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Joseph Hancock’s Family from his Second Wife Diana Reeder

Author: Jerry Bowen

Joseph Hancock Of Revolutionary War Fame





PHILIP BALTIMORE HANCOCK – was born in 1818, in Hagerstown, Indiana.  Mahala Adamson was born in 1820.  He married Mahala on March 5 1836.  They had four children, who were born before the infamous trip to Kansas.

This biography is about Philip B. Hancock.  Don’t confuse this, Joseph’s son, with his brother-in-law, Philip Baltimore.  Apparently, deep friendship and respect, led Joseph to name this son after Baltimore.

After his father died, Philip took possession of his inheritance and started to plan for marriage.  Philip and Mahala were married in the Salem Primitive Baptist Church, by John Evans, the minister there.  The happy event took place about 1-1/2 years after his father died, and almost 2 years after his half brother, Enoch Reeder, was married by the same minister in the same church.  It would be eleven years before Philip and Mahala’s first child was born.

Soon after their marriage however, Philip and Mahala moved to Miami County for a very short time.  He bought land near Denver, Indiana and the Eel River in 1842.  That record follows:

To Philip Hancock                 From Hugh Peoples

12 Dec 1842   149+ acres $900

S 18 – T 28 – R 4e   Book B p 124

The Clerk in Miami County could not find a record of the sale, but only a few years later Philip moved again, this time to Marshall County Indiana, and settled on land owned by Bearss and Downing.  They must have rented from Bearss for awhile, because Philip bought land from him in 1845.

In the 1840’s, both of Mahala’s parents died.  When this happened, “Pleasant M. Adamson, who was only nine years old, moved to Marshall County to live with his older sister”, Mahala Hancock, “until he was 20 years old” (History of Wayne Co Ind vol 2-p 692).

Philip and Mahala bought and sold land in Marshall County, many times.  Records of those transactions, just a few miles South of Burbon, Indiana, follow:

#1 To Philip Hancock              From Ephraim Bearss

28 Feb 1845   160 acres $600

S 6 – T 32 – R 4        Book F p 64


#2 To Philip Hancock              From Jesse Burket

21 Jan 1850   35 acres $125

S 6 – T 32 – R 4        Book F p 295


#3 To David Jordan           From Philip Hancock

21 Jan 1850   40 acres

S 6 – T 32 – R 4        Book F p 296


#4 To Robert Jordan          From Philip Hancock

3 Aug 1852   30 acres $180

S 6 – T 32 – R 4        Book H p 124


#5 To Stephen Benack              From Philip Hancock

29 Nov 1852   40 acres $300

S 6 – T 32 – R 4        Book H p 221


#6 To Philip Hancock              From Robert Jordan

4 Feb 1853    30 acres $180

S 6 – T 32 – R 4       Book J p 431


#7 To Henry Strunk                From Philip Hancock

2 Feb 1855    35 acres $250

S 6 – T 32 – R 4        Book J p 528


#8 To Hiram Montgomery            From Philip Hancock

9 Dec 1856    122 acres $1800

S 6 – T 32 – R 4        Book K p 611

While living in Marshall County, Philip had a “long spell of sickness” and it was thought he was going to die.  The doctor went to his bed one day when Philip said, “Doctor, I am going to get well”.  He further stated that he had a sign that told him he would recover, and eventually he did. Greer Manuscript p 36.

About 1857, while the children were still young, the land office opened in Kansas.  This event led to newspaper ads telling of inexpensive land.  Land could be homesteaded for $1.25 per acre, or if bought outright, $2.50 per acre.  This adventure in another state led finance companies to make it attractive to travel.  With $1800 in his pocket and itchy feet, Philip was drawn to Kansas, traveling in a covered wagon and his family eventually set up housekeeping in “newly acquired” Indian territory.

While in Kansas, Mahala ran a high fever that lingered for days.  Doctors and other medical facilities practically do not exist on the frontier.  Because of this, proper treatment could not be found, and she eventually died in 1858 at an unknown location in Kansas.  She was about 38.

Kansas was filling up fast!  People were settling there from the North and South regions of the country.  In the organizing of the state government, two constitutions were offered.  Political unrest that existed in Kansas over slavery before the Civil War, were reflected in these two constitutions.  And there were no political “neighborhoods”.  One neighbor over on the next claim might be opposed to another’s political beliefs.  Guerrilla warfare broke out over slavery and Philip lost his life in this fight.  That time in history is known to historians as “Bloody Kansas” or the “Kansas War”.  It was unofficial, undeclared war – with neighbor fighting neighbor, that took many lives.  Philip was killed about 1860 and the writer concludes that Philip being from a Northern state (Indiana), he died to abolish slavery.  He was about 41.

