Waller Family Records
Notes on the family of Nelle Waller Hadley
Nelle Waller in 1912 two years before her marriage to Seth Hadley
The Family of Nelle Waller and her Relatives
Nelle Waller married Seth Hadley in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1914, following their graduations from college. Like the the Hadley family and the Whicker family of Hendricks County, Indiana, the family of Nelle Waller had migrated north after having lived in North Carolina. Nelle Waller's great-grandfather Jesse Waller was born in North Carolina in 1788. These families had left North Carolina in part due to the growth of slavery in the South. The invention of the cotton gin had made cotton production using slave labor economic, causing a rapid expansion of slavery. Those families such as the Wallers, the Whickers, and the Hadleys migrated from North Carolina in reaction to this change.
Jesse Waller and his wife Mary McGuire (1788 – ) had six children:
Jesse and Mary Waller had moved from North Carolina to Kentucky where their children, including Jefferson Clay Waller were born. In about 1850, the Waller family moved again to Edgar County, Illinois (just over the border from Terre Haute, Indiana) where the young boy Jefferson Waller grew up.
Jefferson Waller married Setina Clarissa Neely (March 20, 1837-April 26, 1866) in Illinois on April 22, 1858. Jefferson and Setina Waller had three children:
After the 1866 death of his first wife, Jefferson Waller married Catherine Jane Sheets (1828-1902) who was from Terre Haute, Indiana. They had three children:
Jefferson Waller, although born in Kentucky, considered himself an Illinois native, and fought on the Union side in 1861 during the Civil War. Jefferson Waller, who was a mechanic and blacksmith was appointed Sergeant Engineer in Colonel Josiah W. Bissell's Engineering Regiment of the West. Company B of this Regiment was organized in Edgar County, Illinois where Jefferson Waller lived. This regiment from 1864 were "...Engineers Sherman's Army to July, 1865..."
Colonel Josiah W. Bissell's Engineering Regiment of the West circa 1861
This regiment served with General William T. Sherman in the Atlanta campaign, then with Sherman's "March to the Sea" and the campaign against Savannah and Charleston. After Jefferson Waller's first wife Setina Waller died, his first child with Catherine Waller he named "William Sherman Waller" in honor of this Civil War experience.
Jefferson Waller's son John Waller was also trained as a mechanic and blacksmith in Illinois.
John Waller is recorded to have married Mary Ann Struble on May 23, 1888 in Clark County, Illinois.
Mary Ann Struble and John Waller in 1888
At this time John was age 19 and Mary Ann 16, with Mary Ann's age confirmed by Aunt Harriet. Nelle Waller's mother was Mary Ann Struble Waller born in Illinois in 1871 (although the birth record does not seem on file). From other records cited below, it seems nearly certain that Mary Ann Waller was born in October, 1871 in Illinois. Mary Ann's father, John Struble was born in Ohio and her mother in North Carolina according to most of the Census records
Mary Ann Waller, mother of Nelle Waller Hadley in a hand tinted picture from 1888
The 1890 Federal Census burned in Washington in the 1920s so we do not have a record of the Waller residence in 1890. However, John and Mary Ann's first child, Nelle Waller was born in Dennison, Illinois in September 27, 1889. John and Mary Ann's second child, Jesse S. Waller was born in Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana on May 1, 1894. So, presumably, the Waller family moved to Terre Haute sometime between 1890 and 1894.
John and Mary Ann Waller do show up in the 1900 Census. "Nellie" is listed as daughter, aged 10, born in September 1889. For some reason Jesse is not listed in the 1900 Census.
In 1900, the Wallers lived at 1120 North Eighth Street, Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana. Since John Waller's occupation is listed as "Railroad Mail Clerk", perhaps the family relocated from Illinois to Indiana due to John's job with the railroad.
1120 North Eighth Street is only 6 blocks north of Union Station, at Ninth and Spruce, where John Waller worked.
The Vigo County Historical Museum states
"...Union Depot, located at Ninth and Spruce streets between 1893 and 1960, the crown jewel of the city's railroad terminals. However, during the many years Terre Haute was a rail hub, it boasted at least eight other passenger or freight depots...In early 1891, McKeen engaged celebrated Cincinnati architect Samuel Hannaford to design a new depot at Ninth and Spruce streets that would make the city proud. The grand facility was dedicated on Aug. 15, 1893..."
Union Station, Terre Haute, Indiana
Three days later, the Terre Haute & Indianapolis and its affiliated railroads were sold to the Pennsylvania Railroad, which merged the properties in 1905 into a wholly-owned subsidiary called "The Vandalia Railroad Co.". It is interesting that this Vandalia Railroad is one of the railroad lines that go through Hendricks County. For example, the Clay Township towns of Pecksville, Amo, and Coatesville were served by the Vandalia line. Hadley and Reno were on a second Hendricks County railroad line, the Indiana & St. Louis Railroad. The Vandalia Railroad Co. was later sold and renamed several times within the Pennsylvania Railroad system.
In the 1910 Census, John Waller working for the railroad is still residing at their house on North Ninth Street in Terre Haute. Also listed in the 1910 Census is son Jesse, aged 16, even though Jesse had not been listed in the 1900 Census for some reason.
The Waller home at 1120 North Ninth Street was about 9 blocks northeast of the Indiana State Normal School, where Nelle Waller went to university. This made it a walk (although somewhat long) from her studies, and about 3 miles from what was then the Rose Polytechnic University, where Seth Hadley was studying. The families living nearby on North Ninth Street, not far from Terre Haute's Collette Park were all bookkeepers, clerks, teacher, lawyer, boilermaker, lumber yard superintendent, dry goods merchant, etc. From this, Nelle seems to have grown up surrounded by industrious professional people.
Also living nearby, 3 houses away, and across the street at 1135 North Ninth Street was Seth Hadley, living with his mother, Hannah Hadley, as shown in the 1910 Census records. North Ninth Street, between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue and the homes where the Wallers and Hadleys lived is shown in the satellite image below. Hannah apparently decided to live with Seth during the time Seth went to Rose Poly.
Nelle Waller and Seth Hadley were married on May 14, 1914 in Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana.
Nelle Waller while studying at Indiana Normal School (later Indiana State University) in Terre Haute in 1912
1, 2 US Department of Agriculture Agricultural employment.
http://www.bls.gov/ accessed 2014
4 Charles Allen Whicker 86. Hendricks County & West Side Flyer. March 20, 2007. Plainfield, Hendricks County, Indiana