Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Invitations to the Tibbetts Family Association Meetings

May (Tibbetts) Jarvis, my Tibbetts genealogist 2nd great grandaunt, was involved with the Tibbetts Family Association for years, evidenced by photostat copies she kept of numerous invitations to the meetings:

The yellow pushpins mark the places where the Association met, according to May's invitations and the newspaper article shown below.

I am not sure if May made it to this meeting.  Some more info on Charles W. Tibbetts here.  This and the following photostat images from a copy of the Tibbetts family lent to me by a cousin.  Courtesy of Katherine Rainey.

I think of Maine as being so cold, but then, I have never been there.  Apparently Ogunquit Beach is a popular beach resort, especially during the hot, humid summers.

Modern transportation map of the Ogunquit area.
A bathing scene from a postcard, about 1910.  From Wikipedia.

The next year the meeting was held in Sanford, Maine.

More on the Casino, Central Park, in Somersworth, New Hampshire here.

By 1939, George W Tibbetts and secretary Rosa Shorey were still going strong in the group.  A chicken dinner and cake sounds nice!

The following year May Jarvis had her work on display for the association, which met back at Ogunquit Beach:

Part of the article on the Tibbetts Association meeting in 1940.  From Biddeford Daily Journal, September 12, 1940, Page 5 (NewspaperArchive).  

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memento Mori: Memorial Day

My original intent for today was to re-post last year's Memorial Day tribute; next I thought I might highlight those individuals (most, but not all of them, my direct ancestors) whom I've posted about under my Gone for Soldiers label.

Then I recalled this photo of the air crew with my maternal uncle Jack Slater's notes written on the back. I don't know where it was taken, but assume that it must have been during his training as a B-17 pilot in the Army Air Corps. Not only does Jack list himself as the pilot here--and he was co-pilot on his three missions in Europe*--but close inspection of the lettering on the object to the left of the group reveals it to be a practice bomb.

[All courtesy of Olive Slater-Kennedy]

Here's my transcription of Jack's notes above:
Here we are, Crew 21 of the Bartholmess** Provisional Group. We are a typical combat crew - typical in that we represent all sections and elements of the country, in that we consider ourselves the best of the lot. We are the All American team of this or any other war year. We shall carry the war to the enemy, and hit him hard. Pardon me, if I sound like the proud parent, telling of his very ordinary children. We are, starting with the front row, reading left to right:
1. Pilot - You know me; I shan't describe myself.
2. Co-Pilot - Lt. Charles M. Guyler is at present newly-married. His wife, also from Pennsylvania, calls him "Chub". He is a level-headed, likeable young man of 25, an excellent pilot. I'd be lost without him.
3. Navigator - Lt. William R. Jones is the senior member at 33. A native Texan, he washed out as a pilot, and is the best Navigator in the group. Also married.
4. Bombardier - Lt. Jack L. Kipnis is at 26 still rather boyish. A Jewish boy from Brooklyn, he is a typical devil-may-care, efficient bombardier. Outwardly he seems to know only bombing and women.
5. Engineer - St Sgt Jackson G. Osborne has a mechanic's tasks. The boys call him "Bulldog", because of his noisy, husky egotism. He'd run the plane (and crew) if we'd let him. West Virginia (20).
6. Assistant Engineer - Sgt. Vito W. DiSabato is a native-born Italian with Latin good looks and personality. Lately from New York, he is also a waist gunner. He is 21.
7. Radio Operator - Sgt. Lowell T. Birdwell at 23 has been in the Army for 3 years. He has served in his native Texas and the Caribean [sic]. He is the "character" of the crew, very droll.8. Asst. Radio Operator - Allan V. Kangas is the baby at 19. Typically Scandinavian and a native born Finn. Very quiet. The Boys call him "Smiley" as he has no front teeth.
9. Cpl. Robert L. Lane is the Armorer - Ball turret gunner. He is 21, typically New England, the best gunner on the crew. Why the boys call him "Rabbit" I can't say. They also call him Jr. because he looks so young.
10. The tail gunner is Sgt. Ralph E. Martinez of Texas. Another quiet boy, well liked by us all. "Rocky" is also 21. Another excellent gunner.
Based on the information Jack has put in his notes, I was able to trace all of his fellow crew members except William R. Jones. Only Jack and Vito DiSabato didn't survive the war.

  • Charles Miller Guyler (1918-1991)
  • Jack L. Kipnis (1917-1978)
  • Jackson G. Osborne (1923-1981)
  • Vito W. DiSabato (1921-1944)
  • Lowell T. Birdwell (1919-1995)
  • Allan V. Kangas (1924-1994)
  • Robert L. Lane (1922-2111)
  • Ralph E.Martinez (1922-1981)

Thanks to the internet and YouTube I was able to locate several of the training films that Jack would have seen during his training.

