*******NOTE TO READER*******
"My father, Timothy Haughey, was of Scotch, Irish, and Dutch parentage. His father was Robert Haughey whose father came of Scottish ancestry and whose mother was Christina King, born in Kings Co. Ireland. She was a lady of culture. (NOTE to the reader from Susan Minch, it has been proven by the Wyckoff Family Association that Christina King was born in Kings Co, Delaware not Ireland.)
My Father's Mother was Hannah Wyckoff; her father was Peter Wyckoff, he was of the sturdy Dutch race. Her Mother was Elizabeth Bruce of Scottish descent, and in family tradition was a descendant of King Robert Bruce of Caledonian fame. The religion of the early Wyckoff family was Presbyterian.
My grandmother (Hannah Wyckoff) was born in Erie Co, Pa on March 2nd, 1800. Her people formerly lived in New Jersey. My grandfather (Robert) Haughey was born near Wilmington, Delaware, March 19, 1790. His father owned and controlled several plantations near Wilmington. He also owned ninety Negro slaves. He did service as a Commissary during the Revolutionary war, riding on horse back to his posts of duty. He died when Robert was a mere infant. He was nine years old when his mother passed away.
Being separated from the members of his family, when but a youth, he had an incomplete history of it. He knew of four brothers. William and Levi were lawyers and lived in Delaware. Jacob, who helped in overseeing the plantations, and John who settled near Freeport, Illinois. Several of the latter's descendants are now living in or near that place.
My grandfather (Robert Haughey) was of a tall and erect stature which was characteristic of his people. He was a typical blonde, while my grandmother, (Hannah Wyckoff) was a decided brunette.
He (Robert Haughey) was the father of sixteen children, two by his first wife, who was Catherine Hammal, and to whom he was married when he was twenty-two years of age. Fourteen children were born to his second wife, my father's mother, (Hannah Wyckoff) the first dying in infancy.
The names and date of births of children follows:
1. John born March 24th, 1814, married Amy Vail
2. Jane born April 29th, 1816, married John Eagle
3. Elizabeth born March 9th, 1819, married Ezekiel Conkey
4. Christina born October 29th, 1820, married William Dirrim
5. Evaline born September 19th, 1822, married David Snowberger
6. Timothy born November 5th, 1824, married Mary Catherine Gerst
7. Robert K. born September 5th, 1826, married Susann Coleman
8. Jacob born March 29th, 1828, married Margaret Castle
9. Hannah L. born April 15th, 1830
10. Peter born June 14th, 1832
11. Francis M. born January 28th, 1835, married Isabelle Leithers
12. Lydia Lovina born June 24th 1837, married John Shore
13. Rebecca born February 5th, 1840, married George Rigelman
14. Orrilla born May 26th, 1842, married Moses Kettering
15. George W. born July 28th, 1845 unmarried
My grandmother (Hannah Wyckoff) was seventeen years of age when
she married my grandfather, (Robert Haughey) and went into his home as
his wife and to become the mother of his two small children, the older
one being scarcely three years of age. She proved to be a real parent.
My grandmother was a Methodist, a devout Christian woman. Her faith
was a guide and a rock of strength thru out her life. Grandfather
was inclined toward skepticism, but
well do I remember with what dignity and respect he listened to my grandmother as she asked the blessing at each meal. Their family was raised with no feeling of half relationship and seldom mention of it.
For a number of years grandfather lived on a farm near Stuebenville,
in Jefferson County, Ohio. This was the birth place of my father
and several of his brothers and sisters. John, his oldest brother,
was a teacher in the schools of Steubenville for a time. He
was nineteen years of age. Father, (Timothy Haughey) recalled
looking across the Ohio River and seeing the huts
of Negro slaves in West Virginia.
In 1834 the family moved to Wayne County, Ohio. Here the younger
members of the family were born and where all grew to manhood and womanhood.
Here grandfather (Robert Haughey) cleared away forests and farmed the land.
He and his sons worked together to maintain and support their numerous
family. They were industrious and willing workers. On
Saturday night, my father (Timothy Haughey) said, "All work stopped, and
Sunday was an entirely different day from the rest of the week."
They went to Sunday school and
church and mingled with friends from the neighborhood. In winter they went to school. Several of the family became teachers and taught in the surronding districts. Their advantages for education were meager, means were limited. My father, (Timothy Haughey) attended Oberlin College for a time, working to pay his expenses splitting wood was one of the chores.
My grandfather (Robert) Haughey was a constant reader, his thirst
for knowledge made him so. During the lull of manual labor, the winter
season was spent by him in reading and doing chores. He was a man
of recognized ability in his community, and took an active part in the
discussion of topics both in public and in private. A man of strong
convictions he was outspoken.
There was no question at all of his stand on certain issues. He was a man of integrity and honest purpose. He lived a clean moral life, as did all of his sons and daughters.
Several of his children married, came west, and made homes in north
western Ohio and north eastern Indiana. John, the oldest was
first to come. He married Amy Vail and came to Steuben Co.,
in 1839. He was one of the pioneer teachers and was teaching at the
time of the last sickness. He died in 1859. Jane and
Elizabeth remained in Ohio, near the old home, Robert, Jacob and Rebecca
settled in Williams Co. Ohio. Christina, Evaline, Francis,
and my father (Timothy) located in Steuben and DeKalb County, Indiana.
Later, after the Civil War, grandfather and grandmother (Robert and Hannah (Wyckoff) Haughey) came. Their home was near Hudson in DeKalb County. The house in which they lived still stands.
My father (Timothy Haughey) purchased sixty acres in Steuben County.
He payed three dollars per acre for it. It was a vast forest.
He cleared it himself, felled every tree. He felled the timber on
eight acres for a cow. He built a log cabin on the banks of Black
Creek, a stream which ran thru the farm. He did this a year before
he was married. He was twenty years old at
this time. He made the trip back to his home in Wayne County, Ohio on foot. The distance was two hundred miles. Five times he made the trip.
He was twenty-one when he married my mother, Mary Catherine Gerst, a
thrifty and frugal young woman. They loaded household goods into
a wagon, brought them over rough roads thru the woods to the cabin awaiting
them in the heart of a forest. This was the beginning of the arduous
task of building and maintaining a home in the early pioneer days.
The Indians had left but a
few years before, the woods were teeming with wild life. Deer were plentiful, as were wild turkeys. Wild cats and some wolves still infested the swamps.
The Jackmans were the nearest neighbors and soon there was a foot path
between the log homes. There was a blazed trail to neighbors father
away. Here my father (Timothy Haughey) continued his pioneer teaching
for several years. He also took an active part in the public debating
societies, which were held at the school houses in the various districts.
This, to him, was
an interesting diversion from the monotony of every day toil. He attended the teacher's institutes and visited the school. I remember well that I was not glad to see him there. He watches too closely to see if I was getting my lessons.
My father's idea that, "The will of a child should not be broken" was carried out to the letter in the government of his family. The rod was spared entirely. There were no wood shed dramas, not that he never expected certain tasks of us, for he did, and we obeyed, but not thru fear of being punished.
Three of my father's brothers were Civil War Veterans: Jacob, Francis and Washington. All returned, but the health of Washington was impaired by the hardships of his life in Libby Prison. He lived about a year after his return. He was twenty-two when he died. Peter, another brother, went to California during the "Gold Rush". He did not return and nothing was ever heard of him.
Hannah L. died in childhood, probably at the age of nine or ten. My father told of his father's (Robert Haughey) calling the brothers and sisters about the casket and talking to them. His theme was "Life". It would be interesting to know how he treated the subject.
When my father had been in this county ten or twelve years, he became
afflicted with an illness which incapacitated him for five years.
