Mendenhall Letters

Letter from Henry George Mendenhall

“‘Bearton,’ Lambourn, Berks, Eng., Aug. 14, 1910.”
“Dear Sir:  
My father has handed over your last letter to reply to as before. With regards to Mildenhall Manor, have not heard of it. There is a village named Mildenhall about twelve miles from here on the road to Marlborough Wilts, and not many miles away is the Marridge Hill, which is constantly changing hands. Marridge Hill and the neighborhood is where the American Mildenhalls came from. I believe one male descendant is there now, and the only other relative I know of is Mrs. M. King, No. 4 Tennyson St., New Swindon, Wilts. The Quaker burying ground in Lambourn Woodlands is connected with the family, but there are no tombstones, only a few mounds enclosed by a hedge in a corner of a meadow next the high road and near a licensed house called ‘The Brickmakers Arms.’  

Now to come to our Lambourn family. We came from Bath with the Hippleslys some three or four generations ago, who bought Lambourn Place, the big house of the village. Mr. Elliott informed us that the Mildenhalls of Bath he had interviewed, and that some were in good circumstances, but we have not been in touch with any of our Bath relatives for years and years, in face, no one now living knows anything about them. We hav always been under the impression that we were no relation to the Marridge Hill family and have never troubled to trace the link, but according to Mr. Elliott there is.

One curious connection of the family is this. Mrs. M. King (Miss Lizzie Mildenhall) Married my mother’s eldest brother. Mrs. Baker, of Milden Hall, Caling, London, was a Miss Mildenhall of Lambourn and is a cousin to father. Sir George Clement Martin, No. 4 Amen Court, St. Paul London, and is organist of St. Paul’s Cathedral, and his mother was a Miss Mildenhall of Lambourn, and is a distant cousin of ours.

I now remember there is also a town named Mildenhall near New Market in Cambridgeshire.

I beg to remain, yours faithfully,
Henry George Mildenhall.”

Letter from Edward George Mendenhall of South Africa

“I am the only Mendenhall in South Africa that I know of, and unfortunately the name may die with me, as my children so far are all girls. 

Natal has a beautiful climate, in fact, it has several climates. The coast is sub-tropical and the farther you go north the colder it gets. I live in Pietermaritzburg, which is about fifty miles inland. It is the capital of Natal, with a population of about 30,000; 20,000 white and 10,000 black and colored.

We have some very nice buildings, electric trams, and all or streats are macadamized. The town lies in a valley and is surrounded by hills, and is the healthiest town in the world. We have a military garrison called Fort Napier. Since the Boer War we have only one infantry regiment, but before there used to be two cavalry and two infantry regiments, making about 5,000 troops. The reason for this is that we are surrounded by about 929,000 Kafirs. Durban is the seaport and is much larger than Pietermaritzburg; has a population of about 60,000, of which 40,000 are white and 20,000 are colored and blacks. The summer, at times, is warm, but the winter is perfect. It will give you some idea of its present climate when I tell you there are 20,000 visitors there now. It has one of the best electric tram services; the buildings are very good as you will see by the views I sent you; it is a very up-to-date place, the hotels are first class, the docks are large and it is the principal seaport in South Africa, more so on account of its being a coaling station.

Natal is called the Garden Colony of South Africa. The scenery is grand; plenty of trees and forest. Natal is very good both for agriculture and raising stock. Ladysmith is the third largest town in Natal and is quite historical, owing to the late Boer War. It is not a very large place, only a few thousand inhabitants. Newcastle comes next and then Dundee. Both of these places are in great coal districts; all the northern districts are coal bearing; in fact, the whole colony is full of minerals. Land in Durban and Maritzburg is very high, although it has dropped a lot the last few years.  Natal is quite a hundred years in advance of the other colonies with some of her manufactures, viz: Sugar, tea, bark for tanning purposes, etc. There is hardly a thing used now but what Natal makes, such as soap, candies, jams, preserves, and hundreds of other things. The climate is well suited for tobacco raising. I am a director in two companies, tobacco planting and cigar making; also a fire-brick company. Although there is plenty of land, it is in the hands of the big holders. The Government is buying any big holder out so as to cut the farms up in 500 and 1,000 acre tracts for small holders. we haven’t much poverty; all our people are fairly well off; unfortunately we have too large a native population who are very lazy. Some years ago the Indian was introduced as a laborer and now we are finding him a curse to us. He competes with the small farmer.

Natal is a decidedly British country, its people are very fond of sports and we have a fine oval and pavillion where cricket and football are played. The tennis championships are being held in Dunbar just now. Two of my daughers are competing. My third daughter, 17 years old, is a strong player and I go in for it myself, being very fond of tennis.
I was on a visit to England in 1902 and intended visiting America; in fact, made arrangements with my American agent to go over to New York. When in England I met my London buyer’s brother, who came from Texas in America, and he looked up several of the Mendenhalls for me and spent several days with them. I had a letter from my cousin, E. G. Mendenhall, of Kinmundy, Illinois, but after that the correspondence stopped.

As you will see by the heading of my letter I have a general wholesale business. I am fairly well known in New York. My agents used to be Cadenas & Company, but they failed some time ago. Arkell Douglas does my shipping now. 

Our business houses here close at 2 o’clock on Saturday, which gives the workers a good break until Monday morning. Colonials, as a rule, are very steady and not by any means drinkers. Business seems to be improving and I intend enlarging my establishment the first of the year as I find my premises are not large enough.

