The Isaac Sanders Family
Isaac Sanders was born in Jefferson, County, Illinois, on June 20th, 1844. He was the oldest son of
Theophilus Sanders and Charlotte Young.
The first documented record we find of Isaac is in the 1850 Census of Jefferson County, Illinois, where
he shown living with his father Theophilus. On February 19th, 1864 he married Amanda Williford. Amanda
was born in TN on 25 Nov. 1844. Their first child, Jonathon Theophilus was born in Jefferson County,
in 1865. Shortly thereafter, we believe, Isaac joined a wagon train and left Illinois, bound for Oregon.
The 1870 census of Umatilla, Oregon lists Isaac, Amanda and their children: Jonathon, Sarah E. and Melinda.
A son, William S., was born in Oregon in 1869 and is not shown in the census of 1880. He has possibly died.
The 1870 census incorrectly states that the children were born in Iowa.
William is not shown with the family in the census of Colorado Census of 1880. Perhaps he is deceased?
In 1871 Isaac's father Theophilus left Illinois bound for Colorado. Isaac's brother James Henry followed in 1878.
Theophilus and his family traveled by Wagon from Jefferson County in a wagon train accompanied by several other
Illinois families. Among them was Leroy Cochrum (Cochrane). Cochrum kept a dairy or log of the hardships of the
trip and life in Colorado in general and the Sanders family is noted therein several times.
(Courtesy of Betty Sink and Mary Zinzellieta of Jefferson County Illinois).
An entry from the Cochrum Dairy:
Letter date October 8, 1876, To Georg Dease, Greenwood Fremonty Co., State of Colorado:
"Dear Brother and Sister......You wrote that James Sanders talk like coming to this cuntry....tell him to let
me no wat time he will be at Pueblo me and Isac (Isaac Sanders) will meet him. No author of this letter is evident.
The photo below was taken circa 1920 featuring 4 generations of Isaac's Lineage.
In the 1880 Census of Fremont County the Isaac Sanders is listed:
Isaac is living near the town of Florence. Isaac is listed a farmer, 37 years old with 5 kids.
(His next-door neighbor is his sister, Sarah Elizabeth, the youngest daughter of Theophilus,
with her husband John Riggs, a Teamster.)
The Children listed are:
Jonathon T. born 1865, in Illinois, He is 15.
Sarah E. 14, born 1866, in Oregon, She is 14.
Melinda 12, born 1868, in Oregon, she is 12.
Nancy 2, born 1878, in Colorado, she is 2.
James T. born March 1880 in Colorado. He is 5 months old and subsequently died August 22, 1880.
He is buried in the New Hope Cemetery.
From the death record it appears that Amanda Sanders died at or shortly after the birth of
Jonathon in March 1880.
In the 1885 Census of Custer, CO Isaac is 41 years old and living with his second wife Mary (Bonner).
John is now 20, and (Nancy) Ella, 7. He, or someone in his family, incorrectly stated to the Census
taker that his father and mother were born in KY. (maybe this is where the Kentucky Sanders legend arises.
In April of 1891 Isaac claimed 80 acres of land to farm in Sec 32,T21S R69W of the 6th Meridian. His son,
John, in 1893 claimed 160 acres in the neighboring section, 33.
The 1900 Census Custer, CO, Greenwood Precinct, taken June 23rd, we find Isaac and Mary Ann, living alone,
few properties away from his sisters, Minerva (Duncan) and Sarah E. (Higbie). His other daughter, Nancy
(Jones) and his nephew, Henry Lively, Grandson of Theophilus and son of Mary.
(In the census it states that Isaac could not read or write).
Isaac erroneously states that his parents (Theophilus/Charlotte) are born in Illinois? His sister Minerva
correctly states their parents are born in Tennessee and Kentucky.
In the 1910 census of Fremont Colorado, Isaac and Mary Ann are again living alone. He would now be 67 years
old. The census incorrectly states his father, Theophilus is born in Kentucky, Mother in Illinois.
