Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - Davee / Simmons

The State of Illinois, Fulton County
The People of the State of Illinois
To who all shall see These Presents - Greeting:
Know Ye, That License and Permission has been granted to any Minister of the Gospel authorized to Marry by the Church or Society to which he belongs - any Justice of the Supreme Court - Justice of any Inferior Court - or any Justice of the Peace, - to Celebrate and Ratify the Marriage of 

Mr James Davee to Miss Mary R. Simmons

now both of this County, according to the Usual Custom and Laws of the State of Illinois

Witness:  John H Perisol  Clerk of the County Court in and for the County of Fulton,

and the Seal of said Court hereunto affixed, at Lewiston, this 30th day of July, A. D. 1861
John H. Perisol, Clerk

State of Illinois, Fulton County

I hereby Certify that on the 31 day of July, A. D. 1861, I joined in the Holy State of Matrimony James Davee to Mary R. Simmons, according to the Custom and Laws of Illinois.
Given under my Hand and Seal, this 31 day of July, A. D. 1861.
Benjamin Davee, P. M.

While I can find quite a bit about James Davee online (he may have been married as many as 5 times), it is really the death date and burial location for Mary Rosilla Simmons that I most want to find.  She was my 2nd Great Grandmother Rachel's sister.  My narrative on Rachel is here

Although I haven't confirmed this, according to census records and others' online trees James & Rosilla had 2 children, Eliza Jane born May 28, 1862 in Cumberland County, Illinos and William Grant born November 1864.  Then July 1, 1866 James married Mary Shepard in Jasper County.  So sometime between November 1864 and July 1866 and somewhere in Cumberland, Jasper or maybe Fulton county, Rosilla Davee died.  She would have been about 22 years old.  

Rosilla's parents were Lebius and Ruth (Smith) Simmons.  Lebius died sometime between 1850 and 1854.  Ruth died sometime between 1862 and 1866, about the same time as Rosilla.  I'd love to find the causes of their deaths to know if it was some disease they both died from.  Is there an obscure source for death records in the 1860's central Illinois that someone can tell me about?

James is the son of Benjamin and Amanda (Shorde) Davee.  (Yes, I think this is the same Benjamin who married James and Rosilla.)  They are in Shelby County, Indiana in 1850.  Amanda died in 1856 and is buried in Aten Cemetery, Hidalgo, Jasper Co., Illinois.  Benjamin with new wife Nancy and family including James are in Greenup, Cumberland Co., Illinois in 1860.  

In 1870 Crooked Creek, Jasper Co., Illinois I find James, with wife Louisa 19, his children (with Rosilla), Lizia J 8, and William 5.  Also in the household are Alwildia, 9/12, and Francis Elliot 73.  Benjamin Davee is still in Greenup with wife Nancy and 5 children.  Nancy was much younger than Benjamin, so assuming the children are theirs, the most interesting thing is that the youngest child, just a month old, is named Rosilla.  I think that says they thought well of Mary Rosilla Simmons Davee.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Friday's Faces from the Past - Patton

Aren't they adorable?  These sweet faces belong to Chester Lee Patton and his sister Mildred Janice.  The photo was given to my Great Grandmother's sister Alice Negley from "Bertie".  If I knew Bertie's last name, I might be able to figure out the connection.  These children aren't related to me and I'd be glad to give this photo to a descendant.  

Through census records, I think I've tracked them down.  They just might be the children of John and Bertie Patton in Pointsett County, Arkansas in 1920 and 1930.  I say that because Bertie is cited as having been born in Nebraska.  Assuming that is right, I added the photo to this findagrave memorial for Chester.  No one has responded there.  If you know of these Patton's, please leave a message!  If you know I have the wrong family, PLEASE let me know!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Newspaper Clippings - Peotone, Illinois 1907

This is a page from the Peotone Vedette that I mentioned in my last post.  I won't transcribe the entire "Notice of Sale" here, but if you're interested in it, let me know and I will send it to you.  The Peotone Vedette had the kind of local social news that can be a great help sometimes.  

