A Long Line of George Ingalls

We’re still visiting rural Colorado in 1910 with the introduction of George Ingalls. Any fan of Little House on the Prairie would want to find out who this man was. Well, George W. Ingalls was born in Connecticut around 1860. He was the son of George Ingalls and Phiania; both of whom were also born in Connecticut. His grandfather was George S. Ingalls. But the line of George would end with George W.

George Ingalls of Ordway, Colorado, 1910

George Ingalls of Ordway, Colorado, 1910

Here’s the wonderfully abundant timeline of his and his family’s life thanks to census records:

1850 – George’s father (George) was 24 living with his father (George S.) a blacksmith, aged 63 and his siblings: Eliza, Nancy,and Ellen. They lived in Pomfret, CT. His mother had apparently already passed away.

1860 – Still in Pomfret, CT. Father George had now married Phiania and had two children of their own Clarissa (5) and Henry (2). They still lived with grandfather George S. who was still working as a blacksmith.

1870 – Pomfred, CT. The tables had turned George S. was no longer Head of household. At age 80 he lived with son George and Phiania. They were farmers. Our George now entered the picture, he was 9 years older with siblings Clarissa and Henry.

1880 – The family made a move to Stapelton, Chickasaw, Iowa. Our George was 19, Clarissa, 25. George S. had died 5 years earlier in February of 1875. Tragically so had big brother Henry. Henry died about one month before grandfather George at the young age of 17. Both are buried in Windham County, CT.

1885 – George & Phiania lived alone still in Chicksaw, IA; still farming.

1900 – Our George has married! According to the census in 1882 he and Gertrude married and at some point moved to Otero county, Colorado. Probably before 1885 since they are not in that census. They have two children: Clarissa and Henry. Clearly George was very close to his brother and sister. George’s occupation was Stock Raiser.

1910 – the year of the photo: Ordway, Otero county, CO. George W. was a farmer (when he wasn’t busy with the Reception Committee for the 4th of July!) Daughter Clarissa, now 25, was teaching and son Henry aged 26 had no occupation listed.

1920 – George W., Gertrude, and Clarissa now live in Manzanola, CO. George’s occupation was Bee Man in a Apiary! Clarissa was still teaching and Henry has moved on to bigger things.

1930 – Another big move, this time to Basin, Big Horn county, Wyoming. This appeared to be George and Gertrude’s retirement home. No occupation is listed.

1936 – A short 6 years of retirement; George W. died and is buried in Mount View Cemetery in Basin, WY. Gertrude died later that same year and is buried with him.

The Ingalls' Family Tree

The Ingalls’ Family Tree

The (uncomfirmed) Honorable Louis Sickenberger, but I’m sure he was a nice guy

Reception Committee - July 4, 1910

Reception Committee – July 4, 1910

Now this is a great photo! What’s not to love about a 4th of July celebration? These guys were definitely taking it seriously. According to the very detailed, typed information on the back of the photo, this was the Reception Committee for a July 4th, 1910 celebration in Riverside Park, Manzanola, Colorado. Lot’s of “honorables” were in attendance that day. From La Junta, to Rocky Ford, to Pueblo and Manzanola. Most of these small towns are in Otero county in the southeast quadrant of the state (so convenient having a square state).

Louis Sickenberger, kneeling on the left

Louis Sickenberger, kneeling on the left

This post will focus on one of these men, the Honorable Louis Sickenberger. He is the first person kneeling on the left in the close up photo. I say “honorable” is unconfirmed only because nothing I found described him as a public official elected or otherwise. He is listed as a farmer in every census. But in these small western towns that may have been a mere formality. He was at least once described as “an honored and prosperous citizen of the community” per the Denver Rocky Mountain News.

Louis was born William Louis Sickenberger in 1862 in Illinois. His parents were Phillip and Elizabeth Sickenberger. Not surprisingly they were from Germany – where else can you get a last name like that? Dad was a miller in Illinios. They lived in Tyrone, Franklin, IL in 1880. Lewis was 19 with younger brother John 14. By 1900 however Louis (often referred to as WL) had moved to Otero county where he would stay. He was married to a Mary a few years his senior and his mother lived with them as well. Louis and Mary appeared to have no children.

Now in 1910 (the year of this photo) Wm. Louis lived in East Rocky Ford, Otero county with a new wife Anna. Ann was 10 years his junior. They too would have no children. I can only assume that Louis and Mary divorced at some point. She doesn’t seem to have died until 1947. The wedding of Louis Sickenberger and Anna was no small affair. They were married a few months before this photo on April 23, 1910. The article in the Denver Rocky Mountain News describes the beautiful and elaborate ceremony.

Later that year, in late July of 1910, Louis was elected Director of the Manzanola Commerce Club and in 1919 chosen President of High Line Canal Co. at Rocky Ford. He certainly prospered in his adopted state. If only there were descendants equally interested in this honorable man. Find a Grave website has Louis, Anna, Phillip, Elizabeth, and John’s memorials listed. All are buried in Manzanola Mountainview Cemetery.