52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – #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.

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

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 – #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 – Week #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 – #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.

f_co_tornados_160508The 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 – #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.



Jacob Foreman – The War of 1812 – 200 Years Ago

From Public Broadcasting System:
The Napoleonic Wars are raging in Europe. British manpower is stretched to its breaking point. Nearly 6,000 American sailors are taken against their will under the policy of impressment and forced into service in the British Navy. Trade restrictions are imposed on America that impedes trade with France. America responds with embargoes that hurt the US more than Britain.

On June 18, 1812, America, for the first time, declares war on another nation—the United Kingdom. The congressional vote is the closest vote to declare war in American history. The War of 1812 begins and the young democracy is put to the test.

Go to this site http://www.pbs.org/wned/war-of-1812/the-film/ to watch the film on your computer.

Jacob Foreman was born March 18, 1793 in Mercer County, Kentucky. He was the third son of David and Elizabeth (Eli) Foreman the immigrant ancestors. David Foreman died in 1811 in Mercer County, Kentucky. This Jacob Foreman is my 3rd great grandfather, not to be confused with his son, Jacob Foreman my 2nd great grandfather who is the subject of my Civil War Blog.

On November 10, 1814, Jacob Foreman joined George McAfee’s Company of the Kentucky Detached Militia under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Gabriel Slaughter. The company marched south to Louisiana to fight in the Battle of New Orleans.
Source – Report of the Adjutant General of the
State of Kentucky – Soldiers of the War of 1812.

Roll of Captain George McAfee’s Company, Kentucky detached militia –
Commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Gabriel Slaughter
Foreman, Jacob (age 19)
Date of Appointment or Enlistment November 10, 1814
To what time engaged or Enlisted – May 10, 1815

From my research on the War of 1812 and the history of George McAfee’s Company I have copied several articles of interest that reflect the conditions and times that Jacob Foreman served.

From the website hosted and edited by Jenny Tenlen – The McAfee’s: Kentucky Pioneers (jtenlen.drizzlehosting.com/mcafee/warof1812.html) below is a report of Capt. George McAfee’s Company of Kentucky Detached Militia who enlisted November 10, 1814 for a 4 month period written by Luther Davenport

“On October 14th, 1814, Governor Shelby issued a call for men for the New Orleans campaign, and in response, Col. Gabriel Slaughter began assembling men to form a regiment for duty, which was mustered into service Nov. 14, 1814. Along with the call for men, came a promise from the U.S. Quarter master of arms, munitions, and transportation down river, but these supplies were slow to materialize. Believing that the promised supplies would catch up, the Kentuckians departed with half rations, few blankets and tents, and no pay, on board boats that were mostly unfit to carry men across the river let alone fifteen hundred miles downstream. The supplies never came, and on January 4, 1815, the Kentucky troops arrived at New Orleans almost destitute of clothing, blankets, and munitions of war. The winter weather of 1814/15 was unusually severe with daily downpours of rain. They entered into camp without tents, blankets, or straw for bedding, on open, miry ground as the temperatures hovered near freezing. The Louisiana legislature and the citizens of New Orleans quickly answered the call and furnished what supplies that could be spared. Nonetheless, just over half the Kentuckians could be adequately armed, and as a result those without arms remained in a reserve position during the battle. About eleven hundred Kentucky boys secured arms and Slaughter’s regiment took it’s place among them on the firing line to await the British advance. The details of the battle of January 8, 1815 are well documented and will not be repeated here, but it should not be forgotten that these men from Kentucky who bore the brunt of the assault, were not professional soldiers. They were family men, farmers, and tradesmen whose pride in country had called them away from a plow to travel fifteen hundred miles from home and hearth to confront an enemy army covered in glory from European battlefields of the Napoleonic Wars. After the battle the troops remained at New Orleans until March 18, 1815. On this date the militias of Kentucky and Tennessee were released to return home. It was a long hard journey along the Natchez Trail, and the sufferings of disease and hardships claimed more men than the battle itself. They arrived back in Central Kentucky about May 1, 1815.”

Also from Luther Davenport in an e-mail message to me on June 11, 2012:


I have an account written by a captured British officer. The portion of the line that he faced was manned by the militia forces of Kentucky.

