Joseph L. LARKIN and The Cripple Brigade

On this day in 1919, Joseph LARKIN passed away. Joe is my paternal 3rd great grandfather. He is buried in an unmarked grave in the old part of the G.A.R. cemetery in Miami, Ottawa County, Oklahoma.


Joseph LARKIN and his wife, Mary Elizabeth LANE LARKIN.

I looked back through my posts to see what I’d already written about him so I didn’t give you duplicate information. I found posts for his wife, some of his children, his parents, one of his siblings…but no post about Joe. He was included in other posts such as in his son William’s post about being a road paver in Tulsa or in his brother’s post about his brother going to prison for murder…things like that. So I decided what I want to tell you about today is Joe’s military service.

When Joe enlisted he was in Company K, 59th Ohio Volunteers. Later he would transfer to the 73rd Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Veteran Reserve Corps. The Veteran Reserve Corps, or VRC, was originally called the Invalid Corps and a man would get transferred to the VRC when he was physically unable to go into combat due to illness or injury. The VRC allowed the men to still participate in the war by doing light duty. The 2nd Battalion- Joe’s Battalion- was made up of the men whose disabilities or injuries were more serious- lost limbs or other serious injuries- as opposed to the 1st Battalion which was made up of men whose injuries were relatively slight and who could still handle a musket and march. Joe and the other men in the 2nd Battalion were often employed as cooks, nurses, guards of public buildings, draft enforcers, and orderlies.

The VRC soldiers had a unique uniform that is described like this (Wikipedia):

Jacket: Made of sky-blue kersey [a fabric that is woven from short-stapled wool and is coarse and ribbed and has a short nap], with dark-blue trimmings; cut like the jacket of the U.S. Cavalry, coming well down on the loins and abdomen.

Trousers: Present regulation, sky-blue.

Forage cap: Present regulation.

They would also occasionally wear a standard dark blue fatigue blouse and their standard forage caps were decorated with the brass infantry horn, and the regimental number and company letter.

There are some great VRC uniform photographs at the Civil War Home website.

It was four members of the VRC who executed the four conspirators who were linked to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Likewise, it was the men of the VRC who received President Lincoln’s body when it lay in state.

I hope that you don’t think the VRC was all roses, though. This is a partial article that talks about a terrible incident involving VRC’s on guard:


Stabbed in the eye?! Ouch!!


Too riotous for the VRC!

Sadly, the VRC soldiers did not receive a lot of respect and were often derogatorily called “The Cripple Brigade”. (University of Massachusetts) I use the term “cripple brigade” here more as a badge of honor for someone who served even though disabled rather than as a derogatory name.

There was a popular song during the civil war about the Invalid Corps. I found the initial information on Wikipedia which directed me to the MusicaNet website with the lyrics (see below). A Google search revealed a website where you can download and listen to the tune of the song here. (Scroll down about halfway until you find The Invalid Corps by Frank Wilder.) The song lyrics:

I wanted much to go to war,
And went to be examined;
The surgeon looked me o’er and o’er,
My back and chest he hammered.
Said he, “You’re not the man for me,
Your lungs Are much affected,
And likewise both your eyes are cock’d,
And otherwise defected.”

CHORUS:
So, now I’m with the Invalids,
And cannot go and fight, sir!
The doctor told me so, you know,
Of course it must be right, sir!

While I was there a host of chaps
For reasons were exempted,
Old “pursy”, he was laid aside,
To pass he had attempted.
The doctor said, “I do not like
Your corporosity, sir!
You’ll “breed a famine” in the camp
Wherever you might be, sir!”

CHORUS

There came a fellow, mighty tall,
A “knock-kneed overgrowner”,
The Doctor said, “I ain’t got time
To take and look you over.”
Next came along a little chap,
Who was ’bout two foot nothing,
The Doctor said, “You’d better go
And tell your marm you’re coming!”

CHORUS

Some had the ticerdolerreou,
Some what they call “brown critters”,
And some were “lank and lazy” too,
Some were too “fond of bitters”.
Some had “cork legs” and some “one eye”,
With backs deformed and crooked,
I’ll bet you’d laugh’d till you had cried,
To see how “cute” they looked.

