The Carrollton Pegrams


Nathaniel Harper PEGRAM, Jr [G7] was born on his parents' farm in Bluffdale Township, Greene County, Illinois on 16 June 1857. He would be the youngest surviving son of Nathaniel Harper PEGRAM, Sr and Amanda PEGRAM. Being the youngest son in a large family, it is almost certain that he handled more than his share of "dirty jobs" associated with operating a very large family farm. His obituary in 1908 described him as having had a "kind disposition" and possessed a reputation of "an honest dealer among his fellow men". Nathaniel married Nellie Jane VINYARD, daughter of George W and Nancy Jane PATTON VINYARD, on 13 March 1883. The wedding took place in the home of the bride's parents in White Hall, Greene County, Illinois. Nathaniel was nearly 26 at the time of the wedding and Nellie, born on 20 October 1866, was 16. The couple would have 14 children:

  • Nettie Pearl PEGRAM [G8], born 8 April 1884

  • Nathaniel Harper PEGRAM III [G8], born 3 January 1886

  • Mary Elizabeth PEGRAM [G8], born 5 July 1887

  • Virginia PEGRAM [G8], born 12 January 1890, triplet, died shortly after birth.

  • Mike L PEGRAM [G8], born 12 January 1890, triplet, died a week after birth.

  • Frank H PEGRAM [G8], born 12 January 1890, triplet, died a week after birth.

  • Maude M PEGRAM [G8], born 21 February 1891.

  • Alvin Edward PEGRAM [G8], born on 8 April 1894.

  • Clinton C PEGRAM [G8], born 25 October 1896.

  • Nellie Jane PEGRAM [G8], born 6 February 1899.

  • Martha Elizabeth PEGRAM [G8], born 15 February 1901

  • Beulah Isabela PEGRAM [G8], born 11 February 1903.

  • Unnamed Twin Boys PEGRAM [G8], stillborn on 21 September 1904.

Tragically, Nellie Jane PEGRAM began to hemorrhage after the stillbirth of the twins and died two days later. Nellie would have been nearly 38 at the time of her death. Nellie's death left Nathaniel with 8 children, ranging in age from 1 to 20 years old. Being the oldest child, Nettie assumed the role of mother for the remaining children. Just 4 years later, Nathaniel became ill with gastritis and died at his home on 12 November 1908 at the age of 51. In his hastily prepared will Nathaniel directed that his real estate not be sold until his youngest child turned 21 and that the income from the real estate be used to care for his children. On 11 February 1924 (Beulah's 21st birthday), the real estate could be sold and the proceeds split equally among the children. Nathaniel's brothers Ed and Baker PEGRAM and his own son Nathaniel III would be executors of the estate. Nellie and Nathaniel would both be buried in Richwood Cemetery. In actuality, both Ed and Baker PEGRAM would have both died well before the date to sell the property.

Nathaniel Harper PEGRAM, Jr

Nathaniel Harper PEGRAM, Jr, about the time of his wedding.


Nellie Jane VINYARD PEGRAM, about the time of her wedding.

PEGRAM Tombstone

Tombstone for Nathaniel Harper PEGRAM, Jr and his wife, Nellie Jane VINYARD.

(Richwood Cemetery)



Nettie Pearl PEGRAM [G8], was born on 8 April 1884 at her parents' farm in Bluffdale Township, Greene County, Illinois. She was the eldest child of Nathaniel Harper and Nellie PEGRAM. When Nettie and her 7 siblings were orphaned in 1908, she literally became the single parent for the younger children, a role that she somewhat maintained until her death when she was 78. Nettie never worked outside the home, but she was an accomplished cook and seamstress. She would manage the house for her unmarried siblings and they would work and contribute to cover the expenses.

Nettie died on 20 May 1962 at Our Savior's Hospital in Jacksonville, Morgan County, Illinois following a heart attack. She was buried in the Carrollton City Cemetery.


Nathaniel Harper PEGRAM III [G8] was born on 3 January 1886 at his parents' farm in Bluffdale Township, Greene County, Illinois. He married Emma Mae Fry on 19 March 1909 in Harden, Calhoun County, Illinois. Emma Mae was born 7 October 1884 in Carrollton, Greene County, Illinois to Noah Edward and Sidney Ann HAFFORD FRY. Nathaniel and Emma Mae would have 4 children:

  • Zoe Gladden PEGRAM [G9], born 30 Jan 1912 in Montgomery County, Missouri, died 27 July 1980.

