Grandpa’s Jobs

Another Labor Day holiday, so time to look again at the work some of my ancestors did. While most of Dad’s side of the family were farmers in the early years, eventually some of them found work off the farm.

My Grandfather, Loran McKinley, Sr. (1916-2003) worked several jobs in his lifetime. He compiled a list of those jobs, probably for a class reunion. Eventually, that list made it to my collection.

First, from 1936 to 1938, he worked at the American Rolling Mill (ARMCO Steel Mill) in Middletown, OH. The company produced rolled sheets of steel. He had this job when he got married to my Grandmother, Margaret. While there, he practiced and honed his skills as a crane operator. His first pay check for 40 hours of work was $36. The recession caused him to move on to another job.

ARMCOcard

 This card gave him access to practice on the cranes at the factory.

From 1939 to 1941, he worked for Interstate Foundry in Indianapolis, IN. He worked as a foreman and overhead crane operator. He made 40¢ per hour.

From 1941 to 1950, he was self employed. He had a farm & drove a milk route for Polk Dairy. No, he was not a “milk man.” He picked up milk from the dairy farmers and took it to the Polk Dairy in Indianapolis. I’ve been told that his job was considered “essential” and therefore he was not drafted into the military during WWII.

From 1950 to 1952, he worked for AVCO Corporation in Richmond, IN. He was Security Guard at this manufacturing plant.

Then, from 1953 to 1981, he worked for the Chrysler Corporation as a Security Guard. He indicated that 3rd shift pay was $3.56/hour.

He retired from Chrysler and moved to a farm near Sheridan, IN.

After I saw the list of jobs that he had, I asked Grandpa what was his favorite. He replied, “farmer.” So, even though he had experience in other areas of work, he still went back to the original family business, farming.

© MJM 2017

Worldly Possessions…

Josiah Earp, a soldier of the American Revolution, moved from Maryland to North Carolina to Kentucky. He died in Pulaski County, KY November 25, 1844 at the age of 83.

The final statement from his pension file is a report from the Executor of his estate, George Randal, stating that Josiah died and left no widow & was survived by the following children: Singleton Earp, Allin Earp, Eleanor Randal & Jemima Randal. (The Randal name is spelled Randolph in some records)

The surviving children listed in the statement are Singleton Earp (1802-1886), my GGGG Grandfather; “Allin” or James Allen (1796-1862), who moved to Arkansas; Eleanor (1800-1860), the wife of George Randal; and Jemima (1786-1853), wife of James Randal. Other sources I found through the years also listed a daughter, Drucilla (1784-1878) wife of Thomas Clark, Phillip Hawker (1797-1860) and Anna (1804-before 1835) wife of John Herrin. I’m not sure if all of the dates are correct for these children. However, it is unclear why Phillip H. & Drucilla were not listed as survivors of Josiah in the statement from George Randal.

As far as I know, Josiah did not have a will, but there was a record of his estate filed with the court by George Randolph. It is thought that Josiah did not own land, so his estate was simply his worldly possessions.

First, George submitted an inventory & assessment of the estate:

JosiahEarpInventory

At the time of his death, Josiah owned 1 sorrel mare, 6 pewter plates & 1 dish, 1 table, 2 bottles, 1 tea canister, 1 chest, 1 coffee mill, 1 pot, 1 oven & lid, 1 pair of pot hooks, 4 chairs, 1 trunk & 1 smoothing iron. The value of the estate was $39.62 1/2.

So then there was the “estate sale.” And on February 17, 1845, George Randolph once again filed a statement with the court:

JosiahEarpSale1JosiahEarpSale2

So Josiah Earp’s personal property sold for a total of $39.31 1/4.

Several of the names on the list of buyers are familiar—Josiah’s son, Singleton Earp, and sons-in-law Thomas Clark, James Randolph and George Randolph. Balis Randolph was the son of George & Eleanor. William Randolph was the son of James & Jemima.

Looking at the inventory assessment and the sale records I noticed that some items were valued with a half cent. I didn’t know the US had half cents. Turns out the 1/2 cent coin was minted from 1793 to 1857.

