Showing posts with label Indiana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indiana. Show all posts

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Memorial to Grandpa Crites

This week I was given a gift from my Aunt Oneta Noel, who died four years ago. This gift came to me by way of a tattered, yellowed newspaper article that was tucked away in an old letter that my mother had.
Mother said, "I have something that I was supposed to give you from Aunt Oneta." "She wanted you to have this. She wrote your name on it." "I found it today as I was going through some old letters." "I am sorry that I didn't give it to you before." "She must have wanted you to have it because she knew that you were interested in genealogy and family history."
I looked it over and read:
The Evening World, Bloomfield, Indiana
October 27, 1976, page 3, columns 1-6.
In Memoriam
Charles Bernice Crites
Today would have been our Dad’s eighty-first birthday. “Bucky” Baker would have baked him a birthday cake and the group from the Owensburg Baptist Church would have helped him to celebrate, along with all the other residents of the Bloomfield Nursing Center, who have birthdays in the month of October. Each one of his four children and their families would have helped him to have a happy day as best we could, but God in His perfect omniscience changed our plans and on September 8, Dad suffered a heart attack and we took him from the Nursing Center to the Greene County Hospital where at about five in the afternoon of September 14, he went Home where time is not counted by years and no one ever grows old.
If it had been possible for Dad to have chosen to spent this eighty-first birthday with whomever he chose, he’d have selected to have spent it with his wife, who left this earth on January 12, 1975, for they had been married over fifty-six years and no matter how hard we tried we never could fill the loneliness he felt for our Mother.
Charles Bernice Crites, the oldest child of William Armstead Crites and Della Luiza Calvert Crites, was born in Greene County and except for the time her served as a soldier in World War I was never away from Greene County. He was a farmer and often left his fields to assist a neighbor in doctoring a sick animal for he had a real love for veterinary work, which he continued doing until he was no longer physically able to make his calls. This was the reason for his familiar title and for his being remembered by many as “Doc” Crites.
He had also served as Highland Township road superintendent, had worked at Crane Ammunition Depot, and was trustee of the Calvertville General Baptist Church where as a youth he was converted, baptized, and remained a member until his death.
Death separates us but it does not erase so many, many dear memories Bernice will be remembered as a good neighbor. He had a genuine love for people and especially for children. This rewarded him the last months of his life when so many, many neighbors and acquaintances stopped at Room 16 to greet him. The family thanks each one of you.
His sister, Lorene Noel, and brothers, Tilman and Harold, will ever remember their times growing up together, how he played the Big-Brother Role well; how he loved and cared for the teams.
We children will remember Dads a strict disciplinarian who taught us, and practiced before us, to: owe no man a cent, make your word your bond, and vote a straight ticket. Dad loved music and at different times sang in quartets. He often entertained his nieces, nephews and grandchildren by playing the fiddle and French harp. He had a special knack for writing poetry and for impersonating, and each one close to him had been given a nickname all his own. It is not our intent to imply that our Dad was perfect, for we know he wasn’t, but we would write an ode to him as a good dad and to remind all who read this to take advantage of the precious time you have your parents with you, for just two years ago, today, all our family met on Main Street to celebrate a birthday, not once realizing it would be our last family gathering.
Besides the four children, one sister and two brothers, Bernice is survived by his daughter-in-law, Wilda Crites, and his two sons-in-law, Don Sheets and Marion Noel; by eleven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by an infant son, Rex Reid; a brother, Russell; a grandson, Brad; and his wife, Ona Hunter Crites.
We want to thank all the Special People of the Nursing Center who made his life as easy as possible for the last twenty-one months. How we wish some of you could have known him as he was before his health failed him. A special note of gratitude goes out to dear Charley Thomas who was an understanding neighbor to the resident in Room 16 when he needed him so much; to Wayne Sparks who used patience beyond duty to comply with wishes that were sometimes impossible; to two Phyllises and to two Marys that were especially kind; to Myrtle and Anna who knew him before and understand with a different insight; and to Wanda Johnson, who actually shed tears as she assured him she’d take care of things for him. You are all a rare breed!
Thanks also to each one who sent flowers and cards. We appreciate everything; especially the Calvertville Missionary and the Union Valley Church for the food and coming and helping out.
Harwood, Oneta, Mable and Mary.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Hunters

