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Archive for the ‘Occupations’ Category

(I started this blogging prompt late in the month so will try to catch up!)
Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist has listed blogging prompts for each day of March to celebrate Women’s History Month. The blog prompt for March 12 – Working girl: Did your mother or grandmother work outside the home? What did she do? Describe her occupation.

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W.F. Clawson store in Anderson, Indiana

My maternal grandmother, Vesta Wilt, helped out in the store owned by her step-father, William Frank Clawson, prior to her marriage.  The Clawson’s store was located in Anderson, Indiana. That is about the only job outside of the home she ever had. Vesta was better known for being an excellent homemaker and making so many of her family and friends feel welcome in the homes she shared with her husband, my grandfather, Glen R. Johnson. He always held a position of importance in the military so my grandmother was always prepared to entertain other officers.

My paternal grandmother, Ella (House) Amore, worked in the Coshocton Glove factory. I don’t know if it was before she was married or after she was married with children.

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Mary Amore using her knitting machine

Mom spent more time working outside of the home than she did as a full time homemaker. She worked as a bookkeeper, a seamstress, a grant writer, a secretary, and in accounting.  She didn’t complete her working “life” until 2003 – at the age of 81. With only a high school education, Mom was very fortunate to obtain some of the positions that she had. As a small child, I was lucky that she was a stay at home mom for awhile. When she did re-enter the workforce, it was as a seamstress for a drapery manufacturer. Then a few years later, she went to work for Apple Manufacturing in downtown Dayton. They worked on contracts for the U.S. Army making cargo covers among other items. It was heavy, dirty work and she didn’t get much more than what the law allowed for minimum wage. Very rarely did she have to miss work due to illness because if she had, she would not have gotten paid. She didn’t have much in common with the people she worked with. Yet she was there for almost 10 years before the government contracts stopped and the plant closed its doors. She painstakingly sent out feelers and resumes and stayed employed. Not only was she a professional seamstress out in the workforce, but Mom was a professional home seamstress. She was very good and for awhile when I was in elementary and middle school, she had regular clients who came to our home. She mainly did alterations but ocassionally would sew clothes – even our neighbor’s wedding dress. She had a knitting machine (see picture above) and took classes on how to be an instructor. Dad and I would drive her to other lady’s homes so she could teach others how to use the machine. Now that knitting machine is mine.

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Mom as a Senior Aide & Grant Writer at the Fairborn Senior Center – mid 1990s

(All photos – original and digital owned by Wendy Littrell, Address for Private Use)

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Recently, I posted the article, Helping Hands, for the 88th Carnival of Genealogy’s theme on “Volunteerism”.  That post started the wheels in my brain turning, and I wondered, “Just what type of organizations did my family and ancestors join? What were their roles? How long did they continue their associations? What type of ‘rules’ were required or the type of paperwork submitted in order to become affiliated with those groups?”  So let’s dig in and find out! (Note: when I started writing this article several days ago, I didn’t realize just how many organizations and groups – civic, professional and fraternal – my family had joined.  I’ve realized that I need to break this post into sections.)

Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.

When I volunteered to be a leader for two of my daughters’ troops, all I had to do was fill out an application form and commit to attending the Service Unit meetings (once a month) and hold regularly scheduled Troop meetings.  In order to participate in field events, I needed to have one other adult (preferably a co-leader or a parent) with me and have completed a CPR/First Aid Course.  Toward the end of my “leader” days, Girl Scouts were also requiring background checks.  I was a Girl Scout Leader for my oldest daughter from her 3rd grade year until she was in high school.  I was a Leader for my youngest daughter through her Kindergarten year through her 4th grade year (the two overlapped!).   As a member of Girl Scouts, I only participated through two years of Brownies and six weeks of “Girl Scouts” (the term then for when a girl “flew up” to the real scouting program).

History of Girl Scouting: Organized on March 12, 1912 by Juliette Gordon Lowe.  She had met Lord Baden-Powell while in England and became interested in the “new movement” of Girl Guides and Boy Scouts. 

