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

Another Civil War Story, Part 2

Continuing from last time, Clark Millikan was drafted into the Confederate Army and enlisted November 15, 1864. He was in Company A of the 6th North Carolina Infantry. The story of his short time in the Infantry has been recounted through the years. For the most part, the story is the same each time it is told, however, there are a few additions that I have found.

The most common account is the one printed in the book, The History of Hamilton County, Indiana, by John F. Haines, 1915, B.F. Bowen & Co, Indianapolis, IN. The book includes a biographical sketch of Clark Millikan. The Civil War part of that sketch follows:

Mr. Millikan and his family were still living in North Carolina at the opening of the Civil War. He was reared in the Friends church and was opposed to war and slavery. He was drafted for service in the Confederate Army, but hired a substitute to take his place. The limit age was raised later in the war and he was drafted and sent to the front. Before this he and three other members of the Friends church had paid a man $40 to a memorial to the Confederate Congress, asking that Friends be allowed to pay $500 and be relieved from war duty. He and his three friends were ordered to drill and refused to do so until they heard from Congress. They were arrested and tied up by their thumbs for half a day in the rain and snow. During the forenoon that they were thus suspended the water ran down their arms into their shoes, and after dinner they were bucked and bound and punished until one of their member declared he would die if the punishment was not stopped. To save their comrade, the other three agreed to drill. They drilled but watched closely for a chance to escape. After several months at detail work near home, for which they received 65¢ a day and board, they were sent to a regiment and within a month, while on picket duty near Petersburg, Mr. Millikan and a number of others left the lines and slipped over to the Yankee lines, more than one-half mile away. This happened one night while they were on duty and was probably the most exciting night’s experience through which Mr. Millikan ever passed.

On this particular night when he made his escape, Mr. Millikan and three others were guarding with a campfire behind a screen of limbs. Other guards were stationed in little groups along the lines with a fire to each group. In the group of guards next to Mr. Millikan and his friends was stationed one man whose duty was to watch the Friends constantly. About midnight this man who was watching Mr. Millikan and his friends drew his cape up over his head to protect himself from the cold wind and leaned down over the fire to warm. Immediately the four men, of whom Mr. Millikan was one, made a dash for liberty. They crawled rapidly as close to the ground as possible until they were 30 or 40 yards over into the pine brush, then jumped to their feet and made a dash for the Yankee lines, going up to the first Yankee sentry and surrendering. The four men, Millikan, Bell, Stewart and Beckerdite, immediately made themselves known. When they got to the guard and the Yankees saw the Confederate uniforms, the sentry shook hands and said, “Howdy, Johnnies,” and treated them well. The four men had been on one-fourth rations and were now given the first good meal they had had for several days. After they had fully explained their position the United States government took them in charge and pursuant to a proclamation just issued by President Lincoln they were sent where they would be safe from the Confederates. Mr. Millikan and about 80 others accepted the offer of the United States government and Mr. Millikan, along with some of the others, asked to be sent to Hamilton County, Indiana, where he had friends. Thus closed the war experience of Mr. Millikan, and certainly he should be honored as much as those who fought for the flag.

This account almost word for word shows up in the Noblesville Ledger at the time of his 100th birthday in 1925.

Now to add a few more tidbits to the story.

First, the reference to communication to the Confederate Congress. The Guilford College Hege Library in Greensboro, NC has a collection of papers from John B. Crenshaw. He was a prominent Quaker minister who had connections with Union and Confederate government officials during the Civil War. The manuscript collection includes letters sent to Crenshaw from many Quakers who were conscripted into the Confederate Army. They asked for his help with their situations. The collection is digitized and available on the library’s website <library.guilford.edu>. Three letters in the collection were written by Clark & his companions. (transcribed below with no changes to spelling or grammar)

The first letter, written November 13, 1864:
Richmond Va
Dear Friend Crenshaw
We the under signed have bin arrested and brought hear under arrest for servis and assined to the sixth N.C. Regt. we the under signed friends wants thee to do something for us if the possibly can as soon as thee can hear we will gave the ouer names and meeting we be long to
Back Creeke Henry Stuart, William F. Bell
Molboro Clark Millikan, John R. Beckerdite

The second letter, written November 15, 1864 (page has piece torn off it):
Stanton Va
Friend Crenshaw
We the under signed Friends of N.C. have bin taken under arrest and brought heare for field servis we want thee to doo somthing to releave us ef thee posible can as thee posiblely kno soon as thee can we are …signed to the sixth North Carolina Regt
William F. Bell …nry Stuart Belongs Baccreak
Clark Millikan …Beckerdite Belongs at Molboro
we may stay hear several days be fore we go to the Regt. we ar assined we would be glad the would write to us as soon as those lines comes to hand

The third letter, written November 19, 1864:
camp near New Market Va
Friend Crenshaw we the under signed of N.C. Randolph Co. belongs to the Friends Sosiety and was taken by a reste and brought hear for field servis the officers show us no favors we wante the ef they is any thing don or can be don for us we want thee to let us kno it as soon thee possiblely can please come or write and let us kno what can be don for us soon
Henry Stuart, Wm. F. Bell, Clarke Millikan, L.R. Beckerdite
Derect thy letter Co A 6 Regt N.C. Troopes in care of leutenant Harden Richmond Va or Army Northern Va

There is no indication that Crenshaw was able to help the soldiers.

