Week 19- Orphans, A New Blog, and Podcasts

Welcome to week 19 of 2018 and week 2 of my short hiatus from blogging about my own personal family (and my husband’s).  Just this week and one more and I’ll get back to blogging about our families.  During my hiatus, I’m posting information that is not easily found elsewhere.  In case you’re just joining me I’ll let you know that I’m posting records of children who passed through the Jasper County Alms House (the “poor farm”) near Carthage, Jasper County, Missouri.  Today I’ll be posting about one family and I’ll also be recommending one blog I just found and a couple of podcasts I’m enjoying.

Let’s start with the blog.  I just finished watching the most recent season of Relative Race on BYUTV.  (If you don’t get BYUTV, contact your satellite or cable company.  It’s a family-oriented channel with lots of genealogy and family-friendly programming available.)  On episode 8 of Relative Race (Season 3, original air date 22 April 2018), there was a brief mention that Team Black (Johnathon and Rebecca HOYT) had met a relative who podcasts her family history and this relative (Dru MATTIMOE) interviewed Team Black for her podcast.  For a long time now, I’ve been thinking about creating a podcast that goes along with my blog so this bit of information caught my attention.  I did a little internet sleuthing and found Dru!  Before finding Dru though, I found her blog- Coffee and Headphones.   The first post I read was entitled, Relevé, Plié.  The link above will take you right to that post.  Before I could read even a word of her post I was immediately taken back to my childhood ballet and tap days.  Some of my friends and I were in dance classes when I was little.  Here is a photo of my friend, Genita (on the right), and I in our dance costumes for the tap portion of our dance classes.  This was right before a performance.  We were standing in her grandma’s yard right next door to my house on the “old highway” in Jay, Delaware County, Oklahoma.  Her grandma was my babysitter for several years when I was young.  I was probably about 8 or 9 years old in this photograph.

I happen to work at the same high school where Genita’s daughter attends now and I saw her within a day or so of reading Dru’s post and thinking about Genita and our dance days.  Maybe I’ll take a copy of this photo to her daughter one day before school’s out.

Yesterday I got to talk with Dru.  (I was trying to fix the lawnmower yesterday so I hope I didn’t look too wild and crazy for our video chat!)  I enjoyed our conversation and I’m looking forward to following her blog as well as her podcasting adventures.  So GO READ DRU’S BLOG!  I’m enjoying it and I think you will too, especially if you like a little ‘Hollywood’ to go with your history!  Speaking of podcasts, I’m in the car often so I listen to a lot of podcasts.  I was recently listening to an episode of Always Listening and the host, Joel SHARPTON, recommended Tyler Mahan COE’s podcast Cocaine and Rhinestones (which is both a podcast and a blog that follows along with the podcast).  Tyler podcasts the history of country music.  Now, I’m not the world’s biggest country music fan but something Joel said caught my interest so I flipped over to Cocaine and Rhinestones and I was hooked on the first episode (which for me, by the way, was Season 1, Episode 3, The Murder Ballad of Spade Cooley).  I’m about halfway through Season 1 right now.  Go take a listen.  Season 1 is all about the old names in country music- the ones my dad played in the cassette player of that dinky little Datsun pickup that my parents somehow managed to fit two adults and three children into back in the days when seatbelts were optional (and rarely used).  Sure wish I had a photo of that pickup truck.  Here’s a similar one found at CFI America:

Don’t make the mistake of looking at this pickup as anything close to a full-size pickup truck.  These things were TINY!!

Now for the orphans.  If you aren’t interested, you can cut out now.  It won’t hurt my feelings.  If you are interested, read on.

Above is the cover and description of the records for anyone interested.  Below is the first page of the transcription.  I’ll be skipping the second child (#2- Elija ROBINSON).  Just yesterday I made a breakthrough on Elija so I’m saving that for next week so I can research it a little more.  This week I’ll be discussing children Rhoda and Eva MALONE and their mom, Mary MALONE (#5-#7 on the list).

Here’s what I know about the MALONE sisters.  Mary MALONE came to the alms house with her two daughters- Rhoda and Eva- in February of 1883.  Mary was born in 1842 in Illinois.  She died (presumably at the alms house since it’s in their records) in August of 1886.  She came in with her daughter Rhoda who was born in 1863 in Illinois and her daughter Eva who was born in 1874 in Illinois.  I want to be clear here, I am presuming relationships based on the same last name and that they were all admitted to the alms house in February of 1883.  There is no disability listed with Mary’s name or the girls’ names.  Perhaps Mary was too sick to continue caring for herself or the girls anymore or perhaps she was too poor to do so and couldn’t find enough work.  I don’t know.  The above is literally all the information I had to go on.

