone fireplace, just enormous and it was a fireplace in each room and the room next to the kitchen they used to render lard and wash and do things they wanted to be out of the way and the most eastern room had cots in it, I think about four, as I remember. They weren't used when we were fooling around, but I remember going in the rooms. Grandfather would have hired help. They would come and stay the week you know and sleep in that room.
The stairway was walnut and it was hand carved.
I like to paint and take paint off and do those things and I was doing it but I didn't want to mar the rooms. My father had said the boys had the north room, upstairs, like a dormitory and the girls had the south room. I didn't want to cut those rooms up, for a bathroom and so on, they are big.
I did have the kitchen fixed. I had the plumbing fixed. It was all in the back of the house at the kitchen. And grandfather had a homemade sink in the NE corner of the kitchen and my father said they had a tile that ran from that corner down to the basement and then out of the basement and down the hill. They had a long wire in the tile and something in the middle and one got down and one in the basement and they cleaned the tile once in a while. I was telling someone I wanted to connect up to that tile for drainage. But they didn't believe me, thought I was dreaming. And so John Emily (?) out there he said "we'll look for the tile and we'll put new tile in." I was out there at the time and this man who was doing the bulldozing came to the door and said "there was a tile out there, it's broken to pieces but it's right where you said it would be." And they had a pitcher (pump) this was a long sink that had zinc, is that what you called it, so that it didn't leak. They got their water from rain barrel, it was a pitcher pump, so the girls didn't have to go outside.
H: A cistern.
M: Yes, then they had a pantry that was a step down from the kitchen floor. It was a brick floor and a continuation of a... this goes through to a porch. There was a hallway. There's a back door and the door opens on to a back porch a narrow porch and that ran along side the dining room and the kitchen and it ended with a pantry, so I had the floor raised, a wooden floor put in but it still had the brick floor in the pantry and I made the bathroom there.
Repeat with more info.
I got all of the plumbing on the back of the kitchen. Grandfather had a pantry to the south of the kitchen and the floor, it was a step down from the kitchen level and it's floor was brick just like the porch that ran across the South side of the house. And, I thought for the time being I would have the bathroom made out of this old pantry and I had Mr. Demantige who did it for me put the level of the floor of the bathroom level with the floor of the kitchen so you didn't have to go down and I put the linoleum down. And it has a nice cabinet, some people from Seymour came out and put it there for me. It isn't carpeted. This woman told us we could do a lot of it. We had them come out and take care of the termites because somebody who had been there put stone. (Ed. – I don’t know what that meant unless it was that they put stone up against wood.) You see the house didn't have a foundation. They had latticework, green, around the base of the house, so little animals couldn't get in. You know how groundhogs burrow. But you know snakes, I didn't know snakes got in. I think maybe they were driven in by having the termites taken care of and then they put some new sills in and then we had the house painted on the outside. That's all we could do till spring. I had a lot of the decorating on the inside and a Mr. Toppy who's son wanted a place to live because he was out of work and he working for John Emily on the road. He was a commission of John Emily, who was a neighbor of mine down north. They did a lot to the inside of the house. Then all at once he moved and didn't even tell his father and went to Linsellier (sp?). So now, until we can do something about it Mike said the only thing we could do is tear it down to keep people out of it. You just can't get renters to take care of it. They put spikes in the woodwork to hang clothes on, 4 inch spikes.
Repeat about John M. Lewis House
H: Exactly where is it now?
M: It’s just about 1 mile North of Uniontown, on 31, on the east side of the road up on a hill. And people break into it you don’t know the trouble we’ve had. About 3 years ago Bill Prentice a real estate man at home was going to care of the renting. But you know even with a contract they just move out and take all the fixtures. So in desperation I said to Mike "we’ll just tear the house down." And he said "well don’t do that let’s do something before."
I would hate to see them tear it down. And Mike called a woman who had been advertising that they were doing houses over in Louisville. Her husband was head of the architectural part of the University of Louisville. So she came up, she said yes she'd like to look at it. She came up and looked at it and she said "oh don't tear this house down." She said we had not made little rooms out of one room and I had not done that.
John M. Lewis Home and William Lewis His Father, Stone Mason
H: Yes, that was interesting that William was a stone mason.
M: Yes it was in the census records, the 1850 census and I had copied it down. I’ve often wondered how and where they got the stone for this big fireplace between the 2 east rooms at the homeplace. It was a stone fireplace in 2 rooms and it had this foundation that was made of great big stones that were put down into the ground and I bet he did that.
