Biography: Samuel Lupton (1838-1906)

Samuel Lupton was born in England in 1838. In 1846, at 8 years old he immigrated with his family. He first married Elizabeth Reynolds in 1864 (she died in 1871). He then married Harriet Freer in 1873. He had 3 kids with Elizabeth, and 4 with Harriet. He died in 1906, age 68.

Samuel Lupton
born Friday 13 Apr 1838 Monk Bretton, Yorkshire, England
died Saturday 16 JUN 1906 Toledo, Iowa, age 68

My 2nd great grandfather was Samuel Lupton. When Samuel Lupton was born in England in 1838, his parents John and Martha were in their mid-30s. The family emigrated from England to America in 1846. Samuel was age 8 and spent the rest of his childhood in Illinois. 

Samuel had two marriages. He first married Elizabeth Reynolds and had three children. After Elizabeth died in 1871, the widower Samuel married Harriet Freer two years later and added another four children to their family. Samuel lived a full life but died in his late 60s, age 68. He died and was buried in Toledo, Iowa.

Samuel’s parents were John Lupton and Martha Wilkinson. They settled in Council Hill, Jo Daviess, Illinois where they raised their family. Samuel’s parents spent the rest of their lives in Illinois. Samuel moved his family to Iowa after his second marriage when in his late 30s or very early 40s.

Samuel’s parent’s family were Methodists. In fact, Samuel’s dad John Lupton, Sr. was a member of the Methodist Church for 45 years, and much of that time he was a class leader. Although I don’t know for sure, I imagine the they had a rich family and church lifestyle. Dad John was a weaver in England, and a farmer once he settled in America.

Left aboard the Lapland for America. Arrived in New Orleans from Liverpool England aboard the Lapland; Sailed up the Mississippi River, arriving in Galena, IL on June 6.

1838: Born in England

Samuel Lupton was the oldest of 8 siblings. He was born on April 13, 1838, to Martha Wilkinson, age 35, and John Lupton, age 32. He was baptized on 4 May 1838 at St John the Baptist Church in Royston, Yorkshire, England. He spent his first 8 years growing up in Yorkshire, England.

1838 Samuel Lupton baptism record from the Royston, St John the Baptist parish. Baptism Date: 4 May 1838 Father's name: John Lupton Mother's name: Martha Lupton
When John and Martha immigrated to America in 1846, they had 8 children and 3 of 4 parents had passed.

1846: Immigrated to America

On 27 May 1846, the family boarded the Lapland ship in Liverpool, Lancashire, England. They arrived in New Orleans from Liverpool England. They then Sailed up the Mississippi River, arriving in Galena, IL on June 6.

About 1858: Oldest Tin Photo

This is the oldest family tin photo that I know of. I think Samuel looks about 22. If so, this was taken about 1860. He does look young so it’s possible this is even earlier. The first photos in the U.S. were taken about 1840. By 1850s portraits were popular with the middle class. This photo clearly has someone else in the photo sitting next to him (his shoe is visible).

Before/After Restoration

For fun and to practice a technique, I started colorizing this image. I didn’t do too good a job, but I like it so I thought I’d include it.

1864: Marriage to Elizabeth

Samuel Lupton married Elizabeth Reynolds in Council Hill, Illinois, on June 25, 1864, when he was 26 years old. Elizabeth was born in Ireland and was baptized about 1844 at Monksland church in Bunmahon, Ireland.

Monksland church in Bunmahon, County Waterford, Ireland where Elizabeth Reynolds was baptized in c.1844/5. It is, today, part of the Copper Coast Geopark visitors center. Picture taken by David Forney, 3rd gr-grandson of Elizabeth. He and his wife visited the church in May 2019.

1868: Birth & Death of Emma Jane

On January 18 Elizabeth gave birth to Emma Jane. Emma lived just over 2.5 months and died on April 7th. They would try to have another child in a few years but that too would end sadly.

1871: Death of Mom and New Born

Elizabeth gave birth to Bertie Elizabeth on August 20, 1871. I think it was a hard birth because mom Elizabeth passed away just 22 days later on September 12, 1871, in Grundy, Iowa, at the age of 28. They had been married 7 years. Little six week old Bertie Elizabeth dies too just 4 weeks later on October 13th.

After the death of mom Elizabeth, that left Samuel alone with his first born Martha, now six years old. Here is a snapshot of Elizabeth’s side of the family.

1871 Land Purchase

(Traditional family story relayed by Martha Ellen’s 2nd gr-grandson David Forney.)
Samuel purchased 160 acres of land a mile or two east of Whitten, Iowa in 1871. Martha Ellen Lupton grew up on that farm. Her husband John Jacob “JJ” Forney grew up on a 160-acre farm immediately to the south of the Lupton spread.  Elizabeth’s daughter Martha Ellen Lupton married John Jacob Forney and had two kids. Iowa, even today, is a pretty empty place, and back then was even more sparse. One can imagine a special romance blossoming between two lonely farm kids amidst the rich cornfields of 19th Century Grundy County.

Here is a picture of their home.

Picture from page 57 of the 1906 Leander Clark College and Toledo Souvenir book. Martha, Samuel's first born, would go on to marry John Jacob Forney. They raised Earl (1886-1963), and Mabel (1888-1978) in this house.

1873: Samuel Marries Harriet Freer

Samuel, now a widower, married Harriet Freer in Council Hill, Illinois, on March 5, 1873, when he was 34 years old and he was 14 years older at 48. They had a double wedding and the other couple was Sarah Lupton (his niece – his brother Bill’s oldest daughter) and William Atkinson.

Tin Photo circa 1873-1880


Here is a colorized version of this photo…

Homestead Photo

Sam Lupton & Harriett Freer Home, Toledo, Iowa. If you look close, you can see to people sitting in the front yard–likely Harriett and Sam.

From The Luptonian, No. 43, "The home of Samuel Lupton, son of John and Martha (Wilkinson) Lupton, and his wife, Harriett Freer." Picture provided to the Luptonian by Karen Giblin.

1903: The Family Photo

Leander Clark-Lupton Estate, c. 1903.

This is the mansion of Leander Clark. Torn down and turned into a city park by 1950. A plaque honoring Leander Clark was placed on the iron gate which still stood as of a few decades ago. This picture appeared in The Luptonian, No 25, Sep 1982. The caption read “The Ralph Leander Lupton home as it appeared in 1903 in Toledo, Iowa”. This copy was sent to me by Natalie Juntz in 2016.

L to R: Samuel Lupton, Harriett Lupton (Freer), Leander Clark holding John "Jack" Lupton, Howell Clark Lupton, Frank Cook (brother of Susan), John Laurence Lupton, Susan Louise Lupton (Cook/Clark), and Dwight Lupton. Maybe a baby buggy and nursemaid behind Dwight.

1906: Samuel Lupton Dies

Samuel Lupton died on June 16, 1906, in Toledo, Iowa, when he was 68 years old.

Here is a copy of his obituary:


Here is a copy of his will:

1910 Family Photo

This is a 1910 picture of Samuel’s second wife Harriett Lupton (Freer) and her grand kids from her son John Laurence Lupton and Susan Louisa Cook.

2018: DNA Match

Part of genealogy is matching DNA. The following DNA match is from my mom to Jill Van Camp on My mom was named after Leslie Arthur Lupton (my mom is his namesake). Leslie Arthur Lupton died suddenly in 1935 at the young age of 51. Three years later, my mom was born and named Leslie Ann Lupton.

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