The Life & Times of Harriet (Wade) (Searles) Tappan (1822-1917)

Harriet Sabrina Wade was the fifth born, but oldest daughter of Lewis Wade and Harriet Bowen, who migrated from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania.

She was born in 1822 or 1823, with her birth date reported as 22 November, although I have not found a document confirming this. She did, however, pass away on 2 December 1917 in Aurora, Kane, Illinois, aged 94 or 95 years old.

Her eldest brother was born across the Massachusetts state line in Seekonk, Rhode Island in 1815, but her family soon moved on to Warren Center, Bradford, Pennsylvania, where they lived until about 1832.

The family uprooted once again and Harriet’s family made a new home for themselves in Newark Valley, Tioga, New York.  Harriet’s father, Lewis Wade, died on 5 July 1862 in Tioga County; her mother, Harriet, died on 10 June 1879, also in Tioga County.

Both of Harriet’s parents lived to see her first and second marriages. She married (1) James M. Searles, reportedly on 16 August 1840 in Tioga County. James passed away on 18 October 1852 and is buried at Searlestown Cemetery, Owego in Tioga County.

Harriet next married (2) William Tappan (1806-1869) on an unknown date. William was born in New York, so they likely married perhaps c1856, before removing to DeKalb County, Illinois, where they are found living in 1860.

Harriet was the mother of two known children, both daughters:

1. Louisa A. or H., born 21 December 1842; died 9 March 1881; married Asa Very Cornell, 24 September 1857, DeKalb County, Illinois.

Asa and Louisa were the parents of five children:

1. Alice, born 1860; died after 1880; married Frank Haywood, 9 January 1878, Kane County, Illinois. They had one known son – William Asa Haywood.
2. George, born 5 December 1863; died 28 June 1936, Kane County, Illinois; married Sadie Gay Weston. They had one surviving daughter – Katherine L. Cornell.
3. William Downing, born 10 September 1871; died 14 April 1957, Henry County, Iowa; married Clara May Hettich, 4 October 1893, Henry County, Iowa. They were the parents of two children – Helen L. and William F. Cornell.
4. Etta Mabel, born 1873; died 5 May 1907; married Charles F. Case, 22 November 1892, Kane County, Illinois. They were the parents of four children – Harry, Etta, Nettie and Charlie.
5. Ida Almina, born c1876; died 1960; unmarried.

2. (Lucinda) Lucy Elmira, born 30 June 1846, Tioga County, New York; died 16 March 1876, DuPage, Will, Illinois; married Benjamin F. Ward (1840-1891), 11 December 1861, DeKalb County, Illinois. Benjamin married (2) Elizabeth Dailey, 1 January 1884, Story County, Iowa. His birthplace is given as DeKalb County, Illinois on the marriage record. He remained in Story County until he died in 1891.

Benjamin and Elmira, as she was called, were the parents of several children:

1. Lillie B., born c1862; died 1950; married Joseph W. Thompson, 23 December 1884, Kane County, Illinois. They were the parents of two children – Glen and Hazel Thompson.
2. Ida May, born c1864; may have married Jasper H. Wade, 21 September 1884, but marriage record calls her Ida Staley. Daughter’s death record call her Ida Ward. They were the parents of two daughters – Arlie and Alice Wade.
3. Merritt Benjamin, born 10 December 1865; died 1 August 1949, Story County, Iowa; married Helen Louisa Menk, c1890. They were the parents of three children – Harley Merritt, Vennie Elmina and Lewis Fayette Ward.
4. Frank, born 29 October 1867; died 10 February 1926, Kane County, Illinois; married Jennie Anderson, 12 June 1889, Kane County, Illinois. Frank was widowed by 1900 and appears to have no descendants.
5. Edward, born November 1869; died after 1900; married Adeline/Adelaide Cota (1862-1923), 27 December 1888, Kane County, Illinois. They were the parents of two sons – Arthur and Edward.

Harriet Sabrina (Wade) (Searles) Tappan has a number of descendants today and this photo of her, taken c1890, has gone home to one of them.

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