Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy 179th Birthday

I have mentioned William Tweed before. He is the oldest ancestor that I have pictures of. He was born near Fort Wayne, Indiana on February 12, 1834. His family moved to Oquawka, Illinois while he was still a young boy. Abraham, his father cleared a farm at the river bluffs across the Mississippi from Burlington, Iowa, but he died and the kids were all taken in by an uncle. William was eleven at that time, and did not like the way he was treated by his father's brother, so he got on a horse and rode back to Ft. Wayne to live with an aunt. He came back after several years and took over the affairs of his brothers and sisters.

During the 1850's he and a brother went to Kansas as part of the anti-slavery movement in Kansas. He enlisted in the Tenth Illinois Infantry in 1861, and left his wife, Mary, to manage their farm and care for their two babies while he helped put down the rebellion. Most of the travel in the Infantry was by foot, and the Tenth Illinois went from Southern Illinois, through Tennesee, Georgia, the Carolinas, and ended up at Wahington, D.C to be mustered out.

He returned to farming after the war, but packed up and homesteaded in Nebraska during the 1880's. Mary died in 1911, and he moved to Oklahoma to live with his son Clarence, then later moved back to Oquawka to stay with his son, Moses. He died March 25, 1925, and he was shipped by rail to be buried next to Mary in Bassett, Nebraska.

I am always amazed by amount of traveling that went on Before Cars (B.C.). People used to travel great distances on foot or on horseback, and they did not have cushy hiking shoes. William Tweed: a real Travelin' Man.

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