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The non-profit Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF) is building the world's largest database of correlated genetic and genealogical data. Their database uses sophisticated DNA analysis to link individuals together, while maintaining strict confidentiality of participants' information. [George Thomas Kysor contributed a DNA sample in Dec 2005. As of Sep 2006 that DNA has been processed and the results are now in the SMGF database as evidenced by the presence of the pedigree chart I submitted of George Thomas Kysor to John E.N.B. Kysor in said database. As of Dec. 6, 2006 I was able to figure out my Y chromosome numbers.] I received the test results on 10FEB09 (via GeneTree) for my mitochondria DNA.

Table of Contents

CHARLES DRAKE KYSOR (Click or scroll down.)

THE CATHCART STORY (Click or scroll down.)

TRAVELING BY COVERED WAGON (Click or scroll down.)

THE COX - NICHOLSON SAGA (Click or scroll down.) [The last half of the Saga was posted 10MAY09. - Thanks to David Quay!]

A Narrative of the Origin and Wanderings of the Cox Family (Click only.) (Scanned Original) or (Newly Transcribed) Thanks to Robin Yonash!

JONAS HANWAY (Click or scroll down.)

WILLIS EARL KYSOR, PILOT (Click or scroll down.)


STORIES BY VICTOR JOHN PUTNAM (1893-1987) [married to Opel Fern Kysor (1902-1970)] AS TOLD TO HIS SON, CHARLES U. PUTNAM (Click or scroll down.) (via Rev. Marion L. Putnam)

THE KYSOR-JOHNSON COMBO (Click or scroll down)




1. GEORGE THOMAS KYSOR'S ANCESTORS NOTE: The ancestor lineage beyond the first page has not been verified.


3. Related site: About the family and descendants of James Clayton Cox (1830 - 1903) and Mary Ann Nicholson (1836 - 1911)

4. Related site: Cathcart Genealogy



6a. FROM JOHN A. KYSOR TO DESCENDANTS (NOTE: This branch is inadvertently not shown in 6, above, although John A. Kysor was the first child of Charles Drake Kysor & Sally Sweet.)

7. FROM JOHN FRANCIS KYSOR TO DESCENDANTS (NOTE: This branch has not yet been connected by documentation to 6, above.)

8. FROM SAMUAL KYSOR TO DESCENDANTS (NOTE: This branch has not yet been connected by documentation to 6, above.)


10. HAVE A HAPPY GENEALOGICAL HOLIDAY! (2 min 21 sec video)


12. PARENTS & GRANDPARENTS OF NELLIE CATHCART & FRANK M. THOMAS The center left picture marked, "Wm. T Cathcart, Fannie Alice Cox Cathcart" is actually William’s brother, Samuel Pressley Cathcart and sister, Margaret Juliana Cathcart.




13b. NELLIE & MAY CATHCART (tinted)




15. THE ROARING 1920s (about 1926)



18. Kysor & Harper Reunion, circa 1948 (Uploaded files are now limited to 1MB each.)




20c. NILES AIRWAYS PHOTO (Thanks to Bob Haines in Canada)

20d. CLIFFORD P., GEORGE G., & WILLIS E. KYSOR (about 1927)

20e. WEDDING ANNOUNCEMENT of Florence Thomas & Clifford Kysor






22c. CLIFF KYSOR'S PLANE IN POPULAR MECHANICS MAGAZINE, OCT. 1950 (Thanks to Garry Partridge in New Zealand)





24. THE WAYZATA TIMES.pdf (1940)

(I had to sacrifice quality to get so many scanned PDF pages posted. The missing pages, however, can be seen in all their glory: Page 9, Page 18 & Page 20)

25. BARGIRLS (1961)







32a. Music Video: The 3 G's at Placerville, California on March 4, 2006, (Click on the rectangle to the right of the volume control for full screen.)

33. CLARK ALONZA COX, b. March 7, 1861 d. April 23, 1936








41. JESSIE IRENE ROBERTS & (in the corner) her daughter, CORDELIA WOOD


43. CATHERINE DYE & LEWIS KYSOR (June 1946) [Database: kysor1, Individual: IND00024]







50. SARA RALPH IND00031 & MAX KYSOR IND00030 1947 (See notice in 6a, above.)

51. FAITH VANDERVOORT IND00027 & Frank Kysor IND00026 1953 (See notice in 6a, above.)

52. Lois Wing IND00114 1932






58. BLACK REUNION 1900 (thanks to graceb)


60. CAROLINE MOSHER [Thanks to Bub Pickup!]

61. MOSHER/KYSOR GROUP PHOTO [Thanks to Bub Pickup!]

61a. INDEX TO GROUP PHOTO [Thanks to Bub Pickup!]

62. Oliver Perry Kysor's sojourn in MN is told on pages 49-73 of Hoffbeck's book, "The Haymakers," pub. by Minnesota Historical Society Press. On page 50 is a map showing his property (as of 1884) in his wife Caroline's name.

62a. On page 51 is a photo, taken about 1900, of Oliver Perry Kysor's farm.

62b. On page 73 is a photo of the Phelps Mill as it appeared in the 1980s.


Charles Drake Kysor was born June 13, 1802 and, according to a record, at “Mayfield, Montgomery County, New York”. Perhaps due to a subdivision of the county, maps of the year 1968 show Mayfield as located in Fulton County.

The most information about his life is contained in the obituary, which is included, as referred to previously.

In the year 1832, he came from Livingston County, New York to Leon township, New York and on a plot of land located on “Kysor Hill”, as it later became known, cleared an area, built o log house and returned to Livingston County for his family. The next March he returned to “Kysor Hill” with his wife Sally and his three sons John, Oliver Perry, and Archibald E. Here was born to them three more sons; Ezra, Amos and Nicholas.

On October 4, 1845 his wife Sally died. Later he married Polly Sickles and to them was born the only daughter, Lois, and a son Robert. Lois was born in the log house but soon after they moved into a frame house which was built south of the log house.

For years Charles D. kept a diary. The compiler has had the opportunity of examining three of these diaries containing entries covering a part of each of the following years; 1873, 1879 and 1880 and all of 1882. These were written when he was 71 to 80 years old and approaching the sunset of his life.

Being a farmer, whose occupation depended so greatly on the weather, each entry began with the temperature followed by the weather in more or less detail, and what each worker was doing that day. On the last line or possibly two lines or elsewhere and its purpose, death of acquaintances, funerals, etc, etc. He used the initials of the members of the family, diaries one should know the person represented by the initial and his relationship to Charles D.

From January 1882 he reports the sickness of his wife, Polly, the visits of the doctors attending her and their reports and later the neighbors that came to sit up with her nights. On April 12, 1882 his entry reads; “My wife departed this life this afternoon at 1 o’clock 15 minutes.

Attached is a copy of a poem written by him at the time of her death. It is copied from the original poem, written in his hand writing.

He was a natural born poet and often wrote verses here and there. On back of a tin type of himself, the compiler found this verse:

“We’ve sins and sorrys we deplore’
With many cares opress’d
In heav’n the mourners weep no more
And there the weary rest.”

A neighbor on going to the “Centre” (Leon, New York) stopped to inquire if he might do any errands for Charles D. He replied in the affirmative and sat down and wrote a note. As much as the compiler can remember it was as follows:

"Mr. Chaffee-
My dear honored sir;

One favor on me will you please confer;
A pound of tea to quiet the nerves of the
old lady and me,
We have been greatly frightened but are
still unharmed
By the tornado that just passed through
our farm.

etc. etc.
(He ordered other articles and ended)

And charge the same, sir, to

Charles D. Kysor"

The compiler, when a boy, heard it related that when a barn was to be built in the neighborhood, Charles D. was called in to “frame it”. One barn, still standing in 1968, was one of those framed by him.

After the trees had been cut in the woods, the logs dragged to the site where the barn was to be built, seasoned, and squared by use of hewing axes and adzes, Charles D. was called in to “lay it out”. Knowing the length, width and height of the finished barn he selected the timbers and tenons. Later, after the mortises and tenons had been cut, a “barn raising bee” was held, when, all the neighbors from far and near, came with their families. The men assembled the framing for the sides of the barn on the ground and raised them, on their foundations, to a vertical position. These sides were supported, temporarily, while the framing for the ends and the cross members were erected. The roof framing attached to its adjacent member by hard wood pins driven in holes bored through the mortises and tenons.

The framing of the barn being completed, tables were brought out into the yard and set with the abundance of food brought by the women and together with the liquid refreshments furnished by the barn builder a merry time was had.

Charles D. and his wives were religious people and attended meetings when held in one of the nearby school houses and at times attended a meeting at Leon, New York. According to his diary, on Sundays when they did not attend meetings, he read the Bible and the newspaper. The only work done on the farm on Sundays were the necessary chores. However, according to his daughter, Lois, the compiler’s mother, there were certain garden vegetables that the seed had to be sowed, on Sunday, at a certain phase of the moon. So on the previous Saturday the ground was prepared and the holes dug and early Sunday morning it was necessary only to plant the seeds and cover them.

He was honest, sincere and a hard working man, liked and admired by his family and neighbors.

Judging from his diary, about the year of 1880 his youngest son Robert, having married, took over the responsibility of the farm. However, Charles D. was not idle. He continued at light work; did chores, cut wood, helped at haying and in the sugar bush and worked at his bench, cobbling boots and shoes, repairing farm equipment, making and repairing other articles, etc.

Some time before his death, he suffered a stroke which paralyzed one side and impaired his speech. On March 18, 1890 he departed this life.

Robert and his family continued to live in the old house and operate the farm for a number of years when fire destroyed the barn. Robert then sold the farm and he and his family moved away.

The house, being unoccupied, deteriorated and finally collapsed and disappeared. In the year 1968, the cellar, some shrubs, a few threes of the orchard and some of the old maple trees planted by Charles D. along the road could still be seen. The sugar bush beyond the gulch at the east has been used and is still there.


Charles D. Kysor died of a stroke of paralysis at Leon, age 88 years. He was the son of John E. N. B. Kysor and Julianna, his wife. The said John E. N. B. Kysor was an old Revolutionary soldier and fought under Washington. He raised four boys and they were all mechanics and the late deceased, his son, raised six boys by his first wife, and they were all mechanics, and two by his second, one girl and one boy. He lived with his youngest son at his death. He had been confined to the house for three years. He was an old pioneer. He came from Livingston County in the year 1833. He moved here in the month of March with is wife and three little children 57 years ago and came the entire route with an ox team through woods and through streams and cut his way in many places with his ax and moved into a log house without a door or a chimney. He came out in the fall, built the house, chopped the trees down so they would not fall on it and then went back after his family. They had to sleep upstairs to keep the wolves from devouring them during the night. The woods were teeming with wild beasts, wolves, bears, deer and an occasional panther. Their howling could be heard from all sides as soon as the shades of night appeared until the dawn of day. The old pioneer then in the prime of this life faced all hardships with a smile, never flinching, ever ready to perform and do his duty to himself and family. In an incredibly short space of time things took a turn for the better, the tide of immigration came rushing in and soon there was a school house erected and he went to teaching school. Sally, his wife, took in weaving and he made boots and shoes nights. At the first dawn of day he was out clearing land and saving all the ashes to make black salts as that was the only thing in the early history of this county that would bring in any money. He struggled on with the bright prospects before him and the strength of a giant to back him up of some day in his advanced years to retire and reap the fruits of his labors but that time never came. He was too ambitious to see anything go to waste. He was ever ready and willing to do everything in his power to accomplish this and was so up to the time of his mishap, breaking his hip. That ended his labors. In the early history of his life he and his wife experienced religion and joined the Christian Church and held to that doctrine until the death of his wife. When he married his second wife, they joined the United Brethren Church and both remained there until death has silenced him. Truly a light has gone out in the community, a home has been darkened, the last farewell look taken. His good traits of character have won the love and esteem of all those that knew him. His funeral was held at his old pioneer home in Leon March 20th, at one o’clock. A large concourse assembled to take their last look at his dear face that was soon to be put out of sight.

