Lost and Found

I was in Mooreland, Oklahoma for several weekends in September and October. I was able to find a couple of newspaper articles, some citizenship documents, the grave site, and the probate file of my great-great grandfather, Nicholas REITER. The most exciting thing I found though, was the location of the piece of land he homesteaded and the general area where my great-grandfather homesteaded land in the Cherokee Strip. Regarding the Cherokee Strip Land Run of 1893, Willie T. COOLEY had this to say, "Boy, it was the darndest race I ever saw! Some men rode their horses to death. We passed several dead horses. I rode a spirited Spanish horse." (http://wt-cooley.net/WT.htm) You can read more about Mr. COOLEY below.

My original goal was to tell you the information I found in the probate packet and then give you a brief background on each person other than Nicholas who was mentioned in the paperwork. I had no idea so many people participated in probating an estate!! Nor did I expect so many of them to have such interesting histories. The post has become quite long so I'm going to break it into two parts. Each part will begin with information about family members who are mentioned in the probate file and then end with short biographies of other people mentioned in the file. Before we start though, here are a few photos of Nicholas' homestead claim land:

Standing at the southeast corner of Nicholas REITER's homestead, looking out over his land.

Me standing at the southwest corner of Nicholas REITER's land. I'm not sure why this picture came out sideways and I can't seem to rotate it. Sorry!

Looking out over the section of land where William RITER made his homestead claim.


The probate file for the estate of Nicholas REITER starts with a listing of Nicholas' heirs, their ages, and their addresses at the time of the court case:

* John W. RITER, 50 years the 28 of January 1905, post office Florilla, MO (Florilla, Missouri is in Douglas County near Cabool, East of Springfield.)

* Mrs. Rachel AKIN, 48 years the 14 of January 1905, post office Perry, ILL (Perry, Illinois is where the REITER family originated and is where Nicholas' wife was most likely buried.)

* Mrs. Jennie H. FULLER, 46 years Feb 20th 1905, post office Mooreland, O.T. (Oklahoma Territory)

* William S. RITER, 40 years November 16 1904, post office Mooreland, O.T.

The Petition for Letters of Administration dated 17 November 1904 does not give an exact death date for Nicholas- only that he died in 1904. His obituary published in The Mooreland Leader states he died on the night of Wednesday, 26 October 1904. His gravestone says he died on October 27th. The funeral was held on October 27th according to The Mooreland Leader and he was buried at Mooreland Cemetery. He shares a stone with Chester FULLER. Nicholas' daughter, Jennie, was married to Chester's son, James, and both men (Nicholas and Chester) died within 5 months of each other. One of my questions- which may never be answered- is why did they bury him so soon? Any family that lived far away had no opportunity to pay their last respects- especially his son John who had just moved to Missouri a few months prior and his daughter Rachel who had remained in Illinois when the rest of the family moved away. Jennie and her husband had just lost her husband's father- Chester FULLER. I suppose you could argue that grief causes you to to make decisions you wouldn't otherwise make. Whatever the reason, Nicholas was buried right away and he shares a headstone with Chester FULLER.

Nicholas REITER's side of the headstone.

Chester FULLER's side of the headstone.

The initial paperwork in the probate file did not list a final residence more specific than just Woodward County, Oklahoma Territory. There was a handwritten note in the receipt envelope dated 11 January 1905 showing that John J. HOOVER (who was appointed administrator of the estate and was also a next-door neighbor to Nicholas in 1900) wrote a note to Judge WHITE indicating that he believed Nicholas REITER's estate “[would] not amount to very much in case the Government does not accept the final proof on his claim.” Mr. HOOVER goes on to say, “[Nicholas Reiter] signed the claim over to Peter Martinson who also holds mortgage on other property. I thought perhaps you would not appoint appraisers until we get the Governments decision about the claim.” In trying to figure out where he might have lived in Woodward County, I looked at his 1900 census entry which said part of “Webster [Township] west of Rangeline between Ranges 18 & 19”. It showed that he and his son, William (my great-grandfather), were living with Nicholas' daughter and son-in-law, Jennie and James FULLER. Initially, I didn't have any information to indicate he was not living with James and Jennie when he passed away. There was another document in the probate file that said the auction of Nicholas' personal property would happen at James FULLER's residence two and one half miles west of Mooreland. After reviewing the file more thoroughly I found a legal description of property Nicholas owned, specifically: s e 1-4 sec 32 & 23 n r 19 w. My husband and I consulted several maps and we found the location of the property. Although the property is leased and we couldn't go onto it, we were able to drive on the section line road around two sides of the property and we were able to look out over the section where William RITER owned his homestead property even though we didn't know exactly where his property was within the section. (Nicholas REITER's Homestead Claim in the Cherokee Strip; my great-grandfather William RITER's claim in the adjoining section to the south of Nicholas; James F. FULLER (Nicholas' son-in-law) owned property in the same section as Nicholas.

The probate paperwork lists his property at the time of death as “a small amount of Kaffir corn and hay” that “probably” does not exceed $150 in value. By the time the estate was through being probated his inventory read:

In the end, Nicholas' estate brought in well over the $150 originally estimated by Mr. HOOVER. (Again, I apologize for the sideways picture. It wasn't saved that way and I'm not sure why it won't rotate.)

The probate file did not show that there were any problems in the process of probating the estate. It took just over a year to probate and make final settlement. Below I will give a little detail about the people whose names appear in the probate file.


John Jacob HOOVER was appointed administrator of the estate. In 1900 he was living next door to Nicholas RITER. At that time Mr. HOOVER was living with his brother, Howard. Both of the HOOVER brothers were single in 1900 and both were born in Virginia. Mr. HOOVER's homestead claim was in the same section as Nicholas RITER's. (Henry GARNER also had a homestead claim in that section but he was not mentioned in the probate file.) Although Mr. HOOVER did not seem to show up in the newspaper a lot nor did I find any stories on the internet about his life on the internet, he did seem to be on very good terms with his neighbors. He shows up often on legal papers including homestead claim proofs, probate cases, etc. He was a witness for Mr. BORCHARDT (see below) when Mr. BORCHARDT filed his final proof for his homestead claim. He seems to have been a very good and trusted neighbor. If you've ever lived in the country, you know the value of a good and trusted neighbor. They're worth gold! I have found nothing to indicate why Mr. HOOVER was chosen to administer the estate.

In regard to Peter MARTINSON who wrote the note in the probate file, he immigrated to the United States from Sweden. He lived with his wife and children in Judkins, Woodward County, Oklahoma Territory in 1900 and was a merchant/grocer. His homestead claim was about 13 miles to the south of Nicholas' claim. Other than this property transfer mentioned in the probate file, I don't know of any other connection between Nicholas and Peter. The museum in Woodward has the sign from outside the MARTINSON grocery displayed. You can see it here:

I think this is the Martinson sign while it was still on the store. Photo from the book Woodward County, by Ian D. Swart.

Peter came to America with 25 cents to his name. You can read a short summary of his achievements in America here and also see the building he built that housed his grocery store. Incidentally, Peter's daughter Hanna married a man named Walter Arthur "Art" FULLER. I don't know if Walter was related to Chester (meaning he would be related to Jennie (RITER) FULLER by marriage). You can read a couple of paragraphs about Walter and Hanna here (Scroll to the bottom of the page. The article is continued on the next page as well.). Walter, who was called Art, played baseball for a local team. Here he is with his team in uniform:

From the book Woodward County, by Ian D. Swart.

In 1921, Peter MARTINSON and his daughter, Esther, applied for passports to go see Mr. MARTINSON's 90-year-old mother in Sweden (Esther's grandmother). Their plan was to depart fom the port in New York, USA, pass through England and end up in Sweden. Apparently his father, Hans, came to America and died here. I'm not sure why his mother did not also come. In 1921, Mr. MARTINSON was 60 years old. On his passport application he was described as 5'9, with a regular forehead, straight nose, blue eyes, gray hair, small/regular mouth, round/regular chin, round/full face, ruddy/light complexion, and he had a crippled and crooked index finger on his left hand. Here is Mr. MARTINSON's passport photo:

Peter MARTINSON held a deed to some of Nicholas' land when Nicholas died. Peter paid the estate the remainder of what he owed before the estate was settled.

Probate Judge Joseph Andrew PATTON acted as the probate judge at the initial filing of the case. Although he was the judge when Nicholas' probate case started, he was quickly replaced by a different judge due to an election. He was a lawyer in Woodward, Oklahoma. He was born in Kentucky. He was a Captain during the Civil War. He was a post-battle hospital worker after the Battle of Perryville and he fought in the battle of Chickamauga where he was wounded.

Probate Judge Charles W. WHITE presided over the case after Judge PATTON. He was born in Wisconsin. He was a lawyer in Woodward, Oklahoma. In the fall of 1904 he ran on the Republican ticket along with W. T. COOLEY running for Sheriff (R), and C. C. HOAG running for County Clerk (R). Apparently the Republicans won big or this was a largely Republican area since all three of these men were voted into office. Mr. PATTON did not run for office in the fall of 1904 (or if he did he was not advertised as a contender in the August or September 1904 editions of the paper).

As mentioned above, Willie T. COOLEY ran for sheriff of Woodward County in the fall of 1904. He ran on the Republican ticket and won. He is listed on some of Nicholas' estate documents as the Woodward County Sheriff. Mr. COOLEY was born in Kansas. He tells his own story at http://wt-cooley.net/WT.htm. He has connections to a couple of different FULLER lines as well as a PAGE line (my husband's family). I have not been able to make any direct connections to mine or my husband's family yet but his story is worth reading. It seems he was in his mid-90's when he told the story and it was written down. An article in The Curtis Courier (Curtis, Oklahoma) described him as “honorable and upright in every respect” and claimed he would “make a vigorous and level headed guardian of the law.” In 1900 Mr. COOLEY still lived in Garfield, Oklahoma. He lived with his wife and children. In 1900 his little boy Earl was one year old. According to the website where Mr. COOLEY's life story is, Earl died just before his second birthday. The year 1900 was heading into a period of Mr. COOLEY's life that he said was his favorite. In 1903, he was appointed Postmaster of Quinlan, Woodward County, Oklahoma. I loved his description of the Cherokee Strip run of 1893. If Nicholas and William RITER did indeed participate in the run, Mr. COOLEY's description is helpful in understanding what it was like.

Mr. COOLEY as Sheriff. Mr. COOLEY is the adult male without a hat.

Mr. COOLEY with his wife, Clara (TOMLINSON) COOLEY.

As mentioned above, Charles C. HOAG ran for County Clerk of Woodward County in 1904. He already held the position from the 1903 election. I am assuming he won since his signature appears as the probate court clerk and notary on a document in the estate file. In 1900, Mr. HOAG was still single and living with his parents. One of his siblings was also living there. They were living in Kremlin, Garfield County, Oklahoma. In 1909 President TAFT sent a nomination to the Senate for Mr. HOAG to be the new receiver at the Woodward Land Office. Mr. HOAG was described as “an able man, loyal to his party, and will undoubtedly give universal satisfaction as receiver.” Mr. HOAG was born in Kansas.

From Newspapers.com

William H. KINGTON (sometimes written as 'KINGSTON' in the probate file) was an appraiser of Nicholas' estate. His homestead claim was in the same section as William RITER's- the section south of Nicholas'. Mr. KINGTON was born in Illinois. In 1900 he lived two residences away from Nicholas and William RITER. In 1900 Mr. KINGTON was 52 years old, single, and living with his elderly parents and siblings. I could not find any evidence that he ever married or had children. I was unable to find much information about him at all.

Adolph F. (“A. F.”) BORCHARDT was one of the people giving surety (presumably for John HOOVER so he could administrate the estate?). Mr. BORCHARDT's homestead claim was in the section between William RITER's and Chester FULLER's claims and was to the east of William RITER's claim. (Chester's relationship to Nicholas is described above; Chester FULLER's Homestead Claim. Chester's land was separated from William RITER's by one section. Chester's land was to the east of William's.) Mr. BORCHARDT was born in Wisconsin. Although I couldn't find Mr. BORCHARDT in the 1900 census, his future wife (Daisy COVINGTON, whom he would marry in November of 1900) lived four residences down from Nicholas that year.

Above is Mr. BORCHARDT.

John Franklin (“Frank”) CALDWELL was the second person giving surety. Mr. CALDWELL owned property in the section between William RITER's and Chester FULLER's properties. In 1900 he lived 8 residences away from Nicholas. He was born in Iowa and had a large family. Mr. CALDWELL “cut and hauled cedars to Kansas. In his later years he was a night watchman for Mooreland. Being a father of twelve children he did not believe in sparing the rod.” You can find photos of his family and his homestead along with a little more information here.

