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Lemuel Evans Tolladay Family

From Left to Right

Rollo, Hattie Luella, Lemuel Perry, Lizetta Edna, Grace Estelle

Lemuel Evans, Martha Elizabeth, Martha Ann Wells


Lemuel Evans Tolladay, the Patriarch in this family photograph, was the son of Solomon Tolladay and Elizabeth Evans. He was born January 6th, 1837 in Old Town Timbers, McLean County, Illinois. It was also here near the present day town of LeRoy that John Tolladay, Lemuel Evans grandfather would find his final resting place; the Oak Grove cemetery in 1849.


The family moved to Mercer Missouri in 1838 when he was no more than a year old. After living there for more than a decade - news of the Oregon Trail and opportunity in California led them to once again load their wagons. They set out on the Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri before 1857. I believe the entire family moved west; Solomon included. Yet, it is only Solomon and Elizabeth that I have been unable to locate in California Census and Tax records. Did they die on the way? Or, are they buried on Tolladay Mountain? Perhaps one day we'll know.

Our first glimpse of the family's life in Missouri comes from Page 5, Vol. 1 "Mercer County Pioneer Traces" printed in 1997 by the Mercer County Genealogical Society on the formation and settlement of Mercer County, Missouri

"The first people to live within the confines of present-day Mercer County were the Indigenous Americans whom we know as Indians. The first permanent white settlers arrived in 1837 and 1838. An early, nefarious family, known as the "Heatherly Gang," had also lived for a time in southern Mercer County. This gang had drift ed upstream along the Grand River and was known for its ruthlessness. Strangers who happened to wander too close to their abode would meet several vicious dogs. If the wanderer had a good horse and/or a supply of money, he would simply "vanish."

"Mercer County was a part of the Louisiana Purchase and of the Missouri Territory which was carved from the Purchase. It was first a part of St. Charles County. It was a part of a number of other counties as they were formed from St. Charles County. These include Howard, Carroll, Ray, Davies, Livingston and Grundy counties. When Grundy County was first formed, the northern part, which would subsequently become Mercer County, was divided into four townships. Lafayette Township was located in the southwestern part of the county, and Scott Township was located north of Lafayette and extended into Iowa a short distance, dark Township lay to the east of Scott, and Franklin Township was below dark and included a portion of northeast Grundy County. At the organization of Mercer County, it was divided into six townships. These were Marion, Morgan, Harrison, Washington, Madison and Scott. Scott was cut off by the location of the Missouri Iowa state line. The new County of Mercer was officially formed on February 14, 1845."

"In 1851 the United States Supreme Court decided the location of the boundary line between Iowa and Missouri, and the line was marked with posts which were set ten miles apart. But, Mercer County, Missouri, and Decatur County. Iowa, had an ongoing dis pute over a few rods of land, and this dispute was not finally settled until the 1890s. The posts along this section have "Iowa" marked on the north side of the post and "Missouri" marked on the south side of the post."

There is also a mention of Solomon TOLLIDAY in the History of Grundy County, by Birdsall & Dean, 1881. In Chapter XXVI, pg 679 they are discussing the history of Jackson Township. "This township, which bears the name of the iron-willed 'Hero of New Orleans,' was first settled in 1837, by the families of William and Josiah Evans, who came from the prairie land of Illinois. Amid the perils and hardships of pioneer life the year passed quickly by, and in the fall of 1839 other settlers came, in the families of George Williams, from Virginia; Solomon TOLLIDAY, from Illinois; and William Uttinger, from Indiana; this made quite a settlement, and although it was ten or twelve miles to a neighbor's, the lonesome feeling had left the community."

A Brief History of Mercer County, which was published in 1883 by N. A. Winters, states there were only 24 families living in Mercer County by the end of 1839. There are 426 known families who came into the county from 1837 through the early 1850s. The population of the county burgeoned until about 1900 and then began to decline.

James Morgan was probably the first settler in the Ravanna township. He was reported to be a man of "questionable character" who carried on an illicit trade in whisky with the Indians. A group of "rough men" were attracted to his settlement about four miles south of Ravanna, but Morgan and the undesirables left in a few years when more settlers began arriving.