The Leon choir rendered some very fine and appropriate music after which undertaker Cook of Leon did credit to his profession in judicially handling the audience present. The sermon was preached by Rev. Hopkins who gave an elegant address. After the funeral was over and all had taken the last look of his remains we accompanied the procession to the cemetery and cosigned the old pioneer to his last resting place there to remain until Gabriel’s last trump shall sound and wake the nations underground.

[The obituary was written by John A. Kysor. The compiler was Charles D. Babcock]


The following was prepared by David J. Cathcart, Oct. 1973 from these sources: 1. A Cathcart History prepared by May Cathcart Thomas. 2. Notes written by W. T. Cathcart when he was in the hospital in Dayton, Ohio in 1910 and transcribed by his daughter, May Cathcart Thomas. 3. Articles and obituaries in a scrapbook made by Fannie Alice Cox Cathcart (Mrs. W. T.) And in the possession of her grandson, John Knight Thomas. 4. Recollections of information; David J. Cathcart, 726 Bresslyn Rd., Nashville, TN 37205.

One branch of the Cathcart were weavers and moved from Scotland to Ireland and after staying there an undetermined time, they left County Antrim on the north coast, 14 Aug 1790. They landed in Charleston, SC and moved immediately to Salem (or Salem Church) Chester County, SC, 20 miles north of Winnsboro. There is a record of four children: John Cathcart. Disappeared in a SC swamp. Mollie Cathcart married James Brice. Descendants live near Marion Junction, AL, and Chester County, SC. Samuel Cathcart. Married Nancy McCreight and moved near Selma, AL. Two children. One, Ann C., Graduated from Due West College. David Cathcart. Born at sea three days out of County Antrim on 17 Aug 1790. Died at Bloomington, Indianapolis on 16 May 1872. Lived in Chester County, SC. In the war of 1812 he joined Capt. Nevitt's company of the SC Militia as a private, serving from 31 Oct 1814 to 7 Mar 1815. He married Nancy Miller (b.11 Oct 1796, d. 12 Sep 1831) and they had three children born in SC. (1.) Mary Cathcart. (b. 24 Feb 1824.) married Samuel Weir and John Kelley. (2.) Margaret (Maggie or Peggy) Cathcart (b. 20 Sep 1826) married Wm. White 28 Nov 1867 and he died 11 Feb 1885. They lived in Marissa, IL and after his death she lived in Paxton, IL, then later moved back to Marissa. (3.) Nancy McCreight Cathcart (Aunt Nan) (b. 16 May 1830, d. 1 Mar 1892).

When David's wife, Nancy, died (presumably about 1831) he moved to a farm near Macon, GA for about a year. One source indicated that he was accompanied by his late wife's niece, Mary Junkin. He then moved to AL, evidently close to his brother, Samuel, near Selma by the Cahawba River in Dallas County. Here he married Mary Junkin. Her father, David (or Samuel) Junkin, married Elizabeth Miller, a sister of David Cathcart's first wife

Mary Junkin (b. 19 Jan 1812, d. 19 Jan 1887) as a widow, received a government pension for David's service in the War of 1812. They had nine children. Three born in Oklahoma and six born in Indiana:

(4.) Elizabeth Jane Cathcart (b. 31 Mar 1834) married Prof. John H. Wilson and lived in Greely, CO. Children: Samuel Wilson, Orrin Wilson, Alma Wilson, and Elma Wilson (twins).

(5.) John Hemphill Cathcart (b. 7 Aug 1835, d. 28 Sep 1879) married Mollie E. Pauley.

(6.) Margaret Juliana Cathcart ("Lina") (b. 26 Dec 1836, d. 28 Nov 1917) married Hugh H. McQuiston and moved to Paxton, IL in 1869 where he served as a judge for many years. Children: Nathan Otis McQuiston, Malcom Luther McQuiston, Lenors ("Nora") McQuiston, & Luella Clarence ("Ciellie") McQuiston.

David was opposed to slavery and in 1838 he sold his plantation and slaves to his brother, Samuel, and moved by flat boat to Bloomington, Indiana where he bought a farm west of town. (One source indicates he received this farm as a grant from the government for his service in the war of 1812.)Their farm adjoined land owned by Sam Weir. David's children borne in Indiana:

(7.) David Junkin Cathcart (b.23Aug 1838, d. Mar 1901) lived with a niece in Arkansas and W. T. Cathcart worked a short time with him when he was post-master at Little Rock. He lost his mind and took his own life.

(8.) Samuel Pressley Cathcart (b. 3 Jul 1840, d. 31 Jul 1925) married Clara Hall and lived in Elmwood, IL. Children: Edith Cathcart, Sloan Cathcart, & Leta Cathcart.

(9.) James Miller Cathcart (b. 15 Dec 1842, d. 11 Feb 1843). (10.) William Turner Cathcart (b. 29 Dec 1844, d. 23 Dec 1912) named for Rev. William Turner, the pastor of the Associate Reformed Church which Margaret joined as a child. He graduated from Indiana State University in Bloomingdale with an A.B. and a M.A. He attended the university on a scholarship granted to his father for one of his children's use, in recognition of a gift of $200 to help rebuild the university after a fire in the late 1850s. William served three months in Co. A, 54th Ind. V.I. receiving a medical discharge. He returned to college and, after receiving an M.A., joined Co. F, 82nd V.I. in time to take the entire Sherman campaign from Ringgold and Atlanta to the sea, up through the Carolinas and virginia. At Washington he was transferred to Co. G, 22 V.I. and was discharged at Louisville, KY. He then attended the Illinios Normal School and taught for 27 years. The schools included New Burnside, Sparta,Georgetown, Pana, Golconda and Baldwin, IL; Hamburg Lake Village and Bastro?, LA, where he had charge of Morehouse College. Crystal City and Kimswick, MO. During this period he spent a short time on a homestead at Buffalo, in S.W. Missouri.

In 1890, while teaching at Wyman's Institute (now Western Military Academy in Alton, IL) William received an appointment with the U.S. Pension Bureau and in 1898 he was sent to Dayton, Ohio as a Special Penson Examiner for 14 years. He died at Favetteville, TN. He was buried at Rose Hill Cemetery and all the pallbearers were Confederate veterans.

William and Fannie Alice Cox (who lived next to the school where he was teaching) were married 12 Sep 1875 at Morgantown, Indiana. They had four children:

(1.) Earnest Alonzo Cathcart (b. 29 Jul 1876, d. 29 May 1938) Interred at Graceland Cemetery, Miami, FL. Married Katie Morgan, July 10, 1900. They had three children: Ernest Morgan Cathcart(b. 4 May 1901) William Turner Cathcart (b. 13 Apr 1903) David Junkin Cathcart(b. 20 Aug 1905).

(2.) Otto Frank Cathcart (b. 17 Sep 1879, d. 1880).

(3.) May Alice Cathcart(b. 15 Aug 1882) maried Morley E. Thomas. She was buried in Macon, GA. They had five children: Morley Elisha Cathcart (b. 23 Jun 1907, d. 11 Aug 1909). Wm. Cathcart (b. 30 Sep 1910, d. 17 Oct 1919). Sidwell Bradley Cathcart (b. 25 Feb 1913). John Knight Cathcart (b. 27 Jan 1915). John Nicholson Cathcart (b. 20 Apr 1917, d. 13 OCT 1919).

(4.) Nellie Cathcart (b. 4 Dec 1884, d. 17 Dec 1968) married Frank M. Thomas (b. 21 Sep 1863 d. 31 Jan 1935. They had eight children:

(1.) Alice Thomas (b. 24 Jul 1905, d. ) married Frank Harper.

(2.) Jane Hanway Thomas (b. 16 Dec 1906, d. 3 Mar 1990) married Donald Quay.

(3.) Florence Jeanette Thomas (b. 2 Sep 1908, d. 12 Oct 1977) married Clifford Kysor.

(4.) Frank Mercer Thomas (b. 18 Sep 1910, d. 6 Oct 1954 married Avis Getten.

(5.) Virginia Thomas ("Jinny") (b. 18 Feb 1912, d. ___________) married Craig Shaver.

(6.) Hanway Jonas Thomas (b. 29 Jan 1914, d. 20 May 1977) married Lorna Dune.

(7.) Richard Thomas (1914 died in infancy).

(8.) May Thomas (b. 15 Aug 1918) married Clyde Shaver.

The last two children of David Cathcart and Mary Junkin:

(11.) Catherine Lucinda Cathcart ("Kate") (b. 26 Sep 1846, d. 8 Oct 1886) maried James Hanna. They had three children: Dora Cathcart, Ray Cathcart, May Cathcart (twins).

(12.) Levi Byors Cathcart (9 Sep 1848, d. 6 Apr 1852).


When my father returned from the Civil War he and other friends in our home town of Virden, Illinois became restless and decided to close out such businesses as they were engaged in and prepare to emigrate to Southwest Missouri, which at that time was a wild country in which many deer and other wild animals still roamed at will. Also, an occasional band of Indians was encountered.

My father and neighbors soon disposed of their property in Virden and equiped themselves with moving wagons with the big bows and white canvas covers stretched over them to protect us from the elements--all of which fascinated me beyond measure.

When our caravan of eight covered wagons with a following of blooded cattle, horses, fine bred dogs, etc., wended its way out of Virden that bright crisp morning in October of the Fall of 1867, my joy was complete.

I had my own pony to ride when I became tired of riding in the big wagon with my parents, little brothers and sisters. I would enjoy the day exceedingly and as evening came on and the men were looking for an appropriate place to make camp for the night, I was all interest. We would usually camp by some shady stream or spring where we could get good pure water for ourselves and the stock. What pleased me most was when we would camp on the bank of some beautiful river or creek where I could go fishing. In those days fishing was not in vain--fish seemed to be always plentiful. We enjoyed many fine meals of fish and game. The men would go into the woods and shoot squirrel, quail, and other game.

At one time we camped by a river that I remember to have been very large and the men found skiffs and went out in the river to fish. On their return they brought in a large gar. We were all standing around the yet alive creature--and I wondering at its long slim body with pointed head--when suddenly it sprang into the air and caught its sharp teeth in the tail of my bonnet and hung there, what seemed to me an interminable length of time. But of course they came to my rescue at once when my screams rose in the air.

Another incident which saddened our otherwise happy evenings at camp was when one of the horses stepped on my little brother's bare foot. We were all distressed and mother wanted to bathe and bandage the poor skinned foot when one of the hired men grabbed little brother up and began spitting tobacco juice on the wound--much to our disgust. However, the man assured us if we would let him doctor the child he would soon be all right again. And, really, from some cause, the pain was gone and we had no further trouble with the sore foot while on the road.

I enjoyed three weeks of the most romantic part of my childhood and at the end of that time we arrived at our destination--a beautiful spot in Jasper County, Missouri, and camped on Spring River, 18 miles from Carthage which at that time was a mere village...the county seat of Jasper County. There was no Joplin at that time. I was 11 years old the day we arrived at our new home on October 23, 1867--a memorable birthday.

Each man pitched his tent which was to be his family abode until such time came when lumber or logs could be gotten for building more conventional homes. In fact each family had more than one tent as we had to accomodate the hired men that were brought along as helpers. Each man slept with his gun under his bunk or near his bed where it could be grabbed in haste when the wolves came howling near our tents.

