We are grateful to Doneva Shepard of Portland, Oregon, for this research report about Solomon Silknitter and Catherine Carter and their descendants.
Doneva has been unable to identify the ancestors of Solomon
Silknitter. She would be grateful for any information or suggestions from our
readers. Her e-mail address is: Donevas@Yahoo.com
Ancestors of Benjamin F. Silknitter
Generation No. 1
1. Benjamin F. Silknitter, born March 15, 1845 in Indiana (Source: son's birth cert); died July 4, 1925 in Centerville, Appanoose co., IA. He was the son of 2. Solomon Silknitter and 3. Catharine Carter. He married (1) Sarah Elizabeth Bell September 14, 1876 in Appanoose co,. Iowa. She was the daughter of David S. Bell and Nancy Jane ??.
Notes for Benjamin F. Silknitter:
Appanoose County Iowa Genealogical Society
Benjamin Franklin Silknitter has made a creditable record as an official and businessman. He is now engaged in handling live stock and is the owner of valuable farming property near Centerville. At different times he has put aside business cares to perform the duties of office and in other connections has proved faithful and loyal to the trust reposed in him. He was born in Indiana, March 15, 1845, and is a son of Solomon and Catherine (Carter) Silknitter, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Maryland. In the year 1850 Solomon Silknitter came to Appanoose County which was still a frontier district in which the work of development and improvement had scarcely been begun. Much of the land was still in possession of the Government and he entered one hundred and sixty acres to which he afterward added from time to time until his holdings embraced six hundred acres. After obtaining his original claim he at once began to clear and cultivate it and devoted his remaining days to his agricultural pursuits. He died in March 1865, while his wife passed away in 1897.
Benjamin Franklin Silknitter was a lad of but five years when brought by his parents to Iowa, and was reared upon the home farm in Appanoose County, while the public schools afforded him his educational opportunities. After his textbooks were put aside he devoted his entire time to the farm until elected to the office of sheriff in 1876. He filled that position for three terms, his reelection being incontrovertible proof of the confidence reposed in his ability and faithfulness. On his retirement from office he turned his attention to the coal trade and operated a mine at Brazil and another at Mystic for a number of years, or until 1894, when he was again elected sheriff, serving for one term. He has since been engaged in the livestock business, handling a large number of cattle each year. His property holdings embrace a farm of four hundred and ten acres west of the town on which his son resides, while Mr. Silknitter makes his home in the city where he also owns considerable property. Whatever he has undertaken he has carried forward to successful completion, for his energy and industry enable him to overcome all difficulties and obstacles and gradually advance him to the goal of prosperity.
In September 1877, Mr. Silknitter was married to Miss Sallie Bell, a daughter of David and Nancy Bell. Her father was a carpenter by trade and followed that pursuit in Centerville for many years, and later retired, continuing, however, to make his home in this city to the time of his death. Mr. And Mrs. Silknitter became the parents of five children: Jennie, the wife of H.S. Phillips, of Texas; George F., who is employed by the Union Meat Company at Portland, Oregon; Robert M., employed by Crane & Company at Portland, Oregon; Roscoe C. Residing on his father's farm; and Richard, also making his home in Portland, Oregon. The wife and mother passed away in February 1909, after a short illness, and her death was deeply regretted by many friends who entertained for her warm regard.
In the life record of Mr. Silknitter is a creditable military chapter. On the 5th of May, 1864, when he was but nineteen years of age, he offered his services to the country for one hundred days, enlisting as a member of Company B, Forty-seventh Iowa Infantry. His religious faith is that of the Presbyterian Church and he has ever been loyal to his professions. He gives his political allegiance to the Democratic Party and in addition to serving as sheriff he has been chief of police of Centerville and a member of the town council. The Masonic fraternity finds in him an exemplary member and a well-spent life has gained for him the warm regard of all with whom he has been associated. For more than six decades he has lived in this county and has been an interested witness of its growth and development. He has cooperated in many movements relating to the general welfare and his influence has ever been on the side of right, justice and progress.