The early part of the spring here was very dry and hundreds of thousands of sheep and lambs died for want of grass. Most of the up-country farmers, more especially the Dutch do not make provision for their stock in winter, consequently if there should be a dry spring their losses are great. Our Natal farmers are up to date. Should we be lucky enough to not have any hail storms we should have a good crop of fruit, but some of the up-country has been very unfortunate in having so many hail storms which destroyed the fruit and wheat. The ‘tick fever’ amongst the cattle has killed more than half the cattle in Natal, and is not abating. I have some choice pedigreed cattle, and they have escaped so far. Naturally this would make the greatest cattle raising country in the world but for this terrible disease which takes the animals off like the plague.

E. G. Mendenhall”

Beatrice, Nebraska, May 16th, 1910

“My father died in 1861, two or three weeks before I was born. My mother then married William Brown, with whom I lived until little more than fourteen years old, when I was taken in charge by my guardian, and lived with him one year. My brother was living at that time but died about four years ago. After leaving my guardian I worked at various jobs at various places, winding up at the railroad office at Yorkshire, where I was permitted to listen to the click of the telegraph, which seemed to have a fascination for me. Left Ohio in 1885, and have been with the Burlington railroad practically all the time since then. I have been married twice. First to Kittie Dietsch, at Rulo, Nebraska, and had one son Sterling Gottlieb, born July 11th, 1892, who still lives with me. My second marriage, to Lucy Libby, December 21st 1905, at Elk Creek, Nebraska, and have two boys, thoroughbred Mendenhalls. 1. James Levi, Jr., born October 12th 1906.  2. Thomas Irving, born August 21st, 1908.

Yours truly,
J. L. Mendenhall”

Letter from Minnie E. Warner dated August 1910

“Hiram Warren, was born in Montgomery County, Indiana, March 10th, 1828. His parents and all his ancestors as far back as known, were Quakers. His father died when he was sixteen years old. The family lived on a farm near Darlington, Indiana, and were all members of the Graveley Run Quaker meeting. He married Nancy Ann Kenworthy (Quaker ancestry) Dec. 16th, 1847, and live some years in Lafayette, Indiana, working at house paining, then moved to Darlington, Ind., and lived there until 1854, when he moved to LeSuer County, Minnesota, where he pre-empted 160 acres of government land. Lived on this farm for six years, then owned a mill and lived at LeSuer, Minn., for six years, and them moved to Rapidon, Blue Faith County, Minnesota, where he was a part owner of a large flour mill. Here his six children grew up, were educated and most of them married. In 1892, with his wife and two of his daughters, he moved to Whittier, California, where he owned a fifteen acre orange ranch. He died in 1895 at the age of sixty-seven. his wife, lingering behind him in the care of her daughter to the age of eighty-one years,dying in 1910. After leaving Indiana, he and his wife united with the Methodist Church in which they were active and useful members til the day of their death. Hiram was always a jobial and even tempered man, greatly beloved by all who knew him, especially children. He had deep blue eyes, brown curly hair, an attractive smiling face, and in the middle of life grew stout in build and rather bald.”

“My grand parents’ family settled in Pennsylvania. They came from England with William Penn, and settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There they held extensive lands and city property. They leased large holdings in Philadelphia for ninty-nine years to promotors. It seems as time went by somebody tampered with records and the key was lost to the records. In the course of time a portion of our people came west and settled at Richmond, Indiana. From Richmond, my grandparents moved to Crawfordsville, Indiana, (or there about). In 1845 my grandfather died, leaving a widow and a large family (there were fourteen children). It became necessary for a part of them to shuffle for themselves, leaving my father and three younger children at home to care for the farm. Father went to Noblesville, Indiana, where he married Lydia Burgess. She died and he then married Elizabeth S. Johnson, of West Middleton, (my mother who died in 1896). Father then married Flora M. Ellis, of Kokomo, Indiana, in 1899, he died Nov. 13, 1907. I entered the railway mail service in 1907, and have made my home in Peoria, Illinois, since 1898. Am not married.

Yours truly,
Glen E. Mendenhall”

Letter from Arthur R. Mendenhall, May 5, 1910

“While I have my great grandfather’s Bible, it does not give  ch of the family history, nothing but the records of the births. I know very little of our family history, beyond what my grandfather told me years ago when I was a boy, that his father Samuel was born and raised near Germantown, Pa., being a descendant of a man who came to this country with William Penn.

The family were all Quaker until my great grandfather and his father were cast out of the church for hauling cannons for General Washinton’s army at the battle of Germantown. Sometime after he left home and went to Charlestown, Jefferson County, Va., and married the widow Hannah Parks, whose maiden name was Griswold, and lived there until his death in 1825. In 1815 he bought two sections of land in what is now Jackson Township, Muskingum County, Ohio, near Frazysburg, O., and divide it between his five children of whom my grandfather, Richard Chancy, was one and they came here and settled upon it shortly after. The other, being the youngest brother, Thomas, and the three sisters. Thomas did not stay here very long but went farther west and I believe his descendants are living in Montana. The others lived at Frazysburg, O., until their death. Only one of the sisters (Lydia) has any descedants now living in this vicinity.”

Letter from Richard Park Mendenhall

“My history is that of an average farmer; was born and raised on a farm and farming has been my occupation the most of my life. I did not get rich, but have made a comfortable living. In 1852, I went West and spent nearly three years at railroad surveying in Illinois and iowa, as assistant engineer, and helped to run the first railroad line across Iowa, from Lyons to Council Bluffs, and was present and saw the first shovel full of earth moved for a railroad in Iowa, in May 1853. Returned home in the summer of 1855, and worked on the home farm until I was married in 1863; then moved on an adjoining farm and i have followed farming ever since. I spent some time in the United States Army in the war of 1861-1865; and was a Justice of the Peace for thirty years. My wife died Sept. 27th, 1905. Since then my oldest daughter has been keeping house for me. I am now about 80 years old and am badly crippled with rheumatism.”