There were many wolves in the timber along Spring River. At one time my father sent the hired men into the woods to cut firewood for us. My brother, Frank, who was three years older than I, went with them and, as I pleaded to go with my brother, I was allowed to do so. When the men got to work cutting down trees we strayed away in the woods. To our surprise we saw a sharp-nosed dog standing some distance away looking at us. Brother called to it trying to coax it to come to us, when suddenly it turned tail and fairly flew into the woods. The we realized that we had been talking toa large timber wolf.

They were very shy at that time as many trappers and hunters were beginning to trespass on their hitherto safe domain. On bright moonlit nights they would sometimes come near our tents and howl most dolefully. The men would grab their guns and slip out to get a shot at them, but the swift booted wolves would always make good their escape


Hobaker, Hobaker
The candlestick maker.
Wiped his note
With a piece of brown paper.
The paper was thin.
His finger slipped in.
And that was the condition
Hobaker was in (too bad).

The author, Mrs. W. T. Cathcart, whose maiden name was Fannie Alice (Allie) Cox was George Thomas Kysor's maternal grandmother's mother.


The first ancestor in the Cox family, of whom we have any record, was Archer Cox, born in Wales, who came to America as a young man and settled in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, near Boydton, about 1800. In 1802 he married Miss Ayers, born in Scotland, then living in Mecklenburg County in the southern part of the state. They were the parents of seven children: (1.) James L. Cox b. 2 Jul 1803 (2.) Wilson Cox b. 27 Feb 1805, d. 19 Mar 1841 (3.) Archer Cox b. 27 May 1907 (4.) Mary Thurman Cox b. 11 Jun 1809 (5.) Abnor Cox b. 7 May 1812 (6.) Armpstead Cox b. 5 Feb 1814 (7.) Alexander ("Zandy") b. 5 Feb 1814.

Our line descends from their second son, Wilson, who in Jan 1824 married Martha Mallett, born in Scotland 12 Jan 1804. She had recently come to America to visit relatives in Mecklenburg County. The Malletts were wealthy influential citizens in Scotland, and raised their children in luxury. The family had been ranked among the aristocracy of the couintry for over five generations. Soon after Martha's marriage two uncles came from Scotland to visit her but she, having married a man of modest means, never returned to Scotland, being happily contented with her lot.

It is almost assured that her brothers and sistsrs were named William, Thomas, Nancy, Polly, and Jane. Martha had an uncle in Danville, Kentucky, Dr. Ayers, a pioneer Physician. It is possible that he was related to Miss Ayers who married Archer, in which case she would have been related to Martha also, and could have been the relative Martha had come here to visit at the time she met and married Wilson.

Wilson and Martha were the parents of seven children: (1.) William Henry Cox b. 24 Oct 1825, d. 7 Feb 1907 (2.) Thomas Cox b. 1827, d. at 13 yrs of infantile paralysis, in 1840 (3.) Richard Cox b. 18 Jan 1829, d. suicide 1883 (4.) James Clayton Cox (Jim) b. 12 Apr 1830, d. 5 Jul 1903 (5.) Wilson Taylor Cox (called Taylor) b. 18 Jan 1832 (6.) Mary Cox b. 1833 (7.) Jane Cox b. 1835.

In 1833 Wilson and his family, together with his brothers Zandy, Abner and Armpstead moved to Boyle County, Kentucky where Wilson bought land and raised tobacco and other produce. Jane, their youngest child, was born there. After the death of Archer's wife in 1837, he too went to Kentucky and afterward married a widow named Kitty Bennett.

On 3 Apr 1841 Wilson died, leaving Martha with six children and very little income. She soon found that she could not take care of them all, and the two oldest sons found homes in nearby families and made their own way. James went to live with a friendly Quaker family in Bardstown, Kentucky, not far distant. Martha kept the three youngest with her. She felt desolate and lonely, and while there were many relatives all of whom were kind and attentive and she saw them often, she nevertheless, much of the time preferred living independently to herself. She felt the need of money, and while she knew there was wealth in Scotland, she was much too proud to let her needs be known there.

In the early days of her marriage, when her uncles had come from Scotland to visit her, they had returned, reporting to her family of her happy life with her fine young husband, a man of much promise, and they were comforted. Communication with the New World was difficult in those early days, and Martha herself was negligent about writing. She had so much to learn about being a wife and mother and housekeeper that her whole time and attention was given to this new way of living. When the family left Mecklenburg County her whereabouts became unknown. No doubt efforts were made to reach her with word of inheritance later on, but she could not be found, and she did nothing to further it.

When James (Jim) was a lad in his teens, relatives influenced him to come to Dicksville, Kentucky to make his home. On doing this he at once found work and was able to make his own way.

A nephew of Martha's who had just returned to America after being at sea for fourteen years, came to Kentucky at this time. He married a widow named Ann Coleman, who had a son named Tignal, called "Tig," who was about Jim's age and they soon became fast friends. When they were twenty years old they rode horseback to Texas where they stayed for two years. On their return to Dansville, Jim became acquainted with Mary Ann Nicholson, a beautiful young girl whose parents had moved to his home town during his absence in Texas. He was now twenty-two years old and wanted to get married. While Mary was six years younger than he, nevertheless, he had become very infatuated with her and felt convinced she was the girl he wanted for his wife. However, she and John May, one of his best friends, seemed very much attracted to each other and he must bide his time, being unwilling to make any effort to"cut out" his good old friend, John. (The author returns to Jim and Mary later in her narrative. - GTK)

The first Nicholson ancestor, of whom we have any record, was John Nicholson, born in England. He married Jane MacIntosh, born in Scotland. They came to America and located in Charleston, South Carolina. Our line descends from their son, John Macintosh Nicholson, born in Charleston 19 Aug 1800 and named for both parents. When he was a small boy his father died and his mother remarried.

It is assumed that John was not happy with a step-father, for at an early age friendly neighbors assisted him in going to Chatham County, North Carolina, near Bonlee, where he lived with friends and went to school. He became acquainted with Mary Ann Brooks (called Polly) a little school-mate, and they became very good friends.

The Brooks family were wealthy land owners, and Polly lived in the finest house in the county. It was originally built by her great-grandfather in 1755. His name was John Brooks Sr. Esg., born in England in 1690, and in 1735 he brought his wife and six sons to America. He was a man of wealth and influence, his forbears having been prominent in England before the first member came to America in 1609. He deeded farms of vast acreage to each of his children. The above named howeplace had come down through three generations to Polly's father, Terrell Brooks in 1792. This house was said to be the first two-story house built in the stateof North Carolina. It was frame, weather boarded, ceiled, and had paneled doors and glass windows, luxuries seldom seen in those days.

The ground on which this house was built was originally deeded to John Brooks Sr. Esq. by King George. At the time of this writing, 1967, this property has continued to be owned by the Brooks family, and every August descendants gather on the grounds for family reunions. (The house stood until 1940.)

John Nicholson loved to visit at this house, being fascinated by its many special and unusual features. At the age of fouteen he was offered an apprenticeship in watch and clock making in what is thought to be Hartford, Connecticut, it taking five years to complete the course. This he gratefully accepted and left soon after. He and Polly wrote to each other during the years, growing more and more fond of each other.

At the end of four years he was given a month of vacation and returned to Chatham County for a visit. He and Polly soon realized they were very much in love and wanted to get married. After much persuasion, Polly's parents reluctantly agreed, with the promise from the young couple that Polly would remain at home while John went back to finish his apprenticeship, at the end of which time he would recieve one hundred dollars, a new suit of clothes, and a full set of instruments. Though it seemed a long, lonesome waiting, they were married and John returned to his work soon after, and Polly began filling her time with learning more about her interesting ancestors.

As a child, she had heard her father tell many tales of former, exciting adventures. She knew that her grandfather, Isaac Brooks, had succeeded to the home place in 1761, and that he had served in the war of the revolution. She learned that, during that time Tories had come to the house to arrest him, and he had quickly bolted the door and fled to the upper story. The soldiers had used the butts of their guns to hammer out the door panels, but on gaining entrance, found that Isaac had jumped from a second floor window and made his escape. She had seen this battered door in a rear lean-to. (At the time of this writing, 1967, this door with its broken panels is still in the posession of descendants in Greensboro, North Carolina.)

At another time, later on, General Green, with his army, marched through Chatham County in Pursuit of Lord Cornwallis. They camped near the Isaac Brooks home, and Colonel William Washington, one of the group who was a marital relative of the Brooks family, slept in their house that night. Isaac's grist mill ground all through the long hours while his wife and servants baked bread for th soldiers.

Later on, near the end of the war, a group of soldiers brought a young captive to a tree in front of the Brooks house and prepared to hang him. Seeing the captive was little more than a boy, Isaac persuaded them to release him, promising he, himself, would be responsible for the boy.

While Polly enjoyed hearing these interesting events in the past, she would also have been pleased could she have looked into the future to see her young brother, William Tell Brooks, then nine years old, as a member of the first class to graduate at Wake Forest College, Also to know of his master's and doctor's degrees, and of his service on the faculty of the college as long as he lived. He wrote many of the text books used in the school and later became a trustee. (A large oil portrait of Dr. William Tell Brooks hangs in the corridor of Wake Forest College in recognition of his renown and in appreciation of his loyal service to the institution.)

As the days went by Polly realized she was pregnant, and from then on her whole time and attention was given to preparing for the expected baby. In due course of time she gave birth to a fine boy whom she named Frank.

Upon John's return after finishing his course, it was his desire to leave at once with his wife and baby for Lexington, Kentucky to make their home. Polly's father, being a slave owner, gave them two young slaves (a man and his wife) a team of horses, and a covered wagon. They arrived in Lexington in due time and located on Main Street near the McCord Presbyterian Church, which Polly joined soon after. John was not a church-going man, but he paid his share and said religion was a good thing.

The slaves worked part time on surrounding farms, while John worked at his trade, traveling much of the time to sell his wares. He received one hundred dollars each for the wall-sweeping clocks, many of which had works hand-carved from wood. It has been said that on one of John's early trips he bought land on what became Third Street in St. Louis, Missouri, feeling there was promise of the town becoming a large city. Later on, discouraged with his investment, he deeded the land to a tailor in exchange for a black satin vest, a garment much in vogue at the time.

In the years 1822, 1824 and 1826 respectively, Susan Nicholson, Lydia Nicholson, and Alpha Nicholson were born, after whom three others were born who died in infancy. In 1833, after a severe epidemic of cholera, John moved his family to Garrard County, a few miles farther South, on the fork of the Dix river, where he bought a farm. He continued travelling, while the slaves worked on the farm raising stock and produce, mostly tobacco. Frank, who was then nearing fifteen, did not favor living on a farm, and left on horseback for the west to seek his fortune. It was presumed he was killed by Indians, as nothing more was ever heard from him. In 1834 their son, Marion, was born. The following year Lydia and Alpha had cholera and John decided to leave Kentucky. He sold the farm and the slaves and moved his family to St. Albany, Indiana, where he bought a store. By this time he was making harps and jewelry.

On 18 Feb 1836 Mary Ann Nicholson was born, named for her mother. Things were going along well untill 1838 when Polly was stricken with cholera and died at the age of thirty-six. The following year Alpha also died of cholera and was buried beside her mother in the yard of the First Presbyterian Church, of which Polly was a member. John then sold the store, after finding suitable places for his children to board, went back to Kentucky to continue his trade, travelling much of the time.

Mary Ann, from whom our line descends, was two years old when her mother died. She was placed to board with a Mrs. Lewis who knew very little about the ways of children. One day while she was busy with her chores, May stuffed her nose full of navy beans. Mrs. Lewis was panic stricken and sent for old Doctor Cooper, of whom Mary was very fond. Later on, when he was again called after Mary had filled her ears with green currants, Doctor Cooper said to her, "Do you know what I wouold do if you were my little girl?" He had always been so kind Mary was expecting to hear something very nice. "I'd take a little peach tree switch to you." Mary was horrified and greatly insulted. She never liked him afterward.

