Wednesday, November 30, 2016

William Custer Smith Family: Rev Parker Smith

JACOB SMITH > WILLIAM CUSTER SMITH m Mary Ann Munson > PARKER SMITH


Parker Smith was born on 01 Sep 1872 in Butler County, Iowa, near Plainfield (Bremer County) where his parents, William Custer Smith and Mary Ann Munson farmed. Parker was the seventh Smith child and took a completely different path in life from his siblings.

His mother died in 1888 and his father in 1895 and after that, he managed the family farm while it was still in family hands* and did some local traveling as a revivalist fire-and-brimstone Southern Baptist speaker. 

On 26 Nov 1896, he married Estella Irene "Stella" Pierson, in Horton, Bremer County. She was the daughter of Charles Pierson of Sweden and Eliza Rickel originally of Mansfield, Richland County, Ohio. The elder Pierson's were married in 1868 but divorced prior to 1894 when Charles married Nancy "Anna" Phillips.

Parker also attended college, graduating from Southern University in Scotlandville, Louisiana. He was ordained a Baptist preacher in 1899. Finding regular work was sometimes challenging, but from 1899-1903, he was pastor of the Clark Steet Baptist Church in Sioux City, Iowa. He kept his options open though, and did other things to bring in income. In 1900, he and his brother Edwin opened a livery business in the Nashua/Plainfield area, though I don't think that lasted long.

In 1903, the Smith's moved on to his new church in LeMars, Iowa-the First Baptist Church. He would remain there until 1906. At some point during this time, the Smith's decided to foster and raised Stella's niece, Evelyn, whose parents had died.  They seemed to really click in LeMars, based on news reports. With mixed feelings, they took another post in 1906 with the First Baptist Church in Wayne, Nebraska. He would remain there full time until 1911.

In 1914, when his old church in Sioux City completed its new church building, the Smith's were invited to attend and preach. During the period of 1912-1923, Rev Smith substitute preached at Baptist churches in Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota. The family was living in Parker, Turner County, South Dakota for the 1920 census. 

That same year, he had a little bit of excitement on the road:
PREACHERS JOLTED
Parker SD - The lives of Rev Parker Smith, of this city, and Rev Mr Peterson of Turkey Valley were placed in jeopardy when the steering rod of the auto in  which they were riding worked loose at a point eleven miles from Parker. The auto was traveling at a rate of about twenty-five miles an hour at the time. The steering rod dropped down and struck the road, causing the car to swing violently up into the air and then bob up and down like a jumping jacks. Fortunately, both men escaped without serious injury.
Huron Evening Huronite July 18, 1920

Parker wasn't involved at just the church level, but was actively involved in regional Southern Baptis operations. In 1915, while at the state Baptist convention in Deadwood, SD, he was elected as "Manager for three years," for the organization. 1918's convention had him positioned as vice president. And, in 1919, Rev Smith was elected moderator of the South Baptist Association of South Dakota's next meeting.

In 1923, he picked up a new position with church in Tekamah, Nebraska. In the earlier part of 1926, the Smith's were living back in Waterloo, Black Hawk County, Iowa and then for some reason, during the period of 1926-1927, Rev Smith moved to Ravenna, Nebraska, and operated a grocery store. 

In 1928, the Smith's were living in Brownsdale, Minnesota and by 1929 had returned to Broken Bow. In 1931, he was preaching at the Baptist church in Lincoln, Nebraska and would remain there through 1932. In 1933, he was back in Broken Bow, and in 1935, Rev Smith would take his final bow as full-time preacher before retirement there. From then on, he quietly farmed, and most likely did some preaching somewhere. They would later return to Ravenna, Nebraska.

What's not known is if his wife accompanied him on all his various travels, but the couple did get back to the Nashua/Plainfield area frequently to visit family and friends.

Their foster daughter Evelyn was with them through at least 1930, where the census has her working as a bookkeeper in the creamery in Broken Bow. I have not been able to establish this to a certainty, but I believe her first marriage was to a Mr. Diedrichs and second to a Fred Wilkens. I have no other information on Evelyn.

Parker died 29 Mar 1950 in Ravenna. He had outlived all of his siblings by several years. His nephews Harold Smith and Claude Smith went for the funeral (Edwin's sons). Harold named one of
his sons after Parker. Stella would survive until 19 Mar 1955 and also die in Ravenna.

*See information on the family farm here

William Custer Smith Family: Eva Elvira Smith

JACOB SMITH > WILLIAM CUSTER SMITH  m Mary Ann Munson > EVA ELVIRA SMITH



L. Scott Baker & Ethel Bryce Wedding
Eva Elvira Smith was the final child born to William Custer Smith and Mary Ann Munson while they lived in Wisconsin. She was born in Grant County, Wisconsin on 05 Apr 1864 and in the fall of 1865, moved with her parents and sibling to a farm near Plainfield, Bremer County at the edge of Butler County.

On 21 Aug 1881, she married Arthur Marion Bryce, a divorced man with one daughter. Arthur and Eva would have two children, Ethel Marion, born in 1882 and John W. born 24 Feb 1884. Arthur died on 11 Jan 1886.

In 1897, Eva sold her interest in the Smith family farm, previously repurchased from Willliam Custer Smith's second wife and widow, Alice, to her siblings for $2,000. She sold her share back to the siblings for $600.

In 1906, Eva moved to Illinois where her daughter Ethel and son-in-law Lafayette "Scott" Baker were residing. The Baker's relocated to Waterloo in 1910.

Ethel had met Scott while working in the Plainfield school. Scott was the principal and Ethel was his assistant and teacher. Scott was referred to as "Professor Baker." Baker was a native of Island, Nemaha, Nebraska born 16 Apr 1880 to Mr & Mrs Jesse Baker. His family then moved to Fremont County, Iowa. The young couple was married by Ethel's uncle, Rev. Parker Smith, a Baptist minister, on 13 Jan 1906 at Eva's home in Plainfield. They had their only child, Jesse Bryce Baker, in Illinois, on 12 Jan 1907.

Jesse, Ethel, and Scott Baker
Eva's son John also lived in Waterloo in 1910 with the Baker's and plied his trade as a barber. He eventually moved to Fort Dodge and in 1914 was living in the Hotel Logan there and still barbering. He remained there and married Miss Addie Latham on 17 Dec 1921 in Waterloo.He would remain in Fort Dodge for his life and die on 24 Sep 1931.

The Baker's remained in Waterloo until about 1922, when they moved to  Lincoln, Nebraska and then Denver, Colorado. It was in Lincoln that Eva died on 05 June 1924, the first of the Smith siblings to reach maturity to die (young John died at a age 2 in 1881).  Just two weeks after Eva's funeral, which sister Ella Mae Cunningham attended, Ella Mae would die in Moberly, Missouri (read here and here).

