The Families of George Lyman Foster and John Bailey
(from the Jan. 28, 1981, Lowell Tribune, page 24)
The winter of 1834-1835 was mild until February, then came very severe cold and a terrible snow storm in April. In this kind of weather, four hardy pioneers stayed in a crude dug out shelter, situated north of what is now State Road 2 and near Calumet Ave. in West Creek Settlement. We can find the names of only three of these early settlers, and they were George Lyman Foster, Alfred D. Foster and Reuben Chapman who were in the area looking for homesteads.
In 1836 George Lyman Foster acquired land at West Creek Settlement and began farming. Pioneer life was busy during the wet summer of 1836. Cabins were erected in the groves and patches of prairie were being broken with the plow.
A few fences appeared, yet over the larger prairies few signs of civilization were seen. The summer of 1837 was also very wet followed by a year of severe drought and great sickness.
Pioneer Foster was born in 1820 at Athens, Pa. He married in 1842 to Temperance Hathaway (1819-1843), the daughter of Peter Hathaway of West Creek. Temperance died in 1843, and 1845 Foster married Lucy Jane Hathaway (1828-1876), the daughter of Paul Hathaway of Sherburnnville, Ill.
George and Lucy's children were: Charles, born in January 1847, died in infancy in Mar. 1847; Edwin LaValle (1849-1911) married in 1876 to Elizabeth Rosson (1852-1891); Voleny Orlando (1850-1909) married in 1879 to Florence Harriss (1856-1951); Edson (1854-1932) married in 1876 to Alma Nichols (1859-1934*); Albert (1857-1937) married in 1877 to Mary Sponsler (?-1911); Eliza Dwight (1859-1936) married in 1885 to Arthur Farley (1852-1942); Emeline (1861-1954) married in 1879 to Frank Nelson (1855-1918); Martha H. (1864-1948) married in 1890 to Frank Smart (1862-1936); Marella (born in 1868) married in 1887 to Samuel Richards (1867-1928); and Julia (1872-1961) married in 1891 to George Bryant Bailey (1870-1948).
George Lyman Foster farmed his West Creek homestead until 1870 when he moved to Montgomery County, Kan. He was Lake County Commissioner during the Civil War, being elected in 1861 and again in 1863. He died in 1877 at Parker, Kan.
In 1874 his son, Volney, traveled to Colorado for mining, then to Kansas, and in 1879 returned to farm the old homestead at West Creek. Volney and his wife Florence had seven children: Gertrude, Mabel, DeWayne, Loa, Ida, Garnette, and Mildred.
Edson and Alma's sons were George and Harry. George Lester Foster was a banker for many years in Lowell prior to his death in 1966.
Eliza and Arthur Farley's grandson is John A. Eskridge, a retired Lowell businessman. Emeline and Frank Nelson's children were: Raymond, Bernice (Mrs.Lloyd M. Grant), Ned E., Burr N., Julia F. (Mrs. Vernal A. Diggs), Frances Emily (Mrs. Albert B. Chipman), and Marian J. (Mrs. F. Vivien Hayden).
Julia Foster married George Bryant Bailey, West Creek farmer and long time Lowell banker.
George Bryant Bailey's grandfather was John Bailey, the first of the Bailey's to settle in northern Indiana. John was born about 1800, somewhere in Virginia and traveled and lived on the frontier in the areas including Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana where he settled in LaPorte County in 1832. The adventures, perils and hardships of the frontier were known to him by experience.
John Bailey's ancestors came from Scotland in the 1700's and lived in Virginia, North Carolina and perhaps Maryland. John married Matilda Bryant in 1833, their marriage license being the sixth one issued in LaPorte County.
Their children were: Mary, born in 1834, married to Thomas Hamilton, operator of mills in Momence, Ill., Union Mills, and Minneapolis, Minn.; Simon T., born in 1838, who later had a farm at Battleground, Ind.; and Josiah B. Bailey, born in 1835 at Door Village, Ind., from whom the Bailey's of Lake County are descendants.
John Bailey's burial place is not known, except that from a story handed down, it is thought he died while on a horseback trip to Ohio, and that he would have been buried along the way, about 1839. After John's death, his sons Josiah and Simon lived with their Bryant grandparents in Pulaski County, Ind.
Josiah Bailey came to Lake County at an early age with his mother, Matilda Bryant Bailey Chapman, and his stepfather Reuben Chapman. Chapman was one of the pioneers mentioned earlier in this story who had wintered in West Creek with the two Foster pioneers.
Josiah Bailey married Nancy Kile. They were the parents of four children: Levi, Charles, Grace and George Bryant.
It is of interest to mention here that Nancy Bailey was the daughter of Sarah Lafler Kile and John Kile. Sarah was the youngest daughter of Abraham and Margaret Lafler, whose 1837 homestead was near Lafler's Lake, just north of the present Lowell High School.
After John Kile died at an early age, Sarah married John Smith, and after John died she married Nehemiah Hayden, the subject of our column in November 1980. The Lafler's came to Indiana from Ohio by ox team, and are buried in the Lowell Cemetery.
Information for this month's column was taken from the following: T.H. Ball's History of Lake County 1872; The George Lyman Foster Geneology, written by Julia Foster Nelson, loaned by Helen Bailey McIntire; The Lafler family history loaned by Helen Bailey McIntire; The Bailey Family History, written by Elliot Buse, grandson of Josiah Bailey, loaned by Phyllis Bailey Grubb.
* NOTE -- Although this article lists the death year of Alma (nee Nichols) Foster as 1934, both her obituary and the Lowell Cemetery index at the Lowell Public Library list it as 1935.