Chapter X: The last Barnabas, Ruth Snow, and Cameron, Missouri

This is the 12th in a series of articles which serializes my family history, which I wrote in November 2017, titled “From Samuel to Cyrus: A fresh look at the History of the Packard Family.” Minor corrections. Below is the 10th chapter of that history:

The year is 1847. Barnabas Packard II had died on April 30. [216] The only Barnabas left in Plainfield was Barnabas Packard III, Barnabas and Ruth’s son, who would die almost 21 years later on April 25, 1868. He would be recorded on three censuses as living in Plainfield: the 1850 and 1860 censuses, along with an agriculture schedule in 1850. [217] By 1854, there were only 854 people living in Plainfield! A small number compared to the nearby town of Cummington, which had over 1,000.

Barnabas Packard III and Ruth M. (possibly Makepeace) Snow had been married for 21 years, married on July 21, 1818 in Windsor, Massachusetts. [218] From 1818 to 1847, they had 10 children, all with the last name of Packard. The first two were Poly Nash, born on July 18, 1819 and dying on November 10, 1869, who never married, and Cythnia Cordelia who was born on November 27, 1820 and died of “dropsy” on July 25, 1863, marrying Aaron Ayres in December 1841. [219] There were 4 other children born in the 1820s: William Henry (October 1, 1822), Martha “Patty” (August 18, 1824), Irene (September 20, 1826), and Mary Jane (October 20, 1828). William Henry will be the subject of the next chapter. As for the others, Patty married Charles I. Ford on December 12, 1843 and died on November 1, 1903 at age 99, while Irene married Horatio Lynons on May 9, 1847, and Mary Jane married Zebediah H. Randall on March 8, 1852. [220] From 1831 to 1840, Barnabas and Ruth had 4 more children. They were Roswell Clifford, born February 4, 1831, who married Elnora G. Vining on February 25, 1869, Ossmus Chalmer, born July 27, 1834, who married Sophia Dean on April 1, 1863, Charles Edwin, born on March 19, 1838, who married Araminta Utter in 1867, and Harrison “Clark” Clark, born February 20, 1840 who married Melona C. Dawes on June 4, 1865. [221] Roswell would die in 1919 in Cameron, Missouri, while Ossmus would die in the same place but on January 28, 1907. Clark would die, reportedly, in Windsor in 1899, and Charles would die in Kansas City, Missouri in 1933.

Much of Barnabas and Ruth’s life can be determined from the three censuses cited on the previous page. The 1850 census shows Barnabas Packard III (age 54) as the head of the household, with the value of the land being $1,500, and his occupation as a farmer. The same is the case with 19-year-old Roswell and 15-year-old Ossmus, likely working on the same farm as their father, Barnabas III, within Plainfield, Massachusetts. [222] The same page shows that Ossmus, Charles (age 12), and Harrison (age 10) are attending school. Interestingly, it classifies Polly N. as over 31 years of age, who cannot read or write, as “idiotic.” Ruth, Barnabas’s wife, age 50, and their daughter Mary J., age 21, do not have occupations listed, so they presumed to be “housewives.”

Before moving on, it is worth focusing on Polly N. While you could say her designation is an error, it is clearly not, based on other censuses. [223] The questions answered affirmatively for her were:

  • Is the person “deaf, dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper, or convict?” (answer: “idiotic”)
  • “If this person was over 20 years of age, could they not read and write?”

Census enumerators defined an “idiot” as a person whose “mental faculties” were limited “in infancy or childhood” before they matured, referring to, a wide range of “known disabilities,” by today’s standards. [224] Hence, it could be logical that she could not read or write.

The next document worth reviewing is the 1850 agriculture schedule of Plainfield. This document shows that Barnabas Packard III owns 230 acres of land in the township, 160 of which are improved, and 70 of which are not. [225] It also says his farm is worth $1,500 and tools (and equipment) worth $200. Adding to this, he is listed as owning 2 horses, 3 milk cows, 16 other cattle, and 1 swine which is worth $400. He also possesses 30 bushels of Indian corn and 30 bushels of oats, among other grains. Living in the same community is Ariel L. Ayres, who may be related to Aaron Ayres, who Barnabas and Ruth’s daughter, Cythnia, married nine years earlier in 1841.

Finally, there is the 1860 census of Plainfield. This document again lists 65-year-old Barnabas as a farmer, but his farm is now listed as worth $3,000 and personal estate as worth $2,500. [226] Ruth, his wife, age 64, had no occupation, while Polly N. was again called “idiotic” and was age 41. Hence, this was part of her identity, dying on November 10, 1868 at age 49, 3 months, 3 days, from bleeding in the stomach. [227] Barnabas was a “farmer who settled in West Plainfield, clearing his land for planting, while maintaining a grove of maple sugar trees, with produce taken to Boston for sale” as one history said. As noted earlier, he was the first to own the West Hill Farm, later owned by Cyrus and Tom. However, taking a trip to Boston to sell produce seems a bit excessive since it is over 100 miles away. Perhaps he sold his produce at a closer market.