So Mary would have been about 41 years old when she was admitted and 44 years old when she passed away.  Rhoda would have been about 20 years old and Eva about 9 years old upon admission to the alms house.  There is no discharge date for Rhoda or Eva.  Looking at all the MALONE families in the area at that time, I think the most likely family for these people was the family of John and Mary “Polly” (HENDRICKS) MALONE.  This family (at least the mother and children- I’m not sure about the father) moved from Adams County, Illinois sometime between 4 July 1870 and 15 June 1880 to Jasper County, Missouri.  In 1880, Mary (sometimes listed as Polly) had the following children: Rhoda (born about 1863 in Illinois), Adam (born about 1866 in Illinois), Hiram (born about about August of 1869 in Illinois), and Eva (born about 1874 in Illinois).  With this information, the gap in age from Rhoda to Eva makes a little more sense!  Mary was a widow in 1880.  She and her children were living in Preston, Jasper County, Missouri.  I can’t find Rhoda in 1900.  Eva is a servant in the Arnold household in Golden City, Barton County, Missouri.  Adam is living with Hiram and Hiram’s family in Richland, Barton County, Missouri.  Hiram, Adam, and Eva all married and had children.  Adam passed away in 1921 (of Paresis), Eva in 1943 (of Myocarditis), and Hiram in 1950 (of Pneumonia and infirmities of age).  I have contacted a member of this family and am exchanging information with her in an effort to figure out if this is the correct family and, if so, to link the family’s alms house years back into their historical record.  In case you’re wondering why I didn’t bring up the death record of Mary, there isn’t one that I can find.

If you’ve made it this far- thanks for reading.  Don’t forget to check out Dru’s blog, Coffee and Headphones.  Also check out Tyler’s podcast, Cocaine and Rhinestones (or, if you just aren’t interested in country, maybe check out Joel’s podcast, Always Listening, which introduces you to new podcasts).  You can also check out my sister-in-law’s blog at Down in the Root Cellar.

Take care of YOU this week!

Until next time,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

Week 18

Last week was so busy!  The last two or three months of each school year are always insanely busy.  I think I’ve finally hit that point where I won’t be blogging for a few weeks until all this craziness is over.  I’m proud of the fact that this year I’ve been able to hold off the “no blogging” streak for a month to month and a half longer than normal.  I’m going to cut myself some slack and not have a schedule for the next three weeks or so.  I will blog when I can and I will try to tell a very short story and/or photograph on Sunday rather than provide a schedule.  Hopefully in a month or so I’ll be able to tell some of the stories that were put on hold (like John BATES’ final years).  For now, I’m going to back off because I think any schedule at this point would be too much.

Today’s short story is about one of the earliest tenants at Jasper County Alms House (the “poor farm”) in Carthage, Jasper County, Missouri.  While I was at Joplin researching a couple of weeks ago I spent most of my time looking through a book containing a list of people who stayed there.  One of my strongest thoughts when going through this book was how many of the children who came there ever made it back to their families?  How did they get separated?  What happened when they left there?  I had so many questions.  I’ve found that there isn’t much information online about a lot of the children that came to the home.  For many of them I can’t even find out who their original families were.

The first person on the list was Clarissa YOAS.  Clarissa was born 157 years ago.  She was 14 years old when she was admitted to the alms house in 1875.  She (or whomever brought her there) gave her birth year as 1861 and her birth state as Pennsylvania.  She was single.   Later in the book there is another entry for Clarissa.  It said she was the daughter of Henry YOAS.  She died on 30 December 1942 and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Galena, Cherokee County, Kansas.  No other family members were admitted with Clarissa.  If she was born in Pennsylvania, how did she get to Missouri?  She had to come with someone.  Why did they leave her at the Alms House?  Did she have any family left?  Do her descendants know about what happened to her?  Does she even have any direct descendants?  So many questions!  So I did a quick search on Ancestry.com, Google, and Newspapers.com for Clarissa.

The majority of records that Clarissa appeared on were census records.  Other than those records, I found her in the alms house record and I found her death certificate.  There were no newspaper articles about her that I could find.  Clarissa’s surname was spelled a variety of ways (YOAS, YOES, YOSE, and YOOS).  Her first name was written as Clarissa, Clarisa, and Clara.  Although the alms house record, death certificate, and some of the census records gave her birth year as 1861, at least one census gave her birth year as 1857 and another as 1851.  Her birth state never varied- it was always Pennsylvania.  Clarissa never married.  She remained at the alms house from age 14 to the end of her life at age 81.  If she ever had a child, it was not recorded in the alms house record and is not in any record I could locate on Ancestry.com.

In the 1880 census, Clarissa was marked as being “idiotic” which would explain her presence at the alms house and would also explain why she never left.  In 1880, the definition of “idiotic” for purposes of the federal census was, “a person the development of whose mental faculties were arrested in infancy or childhood before coming to maturity”.  Additional information found on Genealogy.com about this subject says, “a number of known disabilities would have fallen under this category, including Downs Syndrome”.   Clarissa was also marked as a pauper on this census.  It is interesting to note that in 1880 just across the state line in Lowell, Garden Township, Cherokee County, Kansas (only 5 miles from where Clarissa was buried) is another YOAS family with a son, Francis YOAS, who is listed as “insane”.  He was born in Ohio in 1863.