John T. DAVIS Sr. was the Justice of the Peace in Woodward County. He ran on the Democratic ticket in the fall of 1904 for Justice of the Peace for the Mooreland Precinct. He signed and notarized some of the probate documents. John T. DAVIS Sr. (as well as Charles H. DAVIS- possibly a son of John T.) owned property kitty-corner to the northeast of Nicholas. A Charles DAVIS owed Nicholas $2 when Nicholas died and Charles DAVIS paid the estate prior to the closing of the case. Mr. DAVIS (possibly the father of Mack DAVIS who was also a close neighbor of Nicholas in 1900) certified that the witnesses were who they said they were. Mack DAVIS signed as a witness on estate paperwork. John T. DAVIS Sr. was born in Illinois. In 1900 there were two residences in between the Davis residence and Nicholas' residence. He was a trustee of the First Methodist Church in Mooreland when it received it's charter in 1905. If the Charles DAVIS and Mack DAVIS on the estate papers are really John DAVIS' sons, Charles (“Charlie”) was born in Missouri and Mack was born in Kansas.

Article about a fight Mr. DAVIS was in in 1903.

John T. DAVIS Sr. as a young man.

John T. DAVIS Sr. and his wife. (The photo's original caption says this is "Emma" - Sarah "Emma" GUESS- but the photo is him as an old man which would indicate the wife in the photo is his second wife, Eliza M. JENKINS.)

Harry Scott (“H. S.”) COCKERILL was Nicholas' physician prior to Nicholas' death. Mr. COCKERILL was born in Iowa. Like John T. DAVIS Sr., Dr. COCKERILL owned property kitty-corner to the northeast of Nicholas. Dr. COCKERILL took some hay in lieu of money to cover some of Nicholas' final doctor bill and then requested the remaining $12.40 in cash (the original bill was $25.85). Highway 412 now separates the original COCKERILL and RITER homesteads.) In 1900 he was living in and practicing medicine in Iowa but within several years he had a practice and a homestead claim in Mooreland, Woodward County, Oklahoma.

An ad that ran in the paper for Dr. Cockerill's services:

James Everett SMITH was born in Indiana. He graduated from Purdue University and was a teacher of mathematics at Northwestern Normal School. He was a member of the Masonic lodge and an active member of the Commercial Club. He moved to Alva in 1898. In 1903 he left the school, moved to Woodward and became the editor/publisher/part-owner of the Woodward Bulletin Weekly. He was a member of the Methodist church. He published notices for the estate of Nicholas RITER. Mr. SMITH was involved in politics in Woodward County and was a Republican. In 1904 he ran for Republican National Delegate. In 1900 he was single, a boarder with the EMBERSON family and living in Alva, Oklahoma. You can read a little more about him at this blog. Mr. SMITH was once excused from jury duty on a murder trial. You can read about the jurors here and some history about the murder here (several different blog posts on this page). The murder happened in the “Old Opera House”. The Old Opera House was the upper story of Peter MARTINSON's grocery store. You can read about Peter MARTINSON above. You can read alumni-type articles about Mr. SMITH here. He graduated in the Class of 1893.

Omer Furman SCHNOEBELEN was publisher of The Mooreland Leader newspaper. He printed sale bills and notices for the estate of Nicholas REITER. Mr. SCHNOEBELEN was born in Iowa. In 1900 he was living in Iowa with his parents. In 1903 at age 19, Mr. SCHNOEBELEN left Iowa and moved to Mooreland, Oklahoma, where he founded The Mooreland Leader newspaper. In 1914 he was appointed to the position of Postmaster in Mooreland. Mr. SCHNOEBELEN was a Democrat. He was active in politics and in his community. He was one of the first members of the Board of Trustees for the town of Mooreland and also served on the town council. He worked as an assistant cashier at Security State Bank in Mooreland, Oklahoma. You can read more about him here (Scroll down almost all the way to the bottom.). A short biography also appears in the book, A Standard History of Oklahoma, Volume 5 found here. I suspect that Mr. SCHNOEBELEN was Catholic. Several of his siblings professed Catholicism and he had a sister who was a nun of the Order of dePaul. I don't know for certain what religion Mr. SCHNOEBELEN was – or if he professed any religious allegiance at all- but I do know he went to bat for the Catholic community in Mooreland in 1967 when a proposal was made to close down the Sacred Heart Catholic mission in Mooreland. The Catholic mission was established in Mooreland in 1904. Mr. SCHNOEBELEN stated, “When I see every trend being toward large centers or big cities, I also see every evil consequence of such congestion of population. I think it just as reasonable to require that the Woodward people come to Oklahoma City or to Tulsa as to require our people of the Mooreland Mission to go to Woodward or Alva or Enid- and some of them will not, because they deem it an imposition to take from us the thing that we have worked for and sustained all these years.” (The Road to Renewal: Victor Joseph Reed and Oklahoma Catholicism, 1905-1971by Jeremy Bonner) In all descriptions of Mr. SCHNOEBELEN that I could find he was described as being an impartial reporter and a man who cared deeply for his community. Mr. SCHNOEBELEN's newspaper that he founded is still in operation today and is owned by 3rd and 4th generation family members. (The Mooreland Leader Case Study, July 2015) If you go to this link, you will find a nice article on page 13 about the linotype machinery Mr. SCHNOEBELEN used as well as photos of his descendants with the equipment. Here is a 1903 newspaper.com clipping about Mr. SCHNOEBELEN:

Mr. SCHNOEBELEN's wife, Eda (KNITTEL) SCHNOEBELEN, notarized the estate documents he signed. Like Mr. SCHNOEBELEN, Ms. KNITTEL was born in Iowa. They both came from Riverside, Iowa. In 1900 she lived in Illinois with her widowed mother, Barbara, and her siblings. In 1900 she was 15 years old and attending school. She did not marry Mr. SCHNOEBELEN until early in 1904. Mrs. (KNITTEL) SCHNOEBELEN was a Notary Public and worked with her husband at the newspaper. She worked briefly as the assistant to the Postmaster and also worked for a time at Wyckoff Brothers' general merchandise/grocery store.

George E./H. WHITE posted notices of the sale of Nicholas REITER's property as required by law. On 13 February 1905 he posted notice of the Order for Sale of Personal Property in three public places including the front door of the Woodward County courthouse, the Mooreland Post Office, and the John Redman School House. His fee for posting was $1.00. Mr. WHITE was a next-door neighbor to Nicholas. Mr. WHITE was born in New York. In 1900 he was Nicholas' next door neighbor. There is a detailed article about the historical schools in Woodward County. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.

I'm going to end part 1 of this blog post here. Part 2 will be coming up shortly. I hope you've enjoyed getting to know the neighbors and friends of Nicholas REITER, William RITER, and Jennie RITER FULLER- many of them pioneers of Woodward County and some who participated in the Cherokee Strip Land Run of 1893.

Until next time,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

Take Me Out AT the Ball Game?!

(I would apologize for the length of this post except I'm not sorry! Yes- it's a little long, but it needed to be this length to tell the whole story.  I found it interesting.  I hope you do, too.)

Death by a Blow from a Baseball Bat
OR, How a Republican Governor from Ohio Changed My Family's History

Everybody has something to offer the world. Even...murderers, and politicians.” ~ This Book Has No Title, Jarod Kintz

If you've been reading my blog this year, you know I'm not above featuring the less-desirable moments in my ancestors' lives as well as the shining moments. I feature the ancestors you wish you had...and the ones some might want to forget. I can't change history, but I can advertise it so that some in my generation (and maybe future generations) will learn and not re-live the less-distinguished moments in our shared history. I'm going all the way back to the May blog theme I missed- “black sheep”. In the beginning I was somewhat uncomfortable writing the story about Theodore Clay LARKIN because when I looked at the surface story it appeared to be the story of one man who was a regular joe and one man who had some serious political connections and then used those connections to get out of some serious trouble. That didn't sit well with me. But things are rarely what they first seem to be, are they? Join me in revisiting the lives of two men- my 3rd great grand uncle Theodore Clay LARKIN (brother of my 3rd great grandfather, Joseph LARKIN) and his fellow baseball player, Charles SCHOCH.

Here's your last chance to get background information if you missed it or want to refresh. I wrote about Theodore's mom Mary Angeline here, his sister-in-law (Joseph's wife) Mary Elizabeth here, and his grandmother Mary M. here.

Charles SCHOCH (also spelled SCHOCK or SHOCK)

First I want to tell you the short story of Charles SCHOCH. Charles was born about 1850 in Germany. Sometime between 1850-1857 he immigrated to America with his parents and siblings. He had three sisters- Wilhelmena, Caroline, and Magdalena. Charles' dad was George SCHOCH and his mom was Stevana (Stephania after she came to America). Early in his life, Charles was a tinner by trade (worked in a tin shop). Later in life, he was considered to be one of the prominent merchants in Neville, Ohio. He was a merchant there for about 20 years prior to his death. His family appears to have been known and liked in his community. His dad was a Village Trustee a couple of times, was on the school board, and was a Noble Grand in the IOOF Vesper Lodge #131 twice. Charles had a penchant for making bets and possibly for drinking. He also enjoyed playing baseball. When Charles was 27, his father passed away. In 1880 at age 29, Charles was living with his mother and 10 year old sister - presumably taking care of them. Within the year, he married, had a daughter, and his mother died. Charles and his wife Matilda had five daughters and a son: Mamie S. “Mary” (b.1881), Blanch (b.1883), Bessie (b. 1886), Frank (b. 1887), Prudie L. (b. 1889),and Annie Mary (b. 1891). Of Charles' children, Blanch died just after her first birthday and Frank died at age 5. Three years after Frank's death, Charles also lost his wife. Three years after his wife's death, Charles was killed in a fight at a baseball field over bets he was making on the baseball game. Charles' living children that were orphaned in 1899 include Mary (Mamie), Prudie, and Annie. I don't know what happened to Bessie. I haven't been able to find Bessie in any records with extended family. Annie was only 8 years old when she was orphaned. She went to live with her maternal grandmother and uncle- Anna and Lewis LAUGH. I believe Prudie went to live with her maternal uncle and aunt- Sam and Sadie LAUGH. Prudie stayed with Lewis until after she turned 18. Mamie was 18 at the time of her father's death.

Theodore Clay LARKIN

Now I want to tell you a story about Theodore Clay LARKIN. Theodore went by Clay. Clay was born in 1844 in Ohio. He had six siblings- Augusta, Joseph, Mary, Lea, Benjamin, and Laura. Like Charles, Clay suffered some losses in his life. When Clay was 13 years old, his dad passed away. Clay's dad died at the age of 40. After the death of Clay's dad, he and his two oldest siblings were required to go to work to support the family. Augusta became a domestic servant in someone's home. Joseph and Clay went to work as common laborers. Based on census records it looks like Mary stayed home and tended to the smaller children and household duties. Their mother also went to work to support the family. When the Civil War began, Clay and his brother Joseph both enlisted and went to war.

In 1881, at 37 years old, Clay married Martha Ann CONOVER. (Martha went by Anna.) They lived in Moscow, Clermont County, Ohio.  There is a daughter named Orbie listed on Ancestry's website as being Clay's. The daughter was born in 1880- the year before Clay and Anna married. Orbie does not appear on any census record that I have found but Clay and Anna are listed as her parents on her marriage record. Together Clay and Anna had four children- Orbie (b. 1880), Edna (b. 1884), Albert (b. 1885), and Charles (b. 1889). In 1884 when Clay was 39 years old, his 9-month old daughter Edna died. Five years later, Clay lost his mother and a 5-month old son. Clay and Anna were still living in Moscow, Clermont County, Ohio in 1890 but in the 1900 census Clay was in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio.  Anna was still living in Moscow, Ohio with their son Albert in 1900. Clay lost his sister (Laura) that same year. Like Charles, Clay was a baseball player and liked making bets. Clay drank and fought on more than one documented occasion.

While Charles had family who held local public offices, Clay had an extended family who was very well known in the public sphere. Two of Clay's great uncles- Elijah and Moses LARKIN- both held elected and appointed public offices including city trustee, mayor, postmaster, Justice of the Peace, and Associate Judge of the Common Pleas Court. One of Elijah's sons was Mayor for one term immediately following Elijah's mayoral term. Moses was influential in both politics and religion.

Moses LARKIN portrait found in the History of Clermont County book (see below).

