Friday, September 19, 2008

Franklin and Emily Robison Bair

In the first part of the Robison/Robinson Families of Whitley County, Indiana I discussed what was known about Henry Robison and his wife Ann. Census records indicate that they could have had eight children. Emily is one of the three known children.

Emily Robison is listed as 15 years old in the household of Henry and Ann Robison in the 1850 census of Whitley County, Indiana. She would have been born about 1835. Emily is also named in her father's will dated August 8, 1851 and in a deed record dated August 15, 1855 where her mother was selling land in Whitley County, Indiana.

Although Emily Robison was not found in the 1860 census in Whitley County, there is a 24 year old Emma Robison, listed as a serving girl, in the household of John Wireman in Columbia City. I don't know if Emily and this Emma are the same person but I don't think they are since there is a marriage record for both Emily Robinson and Emma Robinson in Whitley County.

Emma A. Robinson was married on August 9, 1869 to John Van Liew. I have not found Emma and John in any census records for Whitley County or elsewhere. There isn't much to go on other than their marriage date. If this is "Emily" Robison, she would have been about 34 years old at the time of her marriage.

It is more likely that the Emily Robinson who was married on April 27, 1861 to Franklin Bair is "our" Emily. If so, she would have been 25 or 26 years old and Franklin would have been 23. This ties in nicely to the fact that, in the 1870 census shown below, Emily is two years older than Franklin. Other than the Emma Robinson mentioned above who married John Van Liew, no other "Emily" Robi(n)son has been found in Whitley County (at least not in the records I've checked) during this time period. In the absence of proof, I am making the ASSUMPTION that this Emily is the daughter of Henry and Ann Robison. I'd love to hear from a descendant of Emily and Franklin Bair or anyone else who might have information about them!

The family of Emily and Franklin Bair is listed in the 1870 census in Columbia City, Whitley County, Indiana. Franklin was 32 years old, worked in a store, had a personal estate valued at $150, and was born in Pennsylvania. Emily was 34 years old, keeping house, and born in Indiana. Four children were listed in the household, all were born in Indiana: six year old Franklin, five year old Charles, three year old William, and Ira Dell who was 1/12 year old and born in Feb. 1870.

Emily was not listed in the 1880 census records for Whitley County. However, Franklin was found in Columbia City in 1880 where he is a 42 year old butcher that was born in Pennsylvania. He is listed in the household of Geo. W. Crozier.

A check of the Index of Whitley County Guardianship Packets shows an entry for Emily C. Bair with a year of 1877. The year coincides with the statement in Frank's obituary (see below) which says that "Mrs. Bair passed away forty years ago." [Note to self: need to look at this guardianship record!] Emily is not listed in the published cemetery transcriptions for Whitley County. [see The Heirs of Emily Bair posted 12/08/2008]

Franklin Bair was found in the Whitley County census for 1900 and 1910. In 1900 he is listed as a servant in the household of Benjamin F. Hull. Born Oct 1846, Franklin was 63 years old, widowed, and born in Pennsylvania. His occupation was Hostler. In 1910 he is a 73 year old hired man, widowed, born in Ohio, enumerated in the household of Henry A. Schumaker.

The obituary of Frank Bair was published in the Columbia City Post on Wednesday, March 7, 1917:
"Gov." Frank Bair, an inmate at the county hospital since November, 1913, died Sunday night at 7 o'clock from Bright's disease, having suffered a stroke of paralysis a few minutes before death. Mr. Bair was 70 years, 5 months and 20 days of age at his death and was taken to the county farm only after he became so feeble from old age that he could no longer work.

The deceased was born in Pennsylvania, Sept. 15, 1837, and was the son of Samuel and Eleanore Bair. He moved with his parents from Pennsylvania to Ohio where the parents died. He grew to young manhood there and came to Indiana where he married Miss Emma Robinson, a native of this county. Seven children were born to this union, three of whom survive: Laura Lemmon, of Detroit; Chas. Bair, of Pana, Ill.; Frank Bair, of Iowa. Mrs. Bair passed away forty years ago and since that time her husband has lived a single life. He is also survived by one brother, Alvin Bair, of Mishawaka, and two sisters, Mrs. J. I. Kellenbarger, of Newark, Ohio, and Mrs. Henry Egolf, of Thorncreek township. Mr. Bair worked at the butcher trade in this city for many years and was well known among the older people of this vicinity.
So, according to the above information, seven children were born to Frank and Emily, but only three were still living when Frank died:
  • Laura Lemmon, of Detroit. Laura is not listed with them in the 1870 census, which indicates that she was born after 1870 but before 1877 when Emily apparently died. I haven't found anything on her. [Her name could be Flora - added 12/02/2008]
  • Chas. Bair, of Pana, Ill. Charles was 5 years old in 1870. [MORE INFO POSTED 09/20]
  • Frank Bair, of Iowa. Franklin was 6 years old in 1870. [MORE INFO POSTED 09/21]
Two other children were listed in the 1870 census: William was 3 years old and Ira Dell was just a month old. That leaves two other children unaccounted for. Since only three children were mentioned in Franklin's obituary, it is presumed that William, Ira Dell, and the two unknown children all died young.

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