Saturday, October 23, 2010

Census Saturday - Hiram Stotler

Today I conducted a search of census records via HeritageQuest online. I was looking for details on Hiram Stotler born in Pennsylvania 3 August 1838 and died in Rockwell City, Calhoun, Iowa 10 June 1920. His picture is to the right, it had been kept safe in a frame by his great granddaughter for many years and it found its way onto my flatbed scanner this afternoon for your viewing enjoyment.

Wisconsin residents, or at least ones that have IP addresses based in Wisconsin, can access a variety of research materials via http://www.badgerlink.net HeritageQuest and Access NewspaperARCHIVE are good tools to use without leaving home, but they take some time to get used to and require some tricks to find information.

In searching for Hiram Stotler, I ran across a common problem when searching census records. The problem is spelling. His last name is listed by the search engine as Stotley in 1870, Statler in 1880, Stoller in 1900, Stotter in 1910 and Stouller in 1920. Fortunately his first name Hiram was spelled the same allowing for a search by birthplace, age and first name. 1920 took the longest to find because both names were misspelled, Hyram Stouller. I did a Calhoun County Iowa search for persons born in Pennsylvania between the ages of 81 and 90 and that revealed the name I was looking for. I was also briefly stumped by the 1860 census, but careful detective work found him living in Piatt County, Illinois near his future wife, Hannah Argo.

The Stotler connection to the Brassfield surname is Hiram Stotler (1838-1920), father of Mary Hay Stotler (1864-1959) (married John Franklin Ross (1859-1934)), mother of Clara Bernice Ross (1897-1994) (married Frank Brown Fowlie (1892-1977)). Frank and Clara's daughter married Elvis John Brassfield (1920-2006).

After the jump I have posted a summary of the census info relating to Hiram Stotler...
Census Bureau seal
At the time of the 1860 US Census, on July 10, 1860, Hiram Stotler was living in Sangamon Township, Piatt County, Illinois. He was listed as a Farm Laborer, age 21. He was living with John and Elizabeth Smith, age 55 and 41 respectively and John Hoover, age 27. They are listed as living in dwelling 415, family 415. The interesting thing is that in dwelling 417 is John Argo, age 67 and his family. In the Argo family, no wife is listed, but I have down that Catharine (Marsh) died in 1855. Living with John Argo are Soloman, age 29, Hannah, age 29, Alexander, age 25, Eviline (sic), age 21, and David, age 25. There is also a female age 14 or 18 living with them, but I can't make out the first name. Wanery Argo or something like that. What makes it interesting is that Hiram married Hannah Argo October 10, 1861. Guess it doesn't hurt to know your neighbors.

At the time of the 1870 Census, 29 July, 1870, Hiram and his family were still living in Sangamon Township, Piatt County, Illinois. They are listed in dwelling 32, family 32 and Stotler looks to be spelled Stotley by the census taker. Hiram is listed as age 31. He was a farmer, listed as born in Pennsylvania. Value of real estate was 1500, value of personal estate, 600. His wife was Hannah, she is listed as "keeping house" and born in Ohio. Living with them appears to be their three children, Mary, George and John, ages 6, 4 and 3. Also living with them was George Kenedy, age 3, "at home" and John Osborn, age 23, "farm labor". John Argo is living a couple dwellings away in dwelling 29. He is age 77, living with a new wife, Martha, age 68. Living with them is George and William McKinley, ages 11 and 17.

At the time of the 1880 Census, June 12 and 14, 1880, Hiram was living in the Village of Mansfield, Piatt County, Illinois. It appears their name is misspelled Statler. Hannah Argo died March 27, 1871, so he is listed with a different spouse. Hiram Stotler was living in dwelling 163, family 165, age 41, listed as a laborer. The form says he was born in Pennsylvania and so were his mother and father. Sarah F. Stotler was his wife, age 35, keeping house. She was born in Virginia and so were her mother and father. Living with them, were Mary, George and John, ages 16, 14 and 13. They were all born in Illinois, father born in Pennsylvania and their mother was born in Virginia. In fact, their mother Hannah Argo was born in Ohio. It appears the census taker mistook Sarah as their mother and recorded Virginia instead of Ohio.

The 1890 census records were destroyed in a 1920 fire, so there are no details available for that one.

At the time of the 1900 Census, June 2, 1900, Hiram is listed as living in ward 7 of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana. He is listed as age 61, born in August 1838, married for 2 years. He is listed as born in Pennsylvania along with his mother and father. His occupation is baker. His wife is listed as Eliza, age 57, born June 1847. She was born in Indiana along with her mother, while her father was born in Kentucky. Zero children born to Eliza were living at the time of the census.

At the time of the 1910 Census, April 16, 1910, Hiram is listed as living in ward 8 of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana. Hiram was age 71, married 10 years, born in Pennsylvania along with both parents. His wife is Eliza, age 55, though that is younger than she was listed in 1900. Perhaps this is a different Eliza because the birthplace is also different, she is listed as born in Ohio along with both parents. The marriage should have been 12 years, but said 10, so maybe this was Eliza number 2, wife number 4?

At the time of the 1920 Census, February 23, 1920, Hiram is listed as Hyram Stouller and was living in Center Township, Calhoun County, Iowa at the Calhoun County Home. He was age 81 and appears to be listed as married. His wife must have lived elsewhere. His occupation is listed as pauper, as are the 10 other residents of the home. He is listed as born in Pennsylvania along with his mother and father.

According to my notes, Hiram A. Stotler died a few months after the 1920 census, June 10, 1920 in Rockwell City, Iowa, probably at the County Home. My notes also say he was buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana, but their website does not list a Hiram Stotler. Oddly, they list a John H. Stotler buried June 14, 1920. Perhaps this is a records transcription error. According to my notes, his son John H. Stotler died in 1913 in a flood. (Probably in the Great Midwestern floods of March 1913) see a NOAA article about it. Update: I'm having doubts on the flood story, this may not be accurate so I am not certain when ore where John H. Stotler died.

Why did he move around from Illinois to Indianapolis to Calhoun County, Iowa? I believe his two sons lived in Indianapolis, and his daughter Mary (Stotler) Ross lived southwest of Rockwell City, Iowa in Lake Creek Township. George died in 1902 and I imagine Hiram moved to Iowa after John died in the 1913 flood.

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