There is a tradition that the Wason Family is descended from the Vikings of Norway and that a place in Scotland called Wason Field derives its name from a battle fought and won there by those Vikings many years ago.
Wasons have lived in Scotland near this location for many centuries. A branch of the family was among the Scotish Covenanters driven to North Ireland by religious persecution.
James Wason, born in Ballymena, County of Antrium, Ireland, in 1711, came to America with his brother Thomas in 1736.
James married Hannah Caldwell. He was a prominent and active citizen of Hudson, New Hampshire.
His son, Thomas, born in 1748 at Hudson, married Mary Boyd of Londonberry, New Hampshire. Thomas answered the muster roll of minutemen volunteers in 1775 and with 64 others started for Lexington, marching 40 miles and returning home when word was received that the British had retreated. He served in the military at White Plains, N.Y., and was commissioned a lieutenant.
Robert Wason, son of Thomas and Mary Wason, was born in 1781 in Hudson, New Hampshire. Robert married Nancy Batchelder and was very active in his church and community. Among the nine children of Robert and Nancy was Hiram Wason, early settler of the Lake Prairie area.
In November 1856, when the Lake Prairie Presbyterian Church was started at a meeting at the log house of Capt. Thomas Little, twelve persons with the family names of Gerrish, Ames, Peach, Burhans, Austin and Little became charter members. In that same month, Rev. Hiram Wason was called to be the first pastor, starting his pastorate in January 1857.
Hiram Wason was born at New Boston, Hillsboro County, New Hampshire, in 1814. He attended Long Hall, a select school of New Boston, and finished his college preparation at Francestown. He was graduated from Amherst College in 1838, and taught for a while at New Ipswich Academy. He then studied theology at Andover Theological Seminary, at the Seminary at New Haven, Conn., and at Lane Seminary.
About 1843 he moved to Vevay, Ind., where he preached and taught, preparing students for college. Among his students was Edward Eggelston, American author who was born at Vevay.
Eggleston was a circuit preacher, pastor, editor, and writer. His best known novel, written in 1871, was "The Hoosier Schoolmaster." In later life he was interested in historical studies and wrote Indian biographies, including "Tecumseh," written in 1878. Eggelston was born in 1837 and died in 1902.
Hiram Wason married Betsy Rockwood Abbott of Wilton, New Hampshire, in 1844, and in 1857 moved from Vevay, to West Creek, Lake County, Ind., where he preached until 1864 at the Lake Prairie Presbyterian Church. After retiring from the responsibilities of a pastor's duties, he farmed with his son, Timothy Abbot Wason, on land which he had purchased earlier from A.G. Plummer.
When the Lake County Agricultural Society was re-organized after being somewhat dormant during the Civil War years, Hiram Wason was elected president; Barlett Woods, vice president; J.C. Sauerman, treasurer; and A.E. Beattie, secretary. Under the management of these officers, the 9th Annual Fair was held October, 1867.
Rev. Hiram Wason was the second president of the Lake County Sabbath School Convention, which was formed in 1865 at Crown Point. The first treasurer of this organization was Melvin Halsted, founder of Lowell. Rev. T.H. Ball, author of many histories of this county, was elected secretary in 1866 and served for many years.
In 1867, Hiram was elected State Representative from the county and represented the people in the legislature at Indianapolis. Hiram Wason died at Lowell in 1898. Hiram and Betsy were parents of three children: Timothy Abbot, Nannie and Maria Louise.
Nannie, the oldest daughter of Hiram, was born in 1851 at Vevay, and died in 1891 at Crown Point. She had attended public schools at West Creek and was graduated from Western College for Women at Oxford, Ohio, and then studied at the New England Conservatory of Music.
In 1875, Nannie married Edward Payson Ames, a graduate of Wabash College who later was the Lake County Recorder. Children of Nannie and Edward were Charles Wason Ames, born 1877; Raymond Hubbard Ames, born 1879; and Edward Elbridge Ames, born 1881. In the 1884 History of Lake County by Rev. Ball, there are several pages of history of the Lake Prairie area written by Nannie Wason Ames, giving very interesting accounts of the families of West Creek.
The second daughter of Hiram, Maria Louise (1853-1904), was also born at Vevay, attended public schools of West Creek, and like many of the ladies of the family, attended Western College in Ohio, graduating in 1875. In 1881 she married Charles A. Burhans (1847-1890), the son of Peter and Martha (Hunt) Burhans.