Joseph Hancock’s family Bible, and Revolutionary War discharge papers were handed down through his son, Philip Baltimore Hancock.  Philip died from his wounds, at “Seth Adamson’s”, (See Cynthia Reeder’s letter) who apparently traveled to Kansas with him.  Any attempt to recover the family Bible would have to be started at Adamson’s.

Surviving him were Jonathan P. Hancock, age 13, and three younger sisters.  These youngsters had traveled to Kansas with their parents, and had high hopes of building a new home.  Fate dealt a nasty hand to this family, and it is a sad testimony to the bitter disappointment the children must have experienced.  With the Civil War brewing, and no parents to guide them, Jonathan led his sisters across Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and back into Indiana to live with Uncle “Pleasant” Adamson, who by now, lived in Wayne County.  When Pleasant’s parents died he went to live with the Hancock’s.  Now the Hancock parents had both died, and Pleasant had the opportunity to return the kindness once offered to him.  Enduring many hardships, it is said that Jonathan had quite a story to tell about that trip back to Indiana.

The oldest of these four children was just barely a teenager.  They must not have had the presence of mind to record the dates of their parents deaths, nor were they able to tell Uncle Pleasant, precisely where it was in Kansas that their parents settled.  This writer is still researching to find the Kansas location, and is in expectation of finding it soon.

Jonathan Perry Hancock was Philip’s only son.  The legal way of proving this is on Jonathan’s death certificate.  Philip Baltimore Hancock is named as Jonathan’s father.  There also is a mention of Jonathan’s trip to Kansas with his parents, mentioned in his obituary, reprinted in the next chapter.

Children born to Philip Hancock and Mahala Adamson are:

PHILIP BALTIMORE HANCOCK    b 1818 d 1860   m 5 Mar 1836

Hagerstown IN   Kansas War         Indiana

Mahala Adamson             b  1820   d 1858 m   5 Mar 1836

Indiana          Kansas       Indiana

Jonathan/Mary Frantz       b 10 Aug 1847  d 26 Aug 1923  m 11 Jan 1876

Burbon, IN          Inman, NB          Indiana

Mattie/m Edmund Johnson     b               d             m

Emma/m Ring                b             d            m

m Robinson            b              d            m

Hattie/m Johnson           b 31 Jan 1850  d 1908       m 12 May 1867


Author: Jerry Bowen

Joseph Hancock Of Revolutionary War Fame





JONATHAN PERRY HANCOCK was born August 10, 1847 in Burbon, Indiana.  He was Philip’s firstborn.  Jonathan’s wife was Mary Matilda Frantz b Feb. 12, 1859.  They married Jan 11 1876.

The unfortunate circumstances surrounding his father’s death, led Jonathan to support the cause for which his father died.  Upon returning from Kansas, he promptly joined the 130th Indiana Infantry March 1, 1864 at age 16.  His outfit left Kokomo, Indiana March 12, 1864 and saw action at Rocky Face Ridge, Battle of Resacca, Lost Mountain, Pine Mountain, Kenesaw Mountain and Decatur, where they destroyed the railroad.  They were with Sherman in his siege against Atlanta, and Jonathan saw more action in the Battle of Jonesboro, Lovejoys Station and other numerous skirmishes.  (See Appendix B for a total list of battles and dates).  Jonathan served in the 130th Indiana Infantry side by side with Lorenzo Dow Frantz, the man who later would be, his father-in-law.

After the war he returned to Indiana, stayed awhile, then went to Wisconsin for a few years where he lived the life of a frontiersman and lumberman.  He returned to Indiana again, and married Mary Matilda Frantz on January 11, 1876.  Indiana was their first home.

Jonathan and Mary later decided to move to Iowa.  They crossed the Mississippi River, and hired a guide.  Because their covered wagon was heavily loaded, the guide advised that they leave their pet dog behind.  It was a struggle to let him go, but the guide’s family promised to find a good home for the dog.  They lived in Selma, Iowa only a few years, and it was here that Claude was born.  Iowa was their second home.

The prospects of homesteading land in Nebraska looked good to Jonathan.  For one thing, he found that he could deduct his Civil War service time, from the usual seven year “proving time” necessary to own the property.  It was a promising deal, and again they decided to move.  While traveling to Nebraska, they crossed the Missouri River on a barge.

