Florence Alspaugh; Fred N. (b. 1874); Welton E. (b. 28 Feb 1876); Zoe R. (b. 1879) married Henry Mayer; Fanny F. (b. 1881) married Ward Allen; and her twin Florence Daisy (b. 1881). All the daughters, with the exception of Daisy who suffered from ill health, became school teachers.

My father, W. E. Cornell, married Bessie E. Rathbun, a rural school teacher, 30 Jun 1904. She was a cousin of John R. Mott, Postville's Nobel Peace Prize recipient in 1946. Bessie boarded with his parents during the week while attending high school in Postville. Welt and Bessie were rural farmers prior to purchasing an 83 acre tract within the city limits of Ossian. He had previously clerked at the Ettledorf Store and owned a partnership in a farm implement business in this city. They were active in civic affairs. W. E. served several terms on the town council, was active as a polling judge and became town assessor. He held the position of manager of the Silver Springs Creamery for many years.

They became parents of 4 children: Darrel R. (1905 -1976); Elisabeth M. (b. 1907); Chester Clair (b. 1914); and Ralph E. (1918 - 1976).

Ralph married Freda Ralston. He is survived by 2 sons: Ralph Jr. and Robert C. . Ralph Jr. married (1) Linda Faust. They have 2 children: Kristi a graduate of Marquette University, married Anthony Sanfelippo 5 Nov 1994; Mark E. is a student at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. Ralph married (2) Mary Schlicher 7 Sep 1991.

Robert married Denise Schuette. They had 2 sons: Aaron B. and Travis C. .

The Cornells are descendants of Thomas and Rebecca (Briggs) Cornell who emigrated from Saffron Walden, England to Boston in 1637/8. The Puritans of the Bay Colony were intolerant of other religions. Anne Hutchinson and her followers were banished from the colony in 1638. This group, called Antinomians, included John and Sarah Briggs. John was the brother of Rebecca Cornell; Sarah may have been a sister of Thomas. They fled to Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island territory where they established the town of Portsmouth. Thomas and Rebecca followed them in 1640.

By 1642 it became apparent that the Bay Colony was preparing to attach the refugee's property. Roger Williams, who had also been banished from Boston, sought a Royal charter for the Rhode Island territory and was awaiting passage to England in New Amsterdam. The refugees sought sanctuary in the Dutch colony. Gov. Kieft granted permission to settle within the limits of their high mightiness’s jurisdiction and reside there in peace. John Throckmorton and Thomas Cornell examined land 11 miles outside of New Amsterdam, procured a survey and map, and on 6 Jul 1643 the 35 English families were granted a tract of land that later became the town of Westchester.

An attack upon 2 Indian camps by the Dutch caused the redskins to retaliate against the white settlers. Gov. Winthrop recorded in his journal: “...the Indians set upon the English who dwelt under the Dutch. They came to Mrs. Hutchinson in way of friendly neighborhood...and taking their opportunity they killed her and Mr. Collins, her son-in-law, and all of her family and such of Mr. Throckmorton’s and Mr. Cornell’s families who were at home...” Actually, no Cornells were massacred. Likely all were in New Amsterdam awaiting Roger Williams’ passage to England.

On 25 Jul 1646 Thomas Cornell was granted a 4 square mile tract of land along Long Island Sound to the Bronx River. Once again he was driven from New Amsterdam by hostile Indians and returned to his property in Portsmouth.

Many of the descendants of Thomas and Rebecca have achieved prominence in America: Presidents Nixon and Carter and Ezra Cornell, founder of Cornell University and one of the founders of Western Union. Ezra was an associate of Samuel Morse in research and construction of the first successful telegraph lines; Hon. Wm. Ellery, signer of the Declaration of Independence and member of the first Continental Congress; Alonzo Cornell, governor of New York; General Ezekiel Cornell, commander of a brigade of Rhode Island and Massachusetts troops during the Revolution. He served 3 terms in the Continental Congress before being appointed Inspector General of contracts for Washington’s army; Cornell Mayer, an Ossianite by birth, was a member of a team awarded the Nobel prize in science for measuring planetary radiation. A former head of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washinton D.C., he is listed in the Encyclopaedia Britannica footnotes (vol. 19, p. 80) for discovery that Venus is a source of intense radiation at radio wave lengths.

Members of the family have served in all of America’s wars. Over 60 from the states of New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts were soldiers during the revolution. Immediate family members in the Civil War included Nathaniel’s nephews Philip and Mason Bettys and Charles Cornell. The Bettys boys lost their lives in this conflict and are buried in Grand Meadow Cemetery on Hwy. 18 east of Postville. Alphonso's brothers-in-law Levi and Edgar Freeman became early Ossian merchants after the cessation of hostilities.

Immediate members in World War II included Ensign Cornell Mayer, Sgt. Robert Allen, Chief AMM. Ralph Cornell and RMI/C Clair Cornell. Robert lost his life by drowning on a Pacific Island; Ralph saw action on the Russel Islands; Clair’s ship was lost by collision with a tanker during the invasion of Okinawa.

Crabtree, Keith and Dorothy (Johnson)

(Keith and Dorothy Crabtree)

Keith Crabtree and Dorothy Johnson were married 8 May 1946 in Evanston, II.

Keith was born in Winneshiek Co. to Archie and Hazel (Gillette) Crabtree. His family moved to Decorah when he was 2 years old. Keith attended Decorah schools. In 1943 he entered the army and spent 2 years in North Africa.

Dorothy was born in Winneshiek Co. to John and Rosella (Vangsness) Johnson. She attended rural and Decorah schools.

Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living was not transcribed. See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

Please, contact the County Coordinator to submit additions or corrections.

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