52 Ancestors: #10 ~ Thomas John HACKATHORN ~ After the Flood

"The Flood." New Harmony Register 14 Aug. 1875: 3. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.
“The Flood.” New Harmony Register 14 Aug. 1875: 3. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.


1828 versus 1875

Destruction and Devastation

“Water, water everywhere! There are few of our citizens who do not know of the extent to which the classic Wabash has, in past years, risen, and but few who have not felt the effects of it in a greater or lesser degree; but such an occurrence as the present rise – the magnitude of which has never been witnessed by any one living – claims more than just a passing notice. January and June freshets used to be looked for in times past, as regularly as those months came round, but for such a rise as the present to pour down upon us in August, is unprecedented and will probably never again be witnessed. The well-remembered rise of 1828 is no longer a data, as the rise of August, 1875, which reached its highest point last Tuesday, saw it and went twelve inches better. The flood of 1828 can now step down and out, and those old citizens who boasted of having seen the Wabash at such height as has never been reached since, and probably never before, will have to keep in the shade and yield to their descendants the “glory” they have themselves so long enjoyed. At this writing, Wednesday evening, or town is surrounded with water…”

Thomas John Hackathorn
Thomas John Hackathorn and (probably) son, George. Photo courtesy of Merrianne Hackathorn.

Thomas John Hackathorn, my great-grandfather, was a boy of ten years old when his family was caught in the midst of this flood. You can read more about the family’s experience here in the week three posting of the 52 Ancestors Challenge. I am trying to imagine the destruction of the flood through the eyes of a boy and wonder if he was scared, or if he found it exciting, or perhaps a bit of both? It is a little difficult reconstructing Thomas’ life after the flood. We know that his father, Jacob, contracted smallpox and died within ten months of the flood. The oral history account of this time given by Thomas’ younger sibling, and only sister, Jennie, states that they were able to keep the family together after the flood, but what happened after the death of their father in June of 1876 is pretty much unknown.

As was mentioned in week three, Christian had remained in Kansas when the family started their journey back East after successive years of crop failures. James married the Ickes neighbor, Lyde in 1879. At the time of the 1880 census, we find James and Lyde living not too far from James’ mother, Mary, in Vigo County, Indiana. We also find Mary with two of her sons, Jacob and William. Silas is working as a farm hand and boarding there, also in Vigo County. But where are the three youngest children, including Thomas? Thomas, Crawford, and Elizabeth Jane (Jennie) are nowhere to be found. I have searched the 1880 census for years looking for some clue to where they might be. I looked for those children in the households of grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins in Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Iowa, West Virginia, and Ohio. I’ve undertaken what amounts to a door-to-door search in Vigo County, Indiana thinking that they might have been farmed out to neighbors. I’ve searched orphanages and asylums without finding a trace. I don’t know if, perhaps, they had been placed under some sort of guardianship after the death of their father or not because I have not found any documents or newspaper articles to that note. They just…disappeared.

This is not the first time that I’ve had problems finding this particular family. I have yet to find them in the 1870 census. After searching for many variants of the Hackathorn surname, including, but not limited to, Heckathorne, Hagglehorn, Hickenhorn, Hackleborn, Hakeltorn, and Headstrom (yes, indeed, Headstrom), I have convinced myself that the family was probably traveling in their covered wagon somewhere in Missouri or Kansas at the time of the census in 1870. What we have are about 30 years where we know almost nothing about where the family was living and what they were up to.

Thomas John Hackathorn was born on Sunday morning, 16 April 1865. It was Easter day and the nation was still in shock at the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Just the week before, Lee had surrendered to Grant, the Civil War was winding down, and Jacob and Mary were itching to leave Ohio and try their fortune out West. In 1866 they began their westward trek with their older sons and year old Thomas in tow.

Hackathorn Siblings
Children of Jacob and Mary Hackathorn – Thomas John second from left, back row.

Until we can fill in the missing years after the flood in Indiana, we can pick up the siblings’ lives again when they have all reappeared back in Ohio – with the exception of James, who remained in Indiana. We know that, at least, William was back in Ohio when he married in 1884. Silas married in 1886. Widowed Christian was back in Ohio from Kansas and married in July of 1893. Jennie married in 1893 also, followed by Crawford in 1895, and Jacob in 1898. Thomas’ mother, Mary, passed away in Bergholz in December of 1896. Thomas John married Florence D. Paisley on 18 June 1893 in Jefferson County, Ohio.


