Monday, November 24, 2014

William C. Hibsch, Blacksmith Shod Horses Then Died (52 Ancestors #44)

This is another post for 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks, a challenge on No Story Too Small by Amy Johnson Crow.


    After shoeing fifteen horses during working hours, Tuesday, W.C. Hibsch lay down on the floor of his blacksmith shop, in McCabe, at 6 o'clock in the evening, and expired a few minutes later, presumably from the excessive use of alcoholic stimulants.

    Deceased was aged about 45 years.  He had resided in McCabe but a short time and very little is known of his antecedents.  A son, 15 years of age, and a daughter, aged 5, survive him.  The remains were taken charge by the Ruffner undertaking establishment and brought to this city.  Internment will take place this afternoon, at 3 o'clock, in the Citizen's cemetery.

W.C., as he was usually referred to, Hibsch was my great-grandfather.  He was born about 1868 in Prussia and emigrated to the United States with his parents and sister in about 1871.  The family lived in Wisconsin for awhile then migrated to California.  

In 1895, he married Martha Bashor in Los Angeles County, California.  They had two children, Alba William Hibsch, my grandfather, born in 1896, and Cecil Everett Hibsch, born in 1902.

References to his children in the obituary were wrong.  His son Alba was 11 years old at the time of W.C.'s death in 1907.  He didn't have a daughter but another son, Cecil, age 4 when W.C. died.  This inaccuracy served as a reminder to verify all information in an obituary because they are, as I've said before, rich with clues but not reliability.  

W.C. was a blacksmith.  He once had a shop in Covina, Los Angeles County, California.  At the time of his death, he worked for the McCabe Mining Company in the small mining town of McCabe located near Prescott, Arizona.  Martha and the children were not living with him at the time possibly due to the couple's estrangement according to family stories.

Source: Los Angeles Herald, Vol 26, No.155, 4 March 1897
(click image to enlarge)

Obit transcription by Denise Hibsch Richmond
Source: Arizona Journal-Miner, June 1907
Obtained from the Sharlot Hall Museum -Library and Archives, Prescott, Arizona

Note: This post has been updated; it was originally published in 2013.

John E. Hibsch, Early Azusa California Resident (52 Ancestors #43)

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

John E. Hibsch was born 19 Feb 1880 in Stockbridge Township, Calumet County, Wisconsin to John Ernest Hibsch and Christina Henschel Hibsch.  He was my 2nd great uncle.  My Uncle B called him Uncle Johnny and remembered him fondly.

John's Siblings
Caroline Hibsch, born 1867 in Prussia
William C. Hibsch,, born 1869 in Prussia
Charles W. Hibsch, born 1875 in Calumet County, Wisconsin
Herman A. Hibsch, born 1878 in Calumet County, Wisconsin

The family lived in southern California by 1891.  In 1900, John "Hibch", age 20, lived with his parents in Azusa, Los Angeles County, California.  He worked in a grocery store owned by H.A. Williams.

John married Pearl Abigail Trogdon in 1903.  Both were 23 years of age and lived in Azusa,.  They had three daughters:

Mamie R. Hibsch, born about 1904
Zelma E. Hibsch, born about 1906
Ina E. Hibsch, born about 1908

John "Hibsch" and Pearl owned their home in 1910 Azusa.  Their daughters were 2, 4, and 6 years old.  He was born in Illinois.  Hmm.  Either he forgot where he was born or the informant didn't know the correct answer.  Definitely a reminder that census records are rich in clues, not reliability.

For about 30 years, John worked at the H.A. Williams grocery store located at 717 Azusa Avenue, Azusa, California.  I think Mr. Williams was John's sister's husband's grandfather. He also worked as a foreman at a fruit farm.  By 1940, he worked as a street conductor at the Street Department (city or county government unknown). His annual income was $1500.

WWI Draft

WWI draft registration record
(click photo to enlarge)
At age 38 in 1918, he registered for the World War I draft, the old man's draft Category C.  No surprises on this record about his birth date, address, wife and employment based on matching information in other records.  His height and build (medium) were ordinary.  The 'wow' came with his blue eyes and red hair!  Is Uncle Johnny the reason for why I have (real) red highlights in my hair and my brother has blue eyes?

