Dead or Alive? It Depends!

CensusInfo_1930_Mar30_GoogleNews

This notice from the Youngstown Vindicator was probably not too reassuring for anyone who may have circling the drain on April 1, 1930. While your vital signs indicated you were dead, the Federal government was willing to give you a few extra days.

As the Vindicator reported on 30 March 1930, anyone who died between April 1 and the time the census taker (more properly, the “enumerator”) arrived at the home was counted as being alive. Likewise, anyone who was born after April 1 but before the enumerator came to the home, often weeks later, was not counted. The enumerator’s instructions would have read, “Enter the name of every person whose usual place of abode on April 1, 1930, was with the family or in the dwelling place for which the enumeration is being made.” By counting everyone who was living on April 1, the Census would more accurately reflect a single day in time.

Sources:
“Census Will Count You As Alive If You Die April 1”, Youngstown [OH] Vindicator, 30 Mar 1930, page A2, col 4; digital image, (http://news.google.com : accessed 17 May 2016), Google News Archive.

Steven Ruggles, Katie Genadek, Ronald Goeken, Josiah Grover, and Matthew Sobek. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 6.0 [Machine-readable database], “1930 Census: Enumerator’s Instructions,” Minneapolis : University of Minnesota, 2015.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday

JPL_008w-carholloween

Howdy partner! This was Halloween 1987. I was the coolest gunslinger on the Northside of Youngstown (and in the 80’s, Youngstown had more than a few gunslingers) and my sister was a princess (she still is). My vest was homemade by my mom, from a pattern that she bought. The cowboy hat was loaned to me from my mom’s friend, Shirley Morrison. I disctintly remember the Halloween parade at Saint Edward School where the elementary school kids paraded around the classrooms of the upper grades. My costume was a huge hit with the 8th grade girls. I have a hard time believing that today you could get away with taking a pair of cap guns into school.

Source:
Caroline Lowry [Nagy] and Joseph P. Lowry, photograph, taken in Youngstown, Ohio, around Halloween 1987; digital image, photocopy of original, scanned in 2015 by Joseph Lowry; privately held by Rebecca Lowry, [address for private use], Poland, Ohio; Two children in Halloween costumes of cowboy and princess; Provenance is Rebecca Lowry to Joseph Lowry.

New Look! With One Catch!

As you can probably tell, we have a new look. I changed the site from using Google’s Blogger platform to WordPress, which gives me more options as the blogger to post and share. While I’m excited about everything I can do with the new site, there is a catch for the reader.

If you previously subscribed to my Blogger site, you will need to re-subscribe to this one. As a reminder, this is what my old site looked like:

2016-05-16_1214

And this is what my new site looks like:

2016-05-16_1215.png

So how do you subscribe to my site? It’s very easy! In the top right corner, you will see a header “Subscribe Via Email.” Enter your email address in the box, click “Subscribe” and then check your email for a confirmation link.

SubscribeViaEmail

Once you click that link, you will get all of the Lowry-Witt genealogy goodness right to your inbox!

The Wolfords Between 1920 and 1930

Stanton Maines Wolford was born on 23 or 24 April 1864 in Indiana, a son of James Mathias and Harriett (Maines) Wolford. He died on 6 September 1946 in Topeka, Kansas. He was married to Henrietta Rogers on 6 December 1886 in Winchester, Illinois. They had at least nine children, including Viola Agnes, Hubert, Harry, Homer, Royal, Eva, Mabel, Raymond, and an unnamed or name unknown daughter who died around the time of her birth. In 1920, Stanton was living in Soldier Township, Shawnee, Kansas.

Summary of Research Findings
Stanton and Harriet Maines Wolford were a blue-collar, middle-class family living in Soldier Township outside Topeka, Kansas in both 1920 and 1930. The wages the family earned through Stanton’s work as a carpenter were sufficient for him to own a home. In 1930 that home was sufficiently large enough for eleven people to live there, including Stanton and Harriett and the families of two of their children. In 1930, only one of the neighboring homes had a boarder, indicating a financial means throughout the neighborhood that did not require supplemental income.

