Washington County, Illinois

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Newman and Haun Families in Illinois

Written & Furnished by : Roscoe E. Peithman

Newman and Haun Families in Illinois

During my early years on the family farm in Hoyleton Township, Illinois, I was always curious about the history of the farm home that was on the land that adjoined ours on the east. My father told me that it had been built during the Civil War, but I was not sure who had been the original owner.

In my boyhood, Elizabeth Newman Haun, widow of John E. Haun, lived there, as did her daughter, Alma Haun Peithmann, Alma's husband, William, and their family.

Alma was the only living child of John and Elizabeth, so they asked Martha Newman Smith, a cousin of Elizabeth, to allow her daughter Sarah Jane (Sadie) to become a "sister" of Alma. Martha and husband Thomas Smith had eight children, so it was an acceptable solution to the problem of "too many in one family and too little in another." As a result, my mother, Sadie Newman Smith, at age 12 came to live in the home in 1891, and remained living there as a member of the family until her marriage to my father, Edward Peithmann in 1903.



Photo on the left : Alma Haun and Sarah Jane (Sadie) Smith. Sadie, my mother, always referred to this picture as "Two Little Girls in Green"

Photo on the right : Sarah Jane (Sadie) Smith at the age of about twenty.


Elizabeth Newman Haun was a daughter of John Newman (born 1827) and Hester House and Martha Newman Smith was a daughter of Aaron Newman (1816-1883) and Elizabeth Teel. John and Aaron were sons of David Newman (1789-1840) and Elizabeth Phillips Newman (1791-1852). David was therefore a grandfather of both Elizabeth Newman Haun and, Martha Newman Smith, my grandmother.

Since my father, Edward Peithmann, was a brother of William, the children of William and Alma were my cousins. We also were related through the Newman lineage. Aunt Lizzie (Elizabeth Newman Haun) was the midwife during my birth, as she was for most of my brothers and sisters. Our families visited often and I have had meals there many times. Sometimes I stayed all night. I remember that there was a kerosene lamp in the middle of the kitchen ceiling above the dining table. It could be lowered or raised by a ratchet arrangement to allow lighting it and doing required maintenance. When sleeping in the bedroom above the kitchen, I would be awakened in the morning by the ratchet noise, as Aunt Alma lowered the lamp for lighting. I knew that Aunt Alma was up and preparing breakfast.

The Newman family, of which my mother was a member, traces its history in the area to when David Newman and family came to Washington County, Illinois, from Tennessee in 1835. David was 46 years of age and his wife Elizabeth was 44. Their children were Joseph (then 25), Margaret (23), Lewis (21), Aaron (19), Martin (17), Mathew (15), Catherine (13), Henry (10), John (8) and David C. (6).

Farm land in Illinois in 1835 was available from the U.S. Government for $1.25 per acre. When land was purchased from the Federal Government, the type of sale was listed as "FD" in the details of the sale. Military bounty land warrants could be used instead of cash by the purchaser. Veterans of wars such as the War of 1812 and the Indian Wars were eligible to receive such warrants. Recipients of military bounty land warrants often sold them, so one cannot be certain that their use stemmed from any military duty by the purchaser.

In 1850, the Illinois Central Rail Road was given land by the U.S. Government as an incentive for building the railroad. In the documents pertaining to a sale of land by the railroad, the reference to the purchase is designated "RR."

Nearly all of the land acquired by David Newman and family was obtained from the U.S. Government. Some of the purchases were with warrants instead of cash, although Martin Newman acquired some land from the railroad at no cost. He may have received such land as payment for some service provided the Illinois Central Rail Road. Martin also purchased one 80-acre tract from the railroad in 1865. By this time, Martin had to pay $100.00 per acre.

David Newman acquired several parcels of land shortly after his arrival, and he and his sons continued to add to the purchases until each owned 160 acres or more. Martin acquired 80 acres in 1854 and an adjoining 80 acres in 1865. The house that in my early years I was curious about was located on these 160 acres. The house and farm buildings were built about 1865. Martin eventually owned over 240 acres, including the 160 acres on which his house and barns were built in 1865.

The Adam Haun family arrived in Washington County from Tennessee in 1857. Adam Haun (1820-1885) was 37 years of age and his wife Jane Logan Haun (1826-1899) was 32. Children with them were John (then 15), Jacob (14), Taylor (10), Isabella (8), Alec (6), and Clark (3). John, Jacob and Taylor were children of Adam Haun and a first wife, Mary Ann Elliott (born 1818). After coming to Illinois Adam and Jane had four more children, Isaac and Martha (twins), Ella and Edgar (twins).

