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PALMER Line Story
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PALMER mipalmers' PALMER photoset



First I want to thank Uncle Ed for starting to collect the Palmer history over 30 years ago and writing this initial history of the Palmers. The Palmer family that closest to us, starts with Hiram Palmer, my 2nd great Grandfather, born 17 Oct 1821 in Warren, Warren Co., NY, accordind to his marriage record to Sophia Lyman.Warren County Genealogy The city of Warren may be short for Warrensburg, NY. Our First record of him is his first marriage certificate of Hiram Palmer and Esther Gibson on 5 Apr 1848 in Mineral Point, Iowa Co., Territory of Wisconsin. The 1850 U.S. census has Hiram Palmer and Esther Palmer in Pulaski, Iowa Co., WI, note that Esther is from Ireland.

This marriage did not last long for on 20 Nov 1852, Hiram Palmer and Sophia Lyman are married in Pulaski, Iowa Co., WI. Hiram’s father is Jesse Palmer, mother is Catherine (Hilton is the assumed name from Internet Search). Sophia’s father is William Graves Lyman, Sr., her mother is Clarissa Louisa Doane. Sometime Hiram and Sophia moved north to Wood County. Their First child Almond Chester was born there on 1 Feb 1854. We also find a Land Contract from the Stevens Point, WI land office, 40 acres for Hiram Palmer dated 01 May 1855. On the 1860 U. S. Census Hiram is in The Town of Saratoga, Wood Co., WI with his wife Sophia and children Almond C., Clara E. and Cora E. He lists his occupation as Farmer. Full names of their Children are Almond Chester, Clara Albina and Cora Ellen.

Civil War Years 1861-1865

On January 20, 1861, he enlisted in the 8th Independent Battery, of the Wisconsin Volunteer Light Artillery at Stevens Point, and mustered on the 8th of January 1862 at Camp Utley, located at Racine, WI area. He was discharged after having received the rank of Sergeant, on January 20,1865, at Nashville, TN, at the completion of his term of enlistment, and provided with transportation back to his family, in or near Stevens Point, Portage County, WI. I have a letter which he wrote to his son and 3 small daughters from a location described as "Camp before Jacinto" and dated Aug. 3,1862. At discharge from the Army, Hiram Palmer was described as 41 yrs. of age, 5'-3/4" in height, dark complexion, blue eyes, and auburn hair. The only picture we have is a very small portrait taken by a photographer in Dowagiac, MI (not far north of South Bend, IN) and probably included in his letter to his daughter Clara in August, 1862, as the letter and the photo fit neatly in this very small envelope.

