_Judah SEARS _ _Judah SEARS __________| | |_Sarah HALE __ | |--Zenas SEARS | | ______________ |_Priscilla Hall HOWES _| |______________
_Judah SEARS __________ _Zenas SEARS _____| | |_Priscilla Hall HOWES _ | |--Zenas SEARS | | _______________________ |_Sarah E ROBBINS _| |_______________________
_Edmund SEARS __ _Judah SEARS _| | |_Hannah TAYLOR _ | |--Zenas SEARS | | ________________ |_Sarah HALE __| |________________
_Edmund SEARS ___ _Edmund SEARS __| | |_Hannah CROWELL _ | |--Zerviah SEARS | | _Jasher TAYLOR __ |_Hannah TAYLOR _| |_Thankful SEARS _
_Zachariah SEARS _ _Elijah SEARS ___| | |_Almira BUTLER ___ | |--Zilpha SEARS | | __________________ |_Matilda FRENCH _| |__________________
_Aaron Vincent SEARS _ _Adelbert H SEARS _| | |_Sarah PARKER ________ | |--Zoe SEARS | | ______________________ |_Ettie MATDRUFF ___| |______________________
__ __| | |__ | |--George A SEELEY | | __ |__| |__
__ __| | |__ | |--Mary F SEELEY | | __ |__| |__
__ __| | |__ | |--Betsey M SEELYE | | __ |__| |__
!BIRTH: Letter from Carol Aldrich, Tulsa, OK, to Ray Sears, Duncan, OK; 1675-1989; Letter dtd 18 May 1994; ; copy in poss of Ray Sears, Duncan, OK; She was one of 18 children. Included is a story she wrote in 1858 for a book printed in 1880 titled "The History of Jefferson County." Some of the story is in the narrative of the Sears Family written by Lottie Cartwright, but her version is also included. Update added later. I have more. !DEATH: Conflict - Carol Aldrich shows d. 1901. !BURIAL: Letter from Carol Aldrich, Tulsa, OK, to Ray Sears, Duncan, OK; 1675-1989; Letter dtd 5 Jul 1994; ; copy in poss of Ray Sears, Duncan, OK; Dan Seeley found out from the Vernon Historical Society that Betsey was buried in Chapel Hill Cemetery, Stark Twp, WI page 24, row 14. Her brother and two of his kids are also buried there. There's a quilt made by Betsey Sears on display in a museum in CA. It's been appraised at $30,000.
A TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE
TAKEN FROM A BOOK TITLED HISTORY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY BEGINNING PAGE 521 AS WRITTEN BY BETSY SEELEY SEARS
In the quiet village of Rome lives an aged lady, athwart whose path of life has fallen a multitude of sorrows. Everyone knows "Aunt Betsy" Sears. She is sixty-four years of age, and lives alone in a neat little room, over the door of which, on the outside, is this sign: "Job Printer." In one corner of the room are three or four cases of type, each letter standing on end. "Aunt Betsy" has never "learned the boxes," as types are ordinarily "laid" but has a system of her own, as unique as it is original. She never saw any one "set type," and does not even know the advantage of using a "rule." Nevertheless she has managed to acquire a sufficient knowledge of the art of printing to enable her to "print a job with neatnes and dispatch," and she frequently has card and circular work to perform for the businessmen of Rome. She "empties her stick by sliding the type from the open portion of that instrument upon a piece of tin, from which it is transferred to a wooden box half and inch deep, and then, "keyed up," as she expresses it. The ink is then applied with a " brayer" almost as old as "Aunt Betsy's" business card, written and printed by herself:
MRS. B. M. SEARS
JEFFERSON STREET, ROME. WISC. -To the north the fifth door From Frank Giffords store You will find the old lady is living, All alone by herself, For the sake of the pelf, Attention to buisness she's giving.
