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Since this post was published, I’ve located more information – see below for the update!

A wealthy man and a postmaster
An argument over a ditch
A revolver came out and several shots fired
Some of them never hit
A shed to hide
A suicide

The story of the attempted murder of John James Johnson by Coleman Hawkins in a nutshell.  Just who were these men?  Were they more than just neighbors?

John James Johnson
John J. Johnson, oldest son and third child of Jacob and Ann (Shields) Johnson, was born on October 8, 1821 in Byrd Township, Brown County, Ohio.  He moved with his parents and siblings to Rush County, Indiana by 1840 and married Dolly Mullis on March 4, 1848 in Union Township of that county.  Dolly was the sister of Amanda Mullis, wife of John’s brother, James Wilson Johnson. 

The couple were enumerated in the 1850 US Census living in Marion Twp in Rush County with their one year old daughter, Ann M. Johnson.  John, 27, listed his occupation as a Farmer.  They aren’t easily found in the 1860 Census but they had moved to Stoney Creek, Madison County, Indiana by 1870.  Two children are living with them – Rosa, age 12, and John, age 7.  Dolly’s siblings, Sophia (age 55) and Thomas (age 42) are also residing in their household.  By 1880 Rosa had married and was widowed.  She and her son, Edward Milburn, age 3, were living with John and Dolly as well as brother, John. 

Elizabeth Blazer
Elizabeth was born to John and Mary Ann (Nelson) Blazer in the mid-1840s.  She was enumerated with her parents on the 1850 Census living in Fall Creek, Madison County, Indiana.  For a long time she was “missing”.  She would have been more than 20 in the 1860 Census and probably married, yet the name of her husband was unknown.  Unbeknownst to me – I had found her in the 1870 and 1880 Censuses – I just didn’t know it yet!

Coleman Hawkins
This man was born about 1832 in Virginia.  I only knew about him through newspaper articles and biographical data from “The History of Madison County”.  He is living in Stoney Creek Twp, Madison County, Ohio in the 1870 Census.  His residence was adjacent to the John James Johnson family.  He had a wife and eight children.  In the 1880 Census, Mr. Hawkins and his family are living in the same spot.  Seven of the older children are still living there along with two that had been born since the 1870 Census.  Coleman Hawkins would not see another census.

The Incident
Historical sketches and reminiscences of Madison county, Indiana (John L. Forkner, Byron H. Dyson; Publisher: Forkner; 1897; pages 965-968) recounts that Coleman Hawkins, a very wealthy man, had been a resident of Stoney Creek township for a number of years and lived close to the postmaster, John J. Johnson.  The Midland Railway – near Johnson’s Crossing, was in the vicinity of their homes.  Hawkins and Johnson had maintained a good relationship for many years until 1888.  At that time a ditch had been constructed that ran through the neighborhood.  On December 5, 1888 Johnson took a mail pouch to the train and saw Mr. Hawkins there.  Once the train had left the station, Hawkins inquired whether his neighbor could stop the construction of the ditch.  Apparently similar conversations had occurred prior for Johnson told him that he’d already answered that question.  Hawkins obviously wasn’t happy with that answer and pulled a revolver on Johnson, who turned and walked away – possibly not believing that the other man would really fire at him.  Yet Coleman Hawkins did just that.  

“. . .  the shot taking effect in the back just left of the spinal column and below the shoulder blade. Johnson ran into the stationhouse and closed the door after him. As he shut the door another pistol shot was fired, the ball just passing the door. Hawkins then rushed to the window, about six feet from the door, broke out a pane of glass, and fired four or five additional shots, two of which took effect in Mr. Johnson’s body, one on the left side of the face and the other in the forearm. One shot passed through the stove pipe in the room and another through the ceiling. Johnson now opened the door and ran out past Hawkins into a field that led to his residence. Hawkins, having emptied the chambers of the revolver, drew a second one and resumed pursuit of his victim. He fired four additional shots, one of which lodged in Johnson’s right shoulder. Four bullet holes were found in his coat in different places where his body had escaped injury. Johnson ran until his strength was fast failing, when he turned upon his pursuer and clinched him, forcing him to the earth.”

At that time Rosa Johnson, John’s daughter, ran toward the two farmers after she had heard the gunshots.  Without thought to her own safety, she wrangled the gun out of the hands of Coleman Hawkins.  Another neighborhood resident had heard the commotion and came to the two men.  Both men agreed to let each other go.

What should have been the end of the violence – was not.  Apparently Hawkins was either still enraged or looking toward the future of being tried for attempted murder, that he entered a barn on his farm and shot himself.  His wife and son, Rufus, had tried to follow him when they saw him go toward the barn but they didn’t reach him in time.

The ditch that seemed to lay at the center of the quarrel had been awarded by the court so that Johnson could drain his land.  He had requested Hawkins give him an outlet for three to four years but had been refused.  So Johnson had turned to the court and the court had forced the construction of the ditch through Hawkins’ land.