Moses' son, Joseph, was “one of the most prominent men of Cincinnati in his day, and was a familiar friend of many of the great men of his times.” Remember last week when I wrote about Ulysses S. Grant being born in Clermont County? According to the Clermont County history book I found, Joseph and Ulysses were playmates when they were school-aged. Little Joseph grew up to be a wealthy and very influential financier/banker in Cincinnati, Ohio. Clay had another cousin (a second cousin) also named Joseph who was a very wealthy and influential banker and financier as well.

The LARKIN brothers- Moses, Elijah, Elisha (my ancestor and Clay's grandfather), and Joseph- were described as “men of original thought, decided convictions, [having] great influence in shaping the tone and character of the community. The cause of justice and virtue ever found champions in them, and they clung tenaciously to the truth and the side of public morals."  (The information and quotes about Clay's and Charles' parental/extended family backgrounds comes from History of Clermont County,Ohio, by J. L. Rockey and R. J. Bancroft; Rootsweb; Genealogical and Family History of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania, edited by Reverend Horace Edwin Hayden, M. A.; and, History of Clermont County, Ohio, with illustrations and biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers, by R. J. Bancroft and J. L. Rockey. Basic biographical data comes from Ancestry, FamilySearch, and Find A Grave.)

This is the background from which Clay came. The family connections listed above do not include the connections he had through his mother's and great-grandmother's families. I don't know if he lived a privileged life but he certainly had connections to influential relatives.

12 August 1897- Trouble Brewing

August seemed to be a bad month for Clay in the years leading up to 1899. On 12 August 1897 (keep the August 12th date in mind- it shows up again later) The Hocking Sentinel (Logan, Ohio) newspaper ran an article about Clay. Sometime between 6 August and 12 August 1897, Clay and a man named John BENNETT had been drinking in Moscow, Ohio. The article says they “became intoxicated and began abusing each other”. Clay pulled a knife and cut BENNETT across the arms, chest, and back. Clay punched BENNETT so hard it broke BENNETT's right jaw. BENNETT got in his own punches. He punched Clay in the face to the point that Clay would be “disfigured for life”. BENNETT was taken to his home and was in critical condition. Clay “escaped to Kentucky”. Kentucky is not very far from Moscow, Ohio, and I believe Clay had family there.

Found at Newspapers.com

12 August 1899- A “Game Changer”*

Murderers are not monsters, they're men. And that's the most frightening thing about them.” The Lovely Bones, Alice Seabold

August 12th the forecast was for cooler weather (low 70's in the morning ranging to mid-80's in the afternoon) with a possibility of rain for some of the areas surrounding Cincinnati, Ohio (which would include Felicity, Ohio). Front page headlines in the Cincinnati paper told of the San Ciriaco hurricane headed toward Florida. Baseball was big in the Cincinnati area and it was a perfect day to play ball. Clay had been appointed as a special policeman/Marshall to ensure security and order at the ballgame in Felicity on 12 August 1899 between the Neville and Felicity teams. Two weeks prior there had been some disturbances and trouble during a game due to people betting. It was Clay's job to make sure there wasn't a repeat 'performance' of this behavior at the 12 August game. As Clay was policing, he came upon Charles who was rooting for his team and enjoying the game. Charles was making small bets on various players and events of the game (who would make a hit or a base and who wouldn't, etc.). Clay had been intermittently participating in the bets and Charles had won a small amount of money off of Clay in these bets. Charles made another bet against a “colored man named Belt...as to whether a certain player would make his third base”, according to reports. The bet was for a quarter and a young boy was holding the bets for the men. The run was made and the boy handed over the money to the winner of the bet- Charles. Belt began making a scene and became violent. He said it wasn't a fair bet and the money belonged to him. He used “profanity and abusive language” against Charles. Charles stated he would not allow any man to curse him. About this time Clay came back around and heard Charles' statement. Clay's response was, “Curse him all you damn please, Belt!” Charles told Clay that it was in bad taste for him to make such a remark when it was his job to keep order at the game and that Clay's behavior was contrary to his job. Clay walked away “a few steps” and Charles stayed where he was on the perimeter of the baseball diamond watching the game. After a bit Clay returned, walked up behind Charles and, “with no word of challenge or warning dealt him a frightful blow from the rear”. Clay hit Charles in the back of the head with a baseball bat. Charles dropped to the ground instantly and was unconscious. The crowd was in tumult. There was a lot of threats to Clay, shouting, “terror and confusion”, and people running away from the scene. Officials broke up the game and Clay was rushed off the field and straight to jail. A large crowd gathered outside the jail threatening to take vengeance for the murder of Charles. Clay was under heavy guard due to the angry mob. At 7:34 p.m., just two and a half hours after the incident, the sun set. The moon was a new moon so it would have been a dark night.i Half an hour after sunset- just three hours after the blow to the head- Charles died never having regained consciousness. About midnight the coroner and prosecutor showed up on the scene to begin the investigation. By Sunday morning everything had calmed down. An autopsy was performed on Charles and no abnormalities were found so the blow to the head was found to be the sole cause of his death. “The verdict as rendered was in accordance death by a blow from a base ball bat in the hands of Clay LARKIN.” Several witnesses stated they saw Clay hit Charles with the bat.

Clay would not say why he had killed Charles and no motive was known for the murder at the time it was committed. Clay appeared before a magistrate judge, waived examination, and was held in jail awaiting a grand jury to be held in October of 1899. The case apparently went to a jury trial. The trial commenced about 16 February 1899. There was considerable trouble finding a jury. Thirty-six prospective jurors were called and only four were allowed to be on the jury. The judge called up an additional forty prospective jurors. Around 20 February 1900 the closing arguments were given and the jury began deliberating Clay's guilt or innocence. The jury was out 24 hours before returning a verdict to the judge. Clay was found guilty of murder in the second degree. The penalty was life in prison. 1900- the same year Clay's sister died- Clay was sent to Ohio State Penitentiary in Columbus, Ohio to serve out his time.

Photo of the old Ohio State Penitentiary at Columbus, Ohio taken in 1900 (the year Clay went to prison). Photo was found on the Library of Congress website. Details about the 1897 and 1899 incidents involving Clay LARKIN as well as some of the information about his release were taken from newspapers found at Newspapers.com.

Ohio State Penitentiary's heyday was around 1900. It was considered a model prison and tours were given to tourists. There is some very interesting history about it at Forgotten Ohio. The cells were so small that a grown man could sit with his back against one wall and his feet would touch the opposite wall. You can read a little about the interior of the prison at Illicit Ohio. Famous writer O. Henry was imprisoned here beginning in 1898. His first story (a short story) to bear the pen name “O. Henry” was written while he was in the Ohio State Pen. You can read it at Literature Collection.

On 8 January 1906 (Governor Myron T. HERRICK's final day in office) Governor HERRICK extended executive clemency to Clay. Clay's life sentence was commuted to 15 years. A commutation for a prisoner is rare. The sentences of six men were commuted that day by the governor. All six men had murdered someone and all six life sentences were commuted to between 10-20 years. All six sentence commutations were recommended by the State Board of Pardons. I was curious as to why the governor would commute not only Clay's sentence but the sentences of 5 additional murderers. I think the answer lies in a document Governor HERRICK was looking at in his final months in office. The document was the Annual Report provided by the state Attorney General. Within the report, The Habitual Criminal Act was discussed. This act was repealed by the state legislature in 1902. After the repeal, some of the affected prisoners (prisoners who would not have been given a life sentence had the now-repealed Act not been on the books) applied to be paroled and their applications were rejected. They filed a lawsuit that was eventually brought before the Ohio Supreme Court (1904, In Re Kline, 70 O.S. 25). The Ohio Supreme Court decided that even though the act had been repealed the State could not go back and review the cases of all the prisoners who had been convicted under that act and that the prisoners' only hope of being freed or receiving a reduced sentence would be executive clemency from the governor. (Note: If this Act really did apply to Clay, that means that somewhere there will be court records about him regarding other criminal actions by him.)

Governor HERRICK chose to extend clemency to a few men.  Clay's sentence began in 1900. With the clemency, and based on time served and good behavior, Clay was soon released from prison.

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Portrait of Govern HERRICK found at Ohio Memory Collection's website.

Clay's “After-life”

We are all descendants of murderers...” ~ Amanda Sledz

Before Clay was released from prison, Anna separated from Clay. Some statements from both Anna and Clay say they divorced but I have not found any divorce record. Sometime between 1906 and 1910, Clay was released from prison. Oddly enough, it was Anna's family who took him in. In 1910, Clay was living with his ex-wife's nephew and working as a farm laborer. The nephew he was living with was Charles Clay REED. Charles REED was the son of Addie CONOVER REED, the sister of Anna (Clay's ex-wife). I'm not sure if Anna's family really loved Clay or if the names Clay and Theodore were really popular at that time. Anna's parents named a son Theodore after Clay and Anna married. Then Anna's sister gave one of her sons the middle name Clay and another son the name Theodore.

By 1912, Clay was getting sicker. He checked in to a National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Dayton, Ohio. Clay was 67 years old. He was described as being 6'3, ruddy complexion, brown eyes, and gray hair. He was a Protestant and his occupation was Farrier. He stated that when released, he would be living in Piqua, Ohio. He stated he was married but listed his nearest relative as his son, Albert, who lived on Gladstone Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio. His health disabilities are listed as, “Cardiac Dilation of Heart. Actionweak. Slight Def. Vision Hyperthropsy Arteriosclerosis Left Varicocale Frequent mucturition.” He was admitted on 3 July 1912 and discharged on 22 October 1913. He was discharged “at request”. When he was discharged his paperwork went to the address of 500 College Street, Piqua, Ohio. I'm assuming that was his address in 1913.

Despite Clay listing himself as married, I've found no evidence that he remarried nor that he and Anna reconciled. In 1900 he stated he was divorced. In 1912 he stated he was married. Anna stated she was a widow from at least 1902 until her death in 1916. Three years after Anna passed away, Clay died. He died just a few months after his brother Joseph died.

Some Final Thoughts

In the month or two that I've been working on this blog post I've spent a lot of time sorting out the different people with the same names. I believe I have presented an accurate story and kept all the Clay and Anna LARKINs straight (kept the right ones in the story and the wrong ones out). However, if you find errors, please let me know.

Thank -you's: In the beginning I called on my sister-in-law Becky for help because I was having trouble. She had access to a newspaper database that I thought could help. It did and this whole adventure really started moving after that. Thanks, Becky! Thanks also to my brother Jared who copied, edited, and messaged me a photo of one of the more famous ball players named Ted LARKIN. Initially we thought that Clay was one of the famous baseball players. As it turned out, he was not “Big Teddy LARKIN” who played for the Philadelphia Athletics team. There were actually two Ted LARKIN's playing baseball in the late 1890's to early 1900's. Our Theodore LARKIN is neither of those men. Lastly, I would also like to thank a new digital friend- Stephen McClanahan- whom I met on the FindAGrave website. He was so kind as to drive to a library in Clermont County, Ohio and copy a news article about the murder for me. That one article had details that all the other articles did not. If you are interested in looking at Charles SCHOCH's memorial that Stephen manages you can click here.

Above is NOT our Theodore LARKIN. Thanks to Jared for his efforts to edit this photo for the blog even though it turned out not to be our relative. This photo came from the book The National Game, by Alfred Spink. It's free as a download if you're interested in reading it. It was copyrighted in 1910. It's a history of baseball in America and might give a good idea of the game from Clay's era. As a side note, apparently death by baseball isn't that uncommon. There's a whole website dedicated to it- Death at the Ballpark. Charles' name is there.

Final thoughts on Charles: There were some inconsistencies in Charles' death date. I chose 12 August 1899 because I believe that to be the correct date due to all the newspaper articles that were printed at the time of his death. Other sources say 11 August 1899 (FindAGrave) and 17 August 1899 (Record of Deaths, Probate Court, Clermont County- accessed on FamilySearch). (Note: Even though FamilySearch transcribed this date as 12 August, when I enlarged it it was clearly 17 August.) The Probate Court record gives his name as Charles SCHOCK. The cause of death was “Fracture & Concussion”.

Final thoughts on Clay: I've had some time to think about that life-changing decision Clay made at the ball game in August of 1899. Charles and Clay were both described as baseball players- perhaps they had run-ins on the field during games. I believe that the night Charles died was not the first run-in that Clay and Charles had. Surely there must have been some long-term bad blood between them- either on the baseball field or off- for Clay to kill Charles that night over a little bit of money. I also believe that Clay knew John BENNETT long before they got into a fight in 1897. I'm not sure if they went out together that night and then got into it or if they never liked each other and just ended up in the same place drinking that night.

