Wednesday, December 30, 2015

WHO WOULD YELL FIRE IN A CROWDED ROOM?


Calumet, Michigan was a copper mining town in 1913.  In July of that year over 7,000 miners struck, and almost 6 months later no agreement had been reached.  Of course the miner's families knew that their Christmas would be bleak, so the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Western Federation of Miners gave a Christmas party on Christmas eve for the children.  Held on the second floor of Italian Hall, accessible only by a steep staircase on the left side of the building, the party saw about 500 children receiving presents and some 200 parents watched the festivities. 

About the time the party was drawing to a close, the door at the bottom of the staircase was opened and someone outside yelled "FIRE!"

As would be suspected, everyone made a run for the door, only to find it blocked from the outside. Fifty-nine children and 14 adults, most of them Finnish immigrants, were trampled and suffocated by the throng of bodies trying to escape a fire which actually did not exist. 

The youngest child killed was 2-1/2 years old.  The oldest person killed was 66.  A few families lost all of their children.

The perpetrators of this terrible disaster were never discovered, thus no one was ever prosecuted. 

-~~-

I have listed the names of those who died and the person who created this list.    I know it is a long list, but for me, it is a list of Immortal Nobodies.  I don't want them to be forgotten. 
  
1. Lempi Ala..........................12 years.........................Female.......................Finnish
2. Herman Alla......................60 years.........................Male..........................Finnish
3. Sanna L. Aaltonen..............39 years.........................Female.......................Finnish
4. Syvia Altonen.....................3 years...........................Female........................Finnish
5. Wilama Altonen..................9 years...........................Female.......................Finnish
6. Will Biri..............................7 years 11 mo................Male............................Finnish
7. Ivana Bolf...........................9 years 4mo...................Female........................Croatian
8. Katarine Bronzo................21 years.........................Female.........................Italian
9. Victoria Burcar...................9 years 4 mo..................Female.......................Croation
10. Joseph Butala...................7 years 8 mo..................Male............................Slovenian
11. Nick Cvetkovich..............33 years.........................Male.............................Croatian
12. Jenny Giacoletto...............9 years 10 mo................Female.......................Italian
13. Katarina Gregorich..........10 years 10 mo...............Female......................Croatian
14. Edwin Heikkinen..............7 years...........................Male..........................Finnish
15. Eino Felpus O. Heikkinen.10 years 5 mo................Male.........................Finnish
16. Eli Issac Heikkinen...........9 years 5 mo..................Male..........................Finnish
17. Ina Isola...........................33 years........................Female..........................Finnish
18. Tilma Isola.......................5 years 4 mo..................Female........................Finnish
19. Barbra Jesic.....................25 years.........................Female........................Croatian
20. Rosie Jesic.......................5 years 6 mo..................Female.........................Croatian
21. Uno Jokepil......................13 years.........................Male............................Finnish
22. Anna E. Kalunki................9 years 7 mo.................Female.......................Finnish
23. Brida Liisa Kalunki............42 years........................Female.......................Finnish
24. Efia P. Kulunki...................8 years.........................Female........................Finnish
25. Johan Emil Kiemaki...........7 years..........................Male..........................Finnish
26. Katarina Karich.................7 years..........................Female.......................Croatian
27. Kristina Klarich..................11 years ......................Female....................... Croatian
28. Mary Klarich.....................9 years..........................Female........................Croatian
29. Johan Hendrik Koskela......10 years........................Male..........................Finnish
30. Anna Kotajarvi...................4 years.........................Female........................Finnish
31. Anna Kotajarvi...................39 years.......................Female........................Finnish
32. Mary Krainatz....................11 years.......................Female........................Croatian
33. Hilja K Lanto......................5 years........................Female.........................Finnish
34. Maria G. Lanto...................40 years......................Female.........................Finnish
35. Sulo Rubet Lauri..................8 years.......................Male.............................Finnish
36. Mary Lesar.........................13 years......................Female..........................Slovenian
37. Rafael Lesar........................2 years 6 mo...............Male.............................Slovenian
38. Arthur Lindstrom.................12 years......................Male...........................Unknown
39. Lydia Johanna Luoma..........10 years......................Female.......................Finnish
40. Alfred J.W. Lustic................7 years 9 mo...............Male............................Finnish
41. Elina Manley........................26 years......................Female..........................Finnish
42. Wesley M. Manley...............4 years........................Male..............................Finnish
43. Ella E. Mantanen..................8 years........................Female.........................Finnish
44. Mathias E. Mantanen...........10 years......................Male.............................Finnish
45. Y.H. Mantanen....................13 years......................Male...............................Finnish
46. Agnes Mihelchich.................7 years........................Female..........................Croatian
47. Elizabeth Mihelchich............5 years........................Female..........................Croatian
48. Paul Mihelchich....................9 years........................Male..............................Croatian
49. Walter Murto.......................9 years........................Male...............................Finnish
50. Edward Emil Myllykangas....7 years.........................Male...........................Finnish
51. Johan W. Myllykangas.........10 years.......................Male.............................Finnish
52. Abram Niemela....................24 years......................Male...............................Finnish
53. Maria Elizabeth Niemela.......22 years......................Female.........................Finnish
54. Annie Papesh.......................6 years........................Female............................Slovenian
55. Mary Papesh........................14 years......................Female............................Slovenian
56. Kate Petteri..........................66 years......................Female............................Finnish
57. Saida M. Raja......................10 years......................Female............................Finnish
58. Terresa Renaldi....................12 years......................Female...........................Italian
59. Elma W. Ristel......................6 years.......................Female............................Finnish
60. Emilia Rydilahti.....................16 years..................... Female..........................Finnish
61. Heli Rydilahti........................13 years......................Female...........................Finnish
62. John Saari.............................5 years 11 mo.............Male...............................Finnish
63. Elida Saatio..........................11 years 9 mo.............Female............................Finnish
64. Mary Smuk..........................5 years........................Female............................Solvenian
65. Antonia Staudohar................7 years........................Female..........................Croat/Slov
66. Elisina J. Taipalus..................6 years........................Female.........................Finnish
67. Sandra M. Taipalus...............4 years........................Female..........................Finnish
68. Edward Richard Takola........9 years........................Female.........................Finnish
69. Lydia E. Talpaka..................10 years.......................Female..........................Finnish
70. Kaisa G. Tuippo...................45 years.......................Female...........................Finnish
71. Mamie Tuippo.....................10 years.......................Female............................Finnish
72. Hilja Wualukka ....................8 years.........................Female..........................Finnish
73. Johan Peter Westola.............48 years........................Male.............................Finnish

