Did They Know Their Neighbors?

While researching the US Census records on Ancestry.com, I came across a famous name on the same page as one of my ancestors. The 1930 US Census record for Brown Twp of Morgan County Indiana has the George Konig family listed just before the John Dillinger family. Was this family related to THE John Dillinger? The thought was intriguing.

1930uscensuskonigdillinger

First, who was George Konig? His wife, “Zella,” on the census, was O’Zella Mae McKinley. She was the daughter of Jeremiah (1852-1934) and Polly (1859-1941) McKinley. She married 3 times, first to John Russel McCracken in 1917, next to Byron M. Weller in 1924, and finally to George Konig in 1927.

John W. Dillinger was the father of the notorious gangster, John Dillinger (1903-1934). General information about the Dillinger family from internet sources indicates that they moved from Indianapolis, IN to the Mooresville, IN area around 1920. John robbed a grocery store in Mooresville and went to prison. After he was released in 1933, at the height of the Depression, he continued his life of crime. He started robbing banks. He reportedly returned to Mooresville to visit his family through his final year. On July 22, 1934 he was killed by FBI agents after leaving the Biograph Theater in Chicago, IL. His body was returned to Mooresville before burial in Crown Hill Cemetery of Indianapolis.

So the question is, did George and O’Zella know about the son of their neighbor? Did they ever encounter him? How close was their residence to the Dillinger residence? It is not known exactly what the census enumerator’s route was—and I haven’t looked at a plat map for that timeframe to know if the homes were “next door” (or as close to that as farms would be) or across the road from each other.

Looking at the 1940 US Census, George and O’Zella have moved to Jacksonburg, Wayne Co, IN. The Census indicates that on April 1, 1935, they lived in Richmond, Wayne Co, IN. So, when did they leave the Mooresville area? Were they even there in 1934 when all of the excitement about John Dillinger’s last days was happening? Right now I don’t have an answer to those questions. But it is interesting to speculate that they at least knew about their famous neighbor.

© MJM 2017

Jerry McKinley was a Good Man

Jeremiah McKinley was the youngest of a family of seven children born to George & Polly McKinley. He was born in 1852 and had been a life long resident of Morgan Co. The parents, brothers & sisters preceded him in death.

Jan. 4, 1879, he was married to Priscilla Stafford. Six children came to gladden their home. His companion of fifty-five yrs., two sons, Oscar & Fred McKinley, his daughter Ozella Konig, and four grandchildren, all residents of Brooklyn, survive him.

It is with mingled feelings we hear the news of the passing of the few remaining pioneers of our Community.

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Jeremiah McKinley 1926

We who knew Jerry best, with the family feel our loss.

Why? Because this tribute could be written in these words, “He was a faithful friend.” He didn’t go away from his home or Community to find a large place to fill, but he used the untold riches that were hidden in the depths of his heart.

He took what God gave. Some have been given more. Many have been given less. But he took what he had and made for his Soul a house of happiness & rendered a service near home.

Jerry made friends easily. His cleverness & humor gave us a tonic thought.

The goodness of his character attracted for him friends & the genuineness of his character kept them.

He was honestly & sincerely interested in his neighbors and this expressed itself in an open and understandable type of neighborliness & he and his family have created responsive neighborliness among us.

The many friends who have called at the home & those who are attending this service testify to the constructive influence of his happy friendly live.

Did you ever find the happiness flower? It isn’t so hard to find. It opens wide at the morning hour, In the meadows of Cheerful Mind.

–Eulogy for Jeremiah McKinley, 1934

A copy of this handwritten message is in my collection. There is no indication of who wrote it. However, I assume it was probably written by the pastor who presided at Jerry’s funeral. As mentioned below, that was the Rev. O.C. Haas.

On Thursday, January 18, 1934, there was the following notice on page 1 of The Mooresville Times: “McKINLEY RITES SATURDAY. Funeral services for Jeremiah McKinley, 81 yr old retired farmer will be held Saturday morning at the Brooklyn M.E. Church with the Rev. O.C. Haas in charge. Burial will be in Centerton. Mr. McKinley lived in Morgan Co. all his life. He was the son of George & Polly McKinley.”