The alms house went through a number of superintendents in the 67 years that Clarissa lived there.  The earliest superintendent was Benjamin HAMMER along with his wife, Tennie.  In 1900, it was James NALL and his wife, Laura.    In 1910, I couldn’t find Clarissa (nor could I find anyone else I expected to find living at the alms house).  In 1920 George W. MAXWELL was superintendent.  Jud HOWELL and his wife Eva managed the alms house in 1930.  The final available census is 1940.  It was unclear who was managing the alms house in 1940.  In the 1940 census, Clarissa declared she worked 4 hours a week.  At the poor farms, every individual worked at a certain job and the job was tailored to what the individual was able to do.  One additional thing I noticed in these census records is that people living at the poor farm were called “inmates”.

On 30 December 1942, Clarissa died.  Her cause of death was listed as Senility.  Her body was held for 13 months- possibly so family could claim her body if there were any family.  Her death certificate listed her dad as Henry YOAS but did not list her mother.  Clarissa was buried on 31 January 1943 at Oak Hill Cemetery in Galena, Cherokee County, Kansas.

clarissa yoas death cert

I’ve been unable to figure out who Clarissa’s parents and other family members were.  There are several families that I suspect are either parents or are closely related to Clarissa.  The family whose son was “insane” is one of the families I feel is closely related to Clarissa.  They are buried in a cemetery a few miles away from Clarissa (except for the “insane” son who ended up in an insane asylum and is buried in that asylum’s burial ground in Osawatomie, Kansas).  That family is Ernst and Lucy YOAS’ family.  They could be Clarissa’s parents but I don’t think so.  I think Clarissa’s parents may be Henry and Elizabeth YOAS.  Another possibility for her parents are Georg Heinrich and Elizabeth YOAS.  I have messaged a person on Ancestry.com who I think may be able to answer some of my questions about Clarissa.  If I hear back from her I’ll let you know.

Until then,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog






Week 17 Blog Schedule Plus Updates!


I’m going to put this week’s blog schedule right up at the top so that I can get into the updates down below.  If you’re here just for this week’s blog schedule you won’t need to read the updates that way.  The updates are for Bart’s paternal family, and my paternal AND maternal families. 

The schedule for this week is:

Monday:  On 23 April 1874, Bart’s paternal great grandfather, George PAGE, was born.  On Monday we’ll celebrate his life.

Wednesday:  On 25 April 1867, my paternal 3rd great grandparents, Quincy and Elizabeth Emoline (STEPHENSON) BELL, were married.  I’ll be blogging about them on this anniversary date.


This past week I took a day off from work and went to Joplin, Missouri to visit Bart.  He is working there right now and since we both have family from that area, I thought I would go and do some research while he was at work and then visit him in the evenings.  I spent a few hours in the Joplin Public Library on Friday.  I only looked at 3 books but I think I found one of Bart’s relatives in a book entitled, Mine Accidents and Deaths, Jasper County, Missouri, 1868-1906.  If it pans out, I’ll be sure to include a post about it here on the blog.  After the library, I pulled up one of my old blog posts (Small Town- David Alexander Cawyer and Mary S. Case (and Paralee and Emma) and decided to drive to as many of the addresses as I could find from that post.  The map shows the addresses to be close together but driving those short distances really brought home the fact that David lived in a very small area.  I was able to drive to four of the home sites: 218 St. Louis, which connected to 203 St. Charles which connected to 209 Highland and then 1511 Hill St was a few blocks over.  The homes in the area that haven’t had siding put on (or been renovated) show their age.  This seems to be a really old area of town.  The area lies to the West of Northpark Mall.  I also drove around some of the Villa Heights area but I had no exact address for where David lived in Villa Heights.  It was interesting to see the places for myself.  I’m including photos below. 

Above is where I think the Saint Louis street location is. It’s an empty lot right now.

Above is the Highland Street address. It looks like they removed the large tree that was hiding the house when Google last photographed it.

The above two images are of the intersection where the Saint Charles Street home used to stand. Ginger was checking out the walkers. 🙂

The Hill Street home burned down a few years ago and nothing has been rebuilt there.

The Villa Heights area is bounded on one side by 7th Street.

You know you’re in the right area because Villa Heights Christian Church still exists. I’m not sure if this area is marked on current maps but you can find it on historical maps.

Before leaving the area, I visited the closest cemetery, Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery.  I drove around a while but the cemetery is huge.  I gave up and went to the office but it was locked up.

On Saturday, I went to the cemeteries to decorate some of the graves.  I first went out to Reeds, Jasper County, Missouri to Reeds Cemetery.  I decorated the graves of my paternal 3rd great grandfather Jehue BAKER and his second wife, Lillie (LOWERY) BAKER.  My most recent post about Jehue is here.   