This list was complied by Ms. Peggy Germain. She is the author of an excellently researched book on the subject of the 1913 tragedy entitled "Tinsel & Tears" The book is available for only $5 + $1.25 postage. The address is Peggy Germain, 712 Pine Street, Calumet, Michigan



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

DOBBINS CEMETERY - VERMONT, FULTON CO., ILLINOIS


Robert Boyd Dobbins and the Dobbins Cemetery full of Immortal Dobbins Nobodies.

Not all cemeteries have a lock on the land they fill.  When I was a little kid growing up in Whittier California, there was a wonderful cemetery near our house that my dad often took my sis and I walking thought.  Mother did not like cemeteries, and she wasn't crazy about daddy taking us there; she always said it is sacrilegious to walk over graves.  But dad was respectful of those buried there, and the only reason he let us walk up to the headstones was he was teaching us the letters of the alphabet by having us touch the letters in the words and say what they were ' H, E, R. E.  L. I. E. S...."
and eventually we began knowing the letters and putting them together into words.

Many years later I had occasion to be in Whitter and I drove to that cemetery.....but it wasn't there anymore.  In its place was "Pioneer Park" and a single large stone with names inscribed on it.  I was SO disappointed.  

In the prairie area of Illinois not too far from the Spoon River the Dobbins Cemetery still stands.  Like many rural cemeteries, it was set aside buy Rev. Robert B. Dobbins when he bought property in Illinois after retiring as a circuit riding Presbyterian minister who covered Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.  He bought enough property to give each of his children a farm when he died.  All the people buried in this cemetery are related to Robert B. Dobbins and his wife Katy Alexander Dobbins.  And thus to me.

Just in the event that this cemetery disappears, I want to put the names of all these Immortal Dobbins Nobodies in my blog today.  There are a couple of people that I do not recognize, but I am sure there was a reason they were there.  

DOBBINS FAMILY CEMETERY
VERMONT TOWNSHIP, FULTON COUNTY, ILLINOIS

Robert B. Dobbins, b Aug 23, 1773 d in 82nd y of his age
Catherine Alexander, wife of Robert B. Dobbins, d Nov 18, 1849 74y 6m

FAMILY OF JAMES A. DOBBINS
               Robert Gaston, son of James Alexander & Elizabeth Perkins Dobbins, d July 28, 1851 23y 1m 9d
               Emma S., dau of Levi J. & Paulina .Jane Dobbins  Sperry d Sept 13, 1852 7m 24d
               Olive Alvira Winton b June 19, 1862 d Dec. 21, 1885 (Olive is daughter of Caroline Elizabeth
                               Dobbins Winton)

FAMILY OF ELIZA DOBBINS THOMAS
               William Thomas d June 8, 1882 81y 11m 25d
Eliza Dobbins, wife of William Thomas, d Feb 25, 1894 87y 2m 4d
John F., son of William.A. & M.S. Kost Thomas d Jan 12, 1848 3y 3m 7d

FAMILY OF MARY GAGE DOBBINS MILLER
               Abram Miller d Dec. 5, 1889 85y 4m 14d
Mary Gage Dobbins., wife of Abram Miller, d Apr 16, 1891 82y 7m 13d
Addie, dau of J.C. & A.F. Cadwalader, d Apr 1, 1863 3y 3m 9d

FAMILY OF JOHN CALVIN DOBBINS
James H., son of John  C. & Harriet A. Miller Dobbins d June 20, 1842 1y 8m
Laura C., dau of John C. & Harriet A. Miller Dobbins d Nov. 22, 1858 2y 18d
William A. Dobbins  (son of John C. & Harriet A. Miller Dobbins)  Sept. 1863 age 28y

FAMILY OF ROBERT NEWTON DOBBINS
               Robert Newton Dobbins b Jan 20, 1814 d March 26, 1892
Martha J. Ewing, wife of Robert Newton Dobbins, b 19 Sept. 1819 d 22 June 1891
               Ady Clemens b May 15, 1839 d Feb 14, 1914
Mary J. Dobbins., wife of Ady Clemens, (dau of Robert Newton &
Martha Jane Ewing Dobbins)   b Aug 30, 1845 d Mar 9, 1908
               Martha L, dau of Robert.Newton & Martha Jane Ewing Dobbins d Apr 1, 1862 6y 11m 1d
Eliza M., dau of Robert Newton & Martha Jane Ewing Dobbins d Jan 23, 1860 1y 11m 23d
Catherine E., dau of Robert Newton & Martha Jane Ewing Dobbins, d Oct 9, 1854 11y 5m 7d
James Ewing d Mar 8, 1869 89y 7m 28d
Jannat, wife of James Ewing d Sept 8, 1854 70 y
Eliza Amelia Ewing d Apr 20, 1880 65y 2m 14d
Fanny J. Clemens b Dec. 22, 1892 d Mar 29, 1908
James, son of A. & M.J. Clemens d Apr 2, 1866 (age illegible)

FAMILY OF AMANDA JANE DOBBINS MILLER
Phyletus N. Miller, son of Jacob. & Amanda Miller, d Oct 21, 1863 19 yr 7m 7d
Jacob Miller, d Aug. 30, 1894 79y 8m 24d
Amanda J. Dobbins Miller, his wife, d Feb 22, 1894 76y 6m 18d
Eliza Miller, 1848-1910
Charles O. Hickson,, d Nov. 3, 1888 29y 5m 8d
Caroline J  Hickson (dau of Jacob & Amanda., wife of Charles O. Hickson,) b Jan 6, 1853
d June 19, 1915
               Clyde M. Hickson,  b June 21, 1887 d March 13, 1968

FAMILY OF WILLIAM STEVENSON DOBBINS
               William S. Dobbins d Jan 25, 1847 25y 8m 27d

UNIDENTIFIED

               Ann Eliza O’Brien d Sept 24, 1852 age 41y  ( Anne appears with Levi J. Smith family on the 1850  census – age 38.  No relationship shown.  Born in N.Y.  Also an 18 year old Ann O'Brian with her.  


