Sarah Jane Partridge 1850-1917 biography

With ties to La Porte & St Joseph County, Indiana:
Berrien County, Michigan and even California
A Study by: John E. McCartney
Posted on line 16 May 2012

Sarah Jane Partridge was apparently born about June 1850 at New Carlisle, Olive Township, St Joseph County, Indiana, to Harvey Partridge and Catherine (Terrill) Clark. Harvey Partridge was born about 1808 in Lebanon, Madison, New York, and Catherine Terrill was born 6 Mar 1813 in Wayne, Warren, Ohio. Both were widowers.

Harvey had been married previously to Deborah Stowell and Catherine had been married previously to Martindale Clark. Each had children from a previous marriage. Harvey and Catherine Partridge married on 3 Mar 1845 in St Joseph County, Indiana.

On 3 Aug 1850 the family is listed in the census in Household 515 in Olive Township, St Joseph County. Harvey and Catherine are listed with five children: Charles Partridge, from Harvey´s first marriage; Francis Partridge; James Partridge; Leonidas Clark and Caroline Clark, from Catherine´s first marriage. The value of the family´s real estate is listed at $1,500. Sarah Jane Partridge is not yet listed in the household, raising a question about her precise birth date.

Sarah is first listed in the census on 2 July 1860 in Household 803, still in Olive Township. She is 10 years old. The family now lists real estate valued at $6,000 and personal assets of $1,000. Sarah´s half siblings Leonidas and Caroline Clark and Charles Partridge have moved on and she has two new siblings: 8-year-old Mary Partridge and 4-year-old Harry Partridge.

Sarah´s father, Harvey, died on 1 Aug 1865 in Olive Township. He is buried at Hamilton Cemetery there. His grave is marked but the stone is illegible. Cemetery records say he was born in New York in 1799 and died ``in the 66th year of his age.´´ His probate case was apparently opened in November of 1865 in St Joseph County, listing his wife, Catherine, and children Charles, Francis, James, Sarah Jane, Mary, and Harvey Milton.

On 21 Jan 1869, Sarah Jane Partridge married William Henry Harrison McCartney just across the state line in Buchanan, Berrien, Michigan. On the marriage license, William H. McCartney is listed as a saloon keeper, 30 years old, in Carlisle Hill, Indiana. Sarah is listed as 18 years old from ``Terre Coupic Prairie,´´ Indiana. William McCartney was likely 26. Sarah may have been 17 years old. William McCartney was likely born about 1842 on his parent´s farm in Elkhart County, Indiana. On 20 Nov 1850, William lived with his parents Nathaniel McCartney and Abigail (Parker) McCartney and three siblings in Household 45 in Wills, La Porte County, Indiana. A fourth sibling, John Lyman McCartney, was born shortly after this census in 1850.

Sometime after the 1850 census, William McCartney´s family left Indiana for Oregon where his father took up Oregon Donation Land Claim 2167 on 25 Sep 1852 for two sections (square miles) of land near Scio, Linn County, Oregon. Nathaniel also built a mill in the area. William´s fifth sibling, Thomas Nathaniel McCartney, was born near Scio on 18 Nov 1855.

On 7 Jun 1856, William´s father died of tuberculosis. His mother, Abigail, sold the family´s mill near Scio and one section of land and moved the family to Chico Township, Butte County, California. The family´s second section of land in Oregon was leased out.
   On 18 Jun 1860, William is listed on the census with his mother and five siblings in Household 189 in Chico Township.

On 6 Mar 1864, William´s mother, Abigail, died after an extended illness on the family ranch near Chico. William was about 22 but his three youngest siblings were about 16, 14 and 9.

By 14 Nov 1866, William McCartney had returned to Indiana and was in South Bend, St Joseph County, where he petitioned the court to name a guardian for his younger siblings. The probate judge was his uncle, Elisha Egbert. (Elisha Egbert is also credited with naming Olive Township, where Sarah Jane was born.) While in South Bend, William also sought to collect the proceeds of bequests left to his family by his grandfather William C. McCartney and his uncle Benjamin Franklin McCartney.

After his marriage to Sarah Jane Partridge, the couple appear in the census on 29 July 1870 in Household 198 in the Terra Coupee area of Olive Township, St Joseph County, Indiana. He is listed as a farm laborer with $1,000 in real estate and $600 in personal assets. William is listed as 30 years old and his wife, Jane, is listed as 21 years old, keeping house. He was likely 28 and Sarah Jane was likely 20.

By 1873, the couple were in Albany, Linn County, Oregon, where William was clearing up matters of his father´s estate. On 4 Mar 1873, ``Sarah J. McCartney´´ signed a document agreeing to her husband´s sale of his father´s land. William sold the final section of his father´s Oregon land for $1,000 to the man who had previously leased it. Of this money $750 was forwarded to William´s siblings in California.

Sarah Jane and William McCartney´s son, Charles Edwin McCartney, was born in Albany on 5 Oct 1873. Sometime after the birth of their child, Sarah Jane left and divorced William McCartney. She appears to have returned to the New Carlisle area of St Joseph County, Indiana, with her son. No record of the divorce has yet been found.

William McCartney seems to have suffered from an unknown character flaw. What is known is that his wife divorced him and later in life, his son seemed to shun him. In his will on 6 Jul 1895 William´s brother, John Lyman McCartney, specifically disinherits him.

William McCartney seems to have died in a boarding house near Red Bluff, Tehama County, California on 17 May 1916. His occupation was listed as laborer. He was about 74. He is buried at Oak Hill cemetery in Red Bluff, apparently in the McCartney family plot. His grave is unmarked.

