This stone standing in Farmer Cemetery has two small stones beside it for Father and Mother, Harvey Hastings (1809-1891) and Sarah Ann Conkey (1820 - 1885).
The Hastings family were part of the exodus from New York to Farmer Township. The Hicksville News reported on October 4, 1883:
"Mrs. Sarah Hastings came to Milford (twp.) with her husband, Harvey Hastings, in 1837, and in 1842, removed to Farmer, where she continued to reside till her death on the 14th or 15th of August this year. Mr. and Mrs. Hastings were the first settlers in the Farmer farm."
The family was in Farmer Township for the 1850 census; Harvey was farming on a farm worth $200. Three of the oldest children were born in New York: Emily, 13; Charles, 12; and Ellen, 9. The rest were born in Ohio: George, 8; Mary, 5; Delos, 3; and Cornelia, 1. This indicated that the family probably moved in 1841 or 1842. Later the family would add twin boys - Albert and Alfred - and a youngest brother, Orville.
Three of the older sons - Charles, George, and Delos - would enlist and serve in the War of the Rebellion and survive.
In 1860, Charles, at 23, lived apart from his family with the Stone family in Farmer Township. He was a laborer with a personal worth of $30, working on the farm of C. Stone and his wife, Ellen, Charles' sister. Stone had land valued at that time at $1800.
Charles' own parents, Harvey and Sarah, still lived in the Farmer area with land valued at $2000,and Charles' brothers, George and Delos, were still at home, along with the younger children.
On December 9, 1863, Delos, who was probably about 16, enlisted into the 111th regiment, Company F of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He served in the Atlanta campaign and throughout Tennessee and North Carolina. On January 1, 1865, he was promoted to full Corporal in Company D of the 183rd Regiment. He mustered out on July 14, 1865, having not been wounded in battle.
When the 25th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company B, came home on a 30 day furlough in February, 1864, they were on the lookout for new recruits. All the veterans had reenlisted, but recruits were needed to fill the losses they had suffered after serving three years in the war. Charles Hastings was one of the soldiers who enlisted into the company as a private on February 27, 1864. He rose quickly in the ranks as he was promoted to full corporal on March 16, 1864, and full sergeant on February 1, 1866. His brother, George, enlisted on the very same day into the same company and regiment.
Company B was sent to near Hilton Head, South Carolina via New York and Washington D.C. The first summer was rather easy, reported Captain Luther Mesnard in his diary. In the fall, they passed inspection with praises for the fine group of disciplined soldiers they were, and just like that, they were sent to face their first battle at Honey Hill. They were ambushed as they marched along a fairly open road, and it was a startling awakening for many of the soldiers. Mensard reported:
My boys had been under fire but once before and then at long range when at Spanish Wells, and not worth mentioning, and now, they were very much affected. Two or three vomitted from sheer fright, while all, even the old veterans, looked very solemn. We deployed and were in the second line of battle as we advanced. It soon became hot and the colored regiment in front hesitated. I suggested to Colonel Haughton that we take the advance which we did through dense timber and bushes where we could see nothing. It was hot,the shell over head and the bullets like hail, and soon a line of rebs seemed to rise in front of us, give us a volley and run. This staggered my company and one or more companies to our right...
The loss in my company was five men killed or wounded and twenty men wounded, a loss of fifty percent of the men engaged. Loss of our regiment, 126, killed or wounded, including Major and Adjutant killed."
This was the first real taste of war for Charles and George. The regiment would fight mainly in South Carolina with the occupation of Charleston in 1865, as one of their major duties. George later was transferred into the 86th Ohio Infantry, Company E.
No 1870 census entry could be conclusively matched with this particular Charles Hastings. But, in 1880, he was found in York County, Nebraska, at the age of 42. Farming next door to him were his two brothers, Delos A.and George W. Charles was single, and actually no marriage of record was ever found for him. One source noted that their brother, Albert, also went to Nebraska - Chester County - and he died there.
The 1880 Agricultural Census of York Township, Nebraska, listed four brothers there. Delos had 120 tilled acres and a farm valued at $2000, while Charles had 130 tilled acres with a value of $1500. Both also had undeveloped land. Albert and Alfred, the twins, were also living there, both having farms with much less land tilled - 11 acres for Albert and 37 for Alfred. They all grew corn, wheat and barley and had a few poultry. On the 1880 Federal Census, George was living with Delos, both unmarried.
The www.findagrave.com researcher noted that Delos went to Nebraska in 1872 and built a sod house there which he lived in for ten years before building a better frame home for his family. He married Laura Fightmaster, and was a very successful farmer there. He died and was buried in Arbordale Rural Cemetery, York County, Nebraska.
It appeared that Charles, however, moved on to Colorado where he was located in the 1900 U.S. Census of Buckhorn, Larimer County. He rented a farm and lived alone at the age of 62. And that is where the trail ended. All attempts to find a date of death or burial place were unsuccessful, but it is most probable that he was buried out west somewhere.
Brother George married in 1884 and lived in Walnut Creek Township, Webster County, Nebraska by 1900 with his wife, Alice, born in Indiana. George, 54, and Alice, 41, lived with their children: Nellie, Mamie, Walter, William T., George. In 1910, they were in the same place, but the census noted that it was George's second marriage.
|Chester Cemetery, Thayer County, Nebraska|
Much remains to be learned of this Hastings family, but it will be left to the family researcher to verify the information above and add to it. Mysteries remain to be solved!