Families and Family Ties, 1828 - 1880

At this point, Peter Ragle becomes the principle actor in my part of this story. John Ragle has left a substantial family of descendents of his own, parts of which have been documented by Jo Hastings Johnson and which appear in the L. Rex Myers volumes. A bit of information about John Ragle is included below for the sake of continuity. Of the other four children of Jacob Ragle and Susannah Ragle, Jacob Jr. disappears to California at mid-century, supposedly leaving a wife and 7 children behind, Elizabeth marries Fredrick Halfacre and moves across the river into Illinois (see Ch. 2 -- Ragle Family Relationships and Interconnections); of Margaret Ragle (b. 1811?) we have only a hint, namely the recorded marriage of a Margaret Ragle to Emberson Holt in 1849; and of Susannah Ragle we have the recorded marriage to Hiram Alfred Shepard in 1831. Jacob Jr. is, to our way of thinking, the biggest mystery of the story...there seem to be no census records of him, no marriage records, and no records having to do with his large family... although the area certainly contains enough 'unknown' Ragles to account for him. The only possible clues concerning this Jacob are the references to "Jacob Ruggles" and Jacob Ragle in Floyd co. IL mentioned previously.

Descendents of Peter & John Ragle. Link to pictures [also in main menu as Item 3].

Peter A. Ragle. Peter Ragle was born March 04, 1806 in Sullivan, Tennessee. He married at least twice that we know of. The first marriage, to Margaret (Peggy) Wadsworth, born April 15, 1809, was on March 20, 1828 and is recorded in Paoli, Orange County, Indiana. Peter is listed as a Head of Household in the Census of 1830 for Paoli, Orange County, Indiana, and apparently did not move to the Raglesville area until just before 1836, when the land purchases listed above were made. There followed these children:

Born in Orange County:

Born in Daviess County:

The 1840 and 1850 US Census for Daviess County show Peter Ragle in Van Buren Twp. The 1870 U. S. Census for Van Buren Twp Daviess Co. page 267 1/2 fam 68 lists Peter, Margaret, and a laborer, George Messick, age 18. Margaret Wadsworth died on May 22, 1876 and is buried in the Raglesville Cemetery. The 1880 U. S. Census shows Peter Ragle, age 74, farmer, born in Tennessee, father and mother born in Tennessee, wife (2) Rachel J. [Smeltzer] Ragle, age 54.

Katherine Ragle Shanks
Raglesville Cemetery in the 1940's. The plinth in the foreground
is the marker for the grave of Peter Sr. and Margaret. To the left are headstones
for Thomas and David Ragle, and
slightly to the rear is the stone for Luther Ragle, infant son of Alonzo and Susan Ragle.

Peter Ragle died on November 17, 1886, and is buried next to Margaret in the Raglesville Cemetery. This is the main headstone of a small Ragle family plot bordered by a flush concrete wall about 5" wide. The headstone is the prominent one in the foreground center of the picture shown above, and the 2 small angled stones are those of Thomas J. and David S. Ragle.

The picture immediately above was taken in the 1940's, and the person shown is Katherine Ragle Shanks. The view is (roughly) toward the east. Just behind Katherine Shanks, the stone with the scalloped upper edge and the circular depression marks the grave of Luther Ragle, the infant son of Alonzo and Susan Ragle. The "family area" of Peter and Margaret Ragle extends roughly 6-8 feet in an east-west direction and perhaps 15-20 feet to the north of the main marker. In 1995, at which time a further series of photos were made, several of the smaller markers were lying flat and were no longer legible. The location of the grave of Rachel J. Ragle is not known.

In an open area about 50 feet diagonally NE from this spot is a headstone placed by Paul Gruver Ragle in memory of his father Peter Ragle Jr. These two stones are confused in the published cemetery listings, both being assigned to Peter Sr. The two are shown below. Note the reference to Peter Jr.'s service in the Civil War. Peter Jr. was wounded severely in the shoulder at the battle of Resaca GA, a ball cutting an artery.

