I recently received an email from my 1st cousin Rodney Ulibarri which contained some photos and a description of his trip to Jefferson County, IN in 2005. He was kind enough to let me include the description and some of the pictures in this blog. Here’s his letter:
“July, 2005 trip to Jefferson County, Indiana
My Walton Roots Trip
I have been doing research on various surnames in my family tree for over the last 10 years .While researching my Grandmother Pearl Walton Goesch’s side of the family, I corresponded with a fourth cousin, Gilbert Maupin. Gilbert is the 3rd great-grandson of Abraham Walton I (1777-1859) Gilbert’s second great-grandfather, Abraham Walton II is my second great-grandfather, Isaiah Walton’s, brother.
Gilbert knows a large amount of Walton history. He said he would be happy to show me the Walton history around the Commiskey, Deputy and Lancaster areas of Jennings County Indiana. I could not wait to meet Gilbert and his wife Judy and see where the Walton’s lived and died. Gilbert and Judy were two of the nicest people one could ever hope to meet! They treated Judy and I like old friends. Gilbert spent 2 days showing us around in Jefferson County, Indiana. As a side note, Gilbert and his wife live on lands once owned by the Waltons
Gilbert took me to see the old stone home of Abraham Walton I, built circa 1810. When I was there In 2005, a 90 year old lady lived there alone. She drove 1/4 of a mile a day to get the mail at the mail box. Her son managed the property. It was neat to see the stone house that Abraham built and his family lived in. There was also an addition added to the home by later owners. Sadly I was not able to go into the home. Gilbert knew the lady, so I was able to take several pictures of the home.
Gilbert took me to the Walton -Hall cemetery. It is located in the middle of a wheat field, enclosed by an old iron fence. I took pictures of several headstones. Since then, some of the old headstones have been replaced. Gilbert also took me to a small graveyard, of Walton relatives behind a barn. I have no Idea where that graveyard is. He took me to two other cemeteries in the area where other Walton relatives are buried.
We went to see and walk on the lands once farmed by my great-great-grandfather, Isaiah Walton. We walked around a field of soy beans looking for the location of Isaiah’s home site, but couldn’t find it. Later he showed me a flower garden outlined with stones from Isaiah’s home.
The Walton’s and the Hall’s were very involved in the Underground Railroad. They belonged to the “Neil’s Creek Antislavery Society”. My grandmother, Pearl told me her father, Merritt, when he was 9 years old, would take a slave by horseback at night, to the next safe house.
Gilbert took me the the Eleutherian College in Lancaster, Indiana. A National Historic Landmark, Eleutherian College was constructed between 1854 and 1856, and was the first college in Indiana to admit students without regard to race or gender. Thomas Craven and anti-slavery advocates in the area created and supported the institution for education of students of all races and genders. Gilbert is on the board of directors. The college was trying to raise funds to replace the roof and do many repairs. Jae Breitweiser, the director took Gilbert and I up in the attic, through all the rooms and allowed me to ring the bell in the bell tower.
Needless to say we had a very special visit to Indiana. All made possible because of Gilbert and Judy Maupin.
Rod also sent numerous pictures of headstones from the Hall-Walton Cemetery and other places our ancestors were laid to rest. I’ll include some of those in future posts and I’ll also talk more about the “Neil’s Creek Antislavery Society” and my great grandfather Merritt’s service in the Civil War.