NOTE: This is a Harvey family paper that was read before the Henry County Historical Society meeting held on April 28, 1921. The following family history is in Mahlon Harvey's own words.
So…… if you find something you think is wrong and/or inaccurate in the family report, Mahlon Harvey died on March 11, 1924 at the age of 87 years, so you or I can not contact him to correct it. He was going by what he remembered about his family.
The Harvey family dates back to the early settlers of Henry County, Indiana. They are the descendents of English and Scotch-Irish. My great grandfather, Benjamin, came from England and settled in North Carolina. He was the father of ten children, all lived to manhood and womanhood. He died in the South and after his death the family came to Indiana with their mother, I don't remember her first name. She made her home with my grandfather, Benjamin. He was the oldest of ten children. The family consisted of seven boys and three girls. Michael, John, William, Mrs. Commons and Mrs. Jackson settled in Wayne County, Ind. Near Centerville. Benjamin, James, Absolom and Nancy Harris came to Henry County and settled North of our city (New Castle) I omitted Evan, he was single and the youngest of the family. His brother-in-law John Harris who mistook him for a deer while they were out hunting accidentally killed him.
North of New Castle, my grandfather, entered 1280 acres of land, commencing at the North line of the J. C. Huddleson farm, the State now (1921) owns 480 acres of the two sections. Acy Hernly now (1921) owns my grandfather's old homestead, two hundred and forty acres. James and Absalom settled further up the little Blue River. Joe Clawson now (1921) owns the largest part of James' estate and James jr., who died recently, owned the Absalom farm. My Grandfather's family consisted of nine children, six boys and three girls. My father, Jacob, was the oldest. He was six months old when the family came to Indiana in 1810. He was married to Alcy Koons, and they were the parents of fourteen children, nine boys and five girls.
The writer of this piece was the fourth birth. There were two pair of twins, all boys, the first pair died at the age of eleven months with the whooping cough. One died one day and the other the next day. I was three years old but I remember it better than things that happened last week. They were both buried in one poplar coffin, made by Samuel Canaday. The bodies and family were conveyed to the cemetery at Messick on the William Millikan farm. There was no village of Messick there then. Or neighbor Richard Haynes hauled the family and the bodies to the cemetery in a farm wagon. Out of a family of fourteen children and parents there are three still living, brother Miles, who will be eighty years old on his next birthday and the youngest of the family, sister Catherine Murdick, who will be sixty-six on her next birthday in December. And we are about as far apart as we can get. Brother lives in Oklahoma, sister in California and I am the only one who remains in Henry County.
When our father went broke in 1856, shipping hogs to New York, he lost everything he had. In the spring of 1857 he had to move off the farm and all he took with him was seven children and his household goods. I was just twenty years old at the time. I hired out to my Uncle Daniel for ten dollars per month for nine months and worked through the winter for my board. I worked for him in 1857 and 1858. I had hired on for 1859 but in February 1859 gold was discovered in Pike's Peak, so I told my Uncle if he would let me out of my contract I would go in search of the yellow metal.
I had saved $125.00 in the two seasons I had worked, so he let me off and I went, and I was a little lucky. I came back with $500.00. I took that and bought my parents a little home in Windfall. I returned to Henry County with just $20.00 in my pocket and got married to Miss Amelia J. Williams, who by-the-way is still living. We have been living together for the last 61 years, we are yet among the living old pioneers, and the oldest Harvey still living.
Then comes Uncle William Harvey, who married Catherine Koons, a sister of my mother. They had one girl and four boys. His family has all died except two boys, John, who here in New Castle and Dolph who lives in Kansas.
Then comes Aunt Elizabeth, she married Henry Koons, brother to my mother. They had one son who married the late James Loer's daughter.
Next is Aunt Malinda Harvey, who married Aquilla Davis. They were the parents of seven children, five boys, Harvey, Richard, Badge, Mark and Evan, and two girls who are now dead, the oldest Curwinta, who married Mathew B. Millikan, and Viretta, who married the late Henry Hernly who was scalded with water by his brother-in-law, Richard Davis, here in New Castle, when his furnace exploded.
Harvey, Badge and Mark are all citizens of New Castle and all are well-to-do. Then comes Uncle James, he married a Millikan. They had a total of six children, five boys and one girl. The family members are all dead except Leander and Rebecca Hernley, both are citizens of New Castle and live in comfortable homes. Next there's Uncle Page Harvey, he married Cynthia Haguewood, an aunt to William Haguewood the butcher. They had a total of four children, all are dead but one girl, Ice Ramsey, who lives in California. Emaline married Abraham Hernley, she died in Crawfordsville, Indiana. The two boys, Clinton and Harley, died near Hillsboro.
Next comes Uncle Levi, he married a Riddon, they had five children, William, Arlando, Jacob, Mrs. John Richie and Mrs. George Thompson. Arlando and Mrs. Richie are still living. Arlando lives on Grand Avenue and Mrs. Richie lives on their farm East of Mt. Summit.
Next comes Uncle Daniel, he married a Millikan, the sister of Uncle James's wife. They had four children, all girls. Katherine the oldest died just as she grew into womanhood. The other three are Mrs. Lizzie Kerr, widow of the late Joseph Kerr, who lives on South Main Street with her estimable son. Her daughter Phoeba lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She married an Englishman by the name of Thompkinson and they have one child and are very comfortably fixed. Linna married Dr. Hess and they have one son and live in the town of Cadiz. He is one of the leading citizens of that town.
Next, and the last, is Aunt Rebecca who married John Goudy a schoolteacher, and I must say they cap all of the rest of the Harvey family. They had twelve children born to them, but I'm not able to classify them, not knowing just how they are divided between the boys and the girls. I do remember a surprise birthday party we gave my Aunt Rebecca a few years before she died. There were about fifteen to twenty who went from here to Kennard where she her home with one of her daughters. Mrs. Craig and the children and great grandchildren, anyway, Mark Davis and I counted all of them, I have forgot the exact number, but it was over 140.
So…. If anyone knows of any family that can come up to the family I would be pleased to hear from you.
Mahlon D. Harvey
April 28, 1921