Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Those Munsons: The Colorful Eddy's of New Orleans

RS Eddy, Sr.
m Julia A Barron > ADELE VIRGINIA VAUGHN m Robert Stevenson Eddy III

You can take a trip back in time by reviewing the journey of the Vaughn Family of Randalia, Iowa, here. Henrietta and John had a mess of kids, 13 all told, some of whom I know nothing about. But, son Amos Joel, the baby of the family had six of his own, including Adele Virginia Vaughn, who went by "Virginia." I don't know how she met her husband Robert Stevenson Eddy III, of the well-to-do New Orleans Eddy's, but she did. They married before 1918 and lived in New Orleans. Virginia's younger sister, Mary Isabel, 15 years old, moved to New Orleans to live with them in 1917 and got a job in a bank, but died unexpectedly of illness at just under 17 years old on 14 Aug 1918. She was buried in New Orleans.

The Eddy's had been in New Orleans for decades by the time our family connected with theirs. The original Robert Stevenson Eddy had been born in Ohio in about 1827 and married Clara Drake. They had three children, the eldest of which was Robert Stevenson Eddy Sr. He had been born in St Louis, Missouri. His parents came to New Orleans in the 1860s. Senior worked his way up to the top spot in in Adams, Beck, and Co., Ltd., a commission merchant of great distinction. Poor old dude died of complications of a gall bladder operation on 16 Aug 1929 in New Orleans, just before the start of the Great Depression.
Eddy Bros. Furniture Co. 1932

Junior's oldest brother, James Harvey Eddy, took over Adams, Beck at his father's death after having been superintendent of the Swift & Co. fertilizer plants in New Orleans and Shreveport. Robert Stevenson Eddy Jr., having benefit of his father's hard work and acumen, also went into business. In 1904, he ran for city council in the Sixteenth Ward and won, but not before a protest was filed claiming he had not met residency requirements. Despite the fact his son RS III was born while he lived in Alvin, Texas, he claimed that the move had always been temporary. The challenge was overruled and he took his seat. Being a councilman didn't help him when he spoke out about police corruption and was beaten severely by blokes in a saloon as a nearby police officer watched. That police officer was later suspended.

Junior married Leila Janet Hathorn on 16 Aug 1897 in St Bernard Parish. They had three boys, R.S.
III, Fergus, and Thomas Godwin. When Martin Behrman was mayor of New Orleans (1904-1920, 1925-26), Eddy served as a member of the Commission Council. He first became associated with racing in the early 1920s. He served as GM of the Jefferson Park Race Track, president of the Business Men's Racing Association (which he was forced to resign from after accusations were slung at him regarding illegal gambling activities), and later as GM of the Fair Grounds Race Track. The Times-Picayune was full of articles during the 1920s about the two factions fighting for control of racing in New Orleans. I've posted a couple of those, but there are many more.

The acquisition of the Fair Grounds and Jefferson Park by Eddy's business syndicate was completed in 1934. Hit with financial problems, the tracks were to be sold in the early 1940s. The land was set to be sold for development, which would have ended racing in the area. A last minute purchase saved racing in New Orleans. Eddy then acquired an interest in Fairmont Race Track in Collinsville, Ill and owned one of the largest thoroughbred, harness, and saddle horse auction exchanges. After his first wife died, he remarried two years prior to his death. He died in Fort Lauderdale, 26 Jul 1965.

Junior also opened a furniture store on North Rampart in New Orleans. His sons would join him in this venture.

His son RS III grew up, married our Munson/Vaughn relative Virginia, and had two children: Robert Stevenson IV and Jolie Ann. III died on Oct 20, 1962 in New Orleans. Virginia survived until 03 May 1966. The children are both still living, so we'll save their stories for another day!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Gossip Mill


Parker Smith was the youngest of William Custer Smith and Mary Ann Munson's brood.  Parker went from managing the family farm after his father's death to becoming a long-time Baptist fire-and-brimstone revivalist and pastor in Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Iowa over the course of his career.

The subject of today's story is not really about Parker and his wife, but rather the Press and an unusual article that was published in the Waverly Democrat on January 15, 1903. It discussed the moral rot that had set into a group of Waverly area "cattlemen" and a gossipy article that related the story that was received by the paper from a correspondent. It's not the kind of article one runs across generally, even in small-town Iowa. The purpose of the entire article, which named names, whether true or not for what appears primarily to be a scolding of the correspondent rather than news. Must have been  horribly upsetting to the folks involved, after 10 years since the original events.

Stella's father was C.A. Pierson, who was born in 1846 in Sweden. In 1868, he married  Eliza Jane Rickel, daughter of Joseph Rickel. The couple had seven children, five of whom survived past the death of their mother. Among those was Stella. The couple would end up divorcing, which was still not so common, but apparently in this case, very necessary.

