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Champaign County, Illinois

Lineages - Rinehart Family

Submitted by Celia Snyder

First Generation
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1. Ulrich RINEHART, 6G Grandfather. Born in 1702. Traveled to America 28 Aug 1733, age 29 with wife, Barbra, age 23. Arrived at Philadelphia on the ship Hope of London

Ulrich first married Barbra. Born in 1710.

Ulrich second married .

bef 1757 when Ulrich was 55, he third married Magdalena JAHNIN, 6G Grandmother.

They had one child:
2 i. Martin (1757-)

Second Generation
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2. Martin RINEHART, 5G Grandfather. Born on 24 Nov 1757 in Coventry, Chester, PA. Child:
3 i. Mathias (1782-)

Third Generation
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3. Mathias RINEHART, GGGG Grandfather. Born in 1782 in Chester Co., PA. Occupation: Farmer.

The Rinehart Cemetery was originally located approximately 1/8 mile west of the corner of High Cross Road and Perkins Road

Mathias Reinhart had three brothers, and must have settled in either Chester Co, PA or MD. His son, Martin Reinhart was born in PA. His grand-daughter, Irene Rinehart, of Tulsa, OK loaned me pictures of him and two of his brothers, also of him and his wive Irene Sena Corray Reinhart.[1]

Grandpa Hill said that Matthias Rinehart was the first Postmaster in Champaign County, and his son, Martin Rinehart, was the first treasurer of all the schools in the county.

Grandma Hill said her father had eyes as black as a crow. He became almost blind in his later years from cataracts. He moved to Monroe, Wisconsin because of his wife's health.

Irene Rinehart and her sister Bessie said they never saw Grandfather Rinehart except in a black broadcloth suit, white stiff bosom shirt, cravat, wearing a tall silk hat and carrying a gold headed cane. He was a "tony old guy" they said.

You will notice that Rinehart is in some places spelled Reinhart. In every case this is just the way Martin Reinhart spelled it in his notebook or on existing postal cards, one of which is copied here:

Addressed to: Mr. Isaac Reinhart, Seward Neb. Seward Co.
Urbana, Ill. Feb. 18-82
Read your card all right. Am glad Cal paid the mule business out just leave the money in the bank till I come will be there about July will be glad to see Jim's paper have not had much winter here roads muddy everybody with a sore arm by vaccination Mrs. Donigan is dead was only sick 2 or 3 days no frost in the ground here now could plough if it was not too wet winter wheat looks well so far will go to Wis. about May to Iowa about June friends all well
M. Reinhart

(Editor's Note: Our profiles of early Champaign County residents concludes today with the story of Matthias Rinehart, the first postmaster in what is now Champaign County. The author's daughter is a great-great-great-granddaughter of Rinehart.)

Some of his descendants speak of him as "The Old Dutchman." Recent research indicates, however, that his paternal ancestry was Swiss-a discovery that was pleasing to me.

Matthias Rinehart was the first postmaster in what is now Champaign County. The post office, called Van Buren, was in his home in the west half of the southwest quarter of section 26 in Somer Township. He has been recognized as the first settler in that township.

Rinehart came to the Big Grove northeast of Urbana from Ross County, Ohio, in 1828 or 1829. He and his son-in-law, Walter Rhoades, filed on the tract of land north of the grove, in February 1830.

The post office was established shortly after that. The Big Grove settlement was then in Vermilion County, and when Champaign County was formed in 1833, Van Buren was the only post office in the new county.

With the founding of Urbana as the county seat, Van Buren apparently didn't last long as a post office or a place name. The Rinehart home was about four miles northeast of present Urbana. The site in the southwest corner of a field a short distance south of the network of poles which form a radio range and about two miles north of Brownfield Woods on the road which runs on the east side of the woods.

Matthias Rinehart was born about 1782 in Chester County, Pa. It is believed that he was married three times. His first wife was Phoebe March, born in 1800 in Virginia. The name of his second wife is unknown. His third wife was Elizabeth March, possibly a relative of the first one or a relative by marriage.

Borrowed Name
The family moved from Pennsylvania to Ross County, Ohio, and then to the Big Grove. Other families came to Champaign County fairly early in its settlement from Ross County, although more came from Champaign County, Ohio. Our county was named for that county, and Urbana, Ill., for the Ohio county's seat.

Matthias Rinehart was the father of 11 children. One of them, Martin, was the subject of one of the sketches of pioneers which appeared recently in The Courier.

I can add a note to that piece from "Pioneers of Champaign County," published in 1886. One of his daughters, Elizabeth Seraphine Jackson Hill, told her husband, Henry Hill, in 1891, "Hank, Pa's dead." A short time later the news was received of Martin's death "at the very time of her presentment."

A grandson of Martin remembered him "A toney old guy" who "always wore a black a broadcloth suit, white stiff bosom shirt and cravat." The daughter, Elizabeth, who was remembered as "a tiny black-eyed little old lacy," told absorbing stores about her girlhood in the Big Grove. Some of them, which I have on paper, would be worth retelling.

Journal excerpts
I have excerpts from a journal kept by Martin Rinehart in the early 1860s when he lived near Monroe, Wis.

The Fort Clark Road ran past the matthias Rinehart farm. In 1831 the Illinois General Assembly passed an act "to locate and lay out a road from Pekin in Tazewell County to Vermilion County." That was part of the Fort Clark Road, and Matthias was appointed one of the commissioners in the act.

He also was one of three candidates for election as the first state representative from Champaign County in 1836. Only one was to be elected from the new county. The other candidates were William B. Webber and Dr. James Lyons.

Rinehart and Webber were Democrats, while Dr. Lyons was a Whig. Many of the settlers in the Big Grove were Democrats who came from Kentucky.

Like Rinehart, Webber was a prominent early settler. Dr. Lyons was a well liked physician who had treated many victims of an outbreak of cholera, apparently with considerable success. The Democratic vote in the election was divided between Rinehart and Webber and Dr. Lyons was elected.

Rinehart died about March 13, 1864. He is buried in the old Rinehart family cemetery, on land now owned by Mr. and Mrs. C. Gleason Butzow near their home, The Maples, formerly the John Appleman home. The cemetery, where stones were broken off long ago, and graves cannot be distinguished, is pictured in a historical calendar published in 1908.

Family tree
It was described as the burial place of "100 pioneers."

Ethel V. Taylor of Wichita, Kan., an ardent and productive genealogist, whose late husband, James H. Taylor, was a great-great-grandson of Matthias, has made a family tree containing the names of more than 250 descendants of the first postmaster.

There are photographs of Matthias and martin Rinehart and Martin's daughter, Elizabeth Seraphine. I am fortunate enough to have several of the copies which have water color markings to distinguish the family's branches.

Mrs. Taylor also has compiled a 31-page list of single-space names of descendants with their dates and other information. Looking at it, you get the impression that several thousand persons can call Matthias an ancestor. Many of them still live in this area, and others are scattered across the country.

Some of the surnames of the descendants are: Hill, Marriott, Gilliland, Taylor, Stevens, Kennedy, Miller, Fulkerson, Nyman, Brownfield and Rhoades.

Some of them still farm land on which their ancestors settled in the 1830s or following years. One of those is George L. Stevens, who farms about two miles east of Urbana. A sixth generation descendant of Matthias, he looks like "the old Dutchman," or as I would amend, "the old Switzer."

Thinking about one early settler having so many descendants, you ponder how the pioneers have passed on much that is unseen but still helps shape the lives of countless persons living today. There were many others who cut the tall prairie grass and broke the tough sod in Champaign County and the rest of East Central Illinois and whose heritage has come down the generations as did Matthias Rinehart's.

That gives me much to think about that I consider an appropriate part of each person's private observance of the Bicentennial.

My pleasure on learning from Ethel Taylor that she has pretty well proved matthias' Swiss ancestry stems from the fact that my own paternal ancestry has been traced to the ninth century in Switzerland. None of the credit for that is mine, but Ethel deserves much credit for the digging she is still doing at the age of 82.

Her discovery means to me that my daughter, Conna, has Swiss ancestry on both sides of her family. Conna is a great-great-great-granddaughter of Matthias Rinehart. Her late mother, the former Helen Conaway, was a great-great-granddauther.

My information on the Rineharts came chiefly from the fruits of Mrs. Taylor's research over the years. Helen , my late first wife, had traced her Rinehart ancestry back to Matthias, and her genealogical work unlocked a trove after her death.

Other material in this story came from Clayton Daugherty of Champaign, an authority on local history, who always is on the lookout for facts he thinks I might want (he saves me a log of hunting) and the county histories written by Joseph O. Cunningham and J. R. Stewart.

George Stevens actually made the story possible by getting me in touch with Ethel Taylor. Old Matthias' likeness couldn't have shown up ina more amiabe descendant.[2]

Research: Fifty seven years ago, Martin Rinehart first set foot upon Champaign county soil. Then he was a lad of seventeen years, with his life before him. Today he is here. He has passed the milestone of his boyhood and early manhood, and is rapidly approaching one across whose face is written "Mature Age". Three score and ten alloted to manhood have been his, and nearly all these years have been passed within the borders of this county. To write the history of the county is simply to tell his story. The hardships and privations endured, the hopes and fears, that alternately chased each other flitted across the pathway of this sturdy old pioneer, as he marched from boyhood down to old age.

Martin Rinehart was born in Chester County, Pa., December 8, 1812. His parents, Matthias, and Elizabeth (March) Rinehart were natives of the same county and state. They came west in the fall of 1829, and made a settlement on the farm now owned by A. M. Pauley in Somer Township. There young Rinehart grew to manhood. In 1832 during the Black Hawk War, he enlisted in Capt. Brown's company of mounted rangers, and served one year. He furnished his own horse, gun and clothing. He received for his services, one dollar per day. He and Thomas Butler are the only survivors of that War living in Champaign Co. After this war was ended, he returned home. In 1835 he married Miss Sena, a daughter of Wm. Corray. She died in 1878. In the year 1843 he united with the M. E. Church. Politically he votes with the Republican party. When he came to the county there were but thirty five families. He related the following about those early days.

"The year 1831 was almost without a summer. The cold weather continued until late in the spring, and a hard frost set in on Sept. 20th. It was so severe, that it froze the corn, cob and all. In consequence of the loss of the crop, times got close, and money was extremely scarce. The following year the settlers were compelled to send to Kentucky for their seed corn. In Dec. 1836 a deep snow lay upon the ground. It began to rain and continued all day, when suddenly it turned intensely cold, making ice over the ground and freezing very hard. The sudden change caught many persons unprepared, and they were frozen to death. Two men named Hildreth and Frame were crossing Four Mile Prairie on that day. They became bewildered and lost their way when the change came. They killed their horses, and Frame crawled inside the body of his horse for protection against the cold, but it proved his tomb, as he was found therein frozen to death. Hildreth wandered around all night and when found in the morning he was so badly frozen, that he lost his toes and fingers."

Mr. Rinehart also speaks of the early doctors of that day. Dr. Sadler was the first physician in the county, and he was counted a good one. It is related of him that he attended a family east of Urbana. This family had a large patch of fine ripe and juicy watermelons. The Doctor continued his trips long after the patient was convalescent, and the family dropped upon the idea that the watermelon patch was the chief attraction, and the cause of the Doctor's repeated visits. They gently broke the news to him that his patient was entirely well, and hinted that further visits were entirely superfluous. The Doctor went home, and sent a bill that covered all visits. The family refused payment. Suit was brought to recover the amount. Then the family rendered an account for the watermelons devoured by the Doctor as an effect, and obtained a small judgement against the Doctor. All of the neighbors declared that the decision was a most righteous one. Many other incidents might be mentioned of a similar character, illustrative of the times we speak of, but space forbids.

Mr. Rinehart was very successful in life. He secured a competency and now in the declining years of his life, he takes things easy.[3]

Mathias first married Phoebe MARCH.

