Settlers XVIII: The Sones, Simmons and Stevenson Families: Elders, Patriots and Lumber Barons
This article is based on material from Gloria Stevenson Marashai of Pinckney, Michigan; her direct ancestors came from Davidson Township. She is the great-great-granddaughter of Henry Stevenson. She can be reached at GMARASHAI@netscape.net. The Sullivan County Settlers Web Page is grateful to Gloria for her contribution of information and pictures. We have also added some additional information about Sones ancestry from The Tocket Family Tree.
Historian's Preface: The Civil War was the great cauldron of adolescence for the American republic. Issues that were never resolved at the time of the Revolutionary War kept coming back to haunt our young nation. Slavery, states rights, the cotton economy versus industrialization, westward migration and the creation of new states in the West -- all these and other forces combined to bring Americans to the brink of war against themselves!! Into this mix, in the middle decades of the nineteenth century came waves of emigrants -- primarily, Irish and Germans. Soon many of these dispossessed and impoverished arrivals would be thrust into a new conflict over issues that few, if any of them, played a role in creating.
Nevertheless, the ranks of the Union swelled with the immigrants and their sons, their contribution becoming essential and necessary to the final victory. The victims of religious persecution and economic discrimination in Ireland and the refugees from political oppression in the German states recognized as much as any American the precious value of the life and country they had escaped to! Whether we speak of the Irish Brigade before the Sunken Road at Antietam on the "bloodiest day in American history" -- September 17, 1862 -- or the combined Irish and German masses facing Pickett's charge at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, the blood of the "new" Americans flowed heavily. /p>
With such sacrifice, these valiant soldiers helped insure that "government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth" (Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address).
The story of the Sones, Simmons
and Stevenson families, bound together by marriage, the land they farmed, and
the God they worshiped, is thankfully more than a story of young men at war.
Some survived, some did not, some avoided the battlefield, usually due to age,
infirmity or family responsibilities. In any case, the families went on to help
build the towns and industries of Sullivan County -- railroads, the lumber industry,
agriculture and the trades. Here is part of their story.
Sonestown to the Civil War and Iowa
JOHANN MATHES SOHNS was born sometime between 1668 and 1697 in GERMANY, and died between 1722 and1782. He married ANNA ELIZABETH _________ at some point between 1694 and1737. She was born between 1677 and 1700, also in GERMANY, and died roughly between 1722 and 1788. The child of JOHANN SOHNS and ANNA was:
|PHILIP NICHOLAS SOHNS, b. 1719, Oldenburg, Birkenfeld, Germany; d. January, 1809, Richmond Twp., Berks Co., Pennsylvania. He married ANNA BARBARA KERN some time between 1738 and 1768; Anna was the daughter of JOHAN KERN and ANNA ________. She was born November 09, 1722 in Eggenstein, Baden, Germany, and died January 01, 1809 in Richmond Twp., Berks Co., Pennsylvania. Immigration papers list him as "John Philip Sohns" (Germany). Came over on the ship Snow Charlotte on 5 September 1743, via the Port of Philadelphia, sailing under Capt. Thomas Arnot from Rotterdam.|
The Will of Philip Sohns reads as follows:
name of God Amen I Philip Sohns Richland Twp Berks Co State of Pennsylvania
being very sick and weak in body but of sound memory and understanding blessed
our God for the same but considering the infirmities of this transitory
life to make and publish this my last will and testament in a manner and
from feeling to wit. First of all I commend my mortal soul into the hands
of God who gives it and my body to the earth to be buried in a decent and
Christian manner and as the such worldly estate wherewith it hath pleased
God to bless me in this life and I give and dispose of the sum in the following
manner that is to say I Philip Sohns divise unto my wife Anna Barbara during
her natural life and after her death I give and I divise of the sum of my
estate to all my children to be divided share and share alike and I nominate
Jacob Ely and approve my friend Samuel Eli to be Executor of this my last
will and testament and I hereby revoke any and all other wills, codicils
and to make and declare this to be my last will and testament in the presents
(SP) and his request have subscribed and witness the 17th day of January
in the year of our Lord and One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety-seven.
Above will appears here courtesy of Lee Sones (Sohns) McBride.
The children of PHILIP SOHNS and ANNA BARBARA KERN were:
PETER SONES, b.
November 23, 1755, Richmond Twp., Berks Co., Pennsylvania; d. November 03,
1850, Moreland Twp., Lycoming Co., PA.
ANNA CATHERINE SONES, b. 23 March, 1744. Richmond Twp., Berks Co., PA
ANNA ELIZABETH SONES, b. 15 April, 1748, Richmond Twp., Berks Co. PA.
ANNA MARIA SONES, b. 15 April, 1748, Richmond Twp., Berks Co. PA.
MARIA MAGDALENA SONES, b. 22 July, 1750, Richmond Twp., Berks Co. PA.
ANNA SOPHIA SONES, b. 29 may, 1752, Richmond Twp., Berks Co. PA.
MARIA ELIZABETH SONES, b. 10 Sept., 1757, Richmond Twp., Berks Co. PA.
FREDERICUS SONES, b. 16 March, 1761, Richmond Twp., Berks Co. PA.
MARIA EVA SONES, b. 1762, d. June 4, 1840, married GEORGE BECK about 1785.
JOHANN PETER SONES
married ELIZABETH ANNA MERKEL, sometimes spelled "Markle",
in 1780 in Richmond Twp., Berks Co.; she was the daughter of GEORGE MERKEL, born January 27, 1726 or 1727
and CHRISTINA HILL, daughter of a wealthy miller named JACOB HILL. The MERKEL line goes back at least to the
fifteenth century to HEINRICH MERKELEN and his family of merchants and wagon-makers near Lubeck in what is now Germany. The HILL family built
a mansion on Moselem Creek in Berks County, PA in 1767 that was still standing in 1999. Their mill was still standing in 1965. ELIZABETH was born August 11, 1757 in Moselem Springs, Berks
Co., PA. She died March, 1830 in Lycoming Co., PA. The children of JOHANN SONES
and ELIZABETH MERKEL were:
GEORGE WASHINGTON SONES, b. November 4, 1782, Richmond Twp., Berks Co., PA, d. May 1867, Davidson Twp., Sullivan Co., PA
PETER F. SONES, b. August 15, 1785, Richmond Twp., Berks Co., PA, d. August 22, 1855, Lenawee Co., MI
DANIEL SONES, b. 1787, Richmond Twp. Berks Co., PA,, d. 1824, Moreland Twp., Lycoming Co., PA, m. MARY SARAH WARNER in 1810 in Lycoming co.; she was b. Feb. 14, 1790, and d. between 1860 and 1870 in Centre County, PA
JOHN SONES, b. December 14, 1790, Richmond Twp., Berks Co., PA, d. Nov. 1856, Berks Co., PA; married (1) MARY RITTER (2) DOROTHEA HOOVER
JACOB SONES, b. December 14, 1792, Richmond Twp., Berks Co., PA, d. May 19, 1793 at same location
ELIZABETH SONES, b. September 12, 1795, Lycoming Co., PA, d. April 8, 1867, Franklin Twp., Lycoming Co., married DANIEL RITTER about 1815 in Lycoming Co., PA
CATHERINE SONES, b. July 13, 1800, Lycoming Co., PA, d. September 3, 1866, Lycoming Co., married JACOB HILL about 1820 in Lycoming Co., PA
SUSANNA SONES, b. March 13, 1802, Lycoming Co., PA, d. Sept. 9, 1857, Lycoming Co., PA, married JACOB HOUSEKNECHT about 1820 in Lycoming Co., PA.
