Friday, September 29, 2017

Samuel Munson 2nd Family: Calvin Munson and Family

Trumbull County 1856 - These townships are where
most of our ancestors settled
You can read a little about Samuel Munson here on my cousin's blog. He was referred to as Samuel Munson 2nd because there are so darned many Samuels. His grandfather and great grandfather were leaders in their community and quite accomplished. Samuel 2nd was the first of the clan to head west to Ohio to settle in the Trumbull County area in September 1804. Many of the earliest settlers fit into our family tree. His wife, Susanna Tyler and he were married about 1764 in Wallingford, New Haven, Connecticut. They had at least 8 children, among them, my 4th great grandfather, Freeman Munson.

They were some of the very earliest settlers in the area. The couple purchased land in Vienna Township on 12 May 1804 "Samuel Munson buys 154 acres from the east end of Lot #5 for $438.90," (this included Brookfield Township until 1811),(Another report has 146 acres having been purchased).

Freeman's brother Calvin was, according to family records, born on 04 May 1770 (one report has 1769) in Wallingford. He married Sarah "Sally" Hungerford on 27 Nov 1794 in Waterbury. She was the daughter of Rosannah Williams and Revolutionary War soldier David Wallingford. David died while a POW in NYC in 1777. Calvin and Sally had at least five children: Randal, Rilman, Lucy, Deidamia, and Susanna.

In 1793, a year before he married, Isaac Benham sold him 13 acres of land in Waterbury, CT, "to be taken off from the north end of my land near Samuel Munson's House." He paid 27 Pounds for the land. He took the freeman's oath at Waterbury 20 Sep 1802. He sold the land on his departure to Ohio.

John Bull represented England as Uncle Sam later
represented the US. Columbia takes that role here.
Calvin always farmed once he arrived in Ohio. He also served as a tanner and shoemaker. The War of 1812 interrupted his peaceful, hard-working life, and he was called to serve as a private in Captain Jedediah Burnham's Company from August to mid-November of 1812 and Jan-Feb of 1813.

He returned to farm and remained doing so until the end of his life, when he moved "into town." Along the way, he was involved in creating the first rural school in Vienna township, which was originally called "The Munson School," but later was dubbed "The Carey School," after the Carey family who lived nearby. The school burned to the ground in the 1920s.

Once he had retired to town, his sons Randal and Rilman took over the family farm, splitting it with Randal getting the west side of the farm and Rilman the east. All of his children married and had children. I will take us down their paths at a later time. Sally died 06 Feb 1844 and Calvin 02 Sep 1846, both in Vienna Township.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Joseph L Cooper: Spanish War Soldier

m Carrie Miles

Joseph L Cooper had a pioneering spirit like many of the Coopers. His daughter, Jessie, married a member of the Miracle Braves of 1914, Leslie Mann.  His parents, Chalkley Jared Cooper and Margaret Thompson had nine children and Joseph came along smack dab in the middle on 17 Mar 1849 in Rock Grove, Stephenson County, Illinois.

The Civil War was raging and many of his family had enlisted in the Army when at 13, Joseph attempted to fake his way into the Army himself. He failed, but would make up for it later. In 1874, he went to Nebraska and went into business with his brother Capt Robert T Cooper in the milling business at Seward. Joe was a tinner by trade and engaged in this business for several years at Seward, David City, Bloomington, Kearney, and Grand Island.

He married Carrie Miles, who had been born in Marengo, Iowa, on 31 Aug 1866 in Buffalo, Nebraska on 26 Dec 1881. They had three children: Fred Harmon, who died at age 30 in 1914 in Lincoln, Nebraska; Jennie L., who was born in Jul 1889 and died prior to 1920 in Nebraska, and Jessie L, who was born 02 Mar 1894 in Norfolk, Nebraska and died in 1969 in Los Angeles County, California.

The family moved to Lincoln in 1894. A couple years later, Joseph finally got his chance to serve when he joined up with Company E, 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry Regiment in 1898. He was issued a pension and his wife Carrie received his pension after his death. He started out at the Lancaster County fairgrounds which had become Camp Alvin Saunders before being sent by sea to the Philippines. He was nearly 50 years old.
"Camp Alvin Saunders was the muster in camp for the 1st and 2nd Nebraska Volunteer Infantry regiments for the Spanish American War. The camp was at the state fairgrounds in Lincoln, Nebraska. The camp was named after Alvin Saunders who was governor of Nebraska Territory during the Civil War. The camp had a short-life, primarily from April 26-May 19, 1898. The 1st Nebraska left Camp Saunders on May 16, 1898 for San Francisco and the 2nd Nebraska departed on May 19, 1898 for Camp Thomas, Chickamauga, Georgia. William Jennings Bryan, who became the Colonel and regimental commander of the 3rd Nebraska regiment, was reported being at Camp Saunders with “[a] corporals guard of volunteers” when the 2nd Nebraska departed on May 19. No recruits had been accepted yet for the 3rd regiment as of May 19, but these men were temporarily used to maintain order and guard the state’s property at the camp. The 3rd Nebraska assembled and mustered in at Fort Omaha beginning about June 12, 1898 so the stay of the regimental “cadre” at Camp Saunders was also very short."
I recommend reading this very informative article on the 1st Nebraska Infantry here for details on the war and the unit where Joseph L. Cooper served.

