52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2019 – #8 – Family Photo

Robert Sidney (Sid) Foreman and Grace Irene Squires Foreman 1904

I am very lucky to have known my great grandfather Robert Sidney Foreman born in 1871 in Time, Pike County, Illinois. Sid came to Colorado in 1887 and lived in Vernon, about 10 miles south of Wray, with his parents and 3 sisters and 3 brothers. When Sid was 21 he applied for a homestead patent. After 5 years he sold his land and purchased a steam engine and the necessary equipment to thresh and cut sod. He hired out to thresh oats and cut sod all over eastern Colorado. He settled in Elbert, Colorado in 1900 where he met Grace Irene Squires. They were married in 1904 in Denver.

I am also fortunate to have grown up in a large family that liked to get together and of course someone always had a camera.

L to R – Aunt Ivy Squires (Mary Ivadine) holding baby Margaret Foreman, Joseph Arthur Squires (nephew) Mary Frances Foreman, Sid Foreman, Grace Squires Foreman and Jacob Bernard Foreman. Home in Colorado Springs about 1914.

Aunt Ivy never married and it seems she was available to help her sister Grace and brothers Clarence and Harvey raise their children.

Sid and Grace Irene Squires Foreman. About 1927.

Sid Foreman’s wife, Grace, died in 1933 at age 53 and he never remarried. He lived with his daughter Mary Frances Hancock in Loveland, Colorado for a number of years and then moved to Golden, Colorado and lived with his son Jacob.

Sid Foreman on the left, his daughter Mary Frances Foreman Hancock my grandmother, in the middle next to her brother Robert James Foreman. In the front is Robert Frank Hancock and Shirley Hancock . About 1945.

Sid visited our home in Pleasant View many times when we were young. He lived nearby in Golden with his son Jacob and his family. Mom would fix all of us the same thing for lunch, cream soup on toast! On Sunday’s he would come for dinner after church and when dinner was finished he would walk us up the street to Brownie’s gas station. They had a candy counter there and he would by us each a nickel’s worth of the penny candy. Some of the candy was two or three for a penny so we would walk home with a mouthful and a handful of candy.

Sid Foreman with my brother Don, sister Linda, sister Sharon and myself. At home in Pleasant View, Colorado. About 1953.

Sid Foreman died in 1962 at age 91, I was in junior high, 8th grade then. The funeral was in Elbert, Colorado at the Presbyterian church. He is buried with his wife Grace at the Elbert Cemetery. The family plot also includes Robert James Foreman and his wife Evelyn and their daughter Loreen. Grace’s parents Edwin Squires and Mary Salina Squires and daughter Mary Ivadine Squires and son Jesse Squires are buried in the plot adjacent to Sid and Grace. According to a book written by a local Elbert historian who has indexed the cemetery there is an unmarked grave in this plot.


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2019 #2 – Challenge

In 1998 my mother called me to talk about how much she would enjoy having one of the new “special” license plates Colorado had started a year earlier. “Oh that sounds great Mom, why don’t you go ahead and get one?” was my question to her. “Well,” she said, “I need proof that my grandfather homesteaded in Colorado 100 years ago. This is for Pioneer license plates.”

The Challenge: “Since you live downtown, just a block from the main library, you should go over there and look up the records.” she said. Wait, I’m a self employed business owner, I don’t have time to spend in a library! But she asked so nicely, and how could I disappoint my mother when she was being nice?

I walked over to the library, a whole block and a half, thinking this should be easy. It wasn’t. This is a seven story building that takes up one half of a city block. Although my tax dollars helped pay for it, I had never been in this building.

I boldly approached the librarian and said I needed to find proof of my great grandfather living in Colorado 100 years ago. She advised me to go to the 5th floor which is Western History and Genealogy. It was intimidating to step out of the elevator, historic art work, tables everywhere, rows and rows of books, computers and large machines. Later I found out these machines were microfilm readers which unknown to me at the time I would be spending hours and hours in front of.

Once again I presented my request to the librarian at the information desk and he just looked at me, paused for a moment and asked if this was my first visit to Western History and Genealogy. “Guilty, “I said,” My mother wants to get Pioneer License plates.”

After determining that I didn’t know my great grandfather’s full name, his birth date or his death date, he advised me to check the GLO records which would tell me if he had applied for a land patent through the Homestead Act. Oh, how very helpful this librarian was until he said “We don’t have the GLO records here, you will need to go to the Bureau of Land Management.” It was very hard for me to make the call to my mother and tell her I was not successful at the library and I was referred to another government office to look up homestead records.

