Joseph Miles Fitzhenry was born in Kentucky in 1825. His father, Edward Fitzhenry, was born in Ireland and his mother was Julia Ann Jarboe whose family from France were some of the first settlers of the Maryland Colony.The picture of the Fitzhenry House hotel is reproduced with Mr Van Pelt's permission, and a larger version of the picture is on his website.
In 1848 he married a cousin Rose Ann Jarboe and they had a total of 10 children. Their daughter Minnie Corinth Fitzhenry was born in April of 1862 when Capt. Fitzhenry was at the Battle of Shiloh near Corinth, Mississippi. A family story says that during the battle his horse was shot out from under him and his saber slashed his leg.
As Kentucky was already occupied by Union troops and his house and property were confiscated, Capt. Fitzhenry resigned his commission and returned to Kentucky to rescue his wife and child. He was captured and taken to Fort Delaware. After a prisoner exchange in April of 1863, he was able to return to Kentucky and later moved his family to Arkansas
In Morrilton, Arkansas, he built the Catholic Convent, some business houses, and many of the finest residences. He was the owner and proprietor of the Fitzhenry House Hotel. His daughter Minnie Corinth was 19 years old when she married James Alexander Van Pelt, a hardware store owner, tin smith, and inventor. A year later (1882), Herbert Newton Van Pelt was born. Sadly, Minnie Corinth died at only 23, leaving 3 year old Herbert to be raised by the Fitzhenrys.
The picture of the Fitzhenry House Hotel & Boarding House was taken about 1886. In the center of the porch is young Herbert Newton Van Pelt standing between his grandparents, Capt. Joseph Miles Fitzhenry and Rose Ann (Jarboe) Fitzhenry. The building was torn down sometime after Capt. Fitzhenry died in 1907. Herbert moved to the fine home of his uncle, Dan Fones, in Little Rock, Arkansas.If you have any further information about the Van Pelts anywhere in the world, please email Mr Richard Van Pelt
If you have any more information about Captain Fitzhenry or the Jarboe family, please contact us!
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