From Ohio to Oregon via Kansas

by his great-grandson

Vern Paul
Los Angeles, California
Dublin, Ireland
2002, 2006
return to paul family main page
James Benjamin Paul was born on Monday, 13 May 1839, in Scioto County, Ohio, son of Peris Augustus Paul and Elisabeth Monroe.[1] The event, which occurred just one month before the first baseball game was played in America, was likely near the town of Harrisonville in Madison Township where the family was listed by the census taker in 1840 [2] and later in 1850. [3]

Madison Township, about 50 square miles in area, occupies the northeastern corner of Scioto County. With the exception of the valleys of the two main streams passing through the township, the surface is exceedingly rough and hilly. Agriculture was at a minimum with timber and the operation of saw-mills being the primary enterprise of the township. [4]

James was the grandson of Peter Paul and Abigail Adams[5], and Charles Monroe and Martha Louisa Jacobs.[6] All were early settlers of southern Ohio while the region was still a frontier. Like so many pioneer families, their children and grandchildren pushed even further west, some like James, all the way to the Pacific coast.

The difficulty of productive farming in Scioto County or perhaps the mild winters and a lack of full understanding of the Kansas troubles over slavery enticed many, including Peris and Betsy Paul and a number of their kin, to look to building their futures in Kansas. The winters of 1855-6 and 1856-7 in Kansas had been particularly sever causing many to think that it was characteristic of the country. This, however, was a mistaken idea. The winters of 1857-8 and 1858-9 were mild and pleasant. The "Leavenworth Journal" of January 15, 1858, reported: Passing through the country a few days since, we were pleased to see the roads filled with summer birds, whose gay plumage and sweet notes indicated anything but winter. They went on to report: ... no country could exceed the beauty and mildness of the winters of 1858 and 1859. The brilliancy by day, bright moonlight nights ... had the appearance of September in Illinois or Wisconsin. The streams were not frozen over during either of the latter winters, nor was the ground covered with snow.[7]

Immigration in great numbers from the free states set in. Pro-slavery men of the slave states eventually gave up their idea of establishing slavery in Kansas, and many became so disgusted with their ill-success that they returned to the South. After the elections of 1857 and 1858, the Free State Legislature of Kansas Territory convened and began passing laws. They repealed the slavery oriented bogus laws of 1855 and set Kansas on the Union course.

However, the lure of Kansas in itself was not the only reason behind the Paul family's westward movement. There was apparently a more pressing motive triggering their abrupt exit from Ohio and Kansas may have been simply anyplace better than home. On May 12, 1857, Peris was indicted by the Scioto Court, along with several others, for selling intoxicating liquors to one Elijah Wood to be drank where sold. This was contrary to Ohio statute. Although his indictment was duly published in the local newspaper, no disposition was later published. On November 7, 1857, the Prosecuting Attorney entered a nolle prosique plea and, since Peris was nowhere to be found, the case against him was discharged. [Scioto County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas Journal (1857). p. 255] In early 1858 Peris said farewell to his Ohio home and moved his family by boat down the Ohio River and up the Missouri as far as Kansas City,[8] then down to Anderson County, Kansas, still the center of bitter conflict between the free-staters under John Brown and the pro-slavery men. It appears from tax records[9] and other sources that Peris was followed by his sister, Olive (Paul) Field, and her husband, John Field, and their children, including Olive's daughter by her first marriage, Harriet Lafferty, and her husband, George W. Schoonover. Peris Paul's half-sister, Mary Wood, and her husband John Walker may have made an early move to Anderson County, but Peris' step-father and mother, John Wood and Abigail (Adams) Paul Wood, remained in Scioto County at least through 1860. Peris purchased 160 acres for $600.00 cash on 16 December 1858.[10] The deed was recorded 20 February 1863 in Anderson County and described the land as the North East quarter of section twenty three in Township twenty of Range twenty. This was in Monroe Township, about 5 miles northeast of Garnett, Kansas. There are no buildings left on the farm. The earliest settlement in the immediate area had been in the spring of 1855 when Charles E. Dewey, with several other parties, arrived at the South Pottowatomie above Greeley. They traveled up the south side of the stream until they came to what is now known as the Judy neighborhood. Dewey, from Sandusky County, Ohio, selected a claim on land later owned by William Neal; H. H. Williams, who joined the party at Cincinnati, selected a claim on land later known as the Isaac Hiner farm; and Daniel Baer, also from Sandusky County, Ohio, selected a claim on which Peris Augustus Paul later lived. James Adams, who was born in Canterbury, Connecticut, farmed near the Dewey claim.[11]

The year of 1859 was a remarkably prosperous one. There were heavy rains during the spring, so that travel was often impeded for several days at a time. On the first of June the rain had been so heavy that the North Pottowatomie overflowed its banks and bottoms, so that the settlers in many places had to remove to the hills for safety; some places the overflow being so sudden they had to climb upon the tops of their cabins and remain until the waters subsided. The rainy season closed about the last of July, and a dry fall followed it. A fine crop of corn was raised. There was no rain or snow during the winter following.