CHORUS

You can learn more about the VRC here and here (all about the uniforms, including images; really- go here and look, it’s great and if you scroll to the end there is a list of all the reasons a man might be sent to the VRC). I also recommend checking out a Facebook group about the VRC- “American Civil War-Invalid Corps”.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about this lesser-known group of soldiers. As always, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed telling you about them. I apologize about the delay on the photo of Joe. Please check back in a few days and hopefully I will have found it and added it by then.

Until next time,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

A Day of Remembrance

I’m postponing Joseph LARKIN’s blog post until tomorrow. Today I’d like to take a day to remember my paternal Grandpa’s (Gene DRAKE’s) sister, Ruby DRAKE WETZEL. She passed away this weekend. Her daughter married into my mom’s family and is my maternal aunt so this affects both sides of my family. Please say a prayer for all of my family.

Aunt Ruby.

Aunt Ruby with my cousin, Terry BATES.

Until tomorrow,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

Sunday Schedule: Week 5, 2017

January is coming to a close.

It’s hard to believe. Seems like time goes by faster every year!

This week we’re celebrating 2 birthdays and death date on the blog and at home we’re celebrating a grandson’s birthday. Here’s what the schedule looks like:

Monday January 30th: On Monday we honor the life of Joseph LARKIN, my paternal 3rd great grandfather. He died on this date in 1919.

Friday February 3rd: Today we celebrate the birth date of William DRAKE, yet another of my paternal 3rd great grandfathers. William was born in February but I am not certain of the exact date. For purposes of the blog, we’ll celebrate his birthday today.

I start a new job this week so if I can, I will fill in the other days of the week with a story and/or photograph as I’m able. It’s just hard for me to say how the week will go until after tomorrow. If you have a story you’re dying to tell, go ahead and write it down for me and I will publish it with credits to you- or send a photo with a caption and I’ll publish it with credits to you. I always enjoy having guests on the blog. Don’t worry about spelling and grammar- this isn’t a newspaper. It’s just a story telling medium that serves to save our family histories for future generations.

Until then, here’s a photograph for the day:

Bates cousins. Top row left to right: Lisa (me), Clayton, and Terry. Bottom row left to right: Doyle, Tracy, and my brother Cortney.

Week 4- Weekend Wrap Up

There is so much to tell you and I’m just going to jump right into it!!

One of our good friends (and DeReK’s good friends), Herman Garcia, messaged me with a photo and story after I posted the blog about DeReK. Herman was unable to message during the week leading up to the post because he was in drills and did not have access to his phone. Here is the photo and story he sent:

Herman’s story:

photo was taken when I helped Derek move to Dallas. He was a big OU fan obviously and we enjoyed watching, talking crap on Texas longhorns. Every start of football season I think about watching games together when we were at NSU.

I miss him and another thing I wanted to share was how he has inspired me even today on establishing a relationship with the Lord. I faced some trials in life and I often think about how strong his faith and I wish sometimes I could call him and talk about scripture and what I could do to grow my faith but I know one day in heaven we’ll be able to hang out and hang out with God talking about OU football. Marley recently asked me where she got a caterpillar and I told her uncle Derek got it for her and I told her how he was daddy’s friend and how he was a good man I even showed her this photo. She said we were silly which she was right. Being around him you knew you were going to laugh about something. I love you and Bart and Shaina and August, Melissa. Happy Birthday Derek.

We’re so proud of Herman. He’s become an incredible man and father. He’s a proud American and a great law enforcement officer. We love Herman and his family and I was so glad to hear from him.

William LARKIN and Minerva UNDERWOOD LARKIN (Dad’s family); and, William and Laura (BULLOCK) RITER (Mom’s family)