By the time of Adam Haun's arrival, the land that had been available from the Illinois Central Railroad and the Federal Government was now nearly all gone. Yet Haun managed to acquire property, and one explanation is as follows. A woman named Rosannah Logan acquired 80 acres in Beaucoup Township at no cost on July 23, 1852 using a Warrant. On the very same day, Joseph Newman also acquired 80 acres at no cost using a Warrant. Since the acquisitions of Joseph and Rosannah were near each other it is likely that the two knew each other. Rosannah later married David C. Newman, brother of Joseph Newman. Adam Haun's wife, Jane Logan, may have been a sister of Rosannah Logan. If so, this would explain why the 80 acres belonging to Rosannah were available to Adam Haun. A house and barn were built on that acreage, and I believe that this was the first home in Illinois for the Adam Haun family. In later years the house, out-buildings and land became the home farm of Melvin Haun. Melvin was a son of John Haun and grandson of Adam Haun. I have been in the house many times, having been boyhood friends of the Melvin Haun sons. This farm mostly disappeared as a result of the construction of Interstate 64 across Southern Illinois.

Adam Haun's son, John Haun (1842-1914), was married to Mary Ann Newman (1843-1876) on November 13, 1864. Mary Ann Newman was the daughter of Martin and Hanna Logan Newman.

John bought the 160 acre farm and buildings from his father-in-law, Martin Newman, on December 2, 1869. It was a large house, appropriate for the growing family of John and Mary Ann. Martin Newman was then 51 years of age and no longer had a need for such a large house.

Mary Ann Newman Haun died November 6, 1876. John then married Mary Elizabeth Newman (1853-1934) on January 3, 1878. Mary Elizabeth was a daughter of John and Hester House Newman. To this union were born two children: James Wesley (1882-1885) and Alma (1881-1932).

Adam Haun died May 30, 1885 in Richview, Illinois. His wife Jane died October 25, 1899, in Richview. They are buried in the Richview Cemetery.

John Haun (1842-1914) and Elizabeth Newman Haun (1853-1934) are buried in Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Beaucoup Township, Illinois.

David Newman (1789-1840) died September 17, 1840 and wife Elizabeth Phillips Newman (1791-1852) died March 1, 1852. David Newman and Elizabeth Phillips Newman are my great-great-grandparents. Burial most likely is in the Beaucoup Cemetery.

Aaron Newman (1816-1883) and Elizabeth Teel Newman (1820-1903) are my great-grandparents. They are buried in Liberty Cemetery, Ashley Township, Illinois. The farm and home of Aaron Newman and Elizabeth Teel Newman was in the same land section (19) as the Liberty Church and Cemetery. This farm and home later were owned by Thomas Smith (1840-1908) and wife Martha Jane Newman Smith (1847-1930). Martha was a daughter of Aaron and Elizabeth Newman. Thomas and Martha were my grandparents, so I visited my grandmother there many times. This was a distance of some 7 miles from my home in Hoyleton Township. My father and mother and I once made the trip in a buggy drawn by two horses. The roads were muddy and impassable by auto. I snuggled down on the floor, with a blanket over me to keep warm. I was probably 4 or 5 years of age. The home was where Aaron and Elizabeth Newman once lived, and the kitchen of the house was Aaron and Elizabeth's original log cabin. The cabin had been sided over on the outside and walled over on the inside, so that the original structure was not visible. At the time, I remember my father telling Uncle Peyton (my mother's brother), that the covering of the logs was a great improvement. Uncle Peyton's reply was that when one said "scat" to the cats, and they went out through the cracks between the logs rather than the door, it was time to do something about it.

Martha Newman Smith died January 8, 1930. Burial was in Liberty Cemetery near her home. I was one of six grandsons who were pallbearers at her funeral.

The region to which the Newman and Haun families came between 1835 and 1865 has changed in dramatic ways. The diversified farms of 160 to 320 acres, each with their homes, farm buildings and livestock, and populated with families of six or more children, no longer exist. Few of the farm homes and buildings remain. The country churches and country schools are gone. Only the cemeteries remain.

Born in 1913, I grew up in the last of this era of family farms in Washington County, Illinois. A village such as nearby Hoyleton still had a general store, a bank, a post office, a blacksmith shop, a harness maker, and a wagon maker, much as it would have had in the last of the 1800's. All of the activities involved were a necessary part of the support of the family farms. I attended a one-room country school and was a member of a country church. The social activities of the community still were centered in the churches, schools and family gatherings. By World War II, most communities of this kind had disappeared.

Today the farms are much larger, and large machinery is required to grow crops such as soybeans and wheat. There are fewer farm families today, and the ones that remain are much smaller. They often live in town rather than on the land being farmed. The many cemeteries are the only remaining links to the history of the families who once lived here.

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Washington County Illinois, 1979 History. The Historical Society of Washington County, Nashville, Illinois

John B. Stover, History of the Illinois Central Railroad, Macmillan 1975

Census, Washington County, Illinois, 1850

Census, Washington County, Illinois, 1870

Illinois Public Domain Tract Sales Data Base

Written by Roscoe E. Peithman (born 1913, Washington County, Illinois)
February 26, 2006



2006-2007 Wayne Hinton

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