Louisa Victoria Jane Horton Family
(b. July 23, 1838 - d. September 27, 1927)

by Michael Daro Smith

Contributed to
Genealogy Trails (with permission of Michael Smith) by Barbara Smith Rue

NOTE: The data presented below represents the research of Michael Smith and Barbara Smith Rue. The data has NOT been verified by Genealogy Trails. We strongly recommend that viewers verify all facts and research by consulting the original records for themselves.

Family Timeline

1838, Jul 23 - Allen B. Horton's wife, Paulina Wandell Horton, gives birth to Louisa Victoria Jane Horton in the Town of Ossining (Sing Sing), New York. Louisa is the second of ten children born to this family.
1838-1842 - Family moves from Ossining (Sing Sing), New York to Lodi, Columbia County, Wisconsin.
1840 CENSUS: Cannot locate Horton family in this Federal Census.
1842, May 5 - Allen and Paulina have their third child Alexina Fitzashern Horton. She was born in Milton, Rock, Wisconsin.
1850, Aug 14 CENSUS: Horton family is living in Lodi, Columbia County, Wisconsin, Listed in the Allen and Paulina household are seven children: Frances, Louisa, Alexina, James B, Eliza C, Mary Ann, and George. The Bunker family, including Thomas Bunker, are neighbors. Sometime in 1850 the Horton family house burns. Family bible is saved but shows signs of being through a fire.
1853 -1860 - Lousia's sister Ellen Electa Horton dies, we assume. She was born May 3rd, 1853 and does not show up in 1860 census.
1854, Jan 18 - Louisa's father Allen B Horton dies in Lodi, Wisconsin.
1854, Aug 18 - Louisa marries Thomas Bunker in Lodi, Columbia County, Wisconsin. Thomas was born Dec, 1832 in Penobscot, Maine. Parents were Thomas and Sarah Sally Twombley.
1854-1856 - Thomas and Louisa move to Mankato, Minnesota.
1855 - Louisa's mother Paulina marries James G Conklin.
1856, Jan 5 - Laura Ellen Bunker (CHILD 1) is born to Thomas and Louisa in Mankato, Blue Earth County, Minnesota. This might have been their second child with another child dying previous or after Laura's birth. I have not found proof of this yet but it has been indicated by the Bunker Family Association. One side note, Kenny Simmons said when he was a small boy, Laura told him how Thomas and Louisa had to hide her from the Indians.
1857, Oct 15 MN CENSUS: Mankato, Minnesota State Census: Thomas, Louisa, and Laura are NOT shown living in Mankato. Thomas' brother Francis, his wife Xoa, and their son Albert M. are living in Mankato. Also, Thomas' brother Daniel F. Bunker, his wife Betsey, and their children Caroline and Daniel are living in Mankato. "F. Bunker" is the census taker so if Thomas and Louisa were living there, I would assume they would have been on the Mankato census records.
1860 CENSUS: Cannot locate Louisa and Thomas in this Federal Census.
1862, Aug 13 - Thomas Bunker volunteers for the civil war. Union Soldier in the WI 23rd Volunteer Infantry Company H. His enlistment papers state him as being Age: 29, Height: 5' 11", Complexion: Dark, Eyes: Brown, Hair: Black
1863, May - Thomas falls sick while at the battle of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Returns to Camp Randall in Madison, Wisconsin.
1863, Nov 20 - Thomas dies of Pneumonia while at Camp Randall. He is buried in Lodi at the Mt Pleasant Cemetery.
1863, Dec 12 - Louisa files for Widow's Declaration for Pension of Thomas Bunker in Dane County, Wisconsin.
1865, Mar 23 - Louisa remarries to a William B. Downey in Lodi, Wisconsin.
1865, Sept 26 - "William W Downey,Gdn" is listed as guardian for the minor child, Laura Bunker, on the Thomas Bunker Pension record. He and wife Louisa files for pension for Laura, Application #110456, Record #67627.
