Friday, September 23, 2016

William James Sly

William James Sly (1859–1931) was the eldest son of William and Harriet (Callin) Sly of Bowling Green, Ohio. Here is his record from the Callin Family History:

Record of William Sly, who was the eldest son of Harriet Callin Sly, who was the eldest daugther of William Callin, who was the 3rd son of John Callin, who was the 2nd son of James 1st.
Born in 1859.
Married Jan. 13, 1881, to Ada Avery.
To this union six children were born:
  • Wm. Zardie, born Sept. 20, 1882.
  • Sanford, born Jan. 25, 1884.
  • Fern, born Oct. 13, 1889.
  • Homer, born Dec. 20, 1885.
  • Helen, born Aug. 23, 1892.
  • Fay, born Feb. 22, 1905.

William was born 15 October 1859, when his parents were living in Erie county, Ohio. They relocated to Plain township, Wood county, sometime in the following year or two, and William married Ada Avery (1860–1926) there on 13 January 1881. She was a daughter of Gilbert Zardius Avery (1816–1906) and Eliza Jane Meeker (1824–1906).

The couple started out well enough, having three sons in the first four years of their marriage. 1888 was a dark year, though - they lost their two smallest children, an infant named Blanch (4 months) in July, and Homer (age 3) in December. Without records to say for sure, I would guess that they were most likely lost to an outbreak, possibly of typhoid, which was common enough in those days.

I mentioned in last week's post that William's father singled him out in his will, leaving $50 to him while dividing the profits from the Sly family's oil royalties among William's siblings. This is wild speculation on my part, but I suspect that William and Ada may have had trouble recovering after the deaths of two of their children in quick succession. The will may have been the senior Sly's way of expressing disapproval; but he also added a codicil to his will, dated May 1894, which gave William a full share of the inheritance (while giving William youngest sister the $50).

Whatever family drama may have been going on, William and Ada had another daughter just one year after their loss: Fern was born in 1889. Helen was born a few years later in 1892. William worked as a fireman on locomotives for the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroad (C.H. & D.), which was succeeded by the famous B. & O. Railroad. His run was between Tontogany and North Baltimore for sometime and later he ran on the main line.

Sadly, Helen died in 1900 at age 8, and while they had one more daughter, Fay, in 1905, William soon left the family behind. In 1910, William was living in Indianapolis and working as a carpenter in a car shop. He married Sadie E (1873–1953) and moved back to Ohio, living out his days with his new wife in Dayton where he worked as a foremen in a tire shop, dying in 1931.

Ada lived with Sanford, who was then 25, and little Fay; she then took in lodgers and worked as a janitor in the telephone office to support herself. Over the years, she also took in and raised six other children, named in her obituary. She died in 1926 after suffering from heart trouble for two years.

     I. William Zardie Sly (1882–1954) took his middle name from his maternal grandfather, Gilbert Zardius Avery; most of the references I have found refer to him as "Zardy," or by his initials "W.Z." which probably served to distinguish him from the generations of William Slys related to each other and living in Wood county, Ohio.

Zardy married Jessie Stockstill (1882–1966) in 1903, according to the CFH (which called her "Jessie Stockwell"), but they soon divorced. By 1910, Jessie had taken custody of their daughter, and was living back with her grandfather in Henry, Wood county. She moved to Toledo, probably in 1914, where she raised her daughter and supported herself as a dress maker and as the manager of a rooming house.

Zardy, who only appeared in the 1900 Census and was mentioned (as "W.Z.") on his daughter's birth and marriage records, seems to vanish from the public records altogether after his divorce. When his mother died in 1926, her obituary implied that he was living in Bowling Green; when his father died in 1931, it placed Zardy in Chicago, Illinois. Newspaper items from 1906 and 1907 indicate that a brakeman for the railroad, a W.Z. Sly, lived in Garrett, De Kalb county, Indiana during those years, before moving on to Detroit and then Denver, to work as a conductor.

It may be that "W.Z. Sly" changed his name when he moved to Chicago, but further investigation is needed to say for sure.

     A. Lulu Venora Sly (1903–1981) would have been about nine years old when she and her mother moved to Toledo, Ohio, where Lulu grew up. She attended the Morrison Waite High School, graduating in 1921. She lived on Summit Avenue with her mother until she married Lacey Edward Houts (1901–1973) on 17 July 1924.

