Ona Lighthouse
 Surname Origins
Chapter XIV: Henry and Malinda

        It isn’t known for sure just why Henry Wise came to Gallia County. He was the second oldest surviving son of John Wise, when he obtained land from his father, John Wise and his stepmother, Isabel.143 The land was located in Clay Township, a few miles south of the town of Gallipolis. It is bisected by Raccoon Creek, which despite being called a creek is a sizable stream which empties into the Ohio River several miles downstream from the Wise farm. Henry later bought an additional five acres of land from his brother, George. He assumed ownership of the first parcel in 1840, and it was later that same year, on September 11, that he married Malinda Bickel. How or under what circumstances they met is unknown. I don’t know of any direct Bickel connections to Clay Township.
        There were already Wises in Gallia County when Henry came. One of the daughters of Jacob and Elizabeth (Colvin) Wise, Mary Ann, and her husband, John Glenn lived at Raccoon Island in Clay Township. (Raccoon Island was a post office which was located on an island in the Ohio River and was therefore the address listed for most of the Wises who lived in that area.) Two of Henry’s sisters, Darcus Cole and Catherine Cunningham lived in or near Gallipolis.
        Subsequently there were many others from the extended family who located to Gallia County. Henry’s brother, George and his wife, Julia, arrived in 1841. Henry’s sister, Mary Alexander, came in 1855. Another brother, John Jr. and his wife Esther, came about 1858.
        Two other children of Jacob and Elizabeth Wise moved here. Their second oldest daughter, Elizabeth, had married Thomas Hamilton in Belmont County and they arrived in Gallia County in 1843. It was their daughter, Julia, who was married to Henry’s brother George, and so Julia and George were first cousins, once removed. The Hamilton family became quite numerous and quite prominent in the county. Another child of Jacob and Elizabeth Wise, a son, Samuel, moved here with his wife, Margaret (Hinkle), in 1855. There were numerous descendants of this family who lived in Gallia County and also in nearby Putnam County in West Virginia over the next several decades. One of their sons, also named Jacob, married Henry’s oldest daughter, Martha. Samuel became a quite prominent citizen here. He was known as a carpenter and undertaker. The undertaker label was because he made the pine boxes for burial, but his carpenter skills were used also for other purposes. He was a prominent elder in Clay Chapel Methodist Church and he is listed as one of the builders of that church. Almost all of the citizens with the Wise surname who still live in this area would be descendants of this family.
        There were already Wises in Gallia County when Henry came. One of the daughters of Jacob and Elizabeth (Colvin) Wise, Mary Ann, and her husband, John Glenn lived at Raccoon Island in Clay Township. (Raccoon Island was a post office which was located on an island in the Ohio River and was therefore the address listed for most of the Wises who lived in that area.) Two of Henry’s sisters, Darcus Cole and Catherine Cunningham lived in or near Gallipolis.
        Subsequently there were many others from the extended family who located to Gallia County. Henry’s brother, George and his wife, Julia, arrived in 1841. Henry’s sister, Mary Alexander, came in 1855. Another brother, John Jr. and his wife Esther, came about 1858. John Wise’s sister, Catherine, had a son, George Pool who also moved here. He and his wife, Sarah (Alexander) lived in the same township. As mentioned in the previous chapter, Sarah was the sister-in-law of Henry’s sister, Mary Alexander.
        When you add the Bickel relatives to all of this, by the 1860’s you end up with a very large extended family. However, not everyone stayed around. Henry’s brother, George and his wife, Julia, moved on to Kansas in their old age. His other brother, John Jr. and his wife, Esther, moved on to West Virginia right after the Civil War. John Jr. had served in the same cavalry regiment as Salmon Bickel, but in a different Company, and unlike Salmon he was not captured. They eventually ended up living in Cabell County, WV near Huntington. Henry’s sister, Darcus, was married to Adkinson Cole in Belmont County and early on (in the 1830’s) they came to Gallia County. They raised a stepson, Horace Greeley Newport, who was a nephew of Adkinson’s, and very late in life they moved to the Minneapolis area, apparently to be near him. Some of Adkinson’s Cole relatives also moved to Gallia from Belmont County and they were also a very prominent family.