They arrived at Inman, Nebraska in April 1884.  Because the whole valley was under water, Jonathan looked for higher ground and found it seven miles northeast of Inman.  Since 1884 was such a wet year, the land he chose looked very good, but the following years proved him wrong.

His family put up a customary “soddie”, broke ground for a crop, planted trees and settled into a life of farming.  The following dry years and the wind blew away all the valuable topsoil.  During these years of crop failure, they had no horses of their own, and had no prospects of owning one, except by sacrificing Mary’s sewing machine.  The machine was brand new at the time they moved from Iowa, and Mary was very proud of it, as few pioneer women owned one.  After long deliberation, and some tears, she consented to let her husband trade the machine for a horse.  Jonathan built a dugout stable for the horse and a few days later went out to feed it and found it dead.  Such were the disappointments of pioneer living.

The horse story happened in November 1884 during a cold snowy spell and about the time Wilbur was born.  The night he was born, the doctor was summoned.  But because of a nasty storm and not knowing just where the Hancock’s lived, the doctor lost the trail, wandered fifteen miles off course and never reached the homestead at all. Another pioneer hazard.

Farming out on the prairie was hard work.  Without horses or machinery to cut hay for fuel, Mary cut the long dry grass with her scissors and with the help of her children, carried it in for the stove.  When Jonathan plowed the children followed to gather sandcherry and other coarse roots.  These roots, when dried in the sun, made fuel for baking and ironing.  The only year they raised a fair crop of corn, it sold for ten cents a bushel, and much of that crop was used for fuel.

While maintaining a farm, Jonathan walked the seven miles into Inman and worked there for seventy-five cents a day, often walking home at nigh carrying a sack of flour or other provisions on his back.  It started to become evident that there was more money to be made in town than on the range.  By deducting the time he had served in the Civil War, Jonathan was able to “prove up” on his claim in two and a half years.  As soon as he “proved up”, he sold his quarter section of land for twenty five dollars and moved into town.  This was either late 1886 or early 1887.

They bought and operated a hotel in Inman for a number of years.  They were among the few, to have a water pump on their back porch.  Mary Hancock was an excellent cook, and had a huge table that would seat twenty people or more, and she needed that room when the train workers came by for meals.

During Jonathan’s lifetime, he had much experience handling wood.  He had cut timber, sawed lumber from logs, built houses and whittled.  His father, Philip, taught Jonathan to carve.  He occupied much of his time during his retirement years, whittling, and many of his descendants have items that he carved with his pocket knife.

Jonathan Hancock died Aug 26, 1923 after living in Inman, Nebraska for more than forty years.  His funeral was an elaborate affair and his obituary makes interesting reading.  It follows:

Friday, Aug 31, 1923.  “Jonathan Perry Hancock, a direct descendant of Joseph Hancock, a Pennsylvania Revolutionary soldier and hero of Valley Forge, was born August 10, 1847 near Burbon, Marshall County, Indiana and departed this life at Inman, Nebraska, August 26, 1923, at the age of 76 years and 16 days.

Funeral services were held at the M.E. Church at Inman at 10:30 Wednesday, Rev. J.A. Hutchins pastor of the M.E. Church of this city assisted by Rev. A.A. Kerber pastor at Inman officiation.  Interrment in the Inman cemetery following the impressive services.

Six old veterans of the civil war attended in a body carrying the stars and stripes, and the American Legion in a body attended the last rites.  At the grave the firing squad fired a salute and the bugler sounded taps for the departed.

All the children except Wilber, of Casper, was present, it being impossible for him to be there.

The church could not accommodate the large crowd that wished to pay their respect to their friend who had gone from among them.  The floral offerings were many and beautiful, and expressed the high esteem in which the deceased was held in the community.

In 1859 at the age of 12 years he went with his parents and family to Kansas where he and his family took part in the exciting events of early Kansas history and which events led up to the Civil War.  His mother dying of fever and his father losing his life in the Kansas War, he and his sisters returned to the old home in Indiana, where he enlisted as a soldier in the 130th Indiana Infantry, with which he served in General Schofield’s Corps of Sherman’s Army until the close of the war, taking part in the siege of Atlanta, the Battles of Franklin and Nashville and many other battles of that campaign.

After his discharge from the service he returned to Inman and soon afterwards went to the state of Wisconsin where he lived the life of a lumberman and frontiersman for a number of years.  After returning to Indiana in 1876 he was united in marriage to Mary M. Frantz of Burbon, Indiana to which union seven children have been born.

In 1879, he moved to Van Buren County, Iowa, and in 1883 to Nebraska and took a homestead in Holt County of which he has been a resident for 40 years.

He left surviving him his wife, Mary M. Hancock of Inman, one sister, Hattie M. Johnson of Alexandria, Indiana and three sons, Claude P. of O’neill; John J. and Wilber C. of Casper, Wyoming, one son dying in infancy, and three daughters, Mrs. C.J. Malone, of O’neill and Mrs. O.A. Bowen of Sioux City and Miss Gladys of Inman, besides fifteen grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

He was for many years and at his death a member of the Methodist Church and of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Jonathan P. Hancock, Patriot, Soldier and Frontiersman, a pathfinder and conqueror of the wilderness, a true American, with genuine American ideals, a member of that class of pioneers who made America great!


HANCOCK NOTES (6)  In this Hancock linage, we have four successive generations of defenders.  Joseph (senior) was killed by the Indians.  Joseph (junior) was shot and wounded in Brunswick, New Jersey during the Revolutionary War, and later fought Indians.  Philip Baltimore Hancock, shot and killed in the Kansas War, and Jonathan Perry Hancock, who served in the Civil War without injury!


Children born Jonathan and Mary Hancock are:


JONATHAN PERRY HANCOCK      b 10 Aug 1847      d 26 Aug 1923     m 11 Jan 1876

Burbon, IN         Inman, NB        Burbon, IN

Mary Matilda Frantz         b 12 Feb 1859      d 19 Jul 1941     m 11 Jan 1876

Burbon, IN         Inman, NB         Burbon, IN

Ora Delbert               b 2 Oct 1876       d in infancy      m

Marshall Co IN

W Robinetta/Clarence J. Malone

b 5 Mar 1878       d 19 May 1949     m 25 Nov 1895

Frankton, IN       Peru, NB          Inman, NB

Claud P./Stella Smith      b 11 Jun 1882      d 21 Apr 1973     m 25 Dec 1907

Selma, Iowa        Los Angls, CA     Inman, NB

Wilbur C./Verda Conger     b 17 Nov 1884      d                 m

Inman, NB               SD

J Jesse/Emma Schmidt      b 1 Apr 1888       d 3 May 1980      m 15 May 1917

Inman, NB          Casper, WY

June E./Oren A. Bowen     b 2 Sep 1892       d 23 Sept 1973    m 29 Jun 1915

Inman, NB          Hyattsville, MD   Inman, NB

Gladys D./Paul Marsh      b 22 Feb 1895      d 4 April 1944    m 17 Aug 1940

Inman, NB          Enid, OK          O’neil, NB


Author: Jerry Bowen

Joseph Hancock Of Revolutionary War Fame





JUNE ETTA HANCOCK was born September 2, 1892 at Inman, Nebraska.  Her birth in Inman, was about five years after her family moved into town from the prairie.  She was the sixth child of Jonathan and Mary Hancock.

At the time June was born, Inman was a typical western town.  A dirt street running through the center of town, was main street.  Horse drawn carts and carriages were local modes of transportation, and were seen tied up in front of the various business establishments.  For distant travel, one could travel by stagecoach.  Inman was another “Little House on the Prairie” town; a place you could fall in love with.

During her growing up years, June shared much of the household chores.  Besides the usual indoor “girl” chores, she could harness a horse or milk a “moo” as well as any guy her age.  But one craft sticks out in the minds of those who remember.  Aunt Robin remembers that June specialized in “tat”.  This is a kind of needlework where one creates the “lace” around collars, cuffs and handkerchiefs.  This craft required the patience, skill and determination that she was gifted with.

As June grew up, she watched her town and the world change around her.  As a youngster, she watched the railroad workers put train tracks through town. This put Inman on the map, because now building supplies and provisions were more abundant.  At eleven years of age, she remembers hearing about the Wright brothers flying in their “fantastic flying machine” in December of ’03.  June tracked the progress of man and machine, and decided to make her own mark on the world.  But before she could, she had to further her education.

June went to Wayne State University, in Nebraska, to receive her certificate to teach.  At age 18, she taught eight grades in a one room school house.  Because some students started school at a late age, they could be nearly as old as she before they graduated.  One of her older students started to fall in love with June, but she discouraged that relationship because she had other ideas.  June taught school in Inman for five years.

