Meet George’s Child # 3 – Susan

As we continue our series on Alamo George Fruits (one of our many Revolutionary Soldiers as well as fighting in the War of 1812) we come to child number three, Susan, appropriately born on the third day of April in 1809, Butler County, Ohio. Although married when she came here it was the same time frame as did her parents. Sadly, she died quite young (13 May 1847) but not until she had ten children, which she was able to raise most to a decent age but never meeting any of her many grandchildren. Sadly, their youngest was only 20 when their father died at age 64.

Susan married John R. Newkirk while still in Butler County (3 April 1827 her 18th birthday) and they came to Montgomery County where he was in the 1850 census alone, raising those children.

John W. Newkirk was their oldest son born May 6, the year after their marriage, coming with his parents as a mere youngster (some accounts say when he was three but others at age two – definitely they were here when his brother, George, passed away in early 1833 (born 14 April 1830). John W. married Elizabeth Bowman and parented five children (at least – David, George, Rebecca, Mary, and Joseph) and they are buried in Phanuel Lutheran Cemetery at Wallace.

Most accounts have John and Susan’s son Henry Newkirk born 12 April 1832 in Fountain County so this might be the closest estimation of when they arrived in our area. Henry and his wife Mary Jane (McKinsey) were farmers in Jackson Township, Fountain County and as the theme seems to go, had three sons, as well (Samuel, John and Thomas).

Jackson Newkirk and his wife, Ann were parents to four sons (Elwood, John, Edgar Earnest, and Herb), two born before he volunteered and went to the Civil War and two afterwards. He received several severe wounds and was never well afterward. He passed away at the Danville, Illinois County Poor Farm 6 July 1908 never being able to make it on his $24 pension. Sadly, Herbert got his hand caught in a new type corn husking machine while working for a local farmer in 1894 – lost two fingers, at least; however, he was in the newspapers quite a bit working in other capacities on the farm for various farmers. He was also an active “wheel man,” or in other words, he was adept at riding bicycles, but not so amazing at that as in 1898 he was going too fast and plowed an old man down, smacked him head on at top speed. Didn’t see an obituary for the old feller so he must have been a toughy. Jackson’’s son, John sadly was murdered, and he died in a few minutes. He had gone to arrest someone, being the Judson marshal in Parke County. Barney Roberts the ruffian walked right up to the sheriff, pulled a gun and shot him right in the breast. It was obvious in the upcoming news that Jackson was devastated and wanted the man to pay for the injustice. Barney ended-up in the county jail a couple of hours later and assume went on to a tougher place! Edgar Earnest lived in Hammond and ran a shoe store, having one son that Ed named after his brother, Herb.

Daughter, Matilda was born in Alamo (or likely near, possibly even over the border into Fountain) 13 January 1836 and passed away in Shelby County, Illinois Oct 22, 1931, quite a nice age. She married Andrew Jackson Patterson and, although they had eleven children, only six survived. She passed away at 95 years old, after receiving a broken hip.

Another November baby, Malinda Jane was born (29 Nov 1837) in or near Alamo and died in June of 1890 in Warren County, Illinois. She and her husband, Daniel “Pop” Rose (married Jan 24, 1859) and five children (Bertha, Myrtle, Charles, John and Margaret) are all buried there in Warren County.

Although I did not have Evans listed he wouldn’t have shown-up in any census (with names, anyway) and several have him with the family in Ancestry. Evans according to the family trees was born Nov 28, 1839 and passed away 13 Sept 1847 born and died in Fountain County.

William was in a couple of census records born 18 Nov 1842 but so sadly died during the Civil War 29 May 1862 in Corinth, Mississippi. He is on the Civil War Roll of Honor, a member of the 10th Indiana Infantry, Company B (private) and is buried in Corinth in the National Cemetery there.

Margaret was also born in November on the 15th in 1844. Family trees have her passing in Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa.

Last child of Susan and John was Jonathan born 5 July 1846 in Fountain County. He passed away in Alamo 7 May 1929. He married Ellender Myers in October of 1869 and they lived in the Alamo area. At least two children, Ida M. and Charles J. Newkirk were born to them. As a day laborer, it was kind of sad that in the 1900 census, he was not employed for eight of the twelve months.

Thus you have Susan the third child of Alamo George and Catherine Stonebraker Fruits, passed young but sure left her mark in the community with her children, grandchildren, and beyond!

Karen Zach is the editor of Montgomery Memories, our monthly magazine all about Montgomery County. Her column, Around the County, appears each Thursday in The Paper of Montgomery County. You can reach her at [email protected]