Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday's Faces from the Past - 5 Girls from Eldorado?

These 5 old photographs are from the Old Trunk in the Attic.  First names only are written on the backs.  Chances are good that these young ladies were friends of my Great Grandmother Sadie Negley McGrath and her sister Alice Negley who went to school in Eldorado, Nebraska right around the turn of the century.  Click on each photo to enlarge for a better look.  

 This is Alice, but not Alice Negley.  Alice Yost was 19 in 1900, living in Eldorado Precinct, Clay County, Nebraska.  This could be her.  Another slight possibility is Alice Grosshans, who in 1900 was 9, living in Sutton.  This girl definitely looks older than 9, but Sutton is not far away and there is another family connection to the Grosshans family.  Not knowing for sure what year this photo was taken, there's a slight chance it could be either girl. 

Ethel is written on the back of both of these, but I don't think that these two photos are of the same person.  Ethel Pitt was 11 and Ethel Smith was 13 in 1900.  Ethel Smith was later a niece of Sadie Negley after her marriage to Art McGrath.  There are three Ethel's who lived in Harvard, Miss Clark, Miss Wadsworth and Miss Calame who were teenagers and might have known the Negley's.  

Myrtle here looks younger than the other girls.  There was a Myrtle Brenneman who was 6 years old in 1900.   Or Myrtle Peterson and Myrtle Kitzinger were both 8.  One more Myrtle, Miss McKinsey, was 16.  All of them lived in Eldorado Precinct. 

This is Saddie - spelled that way on the back.  Not my Great Grandmother Sadie, I'm sure.  Sadie being a nickname for Sarah, there was a Sarah Ochsner who was 15 in 1900, it could be her.  Other candidates are Sarah Kilmer, age 8 and Sarah Schwartz, 14.  There were a couple other Sarah's who were older and married so not likely them.    

There are other photos in my stash that have this same style frame, some with names and ages written on the back.  From those names I can determine who those people were and about when their photograph was taken.  So I think these photos were probably all taken by the same photographer sometime between 1900 and 1910.  That's why I used the 1900 census to come up with these possibilities.  The fact is, I don't really know who these 5 girls are.  

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Great Grandma Menke's Birthday

September 20, 1887 was the day Lottie Roscoe was born in DeWitt, Nebraska.  That was 128 years ago.  She lived her entire life in Gage County, Nebraska.

Charlotte Isabelle Roscoe's parents were William Roscoe and Lena Jorgenson.  Isabelle was also the middle name of her mother's sister.  Lottie grew up with one older sister and six brothers.  Her youngest brother Cecil died of pneumonia at age five, brother Charles committed suicide at age 23, brother Oliver died during the flu epidemic at age 23 and brother Frank died of typhoid fever at age 34.  Another brother David Harlow had a disability of some kind.  

She married Charles Albert Menke on October 8, 1906 at age 19.  They had 13 children, eight boys and five girls.  One son drowned at the age of 14.  At her death she was survived by 30 grandchildren, 37 great grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.

Great Grandma Lottie died of natural causes on March 24, 1975 in Beatrice and is buried in the Clatonia Cemetery.  I was 12 when she died, but I don't remember ever seeing her.

Friday, September 11, 2015

My Grandma's Aunt Becky

My maternal Grandma's father Art McGrath had two sisters, Mary Rebecca and Arminda Ruth.  They were both older than him by 17 and 15 years respectively.  For most kids, their first cousins are their first playmates.  In my Grandma's case, her playmates were more likely her "first cousins once removed", or her first cousins' children who were closer to her same age. 

Born February 12, 1859 in Fulton County, Illinois, Aunt Becky's obituary gives a good account of her early life:
Mary Rebecca McGrath Smith was born in a sod house on a farm near Canton, Fulton County, Illinois, and passed away August 22, 1935, having reached the age of 76 years, 6 months and 10 days. 
At the age of 10 years she moved with her parents to Bradford, Stark County, Illinois and with her parents at the age of 16 years, moved to Henry, Marshal County, Illinois.  
On July 28, 1880, she was united in marriage to William Dixon Smith, at Henry, Marshal County, Illinois, and started house keeping on a farm near Whitefield Corners, Illinois, where they resided until they moved to a farm near Eldorado, Clay County, Nebraska, where they made their home for 35 years living in Stockham since then.  Mr. Smith passed away May 8th 1935.

William Dixon Smith was born October 15, 1854 in New York City.  His father, Edward Smith, was killed by a falling tree while working timber in Canada when William was young.  