The statement that they worked near home for several months doesn’t make much sense in timing. As they enlisted on November 15 and deserted on December 11, 1864. However, perhaps they worked somewhere before being required to enlist.

I found another account of the story. It was William Bell’s story, recounted in the Fairmount News, from Fairmount Indiana, June 7, 1907. He says he worked for 2 years in the salt mines to avoid bearing arms. (There were salt mines in Wilmington, NC) But this work was “onerous and disagreeable” and he returned home. Then he was required to enlist. Another article from the same newspaper July 6, 1914 tells of a visit between Clark and Mr. Bell, who were “forced into service hauling saltpetre for the Confederate army.” So maybe Clark worked in the salt mines at some time before he enlisted.

Mr. Bell’s story also mentions how the men were hung by their thumbs for 3 hours and then bound for 3 more hours “in uncomfortable positions with ropes.” The practice of “bucking” was to have the man sit with his knees bent & arms out straight, a pole was placed under the knees and over the elbows. The hands and feet were then bound. So the man could not move out of this position. I’m sure it became quite painful after a while.

Mr. Bell also said that the Quakers refused to wear the Confederate uniforms. They were allowed to wear their own plain clothes. He said they were hungry & at one time they subsisted for 3 days on “a spoonful of green coffee and a slice of fat meat.” He said that he and Henry Stewart deserted together.

I found Clark’s service record at a local college library collection & took grainy copies from the microfilm. Now, his Compiled Service record is available on-line at Fold3.com In essence, it consists of 7 cards containing basic information. His name is sClarkMillikanCivilWarRegisterpelled differently on some of the cards. The Confederate Muster Roll lists him as “C. Milichan” a private in Company A of the 6th Regiment of North Carolina Infantry. Enlisted November 15, 1864 at Camp Stokes, deserted Petersburg Va December 11, 1864. Union Provost Marshal forms spell his name as “Milliken” and indicate that he took the Oath of Amnesty at City Point, Va. on December 13, 1864 & was sent to Indianapolis, IN. He had a Dark Complexion, Black hair and Brown eyes. He was 6ft tall. (copies of records from Fold3.com, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers who Served in Organizations from the State of North Carolina)

ClarkMillikanOathofAmnesty

Clark Millikan’s Oath of Amnesty

With the fact that Clark deserted from the Confederate Army, then signed the Oath of Amnesty to support the Union, he was better off staying in Indiana after the War. His family eventually joined him there. As far as I know, he did not go back to North Carolina when his parents died in 1869 & 1871. With War wounds still fresh, I doubt he would have been very welcome in the South. He did eventually visit again in 1903.

So there we have it, what we know right now of Clark Millikan’s Civil War story.

© MJM 2017

 

Another Civil War Story

I already wrote a little about my GGG Grandfather, Clark Millikan (1824-1926). At 101 years old, he was the oldest man in Hamilton County, Indiana before he died. But he didn’t start out in Indiana.

Clark was born in Randolph County, North Carolina to Samuel (1789-1871) & Sally (1800-1869) Millikan. He was the third of 8 children. When he married Nancy Adams in 1851, he received land from his father on Back Creek in Randolph County. Nancy died soon after the birth of their daughter, Nancy Angeline (1852-1926). Clark then married Lydia Hinshaw (1833-1917) in January, 1855. They settled on the farm on Back Creek. Clark had built a 2 story house there. Extended family members lived nearby. They had their first child together, a son, Lewis Elwood (1855-1949), in October, 1855.

Clark was a “birthright” Quaker. I have not found the early Friends Meeting records to confirm this yet. As I’ve mentioned before, Clark must have been disowned at some time, probably for marrying Nancy, as she was not a member of the Society of Friends. When Lydia and Clark married, Lydia was disowned for marrying him.

ClarkLydiatintype3

Clark & Lydia Millikan

Clark & Lydia started their life together as tensions were growing in the Southern United States. The Quaker beliefs of pacifism and anti-slavery put them at odds with their fellow Southerners. Many Quakers had left the state of North Carolina to settle in other parts of the country where they did not have to deal with the slavery issue.

