Saturday, August 20, 2011

Little family on the prairie

Lillian and Will's 1st home was a dugout on this timberclaim in Bellwood, Neb.  Amy and Lydia were born there and two years later they built a frame house and moved into it. This is Amy's memory of the dugout.Three children were born to this union, Amy Arvilla, Lydia Luella and Glen Ray. William and Lillian worked hard and loved their family. The children felt this and enjoyed their childhood. 

In the year 1879, on October 19, just in the midst of "Indian Summer, I was born  in small dugout on my father's timber claim.  This was up on the "table land" as it was then called.  This timber claim was in Butler Co., Nebraska.   My sister was born in the same dugout, 15 mos. later.    Long after, my parents told me that I could not remember the dugout, but I told them where the stove was in the middle of the room, the yellow clay floor and walls, the little room, where the bed set, and my trundle bed that went under that larger bed.  I even remembered my mother staying in that bed when my sister was born, although I was only 15 mos. old.  I told them where the one window 
Lydia and Amy Tannahill
was, with a wooden wash bench and always a pail of water and a wash basin.  I remembered very vividly the "thousand legged worms" that now and then invaded the place. They seemed to come suddenly from nowhere, and left just as suddenly.  I have never seen these worms since, but still remember them.  And when I  told my parents these things they were convinced that I remembered the dugout. 
Little beaded Indian purse
Amy continues,"How I loved it when, with my sister and I,  our  mother would go out in the pasture and gather up  "buffalo chips" to burn.  The buffalo trails were deep, narrow paths, going on and on  over the prairie, which was then rapidly being fenced into farms.  This  land was the old Indian campgrounds.  I never remembered the Indians coming to our doors, but used to hear others telling of these things.  While we were very young, the Indian stories and the howling of the coyotes made it very easy to keep us in the house after dark.  Sometimes the Indians would come and want to trade things.  I remember a beautiful little Indian purse that I wanted so much.  I told my father and he went to the Indians and traded something and that night brought me home my little purse.  I have kept that all my life

In 1881 they moved from the dugout into a little frame house that Will had built for his family.

Here is  a picture of that little house a few years later.  There is Lillian (Bowlsby) Tannahill and the little boy is her grandson, Marvin Ray with the dog named Spot.  Little Ray is Glen's son.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Lillian Rosalee Bowlsby marries William Tannahill

Mary Louisa Bowlsby Hall
Shortly after Josephine’s marriage, Mary Louisa married Isaac Hall, also in 1870.  They had three children, Mary Mellissa, Ada Mable and Mervin Eugene.
 It was with Louisa Hall that Lillian (her sister) went to live.  She was 18 yrs. old. She came in a covered wagon with them when they went to Nebraska.   She stayed with them until she married William Tannahill.  William Tannahill was the brother of John Tannahill who had married her older sister, Juliette Josephine, 9 years before.   
Lillian Rosalee Bowlsby
Here is a picture of Lillian Rosalee Bowlsby when she lived with her sister, Louisa.  

 Young Will Tannahill was 6 years old when the family moved to Iowa. William stayed in Canada with his grandparents, John and Jane Elder White.  He is listed as living in their household in the Census of Huntingdon in 1861.  He was 12 years old when his father died and when Janette applied for a Widow's Pension she lists William as "living in Canada".  There is no record of when he came to Iowa or if he ever did live there, but he must have come to visit his brother, John Tannahill and wife, Juliette Josephine (Bowlsby) in Nebraska because on the 31 Dec. 1878 (as recorded in the Book of Marriages, pg. 63, Butler Co., Nebraska), William Tannahill married Lillian. 
Her brother, Charles Edwin and his wife, Jennie were witnesses to the wedding along with Mary Louisa and Isaac Hall.

Will Tannahill


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Juliette Josephine Bowlsby marries John Tannahill

Juliette Josephine married John Tannahill on Jan. 8, 1870 and went to live on a homestead in Butler, Nebraska.  Immediately after the wedding the happy couple started for Nebraska and the home that John had prepared for them.

  In the “History of Nebraska—Platte Co.,- Columbus” it has this to say about John. “He was a gardener, in present business in 1875.  He makes the seed business a specialty.  Mr. T. is a member of the American Legion of Honor, also of the G.A.R. Baker Post #9, and is at present the Post Commander of same.”

  John had a huge garden and orchard of small fruits and vegetables and whatever fruit was in season, and they sold to the stores and private homes uptown and were always back home for dinner with all sold.

  John and Josephine had 3 girls while in Nebraska, Lillian Annabell, b. Aug. 21, 1871, Jennie Melissa, b. June 20, 1874 and Minnie Louise, b. July 13, 1879.  All was well until July of 1882 when Josephine was drowned when she fell into a well that had been left uncovered.  Little Minnie was only 3 yrs. old.


Picture on right:   John Tannahill, Jennifer Melissa, Lillian Annabelle, Minnie Louisa on John's knee.  This is the little family that was left when Juliette was drowned.

Juliette's death notice:
The Columbus Democrat, July 29, 1882
TANNAHILL--Bad news, it is said, travels rapidly, and such was the case on Friday morning when the heartrending intelligence that Mrs. John Tannahill had been drowned during the night was spread through our city. Some time after midnight Mr. Tannahill was up, and his wife was then sleeping soundly. He returned to his bed, and on waking Friday morning his wife was absent from his side. He went down stairs and not seeing her he instituted search, going into the kitchen he discovered that the trap door of the cistern was out of its place, and looking down into it he was horrified to see the lifeless body of Mrs. Tannahill. He at once called together his neighbors, and the coroner was notified, an inquest was held, and the jury returned a verdict that she came to her death by drowning, and no one is to blame according to the evidence. The community extend to Mr. Tannahill heart-felt sympathy in his peculiarly sad bereavement. The loss of a loving wife is a terrible blow and the husbands grief is recognized in its fullest sense.

Find A Grave Memorial# 20253794
Tannahill, Juliette Josephine Bowlsby

Friday, August 5, 2011

What's in a name.

My grandmother, Lillian Bowlsby Tannahill, always said that her mother's name was Melissa Jane Thompson. but we never saw anything that could prove it.  As I started to search the census'. this is what I found.  In the 1850 Census for Butler County, Michigan I found this:
Here she is listed as Lucy.  Then in the 1860 Census I found this:
Here she is listed as Melissa J.  Then in the 1870 Census I found this:
Here she is listed as Jane.  So here was my conclusion, Melissa Jane Thompson was the right name.  I learned that you cannot only take one Census record.  You must check all of them because it seems like names change over the years.

She had Bowlsby relatives who lived nearby and would get together often with them. They also had Uncle Oscar Thompson who was Melissa Jane’s brother.   In the picture on the right, seated in the front is Uncle Oscar,  Lydia Luella is next to him.  Lillian is in the back. Irene and Glen Ray Tannahill complete the back row.