Washington County, Illinois
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The History
Of
The

HENLEY and MEFFERT
Families
In
Washington County, Illinois
1842 - 1920

With references to :
BOLANDER, Katherine
BROWN, Fred S.
CHILBS, John
CROW, Sarah
DENNLER, John
HARRIS, George
JACK, Samuel B.
  NOLD, Elizabeth
OFFILL, Joseph
RODGERS, Rolla
SIEBERT, Henry
TRUESDELL, Mary
WETSELL, Simon

By : Alice Catherine Meffert / Hill

 

      My family's connection to Ashley and Washington County in Illinois began in Darmstadt, Hess, Germany. In September 1839 the ship "Iowa" docked in New York Harbor with passengers, Johannes and Elizabeth (NOLD) MEFFERT on board. They had emigrated from Darmstadt, where both were born, and they proceeded directly to St. Louis, Mo. where they arrived in time to be listed on the U. S. Census of 1840 in the district of Carondelet.

      In April of 1842 the Illinois Land Purchase records show that Johannes "MOFFERT" purchased the SENW qtr. of Section 22 in Washington County near Ashley.

      He sent word back to Darmstadtthat he was salisfied with his situation and in July of 1846 his nephew, with his family, arrived on "J H Copper" which docked at the Port of New Orleans.

      Caspar (31), his wife Marie (27), sons Valentin (7), Georg (5), and daughter Maria (3) wasted no time going up the river to St. Louis or in purchasing land. In Sept. 1846, barely six weeks after their arrival in New Orleans, the records show "Kaspar" MEFFERT purchased the NESE and the SENE qtr. of section 21.

      In 1849 their daughter Elizabeth was born, and the 1850 Census for Ashley Twp. shows Caspar's family as well as John and Elizabeth, and a John CHILBS also born in Germany and listed as laborer.

      This, however, was not my family's only contribution to the population explosion occuring in Ashley at the time. A recent arrival was farmer and school teacher James Madison HENLEY. James HENLEY was a sixth generation descendent of Richard and Sarah (DARBY) HENLEY (Hernley). They were born in Devonshire, Englandand emigrated in 1624. Three generations settled in Md., then one branch moved south so that in 1814 James was born in McMinn. Co., Tenn. His wife, Martha, and seven childeren were also born there and in 1848 the family set out for Illinois. They traveled by water and while in Alabama another son was born. They arrived in Ashley in time to also be lsited on the 1850 Census as follows : James 36, Martha 37, William 17, Andrew J. 15, Harriet 13, Pickney 11, Martha 10, Catherine 7, James 6, and the Alabama born Thomas 2.

      Our family populatin explosion was soon, sadly, reduced by one as James' wife Martha died later in that year at the age of 37. James married a local woman, Mary A. STILLEY, and they were the parents of Mary F. and Olive Dove HENLEY. Mary F. died at age 15. Her mother also died and James wed Sarah OFFILL.

      Two of the HENLEY men served during the Civil War and are listed in the Washington County Veteran's page. Andrew was in the 5th Illinois Cavalry and james served in the 80th Illinois Infantry. James' information is incorrect, probably because he was not entirely truthful when enlisting as he was two months short of age 16. He was born in Tenn. in 1847 instead of Penn. about 1844!. He married Margaret L. HARRIS and died in Jan 1899. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

      In 1857 Martha HENLEY married John DENNLER. John was born in 1832. They became the parents of Thomas 1858, William 1860, and Zelota 1862. Jon died in 1895 and Martha died in 1900.

      In January of 1860 the administration of John MEFFERT's estate began. At Elizabeth's request the court appointed Caspar as administrator. The appraisal of real estate shows John's original acquistion of U S Patent land plus ten acres in the NE corner of the NW quarter of section 33 acquired by deed.
See : John MEFFERT's Estate Records

      Samuel S. Wetsell is mentioned in the administration of John Meffert's will. Simon, a local widower, and Elizabeth Meffert were married 21 March 1862. He was a native of the same region in Germany as the Mefferts. Simon died in Ashley in 1876 and Elizabeth died there 7 Mar 1877.

      On the Census of 1850 Valentin MEFFERT was listed as Fidelia and was a female! This may have been due to the fact that Marie, his mother, did not speak or write English. Fortunately, the Census taker in 1860 restored him to his former identity so that he was able to enlist in Company F of the 44th Infantry Regiment Illinois on the 13 Sept 1861. Again the government misspelled the name - this time making it read "MOFFET". When his widow applied for his pension in 1920, it was "Valenrina MEFFERT". His brother, George, also enlisted. He was assigned to the 63rd Infantry Regiment Illinois Company F with the correct spelling!

      On 11 Oct 1864 Valentine and Catherine HENLEY were married. Valentine and Catherine became the parents of seven children : Adidia 1865, Katherine May 1867, Harriet Elizabeth 1869, Casper Zenus 1870, Chester Ross 1874, Frederick Dempsey 1876, and Nora Adele 1879. All were born in Ashley.

      Marie (Mary) MEFFERT died before 1870 and Kaspar (Casper) was living with Valentine's family on the 1870 Census. Kaspar died before 1880.
See : Casper MEFFERT's Estate Records

      As Valentine's offspring came of age they began to scatter. Alida married George HARRIS of Ashley in 1886 and they departed for Kenoma, MO. Also in 1886 Katherine married Henry SIEBERT, of Ashley and they remained in the area until 1920. They were the parents of two children. Harriet married Rolla RODGERS, another native of Ashley, and they settled in St. Louis, MO.

      In 1893 Casper Z. married Sarah Elizabeth CROW who was a native of Ashley. She was born 18 Feb 1870. Casper and Sarah were the parents of Wilma Ione 1894 and Owen Harold 1897. Sarah died in Ashley soon after Owen's birth. Casper re-located to Mt. Vernon, IL. after her death.

      Chester Ross married Mary Elizabeth TRUESDELL and they moved on to Carbondale IL. Fred and Nora also left Ashley with Nora going to Pampas, Texas after she wed Fred S. BROWN.

      In 1900 Catherine A. MEFFERT died and Valentine married Katherine ROLANDER in 1905 and they moved to Nashville, IL. where Valentine died on 19 Jun 1910.

      In 1915 Wilma MEFFERT married Raymond OFFill in Ashley. Raymond was the son of Joseph W. and Mary OFFILL. They resided on a farm located west of Ashley, north of old Highway 15. Joseph was born in 1862 and Mary in 1864. They had five children : Jennie 1887, Alan 1889, Raymond 1891, Gladys 1892, and Viola 1900. The Joseph OFFILL family was still in Ashley in 1920, however, Raymond and Wilma OFFILL moved to St. Louis, MO.

      Owen MEFFERT left the area at age 17 and traveled to Liverpool, England and the West Indies. Upon his return five years later, he married Madelaine JACK, daughter of Samuel B. JACK of Beaucoup. Owen and Madelaine moved on to Chicago, IL.

      Thus ended my immediate family's connection to Ashley and Washington County. However, there is reason to believe that John DENNLER's family and Samuel JACK's family both remained in the area beyond 1920.

      My personal memories of Ashley, are closely tied to "Decoration Day". From 1930 to 1941, when my father, (Casper Z.) died, our family climbed into our freshly washed, and waxed, 1929 Willys Overland for the trip to the Ashley Cemetery. As we lived on a farm east of Mt. Vernon, it was a forty mile round trip and my mother packed a small luch, to tide us over, as well as her prized pink peonies and white madonna lillies. When we turned into the cemetery, there, straight ahead at the far western edge was the ironwork fence enclosing the resting place of my MEFFERT ancestors.

      As I was a child, I paid small attention to the names there. I know that both Valentine and Catherine (HENLEY) MEFFERT are buried there. There are 3-4 additional graves on that site. About two rows to the East and 40 feet or so South, among the poison oak is the flat headstone of Sarah (CROW) MEFFERT. Also two rows to the East but North two thirds of the way to the edge of the cemetery, is a grave my father always visited. It may well be that of John MEFFERT. I never visted the HENLEY Cemetery but logic says James and all three wives are buried there. The 15 year old daughter is likely there also.

      As I now live in the far West, I will have to settle for the memories of the sweet smell of peonies and the beauty of white madonnas.

 

- - - Estate of John Meffert - - -

Estate Sale of John Meffert
transcibed as close to original as could be deciphered

Sale of Bill of all the Personal Property
Of John Meffet deceased this february
The 11th 1860                                           
John Witsle ( John Wetsell ) 1 Coffee mill .20  
John Denley ( John Dennler ) 1 Bucket & funnel .10  
N. G. Moore 1       "       "       .15  
N. G. Moore 1       "       "       .15  
N. G. Moore 1       "       "       .05  
N. G. Moore 1 Jare & funnel .25  
James Smith 1 Coffee mill .80  
John Denley ( John Dennler ) 1 meal Sive .40  
John Cybert ( John Siebert ) 1 Jare & Pot .25  
N. G. Moore 1 Lot of funnel .25  
Mr. Kirkenwall 2 Wedges & mall 1.00  
Casper Mefet ( Casper Meffert ) 1 Sithe .55  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 1       "       .60  
Mr. Kirkenwall 1 durt auger 1.75  
John Cybert ( John Siebert ) 1 Plow 5  
John Hunter 1 Ox yoke 1.00  
John Hunter 1 Galz. Chain .75  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 1 Wood Horse .15  
Mike Wesler 1 Harness .25  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 1       "       1.25  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 1 Wheel Barrow .10  
Mike Wesler 1 Plow 2.05  
Mike Wesler 1       "       8.25  
Mike Wesler 2 Singletrees 1.00  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 1 Sheer & Box .15  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 1 feed trough .25  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 2 Barrels .10  
Fred Welmholt 1 Box .50  
N. G. Moore 2 Hoes .25  
     
 
  over   226.60  
      79  
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  from over   226.60  
Mark Castlebury 1 Hoe .50  
Charles Noss 1 Shave .90  
T. E. Smith 2 Pare of Geer 2.35  
John Hunter 2 Bridles & harness .75  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 1 Beer stein .30  
Wm. Gray 1 Press 3.10  
Vol Meffet ( Valentine Meffert ) 1 Cutting Box 12.00  
John Witsle ( John Wetsell ) 1 Work Bench .30  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 1 Lathe 1.25  
W. J. Stephenson 1 set of oats 8.12
        at 50 cts per bushel
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 1 Box .50  
Fred Welmholt 1 Grine Stone .15  
Mike Wesler 1 Hay frame .50  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 2 feed trouhgs .50  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 3       "       "       .60  
Mike Wesler 1 Waggon 40.00  
Fred Welmholt 1 Lot of Hay 17.50  
James Allen 2 Cheers 1.00  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 2 Cheers 1.00  
Henry Carpenter 2       "       1.10  
John Cybert 1 Table .10  
Marion Friend 1 Rak .10  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 6 Shockes of foder 1.10  
George Cybert ( George Siebert ) 1 Set of Corn 17.50  
        at 25 cts per bushel
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 50 bushels       "       16.50  
        at 33 cts per bushel
John Cybert ( John Siebert ) 1 Pich fork .25  
John Hunter 62 Bushels 20.00  
        at 33 cts per bushel
Uriah Wheeler 50 Bushels corn 16.50  
     
 
  over   211.72 
    192.32 6.93  
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  from over corr     192.32  
      211.72  
Henry Creamer ( Henry Cramer ) 1 auguar & hammer .25  
John Cybert ( John Siebert ) 1 axe .95  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 1 shovel 1.00  
Thomas McCrackin 1 pr stilesse .40  
John Cybert ( John Siebert ) 1 drawer knife .50  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 2 saws .55  
George Meffet ( George Meffert ) 1       "       .85  
Vol Meffet ( Valentine Meffert ) 1 rasor & strop .55  
Vol Meffet ( Valentine Meffert ) 1 saw .80  
Henry Creamer ( Henry Cramer ) 2       "       .60  
John Cason 1 square .25  
John Witsle ( John Wetsell ) 1 plane .25  
Vol Meffet ( Valentine Meffert ) 3       "       .25  
Parrish 3       "       .30  
John Cybert ( John Siebert ) 2       "       .25  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 2       "       .35  
Mike Wesler 3 auguers .35  
Mike Wesler 2       "       .35  
John Growhouse 1 saw & hammer .25  
S. R. Been 2 axes .55  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 5 chisels .70  
Mike Wesler 4       "       .65  
E. Gate 1 set of hammers .25  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 1       "       .30  
Adam Growhouse 1 rasor & strop .10  
Martin Newman 1 saw set .25  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 1 set of hammers 1.15  
Mike Sittle 1 Chest .35  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 2 Collers .55  
Casper Meffet ( Casper Meffert ) 1       "       1.00  
John Denley ( John Dennler ) 2 pare Geer 2.00  
Adam Growhouse 1 rasor & strop .35  
  over   228.82  
    209.42    
    12.10    
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  from over   209.42  
      228.82  
Adam Haun 1 Horse 102.00  
James Hunter 1       "       33.00  
James Smith 2 Watters 1.65  
Wm. Woodrome 1 Cow 7.75  
N. G. Moore 1       "       14.00  
John Hunter 1       "       10.00  
John Cason 1       "       9.25  
Vol Meffet ( Valentine Meffert ) 1       "       14.50  
Peter Cybert ( Peter Siebert ) 1 steer 5.25  
Wm. Woodrome 1 Heifer 6.00  
Peter Cybert ( Peter Siebert ) 1       "       4.25  
John Witsle ( John Wetsell ) 6 calves at 26.70  
        4.45 cts each
Vol Meffet (Valentine Meffert ) 1 flax wheel .75  
     
