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Notes for Martha Phillips Arbuckle:

Feb. 12, 1828 - Martha Phillips born in IN or NC

1829 - Martha's father left her mother.

1830 - age 2, haven't found them.

1833 - Martha's mother remarried to John Stagg

1840 census Jennings Co., IN
John Stagg
1 male 80-90 (John, age 80)
1 male 10-15 (Isaac, age 14)
1 female 50-60 (Martha, age 50)
1 female 10-15 (Martha, age 11)

July 9, 1846 - John Stagg died

December 31, 1846 - Martha married Alexander Arbuckle in Jennings Co., IN

1850 census Montgomery, Jennings Co., IN
Alexander Arbuckle, age 22, farmer, b. IN
Martha, age 20, b. IN
Elizabeth, age 3, b. IN
Mary, age 5 months, b. IN
Next door to John & Elizabeth (Phillips) Arbuckle and one house away from Martha Pitts Phillips Stagg.

1860 census Montgomery, Jennings Co., IN
Alexander Arbuckle, age 33, farmer, b. IN
Martha, age 31, b. IN
Elizabeth, age 12, b. IN
Ellison B., age 7, b. IN
Catharine, age 65, b. KY

1870 census Montgomery, Jennings Co., IN page 8
Household #57
Alexander Arbuckle, age 42, farming, b. IN
Martha, age 41, b. IN
Ellison, age 17, farming, b. IN

1880 United States Census Montgomery, Jennings, Indiana Page Number 414C
Alexandre ARBUCKLE Self M Male W 52 IN Farmer VA VA
Marthy ARBUCKLE Wife M Female W 51 IN Keeping House GA NC
Alvin E. PERINE Other Male W 18 IN Laborer OH OH
Next door to Ellison Arbuckle & family

Alexander Arbuckle died in 1895

1900 census Montgomery Twp., Jennings Co., IN
Household #80
Ellison Arbuckle, Jan 1852, age 48, md 28 yrs, IN/IN/IN farmer
Mary, wife, Jan 1850, age 50, md 28 yrs, 3 births, 3 surviving, IN/IN/IN
Martha, mother, Feb 1828, age 72, widowed, 3 births, 3 surviving, IN/VA/NC

1910 census Marion Twp., Jennings Co., IN
Household #154
Ellison Arbuckle, age 46, md 37 yrs, IN/IN/IN farmer
Mary H., wife, age 60, md 37 yrs, 3 births, 3 surviving, IN/IN/IN
Martha, mother, age 82, widowed, 3 births, 3 surviving, IN/NC/NC

1920 - age 92

Died December 28, 1926 in Crothersville, IN

From Phillips book by Ken & Lucille Phillips (

MARTHA PHILLIPS was born February 12, 1829. It's unclear if she was bom in North Carolina or Indiana. Some census records list Indiana and, judging from where her par-nts are known to have been, Indiana would seem logical. But Arbuckle descendents, who kept closer contact with Martha and her descendents than the Phillipses did, insist she was born in North Carolina. She was an infant when her father left the family. She lived with her mother, who in 1833 married John Stagg. Although Stagg apparently never formally adopted Martha, he seems to have been her informal stepfather, judging by the 1840 census.

On December 30, 1846, Martha and Alexander H. Arbuckle got a marriage license in Jennings County, Indiana. Alex had been bom August 18, 1827 and was a brother dfihn Arbuckle, Betsy Phillips' husband. The Rev. Thomas Hill Jr. of the Coffee Creek Baptist Church at Paris Crossing performed the ceremony December 31. Martha was 17, Alex 19. Rev Hill, who had been born in East Tennessee in 1797, had settled in Indiana in 1817. Starting about 1826 or '27, he had become a roving missionary, riding throughout most of the southern counties of the state. He had preached his first sermon at Coffee Creek Baptist Church in early 1823, then about 1836 had succeeded his father as Coffee Creek's pastor. He last preached there in November 1875 and died the following March 27. Alex apparently was the young man who had been in the news not long before becoming a groom. On October 21, 1845, several residents ofJennings County had had such a rousing brawl that they had been arrested for "riot and affray." It's unclear how many participants had been hauled in, but Alexander and Matthew Arbuckle were. Then on March 5, 1846, another fight had broken out, this one involving William Phillips and Fielding Lett, and perhaps the Arbuckles again. Apparently the first fight had led to the second so when the case had come to trial, all had been summoned, pluSamuel Arbuckle and John Fields. The scant record of the testimony is confusing and never even reveals who fought whom, much less
who won. Most of the "rioters" had been fined $4, a whopping amount in those days when such arrests were common. Apparently the Arbuckles' fights must have been uncommon. Considering the dates, one wonders if there might have been a woman behind the fracas.
There are one or two William Phillipses in the area, but their relationship to Martha is unknown. Presumably one William was Martha's uncle and another her cousin. Judging from the ages of some of the others in the fights, Matthew Arbuckle involved probably wasn't Alex' father, but his brother Matthew, who was born in 1823.

Fielding Lett's life roughly paralleled Martha's; he lived well into the 1900s and died at 98. In 1827, he had come as a youth from Owen Co. Ky. He is said to have owned a large tract of land in the "northeastern part of the county," although he eventually lived near Slate, just west of Commiskey in Marion township. He attended Mount Zion Methodist Church. Eventually, he owned a 2,200 acre farm with a fine home and large stock barns. He was the first man to bring mules into southern Indiana and built himself a thriving little industry. He sailed to France to buy registered Percheron horses to bring back. The stock he raised was sold over several adjoining counties and is said to have improved the stock owned by the next generation of farmers.

Martha and Alex had Elizabeth Esther in 1847, Sarah A. in 1850 (died young) and Ellison B. in 1853. The family lived near Paris Crossing in Jennings County and appears in Montgomery township censuses in 1860-80, Alex' mother, Catherine, 65, lived with the family. The 1870 census shows the family's land worth $3,000 and personal possessions $400. The 1880 census lists Martha's place of birth as North Carolins, her father's as Georgia and her mother's as North Carolina. Considering that her father was born in North Carolina, perhaps Alex or someone besides Martha talked to the census taker. Alex died August 5, 1895. In 1900 Martha lived with son Ellison and his family in Montgomery township. The census taker noted that she's had three children, two of whom were still living, and that she could read and write.

Martha lived longest of Tom's children; she died in Crothersville in Jackson County of heart and kidney problems at 4:50 a.m. December 28, 1926. She was 97 years, 10 months and 16 days old. She was buried with Alex December 30 in the Coffee Creek Cemetery just west of Paris Crossing. The cemetery was well-kept and the Arbuckles' tombstones were in good condition in the late 1970s. Daughter Elizabeth Esther Deputy of Crothersville provided information for the death certificate; she listed her mother's occupation as "house-work" and accurately identified Martha's parents as Thomas Phillips and Martha Pitts. Mrs. Deputy said both had been born in North Carolina. Mrs. Deputy, who should have known as well as anyone then living, said her mother was born there, too. Mrs. Deputy made a similar entry in her family Bible. Thus, it would appear that Martha (Pitts) Phillips and perhaps husband Tom might have returned to North Carolina temporarily between 1828 and 1829. Myron Phillips reported about 1980: "Aunt Pearl Fisher remembers Aunt Martha Arbuckle well. She remembers when she used to visit Grandpa Riley |Phillips| . . . often, but can't remember her speaking of her mother |the former Martha Pitts|." Myron said his mother, Cammie, "says Grandpa Riley called [Martha Arbuckle) his favorite aunt. . .. Even I can dimly remember her."