Saturday, March 12, 2016



In 1850 Henry and Nancy Matney Corel and children lived in Jackson County, Missouri, having come from Tazewell County, VA.

The family on the census looked like this:
Henry 35
Nancy  30
Sarah  11
William  10
Jemima  8
Julia  6
Margaret  4
Louisa  2
  ....................Shortly there would be a baby Rebecca.
                            and daughter Sarah would marry in 1853 and stay in Missouri.

The family moved across the Missouri River as soon as Kansas opened up for settlement, and in May of 1855 the Henry Corel family looked like this:
Jemima  13
Julia 11
Margaret 9
Louisa 5
Rebecca 3

Where were Dad, Mom and William?

In 1929, Jemima's daughter Agnes wrote a family history and here is part of her story:

Nancy Corel, Henry, her husband, Will, their teen-aged son, and Nancy's sister Jemima all died within a week of measles, the epidemic of measles at Lawrence....They survived an epidemic of small pox and died of measles.  All four of them lay dead in the house - one room - at the same time. The neighbors came in and built coffins of native walnut lumber so abundant in Kansas in an early day....Mama said she could hear the hammers building the coffins.  Mama was fourteen.

All those who died in the measles epidemic were buried on Mt. Oread.  Later this was vacated as a cemetery but the graves being unmarked it is likely their ashes are still there.  

When Henry's estate was probated, the children were all named but it was noted that Sarah couldn't be found and was never heard from again.

Although Agnes didn't know this, (and I uncovered it in the process of researching this family), when the "Pioneer Cemetery", which was on the grounds of KU, was vacated, the bodies were moved to Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence and placed in the large COREL section.

As to that cemetery, the property that later became Oak Hill Cemetery was originally purchased by Henry Corel when the family moved from Missouri to Kansas, sold to Thomas Sternberger by the estate administrator, and in turn was donated by him to the city of Lawrence.

Henry Highland Corel was my great-grandmother's oldest brother.  She was Nancy Maryland Corel, who married first Frank Lahay and after being widowed, married James Sellers Dobbins.

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