The Burhans resided on their farm south of Lowell until he died, after which she went to live with her parents a Lake Prairie. Their children were Mary Carr, born 1882; Bessie Andrews, born 1884; Edith Louise, born 1886; and Charles Wason, born 1889.
Hiram's son, Timothy Abbot Wason (1845-1912), known as "Abbot," came with his parents to Lake County to the 80 acres of land his father had purchased from A.G. Plummer. He attended West Creek township schools and Wabash College, but gave up plans for the ministry because of throat trouble, and returned to the farm.
He taught for two terms at West Creek and worked for a short time for the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad Co. He then entered into a partnership with his father in farming and stock raising. In 1899 he built a fine brick home on the estate, which in 1904 consisted of 260 acres. For many years he was an elder in his church.
In 1873, T. Abbot married Julia Ann Brannon (1854-1876). Their only child was Julia Brannon Wason, who married Otto J. Dahl. T. Abbot's second marriage in 1882 was with Emma Susan Peach (1853-1894), daughter of Henry and Betsy Peach, and their children were Henry Boyd, Isabel Mary, and Faith Louise.
In 1904 T. Abbot married Annie (Gerrish) Brush, widow of David Brush, of Waveland, Ind.
Julia B., daughter of T. Abbott and Julia, was born in 1876 at Lake Prairie. She attended high school at Crown Point from 1892 to 1894, when she returned home to keep house for her father and the younger children.
Julia married Otto J. Dahl (1876-1964), son of Frederick C. Dahl (1842-1934) and Henerena (Avis) (1854-1921), both of whom had immigrated from Germany about 1866. The children of Julia and Otto Dahl were: Ralph Abbot (1905-1905); Eleanor Esther (Fairchild); Ruth Louise (Weinberg); Bethel Marie (Klemm); Julia Marian (Wemple); Margaret Frances (Kirk); and Helen Abbot (Sybalsky).
Henry Boyd (known as Boyd), son of T. Abbot and Emma, was born at Lake Prairie in 1887. He was graduated from Purdue in 1911 with a BS degree in Agriculture, was an elder in the Lake Prairie Presbyterian Church for many years, and served as Lake County Councilman.
He married Ethel Mary Hathaway (1890-1942), daughter of Henry and Jane (Maxwell) Hathaway. The children of Boyd and Ethel are: Marjorie Jean, Ethel Harriet, and Doris Mary. After the death of his wife Ethel, H. Boyd Wason married in 1946 to Lucille (Fish) Hunt, widow of David E. Hunt. Boyd and Lucille ran the Wason Insurance Co. for many years in Lowell.
Isabel Mary, daughter of T. Abbot and Emma, was born in 1890 at Lake Prairie. She was graduated from Western College for Women in 1911, then graduated from John Hopkins Medical School in 1917. Later she became an assistant professor of pathlolgy at Yale University School of Medicine, studied in Denmark, and was pathologist and director of the laboratory at St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford, Mass.
In 1949 she took a position at the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council at Washington, D.C. In 1958 she retired. Isabel compiled the original part of the Wason Ancestory in 1924. She died in 1972.
Faith Louise, the youngest daughter of T. Abbot and Emma Wason, was born at Lake Prairie in 1892. She died at New Haven, Connecticut in 1920. Faith had attended Western College for Women from 1910 to 1912, but left because of poor health. Later she studied for two years at National Kindergarten School in Chicago and then taught for a while at Schneider and at Elkhart. After continuing studies at Columbia University in the summer of 1919, she became ill and passed away in 1920.
In 1965 the Wason ancestry was brought up to date with a family history compiled by Dr. John C. Holliday and his wife, Marjorie Jean Wason Holliday. Marjorie, the oldest daughter of H. Boyd Wason, lives in San Antonio, Tex.
Marjorie Holliday's sister, Ethel Harriet, married Roy R. Butler, and their children are Patrick Russell, Kathleen Boyd, and Thomas Michael. The Butlers live in Roanoke, Va.
The youngest daughter of H. Boyd Wason is Doris Mary, born at Lake Prairie, as were her two sisters. Doris is married to LaMoine Brumbaugh, the son of Rev. Roy and Lillie (Miller) Brumbaugh. Their home is at Cedar Lake, where they own and operate the Cedar Lake Lumber Co. Their three sons are David John, Robert Boyd, and Richard Paul.
Information for this column was taken from the Wason Ancestry; Encyclopedia of Geneology and Biography of Lake County, Indiana 1904; the Joseph and Mary Little Family History Book; and the History of Lake County 1884 by Rev. Ball.
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