Our progenitor of our Edmonds line is Lemuel Edmonds born 1798.
Nothing is known of the parents of Lemuel Edmonds and nothing is really known about Lemuel either. Lemuel is as far back in history right now that our line of Edmonds can go. He is mostly believed to have been born in New York. It can be assumed that his parents were immigrants or Lemuel was an immigrant traveling on his own.
What there is to know of Lemuel Edmonds Born 1798, Father of our Oren Edmonds Born 1828 is limited. Limited because of the time that has passed and the lack of primary source records. The bottom line the generations before did not perform their duty to document and record the past.
We know that there is a Lemuel to be found in 1820 in New York, 1830 Hamilton County Ohio Figure 90, 1840 Hamilton County Ohio, and finally 1850 Monroe County Illinois with an Arthur and Ruth. A Lemuel can also be found in store records in Cleves Hamilton County Ohio. You can also see an Orlando and an Aaron. More than likely his sons.
Basically what we know about Lemuel Edmonds Born 1798 is that in the 1850 Federal Census he was 66 years old and had no occupation. Living with him was an Arthur and Ruth who were most probably his children. According to the Eva Edmonds papers there was a sister to Oren named Ruth. The Arthur is a problem as there was no mention of a Arthur in the Eva Edmonds Papers. The Arthur mentioned in the Eva Edmonds Papers might have been one of the Brothers mentioned, just by a different name.
In 1860 Lemuel Edmonds disappears. Most likely he passed away somewhere around his last location which was in Monroe County Illinois. It is about 109 miles from Monroe County Illinois to Henderson County Illinois (Biggsville Illinois). Biggsville or Gladstone area was where the Oren and Nancy Edmonds family lived before leaving for Kansas.
According to the Eva Edmonds Papers states that there were 5 Brothers born to Lemuel and wife; Orlando, Oren, Perry, Alonzo and Charlie. The three oldest Brothers had a wonder lust to them. Orlando and Perry decided to take the journey to California to chance the Gold Rush that was occurring there at this time in 1850. They can be found in Logtown, El Dorado County California3 an Oliver P. Edmonds and Orlando Edmonds on the same 1850 Federal Census. This is too much of a coincidence.
Before the wagon reached California the men nearly died. After the two boys reached California, Orlando decided to stay. Perry came back. The family lost track of Orlando and never knew what became of him. A Oliver Edmonds Born in Ohio 1830 in the 1870 Federal Census for Henderson County Illinois can be found with a wife Eliza and three children. I think that it can be assured that this Oliver (Perry) is the Brother of our Oren Edmonds.
Oren is a problem in 1850. He just can’t be found by his name. He would be 28 years old at this time and two years away from marrying Nancy Curren McGregor who is in Indiana at this time.
There are two possible men mentioned in the 1850 Federal Census who could be our Oren born 1828. In Township 8N/6W, Henderson County Illinois there is an Oliver Edmonds age 21 born in 1829 in Ohio. There is also an Aaron Edmonds age 23 born in 1828 in Ohio. Either one of these two men could be our Oren Edmonds born 1828. It can’t be ignored how close the name Aaron and Oren sound when compared. Our Oren born 1828 real name could have been Aaron but family just called him Oren for short. There is another Aaron Edmonds mentioned ten years earlier in the 1840 Federal Census right next door to Lemuel in Hamilton County Ohio. This Aaron Edmonds was born 1810-1820 which is close but not within the year span needed for our Oren Edmonds born 1828. I think it is obvious that the 1840 Aaron born 1810-1820 is related to our line of Edmonds. Then who is the 1850 Aaron Edmonds born in 1828? Is he our Oren born 1828? If the 1850 Aaron is the 1840 Aaron born 1810-1820 then where is his family that was mentioned in the 1840 Federal Census? In family records there is a mention of an Aaron Edmonds that can be found in Whitewater Twp., Hamilton County Ohio. At this time this Aaron Edmonds supposedly in Whitewater Twp. has not been located in records. There is also an Aaron Edmonds mentioned in a store ledger in Cleves Ohio Is this the 1840 Aaron Edmonds, or the 1850 Aaron?
The authors view is this, Aaron Edmonds sure does sound like Oren to the Author.
What we as descendants of Oren and Nancy Edmonds do not know is their reasons for leaving Illinois. It is assumed that they left for cheap land and a new start. Maybe even making something out of an area of the country that hasn’t been touched by human hands. The author looks at Oren and Nancy and I question the thought process of the decision to migrate to Kansas. Their ages had to be in question, with Oren Edmonds being 58 years old 1886. It is said in a Centennial Story that Nancy Curren McGregor did not want to come out west. She didn’t see how they could ever make a living there. Didn’t Oren and Nancy understand the barren land and isolation they would have to endure? Maybe the Edmonds Family didn’t know at the beginning of their journey that the land and weather was going to be so harsh. Maybe they followed a family or friend who traveled west earlier. Another scenario might have been that Robert Edmonds the oldest child had been the one who talked Oren and Nancy to follow him into the Western Country. It is documented that Robert Edmonds was the first to come out west to Kansas. No one knows for sure.