1866 - Edith Maud Downey (CHILD 2) is born in Wisconsin.
1866, Mar - Louisa's pension papers lists her living in Lodi, Wisconsin on March, 1866.
1868 - Mary H Downey (CHILD 3) is born in Wisconsin.
1870, Aug 16 CENSUS: William and Louisa are living in Lodi, Columbia County, Wisconsin. William's occupation is listed as a Photographer and Louisa as Keeping House. Their two daughters Edith and Mary are also listed in the household, as well as Louisa's daughter from her first marriage, Laura Ellen Bunker. Louisa's brother, James Berlin Horton, is also living with them and his occupation is also listed as a Photographer.
1871 - Della Downey (CHILD 4) is born in Wisconsin to William and Louisa.
1873 - Laura Bunker marries a mystery man we haven't found yet. Laura lists in the 1930 census that she was first married at age 17.
1874 - "Nellie Bunker" is born in Minnesota. Who is Nellie Bunker? I assume Laura's daughter. See the 1875 Minnesota census from New Ulm, Minnesota.
1875, Jan-May - Carrie aka Clara Downey (CHILD 5) is born Minnesota to William and Louisa.
1875, May 1 MN CENSUS: Charles Edward Simmons is living in Goodhue County, Red Wing, Minnesota with his mother James E and mother Mabel Jane Andrews.
1875, May 1 MN CENSUS: Living in Brown County, New Ulm, Minnesota. Present in the household is William B Downey,50, born NY, Louise, 38, born NY, Edyth, 9, born WI, Mary, 7, born WI, Della, 4, born WI, Clara, 0, born Minn, "Lora" Bunker, 18, born Minn, Nellie Bunker, 1, born Minn.
1875-1877 - Downey family moves to Winona, Minnesota.
1875-1877 - Laura Bunker marries Mr. Harvey.
1877-1878 - W.B. Downey is listed in the Winona Directory as a carpenter.
1877, Nov 12 - Laura Bunker gives birth to Jessamine "Jessie" M. Harvey in Minnesota.
1879 Jan - Mary H. Downey is sexually assaulted. She was 11 years old. Article in the Winona Daily Republican on Jan 7, 1879.
1879-1880 - W.B. Downey is listed in the Winona Directory as proprietor of the Temperance House.
1879 - Mabel Downey (CHILD 6) is born in Winona, Minnesota to William and Louisa.
1880 - Miss L.J. Downey is listed in the Winona Directory as a Clairvoyant, resident of the Phoenix House.
1880 - W.B. Downey is listed in the Winona Directory as the proprietor of the Phoenix House.
1880, Apr 9 - Laura Ellen Bunker Harvey marries Charles Edward Simmons. In the marriage license it states "C. E. Simmons of the County of Goodhue" and "Laura Harvey of the County of Winona" are getting married. Witnesses were W.B. Downey and L.J.Downey.
1880, Jun 16 CENSUS: Living at 27 Johnson Street in Winona, Minnesota is William (55) and Louisa (41). William's occupation is listed as Hotel Keeper and Louisa's as Housekeeper. Children listed in the household are Edith M. (14), Mary H. (12), Della (9), Carrie (5), and Mabel (1). Also listed in the household is Lousia's daughter, Laura Simmons (21), with her husband Charles Simmons (24) and Laura's possible first or second daughter Jessie M. Harvey (2). Jessie is listed as being born in Minnesota, father born Wisconsin, mother born New York. Which makes things odd because Laura is listed as being born Minnesota, yet Jessie mother is born NY? More questions or mistake. Where is Nellie Bunker from 1875 census?
1881, Jun - Lucretia Downey (CHILD 7) is born in Winona, Minnesota to William and Louisa.
1881, Oct 31 - William B Downey dies of intestinal problems in Winona, Minnesota at the his home the Phoenix House on Johnson Street. He is buried at the Woodlawn Cemetery. Obituary lists him as a member of the Temperance Organization, the Temple of Honor.
