|Birth: ||Nov. 9, 1789|
|Death: ||Sep. 10, 1873|
Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. (1789 - 1873) was born in Maryland in the years following the American Revolutionary War.
Born to Mr. & Mrs. John WOOTERS of Maryland, he was given the Biblical first name of "Noah." His middle name "Washington" was quite fitting for the year of his birth, as George and Martha Washington had just become America's first U.S. President & First Lady in the spring of 1789 following George Washington's inauguration ceremony.
Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. was born later that same year during the autumn season, on 9 November 1789. As this new era of presidential history dawned, President George Washington's first U.S. Presidential term began, under the newly written U.S. Constitution.
The birth of Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. occurred during the time of the year when the farmers are bringing in the last crops from the harvest season, and the autumn leaves have turned from crimson and golden to brown. When he was born in Maryland in the autumn season of 1789, Maryland had only become an official U.S. state just the year before in 1788.
At the time of his birth on 9 November 1789, there were only 11 states that had been officially admitted to our newly formed American nation. He was born just days before the "First National Thanksgiving" observance proclaimed by President George Washington, which was observed on 26 November 1789.
Early census records indicate that Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. was born into a family of several brothers and sisters, and Noah Sr. was among the oldest of the siblings in his family. The known brothers & sisters of this Wooters family included Levin, Noah Sr., Jackson, Esther, John M., Deborah, Emory P., and Joseph P. Wooters.
During his boyhood years, Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. (1789 - 1873) migrated south from his birthplace in Maryland to North Carolina with his family. Guilford County, North Carolina, became the home of this branch of the Wooters family for many decades, with some descendants residing in that locality for generations.
Located in the north central section of North Carolina, Guilford County is located east of the Appalachian Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains. Just south of the state of Virginia, Guilford County, North Carolina, is located in the Piedmont Plateau area, west of the Coastal Plains region and is commonly known as the "Land of the Sky" region.
The word "piedmont" literally means "the foot of the mountains" in geographical terms. Guilford County is known as the "Heart of the Piedmont Region", located midway between the Appalachian Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.
In her 1902 book entitled THE HISTORY OF GUILFORD COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, historian Sallie Walker Stockard described Guilford County in these words:
"Guilford County is midway between the mountains and the sea ... Guilford County is the typical Piedmont region. From her broad-backed ridges, many creeks and rivers rise ... Guilford County has an almost uniform soil and forest growth."
Early historians described Guilford County's gently rolling hills that featured a longer crop growing season than the growing season in the mountains. Early settlers, such as the WOOTERS family, also found forest areas filled with pine, hickory, oak, dogwood, maple, sycamore, poplar, elm, walnut, persimmon, chestnut, huckleberry, and sweet gum trees, with vast areas of clover, buffalo grass, lilacs, roses, sweet lavender, daisies, and a beautiful array of wild flowers growing in Guilford County. Due to the daunting task of clearing all the trees in the wooded areas, Guilford County became known as a region of small farms.
The first settlers found wild game and fish in Guilford County, with an abundance of deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, bears, raccons, beavers, wolves, and panthers. Historical accounts relate that Guilford County's rolling plains, fertile soil, forest growth, temperate climates, meandering creeks, and flowing rivers, furnished a foundation for these early settlers, such as the WOOTERS family.
As more and more settlers arrived, the early farmers of Guilford County began raising wheat, corn, buckwheat, flax, indigo, hemp, tobacco, and cotton. These early Guilford County settlers also produced butter & cheese and gathered honey, wild chestnuts, walnuts, hickory nuts, apples, peaches, pears, and plums. These historic details describe Guilford County, North Carolina, as it would have appeared when Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. lived there in his boyhood with his parents and siblings.
Guilford County historian Sallie Walker Stockard described this locality in these words:
"These rolling plains, with fertile soil and temperate climate, furnished a good foundation for the earliest occupation of the pioneer settler ... With the present staples, wheat, corn, and tobacco, they cultivated flax, indigo, hemp, and made large quantities of butter and honey. On many of the old plantations were made most of the things of common use ... Spacious fields of wheat, corn, buckwheat, and patches of cotton surrounded their homes."
As the nineteenth century dawned in the year 1800, Noah Sr.'s father, John WOOTERS, purchased farmland in Guilford County, North Carolina, during the time that President John Adams and First Lady Abigail Adams were moving into the newly built White House in Washington, D.C., which officially opened for residency in the year 1800.
Late in the summertime when Noah Sr. was a boy of 10 years old, his father, John WOOTERS, purchased 100 acres of farmland in a rural area of Guilford County, North Carolina. The 100 acres of farmland was purchased by the Wooters family on 29 August 1800 for a total purchase price of $115.00, which signifies a purchase price of $1.15 per acre. This land deed record, hand-written with a quill feather pen & ink, is still preserved in Guilford County. (Land Deed Record Book 7 ~ Page 423).
This farmland purchased by the WOOTERS family was described as a "tract, piece, or parcel of land, situated on the waters of North Buffalo Creek", which still flows through Guilford County to this very day. This farmland was situated by the watercourse known as North Buffalo Creek and was distinguished by the presence of trees such as a Spanish oak tree, a hickory tree, a post oak tree, and a forked white oak tree. A rare tax list document from 1815 shows John WOOTERS owned 100 acres of land in Guilford County, North Carolina, with a value of $250.00.
Historic events that occurred during Noah Washington WOOTERS Sr.'s boyhood years included the death of George Washington at Mount Vernon in 1799, the building of the White House in Washington, D.C., the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, and Lewis & Clark's historic expedition of America with their faithful guide Sacajawea, during Thomas Jefferson's term as U.S. President.
Raised in a rural agricultural setting on his father's farmland in Guilford County, North Carolina, Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. (1789 - 1873) eventually became a farmer and landowner in his own right, first in North Carolina and later in Illinois.
Guilford County, North Carolina, became the place where Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr., went from boyhood to manhood, where he courted and married his wife, where he first became a farmland owner, and where he started raising his own children in the 1820s, and where he remained until the 1830s. Guilford County, North Carolina, remains an important locality in the life story of Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. (1789 - 1873).
Agricultural census reports from the early 1800s reveal that Guilford County's residents were primarily farmers, engaged in raising corn, wheat, and oats, with smaller amounts of rye, hay, potatoes, tobacco, flax, and cotton. Guilford County farmers were historically noted for raising horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, and chickens, which helped produce quantities of wool, butter, cheese, eggs, dairy products, and orchard products.