(Source; History of Appanoose County, circa 1913, page 335-337)
Ben Silknitter owned and managed 4 Coal Mines at Centerville Iowa and vicinity
Those coal mines are mentioned in an antique book called "Leaves of Iowa" ************************************
Historical Sketch of the FORTY-SEVENTH REGIMENT IOWA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
The Forty-seventh Regiment of Iowa Volunteer Infantry was organized under the proclamation of Governor W. M. Stone, bearing date April 25, 1864. The ten companies of which it was composed assembled at the designated rendezvous, (Camp Kinsman, near Davenport, Iowa,) and there, on June 4, 1864, were mustered into the service of the United States, by Lieutenant A. A. Harbach, of the Regular
Army. The muster rolls contain the names of eight hundred eighty-four men-rank and file. Immediately after its muster into the service the regiment received orders to proceed to Helena, Ark., and was conveyed to that place, where it was assigned to garrison duty. It was attached to the Seventh Army Corps, Department of Arkansas. It remained on duty at Helena and in the Military District of Eastern
Arkansas during its entire term of service. The climate was unhealthful and the regiment suffered greatly from sickness. In this respect it had the same experience that had been encounterd by many other Iowa regiments in that same field of operations. The death list of Iowa soldiers at Helena and at other places among the lowlands of Arkansas grew to frightful proportions. It was fortunate for the Forty-seventh Iowa that its term of service was short, and that it was not kept longer in that malarious region. Short as was the time, however, nearly seven per cent of the regiment were fatally stricken, while an equal or larger number returned to heir homes with health greatly impaired, some of whom subsequently died of the ailments with which they were afflicted, and many more were never fully restored to health.
Disease was the most insidious foe with which the soldiers had to contend. On September 1, 1864, the regiment received orders to return to Davenport, Iowa, at which place it was mustered out of the service of the United States, September 28, 1864. The record of the regiment is altogether a creditable one.
It faithfully performed the service to which it was assigned, and relieved other and more experienced troops, who were, thereby, enabled to proceed to the threatre of actual warfare, and assist General Sherman in dealing the last crushing blows to the rebellion. Its history comports favorably with that of the
other one hundred day organizations from Iowa. It accomplished all that was expected of it, and takes its rightful place in this record of the achievements of Iowa soldiers.
SUMMARY OF CASUALTIES
Died of wounds.........................................................---
Died of disease.......................................................57
Discharged for wounds, disease or other causes....2
Buried in National Cemeteries................................43
From: ROSTER AND RECORD OF IOWA SOLDIERS IN THE WAR OF THE REBELLION. (Iowa-Adjutant General's Office. Vol. 5.)
Iowa in the Civil War
The Forty-Seventh Iowa Infantry
Abstracted from History of Louisa County 1878
THE FORTY-SEVENTH INFANTRY (100 DAYS) was mustered into United States service at Davenport, June 4, 1864, with James P. Sanford, of Oskaloosa, as Colonel; John Williams, of Iowa City, as Lieutenant Colonel; and G.J. Wright, of Des Moines, as Major. Company A was from Marion and Clayton Counties; Company B, from Appanoose County; Company C, from Wapello and Benton Counties; Company D, from Buchanan and Linn Counties; Company E, from Madison County; Company F, from Polk County; Company G, from Johnson County; Company H, from Keokuk County; Company I, from Mahaska County; Company K, from Wapello.
More About Benjamin F. Silknitter:
Comment 1: 1876, Elected to office of Sheriff of Centerville, IA
Comment 2: Owned and operated 4 coal mines w/his name on them
Comment 3: May 5, 1864, Member Co B, 47th IA Infantry
Comment 4: Oakland cemetery, Vermillion, 116
Occupation: Farmer/Sheriff/Coalmine owner/operator
Residence: Centerville tsp., Appanoose co., Iowa
Children of Benjamin Silknitter and Sarah Bell are:
i. Jennie B. Silknitter (Source: 1900 Census, Centerville, Appanoosa co., IA.), born April 1877 in Centerville, Appanoose co., Iowa (Source: 1900 census, Appanoosa, Iowa, Center twsp.); married (1) Oscar Fleak August 16, 1893 in Centerville, Appanoose co., IA; married (2) W.G. Hicks 1900 in Iowa (Source: 1900 census, Appanoosa, Iowa, Center twsp.); married (3) H.S. Phillips Bef. 1913.
More About Jennie B. Silknitter:
Burial: bur., Jerome, Lincoln, #3
Comment 2: July 4, 1925, Living in Tyler, TX, m. to Phillips
More About W.G. Hicks:
Occupation: Comm. Traveller
ii. George F. Silknitter (Source: Who was who in America.), born December 12, 1879 in Centerville, IA; died January 28, 1954 in Sioux City, IA; married (1) Elizabeth Ellen Smith September 11, 1907 in Portland, Multnomah Co., OR; married (2) Margaret Ellen Reilly July 3, 1926.
Notes for George F. Silknitter:
"Business executive, b. Centerville, Ia., Dec 12, 1879; s/o Benjamin Franklin and Sarah Elizabeth Silknitter; student pub. schs., Centerville, Ia., m. Elizabeth Ellen Smith (dec.) children-Frances Elizabeth, Marian Marsden (Mrs Charles Cunningham); m.2nd Margaret Ellen Reilly, July 3, 1926; children-Sarah Ellen, George Franklin. Baggageman, C.B.& Q. ry. co., Centerville, IA, 1896-98; Time- keeper and clerk Swift & co., Chgo., 1898-1902, auditor Portland, OR and Chicago, 1906-19; clerical work, Ore. Ry. & Navigation co., Portland 1902-1906; sec. Sioux City (IA.) Stock Yards Co., 1919-25, pres., 1925 ----; pres. Sioux City Terminal Ry Co., Iowa Rendering Co; dir. Live stock Nat. Bank. Mem. C of C Presbyn., Mason, Elk. Clubs; country, Empire, Gun (Sioux City). Home; 2932 Jackson St., Office: 340 Exchange Bldg., Sioux City, IA. Died Jan 28, 1954. (Source: "Who was who in America")
More About George F. Silknitter:
Comment 1: in "Who was who in America"
Comment 2: July 4, 1925, Executor of his father's estate
Occupation: Baggagemaster, business executive
Residence: Iowa and Portland, OR
More About Elizabeth Ellen Smith:
Burial: death certificate #1083, Multnomah Co., OR
iii. Robert M. Silknitter, born May 1881 in Centerville, Appanoose co., IA; married Maude E..
Notes for Robert M. Silknitter:
In the 1904 Portland City Directory, brothers George F. Silknitter and Robert M. Silknitter roomed at 290 1/2 Morrison. George worked for O.R.& N. (Oregon River and Navigation) and Robert was a clerk at the Crane co. on Portland's old waterfront. Later, Robert M. Silknitter and wife, Maude E. lived in a home at 2170 NE 47th, Ptld., OR.
More About Robert M. Silknitter:
Residence: September 30, 1954, Route West, Box 53, Tillamook, OR
iv. Roscoe C. Silknitter, born November 1883 in Centerville, Appanoose co., IA; died in Centerville, Appanoose co., IA; married Essie B. 1907 in Appanoose co., IA.
More About Roscoe C. Silknitter:
Burial: Name is the same as neighbor in Iowa.
Comment 2: Probably a friend of Ben F.'s.
Comment 3: Inherited family farm from father
Comment 4: bur. Oakland, Vermillion, 116
Notes for Essie B.:
Essie B. (unknown) father was born in Indiana and her mother was b. in KY.
v. Richard Oliver Silknitter (Source: Death Certificate #2754 Los Angeles, CA.), born October 5, 1889 in Iowa (Source: 1900 Census, Centerville, Appanoosa co., IA.); died February 8, 1962 in Los Angeles, CA (Source: California Death Index, obituary and Death Certificate #2754); married Bernetta Marion Wertman June 29, 1916 in Portland, OR (license issued on this date).
