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.

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.

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).

“Cash Taken From Cache,” The Spokesman-Review, 10 Oct 1901, p. 1, col. 2; image copy. Google News (http://news.google.com/ : accessed 30 Nov 2015), Google News Archive.

“Sawed To Liberty,” The Spokesman-Review, 29 Dec 1901, p. 1, col. 6; image copy. Google News (http://news.google.com/ : accessed 30 Nov 2015), Google News Archive.

“Fugitive Prisoners Are Captured,” San Fransisco Call, 29 Dec 1901, p. 20, col. 5; image copy. University of California, Riverside (http://cdnc.ucr.edu/ : accessed 30 Nov 2015), California Digital Newspaper Collection.

“Bones Of Man And Beast Are Found On Mountain,” The (San Jose) Evening News, 31 Jul 1903, p. 1, col. 1-2; image copy. Google News (http://news.google.com/ : accessed 30 Nov 2015), Google News Archive. [Note: The image is indexed for 30 Jul 1903, but the article appeared in the 31 Jul 1903 newspaper.]

“Late News From Republic,” The Spokesman-Review, 24 Feb 1904, p. 4, col. 4; image copy. Google News (http://news.google.com/ : accessed 30 Nov 2015), Google News Archive. [Note: The image is indexed for 21 Feb 1904, but the article appeared in the 24 Feb 1904 newspaper.]

“Funeral for E. Lawry,” The Arizona Republican, 12 Oct 1905, p. 5, col. 3; image copy. Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 30 Nov 2015).

Photo of the Day – November 24, 2015

Click to enlarge.

A family gathering in 1925 is the scene of this image. The adults from left to right are Eda Witt Lucas, Cecelia Witt Morris, Leo N. Lucas, Joseph Witt, Helen Bixler Witt, Francis Witt, Blanche Witt, Mary Governor Witt, and Alvy Thomas Witt. The children in the front are William Witt, Francis Witt, Jr., and Governor Witt. I’m unsure of the location, as the Witts, Lucas’ and Morris’ lived on Grant and Arlington Streets, two parallel blocks between Ford Avenue and Belmont Avenue in the 1920s. That area of Youngstown would have been relatively well developed, being so close to downtown. It’s not impossible to say that this was one of their homes, but the undeveloped land in the background gives me pause.

Source:
Eda Witt Lucas, Cecelia Witt Morris, Leo N. Lucas, Joseph Witt, Helen Bixler Witt, Francis Witt, Blanche Witt, Mary Governor Witt, and Alvy Thomas Witt. The children in the front are William Witt, Francis Witt, Jr., and Governor Witt. Copy of original photograph, original taken in Ohio in 1925; 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.

Photo of the Day – November 23, 2015

This photo was taken around 1925. The older girl in the center is Blanche Witt, my 1st cousin 2x removed (also known as my grandfather’s first cousin) and she’s holding Fred Witt, my great uncle. My great uncle Francis Witt Jr. and Dorothy Leffler are the two others, according the image caption. I’m not certain who Dorothy Leffler is. I’ve located a girl I believe to be her in the 1930 Census, but could not locate a marriage record for her mother to confirm anything more. I also didn’t put much effort into it, so there’s that too.

Source:
Blanche Witt (1912 – 1978), Frederick Witt (1924-2009), Francis Witt, Jr. (1920-2002) and Dorothy Leffler (unknown), photograph, taken in Youngstown, Ohio around 1925; 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.

Photo of the Day – September 12, 2015

It’s been some time since I posted to the blog. The summer was pretty hectic, with little to no vacation, new responsibilities as the webmaster of the Fairfax Genealogical Society, and working with Eileen to get our townhouse on the market. In that space though, I was gifted a few dozen Witt family photos from Mary Catherine Sanders. She is my grandfather Howard Witt’s first cousin but has affectionately been called ‘Aunt’ Mary Catherine by my parents, aunts/uncles and cousins. Mary Catherine and her son Matt (aka the Mad Vintner) have long been interested in genealogy and have been great resources on my Witt ancestors. I consider myself fortunate to receive these photos of my grandfather’s family and will be working hard to get them on the blog in the coming weeks. I will start with this first image of my grandfather’s family in late 1941 or early 1942, perhaps taken on the occasion of my great uncle Francis finishing flight training in anticipation of being deployed to Europe.

This formal portrait starts in the front row with my great grandfather Francis (1899 – 1992), my great aunt Helen K. (1934 – 2009), and my great grandmother Helen M. Bixler (1898 – 1985). The back row includes my great uncles Fred (1924 – 2009), Governor (1919 – 2004), William (1922 – 2011), Francis Jr. (1920 – 2002), and my grandfather Howard (1929 – 2001).

Source:
Francis J. Witt (1899 – 1992) and family, photograph, taken in Youngstown, Ohio in late 1941 or ealy 1942; 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.