Last night as I was gripped with yet another night of insomnia, I was thinking about Clay. He grew up without a dad and I don't think he had a particularly easy time of it. I wonder if, sitting in that tiny prison cell day after day, he thought about his own son who was growing up without a dad. Until 1906 he had no hope of ever parenting his children or being there for them in any real way. Surely he must have thought about that. I may never know if he regretted killing Charles- I'd like to think he did- but surely he must have regretted sentencing his son to the same childhood he endured. (Don't we always want to think good of people related to us? If we look at the reality of the world though, evil exists- and some people are just evil. They feel no regret or remorse for what they've done. We may never know which description fits Clay.) Then my thoughts turned to his son, Albert. Albert was only about 5 years old when his dad went to prison. Initially I thought he must be a very loving, forgiving person. It seems he looked after his mom until her death and also took care of his dad until his dad's death. Albert was described in a newspaper as being a war hero (World War I). However, other information I've found suggests perhaps that may not be the entire picture. Albert had an alias. He used it to get into the military. His stepson, George NISONGER, had an alias as well and spent time in Folsom and San Quentin prisons. So perhaps we are looking at a family of criminals as opposed to a family of people who "just made a mistake".

I'm going to drop the story here and let you decide for yourself. I hope you've enjoyed the story of Clay and Charles. One last side note- in Ohio today, a Warrant of Commutation is issued in triplicate if/when a prisoner's sentence is commuted. The prisoner gets a copy, the prison keeps a copy, and a copy is filed in the Court of Common Pleas in the location where the original sentence was handed down. If there were any conditions placed on the prisoner for his release, those will be included in the warrant. Facts regarding the case or why the prisoner's sentence was commuted may also be in these documents. If you are interested in seeing those documents for yourself, you can check with the courthouse in Batavia, Clermont County, Ohio to see if they have one for Clay. Also, if you are interested in seeing his prison record you can forward a request at Ohio History's blog.

Don't forget to check out Down in the Root Cellar. Becky's been busy cranking out blog posts over there!

Until next time,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

A Larkin, A Wedding, and a Wedding

Toward the end of June I started this blog post. The goal was to do at least one June theme during the month of June. That didn't work out for me. I'm determined to get it done this weekend and posted. In trying to finish it, the phrase that came to mind was “water, water everywhere, and not a drop to spare” which is actually a mis-remembrance of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: “water, water everywhere nor any drop to drink”. There is a lot of information out there in the world but scarcely any to be found about Mary Angeline WEDDING. I'm choosing to go ahead and post what I have and hope for more in the future.

The first week of June's theme was wedding. I thought about it for several days and felt like I wasn't coming up with anything except my mind kept coming back to one couple- my fourth great-grandparents, James and Mary Angeline (Mam's great-great grandmother). Finally it occurred to me why I kept settling on Mary Angeline. Her maiden name was WEDDING! So there you have it. A bonus is that my post will be different than others for this blogging week/theme because others will most likely be writing about wedding ceremonies.

In an older section of my blog, I posted about my 3rd great-grandmother and Mary Angeline's daughter-in-law, Mary Elizabeth LANE LARKIN (wife of Mary Angeline's son, Joseph LARKIN). In the newest section of my blog I also posted about Mary Angeline's mom, Mary McATEE WEDDING.

Mary Angeline Wedding

Mary Angeline was born in 1819 in Maryland to John and Mary M. (McATEE) WEDDING. She was likely born in Waldorf, Charles County, Maryland, as that is where her family lived before her birth. In 1820 (right after Mary Angeline was born) the family moved to Frederick County, Maryland. They stayed there through at least 1824. I am uncertain exactly when they moved to Ohio, but in 1830 they were censused in Mill Creek, Hamilton County, Ohio. From there, they moved to Clermont County, Ohio (about 1832). During this time, Mary Angeline's mom, Mary M., had other children. I believe Mary Angeline had 9 siblings and there are 4 or 5 more who were possibly her siblings as well. In order of birth the children were: Ralph, John Wesley, Thomas Lawson, Rebecca Ann, Matilda Ann, Mary Angeline, James William, Elizabeth Jane, George Washington, and Nackey Ellen. The four who MAY be siblings are: Charles, David, Frank, and at least one other child who has not been identified by name.

Mary Angeline, my 4th great-grandmother, married James H. LARKIN on 23 June 1839.

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This is the best photo I have of their marriage record.  Thanks to my sister-in-law, Becky, for finding the image.  (You should visit Becky's blog at Down in the Root Cellar).

The LARKIN family was considered to be of good moral character. The WEDDING and LARKIN families were among the early settlers of Clermont County, Ohio and were very prominent. The LARKINs were considered very influential in the county, especially in the areas of religion and politics. They were largely instrumental in the growth and development of Washington and Franklin Townships. The family was Irish through the WEDDING line. The first LARKIN immigrant in our family emigrated to America in the early part of the 18th century and settled in the Maryland Colony. Subsequent generations (including my ancestor, John) moved from Maryland to Kentucky briefly and then settled in Ohio in the very early 1800's. In Clermont County, the LARKINs became bankers (at least one was a very notable and influential banker), justices of the peace, mayors, associate judges, and postmasters, among other occupations. This influence would serve various family members well throughout several generations (this will be a topic for a future blog post). Mary Angeline's son, Joseph (my ancestor), married a LANE. The LANEs were early settlers in the area as well.  (Information found at Hathitrust and Rootsweb.)

James and Mary Angeline LARKIN had seven children together: Anna Augusta, Joseph L. (my ancestor), Benjamin F., Theodore Clay (who went by “Clay” and will be featured in a blog post soon), Mary M., Leo J., and Laura A. James died the year after Laura was born. Mary Angeline outlived her husband by 31 years and did not marry again. She lived long enough to see the births of at least 25 of her grandchildren. She also lived through the loss of at least 3 of those grandchildren (2 of Anna's and Abner's children and 1 of Clay's and Martha's. Laura and her husband Walter were expecting a child when Mary passed away.

Because of society's views about women during Mary Angeline's lifetime, it's difficult to learn about female ancestors. The best that I can do when telling her story is to research the people with whom she was connected, research the social history of that time and place, and research the history of people connected to that locale and time for general tidbits about their lives. I wasn't able to come up with much more than general events that happened during her lifetime that may have had some affect on her life.

I've already told a little of the history of Port Tobacco, Maryland when I told Mary McATEE WEDDING's story in the link above. So I'll begin with Clermont County, Ohio. Clermont means “clear mountains and hills” which describes Clermont County as it was when French explorers first laid eyes on the area.  (Information found at Clermont County, Ohio, Government website.) About 20 years before the WEDDING family moved to the area, Clermont County was the site of the Battle of Grassy Run that occurred in 1792 between pioneer Simon Kenton and Native American warrior, Tecumseh, on April 10, 1792. Clermont County was inhabited by quite a few Native American tribes up until about 1811- just a little more than a decade before the Wedding family moved into the area. You can read about the Battle of Grassy Run here. Ulysses S. Grant was born in Clermont County about the time the Wedding family moved there.

The early settlers of the area who were from Maryland and Kentucky (as the LARKINs and WEDDINGs were) were staunchly anti-slavery. The Underground Railroad was very active during the time the WEDDING and LARKIN families lived there. I found this picture to be very interesting. It is called the Freedom Stairway and leads up from the river to an Underground Railroad Conductor's home.

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Photo can be found at Ohio Memory and also at Ohio History Central.

The Freedom Stairway is located in Brown County, Ohio where the LARKIN family lived for a very short time around 1849-1850. Felicity, Ohio (where the family spent the most time) was very close to the Brown County line so it's possible the family didn't move very far at all when they moved from Clermont to Brown County and then back to Clermont County again.

Daniel Boone went on hunting and warfare expeditions into Clermont County. George Washington once owned land in the county. John Hunt Morgan and his Confederate raiders invaded the county in 1863 when Mary Angeline's son, Joseph L. (my ancestor) was about 21 years old. The following year Joseph enlisted and went to war for the Yankees. Mary Angeline saw her sons Joseph and Theodore go to war. I have been unable to track her son Leo so I am uncertain what happened to him after 1860. Her son Benjamin would have been too young to go to war during the Civil War and I have been unable to track him after 1880. I have not found any evidence that her sons-in-law Abner (Anna Augusta's husband) or Walter (Laura's husband) went to war.

Another famous person with ties to Ohio is John Chapman, a.k.a Johnny Appleseed. I was able to find the map below in an old news article and from the looks of it, it appears that Johnny Appleseed did make one trip through southern Ohio and was possibly in the area of the LARKIN and WEDDING families.

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I found this map at Newspapers.com (the Mansfield News-Journal, Vol. 57, No. 203, Mansfield, OH, 25 September 1941, Page 1, "Route Johnny Appleseed Followed to West").  I cropped and enlarged it with the Paint program on my computer.  The footprints show the paths Johnny Appleseed traveled.  You can go here to learn more about Johnny Appleseed.  Johnny Appleseed was in the southern part of Ohio near around 1844, just a year before his death. At that time, Mary Angeline had two children and another who was born in 1844. Our ancestor Joseph would have been about 2 years old at the time.

The temperance movement as well as the suffragist movement both occurred during Mary Angeline's lifetime and both groups were present in Ohio.

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This was a Women's Temperance Crusade in Waynesville, Ohio, about 1873-1874.  Photo found at Ohio History Central.

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This was a postcard found at Ohio History Central.  The Ohio Woman Suffrage Association was one of the women's suffragist groups in Ohio.  The women's suffrage movement gained strength in Ohio after the civil war.

The LARKIN and WEDDING families were present during a time when a lot of history was being made in Ohio. One day I hope to find more information about Mary Angeline. It would be great to know how, or even if, these movements or events affected her life. It would be nice to be able to confirm Mary Angeline's and James' deaths and burials in Ohio.  In the meantime, I leave you with a poem from a poet who came from Clermont County, Ohio during the time that the LARKINs and WEDDINGs lived there.

Drift Away
by Abbie C. McKeever

Drift away, oh clouds of amber.
Crimson-lined in billowy mass;
Drift away, in silent footsteps:
I shall watch you as you pass.
I shall watch you- yes, and love you-
For the beauty that you gave:
Beauty dying in the twilight,
Like the lilies on his grave.

Drift away to unknown heavens,
Crimson clouds along the west;
But remember that you are bearing
In your downy amber breast,
Hopes that whisper softly to him
Of a love that never dies-
Love that tires of waiting lonely
Ere the call to other skies.

Drift away, oh, clouds of sunset,
Purple with the later light;
See! The stars are all about you-
Diamond eyes of early night.
Drift away; but while you are passing
Bear this message up to him.
That the earthly skies that fold me
Soon shall part and let me in.

Please visit: Down in the Root Cellar, Theology for Mom, and Recipes from Lena.

Until next time,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

The Commencement of My Davis Line as I Know It: Corporal John F. Davis, 1810-1863

"While a battle is raging, one can see his enemy mowed down by the thousand, or the ten thousand, with great composure; but after the battle these scenes are distressing, and one is naturally disposed to alleviate the sufferings of an enemy as a friend." ~ General Ulysses S. Grant

Everyone has a few ancestral family lines that don't go back very far. Information becomes harder to find after a certain time period. The farthest back I can go on my DAVIS line is John F. DAVIS. So for this week's theme (“commencement”- and actually it's one of the May themes that I missed) I'm going to talk about John, the beginning (commencement) of my DAVIS line as I know it right now.

John F. DAVIS was born in 1810. Most researchers say he was born in Onondaga County, New York. However, the 1860 census and his Civil War Draft Registration state he was born in Kentucky. The earliest record I can find about him is his marriage to Rachel CHENOWETH on 15 January 1835 in Perry, Pike County, Illinois. The 1840 census only shows the name of the Head of Household which, in this family, was John. The rest of the family members only show up as tic marks on the form. The 1840 census shows three John DAVIS families living in Perry, Pike County, Illinois in 1840. Only one is going by John F. In John F.'s household there were two adults (one male and one female) in the age “20 & under 30” category and two girls in the “under 5” category. The two young daughters were Sarah C. (my great-great grandmother and wife of Nicholas W. REITER whom I wrote about in this blog post http://happy-girl-24.livejournal.com/16813.html) and Chloe Jane.

In 1850, John and Rachel are still living in Perry, Pike County, Illinois. In addition to Sarah and Chloe, they had Jonathan, John, Nancy, and James in 1850. John's occupation was “laborer”. Sarah, Chloe, Jonathan, and John were attended school that year. Three-year-old Nancy and 5-month-old James stayed at home with Rachel.

