Epilogue: The Calkins Children
Phebe Calkins was born 2 September 1773 in Norwich, CT [Norwich Vital Records, Page 498] to twenty-five year old Frederick Calkins and his nineteen year old wife Annis Huntington Calkins. According to a deed transacted by her father, Phebe appears to have married someone named Cole by April 1801. Nothing further is known concerning Phebe. It is conceivable that she married in Lebanon, NH. during her family’s residency there between 1788 and 1791.
Elizabeth Calkins was born 13 May 1775 in Norwich, CT [Norwich Vital Records, Page 498] to twenty-seven year old Frederick Calkins and his twenty-one year old wife Annis Huntington Calkins. Sometime between 1820 and 1830, Elizabeth and her mother Annis, widow of Frederick Calkins, came to live with younger sister Chloe and her husband Ebenezer Merrill. Both appear in the Merrill household in both the 1830 and 1840 Census records. Unmarried Elizabeth is living in Hanover, NH with her sister Chloe and Ebenezer at the time of the 1850 Census. She does not appear to be living in 1860.
Frederick Calkins, Junior was born 30 June 1778 in Norwich, CT [Norwich Vital Records, Page 498] to thirty year old Frederick Calkins and his twenty-four year old wife Annis Huntington Calkins. He died at age thirty on 15 December 1808 in Chelsea, VT. It is suspected that he never married.
Annis Calkins was born 15 June 1781 in Norwich, CT [Norwich Vital Records, Page 498] to thirty-three year old Frederick Calkins and his twenty-seven year old wife Annis Huntington Calkins. She married Asa Garfield probably in 1799, but certainly before April 1801. Asa Garfield was born 4 October 1775 in Spencer, MA to Samuel Garfield, Jr. & Phebe Rice. Asa was the cousin of future President James A. Garfield. He died in 1830 in LeRoy, NY, nine days after establishing residence there. His widow Annis continued operation of the sawmill after his death, however, in the fall of 1838, she moved with her children to Lee Township, Calhoun County, Michigan. Their emigration story is captured in a biographical sketch of her youngest son Martin on page 898 of Portrait Biographical Album of Calhoun County, Michigan published in 1891. “He was but four years old when his parents removed to Genesee County, NY and there as he grew older he attended school and began to help in the sawmill. Not long after he entered his teens he made the journey to this State, the family crossing the lake on the Great Western and having a stormy voyage. At Detroit they took a team and so completed their journey to their new home. Young Garfield at once began to work in the sawmill (Alcott Mills) and to do teaming with oxen, and remained at the mill until 1848″ when he moved to Convis. The newly built 185′ long Great Western (1838) was the first steamer on the Great Lakes to be built with spacious upper cabins. Asa and Annis Garfield’s oldest child was George Cary Garfield, known as Sceavy, born on 3 March 1800 in Orange, VT. He is later listed on 1820 Census in Hardwick, VT. Phebe Garfield was born on 11 Jul 1802 in Chelsea, VT. Hollis Garfield was born on 17 October 1804 in Marlboro, NH during the time his father Asa, a millwright, set up and operated a sawmill in Keene, NH. On 5 March 1829 in Hardwick, Caledonia, VT, Hollis married Sarah “Sally” Shepard born 8 July 1797 in VT. Two children are listed in the Lee, Calhoun County, Michigan 1850 Census at which time Hollis, a house carpenter, and his wife are residing next to his brother Frederick: George born in NY about 1834 and Mary born in NY about 1837. Both of Hollis’ children are listed in the 1840 Census for Fenton, Genesee County, MI along with another adult woman slightly younger than wife Sarah, perhaps sister Caroline. Fourth child Frederick Garfield was born 7 April 1807 in Marlboro, NH. Frederick was employed in milling at Alcott Mills. The first Lee Township meeting in Calhoun County was held in 1840 at the home of Frederick, who was elected town clerk, eventually serving also as assessor and justice of the peace. In addition to Frederick, listed in the Lee, Calhoun County, Michigan 1840 Census are a woman presumed to be his sister Caroline, two males born 1825-30 (probably including younger brother Martin) and 1810-1820 (likely brother William or Samuel) and one older woman born 1770-1780. The older woman is his mother Annis Calkins Garfield, daughter of Frederick Calkins, who died 29 January 1848; “her last hours being cheered by Christian faith and hope, she being a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.” He married presumably for the second time Mary Whipple, born in New York about 1820, in Eaton County, MI on 19 December 1849. In addition to his younger brother Martin noted as a farmer, and wife Mary, only one child of laborer Frederick Garfield is listed in the Lee, Calhoun County, MI 1850 Census, Solomon L. born in NY about 1846. Some sources suggest Frederick and Mary Garfield had at least three additional children: Lafayette, A. Delbert and Andrew M. Garfield. Asa Garfield, Jr was born on 28 June 1809 in Marlboro, NH. He married Hannah Murdock born about 1811 on 25 August 1835 in LeRoy, NY. Asa and Hannah had two children before Hannah died 30 March 1841. Asa remarried to Mary Jane Ellison in 1844 in Wayne County, OH. Asa and Mary Jane Garfield had three children. After Mary Jane died, Asa married a third time to Clarissa Rising on 25 December 1869 in Ionia, MI. Asa died 10 January 1873 in Saranaqac, Michigan. Sixth child of Asa Garfield, Sr. was William Garfield, born on 19 August 1813. He married Lucy Ann Hazen on 24 December 1856. He died in 1857. Samuel Garfield was born on 12 May 1817 in VT. Caroline Garfield was born on 28 August 1822 in Hardwick, VT. She married Rodney B. Allen in Michigan in 1840. Allen must have died prior to the 1880 Census, as Caroline is living in her brother Martin’s household by that time. She died on 16 February 1915. Asa and Annis Garfield’s youngest child Martin C. Garfield was born on 13 August 1826 in Hardwick, VT. Martin is listed as living with his brother Frederick in the 1850 Census. On 30 March 1851 at the bride’s home in Marshall Township, Martin married Lydia Jeanette Campbell born in NY in 1835. Martin and his wife are living in Convis, Calhoun County, MI at the time of the 1880 Census with their son Frank A. who was born about 1857 in Michigan. Sister Caroline Allen is also living with them. Martin Garfield died on 14 January 1895.
Martin Calkins was born 16 April 1783 in Norwich, CT [Norwich Vital Records, Page 498] to thirty-five year old Frederick Calkins and his twenty-nine year old wife Annis Huntington Calkins. He was infirm at least by the age of twenty-eight when he began receiving public assistance. He died 30 November 1815 in Chelsea, VT nine days after his father.
Sophia Calkins was born 16 October 1786 in Norwich, CT [Norwich Vital Records, Page 498] to thirty-eight year old Frederick Calkins and his thirty-two year old wife Annis Huntington Calkins. She is unmarried in December 1801 but is living outside of the Calkins household by June 1808. Sophia was married to nineteen year old Justus Rhoads of Marlborough, NH on 6 August 1806, Chelsea, Orange County, VT by Justice of the Peace Theo. Huntington. [Chelsea Book 1, Page 80] Born on 18 January 1787, Justus Rhoads was the youngest of eleven children of Ebenezer Rhoads (1745+-7/4/1825) and Sarah Page (6/16/1745-10/6/1821) who were married on 12 March 1767. Ebenezer Rhoads, aka Rhodes, came to Marlborough, NH at 18 years of age from Walpole, MA and built a Tavern known as the Rhodes Inn, completed in 1771. [History of the Town of Marlborough by Charles A Bemis, Page 611] Justus fathered at least four children prior to Sophia Calkins Rhoad’s death on 14 May 1823 in Dickersonville, Niagara County, NY. Oldest son Justus Addison was born 3 June 1807, Frederick W. born in 1809, Ransom A. born on 13 September 1811 and Judson A. born 13 March 1823, just two months before his mother’s death. The older children appear to have been born in Marlborough, NH while young Judson A. was born in New York. Shortly after being widowed, Justus Rhoads married Sophia’s younger sister Eunice Huntington Calkins on 4 March 1824 at Nicholville, St. Lawrence County, NY. Four years later, Justus Rhoads died at his hometown of Marlborough, NH on 17 September 1828. A search of the family