Bovard Diary

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Scott County, Indiana
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BUTT: John B. Butt Sr. is buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery. According to his inscription, he died 7/29/1886 at age 94.

CLAFLIN: Sarah never tells us just where Mrs. Claflin operated her tavern but it was in Madison. Sarah tells us that she arrived in "town" Sept. 3, 1861 and went to the Courier office the next day. Madison's newspaper was (and is) the Courier.

DOUGHTY: Alpha Cemetery records: Artimecia Doughty, born 9/12/35, died 9/12/75 (it would have been her 40th birthday, if correct). The village of Alpha is gone and Alpha Cemetery is abandoned. About half a mile north of the cemetery, on the South Fork of the Muscatatuck River, was Doughty's Mill, which was built in 1849 on the site of a much earlier mill known as Bolser's mill. Doughty's mill and dam were carried away in a flood in 1906.

EARHART: On page 85, Sarah mentions stopped at Barbara Earhart's "to write our obituary for her." At first I had assumed that Barbara had died, but, after studying the confusion about the "Barbara and Viola Phillips" reference on page 87, I noted that Chris Young had died six days before Sarah went to Barbara's house. Perhaps Barbara had not died; perhaps she collected the news from the Alpha area for one of the county newspapers and Sarah gave her an obit on Chris.

FOSTER: Alpha Cemetery records: Catherine Foster, w. of Robert, died 4/30/ 18- (stone broken). On April 30, 1859, Sarah noted in her diary that "Aunt Catherine is dying... I hope the Lord took her to rest. . . "Sarah came only slightly short of saying that Catherine had died and did not make another entry until May 5. (See Robert Foster, who apparently married Widow Ccx.) William Foster is buried in Alpha Cemetery. His stone says he was son of R. & C., and died 1/17/59 at age 24-9-2. Sarah recorded that day that "Poor Cousin William done with the troubles of this world." In previous days, she had indicated that William Foster was ill. So apparently William was the son of Catherine and Robert. A Robert Foster of Company K of 120th Indiana Infantry, which was James Bovard's company, died in Chattanooga Aug. 6, 1864. (James Spear's brother Samuel, who also served in the Union Army, also died there.)

GREEN: Sarah recorded on pages 18 and 19 that children had died. A lot can be learned about this family by matching these dates with Wesley Cemetery records and the family Bible of Alfred Jerome Green of Sylvia, Kansas. The cemetery records state that: William Green, son of T.B. and C., died 9/1/59 at age 3 years 4 months and 14 days; and that Thomas Green, son of T.B. and C., died 9/10/59 at 5 years, 7 months and 23 days. Both dates of death correspond with Sarah's diary and Jerome Green's Bible. Among other Greens in the burial plot: Thomas B., born 7/26/20, died 8/7/80, and Catherine, wife of Thomas B., died 1/16/74 at age 49 years 10 months 27 days. Thus we are certain that the "Mr. Green" in Sarah's diary was Thomas B. Green. The Bible verifies the dates of birth and death of Thomas B. and Catherine, and also reveals: that their son Alfred Jerome Green was born April 18, 1856 in Scott eounty; that Jerome married Mary Elmetta Phillips on Dec. 1, 1875; that Catherine's maiden name was Bernhardt; that she had been born in Virginia, and that Thomas B. was born in Cincinnati. Mary Elmetta Phillips, incidentally, exemplifies the confusing interrelationships of Scott Countians. She was a niece, not of John Phillips, but of his;wife Emeline (Courtney) Phillips. Mary's mother, Ellen (Courtney) Phillips was Emeline's sister. Ellen Courtney, like her sister, married a man named John Phillips but the relationship between the two men is unknown.

MALOCK: Sarah probably was referring to the Rev. Washington Malick, who was a Methodist preacher born in Tennessee. He died March 25, 1882 at the age of 74 years, six months and 11 days. He is buried in Hopewell Cemetery in Jennings County.,

MAYFIELD: The Civil War pension records of James Harvey Phillips, son of Emeline and John T., show that Isaac Mayfield became a hospital steward in Company K of the 120th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, which was James Bovard's company, and in 1896 was living in Randolph (Riley County), Kansas, at age 83. Brothers Harvey and Riley Phillips and William T. Spear were among others in Company K, commanded by Captain James Tobias until his death in early 1865.

McCLURE: In his Scott County Cemetery Records, Dr. Carl Bogardus noted that Dr. Dexter McClure was the first doctor in New Frankfort, then moved to Austin, where he also was first doctor. His wife was Deborah Young, Dr. Bogardus said. From the dates of the McClure children, the parents probably were born about 182 5-37. Dr. McClure died 2/24/7 9, Dr. Bogardus said. A Dr. David McClure appears in Spear probate records.