The early U.S. Federal Census records of 1800 and 1810 reveal that Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. (1789 - 1873) remained in the rural Guilford County household of his father, John WOOTERS, as Noah Sr. became a young man. During this time period, James & Dolley Madison were the U.S. President & First Lady, the War of 1812 began, and the British soldiers burned the White House and other key buildings in Washington, D.C. in America's history.
Nearing 30 years of age as the spring crop planting season of 1819 approached, Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. (1789 - 1873) married Miss Isabella HEATH in March 1819, in Guilford County, North Carolina, during the U.S. Presidential term of James Monroe. His wife, Isabella HEATH, was just 17 years old at the time of their marriage. His wife's family, the HEATH family, were also known as early residents of Guilford County, North Carolina.
Their historic marriage bond record from the year 1819 is preserved at the North Carolina State Archives. The text of their marriage bond document reads as follows:
"State of North Carolina, Guilford County:
Know all men by these presents, that we, Noah WOOTERS, Eli Brewer,, and Joshua Murrow, are held and firmly bound unto John Branch, Governor, or his successors in office, in the full sum of five hundred pounds, current money, to be paid to said Governor, his successors or assigns, for the which payment, well and truly to be made and done, we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents. Sealed with our seals, and dated this 2nd day of March, Anno Domini, 1819.
The condition of the above obligation is such, that whereas the above bounden Noah WOOTERS, hath made application for a license for marriage to be celebrated between him and Isabella HEATH, of the county aforesaid.
Now, in case it shall not appear hereafter that there is any lawful cause or impediment to obstruct the said marriage, then the above obligation to be void, otherwise to remain in full force and virtue.
(Signature): Noah WOOTERS (seal)
Signed, sealed, and delivered in the presence of:
This North Carolina marriage bond record from the year 1819 is treasured today by the descendants of Isabella HEATH Wooters and Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr.
Taken shortly after their wedding, the 1820 Federal Census shows newlywed Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr., as the head of his own household for the first time in a census report, and his young wife, Isabella HEATH Wooters, and their firstborn child. This 1820 census document also clearly indicates that Noah Sr. was involved in agriculture in rural Guilford County, North Carolina, following in the agrarian footsteps of his father.
Historical land records from Guilford County show that Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. and his wife, Isabella HEATH Wooters, became land owners in Guilford County, North Carolina. These early land records reveal that Noah Sr. and Isabella owned farmland situated on Reedy Fork Creek, a watercourse which is shown on the oldest surviving maps of Guilford County.
Reedy Fork Creek flows east into western Guilford County and flows northeast across the county. Reedy Fork Creek is a tributary of the Haw River, which joins the Deep River, which eventually flows into the Cape Fear River. This area was well known to early settlers, trappers, and hunters for its rich abundance of deer, raccoons, and beavers.
Early history books describe the Reedy Fork Creek area as having "immense grazing grounds ... bordered by cane brake, within which game abounded" in the time of early settlement. Back in its history, Revolutionary War troops, Civil War Union troops, and Civil War Confederate troops have all camped along the banks of Reedy Fork Creek in Guilford County, North Carolina.
On 3 March 1821, early in their married years, Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. and Isabella HEATH Wooters deeded 31 acres of land to Jesse Wharton, for the price of $60.00, a selling price of almost $2.00 per acre. This 1821 land transaction occurred when James Monroe was the U.S. President. This land that Noah Sr. and Isabella sold was described as being located "on the waters of the Reedy Fork of the Haw River" and was distinguished by the presence of black oak, hickory, and post oak trees. (Guilford County Deed Book Volume 15 ~ Page 204).
A few years later, on 12 February 1828, during the presidency of John Quincy Adams, Noah Sr. and Isabella deeded 40 acres of land to Henry Heath for the price of $100.00, a selling price of $2.50 an acre. This farmland was described as being "on the waters of the Reedy Fork of the Haw River, 40 acres, more or less, down the course of the branch, thence up the hollow" and was distinguished by the presence of black oak, hickory, black gum, and post oak trees. (Guilford County Deed Book Volume 15 ~ Page 191).
Just as they sold their farmland on Reedy Fork Creek, Noah Sr. & Isabella paid $100.00 to Isaac Armfield on 8 March 1828, for a farm consisting of 77 rural acres in Guilford County, North Carolina, at a purchase price of $1.30 per acre. Their rural farm was described in the 1828 deed book as being "a certain plantation, or parcel of land" situated "on the waters of North Buffalo" Creek and featured post oak, black jack, and hickory trees. (Guilford County Deed Book Volume 18 ~ Page 238).
North Buffalo Creek and South Buffalo Creek are tributaries that join together to form the larger watercourse known as Buffalo Creek in Guilford County, which flows northeast into Reedy Fork Creek, described in the above passages.
In all of these land transactions, Noah Sr. and Isabella owned farmland located on watercourses in Guilford County, which would have been important for the raising of livestock and for a ready supply of water for the needs of their growing household.
As their family and children grew through the years, Noah Sr. & Isabella's household is shown one last time in rural Guilford County, North Carolina, for the 1830 U.S. Federal Census, taken while Andrew Jackson was the U.S. President. While some of their neighbors in rural Guilford County owned slaves, Noah Sr. and Isabella did not own slaves. The 1830 census shows their rural household had already grown to seven total members, with parents Noah Sr. and Isabella, and their five oldest sons.
In the 1830s, a major turning point occurred in the lives of Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. and his wife, Isabella HEATH Wooters, and their children and their future descendants. Packing up their family's provisions, essential supplies, and treasured possessions, it appears that Noah Sr. and Isabella and their six oldest sons migrated briefly to the state of Virginia, where their seventh child, also a son, was born.
Shortly thereafter, a milestone in the Wooters family saga occurred in the middle 1830s, as Noah Sr. and Isabella decided to migrate with their children to the Midwestern state of Illinois, known as "The Prairie State" in that era.
During this same time period in the 1830s, hundreds of other Guilford County families also migrated to other westward destinations and left North Carolina during the pioneer migration period.
Historians relate that the journey to Illinois in those days was often arduous & difficult for pioneers, especially for households with numerous children. The journey to Illinois was often described as a long, tedious, and dangerous expedition for pioneer families.
This 1830s westward pioneer journey to Illinois marked a major turning point in the history of this branch of the WOOTERS family. Illinois became the home of many WOOTERS family descendants for generations.
Previous to their migration to Illinois, Noah Sr.'s brothers, Levin Wooters and John M. Wooters, had already migrated west and settled in Illinois. With two brothers already established in Illinois, this no doubt encouraged Noah Sr. and Isabella to migrate to Illinois with their children.
By the time of Noah Sr. and Isabella's migration to Illinois in the 1830s, Noah was approaching the age of 50 years. Noah Sr. and Isabella had already become the parents of seven children, all seven of their children being sons at the time they migrated to the Midwest.