        Henry and Malinda had a total of twelve children, ten of whom survived to adulthood. A son, Robert, and a daughter, Mary died as infants or children. In the Clay Chapel Cemetery, in the plot next to Henry there is the grave of a B. Wise, whose identity is unknown. I speculate that this may have been another young child, or possibly Robert or Mary, with the B. standing for baby. The oldest surviving child was a daughter, Martha. She was born in 1842. Surviving photographs of her indicate a remarkable resemblance to a younger sister, Rosa, who is my grandmother.
        There is a Gallia County marriage record for Martha and Jacob Wise. This Jacob Wise was a grandson of Jacob and Elizabeth Colvin Wise, through their son Samuel, who moved to Gallia County in 1855. This would make them second cousins. According to the 1870 census they are living in Clay Township and they have a one-year-old daughter, named Alta, and a three-year-old daughter whose name is obscured on the census record, but is probably their other daughter, Artamecia (Artie). Jacob and Martha ultimately have three children, Alta, Artie and Otis.
        In 1880 this family is living in Licking County, which is near Columbus, but they soon moved back to this area. Sometime in the early 1880’s they were divorced. Jacob soon after remarried to Martha Meddings, who was ten years younger than he and they lived in Putnam County, West Virginia. His first wife, Martha, was remarried about fifteen years later to Alexander Newman in Linn County Missouri. This was probably an arranged marriage. Alexander’s wife had recently died and he had small children to take care of. There was a Newman family that lived in Gallia County and so probably the arrangements were made through this connection, although there is no actual proof of this.144 Martha’s oldest daughter, Alta, appears to have moved to Missouri with her mother. The other two children, Artie and Otis remained in West Virginia. Alta married Will Davis and they are living in Clark County, Missouri in 1920. Their descendants were still in contact with our family into the present generation.         The next surviving child of Henry and Malinda was also a daughter. Caroline was born in 1846. There is a surviving old photograph, which is unlabeled, but it is suspected that this is she.145 However, there is no way at this point for it to be proven. Caroline died of an unknown cause (possibly tuberculosis) in 1866, just a few weeks short of her twenty-first birthday. She has no descendants. She is buried next to her father in Clay Chapel Cemetery.
        The third child was also the oldest son. Charles was born in 1848 and was married to Lucinda Willey on March 22, 1869. She was the daughter of one of their neighbors in Clay Township. Lucinda’s brother, Ansel, married one of George Wise’s daughters. Charles was most certainly cast into a very responsible role by the death of his father. He was only fifteen years old at the time and was the oldest male in a family of ten. One year after his marriage, according to the 1870 census, they are living in Green Township and his occupation is listed as farm laborer. They have a five-month-old daughter named Melinda, probably named after Charles’ mother. In 1880 the family is living on a farm in Putnam County, West Virginia. Putnam County is about 20 miles southeast of Gallipolis. Subsequent family photographs are taken in North Dakota, and later in Seattle, Washington. Charles migrated to North Dakota in the 1880s. On May 9, 1884, he applied for a homestead in Nelson County, North Dakota, within one mile of the town of Michigan. This land was sold in the late 1880s.         In 1920 census records from Seattle, Washington, show a daughter, Pearl, and her husband, Victor Renton, living with Lucinda. Charles has apparently died before then. There are also photographs in our family collection of an Ed Northfield family. Ed Northfield was married to their daughter, Minnie. There are many old photographs of this family. There are two young sons, William and Kenneth. There is a surviving post card written by Kenneth to his cousin Lillie Elvick .
        The fourth child was John Anthony, named for his maternal grandfather. (It is likely that Anthony Bickel’s full name was John Anthony Bickel. It was common for German families to have a sort of prefix name, that was often just used for baptism, and that was then often dropped. This is the third John Anthony that pops up in the descendants.) John was twelve when his father died and probably also had to assume a great deal of responsibility. On the 1870 census, at age nineteen, he is still living at home and at this time would have been the oldest responsible male, since Charles was out on his own. He married Missouri Fletcher Gilmore, probably about 1871, since they have a daughter born about 1872. In 1880 they are living on a farm in Clay Township. His occupation is listed as farm laborer. They have five children; Irene eight, Emma six, John Henry, five, Ada three, Lydia, and Bessie one. A John A. Wise descendant published a family tree that showed the children as Bessie, Renie, Emma, Walter, John Henry, and Channcey. Since Bessie, Ada and Lydia are missing from this family tree, it may be an indication that they did not live to adulthood. There is a photograph of Channcey and presumably his wife in our family photograph collection.
