Seth Sprague Lamoney
I’ve never found his brother John in California, but in 1865 married Hessa Warren in Walla Walla, Washington. He went on to become quite successful, founding the town of Lamona and eventually moving to Spokane. He remained in the Northwest until he died. I can’t find any record of John even making it to the gold fields, but the years between 1852 and 1865 are unaccounted for. I have not been able to figure out who the friend that traveled with them is.
Now for the mystery. I have heard two different stories of what happened to Seth, but they are all unverified. It is said that the family bible lists his death as September 10, 1885, but I have not seen it. It is also said that the family has records stating his death in El Dorado, California. http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=tubbs&id=I17113
- He made his fortune and began his journey home only to be robbed and murdered in El Dorado. It is said that when his body was found his dog was still standing guard over it.
- He made his fortune and was coming home only to join in a crooked card game with an old poker buddy. Rumors persisted over the years and when a skeleton was discovered in a barn being demolished in Columbus many years later, even the newspaper carried the story that it might be the body of Seth Lamona. (I have not found the article). The barn was on a property that had been previously owned by one of Seth's poker partners and gossips theorized that he did return with the gold and it was taken from him in a big-stake poker game. He was presumably murdered to cover up the crooked game.
He was gone for at least 30 years.
He had left his family with some money to survive, but I doubt 30 years worth. He left his wife, his 5 children, and his mentally disabled brother, Edward, on the farm. By the 1860 census his son, William, was living with his friend & brother-in-law, Uri Tubbs.
Seth Sprague Lamona was born to Peter Lamoney and Jane Sylbrant in 1822, somewhere in New York.
The name Lamona is a derivative of the French LeMoine. The name has seen many variations in the census records with the most common being Lamona and Lemony.
That is all I know about him. I do wonder if him going to mine gold in California was part of my Grandfather’s love of stories of the gold rush and the West.
Let me know if you have any ideas!
Seth's daughter, Delia Lamona.
Born in 1853, she probably
had no memories of her father