Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Other Newcombs of South Dakota


Click image to increase size

You can read a little bit about John Smith, who went to California after living in Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota, here. The Newcombs in this story shouldn't be mixed up with the Newcombs that married into the Munson family elsewhere in this blog. If there is a connection, it goes way, way, back and I'm not dealing with it!

Olive Beatrice "Ollie" Smith was born 26 Mar 1876 in Nebraska. Several of her siblings settled in South Dakota and did not go on to California with their parents. Ollie met and married Robert Kingsbury Newcomb and married him on 06 Nov 1897 in South Dakota. The couple settled in Ramona, Lake County, South Dakota. Robert had several jobs during their marriage, but in about 1915, he started to experiment with breeding and incubation of chicks. He studied and perfected his methods and in 1929, opened the Sunshine State Hatcheries first state-of-the-art location in Madison.

Before long, he had several locations throughout the state, which were operated by his four sons: Bob, Chuck, Parker, and Lyle.  I don't know what became of the hatcheries, but a news item from 1962 indicated that Lyle's son, Lyle Ralph, had declared bankruptcy and was no longer in the hatchery business. Farming operations and technology kept improving and with the loss of three of the sons by the mid-1950s, my guess is that the effort slowly fizzled out. I'd be interested to know what the end of the story was.

Madison location of the Sunshine State Hatcheries
Ollie died 07 Sep 1949 in Minnehaha County, South Dakota. Robert died 14 Dec 1955.

Ollie and Robert had eight children:

1. Mable born 28 Oct 1898 and died 03 Jan 1899 in South Dakota.

2. Robert "Bob" Kingsbury Newcomb Jr. was born 30 Oct 1899 in Lake County. He died on 08 Apr 1952. Terrible floods swept through parts of South Dakota that week. Bob was trying to keep flood waters out of the basement of his Lake Kampeska home when he succumbed to a heart attack. He was listed as the first victim of the floods that year. During the war, he was regional director of the Civil Aeronautics Association for seven states. He operated the hatcheries at Flandreau, Sioux Falls, Arlington, Salem, Bryant and Huron at various points. He was also the founder and operator of the South Dakota Turkey Breeder's Association. He left his wife and two sons.

3. Lyle Smith Newcomb was born 27 Nov 1901 in Ramona, Lake County. He operated the hatcheries
Lyle Smith Newcomb
in Huron and Madison and died after a lingering illness 23 Sep 1950 in Madison. He left four children and his wife Vera.

4. Parker William Newcomb was born on 27 May 1903 in Lake County. He married Myrtle Dahl, who had a child from a previous marriage. They had four children together. He died 17 Aug 1957 in Lake County. During World War II, he served as a Lt Colonel in the US Army and served a full career in the South Dakota National Guard. He is also listed as having worked in the hatcheries.

5. Emma Mary Newcomb was born 21 Nov 1905 in Hamlin, South Dakota according to her birth index record. She married Fred John Kaske, who served in World War II. They moved to Ventura, California. Emma died 29 Nov 2001. They had two children.

6. Charles B. "Chuck" Newcomb was born on 13 Sep 1907 in Hamlin. He married Camilla Euphame Steensland on 08 Jun 1934 on her parents' farm. They lived in Arlington until 1939 when they moved the family to Sioux Falls to work in the hatchery business. The couple had six children. Chuck died in April of 1986, but Camilla lived to be 100 years old and died in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 05 Aug 2013.

Camilla Steensland
7. Florence Faye Newcomb was born 24 Apr 1909 in Lake County. She and her husband Lewis Arthur "Arthur" Larson had two children. She died 02 Mar 1991 in Durham, North Carolina. Arthur died  27 Mar 1993 in Durham. I'll be writing separately about them.

8. Doris R Newcomb was born 08 Oct 1916 in Lake County. She married Gordon Norbraten on 07 Sep 1938 in Hutchinson, South Dakota. They had one daughter. Gordon died 07 Aug 1975 in Miami-Dade County, Florida and Doris died 16 Aug 1995 in Lee County, Florida.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Remembering Janis Michaelsen Pedersen Ladnier

Janis Ladnier

Janis was born on 12 Aug 1929 in Nashua, Chickasaw County, Iowa to Theodore Michaelsen and Verlie Smith. At the time, her parents lived over the butcher shop in a small apartment.

This is a bit of a convoluted tale, but follow along. I mentioned that my grandmother Verlie's first marriage was stricken with violence and poverty. Their children were placed in the Bremer Lutheran Orphanage in Waverly during the depression. Family members from both sides moved to place the kids in the family, but it did take some time. Janis recalled that they were there for over two years. She also said, "They wanted me to be placed because they felt I was becoming institutionalized - I liked it too much there."

