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The Descendants of Cornelius Dunham (c. 1799-1863)

Updated May 9, 2004

Ervin Jerrol Dunham

10069 Jefferson Hwy

Baton Rouge, LA 70809

225 2921957

The material on these pages has been assembled by Warren Thomas Dunham and Ervin Jerrol Dunham and relates to the known descendants of our great great grandfather, Cornelius Dunham. This study began and deals in greatest detail with the descendants of our grandparents, Vernon Leroy and Mary Alice Dunham. In the course of our investigation, however, we learned a great deal about Vernon's father, Thomas W. Dunham, and grandfather, Cornelius. Therefore, it has expanded into its present form, which leaves much room for additional information to be included in the future...We are especially grateful to the material provided us by Ervin Jerrol Dunham's late brother Robert Marion Dunham relating to Cornelius and Thomas, and our cousin Gerald Kenneth Lawson dealing with the descendants of Vernon's sister Nellie and brother Minard....Additional material will be added, including many photographs. "Informal" information about Vernon Leroy and Mary Alice Dunham's descendants will appear in individual chapters about each of their nine children....The authors will appreciate assistance in putting to right errors and omissions.


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Family Photos

  • Thomas W. Dunham, Vernon Leroy's Father (17 KB)
    Thomas W. Dunham, Vernon Leroy's Father, in an early photograph
  • Gravestone of Vernon Leroy and Mary Alice Dunham (14 KB)
    These gravestones, in Richwood Cemetery, mark the resting place of Vernon and Mary Dunham, marked by the large stone on the right. To the left is the marker of Thomas and Maria Dunham, and farther left that of Vernon's sister Adelaide and her husband. The very small stone to the far left may be that of Adelaide's infant daughter Beatrice.
  • The "Old Home Place" (48 KB)
    An early view of the family at the "Old Home Place": L-R: Shirley, Bert, Grandma (Maria), Clarence, Leslie, Gordon, Vernon Leroy, Jane, Annie, Mary Alice, Ross (on her lap). Taken about 1903 or 1904.
  • Maria Louisa Dunham, Vernon Leroy's mother (18 KB)
    Maria Louisa Stevens Dunham, Vernon Leroy's mother, in an early photograph
  • Nellie Grace visit her former home (28 KB)
    About 1914 Nellie Grace Dunham Lawson, with her husband and one son, visited the home of Vernon Dunham, where she had grown up. L/R: James Hobert Lawson (about 14), James Melvin Lawson, Mary Alice Dunham, and Nellie Grace.
  • Letter from Vernon to Mary, August 2, 1889 Page 1 (163 KB)
    This letter, written the year before Vernon Dunham and Mary Frazier were married, is transcribed in full on a chapter in the Book. (See also photocopy of Page 2)
  • After Annie's wedding (69 KB)
    Annie Dunham and Edd Grubaugh Wedding Day, August, 1910. Enlarged from a postcard. On back is date October 18, 1910. From Annie to Lydia Peebles, Republic, Missouri.
  • Oklahoma Dunhams visit Nixa, Missouri (46 KB)
    In June, 1951, five of the sons of Minard Dunham visited relatives in Nixa. Pictured here, at the home of their cousin Austin, are, L/R: Paul, Reg, Earl, Frank, and Homer. Austin is on the right.
  • Letter from Vernon Dunham to Mary Frazier, Page 2 (153 KB)
    This is page two of a letter from Vernon Dunham to Mary Frazier, written on August 9th, 1889, the year before their marriage. The full text of the letter is transcribed in a chapter in the Book. (See photocopy of Page 1)
  • A group picture, possibly early 1920's (51 KB)
    A group picture made possibly in the early 1920's; Back: Gordon, Shirley, Bert; Middle: Ross, Austin, Clarence, Leslie; Front: Annie, Vernon, Mary Alice, Jane
  • Mary Alice Frazier Dunham's parents (24 KB)
    Elisha Edmond Frazier (1848-1928) and Mary Jane Sharp Frazier (1846-1924), parents of Vernon Leroy Dunham's wife, Mary Alice
  • The Lawsons and Dunhams of Oklahoma, circa 1903-04 (72 KB)
    The Lawson family, taken about 1903 or 1904. Minard Stevens Dunham (married to Dora Lawson) is second from the right in the back row, holding his son Paul. Nellie Grace Dunham Lawson, is second from the left in the second row from the back, next to her husband James Melvin Lawson (in large hat). Nellie was Vernon's sister. Minard ("Nard") was Vernon's brother.
  • Poetic Proposal to Maria Louisa Stevens (411 KB)
    A drawing of his log cabin home and a poetic proposal of marriage, presumably, from C. P. Sprague, to Maria Louisa Stevens, nearly 2 1/2 years before her marriage to Thomas W. Dunham. See full transcription on the Vernon Dunham Book.
  • A group picture, possibly about 1930 (55 KB)
    A group picture dating from about 1930; Back: Leslie, Austin, Shirley, Bert, Gordon, Clarence; Front: Annie, Vernon, Mary Alice, Ross, Jane
  • Vernon Leroy and Mary Alice Dunham (30 KB)