Regardless, Josiah Earp left only a few items as his worldly possessions & these items ended up in the hands of family members. I wonder if any have survived in the family through the generations.

Incidentally, with inflation, Josiah’s worldly possessions would be worth about $1,202 today.

© MJM 2017

Aunt Angie, Crack Shot

I found a newspaper article the other day from the Sheridan News:

Hortonville—The daughter of Clark Millikan is a fine shot. She is not married and we are a little uncertain as to her age. She is staying in the home of Wm. Stanley on the township line. The other morning a hawk swooped down and grabbed a chicken which caused Miss Millikan to grab a gun and follow that hawk to his den, climbing over a barb wire fence. Taking a long shot, she killed him at the first fire, says she learned to shoot in Carolina.” –May 31, 1912 p7

The article doesn’t name the “daughter of Clark Millikan,” but it is pretty obvious to me that it was referring to Nancy Angeline Millikan.

AngMillikanrifle

 

 

This is one of the few pictures I have of her by herself. And she’s holding a rifle. She also has a few squirrels, which I’m sure she shot.

 

 

 

 

 

Nancy Angeline was the only child of Clark Millikan (1824-1926) and his first wife, Nancy Adams (1816-1852). She was born September 30, 1852 in Randolph county, North Carolina. Sadly, her Mother died when Angie was only 11 days old.

I can’t find her in the 1860 US Census. She is not listed in her Father, Clark’s household. Perhaps she was visiting someone.

In 1870, she shows up on the US Census with her Aunt & Uncle, Close & Annie Davis in Back Creek Township of Randolph County, NC. By then her Father and family had moved to Indiana. So I wonder if she was just visiting or if she lived with the Davis family. (I also haven’t found the Davis’ in the 1860 Census. So if I ever do, it may answer the question.)

After this, she is listed with Clark, and she reportedly lived with her Father until his death in 1926.

NancyAngelineMillikan

 

I copied this photo from a relative’s collection. The photographer’s mark on the back of the photo is from “G.N. Glass, North Side Gallery, Sheridan, IN.” The website, LangdonRoad.com, which is “Langdon’s List of 19th & Early 20th Century Photographers,” indicates that this photographer was in business from the 1880’s to 1890’s. So that gives a general time frame for this photo.

 

 

 

I don’t have much other information on Angeline. My Grandmother, Margaret Millikan McKinley, said, “Aunt Angie was bald. She wore a straw hat everywhere. For more formal gatherings, she had a hairpiece or bonnet that she wore.” I can’t tell from the few pictures I have if this is the case.

Nancy Angeline died from Influenza April 17, 1926 at the age of 73. She died 4 months after her Father. She is buried in the Union Grove Cemetery not far from Clark Millikan’s farm near Sheridan, IN.

One more picture of Angeline, here she holds a trophy—I wonder if it is the hawk mentioned in the newspaper article? By the way, she would have been almost 60 years old when she chased that hawk over the barb wire fence!

AngelineMillikanrifletrophy

© MJM 2017

 

 

 

A Connection to the Revolution

On July 4, 1776, a group of men representing the colonies signed a Declaration of Independence from the Crown of England. But the fight for that Independence continued for 5 more years. All of the colonists would have been involved, choosing sides, even if not actively fighting.

While researching ancestors from Kentucky, we took a trip to Somerset, the Pulaski County seat. While there, we came upon the DAR monument “In Memory of Those Revolutionary Soldiers Who Contributed to the Establishment and Development of Pulaski County, KY.”

SomersetKYDARMem

We noticed a familiar name on the monument.

JosiahEarpDARMem

Was this one of our Earp/Erp ancestors? And what was his story regarding the Revolution?

Turns out, Josiah is an ancestor of mine. He was the father of Singleton Erp, who was the father of Allen, who moved to Indiana, served in the Civil war, and was the subject of my first blog post. Josiah is my GGGGG Grandfather. Josiah was born March 10, 1761 in Montgomery County, Maryland. He died November 25, 1844 in Pulaski County, Kentucky.

