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Descendants of Reverand William Toy Bartle

From New Jersey to Illinois, 1822 - Present

Reverend William Toy Bartle was born on 17 Feb 1822 in Mullica Hill, Gloucester, New Jersey, southeast of Philadelphia. His boyhood and youth, until was about seventeen years of age, were spent in the Philadelphia area. He pursued an academic course of study at Cincinnati, Ohio, and for one year was Missionary Teacher among the Choctaw Indians in Okalahoma after their forced resettlement. He was a graduate of Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois (#1 on the map below), class of 1849, and taught the first public or common school of Greene County, Illinois, at Carrollton, in 1851.

William married Mary Helen Wilcox in 1851. (Also listed as being married in Knox County, Illinois, or Greene County). She was the daughter of Henry Wilcox. Turning his attention to the gospel ministry, William was ordained by the Alton Presbytery, October, 1852. While in Carrollton, Green, Illinois, Helen had a daughter, Blanche, in May 1852. Helen passed away one year later in June 1853.

In 1854, William remarried Elizabeth Granger Sanburn. Their first son, James Sanborne Bartle, was born 22 February 1855 in Knoxville, Knox, Illinois. Their second son, William Howard Bartle, was born 15 Jan 1856, also in Knoxville.

Henry Hart Bartle, date unknown

Their third son, Henry Hart Bartle was born in Chicago, Illinois, on August 27, 1858. Three years later, Jane "Jennie" Myrtle Bartle was born on 14 June 1861 back in Knoxville, Illinois. By July of 1862, the family was located in Decatur, Michigan, where the family lived some five years.

Helen Lindsay Bartle,
circa 1895. She married Thaddeus Phelps.

Our great-grandmother Helen Lindsay Bartle was born 6 July 1862. She married Thadeus Merrill Phelps (born October 4, 1856) of Wataga, Illinois. Wataga is just northeast of Galesburg, where her father began his ministerial training. [The Phelps Family in America gives his name as "Thomas." However, my grandfather, Harold Bartle Phelps, crossed this out and wrote in "Thaddeus." However, Thadeus' printed wedding announcement gives the spelling of "Thadeus" with a single "d", as does his death certificate.]

The marriage records in Decatur show Rev. Bartle performed many marriages while Pastor there. The third daughter, Mary Elizabeth Bartle, was born there on 28 Feb 1865. While in Michigan, Rev. Bartle was also for one year County Superintendent of Common schools. Their last son, George Jennings Bartle, was born on 23 July 1868 in Clinton, Lenawee, Michigan.

In May, 1869, he purchased 120 acres on section 17, Douglas Township, Iowa and began improvements in June 1871. However, the family lived for a time 90 miles east in Plattsmouth, Nebraska. While in Plattsmouth, Henry learned the trade of blacksmithing. In the spring of 1875, William began erecting a dwelling and in 1876 moved his family on his land, continuing in the ministry also. Rev. Bartle pastored the Creston, Iowa Cromwell Congregational Church in 1876.

In 1892, after 38 years of marriage, Elizabeth Granger Sanburn Bartle (age 63) passed away. Reverend Bartle, now 70 years old, remained in Creston for a few more years until he followed his son Henry to California. The pastor died in 1913 and was buried next to his wife in the Maple Hill Cemetery in Cromwell, Iowa, just outside Creston. The city today has 120 residents. The cemetary now has more residents than the city.

Rev. William Toy Bartle moved his family repeatedly across the midwest between 1855 and 1876, in the order shown by the numbers in the map. They finally settling in Creston, Iowa, where Rev. Butler purchased a farm and built a house.

The sons all worked for the railroads at various times. James Sanburn was a general freight agent for the Burlington Railroad with headquarters at Saint Joseph, Missouri for a number of years. In 1895 he become eastern agent of the Santa Fe Railroad in New York. In 1912 he was then transferred homeward to Chicago. James was an assistant general freight agent for the Santa Fe Railroad under Mr. F. B. Houghton at his death in 1917.

In Creston, Henry Hart met his wife, Kate Scudder. She had moved with her father Marvin Scudder from Galesburg, Illinois, where Henry's father had studied for the ministry. Before Henry and Kate were married, they both moved out to the prairies of Nebraska, where she taught a year previous to their marriage. Rev. William was a trustee of Tabor college in Iowa, and hoped his sons would study there. Henry and Kate however moved to Kansas City, where he went into the offices of the freight department of the Burlington railroad, two of his brothers being railroad men at the time.

Move to California

In 1900, Henry and Kate moved to Mentone, California, near Redlands, on account of the poor health of their daughter, Helen S. Bartle. Their first daughter, Elizabeth, died there in 1901. In 1911, the family relocated 30 miles west to Claremont. In his obituary, the Courier stated, "It seemed impossible at the time for him to go into the city where he was to have been engaged in railroad work, so once again he turned to the trade of his young manhood, and in it he continued, doing less and less of manual work and depending more and more on the selling of implements and garden tools." So Henry took up blacksmithing again, turning out tools and implements which he sold, establishing a successful business. In 1915, Kate passed away. Helen continued to live with her father until his death, so her infirmity followed her all her life.

In 1886, Jane "Jennie" Myrick Bartle married Mefford W. Kiddoo. A "Wm. Kiddoo" had served as a Deacon in the Cromwell Congregational Church, and it is likely that the two are related. The family remained in Creston until Jennie's death.

Mary Elizabeth Bartle married Thomas C. Shaw and had two daughters.

William was employed as the commercial agent for the New York Central Railroad in Saint Joseph, Missouri in 1917.

George, the youngest son, was educated at Cromwell High School in Creston and graduated in 1886. The following two years were spent as a circuit teacher in the rural schools in Union county. He moved to Saint Joseph, Missouri in 1888 where he worked for the Steele and Walker Wholesale Grocery until 1896. On June 20, 1893 he married Elizabeth Haver Munch at Saint Joseph. Elizabeth was a daughter of David and Margaret (Failor) Munch of Allen county, Ohio. After their marriage George and Elizabeth remained in Saint Joseph where for two years he was employed as a clerk in the C.D. Drug Co. In 1898 he was employed for one year at the Chicago-Burlington & Quincy Railroad and one year for Swift & Company Meat Packers.

In 1900 George and Elizabeth moved to Creston, Iowa where he established the Bartle Packet Store, a small general store, he also managed three farms, a total of 305 acres in Union and Adams counties. In 1925 he became the president and Director of the First National Bank of Prescott, Iowa and remained President until his death. From 1933-39 he was elected Union County Supervisor where he served as Chairman of the board. He was also a member of the board of trustees of the Greater Community Hospital where he served as Chairman of the Board. He was also a member of the Rotary, Crestmoor Golf Club, First Congregational Church and a Republican.


Thanks to my cousin Georgeann Bartle Coleman for much of this information. We never met before she passed on, but her research has meant a great deal to me.

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