As you know, my grandmother's grandfather Otis Vaughn had three siblings who survived to adulthood. We've learned about his sister Phebe and his brother BF already. Today let's focus on his sister Delia, the second oldest of the Vaughn clan.
|Cordelia Bowher Vaughn, circa 1860s?|
When she was four years old, Delia's parents packed up a covered wagon (including among their belongings two dozen dozen grafted apple trees*) and traveled south around Lake Michigan, passing through the fledgling town of Chicago the year it became incorporated as a city. Sam's sister Mary and her husband made the trip as well, so it's likely the extended family caravanned together through Chicago. They arrived in Spring Prairie in March, 1837. Delia had just turned four years old; she would live in Walworth County for the rest of her life.
When they first arrived in Spring Prairie, the little family -- Sam and Sarah, BF, Delia and Abbie -- lived in a log cabin that Sam built. Phebe was born in the log cabin the next year. It wasn't until the fall of 1839 that Sam built the frame farmhouse on the property and they moved into a real house, so from the time she was four until she was seven, all Delia would have known was life in a log cabin or a covered wagon.
Two years after they moved into the farmhouse, my great-great-grandfather Otis was born there, rounding out the Vaughn family in Spring Prairie, Wisconsin.
|LeGrand Latham, Delia's husband|
|Louisa Latham as a girl. She bears a resemblance to BF's four daugthers.|
In 1862, Delia and LG had their first child -- a son they named Hollis after LG's father. Three years later, a daughter was born. They named her Louisa.
|Delia (back left) and Phebe pose with what appears to be LeGrand(?) and an unknown sitter|
- Date unknown: Otis Vaughn and family, of Burlington; Peter Howard and wife; and LG Latham and wife, journeyed northward on Saturday afternoon until they came to Idlewild at Lake Lauderdale, where a week will be spent in pleasure and resting...
- Date unknown: Mrs. Harriman and Mrs. Latham, of Elkhorn, made their brother, Mr. Otis Vaughn and family, in this village a pleasant visit last Friday, returning to the quiet village of Elkhorn in the evening after a day's pleasure viewing the sights of this bustling city [Burlington.]
|Louisa and HDL Adkins wedding photo, 1887|
Hollis married Emily Duckett and they went on to have just one child -- a daughter born five years after his sister Louisa passed away. They named their daughter after Louisa, but changed the spelling slightly to Louesa. Hollis found work with the railroad and moved his family all over Illinois -- they lived in Hancock, Chillicothe, Aleda and Rock Island. (Interestingly, Hollis's daugther Louesa seems to have been quite a wild child. She got pregnant at 16 and went on to have a total of nine children, the youngest of whom just passed away in 2007.)
|Delia, later in life|
Fifteen years after losing her daughter, Delia herself passed away at the age of 71. Her obituary described her as a "well known and esteemed resident of the city [Elkhorn]." It went on to describe:
The fulsome measure of love and esteem however which scores of friends and acquaintances held for her came not from a long residence but from an active life rich in sympathy and good works toward her neighbors and friends. Her life has been of availing helpfulness and her own patience in bearing those tribulations, the all too common lot of life, made firm those bonds so rudely broken by her death.
*This fascinating article from Mother Jones about early American apple trees is really educational, and well worth reading. It helped put into perspective why my great-great-great-grandfather Sam would have prioritized bringing two dozen apple trees with him in a covered wagon.