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PARKER CABIN ON PLEASANT RUN

    Over the years I have spent at the Jennings County Public Library finds like this one mean a lot. In a file with a group of pictures was this small one taken in April of 1962. No name of who donated the pictures but written on the back was "Parker Home on Pleasant Run, Near Hicks & Holmes Quarry. E of N. Vernon W. of Oakdale."
    In May of 2014 a family gathered here in Jennings county from three different parts of the country Mike W.R. Davis of Royal Oak, MI., his daughter Betsy, of Alexandria, Virginia and Mike's nephew Mark Skubik his wife Natasha Dehn and their 12 year old daughter Margaret, of Los Altos, California. Their mission was to try and find the actual grave of their mutual ancestor Phanuel Davis who was born in 1785 in Virginia. He fought in the War of 1812, serving in the Ohio Militia. After the war, in 1820 he relocated to Jennings County. The family is certain he died here but no headstone has ever been found. They had hired a company who used portable ground penetrating radar to see if the elusive headstone of Phanuel Davis could be found. Unfortunately their exact mission was not successful. Prior to their visit I had worked with them and also did some more research into the family after their return to their respective homes.
    A large part of what I did was trying to prove exactly where Phanuel Davis had lived here in Jennings county and where he would have been living at the time of his death in March of 1864. Like many of our early settlers Phanuel Davis did not leave a will, but he carefully gave property to his children so by going through old deed records I worked my way through where his land was located and what land he made sure stayed in the family after he was gone. Mike W.R. Davis told me how the old family home was "across the road" from where the cemetery was located. Unfortunately prior to my arrival here in Jennings the old home had gone so all I could do was try and imagine what he was talking about. I plowed through the old plat maps, looked at where the family cemetery was located (now spot in the woods). So little is left of this family's existance there. As with anyone who does this sort of research certain names stayed in my head, and one of them was Aaron Parker who had married Phanuel Davis's daughter Harriet here in Jennings County in April of 1859.
     It was fairly easy using census and marriage records to follow the children of Phanuel Davis, especially those who stayed here in Jennings County. In the 1870 census Harriet (Davis) Parker's mother Jane, wife of Phanuel Davis. is living with Harriet and her husband Aaron Parker. I had found in our land records the following "On August 7, 1860 Ruth Davis another of Phanuel Davis's daughters sells property she got from her father for $500 to Harriet P. Davis" - In book 6 The land Ruth sells to Harriet Parker was NWNW 20-7-9 Book 6 pg. pg. 468 for $500 but no money to exchange hands the requirement was that Harriet and Aaron Parker were to care for Jane Davis for the rest of her life and if they didn't then they had to pay for the property. I found a small death notice for Harriet Parker in the North Vernon Plain Dealer, December 6, 1882
"DIED-On Monday afternoon, January 23d, 1882, Mrs. Parker, wife of Aaron Parker, of Campbell township. Of typhoid fever."
    I also found where Aaron Parker was guardian of he and Harriet (Davis) Parker's children after her death.
    Another daughter of Phanuel Davis named Jane married a fellow named Henry Luderson on August 26, 1867. Jane & Henry Luderson ended up with the Davis family land. Then I found this little notice of Jane (Davis) Luderson's death. "Jane Luderson, widow of the late Henry Luderson, deceased, died last night about 12 o'clock, surviving her husband a little over a week."
    Then there was this little piece of information. In the History of Campbell Township written by J.C. Cope and printed in the North Vernon Plain Dealer on October 6, 1916. Mr. Cope would have been 75 years of age at the time it was written, he says.
    "During the summer of 1852 I was a pupil of (Jane) Davis, whom I liked very much, who afterward married Henry Luderson, and until her death lived in the same house in which she was born."
    This long and confusing trail I followed ends up with the fact that this little picture taken by someone in 1962 is of a cabin where the little girl Jane Davis was born in 1823 here in Jennings County and where she died in 1882. If someone had not taken the time to write on the back of this picture that it was the "Parker Home on Pleasant Run", and to give such a good discription of where it was located (matching exactly the Davis & Parker land). A small piece of our history would have vanished with the cabin and the unmarked graves of her family. It points out two things, write on your pictures and make sure they go to a Library or Historical Society where some day they may be found and add another peice to our shared history. Names of places change with ownership - what to one generation is the Parker home, when sold and lived in by others could very well lose its identity and be known as the ______ place, leaving entire generations lost to those of us who search.

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