Selected Pedigrees

A Short Sketch of the Life of Elder Josoeph Hartley

Joseph Hartley and Mary “Polly” Singleton

Joseph Hartley


Joseph Hartley was the last child of John Hartley and Rebecca Arvecost. He was born 28 February 1800 in Nelson County, Kentucky. According to his own account:


I was born in Nelson county Kentucky, on the 28th of February, 1800; soon after which, my father and family moved to the western side of Hardin county, Kentucky--then a new country, and but thinly settled. There and there abouts, I lived till my forty-second year, when I moved to Jefferson County, Illinois, where I now live. [1]

Mary “Polly” Singleton


Joseph Hartley met and married, Mary “Poll Singleton, the daughter of Benjamin Singleton and Mary Elizabeth Shumate. Polly Singleton was born March 17, 1803 in Nelson Co., KY:

Thus I grew up to manhood; and, about one month before I was twenty one, I was married to a neighbor-girl, whose name was Polly Singleton. As there was something singular in our attraction and alliance, I will make a few remarks concerning the subject. My wife's father and mine had been neighbors from my infancy; consequently I knew Polly when a mere child-I being three years older. We went to the same school; and, when quite a boy, I found myself warmly attached to her. I would often think that, when I got to be a man, I would make her my wife. The same controlling principle never ceased, let me be where or with whom I may. And, amidst all the incidents attendant on a youthful life, when my mind reverted to her, I loved her. I well recollect, the day I was nineteen (it being Sunday), I paid her a visit--when my courtship commenced. I was then a poor boy, under the control of my father, and had no idea of marrying soon--not having any arrangements for housekeeping, and with no expectations of assistance, from any source. I thought it advisable to let her know my feelings toward her, and I was not long in finding out how she would reply, if I were so situated as to be able to support a wife. I also learned that she had had the same attachment for me, in her childhood,  that I had for her. With this understanding, we pledged ourselves to each other as companions for life, and, when we thought our situation admitted of it, we got married. I visited her, but with as little show as I well could, nearly two years before we married. We lived together almost thirty-nine years, and raised ten children. In the early part of our wedded life we were poor, and hard run to make a living; yet I never saw the day, had there been such a thing as dissolving the bonds of matrimony, but what I would have married her again; and I have every reason to believe she would have done the same.

I will here remark that the reason why there are so many unhappy matches, and so much parting of man and wife, as there is in the world is, that they do not come together from a pure matured motive. My wife was what is called a resolute, high-strung woman, and I was always an ambitious man; yet we lived together all those years without ever quarreling--and I have often said to our children, by way of caution, when they were about to marry, not to forget that they never heard their father and mother quarrel. What I most grieved for, during her life, and after her death, was, that I was not so circumstanced all the time that she might enjoy life; for I loved here, and wished her to be happy. [2]

Joseph Hartley and Polly Singleton were married 22 January 1821 in Nelson County, Kentucky, probably in Vertrees.

Joseph Hartley’s Baptist Church Affiliation


He was baptized into a Baptist church in January 1823 and he was elected a deacon in April of that year. He bought 100 acres of land for $320 that he paid for in four quarterly installments. At the urging of the preachers in the church he was elected to and became a licensed preacher in the Baptist Church in November 1834. He preached in the Union Church (close to his home), Gilead Church (20 miles from home), Bethel Church (nearby), and Rock Creek Church (30 miles from his home) in Hardin Co. KY on a regular basis. On March 1, 1838 he became an ordained minister. The summer of 1840 he and a number of other ministers separated themselves from the other Baptist ministers of the area forming the Union Baptist church that taught the doctrine of Predestination rather than Free Will. [3]


The Union Baptist Church (presumably in Hardin Co., KY) describes that:


Jacob Rogers from Severns Valley; James Nall, James Lewis, Thomas C. Elliot and Jacob Vanmetre from Forks of Otter Creek; Benjamin Woodring and Richard Richards from Rudes Creek; Warren Cash, Warren T. Cash and Bailey S. Tabb from Gilead met to consider ordination of Joseph Hartley. The committee was satisfied and there followed the laying on of hands to ordain Hartley to the work of the Christian ministry. [4]

Joseph Hartley and Polly Singleton Move to Illinois and Establish a Church


Joseph Hartley and Polly Singleton had eight children in Nelson County: Martha Ann (1821-1909), Simeon Buchannan (1823-1845), Edmund Waller (1825-1905), Mary Lucinda (1827-1916), Eliza Harriet (1830-1894), Susan Ann (1832-1912), Joseph Marion (1834-1917), David Franklin (1837-1919). Joseph Hartley describes the family move from Nelson County:


I now come to my history in Illinois. In the first place, I will give my reasons for immigrating to this State. We had now nine children; one married, and two or three more nearly grown; while I was penned up on a little farm, not half big enough for myself and boys to work on. Consequently, I was compelled to spend much of my time with my wagon, from home, in order to meet my demands, which, to me, was disagreeable, besides depriving me of the necessary attention at home. My boys were old enough to see our situation, and were much dissatisfied; on which account my wife encouraged me to go where our prospects would be better. And, having a knowledge that in this part of Illinois much of the better land was yet vacant, I determined to move thither. Accordingly, in the spring of 1841, I began to make arrangements to that effort, and to sell my little farm where I lived. At length at some sacrifice I effected a sale, but not until October. Late as it was, however, I meant to move that fall. I traded around in haste, soon procured me a suitable wagon, with two yoke of oxen, and a smaller one for the convenience of my family, and was ready to start by the 8th of November. . . . our wagon being loaded, on the 8th of November, as above stated, we started, and landed in Horse Prairie, Jefferson County, Illinois, on the 20th--being twelve days on the road. Nothing of interest occurred on the way. We found ourselves among strange people, without house or home; ten in family, and with but little money, just at the approach of winter, and with all our provisions to buy. We could find no place to rent so I began to look around, and in a few days I bought forty acres of land, second-hand, with a cabin on it, for $150. Still having a little money, I went to the land office and entered forty more. We now owned eighty acres of prairie land, but without one particle of improvement, except the cabin, and that could barely have the name of a shelter; yet we were glad to have done so well. Now, reader, all things being considered, you know we had plenty of work to do, and but little time for anything else. We put up a few shanties, out of poles and rails, for the present season. I then paid out what money I had for meat and corn; and we worked a while for some more. Having a supply of provisions, we then commenced making a farm. I had two boys, one in his nineteenth, and the other in his seventeenth year, and I was then in my best days for labor. The result was, by the middle of March we had a field fenced, eighty rods long by seventy five wide, nine rails high, all new. We still had time to fence a pasture ere plowing time. The reader may judge that we did a good winter's work. In short we got our land all broke, and planted, in good time--the season being favorable. We had amply sufficient land, and some to spare, without renting a single foot. [5] . . .




