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Abraham Tower - The Indiana Years

Updated on July 23, 2018
Virginia Allain profile image

I'm carrying on my mother's research into our family history. I've self-published some family memoirs & learned a lot about different eras.

Two Pages of Abraham Bate's Diary

Unfortunately, it doesn't cover the pre-Civil War years.
Unfortunately, it doesn't cover the pre-Civil War years. | Source

1837 to 1861 - The Pre-War Life of Abraham Bates Tower

I'm researching the details of the life of my great-great grandfather born in 1837.

Abraham Bates Tower lived until 1930 so his life spanned almost a century. The family has some information about his Civil War experience and later life, but not much about his life before the Civil War. That's what I hope to uncover and I'll share with you here what I discover.

Abraham Bates Tower's Parents

Jonathan Warren Tower Sr and Sarah Vest Monroe

Date: October 08, 1999

From, posted by my cousin, Michelle Ayers.

Her Tower family tree "starts with Johnathan Tower and Sarah Bates. Their children were Abraham Bates, Mathew, Carolyn, Rose, Charlotte, Warren, Gifford, and Jane. Abraham B. Tower and Nancy Angeline Long had 10 kids-Emme, Ezakins, Krastus, Laura, Mary, Malissa, Ruben, Sarah Alice, William, and Viola. My husband's grandfather was Viola's son Austin. This has all been passed down to him and I'm the first to research the line on our end. (Note by Virginia Allain: my grandfather was Viola's son Clarence, brother of Austin mentioned above)

I have Abraham Bate's mother as Sarah Vest Monroe b. July 10, 1811, d. September 3, 1884. She was married to Johnathan Warren Tower Sr."

The Tower Genealogy book shows that Sarah (of Crawford County, Indiana) and Johnathan married Feb. 28, 1831. She was born on July 10, 1811, and was the daughter of James and Nancy (Lemastris) Munroe.

The Children of Sarah and Jonathan Tower - of Indiana (Abraham Tower's bothers and sisters)

Of course, we have no photos of Abraham Bates Tower's childhood. This scene might be similar to his early life. The dates and names below for Abraham Bates Tower and his brothers and sisters are from the Tower Genealogy book. There were eleven children though some died within the first few years of life.

Sarah V. (Munroe) Tower died in Alton, Ind., Sept. 4, 1884, at the age of 73 years, 1 month, 25 days.

This is how I Imagine Young Abraham Tower and His Mother Nancy

Pioneer woman and child
Pioneer woman and child | Source

Abraham's Brothers and Sister

  • Matthew - born March 1832. Sarah was 20 years old at the time her first child was born. Matthew married Sarah J. LONG on 5 September 1852. Sarah J. Long was born 4 DEC 1835 in Harrison Co., Indiana. She is the sister to Nancy Angeline Long who married Matthew's brother Abraham Bates Tower. Sarah J. (Long) Tower died 7 FEB 1869 in Crawford Co., Indiana.

  • Louisa Caroline - June 22, 1834. Their second child, born 27 months after the first one. Louisa married Henry G. BATES on the 15th November 1866. Henry was born 8 JUL 1829.

  • Isabel - Oct. 18, 1836, died the same day. The third child.

  • Abraham Bates - Oct. 16, 1837 in Leavonworth, Crawford Co., Indiana. Their fourth child, born one year after the death of infant, Isabel.

  • Rosannah Cassidy - May 10, 1840. Their fifth child. Abraham was about 2 1/2 years old at this time.

  • Harriet Neal - Nov. 16, 1842; died Julv 27, 1843. Harriet died at the age of 9 months. Their sixth child. Abraham was five years old when Harriet died.

  • James Mortimer - June 23, 1844; died July 7, 1844. This baby died in two weeks. Think how devastating these losses might be to the mother and the whole family. Seventh child. This was a year after the death of baby Harriet.

  • Charlotte Temple - Sept. 3, 1845. Just over a year later, this eighth child was born. Charlotte married John Stone WILLIAMS on the 20 OCT 1870 in English, Crawford Co., Indiana. John was born on 5 APR 1827 in Crawford Co., Indiana.

