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Fruits Saga – Margaret, The Fifth Child

Margaret was one of the hardest of Alamo George Fruits’ kiddos to discover but my genealogy buddy, Kim, pitched in and think we discovered quite a bit, albeit still questions regarding the Ms. Elusive Fruits.

Born in Butler County, Ohio 8 January 1817, her death record (Catlin, IL) on May 5, in 1909 tallied her at the age of 92 years 3 months 27 days thus following after her long-lived parents.

However, her first husband, Robert Patterson (married June 4, 1835 in Montgomery County) died quite young (39) on 18 July 1854 (buried Bunker Hill), son of Joseph and Sarah (Stephens) Patterson. Three were in Robert’s original family, he having a sister, Elizabeth and brother, Will as far as I can tell, the three born in Campbell County, Kentucky.

Margaret and Robert were parents of eight children, with these following growing to adulthood (Nancy, Samuel, Sarah, Mary, George and Lucinda). With all these children to raise, I found it amazing that she did not marry for another eight years. In the 1860 census, she is found with her younger brother, Michael (more on him in a future column as the last Fruits’ child) and his young wife. Two years later, she married Thomas Williams.

Nancy Ann Patterson’s obituary states she was born in Adams, Indiana. 99.99% sure that would be Alamo and married local boy, Abraham Britton the 10th day of December 1862 as the Civil War peaked. Although I found his registration for the Civil War don’t think he was ever in the war, although he had brothers who served. Abraham was a farmer but fairly well educated. She could read and write but was marked in a couple of census records as reading only. Nancy Ann was very involved in her church in Junction City, Geary County, Kansas where they went about 1875. The Brittons had five children, four growing to adulthood, although one of them passed at the age of 40 leaving eight children, six still at home. This was Nettie. They also had Albert, Dora, and Edie. Altogether the Brittons had at least ten grands. Their whole family is buried in Junction City.

Samuel Patterson passed away just as the flu epidemic began to sweep America, even in Kansas where he had gone to Burlingame. He lived alone (but fairly close to a son) and would walk uptown to visit friends about every day right up to the last of his life when he had quite poor health. Samuel was born in Montgomery County 24 July 1836 and died on the 23rd of July, the next day being his 82nd birthday. He served in the Civil War as a wagoner from 23 May to 29 Sept 1864, his second time around in Co B, 10th Indiana having also served from 18 Sept 1861 through 11 November 1862 that time in the infantry proper, thus he would likely have been with local general, Mahlon Manson. In two different records, he was listed as disabled but did not tell in what capacity. He was involved in the GAR Sheldon Post at Burlingame. He married in Montgomery County Rachel Emaline Morey who passed away several years before him. She was born in Indiana 8 Dec 1841 and married Oct 16, 1859 to Samuel. They had 7 children, six living at his death, including his daughter, Margaret named for his mother. Sam lived in Cloud County, Kansas then to Burlingham 17 years before his passing. Rest in Peace Sam K. Patterson.

Sarah Jane Patterson was born 9 August 1843 in Alamo and married James A. Driskell 8 Jan 1865. She seemed to be very close to her mother, moving to Catlin, Vermilion County, Illinois following along with Mom. Sarah died 16 November 1917 there. Upon Driskell’s passing, Sarah married William Franklin Elgin. Don’t believe they had children, but the Driskell’s had George and Charles and raised a granddaughter, Laura. George and Charles remained extremely close, travelling the West, raising stock in Wyoming, opening and running the first movie theater in Ogden, Utah and with quick success, opening another elsewhere. They homesteaded in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Charles was also a school teacher and he and his wife had seven children whereas George did much carpentry work and became the father of two daughters and a son.

Mary Patterson (born 5 March 1847) was young at death. On 17 Oct 1866 Mary married Squire Johnson Pate. Sadly, she passed 17 April 1883 and is buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Cloud County, Kansas. Squire lived for many years afterward. Mary and Squire had at least one son, Samuel, assumedly named for her brother who lived in the area as did brother George for awhile.

George W. Patterson is up next. Born 19 Sept 1849 in Alamo he took after Gpa’ George Fruits and lived to tally old age. He and wife Sarah Elizabeth were parents of four children: Elmer Hawkins Patterson; Zella Belle; Nellie Augusta and Genevieve. Passing just shy of a month after his 93rd birthday he is buried in Oakridge Cemetery in Catlin, Vermilion County, Illinois where his mother and many other relatives are resting. He did farming in the area.

Lucinda peaked out into the world on August 22, 1853 in Montgomery County, her father passing just a year after her birth. My father-in-law’s father passed when Bill was a little boy and he definitely (probably rightfully so) felt cheated not to have a father’s love as his mother never remarried. He did have two single uncles (brothers of his mom’s) who treated him like a son, but likely not the same. Lucinda was close to ten years old when her mother remarried Thomas Williams. She passed away in Casey, Clark County, Illinois 23 Feb 1913. Thomas Williams had been born in Cornwall, England 1804 and was married three times, Margaret his last wife. He was the father of four daughters and a son, but none with Margaret. He passed away 15 March 1889 and is buried in the same cemetery as Margaret. Lucinda on March the 2nd in 1869 (Vermilion IL) married Francis Marion Pate, a local farmer. She passed away at age 60 buried in Casey, Clark County Illinois with Francis and two of their children, Alma and Victor Clyde. Their others were: Harley, Everett, Delbert and Verne.

Margaret passed away 5 May 1909 and is buried in Oakridge (Catlin, Illinois) – thanks to Lewis Holcomb for the FindAGrave photo showing us her stone. Thus, you have now read about Margaret Fruits Patterson Williams, fifth child of Alamo George and Catherine Stonebraker Fruits who was the mother of eight, grandmother of 25, wife of two and a good, Christian woman. However, she led a semi-allusive and definitely intriguing life – thus, rest in peace.

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]