Sunday, May 31, 2020

Jerome C Wiltse 1834-1924

Parents: Jeremiah & Sarah Green Wiltse, Civil War Commander of the "Rotten Flotilla", Served with Co."K", 48th MO, Inf.

Jerome Wiltse was born in Clarence, Erie County, New York, 12 October 1835.  One of twelve children of Jeremiah and Sarah (Green) Wiltse, he worked on his father’s farm and was educated in a local school.  In 1853-1854 he attended Genesee Wesleyan Seminary and College at Lima, and in 1854-1855 he took a course at Shader’s Commercial College, after which he returned to the family farm.  On 7 December 1859 he married Mary L. Wahl of Erie County, New York and they farmed in Wisconsin where he farmed until 1861, when he took the family by covered wagon to settle on a claim seven miles east of Falls City, Nebraska.

On September 3, 1864, he enlisted in an infantry regt., Co. I, forming at St. Joseph, Missouri, and was discharged from service 29 June 1865 from Co. K, 48th Mo. Infantry.  Through 1883 he farmed and ran an apiary, (the place where bees are kept)  and in 1883 he went into what is now Rock County where he managed a herd of cattle, returning to Rulo in the next year.  In October 1905, he traded property for a site in Falls City, Richardson County, Nebraska.  While there he wrote “Memoir of Phillipe Maton Wiltse and his Descendants,” a family genealogy which was later published in 1908.

Jerome Wiltse died 1 December 1924 and was probably the oldest G.A.R. veteran in that vicinity of Falls City at the time of his death.  He had been a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Nebraska Territorial Pioneers.  His wife preceded him in death 15 January 1915. (2 Boxes of documents are held in the Nebraska History library Source)

The Journal-Times Thursday, December 11, 1924 issue
Father Dies At Advanced Age
     A. B. Wiltse received word last week of the death of his father Jerome Wiltse, of Falls City,
Nebraska. The Falls City Daily News contained the following obituary in its issue of Dec. 3rd:
     "Jerome Wiltse was born in Clarence, Erie County, New York, October 12, 1835. He died December 1, 1924 at 5:18 p.m., aged 90 years, 1 month and 19 days.
     "He was the youngest and last surviving member of a family of five sisters and six brothers.
     "He was married to Mary L. Wahl, in Newstead, Erie County, New York, December 7, 1859.
     "Mr. Wiltse leaves surviving him eight sons and one daughter: Carlos P. Wiltse, Mariaville,
Nebraska; Dr. Edward W. Wiltse, Modale, Iowa; George W. Wiltse, Dawson, Nebraska; Albert B. Wiltse, Ritzville, Washington; Clarence H. Wiltse and John Wiltse of Falls City, Nebraska, and Miss Mary E. Wiltse, who is engaged as a teacher in the school of New Castle, Wyoming. Mrs. Wiltse passed away
January 15, 1914.
     "Shortly after his marriage in 1859, Mr. and Mrs. Wiltse moved to Mukwonga, Wisconsin, where they lived until 1861. In May, 1861, they left Wisconsin in a covered wagon and moved to Nebraska. In the summer of 1861, Mr. Wiltse purchased an unimproved farm about six and one-half miles northeast
of Falls City, where he resided until October, 1905, when he moved to Falls City, where he resided until his death.
     "In September, 1864, he enlisted at St. Joseph, Mo., in Co. 1, later of the 448th Regiment of
Captain John Grigsby. He was honorably discharged from service June 29, 1865. Mr. Wiltse was a member of the G. A. R., son of American Revolution and Nebraska Territorial Pioneer Association.
     "Mr. Wiltse belonged to that sturdy class of pioneers which early settled this western country and under whose industry it was transformed from a wild prairie desert into a veritable garden.
He was of strong conviction, and was always outspoken in his convictions. He was a man of unimpeachable character whose word was always as good as his bond. He was not only impatient with all kinds of falsehoods, shams and hypocracy, but unhesitantingly condemned them in any form. He was true to his friends and never forgot a favor.
     "Mr. Wiltse was a man of high scholarly attainments and read extensively along historical and scientific lines. He was intensely loyal and devoted to his family and his country. His last illness was of short duration. He passed away peacefully and without a struggle.
    "The body of Jerome Wiltse has been moved to the home of his son, Clarence,"

