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Eleanor 'Nellie' (Younkin) Wiltrout



Eleanor "Nellie" (Younkin) Wiltrout was born on July 19, 1821 in Somerset County, PA, the daughter of Charles and Jane (Johnson) Younkin.

Nellie grew up in Somerset County and possibly across the county line after her parents moved to nearby Fayette County, PA.

She was united in the bonds of holy matrimony with James Wiltrout Sr. (March 28, 1819-1887), said to have been the son of Johannes Gottfried "John Godfrey" and Margareta "Margaret" (Dietrich) Wiltrout of Summit Township, Somerset County.

James was said to have been a German immigrant, as shown on at least one document many years later. Even if not, he would have spoken the German tongue and continued German cultural practices.

Four children were born to this union, among them Adam Wiltrout and Samuel Denton Wiltrout. The other two appear to have died young.

During the initial years of their marriage, in the early 1840s, the family migrated west into Indiana. There, the two sons were born, although one of them thought he had been born in Somerset County in 1846.

For reasons not yet known, Nellie's health declined. Grief blanketed the young family when she died after the birth of her youngest son, in the timeframe 1846 to 1848. Her final resting place is lost to history.

At the age of 29, on Nov. 4, 1848, the widowed James was joined in wedlock with 22-year-old Susannah Knable (1826- ? ), also a Pennsylvanian by birth. The wedding was held in Clinton County, IN. Susan was unable to read or write, and her maiden name was pronounced with the hard "K" as shown by a misspelling some years later as "Canable." She reputedly was baptized in Somerset County on June 5, 1835.

The federal census enumeration of 1850 shows the couple living on a farm in Honey Creek, Clinton County, IN.

These additional offspring were produced by the second marriage -- Caroline Amanda Mainard, John Irvin Wiltrout, Sarah Margaret Wiltrout, Mary Ellen Ewing, James M. Wiltrout, Elizabeth Bersheba Molle and Laura Jane France.

During the window of time in 1855-1857, the Wiltrouts relocated northward into Wisconsin. One source gives the year of migration as early as 1853.

The census of 1860 lists the combined family on a farm in Bloom, Richland County, WI.

During the Civil War, their sons Adam and Samuel both served in the Union Army from Wisconsin regiments. Both soldiers drew pensions later as compensation for illnesses/injuries during the war.


Location of the Wiltrout farm along Camp Creek east of Viola in 1874
Atlas of Richland Co. Wisconsin, published by Harrison & Warner



Detail of the Wiltrout farm, directly south of his son Samuel's farm

In 1870, the federal census indicates that the Wiltrouts had moved again within Richland County to a 160-acre farm in Forest Township. The tract sat east of the village of Viola, along what today is Route 56, straddling Sections 20 and 21. The acreage included a stretch of Camp Creek near to where it feeds into the Kickapoo River.

They remained on this farm at least through 1874, when its location was marked on a Forest Township map published in the Atlas of Richland Co. Wisconsin, published by Harrison & Warner.

James and Susan pulled up stakes again during the 1870s and migrated south into Iowa. Their farm in 1880 was located in Greenbrier Township, Greene County, IA.

The angel of death swept away James at the age of 67 on Feb. 2, 1887. Interment of the remains was in Greenbrier Cemetery in Cooper, IA. [Find-a-Grave]

After James' death, the widowed Susan remained in Greenbrier Township and resided with her married daughter Mary Ellen Ewing.

Evidence exists showing that one of James' sons from the first marriage was estranged by his half-siblings from the second marriage.

The family is discussed in the 2008 book, The Kickapoo Quintet: The Children of Russell and Alice Williams, co-authored by Russell Ambrose Williams and Alice Williams.


~ Son Adam A. Wiltrout ~

Son Adam A. Wiltrout (1840-1908) was born on June 3, 1840 in Somerset County, PA. Some records state that his birthplace was Indiana, which is where he migrated with his parents as a young boy. His mother died after the move to Indiana.