It was also discovered that the pistols that Hawkins had used to fire upon Johnson and to commit suicide had been purchased the day prior to the incident at the railway station.

The conclusion of the story read,  “The remains of Coleman Hawkins were interred in the Anderson cemetery, over which was erected a handsome granite shaft that can be plainly seen from the Alexandria road as the traveler turns to the right after passing out of the iron bridge crossing White river.  The widow of Coleman Hawkins yet resides on the old farm, and has earned for herself the reputation of being one of the best farm managers in the county, having carefully preserved the fortune left her by her husband.”

George Hawkins
The son of Coleman Hawkins born about 1860 ended up marrying the niece of John J. and Dolly (Mullis) Johnson on July 30, 1881.  Olive Belle Johnson was born in August 1865 to James Wilson and Amanda (Mullis) Johnson.  The couple had three children – Urmine, Vesta and Lucy.  It is believed that George died between 1884 and 1887 since Olive married again.

John Lafayette Johnson and Katie Blazer
My maternal great-grandparents resided in and married in Madison County, Indiana.  Katie’s father, Franklin Blazer, had died when she was a small girl.  I found her uncles, John and George Blazer but her aunts – Mary Jane and Elizabeth still remained elusive.  Or were they? 

I re-read a letter my grandfather, Glen R. Johnson (son of John and Katie), had sent to my cousin’s mother.

glen_letter

“My uncle on my mother side Uncle Cole Hawkins shot Uncle John Johnson and then killed himself.  My mother was a young girl at the time this happened and she worked for Aunt Lib Hawkins and Uncle Cole.  Uncle John Johnson did not die from being shot but he carried the bullet in his body until he died several years later.”

Somehow Coleman Hawkins and his wife, “Lib” (Elizabeth), were related to my grandfather through his mother.  Could Elizabeth Hawkins be Franklin Blazer’s sister, Elizabeth?  I didn’t have enough documentation to say for sure but I was going on the assumption that she was.  I couldn’t find any other relationship other than through the Johnson side and the marriage of my grandfather’s aunt to the Hawkins’ son, George.

I had spent some time earlier in my research to dig up information on the children of Coleman and Elizabeth in case I could verify any other relationships.

Mary Jane Blazer
Then I ran across a listing in the 1870 US Census for an “MJ Webb” living next door to Franklin’s brother’s family.  “MJ” and her husband, Marion, were enumerated with four children.  The only reason this jumped out at me is because in the George and Amanda Blazer household is “Jas Webb, blacksmith”.  Going back to the Historical sketches and reminiscences of Madison county, Indiana, I located an entry about Jasper Webb as a blacksmith.  The Blazer family obviously had close ties with the Webb family.  Could “MJ” Webb actually be Mary Jane Blazer?  The 1880 Census for the Webb family lists Marion Webb, age 40, living with his wife, Mary J. Webb, age 38, and children, Tena, Rufus, Lydia, Wilson, and Horace.  By the 1900 Census, Mary J. Webb is widowed and lists herself as a mother of 6 children – all living.  Living with her is her son, Horace, and daughter, Maud.  Mary J. Webb is also found in the 1910 Census and living with her is her daughter, Maud, with husband and small daughter.  The last census she is found is the 1920 Census living with her widowed son, Rufus.  The Indiana Room at the Anderson Public Library shows that Mary J. Webb’s obituary was published in the June 7, 1929 edition of the local newspaper.

Tena Stanley
I’ve had a photograph in my possession for quite sometime of Elizabeth Hawkins and Tena Stanley.  Trying to figure out how Tena Stanley fit into my family tree, I’d contacted the Indiana Room for Tena’s obituary.  They emailed me four news accounts.  I went back over each one.  The one published in the Anderson Herald on April 8, 1942 listed her survivors as one brother, Horace Webb, and a sister, Maud Peterson. BINGO! 

tena_stanley

That was more documentation that Tena Stanley had once been Tena Webb.  And with the picture I had of Tena and Elizabeth – that led me to believe that Tena and Elizabeth were related – which it appeared that Elizabeth was Tena’s aunt – sister of Tena’s mother, Mary Jane Blazer Webb.  

tenastanley_elizabethhawkins

So the tangled family tree looks like this:
Katie J. Blazer: My maternal great-grandmother’s uncle by marriage, Coleman Hawkins, who was married to her father’s sister, Elizabeth Blazer, shot her husband’s (John Lafayette Johnson) uncle, John James Johnson.  My great-grandfather’s aunt, Olive Belle Johnson, married Coleman and Elizabeth’s son, George HawkinsTena Webb married for the last time to Nelson Stanley, and was the niece of Elizabeth Blazer Hawkins and Franklin Blazer and first cousin to my great-grandmother, Katie J. Blazer.

