Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Presidents Bush: The Walker Genealogy (Part III)


David Davis Walker, Nephew of Lincoln's Attorney

Bloomington Township is about six miles south from the center of today's Bloomington, Illinois. When George E. Walker packed up his family to move west from Maryland, the town he arrived at was called Blooming Grove, platted in 1831. The Walkers set up a farmstead south of Bloomington in 1838 and remained there until their deaths. George died in 1875 and his wife, Harriet Mercer Walker, in 1878; both are buried at Woodlawn Cemetery. George E. Walker was George H.W. Bush's great-great-grandfather, and Harriet was his great-great-grandmother, and both were long since dead by 1921, when Prescott Bush married into the Walker family.

The Bush family had many generations of Protestantism under their belts by that time, but the Walkers only one generation, at least on the paternal side.

The story was different though in Harriet Mercer's family. Justice David Davis, Harriet's favorite nephew, was interred on Bloomington's north side at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery. Bloomington's "greatest legal light," a history of the city's earliest settlers (published in 1874) called him. When Justice Davis was suffering his last illness in 1886, his own favorite nephew, Davis Davis Walker, by then a 30-year resident of St. Louis, returned to sit with the judge's immediate family by his uncle's bedside.

The Walker family owed everything to Davis, Abraham Lincoln's friend and personal attorney.

In the early 1850's Davis worked on financing the Alton & Sangamon Railroad that would provide transportation services for Bloomington, a railroad which would a few years later be rescued by E.H. Harriman.[1] In those days Walker had lived in Bloomington and was close to first cousin, George Perrin Davis, who had childhood memories of riding in Lincoln's horse-drawn buggy during circuit court rounds as early as 1850. George P. Davis and his  Walker cousin were together for a short time at school in Beloit, Wisconsin, but, while George received additional training at Illinois Wesleyan to become an attorney, his poor relation, D.D. moved to St. Louis in 1857 to become an apprentice wholesaler. Nevertheless, the two remained in contact over the years.

After Lincoln's murder, Davis, who had been appointed to the Supreme Court by President Lincoln in 1862, was named  Administrator of Lincoln's estate in Springfield, Illinois (see 1867 clipping, right).

Walker's Dry Goods Business

911 Washington Avenue
D.D. Walker was a hard worker at St. Louis' largest wholesale merchant--Crow, McCreery & Co.--a partner by the age of 25. Other partners in the firm included Wayman Crow, William A. Hargadine, Hugh McKittrick, Frank Ely and Isaac Gibbons, the latter of whom was sued by Walker and his partners in 1876.

The firm engaged in business under various names for several years, and, according to litigation, several surviving original partners incorporated Ely, Walker & Co. around 1878, with D.D. serving as its president until 1892. William A. Hargadine, for whom Walker's second son (George Herbert's older brother) was name, died that year. Hargadine-McKittrick had incorporated a company in 1889, leasing a newly constructed building at 911 Washington Avenue until 1923, when the building bore the name of its tenant, Lammert Furniture. The corporation was sold to Ely, Walker & Co. in 1915.

D. D. Walker's short biographies state he retired once or twice between 1876 and 1910 to recover from exhaustion. It seems possible that during one of those retirements, or perhaps simply a summer vacation to Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota, the Walkers boarded the May Queen, which ironically suffered a boiler explosion during their ride. The irony was that, some 21 years earlier, Mrs. D.D. (Martha) Walker's father, Joseph Beaky, had died on a similar steamship, the Minnehaha. Joseph Beaky, only 39 when he died in 1858, was a dealer in wood-burning stoves. The four-year-old boy mentioned in the Bloomington newspaper, The Pantagaph (above, left) would have been little Bertie Walker, while Martha's mother, "Mrs. Beaky," was the former Mary Ann Bangs.

