A special thanks to:
Donald Owen Collver
David Jeffery Collver
Hurley Monroe Collver
Lorie (Loris) Wooden
Valerie Dyer Giorgi
GEN I - Edward Colver
GEN II - John Colver
GEN III - John Colver
GEN IV - John Colver
GEN V - Jabez Collver
GEN VI - John Collver
GEN VII - Gabriel Collver
GEN VIII - Alfred Collver
Orace Micheal Culver
Charles Clinton Culver
I started researching Collver lineage in 1986, and started this document in 1989. It has evolved several times as information becomes obsolete or expanded. I thought of writing a book, but several already exist and in particular I really like Colver-Culver Genealogy by Valerie Giorgi, she has written a fantastic book of over 700 pages, and has put a lot of work into it. I will quote parts of her work ( I hope she doesn't mind), to get all of it, I suggest you write to her and get her book, it is worth every penny (order information is in the Appendices). I have discussed with her colaboration on a new book as she has been flooded with new trees, she would like to do a standard hard bound, while I suggested a CDROM, as the costs would be far less as well as ease of distribution.
My interest in Collver family history occurred rather by accident. I had been transferred to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1983. While in a fit of boredom, I went to the genealogy center there, and I was surprised to find our relations baptized as Mormons. I soon discovered that this is a common practice in the Mormon Church to post baptize (ie: performed after death, whether they were Mormon or not). I contacted the name on the documents, a Loris Wooden (Daughter of Lylse Collver). She was extremely helpful by providing the initial material that I used in starting this project. Through her, I have made many contacts that have lead to people such as Don DuBois of Portland OR, Dick Collver of Bend OR, Valerie Dyer Giorgi of San Diego CA, and a whole slew of books and reference material on Collvers that I never knew existed. There are regular Collver-Culver-Colver family reunions, the two that I know, one is in Coos County, Oregon and the other is a National Culver/Colver Family reunion held generally in Connecticut. There are cities named Culver (Culver City, California, tv shows and movies are produced there) and private schools, such as the Culver Academy (they have a web site).
My initial research focused on Cuyahoga County, Ohio in 1810, as I was trying to firm up the connection of Gabriel Collver to Rev Jabez Culver of Canada. I was finally able to firmly establish that he was the grandson of the Reverend, and that made things a lot easier from that point. I'm still uncomfortable with the link between Jabez's father John and grand father John, as the grandfather was part of a commune and things get really fuzzy as who was begot by whom and a lot of cousins marrying cousins. I went to Schooleys Mountain, but the real records that need to be looked at are in the larger towns nearby, as the library is extremely small there. But I feel that there is sufficient data to accept the connection at this point. Where there are contradictions I will try to present both versions and I will continue to try to prove or disprove either version by continued research. A lot of information can be found in the most unusual places, little local historical societies and museums, genealogy sections at public libraries and local Mormon temples generally have libraries and computers. In fact most Mormon genealogy centers are extremely helpful and have a volunteer staff to help you get started.
In the process of doing this research that I have found myself asking "why did they leave this place, why the move westward?" So in this document you will find that I have put in peices of local or world history for that time period to give perspective as to possible motives.
About the spelling of our name.... Apparently the old English spelling is Colver and in New England Culver became the more dominant spelling. Any Similar spellings such as Collver, Colliver, Culiver etc... are generally from Colver. The name Collver seemed to take shape in the late 1700's with the Rev Jabez Collver. In looking at that period, it was difficult to pin down the names consistently. Colver, Collver, Colliver, Culver, Cover, etc.... but in tax records, the land-lot numbers remained the same. In Ohio in the early 1800's, there were two Culvers (Micheal, Martial or Marshall) and Gabriel. From Alfred on, it remained Collver, while his half brothers and sisters went with Culver.
In several resource books on names, they claim that the Culver name itself comes from the word "Dove" as in Covey of dove's etc. It had strong religious overtones as the Dove represents the Holy ghost(?). The name first appears with a Timothy Culver in 1334, more than that is not known. In Valerie Giorgi's book, she states that the Colver name is of Saxon origin and that we were of the landed gentry. She accounts for a William Culver of Herefordshire as being mentioned in the "hundred rolls" of the reign of King Edward I, in 1275. The founder of the Collver-Culver family in America was the Puritan, Edward Culver, who came to America from Southeastern England in 1635, and first settled in Massachusetts. There is some vague evidence that he may have been the son of either John Culver (born ca 1575) or Hugh Culver and possibly the Grandson of Rev. Edward Colver born ca 1550. At last count in 1969, there were 18,400 Culver's in the U.S. (all references to Collver and Colver are redirected to Culver). The original spelling from Edward was Colver, although other people wrote us as Culver in official documents. Since then, Culver has appeared to dominate. To speculate on motivations of Edward emigrating to the Americas , I will start off with a brief overview of England prior to his coming here, as this period in English history was very turbulent: England, The Colonies.
Generation I - Edward Colver/Culver
Edward Culver (Colliver/Colver) born 1600-1610, probably in the vicinity of Middlesex England near London. He came to America with John Winthrop Jr., son of John Winthrop, Governor of Massachusetts, in 1635, after Winthop Jr. had obtained the land grants for Connecticut from King Charles I. He may have came across on the Mary and John in 1635. Edward was a member of Massachusetts Bay Colony and was a signer of the "Covenant" on 20 Sep. 1636, a group that was formed to settle Dedham, ten miles up the Charles River. The town of Dedham was setup that you had to apply to move there and get approval from the council. They were very selective and ensured that the signers were of like religious views. According to "Colver-Culver Family Genealogy, Valerie Dyer Giorgi" he was a millwright and wheel wright by trade. He served in several of the earliest Indian wars of New England.
New England was populated by many Indian tribes, the main one's were the Wampanoag, Pequots, Narragansett, Mohegans and Nipmuc . The mighty Iroquois nation was to their west in New York (this included the Mohawks) and the Mohawks kept the New England tribes from uniting by playing the tribes off against each other. Thus there was a lot of border squabbles between the tribes and mutual distrust. The dominant New England tribe in the 1630's was the Pequots. The English would trade "barter" land from the local tribes, but wouldn't always immediately occupy it. The Indians would see that the land was not being used, so they would continue to grow crops and hunt the land. This led to a series of misunderstandings and the Pequots, who felt that the whites were arrogant and a threat to the existence of Indians in general, thus attacked the villages of Saybrook (in which Edward had just helped to build a fort there) and Weathersford Connecticut, causing the colonists to lock themselves in their newly created fort. Negotiations failed (apparently the English Settlers were rather arrogant in their dealings with the natives) and skirmishes occurred and emissaries attacked. This caused an uproar and the Pequot campaign was formed.
In a book called "The Pequot War", the reproductions of documents describing the events in John Masons hand are available. Major John Mason was appointed command of the expeditionary force as he had experience at war in Europe. Mason gathered 90 men and some Indians mostly of Mohegan and Narragansett lineage and took the force up a river (Mystic River?)in the general area of present day New London Connecticut. The march inland as described by Mason brings an almost comical vision to mind, as they were ill dressed and supplied for this mission and of course were unseasoned and largely untrained soldiers. Most of the men were new to America and didn't have much in the way of wood craft and they feared to venture far from their boats. But they happened on the main Pequot stronghold and burned it to the ground with many Men, Women and Children inside, forcing the Pequots to sue for peace.
Apparently Edward was noted as an Indian scout and was to supposedly had good relations with the Indians. According to Valerie Dyer Giorgi, he was sent by Major Mason to enlist the aid of warriors from Chief Uncas of the Mohicans ( I think he was chief of the Mohegans actually). He must have been successful as Uncas provided about 150 men.
He Married Ann Ellis (Elles) on Sept. 19, 1638 by the Rev. John Allyn. His Father-in-law John Elles was also a signer of the Covenant. In 1645, they moved to Roxbury Mass. and in 1650, he constructed a Grist Mill for Governor Winthrop (jr.). In 1653 they moved again, this time to Pequot (present day New London, Conn.), where he again built another Grist Mill. I believe the reason he moved, was because he received land grants in 1652 and 1654 in the upper Mystic River, for his earlier service in the Pequot War. He traded this lands for other land in the general area, closer to the town of Pequot. In about 1654 Edward built a water power grist mill at the head of the cove of New London which was in daily use until 1897, or perhaps later. Records also show that he was embroiled in some land disputes with the Winthrops over property boundaries which affected the ownership of one of the Grist Mills.Edward and Ann had the following children:
- John Colver, born 15 Apr 1640, Dedham Massachusetts.
- Joshua Colver, born 12 Jan 1642, Dedham Massachusetts.
- Samuel Colver, born 9 Jan 1644, Dedham Massachusetts.
- Joseph Colver, baptized 20 Sep 1646, Dedham Massachusetts.
- Gershom Colver, baptized 4 Dec 1648, Roxbury Massachusetts.
- daughter, born/died 21 Jan 1650 , Roxbury Massachusetts.
- Hannah Colver, baptized 11 Apr 1652, Roxbury Massachusetts.
- Edward Colver, born 1654, New London Connecticut.
- Ephraim Colver, born 1656, New London Connecticut.
