Continued from here.
The book, Links of Walton History, was compiled and written by Hattie Walton Heninger. Neither a publisher, nor a publishing date, is given. Born in 1879, Hattie began working on the Walton history book following her husband’s death in 1954. My parents, Glenn & Helen R. Frazier, wrote the date they received their book, January 1981, in it. I inherited this 429 page volume when my brother and sister and I went through our parents’ belongings. No one wanted it.
The author explained that she wove the story of the Walton’s trip west, written by Sylvester J. Smith, with those written by three Walton women: Susan, Rebecca Card Walton, Dana’s wife and Frances Taylor Walton, wife of the captain. Susan is my great great grandmother. The caption under her picture in part 1 explains, Susan Walton, whose keen mind helped in early records of our Walton line.
Sylvester J. Smith was Susan’s nephew, the son of her sister Rachel, and husband, John Smith. Sylvester J. Smith kept a journal of the Waltons’ travels and wrote Recollections of a Busy Life, from which Hattie quotes.
born. about 1802, Paris, Maine
parents. Benjamin and Mary Wescott Walton
m. 5 Mar 1823, Susan Walton, his cousin.
d. 24 Aug 1845 of typhus fever, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois
Samuel's son, Benjamin, said his father was a shoemaker, “Father lived in Mexico, Maine, where he had a shoe shop. As a boy I helped him make and peddle shoes.”
Samuel took part in the civic affairs of the town. The old vital records book of Mexico, Maine, recorded his marriage, and in the original minutes book, page 54, he was “voted hogreve [sic], or field rider and empounder [sic].”
[Editor's note: I need a Victorian glossary of a sort for this, and will welcome your input. My best guess is that a hogreve [sic] gathers in, impounds, and tends to stray livestock in the community. Perhaps a fee is collected before the owner can take his pig or cow home.]
Samuel Walton served in the Mexico Village militia under the command of Capt. John G. Brainard. The regiment was formed from a group of Rumford infantry, for the protection of the northeastern frontier, and was mustered into service on 6 Mar 1839 and discharged 29 Nov the same year. Enlisted in the same company was Samuel’s brother-in-law Arthur Walton.
Sylvester J. Smith later wrote about their July, 1845 travels westward from Mexico, Maine,
“We arranged the wagons in a great circle, picketed the horses and pitched our tents within the enclosure. This encampment was on a beautiful grassy plot lightly covered with native oak. The children were soon climbing trees and romping in gleeful abandon that only they can express. Some of the men and boys gathered dead timber for campfires while others set off for nearby farms to buy supplies for the evening meal. Supper over, they all gathered around the campfires and told stories and sang songs until the embers dimmed and all was dark except for the stars which kept their heavenly vigil while the wearly [sic] travelers slept.
Continuing across northern Ohio, “terrible rains came and swamps engulfed wagons to the hubs. Mosquitoes came in such unbelievable swarms that one could scarcely tell the color of the horses they tormented … it is impossible, with pen, to describe the unrest, the cold and bitter winds, the miserable shelters, the shortage of food and clothing these homesick migrants endured in this strange country.”
Teenaged boys and girls who traveled west with the Waltons were: "Dana, Andrew Jackson, Benjamin C., Samuel A., plus Samanthy, Hester Ann, Elizabeth, and, perhaps, Rosannah, Grace, and Hannah.”
The first two children I'm attempting to follow in the above paragraph, are shown with their mother, Martha Madora, in the top picture. Martha Madora is Susan’s sister. Record’s indicate three-year-old Margaret, was drowned in the Swift River in Mexico, Maine.
(To be continued.)
Picture of Martha M. Walton and her children is from Links of Walton History, Hattie Walton Heninger, pg. 41.