Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Mary Jane Steele

Mary Jane Blaylock was born Thursday the 9th of March 1843
in Walker County, Georgia.
She was the youngest of 12 children
of William Blaylock and Mary Ann Wilson.
Mary's father was born in North Carolina in 1802
to John and Mary Eaton.
The family moved to Challoway, Valley District,
DeKalb CO. GA.

When Mary Jane was 12 years old
the family moved to Arkansas.
It was here she met 19 year old Thomas Carter Steele.
They were married on 21 Sept. 1857 at the home of her Parents.
Mary was only 14 years old.
The first Child Sarah Ann
was born 9 June 1858.
Another daughter Mary Elizabeth
was born 27 Jan 1860.
Baby Alice Caroline was born 17 Sept 1861
six weeks later Thomas C. Steele left for Ft. Smith
three hundred miles away as a Pvt.
in the 1st. Arkansas Mounted Rifles.
It would be after 20 June 1865
before the young couple would again be together.

Some how Mary Jane kept her family provided for
We will never know the strife she went through.
It was on 27 Sept 1862 when Mary Jane would bury
her daughter Alice Caroline.
Two months after Thomas returned
little Mary Elizabeth died.
On Nov 20 1866 their only son William Edwin Steele was born.
30 April 1868 Emily Luella joinrd the family
2 Oct 1869, Ella Lee was born.
The family farmed in Clarkesville and Ozark Arkansas.
In the next seven years the family continued to grow.
Francis Elmira in 1871, Martha Jane 18 months later.
In 1873 little Ella Lee died at age 4.
Naomi was born in 1873,
Francis elmira died in 1875
Lillian Mae was born in 1876
of the ten children born, 4 had died.

In 1877 Thomas, Mary Jane and six Children
traveled by covered wagon
Having encountered hostile Indians,
the death of two wagon train members,
and with snow falling
the family settled in Prairie City,
in the John Day Valley,
Grant County, Oregon

Thomas and family lived in a settlement of Southorns.
The place was known as "Dixie Town",
Later called just "Dixie".
It was on "Dixie Creek"
This little settlement were mostly farmers
They sold Garden produce, Hay and grain to Fort Harney.

Thomas's health was gone.
Thomas died 30 April 1878.
He was buried at Prairie City Cemetery in Grant County, Oregon

Once again Mary Jane was left to support her family.
On 27 December 1879 Mary Jane Steele married Mr. E. C. Officer.
on the 11 Sept 1880 Mary Jane Blaylock Steele Officer
gave birth to a set of twins.
But within two weeks Mary Jane was dead.
She died 2 Oct 1880 near Prairie City,
Grant County, Oregon.
She is buried beside Thomas Carter Steele.
On 23 June 2001 a special service was given Honoring Mary Jane.
Capt. F. M. Jackson Camp # 1778
Included her with their black powder salute.
Compatriot Thomas Carter Steele
& Mary Jane Steele
May you forever "Rest in Peace"!

Vivian Zimmerlee

Lt. Col. James W. Combs SR. adjutant

Major Richard Weed of Capt. F. M. Jackson Camp # 1778
preforms a first in Oregon.
He Honors the wife of Pvt. Thomas C. Steele.
with a Eulogy,
and as a member of the Officers military salute.

Rev. Charles Chase
before the service for Pvt. Thomas Carter Steele
and wife Mary Jane.

Great Granddaughter Vivian Zimmerlee
putting flowers on Mary Janes grave 23 July 2001

The officers of Capt. F. M. Jackson Camp # 1778
Preparing to Honor Mary Jane Steele
as the SCV was given this charge
by Gen. Stephen Dill Lee
When the SCV first started.
From left they are:
Lt. Col. James W. Combs Sr. SCV
Lt. Col. Art. Miller, US Army Retired
Major Richard Weed, SCV
Commander James W. Combs II SCV

Please visit the following websites!
Pvt. Thomas C. Steele
A Confederate Hero
Prairie City Grangehall
Capt. F. M Jackson Camp # 1778
Varina Howell Davis Chapter #2369
2nd. Lt. Commander Richard Weed

View My Guestbook
Sign My Guestbook

This page last updated 5 July 2001
webmaster James W. Combs
Capt. F. M. Jackson Camp # 1778
Sons of Confederate Veterans
"Oregon's First and Proud"
Leading the way in Oregon!