MILLER: The preacher named John Miller likely was kin to the Whitsitt and Phillips families, if only by marriage. Allie Phillips, sister of Brannock Phillips, married Ralph Whitsitt. Their daughter Mary (called "Polly") married John Miller in 1823. They had a son John, . . Barney Miller is buried in New Providence Cemetery, "3/4 mile east on Hwy. 56 to Slab Road and about two miles north of 56." He was born 3/8/35, served in Co. D, 1st (?) md. Volunteers, and died 12/24/1924. (State historical society material says that the number 1 was not used for Civil War regiments in Indiana. The state's 1st Regiment had fought only in the Mexican War, for which Barney seems to have been too young.)

MORRISON: Andy chose the Union side. Andrew H. Morrison served in Company K of the 120 Indiana with James Bovard, William T. Spear, etc.

PEACOCK: I indexed most of the book thinking "Ethe" was short for Ethen. But with hindsight, I think it likely that Ethe was Frank Peacock's wife, the "Ethelina" mentioned once, and probably was Sarah's sister. Strangely, Sarah 's diary made no specific mention of Frank's death... Mrs. Angeline (Fitzsimmons) Peacock was born Dec. 28, 1830 and died May 31, 1905, according to her marker in Wesley Chapel Cemetery. In 1877 she married James W. Spear.

PETRO: Nancy Bovard and Phillip Switzer Petro married July 23, 1857 in Bartholomew Co. Indiana. She lived April 12, 1838 until Aug. 24, 1864. The family lived in Van Buren township of Brown County, Indiana, in 1860. That year's census shows: Philip S. Petro, 30, farmer; Nancy, 21; Susan, 10; Sabra, 9; Sandy M. (a male), 6. All had been born in Indiana. Brown County is west of where Sarah lived, so her "out there" description of where Nancy lived would have been appropriate. Sarah apparently visited Nancy in mid-November 1861; judging by Sarah's brief notations on pages 59, Brown County would seem a likely spot. But note that Nancy soon died.

PHILLIPS: Sarah recorded on page 89 that "Barbara and Viola Phillips" visited Maria Jane Bovard. I'm not aware of a Barbara Phillips; the name doesn't appear in my Phillips records. Perhaps Sarah, who didn't realize she was writing for posterity, didn't intend to say that Barbara's last name was Phillips. Perhaps Sarah was referring to Barbara Earhart (but see note under Earhart). Perhaps Sarah's diary note could be interpreted: "Viola Phillips and Barbara." Viola probably was the former Viola Harrod, who married James Harvey Phillips in 1866. Harvey's wife would have been about 23, a reasonable age for one of Maria Jane's friends. Maria Jane was 21 then. . . Hannah Jane Phillips was born Hannah Jane Foster, and the Catherine Foster who died was her mother. Hannah lived 1835 to Aug. 2, 1881. Her husband, Newton Phillips, was born in 1835, died in 1923 and is well-remembered by older residents of Scott County today. He was in the 161st Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War and is buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery... I spelled Emeline Phillips' first name that way only because that is the way is is spelled on her tombstone. See the Green family above for more information on Emeline and niece Mary.

SPEAR: Ephraim Spear married Mary "Polly" Mathew (or Matthew) and died of typhoid in 1857. Their children included James W. in 1830, Lizy, George Wesley and William, whom Sarah mentions. (Lizy likely was Phebe Elizabeth Spear.) James Spear married Armilda Newkirk in 1857. She died in 1866, so "Mrs. Spear" probably refers to her, not to Mary Spear, his widowed mother. James married Angeline (Fitzsimmons) Peacock in 1877; she appears in Sarah's diary as Angeline Peacock. Angeline died in 1905 and is buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery. On page 36, Sarah mentions "going to Spears to see her hurt hand." Obviously, as we are dealing with a transcript of a diary, not the original diary, we cannot tell if the word transcribed as "her" might have been "his." James Spear is known to have lost a thumb in a firearms accident, rendering him unfit for service in the Civil War. . . Charles Wesley Spear was in most of the western battles of the Civil War, returned home healthy after his discharge, but died October 2, 1865 at age 21 years, 7 months and 19 days. He is buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery, as are most Spears.