Some basic information on the eight children of William and Rebecca:

Elizabeth Jane, born January 16, 1882 in Marshall County, Illinois.  She eloped with Fred Rath in 1900 at age 18.  They had one daughter, moved to Los Angeles, California by 1937 and were divorced by 1940.  She died at 83 years old on August 24, 1965 in Los Angeles and is inurned in the Chapel of the Pines, Fireside Sanitarium.  

Andrew Dixon, born September 14, 1883 in Marshall county.  He married Alvira Averill, who had one son.  He died March 25, 1937 at age 53 and is buried in the Stockham Cemetery.

Clara Ethel, born October 29, 1887, the first child in the family born in Clay County, Nebraska.  She married Harry Harter, had one son and died at the age of 32 in 1927.  She is buried in Stockham.

Gertha Mable, born October 24, 1889, she died on August 3, 1890 and is buried in Stockham.

Laura Arminda, born March 19, 1891, likely named after her aunt Arminda Ruth.  She married George Coats in 1909, and they had five children. She died at age 83 on July 13, 1974.

Alden Earl, born November 20, 1892.  He married Doris Gellatly in 1917, they had two daughters and later divorced.  He died on January 2, 1962 at age 69 and is buried in Stockham.

Albert Arba, born September 29, 1894.  He married Stella Detamore. They didn't have any children.  At age 82 on August 20, 1977 he died and is buried in the Giltner Cemetery.

Cecil Osha, born July 13, 1897.  She married Reynhard Bird in 1916.  They lost one infant son in 1917 and had two more children.  They lived in Los Angeles and later in Olympia, Washington.  She died March 27, 1987 in Aurora, Nebraska.  They are buried in Mills and Mills Memorial Park, Tumwater, Washington.  

Family called her "Aunt Becky", her name in early census records is listed as "Rebecca" and later years as "Mary R.".   Her parents were John McGrath and Rachel Jane Simmons, and I believe she was named after her father's mother, though I only have one document with his mother's first initial to give me that idea.  

In 1935, both W. D. and Mary R. died and were buried in the Stockham Cemetery just southeast of Stockham, Nebraska.  They were survived by six of their children, 11 grandchildren, two great grandchildren, her brother and sister and many nieces and nephews.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wednesday's Child - Gertha Mable Smith

G. Mable
dau of W. D. and M. R. Smith
Died August 3, 1890
Aged 9 months

"We loved this tender little one
And would have wished her stay
But let our Father's will be done
She shines in endless day"

"G" stood for Gertha, but the way her name is on this tombstone I would guess they called her Mable.  Her parents, "W. D. & M. R. Smith" are William Dixon and Mary Rebecca Smith.  Mable was their fourth child, her older siblings Elizabeth, Andrew and Clara survived her.  She was also survived by her maternal grandfather John McGrath.  Her short life would have been recognized in the 1890 Federal census if it had not burned.  This very hardy monument, which has lasted over 125 years, stands as a tribute to her in the Stockham Cemetery, Stockham, Nebraska. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Newspaper Clippings - Lebanon, Kentucky, 1921

In an election year like this, I'm sure I'm not the only person who gets sick of hearing politicians talk.  It's hard for me to decide who to believe.  But it's important to remember that the right for me to decide and have my decision count at the polls was a battle that had to be fought by others before me.  The following article from May 6, 1921 was just less than 9 months after the ratification of the 19th Amendment on August 26th, which gave women - for the first time - the right to vote.   Did the additional number of voters create a need for precinct changes?  

Included in this article on voting precinct changes in Marion County are many women, some are Mattingly relatives.  Mrs. "Lettie" (should be Lottie) Mattingly was 42 years old when she would have been allowed at the polls for the first time.  This Cora Spalding may either have been the wife of Mark (but why is it not "Mark and his wife" like the other husbands and wives listed) or it may have been his sister, Annie Cora Spalding.  Other sisters of Mark were Edith Spalding, Stella Spalding and Mrs. Susie Ford.  They were all in their 30's and 40's.  These women may have either helped get Warren G. Harding elected President, or were disappointed that James M. Cox did not.  But they were among the first women in the family who had the chance to vote.

Click to enlarge clipping.