The Jesuit Connections of the Beakey Family

Two weddings--1839 and 1840
In 1862--the same year David Davis moved to Washington, D.C. to take his seat on the U.S. Supreme Court--D. D. Walker married Martha Adela Beaky. Though it has not yet been discovered how they  met, it is intriguing to note one common denominator linking each set of grandparents, two Catholic institutions in two separate locations:
  1. Mount Saint Mary's in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where D.D. Walker's father had attended school 1811-12 while D.D.'s future wife's father, Joseph Ambrose Beakey, was a youngster in that town; Joseph also became a student in 1826.
  2. St. Augustine Catholic Church, Philadelphia, where D.D. Walker's first cousin, Mary Scanlan, married in 1839; Martha Beakey's parents married there in 1840.





Genealogy of Emanuel Behe
The Beakey name was an adaptation from "Biechi," the French spelling of the German name "Büchi" under which the family came to America. The German  form eventually became  Behee or  Behe. Emanuel Büchi, who had been born 1751 in the French section of Alsace and baptized a Roman Catholic, grew up to marry Marguerite-Jea (Mary Jane) and  lived for a time in Germany before emigrating to America during the French Revolution when he was in his late 30's.

It is believed, however, that Emanuel first came to  America during the revolutionary war as a Hessian mercenary soldier, before he brought his family to live in Pennsylvania in about 1789, the year of the French Revolution. His son Joseph (father of Joseph Ambrose) was then a lad of nine years.

Emanuel had first gone to the Lancaster area of Pennsylvania before eventually settling in the town of Loretto in Cambria County, Pennsylvania. There he worked as a gunsmith and tinner, training his sons in the same profession. Loretto had been initially set up in 1799 at the community known as McGuire's Settlement by a priest who spoke German and was thus put in charge of German Catholic settlements, which included Lancaster.

Bishop John Carroll, Jesuit
This priest, Father Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin, also known as Augustine Smith, was actually a Russian prince whose father had been Russia's ambassador to the Netherlands. Though baptized in the Greek Orthodox Church, he made a decision to become a Catholic priest around 1787, when he traveled to America with Rev. Francis Xavier Brosius. He began studying for the priesthood in 1792 in Baltimore at St. Mary's Seminary under Bishop John Carroll, who ordained him in 1795. Bishop Carroll was also mentioned in Part II of this series. It was this same Bishop Carroll who in 1803 performed the wedding ceremony between Elizabeth (Betsy) Patterson, a Presbyterian, and Jerome, the younger brother of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Father Augustine Smith was placed in charge of a Catholic colony to be set up in 1799 at the location of Loretto in the Allegheny mountains on 20,000 acres. Refusing at the behest of his family to return to Europe to litigate his Russian claims, his titled inheritance was cut off in 1808 by the Emperor of Russia. Nevertheless, Gallitzin's Catholic colony thrived, and numerous town sprang up with his church being the only Catholic church between Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and St. Louis. It is quite likely, therefore, that Joseph would have been of the right age to serve under Father Gallitzin, who drilled the 142nd Pennsylvania Militia which fought in the war of 1812. [2]

It was also in Loretto where the Behe family would come in contact with another Catholic family named McMullen from Ireland (See Chapter V of linked book by Leo A. McMullen, LLD. who wrote concerning the land on which Emmitsburg, Maryland, was founded:

The land was originally owned by the famous Charles Carroll of Carrollton. Emmit's property extended about four square miles, from Middle Creek to Toms Creek to Friend's Creek to Pennsylvania. The genesis of Emmitsburg dates to influx of settlers in 1730, 1746, and 1757. The town was laid out in 1785.
Emanuel's son, Joseph, (born in Germany in 1773) moved east to Maryland, and after his marriage to Catherine Schreiner, he had remained. Catharine's father, Johannes Schreiner, born in Frederick County, Maryland in 1766 to parents from western Germany, had been baptized as a Lutheran rather than a Catholic. Before Johannes' death, he had moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he died in 1828.