The oldest child, Harold, was first sent to Verlie's brother Claude and his wife Lucille. It wasn't a good match at all and he ended up being adopted by Verlie's sister Evelyn and her husband Marvin. The "baby," Judy Lou, was adopted outside of the family to a Lutheran couple. While she would maintain contact with her siblings in her lifetime, she did not seem to maintain any contact with her biological parents.

Janis and Dixie ended up being adopted by Ted's sister and brother-in-law Axel and Dagmar (Michaelsen)  Pedersen. According to Janis, they had wanted to adopt only Dixie because Janis was by now too old, but further discussions led to her going with her sister. Janis and Dixie were raised in Hurley, Mississippi.
LeVerne Ladnier

The girls would be raised there in a loving home, but the family in Iowa did not see them frequently. She settled in down in Mississippi and was active in 4H. In 1946, she was the high scoring participant in the 4-H contingent at the South Mississippi Livestock Show in Hattiesburg.

She married Leverne Jacob Ladnier and they would have three children. They resided in Moss Point. Laverne was a World War II veteran who served as a Radarman 2nd Class aboard the USS Latimer. After his service he worked in the shipyards in Moss Point starting as an electronics technician and moving into engineering. He also repaired small electronics on the side.

Janis completed her Registered Nursing degree at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. She worked for
the Jackson County Hospital for four years. She also worked in the offices of Drs McDonough and Minkler. She was vice president and president of the Mental Health Association of Jackson County in the 1980s.

Janis was deeply involved in her community. She was a member of the Granley Danish Society and
A Young Janis
was a volunteer for the American Red Cross Blood Bank and Our Daily Bread. She taught expectant parents class at Singing River Hospital and also was active with helping at Singing River Mental Health Association. She taught Sunday School at the Christ Lutheran Church in Pascagoula for many years. She was also a Youth Court volunteer for four years. She recalled that her house was often the site of post-athletics gatherings and was a member of the Moss Point High School Band Parents Association. She was a former Boys Scout assistant den leader, president of a local crafts club, and was past president of an extension homemakers organization.

I had memories of Janis and Dixie's visits when I was a kid, but then I left home at 17 and didn't return for 35 years. I picked up the phone when I started this family genealogy project and talked to Janis. We spent the next two years talking on the phone, exchanging letters, and photos, and having a great time together. Her storytelling was excellent, as was her memory. She had been struggling with some health issues following a car accident a few years ago, but was still living on her own. She liked to reminisce and was proud of the fact that she and Harold had somehow managed to look out for the younger kids and each other during those troubling times at the beginning of their lives. I found one story particularly sweet:
"Buying each other gifts was difficult, because we had nothing. One day, Harold found an old cedar chest with a leg missing. He made a spindle leg and attached it and gave it to me for Christmas." Janis recalled also that their aunt Margaret would sometimes give them money. Janis saved hers up so she could buy a gift for her siblings, "I bought a scented soap bar for Harold, Judy, and Dixie at a cost of five center per bar that Christmas."
In 2015, her son Chris died suddenly. The heart seemed to go out of her after that. The family in Iowa got a call that Janis had a fall in her home and had died after surgery on 25 Feb 2016 in Jackson, Mississippi.

I feel incredibly grateful that we had the time we had together. She was quite a woman. I miss her still.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Remembering Opal Fay Perrin Hansen

A little bit about my maternal grandmother who I loved incredibly and was so fortunate to have for over 50 years of my life (this blog is dedicated almost entirely to my paternal antecedents).

Carl Leslie (C.L. or Les) and Carrie Fay (Cory) Perrin's third child, Opal Fay Perrin, was born February 21, 1923 at their home next to the famous Little Brown Church in Bradford Township, Chickasaw County, Iowa. In 1925, the family moved to the "Perrin homeplace" where she grew up just outside of New Hartford, Iowa.

She was active in high school—president of the high school in senior year, vice president of the senior class, managing editor of yearbook, an editor of school newspaper and in band all through high school--playing several instruments including clarinet and violin. One of her cousins so enjoyed classical music, he would have her play her entire repertoire on the violin just for him as he sat on a log by the wood pile. In return, he would do her wood chopping chores.

She was valedictorian of the New Hartford class of 1940 and worked as assistant postmaster at the New Hartford post office. She married a young man from Cedar Falls, Russell Hansen, September 14, 1941. They loved to tell the story about their meeting at a local skating rink when Opal caught the eye of her future husband after he fell over the feet of her sister Alice. They were married exactly one year later at the Little Brown Church. With the help of Opal's dad, a building contractor, they built a little house for $600 in a farm field north of Cedar Falls. Russ continued driving for his parent's trucking business, The Blue Line Transfer, and Opal made collections for the family business on foot, walking for miles with their baby daughter on her hip for the grand sum of $5 a week.

