Part 1. Skeleton’s in the closet.
My father was a bastard son, born in 1924 on his great grandfather Samuel Ellsworth Oliver’s farm. His mother, my grandmother, Edith Celeste Payton, lived on the Iowa frontier when she became pregnant by her Irish boy friend.
Her parents, Frank Norman Payton and Ethel Farnsworth Oliver decided it would be best to send her away until the baby was born. Her younger sister followed suit three months later, but her child died at birth.
My grandmother boarded a train in south Chicago. She wore a loose cotton work dress to hide the small bump. Rather than be ridiculed and ostracized by school mates, she chose to leave just before she was showing, around the three month timeframe; September 1923.
Her beau remained behind in Linn County, and continued attending school in Cedar Rapids. In January, she received her last letter from him. It simply stated he was marrying an older woman in two weeks.
On 10 April 1924, my father was born Frank Norman Payton, after his grandfather in Iowa. He was delivered at the farm by his great grandmother Oliver. His birth certificate states place of birth, Putnam County Indiana, near Madison, on 10 April 1924. It also states mother; Edith C. Payton – born in Rantool Illinois, and father; Jay J. – born in Iowa. He lived on the farm for almost four years. His grapa Samuel raised him.
Samuel Ellsworth Oliver was a man, a real man. He was a timber logger at sixteen years old. At eighteen, grapa Oliver was a Railroad man, laying track and riding the rails as a load hand. He belonged to a close knit community of Irishmen who liked honest hard work. Saving every cent, he married his sweet heart. She was a feisty red headed Irish lass named Mary E., from the Morgan Clan. They bought a lovely 400 acres, and built their homestead farm.
On July 5th of 1898, my great grandfather Oliver enlisted for two years as a private with the 161st Indiana Volunteers, Company D, to fight with Teddy Roosevelts Rough Riders. He trained on horses for only three weeks, having know how to handle horses in harnesses on the farm and while working on the railroad as a laborer. His unit took a train to Florida, where they met up with Col Roosevelt. From there they ferried their equipment, men and horses to Cuba. My grapa returned as a Corporal after their battle of Havana against Spanish and Central American insurgents.
Roosevelt’s Raiders were credited with winning the Spanish-American War. My great grandfather was credited with staying alive. Nearly all the en were suffering from malaria. He returned to Mary and they raised a large family of eleven children; grapa’s great grandfather, John Oliver was an explorer following the Revolutionary War. He and two brothers travelled to the wilderness territory called Tennessee. They were the first white settlers in Cades Cove. (Now a Federal Park in the Appalachian Mountains).
John and James Oliver were two of twelve children who fought the British in Virginia and North Carolina. My great great grandfather Payton were there as well.
In Part 2. I’ll write about the arrival in the “Americas” in the 1600s. The Irish clans movements from the colonies into East and West Jersey in the Americas. How it was named from the Island south-west of England called Jersey. From 1660 until 1787, the colony was only called Jersey. Until after the 100 battles fought during the Revolution the new American colonists wrote the New Jersey Plan; to stop neighboring colonists from affirming their powers. In 1787 they became the third state of the Republic called New Jersey. Delaware was first and Pennsylvania as the probable capitol of the republic became the second state.
HISTORY MATTERS. My forefathers were there…at America’s birth.