[How to fly the B-17: Ground Operations
1943 US Army Air Forces Training Film World War II]

[How To Fly The B-17: Flight Operations
1943 US Army Air Forces Training Film World War II]

*Missions flown according to database at the American Air Museum in England.
29 Nov 1843 Bremen link here   plane name unknown 42-31171
30 Nov 1943 Solengin link here  Mayfly 42-3356
5 Dec 1943 Bordeaux/Merignac link here  Fighting Cock 42-3397
**I believe this refers to Lt. Col. Karl T. Barthelmess.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday Drive - Oh the Places You Will Go: Humbug Mountain State Park, 1954

This photo was taken  At Humbug Mountain State Park on our way home at the end of the summer of 1954. For several days we watched the pile driver hammering the poles for the new bridge* into the ground before Dad walked down to take a closer look. It turned out that the operator of the pile driver was someone he knew--George Marks, the husband of Calvin Conner's daughter Gwen and thereby some kind of cousin of his by marriage.**

[Our campsite at Humbug Mountain, looking west, from my personal collection]

[View from the bridge-site, looking back at campground (our trailer is just visible), from my personal collection]

[View of the state park campground from the road (no trailer), from my personal collection]

[View of the south side of the bridge site from the road, from my personal collection]

That weekend George and Gwen drove down from their home in Reedsport to visit us. Sadly I haven't been able to find a picture of them.

Every summer we spent a few days at Humbug Mountain on our way north and south and over the years became friends with the park ranger, Bob (a Korean War vet) and his wife Rose both natives of Oklahoma. Since almost all of the places we stayed at did not supply running water to the individual campsites and it was my job to haul the buckets of water we needed every day, I always appreciated the hook-ups here.

*The bridge built over Brush Creek in 1954 was replaced by a new one in 1998, You can read about that one here.
**Gwen and George fell into the category of what Dad referred to as "shirt-tail relatives."

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Book Shelf: May Tibbetts Jarvis at the New England Historic Genealogical Society

Yesterday Christine posted about a letter sent by the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) thanking May Tibbets Jarvis* for her contributions, assuring her "they would never be allowed to leave the Library."

I decided to check up on them and here's what I found:

[Results of Author Search for May Tibbets Jarvis at NEHGS website AmericanAncestors.com]

*Christine's paternal 2nd great grand aunt.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

May Jarvis Receives a Letter From the New England Historic Genealogical Society

May (Tibbetts) Jarvis kept this and her other letters of acceptance from the institutions she donated her Tibbetts genealogy to in the copy she gave to her granddaughter, Amy.  Although I have 3 versions of May's books I had not seen these letters before.   Courtesy of Katherine Rainey, who has temporarily loaned me these copies.

When I wrote my post on May Jarvis I mentioned the institutions she donated copies of her Tibbetts genealogy to.  I was excited when May's great granddaughter lent me her copies of May's work and I saw that the acceptance letters from these very institutions (including NEHGS, the Library of Congress, the National Library of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Newberry Library, the Central Library of the Los Angeles Library, and the Sutro Library in San Francisco (California State Library)) still exist.

I suspect that genealogists back in the 1940's faced the same indifference from most of their relations as they do now.  It must have been very rewarding for May to receive these acceptance letters of praise from fellow enthusiasts.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Family Friday: Currey

This photo of Dad and me was taken in June of 1948 at Doheny State Beach. I was one year old and still a redhead.

[From my personal collection]

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Fantastic Find: Genea-Musing's Ancestry Hack to Search Hints By Specific Database

Want to search for hints from a specific database on your Ancestry tree?

Find your Ancestry tree number = treenumb (you can find this in every URL when you are looking at your tree)

Find the Ancestry database number = dbas

Insert those values into this URL:

If, like me, you regularly visit Randy Seaver's blog Genea-Musings you've probably already seen this hack ("Mining Ancestry.com Hints by Specific Record Collection - Updated"), but I love to refer to it whenever Ancestry releases a new database, like they did today for their "U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942" in time for Memorial Day weekend.

So for today's release I would use the following info:
the database number: http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1002
and my tree number: http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/14683958/family?cfpid=145378340

to get this:

This is a sample of the results.  30 pages??  I'd better get to work!

I often use this to check and see if any given database can be mined effectively.  It also helps me a regularly sweep of my entire tree (which is full of collateral relations as well as my direct ancestors), which is often neglected.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Gone for Soldiers: Willet Orlando "Richard" or "Dick" Worden (1843 - 1912), Soldier, U.S. - Part 4

By May 25, 1863, the Army of the Tennessee,* two attacks having been repulsed by the Confederate forces defending Vicksburg, settled in for a siege of the city.** As General Grant explains in his memoirs:
"In the interval between the assaults of the 19th and 22d, roads had been completed from the Yazoo River and Chickasaw Bayou, around the rear of the army, to enable us to bring up supplies of food and ammunition; ground had been selected and cleared, on which the troops were to be encamped, and tents and cooking utensils were brought up. The troops had been without these from the time of crossing the Mississippi up to this time. All was now ready for the pick and spade."***
[Siege of Vicksburg, By Kurz and Allison - Source: Library of Congress, Public Domain.]

Since we left my great great grandfather Dick Worden and his 24th Iowa Infantry Regiment at the beginning of the month, just after the battle of Port Gibson, he and his comrades had marched to Jackson, Mississippi's state capitol which was captured by Generals Sherman and McPherson's troops on May 14th.