It became rumored around that Mary was not getting the proper care. When Mrs. Wyckoff and her spinster daughter, Ann, heard of this they sent a letter to Mary's father asking permision to take his little girl to live with them. John knew the Wyckoffs, who had been good friends of Polly's and heartily agreed. When Ann went to the Lewis home to bring Mary back with her, she found the child very reluctant to leave with the "strange lady." Ann was kind and persuasive, and when she told Mary of fifteen fluffy baby chikens she could have for her own, she was completely won over and anxious to go. Furthermore, it was a treat merely to be dressed up and then taken outside, a thing that seldom happened.

The Wyckoffs were Quakers, originally from Philadelphia and while they were always good and kind to Mary, they were nevertheless strict in accordance with their faith. Mary had longed for a Mother's love, and young as she was, she realized something very sweet was missing in her life. She wanted to say, "I'll tell Mother" when things went wrong or her feelings were hurt, just as she heard other children say.

Ann tried to be a good mother to her and she loved Ann dearly, but there was one deep sorrow. She hated being dressed like a little Quaker. She loved pretty clothes, and wanted white shoes, fluffy dresses, and lace on her underwear, all of which she was told was very wicked. Neither did they favor chilren playing together very often. She was never allowed to go out front on summer evenings where other children were playing. Denied this, she begged to sit up and watch Ann sew on hats, which she sold in her millinery store, but always she was sent to bed early, and alone. Many times she would sneak to the window in her nightgown to watch the others at play. During the day it was necessary for her to imagine her playmates. She would be her own mother, her little girl, run away from herself, bring herself back, and then give herself a good spanking.

On one of the rare days when she was allowed to visit a little friend, the mother lost a treasured thimble, and the two children hunted diligently, but the thimble was not found. Later on, when she was again allowed to go out and play, she spied the thimble under some bushes beneath the window where the lady had been sewing. When she ran inside with it, the lady was so pleased she wanted to reward Mary, and gave her a beautiful pair of lace trimmed panties she had just finished making for her own little girl. Mary ran home in high glee, for she felt surely now she would be allowed to wear the long-wished-for garment. But, much to her heartsick disappointment, she never saw the panties afterward.

Otherwise Mary was well cared for and contented. Being of a happy disposition she tried to accept disciplinme she could not control. One day, when she was six, Ann sent her to the spring a few yards away to get a pail of water. On turning from the spring she saw a tall, handsom man smiling down at her. "Let me carry your pail, little girl," he said, "I'm going your way." And she gave it to him. He took her by the hand as they started off and asked her name. "It's Mary Nicholson," she replied. "I live in that house," and she pointed it out. When Ann saw them coming she rushed to the door. "Why it's Mr. Nicholson!" she exclaimed, ushering them in. Mary then knew the strange man was her father.

That afternoon he took her to a store to make her own selection of material for a new dress. Sh chose a dark red merino. They then went to a dressmaker to see about having it made. "And how would you like it to be, Mary?" the dressmaker smiled.

"I want it a long skirt with low neck and short sleeves," Mary piped up confidently. At this the others laughed heartily and she felt highly embarassed. "That's the way they are in the Lady's Godey Book," she said defensively. Ann sold these books in the millinery store and Mary loved to browse through them, seeing the beautiful dresses that were pictured there.

After a short visit with Marion and his three daughters John returned to Kentucky and shortly after bought a farm in Mercer County on Follis Run which is a wide creek. In 1842 he married Lavinia Salmon, a thirty-five year old spinster, plain but kindly, and he felt she would be a good mother to his children. She was also strong and well adapted to farm work. He sent for Marion to come from St. Albany to help the hired men on the farm, and to continue his schooling. There were no public schools in those days. Parents contributed in accordance with the number of children they had in attendance.

Sue and Lydia refused to go to the farm or to live with the step-mother. They felt very bitter toward their father for having remarried. Not long after, Sue married George G. Baggerly, a young Babtist minister in St. Albany. They left at once for Yazoo, Mississippi where he had accepted a call. The following year, at their insistence, Lydia went to live with them. She too, married a Babtist minister, but her happiness was of short duration. James Wiberforce Smith lived but two years afterward.

Mary felt very lonely after her brother and sisters were gone. The sisters especially were attentive and affectionate and she greatly missed her frequent visits with them. When she was eight years old her father came and took her back to Kentucky to live on the farm with her step-mother. Mary was grief-stricken and heartsick to be leaving her beloved Wyckoffs and her pleasant home in St. Albany. She knew nothing of life in the country and while she found the farm a comfortable place to live, she was most unhappy. Her step-mother welcomed her warmly and taught her all she knew about life on a farm. In those days women worked very hard, milking, churning, spinning, weaving, and cooking. Sewing and knitting were done evenings while resting. To merely sit and read was thought to be lazy. The farm was a neat, white frame, built after southern architecture. It was nestled on a hillside completely surrounded by giant oaks, white ash and many sugar maple trees.

John was gone from home long periods of time. His homecoming was a time of festive celebration. Mary adored him. He was a man of fine intellect, well read and posted on topics of the day. He was highly esteemed thoughout the countryside, being called upon for counsel, both legal and financial. Also medical, for having so successfully treated his own family's illnesses, he was frequently called upon to bleed the sick. He advised against going to law if it could possibly be averted, saying, "If you want real vexation, and a long procrastination, you are in that situation when you take a case to law."<\P>

He was very versatile, in fact could do almost anything. On the farm he kept a lathe and a full set of tools, and had a blacksmith shop of sorts, in order to do the necessary repairs. Town shops were far away and much time was consumed both going and coming.

One day as he and Mary sat looking across Follis Run at the long ridge of high hills covered with magnificent forest trees, John told her of the abundence on gensing to be found in the sandy loam beneath the trees. In the summer "sand diggers" as they were called, came in large numbers to grub out the roots for which they have ready sale. Mary was at once alerted. She had wanted to earn some money to take back to St. Albany, and this seemed the ideal way. She thought it couldn't be far, for she had heard her father tell of waking the distance when Alpha was stricken with chlera. He was off on one of his trips and, on getting the word of Alpha's illness, had started home imediately. After a few miles the stage had broken down and he had been forced to go the rest of the way on foot. Mary did not know that he had walked a distance of seventy-five miles.

When she told her father of her eager desire to join the "sand diggers" he smiled amusedly. "But I couldn't let you do that," he told her. "They are a ragged, non-descript lot. You wouldn't want to be with them." And later on, when she saw them, she knew he was right, and her cherished dream of returning to her former beloved home was never realized.

Soon she entered the country school, walking a mile each way over rough roads, in all kinds of weather. The school building was one large room, built of crude logs, one log being cut from the wall to give light. The benches were split logs, and at one end of the room was a ten-foot fireplace. The boys kept up the fire, and pupils were allowed , one at a time, to stand by the heat to keep warm. A gourd hung beside the door, and if anyone wanted water, the gourd was taken to the spring a few yards away. If the gourd was missing, others knew someone was out, and waited their turn.

The teacher was a scrawney, crotchety old man named Edmunds. All of the pupils disliked him intensely. They were expected to bow to him politely on entering and leaving the school each day, but those bows were merely quick nods. For infraction of the rules, a large hickory stick was kept beside the teacher's desk. Pupils eyed both as monsters.

It was the teacher's perogative to make all the quill pens used in the school. One day, after one of Mary's admirers had made her a pen, she was called to the desk and given a whack across the knuckles for having accepted it. This came near to being the last act of the teacher's life, for when Mary's father heard of it he went gunning for the teacher, who then apologized.

The school studies were arithmetic, called ciphering, and elementary spelling. The spelling books contained definitions of words sounding alike but spelled differently, such as "air" a fluid, and "are" the plural of "am." None of them knew what "plural" meant, never having studied grammar.

Spelling was taught by taking each vowel and adding it to succeeding consonants, such as a, b, ab, e, b, eb, i, b, ib, o, b, ob, u, b, ub. All studied in vocal unison, and as they learned they ran the syllables together, till for miles around their voices could be heard shouting in unison, the first "a"always long drawn out, followed in rapid succession by the following ones, such as "A---bab, e, beb, ibib, o, bob, u, bub. A---pap. e, pep, i, pip, o, pop, u, pup. A---tat, e,, tet, i, tit, o, tot, u, tut, and on and on until all the consonants were added. Strange to say, the noisy outburst never seemed to annoy the old teacher. It was merely a phase of the day's lessons. Every Friday afternoon was given to a spelling bee, what they called "choose up and spell down." Recreation outside the school consisted of singing groups, swinging on grape vines, and occasionally, much on the QT, kissing games.

When Mary was fourteen, her father exchanged the farm on Follis Run for property in Dicksville, Boyle County, Kentucky, not far from Danville. At this time, much to Mary's delight, she was placed in a boarding school in Perryville. This town being near Dicksville, she was able to spend many weekends at home. She was a very pretty and attractive girl and the town boys were most attentive, one of which , John May, she was seen with most often.

About this time, James Clayton Cox, called Jim, who had been away in Texas for two years, returned to his home in Dicksville. On meeting Mary, whose parents had moved to his home town during his absence, he was completely bowled over by this beautiful girland wanted to become better acquainted. When John May, who was one of Jim's long time friends, heard of his exciting adventures in Texas, he became much enthused, and very soon, with no warning whatsoever, he mounted his horse and headed west. This cleared the way for Jim to pay his court to Mary.

In the spring of 1852, soon after Mary was sixteen, she and Jim were out for a walk and he asked her to marry him. She was bashful, and shy and didn't know how to answer him, though she knew it would be "yes." They were passing by an arbor-vitae hedge and she broke off a sprig and handed it to him coyly. Both knew, in the language of flowers, this meant "over thine." At once they began making plans toget married. Mary had never liked living in Kentucky, and asked jim if he would be willing to take her away after they were married, preferably to Indiana. He, having been gone from home for two years, was not averse to leaving, and readily promised they would go as soon as he was financially able to do so.

When Mary's father was told of their plans, he vigorously opposed the marriage. While he esteemed Jim as an excellent young man, he felt Mary was much too young for marriage. "She is just sixteen years old, a school girl," he told Jim, and of course they knew he was right. Mary had never willfully gone against her father's wishes nor displeased him in any way. Hard as it was to face the long delay, they agreed to postpone their wedding for at least a year, at the end of which time she would have finished school.

A few months later, on 6 Oct 1852, Jim heard of a house, soon to be available, that was in every way the ideal place for them to have a home. Quickly getting in touch with Mary, they excitably confided in Jim's good friend, "Tig" Coleman, and impulsively, without further thought, the three of them mounted horses, and eloped to Danville, where Mary and Jim were married by the Reverend Dr. Polk. Tig stood up with them during the ceremony. Mary knew she should look at the minister during the rites, but being shy and bashful she looked over his shoulder at a picture on the wall called "The Carrier Dove." (This picture remained in the family for several years.)

Mary knew how to do housework and had no difficulty in managing her home. She had not, however, learned to master the art of baking light biscuits. Knowing Jim to be especially fond of hot bread, she tried repeatedly, but only to meet with failure. Being naturally frugal, she felt it would be wicked to throw them away, so she began secreting them in an old chest that was seldom used. One day later on, Jim was looking around for a place to hide some money he had saved, and came upon the old chest."The ideal place," he thought. Upon raising the lid, he was dumbfounded to see dozens of dried upn biscuits filling the space. Mary, thus caught in the subterfuge, tearfully confessed. To Jim the episode was a source of hilarious amusement, but to Mary it remained a tragedy. (Needless to say, long before her ninth and last child was born she had long since learned to bake fluffy biscuits.)

[The rest of the story (thanks to David Quay) is continued below the following comment.]