Figure 5. 1850 map showing probable route (solid line) taken by Joseph Hartley and family from Vertrees, KY to Elk Prairie Township, Jefferson Co., IL. Map shows the extensive existing roads of the time. Vertrees to Elk Prairie is about 210 miles and today would be a drive of about four hours.


Elk Prairie is described:


Elk Prairie township lies in the south tier of townships in Jefferson county and contains considerable fine farming land, though it is rather rough and broken along the streams. . . . Big Muddy Creek flows south nearly through the middle of the township, receiving numerous small streams in its course. . . . Along these streams was originally heavy timber, and there is still considerable of it left, principally oak, hickory and walnut. The land is rather hilly and rough along the streams, but back from them some distance it becomes of a more even surface, and has some small prairies. Elk Prairie, from which the township derives its name, is an excellent body of land, though of rather small extent. It takes its name from the number of bones and horns of elk found here by early settlers. Some very excellent farms may be seen in this township. [6]


In Jefferson County Joseph Hartley and Polly Singleton had two more children: Henry Harrison (1841-1926), James Clayton (1845-1933).


Within a little over a year Joseph Hartley organized a church:


UNION (SESSER)(WALTONVILLE)(1842) Union Church was organized May 7, 1842, at the home of Elder Joseph Hartley, with nine charter members, viz., Elder Joseph Hartley, Mary Hartley, Sarah Hillman, Clabourn J. Cash, John Fleener, Sarah Fleener, William Miflin, Anna Miflin, and Fanny Clampet. The presbytery consisted of five Elders, from Nine Mile, Holt's Prairie and Salem Churches. In August 1844 Union Church petitioned the Southern Illinois Association for admittance, which was granted; but in 1846 Union Church was granted the privilege of being dismissed in order to unite with the Bethel Association. In 1857-1858 the Union Church erected a frame meeting house at the north edge of Horse Prairie, in Elk Prairie township. Prior to that time meetings had been held primarily at the homes of the members. Elder Joseph Hartley was the first pastor and served until he was released at his own request in December 1864, shortly before removing to the state of Oregon. Pastors who followed him included Moses Neal, Elijah T. Webb, Josiah Harris, W. E. Weaver and C. C. Mitchell (all at the Elk Prairie township location). [7]

The “frame meeting house at the north edge of Horse Prairie” was constructed about a mile from the home of Joseph Hartley, and is now known as the Horse Prairie Church; the church is gone, but a cemetery still exists at the site.

The ministry of Joseph Hartley is described by his grandson, James Joseph Fitzgerrell:

Regarding the ministry of Grandfather, he undoubtedly built up a fine church of Regular Baptists, who purchased a site for and built a nice frame church house, and laid out a nice cemetery about one mile from our home. The church meetings were usually monthly. That gave an opportunity to visit other church meetings as indicated in his history. [8]

The Baptist Church is further described:

With the arrival of Elder Joe Hartley in the area, the small group of Baptists petitioned for a church to be established in that area. On May 7, 1842 a group of Elders from Nine Mile and Holt's Prairie and Moses Neal from Salem Church near Benton listened to the articles of faith proclaimed by the small congregation and pronounced them a legally constituted Regular Baptist Church of Jesus Christ. [9]

Acquiring More Land


Federal Land Purchase Records for the State of Illinois show that Joseph Hartley bought 40 acres of land (a Federal sale, FS)) for $1.25 on 2 Dec 1841 in Elk Prairie township, Jefferson Co. IL. (Elk Praire township is a square eight miles on a side, and is south and slightly west of Mount Vernon IL in southern Illinois.) He made a number of purchases in Elk Prairie township:

2 Dec 1841, 40 acres
28 Oct 1842, 40 acres
6 Sept 1849, 40 acres
5 Nov 1849, 40 acres
30 Nov 1852, 80 acres





Figure 6. Map of Elk Prairie Township, Jefferson County, Illinois. The three hatched squares at the lower left are the land first acquired by Joseph Hartley in 1841. The large body of water is a recent reservoir.


;;; HartleyLancSat



Figure 7. Some of the first land owned by Joseph Hartley in Elk Prairie Township, Jefferson County Illinois. This satellite view also shows the Old Winfield / Hartley Cemetery near his home and the Horse Prairie Church  (now gone) which was built in 1857-58. The central portion of this image is a coal mining operation with gob piles and raw water reservoirs.


The Illinois State Genealogical Society named 146 families as "Prairie Pioneers"; among them are listed "Hartley, Joseph, Jefferson County, 1841, spouse Mary Singleton.” 

