John Ellison Dunham
- Born: 26 Jan 1800, Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., New Jersey 936
- Marriage (1): Vashti Willets 7 Sep 1826 in Wayne County, Indiana
- Died: 21 Nov 1876, Bayard, Grant Co., NM at age 76 937
- Buried: Fort Bayard, Grant Co., NM 937
FamilySearch ID: KNZ7-RB7. Find a Grave ID: 3321891.
John was probably named after his maternal grandfather, John Ellison. John was raised in Woodbridge, New Jersey. Sometime between 1814 and 1820 (probably in about 1816), John moved with his family out west to Wayne County, Indiana. John was married there, on September 26, 1826 to Miss Vashti Willits. John and Vashti lived in or near Centerville, Indiana, and had 7 children: Mary, Margaret, William, Peyton, Lydia (see next generation), John, and Robert.
John was a tailor like his father, and worked as one of the first tailors for Centerville, Indiana. He was primarily a farmer by trade. John served as postmaster for Centerville, Indiana from 1832 to 1843. At some point, John must have grown tired of his life in Indiana. Sometime between 1852 and 1855, John moved with his whole family out west to Henry County, Iowa, near the town of Salem. They also lived in neighboring Jefferson County, Iowa. In about 1858 or 1859, they moved to Linn County, Kansas, where they lived near the town of Potosi. They only remained there about a year and moved back to Henry County, Iowa between 1860 and 1862. Sometime between 1863 and 1865, they moved back to Kansas, this time settling at Delaware Township, in Leavenworth County.
Although John was becoming quite elderly by this time, he still had a drive for adventure. Sometime between 1865 and 1870, John left by himself and went out west to New Mexico to engage in silver mining. (We know that he was gone by the year 1869, more than likely though he left by 1867, which is when his wife and son moved from Kansas to Missouri). John lived in New Mexico for several years where he was in a silver mining operation and at one time was living at Fort Craig, Soccoro County, New Mexico, southwest of Santa Fe. His life must have been quite adventuresome there and there are letters referring to him having been "cheated and robbed" while there. By the year 1870, he was wanting to return home, but feeling somewhat disappointed, he decided to stay. As late as February 1871, there is record of him still in New Mexico, trying to return home. Apparently, he never was able to make the trip. One source lists his death as in 1873 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which would have been a stop on his way returning home. There is a John Dunham who died on November 21, 1876 and is buried at the Fort Bayard National Cemetery in Fort Bayard, Grant Co., New Mexico. 938,939
See wife's notes.
Marriage to Vashti Willets appears on the list of Wayne Co., IN marriages.
Appears on the Census index lists for Wayne Co., IN for 1820, 1830, 1840 with other Dunhams.
1859 Census for Kansas:
1859 DUNHAM JOHN E. Linn County KS 002 Potosi Twp KS 1859 State Census Index KS0265966 ???
Newspapers in Silver City Public Library:
There are several papers that cover the time period
From the list of early Wayne Co. Marriages:
DUNHAM, ALANSON F. - HANNAH CHEESMAN 4-8-1830
DUNHAM, JEREMIAH - RACHEL MILLER 10-16-1829
DUNHAM, JOHN E. - VASHTI WILLETS 9- 7-1826
DUNHEM, WILLIAM - MARY MILLER 10-10-1816
Census Indexes of Indiana:
1830: (Wayne Co., Roll #27) page Town
INDIANA STATE LIB* ROLL #29
Dunham, Alanson 052 TW
Dunham, Henry 051 TW
Dunham, John E. 160 CenterT
Dunham, William M. 160 CenterT
1840: (Wayne Co., )
INDIANA STATE LIB* ROLL #98
Dunham, A. F. 494
Dunham, Elisha 647
Dunham, J.E. 490
1850: (Wayne Co., )
INDIANA STATE LIB* ROLL #180
Dunham, Alanson 171 Centrev
Dunham, Henry 215 Abington
Dunham, John E. 175 Centrev
Dunham, William 105 Williams
Index to Indiana Marriages: http://www.statelib.lib.in.us/www/indiana/genealogy/mirr.html
File 406.jpg in picture's directory is of a government land sale at Fort Wayne dated 1838 to John Dunham of Wood County, Ohio. It is very likely that this may be another John Dunham, but is worth holding on to.
DUNHAM, JOHN DATE OF DEATH: 11/21/1876 BURIED AT: SECTION A ROW G SITE 20 FT. BAYARD NATIONAL CEMETERY <http://www.cem.va.gov/nchp/ftbayard.htm>P.O. BOX 189 FORT BAYARD, NM 88036 (915) 564-0201 CIVILIAN OF DUNHAM, JOHN
• Occupation: Post Master, 1832-1843, Centerville, Wayne Co., Indiana. History of Wayne County, page 140: he is the second postmaster Oct. 5, 1832 followed by Myers Seaton August 16, 1843
• Sold property: Henry's estate sold, 30 Aug 1834, Richmond, Wayne Co., IN. 940
• Fireman: First fire company in Center Township, 21 Apr 1836, Centerville, Wayne Co., Indiana. 941
• Politics: Township council, 1 Mar 1838, Richmond township. 942 Named one of the represtatives to the County Convention.
Articles in the Richmond paper in the 1840s have a number of entries where he is involved in local councils and elections.
Ran for nomination for Sheriff in March of 1844.
• Sales Agent: Brandreth's Universal Vegetable Pills, 1846, Centerville Cemetery, Wayne Co., IN. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Brandreth for more on the pills.
J.E. Dunham appears in the paper as one of the agents a number of times through the 1840s.
• residence, 1853, Centerville, Wayne Co., Indiana. 943
• Sold property, 18 Aug 1855, Centerville, Wayne Co., Indiana. 944 Horses, Cattle, Milk Cows, Sheep, Hogs, Corn in the field, Oats in the shief, Hay, Farming tools of all kinds, Household and Kitchen Furniture, &c.
• residence, 1856, Round Praire, Jefferson Co., Iowa. 945 Relationships presumed. Catharine is the wife of William P. Dunham
Payton is a printer but not yet married.
• residence, 1858, Potosi Township, Linn Co., Kansas. 946
• residence, 1860, Potosi Township, Linn Co., Kansas. 947 https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/7667/images/4230563_00069
• residence, 30 May 1865, Delaware Township, Leavenworth Co., Kansas. 948 Next to Payton
• Cemetery: Fort Bayard National Cemetery (Civilian), Nov 1876, Fort Bayard, Grant Co., NM. SECTION A ROW G SITE 20
Map at https://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/NGLMap?ID=913620
John married Vashti Willets, daughter of Levi Willets and Rachel Field, 7 Sep 1826 in Wayne County, Indiana. (Vashti Willets was born 24 Sep 1808 in Ohio,949 died 6 Aug 1873 in Mendon Township, Chariton Co., Missouri and was buried in Aug 1873 in Mendon Township, Chariton Co., Missouri.)