On 24 Dec 1879, Sarah Jane married Frank W. Hays, often spelled Hayes, in Berrien County, Michigan. Frank Hays was reportedly a locomotive engineer. The couple, apparently along with her son, Charles McCartney, made their early home in Chicago. She was about 29 when she married Frank. He was about 25. Her name on the marriage license was Jenny McCartney.

Frank W. Hayes was on the 1870 census in Center Township, La Porte County, Indiana, in Household 54. He lived with his mother, Harriet, a widow, his brother Willie and his sisters Lucy and Bertha. Frank was 15 years old. Frank was born about Oct 1854 in Springville, La Porte, Indiana.

Chicago city directories list engineer Frank W. Hayes as living at 283 W. Randolph in 1880, 129 S. Sangamon in 1885 and 5635 Shields Ave. in 1892. Two of these addresses were near Englemont, Chicago, where Sarah Jane was a member of the Golden Link lodge, Degree of Rebekah, a woman´s branch of Oddfellows.

It appears that Frank Hays raised Charles Edwin McCartney as his son. What is known is that Charles would go on to work on steam engines, like his step father, and at least two of Charles´ sons would be employed as railway workers.

On 16 Dec 1881, Sarah Jane and Frank had a son, Harry Ward Hayes, who was born in Illinois, likely in Chicago.

On 8 Dec 1887, Sarah Jane´s mother Catherine (Terrill, Clark) Partridge died in Hamilton, St Joseph County, Indiana. She was about 72 and was likely buried with her second husband at Hamilton Cemetery. Because of a family dispute, there was no money to buy her a headstone. Her grave is unmarked.  On 12 Dec 1887, Sarah Jane signed a document relating to her mother´s death as Jane Hayes.

By 2 Jun 1900, Sarah Jane, Frank and son, Harry W. Hayes, had returned to the area of Frank´s old hometown in Galena Township, La Porte County, Indiana. Frank and Harry are listed as farmers. Sarah lists her birth date as Jun 1857 and her age as 42. She was likely 50. By this date, Sarah Jane´s son, Charles Edwin McCartney, had joined up with his McCartney family relatives in Tehama County, California. On 8 Apr 1896, Charles married Annie Frances King in Hunter, Tehama County.

On the census of 25 Apr 1910, Jennie Hays lives with her husband W. Frank Hays, in Michigan City, Ward 5, La Porte County, Indiana. His occupation is listed as railroad engineer. Their son Harry has moved on.
Jennie (Sarah Jane) lists her age as 49. She was likely about 60. She states that this is her second marriage and that she has been in the present marriage for 27 years. She says she is the mother of two children, with both still living. Sarah Jane´s husband, Frank, died on 14 Apr 1913 of heart disease. His brother Willie, now known as W. W. Hays of Chicago, was with him at his death. Frank was 58 and had been sick for about a month.
The funeral was held at the couple´s home, 2704 Franklin street, Michigan City, La Porte County with a Baptist pastor officiating. Frank´s obituary lists his son Harry´s residence as Stockton, California. It said Frank had been employed as a railroad crossing flagger for the Michigan Central railroad in the final years of his life.
Frank was buried in Section U, Lot 29, at Greenwood Cemetery, Michigan City. According to cemetery records, Sarah Jane Hayes had purchased the four-person plot a couple of years earlier.

On 19 Aug 1917, at the age of about 67, Sarah Jane Hays married again, also in Berrien County, Michigan. Her third husband was a widower, Edmond E. Etherington, 71, who had large land holdings in the La Porte County area.  Interestingly, Edmond Etherington had apparently been previously engaged to marry a Miss Anna B. Preter, of Three Oaks, Michigan. She filed a breach of promise lawsuit against him for $50,000. It´s not known how this lawsuit turned out. But Sarah Jane´s last marriage would be short-lived. Just months after her wedding, she was diagnosed with ``uraemic poisoning,´´ or kidney failure. She died on 28 Dec 1917 after an illness of two months.
Her two sons, Charles Edwin McCartney and Harry Ward Hayes, traveled to Michigan City to be with her in her final days. Sarah Jane´s funeral was held in her home at 2704 Franklin street, Michigan City, on 8 Jan 1918. A pastor of the First Christian church officiated. She was buried with her second husband, Frank W. Hays, in Greenwood Cemetery. Their graves are unmarked.

On 12 Jan 1920, Sarah Jane´s son, Charles McCartney, was living with his wife Anna and five of his children, Charles Jr., Creston, Sherwood, Truman and daughter, Genevia, on the family ranch outside Red Bluff, Tehama County, California. Charles occupation was listed as farmer. Their first son, Alonzo Allen McCartney, a locomotive fireman, was living elsewhere.
Interestingly, on 15 Jan 1920, Charles McCartney was counted on the census for a second time at his town house in Red Bluff. In this listing his occupation is listed as bridge contractor, which was his other job.

On 12 Sep 1918, Sarah Jane´s second son, Harry Ward Hayes, filled out his World War I draft card. He was 36 years old and living in Alameda County, California. On the card, Harry states that he was born 16 Dec 1881 and is employed as a locomotive engineer at the Calaveras Dam by the Spring Valley Water Co. He lists his nearest relative as C. E. McCartney of Red Bluff, California, his half brother. Harry is of medium height and build and has blue eyes and brown hair. There is no indication on the card that Harry has married or had children by 36 years of age. This is the last record of Harry that has been located to date.

Supporting notes can be found here:

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