Friday, August 26, 2016

Call A Copp

We made it!

After beginning our look at their descendants in February, we've arrived at the youngest of John and Eliza (Callin) Ferguson's children. Telling her story, and that of her children, has been tough. The records I have been able to scrape together don't corroborate much of what we knew about them - but let's look at what they do tell us.

Here is what the Callin Family History had to say about her:

Record of Minerva Ferguson, 7th daughter of Eliza Callin Ferguson, 3rd daughter of John Callin, 2nd son of James 1st.

Born 1850, died 1881.
Married to Copp.
To this union three children were born:
Clarissa, born 1880, died 1909; 2 children:
Letha, died at 3 years old.
John, born 1881; married, one child.

The Census records vary, but they seem to show that Minerva J. Ferguson was born about 1853 in De Kalb county, Indiana. She married Abner G. Copp (1849–1919) on 8 June 1871.

Abner was the youngest son and second youngest child of one Jacob Copp, who was born on March 2, 1812, in Pennsylvania. Jacob married Isabella "Zibby" Kees on April 11, 1834, in Columbiana, Ohio. They had seven children in 18 years; depending on which records you consult, some of them were born in Ohio, at least one was born in Pennsylvania, and the rest in Indiana. Abner was born on 3 December 1849 in Allen county, Indiana.

Minerva would have been about 17 years old when she and Abner married, and contrary to what the CFH record says, they had their first daughter right away (at least according to the 1880 Census). I have not found any record of Minerva's death or burial, and there were no newspaper items available from that time, but I would guess that she either died giving birth to her youngest child, or that she died soon after, possibly from one of the outbreaks of typhoid that were common at the time.

After Minerva's death (at age 27) in 1881, Abner remarried in 1884. He and his second wife, Anna Alice Boran (1864–1939) had three children; a son and two daughters. (I haven't included their complete family history here because they aren't, strictly speaking, descendants of James Callin. If you're interested in learning more about them, I'm happy to share whatever I have.)
  1. Jesse Roy Copp (1884–1962)
  2. Vera Copp (1888–??)
  3. Flossie C Copp (1891–1982)

     I. Clarissa "Callie" Copp (1872–1909)

detail from 1880 U.S. Census showing the Copp family
(click to see it full size)
As you can see in the section of the Callin Family History quoted above, great-uncle George mis-stated her birth date. I don't know if he got her name right, but he recorded her as "Clarissa;" that is also how she was referred to in her grandfather James Ferguson's will: "Clarissa J Copp daughter of my daughter Minerva Copp deceased"...

I have only found three records that show her name: the 1880  Census (shown at right), the 1900 Census, and an Indiana Marriage Index record. The 1880 clearly says "Caroline," but I suppose that could be a mistake on the part of the enumerator. The 1900 calls her "Callie," which doesn't conclusively tell us anything. And the marriage index record lists her name as "Clara C Jane Copp," which could be a corruption of "Clarissa," but it is not very helpful without the original document to consult.

Callie also gets her own entry in the CFH:

Record of Clarissa Copp Mears, eldest daughter of Minerva Ferguson Copp, 7th daughter of Eliza Callin Ferguson, 3rd daughter of John Callin, 2nd son of James 1st.

Born in 1880.
Married to Frank Mears.
Died in 1909.
To this union two children were born.
Fred, born
Farfield, born

Callie actually married Franklin "Frank" Meese (1870–1945) in De Kalb county on 6 February 1892. Frank enlisted in May of 1892, probably serving in the National Guard. Frank farmed, and hired out as a day laborer; sometimes he worked as a drayman. The couple had two sons in the eight years they were together.

Once again, I have been unable to find any records that tell me how or when Callie died, but on the 1910 Census, her sons were shown living with Frank's parents, Isaac G Meese (1844–1931) and Amanda Melton (1844–1910). Amanda died in December of that year.

Frank eventually remarried in 1920. He was living in a boarding house in Columbus, Ohio, at the time, and married another lodger listed at the same residence - a widow named Queen Breedlove (b. 1886). He died in January 1945 at the age of 74. He was struck by a car in Fort Wayne on 10 December 1944, and succumbed to his injuries a few weeks later.

     A. Fred Jay Meese (1892–1947) was an iron worker, by trade. In 1917, when he was 24, he listed his occupation on his World War I draft registration as "structural iron works," and was employed by Bethlehem Steel, in Pennsylvania. While he still listed his home address in Indiana, it seems he settled in Philadelphia for the rest of his life.

There is a 1922 Philadelphia marriage record for a Fred Meese and Ethel D Heatherington (b. 1896), and they appear in the 1930 Census; however, I have not been able to find any other information about her. I don't know whether they had any children after 1930, or whether they divorced or she died; all I do know is that by 1940 he was listed as single in the Census.

In the 1940 Census, Fred was a lodger in the home of the widowed Mary Leonard and her adult daughter, Katherine. Mary's maiden name was Mary Elizabeth Jessen (1894–1945), and by April 1942, she was Mrs. Mary Meese, according to Fred's World War II Draft registration. In 1942, he worked for the United Engineering Company in Philadelphia. Mary died of a coronary thrombosis in 1945.

His third wife, Martha King McAdoo (1903–1958), was the widow of Howard Charles Booth (1898-1943). Fred and Martha were married in Philadelphia in 1946; sadly, Fred died in August 1947. He collapsed while working at a construction site on Barbadoes Island during a heat wave, and he died on the way to the hospital. Martha died, also of a coronary thrombosis, in 1958, and was buried near Howard.

Found on

     B. Fairfield Isaac Meese (1895–1959) enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1911, and earned a commission, rising to the rank of Commander. He was on the USS Oklahoma, stationed in Portsmouth, Virginia, according to the 1920 census; and he was an instructor in the Reserve Officer Training Corp unit in Berkeley, Alameda County, California, according to the 1930 census. He taught there for many years before retiring in 1940. In 1941, he was re-activated as a chief gunner's mate at the very beginning of World War II. His service career included duty in both world wars and Korea.

Fairfield was married to Virginia L Loveland (1905–1953) in 1949; after her death, he moved back to Garrett, De Kalb county, Indiana. There, he was married briefly to Marie Hester (Leichty) Draggoo (1895–1975) before he died in 1959.

     II. Letha Copp (abt 1877-1880)

All we really know about Letha is what George Callin tells us in the Callin Family History; that she died at the age of 3 years old. Since she did not appear on the 1880 Census; she may have been born as early as 1873, and as late as early 1877. I have not found any records that name her.

     III. John Ora Copp (1881–1972)

 Was raised by his father and step-mother. Ora married Isabella "Belle" Zeigler (1881–1944) on 12 April 1904, in Steuben county, Indiana. They started their new family in Angola, where Ora (or, now that he was grown, "Jack") worked in a hardware store. In 1910, he survived a bout of typhoid.

Jack worked in the hardware store until he found a job in Detroit, where he worked for the Studebaker company as a sheet metal worker during the 1920s. By 1930 he had returned the family to Indiana, and they settled in Hamilton, in Steuben county, where he again worked in a hardware store.

Isabella died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage in March 1944, at the age of 62. Jack remarried Esta (Reed) Swift (1890-1965) on 4 November 1944; they were married 21 years before Esta died after suffering hypertensive heart disease. Jack died of complications from prostate cancer at the age of 91.

