Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Among the Waynicks

I've been thinking lately about telling more stories grounded in Waynick (aka Holmes) Cemetery, located  southwest of Chariton in Section 1 of Warren Township. But that's a little intimidating because it's actually Mary Ruth Pierschbacher's cemetery, or at least that's the way I think of it.

She grew up on the farmstead just south of the cemetery, lived there for most of her life and it was among her childhood playgrounds. She also was a prime mover in its recent restoration by the Lucas County Pioneer Cemetery Commission. In addition, she's descended from the Holmes family, which gave it its secondary name. As a result of all this, Mary Ruth already knows its stores --- and is fully prepared to expose me if I decide to just make stuff up.

So we'll see how this goes.

Eliza Jane (Brown) Dent/Chynoweth, my great-great-grandmother, and quite a few people to whom she was tangentially or directly related are my stakes in Waynick. She came to Lucas County with her second husband, Joseph Turner Chynoweth, just after the Civil War bringing with her Cassius M.C. Dent, the only surviving child by her first marriage and my great-grandfather.

Cassius didn't stick around long and roamed widely before settling down for a time near Rock Rapids in far northwest Iowa, then heading for the western slope of the Big Horns in Wyoming. But Eliza remained.

The Waynicks, from whom the cemetery takes its principal name, are the largest group. They were among Lucas County's first Euro-American settlers and among Chariton's first prime movers and shakers --- but by now that family has managed to vanish entirely --- except here.

Members of the Holmes family and a considerable number with Chynoweth connections (including the Curtis contingent) form the largest secondary groups. But there are Maxwells, Burrs, Brewers, Sheltons and a number of other neighborhood families, too.

The big tombstone here is my favorite in the cemetery. It marks the grave of David Daniel Waynick, perhaps the most prominent member of the clan, who died June 29, 1883, at his home in Chariton, and his wife, Martha, who died less than a year later, on April 20, 1884.

I've written here several times in general or specifically about Waynick, so a couple of the stories already have been told.

Ivan L. Sullivan, although not related to any of the old Waynick families, was buried here during November of 1941 after he had been hanged at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison for the murder of a prison guard. It was due principally to the kindness of strangers that his family found a place at Waynick to bury him. That story is here.

And here's a brief story about Jefferson Waynick, son of Solomon D. and Levisa Waynick, who rests here in an unmarked grave.

Stay tuned for more, if you like, in the weeks to come.

1 comment:

devon waynick cain said...

hello, my name is devon waynick cain and i'm descended from georg wenig > daniel waynick > peter waynickpo >david daniel waynick (wife martha) > david daniel waynick married to elizabeth shearer > frank david waynick...their son and my dad's father. my dad was arthur henry waynick. dad was born in colville, washington near spokane. i was born in cambridge, mass. and currently live in virginia. i grew up in state college, pa where dad was affiliated with penn state university. so, the waynicks have been all over the place!