Clark & Lydia’s second child lived only a month in 1857. They had a girl, Flora Ellen (1860-1923), in 1860. Then on April 12, 1861, Clark’s 37th birthday, Fort Sumter, SC was fired upon. This started the fighting that would disrupt the country for 4 years—the US Civil War. The first conscription law for the Confederacy included men ages 18 to 35 years old. Clark was too old to qualify.

Quakers were in a quandary at this time, they were against carrying arms and slavery. Early on in the War, men were permitted to pay a fee of $500 to avoid service and hire a “substitute.” But later in the War, as the Confederate Army needed more men, that was no longer an option and Quaker men were expected to follow orders when drafted. In 1862, the upper age for conscription was raised to 45, then in 1864 it was 50. Any man who was capable of carrying a weapon was drafted, whether they were willing to carry that weapon or not. Some men hid out and some left the state.

Being a Quaker, Clark was not willing to bear arms against his fellow man. The story goes that Clark paid the fine the first time he was called for the draft. So this would have been after 1862, when the age limit was raised.

On June 4, 1864, Clark was received into membership of Marlborough Friends Meeting in Randolph County.

MarlboroCMillikan641864

Marlborough Friends Meeting Minutes June 4, 1864

It is interesting that there are several young men requesting or being admitted into membership at this time, including Clark’s brothers, John & Allen. Perhaps they were trying to have official paperwork to verify their religious affiliation. Lydia had their 4th child, Lunda (1864-1926) in August of 1864.

Then, Clark was called for the draft again. This time, he had no choice but to follow the orders. The records have his name as “C. Milichan” of Randolph County, NC. He enlisted at Mecklenburg County, NC on November 15, 1864. He is listed as a private in the Confederate Army, 6th NC Infantry, Company A.

To be continued…

© MJM 2017

Mystery Solved!…or is it?

Some of the first information I received from my Maternal Grandmother about her family included August and Augusta Beiersdorf’s family notes. I remember commenting to my Grandmother that the first 3 children in the family were born before August and Augusta got married. I was told that August had been married before, his first wife died and he married Augusta, who was her sister. But I didn’t have all of the pieces of the puzzle, so I couldn’t really put truth to this story.

First, August Beiersdorf (1858-1903) was married to ??? and they had Fred (1882-1963), August C. (1884-1974) and William G. (1887-1942).

Then, August married Augusta (1868-1955) in 1887. They had Gustav (1888-1890), Marie (1890-1973), Albert G. (1892-1977), Herman (1895-1983), Otto (1896 stillborn), Ewald (1898-1971) & Frieda (1900-1974). As mentioned in a previous post, August, Augusta & the older children moved from Germany to Sheboygan, WI in 1889.

So, how do I find out who August’s first wife was? And if she really was Augusta’s sister?

First, I found August’s obituary when I took a trip to Sheboygan. He died in 1903. The obit. was in a German newspaper. Roughly translated, it confirmed that he came from Germany in 1889 and that his wife Auguste’s maiden name was Juergen. It made no mention of a previous wife.

Next, I found Augusta’s obituary in the Sheboygan Press. She died in 1955. Her obit. listed 2 surviving sisters: Mrs. Herman Kolbe & Mrs. Carl Kuehl living in Sheboygan. It also states 2 sisters and a brother died before she did. But it did not indicate her maiden name.

Then, using Newspapers.com I was able to find the obituaries for Mrs. Herman Kolbe & Mrs. Carl Kuehl.

Minnie Kolbe died in 1957. Her obit. indicates her maiden name was Jurgen. It lists one sister, Mrs. Christina Kuehl surviving her, 4 sisters and a brother preceding her in death.

I didn’t find Christine Kuehl, but I did find Ernestine Kuehl’s obituary. Her obit. from the Sheboygan Press in 1961 gives a little more information: Her parents were Gottfried and Christine Juergen & she was preceded in death by a brother & 5 sisters. So, with the last 2 obits, we gained another sister if I count correctly—Augusta, Minnie, and 3 other sisters. (where Augusta’s obit only listed 4 sisters, 2 living and 2 dead) I still don’t know the names of the brother or other sisters. But I did have the names of the parents.

Looking for Christine or Gottfried Juergen’s obits, I was unsuccessful finding Gottfried’s. Christine’s gave me another name: her son-in-law Christ Duckow. Christina died in 1913.

Then on to the search for Christ Duckow (or Duchow): his wife was Louise and she died in 1938. Her obit from the Sheboygan Press, stated she was the daughter of Gottfried Juergen. Her sisters are listed as Mrs. Minnie Kolbe, Mrs. Augusta Beiersdorf, Mrs. Marie Schrader & Mrs. Ernstine Kuehl. Her brother’s name was William Juergen. Now there are 2 more names in the family, Marie and William.

Marie Schrader died in 1954. Her obit. gives the same parents, Gottfried & Christina Jurgen; 3 surviving sisters, Augusta, Ernestina and Minnie; a sister (Louise) and brother (William) preceding her in death.

