133 – Joseph Jarvis and Martha Buchanan

Joseph R. Jarvis married Martha Ann Buchanan on November 20, 1852. Joseph was age 22, Martha 17.

Marriage – Joseph R Jarvis and Martha Ann Buchanan – 1852

They were married by Henry Serber, Baptist minister, at the Center Grove (later Hicks Ridge) church close to their homes. Their license and marriage return were recorded at Madison, the county seat of Jefferson County.

Joseph and Martha (3G) had the first three of their eight children in the 1850s:

  • William Jasper b. 1854
  • Newton P (2G) b. 1855
  • Charles Gilbert b. 1857

Joseph buys the “difficult farm”

Recall that Harvey and Sarah Jarvis bought a “difficult farm” in northeast Jefferson County in 1846. They signed a five year mortgage for $840. They paid off the mortgage in 1851.

“Difficult farm” – looking northeast on Indiana Highway 62 – Google 2020

And recall that in 1850, Harvey and Sarah were living on their nephew Gilbert’s land a few miles northeast instead of on their land. I don’t know why.

Whatever the circumstance, Joseph Jarvis bought most of the difficult farm from his parents just two months before he married Martha.

Deed – Harvey and Sarah Jarvis to Joseph Jarvis – 1852
Joseph Jarvis farm – Google maps 2020

On September 6, 1852, Joseph bought 80 acres plus 5 acres plus 1 acre for $750. Harvey and Sarah sold the remaining of 39 acres to Lemuel Tague for $300.

Outline of Joseph Jarvis farm on 1876 map

If we look at the land on an 1876 map, we can see where houses were located. Likely Joseph and Martha lived in one of those. Perhaps Joseph and Martha built one of the houses.

Note that in 1876 the 80 acres piece of the land is owned by a Buchanan. Maybe J.A. Buchanan is Martha’s brother Joseph.

We saw in the 1850 census that Joseph Jarvis was a mason like his father and brother. I’m guessing Joseph didn’t farm this land, but spent his time working his trade. Wish I could ask him.


The Jarvis families had come to Indiana in the early 1820s. The Buchanans were even earlier, among the first settlers in southeast Indiana.

Wilson Buchanan (5G) had settled in the southwest corner or Ripley County on the county line of Jefferson County in the 1790s.

By the 1850s, Indiana had undergone major changes: what was once a frontier with sparse population had become a developing state with several cities. In 1816, Indiana’s population was around 65,000, and in less than 50 years, it had increased to more than 1,000,000 inhabitants.

History of Indiana

In 1852, when Joseph and Martha married, the Buchanans had been in Ripley and Jefferson Counties for over 50 years. There were numerous Buchanan families, and their name were found on many farms in the area.

Martha’s parents were David Buchanan and Edith Ann Hankins Buchanan.

Here’s a snippet of the Buchanan family tree. These are our grandparents. Notice that Joseph Jarvis’ brother James married Martha’s cousin Rebecca Buchanan.

There is conjecture that William Buchanan (at the top of this tree) is the great-grandfather of President James Buchanan. There’s lots of conflicting data, so I’m including this for your interest, but take it with a grain of salt.

Nibbles Extra Credit

Buchanan Station / Fort Buchanan

The 1795 Treaty of Greenville laid out the “Gore Area”, a triangle whose border was a line from the mouth of the Kentucky River north-northeast to Fort Recovery, Ohio. Six forts were built along that line, the southernmost being Fort Buchanan.

Fort Buchanan was built in 1813 on land owned by Wilson Buchanan on the Ripley and Jefferson County lines. The Buchanans were among the builders of the fort, and they lived in the old blockhouses at the fort for many years.

Across the road from the fort is a cemetery where many Buchanans are buried.

Here’s an excerpt from a 1911 interview with George Buchanan, remembering Fort Buchanan and his friend James Jarvis, Joseph’s older brother. You can see George Buchanan and James Jarvis in the family tree diagram above.

The interview is from the papers of Violet Toph. Ms. Toph was born in 1878 and spent her life in Ripley County. She compiled her lifetime accumulation of over 3,000 pages of research, interviews, and genealogy in 1930.

Jarvis Site Map


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