Thanks to a retired programmer interested in genealogy, named Jack Vander-Schrier, we have photographs of Barnabas III and Charles Edwin:

While we do not know about each picture, it seems evident that the photograph on the left was taken in his older years, perhaps not long before his death. By the last seven years of Barnabas III’s life, many of his children had moved out of the area. Reportedly, Charles Edwin spent time in Ohio as a mathematics teacher before moving to Cameron, Missouri while his brother, Ossmus lived in Mendota, Illinois before moving to Cameron in 1865. The family lore goes that Roswell moved to Cameron in 1866 (and reportedly moved to Ft. Smith Arkansas in 1895) and that Patty (and her husband Charles Ira Ford) moved from Nauseous, Ohio to Cameron the same year. [228] Hence, Polly N., William Henry, Cynthia Cordelia, Harrison, Mary Jane, and Irene did not move there. On a trip to Cameron in 1868, with his wife, Ruth, Barnabas became ill and died. Ruth would live with her son Charles Edwin until she died on January 1, 1879, and both would be buried in the Packard Cemetery in Cameron, Missouri.

One photograph tells more of that story than anything else. The photograph is courtesy of Find A Grave user Jack Vander-Schrier yet again:

The photograph shown on the last page, shows what the “Barnabas Packard family,” as Vander-Schrier puts it, around 1875, living in Cameron, Missouri. It has been numbered as to help future genealogists determine who the individuals are in this picture. Based on the photograph of Charles Edwin on page 70, it is clear that number 8 is him. He was a cashier at the Farmers Bank in Cameron, Missouri, and later a banker, reportedly. The rest of those in the photograph are unknowns. However, numbers 1 and 2, 3 and 4, 5 and 6, seem like couples based on the way they are standing. One of these couples is Roswell Clifford and Ellanora (1842-1895), while another is Patty and Charles Ford (1822-1914) (also a banker), and the last is Ossmus and Sophia H. Dean. [229] Possibly Araminta Aminta Utter is number 16, although this cannot be confirmed. Somewhere in numbers 9-14, 17-21 are Araminta and Charles’s child Clark, but not Eva since she was born in 1876, unlike Clark who was born in 1873. The same goes for Ossmus and Sophia’s child, Herbert Melvin (1867-1935). All of these children have the last name of Packard. Basing it on the photo, earlier in this chapter, number 7 is Ruth Snow. Number 16 may be the wife of the person occupying that house. Other women, such as Herbert’s wife, Mary Francis, are likely in the photograph as well. The same is undoubtedly the case for Roswell and Ellanora’s children: Emma E (b. 1870), George C (b. 1873), Leonard C (b. 1875), Etta B (b. 1877), E Edwin (b. 1880), and Jennie S (b. 1882), the first three of which were likely in the photo. It is also the case for Patty and Charles’s children named Pearl, Arthur, Sarah Jane (1844-1898), Henry Edsel (1847-1902), and Cora Ann (1855-1918) who married George Thomas Howser (1855-1936). If you add up all of the people noted in this paragraph, it adds up to 21. Solving the mystery of who is who in this old photograph would require identifying all these individuals rather than using educated guesses. Still, it adds more to the Packard family story. [230]

Notes

[216] Gravestones of Barnabas Packard II and Barnabas Packard III.

[217] Plainfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, Seventh Census of the United States, 1850, National Archives, NARA M19, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll M432_220, page 199B. Courtesy of Ancestry.com; Plainfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, Eighth Census of the United States, 1860, National Archives, NARA M19, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll M653_505, page 467. Courtesy of Ancestry.com; Plainfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, Agriculture Schedule, National Archives, NARA T1204, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll 2, Page 901, Line 29. Courtesy of Ancestry.com.

[218] Source is Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988. Ruth Snow was born on Dec. 15, 1799.

[219] Gravestones of Polly Nash Packard and Cynthia Cordelia Packard Ayres.

[220] See the gravestones of William Henry Packard, Martha “Patty” Packard, and Barnabas Packard III; Barnabas Packard in entry for Zebedee H. Randall and Mary Jane Packard, 08 Mar 1852; citing Cummington, Hampshire, Massachusetts, United States, Town clerks and local churches; “Massachusetts Town Records, ca. 1638-1961,” database with images.