The men of Company E enjoy Christmas dinner at
Camp Santa Mesa, December 25, 1898
The camp of Company E near the pumping station. 
Joseph returned to Lincoln after the war and worked as a day laborer. In 1920, he and Carrie were empty-nesters and he was running a second hand shop. I believe Jennie died between 1910-1920. In 1910 she was working in a factory. She is not listed as surviving on the obits of either Joseph or Carrie.

Carrie was greatly involved in the United Spanish War Veterans (USWV) Auxiliary and was a past president of the Lincoln Chapter. The couple lived at 1934 N 30th St in Lincoln for many years.

1934 N 30th St Lincoln
Joseph lived until 13 Dec 1930 and siblings Susie Cooper Jones, Chalkley Jared "Jay" Cooper, Jr., and Barton Gourley Cooper survived him. His wife Carried died 18 Dec 1944 in Lincoln.

See for update on Jennie L. Cooper Conklin go here.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Amos Munson Family: Robert Lee Fox, Ph.D.

Eleanor Parker Fox and Dr Robert L Fox

My 2nd great grandmother Mary Ann Munson's aunt Henrietta settled in Fayette County, Iowa, just down the road from where Mary Ann Munson and her husband William Custer Smith lived in Butler County. Henrietta had a large family who settle in Wisconsin and Iowa. Among those was Charlotte Vaughn, who was born 14 Jan 1853 in Ohio.

She married George W. Fox on 14 Jun 1869 in Fayette County and they had one child, Austin James Fox, who was born 22 Feb 1873 in Fayette County. Austin married Helen Carpenter Smith on 10 Dec 1902 in Fayette County and they had two children: Robert Lee and Karl George.

Robert Lee Fox led a very interesting life. He attended and graduated from Upper Iowa University in 1928 and went on to Columbia University where he received his master's and doctorate in Chemistry. He married Eleanor B Parker on 27 Dec 1931 in Fayette County (and married on 17 Dec 1931 in Manhattan as well). The couple had no children.

In 1934, years before the war started, he and his wife traveled to jobs at Roberts College in Istanbul, Turkey. Roberts is the oldest US college outside of the US, being a co-ed boarding high school established in 1863. Six years later, its campus would be built with the permission of the Ottoman Empire, in Bebek. Robert served as a professor of chemistry. After six years or so, they returned to the US, albeit via a very lengthy path just prior to the the US involvement in the  World War in 1941.

"They were delayed many times, and of course, due to the conditions In Europe were unable to take a direct route. Altogether it is estimated that they traveled between 13,000 and 15,000 miles, and by different means of conveyance. They were en route from July 8
Albert Long Hall/Hamlin Hall Roberts College
to Oct. 3, on which date They were en route from July 8 to Oct. 3, on which date they reached New York.
The attempt to secure visas and make preliminary arrangements began as far back as In May. About one month, after they left Turkey, was spent in "loafing" due to unavoidable delays at various places. Dr. and Mrs. Fox have been residents of Istanbul, as teachers for 7 years, and this is in a sense a sabbatical year for them, although their return to Istanbul depends on circumstances and future developments in world affairs, as well as their own inclinations. Dr. Fox has been instructor in chemistry at Robert College. and Mrs. Fox was teaching in a girls' school, both American institutions. Started Homeward July 8 They had left Istanbul soon after the school year ended, but were still in Turkey when they finally were able to get started, July 8, on the Ions homeward trip. By train, bus and car they traveled to Teheran, Iran (Persia) being on the road five days. From there "they traveled by car to a town on the frontier of India, and thence by train to Quetta, (military headquarters), where they were interviewed by military authorities. From there they went by boat to Bombay, where they waited three weeks for another boat. In forty days more they were in this country, the trip to New York from Bombay being around by way of Capetown, Africa.
Dr Harold Urey
Suspicion Rules in Turkey
Dr. Fox states that in Turkey there was no dearth of information regarding the war, radio broadcasts giving the communiques from both sides of the conflict. Seemingly Turkey  is favorable to the British, but there is an element there, as in other countries, which does not see eye to eye with the pro-British adherents. There is much suspicion, and arrests of suspected persons are quite frequent. Dr. Fox brought with him a photographic film, which he had kept for many months, it being unwise to have it developed there on account of the suspicions prevalent. On the return trip home it was not possible to use his camera, which at one time was taken from him and not returned until the end of that portion of the journey.
On board ship, many of the passengers were frightened badly when an armed ship suddenly turned at right angles to Its course and came toward them, until it was found that the ship they were on was American. The curious vessel was British. No further Incidents of an alarming nature took place, although they were in waters where trouble had been experienced by other boats. While spending a few days in New York Dr. Fox was selected by Dr. Urey, head of the chemistry department of Columbia University, to take a position on his staff of defense research workers" 
Thursday,October 23, 1941 Fayette County Leader from Fayette, Iowa · Page 1
Dr & Mrs Robert Fox
In winter 1941-42, he assisted Dr Harold C Urey on the Manhattan Project. He was then commissioned as a captain in the Chemical Warfare Service and in 1946 he was separated from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel. He served as a reserve officer of the newly minted Chemical Corps with a Mobilization Designation to research  and development activities at Edgewood Arsenal from 1946-1963, when he retired. A number of very interesting things occurred at Edgewood and if you have time to read, check this out. He served in many capacities including as assistant director of medical research (1958) and also assistant to the commanding general of the US Army Chemical Corps Research and Engineering Command. 

