Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Life of Hazlette Brubaker :: Part 1 ~ The Beginning

If you haven't already done so, you may want to read The Introduction to this series of posts.

The Beginning ~ A Brief Family History

August 14, 1972. Yesterday my cousin from Wichita, Kansas, Helen Curtis [1], with her husband Gerald, came to my home to look over my genealogy books. We had a very good time and after our dinner at the M & M we went to the Adams cemetery to visit the graves of the four little girls our grandparents Joslin lost and also the gravesite of our oldest ancestor to be buried in Indiana, Bela Goodrich. Born in 1776, he came to Whitley County with his family in 1838.

Working with Helen I became enthused again with the genealogy and have worked all day on the records. I had planned on writing a book so that my children might know more about their ancestry. I am afraid I am too lazy and I know that I have no talent for writing. My typing is almost as bad as my handwriting and my spelling is outrageous.

When we were going thru Grandma Brubaker's letters from her parents and her sisters, I began to realize how important they were to Helen and me even though they were very poorly written and not always well done as to spelling and punctuation. So I have decided to write as I feel the urge and as I remember things and have a lot of enjoyment in doing it this way.

Because of Helen, I shall begin with the Joslin family. My Grandma Brubaker (Malissa Mariah Joslin) was one of fifteen children. Of these five died in childhood and four were married before 1877 so that there were just six children and the parents that made the trip to Kansas in 1877. I believe they went by covered wagon with all their worldly goods traveling along. Soon all but one of the four married children went west too, my grandparents were the only ones to remain in Whitley County. [2]

The father, Lysander Joslin and his wife Lydia made their home in Osage county, Kansas. They had a small farm there and this was their home until their death in 1899, she died January 25th 1899 and he followed on May 14th. [3]

Recently I have been fortunate enough to find two of their great grandchildren, Erwin Joslin of Peoria, Illinois who is the grandson of Luther, and Helen Curtis, granddaughter of Minerva.

The first of our ancestors arrived in Whitley County on July 16th 1838. They settled near the place that later became the village of Lorain. [4]

The eldest of the party was Bela Goodrich, 62 years old and the father of Price, Eunice, and our direct ancestor, Abigail. She was married to James Joslin and their oldest son was Lysander Price Joslin.

These pioneers were enterprising, brave, honorable people. They helped organize the township and were listed in the Whitley County history as being among the first voters. Eunice Goodrich was the second bride in Richland Township when she married David James, they have descendants living in Larwill.

Price Goodrich was very well known. He was a judge, minister of the Methodist church, and brick layer. Many of the early buildings in the area were built by his hand. His home was one of the first brick buildings to be constructed in Whitley County and it still stands today east of Lorain on old Highway 30.

August 3, 1976. Just read over the little I wrote in 1972. I certainly have accomplished a lot in four years! Well, here I am in the hospital and I have a pretty good idea that I haven't a lot of time left to write. [5]

The second ancestor to arrive in Whitley County was Grandma Jones and her five children. The second daughter, Catherine was our direct ancestor. She married William Hamilton Dunfee and their daughter Sophia Elizabeth, was my Grandmother Wise. She was named for her father's mother, Sophia Elizabeth Hazlett. This is how I got my name. Grandma Wise named aunt Hazlette for her grandmother and then Mama named me for Aunt Hazlette.

Sophia Elizabeth Hazlett was born on the ocean when her parents were migrating from Ireland or Scotland. Hazlett is an English name but could be from any of the countries in Britain. [6]

The Dunfee's came to Whitley County several years after Grandma Jones and her young children. Grandma Jones and her five children loaded their possessions into an ox cart; she and the children walked most of the way. They arrived in Whitley County on Halloween night.

Uncle Curt, who was an attorney, would have a small article in the newspaper each Halloween telling of their first night in the county. They were in a cabin, which I expect was in Hell's Half Acre, south of Columbia City near where the Helms family lived. She was a Helms before her marriage. Uncle Curt says that the cabin was half way between two Indian camps and the night was filled with the sounds of the Indians. He wrote as if they were frightened and who wouldn't be, just five young people and their Mother alone in the wilderness and surrounded by "wild" Indians. Soon after, the Indians were all sent further west.

The Jones family was very prominent. The eldest daughter, Maxia, married Franklin Foust, a wealthy banker and founder of the first bank in Columbia City.

Grandmother Dunfee must have been a very wonderful lady. She took in a young orphan girl to raise and she was treated exactly like her own children. My grandmother was very jealous of this girl. One time a neighbor of the Dunfee's had scarlet fever and Grandmother Dunfee went to care for the family. When she came home Grandfather Dunfee met her near home and she changed clothes before going into the house. But even with these precautions, two of her own children caught the fever and died.

From this family we are the only ones in this area that I know of, except for the Cornelius family. Franklin Jones was a blacksmith in Columbia City. He had a shop across from where Demoney's Funeral Parlor is. He was a typical blacksmith, large and brawny. He married a Spencer and their daughter, June Dell, lives in Arizona. But all of the Dunfee family and McNabbs and some of the Rabers were cousins.


[1] Helen Curtis was the granddaughter of Minerva Joslin Knight, sister of Malissa Joslin. Helen was born November 29, 1910 in Iola, Allen County, Kansas and was the daughter of Nellie Gertrude Knight and Bert Alva Sutton. She married Gerald Curtis on June 24, 1933. They lived in Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas. Gerald died May 9, 1982 and Helen passed away on December 19, 1984.

[2] Lysander and Lydia (Robison) Joslin went to Iowa in late 1866 or early 1867. Their oldest daughter, Anna Eliza, and her husband William Klingaman had moved to Jefferson County, Iowa a few years after their marriage in 1865. The last 2 children born to Lysander and Lydia were twin boys, Elmer and Elmus, born in Iowa June 4, 1868. Elmer died on June 30, 1868. In August, 1868 Lysander re-purchased the property he had sold in Whitley County in October 1866 and the family, with the exception of Anna Eliza returned to Whitley County. In 1877, they sold the land again and moved to Kansas with eight of their children. Malissa was the only one that remained in Whitley County.

[3] The first home for the Joslin family in Kansas was in Barton County. They resided there from 1877 to 1891 when they moved back east to Osage County near Lyndon, Kansas.

[4] Lorain is located on old U.S. 30 in present day Richland Township. From 1838 until the mid 1860’s it was a part of Troy Township.

[5] Grandma was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. She had a colostomy and her left leg was amputated. Even though doctors said she had only a little while to live, she managed to hang on for eight more years.

[6] Census records show that Sophia Hazlett was born in Pennsylvania, probably in the area of York and Adams counties.

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