Johnson County, NE - Family Histories
FITHIAN & ESTES
Contributed by: Terri Carlson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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Peter Mason Fithian Family
Peter Mason Fithian (1837-1908) and his brother William Fithian were born in Henderson Co. Indiana to Jonathan Fithian (1813-1842) and Mary Crosley (1818-1870). They came to Newton Co. MO. and people concurrent with their vital statistics were listed in the 1840 census living with Mason Fithian, presumed to be their grandfather. Jonathan died while the boys were young and they went to work as teenagers in a sawmill powered by 12 mules.
Peter Mason Fithian married Elizabeth Estes (1842-1923) of Newton Co. MO, November 19, 1857. Three of their thirteen children were born in Newton Co. William Riley b.1858 , Mary Jane b.1860 , and Willis Hiram b. 1862. Peter Mason then served in the Federal forces in the Civil War, Company C of the First Missouri Cavalry from 1862-1863 and was honorably discharged. At that time the Fithians and Elizabeths parents, Hiram and Pernina Farmer Estes and children moved first to Iowa and rented land for one crop then moved on to Johnson Co. NE in the fall of 1863. They followed the much used Oregon Trail fording creeks and rivers and ended up at Silver Creek There was plenty of fine timber where they settled about 25 miles from Nebraska City, located on the Missouri River. They built log cabins where Thomas Hubberd b.1864 and Henry Grant b.1867 were born. A child, Jonathan Franklin was born in 1866 and died shortly after his birth.
Elizabeths parents, Hiram and Pernina Farmer Estes had a claim one mile down Silver Creek from the Fithian homestead. Hiram died shortly after the immigration to NE in November, 1863 and was said to be buried on the Fithian claim, in the northeast corner with a hedge of plum around it to mark the spot. Pernina remained there for a number of years before returning to Newton Co. to live with her youngest son, Henry Estes, dying in 1909. The Estes were early pioneers of Franklin CO, MO and moved to Newton CO, MO in the 1840s.
The Fithians built the first frame structure in Johnson Co. in 1871 for their home. Peter Mason did all the carpentry, plaster and masonry work for the fireplace. They had seven more children, De Anna b.1870, Rose Elma b. 1872, George Estes b. 1874, Elvah Mason b. 1878, Peter Owen b. 1879, Marion Arthur b. 1881, and Frank J. Fithian who died at birth in 1883. The second Fithian home burned in 1886.
Henry Grant Fithian told of the first log school being raised on Fithian land by six neighbors on Old Silver Creek which most people called the P.M. Fithian School. Riley, Thomas and Mary received most of their schooling there in 5 month terms. In 1872, districts were formed and it was changed to a frame structure and called # 72.
Peter Mason Fithian was a stock raiser and active in his community, presiding as the Justice of the Peace in Helena Township for many years. He performed the marriage of his son, George Estes to Minnie Luella Black in 1898 in the Plum Grove on their homestead. Peter died March 29, 1908 in Sterling, NE. Elizabeth died December 2, 1923 in Long Pine, Rock Co. NE and was buried with Peter Mason in Sterling.
Surnames connected with the Fithian Family are Estes, Farmer, Crosley, Doyle, Gentry, Marrs, Campbell, Haskins, McCoy, Black, Foster, and Walker.
Pioneers of the Six Bulls, the Newton CO. MO Sage, Volume VIII & X Larry James, 1979, Newton CO. Historical Society.
Family Researchers: Georgia McBrien, Benjamin Estes, Jean Mitchell Harris, Mae House, Ida Fithian Bullen, Irma Ellender Gentry. Forrest Estes, Lisa Kight,
Newton Co. MO Census, 1840, 1850, Franklin Co. MO probate, Elisha Estes, 1849.
Cemetery and bible records compiled by Irma Gentry.
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