William Jordan, third son of William Jordan and Blanche Fullerton,[1] was born along the Mud River in Kanawha County, Virginia (now Cabell County, West Virginia), on December 17, 1803.  Little is known about his childhood, other than he learned farming from his father, and he was raised as a good Christian, belonging to the local Union Baptist Church.William and Catherine

Jordan William - father-1
Monticello Herald
Monticello, Indiana
May 18, 1876

William married Catherine Sexton in Cabell County on March 19, 1826.  The fourth of ten children born to William Sexton and Elizabeth Black, Catherine was born in Greenbrier County on April 9, 1806.  When she was three years old, her family followed in the footsteps of several neighbors (including William’s parents eight years earlier) moving westward to settle new lands near the Ohio River in Kanawha, now Cabell County.  It was there on the Mud River in 1813 that her father, William Sexton, purchased 100 acres of prime land from James Jordan, her future husband’s grandfather.

After their marriage in 1826, William and Catherine briefly made their home in Cabell County, but by the autumn of 1827, the newlyweds had packed up their belongings and joined other members of the Jordan family to leave for new lands out west that had just opened up for settlement.  There is some question as to their group’s intended destination.  They may have initially been heading for Sangamon County, Illinois, where other relatives, including William’s Uncle Jonathan and Catherine‘s brother William had settled the year before.  Family legend has it that when they reached Tippecanoe County in western Indiana, they were forced to cut their journey short because someone in their party had become ill.

Whether intentional or not, the Jordans must have found the area around Lafayette, Indiana, to their liking, because they ended up settling there permanently.  William and Catherine homesteaded in Tippecanoe County until 1844, then moved north to some land William had purchased in White County.

William Jordan, a resident of Tippecanoe County, moved into [West Point] township, settling on his entry in section 35, southwestern portion, which he had taken up in 1842.  He afterward purchased the bulk of the 480 acres of canal lands in section 36, but fixed his homestead on the tract in section 35, which comprised the large and beautiful grove bearing his name.  Within the 18 square miles comprising the east half of Congressional Township 26, range 6, and the west third of West Point Township, the Jordan family represented, for many years, its sole residents.[2]

William Jordan was raised to be a thrifty man who appreciated the value of hard work and investing in the future.  These qualities made him very successful and one of the most prosperous farmers in the region.

… Southeast of Denton’s grove, three or four miles, was another grove known as Jordan’s grove.  This grove, as well as a very large tract of prairie land surrounding it, was owned by William Jordan… He was a well-to-do farmer, and had an abundance of everything necessary to make himself and family comfortable.  He was a close trader.  He kept a great many horses and large herds of cattle, which he occasionally disposed of when the markets suited him.  He had land enough to give each of his children a good farm.  In addition to William Jordan’s extensive holdings of real estate at Jordan’s grove, he was the possessor of quite a number of lots in Carpenter’s Station [now Remington, Indiana]… In 1860 William Jordan could drive his team from his residence, in Jordan’s grove, to his brother’s, John Jordan‘s, in Carpenter’s grove, a distance of about eighteen miles, without passing a farm house or laying down a fence, or meeting any other obstacle in the way excepting the waters of the Monon and the tall prairie grass.[3]

Sexton Catherine
Monticello Herald
Monticello, Indiana
October 5, 1876

An active man who was seldom ill, William suffered from asthma in his final years.  He died on Sunday evening, May 5, 1876, at his home in West Point Township, White County, Indiana.  His wife, Catherine Sexton Jordan, followed him four months later on September 28, 1876.  They had been married for fifty years, a remarkable feat in the nineteenth century.  William and Catherine are buried under a Scotch granite limestone monument next to several of their children in Mount Gilboa Cemetery, Benton County, Indiana.

William and Catherine are found in the censuses of 1830-TippecanoeIN, 1840-TippecanoeIN, 1850-WhiteIN, 1860-WhiteIN, and 1870-WhiteIN. William is probably also in 1820-CabellVA in the household of his father, William Jordan.[4]

Children of William Jordan and Catherine Sexton[5]

Jordan Mount Etna
Mount Etna Jordan

1. Mount Etna Jordan was born on December 29, 1826 in Cabell County, (West) Virginia, and died on September 2, 1900 in Carpenter Township, Jasper County, Indiana.  He is buried in Remington Cemetery, Jasper County, Indiana.  He married (1) Margaret Allman on January 17, 1858 in White County, Indiana. Margaret died, probably in childbirth, on May 14, 1858.

