Thursday, October 1, 2015

Rossea Whitlock


Rossea was the third child of George W. and Nancy Ann Whitlock. She was born on 1 October 1841, according to the Whitlock Family Bible. Her birthplace was not recorded next to the date, but was probably Indiana. It was listed as Ohio on the 1850 and 1860 census. After that, every census said it was Indiana. Since her step-mother was born in Ohio, this could explain the first two census references to Ohio. In 1840, Rossie's father was enumerated on the census at Sullivan County, Indiana. That's the place that has my vote. On later census records, other Whitlocks lived at Fairbanks (A). It is at the north of the county and next to the Wabash River that separates Indiana from Illinois.

Her two older siblings were Abiah and Robert. When she was two years old Frances joined the little family. When Rossea was just five years old, her mother died on 2 November 1846. She would have naturally depended on her older sister Abiah, who was nine years old, to care for her at the death of their mother. Sadly, Abiah died on 15 March 1847, leaving the little family without a mother or a big sister. They were living at Canton, Fulton, Illinois (B) at the time. Canton is about 225 miles NW of Rossea's birthplace in Sullivan County, Indiana, and not far from the larger city of Peoria. Mother and daughter were buried next to each other at the Greenwood Cemetery in Canton. This must have been a difficult time for them.

Rossea's father provided another mother for the family shortly after that when he married Catherine Hilton on 12 September 1847. She appears as the mother of this family on the 1850 census, and if we did not have other sources, we would not know about Nancy Ann, the children's birth mother. They were living at Canton, and as you can see, George was a blacksmith with a fair amount of assets for the time.

Geo. W. Whitlock, age 35, M, blacksmith, $2000, VA; Catherine Whitlock, age 26, F, OH; Robert B. Whitlock, age 10, M, IN; Rossea H. Whitlock, age 8, F, OH; Frances E. Whitlock, age 6, F, IN.

On the 1860 census 18 year old Rossea was enumerated in the household of Hepalong Whitman. She could have worked there during the day, or been living with the family. She didn't marry until 23 February 1872, when she and Horatio Wellington traveled west 163 miles to Schuyler County, Missouri (C) and were married. Her husband was the brother of her sister Frances' husband, Horace. Their daughter, Pearl, was born that same year at Texas County, Missouri (D) where her parents now lived. The marriage didn't work out and by 1876, she was living with her parents and her daughter. Their neighbors were the Boucher family who came from Tennessee to Missouri in 1870.

Rossie married Samuel Boucher on 27 May 1877 in Texas County. She was 12 years older than her new husband. On the 1880 census they were living in Pierce, Texas, Missouri next door to her father, George Whitlock.
Sam Boucher, married, W, age 30, TN, farmer, TN, TN; Rossea, W, F, age 36, wife, housekeeper, IN, KY, IN; Luther, W, M, age 3, son, MO, TN, IN; Arthur, W, M, age 6/12, born Jan., son, MO, TN, IN.

Their three sons--Luther, Arthur, and Edward were each born two years apart beginning in 1878. Edward only lived for three years. By the time Edward died in 1885, the family had moved south 12 miles to Hutton Valley, Howell, Missouri.

Samuel died in 1897 at a cousin's home in what is now Chelsea County, Oklahoma, then Cherokee Lands. By this time Rossea and the boys had moved another five miles into the little town of Willow Springs, Howell, Missouri where the boys attended school. Rossie was listed there on the 1900 census.
Rossie Bousher, head, W, F, born Oct 1841, age 58, widow, 4 children/3 living, IN, KY, KY, farm; Luther Bousher, son, W, M, born Feb 1880, age 20, single, MO, TN, IN, painter.

Luther was actually in Wyoming at the time working as a carpenter, and the son at home was Arthur. In about 1903, Art got a job with the Northern Pacific Railroad. A year later his intended, Leta Murray, took the train from Willow Springs to Washington to marry him, and Rossea came with her. She spent most of the rest of her life living with Art and Leta in Washington. At the time of the 1920 census she was boarding with Maggie Harrison, in Spokane where Art and Leta lived. She was probably not at home because Leta was pregnant.

Rossea died on 11 August 1922 while visiting at the home of her son, Luther, at Grants Pass, Josephine, Oregon. It is sad to recount that she did not want to make that visit and was afraid she would die if she left home. Unfortunately, Leta, who was 41 years old, was pregnant and had a little toddler named Betty (Grandma Locke to us) to care for as well. So Rossea traveled to Oregon for six weeks while Leta had her baby, named William (Uncle Bill to us). When she got to Luther's house, she would not eat. She never did make the return trip back home to Spokane. It is also unfortunate that there is not a single photo of Rossea. It would have been nice to put these events together with a face.

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