He was active in a number of Chemical professional organizations such as the Armed Forces Chemical Association and held leadership positions in the organization and its Chesapeake chapter.

Old Cherry Lane Theatre, New York City
Mrs Fox was just as accomplished as her husband. She was a 1926 graduate of Upper Iowa
University. In 1928, she earned her master's in speech and drama at Northwestern University. She was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1975 by Upper Iowa University. From 1928-1933, she taught speech and drama and directed plays at a high school in Mount Carroll, Ill, at Illinois Wesleyan University and at Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, Va.

In 1933, she appeared in several productions at the Cherry Lane Theatre, New York City.

The next year, she moved to Istanbul, Turkey with her husband. She taught at the American College for Girls in Istanbul before they returned to the United States in 1941, shortly before they moved to the Baltimore area.

Robert's wife died 19 Mar 1988. Robert lived until 22 Sep 2002 and died in Towson, Maryland and was buried in Fayette County.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Amos Munson Family: Franklin David Munson

Boscobel WI

We've covered all the rest of the children of Amos Munson leaving the oldest of two sons of the Amos Munson-Mary Ann Kearney union.

Frank was born 11 Oct 1846 in Trumbull County, Ohio and came with the family to  Grant County, Wisconsin in 1849/1850. Most of the family ended up in Iowa, but Frank stayed in Wisconsin, settling first in Boscobel, Rock County, then Marietta, Crawford County and then back to the lovely town of Boscobel.

Before finding a place to settle, he married Susan White, born in 1847 in Mineral Point, Iowa. They married 02 Jul 1868 in Grant County and started their family that would include six daughters. He worked as a common laborer and in manufacturing. At the end of his life, while living in Boscobel, he was streets commissioner. He died 25 Aug 1920. His wife Susan lived until 24 Nov 1935 and also died in Boscobel.

The daughters were:
Cool old Boscobel Gas Station

Ida May Munson, born 08 Mar 1870 in Cassville, Grant County. She married first Millard Callaway, who worked in a saw mill, and had a boy and a girl before Millard died in 1924. She then married a very well-to-do banker widower named Charles William Menkhausen. It was a short union, as they married some time after his first wife's death in 1936 and he died in 1947. Ida lived until 02 Jan 1964.

Effa Jane Munson was born 24 Nov 1873 in Boscobel. She married Avery L. Flansburgh on 14 Dec 1892 in Grant County. They had seven children. Avery was a general farm worker and later worked a stock farm. He died 03 Dec 1942 on his farm of a massive heart attack. His wife died 05 Feb 1969 in Boscobel at the age of 95.
Historic Downtown Boscobel

Alta May Munson, who went by May, was born 01 Sep 1876 in Boscobel. In 1895, she lived in Duluth, Minn and worked in a candy factory. She worked manufacturing jobs at home too. By 1920, she was home, caring for her parents. Her father died and she continued caring for her mother. She never married and the last census for her, 1940, has her living with her sister Nellie. She died 25 Mar 1965 in Boscobel.

Nellie Franklin "Kinnie" Munson was born 30 Sep 1878 in Boscobel. She also never married and worked manufacturing jobs as well. In 1920, she operated a smelter. In 1930, she was a live-in housekeeper for widower Charles Williams and cared for his two daughters.In 1940, she was a maid in a private home. She was the second to the last of the girls surviving - she died 18 Sep 1975 in Boscobel at age 96.

Margaret "Maggie" Munson was born 03 Dec 1880 in Marietta, Crawford County. She married Lou Fred Bock on 21 Sep 1908 in Clay County, Iowa. They had two kids, a boy and a girl. Lou was a soft drink manufacturer. Maggie died 30 Oct 1966 and Lou died 17 Nov 1961.

Jettie Rowena Munson was born 01 Jan 1884 in Scott, Crawford County. She married later in life after teaching elementary school on 11 Nov 1921 in Milwaukee. Her husband, Boyd Arthur Smith, a farmer. Boyd died 20 Oct 1965 in Racine. Jettie had no children and was the last of the girls to go. She died 20 Oct 1975 in Boscobel.
Franklin David Munson

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Remembering Florence Miller

DAVID OWENS m Sarah Hollar > LUCY OWENS m Ira Miller > FLORENCE MILLER m Charles Linsey

Today, I'm remembering my great grandmother, Florence Miller, who was born 132 years ago on a farm in rural Iowa. She was my paternal grandfather's mother.
Wedding of Florence Linsey, 1903
Florence Miller Linsey was born 17 Sep 1884 to Ira S Miller and Lucy “Lizzie” Owens Miller. The Millers farmed outside of Center Point, near Urbana. She married Charles Lindsey (later Linsey) 12 Aug 1903 in Vinton, Benton County, Iowa.

Florence and Charles had three children survive. Charles, a laborer, died in 1933, leaving Florence a widow left to support herself and the remaining child at home, Charles Jr “Junior.”