In 1860, John, Rachel and children- Jonathan, John, James, Nancy, Charles, Alpheus, Harvey, Horace, and Susan- were living in Perry, Pike County, Illinois. John was a farmer. Sarah had married Nicholas REITER 8 years prior to the census. Chloe had married John REEDER 2 years prior to the census. All the children from Jonathan down to Alpheus had attended school the year of the census. Harvey, Horace, and Susan stayed at home with Rachel. In this census there are a few details that are changed from the previous census. Those details are that John's birthplace was listed as Kentucky and that children Nancy and James have been reversed in the order of children AND so have their ages. This census lists James as being the older (and being the age Nancy should have been) and Nancy being the younger (and being the age James should have been).

Don't You Know There's a War Going on Here?!

Dear Brother & Sister I write these few lines to you to let you know that I am still alive...” ~ Letter from Thomas Barnett, Alton, Illinois

Kurz and Allison Siege of Vicksburg color lithograph.  Found at www.loc.gov.

In July of 1863, John completed his Civil War Draft Registration. He listed his birthplace as Kentucky. He stated he was 51 years of age and was a farmer. He gave his physical description as: 6 feet 10 ½ inches high, fair complexion, grey eyes, and light hair. He listed his former military service as Company F, 99th Regiment, Illinois Volunteers, Civil War. He listed his residence as Perry Township, Pike County, Illinois. He was a Corporal in Captain Eli R. SMITH's Company F of the 99th Regiment of United States Volunteers (Infantry). He was enlisted by Lemuel PARKES at Perry, Pike County, Illinois on 2 August 1862 to serve three years. He mustered in on 23 August 1862 at Florence, Illinois.

The timeline leading up to his death:

Battle of Port Gibson- I Hope God Will Remember Us In Mercy

Such a day I never saw before. It made it so very Horrible to us because we had to go in and fight in the same place all the time, where the ground was already soaked with the blood of our comrades. But I hope God will remember us in Mersy.” ~Diary of Job H. Yaggy, Plainfield, Illinois

1 May 1863
Battle of Port Gibson (Mississippi).
Despite Union forces losing more men than Confederates, the Union won this battle. General GRANT had an elaborate plan to take Grand Gulf and deceive enemy troops in Vicksburg but had to make a change in plans when he was unable to gain a decisive victory over the Confederates on the first attempt. In the end, however, he was victorious. Wirt ADAMS' cavalry (CSA) was the only one in the area. Major General John S. BOWEN (CSA) decided to perform a reconnaissance. BOWEN moved south from Grand Gulf and positioned troops just southwest of Port Gibson near Magnolia Church. The terrain the Confederates were in consisted of “one-hundred-foot-tall (30 m) hills separated by nearly vertical ravines choked with canebrakes and underbrush”. Just after midnight on 1 May 1863, the first shots were fired in the battle. You can read more about this battle at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Port_Gibson or for a more detailed account: http://civilwartalk.com/threads/battle-of-port-gibson.85379/. You can also read more here and see photos of the Schaifer House and the Old Magnolia Church site: http://www.nps.gov/vick/learn/historyculture/battleportgibson.htm. Still interested? This blog has an article about the battle. Scroll down not quite halfway. https://mississippiconfederates.wordpress.com/category/mississippi-regiments/. For some great book recommendations, look at this site: http://www.illinoiscivilwar150.org/chronos/chrono1863.html.

Battle of Port Gibson drawing from http://www.nps.gov/vick/learn/historyculture/battleportgibson.htm.

Champion Hill, Hinds County, Mississippi – Grant's Crown of Immortality

... for a while the bullets came like hail stones but we soon got down onto the rebs and drove them up, took meney of them prisoners and left a great meney laying, killed and wounded.... This is called the ‘BATTLE OF CHAMPIONS HILL’ ” ~ Diary, Job H. Yaggy, Plainfield, Illinois

"Grant's crown of immortality was won, and the jewel that shone most brightly in it was set there by the blood of the men of Champion Hills ...... Six thousand blue and gray-coated men were lying there in the woods, dead or wounded, when the last gun of Champion Hills was fired.” ~ Major S. H. M. Byers, Fifth Iowa Infantry

16 May 1863
Battle of Champion Hill (Hinds County, Mississippi).
Wikipedia describes this battle as “the pivotal battle in the Vicksburg Campaign”. It began about 7:00 a.m. on the “beautiful and cool” morning of 16 May 1863. To give you some idea of the number of men present, the Confederates alone had a defensive battle line of men that ran about 3 miles long. The defensive line was along a crest of a ridge above Jackson Creek. At 1:00 p.m. Union forces took the crest. Confederate reinforcements showed up and the Confederate men trapped on the ridge utilized the one escape route that was left open to them. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Champion_Hill; http://www.illinoiscivilwar.org/cw93-hist-ch4b.html) An excellent website to learn more about this battle is: http://battleofchampionhill.org/. Among other things it includes diary accounts.

Battle of Champion Hill drawing found at www.battleofchampionhill.org.

Map of Champion Hill battlefield area.  Found at www.illinoiscivilwar.org.

Aerial view of Champion Hill, http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~abney/mshistory.html.

Battle of Big Black River Bridge – My Army is Starving

I have been up to see the Congress and they do not seem to be able to do anything except to eat peanuts and chew tobacco, while my army is starving.”~ General Robert E. Lee

The Confederates who were able to retreat only made it to Big Black River. They spent the night there at the bridge and the following day fighting began again in what would be the “final battle before the Siege of Vicksburg”. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Big_Black_River_Bridge). In front of the battle line, they placed trees with the trunks formed into sharp points as obstacles. The points were facing outward toward oncoming Union troops and the branches were facing inward. Typically the tree branches were interwoven with wire and/or other obstacles. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abatis). However, once engaged by Union troops, Confederates began withdrawing via the railroad bridge and a steamboat. To delay Union troops, the Confederates burned the bridge and steamboat after they crossed. Later that day, the Confederate soldiers arrived in Vicksburg, Mississippi. “Fewer than half of the Confederates who had fought at Champion Hill made it into the defenses at Vicksburg. This battle sealed Vicksburg's fate: the Confederate force was bottled up at Vicksburg.” (Wikipedia, see link above.)

Photo of Big Black River Bridge after it was burned.  Found at http://www.battleofchampionhill.org/history/big-black.htm.

Siege of Vicksburg – The Key in His Pocket

"Vicksburg is the key. The war can never be brought to a close until the key is in our pocket." ~ Union President Abraham Lincoln

"Vicksburg is the nail head that holds the South's two halves together." ~ Confederate President Jefferson Davis

Vicksburg is taken Glorious more Glorious most Glorious.... I may live a thousand years and not see a more glorious 4th.” ~ Letter from Francis W. Tupper, Minooka, Illinois

Corporal DAVIS most likely fought during the first part of the Siege of Vicksburg as his illness did not commence until about 25 May 1863 and the Siege of Vicksburg began on 18 May. The Siege was the final major action of the Vicksburg Campaign. After being aggressively pushed back by Confederates, General GRANT decided to besiege the city of Vicksburg on the day Corporal DAVIS became ill. Corporal John DAVIS was honorably discharged at a hospital in Vicksburg, Mississippi on 4 June 1863- one month before the Confederates surrendered at Vicksburg. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Vicksburg) You can find a much more detailed account of the history of the 99th Illinois Infantry here: http://www.old-new-orleans.com/ILLINOIS_CW_reghist.pdf or here: http://genealogytrails.com/ill/pike/milcivil99.html.

Corporal DAVIS was discharged due to chronic bronchitis and diarrhea. These conditions were contracted during his military service and in the line of duty. Military records state that he suffered from chronic diarrhea until the time of his death and that this was the cause of his death. He was able to make it back home to Perry where he died on 17 November 1863.

Rest in Peace – Then the Cries for Water Ceased; We Could Not Help Them.

As private soldiers we considered that the day was lost but Grant said 'No!' As we had no Breakfast, dinner, or supper on Sunday, and were on guard Sunday night, we were about all in. Never-the-less we went after them on Monday morning. That Sunday night was the longest I ever experienced. I will never forget the cries of distress of the wounded who lay on the battle-field that night. They called for mother, sister, wife, sweetheart, but the most piteous plea was for water. One would be praying and another singing. Some one started the old hymn, ‘Jesus Lover of my Soul’, singing the first verse. Another sang the second, another the third, and still another the fourth. This continued until sometime during the night when it began to rain; then the cries for water seased. We hoped that many were refreshed. As the wounded lay between the battle lines we could not help them.

We were promised medals of honor for our service on this special work but we never received them.... I suppose that the order never reached head quarters.” ~ Memoir of George O. Smith, Monmouth, Illinois.

When Rachel filed for a widow's pension the information listed in that packet stated John was born Onondaga County, New York, although he gave his birthplace as Kentucky on his draft registration. It took Rachel a year to get the pension approved and it amounted to $8 per month. The only children that Rachel listed on the pension documents as belonging to she and John were James T., Charles D., Alpheus B., and Harvey D. Since there were only a few of the children listed, I made some preliminary theories about why all the children weren't listed. I hypothesized that the form listed the children still living at home with Rachel. Sarah and Chloe had already married and moved out. Jonathan and John were over age 18 and likely had already moved out of the home as well. Nancy was young but still old enough to have possibly been married and out of the home at the time of the pension process. Horace and Susan, the youngest two children, were also not named. Either they were deceased at the time of the pension application, or Rachel had been forced to give them up after the death of John in order to keep the rest of the family together and support them all. As I continued reading through the file, I found out why only certain children were listed. The only children that Rachel was supposed to list on the application were those children living at home AND under the age of 16 as of a certain date. She also had to sign a sworn affidavit that she had not given up any children for adoption nor had she abandoned the care of any of the children. So it stands to reason that Horace and Susan were deceased by the time Rachel filed the pension application.

Nicholas REITER (my great-great-grandfather, listed as 'Nicholas RYDER' in the pension file), who was then 36 years old, gave a statement in support of his mother-in-law, Rachel, in the pension documents. Nicholas apparently could not write as he had to make his mark in lieu of a signature. Sarah REITER (my great-great-grandmother, listed as 'Sarah RITER' in the pension file) also gave a statement in regard to the legitimacy of Charles being John and Rachel's biological child. Sarah was 29 years old at the time of her sworn statement. In regard to his disability, the military records showed that he was first unable to perform his duties at Houston, Indiana in January of 1863 and was unable to perform duty at any point after that time although it appears that he stayed with his unit up until the Siege of Vicksburg. John himself attributed his illness to old age and exposure during the winter, according to the military's statement. At the time he became ill, he was stationed at a camp near Vicksburg. He was described as being debilitated and emaciated at the time of the onset of his illness.

Life Lessons in Tenacity and Courage

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.” ~ Mary Anne Radmacher

I can't imagine what it would have been like to be 50+ years old, intermittently deprived of food, exposed to the elements, people dying violent and painful deaths all around me, marching from Indiana to Mississippi- ill, dehydrated, in pain, emaciated. I admire him for his tenacity. I am so glad for him (and for Rachel and the children) that he made it home before his death.

One year after burying her husband, Rachel lost her two youngest children. Seven years later she would bury another daughter (Sarah) and eight years after that, another daughter (Nancy). Rachel did not marry again. I am certain she was well taken care of in her final years because as late as 1880, four of her adult sons were still living with her and (presumably) taking care of her. Living with her at that time were Jonathan (a laborer), James (an engineer), Alpheus (a blacksmith), and Harvey (a blacksmith). She passed away in 1883.

I am thankful to have such incredible examples of tenacity and courage in the face of difficult life circumstances. Have an attitude of thankfulness this week for the privilege of coming from a long line of strong, courageous people!  

Until next week,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

There's a Way

Today you're going to get a small glimpse of how my crazy mind works. I'm going back to the second week of May to make up that week's blog post. The theme was “there's a way”. In my mind I kept thinking “the way”. Do you remember playing a game where someone says a word and you're supposed to say the first word that comes to your mind (no filtering)? Well this is how that worked for me on this blog post. My mind said “the way” and then responded with “the truth and the life”. (The Holy Bible~ John 4:16, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.) So that thought led to Christianity, which led to church, which led to preachers, which led to Reverend Charles SEELY. So I present to you today, my Baptist minister ancestor- Charles SEELY.

Charles SEELY and wife, Synthia Arrena FOSTER

Charles SEELY was born in 1826 in Missouri. I don't know anything of his childhood and I don't know anything about his parents, siblings, or any of his family. The first time he shows up in any record that I can find is on 15 October 1845 when he married Synthia Arrena FOSTER in Lawrence County, Missouri.

The marriage record started on one page and ended on the next, thus the reason for two photos to show one record.

Synthia was born in 1824 in South Carolina to Frederick FOSTER and Mary (BURNETT) FOSTER. Her family moved from South Carolina to Tennessee sometime between 1830 and 1840. Sometime between 1840 and 1860 they moved to Lawrence County, Missouri.

