Sunday, October 7, 2012

In the Lumber Regions

I'm always on the lookout for articles and stories about logging.  Many of my ancestors were early residents of Michigan and any history of Michigan is not complete without a mention of logging.  I have a couple of photographs of my great grandfather, William Pratt taken in the northern woods of Michigan where he worked as a lumberjack during the long Michigan winters.
William Pratt in the middle.
As I mentioned in my last post, I purchased a bound collection of The American Agriculturalist for the year 1869.  Much to my pleasure the January issue has a great article entitled "In the Lumber Regions" which describes the typical lumbering operation.  In the case of the article, the editor Orange Judd, sent an artist to a logging camp in Maine to record the lumbering process.  

I copied the six etchings reproduced in the article:

The images produce such an evocative view of the logging life.  The journalist who wrote the article talks about the hard work required by the lumberjacks and the dangers involved, particularly by the drivers.  He also mentions the boom which was designed to catch all the logs floated down the river.  It was at this point where the logs would be separated by their owners marks and made ready for the sawmill.  This also made me think of my family.  I had another ancestor who lived on the Muskegon River in Mecosta County, Michigan.  There is a deed in which he sold access across his property for the construction of a log boom across the Muskegon River.  

Enjoy the images!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

That Farming Life

I am always on the lookout for any kind of materials that might shed light on how my ancestors lived.  Sometimes we family tree researches get lost in the 'name hunt'.  It's kind of like a game of 'my tree is bigger than your tree'.  The only problem with this is, when you are done, all you have is a list of names.  Think about all those trees on Rootsweb with 100,000 or more people in them.  I am always amused with the note, which almost always accompanies these trees, attached to the tree description, "I have no further information on any of the individuals listed in this tree."  Really?  No other information?  How sad!

If you think about a family tree, or at least a pedigree chart, each of the names on that list had a genetic part in who you are.  I always like to think there is a whisper of each of those individuals in me.  They all have played a part in who I am.  Having said that, I want to get to know these people.  How did they live?  Where did they live?  Why did they do what they did?  And the list of questions goes on and on.
Sometimes it is not an easy task to reconstruct the lives of our ancestors.  The Web has made it a little easier.  I usually start by Googling my ancestors and the places they lived.  You would be amazed at the number of hits you can get.  From there, I'll usually start weeding out the list to things that can give me the most information.  More often than not, I only can access an indirect notion of how my ancestors lived.  Most of 'my people' were hardscrabble farmers barely getting by.  They didn't leave much direct evidence of their existence.  However, they did leave mountains of indirect evidence.  Think about it - our ancestors were all part of society.  They were all part of the story we call history.

So, as I mentioned at the start of this post, I am always on the lookout for any kind of material that sheds light on how my ancestors lived.  This means I frequent auction houses, antique shops, thrift shops, and the like, looking for anything that shows how individuals lived, worked, or played once upon a time.  Recently I was able to purchase a bound collection of The American Agriculturist for the Farm, Garden, and Household comprising the entire year of 1869.  This was a newsletter edited by Orange Judd (pictured at right).  Click on his picture to open a short biographical for him located at Wikipedia.

The circulation for his paper was over 100,000 by 1864, so can I say for sure my ancestors read his paper?  Of course not.  I'm not even sure my ancestors could read.  However, I can say the majority of my ancestors were farming in 1869.  So Mr. Judd's newspaper can provide valuable insight as to how my ancestors might have been living from a source that was contemporary to my ancestor's lives.  What a deal!

So the next few posts will be inspired by the material contained in these papers.  I'll start with a little nugget gleaned from the January 1869 edition.  The editor states, "Dry wood is an excellent means of grace in a household, promoting good temper and cheerfulness."
So check back for my next post as we start to explore farming life in 1869...


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Looking Back

I can’t believe it has been so long since my last post!  Time just seems to melt away – yet nothing seems to get done.  I wonder if our ancestors had the same problem?  Quite often throughout the day I will think “Oh that would make a good blog post” or “Oh I should research that for the blog”, but it usually stops at that.  Nothing comes out.  I read somewhere that you should just start writing and the story would appear, so this is my attempt at this exercise.

I have noticed that the older I get the more my mind tends to wander back in time during idle moments, especially with the change in seasons.  I’m not sure why the seasonal change causes this, but this year my backward glances have been particularly emotional.  Not only do I think back in my past but I think back to my parents and their parents too.  Maybe I have been delving too deeply in the whispers of the past.  I really cannot say.