So what about the “Revolutionary Soldier” part of his story? The site, Fold3.com has copies of Josiah’s request for pension, based on the legislation from June of 1832. This law allowed full pay for soldiers who served more than 2 years and partial pay for those serving under 2 years but at least 6 months.

There are 8 pages included in Josiah’s file on Fold3.com. The digitized records are a little difficult to read as this partial page indicates:

JosiahEarpPension

In essence, Josiah appeared before the court at Pulaski County on November 18, 1833. He was 72 years old at the time. He testified that “while a resident of Montgomery County, State of Maryland, according to his present recollection, in the month of March 1781 he volunteered for the Term of nine months in the Company of Captain John Nichols, the Lieutenant’s name was Thomas Nichols. After he volunteered he was marched to George Town…We were rendezvoused at Montgomery Courthouse in the state aforesaid and at that place received the proper arms and accoutrements for the service and was there a short time harried & exercised and from thence was marched to George Town, now in the District of Colombia, and was there stationed remained there engaged until news arrived that Lord Cornwallis had retreated towards North Carolina; was then directed by the Commanding Officers to return home but to carry with him his arms & other accoutrements and to hold himself ready to march into the service immediately when called on. The whole company were dispersed under like orders. In a few days after his return from George Town, he was again together with the rest of the Company to which he belonged, ordered into the service of the United States by his Commanding Officers and was ordered to march to Dumfries, a small town beyond Bladensburg and while on the march, our Officers were informed there was no need of our services at that point & was then directed to return home but to hold ourselves in readiness to march again into the service when called on. After the Surrender of Lord Cornwallis, he together with the rest of the Company was called in to the Service by the Commanding Officers and were then marched to Frederick Town, Maryland to Guard the prisoners taken at the Surrender of Cornwallis & continued there engaged in that service until about the 15th day of December of that year and was then discharged from the service. He received no discharge in writing.”

So breaking down his service, he was a single man, 20 years old when he volunteered. Most of his time in the service was spent around the area which would become Washington D.C. Seems like he prepared for the fight, but never had to. Cornwallis went to North Carolina & was victorious at the battle of Guilford Courthouse March 15, 1781. Then at the Battle of Yorktown, Virginia, his troops were greatly outnumbered & Cornwallis surrendered on October 19, 1781. So Josiah guarded prisoners for about 2 months before he was discharged. According to his papers, he received an annual pension of $20, starting March 4, 1831, until his death in 1844. The paperwork also indicates that Josiah was “entirely illiterate.” He moved to North Carolina and lived there about 4 or 5 years, then in 1817 he moved to Pulaski County, KY.

So no great war stories from his statement. Just the story of a young man ready to contribute to the fight for Independence, waiting for the call to arms. His contribution was at the end of the war, guarding British prisoners. But even that service was needed at the time.

© MJM 2017

That Old Cross-Roads Store

My Grandmother, Margaret (Millikan) McKinley wrote this poem July 26, 1934:

That Old Cross-Roads Store

It’s only that old cross-roads store,
The kind that isn’t seen much more.
A faded old sign swings over the door.
And many feet have trod its floor.

It makes no difference what you’ve come to buy,
You’ll find it there, tho’ the price be high.
And as you look around at the things that lie
About on the counter, you give a sigh.

It may be a bolt of print, some lace,
An old pan lid, or a flower vase
A dusty veil for an older face
Or a bit of candy in a worn show case.

It may be something in which to cook,
Or a more recent magazine or book,
It may be a lamp, or a fish hook.
Why there’s even a cat in a cozy nook!

The keeper is smiling, ever fair.
Seems like the whole country side drops in there.
When in want, to the old cross-roads store we tear,
And we know our need will be filled with care.

She indicated in her notebook that she wrote it “in honor of Uncle Lonny’s cross-roads store at Deming, Indiana.”

LonBoone

“Uncle Lonny” was actually her Great-Uncle Cornelius Arlonzo Boone. He was born November 9, 1858 in Indiana, one of the 3 sons of Paul Boone (1832-1917) and Nancy Estle (1835-1896). He married Sarah Ellen Glaze February 19, 1876 in Hamilton County, Indiana. They had 4 children, Bertha E. (1877-1970), Bessie M. (1882-1901), Edgar M. (1886-1960) and Blanche M. (1889-1968).

