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Mary Catharine Brewer

Female 1857 - 1913


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  • Name  Mary Catharine Brewer  [1, 2, 3
    Born  20 Mar 1857  Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5
    Gender  Female 
    Alt. Spelling/AKA 
    • She was referred to as "Kate" by her uncle, Charles Pearsey Walker, in letters he sent home during the Civil War. Her middle name may have been spelled "Catherine" rather than "Catharine."
    Alt. Birth  20 Mar 1857  Wabash County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 8
    • Per researcher Ada Blanchard and information found in the New London Journal Centennial edition of 1975, she was born March 20, 1857, in Wabash County, Indiana. Per the 1860, 1870, 1880 (US), and 1885 (Iowa) censuses, Mary was born in Iowa, not Indiana (it is believed her mother, Vashti, was in Iowa by 1857).
    Census  1860  Pleasant Grove Township, Des Moines County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    • (Living with her mother at the home of her grandparents, Francis and Catherine Walker:) Catharnia Brewer, age 34 (sic), female, born in Iowa
    Letters and Cards  4 Sep 1863  near Carrollton, Orleans Parish, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    • Camps Near Carrolton

      Friday September 4, 1863

      I take the present opportunity of penning you a few lines to inform you I am well, and I hope these few lines may find you all well and enjoying your selves. I got a letter from Wm. yesterday dated August 22nd. He was well as common.

      Wee are under marching orders. Wee are ordered to be ready at 12 o'clock to march at 3 hours notice. But I don't think we will to to day. For we are going to have General Review today. U. S. Grant is going be out to review the troops. Of course there will be a big time of it out here. This will be our 3rd grand review since we came here. You wanted to know whether I got the wedding cake or not. I did. It was in that letter that was stopped at Cairo and that was the reason it was stopped. It did not taste very natural after laying in the post office. You stated in that letter that [h???] had caut the consumption. that is very bad to because that is very fatal. You must take good care of old Maners for he has been a good and faithful servant. Well I don't know what to write next. But I guess I will write some to Kate. Katy I want you to go to school and learn to write and read and cipher and so you can write me a letter and when the war ends I will get you a pretty little pony so you can ride to church and over to Uncle Billys and every place that you want to go. Now Catherine be a good girl and be good to Grand Pop and Mother and help them all you can. Take good care of the eggs for when I get home I will want about a bushel to eat lots of bread and milk and honey and get as big as Mary. Now be a good girl and don't get mad for ugly girls get mad. No more. Little Katy write soon.

      Your loving Uncle Charles to Catherine Brewer.

      (Charles uses Mary's middle name on the letter, and her nickname "Kate." "Old Maners" was probably a horse that got tuberculosis, and that is the reference to "consumption" in the letter.)
    Census  1870  Baltimore Township, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    • (Living with her mother at the home of her Walker grandparents:) Mary Catharine Brewer, age 13, female, white, occupation at home, born in Iowa, attended school during the census year
    Census  1880  Baltimore Township, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    • (Living with her mother, Vashti, at the home of her grandparents, Francis S. and Catherine Walker:) Mary Walker (sic: Brewer), white, female, age 22, granddaughter, single, born in Iowa, father born in Tennessee, mother born in Virginia
    Iowa State Census  1885  Baltimore Township, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    • (Listed as divorced but using her maiden name Brewer, living with her widowed grandfather, Francis S. Walker, aunt "Luvena" C. Walker, and cousin, Charles F. Walker:) Mary C. Brewer, 70 Township, Range 5, Section 17; age 27, female, white, divorced, born in Henry County, Iowa, father's nativity: native, mother's nativity: native
    Iowa State Census  1895  Baltimore Township, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location  [11
    • Marry (sic) C. Hand, age 37, born in Henry County, Iowa, white
    Census  1900  Baltimore Township, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location  [12
    • Mary C. Hand, wife, white, female, born in March 1857, age 45 (sic), married, married for 14 years, mother of 8 children, 8 of these children living, born in Iowa, father born in Iowa (sic), mother born in Iowa (sic), could read, could write, could speak English
    Iowa State Census  1905  New London Township, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location  [13
    • Mary Hand, Card Number: 963; Post Office Address: New London: New London Township, Henry County, Iowa
    Census  1910  Baltimore Township, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location  [14
    • Mary C. Hand, wife, female, white, age 52, married (twice), years of present marriage 24, mother of 9 children, 7 of those children living, birthplace Iowa, father's birthplace Indiana, mother's birthplace Indiana, could speak English, occupation none, could read, could write
    Died  24 May 1913  Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 15
    Obituary  27 May 1913  Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location  [16
    The Burlington Hawk-Eye 
    • The remains of Mrs. Frank Hand, of 234 Harrison avenue, will be taken New London this morning and the funeral services will be held in the New London Christian church. The good woman will be laid away in the New London cemetery. Many Burlington friends will honor her memory.
    Headstone Photograph 
    • Mary Catharine (Brewer) Hand's grave is located at the Farlow Cemtery in New London Township, Henry County, Iowa. The epitaph on the stone is: "Mary C. Hand. 1857 - 1913"
    The Headstone of Mary Catharine(Brewer) Hand
    The Headstone of Mary Catharine(Brewer) Hand
    Buried  27 May 1913  Farlow Cemetery, New London Township, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location  [16, 17, 18
    Person ID  I931  All Families
    Last Modified  6 Feb 2015 

