Friday, September 19, 2014

Emma J. Ream Kendall, Mother of Many

This is article #32 for the series "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks", a challenge by Amy Johnson Crow on No Story Too Small.

I wrote in a previous article that Emma J. Ream was married in 1884 to my great-great uncle James William Kendall.  All I knew about her was that she was born in Iowa in the 1860s, married James in Council Grove, Morris County, Kansas and had nine children.  Then, by happenstance, I found her obituary during a newspaper search for other Kendall ancestors.  The location of the newspaper caught my eye – California!  Looking further, I learned that other kin of my great-great grandfather Henry Martin Kendall came to California from Kansas, albeit well after he did.

Below is Emma Ream Kendall's obituary from the San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, California), Thursday, May 29, 1947, Page 11:

(click to enlarge)

Much information can be gleaned from this notice for further research and verification:
  1. Full name
  2. Age
  3. Date of death
  4. Time and location of death
  5. Nativity location
  6. Length of residence in California
  7. Married names of daughter and grand-daughter
  8. Surviving children and where they lived
  9. Date, location and officiant of funeral
  10. Location of interment
Gotta love those lucky, "happenstance", search results!

Are you related to Emma J. Ream Kendall?  If so, please click on the "Contact Me" tab at the top of the screen.  I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

James William Kendall, Kansas Farmer

This article is about Ancestor #31 for the series "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks", a challenge by Amy Johnson Crow on No Story Too Small.

Carter County in eastern Kentucky was the land of salt extraction, iron furnaces and coal mining when my Kendall family lived there, long before tobacco became the main cash crop.  The geography in this foothill region of Appalachia was forested with deep cliffs, gorges and underground passageways (caves).

Source: Wiki
(click images to enlarge)

In Aug 1860, three year old James William Kendall lived with his parents Lewis Henry Kendall and Sarah Jane Harris Kendall and little sister Celia Ann in Carter County, Kentucky.  James was their first child to live beyond infancy.  He was born in Dec 1857 according to the 1900 U.S. federal census. 

James, my great-great uncle, had at least six brothers and sisters:
  • Celia Ann Kendall, born 26 Aug 1859, Kentucky
  • John Allen Kendall, born 5 Jul 1861, Kentucky
  • Henry Martin Kendall, born 1864, Kentucky (my great-grandfather)
  • Rebecca Susan Kendall, born 1866, Kentucky
  • Elijah Kendall, born 1869, Kansas
  • Melvin Hayden Kendall, born 1872, Kansas

Sometime before 1870, the Kendall’s moved to Morris County, Kansas where kin of Lewis already had settled in and around Morris County.  Most of James’s farming skills were probably honed here by helping his father on the farm.  At 17, James had to assume more farm operation responsibility after his father died in 1874.  The family moved a bit over the next few years but staying in Morris County – to Highland Township in 1875 then to Ohio Township in 1880.

Source: Cutler's 1883 History of Kansas
Source: Kansas State Historical Society
Twenty-six year old James married 18 year old Emma J. Ream in Jan 1884 in Morris County, Kansas.  

They had nine children, all born in Kansas:
  • Lewis M. Kendall, born 1885
  • Arthur S. Kendall, born Jan 1888
  • Frank A. Kendall, born Nov 1889
  • William M. Kendall, born Jan 1891
  • Vera G. Kendall, born Jul 1893
  • Viola M. Kendall, born Feb 1895
  • James L. Kendall, born Oct 1896
  • Charles E. Kendall, born Feb 1898
  • Ivy M. Kendall, born Apr 1900

James was a farmer who purchased 160 acres of land in Ohio Township on 22 Jul 1885.  His crop was probably wheat, corn or both.  Seven of his children resided with he and Emma in 1910 as well as his mother Sarah.  James was 52.

James died sometime between 1910 (after the census) and 1915 (when Emma was listed as a widow in a 1916 Wichita, Kansas city directory).  A death record has yet to be found.