Some years ago Mrs. Sears wrote an account of the trials and tribulations experienced by herself and family when they came to Wisconsin. It is a true picture of pioneer life, vividly portrayed, and full of the sad impressions that only can be wrought upon the minds of those who braved the dangers and trials of early days and suffered the adversities that beset the pioneeer in almost every clime. The extensive length of the paper will not admit of it's publication in it's entireity in these already overcrowded pages, but most of the essential parts are given: On the 22nd of Octobor, 1843, we left our former home in the town of Camden, County of Oneida, State of New York, with our four little children, to go to the Far West. Arriving at Buffalo, we found that no vessel was going through to Milwaukee short of three or four days, but the "Julia Palmer" was about to sail for Detroit, and were induced to take passage upon her. We were told that we would find plenty of boats at Detroit that would take us through to Milwaukee, but when we arrived at the Michigan metropolis, we found it necessary to wait for the same vessels we left at Buffalo, and when they came they were so heavily loaded they could not take us on board, and it was the last trip they were going to take. After remaining in Detroit five days, at a cost of $ 10.00, there came a man to the tavern with a team and double wagon without any cover on it. He was accompanied by his wife, and they were going to Milwaukee. They agreed to take our family through for $20.00, we to bear our own expenses; so on the 3rd of November, we set out upon a journey in an open wagon for which we were little prepared. The ground had frozen very hard the night before, and upon it had fallen about four inches of snow. For two weeks, we had very severe weather, when it moderated and the ground and snow thawed together; then it was nothing but mud. This we traveled around Lake Michigan through snow and mud and rain and shine, until we reached Racine. There we heard that the smallpox prevailed in Milwaukee, and so we hired the man to take us across the country to Prairieville (now Waukesha). I had two brothers living at Genesee, in that direction, but when we got within three miles of their place we heard that they also had the smallpox in both families, and had each lost a child with it. There we were, worn out with fatigue, and my little children sick from the time we first put foot on the steamboat at Buffalo, looking forward to an hour of rest, the society of friends and a temporary home; then in a moment to have our hopes dashed to earth-it was too much. It seemed as though I must sink down and die. We had then traveled eighteen days, and I had carried my little babe, twenty-two months old, almost all the way in my lap; for it was so cold I had to keep her under my cloak. The youngest of our three little boys were very ill, requiring the constant attention of his father, who frequently stopped by the roadside with him, and was then compelled to run to overtake the wagon; for our teamster displayed his kindness by refusing to stop for anything or anybody. When we stopped at night, instead of rest I had to cook our suppers, for it would have cost all we had to live in the taverns. When we heard the terrible news of my brothers misfortunes, we stopped at a house on the road and had our children vaccinated. We reniained over night in the house with a very kind family. I shall never forget how I felt when the good mother spread a warm biscuit with butter and divided it amoung my half-starved children. It brought the tears of joy to my eyes. It was the first morsel, except one, that they had received without money, in five weeks. In the morning, my husband set out for my brothers' homes, but before reaching there he met one of them going to Prarieville. They were overjoyed to learn of our safe arrival. They had expected us three weeks before, not having any intelligence of us, had given us up for lost, and believed we were drowned while crossing the lake. My brother said there was no danger of our taking the smallpox; as they were well of it, and had thoroughly disinfected their houses. So we went home with him, but it seemed to me as if I was carrying my children to the grave. When we arrived, we found that his wife was nursing a lady with the disease, and therefore we were right in the midst of it. Within nine days, I was taken with varioloid; two days later my little girl was taken sick, and the next day our youngest boy took his bed with the terrible disease. The day before I was taken, my husband started off to look for a farm, and, as he remained away longer than we expected he would, we began to feel uneasy about him. When we started from Detroit, we gave orders to have our goods sent to Milwaukee on a schooner, but up to the time we were taken down with the smallpox, we had not heard anything from them. Never before nor since have I experienced such feelings of sorrow and misery. Three of us sick with a dreadful disease, my husband absent, I knew not where, and every indication that our meager stock of clothing and beding had been lost on the lake. While I lay groaning in my utter wretchedness, this thought occurred to my mind:
"The darkest time, I have heard them say, Is just before the break of day."
I stopped weeping and began to hope. Thought I, it may be it that my husband is safe; the children are not dead yet, and possibly , some lucky wave may waft our goods ashore. That day, my husband came home; the children began to appear better, and my brother came from Milwaukee and said he had found our goods and that they were on the way home. I began to take courage and think that all would yet be well. But alas! how soon are blooming hopes cut off. On Wednesday, my husband came home full of bright prospects. He had found a good location, and had stayed and put up a house, calculating to move his family into it the next Monday, little dreaming of what situation we were in at home. When he came, there we were in a pile, three of us in one bed, and nine of us in a little shanty 12 by 14 feet in size. Our two sick children looked so loathsoame we could scarcely bear the sight of them. The next day, they grew worse, and on Sunday, at 11 o'clock, the litle girl died; on Monday, at 12 o'clock