Sep 172016
 

Patriotism is one of the noblest and loftiest emotions of the heart, it should be along with our religion and our homes the first best thought.  Where would be today our happy homes, if it was not for this strong government, whose beneficent laws, like the all pervading sunlight, are above and around us everywhere?  Go where we will, all over this land, the same flag protects us.  Laws not made by tyrant hands, “but by the people, of the people, and for the people.”  Laws that if they ever perish, woe be to us in that day and hour…  We are not yet out of the breakers.  The astute leaders.. and the people they control; love the memory of their fallen institutions.  They believe they were born to rule, they care nothing for the semblance of a ruler, so they in reality rale, and will never rest until they have gained by the ballot what they have lost by the sword.

Emma Webster (Brown) Harlan, July 2, 1886

Emma Webster Brown

Emma Webster (Brown) Harlan - (ca. 1900) (Chester County Historical Society - Photo Archives)

Emma Webster (Brown) Harlan – (ca. 1900) (Chester County Historical Society – Photo Archives)

Emma Webster Brown was the first child and only daughter born to Elwood and Hannah (Webster) Brown, in Cecil County, Maryland, on April 8, 1832.  Emma’s mother, Hannah Webster, was a descendant of some of the earliest settlers in America, arriving in the 1600s.  There are documents indicating Emma’s mother was a direct descendant of William Webster, who came to America, from Scotland in 1685 and settled in Woodbridge, New Jersey.

The Webster family left New Jersey, due to the religious persecution of Quakers and first settled in Abington, Montgomery County, PA  prior to them eventually settling in Chester and Lancaster Counties, Pennsylvania.

Shortly after Emma’s birth, Elwood and Hannah returned to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where Emma’s seven brothers were born.  The family would remain in Pennsylvania until the late 1850s.

Marriage

On April 26, 1849, Emma married George Washington Harlan.  George was the 2nd child and son born to Jonathan and Elizabeth (Thompson) Harlan.  George was a 3x great-grandson of Michael Harland, one of Harland brothers who arrived at William Penn’s Colony at New Castle, Delaware in 1687.  The brothers, were Quakers who emigrated from England and Ireland to seek freedom from persecution for their religious beliefs.

Continue reading »

Jul 142016
 

During his lifetime John Paxon “Jack” Harlan’s career involved being a miner, merchant, farmer, trapper, teacher, soldier, historian, public servant, civic leader, timber cruiser, coroner et al.  Following is a brief synopsis of his life:

John Paxon Harlan

John P. Harlan with children l-r: Stila Myrtle, Eda Belle and George Washington (ca. 1913) on the boardwalk at Pierce City, Idaho

John P. Harlan with his children l-r: Stila Myrtle, Eda Belle and George Washington (ca. 1913) on the boardwalk at Pierce City, Idaho

John “Jack” Paxon Harlan was born on February 9, 1866 in Guthrie County, Iowa to George Washington and Emma Webster (Brown) Harlan, the seventh of ten children.  His father was a descendant of Michael Harland, who came to America in 1687, with William Penn and settled in Chester County, Pennsylvania.   Jack’s parents were married in 1849 at Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and remained there until the 1857.  In the Spring of  1857 Jack’s parents, along with his maternal grandparents relocated to Guthrie County, Iowa.  The family would remain in Guthrie County until 1879, when they moved to Lake County Colorado.

Wild Times in Leadville ‘The Silver City’

Leadville Colorado was incorporated in January of 1878 and soon Leadville had the reputation as one of the most lawless towns in the West.   In 1879 a large vein of silver was discovered at Leadville and the boom started in earnest, which would last until 1893.

It is unknown if George and Emma were aware of the town’s reputation when they decided to pack up their large family and head West.  I cannot imagine what a culture shock it must have been for Jack’s mother, Emma.  Emma was a deeply religious woman, who adhered to her Quaker beliefs and was actively involved in the Temperance Movement.  However, this experience must have been a great adventure for young Jack, who was just coming into his own.  The Harlan family quickly became a prominent family in the region, Jack’s father George would become a Justice of the Peace, in Leadville. Jack completed his studies at Central School and then attended college at the University of Colorado, where he studied law.  He returned to the area and was taught the skill of assaying, under the guidance of Clarence Hersey and would eventually become the assayer of the Montezuma mine, in Pitkin County.  Jack left Colorado in 1889 and according to his biography, published in 1914, he traveled for many years:

“He was a resident of Leadville until 1889 when he began to travel, following mining operations for many years in Arizona, New Mexico, California, Western Washington and British Columbia.–(Source) History of Idaho, A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People and Its Principal Interests (Vol. 2) – Hiram T. French, M. S.

Continue reading »

Jun 192016
 
Stiles Homestead - Upper Fords Creek (photo courtesy www.tallpinecabin.com)

Stiles Homestead – Upper Fords Creek (photo courtesy www.tallpinecabin.com)

George Washington Stiles and Mary Jane Cunningham

George Washington Stiles

George Washington Stiles was born at Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in July of 1835.  According to US census information, both of his parents were U.S. born, his father in Massachusetts and his mother in Ohio.

According to the 1900 census his family returned to the U.S. in 1844.  In 1857 George was living in the Boston area and on August 17 of that year, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, as a blacksmith.  The 1860 census, enumerated September 5th of 1860, shows that George was stationed at Fort Defiance, in the New Mexico Territory.  He probably was there to witness the Navajo attack, which occurred in April of that year.

George mustered out of the Army on August 17, 1863, in Williamsburg, Virginia.  He would get as far as Chicago, where he would put down roots, for a time. Continue reading »