Wilson "Wilse" Harmon

My great-great grandfather, Wilson "Wilse" Harmon, was born about 1828, in Indiana, according to census records.  I believe his name was George Wilson Harmon.  I also believe he was the son of George Harmon and Minerva Gentry.  Wilson was listed as William on the 1870 census.   He was called "Wilse" by family members. 

The 1850 census shows Wilson Harmon living in Wabash Township of Gibson County, Indiana, with the John L. Cantrell family. Wilson was working as a farm laborer. He is shown to be 22 years old. Living next door to the Cantrell family was the family of John Louis Harmon.  I believe John Louis and Wilson were brothers.

The book, Posey County, Indiana, A Documented History, 1815-1900, Volume II, compiled by Carroll O. & Gloria M. Cox, shows that on April 17, 1851, a marriage permit was granted for Elizabeth Endicott and Wilson Harmon to marry. Elizabeth's father, Joseph Nation Endicott, signed the permit.

Wilson married my great-great grandmother, Elizabeth "Lucy" Endicott, on April 20, 1851, in Posey County, Indiana. It was the law at that time that the marriage license must be obtained in the county in which the bride resided. The marriage is recorded in Posey County Marriage Book 3.

Elizabeth Endicott was born about 1834, in Indiana. She was one of at least 13 children born to Joseph Nation Endicott and Elizabeth Varner. Oral family history relates that Elizabeth Endicott was full blood Indian, but we have found nothing to indicate this. Our Endicott line traces back to John Endicott, first Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Wilson and Elizabeth settled in Posey County to begin their family. The marriage license of their eldest child lists Posey County as his place of birth in 1852. Several more children were born in Indiana, prior to 1868.

The Civil War Draft Registration list for the 1st Congressional District of Indiana shows Wilson Harmon, 35, farmer, born in Indiana, registered at Centre Town, in Posey County, Indiana on July 1, 1863.  He was listed as Class 2.  (We are unsure exactly what Class 2 represented.)

Wilson was a farmer, probably a sharecropper. He was probably a poor man, as we found no record that he ever owned land or other property. Wilson taught his children to work from an early age, as there was much work to be done and many mouths to feed.

Wilson moved his family to Illinois about 1868 or 1869. The 1870 Gallatin County, Illinois, census, Township 8, Range 8, shows Wilson and Elizabeth with seven of their children: Josephus, age 18, born in Indiana; Joanna, age 16, born in Indiana; Anna, age 14, born in Indiana; Louis, age 12, born in Illinois (all other census records say he was born in Indiana); Andrew, age 4, born in Indiana; Orvis, age 2, born in Indiana and Flora Belle, age 5 months, born in Illinois. Wilson is listed as William on the census dated June 6, 1870.

Wilson may have moved his family back to Indiana between 1872 and 1874. An obituary notice relates that daughter Ida was born September 1, 1874, in South Bend, Indiana. The 1880 census shows Ida was born in Illinois.

 Wilson moved his family from Illinois or Indiana between about 1875 and 1879. They probably traveled with a wagon train of other families. Wilson and Elizabeth appear on the 1880 Boone County, Arkansas, census in Carrollton Township. With them are their children Andrew, age 14; Flora Belle, age 11; Martha, age 9 and Ida, age 6. The census is dated June 11, 1880. Wilson and Elizabeth's daughter, Anna (Amy) and her family appear in Benton Township of Faulkner County, Arkansas, on the 1880 census. We believe they traveled from Indiana together, but are unsure when or why they separated.

Wilson apparently settled for a time near the Arkansas and Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) line. We believe he was living in or near Sebastian County, Arkansas, or just across the state line in present day LeFlore County, Oklahoma. Wilson and Elizabeth's daughter Flora Belle married in 1887 and settled near Bonanza, Arkansas, which is located in Sebastian County, near the state line. In 1889, their son Andrew married at Pocola, Oklahoma, which is near the same area. We are unsure if Wilson's family lived in Arkansas or in the Indian Territory during this time.

Elizabeth Endicott Harmon died sometime between 1880 and 1894. We believe she died between 1890 and 1894. This has not been proven. Their daughter Flora Belle and her husband moved their family from Sebastian County, Arkansas, to the Indian Territory between June 1889 and June 1890. We think Elizabeth may have gotten sick at that time and Flora Belle and her family moved to be with them and help care for her and Wilson. This is pure speculation on our part. Oral family records all say that Elizabeth is buried at Cameron, in LeFlore County, Oklahoma, in the Old Hall Cemetery, which is located in the Old Kully Cho Ha Community of the Choctaw Nation.

We believe Wilson went to McAlester, Oklahoma, soon after Elizabeth's death. There he lived with either his daughter Amy or his daughter Martha. Wilson's granddaughter, Amy Harmon Lundy, stated in a letter to me that Wilson was living with his daughter Amy. Wilson's grandson, Charlie Harmon stated in a letter written to my grandmother some years ago that Wilson was living with his daughter Martha. Both Amy and Charlie agree that the daughters were living at or near McAlester at the time.

Wilson died about 1894, at or near McAlester, according to information provided by Charlie Harmon in the letter to my grandmother. Amy Harmon Lundy stated in her letter that her father, Andrew Harmon, rode a mule from his home at Whitefield, near the Arkansas and Oklahoma state line, to McAlester where his father died and was buried.

Oral family history relates that Wilson and Elizabeth had 16 children, but only 7 lived to adulthood. We have been told that one of those children was named "Pinkney", but we do not know if this was a given name or a nickname.

Children of Wilson Harmon and Elizabeth Endicott

1. Joseph Harmon, b. 1852, Posey Co, IN

2. Joanna Harmon, b. 1853, IN

3. Emma Amy Harmon, b. 1854, IN

4. James Louis Harmon, b. 1856, probably in IN (my line)

5. Martin V. Harmon, b. & d. Apr 18, 1858, probably in IN

6. Elizabeth Harmon, b. Oct 10, 1859; d. Dec 24, 1859, probably in IN

7. Mary W. Harmon, b. Dec 24, 1860; d. Oct 15, 1861, probably in IN

8. George Wilson Harmon, b. Sept 13, 1862; d. Sept 20, 1863, probably in IN

9. Dicey Harmon, b. May 11, 1864; d. Oct 11, 1865, probably in IN

10. Andrew Jackson Harmon, b. 1865, IN

11. Arvis (Orvis) C. Harmon, b. Jan 20, 1868, IN; d. Aug 25, 1874. He is listed as Orvis on the 1870 Gallatin Co, IL, census.

12. Flora Belle Harmon, b. 1870, Gallatin Co, IL

13. Martha W. Harmon, b. 1872, Gallatin Co, IL

14. Ida Mary Harmon, b. 1874, South Bend, IN

15. Charles Harmon, b. & d. May 20, 1877

16. Newton Harmon, d. as infant

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