Two days later the 24th Iowa (Hovey's Division, Slack's Brigade) had taken a very active part in what was a key battle of the Vicksburg campaign at Champion Hill after federal forces turned west to attack the "Gibraltar of the Confederacy." From Timothy B. Smith's 2006 book on the battle**** we learn of the atmosphere in camp before the battle as remembered by Quartermaster Sergeant Charles A. Longley of the 24th Iowa.*****
"[T]he men passed the time that morning by horsing around and telling jokes. 'But the jokes were not able-bodied nor the laughter natural,' he wrote. some men prayed and other made 'mental promises of amendment.'...Those who did not think prayer would save them scribbled small notes for comrades to carry back to loved ones--just in case. While the men occupied their time in the multitude of ways men do in advance of combat, 'the imperturbable face of the great commander appear[ed],' recalled Longley. Seeing Grant was 'a welcome though brief diversion.' The general took a look around, asked a question Longley did not hear, and rode on."
For a description of the battle here's General Hovey recalling the events of that day for an inquiring reporter from the Indianapolis Journal in 1885:
“By the way,” Hovey said, “I think I can tell you something about Grant on another occasion. The battle of Champion Hills was one of the bloodiest of the war. The division I commanded belonged to McClernand’s corps. By a delay caused by my division being ordered to make a feint on the enemy’s lines near Baker’s Creek, while the main army passed round the west flank of the enemy toward Bolton Station, my division became detached from the main corps to which it belonged. We first came in sight of the enemy near what is now called Champion Hills. At that time, my division was on the extreme right – the main body of McClernand’s corps being something two or three miles to the left. 
“As soon as the enemy was perceived, scouts were sent out to ascertain as far as possible his real condition. Gen. James R. Slack commanded one brigade in my division and Gen. George F. McGinnis the other. Here we waited some 30 or 40 minutes with the enemy’s cannons on the hill in full view. Gen. Grant rode up and I pointed out to him the enemy’s position. His headquarters were at the Champion’s house. I asked him if I should advance. He said, ‘Not yet; wait till McPherson comes up on your right and takes position to support you.’ Gen. McPherson’s and Gen. John A. Logan’s forces soon arrived, and as soon as they got in position I again asked Gen. Grant if I should make the attack to which he laconically answered, ‘Yes.’ 
Slack’s brigade bore off to the left, and McGinnis’s to the right. McGinnis struck the battery full, but Slack diverged a little to the left. It was a close hand-to-hand fight between McGinnis’ boys and the rebels over the battery and the guns were ours. Both brigades then advanced to a second battery, perhaps a quarter of a mile in the rear of the one we had captured, and after a fierce fight took that also. But the enemy, reinforced, returned in great numbers and drove us back to the location of the first battery. 
"We made a second charge and the second battery was again taken. Again with overwhelming force the enemy pressed my force back down from the brow of the hill beyond the first battery. This was a critical moment. My men were fighting stubbornly, but against almost overpowering odds. If the centre had been broken our army would have been divided into two parts. There were 28 [16 according to the Official Records] pieces of artillery under my command and again being reinforced I placed those 28 pieces on a mound in a graveyard, and with shot, shell, and canister poured an enfilading fire into the advancing hosts. The place was well timbered and thick with underbrush, but it was mowed almost as with a scythe. They couldn’t stand that fire and swung back. Logan came in on the right and took several thousand prisoners. The enemy gave way and Loring’s force broke off from the rebel line and rushed back to Jackson. This was as I said before, the bloodiest fight of the whole campaign."
[Battle of Champion Hill, Sketched by Mr. Theodore R. Davis. Harper's Weekly, Volume: 1863, Issue: 06/20, Page 393.
Source: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.]

General Grant's observations about Champion Hill, from his memoirs:******
"The battle of Champion's Hill lasted about four hours, hard fighting, preceded by two or three hours of skirmishing, some of which almost rose to the dignity of battle. Every man of Hovey's division and of McPherson's two divisions was engaged during the battle. No other part of my command was engaged at all, except that as described before. Osterhaus's and A. J. Smith's divisions had encountered the rebel advanced pickets as early as half-past seven. Their positions were admirable for advancing upon the enemy's line. McClernand, with two divisions, was within a few miles of the battle-field long before noon and in easy hearing. I sent him repeated orders by staff officers fully competent to explain to him the situation. These traversed the wood separating us, without escort, and directed him to push forward; but he did not come. It is true, in front of McClernand there was a small force of the enemy and posted in a good position behind a ravine obstructing his advance; but if he had moved to the right by the road my staff officers had followed the enemy must either have fallen back or been cut off. Instead of this he sent orders to Hovey, who belonged to his corps, to join on to his right flank. Hovey was bearing the brunt of the battle at the time. To obey the order he would have had to pull out from the front of the enemy and march back as far as McClernand had to advance to get into battle and substantially over the same ground. Of course I did not permit Hovey to obey the order of his intermediate superior. 
We had in this battle about 15,000 men absolutely engaged. This excludes those that did not get up, all of McClernand's command except Hovey. Our loss was 410 killed, 1,844 wounded and 187 missing. Hovey alone lost 1,200 killed, wounded and missing—more than one-third of his division."
The Civil War Trust has an excellent map of the Battle of Champion Hill here. At HistoryNet you can find a series of maps showing the progress of the battle. This site has photos of the historic markers relating to Champion Hill but we're a few days too late to attend this year's 153rd anniversary of the battle.

Having safely gotten my ancestor through the terrible events of this day, next week I'll examine what his experiences might have been before his regiment arrived in front of Vicksburg.

*According to Grant the Union army under his command now numbered 40,000 spread out along a line 15 miles long. The defenders' line was less than half that.
**Smithsonian Magazine has a video describing the siege here.
***From Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant; Chapter XXXVIII SIEGE OF VICKSBURG. here.
**** Smith, Timothy B. Champion Hill: Decisive Battle for Vicksburg. El Dorado Hills, CA: Savas Beatie, 2006. 978-1932714197. (paperback, page 171)
*****He was in Company G; Dick Worden in Company C.
******Chapter XXXV. As you can tell from the text, Grant didn't like McClernand, a "political" general who didn't hesitate to go over Grant's head when he wanted to complain about something.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Troubled Life: Mina Mae Mitchell (1868-1910)

Mina was the first wife of Edgar Otho Hartley, my great grandfather George Henry Hartley's first cousin.

My great grandfather George H Hartley's pedigree.  He and Edgar Otho were grandsons of George W Hartley, Solomon Hartley's son.

My introduction to Mina was a very spare outline in one of May Jarvis's Hartley Family books mentioning Edgar Otho Hartley's first wife, Mina and their two children, Floyd and Claude.  It wasn't until I began looking through the newspaper databases that I realized how complicated Mina was.  It reads like an Edwardian-era Jerry Springer episode.

Mina's story unfolded innocuously enough, with a Cedar Rapids marriage announcement in 1887:

Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
3 Jan 1887
page 3
Married, at the residence of the bride's parents in Cedar Rapids, Jan. 1, 1887, by the Rev. J. B. Ossebeer(?), Edgar O. Hartley and Minnie M. Mitchell, all of Cedar Rapids.

Record shows that they had two sons, Floyd Earl Hartley (1891) and Claude Gearald Hartley (1894).
Mina and Edgar Otho divorced 2 years later, as evidenced by this short notice in the paper:

The Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette
6 Nov 1896
page 2
M. M. Hartley vs. E. O. Hartley plaintiff, granted divorce. 

Mina then apparently kept herself busy with an affair with a married man, A. T. Jones:

The Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
9 Aug 1897
page 8

Are Nabbed
A. F. Jones and Mrs. Minnie Hartley Arrested Saturday
Wife of the Former Files an Information Charging the Pair with Adultery--Jones Furnishes Bonds, but the Woman Languishes in the Station over Sunday.

A little black-eyed lady stepped from a Northwestern train Saturday noon, accompanied by two little girls. They proceeded almost directly to the office of Justice J. F. Rall, where the lady, Mrs. Fannie Jones, of Marshalltown, filed an information, charging A. T. Jones, her husband, and Mrs. Minnie Hartley, of this city, with the crime of adultery.  Warrants were issued for the arrest of the pair and placed in the hands of the police.  Deputy Marshal Stepanek and Officer McGuire went to the room occupied by the couple, over Sinclair's market, corner First street and Third avenue, arresting Jones as he emerged from the room, "growler" in hand, en route to the nearest saloon.  The Hartley woman was arrested in her room.
The couple were taken to the police station to await the coming of the complaining witness.  Jones smiled and smirked, and tried to look serious when he remarked to his paramour that they were going to lose their beer.  "That's all right," said the woman, "we'll get it later," and they conversed confidentially until Officers McKernan and Stiltson took them to Rall's court.
When arraigned the pair concluded to waive preliminary examination and give bonds for their appearance before the October term of district court.  Just as Jones decided upon this line of action his wife and children entered the room, accompanied by Officer McGuire.
The little flaxen haired baby ran across the room and threw her arms around the neck of her father, the older one remaining with her mother, who sat down opposite the pair. With his baby prattling upon his knee Jones signed the waiver and took the blank bond which Justice Rall had prepared for signature. As the woman moved her chair up to the table to sign her name Mrs Jones came across the room and stood immediately behind her husband, looking at the object of her husband's infatuation with an expression which only an artist might depict. Nothing was said: the couple were escorted back to the police station by the officers and Mrs. Jones remained to confer with the prosecuting attorney. To a Gazette reporter she briefly told the story of her unhappiness:
"This woman has been annoying us for three years," said Mrs. Jones, 'and has succeeded in breaking up one of the happiest homes in the world. No couple ever lived happier than my husband and myself until this woman began to exert her in-fluence over him, and since then Ilave not seen a moment's happiness. Up to the last year my husband had provided for me, all that I might ask; but since then his money has gone to support this Hartley woman and the children and I have had very little.
"My husband is a contractor and he has made good money. He has two or three jobs under way now and the contracts for other work. Our children worship the ground he walks on, and nothing has ever come between us--except this woman. Not only has my husband left his home at many times to visit her here, but she has come to Marshalltown, tempting him to leave his home, and they have been seen together there great many times. She has even gone so far as to write me letters, telling me that she is going to influence my husband away from me, whom he did not love, and that she was going to have him all to herself. She called me all sorts of vile names because I presumed to claim the affections of my husband.
"I have a good case against them and propose to push it to the end. One who has not suffered as I have cannot appreciate the pain and sorrow it causes me to be compelled to appear publicly in a matter like this,but I have stood all I can and am going to have the matter ended now and for all time."
Mrs. Jones also stated that her attorney at Marshalltown will assist in the prosecution of the case against Jones and Mrs. Hartley. She left for home late Saturday evening, but will return in time to appear against the couple. In the meantime, she says, she is going to secure all the evidence she can, Jones was fortunate enough to secure bonds Saturday evening, but the Hartley woman, who was recently the defendant in an action for a divorce, was unable to secure bonds and remained in care of the police matron over Sunday. She hopes that friends at Marion will come to her assistance today.

Mina was bailed out 2 days later:

The Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
11 Aug 1897
page 6

She Gave Bonds
Mrs. Minnie Hartley Liberated From the County Jail
Mrs. Minnie Hartley, whose arrest has been noted, and an outline of whose alleged offenses has been given by The Gazette, was this morning successful in securing bond in the sum of $300.  She left the jail at Marion in company with Jones and a well known Cedar Rapids man.
F. E. Witousek(?) signed the bond. 

Almost a year later it appeared that Mina was no longer involved with A. T. Jones, and was appearing drunk in public in Cedar Rapids with a female friend Elsie Cress.

The Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
18 Jul 1898
Page 5
The Police Grind
Elsie Cress and Mina Hartley Faced the Court This Morning

In the absence of Judge Giberson, Justice Rall officiated in police court this morning.  He had one Tm Finegan, alias Carney, charged as a plain drunk, and Elsie Cress and Mrs. Mina Hartley before him.  Carney pleaded guilty and was fined $5 and costs.
Saturday evening Sergeant Mark and Officer Kvapil arrested Cress and the Hartley woman near Wilson's court.  Sergeant Mark had seen the couple at the lower end during the early evening and just before midnight he saw the woman come staggering across the Milwaukee bridge.  Cress was following along at some distance in the rear.  When the woman approached the west end of the bridge Mrs. Cress darted out of a dark place and the two came together.  Officer Kvapil took the Hartley woman in tow and started for the station, while Mark waited for Cress.
They pleaded guilty to drunk and disorderly conduct this morning, Cress being fined $25 or seven days in jail and the woman $10 and costs. Cress will sweat out his fine, while the woman's fine was suspended upon payment of costs.
Mrs. Hartley has a small child who is being cared for somewhere, but of late she has been on the incline and going down rapidly.

 What followed was a published statement from Mina herself (!), explaining what she was "really" doing:

The Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette
23 Jul 1898
Page 8

An Explanation
Mrs. Mina Hartley Desires to Correct an Erroneous Impression

The following communication is self explanatory:
Editor Gazette:  I wish to state the full particulars of my arrest on Saturday evening, July 16.
Mrs. Josie Clark and Frank Watkins called at my home that evening and when they left asked me to go as far as the corner with them.  I did so and when we got to the corner they asked me if I would not walk down to Eleventh avenue and have a glass of beer, which at first I refused, but on the information that they saw some friends of mine go down there I went.  While there Mrs. Clark introduced me to Mr. Cress, as follows:  "Mrs. Hartley, my former husband, Mr. Cress"  I barely recognized the introduction as I did not care to get mixed up with the Cress fellow.  When we drank our beer I told Mrs. Clark I must go home.  We started and Mr. Cress followed out.  He seemingly could not resist the temptation of talking to his former wife.  Again I told Mrs. Clark I must go home, and she came over to me and said: "Mina, if ever you done a favor for anyone in your life stay by me until I shake Elsie."  So instead of going home I walked up the street.  But still he followed along.  Then Mrs. Clark thought perhaps if we went on ninth avenue bridge we could get rid of him, but even then he was more persistent.  I felt sorry for Mrs. Clark and we walked to the farther end of Ninth avenue bridge, then seeing it was of no use for her to try any farther to shake him, I told her again that I was going home.  Then she and Mr. Watkins wanted me to go over Third avenue bridge, but I said no, I would go the nearest way, so I left them at the stairway, the three of them.  I got some distance and looked around and saw that Mr. Cress was coming very slow and also noticed the other two standing at the stairway.  When I started on I met the officers.  They asked me where i was going.  I said "home."  They made a remark that I was in nice company and I told them I would explain.  They would not listen to me:  said I had been drinking and was drunk and would not hear my appeal to go home, for which place I was bound as fast as I could go.  They took me to the station and then stated that I was out with Cress.  It was not my fault.  He was in the crowd and through my sympathy for Mrs. Clark, having her former husband following her around, I got into trouble.  I simply got into bad company and had to suffer for others, to my sorrow.
Mina Hartley

A few months later her ex-husband Edgar Otho married his first cousin, Mary Louise Wilkin (also a first cousin of my great grandfather George Henry Hartley).  He would remain in Cedar Rapids for a few years and then they moved to St Paul, Minnesota.

Mina married Thomas Joseph Duluhan (1867-1908), a clerk originally from Ireland, in Cedar Rapids on August 16, 1899, and by the 1900 Census was living with him and her 6-year-old son Claude Hartley in East St Louis, Illinois (the seedier part of St Louis across the Mississippi River).  Claude warrants his own blog post, as he literally ran away to join the circus (well, the "Flack North Western Carnival Show") by 1917.

Her 9-year-old son Floyd Earl was living with his Hartley grandparents in the area outside Cedar Rapids.  He would die there in 1913 from kidney disease.

