Shelby County Indiana
Transcriptions of the Florence Deming Harley Family
Miscellany Collection # MS568
Previous Title: Halleck VanPelt Deming Papers
Identifier CHSV04 - B93
North Baker Research Library
California Historical Society
678 Mission St., San Francisco, CA
415 357 1848 EXT #220 FAX 415 357 1850
Note: This library specializes in San Francisco history; it’s people, places, & events
The Oakland, CA Genealogy Library covers all of California
2201 Broadway , Suite LL2, Oakland, CA 94612
510 663 1358 www.californiaancestors.org
1) Handwritten small note card
Horace Volney Deming of my fathers father. His other sons Joseph Grove Deming & Edmund Orr Deming . My father was the youngest son Halleck VanPelt Deming. Horace Volney Deming was born in Shelbyville, Indiana (Waterford, New London Co, CT) crossed the plains with his three sons arriving in San Francisco in 1851. Left Indiana on (in) 1948 (1848) (1838) went to Muscatine Iowa from there in 1850 they left in a covered wagon for California.
He died at the age of 87 in Santa Rosa (California).
*Transcribed verbatim except for the parenthesis which I added for clarification.
2) Handwritten on stationary. Handwriting same as #1
My father Halleck VanPelt Deming born in Shelbyville Indiana crossed the plains in a covered wagon (when he was 18 years old) with his father ________ Deming and his 2 brothers Joseph Grove Deming and Edmond Orr Deming. They reached San Francisco in 1852. They started in the Milling business had a mill in Los Angeles - the Capitol Mills in San Francisco- (which the Sperry Flour Mills bought) the Cascade Cereal mill in Tacoma one in Seattle the Seattle Cereal Co. and one in Fresno.
The Albers Bros. bought the Tacoma and Seattle Mills which is now the Carnation Milk Co.
3) Handwritten on a “calling” card with fancy border
My grand Father (Born in London England)
He was 83 years old when he
Died at our home on Ellis St
My Mother Mary Brown Deming
and Nellie Brown Bernard
Were his daughters-
Mary Brown married Halleck
Van Pelt Deming one of the 3
Deming bros of flour mills fame.
4) Handwritten on plain stationery using pen and dipping ink which bled, same handwriting a #3
William Brown (Born in London England
coming to San Francisco in 1850 around the horn
Bought a piece of property on Market Street
at Fremont St. _____where Patrick & Co
Stationers are now located. The property backs
through to Sutter St. He established himself
in the Hardware business and carried
fine English China. He went to Europe every
year and imported English China and
was the first to bring the best English
China to San Francisco. He owned the
property on which his place of business
stood also a piece of property on
Grant Ave. (formerly called Doorfront St.
& before the street was widened ---
it was this corner lot on NE right hand
side (building now occupied ---------
on ---------- St is just ------
expanded the Grant Avenue entrance
to the streets. Houses he deeded these 2
pieces of property to his 2 daughters Mary
Brown Deming & Nellie Brown Bernard
before his death
5) Hand written on plain paper, same handwriting as #1 & #2
The 3 Deming Brothers
Joseph Grove Deming
Edmond Orr Deming
Halleck VanPelt Deming
and their Father
Horace Volney Deming
came to California in a covered wagon. Left Iowa
(Muscatine) the Spring of 1849 -crossed out-
1850. Were to have left for California
in 1849 but Edmond Orr Deming
(the second brother) hurt his leg and
they had to postpone their trip
across the plains so they left Iowa
in 1850. They took the wrong
trail and landed in Idaho.
near the Snake River (where they
did encounter Indians). They did
packing business either with
Horses or by their own exertion
They stayed in Idaho all winter
and they went to Yreka (a
mining town in California
Arriving in San Francisco in
1851. There they bought an interest
in the National Mill. Sold
that and started the Capitol
Flour Mills and -----------
Sacramento and Davis Streets. After many
years they sold this mill to the Sperry Flour Co.
