Monday, October 31, 2016

Munson Family: The Vaughns of Trumbull County

Trumbull County
James VAUGHN m Olive CABLE > John VAUGHN > John Lorin VAUGHN m Henrietta MUNSON

This is in relation to the sister of my 3rd great grandfather, Amos Munson, both children of Freeman Munson.

John Vaughn and his wife Betsey Burr were descendants of some of the earlier families of Fairfield County, Connecticut that included the Timothy Wheelers, the Andrew Cables, the John Burrs, and the Samuel Wilsons. Little is known about the origins of James Vaughn, John's father.

Olive Cable was married to William Jackson Meeker and had a number of children before his death in 1777. Olive remarried James Vaughn, with whom she had at least five children before his death in Fairfield County, Connecticut in about 1787.

John Vaughn, son of James and Olive, along with several of his half-siblings, sons and daughter of William Meeker and Olive, left for some fertile new farming land in Fowler, Trumbull County, Ohio in 1806:
     This township formerly known as Westfield, contains 16,500 acres.  It was purchased from the Connecticut Land company by Samuel Fowler, of Westfield, Massachusetts, and sold to settlers under his direction.  Titus Brockway was granted power of attorney to dispose of 10,000 acres.  Abner Fowler, brother of the proprietor, in consideration of services rendered in surveying this land, received 100 acres at the center of the township.
     The township was purchased by Mr. Fowler in 1798, for less than fifty cents per acre.
     Only five families settled in the township before 1805.  These were the families of Levi Foote, already mentioned; Lemuel Barnes, who lived one-half mile north of the center; John Morrow, at the center; Hillman Fisher, and Drake, who lived on the ridge.
      In 1806 seven families arrived from Connecticut, having left that State in the fall of the same year.  A month or six weeks later they arrived in New Connecticut.  These emigrants were Elijah Tyrrell and wife, nee Clarissa Meeker, with her brother, Justus, Daniel, Lyman, and William Meeker; John Vaughn and Wakeman Silliman.  They all settled in the southeast of the township in the vicinity of Tyrrell Hill or Tyrrell corners.
History of Trumbull & Mahoning Co., Ohio, Vol. II published by H.A. Williams & Brother, 1882; Trailing Through Tyrrell, 125 years Ago by the Tribune Trailer, & taken from Western Reserve Chronicle, Sept. 25, 1878  
John married Betsey Burr, daughter of  Jesse Burr and Sarah "Sally" Wilson, had their bans of marriage read on 07 Mar 1805 at Trinity Church in Southport, Connecticut. (And, yes, Betsey is distantly related to former US Vice President, Aaron Burr through the immigrant, Jehu Burr)

Once they arrived in Fowler, they all set about cutting roads and building homes in the southwest corner of the township at Tyrrell Hill or Tyrrell Corners (named for Clarissa Meeker's husband Elijah Tyrrell) while their wives and children spent their time at the home of  Joel Hummason in Vienna. One of Joel's relatives later married John's son Miles Munson. Once established, this group was integral in the early development of the town.  The first school was taught in the cabin of Wakeman Silliman. Clarissa's husband Elijah built the largest cabin (a full 18 x 24 - colossal by the day's standard) and produced scythes. Daniel Meeker was one of two men who built the first mill in 1807. Justus was the first miller when the flour mill was built.

John Vaughn and Betsey had at least nine children. Among those children was John Lorin Vaughn. John Lorin married Henrietta Munson, of neighboring Vienna, Trumbull County and daughter of Freeman Munson and Margaret Gregory in 1833.  In 1850, the Vaughns lived in Pierpoint in  Ashtabula County. At that time, they had seven surviving children. Sometime between 1853 and 1856, they moved on to Platteville, Grant County, Wisconsin. Their youngest surviving child, Amos Joel was born in Platteville in 12 Nov 1856. Sons Freeman and Orion remained in Wisconsin and ultimately went to war as volunteers with the Wisconsin 33rd Infantry Regiment beginning in 1862. Read about them here.

John Lorin and Henrietta Munson moved to Fayette County in 1863. And, this would be there home for the remainder of their lifetimes. 