Mr. Jerome Wiltse, Sr. makes the following statements:
“I was in Rulo during the summer of 1861, searching a place to buy for a home. Abraham St. Pierre, the husband of a daughter of the youngest of the La Charity’s, whom Lewis and Clark found living the farthest up the Missouri river in 1804 of any white people, at the mouth of what is called the Charitan river, was there. Bob White Cloud, son of the Iowa chief, was present. He lived on the northeast quarter of section 1, town 1, range 17, east. He said that the Otoe Indians had occupied the country before the Iowas and other people had lived in it, who buried their dead in graves walled up with stone, which was not the Indian custom. He said that the Iowas had dug down in one northeast of his place, by a wall, to bury a bundle of the bones of some of their dead, and something from the grave frightened them away. On the day set for the land to be sold, St. Pierre and I went to Arago by way of Rulo, over the bluffs, as far as Winnebago. On the way he pointed out to me the graves of the Iowa Indians and the one in which they had made the attempted intrusive burial. Cass Jones served a term in the army and then located on the southwest corner of section 30, town 2, range 18 east. The grave was on his land, near the west line. This grave was about four feet deep, seven feet wide the twelve feet long. Francis Dupuis was engaged to act as agent for the American Fur Company, of St. Louis, Mo., in 1832. He came from Quebeck, Canada, into the United States by way of Lake Superior and across the country to Fort Mandan, near the Missouri River. As members of an Indian tribe he saw men with blue eyes, half breeds and quarter breeds who had red whiskers and were of Welsh descent on the fathers’ side for several generations back. He told of seeing sepulchral mounds or borrows that were walled and used to enclose the dead of some race of people that came to the Missouri river country, he thought from down stream, and buried their dead in that way. Those of them that lived had intermingled with the Indians, as had been done by the Welsh he described Mr. Dupuis married a sister of Chief White Cloud and raised a family. His house was south of Rulo, near the Nemaha river. He died there some years ago and is buried near Roy’s creek, in the Iowa burying place. (source: Collections of the Kansas State Historical Society: Volume 14, Ground-houses Indians, Stone-cist Grave builders page 479)

Why is Jerome's history psychological?
George Olin Zabriskie, F.A.S.G., C.G., published the definitive account of the early Wiltsies in his article, "The Wiltsie Family of Early New York", that began in the NYG&B "Record" in the July 1975 issue (106:3). He begins his article with "Hendrick Martensen Wiltsie van Copenhagen, founder of the Wiltsie family in New Netherland was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. We do not know with certainty when he was born there or when or with whom he came to New Netherland, despite family traditions to the contrary..."

As a coda to his documented, serialized account of the early generations of the Wiltsie family, in the January 1977 issue of the "Record" (108:1) Zabriskie ended with a section titled, "An Interesting but False Walloon Ancestry". Here he discusses in detail the work that Jerome Wiltse, Sr. published in 1908, "A Genealogical and Psychological Memoir of Philippe Maton Wiltsee and His Descendants". Zabriskie says of Jerome Wiltse, Sr., "Jerome was born 13 October 1835 in Clarence, Erie County, New York, and died 1 December 1924 in his ninetieth year, in Falls City, seat of Richardson County, Nebraska, an area in which he had lived since 1861. His interests were many.....including American Indians and the occult. These last two interests are evident in his history of the Wiltsee family, and are reflected in the "Psychological Memoir" phrase in its title... Jerome, in effect, thus warned his readers that his account of the activities of family members was based not only on normal genealogical research, but also on his to-be-demonstrated mental abilities and self-claimed "occult powers".... Jerome also called these "supernatural powers", "Party insight". and "spirit power", and many times labeled the "results" a "family tradition". Jerome Wilse, Sr. thus invented his immigrant ancestor, "Philippe Maton", out of whole cloth. Jerome says quite openly, "What is here written of him is principally known to the writer through tradition and by retrospective vision". (Source: Roots Web Dorothy Koenig 2003)

Mary L. Wahl b. in Buffalo, N. Y., May 2, 1839, was educated in the common school branches, and instructed in vocal and instrumental music, and given such other opportunities for improvement as were commonly given young ladies in that vicinity.

