Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Levi Bolender & Sarah Haas of Rock Grove


Levi Bolender
The earliest Haas in the line discussed here in the last post I have worked with, is John Heinrich Haas, born 07 Nov 1741 in Trappe, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. He married Elizabeth Pannebaker in 1767 in Philadelphia. They had at least 10 children, including Captain Valentine Haas, born 20 Nov 1770 In Upper Providence, Montgomery County.

Capt Haas married Mary Elizabeth "Polly" Mauck in 1798 and they too had at least 10 children, among them David, father of Valentine M., who married into our Cooper line with his marriage to WL Cooper's daughter, Hannah.

Captain Haas served as a Justice of the Peace beginning in 1822 and also served in the 77th Pennsylvania Militia during the war of 1812 under Lt Col George Weirick.

David and Barbara Mitterling, his first wife, had six children. Among them was Sarah, born 27 Apr 1834 in Snyder County, Pennsylvania. She came west with her family and resided in Stephenson County and married Levi Bolender 19 Oct 1852 in Rock Grove. Her parents shortly thereafter moved slightly north to Spring Grove, Green County, Wisconsin.

Sarah Haas Bolender
Levi's family had come to Stephenson County in 1840. His father Reuben John "John" and his father's brother Michael had made the trek west, leaving their parents in Snyder County, Pennsylvania. They were well-situated, Michael purchased land near the state line in Oneco Township and John in Buckeye Township. John purchased 400 acres upon his arrival. After John's death, Levi purchased 150 of those acres and farmed that himself. Their farm was located about one mile east of Rock Grove. Levi was active in civic and political affairs and was considered one of the most influential men in the area at the time. He served the township as highway commissioner and served as a school trustee. He also was vice president of the Old Settlers Association. Shortly after the death of Sarah on 19 Jan 1888 in Rock Grove, Levi retired from active farming but lived, on until 15 Jan 1908.

Levi and Sarah also had at least 10 children. Son Allen would die tragically, due to suicide related most likely to his ill health.

What is a truck farm? I had to look it up! Truck Farming is a horticultural practice of growing one or more vegetable crops on a large scale for shipment to distant markets. It is usually less intensive and diversified than market gardening. At first this type of farming depended entirely on local or regional markets. infoplease.com

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Hannah Cooper Haas of Spring Grove


Hannah Cooper and Valentine Haas (front)
W. L. Cooper and his wife Elizabeth Beams can be read about here. Their second oldest child, Hannah, was born 23 Oct 1832 in Clark County, Illinois. Her parents ultimately ended up in Rock Grove, Stephenson County until the death of W. L. in 1886.

Hannah met and married Valentine Mornica "Feldy" Haas, son of David Haas and Barbara Mitterling in April of 1857 in Spring Grove. Born, on 22 Jan 1830 in Juniata County, Pennsylvania, Feldy came with his family to northern Illinois in 1850. David and Barbara settled on Section 33 of Spring Grove, Green County, Wisconsin, in 1856. The town was just over the border from Illinois. The land there was very rich and had been settled a few years earlier by hardy settlers and was thriving. The couple had six children, including the eldest, Valentine. Barbara died in 1859 and in 1864, David married the widow of Samuel Snyder, Mary Lawyer. That couple had at least three children in addition to her child from her previous marriage. They remained there until 1868, when they moved to Section 27, where they would remain. David died in 1880 and his wife Mary died in 1917 in Beloit.

In the meantime, Valentine would marry Hannah on 02 Apr 1857 in Spring Grove. From 1857 to 1863, the couple lived in Stephenson County. The first of their dozen children started arriving in 1858. According to one family chronicler, the reason Valentine was called "Feldy" was because he always wore a felt hat. He was a carpenter by trade. From 1863 to 1869, the couple tried out farming in Chickasaw County, Iowa, near Bremer County, Iowa, where many Cooper cousins had ended up. It was during their time there that the same family chronicler states that Valentine helped build the famous Little Brown Church in the Vale, located in what was Bradford, Chickasaw County.

James Bruce Barn, Stephenson County
built by the Haas Bros. and J Shaffer, 1914
Then, the couple moved on to Spring Grove and farmed on 40 acres near Tyrone.