Children of John Lorin Vaughn and Henrietta Munson:
1. Corporal Freeman F Vaughn, born abt 1834, Trumbull County, Ohio; died 26 Aug 1864 at Jefferson Barracks, St Louis, Missouri of injuries received in battle. 
2. Rose Anna Vaughn, born abt 1836, Trumbull County, Ohio; died unkown
3. Corporal Orion Squire Vaughn, born 09 Jan 1838 in Trumbull County, Ohio; died 03 Mar 1920, Winneconne, Winnebago, Wisconsin. 
4. Sarah Jane Vaughn Simmons, born 28 Dec 1840, Trumbull County, Ohio; died 16 May 1920, New Hampton, Chickasaw, Iowa. 
5. Elizabeth A Vaughn, born abt 1841, Trumbull County, Ohio; died between 1912-1920 (there is some indication that she had some type of disability)
6. Arminda, born abt 1846, Trumbull County, Ohio; death unknown
7. James Lester Vaughn, born 03 Jan 1849, Trumbull County, Ohio; died 14 Dec 1918, Randalia, Fayette, Iowa.
8. Frederic Vaughn, abt 1851, Trumbull County, Ohio; died unknown
9. Charlotte Vaughn Fox, born 14 Jan 1853, Trumbull County, Ohio; died 21 Sep 1934, Buchanan, Iowa, USA
10. Amos Joel Vaughn, born 12 Nov 1856, Platteville, Grant, Wisconsin; died Sep 1947, Randalia, Fayette, Iowa.
11-13. Unknown Vaughns who either died as infants or as young children between
census reports (3). 
Note: At the time of Henrietta's death, seven of her children were living. I have information on Orion, Sarah, Elizabeth, James, Charlotte, and Amos being alive, but am unsure who the seventh living child would have been. 

John died on 05 Aug 1887 in Fayette County. Henrietta lived on until 07 Apr 1905 where she died at the home of her son James in Randalia.

The mystery of their burial is most likely solved. The obituary for Henrietta indicates she joined her husband and two of her children at the Lima, Iowa cemetery. According to the sexton for the cemetery, the records indicated that there were six plots bought in the name of Vaughn & Yaste (searches have not located anyone with the Yaste name in the area). The six plots are in line but there are no stones. Sexton believed that there might have been stones at one time, but during that era, stones were often made of limestone and wore down and broke frequently and could have been removed. The cemetery records are full of holes, so there is no actual record of their burials. I believe, however, with strong cetainty, that they are buried there.

Lima, Iowa Cemetery. The entire line in front of the bush is Vaughn-owned plots

Monday, October 17, 2016

Greenwood Cemetery, Cedar Falls, Iowa

View from the bluff in Greenwood Cemetery
In the 15 years I lived in Black Hawk County after arriving here from Germany where my parents lived during my dad's service, I had never been to Greenwood Cemetery in Cedar Falls. It wasn't until I moved back and started my genealogy work that I even figured out exactly where it was. Then I started some of the easiest nearby relatives for my genealogy introduction.

I've been working on my dad's side of the family almost exclusively for the past 2+ years, but Greenwood is the eternal home of many of those on my mom's side. Among them, Lars Peder (Peder Lars) Hansen and his wife, Ida Marie "Mary" Olson, my 2nd great grandparents as, well as Sophia (no marker), John George Hansen, and Edna Hansen Morcum.

They are buried very close to my great grandparents, Oscar Hansen and Leah Moore, in the older part of cemetery. And, it turns out, there is an extra plot that Mary had purchased that was never used. I've been working on securing permission to use that plot from the surviving grandchildren of Peder and Mary, which has been a story in itself that has reconnected me with people I have not seen since childhood. I hope it pans out.

Today, my daughter and I went to a Cedar Falls Historical Society event at the cemetery where they had actors present information on the inventors of Cedar Falls who were buried in Greenwood. For $5, it's well worth the money and my kid enjoyed it as well. While there, I thought I'd locate the place that might be my forever home.

It's a corner plot. I kind of like that idea. Quick in and out if anyone ever wants to come visit me. I'm all about efficiency.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Freeman and Orion Vaughn, 33rd Wisconsin Infantry, Company A

Battle of Vicksburg
MUNSON, Freeman > MUNSON, Henrietta m. John Lorin Vaughn > VAUGHN, Freeman & Orion

Freeman Munson, a one-time war deserter and farmer who resided most of his life in Trumbull County, Ohio, fathered at least five children that I've found. Among them was my 3rd great grandfather, Amos (the eldest) and Henrietta, the oldest girl, born in 1815. Henrietta married John Lorin Vaughn in 1833 and to them were born ten children.

