Rev. Oliver Perry Light Documents

Family Charts and Other Historical and Genealogical Records of Rev. Oliver Perry Light (1828-1904)

 By Kathy Alvis Patterson

April 2008

Part I: Introduction to the O. P. Light family charts

Oliver Perry Light was born 27 April 1828 in Clermont Co OH, and became a Methodist minister, serving in Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma Territory until his death in 1904.[1] In 1853 he met and married Miss Nancy Jane Prather (1833-1895).[2] He was Chaplain of the 7th Minnesota Regiment from 1862 to 1864[3] and participated in the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889.[4] More details of his life follow in Part V of this monograph.

The grandmother of the present writer was his granddaughter, Ethel Marguerite (Light) Armstrong (11 Dec 1900-7 Jan 1991). Although she had no clear memory of her grandfather, she did possess a great deal of pride in his career and knowledge of his life and work. She frequently wrote summaries of his life and gave presentations throughout western Oklahoma, especially in Methodist churches. O. P. Light baptized all of his ten grandchildren, except the youngest Evelyn Frances (Light) Eichor, who was born 5 Jun 1904 in Oklahoma City, a few months after his death.

In 1966, when I began family research, my grandmother obtained from her sister Evelyn Eichor a stack of papers that had belonged to Rev. Light. I spent a day copying everything possible; as a well-behaved teenager, but only a beginning genealogist, I conscientiously, but unfortunately, returned the papers to my grandmother, who gave them back to Mrs. Eichor, and they were never seen again by anyone with an interest in family history.

Of particular importance were a set of family pages, written in pencil, detailing the ancestry and cousins of Oliver Perry Light’s Light family, and in less detail, his wife Nancy Jane’s parents, her brother and sisters and their children, her Prather grandparents, their children, one uncle’s children, and her Veach grandparents and their children. I do not know if the Lights kept up with family births and deaths by mail or by visits. His pocket-sized notebook does include expenses from 1899 for a trip to Illinois; by this date his son was a Rock Island employee, and he may have traveled frequently by train.[5]

This monograph is an effort to publish and establish the facts of Rev. Light’s notes, many of which are not known to exist in any other location. Their genealogical importance is not limited to my ancestry but to many Prather and Veach descendants. Since 1966, I have kept these notes separate from other research and not “contaminated” Rev. Light’s charts. His charts are printed here exactly as I received them. Internal evidence suggests they were completed after 6 Apr 1902, and before his death on 28 March 1904.

It has been possible to confirm from other sources the accuracy of some of Rev. Light’s charts. Recently published studies, census entries, wills and books not available to him at any time in his life have shown him to be almost always accurate. I have received letters from other researchers that Rev. Light’s lists confirm what they have postulated but been unable to prove.

It is my thesis that these documents are accurate and reliable as genealogical evidence.

Although except for the copies I made in 1966, O. P Light’s original family charts have been lost, a copy of the Light family data written by his daughter after his death, does exist. These are almost the same as the Light portion of what I saw in 1966, with some newer dates, minus the notes Rev. Light had added on younger family members. Rev. Light’s charts had each family on a separate sheet of paper, yet his daughter copied everything onto four pages; she did not list families before Jacob and Caty (Harmon) Light. It is possible that Harriet (Light) Vance did not copy her father’s papers, but that she had access to a family Bible, since her data are grouped in births, marriages and deaths, where his were arranged by families, with names and notes about children of the youngest generation. The Prather and Veach families were not included in her record.[6]

Part II: Verification of the Accuracy of the O. P. Light family charts

The Light family has more records in print than the branches of the other surnames, Prather and Veach, mentioned in O. P. Light’s family charts. They comprise pages 1-4 of my printed lists. John Light was O. P.’s great-grandfather, and O. P. listed seven children for him: Peter, Barbara, Jacob, Benjamin, Daniel, Samuel, and Marten. The will of John’s brother Jacob Light, Jr.,[7] establishes John’s children as Peter, Daniel, Jacob and Barbara. In addition, childless Jacob had previously adopted John’s youngest sons Samuel and Martin. The only divergence from O. P.’s list is the son Daniel, who is not mentioned in the will. At the time Rev. Light was making his lists, a contemporary Light researcher in Pennsylvania placed the Jacob who adopted his brother’s sons, Samuel and Martin, as a member of a different family. Moses Light wrote in 1896, concerning two brothers John and Jacob, “John was rich in sons; Jacob was rich in this world’s goods, but childless, so he adopted the two youngest of his brother’s children, Samuel and Martin.”[8] This means that my great-great-grandfather Oliver Perry Light, writing in the 1890s, still had family records that showed the brothers Samuel and Martin to be children of our John, not the John Light of Moses Light’s book, and more accurate than the man who still lived in Pennsylvania.

            O. P. Light’s grandfather was Jacob Light of Clermont Co OH. The 1880 History of Clermont County Ohio published by the Louis H Everts Co has biographical and family information about this Jacob Light, enough to confirm the essential accuracy of O. P. Light’s data, but enough variation to rule out Light’s having copied from this book. According to this book, Jacob had brothers David, Daniel, Peter, and a sister Barbara Robb. David and Daniel were not in the elder Jacob’s 1808 will, and David was not in O. P. Light’s list.

            Jacob and Catherine (Harmon) Light had 11 children, according to O. P. Light. The Everts book agrees with “seven sons and four daughters,” but only names John, Daniel, Jacob, David, Peter and Benjamin. There is agreement that Jacob’s brother Daniel had eleven children, including John, Martin, Abel, James, Daniel, Betsy, Katie and Susan.[9]

            Daniel’s son John had 13 children, according to Rev. Light. This John Light was Oliver’s first cousin, and both were ministers in Iowa, which may account for O.P.’s knowing John’s children’s names, but not their birthdates. In his 1860 census, John Light was listed as a farmer, with his wife and six children. The oldest child at home was Joseph D., suggesting that O. P. Light listed Joseph and Daniel as two sons instead of one, followed by James A., Charlotte, John H., George H, and Mary Minerva, on the next page. Elvira and Marion H. are missing, as are four older daughters.[10] In 1850 two of the older daughters, Ann and Emily, were in the household, in addition to the same younger children, except Mary Minerva, who wasn’t born yet. Urana and Jane appear to be living next door.[11] (Frank Light lists Charlotte Elvira as one girl.)