So who was Jeremiah “Jerry” McKinley? For one thing, he was my GG Grandfather. As the eulogy says, he was born in 1852. His death certificate lists his birthday as May 28. He died January 18, 1934. He lived on South Main Street of Brooklyn, IN. He was a farmer in Morgan County, IN. His parents were George McKinley (b. ~1802) and Polly (Mary) Packwood (b. ~1807).

He married Priscilla Staffojerrypriscillamckinleyrd (1859-1941) January 4, 1879 in Morgan County, IN. The picture shown was given to me by my Grandfather & is actually a very small tintype with the oval opening in the frame approx 3/4 of an inch long. I do not have 100% proof that this is a picture of Jerry and Priscilla, but the features seem to match later pictures of them. They had the following children:

Oscar (1887-1969), Fred (1890-1972), Unnamed son (lived 4 days in April 1892), Perley (1893-1894), Ozella (1895-1980) and George (1900-1902).

 

I received the McKinley family Bible from my Uncle and the children are listed on the “Births” and “Deaths” pages.

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McKinley Bible Births

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McKinley Bible Deaths

The Agricultural Census Schedule for 1880 has Jeremiah listed in Clay Township, Morgan County, line 5. At that time he was renting his farm “for shares of product.” The farm consisted of 21 acres of improved land and 19 acres of “woodland & forest.” The value of the farm was $400 for the farm land, fences & buildings; $200 for farming implements & machinery; and $250 for livestock. The estimated value of all farm productions, (sold, consumed or on hand) in 1879 was $400. He had 1 horse, 1 milch cow and produced 100lbs of butter. There was 1 swine on the farm. Jerry had 36 barn-yard chickens, producing 200 eggs in 1879. He had 9 acres of oats, producing 200 bushels. The rest of the farm was orchard, 6 acres in apples (400 trees) producing 300 bushels & 5 acres in peaches (400 trees) with no listed production. The total value of orchard products was $150. He cut 30 cords of wood at a value of $100.

By 1920, Jerry and Priscilla had moved to town. They show up in the US Census in Brooklyn, IN with their son, Fred. Their other son, Oscar and his family are listed just above them on the census.

By the way, the eulogy mentions 4 grandchildren who were living when Jerry died. They were Oscar’s sons, Myron and Loran (my Grandfather) and Ozella’s son and daughter. Ozella had another daughter later in the year.

So there it is, information on the life of Jerry McKinley. If it weren’t for the eulogy, there would just be a selection of facts, but that added a little more insight to the kind of man he was, besides a farmer, Jerry McKinley was a good man.

© MJM 2017

Dear Friend…

I have this letter in my collection. It was sent to “Miss Mary Boone, Sheridan, Ind.” The date of the letter is Feb. 16, 1915. Mary was 17 years old.

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letterarzatomary1915b

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Arza Millikan

So Arza Millikan was asking Mary for a date! He was 31 years old. Quite a difference in age, but I guess they hit it off, as they got married November 22, 1916. They were my Great-Grandparents.

A few notes about the letter:

“Elfleda” was Elfleda Emery, a good friend of Mary’s. They were in the same class at Sheridan High School.

“Lamong” was probably Lamong Friends Meeting.

“Bob Wilson” was a neighbor of Arza’s Grandfather, Clark Millikan. Arza spent much of his time helping out at Clark’s farm. From what I can tell, “Hazel” Wilson survived the scarlet fever.

© MJM 2017

A Boone Family Portrait

Since I just finished a few posts about Paul Boone and his family, I figured this would be a good follow-up to those.

Grandma had a photograph in her collection that I now have in mine. Actually, I have a couple of copies of it. Unfortunately, none of the copies are 100% clear. The picture is of a large group and the caption under the photo is “Paul Boone Family.” There was a key with the photo, but it wasn’t completely filled in. Then I found more copies that had more names. That left only one name left to fill in–#9 in the key.