Future Research
  • Research his siblings and his children
  • Obtain records for farm schedules and death
  • Determine the disposition of his land

The Kentucky Encyclopedia by John E. Kleber
Family Search Wiki
Kansas State Historical Society
U.S. Federal and Kansas State censuses
Morris County marriage records
U.S. Bureau of Land Management records
Kansas City Directories

If these people are in your family tree, click "Contact me" at the top of the blog to send me a note  Thanks!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Joseph O. Richmond, Hobo'd from Nebraska to California (52 Ancestors #30)

This is another article for the series "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks", a challenge by Amy Johnson Crow on No Story Too Small.

Please welcome Guest Blogger and my husband, Scott Richmond with a remembrance of his father.

Around noon on Sunday, February 16, 1913 in Orleans, Harlan County, Nebraska, Joseph Otho Richmond, the sixth of nine children was born to John K. Richmond and Jane Irene Phelps Richmond. 

He was “Joe” to most who knew him.  I called him “Dad".

Joseph O. Richmond
Wedding Day 12 Jun 1937
From Author's Personal Collection

By all accounts, he was a very pleasant child.  My dad told me someone once said to his mother, “You’ll never raise that one, he’s too good”.

Much of his boyhood was spent on the family farm, located just outside of Alma, Harlan County, Nebraska[1].  There he performed a wide variety of farm chores, went to school, and did the kinds of things that boys do in a rural environment.  In these years, he likely developed his life-long passions for hunting, fishing and the great outdoors.  Family conversations left me with the impression that my dad was always quite close to his mother but not so much to his father.  Perhaps this was due to the fact that his father was often engaged in local politics, having served two terms as Clerk and two terms as Treasurer of Harlan County, Nebraska.

Little information is available regarding his school years except that he left school in the middle of the 10th grade, most likely in late 1928 or early 1929, and just prior to the beginning of the great depression.  From that point my father began a period of cross-country travel, primarily on freight trains that took him cross-country, notably Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and eventually California.

My father lived in California when he received word of his father’s unexpected death in 1932.  He returned home to the farm in Nebraska to help run it and then later, assisted his mother in its sale.  During this period, he had to shoulder a good deal of responsibility since his two younger brothers were still in high school and a younger sister only seven years old at the time.  Upon the sale of the farm, the family moved west to Oakland, Alameda County, California.  They joined a number of other Richmond family members, mostly his older brothers and sisters who had already relocated to Oakland and the San Francisco Bay area.

After moving to Oakland, he took up the watch-making and repair trade and became a certified horologist[2].  For a time, he plied this trade while working in a jewelry store owned by his brother-in-law Vern.

Marriage and Family
In May 1937 my dad met his future wife, Cecilia Caballero.  They met while in the company of his brother-in-law, Floyd, whose brother, Paul, was married to Cecilia’s older sister Connie.  Just five weeks later, they were married in a civil ceremony at City Hall in San Francisco, California.  This marriage would last just three months short of 40 years and produce three children: Donald, Ronald and me.

Early in their marriage, my dad studied refrigeration through correspondence courses and was ultimately able to obtain his certification as a journeyman refrigeration mechanic.  Unfortunately, WW II intervened.  He attempted to enlist in the Navy the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Since he had a wife and child, he was told that his service could wait until additional manpower was absolutely required.  As a result, his war-time service was limited to acting as an air raid warden in San Francisco during the early years of the war.

After moving back and forth across San Francisco Bay several times, the family moved to Alameda in 1943. They lived there comfortably, renting an upstairs flat on Alameda Avenue for over ten years.  During this period, both their second and third sons were born and an effort to establish and operate a refrigeration sales and service business was unsuccessful.  The business lasted less than a year, and probably failed, in part, due to the instability of the immediate post-war economy.

My dad’s mother died of heart disease in 1946.  Prior to her death, she had lived and worked as a seamstress in the flat just below my parents.  The flat had been configured to serve as a shop in the front, with living quarters in the rear.  Following her death, my father and several of his brothers took her back to Nebraska and buried her next to her husband. 