According to Goodspeed's 1888 History, the settlers included Joseph G. Collings, Spencer Ceilings, Arkelson Keith, William Pickett, Hiram Pickett, Fleming and Solomon TOLLERDAY, John M. Smith and Jeptha Wood.

According to Goodspeed and the List of Patrons in the 1877 Ullas of Mercer County, the settlers prior to 1860 were Dingee Adams, A. B. Anderson, John F. Anderson, A. Bruse, R. T. Bull, A. , Collings, Elijah H. Crawford, S. H. Draper, F. M. Evans, Sylvester and Absalom Evans, James R. Gibson, Elbridge Goddard, Thomas D. Hall, William H. Hall, J. Harriman, William H. Harriman, George D. Herriman, D. W. Jewell, J. A. Kennedy, Jacob Loutzenhiser, D. W. Lowry, S. S. Lowry, A. C. Lynch, William R. McKinley, David A. Moore, John S. Scott, R. R. Stephens, Samuel Stockton, Campbell R. Summers, Jesse Swan, James Trout, John M. Underwood, Thomas Underwood, Samuel Widner, C. B. Wyatt, Cread Yoakum and J. R. Yoakum.

Unlike other parts of the county, Ravanna was the only town within the township boundaries. The early post office at Sonoma was situated in a store within a private home, but there was never a town. There were at least 14 schools, eight churches and eight cemeteries within the township.

In the 1888 History of Mercer and Harrison Counties, on page 400 it states that Fleming and Solomon TOLLERDAY were among the earliest settlers of Ravanna Township, Mercer Co., MO. Another mention of Solomon is that in 1846, when the town of Princeton, Morgan Township, was laid out, there were two sales of lots. On June 1, 1846, Solomon TOLLERDAY is listed as a purchaser of a lot in the original town of Princeton.

"In the earlier history of the town (Princeton, Mercer Missouri) dramshops were institutions of considerable importance. The first dramshop keepers were John R. Davis, James Blizzard and Solomon TOLLERDAY. They did a thriving business especially on election days. A story, illustrative of the habits and of the rough humor of those times, is told of an occurrence during the election in August, 1846. Tollerday in addition to his liquor kept a few sacks of sale, which he retailed to customers. A certain citizen of them town, himself comfortable filled with corn juice, entered Tollderday's shop, and seeing some half dozen men lyon on the floor 'dead drunk' remarked to the proprietor in a tone of rebuke: 'Tollerday your bacon will spile if you leave it lying around such a hot day without any salt on it, I'll salt it down for you.' Suiting the action to the word, he dragged one of the men up against the wall, and taking some salt from an open sack, proceeded to salt him down. He then laid another man on top of the first, and put on another layer of sale. He continued until he had them all 'salted down.' and then departed, remarking, 'I reckon that thar bacon will keep now."

1850 Princeton, county seat and largest city of Mercer County, Missouri.
In the book, "Calamity Jane and the Lady Wildcats By Duncan Aikman, U of Nebraska Press, 1987 - Biography & Autobiography - 356 pages - The story of one of the most picturesque figures of pioneer times and briefer sketches of her contemporaries: Cattle Kate Maxwell, Belle Starr, Lola Montez, Pearl Hart, Madame Moustache, Poker Alice Tubbs, Carrie Nation, and Bridget Grant - - Even Clamity Jane Canary included memories of, running with a pack of boys.... and "TOLLERDAY'S which sold groceries as well as squirrel whiskey," and the customer who one day came into the store and found men Unconscious on the floor. Of that she said, "Perhaps there were only three drunks, or one drunk, instead of six. Perhaps non of it ever happened and he waggish customer imported the story to get a laugh on Tollerday. But to the little girl of ten whose playground was among the rough small boys... in a pioneer settlement, such sites and tales were Sunday School picnic, children's vaudeville,and movie comic rolled into one. If Martha Jane had known the slang . . . she would have breathed..."This is the life." She knew instinctively that she must run with men and boys, hard featured, profane, open-handed, and reckless, and with rare women... Martha Jane was going on twelve and she heard in the spring the family would be moving west." Pages 16-21.

The township where both the TALLERDAY'S and CANARY'S lived was Ranvenna Township.