Anyway, off to the Bureau of Land Management office I went. The gentleman there only needed the name of my great grandfather to access the records. He found more than one application. My great, great grandfather Jacob Foreman had applied for the Homestead Act ($5.00) as well as the Timber Culture Act ($5.00) in 1890. My great grandfather Robert Sidney Foreman had applied for the Homestead Act in 1892 as did his sister Arte Mesa Foreman for $5.00 each. The requirements were they must be 21 years of age and live and work the land for 5 years and then the Land Patent would be granted. I paid for the copies of the applications and the copies of the Land Patent Warrants. All of the applications and warrants were dated prior to 1897 and I felt my duty was complete.

Then I started reading these documents. The Foreman’s had traveled from their home in tiny Vernon, Colorado, 10 miles south of Wray, Colorado more than 60 miles to Akron, Colorado, to receive their applications and warrants.

The Warrants were signed by President Harrison in 1890 and William McKinely in 1897. The lots were 160 acres. For the Timber Culture Act, Jacob had to plant trees on the 160 acres. If you are not familiar with this north east part of Colorado it is called the “high plains.” there are no trees and little if any water other than the Republican River and a branch of the Platte River.

Robert Sidney Foreman cutting sod with his steam engine so they could plant. The native grasses had roots that could go 12 inches into the soil and had to be removed to plant corn and oats.

The plat for the area shows the lots for Jacob on the east and west side of two county roads on the north intersecting with Robert and Arte Mesa’s lots on the east and west side on the south. This family owned the land around an entire intersection of major north/south, east/west county roads for a total of 640 acres.

Robert Sidney Foreman and his great grandchildren, Don, Linda, Sharon and Carol Stalter. About 1954/55

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #31 – Oldest

There are many thoughts that come to mind with the prompt “Oldest” for this week. We have many family members particularly in the Foreman family that lived long into their 90’s. My husband’s aunt, Helen McMahon Bottenfield reached 100! Instead of choosing old ancestors to write about, I have chosen to tell you about an old artifact I recently received from cousin Vicki Foreman Wright, daughter of Bob Foreman, Grandma Hancock’s brother. Vicki’s grandfather is my great, grandfather Robert Sidney ‘Sid’ Foreman. That makes Vicki my 1C1R or first cousin, once removed.

Sid Foreman and Vicki

Vicki Foreman Wright and Robert Sidney ‘Sid’ Foreman (early 1950’s)

The item Vicki gave me is an autograph book which was used by Sid Foreman to collect autographs from his classmates and friends after finishing high school much like we use yearbooks. This autograph book has a deep red velvet cover and measures about 6″x 4″ and has about 50 pages. The Foreman family had left Time, Pike County Illinois in 1876  and settled in Coloma, Carroll County, Missouri before continuing their journey to Colorado in 1887.

Velvet cover

The first page indicates it was bought Dec 24th 1886, when Sid was 15 years old. Notice the colorful stickers that are on several of the pages.

First page

The first page is signed by Sid’s uncle Sol (Solomon) Watt. Sol is the younger brother of Sid’s mother Sarah Watt Foreman. The signature and verse is dated January 2nd, 1887, in Turner, Missouri. “The old year has gone with its dear memories, And we usher in the glad New Year. And with its entrance it has brought, Many a smile and pleasant thought. Sol Watt.” I’m thinking the Foreman’s spent the holidays with the Watt family.

James Watt

Cousin James Watt, son of Sol Watt signed his book on March 1st, 1888.

Cousin Delmar Watt from Turner, Missouri writes in June of 1887, “If you wish a laugh just look in my Autograph.

Also, cousin George Watt in Turner, Missouri, brother of Delmar and James Watt, writes “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” George went on to become a professional baseball pitcher for the Arkansas Travelers from 1900 to 1910.

Nora Kate Foreman

Sid’s sister Nora Kate Foreman

Mary Foreman

From Sid’s sister Mary Foreman “March 1, 1887, Coloma MO. Sid, No life can be well ended that has not been well spent. Your sister, Mary.”

Always some jokers in the group –  “For Robert, I dip my pen into the ink and grasp your album tight and for my life I cannot think a single word to write. Wrote by a friend Loyd Culver.”

“Friend Robert, Be a good young man and lead a good life go to Colorado and get you a wife. Your Friend Edward Welch.

David Foreman

From Sid’s uncle David Foreman, minister and farmer  from Condon, Colorado in 1888.

By following the dates and place names in this autograph book I have been able to document Sid’s travel from Time, Pike County, Illinois to Coloma in Carroll County, Missouri where the family lived for ten years and across Kansas, one signature showing Harper, Kansas and up through Unadilla, Nebraska settling in Vernon, Colorado in 1887.  Several Foreman’s signed Condon, Colorado as their home which was in Arapaho County, but doesn’t exist anymore. It must be near Wray or Vernon. Arapaho County extended all the way from Denver to the Kansas state line until 1904. There is also an 1898 signature from Elbert, Colorado from M. C. Cromwell. This information is a real advantage since the 1890 Federal census was lost in a fire. The census for 1900 shows Sid Foreman living in Elbert, Colorado, single, renting a house. In 1904 he married Grace Irene Squires at the Arapaho County Courthouse in Denver which was located at 15th Street and Court Place.

