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.  

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Not Susannah, But Maybe Ruth?

Possibly Ruth Smith-Simmons-Webb
In the past I have written two posts about this photo and that my Grandma thought it was a picture of her Great Grandmother Susannah Case Lee. I have edited those posts - Sarah Mariah Matilda Lee and A Little About Charles Lee and Susannah to note that I don't agree with that anymore, I will explain why.

I have had a professional archivist look at the actual photograph and know now that it IS a "Tin Type". The Tin type process was first started in France in 1853, and was patented in the US in 1856. It's not likely that this is a picture of a woman who died in 1851. Grandma's idea was a good one, but she just didn't know.  

Now I'm looking at other possibilities of who this woman could be. Grandma found the picture in her parents, Art & Sadie McGrath's, house so we feel sure this woman would be someone in the family. Grandma thought she was Sadie's maternal Grandmother, Susannah. I have a photo of Sadie's paternal Grandmother and know that it's not her.  But what if she's one of Art's Grandmothers? 

I'm estimating the date of this photo to be around 1860, give or take a few years. The dress style is similar to what I find from the Civil War time period. I think the woman in the photo looks like she may be in her 30's or 40's.  

Ruth Smith was born about 1820 to Jonathan & Rachel Smith in either Maine or Pennsylvania.  She first married Lebius Simmons about 1840. Their oldest daughter, Rachel, is Art McGrath's mother. Four other children were born to Lebius and Ruth - Mary Rosilla, Louisa, William and Ruth Maria. They all lived in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. Lebius died sometime between 1852 and 1854. 

In Ritchie County, Virginia on July 1, 1854 Ruth married Cyrus Webb. Cyrus and Ruth had four more children - Milbourn, Jesse, Sarah and Franklin. I have just learned that Ruth died just 10 days after Franklin's birth at about age 43 in 1863.  So could this photo be of Ruth, taken sometime between 1856 and 1863?

When Ruth Webb died, she had six children under 18. Her husband Cyrus died within a few months.  Her two oldest daughters, Rachel and Mary Rosilla were both married, but Mary Rosilla died within a couple of years.  Rachel is likely the one who first had the photo.

Art was the youngest and last child at home, living with his parents in Cozad, Nebraska when Rachel died in 1896. By 1900, Art had moved to Clay County near his oldest sister. He may have taken this photo (and more that I'm working on) with him when he left home.

Just so I cover all the bases, Art's paternal Grandmother, R. (McCarty) McGrath, would have been at least 49 years old in 1860. (I say "R" because that's all I know, but I'm betting it stands for Rebecca.)  She lived in Ireland and as far as I know, she never came to the US. Does this woman look Irish?

All thoughts are welcome and I apologize for creating any confusion. I was clear in my earlier posts that I wasn't sure who the woman in the photo was and I still can't be sure.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

"Shot Through the Knee"

My Great Grandpa Arthur McGrath was involved in a little excitement in his younger days (he was almost 20 years old). This happened May 23rd, only three weeks before his mother passed away on June 14th in 1896. 

Cozad Tribune, Friday, May 29, 1896, pg 1 

On last Saturday evening Leonard Whaley while on his way to Harry Burnett's farm 6 miles east of town where he was employed, accidentally shot himself through the knee joint of the left leg.
He and Arthur McGrath had come to town in the evening after supper, and Burnett had told Leonard to shoot a dog which had been breaking up setting hens, and while going home, thinking that would be a good time to kill the dog, he drew a .38 self-cocking revolver from his pocket and shot at the dog.  The noise of the gun frightened the team and they started up so suddenly as to cause the spring seat to tip over backwards and Leonard, with the revolver in his hand and his body in the reclining position caused by the upturned seat, grabbed for a tighter hold on the lines, the grasp causing the revolver to be discharged the ball entering the inside of his leg above the knee and passing through the thigh bone and knee joint lodging in the top of the shin bone.
McGrath, returned to town and summoned Dr. Fochtman, upon whose advice Burnett brought Whaley to the Commercial hotel.  Dr. Rosenberg, of Lexington, was sent for and arrived Sunday afternoon; Dr. Smith, of Gothenburg, was also wired and the ball removed, also some small pieces of fractured bone.
It was decided not to amputate the leg.  The accident is a very serious one and under the most favorable circumstances will at least result in a stiff knee joint.
Leonard is resting very well and the prospects are that he will recover as speedily as could be expected.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Newspaper Clippings - Canton, Illinois, 1852