I received the Saga in the mail yesterday, and thank you for sending it to me. Reading it over again several times, it sounds to me like it was Mary Ann (Nicholson) Cox's own reminicenses written down or transcribed by her daughter years later. Reads as a first person narrative, but obviously written by Ludelle in 1967. It seems to stop abruptly at p18 and I feel that there might have orginally been more pages, but no way to know.

I see a "story behind the story" when I read it. Appears that John M. Nicholson wasn't home much and his family had to pretty much fend for themselves. When his wife died, the children were farmed out here and there. It reads like everything was just hunky dory from Mary Ann's words, but if you look at the situation, and read what it REALLY says, it must have been a difficult childhood for all his children. The adoptive or foster families in Indiana might have been really wonderful, but I doubt that. In a lot of cases, orphaned or boarded children were treated much like slaves. Looking at the whole narrative with a 21st century eye, I sense a lot of disruption, trauma at the loss of their mother and estrangement from their father in those children's lives. When John M. remarried, it might not have been a good situation either...maybe yes, maybe no. I have a feeling that by that time, all the children were probably pretty much dysfunctional with a capital "D"! I suspect that Francis Marion's dysfunctional childhood made for a dysfunctional adult. His children all thrived and prospered, so I guess somewhere along the line, the pattern was broken.

In 1981, I received a letter from an elderly gentleman from KY who was a descendant of John M. Nicholson. His grandmother was Margaret (Nicholson) Gabhart, who was the only child of John M. Nicholson and his second wife Lavinia (Salmon) Crutchfield. In his letter, he wrote: "John McIntosh Nicholson was born in Scotland and was shipped to this country on the ship Olander when about 14 years old, with a boat load of BAD BOYS! (his emphasis) This was revealed to me by g.m. Maggie who was not at all proud of his beginnings. John worked his way to Conn. where he had education and served several years as apprentice to a clock maker. He learned his trade and spent the rest of his life making and repairing clocks. He traveled by horse & buggy on his regular clock rounds and was noted for his fondness for strong drink. Lavinia (second wife) was a staunch christian and once upon a time his faithful horse pulled the buggy home without benefit of John's hands on the reins. That woman was so infuriated that she threw a bucket of scalding water on old John and needless to say, although she didn't break him of the habit." (his phrasing).

This letter and the "Saga" say to me that John M. was a man who drank and who was an absentee husband/father (if the story is true). I suspect his wife (wives) & children didn't have an easy time of it. Court records that I got many years ago show a pattern of moving a lot between Mercer, Washington, Garrard & Boyle Counties. Lots of mortgages and suits against him for non-payment of debts and land being sold on the courthouse steps, etc. One item from Mercer Co., Mortgage Bk. 2, p175, May 11, 1848 has John M. mortgaging land, livestock, farm utelsils, blacksmith tools, furniture etc. etc. (sounds like everything he owned) as security for him on a bond executed to the Commonwealth of KY...for his appearance at the next term of Boyle Circuit Court to answer a charge of having passed a counterfeit gold coin.. Acknowledged in Boyle and recorded in Mercer, same day. The Saga mentions that at some point in time he was making harps and jewelery in addition to clocks. Sounds like he might have ALSO been making gold coins!! Note the mention in the Saga that John M. advised against getting involved in matters of law.

When I received this letter in 1981, I spent years trying to verify this info about his immigration, etc. etc. but was never able to. I always wondered whether it wasn't John M.'s father that was the immigrant on the ship Olander full of "bad boys". Nothing ever was found to verify anything; I never found a ship by that name, no passenger list...nothing. John M. always consistently said on the census that his birthplace was NY, but all the genealogies all say he was born SC or Charleston, SC. Between the letter and the Saga, the info doesn't gel. If John M.'s birthdate was 1800, as all the genealogies say, then it would have been the year 1814 when he came to America. He m. Mary Ann Brooks in ca. 1817 per the "Brooks and Kindred Families" book, so nothing fits, anywhere, anyplace, anytime. Between the various accounts and the census data added in, there are 3 places: NY, SC, CT, KY & IN. A mystery man on the move.

I think we all assume when we start doing genealogy that all our ancestors must have been upstanding, solid citizens...patriots, ministers, magistrates and all around respectable people. A librarian told me the very first day I went to a library to "trace my roots"...she said, "If you don't like skeletons, don't open closet doors". I didn't understand that then, but over the years did find most were of sterling character, but I also found a skeleton here and there. I always found the skeletons, the black sheep, the single most INTERESTING ones to work on! John M. Nicholson has been one of those interesting ones and I wonder if all his mysteries will ever be solved.

- Anon

[Continuation of THE COX-NICHOLSON SAGA:]

When Jim first returned from Texas, he went to work on the plantation of Hon. Al G. Talbot. He was a fine man to deal with and most of Jim's duties were satisfactory. However a part of his work was overseeing slaves, and he had always been vigorously opposed to slavery, and given to expressing his views openly. One time at a town meeting his remarks so enraged the southern sympathizers, that a group of them came to his house in the night, soon after, and completely burned him out.

After this outrage he and Mary decided to leave Kentucky at once. Within a week they, together with his brothers Richard and Taylor, and their families, his two single young sisters and his mother, Martha, left by covered wagons for Shelby County, Indiana near Flat River. Here on February 17, 1854 Mary's and Jim's first child was born, a boy whom they named Tignal Franklin, Tignal for their friend Tignal Coleman, and Franklin for Mary's brother Frank. Tignal Franklin was born the day before his mother's eighteenth birthday. Richard and family soon became homesick and returned to Kentucky, and within a few months, Taylor moved his family to Crawfordville. Indiana where they made their home. Jim's sister Mary married an Indiana man named Alec McCalip. They had two children, William and Ona. Mary died when the children were very young and their father took them to live in Kansas. When Jane was eighteen she married Joseph Lee Campbell and died ten months later in childbirth, the infant born dead. In June 1856 Jim's mother died at the age of fifty-six. Mary and Jim were now the only ones left, out of the two family group that originally came to Indiana.

Times were hard and Jim decided to move farther west. Soon after their daughter Fanny Alice (called Allie) was born on October 23rd, 1856. They left for Fayetville County, Missouri, where Jim bought a farm near Wollington. In 1860 an infant son was born dead. On the following March 7, 1861 Clark Alonza was born. One month later war was declared between the North and South, and Jim thought it best to leave Missouri. After selling the farm he moved his family to Virden, Illinois, where he went into partnership with George W. Cox (no relation) in a general merchandise store. Business was good and they were saving money, but Jim grew more and more restless as the war progressed and was eager to join the Union Army.

Mary was grievously distressed to see her husband's wild excitement on hearing the drums calling the men to town meetings. Many times he would stop short in the midst of a meal, and grabbing his hat, dash out the door headed for the gatherings. It was useless for Mary to undertake to dissuade him, for his mind was made up. He was most determined. In August 1862 he enlisted under Captain Cowen and General John T. Renicker in Company G. 122rd Illinois Volunteer Regulars, stationed at Carbondale, Illinois. This town being nearby, Mary was able to visit him often.

Jim liked good coffee and found it hard to the watery brown fluid served as such in the mass hall. Almost at once he began supervising the coffee making and was soon being called "Coffee Cox", a name endured throughout the war period.

One Sunday morning when Jim was at home on a week-end furlough, he and Mary went to church next door to their house. Clark, then two years old, had been taken with them and knew where they usually sat. On waking and hearing they were at church, he slipped out the door before his mother's helper could dress him, stopped in the street outside and took off his nightgown, then walked stark naked through the aisle to where Jim and Mary were sitting. Horrified, Jim quickly covered him with his coat and they hurried from the church, much to the amusement of the minister and congregation.

Soon after Jim's return to Carbonale, his company was sent farther South and Mary was left desolate, along with her three small children. On November 8th, 1863 Ona Etta was born, named for Jim's niece Ona McCalip. Neighbors and freinds were more than kind throughout the weary times that followed.

By this time Jim was deep in the thoes of war. At the battle of Kenesaw Mountain he was shot through the chin, leaving a hole so large he was forced to wear a beard ever after. Later, while on a burnig ship in Mobile Bay, he was compelled to slide down a rope in order to save his life. This so severely burned the inner parts of his hands he was never able to open them part way. At another time he was confined in Libby Prison, suffering illnesses from which he never fully recovered. These were his battle scars.

When the war was over he returned to his home in virden and resumed his work in the store. He found Clark was still a mischieveous little boy, often running away and having to be hunted for, usually by neighborhood children to whom Jim gave candy at the store. It was nothing uncommon for these youngsters to come to the store and say, "Mr. Cox, we want some candy and we promise to hunt for Clark the next time he gets lost."

One day a circuit riding minister, who always stayed with Jim and Mary when he was in Virden, jockingly said to Clark as he said goodbye, "Now you must come to my house and return my visit." Clark perked up his ears, and that afternoon when no one was around, he packed some clothes in a pillow case, put his pet kitten in also, and started off. After a long search, he was at last found sitting on the stuffed pillow case atop the cowcatcher of an idle engine in the train yards. The poor kitten was dead.

The following April 3, 1866 Artella Eva was born. Things were going along happily, when a group of travelers from the west came through Virden, telling of vast wealth to be made by raising stock in southwest Missouri. Jim kept thinking of this for days after they were gone, becoming more and more convinced he could become rich in the promising country. He soon decided to sell out completely in Virden and move his family to the new field. Mary was greatly opposed to such a plan. She pointed out they were all happy in Virden, had a fine business, owned their home and were saving money. She was bitterly against making any kind of change whatsoever. She loved Virden and wanted to stay there the rest of her life. But notwithstanding her initial pleadings, Jim was adamant. He loved Mary and wanted to do even better things for her and was definitely convinced that this would be the outcome of their move.

On reaching Jasper County, Missouri, near Carthage, Jim bought land and stocked it with cattle. Everything verified all that he had been told of this wonderful country, and he was wildly exuberant over the venture. The following year was spent getting it all suitably organized. Suddenly, with no warning whatsoever, an epidemic of killing decease among cattle struck that part of the state and every head of his stock lay dead.

Mary and Jim now felt they were all but combletely wiped out. Heartsick, discouraged and woefully despondent, Jim sold the land and took his family to Carthage where he went to work in a store until he couold decide what was best to be done.

That year word came that a new railroad was to be built through that section of the state, and after making inquiries, Jim and one of his friends went to Dallas County and bought land on the right of way. There they laid out a town they named Georgia City, and sent for their families. Jim again took up farming, biding his time until the railroad came through and Georgia City would be a thriving town on the main line.

On January 27th, 1869 Eugene was born. The farm was prosperous, the receipts far outreaching the disbursements. One day after Jim had received a large sum of money, he started to the nearby town of Buffalo to deposit it in the bank. It being a few miles, and the horses needed on the farm, Jim decided to walk to the town. When only a short distance on his way he suddenly began feeling a strong urge to return home. This puzzled him, but thinking it absurd, he continued on his way. The urge, however, became so compelling he quickly turned and hurried back home.

There he found Clark had attemted to ride an unbroken pony, much against his father's instructions. The pony had thrown him off and kicked him in the head. The piece of scalp the exact size of the pony's hoof was hanging over the boy's eye. Mary, there alone with her children and no near neighbors, was panic-stricken and helpless. Jim knew then that had been given a divine premonition, bringing him back home. Quickly he brought the country doctor, who, after cleaning away the sand and gravel in the bleeding tissue, sewed the torn piece of scalp back in place, it taking twenty-two stitches to close the wound,

When Frank was fifteen it became evident he was in no way adapted to farm work. He was a tall, slight frame, and had a strong talent for art, seeing beauty in everything about him. Instead of doing the work expected of him out in the field, he would be found sitting under a tree making pencil sketches of the beutiful surrounding country. This grossly vexed his father, who knew nothing about such a talent, and therefore thought his son was lazy and didn't want to work. He was at his wit's end to know what to do with the boy.

