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Chapman Family History, Part V

December 2016

Harriet (CHAPMAN FISHER) WILLIAMS6 (1844-1936)Top

Harriet (FISHER) WILLIAMS?, c. 1904 112DC2. Harriet J. Chapman6 was born on April 17, 1844, in Indiana, likely in Green Township, Madison County. She and her family moved west to Wapello County, Iowa, about 1858. There she met and eventually married John Jackson Fisher3 on July 27, 1862, in Wapello County. After they moved to Nebraska during the Civil War they had six children, only four of whom survived to adulthood:[Cen 1900]

112DC11. Fisher (1863) (1865) (2)
112DC12. Orville Howard Fisher Nov 1866 1928 (61)
112DC13. Millie A. Fisher Aug 1869 (1903-1904) (33-35)
112DC14. David A. Fisher Mar 1871 --  -- 
112DC15. Theodoric Leathe Fisher7 23 Mar 1877 25 Jan 1911 (43)
First Son
Family tradition holds that John went off to war leaving behind his pregnant wife, Harriet. With the aid of an Indian squaw, Harriet gave birth to a son, but the son died after about two years, prior to John's return from the war. If this happened, it was likely that it was while the family was in Nebraska, however, John did not serve more than 10 consecutive months.

A month after their marriage, two of Harriet's uncles enlisted in the Union Army, joining yet a third uncle who had gone of to war earlier in October 1861. Harriet's father followed in September 1862, and then seven months later John enlisted and went off to Davenport, Iowa, for training in May 1863. There he contracted the mumps and was hospitalized a month before deciding to return home, without leave, to recuperate. He accordingly was branded a deserter.

At some point during the war the family moved to southeast Nebraska Territory and settled in Big Sandy (also known as Meridian), Hobbs Precinct, in Jefferson County (now in Thayer County). John's father had settled here by 1862. Big Sandy Crossing was an important watering place on the Oregon Trail where it gave way to a flat region between Big Sandy Creek and the Little Blue River.

John returned to his unit a year later in August 1864 and was gone until about July 1865 when, as the war wound down to a close, he again took it upon himself to return home--without leave--and was again declared a deserter.

Harriet's family suffered many losses in the 1890s. Her father died back in Iowa, followed by her mother in 1893, then youngest brother Anderson in 1894, and two sisters-in-law in 1894 and 1896.

The Fisher family moved from Nebraska to California around 1894 and by 1896 settled in Forestville, Sonoma County.

John Jackson Fisher died on May 8, 1906, in Forestville, at the age of 63. He was buried two days later at McPeak Cemetery in Forestville.

Thanks to Sanrdra Haffey, Okeene, Oklahoma, for providing copies of John's and Ira's complete pension records.

Harriet sought a pension for John's service in the Civil War, but was denied because of John's status as a deserted. She enlisted the help of Congressman Duncan E. McKinlay in 1909 but to no avail.[Pens]

Harriet remarried to Ira T. Williams, a widower Civil War veteran, on March 8, 1910, in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California, by Justice of the Peace A. J. Atchinson. Ira was noted as age 63 (more likely 62) and Harriet as age 60 (more likely 65). Their marriage license was witnessed by her son-in-law John H. Robinson and Alonzo Beauchamp. Ira and Harriet lived as lodgers with the Alonzo and Martha E. Beauchamp family of Indiana in the hills above Rincon Valley in Santa Rosa.[Cen 1910]

In 1911, Harriet's youngest son, Theodoric died and his widow Cora remarried Ira's son, Albert Williams in 1913. Harriet once again became Cora's mother-in-law.

Ira T. Williams died on October 4, 1916, in Alpine Valley, Sonoma County, California. He is buried at the Veterans' Home in Yountville, Napa County, California.

Soon after Ira's death, Harriet resided at Rural Route 6, Box 135, in Santa Rosa, where she attempted to claim the month's pension that was due Ira when he passed away. Her pension claim was denied because she and Ira married after June 27, 1890. About this time she moved back down into Santa Rosa to 708 Fifth Street. While at this address she may have lived with or nearby her son-in-law John H. Robinson, who attested to her marriage with Ira.[Pens]

By January 1917, Harriet moved a mile south from Fifth Street to 714 Hendley Street, near the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. By summer of 1917 she moved to Lakeport, Lake County, presumably near John's cousin Lewis and Rosa Fisher, who submitted affidavits attesting to Harriet's status between the death of John and remarriage to Ira. Harriet enlisted the help of Congressman Clarence F. Lea to gain the last month of Ira's pension. After much bureaucratic correspondence, she may have won that the following March.[Pens]

Harriet lived for a while with daughter-in-law Cora (Miller Fisher) Williams, but things did not work out very well. According to recollections from great-granddaughters Virginia (Fisher) Thomas and Hazel (Malugani) Goss, Cora's children did not get along with Grandma, especially eldest son Earl. She and Earl bickered constantly and one day Earl, irritated by how much sugar she used, filled the sugar bowl with salt. Sonoma also expressed her contempt one day by making her a sandwich with a powder puff in it.