Mina's relationship with this second husband is unknown, but she didn't waste any time living it up and finding another man, John W Tourville (1880-1910) within a month of her husband's death.  Her wild wedding celebration to Tourville made national headlines:

Galveston Daily News
Galveston, Texas
2 Apr 1909
page 4

Bride Sets Up Drinks at Bar
Ceremony Performed in Lame Goose Saloon -- Widow Only Four Weeks.

St. Louis, Mo.--There was a wedding celebration in East St. Louis like that given Tuesday night in token of the second marriage of Mrs. Mary Dulahan, whose first husband, Thomas Dulahan, died a month ago.

The widow of four weeks lavishly expended a considerable portion of her new-found wealth--$6,000--which she collected as insurance on the life of her former mate.
It was she who chose the Lame Goose saloon, at the northern limits of East St. Louis, as the scene of the festivities.

Flowers?  The bride bought $150 worth of roses and decorate the back of the bar with them.  There were water buckets full of carnations on every table in the Lame Goose saloon.
Mrs. Dalahan collected her insurance money only a few weeks ago, and a few hours later her engagement to John W. Tourville, a painter, was announced.

They were married Tuesday afternoon by Justice Collins.

The bride's wedding gift to her husband was a check for $2,000.
So that he would not have to break his "nest egg," she also gave him $250 to buy his wedding clothes.  When he appeared before her in his new outfit she was so greatly pleased that she handed him $200 more.
"Go and buy a nice, big diamond for your shirt front," she said.

Fifty guests were invited to the reception at the Lame Goose saloon.

The bride stood in the center of the barroom and pinned a rose on every one who came in.  Nobody was permitted to spend money for drinks.
"It's all on me," said the bride.  "Order what you like."

In the hall above the saloon the wedding supper was served, and besides the invited guests nearly 100 others crowded around the tables.

The merrymaking continued until daylight.

"What's the use of having money if you don't spend it?" said the happy bride.

"That's right," agreed the no less happy groom, feeling to see if his big diamond was still there.
--Spokane Spokeman-Review.

By a year and half, she and her new husband were dead:

Belleville News Democrat
Belleville, Illinois
23 Sep 1910
page 3

Once Rich; Dies in Want
Mrs. Nina Tourville, Who Spent $6,000 at Wedding, Dies in Poverty.

Mrs. Nina Tourville of East St. Louis, better known as the "Lame Goose Bride," or as the woman who spent a small fortune in a single night, was buried Thursday from her home, 818 Bowman avenue.  None of the pomp which distinguished her last wedding was attendant at her burial.  She died in poverty.

Her first husband, T. J. Delehan, died November 15, 1908, leaving her a $5,000 insurance policy.  The day following the payment of the money she announced that her marriage to J. W. Tourville would be celebrated in the Lame Goose saloon.  All of the city was invited and almost all of her little estate as spent in entertaining her guests.

Tourville died a short time ago, but he only left her $2,000 in insurance, and it was so involved in legal tangles that the widow had secured none of it.

 Though she had few mourners to attend her funeral, the newspapers had a field day with the story:

Hartford Herald
Hartford, Kentucky
28 Sep 1910
page 1

Few Mourners Follow the Body of Woman

Who Spent $6,000 for Wedding Feast to Her Last Resting Place.

St. Louis, Mo, Sept. 24.--Only four carriages followed the hearse which took Mrs. Nina Tourville to her grave in East St. Louis to-day, and among the mourners were none of the 2,000 men and women whom only two years ago she entertained at the feast of food and drink which she prepared when she married a second man a month after her first husband's death.

Mrs. Tourville will always be remembered in East St. Louis as the woman who spent $6,000 in one day.

To Tourville as a wedding gift she gave $300 worth of clothing and $6,500 worth of jewelry.  She hired the Lame Goose saloon outright, including a hall on the second floor, and issued a general invitation to "everybody in East St. Louis" to help her celebrate the marriage.  The bill for the celebration was $6,000.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday Is for Mothers: Maria Evans (1814 - 1899) Part 1

Because her granddaughter Esther Moreland Leithold wrote a book about them based on family stories, we know more about the personal life of my paternal great-great-great grandmother Maria Evans (and her husband B.R. Biddle).

[Maria Evans Biddle, page 12, from "..And This Is Our Heritage."
Courtesy of the Hathi Trust Digital Library (original from University of Wisconsin).]

Maria was born in Claiborne County in northeast Tennessee in 1814 and was named her for one of her father's sisters, Mary Evans Conway, who had no children of her own. Her parents Elijah and Rutha (Holt) Evans owned an inn on the south bank of the Clinch River on the route from North Carolina to Kentucky, via the Cumberland Gap.

[Map of Kentucky And Tennessee Compiled from the Latest Authorities. Published by S. Augustus Mitchell Philadelphia. 1831. J.H. Young Sc. List No: 3884.010. David Rumsey Historical Map Collection]

Maria met her future husband, Robert Biddle* as a young girl during a visit to relatives in Grainger County where his family lived. The acquaintance was continued years later after Robert apprenticed himself to a tailor in Middlesborough, in what is now Bell County, Kentucky, staying at her father's inn on his way between there and Grainger County and Maria and Robert formed an attachment.

After his apprenticeship was over, Robert opened a tailor shop in Tazewell, the county seat of Claiborne County but the couple faced opposition to an engagement from Maria's family who considered him an undesirable mate because he was a tradesman with what Leithold terms "parents who would always be a financial burden to him."**

In what proved to be a futile attempt to distract her from her attraction to Robert, Maria was sent to Knoxville Female Academy in 1831-1832. Leithold describes her studies there.***
"Her father thought that the expense was too great for such an unnecessary thing as an advanced education for a girl; but Aunt Mary was determined that Maria should go, and insisted on paying all of the expense herself, which was considered a large amount, at that time. The tuition, alone, was ten dollars for each session. There was no charge for room rent, but the price of board, fire wood, and candles amounted to one dollar and a half each week. Maria also took ornamental needlework, on lace and muslin, which was five dollars extra each session. All students had to recite, once a week, on the Sacred Scriptures; and Maria, who always stood at the head of that class, became so interested in Bible-study, she continued it through the rest of her life. 
The first year, at the Academy, she studied Arithmetic, and Geography (with the drawing of maps and "the solution of the problems of the terrestial Globe", Rhetoric, Astronomy, and the History of Natural Philosophy. 
The next year she had the same studies with an advanced teacher, and an additional five dollars tuition. The second year Astronomy, included "the solution of the problems of the Celestial Globe." There were also lectures on "Good Manners and Proper Behavior in Polite Society." Maria also took a course in Fancy Weaving and Rug Making. 
The school year was divided into two sessions. The winter session of five months, began on November first and continued until March 31st; and the summer session started on the first of May and continued until September 30th; so Maria had vacation during the months of April and October, when she could visit her family and Aunt Mary."
Near the end of her school days in Knoxville Maria promised to marry her sweetheart and the couple were able to carry on a clandestine correspondence with the help of her older married sister Matilda Evans Garrett.

Robert's father Benjamin decided to move to Illinois at about this time and bought some public land in Sangamon County so Robert sold his business in Tazewell and followed his parents there, opening a tailor shop in Springfield in 1833. By the following year his business was doing well enough that he felt he could support a wife and returned to Tennessee with his mother and sister Angeline.

After his prospective son-in-law asked for permission to marry his daughter, Elijah Evans tried to persuade Maria to reconsider.****
That night Elijah Evans asked Maria if she really planned to marry Robert Biddle, and when she told him that she did, he said, "Well, Maria, I reckon Robert is a likely young man, and he has good manners; but you are a little mite of a girl, and should never have to lift and carry, like the Yankee women do. We've always had slaves to do all the hard work, and you've never even had to ready up your own room, lest you felt like it. I've heard tell that the Yankee women out there in Illinois even do their own washin' and ironin', and I don't like to think of you'r goin' there. The Biddles are great spenders too,
and people like them are most always poor. You don't know what it's like to be poor, and I don't want you to have to find out. I only want you to be happy, and the Biddles aren't our kind of folks. So I calculate you'd be better off if you'd stay here amongst your own kin. We all'd like to see you marry Jesse Hirst. He's a fine young man and could give you a good home, near your own folks, but if you won't have him, why can't you take one of the other men who've asked if they could court you? They're our kind of people, and any one of them would make you a good husband."
Maria told him that Jesse Hirst was just like one of her own brothers, and she could never think of marrying him, even though he was really no blood relation, and most of the other men he spoke of were almost as old as he, and she couldn't marry a man as old as her father. Even though most girls married men much older than they were, she was sure she would be happier with some one nearer her own age. At last he said, "Well, Maria, my little one, you are past eighteen and can do as you please. I want to see you happy, and will never give my consent for you to marry Robert Biddle, for I'm sure you'll be sorry if you do."
With her father away from home, on May 3, 1834, Maria and Robert were married by the local preacher in the presence of her mother and sister. Later that day the bride and groom set out for Illinois and their new life together.

To be continued.

*Benjamin Robert "B.R." Biddle (1808-1882)
**And they were right. His parents, Benjamin and Polly Capell Biddle had already squandered a considerable estate in Southampton County,Virginia, before moving west to Tennessee. Benjamin's paltry inheritance from his mother is discussed here.
***And this is our heritage, page 32.
****And this is our heritage, page 41.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday Drive: Merchants Beach, 1960

One of our regular campsites on the Oregon Coast was at Merchants Beach, now part of Seven Devils State Recreation Site. Our stay began with a call on the owner, Mr. Albert Merchant, to ask permission to camp on his property which which he always graciously gave. Our ultimate goal was to park the trailer close to the ocean but every year the private road leading there needed its serious potholes filled in before Dad would venture the trailer on it so we would spend a night or two in the pasture near the road first--with the cows.

[Merchants Beach, farmhouse on the right, from my personal collection]

[Merchants Beach, tar-paper covered shack behind truck, from my personal collection]

[Merchants Beach, view from the trailer looking south, from my personal collection]

We found lots of agate and petrified wood on the beach and there were tiny super-sweet wild strawberries growing on the hillsides. Although there was a small stream flowing through the field we always brought in our own water because of the cows.

From an internet search we learn that the property remains in the Merchant family and there is now a large modern farm house available for vacation rental. I also found a video taken at the beach last year--now that the cows are gone, the vegetation on the hillsides has really grown.

After a week or so hunting agates on the often windy beach, we were ready to head inland to thaw out.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

5 Fister Sisters

My grandmother, Margaret Fister, on the far left with her sisters Fern (1907-2003), Edith (1910-1985), Lyla (1900-1999), and Doris (1920-2010).  The "1934 A Century of Progress" no doubt refers to the 1933 Chicago's World Fair.  Courtesy of Tom Cairns.
Likely taken in Plano, Kendall, Illinois, where their parents Mary and Ben Fister lived.  Ben died May 2, 1934, so this may have been taken before or after.  Since their faces look fairly cheerful it is hard to tell if they are assembled for their father's death, but the three middle girls are wearing dark/black clothes.

This would be a very tough year, as their mother Mary died about 6 months after Ben, on January 7, 1935.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Family Friday:

The happy couple pictured here on their wedding day in 1933 are Dad's youngest sister Marguerite Helen Currey (1913-1999) and her first husband Charles Frederick "Carl" Peterson (1895-1979).

[From my personal collection]

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Fashion Flashbacks: High-Necked Long Dress on Me and in the Sears Catalog, circa 1973

Me and my Easter treasures, probably 1973.  I'm fussy, so I can only imagine the cute neckline bothered me.

"Elegant LONG Dresses" offered in the Sears catalog.  I think this is from the same time period as the picture of me above.  From Historic Catalogs of Sears, Roebuck and Co., 1896-1993, Spring 1973, catalog 246A, image 297 (of 1464), available on Ancestry.

From what I've been told many of my childhood special occasion clothes clothes came from my grandmother, Margaret Fister, a wealthy woman who bought clothes at I Magnum, Bullocks, Saks Fifth Avenue, and even in France if she was traveling there.

I am unsure if this dress was from her, if my mother made it, or if it was purchased elsewhere.  I doubt it was purchased at Sears.  Still, the Sears catalog is one way to try to pin down years with clothes.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Working on Wednesday: Victory Vacations Program

In response to an urgent call for students to help harvest crops in danger of being lost because of a lack of farm workers due to the war effort in 1942, Junior participated in the Sacramento Y.M.C.A.'s Victory Vacations Program at their Emergency Harvest Camp in Courtland, California, for which he was given the certificate below.*

[From my personal collection]

I wasn't able to find a newspaper story about his camp at Courtland but here's the Oakland Tribune's feature on their Y.M.C.A.'s harvest camp in Loomis.

[Oakland Tribune, June 22, 1942, page 13. Copyright © 2016 Newspapers.com]

In 1943 the U.S. Office of Education began a national Victory Farm Volunteer Program which was still active five years later. As the poster suggests, even some girls were allowed to join.

[Be a Victory Farm Volunteer in the U.S. Crop Corps.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.]

*As far as I know, this is the only volunteer harvest work Junior did. I know that he was a Y.M.C.A. camp counselor during this period and due to his semi-rural upbringing, he would have been more familiar with farm work than most city kids.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

School Days: First Grade

Here we are, mother and daughter, first-graders smiling for a school photographer 23 years apart. We went to different grade schools but both were living in the same place during that part of our lives.*

[Pat, St. Rita's School,  1954]

[Christine, Encanto School, 1978]

*I moved house for the first time when I was in my md-30s.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday Is for Mothers: Overview

The first Monday post I dedicated to my female ancestors featured a portrait of my great great great grandmother Elizabeth Taylor Tomlinson who died about 1863. Since then I've written 82 posts on the topic including ones about my two mothers--birth mother Alta Mae Slater and Bernice Evangeline Grenfell Currey, the mother who raised me. I have looked more closely into the lives of my paternal grandmother Letta Estella Porter Warren Williams Turnbull,* and all of my great and great great grandmothers. Only one of my third-great grandmothers (Maria Evans Biddle) remains undone and, looking over the list, it appears the time has come to address the lives of my fourth-great grandmothers, since I've only written about seven of them out of a potential 32 women. Farther back in time than that it's more difficult to find enough information to write about some of my grandmothers but I have written about some including a paternal ninth-great grandmother Catherine Gookin Warren who died in Kent, England, in 1640.

[Elizabeth Taylor Tomlinson, courtesy of Olive Slater-Kennedy]

*We're hoping to hear more about her life from my first cousin who knew her.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday Drive: Oregon Wilderness, 1958

While we were staying at Fisherman's Trailer (now RV) Park in Winchester Bay during the summer of 1958, the owner Jack Himbaugh invited Dad to go with him on a visit to the gold mining claim in a remote part of Oregon* that he and a partner were working. The first photo shows the bulldozer the two men were using in their attempt to reach bedrock on the property.

[Northwest United States -- Physical. Source: David Rumsey Historical Map Collection]

To reach the claim, Dad said they turned off a county road onto a logging road, then left that to follow a fire trail, and finally several traversed a couple of miles of rough track bulldozed out of the wilderness, ending up at an old cabin built by earlier miners next to the gold-bearing stream. Farther on the canyon opened out into a sunny water meadow filled with carnivorous pitcher plants (Darlingtonia californica).

[Jack Himbaugh, right, and his partner Ferdinand (last name forgotten) on the left]
[Ferdinand standing next to the chain at the entrance to the claim]

[Jack drove an old Dodge Power Wagon--this was probably taken through its windshield]

[All color slides from my personal collection]

There were bears in the woods, one of which was causing problems for Jack's partner who lived on-site. But that's a story for another day.

*Probably in either Coos or Douglas County.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.