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Last fall while I was looking at and for headstone photos and entries on Find A Grave, I decided to put in a request for photos of my great-grandparents’ graves in Pendleton, Indiana. A very kind lady answered my request immediately. Not only did she take photos of the graves of Melissa (Goul) and Frank Blazer but several of Melissa Goul’s family members. She also went to the library and dug up some information to send to me.

A Pendleton newspaper account from October 1873 mentioned that my 2nd g-grandfather, John Blazer (father of the Franklin Blazer from above), died on August 27, 1873 being between 69 and 70 years old. Remarks by family members that were overheard by John’s brother, Samuel Blazer, caused him to approach the coroner, G.W. Maynard, with his suspicions that John was poisoned. The newspaper did not reveal the first name of the Blazer who Samuel accused. That accusation led the coroner to request an exhumation of John’s remains. After which the contents of the stomach were sent away for testing. At some point later, another Pendleton newspaper account mentioned that no poison had been found. The officials did have a problem though – who was going to pay the $350 for the doctor’s bill?

Analysis: The information giving the name of Samuel as the brother of John Blazer was one more piece of corroboration that I had been researching the “correct” Blazer family.

Another Pendleton newspaper article dated September 25, 1903 reported that Franklin’s brother, George Blazer, committed suicide by ingesting poison.  (Note: the article has misspelled the surname as “Blazier” – however, even my maternal grandfather, whose mother’s maiden name was Blazer, often spelled her relatives’ names with an “i”.)  This article gave several pertinent pieces of information:

  • George’s residence: 610 West 12th Street in Pendleton, Indiana.
  • Past occupation: Drayman.
  • Character: he had taken to drinking “hard” and become despondent.
  • He was married and had “several” children.

Apparently, as reported, George had purchased 10 cents’ worth of carbolic acid from a drug store after he had gone to the meat market for steaks.  It was also mentioned that he had threatened suicide a number of times due to his despondency.  On the day of the suicide, he and his son had an argument while his wife went to cook the steaks.  It was during the disagreement that he took out the bottle and “threw the acid down his throat before he could be prevented.”  The dr. was called right away but George could not be saved.

Documented information about George:

  • George is 5 years old, living in his parents’ household (John and Mary Ann Blazer) in the 1850 US Census.  They are residing in Fall Creek, Madison County, Indiana.  The record shows that George attended school within the year.
  • In the 1860 US Census he is found at age 14 living in his parents’ household (John and Mary A. Blazer) in Fall Creek Twp, Madison County, Indiana and had been in school within the past year.
  • The 1870 US Census shows G.W. Blazer living in Anderson Twp, Madison County, Indiana.  He is age 26, a Farmer, lists a value of real estate as $1200 but nothing for personal estate, born in Indiana, and a male citizen age 21 years or over.  Living in the household are wife Amanda, daughters E.J. and M.M., son J.W., and three other people (M. Judd, A.M. Judd, and Jas Webb).
  • Two headstones in Grovelawn Cemetery in Madison County, Indiana list sons of G.W. and Amanda Blazer.  One is for John W. Blazer who died on December 24, 1874 age 4 years, 10 months, 6 days.  The other is for James Albert Blazer who died on June 3, 1876.
  • The family is still residing in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana for the 1880 US Census.  George W. Blazer is 35 and married.  His listed occupation is Teamster.  Also in the household is wife, Amanda, daughters Estella and Margaret, and a boarder, William Caton. 
  • In the 1900 US Census, George Blazer continues to reside in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana.  He is 55 years old and lists his birth as Sep 1844 in Indiana.  He has been married 37 years.  His occupation is Day Laborer but he has been unemployed for 2 months.  His wife Amanda lists her birth as March 1845, age 55, mother of 4 with only one surviving.  Also in their household is their grandson, Willie, age 15 born June 1884 in Indiana.  He is also a day laborer but had been unemployed for 3 months.
  • His headstone is located in Grovelawn Cemetery in Pendleton, Madison County, Indiana.

A Pendleton newspaper (handwritten on the copy was 7-30-97) lists the account of the suicide of John Blazer.  He was the oldest son of Franklin and Melissa, born on September 17, 1859.  He married Sarah Manis on January 2, 1897 in Madison County, Indiana.  The newspaper account states that his wife sent a telegram from Knighstown, Indiana – where they resided – to a family named “Lawson” that “Johnny shot and killed himself” that morning.  The short article concludes with the information that he was “well known.  He was an erratic fellow” and had “considerable trouble in court.”

Documented evidence for John Blazer:

  • He was listed in the 1870 US Census living in his mother’s household (who was a widow by then), in Fall Creek Township, Madison County, Indiana at age 11.  He was listed as born in Indiana.
  • At age 21 he is still living in Melissa’s household in the 1880 US Census in Stony Creek Township, Madison County, Indiana with his birth listed as Indiana.  His occupation is a farmer.
  • The index to the Marriage Record of Madison County for the years 1880-1920 lists the marriage of John F. Blazier (notice the “i” in the surname again) to Sarah E. Manis as January 2, 1897 on page 352 of book 6.
  • His headstone is located in Grovelawn Cemetery in Pendleton, Madison County, Indiana.

Observation: John and Sarah were married not quite 7 months when he committed suicide.  No children were born of this union.

It is very sad that two members of this family chose to end their lives rather than face whatever caused them such turmoil and despair and a third member was thought to have been poisoned by another family member.  I often wonder what circumstances surrounded this branch of the Blazer family that created such suspicions and desperation.

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Georgia Anna Amore is somewhat of a mystery to me.  She was the daughter of George Washington Amore (my g-grandfather’s brother) and Catherine (Katie) Burden.  Born on January 21, 1895 in Plainfield, Coshocton County, Ohio, Georgia was G.W.’s and Katie’s 5th child and 2nd daughter.  One brother was born after her.

Georgia married no less than 4 times (Ottis Kazee, John Albert, LeRoy Bennett, and William Smith) and possibly 5 (Unknown Ostler or Osler). 

mary kazee

Georgia’s first daughter (and only child from her first marriage to Otis Kazee), died at the age of 13 months from pneumonia.  Mary Katherine Kazee’s obituary seems to indicate that Georgia and Otis were not living together any more.

mary kazee obit

It seems odd that the newspaper states that she was 13 months old (it was the Jan. 12, 1915 edition of the Coshocton Tribune) yet lists her birthdate as the month before (Dec. 1914) – even her death certificate states she was born in Dec. 1914.  Georgia was the informant so it would seem logical that she would know how old her daughter was.  Georgia also lists her own birthplace as Ohio.

georgia amore smith 1920

The 1920 Census (above) show Georgia and her second husband, John Albert, living in Tuscarawas Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio.  They had been married almost 5 years and had one daughter, Velma, age 3 years and 9 months.  One son, George Woodrow, born on Oct. 3, 1918 died on Nov. 21, 1918 (a little over a month old) of “improper nutrition”. The other 3 children (Nellie, Grace and John) were from John’s previous marriage to Elva P.  

Gorgia_Amore_1984536_194

In the May 23, 1916, June 17, 1919, and May 16, 1921 editions of the Coshocton Tribune, John had posted this notice: “I will not be responsible for any debts incurred by my wife, Georgia Albert.”  In the March 15, 1917 edition of the same newspaper there were two different postings.  One reads:

Says Hubby Was Extremely Cruel
In the matter of John A. Albert Vs. Georgia Albert asking a divorce, the answer and cross petition of the defendent was held Wednesday in probate court.
In her cross petition the defendent alleges extreme cruelty in that about six months after the birth of their child, “plaintiff came into the room where she was sleeping and while sharpening a butcher knife said he felt like cutting defendent’s d—- head off; and struck her with his fist, and pulled her out of bed.” Other instances of alleged cruelty are also cited.

The next posting reads:

Wants Divorce
Alleging that his wife was guilty of neglect of duty, that she struck him with a rocker and a cream pitcher and stabbed him with a fork so violently that the handle was broken, John A. Albert brot suit in probate court Tuesday against Georgia Albert asking a divorce and temporary injunction restraining her from interfering with his management of the household until the case should be heard. The injunction was allowed. The couple were married Oct. 1, 1915, and one child was born of the marriage. Albert was married previously and has a child by the first marriage. He alleges that his present wife threatened it’s life. George D. Klein represents the plaintiff.

Yet the couple remained married at least until about 1921 and had two more daughters, Betty and Winifred, and a son, Charles.  Velma is not seen again after this census and is believed to have died prior to 1930.

Sometime between 1921 and 1926, after Georgia and John divorced, she married Leroy Bennett.  Their first son, Robert Leroy Bennett, was born on Apr. 24, 1926 in Fayette County, Ohio.  He died four months later on Aug. 10, 1926 of malnutrition.  Leroy listed Georgia’s birthplace as Blaine, Kentucky on the death certificate.

robert bennett death

The next son, Thomas J. Bennett, born Mar. 2, 1928, lived until he was 15 months old.  The cause of death was listed as petroleum poisoning.  This time Leroy listed Georgia’s birthplace as Ohio.

thomas bennett death

The couple had one more known son, Kenneth Bennett, born in 1929 and living to adulthood.

Georgia, age 35, is found on the 1930 Census living on her own in Madison Twp, Greenfield, Madison County, Ohio.  She was enumerated as Head of household, divorced, born in Kentucky (?) and with three children: Charles Albert (son with John Albert) – age 8, born in Ohio; Eileen Ostler (daughter with Unknown Ostler) – age 6, born in Ohio; and Kenneth Bennett, age 8 months, born in Ohio.

georgia amore bennett 1930

Daughter, Betty Albert, age 9, was living with Georgia’s sister, Bertha, and her husband, John Woodward, in Linton Twp, Plainfield Village, Coshocton County, Ohio.  Winifred isn’t found – but she is listed as married and a survivor later in Georgia’s obituary. 

Sometime after the 1930 Census, Georgia married William Smith.  The couple had three known children: James, Paul and Gerald.  William died in 1954 and the couple were still married.  Georgia died on December 23, 1973 at Community Hospital in Springfield, Ohio.  Her obituary ran in the Hillsboro, Ohio Press Gazette the following day.  It reads:

Georgia Anna Smith
Georgia Anna Smith, 78, Greenfield, died at 1:30 p.m. yesterday at Community Hospital, Springfield. She was a member of the Plainfield, O., Baptist Church and a Gold Star Mother.
She was born Jan. 21, 1895, the daughter of George and Catherine Burden Amore, at Plainfield.
She married William Smith, who died in April of 1954.
She is survived by seven children, Mrs. Clarence (Winifred) Summer of Springfield, James W. Smith, serving with the U.S. Army at Ft. Lee, Va., and Mrs. Arthur (Betty) Payne, Mrs. Herman (Eileen) Daugherty, Kenneth Bennett, Paul Smith and Gerald Smith, all of Greenfield; 36 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
One son, Charles Albert, was killed during World War II, on Oct. 6, 1944. She also was predeceased by six children who died in infancy, two other children, four brothers and a sister.
Services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Murray Funeral Home, Greenfield. Rev. Noble Miller officiating and burial at Greenfield Cemetery.
Friends may call at the funeral home after 4 p.m. Wednesday.

She delivered a total of 16 children – five of those who died are known (Mary Katherine Kazee, Robert Leroy Bennett,  Thomas J. Bennett; Velma Albert, and George Woodrow Albert.  Her son Charles died in the War.  Only seven survived her upon her death.  There are still three unaccounted children.  Not only does it appear that Georgia lived a life of “drama” and engaged in volatile relationships but she had several children who died.  I wonder if she ever suffered from depression or post-partum depression.  

I have no photos of Georgia nor any information about her descendents – other than from her daughter, Betty (from husband John Albert).  I’d like to find out about all the other children she bore as well as the husbands who divorced her.  So that is the end of Georgia’s story until I can do further research.

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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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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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Jasia, at Creative Gene has posted the Carnival of Genealogy, 57th Edition on the theme: I Read it in the News!  I haven’t counted the number of submissions but there are quite a few!  I think there are a few who have submitted a post for the first time on a CoG! 

So scoot on over there and “read all about it”!  Try to leave comments on the ones you read!

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Alva Lester House buried his wife, Mary Lucy Besser, on February 17, 1920 with their stillborn son and next to their two babies – Arthur and Esther – in South Lawn cemetery, Coshocton County, Ohio.

With his two surviving children, Evelyn and Jarold, recuperating from the flu, and feeling as if life has dealt him a losing hand, Lester had to find a way to move forward especially when a few months later his older brother, James W. (Willie) House, died from bronchial asthma.

 

Marriage Permit of Lester House and Pearl Davidson

A little over four years later, he married Pearl Davidson on June 14, 1924.  She was the daughter of Isaac Newton and Mary Davidson of Keene, Coshocton County.  Born the youngest of four children on April 6, 1893, she had lived in Keene until her marriage.  Immediately she became a second mother to Evelyn, age 10, and Jarold, age 8.

Even though Pearl was 31 years old at the time of the marriage, it is unknown if the couple tried to have children or if she had any pregnancy complications. 

Several months after their wedding, Lester’s father, James Emory House, passed away. He was 82 years old. The year following their wedding, Pearl lost her mother, Mary Davidson, due to diabetes.
 
Several years later, Lester’s son, Jarold, went into the U.S. Army.  He enlisted on July 19, 1940 at Fort Hayes in Columbus, Ohio.  During his duties, he was sent to Trinidad in the British West Indies, stationed at Camp Robinson in Arkansas, and also Italy.  In August 1943 he married Elizabeth Johnson.  When she went to visit him a few months later in Arkansas, she found him “leading an improper life and associating with other women”.  Soon she had filed for divorce.  It took over a year for the divorce to be finalized.  There hadn’t been any children born to this union.
 
In April 1942 Lester was required to register for WWII.  Called the “old man’s draft”, he completed the registration card at age 55.  He listed Pearl House as the person who would always know his address.  He lived in the same house he’d grown up in: 423 N. Eleventh Street, Coshocton, Ohio (the home that was willed to him by his parents).  He was working at the Warner Brothers Theater on N. 6th Street in Coshocton and listed that he had distinguishing characteristics of both his thumb joints.  He was 5’10” and weighed 160 lbs. with blue eyes, brown hair and a ruddy complexion.

In December 1944, Pearl became ill, possibly having a mental breakdown.  Lester took her to the doctor.  Requesting that he take his wife to a hospital in Columbus, Pearl was hysterical.  She threatened to end her life as well as her husband’s.  Thinking that he would try to prevent any suicide attempt, Lester took the firing pin from the shotgun he owned and went to work as a janitor at the Bancroft school building on the morning of April 5, 1945.  Not too long after her husband left for work, Pearl figured out how to work the shotgun and killed herself.  Lester had called the doctor and then went back home where he found his wife’s body.  The coroner listed her official cause of death as multiple lacerations of brain due to discharge of shotgun in head, self-inflicted.

With his son in the service in Italy, Lester and Evelyn had to come to terms that Pearl had ended her own life in the community they had lived in all their lives.  She was buried in Prairie Chapel Cemetery in Coshocton County, Ohio two days later.
 
 
Once again, a devastating tragedy had left Lester looking for a way to pick up the pieces of his life.  He had hardly gotten his breath when his older brother, John, died on October 22, 1945 due to coronary thrombosis.  He had already lost another brother, Florus, in 1941 and a half-sister, Lucina, in 1937.  His oldest sister had died in childbirth in 1907.  There were only a half-brother, half-sister and one sister left. 
A month after John died; Lester celebrated the marriage of his daughter, Evelyn, to Ellis Murray close to Thanksgiving 1945.  The joy soon turned to more grief as Lester’s half-brother, Ed House, died three days after Christmas of a cerebral hemorrhage.  It had been so quick and sudden that it was initially reported that he’d died of a heart attack.  Lester’s family was dwindling and more people he loved were dying.
 
Then came the news in 1946 that his son had been wounded serving with the United States 5th Army in Italy.  He’d received wounds to his right arm, chest and thigh and received a Purple Heart.  In July of that year, Lester’s only remaining sister passed away of breast cancer. 
 
A bright spot came in June 1947 when there was a wedding to celebrate.  Jarold and Margaret Ruth Wohlheter married at the Zion Methodist Church in Adamsville, Muskingum County, Ohio.  Within several years, the couple’s family had grown as their children were born. 
Lester then lost his last surviving sibling, his half-sister, Belle Dora (House) Ruby, on November 12, 1951.  He was the last one left of his father’s children and time was slowly catching up to him.
At some point, something must have changed within Jarold.  Something so unsettling that Lester had even more to be concerned about.  In 1958 his son was arrested on morals charges and sent to the State Mental hospital for a sanity hearing.  Finding him sane, he was released back to Coshocton County to be arraigned.  In March he was sentenced to 1-20 years in prison at the Ohio Penitentiary.  A month later, Margaret filed for divorce.  The judge hearing the case found no evidence of cause and dismissed the divorce.  It is unknown the length of Jarold’s sentence or if a divorce ever occurred.
At the age of 76 years, he responded to a letter from his niece.  In the text of the letter he wrote, “I can’t write much as I have a crippled right hand with arthritis.  I am only one of all the children left. And I will be 77 May 9.”
Lester died in January 1968.  He was survived by his son, Jarold, his daughter, Evelyn, and four grandchildren.  Services were held at Gibson and Bontrager Funeral Home and was buried next to his wife, Pearl, at Prairie Chapel Cemetery in Coshocton County, Ohio.
  

Epilogue: Jarold died in August 1980 and Evelyn died in 1985.  It is my wish that my Great-uncle Lester finally found some measure of happiness in his later years.  He had endured so much tragedy and loss in his lifetime that he deserved some bright spots.

 

 

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Not Really News

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

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

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

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

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

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