The Death of Polly Singleton and Remarriage

Polly Singleton died 5 October 1860 in Winfield, Jefferson County, Illinois. Her death is described by Joseph Hartley:

The first sore affliction was the death of my wife. As I have not spoken of the circumstances of her death, I will give an account of it in this place. She contracted an affection of the lungs some fifteen years before her death; and although she had a shortness of breath and more or less a cough, yet otherwise she enjoyed tolerable health until about the last two years of her life, when she became a subject to bad spells in the spring and fall. I tried hard to effect a cure, and spent a great deal, for several years to that end, until I became convinced it could not be done. We then kept such medicines as we found by experience to be the best relief for the lungs. In the summer of 1860 it became manifest that her lungs were consuming, and she began to sink under the disease and, from the 1st of July to the 5th of October, at which time she died, I never left her bedside without some faithful person taking my place. I fully anticipated her death before hand, but having every confidence that when she was done suffering here she would be at rest forever, I became in a sense reconciled. Feeling sure, from the nature of the disease that she had to die, I felt it my duty to try to make her as comfortable, being in mind and body, as I could. I therefore gave her my constant attention and, when the spirit left her body, I felt so sure that she had gone to reside with Him who had died for her sins, and rose again for her justification that I consider her condition as being a thousand times better than my own. [10]

Mary “Polly” Singleton Hartley is buried in the small cemetery adjoining Joseph Hartleys land in Elk Prairie. The cemetery is now overgrown with trees and mostly unattended.

After the death of his wife Joseph Hartley married Isabella Harris, who had previously married, and outlived, Nehemiah W. Rustull (Russell), and John T. McKee. In his own words:

During about three years of the latter part of my wife’s lifetime, my present wife, then the Widow McKee, lived about one half mile distant from us; an old Baptist, very motherly, much disposed to religious conversation and quite a favorite of ours. She had moved away, a few months before my wife died, to a distance of fifteen miles from where we lived; and we but seldom saw her. However, about five months after I had been left a widow, I met the old lady at the Salem Church, twenty miles from where I lived, and although I was as glad to see her as I ever was in my life, yet I treated her with more indifference than usual, for two reasons. One, I was now a widower, and was sure to be watched in all my actions; the other was, that I had determined to live single the rest of my life. Well, time passed away for some three months more, when I met her again, at the same place. I well recollect my feelings when I saw her. I was sitting in the pulpit, just before preaching, fronting the door, when she came in; and, not having seen her for so long a time, had I not been a widower, I should have met her immediately--feeling more attracted than ever. I felt as if I wanted to express my attachment to her, but did not do so. From that time, I began to contemplate the idea of making our old favorite my wife. And now commenced the trial. I was in my sixty-second year, my children were all grown and married, but one; and I felt ashamed to let them know I had any thoughts of marrying again. I also feared it would affect my standing in the church; but in this I was directly relieved by some of my confidential brethren, who advised me for my own happiness, to follow the course my mind was leading, even before they had any knowledge of my intentions. My worldly concerns all worked favorably; and I began to arrange matters to the desired end, before I had ever said one word to her who was to be my wife.  Well, by this time three months had passed away. I again left my home to attend the Salem Church meeting, with the intention of seeing the widow, and having an interview with her before I returned. In this I was very lucky. I met with the opportunity without seeking for it. I will here briefly state that, when I made the proposal to her to become my wife, I did it with as much confidence and seriousness of mind as if I were going to preach a discourse to a thousand people. My proposition was accepted with about the same sober, candid firmness. Our agreement was, that in two months I was to go after her, and she was to become my wife. We did not know that we should have an opportunity of seeing each other in the meantime; but circumstances were such that we met twice. According to our contract, on the Saturday before the first Sunday in November, 1861, I called at her place of residence. All necessary arrangements being made, we took a buggy-ride together to the above named Salem Church, taking Elder Moses Neal’s in the way, before whom we publicly pledged ourselves to each other for life; when I again went to meeting, with my wife. Since that time, all the enjoyment I have had has, in a great measure, been with my second wife. Her age suite me; her natural disposition suits me, and better than all, her Christian deportment is a comfort to my mind. I think I can honestly say, before my supreme Judge, that it was her traits of character which induced me to seek a union with her. And here I will remark that I often thought, both while I was a widower and since I have married again, that I was kept from the shameful, unbecoming course of conduct acted out by many. I thank the good Lord that He gave me such grace and proper balance of mind that I never once imagined I was young, and wanted a young wife: Nothing is more disgusting to me than to see an old, gray-headed, infirm man dashing about, showing a disposition to seek a young companion. I have no doubt God disposed both male and female to incline to each other; but I cannot believe he ever was the author of such inequality and confusion as generally occur in such unequal matches. [11]

Hartleys to Oregon and Washington


In 1864 James Clayton Hartley, nineteen years old at the time, and son of Joseph Hartley and Polly Singleton, moved from Illinois to Washington. Some of Joseph Hartley’s descendants in Oregon suspect that James Clayton Hartley did not want to participate in the Civil War that was moving closer to Illinois, and left Illinois to avoid the draft.

Joseph Hartley gave a letter to his son James Clayton Hartley, nineteen years old at the time, on the occasion of this departure for Washington in 1864. It reads as follows:

My last advice to my son of my old age which I give with an aching heart full of anxiety and many fears with tears in my eyes. Do pray consider and follow it by so doing you may make yourself respected and avoid trouble, disgrace and shame, and a miserable end.

first. Be punctual and honest with all men; let no temptation nor seducer by any means cause you to act otherwise even at the peril of your life.

2nd. Keep good company never associate with drunkards, gamblers, or profane persons; they will lead you into a snare and finally to destruction.

3rd. Consult the aged and honorable that you know to be your friends in all your business transactions and be cautious of strangers if they flatter you.

4th. Be careful of what you have and as saving as possible; never spend any thing unreasonably even if you have plenty, for you know not how soon you may need it.

5th. Be industrious, and try to make yourself as agreeable as possible with respectable people and give no offence to any.

6th. While on your way avoid all difficulty with your traveling companions; rather be imposed upon than have strive and confusion, and when you reach your place of destination get to business as soon as practicable.

7th. Don't stop until you reach a reasonable civilized region of country.

8th. If you should meet with defeat in any enterprise bear it patiently and try something else; make yourself worthy and you will be sure to succeed.

