Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Menke Farm Sale August 15, 1944



For 65 years, this farm near Clatonia was in the Menke family.  My Second Great Grandparents, Henry & Eliza Menke, bought this farm in the spring of 1879. Henry died in 1915, and in his will (written in 1913) eleven of his children were given an equal share. Eliza lived on this farm until past her 90th birthday, and owned it until her death at 102. Six months after her death when the farm was sold, only six of Henry & Eliza's children were still living.

According to the 1885 Agriculture census, Henry grew mostly corn with some oats, wheat and a little rye and some potatoes. He raised chickens, hogs and a few cattle. In her obituary, it says that Eliza was the first in this part of the country to have a mechanical chick incubator and brooder and she was one of the first to operate a sorghum mill. She grew big flower and vegetable gardens and developed new species of fruits from seeds. All on this farm. 

Their youngest son, my Great Grandfather Albert operated the farm for his mother for many years. I suspect it may have been the depression which led him to find other employment. In 1940 he was working in a rock quarry as part of the Works Progress Administration projects. My Grandpa, my Dad, my brother and also now my nephew have all followed in Henry Menke's footsteps and made their living on their own farms. Six generations of Menkes have been farming in Nebraska since 1879.




Friday, August 4, 2017

Newspaper Clippings - Cozad, Nebraska, June, 1896




The Meridian Star, Friday, June 19, 1896

Shirt Waists regardless of cost at Fine's.
Fifty cents pays for the STAR one year.
Try a sack of Fancy patent at Dunning's.
Big 4 cent Calico fast color at Brown and Davies.
Fred Phelps will repair your harness and make as good as new.
If you want the best flour on earth use M G Cozad Roller Mill Co.
Buy stockings cheap; ladies fast black seamless, at 10c per pair. Brown & Davies.
W. J. Neuens reports that he has sold three Buckeye binders and 5000 pounds of twine this week.
Were one desirous of having warm weather that of the past week would be sufficient to accommodate all.
Fine is selling everybody for cash. That's why goods are so cheap in Cozad. Competitors learn to meet the prices.
Percy Donaldson and Earl Swift, left on the 10:14 train Tuesday morning for their home after several months visit with relatives at this place.
See A. E. McCrystal for Hail Insurance. He can place your risk in a good reliable company and give you time until fall to pay your premium.
Elder Gibson and wife and Mrs. Link Southworth of Roten took in the south side the latter part of last week. They were laying in a supply of wild fruit.
On June 12th the home of Mr. and Mrs. McCance was gladdened by the arrival of a little girl. May the future of the little Miss be as bright as the noonday sun.
Beging Monday June 22, we will close our store at 7:30 p. m., except Wednesday and Saturday nights. Please make your purchases early in the evening as we will positively do no business after the hour named. Allen Bros.


Work gloves, shirts and overalls cheap at Fine's.
B. W. Gaskill was down from Roten Wednesday.
Thornton The Jeweler keeps all kinds of Spectacles.
Make your horses laugh with a pair of sweat pads from F. P.
Joe Cramer moved his family into the old Thurber property on north Depot street last week.
James Ware and wife attended a meeting of the Degree of Honor at Lexington Tuesday night.
Charlie Foster spent Sunday last with his parents in Roten Valley. Charley reports crops as looking fine in that nick of the woods.
Brown & Davies have a change in their ad this week, which they kindly invite our readers to read carefully, as they will do just as they advertise.
Quite a number of our citizens hied themselves to the hills south of town during the past ten days in quest of wild fruit, which grow in abundance in that region.
G. W. Fine comes befre the readers this week with a change of ad. It will be found at the top of this page, Read it and learn what he is offering to the public.
We received a communication from Grant Precinct, Custer county, this week, but for want of space we were compelled to omit. Hereafter we will have space to accommodate all.
The Childrens day exercises of the Presbyterian Sunday school which was to have been given last Sunday morning has been postponed to next Sunday evening. Everybody cordialy invited.
For the best summer drinks go to Burgess' Restaurant - he has them ice cold at all times and a full line such as lemonade, soda, pop, gingerale, cherry bounce, raspberry Julip, and soda water. He has his soda fountain in good working order and gives out the best and purest soda water that is to be had anywhere.