gravestones at the Rhodes Cemetery 0.3 miles south of Marlborough on Hill Street may located his resting place. Justus Addison Rhoads appears to be residing in Jay, Essex County, NY in the 1850 Census and Lawrence, St. Lawrence County, NY in the 1860 Census. Forty-one year old Frederick W. Rhoads and his thirty year old wife Mary, born in New York, are living in Pierpoint, Ashtabula County, Ohio in 1850 where he is described as a cabinet maker. All eight of their children are noted as born in Ohio- Cordelia F. born 1834, Alonzo G. born 1837, Laura born 1839, Archibald P. born 1841, Theresa S. born 1843, Justus M. born 1845, Halsey M. born 1847 and Mary E. born 1849. Five years later, the widowed Frederick W, Rhoads is living in the household of his Uncle John Smith and Aunt Mary Prentice Calkins in Iowa City, Iowa with only two of his eight children- Laura and Justus. By the following year in 1856 Frederick moved to Fairview, as Story City was formerly known, in Lafayette Township, Story County, Iowa where he became the second resident after John J. Foot, who “accommodated the traveling public.” Early in 1857, the post office was established in Fairview with Frederick W. Rhoads as the first postmaster. His residence was on the West side of the Skunk River, as was the residence of his youngest brother Judson A. Rhoads. By 1860, Frederick moved to Nevada, Story County, Iowa and was succeeded as postmaster by Noah Harding. The History of Story County, Iowa details the tragic death of Frederick A. Rhoads due to a fall from a scaffold on the old Alderman Building in October 1867. His memorial notes “Mr. Rhoads was a carpenter and a man of much strength of character” whose oldest daughter was the respected Mrs. Laura Berry and whose two sons were newspapermen. Ransom A. Rhoads was married to Mary Ann Harrington in New York in 1844. Mary Ann was born on 20 April 1821 in New York to Daniel Harrington and Polly Ayelesworth. The 1850 Census places them in Constantine, St. Joseph County, Michigan, the 1860 Census in Elba, Dodge County, WI and the 1870 Census in Orange, Juneau County, WI. Family history suggests they resided in LeGrange County, Indiana and Ohio as well, finally arriving in Lowell, WI by 1854. Ransom A. Rhoads died on 22 October 1888 in Millston, Jackson County, WI where he is buried in Brookside Cemetary. His wife died in Shawano County, WI on 3 December 1904. The youngest son of Sophia and Justus Rhoads, Judson like his older brother Frederick W. Rhoads, was living in the household of his Uncle John Smith and Aunt Mary Prentice Calkins in Iowa City in 1855. Census data suggests the family lived in Illinois immediately prior. With his brother Frederick, he planted roots in Lafayette Township on the West side of the Skunk River at West Bend, Iowa. The 1860 Census includes the thirty-six year old Judson A. Rhoads and his Canadian-born thirty-year old wife Ruth M., along with three children- A.M. born in 1852, Edwin Augustus born in 1854 and Franklin Benjamin born in 1856. Judson A. Rhoads died 9 March 1911.
Eunice Huntington Calkins was born 14 September 1791 at Lebanon, NH [Chelsea Book 1, Page 29] to forty-three year old Frederick Calkins and his thirty-seven year old wife Annis Huntington Calkins. She was not married in April of 1801. Records suggest she was also out of the Calkins household by June of 1808. She is named for Annis’ sister who died the year before her birth. Without a doubt, she is the Eunice H. Rhodes who testified in 1837 of being present at Frederick’s death in 1815 and who would have been aged 24 at that time. At age thirty-three, on 4 March 1824 at Nicholville, Niagara County, NY, Eunice married her sister Sophia’s husband Justus Rhoads after her death the preceeding May. Four years later, Justus Rhoads died at his hometown of Marlborough, NH on 17 September 1828. Eunice Meredith is mentioned in Rachel Ann Nixon’s 1915 letter concerning Frederick Calkins’ war service and pension records. It is speculated that Eunice Huntington Rhoads may have been remarried to someone named Meredith after her 1837 testimony on behalf of her mother’s pension application and the drafting of her mother’s will in 1843.