While in Denver, Scott died in April of 1944. He was buried at the Fairmont Cemetery in Denver. Ethel moved to California, where son Jesse was living. She eventually married Mr. Al Kramer (of which little is known).

Son Jesse married first Leona Vanderpool in about 1927 or 1928 while living in Denver. They had one daughter born about 1928. They divorced.

Jesse & Inez
He then married Inez Pearl Garrison who had divorced George Howard Wilcox and had two sons, William and George, Jr., at the time of the marriage. Jesse and Inez would go on to have four more children. Jesse in 1930 was an engineer for a radio corporation and in 1940 was a traveling salesman for a mercantile company. Jesse died in Los Angeles County 21 Sep 1971.

Ethel, Jesse's mother, survived him, living until 19 Apr 1977, where she died in Sunland, Los Angeles County, California.

Inez moved in the early 1970s to Bellingham, Washington. She married Arie H. Sluys, her third husband, on 08 Jul 1977 in Whatcom County, Washington. Arie died 25 Oct 1988 and Inez died 12 Mar 1999.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Cappoens/LeRoy Line: Leo Linsey

Leo Lee Linsey was born the oldest child of Florence Miller and Charles Lindsey (later Linsey) on 18 Jun 1904 in Benton County, Iowa. Florence was a farmer's daughter, having been raised in the rural Benton County area prior to her marriage. They resided at 410 11th Ave in Vinton, Iowa.  They would have two other surviving children; Lucille and Charles, Jr. who went by "Junior" his entire life.

Charles was a working man, working various jobs and spent the last 12 years of his life working on a section gang for the railroad.


Leo would grow up to be a pressman, but also was a sales delivery man for a company for a while. He spent his longest working stint with a printing company in Waverly, Iowa until his retirement. On 12 Apr 1930, he married Hazel Batchelder in Vinton. She was the daughter of Lottie Berry and Lester Batchelder. From this point, things get dodgy. They filed for divorce in 1935, each slinging accusations at each other which made the paper in great detail and the wife requesting Leo be institutionalized (mostly likely for alcoholism). Eventually, the request for commitment was dropped, a demand was made by the court that they stop slinging mud, custody was awarded permanently to Hazel's mother of the son. Leo had very little contact with his son from then on. That son had a successful life and looks back very fondly on his grandparents who raised him. Hazel and Leo were divorced at last in 1936 for the 1st time.

But, lo and behold, come just months after the protracted legal battle, they announced their intention to marry again. I'm guessing this engagement was on and off until they finally remarried on 12 Dec 1936. They separated within months, but did not divorce immediately.

By 1937, Leo was living and working in Waterloo, Iowa. He began cohabitating with Verlie Smith Michaelsen sometime that year. Both were still married. Verlie's husband finally filed and was granted a divorce in 1941 and he remarried in April 1942. It is presumed that Leo's divorce from Hazel was finally finalized sometime prior to her marriage to Jack Ritzman in the mid-1940s. 

Verlie's relationship with her first husband, Ted Michaelsen, was marred by spousal violence and alcoholism. It was also the depression and things were very dire financially for her. Verlie had four children by her first marriage. Many children ended up in orphanages during this time as many did not have the means to even feed the children. Three of the children of this union were adopted by various family members after stays of various lengths in the Bremer Lutheran Children's Home, and the youngest was adopted to a well-to-do Lutheran couple. Two girls were adopted by a paternal aunt and uncle and the oldest was adopted by a maternal aunt and uncle. After extensive conversations with the children of the first marriage, one can only presume that while difficult for all involved, the children ended up in safer, more stable environments. All but one of the children of that marriage maintained a relationship with Verlie her entire life.




Leo and Verlie had three sons between 1939 and 1944. The couple did not marry until 1965, when they drove up to Minnesota and tied the knot 12 Jul 1965 in Fillmore. Leo reportedly wanted to ensure that Verlie was able to get his Social Security. They generally lived on the edge financially their whole lives. Near the end of Leo's life, which had ritually involved stopping off at the tavern after work and after getting a paycheck, he and Verlie separated. Their decree of separate maintenance appeared in the Marriage Dissolutions column in the Waterloo Courier in 1975 and terms were, "She gets household goods and furniture, he pays debts incurred during their marriage." He died on 04 Feb 1980 in Waterloo of a heart attack. His final years were spent with his companion, Elsie Stoner. Verlie lived on until Nov 1986 and died at Ravenswood Care Center in Waterloo. 

I have incredibly fond memories of both of my grandparents. Leo was quiet and smoked stinky green cigars outside. He affectionately called me his "Little Kraut" because I was born in Germany. He mostly liked to sit back in his recliner and watch Lawrence Welk on Saturday nights. Grandma made the best fried chicken dinners and a had a little candy dish on her buffet waiting for all of us when we came for Sunday dinner after church. She was the typical grandma, baking and cooking her way into each of our heart's.

It's much easier to step back and look at their lives from a dispassionate perspective now, with them both gone for over 30 years. They made a lot of probably not so good choices in their lives, but managed to have a bunch of kids between them that did what America is great for -  providing opportunity for each to find their own success and doing it better in the next generation.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Edwin Smith Family

JACOB SMITH > WILLLIAM CUSTER SMITH > EDWIN SMITH (my great grandfather)

Remember that terrible personal interview I went to a couple of months ago? Well, out of that came getting this photo. Although it's a paper copy, it's still far better than nothing. I've now seen them all.

The Edwin Smith Family, very late 1920s, early 1930s.
Madge, Kate Smull Smith, Bernice, Howard (rear), Nila, Evelyn, Harold (rear), Claude, Vivien, Mary, Verlie, Grace, and Edwin Smith
My uncle Harold Ripley, oldest son of Verlie, had never seen this photo. I've never seen Kate so young and never seen Edwin or Mary before this. I also had no idea Harold Smith was so short!

The youngest three are the ones I knew best - Evelyn, Vivian, and Verlie (my grandma). Bernice is pronounced "Berniss" and I get corrected by my uncle every time I forget and call her "Berneece." Mary's story is told here.

Edwin had done a lot of different work, but farming was never for him. Among other things, he was a day laborer, teamster, and carpenter for the railroad.