Boy Scouts of America


My grandfather was a member of the Boy Scouts as a Scoutmaster and received the Silver Beaver Award.  Today, adult volunteers must submit an application, attend required Youth Protection training, and follow the Boy Scout Law and Oath.  Women were once only allowed to be “Den Mothers” but today can hold any Cub Scout Leadership position.  Girls are allowed to participate in the Venturing and Explorer programs however the Eagle Scout badge is only for males.

History of BSA: Founded in England in 1907 by Robert Baden-Powell and incorporated in America by W.D. Boyce on February 8, 1910.  The Silver Beaver Award is an award for distinguished service that is given by the Council.

White Shrine of Jerusalem


My grandparents were members of the White Shrine of Jerusalem for several years.  This is not a “racial” organization – the “white” refers to the purity of Christ.  Membership is for women who have been active members of Rainbow Girls or Job’s Daughters for at least three years and have attained the age of 18.  Women who are related to a Master Mason are also eligible to join.  It’s purpose is Fraternal, Charitable, and Spiritual.  To join this organization obtain a petition from someone and complete the necessary information and submit with an initiation fee.  After confirming a Masonic affiliation, a vote is taken and a potential member will receive the results and a date for initiation.

Free & Accepted Masons

My grandfather was a member of Michael L. Finnell Lodge #711 located in the 8th District of Ohio of Free and Accepted Masons.  He reached the 33rd Degree many years before he passed away.  To become a member of the F&AM, one must contact the secretary for the nearest lodge and schedule a time to be visited by two members of the lodge who would recommend you for membership. Qualifications include: a resident of the state for specified period of time, be at least 19 years of age, believe in a Supreme Being, live a moral life, not an advocate of government overthrow, and read and write English.

History: Freemasonry was founded in 1717 in Londong, England and is a fraternal organization.  The traditions are founded in the building of the temple of King Solomon and the ceremonies use the tools of stonemasons that symbolize truth and moral lessons.

American Legion

My grandfather was a past commander of the Dignam-Whitmore American Legion post 526 which is located in Greene County, Ohio.  Anyone on active duty or has served in an eligible war era (WWI, WWII, Korean War, Viet Nam War, Grenada, Lebanon, Panama, Gulf War – 1990 to present) is eligible to become a Legionaire.  The American Legion Auxilliary is for women who are related (spouse, daughter, mother, sister, grandmother, granddaughter, great-granddaughter, etc.) of an American Legion member or deceased member.  Sons of the American Legion are for those male descendents of an American Legion member.

History: The American Legion was founded by WWI veterans in 1919 in order to assist disabled veterans and their families.   They also helped maintain a strong defense.  One achievement for the American Legion has been the GI Bill of 1944 that helped WWII veterans.  They have fought to increase health care for veterans and were instrumental in getting compensation for victims of Agent Orange, undiagnosed Gulf War illnesses and much more.

Order of the Eastern Star

My grandfather was Past Worthy Patron (1957) of Aero Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star and my grandmother was a charter member of the same chapter, No. 536.  My grandfather was honored upon his death by the Aero Chapter for his service of 30 years and 8 months.  Membership is for men who are Masons and women with specific Masonic affiliation.  Women are also eligible if they have been members in good standing for three years of Job’s Daughters or Rainbow Girls and have attained the age of 18.  To become a member one must talk to a current member of the local chapter and submit a petition.   It is not a secret society and members must believe in a Supreme Being.

History: click here to read about the three different time periods of Order of the Eastern Star history.

National Association of Balloon Corps Veterans (NABVC)

Since my grandfather served in the Balloon Corps during WWI, he was automatically a member of this group and in the mid-1950s, was elected as National Commander at one of the national conventions.  Although, not active in recent times, as all members have passed away, the NABVC was instrumental in 1975 who assisted the British WWI Balloon Veterans in locating one of the last Caquot Type R balloons from that era.  After restoration, the balloon can now be seen hanging in the United States Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. (Picture is of the Caquot Balloon hanging in the US Air Force Museum; photographer – Wendy Littrell; digital image held in private)

National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE)

My grandfather, having been a federal employee for many years, was part of this organization and served two terms as regional Vice President.  To become a member one must be an active federal employee or a retired/former federal employee.  One of the perks my grandfather experienced happened on October 18, 1971 when he traveled with NARFE to the White House.  He enjoyed a meeting with President Nixon and received a photo of the group. 

