52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #8 – Heirloom


Cousin Mariah Bishop Hudson on the left behind me and Grand Aunt Helen Seger Baber on the right, visiting the farmhouse in Eastonville that Lloyd Baber, Helen’s husband and our grandfather Bernard Hancock, half brothers, lived with Lulu Brace Hancock Baber and John Thomas Baber.

The Old Oak Cupboard Story

Written by Helen Margaret Seger Baber, October 13, 2011

This old oak cupboard was originally owned by Lois Emerette Goodell Totten. She was born Jan 17, 1842, died February 12, 1924 at Kennewick, Washington. Lloyd (Baber) and I have been to her grave in Kennewick. The cupboard had been given to Mary Phoebe Totten Brace then to Lulu Pearl Brace Hancock Baber. When Lloyd and I married in 1947 Lloyd’s mom, Lulu, gave it to us as a wedding present. We used it until January 1951. When we moved to 824 East Cucharras in Colorado Springs, we retired it to an old barn on the back of our lot.


It stayed there until 1958 when we moved to our new house then on Dudley in Colorado Springs. Lloyd put it in his garage and he was not very kind to it, he stored oil and his tools in it and a glass was broken out. I had always longed to have it refinished and I would have put it in my kitchen. Just never had the money to do it.

Well, when the lightning hit our weather vane and we had to have a new garage door opener and we had to sell our car because Lloyd could no longer drive, I asked my neighbor if he would like a job making our garage into a patio room. Also, would he like to re-do the oak cupboard. He finished the room but the cupboard took longer because it had eight coats of paint on it. They had even painted the hardware.

drawer detail

Drawer pull with carving.

I had him cut out the sides and put glass in so it would have more light and we also had him put glass shelves in instead of wood.

People used to walk or drive past our house and they would stop and try to get Lloyd to sell them that cupboard. Some offered a good amount of money. I’ve heard him tell them it belonged to his great grandmother and it needed to stay within our family.  Anyway when it was finished I had no place to put it, so we gave it to our daughter Judy Baber Clarke for her birthday July 19, 2010. It cost $1200 to have it finished.

Judy & grandsons 2040

Judy Baber Clarke with her two grandsons at the Peyton Cemetery.

This weeks ’52 Ancestors in 52 weeks’ subject is “Heirloom”, not only is this cabinet and the story by Helen Seger Baber a priceless heirloom, but Helen herself is a priceless heirloom. She loves sharing family history and writing stories.  Helen is proud to share  the history of the family. She has also had her history stories of Colorado Springs and the Eastonville/Elbert area published in the local newspaper. I have spent many wonderful hours with Helen, from sorting out papers and pictures in her storage unit in the back yard to putting together a jigsaw puzzle while listening to the radio and singing country songs. She has generously given me copies of pages from her photo albums and copies of documents and other items such as a bowl and platter belonging to Mary Phoebe (Birdie) Totten Brace. Great additions to my collection of ‘stuff’.


Next week 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #9 – Where There’s A Will



52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #2 – Favorite Photo


Of the hundreds of photographs I have for our ancestors, both living and dead, this photograph is my favorite. It shows three of the strongest women pioneers in our family. Although many of our ancestors fought and struggled with the daily chores of living and the tragedies associated with pioneering life I believe this photograph captures the strength of our family.

The child in this picture is my grandfather Bernard Floyd Hancock 1903-1980. Interesting tidbit about this image – little boys wore “dresses”  or “gowns” because at this early age they were unable to cope with the difficulty of toilet training. Remember, zippers had not yet been invented. “Breeching” was that time between about two years old to six years old when the right of passage to breeches or britches (pants) was attained.

Seated at the center of the photo is Lois Emerette Goodell 1842 – 1924. Lois married William Franklin Totten in 1861 in Lockport, Niagara County, New York. Lois was born in Ohio in 1842 but her mother Elmina Brigham Goodell died in 1843 so Lois was raised by Goodell family members in Lockport, New York. William and Lois or as I think of her Emerette, had 11 children, 8 survived to adulthood. Mary Phoebe “Birdie” 1863-1938; Milton Goodell 1865-1930; Elmina Rosalie “Minnie” 1867-1948; Hattie Elvira 1871-1953; Edith Estella 1873-1945; Everett 1875-1876; alice Winifred “Winnie” 1877-1968; Celia 1879-1879; Clarence William 1881-1948; Edna Luella 1882-1883; Carl Albert 1883-1948.