The article is published here:

After they divorced, C.A. Pierson married Nancy "Anna" Phillis in 1894. After the marriage, they moved to Ravenna, Nebraska and lived near Stella. Eliza's obit never refers to the divorce.

C. A. Pierson died 29 Apr 1933 in Ravenna, Nebraska just hours after his wife, Anna, died suddenly the same day at age 84. They had been prominent farmers, stock raisers, and feeders prior to their retirement.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Those Munsons: The Newcomb Family of Montrose, Pennsylvania


The Newcomb family of Montrose, Pennsylvania, headed by patriarch Col Uri C Newcomb, provided husbands to two of the Munson girls. Julia married son Frederick Porter Newcomb and Caroline married Clark Newcomb. After Caroline died, Julia married Clark.

The Newcomb family has a long and storied history in the US, going back several generations before the birth of Uri Sr. on 02 Aug 1806 in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania.

The great grandfather of Uri, Silas Newcomb, was born in 1717 and married Submit Pineo in Lebanon Crank (now Columbia), Connecticut. His wife's family were French Huegonots. Old Silas died suddenly of a stroke while sitting under a tree, 24 May 1773. His wife was described as, "having a remarkable attachment to her children and grandchildren. " Five of their sons were coopers and three were physicians.

Uri's grandfather, Captain John Brewster Newcomb, was born in Lebanon, Windham County, Connecticut. He and his family lived for many years on "Metcalf Hill," which he had received from his father Silas' estate in 1774. After the birth of their last child, they moved around quite a bit in New York, moving to Oxford, Owasco Flats, Oswego, Moravia, Owego, where his wife died. He then moved to Scipio, where he remarried in 1818, to Reliance (Ticknor) Strong, widow of Daniel Strong. He held various offices in New York, including justice of the peace, as a captain in a calvary company, and was a prominent member of a masonic fraternity. He was described as "an intelligent and an eminently good man," in the Newcomb Family History.

Uri's father John was a cooper and farmer who moved the family to Bridgeport, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania in 1804. All of their 10 children were born in Montrose. Uri was the eldest.

Uri married Emily Tyler on 04 Oct 1826 and they had 12 children before Emily died on 06 Oct 1863. After her death, he married Hannah Huntley on 23 Jun 1864 in Delaware County, Iowa, and they went on to have two sons, neither of whom survived childhood.

One of the things Uri did before his big move west to Iowa was to contract for Mail Route 3187, a mail route from Montrose to Towanda. The trip was 40 miles each way and he went three times per week. His low bid was $700 for a two-horse coach. He started the contract in 1856. He also served as a colonel in the Pennsylvania State Militia.

He and most of his children headed west and landed in Tama, Iowa. They moved to Traer in Tama
Typical harness maker shop
county later - most likely about 1873. They were a family of harness makers. Son Clark was the first harness maker to establish himself there (with his father) in 1874. The building was erected in 1875 and was later taken over by son Marvin's son Arthur Gilman when Clark moved on to Chickasaw and then Howard County. Marvin himself was Tama City's first mayor and was justice of the peace for many years prior to his death in 1884. Many of Uri's grandchildren ended up in South Dakota later; none remained in Tama from the time of Marvin's death.

Uri died on 12 Sep 1883 in Delaware County and his second wife, Hannah Huntley, died 04 Aug 1893.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Josie Miller Must Have Liked Quirky


I loved exploring the family of David Owens, my 3rd great grandfather. He was a good farmer, a solid citizen, and had an adventurous spirit that took him from Indiana to Illinois to Iowa and finally, to South Dakota. He married three times and had a total of 14 children.

Among his children was Lucy, my 2nd great grandmother. She married Ira Miller and they had nine children, among them my great grandmother, Florence and her sister Josephine, the fourth of the nine.

Josie, as she was known, was born 05 Nov 1882 in rural Urbana, Benton County on the family farm. She first got married to a man who would be described by the newspaper as a "well-known Vinton character," in earlier articles and in his obituary.  This item, listed under "Just for Fun" in the Cedar Valley Times on 16 Oct 1936, describes him philosophizing while a resident of the County Home:
"Ed Redington was around town talking politics today. Ed says he hasn't decided whether or not he will vote at the general election next month. However, he does make his position clear insofar as his choice between the two presidential candidates is concerned when he asserts: "If I do vote it will be for Roosevelt. But as I don't believe he will need my vote to win, I don't think I'll bother about going to the polls."
"According to Ed, he has been having considerable trouble of late with people breaking into his trunk and taking things that don't belong to them. Ed said that only recently someone broke into his trunk, which he left locked, and stole two pairs of underwear, two shirts, two quilts, besides a good army overcoat. "They even took my dishes," declared Ed, "and that is what I call a low-down truck." Ed maintains that he has lost practically all faith in humanity on account of the unfortunate experiences he has had lately."
WCF&N Trolley

His name was James Irving Edmond Redington, son of Mr & Mrs Ben Redington. Josie and "Ed" married 14 Feb 1905 in Benton County, Iowa. They had a son, Ira Edmond Redington, who had some sort of mental disability and lived in the Hospital for Epileptics and School for the Feeble Minded in Cass, Iowa from at least 1930. Ira died in 1966. The couple divorced and Ed went on to several more marriages before dying at age 62 in April 1940 in Vinton.

Josie then married Charles H Swanger on 23 Apr 1923 in Waterloo, Black Hawk County. Charles was born in Fredericksburg, Iowa on March 11, 1882, to James and Hattie Sisson Swanger. Charles had previously been married to Cora, whom he married in 1903 and was divorced from in 1911 in Waterloo, having alleged adultery and addiction to intoxicants as grounds.

In 1931, Josie's widowed mother, Lucy Owens Miller, came to the Swanger home for the last five weeks of her life, with Josie caring for her.

Charles worked as a section man on the WCF&N Railway, the interurban rail and trolley system that ran in the Central Valley and its surrounding towns. On December 22, 1932, while he was out shoveling snow off the tracks, he was struck by an auto driven by Mrs Roy Hamilton. Mrs Hamilton said her car got caught in the tracks and she attempted to turn when she skidded into Swanger. He survived!  He retired from the company in 1921 after 25 years of service.

Both Josie and Charles were very active in the Salvation Army for many years. In addition to taking care of the home, Josie also sold magazines on the side. Josie died at Allen Memorial hospital of a heart condition on 12 Jan 1954 in Waterloo and had services in the Salvation Army's Stone Church on Park Ave at Mulberry. After her death, Charles remained in the family home at 1104 Franklin St. In August 1964, be received a knock at the door one day from two men purporting to be from the public utility company wanting to inspect the electric meter. While one distracted him, the other robbed his house of $280. The article in the paper was a warning to citizens that this con was being worked in the area and to always verify identity with the IPS ID card or by calling the utility.

He kept busy after Josie died by continued work for the Salvation Army. Charles ended up spending 40 years with the Salvation Army, attaining the rank of Sergeant Major, until his second retirement in 1948. He continued volunteering with them after that. This article outlines his trips to the front entry of Rath Packing Co. where he handed out the Salvation Army War Cry newspaper every other day for 13 years and was dubbed "Uncle Charlie," by those who worked at Rath. His eventual absence, which started in 1968, was noted by many and the local paper wrote this article about what "Uncle Charlie" was up to now.

Waterloo Daily Courier, Mar 29, 1968                 
He spent the last years in the Platte Rest Home in Waterloo before dying at Allen Hospital on 22 Apr 1970.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Calvin Munson Family: William Calvin Munson


We talked a bit about Calvin here. Calvin purchased 146 acres of unimproved land in Trumbull County and through some sort of measuring error, he both built his small cabin home and improved property that was not part of the land he owned! This put him a bit behind, but he worked diligently to clear his own land, where he then farmed. He also built a the first sawmill in the township of Vienna. (Another report says Calvin purchased 154 acres)
Early steam powered saw mill
Rilman Munson was the second son of Calvin Munson.  Rilman, born 25 Jun 1799 in Waterbury, Connecticut, moved with his family to Trumbull County in 1804/05 with his family. He and his brother Randal split the land of his father after his death, Rilman taking the eastern half. Rilman married German immigrant Elizabeth Sowers on 06 Apr 1825. The couple had only one child who survived, William Calvin Munson.

W. C. Munson was born 06 Oct 1826 in Vienna Township, Trumbull County. W. C. attended school at Methodist Corners, about two miles from the farm, until another schoolhouse was built closer to the homeplace. After school, he became a stone mason and he and his father partnered in a new mill which they operated for three years when W. C. was about 17 years old.  In 1845, W. C. erected his own mill on his land which he operated until about 1864, when he put up a steam mill on a new 234-acre piece of land he purchased that year. In 1851, he married Eleanor Jane Mackey. She died on 20 Jul 1884 after giving birth to at least six children.

