Enoch Pomeroy Searle was born in Shalersville, Portage County, Ohio, February 6, 1835, the son of Warren and Mary (Cochran) Searle. He was educated at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. At the age of twenty years he entered the engineer corps of the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad, and soon thereafter became responsible for the laying of track between Tennessee and Illinois. In 1857, E. P. Searle moved to Fontanelle, Nebraska, where he farmed and taught school. While residing in Fontanelle, he served as a school board trustee and became a member of the town council. He continued moving west, spending time at Pike’s Peak before reaching California where he farmed, taught, and mined gold and silver (California and Nevada). He returned to the Midwest in 1867 and settled in Jasper County, Missouri.
On April 20, 1868, E. P. Searle married Elizabeth “Lizzie” Almira Gaylord of Plymouth, Illinois. E.P. and Lizzie remained in Jasper County for two decades before leaving the area. During that period, he distinguished himself in a number of efforts. He made frequent and significant contributions to Missouri’s Board of Immigration and State Board of Agriculture, and became a recognized authority on the geography and history of southwestern Missouri. He was also a partner in the firm Tower & Searle, the region’s first real estate and loan agency, and was the area’s local notary public.
In addition to his professional life, E. P. Searle was a composer of music, with many of his works published in the New York Musical Gazette. Some of those works include, “The Schools of Jasper County,” “President Garfield” and “Gentle Sister.” He was also a member of the Congregationalist Church, serving as a deacon from 1870 to 1881. He organized the Jasper County Sabbath-school Association, and was twice elected President of the regional Sabbath-school Association (five counties). As with most Congregationalist, he was a prominent temperance worker, serving as President of the prohibition alliance of Jasper County.
This The 1880 Census for Jasper County, Missouri, indicates four children born to the union E.P. and Lizzie Searle: Orin Pomeroy Searle. (b.1870), Sullivan “Sullie” P. Searle (b.1871), John Wanamaker Searle (b.1877) and Joseph Hubbard Searle (b.1879). The photo above pictures the family in 1889 while living in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
L to R - Joseph H. Searle, Enoch P. Searle, Orrin P. Searle, Elizabeth (Gaylord) Searle, Sullivan Searle, John W. Searle.
E.P. Searle moved his family to Chattanooga in 1887. It is presumed after arriving he continued with his real estate profession. At some point later, E.P. and Lizzie became familiar with Grandview and the Grandview Normal Institute. The school was sponsored by the Congregationalist Church -- an organization being a large part of E.P. Searle’s life in Jasper, Missouri. In 1894, two sons from the family, John and Joseph, were enrolled at GNI, sixty miles north of Chattanooga.
On April 22, 1896, E.P. Searle was ordained as a Presbyterian minister. In that same year, the listing of his residency in the Chattanooga City Director changed from “Chattanooga” to “Grandview.” Grandview’s Presbyterian Church was organized in 1887. Photos in the files of the Grandview Heritage Foundation indicate that E. P. Searle was, “a minister in Grandview.” Given the coincidence of E. P.’s Presbyterian ordination with his change of address to Grandview, it is believed he relocated to Grandview for the specific purpose of taking up his first ministry. It also became his last. E. P. Searle died unexpectedly in 1899, and is buried in Grandview’s Stebbins Cemetery, which was known as the “Presbyterian Cemetery” at the time of his death.
While John W. Searle graduated from the Grandview Normal Institute in 1899, and is listed in the 1899-1890 school catalogue, there is no mention of his younger brother, Joseph, attending the school during the 1898-1899 school year after being listed in prior catalogues. Joseph’s absence is consistent with Lizzie relocating her family after her husband’s death to Plymouth, Illinois (her hometown), and leaving John behind in Grandview to complete his GNI education.
GNI Class of 1899. Front, L to R:: Otis C. Kirkman, James E. McLarrin, N. Bert Lewis. Back, L to R:: Elva May Barton, Lee R. Dewey, John W. Searle, Tempie Baldwin
Six years after his graduation from GNI , John W. Searle died on July 17, 1905, at the age of 28 years. He was preceded in death by his brother Sullivan P. Searle who died March 28, 1892, at the age of 20 years. Their mother, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Searle, died May 5, 1912. All three are buried at the Rosemont Cemetery in Plymouth, Illinois.
Joseph Searle completed his education in Illinois, and subsequently married Lillian M. Mitchell from Kansas City, Missouri. In December of 1915, the couple departed for Southeast Asia in conjunction Joseph’s work as a commercial rubber merchant. Passports and work visas indicate the couple remained overseas for more than a year, traveling to the Straits Settlements (Singapore), Australia, Ceylon, the Netherland Indies, French Indo-China, India, China and Japan. When departing for their travels, Akron, Ohio, was recorded as their principal residence. Upon returning, their residency had changed to Houston, Texas. On February 8, 1920, Joseph died from influenza at the age of 41 years. He is buried at the Mission Park Burial Cemetery (South) in San Antonia, Texas. No children were born to Joseph and Lilian.
Orrin P. Searle, the oldest child of E. P. and Lizzie, traveled to Mexico and worked as an engineer at the Ojuela Mine in the State of Durango. While there, he married Doloras Patoni, daughter of Durango’s Governor. Three sons -- E.P. and Lizzie's only grandchildren -- were born to the couple in Durango. Soon thereafter, because of the danger created by the Mexican Revolution, he sent Doloras and the children to El Paso, Texas. He rejoined them later and the family moved to Woodland Hills, Texas, where Orrin became the owner/operator of three grain stores and a grist mill. Orrin P. Searle died August 31, 1931, at the age of 61 years, He is buried with his brother, Joseph, at the Mission Park Burial Cemetery (South) in San Antonia, Texas..