            Frank Light, a descendant of both Jacob Light and his brother Daniel, has compiled many Light family records, including the story of Barbara (Light) (Williamson) Robb, by a granddaughter. This lady’s list of her grandmother’s children is similar, but not identical to O. P. Light’s.[12]

            Frank Light also collected records of Peter Light, a brother of Jacob Light’s who bought and sold land in several locations and three states. Where O. P. Light stated this man, his father’s uncle, had four children, Frank Light lists only three.[13]

            I have census records that confirm the accuracy of the families of O. P.’s brothers and sisters.

            David and Harriet’s oldest child was Charlotte (Light) Scott. Her family’s 1870 census reveals a youngest son her brother must have forgotten or not known about, Samuel, age 4. The oldest daughter was probably already married; otherwise, the remaining children are exactly as O. P. Light listed them, with the interesting addition of a middle name for Nancy C. and a question why the mother was listed at the end of the household. Even the birthdates match for precise ages on June 10th of that year.[14]

            Reuben S Light’s family was also still in Edgar Co IL. His second wife and the three surviving daughters of his first wife are listed, as well as baby Harriet, who O. P. Light believed had died in 1869. All the ages correspond with O. P. Light’s charts.[15]

            Brothers Samuel Henry, called Henry, and William are on the same page of the 1870 census as their parents, David and Harriet Light. Henry’s family has a few minor differences from O. P. Light’s charts; sons William M and Charles K had not had their birthdays yet, but are a year older than the charts would indicate, and the youngest child Hattie must have died. Everyone in William’s family matches the charts exactly.[16]

            Andrew and Catherine (Light) Wheeler were also in Edgar Co IL in 1870. The three children in their household match O. P. Light’s charts exactly, but daughter Alice, 17, was already married and living with her husband a few pages away.[17]

            Benjamin and Florella Light had moved to Barton Co MO. O. P. Light had the names and ages of their three surviving, unmarried children exactly correct.[18]

I have shown that Oliver Perry Light was meticulously accurate in his Light family charts that can be confirmed from other sources. Only mistakes occur, but not very often. It should follow that if he wrote only what he was confident about as far as his own family, he would do the same with his wife’s parents’ families, the Prathers and the Veaches.

I will conclude by saying that I wish Rev. Light had included his mother’s family, the Dickinsons, in his charts. I have had the challenge of finding the Dickinsons without the help of Harriet (Dickinson) Light’s son.[19] His grandmother’s family, the Harmons, would have been nice too.

Part III: The Accuracy of O. P. Light’s charts of the Prather family

In 1853, Nancy Jane Prather was an orphan, having lost her mother in 1841 and her father on 25 Jan 1850. Three versions of her obituary name her parents.[20] Although her grandparents, uncles and aunts and brothers and sisters were all in the 1850 census in Jefferson Co IA, she was living with the Aaron Edwards family from New York State who were not related.[21] Her stepmother and half-brother and sisters had returned to Indiana; their census has not been located.

For each of her siblings, I attach a copy of his or her 1850 census, plus a later census showing the accuracy of O. P. Light’s lists of their children.

The oldest of James and Louvica’s six daughters and one son was Mary Elizabeth, 18, living in the home of David Beach of Connecticut.[22] By 1870, she and her husband, William Hamilton, and their family were living in Marin Co CA; their youngest son Charles, 4, whose name was known to O. P. Light, was the first of the family born in California.[23]

While the daughters, as will be seen, were living with neighbors, probably working, the only son, 14-year-old Enoch, was with his uncle, next door to his grandparents. In addition to Enoch, his census page had Lloyd and Nancy, their sons Thomas H. and his family and Reason Prather and family; Reason’s wife, Sally Ann (Veach), was a sister of James Russell Prather’s first wife.[24] The pages left by Rev. Light did not include a list of the children of Enoch Prather. In 1870, he was still living in Liberty Township, Jefferson Co IA, near his aunt Elizabeth Jane (Prather) Schwartz, and married to Ann with a baby. [25] O. P. Light said his wife was Mary, and a descendant with whom I corresponded states that his wife was Mary Ann Walmer.[26]

Sarah Ann, 12, was living in 1850 with the William Donaldson family from Kentucky.[27] Her four children with husband Ben “Evens” in 1870 were Ann, Ellen, Jane and William. The three girls do not match the “Evans” daughters named on O. P. Light’s chart: Louvica (Sarah Ann’s mother’s name) Will, Margaret and Martha, although if census listings by middle names can be considered, they might fit.[28] Sarah Ann had died by 1880 as Ben “Evins” had a new wife and four young children.[29]

Indiann, Sarah Ann’s twin, was living with the Hiram Case family from Ohio in 1850, on the same page as one John L. Prather, a nephew of Lloyd Benton Prather, who had moved to Iowa in 1846.[30] In 1870, Henry and Indiann Grammer’s three children are the same as on O. P. Light’s list, but the first and last names are spelled differently.[31]

In 1850 Elvira was listed as a boy, Alvin, 11, with the Hiram Smith family from Ohio. She was one page after the one where her grandparents, two uncles and their families and her brother Enoch were listed, just two households away from one of the uncles, above. In 1870, the William and Elvira Smith family is identical to the four children on Rev. Light’s list, although in different order, and there is a fifth baby, William.[32]

In 1850 Louvica Caroline, 9, was with the Iowa-native Carlisle Smith family.[33] A gedcom at identifies Carlisle as the brother of Hiram Smith, with whom Elvira was residing, probably half-brothers of Elvira’s eventual husband, William H Smith. She married Anson C. Jones. In 1870 her family was in Jasper Co IA with three children, named the same as the oldest three of four in O. P. Light’s list.[34]

Oliver P. Light’s knowledge of his wife’s brothers and sisters and their families was not as complete as his awareness of his own nieces and nephews, but still shows that he and his wife, Nancy Jane, did keep in touch, even through the years when a few of the nieces and nephews were marrying, mostly those still in Jefferson Co IA.

The case was different with Nancy Jane’s half-brother and sisters. I corresponded in the 1980s with Becky Van Vliet, of Muncie IN, a descendant of Marion Washington Prather. She sent me, among other information, a Bible record and a copy of the second marriage license of James Russell Prather’s second wife, Elizabeth Jane (Jamison) Prather. The Bible record had a date of birth for Marion W. Prather two days difference from O. P. Light’s chart.[35] It appears that after the death of James Russell Prather in 1850 there was no further contact between the children of his first marriage and the widow or her children.

The only known evidence specifically naming the children of Lloyd Benton and Nancy (Redman) Prather is O. P. Light’s list; other than that, the geographic proximity of the families is the clearest evidence. And four of the seven children of Lloyd’s have independent proof of their parentage.

Lloyd Benton Prather was a son of Basil Prather, DAR Patriot Ancestor and early settler of Clark Co IN.[36] His census record exactly matches the sons named by O. P. Light, although there was apparently one more daughter than remembered by Nancy Jane or recorded by her husband. The biggest mistake in dates in all of O. P. Light’s pages was the age of Elizabeth Prather; he said she was born in 1824, when census information throughout her life indicates a date closer to 1810. In 1820 Clark Co IN, Lloyd’s family was comprised of one male 0-10 (Reason, 8), 3 females 0-10 (Elizabeth, 10, Cena Lillis, 7, Mary Ellen, 3), two males 10-16 (Thomas, 15, James, 13), one male 26-45 (Lloyd, 38) and one female (26-45) Nancy, 38.[37]

By 1830, the youngest sons had been born, Lillis had probably died (she is not in O. P. Light’s lists), and the oldest three children were married. Lloyd’s entry was two males 5-10 (William, 10, Jonathan, 7), one female 10-15 (Mary Ellen, 13), one male 15-20 (Reason, 18), one male 40-50 (Lloyd, 48), and one female 40-50 (Nancy, 48).[38] Elizabeth and Abraham Schwartz andJames R and his wife are at the bottom of the page previous to Lloyd, whose name is first on the page; they were consecutive households.[39] The eldest son, Thomas Helms Prather, was higher on page 56, closer to uncles Aaron and Thomas. Aaron Prather had a son Thomas, still at home; Thomas, the uncle, had one son also named Thomas, but he was married with a son William by 1830. So, this is “our” Thomas.

By 1840, Lloyd and his family with the three older sons and their families had all moved to Blue River Township, Harrison Co IN; they were the only Prathers in the county.[40] Still at home with Lloyd and Nancy were Jonathan, 17, William, 20, and Mary Ellen, 23. Thomas H. Prather had five children, James’s first four daughters and a son were with him and his wife, and Reason and his wife had two small children.[41] The next year, James’s first wife died, and he married again while in Harrison Co IN.

In 1850, the children of Lloyd Prather were all in Jefferson Co IA, as noted above, with these exceptions: James had died and his children by his first wife were living with different families in the same county as their grandparents; Mary Ellen and her husband Campbell Rankin, and her brothers William and Jonathan and their wives were in Lucas Co IA.[42]

Through census records we know that Lloyd and these seven next generation Prathers, and no others, moved together twice; this confirms O. P. Light’s Prather family lists. Further confirmation, and the only additional Prather evidence located in Jefferson Co IA comes from voting lists from 1850, where Lloyd, four of his sons, and two of his sons in-law are listed.[43]

In 1973 I wrote to Mr. Clare Prather of Tulsa, sharing O. P. Light’s family charts. Mr. Prather’s response is attached. “You cannot begin to know the pleasure that your letter gave me when I received it today.” He had been trying to establish the children of Lloyd Benton and Nancy (Redman) Prather “for many years.”[44] Mr. Prather’s assumptions were in almost complete agreement with O. P. Light.

In 1987, I copied several pages from Marriage Records of People Named Prather, Prater, Prator, Praytor at the NSDAR Library in Washington, D. C. I do not have all the pages for Lloyd’s children, but those I do have (James Russell, Jonathan C., and Elizabeth) reveal that Cartlidge connected the dots and assigned the sons and daughter to the same parents as O. P. Light wrote down based on personal knowledge.[45]

These are the children Clare Prather, O. P. Light, Miss Anna Cartlidge, census data, and other sources agree are the children of Lloyd Benton and Nancy (Redman) Prather:

1.     Thomas Helms Prather,[46] the eldest was a Methodist minister, as was Oliver Perry Light. Perhaps because of this connection and the fact that both families left Jefferson Co IA and spent time in Kansas, among other places, Rev. Light had more information about the children of Thomas than for any other of the siblings of his wife. O. P. Light knew that one of Thomas’s daughters married a Mr. Gilliland; this couple’s son Willie was buried, long with Thomas and his parents, in the same cemetery in Douglas Co KS.[47]

2.     James Russell Prather, my ancestor.

3.     Elizabeth Prather, who married Abram or Abraham Schwartz. Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties, Iowa, 1890, names her parents specifically, although misstating their ancestry as German and Scottish.[48]

4.     Reason Benjamin (or Reason Redman) Prather. [49] Nancy Redman had a brother Reason Redman (or Rezin Redman), for whom this son was named; her father was Benjamin Redman, so conceivably he could have been named Reason Benjamin Redman Prather. He married a sister-in-law of brother James Russell’s and by 1860 was living in Lucas Co IA. I am attempting to communicate with a DAR member who descends from Reason and Sally Ann, whose line is proven; this evidence is available, just not necessarily speedily.

5.     Cena Lillis Prather. Clare Prather wrote in the letter cited above: “Mrs. Ruth Van Tries, a daughter of Cena Lillis (Prather) Pearson, a daughter of Thomas Helms Prather, says that her mother told her on several occasions that she was named Cena Lillis for her father’s sister.” He proposed that the daughter who was present in the 1820 census, but not seen later was named Cena Lillis.

6.     Mary Ellen Prather. O. P. Light’s identification of her husband as Campbell Rankin was not known to Clare Prather. Mary Ellen Rankin can be traced with her husband from their marriage in 1840 in Harrison Co IN to 1850 and 1860 in Lucas Co IA through 1870 and 1880 in Smithland Twp, Livingston Co KY. It is difficult to identify their children in census or other online records other than when living with the parents, in spite of some fairly unusual given names. A source I cannot locate at this time gave their death dates as 23 Apr 1881 for the husband and 28 May 1899 for Mary Ellen; probably the same source quoted her obituary as saying, “She was a niece of Rev. William Redman, a pioneer Methodist preacher, and her brother, Rev. Thomas H. Prather, was an able and devoted missionary to the Indians prior to the admission of Kansas into the Union.”

7.     William W. Redman Prather was in Lucas Co IA in 1850, Sioux City Township, Woodbury Co IA in 1860, Shirley Township, Cloud Co IA in 1870 and North Longton Township, Elk Co KS in 1880. His children’s names, as first noted by Clare Prather, point toward his being the son of Lloyd and Nancy:  Lewis Cass, Nancy E., Lloyd B., Martha E., William, Mary A., James R., Loretta Vergeia, and Charles B.

8.     Jonathan Cass Prather. I disagree with Clare Prather when he identified this man as the same Jonathan Prather listed as a settler in 1855 in Kansas; for this to be so, he would have to have abandoned his wife and two children, who were listed under Elizabeth’s name in 1860 in Lucas Co IA. There were five Jonathan Prathers in the U. S. census in 1850, and five again in 1860, but one was a 7-year-old boy. Only this Jonathan is missing.

Every one of Lloyd and Nancy’s children had a daughter named Nancy, usually Nancy Elizabeth, except for the Rankins.

Part IV: The Accuracy of O. P. Light’s charts of the Veach family

In addition to her own mother, Louvica Caroline (Veach) Prather, who died when Nancy was seven, Nancy Jane (Prather) Light also knew her aunt Sally Ann (Veach) Prather, who was married to an uncle and lived in Jefferson Co IA, and another aunt, Frances Maude (Veach) Porter, at whose home in Shelbyville IL Nancy was visiting that summer of 1853 when she met and married O. P. Light.[50] She probably also personally knew Elvira (Veach) Smith in Shelbyville, since this aunt was there in the 1860 census. She knew the names of other aunts, and that there was a brother Milton, possibly because her aunt Frances’s oldest child was a namesake named Milton Porter, but no facts about the brother beyond his name were recorded by O. P. Light.

O. P. Light made very few notes about the Veach family. What he knew was that his mother-in-law, whom he never met, was a daughter of Jacob and Mary (Hilton) Veach. Actually Jacob didn’t spell the name the way some earlier families did: Veatch. In this document I have kept O. P.’s spelling, that is apparently Jacob’s spelling, but as I turn to other sources, which I will spell the name as it appears.

Rev. Light also knew that there were at least six daughters and one son, and he knew the names of some of the daughter’s husbands, although imperfectly. Lucinda, the youngest child, was married to Hiram Porter, not Jonathan. Hiram was a nephew of Frances (Veach) Porter’s husband Zephaniah.

I will analyze Jacob Veach’s census record, as Clare Prather did with Lloyd Prather’s. In 1820, he was in Clark Co IN, p 14, with this family: 010010/42010/01.[51] The six daughters named by O. P. Light were Louvica Caroline, Frances Maude (“Fanny”), Elvira, Rachel, Lucinda, and Sarah Ann (“Sally Ann”). Their ages were not known, but additional sources identified other daughters as Hannah and Mary Ann.[52] The son would have been Milton.

On the same page in 1820 were Basil R. Prather and his son John.

In 1830, Jacob’s family was comprised of 0000101…/1221101….[53] The seventh and youngest daughter has been born. There is still only one son. Again there are Prathers on the same page, plus John C. Redman, a double first cousin of Nancy Redman’s.

In 1840 in Johnson Co IN, Jacob’s family was: 100000001/00101001. On the same page were two daughters and their husbands, Moses Holeman and Francis K Porter. The daughters living with their parents were Lucinda, unmarried, and Elvira, whose husband had died, apparently leaving her with one son under five.[54] Milton Veach was still in Clark Co IN.[55]

From the 1850 census it is possible to calculate the order of the children’s births. Louvica Caroline did not live until 1850, but might be the oldest child, since she was the first married of Jacob’s children’s. In Shelby Co IL, we learn that Frances (Veach) Porter was 42, born in Kentucky.[56] Milton (“M. W. Veach”) was in Clark Co IN, 40, born in Indiana.[57] Sally Ann (Veach) Prather’s 1850 census is given above, on page 10; she was 34. Elvira was married to Henry Eller, her second husband, by 1850, living in Shelby Co IL, 32; the child Harman Smith, 13, was the boy in Jacob’s 1840 census.[58] Mary (Veach) Holeman, 30, and Rachel (Veach) Admire, 28, were on the same page in Johnson Co IN, both born in Indiana.[59]

Finding evidence to link the children named by O. P. Light to Jacob Veach begins with the Light lists. The fact of Rev. Light’s knowing these names was used in 1974 by the Veatch Family Association, when they sponsored a 913-page compilation of all known Veatches.[60]

Two of Jacob and Polly (Hilton) Veach’s children are named in American Guthrie,[61] Milton “Veatch” and Rachel (“Veatch”) Admire are named, which means that with Mary Ann (Veach) Holeman, three of Jacob’s children are independently confirmed. Rachel and her husband both died of typhoid fever in 1861 in Warrick Co IN, although Guthrie gives the date 1860. His information is different from O.P. Light’s, but agrees with it.

Jacob Veach and Polly Hilton, named by O. P. Light, were married in Jessamine Co KY in 1805.[62] James Hilton was surety, and her father “Freeman” Hilton was named.