So what happened to John James Johnson?  He lived four more years after being shot by Coleman Hawkins, dying from heart disease in an instant. 

UPDATE: Not only did Olive B. Johnson marry into the Hawkins family, but so did her cousin, John Marshall Johnson, son of John James Johnson - the man Coleman Hawkins shot!  Marshall – as he was known – married Hawkins’ daughter, Rosa Jane.  There was probably quite a bit of tension in the Marshall and Rosa Johnson household after the shooting incident – yet the couple, who married on December 17, 1881, remained married until Marshall’s death in 1921.  Their union produced seven children – Walter, Roy, Grover, Alta, James Leroy, Georgia and Arris. 

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The topic for the 79th Carnival of Genealogy is Family Reunions.  Since I have posted several topics about this subject, I won’t repeat! 

My first post was Family Reunions. This was an article concerning preparations for the big event. I also included information about the reunions I attended as a child.

This post, Past Reunions, concerned the newspaper articles and a Reunion Minutes book that was kept. It never ceases to amaze me the gems we find in news articles or through our ancestors’ careful note taking!

In the article, Wilt Cousins, I mentioned the reunions my maternal grandmother’s side of the family had each year and added more information about those in that branch. Toward the end of the article I urged everyone to document the pertinent points of the reunion – who, what, where, why, and how. If our ancestors had done this, we might not have so many questions now!

I’ve included several photographs scattered throughout all the articles – a mixture of very old to new.

Oftentimes reunions aren’t just large everyone-from-each-branch type of events.  More than not they are get-togethers for scattered members of the family when they come together for graduations, births, weddings, and funerals.  Such was the case for my family this past spring as we gathered for my Mom’s memorial service. 

P5060623

My first cousins – Jane, Judy, Jack (siblings), and my sister and I.  Two of our cousins weren’t able to attend and of course, my brother, was in our hearts.  We are the ones, now, to move forward and make sure our parents and grandparents and all those who have gone on before us, are kept in our hearts and memories.  We will be the ones to share stories, to reminisce and provide family “lore” for our children and grandchildren.

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I’m taking a break from writing – or thinking – about the series of articles I want to post concerning Death, Dying and Wading into the Legal System. There are other things to write about for the time being.

New Geneablogger stuff – I guess I’m a little behind the times (please read: too busy dealing with personal issues) to realize that Thomas MacEntee of Destination: Austin Family (and other great blogs) fame, has been hard at work on the GeneaBloggers blog/website. There’s a wealth of great information and a list of ALL of the Geneabloggers! It’s been around for several months so if you’ve been a little busy or preoccupied (like me!) – go check it out and bookmark it! I think it’s great that each week, new geneablogs are mentioned.

There’s also a new Social Networking site “just for genealogists” – GenealogyWise. Several of the geneabloggers have hopped on the new bandwagon in town – so far not many have abandoned Facebook. Are you on GenealogyWise? I haven’t signed up yet. For the time being, I have way too much on my plate to try to keep up with another network! Perhaps sometime in the future.

Another item I wanted to mention was the recent SoCal Jamboree that was attended by many of the geneabloggers – especially those who live in the Southern California region.  To read more about this event (sounds like it was quite a party!) – head over to Southern California Genealogical Society 40th Annual Jamboree. Then check other geneabloggers postings to read about all the good stuff they learned, the new friends they made, how they met their “idol”, and see all the great photos! I’ve enjoyed the Jamboree vicariously – since I’m not in Southern California and not able to participate in person!

Elyse Doerflinger has pondered why Genealogy Societies Need to Look Torward the Future over at Elyse’s Genealogy Blog. Wonderful content and she’s received tons of comments! Have I mentioned that Elyse is one of our “younger” sisters in the geneablogger world? She has an excellent perspective on so many issues!

Don’t forget to participate in several of the upcoming Carnivals and prompts! If you have writer’s block – or just keep bumping into that genealogical brick wall and need a break – these are wonderful ways to get inspired.

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When I set out on the journey to discover family origins, I was thrilled by some of the information I found.  My paternal grandmother had a sister?  No one ever mentioned her before.  Of course Gramma Amore had already passed away before I was born so there wasn’t any reason for me to ask if she had siblings.  Not only did I learn that she had seven siblings but she had three half-siblings born of her father’s first marriage.

As I researched my grandmother’s parents and brothers and sisters, I learned that her older sister, Julia, had been named after my grandmother’s grandmother – Julia Ann Lewis House.  And so it had been with her oldest brother – named after his grandfather – Florus Allen House.

So what became of Julia, I wondered.  My first clue about her came from my aunt.  She sent me some copies of Julia’s high school graduation program with a note that

Her name was on the program twice so she must have been smart.  She died young in childbirth.  I have never found out if the baby survived, but never hearing about it, I presume he didn’t . . . .  I guess she was dead before I was born because I never remember seeing her.