Notes for Richard Oliver Silknitter:
Richard O. Silknitter, youngest son of Benj. Silknitter of Centerville, Appanoose co., IA. After growing up in Centerville, he early joined his older brothers in Portland, OR. First mention of Richard O. in the Portland city directory is in the 1912 issue, living with his two older brothers, George and Robert at 952 Laverne., Collinge Addition. Collinge addition was very close to the Sellwood district. Richard O. was working as a plumber for the old Portland firm, the Crane, co., in Portland's waterfront district.
In 1923, Richard O. worked for Jno. Bollman co. and rented living quarters at 3-449 Morrison in Portland. He had moved from his home w/wife and son.
In 1925, Richard O., worked for Liggett & Myers tobacco co as a slsmn. and lived at 449 Morrison. That was the last time Richard O. was mentioned in any Portland directories. Richard moved to California and I don't know any more about him until his death. He had a small obituary in the Los Angeles newspaper that read; "SILKNITTER, Richard O., 71, of 7003 Goldcrest St., died Thursday. Surviving is son, Ben. Service Tuesday 9:30 a.m., Dilday Family Funeral Directors." On the death certificate it says he had lived in CA for 30 years. He must have moved there in 1932, so he could have lived somewhere else for 7 years.
The death certificate lists his employment as a salesman for "The Examiner" newspaper in LA. A woman, Marian L. March also lived at the address 7003 Goldcrest st., LA. She was the person listed as informant on the death certificate.
More About Richard Oliver Silknitter:
Burial: SS #563-18--0158
Cause of Death: Cardiovascular collapse due to Septicemia due to Acute and chronic parotitis.
Comment 2: Burial WestminsterMem. cem., Westminster, CA
Occupation: Plumber/slsmn. Crane co & Liggett-Myers
Residence: Portland, OR and Long Beach, CA
Notes for Bernetta Marion Wertman:
Obituary in Portland newspaper dated 18 Dec 1985
Bernetta M. Richter a longtime southwest Portland resident died Sunday in a local hospital. She was 90.
Mrs. Richter was born in Bloomsburg PA., and moved to Portland in 1904. A homemaker, she was a member of the Valiant Chapter of the order of Eastern Star.
Surviving are a son, Benjamin F. Silknitter of Portland; a grand-
daughter; and a grandson.
Mrs. Richter's body was donated to the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. No services will be held.
The family suggests rememberances be contributions to a favorite
When Bernetta applied for her Social Security card, she claimed she was born in "Lightstreet" (yes, a town in PA), Columbia County, PA. She applied for her Social Security card on Dec 14, 1953 (she was already a great grandmother and didn't know it). She was going to work at Lipmans, in Portland. I wonder what department. ???
In 1965, Bernetta was working as a stenographer at Foster Sporting Goods, and living at 1127 SE Lambert. In the 1965 directory there was also a Bertha M. Richter, Production Wkr for Product Engineering. Her residence was in Milw. Another year she was Ofc. Mgr. Oregon Baptist convention in Or. City.
More About Bernetta Marion Wertman:
Burial: S.S.# 541-40-5276
Cause of Death: Cardiac arrest
Comment 2: Was it Alzheimer DISEASE or just old age?
Comment 3: Born in Bloomsburg, Columbia co., PA
Comment 4: Death Cert. says parents "unknown"
Event 1: 1904, Moved to Portland
Event 2: 1911, hairdresser in downtown Portland, OR
Medical Information: Heart disease, High blood pressure, Alzheimer's
Personality/Intrst: Member of Valiant Chapter Eastern Star
Residence: 4636 SE Milwaukie ave. Ptld. OR.
Generation No. 2
2. Solomon Silknitter (Source: Early Pioneer stories, published by Appanoose County Genealogy Society, Pg21.), born October 17, 1816 in Pennsylvania (Source: 1850-60 census); died March 4, 1865 in Centerville, Appanoose co., IA (Source: 1870 missing from 1870 census). He was the son of 4. (Unknown) Silknitter. He married 3. Catharine Carter 1842 in Montgomery co., Ohio (Source: Internet/Ohio vital records).
