Saturday, December 31, 2016

2Lt Clark Alonzo Teasdale Dies in Battle

700th Bomb Squadron, 445th Bomb Group

Young Clark Alonzo Teasdale was born 29 June 1920 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His mother, Rose Vacha, died at age 34 on 29 Aug 1927, and his father, Alonzo Clark Teasdale, died at age 36 on 20 Jun 1929 of heart disease, leaving young Clark an orphan. He was raised by his grandparents, Clark and Emma (Woodington) Teasdale. When he was 20, he joined the Army Air Corps 19 June 1940.

Add caption
Originally rejected for entry into the air corps due to its height requirements, he had worked for the CCC for six months before those requirements were abolished. He enlisted and attained the rank of technical sergeant before he was selected as a Cadet for officer pilot training. He attended a number of technical schools throughout the US, before being commissioned at Freeman Field in Seymour, Indiana.

He was assigned to the 700th Bomb Squadron, 445th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. He flew a total of 15 missions as co-pilot and pilot, including the last flight he took. That day, he flew out of Tibenham, Norfolk, England as a co-pilot aboard a B-24H Liberator/Tail #42-7643, "Ballsafire." The aircraft's fourth and final mission was described as follows:

"While enroute to target city of Friedrichshafen, Germany, the bomber fell back, and turned around with an undefined mechanical problem. The plane would not make it back to the U.K., having crashed near Trouans, nineteen miles north-northeast of Troyes, France.
All aboard were killed, including:

1st Lt. Richard A Raroha, Pilot
2nd Lt. Clark A Teasdale, Co-Pilot
2nd Lt. James J Williams, Navigator
2nd Lt. Daniel F McCoy, Bombardier
TSgt. Andrew J Martin, Radio Operator
TSgt. Charles J Fermyn, Engineer-Top Turret Gunner
SSgt. Richard W Fertig, Waist Gunner
SSgt. James R Monnett, Waist Gunner
SSgt. Earl P Radtke, Tail Gunner
SSgt. Wilfred J Schaich, Ball Turret Gunner"

On 22 Apr 1944, the War Department declared the crew Missing in Action. Three of the crew were buried with the same stone at Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky. Eight months later, he was declared death.

Grandfather Clark Teasdale (center)
receives Clark's air medal, 1944.
US, World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
US National Cemetery Internment Control Forms, 1928-1962
1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]
1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]
Army Makes Him Religious, Madison State Journal; Oct 20, 1940
Aviation Medal Given Teasdale, La Crosse Tribune, La Crosse, Wisconsin; Oct  30, 1944
Hold Flyer's Rites Sunday, La Crosse Tribune, La Crosse, Wisconsin; May 3, 1945
Updated: 8/2/2017

Friday, December 30, 2016

Clan William: Poor Walter Woodington, Jailed Again

Capt Thomas Munson > Samuel Munson > Samuel James Munson > William Munson > Samuel II Munson > Freeman Munson >  Amos Munson > Henrietta Munson > Walter Amos Munson

My 2nd great grandmother, Mary Ann Munson's sister Henrietta and her husband Moses, had six
children I could find. The baby, Walter Amos Woodington, was born 21 Aug 1880 in Cassville, Grant County, Wisconsin.

Elevated view of Eau Claire, WI
I found evidence that he did marry in Indiana on 02 Jan 1906 in Warren County to Minnie Kirkendall, who was born in Ohio. I know nothing about her beyond that. I believe she died prior to 1920, possibly in South Dakota. In 1910, the Woodington's were living in Firesteel, Aurora County, South Dakota. Many people had headed to South Dakota for the free land grants, but many returned quickly as the life was hard and rarely prosperous.

There is evidence to suggest that upon his return to Wisconsin, which occurred by at least 1915, that he had a serious alcohol problem. In June of 1915, he received a 30-day sentence for being a drunken vagrant and panhandling. His job in the article was listed as "farm hand."

In May 1916, he was caught up in a sweep by police of chronic panhandlers and drunkards, and received another 30 days.

The only positive thing I found in news articles was on July 18, 1920, he sold Lots 46, 47, and 48 in the Lincoln Park addition in Eau Claire to John Goulette for $150.

The 1920 census has him listed as age 42, widowed, working as a laborer in a rubber company, and living with his brother George in Eau Claire. The place he worked was most likely the new Gillette Safety Tire Company that had opened in 1916 in Eau Claire. I can't imagine he held the job for long.

The Eau Claire Leader published on 18 Aug 1921 that Woodington was again arrested. This time for 90 days in County jail after just coming off a stint of 10 days in jail.

The judge said, "Well, you're not much of a stranger, are you," as Woodington greeted him upon entering the court room. Woodington was by then drinking wood alcohol.

I don't have any proof of death, but the articles end around this time and I would guess he did not live much longer. I'd be interested in any proof of what happened to Walter after that time.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Stalag 17-B: Staff Sergeant Azzan C. McKagan


B-17G (McKagan flew on the B-17F)
with view of village outside of
RAF Alconbury, Summer 1943
Henry Smull was one of the original four Brothers Smull of Brush Valley in Centre County, Pennsylvania. He remained in Centre County for his lifetime, unlike his brothers Jesse (Chester County) and Peter (Illinois). Generations later, a descendant of Henry, would be tested sorely during World War II.

Azzan C. "Mac" McKagen was born 25 Jul 1920 in Proctor, St Louis County, Minnesota to Azzan W. McKagan and Josephine Moe. In 1940, he lived in Granville, Milwaukee, Wisconsin where his father was a welder in a factory. He attended Rufus King High School in Milwaukee. Azzan joined the Army from Madison County, Florida on 06 Sep 1941 and was a high school graduate.

