I had planned to roll out changes in the blog, but I’ve been pleasantly distracted. The year is starting out well for us with full days that overflow into the next.
Every box of Old Pictures has been brought out to the meeting room table for my perusal–pictures I haven’t seen in so long that the dust from the boxes sent me into a sneezing fit and it seems like I’m seeing them for the first time again.
I’ve been studying up on the old antecedents for two years now and we’re finally to my great-grandparents, people who I knew, people whose ephemera I have solemnly preserved. This makes it so much more personal than the forbears I only know from pictures. I’m still unsure whether I can write it in a way that honors my family; I’m not sure the family deserves honor… In Truth, the story is a Tragedy…
Since there is soo much to go through, I’m going to take my time and let the Story speak to me through the photos and newspaper clippings, sharing as I go along.
In order to bring you up-to-date, specifically to around the turn of the 20th century, I’m going to post re-runs of profiles of my 2x greats, starting with 2x great and Civil War Vet, Leander Spencer Mayne, whose service with the Ohio 31st regiment cut short his life, and his wife, Emma, who carried on the family legacy for 25 years after his death. (I am fighting the urge to edit them, but I have to start sifting through the memorabilia…)
Great-Great-grandparents, Leander and Emma Mayne
Date: July 21, 2019 Author: Jo Mayne Casey
Leander S. Mayne was born November 25, 1839 in Clark County, Ohio. He was the second son of B.F. and Sarah Mayne; their first-born, Tobias, had died on February 9, 1839, age 19 months. Another bother, Emory, was born just a year later, December 10, 1840, and he died a month later, January 8, 1841. Sarah got a break after that and her next child, Ellen, was born in 1843. The family moved to Mt. Morris, Ogle County, Illinois in 1844 and while they were there two more siblings were born: Kate, 1845; and Philander, 1847. Sometime before 1850, they returned to Clark County, and another brother, Clark, was born in 1851. Another brother, John, was born October 30, 1853; died November 21, 1853. Leander’s sister, Emma, was born in 1854, when he was 15.
When Leander was 17 years old, his mother died. She was only 38, but having babies every year will do that to you. If you remember, B.F. was not one to stay unmarried, especially with six children, ages 3 to 17. Within six months of Sarah’s death, B.F. married a widow with one son, and together they had a daughter, Fannie, in 1860.
Except for the foray to Illinois, Leander grew up on the Mayne Family Homestead in Ohio established by his grandfather, Adam Mayne. The farms were around Xenia Road, about half-way between Springfield and Yellow Springs. He went to school (where his uncle Gideon was the teacher for a while) and no doubt regularly attended meetings at Emery Chapel with his family. Most of the Maynes of that era attended college, so Leander probably did, too. The Homestead was very near Antioch College where Horace Mann was President from 1852 until his death in 1859. So likely Life was looking pretty nice for Leander until that Damned Civil War…
Per the 1860 census, Leander was living with his father, step-mother, and siblings on the farm in 1860. They were prosperous, their real estate worth was 2-3x greater than most of their neighbors at $6200..
Just one farm over, the family of Orlando Harris was nearly as rich at $5000. In 1848, Orlando Harris had married the widow of neighbor James Inlow (d. 1845). (Both James Inlow and Orlando Harris, along with B.F. and Adam Mayne, Anthony and James Leffell had founded Emery Chapel. Eliza Jane Inlow came into the marriage with three young daughters, aged 6, 4, and 2. By 1860, Emma Inlow is 20; Rosetta, 18; and Margaret is 15.
But the War: in 1861, Leander, now 22-years-old, volunteered to fight for the 31st Ohio Infantry. Before he “shipped out” so to speak, he married his sweetheart, Emma E. Inlow, in June 1861. I consider Leander to be the most handsome of my greats, though my grandfather looked a lot like him when he was young. There’s a bit of emptiness in his eyes, but that could be the camera. Emma looks like my great-grandad and Dad (and me), I think.
The crazy thing about Emma, for me, is that her name is Emma Eliza! Those are the names of my NYC grandchildren…coincidence? ancient alien theorists would say, “no”…
They married in June and Leander was mustered into the 31st Ohio Infantry in August, 1861. He must have been able to take a leave around January, 1862, because Emma gave birth to their first child, a daughter she named Eva, in October of that year.
Remember how Dad was Civil War battle obsessed? In that narrative was always the story of his great-grandfather, Leander, who had served under General William Tecumseh Sherman and been a part of the March to the Sea… Of course, a soldier didn’t get to March to the Sea without surviving months of battles, and as I looked at the record of the 31st Ohio Infantry ! Lo and behold, Leander just so happened to fight in the very battles that Dad set up on the ping-pong table and all that “flanking” was the signature style of General Sherman. So Now I get it…and Dad figured it all out without the internet!
This is the most brief summary I could find of his service:
” Ohio Thirty-first Infantry. — Col., Moses B. Walker; Lieut. -Cols., Cyrus W. Grant, Frederick W. Lister, Milton B. W. Harmon; Majs., Samuel L. Leffingwell, John W. Free.
This regiment was organized at Columbus, in Aug. and Sept., 1861, to serve for three years. It left the state on Sept. 30 and on Oct. 2 reached Camp Dick Robinson, Ky., where a regular course of drill began, which rendered the regiment more efficient.
1862: It became attached to Buell’s army and was in the advance toward Corinth, during which it was engaged frequently in skirmishing with the Confederates. It participated in the siege and was engaged at times quite warmly. In July the regiment was divided into detachments, two companies being sent to Decatur and one to Trinity. The latter detachment, consisting of 28 men, was attacked by a force of some 200 or 300 mounted Confederates. The attack was repulsed, but one-half of the detachment was killed or wounded. Participating in the march to Louisville the regiment was under fire at the battle of Perryville, but was not actively engaged. It was actively engaged, however, at the battle of Stone’s river, where it acquitted itself nobly.
