Randolph County, Indiana
The present community of Unionport,
located on the boundary of West River
and White River townships on the stream of Cabin creek, owes the fact for
the existence to the settlement of Mendenhall's and allied families in and near
that vicinity. The town was laid out by a Mendenhall and the early industry
and development was due to the background of the Mendenhall's who had been millers
and artisans for generations. So active and vital was this family in the
early expansion of this section that it has been said that surely a better
name for it would have been Mendenhall.
Union City Times-Gazette
Saturday, July 17, 1948
(By Willard C. Heiss)
AN EARLY QUAKER FAMILY
OF RANDOLPH COUNTY
The Ancestry and Some of the Descendants
of Nathan Mendenhall and Ann, His Wife.
The English ancestor of this family was
spelled Minall or Mildenhall). With his wife, Joan, they lived in Marriage
Hill in the Parish of Ranesbury, Wiltshire, England. He died 5-5-1682.
They had eight children, viz., Margery, Joan, Mary, John, Benjamin,
Stephen, Moses and Aaron, the majority of whom came to America.
John [Generation 1]
John Mendenhall was born 8-30-1658, in England. He came to America and
settled in Chester Co., Pennsylvania, just prior to 1685. On the 13th of
5th mo. 1865, he married at Concord Meeting in Chester Co., to Elizabeth
Maris, daughter of George and Alice Maris. She was born 2nd. Mo., 3rd.
1665, Worcestershire, England. The Maris family was a very prominent part
of the early English Quakers. After the death of Elizabeth (Maris)
Mendenhall, date unknown; John again married 8th Mo. 2nd. 1708 to Esther
(Maddock) Dicks, widow of Peter Dicks. John Mendenhall died in Chester Co.
John and Elizabeth had three children; George, John and Aaron.
John [Generation 2]
John Mendenhall(II), son of John and Elizabeth, was born 4th Mo. 3rd. 1688 in
Chester Co., Pennsylvania. He married about 1709 to Susanna Pierson,
daughter of Thomas and Rose Pierson. John and Susanna lived in East Cain
until 1731, at which time they moved to Lancaster Co., where they lived
until 1747, when they again removed to Fredrick Co., Virginia, becoming
members of the Hopewell Meeting.
Seven children were born to John and Susanna Mendenhall, namely, John,
Mordecia, Mary, Moses, Martha, Stephen and Sarah.
Mordecia [Generation 3]
Mordecia Mendenhall(IV), son of John and Susanna, was born circa 1713, in
Chester Co., Pennsylvania, removed with his parents to Lancaster Co., where
he married in Ldeacock Meeting to Charity Beeson, daughter of Richard and
Charity (Grubb) Beeson. They were married on the 21st of 3rd. Mo., 1735. In
the fall of 1736, Mordecia and Charity removed from Pennsylvania to Fredrick
Co., Virginia, within the verge of the Hopewell Monthly Meeting. They lived
there until the Spring or Summer of 1751, when they again removed to Rowan
Co. (now Guilford), North Carolina, settling within the verge of Cane Creek
Monthly Meeting, later (1754) coming under the verge of New Garden Meeting.
Mordecia Mendenhall died 11th Mo., 3rd. 1803 and his wife, Charity, died 9th
Mo. 20Th, 1809, aged about 90 years.
To Mordecia and Charity Mendenhall were born; Richard, John, Thomas, Moses, Stephen, Mordecia, Maris, Aaron, Charity and Isaac.
Stephen [Generation 4]
Stephen Mendenhall, son of Mordecia and Charity, was born 11th Mo., 23rd.,
1744 in Virginia. He removed to North Carolina with his parents and there
in the Meeting House at New Garden married on the 16th of 10th Mo., 1769, to
Elizabeth Rich, daughter of John Rich. She was born 4th Mo., 24th, 1751.
Stephen and Elizabeth lived in Guilford Co., until sometime prior to 1802
they removed to Piney Grove Meeting in the Marlborough District of South
Carolina. In 1815, with three or four of the youngest children, the family
came to the Indiana Territory, settling in Washington Co., near Lick Creek
Monthly Meeting. Later they moved to West Grove Meeting, Indiana, and in
the Fall of 1821, Stephen and Elizabeth again removed to Springfield Meeting
in Clinton Co., Ohio, to be near their children, who mostly had immigrated
and settled there. It is not known whether they died here at Springfield,
but it could hardly be supposed that at this great age they could have moved
Stephen and Elizabeth Mendenhall had the following children: John, Maris,
Nathan, Isaac, Sarah, Rachel, Hannah, Elizabeth, Stephen, Eli, Mordecia,
Thomas and James.
