Joseph and Elizabeth Gregory Howsmon

Elizabeth Gregory

Joseph Howsmon

Parents: Sarah VanDolah and Jehiel Gregory, Jr.

Parents: Abigail Britton and William Howsmon

Born: May 8, 1817, Yankeetown, Fayette County, OH (record)

Born: June 23, 1815, Range Twp, Madison Cty, OH (record)

Married: June 2, 1837 to Joseph Howsmon, Fayette Cty, OH (license)

Married: June 2, 1837 to Elizabeth Gregory, Fayette Cty, OH (license)

Died: June 20, 1893, Harristown, IL—lung congestion (obituary will)

Died: September 27, 1890, Harristown, Macon County, IL-heart failure (funeral)

Interred: Harristown Cemetery, Harristown, IL (tombstone)

Interred: Harristown Cemetery, Harristown, IL (tombstone)

Occupation: farmer, stock raiser and store owner

"At the age of about 12 years [actually 6], my grandmother, who was the first of a family of four children, was left an orphan. She was taken into the family of Isaac Cook, where she lived until her marriage. She was medium-sized, rather fleshy and extremely energetic. After her marriage, her brother John, who had been living with his uncle Adley Gregory, came to live with her and had her husband appointed his legal guardian. Her sister Annis married George Knotts and later the Knotts, Howsmons and John Gregory went together to Illinois. Her youngest sister Mary Jane married James Loofbourrow; they both died in Ohio in 1852 during a cholera epidemic." -- William Perry Hay (1871-1947). Sometime in the late 1880s, Elizabeth and Joseph went to live with daughter Hattie near Harristown. Elizabeth was familiarly known as “Grandma Howsmon” in Harristown. (Yankeetown has disappeared—it was 4 miles south of Mt. Sterling)

"My grandfather was a rather tall, spare man with a long face, the lower part of which was hidden by a moustache and a short beard. He was very quick and active and retained his physical and mental faculties to the end. About 1846, with his wife and their first four children, he left Ohio and settled on land he had bought near Lexington, IL. As a farmer and stock raiser, he was very successful, but during or shortly after the Civil War, he left the farm and moved to Eureka (Woodford Cty) so his children could attend college [Eureka College, chartered in 1855—he sent both his sons and his daughters!]. For a time in the late seventies, he had a store at La Place, IL, near the middle of the state. Then he bought a farm near Harristown, on which he lived for several years. Later he retired and moved into Harristown where he died. -- William Perry Hay (1871-1947).

Elizabeth Gregory Howsmon

Census data: 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890

W.P.Hay's Howsmon book - Elizabeth's pages (1 and 2) -- pages include pictures

Joseph Howsmon

Census data: 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890

W.P.Hay's Howsmon book - Joseph's pages -- pages include pictures



Date of Birth, Place

Date of Death, Place

Married - date and to whom

# children

1. Sarah Abigail

6/2/1838 Madison Cty, Ohio

6/1/1864 Elk Grove, CA

3/10/1859 Philip Loving


2. Jehiel Gregory

1/29/1841 Madison Cty, Ohio

5/31/1908 Harristown, IL

11/19/1868 Eliza Fulton


3. William Henry

7/27/1842 Madison Cty, Ohio

3/1921 Trenton, MO

1- 3/23/1869 Amanda Welch
2- 12/28/1882 Emma Welch


4. Elizabeth Jane

1/15/1845 Madison Cty, Ohio

2/2/1888 Saratoga, CA

6/29/1865 William Pollard


5. Isaac Cook*

12/26/1846 Lexington, IL

1/13/1929 Liberty, MO

1- 12/26/1866 Mary McCafferty
2- 4/21/1881 Anna Deal Williams


6. Mary Emily

4/20/1849 Lexington, IL

1/28/1931 Wash., D. C.

6/30/1870 Oliver Perry Hay


7. Hattie Annis

3/24/1851 Lexington, IL

8/15/1933 St. Louis, MO

2/15/1876 John B. Camp


8. John Joseph

9/26/1853 Lexington, IL

7/13/1886 Harristown, IL

(never married)


9. Frances Ellen

4/1/1856 Lexington, IL

8/11/1927 Saratoga, CA

4/1/1874 Lyman McGuire



William Perry Hay's 1930s/1940s Howsmon book pages for: Joseph Howsmon and Elizabeth Gregory (p.1,p.2) and their children: Sarah, Jehiel, William, Elizabeth, Isaac, Mary, Hattie, John, and Frances. I am deeply indebted to his research efforts, his published book and his unpublished notes.

Birth record information is available from the Harristown Christian Church in 1878 and 1886.

*When he was 12, Isaac shimmied up a tree to watch Douglas and Lincoln debate!

Decatur, IL newspapers had quite a few articles about the Elizabeth and Joseph, particularly when Alonzo Loving was emancipated at age 14 in 1877 (1 2 3) and when Elizabeth and Joseph went to spend a year in California to visit daughter Frances in 1888, just a few months after daughter Elizabeth died there (1 2 3) (other articles: 1883 subscription, 1884 Alonzo visit, 1886 John is Constable, 1886 John's death, 1886 Joseph debt, 1887 Harristown school, 1892 Elizabeth ill.)

Obituary 4 OCT 1890 IL, Macon Co, Decatur Herald Dispatch: Death of Joseph Howsman. At the residence of J. B. Camp in Harristown, on Saturday, September 27, Joseph Howsman died of heart failure, aged 75 years. The deceased had been in poor health for some time and his death while the cause for many expressions of sincere regret, was not entirely unexpected. Joseph Howsman was born in Madison county, Ohio, where he resided until about thirty years old, when he removed to Illinois, and settled in McLean county. For nearly thirty years he was a resident of that county and almost sixteen years since he moved to Macon county and went to Harristown, where he has since made his home. The deceased was a man of sterling worth and enjoyed the confidence and respect of all with whom he was associated. For many years he had been a consistent member of the Christian church. A widow and six children, all grown, survive him. The funeral will occur on Tuesday morning. The services will be held at the Christian church in Harristown at 11 o'clock.

Obituary 21 JUN 1893 IL, Macon Co, Decatur Daily Republican - Death at Harristown. Mrs. Elizabeth Howsmon, familiarly known as Grandma Howsmon, died of congestion of the lungs June 20th, at the residence of her son-in-law J. B. Camp, near Harristown. She had been quite low for some time. She leaves one son J. G. Howsmon, near Harristown, and three daughters, Mrs. Lyman McGuire, of California, Mrs. J. B. Camp, and a daughter in Chicago. [Note: this omits two living sons: William and Isaac; the daughter in Chicago is Mary Emily Howsmon Hay.] The funeral takes place from the Christian church in Harristown at 4:30 p. m. Thursday. (obituary will) -- Note that the will bequest to granddaughter Sylvia Lipscomb and the lack of bequest to her brother Alonzo Loving suggests that Alonzo may be deceased as of 1893; however, since there were no bequests to Elizabeth Jane Howsmon Pollard's children, this is not definitive.

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