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Charles Prentice of Chamberlain, Brule Co., SD

Do you have the new PRENTICE eBook?
Charles Prentice of Iowa and Chamberlain, Brule Co., SD
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Fall 2002 and Revised 15 Aug 2010

We are helping Rustin Prentice, Trudy Prentice, Charles M. Prentice and William Prentice Eggers in tracing their Prentice roots. By emails of 17 and 27 Sep 2002, and Trudy Eggers' email of 20 Feb 2007,we have the following information:

1. Charles August Prentice, b. c. 1874, NY, with both parents b. in NY. He appears in the 1910, 1920 and 1930 Chamberlain, Brule Co., SD census as Charles Prentice with his wife. Rustin advises that the middle name, August, came from Charles' Social Security Application. It is not yet known when or where Charles died. Charles was not only unsure of his parentage but did not know his date of birth. Apparently, at some point he was a riverboat captain on the Missouri River.

Charles m. Emma Isadore Forbes. She was b. Jul 1878 in Dakota Terrotory, with her father b. in Scotland and mother in PA (per 1880, 1900 and 1910 census and Nancy Cleaveland's email of 3 Mar 2003).

She has, apparently incorrectly, been identified as Emma Forbes, b. 23 Nov 1879, Sioux Falls, Minnehaha Co., SD, dau. of Hiram "Hi" Forbes (1828-1906) and Laura Lacocia "Docia" Ingalls (1845-1918) per Ancestry.com where an Ancestor Chart can also be found (see Footnote 1) .

Emma Forbes appears in the 1880 census in Niobrara, Knox Co, NE in the home of Anna Forbes, b. c. 1849 in OH, but they are apparently not mother and daughter since the census identifies their connection as "Other."   Anna Forbes appears to be the same Anna Forbes who appears in the 1870 census for Sioux City, Woodbury Co., IA whose husband is shown as David Forbes, b. c. 1843, PA, a Blacksmith. David Forbes does not appear in Anna's home in the 1880 census. However, the 1880 census for the Lower Brule Indian Agency, Lyman Co., Dakota Territory, shows a David L. Forbes, married, age 37, Blacksmith, born PA, father Scotland and mother Scotland (no other family members with him).

Also shown in Anna's home in the 1880 census are the following children, probably Emma's siblings:

  1. William W. Forbes, b. c. 1870, father b. New Brunswick and mother b. PA. He may be Emma's brother, William, who supposedly went to California and was a professional gambler.
  2. Nellie E. Forbes, b. c. 1873, father b. New Brunswick and mother b. PA.
  3. Pearl Forbes (male). He is not shown in the 1880 census in Anna Forbes' home, maybe born after 1880, but his name is provided by Rustin Prentice and William Prentice Eggers. Pearl d. in Waterloo, IA in the 1950s.

Known children of Charles and Emma from the 1920 census:

  1. Carl Treon Prentice, b. c. 1905, IA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [2]
  2. David Guy Prentice, b. 4 Dec 1906 and d. Dec 1961 (per SSDI). At home in 1930 (per 1930 census).
  3. Oran Prentice, b. c. 1913, SD. At home in 1930. Not in the SSDI.
  4. Virgil Prentice, b. c. 1916, SD. At home in 1930. He is probably the Virgil Prentice shown in the SSDI as b. 17 May 1916, receiving his SS# in SD, and who d. at an unspecified location in Jan 1974.

2. Carl Treon Prentice, b. c. 1905, IA. He is probably the Carl Prentice shown in the SSDI as b. 17 Jan 1905 and who d. in Aug 1979 in Brandon, Buchanan Co., IA. He appears as a railroad worker in the 1930 census in Chamberlain, Brule Co., SD.

Carl is Rustin's grandfather. His email of 29 Sep 2002 relates that there seems to have been some problem which caused Charles and Carl to loose contact and, as a result, present family members seem not to know any thing about Charles.

Carl married Opal at the age of 16 in 1930. She was b. c. 1914, WI, with her father b. in WI and mother in IA., and d. c. 2008. They had six children, all b. after 1930.

