I'm willing to bet that Lucas County's Throckmortons are the only local family that, if its members knew where to look, could view the receipt for the stage coach ride that delivered their ancestors to Chariton Point for the first time. That was 165 years ago, just after they had alighted from a steamboat at Keokuk, fresh from Pennsylvania, back in the spring of 1856.
I'm also willing to bet that none of the Throckmortons know where that receipt's at, so here it is --- in the Lucas County Historical Society collection.
It reads, "Keokuk, Aprile the 15th 1856. Mr. Throckmorton has paid for 5 seat in the Stage to Chariton with the privilege of laying over and resuming his seat the next Stage, if room, but in no case will we send an extra for passengers who have laid over. $40.00. Wm. B. Potter, Agent."
The Rev. John Simpson Throckmorton, at 2 years of age the youngest family member along for the ride, left a note dated April 9, 1929, also in the collection, that puts the receipt in context. It reads in part as follows: "John Throckmorton, my father, paid $40.00 for our passage from Keokuk to Chariton --- five seats (5). Father, Mother, M the Colored girl. And we three children in arms. Uncle Michael (Michael Crow Lazier) told me we were in Chariton. Father walked out from Chariton in p.m. and he, Michael, took team and went to Chariton and got us and brot us out to Morford Throckmorton's. There we landed on the 17th of April 1856."
The family party actually consisted of six people, as the note reports: John Throckmorton (1826-1907) and his wife, Nancy Elizabeth Lazier Throckmorton (1828-1906); three sons, John Robinson Throckmorton (1850-1931), Thomas Morford Throckmorton (1852-1940) and John Simpson Throckmorton (1854-1943); and a girl identified as Emy Miller, age 14, born in Missouri, when the 1856 state census of Warren Township, Lucas County, was taken soon after the family had settled there.
Emy, the earliest confirmed black resident of Lucas County, remains something of a mystery. It's my theory that she was a nursemaid who had been hired to help Nancy Throckmorton manage her small children, the eldest of whom was 6 and the youngest 2, during the journey and perhaps beyond. Nancy may not have been especially well at the time --- she had given birth to a fourth child, Mary Frances, born Nov. 17, 1855, who had died Dec. 31, 1855. Buried in Pennsylvania just weeks before the family moved west, the infant has a memorial stone in the Derby Cemetery. The fact that Emy was born in Missouri, if the census record is accurate, suggests that she might have been hired by the Throckmortons in Keokuk rather than accompanying them from Pennsylvania. Whatever the case, there is no further record of Emy Miller.
There seems to have been a slight disagreement between John S. Throckmorton and his brother, Thomas M., regarding the details of the family's arrival in Lucas County as noted on the second page of John's 1929 note: "Dr. T.M., my brother, thinks we came some other way, but Uncle told me how it was when he was here at Derby the last time, and I think Uncle Mike knew best as he was staying in the log house and wintered there while Father was in the East before we moved to our new home."
Here's Dr. Tom's version of the story, as recorded in a 1907 address that he prepared for delivery to the Lucas County Old Settlers Association (you'll find all of that address here in a post entitled "Dr. Tom Throckmorton remembers Derby in 1856").