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My DAR Line to Patriot Stephen Bliss



In 2015 I joined the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) by proving my paternal Grandpa's line of descent from the Revolutionary War Patriot Asa Corbin. This past year, I sent in a "supplemental" application to prove the line of descent for my paternal Grandma. Each line of descent I prove enables other descendants of the same Patriot to more easily join the DAR because the amount of documentation they need is cut down. Anyone joining the DAR has to provide proof of their connections, such as copies of birth, marriage and death records, for each generation until they can connect to someone in a line already proven. They have to go all the way back to the Patriot if no one else has done that. 

My paternal Grandma is a direct descendant of the Patriot Stephen Bliss. I was able to connect to other DAR members who included his son Gideon Bliss in their line of descent, so I needed to provide documentation for my connections all the way to Gideon Bliss - that was 7 generations. My supplemental application was approved in May, so now any female descendant of Stephen Bliss who has in her blood line my Grandma or any of her siblings, her Mother or her siblings, and so on, can join DAR and less documentation would be required.

My direct ancestors are listed below in bold type, each of their children would potentially be a direct line for someone else. Starting with my Great Grandmother, Cora (Gaisford) Mann, this is the basic info I have for the line to Stephen Bliss:

Cora Gaisford, (1882-1971) Cora married Clarence L. Mann on July 5, 1899 in Fairbury, Nebraska. They raised their family in southeast Nebraska. Their children:
     Leila (1900-1997) married Charlie Roy Wierman
     Florence (1902-1983) married Pearle T Nickeson 
     Esther (1903-2000) married Roe K Hudson
     Lester (1906-1982) married Lydia Krebs
     Orra (1907-1992) married Charlene Vance 
     Clare (1909-2004) married Rulo Rathbun, other marriages with no children
     Faye (1911-1977) married Frank Carpenter
     Vivian (1913-2002) married Earl Bartlett
     Blanche (1915-2006) married Lyman Bartlett
     Bethel (1917-2014) married Elmer Krebs
     Dean (1920-2003) married Doris Kollekowski
     Doris (Living) married Kenneth Menke - my Grandparents
     Keith (1922-1923) 
     Letty (Living) married Bob Phelps


Henrietta Smith (1848-1932) born in Norwich, Connecticut. She married Charles Gaisford in Worcester, Massachusetts on May 23, 1867. They had 11 children: 
     Charles (1868-1947) married Nancy Erhard
     Mary Ann "Maime" (1870-1959) never married
     Anna (1871-1943) married Henry Fielder 
     Emma (1874-1939) married Rufus Thompson, other marriage with no children
     Carrie (1876-1899) married Sherman E White
     Ella (1880-1881) 
     Cora (1882-1971) above
     Nellie (1883-1919) never married
     William (1885-1953) married Ethel Middleton
     Gertrude (1888-1966) married Harlen Weaver 
     Gladys (1890-1986) married Frank Amos


Mary Abigail Bliss (1829-1866) was married to John Potter Smith in Norwich, Connecticut in 1847 and they moved to Worcester, Massachusetts soon after. They had 5 children, Mary's death happened with the last one: 
     Henrietta, above
     Anna (1854-1929) married Myron Barrows
     Minnie (1859-1859)
     Carried (1861-1889) married William A Brown
     Charles (1866-by 1870)


Austin Bliss (1786-1871) married Abigail Bumstead in Monson, Massachusetts. They moved to Connecticut about 1822. Their 12 children were:
     Edward (1818-1871) 
     Sylvester (1820-1867)
     Austin (1821-?)
     Alvin (1824-?)
     Horace Harrison (1826-?)
     Sanford Joseph (1827-1873)
     Mary Abigail, above
     Harriet Eliza (1831-1875)
     Julia Maria (1833-1835)
     William Henry (1835-1902)
     Julia M (1838-1871) married Henry Kirkland 
     Sarah Elizabeth (1842-?)


