Klondike School Yearbook 1936-37, Tippecanoe Co, Indiana

These images are from the 1936-37 Klondike School yearbook The Prospector. This was Jeanne Morehouse’s yearbook for her senior year of high school. Included are photos of her brother Alan, who was a sophomore, her brother Alpha who was in eighth grade, and her friend and future sister-in-law, Ethel who was also a senior. Members of the senior class were: Betty Lou Jakes, Elizabeth Morehouse, Jack Dyer, Robert Hinkel, Harriet Jakes, Jeanne Morehouse, Russell Justice, Everett Wichmann, Dovie Mae Herdman, Clifford Lynn Breeden, Dale Dawson, Helen Leitner, Richard Beeler, Charles Wolf, Dee Vere Meek, Leonard Dietrich, Janette O’Brien, John Hurley, Ethel Scifres, Edward Klinker. Klondike School was located in Wabash Township, near Lafayette, Indiana.

Joseph and Barbary Cyphers (Scifres)

Joseph and Barbary Cyphers (Scifres) are my paternal 5th great-grandparents.

A descendant of the Matthias and Sarah Edwards Cyphers family has said that: “Joseph Cyphers, Barbary and family came from the Chester County, Pennsylvania area. Immigrants of German parentage. Migrated to Kentucky late 1700’s by flat boat. Family legend is that because of extreme Indian activities they lived in an old fort near Limestone (now known as Maysville, Kentucky). Later traveling on to settle in.”

Joseph and Barbary’s children were (From Shelby Co., KY marriage records):
Matthias (married Sarah Edwards 8 July 1794)
Jane Barbary (married Jesse Crume 4 May 1795, signed by Joseph & Barbary Cyphers)
Mary “Polly” (married William Thomas 30 December 1794)
Joseph C. (married Anna Pierson 6 August 1801) my 4th great-grandparents
Elizabeth “Betsey” (married William Hobson 29 January 1805)

I’m looking for more  information/documentation to help answer the following questions:

1. When did Joseph, Barbary and family arrive in Kentucky?
By 1794 when Joseph paid taxes on 412 acres of land in Shelby Co., KY.

2. If they migrated from Pennsylvania, where in PA had they lived? Did they live in more than one place in PA? What is the basis, other than family tradition, for saying they had lived in Chester Co.? There are quite a few records for Cyphers/Scifres individuals who lived in Chester Co. in the 1700s, but are they connected to Joseph and Barbary? (Chester Co. was an original county formed in 1682. It was the parent county of Lancaster Co. (1729) and Delaware Co. (1789). It was also one of the parent counties of Berks Co. (1752). I have also seen a reference to them having been in Westmoreland Co., PA.

“ . . . I learned the identity of William Hobson who married Elizabeth Thomas in 1818. He writes and I quote: (In part) ‘My grandfather’s mother was Betsy Cyphers, as she was the second wife of my great grand-father, William Hobson . . . I am told that the early records indicate that there were Hobsons and Cyphers living in Chester of Philadelphia Counties in the State of Pennsylvania. One might conclude that they were friends and possibly these families moved to Kentucky at the same time .   .   .’ ” The Robert and Anne (Moore) Thomas Family History by Mary Thomas Crismore (1972), page 127

In 1749 a Joseph Cypher paid taxes in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
(1747-1764 Chester County Tax Index)
Cypher, Joseph, Vincent Twp., 1749/50, Freeman, County C‐18, p3. As a freeman at least 21 years of age, this Joseph would have been born by 1728/29, which is probably too early for him to be our Joseph Cyphers Sr. There are other listings for Cypher/Sipher and Giger/Kiger in this tax index.

About 1774 the family was living in PA based on daughter Jane Cyphers Crume’s 1850 U.S. Census record:  Dist. No. 2, Nelson Co., KY:  Jane Crume, age 76, female, born Pa.

About 1776 the family was living in PA based on daughter Mary “Polly” Cyphers Thomas Martin’s 1850 U.S. Census record:  Jackson Twp., Washington Co., IN:  Mary Martin, age 74, female, born Pa.

3. Did they live somewhere else before living in Pennsylvania, possibly in Maryland or Germany?

4. When and where were Joseph born? Who were Joseph’s parents?

5. When and where was Barbary born? Who were her parents?
“… one old letter from a great-granddaughter of Joseph and Barbary listed Barbary’s maiden name as ‘either Kiger or Giger’”, 2011 email from VS

6. When and where did Joseph and Barbary marry?
If they married in Pennsylvania their marriage may not have been recorded.

7. If one or both were born in Europe, what ship did they come over on, what port did they arrive in, what year?

8. If born in Europe, was Joseph naturalized?

9. What was the original spelling of the Cyphers/Scifres name?
Not knowing how the name was originally spelled or pronounced may be our biggest stumbling block.

10. What is the nationality of Cyphers/Scifres?
“Immigrants of German parentage.” from a descendent of the Matthias and Sarah Edwards Cyphers family, told to RSR

“Race: German” 1882 October Washington Co., Indiana Marriage Return of Benjamin P. Scifres

“John G. Scifres, M. D., one of the leading figures in the medical profession in Indianapolis, was born in Little York, Washington county, Indiana, December 21, 1884, the son of George M. and Sarah (Munden) Scifres, both of whom were natives of Indiana. His great grandfather was Joseph Mathias Scifres, a native of Wales, but of Scotch-Irish descent. Joseph Scifres, the grandfather of Doctor Scifres, was a pioneer of Indiana, having been one of the early settlers of Washington county, where he owned a large amount of land.” History of Indiana From Its Exploration to 1922, With an Account of Indianapolis and Marion County Vol. IV by Logan Esarey, 1924, pages 624-625

My dad thought that the Scifres family originally came from the French/German area called Alsace- Lorraine.

11. When and where did Joseph and Barbary die?
Joseph likely had died by January 1805 when their daughter Betsey married William Hobson, as only Barbary’s name was on the marriage bond.

12. Is there any other documentation for Joseph and Barbary? Family Bible, military records, or will/estate, correspondence, etc?

I would love to hear from you if you have any additional information, corrections or ideas about Joseph and Barbary. You can leave a comment to this post, or contact me through the Contact Me tab in the menu bar at the top of the page. Thanks.

Benjamin P. Scifres, 1940 U.S. Census, Floyd Co., Indiana

1946 scifres ben pThis photo of my great-grandfather, Ben Scifres was taken in 1946 when he was about 86 years old. Six years earlier he is found in the 1940 census as Ben Scifers, age 79, and is living by himself at 211 E. Main St., New Albany, Indiana. He is paying rent of $5 per month, is shown as single, with eighth grade listed as his last grade of school completed. He is unable to work, is retired, and says he has an old age pension. He answered, “yes” to “Did this person receive income (in 1939) of $50 or more from sources other than money wages or salary?”1940 scifres in floyd ben

Clarence and Mattie Scifres, 1940 U.S. Census, Tippecanoe Co., Indiana

In this census, my grandfather Clarence Scifres and his second wife, Mattie, are living in rural Wabash Township, with Clarence’s youngest children, Charlie and Helen. Clarence is farming, and Mattie is employed as a cook in a restaurant. The highest level of education completed by both Clarence and Mattie was eighth grade. Clarence is 56 years old, and Mattie is shown as being 36 years old. However, Mattie’s marriage and other records show her as having been born in November 1894, in which case she was actually 45 years old.

1940 scifres in tipp clarence censusx

Robert and Jeanne Scifres, 1940 U.S. Census, Tippecanoe Co., Indiana

In April 1940, Bob and Jeanne Scifres and their baby daughter Linda were living in Fairfield Township in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. No location other than the township is shown, but I have been told that their address was Rural Route 8, Lafayette, Indiana, and that they lived east of S. Fourth St., just south of Lafayette. They paid rent of $30 per month, and Bob’s annual salary was $1900, which he got for working as a construction superintendent assistant at Purdue.1940 scifres in tipp robt jeanne census

Benjamin Cyphers(Scifres) and Patsy Sluder 1832 Marriage

1832 scifres ben & sluder patsy mar recd115 Nov 1832: marriage, Washington County, Indiana
5 Nov Benjamin Cyphers, of age & Patsy Sluder, fathers consent
Returned Novr 15, 1832 – ”I do certify that I joined together Benjamin Cyphers & Patsy Sluder on the 15th day of November 1832. John Alright. M.G.
Washington County, Indiana Marriage Record B, Washington Co. Courthouse, Clerks Office

Benjamin and Patsy(Martha) Scifres are my third great-grandparents.

