Phoebe Josephine Teeple

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          One of the delights of genealogy is the successful tracking of the lead offered by an initial find. One evening when I was asking Google for Teeples, I found a photograph of Phoebe Josephine Teeple as wife of Charles Blakeman, posed on their farm property in Custer Co NE with three small boys. (Nebraska State Historical Society, P.O. Box 822554, 1500 R Street, Lincoln NE 68501, on a web-site called "Prairie Settlement: Nebraska Photographs and Family Letters, 1862-1912.") I don't believe I have the right to reproduce it here. Go look for yourself.

          It took me several months, with the help of others, but here is what we learned about the lady's family.

          Details accompanying the photograph read, "Now lives in Merna with his daughter, Mrs. Zeig." Identified by Deputy Sheriff E. M. Thompson of Broken Bow, Nebraska, October 24, 1932. In 1980, David Wilson of the Custer County Historical Society added this identification: "The sod house stood at the SW corner of NW 1/4 6-17-22 in Custer County. The persons in the photograph, from left to right: John Blakeman, born 16 Oct 1885, Phoebe Josephine (Teeple) Blakeman, wife of Charles, holding Charles Homer Blakeman (b 15 Feb 1889 -d.14 Sep 1974), Charles (E.?) Blakeman (born near Crown Point, IN, Bur. Merna, NE) holding Howard Blakeman, born about Aug 1887.

          Then I found a biography of Charles Blakeman which read as follows: (and I've underlined the significant passage) "Charles E. Blakeman is one of the best known farmers and stock men of Custer county, where he was one of the early settlers. He makes a specialty of raising shorthorn cattle, in which line he is very successful, being one of the largest landholders of central Nebraska. Mr. Blakeman was born in Lake county, Indiana, November 28, 1856, and was the third in order of birth of the five children of John and Lucinda (Williams) Blakeman, the father a native of England and the mother of Ohio. He has one sister, Mrs. Charles Hipsley, in Broken Bow, Nebraska, and another sister living in Indiana. John Blakeman came to America when about twenty years of age and located first in Ohio, but later removed to Indiana, which is now his home. He enlisted in an Indiana regiment for service in the civil war. His wife died in Indiana in the fifties.

          "In boyhood Charles Blakeman attended the public schools of Indiana, and as a young man, spent four years at railroad work in Chicago. In June, 1884, he removed to Saunders county, Nebraska, and on February 3, 1885, in Omaha, was united in marriage with Josephine Teeple, who was born in Indiana, daughter of Phillip and Margaret (Pringle) Teeple, natives of Canada. The mother died in Canada in 1865 and the father now lives in North Dakota. Mrs. Blakeman has two brothers in Hammond, Indiana. After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Blakeman came to Custer county and secured a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres on the northwest quarter of section six, township seventeen, range twenty-three, which was the home place for several years. Mr. Blakeman was very helpful in the organization of school district number two hundred and forty one, and has served as a member of its board most of the time since. He and his wife were among the first settlers on West Table and for many years were unable to strike water for locating a well, so had to haul water from a distance. They have six children: John P., Howard, Homer C., Wallace E., Otto C. and Bessie B., all at home except Howard.

          "After passing through years of privation and hardship, Mr. Blakeman achieved a notable degree of success in his farming operations. He has in his possession twenty-three hundred and seventy-five acres of land, of which twenty-two hundred and fifteen acres are in the home place, which is one of the best equipped farms in his part of the state. He has some fine shorthorn cattle and a number of high bred horses and has one thousand acres under cultivation. The family stand well in the opinion of their neighbors and have a wide circle of friends." (source: NEGenWeb Project, Resource Center, On-Line Library Compendium of History, Reminiscence and Biography of Nebraska, containing a History of the State of Nebraska; Chicago: Alden Publishing Co, 1912)