Friday, December 11, 2015

WHEN IS A McVICKER NOT A McVICKER? WHEN HE'S A YORK!


Little Jack Russell McVicker was born to Paul Russell McVicker and Lucile Fulton McVicker in August of 1919.  I don't know much about Paul, because shortly after Jack's birth, Paul was sent to San Quentin for a long time on a robbery charge and was divorced by Lucile.  In due time Lucile remarried and took on the surname of York, becoming the wife of Rex York.  At some point, little Jack dropped McVicker as his name and took on York.  In fact, he married Virginia Nash as Jack York and also joined the military using that name.  I don't know if it was a legal change or not.

What I do know is that in 1948 Jack was a 1st Lieutenant and piloted an airplane that took his life in a crash in Michigan.  He was 29.

This is the kind of plane he was piloting.  The picture above and the material below are from the website of the Michigan Aviation Archaeology website.

Ethel Popek was in the observation tower on the Wurtsmith AFB gunnery and bombing range watching her husband, Major Edward Popek, leading a flight of F-80 Shooting Stars of the 62nd Fighter Squadron in a practice bombing run.  At about 5:30, the fourth plane in the flight of four, flown by 1st Lt. Jack York began its bombing run.  As Ethel watched, she thought that York's dive seemed a little steeper and faster than the other planes' had been.  No doubt she was horrified when the jet leveled out at just 300 ft. and smashed into the ground just beyond the bombing target, bursting into flames and skidding to a halt after 2,000 feet.  Rescue teams responded within minutes and the remaining planes flew out over nearby Lake Huron, dropped their remaining bombs and landed to await word on their comrade.  Sadly, 1st Lt. Jack R. York was killed on impact.  He was survived by his wife Virginia and two children.  The cause of the crash was determined to be either failure of the dive flaps to properly deploy or failure of the pilot to deploy the dive flaps prior to beginning the dive.  The 62nd Fighter Squadron was using the first production jets in the USAF. Training SOPs in use at the time were still those written for the much slower propeller planes.


At the time there was a small article shown in a local newspaper,

  

I later learned his two children were a son Allan Russell York, born 4 October 1941 in Los Angeles, CA, and a daughter Carol Louise York, born 21 Dec 1942 also in Los Angeles.  His wife later married a Mr. Saban and then a William C. Murray of Lynwood, California.

Why is Jack York of interest to me?  His grandma was Pamelia "Millie" Stevens Fulton, a sister of my great-grandmother Nellie Stevens Davis.    Millie's daughter, Lucile, (Jack's mom) was a cousin of my grandma Jessie Davis Ryland.  My mother, Virginia, was a second cousin of Jack York…. making me a fourth cousin of Jack's children.  Interestingly, at the time they were living in the area around Inglewood, California, I was in college in that same area.  Since my grandma was already long dead, I didn't have a clue that a distant relative lived nearby.  But like a good genealogist I was was interested to learn "historically" that our paths could have crossed.

In 1984 I read a letter that his mother Lucile had written in a genealogy search:  "I had three children, two boys and a girl.  My older son Jack was a pilot in WWII.  He came back from Italy - but cracked up his jet in '48."  And sad to say in all those years since, Jack is the only descendant whose whereabouts I have found.


Jack's remains were brought back to California for burial and he rests in Inglewood Cemetery.


Friday, November 27, 2015

A DOG NAMED GILLEY



"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."


                                                                   - Will Rogers

This is a story about a dog named Gilley.  We would call him a Police Dog, but he was officially a Patrol, Narcotics and SWAT Canine.  On November 7, Capt. Randy DeAnda of the Rialto [California]  Police department sent out an email to all members of the Police Department.

-o-

Last night while on duty, Canine Officer Glen Anderson noticed his K-9 partner, Gilley, was sick.  Gilley was taken to a Veterinary Hospital in Ontario.  It was discovered that Gilley had a tumor attached to his heart, which was causing fluid to surround his heart and other vital organs.  Canine Officer Glen Anderson consulted with the Veterinarian regarding Gilley's medical condition, prognosis, his age and quality of life.  Their decision was to put Gilley down to avoid further pain and suffering.

Gilley was a phenomenal Patrol, Narcotics and SWAT Canine.  He served the department, community and all of his law enforcement partners for eight years... Gilley saved the department countless man hours and will truly be missed.

-o-

Gilley's statistics over those last 8 years are as follows:

Recovery of:   108 pounds of methamphetamine
                        380 pounds of marijuana
                        130 pounds of cocaine
                          31 pounds of heroin
                        Over a million dollars in cash

Credit for:        36 apprehensions
                         213 suspect finds and surrenders

-o-

Capt. DeAnda encouraged the members of the Police Department to keep Gilley's handler, Canine Officer Glen Anderson, in their thoughts and prayers.

Officer Anderson reported that in the first 72 hours more than 300 local law enforcement folk that he worked with over the years called or text him - a great outpouring of support for him and a salute to Gilley's own law enforcement career.


I say that Gilley takes an important and well-earned place among my "Immortal Nobodies."




Thursday, October 8, 2015

TEDLOCK OR FRENCH - TAKE YOUR PICK



A baby in my arms.  He's not mine to keep, but he did live with us – us being my first husband, me, our small son and an even smaller daughter, both under the age of 2.  Why would I have another baby living with us?