Gravestones of Peter Ragle and Peter Ragle, Jr.
Raglesville Cemetery

It seems important to us to set this part of the record straight; both men are important in the history of the family, but played very different roles. Peter Jr. was a color bearer for his unit in the Civil War in his youth, and Peter Sr. toiled in his youth to help complete the system of canals around the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville, which played a part in the history of westward migration. Jack Lee Ragle of Tallmadge, Ohio, the grandson of Peter Jr., was very helpful in this regard: his identification of the stone above, removed the source of our doubt that Peter Ragle Sr. might have played a hero's role in the Civil War at the age of 60.

Robert Ragle; b. Apr 3, 1832 d. Aug. 13, 1901; married Jan 22 1854 Nancy Richardson, b. November 14, 1834, d. April 18, 1898. Both Robert and Nancy are buried in the Raglesville Cemetery. There were five children of this marriage, all born in Raglesville, IN.

The 1870 Daviess Co. IN census, Madison Twp p. 267b dwelling 64 shows:

Robert was somewhat crippled, whether by an accident or at birth is unknown. He walked with a stoop, and because of this he was refused service in the Civil War. Of him, L. Rex Myers, p. 90, Vol. 1: says "During the Civil War, Robert Ragle and John V. Clark kept the services going..." refering to the Methodist Church in the settlement. Also: "In 1867 the church building site was formally deeded to the M. E. Church trustees of the time -- Jesse Trueblood, Thomas Wadsworth and Ragle." In a letter from Alonzo Ragle to his son Nathan Shumate Ragle written at the turn of the century, there is a reference to this family: "Brother Robert has a hard time lost all his children but Heth and Marry Nancy has been helpless for 3 year." Heth is doubtless Hester.

The parents of Nancy Richardson were James Richardson (Richerson) and Hester Saxton. This is known from the death record for Nancy Richardson, as well as from several census records. My thanks to Jill Hastings-Johnson and others for helping to identify Nancy's antecedents.

Comment on Hester/Esther A. Ragle: On the 1870 Martin Co. Census, she is shown as Hester. As mentioned directly above, her Uncle Alonzo called her "Heth." For a long time, the only piece of data that I had available on Esther/Hester Ragle was that she married a Trueblood. There is no record of a Hester in Trueblood documentation, and it finally dawned on me that the "Esther Ragle" who married James Wesley Trueblood in 1876 in Trueblood family documents is doubtless this Hester. "The Trueblood Family in America" has the following to say about Esther/Hester and James Wesley Trueblood: "G-1158 James Wesley Trueblood, s Jesse and Charlotte, b. ca. 1852; grew up in the Trueblood community, near Raglesville, Indiana; m ca.1876, Esther Ragle, and continued to farm in this same area of Daviess Co; 4 ch:..." This connection has been confirmed by information from several Trueblood relatives and descendents of this marriage. Just why, how, and when the name was changed is a mystery. It may even be that the census record is wrong outright; such errors happen with a discouraging frequency. [Vide the mis-spellings of the names of Hayden and Nancy in this census.]

Obituary notices for Robert and Nancy:

The Odon Journal, Odon, Indiana
Saturday, August 31, 1901, page 2:

Robert RAGLE, one of the pioneers of Van Buren township is dead. For more than a year he had been gradually growing worse from consumption. At 2 o'clock on the afternoon of August 23, death came, and his soul took its flight to the Great Beyond.

Robert RAGLE was born April 3, 1832, died August 13, 1901, aged 69 years 4 months and 20 days. He was a consistent Christian and a member of the M. E. Church. He was also a Free Mason. He leaves two daughters, three brothers, four sisters and many friends to mourn their loss.

The funeral services were conducted Saturday afternoon at 3 o'clock by Rev. Adams in the Raglesville M. E. Church. Burial in the adjoining cemetery."

The Odon Journal, Odon, Indiana
Saturday, April 23, 1898, page 3:

Mrs. Nancy RAGLE died at her home at Raglesville, April 18, 1898, after several years of patient suffering.Deceased was born Nov. 14, 1834 in Johnson County, Ind., and moved with her parents to Scotland (IN) when seven years of age. She was married to Robert RAGLE on Jan. 21, 1854. To this union were born five children, two of whom are living.

Mrs. RAGLE united with the M. E. church, Jan., 1855, and lived a true and devoted Christian life. Her last words were: "I'm going home."

