Biographies of Henry A. and Eliza Allen Engels

(Parents of William H. Engels)
(Grandparents of Mary Belle Engels Smith)
(G-Grandparents of Catherine Mary Smith Martin)
(G-G-Grandparents of Edley Wainright Martin, Jr.)

Henry A. Engels and Eliza Allen were married on July 25, 1829, by U. S. Judge Thomas P. Eskridge in the Territory of Arkansas. They had three children:

Eliza Allen- We know very little about Eliza Allen, other than that she was born in Alabama on February 10, 1806, the daughter of Andrew Allen and Sarah Tinnen. Sarah Tinnen was the daughter of Lemuel Tinnen, a Revolutionary soldier under Gen. Francis Marion (called the "Swamp Fox") in Carolina. Henry A. Engels

Henry Aten (Auter) ENGELS was born 24 February 1802 in Mason County, Kentucky, the son of Peter and Hester Auter Engels. He grew up in Washington, a small town near Maysville, Kentucky. When he was around nineteen he came to Arkansas. He may have come with the Boswell or Hardin families, for his first job was working in a store at Old Davidsonville for Joseph Hardin. Old Davidsonville was the location of the first post office in northern Arkansas, and the site of the land office in the area.

Henry Engels' first job in Batesville was painting the house of Hartwell Boswell. Since Boswell was from Cynthiana, Kentucky, he may have known Henry before coming to Arkansas. In 1824, Henry A. Engels was on the tax list for Independence County.

That Henry A. was missed by his family in Kentucky is shown by this excerpt from a letter written by his mother on 25 February 1825:
I thoat that you had roat to me that you would com home against the first of May, and if you do it will soon be time for you to start. I want you to rite me soon and let me no when we may look for you. Your father sends his best respects and so do I .... Your brothers and sisters wants to see you verry bad and thinks the time verry long to see you.

I want you to bee ingaged as well for Eternity as time. And dont forget the good advice I have givin you and wot I have taut you wen but a child, tho not as much as was my duty. And I lement it to think that I have don no better... Every man will teach you better than a undutiful mother has don and I hoap you will never forget it.

In 1826 Henry Engels bought from John Manard (Maynard) a tract of land (perhaps 47 acres) east of Batesville near the present Lock and Dam No. 1 on White River. This was the site on which was built Engleside in 1828 or 1829.

Engleside was a beautiful home, with a fine view of the river and valley. In addition, it was a beautiful sight from the river and opposite side. The Engels family clearly had devoted much effort to beautifying the place, and had provided beautiful stone banked gardens east of the home and stone terraces that ran from the crest of the bluff almost down to the river. These terraces were planted with perennial flowers and flowering shrubs that made Engleside a colorful showplace. This beautiful southern home was of the style referred to as a "raised plantation cottage." The rooms and halls were of generous size and the foundation and basement were unusually large; one unusual feature, the gallery or covered porch, ran entirely around the house." (THE INDEPENDENCE COUNTY CHRONICLE, VOL XVII, No. 1, pp. 50 51, inside front cover; article by W. J. Crowley).

Engleside burned in 1915. Remains of the imposing home.... can be seen today, and the rock lined terraces, spaced ten feet apart vertically and thirty feet horizontally, give mute evidence of the endless toil of generations gone. (John P. Morrow, THE INDEPENDENCE COUNTY CHRONICLE, VOL. XIV, No. 3, P 18.

To this home Henry A. brought his bride upon their marriage in 1829. Tragedy soon came to the young family and quite suddenly. John Caldwell, husband of Lucinda Engels, deceased, and brother in law of Henry A., wrote this letter to Peter and Hester Engels in Kentucky telling the sad news on 14 January 1835:
I am veary sorry I have to tell sorroful news of Eliza Engels death. I no it will be sorroful news to you all. Its (a) debt we all owe and have (to) pay and we dont know how soon.

On the 8th of this month her Brother Washington Allen was married. They were all at the infear (infare) next day, and she was in as good health as I ever seen her.

Henry was unwell at the time with a cold. She went home on Saturday. Well, the weather was bad and Henry dident go home with her. That night she was taken with a pane. William (brother of Henry A.) wanted to go for the doctor that night. She thought it was not worth while. Next morning William went for the doctor. He went to see her that evening. The 1lth she dyed a few minutes after Henry got home.

He being unwell and the death of his wife cause(d) him to have a veary severe attact. I have bin with him five nights. He has now taken a change for the better. William and the children are well.

From the death of Eliza to the end of his life eight years later, ill fortune often became the lot of Henry A. Engels. His two younger children went to live with the Allen relatives. On 1 September 1836, he married Martha Dillard, daughter of George and Martha Dillard of Henry County, Virginia. Martha Dillard Engels died 17 November, 1837, after a long and painful illness.

On 9 October 1835, Henry A. was elected doorkeeper for the General Assembly of Arkansas, and was to be paid $648 for the first thirty days. On 6 November a bill providing payment of officers returned from Council and on a motion of Mr. Lee was amended, allowing the sum of $120 to Ezra Owen and H. A. Engels, each, for their services as door keepers. (THE ADVOCATE, 9 October, 6 November 1835).

In 1833 a new town of Sulphur Rock sprang up and a post office was established there. Since the town was noted for its sulphur springs of medicinal value, Henry A. Engels and Townsend Dickinson obtained lands adjoining the area and ran an advertisement in the BATESVILLE NEWS, 4 October 1838, to sell lots to interested persons. In 1837 the mail route through Sulphur Rock was shifted and the post office was discontinued. The proposed land sales failed to materialize. (THE INDEPENDENCE COUNTY CHRONICLE, VOL. XIV, No. 2, P. 75).

In 1835 Henry A. and his brother William D. Engels jointly purchased from William Seamons two tracts of land in Independence County for $260, and Seamons gave them his bond, to convey the land to them in fee simple. William D. ENGELS went to Texas, leaving the obligation with Henry. In the absence of his brother, Henry procured a deed from Seamons, to himself alone, for the lands. When William returned home from Texas, he filed suit in Circuit Court vs Henry in August 1841. Henry admitted the joint purchase, for their benefit, and alleged that he paid $160 of the money and William $100. William did not see the bond, before going to Texas, and he left Henry largely bound for him, as security, promising to return in three months, and authorizing Henry to sell the land or keep it himself. Henry paid $225 as security for William. William remained in Texas several years, and wrote Henry to sell the land for what it would bring. Henry then had a deed made to himself; then in February 1841 he made a bond on the Real Estate Bank for a deed in the amount of $5,900 lawful money of the U. S. payable 20 October 1861, for that amount of stock in the bank, mortgaging 329 acres of land located near Lock and Dam No.l. When the Real Estate Bank accepted the mortgage, Henry required the Bank to be made a party. Henry A. appealed the decision of the Circuit Court that he return the land to joint ownership with William. The case went to the Arkansas Supreme Court which also ruled against Henry. (Cases in the Supreme Court of Arkansas, 1841).

From 1836 to 1842, Henry A. Engels was sheriff of Independence County, the first sheriff of that county after Arkansas became a state. Descendants of Henry say he was murdered 9 December 1843, at the age of 41. There seems to be no proof of this, and some think he might have committed suicide because he died broke--there was nothing left for his children after his estate was settled. His children had been living near Farmington, Arkansas, with some Allen relatives most of the time since their mother died in 1835.

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