John M. Lewis and a Bear
And grandfather (Ed. – John M. Lewis) told me too about going out to look for the cows. (Ed. – Apparently the cows did not come in when they were supposed to.) They had to cross a spring, a salt lick. He called the farm bucklick. Generally if anything that would keep the cows from coming, it would be a bear or something, and he kept a muzzle loading rifle above the door, so he got it and went out to look for the cattle. And they were on one side of the spring and here was this bear on the other. He knew he’d have to fire with the intention of killing the first time or they’d take care of him, but he said he didn’t, (Ed. – apparently he missed the first time) instead he got up a tree in order to load, I guess you had to load every time.
H: Did he shoot the bear?
M: He shot the bear and got the cattle in. There were not many.
The Story of the Trip to Langdon
H: Tell me that story again about your father and grandfather.
M: Oh about how my father (Ed. – Ralph Lewis) took grandfather (Ed. – John M. Lewis) to that station? Yes, I think my father was only 11 years old and grandfather went down to where Uncle Oscar (Ed. – son of John M. Lewis) lived and saw the water was too deep for him to get through to Langdon because the Pennsylvania would stop at Langdon and that’s where he took it. He had to be in Illinois some place on Monday morning so there was no one else he could ask I guess he didn’t want to ask anybody that had children and then wondered if dad (Ed. – Ralph Lewis) would go. He said "I have to be there" and he said "there won’t be any danger if you do what I tell you" and he said "we’ll take the big wagon, flat wagon and two mules" and he said "mules are afraid of water and they’ll find all of the high land." And he said "you don’t have to do a thing, they won’t run" he said "you just put the reins, fasten them, and if you have to just lie down, hold on and don’t be knocked off and he said "now they’ll take you home safely." Dad said the whole family was out there and he didn’t get home till 3 o’clock in the morning, and they did think something had happened to him.
H: You said the river was high.
M: Yes, you know we went through the Newry Bottoms. I don’t know whether you’ve heard that or not.
H: Oh yes I’ve heard of the Newry Bottoms.
M: There are 3 bridges, there were…
The John M. Lewis Store at Newry and the Covered Bridge
M: And by the way, grandfather and a Mr. Foster, had a store at Newry and Newry was a little town that was laid out along the Muscatatuck River right where you cross the river, where the highway crossed the river.
H: Which highway was this?
M: 31. The Vernon branch. And grandfather had a store there and we lost his account book and they charged so much for horses or sheep so much for them to go across (Ed. - the covered bridge they owned) and charged so much for a man to walk across.
H: Who did? Grandfather and this Mr. Foster.
M: They owned the bridge, they built it.
H: A toll bridge.
M: Yes, I guess it was. My father said he could remember an elephant. Somebody had an elephant to make money and they had to pay for the elephant to cross then he got off the bridge and went down and laid down in the water.
Birthplace of Ralph Lewis, son of John M. Lewis
They didn’t live there (near Newry) long. My father was born near Uniontown. And maybe they were building the house at that time.
Edwin Coryell and Elizabeth Foster; Doc Coryell
And John Foster lived near Newry on a little farm and he had a daughter, Elizabeth Foster who worked in the store. _______ My grandmother (Mary Jane Coryell Lewis) thought she was such a nice person so she saw to it that her brother Edwin Coryell married Elizabeth Foster. And now, Mort Coryell, he lived to be about 97, lived east of Uniontown. My grandmother Lewis (Mary Jane Coryell Lewis) had a brother, Uncle Doc (Samuel Coryell), that went to the medical school at Cincinnati connected to the Univ. of Cincinnati. And Daniel Lewis they were good friends.
The Illness of Mary Lewis (Osterman) as a Child
H: Now tell me the story about the boy going to the school when you were ill and they thought you…
M: Oh, my father (Ed. –
Ralph Lewis) was teaching school. The folks lived in
Seymour and my father had a school up east of Uniontown. They rented
a little house right across from Beatle's (sp?) store in Uniontown
for the time he was teaching school. They came right after Easter to
Seymour on the train and they walked from Langdon to Uniontown and I
took a bad cold and it turned to pneumonia so all the ladies around
were suggesting home remedies, onion poultices, and everything. And
someone told grandfather I was sick so he got on his horse and went
down to the house and he said "now you're going to have to do
something and do it right now or Mary'll be dead." So mother
called, or he went over, to see Rev. Mosely. He was
about 17 years old then, and he got on his horse. He went to the
And my father would tell this, he broke his hip and was really sick after they brought him home.
