A Family History Newsletter

Volume 2, Number 3

3rd Quarter 2003


The Family of David and Sarah Tullis of Ohio and Nebraska

Compiled by their grand-daughter, Ethel Tullis Hoselton (1902-1984), and supplied by Ethelís grand-daughter, Rebecca J. Honeyman.

Editorís Note: I was recently contacted by Rebecca J. (Hoselton) Honeyman who mentioned that she had inherited all of the family tree files assembled by her late grandmother, Ethel Tullis Hoselton, during her 15+ years of research. Ethel and her husband, Richard Hoselton, are pictured on the cover. Rebecca has been scanning all of the files to CD to preserve them for future generations. She was also kind enough to share one of those CDís with me so that we could include some of her grandmotherís research in this newsletter. The following is Ethelís account of the lives of her grandparents, David Tullis and Sarah Guyton.


David Tullis was born June 16, 1835, in Madison County, Ohio. His father and mother were also born in Ohio. They probably were farmers because David was a farmer and carpenter. We think he had a brother, Ezra Tullis, who also came West when David did. [Editorís note: We now believe that David and Ezra were sons of Jonathan L. Tullis, 1807-1840, and his wife Rebecca Rigdon, 1806-1899.] David married Sarah Ellen Guyton at Summerford, Ohio, on October 18, 1859. Her father was born in Maryland and her mother in Ohio, but their names are unknown. She had a sister, Mrs. Mary Carter of Ohio.

The first child, Martha Jane, was born on Feb. 18, 1861, to David and Sarah. That Fall, Sept. 1861, David enlisted in the Civil War for the North. His war record states that he was 21 years of age when he enlisted, and was 5 feet, 11 1/2 inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and light hair. David enlisted at Camp Chase, Ohio, as a Corporal in Co. C, 40th Regiment, Ohio Volunteers, on Sept. 15, 1861. [Note: His brother, Ezra, served in this same regiment.] He served in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Georgia. He fought in the battles of Shiloh, Mill Springs, and Chicamauga, where he was wounded, losing his right thumb. In his application for a pension in 1889, he also stated: "While at Piketon, Kentucky, in June 1862, I contracted affections of the kidneys. At Louisa, Ky, July 1862, I contracted deafness caused by exposure." He was promoted to Sergeant on October 1, 1862. He mustered out on September 22, 1864, after three years of bitter fighting.

Twins, Edith and Edgar, were born to David and Sarah on August 28, 1865. Tradition has it that Sarah, upon returning from the neighbors one day less than a month after their birth, found the infant Edgar dead beside his sister on the bed. What a tragedy that must have been.

In the Spring of 1866, David and Sarah, their 4-year-old-daughter Martha and baby Edith, along with others, headed West in covered wagons. David drove oxen. This trip took about three months. Imagine the wagons: men with women walking by their side in the dust, campfires in the evening with the smell of food cooking. Perhaps they sang, even danced. They settled in Lancaster County, Nebraska, where West Lincoln now stands. But then, along with many others, they were compelled to abandon their claim due to drought and a plague of grasshoppers. They returned to Ohio, where their daughter Ella was born on Sept. 12, 1870, in Columbus.

The Tullis family, now with three little daughters, once again made the three-month trip by ox-drawn covered wagon back to Nebraska, reaching Lancaster County by 1872. Sarah Rebecca was born in Crete, Nebraska, on November 21, 1872. Mary Ann was born April 7, 1874, in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Charles Edward was born June 10, 1878, in Lincoln.

In 1882, when David was 47 and Sarah was 40, they filed a homestead claim in Custer County, southeast of Olax (now Oconto), Nebraska. They lived in a dugout in the creekís bank until David built their sod house.

In addition to farming, David Tullis was also a carpenter, building the first frame house in Lancaster County. He loved to see his son Charles, or "Peck" as he was called, play ball. He was always hard of hearing as a result of his exposure in the Civil War. He was known as "Honest Dave", whose word was as good as his bond.

Sarah Tullis was short and somewhat stocky, with dark brown curly hair. She had pierced ears. Sarah was what was called a mid-wife in those days. She played the accordion and loved her "poll parrot" [a pet parrot]. She took care of her grand-daughter, Ethel Tullis, who was born on the old homestead and lost her mother, Lottie Foster Tullis, when she was only 1 year and 9 days old.

David died in April 1906 of a stroke, and Sarah died of a heart ailment in February 1908, two years after her husband. David and Sarah are buried in Oconto Cemetery overlooking the valley where they once lived, and through work, play, and hard times, they loved and died.

David Tullis

David Tullis (1835-1906)

Sarah Ellen (Guyton) Tullis

David's wife Sarah Ellen Guyton (1842-1908)


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