She went to work as the laundress and kitchen staff for the Iowa School for the Blind and could be seen walking the two miles each way back and forth to work each day until her retirement in the 1950s. She lived in the same home for many decades on the east side of Vinton.

The very small home, which had had a bathroom and small bedroom added in the 1930s to give it two bedrooms, originally had an outhouse that was later converted to a garden shed. Florence planted a large garden each year and from the bounty of that garden, was able to subsist quite well without outside assistance. The room most used in her home was also the largest – the kitchen. She spent hours upon hours each year canning vegetables and making preserves which would later be stored in the dirt cellar accessed by pulling up a rope in the middle of her kitchen floor and traversing the treacherous stairs to dimly lit room.

About 1962 in Vinton with son Leo and grandson
Once the children were grown and gone and the grand children and then great grandchildren came to visit, they could invariably be found either playing in the large back yard or in the small bedroom with the ancient erector set and tinker toys.

 At 72, she had a heart attack and the doctors, according to Florence, said, that the reason it didn’t kill her is that she walked so much. She blamed her health problems on hard work and the doctors said she’d live to 100 because of her hard work.

 A proud and often stubborn woman, she refused help of almost every kind, even as her hearing and sight began to fail. In 1980, at the age of 95, she was interviewed by the Cedar Rapids Gazette about her acquiescing and accepting energy assistance. She was quite perturbed by having to do so, but her small Social Security income and small work pension just didn’t stretch as far during those high-cost energy years.

She admitted to the Gazette, “I’m awful savin’ on my oil. I cut down, but the way my house is cut up, I have to have two fuel sources.” She had an oil-burning stove in her kitchen and gas heater in her living room. She added, “I was awful afraid I wasn’t going to make it last year. This takes so much,” she said pointing to the gas heater. “One month, it was $71. It took both checks.”

She stayed in her home, despite her growing blindness and the need for a cane and continued to care for herself until a serious fall in her beloved kitchen, breaking her hip at age 97. She spent some time in hospital and then moved to the Sunnycrest Nursing Home in Dysart, Iowa where she passed away, just shy of her 99th birthday. Her daughter Lucy and son Junior survived her. Her son Leo preceded her in death along with an infant daughter and two infant sons.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Civil War in Stephenson County, Illinois

Battle of Fort Donelson

Franklin Boyd
I was recently going through some muster rolls for various Illinois Infantry Regiments and noticed that the bulk of our relatives served in one of two places: in the earlier part of the war, many of the family joined up with Co B, 46th Illinois Infantry. It was a kick-butt regiment that saw a lot of action. It fought at Ft Donelson, the Battle of Shiloh, and the Siege of Vicksburg, among other battles.

It was organized in 1861 at Camp Butler, Illinois and mustered out in January 1866 at Baton Rouge, La. The company was discharged two weeks later in early February 1866. The original 3-year enlistment of these men expired in 1864. The government asked them to voluntarily reenlist. It met with great success:
"With the initial three-year enlistment of the Regiment about to expire, the Government issued General Order number 191, relating to the re-enlisting of Veteran Volunteers. This was to be a voluntary re-enlistment, and with the enthusiastic support of the officers and noncoms, three-fourths of the 46th Illinois Volunteer Infantry signed up on January 4, 1864, for another three years or less, depending on how long the war was to last. The re-enlisted Regiment now numbered twenty officers and three hundred and thirty four enlisted men, who were embarked on a steamer headed north. They reached Freeport, Illinois on January 23, where they proudly marched through the town to a hall where the citizens gave them a big reception and dinner. After the festivities ended, they marched out to the fairgrounds west of town, where they were given a 30-day furlough.
Having made a name for itself, the 46th Illinois was able to attract new volunteers to join the ranks. Recruiting offices were set up in Lee, Ogle, Whiteside, and Stephenson counties, hoping to bring the Regiment back to full strength by the end of the leave. On March 2, 1864, the Regiment left Freeport with a total of nine hundred eighty-seven men, heading south."
Included in this bevy of soldiers from both the original group and the later additions were the following family members:
  • Private Franklin Boyd (married Elizabeth Beams Cooper, youngest daughter of William Lloyd & Elizabeth Beams Cooper)
    Capt Robert Cooper
  • Private Amos J Cooper (son of John L. Cooper and Asenath Maples)
  • Captain Robert F Cooper (son of  Chalkley Jared Cooper and Margaret Thompson)
  • Private George Washington Cooper (son of John L Cooper and Asenath Maples)
  • Private Jonathan E. Thompson (son of Robert Thompson and Susannah Gourley).
  • Private Robert Scott Thompson (son of Robert Thompson and Susannah Gourley. Two of their children married Coopers)
  • Private Peter Wagner (son of William Wagner, brother to Mary Waggoner, wife of Peter Smull)
  • Private Jacob N Kryder (brother-in-law to Catherine Smull, daughter of Peter Smull and Mary Waggoner)
  • Private Jacob Lauck (brother-in-law to Emma Meyer Lauck, granddaughter of Peter Smull and Mary Waggoner)
Another Thompson, Private John A. "Jack" Thompson, brother to Johnathan E. and Robert Scott Thompson, served in Co A of the 11th Illinois Infantry and died in battle at Fort Donelson in February 1862.

