When I was a lad my father used to tell me wild stories about our Jordan family, one of which was about my great-granddad with the funny name, Mount Etna Jordan. Etna (as he was called in his youth) raised cattle on his father’s farm in northern Indiana; and when they were ready to be sold, he would take them to the stockyards in Chicago.
One year in the mid-1840s, after a particularly troublesome cattle drive, Etna was disheartened to learn that the Chicago stock buyers had more cattle than they could handle, and they wouldn’t pay his asking price. Not one to compromise when it came to matters of the purse, Etna devised a plan to persuade them to reconsider.
The next day he went from store to trading post all around Chicago–which at the time had in excess of 10,000 people–until he managed to buy up all the salt in town. Then he went back to the stockmen and suggested that if they didn’t give him the price he wanted for his cattle, he wouldn’t sell them any salt for theirs. As Etna walked home that night with a full wallet, he smiled at the thought that some day he’d tell his own son about how a young Hoosier farm boy outsmarted the big cattle dealers of Chicago.
Don’t know whether the story was true or not–it’s said Great-Grandpa wasn’t a stranger to coloring the truth occasionally–but it made me want to learn more about my ancestors. When my high school English teacher assigned a paper on genealogy, well, Jordan Family Research was born; and I’ve been at it ever since.
My Descent from James Jordan of Greenbrier, Kanawha and Cabell Counties:
James Jordan (c1745-after1820)
William Jordan (c1772-1845)
William Jordan (1803-1876)
Mount Etna Jordan (1826-1900)
George M. Jordan (1885-1918)
George M Jordan (1919-1993)
Moi (Jerry Jordan)