Today, Wooters family descendants can readily envision Noah Sr. and Isabella as a pioneer couple with their seven sons heading west to the frontier lands of Illinois, which beckoned to them from afar.
The oldest boys among their seven sons were in their teenage years, their middle sons were just boys, and their seventh son was just a toddler, when they migrated west to the Illinois frontier. Old county history books, with biographical sketches of some of the Wooters family sons, state that these sons left North Carolina in their boyhood years, went briefly to Virginia, and then left Virginia and North Carolina behind when they journeyed with their parents to Illinois.
Even in a direct route, as the crow flies, the Wooters family had well over 500 daunting miles to travel, as they left the Appalachian Mountains, the Great Smoky Mountains, and the Blue Ridge Mountain regions of North Carolina and Virginia behind them when they migrated to Illinois.
One can envision Noah Sr. and Isabella and their seven young sons traveling across hundreds and hundreds of miles together as a pioneer family to reach the state of Illinois. When they set out on their journey to Illinois, America's 7th President, Andrew Jackson, lived in the White House.
The surviving details of their migration west to Illinois as a pioneer family in the 1830s were recorded years later in a journal still treasured today by direct descendants of the original members of the Wooters family who bravely traveled west to Illinois.
This antique journal, now a family heirloom, was penned by a direct grandson of Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. and Isabella HEATH Wooters. The author of the family journal would have grown up in the 1800s hearing first-hand accounts of the Wooters family's migration to Illinois directly from his grandfather, Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr., as well as his father and uncles who remembered the journey from their own boyhood memories.
The journal states that Noah Sr. and Isabella traveled west with their large family of children, seven sons at the time of their migration, and the route of their journey took the Wooters family "via Tennessee" where they then traveled on to Monroe County, Illinois, where they stayed briefly. Monroe County, Illinois, is on the western edge of Illinois, bordered by the Mississippi River, and located south of Saint Louis.
The family journal states that after staying briefly in Monroe County, Illinois, Noah Sr. and Isabella and their seven young sons then migrated a few counties to the east across Illinois to Marion County, located in the south-central area of Illinois, where Noah Sr. and Isabella permanently settled and remained for the rest of their lives.
This hand-written journal is the most detailed & authoritative family account of the Wooters family's migration to Illinois in the 1830s known to exist at the current time. The journal preserved the above-stated details of this pioneer family's migration to Illinois that would otherwise have been lost to the passage of time.
Weeks of arduous travel awaited them, with countless creeks, streams, and rivers waiting in their pathway to ford. The Wooters family set out on their journey, which followed a westerly and then a north-westerly course.
Migrating pioneer families like the Wooters family rose before dawn to prepare for each day's journey and usually traveled until sundown, when they would set up camp for the night. Descendants today can envision Noah Sr. and Isabella as a pioneer couple with their seven young sons camping out on the frontier each night in the light of a campfire under starlit skies. For Noah Sr. and Isabella and their seven sons, this was surely the journey of a lifetime. Each ensuing mile brought them closer and closer to their destination, with scenes of America's natural landscape all around them.
James Mason Peck's historic GAZETTEER OF ILLINOIS was published during this time period in 1834. His book described Illinois in these words during the time period when Noah Sr. and Isabella and their children migrated to Illinois:
"No state in the 'GREAT WEST' has attracted so much attention, and elicited so many enquiries from those who desire to avail themselves of the advantages of a settlement in a new & rising country, as that of Illinois; and none is filling up so rapidly with an emigrating population from all parts of the United States ... Maize (corn) is a staple production. No farmer can live without it, and hundreds raise little else. This is chiefly owing to the ease with which it is cultivated. Its average yield is fifty bushels to the acre. I have oftentimes seen it produce seventy-five bushels to the acre, and in a few instances, exceed one hundred. Garden vegetables can be produced here in vast profusion, and of excellent quality ... The cultivated vegetable productions in the field are maize or Indian corn, wheat, oats, barley, buckwheat, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, rye for horse feed & distilleries, tobacco, cotton, hemp, flax, the castor bean, and every other production common to the middle states."
Noah Sr. and Isabella's decision to migrate to Illinois in the 1830s was no doubt spurred on by his brothers Levin Wooters and John M. Wooters. Family research has shown that these three Wooters family brothers from Guilford County, North Carolina, all of them sons of John Wooters, migrated to Illinois, while the remaining members of John Wooters' family remained in Guilford County, North Carolina.
Noah Sr.'s brother, Levin Wooters, had already settled in Marion County, Illinois, in the 1820s. Another of Noah's brothers, John M. Wooters, went briefly to Marion County, Illinois, but then settled in Monroe County, Illinois. Finally, their brother Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. (1789 - 1873) and his wife, Isabella HEATH Wooters (1801 - 1853) and their seven sons, arrived in Illinois.
From the written journal account, Noah Sr. and Isabella and their seven sons stopped first in Monroe County, Illinois, where Noah's brother, John M. Wooters had already settled. Ultimately, Noah Sr. and Isabella and their seven sons migrated shortly thereafter to Marion County, Illinois, where Noah Sr.'s brother, Levin Wooters, was already permanently settled.
Levin Wooters and his brother, Noah Washington Wooters, Sr. (1789 - 1873) remained in Marion County, Illinois, for the rest of their lives and are recognized today as early settlers in the history of Marion County, Illinois.
This phenomenon of friends, neighbors, and relatives moving away to settle in new localities together, over the course of time, is known as chain migration. Noah Sr. and Isabella's decision to move their family to Marion County, Illinois, is a true-life example of chain migration, as they already had relatives established in that locality.
John Mason Peck's 1834 GAZETTEER OF ILLINOIS described what Marion County, Illinois, looked like at the time that Noah Sr. and Isabella and their seven sons settled there in the 1830s in these words:
"Marion County lies in the interior of the state ... and embraces the southern part of the Grand Prairie. It has considerable land ... about one-third timber, and the rest, prairie. Considerable post oak timber is found in this county. The county seat is Salem ... "
Historic land deed records of Marion County, Illinois, show that Noah Sr. and Isabella decided to permanently settle with their children in Marion County, as evidenced by their purchase of 40 acres of Illinois farmland on 11 March 1837. Purchased just one week after Andrew Jackson's presidential term had concluded, the Wooters family purchased land during the first week of President Martin Van Buren's term in office as U.S. President.
Purchased just before the spring planting season of 1837, their new 40 acre land sale from the U.S. Federal Government was for the N.E. Quarter of the N.W. Quarter of rural Township Section # 9 of Raccoon Township, Marion County, Illinois. (Recorded In Volume 145 ~ Page 154).
