1887 letter from Barry County, Michigan, postmarked NASHVILLE MICH OCT 24 and addressed to Mrs. Lewis McCrea, Webster, Ohio (Dark Co)

 

Mrs. Lewis McCrea was Ora Belle (Bayman) McCrea (March 30, 1862 - Nov. 14, 1939) and was addressed as “Bell” in the letter. She was the daughter of James Bayman and Katherine Huddle and married Lewis Andrew McCrea (Aug. 2, 1857 - Sept. 27, 1951) June 14, 1885, in Darke County, Ohio.

 

The letter is not signed and consists of small handwritten pages. Along the side of one of those pages is the phrase “Amelia to Bell” This and the contents of the letter establish the letter writer as Amelia L. (Bayman) Koons (March, 1843 - 1920). Although I have no documentation to prove this, I believe that Amelia was a daughter of one of the brothers of James Bayman, and therefore a first cousin of Ora Belle, that Amelia’s parents (or at least her father) died when she was young, and that she was raised by Ora Belle’s parents. (Amelia was 19 years older than Ora Belle, so she had probably moved out of the household before Ora Belle was born.) Amelia Bayman married William Koons (Nov. 1843 - ?) Nov. 29, 1869, in Darke County. William and Amelia Koons moved from Adams Twp, Darke Co, Ohio, to Woodland Twp, Barry Co, Michigan, between the 1870 census and the 1880 census. This letter describes life in Michigan to their Ohio cousins. William and Amelia Koons had two children, James A. Koons (Nov. 1869 - 1902) and Eliza Koons (1871 - 1945) who are mentioned in the letter as Jimmie and Eliza. There is more information about the Koons family after the letter. Thanks to Joe Bosserman for helping me fill in the details about this family.

 

Bruce McCrea

                              

 

                               Woodland, Barry Co Mich

                                                Oct. the 9/ 1887

Dear Cousins, I am going to try to write a few lines to let you know that we are all alive and well and hope when these few lines reach you they may find you enjoying the best of health well this is quite a dreary lonesome day as it is a rainy day and it appears as though every body is at home and as quiet as church mice no noise whatever save the measly roosters which keep up racket enough to keep a person from going to sleep any way. I wish you folks were all here for dinner. we would have wild grape pie and Michigan rooster for dinner that is what Henry got to eat when he was out here I don't see why it is that some of you folks cant come out here any way every body else revelation can come to Michigan to see their folks but ours old Jery Katherman and wife Joe Holoday Abe Brumbaugh daughter & Preacher John Christian's wife were all out here part of the crowd started back to Ohio yesterday morning John Mumert and wife and old Mother Reisor landed to Nashville last monday evening they called to see us a while last Tuesday after noon they all looked as natural as ever and all seem to be well pleased with Michigan and say we have a nice country now I think it is time for some of Koons folks to make their appearance in Michigan to see what they think of Michigan and of the folks. O say is there any hickory nuts in there this fall if so I wish you would send us some if not more than a bushel perhaps you can buy I dont want you to run all over the woods to gather them your self we would like a barrel if plenty and not too dear we would not like to pay over 50 or 55 cts a bushel if not plenty we can do with less if there is not any we can do with out if you do get why we will make it all right when we send the dried Apples. well this is sunday Evening and one week later than when I began this letter I began to write last sunday forenoon but quit to get dinner and before I got to writing again we got company we had 9 visitors so that ended my writing until this Evening for there is no time to write through the week and today had company again as usual Lewis Christians David Bigler old Jeremiah Katherman and wife and Fishers little girls were here old Father Katherman and wife are going to start home tomorrow morning they were around calling and biding the folks goodbye today well we heard that George Christians landed at Bradford safe and sound o yes Reverend Moses Turner went with them dont you Forget some of the folks are glad that he is gone we are too but some of the folks that he owed would of liked for him to of stayed until they would of got their pay any way but what Michigan loses Ohio will gain he tried to make some of the folks believe out here that his folks were pretty rich and that he had quite a lot of money coming to him in there too. I kind of thought myself when I was in Ohio the last time that old Dave Turner was pretty rich from the looks of their mansion they were living in up west of your Mothers that was a fine one and Mose had so much money that John Lehman had to send him money to come out here with and after he got here he had to borrow money to get clothes. well I have knowed the Turner tribe ever since I was a little girl and I never knowed any thing good about them either.

 