New Wife
In the 1930 U.S. federal census, John "Hibisch" was married to Myrtle Pearson.  He was 49 at the time of marriage.  What happened to Pearl?  Well, I had to track that down.  She died in 1929 at age 49 and was buried at Oakdale Memorial Park in Glendora, Los Angeles County, California.

For the Covina and Azusa historians in my family, I listed the locations where John lived over the years.  Your mission is to tell me what's on these properties now!

1900 - 175 Dalton, Azusa, Los Angeles, California*
1910 - 303 Center Street, Azusa
1920 - same
1930 - 1963 - 325 Foothill Blvd., Azusa (value of home in 1940 $3000)
After 1963 - somewhere in Van Nuys, Los Angeles County, California

John died 7 Aug 1966 in Van Nuys, Los Angeles County, California.  Myrtle preceded him, passing in April 1965.

Future Research
  • Obtain, records for birth, marriages, death
  • Research H.A. grocery store and street department jobs
  • Plot residences on map
  • Obtain land records for the Dalton/Foothill Blvd. properties

  • Uncle B
  • U.S. federal censuses
  • City Directories
  • WWI records
*John's brother Charles W. Hibsch and his wife Rosie A. also resided on Dalton Avenue.  Uncle B told me they actually lived next door to each other, owning the parcels on Dalton at the corner of Alosta (also called Foothill Blvd. or Route 66 depending on the time frame).

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Betty E. Hutson Hibsch, 1926-2000 (52 Ancestors #42)

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

Betty Evelyn Hutson was born 26 Oct 1926 in Fillmore County, Minnesota.[1]  She was the only child of Herbert C. Hutson and Bernice I. Eisenman Hutson.  She was my mother.

Covina High School 1945
Yearbook Photo
(Click on images to enlarge)
Most of her girlhood was spent in Marshfield, Wood County, Wisconsin.[2]  There, Evylin’s (as she was recorded in the 1930 census) father worked at an ice cream company.  They lived next door to Herbert’s parents, Alva L. Hutson and Ada L. Boruff Hutson, and brother Lawrence.  Alva and Ada had children over a span of 25 years so not surprisingly Betty’s playmates were her uncle and cousin.  In 1930, her father’s youngest brother Melvin was five years old.  He was Betty’s uncle.  Her father’s other brother, Lawrence, had one child, Alva A., age 1.  He was her cousin.

She was still recorded as Evelyn in the 1940 census.[3] The family lived at a different address in Marshfield now.  Her mother worked as a waitress at a restaurant; her father was a mechanic at a garage.  Thirteen year old Evelyn attended Jefferson School.

Jefferson School, Marshfield, Wisconsin
May 1939
In the early 1940s, she and her parents moved to Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona.  One of her father’s brothers lived there.  She applied for her Social Security card here.[4]  Next, they moved to Baldwin Park, Los Angeles County, California to work at one of the defense plants during WWII.  Like so many people in my family, Betty attended Covina High School, graduating in 1945.[5] Following high school, Betty attended business school to become a bookkeeper.

Betty Hutson, age 15, and Spotty
May 1942

On 8 Nov 1946, she married Robert M. Hibsch at the Chapel of Roses in Pasadena, California.  They had three children.  They lived in Baldwin Park and West Covina until relocating to Williams, Colusa County, California in 1960 then to Sacramento, California in 1961. Robert owned and operated gas stations and Betty kept the books.  Early in their marriage, she was an active member of the Rebekahs, including being an officer, and served as a Boy Scout den mother. 

She died at age 74 on 16 May 2000 of sudden cardiac arrest and was buried at the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery where Robert was recently interred.


[1] Minnesota Historical Society Birth record 
[2] Year: 1930; Census Place: Marshfield, Wood, Wisconsin; Image 12, Line 76. Roll: 2619; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0016; Image: 84.0; FHL microfilm: 2342353.
[3] Year: 1940; Census Place: Marshfield, Wood, Wisconsin; Image 28, Line 68. Roll: T627_4540; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 71-17.
[4] Number: 527-28-6959; Issue State: Arizona; Issue Date: Before 1951.  U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-Current
[5] Covina High School, Covina, Los Angeles County, California. Graduation picture.  U.S. School Yearbooks, 1880-2012.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Alba W. Hibsch, Printer's Devil at the Covina Argus (52 Ancestors #41)

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

I remember sitting across from him at the dinette table in the kitchen.  We had creamed tuna on toast for lunch that day.  I’m sure I scrunched up my face at it then as I would today.