The "Haas Brothers," sons of Valentine and Hannah's, were noted for building most of the round barns in Stephenson and Green Counties, along with Haas son-in-law Jeremiah Shaffer. What I don't know is which of the brothers participated in the barn building or if all did. Most of the historically relevant barns were built between 1910-1920. Sons Emanuel, Ira Edward "Ed", Lloyd, and Luther, are all listed as carpenters and brother Homer was listed specifically as a barn carpenter, all in the 1910 Census. Henry was listed as working at the Fire Department, Clarence worked as a  tinner (tinsmith),  and George was farming in 1910.

Valentine died 04 Nov 1911 at age 81. Their single son George was farming and lived with them at that time. Hannah survived until 10 Aug 1925. She was still living with son George on the farm when she died. George died 24 Nov 1941 in Albany, Green County at the home of his sister and brother-in-law Florence and Jeremiah Shaffer.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Frank Ross Boyd, Merchant of Horton


Frank & Ollie
Learn about his mercantile roots here and about his brother Roy and sister Hazel.

Frank Ross Boyd was born 26 Jun 1873 in Rock Grove, Stephenson County, Illinois to Elizabeth Beams Cooper and Franklin Boyd. He moved with his family to Bremer County sometime between 1882 and 1888. His father, Franklin, operated the Boyd General Mercantile in Plainfield as his children grew up. Both Frank and his brother Roy learned the trade and both made the trade their life's work. While Roy remained in Plainfield, Frank purchased a store in nearby Horton. The store would become legend and would carry anything and everything from high fashion to automobiles, to school supplies.

On 03 Mar 1896, Frank married Olive "Ollie" Marinda Vosseller, daughter of Nelson and Emma Vosseller. She was born 25 Sep 1873 in Plainfield. In 1897, he bought an interest in the general store in Horton owned by CC Spaulding and two years later, purchased his partner's interest, continuing under the name Boyd Mercantile Company. The store was 46 feet by seventy feet in size, with three warehouses.
F R Boyd Mercantile

The handsome couple had three children, one, an infant, died in 1906. The two surviving girls were Lucille and Ruth Elizabeth.
Frank Boyd Home, Horton

Mr. and Mrs. Boyd spent their entire life in the Plainfield-Horton community. He was a member of
Lodge No. 116 A. F. & A. M. Waverly; Jethro Chapter, No. 24 R. A. M. and De Molay. He has been vice president of the Farmer's State Bank of Plainfield for a number of years and has served in the community in many ways. He was always active in projects that were for the good of the home community and took great pride in the promotion of them.

Frank was considered very forward-thinking and was a big proponent of the Butler-Bremer Telephone Company of which he was an early president in 1910. The exchange had 455 customers and of those customers, 320 were shareholders. The company is still in operation today, albeit under other ownership.
Frank and Ollie in old age

Ollie died 28 Feb 1953 in Horton and her husband Frank died 09 Jun 1953 in Waverly.

This article is worth a read and was published in the Nashua Reporter on 01 Mar 1972:

Treasure Trove, A Meeting Place, A Haven
The Old Horton Store Served the Community Well
Frank Boyd managed his store at Horton for half a century before turning it over to his successor, Elwyn Briggs, in 1943. Elwyn was in the store until its closing in 1960. Mrs Ruth Diekmann of Plainfield is Frank Boyd's daughter and Miss Hazel Boyd, his sister.
by Mrs Ernest Wagner
I wish you could step back with me, say to 1912 or so and go into Frank Boyd's General Store in Horton. It was a double store, facing the west, with a storage or warehouse along the south side. In that little country store was about everything that the local community needed. There were bolts of cloth, a tall glass bored ribbon case, with sacks of penny ribbon, all colors, for a penny a yard, ___grin ribbon, satins, and beautiful wide hair ribbon.
There was men's clothing, shirts, collars, suspenders, straw hats, dress hats, boots and overshoe rubbers. There were a lot of ladies clothing and a ___ glass show case of "pretties" like perfume, powder, pens, and jewelry.
High along the walls above the shelves was everything from chamber pots to neck ties, kerosene lanterns to milk pails, wash boards, enameled water pails and dippers, bushel baskets, tubs of horse collars. You named it and it would be pretty sure to be there someplace.
Shelves on Walls
Up front, on the south side, the wall shelves filled with everything from shoes to dish sets. There was a tall revolving post card rack, a little penned in place that Frank used as an office. Show cases of jack knives, scissors, and oh, that marvelous candy case! It was filled with square glass dishes that all fitted together, each holding a different kind of candy, there were peppermints, wintergreens, licorice sticks, candy corn, hard candy, filled ____, rock candy, candy ________. Also you could buy _____, sen-sen, penny candy, all from the large square red can on the shelf you could buy those little short price candies. The tin had glass in the front, so you could see how full it was.
Those Cookie Boxes!
There were the square cookie boxes with hinged tops, so you could see all the different kinds, rowed up in front of the candy counter. At the end was a great big red coffee grinder, taller than Frank even - with two big heavy balance wheels on either side. Frank would dump the coffee beans into the top, close the peaked top, and push and pull the big bar across the front that turned the wheels that ground the coffee. When you heard the coffee quit grinding, Frank would "get in with the wing of the bar" and then reach, reach, reach and grab the can of ground coffee quickly so it wouldn't be hit by the bar as its momentum kept it running for a while. He would then repack the ground coffee and slip the empty can back in place. We kids always expected him to "get it" one day, but we never did see him get hit.
Old Time Appendency
I remember once, when one of the men near Horton had to have his appendix "cut out" right at home. Had to get Doc Rholf up from Waverly to do it, almost unheard of in those days. Everyone was so concerned. I remember that they had his appendix sticking on a short hat pin in a bottle of alcohol on display in Frank's little office window in the store. I remember it looked all pink and squiggly as they held it up for all of us to see.
The south side of the store held the groceries, mostly. There was a meat counter, cutting block, and a small refrigerator in the wall where the meats were kept and where the ice cream cones came from.
Harvested Ice
Mr Boyd built a large cement block ice house out behind the store and would hire available men with teams and bobsleds to cut blocks of ice from the river a couple of miles away. They'd haul them to the icehouse with layers of saw dust all around and between each block. The blocks probably measured 2 feet by 2 feet by 4 feet, and were used by Frank during the summer for his refrigerator in the store. You could even buy a chunk in the summer if you had special company and wanted to make ice cream at home. You would drive a horse and buggy to Horton, buy your ice, wrap it in a heavy horse blanket and put it on the floor of the buggy and take it home.
A Hardware Department
Beyond the meat counter and across from it, was the main hardware department with nails, bolts, door springs, hinges, pots and pans. At the very back one shelf was reserved for school supplies. You could buy bottles of ink, in several different colors, pen holders, pen points, erasers, and penny pencils. There were envelopes and writing paper for letter, yellow tablets  with wide lines for little people who were just learning to make their letters and numbers, and several stacks of narrow and wed pencil tablets for school use. These had the most fabulous pictures on the covers, many times they wer of famous movie stars, both men and women.
I'll tell you, it really took time to look them all over and decide which one to choose. The paper inside wasn't so important; it was the picture on the cover that counted most. If you went back to school with a "Mary Pickford" tablet, for instance; you were the envy of all your friends.
Kerosene for Lamps
You could buy kerosene for your lamps. Just bring your two or three gallon kerosene can, and they'd fill it in the back room and put a small potato on the spout so you wouldn't spill it getting home. You could bring your vinegar jug or your molasses jug to be filled from the large barrels in the back room, where potatoes lard and the like were also kept.
Barrels of Apples
There were barrels of red and green apples, in season, and 100 pound sacks of sugar and flour and big wooden boxes of soda crackers. There were oysters, in season, too, and all the staples needed in the community. Cheese was cut from a big wheel of cheese in the refrigerator. Bologna, smoked bacon, and summer sausage were also kept in their cooler. A big stem of bananas hung from a hook on the ceiling. 
About December 1, many of the everyday essentials were somehow stacked away, and the front windows, especially the north half of the store, suddenly became resplendent with red and green garlands, tinsel, bells and right down through the center appeared long tables, stacked two tables high, loaded with the most wonderful array of things Santa's pack ever held. 
The platform show windows in front blossomed with pretty gifts. One side usually held lovely wearing apparel, caps, mittens, scarfs, and pretties, but that other one held the attention of Horton's younger generation. That other one held teddy bears, and blocks and dolly dishes, just to name a few.
Best of all were the lovely unbelievably beautiful big dollies that were fastened out of reach of young fingers, up on the railing above the other toys. Of course, they were very expensive - as much as $2.50 or $3.00, and although each of us girls immediately picked our favorites, we hardly dared even wish for fear of being disappointed on Christmas morning.
Her Dream Doll
I'll never gorget one year in particular. There were three especially lovely dolls in that window, but I had eyes for only one, a beautiful blonde with brown eyes. I walked past the store every day on my wayto school and the first thing I watched for was that beautiful doll.
To my dismay, a few days before Christmas, my beautiful dream doll was gon. Oh, how I envied the little girl who was to find that doll on Christmas morning. A bit of the charm of the whole store disappeared with that doll.
We were all busy with Christmas activities, both at school and at church, so the time slipped by quickly. There was always a beautiful Christmas tree at church, and parents and teachrs and friends brought many gifts to the church tree. Sunday School teachers all brought gifts for their pupils and there were gifts for families and friends.
Candles on Tree
As many gifts as the tree could well hold were fastened to its branches. There was no electricity in Horton, of course, so the tree was glittering with dozens of colored candles, carefully placed so as not to cause a fire.
After the children's splendid program, the time came for the distribution of all the beautiful gifts. When your name was called, you held up your hand until the ushers came and gave you your gift. Among the several lovely dolls on the tree was the beautiful blonde which had been in Mr Boyd's store window. When my name was called and she was brought to me, I nearly burst with pride and joy.
All Gone Now
Most of the people of that day are gone now, including Mr Boyd and my own family. The old store building still stands, crooked and deserted, falling apart. It is truly a piece of our past. But all who were blessed by life in those bygone times will agree with me, I'm sure, that those were days which made for very happy memories.
Nashua Reporter, March 1, 1972