His mom and dad were college friends of ours here in California.  While I was busy having children after college, his mom started teaching school and his father – well, I don't really remember much about him, mainly because what I thought I knew turned out to be false.  While we knew them, his mom became pregnant with this first child and in due time a darling little boy was born.  Kevin, they called him.  He was born in March of 1959.  My own third child was due in early June.

When the baby was ready to come home from the hospital - in those days they stayed in the hospital for 5 days after the baby was born - the doctors released Kevin to his father but kept his mother hospitalized.  She had become very sick and tests were being done to find out what was wrong.  The father came directly to our house from the hospital, asking me if I would care for the baby until  Kevin's mom was released.  Of course I said yes; what was one more baby in the mix.

To make a long story short, things were not what they seemed.  I kept the baby for 3 months and his mother got sicker and sicker.  The father rarely appeared at our house to see his son, and my husband and I felt something was terribly awry.  We called the baby's grandmother in Kansas and told them what we were seeing with the baby and his family.  They came as quickly as they could and took their very sick daughter and her new baby to a new home in Kansas.  Kevin's mother lived less than a month after leaving California. She had been diagnosed with Lupus Erythematosus.

My husband and I had discussed the possibility of adopting Kevin if that was the way the events would turn, and we both agreed that we stood ready, if needed, to take that sweet baby as our own, but hoping, of course, that his real mom would be able to raise him. 

Over the next few years we kept in touch with Kevin's grandparents, and I still have, after all these years, pictures of them, and us and baby Kevin.  And even a few of Kevin's school pictures.  But time moves on and contact was lost.  But I never forgot that horrible time and I always wondered how Kevin fared in his life. 

My hope in writing ImmortalNobodies is to tell a story of a non-famous person that brings a moment of their being to life, even if it is for only a short moment or two.  Most of the people I write about are on my family tree, some are people I've merely been acquainted with.  Others are strangers I only know about because of a "story."  As far as I know, Kevin never knew of my role in his life.  I have no way of knowing how much he was told about his first few months of life or of his mother's death.  I also believe that he was called Christopher, not Kevin, as he grew up.  I believe he married and had children.  So I'm going to believe that he had a good life after all.  I do know that he died in 2006, young at 47.  And he did leave children.  

For me, both he and his mother Dawn will always stand high in the ranks of my Immortal Nobodies.



Dawn in high school 


Mr.and Mrs. Tedlock in Long Beach taking baby home to Kansas.

My last photo of Kevin sent to me by the Tedlocks

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

MRS. BIDDLE, DO YOU KNOW THE DECEASED?



~ MARY ELIZABETH STONE HUMPHREY BIDDLE ~

I first ran into Mrs. Biddle on her way to a funeral.  The newspaper report of young Rolland Humphrey Stevens' death in 1903 ended with the following:  "Mrs. Biddle of Carbondale, George Stephens of Ashton, OT, and A. H. Stephens of Kansas City arrived in the city yesterday to attend the funeral, which will be held today [Nov 1, 1903] at 3:30 o'clock from the family residence."

Roll, as he was called, was only 17 and had just started on his first job out of Business School - a "Train Butch" who walked through the cars while the train was chugging to its destination, selling travelers food or snacks, newspapers, books or whatever he carried that trip to make train travel a little more comfortable.  It was his first - and only trip - as there was an accident in Cimarron, Kansas, and he was one of the three people killed.

Roll's mom had died giving birth to a second son in 1899.  His dad's business necessitated his traveling a great deal between Oklahoma Territory and Kansas.  At various times unidentified pictures were taken by photographers in Purcell, Blackwell, Guthrie, (Oklahoma) and Hutchinson, Sterling, Carbondale and Wichita, Kansas and put in a big velvet album that was passed down in the family.  So we knew there were plenty of aunts and uncles to tend to Roll and his two younger sisters.

But there were no people with the surname of Biddle in his background.  It was a mystery: Why was Mrs. Biddle coming to Roll's funeral?

After several years of research on other family members, I came back to the Stevenses.  There were a few loose ends I wanted to wrap up.  One was getting to know Lillian Humphrey Stevens a little better.  Her children, Roll, Estelle and Helen, were my own grandma's cousins.  Grandma's mom was Nellie Stevens, a younger sister to Frank Dana Stevens.  My grandma would have played with these kids. I wanted to find out a little more about them.

In looking at some census records for Estelle Stevens, who was 9 years old in 1900 (shortly after her mother died) I found all three of these children living in Osage County, Kansas with Amos and Mary E. Biddle.  And Mary was listed as their grandmother.  I checked the cemetery and found that a John A. Humphrey had died in 1876 and his wife had later married Amos Biddle.  And I found that in 1880 Lillian May Humphrey was 17 and a school teacher.   My records showed that Lillian and Frank D. Stevens had married in 1885 and babies came fast -- and my grandma was born in 1885 and she and the girls probably played "dolls" together, like all little girls do.  Who would think that in a short period a few years down the road, Lillian, Frank D. Jr, and Roll would all be dead, way too soon.

(Estelle, Helen, and Rolland)

So when Roll died, of course his grandmother, Mrs. Biddle, came to the funeral.  One thing the obituary did not note and I found very interesting is that Lillian May Humphrey Stevens named her first child after her own brother - Rolland Humphrey.

Bits and pieces of this story have been in my mom's side of the family for years.  But we just didn't know how the pieces fit together.  Now we do.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

ALAS, MARRIED AT 20, DEAD AT 25.


Wichita Mourns Popular Woman Taken in Death
An infection Claims Life of Mrs. Henry Wallenstein, Jr.

Mrs. Dana Wallenstein, 25, wife of Henry Wallenstein, Jr. of the firm of Wallenstein & Raffman, died Wednesday afternoon in Colorado Springs after a short Illness.