Letter from Georgia Frame Mendenhall, wife of J. Lindlay Mendenhall

“Waynesville, O., Dec., 19, 1911
“Dear Sir:

It was not our intention to delay writing, but hoped to have found more information to send.

My husband thinks you can probably obtain more facts from his cousin Mrs. Lizzie De Armond of Merion, Pa., than anyone with whom he is acquainted. It is her opinion that we are from the John line, but do not know her grounds for thinking so.

Very truly,
Mrs. J. L. Mendenhall”

Summary of letter from Milton Mendenhall

“His father, Ellwood, was of the fifth generation. He of the sixth, Horace of the sevent and the children of Horace were born on the farm that was deeded to his ancestors by William Penn, and as he understands it, there was originally 1000 acres of this tract. All has passed out of the family name except the farm of 130 acres where Milton lives and owns. Mendenhall post office and station is now a part of the original Mendenhall Tract and was owned by and the home of his father at the time of his death about 1894, at the ripe old age of 87 years. The town was named for him and he richly deserved the honor.”

“I was born on a fruit farm of five acres, that was an ideal farm for its size; attended common school at the same place until 1901. My parents, being of a religious turn of mind, compelled we children to attend the “Friend’s” church regularly at the same town. My mother died, leaving my father to care for we children and pay off the mortgage on the place, which had been contracted during my mother’s long siege of sickness. Glenn, Adell, Mildred, William, and I, the youngest of Simeon’s childrn, remained at home during the summer; about the time school started in 1898, Glen went to stay with an uncle, Jot Johnson, of Carmel, Indiana. Adell went to stay with an aunt, Lydia Phelps, of Noblesville, Indiana. Mildred went to stay with an uncle Elihu Mendenhall, of New Castle, Indiana, while William and I remained at home. Later in 1901 my father married a Mrs. Flora Ellis of Kokomo, Indiana. He then moved to Sycamore, Indiana, where he rented a fruit farm. Previous to this time Adell and Glenn had returned home, but as live was not the most pleasant at home, Adell soon left, then I went to West Middleton, where i worked for my board and completed my common school education in 1903. Glen went to West Middleton, the summer of 1902, and also attended school at that place. William wet to live with an aunt, Synath Ferrell (mother’s side) at Lynchburg, Ohio, where he completed high school. After we children had left home, my father quit farming and put all his time attending to the railroad station. He lived at Sycamore, Ind., until he died Nov. 13, 1907. After completing my common school education, I worked on different farms at Sycamore and West Middleton, until August 1st, 1905, when I was tempted to try the harvest fields of North Dakota. By going alone and having no place to go, I naturally followed the advice of ticket agents and landed at Cando, North Dakota, where men were scarce and wages high. I have been in North Dakota since, except for a short period during the winter of 1906 and 1907, when I attended Lain’s Buisiness College at Indianapolis, Indiana. I entered school again in the fall of 1907, at the North Dakota Agricultural College and have been here ever since during school season. At College I have many friends and was elected delegate to the Young Mens’ Christian Association, to the Students Volunteer Convention, held at Rochester, New York, in 1909 and 1910 and am now Vice President of the Association. My future plans are to follow veterinary as a profession.

Your’s truly,
Dean Warren Mendenhall”

Excerpt of a letter written by Mary Malissa Mendenhall

“My parents (William and Elizabeth) were the first travelers over the National Road from Washington, D. C., to St. Louis, going east from Indianapolis , after he had blazed the trail. Towards evening they stopped in the woods to prepare camp for the night. Soon after dark the wolves began to howl and ventured so close that father had to throw fire brands at them until nearly day light, while mother held the horses.”

Letter from Ada L. Barnhardt

“Dear Sir,

My mother was a Mendenhall and my father Lewis D. Stubbs, was a descendant of Phineas Mendenhall upon his mother’s side. The history of the Mendenhalls was a matter that my father spent a great deal of time upon and he hoped that Professor Elliot would succeed in printing his book. I understand that Professor Elliott is probably fatally ill. (Since deceased.)

The line of our mothers family is as follows:
John, the emigrant | his son James | his son Phineas | his son Caleb | his son Kirk, who married Amanda Woodward | their daughter Emily Adeline, born May 7th, 1936, and died Feb. 23, 1908. Married Lewis D. Stubbs | and their children | Ada Luella and Edna.

My father’s line:
John, the emigrant | his son James | his son Phineas | his daughter Mary, married McKee | their daughter Sarah, married John Jones | their daughter Mary, married Jesse Stubbs | their son Lewis D., married Adelaide Mendenhall who were my father and mother; also Julia Ann, a sister of Lewis D. Stubbs, married John A. Mendenhall, a son of Griffith. This is the full complete line of our own family.

Very truly,
Ada L. Barnhardt

Letter from William K. Mendenhall dated April 15th, 1912

“I am eclosing you some matter regarding the family on the blank supplied and have sent the other one to my aunt Mrs. S. Z. Black, at present living at La. Grange, Ga., who is very much more familiar with the family history than I am and have asked her to fill out with all the information she can give. 

I am enclosing you herewith an account of the raising of the first American flag in foreign waters, by my great grandfather Capt. Thomas Mendenhall. Also you will find a health report from the city of Wilmington, Del., during the time that the same Capt. Mendenhall was president of the Board of Health of that city.

