Thomas Ralston Farm

History of Farm Ownership

(Hopefully, I have pieced this together correctly.)

The first Ralston to own the farm was my Great Grandfather Thomas Ralston, 1857-1879.

He bought the 240 acres in stages of one parcel at a time. Both he and Great Grandmother Jean Ralston, 1835-1924, were born in Scotland and came to Illinois with their parents, he in 1840 and she in 1850. They were married in 1857.

plat map
Acres ImprovedAcres UnimprovedCash ValueHorsesMilch Cows

When Thomas died, (May 19, 1879), he left his widow and 7 children with the farm (3 sons and 4 daughters).

  1. Peter William (Willie)1858-1949
  2. Janette B. (Nettie)1860-1926
  3. Isabelle G. (Belle) 1863-1919
  4. Martha (Mattie)1865-1936
  5. John Thomas (Uncle John)1868-1945
  6. Elizabeth Helen (Lizzie)1873-1949
  7. Thomas Charles 1876-1891

Grandpa Peter Willie was the oldest and he, with his mother Jane, was appointed administrator. This is what he wrote in his account- book:

There are many more pages of records in his record book, through June 1894.
He had graduated from Beloit College Academy June 17, 1890 and married Hannah Jane McAffee Nov. 6, 1890.

There are Real Estate Tax receipts for Thos. Ralston Est. starting in 1881 continuing through 1893. One is an 1882 tax receipt for Thos Ralston Estate for $65.29;

Starting in 1882 these Real Estate Tax receipts include an additional 86 a., for 326 total.

He purchased farmland from his father Peter Ralston, on 5 June 1869, described as NW part of NE¼ of NE¼ Section 14 Township 45, containing 7 acres more or less. The cost was $100.00.
It seems that Gr. Grandfather Thomas had purchased more property:

(Thomas Ralston's father, Peter Ralston, my 2nd Great Grandfather, died in April 1879.)

m\1890 map

Great Uncle, John Thomas Ralston was the next owner.
In February 1898 John Ralston received a quit-claim deed from his sister Martha Ralston White and her husband Henry for $2,000.
In 1907 John Ralston received a quit-claim deed from his mother, Jane Ralston, for $2,000 to John Ralston; property which had been conveyed to her by four certain deeds, to-wit: Warranty deed Feb. 25 1889 given to her by Janette B. McNaughton and David McNaughton in counties of Boone and Winnebago described as follows to-wit:
Caledonia Twp.

Harlem Twp. Also nearly all of All of the above in TWP 45 N Range 2 E of 3rd principal meridian in town of Harlem . Witnessed by P W Ralston, recorded 19 Feb 1907 in Winnebago Co. and 9 May 1907 in Boone Co. Jane Ralston also obtained a Deed of Release and Acquittance dated 21 May 1907 from Martha Ralston White, Belle Ralston Smith and Elizabeth Ralston McKay, children of Jane Ralston

1907 Caledonia
1907 Caledonia Township

1907 Harlem
1907 Harlem Township

Our Father, Kenneth McAffee Ralston, bought the 240 acre farm from Uncle John at an unknown date.
There is a Prairie Farmer Magazine subscription receipt; Jan 24, 1932, $3.15, Kenneth Ralston, Roscoe, Ill. With 'X' in box for 'Rents' (not Owner).
There are 1943 Real Estate Tax documents addressed to Uncle John for 40 a., 120 a., and 80a. This seems to indicate property had not yet been paid off and transferred.
And 1944 Real Estate Tax documents addressed to J T Ralston for 40 a., 120 a., and 80a with J T Ralston crossed out and replaced in pencil with "Kenneth Ralston".

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