The photo was probably taken at a Boone family reunion. The time would be before 1912, as the woman in the center of the picture is Sarah Alexander Erp, and she died November 4, 1912.

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Paul Boone Family, ca 1911

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  1. Paul Boone [b.1832, ~79y]
  2. Cornelius Arlonzo Boone [b.1857, ~54y]
  3. Alva Lorenzo Boone [b.1861, ~50y]
  4. Aldes Sanford Boone [b.1864, ~47y]
  5. Dorothy Mabel Boone [dau of 4.Aldes, b.1907, ~4y]
  6. (Merritt) Henry Benson [husb of 17.Cynthia Estle Benson, b.1849, ~62y ]
  7. Ella (Glaze) Boone [wife of 2.Cornelius, b.1856, ~55y]
  8. Gertrude Boone [dau of 3.Alva, b.1896, ~15y]
  9. ??
  10. William Hobart Boone [son of 4.Aldes, b.1896, ~15y]
  11. Eliza Candice (Kingslover) Boone [wife of 4.Aldes, b.1876, ~35y]
  12. Eva Delores Boone [dau of 4.Aldes, b.1909, ~2y]
  13. Sarah Alzada (Erp) Boone [wife of 3.Alva, b.1869, ~42y]
  14. Clora (Burris) Boone [wife of 30.Edgar Boone, b.1886, ~25y]
  15. Bertha Boone Walls-France [dau of 2.Cornelius b.1877, ~34y]
  16. Henry Walls [son of 16.Bertha Boone Walls, b.1908, ~3y]
  17. Cynthia (Estle) Ballard-Benson [sis of Nancy Estle, b.1848, ~63y]
  18. Grace Pauline Boone [dau of 4.Aldes, b.1898, ~13y]
  19. Mary Geneva Boone [dau of 3.Alva, b.1897, ~14y]
  20. Hannah (Boone) Copeland [sis of 1.Paul Boone, b.1828, ~83y]
  21. Ernest Walls [son of 15.Bertha Boone Walls, b.1904, ~7y]
  22. Paul Marvin Boone [son of 4.Aldes, b.1903, ~8y]
  23. Richard Edwin Boone [son of 3.Alva, b.1906, ~5y]
  24. Sarah (Alexander) Erp [mother-in-law of 3.Alva, b.1829, ~82y ]
  25. Audna Boone [dau of 30.Edgar Boone, b.1903, ~8y]
  26. Blanche (Boone) Martin [dau of 2.Cornelius, b.1889, ~22y]
  27. Mary Edith Boone [dau of 4.Aldes, b.1902, ~9y]
  28. Edna Gladys Boone [dau of 4.Aldes, b.1905, ~6y]
  29. Ruth Marie Boone [dau of 4.Aldes, b.1900, ~11y]
  30. Edgar Boone [son of 2.Cornelius, b.1886, ~25y]
  31. Bernie Martin [husb of 15.Blanche Boone, b.1888, ~23y]
  32. Chester Emmett Boone [son of 3.Alva, b. 1892, ~19y]
  33. Ursula Martin [dau of 26.Blanche Boone Martin, b.1908, ~3y]
  34. Nora Martin [dau of 26. Blanche Boone Martin, b. 1910, ~1y]

Two people not listed in the key for the picture are Kenneth Sanford and Geneva Maxine Boone. They were children of Aldes and Eliza. Kenneth was born in Nov 1911 and Geneva in 1913.

I recently found a newspaper article about a Boone Reunion that probably solved the question of when the photo was taken. (I use Newspaperarchive.com for the Indiana Newspaper research.) The Friday, September 22, 1911 edition of the Sheridan News has an article on page 14, titled “Boone Reunion.” The article states:

Last Sunday Alva Boone and family entertained at dinner the formers father and brothers together with their families. Those present were Paul Boone, C.R. Boone and wife, Edgar Boone and family, Bernie Martin and family and Mrs. S.A. Wall and children of Deming, Merritt Benson and wife of Westfield, Mrs. Nancy Estle of Terre Haute and Aldes Boone and family of near Terhune. If Mr. and Mrs. J. O’rear of Carmel could have attended the fifth generation of the family would have been present, their son being a great-great grandchild of Paul Boone.