Here is an interesting anecdote about another member of the MERKEL family. GEORGE MERKEL had a brother named CHRISTIAN MERKEL, born August 28, 1728, husband of JULIANA GERST. He served as a ranger for colonial forces in the French and Indian War between 1756 and 1763 and later was a Captain in the American forces in the Revolutionary War. During the Revolutionary War, the Indians in the frontier areas sided with the British. According to the Lycoming County Genealogical Society, in 1778, several families living on the north side of Muncy Creek, in what was then Lycoming county, took refuge in Fort Muncy. The fort was garrisoned by soldiers under Captain Christian Merkle. On August 23, 1778, Captain Merkle and a friend left the fort to check on the friend's corn crop. While walking, they were ambushed by Indians. The friend was killed and Captain Merkle received a nick on one ear. Captain Merkle escaped to the fort and returned with his soldiers. The Indians had taken his friend's scalp and left his mutilated body. The friend was buried in an unmarked grave on his land somewhere near Shoemaker's Mills. Not long afterwards, the settlers vacated the area during what came to be called the Great Runaway. Later Captain Merkel led other expeditions and reprisal raids against the Indians in Lycoming and what is now Sullivan County.
GEORGE W. SONES married (1) MARY JANE PAINTER and (2) ANN LOW(E). He married ANN, a woman of German ancestry like himself, about 1800 in what would later be Sullivan Co. She
was the daughter of JOHN LOW and ELIZABETH DOTTERRER and was born in 1783 in Muncy Valley, now Sullivan County, PA. She died in 1846 in the same
county. GEORGE was the founder of Sonestown in 1804. This settlement was in the part of Lycoming County that became Sullivan County in 1847. Their children were:
PETER F. SONES, the brother of GEORGE W., married MARY "POLLY" GIBSON about 1808 in Lycoming Co., PA. She was
born July 15, 1787 in Berks Co., PA, and died June 28, 1874 in Lenawee Co., MI. Their child was:
DANIEL SONES, another brother of GEORGE W., married MARY SARAH WARNER in 1810 in Lycoming Co., PA. After his death in 1824, most
of the remaining family including his widow moved to Harris Township, Centre County, PA Their children were:
There was a dispute after the death of Daniel Sones that led in 1834 to a legal effort by Peter Sones to evict his mother, Mary Warner, from Daniel's land.
The source of the dispute is unclear. Hosever, in the 1820 census, there was another couple besides Daniel Sones and his wife, Mary Warner, living on that land.
This couple was not the parents of Daniel, namely Peter and Elizabeth (Merkel) Sones. Speculation is that the other couple was Mr. and Mrs. Adam Warner, the parents of Mary Warner,
and that the land was given to Daniel and Mary in the first place by them. After Daniel's death in 1824, there had
been a guardianship request for the younger Sones orphans and then the land itself was auctioned in 1828. Peterf F. Sones apparently acquired the rights to the
land. About 1844, most of the family relocated to Center County, where Mary (Warner) Sones continued to live until
some time between 1860 and 1870 with one or another of her children or grandchildren.
Note: The preceding information on the family and descendants of Daniel Sones comes from Denise Garcia.
JOHN SONES, the son of GEORGE W. SONES and ANN LOW, married JULIA BRIDGE BRIGGS in 1833 in Lycoming Co., PA. She
was June 29, 1806, and died Feb. 17, 1863 in Sullivan Co., PA. Their children were:
ELIZABETH ANN SONES, daughter of GEORGE W. SONES and ANN LOW, married CHARLES BALL, born in 1807 in PA and who died sometime after 1819. Their children were:
BALL, b. 1830.
ii. ELLEN BALL, b. 1832.
iii.THOMAS BALL, b. 1834.
iv. SARAH BALL, b. 1838.
v. JOHN BALL, b. 1842.
vi. GEORGE BALL, b. 1845.
HANNAH S. SONES married HENRY STEVENSON in Lycoming Co., Pennsylvania. He was born in 1806 in Ireland, and died September 1854 in Davidson Twp., Sullivan Co., PA. Hannah and her husband, Henry, had 11 children, five of whom fought in the civil war!! Two of her sons, Philip and Jacob, died there. Hannah is listed as living in Davidson Twp. with her husband in the 1850 census. Her husband Henry died in 1854 when her second youngest, SULLIVAN CROUSE STEVENSON (great-grandfather of Gloria Marashai, our correspondent) was only three years old and her youngest, FRANKLIN STEVENSON, was an infant. She moved to Laporte Twp. with her son George and his wife Rachael by the 1860 census. The last name is spelled "Stephenson" in this census. She is buried in the Old Sonestown Cemetery, Sullivan Co., PA. Henry Stevenson was listed as a shoemaker in the 1850 Davidson Twp, Sullivan Co. PA census. The last name then was spelled "Stephens". He married Hannah 1829. The children of HANNAH SONES and HENRY STEVENSON were:
|i. MARY STEVENSON, b. 1830, Davidson Twp., Lycoming Co., PA.|
|ii. JOHN ROBERT STEVENSON, b. August 14, 1831, Davidson Twp., Sullivan Co., PA; d. July 03, 1920, Lycoming Co., PA; married RACHEL FREEMAN, May 11, 1854, Lycoming Co., PA; she was born November 1832, in Pennsylvania. They lived near Hughesville, PA after the Civil War and are both buried at Mount Zion Lutheran Cemetery in nearby Penn Township. His military service picture and grave marker are shown below. The 2013 CIvil War commemortion ceremony held at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church and Cemetery in Hughesville, Lycoming County, PA, where they are buried, was attended by several descendants and cousins of the Stevenson family (see photo at head of this page).|
|iii.GEORGE N. STEVENSON b. February 04, 1833, Davidson Twp., Sullivan Co., PA; d. January 19, 1884, Cherokee Co., IA; married. RACHEL EARLE EDGAR, December 26, 1858, Lycoming Co., PA; b. December 12, 1839, Pennsylvania; d. May 10, 1924, Cherokee Co., IA. George N. Stevenson fought on the Union side in the Civil War. He is listed on the Muster Roll of Co. "B" , 84th division. He was discharged on medical grounds in Oct. 1862. His biography from a source in Iowa is printed below.|
|iv. MARGARET STEVENSON, b. 1836, Davidson Twp., Sullivan Co., PA.|
|v. PHILLIP L. STEVENSON, b. 1838, Davidson Twp., Sullivan Co., PA; d. January 07, 1865, Salisbury, NC as a prisoner of war in the Civil War. Phillip (last name spelled incorrectly as Stephenson) is listed on the Muster Roll of Co "B", 84th division. He was listed as a cabinet maker in the 1860 census and living in Hughesville, PA. Gloria Marashai's dad has a hand-carved desk that Phillip made which was passed on to his brother Sullivan and down through the generations. A picture of the desk taken in June 2000 is shown below.|
|vi.HIRAM M. STEVENSON, b. March 06, 1841, Davidson Twp., Sullivan Co., PA; d. April 09, 1928, Woodbury Co., IA.|
|vii.JACOB S. STEVENSON, b. 1843, Davidson Twp., Sullivan Co., PA; d. October 30, 1864, in the civil War and buried, Sullivan Co., PA.|
|viii.DANIEL D. STEVENSON, b. November 06, 1846, Davidson Twp., Lycoming Co., PA; d. February 08, 1902, Hughesville, Lycoming Co., Pennsylvania; m. SARAH ELIZABETH ________; b. May 1848, PA.|
|ix. SARAH JANE STEVENSON, b. 1848, Davidson Twp., Sullivan Co., PA.|
|x. SULLIVAN CROUSE STEVENSON, b. September 08, 1851, Davidson Twp., Sullivan Co., PA; d. January 15, 1931, Quimby, Cherokee Co., Iowa.|
|xi. FRANKLIN STEVENSON, b. May 1854, Davidson Twp., Sullivan Co., PA; d. Willow Twp., Cherokee Co., IA.|
John Robert Stevenson
In His Civil War Uniform
Photo Courtesy of Bob Robb, His Great-Great Grandson
John Robert and Rachel (Freeman) Stevenson
Mt. Zion Lutheran Church Cemetery
Photo Courtesy of Bob Robb, His Great-Great Grandson
Biography of George N. Stevenson, from the Quimby, Iowa Centennial Book:
After the war, George and Rachel farmed land in Sullivan Co. before moving to Silver Township. In April 1869, the family traveled by railroad to Denison, IA, the nearest outpost to Silver Township. Henry Hunsinger and D.S. Simmons, relatives who had settled in Silver Township previously, met them with a covered wagon drawn by an ox team, and they made their way back to Silver township over the trackless prairies. The Stevensons made their home with the Simmons family in a 16x18 foot log cabin for 3 weeks while their own 15x17 foot log cabin was being constructed on a homestead 2 miles east of what is now known as Quimby. The log cabin consisted of 2 floors, one door, and four windows, and was ready for occupancy May 1, 1869. The homestead contract was satisfied in 1875 and the George Stevenson family (prospered) living on and breaking the land, by building a stable and granary, digging 2 wells, and planting three and one-fourth acres of forest trees, 45 fruit trees and 1/4 mile of hedge.