The other Stephenson County-heavy company with several family members, was Company E, 147th Illinois Infantry. It was organized late in the war, at the beginning of February 1865 and was mustered out in late January 1866 They had a brief fighting history and mostly engaged in minor skirmishes and engaged with guerrillas.
Sgt John Smull

  • Sgt Johnathan Smull (son of Peter Smull and Mary Waggoner)
  • Private Samuel Smull (son of Peter Smull and Mary Waggoner)
  • Private Barton Gourley Cooper (son of Chalkley Jared Cooper & Margaret Thompson)
  • Private Alfred Kaup (his daughter Minnie Kaup married Chalkley Jared "Jay" Cooper, Jr.)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Alfred J Cooper, A Restless Guy

Marshall, Oklahoma

Alfred was the second of John and Asenath (Maples) Cooper’s nine children. He strikes me as a guy who just had the worst kind of timing. In September of 1857, he married Marian "Angie" Angeline Willard in Will County, Illinois.

In 1859, he trekked without his wife west to California. Unfortunately, he returned without having found his fortune - he got to the party very late and came back half-starved. He packed up the family and moved to Fairbank, Buchanan County, Iowa in 1866. They stayed for several years there, but on they would go. Their next stop was in Rooks County, Kansas, located in western Kansas. Though the boundaries of the county had been drawn in 1867, the first settlers did not arrive until 1871. The great blizzard of 1873 and the locust siege of 1874 made things very difficult for settlers. Upon the arrival of the Coopers in 1879, they set about building their sod house full of leaks, bugs, and snakes. Even though they avoided the scourge of grasshoppers in 1874, lesser bug infestations filled the sky several times during their life there, leaving disaster in its wake. Lina reportedly left school and was “sent out”  to work in the homes of  people in town to help with housekeeping and childcare at a rate of $0.50 per day to help the family make ends meet.  The Cooper were struggling mightily due to all kinds of issues including drought and commodities prices. They relocated once again, this time to Beattie in Marshall County, northeast of Rooks by a few hours in 1883.

In 1891, while still in Beattie, Alfred’s daughter “Bird” was engaged to Peter Bender. Bender, on the
board of the Life School, had the job to announce the results of ballots. He noted one evening that there were more votes cast than people voting, so he jokingly announced it. The suspected offender, an illiterate named Lem Goldsberry, took issue with the light-hearted announcement and attacked Bender. Bender was able to subdue him but during Goldsberry’s attempt to claw Bender’s eyes, Bender bit him. The finger became infected and it was later amputated.

The feud heated up further and culminated on December 14th:
Goldsberry drove past the Alfred Cooper home in his spring wagon, taking his two boys and a little Harry boy home from school. A few minutes later Pete rode into the Cooper yard to visit with Alfred and Bird Cooper. Pete was going to marry Bird Cooper. “I saw Lem back there,” Pete explained, “and he seemed to be in an ugly mood. I think I’ll wait here and give him time to get up the road.” He soon rode on, giving Bird a special good-bye smile and left. But Lem was waiting and had turned his team across the road to block Pete’s passage. The Harry boy recalled later that Lem drew his gun as Bender approached. As he dismounted from his horse, Pete pleaded, “Lem, Lem, don’t shoot.” Lem’s four fingers tensed and tightened on the handle of his gun. Pete turned to his horse. A shot rang out and Pete fell face forward to the ground with blood oozing from a gaping wound in the back of his head. Lem had then driven on to his home, satisfied that the loss of his finger had been avenged. Then, accompanied by his oldest son, he drove to Marysville and gave himself up to Sheriff Bentley. He did five years and left prison an embittered man, shunned by his community and his own family because he’d besmirched the family name.
Lina Cooper Debo
Noted Oklahoma historian Angie Debo's favorite aunt was Bird. In the book, Angie Debo: Pioneering Historian, University of Oklahoma Press by Shirley A Leckie, 2000, Angie's mother, Alfred's daughter Lina, was having none of Bird's dramatic nonsense over the death of Peter, which was spurred on by Alfred's wife Angie.
"Twenty-eight-year old Bertella Rosina, better known as Bird, was Angie's favorite aunt. Following her fiance's murder seven years earlier, Bird had been photographed, at Grandmother Angeline Cooper's insistence, in a black dress and widow's veil. Ever since then, Bird had seen herself as the "heroine of a romantic novel." Lina, impatient with her mother's and her sister's theatrics, informed Angie that their actions were foolish and arose from Angeline Cooper's attachment to "sentimental stories" that exaggerated the "romantic strain in her nature" - to everyone's misfortune."
Alfred & Angie's seven children were:
Elmer Cooper
Angie Debo Collection
Oklahoma State University

Alfred D., who you can read about here. He resided in Michigan for most of his life.

Lina, who married Edward Debo and can be read about here and here. These were the parents of Oklahoma historian Angie Debo.

Lieu Forrest was born while they lived in Iowa in March 1868. He married Grace Decker. They had three children: Ralph, Lewis, and Alfred James II Lieu and family also came to Oklahoma and he died in Garfield in 1940. His wife survived until 1944.

Ida Louise was born 12 Jul 1869 in Fairbank, Iowa as well. She married Zebedee Halsted of Decatur, Illinois in about 1893. They had four children: Mattie, Nellie, Pearlie, and Burton.Ida died 21 Aug 1953 in Independence, Jackson, Missouri. She lost Zeb 02 Oct 1924 in Independence.