1881, Nov 10 - Edith Maud Downey dies of a heart condition in Winona, Minnesota at the Phoenix House. She is buried at the Woodlawn Cemetery.
1881, Dec 20 - Louisa remarries to a Nelson Brown in Winona, Minnesota. Witnesses were JSae? G Sargent and Francis C Cone.
1882-1884 - Does Nelson Brown die? In 1880, there is a Nelson Brown living in Rochester, Minnesota and who is a Hotel Keeper just like William Downey. Did they know each other? Is this the Nelson Brown she remarried two months after Williams death? I cannot locate this Nelson Brown after 1880 census. He is listed as being born around 1830 in Canada with his father and mother both being born in Canada.
1882 - Lucinda G (CHILD 8) is born in Winona, Minnesota. Not sure if this is the correct date so I don't know if Lucinda is a Downey or a Brown.
1883 - Listed in the Winona Directory as Louisa Downey.
1884, Jan 14 - Louisa's daughter Mary Downey marries Howard M Huff with "the personal consent of L.J.Downey Brown, mother of said Mary Downey.
1884, July 22 - Louisa files for Declaration of a Pensioned Widow for increase in Pension of Thomas Bunker while living in Winona, Minnesota. She lists herself and signs the document, Louisa J. Brown. Her pension is at $8 per month.
1885 - Listed in the Winona Directory as Louisa Brown.
1885, May 1 MN CENSUS: Living in Winona, Minnesota as L. J. Brown with daughters Carrie B Downey, (10) Lucretia Downey (4). Listed next to her in the census is daughter Mary H Huff, married to H. M. Huff (Howard) and they have a daughter Estella, 0, born Minnesota.
1888, May 26 - Louisa's mother Paulina Wandell Horton Conklin dies in Kansas City, Kansas.
1892, Sept 1 - Louisa remarries to Bailey Vaughn, a Civil War Veteran, in Clinton, Iowa. Bailey listed being married in Clinton Iowa on this date when he was check into the Marshalltown Veterans Hospital in Marshalltown, Iowa. Louisa later lists in her pension records that they were married on this date but in Missouri Valley Station, Iowa.
1895, June 1 MN CENSUS: Louisa is living with Bailey Vaughn and three daughters in Minneapolis, Minnesota at 2203 Hennepin Ave, second floor. Living in the household is "Bayle Vaugn, (53), Laborer, Louise Vaugn, (56), Mary Hoff, (27), Mabel Downey (16), Lacrise (14)".
1900, Jun 6 CENSUS: Louisa is living with daughter Lucretia and her husband William Langdon. Louisa is listed as having 11 children of which 6 are living. William and Lucretia have one daughter Mildred L who is one month old (born May 1900). Lucretia is listed as having one child of which one is living. They are living in Chicago in the town of "West Town" Cook County, Illinois. Louisa's husband Bailey Vaughn is living in the National Home for disabled Veterans in Danville, IL, County of Vermilion.
1900-1910 Child of William and Lucretia Langdon dies.
1905, Feb 1 - Louisa's brother John Berlin Horton dies in Shawney, Oklahoma.
1908, Apr 16 - Louisa's sister Frances C. Horton Richards dies.
1910, Apr 26 CENSUS: Louisa is living in Chicago with her husband Bailey Vaughn, daughter Lucretia and her granddaughter Mildred L. Langdon. Louisa is shown as being a minister of a Spiritual Church. She is listed as having 11 children of which 6 are living. Lucretia is shown as widowed and is listed as having 2 children of which 1 is living.
Also in the Cook County, City of Chicago census, are Louisa's sister, Alexina Horton Bundy (widowed), and niece Elenor Bundy Drew (widowed). They are living with Louisa's other sister Mary Horton Bronson. Mary shows being married to Clark Henry Bronson for 40 years and having zero children. Also living in Chicago with her son Charles H Andrews is Louisa's sister Eliza Andrews. She is shown as widowed and having two children of which two are living. So in Chicago 1910, Louisa was living near three of her sisters.
