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 – July 19, 2015

Click to enlarge.
Each Saturday I look forward to reading an article that former Youngstown resident Bob Trube writes on his website “Bob On Books“. His “On Youngstown” series highlights different aspects of working class Youngstown. Yesterday’s article was about the different family owned grocery stores that he often visited as a child.
As a product of Youngstown in the 1980’s and 1990’s, my grocery store visits were usually to chain stores including Giant Eagle in Liberty or the Sparkle Market on Gypsy Lane. I have only a few memories of visits to the Pyatt Street Market or the A&P on Elm Street.
Historically, however, my maternal family has a history of operating groceries. My great great grandfather Joseph F. Witt operated a grocery at 413 Ford Avenue on Youngstown’s north side. His brother John A. Witt operated a grocery at 1001 Blackadore Avenue in Pittsburgh. The photo above is of Joseph in his store at sometime in the 1930’s. Canned goods, tobacco, fresh vegetables and even Hostess cakes are visible in the picture.
Grandpa Joe passed away in 1943. Today the 400 block of Ford Avenue is vacant, with his store long gone and a Youngstown State parking lot nearby.

Source:
Joseph Franklin Witt (1868-1943), photograph, taken in Witt’s grocery at 413 Ford Avenue in Youngstown, Ohio in the 1930’s; image taken by unknown photographer; privately held by Joseph Lowry, [address for private use], Sterling, VA. Provenance is Mary Catherine Witt Sanders to Joseph Lowry.

Death Certificate of Elisabeth Louise Kreher Witt

Click to enlarge.
Elizabeth Louise Kreher Witt, or as it appears on the above, Mrs. Elizabeth Witt, is my 3rd great grandmother. She was born on 22 March 1840 in Herman Township, Butler, Pennsylvania and died at the age of 89 (or specifically, 89 years, 9 months and 15 days) on 13 January 1930 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her husband Martin preceded her in death by nine years.
From this death certificate, we know that her father was Chris Kreher and her mother was Anna Hause, both born in Germany. She died from arteriosclerosis, having been under a doctor’s care for the last few days of her life. Her son Martin Witt served as the informant of her death and McCabe Brothers Funeral Home handled the arrangements. (They remain a Pittsburgh-area funeral home however their location at 3520 Butler Street is no more.) Elizabeth was buried on 15 January 1930 at Mount Carmel Cemetery in the Penn Hills neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

Source:
“Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906 – 1963,” index and images, Ancestry.com, accessed 18 Jan 2015, Elizabeth Witt, 1930; citing reference Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/.

Photo of the Day – January 14, 2015

My grandfather Chuck Lowry struck quite a post for this photo from the 1937-38 school photo at Ursuline High School in Youngstown, Ohio. This would have been grandpa’s 8th grade year. I would love to see LifeTouch (school photography company) send home to parents school photos with a border like that today.

Source:
Charles J. Lowry (1924-2007), photograph, taken at unknown location, in about 1937; digital image, photocopy of original, scanned in 2013 by Joseph Lowry; privately held by Mary McCaffrey, [address for private use], Canton, Ohio. Young man wearing tie leaning with hands in front. Provenance is Mary Pepperney Lowry to Charles Lowry to Mary McCaffrey to Joseph Lowry.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday – Charles’ First Communion, Maybe?

My parents and I believe this photo was taken the day my grandfather Chuck Lowry celebrated his First Communion. His grandparents George and Mary Bahle Pepperney made the drive up from Leetonia to Youngstown to celebrate. The photo was probably taken in front of 106 Thornton Avenue, where grandpa lived as a kid. 
I believe his First Communion occurred at Saint Columba Church around 1931. Saint Columba would become a cathedral upon the creation of the Diocese of Youngstown in 1943.

Death Certificate of James A. Rogan

My 2nd great grandfather James Rogan died on 21 April 1938 at 78 years of age. His death certificate tells a lot about both how he lived and how he died. He was born in Aurora, New York to James Rogan and Esther Callahan. He was a second generation American, as both his father and mother were born in Ireland. His primary occupation was in the steel mills, although what he actually did is not discernible.
The last months of his life were no doubt difficult both for him and his family. He suffered a serious fall on 10 January 1938, which led to a fracture of his right femur (thighbone). The femur is the largest bone in the human body, and it takes significant force to break. Breaks of the femur and the hip to which it connects can have significantly detrimental effects to the lifespan of the elderly, who suddenly lose all mobility. About 10% of people who break their hip die within the first 30 days. That number increases dramatically if there are other complications, including pneumonia, heart trouble, or another acute medical problem. In James’s case, he suffered a pulmonary embolism, no doubt brought on in part by his sudden immobility.
At the time of his death, he was being cared for at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Youngstown but was previously living in the home of Catherine Rogan. His final arrangements were handled by D. A. McVean in Youngstown, long considered the Lowry family funeral home. However, he was a long time resident of New Castle, Pennsylvania, and that is where he is buried.

Click to enlarge.

Source:
“Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-21757-24359-29?cc=1307272 : accessed 09 Sep 2014), James Rogan, 1938; citing Youngstown, Mahoning, Ohio, reference fn 24019; FHL microfilm 2023561.