    Vernon Leroy and Mary Alice Frazier Dunham, in what is probably a wedding photograph
  • Thomas W. Dunham's Wedding Clothes (23 KB)
    According to family tradition, this vest (size 38), cummerbund, and tie, were worn by Thomas W. Dunham at his wedding on May 2, 1853. (The vest and cummerbund are satin, with quilted linings.) The hat, however, is much later and was purchased at Globe Clothing Store in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Dunham Family Coverlet (37 KB)
    This "Figured and Fancy" coverlet, now in the Alling Coverlet Museum in Palmyra, NY, was brought to Missouri by Thomas and Maria Dunham, undoubtedly from Palmyra. It has the date 1841 woven in and the museum attributes it to Palmyra weaver James Van Ness. Palmyra was an important center of fine weaving in the early to mid 19th Century. The red ribbon indicates a recent acquisition.
  • Vernon and Mary Alice's Nine Children (103 KB)
    Taken in 1957, the last known group picture of the nine children; Back: Clarence, Gordon, Shirley, Bert, Austin; Front: Ross, Annie, Jane, Leslie
  • Vernon Leroy Dunham (44 KB)
    Vernon Leroy Dunham as a young man
  • Piece of Maria Louisa Steven's Wedding Dress? (15 KB)
    This small piece of cloth was kept through the years in the pocket of the vest which family tradition says was worn by Thomas W. Dunham's at his wedding to Maria Louisa Stevens. Was this small piece of elegant fabric from Maria's wedding dress?
  • Dunham Coverlet Number Two (23 KB)
    This coverlet, recently acquired by the Alling Coverlet Museum of Palmyra, NY, belonged to Vernon and Mary Alice Dunham and had probably been brought to Missouri by his parents from Palmyra, a center of weaving in the early and mid-18th Century. Notice the loom on the right.
  • The seven survivors in 1970 (27 KB)
    The seven surviving children of Vernon and Mary Alice Dunham, taken in 1970; L-R: Clarence, Jane, Ross, Annie, Austin, Leslie, Gordon
  • Mary Alice Frazier Dunham (50 KB)
    Mary Alice Frazier Dunham, late in life, at the door of the "spring house"
  • Mary Alice Dunham's Quilt (34 KB)
    This quilt, belong to the Annie Dunham Grubaugh family, was pieced by Mary Alice Frazier Dunham.
  • Shirley Dunham, Vernon and Mary's third child (56 KB)
    Shirley Dunham, photographed (probably in France) in his World War I uniform.
  • Thomas W. Dunham's Calendar, 1874 (103 KB)
    This calendar and table of weights and measurements hung on the wall in Thomas Dunham's Blacksmith Shop at the "Old Home Place" between Nixa and Ozark
  • An early group photograph of the entire family (53 KB)
    The entire family, taken probably in 1908; Back: Shirley, Leslie, Gordon, Annie; Middle: Vernon, Mary Alice, Jane, Bert; Front: Ross, Austin (in mother's lap), Clarence (seated on ground)
  • Group Photo, probably from 1951 (40 KB)
    This snapshot was probably made at a Dunham Reunion at Phelps Grove Park in Springfield in June of 1951. Back, L/R: Bert, Shirley, Clarence, Gordon, Leslie, Austin. Front, L/R: Jane, Annie, Ross
  • Leslie Dunham, Vernon and Mary's fourth child (20 KB)
    Leslie Dunham (left), wearing his World War I uniform, with his army buddy and life-long friend, Herman Cunningham. Like his brother Shirley, Leslie served in France.
  • Gravestone of Thomas W. and Maria Louisa Dunham (23 KB)
    T. W. Dunham Born Sept. 26, 1829, Died Apr. 2, 1890. "Life is real, life is earnest, and the grave is not its goal. Dust thou art to dust returneth was not spoken of the soul." AT REST; Maria L. Dunham, Born Jan. 4, 1830, Died April 30, 1910. (No epitaph.)
  • The "Old Home Place" (57 KB)
    An early view of the family at the "Old Home Place." L-R: Shirley, Bert, Grandma (Maria), Clarence, Leslie, Gordon, Vernon Leroy, Jane, Annie, Mary Alice, Ross (on her lap). Taken about 1903 or 1904.
  • Nellie Grace Dunham Lawson, Vernon's Sister (17 KB)
    Nellie Grace Dunham Lawson with her husband and three children,about 1901 or 1902. L/R: Leonard Kenneth Lawson, James Melvin Lawson, Louise Lawson, Nellie, and James Hobert Lawson. Nellie Grace was one of Thomas W. Dunham's four children who lived to adulthood.
  • Gravestone of Charles N.and Adelaide Dunham Maybee (27 KB)
    Adelaide, wife of Chas. N. Maybee, Born June 11, 1858 Died Nov. 11, 1896 "She faltered by the wayside, angels took her home." Chas. N. Maybee Born Dec. 11, 1847 Died Oct. 29, 1896 "To him we trust a place is given among the saints with Christ in heaven." Beatrice, Daughter of CN and AJ Maybee Born Dec 31, 1889 Died Sept. 14, 1890 "Our darling one hath gone before to meet us on the blissful shore."
  • The Old Home Place in the late 1980's (91 KB)
    Top: The barn, now gone; Middle: Looking up the hill from the spring toward the house which replaced the Dunham home; Bottom: The cave near the spring. For many years the spring was covered by a "springhouse," used for keeping perishable food cool.

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