This is a plat map of Clay Township, Kosciusko County, Indiana, in 1879. At that time John Benjamin Wilson owned a parcel of land in the township. John B. Wilson (1832-1903) is the great grandfather of Miriam E. Grasz Field to whom these web pages are dedicated. He was first married to Mary E. Crockett and they were married in Ohio. They then moved to Indiana. Mary died in 1869 and John married Susannah Barbara Adams. John had nine children with Mary and four with Susannah. These children and grandchildren married into families around Kosciusko County. It is interesting to look at plat maps and see where these various people lived. Long distance travel was not common in the 1880's and people tended to marry close neighbors. They often went to churches together and they would marry other churches members.
Another name that interests us in the south east corner of section 14 is N. Woolley. This was Nicholas Woolley (1804-1879) He was third husband of Isabelle Gohn (1833-1924)
Isabelle's first husband was James Frymire (1830-1864/65). Their daughter Elizabeth Rosette Frymire (1858-1907) married James Robert Wilson (1852-1915) a son of John Benjamin and Mary Crockett Wilson. James and Rosette were the parents of Tressa Wilson Grasz the mother of Miriam Grasz Field.
The map below is Clay Township in 1903 and it is interesting to compare the land ownership in 1879 and in 1903.
Below is the homestead home on the Wilson land. On the first Clay Township map it is most likely the upper orange square in the J. B. Wilson land (section 14). The square in the corner of the land is the Claypool school. Written on the front of the photograph it says Wilson Homestead. (Wilson Homestead photographs are courtesy of Peggy McCuen Young, a great great granddaughter of John B. Wilson and Mary Crockett through their son Edgar Farmer Wilson and Florence Isabel Keesey.) Click on the photo for another view of the Wilson. homestead.
These are photographs are of Elizabeth Rosette Frymire who married James Robert Wilson, a son of John and Mary Wilson, and one of their daughters Tressa Ethel (1886-1931) near the outbuildings of the Wilson Homestead. In the photo on the left Rose is drinking water from the well and in the photo on the right Tressa is the older woman. The young girl is unknown. Tressa married Floyd M. Grasz and their only daughter was Miriam Grasz Field. Miriam said she remembers going to the Old Wilson Homestead outside of Claypool when she was a child.
Above left photo is Mary E. Crockett, middle is John Benjamin Wilson and on the right is Susannah Barbara Adams.
The tombstones are in the Mr. Pleasant Cemetery, Kosciusko County, Indiana. On the left is Mary and the right is John B. There was a funeral home marker for Susannah but it is either no longer visble or has been taken.
Mary Elizabeth Crockett was born 24 February 1831 in Virginia. Her parents were James (1789-?) and Sarah Simmons (1880-1849) Crockett. She married John Benjamin Wilson 23 November 1847. John was born in Stark County, Ohio 23 March 1823 and died 16 October 1903 in Clay Township, Koscisuko County, Indiana. John and Elizabeth are both buried in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Wayne Township, Kosciusko County, Indiana. Mary and John had nine children, Osse Sarah, Benjamin, James Robert, Edgar Farmer, William K, Horace E., Laura, Lewis and Mary. Our line descends through James Robert (1852-1915). After Mary died John married Susannah Barbara Adams and they had four children all of whom survived to adulthood, Isaac, Monroe, Harvey and Fanny. The Wilson Family remained close and had family reunions until at least 1930. Link to the 1930 Wilson Family Reunion.
The first of John Wilson's children that was born in Clay Township was Monroe Wilson, his second child with Susannah Adams. On the 1879 map there is property adjoining the Wilson property to the north east belonging to D. Adams. Susannah had a brother named Daniel, possibly this was his land. On the 1903 map to the north west (section 11) was land belonging to Sarah Adams. Susannah had a sister named Sarah. To the far west of the 1903 map in section 7 is land belonging to Jeremiah Adams and Susannah also had a brother named Jeremiah as well. Part of Jeremiah's land belonged to an Adams according to the 1879 map.
Names on the maps that have some connection with the Wilson Family include:
Plat Maps of surrounding townships also have names on them that also had connections with the Wilson Family. These names include:
Tombstones of many of these people can be found in the cemeteries of Kosciusko and neighboring counties.
The Clay Township District School 8 was built in 1881. This would have been when John B. Wilson owned the land at the south west corner of section 14 in Clay Township, Kosciusko County, Indiana. The plat map of 1879 shows the school as a red rectangle located at corner of the land. Today it is at the junction of County Farm Road and County Road 700 South. The school has been beautifully restored and is used for social functions today. In the side view of the school all the land visible was formerly that of John B. Wilson.
The four images below are other views of the John Benjamin Wilson land from County Road 700 S. and County Farm Road. The land was visited by Lucie and Gene Field on 12 July 2009 late in the afternoon. The photos were taken by Gene Field. It is very interesting to know that much of the Wilson family history took place here for many years at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. I remember being told that the Old Wilson Homestead was demolished about 1934. There are a few Wilson descendants still living that remember the original building. We are greatful to the people of Kosciusko County for maintaining the schoool house. Too often people do not appreciate the value of these historic sites. Gene is a second great grandson and Lucie is a third great granddaughter of John B. Wilson and Mary E. Crockett.