APRIL 2004

   JIM FAGERBURG                                                                                                                                             DICK GAFIELD
INACTIVE AT THIS TIME                                                                                                                       
Dear Readers:
Little cooler here today, about 70 and we had a little much needed rain last night. I think that summer is starting here in Florida as last week we had days in the 80s and a couple at 90. Gardens doing well, and picking about a quart or more of strawberries every other day. Not much seems to be happening along the genealogy line, had a few inquires but nothing great, keep hoping to start getting more input from you the reader, I know that many of you have a lot more Garfield information than I do, how about some articles and some pictures if you have them. Thanks, and untill next month, Dick.
Dear Dick,

In response to Olive Lindell on this month's newsletter:

Belle Hartford Mason's father was James Mason, not John Mason.  He was a distant
cousin of Lucretia Rudolph Garfield (wife of President James A. Garfield) and a
prominent Cleveland attorney who worked for the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern
Railroad.  He died in 1885 after suffering from a nervous breakdown in 1877 due to his
emotional involvement in lawsuits caused by a horrific train crash in Ashtabula (the
Ashtabula Bridge Disaster, December 29, 1876;
He had to represent the railroad company against the families of the 92 fatalities from
the train crash.  He is buried in Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, OH.  We have a very
nice portrait (photograph) of him that hangs in the Memorial Library at Lawnfield -- the
room where his daughter Belle married Harry Garfield on June 1888.

Belle's mother was Caroline (Carrie) Robinson Mason.  The Robinson family lived in
Willoughby in a Jonathan Goldsmith-built home that now sits at Hale Farm & Village in
Bath, OH -- a property of the Western Reserve Historical Society.

Belle Mason Garfield did die June 27, 1944.  I have not seen a source listing her place
of death.  It is probably Williamstown, MA or Duxbury, MA, where she and her husband
Harry A. Garfield had homes.  I believe they are both buried in Williamstown, MA.

Thought some of this information may be helpful to Olive.

Debbie Weinkamer
James A. Garfield National Historic Site
Mentor, OH


In my card file is following. Thomas Pier, son of Abraham married Olive Marsh, dtr. of
Jasper Marsh. A dtr. of Abraham and Olive Pier, Elvira, married Dr. Sherman Garfield on June 15, 1836.
Children, Atements,( sp?) (Artemesia or Artemisia)b. 1837, Ellen b 1846, Ellen b. 1848, Charlotte no date, Albert b 1845. Letter of ad'm Feb. 13, 1909, Sherman Garfield of Sugar Grove, PA on estate of Elvira Garfield.
This is in my file because the Olive Marsh was my "aunt" I have way back for them. Have
Pier "bare bones" back several generations.
As you know my Garfield was waaaay back in Watertown MA in a different family-Mason.
This was easily found. in the card files. Now will go through the miscellaneous manila
folder, several inches thick to see if I ever copied anything else about Dr. Sherman.G.
Back to you. alm

Have done only about one quarter of that thick manila file of Marsh info, but found this
re" garfield. Dr. Sherman Garfield was son of Deacon Samuel and Lydia Hayward.
But the Samuels (can't be sure how many generations) go back to Eliakim. As I said before Dr. Sherman's wife was Elvira Pier, dtr of Abraham and Olive Marsh Pier.
Later on Aaron Root , who died in Busti in 1867, married Sally Pier, who died in 1845 age 59. Their dtr. Priscilla Root, married Eliakim Garfield.
Also one note on this page says these Garfields go back to Edward who came to MA from England in the 1630s.
Am going to keep looking. Hope this helps someone. alm


Tombstone readings at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MASS.

Wm Henry Garfield     Sarah (1st wife)           Eliza Ann (2nd wife)
    1810 - 1894           ?- 1879 aged 86 yrs            1836 - 1903

Also buried with the above Garfields is

    Earl W. Johnson                 Mary W. Johnson (wife of Earl W. Johnson)
Oct 13, 1816 - Feb 2, 1887         ???? - Apr 18, 1914

This is the time of year when the grass could not be any greener, Hello from Garfield Farm. It is bad enough having these smart Devon oxen that figure out how to flip gates and sneak into their pasture prematurely but sheep are not smart. At least they aren't suppose to be but sure enough
twice today they have slid a fence gate board sideways that enabled them to get out on pasture.