For the past month Mrs. Wallenstein and her two daughters, Nadine and Dana, had been in a cabin in the mountains near Colorado Springs.  About two weeks ago a pimple appeared on her chin which later developed into a carbuncle.  This became infected last week, but not until Friday was it thought serious, at which time she was taken to Blockner (sic) Glockner Hospital in Colorado Springs.  Monday and Tuesday her condition seemed improved, but Wednesday she rapidly grew worse and died at 1:30 p.m. of septic poisoning.

Mr. Wallenstein was called to Colorado Springs last week and was at her bedside when death came; as were also her parents, Mr. and Mrs. F. D. Stevens, 4000 East Douglas and Henry Wallenstein, Sr.

HER FRIENDS MANY

Mrs. Wallenstein's many friends in Wichita always remarked about her devotion to her small daughters.  Although she was interested in community and other activities, being a member of Entre Nous and other organizations, her paramount concern was her home.  She was a member of Temple Emanuel, Reformed Jewish Church.  Mrs. Wallenstein had no enemies and was always the most gentile of women.  She carefully avoided petty difficulties and was usually the peacemaker in any community differences.  She was always ready to help those in distress, and her kindly spirit made her many devoted friends.

A SOCIAL LEADER

Mrs. Wallenstein was prominent in social circles in Wichita.  She was educated in the public schools here and attended Lindenwood College in Missouri.  Before her marriage to Mr. Wallenstein she was Miss Dana Stevens and their wedding five year ago last June was of much social prominence uniting, as it did, to socially prominent families.  Mr. and Mrs. Wallenstein lived at 120 North Broadway. 

Mrs. Wallenstein is survived by her husband; two daughters, Nadine and Dana, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. F. D. Stevens, two brothers, Frank and Larry, both of Wichita, and one sister, Rosana, Wichita.  The body will be brought to Wichita Friday morning and the funeral will be held at 4 o'clock Friday afternoon.


31 August, 1927

Monday, August 24, 2015

ROBERT LIVINGSTON JEFFRIES - WHERE DID HE STAND?


Not all is what it seems.  It's really hard to build a person from a few documents and a bit of speculation.  If this young man pictured above is truly Robert Livingston Jeffries, M.D., then he was my 2nd great granduncle, for what it is worth.

Apparently, if the document in the Provost Marshal's file at the National Archives is correct, he started out as a Rebel Spy in the Civil War.  He was a member of the well-known Achilles Whitehead Jeffries family in Union, Franklin County, Missouri.  His father was a prosperous farmer, attorney and slaveholder of 10 or 11 slaves.  The document referred to was related to his arrest by the Federal forces.

As one reads through the documents, it would appear that he spent some time in custody in Cincinnati, Ohio and then for health reasons he asked to be released.  He signed a loyalty oath in order to effect this release and apparently shortly thereafter, he became a spy for the U.S. Government.  He told his father in a letter (referred to in a different letter) that he was working for the Secret Service.

This was in late 1864.  At that time he headed to Paris, Kentucky, where after a short time he was set upon by some "guerillas," robbed and then shot, dying on the spot.  His body was taken to a nearby residence and he was given a decent burial.  The story is told by military documents flying back and forth between Kentucky and Cincinnati, and sad letters of inquiry from his father, Achilles W.

It appears in these documents that the guerillas were caught, 2 killed and 2 captured.  Those captured were tried and found guilty.

There are several interesting books that speak to Provost Marshal documents that are not yet digitized and that help this information to seem correct.  However, there also is a book written by Ellsworth (name appearing under the photo above) that varies so widely from the National Archive material that it is hard to even be sure that the picture above, which is in the holdings of the Thomas Henry Hines holdings at the University of Kentucky, is, in fact, Robert L. Jeffries.

It is true that both sides used lots of spies, and it is true that many spies changed sides - probably because it was in their own best interest to do so.  Because this relative is so distant from me -- his sister Martha Jeffries is my 2nd great grandma - I will not be doing any further research on Robert, or on his brother Benjamin Franklin Jeffries or his brother Andrew Jackson Jeffries - and other more commonly named siblings.  I'm moving on.... but I surely do think Robert Livingston Jeffries qualifies as an Immortal Nobody.

And in case you don't know who Robert Livingston Jeffries was named after, do a Google search on Robert Livingston and you will find he is right in there with the others - and he was in the right place at the right time to help secure the Louisiana Purchase for the U.S.

Monday, August 10, 2015

WILLIAM LEGRAND HALL: THE BEST MINDS SAID HE WAS INSANE


St. Louis [MO] Republican - July 22, 1862

THE BRUTAL MURDER IN FRANKLIN COUNTY

A few days ago mention was made in the Republican of the killing of Miss Emily Hall, a  young lady of Union, Franklin county, by her brother, Legrand Hall, who shot her with a musket.  The following facts, which we learned yesterday from a gentleman acquainted with the circumstances show that the murder was one of the most cruel and cold blooded of any that has ever taken place.  It appears that the murder has for years been regarded as a desperate character. A few years ago he was convicted of the murder of Andrew Bullock, and sentenced to the penitentiary.  Shortly after he was pardoned out by Gov. Stewart, at the request of a Circuit Judge.  His father recently made his will, and gave $500 more to his two other children than to Legrand.  The latter took offense at this, and determined to have revenge.  He endeavored to make an arrangement with an old negro to kill the whole family on the 4th of July, but the negro declined.  Mr. Hall, the father, was on his death bed on the night of the murder, and his children, including Legrand, were present.

Late in the evening Legrand went out of the death chamber and soon after called his sister Emily to join him.  The sister had no sooner stepped outside the room than she was shot dead by her brother, who then fled.  The citizens of the vicinity soon after turned out and succeeded in capturing him, and he was lodged in jail.  The day was fixed for the preliminary examination, and he appeared in Court provided with law books and papers to defend himself.  The examination had progressed but a short time, when he was seized by the infuriated citizens.  A rope was tied about his neck, and he was swung up on the limb of a tree, and thus speedily and summarily executed.