          In 1920, Charles Blakeman was 64 years old, born IN, father born England, mother born OH, general farmer, living with Josephine 50 born IN, both parents born Canada, Howard 33, Homer, 30, Otto 26, and Bessie 19, all born NE. (source: 1920 census, Cliff Twp, Custer Co NE, ED 79, sheet 3A, page 1451 or 3612 or 102)

          One of my fellow researchers, Marlin Criddle, found the cemetery. Charles Blakeman "Father" 1856-1936 and Josephine Blakeman "Mother" 1860-1925 (source: Kilfoil Cemetery. This is a public cemetery and is accessible from the road. Take highway 70/92 and go 1 mile west of Merna, Custer County, Nebraska, then turn and go north for 12 mile. Found on <> March 2003)


          What a bonanza! Where to go from here? I thought I'd follow the children first and then go back to the grandparents. The census records were easy to find and the Kilfoil cemetery told a good bit of their stories. From those two sources alone, I learned a good deal about Josephine's children and their families.

John P. Blakeman
          The photograph says that John was born 16 Oct 1885.

          In 1920, John P. Blakeman was 34 years old, born NE, father born IN, mother born Canada, farmer, living with Anna M. 28 years old, born NE, both parents born Germany, and Bernice M. 4/12 years old born NE. (source: 1920 census, Triumph Precinct, Custer Co NE, ED 94, sheet P7B, page 3093 or 0992)

          John P. Blakeman "Father" 1885-1929 and Anna M. L. Blakeman "Mother" 1891-1935 (source: Kilfoil Cemetery. same info as above)

Howard Blakeman
          Howard was described in the photo as "born about Aug 1887." In 1930, he was single, living with his brother Otto's family (source: 1930 census, Cliff Twp, Custer Co NE, district 11, p. 0001 or 100?) He died and was buried in the same Kilfoil Cemetery as the rest of the family, "Howard Blakeman 5 Aug 1887 - 18 May 1960."

Homer C. Blakeman
          Homer was described in the photo as "b 15 Feb 1889 - d.14 Sep 1974." In 1930, Homer C. Blakeman was 31 years ofl, born 1888 in NE, living in Kilfoil, Custer Co NE, 23 when married, with wife Hazel H 28, 21 when married, born NE, father born PA, mother born IN, and daughter Carrie J. 3 years old, born NE. (source: 1930 census, Kilfoil Twp, Custer Co NE, district 25, p. 184 (or 2451).)

          As with the others, much was learned from the Kilfoil Cemetery. "Homer Charles Blakeman Feb 15 1889-14 Sep 1974," also wife and "married Jun 12, 1923" and on the same stone, "Hazel Empfield 16 Feb 1902 - 25 Aug 1987" and "married Jun 12, 1923."

Wallace Blakeman
          In 1930, Wallace E. was 39 years old, born 1890, 23 when married, general farmer, living in Cliff Twp, Custer Co NE with Nellie /Millie I 37, 21 when married, Jack W. 14, and Donald E 12, Doris A 9, Charles H 4 9/12, and Paul D 1 1/12. (source: 1930 census, Cliff Twp, Custer Co NE, ED 11, page 2A)

Otto C. Blakeman
          In 1930, Otto C. Blakeman was 36 years old, born 1893 in NE, married at age 26, living with wife Alice A. 34 born NE, married at age 24, both parents born Germany and his brother Howard 38 born NE. (source: 1930 census, Cliff Twp, Custer Co NE, district 11, p. 0001 or 100? Again, from the Kilfoil Cemetery, "Otto C. Blakeman Father 1894-1969" and "Alice A. Mother 1895-1969" and "married Feb 4, 1920" As well, their son is buried in Kilfoil. "Harold D. Blakeman son 1921 ­ 1993."

          The inscription customs in that cemetery were just terrific. A great big thank you to the Custer Co genealogical workers for the transcriptions!

Bessie B. Blakeman
          In 1930, Charles E. Blakeman was 74 years old, born 1855 in IN, living in Merna, Custer Co NE, living with his daughter Bessie B 24?, married at age 20? (very hard to read), husband Jacob C Zieg, 35, born Russia, brick mason, both parents born Russia, married at age 29, and sons Harry E. 8, and Earl W. 6 (source: 1930 census, Merna Twp, Custer Co NE, E. D. 24, p. 6951)


          Now, let's turn back to see what we can learn about Josephine's two brothers, presumably living in Hammond IL. Hammond lies in Lake County IL and so I began a search for any genealogical information in that area. I found two male Teeples born in Canada, living in Lake Co IL who might possibly be Josephine's brothers: Jacob Teeple, born about 1859 and William R. Teeple, born about 1865. I also found a little bit about Josephine herself.

Jacob Teeple
          Jacob Teeple was a member of a Sunday School class in Winfield Twp, Le Roy M.E. School. (source: T.H. Ball, Editor and Publisher for the Lake County S. S. Union, Crown Point,Indiana 1891. The Sunday Schools of Lake. An account of the commencement and growth of the Sunday Schools of Lake County, Indiana, from about 1840 to 1890).

           Jacob Teeple, 21, was a boarder, with the family of William Beach, born OH. Jacob was born Canada, both parents born Canada. (source: 1880 census, Winfield Twp, Lake Co IN ED 70, p. 548 B)

William R. Teeple
          William Teeple married Addie Mushrush 15 Aug 1887 in Lake Co IN. (source: Indiana Marriages Index, transcribed to CD for Heritage Quest: Lake Co, Book E, p. 165)

          In 1930, William R. Teeple was 65 years old, born IN, father born Canada, mother born IN, a switch (tester) for Railroad, with Addie 58 years old, born IN, father born OH, mother born NY, and son Walter J 24 born IN. (source: 1930 census, Hammond City, North Twp, Lake Co IN, ED 147, sheet 1A, p. 57)

Josephine Teeple
          In 1880, Josephine Teeple was 19 years old, born IN, both parents born IN, working as a chambermaid, living in a very large boarding house run by John and Eliza Corcoran on West 12th Street in Chicago. Possibly her work was in the boarding house, because she was listed as a servant there, not a boarder. (source: 1880 census, Chicago, Chicago Twp, Cook Co IL, district 65, p. 37 B)

          Although there's not much by way of proof for the above threesome's links as siblings, there are a number of inferences that make the information worth hanging onto. I'll leave you readers to look back through the info to see what I mean.


          The next step backwards leads to the parents of Josephine and her siblings. The major clue here comes from the biography above where Charles Blakeman identifies his wife's parents as Phillip Teeple and Margaret Pringle of Canada.

          The Ontario records of this couple are almost non-existent.

          There is one family letter, written by Phillip's mother in which she runs down ­ what a blessing for us ­ a list of her children's names and a bit about them. What she says about Phillip is this, "and Philip is maried [sic] to Margret Pringle . . ." (source: part of a letter from Rachel Teeple to "dear sister and brother" in Iowa, probably in the 1850s, original in possession of Leora Saurteig, descendant of Elizabeth Teeple and William Cox's son Julian, transcription made by Sandy Wilbur, 4367 SE 16th St Gresham OR 97080-9178)

          The most striking record is Margaret's tombstone inscription. "Margaret M./wife of/Philip Teeple/died Nov. 8, 1865/aged/29 yrs., 2 mo./& 10 d's/The Lord gives and/The Lord hath taken/away, blessed be the/name of the Lord" (source: cemetery transcription by Hamilton Branch OGS, Bowman United Church Cemetery, highway 53 between Southcote Rd and Glancaster Rd, Ancaster Twp, Wentworth Co ON)

          About their children, the records are silent, except for the Crowell Smith papers. Smith was a Hamilton, Ontario dweller who collected all kinds of information on his Smith family and any of its in-laws. The part that mentioned the Teeples was apparently written out on old brown paper bags, with the result that microfilm of the material is barely readable ­ black print on old brown paper makes for little contrast! However, Crowell Smith made one reference to Philip's family ­ he wrote that the children numbered 2 boys and 4 girls. At least, the three "siblings" above are covered, numerically and by sex!


          Now, back to Lake County IL. Not only was I able to find those two possible males as brothers to Josephine, but I also found her father Phillip! And my research took an interesting new direction! Here's what I found.

           Phillip Teeple married Laura J Wise 27 Sep 1866 in Lake Co IN. (source: Indiana Marriages Index: transcribed to CD for Heritage Quest; Lake Co Book C, page 1)

          In 1880, Phillip Teeple was 46 years old, farmer, living in Winfield Twp, Lake Co IN with wife Laura 33, born IN, daughter Unus M 12 (Eunice?), Nettie 9, Florence 5. The whole family was listed as born IN, father born OH, mother born PA.
(source: 1880 census, Winfield Twp, Lake Co IN, ED 70, page 547D) I looked the adjacent census records, and, a couple of pages away, there was David Pringle from Canada! - - - It crossed my mind - could he have been a relation to Philip's first wife, Margaret Pringle?? It may explain why Philip went to Lake Co. Did the three "siblings" come down there with their dad?

          Finally, and some months later, as a result of quite a different evening's browsing, I found Philip's last move. Charles Blakeman's biography supplied the clue that Phillip had gone to North Dakota ­ and sure enough, he had!

          Teeple, Laura: 18 May 1847; Teeple, Philip: 8 Sep 1833 - 29 Mar 1918 (source: Oberon Cemetery, SE 1/4 Section 35, Oberon Twp, Benson Co ND, transcribed by the Red River Valley Genealogical Society in Cemeteries of North Dakota: Benson County Vol 8, p. 129)


          So, what happened to Philip's second family of three girls? Read on!

Unus M. Teeple
          Unis Teeple married Fravel Alyel 2 Oct 1888 in Lake Co IN. (source: Indiana Marriages Index, transcribed to CD for Heritage Quest: Lake Co Book E, p 165) I think this husband's name must have been really fractured by the transcriber!

Nettie Teeple
          Nettie Teeple was a member of Crown Point Methodist Episcopal Sunday School. (source: T.H. Ball, Editor and Publisher for the Lake County S. S. Union, Crown Point,Indiana 1891. The Sunday Schools of Lake. An account of the commencement and growth of the Sunday Schools of Lake County, Indiana, from about 1840 to 1890.)

Florence Teeple
          Among those attending at Salem schools was Florence Teeple. (source: T.H. Ball, Editor and Publisher for the Lake County S. S. Union, Crown Point,Indiana 1891. The Sunday Schools of Lake. An account of the commencement and growth of the Sunday Schools of Lake County, Indiana, from about 1840 to 1890.)

          There is a Flo B. Teeple who married Harrel E. Shipley 7 Feb 1891 in Lake Co IN. She could be our Florence. (source: Indiana Marriages Index, transcribed to CD for Heritage Quest, Lake Co Book E, p.529)


           To take Josephine Teeple's family back as far as I can, I should mention that her father Philip was one of 10 children of Jacob Teeple and Rachel Roszell. In order, they were Mary, Rachel Jane, Abram, Catherine, Elizabeth, Philip, James, Sarah Ann, Naomi Jane, and Edward Wallen. All of these children were born in Glanford Twp, Halton Co Ontario.

           Jacob was the son of Philip and Catherine Teeple. Philip might possibly have been born in NJ about 1770, but no proofs exist. His wife Catherine is known only from son Jacob's marriage registrations.


          In conclusion, from my first glimpse of Josephine Teeple Blakeman at their family farm in Nebraska to my final (is it ever 'final'?) compositon here, it's been an exciting hunt. I guess that's what makes genealogy such a fascinating hobby. If you've anything to contribute to this family file, do let me know. I'll add it in, right below.