1910, Aug 5 - Article in the Englewood Times Chicago, IL: "A social, musical and literary entertainment will be given by the ladies of the Christian Spiritual Union church at Redmond's wigwam, 230 63rd St, Saturday, August 6th, at 8pm. Ice cream and cake served at 25c per person. The pastor, Mrs Louise Vaughn, will preside. Come and bring your friends."
1911, July 12 - Louisa's sister Eliza Charlotte Horton Andrews dies.
1914, Jan 09 - Lucretia's husband William G Langdon dies.
1914-1920 - Louisa's daughter Lucretia remarries to a Mr. Sanders. Possibly named William Sanders as a William Sanders is buried next to Louisa in My Greenwood Cemetery in Chicago.
1914-1920 - Louisa's Son-In-Law, Lucretia's husband, Mr. Sanders dies.
1915 IOWA CENSUS: (Individual index cards for this census.) "Louisa V. J. Vaughn" is listed as living in Clinton Township, Mt Pleasant Park, Clinton County, Iowa. She is listed as 76 years old and having education of 8 years grammer, no high school, no college. Her church affiliation is Spiritualist. Mother and Father both born New York. She is shown as being in US for 76 years and Iowa for 20 (or 26?) years. Bailey Vaughn is listed as living in Clinton Township, Mt Pleasant Park, Clinton County, Iowa. He is listed as 70 years old and having education of 6 years Common, no grammer, no high school, no college. Religion is also listed as Spiritualist. Occupation listed as Doctor. Living in US 70 years, Iowa 15 years. They must be living near Vaughn relatives as next to them is Alton Vaughn (43), Nancy M Vaughn (34), Elizabeth Vaughn (18), Leon Vaughn (15),
1915-1917 - Bailey Vaughn states in his admission papers to the Marshalltown Iowa Soldiers Home that he has been living in Clinton, Clinton County, Iowa for the last three years. Lists Louisa as wife.
1917, May 19 - Bailey Vaughn dies at the Marshalltown Iowa Soldiers Home. He is buried at Marshalltown Soldiers Cemetery next to his wife a "Mrs Bailey Vaughn". The grave of "Mrs Bailey Vaughn" next to him is unmarked and The Iowa Soldiers home has no burial information or date of burial. Bailey was married three times. First, to a Helen McCard who he married on Aug 23, 1865 in Jackson County, Iowa. Second, to a Mariah Merrick on Jul 1, 1878 in Jackson County, Iowa and third, to Louisa. In Bailey's Marshalltown Hospital papers, it states "wife here for funeral". It also states he was Protestant.
1918, April 10 - Louisa files for Bailey Vaughn's civil war pension.
1918, Dec 16- Louisa files for Declaration for Remarried Widow's Pension of Thomas Bunker. In this document she states that her previous pension number was "lost by fire". She lists her previous husbands as William Downey and Bailey Vaughn. She is living at 640 W. 63rd Street, Chicago, IL. Her daughters Lucinda LaLande and Lucretia Sanders sign as witnesses and are listed as living next door at 540 W.63rd Street, Chicago, IL.
1919, Nov 21 - Mrs. Louise Vaughn, Pastor, runs a display advertisement in the Englewood Times for her spiritualist services. See advertisement below. Shows she is living at 6405 Eggleston Avenue, 2nd Apartment, Chicago, IL.
1920, Jan 2 CENSUS: Louisa (81) is living in the household of her granddaughter Mildred L Langdon Sullivan (19). Mildred is married to a Maurice Sullivan (19) and they have one daughter, Levina Sullivan (8 months). Also in the household is Louisa's daughter and Mildred's mother, Lucretia Downey Sanders (38). Lucretia is shown as widowed. One other person is in the household, Louis Frost. He is listed as a 52 year old Lodger. Also in Cook County, Chicago, Louisa's sister Mary Bronson and husband Clark are shown.
