This blog traces the linage of my ancestors Filson, Hunter, Manuwal, Zimmerman, Coplen (Copeland), Severns, Rodabough (Rodabaugh) and Hynes. Back in time, from Indiana to Ohio to Virginia and Pennsylvania and over the ocean to Ireland, England, Germany and places unknown. I hope you enjoy my family history and the joy of genealogy. To subscribe to this blog go to the bottom of the page. This blog is written and maintaned by Shelley Filson Bechtold
My grandmother Grace
Coplen Filson was born in 1905 to Elmer R. Coplen and Frances A. Rodabough in
the little country town of Talma, Indiana. Situated on the Tippecanoe
River, Talma is in Newcastle Township, Fulton County, Indiana. It is so small
you would be hard pressed to find documentation of the population.
Talma was originally
named Bloomingsburg by my third great granduncle, Asa Coplen. When Asa was asked why
he named the area Bloomingsburg, he replied, "Because it is the most
bloom-ingest place I’ve ever seen."
Asa was born to Richard Copeland and Euphamine Henderson in
Coshocton, Ohio in 1805 and traveled to Fulton County, Indiana in 1840. Many
other Coplen family members followed him, including my 2nd great grandfather Martin Van Buren Coplen. Asa bought land from the federal
government for $1.25 an acre and soon had four farms. He married Lucretia
Abbott in 1830 and they had a family of seven children.
He surveyed the land and
by 1854 he was selling lots. The 1854 map of Bloomingsburg below shows the
lots southwest of the original town. Make note of the Grist Mill next to the river, which would one day be owned by my 2nd great grandfather Martin Van Buren Coplen.
In 1858 Asa grew
restless, sold three farms and headed west. But financial misfortune came upon him
and his family, he grew tired of the windy country and he lost his beloved wife
Lucretia in 1859 and laid her to rest in Kansas. Before she died she made Asa
promise to return to Indiana with the children. He kept his promise and by 1860
he had returned to his farm in Bloomingsburg. In 1869, he married Minerva Jane
Fisher and had two additional daughters. 1
Asa and Mirerva Coplen 1875 4
When the civil war came
along he was eager to offer his service but was told he was too old. He proudly
sent his three sons Lyman, James and Chauncey off to war. Fortunantly all returned.
In 1888 Asa and Minerva
moved to Joliet, IL where they lived until 1896 when he was laid to rest at the
age of 91.
Uncle Asa, as many
people called him, was an honest man and a good friend. He was always willing
to help someone who was down on their luck and his motto was The Golden Rule.
He was very active with Fulton County Democratic
In 1896 the United
States Post Office wanted to rename the tiny town of Bloomingsburg, claiming
the name was too long. They ran a contest in the local paper and the winner
was William R. Kubley. Kubley was a resident of Talma at the time and had a reputation as a
puzzle wizard and avid contestant. His obituary states in one year he won 12
cars, also that he found the word Talma in a crossword puzzle. 3
In 1976 a historical marker
was placed in Talma honoring both Asa and William for their roles in the naming
of Bloomimgsburg and Talma. 2
THE HISTORICAL MARKER DATABASEphoto taken by By Alice Mathews, July 12, 2011 5
1) Fulton CountyHistorical Society, Talma The
Blooming Burg, Shirley Willard, Fulton Co Folks,Vol. 2