15 May 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Thomas House

19 AUG 1825 - 13 FEB 1894
Buried Monmouth Cemetery, Root Township, Adams County, Indiana

**THOMAS H. HOUSE, farmer, residing on section 12, Root Township, was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, August 19, 1825. He was reared on a farm, and remained at his birthplace until 1850, when he went the overland route to California, in company with four companions. They started March 10, and went by water to St. Louis, at which place they bought their outfit - team and wagon, etc. At Salt Lake their provisions became exhausted, and they stopped there and worked a while until their supplies were replenished. Before they crossed the Nevada Mountains they again ran out of provisions, and traded a span of horses for twenty pounds of flour, which lasted them until they reached California. They landed in Sacramento, where they engaged in mining for a few days, but their success was so poor that they went to work for a contractor and builder, who was building a levee on the river. The contractor left suddenly, and they were left without their pay. About that time the cholera broke out, and when it was at it's height one of Mr. House's companions died with it. He himself was also striken with it and was sick three months. He was taken to the hospital at Sacramento, and all supposed he would die. He has no recollection of being taken to the hospital, or of anything that occurred for some time. After his recovery he again went to work in the mines, but the young men who had accompanied him had gone away and left him to his fate. He followed mining with varied success, and brought away with him about the same amount that he carried with him. He was absent about two years, returning by the Isthmus. While on a steamer it sprung a leak during a violent storm, and they ran into harbor. He landed in New York City, then went to his home in Pennsylvania, where he remained six months, then went to Ashland County, Ohio.

June 30, 1853, he was married to Susanna Shaffer, who was born in Ashland County, March 25, 1835. Her father, Peter Shaffer, was born in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and died in Ashland County, Ohio, in 1882, aged seventy-nine years. He was formerly a Methodist, but in later life was an Allbright, and lived the life of a Christian. His wife, Sarah (Black) Shaffer, was also born in Cumberland County, and died in Ashland County, in 1841, when Mrs. House was six years old. She was also a Christian woman, being a member of the Methodist church at her death. The father of Mr. House, John House, was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, where he died in 1833, when his son Thomas was eight years of age. He was a school-teacher during his mature years, being partially crippled by a white swelling. The mother, Susan (Hagan) House, was also born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, where she died when Thomas was two years old. Thus was our subject left at an early age to depend upon himself, never experiencing anything of home influences. Mr. and Mrs. House have had five children, two of whom are living - Angeline, born May 16, 1854 is the wife of Hiram W. Smith, and is living in Allen County, Indiana; Josephine, born February 14, 1856, married J. D. Stultz, and died July 18, 1886; Theodore, born July 16, 1858, died September 7, 1861; Elizabeth, born September 13, 1862, died March 27, 1863; Morton E., born September 10, 1866, was married to Miss Emma Brown, December 26, 1886.

Mr. House is a Republican in politics and himself and wife are members of the United Brethren church. His grandfather, Thomas House, was born in Germany, as was also his grandmother House. They immigrated to America and settled in Washington County, Pennsylvania, where they both died on the farm they first occupied. Mrs. House's grandfather, Charles Shaffer, was a German by birth, and died in Washington County, Pennsylvania, on the farm where he first settled. The grandmother, Charlotte Shaffer, also died in Washington County. Mr. and Mrs. House came to Marion Township, Allen County, in the spring of 1854, settling in the woods, where he lived about three years. He built a log cabin an cleared about forty acres of ground which he had bought. He sold this farm and rented three years in Allen County, then bought his present farm in 1859, which was partially improved. The farm is now in an excellent state of cultivation. He has a good frame house and frame barn. January 29, 1862, Mr. House enlisted in Company E, Nineteenth United States Infantry, and served three years. He was in the battles of Pittsburgh Landing, Mission Ridge, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, going to Atlanta with General Thomas under General Sherman, and returning to Lookout Mountain, where he was discharged. He was taken prisoner after the battle of Chickamauga while acting as teamster. He was taken up by General Wheeler, and was soon paroled and went to Nashville, where he remained until he was exchanged. Mr. and Mrs. House are rearing a grandchild, Bertha May Stultz, who was born December 3, 1881. She is a child of their daughter Josephine.

**Biographical and Historical Record - Adams and Wells Co. Indiana Lewis Publishing Co. Chicago, IL 1887

No page listed
Headstone photograph - Jim Cox, Ft. Wayne, Indiana 2011

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