1863: The regiment then enjoyed a few months’ rest and in June it started on the Tullahoma campaign. (1863) It was engaged at Hoover’s gap and, in connection with the 17th Ohio, carried a position defended by two Confederate brigades. The regiment was engaged on both days at Chickamauga and suffered severely. Its next engagement was Brown’s ferry and then followed Missionary Ridge, where it was among the foremost regiments to bear the loyal standard into the enemy’s works.”
“About this time ( early 1864) the regiment reenlisted, received a furlough of 30 days, and in the following spring it marched on the Atlanta campaign.”
After all that fighting, Leander took his furlough and made another baby with Emma; son, Harry, was born in August 1864. After returning to War in March, Leander wrote some letters (or a journal?), describing a week or so in the beginning of the Atlanta Campaign. Toward the end he states he’s in Stevenson, AL, where troops gathered to start fighting their way to Atlanta with General Sherman. He talks about marching over the Stone’s River and Perryville battlefields, where the fighting had been so bloody just a year before. I love these two pages, especially now that I understand where he’s writing from…I wish I had more.
Back to the Ohio 31st in 1864: It was engaged in an assault on the enemy’s line in front of Resaca, GA and lost heavily (but the rebels retreated). It participated in all the important engagements of the (Atlanta) campaign except the battle of Jonesboro, then moved with Sherman’s army to the sea (a march from Atlanta to Savannah, burning as they went), thence up through the Carolinas, and was mustered out on July 20, 1865.” Whew…
Leander returned to Emma, Eva, and Harry (who he’d probably never met) in 1865. Maybe after the War he wanted a fresh start, or maybe it was a family-planned venture, but in 1866 Leander bought some land in Lancaster, IL and moved his family there to farm. Both Springfield OH and Lancaster were along the National Road and there were trains by then, as well, so they weren’t remote, but there were no cities nearby, either. His father and siblings followed in 1870 and lived on adjacent farms. Perhaps it’s just the Peace that Leander needed after The War.
The 1870 census finds the family has grown to include Frank, born 1867; Chester, b. 1868; and baby Leroy, just 1 month old at the time of the census… Wait? Leroy? Yes, that’s my great-grandfather, Ben L. They must have called him Leroy when he was first born, but all subsequent censuses name him as Ben or Benjamin. Aunt Ruth always told me the “L” stood for Leroy, but then she’d laugh and I thought she was kidding..!
The decade of the 70’s brought more babies: Nellie, b. 1873; Grace, b. 1874; Herbert, b. 1878. (the family was completed with Lutie, born after the census in 1880) Sadly, the oldest daughter, Eva, died in 1875, aged 13.
Checking up on Leander in the 1880 census, I see that Chester is not listed. I have been intrigued by Chester since I was a youngster, riding around with my great-aunt-Ruth to the cemeteries. He is buried in the same cemetery as Leander and other Maynes and she told me that he had accidentally shot himself when he was climbing a fence wearing a gun. I always wondered about that… So when I couldn’t find Chester in 1880, I thought maybe I had gotten his date of death wrong, but he would have only been ten or so if he’d died before. Upon further research, I found that Chester was living with his grandmother, Eliza Harris, in Clark County. He is 11 years old, attending school, and it’s a “temporary home”. Well, now I really wonder…
In 1880, Leander applied for and received a Civil War Pension, listed as an invalid. I don’t know how handicapped he was since family always said, “he was never the same after the war”. I know that criteria for the pension was low, so it could be just that simple. The Civil War was just so awful that I’m sure that anyone who survived it had PTSD in varying degrees. Young men left and Old men returned…
On February 15, 1886, great-great-grandfather Leander S. Mayne died. He was 46 years old. I always assume that he died of some sort of fever, but I really don’t know. Six months later, Chester had his accident and died. Emma must have been reeling.
Since there is no 1890 census, I don’t know when Emma sold the farm, but I know it was a rough decade: Herbert, her youngest son, died in 1893, age 15. Her older children were getting married: Frank married in 1894; Harry in 1895. Her daughter, Nellie, was 19 when she married Frank Blood in 1892. He was a widower with a young son. Nellie gave birth to two daughters, Geneva in 1893 and Rae in 1895.. Nellie died in 1896.
Emma took in Nellie’s daughters and they lived with her on and off for the rest of her life. In the 1900 census they are living with her, along with Ben, a teacher; Grace, and Lutie. She has moved from Lancaster to Edwards County, Illinois. She says she is a farmer. I like that.
Great-great-grandmother Emma died the second of May, 1908. She was buried next to Leander in the Marion Church Cemetery. Years earlier she had donated the land for building the church and burial plots. All of her children had married except for Grace. Shortly after her mother’s death, Grace married a widower with several children, and was a mother to them.
Oddly, the name on Emma’s gravestone is Emily… I Never saw Any other name but Emma on Any document that I researched. I don’t think the stone is original, though, as it looks too new. Perhaps Ben L. replaced it and got the name wrong? More weirdness!
As I did this research, I realized I had been placing much of B.F.’s family living in Richland or Edwards County, when many, including B.F., were actually in Wabash County. That’s partly because all of those counties squabbled constantly, changing boundaries and county seats. I’ve uncovered several articles from the Mt. Carmel newspaper that mention the old relatives…some interesting stuff I’ll share. I also plan on taking a trip over there and looking around again, armed with my new knowledge of who was where…**
**I still need to do that…sounds like a great day-trip with Goldie…