The De la Force Family

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Charles Force's Data Background information - 5

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Charles' family trees page 5 - Whitfield Force
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Charles Force's Background Data - 5 - Whitfield Force

Martin County Ancestors, by Ruby H. Stiles, from the Shoals News, 6-2-65:

Whitfield Force In the winter of 1814-15, Whitfield Force, age 22 years, came down the Ohio River on a pair of skates, came up the Wabash and the East Fork of White River, to make a start in the new state of Indiana, soon to be formed.

He had left behind his parents, Thomas Force (Dec. 21, 1757-Mar. 30, 1827) and Hannah (Smith) Force (Mar. 29, 1764-Feb. 24, 1838); also his brothers and sisters, Vashti, Lockey, Hannah, Mariah, Charles, William Burton and his twin brother Smith Force, most of whom he would never see again. They lived in Livingston Township, Essex County, New Jersey, not far from the now famous Atlantic City.

Whitfield Force was the sixth generation of Forces to live in America, coming to New York, and later New Jersey, in mid-1600. His father, Thomas Force, and grandfather, Samuel Force (1726-1799) both served in the Revolutionary War. His great-great-great grandfather, Matthew Force, lived in what is now Broadway, in 1675-1678.

Whitfield married Ameliar Stanley on June 29, 1815 and they had eight children. In 1820 he purchased land in Martin County in what is now known as the Whitfield neighborhood, which still bears his first name. Here he and his sons operated a wool carding machine, powered by horsepower. He was also a brick mason and lent a hand erecting the first brick house which still stands in Martin County. Today it is known as the Routt House at old Mt. Pleasant, owned by Mrs. Riley Routt and Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Spaulding.

Later he helped lay the bricks in the Houghton home, known as Evergreen Hill, build by Aaron Houghton, (1841-1843). He was one of two people who signed the security bond for Aaron Houghton in 1834, so he could operate a ferry across White River.

In 1833, Whitfield purchased 162 acres of land from William Hays, in Center Township, north of the present Houghton Bridge. Here he moved and lived for eleven years, when he sold the farm to his eldest son, Charles (Sept. 16, 1816-Dec. 31, 1855). Charles married Elizabeth Cox (1816-1882).

On the farm is a brick milk house and a log smokehouse, erected by Whitfield in 1840. Both are still in good condition after 125 years. He married three times; Agnes Cox, and Mrs. Nancy Leonard of Daviess County. He died about 1871. [per JRF's research, died June 15, 1877] Grandchildren of Whitfield Force were Thomas Whitfield Force, Seth C. Force, Mrs. Mason Sherman, and Mrs. John Brown. The Center Township farm is still owned by descendents of Seth C. and Mollie Force. Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Lang operate the farm. Mrs. Lang is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Seth C. Force. John T. Force, of Shoals, and Donald Force, of Columbus, Indiana, are also descendents of Whitfield Force." Page from unidentified letter in Margaret Force's notes: "He found in the library" (Washington Township?) "that in the 1870 census Whitfield Force as Whitfield Force age 77 born NJ, lives with Adeline Grow (age 42) who keeps house and has 8-10 children."

From Margaret Force's notes: #201-1850 Census Perry Twp, Martin Co, Ind (Film # 442938)-Aug. 3, 1850 Pg.42--Res.5-Fam.5-

WHITFIELD FORCE 58 Wool Carder $1600 b:NJ
NANCY 56 b. NC
THOMAS 21 (Wool carder) b. IN

From Catherine Lang's genealogy record: "In the winter of 1814-1815, Whitfield and Smith, aged 22 started on a trip west. Smith soon grew tired and returned home. But, Whitfield kept on. By the time he got to the headwaters of the Ohio River, it was the dead of winter and most of the river was frozen solid. Up to this time, Whitfield had been walking. Seeing the river and the ice, he bought or barrowed a pair of skates, and skated the rest of the way to what is now Indiana. As the ice melted, Whitfield had to walk, but before long he came to what is now the West Fork of White River. He was tired and stopped. Indiana had not yet become a state, but in this wilderness area, Whitfield decided to stay and make a place for himself. He had a great deal of natural skill of masonry and started building for people from bricks and stone.

In the spring of 1815, he met Ameliar Stanley. For all of his courage and bravado in leaving his family, most of whom he'd never see again, he wanted someone of his own. He and Ameliar were married two months later, on June 29, 1815 and settled in an area east of what is now Washington, Indiana. Whitfield purchased land and they started a family. Later, he purchased land east of the East Fork of White River and it was here he and Ameliar lived most of her life and he did some farming, but mostly brick masonry. After Ameliar's death, however, he returned to the area where he had first settled, and the rural village was named for him and still bears the name of Whitfield today.

Ameliar died soon after her last child was born, at age 27. As Whitfield's sons matured, he added wool carding to his trade and he and his sons operated a wool carding machine powered by horses. But most of Whitfield's time was spent building brick homes and other buildings. Some of his brick houses still stand today, and two of them are on the Indiana State Historical preservation list. One of these is the "Routt House" in old Mt. Pleasant, and the other is the house he built for Aaron Houghton, now called "Evergreen Hill." The latter was built in 1841-1843. Around his own home, he built a brick milkhouse, a log and stone smokehouse, and a handsome brick privy. The milk house had a stone base and floor, and was sunken about three feet to give coolness. Along one side ran a stone trough, through which spring water ran. In this was kept milk, butter or anything else that was to be cooled. Whitfield also built a two story log house for himself and a log corn crib. Part of the house was torn down in 1890 to make room for a newer one, but one room downstairs remained and two small bedrooms upstairs. This structure called "the old house" by Charles' grandchildren was accidently destroyed by fire in 1916. The brick privy was torn down in 1935, but the milk- house, log corn crib and the log smoke house were still standing in 1973 when the "Force Farm" was sold.

