A HISTORY OF THE CENTENNIAL GROUP, comprising the Gregory, Johnson, Vance, and Steen Families, 1937. Source document at the Daviess Co. Museum.


THIS BROCHURE is presented under the sponsorship of the Centennial Anniversary Committee appointed a year ago to arrange for a special observance of the coming to Daviess County, Indiana, of the Gregory, Steen, Vance, and Johnson families from Union South Carolina, in the year 1837, just one hundred years ago.

 This observance is held in connection with the Steen-Arthur Reunion, which for many years has been celebrated as an annual event, bringing together also many old-time neighbors and friends in a happy home-coming.  We therefore extend to one and all a most hearty welcome on this momentous occasion.


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.

II. STEPHEN JOHNSON married Eliza Gregory.  The following were their

1. Mary Johnson married Oliver Rogers and had several children as follows:

a. Joseph Rogers who is thought to have returned to Carolina.

b. George Rogers, an educator, married Lyda Palmer who bore him Owen, Ira,
Audrey, Lilly, Addie, and Curtis.

c. Carrie Rogers married Taylor Dayton and lived near Cumback.

d. Hattie married first Frank White and had: Nora White who married Tilman
McCafferty and died childless; and Ola who married Charles Gilley and bore
Karna, Otha now dead, and Viona.  After the death of Frank White, Hattie
married again to Charles Gengies and bore him: Mamie,Claud, and Roy
Mamie married a Mr. Ennis and had Hattie who married George Wilson Jr.,
and Wilma who married Paul Hotc; Claud Bengies married Eva Moore and had
Claudia Lou; Roy Bengies married Marie Mangus.

2. Carrie Johnson (Cousin Carrie) married late in life to a Mr. Schattick,
died childless.  Owing to impassable roads her body was carried to Mt.
Cemetery on a hand sled for funeral and burial.

3. Isaac Johnson returned to Carolina and died there.


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 indebt- ed 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          mcwallis@pullman.com
Date: 20-Sept-1998