Abelard Guthrie was a Kansas “Free-stater” and key founder of the historic town of Quindaro. He was the first Congressional Delegate from Nebraska Territory after passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854. The following is a biographical and genealogical sketch of Guthrie from The Provisional Government of Nebraska Territory and The Journals of William Walker, First Provisional Governor of Nebraska Territory (Nebraska State Historical Society; William Elsey Connelly, ed., 1899), available on Google Books [last visited April 7, 2007].
One fact not mentioned in the sketch is that by the time he married Quindaro Nancy Brown, Guthrie was a rich man, owning more than 1500 acres in Ohio.
Abelard Guthrie was born five miles north of Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, March 9, 1814. He was of Scotch-Irish extraction, and was possessed of all the persistency and tenacity of purpose of that hardy people. His parents were born in Pennsylvania, and were among the early emigrants to Ohio. They were closely related to the progenitors of the present Todd (or Tod) family of Ohio and Kentucky.
The following genealogical information concerning Mr. Guthrie’s family was kindly furnished me by my friend, J. V. Andrews, Esq., the wealthy banker, of Kansas City, Kansas. It is taken principally from “Pennsylvania Genealogies,”chiefly of the “Scotch-Irish, and German,” by William Henry Egle, M. D., M. A.; Harrisburg, Pa., 1896.
John Andrews came from Londonderry, North Ireland, to Pennsylvania, in 1737. He located on the Manada, Hanover Township, Lancaster County. His name appears on the first Assessment, for the “East End of Hanover.” He married Miss Jane Strain of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. Among his children were Hugh, Robert, John, and James. John was a physician; he had charge of the Philadelphia Hospital; died unmarried.
Captain Hugh Andrews was born August 31, 1764. He married Ann Speer, who was born October 2, 1764, and died June 25, 1797. Their children were four in number — 1. Isabella; 2. James; 3. John; 4. Margaret.
Captain Hugh Andrews was married a second time, to Miss Elizabeth Ainsworth, who was born August 31, 1780. They were married September 10, 1799, and moved to Dayton, Ohio, where be bought property. He bought, also, two thousand acres of land on Mad River, five miles north of Dayton. He improved this tract of land and built a house on it in which he lived, and where he died May 17, 1811.
Elizabeth Ainsworth was the daughter of John Ainsworth, and the granddaughter of Samuel Ainsworth – all born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The children of Hugh and Elizabeth (Ainsworth) Andrews were: 1. Nancy Speer, who married David Shaw; 2. Samuel Ainsworth, who married Miss Margaret Ramsey; 3. James, who married Mary Cornelia Van Cleve; 4. Eliza, who married Alexander Stephens; 5. Hugh, who married Phoebe Cook.
James Andrews and Mary Cornelia (Van Cleve) Andrews had eleven children, six of whom grew to manhood and womanhood, among whom were John Van Cleve Andrews of Kansas City, Kansas, the banker above mentioned, and who married Miss Mary E. Hill of Lincoln, Nebraska. He lived ten years in Pueblo, Colorado; four years in Topeka, Kansas; then moved to Kansas City, Kansas.
Mrs. Elizabeth (Ainsworth) Andrews married James Guthrie, April 22, 1813.
James Guthrie was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, August 19, 1784. His ancestors were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians who came early to Pennsylvania from the North of Ireland. He came to Ohio in 1809, and engaged in teaching school in and about Dayton. He was an energetic man of somewhat eccentric character, but held in high esteem for his industry, public spirit, and genuine worth. His wife Elizabeth (Ainsworth) died September 1, 1850. He was married a second time; this second marriage caused him and his children much trouble. He died August 3, 1860. He and his first wife are buried in Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, with other kindred.
The children of James Guthrie and his wife Elizabeth (Ainsworth) were: 1. Abelard, born March 9, 1814; 2. Eloisa, born June 19, 1817; married Jacob Light; 3. Margaret, born May 19, 1819; married Isaac Strohm.
Abelard Guthrie was married early in the year 1844, in what is now Kansas City, Kansas, to Miss Quindaro Nancy Brown, a Wyandot-Shawnee girl, of the Big Turtle Clan of the Wyandot Tribe and the Turtle Clan of the Shawnee Tribe. Miss Brown was born in Canada West, and was the daughter of Adam Brown, who was the son of Chief Adam Brown, who bought Governor Walker’s father from the Delawares. Miss Brown’s mother was a Shawnee. Mrs. Guthrie was, at the time of her marriage, said to be the most beautiful girl in the Wyandot Nation. She was tall and of faultless form. Intellectually she was a superior woman. She was a faithful wife, a devoted, Christian mother. She died at her home on Russell’s Creek in the Cherokee Country, Indian Territory, April 13, 1886, and is buried in the cemetery at Chetopa, Kansas.
Four of the children of Abelard Guthrie and his wife Quindaro Nancy (Brown) lived to maturity, two sons and two daughters: 1. James; married Grace —– ; they have four children: 1. Lucy; 2. Percy; 3. Hugh; 4. Ray; Lucy is Matron of the Government School at Wyandotte, Indian Territory.
2. Abalura; married Charles Graves; died, leaving one son, Clarence Graves.
3. Norsona; married Edward S. Lane, brother of Hon. V. J. Lane, the veteran editor of the Herald, of Kansas City, Kansas. They have two sons; 1. Marsh; 2. Vernon.
4. Jacob; married Dora —–; they have two children 1. Wade Abelard; 2. Robert.
When Abelard Guthrie married Miss Brown he was adopted into the Bear Clan of the Wyandots, and given the name Tah-keh’-yoh-shrah’-tseh, which means the twin brain, or the man with two brains. The name was given to denote his recognized ability. He was supposed, by the Indian system of name-giving in this particular instance, to possess, after his adoption, the brain of the white man and the brain of the Bear (i. e., the Indian).
He died suddenly in Washington City, of heart failure, January 13, 1873. He was there at the time urging upon Congress the justice of some long neglected claims of the Wyandots and himself, and the Shawnee claim of his wife and family.
Abelard Guthrie was not a large man. In his Journal, February 28,1862, he gives his height as five feet, nine and three-fourths inches, and his weight as one hundred and fifty-seven pounds. His eyes were blue, his complexion fair, his hair auburn. His features of face were rugged and strong; mouth large, mobile, firm. Until the very last years of his life he wore his hair like the Indians formerly wore theirs – long, and falling over his shoulders. He was a man of strong religious nature and convictions. All through his Journals be speaks of his faith and his trust in God. He even writes some of his prayers. Had it not been for his strong belief in the justice of the overruling providence of God, he says often in his Journals, he could not have survived many of his trials and troubles.
April 7, 2007 Saturday at 8:41 pm