In my last post I mentioned that I searched the Canton (Illinois) Weekly Registers on microfilm and found nothing for my own research. I didn't have time to grab everything with genealogical reference, but I randomly saved a few mentions of deaths and/or marriages. Someone might as well get some good out of the time I spent on this. So I've transcribed what I could of these clippings. You can see they were sometimes very difficult to read. Long obituaries were a rare occurrence. Most "columns" of deaths or marriages were the shorter type, like below.

January 23, 1852

MARRIED - On Thursday the 15th inst. by Rev. JOHN LUCCOCK, Mr. JESSE COLLINS to Mrs. JANE R. WALTERS, all of this county.

DIED - In Farmington, Fulton County, Ills., on Wednesday evening, January 14th, EDWARD S. BERSON, aged 26 years.The deceased was a native of Frederick County Virginia, but emigrated to Ohio in 1831 and in May 1850 removed to Illinois.
It is a melancholy office for one who has known him long, and loved him well, to recount the virtues and worth of one who has passed away from us forever; but the promptings of a friendship tried and true, and of a sorrow most heartfelt, suggests something more than the bare announcement of his death. Beloved by all who knew him, he was especially endeared to those who, in the social circle, had the most frequent opportunities of knowing his noble heart, and appreciating his generous character. In all the relations of life, as a husband, a father, and a friend - he ever carries those same amiable qualities, which, while they gave a brilliancy and a charm to his company, seemed(?) to fix, most firmly in the recollection of all, an appreciation of his own inherent goodness. Seldom are we called to mourn the departure of one whose loss is so keenly and deeply felt by all.

* * *

July 10, 1852

DIED, on the 1st instant, at his residence, two miles northeast of Canton, Mr. TIMOTHY NORRIS, aged 19 years.
Again are we called upon to mourn the loss of another good citizen. As a husband and father, he was kind and affectionate in the highest degree. As a citizen, his uprightness, his sterling honesty, and his unflinching integrity, were proverbial with all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance; his modest and unassuming manners won the esteem and respect of an extensive circle of acquaintances. But few men in our community ever enjoyed such a degree of confidence and respect as sis Mr. NORRIS when living, and but few men have been taken from among us whose deaths were as sincerely regretted as his. Truly, indeed, may it be said, that he died without a single enemy, with a character pure, spotless and unblemished.

* * *

September 18, 1852
"The silken tie, that binds two willing hearts"
MARRIED, on the 9th inst. by the Rev. E. Schwartz, Mr. CHARLES PANNESTOCK, to Miss MELIANA KERR, both of Lancaster, Peoria county.
DIED, on Thursday, the 9tn inst., of cholera [?] Mrs. MARGARET BASS, wife of  Mr. Jason M. Bass, of this place, aged sixty five years.
Mrs. Bass was born in Bergen county, New Jersey; spent the early part of her life in the city of New York, and the last fifteen years in this place. With her husband and daughter she had spent the past season, with much satisfaction, visiting their friends at the East. Returning, and when near home, on board a steamer on the Illinois river, she was taken ill, and in a few hours expired. Her remains were put in a metallic coffin and brought to this place for interment. These peculiar circumstances of her death have greatly deepened the grief in the hearts of her stricken husband, family and friends. Her sun went not down at noon; her journey was not short; her life was not in vain. She professed faith in Jesus Christ while residing in New York, and adorned that profession by the exhibition of some of the most lovely graces. Active, faithful and affectionate as a wife and a mother, with a cheerful countenance and prudent hand, she moved in her sphere with gentleness and power. Kind to all, meek and ever ready to overlook the frailties of others, she endeared herself to a large circle of acquaintances, who deeply sympathize with the bereaved family. As her life was peaceful, so was her death. And though called so unexpectedly, she left her counsel and prayer of kindness and peace, and with raised hands whispered, "Happy, happy," as her spirit sunk to rest. This brightness of hope dispels the gloom from her grave, and like the oil of joy, soothes the sorrows of her mourning friends.

* * *

October 2, 1852
DIED, on the 20th September last, in Canton township, Mr. JOHN A. LANE, in the sixty-first year of his age.  Mr. Lane was sick but nine days. He died of dysentery. In his death the family and neighborhood have sustained a great loss.

* * *

October 9, 1852

"The silken tie, that binds two willing hearts."
MARRIED, on Tuesday, 2d inst., by Rev. B. C. Swarts, Mr. JONATHAN M. DURHAM, and Miss MARY ANN BROWN, both of Fulton county.
Cake received.

MARRIED, on the 26th, ult., at Fairfield, Iowa, by the Rev. D. N. Smith, W. Y. HEAD, of the "Democratic State Journal" office, Sacramento City, California, and Miss PHERUBA PATRICK, formerly of Ross county, Ohio.

MARRIED, on the 4th inst., at the residence of E. S. Head, two miles South of Canton, by the Rev. B. C. Swarts, Dr. SAMUEL S. GUTHER and Miss SOPHRONIA HEAD, all of this county.

* * *

November 6, 1852

"The silken tie, that binds two willing hearts."
MARRIED, on Sunday(?) 7th inst., (?) township, by Rev. Mr. Maple, Mr. HESATONY(?) J. WHITMORE and Miss ANN AMELIA (?) SEYDAN, both of this county.
A long and happy life to the youthful pair.

MARRIED, in Canton, on the 10th inst., by Rev. S. G. Miner, Mr. HAYDEN KEELING and Miss CATHERINE SNELL.
At the same time, by the same Mr. LEWIS KEELING and Miss ELIZABETH A. WHITE, all of this place.
Cake received, and all right.

MARRIED, on the 24th October, by Rev. Wm McCandlish, Mr. JOSIAH SCHENCK, to Miss SOPHIA ROBERTSON, all of Fairview.

MARRIED, on the 28th October, by the same, Mr. GEORGE ADAMS, to Miss CAROLINE RUBLE, all of Farmington.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Newspaper Clippings - List of Letters

For anyone who may be interested, the Canton (Illinois) Weekly Register in the mid 1800’s was not a “newsy” newspaper as far as genealogy is concerned. There isn’t much social news. I did an inter-library loan from the Abraham Lincoln Library in Springfield and for $5.00 I received 3 rolls of microfilm, all of the Canton Weekly Register from 1850 through about 1872.  I did my best to look at all of it, but so much of the ink was so faded the pages could hardly be read at all. 

I was hoping to find a mention of the marriage of John McGrath and Rachel Jane Simmons, telling where they went to get hitched.  I was also hoping to find mentions of the deaths of Ruth Webb, her daughter Mary Rosilla Davee, and possibly Rosilla Mills or Lebius Simmons.  ANY mention of any of those people or their families would have been great to find.  What did I get?

One name in a List of Letters.

From the Canton Weekly Register, December 21, 1863 (as near as I can decipher):

REMAINING in the Post Office at Canton, Ill., on 21st of December, 1863, which, if not called for by the 28th of December, 1863, will be sent to the Dead Letter Office:
Alletal, Isaac                                         Ferrer, E A Mrs
Akin, E M Hutton, Henderson
Burton, A Kent, Geo N
Black, Anson                                        Krifflas, J F
Bailey, B B                                           Kline, J
Copple, David                                      Laurt, Saline Miss
Copple, Syntha Laman, Seman
Clawson, J A                                        Murphy, Wm H
Campbell, N                                         Myres, Mary Miss
Case, Ambrose Mallait, Ralitino
Connelly, Geo                                      Oakley, Daniel
Cantlon, Mary Miss Powell, Jos
Chaffin, Wm                                        Rowe, Ferrington
Dempsey, James Simlet, Alex R
Davee, James 2                   Shaworose, Edward A
Dwell, Wm Smith, Evaline Miss
Davee, Mary R Mrs Schmitt, Anna
Estell, Andrew B Webster, James
Eichelberger, Harry Weaver, Thomas L
Fage, Dwight                                      Wind, Margaret Miss
Francis, T H                                         J P C 2
Persons calling for the above letters, will please say they are advertised.  C. BIDAMON, P. M.

It was nearly Christmas - were they all Christmas cards? Sure wish I knew who the mail was from.  I need to find a death date for Mary R Davee, and this would have helped if it was from a paper after November of 1864, when I know that Mary had a son. But this does tell me that they still lived in Canton in 1863. James, her husband who also has a letter to pick up, remarried in July of 1865 in Jasper county. So I wasn't sure where they had lived, this tells me that they were in Canton not Jasper county, at least in 1863. Mary Rosilla Davee possibly died and is buried there in Canton.

After spending as much time at the library as I could in the three weeks the films were there, this list of letters doesn't do much for me. Maybe it will be of more use to someone else. 

My Relationship to:

Ruth Smith Simmons Webb: Third Great Grandmother
    The lineage:
  1. My Third Great Great Grandparents Ruth Smith & Lebius Simmons
  2. My Great Great Grandmother Rachel Jane Simmons, her sister is Mary Rosilla Simmons
  3. My Great Grandpa Arthur McGrath
  4. My Grandma
  5. My Mom
  6. Me

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Prequel: Henry & Mary Menke's Family

Mary, first wife of my Second Great Grandfather Henry Menke (1832-1915), was born in Germany about 1835, and died at about 30 years old. They lived in Scioto County, Ohio. Her last name is either Niemeyer or Neuhaus, I've seen it both ways and more. Had she not died so young, I would not be here. Henry's second wife Eliza is my Second Great Grandmother.

In a biography published about Henry in "The History of Gage County, Nebraska" by Hugh J. Dobbs, it says he "wedded Miss Mary Niemeyer of Ohio, she having been born in Germany...".  That biography was published in 1918, over 50 years after her death.  In Henry's obituary which was in 1915, she is called "Maria Neuhaus" and it says they had five children. I only know of four.

In an article from the Portsmouth (Ohio) Daily Times also written in 1915, about Henry and Mary's son John Frederick (1859-1938), it says "He was born in Hanover, Germany, the son of Henry Menke, a farmer, who is still living in Gales [should be Gage] county, Nebraska, at the ripe old age of 82 years.  His mother, Mrs. Emma Niehaus-Menke, died when he was seven years old.  He was only 3 months old when his parents started for this country and six months old when they landed in Baltimore, having been on the ocean for 11 weeks and 3 days."  According to this, they should appear in immigration records in 1859, but I can't find them. John Frederick's obituary in 1938 refers to his mother as Mary Niehaus.

Mary died six years later in 1866, most likely in Scioto County. I've read that there was a cholera epidemic there about this time.  It's also possible that she died giving birth to the fifth child I'm missing, and the child died also. I've never been able to find an obituary or burial place for this Mary Menke (there are others). 

Daughter Emma (1857-1929) the oldest child of Henry & Mary, was about 10 years old when her mother died.  She was born in 1857 and given the name Mary Ellen, but always went by Emma. In the 1870 census at age 13, she is not living with Henry, his second wife Eliza and the rest of the family. Several years ago I corresponded with a descendant of Johann Friedrick Menke (1817-1879) & Anna Maria Klara Richter (1816-1891), who she said had "adopted Maria Emma Menke born April 23, 1857 in Hanover.  She was a daughter of a Wilhelm and a sister to Fred Menke, the grocer.  Emma married January 17, 1875 to William Warner."  Whether or not the adoption was actually an official one or not, I don't know. Johann Friedrick is too young to be Henry's father, but possibly could be a brother. This marriage certificate for Emma and William Warner is dated January 17, 1875, and it has Henry Menke as her father.  

from Ohio County Marriages at Family Search

Emma and William had nine children: Essie, Ella, Jesse, Carl, Pearl, Jacob, John Fredrick, Mayme and William. They later divorced.  Emma died in June, 1929 several months after suffering burns when her clothes caught fire from a gas stove.  She was 73 and is buried in Long Run Cemetery, along with John Friedrick & Anna Maria Klara Menke.

Henry & Mary's son John Frederick was a grocer in Portsmouth, Ohio for over 33 years. From an article in the Portsmouth Daily Times (June 6, 1915) about his successful grocery business:  "Mr. Menke prides himself upon one thing, and that is that he never sold on Sundays during his 33 years in business, with one single exception and that was the one Sunday during the 1913 flood.  He recalls with much pleasure that one day he refused one of his best customers a can of peaches which she wanted to buy on Sunday after unexpectedly receiving company.  He expected her to quit, but a few days later, to his great surprise, she called around and assured him that she thought more of him than ever.  This all goes to bear out the fact that a "grocer does not have to sell on Sundays," says Mr. Menke." 
from the Portsmouth Daily Times, September 21, 1915

But first he was a school teacher in Gage County, Nebraska in 1880. Apparently he soon went back to Ohio. In 1881, he married Anna Strehle and they had seven children: Emma, Ruth, Katie, Clara Nellie, Floyd H, Carl F, and Howard Emmanuel. I don't know if these children ever saw their Grandfather Henry since he lived in Nebraska, but J F did get to his father's funeral in Clatonia.

Henry & Mary's son Henry Jr (1862-1912) became a Presbyterian Pastor. He died in Michigan in 1912. I've written about Henry Jr before, which you can read here. I didn't include this obituary last time.
Click to enlarge

"Rev. Henry Menke
The sad intelligence has been received in this city of the death of Rev. Henry Menke, a brother of Grocer J. F. Menke.  Death overtook the former Scioto countian at a hotel at Cassopolis, Mich., according to a message received by the Menke family, but failed to give the immediate cause of his death.
Mr. Menke visited his brother in this city during the month of August.  Being an ordained minister of the Presbyterian church, while in attendance at the United Brethren church in this city, he delivered several interesting talks.
The deceased was 51 years of age and unmarried.  Besides his brother, J. F. Menke, the local grocer, he is survived by an aged father, located at Friend, Nebr.  Mr. Menke left immediately for Cassopolis, to take charge of the remains and to convey them to the former home of the deceased at Friend, Nebr. 
Rev. Menke a number of years ago, was located in Scioto county and Lawrence county.  During the later months of his life he suffered with stomach trouble.  Only recently he underwent an operation for appendicitis.  It is thought that the death was the outcome of the operation."  Portsmouth Daily Times, Wed., Sept. 4, 1912

Henry & Mary's daughter Mary Elizabeth (1864-1924) went by "Lizzie". Born in Ohio, she was married to John Scheidt in Saline County, Nebraska, on January 1, 1885. Her mother Mary's maiden name is "unknown" on this license (top portion not shown). Lizzie & John Scheidt had six children: Emma, Carrie, Ellen A, John, George and Eddie. Lizzie & John are laid to rest in the Andrew Cemetery in Friend, Nebraska.

Saline County, Nebraska Marriage record

My Relationship to:

Henry Menke: Second Great Grandfather
    The lineage:
  1. My Great Grandfather Charles Albert Menke
  2. My Grandpa
  3. My Dad
  4. Me