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Prouty Families

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Links - Clark, Essley, Gordon, Mannon, McCormick, Noble, Poffenbarger, Pullen. Myers, Levi Willits, Sloan, Beard; Cutler's History of the State of Kansas Web Site (includes several Prouty sketches in Harvey County)

Contacts - Maryann Johnson - Andrew B. Noble & John Murray Prouty Families. Many thanks to Maryann Johnson for providing key Prouty information for this page. Terry Gilbert helped us with Harry B. Prouty. Jamie Paul sent us Findagrave information on Prouty burials in Kansas. We have heard from Sharon Dolan, a descendant of Susan Summers Prouty who answered our question as to whether Susan was a Dix (she was not).

Henry Wallace and Elvy Mannon Prouty

In 1933, Henry Wallace Prouty of Cedar Nook Farm, Hesston, Kansas, filled out a "Genealogical Record of Early Settler" for the Newton Chapter of the DAR in Harvey County, Kansas. This record includes information from Mannon and Prouty family bibles and tells us a great deal about these families of New Boston Township, Mercer County, Illinois. Henry Wallace Prouty married Elvy Mannon, daughter of Cyrus Mannon, July 23, 1871, at New Boston, Illinois.

Henry Wallace Prouty was the 7th child and 6th son of Amos and Mary Lucia Stone Prouty of Vermont, Massachusetts, Mercer County, Illinois, and Harvey County, Kansas. The parents of Amos Prouty were James Prouty, Jr., and Huldah Whitaker Prouty. Amos was born 12/21/1815 at Marlborough, Vermont. He married Mary Lucia Stone 7/28/1835, at Spencer, Massachusetts. Amos had a brother William Prouty, born 8/29/1807 who also went to Mercer County.

In the 1840 census the two Prouty brothers and their families are listed in Township 14N, Range 5W in Mercer County. One is the family of Amos & Mary Stone Prouty and the other is the family of William and Lydia Hall Prouty. Amos and Mary have three boys, under 5, and William & Lydia have one girl, 5-10. Amos's three boys were Amos, Jr., William H., & Simon H. Amos, Jr. died in 1850 and is buried in New Boston Cemetery. William's daughter was Sarah.

In 1842 Amos & William Prouty served as appraisers for the estate of Isaac Willits. Amos served as executor of Samuel Mills' will in 1851 and as administrator of the probate of John Furgison in 1865. In both cases he was acting as a friend and not as a relative. Additional participation in public life and the trust of neighbors is shown in Amos Prouty being elected a Commissioner of New Boston Township (no date given per History of Mercer County 1882).

Both Amos and William were serious farmers. William Prouty took several prizes in the Sixth Annual Mercer County Fair held in November 1859. He had the best 1/2 bushel turnips, the best display of vegetables from one farm, the best peck of beans and the best hedge. At the annual meeting of the Mercer County Agricultural Society, January 24, 1860, Amos Prouty was elected Treasurer.

Several Prouty's served in the Civil War - more after family information.

William and Lydia Hall Prouty Family

According to the History of Mercer County 1882, William Prouty was born August 29, 1807 (agrees with Bible record) in New Hampshire. His wife was Lydia Hall Prouty, born February 9, 1813. Lydia Hall Prouty is found in New Boston Township in 1850: Lydia Prouty, 38, born Ma; Sarah, 18, Mass; Wm. Marcy Prouty, 8, born Il. Curiously William Sr. is not with them.

In the 1860 census, we find William & Lydia Prouty living some distance away from Amos. Their son, William M. Prouty, age 18, is still at home. Their daughter Sarah married James Monroe Willits, son of Levi and Rachel Fields Willits, on 6/17/1850, and in 1860 they lived just a few farms away from William and Lydia. There are 9 Willits children in the household, a heavy responsibility for a young woman of 28. Sarah was the second wife of James Monroe and five of the children are from his first marriage. In the 1870 census there are still ten Willits in the family including Courtney Willits, age 3, added since the 1860 census. Sarah A. Prouty, wife of James M. Willits, is buried in New Boston Cemetery. Dates given are: April 30, 1832-December 5, 1895.

The History of Mercer County states that William & Lydia's son, William M. Prouty, lived in Mercer County all his life, except three years spent in Kansas from 1869 to 1873. William M. Prouty married Nancy J. McCormick, daughter of Allen & Martha McCormick on November 19, 1863. Two of their children were born in Kansas: daughter Sarah, born & died September 4, 1870, and son Omri T., born March 16, 1872. Mother Lydia may have gone to Kansas with them as she is not in Mercer County in 1870.

William and Nancy are found in 1880 in New Boston Township: William M. Prouty, 38, born Il, farmer, parents born Ma; Nancy J. Prouty, 39, born In, parents born In; Willie M. Prouty, 16, Il; Mathias F. Prouty, 11, Il; Omri Prouty, son, 7, Ks; Harry B. Prouty, 6, Il; Walter Prouty, 4, Il; Charly Prouty, 2, Il; Anna Kate Prouty, 8 mo, Il.

William and Nancy's daughter, Anna Kate, married John Fred Sloan, son of Levi and Jennie Baugess Sloan. They are found in 1920 in New Boston: Fred Sloan, owns a general farm; Kate, wife; Murry, son, born North Dakota. They also had a daughter Mable Prouty Sloan who married Frederick Beard. There is a photo of Mable and Fred Beard on the Beard page, courtesy of descendant Melisse Trentz.

William and Nancy's son Harry B. Prouty married Grace Maude Gilbert, daughter of Rollin and Melvina Gordon Gilbert sometime after 1900. They are found in 1930 in New Boston: #9 H. B. Prouty, own home, radio yes, 55, married age 25, born Il, father Il, mother In, farmer; Grace, 52, married age 21, Il, Ia, In; Melvina Gilbert, mother-in-law, 73, widow, married age 24, born In, mother born In, father born Ohio.

There is a curious conundrum concerning this family: William M. Prouty's marriage to Nancy McCormick is documented as occurring November 20, 1863 in Mercer County. Then there is another marriage record for William M. Prouty to Celia Bartlitt on March 16, 1887 in Mercer County. Celia Bartlett was daughter of Edwin and Adriana Bartlett. We are uncertain whether this marriage applies to William M. Prouty, Sr. or to William M. Prouty, Jr. In either case, Celia A. Bartlett, born December 1857, is living with parents Frederick and Adriana Bartlett in Aledo City in 1900. She is listed as Celia A. Bartlett, single. Also in 1900 W. Murray Prouty, born December 1841, is listed in New Boston Township with wife Nancy, born June 1841, with Nancy showing 8 children born, 7 living. William, Sr. and Nancy are also still together in the 1910 census. We would then guess that Celia Bartlett was married to William M. Prouty, Jr. We find him in 1900 in Eliza Township, living with his brother Charles and they are both single. It would then appear that Celia and William Jr. had separated or divorced. In 1910 Celia is listed as Celia Prouty, married 20 years, no children born, living with her mother Adrianna Bartlett in Aledo City. Then she is listed in both 1920 and 1930 as Celia Prouty, widow, living with two of her sisters in Aledo City. We do not find a death record for William M. Prouty, Jr. to verify that she had married him and that he died between 1910 and 1920. William Prouty Sr. did die between 1910 and 1920 but he was still married to Nancy McCormick in 1900 and 1910. If anyone can shed light on this we would like to hear from them (see email on About Us page.)

We do not find a public land record for William Prouty, Sr., but his son, William M. Prouty, did acquire land in Mercer County: S/2SW Sec 22 and S/2SE Sec 21 in New Boston Township (See New Boston plat map).

William and Lydia Hall Prouty are buried in New Boston Cemetery: William Prouty Feb 1807-Dec 17, 1863; Lyda Hall, wife of William, Feb 2, 1813-Dec 8, 1876. Son William M. Prouty and wife are also buried in New Boston Cemetery: William M. Prouty Dec 15, 1841-Feb 10, 1913; Nancy J. Prouty June 3, 1841 (no death date - which might indicate she is not actually buried there). Note the slight discrepancies in the tombstone dates of William and Lydia compared to the Bible dates. There is no way to say which is "correct." If records were entered in a family Bible many years after the occurence of a birth or death, they may not be exact. We have often found death certificate and tombstone information to be incorrect. People were upset at the time the information was given and made mistakes. Or helpful relatives took care of things and did not have the correct information. One of our living relatives has his birth certificate and his mother's tombstone gives a date of death five months before his birthdate.

Amos and Mary Stone Prouty Family

In the 1850 census Amos & Mary have six children: William H., age 11, Simon H., age 10, Mary E., age 8, John M., age 6, Andrew F., age 4, and Henry W., age 1. William H. Prouty's birthplace is given as Massachusetts, implying that the Proutys arrived in Mercer County just prior to 1840. Amos is age 35, farmer, no real estate owned, born Massachusetts, and Mary is age 33, born Massachusetts. Note Henry Wallace Prouty, age 1. Amos and Mary were determined to name a son Henry Wallace. There are two burials in New Boston Cemetery: Henry Wallace Prouty Dec 28, 1844-Aug 29, 1845 and Henry Wallace Prouty Mar 16, 1846-Sept 28, 1846. Fortunately the third Henry Wallace survived.

On April 17, 1851, Amos Prouty bought the SESE Sec 23, and the SW Sec 24, for a total of 200 acres in Township 14N, Range 5W. He obtained the land by warrant. The History of Harvey County (Kansas) tells us that Amos's grandfather, James Prouty, Sr., was one of the Minute Men who marched on Lexington April 19, 1775. It is this service that entitled Amos to warrant land in 1851, as an heir to a Revolutionary War Veteran. We do not find a DAR record of James Prouty, although other Prouty relatives have established DAR lines from Massachusetts.

During the 1850's Amos and Mary had five more children: Maria (died at age 1 month), Twins Lewis A. & Lois A. (Lois died at birth), Alice Jane and Lura Ann.

In the 1860 census in New Boston Township Amos & Mary Prouty are shown with children at home: John M., age 16, Franklin A, age 14, Henry W., age 11, Lewis A., age 8, Alice J., age 5, and Luria, age 3. Amos's son, Simon H. Prouty, established his own farm next door to Amos. He married Catharine Poffenbarger on August 2, 1858. In the 1860 census they have a daughter, May D., age 1. J. E. Huston, a teacher, is boarding with them. Son William H. Prouty is not found in the 1860 census in Mercer County nor is daughter Mary Ellen Prouty.

There were several marriages in the 1860's: John M. Prouty married Sarah Elizabeth Noble, daughter of Andrew & Vashti Sutton Noble, on 8/20/1865. Franklin Andrew Prouty married Ida C. Clark, daughter of James and Margaret Myers Clark, on 9/14/1865 (we will be putting up a Clark page). William H. Prouty married Calista Sophia Trask on 2/27/1867 in Toolesboro, Iowa (he was probably in Iowa at the time of the 1860 census.)

There is conflicting information about daughter Mary Ellen Prouty. Henry Wallace's "Genealogical Record" states she married Charles Black in February 1859. The lack of an exact date in the family Bible indicates that perhaps the family did not know the circumstances of Mary Ellen's marriage. A Kansas History says that she married first a Mr. Moore, who died in Montana, had three children, and then married again and had four children. All of this is quite vague. We do not find a Black or a Moore in Mercer County in the 1860 census with a wife Mary. We do find a marriage record for Mrs. Mary E. Black in Mercer County to Francis M. Moore on 12/21/1870. We suspect the Kansas History is reversed, that she married Charles Black in 1859 (perhaps across the River in Iowa), and then married Moore in 1870. More on this below in another Kansas history.

The Prouty families were all clustered in New Boston Township in the 1870 census. Frank Prouty, age 24, farmer, Ida (Clark), 24, and Opal, 4; Simon H. Prouty, age 30, farmer, Catharine (Poffenbarger), 31, Mary D., 11, Effie, 5; William H. Prouty, age 31, farmer, Calista (Trask), 26, Edna, 2; John M. Prouty, age 26, farmer, Sarah (Noble), 25, Ettie, 2; Amos Prouty, age 53, farmer, Mary, 52, Henry W., 21, Lewis, 17, Alice, 15, Lulu, 13. (Note Lura Ann as Lulu - census takers had a lot of trouble with her name - we are grateful to Florence Heath who signed the guest book for clearing up her actual name.)

There was a sudden rash of marriages in the Prouty family in July 1871: Henry Wallace Prouty married Elvira Mannon, daughter of Cyrus and Jane Myers Mannon, on 7/23/1871; Alice Jane Prouty married Clinton Pullen on 7/27/1871, and Lewis Augustus Prouty married Silvia Blanche Pullen on 7/28/1871. Clinton and Blanche Pullen were brother and sister, and children of Elias and Susannah Cunningham Pullen. The Prouty family was getting ready to move to Kansas. More from Henry Wallace Prouty on the trip to Kansas below.

Proutys in the Civil War

Amos Prouty enlisted in Company G, 27th Infantry, as sergeant on August 20, 1861. He was discharged on September 25, 1862 as disabled. The History of Harvey County, Kansas(Cutler's History linked at top of the page) tells us that his first battle was also the first battle of General Grant, and was also General McClernand's first, on November 7, 1861, known as the Battle of Belmont. Son William H. Prouty enlisted in Company G, 27th Infantry, on August 13, 1862 and was mustered out June 17, 1865. No mention is made in the Adjutant General's Report (Illinois) of his being taken prisoner, but in an affidavit he wrote for John Franklin Essley in Kansas in later years, William stated: "When I was taken prisoner November 30, 1864 at Franklin, Tennessee, Essley was in good health...When I returned home at the close of the war I met him..."(An Essley page will be added). Amos's son John M. Prouty enlisted in Company G, 27th Infantry, on January 5, 1864. Sylvanus Atwater, in a letter to the Aledo Weekly Record written March 20, 1864, from camp at Louden, East Tennessee, mentions among others, that recruit John M. Prouty had joined them. John was subsequently transferred to Company E of the 9th Illinois Infantry (Consolidated). The Company was mustered out July 9, 1865, but John is listed absent, sick, at mustering out. An affidavit provided for him by John Franklin Essley states "During a skirmish near Calhoun Georgia in the spring of 1864, John M. Prouty was struck in the left breast by a musket ball which has remained in his body every since" (written in 1913). He also had chronic diahrrea, so typical of many returning soldiers.

The people at home made their contribution to the war effort as well. The Aledo Weekly Record July 9, 1861, reported that William Prouty and Mrs. Monroe Willits (William's daughter Sarah), had sent a coop of live chickens to the sick at Camp Pope in Illinois. For more on the Civil War era in Mercer County, see Part 4.

The Trip to Kansas

Henry Wallace Prouty, in his "Genealogical Record" writes of the trip to Kansas: "H. W. Prouty and wife left New Boston, Mercer County, Illinois, Thursday, August 3 at 6 p.m., 1871. Crossed the Mississippi river on a ferry boat and camped after traveling a few miles in the heavy bottom timber close by a school house and ate our breakfast. Amos Prouty and wife headed the procession of covered wagons (10) and 2 boys on horses driving several fine milk cows so we had all the milk we could use and some to spare. Mother Prouty had an old fashioned churn in the wagon and it was filled part full of milk every morning and the gait of the wagon churned butter during the day. Music was provided in camp by a violin, clarinet, and cello. We did not aim to drive far in a day and camped near a good supply of water found. Our outfit was called the Prouty Colony. During the long hot journey which consumed the most of the month of August there were no serious mishaps or sickness. We arrived at our destination August 29, 1871 and camped on Section 10 on the middle Emma Creek 6 miles north west of Newton. I homesteaded the southwest quarter of section 20, Township 22 Range 1 west--what is now known as Emma Township. Our farm on which we have lived continuously since 1871 and raised a family of 3 children was registered several years ago as Cedar Nook Farm. We first lived in a claim shanty of rough boards and in 1880 we built a good 3 room house, then later we built a front addition and still later in 1926 we built a modern bungalow 30-46 with basement and furnace, hot and cold water pressure tank bath and toilet, electric lights, frigidation and electric stove, 100 barrel cistern and electric pump in well. All costing $5500. I taught several terms of school and singing school in early days which helped to keep us out of debt for which we are very, very grateful."

Several other Mercer County families went to Harvey County, Kansas, about the same time. The draw was a Military Tract set up in Kansas where a Union Veteran of the Civil War was allowed a 160-acre homestead grant and was allowed to deduct his service time from the five years of settlement required under the regular Homestead Act. And the Prouty family had the added draw of nephew William M. Prouty's Kansas experience beginning in 1869.

Cutler's Harvey County History tells us more of the Prouty family. The wagon train consisted of seven families named Prouty. This included Amos and his six sons, William H., Simon H., John Murray, Franklin Andrew, Henry Wallace, and Lewis Augustus. Three daughters were in the train as well: Alice Jane Pullen, Mary Ellen Moore, and Luria Prouty who married Frank Streeter in Kansas December 25, 1878. This History names Mary Ellen as Moore and says they moved to Montana. Lura Prouty Streeter later also moved to Montana. Her son Floyd Streeter wrote several historical books including "The Kaw (Kansas River)." Alice Jane's name is given as Moshier in the History so she might have remarried??? Another Kansas History says she married George Moshier, had one son and lived in Oregon. We don't know why she is not shown with husband Clinton Pullen in 1880 in Kansas (perhaps they divorced?) The sons apparently stayed in Harvey County.

An interesting item mentioned in the Harvey County History is that four of the Prouty boys had a dance orchestra known as the "Prouty Band," which had played for some of the leading dances in Illinois. This agrees with Henry Wallace's account of instruments played on the prairie at night, drawing nearby homesteaders to listen and dance.

The Harvey County History adds more information about Amos Prouty's ancestors. It states his great, great grandfather was Richard Prouty of Rodmarton Hall or Manor near Bristol, England, came to America at age 14. He was a sergeant with the English colonists during the King Philip's War of 1675 and during his life held many offices of trust in the town of Scituate, Massachusetts.

We find the following Prouty families in the 1880 census of Harvey County, Kansas: Lewis A. Prouty, age 27, farmer, Sylvia (Pullen), 26, Bertha H., 7, Valla B. (f), 2, new unnamed infant, born May, Clinton Pullen, 29, brother-in-law, Lee Pullen, 6 (Alice Jane Prouty Pullen deceased, perhaps in childbirth??, or possibly divorced??) ; Next door, John M. Prouty, age 35, farmer, Sarah E. (Noble), 31, Etta M., 12, Grave V., 6; William H. Prouty, 41, farmer, Calista (Trask), 35, Edna, 12, Alice, 8, Emily, 3; Amos Prouty, 64, no occupation, both parents born Massachusetts, Susan, age 55, George Dix, 14, adopted son. There seem to be other Dix families nearby so adopting George was probably a choice since he had relatives in the area. According to Cutler's Kansas History Mary died Feb 2, 1877 and Amos married Mrs. Susan Summers 2/25/1880.

The marriage record of Amos to Susan is found in Mercer County and says Mrs. Susan Summers Hallowell married Amos Prouty 2/25/1880. We have heard from a descendant of Susan Summers who tells us that Susan married first to Alexander Cash; second to Achilles J. Hollowell; and third to Amos Prouty and that she is buried with Amos Prouty and his wife Mary in Newton, Kansas. See Miscellaneous Families for information on the Cash and Hallowell families in Mercer County.

In Emma Township, Harvey County, we find (263) A. F. (Frank) Prouty, 34, farmer, C. Ida (Clark), 33, born Illinois, both parents born Ohio, Opal 11, P. Renna, 8, (both born Illinois),Bertie, 6 (born Kansas). Next door to them is J. W. (William Jackson) Honeyman of Mercer County. (294)Simon Prouty, age 40, and Catherine (Poffenbarger), born Illinois, father born Virginia, mother born Maryland. William Angood (Augood?), 22, son-in-law, born Illinois, parents born England, is with them, as is his wife, their daughter Effie, age 16. Next door to them is daughter Mary's family: Landes D. Shiaffen, farmer, born Ohio, father born Pennsylvania, mother born Ohio. Landes and Mary have a daughter Katy B., age 1, born Kansas. (268) W. H. (Henry) Prouty, 30, farmer, wife Elvy (Mannon), 25, born Illinois, father born Indiana, mother born Ohio, T. Arthur, 6, and M. Nita, 1, both born Kansas. Next door to them is Elvy Mannon Prouty's mother Jane Myers Mannon and Elvy's Larrance nieces. Also found in Emma Township: E. F. (Frank) Streeter, 25, born NH, father born NH, mother born VT; Luria (Lura Ann Prouty)Streeter, 23, born Il; Nina Streeter, dau, 1, Ks; Alanson Edes,18, Il, farm hand. (Note the penchant of this census taker to reverse the initials of most of the people.)

Jamie Paul sent us information gathered from Findagrave about the children of Franklin Andrew and Ida Clark Prouty: Opal Lily Prouty Cummings (1867-1942) Spouse John A. Cummings (1860-1914) with children Gladys P; John A; and Morris V. Cummings. Orenna Pearl Prouty Kendall (1871-1925) Spouse Charles Kendall (1867-1945) and child Ruby I. Kendall (1890-1907). Bert J. Prouty (1874-1918) with spouse Bessie. Seven children: Frank, Opal, Joe, Thelma, Harry, Myria and Mildred. Bessie R. Prouty Stapf (1882-1955); Spouse Jacob Stapf (b. Germany 1880-d Ks 1969) with one daughter Orena born 1908.

5/22/2009 Added information on Susan Summers Cash Hallowell Prouty as a paragraph under Amos Prouty. We thank Susan Dolan, a descendant of Susan, for giving us information that solved the mystery about Susan.
5/2009 Removed the reference to Mrs. Susan Summers as possibly a Dix as a descendant tells us she was not; she was daughter of Abel and Nancy Sleeth Summers.
2/6/2009 Cleaned up the page format and added a paragraph about a marriage of Celia Bartlett to William M. Prouty (Sr or Jr?)
5/2/2009 Added Kansas Cemetery information on the children of Franklin Andrew and Ida Clark Prouty (courtesy Jamie Paul)