The Deming brothers had 6 flour mills. They owned
1) One mill in Los Angeles || (sold to Sperry Flour Co. |
|| Capitol Mills on Sacramento|
2 ) ___________ San Francisco || Mill and Davis St in San Francisco)|
3) Also an interest the National
4) “ “owned Fresno (Nutmeg Co)
5) ” “ Seattle (Cereal Co) sold to Albers Bros.
6) ” “ Cascade Cereal Co. in Tacoma sold to Albers Bros.
The Capitol Mill in San Francisco sold to Sperry Flour
Seattle Cereal Co sold to Albers Bros.
Cascade “ “ Tacoma
Horace Volney Deming (father of the 3 Deming brothers
was in Mexico in 1848 but returned Iowa to go
with his sons by covered wagon to California
They were about to leave for California in 1849
when Edmond Orr Deming hurt his leg so they had
to left Iowa in 1850 arriving in Idaho and
From 1850 to San Francisco in 1851
The Capitol Mills ( a block away from the
fire Dept) used to blow all the whistles
for the fire alarms in San Francisco.
My father Halleck VanPelt Deming was born
In Shelbyville Indiana. He was 62 when he
Died in San Francisco.
From Letter of Mary D. Ensmore (?) Dated Jan 6, 1951: )
Postmarked Jan. 6, 1951
My dear Floss (I.e., Mrs. Florence Deming Hadley):
. . . I will tell you about my family here and then will give as much knowledge of our fathers’ lives as was told to me years ago. My daughter Clara Gassaway lived in New Orleans for about twenty-five years and died nearly two years ago of coronary thrombosis ---- the very painful heart disease just the night before Mardi Gras. She lived in an apartment on St Charles Ave., just a few blocks above Canal Street. She was witty and charming and made many friends thus who still grieve for her. She was brought to San Francisco to lie in the Deming plot in Cypress Lawn Cemetery next her only child Marjorie. While I was there I went to Berkeley with my son-in-law to see Edwin who died shortly afterwards of a cancer, which I think he suspected he had . . . He left three sons and a daughter his widow, Anita Henry . . .They (the Deming’s) were to start for California in the Spring of 1849 but had to postpone it, for my father had some trouble with his leg which caused a slight limp for all his life. They left in 1850 from Iowa. Their mother died in childbirth with her seventh child. No doctor within many miles. My father rode many miles on horseback but when the doctor got to Muscatine Iowa, she was gone. She left five children, three sons and two daughters. Our grandfather Deming was in Mexico in 1848, but evidently came back East and joined his sons on their overland trip out west. They took the wrong trail (as others did) and landed in Idaho near Snake River where they ded encounter Indians. They did packing business either with horses or by their own exertions. They were in the mountains all winter or maybe a year or two. Finally they got into California in Yreka which was a mining town. They did various things there but I did not hear of mining. Then Uncle Joe decided to go to San Francisco and bought an interest in the Capitol Mills with which my father was always identified. Then Uncle Joe came to Los Angeles and started . . . Bought another mill which they either sold or disposed of to J. B. Lankershim or his cousin Sam (?) Van Nuys (?) Uncle Joe lived there and several of their children were born there. Think he decided that (since) it was all desert region it would not be worth staying there and sold out in the ‘70’s and came back to S.F. They started the Fresno Milling in Fresno, bought acres of land there but never lived there and finally sold that mill - a very good paying mill it was - and the acreage. Your father had an interest in the National Mill in S.F. - very likely the other brother owned it oo. Finally sold that. John or Uncle Joe decided to go to Seattle and started the Seattle (Cereal) Co., having soms well grown they were up there with him (?). Dave Vail was one of the stock holders of the Capitol of S.F. and he became head man there in Seattle until he died. Uncle Halleck (?) decided to retire from business which he did and then later on took you to Europe for a trip. Aunt Mary died there of Roman Fever at Genoa where I was many years later. Because the doctor told your father that if your mother was buried in Italy she could not be taken up -- hence he hired a special car or train for Paris where she died 24 hours after her arrival. You know about that -- and were old enough to remember. Our fathers were simple living people -- took care of wives and children --had good homes -- good clothes -- good food -- and left enough money for their families to live upon -- which Addied and I are using to this day. The money made in the mills which were sold was invested in property in San Francisco. The E.O. Deming family lost our home and the contents. I know Bill lost his property in the fire too. Now I have told you of about all I remember of our fathers lives and what they did. They were American pioneers in their lives and in all their lives and in all their actions . . .I am 83 years old, having had my birthday last Sunday . . . must now have my beloved grandson take over. He is a good lawyer in h his grandfather Chapman’s law firm which consists of his cousin John Chapman and a young Scotchsman who came into the firm after or just before Max Chapman’s death. The firm is Chapman and Frazier. My grandaughter is a PhD. from Stanford University. She was in Hoover Library in Stanford for two years as a research history of So. America and Holy Roman Empire -- as well as Mexican. She is Dr. Mary Patricia Chapman and is doing research in Claremont College just thirty miles from Los Angeles . . .
*Transcribed as written including typo’s and mis-spellings.
Contributed by Paula Olsen
Augusta Deming Jenkins & James N Lee meeting over the sale of the Jenkins property, as related to Paula Olsen by Marsha Harper:
"July 10, 1862 James N Lee (grantee) listed as purchasing land in Waldron Township from J. W. Jenkings (grantor). Jenkins death later in July of 1862 delayed the completion of the land sell. On Sept. 10, 1862 A. C. (Jenkins widow) completed the land sell. I assume Dr. Lee began courting the young widow and following the year of mourning, James and Augusta married. Their only surviving's child, Manon Roland Lee, was born 29 May 1864 in Shelby Co., Indiana. Augusta's name appears on a land deed with her husband, James N. Lee, during the summer of 1864. Her name does not appear on any other sell of land."
Marsha stated in this same letter that she hand copied the land records from Shelby County, Indiana. I know she sent away for microfilm records often. I don't think she travelled to Indiana. She was a genealogy researcher for others as well as for our family. Joseph Jenkins death date is different from mine of August 23, 1860, his grave stone states this date at Middletown Cemetery (formerly Hopewell), Liberty Township, Shelby County, IN & further states his age at death as 32 years 7 months 21 days - making his birth date Jan 2, 1828. Mem#59948643. Other Jenkins family members are also buried there.
The land sell date of 1862 sounds like Lee was buying from the Jenkins estate which means he would have met and been dealing with Augusta and her Uncle, Halleck Van Pelt, at that time.
Also, in the late 1860's, Lee sold off property to RR Washburn (Robert R. Washburn listed in the Directory of Deceased American Physicians B - 1833 D-11 Nov 1900 also In Death Index, D - 10 Nov1900 Waldron, IN) who was a fellow doctor in Waldon living just houses away from Augusta & Joseph Jenkins home in Waldron in 1860. He may have been Jenkins Dr. as Jenkins is listed as an invalid in 1860. I am thinking that Dr. Washburn may have been a brother or cousin of William Washburn, husband of Augusta's sister Mary E. Deming whom Augusta lived with growing up until her sisters death in Aug.1852 in Columbus, Bartholomew Co. IN. Augusta was only 13 years old, she may have stayed on with her brother-in-law to help care for his two small girls, I don't know. The 2 Washburn's were 5 years difference in age. The family story is that Augusta was hired to work for the widow Joseph Jenkins, then when she was 18 married him. She may have met Jenkins and been asked to help him through Dr. RR Washburn. I am guessing she cared for 3 year old Everitte after his mother died and kept house for him and his father. Lots of possible connections.
I have never been sure if Lee and Augusta stayed in her former home or if Lee bought farm property from the estate and they lived in a different house in Waldron, or what.
Regarding Horace Deming. There is a Horace or Horras Deming in the Census of 1830 - 40 living in Redding Township, Jackson County, IN Call#246/490, 1 male under 5 yrs., 1 male 30-40, 1 male 40-50. If dates are correct, Horace married Emmeline A. Orr she was only 14 years old? She was born in New York in 1811, I am wondering if her parents immigrated from Ireland. There are many Orr's living in Bartholomew Co.
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