In 1880, per the US Census, Lon lived in Marion Twp., Boone County on the family farm. Lon shows up in the US Census in Jackson Twp, Hamilton county in 1900. His occupation was grocer. He lived in the Deming community, which is located about 7 miles North of Westfield. Grandma would have been living in Sheridan and to get to Deming she would have to go East about 7 miles.

Through the following census records, he is listed as a “retail merchant” in the “grocery” industry & a “merchant” with a “Country store.” Unfortunately, I do not know the exact location of his store.

I was recently in Indiana. I asked relatives if they remembered what Lon’s store looked like & where it was. They couldn’t remember much. My Great Aunt told me that the store and the family home were connected. I went exploring & followed the road to Deming. Actually, the community is only about the size of a neighborhood block. The church building is still standing, but it is a lodge meeting place now. A couple of houses had just been demolished, with the remnants still visible. There was one house at the cross-roads that could very well have been the store, but I don’t know for sure.

So I kind of wonder if “Uncle Lonnie’s” country store was a gathering place for the community—did men sit around and play checkers & swap stories; did children come in to get penny candy? Right now I guess I can only imagine what it was like. Grandma’s poem gives a little insight, though.

Lon died April 9, 1936 at the age of 77. He was buried in Spencer Cemetery in Hamilton County, IN.

© MJM 2017

Benjamin Stafford’s Bible

Benjamin Stafford, Morgan County, Indiana pioneer was my GGG Grandfather. As stated in a previous post, Benjamin was mentioned in two history books about Morgan County—The Counties of Morgan, Monroe & Brown, Indiana and The Pioneers of Morgan County, Memoirs of Noah J. Major.

Both books indicate that Mr. Stafford was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He reported that he had read his Bible through “nearly 50 times” from age 61 to 73. However, he did not learn to read until he was 40 years old.

I have a New Testament that is well worn with very little of the binding left. His name is in the front cover.

Perhaps this is the Bible that he read so many times. It obviously didn’t just sit on a shelf. The date under his name “February 2, 1872” could have been the date he received the Bible. He would have been 61 years old.

Two more pages from the Bible list the birth dates for Benjamin, his wife, Susan and their children.

Regardless of whether this is the Bible mentioned in the history books, it obviously belonged to Benjamin. To me it is another connection to this ancestor—to think that he held this book over 145 years ago. Pretty cool!

© MJM 2017

Did They Go to the Race?

On May 30, 1911, a big event took place at the Indianapolis Speedway—the first running of the Indianapolis 500 mile race—200 laps around the track. It was called the 500-mile International Sweepstakes race back then. One story is that while there had been other races at the Speedway in the past, the owners wanted to pick up attendance, so they decided to run one special race—the Indy 500. At that time, the cars were “2-seaters.” There was a driver and a mechanic who also served as spotter—these days they have spotters up on the rooftop to help the drivers know what may be going on around them.

This picture was in my Grandmother, Margaret (Millikan) McKinley’s collection.

RalphDePalma

Ralph DePalma drove in that first race. He also drove in the 1912 race, where he lead for 196 laps, then came in 11th place after his car broke down and he and his mechanic had to push it across the finish line. He finished just out of the money. (Only 1-10th places were paid winnings). He won the race in 1915 & continued to race at Indy in the early 1920’s.

