Father and Son: Pioneers of Two States

Josephus Bingaman and his father, Henry Bingaman, were early pioneers in Kansas and Indiana, respectively

640px-Tauy_Jones_House_(2)_edited_db
John Tecumseh “Tauy” Jones House on Tauy Creek in Franklin County, Kansas. Stonemason Josephus Bingaman helped build this historic home which was completed by 1870.

I have been occupied the better part of two months by combing through digital copies of 19th and early 20th century newspapers online. Newspapers from this time period offer genealogists a wonderful lens into the lives of our ancestors, often covering major life events as well as snippets of their comings and goings.

Sometimes more than just a sentence or two was published in the local newspaper. The article below recounts how two of my Bingaman ancestors were acquainted with a locally well-known Native American man named John Tecumseh (“Tauy”) Jones in Indiana, and later, Kansas.

This article is chock-full of clues to pursue about Henry Bingaman, the father of my great-great-grandfather Josephus Bingaman. I present a transcription of the article in its entirety below.

***

Evening Herald Masthead

When Tauy Jones Came to Wabash
The Evening Herald (Ottawa, Kansas), 19 Nov 1913

JOSEPH BINGAMAN’S FATHER KNEW HIM IN INDIANA.

Father and Son, Pioneers in Two of the States–Ottawan Worked as Stonemason on Chief’s House on Tauy Creek.

  When Henry Bingaman, father of Joseph Bingaman of this city, was a pioneer in the Wabash River country of Indiana almost 100 years ago, John Tecumseh Jones (Tauy Jones) came down on the Wabash from the Great Lakes country. He was an emissary of the government to the Miami Indians in Indiana, asking them to take up lands in the West.

  Almost half a century later Joseph Bingaman met Tauy Jones in Franklin county and the venerable old Indian recalled the family name of Bingaman. The two talked together many times and Mr. Bingaman still recalls many interesting events about Jones.

  The Bingaman family has sent out pioneers to new countries for over 100 years. An uncle of Henry Bingaman was a pioneer in Kentucky. A party of Indians attempted an attack upon the home and Mr. Bingaman killed seven of them. Theodore Roosevelt mentions this event in one of his books.

  Henry Bingaman as a boy was a soldier under General Harrison and was at Tippecanoe. It was there that he became charmed with the Indiana country. He went back to Ohio and three families emigrated to Indiana. They were the Neffs, the McCombs and the Bingamans. These three sturdy families settled on the Wabash twelve miles west of Logansport. General Tipton had a trading post there then and it was the first post above Vincennes.

  Joseph Bingaman, a son of Henry, came to Kansas in 1869 after serving two enlistments in the war. He was an apprentice stonemason working under Mack and Damon Higby, known to many of the old settlers around Le Loup. The Higbys were building the Tauy Jones home which is now the big stone residence on the estate of the late Captain William H. Woodlief.

  Mr. Bingaman assisted in completing the house and he became acquainted with Jones who remembered the Bingamans of the Wabash country back in the ‘20s.

  Joseph Bingaman is one of the pioneers of this country. He helped build the Forest Park mill and several other stone buildings here. He was a workman on the old L. L. & G. the first railroad in Ottawa. Mr. Bingaman and an uncle also rode for eighteen miles on the first engine traveling between Cincinnati and Chicago.

  “We gave the engineer fifty cents to let us ride,” said Mr. Bingaman today.1

***

Reverend Jones, also known as “Ottawa Jones”, was an interpreter for the Ottawa Indians who were removed from Ohio to eastern Kansas in territorial days. He and his wife were instrumental in the founding of Ottawa University, a Baptist college.2 His image can be seen on the Kansas Memory website, along with additional images of his home.

Sources and credits
Image credit: “John Tecumseh “Tauy” Jones House on Tauy Creek” by user: Bhall87 / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0. Original image located here. Edited by Dawn Bingaman.

1 “When Tauy Jones Came to Wabash,” The Evening Herald (Ottawa, Kansas), 19 Nov 1913, p. 6, col. 3; digital image, Newspapers.com (http://www.newspapers.com : accessed 27 Nov 2015).

2 “Ottawa U. Born Out of Pioneer Sacrifice,” Topeka Daily Capital (Topeka, Kansas), 11 Jun 1922, p. 6B, col. 2; digital image, Newspapers.com (http://www.newspapers.com : accessed 27 Nov 2015).