One thing I’m sure about, the past was full of hope for the future and regret for paths not taken just like it is today.  And maybe I am missing those individuals in my life who are no longer with us, but little, seemingly insignificant things, can create such evocative feelings and a flood of memories.  A great example of this is walking outside in the autumn.  The crunch of leaves under my feet immediately takes me back to my childhood.  I remember those crisp fall afternoons spent raking great mountains of brightly colored leaves and the sheer joy of diving headfirst into the pile!  If I close my eyes, I swear I can smell the moldering leaves even now.  The reds, oranges, and yellows of the leaves look as bright in my mind’s eye as they did so many long years ago on that crisp autumn afternoon.

Another leaf that made me come to a full stop was on  You know the leaves I am talking about, those little green, wiggly leaves that tell you Ancestry has found something about ‘your’ ancestors.  I noticed a leaf doing a dance over my grandmother’s name announcing that Ancestry had found something.  When I clicked on the leaf it took me to FindAGrave and a digital picture of my grandmother’s headstone.  Complete stop.  Queue the flood of memories.

It seems only yesterday that we laid her to rest.  Has it really been 14 years?  I was blessed to have my grandmother in my life for 34 years.  My mind quietly ticked away random memories, my memories, of my grandmother.  But there is more.  I scanned around my living room and there she was, looking back at me through the photographs I had taken over the years.  I also had many other photographs of her, some taken long before I was born when the twentieth century was young and so was she.

There was so much more to say than that cold piece of marble could say.  I just had to upload a photo of grandma when she was in her early teens.  There – now you can see a young woman full of excitement at what the future might bring (you can click on her picture to see the Find A Grave listing - assuming I got the link right...).  Of course the future also brought suffering, but that is another chapter.  Look into her eyes and you see the hope for the future.  I wonder what she was thinking when the photographer said “steady, please” or whatever other phrase he used.  I cannot say why this picture of her creates such emotion for me.  It just does...   

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Joshua Madeley of Lancashire, England

My last two posts described the family of Joshua and Martha Madeley of Philadelphia using documents which I rescued at a local thrift store as my starting off point.  I previously mentioned I had one more record to show you.

Among the papers was a document I first thought might have come from a family Bible.  I am not so sure that is the case, though.  It looks to me like it was a series of loose papers that, at some point, was then cut down and bound.  I know the paper was cut down because the handwriting flows right off the page.  It makes you wonder what else was on these pages.

There are a total of six pages with the last page being blank.  Here are the pages as they appear in the booklet.
Joshua Madeley (crossed out)

Thomas Madley was born June 11th 1807

John Madeley was born Oct 25th 1809

Mary Madeley was born Apr (?) 23rd 1813

Joshua Madeley was born June 7th 1832

Thomas Madeley was born July 26th 1835

Ann Madeley was born July (the rest falls off the page)

 Died Augt 19th 1834

James Madeley was born Oct 17th 1836

Levena Madeley was born Feby 3rd 1840

Walter Madeley was born Augt 9th 1842

James Scholfield   Book 1824
  December 10

I James Scholfield was born Agust 7th 1768 babtis Oldham Church (click on link to see a picture of the church in which he was baptized)

John Madeley was born October 25 1809

Mary Madeley was born August 23 181X (falls off page)

Joshua Madeley was born June 7 1832

Ann Madeley was born July 23+ 1834 Died

Agust 19 1834 (?) (falls off page)

Joshua Madeley was born June 7 1832

Ann Madeley was bo(rn) July 23+ 1834

Died August 19+ 18XX

Hannah Madeley was born June 9 1849

George Madeley was born June 9 1849

John Madeley was born March 7 1852

Sarah Madeley was born January 10 1853

Edwain Madeley was born October 13 1857

Emma Madeley was born October 13 1857

On 18 September of 1848, Joshua Madeley and family immigrates to the United States.  They arrive in Philadelphia and interestingly enough, several Scholfield's (spelled Scofield on the list) accompany the group. I clipped this image from Ancestry and it is part of the passenger list of the Saranak.
It appears James Scholfield b. 1768 is related to Joshua Madeley somehow ... I'm just not sure yet what that relationship is ...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mary Medeley Reynolds

My previous Medeley post introduced the family of Joshua and Martha Medeley.  I mentioned that they only had one child that lived to adulthood, Mary.  Mary Medeley was born 16 Aug 1860 and this post will include the documents that were lovingly preserved by Mary's only child, Edith.
 Mary Elizabeth Medeley married John B. Reynolds on 22 April 1884.  Two other related documents to their marriage certificate are shown below.