Margaret J. Ragle married Albert J. Meridith on July 12, 1871. I have no further records on this couple.

Hayden Hayes Ragle married Sophia Hinkle, and two children of this couple survived to adulthood: Eula Ragle (d-1) and Josie (d-2). Ragle. The Service of Dedication March 11, 1956 for the Raglesville Methodist Church (from Dick Miller) says "Miss Josie Ragle served as a Deaconess in the Indiana Conference, the St. Louis Conference and the Los Angeles Conference. She retired in 1955 and resides in Los Angeles, Calif." The birth and death information for Josie Ragle comes from the SSDI, but there is no listing for Eula Ragle. Eula and Josie Ragle lived in Los Angeles, California, according to notes left by Alta Ragle.

Mary M. Ragle married George Mead Stoy, the son of Abraham F. Stoy and Sarah Blough, both of whose roots are in Pennsylvania. Abe Stoy ran a coal mine near Raglesville, from which coal was taken to a rail line by means of a narrow gauge spur. When the main line moved, this coal mine became inactive. Three children were born to George and Mary Stoy: Hattie, Clarence Ray (1893), and Georgia (1901), all apparently in Odon, IN, a few miles north of Raglesvile. Some time after this, the family moved to Colton, a small town near San Bernardino in southern California. Mary Ragle Stoy died there on 28 March, 1946.

There are a number of living relatives descended from George and Mary Ragle Stoy. I now also have information about descendents of James Wesley and Esther/Hester Ann Ragle Trueblood which is included in the hypertext tree.

Nancy "Nannie" Ragle I have no further records on this person.

Jacob Ragle; b. Sept. 22, 1833 -- d. Feb. 17, 1877; m. Samantha Keck ca 1855; m. Amanda Hicks ca. 1876. Jacob and Samantha are buried in the Raglesville cemetery. There were nine or possibly ten children of the first marriage and possibly one (Henry) from the second marriage:

Peter Ragle's grave in Burns City Cemetery

Charlotte and Christian Ragle's grave in Burns City Cemetery
and possibly the following 3:

Samantha Keck Ragle d. January 19, 1873 and Jacob lived until 1877. All were ill of tuberculosis, and as far as I am aware, only Logan Christian Ragle and Alice Ragle survived to continue his line. The birthdates of the children in this line are taken from the 1870 US Census for Indiana, Martin County, Brown Twp.

Family history relates that Christian Ragle [dob 1861?] and Margaret Ragle lived for a time with Alonzo and Susan Ragle. Margaret and Christian died. The record on this matter is somewhat confusing: the headstone from the Burns City Cemetery shows the death of Charlotte and a Christian Ragle to have occurred in 1860. However, the 1880 U. S. Federal Census for Brown Twp. Martin Co. shows a second person named Christian Ragle, a nephew,living with Alonzo and Susan. The same census shows their younger brother Logan Christian living in Barr Twp, Daviess Co. in the household of Alonzo's brother Nathan, as nephew.

The person named Logan Christian Ragle apparently accompanied Alonzo to "Hot Springs," Colorado [Colorado Springs] and eventually recovered from his infection. He went on to found a viable line of Ragles whose names and addresses are listed in the appendix. More will be said about this branch of the family tree below.

As the oldest battle-worthy son of Peter and Margaret, Jacob enlisted early in the course of the Civil War. He first served in Company B, 27th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry with a rank of 1st Sgt. In this unit he was accompanied by his younger brother Peter Ragle Jr. He was discharged from the United States Army General Hospital in Philadelphia in June, 1862. He then served with a rank of Captain in Company K, 80th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, organized August 13, 1862 at Kecksville, IN [Burns City]. Younger brothers Alonzo and Nathan S. Ragle served with him. Jacob Ragle was discharged Oct 27, 1864 at Cedar Bluff, AL with disability.

From a Company Record, provided by Richard Logan Ragle:

White River Rangers: Company K, 80th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry

Field Officers:

Company Officers:

Two Civil War Dispatches associated with Capt. Jacob Ragle

Rhoda Ragle; b. 1835, d. aft. 1900, m. Lucian Toon March 27, 1856. There were at least 9 children of this couple; my records are very incomplete for most of them.