By comparing the information from those in the Watt family who signed this autograph book, I have been successful in adding birth and death dates and occupations and family members for all of Sarah Watt Foreman’s parents and siblings. Many who are buried in Bosworth, Missouri.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #22 – So Far Away

Living in the 21st Century medical assistance is something most of us take for granted to be nearby and instantly obtained. However, in 1895 living in Vernon, Colorado, a small rural town ten miles south of Wray, Colorado, professional medical attention was “So Far Away” for my second great grandfather Jacob Foreman.

Denver General Hospital

Early picture of Denver General Hospital. The building on the right is the original Arapahoe county Hospital pre- 1904 which was the year Denver became a county.

According to the Colorado State Archives Patient Register for Arapahoe County Hospital  (known to most of us as Denver General Hospital), Jacob Foreman, age 54, was admitted February 9, 1895 and treated for multiple neuritis.  He had lived in the county for 7 years, immigrating to Colorado in 1887. Was born in Ohio and married. He was patient number 176 and was discharged on March 4, 1895 his condition being “improved” after three weeks. The entry also notes as a contact John Baxter at 1420 S. 13 Street in Vernon. Mr. Baxter was the neighbor who provided the ‘ride’ to Denver. The term multiple neuritis describes an inflamed nerve causing pain in the body.

In a letter from Jacob to his brother living in Time, Pike County, Illinois Jacob regrettably requests $100.00 to pay for the hospital and 354 mile round trip by wagon and team to Denver.

Jacob Foreman was born in 1840 in Highland County, Ohio and moved to Time, Pike County, Illinois as a young man. He served in the Civil War in the 28th Regiment of the Illinois Infantry, Company E. Jacob Foreman married Sarah Elizabeth Watt in Pittsfield, Pike County, Illinois on March 17, 1867. The family moved from Illinois to Kansas in 1877 but were unable to find a suitable home and settled in Coloma, Carroll County, Missouri in 1878 near several of Sarah’s brother’s and their families.

Vernon Park

Vernon Park – center of town.

In 1887 the family moved to Vernon, Arapahoe County (now Yuma County), Colorado. Jacob paid a $10.00 fee to homestead 160 acres under the government Homestead Act as well as an additional 160 acres under the Timber Culture Act. The government requirement was to work the land for 5 years and then title would be transferred to the homesteaders name.

Left – Town of Vernon in 1900. Right – Close up David Foreman’s home next to Christian Church where he and Jacob were ministers.

Jacob sold his homestead in 1906 and he and Sarah and son George moved to Mustang, Oklahoma near Jacob’s brother Robert Allen Foreman. By 1920 Jacob and Sarah returned to Vernon to be near their children, living in the town of Vernon. Jacob died in 1923 and Sarah died in 1928.

Jacob and Sarah

Jacob and Sarah Foreman ca 1922, Vernon, Colorado

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #18 – Close Up

Jacob Foreman – Close Up


This is Jacob Foreman, my great, great grandfather. He was born in Buford, Highland County, Ohio,  December 7, 1840 to parents Jacob Foreman and Margaret Briggs Foreman. He was the sixth of ten children.

About 1855 the family moved from Ohio to Time, Pike County, Illinois. On November 1 of 1861 Jacob was 21 years old and enlisted with Company E of the 28th Illinois Regiment to serve in the Civil War. The 28th Illinois Regiment was moved down the Mississippi on a steamship to St. Louis and then marched with Ulysses S. Grant to Paducah, Kentucky. Their main duty was to disrupt the supply lines to the Confederates.

Jacob Foreman ca. 1863 Civil War Uniform
Jacob Foreman ca. 1863 Civil War Uniform

Jacob fought in the Battle of Pittsburgh Landing better known as Shiloh and the Battle for Corinth, Mississippi and Vicksberg. He was injured, returned home to recover and then joined Company E of the 28th Regiment in New Orleans to guard a British frigate that had been captured in the Gulf of Mexico. Jacob mustered out of the army in Brownsville, Mississippi in 1865 and returned home.

In March of 1867 Jacob married Sarah Elizabeth Watt. They had 5 children. In 1877 they headed west to Kansas but unable to find a new home they returned to Coloma, Carroll County, Missouri near where several of Sarah’s brothers lived. After 10 years of growing cotton and 3 sons being born and the death of one daughter they set out by wagon for Colorado.

Entire Foreman Family

Jacob and Sarah homesteaded 160 acres under the Homestead Act and 160 acres under the Timber Culture Act in what was Arapaho county, now Yuma county three miles west of Vernon just south of Wray.