Nathan [Generation 5]
Nathan Mendenhall, son of Stephen and Elizabeth, was born in Guilford (now
Randolph) Co., North Carolina, 2nd. Mo., 22nd., 1774. On the 25th of 4th.
Mon, 1798, he was married by Friends' ceremony at the Springfield Meeting
house, to Ann Harlan, daughter of Enoch and Edith. She was born 10th. Mo.,
10th., 1773. In the lated summer of 1807 Nathan and family removed to Ohio,
stopping for a few months near the site of the present town of Hillsboro (in
what is now Highland Co., O.); then finally settling 'near the waters of
Todd's Fork of the Little Miami, in Clinton Co. On the 8th. Mo., 15th.,
1837, Nathan Mendenhall and wife Ann, and daughters, Hannah, Elizabeth and
Rebecca, were given a certificate of removal by Springfield Monthly Meeting
(Ohio) addressed to White River Monthly Meeting (Randolph Co, Ind.). In the
10th. Mo., of that same year, they settled just north of the present site of
Unionport. Nathan Mendenhall died 10th. Mo., 3rd., 1847 at Unionport. Ann,
his wife, died 7th. Mo., 3rd, 1857, and both were buried at Buena Vista
Nathan Mendenhall was a miller, wagon maker and farmer. He, with his
sons, built several Mills on Cabin Creek, which along with shops in the
hamlet of Unionport, did much to advance the community at that early day.
Nathan and Ann Mendenhall had the following children, which I am outlining
Children Of Nathan
(1) Edith Mendenhall, born 7th mo., 25th. 1799, Guilford Co., N. C.,
married 1st. Mo., 1818, Clinton Co., Ohio, to Amos Cowgill, son of John and
Catherine, born Fredrick Co., Virginia, 10th Mo., 13th., 1794. To Amos
Cowgill and Edith were born:
(1a) Calvin Cowgill, born 1st., Mo., 7th., 1819, married 9th. Mo., 15th.,
1811, Mary Flannigan, daughter of Thomas and Ann.
After the marriage of Amos Cowgill and Edith, they lived in Clinton Co.,
Ohio, until about 1836, at which time they immigrated to Indiana, settling
for a short time at Unionport and moving on into Wayne County. They
remained in Wayne until 1848, at which time they again moved to Wabash
County, where Edith (Mendenhall) Cowgill died 12th. Mo., 31st., 1888 and
Amos Cowgill died 11th. Mo., 22nd., 1856, both are buried near North
(1b) Hiram M. Cowgill, born 5th. Mo., 19th., 1820; died 2nd. Mo., 1885;
married 6th. Mo., 2nd., 1847, to Edith A. Harlan, daughter of Nathaniel and
(1c) Lydia, born, 2nd. Mo., 6th., 1822; married 3rd. Mo., 1843 to Thomas
Wallace, son of James and Elizabeth.
(1d) Olive A. Cowgill, born 1st. Mo., 3rd., 1824; married 9th. Mo., 21st.,
1840, to John A. Marino.
(1e) Abi L. Cowgill, born 6th. Mo., 28th., 1825; married 2nd. Mo., 10th.,
1851, to Isaac Thorne.
(1f) Nathan C. Cowgill, born 8th. Mo., 8th. 1827; married 3rd. Mo. 1862,
to Matilda Martin.
(1g) Catherine Cowgill, born 9th. Mo. 22nd., 1830; married 3rd. Mo.,
10th., 1854 to Jacob Harter.
(1h) Maris Cowgill born 2nd. Mo., 20th., 1832; died 2nd. Mo., 26th., 1854,
in Wabash Co., Ind. Never married.
(1i) Margaret, born 2nd. Mo., 17th., 1834; died 1st. Mo., 11th., 1853, in
Wabash Co., Ind. Never married.
(1j) Rowena Cowgill, born 8th. Mo., 22nd. 1836; married Joseph Harter.
(1k) John H. Cowgill, born 11th. Mo., 13th., 1838; died 8th. Mo., 8th.,
1840, in Wayne Co., Ind.
(1l) Alfred C. Cowgill, born 10th. Mo., 11th., 1842; died 12th. Mo.,
19th., 1852, in Wabash Co., Ind.
(1m) Ella E. Cowgill, born 10th. Mo., 25th., 1847; married 7th. Mo.,
19th., 1866 to George Rhoads.
(2) Hiram Mendenhall, born 2nd., Mo., 20th., 1801, Guilford Co., N. C.