In 1953, the family moved again, this time to an apartment building on Central Avenue in Alameda.  Joe and Cecilia had agreed to manage the apartment house for Joe’s brother Don.  This proved to be a difficult time for a couple of reasons.  My dad was on the road in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys as a traveling salesman for the Hinshaw Supply Company.  He had also badly broken his leg after being thrown from a horse while deer hunting in the autumn of 1953.  As a result, the apartment management experiment lasted all of about six months.

More Moves
This time - to Modesto in Stanislaus County, California, then a small town in California’s Central Valley.  The move occurred in May 1954 and was intended to put the family in the middle of Joe’s sales territory.  It was during this period that their oldest son, Donald, graduated high school and joined the Marine Corps.  Eighteen months later, the family of four now moved again, this time to Sacramento in Sacramento County, California, approximately 80 miles to the north.

It was November of 1955 and Joe had accepted a promotion to manage the Hinshaw Supply Company store in Sacramento.  Another upstairs flat at 30th and C Streets became the family residence but was rented for only a little over four months because a significant milestone had been reached.  Joe and Cecilia purchased their one and only home located in the Tahoe Park neighborhood in what was then the east end of the city.  Both would reside there until their deaths in 1977 and 2012 respectively.

Joe’s time as a store manager lasted only about a year and a half.  He did not enjoy either office politics or inside work.  He returned to “working with the tools” as he said in the summer of 1957.  He would continue working as either a refrigeration mechanic or industrial pipe fitter until his retirement in 1973.

Joe’s life was defined in some respects by three health episodes.  He suffered heart attacks in both 1953 and 1962.  The second of these forced him to give up refrigeration work but he was able to continue working at the pipe fitting trade.  As a result, he was involved in the construction of two major oil refineries, a nuclear power plant, at least one nuclear missile site, and several test stands for the testing of rocket engines for the American space program.  Perhaps one of his less notable projects was the building of the Gemco store (now a Target) at Riverside and Broadway in Sacramento which happened to be constructed on the former site of Edmund’s Field, the home of the city’s first of three minor league, professional baseball teams.

Christmas 1963, Scott, Joe and Cecilia
From Author's Personal Collection
Joe’s other major health issue revolved around stomach ulcers that he developed while organizing a union of General Electric employees in San Francisco in the 1930s.  While living in Modesto, he began experiencing internal bleeding and it looked like surgery was his only option.  As a last resort, he consulted a Chinese herb specialist.  Miraculously, the ulcers were healed in approximately six weeks, and he never experienced any further difficulty with them for the remainder of his life.

Joe was virtually a life-long union member and believer in the labor movement.  He belonged to the Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Union and served for many years as a classroom instructor in the union’s apprenticeship program.

His experiences with the medical community also left him with certain skepticism of conventional medicine and some physicians.  Although respectful of medicine in general and certain physicians in particular, he was never willing to give doctors the god-like status that many in his generation gave to them, often without question.  This attitude probably both helped and hurt him in the later years of his life but it was based on real life experiences leading up to these final years.

A Fine Man
Those who knew him appreciated his many fine qualities.  He was a mechanic’s mechanic.  He could find a way to build or fix most anything.  He freely offered his mechanical skills to friends and neighbors, always without charge.  He loved helping people and always seemed to find time or ways to do so.

He made friends easily and these relationships seemed to last.  He was quietly proud of his kids and their accomplishments and equally reserved in his disappointment over their failures.  He was an extremely responsible husband and family man and although never aspiring to wealth or material possessions, always provided more than an adequate living for his wife and children.  He obeyed the laws, at least for the most part, willingly paid his taxes, treated others the way he wanted to be treated, and displayed a generous spirit often to strangers or people he barely knew.

Like so many in his generation, my father preferred to build things that were solid and lasting and of benefit to everyone.  Even though he never achieved fame or fortune in the broader sense, he definitely made significant contributions to the world in which he lived and more importantly, to those who had the good fortune to know him as a neighbor, friend or relative.