Four children were born on this homestead: Oscar R., born 24 March 1870; Ulysses, born 28 October 1872; Leah Belle, born 2 May 1876; and Charles Emmett, born 31 January 1878. George died January 19, 1884, at the age of 51 years and his son Oscar continued to help his mother operate the farm until 1892, when she bought a small home in Holstein from her brother, Dr. J.C. Edgar. She lived in Holstein until 1921, at which time she moved to Cherokee to live with her son Gordon and his wife Grace. She passed away May 10, 1924. Both George and Rachel were devout members of the Methodist Church. George was a class leader, steward, and trustee at Mt. Zion Church, east of Quimby, at the time of his death. Rachel was a Sunday school teacher at Mt. Zion Church, and after she moved to Holstein she held prayer meetings in her home. Three of George's brothers followed him to Silver Township from Sullivan Co., PA. They were (Sullivan Crouse) "Krouse" and Mary (Hughes), Hiram and Mary (Richart), and Franklin and Susanna (Stepp). All of the children of George and Rachel lived in the Quimby and Cherokee area all of their lives."
Here is the beautiful hand-carved desk of Phillip Stevenson:
JANE SONES was born January 09, 1809 in Lycoming Co., PA, and died March 18, 1889 in Sullivan Co., PA. She married JACOB SIMMONS some time before 1830. He was born February 1805 in New York, and died August 09, 1884 in Sullivan Co., PA. The Jacob and Jane Simmons family of Sonestown sent five sons to the Civil War - two were to die from their wounds:
S. (1st Sgt, Co. "B", 84th PA Vols)
Isaac H. (Co. "H", 5th PA Reserves)
Thomas S. (Co. "B", 84th PA Vols)
Davis S. (Co. "K", 141 PA)
George W. (Co. "B", 84th PA)
In a recent communication from the great-great-great grand-daughter of this couple, Shirley Simmons Jacobs of San Diego, CA, we learned that Jane (Sones) Simmons was a midwife. Shirley also forwarded pictures of the gravestones of her two ancestors, Jacob and Jane, taken in the Old Sonestown Cemetery, Sonestown, PA, by her cousin Mike Simmons. More recently, in March 2005, Shirley arranged for several pictures to be taken of the gravesite of Simpson Simmons, son of Jacob and Jane, who was killed in the Civil War. These photos are all shown below.
According to Shirley:
Our family still lives in the Warren PA area and has been
trying for years to trace the family lines of Jacob Simmons. I am descended through George Simmons
and Sally Hazen Simmons (my great-great-grandparents), then John Smith Simmons (my great-
grandfather), Harry Simmons (my grandfather), and Kenneth Simmons (my father). We would love to learn
more about our family and to share it with the Sullivan County website.
My late uncle, Kenny Simmons, from Erie PA, is the one who started the family line research with assistance from Judy Simmons from PA. The line he gave us started with Jane Sones and Jacob Simmons. Jane was a daughter of George Sones, founder of Sonestown and Anne Low. The Sones line is well researched clear back to Germany but the Simmons line has hit a brick wall at Jacob Simmons.
I have been contacted by several cousins from the Sones and Simmons line and we are all looking for Jacob's family. The census and other documents say he was born in New York. My grandfather, Harry Simmons, who lived well into his 90s, said our Simmons line came from North Carolina. I have the war records of Jane and Jacob's sons and some of the letters mention Sones relatives but no Simmons. In the pension file where Jane claimed a pension from deceased son Simpson Simmons, John Hazen (Hazzen) gave a deposition in which he claimed to have known Jacob from boyhood. John supposedly was from Northumberland County in PA. It's a puzzle!
And if there is one thing I've learned, it's that information you do get is many times unreliable. In my gg grandfather's military file, his mother Jane is listed as Jane Bennett instead of Jane Sones.
I have a wonderful book called The Pennsylvania Line. It shows how the counties in PA changed over the years. This may also complicate looking for relatives. They may have been born in Lycoming County, but it may now be a completely different county. It also has a list of townships and when they were formed. Really a great resource.
My line from Janes Sones (daughter of George Sones and Anne Low) is:
Entry in the August 24, 1884 edition of the Sullivan Review, Dushore, PA: Jacob SIMMONS, an old and respected resident of Davidson, died a short time ago. He was stricken with paralysis a few years ago, since which time he has been in ill health. **** Editor's Note: Jacob and Jane came upon hard times when five of their sons were called to duty in the Civil War. As a result, there were no "hands" to help on the farm and the property had to be sold. You can read more about the heroic Simmons boys at Simpson Simmons: Letters from a Soldier, by Shirley Simmons Jacobs.
The children of JANE SONES and JACOB SIMMONS were:
|i. JOHN SIMMONS, b. 1830, Lycoming Co., PA; d. May 20, 1883, Washington State; m. ELIZABETH HAZEN, b. 1834, PA.|
H. SIMMONS, b. 1834, Lycoming Co., PA; d. Dec. 22/23, 1862, Libby Prison, VA. Simmons was in Company "H",
5th PA reserves and was wounded at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Dec 13,
1862. One reports says he was promoted to Sergeant by Col S G Simmons (no relation). After the battle,
he was likely sent by “car” to Libby Prison in Richmond, VA, where he died December 22/23, 1862,
of a gunshot wound sustained in the battle. Gravesite unknown.
Libby Prison was located in Richmond, Virginia, in a building, which was incorrectly called a tobacco warehouse. It was originally the establishment of William Libby & Son, Ship Chandlers, 20th & Clay Streets. It was a four-story building containing eight rooms. The men slept on the floor. There was a water closet on each floor that became a privy, which rendered foul air and polluted the entire building. The prison was opened in April 1861 and was closed in April 1865. The total number of prisoners held during its existence was approximately 25,000. This was primarily an officer’s prison. The prisoners cooked their own rations with inadequate fuel, the rations furnished were inadequate, and there was a shortage of clothing and blankets. Rations consisted of beef, bacon, flour, beans, rice and vinegar. Of those who died at Libby, 6,276 are buried in a cemetery in Henrico County southeast of Richmond, two miles from the city and one and a half miles from the James River. There are 817 known graves and 5,459 unknown. Some of the bodies came from Belle Isle, Hollywood, Oakwood and the poorhouse cemeteries in Richmond. [Source: http://www.angelfire.com/ga2/Andersonvilleprison/libby.html].
