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Darius and Hannah Horton's



Darius and Hannah (Olmstead) Horton:  Darius Horton is listed in early Shabbona Township history, but not much is written about him or his family at Shabbona, probably due to his early death about 1843.  Darius was born in Schuyler County, NY, in 1790, the son of James and Hannah Horton.  Darius married Hannah Olmstead in 1818 at Catharine, Chemung County, NY.  Hannah was born in 1795 at Wilton, Fairfield County, CT, where the family was among the original founders.  She was the daughter of David Olmstead [Sr.] (b. 1768), who relocated west about 1852, and died in 1855.  He is buried in the Smith Cemetery.  She is the sister of David [Jr.] (b. 1787); Silas (b. 1790); Coleman (b. 1792); Lydia (b. 1798); Esther (b. 1800); Isaac Lewis (b. 1802); Matthew William (b. 1804); Eliza Ann (b. 1806); and Nathan Olmstead (b. 1809).


Darius and Hannah Horton arrived in Shabbona Township about the time as Hannah’s brothers, Isaac Lewis and Matthew William who arrived about 1838, having spent the first year in La Salle County.  Her brother Coleman initially settled in La Salle County, but relocated to Shabbona Township about 1841.  Another brother, Nathan arrived about 1837 to Shabbona Township.  David Olmstead [Jr.], Hannah’s oldest brother, had settled in Manilus Township, La Salle County about 1833.    Their children were Miles (b. 1819); Harriet (b. 1821); Eliza b. (1824); Dexter (b. 1825); Rebecca (b. 1826); James (b. 1828); and Julius  (b. 1834).  After the Civil War, Hannah relocated to the Seattle area to be with her son, and died in 1871. 




The image shown of Hannah (Olmstead) Horton is a “picture of a portrait”, received from the Seattle Museum of History and Industry.







The early arrival of Darius Horton, William, (Isaac) Lewis, and Coleman Olmstead to Shabbona Township is shown in the 1870 De Kalb County Plat Book, below the Township plat.  Obtained from the Illinois Archives, Springfield, IL


Miles Horton married Phebe White in 1842.  The oldest son of Miles and Phebe, born in 1843, was also named Darius Horton after his grandfather, which has caused some confusion in the history books.  Darius Horton, grandson of Darius Horton, married Melissa Witherspoon January 28, 1866.  Melissa Witherspoon was the daughter of Marietta (Heath) Witherspoon, Isaac Lewis Olmstead’s second wife.  Marietta’s first husband was Rev. Frederick Nash Witherspoon whose great grandfather was a Declaration of Independence signer.  Miles Horton died in 1848, and is buried in the Smith Cemetery.  His wife Phebe (White) Horton then married Elias Turner.  The 1850 census shows them residing in Shabbona Township.  Included in the household were Hannah (Olmstead) Horton now a widow, Phebe and Elias Turner, with young Darius Horton, age 7, and siblings William and Rozella Horton.


The sister of Melissa (Witherspoon ) Horton, Marietta B. Witherspoon, married Frank Frost from Frost Hill (near Catharine, Chemung County, New York).  Frank Frost, Marietta, and their children Fred J. and Millie Frost are buried in the Smith Cemetery, Shabbona Township.


Harriet Horton married Moses Foster in 1843.  Moses, a native of Germany was only two weeks old when his parents brought him to this country.  He was raised on a farm in Ohio, but came to Illinois at a young age.  He initially worked on a farm at Holderman’s Grove.  He was said in the history to have been involved with the early Indian uprisings.  Moses later lived at Morris, Illinois where he died at a young age of 45, in about 1860.  After Moses death, Harriet lived on the old Miles Horton homestead in Shabbona Township.  Moses and Harriet’s children were Rachel E.; Julius Dexter (JD); Hannah Eliza; and Helen.


J D Foster, her son went to live with an uncle, Alonzo Olmstead, son of Nathan Olmstead, where he was to live until the age of 21.  Alonzo Olmstead’s wife, Margaret Palm, daughter of John Palm died after three years however on June 12, 1859.  J. D. Foster then began working as a general farm hand; Alonzo’s two children Mary and Carry Olmstead were temporarily cared for by the Palms.  Alonzo remarried in 1859 to Martha Curtis.  Dexter Horton, Harriet’s brother, purchased 5 acres so that he could make a home and help care for his mother and sisters.  Harriet (Horton) Foster spent her last days in the state of Washington where she passed away, July 1906.  See write up for their son, J D Foster in “The Past and Present of De Kalb county, page 397”, and John Palm in the Portrait and Biographical Album of De Kalb County, IL, 1885.


Eliza Horton married William Welch Richey [Jr.], of Manilus Township, La Salle County, February 21, 1843.  William was born in 1815 in Ohio.  “The first settlers in Marseilles, Illinois were William and his son William Welch Richey.  They came in October 1829 in a ‘prairie schooner’ with a span of horses and an ox and a cow yoked together.”  He was the only child of his father’s first wife, Esther Smith Lightfoot, who relocated to Illinois.  William and his father were in the Black Hawk war.  The elder William Richey died August 23, 1840 at Marseilles, La Salle County, IL.