    Both the marriage announcement and the reception announcement were saved along with the marriage certificate.  I tried to locate the church, but didn't have much luck.  There is a reference to an 'Old St. Paul's' but I am not so sure it is the same church.

The reception hall is even more difficult to locate.  Google maps has a pretty neat feature that allows you to actually see the street as if you were standing on the sidewalk.  There is a boarded up building which might be the reception hall, it is just hard to say.  It does appear like the area has seen better days.

The remaining two items are related to Mary's husband John B. Reynolds.  He was a druggist and worked for Harrison Duffield located at 2601 N. Sixth Street at the corner of Huntingdon.  John's business card was also lovingly saved.

I had a little more luck locating the drugstore.  There is one storefront still standing at the corner of N. Sixth Street and Huntingdon.  It looks like there may have been another storefront across the street at one time, but it is now a vacant lot.  The other two properties are still standing but look like residential rather than business properties.  
Is this the home of Harrison Duffield Druggist?

The remaining item is a clipped obituary for John B. Reynolds.  I wonder if Edith clipped it from the paper?  Now she would be alone.
I Googled the address listed in the obituary and, assuming the addresses have not changed the house is shown below (you've just got to love Google!)  The drug store might be the image on the right.

Edith Reynolds dies on 23 April 1959.  With her death, the line of Joshua Medeley and Martha Sweeting comes to an end.  An end that is until I scooped up a handful of documents in 2012.  For sixty-three years these documents were kept together by someone.  Now this family lives on.

I've still got one more document to share with you - a Bible record which takes os back to merry old England!        

Monday, July 2, 2012

Joshua Medeley and Martha Sweeting of Philadelphia

Genealogists look at old stuff differently.  You know what I mean.  You are walking down the aisle of a thrift store, flea market, or antique shop and you spy the yellowish paper covered with handwriting.  I have to admit, it makes me come to a dead stop every time!

I always think of those documents as having a life of their own.  You know they must have been important to someone at sometime or they would long ago have disappeared into the trash or used as a fire starter.  And when I see a stack of documents related to the same family, I rarely can walk away without rescuing them.

This post was created from such a stack of family documents.  It makes you wonder how these family papers ended up in a thrift store?  Maybe it represents 'the end of the line' for a family descent.  Unfortunately, a stack of family documents quite often become scattered to the wind when they find their way into the thrift stores and the like.  Many collectors look for specific categories of documents and leave the others behind.  Such was the collection I purchased for the Madeley family.  By the time I came along, several of the documents had already been purchased and I rescued the rest.

So let's see what we can find out about the Madeley family.

Joshua Madelely married Martha Sweeting on 17 November 1859 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.  Witnesses to the marriage were Thomas Madeley and Emma Sweeting.

Joshua and Martha Medely (listed as Medly) are living in the household of Samuel and Laura Eckerly in the 1860 census for Philadelphia Ward 18.  I am pretty sure this is the same Joshua Medeley in the marriage record especially since Martha is there also.  They both are listed as being born in Lincolnshire, England.

1870 finds Joshua and Martha Medeley with a young family still living in Philadelphia.  Mary b. circa 1861 and Clara b. circa 1862 are also living in the house.  Joseph and William Sweeting are also living in this household.  They, almost certainly, are related to Joshua's wife, Martha Sweeting.

Joshua and Martha are living in Philadelphia in 1880 with their daughter Mary E. Medeley.
1900 has Martha Medeley, listed as a widow, living with her daughter Mary E. Reynolds.  Mary and her husband, John B. Reynolds have one child, Edith Reynolds b. 15 July 1886 (the census-taker was gracious enough to record everyone's birthday).  Martha Medeley also listed she was the mother of three children with only one child still living.
John B. and Mary E. Reynolds along with their daughter Edith are still living in Philadelphia in the 1910 census.
1920 has no change, John, Mary, and Edith Reynolds are still living in Philadelphia.
1930 finds John B. Reynolds, now a widower, and his daughter Edith still living in Philadelphia.
1940 finds Edith Reynolds living alone and unmarried at the age of 53.  It appears Edith Reynolds is the end of the line.  I would assume she was the owner of the documents I would purchase in 2012.