Opal at about 16
Russ went into the Army in the summer of 1943 and worked as an MP, attaining the rank of Sergeant. His little family joined him in Denver, Colorado for most of his enlistment. After the war, they returned to their little house in Cedar Falls and built on to it before the arrival of their second daughter in 1947. Russ spent the next four years at Iowa State Teachers College. His first teaching job also included the title of school principal and for the next few years he taught in Iowa schools and an inner city school in Milwaukee while spending almost every summer in Colorado working on his Masters and later his PhD (Ed.) Opal was there, as she always was, to support him. She typed and retyped his dissertation on an old, clunky typewriter until it was perfect.

Through all their many moves, Opal's skills, especially at the sewing machine, made every rental home inviting and comfortable and a hub of activity for their frequent guests. In 1956, they returned to Cedar Falls and built a home on a woodsy bluff in Cedar Heights. Russ taught at the Price Lab School for a short time and then the State College of Iowa but by then, his passion had become square dance calling. He and Opal were founders of the Haylofters Square Dance Club in Cedar Falls and Russ became a frequently-requested caller at square dance events not only in Iowa but throughout the country. Opal acted as his business manager and also ensured they were both looking good in their handmade square dance regalia. They eventually made the decision to make it their full-time business.

After leaving the University, they bought a farm in Bremer County, remodeled the huge old farm house then sold it and built one of the first passive solar homes in Iowa next to their old farm property. Next, they traded in their house for a Greyhound bus that they outfitted to keep them living in comfort as they traveled from one square dance gig to the next throughout the Western US. They finally retired in Mt Pleasant, Iowa for a few years in the 1990s before becoming year-round residents of Arizona.

Opal had been wheelchair-bound for a time and they eventually moved in with their youngest
Opal HS Graduation
daughter who lived nearby.

Opal was the epitome of the perfect 1940s/1950s housewife, managing all facets of daily living in the city or on the farm, from tending a big garden and orchard to managing business affairs and entertaining large groups of people. She was Martha Stewart before there was a Martha Stewart, except she never gave herself the credit Martha gives herself.

Opal was also a fine artist, creating beautiful art work of many types. Somehow, she managed to do it all without ever having learned to drive. Had she been born in a different generation, Opal might have been a clothing designer. When she was five, her dad cut down the legs of a piano stool so she could reach the treadle on the sewing machine. From then on, she designed and cut patterns from newspapers for sewing everything from dresses to winter coats to men's suits--she even designed and made fashionable uniforms from salvaged World War II parachute material for an entire girl's basketball team.

Despite her physical challenges later in life, she had a quick, intelligent mind and a wonderful laugh. She continued to play cards with the family and, as always, she rarely lost a game. She taught her children and grandchildren the spirit of friendly competitiveness. After 69 years of marriage, Opal passed away in Arizona on April 3, 2012. She left her husband, two daughters, three granddaughters, one grandson, and three great grandchildren.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Cooper Family Stories

This page features the stories related to the descendants of Amos Cooper and Hannah Lloyd.


Meet the Coopers: Amos & Hannah Lloyd Cooper
Mystery Muddle: The Legend of James Fennimore Cooper  


        John L Cooper's Kids
        Civil War in Stephenson County

        Alfred James Cooper, A Restless Guy
        Trailblazing Women: Angie Debo, Historian Pt 1
        Trailblazing Women: Angie Debo, Historian Pt 2
        Together Forever: Alta & Elva Cooper  

     Aaron W Cooper & His Neighbors

       Hannah H Cooper, Crazy as a Hawk   


    On the Road....Stephenson County, Illinois and Grant County, Wisconsin
    William Lloyd Cooper & Elizabeth Beams
    Mystery Muddle: Truth, Legend, or Something In Between  

            ANN COOPER
            Susanna Gourley Thompson: Rock Grove's Oldest Resident
            Peter Smull: Samuel Smull of South Dakota
            The USC Trojans: Willis Smull's Children
            Scandal Sheet: The End of the Frank & Grace Noble Marriage
            Trailblazing Women: The First Woman Methodist Minister in Oregon

            HANNAH COOPER
            Hannah Cooper of Spring Grove 
            Levi Bolender and Sarah Haas
            Jacob Marean and Mary Bolender

            JAMES COOPER
            James Cooper, Livery Man

            MARY JANE COOPER
            Peter Smull Family: Sgt Johnathan Smull

            ELIZA COOPER
            The Hennich Family & the Burwell Tornado of 1905

            The Boyds of Plainfield
            Roy Boyd, Plainfield Merchant
            Miss Hazel Boyd, Woman of Substance
            Frank Ross Boyd, Merchant of Horton
            Civil War in Stephenson County


      Susanna Gourley Thompson, Rock Grove's Oldest Resident
        Capt Robert T Cooper
        Civil War in Stephenson County
        The Neverending Job: Robert Thompson Cooper, Again

        Walton Ward Fisher, DVM, Seward, Nebraska

        Civil War in Stephenson County 
        Ma, The Rawleigh Man is at the Door: Claudius Cooper 

        Willow Creek, Montana - Part 1 Theodore Lloyd Cooper

        Willow Creek, Montana - Part 2 Frank Oscar Cooper
        Joseph L Cooper: Spanish War Soldier
        The Miracle Braves of 1914: Leslie Mann
        Jennie Cooper Conklin

        More Coopery: George Emrick and Family

        Alice Emrick, Grocer

        Case Solved: Susan L Cooper  

        Civil War in Stephenson County


       William Clayton Cooper of South Dakota

Smull Family Stories

Peter Smull, was one of four brothers of German descent who settled in Centre County, Pennsylvania in the early 1800s. Peter, a stone mason like brothers Henry and Jacob, eventually moved to Stephenson County, Illinois in the 1850s. These are stories of his progeny posted within these pages. There are lots of unanswered questions about where the Smull brothers came from, who their parents and sisters were, and who Mary's family was, but I've put together a pretty good patchwork of the children and have theorized about their beginnings. As always, I'm hoping someone will see this and have something pertinent to help solve the mysteries. So much of what is on family trees in Ancestry is just wrong, wrong, wrong.


Mystery Muddle: Solving the Mystery of the Early Smulls
Mystery Muddle: More on the Brothers Smull
Mystery Muddle: The Children of Peter Smull
Mystery Muddle: Who is John W. "Johney" Smull of Centre & Stephenson County 
Peter Smull Family: Catherine Ann Smull
Sarah Ann Smull
Peter Smull Family: Mary Smull
Mystery Muddle: Who is John W. "Johney" Smull of Centre & Stephenson County 
Peter Smull Family: Matilda Rebecca Smull
Matilda Smull Family: Sarah Meyer & George McGilligan  
Peter Smull Family: Julia Smull
Mystery Muddle: The Children of Peter Smull
Peter L Smull Family: Oscar S Smull, County Home Superintendent
Mystery Muddle: Who is Rebecca Cronoble
Archie Smull: Mystery of Basswood School
Peter Smull Family: Johnathan Smull
  Johnathan Smull Family: Franklin Sylvester Smull
  Johnathan Smull Family: Jennie Elnora Smull
  Johnathan Smull Family: Viola Geneva Smull
  Johnathan Smull Family: Kate Smull
    The Edwin Smith Family
    Mystery Muddle: The Many Marriages of Marie/Mary Adaline Smith
    The Cappoens/LeRoy Line: Leo Lee Linsey
    Edwin Smith Family: Vivian Katherine Smith
    Edwin Smith Family: Evelyn Joyce Smith
  Personal Interviews: Saidee Smull Family History
  The Spectre of a Killer: Typhoid Strikes the Williams Family
  Johnathan Smull Family: Florence Smull
    Defective, Dependent, & Delinquent Classes: Dimmick Farr
    Unbearable Loss: A Fishing Trip with Pa
Peter Smull Family: Adam Smull
Peter Smull Family: Samuel Smull of South Dakota
The USC Trojans: Willis Smull's Children 
Peter Smull family: Henry Smull (1842)
Charlotte was classified an "idiot." She lived with her parents, and then her sister Julia until her death at age 38.



Jacob Smull Family: Jacob & Elizabeth Smull Burkert 
Jacob Smull Family: Uncle Billy Klise and Anna Elizabeth Smull  


Henry Smull Family: Thomas Jefferson Smull
Thomas Jefferson Smull Family: Dr T J Smull, Jr
To Infinity and Beyond: Chuck Yeager Wasn't the Only One with the Right Stuff!
Stalag 17B: SSgt Azzan C McKagan
Jacob Guerney Smull: Mystery of Ghost Farm
Roy Brownlee, A Victim of the Philippine Insurrection 
Centre County, PA: Miles Township and Smullton's Inception 
Sarah Smull & Samuel Gramley of Centre County
The Gramley Boys of Centre County


Brothers Smull: Jesse Smull
Jesse Smull: Henry Bergey Smull
Jesse Smull Family: James Bergey Smull
Jesse Smull Family: John Francis Smull, DDS
James Bergey Smull Family: Judson Gray Smull, Jr.
James Bergey Smull Family: Jesse McGarvey Smull



There is also a family of Smulls descended from Andrew Smull (1765-1818) who are often mixed in with "our" Smulls. While they followed a similar trajectory in pioneering, they are not from the same direct lineage. Still, some of them keep cropping up - and not in a good way.

The OTHER Smull Family, Pt 1 (Madam Della)  
The OTHER Smull Family, Pt 2 (Robber Roy Smull)  

Miller Family Stories

The Millers, as far back as I can find, start with William Miller and his bride Loraine Fountaine:



Christina Cappoens: A Woman of Wealth
Roots of Slavery: Christina Cappoens of New Amsterdam
Simeon LeRoy dit Audy
Private Charles E Miller, 40th Iowa Infantry Regiment, Company K
The Prolific David Owens: Daughter Lucy Jane "Lizzie" Owens
Mystery Solved: Hattie Stella Miller, A Little Bit of Unconventional
Remembering Florence Miller 
He Looked Down Upon Me and Laughed
Cappoens/LeRoy Line: Leo Linsey
Sideroad: Lyman Dixon Bordwell Family



The Original Milo Volney Miller: Mr Successful 
Patience Meeker's Surviving Child: Almira Miller
Vernard, Oh, Vernard, What Have You Done?
Ernest Fee, Law Man 
Lampman Family Tragedy



Sunday, February 19, 2017

Smith Family Stories

This is sorted by the children of Jacob Smith and Mary Catherine "Cathie" Randolph

Jacob Smith Line: Mary Catherine Randolph, Sarah Jane Smith Doole, and Isaac Smith


Personal Interviews: When an Interview Flops
The Edge of Madness: Unraveling the Mystery of Bertha McKinney, Part 1
The Edge of Madness: Unraveling the Mystery of Bertha McKinney, Part 2
Robert Smith & Flora Hinmon 
Little House on the Prairie: Saskatchewan Edition
  Alfred Smith
  Raid at Cabanatuan: Japanese Prisoner of War Spencer Clinto Goodbla, WWII
  The Double Tragedy of the Alfred Smith Family of South Dakota
  Harriet Smith
  Losing the Trail: Harriet Smith
  Ollie Smith
  The Other Newcombs of South Dakota  
  Florence Newcomb & L Arthur Larson: The Perfect Match
  Nancy Smith
  Bad, Bad Henry Burton
Pioneering Nebraska & the Twister of 1933: Agnes Smith Callander
Jesse James, Buffalo Bill Cody, and The Keeley Cure: Agnes Watson Smith Bowers
Sundance, Wyoming & the Bowers Family


The Other John R Smith


Jacob Smith Line: Mary Catherine Randolph, Sarah Jane Smith Doole, and Isaac Smith


The Family Farm of William Custer Smith and Mary Ann Munson
Connecting the Story: More on the William Custer Smith Farm
Mystery Muddle: Who is Alice Simmons?
Smith/Munson Side: Minor Discoveries 
The Gossip Mill - Coming 10/14/17
William Custer Smith Family: Walter Smith
Capt Grant & Mrs Mary Jane Scoles Walker
How My Dog Got Her Name: Frankie Smith 
B F Lichty & Sons, Waterloo
William Custer Smith: Harland Smith
Going Beyond the Details: The Nashua Reporter
Walter Kermit Spurgeon Gets Robbed
William Lowell Smith
The Magoons: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
William Custer Smith Family: Eva Elvira Smith
All Aboard! The Railroad Men of the Wabash Railroad
The Long Road to Moberly, Missouri
A Sad Turn in the Tale of the Cunningham Family
Trail Blazing Women: Gertrude Bouque Nichols
Edwin Smith Family
Mystery Muddle: The Many Marriages of Marie/Mary Adaline Smith
Johnathan Smull Family: Katie Smull
The Cappoens/LeRoy Line: Leo Linsey
Edwin Smith Family: Vivian Catherine Smith
Edwin Smith Family: Evelyn Joyce Smith
WWII  Brought Home: Harry F Bradshaw, USN
Zola Bebee, Grandma's Best Friend 
Remembering Janis Michaelsen Pedersen Ladnier
Dixie Lee Michaelsen Pedersen Pedersen 
William Custer Smith Family: Rev Parker Smith
The Gossip Mill - Coming 10/14/17
William Custer Smith Family: Mirt Smith
JOHN SMITH - He died at age 2.

CATHERINE SMITH - I have almost no information. Know something? Send me a note! She would have died prior to 1924, as she preceded sister Sarah in death.

ELIZABETH SMITH - Believed to have died young. No mention is made of her in sister Sarah's obit.