    Their children are:

    Ella Lorena WILLIAMS b: 8 OCT 1872 in Crawford Co., Indiana

    Rovilla Cordilia WILLIAMS b: 29 MAR 1875 in Crawford Co., Indiana

    Otto C. "Henry" WILLIAMS b: 26 FEB 1877 in Alton, Crawford Co., Indiana

    Owen Hite WILLIAMS b: 30 AUG 1879 in Alton, Crawford Co., Indiana

    Lilia Alice WILLIAMS b: 22 JUN 1883 in Alton, Crawford Co., Indiana

    Clifton WILLIAMS b: 17 SEP 1887 in Crawford Co., Indiana

    Benjamin Harrison WILLIAMS b: 1 JUN 1888 in Crawford Co., Indiana

    Charlotte Tower Williams died 13 NOV 1923 in Stendal, Crawford Co., Indiana. She is buried in Flower Point Cemetery, Alton, Indiana.

  • Jonathan Warren - Aug. 21, 1848. About three years later the ninth child was born. Abraham was almost eleven years old. Jonathan married Nancy PEABODY and they had two children

    Ethel G. TOWER b: in Crawford Co., Indiana

    Jesse P. TOWER b: in Crawford Co., Indiana

  • Sarah Jane - Sept. 17, 1853. This is the tenth child. Five years after the birth of Jonathan. Abraham would have been almost 16 years old. Sarah Jane Tower married Martin F. HANGER 15 April 1875. He was born 19 OCT 1854 in Crawford Co., Indiana

  • Levi Gifford - Sept. 27. 1856. Their eleventh and last child. Abraham was 18 years old. The mother, Sarah, was 45 years old. Levi would marry Harriet Isabell PATRICK

Background on Abraham Bates Tower's Name

In Oct. 22, 1732, one of the Tower daughters married Abraham Bates of Weymouth, Massachussetts.

(from Tower genealogy. An account of the descendants of John Tower, of Hingham, Mass.")

Looks like the combination of "Abraham Bates" was passed along in the Tower line for a number of generations.

The "Bates" even passed down to my grandparent's generation. My great uncle, Roy McGhee, had Bates as his middle name.

Abraham Bates Tower Married Nancy Angeline Long in 1858

Abraham Bates, son of Jonathan Warren and Sarah V. (Monroe) Tower,

married Nancy Angeline Long on Oct. 28, 1858, in Crawford Co., Indiana. This was six years after her sister married Abraham's older brother, Matthew.

Nancy Angeline (Long) Tower's Family Background

Nancy Angeline was born in Harrison County, Indiana, May 2, 1840, and was the daughter of Thomas and Nancy Ana (Daggs) Long.

Her mother, Nancy Ana or Nancy Ann was born in 1806 in Charleston, Kanawha, West Virginia She married Thomas Long on 24 Jan 1828 in Harrison County, Indiana according to Genealogy Trails History Group.

(from Tower Genealogy book except when another source is noted)

Places Abraham Bates Tower Lived

The Civil War records for Company G, 93rd Indiana Infantry lists his residence as Leopold, Indiana. This is described as mostly a community of Belgiums. Just before volunteering, he was listed in the 1860 census as living in Crawford County, Indiana.

My Ancestor Was a Cooper

My great-great grandfather made barrels. At least in the 1860 census, he lists "cooper" as his work. Living in Indiana, close to the mighty Ohio River, there was much demand for barrels to ship goods on the river barges.

At that time, Abraham Bates Tower was married and had a child named Laura Ann. They shared the house with another cooper who had a wife and child. Before long, he would go off to the Civil War as part of Company G, 93rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry.

After the war, he farmed and there was no mention of being a cooper again. I imagine that it's a skill that you can put to use on a farm if you have the tools. There's always a need for barrels.

In visiting historic villages in Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, and also New Brunswick (Canada), I had the chance to see coopers at work and admire the useful buckets, washtubs, and barrels they created.

Photos of a Cooper's Work

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The work area for a cooper (photo taken at Strawberry Banke historic village, NH)Besides making barrels, a cooper might make buckets and wooden churns. The metal hoops that went around the barrels. A cooper at work on a barrel in a historic village museum.
The work area for a cooper (photo taken at Strawberry Banke historic village, NH)
The work area for a cooper (photo taken at Strawberry Banke historic village, NH) | Source
Besides making barrels, a cooper might make buckets and wooden churns.
Besides making barrels, a cooper might make buckets and wooden churns. | Source
The metal hoops that went around the barrels.
The metal hoops that went around the barrels. | Source
A cooper at work on a barrel in a historic village museum.
A cooper at work on a barrel in a historic village museum. | Source

Finding Your Indiana Ancestor - Book available from Amazon

This book offers insight on finding your Indiana ancestors. It offers tips and ideas on how to get started and where to go. Books are very helpful in giving new ideas and fresh insight into a variety of topics. If you desire to know your genealogy, I think you'll find this book very helpful.

My Imagination Recreates the Scene of Abraham Tower Leaving for the Civil War

"Take care of the children, Nancy. I hope to be back in time to see Erastus take his first steps," Abraham said.

"They say the war will be over quickly. Erastus is only 4 months old, so it may be 6 months more before he is walking. Laura was a year old before she walked," replied Nancy.

Abraham smiled, "And now, look at her. You'll have a hard time keeping her tied to your apron strings. She wants to chase the chickens and climb on everything."

"It will be awhile before she can be a help around the house or with chickens," Nancy answered, "she's only 2."

Abraham advised, "Ask my father to come over when it's time to bring in the hay. Your father will help too."

Nancy frowned, "Since all your brothers and mine have enlisted too, it's good to have our fathers close by. No one will have as much help as before the war. Some crops may spoil."

"I put the bonus money in the crock in the cupboard," said Abraham, "Make it last as long as you can. You can trade some eggs to the store for things you need."

Nancy looked apprehensive, "It seems like a lot, $25, but I'll be very careful to stretch it."

I need to rewrite this, as I didn't have the dates in front of me while I wrote. Their children were actually a little older than this.)

Abraham's Last Two Years in Indiana


  • August 07, 1861 - Abraham and Nancy Angeline Tower's second child, a son, was born in Crawford County, Indiana. He was named Erastus Laban Tower.


  • August 28, 1862 - This is the date of Abraham Bates Tower's enrollment at Cannelton, Indiana in Company G, 93rd Indiana Infantry. On the list of Company G Enlisted Men, this date is called the Date of Muster.

    Abraham's pension record gives his description at enlistment as: Blue eyes, light hair, light complexion, 5' 7" and age 25. His occupation is listed as "farmer." (from his discharge papers)

    Nancy Angeline Tower remained in Indiana with their 1-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter.

  • September 30, 1862 - Muster Roll at New Albany, Indiana.

    Bounty $25 Cannelton, Floyd County, N. Washington

Little did Abraham and Nancy know that the next time they would meet would be years later in Missouri

© 2011 Virginia Allain

Share Some of Your Successes with Searching Your Family History

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    • delia-delia profile image


      7 years ago

      That looks like my list!

      nicely done lens, seems that the American genealogy is so much easier to do then my European ancestors.

      You know what one of the successes I had? I had a couple of people contacting me in Squidoo telling me they are related, one even had photos of my mom...incredible!

    • VBright profile image


      7 years ago

      Fascinating information! You've done your research! married your cousin?

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image


      7 years ago from McLaughlin

      I was so thrilled when I saw you used the Find a Grave website! I would like to think you learned about it from my article How to Find a Grave--but knowing your research abilities, I bet you knew about the website before I wrote about it! Great research on the Towers family!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      My wife and I met while researching our family histories, and I am working on a book right now about my grandfather, who was one of the last Cape Horners. This is especially interesting as I lived in Indiana (South Bend) for 12 years, and have always been fascinated by The Civil War. Looking forward to updates as you continue your research, blessed.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      7 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Wow, this is going to be an interesting series. You're already uncovering some good stuff with the two Lydias. Love the map of where Abraham lived. I need to figure out how to do that.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      wow. this is a great lens

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      You really have your work cut out for you, but it's a rewarding experience. Good luck!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Good luck with your detective work!


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