Hustling here to get all the information out on upcoming activities: First on Thursday night April 15th after one has promptly postmarked their IRS return come on out for a talk by Ray Ott on secret societies of the 1840s such as the Oddfellows, Masons, etc. and how they influenced
politics and our American culture. 7 - 9 pm please reserve so we can put enough coffee on.

May 6th Thursday night will be the annual awards dinner. The three award categories, historic preservation, agricultural conservation, and environmental preservation will recognize the
Thurnau Road neighbors (Kane County's first rustic road); the Fox Valley Land Foundation; and
the McGinley family, Barrington Hills Land Conservancy and the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource. The event is fast approaching, let me know if you definitely can come by email and I will see to it your invitation gets an extra flip of the mailbox door to speed it to you. Everyone coming will also have chance to meet our two new staff members.

And of course we are rounding up the usual suspects to exhibit their rare livestock, poultry, and working animals May 16 at the Rare Breeds Show.

All this is not counting the onslaught of school tours that I must line up a few more interpreters.
So not mentioning the other ton of things going on behind the scenes, I hope this finds everyone hale and hearty and planning to come on out to an event, lend a hand or just say hi.

Jerry Johnson



Apr 15.  Secret Societies Fireside Talk.  7-9pm.  The 1840's were a time of social and economic upheaval.  Countless religious sects and movements sprang to life.  Learn about the fraternal organizations and secret societies that came to the fore.  $5.

Apr  25 Beginning Blacksmithing.  9am-4pm.  Learn how to draw out, upset and bend steel using traditional blacksmithing techniques. Museum board member and NIU Anatomy Professor Chris Hubbard shares his hobby with blacksmithing enthusiasts. Reservations and Advanced Payment Required.  $75.

May 1 Ox Driving.  Work with the farm's all-star oxen to lean beginning grooming, yoking and driving of single ox and oxen teams.  Reservations Required.  $60.

May 8 Annual Awards Dinner   6 pm Museum friends gather to recognize other preservation groups at the annual dinner held in the historic Dunham Woods Riding Club of Wayne, IL. Advanced reservations and payment required.

May 16 Rare Breeds Show.  11am-4pm.  Breeders from around the Midwest display rare and historic types of livestock.  Individual breeders may offer livestock and poultry for sale.  Member participation by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.  $6/$3

May 20.  Transportation in Early Illinois.  This fireside talk features the state of the art in travel and transportation for pre-Civil War Illinois-canals, steamships and trains.  $5.

May 22-23 Advanced Blacksmithing Techniques 9am - 4pm.  This two-day class offers a variety of advanced techniques including tool making, scrolls, basket handles and hinges.  Students will choose a project to build and take home.  Basic blacksmithing skills are required.  $150.  Reservations & advanced payment required.

June 6 Prairie Walk.  9am-Noon. Human impact and the glory of flowering prairie plants are emphasized.  Reservations Required.  $7.

June 9-25.  Kids Garden Camp.  The University of Illinois Master Gardener's Program offers this hands on learning opportunity for children ages 6-12. Meets Wed & Fri from June 9th through the 25th.   For more information contact the museum.   Reservations and Advanced Payment Required.  $75.

June 17.  Fireside Talk TBA.  7-9pm.  $5.

July 11 Prairie Walk.  9am-Noon. See nature's firework as the prairie puts on a show of flowering plants.  Reservations Required.  $7.

July 15.  Fireside Talk TBA.  7-9pm.  $5.

Aug 1 Antique Tool Show & Sale.  9am-1pm.  Members of the Midwest Tool Collectors Association and the Early American Industries Association display, trade and sell antique and collectable tools.  $5/$2. 

Aug 8  Prairie Walk.  9am-Noon.  A taste of the old prairie as tall grasses gain their full glory.  Reservations Required.  $7.

Aug 18.  Illinois Soil.  7-9pm.  This Fireside Talk features the natural resource that drew countless Americans to Illinois in the first half of the nineteenth century.  Learn what made the Prairie State the richest agricultural community in the world.  $5.         

Aug 29 Heirloom Garden Show.  11am-4pm.  Rare and specialty fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs are displayed and sold by midwestern growers. Member participation by Seed Savers Exchange.  $6/$3.

