Blog

David: #9 as the Fruits Saga Continues

“Parents of at least eleven sons and five daughters” is the description on several family trees in Ancestry, Family Search and Heritage Quest for George and Catherine (Stonebraker) Fruits’ children, but it is just information passed from person to person with no real proof so will mention the names and dates of three here but will not write articles about them, as I’m pretty picky on proof.

Charles was mentioned actually as their second son, 1807-1884. This name does not follow down through anything nor can I find anything on him, although I believe he is the one who was born in 1851 and died in 1884, and that would make Catherine about my age when she had him. William R. (they have a William Jason who will appear in the saga later on so I don’t believe there would be two Williams) but this William is supposed to have been born in 1821 and died in 1861 plus they have another one, Henry (also a name that does not continue much if any in the family) also born in 1821 but no one had a death date, just marked “deceased” and I’m thinking that makes a bit of sense at this point. Suppose William and Henry might have been twins and Henry passed at birth or shortly thereafter but again twins are not common in the Fruits family. So, all speculation but David I’m 99.9% sure is legit as one of Alamo George and Catherine Stonebraker Fruits’ sons!

David was another one hard to chase but I spent four days scoping him out and here’s the story. I assume he was named for Alamo George’s brother, David, who was just married with one child when he passed away. Double trouble with David as did not find a complete birth or death date, but he was born about 1825, married Phoebe Jones in 1849 who was about four years older. They farmed for several years in the Ripley (lived right next door to Alamo George), Wayne and Coal Creek Township areas. Evidently, he was also quite mechanical and made pumps and did blacksmithing. For the times, Alamo George’s children were fairly well educated, and David could read and write but Phoebe was tallied as not being able to in the census records.

All seemed to be going very well for these two until in early May of 1879, their home caught fire. Neighbors saved some of the contents but the home itself was completely wiped away. Oh so sadly, it wasn’t just the home David and his children lost that night, but Phoebe was so terrified that she literally died from fright. Her body was taken to James Morrow’s home where funeral services were held in lieu of the circumstances, but sadly, no tombstone seems to exist for her. Likely there was no money since he lost so terribly much.

David and Phoebe were parents of two children, Lucinda and William who partially grew-up with I assume Phoebe’s brother, Harrison Jones’ two children (Sarah and William) as he must have been a widower living with the Fruits family. Several Jones-Fruits marriages appear throughout the Saga. About a year after Phoebe’s death, David married Harriet Cartright Reeder Krout. She was mother of several children mainly grown when they married.

Lucinda was David’s first child, who married Aaron Cronk. They lived long, good lives (taking after her gpa’ George) moving their family from Clinton County, Indiana (Aaron from there) to Rockville, then Terre Haute and finally the Streator, Illinois area for many years. Lucy was born August 2nd, in 1854 in Montgomery County and married June 8, 1871 to Aaron. They were the parents of ten children, all but one (passed at age 12) growing to adulthood. Both Aaron and Lucy were quite active in the Baptist Church of Long Point, Illinois. Thought it was neat that she named her first child after her father, David.

She passed away from bronchial pneumonia 23 April 1936 after a short illness, leaving 27 grandchildren to prompt more Fruits.

A wild chase finally led me to Lucy’s brother yet I’d not say 100% sure he’s even yet completely correct, but think you have William Fruits, born here in December of 1855. He was an excellent blacksmith and could also read and write as sister Lucy. Fairly sure he moved to Birch Tree, Missouri where he passed and is buried. He too had two children: sons, Otis (born Dec 1883 in Shannon County, Missouri) and Alonzo “Lonnie” born back here in June 1886. Sadly, Lonnie had epilepsy and passed away during a seizure in March of 1945 (FindAGrave). Otis in turn had three sons and is buried in Greene County, Missouri.

Ancestry has William remarrying and had a daughter Agatha with Martha, a widow woman who had several grown children at their marriage. Others have William’s first wife as Mary Louise Posey but either their marriage date is off or Otis’ birth. William died in Shannon County June 25, 1917 suddenly of a stroke, but absolutely nothing (other than he was a blacksmith) was on his death record.

So, here you have David a 99.9% sure son of Alamo George and Catherine, starting with such a happy life, two wonderful children and a darling wife, but then fire ruined his life and took his wife’s. If anyone knows more on David, do let me know, please. Thus ends #9!

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]