The family consists of three sons, fifteen grandchildren, six great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Most names from the article are familiar and match the key. The 1911 date fits with the presumed date of the picture.

I’m not sure who Mrs. Nancy Estle is. She is not listed in the key. However, person #17 is Cynthia (Estle) Ballard-Benson, who was the sister of Paul Boone’s first wife, Nancy Estle (d.1896) . These women had a brother, Jesse, who married Nancy Trimble Pritchard. So perhaps the Nancy Estle mentioned in the article is the Sister-in-law to Paul Boone’s first wife. Some records show her birth date as 1833, so she would have been ~79 years old in 1911. Due to the exposure of the picture, it is very difficult to see the mysterious woman #9, could this be Nancy Estle?

The J. O’Rear family mentioned in the article refers to John O’Rear and his wife Ethel Goodner. Ethel was the daughter of Bertha Boone (#16) and her first husband, William Goodner. Ethel would have been around 17 years old in 1911. Bernard Fletcher O’Rear was the first child of this family and he was born August 31, 1910. (Found his name through the Indiana Birth Certificates collection at Ancestry.com) At first, I thought Ethel would be the elusive woman #9, but that wouldn’t work since, according to the article, she wasn’t there.

So, I’m still not sure of the identity of woman #9 in this picture, but I’m glad we have most of the names & relationships figured out. I wish we could remember to put a key with all group pictures at the time they are taken, so later generations wouldn’t have to scrounge through records to find the connections.

© MJM 2017

Paul Boone had 3 Sons…Following the Census Trail, Part 2

Continuing from the last post, following the Census records for Paul Boone’s 3 sons. Here are the records for Alva and Aldes Boone:

Alva Lorenzo Boone

I’ve mentioned Alva Lorenzo (my GG Grandfather) in a previous post. He married Sarah Alzada “Allie” Erp. They had 6 children, with 2 dying as infants. Nora Mabel and Chauncy died young. Their other children were Chester Emmett, Rachel Gertrude, Mary Geneva and Richard Edwin.

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1900 US Census, Alva Boone

In 1900, Alva and Allie were living in Sugar Creek Twp, Clinton Co, IN. Sarah Erp, his mother-in-law is also part of the household. The record shows that Allie has had 4 children with only 3 living. Nora Mabel doesn’t show up in the Census records and has already died. “Hester” is actually Chester, but is difficult to decipher.

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1910 US Census, Alva Boone

1910 finds them in Adams Twp, Hamilton County, IN, which is where they will reside for the rest of their lives. Edwin is listed as “Edmond.”

 

 

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1920 US Census, Alva Boone

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1930 US Census, Alva Boone

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1940 US Census, Alva Boone

The 1920, 1930 and 1940 Census records have Alva and Allie at home on the farm. Edwin stays with them until he gets married—note he is listed as Richard E. and Edwin. Alva’s name also changes in 1930, it looks like it is “Alsa.” So, again other records are needed to even find their other son, Chauncey and to clarify the names.

Aldes Sanford Boone

Aldes Sanford Boone married Eliza Candace Kingsolver. They had 10 children: William Hobart, Grace Pauline, Ruth Marie, Mary Edith, Paul M, Edna Gladys, Dorothy May, Eva Delores, Kenneth Sanford and Geneva Maxine.

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1900 US Census, Paul Boone, Aldes Boone

Aldes lived in Marion Twp of Boone County, IN in 1900, showing up just after his father, Paul. He raised his family on this farm.

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1910 US Census, Aldes Boone

The 1910 record has more children added to the family.

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1920 US Census, Aldes Boone

By 1920, Grace and Ruth have moved on, Edith M. becomes Mary, “Dortha” (Dorothy) disappears and 2 more children have been added to the family. Dorothy may be visiting someone at the time the Census taker made rounds. So she may show up with another family.

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1930 US Census, Aldes Boone

The 1930 Census record has some of the children still at home. Note that Dorothy has returned. Aldes died in 1931.