Sept 5 Prairie Walk.  9am-Noon.  The full array of seasonal color is on display in the last prairie walk of the year.  $7.

Sept 12 Rug Braiding.  12:30-4:30.  Braided rugs add period warmth and charm to any home.  Create a family heirloom while learning historic technique.Reservations Required.  $25.

Sept 12 & 19.  Papermaking & Bookbinding.  Learn to make paper from natural fibers you can grow in your own garden. Session one covers material selection, processing natural fibers and hand paper making.  Session two covers hand binding to form two booklets.
Participants will need an apron, baking tray (to carry their paper on), and an old bed sheet. All other supplies will be provided.  Reservations Required. $60.

Sept 16.  Tavern Life.  7-9pm.  This Fireside Talk features tales of social life on the frontier.  Taverns, like the Garfield's, offered more than just food, drink and shelter.  Learn the how's, why's and what's of this important symbol of civilization.  $5.

Oct 1 Student Harvest Days 9 am-1 pm.  Limit of 600 students by advanced reservation.  $5/$4.

Oct 2 & 3 Harvest Days 11:30 am- 4 pm.  Join museum volunteers in this celebration of the season.  Continuous demonstrations of farm and household skills, living history encampment, 19th century music and food.  $6/$3.

Oct 21.  Law and Order Fireside Talk.  7-9pm.  Join lawyer and  re-enactor Rick Holman for a look at law, order and justice in the 1800s.  $5.

Fall 2004.  Overall Trouser Workshop.  Saundra Altman of Past Patterns offers a sneak peek at her newest pattern.  This men's work-garment is based on an 1840's original found at Historic Deerfield.  Contact the museum for more information.

Nov 14.  Volunteer Party.  3-6 pm.  For all those who helped out at the farm, a pot-luck with photos and awards make for a fun social afternoon.

Nov 18.  Spiritualism in the Age of Romance. 7-9pm.  St Charles was a hotbed of Spiritualism.  Séances and mediums drew believers from all walks of life. This Fireside Talk focuses on the Spiritualism movement in the first half of the nineteenth century.  $5.

Dec 4&5 Candlelight Reception 3-7pm.  Experience the tradition of  winter visiting as practiced by families like the Garfield's in their 1846 Brick Inn.  Hospitality, food, music, and bake-sale. Donations Accepted.
                   I didn't receive any new information or schedules from Lawnfield for April.


Greetings from Middle earth for those LOTR fans J

Firstly, my apologies, there has been some difficulty getting the new documents loaded on to the website, hopefully by the time this newsletter "goes to print" all will be fixed. Thanks for your patience and hard work Dick.

Another brickwall demolished, not a Garfield but Amelia Mary Ann wife of John Garfield born 1841 has at last been found (thanks Audrey) and certificate sent for. She is Mary Ann Amelia Letley born 1841, Newington.  Anne Wiltshire would really like some help with her Jeremy Garfield. His father Thomas married Ann Bale/Beale 1771 at St James Westminster. Can anyone help with Thomas' birthplace please?

I guess you in the Northern hemisphere are getting warmer weather slowly we are getting colder! Someone at work told me that when they left UK in the middle week of March it was snowing brrrr, no thank you!

We too have mail!!

Hi Sylvia,

This is a real brick wall for me, partly because I'm not even totally sure that Garfield is the surname of the Mary who married Thomas Astle ca. 1798. Her last name has been written down as Garfield, Gargrave and even Garland in various family records. I'm working on the assumption that her name is in fact Garfield because I have a sketch drawn from a daguerreotype, with the following inscription, in the hand of Mary's granddaughter, Maria Webling: "Mary Garfield Married Thomas Astle Their daughter Anna Maria married Henry Webling Their daughter Maria married her cousin, Robert Jas Webling Their daughter Rosalind married George Wm Edwards to whose little daughter Lucy Louise -- this picture is given -- Wednesday October 16th 1901"

Since the other last names for Mary were written by Maria's daughter Peggy, I'm assuming that the one closer generationally to Mary is correct.

I have Mary's death certificate:
Death Certificate: March Quarter 1857, Camberwell #365, Died Twenty seventh February 1857, 19 Glengall Grove, Old Kent Road, Camberwell, Surrey. Mary Astle, Female, 77 years, Widow of Thomas Astle Bookbinder (master). Cause of death Abscess of the liver 6 months Jaundice 4 months Certified. Informant: the X mark of Fanny Jones [James?] Present at the Death 19 Glengall Grove, Old Kent Road. Registered Second March 1857 by Charles Stevens Registrar.