        John Anthony and his descendants seemed to have stayed in southeastern Ohio. He is probably the only one in the Henry Wise family who did so. John is buried in Clay Chapel Cemetery, in Clay Township, the same cemetery where his father, Henry, and his sister Caroline are buried. A son, John Henry, married Mary Margaret Wise in 1898. Mary Margaret Wise is a great granddaughter of the Jacob Wise who died in 1817 in Belmont County. It was one of their descendants who published John Anthony’s family tree.
        The fifth child was William. William was born in 1853. He would have been ten years old when his father died. He is a seventeen-year-old farm worker on his mother’s farm at the time of the 1870 census. In 1880 it is probably he living in the household of a wagon maker named Isaac Seashols in Putnam County, West Virginia, the same county where his brother, Charles was living. He is listed as a boarder and is probably an apprentice. The mid decade Dakota Territorial census of 1885 lists him with other family members in Nelson County, North Dakota. I could find no subsequent trace of him. I do recall that when my grandmother, Rosa Wise Elvick, lived in our household during her last years, it was William’s name that she often called out for when she became disoriented. From comments that my father made during a family trip to Colorado, I suspect that Colorado is where William settled.
        The sixth child was Ebenezer. I heard him referred to by my father as Uncle Eb. He was born December 3, 1854. At the time of the 1870 census he is listed as a farm worker, while his three younger brothers are listed as being in school. In 1880 he is still living in Malinda’s household and is working as a laborer. In 1884 or 1885 he moved with some of the rest of the family to North Dakota. Ostensibly the Wise brothers went to North Dakota to work on the railroad. The railroad was being built west from Grand Forks at that time. Ebenezer homesteaded a quarter section of land six miles south of Michigan, North Dakota that ultimately became part of the Nels Elvick farm. He sold that land and ended up with a farm in Williams Township in Nelson County, North Dakota. Sometime in the 1890s he married a Swedish immigrant, Johanna Hanson.
        By 1900 they have two children, George three, and Orpha one. His mother, Malinda, is living in their household. On the 1910 census Orpha, and two other children, Cora and Lawrence, are living with Johanna’s parents, Hans and Hannah Hanson. This probably means that Johanna has died. Ebenezer is buried in Fairview Cemetery at Stanley, North Dakota. The adjacent stone is for Josephine (1875 - 1905). The name is presumably an Anglicization of Johanna. Ebenezer's dates were 1854-1931. I could not find Ebenezer or his son, George, on the 1910 census, but in 1920 Ebenezer is living in the town of Michigan, North Dakota, with his son George, and daughter-in-law Neomi.
        George Wise was the seventh child. He was born on May 5, 1857. Like Ebenezer, he is still living at home with Malinda at the time of the 1880 census, and he likewise makes the move to North Dakota. Both he and his mother, Malinda, homesteaded property within one mile, on the south side, of the town of Michigan, North Dakota, in Nelson County. George’s property was where the present community cemetery is located. Malinda’s quarter section is across the road to the west of George’s property. There is no record that George ever married. He died in 1911, and is buried in the Michigan Cemetery. 
        Rosa (Rosa Lilliebelle) was the eighth child. She was born on June 5, 1859. She was not quite four years old when her father died, and so probably didn’t have a recollection of him. Her named is misspelled as Rosella on the 1860 census. In 1870 the census tells us she was helping her mother. The 1880 census just states “at home.” She likewise moved with her mother and brothers to North Dakota about 1884. She was in the hat making business in North Dakota. Her paternal aunt, Mary Alexander and Mary’s daughter Hariett Selfridge, had been milliners in Gallipolis and so this is probably where she learned the trade. Within a few years she had decided to file for a homestead. The land was about five to six miles south of the town of Michigan. When she was required to show proof that she was building improvements on the land, a neighboring homesteader, Nels Elvick, accompanied her to the county court house in Lakota to testify for her. They were married in Grand Forks, North Dakota, December 11, 1887.