So there we have it, following the US Census records for Paul’s 3 sons. Obviously, these records are a good start for finding the family relationships, but other records are needed to complete the story.

© MJM 2017

Paul Boone had 3 Sons…Following the Census Trail, Part 1

 

pboonandsons

As mentioned in the previous post, Paul Boone (1832-1917) was married 3 times. He had 3 sons with his first wife, Nancy Estle (1835-1896). His son’s names were Cornelius Arlonzo, Alva Lorenzo and Aldes Sanford. This picture shows Aldes and Alva in the back with Cornelius and Paul in the front.

Census records from Ancestry.com follow the families through the decades.

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1860 US Census, Paul Boon

In 1860, Paul is listed in the US Census with his wife Nancy and son Cornelius, in Washington Twp, Hamilton Co., IN. Cornelius was born in 1858. The next family group on the census belongs to his Mother-in-law, Alice “Elsie” Estle.

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1870 US Census, Paul Boone

 

The 1870 Census shows his family has grown with the addition of Alva and Aldes. He is still in Washington Twp, Hamilton Co., IN. Alva was born in 1861 & Aldes in 1868.

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1880 US Census, Paul Boone

 

By 1880, Paul had moved to Marion Twp of Boone Co, IN.

Cornelius has gotten married to Sarah E. and shows up as the next family on the census with their daughter, Bertha E.

 

The 1890 Census was destroyed by fire, so there is a 20 year gap until the next US Census records. By 1900, Paul’s sons had all married and started their own families. Some of their children were also married and starting families.

Cornelius Arlonzo Boone

Following Cornelius Arlonzo’s trail: From Census and other records I have the information that he was known as “Lon.” He and his wife, Sara Ellen “Ellie” Glaze had 4 children: Bertha E., Bessie M., Edgar M., and Blanche M.

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1900 US Census, Cornelius Boone

Cornelius shows up in the 1900 Census as “R’lonzo.” Searching for him by his first name doesn’t get us anywhere. Bertha is already out of the house. His second daughter, Bessie doesn’t even show up in the Census records for his family. So we had to find information about her from other sources. Lon and his family are now in Jackson Twp, Hamilton County, IN which is where they appear in the remaining Census records.

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1910 US Census Cornelius Boone

By 1910, the girls are out of the house, Edgar shows up as the next family in the Census with his wife and daughter. The family name is spelled “Boon.” Note that Sarah E has a “4/3” after her name. This indicates that she had 4 children and only 3 are still living. Other records show that daughter, Bessie, has died.

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1920 US Census, Cornelius Boone

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1930 US Census, Cornelius Boone

The final 2 Census records from 1920 and 1930 have Cornelius and Sarah living on their own. They own a house and he is a “groceryman.” Note that Cornelius has an R after his name in 1920—I suppose this is for “R’lonzo.” Then 1930, his middle initial looks like an “O.” Lon died in 1936.

I’ll continue with the other 2 sons, Alva and Aldes next time…

© MJM 2017

Paul Boone had 3 Wives…

But not all at the same time.

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Paul Boone

Paul Boone was my GGG-Grandfather. He was born in Randolph County, Indiana April 8, 1832. He died November 4, 1917 at the home of his son in Deming, Hamilton County, Indiana. His parents were John Boone, Jr (1798-1875) & Sarah Pierson (1794-1875). Paul was one of 10 children. He lived his entire life in Indiana.

He is listed in the Peoples Guide of Hamilton Co., Indiana; by Cline & McHaffie; Indianapolis, 1874; on page 247 in the section on Washington Twp.: “Boone, Paul; farmer & mechanic; 2 m S E Westfield. Born in Indiana 1832; settled in Hamilton Co. 1839. Republican, Wesleyan Methodist.” Another note I have says he was a blacksmith. I’m not sure where that information came from.

He shows up in the 1850 US Census in Washington Twp, Hamilton Co., IN in his father’s home with his parents, his grandfather, John, and his sister Eunice.

