Henry Lott

Addendum to this article

Much has been written about Henry Lott, but fragmented, and primarily from the perspective of the area where he was residing at the time. The following will provide a time line of his life for a more complete biography.

John Henry Lott was born about 1808 in Pennsylvania, and at some point moved to the area of Geauga County, Ohio. There, on 04 December 1828, he married Sally White Huntington, widow of Francis Huntington. She had married Francis in Geauga County on 4 May 1821. He died the following year at Painesville, Ohio, in neighboring Lake County. By this marriage came a son, name unknown, born about 1822. How Sally survived the years between 1822 and 1828 is not shown, but the counties had an abundance of White and Huntington families so one could assume she remained with relatives.

One source states that Henry and Sally moved first to Clark Co., Kentucky, then to Southern Missouri. Their first recorded child, a son, Milton, was born about 1834. About 1837, the family moved north to Gentry County, Missouri, at a location to the west of Albany. A son, Alfred, was born there about 1839. The family had already developed a rather unsavory reputation and were apparently not too well appreciated by their neighbors. It was probably during this time that Henry developed an interest in dealing with the local Indian inhabitants.

About the year 1840 the Lott's moved to the extreme north-east part of the county, in present day Worth County, and continued close associations with the Indians of the area. And, at the same time, continuing to alienate his white neighbors. The Indians were moving north into lands set aside for them in Iowa and sometime around spring of 1843, he joined them by moving to Red Rock, in Marion Co., Iowa, where he engaged in trading with the Indians. Red Rock was a wild, unsavory place at that time, full of cheats, thieves, and whisky peddlers. Henry Lott seems to have fit right into the group. It is said that he did a thriving business there, until October 11, 1845, at which date, according to the treaty of 1842, the Sac and Fox Indians were moved west beyond the Missouri River. In 1850, a number of them returned to Iowa and were allowed to purchase 80 acres of land (later expanded to 3,600 acres) along the Iowa River, where they are known as the Mesquakies. They would often venture into their old haunts along the Des Moines River.

Henry then moved his family to Fort Des Moines to open a trading post. Lott was well known to steal horses from both the Indians and the whites, and sell them elsewhere. Soldiers from the Fort attempted to seize him and bring him to trial, but he escaped to Boone Forks, in Webster County, where he engaged in the same business.

In early 1846, Lott is listed among the earliest settlers at "Pea's Point," in Boone County, near the mouth of the Boone River. Here, he began dealings with the Sioux Indians, but was not as successful as he was with the Sac and Foxes. Some of the Souix felt he was intruding on their land and ordered him to leave. He refused, and the famous "Milton Lott Tragedy" occurred, whereby Henry lost both a son and his wife. Details of this incident can be found on the internet.

After the death of his wife in early 1847, Lott gathered up what property the Indians had left him, and moved south to the settlements. He built a cabin in Dallas County, Iowa, about five miles southwest of Madrid, where he and his stepson lived during the summer of 1847.

In the autumn of 1847 he moved to Fort Des Moines and remained there over a year, during which time he was married to Jemima McGuire, daughter of Francis (Frank) McGuire. She was born in 1831 in Ray County, Missouri. Records state they were married 14 February 1848 in Fort Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa. They had three children:
1. Henrietta b: 1849 in Wall Lake, Boone Co., IA-d. 23 MAR 1938 in Grant City, MO
2. Laura Etta b: 1850 in Wall Lake, Boone Co., IA-d. 5 MAR 1922 in Butte, NE
3. John Henry b: 4 December 1851 in Webster Co., IA

Between the years 1848-51, Henry Lott laid claim for depredations committed by Sioux Indians in 1846. [From Bureau of Indian Affairs]

In the spring of 1849 he moved north and located at the mouth of the Boone River again, occupying the same log cabin in which his first wife died. At the birth of the boy Jemima died, making it necessary for him to find homes for the children. The infant boy was adopted by a man named John H. White. He grew up and became a citizen of Boone, Iowa. The two girls were raised by the William (Wesley) Dickerson (Dicherson) family, in Worth Twp, Boone County, where they eventually married.