John Freeman Connection?
Interestingly, the 1930 census of Marseilles enumerates grandson Frederick R. Fisher's widowed father-in-law, John Freeman (born in 1857 in Indiana) with the Fisher family. The 1900 census of Stillwater, Nevada on the other hand curiously enumerated the Fishers with a John W. Freeman (born in 1842 in Missouri). John, the father-in-law, is found in the 1900 Grundy County, Illinois census, so they are not the same individual, nor do the birth years suggest a direct relationship, but the closeness of names does suggest the possibility of a relationship.

These incidences likely led to Harriet's moving back east to Marseilles, La Sallle County, Illinois, where she lived with eldest son Orville's family lived, sometime prior to 1920.[Cen 1920]

Harriet attempted to gain a widow's pension against Ira's service in May 1921. In this effort she wrote to Charles E. Hughes, Secretary of State under President Harding, but failed because she married Ira after June 27, 1905, and was therefore ineligible. She revived her endeavor again in September 1923 with a letter to President Coolidge, citing that at the time she was 77 years old (more likely 79) and living "in the car of Ben Shelton" in Ottawa, La Salle County. (Ben Shelton was Harriet's daughter-in-law Goldie (Shelton) Fisher's father.) This, and a second attempt by writing President Coolidge in May 1925, failed as ineligible. During this second time Harriet lived at 445 East Bluff Street in Marseilles.[Pens]

Harriet's son Orville died in 1928 and she went to live with grandson Frederick R. Fisher and his family on Washington Street in Marseilles by 1930.[Cen 1930]

Great-granddaughter Hazel also recalls that granddaughter Mildred (Fisher) Fechter took in Harriet some time in the early 1930s, after Harriet returned to Sonoma County, California. Again things did not work out so well. Not long afterward she bounced from family to family, successively living with daughter-in-law Cora, step-grandson Ed Williams, and granddaughter Pearl (Fisher) Malugani, about 1935.

McPeak Cemetery
According to John and Harriet's death certificates, they are buried at the McPeak Cemetery in Forestville, Sonoma County, California, however their graves are not locatable at this old, dilapidated cemetery. The McPeak Cemetery is located on the first right off River Road, westbound, just past the Hacienda bridge. Westside road runs to the right, back eastward along the Russian River. The cemetery is about 50 yards up the road and lies off to the left of Westside, just out of view, between Oak Avenue and Rio Vista.

It was while living with the Malugani family that Harriet fell ill with chronic myocarditis and hypertension and was hospitalized until her death on June 25, 1936. She is buried with her first husband John at the McPeak Cemetery in Forestville, Sonoma County, California. She was 92 years old.

Whenever Harriet is recalled there inevitably arises the topic of her travel chest. As the story goes she kept all of her worldly possessions in an old trunk, including "the wedding clothes she wore when she married Ira T....and her little pancake hat purse on a chain and long-handled underwear."

  • Cen 1850: 14 Sep 1850 Census, Green, Hancock County, Indiana
  • Cen 1870: 28 Jun 1870 Census, Hebron, Hobbs Precinct, Jefferson County, Nebraska
  • Cen 1900: 14 Jun 1900 Census, Stillwater, Churchill County, Nevada
  • Cen 1910: 6 May 1910 Census, Santa Rosa Township, Sonoma County, California
  • Marr 1910: 8 Mar 1910, Marriage Licence 4655, Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California
  • Cen 1920: 8 Jan 1920 Census, Commercial Street, Marseilles, Rutland Township, La Salle County, Illinois
  • Cen 1930: 2 Apr 1930 Census, Washington Street, Marseilles, Manlius Township, La Salle County, Illinois

Allen Frank CHAPMAN (1858-1894)Top

112DC5. Allen Frank Chapman was born on July 28, 1858, in Iowa, and grew up in Washington Township, Wapello County, Iowa. Allen married Laura Olive Brookhart, of Seventy-Six Township, Muscatine County, Iowa, by 1885. At that time they lived next to Allen's parents.[Cen 1885]

Allen's younger brother Anderson married Laura's younger sister Bessie in 1890, seven months after father Allen died. Mother Elizabeth passed away three years later, and then a string of tragedies struck the Brookhart-Chapman. Sister-in-law Bessie died in January 1894, following childbirth several weeks earlier and the loss of her child, and Allen died in October.

Allen Frank Chapman died on October 20, 1894, at the young age of 36. He is reportedly buried at Ashland Cemetery in Ashland, Wapello County, where his parents are buried.