Dr. Benjamin P. Scifres

scifres ben portrait 1893 scifres ben univ louisville1

My great-grandfather Bejamin P. Scifres, of New Albany Indiana, was employed for many years as a cabinet maker, or finisher. In the 1900 census his occupation is shown as a cabinet maker, in 1920 a wood-finisher, and in 1930 a carpenter. In 1893, however, he is found on the roster of the University of Louisville Medical School. A search done by a University of Louisville archivist found this 1893 record for Benjamin, but found no other reference to him in Kentucky records.

I haven’t found any proof that Benjamin did receive his medical degree, but have found these references to him having done so:
In 1915 Benjamin received a letter congratulating him upon becoming a physician.
The 13 February 1923 Logansport (Indiana) Pharos-Tribune has this item: Rev. C. E. Scifres returned home Friday from Indianapolis, where he had been since Tuesday. While there he performed the wedding ceremony for his cousin, Dr. Scifres. Rev. Scifres’ brother, Dr. Scifres of Louisville, Ky., was also a guest.
From 1925-26 he is listed as a physician in the New Albany directory and from 1929-30 he is shown as being employed at the Hazelwood Eye Infirmary.
By 1934 Benjamin was living near Lafayette, Indiana and was working at the Pythian Home, presumably as a doctor or doctor’s assistant. A letter to his son Clarence dated March 15, 193_ was on letterhead which read, “Dr. B. P. Scifres”.
In June of 1935 he resigned from his position at the Pythian Home and returned to New Albany.
His 1951 obituary states that “he was for many years associated with the late Dr. J. W. Hazelwood.

New Albany City Directories (Indiana):
1909-1910  Benj Scifres, carp E F Bedan
1909-1910  Benj P Scifres, cabinet maker 501 E Water
1911-1912  Benj P Scifres, finisher, r, 50l E Water
1913-1914  Benj P Scifres, finisher AM C & F Co, r, NA
1915-1916  Ben P Scifres, finisher, r 411 E Elm
1915-1916  Benjamin P Scifres, finisher r? 612 E Main
1921-1922  Ben P Scifres, finisher
1923-1924  Ben P Scifres, cabinetmaker, Rupp Fir, 1316 Beechwood Ave
1925-1926  Benj P Scifres, physician 2223 Reno Ave
1929-1930 Benj P Scifres, Hazelwood Eye Infirmiry, 2223 Reno Ave
1931-1932  Ben P Scifres, 2223 Reno
1933-1934  Ben P Scifres, cabinet maker 2223 Reno
1935-1936  Ben P Scifres, 2223 Reno Ave
1939-1940  Ben P Scifres, 211 E Main
1941-1942  Ben P Scifres, 211 E Main
1943-1944  Ben P Scifres, 211 E Main

Benjamin and Belle Scifres 1900 U.S. Census, Floyd County, Indiana

1900 scifres in floyd ben In 1900 Benjamin and Belle Scifres were living at 1338 Beeler Street in New Albany, Indiana.
Ben Sifers, born Jun 1860, age 39, married 7 yrs, born in Indiana, parents born in Indiana, worked as a cabinet maker, living in a rented house
Belle Sifers his wife, born Nov 1870, age 29, married 7 yrs, mother of 2 children/0 living, born in Indiana, parents born in Indiana
Living with Ben and Belle was her brother Albert Porter.

Benjamin Scifres and Belle Porter Marriage 1893, Floyd County, Indiana

1893 scifres ben & belle marr rec My great-grandfather Benjamin Scifres, who was widowed about 1884, moved to Floyd County, Indiana from Washington County, Indiana, sometime after 1886. (On December 6, 1886 he had signed an affidavit stating he was residing in Little York, Indiana.) In 1893, he again married, this time to Belle Porter. They were living in the New Albany area of southern Indiana, which is across the river from Louisville, Kentucky.