In the 1870 Indiana Census, Martin Co. McCameron Twp, dwelling 165, p. 362: [This dwelling is inside the Crane Naval Weapons area.]

[all born in Indiana]:

Alonzo Ragle

b. June 16, 1837, d. January 30, 1906, m. Susan Ellen Toon b. January 04, 1838 d. July 27, 1889 on June 13, 1858. Both Alonzo and Susan are buried in Toronto, KS.

Biographic Material on Alonzo Ragle and his wife Susan Ellen Toon

Alonzo Ragle was First sergeant in Company K of the 80th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War. He fought in the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky, which took place on October 8, 1862, and received a Medical Discharge January 28, 1863 at Louisville, KY

From "History of Martin County; Churches" by Harry Q. Holt.


"The Methodist Church at Burns City was organized in a building that was erected upon a site donated by Christian and Catherine Keck in 1845...the Methodists decided to erect a house of worship for their own use...Services were held in a cabin belonging to Jacob and Samantha Ragle until a new church was erected upon land donated by Alonzo and Peter Ragle...the Church was known as DePauw Chapel." (article includes much more)

Alonzo Ragle served as Town Trustee of Brown TWP, Martin Co. for 1881. He was also appointed a Notary Public for the State of Indiana, but [apparently suddenly] in the early 1880's he and his family moved from Martin County, Indiana, to Woodson County, Kansas, where they bought a farm of 540 acres which he called "Longview Farm" near the town of Toronto, Kansas. The family also had a store in Quincy, Kansas. This was a Dry Goods Store called A. Ragle and Sons, Merchandise. Details are available under the link above.

The "Handbook of Woodson County, Kansas," published about 1883, says (About 8 miles northwest of Yates Centre, on Turkey Creek....)"...Two miles higher up the creek is the 520 acre Longview farm of Alonzo Ragle. It is mainly high, rolling praire, with 200 acres in cultivation, and has buildings and fences worth $ 6,000. Mr. Ragle purchased this handsome farm last year, in time to raise 6,000 bushels of corn and 600 bushels of oats, and to cut 50 tons of millet and 300 tons of hay. He keeps a herd of 500 graded sheep, 23 cattle and a good string of pigs; has a beautiful home, commanding extended and inspiring views of the surrounding country, hails from Indiana, is a number one man and is greatly pleased with the country."

When Susan Ellen died, the family more or less diffused apart, and Alonzo eventually returned to the Raglesville, IN area where he died. Indiana Census information places "the home place" in Martin County, Brown Twp.

From The Odon Journal, Washington, Indiana, February 2, 1906:

"Alonzo Ragle died at his home Tuesday night at 11 o'clock. He had been to Loogootee that day enjoying as good health as usual. But on his return had an attack of heart trouble of which he had been a sufferer for sometime. His remains were shipped to Torronto [sic] Kansas for interrment. Funeral services conducted at the home place by Rev. Pryor, at 2 o'clock Wednesday.

"Mr. Ragle was well known in this locality and highly respected by all."

From the Yates Center News, Yates Center, KS, February 9, 1906.

"Mrs. Dr. Black and son of Madison came down Saturday morning to attend the funeral of Mr. Ragle.

"Will Ragle of Indian Territory, Jake Ragle of Iola, Robt. Ragle of Larned, Molly Ragle of Indiana, Nate Ragle and wife of Colorado, Horace Ragle and wife of Colorado Springs, Alger Ragle wife and three sons of Coffeyvill attended the funeral of their father which was held here at the M. E. church Saturday mornng."

Alonzo Ragle was given a Masonic funeral in Burns City, Indiana, and his body was sent to Toronto, Kansas to be buried beside his wife Susan Ellen Toon. Alonzo is buried in Section B1 NE Row 28 Toronto Township Cemetery, Toronto, Kansas, together with Susan Ellen Toon Ragle and Juanita Ragle, the infant daughter of Algern and Delia Ragle.

On the Woodson County, KS 1883 List of Pensioners on the Roll: 145, 886 Ragle, Alonzo, Yates Center, dis. right lung.