Two years later, Laura went on to remarry to Allen's widower brother Anderson on November 5, 1896, in Muscatine County.

  • Cen 1870: 11 Aug 1870 Census, Washington Township, Wapello County, Iowa
  • Cen 1885: 1885 Iowa State Census, Washington Township, Wapello County, Iowa

Anderson Acton CHAPMAN (~1861-1913)Top

112DC6. Anderson Acton Chapman was born about 1861 in Wapello County, Iowa. He was likely named for his father's uncle, Anderson Chapman (~1793-~1843). Anderson married Bessie S. Brookhart, the younger sister of elder brother Allen's wife, Laura, and native of Muscatine County, Iowa. They wed on November 12, 1890, in Muscatine County, Iowa. He was about 28 years old and she was 17. They had two sons.

112DC61. John Allen Chapman 18 Aug 1891 1 Dec 1918 (27)
112DC62. Chapman son (Nov) 1893 26 Nov 1893 (Infancy)

Mother Elizabeth died in 1893 and then a string of tragedies struck the Brookhart-Chapman family. Anderson and Bessie's infant son died and then Bessie followed six weeks later on January 9, 1894. Mother and son are buried together at the Cranston Cemetery in Seventy-Six Township, Muscatine County. Bessie was a couple weeks shy of her 22nd birthday. Son Johnnie was barely two and a half years old when his mother passed.

Tragedy followed yet again when Anderson's elder brother Allen died in October 1894, leaving Bessie's sister a widow.

Two years later Anderson remarried to his widowed sister-in-law, Laura Olive (Brookhart) Chapman, on November 5, 1896, in Muscatine County. He was about 35 years old and she 32.

Laura Olive (Brookhart) Chapman died just after their second anniversary on November 7, 1898. She is also buried at the Cranston Cemetery. She was only 34 years old.

Son Johnnie went to live with maternal grand-uncle Joseph Whitfield Meeker in Seventy-Six Township by 1900, when he was 8 years old.[Cen 1900]

Anderson remarried a second time to Mrs. Martha Caroline (Lewis) Garrison on December 11, 1901, in Muscatine County. She had at least two children. She brought with her a four-year old daughter, but it appears there were other arrangments for her 14-year-old son. Anderson and Martha had one son together:

-- Berton Leroy Garrison 8 Sep 1887 3 Apr 1926 (38)

112DC61. John Allen Chapman 18 Aug 1891 1 Dec 1918 (27)

-- Ina Garrison 3 Mar 1897 5 Jun 1966 (69)

112DC63. Lloyd Lewis Chapman 2 Jul 1903 16 Nov 1976 (73)

The family lived in a rented house at 516 East 10th Street in Muscatine where Anderson worked at a sash and door factory and Martha made dresses at home.[Cen 1910]

Anderson Action Chapman reportedly died on August 13, 1913, in Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa. He was about 52 years old.

Martha remarried to Orva Gallogly, a native of Wisconsin by way of Iowa and Nebraska, on June 24, 1916, in Twin Falls, Twin Falls County, Idaho. Martha likely knew Orva when both lived in Chapman Precinct, Merrick County, Nebraska, in the 1880s.

They settled in Burley, Cassia County, Idaho, where they rented a home on the 300 block of North Elba Avenue, near the Snake River. Orva worked as a hog stockman and Ina worked as a public school teacher. Martha continued to care for Ina and Lloyd through at least 1920.[Cen 1920] Later that same year, Orva and Martha were listed as living at 301 Overland Avenue, on the north side of the Snake River in the Cassia County Directory.[City 1920]

Orva Gallogly died on February 21, 1926, in Boise, Ada County, Idaho. He was 58 years old. Orva is buried at Pleasant View Cemetery in Burley.

Six weeks after Orva died, son Berton succumbed to pulmonary tuberculosis at the age of 38. He is buried at Grand View Memorial Park in Glendale, Los Angeles County, California.

Martha Caroline (Lewis Garrison Chapman) Gallogly died on August 3, 1939, in Maywood, Los Angeles County, California. She joined her son Berton at Grand View Memorial Park. Martha was 69 years old.

  • Cen 1870: 11 Aug 1870 Census, Washington Township, Wapello County, Iowa
  • Cen 1880: 2 Jun 1880 Census, Washington Township, Wapello County, Iowa
  • Cen 1900: 5 Jun 1900 Census, Seventy-Six Township, Muscatine County, Iowa
  • Cen 1910: 28 Apr 1910 Census, 516 East 10th Street, Muscatine, Muscatine County, Iowa
  • Cen 1920: 7-8 Jan 1920 Census, North Elba Avenue, Burley, Cassia County, Idaho
  • City 1920: U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989, 301 Overland Avenue, Burley, Cassia County, Idaho