Mount Etna Jordan‘s second marriage was to a widow with three children, Abigail Iliff Babcock, daughter of William V. Iliff and Hannah Morrison, in 1862.  This marriage may have been common-law, since no researcher has been able to find a marriage record.

This union resulted in the birth of one son, John C. Jordan, born on August 1, 1862.  John was epileptic and dark-skinned, which together with the questionable legitimacy of his birth may have been the reason Mount refused to claim John as his own son.  The story goes that Mount agreed to give John his name and to raise him, but not to provide him with any inheritance.  In fact, after Mount died, John received the same-sized portion of Mount’s estate as his six other living children did.

Illiff Abigail
Abigail Iliff Babcock Jordan
(1832 – 1910)

Sometime before the 1870 census was taken, Mount and Abigail separated.  Census records show her living with her four children in Mount’s home in Jasper County, Indiana, while Mount was living on his parents’ farm in White County.  Abigail and her children eventually moved to Newton County where her Iliff relatives made their home.  John lived with Abigail until he reached adulthood, at which time he moved to Henry County, Missouri, where he bought some farmland.

Abigail (born on January 13, 1832 in Preble County, Ohio) died on May 22, 1910 in Kentland, Newton County, Indiana.  Her obituary refers to her as Mrs. Abigail Jordan, widow of Mount Etna Jordan; but there is no mention of a divorce.  She is buried in Fairlawn Cemetery, Newton County, Indiana.

Their son, John C. Jordan, lived the life of an unmarried farmer until his death  in Bates County, Missouri, on October 28, 1925.  His cause of death was a cerebral hemorrhage.

Fleek Mary [Jordan]-2
Mary Ann Fleek Jordan

On February 12, 1877, Mount Etna Jordan married for a third time, to Mary Ann Fleek, a school teacher twenty-eight years his junior.  This marriage produced six children and all of his currently living descendants.

Mary Ann Fleek was born near Battle Ground, Indiana, on March 31, 1854, the daughter of Elizabeth Fleek (1832-1911), Elizabeth was unmarried at the time and, at the age of 21, was helping her widowed mother care for her younger brothers and sisters.  Shortly after Mary Ann’s birth, Elizabeth’s mother died leaving Elizabeth as the sole provider for her siblings (the youngest of whom was nine years old) and Mary Ann.

Around six years later, Elizabeth married James McKillip, a widower with four children.  James and Elizabeth unofficially adopted Mary Ann, who for the remainder of her childhood went by the name of Mary Ann McKillip.

Although Mary Ann was close to her adopted family, she was nevertheless treated differently.  When she was sixteen, Mary Ann left home to become a school teacher, a position which she held for twelve years.  In her later years, she was said to be “as wide as she was tall.”[6]

Jordan Mount Etna
Jasper County Democrat
Rensselaer, Indiana
September 8, 1900

Mount Etna and Mary Ann made a good income from farming and selling cattle.  They were married for twenty-three years before his death at the age of 73 at his home in Jasper County on September 2, 1900.  He spent his final two years in discomfort with respiratory problems and asthma.

A devout church-goer her entire life, Mary Ann Fleek Jordan passed away at the age of 77 on February 11, 1932 in Remington, Jasper County, Indiana. [Obituary] She is buried beside Mount Etna in Remington Cemetery.

Jordan Mount Etna and family 1890
Mount Etna and Mary Ann Jordan with their five eldest children:
Dora, Margaret, Talitha, George and Jacob

Child of Mount Etna Jordan and Margaret Allman

1.1. William Jordan (1858-1858)

Child of Mount Etna Jordan and Abigail Iliff

1.2. John C. Jordan (1862-1925)

Children of Mount Etna Jordan and Mary Ann Fleek

1.3. Jacob Sexton Jordan (1877-1948)
1.4. Dora Elizabeth Jordan (1879-1962)
1.5. Margaret Etna Jordan (1882-1939)
1.6. George M. Jordan (1885-1918)
1.7. Talitha Blanche Jordan (1888-1953)
1.8. Edgar Oscar Jordan (1893-1962)

Jordan children
Children of Mount and Mary Jordan: Jacob, Dora, Margaret, George, Blanche and Edgar

2. Talitha Cumi Jordan was born on June 17, 1828 in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and died on April 11, 1898 in Jasper County, Indiana. She married Basil “Baze” Hunt on August 19, 1852 in White County, Indiana. Basil was born in 1830 and died on March 19, 1908 in Carpenter Township, Jasper County, Indiana.  Both Talitha and Basil are buried in Welsh (Egypt) Cemetery, Jasper County, Indiana.