Finding Their Way from Missouri to Arkansas

Both SEELYs and FOSTERs were present in the area at the time Lawrence County was created. There is an annual “pioneer families” reunion each year in September. The reunion is a big deal complete with printed t-shirts, a day for genealogical information exchanges, etc. See these two websites for information about previous years' reunions: http://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/wormington/44/ (2013 gathering and includes a contact name and email address) and http://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/spilman/361/ (2014 gathering). Although neither of our families are listed as pioneer families that are included in the reunion, another SEELY researcher said that she went one year and she seemed to feel it was profitable to her research.

Charles and Synthia had eight children together- Fifth Sergeant Elijah SEELY, blacksmith William, blacksmith James (who went by Frank), farmer John, baby George who only lived 8 months, Mary Ann (my great-grandmother and wife of George BATES), Elzora (who went by Josephine and married a HARRELL), and farmer Charles. They resided in Lawrence County, Missouri until the late 1860's. Charles owned land there as evidenced by a land patent issued in 1860 and a deed dated 1867. You can view the land patent at this link along with a map of where the property was located-


Around 1868, Charles packed up his family and left Lawrence County, Missouri for Benton County, Arkansas. On 7 April 1869, Charles was licensed as a Minister of the Gospel in Benton County, Arkansas. He was the first preacher at Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church located in Gravette, Benton County, Arkansas.

The Way, The Truth, The Life

The recording of his credentials:

I've transcribed it here the best I can, leaving any misspellings as they appear in the record:

      Credentials of Seely: Credentials of Charles Seely- Benton County Arkansas This is to certify that we being duly called as a
          presbytary have examined into the carcter, call qualifications of our beloved brother Charles Seely and with the consent of the
          Church of Christ at New Sili (?) to which he belongs have by prayer and imposition of hands set him apart to the great work of
          the gospel ministry and he is hereby authorized to excrise himself in the several parts of the ministerial functions where he may
          be called whether occasionally or Slated by Given under our hands this the 26 day of October 1868

          E. T. Willingham, J. Dungan, Presbytary
          Filed and recorded the 7 day of April 1869
          J. R. Rutherford recorder

The Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church was organized in a log school house above Cash Springs in the Gravette, Benton County, Arkansas area on 28 May 1870. The church moved to it's present location in 1880. The story I read was that Charles was an elder in the church and moderator of the organization committee when he was chosen as the first pastor. I have contacted the church and am waiting on a response. Maybe soon I'll have an update with new information if the church has any.  I wasn't able to find Cash Springs on any map but I found Cash Springs Road in Gravette so I'm going on the assumption that Cash Springs is nearby.  Here is a map showing the distance from Cash Springs Road (Where the arrow and pinned spot is) to the current church location:

I know Charles performed marriages while he was licensed. He was the minister who performed the wedding ceremony for Greenberry BATES and Eliza PENDERGRAFT in 1872. (Greenberry was one of the sons of John C. BATES. You can read about John BATES in a previous blog post found here: http://happy-girl-24.livejournal.com/16413.html. Charles SEELY's daughter, Mary Ann, married George BATES- another of John C. BATES' sons). Later in Charles' life (after the death of Synthia), Charles himself married a PENDERGRAFT. Two years after Synthia's death, Charles married Mary Ann (PENDERGRAFT) SEAMSTER. She was the widow of Williamson SEAMSTER who was also a Baptist minister.

Rock Island...Haven't We Been This Way Before?

One interesting story I found while researching for this blog post was the story of why Charles' son William packed up his family and moved to Texas and what happened along the way. The story goes that William and his family were living near Gravette, Benton County, Arkansas. He was a blacksmith there. His house and shop were next to each other. Crews were blasting out a path for the Rock Island Railroad nearby (that is possibly the same railroad company that ran the train that hit my great-great-grandfather Samuel WILLIAMS whom you can read about in the blog post at http://happy-girl-24.livejournal.com/20385.html). The crews were having to blast through a hillside to make a deep cut for a section of the railroad and the rocks from all the blasting were falling on William's house and blacksmith shop. William said he wasn't going to live where they were tearing up everything so he packed up his family and set out for Texas in a wagon. Somewhere along the way Indians started to attack the family. William's sons were big boys and they scared the Indians away with their guns.  That's all of the story I know.  I have to believe they made it to Texas alright since there is now a large branch of distantly-related SEELYs in Texas.

I love this postcard found at
http://ahc.digital-ar.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p16790coll7/id/112/rec/ depicting a railroad cut similar to the one being done (maybe the actual one being done??) near William's home that made him decide to move.  I also love how Rock Island crept into my stories again.  If you'll remember, Rock Island was where John BATES (referenced above) was imprisoned during the Civil War.  Also every day on my way to work during the school year, I pass a Rock Island caboose that's been restored.  I don't have a photo of it but here is another Rock Island caboose for you to look at:

I also found this great picture of the old depot in Gravette, Benton County, Arkansas at myoldtownpics.com:

And I couldn't help but post this 1901 depot sign:

Finding His Way to His (Heavenly) Home

In addition to being a preacher, Charles was a farmer. He died on 29 June 1891. He had a very short obituary which reads:

      Rev. Charles Seeley died on the 29th of June and was buried on the day following at Gamble's
          grave yard. Mr. Seeley had lived here a number of years and had lots of warm friends to mourn
          his death.

The obituary appeared in The Bentonville Sun on 11 July 1891.

I hope you've enjoyed learning about Charles SEELY and "the way" he lived his life.  Here's hoping you find your way to a safe and happy weekend spent with loved ones.

Until next week,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

Where There's a Will, There's a Way to Find More Information About an Ancestor

I'm going all the way back to the first week in May to a blog theme that I missed. The theme was “Where there's a will”. I decided to focus on my dad's family again this week. The focus will be on Aquilla GREER Sr.- my 7th great-grandfather.  Follow the DRAKE line back through Eugene, then Mark, Alonzo, William, Ervin, and Braxton.  Braxton married Martha Patsy GREER.  Martha's grandfather was Aquilla GREER Sr.

Above photo is of the falls on Gunpowder River in Baltimore County, Maryland.  Photo found at http://waterfalls.nature.st/Maryland/.

Aquilla GREER Sr. was born in 1716 at Gunpowder River,Baltimore County, Maryland. In 1740, he married Elizabeth LOWE in Maryland. Together they had 8 or 9 children- James, Mary Sarah, Aquilla (my 6th great-grandfather), Elizabeth, William, Moses (possibly the same person as Vinson or could be Vinson's twin), Vinson, Asa, and Delila. Aquilla passed away on 8 April 1790. His will was recorded on 30 October 1790 in Greene County, Georgia. The will reads:

In the name of God, Amen. I Aquila Greer of Green County being of sound sense and memory thanks be to God, for the same, but calling to mind the uncertainty of this sublenary world and that all flesh must yield when it pleaseth God of his mercy to call do therefore make and constitute this my last will and testament, and desire it may be received as such.

First, I resign my soul to God from whence it came and my body to the earth to be buried at the discretion of wife and others executors hereafter named: and as touching my worldly estate, I dispose of it as followeth.

First my will and desire is that all my just debts be paid.

Item: I lend to my wife Elizabeth Greer all my Negroes and all my stock of horses, hogs and cattle together with all my household goods and furniture, during her life, and after her decease to be sold at the highest bidder.

Item: I give to my grandchildren, heirs of my son Aquila Greer, deceased. Five pounds apiece and no more and the rest of the money divided equally amongst all my children here name'd: Sary Haynes, James Greer, William Greer, Elizabeth Starkey, Vinson Greer, Delia Haynes, Asel Greer: and my will & desire is that my two sons James and William Greer be my executors of this my last Will & Testament.

In Witness hereof I hereunto do set my hand & seal this eighth day of April one thousand seven hundred and ninety. Aquila Greer (L.S.)

Signed, sealed in presence of us John Aikens - Thomas Cane - Will. Greer

The above is a true copy of the Original which was proven & approved the 30th Octr. 1790 in the presence of the legatees who acknowledged the same. Letters Testamentary granted & a warrant of appraizment directed unto messrs. P. Hunter ) Jas Thomson ) Jas. Jackson )

Recorded the 6 th Noven: 1790 by. Will. Phillips R. Pro.

Later there was an appraisal of the property Aquilla owned at the time of his death. It reads:

A Record of the Inventory & Appraizments of Aquilla Greer's, deceased Estate L# S D

Missan 60 - -

Susanna 35 - -

Cloe 35 - -

Richard 40 - -

Leonard 40 - -

Peter 75 - -

6 head of horses 60 - -

17 head of Cattle 23 - -

1 Rifle gun #3.10. one smoothe con D. w/- 4 - -

1 Chest 20/- one small trunk 5/- 1 - -

1 Case of bottles 12/- One silver watch #400 4 - -

1 Pair of money scales & weights 15/-Cash #2507 26 2 -

2 Beds & furniture 18 - -

6 Hoes 15/- 6 Axes 31/- 2 6 -

1 X Cut saw 10/- One Bever Trap 7/6- - 17 6

3 Trowel hoes 20/- One Barrshear 40/- 3 - -

1 Frs. 2/6 One pair wedges 2/6- - - - 5 -

1 Dozen pewter plates - 18 -

3 Dishes 10/6. Eleven spoons 2/6 - 13 -

3 Basons 7/- Two Ds. 5/-One Candlestick 2- - 14 -

1 wagon, four sets of geer, cloth & Lock chain 25 - -

1 Pair of stealyards 11-/- One foot adze 5/- - 19 -

1 Pair of spoon moulds, nippers & ladle - 12 6

3 Augers 7/- One handsaw 2/6 --- - 9 6

1 Round Shave & Padlock -- - 4 6

1 Howell 2/6. One drawing knife l/6 - 4 0

1 Hammer l/8 Taper bit & Chisel 2/6 - 4 2

1 Gauge 1/- Case Knives & forks 7/- - 8 -

2 Mens Saddles 26/ One Womans Do. 15/ 2 1 -

1 Jointer 2/6 One Inkstand 2/6--- - 5 - #461 .. 0 .. 2

1 Spur l/6. One spice mortar 7/- - 8 6

1 Sugar box 10/- One tin Jack 2/6 - 12 6

1 Razor & hone 3/- Sundry Books 10/- - 13 -

Teapot, Cups & saucers 6/ small trunk 2/ - 8 - 2 .. 2 .. 2 -

#463 .. 2 .. 2 -

1 Pair chards 5/. sheep shears 2/- - 7 -

1 Pair sheers & Looking glass 2/- - 2 -

2 Chares 5/- Pan & Skillet 4/- - 9 -

1 Pair tongs 3/- Six Bells 20/- 1 3 -

2 Potts, 1 oven 42/- Smith's tools 10/ 2 12 - -

Leather 10/- 40 head of Hoggs 120/- 6 10 -

1 Pair Saddle bags 8/- - 8 -

1 Bond of Twelve wt. Tobacco #6..0.. 6 - - # 17.. 11 .. 0 ====

Amts. #480.. 13.. 2 A just & True Appraizment of the Estate of Aquilla Greer, decea'sed Phillip Hunter ) James Thomson ) Sworn Appraisers James Jackson )

A true copy of the Original, Recorded within the limits of the time prescribed by law. By - Wm. Phillips R. Pro.

You may have wondered back at the beginning of Aquilla's will how many servants he had and what might be learned about them. If you'll remember, the first few lines of the appraisal of his property named them. I missed that the first time around. I knew there were names in the will but didn't realize that the appraisal was naming Aquilla's servants and assigning them value. I guess that indicates the difference in my view of people as property versus the 18th century view of people as property. In case you missed it, the slaves were:

Missan (or Massaw)






Aquilla was a Revolutionary War Patriot. He took the Oath of Allegiance in 1777.  He provided food and beef for soldiers in 1781.

I learned a little more about Aquilla from reading his will and associated papers. I learned that he had the tools he needed to care for his livestock. He also had a few blacksmithing and woodworking tools on the list.  He considered himself a Christian. Please note that we cannot judge an 18th century ancestor by 21st century norms and culture. Obviously today, we would not even consider having slaves but in Aquilla's time, that was the norm for someone with a lot of land and livestock. I do wish that his slaves had been set free instead of sold, but again- that wasn't the norm and had he set them free it might possibly have been a death sentence to them since they would probably not have been able to find work to support themselves as free people. Aquilla's life began and ended well in advance of emancipation. Last week I said I didn't have any rich ancestors but from the looks of Aquilla's documents and what is recorded about him, he had quite a bit of property.