The Connecticut Colony was still under Winthrop's control under the Massachusetts Bay charter. In 1662, Hooker successfully received a Crown Colony charter for Connecticut, thus severing control from Massachusetts. John Winthrop Jr. was asked to move to Connecticut with encouragement from his father and was elected governor. The colonies were basically on their own for a number of years due to the Civil War in England. Charles I was overthrown by Cromwell thus ending self rule (Charles I had dissolved parliament). The colony wisely remained neutral during this time and arrested people causing problems from either faction. Thus they retained power when Charles II ascended the throne.
The New England Colonies now consisted of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut and Rhode Island with Massachusetts being the dominate one. They were bordered to the south and west by the New York Colony with whom they had poor relations with due to the ambitions of its governor. The areas to the northwest were still dominated by the mighty Iroquois, chiefly the Mohawk tribes.
Many of the Indians in the region were chaffing under the imposed rule of the colonists. The colonists tried to convert many of the Indians to Christianity and place them in tightly controlled towns. They also imposed English laws upon them, and of course the Indians didn't understand most of them. The summer of 1675 Philip an Indian Sachem (Chief) was called upon to answer to authorities over a series of grievances and most notably the murder of a Christian Indian leader. Rather than face the stern arm of English law, he openly rebelled and attacked several villages South East of Plymouth. Other Tribes who had been facing similar circumstances also took the chance to attack.
To the English this was a rebellion of the Indians (whom they believed were subject to the crown and English law) over land rights issues, but to the Indians it was a matter of sovereignty and divine rights, thus they were fighting for a way of life.
The Indians gained the initiative and was destroying village after village and farm after farm. The whites would board themselves up in a stockade until help would arrive. Many times this came to late as the Indians would burn them out. The Indians had a habit (acquired long before the whites came) of cutting of the heads and hands of the enemy and putting them on poles outside the destroyed village as a warning. The Colonies quickly formed regiments to deal with this crisis but were quite ineffective as they tried to use European techniques of warfare, basically marching in columns and trying to bring volley fire on an elusive enemy. The accounts of the battles seem small in comparison to modern warfare, but the population of New England at this time was somewhere around 50,000. They did outnumber the Indians by almost two to one though, and of course they were much more organized.
Edward and his four sons, Edward Jr., Ephraim, Joseph and Samuel where listed as being soldiers during the King Philip Wars and the Great Swamp Fight. Records showed that either Edward or Edward jr. had been commissioned as a lieutenant.
The first big break came for the colonists on Dec 16, 1675 during the great swamp fight, near Triverton Rhode Island. A joint colonial expedition was setup in the late fall and put under the control of General Winthrop of the Plymouth Colony. They gathered on the shores of Rhode Island in what turned into the first big snow storm of the season. Supply was difficult and they were running short fast, so they decided to attempt to engage the Indians directly with over a 1000 men, before their supplies exhausted. With a captured Indian to lead them to the main fort of the Indians they struggled through the forests and bogs. The fort they found was massive and the colonists were surprise that the Indians were capable of building such a structure. Luckily the swamp was frozen and the soldiers could attack at an exposed corner of the fort. The battle raged for hours with many casualties on both sides. The commander decided that enough was enough and ordered the torching of the city. Many innocent women and children died with the warriors in this fire, but such was the nature of the war with the Indians, as they hadn' t show much mercy on white families until much later in the war when they were starting to lose.
The accounts of this battle and the subsequent lose of life of the wounded on the march back due to injuries and the bitter cold was tremendous. I find that if Edward Culver really fought in this battle, he would have had to been one rather tough old buzzard as he would have been somewhere between 65 and 75 years of age. But the population of that region was rather scarce and every able bodied man who could be spared was sent, plus his experience in the Pequot War probably ensured his participation in the war. But this battle was grim and treacherous, especially for someone of his age.
The ineffectiveness of the colonial governments due to infighting, finally turned around with experience and sheer magnitude of their dire situation. The war went for two years, meaning little farming was occurring and commerce ceased to exist. Families joined into fortified homes for protection and impressment of soldiers was occurring to raise an army. The Indians suffered as well, as they couldn't build any permanent villages, grow crops or hunt and fish in their usual places. The English in retaliation to the destruction of their farms would look for the food caches of the Indians, further worsening the situation. After sickness and famine took its toll, the Indians surrendered in droves. The prisoners were mostly sold into slavery by the Massachusetts and Plymouth Colonies, while Connecticut and Rhode Island imposed an indentured servitude for 10 years on their captives, to help rebuild the damage they caused. But the proud Indians of that area didn't make good slaves and would tend to run off for Northern and Western destinations.
One of the factors that lead to the defeat of the Indians was that the colonist finally found the right formula for battling the Indians. The famous Indian fighter Benjamin Church formed up a select company of troops that also consisted of captured Indians who swore allegiance to him. This group was responsible for the capture of many chiefs and even the wife and son of King Philip himself (they were both sold into slavery). He was the one who finally ambushed King Philip's party resulting in the chiefs death. It is interesting that the best Indian fighters happened to have the best relations with the Indians and treated them with great respect. At wars end, there was scarcely a family in New England that was not touched in some way by the war. As payment to many of the soldiers of this war, they were given land grants, as many men didn't wish to return to their burned towns and homes (of which there was many). Over 2000 colonists died in this war, which doesn't sound like a lot, but considering that of a population of 50,000, that would be around 4% died, not accounting for the wounded and maimed. The government set up a pension for those that were disabled from the war, mostly in the form of jobs (tax collectors in which they would receive a percentage) and patents.
It appears that in his old age he became a bit cantankerous and maybe a little senile. He was given a license to sell bread and beer. He died 1685 at Mystic River, New London CN. Ann died in 1682, also at Mystic. A monument was erected in honor of Edward and Ann in 1982 by descendants at the Wightman Burying Ground near Groton Connecticut. The original tombstones are there, but they are nothing more than large stones with the initials E.C. and A.C. engraved on them, church records verify the plots as theirs.
Colver homestead at Ledyard, CN.
Edward Colver and his wife Ann lived here on the farm called Chepadas (Intersection of trails), about 1664-1678. Edward may have spent his last days here and we are told that it is the oldest continually lived in house in Connecticut, occupied by Colvers, Culvers and Lambs for generations.
(Photo and by-line by Andrew Collver
24 Aug 1991, while attending the fourth
national Colver-Culver reunion).
Generation II - John Colver
John Colver was born April 15th, 1640 at Dedham Massachusetts and baptized Sept. 19, 1641. Died 1725 in Groton Connecticut. There is a conflict at this point, Myrtice's work suggests that he married Mary Winthrop, daughter of John Winthrop Jr. and lists the children. Don DuBois's work clearly states marriage dates and etc. to a Mercy Clark, daughter of James Clark who was also a Puritan. A couple of books made some reference as to John being married twice, first to Mary Winthrop and second to Mercy Clark. Most facts bear out Don DuBois, as the other articles were far too vague and had many inconsistancies on dates and ages.
John was a Rogerene, a sect that didn't believe in the no-work rule of Sabbath, no organized churches and no Doctors. They believed strongly in the separation of church and state. They were heavily persecuted and arrested on several occasions, which supposedly re-enforced their belief as their principles called for and encouraged martyrdom. Now if John had been married to Mary Winthrop, then it is possible she either perished (Life was quite difficult then), or her family being of such high and noble position in the Colonies, could have ended the marriage. Anyway, there is little to prove that they were indeed married.
The Children of John Colver and Mercy Clark:
John Colver born 1670.
Abigail Colver, born 13 Nov 1676, New Haven Conn.
James Colver, born 13 Jun 1679, New Haven Conn.
Sarah Colver, born 17 Mar 1681, Conn.
David Colver, born 1684.
As it was, Mercy Clark had left John Sr. on at least one occasion and lived with some relatives, but was forced to return to her husband under penalty of law.
King Charles II, in a move to strengthen his position in the European power struggle, provided patents for New Netherlands ( New York ) to his brother James, on the condition his must take them from the Dutch. He was successful and shortly after being named King (King James II), he provided land grants to his favorites, especially to a Sir George Carteret. Sir George through the colony administrator Colonel Nicolls, made land patents in 1664 to Puritans in a move to get English speaking people to settle the area. This area was named New Jersey in honor of Sir George's home of the Isle of Jersey.
Generation III - John Colver
John Colver II was born 1673 at Groton, Connecticut and married in about 1698 to Sarah Way, said to be granddaughter of Henry Way the Puritan. I cant actually verify that it was Sarah Way, as I have seen reference several times to a Sarah Long, daughter of Thomas Long and Sarah Wilcox. I tend to lean towards Sarah Long as being the true wife of John Colver. They lived in Groton CN, and he became a leader in the Rogerene faith. The Rogerenes were founded by John Rogers, son of James Rogers. James was an influential man in Connecticut in the area of New London. He occupied the home of John Winthrop Jr. who had moved due to his appointment to Governor. James was a baker and considered one of the richest men in the township. James (like Edward Culver) were involved in various legal disputes with the Winthrops over property boundary lines and water rights.
John Colver I, John Colver II and his wife Sarah, various Lamb family members and John Rogers were arrested on several occasions for disturbing the peace and various acts of religious acts of non-faith. They found themselves at odds with puritan laws and had been jailed and fined on several occasions. After the death of his father in 1727, they moved to Schooleys Mountain, New Jersey (by 1734), taking took a lot of family and cousins and friends. A large group of Lambs went as well. They apparently had a commune like place and were referred to as "Colverites" and their neighbors considered them to be odd. They stayed there for three years, then moved to Monmouth County, New Jersey for eleven years.