     A. Russell A Copp (1907–1969) graduated Southwestern high school in Detroit, and found work as a factory worker. He was married briefly to Ethel Mildred Clay (1911–1995); they married on 8 February 1927, and were divorced in October 1928.

In 1934, he and his father worked for the Jewell Tea Company in Angola; in 1937, Russell was working in a factory in Fort Wayne. At some point prior to 1949, he did marry again. His second wife, Eleanor Reed (1921-1987), was the niece of Russell's step-mother, Esta, and she was pretty interesting.

Eleanor was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to Elbert R. Reed (1897–1961) and Fern Cassidy (1900-1987). She was married briefly, to Gordon Leroy Miller (1921–1999) from June 1943 to October 1944. October 1944 is also when she enlisted in the U.S. Navy, which she served until 22 June 1946. I have a hunch that her October divorce and enlistment were related to each other.

I surmise that she married Russell after her discharge; he did not serve because he did not pass his Army Board physical. Without records or newspaper accounts to tell me otherwise, I guess that they married between 1946 and 1949 - that is when they began appearing in the social pages of the Angola Herald and "Mr. and Mrs. Russell Copp." Not long after that, they were also accompanied by a son, whom I presume to still be living.

Eleanor survived Russell when he died of a heart attack at age 62 in Hamilton, Steuben county. Russell was buried in the Hamilton cemetery, along with his parents. She returned to Kalamazoo, where she may have been living with her mother, Fern. They each died in 1987: Eleanor in February and Fern in December.

 - -- --- -- - 

So there you have it - we've reached the end of the line for the sons and daughters of Eliza Callin Ferguson. And while I was afraid at the end there would be no survivors, it seems there may be one descendant of Minerva J. Ferguson still out there - that son of Russell and Eleanor!  (Hopefully, he has a long, healthy life, and many happy grandchildren.)

I'll leave you with a special treat today, since I'll be taking a break next week to prepare the next branch of the family. This song has been stuck in my head since I started researching all of these Indiana families. I hope it stays with you for a while, too!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Myers Family B - Cooler Than Cool

For several weeks, we've been looking at the significant progeny of Thomas J. and Amanda (Myers) Cool. Today's post will look at their three youngest children - if you missed the two previous Cool posts, feel free to scroll back and take a look!

V. Bessie Leah Cool (1893–1980) 

Bessie married Albert Glen Cramer (1893–1967) on 11 July 1928 in De Kalb County. Albert worked as a railroad conductor. They moved to Albion from Garrett around 1960. They do not appear to have had any children. Albert died of a heart attack in 1967, and Bessie suffered a stroke in 1980.

VI. James Don Cool (1896–1972)

James grew up on his father's farm in Union township, and enlisted in the U.S. Army on 18 February 1918. He was working in the Double Fabric Tire Company when he enlisted; after he returned from war, he went to work as a stoker in a gas plant. He married Elizabeth Susan Roan (1904–1969) on 8 February 1923 in Defiance, Ohio, and they set up their home in Auburn, Indiana. He worked as an inspector, probably in the Auburn Automobile Factory.

Elizabeth died of acute congestive heart failure at age 64. James was working in maintenance at the post office when he died of a stroke at age 76. They were buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Auburn.

     A. Robert Roan Cool (1924–1988) grew up in Auburn, and went to Toledo, Ohio, to enlist in the U.S. Army on 12 February 1943. After the end of World War II, he married Erma L McCullough (1925–2003).  Erma was a public school teacher, and Robert worked at the Dana Clutch plant as an engineer. He suffered from diabetes from about 1978 and died of a heart attack at age 64. Erma died at 78 of acute respiratory failure.

VII. Frances "Frankie" L Cool (1902–1977)

Grew up in Auburn, and married Ervin Wesley Pion (1895–1980) on 19 November 1918. He was the son of Florentine Frank Pion (1852–1927) and Lucretia Lou Null (1873–1945). They lived in Union City for a few years, but between 1926 and 1930 they moved back to Ervin's native Michigan, settling in Otsego in Allegan county. He worked as a foreman in the gas plant there.

The couple had eleven children together - seven daughters and four sons. Four of their daughters are still living.

     A. Helen A Pion (1919–2011) was born in Indiana, and moved to Michigan with her family when she was about seven or eight years old. She married Robert Alfred Johnson (1918–1994) on 17 September 1937, and they lived in Allegan county. They raised one son, who is still living. Helen and Robert are buried in the Mountain Home cemetery in Otsego.

     B. Wesley Ervin Pion (1922–1978) married Betty Kathryn Brewster (1926–1991) on 13 July 1942, and he enlisted in the Army two months later on 28 September. Wesley was wounded on 10 July 1945 while serving in the Pacific theater. He was discharged on 18 November 1945.

The couple had two sons, one still living. Their younger son was named for Wesley's younger brother, who died in 1944 while he was away in the war.

     2. Howard Albert Pion (1948–2002) was a Vietnam era  Army veteran and was employed at the Plainwell Paper Company, until his retirement in 1991 due to disability. He was survived by his wife, his son, his daughter, and four grandchildren.

     C. James Thomas Pion (1923–1999) enlisted in the U.S. Army on 23 March 1943, and served out the Second World War. He was discharged as a Private First Class on 21 January 1946, and was married to his first wife that summer. He married again in 1956; both wives survive him.

     D. Alice Jane Pion (1926–1995) married George Edgar Taylor (1916–1991) on 22 April 1946. George was the son of John T. Taylor (1866–1943) and Maude Belle Day (1881–1956) of Allegan county, Michigan, and had served in the Second World War as a Tech 5 in the U.S. Army, enlisting 6 June 1942. They raised one daughter, still living, and were beloved by their grandchildren.

     E. Howard Albert Pion (1931–1944) died after accidentally dousing himself with gasoline and setting himself on fire when he was 13 years old. His older brother, Wesley Ervin, named his younger son "Howard Albert" in 1948 to honor him.

Found on

     G. Kaye Frances Pion (1935–2004) married Leroy Herman Ramp (1932–2010) on 31 December 1952. Leroy was the son of Herschel Herman Ramp (1889–1976) and Nova V. Nuckles (1912–1994). He proudly served his country in the United States Navy during the Korean War and was employed by Humphrey Products for over 24 years. Kaye worked for the Kalamazoo Regional Psychiatric Hospital for 24 years, retiring in 1989. The couple raised one daughter, who died in 1991.

     1. Laurinda Kaye "Laurie" (Ramp) Riley (1953–1991) died at only 37 years of age, leaving behind her husband and two daughters.

     H. Charles Clifford Pion (1937–1997) graduated from Otsego High School, and enlisted for two years, from 18 December 1956 to 27 November 1958, and he married on 12 March 1960. I was not able to find much more information than that, though I suspect he left behind a family when he died at only 60.
 - -- --- -- - 

And there you have it: all the Cool kids! (I think Nova V. Nuckles is my new favorite name, you guys!) As I said, there are still four more sisters in the Pion family who are still living, and each has children and grandchildren of their own! I won't ever knowingly post information about living people here, but if you want to help me tell your family's story, please do reach out.

Next week, we will be done with the Ferguson branch of the family, and I'll take a "bye week" before we get back to people with the surname Callin. 

As always, if you are related to anyone mentioned in this post, please say hello - you can drop a comment below, join our Callin Family History Facebook group, or email my Gmail address: callintad at gmail dot com.