Edwin died at age 69 of a massive heart attack while working outside, according to Uncle Harold. He died 10 Jan 1939 in Plainfield, Bremer County, Iowa. His wife Kate, who reportedly put herself in a nursing home after an unsuccessful stay with her daughter Verlie, died at the Waverly Convalescent Center on 04 Mar 1956, due to complications from a stroke. She was 82.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Simeon LeRoy dit Audy

Christina Cappoens was the mother of one side of the family that eventually became the Linsey family and can be read about here and here. The father of the other side of that equation was Simeon LeRoy dit Audy, a Frenchman who became a French-Canadian. Rather than excerpt his story, I share this link with you, which details his life and addresses some of the mysteries of his life in a way I think most plausible. It's written by Lorine McGinnis Schulze: Simeon LeRoy dit Audy

I hope to be uncovering more about the LeRoy family in the coming weeks. The visual of descendancy is below. You may recognize names like "Owens," a family well-documented within this blog:




Roots of Slavery: Christina Cappoens of New Amsterdam

An early Greenpoint House still standing
when Wm Felter wrote his book in 1915
Christina Cappoens, a rare woman of her day, lived a very affluent life in New Amsterdam and her family had extensive land holdings in what is now Bushwick, Greenpoint, and New Jersey. She was also one of the largest slave owners in the Dutch settlements. By all reports, her personality was as large as her holdings. Her family would play a prominent role in the development and business of the area for the next 200 years.

Christina and her husband Jacob Hay, whom it is believed she married in New Amsterdam in about 1647, were members of the NA Dutch church from as far back as 1649 and their only child, Maria, was baptized there on 04 Jun 1652.  Some researchers believe the couple was married in Europe earlier. Christina would be seen frequently in church records as a baptismal sponsor of many children.

Jacob bought up land from family friend Dirck Volckertszen and part of that 2,500 tract would
Much of Brooklyn and Bushwick were owned by
the descendants of Christina Cappoens
become Bushwick. Christina became a widow when Maria was about eight years old. After Jacob's death and Christina's remarriage, on that land would be built her home, where generations of descendants then lived. The lands owned by the Hays' were farmed by African slaves. At that time, the family did not live on their farms primarily due to problems with Indians.

On 05 Aug 1659, Christina married David Jochemsen. It is theorized that Jacob Hay died intestate, for all of his lands became David's. They became Christina's only after David's death (see will in part 1 of this story). David had come from Amsterdam before 1659. He served in the Bushwick militia in 1663 and in the Nochols Patent of 1667. He was a citizen and freeholder at Bushwick. It is believed there were no children in this second marriage.

The couple built a stone house at what is now the north side of Freeman St east of Oakland Ave in Greenpoint. Her daughter Maria would take over the home after her second widowhood and remain after her last marriage, to Peter Praa, until her death in 1742. There are many references and discussions of the various family wills*. Peter Praa would also add extensively to the family's land holdings in Greenpoint and New Jersey. Jan Meserole III, adds even more land to their vast wealth.

1600s Slave Market in New Amsterdam
Christina lived in her "great house" on Hoogh (High) Straat in New Amsterdam from about 1675, when she moved from the house in Greepoint, to her death in about 1693. David would die in 1682. The street was later named Stone St. Homes of the many of the town's most influential citizens were located there. They lived at 61 Stone St and a smaller home was in the rear of the property.

One of the less savory aspects of this time and place was the use of slaves by most wealthy settlers. This paragraph provides some insight into Christina and her slave ownership:
Women who owned people were not rare and slaveowner was more than a means of securing vulnerable women. Gender influenced only the pattern of slaveholding. Single and poor women had fewer choices of servants and typically acquired them through inheritance so that cultural preferences were less apparent, but wealthier women were likely to have women bondservants. Better Dutch men regularly bequeathed enslaved children (especially girls), women, and the elderly to their wives and daughters; their reason were given adolescents and all adult full hands regardless of gender. Dutch women then passed their bondswomen on to their daughters. In her 1687 will, Christina Cappoens, the widow of David Jochemsen and the mother-in-law of Pieter Praa, secured her daughter's future and disposed of the fettered women she had acquired over her lifetime. She instructed her executors to free her "negro woman, Isebella..from all manner of servitude and slaverye [sic]." Cappoens left "all my daily clothes," a ring, a pot, and a kettle to Isebella, and she allowed the servant to keep any bedding alredy in her possession. The mistress probably believed that she was being kind, but the act had a cruel edge. Ownership of Isebella's daughter, Lysbett, was not rerelinquished but transferred to Cappoen's daughter, "Maria, during my daughter's life, without any contradiction." Upon Maria's death Lysbett was free to "go where she shall think fitt."
A Covenant with Color: Race and Social Power in Brooklyn 1636-1990, Craig Steven Wilder, Columbia University Press, 2001
Wilder goes on to say that when Peter Praa's daughter, Elizabeth married Jan Meserole III, it united two of the largest slaveholding families. The family is portrayed in some historical documents as benevolent overseers of the slaves, yet, the book provides a completely different view and portrays Peter as willing to use the slaves up until they are no longer able to work and then freeing them to avoid the cost of caring for them in their old age. Jan Meserole fares even less well as a hard-line slavemaster who would not tolerate any dissent among his slaves. It's a fascinating read.

Slavery would not be outlawed in New York until 1829.

The next generation of descendants, from the Jan Meserole line, starts an intertwining of marriages to suitable Dutch, English and French families in the New World and in doing so, connected up the Dutch and French lines from Christina Cappoens and the French (later French-Canadian) LeRoy's of Ulster and Dutchess County, New York which brings us eventually to my dad.

*Sources:
"Will of Christina Cappoens," 17 Jun 1687, in Tillou, Hunt vs Cunningham 15-20, Meserole Family Papers
"Will and Testament of Peter Praa, Esq.," 1739 in Tillou, Hunt vs Cunningham 29, Merserole Family Papers
A Covenant with Color: Race and Social Power in Brooklyn 1636-1990, Craig Steven Wilder, Columbia University Press, 2001
Historic Green Point ; a brief account of the beginning and development of the northerly section of the borough of Brooklyn, City of New York, locally known as Green Point, William L. Felter, Greenpoint Savings Bank, 1915

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Gentholtz Clan: Arthur John Gentholts

FREEMAN MUNSON > MARIETTA MUNSON m Jacob GENTHOLTZ > John R GENTHOLTS m Jennie Day > Arthur John GENTHOLTS

The children of Jacob Gentholtz, German immigrant, and Marietta "Mary" Munson were a fairly interesting bunch. High achievers to criminals, they  did anything from following their family's farming roots to being captains of industry.

Today, I'll be talking about the only child of  John R. Gentholtz (later Gentholts) and his wife, Jennie Day.


Arthur J. Gentholts was born  08 Mar 1894 in Alliance, Mahoning County, Ohio. He achieved a high level of success and status in his life. He attended East High School in Alliance, Ohio and then
Baldwin-Wallace College and then the old Cleveland Law School before entering the Army as a Sergeant Major and later as a Lieutenant in the early Air Corps during World War I.

He married Ora Murdoch, daughter of Mr & Mrs D. C. Murdoch on 08 Jun 1918 in Alliance. After his service, he joined Bourne-Fuller Co. as counsel in 1919. The firm merged with Republic Steel in 1930 and Arthur became its assistant counsel. A good part of the work he did there was handling legislative matters important to Republic Steel across the country. Republic Steel had a subsidiary company, Truscon Steel, at which Gentholts became vice president. He also was the former president of Republic's River Terminal Railway Co.

During World War II, Arthur served as a member of the Ohio Defense Council, which coordinated defense activities in Ohio with federal agencies. He later left Republic and became the president for three years of the Ohio Manufacturers Association and as director for 10 years.

The trappings of success allowed them to live in an exclusive neighborhood in Shaker Heights, outside of Cleveland at 17403 Fernway Rd. As their children, Norris and Jane grew up, they were afforded the opportunity to move in the upper circles of society, belonging to the country club and participating in activities there.

Arthur died in Cleveland on 02 Aug 1965 and his wife Ora lived on until 18 Dec 1984, dying in Aurora, Portage, Ohio.

Norris J. Gentholts was born 09 Aug 1919 in Cuyahoga County. He married Elizabeth "Becky" Bechtol in Jun 1942 in Cuyahoga County. They had three children. Norris attended Amherst College in New York and his wife Becky attended at nearby Wells College. He served in the Navy beginning in 1942 and attained the rank of Lieutenant (JG). After service, he worked as an industrial rep for Glidden Co. He later began a new career as business manager for Western Reserve Academy. The couple retired to Florida and later moved to Montana prior to their deaths. Becky preceded Norris in death on 02 Nov 2009 in Bozeman, Montana. Norris died 18 Aug 2010 at the age of 91.

Daughter Jane married first William E Davis III who served in World War II and then attended law school. They divorced after having three children. Jane then married James Dolph McCarter., a divorced father of three. Jane lived a long life and died in Silverdale, Kitsap County, Washington on 03 Jul 2010. Her second husband died on 31 Dec 1984 in Cleveland. William Davis died 22 Aug 1984 after a long career as an attorney specializing in estate and trust planning.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Gentholtz Clan: John R Gentholts & Clara Gentholtz Gaither

FREEMAN MUNSON > MARIETTA MUNSON m Jacob GENTHOLTZ

The eight children of Jacob Gentholtz, German immigrant, and Marietta "Mary" Munson were a fairly interesting bunch. High achievers to criminals, they did anything from following their family's farming roots to being captains of industry.

Today, I'll be talking about John R. Gentholtz (later Gentholts) and his sister, Clara Gentholtz Gaither, just two of the clan.



John R. Gentholts was born about 1849 in Lordstown, Trumbull County, Ohio. He married Jennie Day Saxon in 1890 in Lawrence, Pennsylvania. Jennie had a child from her first marriage, Percy Saxon, born about 1878. John and Jennie then had a son, Arthur John Gentholts, who I will cover in another post. He came along in 1893 while they lived in Alliance, Mahoning County, Ohio. John worked for the railroad in several capacities, including baggage master and passenger conductor.

Clara Gentholtz was born 22 Mar 1861 in Champion, Trumbull County. She married James E Gaither, a native of Virginia in about 1876. They lived in the Youngstown area and had five children before James died 09 Jan 1891 in Youngstown. Clara remarried James Moffit, with whom she had no children. Clara died in 1940 in Warren, Trumbull County. Her second husband preceded her in death in 1916.

John's wife, Jennie Day's son Percy resided with them in both the 1900 and 1910 census, but I suspect there was a break there for the time he was married.. Somewhere in there, he married Clara's daughter Marietta Gaither, with whom he had a child, Mildred Helen Saxon born about 1904. Sadly, both Marietta and Percy died very young. She at 28 in 1909 and he at age 33 in 1911. His will is available which allowed me to make this connection and I can't help but think he died of illness since his will (28 Mar 1911) was made so close to the date of his death (17 May 1911).

His mother, despite being named guardian of Mildred, did not have Mildred living in her home in either the 1910 or 1920 Census. Mildred resided with her other grandmother, Clara Munson Gaither.

By the 1930 Census, Mildred was married to William R. Holmes of McKeesport, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and they had five children; one of whom died in infancy. Unfortunately, I'm struggling to find her death, but her husband William died in 1985.

Text of the Percy Saxon will reads:
I, Percy D Saxon, of the City of Cleveland, County of Cuyahoga, and state of Ohio, being about 33 years of age and of sound and disposing mind and memory, do make, publish and declare this my last will and testament, hereby revoking and annulling any and all will or wills by me made heretofore:
First: My will is that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid out of my estate as soon after my decease as shall be found convenient.
Second: I give and bequeath to my beloved brother, Arthur J Gentholts my watch and chain.
Thirdly: I give, devise, and bequeath all the rest of my property, both real and personal to my beloved daughter Mildred Helen Saxon to be hers absolutely.
Fourthly: I hereby appoint  KS Johns executor of this my last will and testament and herby request that no bond be required and that no appraisal be made of my estate.
Fifthly: I hereby appoint my beloved mother, Jennie K Gentholts, guardian of this person and estate of my beloved daughter Mildred Helen Saxon and hereby request that no bond be required and that my beloved mother as guardian have full power to do as she desires in th matter and affairs of the person and estate of my beloved daughter until she becomes of age.
In testimony whereof, I have set my hand to this my last will and testament, at Cleveland, Ohio, this 28th day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and eleven.
Percy D Saxon





John R Gentholts died 10 May 1931 in Cuyahoga County and his wife Jennie Day Saxon Gentholts died 24 Feb 1942. They both were residing in Shaker Heights with son Arthur and family at the end of their lives.
MRS JOHN R GENTHOLTS
Services for Mrs Jennie Day Gentholts, 88, widow of John R Gentholts, a passenger conductor for the New York Central System for 42 years, will be at 2 pm today at Charles Melbourne & Sons funeral home, 12737 Euclid Avenue, East Cleveland. She died Tuesday at Charity Hospital.
Born in Deerfield, Ohio, she came here as a child. Later she moved to Alliance, Ohio, and lived there for a few years before returning here 37 years ago. She lived at 17403 Fernway Road, Shaker Heights.
Surviving are a son, Arthur J., assistant counsel for the Republic Steel Corp; two sisters, Mrs Jessie McConnel and Mrs Florence Kingsbury of Alliance, and two grandchildren, Norris J. and Jane Ann Gentholts.
Date: Thursday, February 26, 1942   Paper: Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio)   Page: 6
===

Monday, November 7, 2016

Those Munson Girls: Julia Anna Munson

Amos Munson, who I wrote about hereis my 3rd great grandfather. My 2nd great grandmother was his daughter Mary Ann who married William Custer Smith and resided in the Butler/Bremer/ Chickasaw counties area of Iowa after leaving Grant County, Wisconsin in the 1860s. Amos' daughter Henrietta Munson Woodington is well-chronicled here.