        Abraham Lincoln Wise was born on April 12, 1861, just one day before Fort Sumpter fell to Confederate troops. There could be no doubt where the family’s sympathies lay. The newborn son was named after the Union president. He went by the name of Lincoln, or Link. At the time of the 1870 census, he was in school. In 1880 he is a laborer on his mother’s farm. I could find no record of him in North Dakota. When the four youngest children repurchased the Gallia County farm at the Sheriff’s sale in 1885, Lincoln’s signature on the document was made in Otoe County, Nebraska, where his uncle, Charles Bickel, lived. A note fell out of a family bible a few years ago that had some further information. He had married a Scottish immigrant woman, and was living in Illinois.
        Henry A. Wise was the tenth and last child. Malinda was about two months pregnant with him when her husband, Henry, died. He was born November 16, 1863. He was undoubtedly named after his father. I haven’t been able to determine what the A. stands for. Henry is a student at the time of the 1870 census and in 1880 he is listed simply as “at home.” He accompanied the rest of the family to North Dakota about 1884. In 1900 he is married and living on a farm in Wamduska Township in Nelson County, North Dakota, with his wife Ora F. and four children, Mae M. age twelve, Henry H. age seven, Edna G. age two and Wilbur G. age one. My Aunt Lillie once told me that this family suffered the loss of six children during a scarlet fever epidemic.
        Henry Wise’s death in 1863 was probably sudden. Almost certainly if he had had a prolonged illness there would have been a will. Also approximately two months before his death, Malinda had conceived their youngest child. Under these circumstances one would suspect either a sudden, severe illness or possibly death from accidental causes. The fact that there was no will left the family to the fate of the state’s inheritance laws. Malinda was left with her one-third dower, with the rest divided among the children, after funeral expenses and debts were paid. A portion of the land had to be sold to cover this. A guardian for the children’s interests was appointed, and the children received their property when they reached their age of majority.
        Henry's sister, Mary Alexander, who worked as a millilner in Gallipolis, died about three weeks before he did and so there may have been a common cause, such as an infectious disease involved, but there is no other evidence for that either. The fact that there was no will left the family to the fate of the state’s inheritance laws. Malinda was left with her one-third dower, and after funeral expenses and debts were paid the rest was divided among the children. A portion of the land had to be sold to cover this. A guardian for the children’s interests was appointed, and the children received their property when they reached their respective ages of majority.
        Malinda continued to run the farm, undoubtedly with the children’s assistance, and by all appearances they continued to prosper. In 1865 Malinda bought some property in the town of Gallipolis. The property was what was known as a garden lot, and was along the Ohio River. What the purpose of buying this property was is unknown. On the deed it was described as a garden lot and was right on the banks of the Ohio River. Possibly they used it to grow vegetables for sale in Gallipolis. However, in 1872 there is a record of a lawsuit brought against her by a Maria Long to settle a debt. Upon losing the suit, Malinda was forced to sell the property. Clay Township resident, George Pool bought the lot. George Pool was a descendant of the John Pool who had married Philip Wise’s daughter, Catherine, in Pennsylvania, and so was a cousin of Henry’s. 
        In the 1880's there was evidence again of some financial trouble, and there was a forced sheriff’s sale of the farm on June 10, 1885. C. Aultman and Co (a farm implement manufacturer in Canton, Ohio) was the plaintiff, and the land was sold to satisfy them. George Wise, Rosa Wise, Abraham Lincoln Wise, and Henry A. Wise recovered on a cross petition. I’m not sure just what precipitated this event. I recall my father mentioning to me once that there was an issue of a cosigned note. But whatever it was it seemed to have had an enormous effect on the family. It was about this time that most of the family left for North Dakota. The four youngest children still held title to the farm. They had received cash payments from the settling of their father’s estate. The money had been held in trust for them by a court appointed guardian, and was given to them when they reached the age of majority. The four youngest children were still living at home, and must have still had this money, which amounted to about $250-300 each, and it was probably this money that allowed them to reclaim the farm, but it doesn’t necessarily explain why they left Ohio. It doesn’t seem that they were forced to leave because of finances. George, Rosa and Lincoln subsequently sold their interest in the Ohio farm to their brother Henry for $300 apiece. Henry then sold the farm in 1888 for $1378.