As the troops advanced on the American line, I with several of my peers of equal or lesser rank, stood upon a small rise on the field watching the men move forward. Observing the American defenses we saw a tall slender man standing alone atop the parapet. He was dressed in buckskin attire, with a wide brimmed hat that hid his face. Still beyond the range of our most forward ranks, he stood there fully exposed without fear, accessing the field. Finally, he pushed his back off of his head and raised his weapon to the firing position, and pointed in our general direction. This action initiated a laugh from our group as the distance was so great the result could only be a fruitless waste of powder. A plum of smoke exhaled from the rifle barrel. Seconds passed and our laughter continued until a thud was heard over the chuckles. Looking around at my companions, it was noticed that a young Lt. to my immediate left was shot through the chest, and slowly crumpled to the ground. All eyes turned back to the hunter, only to see him obscured by another plume of smoke, and just as soon another of our number fell. We looked for cover, but the ground was devoid of any, and in the few seconds it took to realize this fact another of my peers was down. Our only action was to mingle with the advancing forces, and in all my years as a soldier, I had never welcome the danger of battle, as the smoke and dust hid me from the view of that frontier hunter.

This is not word for word, but written for you as I remember the story

Luther D.

In addition here is information from another reference:
(When speaking of Jackson they mean Andrew Jackson “Old Hickory”)

From: Kentucky in the War of 1812, Ch. 10, pp. 134-149, “The Battle of New Orleans,”
Author: Quisenberry, Anderson Chenault
Publication: Baltimore [Maryland]: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1969
Repository: Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah Call Number: 976.9 M25q
Note: Originally published in book form by The Kentucky Historical Society, Frankfort, 1915.

“After the arrival of the Kentucky militia, Jackson’s forces for the defense of New Orleans were as follows:
Seventh Regiment, United States Infantry………………….465
Forty-fourth Regiment, United States Infantry………………331
Detachment of artillery, regulars………………………………….22
Marines, United States Navy……………………………………..66
Plauche’s Battalion, New Orleans Militia…………………….287
Beal’s Orleans Rifle Company…………………………………… 62
Lafitte’s Baratarians (Artillerists) Captains You
and Beluche……………………………………………………….300
D’Aquin’s Battalion San Domingo Free Men of Color…….210
Choctaw Indians, Captain Jugeant……………………………..18
Tennessee Volunteers and Militia…………………………..1,063
Kentucky Detached Militia…………………………………….2,256
Hind’s Mississippi Dragoons……………………………………..107
Louisiana Militia (in addition to those noted above)……1,317
Total 6, 504

“Of this little force all but the eight hundred and eighty-four regulars were raw militia. Opposed to them, altogether, stood about eighteen thousand men, nearly all of whom were regulars of the British army, or marines of the British navy — the best trained troops then on the globe.

“…The Kentuckians who bore so distinguished a part in this brilliant victory [the great Battle of New Orleans, on the left bank of the Mississippi] were Colonel Gabriel Slaughter’s regiment of seven hundred men, and Major Reuben Harrison’s battalion of three hundred and five men from Mitchusson’s regiment, all under the command of Brigadier-General John Adair. These were all of the Kentuckians for whom arms could be found, except the small detachment that went across the river. In the rear entrenchments stood at least a thousand other Kentuckians who could not go into the battle because arms were not furnished for them… ‘They also serve who only stand and wait’.”

The ironic twist to this battle of New Orleans is the Treaty of Ghent, ending the war, was signed two weeks before this battle. The battle of New Orleans lasted about 25 minutes.

Shortly after Jacob Foreman returned home in 1815 his mother the widow Elizabeth Foreman inherited land in Highland County Ohio from her brother George Horine. Elizabeth and seven sons with their families left Mercer County, Kentucky for Highland County, Ohio. Her daughters and their families stayed in Kentucky.

Jacob Foreman married Margaret Briggs in Buford, Highland County Ohio, and by 1851 Jacob and Margaret settled in Time, Pike County, Illinois along with several of his brothers including older brother David Foreman who also served in the war of 1812. David Foreman and his mother Eli Foreman are buried in the Blue River cemetery in Detroit, Pike County, Illinois.

Margaret Briggs Foreman died November 30, 1857 and Jacob Foreman died February 8, 1871. Both are buried in the Time cemetery along with their son George, daughter Elizabeth and young son Alexander. When I visited the Time cemetery I couldn’t find their headstone but Kathy Robinson a Pike County genealogist was kind enough to send me the picture of the headstone posted above when she was searching the cemetery for veterans of the War of 1812.

In 1878, Jacob and Margaret Briggs Foreman’s son Jacob and his wife Sarah Elizabeth Watt with 5 children, Mary Belle, Robert Sidney, Nora Kate, Arte Mesa and Martha Jane left Time, Illinois, traveled to Kansas and unable to find a home there settled in Coloma, Carroll County, Missouri. Martha Jane died in 1879 in Kansas. She was 2 years old. In 1887 the family, including William Turner, John Everette and George Edwin who were born in Missouri, moved west to Vernon, Colorado, just 10 miles south of Wray in what was Arapahoe County and is now Yuma County.

Remember the Johnnie Horton song – The Battle of New Orleans?
“In 1814 we took a little trip
Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip
We took a little bacon and we took a little beans
And we caught the bloody British in the town of New Orleans . . .