Heartache and Tragedy

part 2

Prickly Pear by Wendy Harty watercolor Aug 2020

I find as I am researching the ancestors they did not have life easy; they had their trials and tragedies and heartache also. They also began to move west as the country was opened up.

Penrod History The characters in my ancestry

7th great grandparents: Johannes Wilhelm Poenradt/Penrod 1700-1756 born in Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany and wife Gertrude part of Palatine migration to the colonies. He died at age 56.

6th great grandparents: John “Curly” Penrod `1726-1799 and wife Catherine “Caty” Barrone, John was a hunter/trapper and one of the first settlers in the Glades, Pennsylvania 11 children in 20 years. He died a rich man at the age of 72.

5th great grandparents: Israel Penrod b July 18, 1764 married Elizabeth R. Shaup in 1781 in Somerset Pennsylvania. They lived at Quemahoning Twsp, Somerset Co. PA. They had 17 children. He was executor to his father’s will and in it, it states he had broken both legs and his father paid for the doctor. Israel appointed his brother Emmanuel his agent to go to Muhlenberg Co Kentucky and get their mothers possessions from Daniel Rhoads with whom his mother was living in about 1808 when she died. Israel died Oct 31, 1836 in Bucks Twp, Tuscarawas Co, Ohio, at the age of 72. His daughter Mary Polly married Barnabus Miller and I have DNA match back to Israel through her. Mary had 18 children and died at age 84 at Ragersville, Tuscarawas County, Ohio.

In the History of Tuscarawas Co, Census records and the Church book of marriages we can find Israel’s son Peter V. Penrod born Nov 28, 1795. He married Elizabeth Sharp (Shaub, Stauf) on Feb 13, 1820, my 4th great grandparents. In the Ohio Democrat Thursday May 31, 1877 was the Administrator’s note for claims against the estate, executor John H Benfer. In May 1877 Benfer appraised 80 acres for two hundred dollars. Peter has a beautiful tombstone that can be found in findagrave.com by searching his name. It lists his death April 20, 1877 and burial at Dundee, Tuscarawas Co. in the Lower Walnut Creek Cemetery.

Peter and Elizabeth’s oldest child would be my 3rd great grandfather named David Penrod, born October 2, 1820 at Sugarcreek, Tuscarawas, Ohio; the first of twelve children. A granddaughter of David’s said David had cancer on his face, what does this mean? Could it be a birthmark? David married Phoebe Ann Shire on Sep 15, 1844 at Holmes, Ohio. In the early 1800’s settlers from the east and Amish from Somerset, PA moved west in search of fertile and cheap farmland. Sugarcreek where he was born is located in the heart of Amish Country, the “little Switzerland of Ohio”, which was settled by Amish and other German and Swiss families. The village is famous for its cheese making.In the beautiful rolling hills of Ohio they farmed, the soil was very fertile. The crops grown were wheat, oats, corn, Irish potatoes, clover and alfalfa. The county was a large producer of milk, butter, sugar, syrup, apples and pears. Did Peter participate in the traditional Steintossen – or throwing of the stone – and hear the playing of the alphorns – the long wooden horns traditionally blown by mountain dwellers of the Alps. Peter would have witnessed many industrial improvements: the Pearlash Factory, an ashery founded in 1848 which by 1874 was the largest in the US, the first steam-grist mill erected in 1856 by Saxton and Casil. In 1867, Miller and Snodgrass constructed a flour mill; in 1874 Marysville Butter Tub and Spoke Co. was incorporated with $50,000. Peter may have read the Union Democrat a paper published during the Civil War. The pioneers were generally very poor; trade was done by barter, including the exchange of coon and deer skins, whiskey, honey and other goods. David was listed on the 1860 census for Union Township, Davis Co. Iowa. They had moved 700 miles west in 1855 from source the obit of his son, Elijah. They came because the area of the Ohio Valley was fertile and the streams were plentiful. The land was untamed, and many Germans flooded in because the area reminded them of the Rhineland. By 1860 the region was a prime location for producing wine. The Catawba grape thrived and was hearty enough to withstand the harsh Ohio winters. Black rot and mildew began to plaque the grapes, and then the Civil War left grape growers with little manpower. On Peter’s farm they had to focus their attention and labors on what they themselves needed.Peter would have visited the H R Bennett Store which sold straw hats, overals and groceries and ate cheese cut from a round. He could gather with the men of the neighborhood around a warm stove in the winters or out on the porch in nice weather with the kids listening to the talk of their elders, in the hours when farm and home chores were done for the day. The major voyage of the Cincinnati and Portsmouth Railroad, on Sept 28, 1877 would have caused great excitement when the steam locomotive came through. Peter’s death was Jan 17, 1904 at Union, Davis, Iowa. The father of 8 children he lived a long life of 83 years.

Jacob Franklin “Frank” Penrod was born on April 16, 1859 to David Penrod and Phoebe Ann Shire my 3rd great grandparents. Jacob was a brother to my Great Great Grandmother Angeline Penrod. He married Hannah Mae Arney and they were the parents of ten children: Bessie Mae, Blaine, Charles V., John David “Harry”, John Jacob, Orlo Arthur, Ross, sarah Minerva, Scott McKinley, and Walter Winfield Penrod. He lived to the age of 72 years. In Davis County, Iowa he worked as a coal miner, farmer and timberman. I can only feel the heartache when the following was reported in the Iowa State Bystander March 26, 1897.