        The family kept in contact with those left behind in Ohio. There were some trips back to visit. There are some photographs of John Anthony Wise’s grandchildren that appear to have been taken during visits. John was the only one of the immediate Wise family to stay in Ohio, but there were Bickel cousins and their descendants. There were also some of Henry Wise’s relatives who remained. Henry’s sister, Mary Alexander, had five surviving children all of whom still lived in Gallipolis. The three oldest were all daughters. The oldest, Anna Marie, was married to James Williams. Next Harriet was married to Harry Selfridge. Jane married Thomas Howell when the family still lived in Belmont County. Thomas left for the gold fields in California and died there. Their one son, David Howell, became a physician in Gallipolis.
        The two youngest were boys. James, born in 1839, married Adelia Hayward. Adelia died in 1900, and James died in 1916 in Charleston, West Virginia. They are buried in Pine Street Cemetery in Gallipolis. John McMillan Alexander was the youngest. He had a distinguished Civil War record as a sergeant in the 91st OVI. He was born in 1841 and was married to Elizabeth Hill in 1868. He became the mayor of Gallipolis, and they apparently lived there all their lives. John died in 1914 and Elizabeth died in 1927, and both are buried at Mound Hill Cemetery in Gallipolis.
        Henry’s brother, George, had married Julia Ann Hamilton in Belmont County in 1842, and shortly thereafter they moved to Clay Township in Gallia County, settling somewhere near the Henry Wise farm. They had four daughters and one son. The oldest four children were daughters. The oldest daughter, Anna Marie, married Ansel Willey. The Willeys were farmers in Clay Township. Henry and Malinda’s son, Charles, also married a Willey (Lucinda), Ansel’s sister. Two other daughters, Maggie and Josephine, both died without marrying. Maggie died at age twenty-nine in 1874, and Josephine died in 1870 at age nineteen. Both are buried in Clay Chapel Cemetery and were victims of tuberculosis. For the two other children, Elizabeth and William, I have no further information. The parents, George and Julia Ann, were still living in Clay Township at the time of the 1880 census, but as mentioned above they moved on to Kansas sometime after 1880.
        Of Malinda’s brothers and sisters, Aaron, Abraham, Charles, and Nancy had moved away. Mary, Robert, and George stayed in the area, and have descendants living there today. Salmon’s widow had remarried, but had then been deserted by her husband, and after she divorced him after 1903, she went to live in Columbus, Ohio.
        Anthony Bickel’s brother, Frederick, had settled in Harrison Township, and there were 3 sons and 3 daughters in that family. I believe that there are still quite a few descendants of this family living around Gallia County. In the course of researching this family history I ran across a descendant of their granddaughter, Fidelia Ward, who was starting to research his family tree.
        Descendants of the Samuel Wise family were also still here in 1885. Samuel, himself, had died in 1883, but his wife, Margaret lived until 1902. They are buried in Providence Cemetery in Clay Township. They had nine children. Some of them stayed in Gallia County but several moved to nearby Putnam County, West Virginia and there are descendants still living in both counties today. One of their granddaughters, Mary Margaret Wise married John Henry Wise. John Henry was a son of Henry and Malinda’s son John Anthony.   
        Samuel Wise had two sisters who also moved to Gallia County. Mary Ann Wise, married John D. Glenn in 1825 in Belmont County, and they subsequently moved to Gallia County.  They had eleven children, and by 1850 they had moved out of the county. At one time their address was Raccoon Island, which is in Clay Township. Another sister, Elizabeth, married to Thomas Hamilton in 1822, and there are many Hamilton descendants still living in and around Gallia County.
        Lastly, Dianah’s nephew, James Thompson and his family were still living in Gallia County. The 1880 census shows his mother Phoebe living with them, but that is the last record found for her. James' wife, Miriam, died in 1898 and he remarried to a widow, Mary Ecker, in 1902. He died in 1924 and is buried in Calvary Baptist Cemetery in Raccoon Township.

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