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John Cutter POLLEY (my maternal gg grandfather)

Birth: 16 Feb 1826, Youngstown, Mahoning County, OH

Death: 26 Sep 1886, Aitkin County, MN

Burial: Aitkin County Cemetery, MN

Father: Dr Josiah POLLEY (1799-1889)

Mother: Jane CLELAND (1800-1837)

Marriage: 16 Feb 1852, Winnebago, MN


Amanda Annette KORN (my maternal gg grandmother)

Birth: 6 Jun 1831, Tippecanoe County, IN

Death: 8 Aug 1896, St. Cloud, Stearns County, MN

Burial: St. Cloud, Stearns County, MN

Father: Dr. Samuel KORN (1803-1872)

Mother: Elvesta ELSTON (1811-1863)


1 M: Robert Bruce POLLEY

Birth: 23 Nov 1852, Lafayette, IN

Death:18 Nov 1941, Langley, Island County, WA

Spouse: Margaret Jane STEVENSON

Marriage: 10 Jul 1882

2 F: Helen Jane POLLEY

Birth: 6 Apr 1854, Winnebago, MN

Death: 17 Jun 1957, South Pasadena, Los Angeles County, CA

Spouse: Arthur P. WHITE

Marriage: 10 Oct 1894, St. Cloud, Stearns County, MN

3 F: Marion Isabel POLLEY

Birth: 20 Aug 1856, IN

Death: 24 Jun 1872, MN

4 F: Alice "Allie" Amanda POLLEY

Birth: 24 Mar 1858, Houston County IN

Death: 1950

Spouse: LaFayette KNOX

Marriage: 15 May 1882, Pine Knoll, Aitkin County MN

5 F: Anna Louise "Lou" POLLEY

Birth: 15 Jan 1860, Winnebago Township, Houston County MN

Death: 27 May 1941, Minneapolis, MN

Spouse: Dr. Waite Almon SHOEMAKER

Marriage: 2 Jun 1884, Litchfield, MN

6 F: Teresa Eliza "Tess" POLLEY

Birth: 21 Jan 1862, Winnebago Township, Houston County MN

Death: Apr 1943, Kalispell, MT

Spouse: Charles H. FOOT

Marriage: 28 Apr 1890, St Cloud, MN

7 M: Samuel Cleland POLLEY

Birth: 13 Jan 1864, Winnebago Township, Houston Co, MN

Death: 7 May 1949, Pennington County, Rapid City SD

Spouse: Lenore Vance McCONNELL

Marriage: 15 Nov 1899, Deadwood, SD

8 F: Jessie Maria "Kit" POLLEY

Birth: 21 Jan 1866, Winnebago Township, Houston County MN

Death: 20 Nov 1919, Minneapolis, MN

9 M: John Charles POLLEY

Birth: 6 Mar 1868, MN

Death: 26 Sep 1886, Aitkin, MN

10 F: Helen Jane "Nell" POLLEY

Birth: 14 Nov 1869, Winnebago Township, Houston County, MN

Death: 17 Jun 1957, Pasadena, CA

Spouse: Arthur P. WHITE

Marriage: 10 Oct 1894, St. Cloud, Stearns County MN

11 M: Edward POLLEY

Birth: 8 Feb 1872

Death: 1954

Spouse: Ann "Annie" SHINN

Notes for John Cutter POLLEY

Several of his granddaughters refer to him in their correspondence as John Charles Polley. He did name one of his sons Charles. However Cutter is family name from a couple of generations back. I don’t believe either Charles or Cutter are sourced.

1860 MN Census shows R.B. Polley in Houston County MN

1880 POLLEY JOHN C. Aitkin County MN 005 Near Aitkin Township Federal Population Schedule MN 1880

Federal Census Index MN21551933

Cited in 1880 United States Census

FHL Film 1254615; National Archives Film T9-0615; Page 5A

Census Place: Aitkin, Aitkin, Minnesota

Source: FHL Film 1254615; National Archives Film T9-0615; Page 5A


Rel Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace Occ:

John C. POLLEY Self Male M W 54 OH Farmer Fa: MA Mo: PA

Amanda A. POLLEY Wife Female M W 49 IN Keeping House Fa: PA Mo: IN

Robert B. POLLEY Son Male S W 27 IN Farmer Fa: OH Mo: IN

Alice A. POLLEY Dau Female S W 22 IN Works At Home Fa: OH Mo: IN

Anna L. POLLEY Dau Female S W 20 MN School Teacher Fa: OH Mo: IN

Eliza T. POLLEY Dau Female S W 18 MN School Teacher Fa: OH Mo: IN

Samuel C. POLLEY Son Male S W 16 MN At Home Fa: OH Mo: IN

John Charles POLLEY Son Male S W 12 MN At Home Fa: OH Mo: IN


This biography appears on pages 213-214 in "History of Dakota Territory" 

by George W. Kingsbury, Vol. IV (1915)