Next, I traveled to Peace Church Cemetery- a very old cemetery in Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri.  It’s on the Northeast side of Joplin.  The last time I went was at least 10 years ago and it was very overgrown.  Only a small portion of the cemetery was viewable at that time.  At that time, my mom and I were unable to locate the grave of my maternal 2nd great grandmother, Lucinda (DOW) ALBIN GIBSON JONES GATEWOOD.  Lucinda was the first person I blogged about when I decided to blog more consistently.  You can see that post on the old blog section at Livejournal here

I was surprised that when I arrived on Saturday there was a crew of about 20 or so people cleaning up the cemetery.  There was quite a bit more of the cemetery that was viewable this time as compared to when my mom and I came previously.  I was able to speak with the husband and wife- Jim and Kay BEELER- who organize clean up of the cemetery.  I still didn’t find Lucinda’s grave but I did learn about their clean up efforts and appreciate their doing it.  While there I photographed a young man- Aiden EVANS- who was helping to clean up the cemetery.  He told me he is responsible for cleaning the area where his EVANS ancestors are buried and he showed me a few graves right behind me that he said were his people.  I met his mom, Vonn EVANS, and she told me about their efforts and gave me permission to use Aiden’s photo on the blog.  While I was there someone from a media outlet was there to interview Jim BEELER about the clean up efforts.  I was glad to see them getting some publicity.  In case any of them decide to search for this blog post and read it, I want to say to them- THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

I wish I would have checked my photo of Aiden before leaving. I didn’t realize his eyes were closed. Aiden’s a good kid. I’m proud of him for helping out!

Above is Jim Beeler being interviewed. I didn’t ask anyone to spell their names so I hope I haven’t gotten the names misspelled too badly!

The next stop was Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery.  Their office was still closed and the so I figured I would call them this week and see if they have a list of burials. 

The final cemetery stop was Forest Park Cemetery.  I placed flowers on the graves of James and Martha (my maternal 3rd great uncle and aunt- the son & daughter-in-law of Charles George and Synthia Arrena (FOSTER) SEELY.  James went by Frank and his nephew was Preston SEELY.  I wrote a blog series about Press and it is still one of my favorites.  If you have time, go read about the duel he had with William PETTY over a girl.  The series is entitled “Jealousy and Bad Whiskey, OR Don’t Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight”.  You can find the first post in that series here.  

I only decorated one grave at Forest Park because I ran out of time.  I’ll have to get the others on another day.   For now, I have other things that need to get done.

Until tomorrow,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog.

Belgium Calling…

This week I’m trying to ease back into blogging after a couple of busy weeks.  I’ve had a couple of stories sitting on the back burner waiting on their turn so I’m telling those this week.  (Actually, I have a BUNCH on the back burner!  I’m hoping the summer is less busy so I can get those written and pushed out to you all!)  Today I want to tell you about a sweet person I “met” via email last month.  This guy’s kindness really moved me.

Around the middle of March, I received an email from a man named Koen BOLCKMANS.  Koen lives in Belgium.  This guy is awesome!  Here’s his pic:


So, that’s Koen.  He’s pretty amazing.  That gravestone he’s kneeling next to?  That’s our family.  Let me tell you the story.

I’ve heard that many Europeans adopt the graves of American servicemen (sometimes for that person’s lifetime and then they leave care of the grave to a relative to care for when they’re gone).  I didn’t know anyone who did this but I’d heard stories.  I couldn’t have told you if the stories were true or not but it was a nice “feel good” story.  Then Koen emailed me.  For the last 23 years (plus a little) he’s been taking care of this grave.  The man buried in the grave is Henry CONN- the son of Daniel and Myrtle (BAKER) CONN.  Myrtle was the sister of Mary Anne BAKER.  Mary Anne was married to Ervin Alonzo (“Poppy”) DRAKE and the two of them were my paternal 2nd great grandparents.  Henry CONN is buried at the American War Cemetery in Henri-Chapelle, Belgium.  Henry was a Private in 78th Lightning Infantry Division, 311th Regiment, Company G.


Koen told me that he’s tried to research Henry.  (Just a note: he’s done more than try! He knew a lot about Henry before he ever contacted me!)  Koen said Henry was killed in action on the second day of the assault on Kesternich, Germany inside the village clearing houses on 31 January 1945- the same day Henry’s brother, Ernest, turned 26.  Koen sent me a link to Henry’s online memorial.  I encourage you to go visit it at the Fields of Honor database.  Like I said, I have always heard that Europeans adopted the graves of American service men who died overseas.  I just never thought about them caring for one of our family members.  I think Koen is doing a fabulous job, don’t you?  I do need to mention that his friend, Astrid van Erp, helps him with this endeavor.  Astrid had asked a question on a public forum that I answered prior to Koen’s email so I actually “met” Astrid first.

Henry Aubrey CONN was born 23 July 1914 in Reeds, Jasper County, Missouri.  His parents were Daniel and Myrtle (BAKER) CONN.  Henry was the fourth of six children born to Daniel and Myrtle.

In 1922, when Henry was 7 years old, he wrote a letter to Santa that was published in the Galena, Kansas newspaper:

dear santa letter henry conn week 16

I have had a lot of trouble following the family through the census records but I do know that in 1925, the family was living in Lafayette, Chautauqua County, Kansas.  In 1925, Henry was 10 years old.  He was not attending school and he couldn’t read or write.

