Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Thomas Andrew Jackson Hastings

On Left seated: Thomas Andrew Jackson Hastings
Standing center is his grandson Clyde Hastings
Center is Kenneth Great Grandson Hastings
on Right is his son Charles Hastings

Thomas Andrew Jackson Hastings was born in Delaware.  He married Amanda Hill from Laurel and they traveled west.  He eventually ended up in New Mexico and died there.  Altho Laurel is frequently mentioned in their history it is simply because Delmar didn't exist until 1859.  An interesting sketch of his life has been done by his son Charles and I am doing a cut and paste below.

      Thomas Andrew Hastings, the senior member of this sketch, was born in Delaware on April 9, 1829. As he frequently remarked, he was "one of the blue hen's chickens". His full name given at birth was Thomas Andrew Jackson. The Thomas was probably for some relative of the family, and the Andrew Jackson for the President Andrew Jackson, who was inaugurated March 4, 1829, near his birthday. When he came to manhood, he con­sidered his full name too long. He discarded the Jackson from his name and took as his name, Thomas Andrew Hastings, and for his signature, T. A. Hastings; he was known in some localities in which he lived as Tom Hastings, in other localities as Andrew Hastings. He was left fatherless in early childhood, grew to manhood in Delaware and Maryland slave states, - states of no free schools.  He had no school privileges, and came to manhood uneducated. At the age of twenty-seven he learned the alphabet and continued his studies until he could read books and newspapers. This was the extent of his education.  On April 8, 1848, he was married to Amanda Hill near Laurel, Delaware.  Their home was in Delaware for about two years and then they moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. His employment there was in the dockyards helping to build steamboats for service on the Ohio river.

Above Thomas Hastings on left Amanda Hill Hastings on the right

In 1853 they moved to Campbell County, Kentucky.  There he engaged in preparing cord wood for the Cincinnati Fuel Market. After four years residence there, in 1857 they moved to Clay County, Indiana.  There his business was opening a farm in the forest of that state and making shingles.  It was a sparsely settled country, heavily timbered, and poplar trees wore plentiful out of which to make shingles. All was well suited for the business in which he was engaged.
After nearly five years in this business, Mother passed away on March 23, 1864, leaving him and five small children in sad bereavement. Unto them had been born eight children, six sons and two daughters.  Three sons died in childhood, leaving at her death Charles, Theodore, Millard Fillmore, Amanda and Margaret.  Theodore died at the age of fourteen years, but the remaining four lived to the age of maturity.
This was a time of sorrow and perplexity for Father. With five small children and not a relative within nearly a thousand miles, it was a serious problem.  Our home was with different families of our neighbors until the month of May, when he took us to his relatives in Delaware.  There was our home for the summer with one of his sisters, and he returned to Indiana.  In November, he came to Delaware and took us children to Indiana. He and we children lived alone on the farm until the fol­lowing May.  In May, 1865, he married Milly Chapman.
They lived on the farm, and he continued the business of farming and making shingles until the fall of 1871. He then sold the farm and stock.  In January, 1872, he moved to Worth County, Missouri.  There his business was farming, stock raising and stock feeding.  This he continued until 1881.  Then he sold his farm and stock, but remained in Missouri until about 1886. Ho and his family then moved to Crawford County, Kansas.  There he did not engage in any kind of business, but lived as a retired farmer.
He was of a dissatisfied, roving disposition.  Some other place always being a more desirable place in which to live than where he was. He was born in Delaware and was a fixed resident in seven different states - Delaware, Ohio, Kentucky, Indi­ana, Missouri, Kansas and New Mexico. He buried two children in Ohio, a wife and two children in Indiana, five children in Missouri and two children in Kansas. He himself is buried in New Mexico. Surely not a very clearly designated family burying plot!

In the later years of his life, after leaving the farm and until he became feeble with the infirmities of age, he followed a Gypsy mode of life. With a team of broncos hitched to it, a light canvas covered wagon was his home winter and summer, day and night. He traveled or camped just as he pleased to do. His range of traveling territory was southwest Missouri southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma.

In this manner of life he had some interesting experiences. His roving life classed him with that roving transient group of persons of that age known as traveling horse traders. This was a class of people who lived in covered wagons or tents and traveled from one town to another, always prepared for a horse trade, and who lived by their wits, which was by pilfering hen roosts, fields or orchards, or doing anything but honest labor to enable them to live. They traveled in the northern climate of their range in the summer and went to the south in the winter. Children were born and families raised among them, who never had a home in a house. Father, being on the road and with those people a good deal was engaged by the authorities as a secret service man to find out and report to officers any violations of law that came to his knowledge.