Married 11th. Mo., 27th., 1821, Clinton Co., Ohio to Martha Hale, daughter
of Jacob and Martha, born 6th. Mo., 12th., 1801, Randolph Co., N. C. To
Hiram Mendenhall and Martha were born:
(2a) Rowena Mendenhall, born 8th. Mo., 18th, 1822; died 2nd. Mo., 28th.,
1887; married 8th. Mo., 19th., 1840 to Samuel M. Ruble.
(2b) Joseph H. Mendenhall, born 5th. Mo., 1st., 1824; married first 4th.,
Mo., 6th., 1848 Margaret H. Pursley. Married again.
(2c) Martha A. Mendenhall, born 6th. Mo., 30th., 1826; married 1847 to
(2d) Amos C. Mendenhall, born 11th. Mo., 16th., 1828; died 1892. Never
(2e) Nathan Mendenhall, born 12th. Mo., 11th., 1830; married 3rd. Mo.,
7th., 1850 to Huldah M. Underwood.
(2f) Jacob H. Mendenhall, born 1st., Mon., 1st, 1833; died 9th. Mo.,
13th., 1855(?); married 3rd. Mo., 11th, 1861 to Sarah Ann Lorison.
(2g) William H. Mendenhall, born 8th. Mo., 20th., 1835; died 9th. Mo.,
(2h) John H. Mendenhall, born 8th. Mo., 20th., 1835; died 9th. Mo., 11th.,
1835. John and William were twins.
(2i) Samuel Mendenhall, born 10th. Mo., 22nd., 1836; married 11th. Mo.,
11th., 1857 to Louisa Bysel.
(2j) James Mendenhall, born 7th. Mo., 26th., 1839; married 10th., Mo.,
31st., 1861 to Margaret Mayo.
(3) Olive Mendenhall, born 7th. Mo., 11th., 1803, married 4th. Mo., 6th.,
1825 to Jonathan Hadley, born 8th. Mo., 20th., 1800, son of William and
Sarah Hadley. After their marriage they continued to live in Clinton Co.,
O., until the death of Olive. Some time after her death which occurred 11th.
Mo., 19th., 1840, Jonathan Hadley removed to Hardin Co., Iowa, and died
there 1st. Mo., 25th., 1863.
Jonathan and Olive (Mendenhall) Hadley had seven children, Edwin, William
C., Eliza, Rebecca J., Anna M., John and Olive.
(4) Maris Mendenhall, born 1st. Mo., 9th., 1805, married 9th. Mo., 12th.,
1833 to James Hartman of Virginia and lived in Union township, Clinton Co.,
Ohio. There they had three children, Hannah, Jonathan and Nathan. Maris
(Mendenhall) died in Union township 2nd. Mo., 14th., 1872.
(5) Elizabeth Mendenhall, was born 12th. Mo., 7th., 1806. She removed
with her parents to Randolph Co., Ind., and did not marry until 1858, when
she became the wife of Walter Ruble, widower. She died 11th. Mo., 11th.,
(6) Nathan Mendenhall, born 4th. Mo., 18th., 1809; married 9th. Mo.,
16th., 1830 to Maria Beech, born 9th. Mo., 10th., 1815, daughter of Benjamin
and Sarah. They removed from Clinton Co., Ohio, to near Unionport in 1836.
They had 11 children.
(6a) Thomas W. Mendenhall, born 7th. Mo., 24th., 1832 and died 7th. Mo.,
(6b) Hannah Mendenhall, born 2nd. Mo., 12th., 1834; married 12th. Mo.,
21st., 1854 to Hiram Diggs. She later removed to Audubon Co., Iowa, and
died there 4th. Mo., 6th., 1877.
(6c) Amanda D. Mendenhall, born 1st. Mo., 5th., 1836, married 2nd. Mo.,
2nd., 1856 to Allen Diggs.
(6d) Eliza, born 3rd. Mo., 6th, 1838, married 11th. Mo., 19th., 1862 to
(6e) Benjamin Mendenhall, born 3rd. Mo., 27th. 1840, married Alice Larison
and removed to Iowa.
(6f) Nathan Mendenhall, born 1st. Mo., 6th., 1843, married Anna Denton.
(6g) John Mendenhall, born 1st. Mo., 19th., 1845, married first Delilah
Doty, then second to Ella Byrd.
(6h) Hiram Mendenhall married 10th. Mo., 27th., 1872 to Angeline Johnson
and removed to Audubon Co., Iowa.
(6i) George Mendenhall, born 5th. Mo., 1st., 1851; died 8th Mo., 22nd.,
1884, Randolph Co., Ind. Never married.
(6j) Timothy, born 4th. Mo., 5th., 1853, married Jane Heaston and removed
to Audubon Co., Ia.
(6k) Rebecca, born 10th. Mo., 27th., 1855, married 10th. Mo., 29th., 1874
to John Kabel, son of Philip and Mary. They lived in Randolph county.
Nathan Mendenhall and wife, Maria, lived near Unionport until their death.
Mariea, died 5th. Mo., 1st., 1853 and Nathan died 4th. Mo., 27th., 1861.
Both are buried in Buena Vista Burial Ground.
(7) Hannah Mendenhall, born 6th. Mo., 15th., 1811, removed with her
parents to Randolph Co., Indiana, and there married 3rd. Mo., 11th., 1841 to
Littleberry Diggs, born, circa 1792, son of William and Fanny. They had:
(7a) Ann Eliza, born 8th. Mo., 1st., 1842, married 8th. Mo., 1st., 1861 to
Isaiah P. Watts, son of Samuel and Martha.
(7b) Elizabeth, born 10th. Mo., 16th., 1843 and died 1850.
(7c) Francis C. Diggs, born 9th. Mo., 12th., 1845, married 3rd. Mo., 18th,
1866 to Emily Mendenhall.
Littleberry Diggs died 2nd. Mo., 20th., 1846 near Old Dunkirk. Hannah
(Mendenhall) Diggs, died 9th. Mo., 20th., 1892 in Winchester.
(8) Rebecca Mendenhall, born 10th. Mo., 11th., 1813, removed to Randolph
Co., with her parents and married 3rd. Mo., 16th., [?] to David C. Lewis,
son of David and Mary Lewis. She died 8th. Mo., 31st., 1901
There have been many ommissions, some intentional and others due to the
fact that I had no further data. There were many allied families also at
Unionport, coming with the Mendenhall's namely the Marines,Lewis, Hiatt,
Kimbrough, Maye, Heaston, Billu, Ruble and many more. The ramifications of
relationship in these families are much too complicated to try to show in a
There has been an interest for some time in the Mendenhall family, in the
ancestry of Martha Hale, wife of Hiram Mendenhall. It seems that there was
a family tradition that she was in some way related to Nathan Hale of
Revolutionary War fame. However, as far as I can see, Nathan Hale has no
connection to this particular family which originally spelled the name
Heald. Herewith is an account of the Hale family:
The Heald Family, from Harlan Genealogy pages 16-17.
Samuel Heald, yeoman, Friend, was born 9-12-1668, in Mobberly, Cheshire,
Old England, and died in Kennett Township, Chester Co., Pennsylvania, in
1736. He was the son of William and Jane (Donbobbin) Heald. He married in
England Mary Bancroft, who was born 5-13-1673, at Eccleston in Cheshire, a
daughter of John and Mary Bancroft of that Shire. Samuel and Mary came to
America in 1703, bringing with them a certificate from Mobberly Monthly
Meeting to Friends in Philadelphia, and bearing the date 10-3-1702. They
were the parents of eight children, of whom five were born in England. Mary
died in Kennett Township and was buried beside her husband at "Old" Kennett.
Samuel and Mary (Bancroft) Heald were the parents of eight children: (1)
Sarah, b. 5-19-1692; d. 12 Mo., 1747; m. Aaron Harlan, 1713. (2) William,
(3) Mary, b. 10-15-1697; m. 1719 Joshua Harlan. (4) Jane, b. 5-9-1700; m.
1726, Edward Lay. (5) Samuel b. 7-22-1702; m. Rachel Nichols. (6) Dinah,
b. 12-12-1708; m. 2-16-1734, Martin Wilcox. (7) Jacob, b. 10-27-1711. (8)
Joseph, M. 9 Mo. 1746, Hannah Hild.
Samuel Heald, born Chester Co., Pa., date not known; died there in Kennett
Twp., about May or June 1772; buried there, in "Old" Kennett Burying
Grounds; a son of Samuel Heald, born 7-22-1702, in Mobberly, Cheshire,
England (as above mentioned). He married March 28, 1760 in Holy Trinity (Old
Swedes) church, Wilmington, Delaware, Ruth Harlan, daughter of Joseph and
Hannah (Roberts) Harlan. She was born 6-30-1741, in Kennett Twp., Chester
Co., Pa.; died 1828 in Clinton Co., Ohio; buried in Friends Burying Grounds
at Springfield Meeting House, in (now) Adams Twp. They had five children,
namely, (1) Jacob, b. 9-4-1763; m. Martha Harvey. (2) Rachel. (3) Joseph.