This 40 acre farm was sold through the U.S. Federal Land Office located in Vandalia, Illinois. At that point in time, Vandalia was the state capital of Illinois, before it eventually moved to Springfield, Illinois. Today, much of their original Illinois farmland is now covered by the waters of the Centralia Reservoir, which was created in more recent times.
Interestingly, the Wooters farmland purchase price in Marion County, Illinois, was set "at the rate of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre", with the purchase price of their 40 acre farm in 1837 totaling $50.00.
The original 1837 land purchase documents have been preserved at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. The documents state that Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. purchased this land in Marion County, Illinois, for the "purpose of cultivation" and that he paid the full $50.00 purchase price in silver at the Receiver's Office at the Vandalia Land Office on 11 March 1837.
Coincidentally, when Noah Sr. and Isabella bought their new 40 acre farm from the U.S. Government in 1837, it happened to be the same year that Illinois inventor John Deere introduced his new innovative steel plow that allowed American farmers to rip through tall prairie grass much faster.
Ironically, in the same year that the Wooters family made their Illinois Public Land Purchase in 1837 from the land office in Vandalia, Illinois, the Vandalia Land Office became the the top-selling land office in the entire state of Illinois for that particular year. In 1837, the Vandalia Land Office sold a total of 1,012,842 acres of Illinois land to eager land-seekers, including the 40 acres of farmland sold to Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. (1789 - 1873) during the "Illinois Land Rush" era in the 1830s.
This land rush to Illinois was described in the DAILY NATIONAL INTELLIGENCER newspaper, published in Washington, D.C., on 2 July 1835, in these words:
"The tide of emigration which is flowing in this season far exceeds that of any former period. The flood-gates of enterprise seem to be let loose upon us, and multitudes are crowding on to this young land ... eager to find a better home, where they can build their fortunes and their hopes, and enjoy the plenty which our ... fields yield to the hand of industry. The cry is 'Westward Ho!' and they press on still deeper ... in the prairies. The emigration to Illinois this season ... along the groves or by the streams; is now rife with thriving settlement; and some smart villages have arisen, too, as if by enchantment ... But we have land enough yet which offers itself to the moulding hand of the emigrant - yet untouched, and invites the hand of cultivation ... We rejoice in the fair prospect and rapid growth of our state ... let emigrants come - we have an immense domain for them. More than twenty millions of acres of land in Illinois are spread out before them. Richer fields were never bared to the sun. We welcome them to our young home of enterprise and prosperity. We welcome them to partake with us the pleasures as well as the hardships of a new country, and to enjoy with us the fond hopes in prospect."
Historians note that this area of Illinois was commonly settled by pioneers from the South, such as the Wooters family. These Southern settlers were used to outdoor agricultural life and manual farm labor and Southern settlers greatly defined this area of frontier Illinois in terms of traditions and customs and culture. Most of the pioneers who settled in this area of Illinois farmed, hunted, trapped, fished, and utilized the resources of both the prairie and the timberlands.
Millions of acres of public land were sold in Illinois during this time period. Historians note that fertile soil, lengthy growing seasons, and timely rains attracted thousands of new settlers to Illinois, including Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. and his wife, Isabella HEATH Wooters, and their family.
Noah Sr. and Isabella and their children arrived in Illinois during a time of skyrocketing public land sales in Illinois. Great waves of pioneers moved to Illinois during the 1830s, during the time that they were migrating to Illinois. The population of Illinois rose from 272,427 people in 1835 to 476,183 people by the year 1840.
One historian described the rush of settlers to Illinois in these words:
"In the thirty months from the fall of 1835 to the spring of 1837, the American people generated the largest land office business in the history of the Republic. Significantly, prairie lands sold well."
In the years just before they arrived in Marion County, the county population was just 2,125 people counted for the 1830 census. In 1834, the population was listed at 3,006 people. By the time of the 1840 Federal Census, the county population climbed quickly to 4,742 people. By the year 1840, Illinois was becoming quite thoroughly settled due to the arrival of so many settlers during the time period that Noah Sr. and Isabella arrived in Illinois with their seven sons.
The 1909 HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY, ILLINOIS, written by Professor J.H.G. Brinkerhoff, described the rural landscape of Marion County that awaited the eyes of Noah Sr. and Isabella and their seven sons when they first arrived in Marion County, Illinois:
"The county is about two-thirds timber land and one-third prairie, and the soil is well adapted to all the productions of the central temperate zone. Corn is grown in considerable quantities ... the timber land was thickly covered with a magnificent growth of oaks, white, black, and red; of hickory; walnut; and maple; with numerous other woods in lesser quantities. The forest furnished meat, and Indian corn was the staff of pioneer life."
Descendants today can envision Noah Sr. and Isabella arriving for the first time in Marion County, Illinois, purchasing a farm, unpacking their provisions, building a pioneer home, clearing their new farmland for planting, and settling in rural Raccoon Township, Marion County, Illinois.
One can imagine the excitement that their young sons felt upon reaching their destination at long last, and the new experiences which awaited them on the Illinois frontier. The generation of today can envision scenes of this pioneer family working from sunrise to sunset to create their new family home and farmstead, with Noah Sr. and Isabella and their sons working diligently together as a family. Marion County became their new home on the Illinois frontier.
The old Vincennes Trail passed through this rural township and other pioneers from North Carolina also settled in this area of Marion County, becoming rural neighbors with the Wooters family over the years.
Written in 1881, Brink-McDonough's history book about Marion County described what awaited these early settlers in Marion County in these words:
"Nearly half the county is timbered land, the other somewhat larger half, prairie. Few spectacles are so inspiringly beautiful as a grand prairie at certain seasons of the year ... The bottom lands have a deep, rich soil. The prairie lands in this county are all rich and productive ... the lower and flatter prairies are well adapted to the growing of maize (corn), oats, barley, flax ... the timbered land is dotted here and there with cabins and dwellings and is being rapidly changed into farms. Farmers have entered what was once a forest, and caused it to bloom and blossom as the rose."
Historians described Marion County as an area covered with timber lands and prairie lands, sprinkled with small creeks, streams, and water springs. These early Marion County settlers found an abundance of trees as a resource for making furniture, wagons, wooden utensils, yokes, tools, fences, barrels, fuel, and the building of homes and log cabins.
The early Marion County settlers found native trees such as oak, elm, birch, sycamore, maple, buckeye, sassafras, cottonwood, paw paw, hawthorn, ash, black cherry, locust, hazelnut, box elder, poplar, linden, basswood, hackberry, butternut, black walnut, willow, gum, sugar, hornbeam, hickory, beech, red cedar, haw, persimmon, tulip, and Kentucky coffee trees, all native to Marion County.
