Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Early Life of John F. Capron

When John F. Capron first shows up in the 1860 census of Anson County, newly married to wife Julia Howell, my ggggg-Aunt, and living next to his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Peter and Betsy Floyd Howell, he was not a young man. In his 54th year of life and a skilled mechanic and carriage maker, I knew there had to be a story, or at least a trace of him concerning the first 50 years of his life.

I started with a hint I found in the Western Carolinian from 1833, a newspaper of Salisbury, North Carolina.








Western Carolinian
(Salisbury, North Carolina)
13 January 1834 • Page 4


This placed John F Capron in Davidson County, North Carolina, prior to his arrival in Anson, by a few decades. Capron being a rare name, and extremely rare in North Carolina, the assurance that this was our John F. Capron is pretty certain and complete.

It also appears that he was having goods shipped in to Wilmington and bringing them up through Fayetteville, where he may have encounter the Howell brothers.






So I went to Davidson County to look for traces of this much traveled gentleman from New Hampshire who had married into the family.

He was there but for a brief time, but he had made his mark.

I have not yet had the opportunity to scour through the land records of Davidson County, yet, but I will, as I feel there is more to discover concerning Mr. John F. Capron, but this is what I uncovered in the Circuit Court records:

First appearance: Date: Feb. 19, 1831

John F. Capron vs. William K. Smith  No. 11 Original attachment levied on land. In this case, on motion, it is ordered by the court that publication be made for 3 weeks successively in the Greensboro Patriot published in Greensborough (their spelling, not mine), for the defendant to appear at the next term of this court and plead or replevy (again, their word, not mine),  otherwise an order for the sale of said lands will be made in favor of the plaintiff in this action.
Item image
As this case was dated 1831 and the above ad was dated 1833, Mr. Capron was in pursuit of Mr. Smith, who had left the county, for some time.

By the next year, John F. Capron had apparently established himself in the trusts of the powers that were in Davidson County.

Second mention: "Constables appointed for 1832"

John F. Capron was appointed Constable for the ensuing year. He gave bond with Charles Hoover, William Sullivan and David Huffman, his securities, in $4000. He was approved and he qualified according to the law. 

Of important mention in the this same list was also this entry:

Allen Newsome was appointed Constable for the ensuing year. He gave bond with Wm Varner, Wm Cox, John W. Thomas, James Adderton, Mathew Varner and William Ward. 

Allen Newsome married Charlotte Howell, daughter of Jordan Howell and a first cousin of John F. Capron's future wife Julia. It seems that the two daughters of Jordan Howell, Charlotte and Clarrissa, had came to live with their grandmother, Sarah Winfield Howell Davis, after the death of their father, in Fayetteville, because they both married men from this part of North Carolina, Charlotte marrying Allen Newsome, of Southern Davidson County and Clarrissa marrying Jeremiah Broadaway whose family was Rocky River neighbor of Sarah and Job. Their brother remained in Fayetteville, an apprentice of his fathers business partner, Paris Tillinghast, and removed later with the Tillinghast family to Columbus County, Georgia.

The next entry was a total shock, a young man, John F. Capron had apparently fullfilled his passions.

Thursday morning, November the 15th. 1832

State vs John F. Capron  No. 6 Bastardy  Sally Grimes, prosecutor. In this case on motion, judgement nisi for $24 was awarded against the defendant. The first year's allowance for the maintenance of a baseborn child begotten upon the body of the prosecutor, Sally Grimes of which said child the said John F. Capron stands charged as the reputed father. 

Thursday morning, February 14, 1833 Gotlieb Grimes vs John F. Capron
Pleas general issue, accord and satisfaction....finds all issues in favor of the defendant. 

These two clues led to research on Gotlieb Grimes and Sarah or Sally Grimes. I found them and curious as to whether this child lived or died, discovered she lived, her name being Rosanna E. Grimes and she grew up, married and had her own family. More on her later.

Later in 1833:

John F. Capron vs Benjamin Saunders
3 casas. Jonas Myers, who was bail for the defendant Benjamin Saunders, came into open court and surrendered the said  Saunders in discharge of himself from bail. Saunders ordered into the hands of the sheriff. 

August sessions 1833

John F Capron vs Benjamin Saunders, principal John W. Thomas, Jonas Myers bail. Again a surrender of bail and Saunders posting his own bond.

February 13, 1834

John F. Capron vs William K Smith and Timothy Chamberlain
Original attachment levied on land. It was acknowledged that the advertisement, one of which is seen above, was made. The land was ordered to be sold by the sheriff after the advertisement and sheriff fees paid, the balance to go to John F. Capron.

May 1834  John F Capron vs Smith and Chamberlain again.

Friday morning February 1835

Clerk's office vs John F. Capron
In this case on motion, it is ordered by the court that the sheriff have leave to make his return on said executions as last term. 

And this is the last court case involving John F. Capron in Davidson County.
Old Church in Sumter County, Alabama

Name:John F. Capron
Gender:Male
Marriage Date:30 Sep 1839
Marriage Place:, Sumter, Alabama
Spouse:Matilda C. Johnston

By fall of 1839, John F. Capron is in Sumter, Alabama, perhaps traveling with other Davidson County residents, perhaps alone on business. Here he meets his first wife, Matilda C. Johnston, who I believe was the daughter of a William Johnston.

Oddly though, John shows up alone in the 1840 census. Perhaps his wife was still at home.


Name:John F Capron
Home in 1840 (City, County, State):Sumter, Alabama
Free White Persons - Males - 30 thru 39:1
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:1
Total Free White Persons:1
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves:1

In the land records, there are listed 2 transactions involving him. I have not yet recieved these documents. One involves him and a company called Johnson & Tubb. Perhaps this was his father-in-laws business. Another was between him and William Jennings.

Warsaw, Sumter, Alabama


45CapronJohnJohnson & Tubb
H629
45CapronJohn F.JenningsWilliam et alH700


He must have acquired a piece of land in Alabama, as his name, misspelled, shows up in the 1850 tax list. But he was not there.





Name of Parties Assessed, page in volume party appears on


CAPSON, John F., 23:

Image:Richmond$city-view-east-1938.jpg

Assessment of Taxes on Real Estate in the County of Sumter for the year 1850









He does not appear in the 1850 census of Sumter County, Alabama. John has been on the move again. He has became a miner 49er'.

Home in 1850:Yuba, California
Gender:Male
Family Number:460
Household Members:
NameAge
Francis Reed22
James Atwell37
Eliza Jane Flinn12
Mary Ann Flinn10
Nancy Flinn8
Robert Flinner5
Samuel Florie5
John S Capron25
Mardecia McKinley49
Edward Stillward24
J Daniely29
Seth F Sanger21
James H Hopkins21

He shows up in a list of "Miners" in 1850 Yuba, California.

The message boards from genealogy.com are now read only. No more information can be added. However, I found an otherwise anonymous gentleman by the name of "Rick" had posed this question about our John F. Capron that added a little more information about him while in Califorinia. In a City Directory, he was listed as a Carpenter, although the census has him as a miner.

"Can anyone give me some information on this John F Capron, I found him in the 1850 San Francisco, California City directory he was listed as a Carpenter, he could have lived at Green and Stockton, or worked for a Green and Stockton." Posted by "Rick". 



The above is the page from the 1850 San Francisco City Directory. Green and Stockton appeared to be a company that invested in the building of the quickly growing town, rather than in the direct pursuit of gold. 







The death of Matilda Capron cements the fact that John F. Capron in Alabama was the same one in California, despite the fact that Matilda was not listed in the 1850 census with him and that the middle initial was improperly transcribed, that miner John "S" Capron was actually John "F" Capron. Not only is her spouse listed, also that fact that she was born in Alabama. This is our Matilda C. Johnston Capron. 

The Sad History of the Yerba Buena Cemetery in San Francisco

Yerba Buena Cemetery was one of the oldest in the city, established during the Gold Rush boom in 1850 and closed in 1871. It was the first city-sanctioned cemetery in SF, and many bodies from unofficial cemeteries in Russian Hill, North Beach, and Telegraph Hill were moved here after neighbors complained of the unsanitary situation. Located below the original SF Public Library building, all of the bodies were supposedly moved to other cemeteries when it was closed. But when construction began to remodel the library into the Asian Art Museum in 2001, there were some unexpected discoveries - 18 skeletons, 25 feet in from the sidewalk and 13 feet below ground, all dating from the mid to late 1800s
from "http://www.7x7.com/arts-culture/dark-history-san-franciscos-cemeteries#/0"
San Francisco 1849
Not Frisco...Yerba Buena Cemetery


Perhaps it was the death of his wife that brough John F. Capron back to North Carolina. Perhaps he wanted to reconnect with his daughter, Rosanna Grimes Burkhart. Perhaps he had a business opportunity. Or perhaps it was something to do with the death of John W. Howell, an old business partner. For whatever reason, he arrived in North Carolina in time to join his second bride, Julia Howell in the 1860 census. And with her and in North Carolina, he remained.

Next, to explore the families of his children who survived long enough to have their own families: Rosanna E. Grimes Burkhart and Edward O. Capron.


Friday, September 12, 2014

The Caprons

I recently gained a renewed interest in the Howell family and decided to look down a few avenues I've not dwelt among lately. Following the children of Peter Howell, oldest son of Great (x) Grandmother Sarah "Sallie" Winfield Howell Davis, I'd mostly concentrated on his sons, and not on the daughters.

Several of Peter's daughter did not marry, as evidence in their selling of their share of Peter's estate in the late 1860's and early 1870's. (See Anson County Deeds )

One daughter, Julia A. Howell, did marry however, and a small delegate of descendants remain today.

Julia married an impressive Northern gentleman, John F or K Capron  probably around 1859 or 1860. Julia is living with her parents in the 1850 census, and in the 1860 census, she has married Mr. Capron, nearly two decades her elder, and is living right next to her parents in Anson County in the Cedar Hill community.


Name:John Capron
Age in 1860:54
Birth Year:abt 1806
Birthplace:New Hampshire
Home in 1860:Cedar Hill, Anson, North Carolina
Gender:Male
Post Office:Ansonville
Value of real estate:View image
Household Members:
NameAge
John Capron54
Julia Capron35
John F Capron is listed as a Carriage Maker with a personal property value of $250. Other neighbors include John F. Kendall, a physcian and Woodson and Sally Davis Crump, Sally being Julia's first cousin.
John F. Capron may have had a previous family. That part I've not discovered yet. Family trees have him as the son of  Silas Capron and Sylvia Foster Capron, who were born in Massachusetts and moved to New Hampshire to raise their families. I'm not sure I agree with those trees, as that couple seems a little young to have been the parents of John K. Capron, who was born in 1806.
 John F Capron may have came to North Carolina with the Capron Water Wheel Company, who is shown in deed in Cumberland County purchasing a site from David Kivett and Sons. Capron was not a Carolina surname. Julia's uncles, John W. Howell and Jordan Howell were businessmen in Fayetteville, a thriving market town of the era, and may have been the link between the middle-aged Mr. Capron and their 'old maid' niece, Julia, now in her 30's.

Searching old newspapers, I found this court notice, that shows John F. Capron may have been in Davidson County before coming to Anson and Stanly County.

By 1870, John K and Julia had become the parents of three sons:


Name:J K Capson
[J K Capron
Age in 1870:65
Birth Year:abt 1805
Birthplace:New Hampshire
Home in 1870:Harris, Stanly, North Carolina
Race:White
Gender:Male
Post Office:Albemarle
Value of real estate:View image
Household Members:
NameAge
J K Capson65
Julia Capson46
Howell Capson8
John Capson4
Edward Capson2
Peter Howell Capron, was the oldest, named for his grandfather, Peter Howell. John was next, born about 1866 and Edward Orford Capron was the youngest, born about 1868. Having married late helped the Caprons become a very small family for the times. 

J K Capron and family had moved to the Harris community of Stanly County by this time, and he was listed as a mechanic. Neighbors included Ritchies, Penningtons, Cranfords and Biles. It looks like the location may have been in or near the modern town of New London. 

The only deed involving the Caprons in Anson County was one dated 1871 in which J F Capron and wife Julia sell to James E. Howell, her brother, their share of the inheritance of the their father, Peter Howell's estate, a tract on the Rocky River, in Anson, from the Caprons of Stanly County, adjoining the lands of Dr. John S. Kendall, John Wall and others. "Known more particularly as the Howell lands, where Peter Howell, late of Anson, lived and died and containing 500 acres more or less."
In Stanly County, J. F. Capron was more involved in land transactions.

On October 16, 1868, John F. "of Anson"  bought a tract of land from Daniel Freeman, "all my interest, being one half in the tract of land known as the John Stokes land." Neighbors to this tract of land mentioned were Travis Carter, Jarrett Russel and Thomas Rice. 

On January 4, 1871 is a very interesting transaction from Book 7 Page 270 of the Stanly County, North Carolina deeds: "This Indenture between... John Tyson, Jr. Administrator of Peter Howell....undivided three hundred acres of land lately belonging to the intestate Peter Howell known as the John Stokes (or Stoker) tract.....John F Capron became the last and highest bidder...lying in Stanly County on the waters of Mountain Creek....Jarrett Russel's line, Lewis Carters line...Thomas Rices line...    Sounds like the same tract of land mentioned above. 

The next document, dated May 10, 1875 involves P. W. Melton and J. F. Capron.

P.W. Melton in this deed would have to be Preston Wooley Melton, son of Joseph D. Melton, the shoemaker. Joseph D Melton lived long and left a long and mysterious trail. I've been working on finding information on this gentleman for awhile and he was quite the charactor and the oldest son of John Melton Sr. of Granville and then later Montgomery/Stanly County.

P. W. was one of the 'middle' children of Joseph and later on in life migrated to Arkansas, where he died. The younger P. W. Melton, or Milton, as the spellings continually crossed, was the son of his younger brother William, who lived with P. W. for awhile in his early adulthood, and the nephew P.W. was Preston William.


This document was the mortgage or collateral loan of a "Spring Wagon" to J. F. Capron, by P.W. Melton. Perhaps in payment for mechanical work done, or a wagon built.

On August 1, 1877, Moses Dry declares himself to J. F. Capron and as collateral offers up a gray mare and a hay wagon.

On June 6, 1876 J. F. Capron and wife sell 10 acres on the "Clover Fork of Long Creek" adjoining Russells' to E. C. Morgan.

On January 12, 1882, J. F. Capron and wife Julia sell to G. W. Bowers, 25 acres containing a drain and adjoining George Jenkins, N J Russell and J L Kearns.

On Sept. 13, 1884 J. F. Capron and wife Julia sell to George Jenkins 34 1/2 acres on Long Branch, adjoining Lewis Carter.

On January 14, 1887, perhaps feeling death closing in on him, John F. Capron began selling off his property. He sells a tract of land to G.W. Jenkins, adjoining G. W. Jenkins, Giles Bowers, J. F. Capron and others, 10 acres of land.

By July of 1887, J. F. Capron was becoming weak, ill and feeble. He would have been about 81. For the incidental sum of $1.00 J. F. Capron gave to J. D. Stoker his property "on the east side of Cloverfork Creek and the West side of Long Branch" bordering Richard Morris, Eleazor Coggins, Lewis Carter and others, 'known as the John Stokes lands'. In exchange, J. D. Stoker " shall keep, maintain and support the said J. F. Capron during the remainder of his natural life in a good and comfortable manner, suitable to his degree and condition in life and shall well and truly furnish him all necessary and proper food, clothing and medicine and other necessary attention and assistance, as long as the said John F. Capron shall live and also the said J. D. Stoker shall furnish and erect at the proper place, three tombstones to be at least three feet high and good Marble with proper engravings, whereon one for Julia Capron, wife of John F. Capron, one for Fletcher Capron, his son, now deceased and one for the said John F. Capron, after his death. And if the said J. D. Stoker  shall fail to perform the conditions above, then this deed to be null and void.

It was witnessed by T. J. Jerome and registered on July 9, 1887.

By naming son Fletcher as already deceased, it might be assumed that Peter Howell Capron and Edward Orford Capron might still be alive and that "Fletcher" would be John Capron, Jr. and the "F" in both middle names standing for Fletcher.


Name:John F. Copson
[John F. Capron
Age:74
Birth Year:abt 1806
Birthplace:New Hampshire
Home in 1880:Harris, Stanly, North Carolina
Race:White
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Self (Head)
Marital Status:Married
Spouse's Name:Julia A. Copson
Father's Birthplace:New Hampshire
Mother's Birthplace:New Hampshire
Neighbors:View others on page
Occupation:Maintenace Mechanic
Cannot read/write:

Blind:

Deaf and Dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:
Household Members:
NameAge
John F. Copson74
Julia A. Copson50
Peter H. Copson18
John Copson14
Edward Copson10

In the 1880 census, John F. Capron was seen as a Maintenance Mechanic with 3 young sons. Howell in 1870 is now "Peter H.", letting us know his name was Peter Howell Capron for Julia's father.

The reason John F. Capron did not sign his property over to either of his two surving sons was that the entire family was, and had been sick for sometime. Perhaps with thyphoid fever or some other malady of the time.


The Concord Times
(Concord, North Carolina)
8 April 1886 • Page 3

This sick in April of 1886 and assigning all of his property over to a friend in July of 1887, John F. Capron probably expired not long after that. The one of his 3 sons that did survive the illness however, was Edward O. Capron. His own obituary explains a bit of when the remainder of his family may have died.


The Enterprise
(Albemarle, North Carolina)
5 April 1906 • Page 1

According to the 1906 Stanly Enterprise, April 5 edition, the Capron family all died within the month of March and suggests that John F. and Julia may have had at least two daughters in addition to their 3 sons, who did not show up in a census.

Edward O. Capron did not remain in Stanly County, but his name appeared in some deeds prior to his removal.  He apparently first moved to Anson County, in the area of his Howell grandparents home, after his parents death.

On January 7, 1891, J D Stoker and wife R. E. Stoker of Stanly, the family who took care of John F. Capron in his old age sells to E. O. Capron a tract of land in Harris township in Stanly County, adjoining Giles Coggins, G. W. Jenkins and J. D. Stoker, on Long Branch containing 80 1/2 acres, which was part of the property John F. Capron had sold to them for the nominal fee of $1.00, they sold back to his son for $100. A considerable profit for the time.

On the same day, E. O. Capron of Stanly County, for $300, sell sto J D Stoker, a tract of land adjoining the lands of John Howell, W. W. Rusell and Nathan Thompson, located in Harris Township on Cloverfork Creek, containing 80 1/2 acres. It appears a 161 acre tract may have been split in half.

The last Stanly County deed involving E. O. Capron, dated February 9, 1899, was from E. O. Capron and wife Annie to George M Tolbert, land on Long Branch adjoining G. W. Jenkins, Z.  Coggins and J. D Stoker and Nathan Thompson, containing 80 1/2 acres.

There are no more deeds involving the Capron family in Stanly County.

To follow the only surving child of Julia Howell from here, we have to go back to the Howell family and the Threadgills, a related family.

Edward O. Capron married Annie Lenora Threadgill in 1893. She was the daughter of Patrick Randolph Threadgill and wife Lucy Carolina Gray. Annie was interestingly enough born in Mississippi and the couple were married in Virginia

Patrick Threadgill was a member of the Howell family, however. He was the son of Thomas and Martha Threadgill and his mother was widowed young, remarrying to Richard Howell the second, a brother of Julia Howell Capron, Edward O's mother, making Patrick Richard's stepson and Edward and Annie stepcousins.

Before picking up with the Threadgills and Edward and his family, it is to be noted that although he relocated with Patrick Threadgill and family to Pacolet Mills in South Carolina and the rest of his family is buried there, Edward O. Capron is buried at the Concord United Methodist Church Cemetery in the old Cedar Hill Community in Anson County. This church was built on the old Peter Winfield plantation, Edwards Great-Great Grandfather. He is the only Capron listed among the readable tombstones.


E. O. Caperon


Due to this fact, it is my belief that Edward was brought back to be buried with his parents and siblings. It makes no sense that he would be transported back up to North Carolina for no reason. Did Mr. Stoker actually buy the nice marble tombstones that J. F. Capron requested to mark his grave and those of wife Julia and son Fletcher? Or not? Were the locations of these graves lost after E.O Capron was buried?

I believe that Peter Howell and wife Elizabeth were probably buried in this cemetery as well. There are a large number of unreadable tombstones and no longer marked graves in this ancient cemetery.

Concord United Methodist Church Cemetery

It also would make the most sense that John F. Capron and wife Julia, along with sons Peter Howell Capron and John Fletcher Capron, Jr. and possibly some young daughters, are buried there too, all possibly dying in March, the month of doom for Caprons.