|iii.GEORGE W. SIMMONS, b. October 1836, Lycoming Co., PA; d. March 08, 1910, Sonestown, Sullivan Co., PA; married SARAH "SALLY" HAZEN, 1865; b. March 13, 1846, Pennsylvania; d. April 26, 1904, Sonestown, Sullivan Co., PA. George served in Company "H" 5th Reserves, Pennsylvania during the Civil War.|
|iv. SIMPSON S. SIMMONS, b. 1839, Lycoming Co., PA; d. November 27, 1863, Mine Run, VA. Simpson S. Simmons was in Company "B", 84th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Capt. Sam Bryan of Hughesville, PA, and died of his wounds at the Battle at Mine Run, VA fought Nov. 27, 1863. He had his leg amputated at the thigh, and failed to recover. Simpson was 1st Sergeant of Company "B". Photos of his grave site at the Alexandria National Cemetery are shown below.|
|v. THOMAS S. SIMMONS, b. September 07, 1841, Lycoming Co., PA; d. June 24, 1902, Muncy Valley, Sullivan Co., PA., buried at Sonestown Cemetery, married MARTHA BENNETT, December 28, 1865; b. March 1846, Lycoming Co., PA. Thomas served in Company "B" 84th division of the Pennsylvania Volunteer army in the Civil War.|
|vi. DAVIS S. SIMMONS, b. December 16, 1843, Lycoming Co., PA; d. Cherokee Co., IA on May 28, 1906; m. MARY S. SPERRY, December 28, 1865. She was born May 30, 1845 in Davison Township, Sullivan County, PA, and died March 5, 1893 in Quimby, IA. Davis served in Company "K", 141 PA during the Civil War. He survived a head wound at Chancellorsville. In 1869, he helped his cousin George Stevenson, as reported above, to relocate to Silver Township in Iowa with his family. We have pictures and more to say about Davis and Mary below. You can also learn more about the Speary/Sperry family at The Speary Family of Pennsylvania.|
|vii.ROSETTA A. SIMMONS, b. April 02, 1846, Lycoming Co., PA; d. May 03, 1865, Sonestown, Sullivan Co., PA, buried Old Sonestown Cemetery, Sonestown, PA.|
|viii.JACOB SIMMONS, b. 1849, Sullivan Co., PA.|
In November 2009, we received from Shirley Simmons Jacobs some additional exciting historical information on the Davis and Mary (Speary) Simmons family. After the Civil War, the family moved to Quimby, Cherokee County, Iowa. Shirley got her information from a newly found cousin, Mary Ruth ("MR") Olson of Vancouver, British Columbia, and passed it on to our site. The contribution includes photographs of both Davis and Mary, reproduced below, and notes handwritten on the back of each photo. Also included is a brief biograhical sketch of Donzella Rosetta "Donnie" (Simmons) Riseling, one of their children, and her life in frontier Iowa. We are immensely grateful to Shirley and MR for these historical treasures. Shirley is a descendants of George W. Simmons, a brother to Davis Simmons. George was her great-great-grandfather. Her complete line goes: My line goes George W. Simmons, John Smith Simmons, Harry Simmons, Kenneth L. Simmons, and Shirley Simmons Jacobs. MR on the other hand comes down directly from Davis, her great-great grandfather, as follows: Davis S. Simmons, Harry Paxton Simmons, Howard Lester Simmons, Blanche Lucille Simmons, and Mary Ruth Olson [daughter of Blanche and Alfred Engemann Olson].
Davis S. Simmons (1843-1906)
Son of Jacob and Jane (Sones) Simmons
Husband of Mary Speary
Mary (Speary) Simmons (1845-1893)
Daughter of Samuel and Mary (Pennington) Speary
Wife of Davis S. Simmons
Here is a biographical sketch of Donzella Simmons Riseling, annotated by Mary Ruth Olson.
Let us return to the Sones family history back in Sonestown, PA. In the fourth instalment of History of Sonestown Area, printed in the Sullivan Review of January 26, 1956, Myrtle Magargel wrote about the Simmons family:
Editor's Note: The following pictures were taken for Shirley Simmons Jacobs of San Diego by Bob Robb of Richmond, VA. He is related to Shirley through Jane Sones' sister Hannah Sones. Hannah married Harry Stevenson;Bob's great-great grandfather John Robert was the son of Harry and Hannah. In other words, the gr-gr-gr grandmothers of Shirley and Bob were sisters, which makes them fifth cousins.
Alexandria National Cemetery
Alexandria National Cemetery
Closeup of Main Entrance Plaque
Row A Containing Grave Marker for
Simpson S. Simmons
Just left of center in the row leading toward the tree. Ninth stone this side of the tree.
Alexandria National Cemetery
Grave Marker for Simpson S. Simmons
Son of Jacob and Jane (Sones) Simmons
Alexandria National Cemetery
SARAH SONES married EDMUND BENNETT some time before 1865; he was the son of JOEL BENNETT and SARAH BIRD. He was born February 04, 1813 in Elkland Twp., Lycoming Co., PA, and died February 16, 1892 in Liberty Center, Warren Co., Iowa. Edmund and his wife Sarah lived in Sonestown, Lycoming Co., until migrating to Iowa in 1869. They had 11 children, but two babies died in infancy. The 1850 census lists him and his wife as being 33 years, old which would put their year of birth as 1817, which is different in her case from other sources. The children of SARAH SONES and EDMUND BENNETT were:
|i. ANN BENNETT, b. February 22, 1839, Sonestown, Sullivan Co., PA; d. May 07, 1907, Sonestown, m. ANDREW GLIDEWELL; b. 1836, Davidson Twp., Lycoming Co., PA; d. 1901. Ann Bennett Glidewell and husband, Andrew, went to Iowa with her parents, then to Oklahoma in the Land Rush, but returned to Pennsylvania.|
|ii. JOEL BENNETT, b. 1840, Lycoming Co., Pennsylvania.|
|iii.CAROLINE BENNETT, b. 1841, Lycoming Co., Pennsylvania; m. __________ DAWSON.|
|iv. ISAAC BENNETT, b. 1843, Lycoming Co., Pennsylvania.|
|v. ELISHA BENNETT, b. 1845, Lycoming Co., Pennsylvania; d. 1891, Lucas Co., Iowa; m. HARRIET ________; b. 1852, Illinois.|
|vi. JOHN BENNETT, b. August 18, 1846, Lycoming Co., Pennsylvania; d. March 18, 1928, Warren Co., Iowa; m. SUSAN ADELADE; b. 1851, Pennsylvania.|
|vii.EMMA BENNETT, b. 1848, Sullivan Co., Pennsylvania; m. ________ BURK.|
|viii.MARY BENNETT, b. 1849, Sullivan Co., Pennsylvania; m. ________ SMITH.|
|x. BARBARA BENNETT, b. 1853, Sullivan Co., PA; m. _______ BALES.|
|xi. JANE BENNETT, b. 1855, Sullivan Co., PA; m. CICERO MCKINNEY.|
|ix. GEORGE W. BENNETT, b. 1851, Sullivan Co., PA; d. August 02, 1882, Warren Co., Iowa; m. MARTHA J. PENNINGTON; b. April 09, 1854, Iowa.|
MARY SONES married BENJAMIN FIESTER November 07, 1833 in Muncy Creek, Lycoming Co., PA. He was born 1811 in Muncy Creek, Lycoming Co., PA, and died before 1908 in Sullivan Co. The marriage was reported in the Muncy Telegraph for 12 Nov. 1833: Benjamin FIESTER, Jr., to Miss Mary SONES, both of Muncy Creek Twp., on Thursday last by Samuel Shoemaker, Esq. The children of MARY SONES and BENJAMIN FIESTER were:
|i. LEVI FIESTER, b. February 1834, Lycoming Co., PA; m. (1) LENAH _______; b. January 1836, PA; m. (2) SARAH ______; b. 1841, Pennsylvania.|
|ii. JOSEPH R. FIESTER, b. 1835, Lycoming Co., PA; d. 1901, Laporte, Sullivan Co., PA; m. SUSAN _____; b. 1832, Pennsylvania.|
|iii.HANNAH FIESTER, b. October 1837, Lycoming Co., PA; m. (1) JEROME REED; m. (2) MICHAEL BREITMEIER, 1877.|
|iv. DANIEL S. FIESTER, b. November 1839, Lycoming Co., PA; m. HELEN _____; b. 1842, Pennsylvania.|
|v. MICHAEL FIESTER, b. 1848, Davidson Twp., Sullivan Co. Pennsylvania; m. SARAH RICHART; b. August 1848, Pennsylvania.|
|vi. ANN MARY FIESTER, b. February 1850, Pennsylvania; m. DAVID JACKSON PHILLIPS.|
SUSANNAH S. SONES married JOHN PHILLIPS before 1865. He was born in 1812, and died October 09, 1892 in Sonestown, Sullivan Co., PA. The children of SUSANNAH SONES and JOHN PHILLIPS were:
|i. GEORGE T. PHILLIPS, b. 1840.|
|ii. RACHEL PHILLIPS, b. 1842.|
|iii.FRIFFITH PHILLIPS, b. August 1843.|
|iv. JAMES P. PHILLIPS, b. October 29, 1845.|
|v. EDMUND R. PHILLIPS, b. 1847.|
|vi. DANIEL F. PHILLIPS, b. December 1849.|
|vii.MARY J. PHILLIPS,
b. December 1853.