her little brother followed her. It had always seemed to me that if I should ever lose a child, I could never let it go out of my arms, but now two of my loves were dead, and what mother cannot imagine my feelings when I looked upon their innocent faces, covered with the repulsive marks of a terrible disease? They must be hurried into the ground as quick as possible, and I not able to see them buried. But God strengthened my almost exhausted endurance, and I became resigned to my fate. I believe He is too wise to be mistaken, too good to be unkind. Two weeks from the day my little boy died, we started, in company with the family of my brother, Davis Seely, for Bark Woods. By some means, the teams took different roads, and we became seperated. Our team came through Waterville, while my brother's went through the bluffs. I was very febble from my recent sickness, and everthing seemed to conspire against us as we wended our way through the woods, with no guide save now and then a freshly marked tree. At the end of the second day, we reached our destination; but what had become of my brother and his family? This annoyed us very much all night. The next day we saw Davis coming slowly through the woods but the woeful look upon his face told us plainer than words that something terrible had happened. His little four year old boy had been killed the day before by a leaning tree under which the teamster drove. We thought that our cup of sorrow was already full, but now it was running over. Picture to yourself a family of weary emigrants, looking forward with eager eyes and longing hearts to the time when they should reach their final destination, and be sheltered from the chilling rain that was descending in torrents upon them, and urging forward their jaded beasts as fast as their weary limbs and the roughness of the ground would permit. Suddenly there is a crash. Oh ! what a sound to the father's ears, when, from a distance in the rear, he sees it is the head of his son. He has seen the danger and hallooed to the teamster, but too late. He rushes forward and catches the lifeless body of his boy. "Oh ! Mr. De Jayne," he says "you have killed my son! you have killed my son!" Onward, through the mud and brush, he bore his bleeding child, in agony too great to give vent to tears. They found their way to a little shanty belonging to Mr. Tinney, and there watched and mourned the remainder of the night. ***** The next day, the funeral took place from Mr. Crowders Tavern. I believe it was the first meeting of any kind ever held in these woods. When we left my brother Dempster's on the 1st of January, 1844, he calculated to come out in a few days and bring us some provisions. Consequently, we did not fetch anything but a bag of flour and about a pound of butter that I put in my work-basket. But Dempster did not come for four weeks, and during that time, we had very short allowances. We succeeded in getting three bushels of flat turnips, at 18 pence a bushel. This was all we could get for love or money. Potatoes, there were none to be had, and as for meat, I borrowed three pounds of pork of an old settler, and I used to cut two very small slices of it and fry them, and take a little flour and water and make a sort of paste gravy with which to moisten our bread and turnips. I did not dare to cook but two turnips apiece, and they were very small, and I did not dare to peel them before they were cooked, because it would be such a waste. So, with our two turnips and bread and paste we made our breakfast, and with a little water porridge made of "middlings" and sweetened with black molasses, and very poor at that, and a slice of toasted bread, we made our dinner. For supper we had stewed dried apples and bread, and sometimes for a change, we ate our bread plain. This kind of fare lasted for four weeks, when my brother came and brought us some flour, a "porker" that weighed 160 pounds, and forty pounds of butter that we brought with us from York State. Then we had something to eat. When we arrived at Mr. Crowder's we had but $20.00. Our shanty had neither floor nor windows, so we were obliged to stay at the tavern till our bill amounted to $3.00; then we had $17.00 to live upon the rest of the year. By the last of May, we were eating our last bushel of flour. My husband had cleared a small piece of land, and he could not leave it to go out to work to get something to eat, for he must plant it or go without another year. One night, my brother came to our house on his way to Genesee. I could not sleep that night for thinking of our miserable situation. In the morning I remembered, when we moved in, we passed a house about two miles beyond Waterville where I saw eighteen hogs plucks hanging up. It occurred to me that, if they had so many hogs, they must have something else. So I told my husband that I was going to run away. He asked me where I was going, but I told him I could not tell him where; I was going to seek my fortune. I filled my satchel with a few articles of my own manufacture, and started with my brother toward Genesee. We were all day going fourteen miles. The misquitoes were so thick that we could not breathe without inhaling them, unless we had something over our faces. We got out at Mr. Davenport's(for that was where I saw the hogs' plucks) just about sundown. They gave us some supper and my brother went on. I told Mrs. Davenport I would like to stay the night with them, but she said she did not see how she could keep me. I told her I would sleep any place if she would only let me stay, and she finally consented to do so. She made a bed on the floor for one of her little girls, and I was assigned a place with her sister, who, during the night, probably mistaking me for an intruder, turned her heel battery upon me with such ferocity that I was compelled to retreat as far as the limits of the bed would permit, and there lay motionless for fear of another attack. In the morning, I began to press my suit, having laid my case before them the night before. I told them that we had just moved to the woods; that our money was all gone; our provisions were nearly exhausted, and we had no means of procuring more; that I had come out there in search of something to do that I might earn some flour. Mrs. Davenport said she had no work for me to do, but told me of several in the neighborhood who hired their sewing done. Then I exhibited the articles in my satchel--knit caps, knit edging, and some white painted standcloths. When she saw the edging, she said that was just the thing she wanted, for she had just bought a damask linen table-cloth, and wanted that to trim it with. I sold her fourteen yards of the lace and one of the standcloths, for $3.50. Wasn't I rich then! I felt wealthier than ever before. I was fourteen miles from home, and expected to go all the way on foot, but I felt so much lighter that it was a pleasure to walk. I traveled about six miles that day, and called at every house I came to in search of work, but none could I find. Night overtook me at the house of a family named Cobb, and there I remained until the following afternoon, when Mr. Cobb took me in his wagon to the house of Mr. Churchill, where I stayed all night. In the morning I explained my business, and told of my success at Mrs. Davenport's. Mr. Churchill said he was going to Jefferson in a few days, and would get me some wheat, have it ground, and bring the flour to us. I told him I had a new pair of boots I brought from York State with me, that were too small, and that I would let him have them for his wife to pay him for his trouble. That was just the thing he wanted, so when I got ready to go, he sent his brother with a team to take me home. You may be sure there was joy in the camp when I got back and reported what I had done. In a day or two, Mr. Churchill came along; going to Jefferson, and took my money (which amounted to $4.00, as I had 4 schillings a man gave me for mending his coat). We had one bushel of wheat that we intended to sow, but the season was so far advanced we thought best not to waste it that way. With the $4.00 we got eight bushels of beautiful winter wheat ground and fetched to our door (and the one we had made nine bushels), all paid for and Mr. Churchill allowed us 3 shillings in cash to boot for the boots. This lasted till almost harvest, and Mr. Churchill gave us an order for a barrel of flour at Jefferson, and that held out til corn was ripe, and then we had johnny-cake of our own raising. The following spring, I painted a table-cloth for Mrs. Davenport, for which he paid me $1.00 and on my way home I met a man (Mr. Sawyer, of the Sawyer House, Jefferson) who had some hams to sell and with my dollar I bought a small one, which lasts us till summer, for I did not dare to cook a piece of it unless a traveler came along and wanted to buy a meal. When the ham gave out, we had 40 cents, all in cash, and my husband took it and went to Melinda's Prarie, and boijght five pounds of pork. The first cow we had cost us $1 1.00. The man from whom we bought her owed us $5.00, and I sold him my shawl and a fine large pair of tailors shears to finish paying for her. The first pig we had cost us $1.00. It was about the size of a cat and my husband carried it in a bag from Golden Lake, a distance of about eight miles. In September, 1845, our second son, ten years old, took a very severe cold and almost choked to death before we could reach a doctor with him. The nearest physician lived at Golden Lake, and when we got there with our dying child, he was away. Returning the next day, he said he could do nothing for him, and at 9 o'clock the littl e sufferer passed away. My heart, still bleeding from my former berevement, was now torn open afresh. I thought the past was nothing compared with this; for it seemed my affections had been doubly entwined about our two boys after the others had been snatched from us. An awful task now lay before us; we must return to our friends with our dead boy. The doctor's daughter and her husband returned with us and remained till after the funeral. Two or three weeks later, my husband was taken with the ague, and was not able to do a days work for three months. The only son who had been spared to me and myself had to harvest the corn and draw in the potatoes and turnips and prepare our winter's wood. On the 20th November 1846, a little Badger boy, weighing eleven pounds, came to our fireside. Before I close this narrative, I will give you a little sketch of the commencement of religious meetings in these woods. When we moved in, there was a man and his wife here who were professors of religion. My brother Davis, my husband and myself completed the little band of five. We began our prayer-meetings soon after we arrived, and have kept them pretty much ever since. The first sermon that was ever preached in this place (the town of Sullivan) was by Brother Allen, a Methodist colporteur, at our house. The first regular preacher we had was Hiram Frinck, and the first quarterly meeting was held in my brother's saw mill.
Your friend and well wisher, Betsy M. Sears
From the Jefferson Co Union 1921 RESIDENCE, Etc Mrs Betsey M Sears married Mr Bicknell in 1881 r 82, removed to Johnston, WI in the fall of '83; parted from Mr Bicknell, and removed to Star, WI, March 1868; after George died she removed to Rome, WI, Sept, spent a year on George's claim near Rolfe, IA, 1870-71; returned to Rome, and bought a house there probably in 1872; sold house, removed to Star, 6 Nov 1885; to Rome, WI, 20 Mar 1891; returned to Star 18 Oct 1892. She bought a home in Star in April 1887, which she owned until shortly before her death. Mrs Sears died at Star (La Farge) 17 May 1901, over 41 years after the death of Silas, living alone much of the time after George died in 1868. It was from 3 Apr 1899(sic) to 14 Mar 1891, that Mrs Nelson lived with her occasionally, at Star; Mrs Sears maintained herself, with occasional help from her son Lowell, until she was granted a pension in 1882 as the mother of Geo W. At one time she had a small printing press; in 1880, she printed a pamphlet of poems, original and selected. Her needlework was artistic and beautiful though unique and original, for she made her own patterns and designs. Probably many specimens of her needlework are still in the communities where she resided, besides those in the possession of her granddaughters. Her sight failed gradually and she was at last obliged to give up her beloved needlework. She was totally blind for several months prior to her death.
__ __| | |__ | |--Laura Edson SELDEN | | __ |__| |__