The eldest was Freeman, born about 1834, who was named for his grandfather. The second boy was Orion, who was born in 1838. Both were born in Ohio.

When the Civil War rolled around, Orion was the first in the family to join up with the Wisconsin volunteers on 8/14/1862. His older brother, Freeman, joined  a week later on 8/21/1862. Pulled together in Racine, Wisconsin in October 1862, the two were assigned to the 33rd Wisconsin Infantry, Company A. A fascinating journal of the activities of this company is detailed in William S. Parr's diary here.

This excerpt from a chronicler of the 33rd
"The 33rd Wisconsin Infantry was organized in Racine during October,1862 the regiment served with distinction throughout the war. Originally, the Regiment received great attention from the letters sent home by the soldiers. As the active campaigning continued, the letters slowly dwindled and so did the press and fanfare The 33d Wisconsin served in the western theater, under General Ulysses S. Grant, Gen. William T. Sherman, General Nathaniel Banks and Gen. George Thomas — participating in major battles and numerous small but, deadly engagements that received little attention in history books about the war.
Constantly called upon to act as a rear-guard or to rescue the predicaments caused by the poor decisions of others, this Wisconsin regiment is very representative of the bulk of Wisconsin regiments the state sent to the war: most such regiments served in the Western Theater; most were involved in gritty, sweaty, long-range summer campaigns; most were involved in a myriad of smaller actions, marches and skirmishes that have escaped the attention of both contemporary and modern chroniclers of Wisconsin's Civil War experience."
Civil War Wisconsin
A. J. Smith
Freeman and Orion both attained the rank of corporal during their service. Freeman and his brothers in arms fought in many skirmishes and battles, including the Battle of Vicksburg, the list for which can be found here and here. The 33rd was placed under Andrew Jackson (A. J.) Smith's division of XIII Corps during Vicksburg and his division of XVI Corps for the Red River Campaign. Smith was an 1838 graduate of West Point and graduated 36th of 45, yet had a successful volunteer and regular Army career before retiring in 1869.

Freeman was injured in battle at Tupelo, Mississippi, on July 14, 1864. Later in August, the Madison Wisconsin State Journal made a report of the sick, injured, and dead. It indicated that Freeman had been transported aboard the hospital transport ship, D. A. January from Memphis, TN to the US General Hospital at Jefferson barracks, in St Louis. He was then reported to have died on August 26, 1864.

The U.S. Army Hospital Steamer D. A. January was a side-wheel steamer that served as a floating hospital. Outfitted to allow for the best in patient care, it contained a surgical suite, baths, a kitchen, nurses quarters, hot and cold running water, and an ice water cooler. Windows circulated air through the wards, which held nearly 450 beds. During its four years of service, the D. A. January transported and cared for more than 23,000 wounded men. (Source: U.S. Army Medical Department, Office of Medical History) 
Orion made it out alive and was mustered out on August 9, 1865. The regiment was decommissioned and all went on to live their lives. Orion would marry in 1870 and died in 1920, being buried in Winnebago County, Wisconsin.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Trailblazing Women: Angie Debo, Historian, Part 2

Angie & Mother Lina
To see Part 1, go here.

Angie Debo craved education and dove right in between chores at home where her mother worked with her to teach her how to keep a home and farm animals while Edwin helped his father in the fields. The pair made the two-mile trek through pastures to get to school for the few months each year it was in operation. The quality of the teaching varied widely in the one-room schoolhouse, depending on what teacher blew through, but it was critical to Angie that she attend. In these early days of school, she heard some of the history of the native people's which would sew the seeds of her primary interest many years later. Students studied The kids got through the eighth grade, which was as far as they could go until a high school was built. She passed her territorial examination.

In 1905, Marshall opened their new high school which only provided a 9th grade. She finished that and waited again.

Having from a young age decided that she would not marry and have children, but instead a career, a friend from youth recounted one story of Angie having shown an interest in a fellow student, but she did not pursue it and the boy finally moved on. She would apparently have no beaus during her lifetime.

Not idle while waiting to continue her education, she read the newspapers, soaking up everything she could learn about the greater world there and by listening to the men in town talking politics. But, with nowhere to go from there, she started teaching in the rural schools in Logan and Garfield Counties. At that time, all you had to have done is complete 8th grade and pass that territorial exam. She apparently liked the $33 she earned each month but it wasn't an easy job. She moved from school to school over the next bit of time, but firmly established class control in each location despite her diminutive size and lack of experience.