-30-

Things you might need to know if this is YOUR relative:

The father's name was ABNER HALL.  He died shortly after Emily was shot.
The murderer's name was William LeGrand Hall. He was an attorney
Miss Emily's name was Caroline Emily.

William was Abner's oldest child.  John Hall (my great-great-grandfather), was Abner's 2nd child.
After William killed Emily, he set out for John's house (John was NOT at his father's bedside) intent on killing him next, probably because his father had appointed John executor of his considerable estate.  Obviously I would not be here if William had succeeded in killing John.

There is a slightly different version of this story in the well-known book on Franklin County by Herman Kiel.  That story ends this way:  "Hall's body was left to hang about three hours, when it was cut down and buried in the old graveyard about one-third of a mile northeast of Union.  There is no doubt in the minds of many of the best citizens that the victim of this lynching was insane."

It is possible that there was insanity in the family.  In an earlier blog I wrote of Byron Hall who killed two policemen - and he was the son of Abner's youngest son James A. Hall.

I have set no requirement for those whom I choose to be my Immortal Nobodies.  Some are my family and some are not.  Some are "good" and some are not.  I am ok with adding poor William to the list.

The picture by Shar (above) is one of an unidentified stone in the Old Union Poor Cemetery.  I do not believe William got a stone.  I do not know where any of the Halls who lived and died in Union, Missouri were buried.  There's much I know, and a whole lot I don't know, which is just the way genealogy is.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

MANDANA BRADLEY - LOST & FOUND




OBITUARY:  Amador Dispatch May 4, 1906, Volume 47, Issue 33 

Mandana Rice died on 4/29/06 between 11 p.m. and 12 a.m. in her home about 4 miles east of Jackson.  She was born Mandana Bradley on August 11, 1822 in Randolph County, Missouri.  She married David B. Rice and crossed the plains in 1853.  One year later they moved to Amador County and since 1858 she lived in the same house near New York Ranch.  Her husband died 25 years ago.  She had 8 children, 2 deceased, 15 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.  She was 83 years, 8 months and 18 days of age.  Funeral services were held on May 2, 1906.

INQUEST HELD ON April 29, 1906, Jackson, Amador County, CA
State of California, County of Amador

Documents held by Amador County Archives, Jackson, California; Larry Cenotto, Archivist.
An Inquisition upon the body of Mandania Rice who was found dead on April 30(sic), 1906 near New York Ranch, Amador County.

April 30, 1906 She was found dead in bed.  Questions asked of her son W. C. Rice:
Q: What is your name
A:  W. C. Rice
Q:  Are you a son of the deceased?
A:  Yes, sir
Q:  Were you living in the house at the time of her death?
A:  Yes, sir.
Q:  When did you last see her alive?
A:  About 8 o'clock April 29, 1906.
Q:  Did she seem to be in good health?
A:  She seemed to be as usual.
Q:  Would you please explain to the jurors how she talked last evening?
A:  It was about Eleven O'clock when she called me and said, "I am sick.  I am afull (sic) sick and I want some Salatiras (?) water and I said can I do anything for you and she said "no, don't bother yourself" and I went back to sleep and I got up at five o'clock and went out and fed the chickens and then came in the kitchen and started the fire, and came in to kindle the fire in the sitting room and called to her and called again and got no answer so I went in the room and I found her dead, partly in bed and feet resting on the floor.
Q:  What did you do when you found her?
A:  I ran up to Amos Harman and then I went to Jackson.
Q:  Is there any questions for the jurors to ask the witness?



Subscribed and sworn to before me this 30th day of April 1906

~0~

Mandana was the sister of my 2nd great grandmother, Susan A. Bradley Davis.  It took me about 30 years of researching before I located her -- and then it was because of a Power of Attorney entered into a Schuyler County, Missouri Deed Book in 1852.  Her father Thomas Bradley had recently died, and her mother Elizabeth wanted to sell the old home place but needed all the heirs (their children) to go on record as approving of the sail.  Mandana had moved to California; the family knew but we researchers didn't have a clue.  She gave her Power of Attorney to her brother-in-law John G. Davis, and in it she indicated that she and her husband, David Rice, now lived in Amador County, California.  This Power of attorney was entered in the Deed Book, along with the signatures of all the other heirs.

Mandana didn't know that she was lost and found, but I did some 100+ years later.  

Monday, July 20, 2015

THE GREATEST GENERATION


This sailor is/was someone's husband, son, brother, uncle, grandfather or friend.  His picture was owned by one of the people listed below, all of whom died in San Bernardino County, California between the years of 1988 and 2004.  No identifying information was on this picture.  I do believe he could be called an Immortal Nobody if he himself has passed on, but as you know there are some WWII vets still living so there is always a possibility that his time has not come yet.

But who is he?  He was known by one of these people listed below.

  • Betty Carson
  • Veldra Kirk
  • Betty Benedict
  • Gracie Solomon
  • Betty Walsh
  • Mari Graves
  • Etiennette "Ann" Bernier Bean
  • Bernice Dale
  • Ethel Ivy Marie Beckel Carpenter Bridges
  • Edward Vintus
  • Muriel Ruth Johnstone Walker
  • Paul Blaine Reveal
  • Ethel Jane Knapp
  • Bernice Beitzel Vieau
  • Virginia Cowan Henderson
  • Dorr Stuart
  • Clarence Bennett
  • Velma Helms
  • Dale Hathaway
  • Mildred Beach
  • Alice Becker
  • Helen M. Peterson
  • Victor Corey
  • Margaret Morrison
  • Emma Karstens
  • Eva Greco
  • Joe Atton
  • Fred Knodel
  • Marjorie A. Clagett Woosley
  • James Torres
  • Douglas J. Bryant
  • Myrtle Dieckmann
  • Paul and Virginia Tenney McCoy Nordby


Friday, July 17, 2015

AN UNTIMELY AND UNINTENDED SHOOTING


San Bernardino CA Daily Courier, Wednesday, June 14, 1893

ACCIDENTALLY SHOT
ED HADDEN OF THIS CITY THE VICTIM
The Careless Handling of a Revolver Causes the Wounding and Probable Death
of a Promising Young Man
The Shooting Entirely Accidental

Word was received in this city late yesterday afternoon that Ed Hadden, son of Thomas Hadden, and Grandson of Judge J. M. Morris, had been accidentally shot on the train at Riverside by Capt. Jack A. Mellon of Yuma.

