Monday, January 19, 2015

Joseph Chilson, Part Two, Baptist Minister

In yesterday's blog, I talked about my second great grandfather, Joseph Chilson, as a Civil War soldier.  I am proud of him for his service to his country but I am also proud of him for his service to his Lord as a Baptist minister.

He was ordained in Kansas, before coming to Fallbrook, San Diego Co., California.  I'm still looking for more information about this.  He arrived in Fallbrook about 1886.  Besides being a minister, he was also a carpenter and he helped to build Fallbrook's First Baptist Church in 1888 (pictured here).  This church stood in Fallbrook until 1968 when it was replaced with a newer brick structure.  I'm so happy I got to see it before they tore it down!

Joseph lived in Fallbrook most of the time he was in San Diego Co. but he also lived in Merle, a railroad village in San Diego Co., near Encinitas.  In 1890, he is listed in the business directory in Merle as Rev. Chilson, Baptist.  I'm not clear how long he served at this church but he did return to Fallbrook by 1894 and remained there until after 1905, when he still appears in the business directory.

Joseph moved to Los Gatos, Santa Clara Co. by 1908 and was still living there in 1911 when he was involved in a controversy at Los Gatos Baptist Church.  According to an article in the San Francisco Examiner, the pastor of this church was preaching socialism and progressive religion.  The members, including Joseph Chilson, who objected to this were asked to leave the congregation.  It was quite an uproar!  Apparently, Joseph did leave.  He moved, briefly to Campbell and then to San Mateo where he died in 1915 at the age of 77.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


Joseph Chilson and his wife Mary Elizabeth Cook

My second great grandfather, Joseph Chilson, son of Jonathan Alvord Chilson and Philinda Slack, was born 22 September 1838 in Chester, Geauga Co., Ohio.  He moved, with his birth family, a number of times to several counties in Ohio, then to Cass Co., Missouri, then to several counties in Kansas.  It was in Kansas that he met and married my second great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Cook, daughter of Oliver Hartwell Cook and Clarissa Quincy.  They were married on 1 August 1860 in Miami Co., Kansas.

Joseph Chilson served for the Union in the Civil War as follows:  He enlisted at Paola, Kansas on 15 August 1863 and began his service at Ft. Scott, Kansas on 26 August 1863.  He served in Co. F, 14th Kansas Cavalry under Col. Charles Blair and Capt. Albert F. Briggs.  The 14th Kansas was organized in the Spring of 1863 and, on the 20th of November 1863, moved from Ft. Scott to Ft. Smith, Arkansas, where it engaged in scouting, foraging, and picketing.  Then they moved to Choctaw Country and later returned to Ft. Smith.  Then they served in the Camden Expedition in Arkansas, Missouri, and Indian Territory.

Joseph began his service as a Private and later served as a Commissary Sergeant.  He became ill and was left at the hospital in Paola, Kansas.  After he recovered, he served as an Assistant Surgeon in the 16th Kansas Cavalry until he mustered out at the end of the war.

Joseph later moved to Fallbrook, San Diego Co., California, and was among the early settlers there.  He was a Baptist minister and served in San Diego Co. until after his wife died in 1899.  He then moved north to Los Gatos in Santa Clara Co. and then to San Mateo in San Mateo Co.  There he married Hannah T. Carson in 1908.

Joseph collected a pension for his military service and, after his death, his wife Hannah collected it until her death.  He died on 23 January 1915 in San Mateo and is buried in St. John's Cemetery.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


A 52-week challenge went out last year to genealogists to post one ancestor per week.  I didn't do it last year but thought I would give it a try this year.  Here is my post for the first week of 2015.

My fourth great grandfather, William SLACK, was born 21 February 1783, probably in Windham Co., Connecticut, where his parents were living at the time.  They were Christopher SLACK and Phebe (surname unknown).  He was baptized as an adult in Northampton on 23 April 1795.  He first married Hannah CASWELL (my ancestor), daughter of Jonathan CASWELL and Margery MARKHAM, who was born in Middlesex Co., Connecticut.  He died 3 September 1845 in Northampton, Hampshire, Massachusetts.

William's family moved to Northampton, Massachusetts, and William went on to Otsego Co., New York.  Hannah's family moved to Otsego Co., New York also and, I believe, that is where they were married on 13 April 1807.  They were living in Springfield, Otsego Co. and had four children there. Two died in infancy and Hannah died about 1812.  After her death, William returned to his family in Northampton with his two remaining children, Philinda SLACK (my ancestor) and Jonathan Caswell SLACK.

William married twice more after returning to Massachusetts.  He married Priscilla PELTON and then Nancy DAMON TORREY HALL, as her third husband.

William SLACK was a farmer, weaver and, according to town records, had a cider mill, as well.  He was a land owner and, eventually, his land went to his son Jonathan.  Here is the interesting thing I found out about him...  He was arrested as a grave robber!  The following item appeared in the Hampshire Gazette on 4 October 1837:  "Supreme Court:  In the case of the Commonwealth vs William Slack and J. (oseph) Kingsley from this county, which was an indictment for removing a dead body before burial, from Westhampton to Northampton, against the statute for protecting the sepulchers of the dead, the defendants were discharged on the ground that the indictment did not allege such facts as were material and necessary to bring them within the provisions of the law."  Apparently, they did remove a body but the court wasn't presented with sufficient evidence of a crime.  I certainly wonder why they moved it!!

Note:  The sources for this information and all other information on my family are available in my files.