Thursday, July 28, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday~Peter Hutsell Duncan~My gr gr Grandfather.

I wish I had a photo of this ancestor. I think he lived an interesting life, and I would hope to see the faces of his parents in his, if I could see a photo of him. Maybe someday I will find someone, or someone will find me, who has a photo of him and he/she will share with me.
I have found lots about Peter Hutsell Duncan in my research, but it would be difficult to share all of it in one blog entry.
His obituary sums it up pretty well, sounds like he was well loved by those who knew him.
Obit For Peter H. Duncan, Judge P. H. Duncan: At St. John's Hospital, Joplin, Mo., Wednesday, June 12, 1912, at 11:04 a. m. Judge P. H. Duncan answer the final roll call. He had under gone an operation for gall stones and though the operation was a serous one, he was thought to be gradually recovering from its effects. And his death was quite a surprise to his many friends.

Peter H. Duncan was born at Martinsville, Ind., August 10, 1841. In 1856 the family moved to Jackson county, Illinois. Here he attended the common schools and helped his father on the farm until the beginning of the Civil War when he enlisted in Company H, 27 Illinois Infantry of the Union Army. He made a good record as a soldier, always doing his duty bravely and promptly. He was with the army of the Cumberland during most of the war and participated in the battles of Belmont, Union City, Siege of Island No. 10, Stone River, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Kennesaw Mountain, Rocky Face Ridge, Resaca, Peach Tree Creek and several other engagements. He served three years and one month in the army.

At the close of the war he located on a farm in Kansas and lived here until 1888 when he came to Barry County and lived on a farm four miles east of Mineral Springs until his death.

He had been married twice. His second wife and two children, Viola and Robert survive him.

For many years he had been Commander of the Old Soldier's and Settlers' Reunion. Under his efficient management, the reunion has become the largest and most successful in all the southwest. For four years he was presiding judge of the county court and gave the county an efficient administration.

The remains were brought to this city Thursday noon accompanied by relatives and Col. Wm. Holliday. The funeral services were conducted at Mineral Springs at 2 p.m. by Rev. F. M. Smallwood. Short talks were also made by J. S. Davis and L. Beasley.

The pall bearers were Prosecuting Attorney James Talbert, Judge E. W. Davis, Judge G. W. Henson, Judge Charles Velton. Ex-collector J. M. Davidson and County Assessor W. M. Houston.

The entire service was impressive and comforting to the sorrowing family. The casket was covered with beautiful flowers, mute testimonials of love, sympathy and friendship of those who knew him best.

In the death of Judge Duncan, the county loses one of her most honored and progressive citizens, a man who always took a deep interest in the welfare of this country, state and community.

Newspaper Cassville Republican Date June 20, 1912, Thursday Death Cert Link - Resource State Historical Society of MO Microfilm Submitted by Donna Cooper

Peter H. Duncan married Ruth McCleur (McClure) March 12, 1872 in Jackson County, Illinois. The first I find them on the census in Kansas is 1875, so I don't think they went to Kansas 'right' after the war ended, but a few years later. The first I find him on the census in Missouri is in 1900. I have not found him on the census for  1860, 1870 or 1890.

My aunt and uncle (my mom's brother) shared photos of some things they now treasure that once had belonged to Peter. They shared photos of the Duncan Family Bible and pages from that Bible that helps confirm things written on the notes I got from my grandmother.
edited to blur out info for living relatives

They also shared a photo of a flask that once belonged to Peter. I have not yet confirmed his work in the Oklahoma Territory, unless the parts of Kansas they lived in were part of the territory then, or he just traveled there on occasion since it was so near.

While looking for Peter Duncan in the census I made the discovery that one of the records was recorded by Peter himself! The whole document (1875 census for Lyon Twsp. Cherokee County, Ks)  is in his handwriting! But apparently I only printed that document, and didn't save a copy of it on my computer. I'm not subscribed to Ancestry at the moment or I'd go fetch it. But it was a pretty exciting discovery. I do have a copy of his death certificate and numerous printouts of transcriptions I found online of the Cassville Republican.  An entry dated October 12, 1899 simply states.
"Mineral Springs News: P.H. Duncan has returned home. His wife died and was buried in Kansas."

In a 1900 entry of the same paper he is listed in a county court proceeding, along with several other men, named as a road commissioner.
In an October 11, 1894 edition he is in a list naming him appointed as Judge of Elections for Mineral No. 2. 
I even found a couple entries where he oversaw a court case and conducted the marriage of another couple (1907 and 1909, respectively)
Then in the June 20, 1912 edition is two entries next to each other. The first says
T.R. Duncan of Columbus, Kan., attended the funeral of his brother, Judge P.H. Duncan at Mineral Springs Thursday.
The second says
Judge Duncan died at St. John's Hospital, Joplin, MO, Wednesday, June 12, 1912, at 11:04 a.m.

If the name of that hospital sounds familiar, well, it was the name of the hospital that was destroyed by the horrible twister in May of this year. I found this neat article on the Historic Joplin Website.  I'm looking around to see if the hospital that was destroyed was on the same site, or another site. If anyone knows, please drop me a line. It would be nice to know if that building is still standing, or not.
I also found a post card of what the hospital looked like in 1912. I just hope this image stays up awhile, it's being auctioned. Yes, I'm tempted. St. John's Hospital, 1912.  

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