The Hunter family of Indiana history, type written by H.W. Hunter, in 1940, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president, and on two pages.
When I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1985, I began my research of the Hunter family. I looked into the history of James Hunter, General of the Regulators. I found the Alamance Battleground historical site, which is a state park. There I found a statue dedicated to James Hunter, General of the Regulators. Being a northern Yankee, I was embarrassed and tread carefully into my research about the Regulators afraid what I might find out about the Hunters and the Ku Klux Klan.
I called the Alamance Battleground, Burlington, N.C., and identified myself as a Hunter relative. I asked a lot of questions about James Hunter and the Regulators. Feeling comfortable with the way our conversation was going I asked, “Was there a connection to the Ku Klux Klan?” I was told that there was not a connection to the Ku Klux Klan. In fact Mrs. Hunter had started a school for African American girls in her home. A school was later built by the Hunters, and this school was one of the first public schools in North Carolina.
Copies of this family letter have been passed around for years. I first read it around 1967. H.W. Hunter the writer was one of two Hunters: either Harold W. Hunter, b. 25 Feb 1903, d. 1979; or Harvey W. Hunter, b. 17 Sep 1874, d. 30 Jun 1944. Retyping "The Hunters," by H.W. Hunter, I have tried to keep it as close to the original as possible, making only minor changes as *noted.
The Hunters
The Hunters came from Scotland originally. Some of them lived for some time in North Ireland and were called Scotch-Irish, but most of them lived at a town still known as Hunters Town, just north of the border of England and Scotland.
There was almost continuous war between the two countries, lasting about one thousand years. The Scotch were vastly outnumbered and were killed and robbed or driven from homes on numerous occasions.
Some years before the emigration to America they were defeated and after the surrender the British lined them up and shot one out of twenty of them in all of the border towns. In 1739 there was trouble again and it looked like another war was starting. Some wealthy Scotchman had purchased a tract of land (100,000 acres) along the Cape Fear River in North Carolina. This was later increased to 500,000 acres and included a great deal of what is known as the Piedmont district in North Carolina. This was higher land. Ships were chartered and several thousand Scotch-Irish and Scotch people came to North Carolina. Four Hunter brothers and their families were on one boat. This was in 1739. They were William Hunter, James Hunter, Thomas Hunter and John Hunter. They settled along the Cape Fear River. James Hunter later had a large plantation on Sandy Creek in Alamana (*Alamance) County. The others lived near. The land was good and they were all prosperous. The produce was tobacco, tar, turpentine, cotton and grain. This was shipped down the Cape Fear River to Wilmington and then shipped to England and elsewhere. This trade kept up during the Revolutionary War and was prosperous until the Civil War when a blockage was effective. Prosperity does not always mean peace. The Scotch had hated the English for more than a thousand year, and the English were rulers here as well as at home. About the year 1765 Governor Tryon a tyrannical military man became Governor of North Carolina. He was a driver and ordered the settlers to do a lot of things to which they objected. He spent a lot of money needlessly. He built a state house costing $10, 000 (Don’t seem much now under Roosevelt)This aroused the ire of the Scotch and an organization was formed known as the Regulators, later known as White Caps and still later as K.K.K. (*This has been proven not to be true.)
James Hunter was Commander of this armed force and a battle was fought at Alaman Creek which was his home. About 200 were killed and wounded. The Regulators run out of ammunition as only one third of them were armed. There were about 2000 Regulators against 1100 British. The Regulators were desperate, 13 were captured, 1 was hanged, later six more were hanged and six were rescued by their friends breaking down the jail. William Hunter was among the rescued. James Hunter with other leaders fled to Pennsylvania. After about three years he returned to his family, who had been card for by his brothers. His home had been destroyed by Governor Tryon. He re-built his home and was never molested. About three years after this the Revolution broke out and the British left North Carolina. This was in 1776.
John Hunter (the brother of James Hunter, Thomas Hunter and possibly William Hunter) was the father of John Hunter ( the father of Daniel Hunter and four other boys, John, Andy, Sam and William also five girls, Lucinda, Mary, Susana, Cynthia and Margaret) who at (15 yrs) married Geo. Baber (40 yrs) and became the mother of Jack, Aden and As a Baber of Kansas, Ill. John Hunter was born in 1770 in North Carolina and came to Indiana in 1815 settled in Greene County in 1816. He died in 1863 at the age if 93 yrs. His wife long known as Grandmother Hunter was a medical advisor and lived until about 1861. All ten of their children lived until they were grown but were all outlived (except Daniel) by their parents, Daniel Hunter was born in 1798 and died in1864 of black measles which also killed his wife and two of the boys and 1 girl, the girl being Mary Anderson, age 83 and is now living near Solsberry, Indiana. Only part of two families of Hunters came from Scotland at this time, leaving hundreds of families there. I doubt whether it was a good move or not. Only one family moved to Indiana from North Carolina. I think this was a mistake. The bulk of our people are yet in the Carolinas or still back in Scotland and Ireland. Indiana is not so bad but I don’t see why John Hunter dragged (dragged is right) his family over 100 miles of good Hoosier land and settled them N. E. of Tulip on the first poor land that he found. He found a good spring.
H.W. Hunter

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hunter Family of Greene County, Indiana

The Bloomfield Weekly Democrat 1877
Harvest of Death
Terrible Boiler Explosion!
Greene County’s Horror!!
Fearful Loss of Life
Particulars, Incidents, & C., & C.