(Ed. – I’m not sure what Mary means here. I suspect she means that when John M. Lewis was laid up with a broken hip that Rev. Mosely visited him so that John went and got him when his granddaughter was so ill.)
This impressed him so. I was the oldest and
here this Mosely opened the school door and he said
"Mary's dyin" and of course he knew that I was sick and so my
father said he just dismissed the school and got home as quick as he
could and drove in to Seymour, horseback, to Dr. Casey. Dr.
Casey was the family doctor, they'd always known him. He'd lived
at Boston, the Casey family. And so Dr. Casey told him
to go to the drug store to get certain things. You know those things
they used on my chest if I ever had a cold, until I just hated the
smell. They got China Silk and bacon and turpentine. Can you imagine
all that together. They put it on raw on my chest and then put a big
cloth over it and tied it around my body and I guess maybe it did
save me but my that was an awful mixture and it smelled so bad.
John M. Lewis’ Boat Trips
H: You were talking about John M. and his account of those boat trips. He was making those trips about the time Abraham Lincoln...
John M. Lewis and Eliza Lewis Keith
I tell you Grandfather took so many people in. He had a sister next to him (Ed. - Eliza Lewis) who was born in 1820 before they left New York and she married Richard Hues Keith a brother of Harry Keith. I've never been able to find anything out about them because she had 3 little girls and she died. He (Ed. – Richard Hues Keith) married again, soon, and he died that year and grandfather took one of the little girls, Elizabeth (Keith) into his home and Aunt Becky…
Oh I started to tell you that ___ Uncle Cart, his mother was taking care of this half sister and half brother of my mother and their father was Bartholomew Pierson (born 1835 in Scott Co, son of Shadrach Pierson and Jane Eastin), he died in the Civil War I believe. And Uncle Cart got a couple that wanted a child, here in Indianapolis, and he thought it would be so good for Aunt Bel and do you know they took Aunt Bel to these people in Indianapolis and they got her clothes and kit gloves. Aunt Bel would tell what they did. Aunt Becky she said nobody was going to hire out a niece of hers and she went to Indianapolis and got Aunt Bel. And I know Collin, who was about my age, said his mother said that that was such a mistake that Aunt Becky made___ She wasn't hired out, they would have adopted her.
The John M. Lewis Family and the Morgan Family
M: They all had kind of a kindly look. They didn’t look like gangsters. We could, if we had the time, find a picture of Aunt Betsy, and Nancy Jane I wouldn’t doubt. You know Aunt Lou (Ed. - Louisa Bell Lewis who married James C. Morgan) had so many pictures. And she was gone and we went out to see Earl and Allan well Allan was gone too.
Allan, they came here to visit around Labor Day. Mother and dad took care of Myrtle and Earl and I took care of Allan and his wife. And they stayed for some little time. They hadn’t been back since Aunt Lou was living. They would always come to Jackson County and Aunt Lou that she always had to go down and visit the Morgans. But ___ she stayed with her folks and that’s how I happened to get acquainted with___.
I was telling you about this Dr. Margaret Morgan that lives here in town. They had Jack Morgan ________. David and Sarah Morgan are the one’s who came to Scott County. David was my mother’s grandfather and all of these Morgan’s grandfather.
David Washington Morgan
Birth: bet 1775 and 1780 Place: Virginia
Death: 21 Jan 1835 Place: Scott County, IN
Father: David Reece Morgan
Mother: Deborah Jones
Spouse: Sarah Hughbanks
M: The way that Joel got his money was by the canning factory. Ivan and Earl were back so Joel says "I don’t drive anymore, I think a person who is 90 years old shouldn’t be driving." He had this big car and he paid somebody to drive us and wanted us to see the canning factory. Lewis got to see that too.
Nathan Morgan was my great-grandmother’s, Lucretia Morgan Pierson’s, youngest brother and he was a minister. And he was the grandfather, he was the son of David and Sarah Morgan. He was the father of Joe and Uncle Clarence and David and John. There were 4 boys and their father was Nathan the youngest brother of my great-grandmother.
(Editor – Here is the family of Nathan R. Morgan:)
Father: David Washington Morgan Mother: Sarah Hughbanks
born: 25 Mar 1825
died: 23 Feb 1878, Scott Co.,Indiana
bur.: Austin,Scott Co.,Indiana, at Whitson Cemetery
spouse: Almira STEELY
born: 23 Nov 1834
died: 21 Dec 1866
bur.: Austin,Scott Co.,Indiana, at Whitson Cemetery
Sarah Adeline Morgan
Thomas Jefferson Morgan
Joseph Steely Morgan
James Clarence Morgan -- born: 3 Feb 1860.
George W. Morgan
spouse: Mary M. HUGHES
marr: 13 Aug 1867, Scott Co.,Indiana
born: 30 Jul 1835
died: 23 Feb 1872
John W. Morgan
spouse: Margaret GAMBLE
marr: 13 Nov 1873, Scott Co.,Indiana
born: 20 Feb 1839
died: 6 Apr 1898
bur.: Austin,Scott Co.,Indian, at Whitson Cemetery
Flora Morgan -- born: 2 Aug 1876.
The John M. Lewis Land Deeded to Him from Francis Coryell
My great-grandfather Francis Coryell, deeded to my grandmother, Mary Jane Coryell Lewis (wife of John M. Lewis Sr), where grandfather lived and they were living next door to my great-grandfather, which is now on 250, east of Uniontown.
How They Passed on John Lewis’ Property
They took the lowland and then around the homeplace, the land and they divided off two kinds of land in each division and they numbered it and they took care of doling it out. The family went out and drew numbers and whoever got the homeplace they would give it to Aunt Lou because she was the only girl alive and they thought that would be the easiest way to solve the question. My father was of course next to Uncle John. When he became reconciled to the fact that his mother was gone he changed a lot and he and Uncle John were pretty close. Uncle John wanted that home place just like the rest of them, because he'd gone up there too. The thing was all of that land where the home place is was bought by in the first place by my Grandmother Lewis’ father (Ed. - Coryell) and when grandfather (Ed. – John M. Lewis) and grandmother (Ed. – Mary Jane Coryell Lewis) were married, soon after that he gave them an acreage which is the home place.
(Ed. – Louisa Bell Lewis Morgan inherited the John Lewis home, but apparently with the understanding that other family members could buy it if she decided to sell.)
Then they were to give each member of the family living a right to buy if they wanted to and so in the 1950’s Earl Morgan had died. (Ed. – Louisa Lewis married a James C. Morgan, don’t know who Earl Morgan is, thought perhaps son of Louisa Bell.)
They (Ed. - Louisa and her husband) lived in Denver and Aunt Lou, they all thought they would be able to come back and live there but Uncle Clarence (Ed. – James Clarence Morgan) dropped dead and Aunt Lou broke her hip and it didn’t mend and she didn’t live long. And the boys were born out there and they liked those Rockies, they liked that country. So Earl died and Lewis and I went out to see the folks about twice. About 1950 was the last time we went out. We just begged Allan (Ed. – son of Louisa and Clarence Morgan) to come back for a visit and he said the only way he could come would be to fly and he wouldn’t fly.
H: Now where was this?
M: Allan Morgan, my cousin.
H: Where did he live? In Denver.
M: We went out to Aunt Lou’s several times, but the last time we went Allan was really sick. He had Parkinsons disease. We begged him to come and he said he would never fly, the only way he would drive through, and he didn’t know if he’d ever be able to do that and he wasn’t. Before he died he wrote to us and he said we have to give another member of the family the right to buy and he said if you folks want to buy we’d like for you to take it and that’s how I happened to have it.
Misc. – John Lewis took in a Mrs. Petrish
And I told you, Grandfather (Ed. – John M. Lewis), there was Mrs. Petrie, Petrish. I don’t know who she was, but she had a trunk and my father (Ed. - Ralph Lewis, son of John M. Lewis) has told me about little Mrs. Petrish and she lived at Grandfather’s and had a trunk.
Daniel Lewis’ Children by Harriet Keith
M: You know, I think the children of Uncle Daniel and Harriet Keith couldn’t stand it when their mother (Ed. – Harriet Keith) died and their father married this young girl (Ed. – cousin to Harriet Keith).
H: I think I found that she was 3 years older than his oldest son.
M: That’s right.
Keith Cemetery and Daniel Lewis Family
M: I had the Keith cemetery, as I had copied it.
H: You were telling me several people that were buried at Keith, and maybe I don’t have that.
M: Well there were Barnes and you said you were related to them. And Daniel Lewis was married twice and I don’t know how many children he had, but from different people they said he had 8 children by each wife. And I had from the cemetery. Listen they lost infants that they lost at a month old, maybe not that old. But they had, I know one was Manurva, and people I’d never heard of, but they had children.
H: Manurva’s stone is still there I’ve seen it. Somewhere in an obituary it said Daniel sired 20 children.
M: 20? Well that could be. His second wife was just about the age of Lavinia, that was his oldest child by his first wife.
H: She was only 2 years older than Lavinia.
M: I’ll tell this. Dad told it he thought it was a good joke. Maybe it wasn’t true. He married this Keith, Fannie, Francis. How much relation, maybe none, maybe distant.
H: No she was a cousin of his first wife.
The "Churching" of Daniel Lewis
M: Anyway she was so near the same age of his oldest daughter. She wanted to get the children by his first wife out of the way. And he was a Baptist and the church didn’t allow the things that went on. He whipped her for mistreating one of his older children. And the Baptist church took it up and they had a trial and they churched him.
H: I’ve heard that story and he. It’s rather detailed. Some people in our family know that, know about it, they tell about Daniel in the church stood up in front of the congregation and said "whether my name is written in the church book is of no consequence whether it is written up there is the only thing I’m interested in."
M: And someone else said he said "I’m not sorry I did what I did. I’m sorry I had to." That was quite a story I guess. Uncle Daniel had the biggest house in the community. And he was a big church man and he was just well known every place. Uncle Dan they called him. He gave a lot to the community.
Mr. Moore, Character of Daniel Lewis
M: He was such a nice person. Uncle Dan we called him. He must have had a nice personality. There was a Mr. Moore that took us to an old road that went to Madison. This Mr. Moore's father worked for Daniel. Mr. Moore said that his father said that Dan Lewis was the finest person in the country. He was honest and very fair. He said he could still see him, meet him, on this old road walking to go see somebody who was sick.
Daniel Lewis was Nice
M: We went over to see where to see where Col. Bill lived. What was his brother’s name? In the Civil War he had the roof of his mouth shot off. And this Mr. Moore who worked for Uncle Daniel, said Uncle Daniel was the nicest person and he would walk over this little country road that used to be part of 250 but then they cut 250 out you know and that road was closed. Yankee Bill lived... and he showed me the well, that's this Mr. Moore and he said Uncle Daniel, he would see him almost every week walking up to Yankee Bill’s.
Daniel Lewis Land
H: I saw in a court record that Daniel had entered a court hearing because he had paid somebody for some land and hadn't been delivered that title. He was only 21 at that time.
Daniel Lewis Money
H: I can’t conceive of Daniel creating that much wealth. Where did he get money? Did he raise hogs?
M: They did everything and he was rich. I gave you that write up from the paper? And he was the richest man in Marion Township and he spent it well and he was educated.
H: Obviously, but he was only 9 years old when he came to Indiana. How did he get educated?
M: His mother (Ed. – Sarah Miller Butler Lewis).
H: Yes you told me about his mother. Well that would be a great help. But I can’t imagine, he had 1700 acres at one time, but I can’t imagine how he accumulated that much from nothing.
M: I don’t know, but he had an idea of the beautiful. Everything around him was so pretty, the lay of the land and that house.
H: I know he was an outstanding person, but people in those days, if they had food on the table they were doing well.
The Money Loan to Daniel Lewis from the Wiggam Family
My mother grew up in her grandfather’s (Deputy) home. And Aunt Cal (Caroline Deputy born ca 1852) was just a young girl and still there when mother went there to live and she married in a year or two (ca 1873) Harve Wiggam (Francis Harvey Wiggam).
Ed. - Francis Harvey Wiggam, born November 26, 1845, Austin, Scott County, Indiana an died Feb 25, 1939 . His father was Gilbert Wiggam and mother Susannah Barnes. They married Feb. 5, 1840 in Jefferson County, Indiana.
His father Gilbert was born March 1, 1819 in PA and died before January 8, 1875. He is buried in the Wiggam Cemetary, Graham Township, near Deputy in Jefferson County. Gilbert was the son of John Wiggam who was born February 13, 1795 at Ballegganly, Tyrone, North Ireland, and died August 8, 1852, near Austin, Scott, Indiana. John Wiggam was married to Margaret Lytle. Source: familysearch.org
M: And the Wiggam family was an Irish family, but it was not a large family. I knew Uncle Harve. I think he was in his 90’s. Aunt Cal had been dead a long time. The daughter brought him to see mother. He walked with me to school every morning. Uncle Harve told me that Dan Lewis’ house was just wonderful and he said "my father loaned him a lot of money". Of course he paid it back with interest but back then they didn’t have banks.