 
      $ 457.97  
      $ 444.52 correct
      16.43  
We the undersigned Clerk & Cryer of
Said sale do certify that the above
Is correct report ture to the best
Of our Belif this february 11th
1860                           James Smith Clerk
Sale Bill
$ 444.52
Estate of
John Meffert
____________
Ex d & approved
Apr's 1 - 1860
T. C. Page    clerk

Nashville Ill   Sep 17 1860
Received of Casper Meffert
Three Dollars and fifty cents
for publishing notice of the   
Estate of John Meffert Decd
Thomas C. Groves
By Hawes

In Justice Court
Casper Meffert
administrator of the
goods + chattels of
John Meffert Deceased
agst
J. M. Hunter
Henry Harr
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Before T. W.
McNail Esq
Justice
                     Received of Mr. Casper
Meffert Administrator in this action
Six dollars payment in full
for my fees for managing Jurist
cause for him before said Justice
           Ashley March 13th 1861
                     ? Signature
          -? - Atty.

 

 

- - - Estate of Casper Meffert - - -

Estate of Casper Meffert
The spelling of Casper's name varies, even within the same documents.

WARRANT   TO   APPRAISERS
Estate of     Caspar Meffert    Deceased
STATE OF ILLINOIS

    Washington     County

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In County Court     April     Term, A. D. 1877
The People of the State of Illinois to                                                  Jas. Smith               Uriah Wheelis  
              and                                        Matt. Cameron                                                                                  

of the County of       Washington    and State of Illinois, GREETING :

       This is to authorize you, jointly, to appraise the goods, chattels and personal estate of Caspar       
    Meffert       
late of the County of       Washington     and State of Illinois, deceased, so far as the same shall come to your sight and knowledge, each of you having first taken the oath hereto annexed ; a certificate whereof you are to return, annexed to an Appraisement Bill of said goods, chattels and personal estate, by you appraised in dollars and cents; and in the said bill of appraisement you are to set down in a column or columns opposite to each article appraised, the value thereof.

   WITNESS,                  H. F. Reuter                  Clerk of the County
Court of       Washington       County, and the seal of said Court, this-
      18 th        day of             April             1877                
          H. F. Reuter                  Clerk      


OATH   OF   APPRAISERS
      We, and each of us, do solemly swear, that we will well and truly, without partiality or prejudice, value and appraise the goods, chattels and personal estate of       Casper Mefert      deceased, so far as the same shall come to our sight and knowledge ; and that we will in all respects perform our duties as appraisers, to the best of our skill and judgment.
      Subscribed and sworn to, this twenty third day
of    April           A. D. 187 7  ; before me
   Saml A. Martin     Justice of the Peace.
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M. A. Cameron                    
Uriah Wheeles                     
James Smith                         

State of Illinois

    Washington     County,

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In the County Court of said County.
In Probate,       April       Term, A. D. 18  77  
PERSONALLY APPEARED in Open Court,      Jonas Thon and    and       Jno. Siebet            subscribing witness to the foregoing instrument of writing, purporting to be the Last Will and Testament of   Kasper Meffert      late of Washington County, deceased, who being duly sworn according to law, do depose and say, each for himself, that the foregoing is the Last Will and Testament of the said   Caspar Meffert      deceased ; That t he y subscribed their names thereto as the attesting witneses at the request of the said Testator and in his presence, and in presence of each other, on the     3 d      day of     April       A. D. 18  77  . That     he     then subscribed h is name thereto in   our   presence, and declared the same to be h is Last Will and Testament ; and that the said Testator at the time of executing the same as aforesaid was of full age, of sound mind and memory, and under no constraint.
        Jonas. Than.                
            John Siebert                   
      Subscribed and Sworn to in Open Court,
   this    19 th   day of  April     A. D. 18  77  
               N. F. Reuter       County Clerk

State of Illinois

    Washington     County,

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             Valentine Meffert             being duly sworn, deposeth and saith ;
That              Casper Meffert             late of The town of in the County of     Washington     and State aforesaid, departed this life at                           in said County, on or about the        3 d       day of
    April       A. D. 18  77  , and that     he    leaving     his    last will and testament to the best of     my    knowledge and belief.
   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Subscribed and sworn to before me, this      18 th       day
of      April             A. D. 18  77                           
      H. F. Reuter           Clerk.     
for C. F. Hartman     Deputy               

 

 

 


2008     Wayne Hinton

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