Next, William Juergen’s obituary from the Sheboygan Press in 1947: confirms the names of the parents and sisters. So no new information.

From all of those obits I have the following information: Gottfried and Christina Juergen were the parents of Louise (1859-1938), Minnie (1864-1957), Augusta (1868-1955), Ernestine (1871-1961), Marie (1874-1954) & William (1874-1947). The family members all settled in the Sheboygan area. However, none of the obits give mention of any other children of Gottfried & Christina.

So I figured I would look at US Census records next. Gottfried and Christina show up on the 1900 Census in Sheboygan, right next to Christ & Louise Duchow and their family.

1900censusclipJuergen

This Census has a line related to how many children a woman had and how many were still living. Christine is listed as having 9 children with 6 living.

Then in the 1910 Census, Christine is living with the Duchow family and is listed as having 9 children with 7 living.

1910censusclipJuergen

Still a little confusing, but it appears that Christina Juergen gave birth to 9 children which is 3 more than I knew about. Could one of them be August Beiersdorf’s first wife?

One last piece of information. When I met with the granddaughter of August, Gertrude Schwalbe, she gave me a copy of a torn and taped together piece of paper. It was the baptismal record of her father, August C.

AugustCBeiersdorfBaptism

Written in German script, it was a little hard to decipher the first time I looked at it. Now, it makes a little more sense. It seems to me that it starts with the statement that Carl August Beyersdorf was the legitimate son of Carl August Beyersdorf and Regina Christina Beyersdorf, born Jurgen.

So without digging into additional German databases, I’m pretty much convinced that Regina Jurgen, August’s first wife, could very well have been the sister of Augusta Juergen, August’s second wife. She would then be one of the 9 children that Christina Juergen gave birth to. Maybe someday I’ll look at more of the German records and confirm the suspicion.

So that mystery is considered solved in my book for now. Or is it…

My Great-Grandfather, Herman Beiersdorf’s Birth Certificate lists his Mother’s maiden name as “Auguste Radloff.” I guess I’ll have to keep digging to get the full story…

©MJM 2017

The Most Unforgettable Person…

My Dad wrote a composition for his 9th grade English class titled “The Most Unforgettable Person I Ever Knew.” He said he can’t remember writing it, but gave permission for me to use it anyway. (I transcribed it as originally written, even though it seems like he left something out.)

The Most Unforgettable Person I Ever Knew

Small, lean, slow, and deliberate in his movements, he could do more work than most men one half his age. My great-grandfather drove a tractor when he was 88. He rode a bicycle 4 miles a day in all kinds of weather until he wrecked it and couldn’t buy parts for it because of its age. My great-grandfather was 90 years old then. He then walked the four miles every day. He was 92 years of age when he painted it the last time. It was painted from ladders instead of from running boards because he might fall off a running board. The day he died he was digging a ditch. My great-grandfather was then 93 1/2 years of age.

My great-grandfather was a typical Quaker and was always studious. He read the Bible 26 times, and never missed a Sunday at church for 10 years.

My great-grandfather kept weather records for years. The weather bureau sometimes checked with him because his records were older and more accurate than theirs were.

My great-grandfather’s name was Lewis Elwood Millikan. He died in March 1949.

Lewis Elwood Millikan, the only son of Clark Millikan (1824-1926) & Lydia Hinshaw Millikan (1833-1917), was born October 10, 1855 in Randolph County, North Carolina. He moved to Indiana with his family soon after the end of the Civil War. He married Martha Ellen Barker (1858-1932) February 23, 1882. They had two children, Arza (1883-1964) and Edna (1886-1966). He raised his family on a farm on Mulebarn Road south of Sheridan, IN. His farm was not very far away from Clark’s.

When Arza got married in 1916, Elwood and Mattie moved to town and settled in a house on Sheridan’s Main Street. Elwood “retired” & Arza and his wife, Mary Boone Millikan (1897-1992), took over the farm. However, both Arza and Elwood worked their farm as well as helped out with Clark’s farm along with hired help until Clark died in 1926. So, when the essay says Elwood rode his bicycle 4 miles a day, he was riding from his house in Sheridan to the farm & back home.

Here’s a picture of him painting the farm house at the age of 92. Can’t say I’d want to be up on that ladder!

LEPaintingHouse

He was active in the Friend’s church. Some papers I have indicate he was a delegate to regional meetings as well as clerk for his Meeting. A news article from the time of his 92nd birthday, states that the church gave him a Bible for perfect attendance. He was a member of Sheridan Friends at that time. The church also held an open house to celebrate his birthday.

