Sunday, August 5, 2018

2018 Prompt - Colorful - Elizabeth Rice Wilson Strahl

Elizabeth Rice Wilson Strahl – 3rd great grandmother
Elizabeth Rice- William R Wilson- Cora Wilson- June Putman- Paul Simmons- Nancy Simmons

Life can have its dark moments and its colorful ones.  My 3rd great grandmother had some pretty dark days and I believe she had some colorful ones to sustain her for almost 89 years.  One colorful note based on family lore is that Elizabeth Rice Wilson Strahl grew to be an old woman who was affectionally attached to a pet raccoon.   

Elizabeth Rice was born August 26, 1811 in Belmont County, Ohio[1] to Samuel and Rebecca (Souders) Rice.[2]  Just before her tenth birthday in 1822 her father, Samuel Rice,[3] died and her mother remarried Timothy Winchester in 1826. [4]

On March 20, 1834 Elizabeth married John Wilson in Belmont Co., Ohio.[5]  Her first child, my great-great grandfather, William Rice Wilson was born December 13, 1834[6] and two years later her second son, Christopher Columbus Wilson was born. Elizabeth and John also had a son, Emanuel Amos Wilson born February 23, 1841[7] and Thomas Jefferson Wilson was born October 5, 1842.[8]  

Shortly after Elizabeth had her second child her mother, Rebecca Winchester, died. In 1840 her three-year old son died and in 1845 her husband of eleven years died. From 1845 to 1862 Elizabeth lives as a widow and raises her sons in Ohio.  In 1857 her oldest son, William Rice, and youngest son, Thomas Jefferson, move to Illinois where their grandfather, Amos Wilson, had moved and several other relatives and friends.  In the 1860 federal census Elizabeth and her 20-year-old son, Emanuel are still living in Guernsey County, Ohio.

By 1862 Emanuel and Elizabeth moved to Illinois and on April 12, 1862 Elizabeth married Daniel Jacob Strahl. Her son, Thomas Jefferson Wilson, had enlisted with the Illinois 4th Cavalry and she received word just a month before her second marriage that Thomas had died at Fort Donaldson in Tennessee from the measles at the age of nineteen.  Five months later in September 1862 her two remaining sons enlisted in the 125th Illinois Infantry.

Fortunately for Elizabeth, both her sons return home from the war and for the next 10 years Elizabeth and Daniel, her second husband, lived together three miles south of Bismarck. Then on November 16, 1875 Jacob Daniel Strahl died at 80 years of age. 

You would think being overwhelmed with death Elizabeth could easily be forelorn.  But for the next 26 years Elizabeth lives in the small town of Bismarck surrounded by her two sons, many grandchildren and great grandchildren. In 1885, she somehow has a new home, according to the transcription on the back of the picture of her standing in the doorway.  Maybe it was her faith that sustained her through the many years of losing loved ones. According to her obituary, she united with the Christian church in 1853 at Harmony, Ohio and remained with the Christian church till her death.  She attended church regularly and was always willing to help those in need until her own health began to fail. 

Elizabeth passed away at 6:30 Monday morning August 12, 1901 in Bismarck. She had had two sons, 12 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren to grieve her loss.  Her funeral was at the Christian Church in Bismarck and she was buried in Rose Cemetery.  Rose Cemetery, a cemetery with a colorful name for a woman who took the dark days and somehow through her faith, love of family and friends and love of nature added color to sustain herself for 88 years, 11 months and 16 days.


[1] Ancestry. 1900 Census Newell, Vermilion, Illinois, ED 89, page 2, line 26, Elizabeth Strahl.
[2] Familysearch. Belmont Co Ohio deeds, film 004021724, p. 24, image 28, Samuel Rice.
[3] ibid
[4] Ancestry. Ohio County Marriages, 1774-1993, p. 44, image 359/517, Timothy Winchester.
[5] Ancestry. Ohio County Marriages, 1774-1993, Belmont 1830-1844, p. 279, John Wison to Elizabeth Rice.
[6] Ancestry. History of Vermilion County, Illinois, Vol II, p. 356.
[7] Ancestry. 1850 Census Jackson, Guernsey, Ohio, page 328A, image 4/30, line 12 Amos Wilson.
[8] Ancestry. 1900 Census Newell, Vermilion, IL, ED 89, page 3B, line 79, Willson, Emanuel.

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