[221] Barnabas Packard in entry for R. C. Packard and Elonora G. Vining, 25 Feb 1869; citing Cummington, Hampshire, Massachusetts, United States, Town clerks and local churches; FHL microfilm 1,888,606; “Massachusetts Town Records, ca. 1638-1961,” database with images, FamilySearch; Barnabas Packard in entry for Chalmer Packard and Sophia Dean, 01 Apr 1863; citing Cummington, Hampshire, Massachusetts, United States, Town clerks and local churches; FHL microfilm 1,888,606; “Massachusetts Town Records, ca. 1638-1961,” database with images, FamilySearch; Barnabas Packard in entry for H. Clark Packard and Melona C. Dawes, 04 Jun 1865; citing Cummington, Hampshire, Massachusetts, United States, Town clerks and local churches; FHL microfilm 1,888,606; “Massachusetts Town Records, ca. 1638-1961,” database with images, FamilySearch; Gravestones of Roswell Clifford Packard, Ossmus Chalmer Packard, Charles Edwin Packard, Ellanora G. Packard, and Find A Grave entry for Harrison Clark “Clark” Packard. Roswell was in manufacturing, living in Cameron Missouri, while Elnora was a Cummington, MA girl.

[222] Plainfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, Seventh Census of the United States, 1850, National Archives, NARA M19, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll M432_220, page 199B.

[223] Sometimes tick marks were wrong on Census documents. The two questions are courtesy of the Census Bureau. The Census documents can answer many questions about a family. She is also marked such in the 1865 and 1855 state censuses.

[224] Rhonda R. McClure, “What is an “idiot” in the Census?,” Genealogy.com, Overheard in GenForum, April 26, 2001; National Archives, Nonpopulation Census Records, Aug. 15, 2016 She was not listed in the 1880 census of “schedules of delinquent, defective, and dependent classes [which] provide[s] information about deaf, dumb, blind, and criminal persons who are listed by name” (also see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). since she died in 1868 as noted on Find A Grave, which has a photo of her tombstone. If she was in an “insane asylum” or other facility, the conditions were likely horrific, with existing records of facilities in Massachusetts not currently online.

[225] Plainfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, Agriculture Schedule, 1850, National Archives, NARA T1204, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll 2, Page 901, Line 29.

[226] Plainfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, Eighth Census of the United States, 1860, National Archives, NARA M19, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll M653_505, page 467. Courtesy of Ancestry.com.

[227] Death of Polly Nash Packard, Nov. 10, 1868, Massachusetts, v 212 p 67, State Archives, Boston, Family Search; Deaths Registered in the Town of Plainfield for the Year eighteen hundred and sixty-eight, vol. 212, p. 67. Taken from photocopied vital record requested from the Massachusetts Archives in July 2017.

[228] 1900, 1910, 1920 & 1930 censuses show Charles living in MO. A 1900 census and 1910 census shows Roswell in AK, while 1870 and 1880 censuses says he is in MO. The image shown above is from the Find A Grave profile of Barnabas Packard III. Residency of Ossmus can confirmed, but seems to be for Charles I Ford in 1910, living in MO, with Patty in 1900.

[229] Gravestones of Ellanora, Charles Ford, and Sophia H. Dean. Likely 3 or 5 is Charles Ford. For this paragraph also see Gravestones of Araminta Utter, Clark, Herbert Melvin, and Eva Packard, gravestone of Mary Francis, and the Gravestones of Patty, Pearl, Arthur, Sarah Jane, Henry Edsel, Cora Ann, and George Howser.

[230] W.G. Gay lists “Packard Bertha, widow Theron W., h 9 Pleasant” (p. 64) and ten Packards living in Northampton (p. 177) in “Town of Northampton” within Part Second. Business Directory of Hampshire County, Mass., 1886-87 (Syracuse, NY: W.B. & Gay Co., 1886). He also lists 4Packards living in Enfield (“Town of Enfield” within Part Second. Business Directory of Hampshire County, Mass., 1886-87 (Syracuse, NY: W.B. & Gay Co., 1886), 75), 7 Packards living in Goshen (“Town of Goshen” within Part Second. Business Directory of Hampshire County, Mass., 1886-87 (Syracuse, NY: W.B. & Gay Co., 1886), p. 79), varying Packards within Plainfield on p. 208: “Packard David, r 27, farmer 5”; “Packard Harold S., (Mrs. E. A. Packard & Son) dealers in general merchandise, drives stage from Plainfield to Charlemont”; “Packard Harrison C, (West Cummington) farmer 300”; “Packard Mrs. E. A. & Son, dealers in general merchandise, and farmers 23”; “Packard Pliilander, r 14, farmer 20”; “Packard Sylvester, r 26, farm laborer, leases h of Willie Shaw”;”Packard William H., (West Cummington) r 38, farmer 200”; and “Packard William L., farmer 300.” (“Town of Plainfield” within Part Second. Business Directory of Hampshire County, Mass., 1886-87 (Syracuse, NY: W.B. & Gay Co., 1886). Also, Barnes & Packard with specific employees in Ware, MA (p. 235, 252, 253) within the “Town of Ware” within Part Second. Business Directory of Hampshire County, Mass., 1886-87 (Syracuse, NY: W.B. & Gay Co., 1886).

One thought on “Chapter X: The last Barnabas, Ruth Snow, and Cameron, Missouri

  1. Pingback: The story behind the Packard Cemetery in Cameron, Missouri | Packed with Packards!

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