Woodland Barry Co Mich

October the 20/ 1887

Well this is Thursday and my letter not gone out yet so I thought I would write some more I did not think when I began this letter that I would be about it all fall. well I am pretty tired and not feeling very well I have a terrible bad cold and headache and dont feel very well myself. I have worked a little too hard this week by Eliza going to school it makes more work for me we washed ironed mopped Baked Churned Cooked for threshers that we done Monday and Tuesday and Tuesday evening between 7 and 8 o clock Lewis Christian Barn took a fire and burnt to the ground and we all run up there and by standing around there I took a terrible cold and I have not done much since that was the only building I ever seen burn and I dont want to any more that looked pretty hard they live about a half a mile from here it was a new barn 40 by 60 just built 3 years ago last June I helped to cook for the raising the week before I went to Ohio it is supposed it was set a fire by a tramp for there has been one laying around in the neighborhood for several days and the same fellow was seen running up the road after the fire broke out no one ever noticed it until the whole thing was in a blaze it appeared in about 20 minutes from the time the fire broke out there was over a hundred people there I never seen such a time and could not save any thing they got harness out for one horse and that was all out of the barn they got the buggy bob sleighs one plow and mower out of the buggy shed before that went he happened to have his horses in the pasture field if they would of been in the barn they would of burnt too for they never could of got them out his hay wheat oats some clover seed grain sacks Binder faning mill Evaporator harness cross cut saw all his forks a large straw stack every thing burnt to the ground I was there yesterday wheat and oats was burning yet and timber burning all around it. it looks hard he is left with a lot of stock with out shelter or feed and winter almost here he is a hard working man he is no Joe Christy the Insurance men were there yesterday. he gets 7 hundred and 50 dollars but it wont near cover his loss. well I must tell you about wills luck he most always had bad luck to tell about but he has met with a little streak of good luck once he got 2 hundred and 81 dollars from the government a couple of weeks ago and thank goodness we did not have any debts to eat that up either he put that right out on interest to save for a rainy day he also gets $10 a month as long as he lives and he can have that increased and get more a month if he is a mind to that is some help to the poor any way. you wanted to know how Nan McMullin was a getting along she is quite a bit better but is not all right yet if she keeps her shoe laced right tight around her ankle why she can get around right well. the Dunkards had big Meeting just 1 mile from here last Friday and saturday there was none of us went but Eliza. the rest of us did not have time to go and another thing we did not want to go. Ben Bashore and wife was here for dinner last Saturday they came here from Church. Bell what made your Mother send that money out here for to pay for that Molasses Jimmie bought that molasses and sent it to her we did not intend for her to pay for it when we send her a present again we dont want her pay for it again. so no more

 

FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT AMELIA BAYMAN KOONS

 

Amelia L. Bayman was born in Ohio in March, 1843. According to what she told later census takers, both her parents were born in Ohio. In the 1850 census she was age 7, living in Wayne Twp, Darke Co OH with James Bayman age 28, Catherine Bayman age 24, and Levi Bayman age 6. The fact that she was age 7 and was listed after Levi Bayman age 6 confirms the information in the James Bayman family Bible that she was not a child of James and Catherine Bayman. James Bayman’s parents, William Bayman and Mariah Kindle appear in the 1820 and 1830 Newberry Twp, Miami Co OH census. From the census data, it appears that James was probably the third of four or five sons. I suspect that Amelia was the daughter of one of James Bayman’s brothers who died before 1850, but I have no documentation for that. I have not yet found Amelia Bayman in the 1860 census. On Nov. 29, 1869, Amelia Bayman married William H. Koons in Darke Co OH.

 

William Koons was born Nov., 1843, in Newberry Twp, Miami Co OH, the son of Henry Koons and Susannah Miller. During the Civil War, he was a private in Company C of the 66th Ohio Infantry from Oct. 19, 1861, to Jan. 20, 1863. William and Amelia Koons were in the 1870 Adams Twp, Darke Co OH census, but they had moved to Michigan by 1880 and were in Woodland Twp, Barry Co MI in 1880 and succeeding censuses. The 1880 census shows William Koons, age 36, farmer, Amelia Koons, age 37, wife, keeping home, James J. Koons, age 10, son, Eliza C. Koons, age 8, daughter, and Samuel Koons, age 34, brother, carpenter. The 1990 census shows William H. Koons born Nov., 1843, Amelia L. Koons born March, 1850 (The year is wrong) with 2 children both living, James A. Koons, son, born Nov., 1869, and Glenna Hynes, granddaughter, born Oct., 1897. This must mean that Eliza Koons married a man named Hynes. I could not find Eliza Hynes in the 1900 census.

 

A transcription from the Woodland Cemetery shows:

Koons:Amelia             1843-1920

James A.          1869-1902

 

Hynes: Eliza Koons    1871-1945

 

It appears that James A. Koons died unmarried. Unfortunately, there is no one listed next to Eliza Koons Hynes who could be her husband.

 


A small handwritten sheet of paper that has been in my family for years now appears to be a list of the children of Eliza Koons Hynes:

 

"THE EIGHT CHILDREN OF THE HYNES FAMILY

 

MRS. HAZEL MCLAUGHLIN AND PATRICIA 221 NORTH AVENUE

BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN

 

MRS. MILDRED HAMMOND

HASTINGS, MICHIGAN, R. 4

 

MRS. GLENNA OPAL HALL

3471 HILLCROFT AVE, S.W.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN

 

MR. MAURICE HYNES

719 N. HANOVER ST

HASTINGS, MICHIGAN

 

MRS. ELZORA FALCONER

HASTINGS, MICHIGAN, R. 2

 

MR. GREYDON HYNES

BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN, R. 1, BX 319

 

MRS. DORIS WORTLEY

431 AURORA ST.

FT MORGAN, COLORADO

 

MRS. GENEVIEVE MAKLEY

WOODLAND, MICHIGAN, R. 1

 

"THIS IS THE ORDER WE WERE BORN BUT OUR OLD HOME IS SOLD AND WE ARE SCATTERED YET GENEVIEVE THE YOUNGEST IS THE ONLY ONE NEAREST THE OLD HOME, ABOUT 3 MILES AWAY.

 

OUR LOVE TO ALL AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL. HAZEL THE OLDEST ONE."

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