Corrections and editorial comments are not only welcome, but encouraged.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Myers Family B - More Cool Kids

If you're new to this blog, I've been working my way down the family tree from my own 5th-great grandfather, James Callin, as part of an ongoing project to revise the Callin Family History published in 1911 by my 2nd great uncle, George W. Callin. I'm getting excited, because we're getting close to finishing up the Ferguson branch of the family - which means we're almost into MY branch of the family!

We began looking at today's family last week, with Tom and Amanda (Myers) Cool, and their eldest children: daughter, Helen Cool Davis; and son, Charles Lewis Cool. Let's pick up where we left off with their second son:

III. Walter Perry Cool (1887–1979)

Walter was a lifelong Indiana farmer. He grew up on his father's farm in Jackson township, and married Edna Barnhart (1890–1960) on 21 December 1907. They set up their own farm near Wilmington, in De Kalb county, eventually moving to Union City later in life. They raised two daughters, and their grandson

Edna suffered from chronic kidney disease which put her in the Barkley Nursing home for the last month of her life; she suffered a stroke and died of respiratory failure in December of 1960. Walter lived to be 91 years old; he lived with arteriosclerosis for his last 15 years before he, too, suffered a stroke in 1979.

     A. Phyllis Naomi Cool (1909–1927) grew up and married Roy Lee Free (1903–1980) on 18 July 1925. The couple had a son, but it wasn't long before Phyllis fell victim to typhus in 1927. Walter and Edna adopted the baby boy, Leroy. Roy eventually remarried, and had two sons with his second wife in their home in Louisville, Kentucky.

     1. Leroy E Cool (1926–1982) was adopted by his grandparents, and raised as their son; he never used the surname Free. He grew up on their farm, and eventually enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving from 28 March 1945 to 26 November 1946 at the end of World War II. Leroy married Eva Mary Ording (1921–2014) after the war, on 26 November 1947. They were married for 35 years and had four children together before Leroy's death in 1982. Eva survived until 2014, and when she died, she left two surviving children, 8 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

     a. Phyllis Catherine (Cool) Wachter (1951–2000) was married, and died in Lansing, Michigan, at only 49 years of age.

     b. Julie Cool (1962–1962) died in infancy.

     B. Dorothy Opal Cool (1913–2014) lived to be 101 years old, and spent her whole life in De Kalb county, Indiana. She married Trever J "TJ" Mavis (1908–1983) on 12 October 1929. TJ was from Williams county, Ohio, but worked as a pressman in a metal plant in De Kalb county to support his family. Before TJ's death in 1982, they had six children: three sons, and three daughters, one of whom survives.

     1. Donald Eugene Mavis (1930–2004) married Margaret Eileen Carpenter (1925–1996). Donald and Eileen had two daughters, still living. Donald lost Eileen to cervical cancer in 1996. He worked as a tool and die maker in the auto industry, and he died from a stroke.

     2. Dale Elsworth Mavis (1932–1998) graduated Auburn High School in 1951, and according to his senior yearbook, he intended to study to become a veterinarian. He attended college in Michigan, and after 1993, he lived in Morris, Grundy county, Illinois. After his death at 66, he was buried near his parents in the Farmer Cemetery, Defiance county, Ohio.

     3. Elenor Elain Mavis (1934–2004) married Kenneth Howard Mitchell (1913–1992) on 14 November 1975, when she was 41 and he was 62. She worked as a scheduler for a manufacturing company, and died from a coronary event attributed to arteriosclerosis related to obesity, according to her death certificate.

     4. Darell Walter Mavis (1935–2011) married and left behind his wife, daughter, two sons, 8 grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren.

     6. Ellen Jean (Mavis) Wood (1944–2007) married Danny Duane Wood (1944–2006) on 16 September 1963. They later divorced. Danny died the year before Ellen died from cervical cancer. She left behind a son, two daughters, 7 grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.

IV. Grace E Cool (1890–1984)

When Grace married Harry Brandon (1892–1965) on 14 April 1917, she became his second wife, and she brought two children into the family. It's hard to tell from 100 years away what their situations were and what motivations and social pressures were driving them, so I will try to spell out what the records tell me in a non-judgmental way. If you are descended from this side of the family, and you have more information about them, please let me know so I can tell their story properly.

The records seem to show that Grace had her first son, Nelson, with a man named George Oberlin in May 1911. There is no indication that Grace married Mr. Oberlin, but his name is on the birth certificate.

At around the same time, Harry was married to Wava Mae Howlett (1893-1960) and they had a daughter. The couple married in April of 1910, and when their daughter was born on 22 February 1911, they named her Ilene Lillian Brandon. Harry and Wava divorced in June 1911, while Harry was serving part of his National Guard duty at Fort Benjamin Harrison, and Wava remarried three or four times in rapid succession, making it hard to tell where she might appear in the 1920 Census. It looks as though after the divorce, Wava kept custody of the baby, and called her "Eileen Hazel."

I have not been able to find a birth record for Grace's second child, but Wanda Lillian was born on 12 June 1914 (according to the Social Security records). I don't have any evidence that Harry is Wanda's biological father, but since the marriage records say he and Grace were married on 14 April 1917, and Harry, Jr. was born 27 February 1917 - they may well have been together unofficially well before 1917. And in August of 1917, Harry was granted an exemption from the draft quota due to having a wife and three dependents.

Harry adopted Nelson, and raised Wanda, Harry, Jr., and the twins, along with Grace. Harry died in 1965 from pulmonary congestion after suffering from Parkinson's disease for the previous 15 years. By the end of his life, he was a resident of Souders Hospital, which was torn down in 2008. Grace survived him by nearly 20 years, and died from a heart attack at the age of 94.

     A. Nelson B. "Nellie" Brandon (1911-1995) married Ruth Geneva Wheeler (1914–2006) who was the daughter of Greenwood and Lola (De Witt) Wheeler. Nellie worked as a factory laborer until his retirement. Later in life, he suffered from Alzheimer's disease, and died three days after he suffered a stroke in 1995. Ruth also suffered from dementia in her later years, and died of a heart attack at 91 years of age. They had at least one daughter, who is still living.

From their Find-a-Grave memorial page
     B. Wanda Lillian Brandon (1914-1991) married Clifford Ethen Farmer (1913–1975) after 1930. Clifford was the son of Andrew Oliver and Lyda Ann (La Fever) Farmer of Noble county, Indiana. Clifford and Lillian had at least one child, still living, before moving to Hillsdale, Michigan, where they lived out their lives. They are buried in the Mountain Home Cemetery in Otsego, Allegan county, Michigan.

     C. Harry Lewis "Bud" Brandon, Jr. (1917–1996) was married around 1939, and his wife survived him. Bud served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

     D. Cleo Brandon (1919–2005) was one of a set of twins born to Grace and Harry Brandon on 29 December 1919. She married Wilbur Nelson Johnson (1921–1997) on 3 May 1941. Wilbur was the youngest son of Nelson Columbus "Lum" Johnson (1891–1980) and Blanche E Getts (1892–1977).

When they married, both Cleo and Wilbur were employed by the former Auburn Rubber Co. and Cleo was later an employee of the Cooper Jewelry Store in Butler, Indiana. They had two sons, still living, and a daughter, Melanie, who died some time before her mother.

     E. Claude Brandon (1919–1982) was Cleo's twin brother. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, serving from 19 August 1941 until 10 December 1945. After the war he married Martha Jean McNabb (1928–2003) at St. Mark's Lutheran Church on 19 February 1949. (And, no - she is not related to the McNabb families we discussed earlier this year. I checked!)

