William Herzkey Tombow
William Herzkey Tombow
My Family Tree, by Patrick Tombeau, PhD White Feather
White Feather

William Herzkey Tombow

William Herzkey Tombow

Male 1813 - 1865  (51 years)

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  • Name William Herzkey Tombow 
    Born 6 Jul 1813  Lampeter, Lancaster Co. PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 18 Apr 1865  Sterling, Whiteside Co. IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I03725  Tombeau Family Tree
    Last Modified 24 Feb 2007 

    Father William Tombos,   b. Abt 1789, Holland, Netherlands Federation of Republics Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Apr 1858, Tombowtown, PA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 69 years) 
    Mother Mary Ann Herzkey,   b. 21 Oct 1793, Lancaster Co., PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Apr 1858, Tombowtown, PA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years) 
    Married 17 Jan 1811  Lancaster Co., PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1357  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Elizabeth Rohrer,   b. 13 Jul 1818, Lancaster Co, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Mar 1853, E. Lampeter, Lancaster Co, PA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 34 years) 
    Married Abt 1838  Lancaster Co, PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    +1. Samuel R. Tombo,   b. 1839, E. Lampeter, Lancaster Co. PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Jul 1868, Philadelphia, PA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 29 years)
    +2. Mary Ann Tombow,   b. Abt 1841, E. Lampeter Twp., Lancaster Co., PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Apr 1908, Rock Falls, IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 67 years)
    +3. Elizabeth Tombow,   b. 15 Oct 1843, E. Lampeter Twp., Lancaster Co., PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Mar 1932, Marshalltown, IA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years)
    +4. Catherine Tombow,   b. 4 May 1842, E. Lampeter, Lancaster County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Aug 1894, Harmon, IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 52 years)
    +5. Lydia Ann Tombow,   b. 26 Aug 1846, E. Lampeter, Lancaster Co, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Aug 1924, Sterling, IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years)
     6. John Tombow,   b. Abt 1848, E. lampeter Twp., Lancaster Co., PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Jun 1865, Camp Douglas, IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 17 years)
     7. Jacob Tombow\Miller,   b. 29 Jul 1849, E. Lampeter Twp., Lancaster Co., PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Jun 1920, Mattoon, IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years)
     8. Ann Tombow,   b. Abt 1851, E. Lampeter, Lancaster County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1865, Whiteside County,IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 14 years)
     9. William Tombow, III,   b. 31 Dec 1852, E. Lampeter,Lancaster County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1923  (Age < 70 years)
    Family ID F1356  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Fanny ?,   d. 15 Jan 1888, Sterling, IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt 1854  Lancaster Co., PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1451  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    William Herzkey Tombow's Home in Sterling, IL
    William Herzkey Tombow's Home in Sterling, IL
    1307 E. 3rd Street, Sterling, IL was the home of William H. and his second wife Fanny
    Home Next Door to Original William and Fanny Tombow property in Sterling, IL
    Home Next Door to Original William and Fanny Tombow property in Sterling, IL
    Possible First Home of William Herzkey Tombow
    Possible First Home of William Herzkey Tombow
    William Herzkey (H) Tombow  (Jr.) h
    William Herzkey (H) Tombow (Jr.) h


    Documents
    Deed from William Herzkey Tombow heirs and Elizabeth Rohrer Tombow to Henry Steinman
    Deed from William Herzkey Tombow heirs and Elizabeth Rohrer Tombow to Henry Steinman
    Page One
    Deed from William Herzkey Tombow heirs and Elizabeth Rohrer Tombow to Henry Steinman
    Deed from William Herzkey Tombow heirs and Elizabeth Rohrer Tombow to Henry Steinman
    Page Two

    Headstones
    Headstone of William Herzkey Tombow
    Headstone of William Herzkey Tombow
    The discrepancy between the birth year on his headstone and actual birth year is explained below.