He served as a ball turret gunner on a Boeing B-17F, tail #42-29884 and was a staff sergeant assigned to the 326th Bomb Squadron, 92nd Bomb Group (Heavy) stationed out of RAF Alconbury on that day. Most of the 92 BG had moved to RAF Bovingdon in May of that year. On his "22nd-and-one-half mission," his crew flew out of Alconbury with their group and began the assault on targets along the Ruhr.

According to McKagan, they had dumped their load and were on the return, when German fighters assaulted the American aircraft. You can read his account here:

"Wing Flaps Jammed
In the last fatal flight, the wing flaps on the plane were jammed down, slowing up the bomber over Cologne. The pilot put the heavy bomber into a 378--mile-per-hour dive straight down to force the flaps back up, and then leveled out at 3,000 feet for the run home. The crippled plane, with one engine shooting flaming oil, was picked on by a horde of lightning-fast German fighters. McKagan was knocked to the floor of the ship five times by gunfire and once when a German 88-millimeter shell exploded a few feet behind him inside the ship and riddled him with shrapnel. In the desperate duel with the German fighters, McKagan was hit in the right shoulder by a machine gun bullet which throw the socket out of joint and made the arm useless.
McKagan parachuted from the plane and landed 20 feet in front of the world famous cathedral of Cologne, where he beaten into insensibility by German civilians. He was rescued by two German privates who took him to a camp and threw him into a dungeon for four days, during which his wounded arm festered.
Finally, he was transferred to a German hospital run by Catholic Dominican sisters who prevailed upon a doctor to operate on the arm. The doctor said he would have to amputate, but McKagan refused. Through the pleas of the German sisters, the doctor agreed to try to save it, which he finally did. Four operations without anesthesia were necessary, however, and McKagan said the paid was beyond endurance  and he fainted a number of times. It was necessary for the doctor to extract shell projectiles from the bone and surrounding flesh and then put the arm back into the socket. Today the arm is good, but motion with it is limited.
Was Sentenced to Death
McKagan said he was sentenced as a saboteur by the Germans because he did not have his dog tag along and could not identify himself to the gestapo. They ruled he was to be shot, but at 3 am, Christmas Day, he was loaded into a train and taken to another shack and two days later transferred to a camp at Krems, Austria, in a box car loaded with 88 Allied prisoners..."
Waukesha Daily Freeman January 16, 1946
326 BS, 92 BG Patch
According to the Dutch record of the capture, the plane emergency landed in The Netherlands, in the province of Limburg in the village of Sevenum, not in Germany. There was also a church in the town square, lost due to bombing in the latter part of the war. All ten of the crew survived the rough landing or bailouts; nine of them were immediately captured and made POWs. The tenth, pilot Capt H. C. Johnson, evaded capture, but was later captured in Den Hague, Netherlands. The 303rd BG Hell's Angels record said they were shot down over Haltern, Germany which is about 70 miles from Cologne.

Officers and enlisted men were often sent to different camps. Mac ended up in an enlisted location. He was shipped to Stalag Luft XVII-B outside Krems, Austria.  Four of his crew would end up with him there: SSgt Harold D Broyles, SSgt Rudolph J Antala, SSgt Herbert W. Jackson, and TSgt Paul A Dicksinson. SSgt John Treon (tailgunner) ended up in Stalag Luft 4 in Pomerania. Capt Hans C Johnson and co-pilot 2Lt Donald Weir were placed in Stalag Luft 3 in Bavaria along with RW gunner Carlos  T, Gutierrez. The three of them would later be moved to Nuremburg-Langwasser). Navigator 2Lt Robert Doolan was put in Stalag 7-A in another Bavarian location.
A previous crew assigned to the 359BS. Azzan fourth from left back row.

At its peak in later 1944, over 138,000 prisoners were held in Wehrkreis XVII facilities, of many nationalities. To learn about the camp, its history, photos, a great journal, and its treatment of prisoners, visit this story.  

 James D. Pearson, Charles D. Edwards,
Junior Townsend and Azzan McKagan
Taken while in technical school before he
headed for Europe
He flew a TWA flight to New York on 18 Sep 1944. His son reports he was repatriated in a prisoner swap. He was then selected to go on a bond drive tour and then a Red Cross ex-POW tour and talked to families and others about his experiences. "The trip covered 22 states," and the highlight for him was his trip to Hollywood, where he and his fellow former POWs were invited to a party at "Pickfair," the legendary home of actress Mary Pickford (which she built while married to Doublas Fairbanks). He met several movie stars while there. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross (the 3rd highest award), the Air Medal, and the Purple Heart with 3 oak leaf clusters.

According to his son, during this time, he made friends with Gen Hap Arnold.

Now returned to "the world," he tried to start a "Barbed Wire Club," for former POWs in the Milwaukee area as some others had done in other cities to provide a place for the men to talk about experiences they couldn't really talk to others about. I don't know how successful that effort was. But he did also go to school and attended Carroll University for a year, studying insurance. He married Rose Mae Baker, who, according to their son, worked at the Pentagon, on 11 Apr 1945 in Alexandria, Virginia. His son said that Gen. Arnold loaned them his staff car for their honeymoon.

SSgt McKagan was allowed to join the regular army under a program where partially disabled combat veterans could reenlist. He first was assigned as a trainer at Aberdeen Proving Grounds before being shipped to Germany, where he died in a jeep accident in 18 July 1947. 

Stalag XVII-B, Krems, Austria

'Barbed Wire' Clubs Planned, Amarillo Daily News June 17, 1946Carroll Student Missed Death as Nazi Prisoner, Waukesha Daily Freeman January 16, 1946
Two Wounded in War Join the Regular Army, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Wed, Mar 5, 1947
Azzan McKagan, Obituary, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Sat, Sep 20, 1947
Sgt McKagan Death is Told, Hurt in Accident, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Thu, July 24, 1947
Studiegroep Luchtoorlog 1939-1945 (SGLO):
8th Air Force Operations History: Air Museum in Britain: Info: File unit: World War II Prisoners of War Data File, 12/7/1941 - 11/19/1946 
Verliesregister 1939-1945 SGLO page 81
303rd Bomb Group Hell's Angels page:

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Man Next to Whom I Will Spend Eternity.