History: Formed in 1921, this association helps improve and safeguard earning rights and benefits of active and retired federal workers, their families and survivors.

Antioch Shrine Temple 

My grandfather was also a member of the Antioch Shrine Temple in Dayton, Ohio.  One of the qualifications to becoming a Shriner was to be a Master Mason.  This is a fraternal organization based on Masonic principles.  The Shriners supports Shriners Hospitals for Children.

History: The Shriners were organized out of a meeting in New York of several Master Masons which included physicans and actors.  The first temple was organized in the New York City Masonic Hall on September 26, 1872.  In 1888 there were 48 temples and over 7,000 members in the United States and Canada.  The Shriners came to the aid of those victims of the 1889 Johnstown (Pennsylvania) flood. At the 1920 Imperial Session in Oregon, Freeland Kendrick of Philadelphia wanted to establish a Hospital for Crippled Children. The first hospital was in Louisiana. In 1996 the hospitals became the Shriners Hospitals for Children as they had updated their care to provide treatment for burns, spinal cords, neurological, cleft lip/palate and a multitude of others. The hospitals provide care at no cost to the patient or their families – only what is best for the child.   Today there are about 400,000 Shriners in 191 temples all across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Central America.

High Twelve Club

As a Master Mason, my grandfather also belonged to the High Twelve Club, Chapter 69 of Dayton.  Members must be Master Masons however anyone can attend meetings.

History:  The first club was chartered by E.C. Wolcott on May 17, 1921.  It is a group of Master Masons who support those Masonic causes that emphasis patriotic events and youth support.  It is an association that is dedicated to the unity of Master Masons without the formal ritual of a lodge.  The name came from the term “high twelve” for noon which is the time many clubs met.

Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite

The Valley of Dayton is the chapter my grandfather had his membership. The Scottish Rite is open to all Master Masons in good standing.

History: the first Scottish Rite Supreme Council was founded in 1801 in Charleston, South Carolina.  The organization shares the same belief as other Masonic organizations that there is no degree higher than a Master Mason.  Even though there were members of Scottish ancestry, the organization originated in France in the early 18th century.

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)

My grandfather was a member of Post 6861 located in Fairborn, Ohio.  To be eligible one must have received a campaign medal for overseas service or served 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days in Korea or received hostile fire or imminent danger pay.  Members must also be U.S. citizens, currently in the military or have an honorable discharge and have served overseas.  There is also an organization called VFW – She Serves that is exclusively for women who honors the sacrifce of female veterans who served overseas.

History: In 1899 veterans of the Phillipine insurrection and the Spanish-American war founded local organizations to get benefits and rights for their service.  When they arrived home, there weren’t any medical care or pensions for them and most were left to fend for themselves.  The VFW helped with the passing the GI Bill for the 21st Century in 2008 and fought for the improvement of VA medical facilities.  Today there are over 2 million members in 8100 posts worldwide.  Their mission is “honor the dead by helping the living.”

Voiture 40 and 8

As a WWI veteran, my grandfather was a member of this independent – by invitation only – organization with the long name of “La Societe des Quarante Hommes at Huit Chevaux” - but commonly referred to as “Forty and Eight”.  Invitation is extended to honorably discharged veterans and those who are honorably serving in the United States Armed Forces.

History: Founded in 1920 by American veterans returning from France, this organization’s aims are charitable and patriotic. The logo reflects the WWI origins as Americans were transported to the front lines by railroad cars that bore the stenciled numbers “40/8″.

