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 • Spearfish
 • Lawrence County
 • South Dakota
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Mary Jane Search Wamsley
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Birth: Sep. 28, 1838
Columbus
Franklin County
Ohio, USA
Death: Feb. 4, 1932
Spearfish
Lawrence County
South Dakota, USA

Oldest of four children of Lot V. Search (1813-1889) and Mary Eleanor Knight or Richardson? At age 18 Mary Jane married Thomas Jr. Lockhart "Lock" Wamsley. The first of Mary's ten children was Eliphelet, born Oct. 25, 1857. She was expecting her second son, Richardson, born Sept 25, 1859, when Lock persuaded her to join the boomers heading to Pike's Peak. They started for Pike's Peak with an uncle and a nephew and "Pike's Peak or Bust" painted on their covered wagon. Lock was a boomer, not cut out for the life of a farmer. With news of each new strike, gold fever would strike, and he would take off, prospecting for riches, sometimes taking Mary Jane and the children with him, but more often by himself. The family lived in many of the boom towns of Colorado including Denver, when it was a pioneer village of 150 inhabitants, Golden, South Park, and Gunnison. Tragedy struck the Wamsley family when five year old Lottie died October 26, 1867, and again the next year, with the death of eight year old Richardson, December 30, 1867. In 1873 Lock and Mary Jane moved to Hartsel, Colorado where they managed the Hartsel Hot Spring Hotel. In 1881 he went to Gunnison where he built the first bridge across the Gunnison River. Lock left Mary Jane once again in search of riches in New Mexico.
In 1883, Mary Jane and seven children: Eliphelet, age 26; Hattie, age 18; Mack, age 15; Search, age 13; Celia, age 11; Bodanot, age 8; and Hiram, age 5; traveled to Spearfish, South Dakota. Knight Wamsley, age 19 remained in Colorado. July 21, 1883 they camped on Spearfish Creek, just below town. Boda recalled years later that they came overland from Denver with teams. Mary Jane's last years were spent in pain from a broken hip that never healed properly.

Written by Cathie Durst from memories of Edith Wamsley Durst and family artifacts, with my editing.

Other photos on linked family members.

 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Thomas Lockhart Wamsley (1832 - 1905)*
 
 Children:
  Knight Wamsley (1863 - 1941)*
  Hattie Wamsley Bickerdyke (1865 - 1951)*
  Mack Wamsley (1868 - 1890)*
  Celia Wamsley South (1872 - 1923)*
  Bodanot Wamsley (1875 - 1952)*
  Hiram Wamsley (1878 - 1953)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Rose Hill Cemetery
Spearfish
Lawrence County
South Dakota, USA
Plot: B_13A_5_4A
 
Created by: Della Goss
Record added: Oct 20, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 78814291
Mary Jane <i>Search</i> Wamsley
Added by: Della Goss
 
Mary Jane <i>Search</i> Wamsley
Added by: Della Goss
 
Mary Jane <i>Search</i> Wamsley
Added by: Della Goss
 
 
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