Lieu Cooper
Angie Debo Collection, Oklahoma
State University
Bertella "Bird" Cooper also went with the family to Oklahoma. After the death of her fiance, she never married. She died in 1924 in Garfield.

Elmer J. Cooper was born 14 Oct 1874. He died in 1947 in Marion, Washington. It's believed he got to Marion in the 1920s. He was buried in Garfield, Oklahoma.

Nettie was born in Nov 1879. She remained single from the looks of things and spent much of her life (from at least 1913) in Oklahoma City boarding houses as she worked as a public stenographer. I haven't pinned down her death, but she was alive at least through 1933.

It looks like Alfred and Angie did not live together at the end of their lives. Both are listed as widowed in the 1910 census, with Angie living with Elmer and Bird in Marshall, Oklahoma and Alfred living in Major, Oklahoma with his daughter Ida Halsted and family. Angie died in 1915. In 1920, Alfred is living in Marshall with the Debo's. He dies in 1928.

Friday, September 8, 2017

John L Cooper's Kids


You ever get the feeling that a family  might be just a little odd? All the fragments and pieces I've put together on the John L Cooper family kind of leaves me with that impression -  just don't ask me what I'm basing it on.

Amos and Hannah Lloyd Cooper, Quakers, moved from Pennsylvania to Crawford, then Clark County, Illinois and later, their children settle primarily in the Stephenson and Winnebago County area. Many then moved on to other parts, including Iowa and Oklahoma.

Their son John L. Cooper, born 28 Feb 1803 in Pennsylvania, married Asenath Maples on 06 Oct 1832 in Clark County, Illinois. She was the daughter of William and Mary Field Maples, born in North Carolina.

The couple had nine known children. One I know nothing about: Clarinda, born 1833 in Clark County.

Alfred James Cooper was born about 1836 and married Marian Angeline "Angie" Williard on 04 Sep 1857 in Will County, Illinois. You can read about the meandering life of Alfred here. Alfred and Angie were the grandparents of noted Oklahoma historian Angie Debo. He was a pioneering spirit and ended up settling at last in Oklahoma. You can learn a little about the dramatic daughter, Bird Cooper, whose fiance was killed in a feud as well. He died in 1928.

Amos J Cooper was born in 1838 in Clark County and died 31 Aug 1867 in Pecatonica, Winnebago County, Illinois. He served in Co B, 46th Illinois Infantry during the Civil War. I'm not sure if he ever married or not, but he had no issue I could find. A farmer, he died of Tabes Mesenterica (TB) after being ill for six months.

George Washington Cooper, born 27 Jan 1842 in Stephenson County, married Hannah Phelps in 1893. She hailed from Ohio originally. George served as a private in Company B, Illinois 46th Infantry Regiment and was mustered out in 1866 at Baton Rouge. This regiment was involved in many battles and was well regarded for its bravery and gallantry in the field of battle. George and his wife had two children and also settled in Oklahoma. George died in Pawnee 18 Jan 1931 and Hannah died about 1907 in Blackburn, Oklahoma.

Hannah H. Cooper was born about 1845 in Stephenson County. She resided with her parents well into middle age. When they died, she most likely resided in the same home with her single brothers, though the 1890 Census would have been able to confirm that surmise. In 1891, this article was found in the local paper:

Hannah was "crazy as a hawk"
Hannah lived only two more weeks, dying at the Elgin Asylum on 16 May 1891.

John L. Cooper, Jr., was born 17 Oct 1845, Stephenson County. He died a single man on 16 May 1918 in Rock Run.
John Cooper, an elderly resident of Rock Grove township, living with a brother, Morton Cooper, four miles south of Rock City, was found dead in bed this morning. A coroner's jury said it was due to heart disease. He had been in feeble health for several years.
Mr Cooper was 74 years old, never married, and had always lived in Stephenson County. His brother, 72 years old, is also a bachelor.
Morning Star, Rockford, Illinois
Wednesday, May 15, 1918
His brother Morton, born 04 Mar 1849 in Freeport, Stephenson County, also remained single. He moved after brother John's death to yet another brother's home (Aaron) near Geneva, Iowa. I wonder if he had some type of mental disability that had him moving at 70 years old so far from his home to another relative?  After a year with Aaron, he moved to Shell Rock and lived with single brother Abraham. Morton died 16 Mar 1934 in Shell Rock.

Abraham was born in Nov 1851 in Freeport. He moved to Shell Rock, Butler County and in 1919, his brother Morton moved to his home from brother Aaron's home.  Abraham was ill for several years, but did outlive his brother. Though he was too ill to go to brother Morton's funeral, he managed to be the last surviving Cooper child and died at age 87 on 17 May 1939 of complications of age. Nephew Noah Burlin Cooper (son of Aaron and living in Rock Island, Illinois) was in charge of his burial.

Aaron W Cooper was born 08 May 1856 in Illinois and died 17 Sep 1920 in Geneva, Franklin County, Iowa. He married Anna Blasier on 13 Jan 1881 in Waverly, Bremer County, Iowa. They had two children one of whom died in infancy. They divorced about 1904 and he did not remarry. Aaron died in 1920.  She remarried to a gent named Robert A Dennis in 1905. He was a widower with a number of children. He died in 1922. She died in 1955.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Susannah Gourley Thompson, Oldest Rock Grove Resident


We don't have a plethora of southern antecedents. Most come originally from the Puritan northeast US, not the more free-wheeling commerce-driven settlers who landed in Virginia and parts south.

Yet, the Gourley's had long been in Loudoun County, Virginia. Their origins are most likely Scottish and their presence in Virginia goes back until at least the mid 1700s. I've found indications that they were Quakers. Waterford, the town in which Susanna's father Joseph was born, was a Quaker settlement started by Pennsylvanian Amos Janney in 1733. Joseph and his wife Grace Morgan's antecedents started from Pennsylvania. I'm slowly chipping away at the story.
The birthday gift giving list looks like
Who's Who of my family tree

Susanna was one of at least eight children born to Joseph Gourley and Grace Morgan. In some of my research of Grace's family, it appears they may have been part of the Keithian Quakers, a group that split from the Friends in 1690 over disagreements on things like water Baptisms, which the Quakers had foregone some time previously. These Keithian Quakers often ended up as Baptists. If you hear the term Baptist Quaker or Primitive Baptists, that's most likely what's being referred to. It walks like a Quaker and talks like a Quaker, but isn't a Quaker. This makes sense as most of the Cooper's who settled in Iowa ended up as Baptists.

This interesting story comes from a Gourley relative, Patty, who shared the information online:
"A letter from Mary Verniece Byrd, one of the descendants of Susannah Gourley Thompson, dated April 18, 1973, to Reeva Decker. Susannah Gourley, born 1801, married Robert Thompson, born 1799, in Louden County, Virginia. She was born in either Pittsylvania County or Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Susannah Thompson had a son Scott who was much younger than her other children and full of the devil. Scott's wife Marietta was alive in 1937 as my little boys and I stopped to visit her a few hours in passing through. It is through her that I got my history about Susannah Gourley Thompson as she knew her well before she died. She told me that Susannah Gourley Thompson said that she well remembered the War of 1812. She had 3 brothers who fought in it. Her father - Joseph Gourley- was too old but he hauled provisions to the soldiers at Point Lookout, Maryland. If you look on your map it is a point south of Washington, D. C. at the edge of the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River joined. She said she wore a blue dress and stood in a wagon, and waved a flag as the soldiers marched by. She would have been at least 11 years old." 

Susanna married Daniel Thompson about 1819. Daniel was born about 1800 in Virginia. Unfortunately, after having 11 children, he died in his 40s after their arrival in Stephenson County, Illinois.  Susanna's siblings spread out as well, some staying in various parts of Virginia and some moving to Clark and Crawford County (remember, there was a very large contingent of Quakers in the area), and then on to Livingston County or Stephenson County, and one to Champaign County, Ohio.

Susanna's son Daniel, born in 1828 in Virginia, married into the Quaker Cooper family, marrying Ann Cooper on 05 May 1850 in Illinois. They had seven children before he died prematurely at age 37 in Osage, Mitchell County, Iowa in 1864. His will made his wife not only the beneficiary of his estate, but the sole executor of Daniel's will.

Susanna's daughter Margaret Ann, was born 28 Oct 1821 in Virginia. She married a Cooper, as well, marrying Chalkley Jared Cooper on 28 Jul 1840 in Crawford County, Illinois. C J and Margaret had nine children before Margaret's death in 1880 in Rock Grove. CJ survived until 1885.

Susanna eventually became Rock Grove's oldest citizen. She had her 83rd birthday in 1884, but she still had a lot of life left in her. She resided with son-in-law CJ Cooper in some of the last years of her life. "Grandma Thompson," as she was known by all, lived on to the age of  97 and died of complications of age cared for by her daughter Grace. She outlived all but two of her children.

I hope to talk a little more about some of the other Thompson kids in a future post.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Magoons - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

tale of some of her family)

Harland Smith and Fannie Stout Magoon married on the same day as Harland's sister Eva and her new husband, Arthur Bryce, on 21 Aug 1881 in Plainfield, Bremer County, Iowa.

Fannie came from a very large family headed by Lowell Josephus Magoon and his wife, Rebecca Davis Magoon. The Magoons both hailed from New York and married in Michigan, where they started their family of what would eventually be 13 children, according to Fred Magoon's obituary. The Magoons moved frequently. Leaving Michigan, they headed to Wisconsin, where they stopped for a short time and then moved on to Chickasaw County, Iowa in about 1856, making them early pioneers
Fannie Magoon Smith
to the area. They stayed long enough for at least two of them to grow roots - Fannie and Fred. They stayed in Iowa while it appears the rest of the family headed for the West Coast, landing in northern California and Oregon. Lowell died in Aug 1898 in Columbia County, Oregon and his wife, Rebecca, died in 1906, reportedly in Gaston, Oregon. In 1900, she was living with her son, Lowell, in Washington County, Oregon.

Daughter Azilda married well to Thomas Benton Lott. Below find a brief article about their life on the occasion of their 50th anniversary. The couple died in Columbia County, Oregon.

Son Fred, who remained in the Plainfield/Nashua area, seemed to have a little problem with his temper. He was a painter while living in Iowa and his obituary glowed with his various positive attributes, but the news archives said something more - one of the issues involved one of our Plainfield Smull's! Fred died in 1931 in Waverly, Iowa.
A man named Fred Magoon was arrested by Constable Brown of Plainfield on Saturday, charged with using threatening language and, on change of venue, brought before Squire Hanchett for trial on Tuesday, when, owing to lack of evidence ont he part of the prosecution, the Justice discharged the prisoner.
Waverly Republican, Waverly Iowa
Thursday, January 20,1887
The early part of last week Magoon of Plainfield assaulted Mr Smull (ed note: Franklin Sylvester Smull, son of Johnathon Smull and Mary Jane Cooper) of the same place and it is claimed that in order to avoid arrest, after hiding for some days, went before a justice of his own volition and on pleading guilty of the offense and paying a fine of one dollar, was discharged. On hearing which Smull consulted the County Attorney who advised him that the course pursued by the defendant and justice was irregular and not conclusive and that he could have Magoon rearrested and properly tried, which was immediately done, and the prisoner taking a change of venue to Squire Watkins was tried before a jury who found him guilty. Messrs Kingsley and Billings appeared for the state and Jos. Empson for the defendant, who gave bail and appealed.
Waverly Republican, Waverly Iowa
Thursday, January 27, 1887
In the case of Fred Magoon on appeal by defendant from justice court, the jury brought in a verdict for the state.
Waverly Republican, Waverly Iowa
Thursday, March 3, 1887
Fred Magoon is boarding at the jail at present for disturbing the peace.
Waverly Republican, Waverly Iowa
Thursday, February 28, 1895
Willis E Miller, proprietor of the Plainfield tannery, filed a complaint in Justice Fortner's court against Fred Magoon, charging the latter with assault and battery. His fine and costs amounted to about $12 which he paid.
Waverly Republican Waverly Iowa
Thursday, August 10, 1905
Son Edwin Franklin Magoon died in 1922 in Yamhill County, Oregon.

Son Lowell John Magoon ended up in Paradise, Butte County, California, where he died at age 73, in

Daughter Ellen married Thomas E Mills while in Iowa, but moved to Oregon. They did not live together after 1900, perhaps even earlier. Thomas died in Portland in 1915 and Ellen died in 1929 in Vernonia, where her son Guy cared for her. He was also mayor of Vernonia.

Son Jerome Irving Magoon served in Company K, Iowa 13th Infantry Regiment and died of the measles on 01 Jan 1865 while in Alabama.

Son Byron George Magoon was a bit of trouble. He spent most of the early 20th century in trouble with the law, being sought by the Banker's Association, not supporting his wife who was able to secure a divorce from her nefarious husband, spent time in Oregon penitentiary, and died alone in 1923 at age 70.

BYRON G MAGOON, mentioned on page 188 of the September 1912, and on page 388 of the December 1912, Journal-Bulletin, on Oct 27, 1913 was convicted on a charge of forgery perpetrated against a bank member at St Helen's Oregon and sentenced to serve from two to twenty years in the Oregon State Penitentiary.
Banking: Journal of the American Banker's Association, Vol 6, 1913
Judge Hears Divorce Pleas But Delays Action
Laura L Magoon, Wife of Pendleton Piano Dealer, Say Relatives Support Her
Circuit Judge Morrow tried four divorce cases yesterday morning, taken them all under advisement, although he intimated that in two cases at least the decrees would be granted.
Laura L Magoon told the judge she was tired of depending upon her relatives for financial assistance. Her husband, Byron G Magoon, conducts a piano house in Pendleton, but Mrs Magoon said he has not properly provided for her. They were married June 23, 1901, but although she had lived with her husband for nine years, Mrs Magoon did not think she could be happy with him longer. She said he was very jealous, that he falseley accused her of infidelity, and abused her. She asked to resume her former name, Weigle. Judge Morrow as not wholly satisfied with the testimony.
BG Magoon, of Portland, Wanted byBanks, Arrested at Woodburn
Woodburn, OR, Aug 17 (Special) - BG Magoon of Portland, representing himself to be in the employ of the Norris Safe and Lock Co of Portland, was arrested here today by Constable Amos Beach, on information sent out by the State Bankers' Association, charged with having uttered worthless drafts.
Magoon came here today and after...missing rest of article
Oregonian, Portland Oregon
Sunday, August 18, 1912
Magoon Cited for Contempt
BG Magoon, a traveling salesman, was hauled before Presiding Circuit Judge Bronaugh yesterday afternoon to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt of court. JL brought suit against him in of article missing
Oregonian, Portland Oregon
Friday August 27 1909
Portland Salesman Charged
VANCOUVER WASH - BG Magoon, a salesman in Portland, was bound over to the Superior Court today, charged with larceny. Alton & Gail, oyster merchants, complainants. They charged Magoon would send in orders to the main house and collect his of article missing
Oregonian, Portland Oregon
Thursday, November 23, 1911
Alleged Forger Arraigned
B G Magoon, charged with grand larceny, was arraigned in the Superior Court today and pleaded not guilty. He was released on $1500 bonds. It is alleged that Magoon, and agent for Alton & Gall, of Portland, made a check payable to the company, endorsed and cashed it for $33.
Oregonian, Portland, Oregon
Tuesday, May 14, 1912