Pioneer settlers also found red mulberries, wild plums, crabapples, wild cherries, wild gooseberries, currants, chokecherries, elderberries, blackberries, wild strawberries, summer grapes, frost grapes, black raspberries, red raspberries, and prairie roses, which grew in abundance during those early settlement days.
The early settlers recalled that some of the prairie grasses grew "as tall as a man's head, riding on horseback" when they first arrived in Marion County, Illinois, in the 1800s. Native berries, roots, fruit, wild nuts, acorns, and bark provided additional food for the pioneer table, supplemental food for livestock, fabric dyes, home-remedy medicines, and other items useful to the early Marion County settlers.
Marion County's 1881 history book by Brink-McDonough detailed pioneer life experiences as settlers first arrived in Marion County:
"His first labor was to fell trees and erect his unpretentious cabin, which was rudely made of logs, and into the raising of which he had the cheerful aid of his neighbors. A huge fireplace was built at one end of the house, in which fire was kindled for cooking purposes ... which furnished the needed warmth in the winter."
Professor J.H.G. Brinkerhoff described the experience of settlers upon their arrival in Marion County in these words:
"The home of the settler was at first usually a one-room, log cabin, to which were added a room or two as necessity and opportunity required or permitted ... All lived in log houses which were very poorly provided with light, a hole in the wall serving as a window, but minus the glass. They were all provided with wide, deep fireplaces, with backs and jambs made of flat rocks placed in mortar to protect the wood from the fire. The fireplace had to be made so as to take in a large quantity of big wood to make sufficient heat to keep the family reasonably comfortable."
Their arrival in Marion County, Illinois, by this time period is further documented by an old Marion County court document dated 28 December 1838, showing that Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr., paid a fee to William N. Dobbins, for payment on a pending financial note. William N. Dobbins is remembered in Marion County history books as a military captain who served in the Black Hawk War from Marion County, Illinois.
On 14 August 1839, Noah Sr. and Isabella bought a nearby farm, consisting of 40 acres in Marion County, Illinois, from Noah Sr.'s brother and sister-in-law, Levin Wooters & Sarah Richardson Wooters, for a total purchase price of $31.25, representing a purchase price of about 80 cents an acre, during the term of U.S. President Martin Van Buren.
Their second 40 acre farm, located about one mile south-west of their original Illinois farm in a direct route as the crow flies, was located in the N.W. Quarter of the S.E. Quarter of Section # 8 in rural Raccoon Township, Marion County, Illinois. On today's maps, this farm is located about two miles south of the Centralia Reservoir Dam.
Taken during President Martin Van Buren's term in office, the 1840 U.S. Federal Census shows that the families of Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. and his brother, Levin WOOTERS, lived in close proximity to each other in rural Marion County, Illinois. This historic document clearly shows that the Wooters brothers, Levin and Noah Sr., and all of their neighbors were engaged in agriculture at the time of the 1840 census.
More specifically, the 1840 census for the household of Noah Sr. and Isabella shows that Noah Sr. and his oldest sons were engaged in agriculture together on the Wooters family farmstead in rural Marion County, Illinois. One can envision the members of this pioneer family engaged in their work tasks and daily farm chores through the spring, summer, fall, and winter seasons of the year on the Illinois prairie.
Professor J.H.G. Brinkerhoff describes the appearance of these pioneer men from Marion County's early days:
"The men and boys wore 'jeans' and linsey-woolsey hunting shirts. The 'jeans' were colored either light blue or butternut. The men and boys, in many instances, wore pantaloons made of the dressed skin of the deer, which then swarmed the prairie in large herds."
Historic statistics compiled from the 1840 U.S. Federal Census show that nearly every resident of Marion County, Illinois, was engaged in agricultural pursuits, with their frontier homes built of wood and timber. The farmers of Marion County raised primarily corn, oats, wheat, and potatoes, along with smaller quantities of orchard crops, tobacco, cotton, and hay.
Careful study of agricultural statistics reveal that the farmers of Marion County in 1840 raised livestock consisting mainly of pigs, cattle, sheep, horses, and poultry birds. As time passed, pioneers planted apple trees, cherry trees, peach trees, strawberries, gooseberries, raspberries, blackberries, and grapes in Marion County, Illinois.
Historians describe the meal tables of these early Illinois pioneers as being filled with venison, fowl, fresh ham, chicken, turkey, duck, wild game meats, poultry, fish, coursely grained home-baked bread, Johnnycake, hoe cake, corn pone, garden greens, roasting ears of corn, pumpkins, beans, squash, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, turnips, cabbages, peas, beets, onions, parsnips, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce greens, radishes, asparagus, garden produce, salted meats, smoked meats, berries, fruits, wild nuts, mushrooms, wild plums, wild grapes, wild honey, milk, eggs, home-churned butter, and maple syrup.
Historian J.H.G. Brinkerhoff described the experiences of the early pioneer farmers of Marion County in these words:
"The farmer in those days was poorly provided with teams and mostly oxen were used, consequently they could cultivate only small farms on which enough corn was grown for bran and to feed stock, with the help of prairie hay to feed cattle and horses, and to fatten their hogs, provided they failed to get fat on white oak acorns. But if the pioneer failed to have fat hogs, he could take his rifle and go to the woods and find all the fat deer he wanted, or in fact, any kind of meat he wanted. Both deer and turkey were plentiful ..."
Historians who lived during the 1800s recorded that the early settlers, hunters, and trappers found an abundance of wildlife such as the American deer, the white-tailed deer, black bear, gray wolf, Prairie wolf, gray fox, panther, lynx, weasel, mink, otter, badger, raccoon, opossum, squirrel, woodchuck, gopher, muskrat, rabbit, and honeybees.
In those days, pioneer settlers described creeks and streams in Marion County that were filled with catfish, bass, sunfish, perch, buffalo fish, and carp chub fish.
In Marion County, the early settlers of the 1800s also found the prairie lands & timberlands inhabited by wild turkeys, prairie hens, prairie chickens, grouse, quail, snipes, swans, geese, ducks, loons, plovers, and herons.
The 1881 Brink-McDonough history book written about Marion County stated:
"Game was plentiful in pioneer times, such as deer, wolves, prairie chickens, wild turkeys ... perch and catfish were found in the streams. Honey was one of the principal articles of diet among the pioneers. Bears were occasionally found. Whatever meat was needed, the gun was taken down, and a deer was soon killed. Chasing wolves and hunting deer were at that early time the common sport and pasttime of the people. In the early days, the prairies and forests of this region abounded in game of all kinds. Deer, elk, panthers, wolves, and bears were as plentiful here then as the same animals are now in the wilderness of the far West. It was no uncommon sight to see fifty deer in a gang."