In the history of South Dakota it is imperative that mention be made of Judge Samuel Cleland Polley, who for four years was secretary of state and has been otherwise prominently connected with events which have shaped the history and molded the policy of the commonwealth. In 1912 he was made a member of the supreme court and is proving himself the peer of the ablest members of this court of last resort. His birth occurred in Winnebago Valley township, Houston county, Minnesota, on the 13th of January, 1864, his parents being John C. and Amanda A. (Korn) Polley. The father, who was born in Youngstown, Ohio, February 26, 1826, and was an agriculturist by occupation, removed to Houston county, Minnesota, in 1857 and in the fall of 1878 took up his abode in Aitkin county, Minnesota, being the first man to engage in farming in that county. There he made his home until called to his final rest on the 26th of September, 1886, while his wife died in August, 1896. To them were born eleven children, three of whom died in infancy, the others being as follows: Robert Bruce, who was born in 1853 and is a resident of the state of Washington; Isabella, who passed away at the age of sixteen years; Alice, who is the widow of Lafayette Knox and resides in Pasadena, California; Anna Louise, the wife of W. A. Schoemaker, who is the president of the State Normal School of St. Cloud, Minnesota; Theresa, who gave her hand in marriage to Charles H. Foot, a practicing attorney of Kalispell, Montana; Samuel C., of this review; Jessie M., a school teacher of Minneapolis; and Helen, who is the wife of Arthur P. White, of Bemidji, Minnesota.

Samuel C. Polley supplemented his early public-school training by a course in the State Normal School at St. Cloud, Minnesota, and in the University of Minnesota. In the latter he pursued a law course and was graduated LL. B. in 1890. He has since concentrated his efforts upon the practice of law and has advanced continuously until he stands today as one of the foremost representatives of the bar of the state. He has resided in Deadwood since 1890 and throughout the intervening years, while engaged in private practice, has been connected with some of the most important litigation heard in the state. In 1912 he was elected to the supreme bench, whereon he is now sitting. His decisions indicate strong mentality, careful analysis, a thorough knowledge of the law and an unbiased judgment. The judge on the bench fails more frequently, perhaps, from a deficiency in that broad-mindedness which not only comprehends the details of a situation quickly but also insures a complete self-control under even the most exasperating conditions than from any other cause, and the judge who makes a success in the discharge of his multitudinous delicate duties is a man of well rounded character, finely balanced mind and of splendid intellectual attainments. That Judge Polley is regarded as such a jurist is a uniformly accepted fact.

Judge Polley has filled other public offices, all of which have been largely in the line of his profession. He was states attorney for Lawrence county for the years 1901 and 1902. In 1908 he was elected secretary of state for a term of two years, being reelected in 1910, while in 1908 he was also a member of the Capitol Commission that had charge of the building, finishing and furnishing of the new capitol at Pierre. During that period he was likewise a member of the state board of pardons and a member of the state board of assessment and equalization. His political allegiance has always been given to the republican party, while his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Episcopal church. In the line of his profession he is connected with the South Dakota State Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

On the 15th of November, 1899, at Deadwood, Judge Polley was married to Miss Lenore V. McConnell, a daughter of Alexander S. McConnell. They have three children: Catherine Louise, born March 27, 1901; Cleland Alexander, born February 6, 1904; and Chalmers, born June 12, 1906. Such in brief is the history of one of the eminent jurists of the northwest, a man to whom duty has been the watchword of activity and who through lout his professional and political career has held to the highest standards of legal practice and of citizenship.

This is a copy of an article in the St. Paul Daily Globe of Sept. 27. 1886 page 1 Column 1


J. C. Polley and Charles Polley Murdered by M. Davenport and wife at Pine Knoll

Davenport Gives Himself Up and is in Jail at Brainard.

Mrs. Davenport's Story, A Shocking Tragedy (Special to the Globe)

Aitkin, Minnesota, Sept. 20. This community was thrown into the wildest excitement this morning by the report, which proved to be well-founded, of the killing of J. C. Polley and his son, Charles Polley, by M. Davenport and wife, who reside some six miles from Aitkin, at Pine Knoll in Cass County. As soon as word was received of the terrible calamity, Dr. C. Graves left for the scene of the wounded men, while Sheriff Markham and a posse started for scene of the shooting to arrest the murderers. Arriving at Davenport's house, Sheriff Markham searched the premises but found no trace of Davenport, who, it was learned, left at 11 A. M. for Brainard, it is supposed, to give himself up and secure a lawyer.

