A Sequential History of How Tanglewood Came to Be – Part Two
James’ wife, Elizabeth Lee Laughlin (sister to General Robert E. Lee) voted against moving away from their Ohio farm in Jefferson County, Ohio. She was content with their farm that was clear of any debt, James was 65 years old, and she was loosing her sight. In the end, she was outvoted, and the pages that follow are copied directly from a diary kept by Robert, the son who served in the War of 1812, along with his father.
There are misspellings in this text. I’ll leave them as I find them. Robert wasn’t along. The Louis & Clark Journals have mosquito spelled fourteen different ways.
Perhaps the following will help to explain why a man of sixty-five years would leave his home in a well established community in Ohio for a pioneer life in Iowa in 1851. James Laughlin, with his wife, Elizabeth Lee Laughlin and four of his children”: Jane, Mary, David, and Robert made the move.
James Laughlin was born in 1786, and married Elizabeth Lee in 1819. James was in the War of 1812, with William Henry Harrison at Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio, 1st regiment, 1st Rifle Company, 2nd Brigade, Ohio Militia, with Colonel John Andrews and Captain James Alexander, from August 6, 1812 to February 25, 1813. Discharged at Fort Meigs. (Source: National Archives, Washington, D.C. File no. B-L-WA-29363- 80-55)
Having a service record and since this was before the Homestead Act, he was eligible for a grant of new land. He did not exercise this option to secure land until 1850, when he made a trip to Iowa to locate the land he was to enter. I am not sure of the price, but I believe land could be purchased for $1.25 per acre from the U.S. Government by anyone. A man with a service record could purchase so much land at half price. The land in Tama County, Iowa was being offered to Veterans of the War of 1812, before it was opened to the public for sale.