The 1840 U.S. Federal Census shows that the Wooters family had 10 members in their household by 1840, which included Noah Sr. and Isabella and their seven oldest sons and first daughter, who was born by that time. One can envision this large pioneer family gathered around the hearth and fireside for meals during pioneer days.
After they settled permanently in Marion County, Illinois, Noah Sr. and Isabella became the parents of three more children born after they reached Illinois. These last three children born in Illinois, together with the seven oldest sons who made the journey with their parents to Illinois, made Noah Sr. and Isabella the parents of a total of ten children, eights sons and two daughters.
Their ten children, in sequential order of birth, were as follows:
1. Ezekiel J. WOOTERS
2. Yarba Smith WOOTERS
3. Allen W. WOOTERS
4. Emery T. WOOTERS
5. Noah Washington WOOTERS, Jr.
6. Ellis Nathan WOOTERS
7. John Raymond WOOTERS
8. Elizabeth Ellen WOOTERS Kell
9. Alfred B. WOOTERS
10. Easter L. WOOTERS (died in infancy)
Starting in the early 1840s, Noah Sr. and Isabella became grandparents for the first time, as their oldest children began marrying and starting families of their own. All the weddings for their children who became married occurred in Marion County, Illinois. Marion County became home to three living generations of the Wooters family during this time period as Noah Sr. and Isabella became grandparents, beginning in the early 1840s.
A little-known 1850 Agricultural Census document was compiled on 13 September 1850 by census enumerator Benjamin F. Marshall, from a late summer's visit to the farmstead of Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. and Isabella HEATH Wooters when Millard Fillmore was the U.S. President.
The discovery of this priceless "Productions of Agriculture" document allows today's descendants to journey back in time for a true glimpse of Noah Sr. and Isabella's countryside home and farmstead during the pioneer era in 1850, and gives us a clear visual sense of what their farm looked like in rural Marion County, Illinois.
This 1850 Agricultural Census document reveals that Noah Sr. and Isabella had 28 acres of improved land on their farmstead, with 40 acres of unimproved land. In 1850, their farmland had a total assessed value of $200.00. They also owned additional farming implements and agricultural machinery worth $40.00 in 1850.
The primary field crop raised on the Wooters farmstead in 1850 was corn, with 400 bushels of "Indian corn" being raised in the past year on their farm. In addition, the Wooters family had raised 40 bushels of oats and 12 tons of hay in the course of the past year.
The livestock recorded on the Wooters family pioneer farmstead in 1850 included two horses, a team of four working oxen, two milk cows, a flock of fourteen sheep, and a litter of twelve pigs. The total assessed value of all their livestock totaled $190.00.
From their flock of sheep, 28 pounds of wool had been sheared in the past year, ready to be washed, combed, carded, and spun into wool thread. From their cows, 300 pounds of homemade butter had been hand-churned on their farmstead. The value of home-made manufactured goods from the past year had been $35.00, while $20.00 worth of animals had been butchered in the past year.
In terms of crop production, this 1850 Agricultural Census illuminates pioneer scenes of the Wooters family involved in using two horses and a team of four oxen to assist in their field work such as breaking the prairie sod, tilling the soil, plowing, planting, and harvesting. This illuminates scenes of their oxen, yoked together as a team, as they pulled the plow through the thick prairie sod to create furrows in the field. One can envision their Midwestern farmland covered with acres of planted corn, oats, and hay growing on a summer's day on their pioneer farmstead.
The 1850 livestock inventory reveals that chores such as livestock feeding, the shearing of sheep, the milking of cows, the grooming of horses, the tending of oxen, the feeding of pigs, the churning of homemade butter, and country butchering were all a part of the work on the Wooters family farmstead.
The 1850 U.S. Federal Census shows a household of eight family members, with Noah Sr. and Isabella with six of their children still living at home at that time. Almost all of their rural neighbors were engaged in farming, with a carpenter, a laborer, and a blacksmith living in close proximity to their farmstead.
The 1850 census reveals that Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. (1789 - 1873), then aged in his 60s, was still working as a farmer with several of his sons, several of whom were still living at home with their parents, Noah Sr. and Isabella, at the time of the 1850 census.
A description of Illinois, written for the time-honored UNITED STATES GAZETTEER in 1854, describes what Illinois looked liked during this time period in the 1850s:
"Her wide-spread prairies, decked with flowers of every hue that can gratify the eye, and covered with waving grass, convey, besides their quiet landscape beauty, a feeling of sublimity from their vastness, similar to that created by viewing the ocean. The prairies are ... gracefully undulating, and profusely decked with the greatest variety of beautiful wild flowers of every hue, which ravish the beholder with delight."
Marion County, Illinois, where Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. and Isabella HEATH Wooters settled with their family, was specifically described in this way in 1854:
"The county (Marion County, Illinois) includes a part of the Grand Prairie, and is partly covered with forests. The general surface (of Marion County, Illinois) is generally undulating; the soil is excellent. Indian corn, wheat, oats, potatoes, castor beans, white beans, and fine fruits flourish, and the prairies produce excellent pasturage for cattle."
On 4 September 1853, Noah Sr.'s wife for thirty-four years and the mother of his ten children, Isabella HEATH Wooters, passed away in her very early 50s and was buried in the Salem City Cemetery, known today as the East Lawn Cemetery. Her tombstone, placed there by her family, still marks her final resting place after all these years. After his wife's passing, Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. (1789 - 1873) remained a widower for the remaining twenty years of his life.
At the time of his wife's death in 1853, several of Noah Sr. and Isabella's oldest children had married and had started families of their own. However, the responsibility for raising the youngest surviving children fell upon Noah Sr., with several of the youngest children still living at home at the time of their mother's death in 1853.
Despite extensive searches over the years by Wooters family history researchers, it appears that Noah Sr. was not enumerated for the 1860 and 1870 U.S. Federal Census reports, though he was known to have been living in Illinois during that time period.
In September 1858, Marion County became the center of much fanfare and publicity across the state, as the Illinois State Fair was held in Centralia, Marion County, Illinois.
With thousands of visitors pouring into Marion County, spectators viewed agrarian exhibits in the categories of livestock, horticulture, orchard produce, garden produce, dairy produce, and farming implements and machinery.
Visitors to the Illinois State Fair in Marion County that year reported that they saw a vast array of vegetables, fruits, corn, wheat, oats, horses, hogs, mules, bulls, cattle, sheep, and beautiful flowers.