From the Newark N.J. Star Ledger of November 20 1955 in an article on Schooley's Mountain Springs:
It is said that the mineral spring that made Schooley's Mountain famous was discovered by a man named Joseph Culver in 1809 and it was he who sold a considerable tract of land to Joseph Heath.
It Makes me wonder who and what the Culverites were. I think I have heard of them but Mrs. Apgar doesn't explain what it is that may lie behind the name. "One Account" She wrote " dates the discovery of the springs by the Culverites in 1734. The Indians knew of the springs in the early days and tried to keep them secret from the white man.
Excerpt from Tercenary Days: History of Pleasant Grove A brief history of Pleasant Grove was written earlier this year by a young student from township school, Clara E. Haid. Her research and essay follows:
In 1732 the first religious body came to Schooley's Mountain from New London Connecticut. The group called the Rogerenes, had as their leader a John Coloer (Collver). The reason behind the Rogerenes move to a frontier so far removed from their original homes, was their desire to be free from religious persecution so that they could practice undisturbed their peculiar religious habits.
These people considered all days alike. They deemed it lawful to labor after worship on the Lord's day, and would sometimes even attend the service of the churches carrying their work along with them into the sanctuary. One description of their worship says:
To the meetings the women took their spinning wheels and stools. The men hats on, seated themselves upon the ground in rows opposite the women. Then came the solemn hush of the period of introspection, which often would be long and impressive. When some one was moved to speak the women would quickly uncross their hands and the men would unfold their arms, neither thereafter would be idle for a minute. The women applied themselves to knitting, sewing and spinning, the men went to basket making or some noiseless occupation until the speaking ended and the assemblage dispensed. Their house of worship was usually the "temple in the grove" a grassy slope in the shade of a cluster of venerable oaks leading down to the edge of a body of water.
In 1748 they returned to Schooley's Mountain, Morris County where John died, and was buried on Mrs. William Martin's place, Schooley's Mountain, New Jersey." He was a saddler ( a maker of saddles ) by trade.
The Children of John and Sarah:
Robert Colver born June 1713.
Generation IV - John Colver
John Colver III was baptized on July 7, 1700 at Groton Connecticut and was married to Freelove Lamb the daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth Lamb of Groton or Stoningham, Connecticut. He died about 1732-33 at Blackriver, Hunterdon County, New Jersey and was buried at the family cemetery near Chester, Morris County, New Jersey. There was several other Collvers and Lambs in the area and they apparently didn't ever live with his father on the Mountain, so it isn't clear as to whether he was a Rogerene as well.
He was a leather worker by trade (cordwinder, shoe maker) and had left little to his family. It is said that Freelove returned to Connecticut and her children were either raised by uncles or her father (As was the custom of the time).
Children of John and Freelove:
John Culver, born 1728, went to live with Maternal grandfather after fathers death.
Jabez Culver, born 19 Jun 1731.
Jonas/Jonahs Culver, born 1733.
Jabez Colver was born June 19, 1731 at Hunterdon County, New Jersey, He was married to Ann, who was born about 1740 and who died March 10, 1813. All their children were born in New Jersey. The family moved from Hunterdon County to Sussex County where Jabez owned considerable property. Colver Lake and Colver Gap in Sussex County are named for Jabez Colver. In the book The Loyalists of New Jersey in the Revolution it states that the Rev. Jabez Collver performed the marriage of a James Brittain and a Eleanor Butler in Knowlton, Sussex, New Jersey. James Brittain during the Revolutionary War was an officer of a Loyalist Battalion. "He (Jabez) was a Presbyterian Minister and Pastor of a church near Darkertown, New Jersey during the Revolutionary War, his sympathy was with the British. But due to his American influence and owning considerable real estate, he chose the bible rather than the sword and joined Washington's army as a Chaplain. Before and after the war he went to many areas and established new churches and would then move on once a regular one was installed."
When the new province of Upper Canada was organized, he traveled from New Jersey to Neward(Newark?) on horseback, to consult with Governor Simcoe as to terms of settlement in the new province. Canada was largely French and Catholic at this time, yet it was under British rule. Lt. Gov. Simcoe felt that if he were to encourage settlers, especially Protestant and Baptist ministers from the United States, he could change the make up of Canada to be more in tune with England. He brought in many of these missionaries under the condition, that he would over look the "Loyalty" issues (as the US had just thrown off English rule) if they would concern themselves with just religious issues and avoid the political ones. The missionaries agreed to this and it seemed to work pretty good. He was promised 600 acres, and 400 acres for each of his married children, and 200 for each unmarried child. They were the first pioneers to take a group of people into the Norfolk Canada.
In 1794 he went to Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada, and settled on lot 1-12, concession of Windham, and erected the first log house in the town- ship. Eight of his 13 children came with him. He stayed until his death in 1812. Today there is a memorial park to the Colvers where the house stood. It is built of native rock and the plaque reads:
This memorial built in 1941
serves to honor and perpetuate
the memories of:
Rev. Jabez Culver
and the families, pioneers of
Norfolk County in the closing
decade of the 18th Century
It was erected by their descendants, and by them presented to the Norfolk Historical Society. The triangle stone above the plaque for many years marked Rev. Jabez Culver's grave in old Windham cemetery. Much of the land around Simcoe, Ontario, Canada is still in the Culver name.
A son Nathan (b. 1764) died leaving a son Jabez B. Culver (b. 1789) who was adopted by the Rev. Jabez. This is a good place to pick up the trail as apparently the direct descendants of Jabez B. still live in Windham, Ontario Canada.
1763 to 1791, were very critical periods in US history. The revolutionary war started in Massachusetts in 1775 and ended at Yorktown Virginia in Oct 1781. It took another two years before an official peace treaty was signed. The colonies had formed into a loose federation with power at the state level and a weak central government. The Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia in Sept. 1787, with the signing of the Constitution. It wasn't until May 1790 before hold out states such as Rhode Island and North Carolina ratified it (under extreme pressure).
It is unclear at this writing, as to why the Rev. Jabez moved his family to Canada, apparently a lot of people who were sympathetic to the British (Tories) took Gov. Simcoe up on his offer. So it could be he was under local pressure to leave or he just wanted the chance to do continue missionary work. Other possible explanations are: an outbreak of Yellow Fever in Philadelphia caused a panic and sanitary conditions in the older cities were getting pretty bad. Another interesting note, the US and Britain were close to war at that time, in fact President Washington ordered troops into the Ohio ( Then called the Northwest Territory) area to crush Indian resistance and to force a withdrawal of British troops from various forts like Fort Detroit.
At the end of the Revolutionary the Tories that left the former Colonies were given land in Canada, equal to the amount they lost. If Jabez had been a Tory, wouldn't he have headed to Canada in the early 1780's and not wait until 1793? He was considered by other Canadians to be a "Late Loyalist" which was a name given to people who migrated to Canada after the offer of free lands were given.
In the "The Long Point Settlers" there is an entry: "recorded 15 Jun. 1798 - From a principle hath ever been strongly attached to the British Crown and Government; suffered such persecution and loss in the time of the late American War; In order to favor an idea or intention entertained by the loyalists of Sussex County in the Province of New Jersey in or about the month of Jan 1776 to erect the royal standard in the said County of Sussex, subscribed his name in writing too an enrollment under John Petit, who was nominated as an officer of a battalion to be raised for that purpose; hopes that the said John Petit had a legal authority to take such enrollment; proofs adduced, not sufficient to entitle the petitioner to be entered on the U.E. list. But the council is perfectly satisfied that the petitioner has been firmly attached to his majesty and the constitution of Great Britain, and the quantity of the land given to him in a larger proportion than has been extended to others of his condition is proof of their sentiments in his favor.
The U.E. mentioned above was the United Empire Loyalists and he was denied membership as there was too little proof. But they closed by saying that they felt he was "enough" of a loyalist to receive preferential treatment in land grants. He was also slow to take an oath of allegiance to the Crown, which was preventing him from receiving a license to be a pastor. During the war of 1812, some of his nephews and grand children were brought up on conspiracy and treason charges. So was he a Tory, or merely opportunistic?
There is also accounts from various sources that document that both American and British forces used the "Collver House" at Turkey Point in Long Point settlement as a headquarters for their armies. John Collver is listed as a petitioner for compensation for war damages caused by both armies. In some of the letters a British officer writes about the bad behavior and looting by both American and British troops.
The Children of Jabez and Anna:
Ebenezer Culver, born 1756.
Phoebe Culver, born 1757.
Ann Culver, born 1759.
Jabez Culver, born 1760.
Freelove Culver, born 1762.
Nathan Culver, born 1764.
Aaron Culver, born 1766.
John Culver, born 1768.
Hannah Culver, born 1770.
Micheal Culver, born 1772.
Gabriel Culver, born 1774.
Griffith Culver, born 1778.
Benjamin Culver, born 1780.