9th. Observe well the above rules through life, and you may reach an honorable old age while the reverse will lead to shameful degradation and want.

farewell March the 27 – 1864 [12]

In the spring of 1865 Joseph Hartley at the age of 65, with his second wife, gathered some of his family and a few neighbors and headed to Oregon and Washington. James Joseph Fitzgerrell, grandson of Joseph Hartley describes his grandfather and his move to Oregon:

I well remember the time I first saw a copy of my grandfather's (The Reverend Joseph Hartley) life history presented to my mother at our home in Horse Prairie, Jefferson County, Illinois during the winter of 1864-65 during a leave of absence from the army as the Adjutant of the 81st Illinois Volunteers. As I was copying the History, my mind went back to my early childhood; the country was sparsely settled; the school facilities were very meager; the nearest school house was two miles distant from our home while it was less than one forth of a mile from my grandparents home. During the school term I stayed at my grandparents home and went to school with my uncles-David, Henry, and Clayton. My recollection of my Grandmother is she was the most patient, even-tempered, and loving of mothers. I have but a dim recollection of her protracted illness and passing away as recorded by my Grandfather. Of the Methodist Church revivals I have a vivid recollection. Within less than one fourth of a mile from my father's home, just over the Jefferson Co. line in Franklin County, there was a beautiful grove of young oak trees containing three acres purchased by the Methodist Church people for use as a camp meeting ground. Many members built quite substantial shingle roofed houses. Generally tents were used. There was a large attendance considering the sparsely settled condition of the country.

The meeting was held during the fall months and continued for two or three weeks. When the meeting got into full swing under the influence of the eloquent exhortation of the leading brethren, the excitement became intense resulting in much shouting at the top of the shouters voice. The shouting was usually led by Mrs. Lee Martin and Susan Junkins, the wife of James Junkins (afterward the husband of our widowed mother). (Note; Mrs Martin was Minerva C. Dare 1817-1893 wife of Lee Cryer Martin 1812-1878 who was buried at Ward Cemetery. Susan, Mrs. James Junkins, was Susannah Ward, she and James had 12 children. She was the dau. of Lloyd Ward and Catherine Wilson. Susan and James are buried at Old Baptist Cem.) The evening services often continued until a late hour. Often I would go to sleep with the sound of the singing and shouting ringing in my ears. Usually there was a good crop of converts during these meetings, as indicated in Grandfather's history. These meetings continued annually for some five or more years.

Regarding the ministry of Grandfather, he undoubtedly built up a fine church of Regular Baptists, who purchased a site for and built a nice frame church house, and laid out a nice cemetery about one mile from our home. The church meetings were usually monthly. That gave an opportunity to visit other church meetings as indicated in his history.

In politics, Grandfather was an old time Whig. When the Whig party disappeared, he became an ardent Democrat of the southern type. When the Presidential election of 1860 came, there was much excitement with Grandfather and his friends using every possible influence against the Republican ticket headed by Abraham Lincoln. With the election of Mr. Lincoln came the War of Rebellion. While the Regular Baptist Ministry condemned mixing politics with religion, yet the excitement was such that I have often heard my grandfather when talking his text from the Book of Revelations (his favorite book) preach politics from the pulpit. After the rebellion began, from reading his history, this is easily understood for according to his interpretation of the Book of Revelations, he felt he was doing his duty to his church by exhorting them to flee from the "wrath to come", and as stated by him, he was called "A Rebel."

Upon organization of the 81st Regiment, Ill. Inf. by Col. James Jackson Dollins in August 1862 (the husband of Susan Hartley Dollins, son in law of Joseph) Joseph Marion Hartley (a son) and I, (a grandson) enlisted in Co. H. of that regiment, much to the disgust of and the influence of Grandfather, in which he refers to "my beloved son" he did not refer to Col. Dollins or myself. Perhaps one reason he did not refer to Col. Dollins was that he was killed on May 22, 1863 leading his regiment in an assault on the Rebel works at Vicksburg, Miss. He was buried in the cemetery at his home in Benton, Franklin Co. Ill. For a full history of Col. Dollins and his valuable service to the govt. see "Family record of the Susan Dollins Family" in the "Family Record of the Fitzgerrell-Hartley Families."

Grandfather certainly sincerely believed in his interpretation of the Book of Revelations, and that the final "wind-up" battle would come in 1866, as stated in his history. When the call came for 300,000 more volunteers was made during the latter part of 1864, the quota assigned to Southern Illinois Congressional Dist. was not filled. When a draft was ordered, this forced the issue. Then Grandfather, his family and friends sold out their belongs and left the country to escape the draft which was made, if I remember right, about March 25, 1865.

For the particulars of outfitting with horse and ox teams, the many different families, route traveled, and time required to make the trip across the plains to Oregon and Washington is told in the recollection of David Franklin, Henry Harrison, and Edmund Waller Hartley’s families sons of Grandfather, who with about 65 of his neighbors and friends following his lead. Reference is also made to the recollections of Mrs. Mary Jane Fitzgerrell White, my sister, and James Clayton Hartley, the youngest son of Elder Hartley, who made the trip on year before in 1864. All the recollections are recorded in the Records of Fitzgerrell-Hartley Families. That will well repay the time required to make their study, to know the dangers and privations in crossing the Great Plains, from attacks by Indians, and mountain traveling requiring six months in making the trip.

I was at their home on a leave of absence just at the time the party was leaving their homes. The evening before the morning of departure, I visited my grandfather to assist him in loading his wagon preparatory to an early morning start next morning. Grandfather was in the wagon, while I handed up to him such articles he called for. Just as I was handing him a sack of salt, I said, "Grandfather, what in the world are you and your sons and friends leaving their homes for? We in the army all feel that the war is practically over. Certainly there is no need of it". He looked down at me with the most pitying, curious expression on his face and said "My boy, this war is just commencing--the women and children right here in Southern Illinois will yet get their food by the point of a bayonet. This country will be laid waste. As for myself and family, we will flee to the mountains--flee from the wrath that is certain to come. May God in his mercy protect you is my prayer. I never expect to see you again." While it is true, as predicted, I never did see him again as he passed on in his home in Oregon, October 13, 1867. (Should be August 13, 1867. C.H.)

