Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Alva Leo Hutson, Farmer Turned Ice Cream Maker (52 Ancestors #16)

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

Alva Leo Huts
Stories about my mid-western roots continue here with the birth of my great-grandfather Alva Leo Hutson on 26 Oct 1879 in Wayne Twp, Mitchell, Iowa.  His parents were James Hutson and Ella Pillsbury.  He had a brother, William Ernest Hutson, born on 19 Mar 1882.

Alva and William spent their boyhood days in Wayne Twp. They were primarily raised by their mother.  Their father was seemingly an absentee for most of Alva’s and all of William’s life.  Ella divorced James in 1895 based on abandonment since July 1882 according to the divorce record.  She married John Henderson on 10 Dec 1895, the day after the decree was granted.  In the 1900 U.S. federal census for Wayne Twp, Alva was 21 years old and recorded as Alva
Henderson, son of John Henderson.  Alva had a half-brother, Clyde, born about 1897 to Ella and John.

Marriage and Children
On 19 Jan 1901, Alva married Ada Lurena Boruff (1881-1973) in McIntire, Mitchell, Iowa.  Their first child, Hobart Clayton Hutson (1901-1955) was my grandfather.  Shortly after his birth, Alva and Ada moved to Renville County, North Dakota.  Eight children were born there:

  • 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 Wisconsin]

The Homestead Years
Homestead Proof for
Alva L. Hutson
I don’t know why he moved to McKinney, Renville, North Dakota but quite possibly it was because of the available land and/or because James Boruff (Ada’s father?) was there also.  By 1906, he filed a homestead application with proof that he had built a 16x24 foot house for his family.  He also built a barn of the same size, a well and had broken 60 acres of crop.  On 17 Feb 1908, he was awarded a patent of the southwest quarter of Section 10 in Township 161 [McKinney] north of Range 86 west of the 5th Principal Meridian, North Dakota, containing 160 acres.  The family lived on the homestead until 1920 when the census of January of that year recorded them as living in a rental in Grover, Renville, North Dakota.

The Ice Cream Years
Or, the "I wish I had know him then" years -- yum-yum!

Hutson and Son Ice Cream Truck
Later in 1920, the Hutson’s moved to Minnesota.  They lived in Rochester, Olmsted, Minnesota for several years.  Alva was employed as a Mixer and Ice Cream Maker at the W.L. Parkin Creamery.  In 1930, Alva was living in Marshfield, Wood, Wisconsin where he continued in the ice cream business.  By 1934, he moved again, this time to Amery, Polk, Wisconsin.  There he was in business with his son Lawrence running their own ice creamery called the Super Ice Cream Co.  Unfortunately, he died suddenly In Amery of a heart attack on 20 Aug 1936.

Future Research:
  • Obtain the sale documents for the farm in North Dakota
  • Learn what crops Alva grew
  • Determine if James Boruff of North Dakota was related to Ada Boruff Hutson
  • Research North Dakota newspapers for stories about the Hutson’s and the area in general
  • Obtain Alva’s birth record if available and death certificate; burial location
  • Research business records, license, etc. for Super Ice Cream Co.
  • Search for probate packet
  • Other, suggestions welcome

Dates of birth and death:  SSDI and Bible records
Marriage certificate: Osage County, Iowa Courthouse
Divorce Record: Osage County, Iowa Courthouse
Brother William:  WW I Draft Registration Record and Elaa's divorce record
Census records: Ancestry.com
Homestead record:  Bureau of Land Management

Copyright Denise Hibsch Richmond

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mahlon Clark, Guardian of his Sister Jane (52 Ancestors #15)

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

It remains to be seen whether Mahlon Clark would have played a significant role in his sister Jane Clark Brown’s life other than being one of her five brothers.  But he did and therein lays many unanswered questions.

About Mahlon

Mahlon was the eighth child of Benjamin Daniel Clark and Hannah Carrigan.  Born about 1852 in Adams County, Ohio, he lived in Franklin Township, Adams, Ohio for 20 some years.  On 12 Feb 1878, he married Margaret Minerva Hill in Highland County, Ohio.  For the next 40+ years, he and Margaret lived in Liberty Township of that county where they raised six children.  Mahlon was a farmer.  The 1880 and 1900 U.S. federal censuses for Highland County, Ohio placed him within the household of Silas Hill, his father-in-law.  Beginning with the 1910 U.S. federal census, Mahlon was the head of household on the farm.  Silas Hill had died the year before. (Click images to enlarge)

Marriage record of Mahlon Clark and Margaret M. Hill, 1878.
Source: Highland County, Ohio Court Records
Guardianship Role
I learned about the significant role Mahlon played in his sister Jane’s life from the 1880 U.S. federal census which showed that he had “adopted” her youngest daughter Hannah E. Brown.  I have written before about how Hannah came to live with her Uncle Mahlon.

1880 U.S. federal census, Highland County, Ohio
Source: Ancestry.com
I should note that the adoption has yet to be confirmed with legal records.  For now, “adopted daughter” was how Hannah Brown was listed in this census.  As I researched more about Jane Clark Brown and her institutionalization in the Athens Insane Asylum, court records revealed that Mahlon Clark and Silas Hill were witnesses on her commitment papers along with a physician.  Not her husband, Thomas Brown.  Other commitment-related records showed Mahlon as her Guardian.  He paid her debts upon initial admission and saw to her care needs beyond what the facility covered.   Today we would call it out-of-pocket expenses or non-covered services.  He maintained records and reported to the court annually as legal guardians are required to do.  Significant role indeed.  She lived out her life at the hospital until her death in 1918 – 37 years.

Attestation to Insanity by Mahlon Clark
Source: Highland County, Ohio Probate Court
So why Mahlon and not her other brothers?  Was he the most willing, the most responsible, the smartest kid in the family?  Did he or any family members visit her?  Was the Guardian role a hardship for him or his family?  The court of Highland County approved the commitment so he probably filed the annual reports locally since he too lived in Highland County.

Mahlon outlived Jane by a few years so if he was still able, he possibly fulfilled his obligation without having another guardian appointed.  He died 19 Aug 1923.

Future Research
1. Confirm legal adoption of Hannah Brown.
2. Continue record search for guardianship documents.
3. Locate descendants of Mahlon and Margaret Clark for "stories" and clues.
4. Learn more about guardianship and what education, if any, was required.
5. Other?  Suggestions welcome.

1. Highland County Ohio Marriage Records
2. U.S. federal censuses 1860-1920, Adams and Highland Counties, Ohio
3. Highland County Ohio Probate Court Records
4. Highland County Ohio Death Records

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Lillian Schunke Left Us Too Soon (52Ancestors #14)

Lillian Schunke Eisenman was my great-grandmother.  She was a wife, mother and native Minnesotan.  The information in her obituary that I transcribed  below is all I know about her.

Mrs. Lillian Eisenman 
Mrs. Lillian Eisenmann, wife of Cephas Eisenmann, died of acute Nephritis Wednesday day morning, Feb. 26, 1914 at 8 a.m. at her home near Spring Valley.  Lillian Eisenmann, née Schunke was born June 26, 1888 near Spring Valley, Minn. and was confirmed April 20, 1902 at the Saint John's Lutheran Church of Spring Valley of which she was a member until she moved with her parents to the place where they now reside which is near Wykoff, when she joined the Emanuel church of Wykoff. She was married to Cephas Eisenman March 22, 1903. Five children have blessed this union, all of which survived. Sister Eisenman was a very sympathetic wife and mother and was loved by all that new her. Besides her five children, and grief stricken husband she leaves a father, three brothers, five sisters and a host of relatives and friends who mourn her sad an early departure.