Apparently it was Jabezís son John (b. 1768) and wife Miriam Culver, who were the first white people to build and settle in Norfolk Canada. John and his brothers Jabez (b. 1760), Aaron (b. 1766), and Gabriel (b. 1774) were married to four daughters of Timothy and Sovereign Culver ( Rev. Jabez and Timothy were first cousins.) Miriam, Anna, Elizabeth and Martha Culver respectively. Apparently this event occurred while still in New Jersey. In New Jersey in 1793 by James S. Norton, he lists a John Colver in the Sussex County Militia ( roster number 36 ) whether this is this John or another, is unclear. A short description of his journey describes the young couple walking through path- less lands and warding off wild beasts, as she carried a baby in her arms. He lived most of his life in Ontario, Canada, but is believed to have re- turned to New Jersey in 1834 and died there. His wife Marian or Merriam was born 1772 and died 1852 in New Jersey. John Culver was a preacher but never assumed the duties of regular pastor. He was a poet, and in 1828 wrote a volume of Hymns, which were published as the Upper Canada Hymn book. He was said to have been a bit eccentric and in his later years devoted himself to Universalism, which was some form of religion.
Their children were:
Micheal Culver b. 1784, New Jersey.
Gabriel Culver b. 1793
Darius Culver b. 1798, Ontario Canada.
John Mark Culver, Ontario Canada.
Hiram Culver, born 1815, in Ontario Canada.
Rhoda, Sarah, Mary, Elizabeth, Miriam(Marian), Dorcas, Susanna.
John's son Gabriel (b. 1792, d. 8 April 1849) was born in New Jersey, as an infant during their move to Canada and it is said that he was carried there in his mothers arms. He was issued the degree of master mason by his lodge, No. 26 at Townsend in Upper Canada, May 18, 1815, then was said to have moved to America with his sister Elizabeth ( From my limited understanding of the Masons, I wonder if the Gabriel achieving Master Mason was more likely his Uncle Gabriel as this Gabriel would be only 23 years old). Various Collvers were charged with treason during the war of 1812, and some of them had to prove their loyalties by oath or by their actions, for example Rev. Jabez Collver had to take an oath of loyalty to the crown and renounce his American citizenship. Apparently several Collvers did leave for the states because of this, but whether Gabriel was one of them was unclear.
After the war of 1812 and various Indian wars, the US Government offered land at extremely cheap prices to get people to settle in Ohio and Illinois, to counter the British influence of the region. Gabriel, having been born in America, he may have retained his US Citizenship ( or citizenship wasnít important then. ) and moved to Ohio to take advantage of the new policies. The crux of these new policies was the treaty of Ghent. Ohio in particular had been hard hit by these wars, and little or no immigration or expansion occurred there until the signing of the Treaty. The period of 1816 through the early 1830's was a boom cycle for the frontier and especially Ohio.
Gabriel appears in Cuyahoga County Ohio, in the Township of Warrensville, in which is located south east of Cleveland and is near the shores of Lake Erie and due south of Norfolk Ontario. Also a Marshall/Micheal Culver appears by examination of land and census records about the same time.
He married on 3 April 1819 to Philura Brown daughter of Peleg Brown, a prominent figure in early Warrensville. According to the book "history of the Mc Intosh Family" located at the Eva Brook Donly Museum in Simcoe, Ontario, Canada, Gabrielís sister Elizabeth married into the Mc Intosh family and in a letter she mentions her brother Gabriel as having married Philura, Daughter of Peleg Brown and had a son Alfred. Upon cross-checking for alternate Gabriel Collvers, I ran across a branch of Collvers from upstate NY, but not a Gabriel Culver, but if he had been a young man, his name would not appear anyway as they only listed the name of the head of family and not the children. From what I understand about names in the early to late 1700's, Gabriel was not an extremely common name for puritan descendants, as they tended to use biblical names (i.e.: John, Paul, etc...) but not the names of Angels and other holy persons (i.e.: Jesus) as they considered this rather tactless.
Gabriel was considered one of the earliest residents and was elected to the board of trustees in 1818, 1822, 1824 and 1830, as was his neighbor Beckwith Cook. The northern part of the Township had a small community of Shakers, who operated and sawmill and a grist mill. Apparently there was also a community of Quakers as well, but the majority of the county was Protestant and Methodist. Iím guessing by saying this, but he was probably one of the latter as the Quakers and Shakers largely kept to themselves and since he was active in local affairs, he was probably not one of those two groups. Philura Brown apparently passed away, some sources say in childbirth with Alfred, but the facts donít bear this out. He re-married in 1829, and he already had 3 children by then, this is also supported by the 1820 and 1830 census:
1820: MALES FEMALES occupation farming 10 and under 16-26 16-26 Over 26 1 1 1
1830: MALES FEMALES slave free-color under 5 6-10 11-15 16-30 31-40 under 5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-30 24-36 36-55 1 1 1   1 1     1 1 1 1 -------------------------------------------------------- 1820: MALES FEMALES 10 and under 6-26 16 - 26 Occupation farming 1 1 1 --------------------------------------------------------- 1830: MALES FEMALES slave Free-color under 5 5-10 10-15 30-40 under 5 15-20 21-30 24-36 36-55 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ---------------------------------------------------------
If Philura was born in 1797, then she would be 33 in the 1830 Census, and if she died in childbirth with Alfred (1819), then why would a 16-26 year old female be in residence (his future wife Brazilda(Berzilda?) would only be 11 years old in 1820) Now lets get a little bold with the census figures for 1830. Lets say that Philura died in the birth of the 3rd child Emily in 1827, then Gabriel would need a nanny to care for the children , thus: female slave 24-36 and free colored female 36-55. He marries Berzilda which accounts for the 21-30 female in the census.
Gabriel re-married to Brazilda(Berzilda?) Rosalin Cook (b. 1810) daughter of Beckwith Cook on 7 July 1829 and it assumed that she is the mother of four more children in Ohio. There is talk of a Cornelius Collver born in Iowa in different charts, so he is a little hard to verify.
The late 1820's were an interesting period of expansion and also heralded the arrival of the Mormons to Ohio. The articles written then spoke of numerous persons that left the township, having been "taken by the Mormons". Joseph Smith passed through that area and started communities and set up a large one in Missouri, I believe. Also either Warrensville, or one of the neighboring townships, was credited with having the first Mormon Temple.
A canal was put into Lake Erie from a nearby River and a fever caught on as Cleveland was going to be a big port town and land prices jumped and over spending and borrowing started to occur. The federal government had been selling land on credit , which also spurred over expansion. In 1832 Andrew Jackson took office and by 1835 had dissolved the federal bank which popped the economic bubble. The government was also cashed strapped and changed it's policy of cheap credit to cash only for land transactions, and when people tried to sell their lands, the value became seriously depreciated and many foreclosures followed. Thus almost every single business in the township (as well as the frontier) failed and went into bankruptcy.
Cuyahoga County had no industrial base at that time, and the land was not self sufficient for agriculture, thus a mass exodus of people left Ohio for points west. The economy did not recover until 1840-41, the older states werenít hurt as badly as the frontier states, as the established families had more equity in their land unlike the frontiersman. Many families through out the frontier banded together and went as trains. The Culvers, Rices and Cooks formed a train in 1839 and headed for Iowa.
The Three families traveled together to Iowa, and many of the sons and daughters of these families married each other after reaching Iowa and some of the parents as well, Beckwith Cook married Mary Rice (the mother of Ruth Rice, Alfredís wife) and Gabriel married Brazilda(Berzilda?), the daughter of Beckwith Cook. Gabriel is mentioned several times in Cedar County documents, most notably he was a juror in the murder trial of a young woman who was acquitted of killing her child by exposure to the elements. He died 8 April 1849 and is buried at the Virginia Grove Cemetery, Cedar Co. Iowa. It appears that Rosalin re-married and she is also buried in the Virginia Grove Cemetery. In the 1850's many of the Collvers, Cooks and Rices, packed up again and headed for Oregon. The descendants of Alfredís brother, Orace Collver stayed in the area as he appears several times in histories of the county and court documents in the latter 1800's.
The Children of Gabriel and Philura and/or Brazilda(Berzilda)
Alfred Bainbridge Collver, born 12 Dec. 1819, Warrensville Ohio.
Orace Micheal Culver, born 14 Jun. 1821/3, Ohio.
Emily Culver, born 1827, Ohio.
Darius Culver, born 1830, Ohio.
Charles Culver, born 1832, Ohio.
Hiram Culver, born 1834, Ohio.
Orrin Culver, born 1837, Ohio.
Cornelius A. Culver, born 1844, Iowa.
Alfred Bainbridge Collver (Culver) (b. 12 Dec. 1819, Warrensville Ohio) His mother Philura Brown supposedly died in his childbirth, and his father remarried to Brazilda Rosalin Cook. It is unclear as to whether she passed away at Alfred's birth or at the birth of a later child. The family left Ohio in 1839 and moved to Tipton Iowa. He met Ruth Rice (b. 29 Oct. 1827, Matua Ohio) on the wagon train to Iowa and were married 13 Jul. 1845.
He purchased lots from Carl George and K. Vanderburgh in June of 1849. The deeds showed that he owned over 100 acres and that certificates were signed by President James K. Polk. It is interesting to note that he also bought land from a John and Emily Vanderburgh, his sister was Emily and was married to a John Vanderburgh, so it is a good bet that was his sister and brother in law. The Federal Census records of Sept. 1850 showed Alfred and his family living at Center Township, Cedar County, Iowa, and apparently lived next door to his brother Orris (Orace) Culver. It also showed he was a farmer with a real property value of $800.