Then as a teenager, he moved with his father and stepmother from Indiana to Richland County, WI.

Adam joined the Union Army after the outbreak of the Civil War, enlisting on Nov. 2, 1861. He was placed into the 14th Wisconsin Infantry, Company K. During his military service, he was promoted to the rank of corporal.

Adam and his regiment saw action at the battles in and around Vicksburg in Mississippi in May-July 1863. The campaign cost the Union 4,835 casualties but the Confederate Army an astonishing 32,697 killed, wounded and missing. Years later, Adam was named in the 14th Infantry's section of the book Wisconsin At Vicksburg: Report of the Wisconsin-Vicksburg Monument Commission.


Civil War battle action at Vicksburg, Mississippi


On the Fourth of July 1871, at the age of 31, Adam was joined in wedlock with 15-year-old Mercy Elizabeth Clark (1856- ? ), a native of Pennsylvania but at the time a resident of Crawford County, WI. The couple was 17 years apart in age. Their nuptials were held in Prairie du Chien.

A dozen children were produced by the couple. The known names were Rosa R. Wiltrout, James Wiltrout, Charles Wiltrout, Bertha B. Wiltrout, Jacob Samuel Wiltrout, Mary Elizabeth VanGorden, Benjamin Franklin "Bennie" Wiltrout, Roland Wiltrout and Zeefa Wiltrout. Grief blanketed the family when their one-month-old daughter Zeefa died in Marietta, WI on Jan. 18, 1899.

Many years later, Adam was awarded a military pension for his wartime service. [Invalid App. #483.994 - Cert. #326.785]

Evidence exists showing that in adulthood, Adam was estranged by his younger half-siblings from the second marriage.

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1880, the Wiltrouts dwelled on a farm in Forest Township, Richland County, WI. They remained there as of 1885 as depicted in the Wisconsin State Census. Then when counted in the special state census of Civil War soldiers and sailors, in 1895, Adam and the family resided in Muscoda, Grant County.

The Wisconsin Census of 1905 lists the family as farmers in Marietta, Crawford County, WI.

Adam succumbed to death in Crawford County on Feb. 11, 1908.

After Adam died, Mercy in 1908 was awarded his military pension. [Widow App. #885.839 - Cert. #666.472]

The widowed Mercy then went to live in the household of her married son Jacob in Marietta. The 1910 federal census shows her in the home, along with her sons Benjamin and Roland.

Mercy eventually migrated with her sons James and Benjamin to Arkansas. After James' wife died young, leaving four mouths to feed, Mercy resided in their home to help with child-raising. They are shown together in the 1920 U.S. Census of Dota, Independence County, AR.

Mercy passed into eternity on Oct. 22, 1934 in Independence County. Her remains were transported back to Wisconsin to rest for all time in Pleasant Mound Cemetery in Easter Rock, Crawford County.

This family appears to be spelled out in the 1977 book by Dale E. Wiltrout, entitled The Wiltrout Genealogy, and in the 1979 book Early Families of Richland County, Wisconsin.

Daughter Rosa R. Wiltrout (1871- ? ) was born in about 1871 in Iowa.

Son James Giles Wiltrout (1874- ? ) was born in about 1874 in Iowa. At the age of 20 in 1905, unmarried, James boarded on the farm of widower David F. Hubbel next door to James' parents in Marietta, Crawford County, WI. He married Elsie Mae Hubble ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of four known offspring -- Tressia Wiltrout, Adam James Wiltrout, Lita Wiltrout and Elsie Wiltrout. Circa 1910-1911, the Wiltrouts migrated south into Arkansas, where their daughter Elsie was born in 1911. Sadly, James' wife died during the 1910s. The federal census enumeration of 1920 shows the Wiltrouts in Dota, Independence County, AR, with James' widowed mother in the household.