According to: The Woman and the Legend By James D. McLaird, "A local resident, Fuller, recalled Robert and Charlotte canary lived in the small store near the location of the Mercer Courthouse where some believe Martha Jane "Calamity Jane" was born between 1844 - 1856" page 12

From Calamity Jane we find a possible hint as to the path the family took to California as "emigrant trains almost invariably followed the Overland route. Shelter and supplies were to be had that way at the Pony Express stations [and] relays of military guard would protect them. . ." thru Independence, and onto Julesburg Colorado, Cheyenne, Laramie, South Pass city, Green River Valley, Salt Lake City Utah, southern Idaho, " It seems the other route they might have taken was the, "compass steered courses across Indian infested prairies direct to Montana." pages 30-31

We don't know when or where Solomon and Elizabeth died as there is no record of them beyond the 1850 Mercer County, Missouri census.

That leads me back to the questions - Did they die on the way? Or, are they buried on Tolladay Mountain?

Interestingly enough we find Lemuel Evans Tolladay and the rest of the immediate family living in a town dedicated to absolute sobriety; Lompoc, California in later years.


Our first hint of the family in California is in Tehama County, in 1858 when Solomon and Elizabeth first grandchild was born; James Smith Tolladay the first born son of Andrew Jackson and Salantha Tolladay. All of the children of Solomon and Elizabeth are recorded in the Red Bluff census at Belle Mill in 1867 and in 1870. They are at Love's Mill in 1872 also near the town of Red Bluff. Lemuel Perry Tolladay was born at Love's Mill in 1872. I have also found that Lemuel Evans Tolladay was a School Trustee at Reed's Creek according to Ruth Hithcock's "Leaves of the Past 1846-1880" .

Later we find the family in Humboldt County in the Hydesville Township . From the book, Humboldt Co. Census Index, 1880, compiled by Marilyn Keach Milota, Humboldt County Genealogical Society, August, 1998: we find in Hydesville Township 413A:
TOLLADAY, Lemuel Evans aged 43 years, born Illinois with wife Martha Ann age 26, born in California
Perry 7 years, born CA - Hatty 6 years, born CA - Lizzetta 4 years, born CA - Sada 1 yr, born CA

and next door:
Lewis C., aged 43 years, born Illinois with wife Mary A, 25 years, born CA

This census brings up some interesting questions. Was Grace Estelle's nickname Sada? How is Lewis C. Tolladay related to Lemuel? They are the same age. Could he have been a twin or was Lewis a cousin?

In the "List ofthe Names and Registration of the Domiciled Inhabitans of the County of Humboldt from The Great Register of Humbodlt County, October 7th 1883 compiled by Marilyn Keach Milota on page 241: TOLLADAY, Lemuel E. Age 43 listing his birthplace as: Illinois. his Occupation as: Farmer. Residence: Hydesville Re-registration date 18 June 1880.. #3898.

In 1885 the family moved to Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, California. Martha was suffereing from Asthma or Allergies, that are all too common in that region of California. They hoped that the move would be better for her health. Just six short years later, Lemuel Perry Tolladay died at the age of 55. He had taken ill in 1889 and unable to work, the family suffered financial setbacks and were unable to pay their taxes. Martha Ann Wells-Tolladay lived on in Lompoc doing whatever she could for work and completing the house they had begun to build on until her death in 1901 just one month before her 48th birthday. When she died Perry was ranching in the Los Olivos District, Hattie and Martha moved over to Fort Bragg for a time, Rollo and Zetta were both working in Lompoc. Both are buried in the Evergreen Cemetery along with many members of the immediate family, and friends near by.

It was here in Lompoc, that Lemuel Perry TOLLADAY would meet and fall in love with his future wife Juana Leonor Olivera.

Obituaries from The Lompoc Record
January 2, 1892
TOLLADAY, Lemeul Evans died in Lompoc December 31, 1891, aged, 55 years. While it was known that Mr. Tolladay was sick, no one imagined him so near his end. The funeral took place from the home Friday [January 1, 1892] at 11 o'clock and was buried under the auspices of the Odd Fellows. Mr. Tolladay was a kindly disposed man and made friends with all he met. The deepest sympathy of his numerous friends and acquaintences will be freely extended.

January 12, 1923 Funeral of Mrs. Grace Estelle Frick held last Saturday
The funeral of Mrs. Grace E. Frick wife of Atty J.F. Frick was held Sunday at 10 a.m. and was attended by a large consourse of sorrowing friends and relatives. The services were held in Odd Fellows Hall and were conducted by Reverend S.E. Winebrenner of the Methodist Church, followed by the ritualistic services of the rebekah Order. At Evergreen Cemetery the comittal services were conducted by the officers of Mission Temple No. 6, Pythian Sisters, while members of the Companions of Foresters of which Mrs. Frick also was a member attended in a body. Mrs. Frick's death occured in this city last Friday very suddenly. Her death was due to heart trouble and so unexpected was her passing that none realize that the end was near until a few moments before her passing. Grace Estelle Frick was born in Hydesville, Humboldt County Cal., December 17, 1878, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L.E. Tolloday. The family moved to Lompoc in 1885 and she was married to J.F. Frick January 19, 1901. To them, three children were born, Miss Bernice who is attending school in Los Angeles, Jack aged 11 and Allen aged 7. Besides her husband and children Mrs. frick leaves three sisters adn two brothers all of whom were here for the funeral Sunday. They are L. Perry Tolloday of Lompoc, Mrs. Zetta Fox of Santa Maria, Rollo D. Tolloday of Los Alamos, and Martha Crews of Lompoc. Her father passed away here in 1891 and her mother in 1901. Mrs frick had always been active in social and franternal circles andn had endeared herself to a wide circle of friends who now join in tendering condolences to her husband and children, and sisters, and brothers. She had filled the highest offices in the Companions, Rebekah's and Pythian Sisters and also served as District Deputy for the Rebekah's. She was also a member of the Women of Woodcraft. The ties and love and friendship by so many years of close association between Mrs. Frick and the members of these societies were thus abruptly broken and her passin is deeply mourned by them. Their sympathy goes out to the family thus bereft.********** Miss Bernice Frick and Lloyd Crews returned to Los Angeles the first of the week to resume their studies.

July 31, 1931 R. Tolladay Burial Takes Place in the City
Funeral services were held here yesterday for Rollo Dewitt Tolladay, 49, former resident of Lompoc who died in Quartzite, Arizona last Sunday. Internment took place at Evergreen Cemetery under the auspices of the Odd Fellows Lodge of which the deceased had been a member. Mrs. Lester Douglass sang two solos during the ceremoines which wer conducted by Rev. Wilfred Kent of the Methodist Church. Rollo Tolladay died from the effects of sunstroke last Sunday. He had been working last Friday in the hot sun of Arizona, and on the way home stopped to repair a flat tire on his automobile. When he arrived home he complained of distress and on Sunday he passed away of apoplexy. He was married on December 31, 1928 to Mrs. Virginia Lucas, who passed away from pneumonia within ten months. Surviving relatives are three sisters, Mrs. Paul Fox of Santa Maria, Mrs. H. R. Crews of Ventura and Miss Hattie Tolladay of Lompoc.

Thursday August 29, 1957
Funeral Here for Pioneer Resident
Graveside services were held here yesterday for Miss Hattie Tolladay, member of a Pioneer Lompoc family. Miss Tolladay passed away at the Odd Fellows Home in Saratoga where she had resided for the past several years. The Tolladay family first came to the valley in the early days of the community. Miss Tolladay moved away about 50 years ago and for 12 years prior to moving to Saratoga she was a resident of Santa Maria. She is survived bya sister, Mrs. H. R. Crews of Santa Maria, Two sisters Mrs. Paul Fox of Santa Maria and Mrs. J. F. Frick of Lompoc and a brothers Lemuel Perry Tolladay of Bakersfield and Rollo of Quartzite Arizona preceeded her in death. The Rev F. A. Ruder of the Methodist Church officiated at the graveside services.

Land grant record for Tolladay Mountain in Shasta County
Very large Terra Image of Tolladay Mountain
Associated family land grants in Tehama County
Associated family land grants in Humboldt County
A brief History of the California Bear Flag Revolt

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