On 19 April 1940 when the census enumerator (Benjamin RYBURN) came to the CONN home, the family was living in Beaty, Delaware County, Oklahoma.  Henry was single, still living with his parents, and was working as a mechanic’s helper at a local garage.  In October of that same year he completed his draft card.  He listed his residence at that time as San Leandro, Alameda County, California.  There are several issues with the draft card.  Henry originally listed an Oakland, California address.  That was crossed out in 1941 and the San Leandro address was typed in.  He listed his mom as living in South West City, McDonald County, Missouri.  This is only a small discrepancy because the Beaty area of Delaware County, Oklahoma connects to South West City, McDonald County, Missouri.  Apparently the discrepancy between San Leandro, California and Oakland, California is also minor.  Henry did state that he worked in Oakland for a man named Billy Rose.

henry conn draft card week 16

Just over a year later, in November of 1941, Henry enlisted in the Army and eventually went to war in the European theatre in World War II.

henry conn draft notice week 16

He went missing on his brother Ernest’s birthday – 31 January 1945.  Henry was 31 years old when he went missing.  According to Koen, Henry was “killed in action on the second day of the assault on Kesternich, Germany, inside the village clearing houses on 31 January 1945.”  Henry was awarded the Purple Heart.  He was buried in American War Cemetery in Henri-Chapelle, Belgium.  Koen provided me with this news article giving Henry’s MIA status.

henry conn mia week 16

You can read a detailed account of the battle at Kesternich, Germany in this PDF document:

kesternich germany battle henry conn week 16

The day before and day of Henry’s death is detailed beginning on the report page numbered 14 (on the PDF it is page 15 of 50).

If you’d like the Wikipedia version, go here.  You can also read the historynet.com version at this link.  For some great photos, try the Facebook group.  You can read about the 78th Lightning Infantry Division at Wikipedia here.  A booklet was published about the 78th and you can read that online here.  You can find a photo of GI’s with the 78th here.  There is a lot of information on the internet about the 78th and about Company G.  I encourage you to Google it and take a look at the links.

Before closing, I want to provide this article from The Sarcoxie Record about Koen.  He emailed it to me so I thought I would provide it here so you can learn a little more about Koen.

sarcoxie record page 1 henry conn week 16

sarcoxie record page 2 henry conn week 16

To Koen, I’d like to say thank you for taking care of Henry’s grave and for contacting me to let me know where Henry is buried.  I hope someone returns the favor to you one day.

Until next week,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

Sources for this post include:

Koen Bolckmans & Astrid Van Erp; Newspapers.com; Ancestry.com; Fold3

Jehue Baker

Today’s blog post is about my paternal 3rd great grandfather, Jehue BAKER.  Jehue died on this date in (10 March) in 1924.  I have mentioned Jehue before in a blog post about his daughter but I haven’t specifically blogged about him so today I just want to introduce him to you.  The line of descent is through Jehue’s first child Mary Anne (who went by Annie), Annie’s son Mark DRAKE, and Mark’s son Eugene who was my grandpa.

Jehue Baker was born on 27 September 1850 in Bolivar, Polk County, Missouri.  According to his death certificate his parents were Bets BAKER and his mother’s last name was BAIR but her first name was unknown.  I have never been able to find either of his parents.  Some researchers have speculated that her name was Judy or Judith.  The children I know that belong to this couple are Mary Anne, Cora Belle, Jesse Washington, Myrtle, John Henry (who died as a toddler).  Jehue’s siblings were Martha (who married a POWERS) and Thomas.

I haven’t found any census records for Jehue prior to 1900.

Jehue and Annie

Jehue married Mary Jane LITTRELL in 1876 in Jasper County, Missouri.  I’m assuming she died around 1890 due to Jehue’s remarriage in 1891.  I have not found an 1880 census record for them.

Jehue and Lillie

STOP THE PRESSES!!  It’s 3:45 a.m. on Sunday March 11th.  Yeah- I’ve been up all night.  And yes- I’m still hoping to make it to church.  But I have to tell you- I think I’ve made a breakthrough on Jehue!!  I now believe I know who his parents are and if I’m correct, we’ve found a whole slew of new siblings.  Folks, it’s been a few decades since my Mam first told me about Jehue.  That’s a long time to search and never find anything.  This is one reason I love this blog so much!  But I digress….

I now believe Jehue’s parents are Jesse BAKER and Mary BAIR (possibly spelled BEAR).  Many researchers still maintain that Mary is Native American and while I would believe that, I can’t prove that yet.  Here’s what I know about his parents.

In 1850 they were living in District 47, Lawrence County, Missouri at census time.  This does NOT match the fact that on Jehue’s death certificate his birthplace is given as Bolivar, Polk County, Missouri.  I can’t explain that but bear with me.  In 1850 the family consisted of Jesse, his wife called Polley in 1850, and children: William, Ellen (first name is Sarah), Robert N., (later called Newton), Daniel, and James.  There was also a woman named Judith Newlis living in the home and I have not been able to place her yet.

In 1860 the family is living at Dunkles Store (later known as Lawrenceburg), Ozark Township, Lawrence County, Missouri.  At that time the family consisted of Jesse, his wife now called Mary, and their children: William, Sarah E., Newton, Daniel, James, John (later called Jahue), Thomas, and Judy (whom I believe to be Jahue’s sister, Martha Judith).