Lebanon Enterprise, Friday, May 6, 1921


Of change in voting precincts Nos. 11, 12 and 13, Marion County, Ky.  Marion County Court, May term, 2nd day of May, 1921.
In the matter of making changes in voting precincts Nos. 11, 12 and 13 of Marion County, Kentucky - 
Came Sam J. Thomas and six other residents and voters of voting precinct No. 13 of Marion County, Kentucky and produced their petition; also came Bert Spalding and thirteen other residents and voters of voting precinct No. 13 of said county and produced their petition; also came Lee Browning and seven other residents and voters of voting precinct No. 13 of said county and produced their petition, all of which petitions were ordered to be filed.  And it appearing to the Court that public convenience requires a change in voting precincts Nos. 11, 12 and 13 of Marion County; it is now ordered and adjudged that the boundaries of said precincts Nos. 11 and 13 be, and the same are hereby changed, so that the following boundary shall be excluded from said precinct No. 13 and added to Lebanon precinct No. 11, namely:  Beginning at Joe Storms' line at foot of Fogle's Hill, thence in a straight line to top of Reservoir Knob, thence with said Knob in a Westerly direction to A. O. Wayne's farm, included, thence with line of said Wayne to Bern Jarboe's farm, included, thence to point of beginning and it is further ordered and adjudged that the following citizens shall be voters in said precinct No. 11, namely; Miss Mary Mills, Bernard Thomas and his wife, Mary Thomas, Burke Abell and his wife, Nancy Abell, Sam J. Thomas and his wife, Maud Thomas.
As is further adjudged that voting precincts No. 12 and 13 be changed so that the following boundary shall be excluded from said precinct No. 13 and added to said Calvary voting precinct No. 12, said boundary being as follows:  Beginning at the south of Cloyd's Creek where same empties into the Rolling Fork River, thence down said river to the farms of Lake Bland and John Brock (John Brock excluded) thence South with the line of said John Brock to Joe Brady, excluded, thence with Brady's line and Lafe Bland's line to Mrs. Robert Buckman, included, thence with her line to Mrs. Emma Abell, included, thence with her line to the place of beginning, and it is further adjudged that the following citizens shall be voters in said Calvary voting precinct No. 12, namely:  Lee Browning, Mrs. Agnes Browning, Miss Josie 

Column 2
Abell, Mrs. Robert Buckman, Miss Bridget Buckman, Lafe Bland, Mrs. Ethel Bland, and Mrs. Emma Abell.
It is further adjudged that voting precincts Nos. 12 and 13 be changed so that the following boundaries shall be excluded from New Market voting precinct No. 13 and added to the Calvary voting precinct No. 12, said boundary being as follows:  Beginning at John Ballard's farm, included, on the Rolling Fork River, thence down said river to the mouth of Indian Lick Creek, thence North with said creek to Sam J. Thomas farm, included, thence with said Thomas line to A. O. Wayne's farm, excluded, thence to Bern Jarboe's farm, excluded, thence with C. & O. Railroad to William Brown, included, thence to the beginning, and it is further adjudged that the following citizens shall be voters in said Calvary voting precinct No. 12, namely:  William Bickett, D. A. Bickett, Mrs. Lettie Mattingly, Bert Spalding and his wife, May Spalding, William Ewing, Miss Kate Ewing, G. W. Sapp and his wife Kate Sapp, Sylvester Ewing and his wife, Mamie Ewing, Joe Spalding, Mark Spalding, Cora Spalding, Edith Spalding, Stella Spalding, Mrs. Susie Ford, John Franklin Malone and wife, Rose Malone, William Green and his wife, Mary Green.
A Copy - Attest:
Sam J. Spalding, Clerk.


Of change in voting Precinct No. 19, Marion county, Ky.:
Marion County Court, May term, 2d day of May, 1921.
In the matter of dividing Loretto Precinct No. 19 and establishing a new voting precinct therein -
Pursuant to the Act of the General Assembly of Kentucky, being Chapter 64, Acts 1920, and in order to have the voting precincts of Marion county, Kentucky, contain as nearly as practicable three hundred and fifty voters and to best subserve the convenience of the public; it is now ordered and adjudged that voting precinct No. 19 of said county be divided and a new voting precinct established therein and the boundary of such new precinct be as follows:
Beginning at the main entrance of the Loretto Academy on the Loretto and Springfield turnpike; thence north with said pike to the corner of the lands of Kelvey Riggs; thence west with line of Riggs to the lands of Richard Medley, excluded, and to the Loretto and Manton county road

Column 3
near said Medley; then south with said road to the Lebanon and Bardstown State Aid Road; then west with said State Aid Road to the lands of Wallace Corbey; then south with said Corbey and lands of said Loretto Academy to the [lands of] John Embry; then south with [said] Embry's lands and said Loretto Academy lands to the old county road near said Embry; then east with said old county road and across said State Aid Road to a point near Mrs. Maggie Thomas, excluded; then east through the lands of said Loretto Academy a straight line to the beginning.
Said boundary shall be known as Loretto Academy Precinct No. 22 and the voters therein shall vote at Loretto Academy.
A Copy - Attest:
Sam J. Spalding, Clerk.