The next spring was dry, followed by a terrible drought in 1860. There was no rain of any consequence until the following October. In July strong winds blew from the southwest, dry, and of scorching heat, so that vegetation dried up; crops were almost an entire failure and the grass was too short to mow for hay; the earth became so dry and hot that the surface cracked open in many places, so that the feet of horses or cattle would go to the depth of several inches into the cracked earth. For several months the Pottowatomie and other streams did not flow. About the first of June, 1860, a panic seized the people, and more than half of the population of the county left the Territory. Nearly all that could get away did so, many of them never returning. The census of 1860 showed 466 families in Anderson County. Peris Paul and his family were not among those counted. His home place was occupied by his niece Harriet and her husband, George W. Schoonover. Where the rest traveled to escape the drought remains a mystery. They did not abandon their investment long, but returned to their Kansas farm and better weather, by the outbreak of the Civil War.

Peris Paul's three oldest sons joined the Union cause. Charles Paul served in the Second Kansas Infantry and the Fifteenth Kansas Cavalry; James Benjamin Paul served in the Second Kansas Infantry and the Eleventh Kansas Infantry; and William Paul served in the Second Kansas Calvary. Anderson County, as a whole, supplied 420 volunteers of which 56 were killed or died of disease.[12]

Peris farmed all his life and raised a large family. He was living in Monroe township, Anderson County, Kansas, at the time of his death in January 1883.[13] He had purchased a cemetery plot and is said to be buried next to his wife in the Canton or Judy Cemetery in northeastern Anderson County. His wife, Elisabeth (Monroe) Paul, in her later years was known as an "eye doctress" in the neighborhood. A grandchild, Clara Leota Hamilton, recalled how Gramma Betsy always wore a long black dress and every day would wade bare-footed across a small brook to visit the Hamilton's.[14] Betsy's headstone, in the Canton or Judy Cemetery, reads "GONE HOME / ELISABETH. / Wife of / PERIS A PAUL. / DIED / Dec. 10 1898. / AGED / 83 Ys. 1 M. / 21 Ds."

Peris Augustus Paul and Elisabeth (Monroe) Paul had eleven children:

2.1 Charles Paul [1835-1924] m. 1) Matilda Hardesty, 2) Geneva Robinson
2.2 Henry Paul [1837- ]
2.3 James Benjamin Paul [1839-1901] m. 1) Lucinda Ann Risen, 2) Anna Elizabeth Williams
2.4 William Paul [1841-1916] m. Nancy Jane Bealer
2.5 Louisa Paul [1843- ]
2.6 Ezra Paul [1845- ]
2.7 Nancy Paul [1847-1928] m. William Duncan Hamilton
2.8 Isaac Paul [1849- ] m. Anna Hydorn
2.9 Evaline Paul [1852-1926] m. Isaac Field
2.10 Mary Paul [1854- ] m. 1) Joseph J. Wagner, 2) John Earheart, 3) Charles Lowe
2.11 Jacob Paul [1857-1928] m. Sarah Dykes, divorced.

James Benjamin Paul was 19 years old when he accompanied his parents and brothers and sisters to Kansas. Although not located in 1860, on 14 May 1861, the day after his 22nd birthday, James joined the Union cause, enlisting at Kansas City in Company E, 2nd Regiment, Kansas Infantry. He served in that unit until 31 October 1861 when he was mustered out at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. On 12 February 1864 he enlisted at Garnett, Kansas, in Company F, 11th Regiment, Kansas Cavalry Volunteers. At that time he was 5'2", had brown hair, blue eyes, and a fair complexion. During the fall of 1864, Company F was at Olathe, Kansas, where James became sick and was sent to Station Hospital. Later, in and around Aubrey, Kansas, he developed chronic eye problems from extensive exposure to bad weather and other debilitating conditions. His Civil War pension, and later that of his widow, was based on illnesses stemming from his service.[15] His mother was a local "eye doctress" and tended to his eyes. James signed an affidavit to that effect. After his discharge, James returned to his father's farm in Anderson County near Canton and was there in 1865.[16]

