Alice Elizabeth (Ackret) (Inbody) McDonald

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In August 3, 1845, in Elkhart County, Indiana, Elizabeth Ackret married Benjamin Inbody, son of Jacob and Catharine (Schaeffer) Inbody. By 1850 they had two sons and could be found in the census living next door to the Ganger family where Elizabeth’s mother, also named Elizabeth, lived. Also living nearby was a sister named Margaret (Ackret) Housouer. Both mother and daughters were listed as being born in Germany, although it is almost certain they were born in Switzerland, probably near Bern.
   A story was passed down in the McDonald side of the family, that Benjamin Inbody was a gold miner during the 1849 gold rush to California. He died somewhere in the gold fields and his body was returned to Indiana for burial. It was said they placed a bag of gold dust in his hand. The story has never been verified, and is not likely to be true, as the return of a body from California to Indiana is not likely to have occurred, being exceptionally expensive a venture. The story of the bag of gold dust is a nice legend, but also not likely. Benjamin had a cousin, also named Benjamin Inbody, who was, in fact, a California gold-miner, who disappeared after 1850. This may be the source of the family story. No record of either Benjamin’s place of burial has been located. The estate of Benjamin, husband of Elizabeth, was settled on November 7, 1853. In it, Joseph Zollinger was appointed guardian of Benjamin’s and Elizabeth’s two sons, Aaron and Jesse. Joseph Zollinger was the husband of Benjamin’s sister, Catherine (Inbody) Zollinger.

Another family story tells that Elizabeth was born in Bern, Switzerland, and that her mother had once met Napoleon. He laid down his coat for her to walk on as the street was wet. Again, there is no verification of this story.

How Elizabeth and her daughters Elizabeth and Margaret came to America is presently unknown. There was also apparently a brother in this family. Elizabeth’s son Joshua McDonald, who lived in Idaho and worked on the Black Canyon Dam, was surprised when a John Ackret, with a wife and two sons, came to him to apply for work. Until that time, Joshua did not know his mother had a brother. John Ackret worked at the dam a short time then left with his family. They came back through the area about a year later and one of the sons had been killed in some sort of work related accident during the period they were gone. There was no work available at the dam so they did not stay. Joshua never heard of them again. 

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Site last updated on 24 November 1999