Jean worked as a bookkeeper for two Auburn drug stores for a combined 25 years: Romeiser Drug Store and Keltsch Pharmacy. She also served as assistant to the controller of Mid American Electronics in Auburn for six years, and she was a receptionist for Dr. Stanley Greenberg in Garrett for six years.

Claude and Jean had two children; a daughter, still living, and a son, Thomas James Brandon (1954–2003), who left behind a widow and two children of his own.
 - -- --- -- - 

That's all I have time for this week, but we still have three more Cool siblings to talk about next week. 

As always, if you are related to anyone mentioned in this post, please say hello - you can drop a comment below, join our Callin Family History Facebook group, or email my Gmail address: callintad at gmail dot com.

Corrections and editorial comments are not only welcome, but encouraged.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Myers Family B - One of the Cool Kids

Longtime readers know what a deep affection I have for interesting names. You may have also detected (or inherited?) my penchant for "dad jokes" - and this family you're about to study presents many opportunities for me to embarrass myself with both. If you suspect I'm making fun of one of your ancestor's fascinating monikers, I assure you I am only enjoying it in a way that is meant to express affection and appreciation. So please - be cool.

 - -- --- -- - 

John S. Cool (1828-1901) was born in Yates county, New York, the son of Philip and Mary Cool. Around 1833, Philip moved his family to Sandusky county, Ohio, but he soon died. Mary took her five youngest children (including John) back to New York, but her eldest son, Daniel, remained in Ohio. In 1839, eleven year old John went back to Ohio where he lived with Daniel until 1843, when John (now fifteen) and two other brothers, Christopher and Isaac, went to De Kalb county, Indiana.

In 1850, John traveled back through Ohio and headed to New Jersey, visiting family. A real, live pioneer visiting the Garden State, twenty-two years old, and with a forest cabin and farm back in Indiana, he must have seemed quite a catch to Sarah A. Wilson (1830-1892) of Sussex county, New Jersey. They married on 8 October 1851, and she returned to De Kalb county with him to raise a family. As the dusty old History of De Kalb County, Indiana put it, "They then came to his forest home and commenced housekeeping in the log cabin. Ten children have been born to them..."

 Amanda A. Myers (1865–1905) was, of course, the second eldest daughter of Welby and Eliza (Ferguson) Myers, who you may recall from previous posts. Amanda married Thomas J Cool (1860–1931) in 1882, not long after the birth of her brother, James Myers.

Tom was the fourth child to be born of the log cabin housekeeping of John and Sarah Cool. He was a farmer in Jackson township, which his father had helped found in 1874. The couple raised had six children before Amanda died in 1905. Her death certificate lists the cause of death as "toxemia," which is an out-dated term for pre-eclampsia, one of the many dangerous risks of pregnancy. She left behind two sons under ten, two daughters in their early teens, and three older children.

After Amanda's death, Tom remained unmarried, but he appears to have sold his farm and moved into Union City. This coincided with the rise of automobiles, and in 1910 Tom worked as a "dray man" for an auto factory.  In 1920, he worked in plumbing, but by 1930, he was working as a painter in an auto factory; probably the Auburn Automobile factory we've seen pop up in previous posts.

Tom died suddenly in 1931 from acute appendicitis. He was 71 years old.

  • I. Helen Cool (1883-1972)
I have to confess that I almost missed Helen altogether when I put this post together. She did not show up in any of the Census records, and it was only after I found an obituary for her brother, Charles, that I even knew to start looking for her.

Once I did, I learned that she was the eldest child of Tom and Amanda, born 22 January 1883, according to most of the reliable records I found. Since Helen was not listed in the household in 1900, I assume that at 17, she may have found work outside the house, possibly as live-in hired help. She married Perry Ralph Davis (1872-1938) on 29 December 1905, in Detroit, and they moved to Toledo, where Perry was the proprietor of his own saloon.

They lived in Toledo until the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1919, put an end to Perry's saloon - at least legally. By 1920, the couple had moved to Long Beach, California, where Perry ran an auto accessories business, and eventually opened his own lunch room. After Perry died, around 1938, Helen stayed in Long Beach, and took work as a seamstress. She lived until 1972, and died in Downey, Los Angeles county, California.
  • II. Charles Lewis Cool (1885–1928)
Charles grew up on his father's farm in Jackson township. He married Katherine "Kate" Gaskill (1890–1968) in April 1908, in Oceania, Michigan, and settled in the Pleasant township, located in Steuben county, not far from Angola, in the top/right-most corner of Indiana.

Kate was the daughter of  Richard J Gaskill (1842–1921) and Sylvina Wolcott (1846–1913), the youngest of their seven children. Their family had helped settle and establish Steuben county, much as the Cool family did De Kalb. She and Charley ran their farm in Pleasant township and had ten children before Charley's sudden death in October of 1928, at the age of 43. One night, he went out to check on his orchard, and was found dead that night at midnight, at the base of one of his trees.

I haven't found any documents to say how dire their situation was, but I know that just one year after Charley's death was Black Tuesday, the onset of what we now call the Great Depression. Farmers were typically not well off, as they were vulnerable to the boom-and-bust cycles of the economy, and rarely had the ability to build up savings. Dying at 43 was probably the most catastrophic thing that could happen to a farmer and his family.

This might explain what happened to this family between 1928 and the 1930 Census. Kate would have been pregnant with their tenth child when Charley died. Another, Henry, may have died in infancy in 1925; but that still left her with eight children who needed homes. There were two old enough to marry, one teen ager, and five who were under ten. Plus the year old baby, Elizabeth. Kate managed to find foster families for most of the younger children, and kept Elizabeth with her when she moved into her brother's home on North Wayne Street in Angola.

Kate eventually remarried, and moved to Bryan, Williams county, Ohio, with her second husband, Forest E Becker (1886–1969). She lived to be 79 years old, and Forest only outlived her by a few months.

     A. Margaret Ila Cool (1908–1987) married Oscar Leo Little (1906–1961) a few years before her father died. Ila and Oscar took in her 10 year old brother, Don, in 1930. Oscar was a farmer, and he and Ila raised one daughter on their farm. He died of a heart attack at the age of 54 in 1961. Ila stayed in their home, surviving until a stroke took her in 1987 at the age of 78.

     1. Betty Jean Little (1924–2003) married Richard A Yanka (1921–1986), who served in the U.S. Army in World War II as a Technical Sergeant. After the war, he completed a chemical engineering degree in 1948, and accepted a position in Chicago, Illinois, with the American Mayes Co. I don't believe the couple had any children.

     B. Gertrude Willidean Cool (1911–1991) married Elmo Earl Sams (1905–1971) on 13 October 1928 - the same month her father died. Elmo farmed and hired out as a laborer during the 1930s, staying mostly in Steuben county; but some time either before or after the Second World War, the family moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, where Elmo found work as a machinist.

The couple raised seven children, two of whom are still living.

     1. Mary Kathryn Sams (1929–2012) was born at the very beginning of the Great Depression, and grew up to marry Eugene Roy Latta (1926–2003) after World War II in Battle Creek. Mary was employed for 42 years at the Weston Biscuit Company (making Girl Scout Cookies) until her retirement in 1989. Two of their children died young, but Mary was survived by a son, three daughters, eleven grandchildren, thirty great-grandchildren.

     a. Diane Kay Latta (1948–1950) died at one year of age.

     b. Gordon E. "Gordie" Latta (1954–1979) died at 25 in Battle Creek, Michigan. I have not found any mention of a cause of death.