|ix. JOHN A. PHILLIPS, b. September 01, 1856.|
|x.ROSETTA I. PHILLIPS, b. 1864.|
ISAAC T. SONES married (1) LUCY MATILDA UNGER March 09, 1842 in Sonestown, Sullivan Co., PA. She was born July 1823 in Pennsylvania, and died January 19, 1864 in Sonestown, Sullivan Co., PA. He married (2) SARAH E. BIXBY October 10, 1864. She was born April 02, 1832 in New York, and died October 13, 1906 in Lucas Co., Iowa; buried Fletcher Cemetery, Otter Creek, IA. The children of ISAAC SONES and MATILDA UNGER were:
|i. EDMUND JEFFERSON SONES, b. July 01, 1842.|
|ii. ELIZABETH ANN SONES, b. September 13, 1843.|
|iii.GEORGE WASHINGTON SONES, b. about 1845.|
|iv. JOHN THOMAS SONES, b. about 1847.|
|v. DANIEL B. SONES, b. about 1849.|
|vi. JANE SONES, b. about 1851.|
SONES, b. about 1852.
viii.WILLIAM WESLEY SONES, b. about 1853.
|ix. PETER HARRY SONES, b. about 1854.|
|x. ANNETA SONES, b. about 1855.|
|xi. STEPHEN SONES, b. about 1858.|
You can learn morea about the just mentioned Sones family at The Descendants of Isaac T. Sones in Faces and Families of Old Sullivan County, Group Four.
HIRAM M. STEVENSON married MARY JANE RICHART March 18, 1865 in Lycoming Co., PA. She was born August, 1843 in Davidson Twp., Sullivan Co., PA. Hiram was listed as a Lawyer in the 1860 census. The children of HIRAM STEVENSON and MARY RICHART were:
|i. SARAH R. STEVENSON, b. about 1864.|
|ii. FLORA B. STEVENSON, b. about 1869.|
SULLIVAN CROUSE STEVENSON married MARY ELIZABETH HUGHES March 17, 1870 in Lycoming Co., PA, daughter of JAMES HUGHES and BIDDY ______. Mary was born October 1849 in Maryland, and died June 30, 1932 in Willow Twp., Cherokee Co., Iowa. Sullivan's father, Henry, was an Irish immigrant who arrived in America before 1829, and his mother was German. Her ancestors arrived in America before 1755. Sullivan, the second youngest of 11 children, later became Mayor of Quimby, Iowa for 3 terms. He was too young to be a Union soldier, but had 5 brothers who were, and 2 brothers (Jacob & Phillip) who never returned. He came to Cherokee County, Iowa from Hughesville, Pennsylvania in 1887, and settled with his family in Quimby. While no information is given as to why the Stevensons moved from Pennsylvania to Iowa at this time, we can speculate that the West offered opportunity and a sense of adventure. The family histories and the pages of the local newspapers for the 1880's in Sullivan County are filled with stories of families and individuals emigrating to the West and Mid-West. For whatever particular reason or motivation, the Stevensons joined this torrent of westward migration. In 1900, the Willow Twp, Cherokee County, Iowa census report finds them as Family #180:
|Crouse Stevenson b. Sept 1851, age 48, married 30 years|
|Mary, wife, b. Oct 1849, age 50|
|George, son, b. Feb 1881, age 19.|
They were all shown as born in Pennsylvania. Sullivan Crouse is listed as having 4 living children.
Mary was born in Maryland according, but was living in Lycoming Co., PA by the 1860 census. Mary had four children according to the 1900 census. She moved to Cherokee Co., Iowa with her husband, Crouse Stevenson, in 1887. Her parents were both Irish immigrants. The children of SULLIVAN STEVENSON and MARY HUGHES were:
BRADY STEVENSON, b. about 1873.
ii.THOMAS ALVIN STEVENSON, b. February 25, 1878, Hughesville, PA [Lycoming Co.]; d. October 1961, Calumet, Iowa.
iii.GEORGE MONROE STEVENSON, b. February 28, 1881, Hughesville, PA [Lycoming Co.]; d. March 04, 1965, Des Moines, Iowa [Polk Co.].
iv. RUSSELL CLARK STEVENSON, b. 1884, Hughesville, PA [Lycoming Co.]108; d. Omaha, Nebraska; m. MARY MAE RISSER; b. June 1877.
Mary Hughes came from a large family. She was born in Maryland in 1849 and lived in Armstrong Twp., Lycoming Co., PA according to the 1860 census. Her parents were both Irish immigrants named James and Biddy Hughes, and had 6 children, 5 girls and 1 boy at the time of that census .She is pictured second from the right in the family portrait below taken later in time.
Newspaper article about Sullivan Crouse in The Quimby Journal, June 13, 1929, Quimby, Iowa:
At 77, Quimby Man Is Serving Third Term In Office Of Mayor-- Krouse Stevenson Works for His Community In Many Ways
by Inez Keck, special correspondent of The Journal, Quimby, IA
Krouse Stevenson at the age of 77 is serving his third term as mayor of the town of Quimby, after having been town marshall six years, city councilman for two terms, road supervisor for two years, and a member of a school board in the county. With one exception, he is the oldest mayor Quimby ever had. He first was appointed mayor to fill a vacancy, and has been elected to the office twice.
The mayor has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in Quimby for 37 years. Last year, at 76, he had a 30-day rest from official duties and the pleasure of small town life while in a hospital in Cherokee, recovering from an operation.
Mr. Stevenson was born in Pennsylvania, where he lived until 1887. He came west to Cherokee county in that year, and located on a farm 2 miles east of Quimby, which was planted the same year the Illinois Central railroad was built south from Cherokee. He lived on his farm for four years, then came to Quimby, where he has lived for 37 years. He has been janitor of the Methodist Episcopal church for five years, and takes a special interest in that position, as he helped move the old Methodist church building from its former site, and join it to the old Presbyterian church, which the Methodists had bought. He did the plastering and mason work in remodeling the two structures to make one large church building.
Mrs. Stevenson is as active as her mayor husband. She raises chickens and a garden and keeps house better than many who are younger. They have three sons: Alvin, Calumet, IA, George, Lohrville, IA, and Russell Clark, Omaha, Neb. (son Willard died July 25, 1901)
Among their household treasures are some wonderful pieces of handmade furniture, the work of a brother (Phillip) who was a cabinetmaker. One intricately constructed desk of chestnut wood has drawer pulls made of walnut sawdust pressed in a mold the shape of two chestnuts and foliage. A keepsake of the early days in Pennsylvania is a picture dated March 1870, showing a family of albinos, father, mother, and son, who appeared in a show. Another treasured keepsake is a picture of a grandchild hand painted on silk in Japan for a son, George, while on a trip around the world.
Although Mr. Stevenson was too young to serve in the civil war, five of his brothers were Union soldiers and two, Jacob and Phillip, never returned.
Obituaries for Sullivan Crouse Stevenson and Mary Hughes Stevenson, Death Book 1880-1937, Cherokee County, Iowa.
