Rosetta Johnson

Rosetta was my first brick wall.  We knew she was known by three surnames, Crum, Truman, and Rhoads.  But what was her maiden name?  My Uncle has two  Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) posters, one for George Crum and one for Daniel Rhoads.  Somehow he knew her connection to George Crum, but little else.  The answer was provided in Daniel’s pension records and then subsequently in George Crum’s pension records (application for widow’s pension) – her maiden name was Johnson.  With husband’s names and marriage places and dates in hand, her previous marriage records were found to corroborate her application.  Without the pension records I would never have connect her marriage records to her.  In her marriage to James Truman, her given name was mis-spelled as “Vosetta” and his surname mis-spelled as “Trumain”.  And…I would never have thought to look for her in Whitley or Adams counties.

Among the treasures in my Uncle’s collection are two letters to Rosetta.  One from “sister” Mary and one from Sada Gill.  Their relation to her were clarified through the research below.

What I learned about Rosetta is as follows:

Rosetta W. Johnson was born on August 12, 1887 at St Mary’s township, Adams County, Indiana.  She is the fourth of six children born to James F. Johnson and Elizabeth Madden.  Her obituary named surviving siblings, Mary Clemens of Portland, O (ahhh, but is it Ohio or Oregon? There is a Portland, Ohio) and John Johnson of Corunna, Michigan (turns out he pre-deceased her, but his name and residence was still useful.)    Her obituary combined with her father’s will helped to make the connection to her parents.

She married (1) James Truman on December 7, 1868 in St. Marys, Adams County, Indiana.  James died December 7, 1871 in Indiana.  Together they had two children, John W. Truman and Sada Edna Truman.  John married one of Daniel’s Rhoads cousin in Allen County.  Sada married twice, once to a Hermsdorfer from Allen County and second to a gentleman named Bensign Ensign Gill, a department store purchaser from Chicago.  Sada always used a later year of birth on records, but Rosetta’s pension application places her as a child of James Truman.

She married (2) George Crum on October 19, 1873 in Columbia City, Whitley County, Indiana.  They don’t appear to have had children together, but George Crum did have children from a previous marriage. Update: Rosetta and George had two children. One died in infancy the second as a toddler. George Crum served with the Union Army during the Civil War and was a soldier in the 46th Indiana Regiment, Company H.  George died on October 7, 1885 in Columbia City of Typhoid fever.  George and Daniel may have known each other through the GAR.  I got the impression that Daniel helped Rosetta file for a widows pension application with the government which appears to have been denied.  In this application she only claimed children from her first marriage.  She married Daniel shortly after her pension application was denied.

She married (3) Daniel John Rhoads on August 12, 1887 at Arcola, Allen County, Indiana.  Daniel and Rosetta had two sons, one of whom we descend from.

Rosetta died December 18, 1927 at the family farm in Aboite township while visiting her step-son Clarence Walter Rhoads.  Her death was caused by an infection from a horse bite.  She was buried at Lindenwood Cemetery in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Photo of Rosetta’s headstone taken by the author.