By Marlow Bumpus
Samuel Bumpus was born in the town of Mansfield, Madison Township, Richland County, Ohio between 1839 and 1844. Several records, including marriage, military and census records, indicate this wide range of birth years. The earliest record I have is the 1850 census that has his age recorded as 10. That would place his 10th birthday at some time during the 12 months before the day the census taker came around on July 10, 1850 so, for the lack of a birth record, I will place his year of birth at 1840.
Samuels grandfather, Frederick, was born in Connecticut in May of 1764, served in the Revolutionary War, lived briefly in Vermont, married, fathered at least four sons and at least two daughters after moving to Rensselaerville Township, Albany County, NY in 1788. Samuels father Reuben was born there in 1800. They left in 1807 and after moving around New York for a few years; Frederick moved the family to Washington Township, Richland county Ohio in 1819. He was a farmer and was buried in Madison twp, Richland County, Ohio in an unmarked grave. A grave marker was erected in 1999 or 2000 at the Marlow Cemetery, in Mansfield, Richland twp. by Tim Parks that reads Frederick Bumpus, Rev War. Frederick died in 1839 of 40 and his farm was sold at Sheriffs sale to satisfy a debt in 1843. Fredericks wife Catherine agreed to sale of land. Mr. Parks indicated that Frederick was buried somewhere and needed a marker. One report has him buried in the Mansfield Cemetery but a local historian has found that that Cemetery was established a few years after Frederick died.
Reuben, a farmer, was married and had a son in Richland County in 1833 he named
Frederick. I have found no record of Reuben before that date but too many things point to his being the son of Frederick Bumpus whose wifes maiden name may have been Marlow. The name of Reubens first wife is also unknown so she may have brought the Marlow name to the family, which is more likely. The name Marlow was used in 3 subsequent generations. Reubens first wifes name and every thing about that marriage remains a mystery. Reuben married Jane Wells on October 17, 1835. Jane, born in PA. in 1810, was probably the daughter of James Wells who lived in the Richland Co. in 1830. According to historical documents, the children of Reuben and Jane were; William, born 1837, Samuel, born 1840, Emanuel, born 1843, Nancy, born 1848, and Maria, born 1853. Jane died, probably in childbirth, and Reuben married an Indian woman named Pricilla Colby on June 1, 1853. Together, Reuben and Pricilla had two children in Ohio, Mary in 1855 and Isabel in 1856 and seven in Blountsville, Henry County, Indiana, where they moved to in about 1856 and worked a farm there until late 1867. Those children were Reuben, born in 1857, Betey in 1859, Edith, in 1860, and James, in 1863, Harriet. Elizabeth and Emmas, birth years are unknown. There may have been others with any of the three wives; but I have no conclusive evidence of more. Reuben himself must have lost count by the time he moved to Indiana.
Samuel Bumpus went to school in or near Blountsville. In 1860 he was working in the neighboring county of Randolph in Losentville Township, Indiana, about 5 or 10 miles from the Bumpus farm on the N. J. Hunt farm as a farm hand. Records indicate that Samuel was well liked and had many friends in the area and was able to keep busy as a farm hand and house carpenter. Friends described him later as strong and able-bodied before he joined the Army. In 1861 Samuel and some friends followed the Boys from Blountsville and joined the 8th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Samuel enlisted in Capt. Rileys outfit at Winchester Indiana on August 20, 1861 for a 3-year term. That same day he was detailed as Wagoner. He was mustered in at Indianapolis on September 5, 1861 and assigned to newly formed Company G. A description of Samuel was placed in his permanent military record on two separate occasions. These documents are still on file at the National Archives. The Muster and Descriptive Role taken in 1862 at Indianapolis Indiana reads; Samuel Bumpus, Occupation Farmer, Eyes Gray, Hair Black, Complexion dark, 5 8. His military records, in more than one place, have listed his age, indicating that he was born sometime during the 12-month period ending on August 20, 1844. This conflicts with earlier census records.
After muster at Indianapolis, The eighth was assigned to the South West division and soon left on a march to South West Missouri. During that march, Samuel was again detailed as Wagoner on Oct 22, 1861. This is probably when Samuel and at least one other soldier contracted measles. Samuel was hospitalized at Sarcoxie Missouri in Jasper County not far East of Carthage. I assume this is where Samuel met the Lattin family. The Lattins moved to Carthage in 1854 from Boone County, Indiana where they had moved from Miami County Ohio in the early 1840s. Dimmick Lattin was born in New York State in 1800 and was a farmer until his death in Jasper County Missouri in 1872. He was buried in the Indian/White Graveyard on his farm. George Lattin, born in 1847 or 48, ran the 200 acre farm until it was sold to the Seidensticker family in 1879. The graveyard is now known as the Indian/White-Seidensticker Cemetery. Even though most of it was plowed under, Dimmicks and some of his childrens grave markers were still standing in 2002. Dimmick Lattin supported the Union and some of the family probably volunteered at the Sarcoxie Hospital, which was just a few miles from the Lattin Farm in Carthage. George Lattin served with some of the same Army units Samuel did.
The 8th moved on, leaving Samuel in the Hospital in Sarcoxie for about four months. Samuel never spoke above a whisper after that four months and was sick most of the time for the rest of his life. He was described alternately as weak, sickly, and unable to work a full day, a changed man and frustrated. He rejoined the 8th in March at Pea Ridge or Helena Arkansas where the 8th was in combat on multiple occasions. They were in many skirmishes throughout Arkansas, South West Missouri and adjacent areas, working their way East to join the fight at Jackson and Vicksburg Mississippi. The 8th joined a larger Division led by General Grant that was pinned down and unable to take Vicksburg leading up to what became known as The Siege of Vicksburg. Eventually a large group, including the 8th, floated down the Mississippi River under the cover of darkness, flanked the Confederate troops on the south and took Jackson to the East. They then moved west to surprise the Confederate forces at Vicksburg from the rear, fighting a few battles along the way. At one of these battles, the battle of Champions Hill, Samuel was shot in the leg. He was still with the 8th after they took Vicksburg. The wound eventually became infected and he was hospitalized with a poisoned leg at St Louis Missouri from July through December 1863. He was moved around from outfit to outfit, in St Louis, unable to do much until he mustered out at St Louis on September 4, 1864 and returned to the family farm in Blountsville, Indiana.
Samuel worked when he could around Henry and Randolph Counties after the war until late in 1867. On September 27, 1867, Reuben, Pricilla and all 6 children still at home, were admitted to the Henry County, Indiana Poor Farm. On December 10th of that year, Samuel took Reuben Jr. and Elizabeth Bumpus from the Poor Farm, put them in a wagon and drove to Holt County Missouri where he placed Reuben Jr. with a friend from near Blountsville, John and Sarah Strough and their two small children. Reuben was 12 at the time. Reuben later prospered, married Anna Wilson in May of 1885 in Holt County, Missouri and has many descendants. I dont know what happened to Elizabeth unless she was the Eliza Bumpus that was living for a while at the Jasper County Missouri Poor Farm (Almshouse) and listed as blind, with 6 children, all dead. She was not yet 30 years old.
Samuel went on to the Lattin farm on the Spring River in Carthage Missouri where he apparently built an addition to their small farmhouse. I have a photograph of that house taken while the Seidensticker family owned it. They purchased it in1879. The photograph was probably taken in the 1880s. On September 5, 1869 Samuel Bumpus and 18-year-old Catherine Isabelle Lattin were married on the Lattin farm by a minister named David Budlong. Samuel and Catherine were living on the Lattin farm in a separate house in 1870 when their first child, George James, was born. Their second, Clara Manda, was born in 1874 and may have been born in Allen County, Kansas where Catherines sister Amanda lived with her husband Peter Long. Peter Long was, among other things, a prosperous farmer and bar tender near the town of Humboldt, Kansas. According to his descendants living in the same house, he also owned some buildings in town. Samuel was working in Carthage in early1876 while Catherine and the children stayed with the Longs in Humboldt, when Catherine died. Samuel had returned the night before while Catherine was still alive. Knowing her death was near, she requested she be buried on the Lattin farm near her father. Samuel returned her body to Carthage and she was buried next to her father. Its not clear if Samuel knew of the plan but while Samuel was on that trip, Amanda Long gave his children to the Allen County Kansas Overseer of the Poor, William Andrews. He, in turn, gave them to a farmer named Jack Thompson and his wife to raise as their own. In the 1880 census, the children were on the Thompson farm with 17-year-old Elwood Baker who, in Allen County Kansas on November 13th 1888, became Claras husband. They lived in Humboldt and Iola Kansas before moving to Fresno California.
Samuel returned to Carthage to work when he could. He lived part time with a cousin of Catherines, George Gabriel. George was a son of Sarah Ann Lattin and Leander Gabriel. In 1880, too week to earn a living, Samuel was admitted to the Jasper County Poor farm in Carthage where he married Mary Amanda Ballinger in 1881. Samuel and Mary had two children, Lilly May on June 8, 1882 and Cora Lee, July 31, 1885. Samuel would work when he could but was not a well man by then. His new wife had TB and would stay at the poor farm while Samuel was occasionally away on a job until early 1884 when the Poor Farm superintendent, James Rolston, left after his obligation expired. Samuel and Mary moved on to the Rolston farm near Web City where Samuel worked for Mr. Rolston. They lived there until Samuel became sick about the 3rd day of August 1885. He was too sick to take food or drink and died on the 13th of August, just 10 days after the birth of his last child. Samuel was buried in the Rolstons Graveyard near Knights Station, Jasper County, Missouri. There was no tombstone placed at his grave. Dr. Hanna of Parshley Missouri tended to Samuel during his last illness. On the death certificate, Dr. Parshley indicated the cause of death as Laryngitis and Cerebral congestion In a later deposition he admitted he had no idea what the cause of death was. Though the link hasnt been found, I believe Samuel was related to one of the Rolstons.
Samuel had applied for a pension when he entered the Poor Farm in 1880 for the disease and leg wound he suffered while in the army. It was soon denied. Mary, too sick and weak to take care of herself, returned to the Poor Farm after Samuel died where they applied for a widows pension in 1885, on her behalf. It was awarded in 1899 or 1900. The 20 years of investigation produced a mountain of depositions and other documents acquired from people all over the Mid West. This effort to avoid giving her a pension must have cost a fortune. These documents are also available at the National Archives. The depositions revealed most of what is known about Samuel Bumpus by his descendants, which is considerably more than his own children knew and much, much more than any of their descendents knew before the documents were discovered. Mary Amanda Bumpus placed her two daughters up for adoption soon after Samuel died. They went to separate Missouri families and were soon lost to the Bumpus family. Samuels younger brother, James, took George James Bumpus at about the age of about 15 went to work in Jamess tavern as a chef, the trade he follow until he died in 1932. Records show that James returned to the Henry County Indiana Poor Farm in 1880 and 1899 where he died on May 20, 1920 at the age of 57. James was said to have been subject to fits.
George James Bumpus passed on to his children that he had been told he was related to the Frank and Jesse James. He told of a man coming to visit after dark on multiple occasions he knew only as Uncle Jesse. He would sit on the mans lap and the man would always bring him a gift. Though I havent spent much time trying to find a connection, I have yet to find one. I have studied a large database of names known to be associated to the James family. The names I found to also be associated to the Bumpus family before 1885 are; Bump, Bumpas, Colby, Logan, Marlow, Marlowe, Rolston and Wells. My meager research produced little further. Polk Wells was with Quantrell together with the James brothers. Samuel Wells also went by the name of Charlie Pitts who was killed at Haskins Slough near Northfield Minnesota, who had escaped after the botched James Gang Northfield Bank robbery.
George James Bumpus married Mary Dillon. She was about the same age as Clara Manda Bumpus and they would have gone to school together as the Dillon family was living in the same town. Clara probably introduced Mary to her brother. George and Mary Bumpus had two children, Marlowe in 1895 and Georgia in 1907. They moved to Fresno California in 1917 about the same time as the Dillons and Bakers after about 25 years of traveling from job to job. In the words of their son Marlowe, to all the 48 states but Maine and to most of those in a covered wagon. George James was a member of the Shriners and appears to have been the head chef at most if not all of the conventions, which would put him in a deferent city every year. George James Bumpus opened a restaurant in Selma in 1917, just a couple of miles from Fresno. Mary lived on well into her 80s.
Clara Manda added an A to her middle name and went by Amanda the rest of her life. She and Elwood Baker had a son, Orland, who was in the 1st world war and may have had a daughter. Clara is said to have committed suicide after her husband died. They were living in Fresno California and were there in 1917 when Clara mailed a post card to her brother and were there when the 1920 census was taken. The letter caught up to brother George upon his arrival in Fresno
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