Joseph's employer, it was reported, was Mount St. Mary's Catholic school in Emmitsburg:
Joseph Beachi (Senior) was a "tinner" and was responsible for tin, copper, and downspouts for both buildings [at Mount St. Mary's]. He apparently enrolled his sons while he worked here. A copy of his account is in the college's ledger for 1826.[2]
Catharine had given birth to several sons in Emmitsburg before Joseph Ambrose Beaky was born there in 1818,
six years after George E. Walker had left Mount St. Mary's. Because their father worked at the school, John Beakey, Martha's uncle, studied at the Mount in 1823 before Joseph did in 1826. The parents then watched one child after another move west to St. Louis, beginning with James, who is said to have moved in 1836. Both he and his brother John had been trained in tinning by their father and were working with a partner named Andrews in 1838.

Beakey Family's Diplomatic Connections

Martha's father, Joseph, was first listed in the St. Louis directory in 1848. That year's directory also included the name of Clement W. Coote, the new engineer and surveyor for the city, who had followed his brother Thomas Coote west around 1840 from Washington, D.C. to be St. Louis deputy city engineer. In short order Clement had married Joseph's sister, Sarah Beakey, who had traveled west to visit her brothers.

Sarah's new father-in-law was Clement Tubbs Coote, an attorney and low-level magistrate in the nation's capital who arrived there from Cambridgeshire, England. In fact Clement had actually been born in Washington in 1810, but then the Coote family returned home to England and did not return to live until 1817, becoming American citizens in 1822. Marian Coote, Clement's older sister, married Navy Purser William Speiden, whose biographical sketch also sets out details of the life of the elder Coote. Marian's son, William Speiden, Jr., at the age of eighteen accompanied his father, to the China Sea and Japan with Commodore Matthew C. Perry during 1852-55.

We read about much of the Coote and Speiden families' history in an article by Harold Langley which states that in 1838 "Mary Coote, Marian's mother, was taken sick with some unidentified problem and was not expected to live very long. Her daughters took care of her and her son, Clement, left his position as an assistant engineer on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal to come to his Mother's bedside."[3] Langley also mentions that the wedding of the youngest Coote daughter, Ann, to James Barry, a Catholic, took place that year at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., and was performed by Very Rev. William Matthews.

The Langley article reveals the reason Clement W. Coote had left his home in the fall of 1840 bound for St. Louis, where he would eventually meet and marry Sarah Beakey:
The lure of the west affected members of her [Marian's] own family. Her brother Thomas found himself unemployed. He frequently lamented that he did not go on the [Charles Wilkes] Exploring Expedition with William Speiden, perhaps as a Purser's steward. He went to St. Louis to try his luck and almost immediately got a position that he liked. So favorable were his reports that Marian's other brother, Clement, set out for St. Louis. He had been unemployed for nine months after his layoff on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.
Marian Coote's letters also give a brief snippet in six sentences of the last two decades of her husband's life:
As for William Speiden, he remained in the Navy. His duties kept him on the Washington scene for a few years. Then he was off again for the Mexican War and later participated in the expedition of Commodore Matthew C. Perry to open up Japan. He had two years duty in Norfolk before he joined the East India squadron. Here he became ill and was sent home. He died in Washington on December 18, 1861, at the age of sixty- four.
While his brother-in-law, William Speiden, pursued his career as a naval officer, the younger Clement Coote left his bride in St. Louis, just as the gold rush began at Sutter's Mill in California, to work as a surveyor in nearby Sacramento. His name appeared on the first plan of that city dated 1849, and in 1850 he had been elected secretary of Sacramento's first city council. As early as 1853 he was named city surveyor for Sacramento, but, tragically his death came at the age of 35 in January 1855.