This would place her birth probably in 1779.

Regards, Dorian

Dorian has kindly sent us the pictures of her Mary Garfield and they will be posted on the
site, Can anyone help with a birthplace for this Mary?

And an email from a man who noticed my Garfield name on another site. He wrote: Sylvia, I am probably telling you something that you know already, but on the'81 there is a John Garfield born 1837, with a wife Mary Ann Garfield in Sheepy Magna, Leics. rg11 3057/75 pg 10


Not our branch of the Garfields, but someone out there might be looking for this John and
Mary Ann, Thanks Bob.

And also:
I am looking for information on ELSIE MAY GARFIELD, born 29th May, 1911, Hallaton, Leicestershire.   Elsie is my Grandmother.   Her father was JAMES WILLIAM GARFIELD.  Any information would be greatly appreciated.

I suggested that sending for Elsie May's birth certificate would give more details on her parents, but if anyone can help with this one, I'm sure it would be appreciated

Check us out and if you have your own English Garfield line you would like to add,
histories or stories of your Garfield families or can expand on what we have, please feel
free to contact me:

or Dick Garfield on the homepage


Brother of Martyred President Garfield

(Article from the Grand Rapids Herald  20 February, 1910)

Shadow of Mortality Quietly Settling About Thomas Garfield, the Elder Brother, at His Modest Farm Home But a Short Distance From Grand Rapids

On the sitting room wall in a comfortable old farmhouse down near Jamestown, in Ottawa County, hangs a splendid oil painting of one of the nation's martyred presidents, while beneath it, of a winter's evening, sits a feeble, worn, old man through whose spirit of noble self-sacrifice was made possible the climbing of the heights by the original of the picture.

From the opposite wall beams in exquisite pastel the face of the mother of these two, the humble farmer and his great brother.

James A. Garfield was cut down by the hand of an assassin just when he had arrived at the zenith of hi power, while Thomas, his elder brother, has lived on in his Michigan home, which he hewed out of the wilderness, almost unknown, save to his near neighbors, till he has attained his eighty-eighth year, and who, knowing the circumstances surrounding his early life, shall say that, when his final account is rendered, his name shall not stand as high in the roll of martyrs as that of his more famous brother.

Thomas was but 11 when his mother was widowed, and the burden of supporting the little family of four fell upon his shoulders. The little brother who was later to rule a nation, was but 18 mons old, and during all the years of his babyhood and youth, the slim boy Thomas was not only brother but father to him. The first shoes James got were bought with money earned by Thomas splitting rails. Together they slept, and often the youngster, kicking off the clothing and finding himself chilled by the cool of the night would waken his big brother crying, "Thomas, Thomas, cover me up."

Years after when restlessly sleeping on the field of battle, these days came back to James in his dreams. General Rosecrans told the story of how, when he and General Garfield were occupying the same tent, he was aroused by this same old plaintive cry and when he aroused his tent mate to inquire the trouble, he was told: "Why, in my dreams I was back in the little cabin sleeping again with my brother, who to me seemed always more like a father."

It is not surprising that this feeling prevailed since, in addition to the 9 years difference in their ages, Thomas so early took up the burdens of life that he may be said to have had almost no childhood.

At the age of 17, when things were dull in their Ohio home, he struck off into the wilds of Michigan, arriving in the Grand River valley in the fall of 1843. He spent one night in an old house which still is standing on what is known as the Dyke farm. In the edge of what is now the village of Grandville. That winter he spent working in a logging camp, returning in the spring with his earnings, $75, to build a more comfortable home for his mother.

He did not come to Michigan again till 1867 when his brother, already on the road to fame, through his services during the great war, took up the burden of caring for the little family.

Thomas had at that time a wife, whom he married in 1849, and three children, James, then 17, and Eliza Elmira and Florence Evangeline, two girls. The country was still a wilderness but with the old indomitable determination which had characterized his early years, he set about to clearing for himself a home.