Frank soon wanted to leave the farm and try making his own way, Doing the things he liked to do and felt fitted for. After talking it over with his parents, they reluctantly agreed and he left for the nearby town of Buffalo. There he found an opening for a sign painter, and after trying his hand at it, and finding he could give satisfaction, he soon had all he could do. From this beginning he was able to work his way farther on, earning enough in one town to take him to the next. At the end of a few months he had visited several states both north and south.

On December 15, 1871 Mary had another son whom they named Jesse Claude. In the spring following, a band of Indians came through the town giving shows. Clark and his friend Bob were fascinated, and attended every performance, talking to the Indians and becoming acquianted. Secretly they decided to slip away with the tribe when they left town, taking part in the shows and seeing the country. At the edge of town Bob backed down and returned home, but Clark stayed on, telling the Indians his name was Tom Clark. By evening, when Clark did not come home, his parents began looking for him. Bob felt frightened and was reluctant to tell what he knew, but upon questioning, broke down and told of their plan to join the Indians. By this time the tribe was far on their way, and no one knew what direction they had gone. Jim and Mary tried every way they could to get word of him, but in those days such news was hard to come by, and they were copelled to wait, and hope that Clark would soon tire of the venture and in some way manage to get back home.

But two years had passed with no word and they had almost despaired of ever hearing what had happened to their boy. About this time a missionary travelling through the Indian Territory happened to see a whit boy among the tribes and began to question him. Clark, by then, was very homesick and told the missionary the whole story. On getting the name and address of Clark's parents, the missionary wrote to them and Jim immediately sent word for his boy to come home.

It was a time for great rejoicing and especially so for Mary, who had felt herself being largely the cause of Clark's being so entranced with the Indians. She well remembered the time when she was carrying Clark, that a tribe of Indians had come through that part of Missouri and how unnaturally possessed she had been with the tribe. In those days it was thought that pregnant mothers could mark thier unborn children through undue emotions.

Frank continued with his travelling, and being adept at cartooning, conceived the idea of giving evening entertainments at a modest admission fee. These he called "Chalk Talks", talking amusingly while making caracatures, usually of well-known people. This fascinated the audiences and people came in large numbers each night. He later began calling himselt "The Tramp Painter" making pictures in oil during his talks. Finding that he was able to make as many as fifty such pictures of an evening, he later began to advertise his entertainment as "The Lightning Artist." He worked his way to Colorado, where he became entranced by the gorgeous scenery, making oil paintings of local scenes, during his lectures. Sometimes he would pretend to be very displeased at the way some of those pictures would be turning out, green skies and blue grass, red splotches and gray spots. Then suddenly he would turn the canvas upside down, and there the audience would see a beatiful picture of some familiar place, blue skies and green grass. One of these was a picture of the Garden of the Gods with the red rocks, the gray spot turning out to be Pike's Peak in the distance. The audience, always delighted with his unusual work, sang his praises far and wide.

In the summer of 1873 word came to Buffalo that the railroad had changed the original right of way which would leave Georgia City several miles off the main line. Georgia City would now become a ghost town.Jim was frantic with despair, all his hopes and plans were now completely shattered. Everything he had undertaken since leaving Virden had met with disaster. He and Mary decided to leave the state and return to Indiana. He would buy another farm.

Claude was just recovering from whooping cough which had resulted in an infected ear which was still draining. They consulted a doctor about the advisability of leaving with the baby, to take such a long trip. The doctor assured them it was perfectly safe and gave them a new medicine to help the healing process.

As they left the state, Mary looked across acres of bright yellow golden rod. The times of her greatest sorrows and dissappointments were tied in with fields of buttercups or sunflowers or golden rod. Never again could she abide the sight of any kind of yellow flower.

As they approached Terre Haute, Indiana, Claude became violently ill and died within a few hours. The infected ear had been allowed to heal too quickly and the poison reached his brain. After burying him in Terre Haute, Jim and Mary went on to Morgantown, Indiana, grief-stricken and almost prostrate from the many cares they were called upon to endure.

Jim eventually bought a farm and Mary opened a millinery store. Allie was old enough to be much help in keeping up the home during Mary's hours in the store. Allie was a beautiful girl and had many admirers. The superintendent of the school, William Turner Cathcart, fell in love with her, and though he was twelve years older than she, they were married in September 1875. Because of the difference in their ages, Allie always felt rather in awe of her new husband. While she knew much about cooking, she felt something very special should be served to this very fine and dignified man. She studied all the fancy cookbooks and magazine recipes and gave him only the most exotic foods, until at the end of three weeks he was almost helpless with diarrhea. Weakly, he said, "Allie, can't we just have some plain meat and potatoes for a while?"

In July 1876 Allie had her first baby, a boy whom they named Ernest Alonzo. Soon after, a much better paying position was available in Bastrap, Louisiana and they left for their new home.

Frank by then had worked himself into the scene painting business, furnishing all the stage scenery and advertising drop curtains for theaters. He too was married in 1876 to Miss Clara Atkins of Streater, Illinios. As the business grew he took Clark, who was near sixteen, to assist him. Very soon he found that Clark also had a natural talent for art and began to teach him to paint scenery. He also felt the need of an advance agent to travel ahead and secure contacts as well as sell the advertising spaces on the drop curtains to be installed. He felt his father well qualified for this position and persuaded him to sell the farm and enter into business with him and Clark. Mary then sold the millinery store and took the children back to Buffalo, Missouri, where they would have better schooling, and she would be among friends. In March 1878, Mary got word of the death of her father in Kentucky, at the age of seventy-eight. A day or so ater she received word of the birth of Frank and Clara's first child, a little girl they named Myrtle. About this time Mary moved to Springfield, Missouri, and on May 14, 1878 she had a baby girl whom they named Lulu Delle. It was the intention to call her Lulu, but her father began affectionately referring to her as baby "Dell e" and she went by that name ever after. Having a sister named Telle, the family found the similarity in names very confusing, then later on when there was a Nell and a Zella in the family, they said, "We give up."

Whem Delle was six weeks old her mother and her sister Telle started to the gallery to have her picture taken. Telle was wheeling the baby carriage, when suddenly it overturned and Delle was thrown out. Panic-stricken, Telle caught the baby up in her arms feeling surely she had been killed, but they soon found that no harm was done. Aside from a frightened little whimper the baby kept sleeping soundly. When they reached the gallery no amount of daudling could waken her. Finally the photographer said, laughing, "All right, we'll just have to take her picture asleep in the buggy," and this was done.

"Seems we just didn't choose the right day," Mary said smiling, thinking of the mishaps.

The following spring in 1879, Allie and Will moved to Springfield, Missouri from Louisiana, where they had been living, and in 1882 their baby girl May Alice was born.

Telle and Ona, who were in their early teens, adored their baby sister Delle and as soon as she was old enough, began teaching her to recite little rhymes. By the time she was three they had taught her some songs and how to play chords on the parlor organ for her accompaniment. Since her feet could not reach the pedals, one of them would sit beside her to pump the organ. Delle was quick to learn amd always eager to perform. One day at a church picinic a girl mounted the rostrum and sang a song. As she came down to resume her place, Delle piped up, "You didn't sing that right." Astonished, the girl said, "Do you know how to sing it better?" Delle said she dis, whereupon she climbed up and began the song. The whole assemble crowded in to see and hear such a little child, and Mary was frantic for fear her baby girl would be smothered, but undaunted, Delle sang on to the end, followed by loud applause.

One day when Ona was giving Delle a bath, a favorite middle-aged bachelor came to call. Delle spied him through a crack in the bedroom door and cried out frantically, "Don't come in Uncle Dave. I've got no panties on." Ona smilingly wondered if this staid old bachelor would have swooned completely away had he inadvertantly come upon this little miss in her first-born nudity.

When Delle was four, a slovenly, dissolute family moved into the house on the alley at the rear of their property. She saw they had a little girl about her age and she immediately wanted to get acquainted with her. "No, no," Delle's mother said, "You stay away from there." Delle was crestfallen, "But why can't I play with her?" she asked. After some hesitation Mary said, "Well -- her head might not be clean."

Delle knew nothing about lice, and to her this meant plain dirt. So that afternoon while her mother was entertaining callers, Delle called the little girl to come over. After taking off her clothes she sat her under the pump and splashed on the water, giving her head an especial scrubbing. She then picked up the scissors and cut off practically all of the little girl's hair, then proceeded to dress her from the skin out in some of her own clothes. Taking her by the hand proudly, she went in to her mother. "Now, Mama, will she do? Can I play with her now?" Mary was horrified! "My word" she exclaimed to her friends, "Those people will sue us." Heartsick, humiliated, and not a little frightened, Mary took the child home, apologizing for what had been done. When the slatternly women was told the little girl could keep the clothes she had on, the woman was highly pleased and nothing more was ever heard about the incident, which to Mary had been a dilemma.

The next day Mary saw Delle come staggering up the path from an apple tree and finally falling senseless. On quickly getting a doctor he saw the rotten spot on the apple which Delle had bitten into, and gave her an emetic. Soon she disgorged a very poisonous spider which would easily have caused her death.

When summer vacation time came, Gene went to visit his Aunt Sue in Texas, and Mary took Delle, who was then six years old, back to Kentucky where she and Jim had been married, Tell and Ona remained at home with a middle-aged women who did the housework, while Allie, who lived close by, helped to supervise.

Jim was away on one of his trips, later going to Alton, illinois on business. He loved this hilly old town on the Mississippi river, always having been an admirer of rolling country. He remembered well having been there before, during the war when helping to guard the Federal Penitentiary near the river front.

At the end of Mary's visit in Kentucky, he sent for her and Delle to meet him in Alton, where he had business for a few days. On their arrival he took them to what was then called Upper Alton, saying he had found a cool, homelike place to board. It being August, the weather was very warm. When they reached the house they went into the darkened living room where Delle immediately spied the cabinet organ and climbed up on the stool. "This looks like our organ," she said, then looking closer, "This IS our organ," and with that, Tell and Ona burst into the room, grabbing and hugging them while shouting excitedly, Yes, it is our organ. Everything is ours. We have moved from Springfield, and this is where we are going to live. It was all in perfect order. We have done everything."

Mary was completely stunned. It was unbelievable. Never in her life had she known such a complete surprise, but it was all beatiful and she was highly pleased. That was their homecoming to Alton, Illilois where they lived the rest of their lives and were at last buried there.

In September Gene returned from Texas and entered High School. The following April Ona was married, and Tell went to Kimmswick, Mo. to live with Allie who had developed a kidney disorder. She was never well, and now having three children she needed help. Tell was old enough to assist her in many ways and was glad to be back in Kimmswick among her many friends. In early spring Delle had been placed in a private kindergarten and her school mates chose her as "Queen of the May". She felt highly distinguished in her fluffy white tarleton dress and crown of daisies. By the time for the fall semester, Gene who had never been much of a student, begged to quit school and join Frank and Clark in the theatrical scenery business. He, too, had a natural talent for art, and his parents thought it wise to agree.

The business grew and in a short time they were advertising as the "Cox Brothers, Scenic Artists" and were one of the leading firms in the country. An excerpt from a newspaper later on stated, "The new drop curtain at the Opera House was painted by Eugene Cox, the youngest scenic artist in the United States, bing seventeen years of age."