I have been informed that several members that made up the party were drafted to go into the army. As the party left their homes on April 1, 1865 those who were drafted received information in advance of the official notice in time to get away and meet the party in the State of Iowa.

Moreover my predictions proved true. General Lee surrendered to Gen. Grant April 9th, 1865. That was soon followed by the surrender of all the Confederate leaders. In fact the party had not gotten out of the state before the war was practically over.

Over fifty years have passed since Grandfather wrote his history. In making a study of his interpretation of Revelations by the Apostle John, I can now understand why he urged his family to do all they could to prevent volunteering into the service of the government, to resist the draft, and "flee to the mountains to escape the wrath to come", as they fully expected the greatest battle of all history to be fought in Southern Illinois during the coming year, 1866.

Of the immediate family: Henry Harrison Hartley returned and is now living in Waltonville, Jefferson County, Illinois. Dr. Henry Foster White and family returned and are now living in Mountain Park, Okla. Edmund Waller passed on Jan. 7, 1905 at age 80. David Franklin Hartley is now living in Glendale, Cal. in good health. Joseph Marion Hartley, Age 81, is now living on the farm he developed in his youth and enjoying all the comforts and blessings of a well spent, honorable life, surrounded by his family and his descendants to the present number of about 80 people. His record in the service of his country, as a sergeant in his company was an honorable one. While he escaped serious wounds, he was slightly wounded and always could be found at his post of duty.

Instead of Negro slavery God being taught in the Bible as interpreted by my grandfather, Abraham Lincoln reading his Bible interpreted it in reverse. The views of Abraham Lincoln on this subject will be found in the family record under the title "Was Abraham Lincoln a Spiritualist?"

It has been said "the whirligigs of time make strange bed-fellows". In reading the daily press dispatches from Europe where millions of armed soldiers are engaging in a war for commercial supremacy, our struggle for the preservation of the Union was of small importance. I find my mind curious to imagine what would my grandfather's interpretation at this time of the two witnesses--the first and second beasts spoken of in Revelations. Which of the nations would he class the "Antichrist" and which "God's Children"?

Respectfully submitted Dec. 1, 1915 James Joseph Fitzgerrell [13]

Note: James Joseph Fitzgerrell is the eldest child of Mary Lucinda (Hartley) Fitzgerrell and William Ellis Fitzgerrell, and thus grandson of Joseph Hartley.


David Franklin Hartley, son of Joseph Hartley, also describes his family’s trip from Illinois to Oregon in 1865.

On the 1st day of April 1865, myself and family started to cross the great Western Plain, headed for the Pacific Coast. My family consisted of my wife and four young children, two boys and two girls. We had a large wagon with three yokes of oxen and one yoke of cows. It was in the Spring season, at the breaking up of a cold hard winter, with the mud to the axle trees of the wagon. The party consisted of abut sixty five persons, men women and children, all neighbors and friends, headed by my father, the Reverend Joseph Hartley.

Leaving our old home on the 1st of April 1865, we traveled through Illinois in a northwest direction, crossing the Mississippi River at Burlington, Iowa. From there we travelled directly Westward and crossed the Missouri River at Plattsmouth, Nebraska, and followed the regular Emigrant Wagon Trail on the south side of the Platte River until we arrived at a little place called Julesburg. There we was stopped by United States Soldier Frontier guard until a sufficient force of Emigrants had collected to make two hundred able bodied, fighting, well armed men. Then a military organization was made choosing a Captain, Lieutenant, Stgs and Cpls, with a wagon master, then we went on our journey, crossing the Platte River at Fremont Orchards by fording the stream. The River at this place was about one half mile wide and from 2 ft. to a swimming depth and it required one day and great care to prevent a disaster. Moving on we soon came in sight of the Black Hills. As I had never lived in or visited a mountain region, I thought they were mountains. [14]

By going through Julesburg we know that the party left the Oregon Trail at the confluence of the North and South Platte Rivers (in Nebraska) and took the southerly Overland (Stage) Trail through northern Colorado. There had been Indian disturbances in northern Colorado and Wyoming in 1864 and the government had advised immigrants to take the Overland Trail.

Fremont’s Orchards was about 45 miles north-east of Denver, Colorado near the present-day Goodrich, Colorado. It was the crossing point of the South Platte River in the area. In the late spring of 1864 at Fremont’s Orchards there had been a conflict between the U.S. military and a band of Indians that sparked the 1864 Indian War of the Colorado Territory.  [15]

David Franklin Hartley continues his narration of their trip to Oregon:

We soon came to the Sioux Indian Country and they were very hostile at that time. As their domain was for a distance of from six to eight hundred miles, we were traveling in their country for some time. We had some trouble with them in their attempting to stampede our animals during the night. As our animals were carefully guarded day and night we suffered no loss. We were too strong for them to attempt an open attack. [16]

Charles Lycurgus Hartley, grandson of Joseph Hartley, who made the trip at the age of ten years, told his children that they had seen Indians at some distance on ridges during the day, but none closer. [17]

So day by day we wended our way over the prairies, plains and mountains, making our camp at streams or springs for water for the animals and for drinking purposes, traveling from ten to 25 miles per day, following the old stage lines of travel, with their stations about every twenty miles, with the stage coaches passing us both day and night.