    Histories
    Map of William Tombow 1850's residences
    Map of William Tombow 1850's residences
    Map of William and Fannie Tombow's locatation in Whiteside county IL, where William Tombow Jr and Fannie settled in the 1850's with 8 of 9 children


    1307 E. 3rd Street
    Whiteside County
    Sterling Illinois
    William Tomow home map
    William Tomow home map
    Lampeter Township, Lancaster Co PA where William Tombos and his wife Mary Ann Herzkey lived the first half of the 19th Century, raising six Tomow children to maturity. This document includes county maps, dimensions and shape of the William Tombos property and tax records related to the property

  • Notes 
    • William Tombow, Jr., and Elizabeth Rohrer

      William Tombow, Jr., was the second child of William Tombos and Mary Ann Herzkey of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He was most likely named after his paternal grandfather in Holland, as his older brother, John, and oldest sister, Mary, were named after the maternal grandparents, such being the custom of the day.

      William's birth date is calculated to be 6 August l8l3 from a bill for his tombstone from Fulton Marble Works (Fulton, IL) found in the Court papers settling his estate. This bill states that his tombstone was carved with his age at the time of his death: 5l years, 8 months, and l2 days. He died on l8 April l865, according to these Court papers, in Sterling, Illinois, and is buried in the Science Ridge Mennonite Cemetery in Sterling. His grave is marked by a large modern marker placed there by a grandson who was a stone carver, the original stone no doubt having deteriorated and requiring replacement. Unfortunately the date of l8l2 was used as his birth year in this newer marker and the original inscription of his exact age left off with the original religious verse which read "Hence, loved ones, meet me in Heaven". The Fulton Marble Works refer to this as "Verse No. l2" in their inscriptions list.

      A description of his parent's property where he lived as man and boy may be found in the chapter on William's parents. Somewhere in the late l830's, perhaps l838, William Tombow, Jr., married Elizabeth Rohrer, apparently the daughter of two cousins, Samuel Rohrer and Elizabeth Rohrer of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The Rohrer ancestry will be recounted elsewhere.

      The date of their marriage has not been found. As William and his wife were Mennonites any records that might exist would be found in another church as the Mennonites did not keep such records. The record of their marriage has not been found in Trinity Lutheran Church records in the city of Lancaster where his parents' marriage was found. When Mennonites wished to formalize their marriage for legal purposes they were required by Pennsylvania State law to be married officially by ordained clergy in another denomination since Mennonite clergy are not ordained, but elected by church members.

      After the death of his first wife, Elizabeth Rohrer, William Tombow, Jr., married a second time to a woman named Fanny. Her last name and the date of this marriage have escaped detection at this writing as have the burial place and the date of death of his first wife. This latter death, however, took place somewhere in l853 or l854, as Elizabeth and William's daughter, Lydia Tombow Fluck, reports that her mother died when she was seven years old. (Chapman Brothers' Portrait and Biographical Album of Whiteside County, Illinois, p. 368) However, her death was not recorded in the l852-55 Birth, Death, and Marriage Registers of Lancaster County by her grieving husband. As he sold his Lancaster County property on l April l853 without mention of her in the deed of conveyance, we may assume that her death occurred before this date and after 3l December l852 when their last child, William Tombow III, was born. Perhaps she died in child birth or from complications thereof.

      Of the second union, between William and Fanny, there was no issue, as none is mentioned in Court papers settling William's estate after his death in l865 in Sterling, Illinois.

      The descendants, then, of William Tombow, Jr., are by his first wife, Elizabeth Rohrer. This couple had nine children, presumed to be born in the following order, as determined by mention in the Court papers in Sterling, Illinois, settling William's estate after his death: Samuel R. Tombow, Mary Ann Tombow, Catherine Tombow, Elizabeth Tombow, Lydia Ann Tombow, John Tombow, Jacob Tombow, Ann Tombow, and William Tombow III. (Petition for Letters of Administration to settle William Tombow, Jr.s estate, dated l7 May l865, Whiteside County, Illinois, Circuit Court Records)

      This list of names is also confirmed by the Lancaster County Birth, Death and Marriage Register, briefly kept between the years of l852-55. The names of these nine children are mentioned in connection with the birth of the couple's last child, William Tombow III. In this instance all male children are given the middle initial "R", which, according to the custom of the day, would refer to their mother's maiden name of Rohrer.

      The writer and his near relatives are descendants of the eldest child of this couple, Samuel R. Tombow, through the latter's only child, William Tambo of Olyphant, Pennsylvania, who is the writer's grandfather.

      After the death of his first wife, Elizabeth, and his remarriage to his second wife, Fanny, William Tombow, Jr., moved with some of his children to Sterling, Illinois, somewhere between l853, when he sells his Lancaster County Property, and l857, when he buys land in Sterling, Illinois.

      Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Deeds (R-8-205) record that William sold his property, obtained from his father on 26 March l845 for $l50 (Deeds, G-7-8l), to John T. Miller on l April l853. There is no record of any subsequent purchase of land by William in Lancaster County. This land was described as being situated on the Philadelphia Turnpike, in E. Lampeter Township, being 3l8.5 feet by l37 feet, or about one acre, and adjoining the property of his sister and brother-in-law, Lydia Ann Tombow and Benjamin N. Groff. It was carved out of a l4 acre parcel purchased by William's father in l83l. This deed needs to be examined further to determine what improvements in buildings had been made by William during the years of his ownership.

      An l847 Tax Record for Lancaster County indicates that William Jr. owned 3/4 of an acre of land, valued at $250, l cattle valued at $l0, and that he was a laborer. In that year he paid 78 cents in state taxes and 39 cents in county taxes.

      The Federal Censuses were reviewed for William Tombow, Jr. and his Family. The l820 Census, when William would have been 7 years old is missing for portions of Lancaster County and no mention of him under his father's entry is found. He is found in the l830 Federal Census of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, under his father's entry, William Tamboo, as the name is spelled in that Census. William Jr. is mistakenly listed as between the ages of l0-l5 years. For further details of this entry, the reader is referred to the chapter on his parents.

      The l840 Federal Census lists William Jr. twice in E. Lampeter Township, Lancaster County: as an individual entry, indicating his age as lying between 20-30 years (p. 386, entry 5)) and in a second entry as follows Lampeter Township, Lancaster Co, PA, p. 382):

      William Tombow, Jr.

      1 male (under 5 years) l male (20-30 years) l female (20-30 years

      A male child, under the age of 5 years, is mentioned as living with William Jr.'s father. This may be William Jr.'s eldest child, Samuel R. Tombow, recorded a second time by the census enumerator. Perhaps the census taker was distracted during the count by some matter and lost track of those he had enumerated on another day.

      The l850 Federal Census mentions the Family entry under the name of "Dombo", reflecting the German nationality and spelling habits of the census enumerator, as E Lampeter and Lancaster County were heavily settled by Germans.

      The Census was taken 28 August l850 for this entry, dwelling ll5, E. Lampeter Towship:

      Dombo, William, 36 years old, laborer by occupation, born in Pennsylvania, Real estate value: $700. , Elizabeth, 32 years old, born in Pennsylvania , Catherine, 5 years old, born in Pennsylvania , John, 2 years old, born in Pennsylvania , Jacob, l year old, born in Pennsylvania

      Two other children, Samuel and Mary, are listed in the entry of their grandfather, William Dombo, Sr., and their step-grandmother, Elizabeth.

      Samuel Tombow has a double entry for this Census. On l0 September l850 he is also listed under the right spelling of his name in the entry of John Weaver (E. Lampeter, dwelling 34l).

      At this time William Jr. had two other children: Elizabeth and Lydia Ann Tombow. Elizabeth (born in l843, according to her tombstone in Marshalltown, Iowa) is found in Manheim Township, Lancaster County, dwelling 30, that of Abraham Rohrer, age 33, no doubt a close relative

      of her mother's, perhaps a brother. Elizabeth is listed as 9 years old, although she would be 7 years at this time. The census was taken on l4 August l850. Elizabeth is stated not to have been in school the previous year.

      William Jr's other child, born at this time, Lydia Ann Tombow, the future Mrs. Aaron Fluck of Whiteside County, Illinois, has not yet been located in the l850 Census of Lancaster County. In the Chapman Brothers' Portrait and Biographical Album, p.368, she states she was raised by the Landis Family with whom she came to Whiteside County. This entry has not been located because of the number of Landis families in Lancaster County. Lydia was born in l846 and would have been 4 years and 2 days old at the time of this Census.

      The last of this couple's children, Ann and William III, were not born until after this Census date.

      The l860 Federal Census for Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, has entries for William Jr's two oldest children, Samuel and Mary Ann Tombow, while the other children are located in the Whiteside County, Illinois, Federal Census, indicating that William did not bring all of his children with him to Illinois, but left his teen age daughter and son behind in Pennsylvania with other farming families.