    Father  Jehiel Brewer,   b. 1831, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1860, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Vashti Annie Walker,   b. 21 Jan 1835, Milton, Wayne County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Jan 1929, near New London, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  11 Nov 1855  Wabash County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  [19
    Indiana Marriage Records 
    • Wabash County, Indiana; Marriage Records 1854 - 1861; Compiled by Wabash County Historical Museum

      County Wabash; Name Jehiel Brewer; Spouse Vashti Walker; Marriage Date 11 November 1855; Book A; Original Source Page 411
    Family ID  F165  Group Sheet

    Family 1  (A Man Named - 5997) Lyon,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married  Abt 1881  [10
    Divorced  Bef 1885 
    Marriage Fact 
    • This marriage or relationship is unproven. Still, it seems fairly likely, and the rationale for it is as follows:

      According to the 1910 federal census, Mary was married twice. No known official or family records of a marriage previous to her marriage to Frank Hand exist. She was Mary "Brewer" in all earlier censuses to her marriage to Frank, except the 1880 census, in which she was living with her grandparents, Francis and Catherine Walker, and was listed as Mary "Walas" Walker, age 23. That just seemed to be a census taker error. Interestingly enough, on that census she was marked both as "single" and "married." Her mother Vashti was marked as both "married" and "widowed/divorced."

      The odd thing of the 1880 census is there was a 9-year-old "grandson" in the family, J. P. Walas. He was born in Iowa, and his parents were supposedly both born in Pennsylvania. He was certainly not a grandson of Francis and Catherine's, unless his surname and/or parents' birthplace was in error. One might consider that at age 13 or 14 in 1870/71 Mary Brewer had a child, and they masked the fact. More likely her mother Vashti, who reported a second, unknown child, on the census of 1900, would have been the mother, but this is unproven.

      Upon checking the 1885 Iowa state census in which Mary Brewer was listed as living with her then widowed grandfather, Francis S. Walker, and other family members, her marital status on that census form seems to be the letter "D" (divorced). It is not completely clear, but certainly looks more like a "D" than an "S" (which was single, and which her cousin Charles Francis listed next to her was).

      Beginning in 1885, her mother, Vashti and her new husband John Edger, had a young "grandchild" living with them with the surname of Lyon. The child was Verna on one census, Vernon on two others. S/he was born in Kansas. After the 1900 census, Verna/Vernon vanishes.