Sister Eisenman was illuminated with Jesus Christ here and will enjoy his presence through-out the endless days of eternity. She came aforehand, she did not wait until she was aged before she did things. She recognized that what folks appreciated was appreciation and she gave it and gave it with all of her heart. She had roses to scatter and she scattered them, she had smiles to give and she gave them, she had sweet words to bestow and she bestowed them; she did things beforehand for her neighbors, her friends, her loved ones. She loved her Bible, the promises were her delight, they directed her thought to God and made her heavenly in character. She was a co-worker with Christ, a lively stone in the great spiritual temple of our God, a contender in the race, a warrior struggling against principalities and powers with her both hands outstretched to take the immortal crown. She had no fear of death but was rather happy in its contemplation. She looked at it as the vestibule of heaven and frequently thot, I shall soon be there. The funeral took place at the home on Friday afternoon, Feb. 27, Rev. John Hall of the Methodist Church of Spring Valley officiating. A very large number turned out to pay their respects to one they loved so dearly. The singing by a quartet was of an exceptionally high order. It was tender, sympathetic and beautiful. The Mercury and friends extend their sympathy to all the bereaved. ##

Future research based on this obituary:
  • Try again to contact prgrage to determine our family relationship and share information
  • Find the Spring Valley Mercury newspaper and look for more articles about Schunke and Eisenman
  • Obtain Lillian's death and funeral records
  • Church records - contact Lutheran and Methodist churches
  • Family bible - was there one and who has it?
  • Locate the descendants of the Lillian 's children 
  • Locate the descendants of Lillian's 8 siblings
  • Locate Lillian's father and mother
  • Map Spring Valley and Wykoff, learn more about the areas
  • Curious - why did a Methodist minister officiate the funeral rather than a Lutheran minister?
  • Anything else?

  • Obituary: Spring Valley Mercury, 1914 Mar 6. Front page.  From prgrage family tree on Ancestry.com
  • Acute nephritis: medical definition:  acute or chronic inflammation of the kidney affecting the structure (as of the glomerulus or parenchyma) and caused by infection, a degenerative process, or vascular disease

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

If it's June, it must be Jamboree Time

Well, it's almost June for those of us who have planned our genealogical research and conference year.

The annual Jamboree is sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) in Burbank, California.  This year it will be held June 6-8 with a pre-conference seminar on June 5 on Family History and DNA.  I'll be there!  SCGS is celebrating its 50th anniversary during the conference with all sorts of events scheduled including a "Dress Like the 60s Day".  Hmm, do I still have my tie-dye shirt?

Information Links

The Speakers
Looking over the schedule of classes, I see that several of my favorite speakers will be there - Thomas MacEntee, John Philip Colletta, Judy G. Russell just to name a few.  I also like to listen to "new" speakers even if I think I know the subject.  Speakers have their own approach to a topic and more often than not I learn several new research angles.

Reunions with Friends
Jamboree time is great for reuniting with genea friends I've met along the conference trail, including a cruise.  I'm looking forward to seeing Thomas, Gloria, Katherine, Ron, Sandi, and Beth.

Eat and Meet Time
Luncheons and banquets are a great place to meet new friends from around the country and world even. Not only do you get to hear a great speaker but just visiting with people at your table is informative.   Heck, I was talking to someone outside a meeting room at a conference and discovered that we shared ancestry with the Thomas Cresap line!

Give Back
I'll be volunteering at Jamboree again this year.  Last year I was one of the room monitors - a great way to ensure a seat, especially at those full-to-capacity sessions of which there are many.

My Tips

  • Come to the Jamboree, great conference and hotel arrangement with easy airport access if needed
  • Attend a luncheon and/or banquet.  Have a tasty meal, meet new friends and listen to a good speaker. Avoid the long lines at the snack wagon.
  • Strike up a conversation with people.  They may be your cousin. They may know of a research repository off the beaten track.
  • Arrive early at your must-attend sessions.  They may be high priority for many others as well.
  • Cruise the Exhibit Hall more than once.  I like to break it up into sections because I usually have small chunks of time to go there.  Go to your must-see exhibitors first.
  • Make a list of resources you already have so you don't buy duplicates.  (Lesson learned!)
  • Bring small stick-on address labels to put on your winning door prize tickets.
  • Dress in layers.
  • Thank people.  Paula and Leo for a great show.  The speakers.  The volunteers. 
  • Have fun!

What are your tips for Jamboree or other conferences?