Finally, in 1910, Marshall added the final high school grades. She spent the next three years studying hard and in 1913 was one of nine students who graduated from the first graduating class of Marshall High School. She was by then 23 years old.

For the next two years, she continued to teach in the rural schools, but then attended the University of Oklahoma, studying history under EE Dale, who taught the first history course on the American Indian. After graduating in 1918, she taught high school for five more years until she could afford to earn her master's degree at the University of Chicago which she wrapped up in 1924.

While working on her doctorate, she taught almost ten years at West Texas Teacher's College. Her dissertation was described like this:
"At a time when most historians of American Indians wrote from a non-Indian perspective based largely on government documents, she utilized these sources but also incorporated oral history, tribal records, and anthropological studies. At the time, she did not think of her treatment as something new, but later researchers point to The Rise and Fall of the Choctaw Republic(1934) as one of the early examples of an ethnohistorical approach. Her book received the John H. Dunning Prize of the American Historical Association as the most important contribution to studies in American history in 1934."
Oklahoma Historical Society 2009
Edwin and Ida
When Angie left WTTC, she moved back to Marshall to live with her parents. While there, she wrote several more books on Indian history and issues. It was also during this time, her beloved brother Edwin developed Hodgkin's disease. Only married three years to Ida Henneke, he died in 1931, having been cared for by his mother, sister, and wife.

The 1930s and 1940s led to working on two WPA projects. The first was in 1937 and was related to the native tribes in oral history and the other related to the history of Oklahoma, which she worked on in 1940. Her father died in 1944. In the 1950s, she worked as a researcher and librarian at was once Oklahoma A&M.  Angie wrote a total of nine history books, co-authored one, and edited three more, including her final book, "Geronimo," in 1976. Her beloved mother Lina, with whom she was also exceptionally close, died in 1954.

Her later years included lots of writing, from articles to book to periodicals. She also became involved in the civil rights movement and the ACLU on behalf of Indian causes.
"With her lifelong commitment to social justice, Debo served on the Oklahoma board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union. In 1985 Oklahoma honored her work by placing her portrait in the Rotunda of the State Capitol. In 1988, at age ninety-eight, Angie Debo received the Award for Scholarly Distinction from the American Historical Association. She died two weeks later on February 21, 1988."
Oklahoma Historical Society 2009.
Angie, 1935
Angie Debo died 21 Feb 1988 in Enid, Oklahoma. All of Angie's papers and records were donated to Oklahoma State University. I highly recommend you visit the website and also read Shirley Leckie's book on Angie as a great source of information regarding the entire Alfred Cooper family, including Angie.

Sources:
Shirley A. Leckie, Angie Debo: Pioneering Historian (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000).
Patricia Loughlin, Hidden Treasures of the American West: Muriel H. Wright, Angie Debo and Alice Marriott (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2005).
Blackburn, Bob L. "Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame - Angie Debo," The Chronicles of Oklahoma 72, no. 4 (Winter 1994-95): 456-59.
Oklahoma Historical Society, Debo, Angie Elbertha (1890-1988), 2009, http://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=DE002
Oklahoma State University, The Angie Debo Collection, 2016, http://info.library.okstate.edu/debo

Trailblazing Women: Angie Debo, Historian, Part 1

Marshall, Oklahoma 1902
COOPER, William > COOPER, Amos > COOPER, John L > COOPER, Alfred James > COOPER, Lina m. Edward Debo > DEBO, Angie Elbertha

One might not have expected this girl, born in 1890 in Beattie, Kansas into a family of restless pioneers who barely scraped out a living from the earth in spots throughout the midwest would become a noted historian, but she did. Angie Debo, Oklahoma historian specializing in the Native American history, was the product of a mother whom she described as a "practical feminist," who believed a woman's role was not merely to help "her man," but to enjoy the fruits of their joint efforts equally. Strong words for a turn-of-the-20th century wife and mother. It led Angie Debo away from a path of marriage and children into the world of higher education where there were only a handful of opportunities for women.

