Van Gundy Family Tree

Notes for William Cheneworth "Chenny" NEAVES

He was named for his maternal grandfather.

Relatives said Chenny was a rascal who stole chickens, among other things.

Residences & events:

1900 His father left him 160 acres in Jewell Co, Ks, along with 85 acres of the old homestead in Sullivan Twp, Moultrie Co, IL.

6/21/1900 Whitley Twp, Moultrie Co, IL. At census time William Neeves was 24 years old, had no occupation other than "income from farm" Wife Marsha was also 24, had been married 3 yrs and birth 2 children, both living: Robert N, 1, and Golda, 2 months.

6/1/1906 Moultrie Co, IL. He and Marsha sold their property at Pt SW S5 T13 R5 to his brother-in-law, DW Van Gundy, for $5000 by warranty deed.

6/29/1906 The Decatur (IL) paper carried this item:

"Trouble Over Stolen Property

Tuesday evening Chaney Neaves and Pete Lee were placed under arrest for a saddle stolen from William Wamach (Womack?) which was found in Neaves' possession, he having purchased it from Lee.
Neaves was released by giving bond for $500. Lee, unable to furnish sufficient bond, went to jail."

4/28/1910 W Harrison St, Sullivan, Moultrie Co, IL. The census listed William C at age 30, married 13 years to Marsha, 34, who had birthed 4 children, all living: Robert, 11, Golda, 10, Daniel, 8, and Hazel, 2.. William had his "own income" but no occupation recorded.

11/21/1917 There seems to have been a dispute involving Chenny; sister, Laura and husband, DW; and DW's brother, Elmer Van Gundy. Attorney and brother-in-law, WR Huff, wrote the following to Laura:

"My dear Laura:

I am sending you a copy of a letter that I have written to Elmer. Now I didn't like to write to Elmer, but the time has come when you and Dan must do right in this matter. You seem to be afraid of Elmer; seem to be afraid that if you will tell him or enter into an accounting with him as to Chin's land you will get into trouble. People don't generally get into trouble doing right. As far as I am concerned I am tired of seeing Chin's family suffer for the necessaries of life with no possible chance of relieving them. If any one has to take this land for Chin's life it would have been far better for Hill to have taken it than for Elmer to take it.

Now it will be easy for you and Chin and Dan and Elmer to determine how much is back and how much has been paid and settle this matter. I have men every few days talk to me about this that know about the matter, and they think it an outrage, and you can't afford to do otherwise in this matter than to get busy with yourself.

Now you show this letter to Dan and show it to Chin too, and don't fail in this. You know I write letters to some of your people who don't see fit to answer. I don't want an answer in this letter, but the matter must not rest any longer as it is. You must do right not only toward Chin, but toward yourself and toward your brothers and sisters and towards Chin's children.

Very truly yours,
WR Huff"

2/3/1920 6th St, Sullivan, Moultrie Co, IL. Apparently the money had run out by the next census time as Chenny was listed as a laborer for the city. He and Marsha were both 44 years old and living with them were Robert, 21, and Hazel, 13.

9/30/1927 The following appeared in the Decatur Herald:

VanGundy's Possession of Land on Sheriff's Deed Causes Problem

Held as Conservator
After hearing objections in the master's report in the case of W.C. Neaves et al vs. Elmer H. Van Gundy, a suit to recover title to 86 acres of Macon county land, Judge J. S. Baldwin withheld decision until he had given the report further study. The report finds substantially in favor of complaintants and if approved will restore interest in the land to the Neaves family under a life estate, and settle for simple title in his children, with the exception of a one-fourth interest purchased by Van Gundy from Robert N Neaves.
Took Sheriff's Deed
When evidence was taken in the case it was disclosed that Elmer H. VanGundy had possessed the land for years under a sheriff's deed for the life estate of Neaves. He acquired the land on a bid of $100 and has, according to the evidence, collected a large sum of money in rentals.
The land involved is in Milam township, near the Macon-Moultrie county line. In support of their claims, the claimants endeavored to show that Elmer H. VanGundy was acting as conservator for D.W. VanGundy of near Sullivan when he bought the land for sale at sheriff's sale to satisfy a judgement against the latter, D.W. VanGundy had held the life estate to secure a debt of Neaves.
Didn't Turn Over
After getting the sheriff's deed, it was learned Elmer H. VanGundy considered his purchase as a personal investment, rather than as a conservator. Later when the conservatorship and bankruptcy of D.W. VanGundy were terminated, all of his holdings, with the exception of this 80 acre tract, were returned to him by the defentant.

4/19/1928 The Decatur (IL) paper carried the following blurb:

"Judge Baldwin announced that he will give his decision in the case of W. C. Neaves et al vs D. W. Van Gundy et al, early in the May term. The case involves title to eighty acres of land near Mt. Zion."

1/15/1929 Finally in the Decatur Evening Herald was:

Suit of William C. Neaves
Against D.W. and Elmer
H. VanGundy Dropped

Settlement has been reached in a case in court in the suit of William C. Neaves against D.W. VanGundy and Elmer H. VanGundy. The settlement came a few days ago after transcript of the evidence had been received for review by the appellate (unreadable).
After a hearing before John W. (unreadable), former master in chancery, the plaintiff's rights in a farm near Mt. Zion were determined. Judge John S. Baldwin approved the Master report, and ordered Elmer H. VanGundy to account for rental of the land over a period of years in which he had control under the sheriff's sale title.
Technical points of law developed in tracing the life estate interests of William C. Neaves in the land formed the basis for the judgment. Robert Neaves, son of the plaintiff, was found to have an undivided interest in the land.
The terms of the settlement of the case have not been made known.

4/26/1930 Sullivan, Moultrie Co, IL was where the census taker found William and Marsha, both at age 54. The value of the house was $17.50 and his occupation was common laborer at odd jobs.

Copyright 2010 by BJ Van Gundy

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