Continuing with para 14: "Mrs. Dickens has been a continuous resident of Clayton county since she came to Millville with her parents in 1836 ... she has been the mother of twelve children, seven of whom are still living. Three of her sons served in the northern army during the civil war. One lost his life in a southern hospital, and because of his death* in the service she has drawn a pension for many years.
(My note: *this son, her first, was Henry P. Hardin(g) who died at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. A one page account about Henry is included in my writings.)
Sarah Courtright was widowed in 1822 while living in Vermillion County, Indiana. She had 11 children to support. She worked as a mid-wife for many years and we know that she lived there until 1832. Meanwhile, as her children grew older, most of them moved to the Lead Mine District of northwestern Illinois and southwestern Wisconsin.
If we thought the widow Sarah and her young daughters made that journey into the unknown alone, we were wrong.
There is another very important person in the family who is not mentioned in Dr. Van Sickle's book or in any genealogy that I've seen. Were it not for Ann Drusilla's accounts, naming her stepfather, we would never know of him. His name is Henry Redmond.
Here's what we learn from Ann Drusilla's published interviews:
Sometime within the ten years after Andrew Van Sickle's death and Sarah's move to Iowa, Sarah married Henry Redmond. Her name became Sarah Courtright Van Sickle Redmond.
That fact will be a big surprise to many genealogists who list Sarah Courtright or Sarah Van Sickle as dying in Jo Daviess County, Illinois in 1849, as stated in Dr. Van Sickles 1880 book.
What did Ann Drusilla have to say about who moved to Iowa?
From Ann's Birthday article paragraph 6: "On June 1, (Note: in 1833) the last of the Sacs and Foxes quietly withdrew from the land, the soldiers went back to the fort and the eager throng of waiting settlers came pressing across the river at Dubuque and other points on the river, as fast as the few ferry flat boats could bring them. During the first week, Mrs. Dickens then 11 years old, reached Jordan's Ferry, opposite the "Mines," with her mother and her stepfather, John Redmond*." *aka Henry Redmond.
(My note: When I first read that sentence several months ago, I was taken aback. I thought "What? Was Ann delirious in her old age? Who is this stepfather John Redmond? Didn't Ann Drusilla's mother Sarah live and die a widow, in Jo Daviess County, Illinois?")
Continuing Ann's Birthday article paragraph 7: "The Redmonds Arrive. They had left their home near Terre Haute, Ind., the winter before, and inspired by the stories of the beautiful country west of the Mississippi ... they had gone to Mineral Point, Wis., and waited there during the winter, in order that they might be among the first to get to Iowa, when the "Black Hawk Purchase" was opened up in June."
Source: Ann's Birthday article para 8: "It was several days after the arrival of the family at the ferry before they could get across, as the only means of transportation was the one flat boat which was poled and oared across the river by "Old Man Jordan" and his crew of four. ... The Redmond family finally got aboard June 10 ... " (of 1833)
Continuing with para 10: "A crowd of people were already on the shore at Dubuque when they landed, and with confused hurry were pitching tents, putting up temporary shacks, and digging furiously in the hills for lead. There were only two finished buildings ... Widow Willoughby was attempting to feed and lodge the crowds ... .
The hotel had only the ground for a floor, and, on this, Anne Redmond with her mother and many others of the women and children slept at night. ... Anne Redmond found many things of absorbing interest in the two weeks she remained at Dubuque with her mother. At that time her father ... took them up to the cabin he had built on the Maquoketa. They lived there until 1836 when the report of greater richness of the valley of the Turkey river led them to go farther into the wilderness. The second cabin was built near the proposed site of Millville, in Clayton County.
Continuing with para 11: "Here, on May 27, (Note: in 1837) ... Anne Redmond was married to Edward G. Dickens by Judge Price ... it is safe to accord to Mrs. Dickens the honor of being the first woman married in northeastern Iowa."
My note: Sarah had married Henry Redmond but there is no evidence that he ever adopted Sarah's children. While Ann Drusilla identified herself as Ann Redmond, her legal name was still Van Sickle, as shown in the legal record of her first marriage which was to Isham Hardin which took place across the river in Jo Daviss County, Illinois, on July 5, 1835.
After her first husband died, Ann married Edward Glover (Ned) Dickens in 1837. She was identified by the interviewer in her "Birthday Interview" as Anne Redmond but her legal name at that time was Ann Hardin, sometimes spelled Harding.
Sarah Courtright Van Sickle Redmond
A Northeast Iowa Pioneer
Crossing the Mississippi river from Illinois to Iowa