In 1870 the family is living in Lostine (later called Petersville and now no longer in existence), Cherokee County, Kansas.  The family consisted of Jesse, Mary, Sarah E., Newton, Daniel, James, Jahue, Thomas, and Martha.

I believe this is the correct family due to the ages and successive birth order of Jahue, Thomas, and Judy.  I’ve searched so many families over the years and this is the only family that fits.  I’m going to continue my research and hopefully have updates but I couldn’t wait to tell you.

I know I don’t have any photos in this blog post so I’m going to include one here of my Mam and Pa- Audrey and Eugene Drake.  Eugene is in my direct line back to Jehue BAKER.

Gene and Audrey

Jehue will have a birthday coming around later this year so I’ll finish telling you about him then but for now, I need to get to bed!!

Until tomorrow (um…I mean later today),

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog


Small Town- David Alexander Cawyer and Mary S. Case (and Paralee and Emma)

On 27 February 1883, David Alexander CAWYER and Mary S. CASE were married in Avilla, Jasper County, Missouri.  David and Mary were my husband’s paternal 2nd great grandparents.  I’ve written about David and Mary before and you can find that post here:

David Alexander “Eleck” Cawyer- Another Plea for Help  (You can see David and Mary’s marriage license here.)

david cawyer

Above is a photo of David (who went by Eleck but whom I will call David in this post.)  I have no photo of Mary, unfortunately.

When I’m researching someone to write a blog post about them, sometimes it’s the strangest things that stand out to me.  For instance, what stood out to me about David the most this time around is the tiny area in which he lived after Mary died and after he remarried.  It appears that Mary passed away sometime during the first 10 years of their marriage- between 1883 and 1893.  I’m guessing around 1891 but I have no proof.  In 1893, David married Paralee MARTIN in Webb City, Jasper County, Missouri.  You can find Webb City on the second map below.  I have been unable to locate them in the 1900 census but starting in 1902 I can pick David up through city directory entries and this is where I want to start.

The 1902 city directory just states “Joplin”.  The only clarification I could find in the directory states they lived somewhere in the vicinity of Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri, outside of any city or town limits (but still in Jasper County).  There was one other CAWYER in the directory- a W. R. CAWYER who also lived in Joplin.  This could be David’s brother, William.  Starting in 1905 the entries give street addresses (except for 1909).  The directory entries list name, occupation, whether residence (‘r’) or business, and the street address of the person listed.  The entries for David go like this:

1905: David Alex Cawyer, team [I’m guessing this means ‘teamster’], r [residence], 218 St. Louis [Joplin].  218 S. Saint Louis Avenue is currently an empty lot.

NOTE: In 1905, Paralee died.  David remained single until 1907 when he married Emma SIMPSON FAWVER.  Their respective residences on the marriage license are both Villa Heights.  So we know that in 1907 he was living in Villa Heights.  Based on this 1895 Joplin map, it looks like Villa Heights was located by the present-day North Point Shopping Center in Joplin (near Books-a-Million).  You can search the historical map of Joplin and compare it to a present day map at Google maps.  Here’s a section of it below.  You can see Villa Heights right next to Range Line Road.  On a present-day map you can find Villa Heights Christian Church near 7th Street and Range Line and this would be the right area.  You can see he is living amongst many mining companies.  The nearest is Butcher Boy Mining Company.  Unfortunately, I still don’t know which one he worked at for sure.  All I know is he worked at a zinc mine.

villa heights historical map

1909: D. A. Cowyer [a common misspelling of Cawyer in this area at this time].  I had to do a little digging to figure out where he actually lived at this time.  He was living in the country in Galena Township in an area considered to be Joplin but not in the city/town limits where he would have a street address.  I can’t chart this location any closer than this.

galena twp

Above you can see Galena township outside the Joplin city limits.

1910: Alex Cawyer, miner, r [residence], 209 Highland [Joplin].  There is one other CAWYER in the directory- Wm. R. Cawyer, a laborer living at 2nd and Indiana.  The 1910 Federal Census corroborates the Highland Street address.  The census shows the following people living in the home: David A. Cawyer, his wife Emma, David’s son James, and Emma’s children- Alexander Fawver, Emma M. Fawver, Harry (?) Fawver, and Arcus (?) Fawver.  David’s son Sam and Sam’s family are living nearby.  (It appears that Sam’s family lives on Farmers Lane but Farmers Lane is not near Highland on current maps so I’m not sure what street name the census enumerator wrote.)  The census also gives some additional detail about David’s job.  The census shows that David worked as a Shoveler at a zinc mine.  Today, this is what stands at 209 S. Highland Avenue:

209 highland joplin

I’m pretty sure it’s that tiny brown house behind the tree where the red truck is parked.  This is located close to the Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery in Joplin.

1911: David Alex Cawyer, miner, r, 1511 Hill, Joplin.  Samuel Cawyer is the other Cawyer listed in the directory.  I believe this is probably David’s son.  Samuel is living at 1500 Valley in Joplin and is also working as a miner.  There used to be a home sitting at 15ll E. Hill Street in Joplin but it burned in the summer of 2008.  Nothing has been rebuilt there.

1914: David A. Cawyer, laborer, r, 203 St. Charles, Joplin.  When you type in this address in Google maps it takes you to an intersection at E 2nd Street and S Saint Charles Avenue.  I’m assuming that the intersection went in over the top of whatever used to be there in 1914.

So, below are a couple of maps (current maps) that I put together so you could see the different places he lived.  It puts it in perspective as to how small of an area he lived in for as many places as he lived.  The majority of them are near Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery.

david mary cawyer one

david mary cawyer two

I’ve marked the two main roads that form the boundaries of the residences- Range Line Road and St. Louis Avenue.  To the south is 7th Street.  On the northern side is Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery.  The mapping program wouldn’t let me get all the locations on one map.  I’ve added in the year he lived at each residence.  Hopefully all of that isn’t too confusing.  In any case, I think it’s clear enough that he lived in a number of places in a small geographic area over the course of about a decade.

There are several large gaps of time during which I can’t account for David.  Hopefully in the future I’ll be able to fix that.

Until then,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog


Ancestry.com; Google Maps; HistoricMapWorks.com; Bing maps


Messages for Madeline #2



So last week, I talked about old friends and new friends.  I want to expand on that a little this week.  When I was a teenager, I was eager to get out of this small town and see the world.  I wasn’t very good about keeping up with old friends.  Now, 30 years later, I really regret that.

My best friend when I was growing up was Jenni.  She lived about a block and a half away from me and if I wasn’t at her house, she was at mine.  Always.  We would play weeks-long games of Monopoly.  We loved playing the game Life, too.  Her mom was our Girl Scout leader- I talked about that a little last week.  I miss Jenni.

girl scout photo

This photo was taken at Girl Scout camp one year, if I remember correctly.  Top row left to right: Kim C., Karen H..  Bottom row left to right: Me, Jenni P..

In the last few years of high school I let our friendship slide in favor of hanging out with my boyfriend.  After graduation, we went our separate ways.  There were a few letters and a couple calls over the years but life happens and we lost touch.

Around 13 years after high school I found out she lived near Saint Louis.  I was traveling through there once so I called and arranged a visit with her.  It was so great to see her after that many years.  But again, we each had our own lives that didn’t intersect and we tried to keep in touch (with email this time, which was much easier).  We were in touch more often but still, after a few years the emails dwindled to yearly Christmas cards with family photos and eventually there was no contact again.  I searched for her occasionally on Facebook since that is by far the easiest way to keep in touch but I could never find an account for her.  Then a few days ago I received a notification on Facebook that she had created an account.  I was so excited to finally have the option to keep up with her life and stay in touch with her.  But, she has her account locked down and isn’t even receiving messages.

I’m telling you all this so you don’t make the same mistakes I did.  Sort of like an older sister who’s “been there, done that” trying to help you navigate all the parts of life that you don’t really think about.

Anyway, I hope to hear from you again soon, Maddie.  I don’t have any messages for you but I think you’ve probably heard from everyone already.  So, have a great week!

Your friend,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog


George Benjamin Page, the Pioneer L & Z Miner

George Benjamin PAGE is my husband’s paternal great grandfather.

On this date in 1946, George passed away.

Memories of a Grandson

I asked for my father-in-law’s memories of his grandpa. He said when he was a child (about 9 or 10 years old) he spent the night with George. When it got cold at night, his grandpa George would get up and add wood to the stove. Once his Grandpa George threw some wood in the stove and then jerked the door open again and said, “Oh my goodness!” About the time he said that, the family’s cat jumped out of the wood stove! Apparently the cat had been inside the wood pile for warmth and was carried in with the wood. My father-in-law said his grandpa George and grandma Ina lived in separate places. Ina lived in the house and George lived in a one room cabin separate from Ina’s place. George usually went to Ina’s house for meals.

George’s Childhood

George’s dad (William Benjamin PAGE) died when George was about 6 years old. George’s mom, Rebecca DUKES PAGE, remarried two (or possibly three times) after William died. George had 4 siblings and 1 half-sibling that I know of. George was born and grew up in the state of Kansas. However, by 1899 he was living in Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri. In 1899 he married Ina Jane CAWYER in Carthage, Jasper County, Missouri. Ina’s father, David Alexander “Eleck” CAWYER whom I wrote about here) gave his permission for the marriage as noted on the couple’s marriage certificate. Ina was 16 years old when she married George and George was about 24 years old.

Photo of a page from a family Bible found on Ancestry.

George’s Adult Life

In 1900, barely a year after they were married, they were taking care of Mary BURK. Mary is listed as George’s grandmother and is shown to be a widow on this census. George and Ina were still living in Joplin at the time the census taker came. By 1910 they had moved to Boone Township, Wright County, Missouri. George and Ina were living there together with their 5 children. On this census, Ina declared she had given birth to 5 children and all 5 were still living. George’s mom, Rebecca, is living two houses up from them with a DICKINSON family and she is going by the last name PAGE, as opposed to one of her married names (which included FONBURG and WORKMAN).

In 1918, America was heading into World War I. George was required to sign up for the draft. He listed his permanent home address as Tar River, Ottawa County, Oklahoma. He was 43 years old and his occupation was Miner. He was working for Pioneer Lead and Zinc Company.

Pioneer Mine map from US-Mining.

If you are local, your little red flags started waving as soon as you red ‘Tar River’. Tar River is now part of the Superfund site in northeast Oklahoma. You can learn more about the area here and here and here.

Tar River Mining map found at OSU’s Chronicles website.

While we’re talking about maps, do you remember a couple of weeks ago when my mom and I made a trip to Missouri Southern State University to look at their mining maps? Well, if you’d like to see a digital collection of their maps pertaining to Pioneer Mine, you can go here.

Tar River later merged with another mining camp and was renamed Commerce. Commerce is in Ottawa County, Oklahoma. It sits on top of an ore seam. The ore seam marks the merging point of Tar River and Hattonville before they became Commerce. Picher, Ottawa County, Oklahoma and surrounding areas (including Tar River/Commerce) played a large role in World War I. “Over 50 percent of the lead and zinc metal consumed in World War I came from the Picher Field. During the mining boom years more than fourteen thousand men worked in its mines, and another four thousand worked in approximately fifteen hundred mining service businesses. Many of these workers commuted to work using an extensive trolley car system that ran all the way to Carthage, Missouri. In the subsequent years Picher could not attract new industry, because a majority of the real estate belonged to restricted Quapaw heirs and because the town had many mines distributed underneath the surface.” (http://www.abandonedok.com/picher/ You can find more information and photographs at this link also.)

Housing was crude in Tar River. The miners lived in shanties with no indoor plumbing. Here is an old photo of miner housing that I found:

Tar River Housing photo

Below is an article I found in the 1 November 1918 edition of the Baxter Springs News out of Baxter Springs, Kansas, about the Pioneer Mine. An article next to this one in the newspaper talks about the 1918 Flu epidemic and how bad it was in the Picher-Cardin mining area.

Pioneer Mine article, newspapers.com

I’m going to have to wrap up this blog post for today before I have to get out the door to work. George’s WWI draft registration gave a description of him that I want to pass along to you before I go, though. According to his registration, George was tall, had a slender build, and had brown hair and blue eyes. I don’t have a photograph of George to show you so this short description will have to do for today. I have some of my own photos of the Cardin-Picher mining area that I took before the government bought it up, forced everyone out and then fenced it off. I’ll try to find those photos for the weekend wrap-up. I even have some photos of Tar Creek. For now, though, I have to get ready for work. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post about George as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. I always enjoy delving into local history, especially where it connects with my family history. I especially love the history of the Picher-Cardin mining area as so many of mine and my husband’s ancestors lived in that area.

Until tomorrow,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

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.


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:


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

David Alexander “Eleck” Cawyer- Another Plea for Help

A few posts back I asked for help with a particularly difficult ancestor. Today I’m back with a duplicate request for a different ancestor. David Alexander “Eleck” CAWYER is Bart’s paternal 2nd great grandfather. He was born in January possibly in 1864 or 1865. This is another case where nearly everyone online has errors in the family tree. Some records say he was born in Tennessee, some say North Carolina. To be honest, there aren’t that many records that I feel confident are really him so it’s difficult to give you a lot of data for him. I know that he had at least two children- Ina Jane CAWYER (Bart’s paternal great grandmother who married a PAGE) and Samuel William David CAWYER. There was also a half-brother to these two by the name of Oscar CARDER.

Here is a photo of Eleck:

I believe Eleck was in Marian, Newton County, Missouri in 1880 with his parents. Eleck married Mary S. CASE in 1883 in Jasper County, Missouri. Some researchers believe he also married Paralee MARTIN a decade or so later. There is one marriage record that I am certain is his:

It is believed he died on 8 March 1918 in Joplin, Missouri and is buried in Forest Park Cemetery in Joplin. I have not found his grave or any concrete evidence he is buried there.

Beyond the above information, I’m really not certain about anything else. I have not had any luck finding newspaper articles or any other information about Eleck. I know (per the marriage record) that his mother is Mary A. and she was widowed by the time of Eleck’s 1883 marriage. I have been unable to connect him to any of the other CAWYER families in Newton and Jasper Counties in the time frame that I know he was there. It is believed by some researchers that Eleck was a miner.

Thanks to Bart’s Uncle Gerry for providing the photo. Mine is packed away somewhere and I’ve been unable to figure out which box it’s in. I want to also thank Gerry’s contact, Linda CAWYER, who provided the information about the half-brother, Oscar CARDER.

If you have any information – no matter how insignificant you deem it to be – please share it so we can make some progress on this family line. I hope you enjoy the photo and I wish I could tell you a story about him. For now, he remains a mystery. On a positive note though, I’m looking forward to making a trip to Missouri soon to check out a mining map archival collection that may provide new clues about some of the mining men I’ve written about over the last several years. If I’m really lucky maybe they’ll provide clues about Eleck CAWYER, too. In the same archival facility is a collection that may help me unlock some clues about Lucinda DOW GIBSON as well. So even though this hasn’t been the best story week, things are looking up and every blog post brings us one step closer to uncovering new information.

Until tomorrow,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog