Blackwell Genealogy    Henry Blackwell 10.2.5  1839 - 1903

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                          12th Generation



      Henry Blackwell
                       1839 - 1913

 Descendants    William M. Blackwell and Descendants    McKenzie Family    Cohoes Family    Compendium of Northern MN

10.2.5 Henry Blackwell 
b.  25 Aug 1839  Cheltenham, Gloucester, England. (Leckhampton Parish, Leckhampton, Gloucester, Eng.)
d.  27 Jan 1903  Holmes City, Minnesota        Henry was buried in the VanLoon Cemetery, Homes City, MN.
Married:  29 Mar 1860  in Meeker Co., Minnesota.
Amanda VanLoon
b.  13 Aug 1841  Plymouth, Pennsylvania.
d.  13 Apr 1921  Holmes City, Minnesota (In the home of her son, Stephen)     CertID#1921-MN-003434
She is the daughter of  Minor VanLoon and Charity Davenport 
Amanda was buried in the VanLoon Cemetery, Holmes City, MN.



13th Generation Children of Henry Blackwell (10.2.5) and Amanda Van Loon
Mary Janette Blackwell  
   Frances Blackwell     
   William Minor Blackwell 
   John Blackwell              
   Emma Blackwell    (Mrs. John Anderson)
   Stephen A. Blackwell   


Henry Blackwell
     abt 1868



Amanda, Henry, Emma, William, Stephen Blackwell (L to R)
     Left to Right
       Click to enlarge
Amanda, Henry, Emma, William, Stephen  -  Photo was taken at the Henry Blackwell Home
As young Stephen (right) was born about 1877,  I suggest the photo was taken about 1887
Note the surveyor equipment in the photo.


Henry is shown in the 1851 Census as 11 and born in Leckhampton

              Parish of Leckhampton - Believed to be the place Henry Blackwell was Christened   
                                   Parish of Leckhampton

Surveyor Information

Henry Blackwell was the first Surveyor for Douglas County and served two terms according to all Minnesota History facts.  A prepared document signed by all the Surveyors is in my possession contains the actual signature, including that of Henry Blackwell.   It does not report on the Surveyor of 1862 to 1865, which we know was Henry Blackwell's first appointment.  He then repeated the position from 1869 - 1870 and again from 1883 - 1888.  The counties earliest maps are drawn by Henry Blackwell and are on record in the Douglas County Township Records Office.  I have included the list of surveyors below until such time as the copy I have is scanned.

The Historical Facts state that...
"The first surveyed roads in Hudson Township were laid out by Henry Blackwell
                                                       .... from the History of Hudson Township
"Henry Blackwell was the first surveyor of the western part of Douglas County starting in 1862.
He drew  up many of the maps that are recorded in the township records"
                                                       .... from Luther Myhr, Clerk  Holmes City Township
"Henry Blackwell - first of three Judges appointed by the board of County Commissioners - Oct 4, 1866"
                                                       ....from election of Judges - Board of County Commissioners

Douglas County Surveyors

Upon receiving considerable genealogy information from the Douglas County Genealogy Society located in Alexandria, Minnesota,  I found a little extra item that was stuffed into the envelope.  It was a copy of a list of all the names of the County Surveyors,  the years they served the office and their actual signatures.  I will scan this to be entered on this page at a latter date, but for know, I have taken the liberty of copying it out.  Of course, the original signatures are not shown.

Henry Blackwell   1862 - 1865
T.W. Moore            1866 - 1868
Henry  Blackwell  1869 - 1870
Henry Blackwell   1883 - 1888
L.W. Rima                1871 - 1874
Chas. Thompson    1875 - 1878
John Abercrombie  1879 - 1882
John Abercrombie  1889 - 1905
John Abercrombie  1911 - 1919
Arthur E. Morgan   1905 - 1907
E.R. Lausted            1907 - 1910
Harry S. Todd          1919 - 1921
Paul R. Johnson      1923 - 1931
Axel W. Wester      1931 - 1951
Harold S. Hall          1951 - 1963
Richard D. Howe    1963 - 1990
Rodney F. Eldevik  1990 - 1994
Anthony Kerick      1994 -

The original document carries the signatures of each of these men.


Note: Land Title Document

Minnesota Land Document signed by Henry Blackwell
Click to Enlarge


A portion of the Minnesota State Census - County of Douglas Township of Holmes City

Ln #4    Blackwell Family    abt 1864
Blackwell, H  Age 45   Sex - M     Color - W    POB - Eng    Father/Mother - Foreign Born -  Yes /Yes
Amanda        Age 45    Sex - F      Color - W    POB - Eng    Father/Mother - Foreign Born -  No  /No   
William          Age 20    Sex - M    Color - W    POB - Eng    Father/Mother - Foreign Born -  Yes /No    
Emma             Age 10    Sex - F      Color - W    POB - Eng    Father/Mother - Foreign Born -  Yes /No    
Steven           Age   7    Sex - M    Color - W    POB - Eng    Father/Mother - Foreign Born -  Yes /No

Reference to position of Henry Blackwell in 1866

"When the board of county commissioners held its first meeting on 15 June 1866, it was decided that all of Douglas County not included in Osakis Township should be known as Alexandria, or No. 2 Township. The commissioners appointed the first officers as follows: T.W. Sprague - assessor; George Cowing and N.B. Johnson - justices; John Johnson and Henry Blackwell - constables; J. Mont Smyth - clerk; H.S. Rutherford - treasurer. The present area of Alexandria Township includes only congressional Township128 Range 37."

To read the entire contents, Click Here

For more detailed information on Henry and other members of the family - Click Here


Henry Blackwell
1839 - 1903

Photo by Ken Blackwell

From the Obituary of William Minor Blackwell
Park Region Echo - 20 may 1943 Issue.

Henry Blackwell came to America from Gloucester, England.  He filed on a homestead in the Town of Moe, known as the Brandon Farm in the fall of 1861 but when the Indians broke out in August of 1862, he escaped with his family and a neighbour woman and daughter to St. Cloud, meeting the girls husband there.  This family decided never to return.  Mr. Blackwell returned however, got the rights to settle on the place his neighbours had left and proved up a homestead now known as the Blackelin Farm.
(John Blackelin lived there at the time of Henry's death)

Newspaper Article

OBITUARY - Henry Blackwell - 1839 - 1903  Alexandria Post News  Jan 29, 1903

        ""Henry Blackwell died early Tuesday morning from the effect of a stroke of Paralysis, complicated with Bright's disease.  Henry was born in Cheltenham, England, August 25, 1839, therefore he was in his sixty-fourth year of age. In 1851, with his father, he came to New York State where he remained for some time.  He went to Canada in 1853 where he , with his father and brothers, took up a large tract of timberland .  In 1862 he came to Douglas County and took a homestead at Pocket Lake in Holmes City Township, near which he has since lived.  In 1860 Mr. Blackwell married to Amanda Van Loon, daughter of  Minor VanLoon, another pioneer who had come to that section at an earlier date.  Together, they endured all the hardships and privations of a new country, made much harder by the Indian outbreak of 1862.  They went to Sauk Centre for a time that summer, but returning spent the winter on the old Pye place.  They returned to their homes in the spring of 1863.  Their nearest neighbour was at Alexandria, then a mere trading post and a stockade for the soldiers.""

        ""The deceased was one of the best known of the old settlers of the country.  He was employed by the government to survey several of the southern townships in the county.  He was for years, county surveyor and his work stands as a monument to his memory.  A widow, three sons and one daughter survive him.    The sons are Stephen who lived at home and William who has a good farm near that of his father.  
The daughter,
Mrs. John Anderson, also lived near her parents.  The deceased had been in ill health for some time.  He had suffered a stroke of paralysis and was suffering from Bright's disease.  He came to the Hensel Hospital Saturday and lingered until Tuesday morning. The remains were taken home and laid at rest in the home cemetery at Pocket Lake. (VanLoon Cemetery)
The funeral occurred today from the home.  The Rev. W.H. Medlar of this village, officiating.""


The Will of Henry Blackwell

March 26, 1903 - Alexandria Post News
The Will of Henry Blackwell was disallowed.  The Will left the bulk of the property
to the deceased's son, Stephen.  Mrs. Blackwell, the widow, protested and produced
evidence to show the deceased was not competent to make a will at the time the instrument
was dawn.  Judge Seaton disallowed the Will and appointed William Blackwell, another son, administrator.


Taken from the Compendium of History of Northern Minnesota - See Here for full content

"Our subject (Henry Blackwell) joined his father and brothers in Canada in 1854, and together they went north into the unbroken forest called the "Queensbush" and jointly took up four hundred and fifty acres of hard wood timber land.   This they sold some years later to good advantage, and then sought Minnesota as a cure for the "prairie fever".  After reaching Meeker county in that state, the sons, John and George, each secured a homestead, and the father and our subject went to Douglas County.  In 1862 Henry Blackwell took a claim of one hundred and sixty acres on what is now section 3. of Holmes City township, five years before the township was surveyed.  This land he afterward sold and then bought the northeast quarter of section 25, in the same township, which is his present home farm."

