Basil Meeks Fremont, Ohio Attorney-at-law August 20, 1920 Mrs. Julia M. Gaar: Dear Madam:
It may seem indeed incredible that a son of John Meek, who was born at Elliottís Mills, Maryland in 1774 should be here writing this letter. If living now my father would be 136 years old years old. Well his fatherís name was also John, and who died at New Castle, Henry County, Kentucky, not Indiana, in 1803.
He had a brother Jacob Meek, who was named in the will of John Meek as executer, the will dated 1801, copy of which I have. I have often heard my father speak of this Jacob as "old uncle Jacob Meek" Jacob was the father of Jeremiah L. Meek, I might as a fact of interest state that in this will of John, my grandfather, he freed a slave that he then owned by the name of "Sam". I believe that this Jacob Meek was your great grandfather, possibly great-great-great grandfather. Time flies so that it is hard to keep track of the generations as they come. I cannot, therefore, be very certain of some things or rather persons who are descended from John Meek and his son, Jeremiah L. together with my father, John called "little John" - though he was not very small and there was a very large John in contrast though I canít place him. I was writing that my father and his brother je emiah (not L.) Joshua and sister Rachel Cull, wife of Hugh Cull who died at the age of 104, all came from Kentucky in the first decade if the 19th century and located in what is Wayne County, near Richmond. Some of them on the Elkhorn Creek . I have been at Uncle Cullís and uncle Joshua Meek when a boy where they lived on the Elkhorn. Hugh Cull and Jeremiah Meek (my uncle) were members of the first convention at Corydon and took part in forming the first Constitution of your State and Jeremiah was one of the first associate judges of Wayne County. He afterwards went to Hancock county and laid off the town of Greenfield and there died. My father had married in Kentucky and brought with him a large family of sons and daughters by his first wife, who died near Richmond. I am of the second crop. The Holmans, Grimes, Gaars, Fouts, Reed and others came about the time the Meeks did, settling south or southeast of what is now Richmond. These inter-married, but of their families, I only know something in a vague kind of way. A daughter of Jacob Meek, named Rue married William Holman. He had a daughter Effie Meek who married William Grimes. Probably here is the source of the name Grimes in your fatherís name.
Jeremiah Meek had a daughters Nancy and Polly who each married half- brothers of mine. Ther former marrying Jesse Meek, and the latter marrying John Meek, son of my father who came with him from Kentucky. I knew them and their wives, Nancy and Polly, who were certainly nearly related to you or rather you to them. He had sons, Alexander and Morton whom I remember to have seen at my half-brothers Johnís house in Wayne county. Thus you will Observe that my branch and your branch of the Meek family were united in the marriages named. I feel as if I must be wearying you with this rambling letter but also feel that I ought to now, that I have gone thus far, go farther to make what I have written more intelligible. It would take a volume however, to do the matter anything like justice. Did your grandfather do to Newton, Iowa. I had two sisters there who met a William Meek, there in 1878. He was no doubt of your branch of the family.
Basil Meek - 2
My father John Meek entered from the Government the quarter section of land on which that part of Richmond stands, north of Main street. One, John Smith entered that south of Main street. Father sold out to Jeremiah Cox or some one who transferred it to Cox. Smith and Cox jointly founded your city on these lands. Pardon another thing which may seem almost personal. My half-sister Sally married John Smith Jr. Son of the founder and my half- brother Joseph Meek married Gulielma Smith, daughter of John, the founder. Joseph died near Abington, Wayne County, at an advanced age, over twenty years ago. He was the father of Rariden Meek who was killed some years ago by a man whom he was chasing from his blackberry field. They were his grandson and great grandson who were killed by Railsback in a dispute over a line fence, a couple of years since.
My fatherís first wife having died at Richmond (Salisbury then where he lived) he sold out there and settled in New Castle, Henry County, Indiana, where he married my mother, Salina Stevenson, granddaughter of the James Stevenson whose graves we are marking as a revolutionary soldier, the former slab having been broken off. I was born in New Castle, Indiana, April 20, 1829, and if a little garrulous in writing this may be pardoned, considering age, though I would be slow, myself to offer it as an excuse. When I was quite young, father settled again in Wayne county, half-way between Centerville and Abington. In 1841 we moved to Owen county, Indiana, where he died in 1849. In 1864 I came up here and located for life and here I am surroundedxxxxx by all my living children and wife, one son, a Doctor; and two married daughters, both D.A.R. of Col. George Croqhan chapter, one an ex-regennt having served two years. I am not sure, but I mentioned this before, this Regent is Mrs. H. G. Edgerton - Clara Meek Edgerton.
I lately met a widow lady in Indianapolis by the name of Rupe and a daughter of Effie Meek Grimes and who is most likely a near relative of yours. Her complexion and features of face were so like my fathers as to be start- ling to me - at the time - remarably similar. I said to her, there you will have to recognize me as a relative. We had quite a pleasant visit. I know and also visited three daughters there of my half brother, Jesse Meek and Nancy (Meek) Meek, in whom the branches of the family unite. They are splendid woman, well married and in good circumstances, names Julia Bennett, Ella Marott and Lutie Stewart. There is a sister of these in Springfield, Ohio, Belle Humphrays, wife of a man connected with the Superior Drill Co. there by the name of Humphreys.
Youngs History of Wayne County has many references to our family running through it in connection with other early settlers. It is out of print, but I know a gentleman, who I have no doubt would loan you his volume. He is the county Auditor, Hr. D. S. Coe, who has been exceedingly polite to me in efforts to find some trace of James Stevenson more than I have. In our correspondnce he inquired if I had a copy of this history, so that I know he has it. I have it.
I surely shall be glad to hear from you and hope you may find opportunity to write me sometime of the family from your standpoint.
Sincerely yours, Basil Meek
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