After finding homes for his children, Lott sold his possessions at the mouth of Boone River and, with his stepson, in November of 1853, moved north forty-five miles and located on a creek, still known as Lott's Creek, in Humboldt county. That winter (January 1854) the Lott's exacted revenge for the deaths of his wife and son by slaughtering the family of some of the Indians involved. Major Williams of Fort Dodge declared Lott to be a murderer, but by this time he and his son are on their way to "California," never to be found again. "Having ten days start they made their escape westward, crossing the Missouri, and thence taking the plains toward California." It has been stated that Lott himself, some time after, met a violent death, being killed in a quarrel. One fact is certain. The killing of the Indian family by Lott and his step-son was a primary cause of the Spirit Lake Massacre a short while later.

Most likely, Lott did flee westward, but not for California. He probably sought refuge with "his" Indians, the Sac and Foxes, living in western Iowa, south-east Nebraska, or north-east Kansas. This would place him among friendlier peoples.

A historical note concerning Doniphan County, Kansas, home to a great many of the recently displaced Sac and Foxes:
"Lafayette (Lafayette Landing), entered as townsite July, 1857, but had existed as steamboat landing since c1845 when millwork for the Iowa/Sac & Fox Presb. Mission was unloaded at this point. "Steamboat Landing" in small print is shown on Kansas Territorial land surveys of 1855. Fract. S13 & S14 T2S R20E. In 1868 there was a saw mill, lumber dealer, dry goods store, grocery stores, physician and "large hotel." The hotel was moved to Fanning after the Atchison & Nebraska Railroad was constructed in 1870- 71. P.O. 1857-71, Henry Lott, postmaster. (S&V p.279; Bird p.21 & IDC p.18 & 93)"

Along with his prior knowledge of these Indians, they could have been instrumental in helping him win the position...if this is the correct Henry Lott.

The Children:

Henrietta Lott married Luke Duckworth 09 July 1865, Boone, Iowa. Luke Duckworth was born in Lancanshire County, England on 8 January 1835 and died 5 March 1922 in Worth Co., Missouri.
The 1880 Census Allen Twp, Worth Co, Missouri shows:
L. Duckworth Self M Male W 40 ENG Farmer ENG ENG
Henrietta Duckworth Wife M Female W 27 IA Keep Hse --- ---
Chas. H. Duckworth Son S Male W 14 IA Farming ENG IA
Laura E. Duckworth Dau S Female W 13 IA At Home ENG IA
Susie B. Duckworth Dau S Female W 8 IA ENG IA
Rebecca A. Duckworth Dau S Female W 6 MO ENG IA
Sarah J. Duckworth Dau S Female W 4 MO ENG IA
Della E. Duckworth Dau S Female W 2 MO ENG IA
There were 4 additional children:
Florence Ollie Duckworth b: 1880
Rachel Ann Duckworth b: 19 FEB 1883
Irwin Edward Duckworth b: 1886
Albert O. Duckworth b: 1888

Laura Etta Lott b: 1850 in Wall Lake, Boone County, Iowa (Married Martin Hull and eventually moved to Butte, Nebraska)
The 1880 Boone County, Iowa census:
Martin Hull Self M Male W 38 MO Farmer --- ---
Laura Hull Wife M Female W 30 IA Keep Hse --- ---
Emma J. Hull Dau S Female W 11 IA At School MO IA
Albert Hull Son S Male W 7 MO At School MO IA
William L. Hull Son S Male W 4 MO MO IA
Maude Hull Dau S Female W 1 IA MO IA

See: Martin Hull

John Henry Lott b: 4 December 1851 in Webster County, Iowa (took the name White)
Married Maria Elizabeth Reeves b: 29 June 1862

Addendum to this article