I like that he provided for the payment of all his debts and the support of his wife for the duration of her life.  I love that he included his deceased son, Aquilla GREER Jr., by including Aquilla Jr.'s children in the will. This is an issue that I have had to grapple with in my own life.

I wonder what I would feel like if I knew that after my passing all my worldly possessions would be itemized, assigned an appraised value, and published for the world to see. I'm a pretty private person. I don't think I would like that at all. Many of the things I own have purely personal, emotional value and would not be worth anything to most people. It reminds me that I need to get my video inventory done sooner rather than later. I have family treasures and if I don't label them, no one will know they were important. I'm attaching some photographs of items that are dated around 1790 that showed up on Aquilla's appraisal list. Please note: these are not, to my knowledge, the actual things Aquilla owned. These are just photographs of similar items. One of the items that left me wondering was the “tin jack”. If anyone knows what a tin jack is- let me know!

Inkstand, circa 1790

Pewter Plate, circa 1790

Rifle, circa 1790

Spoon mold,circa 1790

Silver sugar box, circa 1790

Sugar nippers, circa 1790

Steelyards, circa 1790

I hope you've enjoyed learning a little about Aquilla through his will. Take some time this week to inventory your family treasures so that after your passing they will continue to be handed down and loved for generations to come.

Until next week,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

Prosperity- Different Strokes for Different Folks

This week I'm going back to the last April blog theme that I missed. The theme was 'prosper'. This one was hard. I didn't have rich ancestors so I had to think a long time about what it can mean to prosper. I thought about telling you a couple of stories about my 2nd great grandfather, William Larkin, who owned a mine in Aurora, Missouri, in 1900 but I didn't feel like I had enough information and facts to do him justice yet so instead I started to think about what the Bible considers prosperous.

Deuteronomy 30:9-10 says, “The Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your cattle and in the fruit of your ground. For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you, as he took delight in your fathers, when you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that are written in this Book of the Law, when you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

So that got me thinking about children and how the Bible says they are a blessing from God- a “heritage from the Lord”, “a reward”, they are “like arrows in the hand of a warrior”, and “blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them”. (Psalm 127:3-5) Also, grandchildren “are the crown of the aged”. (Proverbs 17:6) There are many verses but these are the first couple that really hit me and helped get me started down this path. So I looked at my father's family and narrowed the list down to the 6 couples who had the most children. Out of those 6 couples, I decided to tell you about Samuel Morris and Emeline Eliza (BELL) WILLIAMS. I hope I can do them justice.

I don't have a lot of information about Samuel's early life. There is some confusion about who his mother really is. In trying to figure it out, I decided finally to look only at men named John Williams who were married in Illinois between the years of 1853 and 1869 because I felt like that narrowed it down pretty well. Well, let me tell you- I “narrowed” it down to 178 (!!!) John Williams' who were married in Illinois between 1853 and 1869. (Are you beginning to understand why it's June and I'm not done with an April blog post??) So rather than make you wait any longer...I'm just presenting you with what I have. They are one of my “brick walls” so I don't have a lot of information but maybe I can tell a little of their story.


Samuel was born in April, 1864 in Illinois. His dad was John W. WILLIAMS. Prior to writing this blog I believed his mother was Nancy (WALLS) WILLIAMS. However during the course of preparing for this blog, I located another researcher who has information that suggests John was married to someone before he married Nancy. I am still trying to sort it out, as is the other researcher- Annie Blanchard. (As a researcher I try to always prove everything I'm told rather than accept what I'm told without question. If you want to do your own research you are welcome to review Annie Blanchard's post about John Williams at her blog at https://digginggenealogy.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/unpuzzling-the-ancestors-part-ii/.) The link takes you to part 2 of a 3-part blog series about John and his last wife, Armazinda.

By the time Samuel was six years old his family had moved to Licking, Texas County, Missouri, where his brother Charles was born in February, 1870. By 1872, Nancy had passed away and John married Armazinda Frances WALLACE. In 1880, the family was still living in Texas County, Missouri, and included Samuel, his dad John and stepmother Armazinda, his brother Charles, and half-siblings Walter, Alice and Edgar. Other siblings born later included Mabel, Frank, Martin, Elizabeth, and Bertie Frances. Throughout his life, Samuel was a farmer.


Eliza was born in July of 1871 in Roubidoux, Texas County, Missouri. Her parents were Quincy and Elizabeth (STEPHENSON) BELL. Eliza had 6 known siblings- two half-sisters named Mary and Cordova, and four siblings named John, Surrena, Josephus, and Samuel. Like Samuel's dad, Eliza's dad was married more than once. Eliza's mother was Quincy's last known wife. Whereas Samuel was (as far as I know) the first child, Eliza was the fifth child of her father and the third child of her mother.


On 18 March 1888, Samuel married Eliza Emeline BELL in Roubidoux, Texas County, Missouri. Samuel was 23 years old and Eliza was 16. (NOTE: In the 1930 census, Eliza stated she first married at age 17. However based on date of birth and date of marriage, she had not yet turned 17 when she married Samuel. Memory is a tricky thing sometimes.)

I'm going to present Samuel's and Eliza's life together as a series of gains and losses. Plus signs for the positives (or gains, marked in green) and minus signs for the negatives (or losses, marked in red). I think this is a good way of showing what their life was like up to the crescendo-point in 1905.

++++ Between 1889 and 1896, they had their first four children- Sarah Ann (Aunt Sadie), Jahu, Hosea (or Hose as Mam always called him), and Ida.

- Then the first in a series of tragedies struck the family. Eliza's mom died in January of 1897.

++ In 1898 and 1899, Samuel and Eliza had Quincy (who sometimes went by Bennie) and Ivy (Aunt Tack).

+/- In 1900, Eliza had another set of twin boys neither of whom survived. This was the second in the series of tragedies for the family.

+ In 1901 my great-grandmother Bessie was born.

- In 1902, Eliza's dad (her last living parent) passed away.

+ In 1903 Eula (Aunt Ule) was born.

- Also in 1903 Samuel's stepmother, Armazinda, passed away. Armazinda was Samuel's stepmother from the time he was 8 years old so surely he felt some loss (if not significant loss) when she passed.

- Then in 1904 Samuel's dad (his last living parent) passed away.

After all of these losses, 1905 was an excruciating year for the already hard-hit family.

+ In February, 1905 Martin (Uncle Mart) was born.

- That same year Samuel was killed by a train somewhere near either Cabool, Texas County, Missouri or Mountain Grove, Texas County, Missouri. Sources conflict about the location of his death and no official records or newspaper articles have ever been found to verify this. There was speculation that it was suicide. Some family members believe perhaps it was suicide and others believe that it definitely was not.

I know that Uncle Mart must surely have kept Eliza going on many days when she didn't want to live anymore. In the space of a decade she had lost both parents, her father-in-law and stepmother, and two children. (Averaging it out, that would be almost one lost loved one PER 1 ½ YEARS!!) I can't even imagine what it would be like to have that many close personal losses in that period of time. Knowing about all of these losses, it makes me think perhaps Samuel might really have committed suicide. Maybe while walking home he had time to think about all of these losses and simply couldn't see a reason for living and in one brief moment while he was feeling hopeless, a train appeared and he saw that as a way out. I don't know. It just makes me wonder.


Sometimes we survive even when we don't want to. I'm glad that Eliza made it through this difficult period of her life. In 1908 Eliza married John Charles SNEARY. Everyone I've talked to said he was a good man. He was good to Eliza and good to her children and grandchildren. I love him simply because of this. She needed someone good in her life. After marrying, Eliza and John (who sometimes went by Charles) moved to Enid, Garfield County, Oklahoma. In the 1915 Kansas Territorial Census, John and Eliza show up in Iola, Allen County, Kansas. In the household is a 2 year old male child named Rural WILLIAMS. In 1920 the family is living in Commerce, Ottawa County, Oklahoma and Rural is gone. I don't know Rural's relationship to the family- nor do I know anything else about him. If he belonged to Eliza and John, why wasn't his last name SNEARY? I never heard anyone talk of Eliza and John having any children together and Rural came along too late to belong to Samuel. I have not yet found any answers about Rural. I vaguely remember my grandma mentioning a Rural but sadly, I can't remember what she said. When she said his name it sounded more like 'Ruel'.

Eliza would see several of her sons go into the military and be sent into battle during World War I but it appears from records that they all came back home. I hope that she enjoyed many wonderful years with her children and grandchildren.

By 1930, Eliza and John were back in Upton Township, Texas County, Missouri living out their final years together. Eliza passed away there in February of 1934. She was buried in Oakland Cemetery in Success, Texas County, Missouri. John passed away two years later in August of 1936. John and Eliza were buried next to each other.

Every time I tell you a story about one of our ancestors, I'm always amazed at how much they lived through and yet still were able to make a decent life for themselves. These are the stories I want our children and grandchildren to see. I want them to know that they come from a long line of strong people and good-hearted people. I want them to know that they have it within themselves to overcome whatever struggles they are facing and whatever trouble they find themselves in. I hope this is what they get from the stories about our people. Pass these stories on to them!

Don't forget to check out Becky's blog at http://downintherootcellar.blogspot.com, Theresa's blog at https://recipesfromlena.wordpress.com/, and Rochelle's blog at https://theologyformom.wordpress.com/ for more great reading.  :)

"Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?"  ~  King David

Until next week,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

Memorial Day Military Roll Call

This is my Memorial Day 2015 Military Roll Call.  I'm only listing direct ancestors.  If I missed anyone, please feel free to leave a comment or message me.  I did not list cousins, uncles or anyone not in my direct line so if you wish to add yourself or someone that is not in my direct line- feel free to leave a comment or message me.  Happy Memorial Day and don't forget:

DRAKE Family:
Vietnam:  Roy Drake
Civil War: Sanders Littrell           
                Joseph Larkin
                Bartlett Underwood
                Quincy Bell
Mexican-American:  Ervin Drake
Revolution:  Aquilla Greer

Also don't want to forget my son-in-law who served: Timothy Easter

BATES Family:
Spanish-American:  William Riter
Civil War:  John Bates
                James Bullock
                Charles Seely
                John Davis
                Jefferson Latty
War of 1812:  Frederick Foster
                    Benjamin White
Revolution:  William Chenoweth

Bart WILLIAMS' Family:
Korean:  Bart Williams Sr.
Civil War:  Frances DeWitt
                Richard DeWitt
                William Page
War of 1812:  Isaac DeWitt
Revolution:  Peter DeWitt

~Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

Speling- Hoo Neds It??

Let's wind the calendar all the way back to the first part of April- where I got busy and couldn't keep up with the blog schedule. (This end-of-the-school-year stuff is killing me!!)  The theme of the week was, "How do you spell that?"  I chose to write about my Latty family- my great-great grandmother Druziller LATTY BULLOCK.  Her mom Irena WALLS LATTY and Irena's mom Delila WALLS also put in an appearance.  I created a Google map to go with this post but apparently no one can see it unless they are logged in to my account.  So sadly- you have no map to see how many times she moved back and forth in a very small geographical area.

You ask why I chose Druziller for this week? Well...I've seen her first name spelled Druzilla and Druziller (Druziller is, the best I have been able to find, the correct way to spell it). I've seen her middle name spelled Mahala and Mahaley and also shortened to Halie (Mahala is correct the best I can tell). And I've seen her last name spelled LATTA, LATTY, and LATTIE, and mis-transcribed as TUTTIE. I figured that was good enough for the theme this week.

Please meet Druziller Mahala LATTY BULLOCK:

I only have one photo of Druziller and it is the one posted above. Druziller was born in 1857 in McDonald County, Missouri, to Jefferson and Irena (WALLS) LATTY. She was the first of five known children (Druziller Mahala, Sarah Ellen, James, Lucinda Cynthia, and Martha E.). In the 1860 census she was living with her parents in Pineville, McDonald County, Missouri. She was listed under the name Mahala.

In 1870, the family is found on the census living in Bentonville, Osage Township, Benton County, Arkansas. She was going by the name Mahala. Mahala and her mother (Irena) and younger sister (“Elen”) were living in the household of Thomas NICHOLDS. Irena's occupation was listed as “keeping house”. Both Thomas and Irena were born in Tennessee. An older gentleman named Philip LYDICK was also living in the home along with a woman named Elizabeth LYDICK, and five children with the LYDICK surname. Irena's relationship to Thomas is not listed and I do not know what connection they had beyond this one moment in time. While trying to research the relationship of the LYDICKs, NICHOLDs, LATTYs, and WALLS', I discovered that the children listed as LYDICK children are actually Thomas NICHOLDS' children and Elizabeth is Thomas' wife.