     3. Rebecca Jane (Sams) Miller (1931–2002) left behind very little in the records I have found. I know she married, and have her husband's name from one of her sibling's obituaries. I found her 1950 year book photo from Lakeview High school in Battle Creek. And I know that she died in 2002, but have no details. I have found no other information about her husband, so I don't know if he is still living.

     5. Charles Lewis Sams (1936–2000) was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving in 1955 and 1956. After 1990 he lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan; he died in 2000 and was buried in the Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Grand Rapids.

     6. Earline Sue (Sams) Eldred (1940–2015) married on 1 March 1958, and her husband is still living. She worked at Hastings Aluminum and Hastings City Bank until retirement. After that, she and her husband had a trailer at Upper Crooked Lake, and enjoyed fishing. When she died Earline left behind her husband, four children, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

     7. Robert Eugene Sams Sr (1944–2011) graduated from Springfield High School in 1962, attended Western Michigan University, and proudly served in the USAF. He worked in the manufacturing and auto industry until moving to Las Vegas in 1990 where he was a 21 year employee of the Gold Strike Hotel & Casino. He was married to Jeanne Hilyard (1943–1981) about 1965, and they had four children, one of whom survives. After Jeanne died, Bob remarried, and his second wife is still alive, as well. I know very little about Bob's deceased children beyond their names and dates:

       a. Melissa Ann "Missa" Sams (1967–1997)
       b. Robert Eugene Sams Jr (1969–1975)
       c. Samantha A Sams (1988–1989)

     C. Thomas Richard Cool (1914–1977) was about 14 years old when his father died, and Thomas went to live with a foster family: Alva and Myrtle Masten. They remained close throughout Thomas's life. He married, and his wife survived him, but they did not have any children together.

     D. Don Charles Cool (1918–1994) went to live with his older sister, Ila Margaret, and her new husband and baby. His little niece was only a few years younger than he was. When Don grew up, he married Maxine Sanders (1918–1966) in February 1938. At first, they lived with her parents on their farm. They had four sons, two still living, before Maxine died in 1966.

     1. Lanny D Cool (1938–2010) worked for GE from 1966 until his retirement from Lockheed Martin in 2000. He served in the United States Air National Guard. He was married in 1961, and his wife survived him, along with two sons, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

     2. Kevin Lee Cool (1956–1979) was only 23 when he was in an auto accident that fractured his spine. He was a graduate of the Hamilton Community school.

     E. D. O. Cool (1920-1937) and his brother, Ted, went to live with elderly sisters, Rose and Irene Crain, after their father's death. D. O. was only 17 years old when he was killed in a car accident. He was described as an industrious young man, well liked by all.

     F. Ted Eugene Cool (1922–1997) graduated from Hamilton High School in 1941, earning his bachelor of science degree from Findlay College, and his master of art from Ball State University, Muncie. He served in World War II, and then taught school in Eaton and Selma in Delaware County.

He married Janice Lee Buller (1931–2013) 17 November 1951 in Eaton, Indiana, and they raised one daughter, who is still living. The couple lived in Muncie until 1995 when they moved to Attica, in Fountain county, Indiana. Janice was employed nearly 40 years with Ball State University, retiring in 1995, as head secretary in the math department.

     F. Ruth Marie (Cool) Wilson (1923–1987) went to live in the home of John and Amy Sowle after her father's death, when she was five years old. She may have also lived with Alva and Myrtle Masten, as her maiden name appeared as "Masten" in one record that I ran across.

She married, and she and her husband raised at least one daughter. Ruth died at age 64, but I haven't been able to find enough information about her husband to know whether he is still living.

     1. Sandra Ann (Wilson) English (1943-1998) was married several times, and I think she may have had at least one child; but the only thing that is certain is that she died very young.

     G. Henry Cool (b. 1925) presents a bit of a mystery; there is definitely a birth certificate for him, and the obituaries I have found for his siblings indicate that he predeceased them, but I haven't found any other records. I'm inclined to believe that he died in infancy, as some other researchers have concluded.

     H. Kenneth Leroy Cool (1926–2001) went to live with his older sister, Gertrude, and his brother-in-law, Elmo Sams, after their father died. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War, and definitely left a bride behind who visited his family in 1953; but I have not been able to track down any further information about his family until the records of his 1987, at age 64. That wife survives him.

     I. Elizabeth Jean (Cool) Kelly (1927–1993) was only a year old when her father died, and she went with her mother to live with her aunt and uncle; Kate Cool's brother, Jason (or Jay) and his wife Hattie Gaskill. Elizabeth also married multiple times, according to the records I've been able to find; she moved west at some point, and as best as I can tell, she married her last husband in 1975, and by 1977 they were living in Los Angeles, where she died not quite twenty years later.

     J. Charles Cool Jr (b. 1929) may be the most tragic part of this story. Once again, I only have a birth certificate, which clearly puts his birth date on 19 March 1929, and names his parents; but while he should be with Elizabeth and their mother on the 1930 Census, he is not. I suspect he also died in infancy, adding to the tragedy of his father's death a few months before.

 - -- --- -- - 

       Once again, we're short on time and space, and we've only covered the first two of Amanda and Tom Cool's children. Depending on how extensive each of their families are, we may need a few more weeks to look at the rest!
  • III. Walter Perry Cool (1887–1979)
  • IV. Grace E Cool (1890–1984)
  • V. Bessie L Cool (1893–1980)
  • VI. James Don Cool (1896–1972)
  • VII. Frankie L Cool (1902–1977)

As always, please drop a comment below, send an email, or join the Callin Family History Facebook group if you are related to any of the people in this post. If you are, then you belong in the Callin Family History, too!

Until next time - be Cool!

(I couldn't didn't help that we're going through a heat wave this week in Maryland.)

Friday, July 29, 2016

Myers Family B - The Cowans of Missouri

Last time, we began with the second of our Myers-Ferguson families: the descendants of Welby and Eliza (Ferguson) Myers. This week, we will look at their eldest child; their daughter Mollie.

This is one family where the Callin Family History does not give us much to go on, and the records don't necessarily have all of the facts I usually count on in one document so I can be sure that the child of one family is the bride in another. I found Indiana marriage index records for a Mary A Myers which led me to a possible husband, which led me to a Find-A-Grave memorial which gave her maiden name and her husband's name. Because I don't have original records, I could still be wrong, and have the wrong family -- though I don't think I am.

The CFH (which was published in 1911) says this of the oldest child of Eliza and Welby: "Mary, born 1864; married, 4 children, three living." It goes on to give this Mary her own page, naming two of these four children as "Geo. Myers" and "William Myers" - which, since her married name would not have been "Myers," makes me doubt that great uncle George had the most up to date story on his cousins when he compiled this part of the family tree. You won't see a George or William in the family below. But if I identified her husband correctly, then the Census records and all that follows should tell the story of the right folks, and allow me to correct Uncle George.

    I. Mary Augusta "Mollie" Myers (1864–1927) married Richard Jefferson Davis Cowan (1863–1948) on 14 February 1884 in Knox county, Indiana, and moved with him to Wayne county, Missouri. Jeff was born in Cowan township, which is located almost exactly half way between St. Louis to the north, and Memphis to the south.

