Posted By:Kathy
Subject:William McCracken-b-1818
Post Date:December 31, 1999 at 15:33:48
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Forum:Fremont County, IA Genealogy Forum
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This is a letter written by Hettie Gassaway in 1940:
William McCracken with his first wife Ester (Hettie) reached Sidney, Iowa from Danville, IN in 1859. His 5 children, the oldest ten years old, and the youngest about two. They came by covered wagon drawn by oxen and the wagon also carried bedding and a large cherry bureau. A cow was tied to the rear of the wagon and supplied milk for the family during the long tedious trip.
Mr. McCracken really started to a section called "Platte Purchase" in Nebraska but when he reached Sidney, Iowa he was advised to look over the Missouri Valley before he went to the Land Office in Nebraska City. He found that valley very fertile and in a few weeks bought 80 acres of land and put up a log cabin. (I was born in that house).
He had sold his farm in Indiana and the $1500 he received for that was quite a sum in a new country. He later added more acreage until he owned 640 acres . Some of the land was purchased for $4.00 an acre. All of the 640 acres has to this date (1941) passed into other hands. And only one grandson, James A. McCracken, remains in the vicinity.
William was a Scotch and a Quaker. He was a Mason and Knight Templar. His funeral was conducted by that order, that came from Red Oak, Iowa especially for the ceremony. He was faithful to his Masonic Order and spent Much time in Memorizing its ritual. He could be seen on regular meeting nights riding to town on a white horse, Old Mary we called her.
He lived a mile from Hamburg in a pretty county home. In later years he united with the methodist Church, since there was no Quaker church in that vicinity, but at heart he was always a Quaker.
In politics he was a staunch Republican and held minor offices in his district.
He possessed the only book case and books to be found in his community. When he first settled in his home, he furnished a building for a school, paid and boarded the teacher, furnished fuel and Most of the books. He had a good education for a man of that time, and read the Bible every day and had prayers. Grace was always said at each meal daily.
He was a great joker and enjoyed a joke at any time. He was a great reader and read the weekly paper or Some book aloud in the evenings, while visiting Grandchildren sprawled on the floor in front of the fireplace, and while Grandmother and Aunt Nell knitted sox or pieced quilts. A big dish of apples, or walnuts, or popcorn was always on the center table. Rag Rugs covered the floor.
He was a man small in stature but endowed with great strength and never lagging in interest in his daily work which he really carried too far. He planted miles of Osage Orange for a hedge which he kept well trimmed and which made his farm look very fine. He had great strength of character and was held in highest esteem by his fellow men. He was affectionately called "Uncle Billy" by both the old and yound. He is an ancestor to be proud of and lived to be 72 years old.
He was buried in a cemetery he had donated to the community and was part of his north acreage about 6 miles north of Hamburg, IA and is sometimes called the Brown Cemetery on account of the Brown home being near, also buried in that cemetery same lot on front lot is Grandmother Mary Baylor McCracken, Great Grandmother, Carrie McCracken, daughter of Josiah McCracken and Vesta Fimple daughter of Linnie Wright Bickle by first husband. His first wife Ester Hodson is buried at Sidney, Iowa.
The last home of William McCracken 1 mile north of Hamburg where he spent the most of his life was unique in the number of springs issuing from the hill side and crossing many portions of lot, furnishing a never depleted supply of fresh water for domestic animals, poultry ducks and geese.
In 1867 he had a very large barn built across the road from the home and the contractor was Daniel Long who had as an assistant Ferando A. Jones of Union City, Michigan. He had been a sodier in the Civil War. A romance sprang up between this soldier and McCrackens second daughter Catherine Ellen. On February 5, 1868 they were married, hence the writer of this story Oris (Hettie Gasoway)
At this writing Dec. 21, 1940 the afore said barn is still standing and in use, but the farm with its beloved memories has passed into the hands of strangers. To his many granchildren the days spent wading the springs and peeking into the mild house numersous crocks of mild in the swiftly moving water surrounding the walls of cooling pans all is but a memory.
