Friday, April 1, 2016

The Reubenites, part 3: Goldsmith

Fair warning: this post may well turn out to be an April Fool's joke on us all.

Such is the nature of dealing with unreliable records! Let me explain:

Back in February, I said in the post The Mysterious McNabbs that there were two people named "John McNabb," both of whom claimed to be the son of Reuben and Mary (Ferguson) McNabb. As I said then,

I am inclined to believe that the second of these - John Goldsmith McNabb - is the actual son of Reuben and Mary McNabb, based on the birth dates. There is a 6-year-old John McNabb listed in Reuben and Mary's family in 1870, and the strongest evidence says that he would be that John McNabb.
I still believe that, and so we'll explore the descendants of John Goldsmith McNabb today; but it may well turn out that we unearth a clue later that forces me to change my mind. If that happens, then I will feel like a very special April Fool!

In case you don't feel like re-reading that whole post, here is my description of the family we'll start with today:

John Goldsmith McNabb was...
... born 24 December 1864 in Auburn, De Kalb, Indiana. He married Ida Ann Sack (1872–1953) in 1894, and they had four children - the first in Wisconsin, and then the others in Michigan - before heading out to California in about 1905. They had two more children after settling in Chico, California, both of whom died in infancy (one in 1907, one in 1912). The couple then divorced in the 1920s. Eventually, John applied for a life claim on his Social Security in January 1943, and died that December in Alturas, Modoc county, California. His Social Security application lists his parents: Ruben McNabb and Mary Furgson.

John appeared in the 1940 Census, living in Alturas and working as a salesman. He was not married, so it is probably safe to assume that he never remarried after his divorce. Ida appeared in 1940, living alone in Durham, Butte county, California. In 1945, she is listed in the city directory for Chico/Oroville as the widow of J.G. McNabb, and after her death in 1953, she was buried with Theodore and Kathryn - the babies who died in 1907 and 1912 - under the name McNabb; so I think it is safe to say she did not remarry, either.

Their four surviving children were:

1. Dores Rosalie McNabb (1894–1992) was born in Wisconsin on 20 June 1894. When she graduated school in Chico, she found work as a stenographer in a lawyer's office. She married Carlyle Conrad Roberts (1894–1981) about 1921, and they raised five children together. He worked as an oiler in a power plant, and she continued to clerk, at least during the 1950s. His family was among the early California pioneers, starting with his mother's family, the Stanfords, who settled in Shasta County from Butler County, Missouri, in 1857. His father Benjamin Franklin Roberts came to Shasta County from Mechanicsville, Penn. around 1871.

Dores and Carlyle started their family on the Middle Fork of the Feather River in a quaint PG&E community called Las Plumas which has since been inundated by Lake Oroville. Around 1937, the family moved to Paradise, Butte county, California.

     i. George Franklin Roberts (1922–1998) enlisted 5 November 1942, and served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, earning the Bronze Star. He was married after the war in 1947. After his father's death in 1981, he may have taken in his mother, as she died in Calaveras county, where George and his wife lived, and where George died in 1998. His wife is still living.

     ii. Lewis E "Bud" Roberts (1924–2007)  grew up in Paradise, California, and graduated high school in Chico. He enlisted in the US Army Air Corps in 10 December 1942. According to his obituary, he was discharged in 1945 as a Technical SGT (E-7) at the age of 21. He flew 35 missions over Europe in a B-24 Bomber as a Radio Operator/Top Turret Gunner, with the 458th Bomb Group in the "Princess Pat". He survived the B-24 crash in France with a full load of gasoline that was being hauled for Patton's Tank Force, and a forced landing in Belgium, with two engines feathered landing at a P-47 fighter base during the Battle of the Bulge. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, an Air Medal with clusters, European Theatre Campaign Medal and WWII Victory Medal. Bud also served several years in the Naval Reserve as a Radio Operator until he contracted polio in the early 1950's. He retired from service with the State of California in 1984 as a Senior Communications Technician. He was also a ham radio operator for over 65 years, "W6ZFJ".

Bud married Jennie Lee McCandliss (1925–2001) in 1946, and they raised two sons and a daughter who are still living.

     iii. Earl Stanford Roberts (1930–2011) started a career with the California Division of Forestry, Department of Natural Resources as a seasonal firefighter in 1947, when he was 17 years old. He achieved Eagle Scout in 1948.

In December 1950, Earl, along with his childhood friends Hugh Jared and Bill Brill, enlisted in the Navy and took Basic Training in San Diego, Calif. He and Hugh were assigned to the Seabee’s Navy Mobile Construction Battalion 8, “Highball the 8 Ball”. Earl served at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,  Port Lyautey, French Morroco, Fort St. John, Newfoundland and was discharged in September 1954 at Quonset Point, R. I., Rank Chief Electrician.

His career with CDF continued after discharge. In 1959, he was chosen from among the top employees for a special assignment at Squaw Valley, California, providing fire protection for the 1960 Winter Olympics. In 1965, he moved to Modoc County and served 19 years as a forest ranger. Earl retired in 1984 after 35 years.

At the time of his death, in 2011, Earl left behind a wife, three daughters, and a son, all living, as well as five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren..

     iv. Helen Rosalie Roberts (1931–1976) married Andrew Kenneth "Ken" Hodges (1929–2012) in March 1953. Ken was drafted into the military out of high school and served his country honorably as a member of the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He returned to Chico following his discharge and met Helen. They raised one daughter, who is still living.

     v. Jean Margaret Roberts (1933–2013) grew up in Paradise, and attended Chico High School where she met her future husband. They were married five years later in December 1951. They had daughters, one of whom is still living. After her husband completed a degree at Chico State College the family moved to Woodland in 1959 where they spent the next 14 years. They then moved to Sacramento where she worked at the UC Davis Medical Center.

In 1992 both Jean and her husband retired and moved to Brookings, Oregon.

      a. Joni Lee (Sheldon) Paulsen (1956–2006) was born January 27, 1956, in Chico. She graduated Woodland High in 1974, then attended Chico State University. Joni lived and worked in Austin, Texas from 1978 to 1987, and in 1987 she moved back to Woodland where she met and married her husband. They were wed in 1993 and have two daughters. The family made their home in Woodland and on her beloved island of Kauai.

Joni was very active in her community. She headed the Paulsen Foundation, creating a College Scholarship Fund for local students and she served a term on the Yolo County Fair Board of Directors.

2. Forrest Stevens McNabb (1897–1987) joined the National Guard at age 17 and pursued Poncho Villa, according to one obituary. After serving three years, he joined the U.S. Army (on 5 August 1917) and served in Germany and France in World War I.

He married Laura Louise Frederick (1907–1983) in 1927, and they settled in Durham, Butte county, California, where he farmed through the 1930s. Laura worked for 20 years as a licensed vocational nurse at Enloe Hospital.

When the Second World War broke out, Forrest worked as a machinist foreman at McLelland Air Force Base for two years and then at Tetreau Garage. After the war, he served as the United States Postmaster at Durham from 1949 to 1967.

The couple had two daughters, one of whom is still with us. Lorraine was the elder daughter:

     i. Lorraine Elinor McNabb (1928–1991) married Carroll Myron "Bud" Hansen Sr. (1925–2003) on April 12, 1947 in Durham. Lorraine was a florist at Laughlin's Flower Shop for 13 years. Her husband, Bud, served with the U.S. Army during World War II and received the Purple Heart. He farmed most of his life, retiring in 1991, when Lorraine died. Bud then moved to Wayland, Iowa, in 1994 with his son's family.

 The couple raised three sons and a daughter. Their youngest son died several years ago: James William Hansen (1970–2007).

3. Esther Margaret McNabb (1899–??) graduated from Chico High School in 1920, and went to work as a nurse in the hospital in Chico. She spent most of the 1920s working in Oakland, and the 1930s in Modesto as a superintendent at the Lillian Collins hospital. In 1940, she was working at Nevada County Hospital County Home For the Aged in Nevada City.

After 1940, I can find no more records for Esther. Mathematically, it is unlikely she is still with us, but if she was, she would be 117 years old - and I'm pretty sure her name would have turned up a news article or three about that.

4. John Gerald McNabb (1901–1983) married Leila D Masterson (1898–1976) in Reno, Nevada, on 14 April 1935. The couple set up house in Chico, in the house where Leila and her widowed mother had been living. They do not appear to have left behind any children of their own.

John Gerald is occasional documented as "John G McNabb, Jr." though he and his father clearly did not share a middle name.

For the Record, if you want to know more about the other John McNabb, here are the details I was able to find:

John C McNabb was born on September 20, 1860, in Indiana. He married Inez M. Atkins (1880–1935) on December 25, 1912, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He died on December 1, 1932, in Battle Creek, Michigan, at the age of 72, and was buried in Augusta, Michigan. They do not appear to have had any children.

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