My future neighbor at the cemetery,
Johannes Georg Hansen (1894-1939)
Catchy title, huh? For something completely different, a little bit about my maternal family tree.

In talking with a family fellow-genealogist, I discovered that my 2nd great grandmother on my maternal side, Lars Peder (later Peter Lars or "Pete") Hansen's wife, Ida Marie "Mary" Olson Hansen, bought six plots in Greenwood Cemetery, a beautiful city cemetery here in Cedar Falls, Iowa, after the death of her husband in a railroad construction accident in 1918. According to city records, she paid $25 for Lot 16, Plots 1-6, Block 4, 2nd addition.

Peter and his wife would both be buried there, as would Edna Hansen Morcum, their daughter, in 1947 and another daughter, Sophia Hansen Miner in 1936. That left two plots. When one of the Hansen cousins, John George died in 1939, (the last man to die while working on the Boulder Dam from 1924-1939), he was provided with the fifth plot by family head and oldest Hansen son, Andy Hansen, leaving one. No one had used the final plot in all these years.

I pondered where I wanted to spend my eternity as ashes and decided I could think of no better place than to be buried beside "my people." I found out all I needed to do was contact EVERY surviving person from the oldest generation and get them to sign a letter saying the ownership transfer was okay.

Fortunately, I was provided with the names of the surviving grandchildren by my genealogist relative, and thankfully, there were only three, including my 94 year old grandfather. What ensued was an opportunity to meet a relative I'd never met and reconnected with one I knew quite well when growing up, but hadn't seen since I left Iowa in 1979. All three of them signed the letter and last week, the ownership of the last plot was signed, sealed, and sent to the city for transfer.
I get the corner lot

I thought you might like to learn about those with whom I will be spending eternity. These profiles are beautifully researched and written and I could do no better, so I'm sharing them here:

1. Johannes Georg Hansen

2. Lars Peder Hansen

3. Ida Marie "Mary" Olson Hansen

4. Edna Marie Hansen Morcum

5. Sophia Marion Hansen Miner

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Clan William: Mystery Muddle: Who Is Alice Simmons?

Capt Thomas Munson > Samuel Munson >
Samuel James Munson > William Munson > Samuel II Munson > Freeman Munson > Amos Munson > Henrietta Munson > Sara Jane Vaughn > Alice Simmons m William Custer Smith 


...Freeman Munson > Amos Musnon > Mary Ann Munson m William Custer Smith 

Sometimes, if you work the brain too hard, it just shuts down. I've been working on trying to figure out who the mysterious Alice Simmons, second wife to William Custer Smith, was and where she came from. Yesterday, I accidentally ran across the solution to this mystery muddle in my very own family tree. Time, and perhaps a couple more county courthouse trips may bear me out.

Read about WC Smith's land here. Read about Amos Munson here (Mary Ann's father). And read about John Lorin Vaughn and Henrietta Munson (sister of Amos) here.

So, nutshelling my solution, it goes down like this: WC Smith's wife, Mary Ann Munson, daughter of Amos Munson and Mary Ann Kearney died in 1888 at the young age of 51. WC married again, but not until 1893 (still seeking marriage license) and he died in 1895. He married Alice Simmons.
Click image to enlarge

 I was unsuccessful in locating any Alice Simmons in Bremer or Butler counties during this time. I'm thinking widow woman with kids based on WC Smith granddaughter Alyce Smith Rasmussen's note. Maybe not so much old widow woman, but young spinster with no other options in front of her.

Amos Munson's sister, Henrietta Munson Vaughn, had a pile of kids and her daughter Sarah Jane married a fellow named Joel Simmons. Joel and Jane married in Grant County, Wisconsin, then Joel up and died at age 37, leaving her with at least five kids. Among those children was Alice A Simmons. They all lived in rural Chickasaw County around that time, near Dresden. Chickasaw, Butler, and Bremer counties all abut one another.

Alice was getting pretty long in the tooth and was single at age 31, which would have been her age at the time of marriage if indeed she was the bride. WC Smith, at that time, would have been 62. Not unheard of - old maid marries older gent.  They were cousins-in-law. And, after WC's death, she sold the farm to his kids and walked away with a nice settlement of $2,040. 

In 1898, THIS Alice Simmons, who is the daughter of Joel and Sarah Jane, is listed in the marriage record of Chickasaw County as Alice Smith. She married Arthur J. Sinderson, an Englishman. They lived in New Hampton for the remainder of their lives and had no children. Score, case solved.

1898 Marriage to Arthur Sinderson; has Alice Simmons Smith listed as name of bride

UPDATE: Written proof of the marriage of Miss Alice Simmons and Mr. William Smith was finally located in this brief item in the Waverly newspaper (a like item was also published in the Waverly Democrat the same day):

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Clan William: The Family Farm of William Custer Smith & Mary Ann Munson

Capt Thomas Munson > Samuel Munson > Samuel James Munson > William Munson > Samuel II Munson > Freeman Munson > Amos Munson > Mary Ann Munson m William Custer Smith
Jacob Smith > William Custer Smith m Mary Ann Munson
Butler County, Iowa Fremont Township Plat Map, 1895
Click image to increase size
William Custer Smith, my 2nd great grandfather, hailed from Harrison County, Ohio. He was born 04 Oct 1831, the middle child of seven born to Jacob Smith and wife Mary Catherine Randolph. His family moved to Grant County, Wisconsin in 1846. William and his bride, Mary Ann Munson, whom he married 20 Jun 1853 in Grant County, moved to Iowa in fall of 1865. Mary Ann died in 1888 and WC married Mary Ann's cousin, Alice Simmons in about 1893, two years prior to his death. WC died in Plainfield, but the death was registered in Butler County.

WC Smith Obituary November 1895
Family lore reminds us he had a farm and that his family's social life revolved around Plainfield, Bremer County.  But, his land (120 acres) was actually in Butler County, right at the edge of the Bremer County border. The Plainfield post office served the farm. The farm reportedly had a horse race track because WC, his son Harland, and grandson William Lowell Smith were all avid horse racers.

It's such a thrill to make document discoveries after some serious sleuthing. One of my questions involved, "What became of the land?" In a note of remembrances authored by WC Smith granddaughter, Alyce Smith Rasmussen (daughter of WC Smith's son Harland), she had claimed that the widow Alice took the land, bounced Harland out, took all the personal effects, leaving the children with nothing. You can read about that claim here.

According to county deed documents, WC Smith's widow sold the land of William C. Smith to the children of WC Smith after his death: Walter Smith, Dora Lichty, Harland Smith, Eva Bryce, Ella Cunningham, Edwin Smith, Parker Smith, and Mirt Smith for $2, 040 for the property described as: The East half of the Southeast quarter and the Southeast quarter of the Northeast quarter of Section 24, Township 93, N. Range 15 West. This deal was closed 22 Nov 1895, just days after WC's death.

WC Smith Widow Alice's sale to WC Smith Children, 1895
Click image to increase size

But, wait, there's more.On 08 Mar 1897, WC Smith daughter Eva Bryce sold her share to her siblings for $600.

Finally, on 08 Dec 1898, the remaining siblings sold the property to Diedrich Deike for the sum of $5,040. Parker Smith had been managing the farm during the time from his father's death to the time of the sale. Diedrich and Minnie had seven kids and the family still owns this property.

Final Sale of Property to Diedrich Dieke
My thanks to the staff of the Butler County Recorder's office, particularly Roxann, for assisting me in my quest to solve the mystery.

You can read more on the Smith-Munson Family Farm here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Lampman Family Tragedy


Click image to increase size

Milo Volney Miller was the son of William Miller and Lorain Fountaine He was an early settler in Linn County, Iowa. His eldest daughter from his second wife, Cynthia Sprague, was Adelia L. "Delia" Miller. She was born 22 Jan 1851 in Indiana as the Millers progressed west to Iowa over the course of many years. She married Theodore D. Lampman 06 Nov 1873 in Linn County, Iowa.

Lampman was born 05 Mar 1849 in Wayne County, New York. In the late part of 1853, his father Henry and mother Catherine (Wolcott) Lampman, moved from New York to Branch County, Michigan. Then, they moved on to Bureau County, Illinois, then to Stark County. Back to Michigan they went, then back to Marshall County, Illinois. Then, they came to Iowa. Not satisfied again, they moved back to Marshall County, Illinois, where Catherine died. Old Henry spent his final years living with a daughter in Linn County.

In August 1870, when Theodore came to Linn County, Iowa, he purchased a team and broke prairie for nearly 3 years. He purchased 80 acres in Grant Township which he sold after it was broken and then farmed a rental property. In 1890, he purchased farm on Section 10, Washington Township after having rented it for a year. He improved the property and buildings. Theodore would be involved in local politics, serve two terms as road supervisor, and was a member of the school board for three years. Theodore died in 1919 and his wife, Adelia, died 14 Mar 1928.

The couple had seven children. Two would die in a tragic accident along with the husband of another. On 09 Oct 1958, Alpha Lampman, James Lampman, and brother-in-law Maurice Serverson were killed in an auto-truck accident outside of Dyersville. Maurice was the husband of Cynthia Lampman, who had died in 1956 in Rice, Minnesota.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Clan William: Woodington/Munson Line: When Things Go Really, Really Wrong

Capt Thomas Munson > Samuel Munson > Samuel James Munson > William Munson > Samuel II Munson > Freeman Munson >  Henrietta Munson > George Woodington > Clyde Woodington > Neil Woodington

Neil Woodington, right, the day he was convicted
Madison Wisconsin State Journal August 5, 1965
My 2nd great grandmother, Mary Ann Munson's sister Henrietta married Moses Woodington who had left Pennyslvania to move to Wisconsin and pioneer. Generations later, their great grandson, Neil Allen Woodington, who had such an awesome start in life, would bump up against life-changing problems.

He was born 03 Apr 1927 in Altoona, Wisconsin, to Clyde Woodington and his wife Grace Murn Bradley, Clyde was a long-time locomotive engineer of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad.  Neil attended school in Eau Claire County and was a good student. In 1945, he was awarded a $200 scholarship by the Eau Claire Elks Lodge. He also won the Elks Americanism Essay contest that year.
First divorce

He attended law school at the University of Wisconsin and graduated first in his class in 1950. The guy who graduated second, Robert C. Kelly, would go on to become his business partner and co-defendant at his criminal trial.

He married his first wife, Jeanette M Hall in 10 Sep 1949 in Lamatine in Fond du Lac County; they took out a license on September 4th. Jeanette filed for divorce and it was granted in March 1963. Woodington was ordered to pay $1,100 per month in alimony and child support for their five daughters.He was also ordered to maintain life insurance to benefit the daughters.

His second wife, Betty J. Nedlose, married Woodington on 08 Apr 1963 in Miami, Florida. They had one daughter together. They divorced in 1971.