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Miss Hazel Boyd, Woman of Substance

Young Hazel

Hazel Una Boyd was born 13 years after her next oldest brother, Roy. She was born in Plainfield, Bremer County, Iowa on 17 Dec 1888 to Elizabeth Beams Cooper and Franklin Boyd. She was musical and bright. While she didn't feel the call of the mercantile life, she did help her father in his store as she grew up. But, after graduating from Plainfield High School, she felt the call of music and graduated from the Music Department at Iowa State Normal School in Cedar Falls. She taught private lessons to students in Floyd, Bremer, and Chickasaw counties, making her rounds by the Illinois Central and Rock Island railroads. She studied further at the Cosmopolitan Convservatory in Chicago and had further piano training under Victor Heinze. Heinze students have appeared in many of the great orchestras of the day in both Europe and the United States.

She took a job heading the music department at Nora Springs Seminary. She picked up a couple hobbies while there working in art and china painting, which she then also taught in private lessons when she returned to Plainfield.

Older Hazel Boyd
For a dozen years or so, she was Director of Christian Education for the American Baptist Publication Society.She worked primarily with children's programs and worked in Des Moines and later at the District headquarters in Chicago. She then worked out of the National office in Philadelphia, going wherever they sent her, mostly directing Bible Schools in cities across the country. She was working in Centralia, Illinois in 1934 when she got word of her brother Roy's death.

She eventually came back to Plainfield and taught music and worked as superintendent of the Sunday School and Young People's Work, along with providing leadership training education at the Plainfield Baptist Church. She wintered in California and Florida and taught music in the summer months.

My uncle Harold Ripley recalls Miss Boyd very well. As a teenager, he mowed her lawn. She was frequently traveling, he recalls. In the early 1950s, Hazel lived in Minneapolis, but returned home again. She died at the Salsbury Baptist Home in Charles City on 05 Apr 1976 at the age of 87.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Roy Boyd, Plainfield Merchant


Roy and Bessie
Roy Boyd was the second born son of Elizabeth Beams Cooper and her husband Franklin Boyd. He was born 15 Jan 1875 in Rock Grove, Stephenson County, Illinois and came with his family to Bremer County, Iowa between 1882 and 1888.