Going back a couple of weeks ago to when I was talking about William LARKIN: I was able to acquire both of the death certificates I talked about in that blog post. The one that I speculated might be Minerva UNDERWOOD LARKIN was, unfortunately, not her. However, the person it was is related so I want to talk about that for a minute. I actually wanted it to be it’s own blog post (and maybe it will be someday) but for now I’ll just give you the straight information without a story. It turns out the death certificate was for an infant that did not live. The baby belonged to Samuel Anglus and Frances DEAN (or possibly BEAN) LARKIN. Samuel was a brother to our William listed above so the baby was our William and Minerva’s nephew. The baby was not named therefore there was no name on the death certificate other than her last name. She died the same day she was born- 19 March 1917. I do believe she lived a few hours since the death certificate says she lived 1 day as opposed to saying she was stillborn. The cause of death was “premature labor”. She was born in McBride, Cherokee County, Oklahoma and is buried at Baldridge Cemetery in Gans, Sequoyah County, Oklahoma. I don’t know if her grave is marked but I’m hoping to go see about it soon. I would say that it probably is not marked for the simple reason that when I looked up that cemetery online, there were only 2 graves listed and neither was hers. I created an online memorial for her if you would like to go leave flowers. You can find it here . Even though her mother’s surname on the death certificate is BEAN, the marriage certificate for Samuel and Frances says “DEAN”. If I had to choose one, I would say the correct name is probably DEAN. I’m sure Frances was upset and stressed at the time the baby died. The doctor wrote up the death certificate information. I’m sure he wrote what he thought he heard which accounts for the BEAN name. I could be wrong but that’s my guess and my theory. I’m not going to include other details because I’m looking for an opening in my schedule to tell you about this family soon. Most likely, there is no death certificate for Minerva UNDERWOOD LARKIN but I’m going to keep searching until I’ve exhausted all avenues.

The next death certificate was the one I hoped was for our William LARKIN. If this William LARKIN is related, I haven’t found the connection. This William was born in 1851 in Illinois and died in 1926 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. None of our direct-line LARKIN’s went through Illinois so if he’s related it would have to be through a collateral line (brother/sister of our direct-line ancestor).

One more issue with William LARKIN. I attempted to get more information about the mine he owned. Mom and I visited the Missouri Southern State University Archives & Special Collections and spoke with Archivist Charles Nodler. He oversees an incredible collection of Tri-State Mining maps. I was able to narrow down the section of Aurora where the mines are located but was unable to locate the specific mine William owned.

See all those tiny dots on the map? Each tiny dot is a mine shaft! This is only the town of Aurora.

All is not lost- there are other places I can look but I wanted to keep you updated on the search for the mine that was once in the family. While there I asked if there were documents that might list miners in the area and associate them with a particular mine – employment records or whatever might list names and associate them with mines. Bart and I and even our daughter-in-law all have many miner-ancestors who were working in the Tri-State area. The archivist didn’t know of any employment records and pointed us back to city directories. I have access to some directories online but he did take us to the directories he had on hand. We were able to find my mom’s grandparents, William and Laura (BULLOCK) RITER in the 1925 Polk’s Directory for Joplin. I wrote about Laura in week 1 and have written about William *****in the Lost and Found series that starts here.

Ralph LARKIN and Alice UNDERWOOD EDENS

The same week I wrote about William LARKIN, I also wrote about Ralph LARKIN and his sister, Alice EDENS. I hypothesized that Alice was Ralph’s sister and not his aunt. I gave my reasons for this belief. Here is one more piece of documentation that further supports the theory that Alice is Ralph’s sister, not his aunt.

(Jess is Ralph’s brother.)

In addition to this article, I found one more news article this week about Ralph and Bess announcing the birth of their son, Paul, so I thought I would share it here:

Dettie Louisa GIBSON BATES and Her Mom, Lucinda DOW ALBIN GIBSON JONES GATEWOOD

Last week I wrote about Dettie Louisa GIBSON BATES and her sibling, half-siblings, and step-siblings (all 23 of them!!). When Mom and I visited the archives at Missouri Southern State University, we looked not only at the Tri-State Mining Maps collection but also at a small file about the Old Peace Church Cemetery in Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri. Dettie’s mom, Lucinda DOW ALBIN GIBSON JONES GATEWOOD, is buried there but we’ve been unable to locate her exact burial spot. We were hoping to find it or at least get a little closer. Unfortunately, what we discovered is that we will probably never know for sure where her burial spot is. Information in the file shows that no burial records were ever kept and in fact, information about burials were so bad that sometimes bodies were buried on top of other bodies. I haven’t given up, but I’m not holding out much hope we’ll ever get any closer than we’ve already gotten.

Troy and Jessie RITER BATES

Remember last year when I wrote about finding a deed? I took one of the deeds and compared it to Satellite maps on Google and came up with finding directions. (See blog post here) Well, one day this past December when Bart was off work I asked him to go driving around with me and we found what we believed was the property listed in the deed. Then this week I took my mom back to that area and asked her to show me where their old property was and she took me to exactly the place Bart and I had gone. (It’s nice to have validation!) She had so many stories to tell me connected with that place. I took photos both times I went and when I get an unscheduled day on the blog (soon) I’m going to post the photos and stories for you. It was a nice trip. She also showed me some of the properties where her grandparents lived and I’ll be using photos of these properties later in the year on future blog posts.

Enjoy your weekend, family! I start my new job next week so I’m hoping I can keep up with the blog!! Bart starts jury duty next week too, so it’s going to be a crazy week here.

Until tomorrow,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

Emily Hennig: A Mystery

There is no scheduled blog post today but I do have a mystery for you to solve.

Mam (my paternal grandmother, Audrey) gave me a copy of this photo a couple of years before she passed away. The inscription on the back said “Emily Hennig” and was written in cursive and in pencil. It is HENNIG and not Henning. We had a discussion about that name.

Mam said she thought Emily was a grandmother somewhere back down the line but she couldn’t place the woman in our family history and that’s all Mam knew about her. More than a decade later I still have not been able to identify or place (or exclude) this woman in our family history (although I do have theories about who she is and where she goes on the family tree). If you have the answer, please speak up. I’d love to know about her.

Enjoy your Friday and don’t forget to come back here this weekend for the wrap-up on Saturday (it’s going to be a good one) and next week’s schedule which will be posted on Sunday.

Until tomorrow,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

August Schneidenbach: Oxen and Apples and Wheat, Oh My!

When we found out our son and daughter-in-law were going to have a baby I started (not so subtly) suggesting family names in the hope that my grandson would carry a family name. I was a little disappointed when they chose a name I thought wasn’t a family name, but it was a name my son had always loved and it very much reflected who Derek and Melissa were and of course we were going to love our grandson no matter what. Fast forward a couple of years and I finally realized our grandson HAD been given a family name! When my son and daughter-in-law were choosing names I had never gotten far enough with family names to get back to mine and Bart’s third great grandparents so I had forgotten all about having an August in the family and it wasn’t until after Derek’s death that I realized he had chosen a family name all on his own. It was a nice re-discovery.

August SCHNEIDENBACH is Bart’s maternal 3rd great grandfather. I made an error in Sunday’s post- I have no idea which day is actually his birth day. I only know August was born in January of 1840. I chose this day to blog about him but it may or may not be his exact birth day. August’s granddaughter, Jennie Arelia SCHNEIDENBACH married Theodor Hermann MOELLER whom I wrote about here (scroll toward the bottom of the blog post). Here is a photo of August:


From left to right: Ernestine (August’s wife), Bertha (August and Ernestine’s daughter) and August SCHNEIDENBACH. Thank you to Uncle Bob for providing a photo. Joyce had also provided the same photo. I appreciate you guys sharing!

I love everything about family history and writing these stories down for you but one thing I really appreciate is the variety of records I get to look at that give information about family members. One great record I found for August SCHNEIDENBACH was a non-population schedule. This record doesn’t give information about his family and who lives in the home like a census does, but rather it gives information about his business- farming. This census record tells us all about August SCHNEIDENBACH’S farm in the year prior to the census- 1879 and up to 1 June 1880.

What I learned about August is that he owned 55 acres of tilled land and 65 acres of forested land. He valued his land, fences, and buildings at $2,000. August valued his farming implements and machinery at $120 and his livestock at $100. He gave an estimated value for his total farm productions in 1879 including all products consumed, sold, or on hand. That estimated value was $250. I’m guessing that in addition to his home, he had at least five outbuildings including one for the oxen and cow, another for the pigs, another for the poultry, one for the hay and other crops, and a root cellar in which to store butter, apples, etc. He would have had quite a bit of fencing to separate animals from crops and certain animals from other animals. Unfortunately, I don’t have any documentation right now to say exactly how many outbuildings or how much fencing he actually had- I’m just guessing on that part.

August declared 2 acres of mown grassland, 4 tons of hay, and 5 acres of wheat in 1879. On hand as of 1 June 1880 he had:

2 working oxen
1 milk cow
1 “other” (I’m not sure what would have been included in “other” but it was in the broader category of “Neat Cattle and their Products”.)
4 swine
15 barnyard poultry (exclusive of spring hatching)
4 “other barnyard poultry”

In 1879 his farm produced 60 pounds of butter made on the farm, 60 dozen eggs, 115 bushels of wheat, 60 bushels of Canada Peas (dry), and ½ acre Irish potatoes which produced 60 bushels.

That sounds like one busy farmer and farmer’s family! (By the way, that farmer’s family consisted of August’s wife Ernestine Augustina PAFF SCHNEIDENBACH, and their children Ernest, Pauline, Herman, Minnie, Selma, Bertha, Clara, and Agnes. That’s a lot of girls!) In addition to all these animals, crops, and produce, August had a 1 acre apple orchard. I was so excited to find he had an orchard! My 2nd great grandfather also had an apple orchard. When Bart and I put in our orchard we wanted to give a nod here and there to our heritage so we’ve included special trees such as the Arkansas Black apple tree we planted as a nod to my 2nd great grandfather’s Arkansas apple orchard. As it turned out, we hadn’t ordered any orchard trees this year so this week as soon as I realized August had an apple orchard, I got online and ordered this year’s heritage tree to honor the SCHNEIDENBACH part of our history. We ordered the Opalescent variety of apple tree which was grown in Michigan in the late 1800’s. If you’re interested, you can find it at Trees of Antiquity – the website from which we order our orchard trees. You can read a brief explanation of both Arkansas Black and Opalescent antique apple varieties at the New England Orchards website.

Bart and I always thoroughly enjoy reading specific details about our ancestors’ farms. They had so much more of a difficult time farming than we could imagine. I’ve never driven a team of oxen in my life! I can handle the tractor okay (for the basics) but oxen would really intimidate me! And hand churning 60 pounds of butter in a year?! I can’t even imagine! In researching what farming in the 1880’s would have been like in Michigan, I found a very interesting blog post about exactly that topic and it even included diary entries from a Michigan farmer dated August of 1884. I recommend reading it. You can find it at the Michigan in Pictures blog. Be sure to read the final comment on that blog post. It talks about what was the “typical” ethnic German house plan for that time period. For a look at Michigan agriculture, try this website.

If you decide to plant an apple tree this spring to honor August SCHNEIDENBACH, I’d love to hear about it and see your tree! I hope you enjoy your week and appreciate all the technological advances that have been made since August’s farming adventure in 1880!

Until next time,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

Audrey Larkin Drake Mitchell: Helper and Friend, Part 2

Before we get started, I want to share a photo with you and some additional information. First, I don’t think I included Mam’s middle name which is ‘Marguerite’. I thought I had written a blog post about how I think she got the name Marguerite but apparently I just shared that privately with a few people. I will add that to the list of stories to tell on weeks that are slow. Second item: I’ve been looking for this photo for a while and finally found it. This is Mam as a child with her classmates at Poynor School. I have written down somewhere what year it is but when the picture was digitized that information wasn’t included. When I find the information again I’ll be sure to pass it along. I have marked Mam with a red arrow above her head. She’s on the top row on the left side. There are other relatives (DRAKE’s and LARKIN’s) in this photo and I will identify them as I can- again, I need to find the written documentation and the physical photograph in order to pass along that information.


Poynor School students, Delaware County, Oklahoma near the Missouri state line (near Southwest City, McDonald County, Missouri).

Today, some stories from those who loved Mam. (If you missed yesterday’s post, go back and read it first here.) Before I pass along these stories though, I want to make a small correction to what I posted yesterday. I made the statement that she raised grandchildren, nephews, and a brother-in-law. I should have been more clear. She helped raise these people. There is one grandson whom she raised and adopted. The other three grandchildren, nephews, and brother-in-law were people who lived with her when other options were not optimal or not available. On to the stories.

From her son, Roy:

Mom was born, raised and lived with very little in things but was rich in love. Her life was spent working for/in the church and in helping others. She helped raise four children, three nephews, four grandchildren and one brother-in-law; and, became care giver for both her mother and mother-in-law! She was always cooking for someone in need (sick) and taking it to them. She’d clean and wash for them. She always showered them in love. And, these things were acts of love as much as being a good neighbor. She’d take old folks to town and back for groceries. Hers was a life of service. She practiced God’s love and lived it. I don’t know how she did it; and, to the extent that he had time, dad did the same. I have no doubt that her reward in heaven will far exceed mine – and, I suspect, many others. My greatest asset will always be the examples they set for me and the rules they set and enforced.

From her grandchildren:
Mam was good about writing notes to her grandchildren. Mine and my brother’s notes are packed away but my cousin Angela was able to put her hands on her treasured note from Mam and shared it with us. Thank you, Angie! We each received notes like this but each one was tailored to the specific grandchild so while we all received her standard, timeless advice, the personal notes to each of us were slightly different. In

From her granddaughter, Angela- the note Mam wrote to her:

My own experiences with Mam:

Mam spent so many of her years teaching Sunday School classes to the younger generations. When my children were young and we attended Poynor Baptist Church near Southwest City, McDonald County, Missouri, Mam was still there teaching the little ones. I’m grateful for her life of service, for the lessons she taught me both inside and outside the church, and for the lessons she taught my children. I appreciated her openness. She was always willing to share her own life lessons in order to help teach me ways to confront various situations in my own life. I won’t go into details but she rarely hesitated to give examples of situations from her own life to show how to (or how not to) respond to a particular situation. Like Angie’s note above, Mam was always directing us back to scripture for answers to problems as well and quick to remind us that maybe we needed to pray about a problem. Any time I had questions to ask, she was willing to take the time to answer them and if my behavior got a little off track she wasn’t afraid to set me straight even if I didn’t appreciate it at the time.

Thank you to those of you who shared some stories with me and if I missed anyone’s story please message me and let me know so I can include it in the weekend wrap up.

Until tomorrow,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

Audrey Larkin Drake Mitchell: Helper and Friend

This is going to be a two-part series with the shorter part being today. Yesterday was full of emergencies, car repairs, computer repairs that didn’t fix the problem, internet issues, more sickness…you get the picture. So today I will basically introduce Audrey (“Mam”) as a helping person and will continue with more stories on Wednesday.

Yesterday was Audrey’s birthday. Audrey is my paternal grandmother. I think I miss my grandmas more and more as I grow older.


A photo of Audrey about 4 years before the newspaper article below was written.

I wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to take with this blog post until I found this article yesterday on Newspapers.com:


Wednesday, 9 Nov 1960, Miami (Oklahoma) Daily News-Record

Mam (Audrey) always was a helper. She raised her four children but then she also raised four grandchildren, three nephews, and a brother-in-law. I knew about her grandchildren living with her- they were my cousins and one of the reasons I enjoyed going to Mam’s house often. I had no idea that she had raised three nephews and a brother-in-law, though. So there is a lot to find out about Mam and all the ways she helped people. I’m still gathering stories if you’d like to send me yours.

I apologize for the brevity of this post but real life gets in the way sometimes. I promise to deliver lots of stories on Wednesday to go with this theme and the newspaper article I found. I’m looking forward to it. I hope you are as well. (On Wednesday I was planning to tell you about new information I’ve received on people I’ve blogged about in the past. That will be pushed back to later in the week- maybe Friday.)

Until tomorrow,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

INA JANE CAWYER PAGE: CANE POLES, CORN COB PIPES, AND A COAL TOWN BEGINNING

NOTE: It’s the birthday of two special women in our lives but I’m only writing about one per day. Today we’ll talk about Bart’s paternal great grandma, Ina Jane CAWYER PAGE. (Tomorrow we’ll talk about my paternal grandma, Audrey LARKIN DRAKE MITCHELL.) Also, I received a document in the mail today AND received two messages all of which I’d like to share with you so there will be at least one bonus blog post this week (probably on Wednesday). Look for it!

INA JANE CAWYER PAGE

On this date in 1884, Ina Jane CAWYER PAGE was born in Litchfield, Crawford County, Kansas. Her mom and dad were David Alexander “Eleck” CAWYER (whom I wrote about here) and Mary Ann CASE CAWYER.


Photo courtesy of my husband’s Uncle Gerry. Photo is circa 1912-1913. George and Ina CAWYER PAGE’s family, left to right: Alex, George, Ina Jane holding Jess, Cecil Elzona (my husband’s grandmother) standing in front of Ina, Frank, Mary, and Arthur. Thanks to Uncle Gerry for both the photo and the identification of everyone in the photo. I have one more photo of Ina but I’ll be saving it for a post later this year.

MEMORIES FROM INA’S GRANDSON

When I asked my father-in-law, Bart, for his memories about his grandma Ina he chuckled. He said there was a spring down a steep hill from grandma’s [Ina’s] and the kids had to go down and get water. This was when she lived over by Zena, Delaware County, Oklahoma. He recalled a dipper they used to drink the water. He said you better not hold it on the bottom or she would get you! As a kid, when he went to her house he had to stay outside and keep himself occupied. He recalls that Ina was very strict. Ina raised her own tobacco. She chewed tobacco and also smoked it in a corn cob pipe.


An excellent specimen. Photo found on The Consecrated Eminence blog (a blog of The Archives & Special Collections at Amherst College; Amherst, Massachusetts).

You can make your own corn cob pipe. Here are one set of instructions found online at The Art of Manliness blog.

Bart Sr. remembers going fishing with Ina and using Ina’s cane pole. She would bait the pole for him with a worm and they would catch perch together.


Here is a cane fishing pole photo I found on Karen McClane’s ‘Sundays’ Pinterest board. You can make your own with instructions found at Howdyyadewit blog. You can learn the art of cane fishing at Wide Open Spaces’ website.

LITCHFIELD, CRAWFORD COUNTY, KANSAS- BIRTHPLACE OF INA JANE CAWYER

I want to go back and talk about the place Ina was born. At the time Ina was born, Litchfield was a coal mining town (with at least 9 mines in the 1880’s) and railroad station. You can still see the old Litchfield railroad sign. It’s faded but as of September 2014 when I took this photo, it was still there:

In 1883, about 500 loads of coal were being shipped out every day. (History of the State of Kansas, William G. Cutler, 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL.) The original name of the town was Edwin. They had a post office under the name Edwin from January of 1878 through May of 1881. What the Kansas State Historical Society website won’t tell you (and what I only found out by studying old newspapers) is that the town name was changed to Carbon briefly. After that, the name officially changed to Litchfield and the post office carried on under the name Litchfield through July of 1903 at which point the town was not much of a town anymore and the post office was shut down. The name was changed from Carbon to Litchfield at the demand of the US Postal agency because the name Carbon conflicted with another town of a similar name. If you have a subscription to Newspapers.com, look up the article about Litchfield in the 1 October 1903 edition of The Pittsburg Headlight (a Kansas paper)- page 3.

If you want to find Litchfield for yourself, you’ll need to look about 4 miles Northeast of Pittsburg, Kansas and follow the railroad. The old rail station sign I photographed (shown above) is found on 570th Avenue about ½ mile East of Free King’s Highway close to the railroad and next to a house. The GPS location is at approximately 37.440228,-94.661486. I say approximately because I know that day my cell reception wasn’t always good and I don’t remember if the location at the Litchfield rail station sign had reception or not. If it didn’t, this GPS location will get you close. If my phone was getting reception, then that GPS location will take you right there. If you do decide to visit Litchfield, don’t leave the Pittsburg area without eating at Chicken Mary’s or Chicken Annie’s. You won’t regret it!

Here’s an 1886 map of Litchfield found at Kansas Memory’s website.

Historic Map Works also has an interesting map of Litchfield, Kansas that I would recommend looking at.

Another close-up plat map view of Litchfield with land owners’ and mining companies’ names can be found at Rootsweb.


Photo is modified. Original can be found at Rootsweb.

Central Coal & Coke was one of the big mining operators in the Litchfield area. Here’s a photograph from Kansas City Stories’ website. You can go there to read about a big mining strike in 1893 and all the drama and trouble that accompanied that incident.

One final photo from Litchfield that I particularly like:


Photo was at FlickRiver but can no longer be found there. I located it in a Google image search. In the interest of credits, you can locate the photo at this weblink.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little about Ina and her birthplace today. If you have any additional stories you’d like to share I’d love to hear them. If you have photos, I hope you’ll share them.

Until tomorrow,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

INA JANE CAWYER PAGE: CANE POLES, CORN COB PIPES, AND A COAL TOWN BEGINNING

NOTE: It’s the birthday of two special women in our lives but I’m only writing about one per day. Today we’ll talk about Bart’s paternal great grandma, Ina Jane CAWYER PAGE. (Tomorrow we’ll talk about my paternal grandma, Audrey LARKIN DRAKE MITCHELL.) Also, I received a document in the mail today AND received two messages all of which I’d like to share with you so there will be at least one bonus blog post this week (probably on Wednesday). Look for it!

INA JANE CAWYER PAGE

On this date in 1884, Ina Jane CAWYER PAGE was born in Litchfield, Crawford County, Kansas. Her mom and dad were David Alexander “Eleck” CAWYER (whom I wrote about here) and Mary Ann CASE CAWYER.


Photo courtesy of my husband’s Uncle Gerry. Photo is circa 1912-1913. George and Ina CAWYER PAGE’s family, left to right: Alex, George, Ina Jane holding Jess, Cecil Elzona (my husband’s grandmother) standing in front of Ina, Frank, Mary, and Arthur. Thanks to Uncle Gerry for both the photo and the identification of everyone in the photo. I have one more photo of Ina but I’ll be saving it for a post later this year.

MEMORIES FROM INA’S GRANDSON

When I asked my father-in-law, Bart, for his memories about his grandma Ina he chuckled. He said there was a spring down a steep hill from grandma’s [Ina’s] and the kids had to go down and get water. This was when she lived over by Zena, Delaware County, Oklahoma. He recalled a dipper they used to drink the water. He said you better not hold it on the bottom or she would get you! As a kid, when he went to her house he had to stay outside and keep himself occupied. He recalls that Ina was very strict. Ina raised her own tobacco. She chewed tobacco and also smoked it in a corn cob pipe.


An excellent specimen. Photo found on The Consecrated Eminence blog (a blog of The Archives & Special Collections at Amherst College; Amherst, Massachusetts).

You can make your own corn cob pipe. Here are one set of instructions found online at The Art of Manliness blog.

Bart Sr. remembers going fishing with Ina and using Ina’s cane pole. She would bait the pole for him with a worm and they would catch perch together.


Here is a cane fishing pole photo I found on Karen McClane’s ‘Sundays’ Pinterest board. You can make your own with instructions found at Howdyyadewit blog. You can learn the art of cane fishing at Wide Open Spaces’ website.

LITCHFIELD, CRAWFORD COUNTY, KANSAS- BIRTHPLACE OF INA JANE CAWYER

I want to go back and talk about the place Ina was born. At the time Ina was born, Litchfield was a coal mining town (with at least 9 mines in the 1880’s) and railroad station. You can still see the old Litchfield railroad sign. It’s faded but as of September 2014 when I took this photo, it was still there:

In 1883, about 500 loads of coal were being shipped out every day. (History of the State of Kansas, William G. Cutler, 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL.) The original name of the town was Edwin. They had a post office under the name Edwin from January of 1878 through May of 1881. What the Kansas State Historical Society website won’t tell you (and what I only found out by studying old newspapers) is that the town name was changed to Carbon briefly. After that, the name officially changed to Litchfield and the post office carried on under the name Litchfield through July of 1903 at which point the town was not much of a town anymore and the post office was shut down. The name was changed from Carbon to Litchfield at the demand of the US Postal agency because the name Carbon conflicted with another town of a similar name. If you have a subscription to Newspapers.com, look up the article about Litchfield in the 1 October 1903 edition of The Pittsburg Headlight (a Kansas paper)- page 3.

If you want to find Litchfield for yourself, you’ll need to look about 4 miles Northeast of Pittsburg, Kansas and follow the railroad. The old rail station sign I photographed (shown above) is found on 570th Avenue about ½ mile East of Free King’s Highway close to the railroad and next to a house. The GPS location is at approximately 37.440228,-94.661486. I say approximately because I know that day my cell reception wasn’t always good and I don’t remember if the location at the Litchfield rail station sign had reception or not. If it didn’t, this GPS location will get you close. If my phone was getting reception, then that GPS location will take you right there. If you do decide to visit Litchfield, don’t leave the Pittsburg area without eating at Chicken Mary’s or Chicken Annie’s. You won’t regret it!

Here’s an 1886 map of Litchfield found at Kansas Memory’s website.

Historic Map Works also has an interesting map of Litchfield, Kansas that I would recommend looking at.

Another close-up plat map view of Litchfield with land owners’ and mining companies’ names can be found at Rootsweb.


Photo is modified. Original can be found at Rootsweb.

Central Coal & Coke was one of the big mining operators in the Litchfield area. Here’s a photograph from Kansas City Stories’ website. You can go there to read about a big mining strike in 1893 and all the drama and trouble that accompanied that incident.

One final photo from Litchfield that I particularly like:


Photo was at FlickRiver but can no longer be found there. I located it in a Google image search. In the interest of credits, you can locate the photo at this weblink.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little about Ina and her birthplace today. If you have any additional stories you’d like to share I’d love to hear them. If you have photos, I hope you’ll share them.

Until tomorrow,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog