Charles Henry Meehan

Charles Henry Meehan

Birth
Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Death
15 Sep 1935 (aged 79)
Alliance, Box Butte County, Nebraska, USA
Burial
Alliance, Box Butte County, Nebraska, USA Add to Map
Plot
Lot 11, Section 11, Block 13
Memorial ID
View Source
Charles Henry Meehan was born in Detroit, Michigan on January 7, 1856. He was thought to be of Irish descent, but recent DNA tests have proven that his biological parents were Jewish and German. Born without the benefit of married parents, an Irish woman named Hannah fostered him. Hannah traveled with Charles to Chatham, Ontario. There she married Samuel Hayden, a black man living in the Elgin Settlement; it was a settlement established for those escaping enslavement. Charles referred to Samuel as his step-father.

Charles and Canadian-born Hester Freeman met as children in North Buxton, Ontario. They were married on October 20, 1875, in Raleigh, Kent, Ontario, Canada. They were both 19. They spent the first portion of their lives in Harwich Township and Raleigh Township, Ontario. The first four Meehan children, Charles Edward, Annie Elizabeth (vonOhlen), Harry Calvin, and Robert Samuel, were born between 1876 and 1884 in Raleigh, Ontario. By early April of that same year, infant Robert passed away. Before the end of 1884, the Meehan's joined several other black families and migrated to Overton, Nebraska. Under the Homestead Act of 1862, they claimed land. Twenty years later, they moved on to Cherry County, where Charles and several of his sons claimed land under the Kincaid Act of 1904.

After arriving in Nebraska, seven more children were born to Charles and Hester. The first Nebraska-born child, Arthur Dennis, was born in 1885, soon after they arrived from Canada. Huey Oliver (D.Y.), Thomas Franklin (D.Y.), Hannah Rachel Rosetta (Speese), Margaret Gertrude (Brown), William Harvey, and Edith Hester (D.Y.) followed Dennis. From these children, there were eventually forty-four grandchildren.

In 1923 Charles and Hester planned to move to Indiana, but Hester became ill. She passed away while visiting their son, Dennis, in Alliance, Box Butte. Hester died in Alliance on June 3, 1923, while Charles was in Illinois.

Charles lived in Illinois with his daughter, Annie, for several years, then took up residence in Alliance with his son, Ed (Charles Edward) in early 1930. He lived there until his death on September 15, 1935. Rev. Herbert Bletson officiated at Charles' funeral service at the African Methodist Episcopal Church on West Second Street in Alliance.

Charles and Hester, married just shy of 48 years, are buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Alliance.
Charles Henry Meehan was born in Detroit, Michigan on January 7, 1856. He was thought to be of Irish descent, but recent DNA tests have proven that his biological parents were Jewish and German. Born without the benefit of married parents, an Irish woman named Hannah fostered him. Hannah traveled with Charles to Chatham, Ontario. There she married Samuel Hayden, a black man living in the Elgin Settlement; it was a settlement established for those escaping enslavement. Charles referred to Samuel as his step-father.

Charles and Canadian-born Hester Freeman met as children in North Buxton, Ontario. They were married on October 20, 1875, in Raleigh, Kent, Ontario, Canada. They were both 19. They spent the first portion of their lives in Harwich Township and Raleigh Township, Ontario. The first four Meehan children, Charles Edward, Annie Elizabeth (vonOhlen), Harry Calvin, and Robert Samuel, were born between 1876 and 1884 in Raleigh, Ontario. By early April of that same year, infant Robert passed away. Before the end of 1884, the Meehan's joined several other black families and migrated to Overton, Nebraska. Under the Homestead Act of 1862, they claimed land. Twenty years later, they moved on to Cherry County, where Charles and several of his sons claimed land under the Kincaid Act of 1904.

After arriving in Nebraska, seven more children were born to Charles and Hester. The first Nebraska-born child, Arthur Dennis, was born in 1885, soon after they arrived from Canada. Huey Oliver (D.Y.), Thomas Franklin (D.Y.), Hannah Rachel Rosetta (Speese), Margaret Gertrude (Brown), William Harvey, and Edith Hester (D.Y.) followed Dennis. From these children, there were eventually forty-four grandchildren.

In 1923 Charles and Hester planned to move to Indiana, but Hester became ill. She passed away while visiting their son, Dennis, in Alliance, Box Butte. Hester died in Alliance on June 3, 1923, while Charles was in Illinois.

Charles lived in Illinois with his daughter, Annie, for several years, then took up residence in Alliance with his son, Ed (Charles Edward) in early 1930. He lived there until his death on September 15, 1935. Rev. Herbert Bletson officiated at Charles' funeral service at the African Methodist Episcopal Church on West Second Street in Alliance.

Charles and Hester, married just shy of 48 years, are buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Alliance.

Gravesite Details

Burial at Alliance Cemetery noted in newspaper clippings and confirmed with cemetery staff in 2011.