Tragedy at Laddsdale

Five Children of Mr. and Mrs. Penrod Burned to Death

Ottumwa, March 25 – Five children of Mr and Mrs Frank Penrod at Laddsdale, a little mining town on the Wapello and Davis county line, were burned to death. Three were cremated and two died a few hours later. They are: Harry aged 10, John aged 8, Minerva aged 6, Ross aged 4, Blaine aged 3. The parents of the children took the oldest child, a son aged 12, and a baby in the arms of its mother and went to a religious meeting, having first put the other five children to bed. The school house where the services were held was only a hundred feet away from the Penrod house. About 9 o’clock an alarm of fire was given, and Penrod rushed out with the other occupants of the school house to find his house in flames. It was impossible to enter the house as it was crumbling when Penrod reached it. The children’s beds were by the window, however, and Penrod burst the window open and succeeded in pulling out the 8 and 4 year old boys, horribly burning himself in the act. The two never regained consciousness and died in a short time. The coroner’s inquest threw no light on the origin of the fire.

Scott McKinley Penrod was the baby in his mother’s arms. He became a fireman at Eldon, Iowa. He entered the war May 31, 1839, Naval Training Station, Detroit, Michigan. He died young at aged 43 Feb 17, 1940.

Angeline Catherine Penrod my 2nd great grandmother was born in Feb 20, 1856, at Troy, Iowa. She married first James Alexander Wise born in Columbus, Franklin Co, Ohio on December 12, 1875. The first 4 children were born in Iowa and were found at Union, Davis, Iowa in the 1880 census farming; David Franklin Wise 1877, James Alexander Wise, Mar 7, 1879, Bloomfield, Iowa, never married, lumbering and carpentry, died angina; Lydia Ruth Wise born Aug 1883 my great grandmother; Grover Cleveland Wise b Jul 28, 1885 died in 1971 aged 85 at Roundup, Montana;; They moved west looking for better opportunity but tragedy again struck. Tuberculosis, also known as consumption, was the leading cause of death in the United States. Caused by a bacteria that attacked the lungs, it was a most feared disease also known as the “Great White Plague” due to the extreme paleness of those affected it stuck down young and old, rich and poor. James died very young on April 30, 1891 at age 38 at Kalispell, Flathead Co. Montana from consumption. His son David Franklin would die in 1949 from the same disease just 2 years before a cure was found. He suffered for 3 years. William Wise was born one month after his father died on May 1891 . He died at age 25 on Nov 18, 1916; Angeline was left a very young widow at age 35 with children 14, 12, 8, 6 and a new born baby! Three years later George Frederick “Fred” Wise was born May 3, 1894 at Kalispell, Montana and took the name Wise. Angeline and children homesteaded four miles northeast of Kalispell, County of Flathead, Montana the southwest quarter of section 34-township 29 N or Range 21 West containing 160 acres and the value in 1911 was $8000. Personal property was 6 hogs, 2 horses, 3 cows, 1 bull, 1 yearling calf, 3 calves, 1 mower, 2 plows, 1 rake, 1 binder, 2 wagons, farming implements and tools valued at another $500.

What was happening in her life. On September 25, 1900 Angeline married for the second time to Charles Cordell Johnson who became the defendant with Angeline the Plaintiff in an ugly divorce case by the year 1911. From the issue of said marriage consists of one child, Susan Ann Johnson, of the age of nearly 9 years. They raged back and forth in court accusing each other of extreme cruelty, unchasity and false accusations in front of said child and of other grown children leading to grievous mental suffering and for more than one year preceding the commencement of the action of divorce used profane, vile, vulgar, indecent and threatening language. For his part, Charles wrote that Angeline had informed him, “that he could no longer enjoy said premises with her as a home and that he had no rights, title or claim to any property and he could get out and off of the place and russel for himself” and that plaintiff drove him off. He had received nothing from any of the sales, rents or profits from the premises and only his own daily labor. They went on as cross-complaint and counter- claim until 1912 and fought over custody, and the land. Angeline then provided proof that Charles was a married man to his first wife, when he married her, and thus the bonds of matrimony be dissolved and he pay her court costs. There are pages of legal documents one article reading: 4th. that said amended complainant sets forth two separate and distinct causes of action the one or each being wholly inconsistent with the other and that evidence cannot be given in support of both of said causes to obtain and support a decree of divorce, without said plaintiff elects to stand upon one or the other said causes of action. Charles eventually withdrew his file and on page 1011 of 1573 in the District Court, Eleventh Judicial district, County of Flathead, Montana WHEREFORE: It is hereby ordered, adjudged and decreed that the marriage heretofore existing between the plaintiff and defendant be, hereby annulled and declared void and of no effect, and the custody of the said minor child of said marriage is hereby awarded to the plaintiff, Angeline. Dated at Kalispell, this 19th day of February, 1912. Charles was charged with bigamy and jailed and posted a bond of $1. He lived his last days at the Demersville poorhouse. He is buried in a paupers grave. Angeline died on May 7, 1939 cause of death of certificate carcinoma of ascending colon at age 83.

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