During this time, however, Sarah Coote (sister of Joseph Ambrose Beakey), had moved back to Emmittsburg, Maryland with her eight-year-old son, Clement W. Coote, Jr., where she was busily caring for her aging parents, the Beakeys, paternal grandparents of Martha Beakey Walker; Sarah's mother died in 1850 and her father in 1854, followed shortly thereafter by the death of her husband.

Joseph Ambrose Beakey had gone from Emmitsburg to Philadelphia to look for work about two years after his brothers set out for St. Louis. Perhaps, being the youngest child left at home, he wanted to remain somewhat close to his parents in the event they should need him. Working for a supplier of stoves in Philadelphia, most likely Powell Stackhouse, he met his chosen wife, Mary Ann Bangs, who had been orphaned when her mother, Powell's younger sister Esther Stackhouse Bangs, had died in 1819, while her father was away at sea. Powell Stackhouse switched from making furniture to manufacturing stoves in about 1831. Is it possible that Powell's niece, Mary Ann Bangs, a distant descendant not only of the elite Whitney clan from Connecticut, but also of Edward Bangs, who came to America in 1623, met her future husband who was in Philadelphia to learn about stove manufacturing?

Joseph Ambrose and Mary Ann Bangs married in 1840 at St. Augustine's Catholic Church in Philadelphia, the same church, you may recall from Part I where another wedding had been held the previous year (1839) when Mary Scanlan married William Axton  Stokes there.[4] Joseph soon took his new wife back to Emmittsburg, Maryland, where the Beakey family lived, and he was sure to have heard about his new nephew, his brother John Beakey's son, Augustine James, christened in a Catholic Church in St. Louis in 1840. Another nephew had already been born there in 1838.

When their daughter Martha, the eldest, was about seven, the youngest of the Beakey progeny followed his siblings to St. Louis, nine years before David Davis Walker arrived there from Bloomington by way of his Beloit, Wisconsin, school. Four years later, in 1852, Mary Ann Bangs Beakey gave birth to Clement William Coote Beakey, named for his Aunt Sarah's husband.


End Notes:

[1] Its name was changed to Chicago & Alton, under president Timothy Blackstone, who had headed the Union Stock Yards in Chicago before 1866. In 1899 it was purchased by the Illinois Central under the leadership of Edward H. Harriman. By 1901 Harriman was a director not only of the Illinois Central, but also of the Northern Pacific Railroad, Union Pacific Railroad, the Kansas City Southern Railroad, Guaranty Trust Company, National City Bank, Mercantile Trust, Brooklyn Rapid Transit (with August Belmont), United States Shipbuilding Company, Western Union Telegraph, Pacific Coast Company, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and was chairman of the executive committee of the Chicago & Alton Railroad.

[2] Sheldon Spear, Pennsylvania Histories: Two Hundred Years of Personalities and Events, 1750–1950, p. 32. 

[3] Harold D. Langley, "A Naval Dependent in Washington, 1837-1842: Letters of Marian Coote Speiden," in the Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, D.C., Vol. 50, The Fiftieth Volume (1980), pp. 105-122 at JSTOR.

[4] Thereafter they resided at 121 South Sixth Street. Mary's mother, Rosetta Walker Scanlan, had moved back to Philadelphia after her husband died in Cecil County, Maryland, in 1825. Rosetta had met her Catholic husband, James Scanlan, who was allegedly in the city to visit an uncle, Rev. William Matthews, said to be a Quaker minister. It appears to have been a mere coincidence that there would be a Catholic priest by that name installed as Bishop of Philadelphia Diocese in 1828, since the Scanlans met and married in 1807. By all indications Rosetta Walker Scanlan moved back with her minor children after 1825 to live with her  "Uncle Tommy," as they referred to Thomas Walker. A banker, he lived in the middle ward of Philadelphia, according to the 1840 census, which listed his name on the same page as Edward C. Biddle and Francis M. Drexel, a Catholic immigrant from Austria. Drexel's son, Anthony Joseph Drexel, would eventually become a banking partner of J. P. Morgan.

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