The last time we wrote about the Title & Abstract, we ended with the sale of the property on November 22, 1893 to James M. Risley.
It has been difficult to find out a lot about Mr. Risley & his family. The following information is from posts on Ancestry.com & FindAGrave.com. James Monroe Risley was born to Herod & Elizabeth Ann Hodgen Risley in Knox County, IN in 1844. It appears that his family was in Indiana as early as 1839 when his grandmother Sarah Crooks Risley was buried in Knox County.
He married Frances Adelia Piety (Delia) on October 26, 1881 in Knox County, IN. Their daughter, Bertha, was born August 17, 1882. A little over a year later, they had a second daughter, Jenny, born December 14, 1883.
The year 1885 appears to have been a tragic year for the family. In July, Bertha died at just 2 years & 11 months old. Just 3 months later, Jenny died at 1 year & 10 months. They are both buried in Knox County, however, we’re not sure whether they were still living there at the time. In December, James Maurice was born in Marion County.
Then in March 1887, they suffered another death when James Maurice died at just 1 year & 3 months old. While there are many people today who say that people were much more prepared to handle the death of their children in the 1800’s, my great grandmother never recovered from the deaths of 5 of her 8 children.
Just 9 months after James died, Florence Irene was born on December 15, 1887. Twenty two months later Roger Ashley was born on October 20, 1889. And 26 months later, Lulu Belle was born on December 26, 1891.
When the Risley’s purchased the Horner House on November 22, 1893, their children were just 5, 3 and 22 months old. I don’t think I would have purchased a house with such a narrow steep staircase with such small children. Perhaps the children only used the back stairway which was gone before we saw the interior of the house.
Anyway, just 13 months after purchasing the house, Allen Percy was born on December 19, 1894. These last 4 children lived pretty long lives, Irene passing at 60 years old, Roger at 98, Lulu at 93 and Allen at 83.
The family sold the house on August 11, 1897 just 3 years and 8 months later. The children were 9, 8, 5 & 2. In the 1900 US Census, the family was still living in Washington Township, however, it appears they were living in a rural area. Their entry includes a boarder who is a farm laborer. James & Delia remained in Marion County until their deaths in 1912 & 1943.
On August 11, 1897, James M. & Delia P. Risley sold the house by Warranty Deed to Mary A Thomas; Mary E. Miller, Frank W. Miller and Bertha M. Morrison. But these new buyers will need to wait till another day.