Friday, January 27, 2017

Almira's Daughters

Joseph and Laura (Phillips) Low, c. 1880s
portrait shared with permission of David Smith
Joseph A. Low was born in Springfield, Erie County, Pennsylvania on 6 April 1826. He was a son of Joseph and Catherine (Battles) Low.

His father was a native of England, but he drowned before our subject was born. His mother, Catherine, became house-keeper for a gentleman who adopted Joseph, and provided for his education; but when Joseph was fourteen years of age his foster-father died, leaving no will.

Joseph's first employment was as a farm laborer, for which he received $7 per month, and he would work at almost anything by which he could earn an honest living. Later he rented a farm for a time, after which he purchased land in Pennsylvania. After that, he sold out and came to Ohio, locating in Plain township, Wood county, where he purchased forty acres, the nucleus of his farm.

In Pennsylvania, on 14 February 1850, Joseph married Laura Phillips, of Trumbull county, Ohio, and they had ten children. Laura died on 1 October 1887, at the age of fifty-five years. Joseph's second wife was Eliza Miller, widow of Albert H. Perry, a farmer of Middleton township. They were married at Harkins, in Wood county, on 17 February 1889. She was a daughter of George G. Miller, and was born in the Empire State, 12 August 1827.

Over the years, Joseph had added to his holdings, as his resources permitted, until he had a tract of 220 acres, which he cleared and developed with the help of his sons and hired hands. By the time he was done, he had one of the largest orchards in the township, with 5,000 peach trees, 3,000 apple trees, and 1,000 trees of other varieties of fruits.

Joseph was considered "Among the well-to-do and successful farmers of Wood county who have accumulated a competency through their own exertions and economy, and who are carrying on the business of farming and fruit growing in a manner which draws forth praise from every one," according to the biographical sketch in the History of Wood county from which much of this information was taken. He was a member of the Sons of Temperance, and cast his ballot with the Prohibition party. He served his township as supervisor for five years, and for several years served as school director.

He died in 1901, and was buried in the Plain Township Cemetery. Eliza survived until September of 1910, and was buried in the Union Hill Cemetery in Bowling Green.

Cora May Callin (1881–1936) was the first of three daughters born to James Monroe Callin and Almira Weirick. Her parents lived for a brief time in Deerfield, Michigan, where her younger sister, Aurilla, was born, but her mother died in Bowling Green when Cora was 8 years old. In 1900, she was living with her grandparents, Jason and Matilda Weirick, in Harrison, Ohio.

Cora married Joseph Able Low (1881–1965) on 22 December 1902 in Bowling Green. He was the eldest child of Sanford P Low (1858–1929) and Mertie J Woodruff (1862–1890), and a grandson of Joseph and Laura Phillips Low. They were married for 23 years, and raised two daughters, before they divorced in 1925. Joseph remained single, and divided his time between Dayton, Ohio, and Flint, Michigan. He died in Grand Traverse, Michigan, on 27 May 1965.

Cora remarried Harry Squire (1873-1955), a coal dealer from Lorain county, Ohio, on 26 November 1929. (His birth name is "Henry Isaac Squire," but on several documents - including the record of his marriage to Cora - he gives his name as "Harry.") She died in 1936, and was buried in Bowling Green.

     I. Oneita Ione Low (1904–1981) was born in Plain township, Wood county, Ohio, and grew up in Harrison, Henry county, Ohio, where her parents had married. The family was in Chippewa, Michigan, in 1920, and she met and married Dale Ebsen Morton (1903–1995) in nearby Flint, Michigan, on 19 March 1925.

Dale was the son of Sidney Victor Morton (1882–1960) and Violet Pearl Stewart (1884–1904). His mother died when he was a baby, and he spent a lot of time growing up in the homes of his grandparents. The Mortons and Stewarts were numerous in the Mount Pleasant area of Isabella county, Michigan.

Dale and Onieta had an infant daughter, Marian L Morton, who died in 1925, but then they had four sons, all of whom are still living. Oneita and Dale raised their family in the Flint area, and in the late 1940s, relocated to California. They were in Alhambra, Los Angeles county, in 1949.

They must have divorced at some point, as the U.S. Social Security Death Index lists Onieta under the name "Onieta McNamara" - but records have proven elusive. When she died, she was taken back to Michigan and was buried in the Flushing City Cemetery; her headstone reads "Onieta I. Morton," but there appears to be a plaque that reads "McNamara" added to it.

     II. Alma Eve Low (1909–1998) was born in Henry county, Ohio, until her family moved to Chippewa, Isabella county, Michigan. Allen Edward Storey (1903–1991) lived in nearby Deerfield in 1920, and they married in Billings, Montana, on 28 May 1925. Billings seems to be where Allen's widowed father, David, was living then.

Alma and Allen had two sons and a daughter, still living. They lived in Lansing, Michigan, for the rest of the 1920s, before moving to Dallas in 1931, and then to Los Angeles county, California, where they lived for nearly twenty years. Some time later, probably in the 1980s, they moved to Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo county, where they lived out their days.

Carrie Elizabeth Callin (1883–1960) the second daughter of Almira and Jim Callin, was born 22 January 1883 in Bloom township, Wood county, Ohio. In April 1900, she married Edward George Low (1870–1949), the youngest son of Joseph and Laura Phillips Low. There is some room for debate over whether his name was "Edward George" or "George Edward," but most records refer to him as "Edward" or "Edward G. Low" - the 1870 Census lists him as "Eddy." County marriage records seem to lean towards "George E."

Edward was a farmer and laborer, and the family lived in Plain City, Wood county, until his death in 1949. They raised two sons and four daughters, and when Carrie died in 1960, she was buried beside Edward in the Plain Church Cemetery.

     I. Alva C Low (1901–1973) was born on the 4th of July in 1901, in Bowling Green, Ohio. He married Ruth Gertrude Moore (1902–1995) on 4 December 1921. Alva was a farmer in Plain Township, Wood County before moving to Gallia County and then to Jackson County. In Jackson County,he worked as a polisher in an automobile plant. He retired as an employee of the Midwest Stamping and Manufacturing Co., Bowling Green.

In addition to three sons and two daughters, one of whom is still living , Alva and Ruth had a son, Marvin Keith, who died in infancy in 1942.

       A. George Low (1922–2011) was born on November 17th 1922 in Bowling Green, Ohio. He served in the Army Air Corp as a Second Lieutenant during World War II. He met the love of his life, Mildred (Mickey) Rouse (1920-2001) in Tampa, Florida, and they married soon after on July 14, 1945. Mickey died in 2001, and George died in 2011 after a 2 year battle with leukemia. They left behind two daughters, seven grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.

       B. Ralph Lester Low (1925–1999) was born 8 March 1925 in Vinton, Gallia county, Ohio, and he served in the U.S. Army from 30 June 1943 to 4 January 1946. He married Patricia Jean Young (1928–1978) on 1 May 1948 in Lucas county, Ohio. She was a stenographer.

       C. Walter L Low (1934–1956) met an early end when he fell through the ice while skating on the Maumee river with his sister, Mary on 8 January 1956. Walter drowned, but Mary was pulled out and sent to the hospital. Walter had married on 17 April 1954, and his wife was eight months pregnant with their son, Richard. The newspaper said she witnessed the accident, but I don't imagine there was much she could do about it.

       i. Richard Edwin Fox (1956-2003) was born less than a month after his father's fatal accident. It is unclear whether his mother remarried, or if he was adopted; but his life ended in tragedy, too. Richard married Kimberly Marie Swinehart (1959–1983), and they had a daughter shortly before Kim's untimely death. Then in 1989, Richard kidnapped and murdered Leslie Keckler, an 18 year old freshman at Owens Technical College. He was sentenced to death in 1990, and executed 13 years later, in 2003.

       D. Mary Eileen Low (Baumgardner) (1936–2013) was a 1954 graduate of Grand Rapids High School where she was co-valedictorian. She worked at the Wood County Auditors Office and previous to that was a secretary for attorney Clarence Hock. She was an avid crocheter who won state fair awards for her beautiful afghans, and was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Bowling Green. Her husband, son, daughter, and three grandchildren survived her.

     II. Ralph E. Low (1906–1986) was born in Plain City, Wood county, and spent his first thirty years there. His occupation on the census records was "carpenter." He married Illah L Burditt (1911–1989) in Bowling Green on 18 October 1937, and they had four children over the following decade. One, a daughter they named Lois, was stillborn in 1945; one son and one daughter are still living,

       A. Delbert Ralph Low (1941–2007) was the son of Ralph and Illah Low. He worked at Brush Beryllium for 10 years and later a Supervisor at Dupont in Danville, Ohio. He also was a self employed carpenter. He married, but later divorced. His former wife, a daughter, two sons, and eight grandchildren survived him.

