Alden Family

Sarah Cornelia (“Neal”) Alden

Born: 18 August 1841 in Marietta, Guernsey County, Ohio
Death: 5 August 1888 in Mt. Pleasant, Henry County, Iowa

Father: Zephania Alden (1812-1850)
Mother: Damaris Thompson (1817-1888)
Spouse: Lot Abraham (married 13 September 1865)

Bio:  Sarah came with her parents to Henry County, Iowa, as an infant in 1841. Zephaniah was a stone-cutter and put the first lettering on tombstones. Sarah married Lot Abraham on 13 Sept 1865 in Henry County, Iowa and they had four children: John, Sarah, Mary, and Kate. Sarah was killed in a runaway accident on 5 Aug 1888. See a copy of her obituary published on 6 August 1888 in Mt. Pleasant in the Related Materials link under the heading Fatal Accident.

Zephania Aldenn = Sarah’s Father

Born: 11 June 1812 in Franklin County, Massachusetts
Death: 4 October 1850 in Mt. Pleasant, Henry County, Iowa
Spouse: Damaris Thompson (married 9 May 1837)

Bio: Zephaniah was born in Massachusetts, in 1812, and there learned the trade of stone-cutter. In 1837 he wedded Damaris Thompson, in Guernsey Country, Ohio, to which place he had previously removed, and four years later the young couple removed to Henry Country, Iowa, where Mr. Alden died in 1850, at the age of thirty-eight, being the youngest member of the family to ever pass away. On coming to this county, for a time he combined farming with this trade of stone-cutter, but in consequence of ill-health could not follow the plow, and therefore gave his attention solely to his trade. He dressed the first marble in Henry County and put the first lettering on tombstones. He was a man of excellent character, and was respected by all who knew him.

Damaris Thompson = Sarah’s Mother

Born: 11 January 1817
Death: 6 August 1888
Spouse 1: Zephania Alden (married 9 May 1837)
Spouse 2: John Wesley Rhodes (1809-1880) = Sarah’s Uncle AND Step-father

Children of Zephania & Demaris (Thompson) Alden:

Caroline Alden (1838-1839)
Philena Alden (1840-1888) = married John Kerr on 25 December 1860
Sarah Cornelia Alden (1841-1888)
Lydia Alden (1845-1888) = office clerk in Chicago 1870, unmarried.
John Berry Alden (1847-1924)
William Francis Alden (1849-1860)

Children of John  & Demaris (Thompson) Rhodes:

Julia Ann Rhodes (1852-1926)
Alice P. Rhodes (1855-1860)
Edwin Joseph Rhodes (1860-1935)

Cousins AND step-siblings of Sarah’s:

John W. Rhodes (1843-Aft1860)
Mary Ann Rhodes (1845-Aft1860)
Emily Bell Rhodes (1846-Aft1860)

Barnabas Gilbert Alden (brother of Zephania & uncle to Sarah Cornelia Alden)

Born: 17 April 1821 in Lewis County, Virginia (now West Virginia)
Death: 28 August 1904 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
Spouse: Betsey ??

Bio: According to the 1850 Census records for Salem, Washington County, Ohio, Barnabas Gilbert Alden was a carpenter. His wife Betsey was born in Ohio as were their two children, Alice and Warren. Gilbert and Betsey were residing in the same household with his father, Jonathan Alden (age 65) and step-mother Orpha (age 54). Also residing there are three step-brothers — Philander and Philitus (b. @1830) – twins), and Rufus G. (b. @1834), and a step-sister — Malvina (b. @1837). Civil War Service Records state that Barnabas G. Alden served as 2d Lieut. in Co. H, 92d Ohio Regiment. He enlisted in September 1862 and was mustered out on 14 October 1863 at Chattanooga.

Children of Gilbert & Betsy Alden

Alice A. Alden (b. 1845)
Warren A. Alden (1847-1921) Warren served as a private in Co. H, 92d Ohio Regiment. He enlisted 15 August 1862 and was discharged 5 January 1863. He died 8 November 1921 at Coolville, Ohio.

Samuel Thompson (1782-1867) and Sarah Harrington (1789-1857)
[these excepts from paper written by Howard, Robert & Todd Thompson]

See: Rev. Ebenezer Thompson, Sage of Glen Flora

Samuel, Sarah and their eight children lived in the north part of Noble Township.

History of Noble County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Pioneers and Prominent Men (1887) notes, “Samuel Thompson, a tanner and Methodist preacher was a somewhat eccentric character who lived in the same neighborhood [as Joseph, Zachariah and Wesley Cooper who operated a distillery].” Living in the same neighborhood, as folks who operated a distillery must have been disconcerting to a devoted Methodist preacher who preached total abstinence from alcoholic beverages. It may be one reason why he was considered eccentric. Another settler of the area was Benjamin Severance who was engaged with his two sons in making salt on the Muskingum River. Calvin Franklin had a mill run by horsepower near Hiramsburg and Joseph Franklin was a wagon maker. Local residents were tailors, stonemasons, potash makers, and storeowners. The market economy that – with its work specializations and trade – displaced the land economy in the nineteenth century was operating locally in Morgan County.

The occupation of tanner was on the verge of change when Samuel moved to Ohio. It had been – prior to the War of 1812 – an industry operated by individuals for their own and their neighbors’ consumption. The raw materials were obtained nearby. Most likely Samuel got hides from local farmers. Since transportation of goods to and from market was inhibited in Ohio in the third decade of the nineteenth century Samuel most likely sold his product locally as well as using it to make items for his family. This was in contrast to tanners in New York who received their hides from foreign sources – Central and South America – because of water transportation. (The Ohio economy, at least where Samuel lived, had just begun to recognize that the lack of transportation, other than through New Orleans was detrimental. It soon became generally thought that the state required a canal system to connect the Ohio River with Lake Erie.) Samuel’s use of hand techniques and lack of scientific knowledge would have doomed him almost from the beginning had not Ohio been handicapped by the lack of adequate transportation.

We do not know where Samuel and family lived in 1825 when they arrived in Noble Township in Morgan County Ohio. However in 1834 when Ebenezer was 14 years old, Samuel purchased eighty-four acres in the northeast quarter of section 7 of Noble Township, then in Morgan County. This land was on a creek and about two miles from the village of Hiramsburg. This is the “neighborhood” referred to by Howe in his description of Samuel as “eccentric.” The land was purchased, for $275, by Samuel from Andrew Cramblet and wife. Again Sarah had not reached the status as a “partner” in Samuel’s land deals. Whether they lived on this land before its purchase is not known. Most likely Ebenezer spent at least six years of his life on this land.

Of Samuel and Sarah’s children, Samuel Jr. was a hotelkeeper, a produce merchant, and a dairy farmer, all occupations that demanded more than the minimum of education. John Wesley was a printer, Francis Asbury was a merchant, and Edward was a carpenter. Leonard and Asa (two sons born after the move to Morgan County) were farmers. Our best guess is that none of the children of Samuel and Sarah finished the equivalent of what would now be high school but all had some schooling and all were taught by Sarah whose letter to Ebenezer in 1841 shows, very clearly, her ability to write articulately.

Noble County, Ohio, was formed in 1851 just after Samuel Thompson left for Iowa. The area they lived in (Noble Township) was a part of Morgan County. Zanesville is 26 miles from Hiramsburg and Samuel’s property was 2.8 miles from Hiramsburg.

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