Edward Debo and Lina Cooper
Lina, Angie's mother, was born in September of 1865 in Illinois. She was the oldest girl and second of seven children born to Alfred James Cooper and his wife Marian Angeline Willard. Alfred seemed not to have the best luck with farming, constantly coming up against nature and the economy of the time. In 1859, just two years after his marriage, he left his home in Illinois and walked west to California, in hopes of finding a fortune or some better fortune, at any rate. Apparently, he came back two years later, much thinner, but no richer. He and his wife and two kids headed to the land of rich northeast Iowa soil about 1867 and spent the next several years living in Buchanan County, Iowa. Then, it was on to Rooks County, Kansas in 1879. Lina's older brother, Alfred D. Cooper's children are highlighted here.

Lina didn't have a chance at an education as she was needed to help provide for the large family of seven children by caring for the youngest five and then was sent out to work as a child care helper to young mothers in town for fifty cents a day. The soddie they lived in was leaky and buggy. In 1883, the family was faced with, what was described in Angie Debo: Pioneering Historian, as a "starving time." Things couldn't get much worse. Alfred then moved his family on to Beattie.

Lina met a young man in Beattie named Edward Debo. Peter Debo, his father, had benefited from Napolean Bonaparte's acquisition of much of the Prussian territory in the early 1800s. His family settled along the the Rhine. Post-Bonaparte, Peter bristled under the Prussian rule and headed to the United States in 1854. Once he got to Illinois, he married Edward's mother, Elizabeth Hoppmeier in Illinois. Edward was a very industrious young man and Lina an incredible industrious young woman and it would become a very good, long-lasting match once they married in 1889.

Angie & Edwin
Angie came along first, born on 30 Jan 1890 in Beattie, followed less than two years later by her beloved brother, Edwin, who was born 24 Aug 1891. Unlike many farm families, either by design or by circumstance, they limited their family to two children. The children benefited greatly from the extra attention and both would crave education and other opportunities that they may not have had were they two of a dozen children.

At the age of nine, her family decided to move south from Welcome, Kansas, where they had sold the railroad land they had purchased just a few years before at a tidy $900 profit, to the Oklahoma Territory, which was still booming even ten years after the land grab began in 1889. On 8 Nov 1899, when the Debo's and Lina's parents and some siblings arrived,  Oklahoma was still a rugged place, but there were established towns and farms that would perhaps cause them a little less work once they arrived. Edward moved the farm equipment along the route south and Lina drove the covered wagon.
"...the young girl, seated beside her mother, peered out of a covered wagon at the houses, a story and a half tall; their red barns; and the "green wheat stretching to the low horizon." Where, she wondered, were the Indians? She knew they lived in Oklahoma, but all she had seen so far during her family's travels from Welcome, Kansas, to this small town were homesteaders in frame or sod houses and an occasional rancher or cowboy.
Returning to his separate wagon, sagging with farm equipment, Edward signaled his wife to follow in hers, which was crammed with furniture, dishes, utensils, canned fruit, clothing, and a few precious books. After driving about five miles southward, the family arrived at their new home. It was, Angie, discovered, a one-room shack, probably twenty by twenty feet. The farmer who had patented the land in 1889 had sold out when property values increased beyond expectations. Like many others, he was seeking new profits farther west.
Spotting a tree near a creek, the two children climbed its branches looking for a place where their father could build a playhouse. Meanwhile, the parents unpacked the family's belongings and prepared the evening meal. In their mid-thirties, Edward and Lina Debo were starting over, but each brought to this venture resiliency forged from previous encounters with hardship."
Angie Debo: Pioneering Historian, University of Oklahoma Press by Shirley A Leckie, 2000
There life in Oklahoma had begun. Next up, her rugged educational path.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Side Road: Harry H Woodington, Longtime Employee of The Celery King

Orange County Celery Field
Harry H. Woodington was the youngest of three sons born, along with two younger girls, to George Woodington and Margaret Alice "Alice" Neal in Elizabeth, Woodbine Township, Jo Daviess County, Illinois in about 1874. He moved with his family to Westminster Township, in what was then Los Angeles County, in the late 1870s. You can read about George & Alice here.

Harry married Rella M Clemens on 07 Jul 1898 in Orange County. She is the daughter of Isaac and Isabelle Clemens who came from Canada. They resided in Michigan, where Rella was born, before moving on to Rapid City, South Dakota, where she was reared and then Wintersburg, California when she was 11.The Woodington's had two sons: Russell L Woodington and Donald Earle Woodington. Russell died at age 13 in 1913. Donald farmed in Bolsa, California.

