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Family History of Elijah and Mary Hoisington Vian

Elijah Vian was born June 10, 1845 in Knox Co., Ohio, one of 14 children born to William and Jane Perkins Vian. He spent his boyhood in Knox Co., enlisting in the Union army on Oct. 10, 1862 as a private in Co. E, 65th Ohio Inf. Reg. He married Samariah Louisa "Mary" Hoisington on January 1, 1872 in Mercer Co., Ohio. She was born on March 4, 1852 in Aikens Co., Ohio, the daughter of Louis (Lewis) and Laura Bell Derry Hoisington.

Elijah, his wife Mary and daughter Laura Jane left Ohio and came to northern Kansas with Mary's parents in 1874. Elijah's brother, Ira Vian, his sister and her husband, Sarah Jane Vian McMurray and James McMurray, and his nephews William and Jeremiah Downs (sons of his deceased sister Mary Vian Downs) all came to the Clay/Dickinson counties area of Kansas at this time. Later Elijah removed to Sumner Co., Kansas, near the town of Anson, and several children were born here, including Myrtle Dell and William, babies buried in Austin Cemetery near Anson, near their Hoisington grandparents.

Elijah made the run of 1889 into Oklahoma, claiming a homestead in Twp. 12, Range 6 just west of what would become the town of Yukon. Their first home was a dugout, later building a wooden frame structure. By this time the family had grown quite large and included Laura Jane (born Nov. 1872), Angie May (born July 1874), Johnathon Ellis (born June 1876), Sarah Elzie (born April 1878), Rose Blanche (born October 1883). Frank Louis (born July 1885), Maude Emit (born April 1887) and Alpha Retta (born Nov. 1888). Three more children, Charles Francis (born Oct. 1891), Benjamin Clarence (born Jan. 1893) and Earl Elijah (born May 1895) were born after their arrival in Oklahoma. One of Elijah's nephews, Willis Hardesty, son of his sister Amanda Vian Hardesty Wood Ray, also settled near Yukon around this time.

One of the darkest chapters of this family's history occurred on July 20, 1908 when daughter Rose met a dreadful end. Three times married, she was separated from third husband James Leusby. Mr. Leusby, however, was not happy with the situation and early that morning arrived at Rose's home where she and her boyfriend were asleep. Armed with a shotgun, he crashed into the house and shot and killed Rose's lover. Chasing her around the house he finally cornered her and shot her in the chest, at such close range that her nightgown caught fire. Although Rose's sister Laura testified in his defense, he was subsequently convicted of murder and served time in McAlester. A custody battle ensued over Rose's son Willie, so bitter that the judge decided neither of the parties (the grandparents, Elijah and Mary, versus their oldest daughter Laura) would have custody and the boy was sent to a orphan's home in Pryor. He was not there long, however, as one the Vian sons soon had custody and he was living with that family in 1910. What happened to this boy?

Elijah died April 14, 1921 in El Reno and was buried in Yukon beneath a Civil War tombstone. He was survived by his wife and all his children, with the exception of Rose and the babies buried in Kansas. Mary Hoisington Vian died Dec. 11, 1935 and was buried next to Elijah.