Never before has it been our duty as a newspaper reporter to chronicle a more sudden, brief, and terrible disaster, in which the elements of horror, pain and suffering were more closely interwoven, than in describing the awful death that befell almost a score of our fellow citizens on last Friday morning. While the storm clouds of Heaven were marshalling their forces for a terrific war of the elements, and a deep unnatural gloom was settling down upon the earth like a funeral pall, the boiler in the mill of Hunter Bros. Situated about nine miles northeast of this place, exploded, and carrying, in all its terrible force, death and destruction to many of our fellowmen.
During the past week some new grinding machinery had been placed in the mill, which was formerly a saw mill and a number of the neighbors gathered there on Friday morning to see the machinery work. The day was cold, disagreeable and rainy, and those who were present naturally gathered about the engine and boiler to warm, when without a moments warning the boiler exploded, wrecking the building completely and killing twelve persons, and wounding eight. The machinery was thrown in every direction and not a particle of the mill left standing. The cause of the awful accident was beyond question, a dry boiler, and someone one doubt connected with the mill discovering this, commenced pumping water into the empty boiler with the above fatal result. The following is complete list of those who were killed: Abner Vandeventer, aged 60 years cut in two; John Speltz, aged 75 years gash in the forehead; John Wilkie, aged 30 years crushed with a mill stone; James Hunter, aged 34 years cut in abdomen; Irwin B. Rea, aged 20, portion of the head severed from the body; John Hunter aged 20 years head blown away; Wash Bender, aged 13 years, leg blown off, John Hamilton, aged 15 years, head blown entirely away; Ed Hunter, aged 7 years, and Howard Hunter, aged 5 years, portions of their heads severed from their bodies; Owen Sarver, aged 14 years, head blown off; Jacob Brubaker, aged 14 terribly mutilated, died the next day. The wounded are Walter Hunter, aged 7 years right arm fractured and body badly scalded; John Bender, aged 11 years not seriously injured; Wm. Bland, aged 20 years, leg injured; Henry Bland scalded, Ahart Brubaker, leg scalded. Those who are wounded will probably recover, although some are seriously injured and may yet die.
This is beyond question the most horrible and fatal accident that ever occurred in Greene County, and has desolated many homes, and caused mourning in many hearts. Four of those who were killed were heads of families; the rest young men and boys.
No one in or about the mill escaped death or being wounded. A man, who was unloading corn at the time, was killed and his wagon torn to pieces, strange to say, his horses escaped without a scratch.
Three little boys were seated on a bench on top of the boiler warming themselves when it exploded. One was killed instantly, and the other two badly wounded and scalded. One boy was thrown into a tree and fell from there into a branch of water by the mill, and was one of the first to escaped and tell the story of the great horror.
The scene of the disaster was pitiable in the extreme. Pieces of men’s bodies, torn clothing and portions of the machinery were all thrown promiscuously together. The greater number of those killed were buried Sunday and a gloom sorrowful beyond expression seemed over the entire community. The wreck was visited by hundreds of people during Saturday and Sunday, and the sympathy of many hearts flowed out to the afflicted and bereft relations of those who had been so suddenly called away from earth. Death is terrible at any time, even when we watch at the bedside of those who we know are doomed to die. We feel that he is truly the “king of terrors,” but when our loved ones go from us in the morning well, happy, and the promise of long life before them, and before the noon are brought back mangled corpses, then and then only, can we measure the depth and extent of the suffering the stricken relatives of those who were killed in this disaster must experience.
It will long be remembered as a “black Friday” in the history of Greene County, and we indulge the hope that we may never again be called upon to write such a story of suffering and sorrow.

The above article copied word for word from a single column article that originally appeared in the publication “The Weekly Bloomfield Democrat,” the year 1877, day and month are unknown.
This copy transcribed by Benita Sheets Steyer, from copy obtained from Norma Purcell by Mable Crites Johnson in Greene County, Indiana May 2008.