Oris E. (Hettie) Jones Gassaway
Descendants of William McCracken
       1        William McCracken       b: March 27, 1818 in Hendricks Co., Indiana       d: November 4, 1890 in Hamburg, Fremont Co., Iowa       
...              +Ester Hodson       b: Bet. 1818 - 1823 in Randolph Co., North Carolina       d: Bet. 1859 - 1865 in Hamburg, Fremont Co., Iowa       m: July 5, 1840 in Hendricks Co., Indiana
....       2        Margarete McCracken       b: 1842 in Indiana              
.........              +John Liggitt       b: Abt. 1840              
....       2        Catherine Ellen McCracken       b: 1848              
.........              +F.A. Jones       b: February 10, 1842 in Calhoun Co., Michigan              m: February 5, 1868 in Iowa
..........       3        Edgar I. Jones                     
..........       3        Oris E. (Hettie) Jones                     
..........       3        William Smith Jones                     
..........       3        Viola W. Jones                     
..........       3        Devere Jones       b: September 1, 1884       d: July 1964       
..........       3        Fred Kenneth Jones                     
....       2        Josiah Winfield McCracken       b: 1848              
.........              +Hannah Bunn       b: Abt. 1850              
..........       3        Carrie I. McCracken       b: July 22, 1872       d: December 6, 1886 in Hamburg, Fremont County, Iowa       
....       2        Joseph Taylor McCracken       b: January 15, 1850 in Hendricks Co., Indiana       d: in Fremont Co., Iowa       
.........              +Alice Shirley       b: Abt. 1852              m: October 25, 1874 in Iowa
..........       3        Lyde Shirley McCracken       b: Abt. 1875       d: 1949 in Fremont Co., Iowa       
...............              +Joana Beaston              d: 1942 in Fremont Co., Iowa       m: Abt. 1900
..........       3        Orville L. McCracken       b: Abt. 1876              
....       2        William McCracken       b: Abt. 1852              
              *2nd Wife of William McCracken:                     
...              +Mary F. Baylor       b: January 11, 1823 in Kentucky       d: October 31, 1882 in Hamburg, Fremont Co., Iowa       m: October 31, 1856 in Sidney, Fremont Co., Iowa
....       2        Charles Fremont McCracken       b: January 30, 1864 in Hamburg, Fremont Co., Iowa       d: February 25, 1907 in Hamburg, Fremont Co., Iowa       
.........              +Lola Brown       b: July 24, 1869 in Hamburg, Fremont Co., Iowa       d: May 3, 1949 in Denver, Colorado       m: October 19, 1887 in Hamburg, Fremont Co., Iowa
..........       3        Laura Norma McCracken       b: December 6, 1893 in Hamburg, Fremont Co., Iowa       d: April 16, 1988 in Moberly, Randolph Co., Missouri       
...............              +Amos Emery Zook       b: October 27, 1889 in Linden, Atchison Co., Missouri       d: August 26, 1981 in Moberly, Randolph Co., Missouri       m: April 6, 1914 in Council Bluff, Pottawattamie Co., Iowa
..........       3        Frank Ellison McCracken       b: June 25, 1888       d: December 12, 1950       
...............              +Clara Anna Robb                     m: March 9, 1910 in Omaha, Nebraska
..........       3        Clifford E. McCracken       b: January 5, 1890       d: August 11, 1908 in Hamburg, Fremont Co., Iowa       
..........       3        Everett Henry McCracken       b: February 14, 1891              
..........       3        Jessie Helen McCracken       b: October 2, 1892       d: July 2, 1894       
..........       3        James A. McCracken       b: November 25, 1895       d: March 31, 1950 in Hamburg, Fremont County, Iowa       
...............              +Lula Smith                     
..........       3        John E. McCracken       b: January 9, 1898       d: May 17, 1909 in Hamburg, Fremont Co., Iowa       
..........       3        Fred B. McCracken       b: September 30, 1899       d: February 3, 1966 in Point Loma, San Deigo, California       
...............              +Goldie Benner                     
....       2        Sarah Malinda McCracken       b: 1858              
.........              +Riley Frimple                     
....              *2nd Husband of Sarah Malinda McCracken:                     
.........              +Henry Wright                     
....              *3rd Husband of Sarah Malinda McCracken:                     
.........              +Charles Bickle       b: Abt. 1855              
..........       3        Vesta Bickle                     
....       2        Jessie Helen McCracken       b: January 30, 1864              
.........              +William Libby       b: Abt. 1865              m: 1888
..........       3        Jessie Helen Libby       b: Abt. 1900              
...............              +Maurice Mesford                     
..........       3        Tyng McCracken Libby       b: August 9, 1889       d: January 1973 in Seattle, Washington       
...............              +Gladys Libby       b: January 23, 1892       d: June 1973 in Seattle, Washington