Jeff's grandfather, Richard Dickey Cowan, was born in Lincoln county, North Carolina, in 1782. He served as a Major in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812, settled in Missouri some time after the war (probably establishing Cowan township on a land grant) and was elected to the Missouri state house of representatives in 1828, 1834, 1838. Major Cowan died in 1868, and his son, Jeff's father, Richard Dickey Cowan, Jr. died two years later. Jeff's grandmother, Susan, took in Jeff and his two older sisters briefly in 1870, and then the three went to live in the home of Washington and Emily Ellis, where their mother, Eleanor, was the domestic servant. In 1871, Eleanor married Wallis Kirkpatrick (1840-1908). Jeff likely grew up in that household, until he was old enough to be on his own.

At first, Jeff Cowan settled with his new wife in Wayne county, and began a family. The couple had a baby every other year until 1890. In the 1890s, there are a few records of a Jefferson Davis Cowan in California, which could be someone else, or could mean that our Jeff Cowan was exploring business opportunities on the west coast. In 1900, his occupation was listed as "Hotel keeper," and in 1910, he was listed as a traveling salesman.

Hornersville Cemetery, Dunklin county, Missouri
Altogether, Jeff and Mollie had eleven children - all but one of whom survived to adulthood. By 1920, they had moved 100 miles south to Hornersville, in Dunklin county, which is in the panhandle at the bottom of Missouri. After Mollie died in 1927, Jeff lived with his son, Leonard, for a while, but at some point, he moved out to Los Angeles, where he died in 1948. Jeff and Mollie are both buried in the Hornersville cemetery.

     A. Uriel Cleveland Cowan (1884–1958) grew up in Wayne county, and in 1910 was living with his parents and working as a salesman in a dry goods store. He married Minnie Bell Kibby (1878–1963) some time before 1917, and they lived in Clay, Dunklin county, in 1920. Some time in the 1920s, Cleveland and Minnie moved to Michigan, where they lived in the Detroit area for about twenty years.

As far as I can tell, Cleveland and Minnie did not have any children. (But remember Minnie -- we're going to talk about her family more near the end of this post!)

     B. Cona Billie Cowan (1886–1967) married Edwin A Costner in Greenville on 26 October 1905. That much, I can prove with a Missouri Marriage record. Other researchers claim that the couple had a daughter, known only as "Little Tot," who died in 1909. I have not been able to find any records to confirm any of that, and Cona appears in the 1910 Census with her parents and siblings, and she is listed as "Single."

Cona married again, this time to  Robert Bryan Taylor (1894–1958). There are two Arkansas Marriage records for this wedding in 1935, but the couple was listed on the 1930 Census living in Hornersville with Robert's mother, Fannie. They remained in Dunklin county until the 1940s, when they moved out to California. They may have gone there with Cona's father, Jeff; Robert died there in 1958. After the deaths of her husband and father, Cona returned to Missouri, where she died in 1967.

     C. Nettie Beatrice Cowan (1888–1967) George William Stivers (1887–1939) on 3 January 1909. George was elected to the legislature in 1922 and 1923 from Wayne county, and served as postmaster at Piedmont. He suffered a heart attack in April 1939, and died.

     1. Phyllis Edith Stivers (1909–2003) married Homer E Beall Jr (1908–1965) and they have three daughters still living, and in their late 70s.

     2. Joseph Wiley Stivers (1911–1981) graduated from the University of Missouri in 1930, entered the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, and received his commission in 1934. He served his commitment to the Navy, and returned to Piedmont, where he was appointed as a postmaster in 1940. He served in the Navy as a Lieutenant Junior Grade, from 1942 to 1946; after the war, he returned to Piedmont and was again appointed postmaster.

He married Magdalene Stovall (1917–1996), but I have not found any mention of their children in any records.

     3. Carolyn B Stivers (1914–1992) married Arthur B. Meyer, Jr. (1916-1989) on 9 February 1940. Her name appeared on the marriage certificate as "Carolyn Stivers Larkin," so I assume she was married once before; however, I haven't been able to document that further. Arthur had also been married before, and brought a young son into the marriage.

Arthur's father was a bank president in neighboring Moniteau county, Missouri. Arthur was an editor in Piedmont, Wayne county, when he married Carolyn. When the war broke out, he obtained a commission and served from 1942 to 1945 as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. After the war, Arthur took a job in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he and Carolyn were living in the late 1950s; they were there through at least 1980. After retiring, they moved to Littleton, Arapahoe county, Colorado, where they died just a few years apart. They were buried together in the Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver.

     4. George William Stivers Jr (1920–1945) graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1942, and served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. He was cited for gallantry in the South Pacific, Guadalcanal in 1942 and Tarawa in 1943. He was General J.C. Smith's Aide de Camp and in 1944 he became an air cadet. That same year he received his wings from the Corpus Christi NAS. He was piloting Grumman Avenger, FT-117, that was part of the infamous Flight 19 squadron that disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle while on a training mission out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

     D. James Wiley Cowan (1890–1973) Beryl Viola Ferguson (1897–1965) around 1923, and they had two children, a son and a daughter, who are still living. Wiley moved the family to Detroit in the 1930s, where he worked in the auto industry, like his brother, Cleveland. Around 1944, Wiley and Beryl moved to Alhambra, Los Angeles county, California. Sometime after 1956, they moved out to Riverside in San Bernardino, where are buried.

     E. Everett Austin Cowan (1894–1972) grew up in Wayne county, Missouri, and enlisted in the U.S. Army in World War I, serving from May to December or 1918. After the war, he married Minnie Bell Bolding (1898–1990) on 12 May 1919, when he was 24 years old. They had three sons and a daughter; their youngest son is still living.

The family moved to Los Angeles after the birth of their first child, but returned to Missouri by 1935, and Everett went to work as a tool checker for WPA roads projects.

     1. Everett Doyle Cowan Sr (1925–2011) was born in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and after his family moved back to Missouri from Los Angeles, he remained in Strafford for most of the rest of his life. Doyle served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, and was a lifetime member of the VFW Post at Strafford.

Doyle married Mildred Esther Fetterhoff (1928–2004) in May 1945, and they raised three sons and two daughters together. All but one of them survives. He retired from Springfield City Utilities where he was supervisor at the power plant.

     a. Everett Doyle Cowan Jr (1946–2010) was born in Chicago, Illinois, and spent much of his childhood on his grandparents’ farm near Strafford. Junior graduated from Strafford High School, obtained an undergraduate degree from Southern Baptist University and a master’s of education from Drury University. He served for a short period of time in the U.S. Marine Corps, spent nearly 15 years as a teacher and a principal, and also owned a construction business and a lumber yard. He served as Mayor of Strafford, Missouri.

After retiring, Junior moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he died in June 2010. He was survived by his wife, three children, and three grandchildren (as of 2010).

     2. Mary Ann Cowan (b. 1928) was born in Los Angeles, California, and returned to Missouri with her family when she was about 7 years old. Aside from a California birth index and two Census records, I have not found any other information about her, though her brother's 2011 obituary did say that she predeceased him.

     3. Kenneth Wesley Cowan (1933–1997) was born in Hollywood, but grew up in Strafford, Missouri. He graduated Strafford High School in 1951, and attended the teacher's college in Springfield. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in Vietnam. I don't know when, but I know that he married, and that he and his wife had at least two sons.

     a. Troy Bryant Cowan (1960-1969) only lived two weeks past his ninth birthday. I do not know what caused his death.

     b. Kenneth Troy Cowan (1970-1993) named partly in honor of his recently decease brother, Kenneth enlisted in the U.S. military when he was 19, serving for three months in 1989.

     F. Richard Cowan (1897–1907) was the older twin, born about a week before his sister, Bessie. I could not find any record or newspaper account to explain why he died at age nine.

     G. Elizabeth Rae "Bessie" Cowan (1897–1955) was born on 7 September 1897, at least a week after her twin brother. She married John Stanley Krapf (1897–1960), a World War I veteran who served as a sergeant in the 43rd Infantry. He worked as a government clerk, and they had a daughter. It isn't clear when or why, but it appears the family moved to Los Angeles in the 1940s. Their daughter married, then died in 1948, the same year that Bessie's father died there. Bessie died in Los Angeles in 1955, and John moved back to Poplar Bluff, Missouri, where he died in 1960. He is buried in the Hornersville Cemetery.

     1. Phyllis Evelyn (Krapf ) Hicks (1925–1948) died in Los Angeles, just a few weeks before her 23rd birthday.

     H. Leonard Jefferson Cowan (1899–1976) grew up on the farm, and began working in the timber mills around Hornersville in Dunklin county. He married Ruby Riley (b. 1904) in Poplar Bluff on 26 July 1919. Leonard's father was living with them in 1930, before moving out to California. They were together throughout the 1930s and 1940s, but never had children as far as I could tell.

When World War II broke out, Leonard signed up, and served at the Jefferson Barracks as an auto mechanic. After that, I'm not sure what happened to Ruby, but Leonard ended up married to Myrtle M "Maggie" Smith (1908–1987), and I believe he lived with her during his later years in Chester, Illinois, just across the Mississippi river from Missouri. After Leonard died, Maggie moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where she died; they were buried in Ellis Grove City Cemetery, Randolph county, Illinois.

     I. Curtis R Cowan (1901–1993) married 17-year old Bertha "Bertie" Lee Banks (1903–1924) on 5 June 1920. She died in 1924, and Curtis quickly re-married on 19 October 1925. This time, his bride was Essie Mae Chitwood (1909–1964).

Essie Mae was the half-sister of Minnie Bell Kibby, Curtis's sister-in-law (remember, I told you we'd talk about her again). Their mother was Esther Ellen "Nellie" Duncan (1854–1937), who married George Chitwood some time after John Kibby died.

Curtis and Essie May had eight children; five sons and three daughters, most of whom are still living. Like his older brother, Curtis worked in timber, and he lived in Hornersville until 1935, when he moved the family to Alton, Madison county, Illinois. (I couldn't say whether he moved there before or after his brother did.) The couple had moved to Chester by the time Essie May died in 1964; that is where Curtis died, as well.

     a. Kathryn Joyce (Cowan) Lloyd (1927–2006) was a realtor for over 30 years and attended Abundant Life Christian Center, through which she helped establish a prison ministry working with delinquent girls. She was survived by 4 daughters, 6 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren.

     c. Stanley Glenn Cowan (1930–1980) enlisted in the U.S. Army, and served in Korea from 1950 through 1952. He appears to have been a career non-commissioned officer, retiring at the rank of Master Sergeant. He never married, that I know of, and he was only 50 when he died.

     d. Janett Cowan (1932–1934) died before she reached two years of age.

     f. Lindell Davis "Tex" Cowan (1936–2010) was just a couple of years too young to serve in Korea, but he enlisted in the United States Air Force. I assume he was probably stationed in Texas, as he moved to El Paso, Texas, and joined the Police department in 1958.

He married Genoveva J Juarez (1931–1995) and raised three daughters in El Paso. After Genoveva died, Lindell moved back to Illinois. He retired from Granite City Steel after many years of dedicated service as a welder.

     J. Thelma D Cowan (1905–1990) moved out to Los Angeles to stay with her younger brother and his wife, and was living with them in 1930. Not long after that, she married and electrical engineer named Stanley E Lindahl (1905–1987) and they had a daughter, whom they raised in the Los Angeles area. Both of them are buried in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.

     K. Brewster Wilson Cowan (1908–1980) married a girl named Gladys W. (1908–1963) around 1930. I can't find a marriage record, but they were in the Census and U.S. city directories in Los Angeles, and they seemed to be happy living in California. At the end of World War II, Bruce enlisted in the U.S. Army for a few months, and served at Fort Macarthur in San Pedro, California.

I don't know whether they ever had children, but after Gladys died, Bruce did enjoy a whirlwind romance with a woman named Lorene. They married and divorced between February and September of 1966.

 - -- --- -- - 

And that brings us to the end of what I can tell you about the Cowan family and their descendants. There's certainly a lot to take in, and considering the leap of faith I started with, I hope this is mostly correct.

As always, if you are related to anyone mentioned in this post, please say hello - you can drop a comment below, join our Callin Family History Facebook group, or email my Gmail address: callintad at gmail dot com.

Corrections and editorial comments are not only welcome, but encouraged. I want to get this right!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Myers Family B - Welby and Eliza

For the last several weeks, we were looking at the descendants of Sarah Ferguson and her husband, Daniel Myers. This week, we begin looking at Sarah's younger sister, Eliza, who married Daniel's older brother, Welby. (And if you want to start with Sarah's and Eliza's parents, see February's post: The Rise of the Fergusons.)

Eliza Ferguson (1847–1920) married Welby Nathan Myers (1842–1931) on 16 April 1863 in De Kalb county, Indiana. While his name is rendered several different ways in the various records I found (Willoughby, Wiloby, Wilbey, and sometimes as William), Welby N. Myers is the name given in the Callin Family History, and seems to me to be the most common rendering among the sources where he is likely to have had any input.

Welby's death certificate calls him "William N. Myers," but the informant on that record is the Home Hospital in Lafayette, Tippecanoe county, where he was residing at the time of his death, and I have the impression that their record was wrong or garbled when the form was filled out. Ironically enough, his daughter, Almeda's death certificate gives his full name - Wilbey Nathan Myers - and lists her mother's full name as "Eliza Calin Ferguson." The handwriting was slightly damaged on that record, though, so the transcriber rendered it as "Eliza Caline Fergeebr." (Moral of the story: be wary of poor transcriptions - and sympathetic to transcribers! They know not the context of what they do.)

Welby and his brother Daniel are both listed in 1860 as "Laborers" on their father's farm. Like his brother, there is no evidence that Welby fought in the Civil War; judging by the timing of his marriage and the birth of his two eldest daughters, Welby and Eliza remained in Indiana and began their family during those war years.

  • I. Mary Augusta "Mollie" Myers (1864–1927) 
  • II. Amanda A. Myers (1865–1905) 

(Mollie and Amanda each left behind a lot of descendants for us to discuss, so we'll look at them in more detail in coming weeks.)

In the year between the birth of Amanda (July 1865) and Carrie (April 1866), the family moved to Eaton county, Michigan, where Welby was working in carpentry according to the 1870 census. They lived in Roxand, at least for the four years between 1866 and 1870, when they had their two younger daughters, Carrie and Minerva.

By 1880, the family moved back to the Auburn area in De Kalb county, Indiana, where Welby established himself as a farmer. There, when Welby was 39 and Eliza 34, they had their youngest child and only son, James.

