Friday, January 20, 2017

Leaving Only Traces

Studying history — especially family history — has its obvious benefits. There are many stories that tie us to the history of the country, or which give us a sense of triumph over adversity. The loss of children, the tragic accident, or even the quiet, gallant acceptance of the consequences of others' misbehavior can bring a kind of nobility to every life we study.

Sometimes, we aren't able to see the details of these lives, and must fill gaps in the records with our imaginations. Other times, we know more than we are comfortable knowing, and must say more than we like. Today's descendants seem to fall mostly into the first category; but even after finding a ton of information, there is still no certainty that we know what happened to them.

At least we have some pictures!

Bessa Viola Callin (1873–1939) was born 27 August 1873, and she was three years old when her mother, Rosaline Davenport Callin died. Her father, James Monroe Callin, remarried in 1880, when she was seven, and she and her two older brothers — last week's Architect and Tailor — lived with Rosaline's parents, Martin and Laura Davenport.

Mrs. Bessie McFann
The only information the Callin Family History offers about her is her name (Bessie) and a birth date of 1872, listed in her father's record. Fortunately, her Ohio birth certificate lists her parents as "James W. Callin" and "Rosa Davenport," so we can be reasonably sure we have her correct birth date.

The photographs of the sisters as young married women we have today were passed down from their brother Albert to his son, Eugene. Bessie's is labeled "Mrs. Bessie McFann" in pencil.

Starting with that clue, we learned that she married Andrew J McFann (1857–1918) in 1896, and they appear in the 1900 Census, along with their little daughter, in Toledo. Andrew was a restaurant manager in Toledo during that decade. He and Bessie divorced, and Andrew remarried Emma M. Hoover (1883-1912) in 1909. Andrew, Emma, and Nona McFann appear in the 1910 Census in Cleveland. Emma died in June 1912, and Andrew remarried again that August; this time, to Catherine Klingensmith (b. 1880). When Andrew died, he left his Cleveland properties and total value of his estate to Catherine. According to the probate documents, the value of his personal estate was "nothing," but presumably the property was enough for her to live on.

In 1910, the recently divorced Bessie was listed as a housekeeper in Cincinnati, but she later remarried in August 1919. Her second husband was David Edward Lakie (1879–1930) of Toledo; after he died in 1930, Bessie went to Chicago where she found work as an interior decorator. When she died, she was buried in Beverly Cemetery, Blue Island, Cook County, Illinois.

     I. Nona B. McFann (b. 1892) married John Dent (b. 1885) in Cleveland on 5 May 1910, less than a month after appearing in her father's home on that year's census. John was the son of Thomas Dent (b. 1847) and Mary Jane Purvis (b. 1853), and was born in Sacriston, Durham, England, on 10 July 1885. He appeared in his father's household in Witton Gilbert, Durham, in both the 1891 and 1901 England Census records.

John Dent is listed in city directories as a resident of Akron, Ohio, in 1912, 1914, and 1915, and his World War I draft registration places him there with Nona around 1918. He worked at the Goodyear rubber works. Interestingly, on his draft card, he is listed as an Alien/non-declarant, meaning that even as late as 1918, he had not applied for U.S. citizenship.

Sadly, there are no more records to show what may have happened to John and Nona. The only other records that turned up were a birth certificate and a death certificate indicating that Nona had a baby, Bessie M Dent, who was stillborn on 24 August 1911.

Jessie Callin was born in March of 1876, barely six months before her mother died. She was taken in by the St. John family of Bowling Green, Ohio, appearing as "Jessie St. John" and listed in their household in 1880 as their daughter. Stephen W. and Harriet Husted St. John were the parents of Jessie's aunt, Mary Ann Callin. Mary Ann St. John had married James Callin's younger brother, George W. Callin, in 1871. (We'll talk more about the St. John family in a few weeks.)
Mrs. Jessie Chudleigh

The Callin Family History had slightly more to say about Jessie than it did about Bessie, giving her an entry of her own:

Record of Jessie Callin Chudley, who was the 2nd daughter of James Callin, who was the 2nd son of William Callin, who was the 3rd son of John Callin, who was the 2nd son of James 1st.

Born in 1876.
Married in 1893.
Born to this union two children.
Laverne, born in 1894.
Lila, born in ____.

While that isn't terribly substantial, it gives us a start. Records show that Jessie married Albert Henry Chudley (b. 1868) on 25 June 1893 in Wood county, Ohio. Albert was born in Devonshire, England, in October 1868, and arrived in the United States in April 1883. He was naturalized in November 1893, just a few months after his marriage to Jessie. After that, things get less certain.

       I. Lu Verne Chudley was born 30 January 1894, in Bowling Green, Ohio; and there is an Ohio birth record that lists her parents as Albert Chudley and Jessie St. John.

       II. Lila R Chudley was born 25 February 1896, also in Bowling Green, according to her Ohio birth record; but it listed her name as "Chas Chudley." I'm only certain that it is her birth record because it lists Albert Chudley and Jessie Callin as the parents.

Four-year-old Lila and her mother, Jessie Chudley, appear in the Census for Jackson, Michigan, in 1900. The other information in that Census tells us that Jessie was married (not widowed or divorced), had been for 8 years (close enough), and had two children, both living. But there is no information about where Albert or Lu Verne might be in that Census year.

There are City Directory listings for Mrs. Jessie Chudley; in 1902 and 1904 she is listed in Jacskon; in 1904 there is a Mrs. Jessie Chudley listed in Toledo, Ohio. (The two towns are about 70 miles apart.) The Jackson listings that mention her occupation say she is a machine operator; the Toledo listing says she is a clerk.

     This is the end of what I think I can "prove" we know about the families of these two sisters.

But, strangely, I may have found more information about Albert Chudley - a person who was not specifically mentioned in the CFH - than I have for his wife and two daughters. Starting with their marriage record, we know that Albert lived in Bowling Green. His naturalization record from November 1893 gives his age as 24 and lists his birth date in 1869; it also says he arrived in the U.S. on 1 April 1883.

Based on that information, we can find an English birth record and two English Census records (1871 and 1881) which tell us that Albert was born in October 1868 to Henry Chudley (b. 1844) and Emma Lattaney (1846-1878) in Devonshire, England. There are other "Albert Chudleys" in England, but none who quite match the information we have from the American records.

I can go a little farther with Albert's story, but the evidence is thinner, and I could be jumping to conclusions. When I ran broad searches for combinations of Albert's name with the other details we have learned, I found a California death index record for an Albert Henry Chudley born in "Other Country" on 4 November 1866. This record indicates that this Albert died in July 1952 in Hayward, Alameda county, California; there is a Find-A-Grave memorial for him, as well. The researchers who maintain that memorial included this note:
Albert Henry "Al" Chudley
on Find-A-Grave

Albert's parents were Henry Chudley b. England and Emma Lattany b. England. The 1925 Iowa census shows they were married in England and were not living. 

That seems a huge coincidence, but it looks like they got their information from a different source than I did, and that implies to me that we may indeed be looking at the same Albert Henry Chudley.

As I kept digging, the story of what may have happened to Albert became apparent. He appeared in Topeka, Kansas in 1907, working as a tailor; in December 1907, he married Mabel M. Warren (1886-1918) and moved to Bedford, Taylor county, Iowa. They had two children, and on the records for this period, Albert gave his date and place of birth as 1878, Richmond, Virginia. After Mabel's death in 1918, Albert remarried, this time to Sarah Virginia "Jennie" Hathaway (1895–1932) on 15 May 1919. They lived in Jackson and, later, Villisca, in Montgomery county, Iowa. They also had two children.

After Jennie's death, Albert moved to Cedar Rapids, but he later retired and followed his youngest daughter and her husband to California. They were all living in Oakland at the time of his death in 1952.

I'm not sure why, but Albert's birth information on the 1910, 1920, and 1930 Census records is wrong. Each of these records misstates his date of birth by anywhere from 7 to 11 years, and each record says he was born in Virginia. It is only after he was widowed for the second time that Albert lists his correct birth information on the 1940 Census. This casts doubt on the idea that I have the same Albert Chudley, here, but because the date and place of birth on the 1940 Census matches better, and because his death certificate indicates that he was an immigrant, I'm assuming that he is the same man.

The conclusion I come to after looking at all of this information is that this Albert Chudley is the same one who married our Jessie Callin. Hopefully, Jessie's disappearance from the record means that she re-married, and that her new husband adopted her two daughters. Alternately, she, Lila, and LuVerne could have fallen victim to any number of epidemics or accidents common in the 1910s. Albert did not leave any clues, and he may not have known what happened to them.

The fact that the Callin Family History does not say one way or the other implies that they were still living with their mother as late as 1910, when George Callin compiled his book.

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There are still many questions to answer about this branch of the family. As thoroughly as I have searched through Ancestry, and, this is as much as I have been able to prove.

Without records or relatives to tell us what might have happened to Nona, LuVerne, or Lila, there is no way of knowing if we have more cousins out there or not. If they are out there, here's hoping they find this blog, and drop us a note - the comments below are open, or you can email me at my "callintad" Gmail address. You can also join the Callin Family History Facebook group, if you want to talk to a growing group of cousins.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Photo Feature: Gene's artwork & furniture

As a special treat, I have some more photos to share which are related to this week's post, Architects, Tailors, & Wanderers.

(Updated to fix the photo display issue.)
Gene and Louise, 1926
New Mexico

Eugene Walker "Gene" Callin and his wife, Louise Merritt, married in New York in 1926. They decided to move to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they spent the rest of their lives and raised two children

Gene developed a prosperous plant nursery on property he purchased near Santa Fe. He was a landscape architect; many of the gardens in Santa Fe during those years were designed and planted by him. The garden at his Santa Fe home was filled with experimental plantings, as he sought out and tested plants for Santa Fe’s climate.

 Gene’s and Louise’s home in Santa Fe became a gem, filled with his work and hers; she was a needle worker and embroiderer.

Gene was a gifted artist and craftsman. He was deeply interested all his life in learning new techniques and using new materials. He was a master woodworker, making furniture and smaller pieces.

Gene's Curlew

He learned blacksmithing on the ranch, and wrought handles and hinges for some of his furniture. He learned to work with gold foils while framing his paintings and decorating small wood pieces. He loved working with unusual painting media. He was always whittling and carving.

He taught himself lapidary work, and created small treasures combining stones and metal and wood. If he could imagine it, he could create it with his gifted hands.

Gene's lapidary pieces

He was directly responsible for his daughter’s teaching herself cloisonné enameling, a craft she pursued for many years.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Architects, Tailors, and Wanderers

 As we read last week, Rosalina Bedora Davenport (1848–1876) married James Monroe Callin, and had four children before her death in 1876 at only 28 years of age. Today, we will focus on their sons. Even though only their eldest left descendants for us to trace, there is still a lot to tell you.

Albert Clifford Callin (1869–1933) was seven years old the year his mother died. That was 1876, the same year the telephone was patented, and also the year that the Battle of the Little Bighorn saw 300 men of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment under Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer wiped out by 5,000 Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. Fresh reminders of the Civil War, threats of conflict with Europe, and personal tragedies combined with the tremendous technological and economic progress of those years must have had an impact on Albert, his brother, and his sisters.

The extended family of Callins and Davenports seem to have come together and helped ease the loss of Rosalina, and the children were able to grow up in Bowling Green, for the most part. The children were surrounded by Civil War heroes and strong pioneer men and women, and they all chipped in to make sure they were educated and safe. Even so, there is only so much protection family can offer.

Mamie Walker, c. 1895
 Mary Gertrude "Mamie" Walker (1868–1932) was the daughter of Joseph Walker (1827-1871) and Ellen Beswick “Nellie” Ruth. Nellie's father was Peter Stout Ruth, an Episcopal minister (who earned an early post on this blog due to his fantastic beard); and she was born in Delaware, before he began to move the family westward founding churches.

Joseph married Nellie in June 1866, in Zanesville, Muskingum county, Ohio. I believe Joseph's parents were Andrew and Agnes (Blakely) Walker of Muskingum county; if they were, then they brought Joseph from his birthplace in Pennsylvania around 1828, and settled in the village of Dresden.

Joseph died when Mamie was three, and Nellie remarried Samuel Kiser in January 1874; she died in December of that same year, when Mamie was six years old, but Samuel raised Mamie as his own. Samuel remarried, and lived in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana, where he died on 27 July 1895.

Mamie and Albert were married on 11 December 1895, in Anderson, Indiana. In 1900 Albert was a carpenter, was living at a house that he owned at 3140 Glenwood Ave, Toledo, Ohio, with Mamie and their first child, Ralph. Though they lost their twin infant daughters in January and February of 1899, they were financially doing all right at this time. Albert's brother, Arthur, was also in Toledo.

The family story is that Albert, as the architect and builder, and a partner who acted as salesman and business manager, were engaged to build an early subdivision in Toledo. At the time, this was done by selling the plots before any houses were built — rather than building on speculation — and then using the sale money to do the actual construction. But when the money was in possession of the business partner (perhaps with materials ordered and not yet paid for, and no homes yet built) the partner absconded with the money, never to be heard of again. The story was that he “ran off to Mexico.”

Albert was left holding the empty bag in Toledo. He may have declared bankruptcy; in any case, he was left virtually penniless. He was a stern, righteous Methodist, and he vowed to pay the home purchasers and creditors back if it took him the rest of his life. He and his little family sold their home and left Toledo for Texas, where he’d heard they needed builders in Galveston.

About this time, his brother, Art, also decided to leave Toledo. As he was a tailor, it's not likely that Art was involved in the housing project, but he may have felt unwelcome in town after that incident. In any case, neither brother knew where they would end up. Albert was going to Texas, probably Galveston, but anywhere he could find construction work as quickly as possible, and Art said he was “going West” somewhere. They arranged that Art would write to a particular Post Office (possibly Galveston) care of General Delivery, on a certain date, to give his own new “Western” location.

Albert at his drafting table, c. 1927
While working his way to Galveston, Albert took on a number of small jobs to pay his way. On one occasion, he undertook to repair a cotton gin that had jammed or broken. While he was working, someone accidentally turned it on, catching his left arm. He retained consciousness, and directed his own extraction from the gin. However, the doctors were unable to save the mangled, filthy arm, and it was amputated above the elbow.

The appointed time to look for Art’s letter came and went while Albert was hospitalized, recuperating from his injury somewhere in mid-Texas. When Albert arrived at the designated Post Office, the Postmaster told him that yes, there had been such a letter, that he had kept it well beyond the required month, but, not knowing who Albert Callin was, he eventually had to return it to sender.  He, of course, had no record of the sender’s address. Thus, the brothers lost contact and never saw each other again.  This was a great loss to Albert and his family, and everywhere they went, they checked phone books for Callin to try to find a trace of Art. Albert’s granddaughter, Joan, used to look for Callin in her western travels. We have no idea why Art apparently didn’t keep in touch with the rest of the family, as Albert did. But Albert and his descendants never found Art until census records became generally available.

