Sunday, September 6, 2009

Nathaniel F. and Sarah Drew

Sarah Drew
Apr 6, 1831
Sept 9, 1913

Nathaniel F. Drew
Mar 17, 1812
Mar 4, 1874

Smithland Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Yes, those are weeds growing from the top of the monument. Photographed 26 August 2009. Click on photo for an enlarged view.

One of the most interesting monuments in Smithland Cemetery is the one marking the graves of Nathaniel F. and Sarah Drew. Since this monument is large and distinctive, I thought it must belong to a family of importance. The only way to be sure was to do some research. This is what I learned.

Nathaniel F. Drew appears on the 1850 Davidson County, Tennessee census as a 40 year old living in Nashville. This census shows his birthplace as Pennsylvania. Drew moved to Smithland and was living with his wife, Sarah Hayward, whom he married 27 December 1857. They appear on the 1860 Livingston County census.

What prompted Nathaniel’s move to Smithland is unknown, but it may have been because Smithland was well known as a port at the confluence of the Ohio and Cumberland rivers and a number of steamboat men resided in Smithland at that time. In 1850 he was listed as a steamboat man, but by 1860, he was a steamboat pilot. Way’s Packet Directory 1848-1994 shows the steamer Linton was built for Capt. N.F. Drew and first operated on the Monongahela River. It later went to the Evansville-Nashville trade. Capt. Nat F. Drew was master with N.B. Hayward, clerk, of the Linton, which sank in 1869.

Nathaniel F. and Sarah bought several parcels of land in Smithland, including lot #81 on Charlotte Street. Land records also show that several people borrowed money from Nathaniel and put up their land as collateral. This was a service that Sarah might have learned from her husband and continued after his death.

On the 4th of March 1874, Nathaniel F. Drew died, leaving his wife Sarah as his only heir. His brother-in-law, Napoleon B. Hayward of Evansville, Indiana, was administrator of his rather large estate. On the 1900 Livingston County census, Sarah was living alone and was listed as a “money changer.” Ordinarily, a money changer is one who exchanges money of one country for money of another. That would not seem to apply to Sarah as a resident of a small Kentucky town so perhaps she was continuing her husband’s practice of granting mortgages to area residents.

Sarah continued to live in Smithland until 1908, when she moved to Evansville to live with her brother’s widow, Virginia Hayward. Sarah lived with her sister-in-law until 1913. The Evansville Courier reports her death in the 10 September 1913 issue. “Entered into Rest. Mrs. Sarah M. Drew, 9th September at the home of Mrs. Virginia A. Hayward, 740 Adams avenue … Burial Smithland, Ky.”

While researching Nathaniel F. and Sarah Hayward Drew, I learned quite a bit about her brother, Napoleon Bonaparte Hayward and his family. Quite an interesting family - I’ll tell you about them later.

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