G-Mail Start Date

One of Michael John Neill’s recent Genealogy Tip of the Day was about the need to document when one opened a Google g-mail Account. Since I have been using g-mail for a long time and have no recollection of when I started using it, I decided to try and find out that information.

In hopes of finding that information in my profile, I checked there first. Unfortunately, I did not quickly find anything in my profile concerning when I started using Google for email.

I then did a search of my email for the word ‘welcome’. After scrolling thru several screens of results, I fortunately found my welcome message.


The date of the email is present on the results screen, but the message itself does not contain the date.

My message offers a glimpse into Google history since it mentions services like Picassa that no longer exist.


Since I wanted the date and the message together so I could save a PDF copy, I wanted to see the original message. In order to view the original, I pulled down the ‘carrot’ near the reply icon and selected show original.


With the original message on the screen, I now was able to print a PDF version of the message that included the date. (Note: The original version of an email is the html code for the email. Thus, the formatting is lost.)


Thanks Michael John Neill for this tip!

Documenting Parent-Child Relationships

Today, I had another researcher ask about my ‘ChildParent’ events associated with Nancy Jane McCormick. That event is a fact type that I created.

I created this fact type because I was used to using a similar fact type in The Master Genealogist (TMG). In TMG, I used the dau-bio and son-bio tag types. The tag allowed me to connect a parent with a child — and attach source documentation to that relationship.

Since RootsMagic doesn’t have a similar fact type, I’ve been struggling with how to document parent-child relationships. I’d love to hear how other RootsMagic users are documenting parent/child relationships!

Same Name

For my genealogy research, ‘brick walls’ and ‘same name’ often go hand in hand. Hiram M. Currey and James Crawford are two examples where a ‘brick wall’ also involves working thru ‘same name’ issues. In the case of Hiram M. Currey, I have four generations that go by that name. To further complicate the issue, there is another Hiram M. Currey that is about the same age as my Hiram M. Currey of Peoria, Illinois. My James Crawford research is more complicated. I have identified three James Crawford families in the same area of early Kentucky. Histories of the region refer to a Rev. James Crawford who is likely the Rev. James Crawford — a fourth James Crawford.

Over the years, I have been able to figure out the relationships between the multiple Hiram M Curreys and to separate the multiple James Crawfords. I have found the following techniques useful:

  • Perform a reasonably exhaustive research of all people of the same name in the same area and time period
  • Research the descendants of all of the people of the same name for at least three generations
  • Use land records

It was thru land records that I was able to separate the various James Crawford families — including the two that lived adjacent to each other in Preble County, Ohio. When they sold land, their wife’s name was included in the deed along with her release of dower. For example, Preble County, Ohio Deed Book Volume 10, page 282 shows James Crawford and his wife, Martha, selling land in 1829.

Likewise, a deed in volume 5 page 86, shows James Crawford and his wife, Sally, selling land in 1821.

By looking at the wife’s name on the land records for the sale of land, I was able to separate the various James Crawford families. In addition, I was also able to track their migration.

Since I have done reasonably exhaustive research on each of these families, I have located a will for both of the James Crawfords who resided in Preble County, Ohio in 1820. I have also found marriage information for their children.  Recently, I have been able to use that knowledge to figure out which one is which in the 1820 Preble County, Ohio census.

Below is an image showing the transcription of the 1820 Preble County Ohio census for Crawford and related families.

Since I wasn’t sure whether the James Crawford shown on image 2 or the James Crawford junior shown on image 4 was my ancestor, I decided to compare the family group sheet for James and Martha to the census to see if I could figure out whether James and Martha were on image 2 or on image 4.

I used the same procedure for the family group sheet for James and Sally.

The family information I have for James and Martha seems to match the James Crawford census record on image 2. However, when I match up the family information for James and Sally to the James Crawford junr census record on page 4, it becomes obvious that there are additional people — particularly females — living in the household that are not on my family group sheet.

Thus, I have more family members — and more records — to find.

Scottish Naming

Is It a Clue?

One of my brick walls is James Crawford. Unfortunately, James is a common name and there seems to be multiple James Crawford families wherever my ancestor moves. Even though I’ve worked hard to separate the various families, I still haven’t been able to figure out how all of these James Crawfords might be related. Nor, have I been able to identify parents for my James Crawford.

