Alfred Maxson was my ggg grandfather.Family tradition gives his mother's name as "Ann Eliza," and his civil war records indicate that he was born in 1826.Did he have an incestuous relationship with his half sister?I can't say.Alfred did remain in close contact with members of his family throughout his life, and I don't consider that to be consistent with a type of behavior that even today is viewed as exceedingly shameful.
I do know Alfred was a 35-year-old father of six in Martinsburg, OH, during the fall of 1862 when he enrolled in a new Union regiment.Although a Quaker, Alfred was probably influenced by the actions of his uncle and cousin.I should add that my family remained at least nominally Quaker until my own grandfather left during a dispute that split the Van Wert meeting.
Recruiting was slow for the new regiment, and Alfred's company of Knox County men was grafted to the rolls of another new regiment being formed in NE Ohio -- the 125th OVI -- which would distinguish itself forever at Chickamauga as "Opdyke's Tigers."Alfred was wounded twice -- first at Chickamauga, then at Resaca.His final wound never healed correctly and, according to his pension records, eventually resulted in his death in Kansas.
Where exactly Alfred's brood sojourned during the was is uncertain.I believe a special relationship existed with Nathan and Angeline.Angeline and her husband also lived in Knox County.Both brothers used forms of their sister's name for their own children, and possibly Alfred's family leaned on his sibs while he was away.Another Knox Co. family -- the Sargents -- is found with Alfred's family in Van Wert County after the war.Three of Alfred's daughters married Sargent brothers, also hinting at a deep relationship that may have begun during the war.
About 1870, Alfred and part of his family headed for Labette County, KS.I think Nathan had been living here in Logan County at the time -- possibly Alfred's group accompanied Nathan's family to the west?One of Alfred's son, Leander Adolphus, married a girl living in Coffeyville, and my great grandfather was born there in 1874.
Kansas proved a disaster for my family.After Alfred and the wife of another son, Hugh, died, Leander Adolphus brought his wife and two sons back to Van Wert.Soon after returning, his wife was lost in a house fire.He remarried, and his second wife, Cassie Golliver, was extremely jwhen it came to her husband.She also did little to disguise her resentment toward the offspring of the first wife.When I was a baby, Cassie, who had been widowed for 25 years, was living down the street from my parents.When my mother took me out in the stroller, Cassie would cross to the other side of the street and pretend not to see us.