The Peotone Vedette, October 18, 1907


...Henry Ammann, administrator de bonis non of the estate of Louis Schmid, deceased, real estate situated in the Village of Peotone ...

...at the front door of the saloon building now occupied by Charles Tompkins ...

...to the point of beginning, all in Hosmer A. Johnson's Sub-Division ...

The said real estate will be sold clear of all incumbrances and clear of all dower and homestead rights of Dora Schmid, widow of Louis Schmid, deceased.

"Just About People

Dr. and Mrs. Willman spent the day in Chicago Sunday.

Mrs. Albertus Perry spent the day in Chicago Monday.
Misses Ida and Emma Offner were Chicago passengers Monday.
Mrs. J. O. Bentall returned Monday to her home in Chicago.
Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Rauworth returned Tuesday from their trip to Iowa.
Miss Anna Hayen, of Chicago, spent Tuesday at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Louis E. Stassen.
Mr. and Mrs. Herman Schroeder, of Lorraine, Kans., visited at the home of Mr. and Mrs. D. Stassen, Monday and Tuesday.
Mrs. Wm. Werner and daughter, Antoinette, of Beecher, visited with Mr. and Mrs. L. E. Stassen Tuesday.
Miss Belle Jorgenson has resumed the study of music in Chicago.  She is taking vocal music under Signor Maraschalki.
Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Morrison and son, Russell, left Friday for a visit at Fowler, Ind., and Farmer City.  They returned Monday, and Tuesday Mr. Morrison resumed work at the depot.
Mr. and Mrs. R. W. Gates, of Kankakee, were Sunday visitors at the Henry Gates residence.
Geo. Bell, of Winnipeg, was a guest at the home of his uncle, Geo. Cosgrove, Monday.
Mrs. Oliver Cherry entertained her three sisters, the Misses Clinton, and Mrs. Biggs, of Chicago, Sunday.
Dr. and Mrs. Gilman Petitt, of Chicago, were guests at Geo. Cosgrove's over Sunday.
D. H. Morrison is attending the annual conference of the M. E. church which is in session in Chicago.  He is the lay delegate from the West Peotone church.
Seth P. Bowen, of Washington, was entertained at Mrs. D. H. Morrison's Sunday, the guest of Miss Hattie Gates.
Mrs. K. Horning entertained her son Henry Motzer, of Chicago, Sunday.
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kurtz, daughter Mabel, and son, William, spent Saturday and Sunday in Chicago.
A. H. Cowing represented Peotone Lodge, A. F. & A. M., in the Masonic Grand Lodge in Chicago this week.  James Barnhart and James Barbour attended some of the sessions.
Ned Slater has moved his family and effects to Chicago, where they will reside in the future.  They have many friends in Peotone whose best wishes go with them.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Talented Tuesday - Belle Jorgenson McKee

The first indication I had that Belle Jorgenson had some talent was when I was searching the Peotone Vedette for her father Ole's obituary.  Belle was my Great-Great Grandmother Lena's sister.  Several little mentions in the Society column hinted at her musical abilities.
"Miss Belle Jorgenson has resumed the study of music in Chicago.  She is taking vocal music under Signor Maraschalki."  Peotone Vedette, Oct. 18, 1907"
"Miss Belle Jorgenson will continue her study of music and will reside at 5406 Drexel Boul." Peotone Vedette, 1907"
Belle was about 11 years younger than her oldest sister Lena.  At least going by the 1880 census when she was 9.  She was born October 16, 1871 in Will County, Illinois.  That date came from a copy I received from a "privately published booklet" titled "Necrology of Peotone, Will County, Illinois Residents, Relatives and Friends" by William R. Conrad 1879-1966.  In 1900 her age is 29 but from that census on, she doesn't seem to age normally.  In 1910 she gave her age as 29.  Again.  In 1920 her age is 35 and in 1930 she is 50 (actually 59).  In 1940 she concedes the truth and gives her age as 69.  It's interesting that in her obituary there is no mention of either her birth date or her age.

She not only went to college, but graduated from 2 different colleges, Valparaiso University, which was known then as Northern Indiana Normal School, and Columbia College of Music.  Both schools sent me her class listings that are wonderful to have, but I struck out getting a yearbook photo from either school.  Her photo is on my bucket list.

In 1900 "North Town" Chicago, she was living with Carl Judson and his wife Hannah who was another of Belle's sisters.  She was teaching, possibly at her home town school in Peotone, if the commute was practical then.

In 1910 Chicago, she lived with Jacob Bentall and his wife Bertha, the youngest sister in the family. They lived on Drexel Avenue and Belle's occupation is "musician, on the road". This may be about the time she was with the Chautauqua as mentioned in her obit.  (I've been searching for some advertisements for that.)   Also living in the household was a lodger named Earl McKee, a 27-year-old Stenographer in a law office.  The Columbia College archivist sent this engagement announcement along with the class listing for Belle.  It's such an awesome surprise when someone goes the extra mile!   It was just in the last month I received this and I've sent to IRAD for a copy of her marriage record that they will hopefully have. 

Chicago Daily Tribune, Aug. 4, 1911, pg 6
As her obituary mentions (though the year of their marriage is wrong), Earl & Belle spent two years in Fort Worth, Texas then moved to Los Angeles, living on Elmwood Avenue by 1920.   Earl is the Head of household, a court reporter.  From her obituary I know that by this time he was an invalid from an illness, I wonder if it was polio.  Belle is a musician working on her own.  This is the first time she uses the name "Merlin".  Her sister Bertha and Bertha's son Carlton are living with them.

In 1930 her occupation is a teacher at a private school, maybe with students like Will Rogers, Jr. and the sons of Edgar Rice Burroughs.  I'd like to find out more about her time as "teacher of foreign consel, Bolivia and Equador" as mentioned in her obit.  By 1940, it looks like they were both retired.

Earl and Belle never had children.  Earl died in 1951 at age 67 and is buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery in Los Angeles in an unmarked grave.  He had a short death notice and a funeral notice in the Los Angeles Times.  His family included a sister, Mrs. Eltha Orr, and a brother Paul both of Los Angeles,  Robert E. McKee of El Monte, William P. McKee of Santa Rosa, Cal., and Francis W. McKee of Springfield, O.  

August 7, 1942 Belle died from a stroke in Los Angeles at the age of 71.  Her obituary doesn't mention being survived by her husband.  She was buried in her hometown of Peotone.  This is her very interesting obituary from the Peotone Vedette, August 13, 1942:
Mrs. Belle Jorgenson McKee passed away in Los Angeles on August 7, after an illness of five days.  She suffered a stroke on August second.  With her at the time of her passing was her nephew Carleton Bentall and Mrs. Bentall.
Mrs. McKee was born in Will township and at an early age came to Peotone with her family.  Her education was obtained in the Peotone Public School and Valparaiso University.  Very early in life she became a member of the Presbyterian church of Peotone, a faithful member of its Sunday school and was for many years a member of its choir.  She was the possessor of a wonderful singing voice.  She became a member of the teaching staff of the Peotone public school, successful and greatly beloved for many years.  Later with Mrs. Ella Elliot she went to Rock Springs, Wyoming where she became director of music and public speaking of the city schools.  She also taught in Menominee, Michigan.  In 1906 she was graduated from the music and public speaking department of the Columbia College of Music of Chicago.  Following this she was the leading singer and reader of a Women's quartette in Chautauqua work and travelled over the middle west.
She was married in 1915 to Mr. Earl Edward McKee.  The ceremony was performed by the late B. Fay Mills.  Following their marriage they removed to Ft. Worth, Texas where Mr. McKee was a court reporter in Circuit courts. After two years they removed to Los Angeles where they have lived ever since.  Mr. McKee filled some of the most important posts in the Los Angeles courts.  He has been an invalid since 1918.  Following Mr. McKee's illness, Mrs. McKee became a coach to numbers of prominent members of the Movie industry, among them Will Rogers Jr., and sons of Edgar Rice Burroughs.  She was a teacher of foreign consul, Bolivia and Equador, in Los Angeles.  Mrs. McKee has made a host of friends in Los Angeles and a service was held there on Sunday afternoon preceding the starting of the journey to the old home at Peotone.
Her father, mother, one brother, Andrew, and one sister, Mrs. C. A. Judson, Chicago, preceded her in death.  Surviving relatives are Mrs. Wm. Roscoe of Nebraska, Mr. P. C. Jorgenson, Ledyard, Iowa, Mrs. Bertha Bentall of Chicago, and Mr. W. R. Jorgenson, of Peotone, and one cousin, Mrs. Anna Loucks, Chicago.
Brief services took place in Fredde's Chapel after the arrival of Mrs. McKee's remains at seven o'clock Wednesday evening.  Mrs. Robert Wright sang "Going Home" with Mrs. D. V. Knowlton as accompanist.  Rev. Vaubel delivered a short address.  About forty persons were present.  Among those from out of town were the following:  The pall bearers were Henry Budda, James Kruger, E. P. Cowing, Earl, Carol and Howard Judson. Carl Judson Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Carl Judson Jr., Mrs. Hobart Passell and daughter, Harriet, Earl Judson, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Judson, Mrs. Anna Loucks, Mrs. Wm. Berry and two children, Mrs. M. Bensen, Mrs. Margaret Wahls, Mrs. Katie Potter, and Miss Gertrude Schrier, all of Chicago; Mrs. Anna Schaedler, Wilmette.  Interment was made at the close of the day in Peotone cemetery.
There is no death; The leaves may fall 
 Flowers may fade and pass away - 
 The only wait through wintry hours 
 The warm sweet breath of May 
 The voice of birdlike melody 
 That we will miss and mourn 
 Now mingles with the Angels choir 
 In everlasting song."

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sunday's Obituary - Ole Jorgenson, 1908

In 2002 I emailed several different people requesting a copy of my 3rd Great Grandfather's obituary and was told none could be found in Kankakee, Joliet or even his home town of Peotone, Illinois.  So I thought I would inter-library loan the Peotone Vedette and see if I could find ANY small mention of Ole's death or funeral.  After being told the issue it would be in was missing, imagine my excitement when I found this on the front page:

Peotone Vedette, October 2, 1908, pg 1
"O. Jorgenson Called To His Reward
Ole Jorgenson, a pioneer of Eastern Will county, died Tuesday Sept. 29, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Hannah Judson, 32 Florence avenue, Chicago, after a lingering illness.
Mr. Jorgenson was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 16, 1837.  He was married to Caroline Peterson Nov. 2, 1860.  In 1867 the family left Copenhagen and came to Chicago where they lived four months before they settled in Will township on what is now the Stender farm.  At that time most of the township was unbroken prairie with few roads or bridges.
He contributed the strength and energy of his young manhood to the development of his adopted land.  As his family grew up he left the farm that his children might have educational advantages.  He became a carpenter and for many years was in the employ of the Sante Fe railroad.  Later he returned to Peotone and made his home here until November, 1907, when he went to Chicago.
Funeral services were conducted in Chicago by Rev. E. Y. Woolley, of the Moody church, assisted by Rev. J. O. Bentall.  The remains were brought to Peotone for interment this morning.  The Peotone Socialists acted as pallbearers.
The deceased leaves a widow, two sons, P. C., of Ledyard, Iowa, and Walter R., of Chicago, and four daughters, Mrs. Wm. Roscoe, Clatonia, Neb., Mrs. C. A. Judson, Miss Belle Jorgenson and Mrs. J. O. Bentall, of Chicago.  Seventeen grandchildren are living.
This, in brief, is the story of the life of a pioneer who enjoyed the friendship and esteem of a large circle of friends.  By nature Ole Jorgenson was a student.  His desire to master the English language led him to spend half the night in poring over the pages of a Danish-English bible.  Books were his friends and he spent every spare moment in reading.  Few men were more familiar with history and the events which have marked the progress of the race.  His reading and study led him to accept the tenets of socialism and to him it became practically a religion.
While of a religious nature Mr. Jorgenson refused to subscribe to what he termed "man-made creeds."  At the same time he had an abiding faith in the wisdom and justice of the Infinite.  To his family he said "The Great Cause which brought me into life takes me in peace."
The sympathy of many Peotone friends goes out to the bereaved wife and children."

Monday, April 7, 2014

Newspaper Clippings - Stark County, Illinois 1870

I was hoping to find a marriage announcement in October of 1868 in Stark County, Illinois which just might prove two Simmons women to be sisters (see Rachel Simmons vs Rachel McGrath: The Jury is Still Deliberating).  So I inter-library loaned a reel of microfilm of the Stark County News which covered from 1864 to 1871.   Unfortunately there were lapses of time on the reel and the entire year of 1868 was missing.  It was a good newspaper for local news items, not so much for obituaries.  Here's a sample.

Stark County News, Friday, Dec. 23, 1870

The Teachers Library Association of Stark County are requested to meet at B. G. Hall's office, Saturday, Jan. 7th, 1871.  The meeting called for last Saturday postponed itself to a later date.  The President, Wm Nowlan, urges a full attendance of members, and all others interested. 

Also a meeting of the (Stark County Agricultural) Society on Saturday Jan. 14th, at the Court House at 10 o'clock A. M.  A full attendance is requested.  J. D. Rhodes, Pres.

Those who have no cow in the family can obtain an excellent extract thereof, at the new cash grocery store of Major Merriman, in the Willitt building.  It is a pure article of condensed milk, and may be used for all purposes that milk was formerly used for - except feeding to the pigs, etc. 

Mr. Murman has sold his entire stock of groceries to Major Merriman.  

Illinois Patents
Full list of patents for this State issued from U. S. Patent Office, for the week ending 

Dec. 13th, 1870 reported for the News by E. Thurlow, Patent Agent, Peoria:

Geo. A Cara, Piper City, tool chest
P Farhnev, Chicago, medical compound and apparatus for mixing
B Giroux, Chicago, attaching boot and shoe heels
J C Jenson, Chicago, tucker for sewing machines
Fannie Wetmore, Chicago, pattern for cutting garments
G A Wilcox, Chicago, weighing wagon
Wm Hartley, Rockford, piston rod packing
G & C Meader, Prairie Center, field corn picker and husker
H C Sieverling, Carrolton, Plow clevis attachment
A J Blakeslee & G C Williams, DuQuon, Steam jet pump
Eugene P Corwin, Washington, buckle
F Fisher, Quincy, cut off for cisterns
Jas M Harper, El Paso, harrow
T E Hammond, Morris, hay elevator and conveyor
J M Hunter, Pennington Point, farmers ?
John Jack, Tiskilwa, vehicle
I Packard & J W Slaight, Lena, coal grate
Wm Walker, Odin, mechanical movement

Messrs Frill & Deaver, of the Toulan Woolen Mills, announce that they desire to close out their large stock of goods, and will sell at reduced rates.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Google Maps - Take Me Home Country Roads!!

Several bloggers have shown pictures from Google Maps Street View of houses they used to live in or the location of where their ancestors once lived.  I'm sure that's fun for all you city slickers, but I lived in the country.  Google Maps Street View will not go down a country road!  There wouldn't be any of my old houses to see.  I lived in 3 different houses growing up, but not a one of them is standing today.  But I'd still like to do a drive-by!

My Maternal Grandparents farmed 2 miles down this roadbut you can't get there from here -- on Google.  It does actually go down this road 2 or 3 clicks here but then stops. This is going west and if you turn around here and try to go east down the road, which goes to the town of Stockham, it won't go at all.  It will go north or south down Highway 14, but it won't turn onto any country road. 

Most all of my Grandparents, Great-Grandparents and even Great-Great Grandparents lived in rural areas in Nebraska.  I don't get to cruise around on Google Maps and see where they once lived.  Google must be afraid of getting a little mud on the camera lens.

Feeling left out.  Ya'll have fun driving around on your computers, I've got to go get gas.