Nancy Maryland Corel was born March 27, 1834 in Tazewell County, Virginia. Somewhere in her very complicated life, Nancy adopted the nickname “Nannie”.
By the time she was 16, Nancy had moved with her family to Jackson County, Missouri. In 1854 the family moved to Kansas, settling south of the Kaw River just east of Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas. In 1855 Nancy was listed as a minor living with her mother, Rebecca Oney Corel, two brothers, William and James, and sister, Olivia. Bobby Dobbins Title has written a wonderful description of Olivia’s life. Read her notes on Nannie at RootsWeb.
The son of Toussaint LaHay and Marie Aubuchon, Francois E. “Frank” LaHay married Nancy Corel December 19, 1856. Toussaint was a known pro-slavery man, as were his sons. The LaHay boys were also known to be always ready to fight. Read Bobby Dobbins Title’s notes on Frank. Nancy and Frank had two children.
- Oliver “Olla” was born in January 1858 in Douglas County, Kansas.
- Ella was born in September 1861 in Douglas County, Kansas.
Frank LaHay died in Missouri on April 9, 1862. In the February 11, 1864 edition of the Kansas Weekly Tribune. Ella LaHay is reported to have died in Clinton Township, Douglas County, Kansas. Barely a month later, the March 3, 1864 Tribune reported Olla LaHay’s death on March 1. All three were buried in the LaHay Family Cemetery on the property of Toussaint LaHay, Clinton Township, Douglas County, Kansas. In 1972 the construction of the Clinton Dam required the moving of the graves at the LaHay Family Cemetery. By December of that year, all remains were reinterred at the Clinton Cemetery.
If you missed reading through all of the notes on Frank LaHay, you may have missed the transcription of an article about the moving of the LaHay Family Cemetery on RootsWeb.
In less than 10 years, Nannie Corel LaHay had gone from living as a minor to being a married woman and a mother, to losing her husband and her children. Less than one month after her son, Oliver LaHay died, Nancy celebrated her 30th birthday. Nannie experienced more in her first thirty years than most must deal with in a lifetime. Nancy remained at the farm she shared with Frank until 1865 when she sold the farm and moved to Wakarusa Township to live with her sister and brother in law, Olivia Corel and Jake McGee.
Nancy Corel LaHay and James Sellars Dobbins
While living with Jake and Olivia Corel McGee in Wakarusa Township, Douglas County, Kansas, Nancy met her future husband living with the nearby Levi Sperry family. Nancy Corel and James Sellars Dobbins were married at Jake and Olivia’s home on February 21, 1867. Nannie and James Dobbins had three children.
- Mary was born August 20, 1868. She died December 22, 1869 of inflammation of the bowels. Mary is buried at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence, Kansas.
- Robert Gaston was born February 28, 1870.
- Walter Scott was born November 28, 1873.
About 1875 Nannie Corel and James Dobbins moved their family to Colorado, settling 14 miles east of Las Animas, Bent County along Rule Creek.
This map of Colorado is from 1879. The green ‘X’ marks the approximate area of where Nannie Corel and James Dobbins first settled. The map was was found in the Library of Congress American Memory Collection of Railroad Maps. Click on the map to be taken to closer views of the area settled by the Dobbins family.
Shortly after arriving in Colorado, the Dobbins family was forced to move when the Atchison-Topeka-Santa Fe Railroad was laid through their property. They moved to Fort Lyon, Colorado and lived there for several years before settling east of the Purgatoire/Las Animas River to raise livestock.
February 23, 1904 James Sellars Dobbins passed away. He is buried in the Las Animas Cemetery, in Bent County, Colorado. After the death of James, Nannie Corel Dobbins moved to Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri to live with her sister and brother-in-law, Olivia Corel and Jake McGee.
Nancy Corel Dobbins lived with the McGee’s for about 9 years before she returned to Colorado to live with her son, Robert Gaston Dobbins. After three years, Nannie passed away on November 6, 1917 and was buried in Las Animas Cemetery near her husband, James Dobbins.