When Jim became sixty-three he retired from the traveling position and went into the drug business with Tell's husband, who was a registered pharmacist. Jim, knowing nothing about drugs, was a silent partner and spent very little time in the store. He bought two acres of ground on one of his beloved hills and built a modern house. He raised chickens, kept a cow, had a fine vegetable garden and many fruit trees. His yard was a bower of beautiful plants which he loved to cultivate. Delle loved cats and kittens and many times passers-by would stand at the fence and watch them tumbling at play on the beautiful lawn. While these were busy days for Jim, they were also carefree and serene; profitable too, in an entirely new field of endeavor.

Delle graduated from High School with high honors, and later graduated from the Shurtloff College School of Music. She taught piano lessons until she was married in October, 1899. Years later she wrote her memoirs which are available in a book she entitled "Garna Graham".

Soon after Delle was married, Jim and Mary went back to Kentucky to visit Jim's oldest brother and many other relatives, as well as the old haunts of their youth. They found the picture of "The Carrier Dove" still hanging in its original place where Mary had looked at it during their wedding ceremony. They also found the old hand-carved spinning wheel, dated 1844, on which she learned to spin as a child. Both of these items were given to her to take home and still are being preserved by her decendants. It was a joyous and memorial trip, one they loved to talk about all through their remaining years.

In October 6th, 1902, Mary and Jim celebrated their Golden Wedding. Thirty-five relatives were in attendance, including their children, grad-children, and their first great-grandson. It was a time they had looked forward to and hoped for thoughout many long years and they were happy and comforted at its consumation.

The following winter Jim's health began to fail due to illnesses sustained during the war. On July 5, 1903 he passed peacefully away, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Upper Alton.

At this time, Mary too was beginning to age and it was thought unwise for her to live alone, The house and its furnishings were sold and she spent the following years visiting among her children, staying a few months in each home. One time, when she was at Allie's house, she became interested in an art course one of her grand-daughters was studying. Being confined to her room while convalescing from an attact of influenza, she picked up a newspaper and casually tried her hand at copying a picture shown there. Thinking nothing more about it, she threw it aside. When Allie came into the room later she saw the sketch and was amazed to find her mother had made the drawing. A few days later Frank stopped to see them while passing through the town, and Allie showed him the sketch. He imediately realized she had talent and bought her a full set of water color paints, brushes and paper, and showed her how to go about using them, encouraging her to keep trying to make pictures. From this beginning, at the age of seventy years, she made over one hundred and fifty pictures for which she had ready sale, as well as many others made as gifts for relatives and friends. She conceived the idea of making free hand copies of "The Carrier Dove", one for each of her seven children. These are all being preserved by posterity. Many Newspaper articles depicting her unusual discovery of this latent talent were preserved in an old scrapbook which is now in the possession of her grand-daughter Virginia, Mrs. C. K. Boyle. It was now definitely understood from whom the natural talent of the famed Cox Brothers had derived.

On January 19, 1911 Mary passed away and was buried beside Jim, her husband, in Oakwood Cemetery. All of their cares and failures and disappointments, as well as their times of greatest happiness, now lay beneath the sod and the flowers.

Gone but not forgotten.

Ludelle Cox Powell

June 9th, 1976.


Willis Earl Kysor was born 3 Nov 1895 in Phelps, MN, the son of George Grant Kysor and Mary Bell Phelps. When a young man, he moved with his parents, a brother, Clifford Phelps Kysor, and two sisters, Leola and Nona, to Wayzata, MN.

On 8 Dec 1917 he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he received his basic training at Kelly Field, Waco TX. He was sent to Europe as a member of the 9th Photo Section, 2nd Day Bombers on 16 Aug 1918. He served with the 9th and 16th Photo Sections in Europe and, after WWI, in the Army of Occupation in Germany until 1 Aug 1919, receiving his dscharge on 11 Aug 1919.

After returning to the U.S., he flew in CA as a sky writer, at air shows and as a flight instructor. He formed a partnership with James R. Williams. They landed in Niles, MI in 1925 where they formed the Niles Airways, a flying school, and commercial air service. He paticipated in many air shows over the states of MI, IN, OH and others winning may prizes in bomb dropping, dead-stick landing, and air races. Later the company was changed to Kysor Eaglerock with "Bill" Kysor the owner and operator. He was the distributor of Eaglerock airplanes in the states of MI, IN, & OH, winning many awards as top Distributor.

On 23 June 1926, Bill received his National Aeronautic Association Certificate which was signed by Orville Wright. His National Pilot's License was #140 and his Airplane & Engine Mechanic's License was #142, making him one of the earliest licensed pilots in the U.S.A.

ON 7 June 1938, he joined the Abrams Aerial Survey Company during which time he flew photographers who were making an aerial map of the state of WI. On 9 Oct 1938, during an aerial photographic flight, a portion of the wing came off and Bill, with his photographers, was killed.

The above was written by his wife, Ruth Albright, in 1981.

STORIES BY VICTOR JOHN PUTNAM (1893-1987)[married to Opel Fern Kysor (1902-1970)] AS TOLD TO HIS SON, CHARLES U. PUTNAM (via Marion L. Putnam)

Hogging of catfish is accomplished by very carefully moving a john boat along an underwater rock ledge, and using your hand to feel for resting catfish. Once you feel the fish, you very quickly and with finesse run your hand into its gill, grab hold and toss the fish into the boat. Well, when Dad was about 18 years old and working in Southeast Miissouri on a dredging crew he went out one night with a man (John for this story) to hog some catfish from the surrounding waters The man instructed Dad how to grab the fish. On his first attempt Dad came up with a snake, which he immediately threw as far as possible. He decided that he was not a fish hogger. He would paddle the boat so John could do the fishing. Suddenly John said, "this is a big one". John was then pulled overboard into the dark water. He came splashing to the surface, grasping for air to only disappear again below the tea colored water once again. The sequence of events happened three or four more times till John grabbed the side of the john boat with his left hand while his right brought up a cat fish about six feet long. They finally managed to boat the fish and start back to camp. Dad asked John, on the way to camp, why he did not just let go of the fish. John said that he wasn't holding the fish, it was holding him. John's hand had passed through the fish's gill and out its mouth, the cat had clamped down on his wrist and would not let go. The whole camp of 20-25 men ate dinner that night from that single fish.

On another trip with John, Dad was gigging frogs at night. They wore miners' carbide head lamps to "spot" the frog. He asked John why they carried a large gunneysack. John answered that they would need it to hold frog legs. When John speared the Bullfrog, he would retrieve and break off the hind legs and toss them in the sack. Dad said by the time the evening was over he could get one from to every five that John took. The sack was completely full by midnight.

And again, during the stint in Southern Missouri, he and John caught a large snapping turtle. And as any "kid" will do, he or somebody wrapped electrical wires around the head and tail of this turtle in series with one of the larlge motors they were using on the dredge for about four hours. Dad said that one of the men said "that the sucker is now dead." Some time later when he walked past the place he saw the turtle crawling away.

At some period during this dredging job, Dad was "dragging chain" for a surveyor. One evening they stopped at a farmhouse to ask to sleep in the barn and for a meal. At the supper table the farmer had some horseradish to put on the meat. The surveyer, we'll call him Joe, started to spread some horseradish on his meat, when the farmer warned him to try a very small amount because it was very hot. Joe did and commented that it was the hottest he had ever tasted. He wanted to buy some from the farmer. After quite a lot of pleading, the farmer sold him a small jar. The next day Joe instructed Dad to follow his lead back on the dinning hall barge at the job site. Joe had Dad set next to him. He took out the jar and spooned out some on his plate, then carefully passed the jar to Dad. The others setting around the table saw two guys not sharing something with them, grabbed the jar, spooning out a large portion on their meat. The first two shoved a large piece of meat into their mouths, immediately gagged, coughed, and jumped up from the table, almost turning it over. They ran outside spitting , coughing, and throwing up.

When Dad was a small boy, about 10-12 years old, he saw his first flying squirrel. He threw a rock up to knock it down. The rock killed the squirrel on impact. Dad told his father that he was very sorry that the little animal was dead, and did not think a rock should have killed it. His father replied that God did not want him to capture wild things as pets.

Dad was driving home from town in a wagon when he came upon a man walking in the direction he was headed. In those days, you would always offer a ride to a stranger and ask if he would care to ride along as far as the farm. Down the road a short distance a jackrabbit ran across in fron of them and disappeared over a small hill. Dad stopped the wagon and climbed down, at which time the stranger asked what he was doing. He explained that he was going to fetch the rabbit for dinner. The stragner remarked that Dad did not have a gun. Dad said he would be right back, bending over and picking up two fist-sized rocks. This caused the stranger to chuckle. Dad "nailed" the rabbit on his first throw, breaking the rabbit's ribs and stunning it. He picked up the rabbit striking its head against a large rock. Then using his pocketknife, Dad opened the stomach and gutted it. Returning to the wagon, the stranger remarked "well I'll be da--, I have never seen such a thing before."

Again when Dad was a small boy his father was trying to assist a cow with a breech birth when a stragner rode up on his horse. Grandfather asked the stranger to lend a hand and he would give him beer money that he could spend in town. At the successful birthing of the calf the stranger was, of course, invited to stay for dinner, was thanked again and given the "beer" money as promised. Nothing more was thought about the event until the following Sunday when the Putnams arrived for church. The kind stranger was the new Methodist minister.

Dad was about 12 or 13 years old when Grandfather told him to hitch up old Bessie, and old and stubborn mule to the spring wagon. Dad was aware that his father knew he could not work with "Old Bessie." He walked the mule out into the barn lot and pulled the wagon up and hitched her to it.Then he was going to drive the waggon up to the farmhouse to show his father that he could work this mule. Guess again. Old Bessie would not move. He whacked her a couple times with the whip, no results. He got down and tried to lead her by pulling the reigns, no help. He grabbed hold of her ear which nearly cost him a bite. He had a brainstorm. He went in the barn and brought out some hay. This he arranged under Old Bessie and set it afire. Old Bessie took six steps forward and STOPPED. Dad was of course frantic; the wagon was now over the blazing hay and you guessed it, OLD BESSIE WOULD NOT MOVE.. The wagon started to burn with nothing to extinguish it. The wagon burned in seconds to nothing but axles and smoldering wheels. Grandfather gave Dad a sound thrashing exclaiming that it was hard to believe his son was dumber than a mule.

As a young boy, while his family still lived in Canada, he was going home after working the day at a neighboring farm. He had to cross a covered bridge where the locals had hanged a black man accused of rape. The very spot in th emiddle of the bridge had been painted white as a reminder to one and all that such things would not be tolerated. He, of course, reached the bridge at dusk, which, he said made him quite nervous. As he was about to step on the painted spot on the bridge a SCREECH OWL flew over his head and you guessed it, screeched. Dad said that he made the remaining mile and a half in record time and couldn't remember being out of breath.

While still in Canada, DAD and some of his friends found a steel drum with a screw-on lid. The discovery occurred in May or early June. They decided that this find would provide them with a grand 4th of Julyh bang. They started preparing for their 4th surprise by purchasing a keg of black powder every other week or so, to avoid arousing the interest of anyone. This steel drum held about four kegs of black powder. On the 4th of July, they attached enough fuse to it to give them about eight minutes to ride back to town. They arrived at the general store, sat down and started to read the newspaper as if they did not have a care in the world. The drum went off. The buildings in town shook and the windows in the general store broke. The owner of the store came out to the porch and congratulated the boys on the BIG BANG. He said, "I won't tell if you boys pay for the windows." The boys were amazed that he would know who the guilty were. He remarked, "Of course I know, you bought the powder from me."

CAPTAIN BENJAMIN KYSOR, MD (from the Time Magazine archive)

Jan. 26, 1942:

To destroy the last tough remnant of U.S. resistance in the Philippines the Jap was willing to pay dearly. So last week, the sixth of the Battle of Luzon, he lashed fiercely at General Douglas MacArthur's tough little Army. MacArthur's men, holed up in the mountain-wild Bataan peninsula with an anchor below on the island fortress of Corregidor in Manila Bay, gave better than they received.