He gave me blue and pink blank note pads.  Those were cool.

I remember sitting on his lap in his huge upholstered rocking chair.  We were in the den.  We talked about the potatoes growing out of his ears.  Actually, it was hair but calling them potatoes was more fun. 

Alba W. Hibsch
{Click images to enlarge)
I called him ‘Pop’.   He was my grandfather, Alba William Hibsch.  These are the few memories I have of him before he died when I just turned eight years old.  But there’s more to tell about him.

Alba William Hibsch was the first son of W.C. Hibsch and Martha Bashor Hibsch Collette.  He was born at home on 24 May 1896[1],[2] in Covina, California.  The house was located on the site of the current parking lot at Inter-Community Hospital in Covina.  He had one brother, Cecil, born in 1902.  Except for a brief stay in Yuma, Arizona and overseas during WWI, he lived his entire life in the California San Gabriel Valley towns of Alhambra, Baldwin Park and Covina.

Life changed drastically in 1907 for 11 year old Alba and 5 year old Cecil. Their father died unexpectedly while working as a blacksmith for the McCabe Mining Company near Prescott, Arizona.  His mother had taken in boarders over the years for extra money but now, a single mother, she needed more income. Shortly after W.C.'s death, Alba's mother became the first female mail carrier in Covina.  While she was driving her route, Alba and Cecil stayed at their Aunt Becky’s house, had dinner and played with their cousins.  Becky was Rebecca Bashor Bonham, Martha’s sister. (Full disclosure - Martha's other sister Cordelia Bashor was married to James Lewis Matthews, the Postmaster of Covina and editor of the Covina Argus newspaper.) 

At age 14, Alba quit high school and went to work for the Covina Argus newspaper as a "printer’s devil", one who cleans ink off printers, commonly referred to as “grunt work”.

1917 Draft Registration for Alba W. Hibsch
In August 1917, he left for Army training.  His WWI draft registration record[3] said he was 21 years old and employed as a printer at the Covina Argus.  He was medium height and build with brown eyes and dark hair.  Unfortunately I was told by the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs that his official military record was burned along with others with surnames beginning with ‘H’.

1917 Jul 27
Covina Argus Newspaper

1919 Apr 4
Covina Argus Newspaper
At this point, I only have newspaper articles that offer clues about his military service:
  • Served with the 55th Coastal Artillery Company, 24th company
  • Departed on the ammunition train
  • Stationed in France
  • Rank of Corporal
  • Departure and return dates
He may have been in the Army Reserves before WWI but more specifics are needed to conduct further research.

After his discharge from the Army, Alba worked for a newspaper in Alhambra, Los Angeles County, California.  He wanted to be on his own rather than working for his Uncle Louie.  However, he eventually returned to the Covina Argus.

On 4 Jun 1922, he married Ethel May Kendall in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County, California. He was 26, she was 23.

1922 Jun 9 Marriage Announcement
Covina Argus Newspaper
As I understand it, they worked in the same building, he at the newspaper, she at an office where she was a bookkeeper.  Maybe they eyed each other coming into the building day after day and one thing led to another.  They had two children, Robert M. Hibsch and my most favorite Uncle and Godfather (MFUG) in the whole wide world.[4]

In all, Alba worked for the Covina Argus for 40 years.  He literally worked his way up the line.  From his early days as a printer's devil, he transitioned to linotype operator and make-up man for the front page and eventually became part owner and Mechanical Superintendent.[5]  One of his early assignments was printing materials for the Covina Women’s Club. He also bound old editions of the paper after attending night school to learn book binding.  My MFUG remembers the kitchen table being covered with old editions being prepared for binding.  He read the sports pages, his dad read the whole paper before binding it.  The bound volumes were donated to the Covina Historical Society.  Alba never wanted his sons to be printers – “he said it didn't pay well”!  They took his advice.

Alba also worked part-time at a newspaper the Argus managed in South Gate, Los Angeles County, California.  The paper may have been a weekly at the time.  Chronicling America[6] lists a few titles to help determine which newspaper it was.

