1SGT Sanford Ransdell

1SGT Sanford Ransdell

Orange County, Virginia, USA
Death 30 Jul 1854 (aged 72)
Cumberland County, Illinois, USA
Burial Toledo, Cumberland County, Illinois, USA
Memorial ID 12288020 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Sanford Ransdell (September 11, 1781 - July 30, 1854) was an early American pioneer and soldier in the Battle of Tippecanoe.

Sanford was born in Orange Co., Virginia in 1781 and by 1803 he was already living in Mercer Co., Kentucky. In about 1808 Sanford married Rhoda Sampson the daughter of William and Sarah (Coleman) Sampson in Harrison Co., Indiana. Rhoda's father had served in the American Revolution as a private with the Virginia troops.

The Ransdells were early pioneers of the Indiana Territory. Their first child Frances Laura was born on March 15, 1809.

On September 6, 1811 Sanford enlisted as a mounted rifleman in a regiment known as the "Yellow Jackets." Sanford took part in the Battle of Tippecanoe at Tippecanoe Creek his horse was shot dead from under him and his thumb was shot off. The captain of his regiment Spier Spencer and the first and second lieutenants were killed in the battle. Sanford was then mustered out on November 24, 1811.

Edward Ransdell who served with Sanford, may have been his brother or a relation. Another member of the regiment Pierce Chamberlin seems to be some kind of relation as well, possibly a brother-in-law, since he married a Nancy Ransdell.

A year later Ransdell served as a first sergeant in the 5th Regiment Indiana Militia in Captain Jacob Zenor's Company from October 20 to November 18, 1812. For his actions on November 7, 1811, and his wartime service he would be awarded 40 acres.

The Ransdells moved to Floyd Co., Indiana by 1820 and again later to Vigo Co. On March 15, 1827 their daughter Frances married Noah Beauchamp, Jr., the son of the blacksmith Noah Beauchamp. Noah, Jr's. father later kills a man in 1840 and Rhoda is called to testify at his trial. The Randells had a total of eight children the last one Daniel was born in 1835.

On March 25, 1854 Rhoda was struck down by an epidemic. Possibly, due to his wife's early demise Sanford took to drinking. His last hours were described by his son Daniel in a letter he wrote his brother Sanford in California on October 18, 1854. "Your father was found dead in the town of Center Ville on the 30th day of July. I left him about (?) hours previous to his death. he was apparently well and hearty but he was a little intoxicated. I tried to get him home but he said he would not go until he got sober. he told me to go home and water the horses and he would come in the evening. So i left him as i thought well about the whiskey and went home about five hours after i got home the worst word came that he was dead. i did not believe it. i went back as quick as i could and in the back lot of Benjamin Toony i saw him lyeng on the ground with his shoes off. he looked natural as though he had laid down to sleep. A coroner's inquest was held in the premises and the Jury gave in the Verdict that he came to his death by intoxication and the oppressive heat of the Sun. Thus ended the life of your last friend. I Had his last mortal remains intered by the side of mother and i am now left to mourn my loss." (Information provided by Kathy Ransdell.)

And so, Sanford was buried beside his wife Rhoda at the Berry Cemetery in Toledo, Illinois.


Plan a visit to Berry Cemetery?



  • Created by: Eric Bruno Borgman
  • Added: 8 Nov 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12288020
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for 1SGT Sanford Ransdell (11 Sep 1781–30 Jul 1854), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12288020, citing Berry Cemetery, Toledo, Cumberland County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Eric Bruno Borgman (contributor 46808488) .