3. Catharine Carter (Source: Obit of Catharine (Carter) Silknitter, included in 'notes'.), born August 5, 1818 in Maryland (Source: Early Pioneer stories, published by Appanoose County Genealogy Society, Pg 21.); died August 10, 1899 in Centerville, Appanoose co., IA.
Notes for Solomon Silknitter:
In the year 1850, Solomon brought his family to Appanoose co., IA from Indiana. Born in PA and his wife, Catherine (Carter) Silknitter born in MD, he came to Appanoose co when it was still a frontier district in which the work of development and improvement had scarcely begun. Much of the land was still in possession of the Government and he entered one hundred and sixty acres to which he afterward added from time to time until his holdings embraced six hundred acres. After obtaining his original claim he at once began to clear and cultivate it and devoted his remaining days to his agricultural pursuits. He died in March, 1865, while his wife passed away in 1897.
(Source: History of Appanoose co., pg. 336)
More About Solomon Silknitter:
Event 1: 1849, Left Indiana, came to Center., App., Iowa
Notes for Catharine Carter:
First notice printed in the Centerville Daily Citizen, Aug 11, 1899;
"MRS. SILKNITTER DEAD
Passes Away Last Night at Ripe Age of 81 years.
Mrs. Kate Silknitter, mother of B. F. Silknitter of this city died at the Silknitter home two miles west of town last night about 11 o'clock. She has been ill but a short time from stomach trouble and her advanced age of 81 years made hopes of her recovery from the first very few. The funeral services will be held from the house tomorrow at 2:00 o'clock and interment will be made in Oakland Cemetery. An appropriate obituary of this estimable woman who lived in over four score years and for a long time a resident of this county, will be published later."
Obituary for Catherine Silknitter;
"Catherine Silknitter was born in Maryland August 5, 1818, and died at her home, two miles west of Centerville, August 10, 1899, aged 81 years and 5 days. Her maiden name was Catharine Carter. She married Solomon Silknitter in Ohio in 1836. They moved from Ohio to Indiana in an early day and from Indiana to Iowa in 1850, where she lived until called to her long home.
To Mr. and Mrs. Silknitter eleven children were born all of whom survive save one. The names of the children are as follows;
Henry P., living with his family at Rose Hill, Kas.
Mary J., wife of J. M. Elgin of Centerville
Benjamin F., residing with his famil in Centerville
Rebecca S., wife of R. S. Thompson of Wilcox, MO
Hiram W. of Rose Hill, Kas
Lovina S., wife of Charles Smith of Centerville
John Powell of Centerville
Chloe M., died July 23, 1860
Eli E., of Chicago
Solomon Silknitter died March 4, 1865, aged 48 years.
Mrs. Silknitter was all her lifetime a consistent, earnest member of the Presbyterian church. She was one of the charter members of this organization in Centerville. She had been ill but a few days when death came to her relief at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Charles Smith, two miles west of Centerville, where recent years she had made her home. The funeral took place on Saturday afternoon, August 12, at 2:00 o'clock, the service being conducted by Rev. C. G. Miller, pastor of the First Presbyterian church of Centerville, who took for his text Rev. 14:13. The quartette sang some beautiful hymns expressive of hope and immortality, after which a large concourse of people followed the remains to their last resting place in Oakland cemetery. And, thus has passed from our midst another long and useful life. Of this one it could truthfully be said that she made the world better for having lived in it. The life on earth is ended but its influence for good shall yet continue; for, "she being dead yet speaketh."
More About Catharine Carter:
Burial: 1870, census, Real Estate val $10,000.00
Comment 2: Personal value $ 933.00
Comment 3: 1885, census, living with son, Eli Silknitter
Comment 4: Could not read or write, used a mark "X"
Occupation: Homemaker/widow farmer
Residence: 1870, Appanoose co., Bellair Twp., pg 354
Children of Solomon Silknitter and Catharine Carter are:
Generation No. 3
4. (Unknown) Silknitter.
Children of (Unknown) Silknitter are: