Although her memoir sounds happy, the Craven family story is a sad one. Eusebia Craven was born in Decatur County in 1846. Her father was Hermon James Craven born in Indiana in 1816. Her mother Nancy Miller was born in Ohio in 1820, and was living in Hamilton County, Ohio in December 24, 1841 when they were married. Eusebia’s parents lost one baby, Thomas J. Craven at 8 months of age in 1849. The cause of death is listed as flux (diarrhea). Mr. Craven died in January 1856 when Eusebia was just 10 years old. Seven months later in August her brother Hermon James, Jr. died at the age of 1 month. Nancy Craven had been barely pregnant when her husband died.
|Gravestone of Hermon Craven at Sandcreek Cemetery|
|The baby boys deaths are marked on the second side of the Craven stone.|
Eusebia had another brother, Martin who died at age 11. His gravestone states he drowned. In fact, it may be that she describes his drowning in her story. His death date is listed as December 19, 1864. It would be easy to see that he could have been the boy carried away by the “ice flood” in her memoir. Eusebia was educated at the Baptist Institute at Indianapolis, graduating in 1866 at the age of twenty. She may not have actually been there the day her brother drowned.
After the death of her father, Eusebia’s mother Nancy was married again in July 1864, to a man from Shelby County who had lost his wife. James W. B. Tisdale was a Baptist minister and had a daughter named Susan who was just the right age for the Craven girls. One can imagine that the girls attended the same school and that they met the Tisdales in that way. Rev. and Nancy Tisdale continued to live in Decatur County on the Craven farm located adjacent to the Sand Creek Cemetery. The 1870 census lists James- age 60, Nancy age- 48, Eusebia Craven- age 23, Susan Tisdale- age 21, and Elizabeth Craven- age 18. Lizzie died in the fall after the census was taken.
|The third side of the Craven stone lists Martin and Lizzie. Note that drowned is shown on the stone.|
The census of 1880 shows Nancy Tisdale and Eusebia Craven living together with two boarders, James Young and George Young from Scotland. These fellows probably helped on the farm. Reverend Tisdale had evidently died. Nancy Tisdale lists herself as widowed in 1880. I can find no trace of Susan Tisdale after 1870.
Happiness seems to have visited Eusebia in 1890 at the age of 54 years when she married Reverend Samuel Stimson, a well-known Baptist minister. She was his third wife. They lived at the "pleasant, old fashioned home near Greensburg, surrounded by tall and stately trees" which her husband her husband named “Cravinia Lodge”.
Rev. Stimson was twenty years older than Eusebia. They were only married for four years when the Reverend died of “neuralgia of the heart”. Newspaper articles stated he was mourned by many.
In 1898, Eusebia’s mother died at the age of 78 years, leaving her as the only surviving member of her family.
|Nancy Craven Tisdale's name is incorrect on the fourth side of the Craven stone|
Eusebia Craven Stimson died in 1935 at age 89. Her memoir published in this blog had been written when she was aged 87.
|Reverend Stimson has a nice commemorative stone probably provided by his church|
Here is another piece of information about the Craven ancestry from this source -
The parents of Mrs. Stimson were prominent citizens of Greensburg, and a brief sketch of their lives will be of interest to the readers of this volume. Herman James Craven was born in Oxford, Ohio, December 10, 1815, his family being of English and Irish descent. Thomas Craven, the paternal grandfather, lived near Philadelphia in colonial days, and with his two sons took an active part in the Revolutionary war. Thomas Craven, one of his sons, was born near Philadelphia, found his way west and from Pittsburg floated down the Ohio river on a flatboat, landing at Cincinnati, then a small village. From there he went to Franklin county, Indiana, where he remained a short time, after which he entered and settled upon a farm near Oxford, Ohio. He had been for many years a teacher and preacher, and when forty-five years of age entered Miami University, completing the course of study five years later. Dr. Scott, the father-in-law of ex-President Benjamin Harrison, was at that time a professor in the university. In his early life Mr. Craven adhered to the faith of the Presbyterian church, but afterward united with the Baptist denomination, and to that church he devoted his earnest efforts for many years. He led a busy, useful life, being constantly engaged in doing good. He was an old-line Whig, with strong anti-slavery convictions, and the crowning act of his life was the founding of the Eleutherian College, in Jefferson county, Indiana, where students, without regard to race or color, could be educated together. He died at that place in 1860, when sixty-eight years of age. His wife was Rebecca Selfridge, and they had ten children.
Herman J. Craven, father of Mrs. Stimson, was reared upon his father's farm, near Oxford, Ohio, and when thirty years of age removed to Decatur county, Indiana, and purchased a farm of more than two hundred acres, one mile southeast of Greensburg, on the old historic pike. This land had few or no improvements, but with the thrift and industry which characterized his entire life Mr. Craven began the task of clearing and cultivating the place and continued his efforts until it became a productive and valuable farm. He began life without capital, but acquired a handsome fortune and became an influential and honored citizen. In those days the labor that devolved upon the farmer was much greater than it is at present, from the fact that there were no railroads and all products of the soil had to be hauled by teams to market; and the nearest market to Mr. Craven was Cincinnati.
Mr. Craven was very active in church work, both at Sand Creek and in Greensburg, where he served for many years as deacon and in other official positions. He was a leader in and liberal supporter of all religious and philanthropic movements in the neighborhood. Like his father, and indeed all the members of his family, he was a pronounced anti-slavery man and was one of the most willing workers on the "underground railroad," a term scarcely understood by the present generation. By this arrangement slaves who escaped from their masters and were successful in reaching a free state were passed along at night from the home of one anti-slavery man to another until they could enter Canada, after which they were safe. It required a bold and courageous spirit to thus defy the law of the land and render oneself liable to its penalties by aiding the poor blacks; but Mr. Craven was fearless where right and duty to his fellow men were concerned, and many a poor, trembling fugitive had cause to bless him for his chance to become a free man. He did not live to see the downfall of slavery, his death occurring in 1856; but it was the never ceasing protest of such men as he that bore fruit in the Emancipation Proclamation.
Mr. Craven was married to Nancy Martin, who was born in Hamilton county, Ohio, near Cincinnati, and they became the parents of five children, but all died before reaching maturity with the exception of Mrs. Stimson.