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  • Faith is always a gift of God to man, which is obtained by obedience, as all other blessings are. (Joseph F. Smith Gospel Doctrine, p. 212) ... Faith does not come without works; faith does not come without obedience to the commandments of God. (Conference Report, October 1903, p. 4)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

FRANCES ALOIS HUCKINS history

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Born: 22 April 1875, Neponset, Bureau, Illinois
Some records say Frances is born in nearby Peoria. 
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Father:  James William Huckins (1843-1909)
 Son of Johnathan Crawford Huckins born 1802 
     and Abigail Aldrich born 1804
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Mother: Mary Elizabeth Middleton (1856-1909)
Daughter of James Middleton born 1804 
     and Elizabeth Hisong born 1822
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Fannie's father was born in eastern Canada at Montreal, Quebec. This area was also frequently referred to as 'Canada' [or previously 'Lower Canada', meaning closer to the mouth of the river - distinguished from 'Upper Canada' an area further 'up' the river]. 
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Many early immigrates to North Amercia, especially from England, France and other areas of Europe, traveled up the St. Lawrence River and through the Great Lakes along the waterway chain connecting the east-central interior of North America to the Atlantic Ocean.
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 Montreal was the furthest point  the largest vessels could reach at that time. The remainder of this 'highway', extending deeply through 2 of what became the largest Canadian provinces, connects 9 states along the US/Canada border. It was traversed in segments in smaller vessels.

Encyclopedia Britannica 2004 map showing Great Lakes and St Lawrence River
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Wikipedia tells us, "People during the era routinely traveled huge distances, and the river was the principal route for people, supplies, arms, and commercial goods. Despite the need to portage past the Lachine Rapids, Niagara Falls, and other shallow rapids, the St. Lawrence was far easier to travel than rugged, inland routes. The importance of the St. Lawrence as the primary water route for shipping American goods westward receded with the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, thus allowing a more southerly route stretching from New York City to Lake Erie to serve settlements in the Midwest." 
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The population of this area included many immigrants. It also included many Loyalists that fled to Canada during the American Revolutionary War, and Native Americans that were expelled from the US at that time. The War of 1812 significantly impacted the area around the Great Lakes as the US declared war on Britain (Canada was a British territory) and poorly prepared and motivated American and British forces both captured and lost disputed territories. It was a war neither side really wanted or had the means or manpower to prosecute. Britain in particular was preoccupied with Napoleon and the French.
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Fannie's mother was born in Elkhart, Indiana. It is just east of the southern end of Lake Michigan. That area and its many resources lie between the tips of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron and were commonly used by many Native American tribes well into the 1800's. 
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From Richard Dean Taylor we learn: The village  platted as 'Elkhart' in 1832, near the convergence of 3 streams east of Lake Michigan had been 'fluidly' occupied by small Indian, trapper, and early missionary camps and settlements for centuries. It became the Town of Elkhart in 1859. Like many other river towns of the era it was situated on busy and well known trade routes with many heavily used trails and roads. Steamboat transport reached a zenith for a short few years and died out suddenly as the railroad arrived in the 1850's. "In 1850 the town had a 780 inhabitants and by 1870 2,053." Population and commercial interests expanded exponentially and in 1875 Elkhart incorporated as a city.
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The Great Chicago Fire of October 1871, that killed and injured hundreds, and destroyed 3.3 square miles of the city of Chicago was one of the largest disasters of the 19th century in the United States . As the city was rebuilt it reshaped the economy of this region.
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Fannie's parents were married in Stuart, Guthrie, Iowa 18 June 1871 (500 miles west of Elkhart) and their first child, a son they name Burton Blanchard Huckins was born there on March 10, 1872.  The family appears to be steadily migrating west.  
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Neponset, where Fannie was born, is a small village in Illinois (about halfway between Elkhart and Stuart) with a total area of approximately one square mile, all of it land. The community was established in 1855 when the newly completed Central Military Tract Railroad (later renamed the Chicago, Burlington, Quincy Railroad) built a station there.
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Soon afterward, the US Post Office was moved to Neponset from Brawby, a hamlet formerly located two miles north of the present village. It was named for the Massachusetts hometown of Myron Lee, the railroad's first agent at the Neponset station.
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We do not know why Fannie's birthplace is contrary to the usual pattern and westward movement we see this family experiencing and 250 miles is a long way to go 'back east' by horse and buggy or wagon. We do know that she was born at a time when Railroads were rapidly expanding. This allowed people to travel much greater distances safely in more comfort and significantly reduced the time journeys took. Did they travel by rail? We do not know. Maps of railroads do show rail travel may have been available and did radiate out from the Great Lakes region, particularly near the southern areas of Lake Michigan.
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Possible railroads that may have been available for use.
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We see Fannie's siblings born further and further West. Eventually 4 brothers and 3 sisters (8 children in all) join the Huckins family. The youngest is born one year before she marries.

Locations of some events in Fannie's life. 
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George Augustus Huckins 1877, Des Moines, Polk, Iowa;
Daisy D Huckins1879, Gray, Audubon, Iowa:
Cora (also called Corrie) Huckins 1881, Gray, Audubon, Iowa;
Alonzo Benjamin Harrison Huckins 1883,
       Hill City, Pennington, South Dakota;
Bertha Mabel Huckins 1885, Gray, Audubon Iowa;
Clarence Wilford Huckins 1889, Olreichs, Fall River, South Dakota.
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1880 Cameron, Audubon County, Iowa
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The 1880 census shows James and Mary Huckins living in Cameron, Audubon, Iowa with 4 children, 2 girls and 2 boys. It is about 12 miles west of Gray on the map above - so near that the locating tag for Gray disappears behind the tag for Cameron. Frances Alois is 5 years old. Her father is working in carpentry.

1885 Cameron, Audubon County, Iowa
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The 1885 Iowa State census for Carroll, Warren County (26 miles south of Cameron - not on map above) shows Fannie A Huckins, age 10, with her parents and sibings. The birth place for her youngest sister, Bertha  Mabel Huckins born 15 January 1885, is listed as Gray. Her father is farming and is subject to military service and entitled to vote. Women in Iowa did not have the right to vote until Congress passed an amendment in 1919. There are columns to designate if people can read and write but not even one person on this sheet is checked - perhaps the census taker did not feel it was necessary information.
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Spouse: James Andrew McNicholl
Married 6 June 1890
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In March 1910 her husband of 20 years died where they are living at Grangeville, Idaho. She is a widow at age 35. Her father died 8 months before then and on the census in June we see she is head of household in Washington State living with her daughters, 3 brothers, her mother and a nephew. 
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She remarries a gold miner named Roy Dougherty (spelling varies) that has lived in her mother's boarding house while her father was the foreman of a mine on the Lower Methow in Okanogan County Washington. They live in California and Oregon. 
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Died:17 May 1918, Weatherby, Baker, Oregon 
Buried: 1918 Malheur, Malheur, Oregon

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