A quick Ancestry search for Joshua Medeley turns up several pertinent documents for this family, including the marriage record I copied above.

Joshua Medeley dies 02 May 1887 with the funeral services being conducted at St. Marks Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.  Martha Sweeting Medeley dies 15 Mar 1906.
Martha Sweeting and Joshua Medeley have four children:

  • Mary Elizabeth Medeley b. 16 Aug 1860
  • Clara Medeley b. 26 May 1862 d. 18 Mar 1871
  • William Medeley b. 1865 d. 26 Mar 1871
  • Anna Medeley b. 1869 d. 11 Aug 1869
I wonder if Martha misunderstood the census taker when they asked how many children she had because she said she was the mother of three with 1 child still living.  Maybe she thought the census taker asked how many children she had who were deceased which would have been 3 and 1 child living.  Notice she lost two children within 1 week of each other.  Imagine the sorrow which must have descended on this family late in March of 1871.

My next post will cover the family of Mary Elizabeth Medeley Reynolds...       



Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Scared to Death

I've been slowly reading the Big Rapids Current over at the Google News Archive looking for mentions of my Big Rapids ancestors.  The problem I have though is that I keep finding all these interesting little stories which waylays my attention.  The article below is from the 11 Jun 1884 from the Big Rapids Current.

The article mentions that Peter Russell, son of John Russell lived about seven miles from the town of Hesperia.  I thought I’d see what I can find out about this family and this tragedy.  Hesperia is located right on the border of Oceana and Newaygo counties in Michigan.  What makes this search interesting to me is that I also have family located in both of these counties.  I wonder if they knew the Russell family?

It was easy enough to locate the death record for Peter Russell.  He died on 25 May 1884 at the age of 17 in Oceana County, Michigan.  The death record lists his parents as John and Mariah Russell.  More importantly to our story, his cause of death is listed as “heart disease”. 
I found the family in the 1880 Federal census living in Leavitt, Oceana County, Michigan.  The image below is clipped from showing the family group.

Peter is enumerated as 12 years old in 1880.  Doesn't it seem a little spooky knowing he will be dead within four years?  Reading the article, it appears to me that he died from an aneurysm.  You read about these things all the time.  Apparently healthy teenagers participating in sporting events keel over in mid practice.  I’m sure fright had nothing to do with Peter’s death even though the “entire family are terrified in the extreme at the sight of a bear”.

The article mentions two boys went into the woods, Peter was 17, so I wonder who the other brother was?  Fred would have been seven, so I wouldn’t think it would be him.  It must have been Zane.  John and Maria live on into the 20th century.  I have both of their death certificates from Seeking Michigan.  Combining the things I have found
creates the mini family sketch below.

We have Mariah Sands b. 25 Dec 1836 d. 11 Apr 1919 married in 1855 (according to the 1900 census) to John Russell b. 29 Apr 1825 d. 15 Dec 1904.  Mariah also lists she is the mother of five children, four of whom are still living.  So we can put together the household from this information.

Mariah Sands ----- John Russell
1.       Charles Russell b. 1864
2.       Zane Russell b. 1866
3.       Peter Russell b. 1868
4.       Sarah Russell b. 1874
5.       Fred Russell b. 1877

I also came across a photo of Peter’s headstone at the Goodrich cemetery in Oceana County, Michigan.  It must have been placed with great sorrow and love.  There are headstones for Fred, Peter, and Sarah called Sadie but evidently none for Mariah and John.  If you click on the photo it takes you to the GenWeb archive site for Goodrich cemetery. 

I was looking at the birth years for Mariah and John Russell’s children and if Mariah hadn’t stated she was the mother of five children, I would have been looking for more children.  They were married circa 1855 and the first child was born in 1864.  There is also a six year gap between Peter and Sarah.  These gaps are classic indicators that perhaps there may be “missing” children born to this couple.  It just goes to show you that sometimes gaps do exist. 