He consulted the available physicians who told him his trouble was tuberculosis,
and that he could not expect to live longer than six months. This
severe blow to his ambitions and also a great sorrow at the thought of leaving my mother to care for a family of young children. He built an additon to the log house and a renter with family moved in to take charge of the farm work. His name was Seerfoss. Years after he had made a complete recovery from the illness he learned that is was not tuburculosis, but empyoma. During this period of enforced idleness he built the frame house on the hill known as Haughey's Corners. This was to be the home for my mother and her children. How strange are the decrees of fate. He lived there more years than she did.
The lives of both were strenuous. They added to the sixty acres, from time to time, until the farm consisted of more than two hundred acres.
My mothers (Mary Catherine Gerst) people were German. Her father
brought his family to America from North Bavaria in 1830. By
trade, he was a stone mason. The German government required its young
men to enter military training at the age of eighteen and remain thru a
period of seven years. This was intolerant to my mother's father
whose older son was seventeen years of age, and would soon be compelled
to leave home and go to the training. He
sold his home and had planned to purchase a farm in Pennsylvania.
There were five children, one daughter by a former marriage, two sons
and two daughters by the second. Eliza, the eldest, and a half sister
was twenty-four; Henry, seventeen; John, eleven; Mary C. seven; and Phebe,
four. My mother (Mary C.) remembered of their crossing northern
France to reach the port. They were several weeks in making the voyage
across the Atlantic.
She also remembered how white the faces of the passengers were in time of storm and how the vessel was off course for two or three days on account of reverse winds.
They reached New York City safely, but an epidemic of cholera soon claimed the mother as its victim. A short time after the death of the mother, the father died of hemorrhage of the lungs. The children were now among strangers in a large city, but they were resourceful. The older ones looked well to the care of the younger ones.
Henry remained in the city and learned carpentering. In Germany, he had learned the trade of a weaver. Eliza married John Molter, a blacksmith by trade. They, together with the three younger children, came west into Pennsylvania and lived for a time in Bethlehem, now so famed for its steel works. From that place they came to Ohio and settled in Wayne County. There they purchased a farm and built a home, not for themselves alone, but for her brother and two sisters. This was their home until they were able to be self supporting.
I often heard my mother say, "Eliza was more than a sister, she was a mother to us." In religion my mother's people were Lutheran. There was no church of their faith in their new surroundings. They became Methodists. The Christian faith was a sustaining strength to Uncle John and Aunt Eliza Molter. They had four children of their own, and cared for two others that were left motherless, refusing remuneration for their care. They were truly Christian people.
Henry, the older brother, by his new work that of carpenter, became
interested in real estate. He had large land holdings in Brooklyn,
New York, which place was his home the remainder of his life. He
was the father of six children, to all of who he gave a college education.
Two daughters married physicians, one a professor of languages, and one
a sea captain. One son
entered the military.
John, my mother's second brother, was a blacksmith, by trade and was
also very successful. When he was twenty-two, he was ready to go
into business for himself, having his trade learned. He had his clothes
and seventy-five cents in his pocket. I heard him say he never went
in debt. He became a large land owner, quit his trade and looked
to the care of his farms. He was
known in his community as a man of wealth and influence. He attended church, although not a member, and was generous contributor to its cause. He sought-to-be an example in his manner of living. He deprived himself an occasional glass of beer, because of the bad influence it might lend.
He, nor his brother, Henry, ever used tobacco in any form. In politics, Uncle John, was a life long democrat. Uncle Henry was in the South for a season where he saw the auction block and the whipping post in use. He denounced the party that would tolerate such inhumane acts. He became a staunch republican.
Phebe, the youngest sister, married Peter Helbert. She was the mother of four children, three sons and one daughter. The daughter is living at the present time in Ashland, Ohio. Phebe died young of tuberculosis, it was said. I heard my father say she was a beautiful woman. I have in my possession some of the good letters she wrote to my mother after she and my father had moved to Indiana.
My mother's brothers and sisters all visited her in her early home on the banks of Black Creek. Traveling was difficult, but they came. Uncle John Gerst said, "We were separated, but we never lost our affection for one another."