While a college student and beginning family researcher, I copied all I could find about ancestors at my university library. I found Virkus’ The Compendium of American Genealogy, but not my Veach or Prather families, as far as I could tell. What I did find of interest was in a volume entitled Territorial Papers of Indiana, various petitions dated 1809-1816, which I copied, keeping spelling and capitalization as it appeared. And I only copied the names which I knew at that time to be ancestors’ names.[63]  The significance of these documents is the close and early connections found among these families, in the community of early Clark Co IN.

·         Clark Co IN petition, dated 12 Dec 1809, included: truman hilton, James Hilton, Joshua W redman, Lloyd Prather, Benjamin Redman, Basil R Prather, Aaron Prather, Roger Redman, Jacob Veatch, Wm Prather.

·         Another peition from 1809 included: Wm Prather, Truman Hilton, James Hilton, John Prather, Basil R Prather, Aaron Prather, Lloyd Prather.

·         A territorial memorial signed 31 Dec 1810 included Aaron Prather and Jacob Veatch.

·         A territorial petition, 11 Dec 1811, had: Aaron Prather, James Hilton, Basil Prather, Wm Prather, Basil R Prather.

·         Clark Co IN petition, dated 16 Dec 1813, included: Aaron Prather, Samuel Prather, Basil Prather, Loyd Prather.

·         Clark Co IN Memorial, 15 Oct 1812: Rezin Redman, Commandant of a Detachment from Clark.

·         Territory Memorial, 1 Feb 1815: Basil Prather. A footnote mentons Basil Prather, a native of Maryland and postmaster in 1816 at Salem. 17 April 1816: a note from the Postmaster General to Basil Prather.

In 1820, there were Veach families in four counties in Indiana.[64] Guthrie identifies the four families in Harrison County as sons of Nathan and Elizabeth (Craig) Veach, who moved there from Knoxville TN.[65] Benjamin in Orange Co IN was probably a brother of my Jacob.[66]  The Fayette County Veaches were distant cousins from a branch which originated in Frederick Co MD; they were in Harrison Co KY in 1810.[67]

All families in the 1820 census were spelled Veach; by 1830 both Veach and Veatch appear with no distinction.[68] All of the nine names in the 1820 Indiana census are repeated in 1830, plus a Thomas in Henry County and two younger men in Fayette County; two of the Harrison County Veatches have moved, one to Spencer County and the other to Greene County. Benjamin in Orange County has now been joined by another brother Asa. Jacob is still the only Veach or Veatch in Clark Co IN. And the Veaches identified by O. P. Light were all married in Clark County until after 1830, and in Johnson Co IN after 1835.[69]

While there is still uncertainty about the parentage of Jacob Veach, there is no doubt about his wife’s family. Truman Hilton and his wife, Christena Patrick, were part of a large number of Marylanders who went first to Rowan or Iredell Counties in North Carolina, tthen to Kentucky and finally just across the Ohio River to Clark County.[70] There were numerous intermarriages among this group. In 1850 in that county, there were 115 people born before 1810 who claimed to have been born in Maryland, out of a population of 2499 in that age group, or about 22%.[71]

These marriages are known to have taken place in Clark County between Veach, Hilton, Holeman (or Holman, as it is often written), Prather, Patrick, and Jacobs individuals:

HOLEMAN, —            m            JACOBS, THOMAS             Clark, 5-22-1809

HILTON, LETHA            m            HOLMAN, AARON            Clark, 8-6-1813

HOLMAN, MOSES            m            PATRICK, REBECCA            Clark, 8-23-1814

PRATHER, ARY            m            HILTON, JAMES            Clark, 3-30-1815

PRATHER, WILLIAM JR            m            HILTON, SARAH            Clark, 10-25-1816

HOLEMAN, CATHERINE            m            PATRICK, JEREMIAH            Clark, 11-4-1819

PRATHER, AARON J            m            PATRICK, ELIZABETH            Clark, 6-5-1820

PATRICK, WILLIAM            m            DAVIS, NANCY            Clark, 8-17-1820

PRATHER, JOHN JR            m            PATRICK, MARY            Clark, 8-29-1820

HOLEMAN, MATILDA            m            PATRICK, JOHN            Clark, 3-30-1822

HILTON, WILLIAM            m            JACOBS, REBECCA D.            Clark, 9-28-1828

HILTON, PRESSHA            m            PORTER, FRANCIS K.            Clark, 6-7-1829

PRATHER, JAMES R            m            VEACH, LAVICY            Clark, 2-11-1830

PORTER, ZEPHANIAH K            m            VEACH, FRANCES M            Clark, 6-3-1831

PRATHER, SAMANTHA            m            JACOBS, JEREMIAH            Clark, 4-6-1833

VEATCH, MILTON            m            NEELY, ELIZABETH            Clark, 11-30-1834

PRATHER, THOMAS F            m            JACOBS, CATHARINE            Clark, 12-6-1838

PRATHER, THOMAS F            m            PATRICK, MAHALA            Clark, 11-4-1842

PRATHER, JOSEPH A            m            PATRICK, SARAH ANN            Clark, 11-28-1844

PRATHER, MARGARET ANN            m            PATRICK, LEWIS R            Clark, 11-6-1845

Letha (or Aletha), William, Pressha, Sarah and James are all children of Truman and Christena (Patrick) Hilton. I have located ten probable children of this couple. My ancestor, Mary or Polly, was possibly the oldest child, married in Jessamine Co KY before the family moved to Clark Co IN. Louvica Veach was a granddaughter.

The nine Patricks are five children of Christena (Patrick) Hilton’s brother William Jr. and his wife Rebecca Jacobs, plus William’s own second marriage in 1820; Sarah and Lewis are two of the four children from the second marriage. Mahala Patrick was a widow when she married a Prather.


Part V: Additional documents relating to Oliver Perry Light

Oliver Perry Light was the third surviving child of David and Harriet (Dickinson) Light. In 1837, the family moved to Edgar Co IL, where David and Harriet lived for the rest of their lives.[72] In the 1850 census Oliver P. Light was listed as a schoolteacher,[73] and he is recorded in that year as a student at Georgetown Seminary, in nearby Vermillion Co IL.[74] According to Methodist Church records, he was “ordained a deacon and given full connection in 1854,”[75] after having begun serving as in 1852 in the first of many churches and circuits, moving from Williamsburg and other districts in Illinois to Dayton and Crow River, Minnesota,[76] in 1856 to Blue Grass District in Iowa in 1867 to Wymore, Nebraska, in 1884 to the Washington circuit in Kansas in 1888 and ending his career in 1889 in El Reno, Oklahoma, where he preached the first sermon. In 1853, he had met and married a schoolteacher, Miss Nancy Jane Prather (12 Sep 1833-4 Aug 1895),[77] whom he reportedly had known for only two weeks. Rev. Light served as a chaplain during the Civil War, enlisting 8 Aug 1862 in Co. H, 6th Regiment of Minnesota Volunteers, later serving as Chaplain of the 7th Minnesota, resigning 27 May 1864, due to disability.[78] A letter from O. P. Light, dated 14 May 1864, to the Governor of MN is included in “Reports and Correspondence—Minnesota in the Civil and Indian War,” p 495.[79] It also appears he took part in the famed Oklahoma Land Run, 22 Apr 1889.[80] Rev. Light died on 28 Mar 1904 in Wymore, Gage Co NE, where he is buried next to his wife.[81]

Since 1966, I have not seen any of O. P. Light’s family charts or many of the other papers I copied that day. I did, however, inherit some documents and typed pages when my grandmother died in 1990. Among these are:

·  A booklet from 1934 celebrating the 45th Anniversary of the First Methodist Episcopal Church in El Reno OK.[82]

·  A sample of her presentations from 1982.[83]

·  My grandmother’s typed copies of Rev. Light’s diary and lists of marriages he performed. I am attaching all of these that I have, for their genealogical value.[84]

·  A typed extract from O. P. Light’s notebook. These are the first four pages and reveal the variety if dates and infmration contained in the pocketbook,

·  Historical Review and Directory: Commemorating the 45th Anniversary of The First Methodist Church, 1889-1934, 24 Jun 1934, unnumbered page. “History of the First United Methodist Church of El Reno (OK)” written by either Ethel Armstrong or Evelyn Eichor.

O. P. Light’s original notes and documents, which have been lost, included a list of the churches he served,[85] which were confirmed as I followed up with the Methodist State Archives, locating whenever possible the town or village, and finding contemporary records to his being in those places. His pension papers also follow his many moves. Sources not copied here include: History of the United Methodist Church at Anoka (MN), 1854-1979. Original pages of the Historical Record of the Stockton Circuit Church for 1855, in O. P. Light’s handwriting. Ephraim H.Waring, History of the Iowa Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1909, p. 206. History of the First United Methodist Church of Wymore NE. “The United Methodist Church, Union City OK, 1890-1990.” 1870, 1880, 1900 FC. 1885 Iowa State census. Obituary, Weekly Wymorean, Wymore NE, 31 Mar 1904, p. 1.

[1] History of Edgar Co IL, William LeBaron Co, 1879, p. 687.

[2] Shelby Co IL Marriage Book. Proceedings of the Iowa Conference, 1895, pp. 260-261.

[3] Pension file, Oliver P. Light, no. 134,865. He continued deaf in his right ear for the rest of his life. Attached here are two of approximately 100 pages of pension documents.

[4] Smith’s First Directory of O. T. Homesteaders in Run of 1889, p 281 “Oliver P Light, n w 21 12 7” (; photocopy of original.

[5] Oliver Perry Light, notebook, in possession of Kathy Alvis Patterson, containing Biblical texts from which he preached with dates and places, several church lists and detailed expesnse acccounts; 28 Jun 1889 to 11 March 1897, not written in chronological order.

[6] “Geneology [sic] of the Grand Parents and their Children— some of them,” copied after 4 Jul 1906 by Harriet (Light) Vance.

[7] Lancaster Co PA Will Book K, Vol. 1, p. 23, Jacob Light Jr, 11 Nov 1808. Berkeley Co VA Will Book 4, p. 408, Peter Light, dated 9 Sep 1807.

[8] Moses Light, The Light Genealogy in America, “published for the author,” 1896, pp. 7-8, 10. A history of the Light family from the “Old Country.” Moses’s John Light settled in (then called) Lebanon Township, Lancaster Co Pa., now Lebanon Co Pa., and secured a tract of land, now a part of the city of Lebanon, patent dated April 2, 1742. Our John Light was from Caernarvon Township.

[9] History of Clermont Co OH, Louis H. Everts Co, 1880, p. 400.

[10] Year: 1860; Census Place: Charleston, Lee, Iowa; Roll: M653_330; Page: 65; Image: 471.

[11] Year: 1850; Census Place: Lick Creek, Van Buren, Iowa; Roll: M432_189; Pages: 343-344; Images: 199-200.

[12]Jane Warren Archaud, “My Grandmother and her Family: Barbara Light Williamson Robb,” sent to me by Frank L. Light, 27 Feb 2003.

[13] Frank L. Light, “Peter Light, Son of John,” posted online at, See also Mary Kemmerle, Jacob Light of Caernarvon Township and Some of his Descendants, 1986.

[14] Year: 1870; Census Place: Prairie, Edgar, Illinois; Roll: M593_218; Page: 212; Image: 426.

[15] Year: 1870; Census Place: Prairie, Edgar, Illinois; Roll: M593_218; Page: 211; Image: 425.

[16] Year: 1870; Census Place: Broullitts Creek, Edgar, Illinois; Roll: M593_218; Page: 13; Image: 25.

[17] Year: 1870; Census Place: Broullitts Creek, Edgar, Illinois; Roll: M593_218; Page: 11; Image: 23.

[18] Year: 1870; Census Place: Lamar, Barton, Missouri; Roll: M593_757; Page: 821; Image: 351.

[19] This may be because Harriet had died in 1873, and Oliver did not remember her family from Clermont Co OH, which he left in 1837, at the age of nine or so. He did not obtain the data while she was living. None of her brothers and sisters is known to have come to Illinois.

[20] Obituary, Wymore News, Wymore NE, 8 Aug 1895. A seccond, unidentified obituary; internal evidence suggests this obituary was from a Wymore NE newspaper. Portions of three additional, unidentified, obituaries, each with slightly different wording.

[21] Year: 1850; Census Place: Des Moines, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M432_185; Page: 94; Image: 189. Contrary to her obituary, at this date almost a year after her father’s death, she was not “with an uncle in that county, near Fairfield,” but with a family recently arrived in Iowa from New York, not known to be related.

[22] Year: 1850; Census Place: Des Moines, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M432_185; Page: 95; Image: 191.

[23] Year: 1870; Census Place: Tomales, Marin, California; Roll: M593_74; Page: 83; Image: 166.

[24] Year: 1850; Census Place: Liberty, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M432_185; Pages: 88-88; Images: 177-178.

[25] Year: 1870; Census Place: Liberty, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M593_399; Page: 123; Image: 246.

[26] Ruby M Johnson, 11056 8th NE, Seattle WA, undated Family Group Sheet.

[27] Year: 1850; Census Place: Liberty, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M432_185; Page: 82; Image: 164.

[28] Year: 1870; Census Place: Liberty, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M593_399; Page: 125; Image: 250.

[29] Year: 1880; Census Place: Des Moines, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: T9_347; Family History Film: 1254347; Page: 432.2000; Enumeration District: 83; Image: 0286.

[30] Year: 1850; Census Place: Liberty, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M432_185; Page: 83; Image: 167.

[31] Year: 1870; Census Place: Liberty, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M593_399; Page: 115; Image: 230.

[32] Year: 1870; Census Place: Des Moines, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M593_399; Page: 52; Image: 105.

[33] Year: 1850; Census Place: Liberty, Jefferson, Iowa; Roll: M432_185; Page: 79; Image: 159.

[34] Year: 1870; Census Place: Fairview, Jasper, Iowa; Roll: M593_398; Page: 262; Image: 162.

[35] Letter from Becky Van Vliet, Muncie IN, 18 Apr 1988, to Kathy Patterson. Bible record of the family of Marion W Prather and wife Nancy J Smith, at that time in the possession of Becky’s grandmother Nancy Jane (Taylor) Thomas. Marriage license, Harrison Co IN, 1 Jan 1857, Job Clark and Elizabeth Jane Praitor [sic].

[36] Lewis C. Baird, Baird’s History of Clark Co IN, B. F. Bowen, 1909, page 54. No title page. Also, A roster of Revolutionary ancestors of the Indiana Daughters of the American Revolution: commemoration of the United States of [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: A roster of Revolutionary ancestors of the Indiana Daughters of the American Revolution: commemoration of the United States of America bicentennial, July 4, 1976. Evansville, Ind.: Unigraphic, 1976, pp. 517-518.

[37] Year: 1820; Census Place: Jeffersonville, Clark, Indiana; Roll: M33_13; Page: 49; Image: 58. Census analysis of the family of Lloyd and Nancy Prather provided to me in 1973 by Clare Prather.

[38] Year: 1830; Census Place: Charlestown, Clark, Indiana; Roll: 28; Page: 57.

[39] Year: 1830; Census Place: Charlestown, Clark, Indiana; Roll: 28; Page: 56.

[40] Year: 1840; Census Place: Harrison, Indiana; Roll: 82; Pages: 311317. Also Search Results for Prather in Harrison Co IN, 1840.

[41] Reason Prather married Sarah Ann Veach, a sister of James’s first wife, Louvica Caroline Veach.

[42] Year: 1850; Census Place: District 13, Lucas, Iowa; Roll: M432_187; Pages: 131, 132; Image: 128, 129

[43] Charles J. Fulton, History of Jefferson County, Iowa, Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1914, pp. 245, 246.

[44] Letter from Mr. Clare Prather, 21 Aug 1973, to Kathy Patterson, accompanied by Family Groups Sheets.

[45] Miss Anna M. Cartlidge, Marriage Records of People Named Prather, Prater, Prator, Praytor, Baltimore MD, 1976.

[46] NSDAR Descedants Database Search, Dorothy Calmback Goodrich, Nat’l #581627, Ancestor #A092400, is descended from Thomas Helms Prather.

[47] “Pioneer cemetery, Baldwin City, Kansas, Palmyra Township,” page 265 of an unidentified book. Also Thomas’s obituary, Baldwin Ledger, Baldwin KS, 14 Dec 1888.

[48] Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties, Iowa, Chicago: Lake City Publishing, 1890, page 296.

[49] NSDAR Descendants Database Search: Carolyn Kay McAlister Madsen, Nat’l #825227,   Ancestor #A092400, is descended from Jonathan C. Prather. I am trying to communicate with her.

[50] This is a statement made to me by my grandmother in 1966. It is a valid explanation for why Nancy Jane was found in Illinois that summer. See the Zephaniah Porter household in 1850, below, for confirmation of the family’s being in that area.

     My grandmother’s statement is also a measure of how strongly treasured any family traditions were among the Light and Prather descendants. Ethel Armstrong had no interest in tracing ancestors beyone her grandparents and no access to census records or other means of knowing family members were in Shelbyville IL.

[51] Year: 1820; Census Place: Jeffersonville, Clark, Indiana; Roll: M33_13; Page: 14; Image: 23.

[52] Damaris Knobe, The ancestry of Grafton Johnson: with its four branches, the Johnson, the Holman, the Keen, the Morris: the history and genealogy of paternal progenitors, as confined to the United States, of the second Grafton Johnson of Greenwood, Indiana, great-great-grandson of the first Isaac Johnson, who reverts to the middle of the eighteenth century in Virginia, Indianapolis: Hollenbeck Press, 1924, page 110. HeritageQuest Online.

