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.

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


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