In the years 1964-1968, Woodington would face his greatest challenges. Two of the companies he ran, Madison American Guaranty Insurance Co. (MAGIC) and Allied Development Corp.found themselves under investigation for potentially filing false statements relating to a stock offering. Those companies later went into bankruptcy. The details of the trial and the ultimate conviction are located below. Woodington, as president, was found guilty of filing a false or misleading financial statement and sentenced to three years in state prison. His partner, Robert Kelly, who was reportedly portrayed by his lawyer as yet another victim of Woodington, was also convicted and sentenced to probation. Woodington stated repeatedly he thought that the investigations started by then Attorney General George Thompson before the election of 1964 was politically motivated. Thompson was a Republican and MAGIC general counsel Clarence Bylsma was a prominent Democrat. Thompson lost the election. Investors and other creditors in the companies lost about $8 million.

Woodington appealed to the State Supreme Court, and while his conviction was upheld, the Court made comment on the harshness of the sentence. Woodington's subsequent appeals failed and he was sent to Waupun State Prison in 1967, shortly thereafter being moved to Thompson Prison Farm in Cambridge. There, he was ultimately granted work release, where he worked as a "financial advisor" for a company set up by Clarence Bylsma in Madison.

Both Woodington and Kelly were disciplined by the State Bar in 1968. Woodington was disbarred for life and Kelly was suspended from practice for six months. An attorney, Jack McManus, who stated he'd provided counsel and advice to Woodington related to his disbarment proceedings, sued him in Nov 1967 for $11,500 in unpaid fees. The fallout from the original trial was significant, driving other litigation such as this regarding the players.

After his release from prison on May 9, 1968, Woodington became what his second wife called, "a promoter." He had moved to New Brighton, Minnesota and was involved with a number of interests such as the Diesel Driving School as well as restaurants co-owned with Fuzzy Thurston, former Green Bay Packer, both in Wisconsin. The restaurants were put under court control and the owners, including Neil Woodington, were barred from entering the restaurants. Woodington was accused of "wrongfully taking money from the corporation, issuing bad checks to employees and suppliers, and grossly mismanaging corporation business." Madison Wisconsin State Journal November 12, 1979

Woodington married Carole McFarland in 1976 in Reno. They divorced 29 Dec 1980. Also in 1980, Woodington moved to Scottsdale, Arizona. He had other business interests under the auspices of The Woodington Group which included such businesses as Dollars and Sense, a direct-mail publishing venture he ran in Colorado. That company would be taken over by several of his children and run into its own legal and criminal issues in the 1990s.

Woodington died on 15 Jul 1989 at his home in Scottsdale at the age of 62.

Marriage Licenses; Madison Wisconsin State Journal September 4, 1949
News Notes: Birth of Daughter, Madison Wisconsin State Journal October 5, 1950
Woodington is Divorced; to Pay $1,100 a Month; Madison Capital Times, March 28, 1963
Woodington Given 3 Years; Kelly Placed on Probation, by James D Selk, Madison Wisconsin State Journal August 5, 1965
Appeals to Knowles; Woodington Seeks Reduced Sentence; Madison Capital Times December 31, 1966
Outside Work Permit Granted; Woodington Denied New Trial; Madison Wisconsin State Journal October 19, 1967
In State; Journal: Libel Trial Bylsma Says He Didn't Know of MAGIC Moves; Madison Capital Times February 12, 1968
Woodington Wins Parole on May 9; Madison Wisconsin State Journal May 2, 1968
Five Describe Loans in Atty Bylsma Case; Madison Wisconsin State Journal October 16, 1968
25 Years Ago, Eau Claire Leader Telegram July 17, 1970
Wife Seeks Divorce from Woodington; Madison Capital Times July 8, 1971
McManus Sues: Asks Big Woodington Fee; Madison Capital Times September 11, 1973
Salesman Wanted; Classified Section, Eau Claire Leader Telegram, February 16, 1978
Restaurants Under Court Control; Madison Wisconsin State Journal November 12, 1979
Business News: Dollars and Sense of Colorado...; Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph June 20, 1982
40 Years Ago, Eau Claire Leader Telegram October 16, 1985
Obituary: Woodington, Neil Allen; Madison Wisconsin State Journal July 19, 1989
Daughters Follow in Dad's Crooked Footsteps; Madison Capital Times May 7, 1997
Wisconsin Divorce Index, 1965-1984
Nevada Marriage Index, 1956-2005
Florida Marriage Index, 1822-1875 and 1927-2001

Monday, December 19, 2016

Edwin Smith Family: Evelyn Joyce Smith

Marvin Guy Ripley

EVELYN BORN: 25 Apr 1914, Plainfield, Bremer, Iowa  |
DIED: 17 Dec 2002, Convoy, Van Wert, Ohio
MARRIED 1:  10 May 1940, Northwood, Worth, Iowa
MARVIN: BORN: 15 Jan 1914, Carrville, Floyd, Iowa |
DIED:  16 Nov 1990,Van Wert, Van Wert, Ohio

Evelyn graduated from the Plainfield High School Class of 1931. When Marvin was young, he and his brother Max, boxed in Charles City to earn extra money. Both were athletes. Marvin joined the US Navy in 1935. He married  Evelyn after a bridal shower in early May of 1940. They went by bus to Maine, where Marvin was currently stationed. Nine months later, their daughter, Cheryl Kay was born in a Waverly hospital and then taken to the the family home in Plainfield. Family from both sides immediately descended to meet the new addition. In 1942, while Marvin continued to serve away from home, his father, Frank Ripley, became ill and died. Marvin returned on emergency leave upon getting word.

420 Main St Plainfield
With the war on, Marvin was deployed and Evelyn remained in Plainfield, purchasing the Smith
home on Main St. It had a large garden which provided much of their food and had an outhouse. Edwin Smith granddaughter Janis Ladnier recalled a story where on Halloween, prankster liked to tip outhouses, but on one occasion, tipped it while Kate Smith was using it. Whether that is true or legend is not assured.