      The 1910 census for Mary Hand listed her as having 9 children born, 7 living. She had only 8 known children from her marriage to Frank Hand. Vernon may explain the discrepancy and be that 9th child.
    Children 
     1. Vernon "Verne" Lyon,   b. Between 1882 and 1883, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1910
    Last Modified  21 Jan 2014 
    Family ID  F2347  Group Sheet

    Family 2  Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Hand,   b. 8 Mar 1862, New London, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Jan 1948, Lowell, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  26 Jul 1886  New London, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Marriage Fact 
    • They were married at the home of Kate Briton in New London, Iowa.
    Biography  1975  New London, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location  [20
    A History of New London, Iowa 
    • [...] Benjamin Franklin (B. F. or Frank) Hand (1862-1948) married Mary Brewer, who died in 1913. Mary Brewer's mother was Vashti Walker, daughter of Samuel Walker of Wabash (sic: Wayne) County, Indiana. Frank and Mary Hand's children were Rena (Mrs. Albert) Hartman (died 1942), Florence Hale, Edith (Mrs. D. H.) Kirkpatrick (1892-1967), Inez (Mrs. Clark) Gulick (1893-1972), Edna Welch McCabe, Charles, who was killed in World War I, and John. [...]

      Frank Hand's second wife was Laura Jane Anderson (1862-1940), the widow of William Steward. The Steward children were Orville, Lawrence, Henry, Charles, Otis and Earl. She also reared two foster daughters, Lillian (Mrs. Loren) Dickey and Dorothy Clayton.
    The Hand Family of Des Moines and Henry County, Iowa
    The Hand Family of Des Moines and Henry County, Iowa
    M. Ruth (DeLong) Peterson, The History of New London, Iowa (published by The New London Journal on the occasion of the paper's centennial in 1975, Duane Griggs, editor; New London, Henry County, Iowa: composed and printed by The Hawk Eye; Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa), page 183
    Children 
    >1. Lurena Ann "Rena" Hand,   b. 26 Nov 1886, Lowell, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Sep 1942, Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location
    >2. Florence Vashti Hand,   b. 5 Feb 1888, Lowell, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Jan 1983, New London Care Center, New London, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. William Frank Hand,   b. 12 Nov 1889, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Mar 1890, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location
    >4. John Edgar Hand,   b. 28 Dec 1890, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Apr 1958
    >5. Edith Emily Hand,   b. 3 Jun 1892, near Augusta, Des Moines County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Oct 1967, Mercy Hospital, Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location
    >6. Inez Alzada Hand,   b. 24 Oct 1893, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Jan 1972, Buena Park, Orange County, California Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. Charles Eaven Horace Hand,   b. 14 Oct 1895, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Oct 1918, France Find all individuals with events at this location
    >8. Edna Cecil Hand,   b. 26 May 1897, near New London, Henry County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Sep 1994
    Last Modified  21 Jan 2014 
    Family ID  F93  Group Sheet

  • Documents
    A Letter From Charles Pearsey Walker to His Sisters and Niece, Mary Catharine Brewer
    A Letter From Charles Pearsey Walker to His Sisters and Niece, Mary Catharine Brewer
    Charles wrote this letter on May 22, 1863, from Pilot Knob, Missouri, to his sisters and niece. All of his sisters at that time were presumably living at the family farm in Baltimore Township, Henry County, Iowa (Vashti Annie (Walker) Brewer, Lovinia ("Lou") Church, Ann Clarinda, and Margaretta Catharine Walker). He mentions an unknown wedding that will take place, which he cannot attend, also that he sent money home, so he had apparently been paid (another letter dated December 1862 mentioned Uncle Sam was in arrears paying the troops). Apparently he was having some troubles with one of his commanding officers. (The scan of this letter was provided courtesy of Marge Kimble. Note: this document is in .pdf format.)

    Obituaries, Deaths, Funerals
    The Funeral Notice of Mary Catharine (Brewer/Lyon) Hand
    The Funeral Notice of Mary Catharine (Brewer/Lyon) Hand
    Mary Catharine Brewer was born in 1857 in Iowa, the daughter of Jehiel and Vashti Annie (Walker) Brewer. Her father died when she was very young and her mother and she made their home with her grandparents, Francis S. and Catherine B. (Pearsey) Walker. In about 1881 she apparently had a first marriage to a man named Lyon. They had a son, Vernon, who was born in about 1882 and died before 1909. (This marriage is unproven, but the child isn't.) Vernon was raised by Mary's mother Vashti, who had remarried to the widower, John Hand. In 1886 Mary remarried to Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Hand. They were the parents of the following children: Lurena Ann "Rena" Hartman, Florence Vashti Hale, William Frank Hand, John Edgar Hand, Edith Emily Kirkpatrick, Inez Alzada (Hand/Kirkpatrick) Gulick, Charles Eaven Hand, and Edna Cecil Welsch. Mary died May 24, 1913, and was buried May 27 at the Farlow Cemetery in New London Township, Henry County, Iowa.