Roy married Bertha Mae Hunter, daughter of Mr & Mrs HS Hunter on 01 Oct 1902 in Plainfield. Bessie had been born on 09 May 1881 in Low Moor in Clinton County.

The young couple was quite dashing and seemed to have a lot of fun together. They spent their entire married lives in Plainfield with the exception of one year spent in Janesville, Iowa. Like many of her lady fellows, she was a member of the Plainfield Camp of Royal Neighbors and belonged to the Plainfield Methodist Church.

Roy, like his father and brother, followed the mercantile trade and operated a store from his building on the west side of Main Street in Plainfield. In 1904, his wife Bessie contracted typhoid fever, which she survived after a lengthy recovery period. In 1907, they remodeled the living rooms at his store and moved in some time after. In 1910, they purchased the A. Larkin home and then resided there. The couple had no children.  There is reference that in 1927, Roy sold his land to Frank Scoles, but it's unknown if that was his home, other property, or his store building, which he had rented out for some years. Roy would fill in from time to time at Gottschalls store during the holidays during his last years.

Bessie died at her home in Plainfield on 28 Sep 1929. She was buried in Willow Lawn Cemetery.

Roy would carry on for five more years until he died as a result of a car accident 04 Jan 1934, which was directly caused by a blackout from diabetes, which he'd suffered from for many years.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Boyds of Plainfield


Franklin & Elizabeth
To look back to the trajectory of the Coopers from Pennsylvania to Iowa, see this.

Elizabeth Beams Cooper was the baby of the William Lloyd Cooper and Elizabeth Beams marriage. She was born 03 Aug 1849 in Rock Grove, Stephenson County, Illinois. She met the handsome Franklin Boyd while living in Rock Grove. Frank was born 04 Jun 1840 in Cochocton, Ohio. His parents came to Rock Grove in his youth. His grandfather was of Irish or Scottish descent and eventually settled in Ohio.

In September 1861, Frank joined the US Army as a private in Co B, 46th Regiment of the Illinois Volunteer Infantry at Springfield. He participated in the battle of Fort Donelson, Kentucky and Shilo in 1862. His arm was severely injured at Hatchie later that year and he was briefly furloughed, but returned to service and finished out the war. George W Cooper (son of  John L. Cooper), Amos J. Cooper (son of John L Cooper), and Robert T Cooper (son of Chalkely Jared Cooper) all served in the same company.

Franklin & Elizabeth Cooper with
Roy and Frank Ross
Elizabeth was one of  few in her peer group who could say she attended the Lincoln-Douglas debates in Freeport, Illinois. On her later visits to the Freeport area, they spent their nights in the same hotel where Abraham Lincoln stayed during that time.

They married 24 Feb 1871 in Rock Grove and remained in the area through 1880. While in Illinois he followed the carpentry and building trade. They had three children: Frank Ross, Roy, and Hazel. Hazel was the only one born in Bremer County,

In October 1882, Boyd, along with his father-in-law William Cooper, and friend John Candy of Stephenson County, visited Iowa, at which time Frank bought a quarter section of land in Butler County and stated he had plans to move at some point. So, we can put their arrival there sometime between 1882 and 1888. The Boyd's settled in Plainfield where he followed the mercantile trade, which his sons both followed. The elder Boyd retired from business in about 1910.

Franklin died 31 May 1921 at his home in Plainfield at age 80. Elizabeth died 22 Oct 1939 in Plainfield, having reached her goal age of 90.

I'll be covering the children later.

Elizabeth Beams Cooper Boyd, 1931

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Hennich Family & the Burwell Tornado of 1905


CW & Eliza Cooper Hennich
Eliza looks incredibly like her mother, Elizabeth Beams
As you might recall, Amos Cooper and his family were Quakers who went west to Illinois in the late 1820s. Their son William Lloyd Cooper and his wife, Elizabeth Beams of Kentucky, had a large family, most of whom ended up in Iowa, but some of whom, like the children of William's siblings, ended up in Nebraska.

