Amy Tanner to Louise Schmidt, letter, 1 May 1979

Source: Amy Tanner to Louise Schmidt, letter, 1 May 1979.

I was sure our grandfather Cyrus Rumsey Mattocks was born in Bennington, Vermont. – Icabod and Matilda were our great grandparents – mother spoke of them as Icabod and Matilda. During my school days, I began to wonder: did they inspire those names in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”? Did Washington Irving know them? I think I have seen the names on tombstones in Shrontz Cemetery (approx 5 miles east of Momence) next to Grandfather Cyrus Rumsey Mattocks. It seems so real to me but I haven’t been to Shrontz Cemetery since about 1920. The grave stones were toward the south-west corner of the cemetery as it was then. There were other stones there too. As I recall, it looked like a family lot. That is where our father should have been buried, I think.

The four brothers were in service from Kankakee County. We have a “History of Kankakee County” 1906 edition. They are all in that, but only the war records.

I remember hearing the names Abigail and Adelaide but nothing about Josephine. I think Abigail was married to Harv Force. I don’t remember ever hearing of a John; maybe he didn’t come to Illinois and father and mother were not acquainted with him. I’ve heard the family came in a covered wagon to Illinois, had lived in N.Y. at sometime and claimed some Penn. Dutch ancestry. I remember that about 1913 or 1915 Aunt Abbie (Boswell) spent a year or two in Rutland, Vermont. She was with relatives there. She went there after the Boswells – her uncle Charlie and Aunt Phianna died. They had adopted her when her mother, Abigail Perry, Grandfather Mattocks second wife died, and Aunt Abbie was very young. Her Aunt Phianna was her mother’s sister.

In his late years grandfather lived with his sons, his last year with our parents. My grandparents were all gone before my day. Grandmother Fedde lived her last days with our folks too when they lived in Chicago, 1891 and 1892 – at 63rd and Halsted. She died about that time. Clara was born there. My father drove horses that pulled the street cars and cared for the horses and barns. I was born in Morocco, Indiana, so by 1898 they were back this way.

Our Grandmother Hester Ann Hess died when our father was very young (5 or 6 years old). He had no permanent home. He lived with his Uncle Rastus Wells, Aunt Polly Jones, Aunt Miranda, Uncle Rube Hess, the Sherwoods, the West’s, the Parrishes – names I recall hearing and with his father at times. When his sons married, Grandfather Cyrus Rumsey Mattocks gave each son a cow for milk. When we lived on the Merrill Farm, Mahlin Hess lived just S.E. from where you lived – a mile south and a mile east. I think he was Grandmother’s brother, about the last of the old timers I knew of.

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