The war was difficult and Evelyn was not only raising Cheryl, but had adopted her nephew Harold, son of sister Verlie and her first husband Ted Michaelsen, and cared full-time for her mother, Kate. When Marvin finally returned and the decision was made to reenlist after the war, it must have been a difficult one.

Finally, Marvin received orders for shore duty as a recruiter in Ohio. They remained in Springfield, but Marvin once again went to sea. The family still in Ohio, he finally retired. They remained in Ohio for the rest of their lives, ultimately moving to the NW corner of Ohio where their daughter was living. Interestingly, Springfield wasn't very far from where the original Ripley pioneer, Col Judge David C Ripley had started out in Gallia County.

Edwin Smith Family: Vivian Katherine Smith


VIVIAN BORN: 07 Jul 1912, Plainfield, Bremer, Iowa  | DIED: 07 Dec 1986, Waverly, Bremer,Iowa
MARRIED:  03 Jul 1938, Plainfield, Bremer, Iowa
LELAND BORN: 02 Nov 1906, Shell Rock, Butler, Iowa | DIED:  13 Mar 1979, Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa

Vivian and Leland
When Vivian and Evelyn, her youngest sister, were young, you’d be hard pressed to find one without the other. They were found traveling here and there together, visiting various friends and relatives, attending school events, or shopping in Waverly. Vivian graduated from Plainfield High School in 1929.

Vivian met a young man from Shell Rock, Leland Barr, son of  William Barr and Marie Hufstader. In 1938, they married and she and Leland set up housekeeping in Plainfield. He made his living doing day labor. In April 1943, they moved to Waterloo where he had secured employment with Rath Packing Company, a major employer with good pay and benefits. Then, in August, Leland was drafted. He was and sent to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for basic and advanced training in October.

After a 10-day furlough, he was sent to England and spent the next two years attached to the 49th
Vivian visit Leland before he left
for Europe
Combat Engineers serving in England, France, and Belgium. While overseas, he fell into a mine shaft and was seriously injured; his legs were never the same. After the war, he was discharged as a private in December, 1945, returning to Waterloo and started work at Hartman Locker. He was rehired by Rath in early 1947, and according to Evelyn’s daughter Cheryl, he had a job  operating the large swing doors in the plant which wouldn’t tax him too much due to his war injuries. He remained with Rath until retirement.

Over the next few years, Leland spent several stints in the hospital for various medical issues including a ruptured appendix. They celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in 1963 with an open house at their home in Waterloo at 217 Mobile St, across the street from the Linden Methodist Church, where they attended.

Leland got cancer and died in Iowa City Hospital in 1979. Vivian remained in her home briefly, but then moved to a nursing home in Waverly until she died. Though the Barrs had no children, they are remembered fondly by their nieces and nephews.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Johnathan Smull: Katie Smull


Katie was born 27 Sep 1873 in Rock Grove, Stephenson County, Illinois and came to Bradford,
Kate Smull Smith, 1940s
Chickasaw County, Iowa with her parents in 1876. Her father, Jonathan Smull, a Civl War veteran, died in 1885 on their farm. Mary Jane Cooper Smull, Kate's mother, moved the family to Plainfield, Bremer County, Iowa after his death - Plainfield is the next town over. She married Edwin Smith, son of William Custer Smith and Mary Ann Munson on 11 Jun 1890. Edwin was born 06 Jun 1869 outside of Plainfield on the family farm.

Unlike his father, he was not a farmer and did various manual labor jobs during his lifetime. He died of a heart attack on 10 Jan 1939 in Plainfield. Katie lived with daughter Evelyn until Evelyn and her husband, Marvin Ripley, a career Navy man, took a posting in Ohio as a recruiter. Kate lived on her own, then briefly with daughter Verlie, then, as was described by Evelyn's daughter, "Checked herself into a nursing home in Waverly." It was while there she suffered a stroke and died on 04 Mar 1956.

They had twelve children:

1. Marie Adaline "Mary" Smith. You can read about her here. 

2. Harold Raymond Smith:  Born 16 Aug 1893 in Chickasaw County, he married Edith Elizabeth
Young Harold Smith
Blum on 23 Dec 1915 in Allison, Butler County. Edith was the daughter of Carl Blum and Katie Halm in Illinois on 13 May 1896. Harold was a buttermaker who learned the trade at the old Plainfield Creamery at age 16. He went to Ceylon, Minnesota from 1916-1929 and then to Lotts Creek Creamery near Lone Rock, where they lived until 1930. "Ill health forced him to give up his occupation," according to his obit. He held various jobs in Plainfield until his retirement. They had five children. Harold died 23 Jul 1976 in Clarksville and Edith 13 Apr 1983 in Mason City.

3. Bernice Lorraine Smith:  Pronounced, "Berniss," she was born 05 May 1896 in Plainfield. She married Andrew Jackson "Andy" Beckage on 14 Apr 1917 in Nashua, Chicasaw County. At that time, Bernice was working as an operator for the new telephone exchange in Plainfield. Andy was the son of John Beckage and Marie Moore and was born in Olyphant, Lackawanna, Pennsylvania on 09 Jan 1894. Andy worked for the Illinois Central railroad and had a good career with them, taking various postings across Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota before moving to Waverly. They had one daughter, Shirley, who married and moved to California. It was while returning from a visit to their daughter that Andy was struck with a heart attack at the Kansas City train station. He died there on 01 Aug 1947.

Bernice in California, late 1960s
One of the interesting things in researching Bernice is that I remember her ever-so-little from childhood. She went by Beckage and was buried a Beckage - yet, she had a second marriage that no one in the family discussed later. On 21 Aug 1948, she married Frank Holiday, of Orinoco, Minnesota. He was working as a cheesemaker for Hy-Grade Food Products in Plainfield. After their marriage, he quit his job, they packed up their stuff and sold their household goods, and moved to California to be near Bernice's daughter. By December, they had returned to Plainfield, he got his job back, and they moved into an apartment in Albina Boveia's house. They still visited California regularly.

The last joint reference in the newspaper to the pair was in early 1951. According to my uncle, Harold Ripley, he believed that they quietly divorced and that Frank remarried and returned to Minnesota.

Bernice lived until 20 Oct 1973, when she died in El Cajon, California. She had lived with her daughter for several years.

4. Madge Lucille Smith:  Born 17 Jun 1898 in Plainfield. She married Glenn Wesley Scoles on 19 Apr 1920 in Waverly, Bremer County. He was the son of James Francis "Frank" Scoles and Ada Tracy, born 29 Feb 1896 in Pearl Rock, Chickasaw County. Glenn was a farmer. They had nine children, two of whom died in infancy. You can read about the life of one of their twins, who married a man who survived the sinking of the USS Arizona and subsequently died in a battle at sea, here. Glenn died in Nov 1953 and Madge 27 Feb 1977, both in Charles City, Floyd County.

5. Howard N Smith:  Born 22 Jun 1900 in Plainfield. Married Gyneth Marie Boveia on 08 Jul 1921 in Floyd County. She was the daughter of Albert Boveia, born 17 Nov 1904 in Iowa City, Johnson County. Howard worked in the Plainfield area his entire life, the last 18 years working at Schield Bantam in Waverly. They made heavy equipment. Howard had four kids. He died 03 Aug 1977 in Waverly and she 15 Jan 1983 in Plainfield.

6. Grace Olive Smith:  Grace was born 06 Aug 1902 in Plainfield. She married Jesse Gulick, son of
Grace's 80th
Steward Gulick and Sarah Jane "Julie" Parker, on 09 Feb 1920 in Waverly. Jesse was born 21 Jan 1896 in Iowa. I also remember Grace as being just that, full of grace. Kind, warm, and loving. When she was six months old she had the "grip" (flu), which she survived. At age 9, she fell at school and broke her foot, keeping her out of school for six weeks. Grace and Jesse moved to Mount Vernon to farm, putting her quite a distance from her large family. The Gulick's had two sons, one of whom had a son who is on the city council in Cedar Rapids. Grace died 10 Jun 1984 in Cedar Rapids and Jesse died 14 Dec 1989 in Vinton. 

7. Nila Fern Smith: Born 15 Jan 1905 in Plainfield. Married Ralph Chester, son of Frank Chester and Anna Walter on 19 Dec 1923 in Waverly. They had one son, Lee, who married Lorraine Lynes of Plainfield. Ralph died 21 Nov 1976 in Plainfield and Nila on 06 Sep 1994.

Young Claude
8. Claude Erwin Smith: Born 15 Dec 1907 in Plainfield. He married Bertha Lucille "Lucille" Grapp on 11 May 1929 in Janesville, Iowa. She was born to William F Grapp and Augusta Mary Seiling on 14 Jan 1909 in Chickasaw County. Just two years previous to his marriage, Claude had taken a position in a drug store in Apple River, Illinois. Lucille worked at the telephone exchange as an operator in Plainfield. After his marriage, in 1931, he was working as a salesman at Boyd's Bargain Store, owned by Frank Boyd, another relative!  The Smith's took various rooms and apartments for the first few years of their marriage. Claude became a mason, paper hanger, and carpenter for the remainder of his life. They belonged to the First Baptist Church in Plainfield. The couple had two daughters. Claude died 05 Feb 1981 in Waverly and Lucille died 31 Oct 1999 in Maynard, Fayette County.

9. Verlie Lynette Smith: Born 14 Mar 1910 in Plainfield. She married first Rasmus Theodore "Ted"
Young Verlie
Michaelsen of Cedar Falls on 06 Nov 1927. They had four children, all of whom were later adopted out when the marriage failed. You can read a little more about that here.  The Michaelsen's in the early days of their marriage, lived in an apartment over the butcher shop in Nashua and then had a series of rented rooms and apartments, or houses as they added to their family, always trying to stay one step ahead of eviction. Verlie met Leo Linsey and they cohabitated as a married couple from about 1937, having three more children. The couple finally married in 1965, but separated in the late 1970s. Verlie died at Ravenwood Nursing Home, under the loving care of her granddaughter, who worked there, in Nov of 1986. 

10. Vivian Katherine Smith: "Aunt Viv" as we all called her, was born 07 Jul 1912 in Plainfield. She married Leland Barr, born 02 Nov 1906 in Shell Rock, Bremer County, on 03 Jul 1938 in Plainfield. Leland was the son of  William P Barr and Mabelle Hufstader. Leland died 13 Jan 1979. Vivien died 07 Dec 1986 in Wavery. They had no children, but were loved by all of their nieces and nephews. I'm going to do a separate post on Vivian.

11.  Evelyn Joyce Smith:  Born 25 Apr 1914 in Plainfield. Married Marvin Guy Ripley, son of Frank Ripley and Goldie Sperbeck of Charles City. He was born 15 Jan 1914 in Carrville, Floyd County. They had one daughter. Marvin, a career Navy man, died 16 Nov 1990 in Van Wert, Van Wert County, Ohio. Evelyn died 17 Dec 2002 in Convoy, Van Wert County, Ohio. I'm going to do a separate post on Evelyn.

12. Baby Boy Smith: Unknown date of birth/death. Died as infant.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Johnathan Smull: Florence Smull

Saidee, Florence, and Kate (seated) Smull

Florence was born 20 Jun 1883, in Bradford, Chickasaw County, Iowa. She married Arthur Dwight "A. D." Moore on 26 Apr 1906 in Plainfield, Bremer County. AD was the son of Alonzo "Lon" Moore and Louisa J. Peterson. Lon was a town marshall in Plainfield. He was asthmatic and died from complications of asthma.

AD Moore ran the corner grocery store in Plainfield until about 1945. The couple continued to live in the apartment over the store until Florence's death. A fire that ravaged downtown Plainfield in 1943 heat damaged the AD Moore building. AD was well-known in the community and a great booster for the town.

Florence died 19 Aug 1963. After her death, AD Moore moved to Fort Dodge where daughter Lois Beth Moore Lucken resided with her family. He died 23 Dec 1965 in Fort Dodge.
AD Moore and grandson

1.  Lois Beth:  Born 29 Dec 1912 in Plainfield. She graduated from Plainfield High School and Iowa State Teacher's College. She married James "Jim" Lucken on 20 Aug 1939 at the Little Brown Church, Nashua, Iowa. Lois taught in various locations in Iowa and in Fort Dodge where the family settled. Jim was born 06 Feb 1906 to Tollef Jensen Lucken and Johanna Petersen Loberg. Jim graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and took post-graduate work at the Columbia University of Iowa. He was a public school superintendent. They had two sons. Lois died 12 Mar 2011 in Fort Dodge and Jim died 13 Apr 2004.

2. Lynniel Moore:  Born 23 Jul 1917 in Plainfield.  He graduated from the Iowa State Teacher's College Class of 1938. He served in the Army as a Corporal in WWII. He entered service on 23 Apr 1942 and returned from overseas 27 Feb 1945. He was discharged 06 Mar 1946. Lynniel worked in Des Moines and Iowa City. He then moved east. After working at the Passaic Public Library, he became the the director of the Plainfield Public Library in New Jersey in 1957.  Lynniel was also the Chairman of the Council of National Library Associations in the early to mid 1970s. Lynniel was a single man and died 12 Mar 1999 in Plainfield, New Jersey.

Johnathan Smull Family: Viola Geneva Smull

Young Viola

Viola was born 06 Aug 1871 in Rock Grove, Stephenson County, Illinois. Viola came with her family to Bradford, Iowa in 1876 and then to Plainfield after the death of her father. She married Charles Walter "C.W." Gritzner on 01 Jun 1892 in Bremer County, Iowa. C. W. was born 31 Jan 1868 in Butler County, Iowa to August and Theresa Gritzner. They were German immigrants.

C.W. was a poultry man and in his last years, working at the Plainfield Egg House, where he was stricken ill. He died at his home on 30 Apr 1931. The couple had two boys and four girls. Viola died in Marion, Iowa, in the home of her son John, of a cerebral hemorrhage 21 Nov 1947.

1. Charles Augustus "Carl": Born 23 Dec 1892 in Plainfield, he married Hazel Norine Jones on 05 Apr 1919 in Nashua, Chickasaw County. He died 10 Dec 1980 in Charles City, Floyd County and she 17 Nov 1981 in Plainfield.  Carl was a rural postal carrier and veteran of World War I. In 1947, his patrons gave him a holiday gift of $52 for his faithful service. They had four children.

2. Johnathan L.:  Born in 1894, he married Gertrude Wade on 15 Jun 1921 in Plainfield. They lived in Waterloo until 1933 and then moved to Marion, Iowa until John retired, then moved to Onalaska, Wisconsin. John died in 1988 and Gertrude died 29 Feb 1976 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. They had one child.

3. Blanche: Born 03 Aug 1896 in Plainfield. She went out to the work world after graduation from Plainfield high school, scoring a job as assistant postmistress for Plainfield and then as assistant cashier at the Farmer's State Bank. She worked her way up to cashier and took a transfer to the Sumner, Iowa branch, where she met Harold G. Garland, an assistant bookkeeper at the Wescott & Winks Produce Plant. They married 02 Nov 1927 in Sumner. She converted to Catholicism to marry. Harold died in 1947 and Blanche in Nov 1959. They had one child.

4. Anne "Annie" Maud: Born 18 Jun 1898 in Plainfield. She married Merle Eugene Smith on 31 Dec 1924 in Plainfield. They had no children. Merle briefly operated a barber shop out of the east side of C. Beine's building in Nashua in the mid-1920s. They moved to Waterloo shortly after their marriage and Merle would work as an engineer at the city water works in Waterloo, Black Hawk County. Merle died 16 Jul 1956 and Annie moved to live with her sister Blanche. She died in Sumner on 28 Jun 1959. They had no children.

5. Florence Amelia "Babe":  Born 25 Aug 1900 in Plainfield. She never married, She started out teaching in Emmetsburg. She moved on to Cedar Rapids in 1929, where she was later principal of Tyler and then appointed at Hayes school in Cedar Rapids in 1943. She was long-time principal of Lincoln School there from 1948-1960, when she resigned to move nearer to Plainfield. She visited England at least twice, once as an exchange teacher in 1947-1948. In 1969, at the death of her sister Blanche, she was living in Sumner. She died on 04 Apr 1995 in Los Angeles County, California. Her sister Hilda was living in Covina.

Of note is that a study she did while working in Cedar Rapids in 1957 made it onto the newswire. The study involved conflict between parents and children. It bears a read!

6. Hilda Becthel: Born 06 Mar 1910 in Plainfield. She married Alfred Herman Kinzler. Alfred hailed from Wisconsin, where he was born 19 May 1908, the son of Dr. Albert Kinzler and Zena Huisenga Hilda attended the Iowa State Teacher's College in Cedar Falls. She taught music in Osage and later in Waterloo. They had one daughter and four sons, all of whom had beautiful singing voices. Their oldest son was selected to join the Columbus, Ohio, Boychoir in 1950 and sang with them for at least two years. Albert worked at Rath Packing Co. in Waterloo. After their retirement, they moved to Covina, Los Angeles County, California. Alfred died 20 Apr 1983 and Hilda was the last remaining Gritzner kid, dying 27 Dec 1999 in Covina.

Waterloo Daily Courier June 17, 1951