Category Archives: Jacob Demarest Van Emburgh

Jacob Demarest Van Emburgh
Born September 11, 1830 Fairlawn, New Jersey
Died about 1900 Higham, Bingham, Idaho

Son of Garret Hopper and Catherine Van Emburgh. Husband of 1)Malinda Teresa Dull 2) Parthena McKinney

Jacob Demarest was born at the family home in Fairlawn, New Jersey on September 11, 1830. He was the first surviving child of Garret Hopper Demarest and Catherine Van Emburgh. Jacob apprenticed as blacksmith under his father until the year 1849 when a terrible cholera epidemic spread through New Jersey. His father Garret passed away and his mother Catherine shortly remarried her brother-in-law Peter J. Demarest. The union of his mother and uncle greatly upset hot tempered Jacob. He took his rage out on his uncle, changing his name from Demarest to his mother’s maiden name Van Emburgh and headed south to Louisiana.

On February 4, 1854 Jacob appears in Monroe, Louisiana when he marries local girl Malinda Dull. The couple had two children and then for unknown reasons Jacob left his family. Family legend has it that Jacob left to join the Confederacy and died at the Battle of Vicksburg. In truth Jacob left his family prior to the war, settling in Independence Arkansas. There, he committed bigamy and married the neighbors daughter Parthena McKinney October 25th 1861. In April of 1863 Jacob was taken a prisoner of war at West Plains, MO by Col. Asbury. Jacob claimed that he planned to join Confederate army but quickly changed his alliance after having spent a few weeks as prisoner. On May 7th he enlisted in the Union Army Company C, Arkansas 2nd Cavalry Regiment. His military service records show that he was a poor soldier to the Union. He was mostly absent, and in separate incidences lost his military issued horse, pack, and weapon. When the war was over, Jacob owed the government more money than they owed him in soldier’s pay and returned home to Parthena and their growing family for a time.

By 1880 Jacob had left his second family for San Saba Texas where he took up with another woman by the name of Fannie Prince. Together they moved to Higham, Bingham, Idaho with his new business partner William E. Wheat. They set up as farmer’s and by 1902 Jacob had passed away leaving Fannie to marry Mr. Wheat.

Jacob wrote one last letter home to his mother from Columbus, Kentucky in August of 1862. He complained that the war had ruined him and with that Catherine never heard from her son again and it broke her heart. Everyday of her life she thought of him, prayed for him and it hoped that someday she would hear a word from him. The Demarest family took it upon themselves to dote upon Malinda and her children, sending letters, advice and money to help them along.

1886 Letter from Grandma Caty

Tintype photograph of Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest.

Fair Lawn, New Jersey January  31 1886 to Monroe, Louisiana

Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest to her granddaughter Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly

Dear Grandchild George Anna

I am today 74 years of age and it has pleased almighty God to let me live beyond the allotted time of Life. And I have no doubt but it will soon be turn to be called away to meet my Holy Maker. I am very well for one of my age. The rest of the family are all very well. I trust that you and your mother are also and if it lay in your power take the best care of your mother you can.

I wish you would write me a good long letter and tell me if you have ever heard anything of your father. I have not heard from him in I think it must be some were about twenty years or more. If you have any news concerning him please let me know. I presume it was a great loss for you and your mother to loose your brother. I always had a desire to meet him, but it was not to be, so I have to be contented.

Remember me kindly to your mother and your dear children and endeaver to bring them to learn and honor their parents. Sometimes children get led astray but if you indeaver to teach them correctly and then they go astray you cannot help it.

Enclosed you will find two pictures. One of myself and one of your father. Please write and let me know how you all are.

From your GrandMa
Mrs Caty Demarest

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1868 How are you situated in worldly manners?

Henry Demarest

Henry Demarest 1842 -1888

 

Joliet, Illinois December 27 1868 to Monroe, Louisiana

Henry Demarest to his sister-in-law Malinda Van Emburgh

Mrs. M Van Emburgh

Dear sister and friends I thought that I would write to you and see if I could find out anything about Jacob if you know anything about him I wish you would tell me all that you know. I received your card you and your family I was very glad to get it now Malinda I want you to tell me how you are situated in worldly matters if you comfortable or not. I have not seen Mother [Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest] for nearly three years but I hope to see her before long. I am living in the state of Illinois and have got a wife [Martha Mills] but no children to take care of. If I had the time to come down and see you I would come but I cannot come this winter I have been sick for three weeks but are getting better now. Dose the children go to school or not. Tell them that I would like to see them very much and tell them to write to me. I must close for this time wright to me and let me know all the pitulars you must excuse me for this time for my hand is tired and weak. wright just as soon as you get this letter

I remain your Aft Brother

Direct to Henry Demarest Joliet Will Co, Ills

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1867 I hope that he will be a great comfort to his Mother and Sister

Demarest Family Home Saddle River, Bergen, New Jersey

Demarest Family Home circa 1867
Saddle River, Bergen, New Jersey

New York City Oct 13 1867 to Monroe, Louisiana

Zelotes Demarest to his sister-in-law Malinda Dull Van Emburgh

Dear Sister and family

I received your letter and was happy to hear from you all and to hear that Georgianna is getting better and to hear that you and James are well.

It is a lovely day today. It has been raining for a week back more or less all the time. Elmira my wife has been a visiting to Mother [Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest] for nearly two weeks. Mother is well her husband [Peter Demarest] is well also. they are still living in the Old Homestead, as when Jacob was home before he was married. They are very much pleased when they hear from you, all the letters I receive from you. I always show them to them all. Mother is always anxious to hear from you. She never [?] me but what she asks me if I have heard from you lately. Mother was down here day before yesterday and she wish to know if I had heard from you I told her it was not time for a letter yet.

In your last letter you thought of moving, but you did not say wether you would move or no. If you do you must write and let me know were you move to.

I am happy to hear that James is improving fast at school. If a man or boy has a good education he can get along in this world very well. And I hope he will improve his time very much. And I hope that he will be a great comfort to his Mother and Sister yet, and that he will be a better son to his mother than his father was to his own Mother. Mother [Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest] says she thinks it is a dreadfull thing for him [Jacob] to do so. It troubles her almost to death. Malinda, do you think Jacob Carte de Visite looks like him. We received your cards and was very much pleased with them.

Sister Kezia [Kezia Demarest Post] and Husband [Halmaugh Post] and family are all well and all send there love to you.

Malinda you never told me in your letter wether you received Jacob and Henry [Henry Demarest] cards, you said that Georgianna was much pleased about her GrandMa picture

Mother was very much delighted about your card and I am very much obliged to you for mine and I will return the compliment sometime with myself and wife.

Mother and family send her love to you all.

Elmira and myself send our love to you and the children, and when you write again ask James if he could write a few lines to his Grandma in the letter you send to me. Write soon and let me know how you are, write as often as you possibly can. We are always pleased to hear from you.

From Your Affectionate Brother

Zelotes G Demarest

27 Barrow St., New York

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1867 I wish we could hear something about Jacob

Jacob Demarest Van Emburgh

Jacob Demarest Van Emburgh

New York Cit, New Yorky August 14, 1867 to Monroe, Louisiana

Zeolotes Demarest to his sister-in-law Malinda Van Emburgh

Dear Sister,

I received your letter and was much pleased to hear from you and to hear that you and your children are well. We are all well at present except my wife, Elmira, she has got a toothache and her face is much swollen. Mother [Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest] is very well at present and was very glad to hear that you received the letter with the money and she send you three card with Jacob, your husband , Brother Henry, the youngest one in the family, and herself for Georgianna.

Sister Kezia [Kezia Demarest Post], husband [Halmagh Post] and children [Anna & Emma Post] are well and send their love to you all.

Malinda, when we have our Cadevisti taken again, I will send you one of myself and wife also.

We have a great deal of wet weather this season. There is plenty of peaches about this season, and they are very cheap because we have had so much wet weather this season that they will not keep Good long after they are picked. The other crops so far are very good.

I am sorry to hear such bad news about the crops South. I hope the children are improving there time at school. Tell them they should learn as fast as they possibly can.

Mother send her kind love to you and your children, and we all send our love to you and your children and kiss them each for their uncle Zelotes, and tell them, that I say they must be good to you and love you and obey you. Because there Pa does not, and they must try and comfort you all they can.

I wish we could hear something about Jacob. Malinda write soon and let us know how you all are.

From your affectionate Brother

Zeolotes G Demarest

27 Barrow Street New York City

Do not forget to send your Cardiveti as mother would be pleased to see them and so would I. Send them whenever you have a chance.

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1867 You must have a hard time of it with two children to clothe and feed.

New York City June 24 1867 to Monroe, Louisiana

Zeolotes Demarest to his sister-in-law Malinda Dull Van Emburgh and her children

Dear Sister and children

I know take the pleasure in writing you a few lines to inform you that we are well, pardon me for not answering your letter before. Mother [Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest] has been quite sick since I wrote you last. I was up in the country to Mothers yesterday and she is quite well again. She has had the remittent fever, But she feels quite well again the fever is broken and is getting along nicely now. Mother requested me to say to you that she felt very gratefull to your mother for kindness in caring for Jacobs Wife and children, for which she is much obliged, and hope that the Savior will reward her bountifully for it.

Malinda, enclosed you will find Fifty Dollars that Mother send you to assist you and the children because she think that you must have a hard time of it with two children to clothe and feed. Mother says she is very sorry that she has a child as Jacob is. She cannot tell who he takes after, his conduct is very strange. It troubles her almost to death I hardly think there is a minute in a day that she does not think about him. She says She thinks sometimes he is dead or he could not do so to stay away from his family so long.

Now I will tell you about the rest of the family. Sister Kezia [Kezia Demarest Post] Husband [Halmagh Post] and children are all well , and they all  send there love to you and your children. Mother send her love to you and the children and tell them that they mind love and obey their mother and be a good boy and girl, tell them there GrandMa says so. I would of sent this money by express but I could not get it to you any nearer than Vicksburg or New Orleans, and [?]in a letter. So I sent it in this manner to you, and I trust that it may reach you all right.

Malinda, Please write as soon as you receive this because we will feel anxious to know how you all are and if you received the money all right or not.

[My wife] Elmira and I send you our love to you and your children. Write soon and let us hear from you.

From your affectionate Brother and Sister

Zeolotes G., Elmira Demarest and Mother.

Direct your letter to Zeolotes G Demarest

27 Barrow Street New York City

Goodnight

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1867 Was he a good husband to you?

The following is the first letter that Malinda received from her in-laws after writing to inquire if they had any news of her husband Jacob.

New York City April 14th 1867 to Monroe, Louisiana

Zeolotes Grinnell Demarest to his sister-in-law Malinda Dull Van Emburgh

Dear Sister

I received your letter in due time and was much pleased to hear from you but was sorry to hear the news concerning Jacob. The last letter that we had from Jacob was August 28, 1862 and that he wrote to Mother [Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest]. He was at Columbus Kentucky. He stated  in his letter to Mother that the [Civil] war had ruined him and that he had not heard from his family in bout three months and that was in August 1862.  In your letter you say that you have not heard from him in nine years. He said in his letter to mother that he had been very sick with chronic diareahrea and was near the verge of the grave. He said then he thought about his neglected friends and he would like to have seen all of them. And I trust and hope that he will turn up some were to comfort his family and his mother, brothers and sister.

Now then I would like to ask you a few plain questions and hope you will not be offended as it is for your own benefit. Where did Jacob go to when he left you and what was the cause of him leaving you. Did you and him have any trouble or did he go away to work some where or did he leave you of his own accord or did you and him have any disagreement. Was he a good husband to you. Did he provide willingly for you. It appears very strange to me that my brother would do so. When he wrote to mother last he said he had not heard from you in three months this was in August 1862 and the letter I received from you that was written March 29 1867 you say that you have not heard from him in nine years. The time he write it would make it about five years that you have not heard from him according to his account. We have not heard a word from him since 1862 and we would be very glad to hear from him and to hear that he was with his family and that you were all well. What precious news that would be for me and his kind mother and sister to hear.

Just as soon as Mother received that letter in aug 1862. She wrote him one and told him he should have stayed with his family anyhow and that was the last we have ever heard from him and it has upset her almost to death.

[Our sister] Kezia [Kezia Demarest Post] and her husband are well. Her Husband name is Halmagh R. Post and they say they will write you. They have children living. Two girls Anna and Emma. One of them is eleven years old and Emma is ten years old. Brother Henry [Henry Demarest] is in Illinois he is at the Butcher Business at present and is well. I had a letter from him yesterday. I saw Mother to day and showed her your letter that you wrote to me and she was very glad to hear from you but was sorry to hear the news about her son. She has not heard a word from him in so long a time that she has almost given up hope of ever hearing  from him or you ever again. She had no idea that he was not with you but thought he was careless and did not care about writing home to his folks.

I will send you Mothers Carte-Vistas enclosed you will find it. They all send there love to you and children. My wife [Elmira De Voe Demarest] sends her love to you. Says she is very sorry for you and wishes she could say something consoling to you as not having knowing you nor Jacob she don`t know what to say.

Enclosed you will find five dollars to pay for yours and your childrens carte-vistas. for which I hope you will mail in your next letter. Please answer immediately if you please and let me know all the particulars as mother is anxious to hear from you as the news was unexpected that we cannot give you any advice about the children at present

My kind love and best wishes to you and your children and believe me ever kindly. Your Brother,

Zelotes G Demarest

27 Barrow Street, New York City

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1855 Yes indeed I do want to see the colony that greatest of places

New Orleans, October 29th 1855 to Ouachita Colony, Louisiana

Martha Dull Morrison to her sister Malinda Dull Van Emburgh

My Dear Sister,

It was with great joy that I received your kind letter the other day for it had been a long time since I had heard and them had heard sad news, but now you are getting well and how much that news from your own heart has relived me. I thank you my sister that your sufferings are relieved and hope you will soon be restored to perfect health. We are well with the exception of a cold which we all have and which makes me feel quite bad this morning my head aches and my chest feels very much filled up, but I hope that will not last long.

We have had some very cold weather lately, unusually cold for the season. The city is now quite healthy as far as I can learn and we are all very glad that the dreadful season is over, but the early spring brings the cholera epidemic which is very bad but does not last so long as the yellow fever.

I was the other night honored with a serenade. It was very pretty indeed. The performance was on the violin, that sweetest of instruments. The serenade was a young gentleman unknown. I have never seen but he lives sufficiently near for me to have him playing and I one day told one of my friends, Mrs. Harriet Knight that I always listened to him with so much pleasure. She happened to be acquainted with an acquaintance of his so what I have said was told him and he rewarded my praise with a serenade. He does play charmingly.

And Resiah has named her daughter Martha. Did she name her for me? Tell her to let me know whether she did or not and in the meantime I will flatter myself thatI have a namesake. Give Risy my love. Tell her to give the children a dozen kisses for cousin Martha. Don’t let Pheba [Malinda Pheobe Howard] forget us and make little Jimmy know me right well. He has pretty little his [?].

There are plenty of diseases that are catching that I might, but I don’t think there is much danger up here. I don’t go out much or see many people.

Next Thursday is is all souls day. On that day the people all go to the graveyards and decorate the tombs of their friends with flowers and ribbons and artifacts. Caroline is going to take me to all the cemeteries it must be a beautiful sight to see all people paying those marks of affectionate remembrance to their departed friends and relatives.

George is perched up on my lap asking me what I am writing and telling me to write about Jenny but I can hardly anything while he is here for he will not sit still. He says that I must put toys in my letter to send to Jenny and a pretty purse which he thinks are the prettiest things in existence. He is finding fault with my letter, he says Jenny will say that it is not written right and will throw it away. He says that is not the way he writes to his gramma. Was delighted to see it. He asked how you sent it to me it is that that makes him think that I can send toys in my letter. He thinks of one thing can come in a letter another can.

Tell Ma that I hope something very like my coming home will happen before this time next year. It is in that hope that I derive all my comfort. Yes indeed I do want to see the colony [Ouachita] that greatest of places and I hope too see it again, please God.

Give my love to [your husband] Jacob [Demarest Van Emburgh], [our brother-in-law] Mr. Howard [John M. Howard] and all my friends and most especially to our dear mother to our brother [James Dull Jr.] and sisters. May God bless and protect you is the prayer of your affectionate sister,

Martha

Tell [our sister] Kate [Catherine Dull] that I am getting impatient for that letter

Editor’s Notes: When this letter was written, Martha was married to her first husband with the last name Morrison.

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