Jacob Smith Line: Mary Catherine Randolph, Sarah Jane Smith Doole, and Isaac Smith

The Monteith's married three ways into the Smith family early on. They are pretty interesting!


Andrew Monteith Family of Wigtownshire, Scotland
William Boyd Monteith
Beloved Mary Welch Monteith Meets a Tragic End
The Great Chicago Fire & the Alexander McCullochs
Edward Boyd Monteith: Father of the Smith Wives
George Monteith of North Dakota
Jane Monteith, Nurse & Her Husbands
Race to the Finish: Fred C Monteith & Martin Rector
Sideroad: The Preston Family


The Lichty Family of Somerset County, Pennsylvania had many of its members pioneer in Black Hawk County. Most of them became exemplary citizens, leaders, captains of industry, lawyers, doctors, and highly successful farmers. Many held crucial roles in the development of the city of Waterloo.

Sideroad: Gabriel Bickley Lichty, MD, Abortionist - Coming 11/12/17
Sideroad: Lewis Lichty, Servant of the People - Coming 11/15/17

Munson Family Stories

Stories about the Munson Family, part of Clan William, beginning with Freeman Munson and his wife Margaret Gregory


Munson Family: Amos Munson
Mystery Muddle: The Amos Munson Family 1870 Census

Those Munson Girls: Margaret Jane Munson
Those Munson Girls: Lamira Munson
The Family Farm of William Custer Smith and Mary Ann Munson
Connecting the Story: More on the William Custer Smith Farm
Smith/Munson Family: Minor Discoveries
The Gossip Mill - Coming 10/14/17
Those Munson Girls: Caroline Amanda Munson
The Newcomb Family of Montrose, Pennsylvania  
Poor Walter Woodington, Jailed Again
Woodington/Munson Line: When Things Go Really, Really Wrong
Scandal Sheet: My Father, My Husband; My Sister, My Daughter
Those Munson Girls: Julia A Munson
The Newcomb Family of Montrose, Pennsylvania  
Amos Munson Family: Franklin David Munson
Those Munsons: Charles Fremont Munson  
Those Munsons: Clyde Amos Munson  
Those Munsons: Wayne Clyde Munson


Munson Family: The Vaughns of Trumbull County
Freeman and Orion Vaughn, 33rd Wisconsin Infantry, Company A
Freeman and Orion Vaughn, 33rd Wisconsin Infantry, Company A
Mystery Muddle: Who is Alice Simmons?
Sarah Jane Vaughn Simmons Family
Those Munsons: The Colorful Eddy's of New Orleans  
Amos Munson Family: Robert Lee Fox, Ph.D.



The Gentholtz Clan: John R. Gentholts & Clara Gentholts Gaither
The Gentholtz Clan: Arthur John Gentholts
Music Man: Charles Edward Gaither  
Scandal Sheet: Fred Gentholtz Rape Trial



George Woodington Heads to California
Side Road: Harry H Woodington, Longtime Empoyee of the Celery King
Trailblazing Women: Marjorie J Bennett, Army Nurse Corps
2Lt Clark Alonzo Teasdale Dies in Battle
Sideroad: Harry S Woodington, Deserter

Friday, February 17, 2017

Israel Holler


You can learn about Johannes Holler and his two marriages and 13 children here. Israel Zachariah
Holler was the brother of George Elam Holler, my 3rd great grandfather.

The Johannes Holler's had gone from Pennsylvania to North Carolina, then Ohio and then Indiana, where they settled in Brown Township, Washington County. Brown Township was first settled in 1810. The first grist mill was built the following year. Saltillo village, where many of the early Holler descendants lived was platted in 1849 with 107 lots. Not a lot seemed to happen in this area, but it was known for its distilleries which would boom until the restrictive taxation during the Civil War. Many of the settlerS came from New England and New York, but the Hollers came from North Carolina.

Son Israel Zachariah Holler was born 28 Jan 1811 in Iredell, North Carolina.  He married Susan Miller on 22 Aug 1833 in Orange County, Indiana.

The couple received the lands of his father. Johannes' Last Will excerpt: "and as for my son Israel Holler I have paid him in full in land and he has received in full of his portion of all my estates except one dollar before the date hereof;"

Some theorize that he received this land in consideration of helping his father on the farm prior to his death.

The couple had six children:

Jacob L Holler was born 05 Mar 1835 in Washington County and died 28 Mar 1872 in Clay City, Illinois.

Margaret E Holler was born 04 Nov 1836 in Washington County. She married Henry Rosenbaum 17 Jun 1883 in Washington County and he died 01 Feb 1894 in Washington County. She then married  widower Nathan Wells, who had five children. He died 23 Dec 1922 in Paoli, Orange County. Margaret died 23 Dec 1922, dying within six hours of her husband.

John Wesley Holler was born 08 Jul 1839 in Washington County. He married Margaret Marshall Roberts on 18 Mar 1871. She was a widow with four children. They had two children; John Mason and Frank Milton Holler. John Wesley died 30 Jan 1892 and Margaret 30 Jan 1892, both in Washington County.

Sarah Catherine Holler was born 26 Jun 1841 in Washington County. She married Turns Moneyhon on 09 Dec 1860. He died 26 Jun 1864 in Richmond, Virginia during the Civil War. They had one daughter. She then married Ebenezer M C Neyman, MD, who was also an elder in the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Ebenezer died 03 Jan 1909 in Saltillo, Washington County. He was a widower with six children. They had three children together. She died 30 May 1930 in San Antonio, Texas.

Isaac Newton Holler was born 30 Aug 1849 in Washington County. He married Lucinda Ellen "Ellen" Case on 11 Feb 1869 in Orange County. They had eight children. He died 13 Oct 1928 in Saltillo and she died 27 Dec 1938 in Saltillo.

Orah L Holler was born 20 Jan 1852 and died 06 Apr 1853 in Saltillo.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Thomas Jefferson Smull Family: Dr. T. J. Smull, Jr.


Click to enlarge
T J Smull is third from right, back row
ONU Football
Henry Smull was one of the Brothers Smull from Centre County, Pennsylvania. His son Thomas Jefferson Smull taught school and then decided he had a passion for the "mercantile life" and opened a general store in Mackeyville, Pennsylvania, a few miles from Mill Haven and Lock Port. He and his wife Harriet Transue had two children who survived to adulthood. Their son James Leroy "Roy" took over the family store and son Thomas Jefferson, Jr. went on to other things.

Thomas Jefferson Smull, Jr., was born 22 Sep 1875 in Mackeyville, Clinton County. He attended Central State Normal School in 1897 and 1898 in Lock Haven, playing on the baseball teams. In 1900 he entered Susquehanna University in Selingsgrove and also played baseball there. In winter of 1901, he entered Ohio Normal University which would later become Ohio Northern University. He was a standout in both baseball and football. In a football game against the famous Fielding Yost "Point a Minute" teams of the University of Michigan, Yost convinced Smull to come to Michigan on scholarship to play. Smull played five games of the U of Michigan's 11 games in 1904, but finished the season at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. He had found that the academic schedule at Michigan just wasn't working for him and while he loved athletics, he wanted to get his education completed. In 1905, he returned to Ohio Northern as the Dean of the College of Engineering.

Dr. Thomas J. Smull, Jr.
Smull was instrumental in developing athletics teams at the University. He was fully in charge of all athletics from 1905-1908 until he asked that an Athletics Board be organized. He chaired that board for several years and was then named Honorary President and Advisor and served in that position until 1922. A good bit of what Smull did was to keep the play "amateur" by ending subscriptions by businessmen and ensuring that players were matriculated students. He helped in getting the school into the Ohio Athletic Conference in 1916.

He ably served as Dean of the College of Engineering and was fiercely devoted to the University. He and his engineering students were the driving force behind the change of the university name from Ohio Normal to Ohio Northern, to ensure that the engineering degrees didn't seem diluted by being issued by a mere Normal School. That change happened in 1903.

According to "Who's Who in America," was dean of Ohio Northern University's College of Engineering from 1905-17, executive secretary of the university from 1917-29, and business manager from 1929-42. He was also faculty manager of athletics. Additionally, Dr. Smull was a member of the Board of Examiners of the State Civil Service Commission from 1914-16, an appraisal engineer with the State Utilities Commission in 1915, and the senior member of Smull and Unger architects from 1912-30.

He was chairman and chief examiner for the Board of Registration of the Ohio Professional Engineers and Surveyors, a member of the Ohio Society of University Business Officers (president in 1941), the Ohio Athletic Conference (president in 1943), the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers (president in 1918), the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education, the National Society of Professional Engineers, and Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.

In light of his many contributions the T J Smull College of Engineering was named in his honor.

After his retirement from the University in 1942, Dr. Smull was employed as materials engineer for the Ohio Department of Highways. He was also city engineer at Ada from 1906-23.

Miriam Smull Parkhill
He married Cora Anita Kemp 28 Mar 1894. She was born 29 Dec 1879 in Ada. Her father owned Kemp's Drug Store in Ada. Mrs. Smull died 12 May 1946 in Ada. Dr. Smull died 15 Feb 1962 in hospital in Lima, Ohio.