William W. Richey was first married to Anna M. Thompson in 1837; she died in 1842.  They had one child, Henry C.  Eliza (Horton) Richey died in 1854, leaving one child, Alfred, who died in 1845.  William Richey then married for a third time in December 1854 to Mrs. Sarah L. (Thompson) Olmstead, widow of George Olmstead, son of Coleman Olmstead.  George Olmstead had died of cholera in 1849 in LaSalle County.  George and Sarah Olmstead had five children:  Emma Clarissa, b. 1838, died as an infant; Marian C. Olmstead, b. 1840 died in 1859; Benson Coleman Olmstead, b. 1842, died in 1925; Charles Byron, b. 1844; Franklin Olmstead, b. 1846, died as an infant.  William and Sarah had three children; Cora A.; Amy Estella (who died April 27th, 1864) and William Fremont Richey.  Sarah was the sister of William’s first wife, Anna Thompson, both ladies were from Norway.  William and Sarah are located in Brookfield, IL during the 1880 census.  Photo to the right is Sarah L. Thompson.  William and Sarah Richey located to Guthrie County, Iowa in 1882.  In Guthrie County, Mr. Richey owned a large farm of 250 acres in section 26, and 80 acres in Section 21.  Sarah divorced William Welch Richey in 1886.  See write up for William Welch Richey in the history of Guthrie and Adair Counties, Iowa page 702

Dexter Horton (shown in the photo from a Seattle P. I. article) married Hannah Eliza Shoudy in 1844.  Hannah was the daughter of Israel and Rebecca Shoudy.  Israel Shoudy died in 1893 in California, but is buried in the Smith Cemetery.  His wife Hannah Shoudy died in 1871.  Dexter then married Caroline E. Parsons in about 1873, she died about 5 years later; he then married Arabella Agard of Catharine, Chemung County, New York, whom he had known in grade school.  Children of Dexter and Hannah were Rebecca (b. 1848); Alfred (b. 1856), who died young; and Nettie (b. 1862).  Dexter and Caroline Parsons had one child, Caroline E. (b. 1878).


Dexter and his first wife Hannah Eliza Shoudy traveled west by wagon train in 1852, on the Oregon Trail, ending up in Salem, Oregon.  On

the wagon train and elected its leader at Council Bluffs was a good friend of Dexter’s, Thomas Mercer and his wife.  Thomas Mercer’s wife did not survive the trip, but died on the Columbia River at Cascades, leaving four daughters.  Thomas Mercker’s brother Aaron who was also on this wagon train was later the first president of Washington State University.  William Shoudy, brother of Hannah (Shoudy) Horton, was also on the wagon train, and was later mayor of Seattle.  The Horton and Bagley families had spent the winter of 1852 at Salem, Oregon, joined by the Mercers who first went Seattle to establish land claims.  In the spring of 1853, Dexter Horton and Thomas Mercer walked to Seattle to obtain work.  Dexter eventually founded the Horton Bank of Seattle, now Bank of America, and is considered one of the 10 persons who shaped Seattle, Washington.  Hannah Shoudy’s brother, John Alden Shoudy was a business partner of Dexter Horton and the founder of Ellensburg, Washington, which was named after his wife, Mary Ellen Shoudy.  Hannah (Olmstead) Horton, her son Dexter and many of the Horton family are buried at the pioneer Lake View Cemetery, Seattle, King County, WA. 

Hannah Eliza (Shoudy) Horton, shown in the picture obtained from the Peter and Kay L. Shoudy family.

Rebecca Horton was born in 1826 and died 1924; her brother, James was born in 1828.


Julius Horton was born in 1834.  He married Annie Bigelow in 1864 in Illinois.  They had 4 children, George W.; Dora E.; Mabel Maude; and Howard Dexter.  Julius Horton remained in Illinois for a time, where he spent about seven years in the mercantile business.  With a desire to relocate west and rejoin his brother, he relocated to the state of Washington in 1869.  After spending two years with his brother in Seattle he purchased land and in 1890 he and his wife laid out the town of Georgetown, Washington, named in honor of their son Dr. George M. Horton.  Julius Horton died in 1904.


Contributed by:  Ron Olmstead




Baldwin, Elmer, “History of La Salle County, Illinois”, A Sketch of the Pioneer Settlers of each Town to 1840, Rand, McNally & Co., Printers, 77 and 79 Madison St., 1877


Gross, Lewis M, Prof., “Past and Present of De Kalb County, Illinois”, The Pioneer Publishing Company, 1907.


Hines, H. K. D.D., “George M. Horton, M.D.”, Illustrated History of the State of Washington, The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago, IL, 1803.


Olmstead, Ronald E, “Our Family History”, 3rd Great Grandson of Isaac Lewis Olmstead, Personal Family Genealogy, Files and Research, Draft 2008.


Olmstead, Tom, 3rd Great Grandson of Coleman Olmstead, Personal Files and Research


Rochester, Junius,, Essay 1048, Dexter Horton, Revised October 20, 2001.


Shoudy, Kay L, “Eliza Shoudy Horton”, The Story of Eliza (Shoudy) Horton, Personal Family Genealogy, Files and Research, Revised October 1, 2002.


Warren, James R., “Seattle at 150: Dexter Horton turned hard work into a bank”, Special to the Post-Intelligencer, The Series, 10 Who Shaped Seattle, 2001.


--, “History of Guthrie and Adair Counties, Iowa, Page 702, Continental Historical Company, 1884


--, “History of La Salle County, Illinois”. Manilus Township, Inter-State publishing Co., 1886


--, Portrait and Biographical Album, De Kalb County, Illinois, Chapman Brothers, 1885.


--, “Representative Citizens of The City of Seattle and County of King”, Dexter Horton, Julius Horton, The Lewis Publishing company, 1903.


--, “The Hortons in America”, A Corrected reprint of the 1876 work by Dr. Geo. F. Horton, Sherman Printing & Binding Go., Seattle, Washington, 1929.