It was while June was teaching that she met Oren A. Bowen.  Mr. Bowen had worked summers as a cowboy, and winters he laid traps to trade in fur.  Uncle Kenneth tells that his father’s spare time was filled with boxing workouts.  As an amateur boxer, he would challenge the professional boxers when they came through town.  Oren won many of those matches, but during one match, he incurred a broken nose.

With those activities behind him, Oren learned optometry and clock making.  With a solid base to support a family, Oren proposed marriage.  They dated in a horse and buggy.  During the last year of their courtship, June was working as a clerk at the county court house in Inman.  On June 29, 1915 they married, and produced a family of five children.

Aunt Lovena remembers that June was a good writer, and would send “round robin” letters to her friends and relatives.  Each recipient added something of interest, and the letter eventually came back to her.  She was also sharp at working crossword puzzles, sometimes finishing in minutes.

The children came, and then the “depression”.  Because Oren wanted to support June and his family during those years, he often would travel to a distant location, secure work, and move the family later.  Kenneth remembers during one move, that his dad felt good after having paid $5,000 cash for a house.

Living in a rural community, June had to contend with her children shooting themselves in the foot, tipping outhouses, experimenting with explosives and learning to drive automobiles.  One day, she was on her knees praying, and seeking guidance from God.  A knock on the door revealed a coulporter who wanted to introduce books into her home.  She believed his appearance, at the end of her prayer, was the Divine guidance she sought.  June took up a religion, different from her Methodist upbringing.  One day, at church, June felt a need to sacrifice.  She took off her wedding band and dropped it in the offering plate.  Over the years, a religious difference between Oren and June caused a wedge between them.  On many occasions, Donald remembers his father offering the boys money for not going to church with their mother.

The family had been living in Waycross, Georgia for some time.  Oren was off in a distant town looking for work again, and purposely found a job in a town where June would have no church to worship in.  While Oren was away, June had confided some of the differences between them, to a church member in Waycross.  Charles remembers that this old biddy, Mrs. Beech, persuaded June not to move with Oren to the next job.

After Oren landed a job in Minnesota, June continued to be an avid churchgoer, in Waycross, Georgia.  The divorce became final July 28, 1941, but devotion to her children would never wane.  June loved her children very much.  She wanted something for them that she did not have, and that was a Christian education.  Her dedication to the subject, found her staying up until early morning hours cracking pecan nuts to sell.  By this type of sacrifice and determination, she saw her children through school.  June also worked in a library for about a year, until she stabilized and built up momentum for the next phase of her life.

June moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked as a practical nurse for the remainder of her life.  She quietly, but effectively met the needs of suffering humanity, lifted others burdens, offered advice to children and grandchildren.  She is remembered as a “self-less” individual.  She passed away September 23, 1973 in Leland Memorial Hospital, and was buried in George Washington Cemetery at Adelphi, MD.

Children born to Oren and June Bowen follow:


OREN ADELBERT BOWEN           b 6 Jan 1893      d 30 Jul 1978           m 29 Jun 1915

Syracuse, NY      Ft. Lauderdale FL       Inman, NB

June Etta Hancock             b 2 Sep 1892      d 23 Sep 1973           m 29 June 1915

Inman, NB         Hyattsville, MD         Inman, NB

Kenneth Oren/Lottie Edwards  b 7 May 1916      d                       m 24 Dec 1937

Wayne, NB                                 Thomaston, GA

Lovena June/Clarence Coffin  b 13 Jul 1917     d                       m        1941

Wayne, NB                                 Takoma Pk, MD

Ruth Robinetta/Howard Joseph b 8 May 1921      d                       m 8 Jul 1944

Souix City, IW                            Silver Sp, MD

/James Eadie                                             m 1 Dec 1947

Takoma Pk, MD

Eugene Charles/Phyllis Dahl  b 1 Mar 1923      d                       m 20 Dec 1947

Souix City, IW                            Minneapolis, MN

Donald HANCOCK/Hazel Knapp   b 14 Apr 1927     d                       m 30 Jul 1950

Souix City, IW                            Takoma Pk, MD













One Response to Joseph Hancock’s Family from his Second Wife Diana Reeder

  1. Carol Bowen

    My husband is June Hancock Bowen’s grandson. We had heard the story of Hancock, MD and the Revolutionary War connection, but this is the first time we learned about the Civil War involvement and we learned a lot about his grandparents early years. Helped explain why they were the people we remembered in their later years.

    Thanks for all your work.

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