Albert and Mamie stayed some time in Galveston. Their son, Eugene Walker "Gene" Callin, was born there, 18 April 1901. After the destructive 1903 hurricane, there was an urgent demand for housing and skilled builders were in high demand; Albert did well as a building contractor, but, as he had vowed, he sent every penny he could spare back to the defrauded home buyers in Toledo.
Ralph (l), John (c), and Gene (r)
Victoria, Texas; about 1907

John Albert was born in 1904, probably in Galveston, and some time before 1908, Albert and his family moved to Victoria, Texas, where their last child, Clara Ruth, was born on 21 October 1908. Albert was successful in his business; however, he still sent every spare penny back to Toledo. He was listed as an architect, and they owned a mortgaged home. Though this made them personally poor, they were content.

The family was devastated by John's death in 1914 (see below); having lost three of six children, they felt they could no longer live in Victoria. Mamie’s half-brother offered them an asylum, and they moved to Pittsburg, Kansas, to be near him.

     I. Ralph Clayton Callin (1896–1955) was about five years old when his father took the family from Toledo to Galveston. As a young man, he served in the 280 Aero Squadron, Rich Field, Waco, Texas, during World War I. He received an abdominal injury while in the service, not in flight, but in a roll-over automobile accident. After his discharge, he went to work for a man he’d met while serving at Waco: D. W.  Baker.

Baker had a guest ranch in Wetmore, Custer County, Colorado. He was an Easterner, and was ill with tuberculosis, so he had come to this high mountain valley for his health. He needed help to run the ranch. The 1920 census shows Baker, 41, his sister and her two young sons, and Ralph, aged 23.

After a time, Gene joined Ralph on Baker's ranch, and the two surviving Callin brothers and Baker ran the business; maintaining a guest ranch, and raising wheat and horses. Eventually, Albert and Mamie came to live there as well. Albert liked it, but Mamie apparently was homesick for city life in this empty ranch land at the base of the Rockies.
Ralph C. & Margaret (Dunbar) Callin
Wetmore, Colorado; c. 1926

Harris Dunbar was the owner of an adjacent large ranch. He was a mostly absentee owner from Buffalo, New York. Harris liked Baker’s little ranch, and wanted to annex it to enlarge his spread and influence in the sparsely settled county. Harris’s youngest daughter, Margaret Dunbar (1908–1966) married Ralph Callin about 1927.

Baker became very ill while on an extended visit to Palm Springs, California, and Harris took over Baker’s ranch, installing Ralph and Margaret as the operators. The 1930 census shows Ralph (farm owner) and Margaret, with their two daughters, Patricia, 2, and  Marjorie, 2 months. Just up the road are Albert Callin, 63, general farmer, and Mamie, 62.

Baker died in October of 1930, and was buried in Pueblo, Colorado. He was mourned by the Callin family, who owed so much to him. Albert became a foreman on the ranch, which was now owned by Ralph and his wife after Baker’s death. Mamie died October 9, 1932, and Albert died seven months later, May 6 , 1933. They are buried together in New Hope Cemetery, Fremont County (just north of Custer County), Colorado.

Ralph’s and Margaret’s marriage was stormy. She left him twice, but came back pregnant; and he took her back both times.  Although these last two children were not Ralph’s, he loved them and raised them on the ranch as his own. They bore the Callin name, and although originally the other Callin children did not know that they were half siblings, they eventually found out. Of the four children, one is still living.

Ralph and Margaret were divorced at some point in the 1940s, and both remarried. Ralph married Alice (last name unknown); she had two young sons from her previous marriage, who were born about 1940, and lived with Ralph and Alice. Alice had been an Indian Agent, possibly with the Jicarilla Apaches. Ralph and Alice lived in Cortez, Montezuma county, Colorado, where they owned and operated a liquor store, and later an adjacent lovely little Indian store, selling beautiful jewelry, ceramics, blankets, and other native crafts. Ralph died in Cortez on 23 April 1955, aged 58, and was buried in Cortez Cemetery.

Margaret’s story was more tragic. She married Russell Ball Rose (1900-1963), a neighboring rancher. She was his second wife, and they lived in Canon City, Colorado. He died in 1963, leaving her a relatively wealthy widow; she then moved to Pueblo, Colorado.

In the evening of 5 October 1966, she was brutally attacked by a 17-year-old neighbor boy, who was burglarizing her home. He knew her because he used to mow grass and shovel snow for her. She heard him in her house; he stabbed her, stole her car, and drove out of town. A gas station attendant called the highway patrol, reporting a stressed boy, with bloody clothes, driving an expensive car in the wee hours of the night. He confessed after he was stopped; the highway patrol asked the Pueblo police to check on Margaret, but by that time, early next morning, it was too late. She had bled to death. She was buried with Russell Rose in Canon City.

       A. Patricia "Pat" Dunbar Callin (1928–1990) was born 2 March 1928, in Custer County, Colorado. She married Ralph Williams Ball (1919–2009) on 5 April 1952, in Denver, Arapahoe County, Colorado. They were divorced before 1985. Pat was an antique dealer in Denver. She died 16 September 1990, in Denver, Arapahoe Co., Colorado, aged 62. Pat and Ralph had three children, all still living, and five grandchildren.

       B. Marjorie "Marge" Callin (1930–1995) was born 30 January 1931, in Custer County, Colorado. She was married very briefly to Dudley Harding Van Buskirk (1916–1991), with whom she had a daughter. She married Robert Victor Becco (1932–2008) about 1954, and they had five children before they divorced about 1981.

Bob Becco was raised on his family’s apple farm and in his younger life worked at Hill Top Market, a Canon City grocery store his parents co-founded. He retired as an Assistant Superintendent of Maintenance from Colorado Fuel & Iron mill after 45 years of service. During his time at the CF&I, he was foreman of the scale, machine and central shops, and was the 1959 Apprentice of the Year. Bob was a talented machinist with an aptitude for invention; many of his creations are still operating at the Rocky Mountain Steel Mills today.  Marge was an antique dealer in Pueblo, Colorado, and she died there on 6 April 1995, aged 65. Bob died in 2008; they left behind their son and four daughters, and nine grandchildren.

       C. John Harris Callin (1932–1996) was born 26 July 1932, in Colorado. John was an officer in the Air Force. He was married twice, and had four children with his first wife. So far as we know, both wives and his children are all still alive.

       D. Jean Callin (abt. 1935-) was named after Ralph's brother, Gene, and I believe she is still living.

     II. & III.  On 13 January 1899, twin girls, Mary Kiser Callin and Nellie Ruth Callin were born. These babies died in infancy, Mary on January 29, and Nellie on 22 February 1899.

     IV. Eugene Walker "Gene" Callin (1901–1973) was born in Galveston, and moved with his family to Victoria, Texas, then to Pittsburg, Kansas. After his brother Ralph moved to Colorado, Gene joined him in operating the guest ranch belonging to D.W. Baker. Among the guests were a New York City widow Adele Merritt and her daughter Louise, who spent two summers there. By the end of the second summer, Gene and Louise were engaged; they were married 26 May 1926, in a Quaker ceremony at the bride’s home in Brooklyn Heights, Kings County, New York, leaving Ralph to care for Baker.

Eugene W. & Louise (Merritt) Callin
New Mexico, 1926
Louise was the daughter of James Haviland "Jim" Merritt and Adele (Ovington) Merritt, born 27 March 1894. Jim was an architect in Brooklyn, New York. He had died in 1914. Louise was a graduate of Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts. Gene and Louise decided to settle in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and spent the remainder of their lives there, raising two children.