Sullivan C. Stevenson, 79 years, 5 months, 9 days old; Mason, born Pennsylvania, died 15 January 1931 in Quimby, Cherokee County, IA, buried in Quimby Cemetery (Grandview), cause of death: cerebral hemorrhage. Volume 1A, page 190
Quimby, IA, 15 January 1931 -- S.C. Stevenson, old time resident of Quimby, died at his home Thursday noon having suffered a stroke at six o'clock, Thursday morning. Wednesday evening, he attended a meeting of the Odd Fellows Lodge of which he was a member, seeming in the best of health. For the last few years, Mr. Stevenson has been a janitor of the Methodist church. Funeral services were held at the church at 2:30 p.m. with Rev. Hutchins officiating. Burial was made in Quimby Cemetery with Odd Fellows in charge. Mr. Stevenson is survived by his widow and two sons. His sons Russell Clark, b. 1883, disappeared in 1920, and Willard, b. 1872 died July 25,1901 age 29.
Mary Elizabeth Hughes Stevenson, 81 years, 7 months, 27 days, widowed, housewife born Pennsylvania, died June 30, 1932, Willow Township, buried in Quimby Cemetery (Grandview), cause of death: cerebral hemorrhage. Volume 1A, page 191.
Mrs. Mary Stevenson, 82, resident at Quimby for 50 years, died at her home Thursday evening. She was ill for several months, suffering influenza, pneumonia, and a severe burn received when she fell on her stove. Mr. Stevenson died a year ago. Funeral services were held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Methodist church in Quimby. Burial was at the Quimby cemetery. Mary E. Hughes, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. George (sic) Hughes, was born in Hughesville, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania, October 3, 1849, where she spent her early years. She was united in marriage to (Sullivan Crouse) S.C. Stevenson at that place November 17, 1870, and resided there until the winter of 1887 when they moved to Cherokee county, where they have resided since. To this union was born 6 children, 4 boys and 2 girls, both girls passing away in infancy. Willard B., the oldest son, died in Laramie, Wyo., July 25, 1901, at the age of 29. Russell Clark disappeared in 1920 and has not been heard from since, being 37 years of age at that time. Thomas Alvin and George Monroe are still living, the former at Fairfax, S.D., and the latter at Lohrville, IA. The husband and father died January 15, 1931, at the age of 79 years and was laid to rest in the local cemetery. Mary Elizabeth Stevenson passed from this life in the evening of June 30th at the age of 82 years, 8 months and 27 days and was laid to rest in Grandview cemetery beside the remains of husband and father. In the immediate family she leaves to mourn her passing the two sons and their wives, 11 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. It has been the wish of her later years that she be laid to rest simply and quietly as she has lived and the motto of her life has been, "Do unto others as you would that others should do unto you".
FRANKLIN STEVENSON married SUSANNA STEPP about 1878 in Lycoming Co., PA. She was born in October, 1862 in Pennsylvania, and died in Willow Twp., Cherokee Co., IA. For the 1900 Cherokee County, Willow Twp. Iowa census, Family # 173, Franklin and wife Susanna, were living very close to brother Sullivan and his wife Mary. At this time, they had four children living with them. The two oldest were listed as being born in Pennsylvania, the two youngest as born in Iowa. Franklin and Susanna were listed as being married 22 years, with the total number of children as seven, but only six living. Franklin's occupation is listed as a Day-laborer. The known children of FRANKLIN STEVENSON and SUSANNA STEPP were:
STEVENSON, b. September 1886, Davidson Twp., Sullivan Co., PA.
ii. ARTIE STEVENSON, b. March 1890, Davidson Twp., Sullivan Co., PA.
iii.WARDIE STEVENSON, b. August 1893, Willow Twp., Cherokee Co., IA.
iv.HARRY STEVENSON, b. May 1896, Willow Twp., Cherokee Co., IA.
THOMAS ALVIN STEVENSON had the following children:
|i. JIMMY STEVENSON, b. between 1910
ii. EVELYN STEVENSON, b. between 1910 and 1925.
GEORGE MONROE STEVENSON married (1) ROSA MAHONEY in 1900 or 1901 in Cherokee Co., Iowa;she was the daughter of JOSEPH MAHONEY and IDA BAIRD. She was born in April, 1883 in Willow Twp., Iowa and died before 1913. He married (2) VERA LUCINDA WYKOFFon August 30, 1913 in Quimby, Iowa, daughter of WILLIAM WYKOFF and ELIZABETH SPIELMAN. She was born December 15, 1895 in Pomroy, Calhoun Co., Iowa, and died November 11, 1981 in Royal Oak, Oakland Co., Michigan. The family moved to Quimby, Iowa in 1887 when George was 6. George married and had two daughters, Ruth and Beulah, with his first wife, Roseanna Mahoney, who thereafter presumably died. George served in the Navy in the Far East Squadron. He enlisted February 24, 1904 and was discharged February 24, 1908. He married his second wife, Vera Wyckoff, who was 17, in August, 1913 at the age of 32. The officiating preacher was the Reverend Plummer. He had seven children in this marriage - six boys and one girl. They lived in Lanesboro, Iowa, later moving to Lohrville.Iowa. In 1941, they moved to Des Moines, Iowa. George and Vera celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1963. He lived in Des Moines at the time of his death in 1965 at the age of 84. He had been ill for about 20 years with heart disease. George worked at J J Powers, and his occupation was listed as Interior Decorator. He was a member of the International Organization of Odd Fellows. He is buried in Glendale Cemetery, Section 927, Block 39, in Des Moines. Shown here are two pictures of George-- one in his naval uniform in 1904 and the other in 1913 at the time of his second marriage.
Vera Wyckoff was born in Pomroy Iowa, and grew up in Fonda, Iowa. She married George Stevenson in August 1913. Her picture below was taken about this time. They first lived in Fonda, Iowa, then moved to Lanesboro, Iowa about 1915, where they lived for several years. The family moved to Lohrville, Iowa in 1926. Vera had seven children, three of whom died at young ages-16, 22, and 36 yrs old. In 1941, with only the two youngest, Gale and Robert, still at home, the family moved to Des Moines, Iowa. Three of her children, Lynn, Lowell, and Winifred, served in the Armed Forces in World War II. Vera worked as a cafeteria helper in Des Moines schools after all but her youngest were grown. She continued to live in Des Moines for several years after the death of her husband George in 1965. Later, she lived with her elderly sisters, Phoebe and Ella, in Rockford, Illinois. When she was in her early eighties, she moved in with her son Lowell and his wife, in Royal Oak, Michigan, where she died in 1981 at the age of 86.
The children of GEORGE STEVENSON and ROSA MAHONEY were:
|i. RUTH BAIRD STEVENSON, b. July
26, 1901, Cherokee, Iowa, d. December 1991, Cherokee, Iowa.
ii. BEULAH RACHEL STEVENSON, b. between 1902 and 1904; m. KENNETH DAGER.
They are pictured here in 1911.
The children of GEORGE STEVENSON and VERA WYKOFF were:
|iii. WYNN HERBERT STEVENSON, b.
April 17, 1914, Fonda, Pocahontas Co., Iowa; d. October 25, 1936, Lohrville,
Iowa. Wynn was the eldest son of Vera (Wyckoff) and George Stevenson. He
went to elementary school in Lanesboro, Iowa, and then to Lohrville High
School in Lohrville, Iowa. He played trumpet in the band at school, making
the All-State Band. He also played Baseball, Basketball, and Football there.