One evening, a young girl was observed to be under the influence of liquor. He was told by the officers to watch her. He engaged the girl in conversation and asked her where she was from. Her reply was a former home town of his. He next asked her name, and she gave him the name of a family he was well acquainted with, He asked "Is this little brown haired Anna I used to dandle on my knee?" She replied, "I am." He said to her, "Girl, go home to Mother." She answered, "I would not see Mother's face for a thousand dollars." She afterwards returned and visited home folks, neither her Mother or her neighbors learning anything of her past life.

Another incident was with a family that was using a plan of murdering and robbing old Civil War veterans, who at that time were getting back pensions, and throwing their bodies into the abandoned zinc mine pits of the country. They had an assistant in the plan, a young woman, and as father's age indicated that he might be a man they wanted, she engaged him in conversation. He directed the conversation in such a way that she told him what the family was doing, and their methods of work. The authorities were informed, and an investigation was made resulting in a twenty-five year prison sentence for several of the family.

Father was born and raised in a slave state, but all of his life was a strong anti-slavery man. Having been a fellow laborer with slaves, and observing at first hand the cruelty and oppression of the system, he was thoroughly convinced of the injustice of the institution against man because of color.

In politics he was a Republican all his life. He was very zealous of his verbal pledges. He intended his word to be as good as his bond. Trusting other men to have, and be true to this principle, led to the loss of the last few thousand dollars he owned of his life time savings. He placed them in the hands of men who gave no security, only a verbal promise to pay, and who were not careful to make their word good. They took advantage of the bankrupt law, and he was left penniless.

He was a firm believer in God and his sovereignty, and in man's responsibility and his final accountability.  He was careful to train his children to keep the com­mandments, to do right, and to observe and follow righteousness in their conduct.
The last few years of his life were passed in New Mexico in the home of his son Samuel, the oldest child of the second family. He passed away and was buried near Melrose, New Mexico, in 1914, near the age of 85 years.
Amanda Hill, wife of Thomas Andrew Hastings, was born near Laurel (Laurel?), Delaware, February 13, 1828, - one of a family of one son and three daughters, with several half brothers and sisters. Her parents' ancestors were early emigrants to America, of what nationality it is not known, but very probably they were English. She grew to womanhood in her native State. Having no school privileges in youth, she came to maturity uneducated. After marriage and leaving the home state and moving to Ohio, she gave her attention in study to common school branches, and learned to read, write and do some arithmetic. She was married in De1aware, April 8, 1848.
Later, about two years after marriage she moved to Ohio, from there to Kentucky, and afterwards to Indiana. The home life of her times was a life of labor, toil and privation and hardship in general.  The home was usually a single room, built of logs, the crevices between the logs filled with small pieces of wood and daubed with a mortar of sand and lime and many times with mud made of clay, with one or two doors and a window or two and a fireplace in one end of the room.
Most of the country was a dense forest, with only a little of it cleared of timber and cultivated. The food was the products of the soil and wild game, rabbits, squirrels, quail, fish, etc.  The library was a Bible and hymn book, and in many families these books were not at hand. The literature was the annual distribution of Hostetler's, Ayers and Jayne's almanacs.  For years these conditions prevailed in our home. No newspapers or magazines were there. Only cultivated land was fenced, and that by rails split out of logs.  The pasture for stock was the wild wooded land of the forest, in which cattle, sheep and hogs roamed at will. Hogs would fatten on the mast, ready to be butchered in the winter.  The mast was acorn and beechnuts that fell from oak and beech trees in the fall.
To identify the ownership of the animals, a system of ear marks was used. Each farmer had his method of marking by slitting and notching the ears of his stock.
With only one room in the house, it serving as kitchen, sitting room, parlor and bedrooms, the furniture had to be limited to the barest necessities of the home - and sometimes less than what was needed, - and was two bedsteads, a trundle bed, a large dry goods box to serve as dresser, bureau and clothes closet, and a shelf or two attached to the wall to use as cupboard, cabinet and pantry.  The lamp of the home was a tallow candle, or more often, a small tin can filled with grease, with a bent wire across the top to hold a wick in place. Much of the time, the only light in the room was from the fire in the fireplace.  The fireplace was for both heating the room and cooking food.  The cooking equipment of the home at that time was an iron rod with one end in one wall at one side of the fireplace, and the other end in the op­posite side wall.  On this rod were put heavy wire hooks. Upon those hooks were hung the pots in which to boil food.

