Matilda Besoni, second wife of my great-grand uncle Alvin Stone. The marriage record of Alvin and Matilda states she and Alvin were married June 19, 1905 in Lac du Flambeau, Vilas, WI. Her death certificate states she was born in March 1894 in Peroza (?) Italy.
While she and Alvin had no children, someone cared enough to create a marker for her grave in the Lac du Flambeau cemetery.
"Tombstone Tuesday: Matilda Besoni." Digital Image. Undated.
Imagine my surprise when I sat down this morning to (finally!) spend quality time "In My Life" to discover that fellow bloggers Karen at Genealogy Frame of Mind and Leslie Ann at Lost Family Treasures left comments that they were nominating my blog for the One Lovely Blog Award.
Now how great is that? Personally I think it is a really big deal and am feeling more than a little pleased. After all, who doesn't enjoy applause and a pat on the back from people whose work you admire and want to encourage other bloggers? Reason enough for a happy dance.
Now comes the fun part .... I get to make 15 other bloggers just as happy but I guess I am getting ahead of myself.
Before I can display my gorgeous pink and white award In My Life, I need to:
1. Acknowledge the award by posting to (your) my blog. 2. Nominate 15 other blogs that I think are lovely (gosh .. only 15??) 3. Contact each person to let them know that they have been nominated.
There are so many wonderfully talented and creative people who inhabit the blogisphere, selecting 15 lovely blogs really is going to be difficult but I'll abide by the rules and list my 15 nominees:
I hope you will visit my 15 One Lovely Blog Award selections and, like I have, become inspired by their creativity. After all ... aren't we all just children at heart who refuse to put down our digital crayons?
There is saying attributed to Lois Wyse that says in part, "A good friend is a connection to life, a tie to the past, a road to the future ..." As I've researched my ancestors and widened the research net to include the siblings, cousins, uncles and aunts, I am reminded every now and then that there are others who shared their lives - those we call friends. My selection for today's Tombstone Tuesday, Willard Ackley, falls into that category.
Willard Ackley was among the first white settlers in what is now Langlade County, Wisconsin, and appears in concert on several documents (including land and marriage records) with my maternal great-great-grandfather Isaac Stone. Rounding out the third of my family's version of the Three Amigos is John Hogarty, another early settler in this part of the state.
According to his death certificate Willard was born William in 1818 in England. His family immigrated and settled in Chenango County, New York, his last known place of residence prior to his arrival in northeast central Wisconsin.
Oral history and legend states that the original spelling of the surname was ACLY, but a feud with his family, who remained in the east, caused Willard to adopt the spelling ACKLEY. As the story goes, this separation of the Acly/Ackley family was said to be due to Willard's marriage to Ma-Dwa-Ji-Was-No-Quay of the Ojibwe band of Native Americans. A common theory but unsubstantiated.
Ackley, Hogarty and Stone all appear to have been actively logging in this area around 1850 and all three worked at one time or another for Charles Hazeltine in Kelly in Marathon County.
Ackley built a cabin and homesteaded on what is now part of the Riverview Golf Club outside of Antigo, WI. Ackley also had a logging camp along with the cabin site on the 1851 government survey map. The camp was listed as Ackley and "Hoyaroy" farms which I believe is a misspelling of Hogarty. Hogarty, Ackley and Stone, as stated earlier, were close friends and at one time or another, business partners. All three men had trading posts and had supplies brought in from Stevens Point at the same time.
During the time that Ackley, Hogarty and Stone were engaged in logging, the venture wasn't very profitable as the price for pine was so low it barely paid for the supplies. When the men first arrived, the logs were hauled to the Eau Claire River on a travois pulled by oxen; a distance of about a half mile. Later, horses were used and the logs were hauled two or three miles in winter to streams. Logs were floated down the river to Kelly, then Schofield at the mouth of the Wisconsin River.
Each camp had their own logs marked so when they reached their destination, they could be sorted out. Records indicate that Ackley preferred to release his logs ahead of the other loggers to avoid mixing them with those sent down the river by Isaac Stone and Jesse Boyington, another early settler.
Willard Ackley and John Hogarty shared more than business ventures: they also shared wedding anniversary. A family history told by a granddaughter of Ackley recounts that Ackley and Hogarty married women from the Sokaogan Chippewa tribe near Post Lake. The men first walked to Post Lake to the home of their brides and then the two couples walked to Wausau where they were married by a Justice of the Peace. Witness to the marriages? None other than Isaac Stone.
Willard Ackley's wife was the daughter of the chief of theSokaogan tribe of the Chippewa, Me-gee-see, known as Great Eagle. He lived a very interesting life which must have been evident to everyone he met: he lost his nose and one eye during of the many battles he had taken part in between the Ojibwe and the Sioux. A treaty signed in 1825 bears his signature.
By all accounts, the Ackley's were very kind to the early pioneers of Langlade County. Many of the early settlers lived with the Ackley's until their homes could be built and much has been written of Willard's generosity and willingness to help his neighbors. One settler wrote of Willard "[he] was a prince among men."