Mary Prentice Calkins was born 7 March 1794 in Chelsea, VT [Chelsea Book 1, Page 29] to forty-five year old Frederick Calkins and his thirty-nine year old wife Annis Huntington Calkins. She was the eighth of ten children and the sixth of eight daughters. Mary Prentice Calkins married John Smith in 1812 probably in Chelsea or Waterbury, VT. The 1860 Census suggests John Smith was born in 1787 in Vermont and the 1850 Census suggests 1797 in NH, however, DAR information taken partially from his gravestone lists his birth as 1 April 1787 in Chelsea, VT. Family history suggests John Smith was born in West Henniker, NH and also suggest his father’s name was William Smith, possibly a British soldier during the Revolutionary War. Family history also suggests William Smith’s children’s names are William, John, Austin, Robert (4/2/1800-10/7/1860), James (1804-10/15/1834), Jane, Margaret and Nancy. Sarah Ann Smith (1763-1830) is reported to be the mother of John Smith. None of the Smith family data has been independently verified. John Smith and Mary Prentice Calkins had twelve children, most probably born in Waterbury, Washington County, VT. Caroline, the oldest child, was born about 1814/5 in Vermont. The oldest son Martin was born 20 November 1821. Another daughter Mary Ann was born 8 October 1826. According to the 1830 Census, John and Mary Prentice Smith and their family of two sons and two daughters less than ten years old and two older daughters less than twenty years old along with another adult male are living near Mary Prentice’ younger sister Sybil and her husband Robert R. Smith in Waterbury, VT. Apparently the two sisters were married to two brothers. Son Henry was born in 1834 followed one year later by a daughter Fanny.
By the time of the 1840 Census, John and Mary Prentice Smith had moved their family to Hickory Creek, Frankfort Township, Will County, IL. This probably occurred sometime between 1833 and 1840, most likely between 1835 and 1839 at the same time Mary’s sister Sybil and her husband Robert R. Smith emigrated. The 1840 Census indicates that both boys and three of the four older girls were surviving from the previous census. In addition, one younger boy and girl were born to Mary Prentice in the intervening decade. The 1850 Census lists the four children remaining in the household as Caroline, Martin, Henry and Fanny. One family researcher who is in possession of a picture of three of the daughters, suggests John and Mary Prentice Smith had a total of eleven children: Caroline, Achsah, Charles, Martin, William, Phebe, Charles, Mary Ann, John, Verona, Henry. Daughter Mary Ann Smith, since married to Daniel Azro Millington in 1848, was residing next door with the newlyweds’ one year old daughter Mary C. born about 1849 at the time of the 1850 Census.
Mary Ann Smith married Daniel A. Millington, born in Hubbardton, VT, on his twenty-fifth birthday. He had moved to Will County in 1844 from Rutland County, VT and would go on to become a founder, mayor and postmaster of Winfield, KS, as well as, editor of the Winfield Courier. An excerpt from the hand-written Journal of a California Miner by D. A. Millington housed in the California State Library reads, “D. A. Millington and Mary Smith were married May 16, 1848 by Wm B. Cleveland J.P. in the home of John Smith her father near Chelsea Post Office Will County Ill. The house was an old rickety frame building in the edge of a beautiful notch of prairie near the head of the timber skirting Hickory Creek and known as the Hickory Creek Timber. This notch was on the south east of the timber and about 1/4 of a mile south of the creek. Westward an excellent and beautiful grove of timber extended along the bank of Hickory Creek twelve miles to the town of Joliet the county seat of Will county…One fourth of a mile Eastward was a small grove of about 160 acres known as Van Horne’s Grove. This was also on the bank of Hickory Creek and two miles to the south East was a larger grove called Skunk Grove. Southward was the grand rolling prairie extending in graceful undulation 30 miles south to the Kankakee river and continues NNE 32 miles to Chicago broken by several small groves…The persons present at the wedding were John Smith the bride’s father, Mary (Calkins) Smith her mother, Martin & Henry Smith her brothers, Caroline Smith her sister, R. (Robert) R. Smith her uncle, Sybil (Calkins) Smith her aunt, Sarah Ann, Phebe & Charles Smith her cousins (Robert & Sybil’s children)…The marriage took place about 11 o.c. A.M. In the evening the new married parties drove to Joliet and put up at the Exchange Hotel….They continued their trip through the counties of Kendall, Kane & DuPage and returned in one week.”