Children of Talitha Cumi Jordan and Basil Hunt

2.1. Martha Elizabeth Hunt (1853-1893).
2.2. Oscar Jerome Hunt (1855-1866)
2.3. Ana Jane Hunt (1857-1858)
2.4. William Jordan Hunt (1859-1865)
2.5. Marietta Hunt (1861-1861)
2.6. Edgar Basil Hunt (1862-1939)
2.7. Lewis Wilson Hunt (1865-1920)
2.8. Lydia Ellen Hunt (1865-1946)
2.9. Malinda Jane Hunt (1867-1925)

Hunt Family
Basil and Talitha Hunt with children Martha (seated),
and (standing, l-r) Lewis and Lydia (twins), Edgar and Malinda
(ca. 1885)

3. Elizabeth Caroline Jordan was born on October 4, 1830 in Tippecanoe County, Indiana.  She married Casilias Calvert Porter, son of John Porter and Jane Burns, on May 6, 1849 in White County, Indiana.  Casilias was born in 1830 and died of unknown causes in 1849.

After the death of her husband, Elizabeth, who was pregnant at the time, went to live with her parents at Jordan’s grove, and the following spring gave birth to their daughter, Nancy Margaret.  Elizabeth continued living with her parents until her death sometime around 1854.  Since her daughter Nancy was still a toddler at the time,  Elizabeth’s parents, William and Catherine Jordan, raised Nancy as their own child.  In fact, the Jordan’s family Bible includes Nancy in the list of their children.

Elizabeth Jordan Porter, Casilias Porter, and their daughter Nancy Porter French are all buried in Remington Cemetery, Jasper County, Indiana.

Child of Elizabeth Caroline Jordan and Casilias Calvert Porter

3.1. Nancy Margaret Porter (1850-1888)

Porter John FM

4. Sarah Jane Jordan was born on March 31, 1833 in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Like her sister Elizabeth, Sarah married one of the Porter brothers.  John Francis Marion Porter was working as a farm hand on the Jordan’s farm when his brother Casilias had married Sarah’s sister, Elizabeth.  A few years later, John and Sarah married–on January 29, 1852 in White County, Indiana. John had been born on January 20, 1832 in Cabell County, (West) Virginia, a son of John Porter and Jane Burns.

After their marriage, the Porters lived briefly in White County before moving in the autumn of 1854 to join relatives in Iowa.  John’s widowed mother had remarried, and she and her new husband, Thomas Coon, had moved to Cass County, Iowa.

Jordan Sarah Jane
The Sentinel-Post
Shenandoah, Iowa

After arriving in Cass County, John and Sarah purchased 200 acres of farm land and borrowed money to buy a team of oxen.  This venture didn’t work out well for them, so they sold the land and moved south to Page County.  They were one of the first families to file a land claim in Page County, where they raised a family and lived out the rest of their lives.

Sarah died at their home in Page County, Iowa, at the age of 52 on February 26, 1886.  John lived to the ripe old age of 83, dying in Shenandoah, Iowa, on October 5, 1915 [Obituary].  Both Sarah and John are buried in Essex Cemetery, Page County, Iowa.

Children of Sarah Jane Jordan and John Francis Marion Porter

4.1. Julia Catherine Porter (1852-1926)
4.2. John Casilas Porter (1854-1933)
4.3. William Ferguson Porter (1863-1940)
4.4. Thomas George Headlee Porter (1867-1918)

Jordan John & Molly
John and Mary Ann (Foster) Jordan

5. John Jordan was born on May 12, 1835 in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and died on February 4, 1931 in Remington, Jasper County, Indiana.  He married Mary Ann Foster, daughter of Lewis Foster and Mary Thomas, on January 19, 1860 in Benton County, Indiana. Mary was born on April 7, 1842 in Madison County, Ohio, and died on May 8, 1917 in Remington, Jasper County, Indiana [Obituary].  They had no children.  Both John and Mary are buried in Remington Cemetery, Jasper County, Indiana.

The Journal and Courier
Lafayette, Indiana
February 6, 1931

6. Margaret Marinda Jordan was born in 1837 in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and died in 1839 probably in Tippecanoe County, Indiana.  She is buried in Mt. Gilboa Cemetery, Benton County, Indiana.

