145 – Joseph and Martha to Ohio County

Joseph and Martha Jarvis had lived in Shelby Township, Jefferson County since they married in 1852. They bought and sold and moved to various farms, all within a few miles of each other.

Leaving Jefferson County

Jarvis farms – Jefferson County – mid-1870s

In 1873, Joseph and Martha bought a joint venture farm with Martha’s brother Moses Buchanan and his wife Elizabeth. That farm was also in Shelby Township, Jefferson County, where Joseph and Martha’s extended families lived.

The joint venture didn’t go well. The mortgage was foreclosed in the fall of 1875. The occupants were to vacate the property by March 1, 1876.

After living in Jefferson County for 25 years, Joseph and Martha left the county.

Coincidentally, Joseph’s parent Harvey and Martha moved to Ripley County in 1879, along with Joseph’s brother Milton and his family.

Joseph’s brother Lafayette also moved from Jefferson County into Ripley County around the same time.

Brother James stayed, and his children had farms in Jefferson County into the early 1900s.

A legal problem

Madison Weekly Herald – December 4, 1878

There may have been another motivation to leave Jefferson County. Joseph was in a legal suit with the school district of Shelby Township where he lived. It involved a contract to construct schools in the township.

Joseph prevailed on a technicality in the state Supreme Court, but I imagine it was costly.

A move to Ohio County

The 1880 census shows Joseph and Martha living in the village of Milton, in Ohio County, Union Township, Indiana.

Census – Charles Jarvis family and Joseph Jarvis family – Ohio County, Indiana – 1880

Their farm

The census lists Joseph as a farmer. It lists son William, 26, as a farmer. It lists son John, 11, as working on farm. And the census lists son Charles, 22, living next door, as a farmer. So it looks like the family is giving it a go farming instead of mason work. We don’t know where their farm is, but it’s probably near the little village of Milton.

Milton is a village of a dozen or so houses. It’s in Union Township, in north central Ohio County. It’s bordered on the north by Laughery Creek and Dearborn County. Naturally, it just a few miles from Cross Plains. Ohio County is the smallest county in Indiana.

Their family

In 1880, Joseph is age 49, Martha age 45.

There are six children living at home, including eldest son William, 26, and five younger ones. Third son Charles, 22, is living next door with his wife Ann and their three month old daughter Lucy.

Joseph and Martha Jarvis and children

Second son Newton, 25, is married and living nearby in Switzerland County.

Martha has had eight children during a 23 year span.

A move to Rising Sun

In 1883, Joseph and Martha “moved to town”, the Ohio River port town of Rising Sun. They had been on the farm in Milton for seven years.

Joseph was age 53, Martha 48. They would farm no more. Henceforth Joseph would earn his living as a mason.

Their son Charles would also give up farming and move nine miles southwest of Milton to Sugar Branch in Switzerland County. Sugar Branch is where Newton (2G) was living.

Rising Sun was a river town. Although river commerce had declined after the Civil War and given way to railroads, Rising Sun was still a large town. The population was about 1,500.

Rising Sun, Indiana
Joseph and Martha Jarvis – Lot in Rising Sun, Indiana

Joseph and Martha bought a lot (parts of lots 4 and 5) with house from Isabel Espy for $600.

Here’s Rising Sun today. It’s a pretty sleepy town, forgotten by today’s economic engines.

Still close enough to visit family

Versailles Republican – January 24, 1889

Timeline 1880s


2 thoughts on “145 – Joseph and Martha to Ohio County

  1. Louise Longworth March 8, 2021 / 1:49 am

    As fascinating as ever, Mark, to see your Jarvis family moving ever closer to the present day – your painstaking research bringing them to life again – if only on the page. My – how hard they worked through such challenges – I take my UK Jervis hat off to them !


  2. Mark Jarvis March 8, 2021 / 8:18 am

    Thanks Louise. I’m so happy to hear from you.

    I hope you’ll try the new YouTube video version of the stories. I think they’ll be a bit richer with some music and voice and a little animation. I hope you like them.

    I intend to go back and make a video for each past story, and I’ve got a great idea. What do you think about you being the narrator for your family stories? We can work out the technical details somehow.


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