Baker & Bolles, Wimber & Gibbs, and more

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  • ID: I166
  • Name: Erastus BOLLES
  • Surname: Bolles
  • Given Name: Erastus
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 1821 in Eaton, Madison Co., New York
  • Death: 1881 in Afton, Washington Co., Minnesota
  • _UID: C075B8B724458A4FB115A44DD157B7A11DD4
  • Note:
    Erastus emigrated to Afton, Washington Co., Minnesota, where his uncle Lemuel Bolles had settled. {Afton Historical Society,}
    "Erastus was the nephew of Lemuel. According to Grant, he was born in 1821 in Eaton, New York, learning the trade of blacksmithing and tool making from his father in Oxford, Massachusetts, where he met Sophronia Hayward whom he married in 1847. The couple moved to New Boston, Connecticut where they resided for two years before proceding to Milbury, Massachusetts, ?where he manufactured hoes for two years,? then to Southbridge, ?where he was a silversmith and jeweler for nine years.? In 1855 Erastus, at the age of 33, visited uncle Lemuel in Valley Creek. Lemuel was at this time operator of Milton Mills and postmaster. ?Liking what he saw here,? Grant writes, Erastus ?returned to Southbridge, Mass., where he collected wife, son, daughter, mother-in-law, and family possessions, and in 1856 returned to his land in what is now Valley Creek.? Robb tells us that ?Erastus operated a blacksmith shop, manufactured farm equipment, opened the second flour mill in Valley Creek (1856) and started the communities first general store.?
    "Erastus Bolles. Born in Madison County, NY in 1821. Worked as a blacksmith and tool maker with his father. At age 21 went to New Boston, Conn. He worked his trade for 2 years, then went to Mass. and engaged in a jewelry business for 9 years. He married Sophronia Hayward of Oxford, NY in 1847. They had three children, one of which was Charles Bolles. In 1856 he came to Valley Creek and built his first home which is part of the present home. He started a blacksmith shop and two years later added water power. In 1873, he gave up this business and started a store, which burned in 1880. He rebuilt the store and became the postmaster in Valley Creek." {Evergreen Cemetery, Washington Co., Minnesota, <>}
    He married Sophronia Hayward in 1847 in Oxford, Worcester Co., Massachusetts. {IGI, batch 7210206, 'Patron Sheets', <>}
    According to the research of Gerald Lee Bolles, Erastus and Sophronia had 3 children:
    Emma Frances 1848-1929, m. Silas Geer;
    Charles Erastus 1853-1933;
    and Fred Haywood 1860-1948 CA.
    "Another unspoiled group of Yankee houses clusters near the site of the old Bolles mill in the lost hamlet of Valley Creek, northwest of After. There, in 1856, Erastus Bolles, a silversmith, who had followed his uncle Lemuel into the valley and adopted the more profitable frontier profession of miller, built a simple white house like those of his native Oxford, Massachusetts. Around it grew a little village of conservative taste. When Silas Geer bought some land across from Bolles and built his house in 1874, he avoided the use of any decoration, although the picturesque revivals were well underway elsewhere. " {Historic Homes of Minnesota, by Roger G. Kennedy, 2005, <googlebooks>, 5 July 2009}
    According to IGI records, Emma Frances 1848-1929 married Silas Geer in 1873, and Fred Haywood 1860-1948 m. Eva Davidson in 1906.

    In the 1850 census for Worcester, Massachusetts, Erastus Bolles is 29 (trader?) from New York, with Sophronia 20 MA?, and Emma 2; Alexander Boyd is 32 engraver from England; with Isabella 30 England, John 3 MA; William 1 MA; and Charles 20 England ('deligner?').
    In the 1855 Massachusetts state census for Millbury, Worcester, Erastus Bolles is 34 NY 'blacksmith', with Saphrona 31; Emma F. 7; and Charles E. 1 -- all born MA.
    In the 1860 census for Afton, Washington Co., Minnesota, Erastus is 38, a master blacksmith from New York. His wife Sarah L. is 31 from Massachusetts and the children are Emma T., 12; and Charles E., 7 -- both born in Massachusetts. {M653, roll 576, p.459} His brother Geo. W. and his uncle Lemuel live on either side of him.
    In the 1865 Minnesota State Census for Afton, Washington Co., Minnesota, there are listings for Erastus Bolles with Sophronia, Emma, Chas., and (Findley?); as well as for Lemuel Bolles with William, Julia and George; and for Geo W. with Mary and Frank -- all in a row.
    In the 1870 census for Afton, Washington Co., Minnesota, Erastus Bolles is 49, blacksmith from New York; Saphronia 45 Mass, Emma 20 MA, Charles 17 MA, and Fred 8 Minnesota. {p. 4} There are also listings for Lephronia Bolles 1825, and Erastus 1821 (listed twice?).
    In the 1875 Minnesota state census for Afton, Washington Co., Minnesota, Erastus Bolles is 54 NY (parents same); with Sophronia 52 Massachusetts (father NY, mother MA); Charles 21 MA and Frederick 14 MN.
    In the 1880 census for Afton, Washington Co., Minnesota, Erastus is a farmer, age 59, born New York (father Connecticut, mother Massachusetts); and his wife is Sophronia, age 56 from Massachusetts (parents Massachusetts). Their children are Charles, a miller age 26, born Massachusetts; and Freddie E., farming, age 19, born Minnesota. They also have a laborer, Wm. Fournier from New York living with them; and Sophronia's mother, Samantha Haywood [sic]; age 81 from Massachusetts (father England, mother Scotland). {p. 202a}

    Sophronia, Erastus, and son Charles, as well as [Sophronia's mother] 'Seinanthe Hayward', are buried in Evergreen Community Cemetery in Afton -- no dates noted.
  • Change Date: 8 Dec 2014 at 09:04:00

    Father: Erastus BOLLES b: 1788 in Union, Tolland Co., Connecticut
    Mother: Hannah CHENEY b: 1793 in Southbridge, Massachusetts

    Marriage 1 Sophronia HAYWARD b: ABT 1824 in Massachusetts
    • Married: 1847
    1. Has No Children Emma Frances BOLLES b: 1848 in Massachusetts
    2. Has No Children Charles E. BOLLES b: Oct 1853 in Oxford, Massachusetts
    3. Has No Children Fred Hayward BOLLES b: Aug 1860 in Afton, Washington Co., Minnesota

    1. Title: Gerald Lee Bolles Genealogy Pages
      Author: Gerald Lee Bolles
      Publication: <>
      accessed 16 May 2006
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