In the home next door to the NICHOLDS, LYDICK, and LATTY families, Druziller's maternal grandmother, Delila WALLS was living with Jesse and Sarah FULLER. Nancy LATTIE was also living in the home with Delila and the FULLERs. Jesse FULLER was the nephew of Irena (grandson of Delila). Jesse's mother was Irena's sister, Elizabeth WALLS. I believe the Nancy LATTIE in this census record was Irena's sister-in-law (Jefferson LATTY's sister).

Here is an 1874 map of McDonald County, Missouri.  This is what the area would have looked like when Druziller lived there.

Druziller Latty Bullock blog.jpg

On 2 April 1879 Druziller married my great-great-grandfather, James Mathaniel BULLOCK. They married in Pineville, McDonald, Missouri.

Above is an 1879 map of the Missouri-Arkansas border- just as it would have looked when James and Druziller were married and started their family there.

In the 1880 census the couple was located in White Rock, McDonald, Missouri. James and Druziller are listed by their initials (J. M. and D. M.) but their daughter, who was born in May of that year, is listed by her name- Mary E. (Mary Ellen) - and so is Druziller's mother Irena who was living with James and Druziller that year. In 1883, Druziller had another girl- Syntha Jane. By 1885 the family was living across the state line in Benton County, Arkansas, where they had their first son- William Edward. In 1887, they were back in McDonald County, Missouri in a little town called Caverna where they had my great-grandmother, Laura Ann. After Druziller had my great-grandmother, she gave birth to a son- Clarence Levi in 1890- and twins Oscar Morris and Alice Mae in 1892. I am uncertain which state (Missouri or Arkansas) Clarence was born in but Oscar and Alice were born in Benton County, Arkansas.

Druziller next shows up in records in 1897 when she made a sworn statement on behalf of her cousin-in-law (Sarah Ann FULLER) so Sarah could try to get a pension on her deceased husband (Jesse FULLER) for his military service. Since I don't have access to the pension files I will have to show someone else's transcription of the record. That person states that Druziller “made a similar statement to her mother's” (Irena LEETY WALLS) on the same date as her mother. Irena's statement is transcribed as :

I, Irena Latty, do solemnly swear on oath that I was personally acquainted with William Tittle from the year 1854 to the time he left. In the same year 1862, I heard that he was dead, and

know from my own personal knowledge he never returned, and that until the present time I have never seen or heard anything more of him, and I am personally acquainted with

Mrs. Fuller and that we are neighbors and have all the reasons to know that she has not heard from or seen Mr. Tittle since his departure in 1862 and I was personally acquainted with

Mr. Fuller from his birth until his death and know that he was never married to anyone but Mrs. Tittle, now Mrs. Fuller, his widow. Signed: Irena Latty.

State of Arkansas
County of Benton

Sworn and subscribed to before me, a Notary Public, on this the 4th. day of August, 1897.
W.A. Blair, Notary Public.

In 1899, Druziller made another sworn statement for Sarah and it is transcribed like this on the above website:

State of Arkansas, Benton County.
Personally appeared before me, a Notary Public, in and for Benton County Arkansas, D.M. Bullock, (Druzilla Mahala Latty, daughter of Irena Walls Latty),

who being duly sworn according to law, certifies as follows: That she has lived a neighbor of Sarah A. Fuller, wife of the soldier, from 1860 to present date and

that she was not married to any person from 1862 to January 19, 1868, and that her present Post Office is Sulpher Springs Ark.

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 3rd, day of March 1899

F.M. Marr Notary Public
My commision expires June 13, 1900

This information was found at http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/LATTA/2006-04/1145020385.  The story of Sarah FULLER's husband sounds like an interesting one and one that the family probably talked about for a long time.

In 1900 the family was listed on census records as living in Sulphur Springs, Benton County, Arkansas. Living in the home were James M. and D. M. (Druziller), and their children Syntha J., William E., Laura A., Levi, Oscar M, and Allice M.. They were among the last few families to be visited by the census taker in Sulphur Springs Township that year.

In 1910 the BULLOCK family was living in Wallace, Benton County, Arkansas. Druziller was a widow and some of her children (Edward W., Levi C., Oscar M., and her married daughter Laura A. RITER) were living with her. She had seven children and according to this census, all seven of her children were still living at the time of the 1910 census. It looks like the three sons may have been supporting the family. Edward was working on a farm, Levi was a railroad worker, and Oscar was also working on a farm. Druziller was widowed seven years prior to this census in 1903. Laura had just married my great grandfather, William RITER, in March of 1910. I'm not sure where he was at the time of the census nor why he wasn't listed as a member of the household.

Shortly before Druziller's death, her son William Edward completed the WWI Draft Registration. On his paperwork he listed his nearest living relative as his mother, “Halie Bullock”. This is the only time and the only person I know of that called her “Halie”. He listed her address as “Gravette Benton Ark”. William's physical description said he was of medium height and build and had black hair and blue eyes. I wonder which parent, if either, he looked like. Levi Clarence's WWI Draft Registration card gives his physical description as medium height and build, brown hair and brown eyes. Oscar Morris' WWI Draft Registration card states he is of medium height and build, has brown hair and light blue eyes and that his mother is dependent upon him for support.

Druziller died on 23 November 1919 in Gravette, Benton County, Arkansas. She is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery next to her husband James. It is family oral history that Druziller's daughter, Laura, had an infant that died shortly after birth that is most likely buried at the foot of James' grave. No record has been found to verify this story. Druziller's obituary read:

Mahala Latty Bullock

Mrs D.M. Bullock died at her home northeast of town Sunday, November 23, 1919 following a few days of Illness from Pneumonia.

Mahala Latty was born in McDonald County, Missouri Sep. 19, 1857. She was married to D.M. Bullock, who preceded her in death July 25, 1903. Seven children

survive: Mrs. Ellen Gilbert, Hannock, Mo., Mrs. Cynthia Baty, Mrs. Laura Ritter, Mrs. Alice Rotramel, Edward, Lee and Oscar Bullock of Gravette. The funeral was

conducted by Rev. W.H. Weatherby Monday and burial took place at the Odd Fellows cemetery. Sympathy is extended the family.

(Gravette News Herald 11-28-1919)

According to family stories passed down, Druziller was 1/16 Cherokee and 1/16 Catawba.

For all of the records listed, I still feel like I don't know much of anything about Druziller. There seemed to be a theme running through her life of returning to places she had already been. And just as Druziller was a widow, so her daughter Laura would be, and her granddaughter Jessie as well. Hopefully one day I will meet someone who knows a little of Druziller's story and is willing to share it.

Until then,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

Don't forget to click: http://downintherootcellar.blogspot.com
Don't forget to click: https://theologyformom.wordpress.com/
Don't forget to click: https://recipesfromlena.wordpress.com/

Two Men and a Passel of Huntin' Dogs

I'm going back to the first week that I missed (two weeks ago). The theme was “favorite photo”. I knew right away that I wanted to write about my Papa- Troy Columbus BATES- and also about my paternal great-great-grandfather Alford Allen HUBBARD. Even though these two men were from opposite sides of my family and were born 34 years apart, they share a few things in common. One that I find intriguing is that they both owned the same piece of land in Delaware County, Oklahoma, but at different times. They also both had middle names that were handed down through generations in their respective families.

The other thing they have in common is that they both loved to hunt with their coon dogs. I have a photo of the men each with their own pack of hunting dogs. Those are two of my favorite photos.

^^ Troy "Lum" BATES with one of his hunting dogs and a nights' worth of 'coon hides.

^^ Alford Allen HUBBARD with several of his hunting dogs.


Troy was always called Lum. I never knew him to be called anything else. Columbus is a BATES family name that was handed down through the generations in Papa's family. He was born to Albert and Dettie (GIBSON) BATES in 1912 in Benton County, Arkansas. He lived in Benton County until at least 1940. Sometime after the 1940 census, he and his wife Jessie, and their family would move to McDonald County, Arkansas. Lum and Jessie owned a grocery store and a cafe at different times throughout their lives. Lum once worked one day for the WPA during the depression. He walked off the job that same day because he wasn't working and found it distasteful to draw a paycheck without working for it. He was very patriotic but never once voted. He had an extreme distaste for the government and was also very superstitious. He was known to go miles out of his way rather than cross the path of a black cat. He chewed Red Bull tobacco and always had a spittoon by his chair for as long as I can remember. He kept the house at least 100 degrees and always wore several layers of clothing even with the house that hot. He loved playing cards and he enjoyed watching Hee Haw when it was airing on television. But the one thing he truly loved to do more than most anything else was 'coon hunt.

I remember when Papa BATES was keeping a young 'coon in a cage. It sure was a mean little creature. If you got too close it would hiss at you like a cat. The only time Papa's Georgia history came out was when he would yell at his hunting dogs. I never knew why he said “here” like that until I learned that his family was from Georgia and then it made sense why he said that word with the accent he did. Lum had lots of hunting adventures over the years.  Some recall a time he was out hunting and came across a huge marijuana patch.  My mom told me that Papa got so desperate to go hunting once that he actually took her and Aunt Mae with him so he could go hunting. That's dedication- on their part and his! My dad recalled many hunting trips with Papa BATES including one where he got lost and ended up walking a couple extra miles because of it. Other family members threw in their hunting stories as well but my favorite hunting story is this one. When my son was about 9 or 10 we were visiting Granny and Papa. Papa took my son hunting with him, my dad, and my husband. I loved that my son got to share in that tradition while my grandpa was still well enough to do it with him. Derek talked about that hunting trip for years. Derek used to own a hat that looked much like the one Papa BATES always wore. When he wore it it always reminded me of Papa. Derek even had some senior photos taken with that hat on. I miss both of them deeply.  I was unable to locate any of my pictures of Papa Bates with his hat on, unfortunately.

^^ DeReK with his "Lum" hat.

^^ Lum and Jessie BATES

^^  The only picture I could find of Lum with his hat on.


Alford was born in 1878 in Harrison County, Missouri to John Allen and Nancy Jane (CHAMBERS) HUBBARD. Even though Alford's official documents spell his name "Alfred", older members of the family insisted it was spelled "Alford" and that is how they said his name.  The name Allen has remained a family name handed down through the generations to the present day. Unlike my BATES family, my HUBBARD family did not stay put for long periods of time. Sometime after 1880 they left Harrison County, Missouri. In June of 1900 Alford was working as a Teamster in the railroad tie industry in Shannon County, Missouri. He was living in Cordz-Fisher Lumber Company's camp as a boarder in the home of William and Nancy WOODS. Later that year he married Laura BUTLER in Douglas County, Missouri.

Cordz-Fisher Lumber Company Camp.  Photo found at http://thelibrary.org/lochist/periodicals/ozarkswatch/ow601h.htm.  This website has some other photographs and some interesting history about the lumber industry in Missouri around this time period.

By 1902, when their daughter Rosa was born, the family lived in Christian County, Missouri. Alford was working in a sawmill at the time of the 1910 census and the family was living in North Marion Township in Christian County, Missouri.

Although he listed his employment as being at the sawmill in 1910 and his residence as N. Marion Township, on his 1918 World War I Draft Registration he stated he was a farmer and living in Seymour, Webster County, Missouri.  His physical description states he was medium height and medium build.  He had blue eyes and brown hair. (See below.)

By 1920, they were living in Webster County, Missouri where their youngest child Anna was born. Alford was working as a Tie Inspector at a Tie Yard (railroad ties). They had two sons and three daughters including my great-grandmother, Edith HUBBARD. (See my previous post for information about Edith at http://happy-girl-24.livejournal.com/15638.html).

^^ Railroad tie yard photo found at Missouri Digital Heritage http://cdm.sos.mo.gov/cdm/singleitem/collection/msaphotos/id/477/rec/4.

By 1930 they were in McDonald County, Missouri where Alford was working as a railroad tie buyer.  Below is a 1932 Delaware County, Oklahoma school census record for the family.

In 1940 they were in Delaware County, Oklahoma where Alford and Laura were living with a cousin named Alice Gann. They were listed as Alice's caretakers. Below is a World War II Draft Registration card for Alford from circa 1945.

Alford died in 1950 and is buried in South West City Cemetery in McDonald County, Missouri.

I don't have many stories about Alford. I just have the facts I've been able to gather from documents.  I have lots of stories about Lum, but then you probably have many of your own.  So I'll leave you to reminisce about your own experiences with Lum and reflect on the life of Alford.  The next time you hear a hound dog barking, maybe you'll think of these men and the lives they led.  When you're done reading and reminiscing, don't forget to check these other blogs: http://downintherootcellar.blogspot.com, https://recipesfromlena.wordpress.com/, and https://theologyformom.wordpress.com/.

Until next week,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives