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The Hawleys: One of the First Families of Jefferson County (Wisconsin)

February 25th, 2012 Sears Homes No comments

On Friday, I posted a detailed blog about Addie’s deep roots in the Lake Mills community.

Addie Hoyt (1872-1901) was the granddaughter of Kimball Hoyt and his wife, Sally Sanborn Hoyt. The Hoyts first came to Jefferson County in 1843. When Sally Sanborn Hoyt died in June 1894, her obituary described her and Kimball as “pioneers” of the area. Click here to read more about that side of Addie’s family.

After that blog appeared, one of Addie’s many friends in Lake Mills contacted me and said, “Rose, don’t forget about the Hawleys. They were also pioneers in this county.”

Captain Hezekiah Beach Hawley and his wife, Theresa Hawley were Addie’s maternal grandparents. They were originally from New York, and I’m not sure when they arrived in Jefferson County, but by August 1, 1844, the Captain and his wife were the proud owners of 40 acres of the prettiest piece of farmland you ever did see in Milford, Wisconsin, purchased directly from the United States Government.

John Tyler was the president at the time (as is noted on the deed).  In 1843, one year earlier, some folks from Vermont had purchased some land not too far from the Hawleys. Their name was Mr. and Mrs. Kimball Hoyt.

The Hoyts had a little boy named Homer (born 1844), and the Hawleys had a little girl named Julia (also born 1844).

On October 16, 1861, Homer Hoyt married the Captain’s daughter, Julia Hawley. Oh, how I would love to know a little more about that courtship.

Captain Hezekiah Beach Hawley was an old sea captain, and I’m sure any landlubber who came calling for young Julia endured quite a grilling. Captain Hawley was 40 years old when Julia was born. By the time of her marriage, Hezekiah was 57 (and the newlyweds were 17!). Judging by look on his face in this old photo (below), it’d be safe to guess that the old captain didn’t soften with age.

Homer and Julia had three children, Anna (born 1866), Addie (born 1872) and Eugene (born 1875).  In 1877, Captain Hawley died. At least he got to meet his three grandchildren. And maybe by then, he’d even forgiven Homer for marrying his beautiful daughter.

One can hope.

In the social mathematics of the era that defined a woman’s worth, young Addie Hoyt had great value. According to information gleaned from the Lake Mills Leader (newspaper), Addie’s life was full of promise and potential. She was intelligent, witty, articulate, talented, sophisticated and accomplished.

Addie Hoyt had deep roots in her community, which - in Small Town America - added greatly to her social standing. On both her father’s side (the Hoyts) and her mother’s side (the Hawleys), Addie came from a “good old Wisconsin family.”

And yet, thus far, despite some pretty strenuous searching, I’ve been unable to find a single piece of information about either the Hoyts or the Hawleys from local libraries or historical societies or museums.

Addie’s grandparents - the Hoyts and the Hawleys - both moved to the area in the early 1840s and purchased quite a bit of land (more than 100 acres) from the government, and in time, both families became prosperous and wealthy. I am baffled as to why no one in Jefferson County seems to have a letter or a journal or any correspondence or information about these two important families.

One of the main reasons I keep writing about Addie is in the hopes that someone somewhere will come forward with some information that tells us exactly happened to Addie.

How did Addie’s life story - which started off so rich with hope and promise - end so tragically?

The cemeteries of Jefferson County are well populated with Hoyts and Hawleys. These “pioneer families” worked hard to build something that the settlers and other followers would enjoy in the decades ahead.

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Captain Hezekiah Beach Hawley looks like quite a character. He was the father of Julia Hawley (Addies mother) and Captain Hawley and his wife Theresa were two of the pioneers of Jefferson County.

Captain Hezekiah Beach Hawley looks like quite a character. He was the father of Julia Hawley Hoyt (Addie's mother). Captain Hawley and his wife Theresa moved into Jefferson County in the early 1840s, and they were two of the pioneers of that area.

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He was born in 1804 and died in 1877. Addie was five years old when The Captain died.

He was born in 1804 and died in 1877, when Addie was five.

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And the Captains wife, Theresa Hathaway Hawley. She outlived the Captain by 21 years, dying in 1898 in Dayton, WI.

And the Captain's wife, Theresa Hathaway Hawley. She outlived the Captain by 21 years, dying in 1898 in Dayton, WI. In fact, she outlived her daughter (Julia), her son-in-law (Homer), her granddaughter (Addie) and even her great-grandson (Ernie).

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He purchased land

Captain Hawley purchased 40 acres from the US Government in 1844.

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Close up of the

Close up of the paperwork. The date was August 1, 1844.

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A picture of young Homer Hoyt at the time of his marriage to Julia Hawley (in 1861). He was a dapper young fellow, wasnt he?

A picture of young Homer Hoyt at the time of his marriage to Julia Hawley (in 1861). He was a dapper young fellow, wasn't he?

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Homer Hoyt and Julia Hawley Hoyt had three children, Anna (1866), Addie (1872) and Eugene (1875).

Homer Hoyt and Julia Hawley Hoyt had three children, Anna (1866), Addie (1872) and Eugene (1875). Homer and Julia died within a year of each other (1894 and 1895). This picture was taken in 1888.

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What happened to Addie?