From what I can find online, Mariah and John Russell still have descendants living in the area…    

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Sad Case - from The Big Rapids Current

Here is an article I cam across while reading an old issue of the Big Rapids Current dated 02 Feb 1881.
I thought I would see what I could find out about the Widow Lacey.  We are she had two children, a boy 12, and a girl 6.  The town of Au Sable is located in Iosco County, Michigan, so I started with the 1880 census.  There is only one family with the name of Lacey in the index.  Kate Lacey (listed as a widow) and her 8 year old son and six year old daughter.  It sounds like a pretty good match.

We have Kate Lacey, 34 (born circa 1846); William Lacey, 8 (born circa 1872); and Lizzie, 6 (born circa 1874).  The only thing is I cannot seem to locate any of the other individuals named in this story.  I couldn't find Kate Lacey or her family in the 1900 census. 

I did find this biographical sketch of Henry Russell and it does say he lived in Au Sable.
Using the information in the History of the Lake Huron Shore, I was able to find Henry Russell in 1880 census of Iosco County (indexed as Heney Russell) living in Oscoda.

The article in the Big Rapids Current mentions the Winchester Hotel.  I found a photograph of the Winchester Hotel at  
I also found J. W. Widdifield in the History of the Lake Huron Shore.  According to the biographical sketch, The Winchester Hotel was in Oscoda.  Still couldn't find J. W. Widdifield, though.  I wonder what happened to Kate and her children...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Edward P. Strong of Sheridan Township

Here is another letter published published in the Pioneer Magnet (Big Rapids, Mecosta County, Michigan) from Thursday May 9, 1878.

Edward P. Strong (Page 1 Column 6)
I have been located on my farm in the town of Sheridan, thirteen years.  Commenced in the midst of a dense forest, and now have fifty acres improved.  Soil, clay loam.  Have raised 65 bushels of wheat per acre; average, 23 bushels.  Average price received for it, $1.25 per bushel.  Hay has averaged 1 1/2 tons to the acre, and has brought from $12 to $35 per ton.  Corn about eighty bushels of ears per acre.  Average price, 35 cents per bushel of ears.  Potatoes have averaged about 150 bushels per acre, and have brought from 40 cents to $1.25 per bushel.  I have 200 apple trees growing, forty of them bearing some.  I have cherry trees bearing, and pear trees yet too young for bearing.  Grapes, particularly Delaware and Concord, do well when cared for.  Almost every kind of fruit grown in Michigan, except peaches, does well in this vicinity, when cared for as it should be.  Wild land, good soil, is worth in this vicinity, from $5 to $8 per acre.  Improved land, $25 per acre.
E. P. Strong dated March 30, 1878.

Edward P. Strong sounds like he has a pretty nice farm.  I'm sure it requires quite a bit of work.  I found his household in the 1880 Mecosta County census for the township of Sheridan.  I clipped the image below from
Edward can be found in the Portrait and Biographical Album of Mecosta County.  I clipped his biographic sketch below.  
I noticed that the online trees list Edward's wife as Mary Guthrie not Mary Howard as stated in this sketch.  I'm not quite sure why.  I love the comment, "Mr. Strong became 'his own man' at the age of 15...".  I wonder how many teenagers could do that today?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Jacob Gingrich of Wheatland Township

Here is another letter published published in the Pioneer Magnet (Big Rapids, Mecosta County, Michigan) from Thursday May 9, 1878.

Jacob Gingrich (Page 1 Column 6)
I have had nine years experience in farming in the town of Wheatland, Mecosta county.  Have 160 acres of land; 90 acres under cultivation.  My wheat has yielded from 25 to 35 bushels per acre; oats, 35 to 40 bushels; rye, 15 to 20 bushels; corn - shelled - 40 to 50 bushels; and potatoes 300 bushels per acre.  Hay, from one to two tons per acre.  Fruit is rather scarce as yet, but is expected to do well.  The prices I have received for my crops average about as follows:  Wheat, per bushel, $1.25; oats, 40 cents; corn, 65 cents; rye, $1.00; potatoes, 45 cents.  Hay, $14 per ton.  My plan for preparing ground for crops is as follows:  For fall or winter wheat - plow six inches deep just before haying; harrow well, and let it lay until seeding time; then apply a heavy coat of manure, and plow again nine inches deep.  For oats and corn, plow in the fall.  For seeding with clover, sow buckwheat in July, and sow clover seed before harrowing the last time.  Buckwheat yields from 75 to 80 bushels from one bushel of seed.  Unimproved land in the vicinity are worth $8 to $10 per acre.  Timber, splendid beech and maple, and soil mostly clay loam, with plenty of good water for house and stock purposes.  Improved lands are worth from $25 to $30 an acre.
Jacob Gingrich dated April 5, 1878.