  • III. Carrie A. Myers (1866–1954) 

Carrie married Oscar Haines (1859–1934) in 1886. He was a farmer, and they lived in Auburn township, where they raised their adopted son, who came to their family when he was five years old. Around 1910, Oscar and Carrie moved to the town of Ashley. In the 1930s, Oscar's health began to fail, and Carrie took care of him after he suffered a serious of strokes; he died in 1934. Twenty years later, Carrie died in the convalescent home in Butler.

     A. Oscar "Harry" Harris (1892–??) had six children, according to Oscar Haines's 1934 obituary; however, I have been unable to locate any reliable records to tell me more, partly due to how common the names "Harry" and "Harris" are. Without knowing where he lived or his wife's name, any of the records I found could be the family I'm looking for. The search continues.

  • IV. Almeda Minerva Myers (1869–1900) 

Almeda married Clement V Brandon (1865–1926) on 15 January 1887 in De Kalb county, Indiana, and promptly had their son, George, on 12 September of that year. Almeda died in August of 1900 from tuberculosis, and Clement carried on alone, raising 13 year old George. He bought a farm outside the town of Garrett in 1920, where his son's family was living with him when he died.

     A. George Curtis Brandon (1887–1959) married Lottie Belle Clark (1889–1970) on 20 February 1906, and he went to work for the B. & O. Railroad as a trainman. He inherited his father's farm in 1926, which was valued at $875, and in the early 1930s, he sold the farm and moved to Indian River, Michigan. He died in in 1959 at the hospital at Petoskey, Michigan, after a two month illness. Lottie survived him, and moved back to Fort Wayne to be near their daughter. Lottie died of a heart attack at age 82 while living in the National Nursing Home in Fort Wayne.

     1. Imadean May Brandon (1906–1992) married Theodore R Crooks (1902–1985) in April 1924 in Garrett, Indiana. They had two children; a son and a daughter. Theodore worked as a "trimmer" in an auto factory - most likely the Auburn Automobile company - and later worked for General Electric in Fort Wayne. He was long retired when he died at 83 from a "recurrent cerebrovascular accident" in 1985. Imadean lived until 1992, and they were buried together in the Garden of Devotion section of Lindenwood Cemetery in Fort Wayne.

     a. Darel Arthur Crooks (1924–2013) was a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corp, and served in the South Pacific Theater during World War II. He married in 1974, and was employed as a pharmaceutical salesman for the former Michigan Pharmacal, located in Auburn Hills, Mich. He retired in 1988, when he moved with his wife to their home on Burt Lake. They spent their winters in Ft. Meyers, Florida or Orange Beach, Alabama.

As well as his wife and four of his five children, Darel left behind eight grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson.

     b. Geraldine Joan (Crooks) Green (1928–1970) graduated from Kendallville High School in 1947, and went to Fort Wayne, where she worked for Sears as a typist in 1950. She was living in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband when she died at 41 years of age.

  • V. James N Myers (1881–1923) 
James lived on the farm and worked with his father until his late twenties. His sister Amanda married in 1881, and Mollie in 1884, so James probably did not know them as well as he did his younger sisters.

James married Grace A Perry (b. 1881) in June 1910. She had been married before, and divorced, and brought a son from her first marriage, Harry, into the family. She had been supporting herself  by working in the home of the Link family when James married her. When their son was born the following year, they named him in honor of that family.

James took his family and moved to Toledo some time before 1920; they were living there when James died in July 1923, killed in an accident involving an electric street car. According to the reporting in the Toledo Blade:

J.M. Myers, Ottawa road, was killed instantly when hit by a Toledo bound Lake Shore limited car at stop 337 in the Woodville road Thursday morning.
It was first reported that Mr. Myers had intentionally thrown himself in front of the car but Coroner Henzler gave a verdict of accidental death.
"Mr. Myers was crippled. One of his feet was shorter than the other and it is my opinion that he suddenly fell in front of the speeding car when he stepped into a hole beside the track," the coroner said.
Witnesses say that Mr. Myers had been standing in a shelter house at stop 337 for several minutes when he walked out at the approach of the limited. They say he suddenly lurched forward and that within a second the car was upon him.
The car was operated by J.B. Emmons, Toledo, who said that he did not see the man until he left the shelter house.
He said that then the car was less than 50 feet away and although he put on the brakes it was too late to stop.

A few years later, Grace re-married to James Erven; she died in July 1948.

     A. Marshall Link Myers (1911–1976) was an electrician for the Norfolk and Western Railway 30 years, retiring in 1974. He was also a dock master for the Ottawa River Yacht Club. His wife and daughter survived him.

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Special thanks to the kind and helpful staff of the Local History & Genealogy Department of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library for providing the obituaries for James N. and Marshall Myers.

Also, credit to Ancestry user baraboo84 for finding and uploading several wedding and death documents for James & Grace Myers - without which I would not have been able to find out nearly as much about them as I did!

As always, if you are related to any of the people in this post, I'd love to hear from you. This is part of an ongoing project to update the 1911 Callin Family History, compiled by George W. Callin of Bowling Green, Ohio. If your family is listed here, then you belong in that book!

Comment below, email me (callintad at gmail dot com), or follow the link to our Callin Family History Facebook page, and tell me how you're related so I can add you to the group.

Next week: The Cowans of Missouri (there are a lot of them).

Thursday, July 14, 2016

A #HamiltonMusical Intermission

I'm waiting for a couple of obituaries to arrive and allow me to finish the next post on our Myers cousins, so... I'm taking another "bye" week on the Callin Family History update - but I still have something interesting to tell you about.
The Marquis de Lafayette

I don't think there are many human beings left who have not been told about this year's Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Hamilton. Not only have I fallen in love with the show, my thirteen-year-old and her friends have, too. And some of my son's friends... and most of mine... well, you get the idea. It's kind of omnipresent.

If you managed to avoid hearing about it elsewhere, I'll just tell you that it is the story of America's first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton--he of the $10 bill--only set to hip-hop music and told in fierce, poly-rhythmic freestyle rhymes. (If you want to know more about how historians feel about it, I can recommend the Backstory episode!)

Among our favorite characters in the show, you family historians might recognize the name of the Marquis de Lafayette. He was the young French aristocrat who fought under General Washington in the Revolution, and the original Callin Family History claimed that our own founding father, James "1st" Callin, served under him at the Battle of Brandywine. (You can read more about that in my post from last March, Lafayette On the Brandywine.)
Daveed Diggs as
Marquis de Lafayette

Our forefather may not have made it into the cast of named characters when Lin-Manuel Miranda composed his lauded libretto, but I was curious whether James Callin would have been in the chorus. Or, more accurately, whether his unit fought in any of the battles referenced in the musical.

As it turns out... (if you are put off by strong language, there are two brief, common toilet references that might embarrass you in this song; fair warning. In context, I really don't think you'll notice.)

That song tells the story of the Battle of Monmouth, clearly, which was fought on the 28th of June 1778. That link will take you to the Order of Battle on Wikipedia, which lists the 4th, 8th, and 12th Virginia Regiments under the command of Colonel James Woods as being present on that day. As it happens, the Ancestry database of "U.S., Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783" for those regiments lists James Callin as 51st out of 83 soldiers present during the month of June 1778.

So that means that when Lafayette took command from Charles Lee, "snatching a stalemate from the jaws of defeat," that my 5th great grandfather was almost certainly on the battlefield. And maybe someday, if I get enough tickets to the show, I might spot him among the soldiers behind Hamilton onstage?