In the will of Gabriel Collver, there was a glaring absence of Alfred in the will. His father in law, Beckwith Cook and Alfredís brother Orace (married to Lucy Ann Cook) are listed as the executors of the estate. Orace was placed as legal guardian of the younger siblings.
Their first born daughter, Mary Philura (b. August 16 1846) died in 1849, reason unknown, but since Gabriel died the same year, maybe there was a connection, possibly an influenza?. After the birth of their daughter Henrietta (1848) and son Ansel, (July 15, 1850), Alfred must have started to plan to go across the Great Plains of America. The reasons for going farther west are not known, but some sort of family falling out may have taken place as suggested by Orace being listed as executor of Gabrielís will. Or it may have had to do with the fact that Alfred and Ruth were traveling with Ruthís parents and many of her natural and step siblings. He may have used the proceeds of the will and land sales for the trip as the preparations were expensive, and materials had to be selected with great care. The lives of the entire family depended on good durable equipment, and an adequate amount of food. At last all was in readiness, and the family set out for the Great Oregon Country. Their children were 1 and 3. Alfred sold 15 acres back to Carl George in 1851. They left in late spring 1851
NEW STUFF that I havent embedded yet:
The train consisted of 10 families and possibly 38 individuals.
1. Beckwith Cook and Mary Rice with three children.
2. Seley Mansfield Cook and Nancy B. Rice with three children(one born enroute)
3. Joel B. Cook and Mary E. Rice with one child.
4. Alfred B. Collver and Ruth Rice with three children( Adelia Was born in enroute ).
5. Linus Bushnell and Lucinda Rice with five children(one born enroute).
6. Hoarce Rice and Eliza Bolton with one child.
7. Abraham Cutlip and Harriet E. Cook.
8. Absalom Bolton and Olivia Bolton ( cousins )
9. Daniel Bolton and Elizabeth
10. Henry B. Smith and Sophia A. Cook with two children(one born enroute).
Many of these families are related to each other through marriage.
Beckwith Cook was the wagon master.
Mormons wanted a tithing and Beckwith said no, that they were only wintering.
The Bushnells and Hoarce Rice separated at Bridger Wyoming and onto Fort Boise, pushed on to the Dalles and Oregon City.
The rest went to Salt Lake City or Provo.
and were late getting to the Rockies. Ruth was expecting another child so they wintered in Provo Utah. The next spring they were again on the trail in an Oxen Drawn covered wagon, arriving in Oregon.
In Alfredís youth the Oregon Territory was under joint control of the British and US, with the only inhabitants of Oregon until 1838 being fur trappers for the Hudson Bay Company. Next came the missionaries followed by the settlers. The Hudson company and the missionaries were against forming a territory government, but not so the settlers. They had visions of statehood, but were successfully blocked unless they could get more settlers to come there. They actively went out to advertise Oregon and recruit wagon trains to come there. They espoused the riches of Oregon and its ample farmlands and as a result large wagon trains headed out and was dubbed the "Great Reinforcement". They were able to tip the balance at next meeting and force the issue to be a US territory and set up a government. Washington started a new policy of issuing donation claims to fuel the westward expansion to the Oregon country to guarantee US control over the area.
Iowa and Missouri became jump off points for westward expansion, and many families that came across the plains stayed at one of the two places for a short while. Life must have been hard in Iowa (The winters especially) such that Oregon sounded as a much better alternative. Salt Lake was another popular point on the Oregon trail, as the trail split off North to Oregon and south to California. It was also a wintering site before attempting a crossing of the deserts and mountains to the west. When Alfred arrived in Utah, the Mormons had been there only three or four years, but it was said that the Mormons treated the family very well. Adelia Emily Collver (b.17 Jan 1852) was born in Utah.
Accounts of the travels of the Rices and Cooks as they headed for Oregon (They left Iowa at about the same time) mention a lot of hardships and death along the Oregon Trail. I donít have anything in particular on Alfredís journey unfortunately as his diary was destroyed in a fire in Empire City (Coos Bay) Oregon in the late 1800's.
In 1852 they arrived in the Portland in a caravan of about 50 wagons. A man offered to trade Alfred 640 acres of land (in what is present day East Portland) for the 28 oxen that he had driven in. He was going to sign the papers the next morning, but there had been a frost. He decided to push on southwards instead, in search of a warmer climate. Supposedly he had a relative in the area of the Dalles, but this is uncertain, but is possible because the Rices and Cooks also headed west. He also had brothers or sister that headed west, but it is unclear where they went.
They settled on a donation land claim near Looking Glass Valley, ten miles southwest of Roseburg Oregon. The certificate showed that they settled the claim certificate 291, on August 31, 1852, 321.07 acres, on sections 10 & 11 T27S, R7W. Donation claims were very popular about then, as an incentive to get people to move west. It was like homesteading, in which you could lay claim to so many acres, as long as you agreed to live on it and produce a certain quantity of produce from it.
They had settled on land that had been previously occupied but abandoned. In turn he sold the land to the Fourneys, and the land was there after referred to as French Camp. The Williams were their neighbors and their daughter Clara later married Alfred's son Andrew.
According to the Peterson-Powers book, Alfred is mentioned along with Lionel Bushnell in the diary of John Alva Harry. He indicates that in 1854, He explored the headwaters of the Coquille and in 1856 they formed the Coquille Guard for the Indian war.
Son William Albert Collver was born May 14, 1855 at Sitkum, an Indian Fort during the 1855- 56 Indian War, near Melrose area of Douglas County. Apparently the original family homestead stood as late as 1954. According to Myrtice Collver, Alfred on his way to the grist mill, became separated from his party while being chased by Umpqua Indians. Now supposedly he ended up on the Rogue River and worked his way up the Coast to Coos Bay. Now this was a long journey, and a rather difficult one too. It is true the Rogue Indians were fierce, and the Coquille were a bit rough as well. I believe the Umpqua were warlike as well. The Coos Indians however, were a rather peaceful group. It is said that Alfred came across what was then one of the first homesteads in Marshfield, and he decided that he like the place so much, that he decided to move there. Let's take a little historic perspective here and review a little of Coos and Curry county history.
The first major white party to visit the south coast of Oregon, was the Jedediah Smith expedition in June of 1828. It consisted of 18 men and 300 pack animals, and they moved up the Oregon coast trapping for furs. They encountered many of the tribes along the Coast, but were largely unharassed. The area from Bandon to Coos Bay in what was later called Seven Devils, was virtually impassable, and they were only able to travel a couple of miles a day. When they reached the Umpqua, they were attacked by Indians there and only three men escaped, one of them Jedediah Smith. The Hudson Bay Company recovered the furs and supposedly punished the Indians, although there was speculation they had put the Indians up to it, to drive off American trappers.
In June of 1851, the unsuccessful "first" settlement by Captain Tiechnor of Port Orford, resulted in the fight at Battle Rock, the party escaped to the Mouth of the Umpqua where a fort was located. Teichnor tried again that same year and six months later troops "Dragoons" were sent from Benecia California to provide protection. The ship carrying the Dragoons, "The Captain Lincoln" ran into a storm and beached at the North Spit of Coos Bay. The rescue parties from Roseburg and Winchester were suprized by the land in Coos Bay and set about to raise a company to settle it.
The Community of Jacksonville (near Medford) at that time was frustrated with lack of markets for their goods. So they pushed for opening of the Coos and Coquille Rivers to provide them with a seaport, and thus access to San Francisco. They fostered the settlements of Coos County by encouraging people to move there and giving it an image of a land of plenty. A sort of fever broke out over Coos Bay and a number of people gave up their claims and headed for Coos bay.
By 1855, a war broke out with the Indians along the Rogue River. A group of settlers calling themselves a militia, attacked a settlement of Indians west of Jacksonville Oregon, killing many innocent women and children. Chief John was outraged and swept through the valley, wiping out many homesteads from Table Rock, Applegate and Galice. The Indians had the advantage in the first few months of the war, but the settlers organized and formed militia units from places as far away as Portland, Salem, Winchester, Roseburg, Marshfield, Jacksonville and Gold Beach. It seems as though most adult males during that time served for at least one campaign, which was about three to four months in length, then were discharged.
They wore the Indians down in a series of short but violent battles. Coos County was largely spared the wide spread bloodshed that Curry County endured as every single homestead was burnt to the ground. The Coquille Indians were not very violent, but of course the locals formed a militia and attacked the Indians encampment near present day Bandon Oregon. A unit was formed in Coos Bay and a contingent was sent to help the people of Coquille. At the end of the war, all the Indians were gathered from the south coast and put onto a reservation on the Umpqua. The Umpqua, Coosus, Coquille and Tatuni never received an official treaty with the US Government and they eventually drifted away into extinction.
Alfred settled his claim in 1852 then was said that he blazed an Indian trail into the head waters of South Coos River and brought in the first Dairy Cattle. This comes from several sources, but they cant agree on the dates, which range from 1853 to 1857, most sources agree that he blazed the trail, brought the cattle in the early 1850's then brought the family in 1857. He apparently purchased the cattle in Roseburg and drove them over this trail.
My hypothesis is that he was blazing the trail, brought in the cattle, while leaving the family in Looking Glass. He fought in the 1855-56 Indian wars leaving the family at Fort Sitkum. After the war he brought the family to Coos River. This is based on the birth data on William Albert and an 1878 land grant received for military service in the 1855 and 1856 Indian War, issued by the government.
The herd consisted of Durham cows, which formed a large part of the cattle population and was later bred with Jerseys. The land was purchased from James Gordon and was later sold by Alfred to become the R.G. Rooke farm at the forks of Coos River. I think research of the 1855-56 war may clear some of this up, but material is rather scarce and review of the muster sheets, he hasn't appeared in any of the rosters of the troops from that period. The date on the deed for service coincides with when Congress actually got around to paying people for their service (It took almost 20 years). It could be that the deed was transferred to him by another person who served (It was common for people to sell their land grants) or he actually performed service but it wasn't documented, another although unlikely possibility is that he falsely obtained the land. If he did serve, did he serve in one of the Roseburg, Winchester, or Coos Bay troops?
An interesting distant relative was living near Alfred in the Medford area at the exact same time. Samuel Culver, he was a prominent figure in the early settlement in Oregon. He was born and raised in Ohio at about the same time as Alfred, then went off to fight in Texas. When he came back he moved onto Oregon South of Medford in a the town of Phoenix. He settled what is now the oldest home in Jackson County, and what is known as the Culver house. It served as a fort during the Indian War and as center of activity for the local community during peaceful times. He was apparently a rather eccentric character who liked to make up short rhymes, limericks and such, and read them to all that would hear (whether they wanted to hear it or not ). He served as Indian agent for a short time prior to the 1855-56 Indian War and was a holder of a large amount of real estate. His only son was fatally wounded by a neighbor over a case of mistaken identity. He himself died a mysterious and violent death... He was found drowned along the Rogue river after riding out alone. He was known to have some enemies and there was rumor of land swindles, but nothing was ever proven.
Coos Bay was indeed a land of plenty, it was very difficult to starve there around that time. The lakes, rivers and Ocean were loaded with fish, the shores with shell-fish. Due to the annual rainfall in excess of 100 inches a year, there was lots of brushes containing berries and edible roots which in turn feed a lot of Deer, Elk and other wild game. The Indians that lived there were very peaceful and were well fed, and many had never traveled more than 10 miles from their village, as everything they wanted was near by. The climate was cool and mild, very few frosts thus ideal for dairy farming.
According to "A History of Coos and Curry Counties", Alfred came to Coos River in 1853, bringing the first dairy cattle with him. Thus his herd was to have great impact on the later Famous Dairy cattle of Coos County. It is said that he purchased the Cattle in the Willamette valley before coming to Coos County. Why Dairy cattle? The region in Ohio that he came from was also a dairy center, so maybe he had a familiarity with it? It is said, Alfred brought the family over 4 years later from Looking Glass in 1857.
The September 13, 1860 Census shows the family living at Empire Township, Coos County, Oregon, occupation laborer, Real property $0 and Pers Property of $1500. A homestead certificate 2187 recorded in 1862, shows lots 2, 3 and W 1/2 of NW 1/4 section 11, T26S, R14W, totaling 152.12 acres in Alfred's name.
The first Church (United Brethren) on Coos River was helped organized by Alfred as well as helping to organize the first public school in the county, district #1 on the Coos River. The school was located where the Coos River cemetery is now situated. It was a one room school with forty pupils. School lasted for the three months of summer. By 1906 the school term was six months. A deed was recorded on January 28, 1867 for a mortgage of 902.87, the note was "fully satisfied" on February 1, 1871. The June 15, 1870 Census again shows the family at Empire Township, Coos County Oregon. Did the census people just place the people to the County seat as Empire was at the time, even though they lived up Coos River? The census showed that they had Real Property at $7,000 and Personal Property at $2,500 and his occupation was farmer. A series of deeds show Alfred buying and selling land with in the same year in and around Marshfield. This occurred from 1874 to 1878.
From "Coos Bay, the pioneer period 1851-1890", by Stephen Dow Beckham comes the following article:
Alfred B. Collver, a pioneer of Douglas County who moved to the lower reaches of the South Fork of the Coos River in 1857, was one of those who contributed to agricultural development in the region. On his ranch, the former James Gordon homestead, Collver planted the largest orchard in Coos County. Within 8 years of planting his orchard, he was ready to market his fruit, and, if necessary, to devise methods of getting it most adequately to the consumer. Collver initially considered constructing a Plummer Fruit Dryer on his property so that he could dehydrate his apple crop and pack it for shipment. That he needed some special assistance in the pre-refrigeration era was evident. In 1874, his first year of the harvest, Collver shipped 7,000 boxes of apples to San Fransico. His neighbor, Anson Rogers, had shipped out 2,500 as well.
By the fall of 1876 Collver had purchased the Alden patent for a fruit dryer and commenced construction of a four story building on a hillside on his ranch just below the mouth of Daniels Creek
Alden Fruit Drying plant owned and operated
by Alfred Collver 1876 (900Kb)
His purchase of the machinery and patent rights for it use put Collver not only in the forefront of fruit drying methods but brought an agent of the Alden firm to Coos Bay to superintend construction of the building and the installation of the machinery. So well did Collver's fruit dryer work that it enabled him to capture much of the processing business for fruits and vegetables grown in the area. By 1877 he had become an agent for the Alden dryer in southwest Oregon and offered to establish a plant in the Coquille Valley "on reasonable terms" for the orchardist who ventured to become a fruit processor and shipper. IN 1877 Collver's production was 4,000 boxes of apples; he received 67 1/2 cents a box. During the year he estimated his overall fruit output at 250 tons, most of which he prepared for market in his Alden Dryer. He sold the dried fruit to retailers for 16 cents a pound.
The house pictured here was built
by Alfred's son William Albert
and sits directly in front of the
location of the original house,
which sat a little farther up
Collver disposed of his ranch, dryer, apple house, and orchards in the early 1880's to a William A. Luse, son of Henry H. Luse of Empire. Luse, who was deeply involved in steamboat and steam tug transportation on the bay, did not devote himself to the continued development of fruit drying and production on the ranch.
Hurley Collver, Alfredís grandson related that Alfred lost a large shipment of fruit, about 7,000 boxes to a shipwreck of the N. California coast, as this was his major income for the year and there wasn't insurance, he was forced to borrow from William Luse against the factory. Another tragedy a couple of years later occurred when a barge of fruit on its way to the ship, upon exiting the mouth of Coos River was swamped by high winds and waves from the North West. It wasn't until several years later that another load was lost, putting Alfred into financial jeopardy, thus Luse foreclosed on the factory. The ranch and orchard were sold later to Mr. Rooke. The Orchard consisted of over 1,200 fruit trees.
In 1878, Alfred received a deed from the US Government an assignment from James Jordan for military service in the Rogue River of 1855. It totaled 188 acres and another deed for 44 acres. He in turn mortgaged the property. In July 7, 1880 Census, it shows the family living at Coos River Precinct, Coos County Oregon, and again as a farmer. In 1884 Alfred and Henrietta (his daughter?) moved from the Coos River area down to the lower bay at Catching Inlet establishing homesteads (T26S, R14, Section 11 or 23??).
The 1900 Federal Census shows Ruth Collver age 72, as head of household and renting a home in Marshfield and living with a couple of the Grandchildren. Alfred and his sons worked a homestead at South Bay near Williamís Pt. which is now a state wildlife refuge. Apparently they lived apart the later 10-15 years. It is rumored that she said that she would not go another step west, and refused to move to South Bay. At her age, it was probably not to wise to live the rough pioneer life. It was also about then that Sarah died and she cared for a few of the younger Grand-Children. If they were estranged, it is unknown, but if they were, then divorce was probably out of the question as it was frowned up in the "Victorian" society of the late 1800's and early 1900's. Apparently Henrietta did move out to South Bay with her father and brothers. Apparently both Henrietta and William were extremely short and in fact considered Dwarfish. This may explain Henrietta's lack of a husband in an area notoriously short on avail- able women (but that of course is speculation).
I found the following in a book called "Coos River Echoes" located at the Pioneer Museum in North Bend OR.
ALFRED BAINBRIDGE COLLVER, of Scotch Irish descent, crossed the plains with his wife Ruth Rice, whom he married in Iowa in 1852. They first settled on a donation claim near Roseburg. Collver blazed an Indian trail into the headwaters of South Coos River in 1857. He then bought homestead rights from James Gordon. This land in now known as the R.G. Rooke farm. The patent which Collver received for the place bears the date June 15, 1864 and the signature of Abraham Lincoln. The patent which Collver received May 1, 1869 for adjoining 44.5 acres was by President U.S. Grant. A. B. Collver was a brother of Emily Vanderburgh, who came to the river area in 1865; his wife was akin to Chloe Harry Laird, who lived in Coquille valley.
Alfred was among those who helped organize the first public school in the county, in a district numbered 1, which was Coos River. He helped organize the first church (United Brethren) on Coos River. Over the blazed trail he brought some of the first dairy cattle to the lush valley.
Ruth Collver took pride in her Herb garden and often collaborated with Dr. Jonathon Hodson, also an herbalist, in caring for the sick.
Eleven children were born to the Collvers. The three youngest, Andrew, Howard, and Tillo, were born on Coos River. Philura died when she was two years old before the family left Iowa. A.M. resided in Forest Grove. Adelia (Mrs. Isaac Powell) lived in Tygh Valley; she had 10 children. Orace made his home in Crook County.
William Albert, born in 1855 in an Indian fort near Melrose, came to Coos River when he was two. He married Naomi Stiennon (Stiennon Creek; near Fair- view, was named for her father) and their children were Myrtle (Mrs. Roy Douglas), and Josephine who married Fred Messerle, a grandson of the Charles Eckhoffs who at one time owned the land which the city of North Bend was built.
John married Emma Armfield ( a sister of Mrs. Stambuck) and they had two children--Clarence and Lora (Mrs. (* From here, Iím missing the rest of the article *)
From Orville Dodge in "Pioneers History of Coos and Curry Counties (circa 1898) writes of the Collvers:
COLLVER, RUTH, (Rice) was born in Mantua, Portage Co., Ohio, Oct. 29, 1827, and her husband was born in Cuyahoga Co., Ohio. Dec. 12, 1819. They arrived in Oregon July 3, 1852, but came to Coos Co., and settled on Coos river, Aug. 7 1857. Her maiden name was Rice and her children are Henrietta, 49; Ansel M., 47; Adelia C., 46; Orace G., 44; Wm. Albert, 43; John T., 41; Sarah D., 38; Andrew F., 35; Arthur Howard, 31; Tillo M. Her Husband planted the first fruit trees ever planted in Coos Co., and also assisted in establishing the first school and church privileges, sharing his home with the preachers and all Christians who wished to gospel.
Hurley Monroe Collver commented that Grandfather Alfred was asked to input a chapter into the book, but he refused, as apparently there was a fee to do so, and he felt that since he was doing all the work, he should be paid, instead of paying. Orville Dodge's book consists of family essays in which people paid for to help finance the printing. Most of the crops at that time were potatoes and fruits, an entry in Orville Dodges Pioneer History of Coos and Curry County states "A.B. Collver shipped nearly seven thousand boxes of apples last year to San Fransisco besides what potatoes he sent from the south fork of the Coos River. The Collvers set up some of the first Fruit Drying Kilns for exporting fruit to San Francisco. The Dairy cattle were used for local consumption of milks, cheeses and butter. Ships would pull into port and load up on Lumber, potatoes, fruits and local food crops then head south. Apparently potato farming declined within about 10-20 years due to soil wear. The Collver Dried Fruit business went up in flames and was sold off, as was the Cape Arago properties to a Mr. Simpson ( Of Simpson Lumber Fame ). In the 1890's, dairy became king of the County and the local dairies formed co-ops. Several of his sons became well known dairymen in the area.
Alfred Collver contracted cancer of the face and received word that treatment was available at Independence, Polk County, Oregon. He was unable to travel by coach because of his condition, so he walked the distance to Independence. At age 82, he passed away on May 7, 1902 at Independence at the Buena Vista Cemetery, space 55, near his mother-in-law and other relatives. The probate of A.B. Collver was filed by John T. Collver as petitioner. He left no will and the estate was appraised at $300b (real property W 1/2 of NW 1/4, and lot 2 & 3, section 11, T26S, R14W.). Ruth mortgaged the property and lost it to foreclosure. Ruth Rice Collver, age 75, passed away September 18, 1903 at Daniels Creek Oregon and was buried in the Collver family plot at the Coos River cemetery.
The Children of Alfred and Ruth:
Coos River Cemetery.
Family plot where Ruth Collver(Rice)
and others are buried.
Mary Philura Collver, born 16 Aug. 1846, Tipton Iowa.
Henrietta Mathilda Collver, born 1848, Tipton Iowa.
Ansel Mark Collver, born 15 Jul. 1850, Tipton Iowa.
Adelia Emily Collver, born 1852, Salt Lake City Utah.
Orace Gabriel Collver, born 16 Feb. 1854, Looking Glass Oregon.
William Albert Collver, born 14 May 1855, Melrose Oregon.
John Truman Collver, born 15 Feb. 1857, Noti Oregon.
Sarah Dewey Collver, born 3 Nov. 1869, So. Coos River Oregon.
Andrew Freeman, born 26 Jun. 1863, So. Coos River Oregon.
Arthur Howard Collver, born 9 Apr. 1866, So. Coos River Oregon.
Arthillo Monroe Collver, born 21 Oct. 1869, So. Coos River Oregon.
Generation IX - Alfred and Ruths Children
The Sons of Alfred Collver
A total of eleven children were born to Alfred and Ruth: Mary Philura, Henrietta Mathilda, Ansel Mark, Adelia Emily, Orace Gabriel, William Albert, John Truman, Sarah Dewey, Andrew Freeman, Arthur Howard, Arthillo Monroe.
Alfreds sons. Howard (b. 9 Apr 1866) and Arthillo "Tillo" (b. 21 Oct 1869) were members of the first and one of the more successful Co-op's: The Coos Bay Creamery, circa 1892, located at the mouth of the Coos River. They pioneered techniques of cattle and milk production quality control, that are still used today. They built fine dairies and their Cheeses were extremely popular in San Francisco and Los Angeles. In fact a traveler from Portland while visiting in Los Angeles, inquired about the wonderful cheese, and his host replied "Why all the best cheeses come from Coos Bay.". The creamery was destroyed by fire in 1919, but in a few short years was replaced.
Coos Bay's shipping was now Lumber, coal and Dairy products for the California markets. Coos and Curry counties were largely ignored and unknown by the Portlanders who dominated state politics. Coos Bay remained a large trading partner with San Francisco until better rail service and roads went in. At that point, the Williamette valley Dairy men took over the market. The peak in Coos Bay Dairy production was during World War II, and steadily fell after that.
A total of eleven children were born to Alfred and Ruth: Mary Philura, Henrietta Mathilda, Ansel Mark, Adelia Emily, Orace Gabriel, William Albert, John Truman, Sarah Dewey, Andrew Freeman, Arthur Howard, Arthillo Monroe. Mary Philura (b. 16 Aug 1846, Tipton Iowa )(d. 1849, Tipton Iowa) Died as a young child. Henrietta Mathilda (b. 1848, Tipton Iowa )(d. 28 May 1917, Marshfield OR. ) Never married and lived with parents and relatives till her death. Ansel Mark (b. 15 Jul 1850, Tipton Iowa )(d. Nov 1932 ) Married Dora McCullock.
Adelia Emily Collver(b. 1852, Salt Lake City, UT)(d. 31 May 1920, Grandview, WA) Married Issac Jamison Powell, 18 Jan 1870. They had ten children: Herbert Wesley, John Melvin, Alice Rose, James Walter, Anna Gertrude, Eva Lois, Bessie Pearl, Lida May, Myrtle Alta, Unnamed Baby. Isaac J. Powell was born 21 Apr 1843 in Independence Missouri and crossed the plains at the age of two. He grew up in Waldo Hills and after attending Williamette University, he taught school in Waldo Hills then Coos Bay/Empire Oregon. He then started to preach and continued this work until his death on 6 Sep 1921. He is buried at Rock Creek Cemetery, near Needy Oregon. It was in Empire Oregon, that he met and courted Adelia Emily Collver.
Orace Gabriel Collver(b. 16 Feb 1854 )(d. 14 Nov 1939 ) Looking Glass OR. Moved to Eastern Oregon and founded the town of Culver Oregon. Since he was the postmaster, he got to name the town, but to avoid confusion with another town with similar spelling and sound, he changed it to Culver. He built a general store which housed the post office and became the center of the community. in 1911 the railroad came through, but on the opposite side of the valley, so the town relocated to the railroad (See appendix X page X for the map). Orace had the whole house moved to the new location, while the towns people used the lumber from their old homes and buildings to build new ones. The upstairs of his store housed a meeting hall that was used for local events and dances. He raised the daughter of his sister Sarah Collver Church, Ruth Church after Sarahís death. He married Margaret J. Barnett, 16 Oct 1881.
William Albert Collver(b. 14 May 1855 Melrose, Douglas Co. Ore. )(d. 17 Jan 1940 ) He was reared in his parent's home and received his early education in the public schools of Marshfield Ore., later attending High School in Marion Co. Ore. He remained under the parental roof until he was 28 years of age after which he became a carpenter. He also took up a homestead of 160 acres near Catching Inlet Near Coos River OR. He later purchased an additional 120 acres and built his home of 28 years. He later disposed of the property, retaining 40 acres and purchased additional 97 acres and engaged in dairy farming. He passed the farm onto his Son in law Fred G. Messerle. On January 1, 1890, He was united in marriage to Miss Naomi Steinnon, who was born in Kansas August 4, 1872 and is the daughter of Joseph and Josephine (Egnet) Steinnon. William and Naomi had Josephine Ruth (m. Fred Messerle) and Myrtle L. (m. James J. Foster). Politically, William was affiliated with the socialist party, a member of the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows, The woodsmen of the World and both he and Naomi were members of the United Brethren Church.
John Truman Collver(b. 15 Feb 1857, Noti Ore. )(d. 13 Nov 1947 ) Married Emma Armfield 4 Dec 1887 (b. in CA) , they had two children, Clarence R. Collver (b. Sep 1888), and Laura D. Collver (b. Nov 1889). In the 1900 Federal census it shows Clarence and Laura living with their grandmother Ruth in South Marshfield.
Sarah Dewey Collver(b. 3 Nov 1860, Coos River Ore. )(d. 2 Aug 1900 ) Married William Church 8 Mar 1892, son of Cephas Church and Betsy Ann Shay(Shea). When she passed away her children were raised by her brothers and parents. Alice Leona, William Alfred, Ruth Almira, Eleanor Francis and Eva May.
Andrew Freeman Collver (b. 26 Jun 1863, South Coos River, Ore.)(d. July 1939, Portland Ore.) He grew up on he family ranch and orchards on the south fork of the Coos River. After selling the property up Coos River to the Rooke's they obtained they apparently obtained a lot of land up south slough of Coos Bay. Andrew and Clara were married 3 Jul 1888 at South Coos River. She was the daughter of William Allen Williams and Cynthia Ann Todd from the Lookinglass area, there is still some relatives there. In 1894 Andrew and Clara moved to Sumner and worked for a farmer there. He was paid in Cattle and produce but apparently very little cash. In about 1895 Andrew followed the family out to South Slough. Andrew, several of his brothers and Alfred his father all lived within walking distance of each other and would help each other in working the farms and potential farms.
Andrew and Clara Collver
They fished, clammed and did various labor work. The State required that if you could not pay your taxes, that you could work it off by working on public projects like roads and levees. Alfred, in his 70's would walk seven miles on trails that they had made, to come visit, then would walk back in the afternoon. This was a vigorous hike from Collver Point on the South Slough to Cape Arago. Collver Point is a Park today, but only reachable by boat. What was interesting about that homesite, while not particularly good for farming, you could eke out a subsistance living on the mussel, oysters, clams, crabs, berries, etc... Much of this is documented in Clara's diary so I will include it in an appendix, rather than try to recreate it here.
On the Cape Arago Homestead there is a family graveyard and several family members were buried there (Alphie Collver?). The state is required to maintain it, but sometime during the late 1950's or early 1960's, the state refused to continue the maintenance, and is now lost. They now refuse to recognize the existence of the "registered" graveyard as they would have to maintain it Map . The June 7,
One of the stories is that one of the brothers was the lighthouse keeper at Sunset Bay, and as typical for that time period, they tilled a garden to supplement the rations they got from the government. It was said that Andrew and another brother had contracts with the government to provide food to that lighthouse. This is when they were living at Cape Arago and Shore Acres. There was a joke that on a windy day, they could toss their hay in the field and it would land at friends farm down in Bandon ( 20 miles away ) saving them trouble of having to haul it there.
1900 Federal Census shows the family residing at Precinct 9, Newport, Lincoln County, OR. Their son Hurley was born there. He worked at the Newport Life Saving Station. Andrew Freeman Collver and Clara Hester Williams
Andrew is first row, second from the left.
He joined the U.S. Life saving service ( precursor to the Coast Guard ). He moved from town to town along the coast, Bandon, Newport, Lincoln City, and Astoria. He was involved with several rescues, this was a rather risky business back then, as all they had were row boats. In fact while stationed in Florence, a number of his companions perished while trying a rescue during one of the frequent Oregon coast storms (Luckily it wasn't his turn to go out). The April 15, 1910 Census shows them living on a U.S. Government Reserve, 3rd Ward, Newport City Oregon. It shows his eldest son Ray as a Carpenter. He resigned from the Life saving service about 1912 to 1914 and worked as a fisherman and some farming in Newport. They moved to Portland in 1917 and he obtained work at the shipyards building ships for the war (WWI). He received a commission into the Coast Guard as a Captain of a tug, that was used for coastal work and patrolling for the duration of the war.
A deed 101/25 dated 1926 shows Andrew owning lots 29, 30, 31 and 32 of block 41 in East Marshfield. The 1926-27 Marshfield City Directory and Tax List shows A.F. Collver living at Eastside and assessed at $30. On March 23, 1927 Coos County filed a suit against Andrew Collver. Andrew and Clara moved to Portland in 1929 and lived with their son Ralph for a short period. They had a total of eight children. Alphie (who died at birth), Ray Clement, Lloyd Maxwell, Ralph Allen, Lysle Freeman, Hurley Monroe, Cynthia Blanche and Ona Grace.
Clara Hester Williams Collver, age 71, passed away September 27, 1936 at Portland Oregon. She was buried at the Masonic Cemetery, Cottage Grove, Lane County, Oregon. Andrew Freeman Collver passed away July 13, 1939 at Multnomah County Hospital, Portland Oregon and was buried next of his wife at the Masonic Cemetery, Cottage Grove, Oregon.
Arthur Howard Collver(b. )(d. )
Arthillo Monroe Collver(b. 21 Oct 1869 South Coos River Ore.)(d. 11 Sept 1954 OR. ) He was a successful farmer of Coos County located up Catching Inlet. He had 160 acres which consisted of mostly pasture land for dairy farming. He received his education at the public school in which his father Alfred helped found. At the age of 14, he started work for himself, taking up work for his brothers for about 5 years, then purchased a small number of cattle and some time later rented his brothers farm of 200 acres and engaged in general farming. He afterward held a position of lighthouse keeper at Cape Arago for a short time but continued to give the necessary attention to his farming interests on his brothers place. In company with his older brother Ansel Mark Collver, he purchased 160 acres, and in 1904 purchased his brothers interest in the property. Twenty acres of land he brought to a high state of cultivation for use with a select herd of 15 dairy cows. He netted 85 dollars per annum per cow which was a record at that time.
On June 15, 1898, "Tillo" was united in marriage to Miss Carrie Moore, Dufur, Wasco County Oregon. Borne in Woodbine, Harrison County, Iowa 28 May 1880, she was the daughter of William H. and Elmira (Towne) Moore, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Illinios. The Moores had 6 children: Marshall Moore, Frank Moore, Carrie ( married Tillo Collver ), Anna (m. Ed Colfelt), Jennie (m. Clarence R. Collver) and Arthur Moore. Apparently Arthur resided with Tillo and Carrie a number of years. Tillo and Carrie had 8 children of their own: Chester Alfred, Vernon W Williams, Gladys Lucille, Gordon Monroe, Enid R., Marshall Monroe, Keith Truman, Joyce Almira. Tillo was a loyal adherent of the Republican party and was an officer of the school district. He belonged to the Woodsmen of the World and the Knights of Pythias. He and his wife were members of the United Brethren Church. From Orville Dodges "Pioneer History of Coos and Curry Counties"
COLLVER, JOHN T., was born in Lane Co., Or., Feb, 1857, and came to Coos County in 1858 and settled on Coos river and is a dairyman and stockraiser. His wife was Emma E. Armfield, she was born in California, their children were Clarence R., and Lora D.
COLLVER, WILLIAM A., was born in Douglas Co., Or., May 5, 1855, and came to Coos Co., in August, 1857, and settled on Coos River, but now resides in Marshfield. He is a carpenter. His wife's maiden name was Neomi Steinon, born in Kansas City, Aug 4, 1871, and their children were Josephine R., and Myrtle I. From the Oregonian, Sunday, September 21, 1930 Seven Brothers Hold Reunion.
Marshfield OR. Sept 20. Probably no Oregon Family exceeds that of Alfred B. Collver in the number of sons and their residence in Oregon. Seven sons were born to Mr. & Mrs. Alfred Collver and all are living and enjoying fine health. These sons held a reunion on Catching Inlet recently at the ranch of Fred Messerle. Their ages range from 80 to 60. The eldest A.M. Collver, was born in Iowa before the family started its trek to the Pacific Coast in 1851. In 1857 the family came to the Coos River. The father organized the first legal school district in Coos County in 1860, and the only pupils for a time were those of his family. Mrs. S.D. Winchester was the first teacher in the organized school and instructed there for years. Three of the sons O.G., W.A. and J.T. Collver were born in Douglas County, and A.F., A.H. and T.M. Collver in Coos County.
Hurley M. Collver next to Andrew and Clara's
grave at the Masonic Cemetery, Cottage Grove, Oregon
Appendix A(Unverified data section)
Here is a new entry from Valerie Giorgi concerning Edwards roots:
1. Edward1 Colver "Colver:Edward [abt 1600/1610-1685]" was born about 1600/1610 in Co.Suffolk County, England. He was the son of Edward Colver "Colver:Edward [ -1594]". Edward died 1685 in Groton/Mystic, New London Co., Connecticut, and w as buried in Wightman Burying Ground, Groton, New London Co., CT. Edward Colver was the grandson of Rev. Edward Colver, born ca 1550. 2 Sept 1575 made vicar. Queen Elizabeth in 1575 presented Rev. Edward Colver to the Rectory of Hardmondsworth, County Middlesex, England.
Here is another entry about Edwards roots from Doug Drowley that is attributed to a Virginia Mills of Orrick Missouri:
Edwards father was John Colver, born in 1576 in England. There were three children listed (Joseph, John and Edward). Johns father as another Edward Colver, b. 1550 in England, d. 28 Mar 1594 in Middlesex, England.
These two peices when put together look promising.