After months of weary traveling through the now great states of Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, part of Utah, Idaho and Oregon, we arrived on October 1, 1865 (six months out) in Willamette Valley, Marion County, in the Waldo Hills, where we purchased a small farm and engaged in farming, living there about three and one half years. Then we sold this farm and bought another farm near Silverton, Oregon, in the Fir Timber District, making quite valuable improvements on this place, we remained there seven and one half years. Selling out the lands we moved seven miles northeast to Silverton and leased an 860 acre farm for three years, paying $600 per year cash rental money, after the expiration of this lease we left Oregon and moved to Klickitat County, Washington, where we took up a homestead of 160 acres under U.S. Government Land Laws, all in the prairie, and engaged in farming and stock raising; remaining on the farm for eight years, when we sold out and moved to Goldendale, Washington a distance of eight miles from the farm, purchasing a tract of seven acres of land within the corporate limits of the town. With the exception of one half acre the land lay in the very fertile Creek Valley. We engaged in raising of fruit and vegetables with splendid success.

We lived in Klickitat County from October 1879 to March 1911, when we sold out our property in the State of Washington, and moved to Glendale, California a suburb of the City of Los Angeles. Purchasing a residence, number 252 Broadway, where we are now residing. (April 1, 1915) Glendale, California is the pleasantest climate we ever lived in, it rarely gets cold enough to frost and is very healthy; we are delighted with the climate.

We have passed through many scenes of distress and disappointment, and have had many pleasant days and hours. We are still spared, for what the good Lord knows, we are 78 and 77 years old respectfully, and now in good health, and physical condition.

We lived in the fellowship of the Old Primitive Baptist Church for many years, when a difference arose, we withdrew from them and joined the Christian Church, where our Christian relations are at this time. Respectfully submitted,

David Franklin Hartley [18]





Figure 8. Map of route taken by Joseph Hartley, family, and neighbors from Illinois to Oregon in 1865; their most probable route is shown as the bold dashed line. They firsts traveled the Mormon Trail, then the Overland Stage Trail and finally the Oregon Trail from Fort Hall to Portland.

The trip to Oregon in 1865 is described in “A Wagon Train from Jefferson County to Oregon” by Beatrice Tuttle. Beatrice Tuttle acknowledges contributions for this story to "Mr. and Mrs. Henry H. Hartley, neighbors at Waltonville, Illinois; also to Mrs. Dialtha Dudley Clampet, whom I met at the home of my grandmother, Mrs. Martha Clampet Newbury. More recently the following persons added and verified information: Mrs. Bertha Hetherington, Mrs. Melissa Wells, and Mrs. Leona Allen.”

Preparation and Beginning of Trip

In the southwest part of Jefferson County, Illinois, and about a mile north of the Franklin County line, there once existed the small village of Winfield, Post Office, Fitzgerrell. Several families from this area and surrounding places farther east came to Winfield for the departure. It was early Spring 1865, when the troup congregated and started to Oregon in covered wagons.

There were many details to be accomplished. Wagons were strengthened by laying a second floor and doing additional bracing. Great amounts of food, clothing, bedding, utensils and tools had to be provided. The wagons were drawn by ox teams, sometimes using half a dozen oxen to a wagon. They took extra oxen, several horses, and milk cows. Scouts who rode ahead, used horses. Persons from the immediate locality who went to Oregon were as follows: Elder Joseph Hartley, the founder of the Primitive Baptist Church near Winfield was one traveler. There were three sons of Elder Hartley and their families who went: The oldest son, Edmund Waller Hartley, his wife, and seven children; the second son, David F. Hartley, his wife and five children; the third son Henry H. Hartley, his wife and daughter. Another son Clayton Hartley, who was in military service at the time later joined the group in Oregon. Isaac Clampet, who built the first mill in Winfield, and his wife, Dialtha Dudley Clampet were also passengers to Oregon. Both the Hartleys and the Clampets obtained their letters from the Horse Prairie Primitive Baptist Church to take with them.

One lady from the Winfield group who had much pride and many beautiful clothes, knew little of the rigors or wagon train travel. Those making the trip were to leave just after daybreak on an appointed day. Some neighbor woman helped her dress the evening before the departure. The many clothes of her day included five or six petticoats and her best dress. The ladies laid the proud woman across the bed to await the morning.

Along the Trail

It is know that the train from Winfield traveled northwest to Waltonville. Mrs. Ida Newell remembered that her mother, Mrs. Augusta Philip, saw the wagon train (about a mile long) come across Knob Hill and west toward her home. My grandmother, age twenty-three, and several young ladies from the Winfield community rode horseback (sidesaddle) and accompanied the wagon train several miles toward East Saint Louis. The girls arrived home about dark that evening. The wagon train group gathered on the east bank of the Mississippi River father north across from Hannibal, Missouri. They joined a larger train in Independence, Missouri.

Indians were often seen along the way. According to Mr. Henry Hartley, they never experienced combat with the Red Man. Often they would spy Indians on heights above and at a distance, who seemed to be watching the wagon train. If an Indian felt the travelers had seen him, he used a quick disappearance act. The Indian did this by sliding down on the far side of his pony (clinging to the pony's mane) then ride like the wind to get out of sight.

Isaac Clampet served as a scout and was called "Captain." His duties were fourfold: To determine the best and safest routing, to kill game for the evening meal, to locate desirable camping grounds, and to keep a lookout for Indians. Other scouts were spaced at intervals along the train to herald any trouble.

When evening came, the wagons were formed into a circle. The meals were cooked by individual families within the circle area. They considered this plan as a fort-like protection.

Several milk cows were taken and milk was on of their basic foods. The cream was poured into covered containers and allowed to sour. As a wagon bounced along, the sloshing churned the butter.

Their food consisted mainly of dry beans peas, and salt port was a bland died, which became tiresome. This caused much illness and furnished some of the worst hardships. A most pleasant experience awaited the wagon train people when they reached a Mormon settlement near Salt Lake City, Utah. The fall turnip crop was ready to use. Each person was given one turnip with the top. Some cut off the tops and ate the turnips raw. Others pooled the turnips for their family and cooked them. Some used the tops to cook for greens. The weary wanders were overjoyed with the specialty of that meal.

