A HISTORY OF THE CENTENNIAL GROUP
Comprising the Gregory, Johnson, Vance, and Steen Families
In the year 1837 there lived in Union District, South Carolina
a man who was known as Colonel Gregory. He was a man of high standing
in the community, and of unquestioned character. He was the owner
of a large plantation, and being a planter depended on slave labor as was
the custom in that section. He owned a colony of slaves, and naturally
was a stanch defender of Slavery as an
institution. His children were now grown up, married, and rearing families of their own. And having inherited some of the traits of their forebear, began to feel the urge of independence. There was no more land to be had in Carolina, and for some time there had loomed up before them on the distant
horizon, the flattering prospect of the great and growing North-West Territory. Fabulous stories had come to them concerning this new land of opportunity: the fertility of the soil, its wonderous productiveness, and the offer of this choice Government land almost for the asking.
Their interest was directed especially to the new State of Indiana
which had been admitted as a Free State where slavery could never exist.
This feature especially appealed to them, though Col. Gregory's children
had grown up under the influence of slavery conditions. It was this
desire that impelled them
to seek homes for themselves and their families in Indiana. And after a period of preparation, they set out overland with all their belongings destined for Old Post Vincennes, Capitol of the North-West Territory, and seat of the Government Land Office. The caravan arrived after weeks of painful travel,
and their choice led them finally to settle in southern Daviess County, where they established their homes, and reared their families. Here they became a part of the community wherein their lot was cast by the hand of Providence as we believe.
This is now the year 1937, and the cycle of one hundred years has passed. All these have gone to their reward, and another generation has come. Yes, other generations, even to the sixth. We celebrate in their honor this Centennial Event.
It has been thought a brief historical sketch of the four families who made up this honored company might be a fitting tribute to their sacrificial service in the upbuilding of this section of the country.
I. GEORGE GREGORY was married, though his wife is not known, reared a family and established a home in this Pleasant Hill neighborhood. His children were:
1. Jonathan Gregory, married and reared a family. He served in
and is thought to have gone to Missouri many years ago, as did a
Frank (Heuk) Gregory who made his home with Jonathan.
2. Adaline Gregory married Henry White a farmer in the east edge of
Township. They had no children, lived long years happily together, died
almost at the same time and were burried in the same grave.
3. Robert Gregory, married Emaline Cox Eskew, a widow with several
children, who also bore him two children:
a. Ola, who married Hiram McQuillis White, Oct. 23, 1898, and had five
children as follows: Nordman Harold, Cleora Corean both now dead; Belva
who married Thomas L. Pickett and bore him Robert and Loring; Esta Maud who
Montgomery and bore him Carolyn Mae; and Iva Lucile now dead.
b. John Gregory married Rosa Lamb and has Elsa, Elbert, Robert, Barnet,
Estella, Augusta, and Chester Gregory.
Without his knowledge or consent, the families interested in these historical
sketches wish to extend their heart-felt thanks to the Rev. Elijah A. Arthur
of Crawfordsville, Indiana, for almost entirely to him are they indebted
for all the facts contained therein. He devoted largely both of his time
and means to the end that such might be put in this form so they could
easily be preserved for future
generations. The families take this method of expressing to him, in a small way, the gratitude
due him for this work of love.
Keyboarded by: Lauren McNiece
Submitted by: Joe Wallace email@example.com