Photo circa 1900
(We are not sure of the origin of this photo, (nor are we sure it is Isaac)
but it is said to be and may be the property of Betty Sink
In the 1920 Census Isaac is not to be found.
We found Isaac's Obit in the Surprise Valley Record, Cedarville CA, January 22nd, 1930:
"Isaac Sanders, who recently came to this valley, died at the McCloud ranch, South of Eagleville Monday,
after a brief illness. He was born in Jefferson, Illinois in 1844. His remains were buried in the Cedarville
cemetery today, Rev. V. A. Vinyard conducted the services. Undertaker Lloyd Tripp directed the interment. (8:5")
Cedarville Cemetery grave marker
With this in Mind how is it that we also have a grave marker in the Hope Cemetery, Fremont, Colorado with
the same death date?
The gravesite in the New Hope Cemetery, Fremont Colorado lists Isaac Sanders in Gravesite #378. Date of
death is 19 Jan 1930.
The following is from a post by Marlene Massey a descendant of Isaac: [email protected]
"…. He (Isaac) did leave Colorado after the death of Mandy and baby. (1880) My grandmother (Sarah E.)
refused to raise his other children and married James C Banks at age 14)
Here is what we now know:
Amanda and the baby died in 1880. Isaac was enumerated in all of the Colorado Census between 1880 and 1910.
In the 4 Generation photo on page 1 herein, the baby Mildred is shown as being born in 1918. Based on the fact
that Isaac is shown in the photo,
If Marlene Massey's family history is correct and Isaac left Colorado when Sarah Elizabeth was 14 (1880).
He must have returned in 1882 to marry his 2nd wife, Mary Ann Bonner. And then left again for California after 1920.
He would have been at least 76 years old when he made that trek! But he apparently did just that.
In 1900 John T. Sanders, Isaac's son is shown with his wife Ruhama (Toney). He is noted as born in November 1865.
She was born in Illinois in 1872. They have been married 10 years (1890). She has had 5 children and 3 are still living:
Barney (born 1894), Wiley E. (born 1897) and Lewis M., (b 1900). William Toney is in the family and is noted as a brother in Law
In 1910 John T. Sanders and Ruhama are still in Fremont. He is listed as a Justice of the peace and is 44 years old.
They have been married 20 years.
Barney Theophilus Sanders was born April 19th, 1894.
The others in John's family:
Wiley E. born 1898;
Daughter Adella born 1902;
Son John N. (or W) born 1906;
Daughter Alba born 1908.
He states he can read and write.
1930 Florence Colorado Census
John T. is now 65 years old. His 2nd wife, Florence is 65. They are living 402 Washington Street Florence, Colorado.
The following photo is from Amanda Meister's work:
Judge John Theophilus Sanders family
Notes on Barney Sanders
His WWI Draft registration states he is 23 years old, in 1917, tall and slender and has grey eyes and light hair.
He has had a kneecap injury. He is employed at the Mesa Flour Mill.
In the 1920 Census of Fremont Colorado he is living at 935 West First Street, with his wife. He is listed as a
timekeeper at an oil refinery.
By 1930 he is in Bonanza, Saguache County. Colorado. He now has 2 more daughters, Virginia, born 1922 and Arlene
born in 1925. He is noted as a Welder in a Quartz Mine. Social Security Number: 442-10-7847 Oklahoma
The following gravesites are reported to be in the New Hope Cemetery, Fremont Colorado:
Sanders, James 371 22 Aug 1880. Isaac's infant son
Mandy 370 22 Mar 1880. First wife of Isaac
Mary 373 May 1880. 2nd Wife of Theophilus
Ruhama 374 1960 Wife of Barney Theophilus.
Theophilus 372 16 Dec 1894. My Great-Great Grandfather
Saunders (Inf.) 382 Dec 1900
Florence 381 26 Jan 1937
Isaac 378 19 Jan 1930, Great-Great Grand uncle
John 380 2 Nov 1939, Son of Isaac.
Mary 379 19 Dec 1919, Isaac's second wife