W. C. registered for the draft, but did not serve:
"At the date of the Civil War, Mr Munson had raised a company of troops to enter the Union cause, but on account of his parents was compelled to remain at home. He was personally acquainted with the late President William McKinley, as he was also with his venerable father, William McKinley, Sr." A twentieth century history of Trumbull County, Ohio; a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests; by Upton, Harriet Taylor; Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago (Ill.), Published 1909
W. C. operated his mill and farm until about 1900. Along the way, he specialized in raising quality Holstein cattle. After he retired, son John William took over the mill and Jesse ran the farm. Son Willis J. was a volunteer fireman and also a salesman. At the time of his death, he sold Studebaker wagons. Daughters Jane and Lavinia married and raised their families. 

W. C. died 10 Jan 1909. Sadly, oldest son John died a mere four days after his father, on 14 Jan 1909.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Calvin Munson Family: McAdams Murder of 1913


Jacob Frank McAdams & Fannie Manion
Jealousy can be a big problem in personal relationships. In the case of Jacob Frank McAdams, his jealousy drove him to the ultimate horror - murder and suicide.

Frank was one of two sons and one of six children of John Lafayette McAdams and Josephine Amanda Newburn. He was born 17 Dec 1879 in Illinois. The family settled in the Cuba area of Fulton County, Illinois. He married in about 1898 to Fannie Manion, daughter of Martin and Louisa Manion. Fannie was born 08 Feb 1880 in Illinois.

They quickly had four children: Vera M, Ray Scott, John Martin, and the baby, Mary Ruth, was born in 1909. In 1900, Frank was coal mining (Fulton County was rife with mines). In 1910, he was a contract carpenter. The couple separated some time prior to 1913.

The best way to tell the story of what happened the fateful night when the entire family's life changed, is to just set it up. Picture it, the town is having a festival on 27 Nov 1913, and there is a dance going on. Fannie is sitting at the dance and has her baby Mary Ruth on her lap. Her angry husband comes roaring in, races up to her and shoots her three times, killing her instantly. Her baby was uninjured. The night did not end then, but the next day, Frank met his end as well, most likely knowing there was no coming back from what he had done.

Interestingly, on the funeral day, the sun shone for Fannie and it poured for Frank's.

I don't know where the two boys and Vera went after their parents' death, but little Mary Ruth went to her aunt and uncle William and Minnie Evans. By 1920, the boys were both working as a hired hands at two different Churchill family farms.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Samuel Munson 2nd Family: Calvin Munson and Family

Trumbull County 1856 - These townships are where
most of our ancestors settled
You can read a little about Samuel Munson here on my cousin's blog. He was referred to as Samuel Munson 2nd because there are so darned many Samuels. His grandfather and great grandfather were leaders in their community and quite accomplished. Samuel 2nd was the first of the clan to head west to Ohio to settle in the Trumbull County area in September 1804. Many of the earliest settlers fit into our family tree. His wife, Susanna Tyler and he were married about 1764 in Wallingford, New Haven, Connecticut. They had at least 8 children, among them, my 4th great grandfather, Freeman Munson.

They were some of the very earliest settlers in the area. The couple purchased land in Vienna Township on 12 May 1804 "Samuel Munson buys 154 acres from the east end of Lot #5 for $438.90," (this included Brookfield Township until 1811),(Another report has 146 acres having been purchased).

Freeman's brother Calvin was, according to family records, born on 04 May 1770 (one report has 1769) in Wallingford. He married Sarah "Sally" Hungerford on 27 Nov 1794 in Waterbury. She was the daughter of Rosannah Williams and Revolutionary War soldier David Wallingford. David died while a POW in NYC in 1777. Calvin and Sally had at least five children: Randal, Rilman, Lucy, Deidamia, and Susanna.

In 1793, a year before he married, Isaac Benham sold him 13 acres of land in Waterbury, CT, "to be taken off from the north end of my land near Samuel Munson's House." He paid 27 Pounds for the land. He took the freeman's oath at Waterbury 20 Sep 1802. He sold the land on his departure to Ohio.

John Bull represented England as Uncle Sam later
represented the US. Columbia takes that role here.
Calvin always farmed once he arrived in Ohio. He also served as a tanner and shoemaker. The War of 1812 interrupted his peaceful, hard-working life, and he was called to serve as a private in Captain Jedediah Burnham's Company from August to mid-November of 1812 and Jan-Feb of 1813.

He returned to farm and remained doing so until the end of his life, when he moved "into town." Along the way, he was involved in creating the first rural school in Vienna township, which was originally called "The Munson School," but later was dubbed "The Carey School," after the Carey family who lived nearby. The school burned to the ground in the 1920s.

Once he had retired to town, his sons Randal and Rilman took over the family farm, splitting it with Randal getting the west side of the farm and Rilman the east. All of his children married and had children. I will take us down their paths at a later time. Sally died 06 Feb 1844 and Calvin 02 Sep 1846, both in Vienna Township.