  • Granddaughter Tressia Wiltrout (1905- ? ) was born in about 1905 in Wisconsin.
  • Grandson Adam James Wiltrout (1906-1974) was born on Jan. 31, 1906 in Boscobel, Grant County, WI. When he was 23 years old, on Aug. 12, 1929, he was joined in marriage with Gladys Marion Cook (April 8, 1912-1988). Their wedding was held in Bemidji, Beltrami County, MN. The couple's brood of offspring included Ellen Gladys Holloway, Thomas Adam Wiltrout, Elsie L. Wiltrout, Eileen Barbara Girtman and James David Wiltrout. The federal census enumeration of 1930 shows Adam married but boarding in the house of Grover and Emma Snyder in Eagle, Richland County, WI, working as a day laborer on a dairy farm. Evidence suggests the children all were born in Richland Center, Richland County, WI. The couple migrated to Arkansas and put down stakes in or near Shirley, Van Buren County. Sadly, Adam died in Shirley on Dec. 14, 1974. Gladys survived him by 14 years and passed on Aug. 27, 1988. Their final resting place is in Wood Cemetery in Independence County, AR.
  • Granddaughter Lita Wiltrout (1909- ? ) was born in about 1909 in Wisconsin.
  • Granddaughter Elsie Wiltrout (1911- ? ) was born in about 1911 in Arkansas.

Son Charles Wiltrout (1876- ? ) was born in about 1876 in Wisconsin.

Daughter Bertha B. Wiltrout (1877- ? ) was born in about 1877 in Wisconsin.


Main Street in Boscobel, Wisconsin, early 1900s


Son Jacob Samuel Wiltrout (1884- ? ) was born on April 20, 1884 in Wisconsin. In 1908, at the age of about 23, he entered into wedlock with Jane Simons (1877-1953). Together, they bore a brood of five -- William Albert Wiltrout, Ernest Wiltrout, Hester J. Leffler and Blanche K. Rose. Sadly, they also lost an infant son in 1921. The 1910 federal census enumeration shows the couple in Marietta, Crawford County, with Jacob's widowed mother and younger brothers Benjamin and Roland under their roof. He later moved to Boscobel, Grant County, WI. Death swept away Jane in 1953. Jacob died at the age of 82, on Nov. 13, 1966, in Boscobel.

  • Grandson William A. Wiltrout (1909-1984) was born in about 1909 in Marietta, Crawford County, WI.
  • Grandson Ernest Wiltrout (1910-1929) was born in 1910.
  • Granddaughter Hester J. Wiltrout (1915-1981) was born in 1915. She wedded (?) Leffler.
  • Blanche K. Wiltrout (1920-2012) was born in 1920. She married (?) Rose.

Daughter Mary Elizabeth Wiltrout (1886-1922) was born on March 28, 1886 in Richland County, WI. In 1904, when she was 18 years of age, she was united in the bonds of wedlock with George McClellan VanGorden (1868-1957). They appear to have made their residence in Marietta, Crawford County, WI. Sadly, at the age of 36, Mary Elizabeth died on June 28, 1922 in Marietta. The remains were lowered into the sleep of eternity in Wayne Cemetery in Marietta. George survived his bride by 35 years. He passed at the age of 89 on Nov. 1, 1957.

Son Benjamin Franklin "Bennie" Wiltrout (1891-1913) was born on June 9, 1891 in Wisconsin. At the age of 19, in 1910, he lived with his older brother Jacob in Marietta, Crawford County, and earned a living as a farm laborer. Within a year or two he may have moved to Boscobel, Grant County, WI. In 1911, Benjamin and his brothers and widowed mother relocated south into Arkansas, settling in Sulphur Rock, "where he lived the rest of his days," reported the Batesville (AR) Daily Guard. At the age of 21, he was very ill and knew he was dying. He asked that the Christian hymn Glory to His Name be played so that he could hear it one last time. He succumbed to the angel of death on April 1, 1913. The Glory hymn was reprised at his funeral service, which was officiated by Rev. Story. Interment of the remains was in Harden Cemetery. His obituary in the Daily Guard said that he "leaves a mother, four brothers and two sisters, besides a host of friends and other relatives."