Eliza was born on 11 Sep 1846 in Stephenson County, Illinois. On 04 Oct 1866, she married Charles Wesley Hennich in Spring Grove, Green County, Wisconsin. Hennich was a Pennsylvania native born 17 March 1847 in Centre County, where the Smulls and many of the settlers in Stephenson County had hailed from. Many Cooper/Smull relatives lived north and south of the Wisconsin/Illinois border during those days as well.

James Holtgrewe, July 2012
They couple had their first two children in Iowa. It appears as though they started out in Nebraska about 1877, but were in Missouri in 1878, where their fourth child was born, and then by 1880, were living in Wheeler, Nebraska.They would ultimately have six children.

In 1900, the Hennich family was living in Rockford Township, Garfield County, Nebraska outside of Burwell. I believe they were there by the mid-1880s. Burwell is interesting for a couple different things. For one, they laid out their roads uniquely. Instead of a grid system used in most towns, they had roads radiating out from the center of town. Additionally, the railroad ended at Burwell, so the town constructed a massive turntable so the train could be turned around at the end of each run. It still exists.

The Hennich family entrenched themselves in the life of Garfield County. Charles became a state representative in 1890 and appears to have served two years at the Statehouse in Lincoln for the 49th District. While he was serving, his oldest son James Harlin "Harley," then 18, he was thrown from his "fractious" horse and was then trampled. Surgery was performed, but his skull was crushed and he died several hours later.

Omaha World-Herald, Tuesday, January 27, 1891 

In 1905, a deadly tornado struck the town and surrounding area of Burwell, deeply impacting nearly every resident.
The Burwell Tribune in a supplement to the issue of Thursday, September 21st, tells the story of the disaster in the following language:
Burwell Town Square
"Friday, September 15, 1905, will be remembered for years by the present inhabitants of Burwell as the day of the great tornado. "Weather conditions that day were very peculiar. The day dawned clear and bright, but within an hour or two a dense fog enveloped the earth. This lifted and the sun shone brightly for a short period of time. Then fog again descended and obscured the landscape. The afternoon was hot and close; clouds black and threatening festooned the horizon to the north. "About six o'clock the death-dealing funnel-shaped cloud appeared to the northwest of town and in a few moments death and destruction were dealt out. "But few of the people of the town saw the awful creature of the elements. Those who did took hasty refuge in storm cellars. Others did not know that anything more serious than a rain storm was brewing till the alarm was sounded.
"The tornado seemed to form in The forks —the confluence of the Calamus and the Loup—just northwest of town a couple of miles. Its first work was on the farm of M. J. Scott, close to where the funnel formed, where several grain stacks were promiscuously scattered over the country. A cornfield near Scott's was demolished. Then the residence of Mr. Costello was razed. The family had gone to the cellar and thus escaped injury.
"C. W. Hennich's stable and outbuildings were next destroyed. Frank Hennich was in the stable when the storm struck it and attempted to get into the house when a flying timber struck him down, crushing his ribs and injuring him internally. He grittily crawled to a clump of bushes and waited for the passage of the storm. His mother and sister were frantically trying to get to his aid and were tossed about by the wind but happily escaped injury.
"The storm passed east from this point, demolishing stables, cribs and outbuildings at Kirby McGrew's, destroying part, of the Bartholomew house, occupied by Leslie Baker, then swinging a little south, it overturned John Dinnell's dwelling and razed Mike Saba's store.
"R. W. Hanna'a home, north of Saba's store about two blocks, a fine two-story dwelling, was totally destroyed—smashed, I guess would express it about as well as any detailed description. Mr. Hanna, his wife, their son, and Mrs. Hanna's mother were in the house at the time and how they escaped unharmed is nothing less than a miracle. The building was picked up bodily, carried a few feet and literally crushed into kindling wood. The four people were right in the midst of the wreckage and yet escaped without a scratch.
"The Haas house north of Hanna's, occupied by Ed. McGuire, escaped destruction, but the barn, outbuildings, trees, etc., were swept away. Martin McGuire lost a horse, wagon, harness, etc.
"J. H. Schuyler's fine home, a little south and cast of Hanna's, was perforated by flying timbers, racked and wrecked. Clothing which hung in a closet in the house was whisked out of the window and disappeared. The house is almost a total wreck. His stable was entirely blown away.
 To read the complete dramatic article, go here

Hennich losses were calculated at $500.00. The town's loss was over $50,000.

Charles died 03 Feb 1925 in Burwell. His wife Eliza died while residing with her daughter Hattie Hennich Evans, in Grand Island, 09 Jul 1937.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

William Lloyd Cooper and Elizabeth Beams


William  Lloyd Cooper & Elizabeth Beams
about 1865
Sometimes, I wonder just how some of the old relatives met one another. In the case of my 3rd great grandparents, William and Elizabeth, I finally found the solution. This story took a while to unfold.

Let's go back for a moment to the Quaker couple Amos Cooper and his wife Hannah Lloyd who were living in Pennsylvania and then decided to move west to Illinois in the mid-1820s. The arrived in Crawford County, the county where a very large settlement of Quakers had started settling. Many of the residents were from Kentucky and Pennsylvania. The family remained there and then moved to neighboring Clark County for some time, but several of the family moved on to Stephenson County over the course of time.

William Lloyd Cooper was born the middle child on 11 Apr 1807 in Delaware. The birthplace is listed in the 1850 and 1870 census, so is probably accurate, but he is the only child in the family born there; the rest being born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. According to The History of Stephenson County, Illinois, his parents had removed briefly to Delaware and returned to Pennsylvania a year or two later.

Elizabeth Beams was born to James Beams and Nancy Lay on 19 Nov 1810 in Whitley, Kentucky. The Beams had many children and lived primarily in Whitley, Kentucky, though both hailed from Virginia. They were early settlers along the Cumberland River. Four Beams sisters; two married, two unmarried, removed to Crawford county in Illinois. They all lived near one another in this heavily Quaker area. Many of the Beams extended family were Quaker, including sister Anna's family, the Michael Cox's. Most of the Beams family remained in Whitley County. I have an interesting story about her other unmarried sister, Jane, and what happened after her marriage, which I'll save for another time and add to the Mystery Muddles file. We can surmise that the Beams were Quaker, though I haven't located any Quaker documents on the Beams family specifically so far.

Elizabeth and William Lloyd married on 10 May 1831 in Crawford County. Ten months later, the first of eight children arrived, Ann, whose progeny cross the Smull family lines in several places. My 2nd great grandmother, Mary Jane Cooper, landed about right in the middle of the group of eight kids. The Coopers lived in Clark, then moved on to Will County about 9 miles from Joliet for a year. He came to Stephenson County the following year (1841) and started working an uncultivated farm he entered with the government. He farmed for a dozen years, then retired, selling the farm and moving to the village of Rock Grove.

Of their eight children, seven survived them both. Son George Washington Cooper, born about 1838, died in 1856 at Rock Grove in Stephenson County at age 18.

Older Elizabeth Beams Cooper
In April of 1883, the news reported that William Cooper had recovered enough from injuries to be out and about:
We are pleased to find William Cooper out again. Sometime ago he fell and broke a rib and fractured some more.
Freeport Daily Bulletin
Wednesday, April 18, 1883, Freeport, Illinois
Just a month later, he had a severe stroke, from which he never fully recovered:
Last week our friend William Cooper had an apopletic stroke. We understand he is convalescent.
Freeport Daily Bulletin
Wednesday, May 30, 1883, Freeport, Illinois

William Cooper is still confined to his room. His recovery is slow and painful.
Freeport Daily Bulletin
Wednesday, June 6, 1883, Freeport, Illinois
W.L. Cooper died 08 Oct 1886 in Rock Grove. His wife Elizabeth moved to Bremer County, Iowa and spent the rest of her days living with her daughter, my 2nd great grandmother, Mary Jane Cooper Smull. After Mary Jane's husband Johnathan's death in 1885, the family moved into the town of Plainfield from their farm. Mrs Cooper died in June of 1897 in Plainfield and was buried near her husband in Union Cemetery in Rock Grove, Stephenson County, Illinois.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The USC Trojans: Willis Smull's Children


1132 W 36th Pl, Los Angeles
The address is now an apartment building, but was a house
like the one to the right of the apartment complex
A while back, we talked about how the lines of the various family intersected. Lee's parents were an intersection of the Coopers and the Smulls, both major lines of my genealogy. Lee and Bessie farmed in South Dakota for several years, then moved into town to ensure their children got a good education. After Lee's untimely death from surgical complications in 1921, the family moved to Los Angeles, California. They lived at 1132 W 36th Place in Los Angeles, just blocks from the USC campus.