Association of Old Crows

My grandfather was a member of Kittyhawk Chapter 70 in Ohio.  Members are people who are engaged in the development of related areas of electronic warfare (military employees, civil service employees, scientists, educators, etc.).

History: Organized in 1964 to exchange information on operational and technical parts of defense electronics and like fields. For more on the history please click here.

Reserve Officers Association of the United States 

Members are Reserve Officers in U.S. Armed Forces. 

History: General John Pershing formally established this association in 1922 after WWI.  The second session of the 81st Congress enacted Public Law 595 – “An Act to Incorporate the Reserve Officers Association of the United States.”  President Harry Truman signed the charter on June 30, 1950.

Retired Military Officers Association

This is open to all retired military officers, former military personnel, active duty professionals, business professionals, students, and business owners/managers.  Since my grandfather retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Colonel, he was eligible for membership.

History: Information about the RMOA mission can be found here.

Aviation Hall of Fame

My grandfather was a charter member of the Aviation Hall of Fame.  Members need only to pick what level of membership and send in the appropriate monetary amount.  The National Aviation Hall of Fame is located at the U.S. Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.

History: Founded in Dayton, Ohio in 1962 and chartered by Congress in 1964. It is dedicated to preserving as well as promoting the legacy of those in America who are outstanding air and space pioneers.  Past inductees have included: Jimmy Doolittle, Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, Wilbur and Orville Wright, Chuck Yeager, Neil Armstrong, Howard Hughes, and James Stewart.

National Sojourners

This is another organization that requires Masonic membership as well as honorable service (currently or in the past) as an Officer or Senior Non-Commissioned officer in the uniformed services.

History of the sojourners can be found here.

 

 

 

Lions Club

My uncle was a member of the “Cereal City” Lions Club in Battle Creek, Michigan. Members are invited to join and are made up of men and women who are service and community minded.  In order to facilitate membership, one should locate the nearest club and contact that club to express interest in joining.  My uncle was a past president, and a recipient of the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award.  He also held several other titles in his local Lions Club.

History: Began in 1917 by Melvin Jones, a Chicago businessman.  It is the world’s largest service organization with more than 1 million members in 45,000 clubs internationally.

Chamber of Commerce

My uncle was a member of Battle Creek Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

 

 

American Society of Mechanical Engineers

 My uncle was a member of this Society.  Those who seek to become members must fill out an application that requests professional information and pay the required dues.

History: Founded in 1880, the ASME is a not for profit professional organization. Collaboration and knowledge sharing is enabled across all engineering disciplines. The society helps the worldwide community of engineering to develop real world solutions for challenges faced.

 National Amputee Golf Association

As an avid golfer most of his life, when my uncle faced the challenge of being an amputee, he joined this association. Membership is open to anyone who has lost a hand or a foot at a major point (hip, wrist, elbow, knee, etc.). 

History: The NAGA was incorporated in 1954 and began with a small group of golfers who got together to play golf.  Soon, the games turned into regional tournaments.  Today there are over 2500 members globally.

National Security Industrial Association (presently: National Defense Industrial Association)

My uncle also enjoyed membership in this group.  Members could be corporate (companies and institutions) or individual (defense professionals).

History: In 1944 the NSIA was founded as the Navy Industrial Association as not-for-profit and non-political. It began as a way for government and industry (especially the defense industry) to have effective communication.  When the Department of Defense was formed, the name of the association became the National Security Industrial Association.  In 1997 the NSIA merged with the American Defense Preparedness Association to become the National Defense Industrial Association.

(Stay tuned for Part II!)

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This is the 4th and final article in this series on Military Records. You can read the first three in the series at Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. These records can offer up quite a bit of information including your ancestors’ and collateral relatives’ vital statistics, birth date and location, residence at the time of registration, type of military service, campaigns they might have been involved in, next relative, occupation, address of their employer, identifying marks, their signature, and reason for infirmities if they applied for an Invalid Pension.

In Part 3 I used my great-grandfather’s (James Emory House) Application for Invalid Pension as an example. I will continue with his papers to show who he served under, campaigns he took part in, and the reason he applied for this.

james_house_pension91

My great-grandfather appeared before a clerk of the Common Pleas Court of Coshocton County, Ohio on September 6, 1887 to submit this Declaration for an Original Invalid Pension.  In it he stated the date and place he enrolled to serve the Union and the State of Ohio in the Civil War and also what company and regiment in which he served.  The document lists that James’ regiment was commanded by Col. E.R. (Ephraim) Eckley and mentions that my great-grandfather was honorably discharged at Washington D.C.

When he was discharged from the service he was 23 years old and stood 5 ft. 8.5 inches, had dark complexion and hair and grey eyes.  It goes on to read, “That while a member of the organization aforesaid, in the service and in the line of duty at Near Corinth in the state of Missipi on or about the               day of April, 1862, he contracted a disease of his stomic which the doctors called catarrh of his stomic. That his disease of his stomic continued to afflict him untill he was discharged and has continued to afflict him more and more untill the present time.”

The continuation of the document tells the location of the hospitals where he was treated: one in Tennessee and also in St. Louis.  It also says that James did not have any other military service except serving for the Union.  His occupation prior to and following military service was Farmer and that he was considered one half disabled.

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In a General Affidavit dated June 21, 1888, 63 year old S.M. Baldwin of Butler County, Iowa stated that he was James Emory House’s sargent and later his First Lieutenant and knew James personally while in the service of Company “H”, 80th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteers.

james_house_pension7
(Further transcription) That while in line with his duty as a soldier near a place called “Corinth” in the State of Tennessee some time in the month of Apl 1862 he the claimant contracted a trouble in his stomach and was sent to Hospital at St. Louis and after his return to the company it appeared that he could bear but little fatigue and was constantly complaining of trouble in his stomach.

The above paragraph gives me an approximate time and place that my great-grandfather’s illness began and that it was so severe he actually had to be hospitalized.  I also learned who his immediate superior was by this General Affidavit.

In another affidavit, given by William Derr who personally knew James House, the affiant stated that my great-grandfather contracted the catarrh of the stomach about April 30, 1862 and was sent to a hospital in Tennessee for about 10 days and then to a St. Louis hospital.  He returned to duty in July 1862 which indicates that the hospitalization lasted about 3 months. 

james_house_pension8Above is the Declaration for Invalid Pension that my great-grandfather submitted.  This application states that on July 9, 1890 James, at age 48, residing in Tuscarawas Township, Coshocton County, Ohio, made a declaration that he was the same man who enrolled as a Private in Company H of the 80th Ohio Volunteer Infantry on December 26, 1861 to fight in the Civil War.  Furthermore, that he served at least 90 days and was honorably discharged on May 22, 1865 at Alexandria, Virginia.  He asked for Invalid Pension due to the fact that he could not earn a living because he suffered from “disease of stomach, piles and heart, Catarrh of head and throat, and total loss of sight of right eye.”

It is not clear if he lost his sight due to the infirmaties he suffered from military service or had contracted glaucoma or macular degeneration.  Catarrh of stomach/head/throat, etc. is categorized as “An inflammatory affection of any mucous membrane, in which there are congestion, swelling, and an alteration in the quantity and quality of mucous secreted. In America, especially, a chronic inflammation of, and hypersecretion from the membranes of nose or air passages. in England, an acute influenza, resulting from a cold and attended with cough, thirst, lassitude and watery eyes; also, the cold itself. ” (Causes of Death in the Late 19th Century)

In August 1912 the Adjutant General official document read:

james_house_pension10
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF PENSIONS
Washington, D.C., Aug. 22, 1912,
Respectfully returned to the Adjutant General, War Department for a full military history and a personal description with age at enlistment.
2 Enclosures

james_house_pension11
THE ADJUTANT
GENERAL’S OFFICE
WASHINGTON, AUG 27, 1912
Respectfully returned to the
Commissioner of Pensions
with the information that in
the case of
James E. House Co. H, 80th Reg’t, Ohio Inf
the records show personal description
as follows:
age 19, height 5 feet, 8 1/2 inches,
complexion dark, eyes grey, hair black
place of birth Coshocton Co, O
occupation farmer
Age at reenlistment 21 years.
The revocation of the muster out to reenlist as veteran and muster in as veteran is canceled, he was a veteran volunteer from Feb. 21, 1864 when reenlisted as such.
The military records furnish nothing in addition to that shown in former statements.
Geo Andrews, Adjutant General

On April 30, 1923 when James was 81 years old a Declaration for Pension was applied for: james_house_pension12
This application stated that James required attendance by another person because of his disabilities that included: totally blind in right eye, bronchial asthma, chronic indigestion, prostatic trouble, kidney trouble, rheumatism, weak and emaciated.  Furthermore, it stated that since leaving the service he had lived in Coshocton County, Ohio and the State Soldiers Home of Ohio (Erie County), and he had been unable to work.

On the bottom of that declaration is a stamp that specifies that the “Declaration accepted as a claim under Sec. 2 Act of May 1, 1920.”

And the final page in the file is dated October 1924.

james_house_pension_13

Above is the drop report stating that James House, who had received $72 a month with the last payment sent in August 1924, had been dropped from the roll due to his death which ocurred on Oct. 1, 1924.

From all of the information contained in James House’s pension file, I can conclude that he never did return to full health after being afflicted with catarrh during his service in the Civil War and that even though he had been able to work as a farmer after he was discharged, he couldn’t work full time and earn enough to live on.  I believe that as he aged the disease and other disabilities weakened him.

The overall picture of my great-grandfather’s life became much clearer after reading through this file as I could put dates to events in his life. 

I urge you to see what kind of picture you can get of your ancestors and collateral relatives with the aid of their military files (if they have any) in order to “flesh” out the person or persons you are looking for.

I hope this four part series has given you more avenues to look when doing research and inspired you to see what other stones can be turned over in order to document events in your ancestors’ lives.

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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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The topic for the 59th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is: “Politics and Our Ancestors” in honor of Voting Day.  As I thought about this, I knew that I had several ancestors and collateral family members who had served in politics as well as members who were quite vocal in their political affiliations.

My paternal great-grandfather’s brother, George Washington Amore, was a Democrat and served as an Assessor for Linton Township in Coshocton County for three terms in the 1890’s.  In 1909 he ran for Mayor of Plainfield, Ohio.  George’s son-in-law, John D. Woodward, a respected man of Coshocton County, pledged his allegiance to the Democratic party, but held no public office. (Source information from “History of Coshocton County, Ohio: Its Past and Present, 1740-1881″.  Compiled by N.N. Hill, Jr.; Newark, Ohio; A.A. Graham & Co., Publishers; 1881; Carlon & Hollenbeck, Printers & Binders, Indianapolis, Ind.)

My great-aunt (Louisa Clementine Amore Baker) was married to Benjamin Baker who was a Justice of the Peace in Coshocton, Ohio before 1919. (Source information from his obituary published in “The Coshocton Tribune”, Coshocton, Ohio, Page 8, May 21, 1936)

My maternal grandfather, Glen Roy Johnson, Sr., was elected to the Fairfield (now a part of Fairborn), Greene County, Council in 1936 and was instrumental in getting a sewage plant builtHe was a Democrat in his younger years and in his later life affiliated with the Republican party.  He met Richard Nixon about 1972-1973 when he was in Washington D.C. and toured the White House.  (Source information – personal knowledge)

My first cousin, four times removed, John Goul (son of Christian and Ruth Lawson Goul, grandson of my 4th great-grandfather), first vote was cast for John Charles Fremont – the first candidate of the Republican party – who ran against James Buchanan.  John also voted twice for President Lincoln and although he was sought after to run for office in his locale, he refused to have his name put up for any political office.  John’s father, Christian Goul, was a Whig until the formation of the Republican party and then became a life-long Republican. (Source information from “Beers History of Champaign County, Ohio”)

My grandmother’s brother, John Alfred Wilt, was a Republican. (Source information – Vesta C. Johnson)

My 2nd cousin, 3 times removed, George Lewis House, served on the Deshler, Ohio city council and the school board before 1906.  His political affiliation is unknown. (Source information: Jeromey Ward)

My 9th great-grandfather, Richard Treat (d. 1669), represented the settlement of Wethersfield, Hartford County, Connecticut in the first general court in 1637; was a Colonial grand juror in 1643; elected to the general court in 1644 (and was re-elected many times); and was an Assistant Magistrate of the Colony from 1658-1665. (Source information from “The Hollister Family in America”.  Compiled by Lafayette Wallace Case M.D.; Chicago, Fergus Printing Company; 1886).

My maternal grandmother, Vesta Christena Wilt Johnson, was born prior to the passage of the 20th Amendment.  She voted in almost every election after that.  My parents have both voted Democratic most of their lives. 

When I was in 6th grade and Richard Nixon was running for his second term in office, I pasted Nixon/Agnew stickers on my bedroom door so my mom had to see them each time she walked by.  So when Nixon won over McGovern, I teased her mercilessly.  Needless to say, during the Watergate scandal, she had the last laugh over me.  I have voted both Democratic and Republican since I turned 18 and don’t consider myself affiliated with either party.  I am a proponent of voter rights and urge others to vote in order to have a voice in the future of our great nation.  I thoroughly believe that our forefathers and foremothers fought long and hard – either on the battlefield, in elected offices and as Suffragettes – in order to give us that right.  It should not be something we turn our nose up and deny because apathy solves nothing.  To be part of the solution, I believe – as so many of my ancestors – that we must all be active in the future of our community, our school, our city, our state, and our national government – either by voting or running for office in order to affect the change we look toward.

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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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This past week I shared this photo of the Caquot Observation Balloon that is on exhibit in the United States Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.  I’ve taken many pictures of this balloon over the years.  Rarely do I visit this exhibit and not just stand gazing at it for a long time.  Why?  It’s a connection to my grandfather, Col. Glen R. Johnson. 

When my grandfather enlisted in the Army Signal Corps on February 5, 1918, he was sent to Fort Omaha, Nebraska for training on Caquot Balloons.  I wrote about his service in this post. Taken from his obituary is the following, “In the 1950s and ’60s, he was active as national commander and newspaper editor of the National Association of Balloon Corps Veterans (NABCV) (WWI), and had contributed many artifacts to the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.” 

The official website of the Air Force Museum says of the balloon on display: Manufactured in 1944, the balloon displayed at the museum is believed to be the only survivor. The British used it for parachute testing and noncombat aerial observation and photography until 1960. The British Ministry of Defense, Royal Aircraft Establishment, presented the Caquot to the museum after it was located with the aid of American and British WWI balloon veterans in 1975. Assisted by the Goodyear Aerospace Corp. of Akron, Ohio, which had produced these balloons during WWI, museum personnel mended and sealed the balloon fabric and prepared it for inflation. It was placed on display in May 1979.

My grandfather was one of the American WWI balloon veterans who helped locate this balloon.  I remember his excitement especially when it was finally ready for display.  He also contributed many other artifacts to the museum including this:

Piece of WW I balloon fabric manufactured in the U.S.
Donated by Col. Glen R. Johnson, USAF (Ret) Dayton, Ohio

U.S. Insignia removed from the last observation balloon
flown by American Forces in Europe.  The balloon was
assigned to the 14th Balloon Company during occupation
duty in Germany, 1919.
  (This was donated by Evert Wolff, N.Y.)
(Grandson in front)

Ft. Omaha Squadron 2 Flag (donor unknown)

So the next time (or the first time) you visit the Air Force museum, take a look at the Balloon that dwarfs one of the areas and take the time to check out the displays that talk about the Balloon years.  I guarantee that you will learn something that you probably didn’t know before your visit.

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