Flower, Isaac, and Bathsheba Burr Foote

Isaac Flower: Surveyor, Pioneer, American Revolutionary War Veteran
Birth: August 16, 1755, New Hartford, Litchfield County, Connecticut
Death: May 5, 1813, Vienna, Trumbull County, Ohio
Burial: Vienna Township Cemetery

Bathsheba Burr Foote Flower Thompson: Pioneer
Birth: October 8, 1755, Granby, Hartford County, Connecticut
Death: October 4, 1855, Vienna, Trumbull County, Ohio

Isaac Flower and his family were among the first settlers in Vienna Township. Flower first came to the Township as a surveyor for the Connecticut Land Company. He returned with his family in 1799, as did a fellow member of the surveying team, Dennis Clark Palmer. Flower's name appears on the 1804 Ohio Tax List. The list reveals he owned 100 acres.

Isaac Flower's second wife, Bathsheba (sometimes spelled Bethsheba) Burr Foote, gave birth to Lavinia Flower, the first child born in Vienna Township, on November 17, 1799.

According to her land-bounty application in 1855 (see below), Flower and Bathsheba Burr Foote were married on December 24, 1792. Bathsheba Burr was the widow of Asa Foote. She had returned with her children to Connecticut after her first husband's death in Johnstown, New York, on May 27, 1789. Isaac and Bathsheba Flower's first child, a daughter Lucy, was born March 2, 1794.

After Isaac's death in 1813, Bathsheba married, on December 20 or 22, 1814, Thomas Thompson.

Bathsheba Burr Foote Flower Thompson died, four days short of 100 years, at the Vienna home of her daughter Lucy Flower Clinton and her husband Dexter Clinton, on October 4, 1855.

A child from Isaac's first marriage to Freelove Hopkins, Freelove Flower, married Samuel Hutchins in 1803--the first marriage in Vienna Township.[1]

Isaac Flower's American Revolutionary War Service
Isaac Flower was one of the 33-member company formed in Hartford, Connecticut, under the leadership of Captain Abraham Sedgwick. This company marched to Massachusetts in response to the Lexington alarm in April, 1775, at the very start of the war that would end officially in 1783.[2]

Bathsheba Flower's Application for Pension
After Isaac Flower's death in 1813, Bathsheba Burr Foote Flower married Thomas Thompson on December 20, 1814. In 1855, Bathsheba Thompson, age 99, applied for a land bounty as the widow of a Revolutionary War veteran.

On July 28, 1848, the United States Congress granted life pensions for widows of veterans who were married before January 2, 1800. Yet no record of an application by Bathsheba before 1855 exists.

On March 3, 1855, Congress enacted a law providing a 160-acre grant of land to all veterans who served at least 14 days during the American Revolutionary War, or had traveled 1,200 miles in service, or who had participated in any engagement during the War. Widows and minor children of these veterans were also eligible to claim the land bounty if it had not already been granted to their husbands or fathers. The New York Times, on November 1, 1855, reported that 220,000 applications had been submitted.

This 1855 law was the last land bounty to be offered. This is likely the reason Bathsheba Burr Foote Flower Thompson, supported by her daughter Lavinia Flower Steele, applied for the warrant. Nevertheless, the application was rejected.

Source
Bathsheba Flower Bounty Land Application, Case Files of Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Applications Based on Revolutionary War Service, ca. 1800-ca. 1900, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC. The file is available here: Bathsheba Flower Bounty Land Application 1855.pdf.

Published Biographies
From Harriet Taylor Upton, A Twentieth Century History of Trumbull County, Ohio: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People, and Its Principal Interests (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1909), Volume 1, pp. 485-486:

Bathsheba Burr, a relative of Aaron Burr, was born in 1755 and lived one hundred years. Her native state was Connecticut. She marked Joseph Foot and moved to New York state. He went to the war of 1776 and left her almost destitute. At one time she left her children in the house alone, threw a sack of corn on her back and walked twenty miles to mill. Her husband died during the war, and a nearby neighbor gave her a piece of meat and a pan of meal for temporary subsistence. She had four children. She bound out the oldest “and with the three remaining started on foot, carrying one, leading one, while one trudged by her side.” She begged as she went, “and like Naomi of old, returned to her home and her kindred in Connecticut.” One would think that so terrible an experience as this would have made future joys impossible. But we next find her married to Isaac Flower and going to Vienna in 1799, and later she became the third wife of Captain Thomas Thompson. If the pioneers were short on provisions and comforts they seem to have had plenty of husbands and wives. Captain Thompson’s daughter, Abigail, was for many years deputy-postmaster.

From Harriet Taylor Upton, A Twentieth Century History of Trumbull County, Ohio: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People, and Its Principal Interests (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1909), Volume 1, pp. 590-591:

Possibly this is the place to speak at length of one of the most remarkable women Trumbull County has ever had. She was Bethsheba Burr, a relative of Aaron, and apparently she had some of his initiative and energetic spirit. She was born in 1755, in Granby, Connecticut, and married a Mr. Foote. Some records say his name was Joseph, others Asa. Undoubtedly it was her energetic spirit which brought the family to New York. While living here, her husband, like most of the men of that time took up arms in the Revolutionary war. He was killed, and she was left in her western home so desperately poor that it is a wonder some of her children did not die of starvation. Once she carried a sack of corn twenty miles to get it ground into meal, leaving her children alone during her absence. It was that or starve. The nearby neighbors looked after her somewhat, one of them giving her a piece of meat and some meal, upon which she subsisted for a little time. Finally, binding out her oldest son, she started for Connecticut on foot, and begged her food as she went. She carried her baby in her arms, led one little child, while the other walked by her side. Could there be a more desolate, desperate picture than this? Two things brightened her way, one, the kindness of the people to whom she applied, and the other, that she was going home. After such an experience, one would expect to find her a broken-down, pessimistic person. However, she was not. What she did for a little time, we do not know, but when Isaac Flower and his party started for the Western Reserve, she, as his wife, accompanied them. When they arrived at Youngstown, the wagons were more or less dilapidated, and the roads impassable, and her daughter Bethsheba with Freelove Flower (undoubtedly her step-daughter) walked the eighteen miles to Vienna, and were therefore the pioneer women in that town. With her energetic spirit she entered into her new duties, and died in that township, the oldest woman to have ever lived there. However there were eventful years between the time she first set her foot on Vienna soil to the time she was laid away, peacefully to sleep in the cemetery. Her daughter, Lavinia Flower, was the first white child born in the township. She married a Mr. Steele, and died in 1881. During Mrs. Flower’s early life in Vienna, she and her daughters, possibly the girls who had walked to Connecticut with her, were in their cabin, when an Indian was seen to come out of the thicket, followed by five or six others, two or three squaws, carrying papooses. They came directly to her door. Laying their bundles on the grass, they had a consultation in which there was a good deal of merriment. Of course, Mrs. Flower was alarmed. But her natural courage served her well, for she walked out, greeted them cheerfully, shook hands with them, invited them in, and gave them food. Presently they asked for “fire-water.” She explained to them that there was none in the house. This they did not believe since they saw the whiskey barrel in the corner. She explained to them that the contents that morning had been taken to a raising, and there was nothing in the barrel but the odor. At length they were convinced, and withdrew. In 1813 Isaac Flower died. Levi Foote, Mrs. Flower’s son, had moved to Fowler, and his child was the first white child born in the township (Fowler). One of the foremost citizens of Hartford was Captain Thomas Thompson. The woman he brought with him was his second wife, and she died about the time that Isaac Flower passed away. Captain Thompson was a strong character and certainly Bethsheba Burr Foote Flower was also. It was natural therefore that these people, of this character, both “twice bereft,” should marry. The new Mrs. Thompson displayed the same courage during her third venture in her new home as she had in early life. She killed at least one wolf, probably two. A recorder of the history of one township says she shot a wolf, and another that she caught one with a trap, and received the ten dollar bounty offered for it. We are sorry to record that the man who loaned her the trap claimed half the money, and as far as we know this was the only time Bethsheba got the worse of the bargain. She spent her last days in Vienna as recorded above.


This entry is adapted from Fred L. Martin and James Bradley, "A Genealogical History of Vienna," in Vienna, Ohio, "Where We Live and Let Live": Town 4, Range 2 of the Connecticut Western Reserve (Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 1999), pp. 25-26. Additional material added by Shirley T. Wajda, March and June 2012.

[1] Isaac Flower married Freelove Hopkins on June 29, 1783. After giving birth to seven children, Freelove, age 34, died on April 14, 1791. She may have been in childbirth at the time.
[2] "Flower, Isaac." Daughters of the American Revolution Genealogical Research Library, at
http://services.dar.org/public/dar_research/search_adb/default.cfm. Accessed 23 March 2012.
Ċ
Shirley Wajda,
Sep 28, 2014, 4:03 PM