My dad passed from the earth on Sunday, March 6, 1977.  As he wished, his ashes were scattered a few days later on land where he loved to go deer hunting - a friend’s ranch located near Coloma in the California Gold Country of El Dorado County.


[1] Alma is about 9 miles from Orleans according to Google Maps.
[2] Merriam-Webster: Horologist: a maker of clocks or watches.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hobert (Herbert) C. Hutson had a Big Green Truck (52 Ancestors #29)

This is another article for the series "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks", a challenge by Amy Johnson Crow on No Story Too Small.

His family nickname was Hobe[1].  Friends affectionately referred to him as Herbie or H.C. 

I remember calling him “Pop”.  He was my grandfather.
Herbert C. Hutson, November 1946.
From author's personal collection
I have no other memories of him as he died when I was very young. I asked my brother Martin what he remembered about Pop because he’s older than me.  He had vivid memories:

“He bought us our first bikes.  Pop took me for rides in his pickup truck for work and fun and let me shift the gears.  We went to downtown Baldwin Park for ice cream and to Carr’s Department Store.  He would just let me be with him and talk about what I was doing, school, etc.”

First bikes from Pop and Grandma Hutson,
Christmas 1955, Big green truck in background.
From author's personal collection
Pop’s given name was Hobart Clayton Hutson[2], the first child of Alva Leo Hutson and Ada Lurena Boruff Hutson.  On 23 Sep 1901 in Wayne Township, Mitchell County, Iowa he greeted the world.[3]  His boyhood and teenage years were spent in McKinney Township, Renville County, North Dakota in the uppermost region of the state very near the Canadian border.  His father homesteaded[4] there from about 1904 – 1920 and Herbert worked on the farm.[5] 

Herbert had many siblings as the Hutson family grew over the 15 year residence in North Dakota:
  • Lyle Kenneth Hutson (1904-1973)
  • Violet Olive Hutson (1905-1919)
  • Florence Ella Hutson (1906-1991)
  • Lawrence William Hutson (1909-1986)
  • Lillian Opal Hutson (1910-1998)
  • Esther Marie Hutson (1911-1995)
  • Alvin James Hutson (Jul 1914-Oct 1914)
  • Harold Alvin Hutson (1915-1987)
  • Melvin Milan Hutson (1923-2010) (born in Minnesota)
The Hutson family moved to Rochester, Olmsted County, Minnesota sometime after the 1920 U.S. federal census when they were last recorded in Grover Township, Renville County, North Dakota.  The 1921 Rochester city directory listed them renting at 20 8th NE.   In 1923, he was living with his parents at 716 Broadway N and was a laborer, possibly where his father worked at the W.L. Parkin Ice Cream Company.

Herbert married Bernice I. Eisenman about 1925.  They lived in Fillmore County, Minnesota when their first and only child was born on 26 Oct 1926.

His occupations included:  laborer[6], mechanic[7], and truck driver[8].  My Uncle B knew Herbie, as he called him, and recounted the story that he worked for a defense plant in Long Beach during WWII, probably Douglas Aircraft.  Herbie was of great value to the plant because he had a truck, a big, green truck that he drove to pickup and deliver mail and other items.  After the war, he would meet the streetcar and deliver the mail to the post office.[9]

