Joseph Riley Field (1803-1881) was the fifth child of Keen and Anne Lewis Field the pioneers of Gibson County, Indiana. He married Elizabeth Jane Kell (- 1853) probably also of Gibson County. They were married about 1824. According to Warrick County, Indiana, records Joseph and Elizabeth, who went by Jane, were divorced in October of 1824. Jane and Joseph had a daughter, Nancy Caroline (dates unknown). At some point Joseph moved over to Greene County, Illinois. Nancy stayed with Jane and married James Sovercool. Their descendants are still living today. Nancy and Jane are buried in the Morton Cemetery, Barton Twps., Gibson County, Indiana. We do not think Jane remarried or ever moved to Greene County, Illinois. Our information about this is vague. Jane was a Kell which was a large family and the connections are not easy to follow. We do now know exactly who Jane's parents were.
When Joseph Riley moved over to Greene County, Illinois, it seems he must have taken some of his children but again this is not at all clear. On 15 November 1857 Joseph married Ophelia Peck. Laura B. Field (1859- ) and J. R. Field (1864-1865) were children of Ophelia.
Joseph Riley was a character to say the least and he seems to have lead an eventful life.
Joseph Riley's youngest brother, Keen Wither Jr., moved to Greene County, then back to Gibson County, back to Greene County and finally out to Oklahoma where he died. Their father, Keen Field, died in 1815. At some point Anna Lewis Field, their mother, moved to Greene County, Illinois, and was last recorded in the 1850 census some where near Apple Creek, Greene County, Illinois. That is the last record of her and it is not known where she is buried.
The family seems to have had a reputation for being a rough and ready family and not too well liked by the people of the area as the article linked below indicates. Joseph Riley was a farmer and stockman and had a lot of money and obviously felt he could buy anything, including the freedom of his murderous son. At the age of 77 Joseph Riley fell out of a wagon, suffered apoplexy and died. He was buried in the White Hall Cemetery in Greene County, Illinois.
In July of 2009 we were contacted by Becky Sherwin the daughter of the present owner of the Joseph Riley Field farm. She stated in one of her emails, "I think my great-great-great grandfather was actually a neighbor to Joseph Riley from about 1856 on. My ancestors didn't acquire the farm where the Field's lived until around the time of the depression."
All of the photographs on this page were taken by Becky Sherwin and she has graciously given us permission to use them on our web site.
The Joseph Riley Field family farm.
Areal view of the Joseph Riley Field family farm today.
The Joseph Riley Field family home.
Article about Joseph J. Field.