So how did this photo end up in Grandma’s collection? The assumption is that it belonged to her father, Arza Millikan. The only hint I have is from a letter that was written to Arza May 25, 1911. It was from a young lady, Bertha Shortridge, that he had met through her brother when they attended the Farmers Institute at Purdue. He kept up correspondence with her for a couple of years. Anyway, she wrote:

I know of several who are going to the races but I hadn’t thought of going myself. I did think of it tho’ after getting your letter to-day. Several boys and some men and their families are going but I do not know that any of the girls are going. I have relatives in the city and would like, not only to see them and the races but would be glad to meet you there but have decided it is impossible for me to go. To explain—I am making some of the graduating dresses and the commencement is next Thursday night and I cannot finish them and go to Indpls. too, so feel I must keep my word and get the work done by then. You know it is always, “business before pleasure.” Thank you for the arrangements you have so kindly made for my pleasure and am very sorry I cannot enjoy the day with you but hope you can go anyway. Tell me all about it if you do. I think there are one or two Connersville men to be in the races. Expect to hear of several meeting their everlasting. Two men were hurt there yesterday.”

So the assumption is that Arza went to the race, he had apparently made plans to include Miss Shortridge, but even though she turned him down, I bet he still went. He probably went with a group of friends. There was a report in the Sheridan News from June 2, stating the early Monon train heading to Indianapolis on race day was full & some people were delayed in getting there until after the race started. If he did go, it was an all-day event. To qualify for the race, the cars had to go at least 75 miles per hour—if you consider 500 miles at that speed, the race itself would have lasted about 7 hours. The news article said the race was over at 5pm. I expect it would have been quite dusty and dirty out at the track, not quite like it looks now on TV. So it is kind of interesting to imagine that Arza was there for the first Indy 500 race. Maybe he went to another race as well.

I haven’t quite been able to tie the photo of Ralph DePalma to the Indy 500. In 1911, he didn’t drive a Mercedes. In 1912 he did and his car was #4, but I can’t find a picture of him in the car. There is a car in the Indy museum that is reportedly the car he drove, but it is a little different than what is in the picture, but then I wonder if they painted it a couple of times. In 1915 he drove a Mercedes #4 car and won, but that is a different car than what is in the picture. I did find a similar picture on-line & the caption indicates that it was of Ralph DePalma and his mechanic, Tom Alley in 1912 relating to the Elgin road race in IL. But he didn’t win that race until August 1912, well after the 500 was run. So there is still a little mystery to when the photo souvenir was acquired.

And I still wonder if Arza went to the first Indy 500.

© MJM 2017

Mother & Daughter Silhouettes

For Mother’s Day I figured I would share two silhouettes that are part of my collection. They came from my Grandmother, Lucille (Beiersdorf) Chvarack Ash (1920-2011).

Silhouettes used to be quite popular before photography became affordable. After that they were more of a novelty.

First, we have my Grandmother, Lucille’s silhouette. Don’t know when it was done, but I guess she was a few years old.

LBeiersdorfSilhouette

Next, the silhouette of her daughter, my Mother. It was done in 1945. She was a few years old then. So I guess the two were done about 20 years apart.

JChvarackSilhouette

Mom’s has a few more details cut into it. But I notice both girls had quite curly hair. Can’t say I inherited that trait.

Happy Mother’s Day!

© MJM 2017

Benjamin Stafford, A Morgan County Pioneer

This funeral card was part of my Grandfather’s collection.

BenStaffordFuneralCard

The other day I found the corresponding obituary on Newspapers.com. It is from the Indiana State Sentinel, Indianapolis, IN Wednesday, April 1, 1891.

INStateSentinelIndianapolisWed1Apr1891p8BenStafford

So who was Benjamin Stafford? He is mentioned in a couple of books about the history of Morgan County, Indiana. (both books are available on the internet)

One book, The Counties of Morgan, Monroe & Brown, Indiana (Charles Blanchard ed., Chicago, F.A. Battey & Co. 1884) gives a biographical sketch of Benjamin on pg 269. His parents were Robert & Sarah (Bullick) Stafford from North Carolina. He was the 3rd of 7 children. He was born in Ohio May 28, 1810. He moved to Indiana in 1818, then to Morgan County in 1820. At that time, the county was still a wilderness.

The other book, The Pioneers of Morgan County, Memoirs of Noah J. Major, (Indianapolis, 1915), recounts the memories of Noah Major, a prominent citizen of Morgan county. Benjamin Stafford shows up on page 272. He is listed as “one of the younger men” who settled in the “Matthews and Drury neighborhood” & “who came with their parents or alone, to this settlement, and who loved, wooed and wedded the girls of their choice—unless the other fellows got them, as sometimes happened, whereupon they turned to a second choice which often proved as good or better than the first one. They were not to be cheated out of matrimonial bliss because of a choice between a Rose and Lily.”

According to these books, Benjamin married Ruth Gifford in 1830 and had a daughter, Sarah. Ruth died soon after.

Benjamin married the second time to Margaret Price in 1835. They had 8 children: Nancy J., John, Marion, William, Benjamin, Barnard and Grant. Then Margaret died in 1852.

One account states that Benjamin married again to Miss Sloan. They had no children.

Benjamin married Susan Fry, a widow with 5 sons. They had 7 children: Mary, James, Priscilla, Martha, Emaline and Oliver P.

So Benjamin had a total of 16 children and 5 step-children. All of them lived to adulthood. One of them, Priscilla (who married Jeremiah McKinley) was my great-great grandmother.

Mr. Major indicates the “Matthews and Drury neighborhood” was located “along the north bank of White River, from the mouth of White Lick to Sycamore Creek.” He said that Benjamin Stafford “lived low down in the pocket when the tide of ’47 came sweeping along, leaving him little else than a house, barn and bare ground. He sold his bottom farm and bought one on Sycamore, where he lived to the close of his life.” This farm was located south west of Centerton.

Benjamin shows up in the US Census records for Clay Township, Morgan County, IN in 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. In 1850, the names of some of the children are different than what is mentioned in the history books.

 

The first time I went to the Morgan County Library to do research several years ago, I found some unique information about Benjamin. They had a ledger listing the livestock markings for local farmers. (Morgan County Indiana Marks & Brands, April 18, 1822 to March 8, 1878, Recorder’s Office, Morgan County Courthouse, Martinsville, IN)

BenStaffordCattleBrand

Benjamin Stafford marks with a crop off of the left and split in the right ear. Clay Township December 9th, 1847.”

Benjamin died in 1891, although the exact date is not clear. The news clipping indicates March 29; the funeral card, March 26 and his headstone, March 25. Regardless, he was 80 years old when he died. He is buried in Williams Cemetery in Morgan County, IN next to his second wife, Margaret. His wife, Susan, and other family members are buried in the same cemetery.

© MJM 2017

Enjoying a Beautiful Day

This is one of my favorite pictures in my collection:

BeiersdorfGroup

Back Row: Herman Beiersdorf, Amanda (Steinhaus) Beiersdorf, Helen (Bendler) Beiersdorf, Marie (Beiersdorf) Knapton, Eldon Knapton
Front Row: August Beiersdorf, Fred Beiersdorf

These folks are all relatives on my Maternal side of the family. They lived in Sheboygan, WI. The outdoor scene shows water in the background, possibly the Sheboygan River, since there is land visible on the other side.

Herman & Amanda were my Great Grandparents. They were married in 1916. August and Helen were married in 1915. Eldon and Marie were married in 1914. Missing from the picture is Fred’s wife, Mary (Duchow). Perhaps she was taking the picture. Looks like all of them are having a good time.

A couple of other things to note in the photo:

crackerjack

 

Amanda and Helen are holding boxes.

Closer inspection shows that they are holding Cracker Jack boxes. The popular molasses coated popcorn & peanut candy first came out in 1896. This box design is seen in advertisements from around 1918, before the logo included “Sailor Jack” & his dog, “Bingo.”

 

 

Also, Amanda is wearing a bracelet.

bracelet

 

I’m pretty sure that it is a bracelet that I now have. It is a gold-color bracelet with a nice floral design.

bracelet2

bracelet3

 

On the inner rim are her initials and the date, 1913. This would have been the date of her high school graduation.

What a cool connection to the picture!

So, that’s about it, a nice photo of a group of siblings and their spouses enjoying a day outdoors. I wonder what they did that day. Did they have a picnic? Or did they get together after some event? Maybe for a walk after Sunday dinner? Who knows. But does it really matter? I’m just glad they posed for the picture so that day could be remembered.

© MJM 2017