  1. Charles Prentice. Deceased by 2009.
  2. James Prentice. Deceased by 2009.
  3. Delores Prentice. Deceased by 2009.
  4. Jean Ann Prentice.
  5. Gertrude "Trudy" Prentice. She m. Mr. Eggers. He is William's mother.
  6. Robert Prentice. He is Rustin's father.

Who are Charles August Prentice's Parents?

We have received somewhat conflicting accounts of Charles Prentice's family history. The most authoratative account appears in Charles M. Prentice's email of 13 Aug 2010. It reads as follows, to which we have added clarifying insertions:

    "...here is the story as my grandpa told my uncle: ,Charles A [Prentice] was born on the east coast between 1872-1874 [census records indicate b. c. 1874, NY]. At the age of 12 [about 1886] his father, step-mother and step-brother were on a wagon train heading west when his father took ill and passed away somewhere near Waverly, IA and was buried by a river.

      Note: The inference is that Charles' father took ill some place in or around Waverly,[Bremer Co.,] IA [NE Iowa, a few miles north of Waterloo], he passed away and was buried near the river.

      We note that the Ceder River which runs though, or near, Waverly. Charles M. Prentice's' email of 21 Jul 2010 says that he contacted the Waverly cemeteries director and that no Prentice is buried in any of the Waverly cemeteries. Still, it is possible that he is buried in a simple grave alongside the river and not in a regular cemetery.

    "His step mother kept going on the wagon train untill they hit Fort Pierre in Dakota territory were she decided to turn back, out of food and money. [Fort Pierre, SD, lies approximately 500 miles WNW of Waverly, IA.]

    Charles was left with a family [at Fort Pierre?] he thought someone religous, is what [he] was told. Charles did not like the arrangement and ran away ,heading south and traveling at night because indians were still hostile. All we know from there is he was in the 1900 census married to Emma Isodore Forbes in Chamberlain ,South Dakota [which lies about 70-80 miles SE of Fort Chamberlain, SD].

    "My uncles feeling that a boy of 12 yrs of age would know his name and, if adopted by someone, would have changed his name back as an adult. We do not know with whom he lived with near Chamberlain when he was 12, roughly 1884-1886. We think he knew of family there [at Chamberlain] and thats why he headed that direction when he ran away. We also don't know what happened to his birth mother."

Charles M. Prentice comments that a lot of this story matches times and dates with Charles Edgar Prentice son of Lawton (see John and Charles Edgar Prentice of Scotland and IA ), Did Lawton have a brother? Or, could Charles Edgar be Charles A 's stepbrother and it was their mother that passed away,?"

No other Prentice family appears in our extracts from the 1900 and 1920 Brule Co., SD census.

We do note, however, note the possibility, in reviewing our database, that Charles Prentice might be the same person as the "Charles Prentice" shown in the 1880 Delaware Co., IA census. The 1920 SD census says Charles was b. c. 1872 in IA; the 1880 IA census says that the IA Charles was b. c. 1873-4 in "Dakota." Census records are not particularly reliable, so one should not attach great importance to the differing dates and place of birth.

    Note: Those dates, however, conflict with Charles' family history and other census records which says Charles was b. c. 1874, NY, and headed west on the Wagon Train when he was 12 about 1886. If those dates are correct, he could not have been in the 1880 IA census. On the other hand, if 1920 census is correct which says Charles was b. c. 1872 in IA, and if they joined the Wagon Train in IA, then he could be that person.

The 1880 IA Charles Prentice is shown with Emma Prentice who was b. c. 1850 in PA. Emma's relationship to Charles is not given, but she may be his mother. We have tentatively identified Emma as Emma Jane Keller, the first wife of Lawton White Prentice, a descendant of Charles Edgar Prentice, about whom we have an article in our Winter 1999 issue

Lawton does not seem to be in the 1880 IA household, but did marry Lucy Ellen Lees in 1881 in IA. Perhaps Emma and Lawton were separated in 1880, and/or perhaps Emma died before 1881 when Lawton remarried. And, if Charles was born in "Dekota," it may explain why he returned to SD.

Correspondence:   If you have any information about the folks mentioned in this article, please send your information to us at the Prentice Newsletter. Be sure to give the full title and date of this article in the Subject line of the email.

Caution: If you don't use the above email link, your email to us may be deleted as spam by our email filter.


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