|Taylor Silvers Filson (1824 - 1916)|
Family photo, source Grace Filson
My great-great-grandfather Taylor Silvers Filson was born in rural Stark County, Ohio on February 22, 1842 to John Thomas Filson (1806 -1885) and Elizabeth Carey Filson . He was their fourth child, following behind Thomas Carey Filson, John Wesley Filson and Mary Jane Filson. His father, John Thomas, was a farmer in Ohio and used the name Thomas all his life. As a child Taylor was raised on a farm in Columbiana County, Ohio before moving to Marshall County, Indiana. His mother Elizabeth died before Taylor turned 3, and his father then married Rebecca (Bennington) Mitchell. Thomas and Rebecca had 6 more children making a total of 10.
Taylor being a patriotic man signed up for the Civil War at the age of
19 and served as a private in Company F, 55th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (more on
his Civil War experience later). As a young man Taylor stood 5' 91/2", had a light complexion, blue
eyes and light hair, as was described on his Civil War records. He could not
write as a young man, made evident by his signature, which was made with an
"X", but he did learn to read and write in adulthood.
|Taylor Silvers Filson Civil War Pension records |
from the National Archives in Washington DC
In 1854 his older sister, Mary Jane, married a neighbor boy named Israel B. Alderfer and moved to Marshall County, Indiana. This event encouraged Taylor to move to Indiana and purchase land from the Alderfer family, which would come to be the Filson Family Farm I have written about in previous posts. The two farms were adjacent to one another and are still owned by the Filson and Alderfer families today.
After his Civil War service was completed in 1865 and the war had come to a close, Taylor moved to Marshall County, Indiana permanently. As with many pioneers, Taylor was a lumber man before he was a farmer. He would cut timber on his land and haul it to sawmill in Inwood, Indiana, which was called Piersonville at the time. Taylor could also travel to the small town of Bourbon, Indiana to do much of his business and a little further to Plymouth if he needed to conduct legal matters, etc…Bremen, Indiana was also nearby and a town that was accessible to him.
|1872 Map of Inwood, Indiana, Courtesy Marshall County Historical Society|
|Plymouth Indiana Postcard, Courtesy Indiana Historical Society|
|Bremen, Indiana, Courtesy Indiana Historical Society|
|Filson Farm, Marshall County Indiana, late 1800s|
|Taylor and other family members standing in front of the farm|
|Marriage Record of Taylor Filson and Amanda Hunter 1867|
They married in 1867 and one year later had their first son William L., their first daughter Sarah Elizabeth in 1870 and in 1872 bore my greatgrandfather, John Thomas, followed by their last child, Anna Ruth in 1874. In 1888, sadly Amanda died leaving four children from the ages of 14 to 20 years old. She is buried at Mt Pleasant Cemetery, which is down the long dirt road from the Filson Family Farm.
|Amanda Hunter Filson Obituary, The Republican Newspaper, November 16, 1888|
|1910 United States Census|
|Zonettie Caldwell Filson Affidavit contained in Taylor Filson's Pension Records at the National Archives in Washington DC|
|Tombstone of Zonettie Filson Oak Hill Cemetery, Plymouth, Indiana|
Dear faraway cousin, I received the letter that you had written to Grandfather Filson, but am sorry to tell you that he has passed away from this world into a far more happier world than this, at 2pm on Wednesday, August 30, 1916, at age 74 years, six months, and eight days.
He has needed the care of a little child for nearly 9 months. He came to stay with us on August 1, 1915 where he remained until his departed to the other world. He was here for 13 months. During the time he was here, he was converted to Jesus Christ and has been truly manifested through his beautiful and patient life since that experience came to his heart on the first day of February, 1916. This date of his new birth into the kingdom of God was also the date of his Christian baptism and his reception into the Methodist Episcopal Church of Inwood. His praise for the goodness of God in the salvation of his soul, continued without a break until the father's summons to eternity. He was one of the most patient person's to care for that ever I saw. For the last three months off and on, he would not have his right mind. He would be talking about one subject and the first thing we knew, he would be talking about something else.