It is evident that Hiram was a medium to small build, and this is confirmed by the fact that his son William Lyman Palmer was also of this approximate build, judging by his photos and what I (Ed) can remember of him. Hiram returned after his army service to Wood Co., WI, where on May, 7, 1867, his son William Lyman was born. In the 1870 U.S. census, Hiram is once again listed in Saratoga, Wood County Wisconsin. With him are his wife Sophia and their children, Almond, Clara, Cora, Benjamin, William and Judd.
January 21, 1871 Hiram was injured in a logging accident, 8 miles from Grand Rapids in Wood county and nearly lost his life. The shoulder joint was entirely out of place, the choler bone was broken, two ribs broken from the spine on the right side also broken in the center, one was broken loose from the spine on the left side. The following is from the February 1, 1872 Wood County Reporter in Grand Rapids, WI, “Almost Fatal Casualty. Mr. Hiram Palmer, of Saratoga, engaged in logging in Natwig’s camp, met with a terrible accident last Wednesday. A tree he was falling had become lodged in the branches of a neighboring pine, and in extricating it he was struck on the back of the head and along the spine, as the tree came to the ground with such force as to crush and bruise him terribly. At last accounts he was living with a prospect of recovery”. By 15 June 1872 was living in Portage City,
Columbia county. Life must have been tough for the Palmer family after the lumber accident; Hiram would not have been able to earn a living.
In 1872 Almond Chester is employed as a teacher in Seneca, Wood county Wisconsin. From a March 29, 1872 issue of the Wood County Reporter newspaper, Almond C. has 13 pupils, average daily attendance is 8. This is according to the Teachers’ Monthly Report for December 1872. He would have been 18 years old.
Hiram and Sophia undoubtedly split up sometime in the 1870’s, probably after the death of the youngest Earl Roy on March 29, 1874. He lived less than 2 years. Hiram may have moved to the city of Oshtemo, in Kalamazoo County, Michigan to live with a sister Delia (Palmer) Tuttle. This move is not certain, but there is a Hyram Palmer, age 59 in the 1880 U.S. Census for Oshtemo, in Kalamazoo County, MI.
Sophia and remaining family members apparently moved to Table Rock, Pawnee county Nebraska, possibly around 1875 to where Sophia’s sister Ellen (Butterfield) Lyman and half brother William Graves Lyman, Jr. were living. They rented space in a finished off upstairs from Orville (O. D. Howe), a prominent citizen of Table Rock. Sophia and Hiram were divorced in 1878 and she remarried Charles F. Macumber on 19th of October 1878 at Table Rock, Pawnee County. The marriage record shows that Clara Palmer was a witness, also residing in Pawnee County. Cora Ellen Palmer was married to Charles Strauther Fry at this time. They married on June 13 1877.
Something happened to the marriage of Sophia and Charles Macumber as the Palmer family was fragmented even more by the time of the 1880 U.S Census. Sophia and Clara Randolph are living in Denver, Arapahoe County, Colorado. Almond and Hattie (Gile) Palmer are near by Sophia in Jefferson County, now a part of Denver, Colorado. Also living with them are Benjamin and William Palmer. Cora and Charles Fry along with Judd Palmer were still in Nebraska, Richardson, Humbold County. Almond and Hattie Palmer moved west sometime in 1880 after the June Census, to Prineville, Oregon.
More about Sophia’s Father….William Graves Lyman, Sr.
“He comes of good old American and pioneer stock, from Colonial settlers around Hadley, Massachusetts, were his Lyman ancestors” writes a relative back in Illinois. Another writes “That call of the wild with kept the Daniel Boones of this country always moving out to the fringe of civilization… It is declared that he was a farmer in eleven different states and territories, owned a farm in every on of theses states and on each farm he planted an orchard.” He ended his day on a farm in Grant County, Oregon. On a Homestead with his fourth spouse, Julia (Maxim) Lyman. Died 17 Nov 1887. Julia was Hattie (Gile) Palmer’s mother.
Now back to the Palmer line. Benjamin died December 6, 1882 in Summit County, Colorado so he never made it to Oregon and Cora Ellen remained in Colorado with her husband Charles Fry. They dad 5 children, Leslie Carl, Clara Alice, Mabel Palmer, Hattie Inez, and Joseph Hiram. The Fry family remained close to the Oregon Palmer Branch for quite a number of years as you can ascertain from the many familiar names with the Palmers. Sometime the Palmer’s and the Fry’s lost contact with each other and were just discovered again in 2003. I was conducting an Internet search for Hiram Palmer and discovered a site listing Hiram and his family. It is maintained by a descendant of Cora and Charles Fry. I have just started to communicate with our long lost cousins in Colorado.
In addition to Almond and Hattie, Clara, William, Judd and Sophia all moved out to Oregon to settle. They had a very nomadic life moving around from city to city, but mostly staying in Central Oregon.
Hiram applied for a pension in 1892 and was finally awarded a monthly pension of twelve dollars on December 11, 1895. A great deal of information was learned from a copy of his pension record at the National Archives. Including an April 1884 injury where Hiram two finger of his right hand while cleaning his shot gun. He had to be take the 40 miles from Bend, where he was living at the time to The Dalles to be treated by a Doctor.
While living in Prineville, Judd Palmer served a 7-year duty as an active member of the Prineville Fire Company and was given a certificate as an Exempt Fireman, dated June 4, 1899. July 15, 1893 he was elected to the office of Secretary of the all volunteer Fire Department. Meanwhile, Hiram having died on March 6, 1904, and Sophia, being in poor health and then living with her son H. Judd in The Dalles, died at the age of 63 on March 7, 1901. Living descendents were Almond C. of Prineville, who was editor of the Crook County Journal, William L. of Geizer, Baker County, H. Judd of The Dalles, an Salesman for Pease and Mays, Mrs. C. A. Randolph of Portland, and Mrs. C.E. Fry of Denver, CO. At some time around 1901-1902 she was making her home with her son, William L. in Mitchell, OR. I have an old letter, dated December 27, 1906, to his brother, William L., from Almond C., listing his occupation as Lawyer, and his firm as Palmer & Co., Portland, OR, and the business being Real Estate and Timber Lands. William Lyman Palmer was born May 24, 1864, in Saratoga, Grant Co., Wisc. and married Olive Clarissa Smith on February 26, 1889 in Prineville at the home of AC Palmer. His occupation was as a butcher. He also bought and sold cattle at times, and may have owned his own shop in some of the small towns and camps where he plied his trade. They had five children, starting with Clarence W., born February 4, 1890, in Prineville, OR, Beulah Izora, born January 10, 1893, in Prineville, Lillie, born in April, 1897, possibly in Sumpter, OR, and who evidently died very young, Vera Neva, born April 3, 1899, in Sumpter. The family lived in and around Baker County from about 1895 for about 8 or 10 years. In Whitney they lived near Whitney, at Trout Cr. ranch, where William raised cattle and sold the meat to the bustling mining camps. He was also a butcher and either peddled the meat in a wagon or sold it to meat markets. As a boy Clarence and his friends used to dig under the floors of the old assay office and pan the material for gold. Inez Lorraine, born October 23, 1904, in Oregon City, OR. The last child, Inez Lorraine, was born on October 23, 1904, while the family was living in Oregon City, OR.. Around 1906 the William Palmer family was living on the Little Deschutes River, near Tumalo Falls. My brother-in-law Bruce W. with his father Clarence W. visited the area about the late 1970's and could identify the area where they lived but found no trace of the cabin. While there William L. may have been raising cattle or perhaps prospecting for gold. There is a story that one day Clarence had to pull his sister Inez; out of the river when she fell in. The family also lived in or near Clatskanie, OR, for a time. An old picture of their home looks pretty grim. William may have had a job as a butcher there. It is obvious that the family in those years was struggling to make a living. The family also lived in the town of Mitchell, OR, around 1901 and 02. William worked in the mines there and brother Almond had a news- paper. Beulah was about 8 years old and told me she accidentally set the house on fire and burned it down, together with a lot of the rest of the town. William received a citation for saving the town from destruction, as they had wood sidewalks which make the spread of fire easy. Sometime in the early 1900's William moved his family to the gold country, south of Baker,
OR to Sumpter, Whitney, and Granite. At Whitney, Clarence and his pals used to dig the dirt from under the assay office, to pan it for the gold that fell through he cracks in the floor. The family lived in a log house in Whitney, a quarter mile or so from Trout Creek, where William has a livestock ranch. Bruce saw the remains of the house when there in 1935. In the late 1930's William and Olive Palmer moved to the construction site of Grand Coulee Dam, where they ended up as partners with the Taylor’s in the town of Electric City. There is a street in that town named after the Palmers. Olive died while they were living there, on February 12, 1942, from a heart attack at the age of 73. She is buried in the nearby cemetery of the town of Wilbur. To return to living locations for the William L. family, around 1907 or 08 they found them- selves living in Orofino, ID, where William was plying the butcher trade and Clarence was cutting and hauling firewood. He later drove a logging truck with hard rubber tires. Orofino, only 25 miles or so from Nezperce, made it easy to meet people there and that is how he met Mary Huber, his future wife. Clarence began working for the bank in Nezperce and Mary was working for Nezperce Mercantile as a clerk. They were married on June 4, 1913, at Nezperce and honeymooned at Portland, OR, where they observed the Portland Rose parade. As cashier at the Nezperce bank, the following March Clarence made out his first corporate income tax return for the bank, and was making out income tax returns until he was almost 90 years old. Clarence and Mary moved to Spokane, WA, from Nezperce. He went to a business college there and studied bookkeeping. He also worked for the Old National Bank in Spokane. Wilma and Claude were both born in Nezperce. About 1942 William an interest in a mine, the Swansee, near Lincoln, MT, while living in Electric City. The mine was never a success. After living in Spokane, around 1924 Clarence and the family moved to Sprague, WA, where was cashier at the Sprague branch of the Old National Bank. William and Olive also lived in Sprague for a number of years at the same time. The family lived on a ranch just west of town and stayed there until the bank closed during the depression era. About 1932 or 1933 the family moved to Centralia, W A where Clarence went into business with a friend, Wilfred Hall. It was a Buick auto dealership but it soon went broke. The family moved to Lewiston, ID, to be close to Mary's sister and husband, P .J. and Josephine Miller, and also close to her brother J. W .(Bill) Huber and his wife Clara at Nezperce. These were both farm families and able to help out a little with farm produce for the needy Palmers. Clarence got a job driving a gravel truck for Beattly Construction Co. and Clarence, Maryand Bruce lived that summer in a tent at Sanders, ID. Wilma and Claude were working at the relative's farms. Clarence later got a job at Boise with the State Department of Finance and became a traveling bank examiner. Idaho later passed an income tax and he transferred to that State Agency as an auditor for North Idaho. Wilfred Hall later came back into the picture in 1941 when he asked Clarence to move to Auburn, WA, to be bookkeeper for his Dodge- Plymouth auto dealership. The family moved to Auburn shortly before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Clarence continued to work for Wilfred for the next couple of years or so. Washington passed the accountancy act and Clarence got in on the grandfather clause as a Licensed Public Accountant. He opened an office in Auburn about 1942 or 43. Wilma, an experienced bookkeeper; worked for him in the early practice. She was divorced and had her son Gary to care for. During W.W.II Mary decided she should go to work too. She began doing a shift at a munitions plant which was making clips for the army's Garand M-1 rifle. Mary died in 1973 and Clarence batched alone for years, until his health forced him into a nursing home. He developed colon cancer while living alone and went to surgery, but the Dr’s could no nothing. He lived a few months longer and died at the
age of 92. To return to the Rufus Smith branch of the family, William L. Palmer's wife Olive's family, her father Rufus was listed in the Census of 1880 as having been born in Illinois in 1844, his father and mother both in the State of New York. His wife Sarah Elizabeth Molen, also listed the State of Illinois as her birthplace, and also that of both of her parents. Rufus was a farmer. The U.S. Census shows the family was living in Labette County, KS, on the enumerations of 1860 and 70. During that period, their young children, Anna Bell and Robert Newton Smith drowned in Deer Creek, November 18, 1871. They later settled in Contra Costa Co., CA, living at various times in the areas of Chico and Brentwood. Sarah divorced Rufus about 1890-2 and moved to Springfield, NB, and on December 14, 1894, married an man named Southwick and settled somewhere in Kansas. Rufus and Sarah had seven children, of whom Olive Clarissa married William L. Palmer in 1889. A brother, Albert, and three younger sisters, Tina, Ruby, and Stella all lived and died in Stockton, Chico, or Brentwood, CA.

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