Jim Aylesworth - His Hoosier Connection
|2009 Photo credit: Giles Aylesworth
Jim's childhood, his family moved often (Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia,
Texas) as they followed his father's business. During these early
years, the family farm in Hebron, Indiana became a unifying factor in
Jim's life and continues to pull his family and his brother's family
together today. The farm is located near Hebron, Indiana, about
two hours away from Jim's current home in downtown Chicago. Jim's
brother, Bill, also lives in Chicago.
My brother and I now own the family
farm. We are close friends. The farm looks very much
as it did when we were children. The old part of the house is the
same as it always was, but, with good thanks to Bill, an addition has
been put onto the house, and now everyone has a bedroom of their
own. It can be a pretty full house.
The two brothers, their sons, and their families often spend weekends
and holidays at the farm together.
My brother and I both had two
sons each. They are all about the same age. Mesh them
together—we call the four of them "the cousins." They are like brothers
themselves. My son, John, has a son now, Sam. And my nephews have children and although they are not my
grandchildren, I kind of think of them in that way. We call them "the little cousins." It's not exactly peaceful with
the kids running around, but it is exciting and
fun. The plan is for the cousins to take over
|Childhood memories of the farm helped Jim create some
stories such as Hush Up!, Hanna's Hog, and One Crow: A Counting Rhyme.
Hoosier Homestead Award Farm - Hickory Lawn Farm
The Hoosier Homestead Award program (from the State of Indiana) recognizes families with
farms that have been owned by
the same family for 100 years or more. Since 1976, almost 4,500 farms
have received this honor. The Aylesworths are proud that Hickory
Lawn Farm is recognized as being a century farm and listed as a
Hoosier Homestead Award farm. The farm was established in the 1840s,
by Giles Aylesworth, when he moved west to Indiana and purchased the
land with $2000 worth of gold.
History of Hickory Lawn Farm's Ownership
Giles Aylesworth (1807-1880) Mary Jones Aylesworth
Giles came to Indiana from Ohio in the 1840's. He came with his family
in covered wagons and with gold hidden in the false bottom of a bucket.
With that gold, he purchased the land and built a home which would
become Hickory Lawn Farm. One of his sons was named Porter.
Porter Aylesworth (1834-1918) Catherine Shinabarger Aylesworth
The farm home on this property burned in October/November 1856ˆ three
weeks after Porter and Catherine were married (October 16, 1856).
The couple built a new colonial frame house which stood for sixty-one
years until a cyclone tore the house down in May of 1917. One of
Porter's sons was named after his grandfather, Giles.
Giles Aylesworth (1861-1943) Lillian Staring Aylesworth
Giles was in possession of the farm when the cyclone destroyed the
home. He rebuilt a house on the farm and by the time of his
death in 1943, he had fulfilled his grandfather's wish that
the farm would remain in the family for one hundred years. In turn, one
of his sons was named after his grandfather, Porter.
James Porter Aylesworth (1897-1983) Marguerite Snyder Aylesworth
Porter, as he was known, did much to reacquire land lost from the original farm
property. One of his sons was named Norman.
James Norman Aylesworth (1919-2002) Gerral Harrison Aylesworth
Norman had two sons. One of them is, Jim Aylesworth, and the other is Jim's brother, Bill Aylesworth.
|Jim Aylesworth (1943- ) Donna Lapuzza Aylesworth —Jim and Donna have two sons: John Aylesworth (1966) and Daniel
Aylesworth (1969). And John has a son, Sam Aylesworth. Jim's latest
book, The Mitten, is dedicated to Sam.
Bill Aylesworth (1946- ) Linda Whitcomb Aylesworth —Bill is Jim's brother and deserves great credit for bringing the
farm back to the beautiful state that exists today. Bill has two sons,
Giles (1968) and Josh (1971), and they both have children: Emily, Ethan, Will,
Maggie, and Michael. Together with Sam, these six cousins make up the
eighth generation of Aylesworths to enjoy Hickory Lawn Farm.
Emily, Ethan, Will, Maggie, Michael, and Sam
"The Little Cousins"
The Eighth Generation at Hickory Lawn Farm
Thanksgiving November 2008
Photo Credit: Donna Aylesworth
The Family Before Indiana
Arthur Aylworth—The family history can be traced back to Arthur Aylworth
(ca. 1656 in England or Wales). He came to the America sometime before
July 29, 1679. He died in Kingstown, Rhode Island sometime
between 1723 when he added to his will and September 13, 1726 when his
will was "proved." Arthur Aylworth and his wife Mary Brown became parents of ten children -- one of their sons was Arthur Aylworth Jr.
Arthur Aylworth Jr. (ca.
1684-1761) married Mary Franklin (thought to be a relative of Benjamin
Franklin). Together the couple had nine children—one of
which was Philip Aylworth.
Philip Aylworth (ca. n/k-1789) married Elizabeth and one of their ten children was Philip Aylworth Jr. whose birth was recorded in East Greenwich, Rhode
Island. Philip Jr. was given, by his father Philip, land in
Coventry, Rhode Island where he settled. During the 1760s and
into the 1770s Philip Jr. made many land transfers, including the
selling of his land in Coventry. He eventually moved to Vermont
and later to Milford, Otsego County, New York.
Philip Aylworth Jr. (1737-ca.
1809-10)and his wife Martha Slocum were married in 1762 and among their eight children was John Aylworth.
John Aylworth (ca. 1763 -
ca. 1810) was born in Kent County, Rhode island and died in Milford,
Otsego County, New York. Sometime after his death his wife
Elizabeth Humphrey Aylworth, and their children moved (1815) to Wayne
County, Ohio. Among the children was Giles Alyesworth (note the "es" now in the last name).
(1807- 1880) was born in Milford, Otsego County, New York; then
moved with his mother to Ohio (1815) and was the first family member to
move westward from Ohio to Porter County, Indiana where he and his
family settled in 1842. Family legend has it that Giles migrated
west with two wagons,
household goods, tools, grubbing hoe, ax and musket, five children and
Mary, his wife. With $2,000.00 in gold, which had been sealed in a
bottom of a dinner bucket, he bought the farm which is the farm now
known as Hickory Lawn Farm.
Readers who wish to write to the author may do so by writing:
Jim Aylesworth • 55 West Delaware Place, No. 407 • Chicago, IL. 60610
Jim can be e-mailed at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or reached by phone at: (312) 573-0644.