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Archive for September 24th, 2008

Not Really News

As I was going through a newspaper printed the day my grandmother, Ella (House) Amore, was born – June 22, 1882, I was struck by the type of products and services offered.

  • Opium – advertised by a dr.
  • Drunkeness Easily Cured by Leslie E. Kekley, M.D.
  • Make Hens Lay by giving them Horse and Cattle Pills
  • New Rich Blood by taking Parson’s Purgative Pills
  • Noise Collars
  • Kidney – Wort for the permanent cure of constipation
  • Band and Military Uniforms

Other items of interest in the “gossip” section include:

  • A church had to get a prescription in order to have wine for communion
  • A lady sued her ex-fiance for breach of promise and received $700 in settlement
  • A butcher who sold meat from a steer that he killed due to cancer, was bound over for the grand jury
  • A man threatened his wife’s lover until he admitted the affair then was tied to a post and castrated.
  • 1300 men were confined in Ohio’s penitentiary but only 91 for life.
  • The “Sunday” law stopped being enforced in Columbus.
  • A man said his horse was 80 years old.
  • A man was almost sentenced to two years in prison for vagrancy until he admitted he just inherited two million dollars.
  • A baby was found near the railroad tracks after it had been born – someone threw the baby off the train.

What was happening the day one of your ancestors was born?

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My dad remembers his mother’s youngest brother with fondness.  Born Alva Lester House on May 9, 1886 in Coshocton County, Ohio, he was the youngest of James and Frances (Ogan) House’s eight children.  Somewhere along the line, he acquired the nickname of “Doc” even though he went by his middle name, Lester.

 

Lester and Mary Lucy Besser, daughter of Isaac Besser and Mary Thornsley, were married on June 13, 1908.  Lucy, as she was known, was just over 16 years old.  On February 28, 1910 their first child, Arthur Joseph House, was born in Tuscarawas Township, Coshocton County.  On April 16, 1910 the couple and their son were enumerated in the James E. House household living at 423 N. Eleventh Street in Tuscarawas Township, Coshocton County.  Lester is working for a pottery company as a kiln worker, possibly at the Pope-Gosser China Company located on Seventeenth Street.

 

 

Lucy’s mother, Mary Lucy (Lucy) and step-father, Noah Deeds, lived on the same street at house number 336.  Lucy’s father had been killed in a coal mine accident when she was still a child. 

 

Four days after the census taker left, little Arthur came down with pneumonia.  At just two months old, he contracted meningitis and died on April 29, 1910.  Lester and Lucy faced their first tragedy as husband and wife.  The baby was buried two days later in South Lawn Cemetery in Coshocton. 

 

 

Two years later, Esther Annie House, was born on April 7, 1912.  She lived only 18 hours before dying of lobar pneumonia. She was buried next to her brother in South Lawn Cemetery. 

 

 

Not but a little over a month later, as the couple were enjoying some time at the home of Lucy’s mother and step-father, Lucy Thornsley Deeds, fell out of her chair by the window of her home and died of a heart attack.  The woman was about 42 years old.  Once again, Lucy had to overcome a loss and wade through her grief.

 

 

 

The couple finally had a child they could nurture when Georgia Evelyn House (referred to as Evelyn her entire life) was born on March 11, 1914.  Their joy continued as a healthy son, Jarold House, was born two years later on May 26, 1916.  Unfortunately the year previously, Lester had lost his mother, Frances (Ogan) House, to pulmonary tuberculosis.

 

Lucy wasn’t in the best of health as the family had lived in Colorado about a year but returned to their hometown on account of her health.  The family also lived in Dennison, Pennsylvania where Lester worked in the shops but returned to Coshocton in September 1919. 

 

The 1920 US Census taken on January 8th, shows that the couple is residing, once again, at 423 North Eleventh Street with Lester’s father, James. The census taker must have asked for the first name of occupants as they are listed as James E. House (head), Alva L. (listed also as Head), Mary L. (wife), Georgia E. (daughter), Jarold E. (son).  There was also another child – one still unborn – as Lucy was pregnant.

 

A little over a month later, the young mother contracted the Spanish flu, which had been the cause of a worldwide pandemic that had begun two years previous and would continue for several more months, then pneumonia set it causing labor.  It is unknown how far advanced the pregnancy was, however, the son that was delivered on February 14th, was stillborn.  Lucy died the following day.  The baby was buried with Lucy next to the other two children, in South Lawn Cemetery. 

 

 

 

 

 

Lester had to pick up what was left of his family and move forward.  His small children were also ill with the flu but would go on to recover.  He had to move beyond his loss and grief.

 

Part Two: How much more loss and grief can this famliy withstand?

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Vesta Johnson at Tomb of Unknown Soldier
(photographed by Glen R. Johnson)
Original photo owned by Wendy Littrell (Address for Private Use)

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