May 4, 2011
Hi Richard and Kathy,
I just saw your posts and I think I have a few things to add and maybe answer some of your questions!
First, my grandmother is Ethel Beatrice (Minor) Johnson, her mother is Ola (Sanders) Minor who is the youngest daughter of Lucy D. (Smock) Sanders and Alexander Sanders. Most of my information comes from my grandmother who heard stories from her “Auntie Bea” who was the oldest daughter of Alexander and Lucy.
This what I know more or less, I can dig up my notes and be more specific/exact if you need it. Ola was born around 1874. Her mother (Lucy) died of breast cancer when Ola was four years old (about 1878).
Alexander split the family up: Otto, Otho, Griselda, Ola and Beatrice going to different farmer neighbors. Beatrice was a laborer for her family. Ola was little and cute and was adopted by the Harris family. They were farmers. Mama Harris had no children and they were an older couple and doted on little Ola. According to Bea, they spoiled Ola. I have an antique serving bowl that was given to Ola by Mama Harris on her wedding day. It went to my grandma Ethel and from her to me.
By the way, Ola and Beatrice married men who were cousins. Beatrice married George Roberts and Ola married Peter C. Minor. They lived for several years as neighbors in North Dakota (near Mandan). Peter and George’s mothers were sisters. The families remained close. Auntie Bea spent time at my grandmother’s house when my father was a boy.
I know my grandma saw Uncle Otto, Uncle Otho on a somewhat regular basis when she was growing up. Aunty Bea was a huge role model in my grandma’s life. I have pics of Otto and Otho at different times/places in my grandma’s life (most recently there are some pics of a family reunion in 1972). I have pics from Malcom, Montezuma, IA; Greene County, IA, Perry, IA and North Dakota too.
Griselda grew up and married a man my grandma identified as Uncle Mark or Mart. They had no children and she died fairly young. Uncle Mark or Mart continued to be an uncle to my G’ma throughout her childhood.
Back to the main story….I believe Alexander was a tenant farmer so he had no land of his own and no money to speak of, therefore, I think Lucy is buried in an unmarked grave in Mercer County as they had no money for anything. (I think I have some records to this effect).
Alexander took Homer (that is what I think they called Olle) and moved back to Indiana where he lived with Alexander’s brother Joseph until Alexander died (a few years after Lucy, I think 3 or 4 years). Homer died in Indiana as a 14-17 year old as he was using his uncle’s buggy to give some neighbors a ride home from church during a storm and he was struck by lightning.
After Alexander’s death, Auntie Bea (their oldest daughter) tried on more than one occasion to hire a lawyer to help her claim her father’s civil war pension as it was her dream to re-unite her family (her siblings) but she did not have the means to do so. I have found the legal records of her filings. She was not successful. I also have a copy of Alexander’s civil war military records. He apparently was ill when he signed up/was recruited to serve in the civil war. He never made muster (not once) as he was constantly in the sick bay/infirmary. The listed illness was TB. He was discharged in 1862.
Now for the rumors. There has been some family talk that Alexander re-enlisted in the civil war (for money) to serve in someone else’s place and that he did so knowing he would not see active duty. The word my g’ma used was he was a “mercenary.”
There is also family lore that Lucy’s family disowned her for marrying Alexander. Maybe because he was ill? Maybe because he served for money? Maybe because he was from North Carolina? Maybe because he did not have very much money? On one of the census records he is listed as having black hair, black eyes and dark complexion and the section on race is not filled in. So maybe part Native American or ? According to my grandma there is some Native American context in the family but she does not know from which side of the family (she passed away in 1999).
My grandma had trouble remembering Lucy’s maiden name. She gave me Schmuck or Schmock. I recently found their marriage info. They were married in Indiana in 1865.
I have many pics of Ola, Aunty Bea and their families
OK I think I have rambled on long enough for my first post ever!
I would love to hear more of what you know or what you might want to know!
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