Venora and Lacey had a son, who is still living, but they divorced in the 1930s, and Lacey moved to Louisville, Kentucky. Venora worked in a beauty shop and presumably stayed in Toledo until she eventually retired to Florida. In 1961, she married Wyndham Robertson Mayo Jr (1904–1963). She survived him by nearly 20 years.

     II. Sanford Lloyd Sly 1884–1962) Lucy Alice Long (1888–1980) in 1913. In the early 1930s, Sanford and Lucy moved to Arizona, where they settled in the little desert town of Buckeye.

     A. Alice I Sweet (1910–1938) was Lucy's daughter from her first marriage; Sanford adopted Alice, and raised her along with her step-siblings. Alice was married to Cleveland Charles Bierman (1886–1951) when she died in Tucson, Arizona, at only 27 years of age.

     B. Helen Frances Sly (1914–1990) married James Osborne Lashuay (1909–1944), a truck driver for Wood county, who was killed in an accident in 1944. They had one daughter, who is still living.

In 1946 Helen married Jacob Paul Businger (1918–1994), who had just served in the Second World War from 10 March 1942 to 5 December 1945. Helen and Jacob were together for more than forty years, and were buried in the New Weston Cemetery, in Weston, Wood county, Ohio. They left behind two daughters and a son, still living, but tragically lost one son when he was 6 years old.

Found on

     i. Robert Henry Businger (1956–1962) was riding double on a bicycle with his friend Charles, when they were struck head on by a car coming the opposite way down the road. Charles was 9, and died before they arrived at the hospital; Bobby was 6, and died two hours later.

     C. Marie Ardinel Sly (1915–1998) married Clarence Eugene Baker (1910–1987) in 1934, and they lived in Bowling Green and Weston in Wood county, Ohio. They are survived by four sons and two daughters.

     D. William Harvey "Bill" Sly (1923–2005) was around 10 years old when his parents moved to Arizona. He married his high school sweetheart, Lettie Bertha Zellner (1925–2005) in 1946, and they lived in Phoenix. They had two sons, still living, but later divorced. Lettie remarried to the late Ted R. Pierce, and after his death, she moved back to Phoenix.

     III. Homer J. Sly (1885–1888)
     IV. Blanch Sly (1888) - as mentioned above, Homer and Blanch died a few months apart in 1888.

     V. Fern Sly (1889–1965) married Cassius Caleb "Cash" Elder (1888–1966) in Toledo, Ohio, in 1907. Cash ran a farm and a livestock business, and the couple was together for 10 years before they had their first child.

     A. Eldon Edison Elder (1917–2006) worked with his father in C.C. Elder and Son livestock hauling, driving trucks; he also farmed for many years. He was a member of the Wood County Genealogy Society and its First Families of Wood County, through his Avery and Meeker ancestors.

Eldon married Clarice M. Simon (1917-2003) on July 28, 1938 in Plain City, Ohio, and they raised their family in Ohio. In 1974, they were living in Mission, Hidalgo county, Texas; and they later settled in Mesa, Arizona. Clarice died on 6 June 2003 in Mesa. They left behind one daughter, a granddaughter, and five great-grandchildren.

On 1 May 2004 Eldon married Ellen Decker Tharp in Mesa; she died February 6, 2006. Eldon followed on the 23rd of July. He was buried with Clarice in Weaver Cemetery in Bairdstown, Wood County, Ohio.

     B. Margaret Marzelle Elder (1919) died in infancy of unknown causes.

     VI. Helen Sly (1892–1900) died at only 8 years of age.

     VII. Fay Sly (1905–1980) graduated Bowling Green High School in 1922. She married a man named Young after her mother's death in 1926, but they were divorced by 1930, and Fay was listed as "divorced" and living in the household of her sister, Fern Elder.

Fay married Coy Benard Baumgardner (1895–1985), also of Wood county, and they moved out to San Diego, California, where they were listed in the 1940 Census. Coy was a wholesale coal salesman, and at some point he retired, and the couple moved to Florida. Fay died there in 1980, and Coy in 1985, and they were buried together in the Weaver Cemetery.

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That about covers this clan of the Sly family. I'm sure there are lots of cousins out there who may know a bit more about some of these folks, and as always, I look forward to hearing from you with feedback!

You can feel free to comment below, email callintad at Gmail, or click through to the Facebook group.

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