John M. Rearick (1829-1919)
John Moses (Marvin?) Rearick1 was born on 2 Oct 1829 in Alden, Erie, New York2–8 and grew up around his dad’s grist mill. According to his daughter, Anna Jeanette, John was industrious and helped in the construction and keeping up the grist mill, but did not have much time to attend school17. The Mill prospered, the land was very fertile, being in the Lake Plain area of New York17. According to Civil War pension records, he grew up a dark complexioned man, with black hair and gray eyes, standing about 5’ 8” tall. In 1854, John married Sara Ladd. Sara had been a school teacher in Vermont. She went “Out West” on the Erie Canal. then called Governor Clinton’s Big Ditch, to Buffalo, N.Y.17 John’s new family prospered, and by August 1860 John owned 35 Acres of improved and 11 acres of unimproved land outside of Mill Creek. He also owned 1 horse, 2 milch cows and 3 other cows.9
The Civil War
On 14 Jul 1864 John joined the Union Army. According to Anna Jeanette, “he had been a volunteer at Lincoln’s call for help to take care of “Johnny Rebs” under Lee”17. He enlisted in Alden, Erie, New York, USA11 where he was commissioned first Lieutenant in Company G. 98th New York National Guard. The 98th New York was mustered in the United States for 100 days, on 10 Aug 1864 in Erie County, New York2. John’s commanding officer was Captain Norman Baker, and the
Regiment was commanded by Col. George Abbott. The Regiment served at the depot in Elmira New York, and was mustered out of the United States service December 22, 1864, at Buffalo, N.Y. It lost in this service by death, of disease, etc., three enlisted men18.
Elmira Depot was a depot servicing the Union cause. Early in the war it had served as a staging area for Union troops and supplies. By late 1864, however, it had been made into a prison camp. When the 98th New York arrived they were assigned guard duties at the camp.
Elmira was a horrific place. Considered the “Andersonville” of the North, the conditions were appalling. Disease ran rampant, as Foster’s Pond, located at the rear of camp, became a festering swamp of human waste (see below). As winter approached, clothing for the prisoners was inadequate, and death from exposure became common. At it’s maximum the camp held 10,000 prisoners, although it was designed to hold only 3000.
Who knows what role John played at the camp? Many Union officers tried to improve conditions, and it would be nice to think he was one of them. In the end, however, we will probably neither know what he thought of the prisoners under his care, nor how he treated them.
After the War
John mustered out of the Union Army in December of 1864, and February 9th 1865, Fannie Rearick was born. Fannie was to eventually marry Frank Seeber, linking the two families together.
John’s father, Henry, died in 1866. In November of that year, he and his brother William split the Estate of Henry Rearick – which was valued $2000. 10 He continued to live as a farmer in the Alden/Mill Grove area in 18706 where he owned 80 acres of farmed land and 26 acres of wooded land. On his land he had 2 horses, 4 milch cows, four other cows and one pig (swine). He produced 30 bushels of winter wheat, 300 bushels of Indian corn, and 75 bushels of barley.12
Off to Kansas
John’s mother died in 1875, and in 1877 he decided to relocate his family to Beaver Township, Barton County, KS.13 As Anna Janette wrote “When Anna J. was fifteen years of age Father took us all to Kansas”.17 “I was to become a school teacher at the age of 15 (think of it!). But it was an easy school. I walked 1 ½ miles to school and back enjoying the flat open country covered with silky buffalo grass.” 17
In Barton County, John’s holdings grew. By June of 1880 he was farming 320 acres (worth $2000). On his homestead he had 2 horses, 4 oxen, 1 milch cow, 1 calve, 13 Swine, and 32 chickens (which produced about 100 dozen eggs/yr). 1520 bushels of Indian corn, 500 bushels of wheat, and 40 bushels of potatoes.9
As mentioned before, families often migrated in groups. Moving to Kansas at the same time was two of his army acquaintances, A.J. Buckland of Great Bend and Jacob Boyer of Rooks County. Both were later to sign civil war pension application testimonials as to John’s health and integrity .