Willard's wife, who took the name Mary following her marriage, was also generous to her neighbors. It is noted she never turned down a call for help in case of illness, using her knowledge of medicinal herbs and acted as mid-wife, helping to bring many of the pioneer children into the world.
Willard was small in stature, weighing approximately 130 pounds but he is said to have had a booming voice. Hearing him speak, people expected to see a man "... who weighed 400 pounds." The Chippewa called Ackley "the little man with the big voice."
On the tax rolls, Willard paid the highest in the area. He owned more horses and buggies than his neighbors and kept two or three canoes on the Eau Claire River but never went farther than one and a half miles from Hogarty in Shawano County.
Willard Ackley's death is recorded in the Langlade County Death Records, Volume 1, Page 44: Wm. L. Ackley; white male; page 76; farmer; born in England; date of death Nov. 25, 6:00 a.m. 1894.
His obituary in the Antigo News reads, "The first of the week, Willard L. Ackley, undoubtedly the oldest settler in Langlade County, died at his home, about four miles west of Antigo, at the age of 77 years. Very little is known of the early life of the deceased, but the memory of man in this section runneth not to the time when he was not located on the bank of the Eau Claire River. As near as we can learn, he lived there fifty years, most of the time with no other companions than the Indians. He lived with them and was one of those erratic individuals, who for some unknown reason, preferred their company to that of the whites. He was a familiar figure among old residents and those who lumbered on the Eau Claire."
Mary Ackley died on March 8, 1899. Her death certificate states she was 97-years old at the time of her death placing her year of birth 1802. Her maiden name is listed as Mary White Eagle; father Great Eagle and mother Roaring Water.
Willard, Mary and a granddaughter, Lillian McDonald, are buried in the Antigo Cemetery in Lot 1, Block 9; just south of the main gate.
The name of Willard Ackley isn't found listed in my family tree but I've discovered he was someone my great-great-grandfather called a friend, earning him a place of importance in my family history.
Digital Images. Undated. Copyright (c) Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski. 2011
There are only two references that help place these photos. One is the identification of the photography studio placing my "orphan" as being in Antigo, Langlade county, Wisconsin.
On the back of this photo was a faded written notation, so faint I almost missed it. After viewing it under a desk lamp, I was able to read a date: 1926.
A relative or neighbor? My plan, on my next visit to Antigo is to check church records. My grandmother, Mildred Little Bergeron, was a long-time member of the Methodist church. Could my "orphan" be a godchild?
"Orphan Photo(s)." Digital Image. 1926. Original photographs privately
The progenitor of my Jones family line is Charles Jones, born June 1802 in Lancashire, England. Charles's known marriages were to (i) Jane and (ii) Gertrude. My family line descends from James H. Jones, the oldest son of Charles and Jane.
Charles and Jane are found in the 1841 census UK (England), living on School Lane in Rochdale, Lancashire, England. Their listing in this census is one of the few lucky happen-stances; the family immigrated to the United States in 1842 and, to date, I have been unable to find them in any of the federal census records until 1860 when the family is found living in Winchester, Winnebago, WI.
The listing in the 1841 census confirms Charles' wife as Jane and confirms that their youngest child is daughter Jane.
Listed in the New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 list on Ancestry.com, is the family of Charles Jones age 40,"Mrs [ditto]"age 40, James age 20, Susan age 17, Joseph age 9, Edward age 6, Abraham age 4 and Jane age 1. The family arrived in New York City on July 1, 1842, on board the ship The Importer.
The next record documenting Charles Jones doesn't occur until the 1860 federal census when Charles Jones is found living in Winchester, Winnebago, WI, with wife (ii) Gertrude, and children Charles, Alice and John.
While there has been a lot of speculation about the migration of the family from the time they disembarked The Importer, there is no documentation as to where the family spent those 20 years. A popular theory written and published by other Jones family researchers is that this family line settled in Worcester County, MA, near the family of Thomas Ashworth.
Edward Jones, brother to Charles, formed a business partnership with Thomas Ashworth. While there is a collateral connection, there is no documentation that the family of Charles Jones spent time living in the area or working at the Ashworth & Jones woolen mill.
A clue may be found in the listing of New York as the place of birth of John Jones, youngest son of Charles Jones. However, I believe there is an error in this census, recording Gertrude's place of birth as England when other sources cite her place of birth as New York. Could it be that John's place of birth is in error as well?
Charles and Gertrude continued to make their home in Winchester for another 20-years until Charles's death on March 17, 1885. According to his obituary in the March 18, 1885, issue of the Neenah Times: Mr. Jones, of Winchester, and father of Receiver Jones of Menasha, died yesterday from the effects of a fall from a sleigh. His age was 84-years. He was well known and highly respected in this county. The funeral is on Friday morning."
Gertrude survived her husband for almost 4-1/2 years; she died on August 8, 1889. Both Charles and Gertrude are buried in the Winchester Cemetery, also known as the Jones Cemetery, on Grandview Road in Winchester Township.