Gene developed a prosperous plant nursery on property he purchased near Santa Fe. He was a landscape architect; many of the gardens in Santa Fe during those years were designed and planted by him. The garden at his Santa Fe home was filled with experimental plantings, as he sought out and tested plants for Santa Fe’s climate.

Gene was a gifted artist and craftsman. He was deeply interested all his life in learning new techniques and using new materials. He was a master woodworker, making furniture and smaller pieces. He learned blacksmithing on the ranch, and wrought handles and hinges for some of his furniture. He learned to work with gold foils while framing his paintings and decorating small wood pieces. He loved working with unusual painting media. He was always whittling and carving. He taught himself lapidary work, and created small treasures combining stones and metal and wood. If he could imagine it, he could create it with his gifted hands. He was directly responsible for his daughter’s teaching herself cloisonné enameling, a craft she pursued for many years. Gene’s and Louise’s home in Santa Fe became a gem, filled with his work and hers; she was a needle worker and embroiderer.

Gene Walker Callin, 1950
Baja California, Mexico
Gene was seriously ill for a time. About 1936 he contracted diphtheria on a visit to Texas. He nearly died, and was in a vegetative state for over a year as a result of its brain-damaging high fever. Louise gradually nursed him back to health, though he suffered some after-effects the rest of his life. Later, Louise began her many-year battle with breast cancer. In those days, treatments for these illnesses were difficult. Despite this, their Santa Fe home was filled with happiness before Louise died in Gene’s arms at home on their 23rd anniversary, 20 May 1949, age 55.

On 16 October 1951, Gene married Henriette “Henri” Harris (1901–1987), an antique dealer in Santa Fe, daughter of Nathan and Rose Harris of St. Louis, Missouri. Their marriage ended in an amicable divorce about twelve years later, and they remained great friends the rest of their lives.

Gene died 2 May 1972, age 72, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Henri died there 9 July 1987, age 86. Gene is buried between his two wives, Louise and Henri, in Memorial Gardens, Santa Fe.

       A. Charles Ovington Callin (1929–2005) was born 10 November 1929, to Gene and Louise Callin. Though he was born in New York City, he was raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Charles & Diane (Tomcheff) Callin
Chicago, 1964
His schooling was interrupted by service in the army. He served in the Korean War, drafted as a private, and discharged as a sergeant at the end of the war. He then attended and graduated from Pomona College, California.

In 1960, in Laguna Beach, California, Charles married Diane Jean Tomcheff (1935–1995), daughter of Demetre Stephen “Jim” Tomcheff, and Frosa Buteff, immigrants from Macedonia to the Chicago area, Illinois. Diane was working in California at the time, but about 1962, Charles and Diane moved to Chicago, which she considered her home.

Charles was a cartographer. He worked for the Chicago and Northwest Railway, later becoming land manager of their multiple properties. Diane, a teacher, became an English professor at Harper College, Palatine, Illinois. Diane died suddenly on 1 June 1996, age 60, of an accidental overdose of prescription pain medication. Charles was on a visit to their daughter in Las Vegas when she died. Charles then retired and moved to Las Vegas to be near his daughter and her family. Charles died 12 May 2005. His daughter, son-in-law, and their five children are still living.

       B. Joan Callin (1931-) was born 30 June 1931, in New York City, although she was raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She attended Radcliffe College, which has since been fully absorbed into its parent Harvard University.

On 10 September 1951 in Santa Fe, she married Robert John Foster, son of John Thomas and Margaret G. (Loftus) Foster of Arlington, Massachusetts. Bob Foster was a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in geophysics.

Bob obtained a PhD in geology from the University of Washington, Seattle, while Joan worked at Boeing, doing data management from flight testing and the wind tunnel; later she was writing test reports for a company engaged in manufacturing instrumentation for planes and missiles. Bob taught geology, and was the author of a number of textbooks. Joan was his illustrator for most, and helped see them through press.

Joan and Bob have a daughter, a son, and three grandsons. Joan and Bob and their family are all still living.
John Albert Callin
Victoria, Texas, 1914

     V. John Albert Callin (1904–1914) Just after Christmas, on 29 December 1914, tragedy struck. Gene and John and their two best friends, brothers Beau and Val Harris, were playing in some small caves they had dug in the bank of the Guadalupe River near their homes. One cave collapsed, burying John and Beau, and partially burying Gene. Val extracted Gene, and they ran for help. When the neighbors succeeded in digging the boys out an hour after the collapse it was too late. John and Beau were dead, and Gene and Val had witnessed the failed rescue.

     VI. Clara Ruth "Ruth" Callin (1907–1985) was born to Albert and Mamie on 21 October 1908, in Victoria, Texas, the last of their six children. She was named both for Mamie's half-sister, Clara Kiser, and the Ruth family surname.

Clara Ruth Callin
After her brother John died, the family went to Kansas, first to Pittsburg, then to Wichita, where Ruth spent the majority of her life. When Albert and Mamie left Kansas permanently to live with Ralph in Colorado, Ruth stayed behind alone in Wichita. She was a musician, a violinist, and she made her living teaching violin. Her brother Gene always prided himself that he had given her her first violin with his first earnings.

On 15 August 1945, Ruth married James Franklin Powell (1880–1951) when he was 65, and she 36. They had one child, before James Powell, Sr., died 19 October 1951, aged 71, leaving Ruth to raise their five-year-old son.

Ruth was severely crippled with arthritis, and she spent much of her later years in a wheelchair. This was doubly hard as she became unable to play the violin she so loved. She also became estranged from her son for many years, and she lived alone. She and her son maintained a better relationship late in her life.

Ruth died 25 October 1985, aged 77,  in Wichita, Sedgewick County, Kansas. She was buried in White Chapel Memorial Gardens, along with her husband.

Arthur K Callin (1871–1957) was the lost brother who left Toledo when Albert and his family moved to Galveston. Judging by the City Directory entries and Census records, he went to Gray's Harbor, Washington, where he worked as a tailor; then in 1910, he moved about 45 miles inland to Olympia, Washington, where he remained for a few years.

By 1918, however, Art moved to Portland, Oregon, where he worked as a janitor for many years. He seems to have done well enough for himself to have a house on Southwest Madison street, where he eventually retired. He died in Portland on 29 January 1957 at the age of 85.

 - -- --- -- -

Enormous thanks to cousin Joan, for the amazing detail and permission to include her photos here. As I've said before, if you see anything you like here, she deserves full credit; if you find any mistakes, those are all mine!

As always, if you're related to any of the folks in this post, then you're family! Please do drop me a note at callintad (at, or in the comments below; or follow this link to send a request to join the Callin Family History Facebook group.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Three Lives of James Monroe Callin

James Monroe Callin was born 26 February 1844 in the Ashland area of Richland county. That was the year that his father, William, traveled nearly 500 miles west to Iowa to bring Jim's aunt Margret back to Ohio. (I told that story back in the post titled The Distance of Close Connections.) Jim's older sister, Harriet, would have been about 6 years old, and his brother, John, would have been 4.

The family of William Callin would have been surrounded by extended family in the neighboring townships, so their mother, Elizabeth Berlin Callin, would not have been entirely on her own — but imagine sending your husband off on a journey like that at a time when the threat of attack from hostile indigenous tribes was not out of the question. The last major uprising of native peoples, the Battle of Little Bighorn, was still thirty years in the future at this point.