The couple had two children:

Miriam May Smull was born 08 Jul 1913 in Hardin, Ohio. She married Edwin Parkhill on 04 Oct 1935 in Ada, but they divorced. She headed the catalog department of Ohio Northern University's library. She resided in the home of her parents after their deaths. She had a bachelor's from ONU and a master's in English from OSU and a master's in library science from the University of Michigan. She worked in several Ohio communities prior to returning to Ada. She worked at ONU from 1959-1978 and then held the title Associate Professor Emeritus. She had a boy and a girl with Parkhill. She died 25 Mar 2001 in Columbus, Ohio.
TLK Smull &
Ruth Rhyne Smull

Thomas Leland Kemp Smull was born 04 Aug 1916 in Hardin. He first married Roberta Spidel of Chevy Chase, Maryland 22 Apr 1944 in Washington DC. They had one daughter and divorced. He then married Ruth Rhyn Hoover Kiertzner in 1964. Tom died 31 May 1999 in Alexandria, Virginia. You can read about Thomas and his career with the precursor to NASA and then NASA and his second wife, here.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Henry Smull Family: Thomas Jefferson Smull


Click image to enlarge

Henry Smull was one of the four brothers Smull of Centre County, Pennsylvania. He was married twice. His second wife was Catherine Kreamer. They had five children after their marriage. His first wife was Elizabeth Royer, whom he married 11 Dec 1834. They had seven children. Elizabeth died on 26 May 1834 of complications of the birth of her seventh child, Thomas Jefferson Smull, the subject of this article. Thomas had been born 24 May 1834.

When he was a few days old he was sent to his grandfather Christopher Royer to be raised. He
attended public school. At age 15, after the death of his grandfather, he lived with his cousin Samuel Royer in Nittany Valley. It was during this time, he learned to speak English. Rebersburg was a German community. He continued his education while there and after he completed that, he taught for eleven terms in various schools in the area.
I have a feeling this is the location of the second
Smull store in Mackeyville

In 1857 he went for a brief few months to Valley Falls, Kansas and in 1859 he went to Illinois for a year, where he taught one year in Stephenson County. Many Smull relatives lived in Stephenson county during this time. On the way back to Pennsylvania, he stopped in Ohio and Philadelphia, where discovered a "desire to enter mercantile life." He took a clerk job in Lamar Township in Clinton County near Porter Township.

The Civil War interrupted his life in mercantile and he served briefly as a private in the 28th Pennsylvania Volunteers and was honorably discharged.

In 1866, he formed a mercantile partnership of Beck, Smull & Co. in Hamburg (which became Mackeyville) for a year. That business did not succeed. Smull had started another venture the same year with F E Hays, which continued to 1870 when Smull bought Hays out. Being successful, Smull built a new store house to handle the volume of business in 1874.

Thomas Jefferson "Jeff" Smull  married Harriet Transue on 01 Feb 1873 in Hublersburg, Pennsylvania, daughter of Peter Transue, a prominent farmer and his wife Elizabeth Best.

In 1889, his store was destroyed by a flood, costing $6,000 in complete loss. Interestingly, the safe was found two years later below Mackeyville. Though he had no debt, this left him nearly penniless.
Smull's reputation for good character allowed him to meet up with a Mr McDowell, who allowed Smull to buy a piece of property on the opposite end of town from his previous location and had good enough credit to rebuild.

Their final years were spent in Clinton County. Jeff died 10 May 1926 in Porter and Harriet died 24 Dec 1916.

They had four children; one died as an infant and another at 18 months. The two surviving children were:

Dr. Thomas Jefferson Smull, Jr., was born 22 Sep 1875 in Mackeyville. He married Cora Anita Kemp, daughter of David and Laura Kemp on 28 Mar 1894. She was born 28 Dec 1879. They also had two children: Miriam May and Thomas LK Smull. Dr. Smull died 15 Feb 1962 in Lima, Allen County, Ohio. Cora died 12 May 1946 in Ada, Hardin County, Ohio. I'll be writing more about Dr. Smull.

James Leroy "Roy" Smull, was born 07 Jun 1879 in Mackeyville. He married Hope Bower, born in 1882 in Pennsylvania. Roy clerked in his dad's store and later ran the Smull General Store and post office previously owned by his father. In 1933, he was named as a state Fish Board Commissioner. In 1946, Roy sold the store to Fred Kyle, who abruptly changed his plans and sold the store to Mr & Mrs Richard Edler. Smull was still acting as postmaster. Once the Edlers took possession in August of that year, the Smulls moved to live with their daughter in Schenectady. They had one child, Harriet A. Smull. Roy died 21 Dec 1963 in Williamsport, Lycoming, Pennsylvania and Harriet died 03 Apr 1952 in Schenectady, New York.