Lee and Bessie's four kids thrived in California. At least three of them graduated from USC in Los Angeles and all had successful careers. The two daughters never married.

Marlyn Smull and Carol Sharpe
Marlyn Archie Smull was born 21 Apr 1901 in Clark County, South Dakota. He married Carol Ophelia Sharpe on 30 Nov 1927 in Clark County. She was born 11 Aug 1902 in Clark County. While still in South Dakota, he attended Dakota Wesleyan, where he took part in football and basketball, band (piccolo), was on the debate team and belonged to the literary society.

Once in California, Marlyn attended USC and graduated with a degree in Commerce in 1925. During his time at USC, he was a faithful and devoted member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and stayed deeply involved with the fraternity for his lifetime. After his marriage, he was employed by the Adohr Creamery. In 1931, he was assistant route superintendent. He then began teaching school, spending a year teaching at Compton High School. He then took a position teaching at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he advised the Sigma Phi Epsilon's. Eventually, he returned to California and moved to San Bernardino, where he taught at CSU-San Bernardino for the remainder of his career. He and his wife had no children. He died 07 May 1977 in San Bernardino and she died 20 Jul 1990 in San Diego County.

Mary Lorene (left)
Mary's co-author and landlord, Dr Gladys Vail (right)
Mary Lenore Smull was born 18 Jul 1902 in Clark County. She graduated from USC in 1926, her specialty being a dietician. She spent ten years after graduation working as director of dietetics at Methodist Hospital. In the late 1930s, she moved on to Kansas State University in Manhattan, where she directed campus cafeteria operations. While there, she with Dr. Gladys E Vail, authored School Lunches for Kansas Children, published in 1944. She also boarded with Dr. Vail during her time in Kansas.

She eventually returned to California and took a position as dietitian at South Bay Hospital in Redondo Beach. She also co-chaired an effort in the Southland to create a "Dial a Dietitian" so citizens could ask diet/food/health questions. That service started in 1964. Mary retired to the Chula Vista area, where Lois and Myron lived, and died in Bonita, San Diego County, 04 Apr 1999.

Myron at USC
Lois L Smull was born 08 Sep 1906 in Clark County. I'm not sure where she went to school, but couldn't find alumni info on her at USC. She was a bookkeeper by trade and prior to 1959 had been bookkeeper at the Fredericks Nursing Home and later at the Pacific Homes in Burbank. She retired to the Chula Vista area, where brother Myron and sister Mary lived. She died 10 May 1991 in Chula Vista.

Myron Leon Smull was born 14 Nov 1907 in Clark County. He graduated from with a physical education degree from USC in 1932 and got his teaching certificate and taught at Taft in Perris, California in 1935 in secondary education. He also received advanced degrees from USC in education and administration.While there, he suffered a broken leg while playing a night baseball game at a local diamond. By 1941, he was teaching at Sweetwater High School and by 1944 was assistant district superintendent of attendance. His early years he also assistant coached a number of sports. He married Wilda French and had two sons, Michael and Robert.

Older Myron
In 1946, he became principal of Southwest Junior High and principal of Mar Vista High School in 1955. He retired in 1969. He was also very involved in the community and served in many capacities including being  was past president of South Bay Kiwanis Club; board member of Imperial Beach Boys Club; board member, Imperial Beach Parks and Recreation Commission; honorary life member, Mar Vista PTA; member of South Shores California Retired Teacher Association; San Diego County Officials Association; National Educators' Association; Sweetwater Education Association; the Accreditation Committee for Western Assocation of Schools and Colleges and past member of Southwest Lodge No 283, F&AM.

He died in a hospital at age 66 on 04 Dec 1974 in San Diego County. His wife remarried in 1979 to John L White. Wilda died 01 Sep 1992 in San Diego County.