The ------ of his success is attested by the excellent condition of the old farm on which he has resided continuously ever since. In this, his old age, he is the idol of his son and daughter-in-law, and of his three grandchildren, Leslie S., aged 30; James, Jr., 27, and Florence Lucretia, 19 now studying to become a nurse.

"I have helped to clear up the wilderness in two states", he said the other day, "and have tried to do my duty as a Christian, always. I can say little which has not already been printed of the life of my brother. He was a great man without a particle of false pride, and we always loved each other. Only three years before he was killed he came to spend the day with me here, coming down from Grand Rapids, where he made a speech in Powers Opera house, and he was just the same old "Jim" as ever. He sat in the doorway there, beside you, munching maple sugar, petting the cat and talking over old times.

"Oh, there have been few men like Jim, and if he had lived he would have been the greatest president the country ever had. But he little thought of his presidency then, although he was looking to the senate. At leaving he took my hand in both of his and said:

"Thomas, I almost envy you the quiet and peace of this life, but, fate has forced other conditions upon me and I must go back to the stress and ---- the world and play my part manfully."

"That was the last time I saw him till he lay on his bier in Cleveland. During many years before this our ways had lain far apart, and only occasionally I caught fleeting glimpses of him. Of his political life I knew almost no more than a stranger, as he never discussed matters of this kind in his home. There he was just the jolly, good-natured father of his family, and he entered into everything that was going on about him."

"About myself? Why, there's nothing to tell, I have lived just like any farmer, grubbing away and earning a living. Oh, yes, they were hard years of course, those early ones, and I worked hard just as anyone would, left in the same position. Sometimes I got pretty weary, but it is enough for me to know that I was able to contributed to the making of such a career. It is a great comfort to me now, that and my Bible, which I have read and tried to follow for over 70 years, and now I just wait here peacefully for the last call."

And, so he fell asleep almost as he talked.

Well, may the old man's soul be peaceful and his spirit fearless. To him it is nothing that he is the brother of a president, but it is much that he has always done his duty according to the teachings of the Disciple church, of which he has been a member over 70 years. When he goes before the recording angel, holding out his gnarled fingers, limping on his poor rheumatic legs, earned in the performance of the simpler duties which have fallen to his share, he will find awaiting him as great a glory as though his way had lain among the rulers of the earth.

The picture on the wall of the old house is a copy of the one which hangs in Windsor palace, a gift from the nation to Queen Victoria. It, with the mother's picture, was painted by a Cleveland artist and presented to the old man many years ago.

Among the other more interesting mementoes of the dead president are two canes, one a gold headed one the president carried. The stick is ebony and engraved on the name plate is the name "James A. Garfield". The other cane is a plain stick of Osage orange, made from the wood of a tree set out under the instruction of Andrew Jackson when he was president, in what has since become Garfield park in Washington.

Among the stories of the martyred president which his brother states were overdrawn are those regarding his canal experience. "Jim just made one trip on the canal," he said, "and not a round trip either." He was taken sick and had to com home, and besides he never had occasion to earn his living in that way for he had a mighty good education for those days and easily secured better employment. He never sailed on the lakes, and his rail splitting experience was very limited indeed. The whole effort of our mother and all of us was to give James an education and while he had hard times enough, and suffered privations, such as the modern young men escape, he was not so badly off for those days. There was a lot of this stuff written for political effect during his lifetime and I know that he himself depreciated its use, but is has crept into the later books and now is commonly accepted as historically correct, I guess."

The visits of his mother to his home here are the most treasured memories of this gentle, old man. The last of these was in 1882 after the death of his brother. His sister, too. Mehitable Trowbridge has been a frequent visitor here, stopping the last time four years ago, when she was moving from Cleveland to Lost Angeles, where she still lived at the age of 89.

Five years ago he with his son, James, and his daughter-in-law, visited the Garfield home at Mentor, Ohio. He brought home with him a picture of a family gathering taken in front of the old home there. James B., who is in politics in his native state; Abraham, an architect in Cleveland, and Harry, president of Williams college, with their wives and families are represented. That was what will probably be his last trip of any extent as he is now very feeble. It was his ambition, however, to get to Grand Rapids for the Lincoln club banquet, and take his place with the original Fremont voters at the table. "My ambition is as good as ever," he says "but my body refuses longer to respond."

Transcriber: Evelyn Sawyer
Created: 27 January 2004
Contact County Coordinator: