"John Wesley Powell was born in 1834 in Mount Morris, New York, the son of Joseph Powell, a Methodist preacher and avid abolitionist. Reverend Powell's vigorous stand against slavery was met with hostility by many of the townspeople. He and his family moved to Jackson, Ohio when John Wesley was a small child. Young Powell was frequently stoned by his classmates and had to be removed from public school and placed under the tutelage of a neighbor, George Crookham, a farmer and self-taught scientist."
His obit also speaks of his family;
"Joseph Powell, his father, had a strong will, deep earnestness, and indomitable courage, while his mother, Mary Dean, with similar traits possessed also remarkable tact and practicality. Both were English born, the mother well educated, and were always leaders in the social and educational life of every community where they dwelt. Especially were they prominent in religious circles, the father being a licensed. exhorter in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Both were intensely American in their love and admiration of the civil institutions of the United States and both were strenuously opposed to slavery, which was flourishing in America when they arrived in 1830. For a time they remained in New York City and then removed to the village of Palmyra whence they went to Mount Morris, Livingston County, New York, where, on March 24, 1834, the fourth of their nine children, John Wesley, was born. Because of the slavery question Joseph Powell left the Methodist Episcopal Church on the organisation of the Wesleyan Methodist Church and became a regularly ordained preacher in the latter. It was in this atmosphere of social, educational, political, and religious fervor that the future explorer grew up.
When he was four or five years old the family moved to Jackson, Ohio, and then, in 1846, went on westward to South Grove, Walworth County, Wisconsin, where a farm was purchased. They were in prosperous circumstances....
In 1851 his family removed to Bonus Prairie, Boone County, Illinois, where a larger farm had been purchased. About 1853 the Wesleyan College was established at Wheaton, Illinois, and the family removed there in order to take advantage of the opportunities afforded. The father became one of the trustees and Powell entered the preparatory classes."
Residences & events:
Abt 1832 America Son John's obit says they arrived in 1830 but since daughter Mary was born in England in 1831, it had to have been after that. Joseph arrived with his wife and 2 daughters.
Bef 1834 Livingston Co, NY where 3 more children were born.
Bef 1836 Jackson (Jackson, Morrow or Wayne Co?), OH
1840 OH There were 8 Joseph Powells in the state at census time in various counties. Which was this man?
7/22/1850 Town of Sharon, Walworth Co, WI. Before census time that year the family had moved west across IL, landing just over the northern state line. Joseph and Mary were both 42 years old with a large family: Martha, 20, Mary P, 19, Jno W, 16, Wm B, 14, Eliza D, 12, Ellen 8, Walter H, 7, and Julietta T, 4. Living with them were two 22 year old men also born in Eng, Nathaniel Maplebeck, and Jno Harding, both labourers. Joseph was a tailor with $2000 in real estate which son John, farmer, probably worked. Neighbors were a bunch of New Yorkers.
7/30/1860 Wheaton, DuPage Co, IL. Still on the move, the census that year recorded John and Mary at age 53 with children: John, 36, Eliza, 22, Helen, 19, Walter, 17, and Juliet, 14. Joseph's occupation was clergy W.M. but he also have a fair amount of property valued at $7000/1500. Son John was a "naturalist," daughters Eliza and Helen were school teachers. Again neighbors were from NY.