James Benjamin Paul was married on 12 September 1869 in Anderson County, Kansas, to Lucinda Anne Risen/Rison.[17] She was a native of Ohio, born there about 1853/54. James and Lucinda moved to ... [18] but later returned to Anderson County and lived near Isaac and Evaline (Paul) Field's in Walker Township. In 1875 James owned 40 acres, of which 15 acres were under 160 rods of rail fence and 1 acre in orchard, valued at $500.00 plus another $100.00 valued in farming implements and machinery. Lucinda had her hands full with three young children while James and a hired hand, 22-year-old, Pennsylvania-born S. A. McCoy, planted 10 acres of corn, a quarter acre in Irish potatoes, and 1 acre in sorghum. They ran the farm with 4 horses, 3 milch cows, 3 cattle, and 2 dogs. The cows were the source of 100 pounds of butter produced for the year. James also had a stand of lazy bees as they produced no honey for the year.[19]
The following year, on 11 August 1876, Lucinda died.[20] Although she probably passed away at the home place in Walker Township, she is likely buried in Canton or Judy Cemetery located about 4 to 5 miles northeast of Garnett, and about half a mile south of the old Judy schoolhouse. James owned a plot in that cemetery.[21]
James was married again on 11 July 1877 in Linn County, Kansas, to Anna Elizabeth Williams.[22] "Annie" was born 17 March 1860 in Kansas, daughter of John Williams and Melissa Jane Rutledge, who were married in Vernon Co., Missouri, on 27 November 1856.[23] John Williams apparently died between 1859 and 1868. In August of 1860, Melissa and Annie were residing in Vernon County with Melissa's parents, Fletcher and Anna Rutledge. [24] Mr. Williams may have been deceased by that time. or at least by 16 March 1868 when Melissa Jane Rutledge, then Williams, married in Linn Co., Kansas, to Benjamin Day Husted, [25] a farmer living in Anderson County. He was born 6 March 1826 in Holmes Co., Ohio, son of Henry Purdy Husted and Mary Potter. Benjamin died 29 October 1898 aged 72 years, 7 months, and 23 days. Melissa Jane was born 26 July 1840 in Vermilion Co., Illinois, and died 14 March 1884, daughter of Fletcher L. Rutledge and Anna Deck. Benjamin and Melissa Jane are buried in the old Sugar Creek Cemetery (now Goodrich Cemetery) in Liberty Township, Linn County. Her stone is broken off and no other information than her name remains.[26] The known children of Benjamin Day Husted and Melissa Jane were 1) Charles F. Husted, b. 1869; 2) Truman Gilbert Husted, b. 16 July 1872 and d. 29 October 1905; 3) James R. Husted, b. 5 July 1874 and d. 20 October 1927; 4) Clara Husted, b. about 1876; and 5) Mary E. Husted, b. May 1882.

James returned to Monroe Township by 1880 where he raised apples and cherries.[27] By 1885 he owned 51 acres, all under fence (60 rods of hedge and 80 rods of wire) and improved, valued at $1,200.00. There was another $1,300.00 of farming implements and machinery. Over half of James' farm was devoted to his orchards: 25 acres in apples and 12 acres in cherries. In the fall of 1884 he sowed 3 acres in winter wheat, followed in the spring of 1885 by 14 acres of corn, and later, 3 acres of millet and Hungarian, and half an acre of Irish potatoes. During the preceding year, James and his family sold $15.00 of poultry and eggs and made 200 pounds of butter. Animals on the farm included 2 horses, 2 mules, 5 milch cows, 6 cattle, and 7 swine. Last, but probably not least, there was one dog. Curiously, almost every family in the neighborhood had just one dog, very few had two, and none nearby had more. James' livestock had been reduced by 1 mule and 7 cattle lost to disease during the year preceding March 1885. Most of his neighbors were more fortunate, but J. J. Wardell lost 48 swine. James' widowed mother lost a sheep, apparently the only one she owned at the time. James' was prosperous enough to have a hired hand, 24-year-old J. E. Koon, a native of Iowa who spent some time in Ohio before finding his way to Kansas.[28]

Within a few years, prior to 1890, James Benjamin Paul moved his family to Columbia County, Oregon.[29] He filed a homestead claim with the resultant patent issued from the Oregon City land office on December 7, 1899. Ref. Document No. 5783 for 169 acres described as S½SE, SENE, and NESE of Section 25 Township 6 North Range 5 West of the Williamette Meridian in Columbia Co., Oregon . Later, he moved to Portland and was renting a house at 403 12th Street in Portland, Multnomah County, in 1900.[30] James caught pneumonia and died there on 13 February 1901. He was buried two days later in Lone Fir Cemetery in what is now downtown Portland.[31]