Son Roland Wiltrout (1893- ? ) was born on May 12, 1893 in Wisconsin. In 1910, at age 17, he resided with his older brother Jacob and provided labor on the family farm in Marietta, Crawford County, WI. Then in 1911, he migrated south to Arkansas with his widowed mother and brothers, putting down roots in Sulphur Rock. Roland served in the U.S. Army during World War I, holding the rank of private in the Quartermaster Corps. At the age of 28, in about 1921, he was united in marriage with 17-year-old Ruth Foster (1904-1988), daughter of Martha Caroline (Duncan) Foster. Two known sons were born to this union -- James E. "Jimmy" Wiltrout and Albert Junior Wiltrout. Census records for 1930 show the family in Gainsboro, Independence County, AR, with Roland laboring as a farmer. Roland passed away at the age of 66 on Oct. 21, 1959. His remains are in honored rest in Lees Chapel Cemetery in Moorefield, Independence County. Ruth outlived her spouse by nearly three decades. The spectre of death swept her away at the age of 94 on Dec. 12, 1988.

  • Grandson James E. "Jimmy" Wiltrout (1924-1991) was born on June 13, 1924 in Arkansas. He was joined in wedlock with Emma Gene Treadway (July 29, 1927-2009), daughter of Claud and Ruby Jewel (Tillman) Treadway of Jacksonport, AR. Together, the Wiltrouts bore a family of five -- Edward "Ed" Wiltrout, Albert Wiltrout, Bobby Joe Wiltrout, Betty Gibbs and Freda Hughes. The couple were members of Sulphur Rock Southern Baptist Church. Emma Gene relished cooking for her family, with fried chicken and coconut pies as her specialties. She raised a large vegetable garden and canned its produce. She also loved to take photographs of her family. James succumbed to death on Sept. 3, 1991, at the age of 67. Burial of the remains was in Lees Chapel Cemetery in Moorefield, Independence County, AR. Emma Gene lived on for 18 more years in her residence in Charlotte, Independence County. At the age of 82, while a patient at White River Medical Center in Batesville, Independence County, she was swept into the arms of the angels on Sept. 19, 2009. Brother J.D. Gillmore preached the funeral sermon in the family church.

Great-grandson Edward "Ed" Wiltrout (1949-2017) was born on Sept. 11, 1949 in Batesville, Independence County, AR. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. In about 1973, he entered into marriage with Hellen Levena Gillmore ( ? - ? ), daughter of R.J. and Anna Gillmore. Their union endured for 45 years. Three children born to this couple were James Wiltrout, Helen Huff and Amy Cleaver. The Wiltrouts dwelled in Charlotte, Independence County. Edward's hobbies included fishing, hunting and watching old western movies. Edward died at the age of 67 on April 13, 2017. He sleeps for eternity in Lees Chapel Cemetery in Moorefield, Independence County.

Great-grandson Albert Wiltrout married Julia and resided in 2017 in Sulphur Rock, AR.

Great-grandson Bobby Joe Wiltrout wedded Nancy and relocated to Missouri.

Great-granddaughter Betty Wiltrout was united in matrimony with Archie Gibbs. Circa 2017, they were in Batesville, AR.

Great-granddaughter Freda Wiltrout was joined in wedlock with Donald Hughes. Their residence has been in Sulphur Rock.


Albert's name, Korean War Memorial, Washington, DC. Photo copyrighted by Grave Hunter, #47976571. Right: Purple Heart medal.


  • Grandson Albert Junior Wiltrout (1928-1950) was born on June 29, 1928 in Independence County, AR. He joined the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and was assigned to Company C, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division. While in action on the fateful day of Nov. 28, 1950, near Kunu-ri, North Korea, he went missing. A month later, on New Year's Eve 1951, he officially was declared dead. His remains never appear to have been recovered. Posthumously, he received the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, United Nations Service Medal and Republic of Korea War Service Medal. His name today is inscribed on the National Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC.