One newsworthy event at the 1858 Illinois State Fair held in Marion County included a hot-air balloon ascension, which awed spectators gathered in Centralia for the fair. A noteable event for all the farmers gathered at the 1858 Illinois State Fair was the demonstration of the first furrow ever plowed by a steam plow, courtesy of the "Steam Plowing Machine", a new innovation by Joseph W. Fawkes, which ushered in a new chapter in American agriculture.
A notable guest in Marion County for 1858 Illinois State Fair that September was Abraham Lincoln, then the Republican candidate for the Illinois Senate. Abraham Lincoln had visited Marion County on other past occasions during the era that Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. lived there.
News of the Illinois State Fair held in September 1858 in Marion County, Illinois, was published in newspapers all over the country. The citizens of Marion County talked about the Illinois State Fair that they had hosted in 1858 for decades thereafter.
The Civil War era of the 1860s came into American history during the twilight years of Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr.'s life, as he reached his 70s, and hundreds of young men from Marion County, Illinois, joined the Union forces. Several of Noah Sr.'s own sons showed their allegiance and support of the Union by signing Civil War draft registry books in Marion County, Illinois, but none of his sons officially served as soldiers during the Civil War.
Ironically, Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. had nephews in Illinois who served on the Union side of the Civil War, as well as nephews still residing in North Carolina, who served in the Confederate army. This phenomenon was common among many American families who had relatives from various branches of their family serving on both sides of the conflict during the Civil War.
Many years after his passing, it should be noted that Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. did have direct WOOTERS descendants who proudly served the U.S.A. in World War I and World War II.
In his later years, a description of Marion County, Illinois, was found in the 11 January 1866 edition of the CENTRALIA SENTINEL published in Centralia, Marion County, Illinois. It described the area where Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. lived in these words:
"Situated as I am upon a point commanding at almost one glance, the whole prairie, I can more readily and truthfully speak of its true grandeur as presented to the eye. As you look over it, with one or two exceptions, every house and farm situated on it can be distinctly seen, a sight truly worth witnessing ... Surrounded entirely by a heavy barrier of timber, the man who is lucky enough to be in possession of a neat little homestead thereon, may consider himself truly fortunate ..."
Family lore passed down in the Wooters family through the generations told that Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. spent the last years of his life as an elderly widower with fading eyesight. His grandchildren recalled assisting their elderly grandfather and helping to lead him around as his eyesight dimmed in his last years. Family lore also stated that Noah Sr. lived in the rural household of his married daughter, Elizabeth Ellen WOOTERS Kell, in his later years.
Father to ten children, Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. eventually had nearly 70 grandchildren, some of whom were born in the years following his death. In the later years of his life, he lived long enough to become a great-grandfather, with four living generations of the Wooters family living in Marion County during that time period.
Late in the summer season, just as a wave of cool & temperate September weather was reported in the Illinois newspapers, Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr., died on the evening of 10 September 1873, during the time period when Civil War hero Ulysses S. Grant was the U.S. President. At the time of his passing, the people of Illinois were anticipating the beginning of the 1873 Illinois State Fair in Peoria, Illinois, which opened just a few days after the passing of Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr.
Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. had reached the age of 83 years. His passing was noted in two Marion County, Illinois, newspapers which have been discovered from the year 1873, both of which honored him as an early settler of Marion County, Illinois.
The first death notice of Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr., was published in the MARION COUNTY ANTI-MONOPOLIST newspaper of Salem, Illinois, by Publishers W.J. Collier and R.D. Monroe. Miraculously, it is the only issue of this newspaper known to have been preserved from the 1800s. It announced the death of Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. to the citizens of Marion County in the Saturday, 13 September 1873, edition of the newspaper on Page 3, Column 1, and reads as follows:
"DIED --- Of intermittent fever on Wednesday evening of this week, Noah WOOTERS (Sr.). We are informed that Mr. WOOTERS was among the first settlers of Marion County (Illinois). His remains were interred at the Salem Cemetery." (Historic Note: Salem Cemetery is currently known as the East Lawn Cemetery).
A few days later, a second death notice, appearing on the front page, was printed in the CENTRALIA SENTINEL, published by Editor L.G. Wilcox in Centralia, Marion County, Illinois. It reads as follows from the 18 September 1873 edition on Page 1, Column 6:
"Died of intermittent fever, Noah WOOTERS (Sr.). Mr. Wooters was among the first settlers of Marion County (Illinois). His remains were interred at the Salem Cemetery." (Historic Note: Salem Cemetery is currently known as the East Lawn Cemetery).
At the time of his passing in 1873, Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. had lived as a pioneer settler in Marion County, Illinois, for nearly 40 years. Hundreds of Marion County's citizens would have known him as a long-time settler and farmer in their county at the time of his passing.
Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. was buried in the Wooters family cemetery plot next to his wife, Isabella HEATH Wooters, in historic East Lawn Cemetery. The North Carolina farmer who had bravely brought his wife and young children across hundreds of miles to the Illinois frontier decades before, was laid to rest.
Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. (1789 - 1873) was preceded in death by his parents, who passed away back in North Carolina; his wife, Isabella; both of his daughters; and two of his sons. He was survived by six of his sons and dozens of grandchildren & great-grandchildren.
Several of Noah Sr. and Isabella's children and grandchildren are also buried in East Lawn Cemetery, which first became used as a cemetery in the 1830s by the early settlers. East Lawn Cemetery is located not far from the Marion County Courthouse in the town of Salem, Salem Township, Marion County, Illinois.
Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr.'s white tombstone, with its gently curved top, though becoming weathered by the passage of years, still stands proudly today in the East Lawn Cemetery to honor his memory as an early settler of Marion County, Illinois. The letters of his name were carefully chiseled into a semi-circular design by the stonecutter, with a small dotted border embellishing the letters of his name in stone.
Through the years, his descendants continue to visit his gravesite, some descendants traveling many miles to find the tombstone bearing their ancestor's name. His tombstone was engraved with this inscription, with lettering and dates still legible for his descendants to cherish after all these years:
"NOAH WOOTERS (Sr.) -- Born: November 9, 1789 --- Died: September 10, 1873 --- Aged 83 Years."
The 1881 Brink-McDonough history of Marion County, Illinois, described East Lawn Cemetery in this way, just a few years after the passing of Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. (1789 - 1873):
"The people of Salem give thoughtful care to their friends who have gone before. A well-kept walk leads to the gates of the silent city, and many a fine monument speaks louder than words of the love and remembrance of those who were once, and are still, so dear."