1920, July 13 - Louisa files for pension support from Thomas Bunker. She is shown living at 800 South Ashland Blvd, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. She signs her paperwork "Louisa J. V. Vaughn".
1921, June 10 - Article in the The Englewood Times, Chicago, IL on the dates Apr 29, May 6, May 13, May 20, May 27, June 3, June 10: "Spiritualist Missionary Bureau, Rev Louise Vaughn, Pastor: The Spiritualists Missionary Bureau of Chicago, will hold there regular monthly meeting on Friday, March 25th at 8 oclock at Hopkins Hall, 426 W 63rd Street, 3rd Floor. Several good speakers and message bearers will make this meeting one of interest to all. Open meeting. All are welcome. Come and join us in this good work, Rev Lora M Bott president." Why it list March and it is in June paper is beyond me. Must be misprint of date.
1921, June 16 - Louisa marries her 5th husband, Samuel Hoover Merritt in Chicago, IL. "The Englewood Times" dated June 17th, 1921 states, "Mrs Vaughn Married at 85: We had the pleasure of a call yesterday from a bridesmaid 85 years of age, the grandmother of six children and eight great grandchildren. The lady was known well in Englewood as Mrs. L Vaughn, a spiritualist minister and her husband is a gentleman from Virginia. Samuel H. Merritt, who many boast of only 81 summers. They are very happy and are receiving the best wishes of many friends. We have known Mrs Vaughn-Merritt for many years and no sweeter or dearer old lady have we ever met. May joy go with them."
1921, Oct 5 - Article from "The Edwardsville Intelligencer" Oct 7th, 1921. Tempest and Teapots for Octogenarians: Chicago Oct 5th, "He was very cruel to me. He drove me out of his home" said the 83 year old bride. "She vamped me" was the "comeback" of the 82 year old bridegroom. The bride is Mrs Louise Vaughn Merritt. Samuel Hoover Merritt is the bridegroom. Suit for divorce has been started by Mrs. Merritt after a four month honeymoon. The couple met at a G.A.R. encampment three years ago. They declared at the time of their marriage that "love never grows old". Mrs. Merritt said that Merritt's children caused the trouble. Merritt said that it was because his wife was a spiritualist and held séances in the back parlor every night while I was trying to read the paper."
1923, Feb 2 - Sister Alexina Fitzashern Bundy dies in Wilder, Canyon, Idaho.
1927, Sept 27 - Louisa Victoria Jane Horton Bunker Downey Brown Vaughn Merritt dies in Cook County, Chicago, Illinois. Cause of death is listed as carcinoma of the stomach. She was living at 4548 Champlain Ave, Chicago, Illinois. Pearl Armstrong always said that Louisa was married 5 times and she was right. As a small child, Pearl Armstrong Ardito (born June 16, 1916), a great granddaughter of Louisa, remembers taking a long ride from Minneapolis to visit Louisa (assuming to Chicago). She did not remember where they went but Pearl remembers how tiny Louisa was. (This information was supplied from Barb Smith Rue who received this information directly from Pearl).
1927, Sept 29 - Louisa is laid to rest at the Mount Greenwood Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois. She is buried next to a William Sanders. She is buried in Lot 257, Section 13. She has no marker.
1929, Oct 30 - Louisa's 5th husband Samuel Hoover Merritt dies in Chicago, Cook County, IL.
1930, Apr 9 CENSUS: Louisa's sister Mary Bronson, is living in Chicago and is listed as widowed. Also found, Maurice (29), Mildred Sullivan (27, Louisa's granddaughter), living in Chicago, Cook County, IL with their children, Maurice Jr (1yr, 9 months), Jerold (5), Francis T. (8), and Helen (10). All were born in Illinois.
1938, May - Louisa's sister Mary Ann Horton Bronson is given a 90th birthday party in Chicago, IL.
1940, Jan 10 - Louisa's sister Mary Ann Horton Bronson dies in Chicago of Pheumonia.


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