1548     LORENZO DOW OATMAN

 

 

1548    LORENZO DOW7     (Royce6Lyman5, George4, George3, John2, Johannes), son of Royce and Mary Ann (Sperry) Oatman, was born in July 1836, LaHarpe, Hancock County, Illinois, and died 8 October 1901 in Red Cloud, Webster County, Nebraska.  Picture

 

Lorenzo, with his sisters Olive and Mary Ann, were the only survivors of the Indian attack on the Gila River in the present state of Arizona in 1851, which claimed the rest of the family.  Lorenzo was about 15 at the time.  (See #479, Royce Oatman, and #1549, Olive Ann Oatman)

 

After Lorenzo was found following the massacre, he traveled to Fort Yuma, Arizona, where he spent about three months recovering.  He then traveled to  San Francisco with Dr. Hewit, who had treated him during this time, where he spent the next three years.  In October of 1854, he left for Los Angeles, where he resolved to stay until he found some traces of his captive sisters.  In late 1855, he joined several gold-hunting parties, with the promise of men among them that they would also hunt for his sisters.  In December 1855 a party of five men joined Lorenzo to search for Olive and Mary Ann; they spent several weeks near Fort Yuma and returned to San Bernardino to resupply themselves for another trip.  While there, he received word of two white girls among the Mojaves and that the girls were part of a family who had been attacked in 1851.  He also learned that the girls had been offered to the officers at Fort Yuma for a "mere nominal price".  In February 1856 the release of Olive was completed, Mary Ann having died of hard work and starvation a few years earlier.  Olive was taken to Jackson County, Oregon, where she lived for some time.  She was later to spend about six months in the Santa Clara Valley, California, with Lorenzo, where she attended school.  On 5 March 1858 Lorenzo and Olive left San Francisco for New York, where they arrived on March 26. 

 

In 1860 Lorenzo was living with his aunt, Sarah (Sperry) Abbott in Ustick, Whiteside County, Illinois, at the time of the census.  Next door to his aunt lived the Bond family.  Mrs. Bond was the former Harriet Canfield and older sister of 13 Canfield children from New York whose mother and father were now dead.  The two youngest Canfield children lived with Mrs. Bond:  Jay Canfield, who was later killed in the Civil War; and Edna Canfield, then 18 years old, who was born February 1842 in New York. 

 

Lorenzo and Edna Amelia Canfield were married 3 August 1860 in Ustick, Illinois.  Some time after their marriage, they moved to Minnesota, and also possibly to Montana.  Lorenzo was in the hotel business and ran ones of increasing size until he began to build his own hotel in 1901.  Lorenzo died suddenly 8 October 1901 before the hotel was finished.  Edna lived on in Red Cloud, finished the hotel, and ran it until she was burned to death in a coal oil fire in the kitchen of the hotel on 23 December 1919.  Both are buried in Red Cloud. 

 

Lorenzo and Edna had four children, but only one survived. One son, Denver, was listed in the 1870 census Arendahl, Fillmore CO., MN, at age four, but was not mentioned again.

 

Children of Lorenzo Dow and Edna Amelia (Canfield) Oatman:

 

3750    Royal Fairchild, b. Mar 1880, MN; m. Harriett Rants, 31 Oct 1907, Red Cloud, NE.  She was the daughter of T. H. and Mary Rants.  After the death of his mother, Royal continued to run the hotel for several years.  In 1930, he leased the hotel and moved to Los Angeles, CA.  Children, surname Oatman:

A         William Robert, b. 13 Jul 1919; m. 1) Irene _____;  2) Betty Ore, 27 May 1963; she b. 18 Jun 1929.  Lived in Los Angeles in the 1960's and contributed material to the San Bernardino County Museum on Lorenzo and Olive Oatman and the Oatman massacre.  Children, surname Oatman: 

 

  I         Patricia Diane (from his first marriage), b. 8 Dec 1949, Inglewood, CA; m. 1) _____ Crandall, had one daughter Susan;  m. 2) Richard Elliott III, had one daughter, Jackqulin, b. 10 Mar 1988, Costa Mesa, CA.

 

 II        Jeffrey Gordon (Betty's son from a previous marriage, adopted by William Robert), b. 19 Oct 1960, Culver City, CA; m. Marie _____.  Children, surname Oatman:

 

a          Ryan William (twin), b. 8 Nov 1984, Mission Viejo, CA

 

b          Christopher Louis (twin), b. 8 Nov 1984, Mission Viejo, CA

 

III        John Adams, b/d 19 Dec 1963, Los Angeles, CA

 

 IV       Steven Robert, b. 3 Oct 1964, Culver City, CA.  Unmarried.

 

3751    Denver, b. ca 1866, MN; d. before 1880.

 

 

Sources:           Craig J. Canfield, M.D.

William Robert Oatman family records

Stratton, The Captivity of the Oatman Girls, 1857

1900 census, Red Cloud City, Red Cloud Twp., Webster Co., NE

                        Newspaper article from Red Cloud Chief, 11 Oct 1901

                        1870 census, Arendahl, Fillmore Co., MN

1880 census, Beaver, Fillmore Co., MN

1910 census, Red Cloud Twp., Webster Co., NE


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