(4) Samuel, and (5) Mary.
After the death of Samuel Heald, in 1772, Ruth, his widow, married Allen
Langley, Sept. 29, 1773, at Christ church, Philadelphia.
Jacob Heald, farmer, Miller, Friend, born 9-4-1763 in Kennett Twp.,
Chester Co., Pa. He moved with his mother and step-father (Allen Langley),
about 1785/6, from Chester Co. to Randolph Co., N. C. H married in the last
named county about 1786, Martha Harvey, born 4-16-1766, in Randolph Co., a
daughter of William Harvey, born in Chester Co., Pa., and Elizabeth Carter,
born 8-16-1736, in the same county. In 1806 Jacob Hale and family settled
in what is now Adams Twp., in Clinton Co., Ohio, where they remained during
life. Jacob died 9-5-1851, and Martha, 6-23-1859, and both are buried in
Friends' Burying Ground at Springfield Meeting House. Their children:
Samuel, b. 2-14-1787; m. 1812 Mary West; d. 2-14-1879.
Elizabeth, b. 2-26-1789; m. 11-17-1814 James Massey; d. 1-24-1867.
William, b. 9-27-1790; m. 1-15-1817 Maria Sabin; d. 7-15-1887.
Eli, b. 12-29-1794; m. Ann Hadley; d. 8-16-1849.
Ruth, b. 3-3-1797; m. 10-30-1817 John Hadley; d. 9-18-1861.
Lydia, b. 3-29-1779; m. 8-22-1816 John Harlan; d. 8-18-1875.
Jacob, b. 6-23-1801; m. 1830 Hannah Andrews; d. 2-13-1849.
Martha, b. 6-23-1801; m. 11-27-1821 Hiram Mendenhall; d. 8-5-1880.
Joseph, b. 7-9-1804; m. 9-14-1821 Rowena Harlan; d. 2-21-1890.
Armonia, b. 9-21-1806; m. Elizabeth Edwards; d. 9-6-1900.
Mary, b. 9-26-1810; m. Isaac Roseberry; d. 12-15-1863.
Jacob Hale was one of the earliest settlers upon Todd's Fork. In 1805,
accompanied by John Hadley, he came to view the country. They travelled on
horseback, coming through Highland Co., Ohio. They found it a 'goodly
land.' They returned to North Carolina, resolved to part with their
possessions there and removed with their families to Ohio as soon as
possible. Jacob Hale was largely engaged in business there, and owning
considerable land, it took him some time to close up affairs.
The three were brothers-in-law, Jacob Hale having married Martha Harvey,
and John Hadley, Lydia Harvey, who were sisters to Isaac Harvey. They
selected a tract of land on Todd's Fork (a branch of the Little Miami
river), then owned by Robert Pollard, as suitable for making them a home, as
also others of their people, who were expected to come with them. The tract
of land contained ovr two thousand acres and was purchased by Isaac Harvey
and his brother, Eli jointly from the owner in Virginia.
In 1807, Jacob Hale came with his family to Ohio, and settled upon three
hundred acres of this tract of land. His children, except the youngest,
were born in Randolph Co., N. C. About this time Allen Langley and his
wife, Ruth, came to Ohio and settled on these lands, where she died in 1828.
Allen survived her and went to Indiana, where he died at the home of one of
his sons by his first wife.
Material for the foregoing account was mainly from the Quaker Records of
Ohio and North Carolina. Also valuable was the 'History of Chester County,
Pa.', by Futhey and Cope. "Hopewell Friends' History," 'Tucker's History of
Randolph County,' 'History of Clinton County, Ohio,' 'The Genealogy of the
Harlan Family,' and material from the Bible Record of Hiram Mendenhall,
furnished by Mrs. Coe Botkin of Selma. Also, data on some of the early
Mendenhall's from Mr. Harry Beeson of Dallas, Texas.
I remain ready to help anyone who would like further amplification of any
of the lines not fully developed in this article. I would also appreciate
any additions or corrections that can be offered.
Willard C. Heiss,
P. O. Box 171
(The activities of Hiram Mendenhall were so varied that no condensation
can do them justice. It is my hope, in time, to complete a monograph
treating in the most complete manner with the life and tribulations that he
bore. Hiram Mendenhall, to me, is one of the most outstanding figures to be
found in the list of Quaker pioneers, who helped to make Randolph county
what it is today.)
For an actually copy of this story you can contact the Union City Library
or the Indiana State Library.
Contributed by Billy J Baker
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