Mary Ann and Daniel’s younger daughter Jesse Millington, born 22 November 1856, married Ezra Harrison Nixon on Thursday evening 8 October 1885 in Winfield, Cowley County, KS in a “Brilliant Wedding.” The wedding was held on the mother of the bride’s birthday which grandmother Mary Prentice Calkins Smith would not live long enough to attend. The groom was born 10 November 1856. Ezra Nixon’s father Samuel was a prominent farmer of Section 31 in Cedar Township near Utica, IA and it was said that he owned the first corn planter in use on the Utica prairie. Ezra’s occupations included: cattleman, deed abstracter and Registrar of Deeds. In 1889, he also formed a business called Nixon & Noble Hardware. In 1902 he served as a Republican state representative for two years representing House District 78. He was a Federal Land Agent in 1906 and he organized the Barber County Abstract Company in 1912. Jessie Millington Nixon was a charter member of the Monday Afternoon Club and helped organize the City Library and Episcopal Church in Medicine Lodge. Online photos are extant for both E.H. Nixon and Daniel A. Millington. A descendant remains in possession of photographs of E.H Nixon in 1902, as well as, photos of Daniel A. and Mary Ann Millington. The couple is buried in the Millington plot in Winfield.
Ezra and Jesse Millington Nixon’s daughter Rachel Ann Nixon was born 11 Jan 1888 in Barber County, KS, one of four children. She graduated with the Class of 1905 from Medicine Lodge High School and attended Southwestern College. Rachel Nixon was a secretary and advertising manager for Best Brothers’ Keenes Cement Company until 1933, when according to descendant John Nixon, she was fired due to the depression. Best Brothers is now Gold Bond National Gypsum. Medicine Lodge is located in the heart of Kansas’ Gypsum or “Red” Hills, so named owing to their distinctive color formed by rusting iron in eroding soils. Rachel then moved to Clovis, NM where she lived until her death and bought the Fox News Stand sometime after 1936. Rachel Nixon later started the magazine Wholesale. She was a member of IAG, DAR, Huntington Family Association, Boon Family Association, Kansas Authors, Monday Afternoon Club, and director of the Medicine Lodge Indian Peace Council Treaty Memorial Association. As a member of this last organization, Rachel accompanied Chief I-See-O to locate the actual site of the signing of the 1867 Treaty and wrote the prologue to the treaty celebration which is recited even today. It was Rachel Nixon who wrote to the Pension Dept in 1915 from Medicine Lodge, KS inquiring about a Mary Prentice Calkins supposedly married to Frederick Calkins, a Revolutionary War sea Captain. She understood that Mary Calkins pension vouchers were signed by a daughter Mrs. Eunice Meredith. Of course, Mary Prentice Calkins could only be Frederick Calkins’ daughter or mother, not his wife Annis Huntington Calkins who was the recipient of the $180 per year pension. Miss Rachel Ann Nixon’s DAR application number is 129280 and her ancestry to Frederick Calkins is listed in Lineage Book 1933 on page 86. An original copy of Rachel’s DAR application, as well as, her genealogical research and personal library are still extant and remain in the possession of a descendent.
By the time of the 1860 Census, John and Mary Prentice Smith were living with their son Martin and his wife Barbara A., born in Ohio on 22 March 1832, with their three children ages 3, 5 and 7 in Salt Creek Township, Tama County, IA. The census records, indicating the place of birth of the Smith children, suggest the Smith family moved to Iowa away from Mary Prentice’s sister Sybil and her husband Robert R. Smith in Will County, IL sometime between 1855 and 1857. The 1878 History of Benton County, Iowa indicates that in July of 1857, a Mrs. Martin Smith and Mr. Smith’s mother (probably Mary Prentice Smith) were part of the first class of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Irving, a village which lies partly in Tama County just four miles from Belle Plaine. John Smith died 15 October 1868 in Chelsea, IA just two miles from Belle Plaine. Martin Smith died on 3 December 1882 just five years after his mother, followed by his wife Barbara A. on 19 April 1890. Martin and Barbara are both buried in the “Odd Fellows” cemetery in Salt Creek, IA.
