Wednesday, February 15, 2012


When I was growing up I never heard any stories about Chester Eungard, my grandmother Jesse’s half-brother. He was 7 years younger than my grandma and she was out of the house before he grew up. I always felt he just wasn’t all that much a part of my grandma’s life.

We did, however, have a picture of him (above) but there was no notation on the picture as to how old he was when it was taken.

It may be easier to show by way of a timeline how Chester’s life played out, remembering that since he was not in my direct line of descent I did not spend a great deal of time researching him.


1892 - Born June 2, 1892 in Union, Oklahoma Territory.
1900 – A school boy living with his parents and sister in Wichita.
1910 – 17 years old, living with his parents and his grandmother, Ellen Stevens, in Caldwell, Kansas. He lists that he is a laborer working at odd jobs.
1917 – WWI Draft Registration: May 31, 1917 he lived in Herington, Kansas with his wife. He listed his occupation as “rail road brakeman” with C R I & P Railway Co. He indicated he would like an exemption for “Support of Wife.” He was described as being tall and slender, with grey eyes and brown hair.
Sometime prior to 1918, Chester married Rose Van Dorian or Dorien.
1920 – Living in Caldwell, Kansas with wife and 1 son, Paul (2) working as a laborer for a railroad. It appears the family was living in a boarding house, as there are a number of lodgers beside the Eungard family residing in the Hooker residence.
Between 1918 and 1926 Chester and Rose had three children: James Paul, born about 1918, a daughter Juanita Rose, born in 1922, and a son Frank Dana born in 1926.
1926 – Birth Certificate of Frank Dana Eungard shows his birthplace as Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri. Chester notes he was working as a U. S. mail clerk. Rose was a housewife. An entry on the Internet shows Frank as “Franklin” but he is simply “Frank” on this document.
1930 – Living in St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri, Chester is now married to Gertrude L. He is a Mail clerk for the railway and she is a waitress. No children appear in this census entry.
1961 A death certificate is filed for Meta Mae Eungard in St. Joseph, Missour that shows her husband is Chester Howard Eungard.
1970 – Died in St. Joseph, Missouri in February.


Again, because Chester is not in my direct line, I made no attempt to learn more about his divorce and subsequent marriages. The most I learned was from a distant relative who said Rose “forbid” the children from talking about him.

Rose and Chester’s children were actually half-1st cousins to my mother and her siblings. They grew up in the same little town – Caldwell, Kansas. But I don’t think my mother was even aware of these cousins. Since she was related to Chester (he was her uncle), I imagine a rancorous divorce strained any relationship with Rose and kids that existed. There also was quite an age difference between the cousins, possibly another reason for not a lot of contact between them.

TIDBITS – Chester Dana Stevens was the great-grandfather of the Eungard children. He was born in Almond NY 1822 and died in Wichita, KS in 1902. This Chester's oldest son was named Frank. The Stevens family originally came from Connecticut, were in the Wyoming Valley during the infamous Wyoming Valley Massacre, settling in Allegany County, NY in 1806. The name "Dana" figures prominently among this group of Connecticut people. George Stevens was a lumberman who went up into the Wisconsin pineries and set up a sawmill there. Where he offloaded his materials later became Stevens Point. In the late 1850s the family moved to Mendota, Illinois. George's oldest son was Chester Dana (above). That Chester went first to Rice County, Kansas and finally to Wichita, where he died in 1902.