Thursday, September 17, 2015

Chapter 22: Cyrus W. Fawkner, Horse-dealer, Saddler, Harness-Maker

Remember Cyrus, the deaf barber in Minneapolis (Chapters 15-16)? He was probably named after his Uncle Cyrus, the Indiana-born brother of James C. Fawkner. Born 21 May 1837, Cyrus Fawkner was the fourth child of John Fawkner and Ann Faulconer. Compared to his brother, James, Cyrus seems to have lived a more ordinary life. I say "seems to" because we only get brief glimpses through the fog of time of moments in lives lived more than a century ago.

Cyrus was 22 when he married Launie Cames 22 June 1859 in Hendricks County. There is some uncertainty about the bride's name because the 1860 census (June 1860) recorded Cyrus Fawkner  with an apparent wife, Mary, age 18, born in Kentucky. "Launie" likely was a mispelling of Laurie, because a Laurie Fawkner was buried in the East Danville Cemetery about 1860. Possibly, she was possibly the 7-year old Laura E. Cames in the 1850 household of Richard and Eliza Cames of Madison in Jefferson County, Indiana. 

In 1860, Cyrus lived in the county seat Danville. The census enumerator did not record an occupation for Cyrus. His apparent wife, Mary, was 18. Mary probably was Laurie; in response to a pension bureau questionnaire in 1898, Cyrus stated he had been married only twice -- to Laura Cames and Ann E. Odgen (see below). While the pension file obfuscation about James C. Fawkner's marriages puts a researcher on guard, no evidence has been found for a marriage of Cyrus to a woman named Mary. Some doubt remains because he 1860 census reported that Mary had been born in Kentucky, while the 1850 daughter of Richard Cames was born in Indiana (her brother was born in Kentucky). The 1860 census was taken 1 June, so if Laura/Launie’s death date is later than June 1, the two women are likely the same. The death date may be carved on the gravestone, but has sunk below ground level.

Much of what is known about Cyrus comes from his Civil War pension file (application 1,051,754, certificate 916,816). Having lost his young wife, Cyrus probably had little reason to stay home. He enrolled in the Kentucky Cavalry, 8th Regiment, 21 August 1862 and mustered out 23 September 1863. He held the rank of private and regimental saddler. He was received to duty as “Syrus Faulkner." During May 1863 he suffered from typhoid fever. Why did Cyrus enlist in Kentucky? Good question; no good answer yet.

Back home after the war, Cyrus probably sold horses with his brother George. An 1863 IRS tax assessment list for Hendricks County listed “Fawkner & Bro.” as horse dealers. In 1865, C. W. and G. S. Fawkner were listed as operating a harness manufacturing business.

Toward the end of the war, he enlisted again in the Indiana Volunteers, 154th Regiment in April 1865. A saddler, he was discharged August 4 as a private at Stevenson, Virginia. Soon after coming home, he married Ann Ogden 8 October 1865, and rejoined George in a harness-making business in Danville. IRS assessment records show that they were still in business together in March 1866, but by June, Cyrus had moved to Fairbury in Livingston County, Illinois, where Cyrus opened his own saddlery business. Cyrus had probably left Danville by April, when the Danville business was known as Fawkner and Dunnington.

Cyrus and Anna had two children in the next few years: Alice (about 1866) and Charles (about 1869). Both the 1870 and 1880 censuses reported Cyrus' Fairbury occupation as harness-maker. Cyrus and Anna had two more children: Minnie, born about 1872, and Frank, born about 1879. The family lived in town on Locust Street. His pension application indicates that, sometime between about 1888 and 1891, he moved to Naples in Scott County, Illinois, where he again was a saddler.

It is not known if Cyrus has any living descendants. His son, Frank, married a Missouri woman abut 1907, but censuses don't indicate any children. When an April 1898 Pension Bureau questionnaire asked "Have you any children living?" Cyrus listed only the two sons -- Charlie W. and Frank J. The daughters might have died young. He also told the Pension Bureau that the only two people -- his wife and daughter -- that knew how he had sustained a hernia had died. A Bloomington (Ill.) newspaper reported that Cyrus' wife, Ann, died 2 January 1888 of consumption. An 1891 newspaper article reported that Minnie, "afflicted with the consumption," had returned home to Fairbury after being sent away for a year to southern Illinois.

Charles married Mrs. Ellen J. Bowers Robinson 27 February 1890 in Livingston County. (Update: The C. W. Fawkner who married Ellen Robinson was not Charles, but his father, Cyrus. See Chapter 22.1, 24 September 2015). For the moment, nothing more is known about Ellen.was possibly living in St. Louis in 1900. Charles Fawkner died about 1915, buried Naples Cemetery, Scott Co. Illinois, but has not been found with certainty in the 1900 or 1910 censuses.

Frank was possibly in Jones County, Iowa, in 1900, and was in St. Louis in 1910. However, he was soon back in Scott County, Illinois, where he married Mary Hoffarth in 1911. Censuses don't report any children. . Frank Fawkner died 5 Feb 1945, Beardstown, Cass County, Illinois, and was buried in Antonia, Jefferson County, Missouri.

Ill-health forced Cyrus into the Soldiers and Sailors Home in Quincy, Illinois, where he lived in 1900, Quincy, Adams County. Cyrus applied for a pension 26 August 1891. All in all, he appears to have lived a mostly ordinary life for a Civil War veteran in the last decades of the 19th century. Next week, we will dig deeper into his Civil War pension file and learn about his later years in soldiers' and sailors' homes in Quincy and Danville, Illinois.

LESSON: Writing this week's post reminded me of a simple lesson. We just can't know everything about all the members of an ancestral family. We can't follow every descendant. There just isn't time. We have to pick and chose and focus on energy on questions we most want to answer.

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