The first two children were born in Iowa, the other 9 children were born in Kansas. Just imagine the thought of moving from New York to Iowa at 19 years old, having two children with no family nearby and within 4 years packing up and moving from Iowa to Kansas and over the next 16 years adding 9 more children, with 3 dying, while establishing a farm to support and sustain the family. Interestingly, the census for 1880 shows one of the laborers on this farm was a young man named John Champion Brace.

Standing to the right in this photo is Mary Phoebe “Birdie” Totten 1863-1938. Birdie as she was called married John Champion Brace in 1883 in Haddam, Washington County, Kansas. They had 9 children, Lulu Pearl 1884-1950; William Earl 1887-1962; Bessie 1889-1897; John Kessler 1891-1897; Hazel 1893-1897; Elwin 1896-1962; Lois Beatrice 1899-1983; Baby Boy 1902-1902; Althea Lois 1905-1948.

In 1897 while John worked in a nearby town typhoid strikes this family and Birdie was left to endure alone the tragedy of the death of three of their children. The fourth child died in 1902 and I do not know the cause of his death. In 1904 the family left Kansas and moved to Elbert, Colorado. Another tragedy for this family was the 1948 murder of Althea Lois Brace in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Standing to the left in this photo is Lulu Pearl Brace 1884-1950. In 1902 while living in Narka, Kansas, 18 year old Lulu Pearl Brace married 27 year old Nathan Brink Hancock and in 1903 Bernard Floyd Hancock was born in Narka, Kansas. Apparently someone’s parents were not too happy about this and “Brink” as he was called moved to Fairbury, Nebraska. He was living in Lincoln, Nebraska, had remarried and had two sons when he died in 1947.

In 1904 the Brace family including Lulu Pearl Hancock and baby Bernard move to Elbert, Colorado. In 1909 Lulu filed for divorce and in 1910 she married John Thomas Baber and they lived in Eastonville, Colorado and later in Peyton, Colorado. John Baber and Lulu had 8 children, Henry Kessler; Frank Hazard; Elizabeth “Bessie” Pearl; Lois Beatrice; Floyd Leo; Leon Calvin; Zona Edith and Cedric Keith.

Although Bernard never new his father he did try to find him but to my knowledge was not successful.  According to a Hancock cousin I talked with, Brink Hancock also tried to find Lulu but was unsuccessful. In life, Bernard was always very close to John Baber.

Next time in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – #3 Longevity

Milton P. Goodell in the Civil War

“And so at the hour of midnight, the Union Army began their march eastward, leaving in their haste, four hundred of the most badly wounded, some in improvised hospitals and other scattered over the great field uncared for.”

Thus, the fate of Sergeant Milton P. Godell.

Milton P. Goodell was the second son of Joel Charles Goodell and Elmina Brigham and the brother of Lois Emerette Goodell Totten, great-grandmother of Bernard Hancock.  At the time of his enlistment,  22 August 1862, Milton was living in Cero Gordo County, Iowa, he was 25 years old and single. He was given the rank of 5th Corporal in B Company of the Iowa 32nd Infantry Regiment and later promoted to full 4th Corporal on 11 September 1862. He was again promoted to full 5th Sergeant on 28 Dec 1863. The men of Company B were from the rural counties of Iowa and numbered just more than 400.

The Iowa Companies of the 32nd Infantry Regiment assembled at Fort Franklin near Dubuque, Iowa and mustered into service 6 Oct 1862. The difference in dates because of anticipation of the call.  Captain John Scott was appointed by Governor Kirkwood as Colonel of the Thirty-second Infantry. There was an aggregate of 925 men and officers in the regiment at the date of the muster.

On 16 Nov 1862 the regiment embarked on transports and were conveyed to St. Louis, Missouri. Company B along with six other companies of the Thirty-second were then conveyed to New Madrid, Missouri under the command of Colonel John Scott. Upon arriving at New Madrid Colonel Scott assumed command of the post. It did not take him long to discover that prior to his arrival, disloyal men had been favored and protected; that large amounts of merchandise of all description had been distributed from New Madrid and had gone beyond Union lines into possession of those who were engaged in armed rebellion. Negroes, who had escaped and sought protection of the Union solders had been returned to slavery. The most active of the rebel sympathizers was a man who was not a naturalized citizen of the united States, and who claimed the protection of the British government. The General in command of the Department listened to the protests of those who wanted to have Colonel Scott removed from the command of the post for lack of his sympathy for the rebels  and – strange as it may appear – seemed inclined to grant their request. Missouri history in the Civil War is very interesting.

On the 17th and 18th of January 1863 the six companies including Company B were conveyed to Columbus, Kentucky and went into camp and remained until January 1864. Garrison duty and daily drills were the principal of the day. The companies were then moved to Vicksburg for the battle of Shiloh (Pittsburgh Landing.)