Sometime between the death of her husband John Smith in October of 1868 and the August 1870 Census, Mary Prentice Smith moved back to Will County, IL to live in the Plainfield home of her daughter Caroline and her husband Henry Aulsbrook with their three surviving children Charles E. (a traveling agent for the furniture maker) born about 1843-4, Edward (or Edmund) born about 1853 and Julius H. born about 1854/5. The Aulsbrook family had been living in Plainfield since before the 1860 Census. A younger child Jesse was not listed in the census taken thirteen years after his birth in 1857. Henry Aulsbrook was a cabinet maker born in England about 1810/11. By 1875, Aulsbrook moved his family the 250 miles from Plainfield, IL to Belle Plaine, IA, less than thirty miles away from the home of his brother-in-law Martin Smith, where Mary Prentice was living with her husband John. Henry Aulsbrook is listed among the Benton County businesses from the A.T. Andreas Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Iowa, 1875 as a furniture manufacturer operating in Belle Plaine. Henry was in business with Martin E. Ausbrook who subsequently became a successful furniture manufacturer in Sturgis, MI. Presumably, Mary Prentice Smith returned to Iowa with her son-in-law Henry Aulsbrook at the time of his move in 1875 and lived in Belle Plaine until her death a few years later on 28 August 1877. Henry Aulsbrook and Caroline his wife with son Julius are residing in Iowa Township, Benton County, IA at the time of the 1880 Census. Mary Prentice Smith’s obituary in the Winfield Courier of 6 September 1877 reads, “DIED. Mrs. Mary Smith, mother of Mrs. Millington, of this city, died at Belle Plaine, Iowa, on the 28th of August, at the advanced age of 84 years. Hers has been a very eventful life, in many scenes of which she has manifested heroic fortitude, as well as the more tender graces and virtues of womanhood, and she has ever enjoyed the love, respect, and admiration of all her acquaintances. She was an enthusiastic and consistent member of the M. E. church.” She and her husband are buried in Irving Cemetery, Benton County, IA.
Sybil Calkins, or Sibyl [Sibal in Chelsea Book 1, Page 29] was born 1 June 1796 in Chelsea, VT to forty-seven year old Frederick Calkins and his forty-one year old wife Annis Huntington Calkins. She was the ninth of ten children and the seventh of eight daughters. Sibyl joined the Congregational Church of Chelsea, the church of her parents, at age twenty-three on 5 September 1819. Twenty-nine year old Sybil was married to Robert R. Smith of Waterbury, VT on 30 March 1825 in Chelsea, VT by Calvin Noble, “Minister of the Gospel” of the Congregational Church of Chelsea [Chelsea Book 1, Page 223]. Twenty-five year old Robert R., born on 2 April 1800 in Vermont, was the son of Sarah Ann Smith (1763-3/15/1820). He is the younger brother of John Smith who married Sybil’s older sister Mary Prentice Calkins. Robert and Sybil Smith’s oldest daughter Minerva S. was born 6 July 1829 in Vermont. The 1830 Census indicates that Sybil and her husband Robert Smith had moved to Waterbury, VT sometime in the intervening five years. The census further indicates that a young male born between 1820 and 1825 was also living with them in addition to another woman born between 1800 and 1810. Sybil and Robert probably moved to be near her older sister of two years Mary Prentice who had in 1812 married John Smith, perhaps a New Hampshire born relative of Robert who also appears on the 1830 Census from Waterbury. Sybil, now Mrs. Smith, was officially dismissed from the Congregational Church of Chelsea to Waterbury in 1833.
Sometime between 1833 and 1840, Sybil and Robert R. Smith moved and settled near Hickory Creek, Frankfort Township, Will County, IL. They had a claim in what was then Indian Territory. They were apparently part of the “Vermont migration” to the Plainfield, IL area and other areas of the burgeoning West. The social and economic history of this period of national geographic and economic expansion and its consequential impact on the local Chelsea, VT community is well documented in “Those who Stayed Behind: Rural Society in Nineteenth-Century New England” by Hal S. Barron. According to the 1850 Census, Robert R. Smith was a farmer. According to family history, Sybil was a midwife or a practical nurse and is said to have delivered a lot of babies in that area. Their oldest daughter Minerva S. married John Bill, born 1808 in Vermont, and moved out of their household by 1850. According to the 1850 Census, Minerva had a son Henry H. born about 1842 when she was thirteen and a daughter Sarah E. born about 1847. Minerva and John Bill with six children ages 1 to 13 were living in Wheatland, IL according to the 1860 Census. Ten years later, the couple with seven children ages 1 to nineteen were still residing in Wheatland. Minerva died in Fitzgerald, GA on 11 October 1915 presumably at the home of one of her children, but was buried in Plainfield, IL. Sybil also bore a son Charles about 1836. Twins Phebe E., probably named for Sybil’s oldest sister, and Sarah Ann, named for Robert’s mother; were born in 1839 when Sybil was forty-three years old. The 1850 Census indicates all three children were born in Vermont, suggesting that Robert and Sybil moved to Will County, IL in 1839 or 1840, however, family history suggests 1835 as the year. Sybil is reputed to have born two sets of twins, however, research to date has not been conclusive. It is said the three younger children died young, however this also is not verified.