The enemy banged hardest at MacArthur's right flank, apparently to grab a toehold on the highway leading south on Bataan's east shore. He was hurled back with heavy losses. Meanwhile he stabbed tentatively through the mountains on the west shore, and near week's end he reported landing seaborne forces on Subic Bay. If he was telling the truth nothing immediately came of it. Douglas MacArthur was able to report that "enemy pressure ... in the Bataan peninsula has lessened."

No one thought that the Jap had quit. No one thought seriously that MacArthur's men were to be evacuated, or that they would get help. But while the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East were on their feet the fight would go on, blackly determined in action, flecked with the fine gold of good American humor when it got a breathing spell.

In all except the front-line areas, the worst nuisance and the most pregnant occasion for levity were intermittent bombings by the Jap. "Keep 'em falling" became the anti-aircraft gunner's slogan. Melville Jacoby. TIME correspondent on Corregidor, reported that the Jap was losing one out of every seven planes to fire from the ground.

"On regular bombing days," he wrote, "you get a few minutes' warning from a loud-sounding siren, or from the ring of steel, or from men beating pots & pans. Sometimes we sense planes coming before the alarm sounds. Then a shout echoes from dugout to dugout: 'Tojo's coming.'

"On the ground everyone except the gun crews takes cover, but everybody watches the sky. Everyone is keyed to the first noise of the bombs ripping through the bright clear sky. They sound like tearing sheets or crackling fire. Then it's time to duck. As you duck you think of what the soldiers say: 'Don't be worried about the bomb that's labeled with your name. The ones to worry about are the ones labeled To Whom it May Concern.'

"The sound of exploding anti-aircraft shells is music to soldiers' eafs. They say they'd rather hear it than Tommy Dorsey's band. USAFFE headquarters issues a daily news bulletin which features 'Today's Scoreboard,' telling the number of planes shot down to date."

At week's end, Douglas MacArthur reported to Washington that six weeks of hard fighting had made veterans of his U.S. soldiers and Filipinos: "Their training in the difficult school of actual combat and their battle experience have steadied them and developed their initiative and resourcefulness."

MacArthur's Army was winning medals, from infantry to the Quartermaster Corps, from artillery gunners to medical personnel. There was no monopoly by branch on spectacular heroism.

An extreme example was the deed of petite, Manila-bred Filipino Nurse Rebecca Salvación, who had to take cover in a shallow trench when her station was bombed. Other nurses were evacuated in ambulances. Somehow Nurse Salvación was left behind. So, too, was a U.S. Marine, wounded in the throat by a bomb fragment and calling for help from a nearby trench. Rebecca Salvación crawled from her trench, made it to a building, summoned an Army doctor, Captain Benjamin Kysor of Oswego, N.Y., to help.

The Marine was lugged under cover. There, while bombs rocked the building. Captain Kysor removed the fragment and coolly dressed the wound. The Marine was carried downstairs. Dr. Kysor remained behind. A few minutes later the Jap registered a direct hit on the hospital and Dr. Kysor died. [See also this.]

Correspondent Jacoby reported that hospital corpsmen continually drove their ambulances through fire, evacuating wounded. He named as outstanding examples Captain Ralph L. Rowland of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Technical Sergeant Frederick W. Guth of Whitmore, Calif.; Corporal Ernest W. Crunkleton of Everton, Ark. Last week the ambulance of Driver Calvin E. Latham of Woodland. Calif, was pocked by 24 machine-gun bullets, one of which had tattered the leg of his slacks.

The ambulance was still running.

On the last U.S.-held slice of Luzon it was everybody's war. Army cooks strove to put out the best of food, robbed each other blind. In lulls, barbers calmly cut soldiers' hair. In one comprehensive job, a barber cut the hair of seven Marines by letters so that when they stood together the pattern of the cuts spelled VICTORY.

The Filipinos showed amazing loyalty. One soldier orderly, left behind in the evacuation of Manila, gathered his officer's laundry up, set off through the Japanese lines. He was stopped many times, he reported, and was interviewed by Japanese officers speaking both English and Tagalog. He finally turned up in the U.S. ranks on the peninsula.

By night an enterprising few U.S. soldiers worked hard at an odd project: they went diving, trying to salvage the cargo of a capsized barge rumored to have had whiskey aboard. No one tried to stop them. Douglas MacArthur knew that his men were good men as long as they could relax in their off hours, as long as they wisecracked about bombs and the hand of death above them.

SILL'S GOLD & THE KYSOR-JOHNSON COMBO by Janice Mabel Kysor VanSchuyler (excerpts from her letters)

The information from Charles Babcock's Kysor Genealogy book was given to me by Dania Kysor. When I was 16 my parents took me to New York state to visit my grandmother's birthplace. A niece was still living in it. In the parlor, next to an organ, was a table with a pile of papers. I was told that in every generation someone wrote their family history and left it there. Very dusty old papers. They let me take them all back to Illinois so i could put them in order and copy them. That is where the valid information from Charles Babcock came from.

Being only 16, I didn't have enough sense to write down the names of the informants and the date the paper was written. Through Daniel Sill's wife, Harriet Hungerford, I am 14 generations from William Brewster, leader of the Mayflower Pilgrims.

Daniel Sill was a rover, born in Lyme CT, taken at 7 to PA, and ultimately moving to Hornell with his family which he deserted and walked across the U.S. to CA. He was a millwright and was helping to build a mill for Sutter when gold was discovered. He became wealthy and, after 20 years, sailed around the Horn to NY and asked his wife to join him in Northern California. She refused, so her daughter went back with him to check everything out. She became the first white woman to marry in CA when it became a U.S. territory. Later on her mother came. They lived on a 10 square-mile ranch put to grapes in Vina, CA. According to the 1860 census there were 67 indians and 32 white men running the ranch.

The Kysor Family is quite interesting. Starting with John E.N.B. Kysor, the revolutionary fighter who was abducted from Germany by a press-gang to fight for the British at age 24, and switched sides. One wonders if he left a wife and children in Germany. My husband and I went to the Netherlands and looked at the church where his relatives were babtized in the 1500s. It is surrounded by the Amsterdam Red Light District now.

My granmother's family home, built in 1812, was at Hornell, NY. She married a Kysor, so did her sister, Olivia, and her brother, George, married a Kysor girl. The cemetary there is all Johnsons in the Kysor plots and Kysors in the Johnson plots.

My grandmother, Clymenia Johnson Kysor, had four boys and three girls: 1)Mabel, a high school teacher who never married (wonderful person) 2) Silas, who dissapeared at age 40, 3) Dania, Assistant principal at the Girls Commercial High School in Brooklyn, NY & never married, 4) my father, Asa, who sold Packard cars before the depression and afterwards was a realtor, 5) Karl who invented the four-wheel drive on the Jeep & an automatic transmission for cars, and 6) James, space buyer for Foote, Cone and Belding advertising firm, married, but no issues.

The Kysors seemed to have big families. Two Johnson girls married two Kysor boys (sons of Archibald A.). One Kysor girl married a Johnson boy. They had large families, but their families were noted for either the girls not marrying or the boys marrying girls who couldn't have children. I don't think the Kysor-Johnson combination genetically was good, although it produced very brilliant people. Or perhaps it was the generation that had to fight WW1 and was raised in a very victorian way. I knew all of them and they were wonderful, intelligent people, but very practical, and somehow unsexed, at least to my viewpoint. My grandmother, Clymenia Johnson graduated from college. She was the first girl to graduate from Alfred University. All of her daughters had degrees and Masters also in a time when they could only go so far because of their gender. As young women they were handsome, but somehow in a masculine way, and extremely brilliant.

JONAS HANWAY (From Wikipedia)

Jonas Hanway (1712 – September 5, 1786), English traveller and philanthropist, was born at Portsmouth, England.

While still a child his father, a victualler, died, and the family moved to London. In 1729 Jonas was apprenticed to a merchant in Lisbon. In 1743, after he had been some time in business for himself in London, he became a partner with Mr Dingley, a merchant in St Petersburg, and in this way was led to travel in Russia and Persia. Leaving St Petersburg on September 10, 1743, and passing south by Moscow, Tsaritsyn and Astrakhan, he embarked on the Caspian Sea on November 22, and arrived at Astrabad on December 18. Here his goods were seized by Mohammed Hassan Beg, and it was only after great privations that he reached the camp of Nadir Shah, under whose protection he recovered most (85%) of his property.

His return journey was embarrassed by sickness (at Resht), by attacks from pirates, and by six weeks' quarantine; and he only reappeared at St Petersburg on January 1, 1745. He again left the Russian capital on July 9, 1750 and travelled through Germany and the Netherlands to England (October 28). The rest of his life was mostly spent in London, where the narrative of his travels (published in 1753) soon made him a man of note, and where he devoted himself to philanthropy and good citizenship.

In 1756 he founded The Marine Society, to keep up the supply of British seamen; in 1758 he became a governor of the Foundling Hospital, a position which was upgraded to vice president in 1772; he was instrumental in establishing the Magdalen Hospital; in 1761 he procured a better system of parochial birth registration in London; and in 1762 he was appointed a commissioner for victualling the navy (July 10); this office he held till October 1783. He died, unmarried, on the 5th of September 1786 and is now buried in the crypt at St Mary's Church, Hanwell.

[Although said to be unmarried, Jonas Hanway fathered Thomas Hanway who, in turn, fathered Jesse Hanway according to Stobie & pippi23. - GTK]

He was the first Londoner, it is said, to carry an umbrella, and he lived to triumph over all the hackney coachmen who tried to hoot and hustle him down. [1]

Here is the advertising cartouche of Jonas Hanway, used by Kendall & Sons Ltd umbrella manufactuers.

He attacked vail-giving, or tipping, with some temporary success; by his onslaught upon tea-drinking he became involved in controversy with Johnson and Goldsmith. His last efforts were on behalf of little chimney-sweeps. His advocacy of solitary confinement for prisoners and opposition to Jewish naturalization were more questionable instances of his activity in social matters.[2]

Hanway left seventy-four printed works, mostly pamphlets; the only one of literary importance is the Historical Account of British Trade over the Caspian Sea, with a Journal of Travels, etc. (London, 1753). On his life, see also Pugh, Remarkable Occurrences in the Life of Jonas Hanway (London, 1787); Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xxxii. p. 342; vol. lvi. pt. ii. pp. 812814, 1090, 1143-1144; vol. lxv. pt. ii. pp. 72 1722, 834835; Notes and Queries, 1st series, i. 436, ii. 25; 3rd series, vii. 311; 4th series, viii. 416.

NOTE 1. William John Thomas, (John) Doran, Henry Frederick Turle, Joseph Knight, Vernon Horace Rendall, Florence Hayllar (1850) Notes and Queries: Umbrellas. Oxford University Press; pp25. Retrieved 2006-10-30

NOTE 2. Hanway, Jonas (1776) Solitude in Imprisonment: With Proper Profitable Labour and a Spare Diet, the Most Humane and... J. Bew. Retrieved 2006-10-30

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.


Come sit in my garden and drink hot tea.
We'll gaze in wonder at my Dahlia tree.
Lanvendar blossoms and lacy green leaves
Haven for Monarchs and black bumble bees.
Each flower single-petaled with heart of gold
Myriad of tight buds wait to unfold.
We'll hear the sigh of the ancient windmill
For old days when wagons came over the hill.
Shadows cast down by the old broken blades
Turn dancing flowers into pinafored maids.
A-swirl, a-bowing, how graceful they go,
Girls of yesterday with ribbon and bow.
Petals fall, styles, customs play a game
But fundamental mores stay the same.

Forence (Thomas) Kysor (when living in Cayucos, California)