[53] Year: 1830; Census Place: Jeffersonville, Clark, Indiana; Roll: 28; Page: 41.

[54] Year: 1840; Census Place: Johnson, Indiana; Roll: 84; Page: 307.

[55] Year: 1840; Census Place: Clark, Indiana; Roll: 75; Page: 304.

[56] Year: 1850; Census Place: Becks Creek, Shelby, Illinois; Roll: M432_128; Page: 151; Image: 573.

[57] Year: 1850; Census Place: Jeffersonville, Clark, Indiana; Roll: M432_138; Page: 163, 164; Image: 330, 331.

[58] Year: 1850; Census Place: Becks Creek, Shelby, Illinois; Roll: M432_128; Page: 153; Image: 578.

[59] Year: 1850; Census Place: Hensley, Johnson, Indiana; Roll: M432_155; Page: 124; Image: 553

[60] Wanda Veatch Clark, ed., We Veitches, Veatches, Veaches, Veeches, Redmond OR; Midstate Publishing, 1974, pp. 704-705.

[61] Laurence R. Guthrie, American Guthrie and Allied Families, Chambersburg PA: Kerr Printing Co., ca 1933, p. 612.

[62] Marriage record, Dec 18 1805, Jessamine Co KY, “James Hilton, surety. Consent for daughter to marry given by treaman hilton. Jacob Veach resident of Woodford Co KY.” Jessamine Co KY Marriage Licenses, 1749-1867. NSDAR Library. Also at

[63] Territorial Papers of Indiana, various petitions dated 1809-1816, from University of South Dakota Library, copied 1967, spelling as published. This researcher will be very happy when Indiana posts these records online, since I didn’t have access to a copier in 1967.

[64] Search Results: Veach in Indiana 1820. No Veatch.

[65] Guthrie 612.

[66] Guthrie 704.

[67] Guthrie 218.

[68] Search Results: Veach and Veatch in Indiana 1830.

[69] IN State Library
Genealogy Database:
Marriages through 1850, in_marriages_1850/marriages_search.asp. For some reason, none of our Johnson Co IN marriages, except the second marriage of Jesse Woollard are in this database.

[70] Gravestones, New Chapel United Methodist Church, Clark Co IN.

[71] Search Results: born in Maryland 1770-1810, in Clark Co IN.

[72] History of Edgar Co IL, above.

[73] Year: 1850; Census Place: District 19, Edgar, Illinois; Roll: M432_105; Page: 170; Image: 343. All censuses here are from, database online.

[74] B. F. Henderson, “History of the Georgetown Seminary—Part I,” The Heritage (Spring 1967), pp. 15-17, and “Part II,” (Summer 1967), pp. 7-8, 10. Letter, 3 Jan 1967, from B. F. Henderson, Georgetown IL, to Kathy Alvis.

[75] Letter, 5 Jan 1988, from Catharine W. Knight, Archivist, Central Illinois Conference, the United Methodist church, Commission on archives and History, to Kathy Patterson.

[76] Letter, 18 Aug 1987, from Thelma Boeder, Archivist, Minnesota Annual Conference, The United Methodist Church, to Kathy Patterson, including Oliver Perry Light’s service record and a page from the Centennial History of the Elk River (MN) United Methodist Church, 1975.

[77] Shelby Co IL Marriage Book. Proceedings of the Iowa Conference, 1895, pp. 260-261. Both are given above.

[78] Pension file, Oliver P. Light, no. 134,865. See above.

[79] “Reports and Correspondence—Minnesota in the Civil and Indian War,” p 495, in Ramona Armstrong Duff, Armstrong Album and Light Lines, p. 33.

[80] Smith’s First Directory of O. T. Homesteaders in Run of 1889, p 281, above. Also included with notes are extracted 1890 Territorial Census, page 827, and the 1890 Veterans census.

[81] Light grave stone, Wymore Methodist Church Cemetery, Gage Co NE, visited and photographed Nov 1988. The exact dates of the births and deaths of Rev. and Mrs. Light are in family and Methodist church records. Proceedings of the Iowa Conference, 1895, 260-261.

[82] Historical Review and Directory Commemorating the 45th Anniversary of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, 1889-1934, published 24 Jun 1934, no page numbers,

[83] Presentation given in 1982, beginning “In the Contact Bishop Hardt exprssed a desire to of the vital part of methodism in the diamond anniversary of Statement….” I can recognize my grandmother’s antique typewriter and typing style. She later purchased a tiny portable, and I know pages from that machine as well.

[84] Five pages, including “Record of Marriages,” “Charter members of the First M. E. Church, El Reno,” salaries and collections, and committee for college funds.

[85] Some of the original notes I took in 1966 with a typed copy of the churches.

Published in: on March 28, 2009 at 5:59 pm  Comments (3)  

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  1. I asked Christina Wolf, archivist of the Methodist Archives for Oklahoma, at Oklahoma City University, to check for me, and this was her emailed reply,dated yesterday: “In the 1891 journal of the ME Indian Territory Mission, I did find a notation of O P Light in the statistics as finishing out the year at El Reno, which was left to be supplied during the 1890 annual conference. O P Light does not appear again and may have been a typo.” In reply I assured her that he had a homestead near El Reno.

  2. Good morning,

    I just read your account of Oliver Perry Light. I am a direct descendent of Oliver’s. He is my great-great-grandfather. His daughter Harriot married John Vance. They are my great grand parents. Their daughter Lura Light Vance married Frank omar Rowe they were my grandpraents. Their Daughter Wilma Frances Rowe married Joseph David Foxworty and they were my parents.

    We took a detour through El Reno on our way to Texas in November 2010 to try and find the Methodist Church. Is it still there?

    I have a small photo album that belonged to O P Light that he probably carried in the Civil War also some papers and a few other things.

    Would love to hear from you and share some history that I know.


    • Wilma

      If you contact me at: I’ll send tou some material about the early Light family that you may not have.

      Frank Light
      In Cincinnati

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