I’m impressed that he read the Bible through so many times. He was interviewed by Wayne Guthrie with the Indianapolis News sometime after he turned 93. He said he had read the Bible through 23 times and was reading the Gospel of Luke for the 24th time. He said he started reading it through in 1915. He said he liked reading the Gospels, “but it takes the whole Bible if you want to understand it right.” In one sense, I guess there weren’t as many distractions back then to interrupt the reading. Anyway, I admire his diligence.

The Indianapolis News article also discussed his bicycle riding. He said he bought the bicycle in 1918. He said that he had to quit riding it because when he tried to fix it, it made it worse. No surprise, for a 30 year old bike that may have been used almost every day!

Weather changes were important for farming. My Grandmother gave me a few of Elwood’s weather journals. I have the records for about 1936 through 1949. Each day, Elwood would enter the temperature. Starting with the 1940 journal, he also entered the weather conditions every day. He added a few notations of his activities on some days. My Grandmother included temperatures & weather conditions in her diary entries as well. Elwood’s final entry was Wed. March 16, 1949. It was 22 degrees and cloudy. This was the day he died.

Elwood died of a heart attack while he was helping dig a ditch. He died at the farm. He was 93 years old. He had been widowed for 17 years. He was survived by his son & daughter as well as 7 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. He was buried at Union Grove Cemetery.

So there is a little more to share about Elwood’s early life & I hope to do that at a later date. But even without that, it does seem like Lewis Elwood Millikan was quite an Unforgettable Person.

© MJM 2017

A Sad Story…

I like reading old newspapers. At times I have found tidbits that have helped fill in the gaps of my family history research. The social columns weren’t just for the wealthy. Each week, there would often be reports of who was on the sick list, who visited whom, as well as any social gatherings in the community. I think there were “reporters” who told the newspaper of the local events in the smaller communities the paper served. My Grandmother told me that the newspaper would call folks to see if they had any news. Now that many old newspapers have been digitized and indexed, finding the information is a lot easier than it was in the past, when it required a trip to the library in whatever community I was researching in order to browse through microfilm copies of the papers. I have used Newspaperarchive.com for much of my Indiana newspaper research as it has the papers from Morgan and Hamilton Counties which correspond to the areas where Dad’s ancestors lived. I recently started a subscription to Newspapers.com as well. They were having a special offer & I was curious to see if their collection could give me any additional information on both Maternal and Paternal ancestors.

Of course, as I do with any new data collection, I plugged an ancestor’s name into the search box to see what they came up with. In this case, I searched for my GGG Grandfather, Clark Millikan (1824-1926).

One result was the following article dated Friday, September 29, 1899, from the Marshall County Independent, published in Plymouth, Indiana:

Afflicted with Black Diptheria—Westfield, Ind.–About two weeks ago Clark Millikan’s family returned home from the west, and on Sunday last one of the daughters 14 years old, took sick and died. Others of the family are reportedly dangerously ill with the same disease, which is said to be black diphtheria of the most malignant type. The people in that section are greatly alarmed. Every precaution is being taken to prevent a spread of the disease.

Diphtheria–caused by a bacteria & spread by respiratory droplets. An infected person would be contagious for 2-3 weeks. The disease is noted for the formation of a thick grey (or black) coating over nasal tissues, tonsils and throat which then caused breathing difficulty. Also, toxins released by the bacteria could affect the heart. From what I found, there were some treatments available for the disease in the mid 1890’s but it wasn’t until the mid 1920’s that the development and use of vaccinations helped decrease the prevalence of the disease.

So who was the 14 year old girl who died? I remembered a visit my folks and I made to a relative’s home. She had information on another branch of Clark Millikan’s descendants. Clark was married to Lydia Hinshaw (1833-1917). Their daughter, Alice (1864-1926), married Owen Dudley Cox (1861-1894). They had 2 daughters, Estella and Carrie. The lady we visited was Carrie’s daughter-in-law. She showed us the Cox family Bible.

Inside was a family photo of Estella, Owen, Carrie and Alice. Owen died when the girls were young, Estella was 8 and Carrie was 6.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cox Family: Estella, Owen, Carrie, Alice

Another item in the Bible was an obituary. I don’t know what newspaper it came from.

StellaCoxObit

My assumption is that Estella Cox was the girl mentioned in the first article. Her obit. states that she contracted the disease from the children of Clark Stout who was her Uncle. He was married to another one of Clark Millikan’s daughters, Anna (1869-1945). The little children would have been Lester (5 yrs old) and LaRue (3 yrs old). Even though the first article mentions a trip “West” and the obit mentions a trip to North Carolina, I don’t think it matters where they had visited. Regardless, the dreaded Diphtheria came back with them.

One more thing about Estella Cox. She doesn’t show up in the US Census records. She was born after the 1880 US Census and died before the 1900 US Census. (The 1890 Census records were destroyed.) So only looking at US Census records, we wouldn’t even know she existed. Other records would have to be used to help prove the family connections.