A descendant of Minerva Smith and John Bill remains in possession of an original photograph of Robert and Sybil in their later years taken in Belle Plaine, IA. This image probably was taken on a visit to Sybil’s nephew Martin Smith’s home at Salt Creek Township in Tama County, just “down the road” where her sister Mary Prentice Smith lived just prior to Robert R, Smith’s death on 7 October 1860 at 60 years old. Another relative of Minerva and John Bill indicates online that her aunt was in possession of the Bill Family Bible, as well as, additional photos of Robert R. and Sybil Smith. This material appears to have been passed down in the family through John and Minerva’s son Gillman Charles Bill. She adds “they were taken on glass had beautiful gold inlays and (are) in velvet cases to protect them from getting broken and the light. She allowed me to take them 25 years ago to have copies made of them, but no one seems to know what happen to the originals.” Sybil Calkins Smith died almost ten years after her husband on 19 September 1870. Both Sybil and Robert R. Smith are buried in Wheatland Cemetery in Naperville, IL where a corresponding descendant notes “the original gravestone is very worn. A second gravestone, lists the two as great-grandparents of William Weller.”
Chloe Calkins, or Cloe, was born 3 June 1800 in Chelsea, VT [Chelsea Book 1, Page 29] to fifty-one year old Frederick Calkins and his forty-five year old wife Annis Huntington Calkins. She was the youngest of ten children and the last of eight daughters. Chloe married Ebenezer Merrill, born in New Hampshire in 1790, likely late in 1821. Their oldest son Franklin Harmon was born 27 July 1822. Daughter Elmira Caroline was born 28 January 1824 and died 22 March 1851. Another son, Frederick Calkins Merrill born 2 September 1827, was named for his grandfather Frederick Calkins who had died twelve years before. Another daughter, Lucitta Adelia born 12 March 1830, appears to have died before the 1840 Census. Sometime between 1820 and 1830, Chloe’s new husband Ebenezer came to reside with her mother Annis, widow of Frederick Calkins, along with Chloe’s older sister Elizabeth in the Calkins homestead. Both Calkins women appear in the Merrill household in the 1830 and 1840 Census records. Chloe and Ebenezer joined the Congregational Church of Chelsea, the church of Chloe’s parents and older sister Sybil, on 4 September 1831. Daughter Issabel Allis was born 8 November 1834. Sons Martin Ebenezer born 30 June 1838, Charles Parker born 14 March 1840 and George Washington Merrill born 19 February 1845 complete the Merrill household. Only Charles and George are living at home by the time of the 1860 Census.
Ebenezer Merrill is listed as Head of Household for Annis Huntington Calkins, age 85, at Chelsea, VT in the 1840 Census of Pensioners. Annis died on 6 September 1847 in Chelsea at the age of 92. Chloe and Ebenezer Merrill moved shortly thereafter to Hanover, NH with their family and Choe’s older sister Elizabeth, sometime after the certification of their children in the Chelsea Town Records on 10 September 1849 [Book 2,Page 16]. Ebenezer is listed as a farmer and landowner in Grafton County, NH in the 1850 Census record dated 9 September 1850. Chloe and Ebenezer Merrill transferred church membership from the Congregational Church of Chelsea to Dartmouth College, NH on 4 March 1858. Both Chloe and Ebenezer appear to be living at the time of the 1870 Census. On 6 March 1853, son Frederick Caulkins Merrill married Almina Babbitt, born 11 February 1833 in Hanover, NH. They are living in Hanover, NH at the time of the 1860 Census with son Ransom born about 1850, daughter Emma born in 1857 and Frederick’s younger brother Martin.The family of six is living in Plainfield, Sullivan County, NH at the time of the 1870 Census along with cooper Carroll James born in NH about 1794. Frederick Calkins Merrill was last living in Enfield, Grafton County, NH in the 1880 census with his wife Almina and five children, Emma C. born 20 March 1857, Alger (or Algie) F. born 15 March 1861, Nellie W. born 1867, Ernest Herbert born about1869 and Ella G. born February 1872.