From 1885 through 1892 John and Sara married-off their children. By 1895, at age 66, with most of his children now living their own lives, John retired and he and Sara moved to nearby Hoisington, Barton, Kansas.3 Sara died in 1899. After her death, John went back to work, and by 1900 he was doing carpentry work in Hoisington City.John died in November of 1919 in Hoisington. According to the Hoisington City website, “Hoisington was hit by a tornado on October 10, 1919. The tornado came out of the southwest shortly after 4:00 on that afternoon. The tornado killed Ellen Cravens, her baby and H.B. McCurdy.” further “The tornado damaged the Y.M.C.A., destroyed many of the buildings on lower Main Street, then moved on to the northeast part of town damaging many homes. It also damaged some homes in the country northeast of town.” Less than a month later, John M. Rearick died from injuries received from the tornado.14 He was 90 years old.
1. Ancestry Family Trees (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network. Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members.), Ancestry Family Trees.
2. Historical Data Systems, comp., U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2009.Original data - Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA from the following list of works.Copyright 1997-2009Historical Data Systems, Inc. PO Box 35Duxbury, MA 02331.O).
3. Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1915 (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007.Original data - 1855 Kansas Territory Census. Microfilm reel K-1. Kansas State Historical Society.1856, 1857, and 1858 Kansas Territory Censuses. Microfilm reel K-1. Kansas State Hist).
4. 1860 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004.Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Eighth Census of the United States, 1860. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1860. M653, 1), Year: 1860; Census Place: Buffalo Ward 12, Erie, New York; Roll: M653_749; Page: 202; Image: 203.
5. 1850 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432,), Year: 1850; Census Place: Alden, Erie, New York; Roll: M432_498; Page: 158; Image: 315.
6. 1870 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2003.Original data - 1870. United States. Ninth Census of the United States, 1870. Washington, D.C. National Archives and Records Administration. M593, RG29, 1,761 rolls. Minnesota. Minnes), Year: 1870; Census Place: , , ; Roll: M593.
7. 1900 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2004.Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.), Year: 1900; Census Place: Homestead, Barton, Kansas; Roll: ; Page: ; Enumeration District: .
8. 1880 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2005. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints © Copyright 1999 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. All use is subject to the limited use licen), Year: 1880; Census Place: Beaver, Barton, Kansas; Roll: T9_373; Family History Film: 1254373; Page: 91.2000; Enumeration District: 339; Image: 0185.
9. Selected U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880 (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.Original data - Nonpopulation Census Schedules for California, 1850-1880. Microfilm. The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.Nonpopulation Census Schedules for Illino).
10. U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918 (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2008.Original data - National Archives (NARA) microfilm series: M603, M754-M771, M773-M777, M779-M780, M782, M784, M787-M789, M791-M793, M795, M1631, M1775-M1776, T227, T1208-T1209. For co).
11. Historical Data Systems, comp., American Civil War Soldiers (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1999.Original data - Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA form the following list of works. Copyright 1997-2000 Historical Data Systems, Inc. PO Box 35 Duxbury.Or).
12. U.S. Census Non-Population Schedules, New York, 1850-1880 (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.Original data - Nonpopulation Census Schedules for New York, 1850-1880. Microfilm. New York State Library, Documents and Digital Collections, Albany.Original data: Nonpopulation Censu).
13. Biographical History of Barton County, Kansas (Great Bend Tribune), pg 51.
14. Early Hoisington Life (City of Hoisington), History of Life in Early Hoisington Kansas.
15. Untitled, Anna Jeanette Rearick, Handwritten notes from Circa 1954, Transcribed by Michael D. Seeber, 2009
16. The Elmira Prison Camp, Clay W. Holmes, Putnam and Sons, The Knickerbocker Pres, New York, 1912
17. Untitled, Anna Jeanette Rearick, Handwritten notes from Circa 1954, Transcribed by Michael D. Seeber, 2009
18. Source: The Union Army, vol. 2