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Anna Belle (Boyd) Sears

Anna Belle (Boyd) Sears was born in March 1860/1861 and raised near Greenfield, Hancock County, IN, the adopted daughter of William E. and Maria J. (Bush) Boyd

Anna's sister, Ellen "Nellie" (Boyd) Mundelle, also was raised by the Boyds, but the fate of a brother, Michael Thompson, is unknown. 

Obituary, 1926
Circa 1877, when she was age 16, Anna was united in the bonds of holy matrimony with 21-year-old William Henry Harrison Sears (Oct. 1855-1922), a lifelong resident of Hancock County. 

They together produced one daughter, Josie Beaver, and raised two granddaughters, Nelle "Marie" (Beaver) Hutton and Catherine (Beaver) Hamilton Wing. 

In 1880, when William was 25 and Annie 21, they resided with the Boyds on their farm northeast of Greenfield.

The Greenfield Daily Reporter once said of William that he "lived in this county all his life, having been engaged at farming the greater part of the time."  

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1900, the Searses were on a farm next to Anna's parents in Center Township, Hancock County.

Later, they moved into town, residing at 429 Walnut Street in Greenfield. 

Greenfield's Main Street looking west in the early 1900s

Tragedy struck thrice in 1902, when they lost three of their young grandchildren in tragic or untimely deaths.  On June 12 of that year, granddaughter Anna Beaver died of an accidental burn, when she tipped onto herself a pan full of scalding water.  On July 31, grandson Charles Perry Beaver died of heart trouble, at the tender age of only five weeks and four days.  Five days after that, on August 5, grandson Ralph Boyd Beaver died, when he "upset a pail of boiling water on himself."  All three of the funerals are thought to have been held at the Sears home.

To mourn the loss of the Beaver children, a poem was published in the Hancock Democrat by "A Friend":

There is a voice of sovreign grace,
Sounds from the sacred Word
Which bids the little ones to come
To join the angels of the lord.

A guiltless, weak and helpless heart,
In God's kind arms they fall;
He takes their souls to heaven,
Their Savior and their all.

Oh, parent, meet the day of joy
When praises shall all tongues employ;
Your child is in heaven, there to wait
For you to surround the golden gate. 

Obituary, 1922
William died on April 13, 1922, at the age of 66. His obituary was published in a local newspaper.

Anna outlived her husband by four years. She passed away on Oct. 31, 1926.  They are buried together in unmarked graves beside her parents at the Park Cemetery in Greenfield. 

~ Daughter Josie (Sears) Beaver ~

Daughter Josie L. Sears (1878-1909) was born in Sept. 1878 in Center Township, Hancock County, IN.

When she was about 16 years of age, in 1895, she was joined in wedlock with 22-year-old Alvin E. Beaver (Sept. 1873- ? ).

Five known children born to the couple were Marie M. Beaver, Ralph Boyd Beaver, Anna M. Beaver, Charles Perry Beaver and Catherine Wing Hamilton.  

The United States Census of 1900 shows the family making its residence in Center Township, north of Greenfield. Alvin earned a living at that time as a day laborer.

A series of tragedies struck in 1902, when they lost three of their young children in tragic or untimely deaths. On June 12 of that year, 20-month-old daughter Anna Beaver died of an accidental burn, when she tipped onto herself a pan full of scalding water. News accounts reported that Josie tried to save the child and "was badly but not fatally buried." Eight days later, said the Bremen (IN) Enquirer, "the home and crops were destroyed by a cyclone and Mrs. Beaver injured." On July 31, newborn son Charles Perry Beaver passed away of heart trouble, at the tender age of only five weeks and four days. Five days after that, on August 5, son Ralph Boyd Beaver died when he "upset a pail of boiling water on himself." Opined the Enquirer, "Misfoortune seems to follow Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Beaver, of Jackson township." All three of the funerals are thought to have been held at the Sears home. Burial initially was in Cummings Cemetery at Willow Branch, Hancock County. 

Alvin made news again in January 1908 when involved in a fight with his brother-in-law and neighbor Oscar Roland. Said the Tri-County (IN) Banner, he was "in a serious condition with two broken ribs and serious internal injuries... The nature of the trouble, which occurred Monday, is unknown, but the results are considered most serious and may result fatally. The two men who are about the same age, probably thirty-five years, had some trouble about moving a house, which resulted in Mr. Beaver getting his with a brick."

Sadly, Josie became seriously ill and was cared for in her parents' home. There, she succumbed to the spectre of death on Sept. 28, 1909, at the age of 31. An obituary was published in the Greenfield Daily Reporter. Her funeral service was led by Rev. Robert O. Rogers, pastor of the local Christian Church, with assistance from Rev. Mrs. Lowe representing the Holiness Society. Interment of the remains was in Park Cemetery in Greenfield.

By 1910, Alvin had moved back into the dwelling of his mother Debby A. Johnson in Jackson Township, Hancock County, and was marked by the census-taker as widowed. He is known to have resided in Bloomington, IN in May 1920, when he and his daughters Marie and Catherine paid a visit to Catherine "Katy" (Fields) Catt ( ? - ? ), daughter of William R. and Minnie (Beaver) Fields, in the village of Cleveland, IN.  He appears to have been living in Ohio in July 1921 at the death of his mother. Evidence suggests that he married Katy prior to 1930.

Alvin relocated yet again by 1941 to Martinsville, IL.

Daughter Marie M. Beaver (1895-1974) was born on Nov. 14, 1895 in Hancock County. She entered into marriage with Chester Scott Hutton (March 13, 1892-1971), son of Aaron and Mary (Scott) Hutton of Hancock County. Together, the pair produced four children -- Ralph S. Hutton, Louis Hutton, Phyllis Settles and Barbara Mattlingly. Chester was a U.S. Army veteran of World War I. Chester spent his working career as an automobile mechanic and for many years worked at Kinder's Garage. They belonged to the Greenfield Christian Church, and he held memberships in the Hancock post of the American Legion and the local Eagles lodge. In time he arranged for the graves of his wife's young siblings to be relocated from Cummings Cemetery at Willow Branch, Hancock County, to Park Cemetery in Greenfield. The couple's final address together was 313 Grant Street, Greenfield. Sadly, Chester died at the age of 79 on Aug. 28, 1971. His pastor, Rev. Dan Garrison, officiated the funeral service, with burial in Park Cemetery. An obituary appeared in the Greenfield Daily Reporter. Marie outlived her spouse by three years and remained in their home. She died onSept. 25, 1974, at the age of 78. Rev. Ralph Kitley presided over the funeral. Over time, her offspring spelled her maiden name "Bever."

  • Ralph Hutton
    Grandson Ralph S. Hutton (1919-1974) was born on Feb. 1, 1919 in Hancock County. He married Wilma Schnier ( ? - ? ). They became the parents of three -- Larry Hutton, Scott Hutton and Phil Hutton. Ralph especially was active in civic and community affairs of Greenfield. In addition to serving as a City Councilman and as a purchasing agent for the Indiana State Highway Commission, he was a World War II veteran, a commander of American Legion Post 119, a board member of the Boys Club and of the Selective Service Commission, and founded the Walter Molinder Memorial Fund for the advancement of baseball in Hancock County. Ralph passed away on Sept. 30, 1974. Rev. Paul Kitley led the funeral service, with burial following in Park Cemetery. An obituary appeared with Ralph's photograph in the Greenfield Daily Reporter.

  • Grandson Louis "Mike" Hutton (1924-1977) was born on Feb. 6, 1924 in Greenfield. He was married and the father of Douglas Hutton, Daniel Hutton and David Hutton. Louis is known to have dwelled in Fairland, IN for about 15 years until 1972, when he moved to Mooresville, IN. He held a membership in the Masons. At the age of 53, a patient at Indiana University Medical Center, he surrendered to death on Dec. 5, 1977. The remains were laid to rest in the sacred soil of Park Cemetery, following a funeral by the hand of Rev. Don Griffith. The Greenfield Daily Reporter published an obituary.  
  • Granddaughter Phyllis Hutton ( ? - ? ) was born in (?) in Greenfield, a twin with her sister Barbara. She married (?) Settles. They put down roots in Greenfield. The couple's only daughter was Teri Reed. Phyllis earned a living for years as an administrative assistant in the Special Projects Department of Eli Lilly and Co. She retired in 1990. The family attended Noblesville Christian Church. Phyllis held memberships in the Fraternal Order of Police and the Kiwanis Club of Greenfield. Phyllis passed into the arms of the angels on May 3, 2014. She was pictured in her obituary in the Greenfield Daily Reporter.

     Great-granddaughter Teri Settles was joined in matrimony with David Reed. In 2014, they dwelled in Fishers, IN.

  • Granddaughter Barbara Hutton ( ? - ? ) was born in (?) in Greenfield, a twin with her sister Phyllis. She was an alumna of Greenfield High School and went on to tudy dentistry in Indianapolis. She wed Verne T. Mattingly ( ? - ? ). They did not reproduce. The Greenfield Daily Reporter once said that she "loved living and working in the Midwest and did not venture far from home for work and enjoyment." Their home in 1971 was in New Palestine, IN. Barbara was employed in many capacities over the years. Among them was as a bookkeeper for Mattingly Shell Station in New Palestine for 45 years; a dental assistant in Indianapolis for 15 years; and as a choreographer for the New Palestine High School majorette and pom-pom groups for 15 years. She also served for 23 years on the town council of New Palestine and attended New Palestine Christian Church. She belonged to the Order of Eastern Star, the Links of New Palestine Golf League and as president of the Psi Iota Xi Sorority, a women's philanthropy organization. Sadly, while residing at The Waters of Muncie (IN), she died on Nov. 6, 2020. Her photograph accompanied her obituary in the Daily Reporter.     

Daughter Catherine Beaver ( ? - ? ) married twice, first to (?) Wing and later to (?) Hamilton. She lost an 18-month-old son, Robert Wing, in 1928 and a four-year-old son, Richard Gale Hamilton, of the effects of diphtheria, in 1933.


Copyright 2000, 2009, 2022 Mark A. Miner