Tag: American

Transcription: Sworn Statement regarding the Birth of Matthew Coon

Transcription: Sworn Statement regarding the Birth of Matthew Coon

The following is my transcription of the Sworn Statement regarding the birth of Matthew Coon.

State of Wisconsin
County of Waushara

Mrs. Mary Russell & Sarah Bradway being duly sworn upon their oaths say that they reside in said County and state that are acquainted with Isabel A. Coon widow of David Coon of Co A Batt Regt Wis Vols, and was acquainted with the said David in his lifetime.

That they were present at the births of Matthew E. Coon child of the said David and Isabel A. and know that he was born on the 3 day of November 1861 at the town of Bloomfield in said County and State.

They further say that they have no intent in any application in which this may relate.

Mary Russell

Sworn and subscribed before me this 27th day of February 1867 and I certify the affiants to be credible persons and that I have no intent in the claim of said Isabel A. for increase of pension  the word Poysippi erased & Bloomfield enten????? before signing —

James Russell  Justice of the Peace

___________________

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

 

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Transcription: Biography of Ervin Thornton and his family, of Tappen, New York.

Transcription: Biography of Ervin Thornton and his family, of Tappen, New York.

Transcription: Biography of Ervin Thornton and his family, of Tappen, New York.

[Tappen, 1878 – 1966]

ERVIN THORNTON

Ervin Thornton family biography.
Ervin Thornton family biography.

On September 12. 1948 Ervin Thornton and Wynola Dewald were united in marriage in the Lutheran Church at Dawson. They were the first couple to be married in this church after it was moved there from Gackle. They made their home in Steele in a  home that was known as the “old Hi Maw House” from north of Tappen. Wynola’s father Christ Dewald moved it from Tappen to Dawson where it was for several years, then he moved it to Steele into the block next to the Archie Thornton home. This was their home for two years.

Ervin, son of Mr. and Mrs. Archie Thornton of Steele. was born in 1925 at Steele where he made his home and received his education. Ervin was the only boy in a family of four children. Rumor has it that at a very young age he was very handy with a sling shot. He could hit many targets but he was especially good at hitting a bent-over target. At the age of 16 he went to Portland, Oregon and worked on a housing project with his father. In 1944 he joined the Navy serving one ear in the states and one overseas in Japan. After his discharge he went into the trucking business for himself.

Wynola, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Christ Dewald, was born in 1930 in Napoleon. At the age of three she moved with her parents to a country store south of Dawson. She attended her elementary grades at a country school while living there. During her freshman year in high school, which she attended in Streeter, her  family moved to Dawson. Wynola graduated from Dawson High School in 1947. The following year she taught school south of Tappen in a country school near the Art J. Werre farm. After being married she taught one year north of Dawson and three years west of Steele.

In 1950 they purchased the Hoffer truckline and moved to Tappen where they are still living at present. Ervin and Wynola are the parents of four children: Donivan 15. Nanette 13, Bradley 11, and Wendell 9.

They are members of the St. John’s Lutheran Church in Tappen where Wynola teaches Sunday School and is a member of the Ladies Aid. In the fifteen years they have lived in Tappen they have found the people to be true friends and they enioy living there very much.

___________________

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

 

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Transcription: US WWII Draft Registration Card for Albert Rascher

Transcription: US WWII Draft Registration Card for Albert Rascher

Transcription: US WWII Draft Registration Card for Albert Rascher.

Albert Rascher WWII Draft Card
Albert Rascher WWII Draft Card

REGISTRATION CARD — (Men born on or after April 28, 1877 and on or before February 16, 1897)

Line 1
SERIAL NUMBER: U827
NAME: Albert Rascher
ORDER NUMBER:

Line 2
PLACE OF RESIDENCE: R.F.D. No. 1 – Arlington Heights Cook Illinois
(The place of residence given on the line above will determine local board jurisdiction; line 2 of registration certificate will be identical)

Line 3
MAILING ADDRESS: Same
(Mailing address if other than line 2. If same, insert word same)

Line 4
TELEPHONE: None

Line 5
AGE IN YEARS: 47; DATE OF BIRTH: August – 14 – 1894

Line 6
PLACE OF BIRTH: Palatine Illinois

Line 7
NAME AND ADDRESS OF PERSON WHO WILL ALWAYS KNOW YOUR ADDRESS: Mrs. Meta Rascher, Same

Line 8
EMPLOYER’S NAME AND ADDRESS: Roselle Country Club

Line 9
PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT OR BUSINESS: Roselle – Illinois  Cook
(Number and street or R. F. D. number) (Town) (State)

I AFFIRM THAT I HAVE VERIFIED ABOVE ANSWERS AND THAT THEY ARE TRUE.

D. S. S. FORM 1 16-21630-2    Albert Rascher
(Revised 4-1-42)      (over)        (Registrant’s Signature)

___________________

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

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Transcription: U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942; Augustus Coke Cronkhite

Transcription: U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942; Augustus Coke Cronkhite

US WWII Draft Registration Card for Augustus Coke Cronkhite

WWII Draft Card for Augustus C. Cronkhite
WWII Draft Card for Augustus C. Cronkhite

REGISTRATION CARD — (Men born on or after April 28, 1877 and on or before February 16, 1897)

Line 1
SERIAL NUMBER: U1618
NAME: Augustus Coke Cronkhite
ORDER NUMBER:

Line 2
PLACE OF RESIDENCE: Kingman, Sugar Creek Twp., Parke, Indiana
(The place of residence given on the line above will determine local board jurisdiction; line 2 of registration certificate will be identical)

Line 3
MAILING ADDRESS: Same
(Mailing address if other than line 2. If same, insert word same)

Line 4
TELEPHONE: Wallace

Line 5
AGE IN YEARS: 52; DATE OF BIRTH: May 31 1989 (typo: should read ‘1889’)

Line 6
PLACE OF BIRTH: Warren

Line 7
NAME AND ADDRESS OF PERSON WHO WILL ALWAYS KNOW YOUR ADDRESS: Martha Cronkhite, Kingman, Indiana

Line 8
EMPLOYER’S NAME AND ADDRESS: self

Line 9
PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT OR BUSINESS: R.F.D. #1, Kingman, Parke, Indiana
(Number and street or R. F. D. number) (Town) (State)

I AFFIRM THAT I HAVE VERIFIED ABOVE ANSWERS AND THAT THEY ARE TRUE.

D. S. S. FORM 1 16-21630-2    Augustus Coke Cronkhite
(Revised 4-1-42)      (over)        (Registrant’s Signature)

___________________

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

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Sometimes it pays to look to the present for information about the past.

Sometimes it pays to look to the present for information about the past.

It’s amazing what information about the past including people and events can be found by searching through online newspapers, magazines, etc. – even if they are in a foreign language.

I’m routinely having to read, translate and understand documents written in their original language such as French, German, Swedish, and so on. My go to method for getting started is accessing ‘Google Translate’. To have a web page translated, just type the complete original language url in the Google search box, press ‘search’, find what you’re looking for in the search results list and click on ‘Translate this page’.

El Economista TranslatedOne such site I’ve recently accessed was ‘El Economista’ a Mexican, Spanish language online newspaper. On this particular day, the headlines were dominated by news of Javier Duarte de Ochoa and his handling of the crisis created by the recent tropical storm. Javier Duarte is the Governor of Veracruz, Mexico.

Above is a clip from the Google translated site mentioned and as you can see the text in the first paragraph is quite understandable, although not quite grammatically correct. I would always suggest finding independent confirmation elsewhere to confirm your understanding, if possible.

I routinely search through newspapers in the areas in which I’m researching and I have stumbled upon some real ‘gems’ related to my research, including a rooming house arson fire a recent ancestor escaped from, another ancestor whose name was published as a deserter in WWI, and most recently news of a tragic train crash in a community from which my own father’s French Canadian family originates. It was particularly heartbreaking to read the names of the deceased in the online French language news sites, and to recognize many of them as distant relatives.

Using Google translate  is also a useful tool if transcribing documents from their original language. Go to the main Google translate page, type the text in question in the left box, making sure it’s labeled with the correct language and click ‘Translate’. The English translation will appear to the right if English is the selected language. Text can be translated to and from numerous languages.

photo credit: Augie Schwer via photopin cc

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Transcription: US WWII Draft Registration Card for Frank John Niles

Transcription: US WWII Draft Registration Card for Frank John Niles

US WWII Draft Registration Card for Frank John Niles.

U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 of Frank Niles
U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 of Frank Niles

 

REGISTRATION CARD — (Men born on or after April 28, 1877 and on or before February 16, 1897)

Line 1
SERIAL NUMBER: U1257
NAME: Frank John Niles
ORDER NUMBER:

Line 2
PLACE OF RESIDENCE: West Milton, Miami, Ohio
(The place of residence given on the line above will determine local board jurisdiction; line 2 of registration certificate will be identical)

Line 3
MAILING ADDRESS: Same
(Mailing address if other than line 2. If same, insert word same)

Line 4
TELEPHONE: None

Line 5
AGE IN YEARS: 57; DATE OF BIRTH: June 18, 1885

Line 6
PLACE OF BIRTH: West Milton, Ohio

Line 7
NAME AND ADDRESS OF PERSON WHO WILL ALWAYS KNOW YOUR ADDRESS: Bobbie Niles, West Milton, Ohio

Line 8
EMPLOYER’S NAME AND ADDRESS: Harry Sexhour, West Milton, O.

Line 9
PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT OR BUSINESS:   West Milton, Miami, Ohio
(Number and street or R. F. D. number)     (Town)     (State)

I AFFIRM THAT I HAVE VERIFIED ABOVE ANSWERS AND THAT THEY ARE TRUE.

D. S. S. FORM 1                         16-21630-2      Frank Niles
(Revised 4-1-42)     (over)                                   (Registrant’s Signature)

___________________

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

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Transcription: Biography of Henry O’Reilly from ‘Rochester History’

Transcription: Biography of Henry O’Reilly from ‘Rochester History’

Rochester History, Henry O'Reilly
Rochester History, Henry O’Reilly

The following is a transcription of the biography of Henry O’Reilly from the book, “Rochester History,” edited by Dexter Perkins, City Historian, and Blake McKelvey, Assistant City Historian.

ROCHESTER HISTORY

Edited by DEXTER PERKINS, City Historian and BLAKE MCKELVEY, Assistant City Historian

VoL. VII JANUARY, 1945 No. 1

Henry O’Reilly

By DEXTER PERKINS

Henry O’Reilly (or O’Rielly, as he insisted on calling himself in later life) was, no doubt, not one of the greatest figures connected with the city of Rochester. He was not born here; he did not spend the major part of his life here; and when he died in 1884, he had long since outlived the period of his major usefulness. He never attained distinction of the first order; he was volatile, improvident and —— so his enemies said — quarrelsome; he was a great man for starting something, and a poor man for finishing anything — with the large exception of his Sketches of Rochester, published in 1838. But none the less he is an extremely interesting person. He had warmth and brilliance; he identified himself with a whole variety of good causes, and contributed materially to all of them; he had a kind of itch to improve the little world in which he moved; and he succeeded in doing so in many ways. He was also the storm center in one of the most interesting technological and business controversies in the period before the Civil War, the controversy over the telegraph; and though he lacked the constructive genius that characterized Hiram Sibley, another Rochesterian of far more practical capacity, he was for a time the idol of those Americans who saw in the telegraph a menacing monopoly and played a part, stormy and dramatic, in the development of a great industry. When you begin to study O’Reilly, you may not unqualifiedly admire him, but you are sure to find him worth knowing; and because he is well worth historical acquaintance, I am going to sketch in this number of Rochester History the essentials of his career.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Rochester History, published quarterly by the Rochester Public Library, distributed free at the Library, by mail 25 cents per year. Address correspondence to the City Historian, Rochester Public Library, 115 South Avenue, Rochester 4, N.Y.

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The Young Immigrant

O’Reilly was born in Cartickmacross, County Monaghan, Ireland, on February 6, 1806. Like many another Irishman, in later years Henry was prone to discuss his ancestry in terms that suggested a distinguished lineage. He seems to have dwelt with some pleasure upon a certain great grand-uncle who was Bishop of the Diocese, and he was also proud to relate that his maternal grandfather, Henry Ledbetter, had once been offered a peerage, and was the confidential physician of the Bresfords, a family then powerful in Ireland. But Henry’s immediate origins were less impressive. Of his father, very little is known; he seems to have been a merchant; he failed in business in the depression following the Napoleonic wars; and he was, through the rigor of a brother-in-law, confined in a debtor’s prison in 1816. Though later he followed the rest of the O’Reilly family, that is, his wife, and son and daughter, to America, he seems to have played no important part in Henry’s life, and even the date and place of his death are uncertain.

Henry came to the United States at the tender age of ten, with his mother and sister, and landed, as millions of immigrants have landed since, in the City of New York. There he was received by his “good uncle,” Edward Ledbetter, but his uncle’s benevolence did not extend so far as to provide support for his youthful relative, and still at the age of ten, O’Reilly was apprenticed to Baptiste Irvine, editor of the New York Columbian. The articles of apprenticeship were for a term of eight years, and for the greater part of the period O’Rei1ly was to serve without pay. He was to be given sufficient meat, drink and clothing; and he was to be instructed in the mysteries of the art of printing, in reading, writing and arithmetic, and in the rudiments of the “latin and french languages.” In exchange for these manifest advantages O’Reilly agreed “not to waste his master’s goods, not to commit fornication or contract matrimony, not to play at cards, dice or any unlawful game, not to absent himself day or night frorn his master’s service without leave, and not to haunt alehouses, taverns, or playhouses.”

There was to be plenty of variety in Henry O’Reilly’s career as time went on, but the termination of his first apprenticeship was no fault of his, and it is probable that a similar statement may be made

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with regard to his other frequent changes of employment in these early years. The papers of the time were frequently ill-supported; Irvine gave up the editorship of the Columbian less than a year after the signing of Henry’s articles of apprenticeship. The boy seems to have Worked for some time thereafter in the printing office of Clayton and Kingsland; but in 1823 he was offered a place on the New York Patriot, and there he first began to take part in politics, becoming, as was natural in the circumstances, an ardent partisan of the candidacy of Andrew Jackson for the Presidency of the United States. In 1824, indeed, in company with his employer, Colonel Charles K. Gardner, Henry paid a visit to Washington, and was presented to Old Hickory. Before the year was out, we find him moving to Kinderhook, New York, to become the printer of the local paper, the Herald, and we cannot help believing that he had by now formed a connection with Martin Van Buren, and that he was fairly launched in a reasonably active political career.

But Kinderhook was only a way station to Rochester. While serving on the Patriot, O’Reilly had had as a fellow-compositor one Luther Tucker. Tucker had a friend who wished to establish at Rochester a daily newspaper, and he was offered the business management of the paper, and asked to select a competent editor. Thus, in 1826, at the age of twenty, the young Henry moved once more, and on October 21, 1826, he issued the first number of the Rochester Daily Advertiser, which, with changes of name, and, indeed, changes of policy, has none the less endured down to our own day.

The Editor and Politician.

The young editor had walked into the center of a major political storm. These were the days of the anti-Masonic agitation. In September of 1826, William Morgan, who had written and promoted a book which purported to reveal the secrets of Masonry, had been abducted from the jail at Canandaigua, and had disappeared. Now in Western New York at this same period, the foes of the Jackson patty were looking for a political issue, and particularly for an issue that would wean away from the dominant political faction some of the more democratic elements in the population. They found what they wanted in the disappearance of Morgan. Here was an opportunity to raise a

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terrific hue and cry over the secret society of Masonry and its aristocratic implications. The opportunity became still more profitable when a body was washed ashore from Lake Ontario, which, it was speedily rumored, and afterwards alleged in a coroner’s inquest, was the body of Morgan himself. Political excitement, therefore, mounted higher and higher, and in due course gave rise to a new political party which described itself as the Anti-Masonic party.

Into this interesting political scene Henry O’Reilly was precipitated in the fall of 1826. He began his editorship of the Advertiser, as a wise editor would do, by professing the highest impartiality with regard to politics. But O’Reilly, as a detached and neutral observer of the political scene, or indeed of anything else, is an O’Reilly that never existed. He already had his political predilections; his Irish blood yearned for a fight; and before long he was involved in the controversy over anti-Masonry, arid was locked in conflict with one of the most formidable figures in the history of political journalism.

In 1826 Thutlow Weed was editor of the Ror/Jerter Telegraph, a man thirty-four years of age, who might well resent the appearance of a stripling of twenty as his competitor in the thriving frontier community. Weed was not the originator, but soon became one of the participants, in the anti-Masonic agitation, and one of the leaders in the attempt to capitalize the disappearance and the death of Morgan in the formation of the new party. It is not likely, having regard to the newspaper methods of the time, and to the extraordinary violence of journalistic controversy, that O’Rei1ly would long have escaped the shafts of his rival. But the hot-headed Irishman apparently offered the first provocation for the outburst of hostilities. From the first he had been suspicious of the inquest that had attended the finding of the alleged corpse of Morgan on the shores of Lake Ontario, and had not hesitated to express his suspicions that there was something very peculiar about the whole business. Soon a most interesting story came to his ears. In the arguments that took place in the frontier community the question of the identity of the body of Morgan naturally rook a prominent place. In one of these arguments, so the story began to circulate, Thurlow Weed was reported to have said, in informal conversation, that at any rate the corpse was a “good-enough Morgan till after election.” Later on, when confronted with this charge, Weed denied it categorically, and declared that what he had said was that it

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was a good enough Morgan till another body was found, a comment which, it must be admitted, was hardly less cynical than that of which he was accused. But when O’Reilly published the first of these two versions of his rival’s words, he found himself the object of the most bitter attacks on the part of Weed. He was pilloried as a liar; he was described in the pages of the Telegraph as a “Mason-jade” a peculiarly offensive epithet in the current political controversy, and all the more so in the case of O’Reilly, since O’Reilly was not a Mason; and he was in due course, fixed with a libel suit whida hung over his head for thirteen years, and was naturally a source of considerable embarrassment. In such circumstances, to put it bluntly, O’Reilly found that he could not take it, and in ]uly, 1827, he temporarily withdrew from the scene, alleging feeble health in part as an excuse. After a visit to Niagara Falls, he went back to New York City, and there again took up printing at the Methodist Printing Office which had been one of the scenes of his employment some years before.

But the itch for politics was strong in O’Reilly, and a most exciting and possibly a most rewarding Presidential campaign was approaching. The Old Hero, the veteran of New Orleans, the idol of the people, Andrew ]ackson, was running for the Presidency. The campaign was a delirious one; indeed, never before had so large a part of the electorate gone to the polls. How could a good party man be content to print Methodist tracts instead of ringing Jacksonian speeches? There could be but one answer to this question, so O‘Reilly, at the solicitation of Mr. Tucker, his original employer, went back to Rochester, and took part as editor of the Advertiser once more in the campaign which was to elevate Old Hickory to the Presidency of the United States. And now O’Reilly appears for the first time, but not the last, if not in the guise of an officeseeker, at least in the guise of one much interested in the offices. In 1828 Abelard Reynolds was Postmaster of Rochester, a position which he had held since the very beginnings of Rochester’s civic history. Reynolds, of course, was a supporter of the conservative cause, and of John Quincy Adams in the campaign of 1828. It was obvious, at any rate to the Jacksonians, that a new appointment was in order. So the editor of the Advertiser journeyed to Washington, and secured the appointment of a good Jackson man, ]ohn B. Elwood, in place of Reynolds. He also brought back from his visit to the capital another political plum, the collectorship

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of the Genesee Revenue District, which was awarded to General Jacob Gould.

One might have thought that by this time O’Reil1y would have been in a fair way to settle down. But in 1850 he married, and his bride, Marcia Brooks, was the daughter of a land~holder of the upper Genesee country, in the neighborhood of Nunda. Thither the editor of the Advertiser removed in May of 1830, hoping no doubt to profit from his father-in-law’s plans to establish a village in that neighborhood, and thoughtfully providing himself with the job of postmaster in the new locality, a matter which was not difficult in view of his services to the administration in power. O’Reilly‘s removal to Brooks Grove, as the place was called, hardly does credit to his business sagacity. It is true that in 1830, when for the second time he left Rochester, the town was experiencing its first recession, following the boom created by the building of the Erie Canal. But there was no good reason to believe that the Genesee mill town and canal port had exhausted its potentialities; indeed those with greater confidence were soon justified as growth was resumed and the village became a city in 1854. Nor was there anything about the job of postmastership at Brooks’ Grove that could be described as challenging to a young man now 24, who had substantial capacities, and a growing circle of friends. So once again O’Reilly’s exile was a brief one, and the campaign of 1832 saw the young Irishman, now a citizen, back once more in the editorship of the Advertiser, and warmly engaged in re-electing Andrew Jackson to the Presidency of the United States. For his services in this regard he received the post of Deputy-Collector for the Genesee District, and this together with his journalistic activities, provided him with a reasonable pecuniary reward. He was now to settle down for a while — in so far as it was in his nature to settle down, and in the course of the next ten years he played an important part in the life of the young community. In some ways he was at his best during these next ten years, active, public-spirited, the friend of many liberal causes, and the author of one of the best books of its kind, a book that is invaluable to any student of Rochester history.

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The Rochester Civic Reformer

Amongst the objects of O’Reilly’s activity during his ten years’ continuous residence in Rochester none was more important than the enlargement of the Erie Canal. The canal had been finished in 1825, and had, of course, been the major factor in the astoundingly rapid growth of the city on the Genesee. Constructed at a cost of around $10,000,000, it had been amazingly profitable, and it had been possible for the state to retire a loan of seven and three quarter million dollars from the revenues of the first ten years. The chief drawbacks were its size, particularly its depth of only four feet, and the flimsy character of the locks and other features of its construction. It was natural that there should arise a demand for its reconstruction and enlargement, and this movement was closely connected with a movement for the reduction of the tolls. But the question soon became a controversial one; there was much opposition in the legislature to a new borrowing program; and it took a long and vigorous agitation before the enlargement of the canal could be carried into effect.

Into this agitation O’Reilly threw himself with characteristic ardor. He was, of course, by no means alone in his advocacy of enlargement Indeed, the opinion of leading Rochester citizens of both political parties coincided as to the necessity of such a policy. But his name appears again and again amongst the men who took the deepest interest in the project, and his views, it would appear, had a greater and greater influence as time went on. The canal commissioners first recommended the enlargement of the canal in their report of the spring of 1855. The legislature, very much under the influence of those short-sighted individuals who thought borrowing to be inherently immoral, enacted in May a law providing that the surplus tolls from the Canal might be devoted to the deepening of the waterway, or to the construction of further locks, if needed. In the fall of 1835 a committee of Rochester citizens, of which O’ReilIy was a member, passed resolutions expressing pleasure at this initial step and the profound conviction of the importance of a forward looking policy with regard to the canal in general. But the method of providing for enlargement through surplus revenues was soon seen to be inadequate. The sum that was found to be necessary to carry through the program

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determined upon by the canal commissioners was found to be at least equal to the original expense of constructing the canal. To expect that such a sum could be found through tolls would mean that the much-desired improvement would be long-delayed. Confronted with this fact, friends of the canal urged a borrowing program to effect the necessary construction.

It may well be that O’Reilly was one of the first to formulate such a policy and to join with others in bringing it to fruition. (He was never afraid to borrow, either personally or otherwise.) At any rate, on the 30th of December, 1836, he was one of three citizens of Rochester who addressed a public meeting assembled at the courthouse, to consider the canal question, and out of this meeting came resolutions urging new loans based upon the canal revenues, and a call for a convention of the people of western New York to press for similar action. This convention met in Rochester on Ianuary 18, 1837, and attracted immense attention. It appointed a central executive committee, of which O’Reilly was chairman, for placing the matter before the public. This committee engaged in a successful agitation which had its final fruits in the law of April 18, 1838, authorizing a loan of four million dollars, (not as much as had been desired), for the improvement and enlargement of the canal.

O’Reilly’s success in bringing about the end which he had in view was due in part to a very energetic and skillful agitation. But it was due in part, also, to the particular circumstances of the time. The Jackson administration had hardly gone out of office when there followed one of the most disastrous depressions in the early history of the country, and one which was extremely severely felt in western New York. Of course in general the idea of borrowing to create employment was hardly the economic gospel of the 1830’s. But curiously enough in New York state there was considerable sentiment for just such a course, as was to be strikingly exemplified when William H. Seward was elected Governor in the fall of 1838. The passage of the canal law, it seems hardly doubtful, was in part assisted by the fact that here was a means ready to hand to deal with the critical problem of the depression.

Was O’Reilly’s agitation for the enlargement of the canal wise and far-seeing? In the very year in which the legislature voted for

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the enlargement of the canal, the first steam railway entered Rochester. Was it therefore something less than far-sighted to agitate for the development of canal navigation, at a time when a new agency of transportation was coming into being? Superficially, it might seem as if this question would have to be answered in the affirmative. But if one looks a little more deeply into the facts, one discovers that the Erie Canal remained for a long time after 1838 the principal means of transportation through the state of New York, and that the high point of its usefulness (the maximum development of its traffic) was not reached until the middle of the decade of the fifties. Looking at the matter, then, from this point of view, it seems clear that Henry O’Reilly was not only faithfully representing the necessities of his community in the agitation with which he had so much to do, but was promoting a development which was eminently desirable from the viewpoint of his time and of the decades immediately to come.

There was a second movement, fully as important as that which had to do with the canals, in which O’Reilly’s name appears again and again. This was the movement for the improvement of the schools of Rochester.

The decade of the thirties is remarkable not only in New York but throughout the Northern states for the developing interest in education. The great wave of liberalism which characterized the period expressed itself nowhere more vigorously than in the field of the schools. There was much to be done to improve them, for in most of the country only the most rudimentary educational conditions existed. This was true of Rochester when O’Reilly took up his residence in the community on the Genesee.

The Rochester schools had begun on the district system, that is, they bore no relation whatsoever to the community as a whole. One district might be well run, according to the standards of the time; another might be little short of infamous. One district might pay its teachers fairly well; another might grant little more than sweatshop wages. True, when the city was incorporated in 1854, the Common Council was given the power to act in the capacity of Commissioner of Schools, and was given a broad kind of supervisory authority. But these powers were almost never exercised, and the districts struggled along without any substantial support from the municipality. As late

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as 1839 three districts within the city lacked school-houses, one of them renting a room in an old cooper’s shop. Each separate school was kept only as long as the funds of the district permitted, some of them for only three or four months a year.

Into the movement for the improvement of the public schools, O’Reilly flung himself with characteristic energy. In 1836 a public meeting in Rochester provided for the appointment of a citizens‘ committee called “The Committee for Elevating the  Standards of Common School Education.” It provided for the circulation of a sheet called “The Common School Assistant,” and engaged young A. C. Pratt as a kind of propagandist to go through the county calling attention to the educational needs of the communities. lt continued its work during 1837 and 1838, and in November of the latter year recommended an “entirely free common school system, supported by a general tax on real and personal property.” A little later, on December 1, 1858, a resolution was adopted looking to the organization of a Board of Education which would appoint a superintendent of public schools, and which would have “districts so arranged and schools so regulated as to allow of gradation in public English education.” A committee of fifteen was appointed to urge the adoption of this policy upon the Common Council and the legislature.

It took time, however, to reach the desired goal. Today it is difficult for us to realize that the expenditure of funds for educational purposes was often opposed a century ago as an unnecessary coddling of the masses. There were Americans in that day who wished to keep the less fortunate in their place, and could see no point in making it possible for them to rise in the social and economic scale. The improvement of our schools, like most important steps in social progress, did not come about with the unanimous adhesion of all citizens, but had to be struggled for, as most good things do have to be struggled for.

But Henry O’Reilly had no doubt as to what needed to be done. At every stage he supported in the pages of the Advertiser the contemporary agitation. And in the spring of 1841 he drew up a memorial on the school question which received wide circulation throughout the state and which was one of the factors in securing the passage of a bill amending the city charter and providing for reforms of the first

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order of importance. The law of 1841 provided for the election of a board of education, composed of two members from each ward, which should have power to appoint a superintendent of schools, and which was charged with the financial authority necessary to the building up of the school system. The system to be established was to be public and free. Sixteen years before the state of New York entirely abolished the rate bill system, and early enough to become the fourth city of the state to do this, Rochester in 1841 set up an educational machinery which was hailed at the time, and with reason, as a great advance. The citizens of Rochester showed their appreciation of the role that O‘Reilly had played in the battle for the school law by electing him to the Board of Education constituted under it. There is no room for doubting his notable public service in this regard.

O’Reilly’s interest in the improvement of the educational standards and opportunities of Rochester was shown in another way when he was prominent in the organization, in 1838, of what was known as the Young Men’s Association, and of which he became president. The special circumstance which promoted the growth of this important agency in the early life of Rochester was, interestingly enough, the commission of the first murder which had ever taken place in the city in 1837. This untoward event, says O’Reilly, directed public attention to the necessity of establishing institutions for “presenting intellectual and moral attractions to counteract the vicious allurements to which (as legal examinations proved) the young men of this city were largely exposed.” It was resolved that what was particularly needed was a library and educational program, and the establishment of a center which should serve as an alternative, as O’Reilly highmindedly put it, to “eating-houses, with each a newspaper and a bar—bowling alleys, with their temptations to drinking and their temptations to belting – gaming tables with their enthralling allurements and their degrading companionships—and enticement to every vicious indulgence—diligently provided by those who excite appetite and feed passion for the sake of emolument.” Accordingly, funds were found to rent the second floor of a building on State Street, and there to provide the first public reading room and city library in the history of Rochester. There were small membership dues, and books could be taken out only by accredited borrowers – but the library itself was open to all, and the provision for taking out boolm was the first that had been made. By

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the close of 1838 the library counted more than 2000 volumes, and the membership included 139 full subscribers, and 97 others holding reading room privileges. Once started on this hopeful project, O’Reilly’s soaring imagination carried him further. He attempted to raise funds for a city library to be erected by the Association, and took an option on two lots at the corner of State and Mumford Streets with this end in view. An attempt was made to sell stock for the promotion of this project
at $50 a share, but this project failed, like so many others in which O’Reilly was financially concerned, and the energetic editor of the A41/miter had to pay $400 out of his own pocket as a result of his premature action. On the other hand, O’Reilly was more successful in securing the amalgamation of the Young Men’s Association with the Athenaeum, an earlier venture in the field of literary and educational activity. The union of the two still further enlarged the library resources of the Association, and by the close of 1840 there were over 2500 volumes available to members, and membership had risen to 409.

It would be pleasant to believe that the impetus thus given to the love of learning was permanent in its effects. Unfortunately, the facts are otherwise. After O‘Reilly’s removal from the city the activities of the Association declined. But the work that was done in this early period was not in vain. It served, no doubt, as an inspiration to the efforts of the late forties, when an attempt was made to pump new energy into the educational current of Rochester. And, wholly apart from its practical results, it is highly characteristic of O’Reilly himself. His generous impulses, his democratic instincts, and his intellectual energy all contributed to make him feel keenly the necessity of an educational advance. In taking the position that he did, he was acting in the most elevated spirit of his own time.

The Local Historian

The year 1838, which saw the establishment of the Young Men’s Association, was also the year in which O’Reilly published his Sketcbes of Rochester, the first important descriptive work published in and with regard to the city on the Genesee. The occasion for this work the author describes in his preface. In 1856, in response to a request from the city corporation, O’Reilly had published some statis-

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tical data on the community in which he lived in pamphlet form. The success of this venture emboldened him to go further. He was encouraged by Everard Peck and Thomas Kempshall to carry his project through, and these two men assisted him in securing a publisher. In the winter of 1858 the committee which had the work in charge travelled by the only conveyance then possible, the stage-coach, all the way to New York, taking five days to do so, “with good sleighing,”to put in the hands of Harper Brothers the manuscript of this important work. When it was published it sold at the price of $1.50, or $1.25 when ten copies were taken by a single subscriber. The first edition was quickly sold; but-—quite characteristically, O’Reilly realized little financial profit from his venture. He had made the work more elaborate and more costly than had been originally proposed.

It would he extravagant to contend that the Sketches of Rochester was a great piece of literature. But it is fair to say that very few communities have enjoyed, in the early stages of their development, the services of a more conscientious or thorough chronicler. It is impossible to write the history of our city Without frequent reference to O’Reilly. His work is invaluable as a contribution to local history. It is a mine of information on the economic and social development of a frontier community. And, in the life of a busy editor, and active citizen, it represents no inconsiderable achievement.

The year 1838, which connects with so many of O’Reilly’s activities, must now be connected with one more. The editor of the Advertiser, as we have seen, had always been interested in politics. He had acquired a small political oflice in 1832. He had run for the state Assembly-—unsuccessfully—in 1837. In 1838 the postmaster of Rochester resigned. The friends of the man who must by now have been one of Rochester’s most prominent Democrats, perhaps the most prominent Democrat, rallied to present him for the vacant office. O’Reilly himself was absent in New York at the time, and does not seem to have bestirred himself particularly. But on May 24, 1838, his Presidential commission came through, and from that time forward until his removal from Rochester, he performed the duties of this important office. It is difficult to arrive at any clear evaluation of his service in this regard. He is said to have done great work in reducing the number of robberies in the mails. He certainly became well known to many influential Democrats, and established connections which were useful

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to him in the future. But it may be also that in accepting the position of postmaster, he gave unnecessary hostages to fortune; the work may well have been distracting; and it exposed him, of course, to prompt political reprisal when the Whigs came into office in the elections of 1840. These were the days of the very perfection of the spoils system. There could be only one answer to the question of what to do with postmasters who had the bad judgment to belong to the opposite political party, and that was to get rid of them. O’Reilly, in common with others of his political creed, was soon made to walk the plank; and it seems probable that his dismissal from the post-mastership had something to do with his removal from Rochester at the end of 1842, or in the very beginning of 1843.

But the editor and author of the frontier was so constituted, at any rate while in his thirties, that he could not be long without a cause; he must always he promoting something; and the cause that now caught his eye, and that offered also an opportunity to earn a living, was the cause of constitutional reform. The constitution of New York state had undergone revision in 1821; but in many respects it was still archaic in 1842. Unlike the constitution that preceded it, it had provided for a procedure by which it might be amended; but somehow or other this procedure, with a single exception, had failed signally to function in practise. There were a number of respects in which, from the view-point of the liberal forces of the time, changes  were indicated by the beginning of the forties. It was thought, for example, that the judiciary should be made elective, rather than appointive; it was thought that the terms of members of the legislature ought to be shortened; and still more, the disturbances which had broken out in the Hudson Valley, where a semi-feudal system of landholding still persisted, seemed to call for a drastic alteration of the
existing law.

The Albany Years

The revamping of the constitution was just the kind of a cause that Henry O’Reilly enjoyed serving; and it must have been in his mind when he left Rochester in 1842, for he then accepted the editorship of the Albany Atlas, a journal which advocated constitutional reform. But journalism was not enough. In 1843 O’Reilly started the

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organization of what was called the State Constitutional Association. He became a member of its Executive Committee; he persuaded one of the most powerful Democratic politicians in the state, Michael Hoffman, to accept the post of leader; and he initiated an agitation for the calling of a constitutional convention. This agitation bore fruit in the legislative action of 1845, in an overwhelming popular vote in favor of a convention, and in the constitutional convention of 1846. The reforms which have been mentioned above were adopted, and O’Reilly had the satisfaction of seeing the work of the convention accepted by the people at the polls. But before this day had come the ebullient Irishman had made another dtange of base. When he had transferred his activities from Rochester to Albany, he seems to have indulged the hope that, since the Democrats were in power, he might secure the state printing. By this time he was thoroughly familiar with the mixing of business and politics, and had, indeed, almost continually held some office such as was dealt out in the thirties to deserving members of the party. But something slipped; the Democrats, badly divided into factions, could not unite on the Irishman as their candidate for printer; O’Reilly belonged quite clearly to the radical wing; and it is probable that in this as at other times he took very little pains to moderate his opinions or to express them other than with vehemence. The warring groups in the legislature united upon a compromise candidate; and O’Reilly, after only a brief period with the Atlas, transferred his energies to the New York State Agricultural Society, and became its Recording Secretary. But here again the pickings apparently were insulficient and after a short time in this post O’Reilly, like many another American, turned from the slim rewards of daily labor to the glowing opportunities of successful promotion.

His Telegraph Ventures

The middle forties mark a very decided change in the personality of this interesting man. The impulse for reform, the zeal for causes, the political ardor, never completely deserted him; indeed he was usually able to rationalize his conduct in terms of some great popular  good. But after 1844 O‘Reilly became interested in making money in a big way. He had certainly been conspicuously unsuccessful up to

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this time; he had left Rochester in debt; he had not demonstrated any extraordinary business capacity at any time; but perhaps these very facts tempted him to some kind of scheme for easy and rapid accumulation; his temperament made it easy for him to see immense possibilities for the future in a new invention; and the year 1844 was the year of the first American telegraph. As is well known, on the 24th of May of that year, Samuel F. B. Morse, having persuaded Congress to appropriate the funds for an experimental line from Washington to Baltimore, had sent the famous message, “What hath God wrought ?” over the wire. A new era of communication was thus ushered in.

There were those, in 1844, of course, who did not think so. Morse offered his invention to the federal government for the modest sum of $100,000; and it is interesting to reflect upon the acumen of the Postmaster-General of that day, who reported that he was uncertain that the revenues from the telegraph could be made equal to the expenditures. Disappointed by this rebuff, Morse turned to private capital, and early in the story of the development of his invention, Henry O’Reilly appears upon the scene.

How came it that he was projected into this new field of endeavor? The answer lies in his friendship with Amos Kendall, who had been Postmaster-General of the United States under ]ackson and Van Buren. Kendall had been selected by the Morse patentees, (there were four of these), to represent them as their business agent. In June of 1846, he signed a contract with O’Reilly, calling for the “construction of a line of Morse’s Electro-Magnetic Telegraph to connect the great seaboard line at Philadelphia, or at such other convenient point on said line as may approach nearer Harrisburg, in Pennsylvania, and from thence through Harrisburg and other intermediate towns to Pittsburg, and thence through Wheeling and Cincinnati, and such other towns and cities as the said O’Reilly and his associates may elect, to St. Louis and to the principal towns on the lakes.” Here, so it seemed to the former Rochester editor, was a princely grant indeed, little less than the concession of a great telegraphic empire in the most rapidly growing part of the country, the booming middle West.

Whoever reads carefully the contract that I have just quoted can readily appreciate what troubles lay in its vague and wholly unlawyerlike phraseology. Amos Kendall, it is clear, believed that he was giv-

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ing to O’Reilly merely a right of construction in a telegraph system which should remain under a single and undivided ownership and control. He believed, furthermore, that he was conferring on the other party to the contract nothing more than a commission to construct telegraph lines, not the right to manage them, or to become a kind of telegraph baron with a dominating interest in any of them. But O’Reilly had a wholly different view of the matter. What he did was to start the organization of a whole series of companies, independent of one another, and extending over — and finally beyond — the great area in which the contract gave him the right to operate. Nor was he without the desire to play a part in the management of the lines. He hoped to use his position to secure wide stock interests. Those interests would carry with them, of course, a very substantial measure of control over the companies which he was successful in organizing.

The difference of opinion that soon developed between O’Reilly and the Morse patentees goes to the heart of some very interesting problems of business organization, as those problems presented themselves in the decades of the forties and fifties. It is tolerably clear to us today that the telegraph is a natural monopoly, and that the consolidation of the telegraph lines of the country has been, on the whole, a highly desirable consummation. But a hundred years ago, the feat of monopoly was keen. The nation had not long before expressed a decisive opinion on the question of the concentration of financial power in the Bank of the United States. It had emphatically supported Old Hickory in his war on that institution. Now there loomed the possibility of another monopoly, monopoly of a new and potentially significant means of communication. What could be more dangerous? In taking a contrary view of the problem, in organizing many local companies, and eventually in his fight with the Morse patentees, O’Reilly appeared in the characteristic role of the champion of the people and the foe of special interests. He was probably never more widely known, and never more popular, than in the late forties and early fifties; and there is little doubt that he gloried in this popularity, and pictured himself, (while engaged in the most fat-teaching plans for personal gain), as the hero of a great fight for the common man.

There is another aspect of this question that ought to interest us. O’Reilly, in his energetic organization of telegraph companies all over

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the country, undoubtedly performed a yeoman service in awakening the interest of local capital in what has become one of the great industries of the country. Where, indeed, in the late forties, was the capital to be found, except in the communities to be served? The country had not yet developed to the point where vast stock issues could have been floated in New York. The only practicable method of approach to the problem of securing funds was to go out and get them in the areas which were to be opened up. O’Reilly did just this. His methods were the methods of his time. That they aroused a tremendous interest in the new means of communication, and that, despite the final collapse of his hopes and of his fortunes, these efforts were by no means wasted, is clear.

O’Reilly’s financial methods look peculiar and by no means prudent from the angle of vision of 1944. The funds raised by the sale of stock were used for the construction of the lines. The companies which O’Reilly organized were apt to begin business with a large part of the money which had been raised to set them off already expended. But, however imprudent this may appear today, it was not regarded as foolish in 1845. The unlimited optimism of the American temperament in the period before the Civil War is difficult for us to understand today. But it made possible business practices that would now be universally condemned as unsound.

None the less, we must not, in our understanding of O’Reilly’s motives and view-point, attempt an apologia for him. The judgment of James D. Reid, who had been his assistant in the post-oflice at  Rochester and whom he brought into the telegraph business, does not seem an uncharitable one. “Henry O’Reilly,” he wrote in 1879, “was in many respects a wonderful man. His tastes were cultivated. His instincts were fine. He was intelligent and genial. His energy was untiring, his hopefulness shining. His mental activity and power of continuous labor were marvelous. He was liberal, generous, profuse, full of the best instincts of his nation. But he lacked prudence in money matters, was loose in the use of it, had little veneration for contracts. . . . He formed and broke friendships with equal rapidity, was bitter in his hates, was impatient of restraints.” This characterization is sound. And the criticism which it contains will be found to be amply justified by the history of O‘Reilly’s telegraph companies.

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From the beginning, of course, O’Reilly, in his fulfilment and elaboration of his contract with Kendall, had many difficulties to contend with. He was reasonably successful in securing the funds for the construction of the Pennsylvania line as Jonathan Child, Samuel L. Selden, Hervey Ely, Alvah Strong and many others are found amongst the subscribers. But his contract called for the completion of the line within six months of the signing of the agreement. O’Reilly and those associated with him had, of course, not the slightest experience in constructing telegraph lines. They were the pioneers, working without the technical knowledge that could only be gained in that day from experience. They had no models to follow. As winter came on, their troubles multiplied. At the end of November a storm broke their wire (which they had drawn tightly in the belief that transmission was aided by a taut line) in a hundred places. When the 13th of December arrived, the line had not been completed. The contract of O’Reilly with the Morse patentees was by any strict construction, null and void.

Of the patentees, however, (and there were four of them) only one, the villain of the piece in most accounts of telegraph history, F. O. ]. Smith, was anxious at this time to take advantage of O’Reilly’s predicament. Morse and Kendall, the business agent, were willing to be generous. O’Reilly had worked hard. His difliculties had been great. He might still he a very effective helper. Why not let him go ahead? During the year 1846, in fact, the line between Philadelphia and Pittsburg was made ready for business. Time was to show that it was flimsily constructed, and some of it had to be rebuilt as early as the fall of 1849. But at the outset of the telegraph era in 1846 no one could know this.

Meanwhile O’Relly went ahead with other projects. A line was constructed between Boston and New York; another was started to run west from Cincinnati to Pittsburg and Louisville. Often the difficulties seemed almost insuperable. ln one night a storm in New England produced 170 breaks in a stretch of 50 miles. The ambitious Irishman was in financial difliculties. His files for the winter of 1847 are full of duns and protested notes. He had to plead with Rochester merchants for more time for his grocery and clothing bills, and even to beg credit for a ton of coal for his home.

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There seems little doubt, moreover, that he had gone beyond his powers, as defined in his contract. In order to get his companies started he issued stock which, it was alleged, represented an interest in the patents themselves. His organization of separate companies was directly contrary to the desires of Kendall and of the patentees. In addition, F. O. J. Smith managed to persuade his associates virtually to hand over to him the control of the patent interests, and by this time Kendall, concluding that O’Reilly was not to be trusted, went over to the opposition. The patentees began to construct competing lines; they sought to close the lines they did construct to O’Reilly business. Though a temporary injunction restraining O’Reilly was denied them in 1847, they went ahead making more and more trouble for him. Efforts at compromises were blocked by the dominating personality of Smith. The struggle waxed hotter and hotter.

In the popular view O’Reilly was the hero of this bitter battle. He had had the vision to propose lower rates on telegraph service for newspapers than his rivals, and he also hit upon the sound principle of lower rates for quantity service. He was the gallant David directing his sling against the burly giant Goliath.

“The steed called lightning (says the Fate)
Is owned in the United States.
‘Twas Franklin that caught the horse.
‘Twas harnessed by Professor Morse.
With Kendall’s rein the steed went shyly,
Till tamed and broke by H. O’Reilly.”

So chanted the friends of the fighting Irishman.

But unfortunately O’Reilly never knew when to stop. There might have been some color of right in his activities in the region north of the Ohio, There could be none whatever when he sought to construct lines south of the river, and he knew it. In order to make his case stronger in this region, he bought the patents to a telegraphic instrument described as the Columbian, and that has been described by Alvin F. Harlow as the “most absurd imitation and infringement of the Morse system that supposedly sane men ever tried to get away with.” The only excuse that can be given for him is that he was so ignorant of mechanisms as not to realize how bald a fraud this was. But naturally the Morse interests rook advantage of the situation. In

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1848 the District Court declared against 0’Reilly. His instrument was declared to be an infringement of the Morse patent. Of course O’Reilly appealed. But the years of litigation that followed naturally did not help his financial situation. And in 1855, the Supreme Court, in a decision rendered by Chief Justice Taney, dealt the interests which O’Reilly represented what was virtually a death blow. After this time the ebullient Irishman appears only infrequently in connection with the history of the telegraph. Some of the lines which he had built virtually disintegrated; others were developed by other men into powerful agencies of communication. But none owed anything of their further growth to him. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that he had strayed into fields in which his talents were not conspicuous, and, indeed, in the years that followed, he was to be a rather pathetic figure, never attaining success, from time to time seeking once again to capitalize his talent for popular controversy, and for popular causes,but rarely doing so with any profit to himself.

It is curious that O’Reilly, in this decade of the fifties, never took any important part, so far as can be discovered, in the slavery controversy. The probable explanation lies in his close affiliations with the Democratic party. One might have thought that such an issue as this would decidedly appeal to him. But O’Reilly was a partisan Democrat, and it may well be that he hesitated to cut loose from his old associations. At any rate, at no time does he appear as a militant foe of the extension of slavery, let alone of the “peculiar institution” itself, and his migration, as a chronic officeseeker, from the Democratic into the Republican party was not successfully effected until somewhere around 1869.

Years of Discouragement

In the intermediate years between 1853 and 1869 he interested himself in a number of unsuccessful ventures. He started a project for the improvement of the Des Moines River, in Iowa. But before lung he fell to quarreling with his associates, was kicked out of the company which he had helped to form, and had to content himself with the meager satisfaction of exposing some of its irregularities before the lowa legislature. In 1859, returning to New York, he engaged in a more congenial and more successful battle, a battle to pro-

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tect the canals of New York State against the hostility of the railroads. But the victory which he won in a campaign for the further enlargement of the canals left him once more without employment. Two years later we find him president of a concern called the American Terracultor Company, located in Rochester. This company was organized to manufacture a machine which would supplant the plow, and which, instead of turning the soil, dug up the ground and pulverized it by means of forks attached to endless chains, cutting a strip of land forty inches in width and ten inches in depth. But matters did not go smoothly here, either, and in addition the period of his connection with the terraculror was saddened by the death of his son at the battle of Williamsburg. In 1863 we find him acting as Secretary of an Association for promoting Colored Volunteering, and acting in conjunction with Peter Cooper to see to it that such volunteers would be authorized and credited to the quota of New York State. In 1867 we find him once more attacking his old foe, the railroads, and becoming Secretary of the National Anti-Monopoly Cheap Freight Railway League, which had as its fantastic object the construction of railway lines which should be open to free competition for the transportation of freight and passengers, but which is interesting as an early expression of the popular resentment against the growing power and arrogance of the railway systems of the country. On this project O’Reilly got exactly nowhere, and his own compensation in connection with it was so small that it did not meet his living expenses. During all this time, it would appear, he was constantly in debt, dependent often upon the generosity of his creditors.

In 1869, however, O’Reilly secured an appointment in the New York Customs House as store-keeper. This job, which could hardly have been particularly lucrative, he attempted to supplement by editorial work for one or another of the New York papers, forming a temporary connection with the World and with the Tribune. But his old flair for editorial writing seems to have deserted him, and he could give satisfaction neither to Manton Marble nor to Horace Greeley, the editors of the sheets in question. He was busy during this period with his Memoirs, and with the arrangement and collection of his historical papers; but the first of these two tasks he never completed.

In 1878, moreover, misfortune befell him. Rutherford B. Hayes, elected President in 1877, was one of the first Presidents to put into

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practise, and against strong opposition, the principles of civil service reform; and the Presidential axe was soon whetted for Alonzo B. Cornell, the Collector of the Port of New York, to whom O’Reilly had owed his appointment as store-keeper. Ar the age of 72, then, O’Reilly was removed from office. He continued to live in New York till 1884, when he returned once more to the scene of his youthful successes, the city of Rochester. There he died, in St. Mar’y’s Hospital on the 17th of August, 1886, and was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, the site for which he had been instrumental in selecting nearly fifty years before. He had, at one time, lapsed from the Catholic faith, but in these last years of his life he returned to it, and before his death received extreme unction, according to Catholic ritual. The career which we have thus been analyzing was certainly nor, from the worldly point of view, a successful one. O’Reilly was devoid of the qualities that make for achievement in the business world. He was improvident, rash and by no means easy to deal with. To the eye of the hyper-critical, he might well appear as one who had a professional interest in controversy, in stirring up trouble, in which he generally found himself brilliant and inextricably involved. But any such judgment would be not only partial, but far too severe. O’Reilly was a man of very generous impulses, of very substantial Capacities, and of some measure of successful achievement. In particular is this true of the period that he spent in Rochester. He identified himself during that period with a number of important causes, with the development of the Erie Canal, which (it must never be forgotten) played a fundamental role in the growth of the stare down to the Civil War, and on which the prosperity of this city depended, with the establishment of a great step forward in the system of public education,with the first feeble steps towards the maintenance of a public library, with the development of a newspaper which has had a continuous existence since 1826. On a larger scale his activities seem, in retrospect, to be futile and ill-judged. Perhaps they were. But here too it must not be forgotten that he was a popular hero to many Americans in the early part of the fifties, and that, crude as were his methods, and wrong as were many of his decisions, he expressed something that needed to be expressed in his opposition to unrestricted monopolistic control of an important industry. The remedy for such control was emphatically not the remedy that he envisaged. It was not competition, but

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regulation, that was finally to be judged necessary in the telegraph industry. But it would have been difficult for an American of his period to have foreseen this. After all, the era of regulation was to come after O’Reilly was in his grave. No one contends that here was a great man. But surely here was an interesting man, a man towards whom a charitable judgment is easy, a man whose generous impulses command respect, and whose life was not devoid of service to his fellows.

Biographical Note: This effort to present a full length picture of Henry O’Reilly in brief compass has been greatly facilitated by a master’s thesis written by Sister Miriam Monaghan at the Catholic University of America. A typed copy of her study, Henry O’Reilly: Journalist and Promoter of the Telegraph, has generously been made available by a gift to the Rochester Historical Society. In addition to his own published works, cited in the paper, the fat volume by James D. Reid, The Telegraph in America (Albany, 1878), and Carleton Mabee’s The American Leonardo: A Life of Samuel F. B. Morse (New York, 1943), have proved useful.

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It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

 

 

 

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Transcriptions: John P. Keefer; Biographical Annals of Franklin County

Transcriptions: John P. Keefer; Biographical Annals of Franklin County

The following is a transcription of the biographical data and ancestry of John P. Keefer from the Biographical Annals of Franklin County.

BIOGRAPHICAL ANNALS OF FRANKLIN COUNTY.

184

Biography of John P. Keefer
Biography of John P. Keefer

JOHN P. KEEFER. Few men of Franklin county have been more actively identified with the mercantile interests of Chambersburg than Mr. John P. Keefer, a leading dry goods merchant of this city, born in Guilford township, Sept. 7, 1833, a son of John (II) and Hannah (Price) Keefer, deceased, and grandson of Jacob Keefer (I).

  1.   JACOB KEEFER (who was among the very early settlers of Franklin county, was of German ancestry, and had the following family:1.   JACOB.
  1. CHRISTIAN.
  2. DANIEL.
  3. JOHN (II).
  4. CATHERINE married John Snively.
  5. NANCY married John Stauffer.

The old Keefer family was brought up in the faith of the German Baptist Brethren Church.

2.    JOHN KEEFER, father of John P. Keefer, was born ih Guilford township, in 1800, and spent his life farming in his native township. In 1827, he married Hannah Price, who was born, reared and educated at Waynesboro, and they became the parents of four children:

  1. ELIZABETH, deceased, married Franklin Reed.
  2. HENRY married Elizabeth Strickler, and both are deceased.
  3. JOHN P. (III).
  4. DANIEL, deceased.

3.    JOHN P. KEEFER was reared on his father’s homestead and attended the public schools until he was fifteen years of age, when he came to Chambersburg and entered the academy of this city, remaining one year. He then became clerk in a general merchandise store, owned by H. H. Hutz, and so continued until he was twenty-

185

one years of age. He was then made a partner, and the firm continued until after the war, when Mr. Keefer embarked in business for himself, since which time he has steadily grown in public favor, until he ranks among the leading merchants of Chambersburg. He enjoys the distinction of having been in business for forty-eight years, the longest term of any merchant here.

Mr. Keefer married Miss Rebecca Seibert of Chambersburg, daughter of Samuel and Agnes (Grove) Seibert, old settlers of Franklin county. Mr. and Mrs. Keefer became the parents of the following children:

  1. GEORGE G., of York, Pa., married Bertha Mumper, of York county, and they have three children: John, Samuel and Paul.
  2. ALICE married Dr. H. B. Creitzman, of Welsh Run, Pa., and they have one daughter: Mildred.
  3. CHARLES W. is assistant manager of his father’s dry goods business at Chambers-“bur g.
  4. MAURICE W., of Steelton, Pa., married Rose Stewart, and has one son: Stewart.
  5. ANNIE is at home.
  6. FLORENCE is at home.

In politics, Mr. Keefer is a sound Republican, and always supports the platform and candidates of his party, but has been too much occupied with his business affairs, to seek public office, although he is so popular in the city, that there is no doubt but that he could obtain almost any office within the gift of his fellow townsmen. In religious affiliations he is an earnest member of the Lutheran Church of Chambersburg, of which he has been deacon and trustee for many years. His fraternal associations have been of the most pleasant, he being an honored member of the I.O.O.F., and one of the most active supporters of that lodge.

Beginning many years ago, when commercial conditions were so essentially different from those of today, Mr. Keefer built up a business of which any man might well be proud; established a credit for his house that could not be shaken, and has gradually changed his policy to meet changed circumstances. Upon his books can be found names which were written there at the start, for once he gains a customer, it is seldom he loses him. Although he is somewhat advanced in years, Mr. Keefer is as energetic as ever, and superintends every detail of his large business, and ensures the same honorable treatment of all, which has been one of the leading characteristics of the house since its inception.

___________________

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

 

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Genealogy Mystery: Who were Christian W. Keefer’s parents?

Genealogy Mystery: Who were Christian W. Keefer’s parents?

Christian W. Keefer (Chester) is an important figure in one of the main branches of my husband’s and children’s ascendancy. He married Mary Ann Jacques and they eventually settled and raised a family in Dodge County, Wisconsin.

After numerous years of research, however, I’m still left scratching my head at the mystery of the identity of Christian W. Keefer’s parents.

As can be seen in the list of sources I’ve found and logged for Christian (below), you would think that at least one of them would provide some concrete information about his parentage and place of birth, but that turns out to not be the case.

Here’s what I know for sure:

Christian W. Keefer was born October 1, 1811 in Pennsylvania and his family originated from France.

Christian W. Keefer's parents.
Sources for Christian W. Keefer.

That’s it.

I originally took a mention of Philadelphia as Christian’s birthplace in a biography of his son Charles with a grain of salt. I do believe that people did and do tend to describe where they’ve come from by using the nearest, largest center that would be recognized outside the area. For example, although we live in Chilliwack, BC, Canada, we frequently say we’re located near Vancouver to those who are not from the area. Considering this possibility, I would not rule out any birth location in Pennsylvania.

I have considered the possibility that our Christian may be one of the Christians mentioned of the Keefer / Kiefer family in the “Biographical Annals of Franklin County”. I was able to systematically eliminate every Christian mentioned because they could not have been born on or near the birth date of our Christian (Chester), or they married into different families, etc.

Another  possibility I’ve been checking is that his father (and possibly mother as well), may have immigrated to the United States from Germany (or Switzerland), but I’ve been unable to find immigration or naturalization records that show such a connection.

However, the same biography previously mentioned states that he was of French origin.

Through all of my research over the years, every Keefer family is of Germanic origin – except one.

The only family that shows of French origin in the time period is (lo and behold!) actually living in Philadelphia and is that of Anthony and Sarah (Shillingford) Keefer.

At the time, his family was very young with only mention of one brother born in 1810 – Thomas. The earlier births of the children of Anthony and his wife Sarah are about one year apart, leaving a gap just where Christian’s would be.

Keefer, Anthony; family pedigree chart
Family pedigree chart of Anthony Keefer, showing Christian, as I’ve entered it in my database (see http://blythegenealogy.com).

I would love to find proof beyond that of coincidence and speculation of Christian W. Keefer’s parentage. I’d like nothing better than to continue further back in time and expand on this huge Keefer family

If you or anyone you know has any documentation, images, etc. of this Christian Keefer showing his parents and brothers and sisters (or parts thereof), I would dearly love to see them, or better yet, get copies.

Sources:

  1. Biographical Sketches of Old Settlers and Prominent People of Wisconsin: Vol. I (Waterloo, Wis., Huffman & Hyer, 1899); pdf file.
  2. State of Ohio, “Ohio, County Marriages, 1790-1950,” marriage, Family Search (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XZ82-6QV: accessed
  3. Death certificate; Charles Keefer;  Digital Folder No.: 4008297; Image No.: 1576; Film Number: 1674527; Certificate No.: cn 23384. (7 June 1933), Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947, State of Illinois; https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NQCW-SP5.
  4. FamilySearch.org, “Wisconsin Deaths and Burials, 1835-1968,” database, FamilySearch.org, FamilySearch.org (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XL3P-121: accessed ).
  5. Rootsweb, “Wisconsin Death Records,” database, Rootsweb, Rootsweb (http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~keffer/deaths/Wisconsin.htm: accessed ).
  6. Keefer, Christian W., Beaver Dam Argus, Beaver Dam, Dodge County, Wisconsin, , Obituary.
  7. Obituary of Mary Ann (Jaques) Keefer.
  8. 1880 US Federal Census, Elba, Dodge, Wisconsin, Beaver Dam, Dodge, Wisconsin, enumeration district (ED) Enumeration District: 004, Page: 47A, Year: 1880; Census Place: Beaver Dam, Dodge, Wisconsin; Roll: 1422; Family History Film: 1255422, Keefer Christian W.; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://blythegenealogy.com : Internet 13 July 2013).
  9. 1870 US Federal Census, Elba, Dodge, Wisconsin, year: 1870; census place: elba, dodge, wisconsin; roll: m593_1710; page: 165a; image: 338; family history library film: 553209, Elba, Dodge, Wisconsin, enumeration district (ED) Roll: M593_1710; Image: 337; Family History Library Film: 553209, Page: 164B, Roll: M593_1710; Image: 337; Family History Library Film: 553209, Keefer Christian W; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://blythegenealogy.com  : Internet 7 September 2013).
  10. 1860 US Federal Census, Elba, Dodge, Wisconsin, roll: m653_1405; page: 303; image: 308, Elba, Dodge, Wisconsin, Page: 303, Roll: M653_1405; Image: 308; Family History Library Film: 805405, Keefer Christian W.; dgs no.: 4298900; image no.: 0038; nara no.: m653, Ancestry.ca (http://blythegenealogy.com  : Internet 7 September 2013).
  11. 1850 US Federal Census, Elba, Dodge, Wisconsin, roll: m432_996;  image: 209, , Page: 104A, Roll: M432_996; Page: 104A; Image: 209, Keefer Christian W.; digital image, Family Search ((http://blythegenealogy.com  : Internet 7 September 2013).
  12. 1840 US Federal Census, Painesville, Lake, Ohio; digital image, Ancestry.ca, Ancestry.ca (http://blythegenealogy.com  : accessed ).
  13. 1830 US Federal Census, Antrim, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, age: 395; nara series: m19; roll number: 151; family history film: 0020625; digitalk image, Ancestry.com (http://blythegenealogy.com  : accessed ).
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My “Can’t Do Without” Genealogy Tools List

My “Can’t Do Without” Genealogy Tools List

Over the years I find myself returning to the same tools and sites to further my genealogy research. Some of them are not easily found and I thought it might be an idea to list them here for you. The two sites I use continually are FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com .

Below is a list of my favorite tools and research aides.

Google Genealogy Searches

  • Free Genealogy Search Help – Although linked in the Google Genealogy Search link page listed next, this is the one Google search tool I use most often – and therefore I’m listing the direct link here. It creates a series of searches using different groupings of keywords from the input boxes for given names, surnames, birth and death places.
  • Easy Google Genealogy Searcher (by Ancestor Search)
  • Several pre-set custom Google searches and Tools. This is especially valuable for those who are not familiar with the codes and conventions for custom searching in Google. Each tool lists valuable tips to get better results below its search window. These searches include:
  • Google Genealogy Search
  • Search for Genealogy Surname Website
  • Google Book Search – I especially love this one. I’ve found some of my most obscure, interesting and valuable information with this.
  • Google Blog Search
  • Google Newspaper Search
  • Google Search Within or Excluding a Genealogy Site
  • Search for Sites Similar To – Enter the url of a site you’d like to use as an example.
  • Search for Gedcom Files
  • Search US Newsgroups for Genealogy Queries
  • Search for Definitions of Genealogical Words
  • Google Calculator for Genealogy Uses
  • Search for Genealogy Images
  • Search by Location
  • Google Search for a US Street Map
  • Google Search by Language and Country
  • Google Translate Text
  • Translate a Genealogy Web Page
  • Google Search by Family Tree

Search Tools

  • GeneaSearch.com – Your Internet Genealogy Guide – Lists links, newsletters, publications, societies and free e-mail.
  • Genetic Genealogy – Search for and linking to DNA heritage.


Dates / Calculators / Generators


Indexes and Lists

Networking and People Search Tools

Atlases and Maps

 Reference Materials

Genealogical Photo Sharing Sites

 

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Transcription: Obituary for Alanson Adams

Transcription: Obituary for Alanson Adams

Transcription of an obituary for Alanson Adams.

Fond du Lac Daily Commonwealth, Page 4

Tuesday, April 26, 1881

Alanson Adams
Alanson Adams

Retrospective

The death of Mr. Alanson Adams of our city on the 23rd instant, is an event of more than ordinary interest.  Born in the year 1792, in the third year of Washington’s first term, his life covers nearly the whole period of our constitutional history.  We are fairly startled at the rapidity of our country’s development, as compared with other countries, when we contemplate its history being crowded into the lifetime of one man.  During this period the small circle of States bordering the Atlantic coast, few in population and impoverished by war, has been enlarged until it now engirdles the continent.  A great nation, ranking among the first in power, wealth and influence has been developed within this comparatively short space of time.  Human life can no longer be said to be short, if we measure it by the achievements comprehended within its.limits.

Mr. Adams is identified with the history of our country in one of the most endearing relations.  Every country venerates the memory of its soldiers.  Especially is this true of a republic, which must depend very largely on the valor and patriotism of its volunteer soldiers for defense. The deceased belongs to that noble band whom our nation delights to honor.  In early manhood, at the call of his country, he entered her service in the war of 1812.  He was in several engagements during this war, among which were the battles of Chippewa and Lundy’s Lane.  At the latter place he was wounded.  Thus another one of the few surviving heroes of this war has been laid away to that rest which no battle call, or shock —–will ever disturb.

But in still another and not less important cause was the deceased identified with the history and progress of our country.  He belonged in the class of pioneers peculiar to our country, and yet sometimes overlooked, and underestimated in making our estimates of the elements entering late American progress.  To this class of our population, essentially nomadic in its character, does our country owe very much of its greatness to-day.  By it has been laid the foundations of that grand super-structure of American nationality which has no parallel in history.  Reared in central Vermont he became identified with the early struggles of that State.  In 1818 he was married.  The union thus formed continued some fifty-four years.  In 1844 with his family, consisting of one son and two daughters, he removed to Ohio.  Here he remained until 1860, when he moved to Wisconsin, where he has since resided.  Since the death of his wife, some ten years ago, he has made his home with his son, E.D. Adams, of our city, where he died.

The deceased was a devoted Christian, having been a member of the Baptist church nearly sixty years.  He will be deeply mourned by the church to which he had endeared himself, and the circle of friends how knew him best.   The sympathies of its many friends are extended to the bereaved family, with the assurance that our loss is his gain.

___________________

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

 

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Pioneer Database at FamilyLink.com

Pioneer Database at FamilyLink.com

familylink.com

Check out the list of updated and/or added pioneer databases at FamilyLink.com for information about your ancestral pioneers.

  • Photos from Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah
  • Pioneer History Stories of the Mississippi Valley
  • Queensland [Australia] Early Pioneers Index 1824-1859
  • Pioneer Catholic History of Oregon
  • Historic Background and Annals of The Swiss and German Pioneer Settlers of Southeastern Pennsylvania
  • History of Custer County, Nebraska

A link to the search of the pioneer databases is below:

http://plus.familylink.com/contentview.aspx?cat=pioneer

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Brig. Gen. Evan Shelby Jr. of Tregaron, Wales

Brig. Gen. Evan Shelby Jr. of Tregaron, Wales

Brig. Gen. Evan Shelby Jr. of Tregaron, Wales.

Brig. Gen. Evan Shelby Jr., born in 1725 in Tregaron, Ceredigion, Wales to Evan (Dhu) Shelby (Selby) and his wife Catherine Morgan and was baptised in St. Caron’s church. This Evan Shelby’s birth is frequently confused with that of his earlier brother Evan, who was born in 1720 and died as an infant in 1721.

Tregaron, CeredigionEvan and his family immigrated to America from Tregaron, Wales in approximately 1735, when he was about ten years of age, and settled in what was later called Antrim Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania.

In 1739, they moved into Prince George’s (later Frederick) County, Maryland where his father died in July 1751.

Evan Jr. continued to reside in Maryland, near the North Mountain, Frederick County (now a part of Washington County) where he obtained by either deed or patent nearly 24,000 acres of land. He became interested in the Indian fur trade and was concerned in trading posts at Michilimackinac and Green Bay.

On February 26, 1745, Evan Jr. purchased property from his father, called “Maiden’s Choice” in Prince George County, Maryland.

Evan married Letitia (Leddy) Cox (Coxe) on December 4, 1745 at Kings Meadow. They had seven children: Rachel, born 1745; Susannah, born 1746; John, born 1748; Governor Isaac Shelby, born 1750; James, born 1752; Catherine, born 1755; Major Evan Shelby III, born 1757; and Moses, born 1761.

In his publication “The Birthplace and Childhood Home of Isaac Shelby in Washington County, Maryland”, 1972, Gerald J Sword describes how  Evan and Letitia Shelby lost the fight for their land (part of “Maidens Choice”) to Dr Charles Carroll. It’s not clear who aptly renamed the land to “Shelby’s Misfortune”.

Mr. Sword states:

“…The reason for Letitia to appear in court was to answer charges that she instructed their ‘Dutch servant man’ to cut down and burn the tree marking the beginning point of this land.

In June 1754, Shelby gave a recognizance of 6,000 lbs of tobacco for the appearance of his wife to answer the charges against her in the Frederick Co. Court. The case was continued from time to time until the June court of 1758:

“A suit on behalf of the Lord Proprietary vs Letitia Shelby for destroying a bound tree for a tract of land belonging to Dr Carroll, when it was ‘maked struck off after 15 continuances…”

Evan’s great skill as a hunter and woodsman led to his appointment as Captain of a company of Rangers in the French and Indian War, during which year he made several successful expeditions into the Allegheny Mountains.

He fought many battles in what is called Braddock’s War and was noted for his performance in the battle fought at Loyal Hanning, now Bedford, Pennsylvania.

During the French and Indian War, Evan participated in General Edward Braddock’s campaign in 1755 and laid out part of the road from Fort Frederick to Fort Cumberland. He led the advance of the army under General Forbes, which took possession of Fort Du Quesne in 1758.

Having served as First Lieutenant in Captain Alexander Beall’s company 1757 to 1768, he was commissioned by Governor Sharpe of Maryland as Captain of a company of rangers, and also held a commission as Captain under the government of Pennsylvania. He was in the advance party of the force under General John Forbes, which took possession of Fort Duquesne in 1758, and crossed the Ohio River with more than half his company of scouts, making a daring reconnaissance of the fort.

On November 12, 1758, near Loyalhanna, he is said to have slain with his own hand one of the principal Indian chiefs.

In the same war, he served later as Major of a detachment of the Virginia regiment.

For several years after the conflict, Evan was a Justice of the Peace.

In May 1762, he was chosen one of the Managers for Maryland of the Potomac Company. He sustained heavy losses in the Indian trade from the ravages growing out of Pontiac’s Conspiracy of 1763, and most of his property in Maryland was subjected to sale for the satisfaction of his debts.

Hoping to better his fortune he moved, probably in 1773, to Fincastle County in southwest Virginia, where he engaged in farming, merchandising, and cattle ranching. He again became a prosperous landowner and influential frontier leader.

In 1774, he commanded the Fincastle Company in Dunmore’s War, and in the battle of Point Pleasant, October 10, 1774, he succeeded near the close of the action to the chief command as a result of the death or disability of his superior officers and he utterly routed the enemy.

His son, Isaac, served under his command as his Lieutenant in the Battle of Point Pleasant, which he was instrumental in winning. Isaac commanded the fort there until July, 1775, when his troops were disbanded by Lord Dunmore.

After returning to Kentucky due to failing health, he became involved in the Battle of Long Island Flats. At the first onset of the Indians, the American lines were broken, and then Shelby, present only as a volunteer Private, seized the command, reformed the troops, and defeated the Indians, with the loss of only two badly wounded men.

This battle, and John Sevier’s defence of Watauga, frustrated the rear attack by which the British hoped to envelop and crush the southern colonies.

In 1776, he was appointed by Governor Patrick Henry of Virginia a Major in the troops commanded by Colonel William Christian against the Cherokees, and on December 21, he became Colonel of the militia of the County of Washington, of which he was also a magistrate.

In 1777, he was entrusted with the command of sundry garrisons posted on the frontier of Virginia, and in association with Preston and Christian, negotiated a treaty with the Cherokees.

When Sevier, in 1779, projected the expedition that captured the British stores at Chickamauga, Shelby equipped and supplied the troops by the pledge of his individual credit. In this year he was commissioned a Major by Governor Thomas Jefferson, but, when the state line was run, his residence was found to be in North Carolina. He then resigned his commission, but was at once appointed Colonel of Sullivan County by Caswell.

He was in Kentucky, perfecting his title to lands he had selected on his previous visit, when he heard of the fall of Charleston and the desperate situation of affairs in the southern colonies. He at once returned to engage in active service and, crossing the mountains into South Carolina in July, 1780, he won victories over the British at Thicketty Fort, Cedar Springs, and Musgrove’s Mill. But, as the disastrous defeat at Camden occurred just before the last engagement, he was obliged to retreat across the Alleghanies. There he undertook with John Sevier the remarkable expedition which resulted in the Battle of King’s Mountain and turned the tide of the revolution. For this important service he and Sevier received the thanks of the North Carolina legislature, and the vote of a sword and a pair of pistols.

As a result of the new boundary line between Virginia and North Carolina, it was discovered that his residence was in North Carolina, and in 1781, he was elected a member of its Senate. Five years later, the Carolina Assembly made him Brigadier General of the militia of the Washington District of North Carolina, the first officer of that grade on the “Western Waters”.

In March 1787, as commissioner for North Carolina, he negotiated a temporary truce with Col. John Sevier, Governor of the insurgent and short-lived “State of Franklin”.

In August 1787, he was elected Governor of the “State of Franklin” to succeed Sevier but declined. Having resigned his post as Brigadier General on October 29,1787, he withdrew from public life.

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Transcription: W. D. Matthews’ Spanish American War letter home.

Transcription: W. D. Matthews’ Spanish American War letter home.

This newspaper article provides a revealing glimpse into the life of an American soldier during the Spanish American War in Puerto Rico.

 

William Dennis Matthews

Featured image: Companies I and E, Sixth Regt., Illinois Volunteer Infantry from Whiteside County while serving as volunteers in the Porto Rican campaign during the Spanish-American war of 1898.

 

This is W. D. Matthews’ (my childrens’ 2nd great grandfather) Spanish American War letter home during his service in Puerto Rico.

W. D. Matthews served as a Private in Co. “E,” 1st Infantry Illinois Volunteers, and later transferred to Co. “A” Prov. Engr. Corps.

After his military service and graduation, he was a Fire Inspector and Insurance Underwriter in Chicago, Illinois and was ultimately instrumental in drafting and updating national fire regulations.

 

The transcription follows:

 

Newspaper article of W. D. Matthews
Newspaper article: print of a letter of W. D. Matthews during his service.

ACROSS THE ISLAND
______

WILL MATTHEWS MARCHES OVER PORTO RICO
______
Says the Natives Were Delighted to Hear That Peace Had Been Proclaimed — Loaned the Soldiers Their Horses and Walked — Snap Shots.

Mrs. E. D. Matthews of Ely, has just received the following letter from her son, W. D. Matthews, whose previous letters from Cuba and Porto Rico have appeared in the Gazette. He hopes to return home within a few weeks and resume his studies at Armour Institute, from which he will graduate in electrical engineering in 1899:

Ponce, Porto Rico, Sunday, Aug. 21 — Dear Folks: Your letter came to hand last night and found me enjoying good health. Just got back last Wednesday from a trip across the island to Aricebo, on the north coast; was gone eleven days; marched 125 miles and saw some grand scenery. The natives along the road treated us fine. We were about fifteen miles ahead of all our outposts, but saw no Spaniards. While at Utuado we heard that peace had been declared and saw the cavalry going out under a flag of truce, carrying the proclamation to Spanish soldiers in the mountains. There was a great demonstration by the natives when they heard about it.

They are very thrifty and take a great deal of stock in the soldiers. Two natives followed us clear across the island and back again and about twenty-five of them followed us for the first two days, carrying our guns and luggage; some of them had horses along, and let the boys ride them, walking themselves.

We have been working hard since we struck the island. This is the first day that I have had off. There was a whole regiment of engineers come in from New York the other day, so I think that we will have things a little easier now. Haven’t any idea of when we are going to be sent back, but hope that it won’t be long now. The First regiment is in New York now.
I will probably lose about a month of school, but that will be all.

Ponce is a flourishing little town of about 25,000. It has electric lights, one narrow guage railroad and an ice plant. Window glass is rarely seen, even in the finest houses. The kids go stark naken until they get to be about 4 years old. The women (except the negresses) all use plenty of face powder, but otherwise dress very neatly, using few ornaments. Eggs cost 8 cents apiece in cafes; buter they don’t have; goat cheese costs 20 cents a pound. We are all broke, but we are able to trade hard tack for stuff to eat, such as bananas, cocoanuts, candy, etc.

Well, I must close.

With love,

W. D. M.
Ponce, Porto Rico

____________________

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

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Dame Emma Albani (Emma Marie Louise Cécile Lajeunesse) of Chambly, Québec

Dame Emma Albani (Emma Marie Louise Cécile Lajeunesse) of Chambly, Québec

Emma Marie Louise Cécile Lajeunesse (known professionally as Dame Emma Albani), was a world-renowned soprano for most of the 19th century and into the early 20th century.

 

Featured image: Dame Emma Albini (4th cousin 3 times removed) on her tours of Europe and North America, where she sang for Queen Victoria, Kaiser Wilhelm I and Csar Nicholas.

 

Emma Marie Louise Cécile Lajeunesse (Dame Emma Albini) at five
Emma Marie Louise Cécile Lajeunesse (Dame Emma Albini) at five years of age in about 1852.

She was also a harpist, pianist and teacher. Her birth date is commonly believed to be November 1, 1847 , although some believe she was born in 1848 or 1850. Emma was my fifth cousin, twice removed, as she was the fourth great granddaughter of my 7th great grandfather, Jean Jacques Labelle (1682-1748) of Île Jésus (Laval), Québec, Canada.

Chambly, Quebec
Emma’s birthplace, Chambly, Quebec.

In her own memoirs, Emma states her birth was in 1852 in Chambly, Québec, Canada to Joseph Lajeunesse (1818-1904) and Mélina Rachel Mélanie Mignault ( -1856).

Emma was the first Canadian singer to become internationally known and sought after. She performed operas composed by Bellini, Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti and later, Wagner. Her audiences included such luminaries as Queen Victoria, Csar Alexander II, and Kaiser Wilhelm I.

Emma Lajeunesse’s parents, both musicians, recognized their daughter’s wonderful talent very early. Although she studied first with her mother, her father took over her tr

Royal autographs.
Autograph of Queen Victoria and other royals from Dame Emma Albani’s autograph book.

aining when she turned five. He was a great musician in his own right and was skilled with the harp, violin, organ and piano. Her practice schedule was very busy and strict, in which she dedicated up to four hours a day. In 1856, shortly after his wife died, Joseph Lajeunesse was hired to teach music at the Religious of the Sacred Heart Convent in Sault-au-Récollet (Montréal), where Emma and her sister Cornélia (nickname Nellie) were boarders.

Emma attended from 1858 to 1865, and her talent was evident to the convent’s nuns, who were forced to bar her from the convent’s musical competitions so other children had a chance of winning.

At eight years old, Emma performed her first concert on September 15, 1856 at the Mechanics’ Institute in Montreal. The critics were amazed, and recognized her as a prodigy. She also sang in Chambly, Saint-Jean (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu), L’Assomption, Sorel, Industrie (Joliette), and Terrebonne, all in Québec.

Dame Emma Albani
Dame Dame Emma Albani in costume for her role as Amina.

Unable to finance a musical education in Quebec, where singing and acting were considered unsavory careers for a woman, Joseph Lajeunesse attempted to raise sufficient money to send her to study in Paris.

In 1865, Emma’s family moved to Albany, New York, stopping at several towns, including Saratoga Springs and Johnstown, where Emma and her sister performed. She became a popular singer in New York, and managed to save enough money for her studies.

Emma Albani in costume for Violetta
Dame Emma Albani in costume for Violetta.

In Albany, Emma was hired as soloist for the parish church of St Joseph, where she worked three years singing, playing the organ, and directing the choir. She also worked at composing scores, as well as musical pieces for harp, solo piano and two pianos.

With her father’s savings and financial assistance from well-wishers and parishioners, Emma was able to go to Paris to study at the ‘Paris Conservatoire’ with Gilbert-Louis Duprez, the famous French tenor. Not long after her lessons with him began, Duprez was heard to say about Emma, “She has a beautiful voice and ardor. She is of the kind of wood from which fine flutes are made.”

At the suggestion of her elocution instructor, Signor Delorenzi, she changed her name to the simpler Emma Albani, which sounded more European and happened to be a very old Italian family name. The closeness in sound of her new surname and ‘Albany’ in New York pleased her, as she had been treated so well there.

Emma continued to study in Milan, Italy for a year and with the assistance of eminent voice teacher Francesco Lamperti, she learned solid technique and, along with her rigid discipline, was able to maintain good vocal health. These techniques enabled her to perform a range of roles from light to dramatic.

Emma Albani in 1899.
Dame Emma Albani in 1899.

Emma’s funds diminished, and although she was not yet finished her training, she began to look for work during the 1869-70 season to help support her schooling. She found a position in Messina, and her operatic debut was on March 30, 1870, playing Amina in Vincenzo Bellini’s La Sonnambula. Her debut performance was very well received and she later stated, “I was literally loaded with flowers, presents, and poetry, the detached sheets of which were sent fluttering down in every direction on the heads of the audience; and among the numberless bouquets of every shape was a basket in which was concealed a live dove. They had painted it red, and the dear little bird rose and flew all over the theater.”

From the time of her debut in Messina, she realized that to portray historical characters, it was not enough to sing well and made a point of visiting museums and reading extensively.

She returned to Milan after her contract in Messina had expired and resumed her instruction with Lamperti. Meanwhile, more work offers began to pour in, including a role she accepted in Rigoletto, which was being performed in Cento. Other roles followed in Florence and Malta, with parts in Lucia di Lammermoor, Robert il Diavolo, La Sonnambula, Il Barbiere di Siviglia and L’Africaine.

After performing in Malta in the winter of 1870 to 1871, she auditioned for Frederick Gye, manager of Covent Garden in London. He was so impressed with her abilities, he signed her to a five-year contract. Before her London contract was to start, she returned to Italy to complete her studies with Lamperti.

Albani arrived in London in the spring of 1872 and her first performance under her contract was on April 2, 1872 at the Royal Italian Opera (the name taken in 1847 by Covent Garden in London) and was a great success. She was the first Canadian woman to perform in this opera house and would perform there until 1896.

Emma continued to perform in various roles and venues throughout Europe, Russia and the United States over the next five seasons. Her performances included that of Ophelia in Hamlet and the Countess in ‘The Marriage of Figaro’.

Queen Victoria later requested a private performance from Albani, who traveled to Windsor Palace in July, 1874 to perform “Caro Nome” from Rigoletto, “Ave Maria”, “Robin Adair”, and “Home, Sweet Home”. This was the first of many occasions on which Albani would perform for monarchs and other dignitaries, but it was also the beginning of a friendship and the two women would visit each other regularly until Queen Victoria died in 1901. Albani would also sing at the funeral of Queen Victoria.

Letter from Queen Victoria to Dame Emma Albani.
Letter from Queen Victoria to Dame Emma Albani.

Emma Albani toured the United States in the fall of 1874, visiting Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Baltimore, Washington, Chicago and Albany.
In November 1874, Emma went on tour in the United States, where she performed her first role in a Wagner opera as Elsa in “Lohengrin” at New York’s Academy of Music. Her repertoire grew over the years.

After 1876, Emma’s sister Cornélia was always by her side. Cornélia was also a talented pianist and had studied in Germany, later teaching music to the children of the royal family of Spain. Cornélia worked her entire life as Emma’s accompanist and companion, dying soon after Emma.

Mr. Frederick Gye
Mr. Frederick Gye, father of Emma’s husband Ernest Gye.

Emma married Ernest Gye on August 6, 1878. He was the son of the director of the Royal Italian Opera and after his father died in an accident, he took over the position from 1878 to 1885. Their son, Ernest Frederick was born June 4, 1879, became a prominent diplomat and would die in London in 1955.

In 1880, as a result of playing Lucia in “Lucia di Lammermoor” and Gilda in “Rigoletto” at La Scala in Milan, Italy, Emma suffered a setback. The audience was already hostile to non-Italian singers in this theater, but she was not in very good voice, resulting in being unable to impress her listeners. Despite this, her career continued to grow since she performed in cities she had not previously visited.

Caricature from Punch, 17 September 1881: "MADAME ALBANI. A Thing of Beauty is a Gye for ever!"
Caricature from Punch, 17 September 1881: “MADAME ALBANI. A Thing of Beauty is a Gye for ever!”

In 1883, Emma and another singer, Adelina Patti, undertook a long tour in the United States, visiting Chicago, Baltimore, New York and Washington. She also gave three recitals in Montréal, for which appearance more than ten thousand people showed up to greet her, and poet Louis-Honoré Fréchette composed a poem in her honor which he read at a reception.

She remained attached to Canada and toured nine times to perform recitals from 1883 to 1906, traveling from one coast to the other. In1890 Emma performed in two complete operas at the Academy of Music in Montréal, Verdi’s “La Traviata” and “Lucia di Lammermoor”. Albani was always generous to charitable organizations and she supported and performed in a benefit concert in Montréal for Notre-Dame Hospital.

Albani became the first French Canadian woman to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York on November 23, 1891 in “Les Huguenots”. That winter, she was in several other productions at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Albani retired from the Covent Gardens opera, and her final stage performance taking place in July 1896 at the Royal Opera House. To accommodate the changing tastes of the theater’s directors and the public, Emma had to show great flexibility and perform diverse roles. Emma received the royal Philharmonic Society’s gold medal or the “Beethoven Medal” in 1897.

Letter from Dame Emma Albani
Letter from Dame Emma Albani from her memoir titled “Forty Years of Song”.

Although retired, she still sang in recitals and in 1901 she traveled across Canada, traveling from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Vancouver, British Columbia. She then continued to go on tour in Australia (1898, 1907), South Africa (1898, 1899, 1904), Ceylon (Sri Lanka) (1907), New Zealand (1907) and India (1907). In 1906 she made her farewell Canadian tour. During this period she is said to have recorded nine titles (audio of one follows article) and some have since been remastered and are available today. Her ‘post-retirement’ career came to an end on October 14, 1911 when she gave her last public performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London. That same year she released a book a book of her memoirs, “Forty Years of Song”.

She and her husband retired to Kensington where Emma’s last years were troubled by financial difficulties necessitating that she teach and occasionally perform in music halls. Her circumstances resulted from the war and poor investments, and in concern the British government voted her an annual pension of £100. Word of her difficulties reached Montréal, where “La Presse” sponsored a recital on May 28, 1925 in the Théâtre Saint-Denis. More than $4,000 was collected. Assistance was also sought from the Canadian and Quebec governments, who declined, stating that Albani had become more of a British subject than a Canadian citizen since she had resided in London since 1872).

Postage stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dame Emma's death.
Postage stamp issued by Canada Post in 1980 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dame Emma Albani’s death.

Dame Emma Albani died on April 3, 1930 at her home on Tregunter Road, Kensington, in London and was buried at Brompton, London, England.

During her lifetime, she received many awards, including the gold Beethoven Medal (given by the Royal Philharmonic Society of London) and the Medal of Honour commemorating Queen Victoria’s jubilee in 1897. In 1925 she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Of two streets that were named after Emma Albani in Montréal, the first was dedicated in the 1930s, but was later removed when the road was merged with another street, and the second was named Rue Albani in 1969.

Other honors included a postage stamp issued by Canada Post and designed by artist Huntley Brown. It was released July 4, 1980 and eleven million, seven hundred thousand copies of the stamp were printed. She is also immortalized in a stained glass mural at Montréal’s Place des Arts station.

Photo credits:

Wikipedia – Dame Emma Albani, online [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma_Albani].

Sources:

  1. “Forty Years of Song,” by Emma Albani; Project Gutenberg Canada website; [http://www.gutenberg.ca/ebooks/albani-forty/albani-forty-00-h-dir/albani-forty-00-h.html]
  2. Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online [http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=7930]
  3. Les Labelles, Daniel Labelle online [http:www.leslabelle.org]
  4. Wikipedia – Dame Emma Albani, online [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma_Albani].
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Transcription: Land Certificate of Christian W. Keefer

Transcription: Land Certificate of Christian W. Keefer

Land Certificate No. 17693 of Christian W. Keefer.

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Certificate No. 17693

To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting: Whereas Christian W. Keefer, of Lake County, Ohio has deposited in the GENERAL LAND OFFICE of the United States, a Certificate of the REGISTER OF THE LAND OFFICE at Milwaukee whereby it appears that payment has been made by the said Christian W. Keefer according to the provisions of the Act of Congress of the 24th of April, 1820, entitled “An Act making further provision for the sale of the Public Lands,” for the East half of the North East quarter of Section Fourteen, in Township Ten, North of Range Thirteen East, in the District of Lands subject to sale at Milwaukee, Wisconsin Territory, containing Eighty Acres according to the official plat of the survey of the said Lands, returned to the General Land Office by the SURVEYOR GENERAL, which said tract has been purchased by the said Christian W. Keefer.

NOW KNOW YE, That the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in consideration of the Premises, and in conformity with the several acts of Congress, in such case made and provided, HAVE GIVEN AND GRANTED, and by these presents DO GIVE AND GRANT, unto the said Christian W. Keefer and to his heirs, the said tract above described: TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the same, together with all the rights, privileges, immunities, and appurtenances of whatsoever nature, thereunto belonging, unto said Christian W. Keefer and to his heirs and assigns forever.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I, James K. Polk, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, have caused these Letters to be made PATENT, and the SEAL of the GENERAL LAND OFFICE to be hereunto affixed. GIVEN under my hand, at the CITY OF WASHINGTON, the first day of March in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty eight and of the INDEPENDENCE OF THE UNITED STATES the seventy-second

BY THE PRESIDENT: James K. Polk.

By J. K. Stephen, Apt Sec’y.

S. H. Laughlin, RECORDER of the General Land Office.

Keefer, Christian; Land Certificate #17693
Keefer, Christian; Land Certificate #17693

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In Remembrance.

In Remembrance.

 

Being from a dedicated military family, this is a somber time of year for us, in remembrance of those in our families who have served, or worse yet, who we lost during military service.

 

The relationships to our children, Erin and Stuart, are in italics following the excerpt.


Remembering those we lost in battle:

 

Coon, David 1843

  • Elisha Cadwallader (1840-1862) – Civil War (4th cousin, 7x removed)
  • Private Joseph Turmaine (1889-1916) – First World War(great granduncle)
    • The 27th Battalion, Winnipeg Regiment left at 2 pm, September 14, 1916 for brigade headquarters, arriving at 5 pm. They then left brigade headquarters at 9 pm and proceeded to the front line to take up position in assembly trenches, which was delayed due to congestion of the trenches…

 

Pte Joseph Philias Albert Emery


Veterans in our family who later passed away:

 

 

Cadwalader, General John Cadwalader (Revolutionary War)

  • General John Cadwalader (1742-1785) – Revolutionary War (3rd cousin, 11x removed)
  • Nathan “Hoppity-Kickity” Porter (1742-1815) – French and Indian War (7th great grandfather)

 

Portrait of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky.

  • Governor Isaac Shelby (1750-1826) – Revolutionary War, War of 1812 (1st cousin, 8x removed)
    • With a sword presented to him by Henry Clay as voted by the legislature of North Carolina for his gallantry at King’s Mountain 32 years before, Shelby assembled and personally led 4,000 Kentucky volunteers to join General Harrison in the Northwest for the invasion of Canada
  • Private John Jaquish (1753-1845) – War of 1812 (6th great grandfather)
  • Quartermaster Joseph Shelby (1787-1846) – Indian Wars (5th great grandfather)
  • James Shreve (rank unknown) (1754-1839) – War of 1812 (6th great grandfather)

 

Cadwalader, Gen. Thomas.jpg

  • General Thomas Cadwalader (1779-1841) – War of 1812. (3rd cousin 10x removed)

 

Jaques, William H

  • William Henry Jaques (1820-1913) – Civil War (4th great granduncle)
  • Laurent Jude Melanson (1820-1914) – Fenian Raids (3rd great grandfather)
  • Alfred E. Melanson (c. 1847-?) – Fenian Raids (2nd great granduncle)
  • Private Robinson Coke “Boby” Jones (1822-1897) – Mexican War (4th great grandfather)
  • Private William Seth Cadwallader (1825-    ) – Civil War (4th cousin, 7x removed)
  • John Mumby Blythe (1831-    ) – Civil War (3rd great granduncle)
  • Private Francis Elmer Keefer (1839-1863) – Civil War (3rd great granduncle)
  • Charles George Blythe (1840-1914) – Civil War(3rd great grandfather)
    • …his descendants remained in the Louth and Somercotes areas of Lincolnshire until the emigration of his great grandson Thomas Blyth and Thomas’  sons Charles George (3rd great grandfather to Erin and Stuart), John Mumby and Robert to America…

 

Keefer, Lenard Scott 2 (maybe) proof needed

  • Leonard Scott Keefer (1841-1916) – Civil War (3rd great granduncle)

 

Wedding of Elam Dennis Matthews St.

  • William Dennis Matthews (1875-1940) – Spanish American War(2nd great grandfather)
    • Bip, Fred, White and I went down to the armory this evening The Governor’s (Tanner) order, for all Illinois regiments to move to Springfield was read and great applause followed. Came home about 9 o’clock and packed up my belongings…
  • Clayton William Blythe (1883-1943) – First World War (2nd great grandfather)
    • The following men, registered with Selective Service Local Board No. 1, are classified as suspected delinquents. Any person whose name appears upon the list should report immediately to this board, for correction of records.
  • Wesley Elmer Blythe (1890-1977) – First World War (2nd great granduncle)
  • Hervé “Hervey” Turmel (1894-    ) – First World War (4th cousin, 3x removed)

 

Luther Gummeson

  • Private Luther Gummeson (1895-1934) – First World War (great granduncle)
    • Before enlisting for military service on December 10, 1917, he was a Lutheran and a farmer in Vancouver, BC. Rumour had it that his early death was attributed to being gassed during WWI. Before his death, Luther was living in the Peace River area…
  • Joseph Antonio Tumel (1896-    ) – First World War (2nd cousin, 4x removed)
  • Alfred Turmel (1896-    ) – First World War (2nd cousin, 4x removed)
  • Chester C. Blythe (1908-1995) – General Service (great grandfather)
  • Doyle Clement Cadwallader (1925-1944) (6th cousin, 5x removed)
    • “In the midst of life we are in death.
      In the moment that ye think not,
      In the twinkling of an eye,
      The Angel of Death may appear.”
    • The foregoing quotation seems to me very fitting for Doyle Clement Cadwallader, whose death was caused by an automobile accident while he was returning home on September 30, 1944…

 

Dad, c. 1955.


Veterans in our family who are still living:

 

Marsh-at-Night-at-Cabin-Small.jpg

 

Mark and I with my Mom and Dad at our wedding.

 

For more facts and dates about the above mentioned individuals, check out our family’s extensive genealogy database linked in the menu bar above.

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Transcription – Death Certificate for Mary Hickman of Montgomery, Ohio

Transcription – Death Certificate for Mary Hickman of Montgomery, Ohio

Transcription – Death  Certificate for Mary Hickman of Montgomery, Ohio.

 

Death Certificate of Mary A. Hickman
Death Certificate of Mary A. Hickman

STATE  OF OHIO
BUREAU OF VITAL STATISTICS
CERTIFICATE OF DEATH

___________________
1  PLACE OF DEATH
County   Montgomery     Registration District  No.  902     File No. _________________
Township  Clay     Primary Registration District  No. 5370     Registered No.  33055
or Village  _________________________     No.  ____, ________________St., ______ Ward
(If death in a hospital or institution, give its NAME instead of street and number)
or City of  __________________________
2  FULL NAME  Mary Hickman
(a)  Residence.     No.  ______________________St., ______ Ward. _________________
(Usual place of abode.)                              (If nonresident give city or town and State)
How long in U.S. if of foreign birth?            yrs.            mos.            ds.

——  PERSONAL AND STATISTICAL PARTICULARS ——

____________________________________________________________________________
3  SEX      |      4  COLOR OR RACE      | 5  Single, Married, Widowed or Divorced (write the word)
Female |          White                            |     Widowed
____________________________________________________________________________
5a   If married, widowed or divorced, HUSBAND of (or) WIFE of  John Hickman
____________________________________________________________________________
6  DATE  OF BIRTH  (month, day, and year)  Dec-30-1839
____________________________________________________________________________
7  AGE            Years  83    | Months  X    | Days    X    | If LESS than 1 day ___ hrs. or ___ min.
___________________________________________________________________________________
8  OCCUPATION OF DECEASED
(a) Trade, profession, or particular kind of work  Housewife        (Handwritten notation: 74a)
(b) General nature of Industry, business, or establishment in which employed (or employer)  X
(c) Name of Employer  X
___________________________________________________________________________________
9  BIRTHPLACE (city or town)  Stringtown, Ohiio
(State or country)  Montgomery Co
___________________________________________________________________________________
|  10  NAME OF  FATHER  ­ Isaac Burkett
|  11  BIRTHPLACE OF FATHER (city or town)              (State or country)  North Carolina  
|  12  MAIDEN NAME OF MOTHER  Katharina Burkett
|  13  BIRTHPLACE OF MOTHER (city or town)              (State or country)  Not Known
___________________________________________________________________________________
14  Informant    Joseph Stick
(Address)     RR #2 Brookville O
___________________________________________________________________________________
15  Filed   Dec. 31, 1922        Jos E Smith   REGISTRAR
___________________________________________________________________________________

——  MEDICAL CERTIFICATE OF DEATH ——

___________________________________________________________________________________
16  DATE OF DEATH  (month, day and year)  12-30-1922
___________________________________________________________________________________
17                     I HEREBY CERTIFY, That I attended deceased from July, 1922, to Dec. 30, 1922, that I last saw her alive on Dec. 30, 1922, and that death occurred, on the date, stated above, at 2 P.m.
The CAUSE OF DEATH* was as follows:
Cerebral hemorrhage (second attack. 1st in July, 1922)
_______________    _______________ (duration)  ____ yrs.  ­­­­____ mos.  ____ ds.
CONTRIBUTORY (Secondary) ____________________________________________________________
_______________    _______________ (duration)  ____ yrs.  ­­­­____ mos.  ____ ds.
18  Where was disease contracted if not at place of death? _______________    ______________
Did an operation precede death? _______________    ___________  Date of
Was there an autopsy? _______________    ______________
What test confirmed diagnosis? _______________    ______________
(Signed) __________________J. H. Pumphrey_________________, M. D.
___12-31-,1922__  (Address)      Clayton, O.

*State the DISEASE CAUSING DEATH, or in deaths from VIOLENT CAUSES, state (1) MEANS AND NATURE OF INJURY, and (2) whether ACCIDENTAL, SUICIDAL OR HOMICIDAL.   (See reverse side for additional space.)
___________________________________________________________________________________
19  PLACE OF BURIAL, CREMATION OR REMOVAL               |              DATE OF BURIAL
Shilo Cemetery                        |         Shipped to Granville, Ill. Dec 31st 1922
___________________________________________________________________________________
20  UNDERTAKER, License No.                |    ADDRESS
S. A. Dunkel                                              |    Brookville, Ohio
___________________________________________________________________________________

(Form text in left margin):
(Torn or cut off)… of information should be carefully supplied. AGE should be stated EXACTLY. PHYSICIANS should state CAUSE OF DEATH in plain terms, so that it may be properly classified. Exact statement of OCCUPATION is very important. See instructions on back of certificate.

___________________

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

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Transcription: Prominent Families of the United States of America, page 402-4; BURKET

Transcription: Prominent Families of the United States of America, page 402-4; BURKET

Transcription:  Prominent Families of the United States of America, page 402-4; BURKET

BURKET

Burket Family Lineage
Burket Family Lineage

Jacob F. Burket, b. in Perry Co., Ohio, 25 March 1837 ; m., at Lenawee Co., Michigan, Pamy D., dau. of John Walters, of Findlay, Ohio, and, by her (who d. 6 June 1900), had issue :–

1.  Harlan Fessenden, b.  15 May 1860 ;  m., 16 Jan. 1895, Augusta, dau. of Cyrus Dukes, and has  issue :–

  1.     Jacob F., b. 28 Jan. 1897.

2.  Charles Osterlin, b.  23 June 1862 ; m., (I), 31 Dec. 1884, Florence, dau. of Captain Hiram Henderson, who d. 4 May 1908, and had issue :–

1.  Winifred.

   m. (2) Sarah, dau. of Robert Fleming, and has issue :–

1.  Reginald William, b. 4 May 1905.
2.  Thomas George, b. 4 May 1907.
2.  Janet, b.  25 Aug. 1903 ; d. young.

3.  William Jacob, b. 22 July 1869 ; m., 15 Jun 1897, Forence, dau. of William Carr ; d. 27 July 1902.

4.  John F., b. 15 June 1875 ; m., 21 Sept. 1905, Bess Louise, dau. of Dr. George Lester Hoege, and has issue :–

Harriet Walding, b. 14 June 1908.

5.  Reginald, b. 8 June 1878 ; m., 31 Oct. 1904, Mary Louise, dau.  of Robert Burne Motherwell, and has issue :–

Robert Burns, b. 14 Sept. 1905.

1.  Lillie B., b. 5 Feb. 1867 ; m., 30 May 1889, Louis White Eoff, and has issue :–

William Burket, b. 6 July 1890.

The Hon. J. F. Burket graduated at Seneca Co. Academy, Ohio, 1859, was admitted to the Bar, 1861 ; and was Judge of Supreme Court of Ohio, 1893-1904.