Sheriff Markham took Mrs. Davenport into custody and lodged her in jail. He conveyed her to Brainerd at 8:30 P. M. to deliver her to the custody of Crow Wing county officials, in whose Jurisdiction the case is.

The scene at the home of the murdered man and his son was one long to remembered by those who witnessed it. Stretched upon a bed in their once happy home, lay the father and son cold and pulseless in death; while about them were the wife and mother, sister and daughters, son and brother, wailing out their grief.

At about 8 o'clock in the morning, J. C. Polley and Charles Polley the son, the unfortunate victims of the Davenport's vengeance, accompanied by Michael Wise and Thomas Sullivan, having their teams, went to the farm of M. Davenport to assist E. J. McLaughlin, who purchased Davenport's farm last spring, to remove his crop. Sullivan had loaded his team and started. While the Polleys and Wise were loading their wagons with potatoes, Mrs. Davenport came out and ORDERED THEM OFF THE PREMISES. J. C. Polley, who was sitting on a pile of potatoes, replied that he had business there and would not go. In a moment or two a shot was heard and Polley fell, shot through the abdomen, from the door of Davenport's house, some ten rods distant, by Mrs. Davenport, who immediately closed the door and went in as soon as she had fired the fatal shot. McLaughlin, Wise and Charles Polley, seeing the old man wounded, put him in the wagon and started to leave with the young man holding his father's head in his lap, while kneeling in the wagon. When same 50 rods from the house, young Polley suddenly threw up his hands, exclaiming, ''My God! I'm shot." and fell over dead, shot thru the right shoulder, the ball lodging somewhere near the heart, where it still remains. How many shots were fired after the first shot? It is impossible to tell, so intense was the excitement. J. C. Polley lived to reach home, something like a mile distant, but expired in his wife's arms almost immediately after.

The scene of the tragedy was visited by hundreds of people during the afternoon and numerous threats were made of lynching Davenport, but as he is probably out of reach of here, no danger of the kind need be apprehended.

Between Polley and Davenport bad blood had long existed and the tragic sequel of today was not wholly unexpected by the people of the village who were fully conversant with the state of things. McLaughlin, who had employed the deceased and others to help him move the crop he had raised, traded property in Duluth last spring for his property in Pine Knoll, and the relinquishment of a house that adjoined Davenport's, who occupied the McLaughlin property in Duluth. This summer he become tired of this bargain, and having secured the relinquishment, which had not yet been filed at the land office by McLaughlin on account of his wife's sister having stolen it out of McLaughlins trunk, he some weeks since returned to Pine Knoll, and finally succeeded in forcing McLaughlin to trade back, agreeing to let him have the crop he had raised. Later he refused to permit him to remove it, and it was while assisting him, as before stated that the Polleys met their death.

When arrested Mrs. Davenport pretended not to know of the death of their victims and said that it was not murder as they had been warned to leave. She was unmoved and walked into the jail with a smile upon her face, having remarked that she was glad that Polley was dead.

J. C. Polley was an early pioneer at Pine Knoll and was a highly successful farmer. He was 63 years of age and leaves a wife and a large family of children, some of who are married. He was a man of passionate temper but an honest and honorable citizen. He resided in Aitkin Township, of which he was Chairman of the Board of Supervisors and was highly regarded. Charles Polley, his son, was 19 years old was well known to all, having attended school in the village for a number of years. The bitter feud existing between Polley Sr. and Davenport was shared more or less by the son, but his tragic death, holding his dying father in his arms, without any act of hostility, toward Davenport, fills the community with the most profound sorrow.


Brainerd (Special to the Globe) Sept. 28, 1886

M. Davenport, the murderer of Charles Polley near Aitkin, arrived here at 8:00 and went at once to Flemming, his lawyer, who took him at once to the county jail where he was promptly locked  up. He claims to have shot both J. C. Polley and Charles Polley, his son. Sheriff Markham arrived on the 8:30 train from Aitkin with Mrs. Davenport, who was also locked up.

To the Globe representative on the train she claimed that when she ordered J, C. Polley off

their premises, he not only refused to go but called her vile names and struck her in the breast, which her husband saw and was very angry and soon she heard a shot and Polley fell. She claims that a number of shots were fired at the house after Polley was shot. She said she did not have a gun in her hands at all during the day. Cleland Polley, next older brother of Charles, arrived from St. Cloud where he is attending the Normal School on the 9:35 train and went to Aitkin accompanied by a brother-in-law on a freight. He is overwhelmed with grief at the cruel murder of his father and brother.

Notes for Amanda Annette KORN

U.S. Census > 1850 United States Federal Census > Indiana > Tippecanoe 

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Charles Polley and Helen Polley