Children's Home Society

The Enterprise has received the following from the Kentucky Children's Home Society:
From Marion county, 12 children have been received into the Receiving Home of the Kentucky Children's Home Society, Louisville, whereas the total appropriations from Marion county, by the Fiscal Court have been only $400 during the twenty-five years of the society's existence.
Toward the building fund the county has given $297.50 although its quota has been fixed at $3000.
The building fund is for the erection of the cottage village at Lyndon, Ky., where ground was broken March 1 and the plans are for the completion of the administration building and one large cottage in October.  The village is to be a memorial from the school children of Kentucky to the homeless children of the State thru the plan evolved by Robert L. Sehon, Superintendent of the society.  The appeal for nearly half of the building fund of $300,000 is being made to the school children thru the schools of Kentucky.

Pastor's Salary Increased.

The following is taken from the First Presbyterian Church Weekly Bulletin:
"A check for an increased amount accompanied by a letter from the Church Treasurer informs the pastor that the Deacons had met in his absence and on account of the generosity of the congregation had been able to vote an increase in his salary of five hundred dollars.  The pastor wishes to express to our membership and friends sincere thanks for this helpful advance.  The Lord has blessed our congregation in many ways during the past year.  Let us always seek His favor." 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sympathy Saturday - Elisha & Rebecca Bell

I have been trying to find death and/or burial information for my 2nd Great Grandmother’s brother Elisha Bell and his wife Rebecca for a long time.  They were married in Wayne County, Kentucky and moved to Smith County, Texas in the 1890’s.  I've written a little about them before in this post - John Silas Bell & Rutha Simpson.   They last appear at age 72 in the 1920 census, so I assumed they died between 1920 & 1930.  They never had children.  With help from others, I had decided they were probably buried in unmarked graves with Rebecca’s McFarland family, who also lived in Smith County.  Records for the Flint Cemetery were created from grave markers not burial records so unmarked graves would not be listed.   There is an online index of Texas deaths, but I couldn’t find them listed there. 

Last fall, I had sent a request to the public library in Tyler, Texas hoping they had either an obituary index or burial records to give me a death date.  At that time, the librarian replied that they had a few records on microfilm but they did not loan those out.   

Then a couple weeks ago, I got another email from the librarian.  Apparently she had been working on the McFarland family and had my request as it was relevant to the McFarland family.   She found this “Card of Thanks” notice from the Tyler Daily Courier-Times, Monday, August 2, 1920 with just a mention of the death of "our dear wife and sister", from Mr. E. Bell and Mrs. Hester McCarty.  I'd like to know what it means by "the carriers of Route No. 5".  

The names here aren’t much information to go on, but the librarian was sure that Hester McCarty was Rebecca’s sister.   She provided a little more information on the McFarland family. Looking through past emails from another researcher, they also had Hester McCarty and Rebecca Bell as sisters.  Even with this information, I can't find her listed in the Texas Death Index.  For now I will enter Rebecca McFarland Bell's death date as July, 1920. 

The librarian also said she found a death certificate for an E. Bell, who died October 12, 1933 at the Rusk State Hospital.  Rusk is in Cherokee county, just south of Smith county.  The hospital was a mental health facility, a person with dementia or alzheimer's would be included in that definition.  
On the death certificate it has the Birthplace as Texas, but so much of the form is marked "DK", for don't know, it still may possibly be Elisha Bell from Kentucky.  Principal cause of death was "General Exhaustion", contributory cause "psychosis & malignancy" if I read correctly.  This man was buried in the asylum cemetery.  I emailed the Rusk State Hospital to confirm the burial and try to get more information and their reply was that all records there are destroyed after ten years.  Any chance of finding out for sure about this E. Bell were destroyed years ago.  My Great Grandfather, Cicero  Bell, lived near his “Uncle Leish” in the 1890’s.  I would think that possibly they would have kept in touch.   Maybe there would have been something connecting them in his file.  I'll never know. 

I haven’t found Elisha Bell anywhere yet in the 1930 census, including reading all the listings at Rusk State Hospital.  E. Bell may have been there less than 4 years before his death.  The librarian said that she looked in the Tyler newspaper and didn't find an obituary for him.  Unless I can find a probate record and without a chance for more information from Rusk State Hospital, I may never know for sure if this was the right man.  But most likely, Cicero Bell's "Uncle Leish" died on October 12, 1933 in Rusk, Texas.  

Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday's Faces from the Past - Bruckert Photos

These photos are all marked "G. G. Bruckert, Harvard, Neb.".  Gustave Bruckert lived in Harvard, Nebraska in 1900 and he was a photographer.  By 1910, he had moved his family to Bruning, Nebraska and unfortunately died there in 1925.  Bruning is 45 miles from Harvard, Nebraska.

The three people in these photos are much harder to research as there are no names or clues of any kind on the photographs.  They likely lived in the Harvard area around 1900.  They might have known my Negley family who lived near there at that time.