|The area in 1868|
Donna tells that the Trinder farm was sold to Alpheus Pennock. Alpheus (1849-1929) was the son of Lewis Pennock (1804-1879), who resided just south of the area focused upon here. You can see his name shown on the 1868 map segment above. After Lewis’ death in 1879, the home farm went to Alpheus. The house, which stood until the 1960’s, was located about where the grassy area is behind the Meadowood II Shopping Center and in front of Forest Oak Elementary School. It appears the house was torn down just before the school was built. Alpheus’ brother Pusey was the early 20th Century owner of the Harlan-Chandler Mill property in Milltown.
So far, all of this information was readily available with just some cursory research. However, before moving on, I decided to look for Alpheus Pennock in a couple of censuses. It seemed pretty obvious that he had purchased the Trinder farm as a secondary property, since it didn’t make sense that an almost 50 year old farmer would abandon his family's farm. When I found Alpheus in the 1920 Census, this is what I saw:
|Pennock family in the 1920 Census|
You can see Alpheus and wife Margaret there in the middle, but look at the other two names in their household -- Kelley and Higgins! As soon as I saw that, I knew there was more to the story. We'll start first with the second name, what appears to be Isthle Higgins, age 61. She's listed as being Alpheus' widowed sister-in-law, which means she was either married to his brother or Margaret's brother.
As it turns out, although I'm still not sure what name is supposed to be on the 1920 sheet, that she is Isabella (Little) Higgins, the widow of Thomas Higgins, Jr., the son of the former owner of the upper farm. She was the sister of Margaret Little Pennock, Alpheus' wife. The Littles had lived on a farm on the southwest corner of Upper Pike Creek Road and Old Coach Road, just a short ways from both the Higgins farm and the Pennock's home. Sometimes it seems like the dating philosophy at the time was "If you have to walk more than 15 minutes to find a wife, it's just not worth it." Both Margaret and Isabella, incidentally, were aunts to Lora Little, whose father was their brother William.
These familial connections also brought to light another fact, which is that it seems that the Higgins family remained on the upper (St. Marks) farm longer than I had thought. In the first post I noted that Runk said that Thomas Higgins' son John was running the farm, but that I had found him in Maryland beginning with the 1900 Census. What appears to have happened is that Thomas, Jr. may have taken over when John moved out. Thomas' first wife, Leah, passed away in 1905. Then, sometime between 1905 and 1910, he wedded the yet-unmarried Isabella Little. Whether that was a marriage of love or convenience we may never know. It now appears that it wasn't until after Thomas' death in 1913 that the farm passed out of the Higgins family. (William Kelley's widow Catherine, by the way, may have remarried. In 1880 she's listed in the household of Robert Taylor, who lived on the east side of Upper Pike Creek Road immediately west of this property, as his Step-Mother. I have a feeling that she might have actually been his mother-in-law. Taylor's wife "Anna" is the exactly same age as "Hannah" Kelley, William and Catherine's daughter.)
|Section of the 1900 Census, showing Higgins,|
Pennock and Little families
As for the lower, former Trinder farm, I also have a different take on its occupation as well, and much of it comes from the 1900 Census seen above. Going from the top, you can see Thomas Higgins and his first wife, Leah. Listed next is Alpheus Pennock and family. This indicates to me that he was living on the former Trinder property, and not his old home by Meadowood. To further place his residence, reading down you can see several Little families, including the one with Isabella still residing with her parents. This greater Pennock presence makes sense when you look closer at the map segment I included with the first post. You'll notice that not only is there a Pennock Road, but Bing Maps, at least, labels the whole area "Pennock".
To be honest, I'm not really sure what the exact point of all this was, except to bring the story of these two farms a bit further ahead into the 20th Century. It also goes to show that with these familial links, the two properties were even more tied together than I had thought. I won't say it's the only remaining mystery in all this, but one point I've been having trouble pinning down is the identity of the Katherine Kelley seen living with the Pennocks in 1920. I feel like she must be related somehow to William and Catherine, but I have not been able to make a concrete link. If so, it would be a good bookend to link together pretty much all of the families involved. As always, this is a continuing investigation, and more information will be provided if it comes up.