In 1897 Jacob became ill and was hospitalized in Denver in what became Denver General Hospital. He was treated for three weeks and then returned home. In 1906 Jacob sold the homestead and he and Sarah with their youngest son George, moved to Mustang, Oklahoma where Jacob’s younger brother Robert Allen Foreman lived. In the spring of 1920, they returned to Vernon, Colorado to be near their children.

Jacob died in 1923 and Sarah died in 1928. They are buried in the Glendale Cemetery near Vernon, Colorado. The house they lived in at Vernon still stands.

Jacob and Sarah Foreman

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #16 – Storms

Vernon, Colorado

Carol Singer, Gloria Hartman Clark, Mary Foreman Hartman
Carol Singer, Gloria Hartman Clark, Mary Foreman Hartman

Mary Hartman! Mary Hartman! The opening lines of a prime time Emmy Award winning soap opera back in 1976-1977.

This was my first thought when 20 years ago my mother said we needed to go to Wray, Colorado and visit Mary Hartman. Our fist visit was in 1999. She was excited to have company and welcomed us to look through her photo albums and pictures. She brought the Foreman family history alive with her stories of growing up in Vernon, Colorado just 10 miles south of Wray.

Mary Geneva Foreman Hartman was first cousin to my grandmother Mary Frances Foreman Hancock. Both ladies were good friends from childhood until 2000 when my grandmother died. For years they would send letters back and forth to each other several times each month.

In 2000 my mother and I went back to Wray for “Vernon Days” which is held each August.  Tractor pulls, tractor parades, very old tractors on display, good food, flea market and the historic school building open for displays with quilt shows and WWII memorabilia or whatever the featured subject was for that year.


Mary Hartman checking out the old post office boxes and clerk’s window. She pointed out the box that belonged to her family.


Quilts on display.

In 2001 I went back to Vernon Days to visit Mary Hartman. My mother had passed away and on this trip my grandmother’s brother Robert Foreman joined me.  Mary Hartman was delighted to see her other cousin. Mary added a grand tour of the area around Vernon, showing us where all the Foreman’s had homesteaded and several of the cemeteries that held family members from Wray to Idalia. We even searched through a freshly plowed field turning over the big chunks of dirt looking for the headstones of Harriet Foreman Long and her husband. Never found it, we were in the wrong field!


Wray Rattler – 1903

As we drove the county roads surrounding Vernon, she pointed out the farms where Foreman’s had homesteaded and talked about who lived there now. What I found most interesting was her concern for the condition of the dry land crops. She would tell us of a storm that moved through the area and completely flooded the field of corn. Sod Soaker’s or Gully Washers they were called!


Wray Rattler – 1923

She mentioned the wheat crops that were destroyed from hail storms years ago when she and her husband farmed near Idalia.


The scariest storms of all were the the tornadoes and high winds.

Bob Foreman and I continued to visit Mary Hartman for Vernon Days until 2007 when at age 90 Bob decided the trip was just too much for him. The same year Mary Hartman had turned 90 and I made a solo trip. I learned that Mary’s daughter Gloria, wasn’t feeling well. Turns out she had colon cancer and died in July of 2008 at age 62. In September of 2008 Mary passed away at age 91.

Boy, I miss those trips to Vernon. I miss Mary Hartman and her stories.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #3 – Longevity

Many of our ancestors lived long lives. On my side of the family I’m not aware of anyone who lived to be 100, but many were well into their 90’s before they died. For this week’s blog on Longevity I wanted to highlight some things our ancestors built that have lasted a long time.

The first row of pictures, below, on the left, is David Foreman at his home about 1888 in Vernon, Colorado. Vernon is about 10 miles south of Wray, Colorado. He was a harness maker and he is sitting on a harness bench. In the background is the Christian church that he and his brother Jacob (my great, great grandfather ) built and were pastors.

On the right is that same church in a cornfield on the land John Foreman, Jacob’s son and Sid Foreman’s brother, owned. John Foreman hauled the church out to his farm in the early 1930’s, because a new and larger church was built in Vernon. When talking about old buildings and someone says “it’s still standing” you can see literally what they mean. The walls collapsed about 1970, but the remains are still on the property.  I took these pictures of John Foreman’s farm in 1998.

The second row of pictures are also from John Foreman’s farm three miles west of Vernon. The front part of the house was built of sod about 1885 and the addition, with dormers, is made of wood and was added when John Foreman purchased the property in the early 1920’s.

The picture on the right in the second row is an outhouse. John Foreman had quite a business going in Vernon making outhouses for the WPA. The Works Project Administration started in 1935 and provided jobs all across America. This outhouse is still standing and as well as it is built, I expect it will stand for another 100 years.

Next week #4 – Invite to Dinner.