7. George Headlee Jordan was born on February 2, 1840 in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and died on July 13, 1895 in Buffalo, White County, Indiana.  He married Malinda Cochran on January 19, 1867 in White County, Indiana. Malinda was born on April 16, 1840 in Indiana and died on May 23, 1900 in Buffalo, White County, Indiana.  Both George and Malinda are buried in Buffalo Cemetery, White County, Indiana.

Children of George Headlee Jordan and Malinda Cochran

7.1. William Andrew Jordan (1867-1953)
7.2. Luella Cumi Jordan (1868-1927)
7.3. Sarah Cochran Jordan (1869-1969)
7.4. Catherine Sexton Jordan (1870-1894)
7.5. Centennial Zoe Jordan (1876-1963)

Jordan George H family
The George Headlee Jordan Family
Front: Malinda (Cochran), George Headlee and Zoe
Back: Catherine, Luella, William and Sarah
French Moses
Moses Frazer French

8. Martha Catherine Jordan was born on April 16, 1842 in Indiana and died on October 7, 1878 in Indiana.  She is buried in Mt. Gilboa Cemetery, Benton County, Indiana.  She married Moses “Mose” Frazer French, son of Asa French and Hannah Davis, on March 6, 1866 in Indiana. Moses was born on February 21, 1832 in Troy, Miami County, Ohio, and died on August 29, 1926 in Jasper County, Indiana. [Obituary] He is buried in Remington Cemetery, Remington, Indiana.

Child of Martha Catherine Jordan and Moses Frazer French

8.1. Independence French (1867-1946)

Jordan William Jr
William Jordan

9. William Jordan was born on January 16, 1845 in West Point Township, White County, Indiana and died on April 21, 1906 in Camden, Carroll County, Indiana [Obituary].  He married Olive Matilda Moffitt, daughter of Benjamin Rush Moffitt and Clarissa Jane Robinson, on December 13, 1867 in Jasper County, Indiana. Olive was born on September 22, 1846 in Indiana, and died on October 7, 1923.  Both William and Olive are buried in the I.O.O.F Cemetery, Rockfield, Indiana.

Olive Moffitt
Olive Moffitt Jordan

Children of William Jordan and Olive Matilda Moffitt

9.1 Malaleel Glen Jordan (1868-1900)
9.2. Fannie Olivia Jordan (1870-1877)
9.3. Mertie Cathrine Jordan (1872-1877)
9.4. William Benjamin Jordan (1874-1944)
9.5. Claude Francis Jordan (1879-1906)
9.6. Gracie Maud Jordan (1881-1881)
9.7. Ora May Jordan (1882-1973)
9.8. Rosell George Jordan (1884-1981)
9.9. John Roy Jordan (1886-1964)

10. Mary Louise Jordan was born on August 6, 1847 probably in White County, Indiana, and died on September 30, 1865.  She is buried in Mt. Gilboa Cemetery, Benton County, Indiana.

Jordan Mary Louise (2)
Mary Louise Jordan
seated between her two parents, Catherine and William Jordan

11. and 12. Unnamed twin daughters, who were born and died on August 4, 1852.  They are buried beside their parents in Mt. Gilboa Cemetery, Benton County, Indiana.


1 Proof that William Jordan is the son of William (and Blanche) is found in court documents where seven of the eight living children of William Jordan sell their interest in his Tippecanoe County land to James Jordan (the eighth living child) so that he can in turn sell the land to a third party [Tippecanoe County Land Record Books “W” (pp51-53) and “29” (pp612-615) both dated February 1847 and Book “29” (p108) dated April 1850].
4 Specifics on William and Catherine Jordan‘s births/deaths come from a family Bible, their obituaries, History of White County, and a host of other documents. Their marriage date is from the family Bible and Cabell County marriage records. Most indexes of Cabell County marriages incorrectly state the year as 1828 vice 1826, because the minister mistakenly entered the year 1828 at the top of the page, even though he signed his entry on January 1, 1827, a year earlier. The year 1826 is the same date of marriage as given in the family Bible. Several books contain information on the life of William Jordan and his family: Counties of White and Pulaski; History of the Town of Remington; Aunt Mollie’s Diary; and We Take This Opportunity to Write.
5 Information on the children of William and Catherine Jordan is taken from the family Bible, obituaries, biographies, tombstones, state and county birth, death and marriage records, as well as the above references.  Indiana Death Certificates, Iowa Death Certificates, Michigan Death Certificates, Missouri Death Certificates, South Carolina Death Certificates,   Photographs.
6 Actual quote by a grandchild who remembered her fondly and who had a great sense of humor. Close family members can probably guess who that grandchild was.