By 1833, Whitfield had managed to buy 162 acres of land, and here he lived and raised his children. But he didn't stay single. Not long after Ameliar's death, he married Agnes Cox. She bore him no children and died in 1843. (Married by David Worford, M.G. recorded Jan 3, 1831) Soon after the death of Agnes he sold his 162 acres to his oldest son, Charles who, by this time, had married. Whitfield moved back to the Whitfield area. He was to marry again and to survive this wife also. [per JRF's research, Nancy Leonard survived him, and applied for a pension based on his military service.]

Whitfield Force was a man of some means and respect in his localities. He was a staunch Republican, a farmer, a brick mason, and builder, and though he never ran for public office, he was often sought to sign for some one's security bond, as when he signed the bond to enable Aaron Houghton to operate a ferry across White River.

Whitfield Force died in 1871 [actually 1877] at the age of 85. Sometime before his death, he carved a stone coffin for himself in which

1830 Martin Co Census p.320 Whitfield Force under 5 5-10 yrs 10-15 20-30 30-40 males 2 1 1 females 1 2 1 1 1840 Martin Co Census Whitfield Force 10-15 yrs 15-20 20-30 30-40 40-50 males 3 1 1 1 females 1 2 1 1 description: 5' 10" tall, heavy build, light hair, blue eyes, fair complexion ctf (1/7/96): Presume Agnes Cox was first married to John Cox, and that one of their 4 sons was Samuel T. and their daughter was Elizabeth. Compare this with the Martin Co. census records:

Name born 1820census 1830 1840 1850
Whitfield Force 1792 b. NC
Ameliar abt 1803 b. IN
Charles C. 1816
Carlen 1819
Jeanne 1821
Mary 1823
William 1825
Margaret 1827
Thomas 1829
Ameilar 1830 (died at birth, four days before mother died)
Nancy Leonard 1794
John Cox

1840 1850 Whitfield Force (1)1792 not listed í90 - í00 í90 - í00 1792 " í90 - í00 --- --- (2) 1816 " í15 - í20 í10 - í20 1818+ " í15 - í20 í10 - ë20 (3) í20 - í25 í20 - ë25 í20 - í25 í20 - ë25 í25 - í30 í25 - ë30 í25 - í30 í25 - ë30 í25 - í30 í25 - í30 1829 (4) 1794 í75 - í94 --- --- (1) í75 - í94 í80 - í90 í90 - í00** --- son 1 í10 - í20 ë15 - ë20* son 2 í10 - í20 í15 - ë20* (Samuel T.) (3) í10 - í20 í20 - í25* í20 - ë25** son 3 í25 - í30* í25 - ë30** Elizabeth (2) 1816 í10 - í20 í15 - ë20* 1818+

Dates listed above are years in which born according to census records
* Not named, Agnes was head of household (Agnes died in 1843)
** Not named, but same sex and age included in Whitfieldís household
Whitfield and Ameliar were maried June 1815 (in Daviess Co??) + Listed as Charles C. Force household in 1850 (1) Married December 1830 (2) Married September 1840 (3) Married January 1841 (4) Whitfield's third wife, married April 1844 Notes: (a) Charles & Elizabethís grandson married a Lela Cox - connection ?? (b) Where did Caroline Force come in? Listed in my records as daughter of Agnes and Whitfield, but was too old. Yet Whitfield and Ameliar only had eight children?

From Harry Holt's "History of Martin County: Land Records (Vol !!, p.141) T2N, R5W, Feb 5, 1820, SW-S1...Whitfield Force

From Newspaper column, News From Shoals, written by Carlos McCarty:

"There is a record of but one cotton gin in Martin county and that was operated at Mt. Pleasant about one hundred years ago by Whitfield Force." article entitled "New for Old" undated. Also mentioned in article entitled "Those Early Mills," dated June 30, 1927. (Martin County Tribune?)

Info received from Lance Bretsnyder June 1997 includes an article in the New York Genealogical and Biograph. Record pertaining to Whitfield Force's mother Hannah Smith. Title of article is "Peter Smith of Jamaica, Long Island, and some of his descendents. See beginning on page 160 of July 1954 issue for information on Hannah and Thomas. This lists Whitfield's birth as about 1786 in NJ, died abt 1871 in Washington, IN. States he was a millwright and lived most of his life in Jersey City, NJ. (??-ctf) Also, says 3rd wife's name Chambers.

Per JRF research: Whitfield was in the War of 1812; he enlisted at Cincinnati in the Ohio malitia on July 5, 1814 and served for 45 days. He was a guard at the Second Treaty of Greenville, OH.

Contact: Ken Baldry for moreformation but bear mind that everything he finds out, he puts on the web 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY) = 44(0)20 7359 6294
but best to e-mail him URL: Last revised 10/9/2004

Ken & Avis' web site is stuffed full of interesting things