She is listed in a couple of Quaker Meeting records from Eagle Creek Monthly Meeting in Hamilton County, Indiana.

First, the family was accepted into membership in 1893:

EagleCreekMMHamiltonCoINMensMinutesOwenCox

Then, after Owen’s death, Alice and her children moved to Lamong Monthly Meeting. They were living with Alice’s father, Clark:

EagleCreekMMHamiltonCoINCertifofRemovalAliceCox

The Cox family lived with their share of sorrow, with the loss of Owen and Estella. It’s also sad to think that the family members who traveled, probably to visit other relatives, never expected to return from their trip with a disease that infected their cousin and caused her death. I can’t imagine how the family coped with that. Alice lived with her father the rest of her life. Carrie, who was 11 years old when she lost her sister, eventually trained to be a nurse.

© MJM 2017

 

 

Basketball Player in the Family

“March Madness” is here again. Time to think about all things basketball. Many of my Dad’s ancestors lived in Indiana, where the sport of Basketball is like a religion. So it isn’t unusual to find that some relatives played the game. My Dad played in High School and was on a pretty good team. But I never expected to find that my Great Grandmother played the game over a hundred years ago!

MBooneBasketball1

 

First, I found these pictures in the collection of family photos I received from my Grandmother. Mary Boone (1897-1992) is my Great Grandmother. I was quite surprised to see her in these pictures. Hard to imagine “Mamommy,” as we called her, playing basketball as a teenager! She is listed as playing the position of Guard for Sheridan High School in 1914. (She’s in the bottom right side of the first picture) I don’t have any additional information about this season of basketball.

MBooneBasketball2

Then, I have a copy of the Sheridan High School year book, The Syllabus, from 1915. There is an editorial in the front of the book which says that The Syllabus was published for the first time in 1905, then for whatever reason, not continued until 10 years later when the 2nd issue was published in 1915.

Mary Boone shows up in the year book in a picture of the Junior class. She also is pictured with members of the Girls’ Basket Ball team.

SHSGirlsBasketball1915

Basketball is a recent addition to the S.H.S. athletic calendar, but without a doubt it has come to stay.” This was the first sentence describing the Boys’ program.

Then there was an edition of the Sheridan High School Newspaper, The Black and White, Vol. 1, No. 1, dated January 12, 1915. It had an article about Girls Athletics: “The girls are doing splendidly under the direction of Miss Hankemeier. She was captain of the basket ball team at Indiana University for 2 years and was president of the girls athletic association when she was a senior. The girls have been divided into basket ball teams according to their classes, having for their captains, Mary Byrkett, Freshman team; Nellie Burton, Junior & Sophomore team; Verlie Hundley, Senior team. Inter-class games are played but Inter-school games have been voted down. Many exciting games have been played and the girls are starting with greater enthusiasm since vacation; for now every game counts towards winning the banner which will be given to the victorious team.

The description of the Girls’ Basket Ball program from The Syllabus stated:

The boys condescended to let the girls use the gym on Tuesday and Thursday evenings after school, and they have had some exciting contests. Heretofore the teams have been divided according to their classes but as there were not enough players in some of the classes to make a full team and as some did not come out for regular practice, Miss Hankemeier organized the strongest players into two teams, the “Black” and the “White.” The line-up for the teams is as follows:

BLACK—Mary Byrkett, F; Leona Butcher, F; Dorthea Applegate, C; Edith McMurtry, S.C; Lula Laughlin, G; Bernice Inman, G.

WHITE—Mary Melson, F; Lois Fristoe, F; Nellie Burton, C; Ivalu Vickery, S.C; Mary Boone, G; Laura Mae Kercheval, G.

All the girls seem to enjoy the game. We are glad to see the girls take an interest in athletics and we hope that they will continue it next year.

Obviously, the teams changed a little since the January article, but regardless of that, it seems that the girls were enjoying themselves. There is no indication of which team won the banner at the end of the season. Hard to imagine playing basketball in the “gym clothes” of that era. Also, considering the hair styles of the day, one general reference I found indicated that after girls’ basketball games there would be hair pins scattered all over the floor!

Anyway, it is fun to think that “Mamommy” played basketball!

© MJM 2017

Enoch Barker’s Last Will & Testament

My Grandmother’s collection included a photo-copy of a hand-written copy of the Will of Enoch Barker. I’m not sure who transcribed it originally. Now, Ancestry.com has available on-line, the digitized copies of probate records which include the official filed copy of this will. There were no other records associated with the will. For the most part, the transcription Grandma had was accurate, except it modified the old spelling for some terms. However, for whatever reason, the transcription did not include the name of daughter, Hannah.

So, here we go, Enoch Barker’s last will and testament:

Be it know to all people to whom it may concern that I Enoch Barker of Randolph County and state of North Carolina having in consideration the uncertainty of human life, do make this my last will and Testament in the manner and form following. I first will that all my just debts be paid together with my funeral charges as soon as conveniently may be after my decease by my Executor herein after named; I give and bequeath to each and every one of my sons and daughters as follows Two dollars to my daughter Sarah Cox. Two dollars to my son Daniel Barker and the cross cut saw. Two dollars to my son Nicholas Barker and the broad ax, Cooper jointer, tress hoops and croze. Two dollars to my son John Barker and one hundred and thirty five acres of land where he now lives according to our measure and reckoning, the dividing line between him and his brother Elihu, to begin at the black oak corner up sandy run thence west one hundred and fourteen rods to a stone, thence north forty rods to a stone, thence west forty six rods to a stone on the line of the other side of my land also one half of my pine Land on the waters of Bachelors Creek to be his right and property. Five dollars to my son Seth Barker and the old gun powderhorn moulds and wipers. Two dollars to my daughter Mary Barker also stock and other things to make her equal to her sister Sarah got, over and above what she has made for herself. Two dollars to my daughter Hannah Barker also stock and other things to make her equal to what her sister Sarah got over and above what she has made for herself; Two dollars to my son Elihu Barker and one hundred and sixty acres of land or the remainder part of my land where I now live after John‘s share is taken off; also the other half of my pine land on the waters of Bachelors Creek to be his right and property; also one horse creture saddle and bridle and other stock to make him equal with his other brothers the smith tools and the new fan to clean wheat to be John‘s and Elihu‘s. I also will and bequeath to my son Elihu Barker one feather bed and bedding, the old waggon and waggon gears & two other good pare of drawing chain; the new gun and what belongs to it, the clock and loom and tackling, one table and cupboard four stands to hold grain all the casks and barrels all of the loos plant and farming tools and the other tools, one pot the old brass kettle and log chain fire shovel and tongs arm chair and my desk of drawers. Two dollars to my daughter Thamer Barker also stock and other things to make her equal to what her other sisters got the case of drawers that was her grand mothers in the stead of a bureau. The remainder part of my estate to be equally divided amongst my four daughters above named parts and shares alike, and my three youngest daughters to have privilage of houseroom and one fire place sufficient for their comfortable accomodation, also have privilage of fire wood a garden to raise some things in as they formerly have had and the loom to do their weaving on and what they need for their use of the fruit; these privilages they are to have at the place we now live as long as they remain single; my other horse creatures not to be sold, but to remain on the plantation for my three youngest daughters and their brother Elihu‘s use as long as they remain single or need them; and they also be allowed grain for them and stock one year. I do hereby Nominate, Constitute and appoint my son Daniel Barker Executor of this my last will and testament. I also charge him to pay my debts and legacies according to the true intent and meaning thereof; in witness whereof I have here unto set my hand and seal; this second day of the fourth month in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty. Enoch Barker   Signed in the presence of Enoch Davis, Charles Davis, Elizabeth Davis.”

North Carolina Randolph County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions November Term 1848. The execution of this last will and Testament is duly proved in open Court by Elizabeth Davis, One of the subscribing witnesses to the same, and admitted to probate and as … to be recorded … B. F. Hoover, clerk”                    Copy of Will of Enoch Barker. Deceased the 14th of the 9th month 1848.

So who was Enoch Barker, anyway? He was born in Guilford County, NC in September 1776. He was a Quaker, so some of the information about him can be found in the Quaker Meeting minutes. He married Elizabeth Davis (1782-1834) November 23, 1800. He was my GGGG Grandfather. He wrote his will in 1840, Elizabeth had passed away by then.

Looking at the will, Enoch and Elizabeth had 9 children living at the time Enoch wrote it. Another son, Isaac, died in 1820 at the age of 10 years. I don’t have good sources for information about the children except birth dates from Holly Spring Meeting Minutes. The children were given a token remembrance of $2. Those who were married at the time Enoch wrote his will most likely already received more of an inheritance. The will gives a little bit of a picture of what Enoch had that he felt was important enough to mention.

Sarah (1801-1846) Was already married to Thomas Cox at the writing of the will. Sources I have indicate that she died before her Father.

Daniel (1803-1892) As the oldest son, he was named Executor. He was married as well. His wife was Lydia Davis. He received the cross cut saw.

Nicholas (1805-1846) Married to Catherine Cox at the time Enoch wrote his will. He was to receive the broad axe and barrel making tools. The croze was a tool to make the ridge at the top of the barrel to fit the top into. Died before his Father.

John (1807-1890) Was married to Anne Cox. Had been living on part of his Father’s land & now would inherit it.

Seth (1812-1894) Was married to Margaret Cox (sister to Catherine Cox, Nicholas’ wife). Received $5 instead of $2. Plus he received the “old gun” & its accessories.

Mary (1815-) Unmarried. Sources say she married David Farlow in 1845.

Hannah (1818-1889) Unmarried. Later married Mahlon Hockett.

Elihu (1822-1910) My GGG Grandfather, inherited his Father’s home. He also specifically received the blacksmith tools, a horse, saddle & bridle, other livestock and much of the household & farming goods. He was to share the “new wheat cleaning fan” with his brother, John.

Thamer (1827-) Unmarried. She was to receive her Grandmother’s “case of drawers.” In 1848, she married John Littler.

The rest of the “estate” was to be divided amongst the 4 daughters—which would probably be the remainder of the household goods not already mentioned. The three unmarried daughters were to be allowed to stay on the farm until they got married. The expectation was that they would have whatever would give them “comfortable accommodation.” With the marriages of Mary and Thamar before Enoch’s death, that left only Hannah to live on the farm with Elihu, until she got married in 1858.

Elihu Barker married Hannah Jane Allen in 1853. They moved to Hamilton County, Indiana in 1866. Hannah died in 1899 at the age of 73. Elihu died at the age of 88 in 1910. Their daughter, Martha Ellen, married Lewis Elwood Millikan. They had Arza Millikan, my Great Grandfather. I wonder if any of the items Elihu inherited were passed down through the generations?

© MJM 2017

Things Found in a Billfold…

oscarbillfold

This sounds like a “Family Feud” category, but it isn’t. I have a small leather billfold in my collection. It obviously belonged to my Great-Grandfather, Oscar McKinley (1887-1969). While there wasn’t any money in it, there were a few interesting items tucked inside.

oscarmckcards

First, there were 3 of those paper “Identification” cards that come in wallets. All 3 had Oscar’s name & his address: Brooklyn, Indiana Box 56. He lived on South Main Street. His telephone # was 59. The emergency contact on 2 of the cards was Oscar’s brother, Fred. On the 3rd card, the emergency contact was his wife, Rilla. Oscar and Rilla Throckmorton Caldwell got married in 1941. Wonder why he had 3 cards.

oscarmckadamsidcard

Then there was another official ID card for his job at Adams Division of the LeTourneau-Westinghouse Company in Indianapolis. It is dated Oct. 17, 1955.

hrupprechtcard

H. Rupprecht was having a birthday February 17 & there was a request for birthday cards. Notice on the above work ID card, H. Rupprecht signed the authorization as representative of the Personnel Department.

revhmmyrickcard

There was a business card for the Rev. H.M. Myrick, pastor of the Church of the Nazarene at 325 W Raymond, Indianapolis. H.M. Myrick was probably Herman Myrick, who was Oscar’s cousin.

oscarmckcheck

The bottom half of a check was also in the billfold. It was for 25 dollars for “Priscilla McKinley Est.” signed by Oscar. Priscilla McKinley was Oscar’s Mother & she died in 1941.

oscarmck1938tax

He kept his Indiana state tax form for 1938 in this billfold. According to the form, he worked as a trucker for J.D. Adams Co. Indianapolis. He made $1,184.91, had a $1,000 exemption and the tax due was $1.85.

oscarmckautoregistration

 

The 1939 Indiana Motor Vehicle Registration card was also in the billfold. He owned a Ford & paid a fee of $6.

 

 

oscarmckgasolinerationThen there was the cover of a Basic Mileage Ration book from the U.S.A. Office of Price Administration, dated Nov. 20, 1942. It indicated Oscar drove a “Ford V-8 Coach.” It was an “A” ration book, which allowed Oscar 3-4 gallons of gasoline per week. It was the lowest priority for gasoline rationing during WWII.

Finally, there was a folded news clipping from a Martinsville, Indiana newspaper with no date. The title was “She Was a Teacher” with a woman’s photograph under the title.

While it does not give the full name of the woman, it mentions “Miss Asher,” who taught school for over 35 years. It appears to be a eulogy for Miss Asher. So who was Miss Asher & why did Oscar keep this clipping in his billfold? Turns out that there were 2 Asher sisters who were school teachers, Goldie and Grenda. The Indianapolis Star reported that the sisters completed their training for the “4 year elementary license” at the Indiana State Teachers College at Terre Haute in 1931. Obviously, they had been teaching for quite a while before then. According to the 1940 US Census, they lived in Jackson Twp, Morgan County, IN. Goldie never married & died December 19, 1942. She was 55 years old. It would make sense that she is the “Miss Asher” mentioned in the article, as notices on the back of the clipping mention Christmas. There is one more connection between Oscar and Goldie Asher: they were First Cousins once removed.

So there we have it, the things found in Oscar’s billfold. I wonder what people would find interesting about the things we carry today?

© MJM 2017