We knew every path and trail thru the forest. Each neighbor knew the tinkling sound of his own cow bell, and each evening during the summer season we would listen for the bell and be guided to where the cows were grazing. They were kept in the barn yard at night and turned out in the morning to roam at will.
All of this changed later on when fields and forests were fenced.
I have in my possession the bell for which I use to listen. Taking
the cows to pasture in the morning and bringing them back in the evening
was no hardship, it was a pleasure. We picked flowers, we knew just
where the golden seal grew and the ginseng of which we were fond.
We gathered wild plums and black haws and
occasionally we found a bush of wild currants.
The delights and pleasures of forest and field were never ending and we enjoyed them to the full. Each shared in the various kinds of labor as his years and strength permitted. No one shirked. No one needed undue arguing.
My father and mother (Timothy Haughey and Mary Catherine Gerst) were the parents of eight children, six daughters and two sons. The oldest, Christiana, died when she about four years old. Next came Hannah Louisa, William D., Phebe Eliza, Mary Jane, Emily, Laura Rumina, Francis G. All were born in the log cabin except the two younger ones, Laura and Frank.
The family moved from the log house to the frame one in November. It was cold and they were homesick to go back to the more comfortable log house. That was eighty-one years ago. As I remember the neighbors all lived in log houses at that time and for some years later.
The Civil War was on and I remember well how anxious my father was to get the newspaper, which came two per week.
We children grew up together in the little frame house on the hill and in the surrounding fields and forests which we knew so well. We knew the maple trees that were to be tapped in the spring and helped to place the heavy wooden troughs to catch the sap.
After breakfast, father would say, " If I had help I could accomplish, this or that, today." When he would go out mother would turn to us and say "You better help your father today." That seemed to be all that was necessary. We dropped the corn or husked it, or racked hay, or did any of the many jobs on the farm curriculum.
Hannah preferred to use the needle and with no sewing machine she was always trying to reduce the pile of garments to be made. Even when she taught school, she would take a basket of sewing with her, bringing home the ready made garments at the end of the week.
Will, industrious to a fault, used all spare time in making sleds, wagons,
baskets and etc. They were well made, and showed him to be a natural
genius, and mechanic. Of brilliant intellect, he was an unusual student,
always remained a student. Intervals from manual labor found him
with book in hand, astronomy, physics, or what ever might suit his mood,
at the time. While at
school his instructors said of him "He is very original". The lure of fields and woods was strong and his short life was given in the main to the activities of a farmer. He died at the age of 37 years.
Phebe, the next member of the family was of a quiet, retired, and thoughtful
nature. I well remember when we attended the district school, we
were fortunate (as we thought) in having a teacher who knew something of
Algebra. So when a pupil had finished "Ray's Third Part" he or she
was given the privilege of studying Algebra. Phebe was very young,
not over fourteen, but
took up the study of Algebra and did well in it. I was very proud of her and it pleased me as much or more than if I had been the one promoted. In my father's family there was not much vocal praise. We were to chary in this, and I am afraid I didn't tell her how glad she made me.
Emily came next. She always discounted her school book ability more than did any one else. However, she was known as "The good looking one" of the family. Be it to the credit of the others of us, we were pleased to hear the remark.
Many incidents might be related but I will simply touch upon a few, briefly.
Laura came along, and I well remember that Will said of her "You can count on her being truthful." This came up in the adjusting of little difficulties between children. Her word was not to be disputed. And Will always listened on such occasions.He was unbiased and just in his conclusions.
Frank was the youngest. I was eight years old when he was born. Mother entrusted him to my care when he was very young.
How I wish I had the little splint bottom chair in which I used to sit
and rock him. It was never a hard ship, always a pleasure for me
to take him with me where ever we children were playing. Some years
after this, when I came home from school in the evening, Mother would tell
me how Frank would climb the gate, look down the road toward the................