She accompanied her husband to Mukwongo Wisconsin in December, 1859, and in May, 1861, with her child, went with him in a covered spring wagon on the journey to the Delaware Indian tract of land in Kansas in search for a desirable location for a home, and then returned to Falls City, where she remained until his return from a journey to Wisconsin, and until he made a purchase of land in Rulo Precinct, to which she accompanied him. Here she raised her family, and mostly through her agency, its members were trained in the rudimentary school branches, and in music.

She was careful, pains-taking, industrious, discreet in her conversation, and kind to her children and other relatives, and to her neighbors. On October 20th, 1905, the two moved to Falls City to live, and have made their home at the corner of McLane and 2d streets. (Source Jerome’s book: A genealogical and psychological memoir of Philippe Maton Wiltsee and his descendants : with a historical introduction referring to the Wiltsee nation and its colonies online. Published 1908)

Documents related to Jerome Wiltsee aka Wiltse:

The American antiquarian and oriental journal: Volumes 6-8

1869 Nov 18 Nebraska Herald

1874 July 16 Nebraska advertiser

The Courier 1895 Sept 7

1906 May 25, Falls City Trib

1908 June 4 Falls City Tribune

1907 May 3 Falls City Tribune

George William Wiltse, Clarence Horace Wiltse, Louise Weinert Wiltse, John Wiltse, twin James Wiltse, only female, Mary Elizabeth Wiltse, front row, Jerome Wiltse, wife Mary Lena Wiltse, Carlos Palmer Wiltse, his wife Lizzie Payne Wiltse, Edward Wahl, his wife Della Mae Johnson. December 7, 1909 in Falls City Nebraska, on the golden anniversary of Jerome and Mary Lena Wahl Wiltse. Absent were two people, Jerome Christian Wiltse, Albert Byron Wiltse, absent because Albert Byron had a hernia and was always sick with the hernia. He was a lawyer and was very sick. Jerome Christian Wiltse was absent for unknown reasons.  Jerome had a 4 years old who died of diphtheria. Much of Marjorie Reddington's came from Aunt Mary, on the back row. Marjorie has 2 diaries, she was unmarried and was in education in Western Nebraska. She was the miradoma of the Wiltse. She kept people together, everyone knew her as Aunt Mary. She wrote to the boys during the war. She sent out informational tracts questioning everyone asking for information: marriage dates, how did you meet your spouse. She  made genealogy come alive. 

Source for the following photos and short history - Jerome’s book: A genealogical and psychological memoir of Philippe Maton Wiltsee and his descendants : with a historical introduction referring to the Wiltsee nation and its colonies online. Published 1908)

JEROME WILTSE, Section 3 Rulo Precinct, P. O. Falls City, Neb. farmer, settled on his present farm in 1861. He operates 235 acres of land, raising grain and stock. His hogs, of which he has 100 head, are of the short faced Lancashire breed. He also makes a specialty of Italian bees, of which he has at present 120 hives. Mr. Wiltse was born in Clarence, Erie Co., N. Y., October 12, 1834. He was educated at the Lima Seminary. In December, 1859, he moved to Waukesha County, Wis., where he remained engaged in farming until he moved to Nebraska, in 1861. Mr. W. was married in Erie County, N. Y., December 7, 1859, to Miss Mary M. Wahl, of Buffalo N. Y. They have nine children living, Carlos P., Edward, George, Jerome, Albert, Clarence, John, James and Mary; Corban and David dead. Mr. Wiltse has twice been a Delegate to the Democratic State Convention. He enlisted in 1864, in Company I, Forty-eighth Missouri Volunteers, and served until the close of the war.

1896 Jefferson Precinct. This area is just south
of Arago. Jerome will live another 28 years.
Jerome's property is just north of the Cemetery
the Weinert's are buried in. 

1924 Jefferson Precinct. This area is just south
of Arago. Jerome will die this year..

Falls City Museum
exhibit of Jerome Wiltse
objects and photos

Steele Cemetery, Falls City

Everything about Jerome Wiltsee
is big, including his grave marker
in Steele Cemetery, Falls City, NE