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I've been thinking about your post. It's great to know that a grandson of Ken is interested in his history. I'll share some stories. I'm so proud of your grandfather too. and his incredible 15 years with the National Football League. (I used to listen to those Green Bay Packer and La Rams games!).
Yes, you're down the line from a Christian Iman and a Mary Whiteside. We think that Christian walked out to Illinois with his father from Hardy county where the family had held a lot of land and had sawmills, gristmills (four or corn), and even gun power mills. They either owned or had access to caves where bats lived, and lived on what's called Spring Run these days (It used to be called Iman's Run, and is an officially named place in state archives for West Virginia). I saw the caves that the older Christian probably used to access for bat guano last month, and the place is really really beautiful. Go up the hill from the fish hatchery along a dirt track until you reach the top. Follow the path until it curves at the top and takes a dip into the most gorgeous meadow. I swear you'll not find a prettier place this side of Switzerland where the Eymans were from for many centuries.
Our Christian with Mary must have been about your age when he walked out from Virginia. We don't know exactly where they settled, but it was below the cliffs of Miles Eagle Cliff cemetery where Elias is buried. You really need to go there some day; it's one of the prettiest places in the world -- right on the edge of a cliff looking out over the huge expanse of the Mississippi river plain. Christian was probably a laborer and might have farmed a little, or worked around the river somehow. I bet he lived near or knew the town of Harrisonville, though the latter was moved and finally abandoned after being flooded out so many times. Harrisonville had a landing on the river and I suspect that our family was learning about boats. Henry, who I think was an older brother of your Christian was a flour miller in the area though we've no idea where he had his mill. Your Elias was only a couple of years old when his parents died. From there, he was raised with a son of Henry Eyman, the miller. He moved into Missouri at some point and married there, but was later in census reports for Illinois, and I've never quite understood his ties to the area since by the time he returned, the other Eymans with whom he'd been raised seem to have moved on toward Bond County first, and then over into the Missouri that Elias was coming back from. Maybe some day you'll dig out some information that can help us now what was going on.
Mary, the mother of Elias, was a Whiteside. This was a family full of military glory where guys prided themselves on shooting Indians and protecting settlers on the back of their white horses. Whitesides lived in several nearby areas, though Mary's father Davis, seems to have lived very near a spot where the village of New Hamburg was to see an infusion of German farmer immigrants toward the middle of the 1800s. There used to be a little lake there, though a sink hole opened up and the lake disappeared at some point. Near the old lake was a small family/neighborhood cemetery where other Imans and Whitesides were probably buried. A thoughtless farmer was recently found to have plowed gravestones into the woods in order to expand his fields, though some of our relatives are working with authorities to see if the situation can't be remedied. We'll have to wait and see what name appear on gravestones.