In 1860 after their son, Charles, was born, William and Minerva moved away from the farm and into a fine home at 408 W. Third Street in Madison, Indiana.
Built by the same architect as the Lanier Mansion, the young couple took great pride in their home--even going as far as installing their family name into the sidewalk just in front of the entrance.
The door itself being somewhat remarkable in that, instead of opening wide like most doors, it slid to the side into a pocket to preserve the precious space inside the small entry.
The modest dining room served as a venue for the new mother to display and perfect her domestic skills in hopes of impressing her husband and his associates.
The space-saving double stairway led to the bed chambers.
The room William and Minerva shared was large and enjoyed a fireplace along with not one, but two closets. A rarity for the period, but a feature of the home Minerva greatly enjoyed as she was an accomplished seamstress and no doubt had many dresses and accoutrements.
A door leads directly into their young son's room, which was plenty large enough for him to share when the time comes.
Young Charles though would never share his room as the Civil War put a halt to their family plans. On August 19, 1862 William enlisted in Company C, Indiana 67th Infantry Regiment. He participated in the battle at Munfordville, KY, was taken prisoner, paroled, returned to Camp Morton at Indianapolis, then marched to Memphis, TN on December 10th where he succumbed to measles. His grave site has never been found.
He was not the only soldier in Minerva's life, most every young man she knew was in the army. Shortly after receiving the news of her husband, her brother's name was found listed among the dead on the notice at the post office. She was left entirely alone, a widow at twenty-two, with a toddler to raise.