You were asking in your letter about Aunt Mary Alderfer. She died December 15, 1904. She had two children, William and Lizzie, and a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
You also asked about Uncle John's people. Well, Uncle John himself died about five years ago and the family, at least the last track we had of them, they were in different parts of Ohio.I am sure if grandfather would be a living and had his right mind, he would be glad to trace it back and I am sure he could.
Grandfather's father's name was John Thomas [1806 - 1885]. I thought perhaps that might give you a little better view of it. Taylor Filson is my grandfather. I am the daughter of his son, [John] Thomas. My father cannot realize whose daughter or granddaughter that you are.
I have heard Taylor Filson, (that is my grandfather), speak of you and Fern Filson. Do you know who she is?
My name is Cosa Filson and I am 17 years old. I am in the third year of Inwood High School. Inwood is about 7 miles east of Plymouth. I am the oldest child of [John] Thomas. I have two brothers, one 13 years [Russell] and the other 5 years [Robert]. My youngest brother [Robert] had three of his fingers on his right hand partly taken off. William Alderfer, that is, Aunt Mary Alderfer’s first boy, said that if he remembers right, your folks lived in Plymouth when you were a little girl.
Say, would you please tell me who your father is and who your father's father is? I would really greatly appreciate to tell you about the family history of the Filson's if I could and would more than be glad if you would write and tell me who your father and grandfather is. I'm sorry I didn't know where you folks were before, for I surely would have written and told you how poorly Taylor Filson was. His daughter said that they had lost track of all of his relatives nearly.
Will be pleased to hear from you. Your faraway cousin,
Cosa E Filson,
Rural Route 3, Box 22
|Source: Compiled Genealogy of the Filson family by Marjorie Barber Coffin, |
located at The Marshall County Historical Society, Plymouth, Indiana
Upon Taylor’s death his obituary reads:
Elizabeth Carey Filson was his mother, dying during his youth. Soon the second companion of their father's love became the foster mother of his family and two half brothers and four half-sisters became members of the household. But as the sands of time added the years to eternity's duration, the father, the foster mother, one sister, Mary Alderfer, two brothers, Thomas C. And John, and the four half sisters, Elizabeth, Sarah, Nancy and Ruth all passed from this mortal sphere.
Taylor Filson was a patriotic citizen and seeing the great need of his service in the Civil War (1861-1865), he heeded his country's call to the colors and served in Company F, 55th Ohio Volunteer Infantry for a period of more than three years and nine months. He bore the scars of battle until his dying day.
Mr. Filson being honorably discharged from the country's service came to Center Township, Marshall County, Indiana, to make his future home. On the 26th day of February 1867, Miss Amanda Hunter became his bride. They founded their domestic habitation on a farm one mile north of the little town of Inwood. Two sons, William L and John Thomas and two daughters Sarah Ellen and Anna R. Were given to this union. The mother of this family died on the 4th day of November, 1888. During the unity of this family their residence was always in this one location, and even for nine years after the companion of his young manhood had gone to another world Mr. Filson made the old homestead his abiding place. He then lived in Plymouth, Marshall County, for 19 years, having been married to Zonettie Mathewson June 22, 1890.
Age has been creeping upon him and in his declining days he went to the home of his son, Thomas in sight of the birth place of his family of children, where he remained until his days were numbered. Great affliction of body has been his portion for many months.
He died on Wednesday afternoon, August 30th, 1916, at the ripe old age of 74 years, 6 months and 8 days.Those near and dear who mourn his departure are his wife, his entire family of children, two half brothers Simeon, of Fostoria and Simon, of Findlay, Ohio and his five grandchildren Mrs. Pearl Greer, Carl Rentschler, Cosie, Russell and Robert Filson.When Taylor passed away the family laid him to rest next to his first wife Amanda Hunter, the mother of his children, at Old Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Bourbon Township. The cemetery lies back on the Mt. Pleasant Church of the Brethren (formerly Yellow River Church of the Brethren). I find it interesting even though Zonettie and Taylor were separated for 6 years and they never filed for divorce, the family still acknowledged her as his wife in his obituary. Possibly to appease her, because they knew they would need her help to settle his estate. His estate was settled by Zonettie, who was the sole benefactor. She inherited $676, which was a current value of about $12,000.00.
|Grave of Amanda Hunter Filson and Taylor Silvers Filson, |
Old Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Bourbon Township, Marshall County, Indiana