After he graduated in May 1931, he worked for the American Cabinet Co. while
living with his aunt Ella (Wyckoff) Grigsby and uncle Joe Grigsby in Rockford,
Illinois. Wynn was engaged to his high school sweetheart, Gayle Waters,
and was traveling back to Illinois after visiting her in Iowa, when his
car collided with a train at a railroad crossing in Clinton, Iowa in a blinding
snowstorm. He died instantly at the age of 22. His funeral was held at the
Presbyterian Church of Lake City, Iowa. He was buried in Evergreen Cemetery,
iv. MERLE EUGENE STEVENSON, b. March 19, 1916, Lanesboro, Iowa; d. November 03, 1932, Lohrville, Iowa. Merle was born in Lanesboro, Iowa and later moved to Lohrville, Iowa with his family where he attended Lohrville High School. He played on the Basketball team there. Merle was 16 when he got septicemia and died rapidly at home in November 1932. His funeral was held at the Presbyterian Church in Lake City, Iowa, and he was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Lohrville.
v. LYNN ELSWORTH STEVENSON, b. September 24, 1919, Lanesboro, Iowa; d. February 04, 2000, Arizona. Lynn served in the Navy in the South Pacific and Australia in World War II for 3 1/2 years. He lived in Rockford, Illinois with his aunt Ella and Uncle Joe Grigsby for several years, and enjoyed fishing, riding his horse, "Hanky Panky" and flying his single engine airplane. He moved to Needles, California and remained single. On February 4, 2000, he died in a nursing home in Arizona, where he was placed after a stroke.
vi. WINIFRED ELIZABETH STEVENSON, b. November 23, 1921, Lanesboro, Iowa.
vii.LOWELL FRANK STEVENSON, b. April 04, 1923, Lanesboro, Iowa.
viii.GALE GEORGE STEVENSON, b. November 05, 1927, Lohrville, Iowa; m. UNAMAE "MAE" SCHWARTZTRAUGER, May 31, 1952; b. March 06, 1930. Gale grew up in Lohrville, Iowa. He married Mae in 1952 and they live in San Bruno, California. They do not have any children.
. ix. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, b. December 04, 1930, Lohrville, Iowa; d. February 18, 1966, Des Moines, Iowa.
RUTH BAIRD STEVENSON married LINTON ROLLISON December 24, 1919. He was born July 15, 1893 in Iowa, and died October, 1983 in Cherokee, Iowa. Ruth was Gloria Marashai's father's half-sister. She has a picture of her as a young girl, maybe 10 years old, and another of her as a young woman with her husband Linton and her father, George Stevenson (Gloria's grandfather). We don't know what happened to Ruth's mother-just that she died some time before her father George married Gloria's grandmother Vera (Wyckoff) in August 1913. There are also two older pictures of Ruth and her husband. One is a photo of them on their golden wedding anniversary, December 24, 1969. The most recent picture is dated 1972. The children of RUTH STEVENSON and LINTON ROLLISON were:
|i. DEAN ROLLISON, b. between 1920
and 1930, Webster City, Iowa; m. MARION ______. Gloria has a letter
dated 1987 that Dean and his wife Marion wrote to her father. It lists their
address in Webster City, Iowa.
ii. RHODA ROLLISON, b. between 1920 and 1930.
WINIFRED ELIZABETH STEVENSON married LOREN ALBERT MARTIN November 23, 1946 in Des Moines, Iowa. He was born February 24, 1924 in Hocking, Monroe Co., Iowa. Winifred, sometimes called "Sis" by her family members, was born in Lanesboro, Iowa, and moved with the family to Lohrville, Iowa about 1927. She graduated from Lohrville High School in May 1939. Winifred joined the WAVEs in World War II. She married Loren Martin, and had one daughter, Cindy. She and Loren live in Des Moines, Iowa. The daughter of WINIFRED STEVENSON and LOREN MARTIN is: i. LUCINDA KAYE MARTIN, b. January 24, 1957, Des Moines, Polk Co., IA; m. (1) EDWARD PERRY BERNERO, June 1978; b. Iowa; m. (2) KENNETH JOYCE, June 16, 1984. Cindy is Gloria's cousin. They were born in the same year and have visited several times.
LOWELL FRANK STEVENSON was born April 04, 1923 in Lanesboro, Iowa. He married RUTH FRANCIS JORDAN April 14, 1956 in Highland Park, Michigan, daughter of ALFRED JORDAN and ANNA CULVIER. She was born March 26, 1928 in Coldwater, Michigan. Lowell was born in Lanesboro, Iowa. The family moved to Lohrville, Iowa before he attended school. Lowell graduated from Lohrville High school in May 1940. After graduation, he went to live with his aunt and uncle, Joe and Ella Grigsby, in Rockford, Illinois, where he worked for the Barber-Coleman Co. in Rockford. Lowell joined the Army Air Corps on December 15, 1942. He went to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he attended Dickinson College in April 1943 and was classified as a pilot Aug. 23, 1943. He changed from Pilot to Navigator Dec. 20, 1943. He was shipped to Ft. Meyers, FL, and went to the University of Miami where he changed from Navigator to Aircraft Gunner, June 11, 1944. He shipped from New York Harbor Oct 31, 1944, landing in England Nov. 9, 1944. His plane went down on its 18th mission over Mannehein, Germany on Jan. 13, 1945. He was liberated from a German POW camp at Mooseberg, Germany by the Third Army, Gen. George Patton commanding, on April 29, 1945. He was awarded three battle stars, a good conduct medal, an Air Medal-two oak leaf clusters, and a Purple Heart. He was discharged from the Army, Oct 29, 1945. After the war, he attended the University of Illinois, where he graduated in June, 1950 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He worked from 1952-1982 (30 years) at the Army Tank Automotive Command in Warren, Michigan as a Mechanical Engineer. He also attended the University of Detroit in 1956-57. Lowell married Ruth Jordan on April 14, 1956 at the Presbyterian Church in Highland Park, Michigan. They had 3 children, Gloria, Roseanne, and David. Ruth and Lowell have resided at the same address in Royal Oak, Michigan since 1960. Lowell is pictured below as a young man.
Ruth is a Registered Nurse and works part time in nursing homes and health care agencies. She also works as a professional clown. The children of LOWELL STEVENSON and RUTH JORDAN are:
i. GLORIA DIANE STEVENSON,
b. October 06, 1957, Royal Oak, MI.
ii. ROSEANNE LOUISE STEVENSON, b. June 11, 1959, Royal Oak, MI. Roseanne graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelors Degree in English and a minor in German. She loves animals and works for the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak, Michigan. She is single with no children, and lives in Detroit.
iii.DAVID GEORGE STEVENSON, b. August 25, 1960, Royal Oak, MI. David lives in Southfield, Michigan with longtime partner, Christine. He likes to garden and fish. He has no children.
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON married MARILYN RUTH FOSTER November 05, 1955 in Des Moines, Iowa, daughter of ROBERT FOSTER and WILMA WENTZEL. She was born August 06, 1937 in Des Moines, and died there October 19, 1974. Robert grew up in Lohrville, Iowa, and later, Des Moines. He graduated from North High School in Des Moines in January 1949. He entered the U.S. Army on May 20, 1951 and went to Japan and Korea. He was honorably discharged on May 16, 1953. He is pictured below in uniform in 1951. Bob was married and divorced from Marilyn Foster, and had three children, Robert Monroe, Dianna Lynn, and Kally Marie Stevenson. Bob died in 1966 at the age of 36 of a cerebral hemorrhage at Mercy Hospital, Des Moines. He is buried at Glendale Cemetery, Section K, 108, Block 35.
Marilyn Foster had three children with her first husband, Robert Louis Stevenson. She had two children with her second husband, Louie Temple. They were Mary Lou Temple and Luann Temple. These two children lived with their father after the divorce. She had one child with her third husband, James Arthur Smith. The child was named James Orville Smith. Marilyn committed suicide in 1974. Her third husband, James Smith, raised the three children from her first marriage, and the two oldest retained his surname of Smith. The children of ROBERT STEVENSON and MARILYN FOSTER are:
|i.ROBERT MONROE STEVENSON SMITH,
b. May 17, 1959, Des Moines, Iowa .
ii.DIANNA LYNN STEVENSON, b. June 01, 1960, Des Moines, Iowa; m. KEITH THOMAS, August 31, 1996.
iii.KALLY MARIE STEVENSON, b. February 18, 1963, Des Moines, Iowa.
RHODA ROLLISON had two children:
PATTY ASKEW, m. GARY GRAVES
LINTON EDWARD ASKEW.
