Thursday, June 19, 2014

William E. Hutson, Farm Hand and Thresherman (52 Ancestors #24)

This is another article for the series "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks", a challenge by Amy Johnson Crow on No Story Too Small.
Carol M. Highsmith, "Iowa Hay Rolls",
betw 1980 and 2006

Once again I'm profiling an ancestor from Bailey Village, Mitchell County, Iowa.  My great-great Uncle William Ernest Hutson[1] left a puny record trail.  This fellow became more of a research challenge for basic records than originally expected.  My other ancestors have spoiled me.

Like his older brother Alva Leo Hutson, William was born in the small village of Bailey in Wayne Township, Mitchell County, Iowa. The best indication of his birth date of 19 Mar 1882 came from his WW I draft registration card[2].  He was the second child of James Hutson and Ella Pillsbury Hutson Henderson.   William may not have known his father very well or at all based on statements in the divorce record about his father’s abandonment of the family. He was thirteen years old when his mother married again to John Henderson.   In some records, William was identified with the surname of Henderson.  William also had two half-brothers: Clyde Ellsworth Henderson and Lawrence K. Henderson.

William E. Hutson's signature on
WWI Draft Registration Card
The farms in Wayne Township served as employment for William.  He worked as a hired man on the David S. Hockens [Hawkins] farm[3] and the Richard W. Carter farm[4].   On his WW I draft registration card he listed his occupation as thresherman[5] on the Tom Gallup farm in Athol Township, Spink County, South Dakota[6].  This job site seemed rather curious since it was nearly 400 miles from Wayne Township[7].  William’s brother Alva had a homestead in McKinney, Renville County, North Dakota at the time so I mapped the distance between towns.   Not very close to stop by for supper.

Source: Google Map:  
William’s mother died in 1943.  Her obituary stated that William cared for her until her death in McIntire near Bailey Village.  He would have been about 61, she 84.   While not a reliable source, the obituary does suggest that William was still in Bailey Village in 1943.

The trail goes cold from there.

Did he remain in Bailey Village?  Did he ever marry?  When and where did he die?  Searches in Iowa, Minnesota, Arizona and California where his Hutson and Henderson kin lived have been to no avail.  William has now become my first “modern day” ancestor for whom I have not located some basic records.  So far, she said hopefully.

Photo Credit: Carol M. Highsmith, "Iowa hay rolls", betw 1980 and 2006; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA ( : accessed 17 June 2014)

Future Research
  • Locate records for marriage, death and grave site
  • Locate Hutson kin

[1] Steve Morse relationship calculator
[2] Registration State: Iowa; Registration County: Mitchell; Roll: 1643186; Description: Draft Card H; U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
[3] Year: 1900; Line 80. Census Place: Wayne, Mitchell, Iowa; Roll: 448; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0122; FHL microfilm: 1240448. Description: Enumeration District : 0122; Description: Wayne Township including McIntire Town.
[4] Year: 1920; Census Place: Wayne, Mitchell, Iowa; Roll: T625_503; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 152; Image: 310. Description: Enumeration District : 0152; Wayne Township including Bailey town, those parts of Meyer and McIntire towns in this Township.
[5]  “thresh” verb \ˈthresh, ˈthrash\:  to separate the seeds of corn, wheat, etc., from the plant by using a special machine or tool.  Thresherman, one who threshes.
[6] See Footnote 2
[7] Mileage by car based on 2014 Google map

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