William B. Peart

William B. Peart was only a year and a half when his mother died and he and his siblings were taken in by the Corel family. William Peart moved with the Corel family when they settled in the Kansas Territory. In the 1855 Territorial Census, William Peart is living with William and Cosby “Jane” Corel Justice. I have had difficulty finding William Peart again until 1870, when he is living, possibly as a boarder, with the Espenlaub family. During the 1860 census, however, he may have been living with James Pickens Corel and family, as there is a W Albert, age 14, listed with the family. It’s a stretch, but it is the best I’ve been able to come up with, because I can’t imagine a twelve year old being sent out to live on his own.

The following is a narrative by Corel family researcher, Bobby Dobbins Title, that is posted on the RootsWeb forum for Bent County, Colorado.

The Bent County History book has the name Peart noted in it several times but there is no biographical sketch to tell us who William B. Peart was. It is only in researching the Corel family that one finds there must be some kind of a connection to Nannie Corel Dobbins, which is probably the reason he brought his family to Las Animas.

As noted in a previous section, the Corel family came from Virginia, settling first in Westport, Missouri and then in Douglas County, Kansas, on the river just east of Lawrence. The parents of the emigrating families were William Corel and his wife, Rebecca Oney Corel. William died soon after settling in Missouri, and shortly Rebecca followed the lead of her oldest son Henry and moved with almost all of her married children to Douglas County, Kansas. Both In Virginia and Missouri there was a fellow named Jonathan J. Peart and his wife Oney. (On William Peart’s death certificate his father is listed as Jonathan Peart and his mother’s name is shown as Leona Biggs or Boggs)

On the 1850 census, three Peart children, Stewart (7), William B. (4), and Louise (3) are shown living with the Corel family. In tracking them on further censuses, they begin showing up living with various adult Corel children, of whom there eventually were 12 in Douglas County. Jonathan Peart served in the Civil War and apparently came through unscathed, but why he did not raise these children is a mystery.

No trace of Stewart has been found since that 1850 census. In 1861 when Rebecca Corel died, William B. and Louise moved in with William and Cosby Jane Corel Justice, another Corel sister, and later went with them to Johnson County, Kansas. Louise married Joseph Boston Steel in Shawneetown, Kansas in the early 1860s. William B. Peart married Mary Alice Brown. Cosby Jane Justice died in 1884, and it is just possible that this is when William B. took his family down to Las Animas to live near Nannie Corel Dobbins, sister of Jane Justice.

William B. Peart’s obituary from the Kansas City Times, Nov. 1, 1920, is as follows:

Peart, William B., 72 years old, died yesterday in Bethaney Hospital, Kansas side. Mr. Peart who lived at 24th and Steele Road was born in Jackson County, Missouri and has lived in Kansas City, Kansas the past 10 years, survived by the widow Alice M. Peart of the home address, two sons, Frank M. Peart, Phoenix, Arizona, and George B. Peart, Brawley, California. Time of funeral services which will be at the home will be announced later.

By indexing the Bent County Colorado History Book Index I found references to William B., Alice and George. Without this index, I would have had no idea that William Peart was ever in Las Animas. I still do not know how or even if the Pearts are related to the Corel family, but if they are not related by blood, then certainly they are by circumstance.

According to the 1900 census, William B. Peart married Mary Alice Brown, born October 9, 1856 in Indian Creek, Tazewell County, Viriginia, in 1874. William and Mary Alice are next seen in the 1880 census, having relocated to Bent County, Colorado, not too far from Nancy Maryland Corel Lahay Dobbins and family.

William B. and Mary Alice Brown Peart have three children during their marriage that can be found in census records.

  1. Frank Milton was born in April 1878 in Kansas.
  2. John L. was born in September 1880 in Colorado. He likely died between 1900 and 1910.
  3. George B. was born in October 1882 in Kansas, according to all of the census records.

Nothing much is found on John L. Peart. A descendant of William B. Peart believes that John may have gone to Alaska as a miner.

In 1880 William was supporting his family by being a stock grower. Given that he is shown as a herder in the Colorado census of 1885 and in the 1900 census he is listed as a cattle raiser while his oldest son, Frank, is a cattle driver, I am going to speculate that in 1880, William B. Peart was actually classified as a live stock grower.

The 1885 Colorado census shows William B. Peart and family are living just a few doors down from Nancy Maryland Corel Lahay Dobbins and her family.

On the 1900 census, Mary Alice states that she has given birth to four children and three are still living at this time. In 1910 Mary Alice listed that only two of her children were still living. She and William are still living in Bent County, Colorado and William is working as a ‘cattle man’. Living with them was their daughter-in-law, Anna Garvey Peart, and their granddaughter Lillie. Anna and Frank had been married for two years by the time of the census, which also shows that Lillie was born in Nevada nine months before the census was taken. George Peart is found in Nevada as a lodger in 1910, perhaps his brother Frank was also in Nevada and was missed during the census.

By 1915 William and Mary Alice, along with Frank and his family have moved back to Shawnee, Wyandotte County, Kansas. William and Mary Alice have Lillian living with them, while Frank, Anna, and three month old Leo live next door. Five years later, William and Mary Alice are found a few doors down from the Klaber’s, living with Mary Alice’s mother, Lily Brown. I was unable to find any record of William B. Peart, Mary Alice Brown Peart, or Lily Brown after the 1920 census.