Mathias second married .

Mathias third married Elizabeth MARCH, GGGG Grandmother, in Chester Co., PA. They had the following children:
i. Alfred, GGGG Uncle.
ii. Elhanan (Elkanen), GGGG Uncle. On 16 Jan 1840 Elhanan (Elkanen) married Margaret CORRAY, in Urbana, Champaign, IL.
iii. Isaac, GGGG Uncle.
iv. Jesse, GGGG Uncle. On 21 Jul 1831 Jesse married Anna GROVES, in Vermilion Co, IL.
v. Mathias, GGGG Uncle. On 13 Dec 1838 Mathias married Priscilla BEASLEY, in Urbana, Champaign, IL. Possibly remarried to Phebe Redman, 12 Feb 1843 in Vermilion Co.
vi. Nancy Ann, GGGG Aunt. On 8 Feb 1843 Nancy Ann married John L. DONALDSON, in Urbana, Champaign, IL.
vii. Oliver, GGGG Uncle.
viii. Walter, GGGG Uncle.
4 ix. Mary Ann (1811-1872)
5 x. Martin (1812->1891)
6 xi. Eliza (1817-1862)

Fourth Generation
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4. Mary Ann RINEHART[4, Rinehart Family Record, 1959, Ethel V. Taylor], GGG Grandmother. Born on 24 Jan 1811 in MD. Mary Ann died in Jan 1872; she was 60. On 2 Oct 1826 when Mary Ann was 15, she married Walter RHOADES (RHODES), GGG Grandfather, son of Nicholas RHODES (RHOADES) (ca 1761-24 Jan 1830) & Frances (ca 1765/1770-), in Greene Co, OH.[5] Born on 27 Oct 1795. Walter died on 18 Jun 1861; he was 65.

Walter served in the War of 1812 and the Black Hawk War

"...early moved to the West, for a time living in Ohio, and in 1826 moved to Champaign county, Ill." "In 1824, just two years prior to his location in Illinois, he married Miss Mary Rhinehart, and by her became the father of ten children..."

"With the exception of Frances, all the children were born in Champaign county, Illinois."[6]

They had the following children:
i. Frances (1829-1862)
ii. Isaac R. (ca1833-)
iii. Elizabeth R. (1834-)
iv. Eliza Ann (1835-)
v. Mathias Perry (1838-1924)
vi. Nancy A. (1839-1909)
vii. John W. (1841->1861)
viii. Mary E. (1843-)
ix. Phoebe (1849-)
x. Alfred (1851-1928)

5. Martin RINEHART, GGGG Uncle. Born on 18 Dec 1812 in Chester Co., PA. Martin died in Monroe, Green Co, WI aft 18 Dec 1891; he was 79.

"Fifty seven years ago, Martin Rinehart first set foot upon Champaign county soil. Then he was a lad of seventeen years, with his life before him. Today he is here. He has passed the milestone of his boyhood and early manhood, and is rapidly approaching one across whose face is written "Mature Age." Three score and ten alloted to manhood have been his, and nearly all these years have been passed within the borders of this county. To write the history of the county is simply to tell his story. The hardships and privations endured, the hopes and fears, that alternately chased each other flitted across the pathway of this sturdy old pioneer, as he marched from boyhood down to old age.

Martin Rinehart was born in Chester County, Pa., December 8, 1812. His parents, Matthias, and Elizabeth (March) Rinehart were natives of the same county and state. They came west in the fall of 1829, and made a settlement on the farm now owned by A. M. Pauley in Somer Township. There young Rinehart grew to manhood. In 1832 during the Black Hawk War, he enlisted in Capt. Brown's company of mounted rangers, and served one year. He furnished his own horse, gun and clothing. He received for his service, one dollar per day. He and Thomas Butler are the only survivors of that war living in Champaign Co. After this war was ended, he returned home. In 1835 he married Miss Sena, a daughter of Wm. Corray. She died in 1878. In the year 1843 he united with the M.E. Church. Politically he votes with the Republican Party. When he came to the county there were but thirty five families. He related the following about those early days.

The year 1831 was almost without a summer. The cold weather continued until late in the spring, and a hard frost set in on Sept. 20th. It was so severe that it froze the corn, cob and all. In consequence of the loss of the crop, times got close, and money was extremely scarce. The following year the settlers were compelled to send to Kentucky for their seed corn. In Dec. 1836 a deep snow lay upon the ground. It began to rain and continued all day, when suddenly it turned intensely cold, making ice over the ground and freezing very hard. The sudden change caught many persons unprepared, and they were frozen to death. Two men named Hildreth and Frame were crossing Four Mile Prairie on that day. They became bewildered and lost their way when the change came. They killed their horses, and Frame crawled inside the body of his horse for protection against the cold, but it proved his tomb, as he was found therein frozen to death. Hildreth wandered around all night and when found in the morning he was so badly frozen, that he lost his toes and fingers.

Mr. Rinehart also speaks of the early doctors of that day. Dr. Sadler was the first physician in the county, and he was counted a good one. It is related of him that he attended a family east of Urbana. This family had a large patch of fine ripe and juicy watermelons. The Doctor continued his trips long after the patient was convalescent, and the family dropped upon the idea that the watermelon patch was the chief attraction, and the cause of the Doctor's repeated visits. They gently broke the news to him that his patient was entirely well, and hinted that further visits were entirely superfluous. The Doctor went home, and sent a bill that covered all visits. The family refused payment. Suit was brought to recover the amount. Then the family rendered an account for the watermelons devoured by the Doctor as an offset, and obtained a small judgement against the Doctor. All of the neighbors declared that the decision was a most righteous one. Many other incidents might be mentioned of a similar character, illustrative of the times we speak of, but space forbids.

Mr. Rinehart was very successful in life. He secured a competency and now in the declining years of his life, he takes things easy."[3]

On 22 Apr 1835 when Martin was 22, he married Irene Sena CORRAY, in Urbana, Champaign, IL. Born in 1815.[4, Rinehart Family Record] Irene Sena died in 1878; she was 63. They had the following children:
i. Elizabeth Seraphine (1837-1921)
ii. William M. (-1933)
iii. Albert
iv. Mary
v. Isaac (1850-1941)
vi. Martin Seabury (Sib) (1856-1954)
vii. Margaret Jane (Jennie) (1859-1952)
viii. Oliver (-1863)

6. Eliza RINEHART, GGGG Aunt. Born in 1817. Eliza died in Urbana, Champaign, IL in 1862; she was 45. Buried in Mt. Olive Cemetery, Mayview, Champaign, IL. On 26 Jan 1835 when Eliza was 18, she married Stephen BOYD, GGG Grandfather, son of William BOYD (ca 1784-Sep 1838) & Elizabeth (Eliza) WILEY (-Sep 1838), in Urbana, Champaign, IL. Born on 17 Dec 1805 in Shelby County, KY. Stephen died in Urbana, Champaign, IL on 14 Aug 1873; he was 67. Buried in Mt. Olive Cemetery, Mayview, Champaign, IL. They had the following children:
i. Elizabeth
ii. Jemima (-1846)
iii. John Matthias (-1838)
iv. Mary
v. Isaac (1842-1862)
vi. Emma (Emily) (1849-1932)
vii. Catharine (1851-1893)
viii. Allen S. (1854-1933)

Sources

1. Ethel V. Taylor, October 1959.
2. "The Courier," Champaign-Urbana, IL, 14 Jul 1975, 13, Newspaper, William H. Judy, Courier State Editor.
3. Early History and Pioneers of Champaign County, Illinois, Champaign County Herald, Urbana, Illinois, 64, 1886.
4. Family Records
5. LDS IGI:
6. Commemorative Biographical Record of the Counties of Rock, Green, Grant, Iowa and Lafayette, Wisconsin, J. H. Beers & Co., Chicago, IL, 814-815, 1901.
7. Milton W. Mathews and Lewis A. McLean, Early History and Pioneers of Champaign County, Champaign County Herald, Urbana, Illinois, 136, 1886.


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