I found Julia’s marriage information listed on page 375 of the Coshocton County Marriages, 1811-1930; compiled from marriage records, Probate Court, Coshocton County, Ohio by Miriam C. Hunter, and published by the Coshocton Public Library in 1967.

percy_julia_tuttle_marriage

Percy J. Tuttle and Julia A. House were married on Christmas Day in 1906.  Further searching led me to a newspaper article about their wedding.  From the Coshocton Daily, printed on December 26, 1906:

House-Tuttle Wedding.
Twenty-five friends and relatives were gathered at the home of James W. House on East Main street on Christmas night to witness the marriage of Miss Julia A., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James E. House, and Mr. Percy Tuttle of Cleveland, Ohio. The ceremony was performed by Elder B. S. House of the Adventists church at 8 o’clock, the wedding couple being attended by Miss Carrie Leach and Mr Herman Irons, marched to the strains if Mendelssohn’s wedding march played by Miss Inez Waite and took their places under a beautiful arch. After the ceremony a sumptious supper was served. The bride was tastefully dressed in white silk draped in chiffon and the groom in the customary black. This evening Mr. and Mrs. Tuttle leave on the W. & L. E. for Cleveland for a few days visit with the groom’s parents. They then go to Mt. Vernon to take charge as manager and matron of the Mt. Vernon Hospital and Sanitarium.  Many beautiful wedding presents were received as the gifts of friends. Those present were Mr. and Mrs. James E. House, Mr. and Mrs. Allen Conger, Mr. and Mrs. Gray, Mr. and Mrs. John W. House, Mr. and Mrs. Sylvester Randles, Mrs. Bertha Rogensparger, Messrs. Floris House, Lester House of this city, Mr. and Mrs. Loyd Amore of Roscoe, Mr. and Mrs. B. L. House of Trinway, and Mr. and Mrs. R. T. Ragsdale, manager and matron of the Newark Sanitarium; Misses Carrie Leach, Inez Waite, Gloria Franklin, Mr. Herman Irons also of the Newark Sanitarium and Miss Grace Kline of the Mt. Vernon Hospital and Sanitarium.

A few things popped out at me as I read that article.  One – Julia wore a dress that seemed to be the equivalent of modern wedding attire as did her groom.  That told me that either her mother, Frances, was able to procure material and sew the dress or it was purchased and probably at a price not many people paid for wedding clothes then.    My great-grandfather had filed for a pension on his Civil War service as he had become infirm and wasn’t able to work or farm.  Had the family been very frugal in their living that they were able to afford material or the dress?  Had the dress been a hand me down from a previous relative? Or had Julia, herself, scrimped and saved in order to buy such a luxurious dress?

The other item that jumped out at me was it appeared that Julia had some sort of training in the medical profession since she and her new husband had been hired to run the Mt. Vernon Hospital and Sanitarium which was a tuberculosis hospital at the time.  Again I wondered where the money had come from for her to have had training in this field.  Or did she really have formal training or a series of “first aide” classes that qualified her?

More research led me to articles on her death.  The following is from page 3 of the November 28th, 1907 edition of the Coshocton Weekly Times, Coshocton, Ohio.

Mrs. Julia Tuttle Dies At Defiance
The family of James House, living in the eastern part of the city received a message at two o’clock this afternoon from Defiance conveying the sad news that their daughter, Mrs. Julia Tuttle had just died in that city as the result of child birth. Mrs. Tuttle was formerly a trained nurse in this city and was conducting a sanitarium at Defiance. She was about 27 years of age. The brothers and sisters of the deceased left for Defiance at once to attend the funeral.

And on the same day, this was published in the Coshocton Age, Coshocton, Ohio:

Sad Death at Defiance
Coshocton relatives received the sad news Saturday of the death of Mrs. Julia House Tuttle at her late home in Defiance. Mrs. Tuttle was just past 27 years of age and was born in this county; she was graduated from the Roscoe high school and after that took a nurses’ training in hospitals in Cleveland and Newark. She was married last Christmas day to Mr. P.J. Tuttle and their only child died a few days ago after having lived but a few hours. Mrs. Tuttle’s death was caused by blood poisoning.
She is survived by her husband, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James E. House of North Eleventh street, the following brothers and sisters, John, James W., Floris, Mrs. Ella Amore, Lester and the following half-brothers and sisters Mrs. Lucinda Conger Mrs. Bell Ruby and E.F. House all living in this county. She was also a cousin of Elder House of the Seventh Day Adventists church.
The arrangements for the funeral have not been made.

Those articles answered my question on her training.  Julia had taken nurses’ training in Cleveland – which is probably how she met her husband, Percy.  Their child – neither article mentioned if it was a son or daughter – had died soon after birth.  Julia, herself, had died as a result of the complications of child birth and had blood poisoning.  That information leads me to wonder if she perhaps was Rh Negative and her child was Rh Positive.  Or did she acquire an infection while in labor or giving birth that resulted in her untimely death.  Was the infection passed on to the baby or was this a premature birth?  All questions that may be forever unanswered. 

I didn’t find anything about her funeral but I do know that she is buried at Prairie Chapel in Coshocton County.  She shares a plot with her younger brother, Charles, who died in 1896 at the age of 12, and her parents who died years after her.  No mention of her child is on her tombstone.

julia-house-tuttle-side-of-stone

And a close up of her inscription.

juliatuttleinscription

So what became of Percy, I wondered.  Did he remarry?  Have other children?  In the 1920 Census, he and his wife, Adeline, were living at 12317 Osceola Ave. in Cleveland, Ohio.  There weren’t any children listed as living with them.  Percy was a nurse in Private Practice. Then I found his death certificate that recorded his death as March 26, 1932 at the age of 51 years, 10 months, 6 days of interstitial acute nephritis brought on by uremia.  He was listed as a Graduate Nurse who was self-employed. 

pjtuttle

Did Percy ever set out to become a Medical Doctor?  Or did he choose to be a nurse when such things as male nurses weren’t something you saw all the time?  Was he the equivalent of the modern day Nurse Practitioner?  How much education had he received?  How long had he and Adeline been married?  Had they borne children?  Did he ever get over the death of his first wife or that of his first born child?

Many questions will go unanswered but I feel as if I’ve learned more about my grand-aunt, Julia Ann House.

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In the late 1950′s through the early 1980′s, my grandmother’s paternal side gathered together each fall for the annual Wilt Reunion.  I knew names of these relatives but not really who they were or how they fit into the family.  As a young child (and then a young teen), I felt somehow on the “outside” of this family for I saw them once a year. 

Sometimes my grandmother’s first cousins would travel from Indiana to Ohio to visit her and sometimes my mom and I would accompany my grandparents to Indiana to visit them.  That was the extent of my interaction with my Wilt Cousins and extended family.

Going through the photographs my grandfather took to document the Wilt side of the family, has enabled me to actually put names to faces.  Even though there are an awful lot of pictures that don’t have labels, my grandfather was very good at labeling reunion pictures.

ina_wisehart_family_sep1959

Ina (Wilt) Wisehart Family

First Row Left to Right: Ward’s son, dau-in-law, Richard Wisehart’s son, Ward Wisehart’s daughter (nurse)

2nd Row L-R: Ward’s son, Mrs. Ward Wisehart, Ward (Ina’s son), Ina (Wilt) Wisehart, Richard Wisehart, Richard’s wife

The above was how the photo was labeled by my grandfather.  I’ve since found the names of these folks.  In the 1st Row: (I think this is) John E. Wisehart, his wife, Wava June Wicker, Ricky Joe Wisehart, the nurse is either Nancy or Janet Wisehart.  In the 2nd Row: not sure of the other son’s name, Ruth West Wisehart, Ward Wisehart, Ina Wilt Wisehart, Richard Wisehart, and Norma Gilmore Wisehart. 

Ina Wilt Wisehart is the daughter of Charles and Margaret (Fadely) Wilt.  Charles is the youngest brother of my grandmother’s father, Joseph N. Wilt, which would make Ina and my grandmother, Vesta, first cousins. 

Ina was the oldest child of Charles and Margaret.  She was born on November 2, 1896 (2 years older than my grandmother) probably in Henry County, Indiana.  She married George Wisehart on December 12, 1914 in Henry County.  (Their marriage record was found in Book 1, Vol. 4 of the Index to Henry County Marriage Records on page 392.)  The couple had 4 children: Ward (married Ruth Louise West), Mary Margaret (married Fred Borror), Linda Lee (married Joseph Daffron), and John Richard (married Norma Gilmore).  George died on May 13, 1959 and Ina died on November 23, 1967.

Mary and Fred Borror along with their ten year old daughter, Mary Lou, all perished in a car accident on May 29, 1952 (source: Freda Pierce, cousin to Mary Wisehart Borror).

Linda Lee (Wisehart) Daffron died at the age of 58 at a hospital in Richmond, Indiana. 

lindadaffronobit

Ward Wisehart passed away on February 26, 2000.  John Richard Wisehart is the last surviving child of Ina and George Wisehart. 

I’ve often wondered why the Wilt Reunions ended?  Did life get too busy for people to gather together?  After all the “first cousins” died, did their children decide it was too much trouble?  Were there a smattering of family gatherings that only included the immediate families of the first cousins? 

The last Wilt Reunion I attended was in September 1983.  It was held in Dayton at my brother’s home, and I was 6 1/2 months pregnant with my second child.  It would be the last time I saw many of my Wilt relations.

When you gather with family – be it immediate or extended – for a reunion, holiday, birthday, or even funeral – and photos are taken, please make sure to document the event and those in the picture.  That includes listing how each of the people in the photo is related.  Are they all first cousins?  Who is their common ancestor?  Are there in-laws in the picture?   Make sure to list who they belong with.  Are there non-related god-parents or close friends in the photo?  Make sure they are listed out and whose friends they are or why they were considered important enough to be part of the picture.  Write an account of the day especially the five W’s: Who, What, When, Where and Why.  How was the weather?  Did you have to travel?  How? What type of travel experiences did you have?  What activities did you or family members engage in?  What type of stories were told and by whom?  Is there a recording of this event?

Then keep your documentation, photos and recording (DVD) together or list on the documentation (as well as the DVD and photos) where all the necessary elements are.  Someday when your descendents see the photos, the DVD or read your account, they will feel as if they were there and there might not be as many questions as we have about our ancestors’ activities.

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This is an update to my post from July 24, 2008, Elusive Great-Great-Aunt Rachel, where I listed information I knew and what I had found concerning my maternal great-grandmother’s sister, Rachel Blazer.  Rachel had married Maurice (or Morris – depending on the document) Given about 1897 according to the 1910 Census that lists them as married 13 years.

While I was researching one of my brick wall ancestors (Franklin Blazer – Rachel’s father – who I will post about soon!), I ran across the name “Rachel Blazer” in the Chicago Tribune for the June 20, 1897 edition.  Listed under “Marriage Licenses” that were issued the day prior, were the names Maurice Given, age 38, residence listed as Madison, Kansas and Rachel Blazer, age 29, residence listed as Anderson, Madison County, Indiana.  Ta-Da!

marlic

marlic2

This is what I consider Serendipity!  I was looking for something else – albeit Rachel’s father – and discovered more informaton on Elusive Great-Great-Aunt Rachel!

(Source: Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1963); Chicago, Illinois;  20 Jun 1897)

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As I peruse my family file, I’ve come across some of the names listed in the reunion announcement of the first Amore-Werts reunion held on May 25, 1924 at the home of my great-grandparents, (William) Henry and (Mary Angelina) Annie (Werts) Amore.

amorewertsreunion

Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Amore – my great-grandparents

Mr. and Mrs. B.F. Baker – Benjamin and (Louisa) Clementine (called Clemmie) Baker.  Clemmie was the daughter of my great-grandparents, my grandfather’s sister.

Mr. and Mrs. Donald Baker – Donald Francis and Emma Isabelle (Endsley) Baker.  He was the oldest son of Benjamin and Clemmie Baker.  Don and Emma’s son with them: Francis Donald.

Clarence W. Amore and family – Clarence was the youngest son of my great-grandparents, my grandfather’s brother. His wife (or soon to be ex-wife) was Nellie Buchanan.  Children: Theodore William and Harold Winifred.

Mr. and Mrs. Foster – Harry and Anna Belle (Baker) Foster.  She was the daughter of Benjamin and Clemmie Baker.

H. Emmerson – I believe this should actually be Emerson W. and Clara Ethel (Baker) Levering.  Clara was the daughter of Benjamin and Clemmie Baker.

Mr. and Mrs. Cephas Amore – Cephas and Ada (Prior) Amore.  He was the half-brother of my great-grandfather.  Children with them included: Ralph C. and Pauline Elizabeth Amore.

Mr. and Mrs. John Reese – John Thomas and Laura A. (Amore) Reese.  Laura was my great-grandfather’s half-sister.  Children with them probably included: Ellis and Edna Reese (possibly also Mary).

Mrs. Dennis Brannon – Nellie (Amore) Brannon, wife of William Denison Brannon.  She was the youngest half-sister of my great-grandfather.

Mrs. William Seater – I believe this should be Gladys Laura (Spragg) Slater (wife of Charles William Slater).  Gladys was the niece of Nellie (Amore), Laura (Amore) and Cephas Amore, daughter of Jennie (Amore) Spragg, and half-niece of my great-grandfather.

Captain R. Amore – Rollo Amore, 5th child of my great-grandparents, younger brother of my grandfather.  Possibly there with his wife, Belle, and children, Beatrice, Florence and Ralph.

Rev. I.H. Amore – Isaiah Henderson (Zade) Amore, oldest son (2nd oldest child) of my great-grandparents and older brother of my grandfather.  Possibly there with his wife, Lulu, and son, Robert.

Miss Marie Buschagen – Marie died around Oct. 23, 2007 as Marie B. Cosier.  Her obituary listing doesn’t show any relationship, however, she is listed as there with Rev. I.H. Amore, so she could be a friend, a parishoner, or relative of his wife.

Mr. and Mrs. Therman Vensil – George Thurman and Cora Etta (Simon) Vinsel.  She was the 2nd cousin of my great-grandmother and daughter of William and Susannah Simon.

Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Barcroft – Elizabeth Ann (Werts) and Lewis B. Barcroft.  Elizabeth was the first cousin once removed of my great-grandmother.

Mrs. William Simmons – Susannah (Werts) Simon.  Susannah was also the first cousin once removed of my great-grandmother.

Alex Jennings – Alexander Jennings and wife, Sarah Ellen (Simon) (my great-grandmother’s half-sister).

Mr. and Mrs. John Jennings – Son of Alexander and Sarah Jennings, half-nephew of my great-grandmother.

Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Jennings – Son of Alexander and Sarah Jennings, half-nephew of my great-grandmother.

Belford McLain – Belford and Clara Pearl (Jennings) McClain.  She was the daughter of my great-grandmother’s half-sister.

Delbert Stone – Delbert and Emma Odessa (Jennings) Stone.  Emma was the daughter of my great-grandmother’s half-sister.

Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Werts – John Calvin and Myra Eudora (Sprague) Werts.  Calvin was my great-grandmother’s first cousin once removed.

Lloyd Amore – Lloyd and Ella Maria (House) Amore, my grandparents.

Roy Amore – son of my great-grandparents, my grandfather’s brother.

Mrs. John Shuck – Martha Ellen Adams, granddaughter of John and Elizabeth (Werts) Shroyer.  Martha was the 2nd cousin of my great-grandmother.

Mrs. Samuel Powelson – Anna M. Powelson, wife of Samuel A. Powelson who was the grandson of Charles and Susannah Maria (Shroyer) Adams.  Samuel was the 2nd cousin, once removed of my great-grandmother.

Mr. and Mrs. Walter Shackelford – Walter and Gertrude Pearl (Amore) Shackelford.  She was my dad’s oldest sister.

Charles Fisher – son of Martha Ellen (Shroyer) Shruck (married names also: Fisher/Wiggins) and George W. Fisher.  He was the 2nd cousin, once removed of my great-grandmother.

I believe it’s very important to decipher as much as you can from any news clippings that mention ancestors or collateral family members in order to ascertain the relationships.  This will also aide in determining the accuracy of the news article.

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According to the Library of Congress site, today (Dec. 1st) marks the 53rd anniversary of the Arrest of Rosa Parks because she refused to relinquish her seat on the bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama. Granted, I have never had to deal with the “back of the bus” issue because of my race, but I have faced a different type of bus issue.

In my sophomore year my stop was the last for the bus in the morning. Needless to say, when there are many junior and senior football players riding the same bus and not enough seats to hold three people (what the school district considered acceptable), I found myself being directed by the driver to “find a seat” even though there wasn’t any or sitting on the edge of a seat holding on for dear life every time we turned a corner so I wouldn’t fall out into the aisle. Then as a senior, I drove to school most of the year until one month when I wasn’t able to drive (due to circumstances I won’t go into here). I had to ride the bus for the first time since the middle of my sophomore year. After three days of riding the bus, the driver basically told me that since I wasn’t “included” on the original bus passenger list, there really was no room so I couldn’t ride any more. Basically I was being kicked off the bus because I’d found other ways to get to school for almost two years.

On this day in history Agon debuted by the New York City Ballet.  The composer and choreographer, Igor Stravinsky and George Ballanchine, had fled their homeland of Russia after the Revolution and settled in the U.S.  They, like Rosa Parks, dealt with cultural and safety issues and some form of discrimination.

Are there any persons in your family or ancestry who fled their homeland due to discrimination or a difference of political views?  What about persons of any race who was told to go to the “back of the bus” (or something like that) for reasons unknown?  How did they deal with it?

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Some of my earliest memories involve family reunions – whether they were impromptu gatherings with the local family members on the weekend or planned affairs requiring travel to another city or state.  There were reunions that continued throughout my childhood and reunions that began during my childhood.  Before I came along there had been others.

On the paternal side of the family, what once had started as the Amore-Werts Reunion became the Amore-Baker reunion.  Originally, it was to bring together the families of my Great-Grandfather William Henry Amore and my Great-Grandmother Mary Angelina Werts.  The very first reunion was held May 25, 1924 in Roscoe, Coshocton County, Ohio at their home with about 100 persons attending.  This is the newspaper clipping about the gathering:

Other reunions were held and by the time I began attending (in the ’60s), they had changed to the Amore-Baker reunion.  This merged the Amore family with the Baker family (my grandfather’s sister – the only daughter of Henry and Annie Amore – married a Baker).

These reunions were held at the Grange Hall on the Coshocton Fairgrounds in July each summer.  There was plenty of good food, games (horseshoe, softball, frisbee) and family chat interspersed with the normal “business” part of the reunion – election of the following year’s officers, reading of the business minutes, a treasurer’s report, and planned entertainment.  Up to 80 persons attended these reunions.

My dad’s siblings held a reunion once each summer as well.  The first one was at my Uncle Paul’s home in St. Clare Shores, Michigan in the summer of 1967 attended by all but one of the children of Lloyd and Ella (House) Amore and their families.  Each summer the Descendents of Lloyd and Ella Amore met at one of the sibling’s homes.  The second year we held the reunion at our home outside of Dayton.

(Left to Right: Norman, Gene, Gail and Paul Amore)

My grandmother’s family had the annual Wilt reunion every year.  For many years it was held in New Castle and some times at individual homes.  A newspaper clipping about the 1959 reunion follows:

(Left to Right: Clifford, Vesta, Nellie and Clarence Wilt)

When I was close to adolescence, my grandfather and his two first cousins, Glen O. Blazer and Ada Blazer Black, decided to hold the Johnson-Blazer reunions.  Most of the time these were held in Urbana, Champaign County, Ohio at the home of Glen and Nina Blazer.  Once we hosted the reunion at our home.

(Left to Right: Glen Johnson, Glen and Nina Blazer, Ada Black Blazer)

The descendents of my 2nd great-grandparents – Emanuel Bushong Stern and Nancy Caylor Stern – (Stern Reunion) was held at Beaverton, Michigan in the early in July 1972.  It was held on a descendent’s farm.

Long before I came along, there was also the Caylor reunion for the descendents of Abraham and Susannah (Miller) Caylor.  The only information I have about these reunions is a few pictures with the words “Caylor Reunion” on the back.

My grandfather’s family also held reunions prior to my time.  They ended about 20 years before I was born.  These were the Johnson-Shively reunions.  I have as much information about these as I could hope since I have the actual Reunion Book in my possession.  It includes minutes from each reunion held, those invited, births, deaths and marriages recorded each year, and addresses.

One of my Johnson cousins scanned the photo taken at the first Johnson-Shively reunion and shared it with me.  I don’t know who the photographer was so I would like to thank my cousin, Virginia, for allowing me to have a copy of this.

**************

Minutes (transcribed) from the Minute Book:

Organization Aug 16 – 1915

Johnson and Shively reunion organized Aug 16, 1915 at the home of J.L. Johnson 99 Indiana Ave. Anderson, Indiana. Several relatives and minds were invited to this home in honor of J.W. Johnson. “J.L. Johnson’s father”. It being his birthday. He being the oldest of the Johnson family now living.

A great number of relatives responded from all over the state and a general good time was enjoyed by all.

At the noon hour a sumptious dinner was served. This being one of the most important events of the day was enjoyed by both young and old to the fullest extent.

Before departing for their several homes it was decided that we meet yearly and the following officers were duly elected

                        President          J Milton Johnson, Lapel, Ind.
                        Secretary          Frank Shively, Anderson

A motion was made and 2nded to meet the next August at Riverside Park, Anderson, Indiana.

Business being concluded all departed for their homes thinking it a day well spent.

**************************

In July 2002, the 1st “Cousins” reunion was held for the Descendents of Glen Roy Johnson and Vesta (Wilt) Johnson – my grandparents.  It was held at my cousin’s home outside of Dayton, Ohio and attended by all but two of the cousins and their families.

Other gatherings that we generally don’t consider “reunions” are when we are in Ohio or Missouri to visit.  This past summer most of the family gathered at my in-laws’ home to celebrate their 60th Wedding Anniversary.  The last time most of my husband’s side of the family was together were either at funerals or the 50th Anniversary celebration of his parents.  In Ohio, most of my cousins gather together for a pot-luck meal so we can all visit.

 

News Clippings:

Amore-Wertz Reunion: Coshocton Tribune, 550 Main St., P.O. Box 10, Coshocton, OH 43812; May 5, 1927

Amore Family Has Reunion: Xenia Daily Gazette, 30 South Detroit Street, Xenia, OH 45385; August 22, 1968

Wilt Reunion: Anderson Daily Bulletin, 1133 Jackson St.; Anderson, IN 46016; September 8, 1959

Johnson-Shively Reunion: Unknown newspaper; clipping emailed from a cousin.

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There’s a running joke in my family that my dad’s side of the family are either teetotalers or they drink like a fish.  Apparently a bottle of pimentio extract caused quite a stir back in 1927.

 

I guess that not even this was allowed during Prohibition! 

Background: Stanley Amore was my great-grandfather’s nephew (1st cousin to my grandfather).  He was born in January 1880 to George Washington Amore and Catheirne Burden.  Stanley was a restauranteur, the oldest child of the family, never married, and died on September 30, 1929 at the age 49 from Bright’s Disease.  He was interred at Plainfield Cemetery in Coshocton County, Ohio.

News Clipping Source: The Coshocton Tribune and Times Age; Coshocton, Ohio; Vol. XVIII, No. 137; Front Page; Tuesday evening, January 18, 1927

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