Amanda VanLoon
Wife of Henry Blackwell

Amanda VanLoon abt. 1890
Amanda VanLoon
About 1880

Amanda VanLoon Blackwell - In her garden
Amanda VanLoon Blackwell
In her garden at home

We can not confirm this photo but we believe it to be
Amanda Blackwell near the end of her days (1921)
As she was with her son Stephen in the 1920 Holmes City Census,
it is likely this photo was taken then and at the home of Stephen A.

Newspaper Article

OBITUARY  Park Region Echo April 22, 1921 - Amanda Van Loon - Blackwell  1841 - 1921  


""Mrs. Amanda Blackwell, nee Van Loon, was born in Plymouth, Pennsylvania, August 13, 1841.
She moved with her folks to Illinois when she was twelve years old and from Illinois she journeyed to
Meeker County, Minnesota by Ox team after spending four years in Illinois.  It was in 1857 they came to Meeker Co.
""In 1860 she was married to Henry Blackwell in the house where two years later, the first blood was shed in the terrible Indian massacre of 1862.  She was well acquainted with the Jones, Bakers and Websters who were the first victims of the massacre in August 1862".  They arrived at Holmes City, Douglas County in June before the outbreak.  On the 25th of June that year, word reached them of the Indian outbreak and they left that night for Sauk Centre.  They stopped the first day at Alexandria and went on the Sauk Centre the following night.  A few days later, they returned to Alexandria accompanied by a detachment of Soldiers.  A fort was constructed here and the Blackwell's remained under the protection of this for two years, after which they returned to their homestead west of Holmes City on Blackwell's Lake were they experienced the hardships of frontier life, living by hunting, fishing and trapping.
All provisions were hauled from St. Cloud""

""In 1883, they moved to a farm on the south shore of Pocket Lake where she lived until the death of her husband in 1903 (Henry Blackwell).  Two years later, she went to live with her son, Stephen.""(S.A.)  .""She died April 13th, 1921 after an illness of only a few days.  She leaves to mourn her death two sons and a daughter. S.A.Blackwell, Emma and William. 20 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and one sister, Mrs. F.G. Geer of Alexandria, two brothers, L.J. Van Loon of Mt. Vernon, Washington, and Charles Van Loon of Holmes City.""

""The funeral was held on Friday, April 15th from the home of her son, Stephen."" 
"" Internment being in VanLoon Cemetery.""  -  The Rev. Bergstrom officiated.
C.A.Weson  -  J.O.Brandon  -  C.O.Skoglund  -  W.R.Guiles  -  F.J.Lauerman

Mrs. Blackwell, like all the early pioneers, was a most hospitable woman and all the old timers were always assured of a warm welcome at her home.  Those who knew here best will miss her the most.   She lived to be almost 80 years old, a long and useful life.   With her passing, another of the splendid old pioneer women is laid to her rest.

Amanda Van Loon- Blackwell
   1841 - 1921   
Photo by Ken Blackwell

""Mrs. Blackwell, like all other early pioneers, was a most hospitable woman and all the old timers were always assured of a warm welcome at her home.  Those who knew her best will miss her the most.  She lived to be almost 80 years old, a long and useful life.  With her passing, another of the splendid old pioneer women is laid to her rest.""

Newspaper Article

Park Region Echo - April 22, 1921
""They were united in Marriage on March 29th, 1860. The had a total of six children of which 3 were still living at the time of Amanda's death.""
""They are  William Blackwell Sr.  - Stephen Blackwell  - Emma Anderson - Blackwell

""A niece, Mrs. Addy (Addie) McColley of Providence, RI. was also  present at the funeral"  
Note:  This is the daughter of John Blackwell of 1832  10.2.3...

""There was a grandmother, Mrs. Ruth Cohoes of Zimmerman, Minn. and Mrs. Clara Drum ( 
of Minneapolis that were also present at the funeral.""


Indian Uprising

The Indian Uprising in Minnesota that involved our family, ended with 486 white settlers being killed.
On December 26 - 1862,  38 Indians were hung at Mankato, Minnesota.  It all started over the Indians not receiving the money promised them for the land they sold to the Government.  It is reported that during the time, local writers supported the claim of the Indians against the Government.


Excellent Information the some of the Blackwells.

See what George Sr. and Henry saw - NY Photo Album


Holmes City in the 1890s
Early Holmes City Minnesota
1890s Photo
Click to Enlarge

First Map of Holmes City Township
Believed drawn by Henry Blackwell
Click to Enlarge

For an extremely large map of Holmes City Township - Click Here
It is a very clear image and viewing is excellent.

For more photos - Minor Van Loon page. - Click Here

Follow the Website in Family Order - Next  to the sixth & adopted - William (10.2.6)
or go to the pages of the other children
 - Sophia - Elizabeth - John - George Jr. - William
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