The facts of the case, so far as could be obtained, were these:  Mr. Hadden had secured a position on the ranch of Dan Freeman in Los Angeles county and had taken the 4 o'clock train to go to the ranch to commence work.  When the train reached Riverside, he got out on the platform and talked to some acquaintances, getting on again as the train was about to start.  He took a seat directly in front of Mr. Mellon.  That gentleman was at this particular time just in the act of removing a revolver from his valise to his pocket for some purpose, when, just as Mr. Hadden sat down, the revolver in some unaccountable way went off, the ball going through the back of the seat and penetrating Mr. Hadden's back about two inches below the heart.  The ball went clear through him, striking the tenth rib.

The injured man was at once removed from the train and his parents, who reside in this city, sent for.

The report last evening was that Mr. Hadden was mortally wounded and could not probably live until morning.  It is sincerely hoped by his many friends here that this view of the case is incorrect.

Most of the citizens of this city will remember Mr. Hadden, who several years ago moved with his parents to Fresno where he lived until quite lately, he having reached San Bernardino only a few days ago.  He is about 24 years of age and is a very bright young man, well thought of wherever he goes.

Captain Mellon, the accidental cause of the shooting, is captain of the steamer Gila, plying on the Colorado river.  The captain has a summer residence at Santa Monica and was on his way there for a few days' rest and recreation when the unfortunate accident occurred.  Captain Mellon is described by some of his friends in this city as a most kindhearted gentleman, who makes friends wherever h goes.  He will suffer nearly as much as the wounded man on account of the accident.

Altogether it was a most unfortunate affair.


Colorado River Steamboat "Gila"
Carlton Watkins, Photographer
Owned by J. Paul Getty Museum 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

IMMORTAL NOBODIES WITH A MESSAGE


Someone in Jerry Title's family knew these people, but by the time we found the picture in an old cardboard box that had been kept by Jerry's elderly aunts, no one could remember who they were. But as IMMORTAL NOBODIES they still can speak to us.

Obviously the setting for the picture is Germany, and it has to be pre-WWII.  The signpost behind our unknown IMMORTAL NOBODIES, translated from German into English, reads "Jews Not Wanted."  On the back of the picture in lovely English handwriting is a single comment:  "Isn't this silly?"

Even now whenever I see this picture I get a cold chill and a catch in my breathing.  There may have been someone in Jerry's family or among their friends innocent enough not to take this warning sign seriously.

But the Nazis meant it..

"JEWS NOT WANTED".  
.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

THE SHORT LIFE OF HENRY ROSS



The death of Henry Ross on 10 Dec. 1861 was reported in a letter from the American Consul in Constantinople:  "He was discharged by me from the Hermaphrodite Brig "Hugh Barclay" of Chicago on December 2 and sent at once to the hospital on application of Charles T. Chadwick, Master, having arrived at this port November 30 from Sulema at the mouth of the Danube where he contracted dysentery of which he died."

Before we go any further, let's find out what a Hermaphrodite Brig looked like and a description of its rigging:


So this ship came into port at Istanbul with a young man near death.  Let's continue with the American Consul's letter:

"I visited him daily and found that he received every possible attention from the Protestant Sisters who manage that Institution.  Yesterday I attended his funeral at which one of the American Missionaries officiated.  He was decently buried in the Dutch Protestant Cemetery in Pera.  The flag of his country accompanying his remains to the grave.  It appears by the Ship's Registry that the deceased shipped at London on 8 Jun 1861, aged 23.  He informed me he was never married and has no parents living unless a brother, John Ross, from whom he has not heard for 5 years.  His protection from the Collector of Boston and Charleston dated 13 Dec 1860 certifies that he was a native of Buffalo, New York which he considers his residence.  He leaves nothing but his clothing and the balance of his wages and extra pay, for which I will account.  Under the circumstances I have not deemed it necessary to publish a notice in any newspaper here."

                                                Signed:  C. W. Goddard, Consul General."

I lived in Istanbul for almost two years and one of the things I did was to try to identify all the Americans who were buried in the Ferikoy-Istanbul Protestant Cemetery.  Until I came home from Turkey I had no idea who Henry Ross was, but I had learned that when an American dies in a Foreign Country the State Department in America receives a notice of his or her death.  Early on it was just a written notice; later it was called a Form 192: Report of Death of American Citizen.  All such reports are eventually turned over to the National Archives.  So in 1995 I went to the College Park Branch of the National Archives where the state department's material to be archived is kept, and after a week of searching I found a Consular Dispatch file from that time period (1861) and in it was the letter from the Consul General.  No other information on Henry is available, but there surely was a great deal of information on other Americans buried in that cemetery.

As it happens, the cemetery that Consul General Goddard speaks of is no longer there and those buried in that cemetery were removed and reinterred at the Protestant Cemetery in Ferikoy. Unfortunately the man does not have a tombstone.

I was never able to locate any family for him here in the United States using simple genealogical tools, but perhaps with this exposure someone who has been looking a long time for young Henry Ross will recognize him here.  Until then, keep in mind that there are a lot of Immortal Nobodies buried in cemeteries all over the world.

Rest in Peace, Henry.




