In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day this week, I wanted to highlight Mary Ann’s parents, George and Sarah Doyle. Doyle has got to be Irish, right? That is something yet to be determined but I am working on. I am hopeful that I will find the ties that connect me to
This past week I had the chance to contact the
Historical Society http://www.kshs.org/ They provide the service of looking obituaries up for a small fee. Since I had located death certificates for John and Sarah on http://www.familysearch.org/ I was able to give them exact death dates. John S. Doyle was born Kansas August 6, 1808 somewhere in . He died Connecticut 7 March 1895 in . This is the obituary provided to me by the Kansas Historical Society which came from the Daily Globe and was dated Lancaster, Kansas March 11, 1895.
The funeral of the late J. S. Doyle, at Lancaster yesterday, was one of the very largest in the history of the county. The deceased was an old settler of Kansas. He built the very first house of Seneca.
I have to admit I was hoping for more clues into this man’s life. Just three short sentences. I'm kind of sad knowing that I know so little about someone who was well known and loved in his community. The last sentence was interesting too. He built the very first house in Seneca. So I googled that and this is what I found:
The first house built in Seneca was erected in the fall of 1857; it was a double log house, with a wide hall through the centre, or rather, two houses connected with a wall of logs at the rear. It was built by John S. Doyle for Finley Lappin, who immediately occupied one end of it for a hotel, while Downing & Stewart opened a grocery store in the other end. The hotel portion of the building also served as the office of register of deeds, Samuel Lappin holding that position. One end of the structure was afterward used as a dwelling; the other end as a shoe shop and carpenter shop successively. It passed from Samuel Lappin to Albert Clark, finally returning to its former owner, who demolished it to make room for what is now known as the city drug store.
information from William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas
Another source tells me that he was one of the first settlers in Nemaha county. Here is what it says:
Transcribed from volume II of
: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Kansas Co. : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward. Chicago
It is claimed by some historians that Nemaha was included in the region visited by
Nemaha county took its name from the river, which in Indian language means "no papoose," indicating the malarious character of the climate at that time. The earliest settlement was made in 1854, when W. W. Moore located near Baker's ford, 9 miles north of where Seneca now stands. In the same year, Walter D. Beeles, Greenberry Key, Thomas, John C. and Jacob B. Newton settled in the same vicinity. John O'Laughlin took a claim on
These early claims were taken without warrant, as there were no facilities for entry and no place at which payment could be made to the government. The earliest payments were made in 1857. Preëmptions were made up to 1860 at the land office at Kickapoo, where entries were made for the district of which Nemaha county was a part. The settlement and development of the county having begun during the time when the pro-slavery element had the upper-hand in Kansas, most of the early towns started at that time do not now exist, having given away to free-state towns before 1860. Among those to disappear were Central City, laid out in 1855 by William Dodge, for Thomas Newton and sons and H. H. Lanham, which had the first postoffice in the county; Pacific City; Lincoln, the dream of J. E. Hawkes; Ash Point; Urbana, the first town in the county; Wheatland and Richmond. The last was started in 1855 by Cyrus Dolman, a pro-slavery man and a member of the territorial legislature.
So now I’m not so sad because I have some more clues into the adventures of this man. I know that he was born in
and that some of his children were born in Connecticut and others were born in Pennsylvania . They ended up moving to Illinois and were some of the first settlers there. I can only imagine that this was a huge adventure full of hard work much like the times of Laura Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie. I would love to have a journal from one of these ancestors but for now I will settle for the three sentences in the Daily Globe! Kansas