Establishing a Death Date for Charles Carson

Carson Family Group Sheet (Pt. 4)

Fourth in an ongoing series that attempts to document the early days of my research on the Carson family of New Jersey as it originally unfolded. In this installment describing research conducted in 2002-2003, I established a tentative death date for my ancestor, Charles Carson.

I suspected that my 3rd-great-grandfather Charles Carson of Mercer County, New Jersey died at a relatively young age.

From prior research in the Federal census population schedules (highlighted in this post) I learned that he was 26 years of age in 1850, and age 36 in 1860. I estimated his year of birth as circa 1824 from those two records. The 1860 census was the last record in which he was found.

He was not among immediate family members by the time of the 1870 census. By 1881, his wife, Caroline Carson, was called a widow. Using all of this information, I can bracket his possible date of death as sometime after 1 June 1860 and before early 1881, a 20-21 year range. Thus, he would have been no younger than 35 and no older than 57 years of age when he died, depending on how early in the year he was born.

Can I narrow down that window of time?

Any American male aged 18-60 that disappears from a family in the first half of the decade of the 1860’s is a candidate for Civil War service. Charles was definitely in that age range.

Civil War service as a volunteer can be quickly verified by a look-up on the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (CWSS) website maintained by the National Park Service. With over 6.3 million names of soldiers indexed, representing participants from both Union and Confederate forces, it is one of my first stops when beginning new research on a potential soldier in the American Civil War (1861-1865). Names in this database were entered as found on the Compiled Service Records, created in the latter portion of the 19th century.

soldiers-and-sailors-database

I clicked on Soldiers and entered basic search criteria:
First Name: Charles
Last Name: Carson
Side: Union

cwss-search-charles-carson-civil-war-service
Search box detail. Click to enlarge this or any other photo.

Forty-seven soldiers named Charles Carson were included in my search results (including Colored Troops and Home Guards), but none saw service in a New Jersey regiment. I doubted with at least six children at home that he would have traveled to another state to join up.

I also ran a search for Charles Carson in the 1876 publication “Record of Officers and Men from New Jersey in the Civil War, 1861-1865″….by Adjutant-General William S. Stryker and found no listing for any officer or soldier named Charles Carson. This volume is available in digital form from the New Jersey State Library at this link.

If Carson died between 1861 and 1865, it was unlikely the result of any wartime service unless, perhaps, he was a career soldier, as compiled military service records were not created for “Regulars”. Since I had no information that directly suggested service in the Civil War in any capacity, I decided to table this research angle. Even though this search yielded negative results, it was necessary to document that I did consider military service as a possibility.

What other information could I uncover that might suggest a death date for Charles Carson?

It was November 2002 when I turned to GenForum, my genealogy message board of choice (which has recently transitioned to a read-only archive of former queries and posts). There on the Kansas board I found a query posted mere weeks prior that mentioned both Furman Carson and his father, Charles Carson.1 I saw other names that I knew from my own research among the list of children, so posted a response.2 It was not long before I received a notification that a reader had responded to my query. We compared notes and in short order determined that our 2nd-great-grandfathers were brothers. Some of our family information meshed quite well, but some of it differed. For example, she identified our known common ancestor as Charles C. Carson, and showed his death in 1896, and not “before 1881” as my research indicated. My cousin also had information on the purported maiden surname of his wife Caroline.

How to resolve this conflicting information? With more research, of course! As I would learn, much of this information was provided to her by a third party, without source citations. I began to attempt to verify my new cousin’s alleged facts, but also continued to look for records that would support my hypothesis. I found it difficult to believe that Caroline’s husband Charles simply dropped off the grid between 1860 and 1896. I was aware of other males named Charles Carson living in the greater Trenton area in the mid to late 19th century, so figured the 1896 death date attributed to my Charles really was that of another man. But, I would have to prove this before dismissing it completely.

I next searched the 1880 U.S. census index to learn whether Charles Carson had reunited with his wife and children. He was not living in the household. In fact, Caroline Carson was again identified as a widow.3 I now had three independent sources that either suggested or stated outright that Caroline was widowed, certainly by 1880, but possibly long before that.


