William Larkin: Farmer, Mine Owner, and Road Paver

Today we’re celebrating William LARKIN’s birthday which is actually on the 13th but as I said in Sunday’s post, writing about three people on one blog post is just too much- for you AND for me. So here I sit (with my cup of coffee flavored with a little caramel syrup) to write another story for you. William is my 2nd great grandfather and the father of Ralph LARKIN about whom I blogged on Monday.

William was born in 1868 in Ohio to Joseph and Mary LANE LARKIN. Theodore Clay LARKIN (the one with the penchant for baseball bats that I wrote about here) was William’s uncle. William’s family moved to Kentucky about 1870 and then on to Arkansas by 1872. Between 1876 and 1880 they moved to McDonald Township, Barry County, Missouri. It was in Barry County, Missouri that William married Minerva Jane UNDERWOOD in 1889. They stayed in Barry County for a decade or so. This is where most (possibly all) of their children were born. After William’s mom passed away in 1899, William and Minerva moved to Aurora, Lawrence County, Missouri. I’m not sure if it’s coincidence, but on the 1900 census (and only on this one) he gave his occupation as mine owner. So did he inherit a mine from his mom or her family? Did he inherit money and that’s how he bought a mine? Did it just happen to all fall into place about the time his mom died? Or, did he hope to get in on the gold that was discovered in Barry County in 1910? So many questions, so few answers. (If you’re interested in the 1910 discovery of gold in Barry County you can read about it here. You’ll have to scroll almost to the bottom of the page or use your search function. Hey Becky, is this your RICH family mentioned in this gold article??)

William and his family stayed in Aurora for the decade between 1900-1910. 1910 is a little confusing where this family is concerned because the census shows they were living in Hulbert, Cherokee County, Oklahoma (near Tahlequah). But later on down in this post you’ll see a city directory entry that shows them living in Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma. My opinion is that their residence was in Hulbert but during the work week William lived in a tent in Tulsa. You’ll see a newspaper article toward the end of this blog post that will make this theory more clear.

I lost William and Minerva after 1910 and they were “missing” for a very long time until I found a researcher who told me Minerva died about 1917 or 1918 and is buried in a plot in a cemetery in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The plot was meant for someone else but when Minerva died and they needed a place to bury her, they used the plot they had. It is, as far as I know, an unmarked grave. To be clear I can’t verify whether or not Minerva is there. I can’t verify her death date or place either. Oklahoma just came out with a database yesterday to search births and deaths in Oklahoma and I couldn’t find Minerva on there by her name. There was, however, an unidentified female with the last name LARKIN who died in March of 1917 in Cherokee County, Oklahoma so this could possibly be Minerva. I’ll be checking this out soon.

If you have Oklahoma ancestors you’re researching you can find the database here. (Thanks to Becky for the link! After she linked me, I got the same link from my cousin Denise LARKIN. Thanks to both of you!)

As for William, he disappeared after 1910 and I haven’t been able to find him. Becky did make this discovery just this week that I want to share with you.

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1910 Tulsa City Directory entry.

Based on images I can find online it looks like 121 N Nogales is now an empty lot:

(Thanks, Google maps!)

Along with that new information Becky sent a link so I could learn more about the company William worked for- Tulsa Vitrified Brick and Tile Company. You can learn about it too by going to Tulsa Gal’s blog.

I did not know William was ever in Tulsa so this is a new area to research. I checked the new Oklahoma database I linked to above and found one entry for a William Larkin.

I will definitely be checking this out further and, if it looks promising, I’ll be ordering a certificate. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that after all these years I have finally found him (and Minerva, too).

Becky found one more little tidbit that I’d like to share with you from Newspapers.com because I believe there is a strong possibility that this article is about our William LARKIN:


16 September 1906, The Morning Tulsa Daily World

Anybody in the Tulsa area feel like taking a trip over to the old fair ground district to take some photos for us??

So there you have it. Our farmer, mine owner, and road paver summed up in one story. The next time you’re driving around in Tulsa, I hope you’ll think about William. You may be driving on a road he once paved.

Until tomorrow,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

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