This is the last of the four posts about these remaining daughters.



JULIA ANNA MUNSON

Like her sister Caroline, I don't have a definitive birthdate for Julia, but it probably occurred between 1846-1849 and again, I like the earlier, rather than the later date for a number of reasons. A native of Trumbull County, Ohio, she traveled with her family to the Eastern District Grant County in Wisconsin in 1849/1850. She married her sister Caroline's husband's brother, Frederick Porter Newcomb on 22 Jan 1869 in Delaware County, Iowa.

In 1870, the young couple and their eldest daughter, Cora, were living in Perry Township in Tama County, Iowa. Like his brother U.C., F. P. Newcomb also plied his trade as a harness maker.

In 1880, F. P. is listed on two Census enumeration sheets. He is clearly counted as a duplicate in the one that has him living in Perry, Tama County with his wife and three children. In the second census, he is listed as a resident of the Iowa State Hospital for the Insane in Washington Township in Buchanan County (Independence, Iowa).  His business is listed as "harness maker" and he has epilepsy. The fact he had epilepsy didn't make him crazy, but as I've discussed before, people with conditions like epilepsy were highly likely to end up institutionalized.


The duplicate having FP Newcomb living in Tama County in 1880


The actual Census location at the State Hospital for the Insane, 1880

Frederick Porter Newcomb died while institutionalized on 27 Aug 1883. He was buried near his stepmother, Hannah Huntley Newcomb in Delaware County, Iowa. This is a case where I so wish there was an 1890 Census that would allow me to track Julia and solve the next mystery.

THE MOST INTERESTING 1900 CENSUS.
The 1900 Census has Julia living with a translated "Feril" Newcomb (this translation is nebulous at best and highly unreadable), age 66. The adults and the children line up with both Julia and U.C. Elma is where U.C. and Caroline were living (Caroline having died in 1893) until both of their deaths. 
Julia is listed as his wife, but the date of marriage is 1867, which is not possible. There is no 1900 Census available for Uri, so despite the many errors on this Census, I believe that this is Julia, living in the home with U.C., her mother Mary Ann Kearney Munson and a mixture of some of their children. There is no record of any "Feril" Newcomb in any other record available. It would totally been normal for Julia to assist U.C. after his wife's death in maintaining the home, especially in her widowhood.
But, she may have actually married him. The two pieces of evidence to support this are U.C.'s obituary, which refers to his "wife," and the 1900 Census which lists him as married and Julia is his spouse. I just don't have a marriage record or they may have been living in common law.


Julia had moved on at some point since brother-in-law/husband U.C. died in 1902. In 1910 she was living with U.C.'s daughter Nellie and her son Lewis in Woonsocket, South Dakota. Lewis and Nellie had no children. Julia passed away 31 Jul 1911 in Woonsocket.

UPDATE: Definitive proof of the marriage of U.C. and Julia exists in the probate records at Howard County, where Julia is listed as the wife and administrator of the estate.


Those Munson Girls: Caroline Amanda Munson

Amos Munson, who I wrote about hereis my 3rd great grandfather. My 2nd great grandmother was his daughter Mary Ann who married William Custer Smith and resided in the Butler/Bremer/ Chickasaw counties area of Iowa after leaving Grant County, Wisconsin in the 1860s. Amos' daughter Henrietta Munson Woodington is well-chronicled here.

These four daughters will be the basis for the next few posts.



CAROLINE AMANDA MUNSON

I still haven't pinned down a date of birth for Caroline - various census say anything from 1838-1842. I tend to like 1838 or 1839, but still need to prove it. She was born in Trumbull County, Ohio and came with her family to the Eastern District Grant County in 1849/1850 when a teenager. While living in Glen Haven in Grant County, she married Uri Clark Newcomb in on 01 Sep 1860 in Grant County.

"U. C." was part of the sprawling Colonel Uri C. Newcomb family of Montrose, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania.

In 1870, the Newcombs resided in Tama City, as it was then called, in Tama County, Iowa, In 1873 he had moved to Traer in Tama County and set up its first harness shop and built one of the town's first buildings in which to house the shop. He sold his interest in to his nephew A. G. Newcomb in 1883. In the Iowa State Census of 1885, they were living in Bradford (now part of Nashua) in Chickasaw county where, it appears as though he was keeping a restaurant. Quite a departure for a family of harness makers.

They soon after departed for the young town of Elma, in Howard County, just north of Chickasaw County. It is presumed, based on newspaper items, he plied his harness-making trade while there.
Caroline died at a relatively young 55 on 08 Apr 1893 in Elma. She was buried in the Howard Cemetery in Elma.

The U. C. Newcombs' had seven children in total: Lilla May (died at age 2 in Tama), Della Josephine Breckon, Edgar Clark (died at 22 in Tama), Orion Alburn, Nella Mae (who married Lewis Porter Newcomb, her first cousin and child of Frederick Porter and Julia Munson Newcomb), Effie Bell (died as infant), and Howard Clifford.

Another marriage of cousins
*In 1900, I believe he was living with his sister-in-law or by then possible his wife, Julia Munson, a mixture of some of their children, and his mother-in-law in Elma. Please see the discussion of this here.

We find U.C. still around in this amusing 1901 article from the Nashua Reporter:
A Former Nashuaite Skunked
UC Newcomb had about made up his mind to quit the harness business and "go trapping," so he commenced operations at home, setting a wire trap in the cellar for a rat that had been raising "hob" there. The next morning the trap was occupied, not by the rat but an animal that "Newc" pronounced to be a spotted mink. It was a beauty so he decided to tame it and he kept it in the cage trap for some time, fed it bread and butter, etc., and with considerable pride exhibited it to his neighbors. One of the neighbor's children, a little girl of six or eight years came over to see the "kitty" as she called it and proceeded to prod it with a stick. That was too much for the "kitty" and it resented the act in a  way that made the little girl's mother look cross. "Newc" killed the "spotted mink" and to visit the place now makes one think that fourteen drug stores had all used that spot as a place to dump their stock of perfumes. Mr Newcomb has given up the fur business and is again at the old reliable shop making harness. He got "skunked" in his first game of trapping. - Elma Vidette
Nashua Reporter November 28, 1901
=== 
U. C. continued on working in his shop every day until his own death on 24 Apr 1902 in Elma, when he died suddenly while on the way to work.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Out of the Past: A Cousin Calls

Recently, I wrote about some of the family on my mother's side (she is capably and diligently working on that side of the family's genealogy) and my quest to secure a plot in the most beautiful cemetery in what I call my hometown.

I had located the three surviving granchildren of my 2nd great grandmother, Ida Marie "Mary" Olson Hansen, who had purchased six plots in the cemetery and used only five. In this journey to contact these surviving children to secure their permission, I've now met or remet them (one of them was my grandfather, who is 94, so that was an easy one). And, each has provided me with the documentation needed for me to take to the cemetery to transfer the plot.

Yesterday, I got a call from one of them who said he and his wife were coming through town and asked if they could stop by. I had 90 minutes notice and had a house to "touch up" - Midwesterners will know what I mean. That done, I poured over some notes I had made about questions I wanted to ask him. When they arrived (90 minutes late), we sat and visited and had a lovely time. He was full of information - which needs to be sorted through for accuracy. We might even be able to solve his mystery which is  the location of his estranged mother's burial. We have clues and ideas on how to solve this one. I hope to continue on with that work when I next see them (which means another 2 hour one-way trip!)

What was poignant to me was that this 80-year-old man had never seen his grandparents' graves. He asked me to take him there and in the process, he now knows where at least four of his aunts and uncles were buried, his grandparents, and a favorite cousin. He's a real tough guy - very masculine and very self-assured, but his trip down memory lane seemed to actually move him in a way I suspect he hadn't planned.

Connecting with those who came before can be humbling as we cycle through our lives. Maybe that's what I like about it. That the circle of life keeps reminding me of how far we've come in an endless family journey as each of us takes our own leg of the journey.

Those Munson Girls: Lamira Munson

Amos Munson, who I wrote about hereis my 3rd great grandfather. My 2nd great grandmother was his daughter Mary Ann who married William Custer Smith and resided in the Butler/Bremer/ Chickasaw counties area of Iowa after leaving Grant County, Wisconsin in the 1860s. Amos' daughter Henrietta Munson Woodington is well-chronicled here.

These four daughters will be the basis for the next few posts.


LAMIRA MUNSON

Lamira did not live a long life. She was born in about 1834 in Trumbull County, Ohio and came with her parents, Amos & Mary Ann Munson, to the Eastern District of  Grant County in 1849/1850 when she was 16.  She married George W. Ball, in Grant County on 10 Aug 1851.George was born in New York State about 1831.  The couple had two surviving children, Mary Josephine Ball, born in 1852 and Walter Scott Ball born 17 Nov 1861, both in Grant County. She died at age 31 29 Oct 1865.

George would marry again to Caroline Key McCallister, originally of Canada and the widow of Nathan McCallister. She had two children. The Ball's would go on to have Henry, Ida, Dora, Lenna, Forest, Wyman, and Lee Ball. Caroline died prior to 1900 and George died after 1910 in Seattle, Washington where he lived with his daughter Ida and her family.

I'll cover the Uri Sr. Newcomb family of Montrose, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania in more depth in a coming post as they play an important role in the Munson history.



Mary Josephine Ball "Josephine," born in 1852 in Grant County, Wisconsin, married 26 Oct 1873 in Tama, Iowa to Arthur Gilman Newcomb (born 10 Apr 1851 in Montrose, Susquehanna, Pensylvania), a harness maker and farmer and son of Marvin Alonzo Newcomb (and wife Amanda Pratt). His father M. A. was brother to Frederick Porter and Uri Clark Newcomb, husbands of Julia and Caroline Munson.

This bio was published prior to son George's death:
A. G. Newcomb, harness maker, now owns the business which was established by himself and father, November 23, 1874. This is the longest established business of the kind in Traer. The present building was erected in 1875; and in October, 1879, M. A. Newcomb, father of A. G. and senior member of the firm, retired and left the business entirely for his son. M. A. Newcomb came here, from Tama City, in the spring of 1873. He was one of the early settlers of that city and its first Mayor. A. G. was born in Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, in 1851. He came to Tama City with his parents in 1867, and there learned his trade. His uncle, U. C. Newcomb, opened the first harness shop in Traer, in the spring of 1873. A. G. worked with his uncle till the spring of 1874, then opened a shop in Dysart, which he ran till in November, when his father and himself opened their shop in Traer, as above stated. M. A. Newcomb removed from Perry township to Waterloo, thence to Waverly, Bremer county, this State, and from there moved to Michell, Dakota. A. G. Newcomb married Miss Josephine Bull (sic), a native of Wisconsin, and daughter of G. W. Bull (sic), now of Minnesota; her mother is deceased. They have had four children, three of whom are now living: Myrtle C., Earl and George M. Maud is deceased.
History of Tama County, Iowa, 1883, Union Publishing Company 
By 1900, they were living in Silver Creek, Sanborn County, South Dakota. By 1910, they had joined several other family members in Woonsocket.  Arthur died in 31 May 1912. The 1920 Census has Josephine living in Spokane, Washington with son Earl's family. And, in 1930, she was back in South Dakota, living with her granddaughter Mary Ferne Cox McDonald in Washington Springs in Jerauld County. She continued living with Ferne and family through the 1940 Census. She died 29 Jun 1941, presumably in South Dakota. They had four children: Myrtice "Mertie" Newcomb Cox, Maude (who died as an infant), Earl Aubry Newcomb, and George Martin (who died at age 11 in 1891 in Tama County, Iowa).



Walter Scott Ball was born 17 Nov 1861 in Fennimore, Grant County, Wisconsin. On 16 May 1889, he married Cora Ann Newcomb (born 29 Dec 1869 in Tama County), daughter of Frederick Porter Newcomb and Julia Munson in Woonsocket, Sanborn, South Dakota. In 1900, they lived in Woonsocket and Walter was a dry goods salesman. He continued as a commercial salesman in 1910 and they lived next to sister Josephine. In 1920, he was back in the harness making business and owned his own shop in Woonsocket. He was retired by 1930, but two of his sons and his wife resided with him. In that year, he died:

WS BALL DIES AT HIS HOME IN WOONSOCKET
WOONSOCKET, April 14 - Special - WS Ball, a resident of Woonsocket since 1883 died at his home here Saturday night following a paralytic stroke. Mr Ball, who ws 68 years ago at the time of his death had been in apparently good health, bud had suffered strokes previous to the one that caused his death. He had been up town earlier in the evening. 
Surviving Mr Ball besides his widow are six sons, Harry of Minnesota, Arthur, Earl, George, Clifford, and Carroll of Woonsocket and a daughter Mrs Cleo Roach, also of Woonsocket. Funeral services will be held Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock from the family home with the Rev Mr Hoyer of the Methodist church in charge. Interment will be in Eventide.
Evening Huronite April 14, 1930
===
Cora lived until some time after 1940 and lived with daughter Mrs Harry (Chloe) Roache as of the 1940 Census.

Note: Woonsocket was a little boom town when it was first settled. It was noted for its many artesian wells, which provided ample water for the farmers in the area.




Saturday, November 5, 2016

Scandal Sheet: Fred Gentholtz, Rape Trial

My 4th great grandfather, Freeman Munson and his wife Margaret Gregory's second daughter, Marietta "Mary" Munson, was born 20 May 1821 in Trumbull County, Ohio. She married Jacob "Jack" Gentholtz in 1840 in Trumbull County. Jack was a German from Baden-Wurttemberg who emigrated in 1831. Together, they had at least eight children. Among those, was Fred. The children had frequently used the spelling of "Gentholts" and many of them formally adopted that spelling. Records may be in either spelling.

Jacob Friederich "Fred" was born in about 1860. In 1880, Fred, at 22, was working as a blacksmith in Youngstown in Mahoning County. On 02 Feb 1884, he married a young woman named Jennie Iley, who had been working as a servant in Youngstown. Fred became well-known in the community for his smithy skills and life looked very promising for the young couple. In 1892, this would change dramatically.

Younqstown, Aug. 1 Special. Fred Gentboltz, a well-known blacksmith, was arrested to-day charged with assaulting his niece. Miss .Nellie Clark, aged 15. On July 4 the girl came here from Cleveland, where she had lived for 12 years with Mr. and Mrs. Burson (ed not: her mother and stepfather), as she claimed she was not treated properly. Two weeks later Mrs. Gentholtz left to visit friends out .of the city, and on the Saturday evening after she departed Gentholtz came home intoxicated. The injured girl related the story of tbe assault to her cousin, and by advice kept quiet until to-day, when Mrs. Gentholtz returned and hearing or the affair had the uncle arrested. The victim relates a very straight story or the treatment she received. The case was this afternoon placed in the bands of the prosecuting attorney.
August 2, 1892
Pittsburgh Dispatch from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 8
It took until late October for the case to come to trial. The last report was the day before testimony wrapped up and this was the final report available in various online news archives:
In court this afternoon, the case of Ohio against Fred Gentholtz, indicted for raping a 15-year-old girl named Margaret Clark was begun before Judge Johnston and a jury. The girl lived with Mr & Mrs Gentholtz and while Mrs Gentholtz was away attending a sick relative, the girl alleges that Mr Gentholtz assaulted her and threatened to kill her if she told it. The girl is a remarkably bright girl, 15 years of age. She is pretty too. The court room was crowded all day. The testimony will be finished tomorrow.
Date: Friday, October 28, 1892   Paper: Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio)   Page: 2  
Then, it was announced that his attorney would ask for a retrial and call into question the morals of the girl. The retrial was granted and Fred ended up walking away with a fine.

Frederick Gentholts, convicted of criminal assault upon his niece, Margaret Clark, alias Nellie Burson, aged 15, of Cleveland, was granted a new trial today on the ground that she had not testified correctly regarding her conduct wiht a young man residing here. The State accepted a plea of guilty of assault and Gentholts was fined $50 and the costs, which will amount to $200.
Cleveland Leader, Thurs Dec 08, 1892 Cleveland, Ohio
The next thing that happened is his wife divorced him.
Mrs Jennie Gentholtz today began suit for divorce from her husband, Fred Gentholtz. Her petition stated that during her absence last summer, committed adultery and rape upon Nellie Clark, a 14-year-old girl who was staying with their family. She also asks for alimony.
Youngstown News Notes. Tanner, the Carbon Murderer, on the Way Back Home
Date: Sunday, December 25, 1892   Paper: Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio)   Page: 2
===
Young Nellie was returned to the home of her stepfather, William P. Burson in Cleveland immediately after the trial.

Jennie married Mr. Theodore Chevalier.  Jennie died in 1917, at age 44, in a tragic accident - her clothes were set on fire from the ash of the pipe she was smoking.

Zelma, the cousin who was told about the rape, and the daughter of the Gentholtz union, born in 1887, could be found in 1900 living in a Children's Home in Howland Township in Mahoning County. She married three times and died in 1958. Son James Jacob Gentholtz changed his name to Iley and was adopted by Jennie's relative William Iley and his wife Susana. He was born 28 Jul 1890 and died 11 Jan 1968 in Arlington, Virginia.

The next time I can locate Fred it's 1910 and he's working as laborer in Warren, Ohio. He lived a long life, living with his daughter Zelma in 1930 and with his grandson James in 1940 in Washington DC, and died in 1949.

Jennie Iley Gentholtz Chevalier death certificate




Mystery Muddle: The Amos Munson Family 1870 Census


CALLING ALL MUNSON FAMILY GENEALOGISTS - I NEED YOUR HELP!


The story of Amos Munson and Mary Ann Kearney followed a very straight trajectory that was easily traveled both before and after 1870 until I finally located the difficult-to-find 1870 Census and then...well, perhaps someone can fill in the blanks.

Here is the 1870 Census summary where they are living in Cassville, which is about 11 miles from their 1860 location in Glen Haven:

Name: Amey Munson (Amos)
Age in 1870: 55
Birth Year: abt 1815
Birthplace: Ohio
Home in 1870: Cassville, Grant, Wisconsin
Race:
White Gender: Male
Post Office: Cassville
Household Members:
Amey Munson 55
Mary Munson 54
Josephine Munson 19
Rosalia Munson 5
Charra Munson 4 (Clara)
Joseph Munson 3
Laeza Munson 2 (Eliza)
Frank Munson 1/12

Here is the problem. When researching these children, none of them come up anywhere except in this census even using name variations. Josephine is listed as a domestic servant. I can't find who they might belong to - perhaps another older child heretofore undiscovered belonging to Amos and Mary? Yet, there is no trace of any of them after this Census. Amos & Mary are clearly living with son Charles in the 1880 census and none of these children, who would then range in age from 10-15, are with them or any of the other siblings. And, another point is that they already have a living son, Frank Munson so who would name another child Frank? The only one of these children who is plausibly Amos & Mary Ann's is Josephine, yet, she is not listed in the 1860 census with the Munson family and is old enough to have been included.

It is highly likely it is "our" Amos and Mary Ann, despite the great difference in their listed ages and their actual ages, because the next family in the census is Frank and his wife Susan and their eldest daughter, Ida.

Who do these children belong to? Did they foster orphans? I kind of like this theory - because Census enumerators often assigned the head of household's last name to all in the home, whether they shared that last name or not.


  • Is Josephine, who is the only one who would fit age-wise as one of their children their daughter, or was she a relative who was brought in to care for the young brood? 
  • Who did the younger children belong to? I believe they are not Munson at all and even if Munsons, not Amos & Mary Ann's.


Theories? Facts I've not yet discovered?





Those Munson Girls: Margaret Jane Munson

Amos Munson, who I wrote about here, is my 3rd great grandfather. My 2nd great grandmother was his daughter Mary Ann who married William Custer Smith and resided in the Butler/Bremer/ Chickasaw counties area of Iowa after leaving Grant County, Wisconsin in the 1860s. Amos' daughter Henrietta Munson Woodington is well-chronicled here.

These four daughters will be the basis for the next few posts.



MARGARET JANE MUNSON

Born 05 Sep 1831 in Trumbull County, Ohio, Margaret was the eldest child of Amos and Mary Ann and most likely named for Amos' mother, Margaret Gregory. The Munson's came to the Eastern District of Grant County in 1849/1850 when Margaret was 18 years old.

Grant County had been established in 1837. Located in the southwest corner of the state, European settlers had started arriving by the 1820s. Mining operations (and an influx of Cornish miners) of lead
and zinc began in the mid-1820s in Hardscrabble (now Hazel Green) in Grant, Wisconsin. This area of Wisconsin is particularly beautiful and full of rolling hills because it did not, as a land, fall victim to the glaciers that flattened out much of the Midwest million of years before. As mining waned, farming flourished due to its fertile land.

Glen Haven, Wisconsin
The Munson's ended up in Glen Haven (originally called Stump Town), which was platted in 1857, just a year after the first steam ferry started operating. When the railroad arrived in 1884, the town flourished to its greatest degree and became a shipping point for both stock and farmed materials between St Paul and Chicago 1 As time went on and the locks and dams on the Mississippi were completed and transportation shifted to trucks for conveyance, Glen Haven slowly shrunk to less than 100 residents.

Margaret met Mr. Giles P. Weaks, son of Robert and Catherine Weaks, who originally hailed from Virginia, and married him on 05 Oct 1851 in Grant County. Giles purchased 40 acres of land at 1 SWNE 4TH PM - 1831 MINNESOTA/ WISCONSIN No 5 N 4 W 2 in 1857.2 They resided in Glen Haven as of the 1860 Census and by 1870 would have grown their family to five children. The 1870 Census also has them located in Glen Haven.

The children: James P. (who died prior to his father's death), Alice J. (who died at age 20 in 1876 in Glen Haven), Matilda Dell Siglin, Floy Margaret Rogers (later Hoppa), and Frank.

1880 found the Weaks family living in Bethel Township in Fayette County, Iowa. They owned 120 acres along the southern edge of the township that place them in Fayette County by at least 1879. I theorized in my post about Amos that for some time, Margaret's parents resided with them until Amos' death in 1885. Margaret followed him in 04 Oct 1896. Her mother, Mary Ann, moved on to live with her daughter Julia Newcomb in Howard, Howard County. Giles lived until 1902 and died in Hawkeye in Fayette County. He left all his worldy goods to his three remaining children.

Giles will is available on Ancestry.com and is below, stating:
First. That all my debts be paid.
Second: I give and bequeath to my daughter Matilda Dell Siglin, the sum of $600.00
Third: I give and bequeath to my son Frank Weaks, the sum of $500, also all my household goods, gray mare, single harness, double harness, buggy, and wagon.
Fourth: That all of my personal property be sold other than the above names.
Fifth: That after the above bequeaths (sic) have been paid, my estate shall be divided equally between my son Frank Weaks and my daughter Matilda Dell Siglin and Floy(d) (sic) Rogers.
Sixth: And lastly, I do hereby appoint my friend D W Wilbur to be the executor of this my last Will and Testament.
Giles Weaks Last Will & Testament


1 http://mississippivalleytraveler.com/glen-haven/
2 Wisconsin, Homestead and Cash Entry Patents, Pre-1908

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Munson Family: Amos Munson

Glen Haven, Grant County, Wisconsin
Samuel Munson > Freeman Munson > Amos Munson m Mary Ann Kearney

Amos is my 3rd great grandfather.

Samuel Munson, son of William Munson and Rebecca Curtis, came to Brookfield, Trumbull County, Ohio from New Haven County, Connecticut with his family in about 1806. Son, Freeman, moved to nearby Vienna between 1830 and 1840 and farmed. You can read a little about Freeman here and here.

His son Amos, born 31 Jan 1809 in Trumbull County, married Mary Ann Kearney on 20 Aug 1831, in Vienna. The 1850 Census shows that by 1850, the Munson's were living in the Eastern District of Grant County, Wisconsin, Since their final child of eight, Charles Fremont Munson, is shown to have been born in Ohio in 1849, I would surmise that their trip took place sometime between 1849-1850.

Their first child, Margaret was born on 05 Sep 1831 in Trumbull County, according to her Iowa Burial record (this is less than a month after their marriage, so this birth date might have been inaccurately reported - or not!). She would marry Giles Weaks on 05 Oct 1851 in Grant County, Wisconsin. Amos' fourth child, Caroline Amanda, was born in about 1838 in Trumbull County, and would marry Uri Clark Newcomb, Jr. on 01 Sep 1860 in Grant Count, Wisconsin. "U.C" or "Clark" was the son of Colonel Uri Clark Newcomb, Sr. and Emily Tyler, originally of Montrose, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania.

Amos Munson & Mary Ann Kearney 20 Aug 1831, Trumbull County
Amos is shown in 1860 as living in Glen Haven in Grant County. The 1870 Census has them living about 11 miles from Glen Haven in Cassville, Grant County, but there is much to discuss about this particular census and I recommend you read about it here.

In 1880, Amos and Mary Ann were living in Perry in Tama County, Iowa with son Charles and his wife Stella and their son. Daughter Caroline, now Caroline Newcomb, and her family living nearby. Caroline died in 1893. In 1873 "U. C." Newcomb was the owner of the first harness shop in Traer which he sold to his nephew A. G. Newcomb in 1883.

Amos's burial record indicates that he died 05 Aug 1885 and was buried in Hawkeye. His daughter Margaret Weaks, lived in Bethel Township in 1880, which is right next door to the Hawkeye cemetery where Amos was buried. Margaret died in 1896. Margaret's husband Giles P. Weaks, died in 1900 in Hawkeye, which he stated in his will was his residence. I theorize that in Amos' waning years, they lived with Margaret and her family.

Hawkeye Cemetery
Mary Ann left Fayette County sometime after her daughter Margaret's death. She is found in Howard County living with whom I believe was son-in-law U.C. Newcomb and his sister-in-law (her daughter) Julia. Her daughter, U.C.'s wife had died in 1893. *This important census for this family is discussed here. Mary Ann died in Howard on 12 Oct 1901. She was buried in Hawkeye with her husband Amos. Her daughter Julia died in 1911.

Of interest is that Amos' sister, Henrietta Vaughn, lived very close by in Randalia, Fayette County, Iowa and clears up some of the mystery of what happened to the Freeman Munson children who left Trumbull County.

* The 1870 Census for Amos and Mary is a question mark. Please see post for more information.