Florence Paisley and Thomas John Hackathorn
Florence Paisley and Thomas John Hackathorn

Thomas and “Flora” were married just weeks shy of 24 years when Florence died in childbirth with her 15th child, who was born premature. Of their children, only nine survived to adulthood. After his wife’s death, their oldest daughter, Mary, 23 and a teacher, assumed the role of caring for the eight younger children. His entire adult life, Thomas had been a coal miner and, apparently, a moonshiner and bootlegger. Perhaps the rest of the family knew this fact, but I did not until a few years before my grandmother died. One Saturday we were at Grandma’s apartment because my son had to interview someone for a project at school. He chose his great-grandmother. I was sitting on a footstool glancing at a book and listening with half an ear (because I had already heard a lot of the stories) when my son asked what her father did and she revealed this little tidbit. Surprised is not the word for my reaction. I jumped up and said “Grandma, why haven’t you ever told us this before?” And she replied that it wasn’t something that you usually mention in polite company and how did we think that her father fed nine kids? Not from the coal mines…

"Several Plead Guilty Before Federal Judge." Elyria Chronicle Telegram 13 June 1939: 1. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.
“Several Plead Guilty Before Federal Judge.” Elyria Chronicle Telegram 13 June 1939: 1. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.


It appears from talking with various cousins that the production of whiskey was something of a family affair and that there was most certainly a connection to the Whiskey Rebellion in Western, Pennsylvania. (But, that…is another story.)

Thomas Hackathorn and sons; George, on left, and Jack on right.
Thomas Hackathorn and sons; George, on left, and Jack on right. Photo courtesy of Merrianne Hackathorn.

Thomas died 25 April 1949 of a cerebral hemorrhage at 84 years of age. He is buried in the Bergholz Cemetery.

Death Certificate
Death Certificate
Bergholz Cemetery
Bergholz Cemetery


This is my Week #10 post for Amy Johnson Crow’s

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks Challenge.

The optional theme for this week was “Stormy Weather”.

Lineage Notecard

Name: Thomas John Hackathorn

Parents: Jacob A. Hackathorn and Mary Amna Myers

Spouse: Florence D. Paisley


Relationship to Hollie: maternal great grandfather

  1. Thomas John Hackathorn
  2. Elsie Marcella Hackathorn
  3. Darlene Lois Moore
  4. Hollie Ann Schrader


“Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12456-7689-20?cc=1307272 : accessed 11 March 2015), 1949 > 22101-25300 > image 2399 of 3533
Year: 1880; Census Place: Sugar Creek, Vigo, Indiana; Roll: 318; Family History Film: 1254318; Page: 184A; Enumeration District: 199; Image: 0370
“The Flood.” New Harmony Register 14 Aug. 1875: 3. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.
“Pleads Not Guilty.” Zanesville Times Recorder 29 May 1939: 6. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.
“Several Plead Guilty Before Federal Judge.” Elyria Chronicle Telegram 13 June 1939: 1. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.

52 Ancestors: #9 David Moore ~ Closer to Home

David Moore
David Moore

David Moore was born on 07 April 1903 [1]  in Wattsville, a little unincorporated town in Fox Township in Carroll County, Ohio to William Grant Moore and Nancy Jane Hale. He was the sixth of seven children born to William and Nancy. Dave had four sisters; Lula, Effa, Sadie, and Nettie and two brothers; William and John. All four of the girls were born before any of the boys.

Grandpa and three of his sisters.
Grandpa and three of his sisters.

In 1910, the family was living in Salineville [2] in Washington Township in Columbiana County, Ohio with the four youngest children, along with married daughter Sadie and her husband, Homer Beadnell. We also find the family still living in Salineville by the time of the 1920 census [3] where William and Nancy are enumerated along with their 3 sons William, David, and John. The boys had Moore cousins who lived in Bergholz and David, especially, spent a lot of time visiting them. This is how he met my grandmother, Elsie Marcella Hackathorn. The cousins lived nearby the Hackathorns. David and Elsie were married on 12 April 1923 in Wellsburg, Brooke County, West Virginia. It appears that the certificate has been lost somehow because even my grandmother had a hard time trying to obtain a copy when she retired from the S.S. Kresge Company[4]

Dean and David Moore (son and father)
Dean and David Moore (son and father)

David and Elsie were living in Springfield Township, Jefferson County, Ohio (near Bergholz) by the time of the 1930 census [5] with their first 3 children of nine, two daughters and a son. David was working in the coal mines at that time. At some point, they lived for a stint in Canton, Stark County, Ohio as it was noted on the 1940 census as the place they were living in 1935 [6]. In between the censuses, another daughter and two sons were born to them. The next move was to Hanover Township in Columbiana County, near Bayard, where my mother was born and started to school[7] Two more sons were born to David and Elsie after my mother was born in 1942. David continued his work in the coal mines and worked for a time for a window washing company. Along about the time that my mother would be entering the sixth grade, David got a job with the City of Canton that necessitated a move back up to Canton to live, where they rented several houses before buying the house that I knew.

Dale and David Moore (son and father)
Dale and David Moore (son and father)

David Moore was, of course, my maternal grandfather. Others might have quite different memories of him, but I have only the fondest of memories of him from when I was a small, somewhat precocious, child. For a time after I was born, my mom and dad and I lived at the house with Grandma and Grandpa. My dad’s mother lived right across the alley.

One of my uncles (or perhaps two of them, more about those uncles at another time) owned a riding academy by the name of Town and Country out on Perry Drive in Canton and it was there that the family spent a lot of time, including my grandfather. David had come from “horse people” and his father William, had always owned fine horses. My grandmother always said that he had the finest horses around and when there was a need for horses to pull the hearse at funerals and to the cemetery, that William was always called on to come with his horses.

 My mom tells me that they kept my bassinet in the barn office with a curtain draped over it to keep off the flies. My grandfather bought me a grey Shetland pony before I was even close to being able to ride – but my mom says that he used to sit me on top of it all the time and hold me there. The pony’s name was Smokey, but not being able to say my S’s, he was Mokey to me.

Me sitting on Grandpa's lap. (Yes, that's a cigarette butt)
Me sitting on Grandpa’s lap. (Yes, that’s a cigarette butt)

As a young child, I spent a lot of time at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. I asked my mom a couple of days ago if it was really all that much time or if it was a false memory, but she assured me that I was there quite often because my grandpa wanted me there. My grandma and grandpa’s bedroom was in a room right off the kitchen and I loved being in there. There were bridles and reins hanging from the walls, and a framed picture of a horse, and a calendar that had a photo of Dale Evans on it (I decided that I didn’t care for Dale Evans after I found out that she was married to Roy Rogers – I kind of had it in my head that I was going to grow up to marry Roy Rogers). My grandpa had bought me a stuffed penguin that was probably about 11” high and he used to put his fingers under the wings so that the wings would flap (although I didn’t know he was doing that at the time). Whenever I’d come to stay for a few days, he’d take me down to Lawson’s and get two cardboard boxes, one a little smaller than the other, and placed on their sides they would become my dresser into which he’d place a round mirror in the top one and a Big Ben alarm clock and my penguin into the bottom one. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with Grandpa sitting on his lap, or on the table, or walking around entertaining him with my Groucho Marx imitations. These are some of the fond memories that I have of him.

At Grandma and Grandpa's house. Note my invisible reins.
At Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Note my invisible reins.

He loved baseball and the Cleveland Indians, in particular. The television was placed in the living room so that he could watch from the kitchen. He loved Polka music and was crazy about a young honky tonk piano player on Lawrence Welk by the name of JoAnn Castle [8]. He’d say, “Listen to that babe pound that piana!” Somehow he convinced me that if I didn’t put my tongue in the hole of my gums where I’d lost a tooth, that my tooth would grow in gold like his. Of course, that is impossible and I was disappointed to not be able to grow any gold teeth. Yes, my grandfather was a character and he also loved his whiskey.

At some point before I started second grade, my grandfather and grandmother split up. She went to live with a Wyckoff cousin and he went to live with his sister. Our family moved into Grandma and Grandpa’s house. I lost touch with my grandpa until I was in high school, at which time I walked past his little house, catty-cornered across the street from his sister’s house, and I would stop and chat with him a little while if I saw him sitting outside. After graduation, I lost touch with him again. I was out of state for a while, was working, got married and had my children… He passed away 13 November 1988.


This is my Week #8 post for Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors 52 Weeks Challenge.

The optional theme for this week was “Close to Home”.

Lineage Notecard

Name: David Moore

Parents: William Grant Moore and Nancy Jane Hale

Spouse: Elsie Marcella Hackathorn


Relationship to Hollie: maternal grandfather

  1. David Moore
  2. Darlene Lois Moore
  3. Hollie Ann Schrader


[1] Savage, Arnold Hegy. Guide to Carroll County, Ohio Birth Records, 1867-1908. Carrollton, OH: Carroll County Genealogical Society, 2000. 350. Print.
[2] Database online. Year: 1910; Census Place: Salineville, Columbiana, Ohio; Roll: T624_1162; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0058; Image: 364; FHL microfilm: 1375175.
[3] Database online. Year: 1920; Census Place: Salineville, Columbiana, Ohio; Roll: T625_1356; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 145; Image: 604.
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._S._Kresge
[5] Database online. Year: 1930; Census Place: Springfield, Jefferson, Ohio; Roll: 1824; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 27; Image: 844.0.
[6] Database online. Year: 1940; Census Place: Hanover, Columbiana, Ohio; Roll: T627_3043; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 15-15.
[8] http://www.welkgirls.com/joanncastle.html

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