American Section of the Protestant Cemetery in Ferikoy-Istanbul

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A SHORT AND QUICK EXIT

RYLAND FAMILY



Helen R. Hungerford was the oldest of six daughters of Asa and Mary Angelina Bond Hungerford.  It seems to me that it is usually the youngest daughter who cares for the "old folks" as they age, but in this case, one by one the daughters disappeared off the censuses, due either to death or marriage and Helen took over that obligation.  Because my own Bond direct ancestor is Charlotte, a sister of Mary Angelina, I really haven't tried very hard to research this "collateral" line.   But I do know a little bit - and I think it is quite interesting.

Looking at the censuses, I find that in each one, Helen is still living at home with her mom and dad in Perry township, Allen County, Ohio.  Everyone in that area are farmers, and her father is no different. Since most of the censuses ask what one's occupation is, Helen says "housekeeping" rather than the traditional "Keeping House" (which may or may not mean doing it in someone else's home) - or she doesn't indicate any occupation at all.

The three Hungerfords. Asa, Mary Angelina and Helen, gradually "age out" and by 1910 none appear on a census.  However, I know that Helen is still alive because I've gathered some information about her death in 1916

One of the death notices says that she died suddenly at 80 years of age at the home of her sister.  This notice also tells us that she lived on the farm adjoining her sister for over half a century, and that she was buried at Perry Chapel Cemetery.  Apparently she did not have a headstone, as the headstones have all been noted in various genealogy sites and no Helen Hungerford appears, although her sister and brother-in-law's do.

Another newspaper article indicates that her brother-in-law, A. J. Osmon was named administrator of her estate, and that the estate is valued at "$2,000 in personal property and a house in real estate."

Now the traditional Obituary reads as follows:

"Helen R. Hungerford, daughter of Asa and Mary Angelina Hungerford, was born in Independence, Cuyahoga county, Ohio, August 23, 1835; died at the home of her sister, Mrs. A. J. Osmon, April 5, 1916, aged 80 years, 7 months, 25 days.  She moved to Allen county with the family in 1842, and has lived here since then.  When a young girl, visiting her Grandfather and Grandmother Bond, she united with the Baptist church at Lima, and remained with them until after coming to this county to live, when she transferred her membership to the M.E. church at Perry Chapel, where she has been a constant member and worker in the church and a Sabbath school teacher.  She is survived by one sister, Amanda Osman, and uncle, John Bond; one aunt, Marinda Ihrie, nieces and nephews and a host of friends.  She was always so kind and good to everyone and oh, how she will be missed by the church, the neighbors, and all her friends."

Of course, being good inquisitive genealogists, we always wonder how death came to our old relatives.  Often, we have have nothing to explain it.  But in this case, somehow the Sandusky Daily Register printed this:  "REPORT FROM LIMA" - While dining, Mrs (sic) Helen Hungerford, 80, dropped dead."

So there.  Now we know.

Rest in Peace, Helen.



Sunday, June 7, 2015

INTERESTING MILITARY PENSION RECIPIENTS

As you may or may not know, most of the folks I choose for Immortal Nobodies are people I know of from my own genealogical research.  Narrowing that a little bit more, most are from my own families.  But not today.  For today's Immortal Nobodies – a man and his wife. 

"He" is a fellow named Noah D. Damon, who served in the Revolutionary war.  He was born about 1760, and enlisted in 1775, making him about 15 at the time.  The extant records indicate that he served with the Massachusetts troops and was a private.

"She" is Esther Sumner, a sweet young thing who was born about 1814. 

These two people married in 1835.  She was 21 and he was 75.  There is no interesting story of "why" such a May-December marriage happened, just that it did.  The marriage lasted until his death at the age of 93 in Benton, New Hampshire.

The reason why I was even thinking of those folks was that I was reading the prologue of a new book, "The Bonus Army" by Paul Dickson and Thomas B. Allen which was giving some data as to pensions for our military people throughout the years, and the authors noted that the last surviving dependent of the Revolutionary War continued to receive benefits until 1911.  I found this fact amazing, and I wanted to know just who that was, since this particular statement did not have a footnote with that information.  So of course I Googled to see if I could get an answer.  What came up was blog by noted genealogist Mary Harrell Sesniak.  Now there was no 1911 date in it, but since the story she told had a 1906 date, it was close enough.  Plus, I figure any 75 year old who takes a 21 year old bride, or vice versa, is worthy of the Immortal Nobody appellation. 


Anyway, to finish the story, Noah filed for a pension and received his first payment in 1848.  He could actually have filed earlier, except he indicates that he had been a resident of Canada and was "ignorant of his right."  His application also stated that he had received a sword injury in his thigh that troubled him even as he submitted his paper.  At his death in 1853, the monthly pension went to his wife, and she received it until her death in 1906 at the age of 93.


Noah and Esther did not know they were making history of a sort – a history of a pension that existed from 1853 to 1906 for service in the military at the founding of our nation in 1776.  Nor would they expect to find themselves listed as Immortal Nobodies in my blog.  Welcome, Damons.

As a final note, I am delighted that Google sent me to Mary's most interesting blog that provided information for me.  I must add that I am finding "The Bonus Army" book chock-full of information on a time in our country and an event during that time that I knew absolutely nothing about – and to find it presented in a most readable format!  How I love non-fiction books!  And my Immortal Nobodies, one and all!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

John and Frances Narcissa McConnell brought nine babies into the world.  Only three of them lived to be adults.  These did not.


Simeon Theofulus McConnell:  28 February 1868 - 19 September 1879
Lewis McConnell: 20 January 1870 - 20 January 1870
Luther McConnell: 20 Jan 1871 - 20 Jan 1871
Lucy McConnell: 20 Jan 1871 - 20 Jan 1871

Meake E. McConnell: 20 Aug 1872 - 20 August 1872

Mary Delilah McConnell: 26 Jan 1876 - 02 Feb 1876

It is hard to understand how parents could live through so many sad times.  In one of the family cemeteries in Barren County, Kentucky, there are many small stones with no names on them, now tucked over in a corner but probably once over the tiny plots of babies.  They might even be for these McConnell children, but we won't ever know.  So we'll let them be remembered here - the tiniest of Immortal Nobodies.