A little more information for you, although nothing that addresses the mystery of why Darius and James C. changed surnames from Darke to Edmonds.First off, it IS Darke, not Drake.This was an easy mistake, as there were Drakes all over the place, and nobody else named Dark/Darke in the neighborhood.But the censuses all really do say Dark; Absolem's listing in the draft records says Dark; and I found his military unit, 6th Regiment, Co. "I" Indiana Volunteers, which says that Absalom Dark was mustered into service Sept. 25, 1861, and deserted Sept. 20, 1862.Oddly, everyone in this company is listed as a resident of Jennings Co., just to our south.Most Flat Rock Twp. soldiers who went to 6th Reg. were in Co. G.Maybe Ab had ties to Jennings Co.?Don't know.But he did desert, and I can find no further sign of him in Bartholomew Co.National Archives can produce his service record, which might say if they ever found him.
You referred to Julia Beatty Dark's 1st husband, Thomas B. McQueen, as being in Nebraska in 1880.It's not the same Thomas.Her husband Thomas McQueen is buried at Liberty, 23 June 1830-30 Sept. 1855.The one in Nebraska was much younger.
Julia was the eldest of 9 children of Derius and Mary Ann (McQueen) Beatty.Derius was s/o Thomas & Henrietta, and was b. 27 Apr. 1812, Montgomery Co. KY.He was still living in Barth. Co. in 1880, but I can't find him after that.Julia's mother Mary Ann was d/o Joseph Wilson McQueen and his first wife, name unknown.Mary Ann was b. 16 Jan. 1817 Hamilton Co. OH, d. 18 Jan. 1875, Liberty Cem.She m. Derius 16 Jan. 1834, Barth. Co.
In 1880, Julia's brother, Joseph Beatty, b. 1838, m. Eliz. Stoughton, was still in Flat Rock Twp., can't find after that.Julia's sister Harriet m. Thomas Stoughton, and they were in Phelps Co. NE in 1880.
Have you checked state censuses for 1885 for the brothers?Maybe somewhere between NE and OR.
One other item:found a letter at the courthouse from a granddaughter of James Clarence Edmonds, also searching this family.James d. 15 July 1947 in Oregon.Writer was Virginia Leavens Anderson, 9931 Keene Lane SE, Aumsville, OR 97325; however letter is dated 23 Jan. 1981, so can't say if this is still a good address.
I didn't see Darius "Ed" Dark/Edmonds date of death mentioned anywhere.Please supply if you have it, and pass along anything further that turns up on "the boys."