When Jim was six, William took the family to clear and settle a new farm in Peru, Huron county, Ohio. Jim grew up in New London and Ridgefield, attending school and working his father's farm, until the war began. Jim was not yet 18 when the call for troops went out in 1861, but he turned 18 the following February. He went up to Toledo, and on 10 October 1862, a full two months before his older brother John enlisted, he enlisted in the 67th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company H.

At the time of his enlistment, his personal description was five feet eight inches high, fair complexion, grey eyes, and auburn hair. He was a farmer boy, strong and capable.

Ruins: The Second Assault on Fort Wagner
Jim was twice wounded in action. First, and most serious, he was hit by a shell that struck the upper part of his right thigh near the bone during the charge at the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, South Carolina, 18 July 1863. “He was one of the eighteen men who took their stand on the bomb proof of said Fort and that they held the same about thirty minutes and until their commander ordered them to retreat as best they could.” Jim was in the general hospital No. 9 at Buford (Beaufort), South Carolina, almost three months. He returned to duty 27 September 1863.

Second, he was struck in the back of his head by shrapnel from an exploding shell in the Battle of Chester Station, Virginia, 10 May 1864, and hospitalized at Ft. Monroe, Virginia, on 20 May 1864 after experiencing disorientation and headaches. This injury, though it sounds worse, was less serious than the thigh wound which caused permanent damage and a limp. Almost as bad, he, along with many others, contracted what was called “camp diarrhea,” dysentery, from which he suffered the remainder of his life.

James Monroe Callin was discharged honorably at the end of the war, and returned home in October 1865.

Rosalina Bedora Davenport (1848–1876) was the daughter, and only child, of Martin Sidney Davenport (Jr.) (1824–1895) and Laura Maria Hix (1828–1904). Martin married Laura in Norwalk, Huron county, Ohio, on 11 November 1845.

Laura was born on 5 September 1828 in Vermont, daughter of Daniel Weed Hix and Laura (unknown), and her family had only recently arrived in Ohio before she was married. Martin was a carpenter who descended from Dutch settlers to New Jersey who had spread to the west via Tompkins county, New York, where Martin was born. The Davenport family's origins are still a matter of some debate. They held a reunion in Perrysburg, Ohio, on 4 September 1890, at the home of Alanson Davenport, which was reported on by Charles C. Hum in the newspaper:
"In good old colonial days one Garret Davenport with three half brothers came from Holland to America and located in New Jersey. This circumstance coupled with the undoubted English character of the name, is almost certain evidence that the family was one of the many who had been driven from England in the days of religious persecution to find an asylum in Holland, and afterward a home in wild but free America."
While it's hard to find "almost certain evidence" of anything from that early period, it is certain that after arriving in New Jersey, Garret and his sons spread across the continent, through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and beyond. Garret's son, Martin Sidney, Sr., was born in New Jersey, and lived for a time in Tioga and Tompkins counties, New York, where Martin Sidney Davenport, Jr., was born in 1824 youngest of six sons, the eldest of whom was Alanson. A number of these Davenports moved to Ohio in the 1840s.

Martin Sidney was a Union Army soldier who enlisted in Company A, 100th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer infantry on 1 September 1862. He mustered out on 20 June 1865 at Greensboro, North Carolina. After the war, he was also a member of the Wood County Wiley Post # 46 of the Grand Army of the Republic, and a GAR Flag Holder.

At that 1890 reunion, he recounted a story from those days:
"Sidney Davenport announced that the only behavior of the family that might be criticised [sic] was some of his own. It happened that in old army days a large cheese adhered to his rubber blanket, carelessly throwing over it while taking lunch. After reaching camp he noticed the cheese and tried to make it take the oath of allegiance. Failing in this he confiscated it as he was in duty bound to do. This was not a case of theft and the fault lay clearly with the cheese."

Martin's Veteran’s Pension records showed that though he was never wounded, he, like Jim, contracted “camp diarrhea” or dysentery during the war, from which he never recovered. He was several times left sick in camp in Frankfort, Kentucky and hospitalized in Marietta, Georgia. Like Jim, he eventually died of “cancer of the bowels.” His physical description in 1881 was height, 5 feet nine inches; weight 158; complexion dark; age 56. He died 14 June 1895, aged 70, and his widow, Laura died 5 March 1904, aged 75, both in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Jim Callin and Rosa Davenport were married in Bowling Green on New Year’s Eve, 31 December 1867. They set up a farm in Center township, and had four children over the following eight years.
  • Albert Clifford Callin, born 1869
  • Arthur K Callin, born 1871
  • Bessa Viola Callin, born 1873
  • Jessie Callin, born 1876
Jessie was born in March of 1876, but sadly, Rosa died in September of that year. Now a widower, Jim had to raise his four children on his own. In 1880, the three older children were living with their grandparents, Martin and Laura Davenport, not far from William and Elizabeth Callin's home.

Almira A. Weirick (1858–1889) was the daughter of Jason Weirick (1826–1917) and Matilda E Hassinger (1830–1915), both of whom came from Pennsylvania families that had settled in Ohio around 1830. More than most of our relatives, Almira's name seems to have been very difficult to spell; it appears as "Elmira" and even "Elvira" in some records, and her surname was often rendered as "Wirick" or "Weirich."

Almira was about 21 when she married the 35-year-old widower Jim Callin in 1880. Jim's sons Albert and Arthur were 12 and 9 years old, and his daughters Bessie and Jessie were 7 and 5, respectively. Jim and Almira had three more daughters together before Almira's death at only 31 years of age. They had a son in 1887, but he died at six months of age, and we do not know his name.
  • Cora May Callin (1881–1936)
  • Carrie E Callin (1883–1960)
  • Aurilla M Callin (1885–1969)
  • Unnamed Callin (1887)
 Emma G. Bradt (1856–1907) became James Callin's third wife on 23 August 1893 in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Most of Jim's children were old enough to be independent by 1893. Jessie married that year, and the boys and Bessie were already out on their own. Almira's three daughters would have still been too young to leave home in 1893, but by 1900, Cora had gone to live with her grandparents, Jason and Matilda Weirick; Carrie was married in 1898; and 15-year-old Aurilla was a listed as a boarding school student, living in Cottage 1 of the Ohio Soldier's and Sailor's Orphans Home.

Jim's health deteriorated, and he was unable to farm. He had been increasingly debilitated by his hip injury, but mostly by the diarrhea and resulting severe piles, as shown in his pension requests. Emma took him to her Canadian home in St. Catherines, Ontario, to be near her family, as somehow she was estranged from the Ohio families of Callin, Davenport, and Wirick who were caring for, or had cared for, his children. She apparently had  her mother and a sister or sisters in St Catherines. However, she apparently also became estranged from them during Jim’s final illness.

Jim died of bowel cancer in St. Catherine's on 7 April 1901, age 57. Nine months after Jim died, Emma married Albert A. Flora on 23 January 1902. She had been begging for an increase in Jim’s pension to pay his last doctor’s bill, but she was denied because of her remarriage.

Emma and Albert  had a contentious marriage. They returned to Perrysburg, Ohio, but she sued him for divorce in January 1907, asking to return to the Callin surname. She died just a month later, before her divorce was final, on 13 February 1907, and was buried  as Emma G. Flora, aged 51,  in the Oak Grove Cemetery, Bowling Green.

 - -- --- -- - 

You can take the title of this post, as with most of my titles, in a couple of ways. In one sense, James had three wives/lives, and you could read his biography that way. After all, he was with each of his wives for about 9 years — if you don't examine my math too closely. Or you can view him through the lens of history: pioneer boy, Civil War solider, and father during the Midwest's boom years.

As we look more closely at his descendants in the following weeks, there will be some mysteries that we have to leave unanswered; there will be some shocking crimes; and there will be a lot of children. I'll try to do them justice.

For help with this branch of the family, I thank Joan Callin Foster, who has been one of the most enduring and encouraging of fellow researchers. As I've said before, if you see anything you like here, she deserves full credit; if you find any mistakes, those are all mine!

And as always, if you're related to any of the folks in this post, then you're family! Drop me a note at callintad (at, or in the comments below; or send a request to join the Callin Family History Facebook group. Please do let me know if there are mistakes, and I'll do my best to correct them. This ongoing project is intended to result in a published revision to the Callin Family History, so we want to get it right.

Now brace yourself — next week's post is a long one!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Welles and Ray

The two youngest sons of John H and Amanda (Walker) Callin were born about a year apart - and what a difference a year makes.

Their eldest brother, Byron, got his teaching certificate when Welles and Ray were infants; they would have been young men when Byron left his wife and headed west to the "Badlands" to teach in South Dakota. Their war hero father surely influenced them to pursue their educations; their brothers enticed them to seek adventure; their mother sought to keep them safe. And each chose to go their own way - for the most part.

Welles Monroe Callin (1889–1921) was born on April 19, 1889 in Bowling Green, Ohio. He grew up there until 1902, when the family moved to Fostoria. Welles attended Fostoria High School where he was the captain of the Ohio State Championship football team in 1907.

After his high school graduation on November 10, 1908, Welles married Florence, daughter of a local Fostoria city councilman, George B. Stone. They eloped to Windsor, Ontario, Canada and moved to Detroit. Welles’ brother Prentice was living there also, and they may have moved in with him. This marriage didn't work out and they were divorced shortly thereafter; they had no children.

Welles and Prentice then seem to have left for Edmunds County, South Dakota where their brother Byron was living.  He held a number of degrees, including at least one in theology, and had been a traveling preacher for a time in South Dakota, as well as teaching school at nearly every level.

It was around this time that Byron began calling himself “Herbert”, his middle name. Welles evidently thought this was quite elegant and is listed in the 1910 census as “Monroe Callin”, though nobody ever seemed to call him that. In Baker, Montana, he met Marion Elizabeth Silvernale (1892–1972), the daughter of Baker's blacksmith, Charles Silvernale. The couple eloped in 1911. It was quite a scandal, and there was even an article in the local paper.

Her family was not exactly smitten with the idea of their little girl seeing a divorced man, but after having a son in Fostoria, the young couple settled in Whitefish, Montana where Welles went to work for The Great Northern Railroad.

On September 21, 1921, one year and one day after the birth of his youngest son, Welles was on a short run from Troy to Libby, Montana. He was standing on the platform between the locomotive and the tender when a heavy coal rake, that was sticking out beyond the side of the locomotive, struck a trestle and knocked him off of the train and into the riverbed. He landed on his head and died instantly. He was 32 years old. He is buried in the Missoula Cemetery in Missoula, Montana.

Marion remarried on 6 October 1922. She married Roger Q Smyth (1892–1961), and they had three children together: Marion Ruth Smyth (1924–2012), Roger Q Smyth (1926–2014), and Faus Argo Smyth (1930–2009). (Since they are not descendants of James Callin, I won't lay out their details here, but if you're interested in learning more about their families, let me know.) This extended family ended up in Washington state around 1924, and later, Marion and Roger relocated to Hemet, California, where they lived out their days.

     I. Cameron Welles Callin Sr. (1912–1968) was born in Fostoria, Ohio, and arrived with his parents in Seattle around 1924. He graduated from Franklin High School in 1933 and was an all-city football half-back two years. He played three years with the West Seattle Yellowjackets, a semi-pro football team. He was with The Boeing Company for 28 years, rising to become a senior supervisor for the Airplane Division. He died of a heart ailment in a Seattle hospital at 58 years of age.

Cameron married twice, and had a child with each wife. He married Theresa L Taylor (1914–1996) on 14 April 1934 in Seattle. They were together at least through 1940, but Cameron remarried in 1944, and Theresa remarried in 1949. Cameron's second wife was Alyce Annetta Risdon (1921–2000).

       A. Cameron Welles Callin Jr (1936–1990) was a native of Seattle, and he moved to Salem, Oregon, in 1975 from Vancouver, Washington. He owned and operated The Ranch restaurant in Salem for many years, and owned the Tom-Tom and Cameron's restaurants in Albany, Oregon. He married his first wife in 1958; she and their two sons and two daughters survive him.

In 1981, Cam divorced his first wife and married Pamela Rae Dillon (1957–2004) in 1982. Cam and Pam owned and operated the Ranch Restaurant and Bar for seven years, but he died in 1990, just after they bought the Tom-Tom Restaurant and Westbrooks in Albany. Pam continued to own and operate the Tom-Tom Restaurant for about 15 years. She died at only 46 years of age.

       B. Linda Callin (1945–2013) was Cam, Jr.'s half-sister. She married David O Monton (1948–2013) on 11 November 1972, and they died only a few months apart in 2013.

     II. Charles Silvernale Callin (1913–1976) enlisted in the U.S. Army from 2 July 1943 to 18 March 1946, and after the war he married Golda Hrederig Thomsen (1910–2001) on 3 May 1948. Golda was an army nurse he met during the war. They had two sons, one biological and one adopted, both still living.

Chuck was a school teacher, and like his brothers, he died far too early from heart ailments.

     III. John Kenneth Callin Sr. (1920–1976) joined the Army in July 1943, and married Mary Ellen M Jacobsen (1925–1995) that December. Because he couldn't get the hang of  Morse Code, he washed out of radio school and was assigned to the Air Corps as a tail gunner. He never saw action, though, because he was hospitalized with pneumonia which turned into pleurisy. He needed tubes inserted into his back, to the pleural cavity to drain the fluids. After that, he had his wings clipped and was no longer able to fly. So he spent the remainder of the war in England, guarding POWs. He received disabled veterans benefits for the rest of his life due to the pleurisy and the surgery. (Not a large amount - about 28 bucks a month.) John worked as a mail carrier until his death in 1976.

They had three sons, two of whom are still living.

       A. John Kenneth Callin Jr. is a traveler, a maker, and a family historian. He and his wife raised a daughter and a son, and have four grandchildren. I credit him with providing the details about this branch of the family - of course, I'll claim any errors you find in the writing!

     i. Thomas John (Tom) Callin (1973-2002) was born in Sun Valley, California, and struggled with bipolar disorder. He lost that struggle in 2002, and died in Overland Park, Kansas, where he left behind a wife and young daughter.

In Memory of a Bluesman
       B. Jeffry Steven Callin (1951–2012) was born in Burbank, California. He was a true child of the 60s. When the Beatles hit the music charts, Jeff picked up a guitar and never put it down. He worked as a merchant, a candy maker and a miner, but his true calling was the blues. At the time of his passing, he was divesting himself of all but the necessities so that he would be free to roam the US in his RV and seek out the old bluesmen and learn their riffs.

He was predeceased by his beloved Dotti,
Dorothy Kay (Chamberlain) Delaney (1946–1994), and survived by their daughter. Jeff was cremated and his remains were placed inside of a guitar that his brother, John, built for him. They will be kept at home with Jeff's daughter.

Ray Callin (1890-1965) was born 26 August 1890, and unlike his brothers, he seems to have remained in Ohio and attended school rather than exploring the northwest of the country. Not to say he didn't have any adventures; he's one of our few ancestors who actually saw action during World War I.

Ray enlisted in the National Army from Sandusky, Ohio, on 1 October 1917, when he was 27. He served as an engineer, and was assigned to three units which were part of the American Expeditionary Forces from 4 March 1918 to 4 August 1919. He served in Company A, 308 Engineers until 20 May 1918; 116 Engineers until 21 June 1918; and in Company B, 2 Engineers until his Discharge. He was promoted to Corporal on 18 October 1917. He was involved in several major offensive campaigns: Aisne-Marne; St Mihiel; and Meuse-Argonne. He received his honorable discharge on 14 August 1919.

After the war, Ray lived with his widowed mother in Vermillion, and worked as a carpenter and woodworker. He did not marry until 11 September 1928, when he wed Mary Delcamp (1893–1974). Mary was the middle daughter of Emanuel J Delcamp (1862–1900) and Mary Ann Griffiths (1868–1939), of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. Mary's father died abruptly at 37, and her mother remarried John Wanner. After John's death in 1915, the twice widowed Mary Wanner moved with her daughters to Cleveland.

Ray and Mary were both in their mid-to-late thirties when they married, and while had a son soon after their marriage, they also took in a few children over the years. One of these was Jack Hopkins, whose son came down with polio in 1950, when he was only four years old. Ray and Mary were reported in the paper as visiting their grandson, Jerry Hopkins, in the hospital, which shows how close they were to their foster children.

Another of these foster children remembered Ray's mother, Amanda, very well. He said she loved ice cream and would send him to the store to buy it for her. He recalled that she was a kindly lady, but stingy with her ice cream. (We researchers seem to share that ice cream gene.)

Ray farmed in the Sandusky area for many years, eventually selling the family farm in the early 1950s and buying a winter home in Florida, as his brothers Byron and John had done. Ray and Mary both died in Florida, and were survived by their son and four grandchildren - all of whom are still living.

 - -- --- -- -

That's going to do it for "my" branch of the family - we've finished our swing through the John H. Callin solar system, and when we pick things up again, we will start with his brother, James Monroe Callin. We've still got a long way to go before we have covered all of James Callin's descendants, so I hope you're in this for the long haul!

As I write this last post-script, it is Thanksgiving Day, 2016, and I've decided to give myself a holiday break for the month of December. I have some non-Callin research to catch up on, and may post some non-regular information between now and the end of the year, but I want to give the rest of the family my full energy in the New Year.

I'm getting better about reaching out to the surviving family members as I go, so hopefully more of them will start finding their way to the blog and to the Facebook group. If you're a member of this, or any of the families I've written about, and you have corrections to suggest, I'm happy to include them. I'm also happy to include your stories and memories, though I won't do so without your permission.

I hope you're all well, and I hope to hear from you in the comments below, at my "callintad" gmail address, or on the Callin Family History Facebook group.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Tales of a Prentice

The middle son of John H. and Amanda (Walker) Callin, Prentice George Callin was born in Middleton, Ohio on 22 September 1887.
Prentice & Hattie Callin
wedding - 1910

Prentice grew up as the middle child in a family that valued both learning and adventure. He grew up and attended school in Fostoria, Ohio, and he may have been a student in Detroit in 1910, when he and his bride acquired their marriage license.

Harriet Ellen "Hattie" Owen (1891–1991) was born in Fostoria, Ohio. She was the daughter of Joseph Russell Owen (1866–1941) and Grace Shoemaker (1871–1964). Her father was a railroad man who later ran his own seed supply business.

Hattie and Prentice were married on 15 June 1910 in Fostoria, and the next few years saw the birth of their two sons, Owen and David. In 1915, they moved to Otsego county, New York, where Prentice's brothers, Byron and John, were living and working as teachers. When John enlisted in the Ohio guard, Prentice did, too; and by 1920, he had moved his family back to Bowling Green, where Prentice established himself as a farmer.

Prentice farmed and did clerical work during the 1930s, and worked in the post office in the 1940s. Later in his life, Prentice retired from his farm, and he and Hattie moved to California to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Prentice died in San Diego in 1960, on his 50th wedding anniversary. Hattie followed David and his family when they moved to Washington state, and she died in Shelton, Mason county, Washington on 1 October 1991.

Owen, c. 1912 with
Prentice and Hattie
     I. Owen Prentice Callin (1911–1965) graduated from Ohio State University and began his journalism career on the Lorain (Ohio) Journal in 1936. Later he was employed by the Ohio State Journal in Columbus, the Tampa (Fla.) Times and the Toledo (Ohio) Blade.

Owen married Vivien June O'Hara (1912–1999) in 1937, and in 1943 they moved to California, where Owen worked for International News Service. He later joined the old Los Angeles Herald-Express, and moved to the Times in 1963. He was working as a Los Angeles Times copy editor and former wire service reporter when he died at the age of 53.

Vivien, also a newspaper editor, remarried on 25 October 1969 to Arnold Theodore Fitzmier Sr (1916–1985), and they lived in Long Beach.

       A. Thomas Owen Callin (1941–2008) made the newspaper as a toddler, notable for having grown in his adult molars at only 2 years of age. He was a lifelong resident of Long Beach, California, and left behind his wife, son, and two daughters; all of whom are still living.
David Warren Callin
c. 1935

     II. David Warren Callin (1914–1983) married Helen Ruth Grant (1911–2003) in Auburn, Indiana, on 10 April 1936.

Helen was born in Vermillion, Ohio, to William Graden Grant (1887–1967) and Estella E Westbrook (1884–1986). The Callins lived in Ohio and California before moving to Port Angeles in 1970 and Sequim in 1984. Judging by their frequent appearances in the Daily News of Port Angeles, the couple were adept bridge players during the 1970s.

       A. Michael Prentiss Callin grew up in Los Angeles, and lived for many years in Woodinville, Washington. He worked for Qwest Communications, and moved to Oregon after he retired. He and his wife had one son and one daughter, and as of this writing, they have four granddaughters.

       B. Helen and David's daughter lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest.

       C. Grant David Callin is a science fiction author and retired Air Force officer. He published two novels in the late 1980s, Saturnalia and A Lion on Tharthee, as well as several short stories. During his Air Force career he set a record for human endurance as part of the U.S. space program's tests of human tolerance for designing spacecraft. In 1971, he appeared on a Flip Wilson TV special featuring "Record Makers" which included fellow guests Charles M. Schulz (creator of the Peanuts comic strip) and baseball legend Willie Mays.

Grant and his first wife raised three daughters. He retired to Sammamish, Washington, where he lives with his second wife.

Grant's daughter, Kari, was a public figure for a brief time, when she appeared on season 4 of the show America's Got Talent in 2009. She has several videos on YouTube performing some of her favorite songs (like My Immortal).

 - -- --- -- -

As you can see, we have some celebrities in this branch of the family! I'm still getting to know some of these folks, and I hope to be able to add to what I have here, but this was a fun start.

I'm reminded, though, of the over-arching theme of the blog - the idea that we are all minor celebrities in our own stories, and that every one of us is important to telling those stories. At a time when a lot of us are worried about the future, it's vital that we remember that - just being who we are and taking care of each other is at least as important as being famous, or being successful.

As always, drop a note if you spot any errors or omissions - as we get closer to the end of the two-year effort to document all of James Callin's descendants, the next step will be getting all of this information together for the book. I will need all the help I can get!

Friday, November 11, 2016

You Just Can't Matcham

This week, we will look at the descendants of the only daughter of John H. and Amanda Walker Callin to survive infancy, Emma Beatrice Callin (1885-1951). Born nearly six years after her brother, John, Emma would be quickly followed by three younger brothers born in the five years between 1885 and 1890.

George & Emma; 1907
George Delorain Matcham (1844–1923) was born in Pittsfield, Lorain county, Ohio, to Edward and Abigail (Tinker) Matcham, both of whom had come to Ohio from Massachusetts. Edward was born in Pittsfield, Berkshire county, Massachusetts, in 1812, and he arrived in what would be called Pittsfield in Ohio in 1830. He and Abigail were school teachers in neighboring townships. Abigail was descended from the Mayflower Tinkers.

According to a 1951 article in Elyria's "The Chronicle Telegram" on the history of schools in Lorain county:

"Pittsfield's first school was taught by Miss Minerva Loveland in a small cabin erected for educational purposes. In 1831 or 1832 Edward Matcham began his period of teaching which lasted 10 years. Miss Abagail Tinker was the first teacher in Rochester Township. She conducted her school in a log cabin during the Winter of 1833-1834."

Edward and Abigail were married 8 April 1835. They had a daughter, Mary, in 1841; their only son, George, followed in 1844. George was never a very healthy boy, and he had to drop out of his studies at the college at Oberlin because of his health problems. Still, he was a bright young man, and after he managed to complete a course at the business school at Oberlin, he took out patents on improvements he made in farm equipment, which helped establish him as a business man.

In 1871, George married his first wife, Marion Worcester (1840–1906). George served on the school board for a time, and kept up his patents for income. The couple continued to live in Pittsfield until 1895, when they moved to Oberlin. Soon after coming to Oberlin Mr. Matcham invested in land at Linwood park on Lake Erie and helped to develop the resort. He built several cottages there and had spent his summers there for several years. Marion helped run the 19 room inn they built there, until her death in 1906.

George D. Matcham II
with John H. and Amanda Callin
Emma Beatrice Callin (1885–1951) married George the following year. Emma was the fourth child of John H and Amanda (Walker) Callin. She grew up in a house with a Civil War hero father, a pioneer mother, five brothers and her grandmother, who died in 1903. They married when Emma was 22 years old and George was 63 - just two years younger than Emma's father, John H. Callin. (I suspect the two men were at least friends, if not business partners.)

In the 15 or 16 years they were married, George and Emma had five children. They continued to live off of their inn, and Emma hosted social life in the resort on Lake Erie. Sadly, George died in 1923, when their youngest daughter was only four years old; but Emma's mother, Amanda, had been living with the family for several years by then, and surely helped with the children.

After five years, Emma remarried, wedding Gustav Heimsath (1888–1963) on 10 December 1928. Gus was an engineer whose family hailed from Germantown, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. After Amanda died in 1933, and the children began to leave home, Gus and Emma moved to the Cleveland area, where Emma died in 1951.

     I. George Delorain Matcham II (1908–1994) may have been their third grandchild, but he had the distinction of being John and Amanda's first grandson. He worked as a mechanic as a young man, and at one point owned a TV repair shop. Over the course of his life, he worked at the Ridge Tool Co., General Motors Fisher Guide Plant and Bendix-Westinghouse, all in Elyria, and the Fruehauf Trailer Co. in Avon Lake.

On 7 August 1930, George married Emma Narelle Knepper (1910–1985). Emma was the daughter of Giles Allen Knepper (1878–1962) and Addie Kaiser (1884–1961). The couple had a daughter and three sons; their three eldest children are still living. They raised their family in Lorain county, and lived in Elyria until they moved to Punta Gorda, Florida, in 1965. Emma suffered from an unspecified long illness, and spent the last few months of her life in Elyria with her daughter. George died in 1994 in Punta Gorda, also after a long illness.

       D. James Allen Matcham (1943–1946) was the youngest child of George and Emma Narelle Matcham. He was struck by a car and killed at age three.

Eddie Matcham with mom
Emma Heimsath
     II. John Edward "Eddie" Matcham (1912–1965) served as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army during World War II, and married Opal Estelle Hindman (1907–2001) in Peoria, Illinois in November 1945. They lived in Peoria and ran a restaurant near Bradley University. Eddie was severely wounded during the war, and was a member of Disabled American Veterans. He died at Veterans Memorial Hospital in Haywood, Illinois. He was buried on Christmas Eve Day in 1965.

     III. Marjorie Matcham (1914–1999) was 6 years old when her father died, and she was about 11 when her mother remarried. She would have grown up knowing her grandmother, Amanda.

Marjorie married Robert William Young (1913–1992) on 23 December 1934. His parents were Edward D Young (1874–1953) and Mary Elizabeth Barnes (1876–1940). Edward was not related to the Young family we talked about in the post A Sly, Young Girl; they were descended from a different Young family which had been in America since the 1700s. Edward was born in England in 1874 and came to the United States in 1881.

Robert and Marjorie had three sons, though only two survived to adulthood. She was the owner of Grange Mutual Insurance Agency in Youngstown, Ohio, until 1962, when the couple moved to Punta Gorda, Florida. She was a member of Peace River Shores Property Owners Association, Charlotte County Art Guild and the Arthritis Foundation. They left behind six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

       A. Lawrence William Young (1938–1948) drowned while trying to rescue his younger brother while they were rafting in an abandoned strip mine. Chester was pulled out of the water by two Boy Scouts, Richard Griffen (15) and Ronald Reese (15), but they were not able to rescue Larry.

       B. Chester Edward Young Sr (1939–1996) grew up and married in 1960. His wife, son, and two daughters survived him.

       C. John W. Young (1941–2007) was a graduate of Youngstown State University and in 1999 he retired from General Motors Powertrain of Defiance, Ohio. He left behind a wife, son, two daughters, and five grandchildren.

     IV. Truman Wallace Matcham (1916–2005) served in the United States Navy during WWII and graduated from Ohio State University in 1948. He married Martha Lee Rosencrance (1923–2003) on 19 June 1943, then served in the war from 22 April 1944 through 24 January 1946. They raised two daughters and a son, all still living.

Truman retired from General Electric Co. in 1980 after working 41 years as an industrial engineer and manager. He was a member of the Lawrence Park United Methodist Church, where he was a trustee and held other leadership positions. He served as a Lawrence Park Commissioner and Judge of Elections in Lawrence Park for many years. He also served on the board of the Erie chapter of Meals on Wheels.

     V. Ruth Ellen Matcham Heimsath (1919–2009) was so small when her father died, she only really knew her step-father, Gus Heimsath. She grew up and married Richard R "Zimmy" Zimmerman (1924–2009) in February 1946, and they had two children: a son, still living, and a daughter. Zimmy remarried in 1969, and judging from the dates of the records, his divorce from Ruth, his second marriage, and his younger daughter did not arrive in that order. Regardless of the situation, Ruth began using her step-father's name, and was known as Ruth Heimsath until her death in 2009.

     A. Sarah J "Sally" Zimmerman Pence (1947–2012) died suddenly on Sunday, March 11, 2012 in Chapala, Mexico. She left behind her husband of almost 30 years, six daughters, 13 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren.

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That seems like a lot of tragedy for one small post, but there are also a lot of folks who are still with us... and a lot of children and grandchildren! That motivates me to keep going, and finish this project - not just so you'll all buy the eventual book, but so we have something that ties us all together.

An even better way to tie us together is to drop a note; you can comment here on the blog, email my Gmail address - I'm "callintad" - or click on the link to visit the private Callin Family History group on Facebook. (Relatives of James Callin only, please; I will ask how you're related before I click "approve"!)

As always, if you spot any mistakes or omissions, or if you want to share a story about one of these Callin family descendants (whatever their surname) I hope you'll let me know.