Censuses, city directories, and voter registration lists helped track Herbert and Bernice. They lived with or very close to the Hutson family cluster until his father died in 1936.[10]
  • 1925 - 311 6th NW, Rochester, Olmsted, Minnesota.  Herbert and Bernice lived here after getting married and when their first child was born.  Herbert’s parents, Alva Leo Hutson and Ada Boruff, lived here also, as did Herbert’s siblings Florence, Lawrence, Lillian and Lyle (and his wife Pearl).
  • 1930 - 912 South Central Ave., Marshfield, Wood, Wisconsin.  Herbert’s parents and brother Lawrence each lived in a house next to them.
  • 1935 to 1940 – 404½ East Bakerville Street, Marshfield, Wisconsin.  The Hutson family cluster seemed to have scattered after the death of Alva.  From 1935-1940, Lawrence, Harold, Lyle, their wives and mother had relocated to Phoenix, Arizona and Los Angeles, California.
  • 1941 or so – Betty, their daughter, got her Social Security card in Arizona so my assumption is that Bernice and Herbert lived with or near his brothers for awhile.
  • 1948 – 214½ Crickett Lane, Baldwin Park, Los Angeles, California.  Herbert and Bernice came to California during the war years and worked at a defense plants.
  • 1949 – 215⅝ N. Maine, Baldwin Park, Los Angeles, California
  • 1950 – 4147¾ N. Maine, Baldwin Park
On 27 Dec 1955 Herbert died tragically.  He was at a bar in downtown Baldwin Park.  An argument ensued between him and two other men resulting in Herbert being asked to leave the bar.  The two guys followed him out and hit him with a board.  An ambulance took him to a Los Angeles hospital where he died from severe head trauma a couple days later.  Nobody would talk to investigators so the assailants were never caught and the case was closed.[11]   

From various accounts I've heard about Herbert, he always dressed neatly, wore a large belt buckle and drove a big, green truck with lights atop the cab.  He was described as friendly and just maybe drank a bit too often.

Rest in peace Pop; it's a shame I didn't get to have more memories with you.

Future Research

  • Obtain birth and marriage records
  • Learn where they lived in Arizona
  • Contact defense plant archives, if available, for employment records
  • Research newspapers in Los Angeles and Baldwin Park
  • Contact living relatives of his siblings for more stories

[1] Source of nickname, Ron A
[2] Recorded in records as Herbert from 1930 forward
[3] Birth record from Mitchell County, Iowa
[4] 1906 homestead record of Alva L. Hutson  
[5] 1920 U.S. federal census
[6] 1915 and 1920 census records, family farm, North Dakota; 1927 city directory, Rochester, Olmsted, Minnesota
[7] 1930 and 1940 census records, ice cream factory, Rochester, Olmsted, Minnesota
[8] 1949 and 1950, unknown employer, city directory, Baldwin Park, Los Angeles, California-
[9] Remembrance of Uncle B
[10] Profile of Bernice Eisenman Hutson on Denise Digs Roots Blog 
[11] As told by Robert Hibsch, Herbert’s son-in-law, 26 Aug 2011.  A newspaper account has yet to be found.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sarah Jane Harris Kendall, from Appalachia to the Prairie (52 Ancestors #28)

This is another article for the series "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks", a challenge by Amy Johnson Crow on No Story Too Small.

Today I'd like to introduce my 2nd great-grandmother, Sarah Jane Harris Kendall, mother of Henry Martin Kendall, my great-grandfather (whom I've not yet profiled).  Her profile is based solely on internet sources and all of it requires further evidence.  If there are any Harris-Kendall cousins out there, please inquire within!

Map Courtesy of

Sarah Jane Harris spent over three decades living in a four county area of northeastern Kentucky: Lawrence, Morgan, Carter and maybe Rowan.  Much of the region is in the Cumberland Plateau region west of the main Appalachian Mountains.  Densely forested, rugged, yet beautiful land.  An enlargement  (above) of the four county area excerpted from a Kentucky county map shows the geographic relationship of each county.   

She was born in Lawrence County, Kentucky[1] in November 1830[2] to parent's whose names are yet to be determined.

On 12 Apr 1855, Sarah Jane Harris married Lewis Henry Kendall[3] in Morgan County, Kentucky. Their first two children died the year of birth, 1856[4] and 1857[5].  Subsequent children were:
  • James W., 1858 and Celia A., 1859[6] in Morgan County
  • John Allen, 1861 in Carter County, Kentucky[8] [9]
  • Henry Martin, 1864 in (maybe) Rowan County, Kentucky[10]
  • Rebecca Susan, 1866[11]
  • Elijah, 1869[12] and Melvin Hayden, 1872 in Clark’s Creek County, Kansas[13]
Sarah raised her children and kept house while Lewis farmed the land during their 19 years of marriage.  They lived in various locations over the years:
  • August 1860 in Carter County, Kentucky (Bruin Post Office).[7]
  • June 1870 in Clark’s Creek, Morris County, Kansas (Council Grove Post Office).[14]
Kendall family in 1870 U.S. federal census, Morris County, Kansas [14]
(click to enlarge)
The Kendall family had probably lived in Kansas for about five years when, on 31 Jan 1874, Lewis Kendall died at 46 years of age.  He was buried in Burton Cemetery in Parkerville, Morris County, Kansas.[15]

The following year, 45 year old Sarah and the children were living in Highland Township, Morris County, Kansas (White City Post Office).  Son James W., at 17 was the man of the house and farming the land.  Celia Ann was 16 and Henry M., 10.  The 1875 Kansas State Census showed the value of personal property at $80.[16]. Rebecca, Melvin and Elijah were not recorded in the household. However, could "M.H. Kendall, 2," family #59 in this census be Sarah’s youngest son, Melvin living/staying with a nearby family?

Beginning with the 1880 U.S. federal census, and the next 30 years, Sarah lived in Ohio Township, Morris County, Kansas.  At first she was the head of household, then James.  Sarah was 50 now, James W., 21, Henry Martin, 14, and Melvin H., 7.  James continued to farm.[17]

James married Emma in about 1886 and they had eight children.  For census years 1900 and 1910, Sarah continued to live with James and was surrounded by grandchildren. The farm was owned and #26 on the Farm Schedule.[18] [19]

From the mountains of Appalachia to the prairie of Kansas, 82 year old Sarah Harris Kendall called it a life when she died on 12 Aug 1912 in Morris County.  She was buried in Burton Cemetery, Parkerville, Morris County, Kansas.[20]

Future Research
  • Obtain birth, marriage, death and land records
  • Name Sarah's parents and siblings
  • Follow-up on "missing" children in 1875 census
  • Determine town names in four counties
  • Develop assumptions for relocating
  • Find evidence of religious affiliation
  • Locate living relatives of Sarah's children


[1] "Kentucky Marriages, 1785-1979," index, FamilySearch, Lewis Kindall and Sarah Harris, 12 Apr 1855; citing, Lawrence, Kentucky, reference ; FHL microfilm 216831
[2] Year: 1900; Census Place: Ohio, Morris, Kansas; Roll: 491; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0107; FHL microfilm: 1240491.
[3] See Footnote #1
[4] "Kentucky Births and Christenings, 1839-1960," index, FamilySearch, Kendall, 12 Jan 1856; citing, MORGAN, KENTUCKY, reference; FHL microfilm 216835.
[5] "Kentucky Births and Christenings, 1839-1960," index, FamilySearch, Kendall, 14 Feb 1857; citing, MORGAN, KENTUCKY, reference; FHL microfilm 216835.
[6] Kentucky, Birth Records, 1852-1910: Original data: Kentucky. Kentucky Birth, Marriage and Death Records – Microfilm (1852-1910). Microfilm rolls #994027-994058.
[7] 1860; Census Place: Carter County, Kentucky; Roll: M653_361; Page: 341; Image: 341; Family History Library Film: 803361.
[8] "Kentucky Births and Christenings, 1839-1960," index, FamilySearch, Kendall, 05 Jul 1861; citing Carter, Kentucky, reference 2:2C31X2H; FHL microfilm 216819.
[9] Unsourced Word document of Denise Hibsch Richmond
[10] See Footnote 13.
[11] See Footnote 13.
[12] See Footnote 13.
[13] See Footnote 9.
[14] Year: 1870; Census Place: Clarks Creek, Morris, Kansas; Roll: M593_439; Page: 679B; Image: 599; Family History Library Film: 545938. Township : Clarks Creek.  Accessed on
[15] Find-A-Grave Memorial #21500700, created by Theresa, photos by Renate.
[16] 1875 Kansas State Census. Microfilm reels K-1 – K-20. Kansas State Historical Society.  Accessed on Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925.
[17] "United States Census, 1880," index and images, FamilySearch, Sarah Kendall, Ohio, Morris, Kansas, United States; citing sheet 408A, NARA microfilm publication T9.
[18] "United States Census, 1900," index and images, FamilySearch, Sarah Kendall in household of James W Kendall, Ohio Township, Morris, Kansas, United States; citing sheet 2A, family 26, NARA microfilm publication T623, FHL microfilm 1240491.
[19] "United States Census, 1910," index and images, FamilySearch, Sarrah Kendall in household of James W Kendall, Ohio, Morris, Kansas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 88, sheet 2A, family 30, NARA microfilm publication T624, FHL microfilm 1374462.
[20] Find-A-Grave Memorial #21500813, created by Theresa, photos by Renate.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Cecilia Caballero Richmond, San Francisco Native (52 Ancestors #27)