      Samuel Tombo is listed as living with the Jacob Delp Family, in West Lampeter Township, Lancaster County, age 2l, and supporting himself as a farm hand, in the l860 Federal Census (p. 79l, dwelling ll6).

      Mary Ann Tombow, aged l8, is listed as living with the Jacob L. and Ann Landis Family in E. Lampeter Township, as a servant. (p. 363, dwelling #370, l860 Federal Census)

      Mary Ann was to move subsequently to Whiteside County with her other brothers and sisters and marry James Morrison. Samuel was the only child of William Jr. and Elizabeth Rohrer to remain behind in Pennsylvania, entering the Civil War and afterwards marrying Frances Alwilda Lake in Cabrbondale, Pennsylvania.

      William Jr.'s other children are found in the l860 Federal Census for Whiteside County, Illinois scattered about through various Mennonite farming families around the city of Sterling. None are recorded as living with him and his second wife, Fanny, including his youngest child William III, who was 8 at the time of the l860 Census.

      William Tombow, Jr.'s last contact with his birthplace, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, appears to be in the Spring of l859 when he returned from Sterling, Illinois to receive $275 from his father's estate. On 8 April l859 his brother-in-law, Thomas Smith, pays William $25 for all future interest in the elder William Tombow's estate as "he is eager to return to Whiteside County, Illinois." In this record William Jr. refers to himself as William H. Tombow, the "H" without doubt being for Herzkey, his mother Mary Ann's maiden name. (Lancaster County Deeds, A-9-l43)

      The Tombow Family in Whiteside County, Illinois

      By l865 all of William Tombow, Jr.'s children had joined him in Whiteside County, near the city of Sterling, with the single exception of his eldest son, Samuel R. Tombow, who remained behind in Lancaster, enlisting four times to serve in the Civil War and then settling in Car- bondale, Pennsylvania, after marrying Frances Alwilda Lake. Samuel and Frances are the writer's great-grandparents.

      How many of his children William Jr. brought with him is not clear. As already narrated he married a woman by the name of Fanny, probably quite shortly after his first wife Elizabeth's death in early l853, sold the only piece of land he owned in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on I April l853, and then moved to Whiteside County. His daughter, Lydia Ann Tombow reports that she came a year after her father with the Landis Family. His daughter, Mary Ann Tombow, who was left behind in Pennsylvania as a servant girl in the Jacob L. Landis Family, came to Sterling in the early l860's as she marries James A. Morrison there in l865.

      An oral tradition passed down in the family of Lydia Ann Tombow Fluck, William Jr.'s daughter, states that the trip from Pennsylvania was made by train all the way to Dixon, in Lee County, Illinois. The rest of the journey was by horse-drawn conveyance to Sterling. She reports that the blue green prairie grass, ten feet high, still filled the prairies of Illinois, its root system so entrenched in the soil that special farming implements had to be developed to cut through the roots in order to develop the Illinois farmlands.

      Census work on this Family in Whiteside County has been difficult because the Census returns come close to being totally illegible with the Tombow name, new to the area, being distorted most often to look like "Tornbow". As in Lancaster County, once again we find William Jr.'s children in every home but his own.

      The l860 Census entry for William Tombow, Jr., and his wife Fanny is found in Sterling Township (p. 4l4).

      William Tombow, age 40, male, day laborer, $300 real estate, &l00 personal, born in Pennsylvania
      Mrs. William, age 35, female, born in Pennsylvnania

      The above Census entries are also found in typescript, transcribed by the Whiteside County Genealogical Society, in the Sterling and Morrison (IL) Public Libraries. The following pagination for this typescript is used to find the respective entries: Elizabeth, p. 53; Ann, p. 57; Jacob, p. 57; Lydia A., p. 200; Willie (III), p. 203; Catherine, p. 203; William Tombow and wife Fanny, p. 207.

      The Censuses reported above record the gradual disappearance of the Tombow name from the Whiteside County, Illinois scene. The causes for this were multiple. They include the marriages of the daughters of William Tombow, Jr., commencing in l864. Mary Ann Tombow married James A. Morrison and settled in Sterling. Catherine Tombow married John Delp and settled in Whiteside County. Elizabeth Tombow married Emmanuel Miles Groff and settled in Marshalltown, Iowa. Lydia Ann Tombow married Aaron Fluck, Sr., and settled in Whiteside County. But Ann Tombow, the youngest of William Jr.'s daughters died young, while yet unmarried.

