Monday, December 28, 2009

Corydon Bloomfield Reeder (abt 1823-???)

We are coming to the end of 2009 and looking forward to the beginning of 2010. But before the month of December closes out, I decided to write another “Ancestory”. This one is about my wife’s 3rd Great Grandfather, Corydon Bloomfield Reeder. He is one of those enigmas that some come across while researching. We know an incredible amount about his life but we know almost nothing about his parents, his birth, or his death.

According to the 1850 census he is listed as 26 years old. However, the 1860 census lists him as 31 years old. In the 1870 census he is listed as 36 years old and by 1880 he is 58 years old. Everyone else in his family ages the normal 10 years between censuses. Based on this information, we can either assume that he was a time traveler and didn’t age like the rest of us or that, based on the 1850 and 1880 censuses, he was probably born around 1823 in Montgomery County, Ohio.

In 1848, Corydon moved to Wayne County, Indiana where he received a land grant for ¼ of a section of land. On January 10, 1850, he married Elizabeth Longfellow in Henry County, Indiana and by the time he was recorded in the 1850 census, he and his wife were living in Monroe Township, Delaware County, Indiana where he was farming. These three counties are located adjacent to each other in east central Indiana and fairly close to Montgomery County, Ohio. Corydon and Elizabeth had one child, Zimry Reeder, born April 1851 and it appears that Elizabeth may have died soon afterward. Zimry must have been left with Elizabeth’s family to care for him because we find him in Henry County, Indiana during the 1870 census.

After the assumed loss of his wife Elizabeth, Corydon begins to move further west. On January 22, 1852, Corydon marries Mary Jane Reeder at the home of her father William in Louisa County, Iowa. Mary Jane was 18 years and 7 months old at the time of their marriage. Corydon would have been about 30 years old if our guess is correct. It appears that Mary Jane may have been a cousin of Corydon since her father, William Reeder, had lived in Montgomery County, Ohio before migrating to Iowa. Corydon and his wife then migrate to Oregon and arrive in the state on October 20, 1852. He received land grants in 1853 and 1854. We know from tax roles and the 1857 Oregon census that he was living in Douglas County, Oregon during that time. By 1860 he and his family had moved to Umatilla Crossing, Wasco County, Oregon where Corydon was a farmer. The family consisted of Corydon, Mary, their three sons Leonidas, Sylvester, and Micajah, and their daughter Priscilla. In 1866 Corydon was awarded a land grant of 320 acres in Douglas County.

Corydon appears to have been active in local organizations. In 1867, he became a charter member of the Umatilla Lodge, No. 40, A.F. & A.M. This is the parent lodge of Eastern Oregon, from which all other lodges sprang.

By the 1870 census, Mary Jane and Priscilla are no longer listed with the family. We are assuming that both may have died sometime during the 1860’s. We know that Mary Jane was still around in 1862 since there are two more sons, Andrew and Gamelion, listed in the 1870 census. In 1872 Corydon is granted a 160 acre land grant in Morrow County, Oregon but he appears to still remain in Umatilla for some time since he is listed as marrying Fanny A Campbell on January 14, 1875, in Umatilla County, Oregon. We are not sure what happened, but this marriage was short lived. On August 24, 1877, Fanny filed for divorce and requested custody and support of their minor child. We have not yet found out the name of this minor child. This divorce was finalized in October, 1877.

The next time we find Corydon is in the 1880 census. He is living with two of his sons, Leonidas and Andrew, in Thomas Fork Valley, Uinta County, Wyoming where he is listed as a farmer. This is the last we see from him and we can only suppose that he might have died sometime around 1890 in Wyoming. However, that is only a guess. As far as we can tell, he led an interesting life, traveling across the country and having several families but the details of his birth and death still elude us. We continue the search for Mr. Reeder and his families hoping that some day, a few bricks will fall into place to figure out his lineage.

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