What happened to Homer and Julia's little girl, "Addie"? How did someone with such a bright future get tangled up with someone like Enoch?

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To learn more about Addie, click here.

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Christmas 1900: Addie’s Special Gift to Wilbur

December 16th, 2011 Sears Homes 7 comments

I’ve heard coincidences defined as “wonderful little miracles where God chooses to remain anonymous.”

When you look back at the many events that had to transpire in order for Addie’s picture albums to end up in my possession, it surely does appear to be a long string of God’s anonymous miracles.

It started in 1896, when Addie and/or Enoch hired a professional photographer to capture the story of their day to day life at the Fargo Mansion Inn. The picture album in my possession represents a five-year span, which is quite remarkable. And then sometime in late 1900, Addie - who was obviously a woman who prided herself on her appearance -  permitted someone to take her photo when she was not looking her best.

In fact, she looked awful.

In this final photo of Addie - the last known photo of Addie - her face is badly swollen, her upper lip is distorted and swollen and there’s a pronounced puffiness under her right eye.

In addition, her hairline has receded. This is not the look of someone styling their hair a little differently. This is a hairline that has moved back significantly. Look around the ears, and you can see this even more. In fact, the smooth hairline around the perimeter of her forehead is gone, and in its place is a zig-zag hariline, looking more like a hairplug job gone wrong, rather than a 29-year-woman’s scalp.

Why did she permit herself to be photographed in this condition? Had she been poisoned with arsenic? Typical signs of arsenic poisoning are hair loss. Laying that to the side for a moment, why all the bruising about her face? Was she being beaten by Enoch? People who are ready to discount this out-of-hand need to study their history a little better. In late 19th Century America, there were many who thought it was a man’s duty to “keep his wife in line,” and women were considered more akin to children than equal partners.

I don’t know what’s going on with Addie in this photo, but it’s a radical departure from all the other photos in Addie’s album. And it’s on a remarkably different cardstock (much lighter and thinner) and it had faded significantly (as compared to the other photos). In fact, this photo appeared to be more of a snapshot, whereas the others seemed to be professionally done.

Why did Addie include this small photo in the album she sent to her brother-in-law Wilbur for Christmas 1900? Was it a plea for help? Was it Addie’s way of telling her only surviving family that she was being beaten by her husband?

Seven months after Anna (Addie’s sister) and Wilbur (Anna’s husband) received this parcel at their home in Denver,  29-year-old Addie was dead. According to Enoch’s granddaughter Mary Wilson (author of The History of Lake Mills), Addie did not die of diphtheria (as is stated on the death certificate), but was murdered by her husband, Enoch Fargo.

In 1939, Wilbur died and a short time later, his widow (Anna Hoyt Whitmore) moved to Santa Monica, to be near her daughter, Florence Whitmore Fuller.  Anna Hoyt Whitmore died in 1966, at the age of 99 years and four months. She’d outlived her baby sister by 70 years.

As Florence and her husband Edgar A. Fuller went through Anna’s many possessions, they decided to keep this old photo album.

In the  mid-1980s, both Florence and Edgar passed on, and my father (their son), drove out to California and cleaned out their massive old house.  He dragged home a U-haul, filled with things from their home in Santa Monica.

And then June 2011, my father died, three days shy of his 92nd birthday. Amongst his few possessions, I discovered this photo album.

On June 25, 2011, I sent an email to my friend David Spriggs asking him, “Hey, I found this photo album and I don’t know who these people are. Can you help me?”

It’s hard to imagine that it all started with a Christmas present, 111 years ago this Christmas.

Photo

The leatherette photo album that Addie sent to her brother-in-law, Christmas 1900.

Photos inside the album covered a span of about five years.

Photos inside the album covered a span of about five years.

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The inscription reads "A Merry Christmas to Wilbur, from Addie." Wilbur was married to Anna, Addie's older sister. Wilbur and Anna were married about 1886, and moved to Denver in the late 1880s. Why did Addie send this to her brother-in-law, and not her sister?

There were a handful of inscriptions in the photo album, such as this one for Mattie.  Addie must have trusted this woman, because she included her photo in the album she sent to her family. Utlimately, Mattie (real name: Martha) Harbeck became Enoch Fargos third wife, a scant seven months after Addie death.

There were a handful of inscriptions in the photo album, such as this one for "Mattie." Addie must have trusted this woman, because she included her photo in the album she sent to her family. Utlimately, Mattie (real name: Martha) Harbeck became Enoch Fargo's third wife, a scant seven months after Addie death.

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And why did she include this haunting photo? Look at the body language. Look at Addie's face. As mentioned above, the quality of this photo (cardstock, finish and depth of tint) is radically different from the rest of the photos in the album. Was she trying to convey a message to her family in Denver?

Look

It's hard to believe she was 29 years old in this photo.

Addie

Look at her face. The right eye is puffy, the lips are swollen, and the cupid's bow is badly misaligned with her philtrum.

Five years with Enoch took a toll on Addie.

Five years with Enoch took a toll on Addie. Compare the hairlines in the two photos. That's more than just a different hairstyle. Look around her ears. Her hairline had receded dramatically.

To learn more about Addie, click here.

To learn more about the falsified death certificate, click here.

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