On March 9, 1964 the Thirty-second Iowa embarked on transports along with Regiments from Missouri, Illinois and New York and proceeded to the mouth of the Red River.

From a marker near Clear Lake, IA regarding the battle at Pleasant Hill:

The Battle of Pleasant Hill can be considered as day two of the Battle of Mansfield, or Sabine Cross Roads. Due to the single, narrow road available for advance the Union Army, consisting of infantry, cavalry and supply and medical wagons, was strung out over many miles. A.J. Smith’s Division of the 16th Corps, of which the 32nd Iowa Infantry Regiment was part of the Second Brigade under Col. W.T. Shaw, was assigned the last position in the column behind the rest of the army.

The head of the column ran into Confederate resistance south of Mansfield at Sabine Cross Roads on April 8th. About 4 p.m., after a couple hours of positioning and skirmishing, a Confederate assault was launched. The Federal line, outnumbered two-to-one due to the strung out nature of the column and order of march, soon collapsed into retreat. That retreat was turned into a near-rout when the retreating men collided with their own supply train. Finally, a rearguard action halted the Confederate pursuit. When darkness fell, Banks ordered the defeated army to regroup at Pleasant Hill.


On the night of April 8th, the 32nd Iowa went into camp near the town of Pleasant Hill, expecting to continue the march the following morning. They were about 20 miles behind the head of the column and only vaguely aware of the fight far from the front. During the night, thousands of terror-stricken men fleeing the disaster near Mansfield stampeded through the encampment. The division was put under arms just after midnight.

At 10 a.m., the four regiments of Shaw’s Brigade (including the 32nd Iowa) was ordered to the extreme front and placed at a right angle to the Mansfield Road about 1½ miles west of Pleasant Hill. The 32nd held the extreme left of the brigade. Two other Iowa regiments (the 27th and 14th) lined up beside it near the road and the 24th Missouri Infantry Regiment lined up north of the road. While the brigade held the center of the line, significant gaps on both sides left the unit somewhat isolated and greatly so after the battle began and supporting units on both sides of the brigade fell back.

The Confederate attack began about 5 p.m., concentrating against the center and Union left. The Federal forces on the left were flanked and they were forced to retreat. Soon the battle was in full force well behind Shaw’s Brigade. The two Iowa regiments and the Missouri regiment were pulled back, but the order never reached Col. Scott, leaving the 32nd Iowa alone, soon surrounded, and fighting in three directions at once. For another two hours, the battle raged before rallying Union forces drove the Confederates back to their original line and the 32nd Iowa was among friendly forces again.

The 32nd entered the battle with 469 men able to carry a weapon. Col. Scott reported that he lost 210 men killed, wounded or missing in the battle.

The evening, after the battle, General Banks held a war council and decided that retreat was the only option for the Federal forces. Interestingly, Confederate forces believed that they had been defeated by the Federals and they too began their retreat at daylight. Due to loss of wagons, medical supplies and previous orders to clear the roads in case a retreat was needed, all of the Union wounded were left behind and tended to by the residents of Pleasant Hill and some Union physicians who allowed themselves to be taken as prisoners of war by the Confederate forces. Those of the 32nd Iowa who died on the field of battle or of their wounds were buried in Mansfield, Pleasant Hill or near where they received care. Some of those individuals were later disinterred and reburied at the National Cemetery in Alexandria, Louisiana, many in unmarked graves. Other burial locations were never found and the final resting places remain unknown.

Total Forces
Union 25,000 · Confederate 11,000
Union 3,980 · Confederate 3,976

From the report of the adjutant General to the Governor of Iowa:

32 Infantry Regiment – Page 302

Sergeant Milton P. Goodell – Wdd & Cap (wounded and captured) – April 9, 1864 Pleasant Hill, LA

Sergeant Milton P. Goodell – Died – May 9, 1864, Pleasant Hill, LA

Thirty-Second Infantry Regiment

38 killed

116 wounded

56 missing (most were found to have been killed)

Total 210 – 50% of the Regiment

Karen Parsons and I continue to do research to find the burial place of Sergeant Milton P. Goodell. However, it is possible he is buried in a grave as unidentified in Louisiana. Some family researchers believe he was transported to Andersonville Prison in Georgia and died there. I have found no reference in any lists that he died at Andersonville. I don’t think it makes sense for him to be transported to Georgia to be imprisoned because he died within a month of being wounded; the battle was west of the Mississippi; the Rebels were being pushed out of their camps by heavy Union attacks and they also left most of their wounded on the fields of battle. But, we will keep looking for Milton P. Goodell.