Often they stayed more than one day where an unusually good camping site was found. If the water was plentiful, they washed their clothes, or used the time for a rest period.

One day, somewhere in the high mountain country, the Henry Hartley wagon was bringing up the rear. Mr. Hartley was lying in the back of the wagon, as he had been sick with typhoid fever. Tom Ford, a bachelor, was driving the team. The mountain trail road was very narrow. Other wagons had gone ahead and had helped to make the trail more narrow. A back wheel slid off the road, and the distance to the valley below was a frightening depth. Some lusty yells from the family, plus a quick outcry from Tom Ford, and the use of a whip caused the oxen to jump and jerk the wagon to safety.

Near the end of the trail in Idaho, but still in mountainous country, the wife and mother of one family died. Boards were taken from the bottom of wagons and a coffin was constructed. She was buried in a pretty spot near the trail. A few years later, the husband went back to take the body to their new home for reburial. They found she had been buried alive, for in her hands was some of the hair off her head. They then realized high altitude had rendered her unconscious.

It was November 1865, when the Illinois people arrived in the Oregon Country. The families settled in various places. Edmund Waller Hartley lived near Salem, Oregon, at Macleay; David Hartley first went to Oregon but later moved to Goldendale, Washington. Henry H. Hartley settled at Oregon City about twelve miles from Forest Grove, Oregon. Clayton Hartley, who joined his family in the West, lived at Forest Grove, Oregon and later moved to Goldendale, Washington. [19]

Beatrice Tuttle, who did not make the journey, goes on to describe how some folks returned to Illinois. Beatrice Tuttle is incorrect in stating that Clayton Hartley, James Clayton Hartley, was "in military service and later joined the group in Oregon." He was already in Oregon having gone to Oregon the previous spring, 1864 to avoid the draft. Her account is somewhat fanciful in that she claims the party passed through Independence, Missouri. David Franklin Hartley (see above) says the party crossed the Mississippi River at Burlington, Iowa, and thus never passed through Missouri at all. Beatrice Tuttle also says the party arrived in Oregon in November 1865 while David Franklin Hartley claims they arrived October 1, 1865.


The obituary for Isabella Harris (widow McKee and second wife of Joseph Hartley) tells us that the Hartley group stopped "with her sister in Portland, Mrs. Dr. Weatherford, for a short time, prior to locating themselves in the 'Waldo Hills,' about twelve miles east of Salem, Oregon." [20] Mrs. Dr. Weatherford was Mahala Harris, sister of Isabella Harris. Dr. & Mrs. Weatherford went from Indiana to Oregon in 1852, first settling in Layfayette, OR, and eventually in Portland, OR in 1855. Most likely Joseph Hartley chose to migrate to Oregon because of the presence of his sister-in-law in Portland, Oregon.


Joseph Hartley passed away in Marion County, Oregon (probably in the Waldo Hills east of Salem).


DIED—In Marion Co., Oregon, Aug. 13, 1867, of consumption, our highly esteemed and well beloved brother, Eld. Joseph Hartley, aged nearly 60 years. He migrated to this State in the summer of 1865, and during our short acquaintance we found him to be a firm, consistent and steadfast believer in the truth of the everlasting gospel. He was confined to his room and bed from the middle of March last until the time of his departure. He often expressed a desire for the time of his release to come. He said his work was done, his health gone, and he longed to depart and be with Christ. He has fought a good fight, and finished his course, and we believe he is now enjoying that crown of righteousness, which the righteous Judge will give to all who love his appearing. He leaves a loving companion, whose untiring devotion ministered to him by day and by night. May the Lord comfort her in her lonely hours and all the sorrowing relatives. And may we all say ‘The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord.’

‘The languishing head is at rest
Its aching and thinking are o'er
The quiet immovable breast
Is heaved by affliction no more.’

A. SHANKS [21]

Abner Shanks was a local Baptist minister.


After Joseph Hartley’s death his second wife, Isabella Harris moved in with her daughter  Mary Emiline Harris Shearer in Diley, Washington County, Oregon, and later lived with the family of her sister Mahala Harrison Weatherford in Portland, Oregon. She passed away 1 December 1891. From her obituary we find that Isabella Harris had a most interesting life. Most notably she outlived three husbands, and crossed the country from North Carolina to California, back to Illinois, and then back to Oregon, all, most likely, done on foot as a member of a wagon train.

Another soul has departed from earth. Mrs. Isabella Hartley died Dec. 1st, 1891, in Portland, Oregon, aged 81 years and 8 months. Mrs. Hartley was born near Buford, N. C., in 1810. At an early age she married a Mr. Russell, and became the mother of a son, known in later years to the readers of the Signs of the Times as B. W. Russell, of Oregon. They shortly afterward, in the year 1827, removed with her father and family to Indiana. In the course of a year or so they removed to Illinois. After one year Mr. Russell died, leaving his widow with two children, the last being a daughter. About a year afterward Mrs. Russell returned to Indiana, living with her father for some time, and finally marrying Mr. J. T. McKee, with whom she lived until his death, which occurred in 1853. Previous to Mr. McKee's death her two children by the first husband were married. In the year 1854 Mrs. McKee, with her sons' and daughters' families, moved to California, where her daughter's husband died soon afterward. Not long after this event, Mrs. McKee and daughter returned to Illinois, not far from Pamora, her son, B. W. Russell, going to Oregon, where he remained until he went to Goldendale, Wash., on a visit, where he died in 1884. While living in Illinois Mrs. McKee Married Elder Joseph Hartley; and about the year 1865 she and Mr. Hartley removed from Illinois to Oregon, stopping with her sister in Portland, Mrs. Dr. Weatherford, for a short time, prior to locating themselves in the "Waldo Hills," about twelve miles east of Salem, Oregon. About two years after that the Elder died. Previous to his death Mrs. Hartley's widowed daughter, who came with them to Oregon, was married to a Mr. Shearer, who lived in Washington Co. With them Mrs. Hartley made her home until her daughter's death, which occurred in 1879. Then she went, helpless and penniless, to her sister, Mrs. Weatherford, in Portland, with whom she spent the last and declining years of her life. Mrs. Hartley, who had become helpless by a paralytic stroke, continued so for many years. It is due to Mrs. Weatherford that the latter years of Mrs. Hartley's life were strewn with roses, and all the comforts of life were accorded her in all her feebleness of mind and infirmities of body; and without this dear, good and noble sister's devotion the last days of Mrs. Hartley would not have been so soothed and pleasantly administered to.