I would ask that you take car e of these articles and return to me as promptly as possible as I value them very highly. I also have a Masonic Jewel of the same Thomas M., that he wore for a number of years during the time that he lived in Buenos Ayeres, South America, but i would prefer not to send this as it would make no special addition to the book.

I have at different time during the five or six years given quite a lot of material to Prof. Elliott, but could not duplicate the matter at the present time. If there is any further information that I can give you, I will be most pleased to give it; for I want all the information of the family that we can get, and when the book is published I want a copy of it. 

Shall be pleased to help you all I can, and will urge my aunt to get the matter for you at once, and tell her the urgency of the case.

Very truly yours,
W. K. Mendenhall”

Letter from M. W. Mendenhall dated June 11, 1911

“Dear Sir

We are not sure to which line we belong. Great grandfather Nathan had 2 brothers who came to North Carolina with him, and one was named Joseph. I think both the other brothers left families and the great grandchildren now living at Thomasville and Gilford County and Goldsboro. I don’t know any of them. Nathan emigrated from pennsylvania sometime in 1700. Nathan Mendenhall married Rebecca Duckworth. Raised two children named Robert and Sallie. Nathan died 98 years old. Sallie Mendenhall married a Floyd. A grandson of his is now postmaster in Spartansburg, South Carolina. Robt. Mendenhall married Annie Hoyle in 1803. He died in 1859. Annie died in 1857. They had 14 children. twins died in infancy. Mary born 1705, and married W. A. Henderson, and had 7 children, who are now all dead. Margaret Mendenhall born 1807. Died 1870 unmarried. Nathan Mendenhall born 1809, married Mary Torrence and had two sons who died in the civil war, one a preacher. His wife died in 1879. He married Rebecca Torrence, who still lives near Gastonia and married a Rhine.

Joseph H. Mendenhall born 1811, married Abi Rudicli, (both dead) went to Arkansas. Had 7 children, last heard of. Rebecca Mendenhall, born 1813, married J. A. Kelly and raised 4 children, 3 sons and one daughter. Jacob Mendenhall, was born 1815 in Arkansas, married, wife’s name unknown. Both dead: had five children, all dead but one. He was living in Colorado, least heard from named Jacob also.

Robert Mendenhall born 1817. Died 1889, married A. E. Wallace; she died 1886. They had eight children and raised five, namely, M. W., M. J. Laura, J. M., Mary, A. and E. B. Mendenhall. All dead but three.

Sarah L. Mendenhall, born Sept. 1819, and married Andrew Falls in 1837. He died in 1850 and she died in 1906. They had four children, two living: A. R. Walker and M. E. Edwards. M. E. Edwards had three children living.

J. J. Mendenhall, born 1821; was never married. Died in 1890.

Eli Mendenhall, born 1823 and married Jane Rhyne. Both are dead. Had eight children. Three are now living.
Michael F. Mendenhall, born 1825, and died 1857, unmarried.

Elmira Mendenhall, born 1827, and married Wm. McIntosh. Both are dead. Raised six children, four living. 25 grandchildren.

The writer of this is a son of Robert and grandson of Robert, and great granson of Nathan, and has three sons and three daughters, and ten grandchildren living. I am 66 years old and my sons’ names are J. B. of Greer, S. C., C. E., B. and Robert E. of Charlotte, N. C. formerly of Burlington. Daughters, Annie, Pearl, and Jennie.

M. W. Mendenhall”

“T.A. Mendenhall — Dear Sir,

Your folder at hand. Is my branch of the family included in the Mendenhall History? My grandfather was Marmaduke T. Mendenhall, son of Elijah, son of James (founder of Jamestown). My father James Kirk Mendenhall, and Pauline Elizabeth were the only children. Prof. Elliott, late of John Hopkins University, was for some years compiling a history of the family. I never saw the book, or, more correctly, I do not know whether he completed the task. At any rate he was a first cousin of my father and originally came from Wiltshire, England; the name was first Mildenhall. I have a letter, very interesting, written in 1849, by Edward Mendenhall, 113 Main street, Cincinnati, O. He goes into detail and seems very well informed, about pedigree of the family. (He was first publisher of the Mendenhall history.) I’ll not write more, feeling that from these facts you can easily guess whether I am in your line of descent. My grandfather was a Quaker of North Carolina, but lived most of his life at Charleston, South Carolina.

Have you written my brother Dr. James N. Mendenhall, Plano, Collin County, Texas? He is a highly educated M.D., and an honor to the name he bears. I congratulate you on the completion of your well deserved task.

Very truly,
Mrs. Henry W. Allen (nee Mary Mendenhall)”

My father, James Nathan, along with his brothers and one sister, Mary E., who married Professor Davis, are the last names on the chart of one particular line which I do not remember. My grandfather, one of the thirteen children, was the son of James, and it is after this ancestor that my father was named. I am in the insurance business, being the manager of the Southern Live Stock Insurance Company, of High Point. My brother and I attended college at Guilford College, North Carolina, graduating in the same class in 1895, both taking the degree of Bachelor of Arts. My further career is as follows:  In 1895 and 1896, I taught High School at Lexington, North Carolina. In the winter of 1896 and 1897, I attended college at Haverford, Pennsylvania, taking the A. B. degree in 1897. In the winter of 1897 and 1898, I was still at Haverford, Pennsylvania, where I took the A. M. in the Spring of 1898. Taught Latin and History in Bridgewater College, Va., during the winter of 1898 and 1899. In the fall of 1899 I went into business, being the manager of two plants making chairs until January 1909, when I came to High Point, in July of 1909 to make the management of the Southern Live Stock Insurance Company. No children.

Your’s truly,
Ottis Earl Mendenhall

Letter from Thomas Corwin Mendenhall

“I quite the following from a biographical sketch of my father, prepared by Mr. H. D. Smalley, and published in the newspapers at the time of his death in 1893.

Stephen Mendenhall, was born Sept. 29th, 1805, in Delaware County, Pa., a great great-grandson of Benjamin Mendenhall, who emigrated with the part sent out by William Penn, from the manor of Mildenhall, Wiltshire, England, where the ancestors of the family lived. When he was only a few years of age the parents of Stephen Mendenhall emigrated to what was then the extreme west, settling in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. There he lived during the war of 1812, many incidents connected with which he remembered perfectly and described with interest up to the last years of his life. Shortly after the close of this war, his mother being left a widow, he was taken back to Delaware County, Pennsylvania, where he spent his early youth in the family of a relative. He attended a ‘Friends’ Select School,’ and though depreived of further opportunities for securing an education, he was throughout his life an incessant reader and might fairly be called a well educated man. On October 1, 1829, he was married to Mary Thomas, and in 1834 they emigrated to Ohio bringing with them two small children and settling near the village of Hanoverton, Columbiana County, Ohio. their effects were carried on wagons and three weeks were occupied in the journey. In 1852, in order to enjoy better facilities for the education for their children, they moved to Marlboro, Stark County, where they resided continuously until the death of Mrs. Mendenhall in 1881.

After the death of his wife he spent the remaining years of his life with one or another of his children.

The family of the Mendenhalls have belonged to the Society of Friends since before the time of Penn, and Stephen was raised in that faith. He was one of the early Abolitionists of Eastern Ohio, and was earnestly and unselfishly devoted to the anti-slavery cause, in which he was associated with such men as Parker Pillsbury, Marius Robinson, Charles Griffen and many others. He was uncompromising in his opposition to what he believed to be wrong and hesitated at no personal sacrifice in his devotion to duty. his home was a station on the “underground railroad” and many a fleeing fugative from the south received aid and comfort there and was helped along on his way to freedom in Queen Victoria’s dominion in North America. During his long life he had been an intelligent observer of the political, social and material revolutions which have characterized the nineteenth century and in some of them he bore an active part.

In his old age he more than once made the journey in a single day, which, when a young man, required three weeks to accomplish. That he could eat his breakfast near his birthplace and his supper the evening of the same day near his home in Ohio, to which he had traveled by wagon in 1834, epitomized to him the changes that the century which his life well nigh covered had brought about.

Thomas Corwin Mendenhall”

Letter from Mark C. Mendenhall

“I was born near Webster, Wayne county, Nov. 7th, 1873, and reared on a farm. Assisted my father in raising small fruit and vegetables, for market at Richmond, Indiana, in the summer time and attended school at Webster, during the winter season. Distinctly remember my first term at school when it was still affiliated with the Friends Church, and all pupils were required to march to church every fourth day. The church had by this time segregarated the sexes, by moving pannels in the center of the church. After my first year the authorities caused the attedance at the church to be optional according to the wishes of the parents. Being of the studious nature I finished up the common school course, and afterwards graduated from the grade high school with the average grade of 99 1/2 per cent, in final examination, the highest average made in this school.

In the fall of 1892, I entered Purdue University, at Lafayette, Ind., to take up the study of Electrical Engineering, but in a few days was obliged to return home on account of serious illness of my father; his death occurred three months later. On account of my mother’s ill health, and two younger sisters to support, I being the only son, I spent the next three years at home on a farm, and with the assistance of my mother and sisters got everything in shape so they could live independently of my services and I again entered the Purdue University. During the meantime, I had taken an examination for Railway Mail Clerk and just prior to opening of the school i received appointment as substitute in this service. Being now twenty-one years old, it was a great temptation to abandon the idea of going to school, and see some of our country as well as to be making money at the same time. I was assigned to the proper official at Indianapolis, and spent the next twenty months running on various railway postoffices, out of Indianapolis, St. Louis, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Ohio, Grand Rapids, Mich., Pittsburgh, Pa., and other places. i finally received an appointment to Class 1; on the Chicago, Richmond & Cincinnati R. P. O. on June 21st, 1899, and to class 5 or the head clerkship June 7, 1900. This was considered a great record, and the last promotion to clerk in charge has been heald for the past ten years. When nineteen years old, I was elected Supt. of the M. E. Sabbath School at Webster, Ind., and reelected the following year, and declined the third term after entering the railway mail service and was obligated to change my residence to Richmond, Ind.”

Letter from Jesse O. Mendenhall dated Jan. 17th, 1910

“My father, Oliver L., is still living and will be ninety years old the 26th of January, 1910. He came with his parents, William and Rebecca (Coffin) from North Carolina in the year of 1824 or 1826, and settled near Economy, Indiana. The family consisted of eleven children. Rufus died leaving no children. William is not living, but left several children. My father came to Henry County, Indiana, and in 1850 settled on a farm near New Castle, Indiana, his present home. I am a retired farmer and live at New Castle, Indiana. I have been the secretary and treasurer and adjuster of the Henry County Farmers’ Insurance Company for twelve years. We are carrying insurance to the amount of $1,500,000 in the county. I have always farmed and in connection have taught school in the country for fourteen winters, but have not taught for twenty-five years. Our family belongs to the “Friend’s” church.

Very truly,
J. O. Mendenhall”

“I have nothing special to say about the Mendenhall family. Our family is in good standing. That is generally the case among all the Mendenhall families I ever knew and am proud of the name.

Very truly yours,
Sarah E. M. Wyatt”

Indianapolis, Ind., July 6th, 1912

“Dear Sir, 

Enclosed you will find your printed list filled out as correctly as I am able to do.

My father, William C. Mendenhall was born in Wayne County, this state. His grandfather came from North Carolina, Gilford County, near New Garden Meeting House of Friends. Just what year he emigrated to Indiana, I am unable to say. I am almost sure at the time he emigrated from North Carolina also. The Mendenhalls that are in the eastern part of the state, came from these two families, (my father’s grandfather and a cousin of his). As my father did not marry until about thirty years of age and having no brothers, his uncles and aunts were nearly all dead, before I was able to know much of them.

I would have filled out this blank sooner and sent it to you before this, but thought I would go to Richmond and see if I could get some more imformation which I thought would benefit you. I went last Sunday, but being there only a day, i was unable to find anyone who could give me any information more than what I have given you.

My father went to school in Richmond and graduated from Earlham College, in the year of 1856, and taught school in the neighboring counties for ten years. Losing his health at this time, he learned the blacksmith trade and lived at Greensboro and Knightstown, working in his trade until 1873. He moved from Knightstown to Indianapolis, September 10th, 1873, and worked at his trade in Indianapolis till 1884. I myself learned the blacksmith trade with him, and we together engaged in the retail coal and feed business. I stayed with him at this business till 1888, my father remaining at this business until his death which occurred on December 19th, 1897.

After i left the business with my father, i accepted a position with the Indianapolis Cabinet Company, and was there until the fall of 1893, at which time i went to the Marion County Court House which is in this city, and stayed there as clerk until 1900, at which time i was elected Trustee of Center Township, Marion County. I served in this office as Trustee for four years. In 1900 i took the state agency for the U. S. Standard Voting Machine Company, and was with them for four years until 1908. Since 1908 I have been president of the Marion County Realty Company, in which I have held stock for a number of years. This is a company that handles real estate. It also has a building department and builds residences and sells them.

Very truly yours,
Pearson Mendenhall”

Letter from Otway C. Mendenhall

“I was born in Indiana. About three years and a half ago, I moved near Big Rapids, in the heart of Western Michigan. I am glad I came and have no other plans than that I am here to stay.

I was attracted to Western Michigan through the superor opportunities offered by the country as compared to the opportunities offered by the much advertised West and Northwest. However, I came very near locating in the west. I had land in Kansas, and that was some incentive to go there; I had land in Indiana, upon a macadamized country highway, within two miles of a city of 25,000 population and that was some inducement to remain at home. But I believe there were larger opportunities elsewhere, so I began to leisurely cast about and compare the west with the northwest, and Western Michigan with them both. 

After living in Michigan for two seasons and observing the conditions here carefully, I disposed of my interests in Indiana and kansas, and now operate my own farm of 400 acres. It is the early morning sunshine near Big Rapids that kills the lazy germs, and it is the results, that gets you ahead in the heart of Western Michigan.” 

Letter from Nathan Mendenhall written in 1911

“Father and Mother, (Jonathan and Ann) lived with them a few yearas, and that Jonathan was a great talker and joker, and would tell their children of Carolina happenings when a boy. He had no brothers but had several sisters. He married Nancy Ann Philips in North Carolina. His sister Phoebe married Billie Williams of Ohio, Rebecca and Elizabeth married Weisners, Sarah married Hainsley, Anna M., married Oybun, and the only one living now  and she is in her 87th year, and that she, Rhoda, went to see her at Lynn, Indiana, about her father’s family, but as she is quite old, she had forgotten.”

Letter from Albert Isaac Mendenhall of Dayton, Ohio

“I do not know the first names of the first Mendenhalls of my line who came to America. However I have been told that my line comes from one of the three brothers who emigrated from England to Virginia – or rather what is now North Carolina. At least one of these brothers later came west to Ohio. I think my grandfather’s early home was in Darke County. He was familiar with Dayton, Ohio, in the early eighteenth century, as I have heard him tell of coming here with their flour and whiskey, which they would ship via river to Cincinnati on a raft, on the spring freshet; selling the produce, together with the lumber of a raft, and returning horseback. He said Dayton at that time, was all in the space from the river south to what is now Third street; not even that far except a corduroy road. Below Third street was all swampy land. I think Joseph E. Mendenhall of Piqua, can give you more definite information about family connections. My father was a volunteer in the civil war. He died when I was quite young (about seven years old i think.) On my mother’s side my lineage traces to the Mayflower, via the family of Governor Bradford.

A. I Mendenhall”

Letter from William Delacy Mendenhall

Greensboro, N.C., July 4th, 1911

“Dear Sir,

We regret to have to announce to you that we had the misfortunate to lose our Greensboro Factory No. 3 by fire July 3, 1911, together with our kiln, dry, and storage sheds, which were all filled with valuable dry lumber. Our stock of hardwoods and cypress were stored in this plant and are almost totally destoyed.

The firemen, by heroic efforts, saved our two large Ashe street warehouses and factory; also our warehouse on Lewis street. In these buildings were stored most of our stock, sash, doors, and blinds and dressed lumber, and a great many of our unfilled orders can be filled entire without confusion or delay. In addition to the stock which was saved from the fire, we have at our Troy, N.C. plant, a large amount of stock which will be utilized in filling orders.
While the embers are still smouldering, we are setting up a shop in our Ashe street buildings, and will begin filling orders at once. The fire may cause some little delay in getting out contract work, but certainly for only a short while, and we bespeak the indulgence of our customers.

Such work as we cannot complete ourselves, we will sublet so that our customers will not suffer beyound a reasonable delay, and because of our misfortune, we will not continue our work in temporary quarters, but plans are being rapidly completed for rebuilding our entire plant on a larger and more up-to-date scale.

Yours truly,
W. D. Mendenhall, Treas.”

“I am the widow of James Williams, who at the time of his death, was editor of the Methodist Review, of New York City. My husband was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church at the time of his death. He was also an author of two books: “Echoes from Palestine” and “Plato and Paul.” He also had the degree of Ph. D. D. D. and L. L. D.

Very truly,

Olive S. Mendenhall”

“My husband has been president of Guilford College since the transformation of Mr. Garaus’ Braning School in the college in 1888; he has been largely instrumental in raising its endowment fun from about $3,000 to $175,000, and increasing the equipment from an old furnished building to a finely arranged modern school building. He has been clerk of the North Carolina yearly meeting for 24 years. I have also done what I have been able to assist in educational lines, especially laboring for the education of poor girls, have raised many thousands of dollars for this purpose and have helped to secure a beautiful building for them to live in, doing their own housekeeping. I have worked in the temperance and church work, and am often called upon for addresses, lectures, etc.; have written quite a variety of articles for papers, etc.

Sister Gertrude is a teacher of ability in mathematics; she is a graduate of Willesbury College. I was educated at the Haverland School at Univa Springe, N.Y., as were my sisters Laura and Julia. Genevian is a graduate of Guilford. Laura was quite an artist; studied art in Philadelphia. Our sons, except the oldest, are graduates of Guilford, N. C. My Uncle Cyrus had six children: Mary, Anna, Daisy, Percy, Abram, and Pearl: Anna and Daisy died young, Percy lived to be about 35, the others are living (in 1911). Mary married a man by the name of Nickolson, of whom I know no more; she is at present in Nashville, Tenn., with her two sons who are studying in Vanderbilt’s University. Abram, I believe, lives in Chicago. Pearl married a fine fellow, George Walker; they live in Massachusetts. Uncle Junius had no children.

Your friend,
Mary M. Hobbs”

“I am the fourth of five daughters; there were no boys in my father’s family, so our immediate family name will go out with this generation; all my sisters were married and Laura died about 15 years ago (about 1896). I have been teaching mathematics for 25 years, and hope to teach 10 years more. My health is reasonably good and I see no reason why I should stop now.

Very truly,
Gertrude W. Mendenhall
Greensboro, N.C.”

Columbus, Ga., June 9th, 1911

T.A. Mendenhall– Dear Sir:

Several days ago I received a card from you. I had written about half of the write-up I intended last fall, when my wife was taken sick. It was necessary for her to have an operation and she was in a sanitarium for quite awhile. I abandoned further work on the manuscript. When my wife recovered I had been to such a heavy expense that I began dairying on my farm near Columbus in order to recover the set back. About the same time I secured a transfer from the road to the transfer office. here my hours of duty were such that I could very nicely look after my side work. I undertook to keep down all expense I could by doing a good part of the work myself and was kept very busy.

The manuscript I had written was in some way misplaced and I have not been able to find it. I had collected quite a lot of data and have thought all along I would re-write the manuscript, but have not thus far, however, I will try to write you a short synopsis of what I had written. By the way, in my research I learned of one of my near cousins with whom I have enjoyed a pleasant conversation.

I have made several efforts to get the sketch of Uncle Thos. L.’s life, but have thus far failed. I am writing tonight to H. C. Mendenhall, of Mobile, Ala., son of Uncle Jas. H. He lived quite awhile in Simpson Co., Miss. I met H. C. last April while on a visit at Mobile, the only one of my Mendenhall relatives I have ever seen. I recently had a letter from Uncle Wm. Mendenhall’s wife who is still living at Wadesboro, N.C.  She married again after her husband’s death during the civil war. Mrs. Mary Hullman is her present name.

I have learned through the postmaster at Anson, N. C., that some of the old Mendenhall slaves are still living. I have again taken up my correspondence in an effort to get all the information about my branch of the family that I can. I have used all the blanks which you sent me, requesting that the same be mailed to you.

I accidentally learned that a family of Mendenhalls were living in Atlanta, Ga. I made an engagement and called on them. I don’t think you have their record. They don’t seem to know much of their Mendenhall ancestors. Mr. Mendenhall’s father died when he was very young. From what I could get from the conversation they belong to the John line. I give you their names: Absolom J. Mendenhall, wife Kate, two daughters, Grace L. and Mary L. Mr Mendenhall’s father’s name was James, but I don’t think he was great Uncle James, judging from his travels during life. This Absolom was born in Ohio; seems that he has lived in Colorado, New Mexico, Montgomery, Ala., Athens, Ga., and now Atlanta, Ga. I have learned there is a building in Atlanta known as the Mendenhall building. It is quite a nice affair and on one of the most popular streets.

I have located several of our line of the family. Received a letter from Cousin Ada (Mrs. Ada Ragan) Aunt Laura’s daughter. Also received the blank from Mrs. Mary Medley, Uncle Wm. A’s wife. She is 75 years old.

Yours truly,
T. L. Mendenhall

“West Newton, Ind., Jan. 4th, 1909
Dear Cousin,

In looking over some of my papers, I saw your card asking information about the Mendenhalls. As I am a Mendenhall on my mother’s side, I feel interested in the matter. I will give you a little history of that part of the family, with which I have been interested. The first Mendenhall, of which I have known, was John, who, with others, (Richard) took a jouney to Ohio, perhaps from North Carolina, and never returned. He was perhaps killed by the Indians, at least, and probably others afterwards moved to Green County, Ohio, bringing with him a large family of boys and girls. Of the boys, Richard, who was my grandfather, Aaron, and Joseph and a daughter, who married Anthanatius Barnett and moved to Marion and Morgan Counties, Indiana, at a place now called West Newton, near Indianapolis, Indiana. The other sons, William, Benjamin, and Nathan, remained near Spring Valley, Ohio. One daughter married Samuel Walton, and I think another married an Adams, and another a Stanford; all of these remained in Ohio. Of those who came to West Newton, Joseph and Aaron died here, and Richard with most of his children moved to Iowa, and a number of his descendants are living around Earlham, Iowa. The Edward Walton Company, who perhaps live near New Burlington, Ohio, may have the records that you would like to see. Ira Mendenhall, a grandson of the Mendenhall who was killed by the Indians, still have descendants at Mooresville, in Morgan County, Indiana, and at Carmelin, Indiana.

John D. Hawthorn”

“I was first married to William H. Bingman, on Oct. 4th, 1856, and to us were born three children. Two, Alonzo and Nancy J., died in infancy, and Lucinda Ann, who married Benjamin S. Hibbs, (now a retired farmer) lives in Earlham, Iowa. They have three daughtes: 1. Grace, who married Myers, of Phillips, a farmer of South Dakota, and they had two sons, Gardner and Marcellus. 2. A daughter, Mrs. C. H. Stewart of Delta, Col. Her husband is a lawyer and now a judge. The third daughter Hazel, a school and music teacher, lives at home. To William T. Wilson and I, were born two sons, William E., who now lives at Burr Oak, Kansas. He is a merchant and land owner. Charles H., is a carpenter, and lives at Brazille Mills, Nebraska. His family consists of a wife and baby Hazel. I am still living on the farm that William Bingman entered before our marriage, and it has been my home continually, ever since my first marriage. It is nicely situated, one mile north of Earlham, Iowa. I am now over 74 years old, but my heart is still very patriotic, having given my first husband, William Bingman, to my country, when he died in Andersonville Prison, and my second husband William T. Wilson, having served three years in the civil war before our marriage.

Mary Jane (Mendenhall) Wilson”

Letter from David Orlando Mendenhall dated June 10th, 1910

“Dear Sir,

I do not know but very little of the hisotry of our family. My father settled south of Marion County line in Indiana. The old homestead is yet plain in my mind, although I left there when about six years old. Father left the farm during the Civil War, and moved into the village of West Newton, where he purchased a grocery; from there he moved to Amo, Indiana, his present home. I was born in the old style home, of early days — the log cabin. it was a double house of two rooms, or two cabins built together, and if I remember rightly, one of them was weatherboarded, which was the way most of the residences were completed when they were double. The more wealthy class had all weather boards, but those times have changed and so have the people. We left the farm in 1863 or 1864. My first schooling was under Quaker discipline, and finally the other church people, organized a school which was held in a Methodist church at Newton. From there we moved to Amos, Ind., and at the age of sixteen, I commenced to learn carriage building, which I followed for ten years. Then I followed railroading for four years, when I gave that up, and went to work as lineman for the Western Union Telegraph Company, and am still in their service as electrician in the operating department at Cincinnati.

Yours Respectfully,
D. O. Mendenhall”

“My father died when I was six or eight months old, and my grandmother, Elizabeth took care of me until she died. I was then about twelve years of age and went to work for myself in the country at $4 a month. I did not have any education, so I went to live with my oldest brother, Thomas L. in Georgia, and went to school four months and worked on the farm, then i went back to Alabama and worked for my board and clothes and went four more months to school, then went back to Georgia and worked one year on the farm. In 1901 I went to Columbus, Ga., and got a job with the Golden Foundry & Medicine Co., at 75¢ per day; worked seven months when they raised my wages to 85¢ per day; afterwards I got work with F. H. Lummus & Sons Co., at $1.25 per day where I worked for one year when they raised my wages to $1.50 per day.

In 1903 I married Eva White; to us was born one daughter named Elizabeth. In 1904 my wife spent Christmas with her mother in Russel Co., Ala., where she contracted pneumonia and died, leaving me with a seven-month-old baby that her mother then took care of. I went back to Georgia and worked awhile for the Central Railway Co.; not being satisfied I went back to Alabama in 1905 and secured a job as second-class mechanist in a repair shop at $1.25 per day. In July, 1905, i went to work for the Daniel Pratt Gin Co., of Prattsville, Ala., at $1.75 per day, when I took up a course of studies with the J. C. S. Co. In 1907 I got a raise to $2.15 per day, when I married Mrs. Hodge. In 1907 I had the typhoid fever and was laid up for over two months. In 1908 I went to work at the rate of $2.15 per day and in 1910 my salary was $60 per moth, and worked at the mechanic trade.

Yours truly,
R. L. Mendenhall (Robert L. Mendenhall)
Prattsville, Ala.

I have but one brother living and two sisters, Judith who married Henley and Abigail Clark; both live in Rush County, Ind. My brother James, died in 1831. Nathan died in 1841. William the doctor in 1846. My sister Jermima died in 1821. Sisters Mary and Hannah died in 1824. Brother Nathan Sr., is a lawyer. Richard has two sons, one a doctor and the other a lawyer. The descendants are to numerous to mention. Reside in North Carolina and Rush County, Indiana. 

Your’s truly, 
Geo. C. Mendenhall

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