Joseph “Joe” Belston

Photo added by Betty Saltenberger

Joseph “Joe” Belston

Maryland, USA
Death 22 Dec 1893 (aged 53)
Cherokee County, Kansas, USA
Burial Galena, Cherokee County, Kansas, USA
Plot Lot 36, Grave D
Memorial ID 22273699 · View Source
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Joseph 'Joe' Belston
(January 28, 1840 ~ December 22, 1893)

Tombstone looks like Feb. not Jan. to me?


Bodies of Belson (sic: Belston) and Lake Found.

The bodies of Joseph Belson and George Lake
, who met untimely deaths by drowning in a shaft in Cooper hollow last Friday, as chronicled in the last issue of the Times, were found late Saturday evening.

By means of the pump and three hoisters the ground was drained sufficiently to admit passage into the drift where the unfortunate miners had been at work. Five men were lowered into the shaft to search for the bodies, and soon the report came up that Belson was found. The body was taken out and search immediately instituted for Lake, whose body was found two hours later. The dead men were found about twenty feet apart, near the place they had been at work, The body of Lake was buried about two feet in the mud which had evidently fallen on him after he was drowned.

The bodies of the dead men were removed to their respective homes, and the funerals took place Sunday afternoon from the Baptist church, and were attended by a large concourse of sympathizing friends. The interment took place In Galena cemetery. The heartfelt sympathy of the entire community is extended to the widowed wives and fatherless children in their sad bereavement.

The Galena Times
Galena, Kansas
30 December 1893, Saturday, Page 3.


Funeral of Belson (sic) [Belston] and Lake.

One of the largest and the saddest funerals ever held in this city was that of Joseph Belson and Thomas Lake, the two miners who met death by tapping a body of water in an adjoining mine, last week. The service was held by Rev. S. W. Johnson, at the Baptist church on Sunday afternoon, over the remains of the two unfortunate men. The church house was crowded to its utmost capacity and hundreds were unable to gain admittance. The sermon was impressive and the assembled friends made no effort to subdue their grief. So large was the assemblage that it required great skill on the part of Undertaker Stough to successfully manage it but he was equal to the emergency and in spite of the immense throng not only gave everyone an opportunity to view the remains but moved the solemn cortege to the city of the dead without the least confusion.

The fact that the men were old time and well known miners, together with the nature of the accident which called them without a moment's warning, to the presence of their maker, made the event one of unusual sadness and cast a gloom over the entire community.

Joseph Belson was born in the state of Maryland in 1840. He served his country faithfully in the civil war as a member of Co. G. 1st. Ohio Cavalry, enlisting at the beginning of the war and serving to the close. He came to this place among the earliest settlers and engaged in mining, which occupation he followed until his death.

In 1885 he was married to Mrs. M. D. (sic: E.) Hart. The result of this union was one child who with the mother and two children by a former husband are left to battle the world without the protecting care of the one so suddenly taken from them.

Galena Weekly Republican
Galena, Kansas
30 December 1893, Saturday, Page 4.


Joseph’s story:
has few census records with which to identify him. (He is sometimes confused with Josiah Belston, who lived in Van Wert County, Ohio, and died in 1923.)

The 1880 record, when Joseph lived in Joplin, records him as a single miner, age 35, born in Ohio. Most records identify Ohio as the place where he was from, contrary to his obituary. However, it should be noted that there was a census record of Joseph Belson, native of Maryland, 29, working as a farm laborer in Jackson County, Missouri, in 1870.

His Civil War records firmly place him in Ohio, as he enlisted in Company G, Ohio 1st Cavalry Regiment on 14 Feb 1864, and was promoted to Full Corporal on 01 Nov 1864. He mustered out on 13 Sep 1865 at Hilton Head, SC. He was injured in the Battle of Atlanta, in July of 1864, when a horse fell on him.

He may have had a daughter with Hannah McFarland in 1868 in Shelby County, Ohio, but no record exists of their marriage, and no record beyond Hannah’s existence can be found that links him to both, other than the birth record which notes a Joseph Belston and Hannah McFarland with a daughter born September 23, 1868, so this may be Josiah Belston.

Joseph mined in the Galena area, and was fairly well-known. On August 27, 1885, in Joplin, he married Mrs. Mary E. Hart.

--- Joe Belson and Mrs. M. E. Hart were married at Joplin on Thursday afternoon. The REPUBLICAN congratulates.

Galena Weekly Republican
(Galena, Kansas)
Saturday, 29 August 1885,
Page: 8 of 8; Column: 1 of 5.

Mary had been married once before (her maiden name was Potter) in 1872 to John James Hart and had three children with John—Bertie Mae [Bridges], Clint Havens, and Clyde Halsey Hart. (Both Mary and John would marry again.)

Mary had only a brief 8 years with Joseph before his death. However, two children were born to the Joseph and Mary Elizabeth. An infant daughter died in December 1886, and a daughter, Jessie [Cheney] was born January 2, 1890 in Galena.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Belson on Thursday, January 2d, a girl.

Galena Weekly Republican
(Galena, Kansas)
Saturday, 04 January 1890,
Page: 5 of 8; Column: 1 of 5.


Mary’s third husband was John E Porter, whom she married on New Year’s Day, 1896. That month, on January 27, Mrs. Mary E. Porter was appointed guardian of the estate of Jessie Belston, minor heir of Joseph Belston, in the Cherokee County court in Columbus.

Joseph had applied for a veteran’s invalid pension on August 8, 1890, and Joseph’s widow Mary applied for a widow’s pension on June 8, 1894, then as a guardian of her daughter under her then name of Mary E Porter, on December 12, 1896. She filed for a remarried widow’s pension on 20 Sep 1916.

Joseph’s life is honored here, as is his service. He rests peacefully.



Joseph Belston (1840 - 1893) – Galena Cemetery –
Suggested By: ~~mjp~~, 7 February 2020.

Spouse: Mary Porter (1857-1939); Married: 1885


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Cpl Co G 1 Ohio Vol Cav


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  • Maintained by: Orlena
  • Originally Created by: Anonymous
  • Added: 17 Oct 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial 22273699
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Joseph “Joe” Belston (28 Jan 1840–22 Dec 1893), Find a Grave Memorial no. 22273699, citing Galena Cemetery, Galena, Cherokee County, Kansas, USA ; Maintained by Orlena (contributor 46627566) .