Saturday, June 22, 2013

Two Brothers - James & Silas

I have a fascination with knowing why someone decides to move from one place to another.  What makes someone leave a place where their extended family lives and go somewhere else?  My 3rd great grandfather made that move…from New York to Nebraska. 

Silas Gallup was the second child of Ebenezer Gallup and Susan Harden.   The story goes that he was a school teacher who fell in love with his fifteen year old student and they married and rang the school bell to announce the marriage.  Since no one paid attention, they kept the marriage secret until the end of the term.  Silas and Phebe had a sizable family, their oldest being daughter Edith – my great great grandmother.  They farmed in New York, but I suspect that they were never prosperous.  Silas didn’t enjoy good health in New York.  I wonder if it was weak lungs or perhaps he suffered from tuberculosis and the humidity caused issues.  I don’t really know.
The oldest son of Ebenezer Gallup and Susan Harden was James Gallup.  James was married and out of the house by the time he was twenty years old and married to Ellen “Nellie” Schoonmaker.  During the next twenty years, James & Nellie had eight children, all born in New York State.  Nellie died in 1872 and on 15 Mar 1873, James married Elmira Saddlemire, and in a short period of time, James took his family to La Salle Co., IL and most likely moved to Lyons, Burt Co., NE in the early 1880’s.  Evidently, James liked what he saw and wrote back and encouraged his younger brother to bring his family to Nebraska as the weather was much more “healthful!”

So, on Thanksgiving Day in 1887, Silas Gallup and his wife Phebe and many of their children boarded a train and left for Lyons, Burt Co., NE.  They joined Silas’ brother James in Lyons, NE and bought land and had their own place.   Silas and Phoebe had eleven children.  Three of the four oldest stayed behind in New York because they were already married and had families of their own.  The eight other children traveled with their parents to Nebraska with only the youngest returning to New York to live.
So after Silas went to Nebraska, I have no idea if his health improved.  He made that move from New York when he was fifty six years old.  His youngest child, Hugh, was only a year old.  After 10 years had passed, Silas died of throat cancer (13 Sep 1897), leaving Phoebe to hold the family together.  Their son, Everett Henry Gallup took care of the farm with his brother, George, and son Albert worked as a teacher to help out with expenses until he married and had his own family.

All that I really know of Silas Gallup are bits and pieces that I have gleaned through the years.  My great grandfather never knew his grandfather because he had left New York before he was born and died before Granddad came west.  I know that Silas Gallup was a school teacher and a farmer.  Family legend has it that he and his brother made the “famous” Gallup Salve that they had learned from their father, Ebenezer.  I know that it existed because my grandmother remembered using it.  She said that it had a gummy consistence and worked wonderfully getting slivers out of the hand.  I wonder what kind of ill health plagued him and suspect that it might have been tuberculosis.   His wife Phebe out lived him by thirty years, dying in 1927.  I’m not sure that my great grandfather had terribly affectionate feelings for his grandmother.  When they came west after the death of his parents, Granddad immediately found outside work and never lived with her.  His younger siblings lived and worked hard for her and their uncle at the farm.  Aunt Phebe cared for her grandmother her entire life and only married after she had died.  My uncle has an amusing memory of his great grandmother.  He remembered going to see her and she was bedridden by that point.  She would always reach under the bed…and he wasn’t sure if it was the bed pan or the cookie tin. 
James and his second wife, Elmira had one child, John Silas Gallup.  James did not outlive his younger brother by much…and died on 11 Apr 1901 at the age of 72.  His wife, Elmira, lived another eleven years and died on 23 Mar 1912.  John Silas Gallup married Lucy Emmet Everett and stayed near the Burt Co., NE area for most of his life. 

Dad and I visited Lyons, NE last fall.  As we walked around the cemetery, I saw a lot of familiar names.  Silas and Phebe are buried by each other with their son Everett Gallup.  I don’t remember if I found them all, but of the eleven children of Silas and Phebe – eight are buried at Lyons, NE.  Two of Edith’s children are buried there as well…so they have descendants of nine children buried in that cemetery.    James and Elmira are also there along with their son John Silas Gallup and his family.   Within that cemetery alone, there are over thirty six Gallups…all descended from two brothers who had moved from New York to Nebraska.

Left to Right - Back Row - Irena, Hugh, Alice, George, Everett
Left to Right - Front Row - Elizabeth, Albert, Phebe, & Fanny
Not pictured - Edith d. 1908, Helen, Susan d. 1919, & Allen
It is possible that I have Alice and Susan mixed up...but I don't think so!