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Posts Tagged ‘Clawson’

Postwatchletters

A couple of months ago, I pulled out some letters from my genealogy archives to read. Apparently, I missed putting one of them back and found it on the table about a week later. It was written by Dorothy Welch (my second cousin once removed) to her aunt (my great-grandmother) Martha Stern Wilt Clawson.

July 19, 1922
113 E. Ave 58
Los Angeles, Calif.
Dear Aunt Martha,
I received your letter and was certainly glad to hear from you.
Some Muncie people by the name of Cites came out here the other day to visit her brother
who is a friend of ours. They brought word to us from my grand daddy Welch.
I am awfully sorry to hear that Nellie is sick again. I wish she could come out to Los Angeles
if she has to come “west.”
I haven’t heard from Uncle Ralph since March either. I’ve wrote several letters to see what
was the matter but I never got a answer.
I bet Vesta’s children are cute I certainly would like to see them.
Leonore is studying her spelling now so she will pass in her grades next term.
What grade is Clifford in at school?
Well I must close this time with love,
Dorothy

The first thing that stood out for me was the date of the letter – 1922. My mother always said that she didn’t meet her grandmother until she was an adult so I assumed that Grandma Clawson had moved west before my mom was born – the fall of 1921. I really think she meant that she didn’t remember her because my mom and her family moved to the Dayton, Ohio area in 1922.  I looked up Grandma Clawson’s address on Google and the street scene shows a parking lot now at 31 W 12th Street in Anderson, Indiana. There’s a church nearby so I wonder if the house was torn down since 1922. It would have been interesting if it had still been standing.

The “grand daddy Welch” that Dorothy mentions would be Americas C. Welch. A.C. Welch married Sarah C Buzzard in 1875 in Huntington, Indiana (according to the database: “Indiana Marriages, 1811-1959″ index on FamilySearch.org). A.C. and Sarah were the parents of Dorothy’s father, George Welch.

Nellie was my grandmother’s younger sister. She was 20 years old at the time of this letter and had been diagnosed with asthma. I had been told by my mother that due to her illness, it was necessary for her to move to the western United States.  She ended up moving to the Oregon/Washington area and lived most of her adult life in Washington.

The “Uncle Ralph” that Dorothy is referring to is her mother’s brother, Ralph Clawson, and my grandmother’s cousin. He was enumerated in the 1920 Census as living in Watertown, Massachusetts in the George C Shattuck household. I know Ralph had gone in the Navy  and he would have been about 24 years old in 1922 when Dorothy was trying to reach him. In June 1923 Ralph married Olive Sundberg in Chicago, Illinois.

Vesta would be my maternal grandmother (Vesta C Johnson nee Wilt). She and my grandfather had already bore three children, my Uncle Glen R Johnson, Jr., my aunt Genevieve V Johnson, and my mom Mary H Johnson.

Leonore was Dorothy’s younger sister. At the time of this letter, Dorothy was age 16. Leonore was probably close to nine.

Clifford, my grandmother’s youngest brother, was born April 20, 1906 making him a little over 16 when Dorothy wrote this letter. The 1940 US Census shows that Clifford only completed the first year of high school (generally 9th grade) – so he was not attending school any longer. If he had remained in school, he would probably have been going into his sophomore year when school began that fall.

I am under the impression that Dorothy wrote this letter as a reply to her Aunt Martha’s correspondence to her. I haven’t run across any other letters written by Dorothy so I don’t think it was a regular occurrence.

I greatly enjoy reading old letters that were sent back and forth from family members. It enables me to glimpse a window into their lives at the time of the letter. I noticed that Dorothy didn’t volunteer very much about herself such as her social activities, friends, work, or suitors.  She also didn’t ask how her grandfather was – as after her grandmother Margaret Ellen passed away, her aunt Martha (Ellen’s sister), married her widower, W. Frank Clawson.

If you have letters or post cards like I do, a good way to understand their deeper message or the lives of the people then, is to do an analysis on them as I did with this letter.

(Image from Wikimedia Commons)

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martha_stern_obituary

The above obituary was found in a letter of my grandmother’s that she had probably received from one of her siblings as it was for their mother. My best guess is that it was clipped out of the Springfield Times newspaper as it served the Leaburg, Oregon area.