M: Now Uncle Harve Wiggam had a cousin, Everett Wiggam who wrote a column in the Star for a long time "Believe it or not" or something like that.
Money Loan for Daniel Lewis Home Repeat
He told me "I remember Daniel Lewis’ house. My father loaned him money." They didn’t have banks so they borrowed from neighbors and paid them back.
And you know Daniel was a rich man, the richest of the Lewis’.
Daniel Lewis House
H: I’m real concerned about Daniel’s old house.
M: I wish somebody could put the interest in that house. Have you ever been in it? It was a lovely house. Mother had her Aunt Caroline Deputy (born ca 1852) She married (ca 1873, Clark County?) Uncle Harve Wiggam
And after Aunt Cal was dead he would visit his children and he generally came and visited mother. I was teaching at home and when he was nearly 90 he would get up nearly and walk to school with me.
Daniel Lewis Home
M: The Daniel Lewis house was just beautiful. Have you been in it?
M: Bar ? relief, is that what you call it, press ___ work? The ceiling of the entrance hall was just beautiful.
Daniel Lewis Home
H: I've thought about that with
Daniel Lewis' house. As far as I know there's no one living
M: Were you ever in it when it was still in good condition?
H: I have never been in it.
M: Listen it was a lovely house. And the stairway, the front hall was square, sort of like a little reception hall, and the ceiling was a lot of relief, you know, it was plastered in designs. Oh it was just really pretty.
H: Now what are your first memories of Daniel's house?
M: Oh, well, after (one of Uncle Daniel's children lived there, Artemus, or maybe one of the girls. My father called him "Teemso" (?)
The James W. Lewis family inherited the Daniel Lewis Home
And Emily (Ed. – Emily Jane
Lewis, daughter of James W. Lewis, son of
Daniel) was the older sister of Catherine, you met
Catherine (Lewis) Heckman. And Emily was
the oldest of the second family (Ed. – must mean the second
family to inherit?). She moved to Illinois or died and the house
stood vacant for a while. And I went with my father and
mother about twice just to look. It was so nice and I remember on the east there was a big room where the spinning wheel was still up.
H: Now who did you say lived there?
M: I believe it was a girl, daughter, one of the daughters of the second family. I don’t remember what her name was.
H: The last that anyone in our family remembers someone by the name of Wilson lived there.
M: Well maybe that was it. Well I think she went to Illinois and someone rented the house across from Uncle Daniel’s. My father didn’t say Uncle Daniel, he always said Uncle Dan’l.
M: Uncle Dan’l had a chair made down at Madison. He had acres of ground that surrounded the house and there were all these windows upstairs and he had this big chair made with arms and with slats in back and a cane bottom and little rollers and do you know he could roll that all over the upstairs and you know he didn’t make it up and down the steps too often and that’s the way he would oversee his grounds. And didn’t I give you the copy I took from the paper for his burial? I gave it to Emily Ann and she gave it to you.
And you know Emily’s (Editor’s note: referring to a daughter of James Lewis, Daniel Lewis’ son) nephew, John Lewis, is in Texas now and we had this chair that Uncle Daniel had had made down in Madison. And you know Daniel was heavy. I think he had a glandular problem. He was overweight. And he couldn’t climb up and down the stairs, so he had this chair made and he could wheel it all over the upstairs and he had windows in every direction.
H: He could look around every place.
M: He could see what was going on, if the hired hands were doing what they should do. And it had a cane bottom and slats on the back and it had wheels, and that was your great-grandfather’s.
Daniel's Weight Problem
He was a heavy man, maybe not so heavy then. I always thought he had a glandular problem they couldn't take care of.
And in this picture I think Uncle Dan’l lost a lot of his weight.
H: Oh my he must have been big then.
Now grandfather (John M. Lewis) was tall. He was the tallest of any of them. I think he was a little over 6 feet. And he (Daniel Lewis) looks like him in these pictures.
Daniel Lewis and Doctor Samuel Coryell
M: Did I tell you this? Grandmother Lewis (Mary Jane Coryell, wife to John M. Lewis) had a brother who was a doctor and he … in Crothersville. Samuel Coryell, a doctor. And Dad (Ralph Lewis, son of John M. Lewis) called him "Uncle Doc"… and your grandfather, Daniel Lewis, was so rich that he had Uncle Doc to come every spring and every fall and go over all his family. To see that they were healthy. And it told in the paper… what he paid him.