Waller Family Records
A Short History
Mary Ann Waller, mother of Nelle Waller Hadley in a hand tinted picture from1888.
The records of Nelle Waller Hadley's family are interesting, and also require some detective work to sort out the correct information.
Nelle Waller was born in Dennison, Illinois in September 27, 1889 and died at age 98 in April 1988.
Nelle Waller's father was John Waller born October 1868 in Wabash Township, Clark County, Illinois. John Waller's father was Jefferson C. Waller, born in 1829 in Kentucky, and his mother was Catherine J. Waller born in 1837 in Indiana. Jefferson C. Waller's mother was Mary Waller born in 1789 in Virginia.
Jefferson and Catherine Waller first lived in Edgar County, Illinois, before settling in Clark County, Illinois, where John Waller grew up.
In the 1860 and 1870 Census, John's father, Jefferson Waller is listed as a blacksmith.
Despite being from Kentucky, Jefferson Waller was a supporter of the Union. Civil War records show Jefferson C. Waller, husband to Catherine J. Waller to be a Sergent Engineer in the Engineering Regiment of the West Missouri Volunteers.
Why Jefferson Waller joined a Missouri engineering regiment is not clear. However, this regiment from 1864 were "...Engineers Sherman's Army to July, 1865..." This regiment served with General William T. Sherman in the Atlanta campaign, then with Sherman's "March to the Sea" and the campaign against Savannah and Charleston.
John Waller had an older brother, William Sherman Waller, born in 1866. Jefferson C. Waller's service with General Sherman is reflected in the selection of his son's name.
John had two older sisters, Eva J. Waller, born in December 1859 and Laura, born in 1863, and a younger sister, Mary B. Waller, born in 1871.
Nelle Waller's mother was Mary Ann Struble Waller born in Illinois in 1871 (although the birth record does not seem on file). From other records cited below, it seems nearly certain that Mary Ann Waller was born in October, 1871 in Illinois. Mary Ann's father, John Struble was born in Ohio and her mother in North Carolina according to most of the Census records.
John Waller is recorded to have married Mary Ann Struble on May 23, 1888 in Clark County, Illinois. At this time John was age 19 and Mary Ann 16, with Mary Ann's age confirmed by Aunt Harriet.
The 1890 Federal Census burned in Washington in the 1920s so we do not have a record of the Waller residence in 1890. However, John and Mary Ann's first child, Nelle Waller was born in Dennison, Illinois in September 27, 1889. John and Mary Ann's second child, Jesse S. Waller was born in Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana on May 1, 1894. So, presumably, the Waller family moved to Terre Haute sometime between 1890 and 1894.
John and Mary Ann Waller do show up in the 1900 Census. "Nellie" is
as daughter, aged 10, born in September 1889. For some reason Jesse is not listed in the 1900 Census.
In 1900, the Wallers lived at 1120 North Eighth Street, Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana. Since John Waller's occupation is listed as "Railroad Mail Clerk", perhaps the family relocated from Illinois to Indiana due to John's job with the railroad.
1120 North Eighth Street is only 6 blocks north of Union Station, at Ninth and Spruce, where John Waller worked.
The Vigo County Historical Museum states "...Union Depot, located at Ninth and Spruce streets between 1893 and 1960, the crown jewel of the city's railroad terminals. However, during the many years Terre Haute was a rail hub, it boasted at least eight other passenger or freight depots...In early 1891, McKeen engaged celebrated Cincinnati architect Samuel Hannaford to design a new depot at Ninth and Spruce streets that would make the city proud. The grand facility was dedicated on Aug. 15, 1893.
Three days later, the Terre Haute & Indianapolis and its affiliated railroads were sold to the Pennsylvania Railroad, which merged the properties in 1905 into a wholly-owned subsidiary called "The Vandalia Railroad Co." "
It is interesting that this Vandalia Railroad is one of the railroad lines that go through Hendricks County. For example, the Clay Township towns of Pecksville, Amo, and Coatesville were served by the Vandalia line. Hadley and Reno were on a second Hendricks County railroad line, the Indiana & St. Louis RR.
The Vandalia Railroad Co. was later sold and renamed several times within the Pennsylvania Railroad system.
In the 1910 Census, John Waller working for the railroad is still residing at their house on North Eighth Street in Terre Haute. Also listed in the 1910 Census is son Jesse, aged 16, even though Jesse had not been listed in the 1900 Census for some reason.
In the 1917 WW I draft records, Jesse confirms his birth date as May 1, 1894, and lists himself as being married. Interestingly, he also requested military exemption based on having had sun stroke. His home address is still North Eighth Street, but he gives his occupation as a self-employeed farmer in Sugar Township, Vigo County, which is on the other side of the Wabash River from Terre Haute.
In the 1920 Census, Jesse Waller is still living with his parents, John and Mary A. Waller. Jesse's occupation is given as "Electrical Engineer", but there is no record of Jesse attending the Rose Polytechnic Institute, the logical training place for a Terre Haute Electrical Engineer.
Also in the 1920 Census record, there is no listing of a wife of Jesse living at North Eighth Street. Aunt Harriet said that Jesse was married more than once, the second time to a wealthy woman. However, Jesse was "too cleaver for his own good", and he seems to have been in troubles, later.
After the 1920 Census, the only further record of Jesse found so far is a WW II draft record, lising him as Jess S. Waller, living at 252 N. Fifth St., Terre Haute, which is not far from Indiana State University. He is listed as self employed, and married to "Mrs. Jess S. Waller".
1900 1910 and 1920 Waller Family Census Records
The Waller home at 1120 North Eighth Street was about 9 blocks northeast of the Indiana State Normal School, where Nelle Waller went to university. This made it a walk (although somewhat long) from her studies, and about 3 miles from what was then the Rose Polytechnic University, where Seth Hadley was studying.
The families living nearby on North Eighth Street, not far from Terre Haute's Collette Park were all bookkeepers, clerks, teacher, lawyer, boilermaker, lumber yard superintendent, dry goods merchant, etc. From this, Nelle seems to have grown up surrounded by industrious professional people.
Also living nearby, 3 houses away, and across the street at 1135 North Eighth Street was Seth Hadley, living with his mother, Hannah Hadley, as shown in the 1910 Census records. North Eighth Street, between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue and the homes where the Wallers and Hadleys lived is shown in the satellite image below. Hannah apparently decided to live with Seth during the time Seth went to Rose Poly.
This would likely be the way that Seth and Nelle first got to know each other. Both being near the same age, both pursuing university educations, and living 4 houses distant from each other, it would be natural that they would strike up an acquaintance.
Seth Tillman Hadley married Nelle Waller on May 14, 1914 in Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana.
Since Nelle married Seth less than two years after Nelle's graduation, it seem unlikely that she was a teacher, professionally. She was, however, a lifelong learner, herself, and teacher for her family.
To go back to the Hadley Family Tree, click here: Hadley Family Tree
Union Station, Terre Haute where John Waller worked as a mail clerk
In 1910, Seth and Hannah Hadley lived 3 houses away from the Waller Family in Terre Haute
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