DESCENT

Christoph Burckhardt, of Basel, Switzerland, m. Barbara Gottenschier, and had issue :–

Christoph Burckhardt (1490-1578), of Basel, Switzerland, b. 1490 ; m., 29 July 1539, Gertrude, dau. of Theodor Brand, and, dying 6 Oct. 1578, left, by her (who d. 3 Jan. 1600), issue :–

Theodor Burckhardt (1549-1623), of Basel, Switzerland, b. 5 Sept. 1549 ; Councillor and Judge ; m., 18 June 1582, Maria, dau. of Jacob Oberreid, and, dying 18 Feb. 1623, left,by her (who d. 30 Nov. 1629), issue :–

Chrisoph Burckhardt (1586-1639), of Basel, Switzerland, b. 14 Aug. 1586 ; Councillor and Judge ; m. Margaretta, dau. of Michael Kimmell, and, dying 4 April 1639, left, by her (who d. 22 July 1675), issue :–

Christoph Burckhardt (1631-1705), of Basel, Switzerland, b. 13 June 1631 ; Councillor, Judge, and Ambassador ; m., 5 June 1654, Judith, dau. of Bonifaz Burckhardt, and, dying 24 July 1705, left, by her (who d. 6 Jan. 1679), issue :–

Christoph Burckhardt (1657-1693), of Basel, Switzerland, b. 27 Aug. 1657 ; Councillor and Administrator ; m., 30 Nov. 1682, Marie Magdalena, dau. of Emanuel Stupanus, and, dying 8 Jan. 1693, left, by her (who d. 14 April 1731), issue :–

Emanuel Burckhardt (1684-1740), of Basel, Switzerland, b. 28 Dec. 1684 ; J.U.C. Judge ; Administrator of the Hospital ; m., 1 March 1717, Susanna, dau. of Leonard Felber, and dying 18 March 1740, left, by her (who d. 26 March 1749), issue :–

Emanuel Burckhardt (1720-1787), of Basel, Switzerland, b. 19 April 1720 ; J.U.L. Judge ; Lieutenant in the French Army ; m., 16 May 1740, Anna Maria, dau. of Emanuel Linder, and, dying 19 Jan. 1787, left,by her (who d. 26 Aug. 1765), issue :–

John Burckhardt (1753-1847), of Reading, Pennsylvania, b. at Basel, Switzerland, 20 Aug. 1753 ; in General Washington’s Lifeguards ; m. Catherine Fox, of Reading, Pennsylvania, and, dying 2 Jan. 1847, left, by her (who d. 16 June 1862), issue :–

Solomon Burket (1806-1847), of Hancock Co., Ohio, b. 4 Nov. 1806; m., 1 June 1823, Mary, dau. of George Brehm, and left, by her (who d. 26 Sept. 1869), issue : —

    1.   Jacob R., of whom we treat.

He died 6 March 1847.

Residence — Findlay, Ohio.

___________________

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What was there?

What was there?

 

What was there is a website that provides comparative photos of a location in the present day with archived photos from history.

 

My favorite part of genealogy is finding treasured images relating to people, places, events and things in my genealogy research. All of this information provides the color to our ancestors’ stories.

 

So I took a look at “whatwasthere.com” and although the quantity of content is somewhat wanting the premise is ingenious and the images that have been uploaded to the site are wonderful.

Sault Ste. Marie ArchThe “Friendly City Gateway” in Sault Ste. Marie of the 1940’s.

The purpose of this website is to provide a map-based database of locations for which registered users can upload images they hold related to that location.

Since a great deal of my research into my husband’s ancestry is in Pennsylvania, this is where I concentrated my efforts to see what I could find – and I was pleasantly surprised! There were dozens of images available, mostly of historic buildings and landmarks, as well as some background information for each image.

I also checked out Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada, which is where I currently live, and the results weren’t nearly as numerous.

Vancouver, on the other hand, about one hour’s drive away has several images uploaded. It appears the larger city centers have the most available. I guess this isn’t so surprising when one really thinks about it.

One feature of this site that I love is the street view. It’s a comparison view where a continuous image is created by combining the uploaded vintage image and a current image next to it.

I performed this function for an image in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario showing the entry sign near the Michigan border crossing.

The vintage image is transparent enough that part of the skyrise in the current image can be seen where it would have been located at the time.

Sault Ste. Marie is the birthplace of my father. He lived there with his parents until he joined the Canadian Armed Forces about 1957. His father worked in the Algoma Steel Mill and actually died on shift in the plant.

This site as I feel it has the potential to be one of the most valuable available to genealogists and history buffs.

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Transcription: Deposition of Abigail Williams regarding Mr. Jacobs, his son George, granddaughter Margaret and Mr. and Mrs. English.

Transcription: Deposition of Abigail Williams regarding Mr. Jacobs, his son George, granddaughter Margaret and Mr. and Mrs. English.

Deposition of Abigail Williams regarding Mr. Jacobs, his son George Jacobs, granddaughter Margaret Jacobs, Mr. and Mrs. English and Sarah Churchwell.

 

Abigail Williams verifyeth & saith that an old man that goes with two sticks hath appeared to & hurt her many times by pinching & bringing the book for her to get her hands unto, & the man told her his name was Jacobs the Father of Geo: Jacobs & the Grandfather of Margaret Jacobs, and he had made said Margaret get her hand to the book & Sarah Churchwell & his son Geo: Jacobs & his wife & another woman & her husband viz: Mr. English & his wife: also that the said Margaret had hurt her pretty much to day & at other times & brought her the book several times to night but not before.

We whose names are underwritten verifye that we heard the aforesaid Abigail relate the charge aforesd. this 10 th May, 1692

Nathaniel Ingersoll

Jonathan Wabroff

John House

 

___________________

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

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All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

 

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Transcription: Biography of William H. Jaques

Transcription: Biography of William H. Jaques

 

Jaques, William H. Bio 1Transcription of the biography of William H. Jaques.

 

 

 

Mr. Jaques was born February 8, 1820 in Geauga county, Ohio, then known as new Connecticut or Western reserve. But little is known of his father, Henry Jaques, who was born in the city of New York, in 1789, a French wreckage, and was apprenticed to a shoemaker in Hartford Connecticut in 1803.

He married Elizabeth Porter, in 1814, and settled in Munson, Geauga county, Ohio, in 1819, and built a “log cabin” in the midst of the dense forest.

He died in February, 1829, leaving a widow and family of seven small children, four of whom are still living, the mother having died in 1880, at the advanced age of 83 years.

W. H. Jaques, the subject of this sketch, settled in Joliet, Illinois, in 1845, and worked at his trade, [a practical tinner]. He married Eliza P. Dunham, in 1846. Two children, a son and daughter, were the fruits of this union.

J. H. Jaques, the son, is still living and resides in Tolono, in this county, with whom his father, William H., makes his home, his wife and daughter having died in Joliet, in 1852. When the gold fever was raging, Mr. Jaques became infected and crossed the plains in 1850, and work with varying success in the hill sides and cultures, mountain tops and valleys, river banks and river beds, for two years: he returned to Joliet in July 1852 having accumulated little money but a great deal of experience.

biography of William H JaquesHe came to Urbana in October, 1852 and established the first stone store and can shop; he manufactured the first tin ware ever made in Champaign county. He exhibited tinware of his own make at the first fair ever held in the County. He was married to Sarah A. Whipple in February 1854; she died May 1st, 1857. He then sold out his business to Stone Brothers and in 1859 returned with his mother and children to Ohio. He enlisted in 1862, as a private in the 103rd Ohio volunteer infantry, and served until the close of the war.

He returned to Champaign County, 1866, located in Tolono, and engaged in the sale of hardware, stoves, agricultural implements, and in the manufacture of tinware. Mr. Jaques has never sought or held any office, but was a Whig of the Clay and Webster stamp. He bleeds then as he does now that it was the duty of the government to levy a tariff with a view of protecting home industries.

He early imbibed a hatred of American slavery and when the republican party was organized to check its progress eagerly joined its ranks, and is today as he himself expresses it, a “dyed in the wool” republican because that party advocates his ideas of protection to American labor, and meets his views upon other questions as well.

Mr. Jaques can always be relied upon in business matters as well as politics. You always know where to find him.

Quiet in his demeanor, charitable where there is any just claim, truthful, honorable, and reliable, he is a good type of the successful business men of the west.

____________________

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

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All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

 
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Transcription: Adjutant General’s letter re David Coon’s death.

Transcription: Adjutant General’s letter re David Coon’s death.

The following is my transcription of a letter from the Adjutant General’s office regarding David Coon’s death during the Civil War.

 

Adjutant General's Office re David Coon's Death Document
Pension document from the Adjutant General’s Office re David Coon’s death.

Adjutant General’s Office
Washington, D. C.
June 5th, 1865.

Sir:

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt from your Office of application for Pension No. 89.92.5, and to return it herewith, with such information as is furnished by the files of the Office.

It appears from the Rolls on file in this Office, that David Coon was enrolled on the 26th day of Feb, 1864, at Madison in Co. A, 36th Regiment of Wis Volunteers, to serve 3 years, or during the war, and mustered into service as a Pri on the 1st day of Mch 1864, at Madison, Wis, in Co. A, 36th Regiment of Wis Volunteers, to serve 3 years, or during the war. On the Muster Roll of Co. A of that Regiment, for the months of Mch & Apl 1865, he is reported “Died in Rebel Prison at Saulsberry N.C. Nov 2d 1864” Cause of death not stated

I am, Sir, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant, Saml [Treck]
Assistant Adjutant General.

The Commissioner of Pensions
Washington, D C.

Original form text below scored through, more than likely indicating no relevant information to be entered:

Memoranda.
Name of applicant,
Address

Initials or abbreviation noted in bottom left corner:

N.R.

_____________________

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

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Transcription: Probate record of Henry Jaques.

Transcription: Probate record of Henry Jaques.

The following is my full transcription of a scan of the original probate record for Henry Jaques.

 

Henry Jaques

Probate record of Henry Jaques.
Probate record of Henry Jaques.

Deceased

At a term of the Court of Common pleas, within and for the County of Geauga, in the state of Ohio begun and held at the Court house in Chardon, on the first day of June in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine before the Honourable George Tod, president, and Asa Cowles, John Hubbard and Daniel Kerr, associates, Judges holding said Court, & sitting as a Court of probate on motion the Court appointed Betsey Jaques administratrix on the estate of Henry Jaques, late of Munson in said county, deceased, and accept Aaron Stobbins and Chauncey Porter as her sureties in the sum of five hundred dollars. The Court, also appointed Charles Keith, Luther Thwing and David Tanner appraisers, to appraise the personal property belonging to said estate. The said Between Jaques, having given the bonds required by the order of the Court, Letters of administration was issued, in the words and figures following, to wit,

The State of Ohio
Geauga County

George Tod, president of the third circuit of the Court of common Pleas, & Asa Cowles, John Hubbard and Daniel Kerr his associate judges of the same court, within and for the county Geauga aforesaid, in the name and by the authority of the state of Ohio, To all, to whom these presents shall come, Be it known, That administration of all and singular the goods and chattels, rights and credits, which were of Henry Jaques, late of the township of Munson in the county aforesaid, at the time of his death, is herebby committed unto Betsey Jaques, whose duty it shall be (under oath) to know all and singular the said goods and chattels inventoried and appraised by Charles Keith, Luther Thwing and David Tanner, house holders of the county aforesaid, (after deducting for the widow, her wearing apparel, one bed and bedding, and all the wearing apparel of her deceased husband, together with such articles of property as are, or may be, by law, exempt from execution, and such other provisions as the appraisers aforesaid, shall consider reasonable for the support of herself and children, one year from the time of the death of the deceased, and make a return thereof, signed by the said appraisers, with a bill of the sale of the goods and chattels of the said deceased, together with a true and accurate statement of the debts due and owing to the estate of the said Henry Jaques deceased, to the office of the Clerk of the Court of common pleas, for the county aforesaid, within three months from the date hereof, and moreover to adjust and settle up the account of her administration, within eighteen months from the date hereof, as the law directs. And we do by these presents appoint the said Betsey Jaques, administratirix of all singular, the goods, chattels, rights and credits which were of the said Henry Jaques deceased.

In Testimony of which, we have caused the seal of our said Court to be hereunto affixed.

“SEAL”

Witness the Honourable George Tod, president thereof, at Domini, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine.
D.D. Aiken, Clerk.

Afterwards, on the twenty-third day of November, in the year aforesaid, the said administratrix deposited in this office, an inventory of the goods and chattels belonging to said estate, in the words and figures following, to wit.
A true and accurate Inventory of the goods and chattels of the estate of Henry Jaques, late of Munson in said county deceased, presented to us, the undersigned appraisers of said estate, by Betsey Jaques the administratrix thereof, this day of AD 1829.

one hundred weight of pork with [???????]          $9.00
2 Red Stays         $28.00
1 Yoke & Irons         $1.00
2 Red Bulls         $20.00
1 Brown Lineback Cow         $9.00
2 two yr. old heifers         $14.00
2 Cows         $18.00
9 Sheep         $11.25
7 Harrow teeth         $3.25
1 Sett Log chains         $4.25
1 Grind Stone         $1.25
1 Iron Wedge         $.75
2 Axes         $2.00
1 Sickle         $.25
1 Gun         $.75
1 Whiffletree & chains         $.75
4 Weavers Reeds         $4.00
1 Sett silver Tea Spoons         $2.00
1 [????] & Warping Bars         $6.00
1 Cl???s & pin         $.50
1 Plough Share         $1.00
1 Inch auger         $.75
1 Drawing Knife         $.25
1 Hammer         $.25
2 Kettles         $4.00
3 Barrels         $1.00
Amount         $143.50

Munson Sept 30th 1829
David Tanner
Luther Thwing
} Appraisers.

Also accompanying the said Inventory is the schedule of property set off to the widow for her support, in the words and figures following, to wit:

A Schedule of property set off by us, the appraisers, as aforesaid, for the support of the widow and children, one year from the death of the intestate, estimated at thirty-two dollars, from the date of this appraisal to the expiration of the year.

The provisions on hand, at the time of the decease, & articles used for the support of the family till the present time.

For the remainder of the year, articles of property [????aced] in the foregoing schedule, amounting to thirty two dollars, and such as she may select.         $32.00
Appraised & set off by us this 30th day of Sept. 1829 –
Luther Thwing
David Tanner
} Appraisers
Accompanying the said returns is the certificate of [?????] Canfield, Esquire, a Justice of the peace, in the words and figures foillowing, to wit

The State of Ohio
Geauga County
[????????] [?????] Canfield

____________________

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

 

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