Friday, August 30, 2013

Meeting Minerva

Minerva J. Freeman and her two brothers grew up on a 120-acre farm just north of Madison, Indiana. Her mother, Mary, passed away only two short months before Minerva married William T. Hinton. Minerva's father, Owen, passed away nine months later, leaving the farm under the care of her brother, Wm H. Freeman.

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 front parlor, quite something with dual fireplaces and a curved front wall, was host to conversations about states rights, slavery, and the preserving the union.

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. 


Elaine said...

Isn't it amazing what we can find out now about our relatives?!!

Milah Frost said...

It's really fitting that your ancestors home is now a museum, a fitting home for such a noble man.

Earlene Landis said...

Very very interesting!!!!
I read your other posts but did not comment.

Jayne said...

What a beautiful home. Poor Minerva, widowed so young.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Such a beautiful old home.
It always amazes me what our past lives unfold.

Lynda said...

You uncovered a lot of interesting information! It's a beautiful house but so sad the man of the house did not live to share it. That is definitely too young to die.