This is another article for the series "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks", a challenge by Amy Johnson Crow on No Story Too Small.

Please welcome Guest Blogger and my husband, Scott Richmond with a remembrance of his mother.

My mother was born Geneva Caballero on 16 June 1919 at San Francisco General Hospital in San Francisco, San Francisco County, California.  The story passed down through the years was that she was born in either the lobby or a hospital corridor because she came so quickly.

Cecilia Caballero, age 13, (right) with siblings
Carmen and Peter, and cousin Kenny
(Denise H. Richmond Collection) 
Throughout most of her life, she believed that she was born Cecilia Caballero on 12 June 1919.  But when she needed to obtain a copy of her official birth certificate she discovered otherwise. Nevertheless, she continued to use Cecilia and the June 12th birth date for the remainder of her life.

Mom was the tenth of 13 children born to Spanish immigrants Alfonso Caballero and Gabriella Romero Caballero  – and the eighth girl.   She grew up in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco in the shadow of the now historic Coit Tower.  The hilly streets were cumbersome to walk as they were constructed of steep, wooden stairs.  She told me stories about climbing them daily to get to and from the trolley car and school.

She attended public school in San Francisco, including Francisco Junior High School and Galileo High School.  When asked about her favorite pastime as a school-girl, she described going to movies with friends and dances with the boys.  She nearly graduated from high school.  Her father caught her cutting class in the middle of her senior year and withdrew her from school.  Arrangements were then made to have her begin working at the Hormel meat packing factory, along with her older sister Mary.  She worked there, operating the bacon machine, for several months until her marriage to my father.

The word “willful” came to mind when she described her teenage antics which didn't stop with cutting class.  She regaled me with a few stories about how she and Mary climbed out of their bedroom window to go to the movies.  This behavioral trait was life-long!

Cecilia Caballero in her black satin
 wedding suit, 12 Jun 1937
(Denise H. Richmond Collection)
Young Cecilia married Nebraskan Joseph K. Richmond on 12 June 1937.  They met in her mother’s kitchen just five weeks prior.  The marriage took place at San Francisco City Hall on what she thought was her 18th birthday.  The couple lived in San Francisco, Oakland, Alameda and Modesto before moving to Sacramento, California.  Mom recalled fondly living with my father’s mother in Oakland.  During this period, my Grandma Richmond taught her how to cook and make seamstress-quality clothes.

Their marriage produced three children: Donald in 1938, Ronald in 1944 and Scott in 1952.  She suffered a miscarriage sometime between her first and second child after falling down a flight of stairs while doing laundry.  She always lamented that she would have had a daughter.

Mom’s adult years were taken up with the activities of a wife and mother.  She and my father purchased their one and only home in April 1956 after renting for the first 19 years of their marriage.  After my Grandmother Caballero’s death in April 1970, my mother insisted on using her inheritance to pay off the mortgage.  She continued to live there until her death, some 56 years later, in November 2012.