Jacob Gingrich is another example of why we should not just assume an individual is not in the census if they do not appear in the index.  I did a soundex search on Gingrich (with no first name) in Mecosta County, Michigan.  No hits were returned.  

It seemed to me that the farm Jacob was describing in his letter had to be at least eight years old as it seems quite prosperous.  So I did a page-by-page search for Jacob in the Wheatland Township enumeration.  Sure enough, Jacob is there.  The census enumerator listed him as Jacob Ginglick rather than Jacob Gingrich.  I clipped the household from the 1870 census image at  This family is spread across three contiguous households on two census pages.
The reason I started with the 1870 census is because I know something about Jacob That he and his family didn't.  Jacob would be dead in a little more than two years, though he did make it to the 1880 mortality schedule.  It always gives me an odd feeling when I know these individuals death dates.  I have always viewed census records as 'living documents'.  These endless lists of names really are snapshots of living families.  

Just like you and I, when we completed our 2010 census form, these individuals were very much alive fighting the good fight that we all do every day.  It's rather strange but when I see these records, I almost can smell the wood burning on the hearths and in the stoves of these households.  I hear the farm animals and smell the freshly cut hay.  I'm sure Jacob probably had no clue that his time on earth was rapidly drawing to a close.

Here is Jacob's death return for Mecosta County.  You can find this record at

The 1880 census shows quite a change for this large family.  Barbary Gingrich is now enumerated in her own household.  John Gingrich is enumerated several households away.     

Monday, January 2, 2012

Harvey Mansfield of Wheatland Township

Here is another letter published published in the Pioneer Magnet (Big Rapids, Mecosta County, Michigan) from Thursday May 9, 1878.

Harvey Mansfield (Page 1 Column 6)
I commenced on 120 acres of land in the town of Wheatland, about the 15th of March, 1867, and now have about sixty acres under cultivation.  My soil is mostly clay loam - rather on the clay order.  Have raised wheat, corn, oats, potatoes, and hay.  Best yield of wheat, 37 1/2 bushels per acre; average yield, about 20 bushels.  Oats have generally yielded about forty bushels per acre.  Corn, usually a fair crop.  I have raised ninety bushels of ears per acre, but not quite so much on the average.  Hay has always been a good crop - from a ton and a half to two tons per acre.  Potatoes have always been a good fair crop.  Now as to prices:  Wheat has brought from $1.25 to $2 a bushel; oats from 40 to 75 cents; corn from usually 60 to 75 cents; hay from $10 to $25 a ton - more generally the latter price.  I have about 100 apple trees, and about half of them are bearing.  They are of different varieties, mostly of a hardy nature.  I would also add that stock growing pays well, particularly cattle and sheep.  Wild land is worth in this vicinity, from $6 to $10 per acre.  Improved land from $30 to $40, according to location as to roads, etc.
Harvey Mansfield dated April 3, 1878.
P.S. - I have on my farm a frame barn 30 by 42 feet; stable, 12 by 30 feet; wagon house, 16 by 30 feet, and a frame dwelling house 18 by 26 feet with a wing of like dimensions, all of two stories high; and best of all, I am out of debt and my land is free from encumbrance.  H.M. 

Harvey Mansfield seems to be doing quite well.  At a time when most of the people living in his vicinity were probably still in log cabins, Harvey is living in a large two-story frame home.  He obviously was proud enough of his success to add a post script letting everyone know it.  I wonder if he made any friends by doing this?

Here is Harvey Mansfield in the 1870 Mecosta County Census in Wheatland Township.  I clipped this from an image.
He lists the value of his real estate as $2,000.  According to my handy, dandy inflation calculator - $2,000 in 1870 is equal to approximately $34,000 today.  It certainly doesn't look like he has all of his buildings finished in 1870.

It was a little more difficult to locate Harvey in the 1880 census.  He was inadvertently enumerated as Henry Mansfield.  You can see it is obviously the same household as Harvey in 1870.
I also came across the photo below.  It is located at the USGenWeb archives.  I linked the image to the source.
I'd love to see if Harvey's buildings are still standing...