Mrs. Hartley was a member of the Old School Baptist denomination, and had been since her twenty-fifth year. She always lived a quiet and exemplary life, consistent with her surroundings, and frequently expressed the desire to be with her Savior, as life seemed burdensome and hard to bear. The last six weeks of her life she did not seem to suffer nor wish for anything, was always happy when spoken to in regard to her feelings, and could neither speak nor swallow the last week of her life, but lay perfectly quiet, the only sign of consciousness being a nod or a shake of the head. About six hours previous to her death Sister Weatherford asked her if she was happy, and if all was well. She answered by a clasp of the hand and a nod of the head. She breathed her last without a move, except the gasp of death.

The writer of the above has for many years been acquainted with both Mrs. Hartley and Mrs. Weatherford, and was present at the death of the departed one.

S. N. A. Downing,
Portland, Oregon. [22]

The S. N. A. Downing was the son-in-law of Isabella Harris's sister, Mahala Harris (wife of Dr. William Weatherford).

  Next Page: Parents of Mary "Polly" Singleton: Benjamin Singleton & Mary Elizabeth Shumate

[1] Joseph Hartley , A Short Sketch of the Life of Elder Joseph Hartley (Salem, IL, Advocate Job Office, 1841) (This document appears as part of the book Hartley Family, no author, no editor listed, but given to the Shawnee Library System, Carterville, Illinois by John Tanner Aichele, Fort Wayne Indiana)

[2] ibid.

[3] ibid.

[4] Mary Josephine, History of Union Baptist Church Hardin County, Kentucky 1808-1867 (Utica, KY, McDowell Publications, 1986)

[5] Joseph Hartley , A Short Sketch of the Life of Elder Joseph Hartley (Salem, IL, Advocate Job Office, 1841) (This document appears as part of the book Hartley Family, no author , no editor listed, but given to the Shawnee Library System, Carterville, Illinois by John Tanner Aichele, Fort Wayne Indiana)

[6] William Henry Perrin ed., History of Jefferson County, Illinois (Chicago: Globe Pub. Co., 1883)

[7] The Primitive Baptist Library in their "Church and Family History Research Assistance for Primitive Baptist Churches in Jefferson County, Illinois”

[8] "Appendix to A Sketch of the Life of Elder Joseph Hartley ", which appears in the Hartley Family,no author , no editor listed, but given to the Shawnee Library System, Carterville, Illinois by John Tanner Aichele, Fort Wayne Indiana:

[9] The Prairie Historian , Volume 2. Number 3, September 1973, Waltonville, Jefferson Co. IL

[10] Joseph Hartley , A Short Sketch of the Life of Elder Joseph Hartley (Salem, IL, Advocate Job Office, 1841) (This document appears as part of the book Hartley Family, no author , no editor listed, but given to the Shawnee Library System, Carterville, Illinois by John Tanner Aichele, Fort Wayne Indiana)

[11] ibid

[12] From a photo-copy made by Jean Miller (daughter of Emma Jean Blades, daughter of Martha May Hartley, daughter of James Clayton Hartley) in 1962 of the original document. She had inherited the original from her grandfather, James Clayton Hartley, when he died. She regretted that Joseph Hartley had not signed the document.

[13] "Appendix to A Sketch of the Life of Elder Joseph Hartley ", which appears in the Hartley Family,no author , no editor listed, but given to the Shawnee Library System, Carterville, Illinois by John Tanner Aichele, Fort Wayne Indiana: essay written by James Joseph Fitzgerrell in Los Angeles CA.

[14] "Recollections of David Franklin Hartley 1865-1915; the trip across the Plains and homes on the Pacific Coast as recorded by him on April 1, 1915--50 years, to the day, after leaving his home in Illinois" by David Franklin Hartley appearing in Hartley Family, no author, no editor listed, but given to the Shawnee Library System, Carterville, Illinois by John Tanner Aichele, Fort Wayne Indiana

[15] Tom Lonergan, Hiawatha To Geronimo: The Assault on Native America (Bloomington, Universe, 2013) 245.

[16] "Recollections of David Franklin Hartley 1865-1915; the trip across the Plains and homes on the Pacific Coast as recorded by him on April 1, 1915--50 years, to the day, after leaving his home in Illinois" by David Franklin Hartley; appearing in Hartley Family, no author, no editor listed, but given to the Shawnee Library System, Carterville, Illinois by John Tanner Aichele, Fort Wayne Indiana

[17] Private communication between several children of Charles Lycurgus Hartley and Charles LeRoy Hartley in 1965 at the 100th anniversary family reunion in Turner, Oregon.

[18] "Recollections of David Franklin Hartley 1865-1915; the trip across the Plains and homes on the Pacific Coast as recorded by him on April 1, 1915--50 years, to the day, after leaving his home in Illinois" by David Franklin Hartley; appearing in Hartley Family,no author , no editor listed, but given to the Shawnee Library System, Carterville, Illinois by John Tanner Aichele, Fort Wayne Indiana

[19] The Prairie Historian, Volume 3, Number 1 , March 1973, Jefferson Co., IL

[20] Signs of the Times, Vol. 60, No. 5, (Middletown, New York, 1892), p. 40.

[21] Signs of the Times, Vol. 35, No. 21, (Middletown, New York, 1867), p. 167.

[22] Signs of the Times, Vol. 60, No. 5, (Middletown, New York, 1892), p. 40.