On 26 March 1904, Anna Elizabeth (Williams) Paul was remarried at Astoria, Oregon, to Arthur L. Woodbury.[32] She died 25 April 1909 in Portland and was buried two days later in Rose City Cemetery, Portland.[33]

James Benjamin Paul and Lucinda Ann Risen/Rison had three known children:

2.3.1 Sarah Elizabeth Paul [1870/71- ] m. Will Lane
2.3.2 Anna Paul [1873- ] died young
2.3.3 Isaac Paul [1874- ] died young

James Benjamin Paul and Anna Elizabeth Williams had nine children:

2.3.4 James Benjamin Paul [1878- ]
2.3.5 Cora Paul [1879-before 1885]
2.3.6 Frederick Dennis Paul [1883-1953] m. Nora Victoria Morton [Grandparents of Vern Paul]
2.3.7 Prudence Levisa Paul [1884-1942] m. Clinton S. Ingles
2.3.8 Charles William Paul [1886- ]
2.3.9 _____ Paul [c1888-before 1900]
2.3.10 Della Malinda Paul [1891-1943] m.
2.3.11 Melissa Jane Paul [1893-1977] m. George L. Morrell
2.3.12 Zenith Harold Paul [1895-1969] m. 1) 2) Georgia

Anna Elizabeth [Williams] Paul and Arthur L. Woodbury had one child:
Ina Garnet Woodbury [1908- ] m. Robert Russell Laughlin

Source Records:

[1] Peris Augustus Paul Family Bible formerly in possession of W. D. and Nancy (Paul) Hamilton of Garnett, Kansas. Peris was born on 20 March 1809 in Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont (Tunbridge town records, Book A, p. 427); Elisabeth Monroe was born on 9 October 1815 in Pike Co., Ohio. They were married 16 October 1834 in Scioto County (Scioto Co., Ohio, marriage records, Book A, p. 193).

[2] 1840 Census, Madison Twp., Scioto Co., Ohio, p. 118.

[3] 1850 Census, Madison Twp., Scioto Co., Ohio, p. 527.

[4] History of Lower Scioto Valley, Ohio, Chicago: Inter-State Publishing Co., 1884, pp. 389-390.

[5] Peter and Abigail were married on 3 December 1805 in Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont, by Hezekiah Hutchinson, J.P. (Tunbridge town records, Book A, p. 401). Abigail was born about 1788 in Connecticut (1850 Census, Madison Twp, Scioto Co., Ohio, p. 514; 1860 Census, same, p. 532). Their known children were Mary Paul (1807-1869) never married, Peris Augustus Paul (1809-1883) who married Elisabeth Monroe, Olive Paul (1815- ) who married first to William Lafferty and second to John Field, Phoebe Paul (c1816- ), and possibly Hester Paul (c1817- ) who married Daniel Wood. Peter Paul apparently died around 1820-23 as Abigail married on 20 July 1823 to John Wood in Scioto Co., Ohio. (Scioto Co., Ohio, marriage records, Book A, pp. 78, 88). He was born about 1793-98 in New York. The known children of John Wood and Abigail (Adams) Paul were Maria Wood, born about 1827 and later wife of John Walker, and James Wood, born about 1829 and later husband of Syrena White.

[6] Charles Monroe was probably born in the 1780's, likely in Maryland or Virginia, son of Moses Monroe who was married to Bridget _______________. The Monroes moved very early into the Old Northwest Territory which, in the part where they located, would become Pike County, Ohio. Pike County was yet to be established when Charles married. Jurisdiction was with Scioto County in which county the record reflects his marriage on February 8, 1810, to Martha Louisa "Patty" Jacobs (Scioto Co., Ohio, marriage records, Book A, p. 300). She was born about 1791 in (West) Virginia, a daughter of Joseph Jacobs and Jemima Bennett. Joseph Jacobs, progenitor of the Jacobs families of Scioto, Jackson, and Pike Counties, Ohio, and of Monongalia Co., West Virginia, was likely a native of Virginia or Maryland. He married about 1783, probably in Monongalia Co., (West) Virginia, to Jemima "Mamie" Bennett who was born about 1762, probably in Berkeley Co., Virginia, daughter of Charles Bennett and Martha Collins. Joseph and Mamie lived for some time in Monongalia Co., (West) Virginia, before their family removed to the area around Scioto and Jackson Counties, Ohio. Joseph Jacobs died prior to 1802. Jemima remarried and raised a second family with Leonard Southworth.