In the end what we know is that Oren and Nancy Edmonds left Illinois and created out of pure nothingness a home and a life for themselves and their family.
Oren Edmonds later married Nancy Curren McGregor on August 2, 1852 in Indiana. They moved from Indiana to Gibson Illinois where they started their family. Their first child Ruth Ann was born August 14, 1853. Ruth Ann died in 1855 at two years old. She drowned in a creek outside of the barn on Oren and Nancy’s farm. Every parent’s worst fear is to lose a child to an early death.
On a Sunday morning Nancy had just cleaned Ruth Ann up for the day. Ruth Ann had gone out to the barn where her Father Oren was working. Oren came to the house several hours later Ruth Ann wasn’t with him. Nancy asked, “where is Ruth Ann?”. Oren answered he hadn’t seen her all day. Both parent rushed out to the area of the barn to eventually find her drowned in a small pool in the local creek.
This tragic event happened during Nancy’s 2nd pregnancy. Oren and Nancy’s second child Robert Edmonds was born two days after the death of Ruth Ann on November 20, 1855. Robert Edmonds was born with what was called at this time in history “white swelling” which was believed to be spinal meningitis. Robert’s legs and knees were rubbed with ointments throughout his childhood. Robert became crippled and needed to wear special shoes made for him for the rest of his life.
The family of Oren Edmonds and Nancy Curren McGregor moved from Gibson County Illinois to Monroe County Illinois in the fall of 1859. There is some confusion and conflict of sources for the birth place of their next child Oliver Perry Edmonds born November 24, 1860. Family records from several sources place his birth place as Biggsville Illinois. Monroe County Illinois is what Laura Belle Edmonds Gorthy states in her account as the birth place for Oliver Perry Edmonds my Great Grandfather.
Oren and Nancy moved once again in 1864 to Henderson County Illinois where the remainder of their children were to be eventually born.
Robert Edmonds born 1855 was the 1st to come out West out of all of the family members in 1885. Robert Edmonds took on a Homestead Claim South of Parks Nebraska. There is discrepancies as to whether Robert’s original claim was Cheyenne County Kansas in 1885 or Ives (Parks) Nebraska. An early Cheyenne Platt Map shows his name at the very Northern part of Cheyenne County Kansas across the border of where Parks Nebraska is located. This could be where the confusion lies within sources. Robert returned back to Illinois before winter set in. On February 1, 1886 in Robert Edmonds Diary21 he wrote that he bought 1 mule and started breaking it to pull. March 10, 1886 he adds in his diary hat he bought a cow to take West. On March 12 he bought lumber $30.70, a watch and a stove in preparation for coming West. On March 13, 1886 they (it is assumed the entire Edmonds Family or a portion of the family) had a sale of things they did not need in the West.
On Tuesday March 16, 1886 the Father (Oren Edmonds born 1828) and Robert Edmonds22 started on their trip West at about 2 O’clock from Gladstone Illinois23 and arrived at Parks (Ives) Nebraska on Friday March 19, 1886
The Edmonds family boarded an “Emigrant Car”. They had rented a car on the freight train to bring their stock, farm implements, lumber for their home on the claim. Furniture and feed for the animals. Many other items that were needed for a family to survive this new country. After they off loaded all of their belongings they rested their stock, went to the claim, and on to preaching and Sabbath School in Benkelman. On Tuesday March 23, 1886 they started to haul lumber out to their claim and started building their house.
Lemual Edmonds Born 1798.
3rd Great Grandfather
Lemual Edmonds married Phoebe Cass in 1820.
Lemual Edmonds and Phoebe Cass Edmonds children:
- Oren – My Second Great Grandfather
- Ruth Ann
Second Great Grandfather
Oren Edmonds was Born on July 13, 1828 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Oren Edmonds married Nancy Curren McGregor on August 2, 1852 in Indiana.
Oren and Nancy McGregor Edmonds children:
- Ruth Ann 1853
- Robert Lorenzo 1855
- Elizabeth Jane 1857
- Oliver Perry 1860 – My Great Grandfather
- Oren Ellsworth 1862
- Alzada 1864
- Madora 1864
- Lemuel 1866
Oliver Perry Edmonds
Oliver Perry Edmonds was born on November 24, 1860 in Biggsville, Illinois.
Oliver Perry Edmonds married Nancy Jane Tracy on July 27, 1887 in Benkelman, Nebraska.
Oliver Edmonds and Nancy Tracy Edmonds children:
- Joseph Oliver 1888
- Harrison Roy 1890
- Ruth May 1893
- Oren Lee 1895
- Fred 1897
- Jennie Marie 1899
- Verne Everett 1901
- Mary Ellen 1903 – My Grandmother
- Frederick Wayne 1909
Mary Ellen Edmonds
Mary Ellen Edmonds was born on June 23, 1903 in St. Francis, Kansas.
Mary Edmonds married Arthur Charf on July 27, 1929 in Salem, Oregon.
Mary Edmonds Charf and Arthur Charf children:
- Cleone Aileen Charf born Novemeber 4, 1932 – My Mother
Cleone Aileen Charf