Robert M. Street Family


The antecedents of this particular Street family are first found in a now-defunct township called Oxford in Philadelphia County in late seventeenth century Pennsylvania.  During the eighteenth century, the family migrated a short distance east into Bucks County.  Jacob Street was apparently living with his parents in Bucks County in 1820, but joined his brother in the townships west of Zanesville, Ohio shortly thereafter.


Jacob married Tracy Merkins, who was also from Bucks County, on March 5, 1823 in Muskingum County.  Robert M. Street was their second child and was born about 1827.

Robert was married to Emily Jane Hursey on August 12, 1847 in Muskingum County.  The Hurseys had migrated to Ohio from Fairfax County, Virginia early in the nineteenth century, and Emily was born in Green County, Ohio around 1828.


Emily had inherited 60 acres west of Gratiot in Hopewell Township, Licking County, Ohio and a plat map shows that Robert owned this land in 1854.  It is probable that their second child, Ross E. Street, was born there in November 1850.  This property was near the Old National Road and not far to the east of the Ohio Canal.


Robert and Emily had moved their family to north central Illinois by March 1856, as a daughter was born there at that time.  Jacob had moved his family to that area in 1851. 


Emily apparently died in 1856 or 1857, as Robert M. married Orlinda Stirman on March 3, 1858 in Livingston County.  His younger brother Daniel, having come to Illinois with Jacob, had resided in Livingston County since the spring of 1857 and would spend the remainder of his life there.  The Stirmans were apparently neighbors of Daniel.  Robert brought at least four and perhaps five children by Emily to the marriage.  Orlinda had been born about 1837 in Virginia.  Robert and Orlinda were farming in McLean County, Illinois in 1865.  Other children of Robert and Emily also settled in Illinois.


The Robert M. Street family moved to Union County, Iowa to farm in 1873.  Ross E. Street came to Iowa in 1874.  Robert rented land on Section 19 in Highland Township and owned 40 acres on Section 2 in Platte Township in 1876.  The Federal Census of July 10, 1880 shows Robert M. and Orlinda, and their children Chauncey, age 14 (b. 1866), Robert H., age 11 (b. 1869), Della, age 10 (b. 1870) and Annie, age 3 (b. 1877) living in Highland Township.  At this time, Ross was a farm laborer in Douglas Township for B.H. Robberts.


Lillie Ann Street, age 6, died of diphtheria on October 23, 1883.  Her sister Della, age 13, died of “cerebral spinal fever” on February 15, 1884 in Platte Township.  Lillie’s attending physician was B. N. Terry of Creston and Della’s was A. Dunlap of Kent.  The undertaker for both was H. K. Burkett and both were buried in Harmony Cemetery.


R. M. Street signed an annual agricultural lease with Betsey McGrogan on January 3, 1884 for eighty acres in the South ½ of the Northeast ¼ of Section 35 in Douglas Township for $3/acre.  R. M. represented that he owned two horses, two cows, and two hogs on said premises.  He renewed the lease in 1885 with a revision in payment schedule.


In 1885, Ross was living in Douglas Township with Robert M., Orlinda, and their surviving two sons.  Ross was married to Mary E. Miller (b. November 26, 1869 in Trumble County, Ohio) of Afton on February 27, 1890, at a residence by the Rev. G. J. Nixon of the Afton Methodist Episcopal Church.  On February 28, 1891, Ross bought the Southeast ¼ of the Southwest ¼ of Section 35 in Douglas Township from William Ramsey and wife Sarah for $500.


On March 14, 1892, Robert M. and his son Robert H. signed a one-year farm lease for $525 with Mary M. Andrews of Illinois for the Northwest ¼ and the Northwest ¼ of the Southwest ¼ of Section 23, two miles north of Ross’s property.   (This is the last known mention of Robert M. Street, and we have been unable to locate an obituary, death, or burial record for him or for Orlinda.)


On the 1894 plat map, Ross E. owns the 40 acre parcel in Platte Township that R. M. owned in 1876.  The 1895 Iowa State Census shows Ross Street living in Douglas Township.  The 1900 Federal Census shows Ross and Mary with their daughter Rachel E. (b. 1891) and son Theodore Leslie (b. August 15, 1892) in Douglas Township.


Rachel E. died in 1908 at age 17.  Ross was still on his farm, valued at $8000, in 1915.  His total earnings in 1914 were $300, he had an eighth grade education, and his religion was Presbyterian.


Theodore Leslie had taken over the farm by 1920, after his father became ill.  He built a new house and barns that are still on the property today.  Ross died in 1922.  Mary continued to live on the farm until her death on August 25, 1946.  Her obituary noted that she had lived on the same farm for 56 years.


Leslie had two wives.  Marie was born November 6, 1900 and died November 12, 1954.  Leslie married Maude M. Boone (b. 1900, d. May 21, 1988) of Maryville, Missouri on June 14, 1957.  Leslie died in Fontanelle, Iowa on July 7, 1960. 


Ross E., Mary, Rachel E., Theodore Leslie, and Marie lay together in Grove Chapel Cemetery.  My present understanding is that Chauncey is buried in Harmony.