Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower



Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Aug 02

The Freed Families of New Jasper: The Brooks (Part IV)

Posted on August 2, 2019 at 1:10 PM by Melissa Dalton

The last several weeks, we have discussed how Noah Spears, a slave owner from Paris, Kentucky (in Bourbon County) bought several families of slaves as to ensure the families stayed together. Spears emancipated his slaves, and bought roughly 400 acres of land in New Jasper Township (near Stringtown) for the families to settle. This week we will highlight the last of the families – The Brooks.

Hannah was the youngest of the three daughters of Emily and David Blackburn, and was born around 1840 in Paris, Kentucky. She married Charles Brooks around 1858 in Paris, Kentucky, and the family came to Greene County in 1862.

Soon after arriving in Greene County, Charles registered for the draft for the Civil War (Fig 1). This document showed that the Brooks family was living in New Jasper Township as of June 1863, that Hannah and Charles were married, and that Charles was 25 years old. We searched to see if he was ever drafted, and it appears he might not have been, but we were unable to definitively identify him in any of the Ohio Civil War rosters.

Fig 1. Civil War Registration with Charles Brooks outlined in red (JPG)
Fig 1. Civil War Registration with Charles Brooks outlined in red (Ancestry.com)

Hannah was one of several in the Blackburn family that was deeded a tract of land (as part of a trust) for only one dollar in 1862. This land was located in Military Survey #2278, and totaled roughly 100 acres (Fig 2). Then in July 1863, Hannah bought 59.5 acres of land, in Military Survey #1995, from Noah Spears for $3000 (Fig 3). What is curious about this transaction is that Hannah’s sisters acquired all their land from Spears for only one dollar. It is possible that this just reflects the true value of the land, and not what she paid, but we do not have any additional information to confirm the suspicion. So, for now, this remains a mystery.

Fig 2. Deed Record Vol 40, p 440 (JPG)
Fig 2. Deed Record Vol. 40, p. 440 (Greene County Archives)

Fig 3. Deed Record Vol 41, p 258 (JPG)
Fig 3. Deed Record Vol. 41, p. 258 (Greene County Archives)

It has been more difficult to find much information on the Brooks family, at least compared to the other families in this multi-part blog. There are very few newspaper articles, no estate files, and all we have to go on are the census records. The Brooks family shows up in Greene County on the 1870 Census, and we learn a few things about them. Charles is a farmer; there are two children – Joseph (b. circa 1861) and Anna (aka Charlesanna; b. 1858); and there are two additional people living in the home – Lydia Carter and Evaline Crampton (Fig 4).

Fig 4. 1870 Census with Brooks family outlined in red (JPG)
Fig 4. 1870 Census with Brooks family outlined in red (Ancestry.com)

The 1880 Census stumped us for a moment as Evaline Crampton is listed as Hannah’s mother (Fig 5). We knew this wasn’t accurate as we have found multiple sources indicating she was a daughter of Emily and David Blackburn. After a short search, we found a death notice for Ms. Crampton, and she actually was Charles’ mother (Fig 6).

Fig 5. 1880 Census with Brooks family outlined in red (JPG)
Fig 5. 1880 Census with Brooks family outlined in red (Ancestry.com)

Fig 6. Death Notice of Evaline Crampton in the Xenia Daily Gazette, dated January 29, 1900 (JPG)
Fig 6. Death Notice of Evaline Crampton in the Xenia Daily Gazette, dated January 29, 1900 (NewspaperARCHIVE.com)

Joseph passed away of fever in 1876 at the age of 15. Due to being named in the land trust, an estate was filed to ensure that his share would go to his sister, Charlesanna (Fig 7). On Christmas Day of the same year, Charlesanna married Rev. Alexander Campbell. The couple had one child, Katie, in 1880.

Fig 7. Estate documents of Joseph Brooks, Probate Box 68 (JPG)
Fig 7. Estate of Joseph Brooks, Probate Box 68 (Greene County Archives / FamilySearch.org)

Rev. Campbell had Bright’s disease (a kidney disease) and underwent a surgery to cure the disease in 1896. Sadly, there were complications, and he passed away shortly thereafter. Charlesanna never remarried, and was listed on the 1900 Census as living with her parents (Fig 8). Charlesanna suffered from poor health as well. She had heart problems and died rather suddenly on February 5, 1905 (Fig 9).

Fig 8. 1900 Census with Brooks family outlined in red (JPG)
Fig 8. 1900 Census with Brooks family outlined in red (Ancestry.com)

Fig 9. Death Notice of Charlesanna Campbell in the Xenia Daily Gazette, dated February 6, 1905 (JPG)
Fig 9. Death Notice of Charlesanna Campbell in the Xenia Daily Gazette, dated February 6, 1905 (NewspaperARCHIVE.com)

Charles and Hannah outlived both their children by many years. Their granddaughter, Katie, lived with them off and on throughout their lives as well. Hannah passed away on May 2, 1922 at the age of 82. According to her obituary, she was active in the church, was an organizer (along with her sister) of the Married Ladies Afternoon Club, and was just a truly genuine person. However, there was one perplexing note in her obituary – a mention of another son, B. M. Brooks of Minneapolis (Fig 10). There has never been a mention of another son, none of the census records indicate three children, but it is possible he was born in Kentucky prior to the family being emancipated. Although we haven’t found a definitive connection as of yet, we’re still looking. We hope to be able to write a blog to follow-up on this story in the future.

Fig 10. Death Notice of Hannah Blackburn Brooks in the Xenia Daily Gazette, dated May 4, 1922 (JPG)
Fig 10. Death Notice of Hannah Blackburn Brooks in the Xenia Daily Gazette, dated May 4, 1922 (NewspaperARCHIVE.com)

Charles passed away on September 3, 1924 at his home. Although we aren’t sure of his exact age, he was roughly 86 years old (Fig 11).

Fig 11. Death Notice of Charles Brooks in the Xenia Daily Gazette, dated September 4, 1924 (JPG)
Fig 11. Death Notice of Charles Brooks in the Xenia Daily Gazette, dated September 4, 1924 (NewspaperARCHIVE.com)

We hope you enjoyed our multi-part story on the Freed Families of New Jasper. These families had many connections, and by learning about them and their lives, we’ve uncovered more people and stories that we were unfamiliar with, until now. Stay tuned because we will be sharing these stories in future blogs!

Until Next Time!

Sources:
Ancestry.com
Greene County Archives
FamilySearch.org
NewspaperARCHIVE.com

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