~ Son Samuel Denton Wiltrout ~

Son Samuel Denton Wiltrout (1844- ? ) was born on June 18, 1844/1846 either in his parents' home region of Somerset, Somerset County, PA, or in Indiana after the family's migration. (Sources differ.) He was very young, perhaps an infant, when his mother died.

In his young teen years, he migrated to Wisconsin with his father and stepmother. They settled in Richland County, WI.

Adam joined the Union Army after the eruption of the Civil War. He was placed into the 11th Wisconsin Infantry, Company D.

In the postwar years, Samuel was a farmer. Federal census enumeration records for 1870 show Samuel, single at the age of 24 and working as a farm laborer for Hugh Jones in Forest Township, Howard County, IA.

By 1872, he had relocated back to a farm in Forest Township, Richland County, WI. On  June 23, 1872, he was united in marriage with Anna Joseph (1852- ? ), daughter of John and Ann (Morris) Joseph, the mother an immigrant from England. The civil ceremony was held in Forest Township and performed by Jeremiah Black. Witnesses were John Jones and John B. Morris.

Children known to have been borne of this marriage were Leona Wiltrout, Susan A. Wiltrout, Norman Wiltrout and Eleanor Wiltrout.


Location of the Samuel's farm, circa 1874, east of Viola, Wisconsin
Atlas of Richland Co. Wisconsin, published by Harrison & Warner



Detail of Samuel's farm,
directly north of his father's

The Wisconsin State Censuses of 1875 and 1885 list the growing family in Forest Township. The Atlas of Richland County, published in 1874, shows that the farm comprised 80 acres and was directly to the north of, and abutted, the farm of his father.

The U.S. Census of 1880 shows the Wiltrouts on a farm near the town of Viola along Camp Creek in Forest Township, with Anna's younger brothers Thomas and Isaac Joseph living under their roof.

In 1877, Samuel was awarded a military pension for his wartime service. [Invalid App. #238.014 - Cert. #419.143].  As he received occasional payment increases over the years, the news was printed in local newspapers such as the Vernon County (WI) Censor.

Sadly, Anna is believed to have died between 1884 and 1895.

The widowed Samuel returned to Iowa where he settled on a farm in Guthrie County. There, at the age of 49, he wedded a second time, on Nov. 25, 1893, to 39-year-old Mary E. Simmers (June 1855- ? ), a fellow Guthrie County resident and the daughter of Thomas and Cecelia (Evans) Simmers of Ohio. George W. Brader officiated the nuptials, which were witnessed by C.D. Evans and J.B. Campbell. The bride and groom were a decade apart in age.

The newlyweds appear to have made their first home together in Bagley, Guthrie County, IA. Within less than two months after the wedding, the Viola (WI) Intelligencer of Jan. 19, 1894 reported that "Samuel Wiltrout, of Bagley, Iowa, returned last Saturday with his wife for a visit with relatives and friends in the Kickapoo country."

One more daughter was produced by this marriage -- Bessie C. Wiltrout.

When the Wisconsin census again was made in 1895, the Wiltrouts dwelled in Rockbridge Township, Richland County.

Sometime between 1896 and 1900, the Wiltrouts pulled up stakes and migrated to Kentucky. The United States Census of 1900 shows the family dwelling in Eubank Township, Pulaski County, KY.

Samuel's final years were spent as a widower in Current Township, Texas County, MO. There, suffering from pyaemia (blood poisoning), he succumbed to death at the age of 67 on Jan. 25, 1914. Bessie Golden of Hartshorn, MO was the informant for the official Missouri certificate of death. Burial of the remains was in Riley Cemetery.