Itemized Research Findings
Stanton M. Wolford household, 1920 Soldier Township, Shawnee, Kansas, census[1]
Stanton M. Wolford was a 55-year-old carpenter when he was enumerated in his house in 1920. The family was living in Soldier Township, Shawnee, Kansas, when the census enumerator visited the household. The census date was 1 January, and the enumerator visited the household on 5 February.

Census image showing some of the facts

Wolford1920

 

 

Information obtained from the census
Fifty-five year old Stanton Wolford was a white male born in Indiana, as were his parents. He was a carpenter, working “any where,” presuming meaning as a general carpenter for hire. He owned his own home, free of a mortgage. All adults in the household could speak English, read, and write.

Stanton’s wife Henrietta was a white female born in Illinois, as were her parents. Her occupation was listed as “none.”

Homer Wolford, aged 23, was Stanton’s oldest son living in the household. Homer was single. He was born in Illinois, as was his mother. Homer’s father was born in Indiana. Homer worked as a meat cutter at a fresh market.

Eva Wolford, aged 16, was Stanton’s daughter. Eva was born in Kansas and was employed as a clerk for the telephone company. Eva’s father was born in Indiana and her mother in Illinois.

Mabel Wolford, aged 14, was Stanton’s daughter. Mabel was born in Kansas and was in school. Mabel’s father was born in Indiana and her mother in Illinois.

Raymond Wolford, aged 10, was Stanton’s youngest son living in the household. Raymond was born in Kansas and was in school within the last year. Raymond’s father was born in Indiana and his mother in Illinois.

 

Other Wolford families in Shawnee County
There was one additional household in Shawnee County with the surname Wolford in 1920.[2] Herbert Wolford (aged 29 years) was born in Illinois, as were his parents. Working as a laborer in a planing mill, he was able to own his own home, for which he had a mortgage. He spoke English and was able to read and write.

Herbert was married to Bertha H. Twenty-seven year old Bertha was born in Indiana, as were her parents. She had no occupation, spoke English, and was able to read and write.

Herbert’s son Merle D. was 4 6/12 years old. Merle was born in Kansas, while his father was born in Illinois and his mother in Indiana.

The neighbors
Stanton’s neighbors in 1920 were a mix of blue and white collar, with two occupied as mail carriers (one a rural carrier), a bank clerk, a laborer in a packinghouse, two laborers of any kind, a schoolteacher, a bookkeeper, a bookstore clerk, and one farmer. No fewer than nine neighbors worked for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad or other railroads; three men worked as clerks, one as a brakeman, one as a machinist, one as a switchman, and one as a boilermaker. They were all born in the United States and largely in Kansas. Several born in the neighboring states of Missouri, Nebraska, or Iowa. The residents owned eleven homes and nine were rented. Only one household contained a boarder; the head of the household was a widow, who lived there with her three children. This is indicative of a neighborhood that generally had sufficient income and did not need the supplemental money that a boarder would provide.

Stanton Wolford household, 1930 Soldier Township, Shawnee, Kansas, census[3]
In 1930, Stanton M. Wolford was a 65-year-old carpenter when he was enumerated in his home. The family was living on Polk Street in Soldier Township, Shawnee, Kansas, when the 1930 census enumerator visited the household. The census date was 1 April, and the enumerator visited the household on 24 April. All of the adults in the household can read, write, and speak English, and none had attended school since 29 September 1929.

Census image showing some of the facts

Wolford1930

Information obtained from the census
Sixty-five year old Stanton M. Wolford was a white male born in Indiana. His father was born in Pennsylvania and his mother was born in Indiana. He was a carpenter, working in a planing mill. He owned his own home valued at $2,500, which was not set on a farm. The family owned a radio set. He was 22 years old at the age of first marriage. He was not a veteran.

Stanton’s wife Henrietta, aged 60, was a white female born in Illinois, as were her parents. Her occupation was listed as “none.” She was 18 years old at the age of first marriage.

Eva R. Wolford, aged 26, was Stanton’s daughter. Eva was born in Kansas. Her father was born in Indiana and her mother in Illinois. Eva was previously employed as a stenographer for the Capital Iron Company, but she was not working at the time of enumeration.

Raymond H. Wolford, aged 20, was Stanton’s youngest son living in the household. He was born in Kansas, while his father was born in Indiana and his mother in Illinois. Raymond was employed as a laborer in a creamery. He was not a veteran.

Stanton’s son Harry led a second family in the same household[4]. Harry was a 35-year-old widower employed as a laborer in a retail store. He was born in Illinois, while his father was born in Indiana and his mother in Illinois. He had four children, including a son Merwin (aged 13 years), a son Keelin (aged 11 years), a daughter Winifred (aged 9 years) and a son Billie (aged 4 years). All of the children were born in Kansas, along with their mother. Their father was born in Illinois.

All of the children except Billie were attending school. Merwin and Keelin could read and write; nothing was indicated for Winifred and Billie in this field as the enumerator’s instructions directed it be left blank for persons less than 10 years of age.[5]

Stanton’s daughter Mable [sic] was enumerated as the head of a third household within the dwelling[6]. Mable B. (Wolford) Stanley was a 24-year-old widow in 1930. She was born in Kansas, while her father was born in Indiana and her mother in Illinois. She last worked as a cutter in a tent and awning factory but was unemployed when the enumerator visited.

Mable’s daughter Doris (aged 4) was born in Kansas, as were her parents.

Other Wolford families in Shawnee County
Stanton Wolford’s neighbors included the family of one of his sons. Homer B. and Edna Wolford lived on Taylor Street, which runs parallel and one block west of Polk Street.[7] Both Homer and Edna were 33 years old and married at age 27. Homer was born in Illinois; his father was born in Indiana and his mother in Illinois. He was employed as a salesman in a grocery store. Edna was born in Iowa, as were her parents. She was not employed. Homer and Edna had no children in 1930.[8]

 

The neighbors
This neighborhood of Soldier Township was comprised principally of blue-collar families. Professions listed include a farmer, a Shawnee County deputy sheriff, a salesman for a grocery, a shipping clerk in a hardware store, a produce buyer, a store operator, a stenographer for the power company, a bus driver, a baggage man on the railroad, and two other laborers in a creamery. All of the neighbors reported they could read and write and none of them were veterans.

 

The majority of the neighbors were born in Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, or Missouri. John Covington and his family, except their youngest daughter, were born in Tennessee. The daughter, Elizabeth, was born in Kansas. No neighbors were born outside the United States; all were U.S. citizens.

 

Suggestions for Further Research

  • Determine which areas of Soldier Township were annexed by the city of Topeka, specifically the annexation by Topeka in 1946. This can be used to more accurately determine the location of the homes occupied by the Wolford families in 1930.
  • Determine the identities of Harry Wolford and Mabel Wolford Stanley spouses as well as their respective dates and causes of death.
  • Settle the discrepancy in place of birth for Stanton Wolford’s father. The 1920 Census indicated Indiana while the 1930 Census indicates Pennsylvania.

 

Sources:

[1] 1920 U.S. census, Soldier Township, Shawnee County, Kansas, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 150, sheet 17A (penned), dwelling 398, family 402, Stanton Wolford; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 January 2016), citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 550.

[2] 1920 U.S. census, Soldier Township, Shawnee County, Kansas, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 148, sheet 6A (penned), dwelling 120, family 120, Herbert Wolford; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 January 2016), citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 550.

[3] 1930 U.S. census, Soldier Township, Shawnee County, Kansas, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 89-14, sheet 11A (penned), 112 (stamped), dwelling 258, family 262, Stanton Wolford; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Jan 2016), citing FHL microfilm 2340457.

[4] 1930 U.S. census, Soldier Township, Shawnee County, Kansas, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 89-14, sheet 11A (penned), 112 (stamped), dwelling 258, family 263, Harry Wolford; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Jan 2016), citing FHL microfilm 2340457.

[5] Steven Ruggles, Katie Genadek, Ronald Goeken, Josiah Grover, and Matthew Sobek. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 6.0 [Machine-readable database]. “1930 Census: Enumerator’s Instructions,” Minneapolis : University of Minnesota, 2015.

[6] 1930 U.S. census, Soldier Township, Shawnee County, Kansas, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 89-14, sheet 11A (penned), 112 (stamped), dwelling 258, family 264, Mable Wolford; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Jan 2016), citing FHL microfilm 2340457.

[7] Google. (n.d.). [Google Maps showing location of Taylor Street and Polk Street in Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas]. Retrieved 29 January 2016, from https://goo.gl/maps/yXEjosRzNL42.

[8] 1930 U.S. census, Soldier Township, Shawnee County, Kansas, enumeration district (ED) 89-14, sheet 11A (penned), 112 (stamped), dwelling 251, family 255, Homer Wolford; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Jan 2016), citing FHL microfilm 2340457.

Photo of the Day – May 15, 2016

Lowry6_0020I wonder what the occasion was for my Uncle Chuck to be dressed in a tuxedo with a slim bow tie. Graduation? Prom? Standing in the lawn of 607 Mansell Drive, the family home with my great grandmother Margaret Pepperney Lowry. Assuming this was later in high school for Chuck, it puts this photo around 1966.

Source:
Charles Lowry and Margaret Mary Pepperney Lowry (1902-1980), photograph, taken at 607 Mansell Drive, Youngstown, Ohio, around 1966; digital image, photocopy of original, scanned in 2013 by Joseph Lowry; privately held by Mary McCaffrey, [address for private use], Canton, Ohio; Young man in tuxedo standing next to older woman in frock coat; Provenance is Mary Pepperney Lowry to Charles Lowry to Mary McCaffrey.

Are Henrietta Bahle and Rachel Bahle one and the same?

Jacob Bahle was a German immigrant to the Pittsburgh area who fought in the American Civil War and worked as a general laborer for much of his life. He married in 1860 and raised at least nine children in the Deutschtown neighborhood, an enclave of working class Germans on the north shore of the Allegheny River. Jacob and his wife spent many of their years at 832 Perry Street.[1] A search of available record groups revealed census schedules, probate indexes, Civil War pension files, Pittsburgh city directories and death certificates for Jacob and his wife. Many of these documents include the same address, informant, surname or list of children. While Jacob Bahle’s name appears almost universally in these sources, the name of his wife is listed variously as Henrietta or Rachel. Never are both used together as if one is a middle name or nickname. Are Henrietta Bahle and Rachel Bahle, who lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from approximately 1860 until 1921, one and the same?

The earliest identified source that includes Jacob Bahle and his wife is the 1870 U.S. Census. Jacob Baily [sic], aged 37, worked in a cotton mill while his wife Henrietta, aged 26, kept the home. Henrietta was born in Ohio to foreign-born parents.[2] Ten years late the 1880 U.S. Census would likewise indicates Jacob Bali [sic] and Henrietta were living in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. While this census would indicate Henrietta was born in Pennsylvania, it is consistent with the enumeration ten years prior in that her parents were born in Württemberg. She again kept the home while her husband Jacob remained employed in a cotton mill. By now they had five children, including George, John, Charles, Jacob and Annie.[3]

On 22 June 1898, Jacob completed a form as part of his Civil War pension application that asked the question, “Are you married?” Jacob’s answer reads, “Yes, wife maiden Rachel Schauffer.[4] This is the earliest known record that names Rachel instead of Henrietta. The informant writes that Victor Scriba, a Justice of the Peace, married Jacob and Rachel on 22 October 1860. The form names their children, including George, John, Jacob and Annie as seen in the 1880 Census. Additional children named include Joseph, Mary and Anthony [Andrew?]. Without the date of marriage, it would be simple to assume that Jacob’s wife Henrietta was deceased and that Rachel was a second wife. However, knowing that they had been married for 38 years at this point helps build the case that Rachel and Henrietta are the same person.

Two years after filing for his pension, Jacob Bahle’s family was enumerated in their home at 832 Perry Street in Pittsburgh for the 1900 U.S. Census. This time, it wasn’t Rachel living with Jacob but Henrietta. She and Jacob were enumerated as being married for 40 years. She was born in Ohio and as in 1880, her parents were born in Germany. In the household are 12 people, including two sons, Joseph and Andrew, daughter Annie, her husband Jacob Mauer, their children and three boarders. [5]

The 1900 Census would be the last in which Jacob and Henrietta were enumerated together. On 14 September 1908, Jacob Bahle died of uraemia at the age of 76.[6] The informant on Jacob’s death certificate was Mrs. Henrietta Bahle of 832 Perry Street. He was buried in Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Ross Township, just north of Pittsburgh.[7] His obituary, appearing in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette a day later, likewise names his wife as Henrietta Bahle (nee Shauffer).[8] This surname is similar to that listed in the 1898 pension application, with a spelling variation of Schauffer (note the “c” missing in 1908).

Just one week after Jacob’s death, on 21 September 1908, a request for a widow’s pension was filed. This time, the name on the record was Rachel Bahle. In an affidavit sworn before a notary, Rachel indicated that Victor Scriba, a justice of the peace, married her to Jacob on 22 October 1860. The name Henrietta does not appear in the document. However, consistent with other documents is the address at 832 Perry Street and Jacob’s death date of 14 September 1908.[9]

Pittsburgh city directories are universal in accepting Henrietta as the wife of Jacob, such that the 1909, 1916 and 1918 directories include her as the widow of Jacob and the address of 832 Peralta Street.[10] In 1920, the census enumerator found Henrietta and not Rachel living alone in the rear apartment of 832 Peralta. Her daughter Annie Mauer was living in the front apartment. Again, she’s enumerated as being born in Ohio to parents who were born in Germany.[11]

The elderly woman who lived at the rowhouse at 832 Peralta Street died at the age of 78 on a cold and rainy Sunday, 6 March 1921.[12] The name on the death certificate reads Henrietta Bahle.[13] No middle name or initial was used and no mention of Rachel. Her daughter Annie Mauer served as the informant of her death, indicating Henrietta’s father was John Schnauffer and her mother name unknown. Her obituary appeared in the Pittsburgh Press the next day under the same name, the wife of the late Jacob Bahle, nee Schuaffer, with no survivors listed.[14]

While Henrietta had died, this was not the end of Rachel in available records. The probate record of Jacob’s wife names her as Rachel. Incredibly, it includes an alternative name, but not the one this search expected. “Rachel (or Rachael) Bahle”, as printed in the Allegheny County Proceedings Index, included her date of death of 6 March 1921. The executor William Rosemeier filed his account of her assets with the probate court on 10 November 1921. It was Rachel’s name in the filing.

It’s not uncommon for someone to have a nickname or use a middle name, but it’s rare for it to be unexplained through most of one’s documented life, switching back and forth in legally binding documents with little rhyme or reason. Regardless, there is sufficient direct evidence to state that the woman who lived much of her life at 832 Perry (or Peralta) Street with Jacob Bahle used both names. Was she Rachel Bahle or was she Henrietta Bahle? She was both.

Sources:
[1] Perry Street north of the Allegheny River was renamed Peralta Street shortly after the 1907 annexation of the City of Allegheny by the City of Pittsburgh and the creation of duplicate street names. The addresses of 832 Perry Street and 832 Peralta Street refer to the same house. For a discussion on street names and naming in Pittsburgh, see George Thornton Fleming, Pittsburgh, how to See it: A Complete, Reliable Guide Book with Illustrations, the Latest Map and Complete Index (Pittsburgh : William G. Johnson Publishing, 1916), 47, “Streets and Street Names”; digital images, Google Books, (https://goo.gl/EMlVX3 : accessed 22 Mar 2016).

[2] 1870 U.S. census, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Allegheny, p. 32 (penned), family #249, Jacob Bahle household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 March 2016); NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 1290.

[3] 1880 U.S. census, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Allegheny, p. 44 (penned), enumeration district (ED) 24, household #426, Jacob Bahle household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 March 2016); FHL microfilm 1255087, image 553.

[4] Jacob Bahle (Pvt. Co. H, 6th Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, Civil War), pension no. 931,333, Case Files of Approved Pension Applications …, 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Record Group 15 Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[5] 1900 U.S. census, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Allegheny, enumeration district (ED) 33, sheet 14, family #318, Jacob Bahle household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 March 2016); NARA microfilm publication T623, Roll 1355.

[6] “Jacob L. Bahle,” The Pittsburgh Press, 14 September 1908, online index and digital index (https://www.newspapers.com/image/142146533/ : accessed 25 March 2016), citing print edition page 3, column 1.

[7] Jacob Bahle, Saint Mary’s R.C., Troy Road, Ross Township, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Veterans Burial Cards, 1777–2012 (www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 March 2016); Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Bureau of Archives and History, Pennsylvania Veterans Burial Cards, 1929-1990, Series 1.

[8] “Jacob L. Bahle,” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 15 September 1908, online index and digital index (https://www.newspapers.com/image/86157218/ : accessed 25 March 2016), citing print edition page 6, column 2.

[9] Declaration for Widow’s Pension, 21 September 1908, Rachel Bahle, widow’s pension application no. 904,770; combined with Jacob Bahle (Pvt. Co. H, 6th Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, Civil War); Case Files of Approved Pension Applications …, 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Record Group 15 Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[10] R.L. Polk, compiler, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, City Directory (Pittsburgh: R. L. Polk & Co. and R.L. Dudley, 1909), 139; also subsequent years by the same title: (1916) 485, (1918) 469; U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995, digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com ; accessed 25 March 2016).

[11] 1920 U.S. census, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Pittsburgh, enumeration district (ED) 694, sheet 5A, family #133, Henrietta Bahle household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 March 2016); NARA microfilm publication T625, Roll 1526.

[12] “The Weather,” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 6 March 1921, online index and digital index (https://www.newspapers.com/image/85516420/ : accessed 25 March 2016), citing print edition section 1, page 6, column 5.

[13] Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, “Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906-1963”, No. 22419 (stamped), Henrietta Bahle entry, died 6 March 1921; indexed database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 March 2016); citing “Pennsylvania Death certificates, 1906–1963”, Series 11.90, Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/).

[14] “Henrietta Bahle,” The Pittsburgh Press, 7 March 1921, online index and digital index (https://www.newspapers.com/image/145649602/ : accessed 25 March 2016), citing print edition page 24, column 5.

Who Was New Castle’s Oldest Resident in 1925?

Just who was New Castle, Pennsylvania’s oldest resident in 1925? It was none other than my 3rd great grandmother Esther Callahan Rogan. Grandma Rogan was born in Liverpool, England on April 23, 1832 and arrived in the United States in 1851. After living in New York and briefly in Ontario, she was living in New Castle by 1870 with her husband James and children. Many of her later birthdays, including her 84th and 90th, were featured in the New Castle News. The blurb below, written as an answer to a newspaper trivia question, tells us that 93 year old Esther Rogan of 467 Blaine Street is the ‘most aged’ lady or gentleman in the city.

Grandma Esther died in New Castle February 19, 1927 at the age of 94.

Source:
“Are You Familiar With Your City?”, New Castle [PA] News, 11 Jun 1925, page 2, col 5; online index and digital image, Newspapers.com (http://www.newspapers.com : accessed 6 Jan 2016), Newspaper Archives, 1700s-2000s.

The Tree of Life wasn’t your family tree

What a lot of people don’t realize is that Noah built the ark not for animals, but for saving early census records and birth certificates. Do you have any idea what flood waters do to genealogical records?

I found this comment on the Irish Genealogy Facebook page and couldn’t help but chuckle. If only tracing your family history back a few thousands years accurately was that easy (or possible!).

My Genealogy Database in 2015

I maintain all of my genealogical information using a software application called Family Tree Maker. Here’s the current snapshot of my database:

People: 2,335
Marriages: 658
Places: 768
Media: 2559 (photographs and document images)

Repositories: 14
Source Groups: 268
Source Citations: 4313

4,313 citations equals 1.85 citations per person, just shy of two. As many ancestors have many more citations, it’s safe to say that there are people in my family tree for whom I have no proof. Hopefully over the next year I can get that number much higher.

By documenting this information at the start of the year, I hope to be able to track the growth of my family tree year to year. Since this is the first time I’ve done this, I have nothing to compare, but next year should prove interesting.

Happy New Year!

Edward Lowry, Lawman

I’ve previously written about my great grand uncle Edward Lowry, wondering what happened to him after 1904 and what he did in the last few years of his life. In the 14 months since I wrote that piece, I’ve discovered quite a bit. At the turn of the 20th century, Edward was living in Republic, Ferry County, Washington. He went to Washington to seek work and perhaps a fortune as a miner, but by 1900, he was was the Democratic candidate for sheriff of Ferry County in what was the first election since the county separated from Stevens County. No doubt utilizing the same skills of politicking that he used as a labor organizer in Colorado, he won the 1900 election for sheriff by a count of 677 to 593, beating Republican A.E. Stewart.
Click to enlarge
Lowry took the role well, as various newspaper accounts from the early 1900’s depict him chasing after escaped inmates, seizing sheep due to a failure to pay taxes, rounding up murderers and investigating robberies, as was the case in October 1901 as reported by the Spokane Spokesman-Review. As it turns out, Republic resident and rancher Frank O’Brien’s wife was keen on leaving the family fortune in the hen house instead of the bank. While employee Michael Smith was cleaning out the chicken coop, he discovered the O’Brien fortune and pocketed it, setting off by hired carriage and then train. Sheriff Lowry took the complaint and directed that a wire report be sent before setting off in search his fugitive. That wire report made the difference as a train was stopped by Canadian lawmen in British Columbia with Smith aboard. With some of the gold still in his possession upon arrest, Smith was brought back to the Republic jail to face his accusers.

 
Just two and a half months later, Sheriff Lowry had the dubious distinction of losing several of his inmates who escaped by sawing through the wooden jail bars. The Spokesman-Review and San Francisco Call both depict the tale of how Lowry recaptured the fugitives. Not realizing they were gone for several hours after the escape, he was quick to pick up their trail. He located two in the town of Wauconda, 16 miles to the west, while two more were reported to be in Curlew 20 miles to the north. It was the two in Curlew who were up to no good, committing their second felony of the day (the first being their escape from jail). When Lowry entered the saloon in which the two men were reported to be, he found the barkeeper and patrons lined up along the rail being robbed!

The warm Washington summer of 1903 saw Lowry climbing Gibraltar Mountain, just a few miles outside Republic. Someone had discovered a grisly scene, with the bones of a man and cougar lying near one another. From the evidence at the scene, it appears to have been a terrible struggle that occurred over a year prior. The gun was quite rusted and the remains very much decayed. Lowry’s role as sheriff was to identify the victim. The San Jose, California Evening News found the story so terrific that they carried it on their July 31 front page.

 
Lowry’s final appearance as a man of law and order in readily available newspapers is February 24, 1904. Again, he was doing what he had done several times before in bringing back a fugitive, Everett Wilson. Wilson shot a man named Dan Bethune, although for what cause we aren’t certain. Of interest to the reader, Wilson was to await the result of Bethune’s wound in jail. Translating the parlance and with the medical knowledge of 1904, Bethune was probably a dead man walking.
 

Lastly, we also now know why records and newspaper mentioned of Edward become more difficult to locate after 1905. In early October 1905, Edward and his son Ralph set off from Republic to Phoenix, Arizona. At some point in his life, Edward contracted tuberculosis and believed that the dry desert air would be good for him. Unfortunately, he died on Monday, October 9, 1905 after just a single night in town. His obituary in the October 12, 1905 Arizona Republican reads:

Funeral of E. LAWRY [sic] – The funeral of E. Lawry will be held this afternoon at 4 o’clock at the undertaking parlors of Easterling & Whitney. Mr. Lawry came here last Sunday, very ill of consumption, and died Monday morning. His home was in Republic, Wash., where his wife and other relatives now are. A son sixteen years old accompanied him here. He was quite a prominent man in his county having served two years as sheriff. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles which society will have charge of his funeral.

Lowry was 49 years old when he died. He’s buried in Phoenix.

Sources:
An Illustrated History of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan Counties, State of Washington, Volume 1, (Washington, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1904), 446; digital images, Google Books (http://books.Google.com : accessed 30 Nov 2015).

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