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Paul Boone & Nancy Estle Marriage record

He married Nancy Estle, daughter of Joseph P. Estle and Alice Crawford, on November 1, 1855 in Hamilton Co. Indiana. Their marriage record indicates they were married by Isaac Stanton, Justice of the Peace. Paul & Nancy had 3 sons: Cornelius Arlonzo (1858-1936), my GG-Grandfather–Alva Lorenzo (1861-1945) and Aldes Sanford (1864-1931). Nancy died in 1896 at the age of 61. Paul was 64.

After Nancy died, he married 2 more times. When Grandma gave me her notes on the family, we had no clear idea who the other two wives were. Through the years, I have found more information to clarify the situation.

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1900 US Census Boone Co, IN

The 1900 US Census has Paul in Marion Twp., Boone Co., Indiana with wife, Loucinda. They had been married less than a year. She is 60 years old and it indicates her birth month and year are May 1840. She has 4 living children.

Ancestry.com’s Indiana Marriage Collection (1800-1941) has Paul marrying Lucinda (Compton) Carnine on Februrary 6, 1900 in Marion County, Indiana. She was probably in her 50’s but there is conflicting information in some of the records. She is listed as being 40 years old in 1880 on the US Census. At that time, she was married to Abram N. Carnine. They had 4 children. Lucinda died May 30, 1903 of stomach cancer. Her Death Certificate has her age as 58.

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1910 US Census Hamilton Co, IN

In 1910, Paul is listed in the US Census with another wife, Malinda. She is 75 years old, has been married 5 times, gave birth to 5 children, with none living. She and Paul had been married for a year. They are living in Sheridan, Hamilton Co., IN. There is also a “step-daughter” listed in the family, Anna McMurtry.

Paul married Malinda (Keyste/Kist) McMurtry on March 12, 1909 in Hamilton Co. Indiana. She was 74 and he was 77. According to the newspaper announcement, they got married at her home on East 4th Street in Sheridan, IN. The application for marriage indicates that she was married 4 times before marrying Paul. Her obituary from the Sheridan News, in 1914 lists her husbands as Permaneas Beam, William Young, William Higbee and David McMurtry. She had a total of 3 sons and 2 daughters from these marriages, all of whom preceded her in death. The obit also mentions 7 step-children. So I guess Anna McMurtry was one of those step-children.

So there we have it, Paul Boone’s 3 wives: Nancy Estle, Lucinda (Compton) Carnine & Malinda (Kist) McMurtry. While he was married 3 times, he only had children with his first wife, Nancy.

© MJM 2017

What’s in a Name?…

So what is so important about a name? To genealogists and family historians, names are the building blocks of our research. If the name is wrong, then the trail it takes us on is also wrong.

For instance, since I have the actual Army discharge papers for my ancestor, Allen Erp, I know that any official records for the Civil War would have him listed as “Allen Urp.” The Earp genealogy book that I used to connect the line to Wyatt Earp actually has my ancestor, Allen, listed as a Confederate soldier. So the authors didn’t know to look for the “Urp” spelling. I did send them a correction.

Clark Millikan is listed as Millican on his Civil War papers. This is not quite as drastic of a spelling difference, but it may also affect finding all of the correct records. (Yep, there is a story there…)

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Arza Millikan

The most challenging spelling difference is for my Great-Grandfather, Arza Millikan. In 1907 the Rev. Gideon Tibbetts Ridlon compiled a genealogy of Millikan and other related families. The book, History of the Families Millingas and Millanges of Saxony & Normandy, is the go-to reference for anyone researching the Millikan line. However, there are no sources listed in this book. My assumption is that Ridlon probably sent notices to as many people as he could with the Millikan and similar surnames and asked for them to return family information to him. The section of the book that includes my direct ancestors is “The Posterity of William Millikan.” I always know when someone has used this source for their Millikan research when they list my G-Grandpa’s name a Arza Hamer Millikan (p.713 of the Ridlon book). I mentioned this to my Grandmother, who very adamantly said “his name was Arza Homer, not Arza Hamer!” However, all of the records, notes and letters I had for him only had Arza H. So how do I prove that his name was Homer? Finally, I found a few records that gave his full name, the record of Union Grove Friends Meeting in Hamilton County, IN; his marriage record and his WWI draft registration. So I finally had evidence of what the family knew all along.

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Union Grove Friends record

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Arza Millikan WWI Draft Card

Now that we know his proper name, who was this guy? Well, Arza was my paternal Great-Grandfather. He was born near Sheridan, Hamilton County, Indiana on July 21, 1883. His parents were Lewis Elwood Millikan (1855-1959) and Martha Ellen “Mattie” Barker (1858-1932). He had one sister, Edna (1886-1966). Arza grew up on the family farm on Mulebarn road. He also worked on his Grandfather, Clark Millikan’s farm, which was nearby. He spent his entire life (except for about 1 year) on the farm. From what I can tell, he didn’t graduate high school. He did attend Farmer’s Extension classes at Purdue University.

He had a few girlfriends that I know of, as my grandmother kept some of the letters from these ladies. She also kept some of his journals as well. Seems like he was quite the “lady’s man.” Maybe it was that he was considered quite the catch being a successful farmer. Arza was a dairy farmer, winning prizes for his bulls and cows. He was also a bee-keeper. He had an orchard on the farm & grew corn and other crops as well. So farm life was quite busy for him and his family. He helped establish the Farm Bureau in Adams Township, Hamilton County, IN.

He married Mary Geneva Boone (1897-1992) in Noblesville, Indiana November 22, 1916 when he was 33 years old and Mary was 18. They set up housekeeping on the family farm, with Arza’s parents moving into town. Arza and Mary had 4 children: Margaret Pauline(1917-2007), my Grandmother; Miriam Frances(1918-), Betty Lou (1921-1990), and Arza Clark (1925-1975).

He and his family were members of the Society of Friends. He started in Union Grove meeting, then moved to Lamong Meeting when Union Grove dissolved. Arza died November 24, 1964. He was 81 years old. He is buried with family members in the Union Grove cemetery near Sheridan, not very far from where he lived. Arza was an interesting character & I expect there are a few stories to tell of him…

©MJM 2017

Uncle Edwin’s Story, Part 5…on to Germany

The start of 1945 had Edwin Boone still in Europe with the 415 Medical Collecting Company. The Allied forces were pushing hard against the Germans. Edwin was probably still part of the medical support for Patton’s 3rd Army. His letters are up-beat, reassuring his family that he is fine, eating well & not doing much. January 20, 1945, he wrote “The War News now is sounding awfully good. Maybe I’ll get to see you by “Corn-plantin’” time!” On January 29, he said the snow was a foot deep with talk of the “worst winter in Europe for a good many years, but where I am it compares with a mild winter back in Indiana.” February 1, it had quit snowing & with warmer weather “the snow is practically all gone. And just as I had finished building a new toboggan, too! We built one and used it the last day there was snow. Had a nice long slide, and was really fun, even for an old man!” By February 4 the snow had melted and the rain started again.

reboonevalentineHe made a Valentine card for his parents.

Later in February, his APO address changed to 339, which connected him to the 9th Army. He wrote from Holland. He told of seeing “some of the war’s desolation” on the trip to Holland. The soldiers were staying in a schoolhouse & subject to regular inspections “just like we had back in the States.” February 11, he tells that he has been permitted to get a room in a private home. He is staying with the Baan family. Professor Baan teaches English in one of the local schools. “I don’t think the folks in America have ever showed the hospitality that these Dutch do.” He says the Dutch people are “very friendly” and are learning English. “They have taken us into their home & can’t seem to do enough for us.”

March 4, 1945, Edwin writes from Germany. He says, “finally we’re getting to see some of the sights that lots of people say they’d like to see. A Germany that has seen some of the ravages of war. I’m sure that these people are beginning to wonder why they ever followed their “leaderreboonefatigues.”” Allied forces were continuously bombing targets in Germany, causing significant devastation. On March 7, US forces of the 1st Army crossed the Rhine River at Remagen over a railroad bridge that the Germans had failed to destroy.

Later in March he mentions the Red Cross and “making arrangements.” He is working on trying to get home to help take care of his parents.

March 29, they have moved again.On March 24, the 9th US Army forces crossed the Rhine River at Dinslaken. “This part of Germany isn’t so well serviced with electricity as the last area was, but they may have it functioning before long. We had lights, radio & electric irons on the other side of the river.”

May 1, Edwin writes that he took a 3 day pass to Holland & “by the time I got back 8 days had passed.” The Company had moved while he was gone and they had difficulty getting transportation to catch up. He said he spent a night “in a real castle, which is being used as Battalion Headquarters.”

Back home, on May 2, his parents, Alva and Allie Boone, had a sale of their personal property. This is the announcement:boonefarmsale1945

May 6, Edwin writes of expecting the war to be over by the time his letter gets to the folks at home. On May 8, 1945 (VE Day) the Germans surrendered and the war in Europe was officially over.

He changed APO address mid May & connected again with the 3rd Army. He said they had traveled several hundred miles in about a week. “We are located within a quarter of a mile of one of these camps filled with displaced persons Polish, Russian & Italian. It’s certainly an odd assortment of humanity. It’s really pitiful to see so many of these people who have been, either voluntarily or otherwise—mostly otherwise!, taken from their homes and used as laboreboonearmycasualrers here in Germany.” He talks of the point system for discharge from the Army and is frustrated that he has less than half the points needed. Also, he indicates he is not getting much help in trying to get home to help care for his father, Alva.

June 4 he is in Deggendorf, Germany, sleeping in an office building. He’s on 24hr guard duty—2hrs on then 4hrs off for 24hrs at a time. He also writes that he is painting signs. He mentions the sale at home and the eventual sale of the farm. He indicates that even though his father expected one of his sons to carry on with the farm, he’s not sure what he will do when he gets out of the Army. There are rumors of possibly the older soldiers being d/c soon. June 25, he sent a photo home.

July 5 he mentions he is riding with a truck driver all over the area, transporting German hospital patients from one hospital to another. Still talking about discharge points and that he has 3 battle stars, which added to his points. “The fact that I have 3 doesn’t mean that I, personally, was in 3 battles! They are for the arenas of the Ardennes, in Belgium, the Rhineland and Central Europe. We had our Company spread out so we got credit for all of them!”

At the end of July he sent drawings of Deggendorf:

August: He was busy painting and decorating the various clubs for the battalion—the Non-Com’s club Officer’s club and Enlisted men’s club. He considers getting back into painting when he returns home or trying dental work, which may pay pretty well.

Edwin probably contributed to the decor on this wall.clubdecor

The US dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. Then on August 10, Nagasaki was bombed. The war in the Pacific was coming to an end. August 14, Emperor Hirohito agrees to surrender terms but the formal ceremony didn’t take place until September 2, 1945.The war was finally over.

Aug 19 Edwin tells of a report that soldiers who were at least 38 yrs old were being discharged from the Army. August 31, he writes from Etampes, Franreboonearmyce, in process of returning home. Sept 7, from Compeigne, France, he mentions being bounced from camp to camp, while still awaiting the trip home. Sept 12 he is part of the 16th Reinforcement Depot in Pierrefonds, France, continuing to wait. Sept 19, his name has been read off and he plans his return trip on the 21st.

This was the last of Edwin’s letters. He did get home to Indiana and was given his discharge papers at the Separation Center at Camp Atterbury, IN on October 13, 1945. His papers indicate that he departed for the European Theater on October 4, 1944, arriving October 12. He departed for home Sept 28, 1945 and arrived October 9, 1945.

Sadly, his father, Alva Boone, died of pneumonia on October 6.

Edwin returned to Indianapolis with is wife, Pauline. They lived there for the rest of their lives. Edwin did work as a dental technician and continued with art as a hobby. He died in 1980, and Pauline died in 1997. They did not have children.

So, that’s most of Uncle Edwin’s story. I’m sure he was involved in more than just KP, guard duty and sign painting with his time in the Army in Europe during the final stages of WWII. But that’s all that he shared with his family. There is one more tangent to his story to be shared at a later date.

© MJM 2016