      There were other causes for the disappearance of the family name among the male members of the family: John Tombow, died a mere boy of l7 of diseases contracted while a soldier in the Civil War. His brother Jacob Tombow, survived a tempestuous life as an adolescent and Civil War soldier, but in his young manhood, he lived a life of crime, went to prison, changed his name to Jacob Miller and moved to Matoon, Illinois, to start a new life. But he too died childless. The youngest of William Jr.'s sons, William Tombow III, was living in Clinton, Iowa, with his wife, Nancy E., for one brief shining moment in l903, and then disappears from our further scrutiny, at least at this writing.

      Fanny Tombow, William Jr.'s second wife, herself, died a dramatic death in the Winter of l888, causing the papers to write extensively about the lessons to be found in such a death.

      But the Tombow Family drama in Whiteside County, Illinois, begins to unfold in l865 with the death of William Tombow, Jr. in his home at l307 3rd St., in the city of Sterling. This house still stands today as a silent witness to these events.

      William died April l8, l865. But it is clear that William knew he was dying. A doctor's bill in the Court papers settling his estate, reveals that Dr. Moses Roger made several daily visits to William for the last weeks of his life. The doctor reports that he visited William on February 26, 27; March ll, l2, l3, l4, l5, l6, l7, l9, 2l, 23, 25, 26, 27. 28, 30, 3l; April 2, 3, 4 (2 visits), 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (2 visits), l0 (2 visits), ll, l2, l3, l4, l5, and l6, l865.

      Total cost for these 36 house calls was $36. In a deposition taken of Dr. Roger on 3 October l865, he "deposes and states that the above bill against the estate of William Tombow, dec'd., is for medicine and medical attention during his last sickness; that the same is just and true and remains unpaid and is not subject to set off".

      A Dr. A.S. Hudson also presents a bill for $5.00 for medical attention during William's last illness in a deposition dated ll July l865.

      What William's last illness was is not clear from the records. But considering his constant daily care, it is tempting to speculate that it was cancer, that he was in pain, and required medication such as laudanum, an opiate used for medical purposes in the l9th Century, to ease his pain.

      Despite the fact that it was clear to William that he was dying, he did not make out a Will. Because he died intestate, the settlement of his estate was to take 40 years in and out of Courts, leaving a rich trail of genealogical materials and glimpses into the life of the Tombow Family.

      To understand now the Court Room drama that is about to unfold with the return of William's son, Jacob Tombow, from the Civil War in July of l865, two and half months after his father's death, we need to review the real estate holdings of William since coming to Whiteside County, Illinois.

      Despite selling his only piece of land in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, on 1 April l853, it is not until 26 December l857 that William purchases his first piece of land from John Martin and his wife Catherine for $350 (Lot 6, Block 58, East of Broadway St., of L.D. Crandall's addition to the town of Sterling) There is a house of some size on this land currently, but it is not known whether the house existed at the time of William's ownership, or whether it has been added on to. An l872 city atlas does not show a house on this land.

      Two and one half years later William sold the lot back to John Martin and his wife on 28 July l860 for the same amount of money.

      On l3 February l860, Willam Jr. purchases another piece of property (Lot
      9, Block 4, east of Broadway in Sterling) from Joseph Sevuler and his wife Rosa Ann for $200. This lot is on the present day Fulton Street.

      Two years later, on 2l November l862, William makes another purchase of land, this time four and a half acres of farmland, for $3l0 from Thomas W. Stevens and his wife Helen. This piece of land is a few doors away from the Fulton Street property. An l872 city atlas describes this land as J. Orr's.

      On l3 August l864, William sells both lot 9 on Fulton and the farm land to Joseph Orr for $l,000, for a profit of $490.

      Despite having sufficient cash to buy a handsome piece of property for those days, two months later William asks for a loan from his son Jacob's Civil War Bounty. (Toward the end of the Civil War, in order to attract young men to service, substantial sums of money, called bounties, were paid to them upon entering the service.)

      Here is the sworn testimony of Benjamin G. Weaver in Whiteside County Circuit Court on l2 May l867 during the course of a suit Jacob brought against his father's estate:

      "My name is Benjamin G. Weaver, am 33 years old, reside in Sterling township, Whiteside County, Illinois, and by occupation a farmer.

