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 • Pottawattamie County
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Mathew William Culbertson
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Birth: Oct. 7, 1849
Fremont County
Iowa, USA
Death: Mar. 22, 1920
Council Bluffs
Pottawattamie County
Iowa, USA

Matthew William Culbertson: Son of James Gregg Culbertson (1816-1870) and Patience Maria Eggleston (1816-1894).

Matthew's grandfather Robert Culbertson and his father James Gregg Culbertson were among the first Kentuckian followers of the LDS faith, leaving their home to follow the Mormons out west. During the journey to Utah (the point at which they joined in the long LDS migration through Missouri, Illinois, etc is not certain), they were stuck at what is known as "Winter Camp," a horrible ordeal, while waiting for the chance to go out west to Utah. Food scarcity, cold, disease, and poor conditions led to many members of the faith there, as well as members of the Culbertson family, becoming ill or dying. While there are no noted deaths among the Culbertsons at Winter Camp, the family were forced to remain in the area and never did complete the trip to Utah. Staying where they were meant living for generations in the Council Bluffs area of Iowa, particularly Pottawattamie County.

Among those whose ill health became severe was Matthew's mother, Patience. She contracted a severe case of scurvy from malnutrition (a common ailment) at the camp and thereby lost all of her teeth. As an older woman she followed her daughter Sarah Jane Culbertson Leach and her particular family to South Dakota where she died of complications from a snake bite. Her burial spot is in South Dakota, while the burial spot of her husband is currently unknown (place of death was Fremont County, Iowa).

Matthew himself was born 7 Oct 1849 in Bartlett, Fremont County, Iowa. Whether this coincided with Winter Camp will have to be checked. He had 6 siblings (Sarah Jane, Mary Ann, Maria Deseret, George Allen, Elvira, and Casey).

Matthew had two wives and outlived them both. He married Laura Etta Demmon on 7 Feb 1875 in Harrison Co, Iowa. 1 1/2 years after her death he married Mary Rickman on 12 Sep 1894 in Harrison County, Iowa.

Below are his wives and the children of each:

1) Laura Etta Demmon (1852-1893):
----children with: a) Mable (not Mabel); b) George Joseph; c)James William; d) Laura Etta; e) Hattie;f) Alice; g) Grace.

2) Mary Rickman (Native American of possibly Choctaw Descent)(1866-1905):
----stepdaughter: Dora "Rich"
----His own children with Mary: Matthew & Mark McKinley.

Matthew William Culbertson's Life:
Matthew moved his family to Holt Co, Nebraska and farmed in the Keya Paha Precinct, settling the land around May 1883 and building a 16x20 feet log home with a sod roof, 2 doors and 2 windows. He had 3 1/2 acres of forest trees, 1 acre of orchard, and 15 acres under cultivation. In Feb 1886, he and his wife Laura signed a deed giving land to school district #12. In June 1886, Matthew paid $13 on his land, and by 1890 he paid the final installment for 120 acres of land he'd purchased near O'Neill, Holt Co, Neb. By 1891 through a loan of some kind of $1600 from a private business or citizen, he was mortgaged into $230 (per year, supposedly)...and within a few months he received his patent deed from the US governement (under the Homestead Act). The mortgage or warranty-deed may never have been paid off, for 5 years later in 1897, Matthew was remarried and living in Council Bluffs, Iowa working for CB Gas & Electric Light Company. By 1910 he was a widower and living with his eldest daughter Mable (Culbertson) Wade in Council Bluffs. The land left behind may have been lost or sold, but it is true that there were hard fiscal times in the 1890's as well, a deep recession in fact. He lived at other times with his sons Matthew W and Joseph, then on his own, and by 1920 he had returned to his daughter Mable's household. That year he passed away in Mercy Hospital of a cerebral hemorrhage. He is buried in Fairview Cemetery, as you can see, in the long time home of Iowa and Council Bluffs.

Jobs Matthew held during his life: Farmer, Laborer, railroad worker/laborer; plumber and/or gas-fitter for various different electric and gas companies, and even as a postman in Holt County. Looking at his picture there seem to be intelligent eyes willing to take on adventure and such varied trades and jobs.

Some of his children remained home in Council Bluffs' area while two of his daughters ventured as far as Oregon. Though the fates of his stepdaughter, Dora, and his three younger daughters: Hattie, Alice, and Grace are unknown, and death dates cannot be obtained, only one of his sons, Matthew (son by Mary) pre-deceased him in 1910 at the age of about 2 years old.

With an Irish grandfather and a Kentucky-born first American-born generation father who both joined the LDS faith and attempted to go out west, and even with a couple of children who remained or became LDS later in their lives, there is as of yet no mention of Matthew's religious beliefs. Choosing to go to Nebraska rather than Utah may say a lot, but who knows? Pushing out west as a homesteader and choosing a second wife of Native American descent does show an independent mind that can discern for itself what is best...which is something all of us may need but do not work towards. 
Family links: 
  James Gregg Culbertson (1816 - 1870)
  Patience Maria Eggleston Culbertson (1816 - 1894)
  George Joseph Culbertson (1881 - 1957)*
  Mabel Culbertson Wade (1881 - 1964)*
  James William Culbertson (1885 - 1968)*
  Laura Etta Culbertson Parrick (1887 - 1970)*
  Mark Mckinley Culbertson (1900 - 1968)*
  Sarah Jane Culbertson Leach (1843 - 1926)*
  Mathew William Culbertson (1849 - 1920)
  George Allen Culbertson (1856 - 1923)*
*Calculated relationship
Fairview Cemetery
Council Bluffs
Pottawattamie County
Iowa, USA
Plot: Section J, plot in general area, see photo
Maintained by: Tricia Foster
Originally Created by: want2buytheworldacoke
Record added: Apr 19, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 68611913
Mathew William Culbertson
Added by: want2buytheworldacoke
Mathew William Culbertson
Added by: Julie Ryan
Mathew William Culbertson
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Dan E. W
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Barbara Ketchum
 Added: Apr. 6, 2012
Much love to my great great great grandpa.
 Added: Apr. 1, 2012

- want2buytheworldacoke
 Added: Mar. 30, 2012
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