GLORIA DIANE STEVENSON married (1) DAVID HAROLD MORDEN on December 18, 1976 in Southfield, Michigan, son of DAVID MORDEN and BLANCHE ALBRIGHT. He was born July 19, 1944 in Southfield, Michigan. She met (2) EDWARD CARL WOOD February 03, 1983, son of JAMES WOOD and AUDREY WARWINSKY. He was born December 28, 1955. She married (3) DIMITRIO MILLAN MARASHAI December 03, 1988 in Royal Oak, Michigan, son of MILLAN MARASHAI and CAROL HAYLOCK. He was born December 19, 1961 in Sonoma, California. Gloria grew up in Royal Oak and later, Redford, Michigan, graduating from Redford Union High School in June, 1976. She attended Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan and obtained her Bachelors Degree in Computer Science and Mathematics in 1986. She works for South Redford School District in the Data Processing Department. Gloria has two children, Shelley and Diana. Hobbies include genealogy, boating, and gardening. She and her husband currently live in Pinckney, Michigan. David Morden, her ex-husband, is a millwright and works for Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn, Michigan. He lives in Livonia. Her current husband, "Dino" was born in Sonoma, California, but moved to Southfield, Michigan before age 2, where he grew up, and where his family was originally from. He attended Schoolcraft College in Livonia, and is a Certified Mechanic. This is his first marriage, and there are no natural children. He adopted his wife's daughter Shelley, and is a stepfather to Diana. He enjoys motorcycle riding, building and flying remote control aircraft, computer repair, dirt-bike riding, and jet skiing. The daughter of GLORIA STEVENSON and DAVID MORDEN is:
|i. SHELLEY ANNE MORDEN, b. December 17, 1977, Southfield, Michigan. Shelley graduated with Honors from South Lyon High School in June 1996. She attended Michigan State University, and was a member of the Spartan Marching Band. She loves music and plays Baritone, Trombone, and Tuba. Shelley is majoring in Microbiology.|
The child of GLORIA STEVENSON and EDWARD WOOD is:
|ii. DIANA ELAINE MORDEN, b. November 21, 1983, Southfield, MI. Diana plays trumpet in the high school band. She enjoys gymnastics, animals, and her friends.|
ROBERT MONROE STEVENSON SMITH married SUZANNE FAITH EISENBECK January 16, 1981 in Portland, Oregon, daughter of OLEN EISENBECK and DOROTHY WHITNEY. She was born March 08, 1962 in Portland. Robert grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. His parents divorced when he was about 6. Shortly after (1966), his father died at the age of 36. Bob and his siblings were raised by their stepfather, James Smith, and Bob legally changed his name to Smith. After graduating from high school, he joined the Navy. Bob has been married for 16 years to wife Sue, and has two daughters, Victoria and Sarah. He lives in Des Moines, Iowa, and is currently employed in a machine shop in Iowa. The children of ROBERT SMITH and SUZANNE EISENBECK are:
|i. VICTORIA LOU-ANNE SMITH, b. August
17, 1982, Tacoma, Washington.
ii. SARAH COLLEEN SMITH, b. April 05, 1984, Des Moines, Iowa
KALLY MARIE STEVENSON married __________ HUCKABY. The children of KALLY STEVENSON and Mr. HUCKABY are:
|i. NICOLE STEVENSON, b. about 1982.
ii. TRAVIS STEVENSON, b. about 1983.
iii.PATRICIA STEVENSON, b. about 1985.
iv. JARRED STEVENSON, b. about 1986.
Charles Wesley Sones and the Story of Sonesville
You say you never heard of the lumber town on Kettle Creek in Sullivan County
called Sonesville? And you've lived in Sullivan County all your life? Well don't
be too surprised! For twenty years the settlement existed, but it never merited
inclusion on maps of Pennsylvania. And so before it is completely forgotten,
let us locate it. Today the site is marked by a single house now nearing its
seventieth birthday. Sonesville was at the end of a two mile dirt road following
Kettle Creek from near the bridge crossing of the Muncy Valley-Forksville road
--Thomas Tabor, Ghost Lumber Towns of Central Pennsylvania, page 324, 1970.
The architect of Sonesville was another Sones descendant: CHARLES WESLEY SONES, born in 1859 near Picture Rocks, Lycoming County, PA. From Rachel Powell (email@example.com), I was able to learn the following information about C.W. Sones:
|Charles Wesley Sones was born 10 Jun 1859
in PA, died 16 Dec 1944. He is buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Hughesville,
PA. He never married and was a senator. He was sealed to parents in 1900
(no idea what this means) and was living with his brother George Mifflin
Sones. Charles was the son of Thomas L. Sones and Catherine Gray. Thomas
L. Sones was the son of John Sones and Mary Ritter. John Sones was the son
of Johan Peter Sones, who married Elizabeth Anna Merkel.
The children of THOMAS L. SONES and CATHERINE GRAY were:
GEORGE MIFFLIN SONES
Some other tidbits I picked up were that Charles was trained as a teacher, but found himself unsuited for that career. So he became a bookkeeper; in fact, his occupation in the 1880 census for Wolf Township in Lycoming County, where he lived, was listed as such. Later, after he became a Senator in the Pennsylvania Senate, he lived in Hughesville, PA. In 1915, he made a special donation to the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church at 122 South Main Street in Hughesville:
|... Senator C.W. Sones gave the church
a new pipe organ in memory of his mother; this organ was used until the
1970's. Prior to installing the pipe organ, some major remodeling was done:
the exterior of the church was covered with stucco and cement sidewalks
--from history of the Trinity Lutheran Evangelical Church, Hughesville, PA..
|But back to our story of entrepreneurial zeal and the Sullivan County lumber industry. Apparently, Charles Sones was a bookkeeper for the Edward Lyon Lumber Company near where he grew up, and then actually cut trees in West Virginia as a lumberjack. He returned to Pennsylvania in the late 1890's and eventually contracted with the Union Tanning Company to lay out and build a mill , a mill town and the transportation system to move the felled logs. The Company ahd decided to clear the 16 square miles of logs that they owned in the area and Charles won the bid on the cutting contract. Charles purchased an already standing mill from Jerry Stackhouse in 1902; this operation used teams of horses to pull logs ten miles to a rail spur on the Williamsport and North Branch Railroad. This was just one of perhaps a dozen locally owned and operated rail lines at the turn of the twentieth century, as can be seen on the regional rail map below. The map also shows the relative locations of the old Sonestown community and, to its north, the transient lumber community of Sonesville.||Here is a picture of Charles W. Sones as an adult that
is owned by the Lycoming County Historical Society and reproduced in the
Tabor book referenced above.
Sones addressed the problem of better transportation links by builidng a logging railroad to meet an extension of the Eagles Mere Railroad. Initially, he used wooden tracks, but swtiched to steel when he needed to build the line into the timber stands. Sones invested in a new band saw for the mill and in the construction of homes onsite for the workers and their families. There were 13 homes, a boarding house, school, mill and an engine house. Thre was also another boarding house for the Italian track gang! There was no community store, running water or electricity...ever! Each week a butcher and a vegetable man came to town to sell those food items. Nearby farmers offered fruit and vegetables for sale as well. The Sonesville mill actually ran until 1908, after which the Masten community was constructed as the timber cuts moved elsewhere. Until 1922, Sonesville continued to serve the lumber industry in some capacity. After 1908, the mill was torn down and the former town was called "Camp 4". About 300 men worked in the woods for the various Sones enterprises. In 1970, one house nearly seventy years old remained in Sonesville.
Charles Sones was also one of the principal investors in the transient lumber town of Masten. In fact, Sones paid for the uniforms and instruments for the town band at Masten! Sones eventually sold out his interests to the Central Pennsylvania Lumber Company and turned to the Senate and eventual retirement in Hughesville. His life is a classic example of the successful self-made transition from laborer to successful entrepreneur in the "Gilded Age" of Sullivan County 100 years ago.
Copyright © 2009 Robert E. Sweeney and individual Contributors. All Rights Reserved. Prior written permission is required from Robert E. Sweeney and individual Contributors before this material can be printed or otherwise copied, displayed or distributed in any form. This is a FREE genealogy site sponsored through PAGenWeb and can be reached directly at ~Sullivan County Genealogy Project (http://www.rootsweb.com/~pasulliv)
Back to the Settlers Page