In the old times and old Country.
by Lisa Y. Henderson
State of Indiana, Marion County }
Reuben Lawhon of the age of 50 years and George Lawhon of the age of 20 years both of the County of Park and State of Indiana being duly sworn – They testify that they have been well acquainted with Primus Tyler for all the lifetime of the affiant George Lawhon also with his son Shepherd Tyler all his lifetime and with Betsey or Elizabeth Tyler in her lifetime – She was the mother of the said Shepherd Tyler – Shepherd died unmarried – He was a good and faithful son He supported his Father and Mother in her lifetime – Primus Tyler was a slave in Green Co North Carolina – his family were free and came to Indiana and raised money through the Friend Quakers to buy him – which they in 1851 when he came here to this state and leased and rented some land in the quaker settlement in Park Co Indiana for some three years or more – this said same Shepherd Tyler working for his parents during this time – Then Primus Tyler rented a small farm from Thomas Harshman which was about ten years ago – they lived on that for one year when his wife and children purchased the far – 158 acres and gave about $4000.00 for it – on which his children still owe about $1300.00 and he now lives with his children on that place – His said son gave him $100.00 Bounty when he enlisted and his son was killed before he was again paid – since which he has collected the arrears of pay and Bounty – Primus Tyler is old and feeble and has long been disabled from rheumatism — affiants have not interest in this matter. Reuben X Lawhon, /s/ George W. Lawhorn
[Witnesses] Ben D. House, William Saulsberry
State of Indiana, County of Parke }
Ephraim Cook aged Sixty years and Walden Russell aged 41 years residents of the County and State aforesaid being duly sworn upon their several oaths declare that are well acquainted with the family of Primus Tyler and were acquainted with his wife Elizabeth Tyler in her lifetime who departed this life July 6th 1861 and they further declare that the said Primus and Elizabeth Tyler were the parents of Shepherd Tyler late Co C 28th Regt US.C.T. who was killed at Chickahominy Swamp June 1864.They further declare that they personally know that the said Primus and Elizabeth Tyler were married in Green Co N.C. in the year 1827 the said Primus being at that time a slave and the said Elizabeth free and that the said Elizabeth Tyler thereafter bought the said Primus Tyler affiant’s knowledge of these matters is derived from an intimate personal acquaintance with all of the above mentioned parties and a consequent personal cognizance of the matters testified of and they have no interest in this matter. /s/ Ephraim Cook, Walden Russel
Catlin Station Ind. Mar 24th 1869
Mr Harlan Hamlin, Indianapolis
Dear Sir, Inclosed you will please find a bill of sale conveying me from Elizabeth Edwards of North Carolina to James Siler of Indiana and on the same bill under the hand of the said Siler is a writing relinquishing all claims and demands on me to Elizabeth Tyler my wife showing conclusively that the facts was known & recognized by those of that day familiar with the class With regard to living witness I don’t suppose I can produce any from they being advanced in age. I have outlived all those that was present at the time I was married according to the manor and custome of such persons in the old times and old Country which was simply to prepare a supper invite in the friends and at the proper time the groom & bride took their places at the ends of the table facing each other after supper the parties was considered duly married and was recognized by the law when not conflicting with the interest of the masters. Inclosed you please find a postage stamp with which to return the inclosed bill and I trust you will let me know immediately whether it will do any good or not if it wont do I want to know so I may look in some other direction /s/ Primus Tyler
From the file in the Pension Application of Shepherd Tyler, deceased (by his father Primus Tyler), #171234, National Archives and Records Administration.
In the 1850 census of Greene County, North Carolina: Elizabeth Tyler, 40, with children Shepherd, 11, Sally, 1, and Nancy, 5.
In the 1850 census of District 85, Parke County, Indiana: Reuben Lawhorn, 36, Eiza, 25, Oliver, 5, Alice, 2, George, 9 months, all born in North Carolina; plus George, 24, Nancy, 20, Hymerick, 18, Elizabeth, 17, Primus, 16, Avy, 14, and Moses Tyler, 13, all born in North Carolina.
In the 1860 census of Raccoon, Parke County, Indiana: at #386, farm laborer Reuben Lohorn, 40, Eliza, 36, Oliver, 15, Alice M., 13, George, 11, Susan, 8, Alfred, 4, Martha A., 3, and Elias, 3 months. Reuben, Eliza and the oldest two children were born in North Carolina; the remaining children in Indiana.) At #387, Primus Tyler, 60, Betsey, 45, Richard, Arcada, Primus, Moses, 18, Elizabeth, 20, Shepherd, Nancy B., Sally A., Edward F., Elwood, and Matilda J. (Note: Arcada, nee Artis, was Richard’s wife. He, too, enlisted in the Union Army, and his widow applied for a pension. In the 1850 census of District 85, Parke County, Indiana: Micajach Artis, 50, Beaty, 40, Arcada, 17, Eliza, 14, Burket, 4, and Henriette, 1; all born in North Carolina except Henriette, born in Indiana. Burkett Artis gave minor testimony in support of Primus Tyler’s application. Micajah is listed as a head of household in the 1830 census of Nash County NC and the 1840 census of Wayne County NC. A Micajah Artis married Rilly Eatmon in Edgecombe County in 1826. The three counties were contiguous at the time.)