Death Notices
CLAWSON – Martha Jane Clawson, passed away at her home in Leaburg, November 6, 1956, at the age of 84 years.  Born in Clarksville, Indiana, February 9, 1872, and had resided in the Leaburg area for 34 years. She was married in Anderson, Indiana,  December 31, 1910 to William F. Clawson who preceded her in death. She is survived by four sons, Clarence Wilt of Fortville,  Indiana, Jesse Wilt of Indianapolis, Indiana, John and Clifford Wlt, both of Leaburg; two daughters, Vesta Johnson of Dayton, Ohio, and Nellie Lilly of Lee’s Camp, Oregon; nine grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren. Funeral service will be held at Buell Chapel on Saturday, November 10, 1956, at 10 a.m., with Rev. C.R. Alsen officiating. Interment at Greenwood Cemetery.

clawson stone

Headstone for William F and
Martha J Clawson
Greenwood Cemetery, Leaburg, Oregon
(Photo by Glen R Johnson, original & digital
owned & in possession of Wendy Littrell,
Address for Private Use)

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(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.

clawsonstore

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.

mom45

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.

LMM146

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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Many (many!) years ago during one of my visits to my hometown, my mom pulled out a couple of small boxes of photos and told me I could take them. She and I went through them, picture by picture, in order for her to tell me who, what, when, where, etc. – because NO ONE WROTE IT DOWN! So I brought the boxes home and as the case may be – I acquired more small boxes of photos as the years progressed. After my brother passed away, his son gave me a lot of photos and memorabilia because he didn’t want it (due to an estrangement at the time of my brother’s death). Then, after my mother passed away three years ago, I ended up with what she still had.

Through the years I have scanned this photo and that. Written about this photo or that. I’ve scanned documents and letters and taken digital photos of “stuff”. In order to really see what I have, all of the papers, photos, documents, and ephemera need to be filed and cataloged. I started with just one small box of photos the other day. What I didn’t already have a digital copy of, I made one. What I had, was tagged with the who, what, when, and where (or as much as I knew!).

For the next several Thursday’s (and other days for other blog posts), I will be writing about items that were in a box. The first item is a picture of George Welch.

The caption on the front of the photo reads:

George went on a fishing trip last Sunday. There was 17 went they caught 43 fish which weighed about 600 lbs. 

This is a photo postcard and on the back it reads:

We took some pictures of the baby if they are any good we will send you some. Good Bye Your Children.

When I first read all of that, I had to figure out who George was. The postcard is addressed to Mr. F Clawson.  That would be Frank Clawson – my great-grandmother’s (Martha Stern Wilt) second husband. (He had previously been married to Martha’s sister, Margaret Ellen Stern. After Ellen died and after Martha and her husband, Joe Wilt (my great-grandfather), divorced, Frank married Martha. Frank and Ellen’s daughter, Nancy Jane Clawson, married George Welch in Anderson, Indiana on November 29, 1905 (Source – Title: Marion County, Index to Marriage Record 1866 – 1870 Inclusive Vol, Original Record Located: County Clerk’s Office Ind; Book: 165). The couple ended up in California with two daughters – Dorothy Ellen and Lenore.

What strikes me about the photo is that George is pretty dressed up – at least to our contemporary way of thinking – to go fishing. He sure is a well dressed, handsome young man!  George was born on March 24, 1885 in Plainfield, Indiana (Title: Marion County, Index to Marriage Record 1866 – 1870 Inclusive Vol, Original Record Located: County Clerk’s Office Ind; Book: 165). 

Below is a photo of Nancy as a young girl with her parents, Frank and Ellen Clawson.

Nancy would be by first cousin twice removed. (Our common ancestor would be her grandparents – Emanuel and Nancy Stern – they were my 2nd great-grandparents.)  Nancy and my maternal grandmother – Vesta Wilt Johnson – were first cousins because their mothers were sisters.

So stay tuned for the next segment of Items from a Box! I never know what I’m going to find!

 

 

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I wish I could just add a photo and keep it wordless – unfortunately, I can’t!  This photo was taken on July 30, 1916 at the occasion of William Frank Clawson’s 58th birthday!  “Frank” was my maternal great-grandmother’s 2nd husband.  Standing left to right: John Stern, Frank Clawson, George Fouch. Seated left to right: Mary Stern, Martha Clawson (my great-grandmother), Mollie Fouch.

John Stern was Martha’s older brother who was married to Mary Ann Betts.  Mollie (Mary) Fouch was Frank’s sister who was married to George Fouch.  I am pretty sure this photo was taken in Anderson, Indiana, where the Clawson’s lived.

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Are you in it? Are your parents in it? Who is in it that you are looking for?

As we get closer and closer to the release of the 1940 US Census, I am compiling a list of those in my family who are in it.

  • My dad – he was already in the Army Air Corps.
  • My mom – she had just turned 18 prior to the census; she was married and living in Greene County, Ohio.
  • My brother – he was a newborn.
  • My paternal grandparents: Lloyd and Ella (House) Amore. They were living in Coshocton County, Ohio.
  • My maternal grandparents: Glen and Vesta (Wilt) Johnson. I believe they were living in Greene County, Ohio.
  • My maternal great-grandmother – Martha (Stern) Clawson. She was living in Lane County, Oregon.
  • My maternal great-grandfather – Joseph N. Wilt – and his second wife – Anna (Park) Wilt. They were probably living in Scott County, Indiana.
  • My paternal great-grandmother – Mary Angelina (Werts) Amore. She was living in Coshocton, Ohio – probably with my grandparents, Lloyd and Ella.

Also, I should be able to find aunts and uncles and collateral relatives.

So who are you hoping to find?

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It is with wonder and thanks that I am able to see photos of the houses that my family and ancesters have resided through time.  As I locate addresses, I look them up on Google Maps in order to see what type of terrain they may have lived amongst.  Here is the “Parade of Homes”.

clawsonstoreAt left is the home my grandmother, Vesta Wilt, spent most of her late childhood and teen-age years living in.  It also contained the store run by her step-father, W. Frank Clawson.  It was located on Arrow Avenue in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana.  By the early 1920s, Martha and her youngest two children (Nellie and Clifford) moved to Leaburg, Lane County, Oregon.  Their home sat off of the clawson_house_oregonMcKenzie Highway.  My grandmother didn’t visit her mother “out west” until the early 1940s.  My mom didn’t even meet her grandmother until the late 1940s – after she’d married and had two children.  My Grandma Clawson lived in this home until her death on November 6, 1956 (several years before I was born.)

jljohnson_homeThis large home on Indiana Avenue in Anderson, Indiana was my grandfather’s home for many years.  Glen Johnson is seen as a child with his parents, Katie (Blazer) and John Lafayette Johnson.  After my grandparents were married, they spent their early married years living here.  This is where my grandmother spent long hours and days waiting on letters from Glen when he was in basic training for the Signal Corps in the early months of 1918.  This is where their oldest son spent his first years while his father was in France serving his country in WWI.johnsonhome_devonshire

Glen and Vesta lived in many different locations – Fairfield, Greene County, Ohio (now Fairborn), Washington D.C., Wiesbaden, Germany, Kettering, Ohio and Dayton, Ohio.  This is one of the homes they lived in during the late 1950s.  It is located on Devonshire in Dayton, Ohio.

Henry & Annie Amore's house in Roscoe
Henry & Annie Amore’s house in Roscoe
Cobbler Shop in Roscoe
Cobbler Shop in Roscoe

 

 

My great-grandparents, William Henry and Mary Angelina (Werts) Amore lived in this house (above left) on Center Street in Roscoe, Coshocton County, Ohio.  Above right is the shed that Henry used as his Cobbler shop.  He was a shoemaker by trade.  This was also the scene of the very first Amore-Werts reunion in May 1924. 

roscoehardware
My grandparents, Lloyd and Ella (House) Amore, resided above Roscoe Hardware Store in the early years of their marriage.  lloyd-amore-houseTheir first few children were born in the apartment on the upper floor.  They also lived in these homes – one in Coshocton and one in West Lafayette, Coschocton County.westlafayettehouse One of the homes they lived in on South 7th Street was built in 1900.  It was a two story, 1259 sq. ft. home with a full basement, two bedrooms and one bath with a detached garage.
amorehouseMy parents lived here when they were stationed in Japan in the early 1950s.  They had also resided in Milwaukee; Great Falls, Montana; Cincinnati and Columbus.  When amore-house-tyndallthey left Japan, they resided at Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City, Florida.  They lived in this house (right) not quite a year.  My dad retired from the Air Force and they moved to what would become a suburban town outside of Dayton, Ohio.  It was in this home (below) that I grew up.
my-house

By going to the county’s tax assessor’s web site, I was able to find out the particulars of this home.  The three bedroom, 2 bath, single family residential home was built in 1958.  It has a fireplace in the living room and one in the finished basement.  Heating is by oil and it has central air.  An inground swimming pool was installed in 1967 and improved again in 1977 (after my mother and I moved out).  The person who owns the home now bought it seven years ago.  They are the fifth owner since June 1989.  I believe there was also one other owner prior to that and after my mom.  Contrary to what the Residential information states, the house does have an attic.  It’s not one to walk around in, however that is where all of our Christmas decorations were stored through the year.  It also states it has gas – which it didn’t – unless something changed since 1977.  It is on city water although it does have a sump pump and most of my growing up years, we had a well (the water was much better!).

I am still trying to figure out how to determine where to find addresses that have changed over the years in order to get more information on some of the other homes of my grandparents and great-grandparents.  When I was a young girl, our house number changed – but I’m not sure where to find out that information (any tips?). 

If you know the address and the county of the home, some of the county websites or tax assessor/auditor sites have quite a bit of detailed information on the home.  There will be informaton on taxes, square footage, the current owner, number of rooms, bedrooms and baths, and perhaps a current photo.

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