Harry was educated in Westminster, but had a lifelong passion for farming. He worked on various ranches near his home even in after-school hours. As a young man, he met Daniel Everett (D. E.) Smeltzer, known through the produce world as "The Celery King" and operated Golden West Celery and Produce Company.  An extremely wealthy man, he not only introduced celery as a business to the So California ag community, he built his business up to impressive heights. Mr. Smeltzer hired young Harry, who worked his way up to foreman of the ranch. For many years, he toiled along with The Celery King at their work on the 400-acre celery farm in the peatlands of Orange County. Twenty rail cars per day; 1,200 per growing season went out of the Smeltzer, CA train station with his produce. The Wintersburg/Smeltzer area also became home to many Japanese, many of whom worked the fields. The village of Wintersburg, now devoured by Huntington Beach, is of historic importance to the Japanese-Americans who toiled to make the land a success.

Smeltzer also owned other business interests in Kansas. Unfortunately, 49-year-old Smeltzer overworked to such a degree, he had three complete breakdowns physically and mentally over the course of a year. He died at age 49 very, very wealthy, but overworked.

The company incorporated after Smeltzer's death and Harry was promoted again to the position of superintendent. Under his leadership, he further increased productivity. The apex of the celery market came in 1910-1912. It was downhill from there due to blight and pests and demand for other more marketable produce. On the upswing were lima beans and sugar beets, which were quickly overrunning former celery producing land.

Golden West Produce Co.20-ton Caterpillar Dredger
Woodington remained on with Golden West until the company sold out to the Anaheim Sugar
Company in 1919. Seeing the writing on the wall, Harry finally took the leap to buy land in 1918, purchasing his home place of 40 acres in Huntington Beach Township, which were used to grow Lima beans. In 1920, he also rented 60 acres, planting all 100 acres in Lima beans.

To augment his income, he started a bean threshing business with a 36-horsepower traction engine and a 36 x 60 separator.He did his work in Smeltzer and on the San Joaquin ranch.

Harry died at the relatively young age of 63 on 07 Jul 1937, his 39th wedding anniversary. His wife Rella lived until 1959, dying at age 77; and son Donald died in 1980; all dying in Orange County.

Sideroad: Harry S Woodington, Deserter

Marine Barracks
League Island, Philadelphia 
Johnathan Woodington (abt 1800) and Sarah Ann Wayman (abt 1818) had a very large family and lived primarily in the Philadelphia area for much of their lives. One son, Moses, married Henrietta Munson - the younger sister of my 2nd great grandmother, Mary Ann Munson, who moved with her family to the Eastern District of Wisconsin in the 1840s from Trumbull County, Ohio.

The youngest Woodington from Johnathon's family, Harry S (Moses' youngest brother)., shares a not-so-nice commonality with Mary Ann Munson's grandfather, Freeman Munson. They were both deserters. While Freeman went on to have a happy and productive life, I've yet to locate Harry after his desertion. This is not the Harry I intended to post on who is this Harry's nephew of brother George. I'll get to that next.

Harry was born in about 1866 in Bristol, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. At the age of 23, on 23 Mar 1889, he joined the US Marines and was stationed at League Island Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, which was located at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuykill rivers. The shipyard was an additional shipyard which began being built up in 1871, meant to augment and eventually replace the shipyard on Front Street in Philadelphia which had been in use since 1776,

I was able to locate all the muster rolls during his brief military career:
29 Mar - 31 Mar 1889: Received instruction in drill
01 Apr - 30 Apr 1889: On drill (that had to be exciting-not!)
01 May - 31 May 1889: On drill
01 Jun - 30 Jul: Regular duties
01 Jul - 18 Jul: Regular duties
18 Jul - 31 Jul: Sick in hospital
01 Aug - 31 Aug: Sick in hospital
01 Sep - 15 Sep: Sick in hospital
15 Sep: Deserted from hospital




Now, we get to the why he was hospitalized and just how serious it was.  Harry had gonorrhea. The disease has been around for hundreds of years, but the bacteria was finally discovered in 1879 by Albert Neisser. Earlier in the 19th century, doctors used shots of mercury to the tip of the penis to help. Later, in the 19th century, gonorrhea was treated with the help of silver nitrate. However, this compound was discontinued and protargol was used which was a type of colloidal silver sold by Bayer from the year 1897. But, not all cases were helped by these treatments and further health problems could set in to the urethra, prostate, and even the liver in men over the short and long term.

In the case of Harry, he spent eight weeks in the hospital where the purge treatment (shooting various solutions, like mercury or saline directly through the tip of the penis through the urethra) and other remedies did not work in short order. By Sep 11, his case was still not beaten. On the 15th, he was granted liberty and never returned to base. On Sep 23, they closed his case and assumed he would not return. His complete treatment record is provided below. 

I've been unable to find any further evidence of Private Harry S Woodington. Now, I'll really get to the Harry Woodington I intended to get to as mentioned in the last post. Two Harry's, completely different lives on opposite coasts.






Sideroad: George Woodington Heads to California

Gabrielino Indians who settled on land taken by the
Spanish and then by US pioneers. They were
nearly decimated by disease.
Johnathan Woodington (abt 1800 and Sarah Ann Wayman (abt 1818) had a very large family and lived primarily in the Philadelphia area for much of their lives. One son, Moses, married Henrietta Munson - the younger sister of my 2nd great grandmother, Mary Ann Munson, who moved with her family to the Eastern District of Wisconsin in the 1840s from Trumbull County, Ohio.

Moses' oldest brother George, left Pennsylvania as well. He headed down to the Woodbine in Jo Daviess County area of Illinois, near the great Mississippi River sometime after 1860 from Elizabeth in Bensalem Township, Bucks County where he had been living with a cousin's family and working as a day laborer.

A ranch in Los Angeles/Orange County in the 1880s
On 26 Jan 1865, he married Margaret Alice "Alice" Neal in Jo Daviess County. Three children would be born to them there: Edwin, William Wallace, and Harry. B. In 1870, he visited California for the first time. His dream became to move there permanently. In the meantime, the boys were born and he farmed.

It appears his westward migration to southern most Los Angeles County came before 1877, for his next child, Lulu Maus, was born in Westminster Township in 1877. Daughter Mabel would come along in 1880.Westminster Township is comprised of the entirety of Rancho Los Alamitos consisting of over 28,000 acres. Westminster and Westminster Township later became part of Orange County in 1889.

Spanish Ranchos
Over 8,000 years ago, the earliest known settler here were the Oak Grove people. They abandoned the area when food sources dwindled and the temps became too dry. According to the Westminster website:
"The area remained uninhabited until the Gabrieleno Indians moved in from the desert to this area and numbered over 200,000. Diseases such as measles, smallpox and diphtheria reduced the Indian population.
The next recorded history of the North Orange County area dates to 1492, when Pope Alexander IV decreed that all unclaimed land in the North American continent belonged to the King of Spain. Large land grants called ranchos were awarded by the King to induce colonization of the continent. The Spaniards cleared, surveyed and mapped their new land. In 1784 the Spanish Governor of California honored Manuel Nieto with a 21 mile square concession of land to be called the Rancho Las Bolsas. It covered most of what we know today as west Orange County. The Rancho prospered with large crops and fine herds, however, after Nieto’s death in 1804 his heirs quarreled and the Rancho was partitioned in 1834.
During the 1850’s with California’s admission to the Union, the U.S. Land Commission was set up to review claims that rose from original Spanish land grants. An American named Abel Stearns saw this as an opportunity to buy up shares from the disputing factions of the Rancho Las Bolsas. With the Commission’s acceptance, Stearns became the sole owner of the rancho changing the name to Stearns Rancho."

Westminster was set up in about 1870 as a "temperance colony" by a Presbyterian minister who purchased 6,000 acres. This is a community that prohibited the sale or use of alcohol. By 1872, the first school had opened and by 1874, the first general store. It was a brutal agricultural terrain (part of the reason many Indians left the area long before) with swamps, tulles, and flooding due to the lack of irrigation. By 1881, with the passage of the Irrigation Act, thousands of acres were turned into usable ag land. He had been engaged in farming the greater part of his life and during the fourteen years of his residence in California, he worked as a farm laborer in many quarters, most extensively on the Bixby Ranch and later raised grain on the San Joaquin (Irvine) ranch - two of the largest ranches in California. He never worked his own land while in California, beyond family sustenance.

George lived here until his death in 1905. Alamitos Cemetery would later become Magnolia Memorial Cemetery. His wife, Alice, would live on until 1920. His son Harry would stay on in the area and will be the subject of the next post (along with info on his long relationship with "The Celery King."