Source: Chronicling America

In 1937, Alba and Ethel took in Ethel’s teenage niece Gloria and helped her through high school, become a member of Job’s Daughters and plan her wedding.  I think having a young lady in the house was a pleasant experience for them.

Alba was a member of the American Legion Baldwin Park post and the Masons.  He liked the Los Angeles Angels and the Hollywood Stars, both Pacific Coast League baseball teams in his day.  He and Ethel traveled throughout California and other places in the U.S..  My cousin Linda and I still have the music box they brought us from one of their trips.

Not unlike many in his generation and the one to follow, he smoked.  No, he was a chain smoker, a habit that probably contributed to his two heart attacks.  The first attack happened at age 58.  He and Ethel were preparing to move into a newly built home in Covina.  She quickly finished the move before his release from the hospital.  Sadly, the second heart attack in 1959 was fatal.  He died on 29 May 1959 at age 63 and was buried at Oakdale Memorial Park in Glendora, Los Angeles County, California.

From all that I've heard about him, my grandfather was a well-liked and respected man.  I just wish I could have learned this first hand.

Future Research
  • WWI and National Guard service information
  • 55th Coastal Artillery Company history
  • Membership in the Masons
  • Name of South Gate newspaper he published


[1] 1900 US Census, Yuma, Yuma, AZ Territory, “Hipak”, Line 80, screen 11 of 51; Roll: T623 48; Page 5B, Enumeration District 74.
[2] WWI draft registration record.
[3] Ibid
[4] My MFUG was the source for much of Alba’s profile.
[5] Covina Argus newspaper, 26 Jan 1934, Page 2, third column.  Mr. Matthews  acknowledging the staff at the newspaper in an article about being awarded the best front page for 1933 by the Los Angeles Times and California Newspaper Publishers association.
[6] Chronicling America, a service of the Library of Congress providing free access to America's historic newspapers, some digitized.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Brown, Clark and Hibsch, my Veteran Ancestors (52 Ancestors #40)

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

By United States Department of Veterans Affairs;
Veterans Day National Committee
Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Happy Veteran's Day to my ancestors about whom I've already written and one who will soon be profiled. They served their country well in several wars.
  • Thomas Brown, my second great-grandfather, from Highland County, Ohio, served in the Civil War.
  • Adam Clark, my second great-uncle, from Adams County, Ohio, served in the Civil War.
  • Herman August Hibsch, my second great uncle, from Los Angeles County, California, served in the Spanish American War.
  • Robert Martin Hibsch, my father, from Sacramento, Sacramento County, California, served in WWII.
  • Alba William Hibsch, my grandfather, from Los Angeles County, California, served in WWI.
I offer a special tip of the hat to my uncle and brothers who are also honored veterans of the Korean War, Vietnam, and the Iraqi Wars.

Thankfully, they all returned home.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Martin Bashor, why did you move so much? (52 Ancestors #39)

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

My second great-grandfather, Martin Bashor, was born in Virginia, married in Tennessee where seven children were born, lived in Missouri where three more children were born then moved to California, and died in Colorado. 

Martin Bashor and Susannah Sherfy Bashor
Source: Hibsch Family Collection
What happened during his 92 years, 6 months, 22 days?[1]  Historical events during his life time were many:  James Monroe became the 5th U.S. President in the year Martin was born and 20 more would follow; he lived through cholera, typhoid and other epidemics; the Civil War; and saw the invention of the railroad, telegraph, telephone, electric light bulb, automobile and airplane.[2]

And, the man got around.

The Tennessee Years

Washington County, Tennessee circled in red
Source: (click to enlarge images)

Martin Bashor was born in Virginia in May 1817[3]; [4] He married Susannah Sherfy on 31 Aug 1843 in Washington County, Tennessee.[5]  He ran a tannery[6] with a reported value of $500, producing 200 hides annually.  The “kind of motive power, machinery, structure, or resource” was horse.[7]

What does a horse do at a tannery?

The Missouri Years

Andrew County, Missouri

Nearly two decades later, Martin, Susannah and their seven children moved to Empire Prairie, Andrew County, Missouri.  They were considered early settlers of this town, having arrived in 1859.[8] The 1860[9] and 1870[10] censuses placed them in nearby Platte Township in Andrew County, Post Office: Whitesville.  Martin was a farmer with a real estate value of $630 and personal estate value of $830.[11]  Ten years later, Martin reported his real estate value at $5,000 and personal estate at $1,965.[12]  What a nice return on investment or was the reporting inaccurate?   

Three more children were born in Missouri.  In all, Martin and Susannah had nine children:

Born in Tennessee
Amanda Bashor, about 1844
Alexander Washington Bashor, about 1845
Robert A. Bashor, about 1852
Margaret, about 1853
John S. Bashor, about 1855
Jacob C. Bashor, about 1857
Catherine, about 1859

Born in Missouri
Rebecca Bashor, about 1862
Martha Bashor, about 1864 (my great-grandmother)
Cordelia Bashor, about 1865

California Here We Come
The California Voter Registration records were very helpful in placing Martin in Covina, Los Angeles County, California from 1888 - 1896.[13]  He, Susannah and three daughters, Rebecca, Martha and Cordelia, came to sunny southern California.  Our family story was that the girls could not remain in Missouri alone because they were unmarried.  Martin was 70 years old and a farmer when he first arrived in Covina. 

The 1892 and 1896 Voter Registration records provided bonus details - physical characteristics.  Martin 5’8”, dark complexion, brown eyes, black hair (reported as iron gray in 1896), and had a mole on left side of his nose.  He was also able to read the constitution in English and write his name.

Martin and Susannah Bashor residence
Covina, California (Source:
Martin was affiliated with the Brethren Church of Covina having been a charter member of the first church in southern California beginning in 1885.  A newspaper account in the                            Covina Argus identified his house in Covina as the site of initial gatherings until a Brethren meeting house was built.  Martin and Susannah lived at the corner of Citrus and Puente Streets in Covina.

Off to Colorado
Martin and Susannah’s last place of residence was Longmont Town, Boulder County, Colorado.[14] They lived on Collyer Street next door to Jacob and Ida Bashor.  Martin was 83 now and had been married for 56 years.  Susannah died in December 1900.  Martin died ten years later. 

His obituary appeared in the Longmont Ledger (Longmont, Boulder County, Colorado) on 21 Jan 1910.  It was transcribed and posted on his memorial page on[15]

BASHOR--At the home of his son, J. K. Bashor, Wednesday, January 19, 1910, of senility, Martin Bashor, aged 92 years, 6 months and 22 days.
   Mr. Bashor has been confined to the house for several years. He has long outlived the three-score and ten allotted to human age.
   Martin Bashor was born in Shenandoah Co., Va., July 27, 1817, and was the youngest of fifteen children and was the last survivor, twelve of them having an average life of 50 years.
   Interment takes place at Hygiene cemetery today.

The website covers Bashor family history and reunions. The last reunion was held 16 August 2014 in Longmont, Colorado.  I’ve tried to encourage my Rocky Mountain Cousin to attend but no such luck….

Future Research
  • Obtain records for marriage, land and church
  • Determine possible reasons for moving to Missouri, California and Colorado
  • Learn more about tanneries in Tennessee

[1] Find-a-Grave – Martin Bashor Memorial #30528831
[3] Year: 1900; Census Place: Precinct 1, Boulder, Colorado; Roll: 121; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0157;
[4]See footnote #1
[5] Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002.
[6] From 1850 to 1870, the manufacturers schedule was called the “industry schedule.” The purpose was to collect information about manufacturing, mining, fishing, and mercantile, commercial, and trading businesses with an annual gross product of $500 or more. For each census year ending on 1 June, the enumerators recorded the name of the company or the owner; the kind of business; the amount of capital invested; and the quantity and value of materials, labor, machinery, and products.  Szucs, Loretto Dennis., and Sandra Hargreaves. Luebking. The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy. 3rd ed. Provo, UT: Ancestry, 2006. Online.
[7] 1850 U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedule, Washington, Tennessee;
[9] Year: 1860; Census Place: Platte, Andrew, Missouri; Roll: M653_605; Page: 340; Image: 344; Line 2.
[10] Year: 1870; Census Place: Platte, Andrew, Missouri; Roll: M593_755; Page: 307B; Image: 622; Line 23.
[11] See footnote #9
[12] See footnote #10
[13] California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 - 2A; CSL Roll Number: 20;
[14]See footnote #3
[15] See footnote #1