  • Sources 
    1. [S27] Kimble, Marjorie Naomi "Marge" (Walker).

    2. [S265] Blanchard, Ada Irene (Hand) - Email.

    3. [S369] Henry County, Iowa - (1888) Portrait and Biographical Album, (Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888), page 555 (Reliability: 4).

    4. [S628] 1880 US Census (Reliability: 3).
      Baltimore Township, Henry County, Iowa; Page 22, Supervisor's District 1, Enumeration District 98, Sheet 379B; Enumerated on June 14, 1880

    5. [S451] 1860 US Census (Reliability: 3).
      Page Number: 160, Sheet Number: 953, Pleasant Grove Township, Des Moines County, Iowa; Post Office: New London; enumerated on July 18, 1860

    6. [S8161] Walker, Charles Pearsey - Letter 1863/09/04 to Family From Carrolton, Louisiana (Reliability: 4).

    7. [S8159] Walker, Charles Pearsey - Letter 1863/05/22 to His Sisters and Niece (Reliability: 4).

    8. [S369] Henry County, Iowa - (1888) Portrait and Biographical Album, (Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, 1888), page 555 (Reliability: 3).

    9. [S267] 1870 US Census (Reliability: 3).
      Page Number: 7, Baltimore Township, Henry County, Iowa; Sheet 134, Post Office: Mt. Pleasant; enumerated on June 24, 1870

    10. [S929] 1885 Iowa State Census (Reliability: 4).
      Baltimore Township, Henry County, Iowa, page 23; IA1885_199

    11. [S29] 1895 Iowa State Census (Reliability: 3).
      Baltimore Township, Henry County, Iowa

    12. [S54] 1900 US Census (Reliability: 3).
      Baltimore Township, Henry County, Iowa; enumeration district: 26, supervisor's district: 74, sheet number: 4B, page number: 4; enumeration date: June 12, 1900

    13. [S4157] 1905 Iowa State Census (Reliability: 3).
      New London Township, Henry County, Iowa; Roll: IA_90

    14. [S72] 1910 US Census (Reliability: 3).
      Baltimore Township, Henry County, Iowa; enumeration district: 28, supervisor's district: 1, sheet number: 7B, page number: 7; enumeration date: April 27, 1910

    15. [S8377] Hand, Benjamin Franklin "Frank" - Obituary (Burlington Hawk-Eye Gazette), (originally published in The Burlington Hawk-Eye Gazette, page 9, January 12, 1948; Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa) (Reliability: 3).

    16. [S8379] Hand, Mary Catharine (Brewer/Lyon) - Funeral Notice, (originally published in The Burlington Hawk-Eye, page 6, May 27, 1913; Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa) (Reliability: 3).

    17. [S8378] Hand, Mary Catharine (Brewer/Lyon) - Headstone Photograph, (her grave is at the Farlow Cemtery, New London Township, Henry County, Iowa; photograph provided courtesy of Jean Leeper) (Reliability: 3).

    18. [S8089] New London Township, Henry County, Iowa - Burials (Brooks, Farlow, and Ferrel Cemeteries), (published by the Iowa Genealogical Society, 1987, publication #0336; Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa) (Reliability: 3).

    19. [S387] Indiana Marriages, 1845-1920 (ancestry.com) (Reliability: 4).

    20. [S266] New London, Iowa - New London Journal Centennial Edition Newspaper, M. Ruth (DeLong) Peterson, (published by The New London Journal on the occasion of the paper's centennial in 1975, Duane Griggs, editor; New London, Henry County, Iowa: composed and printed by The Hawk Eye; Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa), page 183 (Reliability: 3).