1880-caroline-carson-household-chambersburg-new-jerseyThe printout of the 1880 census household of widow Caroline Carson

Fast forward a few months to early 2003. The Old Mill Hill Society (OMHS) had a web presence at the time, consisting mostly of transcribed records like city directories and obituary indexes. Included among these records was something called the “Chronological Indexes”, a succinct listing of events in the local newspaper, published on New Year’s Day, which covered events of the prior year. Four Chronological Indexes were then online: 1856, 1857, 1863, and 1870. Like any good genealogist, I worked with what was available and reviewed them all. Imagine my surprise when I read this stark entry for May 1863:

“22. Charles Carson was injured in Hutchinson’s saw mill, and died on the 24th.”4


Charles Carson death in the 1863 chronological index

Could this be the first tangible clue that my Charles Carson died 24 May 1863 as a result of injuries sustained in a sawmill accident two days prior? It certainly fit within the timeline that I had already established. I was cautiously optimistic. I needed to learn more about this man and more about the accident that claimed his life. The fact that the entry was included in an annual roundup of news items meant that it was reported on or near the time of the event.

I made a new research plan with this last record in mind. My plan included locating the following items:

  1. The 1863 death record for Charles Carson in Trenton, New Jersey
  2. Any news articles regarding the accident and subsequent death
  3. A probate file in Mercer County, New Jersey for Charles Carson
  4. Hutchinson’s sawmill to learn if it was near the last known residence of the Carson family

Check back for a future installment to see how well I executed my plan.

Notes and sources:

1 Jean [Owens], “Re: Kansas surnames,” discussion list, 23 Oct 2002, Genealogy.com, GenForum: Kansas Genealogy Forum (http://genforum.genealogy.com/ks/  : accessed 16 Nov 2002), message 12392.

2 Dawn Bingaman, “Re: Kansas surnames Carson – Hopkins,” discussion list, 16 Nov 2002, Genealogy.com, GenForum: Kansas Genealogy Forum (http://genforum.genealogy.com/ks/ : accessed 16 Nov 2002), message 12547.

3 “1880 United States Census Household Record,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 02 May 2003), entry for Caroline Carson, District 1, Chambersburg, Mercer County, New Jersey, citing National Archives microfilm publication T-9, roll 789, sheet 500A.

4 Franklin S. Mills, “Index to the Year 1863.” Daily True American (Trenton, New Jersey), 1 Jan 1864, transcription, Old Mill Hill Society website (http://oldmillhillsociety.org/research/chronoindex/Index1863.htm : accessed 11 Jun 2003). This website was located using the Wayback Machine and can be viewed today at this link:
https://web.archive.org/web/20030310174958/http://oldmillhillsociety.org/research/chronoindex/Index1863.htm.
Sharp-eyed readers will also note there was another Carson entry among the news items. See 9 May 1863: “Mary Ann, wife of David C. Carson, died in the 33d year of her age.”

Bingaman-Rice Family Photo: Postscript

Five oldest sons of Josephus BingamanFive oldest sons of Josephus Bingaman (L to R): Henry, Frank, Oliver, Rice and Fred.

About the time I finished writing my last post, correcting the record regarding the identification of several individuals included in a studio photograph of the Josephus Bingaman and Mary Rice family, I located this brief newspaper article. Emphasis mine.

  At the residence of E. T. Bingaman on King street in Ottawa, last Sunday, occurred a reunion of the five oldest sons of J. Bingaman. Those present were E. T. Bingaman of Ottawa, F. L. Bingaman of Hickory street, R. W. Bingaman and family of LeLoup, C. H. Bingaman and family of Chippewa and O. M. Bingaman of Rice county. The latter having spent most of the time for the past five years in the west, returned to spend New Years with his parents in Garnett and visit other relatives. He expects to return the latter part of the week to Rice county wher[e] he is employed as a foreman on a ranch. 1

If the information in this newspaper is taken at face value, Oliver M. Bingaman had been away from the family working in another part of the state. If Oliver was indeed reunited with his family for a visit after five years, it suggests that the studio photograph would necessarily have to have been taken prior to his removal. This lends credence to the assertion that the family photograph was taken circa 1900-1901. Also shown in the table in the last post, Oliver was recorded still living at home in his father’s household at the time of the 1900 census (April 1900). This information, coupled with the dark clothing of those in the photo suggests the photograph may have been taken in the Fall of 1900 or over the Winter months of early 1901.

It should be noted that the identification of E. T. Bingaman, should be E. F. Bingaman. There is no one in the family with the initials of E. T. “Fred” Bingaman is the author’s great-grandfather.

1 “Chippewa”, The Ottawa Herald (Ottawa, Kansas), 18 Jan 1906, p. 6, col. 4. Newspapers.com (http://www.newspapers.com : accessed 28 Dec 2014).

 

This post and associated image first appeared on AncestorRoundup.com on 29 Dec 2014. The image of the original photograph was edited by Dawn Bingaman. © 2014. All rights reserved.