Daughter Leona Wiltrout (1874- ? ) was born in about 1874 in Wisconsin. When she and other girls enrolled for another year of high school in Viola in 1893, it was announced in the local newspaper, the Viola Intelligencer. Her graduation in May 1894 also was news in the Intelligencer's gossip columns.

Daughter Susan A. "Susie" Wiltrout (1877- ? ) was born in about 1877 in Wisconsin. At the age of about 21, she is known to have spent a year working in southern Richland County. When she made a visit back home to Viola in January 1898, it was announced in the gossip column of the Viola Intelligencer. By 1906, she had relocated to Illinois and had been hired to look after household affairs of Mrs. J.H. Frazier in Wheaton, IL.

Son Norman Wiltrout (1879- ? ) was born in about 1879 in Wisconsin.

Daughter Eleanor Wiltrout (1884- ? ) was born in Nov. 1884. in Wisconsin.

Daughter Bessie C. Wiltrout (1896- ? ) was born in June 1896 in Wisconsin.

More will be added upon further research.


~ James Wiltrout's Children from His Second Marriage ~

Daughter Mary Ellen Wiltrout (1851- ? ) of the second marriage was born in March 1851. In about 1871, at the age of 20, she was joined in wedlock with Sylvester Ewing (Feb. 1849- ? ). They made a home in Greenbrier Township, Greene County, IA. The children born to this union were James W. Ewing, Laura M. Ewing, Warren Ewing, Lena Ewing, Alfred Ewing, Edith E. Ewing, Mabel E. Ewing, Hazel Ewing and Cora R. Ewing. Circa 1900, they provided a home for Mary Ellen's widowed mother and Sylvester's 14-year-old nephew Roland Farthing.

Daughter Caroline Amanda Wiltrout (1851-1923) from the second marriage was born in 1851. She married (?) Mainard.

Son John Irvin Wiltrout (1854-1936) from the second marriage was born in about 1854. He may be the same "John Wiltrout" who dwelled in young manhood in Orange Township, Guthrie County, IA. On Feb. 9, 1883, this John was joined in marriage with 18-year-old Anna Bell Faber ( ? - ? ), daughter of William and Mariah (Miller) Faber. The couple tied the knot in Guthrie County, IA, officiated by justice of the peace N. Hellyer, and witnessed by Lyman Porter.

Daughter Sarah Margaret Wiltrout (1859-1942) from the second marriage was born in 1859.

Son James M. Wiltrout Jr. ( ? - ? ) from the second marriage was born in Dec. 1856 in Wisconsin. He wedded Frances W. (July 1860- ? ). They were the parents of Goldie B. Wiltrout and twins Elsie and Ethel Wiltrout plus two others who died very young. Their home in 1900 was on a farm in Driftwood, Woods County, OK.

Daughter Elizabeth Bersheba "Lizzie" Wiltrout (1863-1912) from the second marriage was born in 1863 in Wisconsin. On March 3, 1885, in a wedding held in Jefferson, Greene County, IA, the 22-year-old entered into marriage with 24-year-old farmer T. Molle ( ? - ? ), son of Joseph and Annie Molle. The wedding was presided over by justice of the peace I.D. Howard, with Elizabeth's father and R.G. Howard serving as witnesses.

Daughter Laura Jane France (1863-1942) from the second marriage was born in 1863 in Walworth County, WI. In young womanhood she resided in Greenbrier Township, Greene County, IA. On April 13, 1883, when she was about age 19 or 20, she wedded 23-year-old Henry D. France ( ? - ? ). He was the son of D.J. and Julia M. (Pronner) France of Walworth County, WI. The wedding ceremony was held in Jefferson, Greene County, by the hand of justice of the peace Harvey Potter. Willie France and Laura Jane's sister Elizabeth served as witnesses. At the time of marriage, Henry was a carpenter residing in Begley, Guthrie County, IA.


Copyright © 2021 Mark A. Miner
Karole (Bertram) Carroll graciously has contributed content for this biography.