Some years later, Marion County historian J.H.G. Brinkerhoff described East Lawn Cemetery in this way:
"The city cemetery, known as East Lawn, is situated in the eastern part of the city (of Salem, Illinois) and contains about twenty acres. It is beautifully located and well cared for and speaks well for the people's remembering their dead. The cemetery as a burial place dates back to 1830 ..."
Born in 1789 when there were just eleven states officially admitted to the country following the Revolutionary War period, there were thirty-seven stars sewn onto our country's flag by the time Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. passed away in 1873. Over the course of his lifetime from 1789 to 1873, he had lived during the terms of 18 U.S. Presidents, from George Washington to Ulysses S. Grant, in America's history.
Some years after the passing of Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. (1789 - 1873), Professor J.H.G. Brinkerhoff wrote these words which seem a fitting tribute that captures the legacy of Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr.'s life:
"They are gone. They sleep on the hilltop or in the valley where loving hands laid them, and the world moves on, and they who labored and loved and suffered and departed in the early days of Marion County, are only a fast disappearing vision of the past ... The early settlers were of a class that has now passed away forever."
Born the son of a farmer, the pathway of Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr.'s life always centered upon rural agriculture, first as a farmer's son, then as a farmland owner in North Carolina, and eventually as a farmland owner on the Illinois frontier.
All of his sons grew up involved in the work of the farm, and many of his grandchildren and even great-grandchildren continued to farm in Marion County, Illinois, for many decades after his passing.
Ironically, there are living descendants of Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. and Isabella HEATH Wooters still residing in Marion County, Illinois. To this day, there are Wooters family descendants still involved in agriculture across this country.
Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. (1789 - 1873) lived the life of a North Carolina farmer, an Illinois prairie pioneer, an 1800s homesteader, a land owner, a livestock owner, a sod-buster, an early Midwest settler, and an American frontiersman.
Historian J.H.G. Brinkerhoff wrote of the early experiences of the Marion County pioneers and the memory of "the conditions and difficulties to be met and overcome by the men and women of an age which demanded the best and bravest, and called for, not only an indomitable spirit, but a body as well, inured to privations and hardships, inseparable from a pioneer life."
By the end of his life in 1873, Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. had lived through events which forged our country's history such as the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis & Clark's Expedition, the War of 1812, the invention of American steamships, the Black Hawk War, the Mexican War, the California Gold Rush era, the Oregon Trail days, the arrival of railroads in Illinois, the Pony Express, the Homestead Act of 1862, Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, the victory of the Union troops over the Confederate troops during the Civil War, President Lincoln's assassionation at Ford's Theater, and America's long-awaited completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, completed in the twilight years of his life.
The lifespan of Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. (1789 - 1873), a lifelong farmer, was marked by advancements in American agriculture. In his boyhood years, farming was done primarily by hand. In those days, oxen & horses were used to pull crudely constructed & inefficient wooden plows. The sowing of crop seeds was done by hand, field cultivating was done with a hoe, grain was cut with a sickle, and grain was threshed with a flail. During his boyhood in the 1790s, the cradle & scythe were introduced to help with grain harvesting.
Just about the time Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. migrated to Illinois in the 1830s with his wife and family, innovator Cyrus McCormick introduced the mechanical reaper and Illinois inventor John Deere introduced the steel plow, which cut through the thick roots of the tall prairie grass, turned over the rich prairie soil, and allowed farmers to plow more efficiently and produce more crops.
During the time period that Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. had settled in Illinois in the 1830s, the use of the walking plow and brush harrow were introduced. By the 1840s, more factory-made agricultural implements were being utilized in America. By 1850, pioneer farmers reported that it took from 75 to 90 hours of labor for them to produce 100 bushels of corn. In the last years of Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr.'s life, the first "American Revolution of Agriculture" of the 1860s and 1870s occurred, which was marked by the use of more horses to complete field work.
Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. (1789 - 1873) lived in a time when American farmers cleared timber to create more farmland --- cut down trees and built log cabins, barns, and split rail fences --- chopped firewood for the fireplace --- hand-crafted furniture for the cabin --- worked from morning sunrise to evening sunset --- tilled up the prairie to create cultivated farm fields --- hitched up their horses --- yoked their oxen --- tended to their livestock --- brushed and curry-combed their horses --- milked their cows --- fed their pigs --- sheared their sheep --- planted, harvested, & shocked their corn and oats by hand --- cut & stacked the hay in their hayfields --- hunted & fished to help feed their families --- butchered wild game & livestock to provide meat for the family table --- tanned & preserved animal hides --- drove horse-drawn wagons --- helped neighbors with house-raising & barn-raising --- tended to their fields during the summer growing season --- mended their own tools and farming implements --- and ate home-cooked meals with their family by the fireplace in their log cabin --- as they followed the agrarian cycle of spring planting and fall harvest.
Marion County historian J.H.G. Brinkerhoff described the experience of pioneer men such as Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. (1789 - 1873) in these words, which provide a fitting tribute to his life and legacy:
"The pioneer was content with his lot, but content only because he saw in the future his lands increase in value, his stock grow more and more of worth, and his comforts increase with the years, an honest reward for honest toil. He saw the little clearing grow into fertile fields, the cabin of his early years replaced by a larger and better home, and the evening of life, surrounded by children in homes of their own, cast a glow of satisfaction over his toil that is unknown to this ... generation."
Like the hand-hewn timbers of a pioneer log cabin, this biographical account of Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr.'s life story has been carefully constructed and notched together from early American census records; historical land deeds from North Carolina & Illinois written with a quill feather pen & ink; an 1819 North Carolina marriage bond record preserved at the North Carolina State Archives; tattered and yellowed newspapers from the 1800s; a long-forgotten packet of land purchase documents from 1837 preserved for decades at the National Archives; old family BIBLE records written in spidery handwriting; a little-known 1850 agricultural census document; crumbling county ledger books; a treasured family journal; family history retold by his grandchildren; his time-weathered tombstone; and years of dedicated historical research by several generations of his descendants. Shared across the miles and woven together through the generations, their research and historical discoveries continue to this very day.
The sun rises and sets each day, casting morning sunlight and evening shadows on the weathered white tombstone of Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr., through all the seasons of the year, where he rests in peace with hundreds of other Marion County pioneers in East Lawn Cemetery.
Today, Noah Washington WOOTERS, Sr. (1789 - 1873) has hundreds and hundreds of living descendants, living from coast to coast across this country. They honor the memory of their American ancestor's life and remain his living legacy. Peace to his memory.
Isabella Heath Wooters (1801 - 1853)*
Y S Wooters (1822 - 1878)*
Allen W Wooters (1825 - 1897)*
Elizabeth Ellen Wooters Kell (1838 - 1872)*
East Lawn Cemetery
Created by: Darin Wooters
Record added: Jun 15, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 38384497