The bread baking fixture was the Dutch oven, - a large deep skillet with short legs on the bottom, and covered with a lid with a flange around the edge to retain hot coals on top of the oven, while coals were placed under the oven.  Bread at that time was mostly made of corn meal and baked in a Dutch oven, and gave to the family the traditional "corn pone."
Another method of cooking corn bread at that time, was by preparing a board five or six inches wide by eighteen or twenty inches long, and putting corn meal dough on one side and placing it in front of the fire with a flat iron to hold the board and dough upright. When one side was cooked, the half cooked was taken off the board, turned over, replaced on the board and placed before the fire to finish cooking.  This was "Johnny Cake," cooked on the Johnny Cake board.
Another method used in cooking flour bread, was to take the dough and put a thick layer of it on the underside of a dinner plate and then place it in front of the fire, with a flat iron to keep the plate upright until one side was cooked; the half cooked dough was then changed to the other side of the plate and placed in front of the fire until it had finished cooking. This was "plate cake," and very much relished by hungry boys and girls. Sometimes mashed potatoes were mixed in the dough, and then it was "potato plate cake."
Eggs and potatoes were at times roasted in hot ashes and meat broiled on hot coals.  The method of preparing corn meal for corn pone was to use hot water and salt and mix a few hours before cooking; it was kept in a warm temperature, and when slightly fermented was baked. Often corn meal was mixed with water without salt and immediately cooked. This was "corn dodger."
The wash room many times was by the side of the brook or creek where water and fuel were handy and plentiful. Such was the home and community life as Mother and Father lived it, and as it had been decades previous to their time, and as I remember it well of seventy-five or eighty years ago.  The many conveniences of modern times were not available, ex­pected or even hoped for.  The social life of that time was almost altogether limited to the home life.  There were no vacations and no pleasure trips to places of inter­est, and public entertainments were confined almost entirely to Fourth of July cele­brations and when the circus came to town.  The distance of churches and poor method of travel prevented regular church attendance.
In personal disposition Mother was patient, kind and benevolent, - a good and respected neighbor, and easy to get along with. She was a member of the Methodist church and a consistent Christian.
She passed away from life March 23, 1864. Just a little past her thirty-sixth birthday. She was the mother of eight children, three of whom preceded her in death, leaving five who were bereaved of a mother's solicitude and care.
Millie Jane Chapman, the second wife of T. A. Hastings, was born near Fincastle, Campbell County, Tennessee, on November 23, 1847.  She moved in early childhood, with her parents, to Indiana. Her parents' ancestors were early emigrants to America and early settlers in Tennessee, of what nationality it is not known by the family, butthey were probably English.  It was reported in the family that her paternal great-grandfather was a soldier in the first wars of the United States. Her maternal grandfather's name was Poe, and, although it was not positively reported in the fam­ily, nor denied, his name and the locality of his birth indicate that he was probably a descendant of Adam Poe, who, history records show, fought with the Big Foot Indians..
Her education was limited to a few years irregular attendance in the rural schools of Indiana. Her home and social life in childhood and youth was of the us­ual community life of the middle west seventy-five and eighty years ago.  This was a country mostly of forests, with homes scantily furnished, poor methods of travel and conveyance," no Sunday School, limited church privileges, and comparatively no public entertainment for culture or amusement. No magazines, newspapers or radios were in the home then to entertain and instruct, as at the present time.
She was of a family of six brothers and five sisters. She was married May, 1865, a little past her seventeenth birthday, and became step-mother to a family of five children. Quite a task for an inexperienced family head, but she was equal to the emergency, and all was well. Her home was on the farm in Indiana until January, 1872, then the family moved to Missouri and continued life on the farm with the us­ual conditions of western frontier life, - a life of toil and labor, and with no vacations or pleasure trips to places of interest to relieve the monotony of toil.
About 1887 the family moved to Crawford County, Kansas.  There was her home until the end of her life. She was the mother of fourteen children; seven died in infancy and childhood, and seven lived to maturity. At her death, one son lived in New Mexico, one son in Oklahoma, two daughters in Kansas City, Missouri, and three daughters in and near Pittsburg, Kansas.  She passed from life September 23, 1929, near her eighty-second birthday. She was a highly respected neighbor, industrious and frugal, and a faithful member of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

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