Nine of ten children of Alonzo and Susan Ragle survived to adulthood:

Nancy Jane Ragle; b. 1839, d. May 22, 1911 in Monroe Co. IN, m. John L. Keck, later the First Sergeant of Company K, Eightieth Regiment Indiana Volunteers. John L. Keck b. July 31, 1837 in Kecksville, Martin Co. IN, d. May 14, 1864 at Resaca, Georgia and buried in Burns City, IN. In the 1870 Census for Martin Co. Brown Twp. Nancy and her two children are shown living in the household of Henry Keck, the husband of Mary J. Ragle. The two children are listed in the census as

From the 1870 Martin Co. Brown Twp. Census; Residence 9:

The final two entries are the mother and father of John L. and Henry Keck. See the hypertext family tree for further detail.

[Note added, 12/16/2002: Lately some question has arisen in my mind about the bearer(s) of the names Elizabeth and Taletha. I have assumed that they are the same person; wherever one appears the other does not. Taletha is buried in the Burns City cemetery, with a 1937 date of death. Elizabeth appears in the 1870 census data. Taletha appears in the Indiana University enrollment data. Both are associated with the birth date 1861. There is a record that Taletha married Irwin Coleman 23 Jun 1921, but her headstone shows only the name 'Taletha Keck.' and the dates given.]

Information in my records about this family includes:

(a) Taletha Keck and John L. Keck, Jr. attended the Preparatory Class, Indiana University, as [high school] seniors for the year 1880-1881. They do not appear in the Catalog for the Freshman Class, 1881-1882.

(b) Taletha is buried in the Burns City cemetery, with a 1937 date of death. In the Burns City Cemetery Listing (Martin Co. Cemetery Inventory, Washington, IN, Carnegie Public Library) she is listed as Laletha Keck, born 1861 died 1937. This is a simple typographic error.

(c) John L. Keck, Jr. married Alice Hamilton.

From left to right: Cousins
Carrie Ragle, Ulysses and Martha [Mattie] Trueblood, and Taletha Keck.

(d) A letter from Alonzo to his son Nathan refers to Nancy "in Bloomington." Nancy worked as a tailor until her death May 22, 1911 in Monroe Co. IN. She is buried with her husband in the cemetery at Burns City, Martin Co. IN.

Peter A. Ragle Jr.; b. June 05, 1843 d. December 19, 1918, m. Martha Isabelle Trueblood abt. July 16, 1865. Seven children were born to this couple:

Martha Trueblood d. March 03, 1879.

Peter Ragle m. Emma J. Gruver September 04, 1879. There are 10 children of this couple in my records:

Susannah Ragle, b. about 1843, m. James Trueblood, b. May 3, 1831, d. December 28, 1911, on March 18, 1862. This is the James Trueblood to which the article from the Woodson County Handbook under Alonzo Ragle refers. The 1870 Daviess County, IN census, Barr Twp. p 181b dwelling 143 shows:

The fourth child, Abbie Trueblood, was born after 1870. The couple moved to Kansas about 1873, then to Iowa about a dozen years later.

Nathan S. Ragle, b. January 09, 1847, d. March 17, 1914, m. Mary M. Carpenter, b. abt. 1848, d. September 12, 1928 on May 9, 1867. Four children.

The 1870 Daviess Co. IN census Van Buren Twp dwelling 70 shows Ragle, Nathan S, age 23; Mary M, age 21; Elizabeth, age 2.

The 1880 Daviess Co. IN census Barr Twp shows Nathan Ragle W M, age 32 pob IN, parents born in TN; Mary W F, age 32, pob WV; Lizzie, dau age 12; Alva, son age 5; Ada, dau age 2; Logan, nephew age 13.

Margaret Ragle, b. 1849, m. Richard Trueblood, b. 1844, d. March 1916, on March 11, 1868, after Richard returned from his service in the Civil War. Their farm, south of Raglesville, shows in the 1870 Daviess Co. Van Buren Twp p. 272a dwelling 138.

A fourth child, Charlotte, was born after 1871. There are 10 children in my records: Carrie, Dillie, Peter, Charlotte, Margaret Jane, Clara Alice, Eunice Blance, Jesse Clark, John Richard, & Ida May Trueblood.