THOMAS: Evan Thomas is buried in Hopewell Cemetery in Jennings County. His grave is in the same row as Mr. and Mrs. John Stagg. Mrs. Stagg was the former Martha (Pitts) Phillips, mother of the John Phillips whom Sarah mentions. Thomas' epitaph: "Feb. 22, 1757 to March 15, 1840, aged 82 yrs, 23 days. The old revolutioner was born in Maryland. When a boy the Indians killed all but him and by hiding he got away. On 10 Dec. 1778 was married to H. Nixson. Jan. 29, 1789 was married to S. Booth. Dec. 25, 1810 was married to M. Everton." The editor of the Hoosier Journal noted further that a government marker on the grave gives the date of death as Feb. 1, 1840 and states that he was a,private in Col. Grisham' Virginia Regiment.

TOBIAS: A David Tobias is buried in McClain Cemetery. His tombstone gives his dates as 4/10/04 and 7/16/1881. A James Tobias, 27, farmer, appears in the 1860 census of Jennings County. Captain James Tobias commanded Company K of the l20th Indiana Volunteer Infantry until he took ill and died in camp in early 1865. His company had been in the Atlanta campaign under Sherman, but, rather than march to the sea, had been sent back to Tennessee, where it fought in major battles at Franklin and Nashville. The company was then part of the divisions sent to Goldsboro, N.C., to rendezvous with Sherman in March 1865. James' military service records don't reveal where he is buried.

WILSON: Sarah mentions Wilson's store in Deputy. Foster C. Wilson is known to have operated one there. His mother was born Polly Courtney, apparently a sister of Emeline and Ellen Courtney. But Foster was born in 1840, so perhaps it was his father Jesse who was operating the store when Sarah mentioned it.

YOUNG: Christian Young married Maria Byfield in Scott County on Oct. 1, 1846. Sarah's diary tells us that Chris was buried in Coffey Creek Cemetery. This cemetery is just west of Paris Crossing in Jennings County. Among tombstone inscriptions there: Christian Young, consort of Maria, died March 15, 1871, aged 46 years, three months and 25 days; Harriet Young, daughter of M&C, born and died Aug. 2, 1847; William C. Young, son of C&M, died March 11, 1853, aged two years and three months; Olive C. Young, daughter of C&M, died Sept. 20, 1857, aged two years and 30 days; Minerva J. Young, daughter of C&M, died Sept. 29, 1857; infant daughter of CH&MA, born and died Dec. 28, 1860 (Sarah mentions this); Jefferson Young, son of C&M, died May 11, 1863, aged one year, five months and 29 days. There is no record of Maria in the published cemetery records.

MOUNT STERLING: A village above Vevay, a good ways east of Alpha in Switzerland County, Ind. Many people of the Alpha area came from Mount Sterling, Ky., but, judging from Sarah's reference on page 71, it seems unlikely she was referring to that town that far away. It's even surprising that Sarah heard about the Morrison death in Indiana that same day.


. On Feb. 28, 1860, Sarah noted it was her 16th wedding anniversary.

. On Feb. 21, 1860, Sarah listed her children, noting that Oliver William had "gone home."

. On Oct. 10, 1860, she recorded that she had had a baby and

. On Nov. 19 she and James named him Charles Lincoln. Sons Grant and Willie, who were born during the time Sarah kept the diary, first appear on page 84.

Sarah's diary showed how much Hoosiers valued good sermons. She mentioned the following preachers: Rice, Butler, Eastman, Hall, Hartley, Hiblin, McMahan, Miller, Morrison and Potts. "Eastman" probably was Buell Eastman, who lived in Jennings County. There were at least two preachers named Hicklin known to have been in the Jennings area somewhat earlier, which may account for the "Hiblin." The 1850 census of nearby Graham township in Jefferson Counry lists a Methodist preacher named John Miller, 48, from Kentucky. Perhaps he was the John Miller who married Polly Whitesides in Jefferson County in 1824.

On page 96 of Morgan's Raid by Allen Keller, published in 1961 by Bobbs Merrill, is a story about Reuben Rice, a Methodist preacher and noted Abolishionist in Graham Township of Jefferson County. Keller wrote that the raiders made Rice kneel and pray for Jeff Davis and the Confederacy.

. Sarah noted she turned 31 on Feb. 21, 1859.

. Sarah's first mention of real political problems was made Nov. 17, 1860.

. Sarah quoted prices on pages 47, 53, 54, 74, 87.

. When Sarah mentioned a battle in Missouri on page 53, she probably was referring to the one at Wilson's Creek.

. Sarah mentioned a brawl between sesch and union men on page 56.

. On page 67 Sarah mentioned subscribing to a newspaper for 75 cents for six weeks.

. Sarah heard cannon firing July 9, 1863, celebrating the surrender of Vicksburg, Miss., July 4. When she heard firing July 13, 1863, it heralded the arrival of General John Hunt Morgan and his Confederate cavalry; beginning that day, she recorded her impressions of that famous raid.

. Sarah mentioned on page 74 that James joined Vanpelt's Company and went to North Vernon to drill. This apparently was a six-month-enlistment regiment of the regular army but James seems never to have served in it.

. When Sarah mentioned being "black," she meant that she favored the Black Republican wing of the party. Sarah was not Negro.

. Sarah's opinion of the weather Jan. 1, 1864 was shared by James W. Spear's cousin, the Rev. W.E. Spear, who lived a few miles north of Sarah. Rev. Spear published a Spear family history in 1906. On page 117, he wrote: "On the historic cold night, the first day of 1864, I was in a meeting, in an old dilapidated log house, near the Pilot knob. It was cold enough to freeze the horns off a muley ox."

. Sarah locked James out April 1, 1863.


Letter to the Vernon Banner published Oct. 18, 1860: Vernon, Indiana, Oct. 3. Will you please observe the rule for correctly spelling the name of the stream around Vernon? It is M U S C U K U T U K - soft Indian sound, and in English means, "Mud River". This I learned from John Conner, deceased, late of Connersville, Ind. who was with the Indians many years, and was one of the government Indian agents of Indiana for many years. Do spell the name always in future as above, so as to give the Indians pronunciation. [signed] John Vawter. [Editor's note: Vawter was one of the area's first settlers.]

When Sarah mentioned "camelite" or "camelot" meetings, she likely was referring to religious meetings espousing Campbellism. William Phillips, brother of Brannock Phillips, was a circuit rider in Kentucky and an editor and writer with the Western Christian Advocate. In 1837 the Methodist Church collected his polemic writings and published them in a book entitled Campbellism Exposed: Strictures on the Peculiar Tenets of Alexander Campbell.

Notations of Nov. 21, 1861: Bob Haefner points out that Sarah likely took the blanket to sell but that she brought it home, meaning nobody bought it.

On Sept. 19, 1861, Sarah mentioned copperas, a green vitriol, a form of ferrous sulphate. It's extracted from iron pyrite--rich nodules, which was used extensively in the textile and metallurgical industries and for a number of other purposes. In metallurgy it was a key ingredient in the production of nitric acid (aqua fortis) and sulphuric acid (oil of vitriol) from which chlorine was produced. Chlorine was used as a bleaching agent in the 17th and 18th century textile industry while copperas itself was used as a dye fixative for woollens. Additional uses of copperas included printers ink, a tanning agent for leather and in the manufacture of gunpowder.


James Bovard served in Company K, 120th Indiana Infantry March 12, 1864 to July 10, 1865. He never rose above private. He was in the Atlanta campaign, but his regiment did not march to the sea with General Sherman. Instead, the 120th fought at Franklin and Nashville, Tenn., then was transported east by steamboat and railroad to rendezvous with Sherman's armies in North Carolina. After Sarah died, James married her widowed sister-in-law, Maria (Byfield) Young. James died Oct. 19, 1889.

Sarah Bovard died Oct. 31, 1888. She and James are buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery three miles east of Crothersville, as were many of their friends, such as Newton Phillips, Emeline Phillips, James Spear, Wesley Spear and William Spear.

Oliver William Bovard died Nov. 11, 1857 at 12 years, 8 months and 6 days old. He is buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery.

Marion McKinley Bovard is remembered as the "founding president" of the University of Southern California. He served from 1880 until he died in 1891.

Maria Jane Bovard married Lloyd Griffith.

Abner Sinclair Bovard lived in St. Joseph, Mo., where he died Aug. 16, 1922.

George Finley Bovard was fourth president of the University of Southern California, serving 1903-21. His son Warren was USC's controller and in 1927 became a school vice-president.

James Carvossa Bovard, the often-ill youngster whom Sarah fretted so about, died July 20, 1864. He is buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery.

Morton Ellsworth Bovard beame a farmer and died Oct. 16, 1945. He is buried in Abingdon, Ill.

Ulysses Simpson Grant Bovard became a state bank examiner, died Jan. 25, 1940 and is buried in Dupont, Ind.

William Sherman Bovard graduated from the University of Southern California and Boston University. He was a minister and is said to have become a vice president of the University of Chattanooga, then president of Moores Hill College. He died Sept. 16, 1936 in Sierra Madre, Calif.

The Bovards are well-remembered at USC, where the Bovard building is the administration building. In 1912 the baseball field was named Bovard Field. Nowadays, though, it is usually called Dedeaux Field in honor of the school' s longtime baseball coach. Tom Seaver and Fred Lynn are just two of the many major leaguers who played regularly on Bovard Field during their college days at USC.