[7] "In the early days of Kansas there were some terrible prairie fires, caused by burning the heavy coats of dry grass, and high winds, carrying the fire with great rapidity, often blowing the fire across any stream in its way. When the wind was blowing heavily the rapidity was frightful, outstripping the fleetest horse, doing great damage." History of Anderson County, Kansas, by W. A. Johnson, 1877, p. 137.

[8] Letter dated 25 February 1966, from Isaac Field, 238 West 1st Street, Garnett, Kansas 66032.

[9] Anderson County, Kansas, 1857-1859 Tax Lists; from indexes by Accelerated Indexing System, International(R).

[10] Anderson County, Kansas, land records, Book "1863", pp. 191-192.

[11] History of Anderson County, Kansas, by Judge James Y. Campbell, 1876, pp. 56-59.

[12] History of Anderson County, Kansas, by W. A. Johnson, 1877, pp. 231-236.

[13] Anderson County, Kansas, Probate Court, Case File #_____.

[14] Notes from interview by Vern Paul with Clara Leota Hamilton in Oak Haven Nursing Center, Richmond, Kansas, 1991. At the time, Leota was 105 years of age and quite alert. She lived another three years, dying at 108 years of age.

[15] Civil War Pension Application File No. 265288.

[16] 1865 State Census, Monroe Twp., Anderson Co., Kansas, p. 51.

[17] Anderson County, Kansas, marriage records, Book A, p. 29. There was a Mrs. Sophia Rising, of no established relation to Lucinda Anne Risen, living in 1870 in Bates County, Missouri, adjacent to Linn County, Kansas. She was born Sophia Saxton in New York or Vermont on 31 August 1810/11 and died in Bates County, Missouri, about 1873/74. She married Eli Rising who was born in Massachusetts or Vermont on 7 November 1807. He died in Indiana on 27 September 1857. He and Sophia were married in New York on 4 September 1831. Rising Genealogy, 1981, p. 201.

[18] 1870 Census Not Found

[19] 1875 State Census, Walker Twp., Anderson Co., Kansas, p. 79; Agriculture Census, p. 5.

[20] Civil War Pension Application File No. 265288.

[21] Anderson County, Kansas, Family Stories and History, by Anderson County Historical Society, 1989, p. 43.

[22] Linn County, Kansas, marriage records, Book ___, p. ___.

[23] Vernon County, Missouri, marriage records, Book ___, p. ___.

[24] 1860 Census, Henry Twp., Vernon Co., Missouri, p. 115; P. O. Little Osage.

[25] Linn County, Kansas, 1855-1884, Marriage, comp. by W. David Samuelson, Salt Lake City, 1992, pp. 17, 73; Linn County, Kansas, Marriage Book 1, p. 89: Mound City, Linn Co., Kansas. To any person authorized to solemnize marriages, greeting: You are hereby authorized to join in marriage Benjamin D. Husted aged 42 years and Malissa Jane Williams aged 27 years and of this license make due return within 30 days. Given under my hand and official seal this 16 day of March 1868. D. Linton, Probate Judge. Which license was duly returned by Samuel Ball indorsed as follows. I Samuel Ball do hereby certify that I did on the 16 March 1868 at my residence join in marriage the above named Benj. D. Husted and Malissa Jane Williams. Samuel Ball, Min. of Gospel.

[26] 100 Cemeteries and Burial Sites in Linn County, Kansas, by the Linn County Historical Society, 1987, pp. 144, 164. .

[27] 1880 Census, Monroe Twp., Anderson Co., Kansas, p. 169.

[28] 1885 State Census, Monroe Twp., Anderson Co., Kansas, p. 17; Agriculture Census, p.

[29] Columbia County, Oregon, 1890 Union Veteran Census, p. _____.

[30] 1900 Census, Multnomah County, Oregon, Portland; Enumeration District 70, Sheet 4. James gave information that his father was born in Pennsylvania and his mother in Ohio; Anna, or James, gave information that her father was born in Ireland and her mother in Kansas.

[31] Civil War Pension Application File No. 265288.

[32] Lane County, Oregon, Marriage Book.

[33] Certified copy of Standard Certificate of Death, Registered No. 148, verifies date and place of death. She died at home, 1701 E. 23rd St., Portland, Oregon, at 8:00 a.m., April 25, 1909, of cirrhosis of the liver. Her physician who treated her since January 1st of that year was Jno. J. Sellwood, M.D. The undertaker was A. B. Hemstock of Portland. The informant was A. T. Woodbury of the home. Anna's birthplace is erroneously indicated as Arkansas on the death record and her maiden name spelled Willames. Arthur later moved to California.