      "I was acquainted with William Tombow of said Whiteside County in his lifetime. I am acquainted with Jacob Tombow, the above named complainant.

      "William Tombow requested me to go to Dixon (Lee County, Illinois) at the time Jacob Tombow enlisted into the U.S. Military Service and get his Bounty Money of him and let him have it and he would pay him six percent interest for the use of it. I went to Dixon and received Four Hundred and Eighty Dollars ($480) in cash and his certificate of enlistment and gave the money and certificate to William Tombow. This was the llth day of October, A.D., l864. The certificate of enlistment which I received from Jacob Tombow and gave to his Father, William Tombow, called for Two Hundred Dollars County Order."

      Upon cross examination:

      "I think that Jacob Tombow was at that time about l7 years of age- cannot tell his age definitely- William Tombow was, I always understood, the Father of Jacob Tombow."

      (Jacob was actually l5 years old at the time of his enlistment, a not uncommon event during the Civil War enlistments because of the sizeable bounties offered for enlistment. A bounty of the size described above could be used by the family or the soldier to purchase a farm.)

      Jacob Tombow was indeed generous to his father William to make such a loan when one considers the prior relationship between him and his Dad. Listen now to the testimony of another sworn witness in the suit, given on 23 October l867:

      "My name is Alexander Zimmer. I am thirty years old, a Teamster, and I reside in Sterling, Whiteside County.

      "I was acquainted with William Tombow in his lifetime and know that he is the father of Jacob Tombow. William Tombow died in Sterling about two years ago. Jacob Tombow entered the U.S. Service sometime in l864 and was then l8-l9 years old. He was in my employ for about a month before he enlisted and about this time his Father told me that I must pay Jacob Tombow his wages, that he would have nothing more to do with him, that he must look after himself hereafter. This conversation took place in Sterling, Whiteside County. I paid him at the time the rate of $l0 per month. I paid him $l5 as his father never made any claim to his wages while in my employ."

      Thus was the state of affairs in the Fall of l864, a few months later William would be treating for his final illness. But, as William lay dying, not only did he not make out a Will to protect Jacob's financial interests from his step-mother, Fanny, but on 3l March l865, l6 days before he lapsed into coma and died, he paid $500 to the Board of Trustees of Township No. 22 of Lee County for the property at l307 E. 3rd St. (Lots 10, 11, 12 of Block 35 east of Broadway in Sterling).

      During his last illness William had a previous sale of his other properties recorded with the Register of Deeds as well.

      A few months later, on l2 July l865, Jacob Tombow was discharged from Co. A, 34th Regiment, of the Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He found his father dead and buried and his step-mother in possession of a home and property purchased from his bounty money.

      Yet a minor of only l5 at discharge and unable to write his name, Jacob Tombow had to file his suit through his next of friend, his older sister Lydia's husband, Aaron Fluck, Sr. The suit was to recover from his father's estate and widow $475 principle and $78 interest for a total of $553.

      The Court found in favor of Jacob Tombow. But that was not the end of the matter. Cyrenus Beecher, administrator of William Tombow's estate and one of the defendants in Jacob's suit, was ordered back into Court on 22 January l868 for failure to settle the estate nearly three years after William's death.

      Cyrenus Beecher estimated the personal assets of William Tombow, Jr., to be $600, including the $200 county part of Jacob's bounty which had been endorsed, and William's real esate holdings at $600-700 in his sworn deposition of l7 May l867.

      As the result of an appraisal of William Tombow, Jr.'s personal property and an auction held on 8 July l865, a few days before Jacob's release from service, an unexpected glimpse into the worldly possessions of our ancestor and their value is given us.