Mary M. Ragle, b. May 10, 1852, d. 1931, m. Henry C. Keck, b. 1847, d. 1928, on November 5, 1968. Thirteen children, about whom I have no records whatever other than names. They are: Christian, Lena, Minny, Ida, Kate, Walter, Leatha, Pearl, Myrtle, Carl, Bert, Alice, & Jacob.

Descendents of Alonzo Ragle and Susan Ellen Toon.

Excepting the turmoil of the Civil War, the period from 1835 to about 1880 seems to have been a relatively quiet one for the Ragle family. Farms were established and worked in the neighborhood of Raglesville, and sons, daughters, & cousins radiated from this center into the surrounding farmland. Some doubtless worked in the coal mines in the area, probably during the farming "off-season." John Ragle was active as a merchant, and some of his activities are detailed in the following section. Peter Ragle seems to have been mainly active in farm and church matters. Alonzo Ragle and younger brother Peter Jr. were active in civic matters, and in general the impression is one of stability. Alonzo and his son Algern acted as enumerators in the 1880 Federal Census for Martin County, Brown Twp. and around this time Alonzo was appointed Notory Public by the Governor of Indiana. Then in the dead of winter 1881, Alonzo and Susan picked up their 10 children, sold [or rented] their farm in Martin Co., moved to eastern Kansas, and bought a farm near Toronto. It is not clear to me just what precipitated this move, but many people amongst the populations of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois did the same, some travelling by wagon and some by rail. A suggestion has been made that the railroads owned land along the right-of-way that it would be advantageous to sell off and populate, and that they grossly mis-represented the quality of this land in their zeal to sell and thus to generate new markets. Alas, land-sharking is not a new phenomenon.

Descendents of Alonzo Ragle and Susan Ellen Toon. (See the link below, recapitulated from text above.)

1. Biographic Material on Alonzo Ragle and his wife Susan Ellen Toon

Those children who survived to adulthood are listed below. This section is in active development.

Algern M. Ragle b. April 30, 1859 in Raglesville, IN, d. June 15, 1925 in Ft. Scott, KS; m. Delia O. Williams b. August 17, 1868 in Deerfield, Vernon County, MO, d. August 05, 1953.

Jacob Ragle b. August 28, 1861 in Raglesville, IN, d. January 28, 1939 in Oakland, CA; m. Mary J. Woodruff b. January 23, 1864, d. December 28, 1939.

Nathan Shumate Ragle b. November 15, 1863 in Raglesville, IN, d. December 14, 1919 in Salina, KS; m. Rosa Hoover b. November 23, 1869 in Quincy, KS, d. October 2, 1925 in Saline, KS.

William Eugene Ragle b. November 25, 1866 in Raglesville, IN, d. February 6, 1944 in Los Angeles, CA; m. Etta C. Black b. September 26, 1873 in Wilson County, KS, d. October 04, 1943 in Los Angeles, CA.

Carrie Lucrezia Ragle b. May 21, 1869 in IN, d. August 16, 1929 in Colorado Springs, CO; m. Ambrose E. Buss b. September 15, 1862 in Springfield, IL, d. January 13, 1943 in Colorado Springs CO.

Robert Lucian Ragle b. August 20, 1873 in Daviess Co. IN, d. May 14, 1950 in Colorado Springs, CO; m. Clara Viola Garrison b. March 28, 1877 in Lanark, Carroll Co., IL, d. July 25, 1955 in Colorado Springs, CO.

Anna Mary Ragle b. March 29, 1876 in Raglesville, IN, d. February 6, 1921 in Seattle, WA; m. Rollo Beach b. April 03, 1885 in Mansfield, PA, d. May 01, 1963 in Issaquah, WA.

Frederick Alonzo Ragle b. February 02, 1879 in Raglesville, IN, d. October 02, 1910 in Colorado Springs, CO; m. Naomi Belle Williams b. IN, d. 1918 in Colorado Springs, CO.

Horace Mann Ragle b. July 23, 1881 in Raglesville, IN, d. October 30, 1939 in Colorado Springs, CO; m. Carrie Gertrude Davis b. October 21, 1883 in Elk County, KS, d. November 22, 1965 in Colorado Springs, CO.