  • Margaret Louise PEGRAM [G9], born 6 Jan 1919 in Concordia, Kansas, died 4 Sep 2007.

  • Beulah Mae PEGRAM [G9], born 4 June 1920 in Jerseyville, Jersey County, Illinois, died 19 Dec 1991.

  • Nathaniel Harper "Buddy" PEGRAM IV [G9], born 5 Dec 1922 in Jerseyville, Jersey County, Illinois, died 11 Feb 2007.

Nathaniel operated a hotel in Middletown, Missouri and later worked as a policeman and laborer in Illinois. By the 1930 census, Nathaniel and Emma had separated. She was living in Jerseyville with the 4 children and he had moved to Decatur, Macon County, Illinois. Emma FRY PEGRAM died on 13 Dec 1944. Nathaniel married Maude SPELBRING on 11 Oct 1947. He died on 15 Apr 1950.


Mary Elizabeth PEGRAM [G8] was born on 5 July 1887 at her parents farm in Bluffdale Township, Greene County, Illinois. She contracted typhoid fever and died at her home on 23 April 1899 at the age of 10. Mary Elizabeth was buried in Richwood Cemetery.


Maude M PEGRAM [G8] was born on 21 Feb 1891 at her parents' farm in Bluffdale Township, Greene County, Illinois. On 4 January 1919 Maude married Arthur Clay "Sonny" EVANS, son of Mr & Mrs George EVANS. At the time he operated a restaurant in Carrollton, Greene County, Illinois. He also worked as a painter and wall paperer. In 1935 they lived in Monroe, Michigan and in 1940 they lived in Mount Rainier, Maryland. Later they moved back to Carrollton. They would have 2 children:

  • Clayta Jane EVANS [G9], born 1920, married Maylon ASHFORD, died 1943.

  • Arthur Eugene EVANS [G9], born 3 Nov 1927, married Ruth Marie DAVIS, died about 1990 in Texas.

Arthur Clay EVANS died 16 September 1961 and Maude EVANS died on 25 July 1973.


Alvin Edward PEGRAM [G8] was born 8 April 1894 at his parents' farm in Bluffdale Township, Greene County, Illinois. Alvin enlisted in the US Army on 27 May 1918 and served for five months as a Private at Fort McClellan in Alabama before he was discharged at the end of World War I. At one time he was employed by the Illinois Bell Telephone Co. and later was engaged in the restaurant business. Alvin never married and lived most of his life with his unmarried siblings. He was diabetic and eventually had a leg amputated. After losing his leg, he could often be seen propelling himself along the city sidewalks in his wheel chair. Alvin died on 28 March 1950.


Clinton C PEGRAM [G8] was born on 25 October 1896 at his parents' farm in Bluffdale Township, Greene County, Illinois. He married Bessie Ann BUSHNELL, born 23 March 1900. Clinton worked for many years at the Eldred Rock Quarry. Clinton and Bessie would have 5 children:

  • Donald Franklin PEGRAM [G9], born 28 August 1916, married Dorothy Eileen /?/, died 26 May 1974.

  • Alvin Archie PEGRAM [G9], born on 1 Dec 1919, married Mary Isabelle SETTLES, died on 10 July 1946.

  • Nellie M PEGRAM [G9], born 17 Dec 1924, married James KURTZ in 1947, died 21 March 1981.

  • Clinton C PEGRAM, Jr [G9], born 7 Feb 1929, died on 14 April 1981.

  • Calvin E PEGRAM [G9], born 10 Feb 1937, died 19 Feb 2017 in Topeka, Kansas


Nettie PEGRAM, about 1960

Nathaniel Harper PEGRAM

Nathaniel Harper PEGRAM, about 1945

Alvin Edward PEGRAM

Alvin Edward PEGRAM, 1918

Alvin Edward PEGRAM

Alvin Edward PEGRAM, about 1945


About 1973


Nellie Jane PEGRAM [G8] was born on 6 February 1899 at her parents' farm in Bluffdale Township, Greene County, Illinois. Nellie was employed for many years as a primary grade teacher, starting out in a one-room school south of Carrollton. Every morning she would have to walk two miles to reach the school and then another two miles home in the afternoon. She was a first grade teacher for many years in the Carrollton Public Grade School, starting in 1945. She gradually acquired college credit hours and finally received her BA degree from Shurtleff College in Alton, Illinois. Nellie lived most of her life with her unmarried siblings and was the only one to have a driver's license. She was a member of the Business and Professional Women's club in Carrollton. Nellie never married, although she did date several men as an adult. Nellie died on 10 July 1968, after having a heart attack.


Martha Elizabeth PEGRAM [G8] was born on 15 February 1901 at her parents' farm in Bluffdale Township, Greene County, Illinois. She was employed as a telephone switchboard operator for Illinois Bell Telephone Co. Martha married Marion Walter BORLIN on 10 March 1924 in Jerseyville, Jersey County, Illinois. They would have 2 children:

  • Mary Martha BORLIN [G9], born 28 September 1925, married Cecil Lloyd STEPHENSON, died 27 Nov 2017.

  • Dr. David Dee BORLIN [G9], born 19 August 1939, married Shari Louise EISING

Marion died at their home in Carrollton on 18 July 1967. Martha died 2 August 1981 at St. John's Hospital in Creve Coeur, Missouri, following a stroke and congestive heart failure.


Beulah Isabela PEGRAM [G8] was born on 11 February 1903 at her parents' farm in Bluffdale Township, Greene County, Illinois. Beulah was employed as a telephone switchboard operator for 35 years, retiring in 1968. Beulah never married and lived most of her life with her unmarried siblings. As the last remaining PEGRAM sister, Beulah ate most of her meals at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant and had groceries delivered from the locaI IGA store. Beulah died on 28 July 1987 from kidney failure.

PEGRAM sisters

Five PEGRAM sisters, 1957, l to r, Nellie, Beulah, Martha, Maude, Nettie

Nellie Jane PEGRAM

Nellie Jane PEGRAM, about 1950

Martha Elizabeth BORLIN

Martha Elizabeth BORLIN, about 1965

Beulah Isabela PEGRAM

Beulah Isabela PEGRAM, about 1960 (above)

July 1987 (below)


  • The deaths of Nellie Jane and Nathaniel PEGRAM forced their eight children to deal with day-to-day life on a farm that was 5 miles from the nearest town. Fortunately the eldest child, Nettie, was very responsible and capable of managing daily activities. They would have the support and assistance of their grandmother, aunts and uncles, and neighbors. Somehow...they managed. Eventually the farm was sold and the remaining unmarried children moved into Carrollton. Nettie, Nellie, Beulah, Alvin, and sometimes Maude lived together through most of their adult lives, splitting expenses and contributing what they could toward the upkeep of the house (corner of Fourth Street and South Main). Nattie, Clinton, and Martha would marry and carry on with their individual lives.

  • The picture above is the only known photo of the five PEGRAM sisters as adults. They each had very different personalities, but would drop whatever they were doing at the mention of taking a "road trip" -- even if it only amounted to eating lunch in Jacksonville or Alton. The picture of the five ladies was taken outside the Mark Twain Cave in Hannibal, Missouri -- probably the longest road trip ever taken by the group. Nettie, of course, was the most responsible, focused, and economical one of the sisters. She would be listed as "head of the house" in federal census forms. Maude could be very quiet -- probably the introvert of the group. Her husband was always looking to move somewhere new to find a job that he liked better than the one he had then. It's doubtful that Maude had much to say in such decisions. Until her dying day, Maude was still mourning the loss of their daughter, Clayta Jane. Martha was probably the most practical member of the group and could often step in to resolve issues when a conflict arose. Nellie was always the prim and proper school teacher of that day, but still the extrovert of the group. She was intelligent, loved bright clothing, and had the only driver's license in the household. Beulah would always be the youngest of the family. She was usually happy and carefree and loved jewelry (as we discovered when cleaning out the house after her death).

  • On a personal note, writing up this page of the web site has been a trip down memory lane for me. It seems like only yesterday that I would push my lawn mower over to my aunts' house to mow their grass. But, Generation #8 has long since disappeared and I have just recently discovered that I am the only remaining member of Generation #9. So, I'm glad I took the time to record a few memories for future generations.

  • Final photos of Beulah and Maude were provided by Maude's grandson, Will EVANS of Houston, Texas.