      Herewith follows a list of William's personal property as recorded in the Court papers:

      l Smith and Scythe............................$l.50
      l corn cutter....................................50
      l wrench, 2 joiner planes......................2.50
      1 demijon........................................50
      l handsaw........................................20
      l goods box......................................25
      l whip...........................................75
      l Sadle and Bridle...........................$l5.00
      1 iron wedge and axe...........................l.00
      l sersingle and halter...........................50
      l digging iron.................................2.60
      l shovel.........................................75
      l hoe............................................50
      2 hay forks....................................l.00
      1 rake and scoop shovel..........................50
      sundres articles of iron.........................50
      l churn........................................l.50
      l light wagon................................$75.00
      l wach (watch)................................$7.00

      Total........................................$ll0.75

      Lots l0, ll, l2 of Block 35, E. of Broadway..$500.00

      In addition to this survey of William Tombow's personal property, further information is also gleaned from the listing of items considered in law to belong to the widow Fanny's allowance:

      3 baskets...................................$l.00
      4 grain bags.................................2.00
      l wood saw.....................................75
      l chopping axe.................................50
      l half bushel measure..........................75
      4 grain bags.................................2.00
      l chest........................................50
      3 table cloths...............................5.00
      1 coverlet...................................4.00
      2 hand towels................................l.00
      l trunk........................................50
      1 clock......................................2.00
      l featherbed and 2 quilts....................5.00
      1 trunk......................................2.00
      16 quilts...................................$l0.00
      l straw tick...............................l.50
      1 bolster tick.................................50
      William Tombow close (clothes).............$20.00
      2 sheets, pillow cases, pillows, ticks.....$38.50
      l sachel.......................................50
      3 strings of sleigh bells..................$l0.00
      l set of single harness....................$l4.00
      l post axe and l broad axe................. $6.00
      1 set of mason's tools......................$2.50
      l spade, l fork, l hoe, l rake..............$2.50
      2 busells (bushels).........................$l.00
      l hatchet........................................50
      l set and a half of Bob Sleighs..............$37.50
      funnles (funnels).............................$3.00
      l tun of Hay..................................$2.00 carpets.......................................$4.00
      3 Hames, 4 shoulders, 3 pieces of side meat..$l0.00
      necessary beds, beadsteads, and bedding......$25.00
      l spinning wheel.................................50
      l stove and necessary pipe...................$l2.00
      wearing apparel for the family...............$20.00

      Total.......................................$l56.20

      The appraiser's estimate of the estate also indicated that certain allowances given to the widow were not part of the William Tombow estate, to wit:

      l loom.......................................$27.50
      l pair of cards...............................$l.50
      milch cow and calf for each 4 family members.$30.00
      one horse....................................$40.00
      one woman's bridle and saddle................$l5.00
      provisions for l year........................$50.00
      two sheep for each member of the family......$l2.00
      food for above stock for six months..........$20.00
      fuel for 3 months.............................$8.00
      other property...............................$60.00

      An auction was held on 8 July l865 at the late William Tombow's residence to sell off his personal effects. $83.50 was realized, $27.50 short of the estimated value of the appraisers. The widow bought the saddle for $8.00. Aaron Fluke (Fluck) bought a hoe for l0 cents. Henry Zendt, the husband of William's niece, Catherine Groff, bought a goods box for twenty five cents. The rest of the property went to strangers. His widow Fanny continued to live in William's house. After Fanny's death in 1881, her boarder, Benjamin Bott continued to live in the house to the early years of the l900's. Fanny had also died without a Will or heir and William's heirs began selling their inheritance to various people. Bott himself made substantial improvements to the home and felt he also was entitled to the property.
      Matters came to a head on 2 March l904 when David F. Kauffman filed against Benjamin Bott, claiming he was partial owner of the premises on which Bott resided. (Gen. No. l727, Whiteside County Circuit Court)This litigation required notice be sent to all heirs of William Tombow, Jr., thus providing us with an insight into the Tombow Family's dispersal, nearly forty years after his death. This notice was published on March 3, l0, l7, and 24 in the Sterling Daily Standard.Seven years after the litigation began Benjamin Bott bought out all claimants to the property and gained full title to it in l9ll. Troubling questions remain about our ancestor, William. He appears to be a man quite different from his father. His father, William Tombos, was a kindly patriarch who gathered around himself all his children in a l9th Century compound with his grandchildren filling his home. But William, Jr., appears to be cut from different cloth. One cannot help but note that in the many censuses reviewed for his family, his children are always being taken care of by strangers, however young they may be. His deliberate use of his son's bounty to buy a house for his widow as he lies dying appears to be particularly ruthless. Perhaps that made him a good husband. It certainly made him a very bad father.

      He was a stone mason by trade according to his daughter Lydia in the Chapman Brother's Whiteside County history. His effects indicate he was a carpenter and gardener, and well off at the time of his death despite farming his children out.