     III. Laura E. Low (1909–1992) worked for the former Coffee Cup Restaurant in Perrysburg for over 21 years, retiring in 1980 and then for the former C & F Variety Store. She married LaVern W Kopp (1910–1964) on 20 December 1928, and they had two children; a son and a daughter. Their daughter is still living.

       A. James E Kopp (1933–1987) was a 1951 graduate of Perrysburg High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in education from Defiance College in 1955, where he was captain of the only undefeated and untied football team in Defiance history. He was also a student at the University of Michigan and Indiana University, and received a master's degree in educational administration from Bowling Green State University.

He taught mathematics and coached football and tennis at Sylvania High School, then was superintendent for two years of Auglaize-Brown Local Schools, Paulding County. A former principal of Oakwood schools, he retired as assistant superintendent of Huron City Schools, and he retired in 1986 because of illness.

He died in Firelands Community Hospital, Sandusky, Ohio. He left behind a wife and two sons.

     IV. Pearl Low (1910) is only listed in the Callin Family History, where her birthday is given as 7 August 1910. Her family appeared in the 1910 Census, but it was enumerated in May, so she was not included there; and she does not appear on the 1920. I have also looked for birth or death records, but with no success.

     V. Leona R Low (1911–1964) grew up on her father's farm, and had her daughter, Marie, at age 15. Ten years later, she married Bert Wheeler (1880–1961) on 5 October 1936. They lived in Woodville, Sandusky county, Ohio.

       A. Ruth Marie Low (1926–1993) appeared on the 1930 Census listed as "Ruth M Low," the daughter of Edward Low, but in 1940, she was listed as "Marie Wheeler," daughter of Bert Wheeler.

Marie had two sons; one of them is still living, and the other was adopted by a family named Juday, and raised in Elkhart, Indiana. Marie later married Hubert "Jep" Snyder (1920–1983) on 28 May 1960. He ran a furniture store near New London, Ohio. They are buried together in Metzgar Cemetery in Helena, Sandusky County, Ohio.

       1. Ronald E. Juday (1949–2011) was born April 13, 1949, in Sandusky, Ohio. He was raised a son of Marion L. and Rosemary (Grover) Juday. He served in Vietnam in the U.S. Air Force and was a supervisor most of his life at Ace Hardware of Elkhart, Indiana. He also worked for Atwood Mobile Products, in the RV industry and at Lindahl Specialties of Elkhart. He was a member of Fairhaven Fellowship of Constantine.

When he died, he had lived in Mottville, Michigan for 35 years. He left behind a wife, his son, two daughters, two grandchildren, and an adopted daughter and her two children.

     VI. Ethel Marie Low (1914–2001) married Wilbert Franklin Riggleman (1905–1973) in 1940, and while they were in Tucson, Arizona, in 1948, they spent most of their lives in the Norwalk area in Huron county, Ohio.

Aurilla M Callin (1885–1969) was the youngest daughter of James and Almira Callin, born in Deerfield, Michigan, on 3 September 1885. She was four years old when her mother died, and she was only eight when her father remarried to Emma Bradt. Aurilla, or "Rilla" to her father, probably spent a great deal of her childhood in the homes of her grandparents and other Callin and Weirick relatives, but she was also sent to boarding school, which is where she appeared on the 1900 Census.

Rilla married Edward Jacob Pletcher (1872–1957) on 10 January 1903. Ed was an oil pumper, and this was his second marriage. He and Rilla had three daughters before 1910, but divorced in about 1921, and he headed out to Los Angeles, California. Rilla remarried on 7 October 1922 to William Charles Bogart (b. 1889), and they settled in Lorain, Ohio. Her last residence was the Ammers Manor Nursing Home in Amherst, Lorain county.

     I. Edna Lucille Pletcher (1904–1955) grew up in Bowling Green. She married one J. Lewis Marzen (b. 1903) in 1924, but was listed as divorced and living back in her mother's home by 1930. Next, she married Charles Joseph Amato (1910–1982) on 15 May 1930, and they lived out their days in Lorain, where they raised two sons and two daughters. One son and one daughter are still living.

       A. Patricia Gail (Amato) Burns (1931–2010) was born on 13 February 1931 and raised in Lorain, Ohio. She graduated from Irving Middle School and later from Lorain High School class of 1949. Pat and her husband raised four children at home and she worked for Dr. Kenneth McMahon D.D.S. for twelve years as a receptionist/assistant. She returned to school at St. Joseph Nursing School and graduated in 1981 as an LPN. She worked at St. Joseph Hospital until her retirement in 1993. She left behind her husband, daughter, three sons, 8 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

       B. Frank Edward Amato (1933–1974) served in the U.S. Army from May 1953 to May 1956. After leaving the army, he married and settled in Memphis, Tennessee, where he worked as an electrician. He died in 1974 at only 40 years of age, and was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Memphis.

     II. Hazel I Pletcher (1906–1991) married Sigmond W Noble (1903–1964) of Toledo, Ohio, about 1927, and they had  a son and a daughter before they divorced in the 1930s. Hazel remained single, living under her married name, and working as a paint machine operator in a factory in Elyria, Ohio. She died on 20 February 1991, and is survived by her daughter and grandchildren.

       A. Robert Joseph Noble (1928–1985) was a veteran of the Korean War, serving in the U.S. Marine Corps from 16 August 1950 to 15 March 1952. He married Beulah May "Bea" Onstead (1931–2012) on 12 May 1973. Bob became step-father to her three children, and they had a son and a daughter together, too.

Bob was a supervisor in the overhead lines department of the Toledo Edison Co. for 37 years. He served as secretary and treasurer of the Maumee Valley Model Boat Club, and was the club's past commodore.

     III. Bessie Lorraine Pletcher (1907–1968) was born 1 September 1907 and grew up in Bowling Green, Ohio. Lorraine married twice; first to Merlin Morgan Stewart (1906–1986) on 8 January 1924, when she was 16. They had a son together in Toledo, but were separated before 1930. She married her second husband, Otis Wiburn Sinclair (1901–1977), and was living with him and her son, Merlin, in Lorain county in 1930. Otis ran the Sinclair Cycling Agency in Lorain.

They had two sons and a daughter in the 1930s, and divorced after 1940. When she died, her name was listed as Lorraine Glass, so she presumably married a third time. Her daughter is still living.

       A. Merlin E. Stewart (1924–1981)  was a veteran of the U.S. Army during World War II and was a salesman for 25 years. He married Mildred Marie Ottney (1926–2013), and they had a son and a daughter together. She was born in Toledo, Ohio, on 27 November 1926 to George and Stella Ottney.
Mildred was a graduate of Waite H.S. and retired with G.M. Power train with over 30 years of service. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Stephen A. Nicholas, in 1967, and by Merlin in 1981.

       B. James W "Red" Sinclair (1930–2012) was raised in Elyria Township, Lorain county, ohio. James graduated Markley Grade School and Clearview High School, Class of 1949. He worked at W.C. McConnel Buick, Gargus Garage, Llewelyn Pontiac, Gerbick Pontiac, Wagner Abersol and he retired from Jakmas Plumbing and Heating Inc. in 1991 as an Operating Engineer/Mechanic. He was an avid fisherman and kept parakeets. He also raced stock cars at Lorain County Speedway and he enjoyed Nascar racing.

He is survived by his two sons and two daughters, 8 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.

       C. Richard Allen Sinclair (1932–2010) grew up in Lorain and South Amherst and graduated from South Amherst High School in the class of 1950. He lived in Sheffield Lake prior to moving to South Amherst, where he lived for thirty-three years.

Richard served in the United States Air Force with the first Radio Relay Squadron. He met and married his wife while stationed in Germany and France. He was employed with the BF Goodrich Co. for thirty-five years, retiring as a color lab technician. He coached both Peewee and Little League baseball in Sheffield Lake. He was survived by his wife, son, two daughters, and 8 grandchildren.

 - -- --- -- - 

And now you know as much as I know about the line of James Monroe Callin. It feels like we packed a lot into a little space, but at the same time, there are huge gaps in what I can know without help from those of you who are more closely related. I always appreciate a little extra guidance, especially corrections, and even more especially, permission to print what you tell me!

But, I always aim to respect privacy first; so if you're not comfortable sharing family info in the comments block below, you can email me at my Gmail address, callintad at gmail dot com, or you can knock on the door of the Callin Family History Facebook group. I'll ask how you're related, and you can meet more cousins there.

We'll take a short break of one week, and then we'll be back to look at the family of the man who started all of this for me by compiling the original Callin Family History: George W. Callin!

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.

 - -- --- -- - 

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.

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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.

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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!