Gideon Bliss (1766-1847) married Mary Woodworth in Massachusetts where they raised these children:
     Roswell (1791-1869)
     Mary (1792-1866)
     Betsey (1792-1795)
     Chloe (1794-1797)
     Austin, above
     Gideon (1798-1828)
     Sylvester (1800-?0
     Betsey (1802-1881)
     James B (1804-1843)
     Willard (1806-?)
     Catherine (1809-1880)
     Lewis Tirrell (1811-?)
     Henry Harrison (1813-1897) married Lucy Maria Sawyer


Stephen Bliss (1732-1806) was a Private from Longmeadow, Hampshire county, Massachusetts. He served under Captains Pinneas Stebbins and Joseph Browning; and Colonels Nathan Sparhawk, Seth Murray and John Bliss. He was married to Katherine Burt in 1756 and he died in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. They had at least six children:
     Catherine (1757-1838)
     Mercy (1759-1776)
     Stephen (1761-1850)
     Susannah (1764-?)
     Gideon, above
     Chloe (1769-1776) 


If you're interested in joining the DAR, I suggest you contact your local chapter, or visit the website DAR.org. If you have questions about anyone listed here, just drop me a note and I may have more information.



Sunday, July 9, 2017

The State of the Canton Cemetery 1868


Here's an interesting article I copied from the Canton (Illinois) Weekly register while looking for obituaries. I have a few ancestors who died in Fulton County, Illinois in the mid 1800's. I've never been able to find out exactly where they are buried. If the Canton cemetery was in this bad of shape in 1868, this may explain why. With "many graves" sunk or caved in at this point in time, it's no wonder they can't be found today. My relatives may not have been buried in this cemetery, but maybe other cemeteries in the area were not well-kept either.


Canton Weekly Register, April 24, 1868
"We took a stroll on Sunday last through the Canton Cemetery. Its appearance is a disgrace to our city. Where there appears to have been once more care and taste displayed in the adornment of graves, all appears now neglected, dilapidated and in miserable disorder. Fences which have been erected around family lots are broken down, and pieces lie scattered about. Trees have been cut down, and some have blown down, and brush and logs lie about promiscuously.
A few tombstones are broken and lie upon the ground, while many more are leaning and almost ready to fall. Many graves are sunk even caved in, presenting a very sad and neglected appearance. Bank weeds have been permitted to grow up and [? down briers?], bushes and noxious shrubbery are growing in rich profusion in different parts of the cemetery. The fence surrounding the cemetery is in keeping with the general neglect.
There is need of immediate and earnest attention to the matter of cleaning up and beautifying our cemetery. It should no longer remain as it is now, a disgrace and a reproach to the city. There are but few families in this city and vicinity but what have an interest in this resting place of the dead. Let all unite in doing something to give it an appearance worthy the memory of the departed. The trustees of the cemetery should be more active in their duties. There are many really beautiful monuments and tombstones in the cemetery, but an almost total lack of cultivated flowers, shrubbery, & [?]. A walk through a cemetery, where care and taste is displayed in tokens of love and regard for the memory of the departed, cannot but have a pure and holy influence upon the living, but when only noxious weeds and tangled brush and briers grow over the graves of those who have "gone before", we can only be impressed with the proneness of mortals to forget the virtues of the dead, and all those sacred lies which once bound them to the departed, and to be only absorbed in the vanities and virtues(?) or the pleasures and the profits of the present life."


Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday's Faces from the Past - Harry & Ethel Harter




Wedding photographs of couples in my family tree are always treasured additions. This couple is not in my family tree. They likely were from Hamilton, Clay, or York county in Nebraska and probably were friends of my family.

The white material of her dress actually has a print to it. The pleated top has blouse sleeves and beaded pearls on the collar. Her full-length veil is sheer. She has no earrings or necklace and he has no lapel pin. It's a curious thing to me but she is carrying her flowers up-side-down, and it looks like his boutonniere is up-side-down as well.

The photo measures 6" x 8" with a 1 to 1-1/4" beige colored mat around it. There is nothing written on the front or back. A photographer's imprint of "Thorne" is in the bottom right corner, but no town is given. There was a William Thorne, listed as a photographer, in York, Nebraska in 1910. 

This couple belongs in someone's family tree. If you think you might know who they are, please leave a comment.

UPDATE 7/4/17:  As it turns out, this couple IS in my family tree. Thanks to cousin Deb for reading my post and letting me know. 

Harry Winfield Harter and Clara Ethel Smith were married on February 27, 1907. Ethel was the daughter of William and Rebecca Smith. The were blessed with one son, Gerald K in 1909.  Then on November 27, 1918 after a brief illness, Harry passed away.  Ethel took charge of the Post Office in Stockham, Nebraska in May of 1920, but died in July that same year. They are buried in the Stockham Cemetery.



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Catherine Elizabeth Mattingly 1907-1936


Lottie, Catherine & Ham Mattingly
110 years ago on June 21, 1907 William Alfred Bryant Mattingly and his wife Lottie of Marion County, Kentucky had a daughter they named Catherine Elizabeth. She was my husband's Aunt, but she died before he was born. She had two older brothers, William Robert and Benedict Boone; two older sisters, Mary Etta and Eliza Celeste; and a baby brother Joseph Hamilton, who was two years younger. She also had two older half siblings, John Raymond and Josephine Mattingly. A half-sister, Gertrude, died before Catherine was born and her father died before she turned three. They all lived in Marion County, Kentucky.


"Young Woman Succumbs

Miss Catherine E. Mattingly, 29 years old, passed away at 4:00 o'clock Tuesday morning at the home of D. A. and W. B. Bickett on the National Cemetery Road near Calvary where she had made her home with her mother, Mrs. Lottie Mattingly, for sixteen years.  Her death was due to bonchial (sic) pneumonia which developed following a ten months illness of a complication of diseases.  
Miss Mattingly was graduated from the Calvary High School in 1928, after which she took a nurses' training course at a hospital in St. Louis, Mo.  Later she went to Indianapolis, Ind., where she served at St. Francis' Hospital until forced by ill health to give up her work and return home.  She was a daughter of the late William A. Mattingly, and Mrs. Lottie Boone Mattingly, and was born in this county June 21, 1907.  She was a faithful member of Holy Mary's Catholic Church at Calvary and was a young woman possessing many traits which endeared her to a wide circle of friends.  
Besides her mother, she is survived by one sister, Mrs. Virgil Dennison of Indianapolis, Ind.; three brothers, Boone Mattingly of Louisville and Robert and Hamilton Mattingly of Lebanon, and one half-brother, Raymond Mattingly of Louisville.  
Funeral services were held at 9:00 o'clock yesterday morning at Holy Mary's Church at Calvary by the Rev. Robert Canty, and burial was in Holy Mary's Cemetery. 
The pallbearers were:  Garland Luckett, Paul Bland, Joseph Ford, George Spalding, Vincent Spalding and Kelly Thomas."


It is now known that what Catherine went to St Louis, Missouri for was to have a child. She lived at the "St. Ann's Widow's Home, Lying-In Hospital and Foundling Asylum". Catherine's son was born in November, 1928. He found his birth family in the 1990's, too late to meet his birth mother. 

On October 13, 1936 Catherine passed away at only 29. Her official cause of death was "carcinoma of breast, with general metastosis".   She had fought breast cancer for 2 years.



Along with the death certificate, obituary and papers from St. Ann's Home, that my sister-in-law had in a file was this poem.  The author is unknown, she may have written this herself. 


A Broken Hearted Girl

I am dreaming, dreaming dear,
Wondering here tonight
Thinking only dear, of you
In the moon-light

Some day you'll be sorry
And think of what I've said
Yes, you will think of me
When I'm dead 

How my heart is sad and broken?
How I long and sigh and pine?
How the memories come stealing?
How I think of the flight of time?


It will be too late I fear
When you will think and do what's right
Now you'll remember this I've said
Here in the moonlight


December 15, 1928



She was reunited with her son when he passed away in 2014. 


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Trying to Match Faces to Names


Along with the photo in my last post, there were five other Tintype photographs, also unidentified, among the possessions of Art & Sadie McGrath. Believing these people may be family, I've got some ideas on who they MIGHT be. I looked at the families of the brothers and sisters of Art & Sadie and both of their parents. We have some identified photos of members of Sadie's side of the family, so I have compared them and I don't see much resemblance. These photos look like they were all taken before 1900. According to Wikipedia, Tintypes started losing commercial ground in the mid 1860's, yet survived for well over another 40 years mostly as a carnival novelty. So it's possible that these are from the 1880's or 1890's. 



This group of a family including parents, 6 children and a young woman may be the easiest one to determine who they could be. I assume the man has his hand on the shoulder of his wife, and the young woman in the hat seems to be a few years older than the children and may not be a sibling. She could be a relative or she could be someone they took in to help with the children.  The two girls, one on each side of the adult women, look about the same age or within a few years. So I looked for a family with at least six children where two girls are the oldest.  

One family I found was Levi and Minnie Patterson's. Minnie's full name was Arminda Ruth, she was the second oldest sister of Art McGrath. Ruth Webb, who was possibly the woman in my last post was her Grandmother. Levi and Minnie's family started with a girl, then another girl, then boy, boy, girl, boy - the last boy was born in 1890. This photo could have been taken about 1891 or 1892 judging by the smallest child in the middle. Levi & Minnie's family moved from Illinois to Nebraska about 1885. So if this is them, the picture was taken in Nebraska. 


One other possible family that might match this photo is the David Foster Negley family.  The children in that family start out with three girls, then three boys. It's hard to say if the boy in the forefront looks older than the younger girl on the right. Those Negley children were born between 1869 and 1882 with three years between the two oldest girls. These girls look closer in age than that to me. Most of the other Negley family photos we have are the Carte de Visite type.






I think the age order of these 3 children goes girl, boy, girl.  One related family that starts out that way is the William and Rebecca Smith family. Rebecca is Art McGrath's oldest sister. Their third child was born in 1887, the younger girl looks about two or three years old. The next girl they had died in 1890. Again, this picture may have been taken about 1891 or 1892.

For comparison, I know the young woman on the right is Elizabeth, the oldest daughter of William and Rebecca Smith. Can this be the same girl?


Maybe I'm stuck thinking along the same family line, but IF the family group is Arminda McGrath's, and the children belong to Rebecca McGrath, could I expect to find a photo of William and Rebecca (McGrath) Smith?



The couple in this photo and the next one look to me like they could be the same, below just a few years later. It really could be anyone. 

Below it looks like a boy on the man's lap, and I can barely see a ruffle and two little feet on the woman's lap (it's much easier to see when zoomed in closer).  It's impossible to tell with the damage to the photo. There's no face, but I really think there's a little girl there, older than the boy. Could the children in the photo below be the oldest two in the photo of the three children above? 




Another comparison look - the woman on the right is Rebecca (McGrath) Smith.

Arthur McGrath had no other siblings. The woman below could be anyone. She is wearing what looks like a ring on a chain hanging from her neck.  She does have a band on her wedding ring finger.  Sitting on a chair leaning on a table, she looks to me like she is in her early to mid 20's. 




We will never really know who they are unless someone else has the same or similar photos. I can't say for sure, but I think that these photos are all of the McGrath side of the family. I believe they belonged to Rachel McGrath at one time, the mother of Rebecca, Arminda and Arthur.