The following lists the names of the deceased, approximate dates of birth and death, age at the time of the explosion, family relations, Civil War connections, and burial information:
(George)Wash (ington) Bender, b. 30 Sep 1864 d. 16 Mar 1877 at age 13. Son of George W & S Bender. His father George Bender served with Co C 71st Regt Cav Civil War. Buried Tulip Cemetery, Bloomfield, Greene County, Indiana.
Jacob Brubaker, b. 1863 d. 17 Mar 1877 at age 14. Son of Jacob Brubaker.
John Hamilton, b. 1862 d. 16 Mar 1877 at age 15. Son of John Hamilton & Mary Melissa Davis. John Hamilton served with the 97TH Regt Ind Vol Civil War. John’s sister Elvira Jane Hamilton married Isaac Hunter13 Nov 1878.
(Daniel) Edward Hunter, b. 1869 d. 16 Mar 1877 at age 7. Son of David Lindley Hunter & Celestia A. (Roberts) Hunter. Edward’s father David Hunter served with Co I 146th Regt Ind Vol Civil War.
Howard Hunter, b. 1870 d. 16 Mar 1877 at age 5. Son of David Lindley Hunter & Celestia A. (Roberts) Hunter. Howard’s father David Hunter served with Co I 146th Regt Ind Vol Civil War.
James Starks Hunter, b. 25 Mar 1826 d. 16 Mar 1877 at age 34. James served with Co D 59th Regt Ind Inf Civil War. Son of Daniel Hunter & Lurania Starks Hunter. James S. Hunter served with Co D 59th Regt Ind Infin the Civil War. Buried Mt. Calvary/Hunter Cemetery, Highland Township, Greene County, Indiana.
John Elmer Hunter, b.1857 d. 16 Mar 1877 at age 20. Son of William James Hunter & Emily Buckner. His father William James Hunter served with Co. C 59th Reg Ind Vol, Civil War. Buried Buckner Cemetery, Highland Township, Greene County, Indiana.
Walter Hunter, b. 6 Feb 1861 d. 20 Apr 1877 at age 16. Son of James Starks & Mary Ann (Clark) Hunter. Walter’s father James S. Hunter served with Co D 59th Regt Ind Infin Civil War. Buried Mt. Calvary/Hunter Cemetery, Highland Township, Greene County, Indiana.
Irwin (Irving) B. Rea, b. 1857 d. 16 Mar 1877 at age 20. Son of George and Sarah Ann (Jewel) Rea.
(Oren)Owen Sarver, b. 1 Sep 1862 d. 16 Mar 1877 at age14. Son of Henry H & Chimera Sarver. Oren’s father Henry H Sarver served with Co I 146TH Regt Ind Vol Civil War. Buried Tulip Cemetery, Bloomfield, Greene County, Indiana.
John Speltz (Spelts), b. (2 Sep) 1802(1807) d. 16 Mar 1877 at age 75. John was born in Kentucky. Married to Elizabeth Harrison.
Abner (Absalom) Vandeventer, b. 13 Jul 1817, d. 16 Mar 1877 at age 60. Civil War Pension File #232.701326.294. Married to: 1. Susanna Coghill 2. Mary Ellen Elizabeth Huffman. Buried Mc Intosh/Light Cemetery Highland Twp., Greene, Indiana.
John Wilkie, b. 1847 d.16 Mar 1877 at age 30. John Wilkie served with Co E 59th Ind Inf Civil War. Buried Wilkie Cemetery, Greene County, Indiana. Son of William & Sarah Elizabeth (Buckner)Wilkie. Buried Wilkie Cemetery, Greene County, Indiana.
The Wounded included:
John Bender, b. 24 Nov 1864, d. 26 Jul 1946. He was 11 years of age when the explosion occurred. Married Lucy Jane Arthur Nov. 30, 1893 in Greene Co., Indiana. Buried Grandview Cemetery, Greene County, Indiana.
William Bland, b. 12 Nov 1856, d. 2 Jun 1910. He was 20 years of age when the explosion occurred. Son of Simon and Rachel (Mock) Bland. He married Elmira Goodwin, 2 Mar 1879. Buried Stalcup Cemetery, Greene County, Indiana.
Henry Bland
Ahart Brubaker
The Hunter family were often told by Grandma Hunter that after the men had served in the Civil War they survived only to be killed in the explosion.
Daniel Washington & Lurana (Starks) Hunters had a family of thirteen children, twelve boys and one girl. Their sons; Afred, William James,Hiram, Columbus Jefferson, James Starks, George Washington, and David Lindley all served in the Civil War. Two other sons had died of measles brought home by two of their sons from the Army training camp at Gosport, Indiana.Almost all of the men and boys that died in the Hunter Mill explosion either served in the Civil War or their fathers served in the Civil War.