Cecilia Caballero Richmond, 92,
25 Dec 2011
(Denise H. Richmond Collection)
She was widowed at age 57 when, in March 1977, my father died of heart failure.  She never remarried and never sought male companionship of any kind following his death.  “I don’t want to wash another’s man’s socks,” she reasoned.   She lived out her remaining years in her Sacramento home.  Her activities consisted primarily of keeping house, taking care of her yard, and trying to maintain her home as best she could.  My wife and I gave her a household repair book in the early 1980’s which she referred to often.  She saw no reason to pay a repairman if she could fix the light switch, leaking faucet or toilet herself.  And she did fix it herself on many occasions.  When a lamp shade crumbled due to age, she bought materials and made a new one, pleats and all.

She was also preceded in death by her son Donald who died of cancer in 1999.  Her signature accomplishments in life revolved around supporting her husband and caring for her three children.  The marriages of her two oldest sons produced five grandchildren but she enjoyed little to no contact with them once they became adults.  Therefore, the deaths of both a husband and eldest child must have been especially difficult for her to reconcile as she advanced into late life.  She was closest to her sisters Mary and Carmen and lamented their passing.

Cecilia Caballero Richmond, top row, second from right,
with her mother, bottom row, second from right,
and sisters and nieces at bridal shower
for her brother Peter's bride-to-be, June.
About 1945, from the Denise H. Richmond Collection.
Cecilia, the tenth child, was the last surviving member of the large Caballero family when she died of cancer in 2012 at nearly 94 years of age.  Her wish to return to her beloved San Francisco was honored.   She was interred at the only place one can be “buried” in the City, the Neptune Society Columbarium, near a stained glass window with an inset lighthouse.  She would have liked that.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Susan A. Pillsbury Bergadeen, Long-time Mitchell County, Iowa Resident (52 Ancestors #26)

This is another article for the series "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks", a challenge by Amy Johnson Crow on No Story Too Small.

This week I'm profiling another Pillsbury ancestor.  As I searched basic records it seemed that the family left quite a short footprint.

Susan A. Pillsbury was born in 1850[1] in Maine. She was the second of five children born to William C. Pillsbury and Eliza Cooper Pillsbury.  Her youngest sister, Ella, was my second great-grandmother.

Susan would have been my second great aunt[2].

Source: (3)
When she was about 26 years old, she married Paul Bergadeen on 13 Jan 1876[3] in Mitchell County, Iowa.  She and Paul had two sons, John Edward, born in Dec 1876, and Edwin Forest, born in Aug 1879.  The sons were lifelong bachelors[4].  The family lived in Mitchell County, Iowa for the rest of their lives.

The dates of death of Susan and Paul are unknown.   John died in 1948[5] at about age 72.  Edwin was about 71 when he died in 1950[6] due to an apparent suicide[7].  How sad.  Both sons are buried in Wayne Cemetery, McIntire, Mitchell County, Iowa.

Source: (7)
[Click to enlarge]


[1] 1850 U.S. Federal Census; Census Place: Bloomingdale, Winnebago, Wisconsin; Roll: M432_1009; Page: 538B; Image: 603.  Susan was recorded as five months old and born in Maine.  However, the census was enumerated on 15 Aug 1850.  The family either arrived in Wisconsin just before the census date or an error was made in the her age and location. 
[2] Steve Morse Relationship Calculator
[3] Iowa, Select Marriages, 1809-1992: Original data: Iowa, Marriages, 1809-1992. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013.
[4] Several censuses recorded John and Edwin as single.
[5] Original data: Find A Grave. Find A Grave.
[6] Original data: Find A Grave. Find A Grave.
[7] The Mason City Globe-Gazette (Mason City, Iowa) 15 Nov 1950. Page 23. Accessed by Denise Hibsch Richmond 1 Jul 2014.