Thus, I’m going back thru my research looking for clues that might help me make a breakthrough. One of those clues is the given name of Nelson.

To make sure I found all of the Nelsons, I ran a descendancy report for five generations and then searched for Nelson.

I also ran reports for James and Martha (Knight) Crawford, James and Rebecca (Anderson) Crawford and Alexander and Mary (McPheeters) Crawford. I did not find any Nelson Crawfords in those reports.

Thus, I’m wondering whether the name, Nelson, is a clue!

Using the Scottish naming convention, the given name might help me find the father of James.

  • The first son is named after the father’s father;
  • The second son is named after the mother’s father;
  • The third son is named after the father.
  • The first daughter is named after the mother’s mother;
  • The second daughter is named after the father’s mother
  • The third daughter is named after the mother.

If James Crawford followed the convention, then his father could be named Nelson.

So, is this a clue worth pursuing?





Tree Indexing Update

According to what I was previously told by Ancestry support, public member trees were last indexed on October 10th. It has been EIGHT months and my tree still isn’t showing in public member tree searches.

I rechecked my tree (Heartland Genealogy) to make sure it meets the minimum requirements to be included in the indexing of public member trees.

Must be a PUBLIC tree (under tree settings)


Tree must contain Ancestry Sources (Tree Overview)


I then ran my ‘standard’ search for Judson Foster Crawford to verify that my tree still isn’t showing up in the results:


An exact search for Judson Foster Crawford has resulted in 24 trees for the past several months. When I scroll the results list, my Heartland Genealogy tree is NOT listed.

I rechecked the profile for Judson Foster Crawford to verify that there are Ancestry sources attached.


Since I was told that it might not be possible to search for my own tree, I tried doing the same search with my ‘free’ Ancestry account.


I also tried the same search from an Ancestry Library Edition account provided by the Kansas State Historical Society.


After verifying that my tree isn’t showing up in a public member tree search, I called Ancestry support (again). Support diligently asked questions about my problem and duplicated the issue. During the conversation, I was not told the last index date. I was given a case number and they are supposed to email me when the issue is resolved.

For the “rest of the story” see my previous blog post, Ancestry Indexing Update.

The wait begins again!


Color Coding Notes

While going thru shaky leaf hints for descendants of William G. Harding, I came across what appeared to be multiple people of the same name: Abel G. Harding. Having recently watched an older YouTube video by Crista Cowan, Using Ancestry.com Like a Pro, I decided to use Crista’s recommended technique: WRITE.

I’ve seen other videos where Crista encourages the use of writing notes. Unfortunately, this is a technique that I haven’t incorporated into my research process. I have started writing notes for my direct line ancestors but most of the individuals in my file do not have notes.

Thinking that I might find it easier to separate these men of the same name if I wrote out my findings, I started creating a document for the Abel G. Harding that I think might be a descendant of William G. Harding. When I thought I was finished writing out those notes, I discovered there were two more hints on Ancestry. One of those hints was for a 1910 census record in Wisconsin. The other was for an 1890 veterans’ schedule.

The 1910 census record was AFTER the 1906 death date I had from Find A Grave. Even though this census record seemed to contradict my other findings, I decided to add it to my notes. However, I color coded the text to differentiate it.

I did the same with the 1890 veterans’ schedule — which suggested that I might have added the military record to the wrong Abel Harding. Again, I color coded this note entry and also color coded the military record.

To help prove that this was two different people, I searched for this second Abel Harding in the census records that I had already found to see if I could prove there were two different families. I continued color coding the notes — using a different color when I encountered a different family group.

Thanks to the color coding, I can see the different families. This will DEFINITELY help me to figure out these different families!

Abel G Harding 1833-1906


(Colored texts is for OTHER Abel Harding families)

Birth – 30 Apr 1833

Find a Grave indicates that Abel Harding was born 30 Apr 1833.

1851 Census – New Brunswick

William G Harding was listed as a 47 year old widowed head of household on the 1851 census for Westfield, Kings County, New Brunswick. According to the census, William’s race was listed as native. William was listed as a farmer. William had lived in New Brunswick since birth. Also listed in the household were a single female, Caroline, aged 20; a single male, Abel, aged 18; a single male, Thomas, aged 16; a single female, Abigail, aged 14; a single female, Julia, aged 11; a single female, Isabella, aged 9 and a single male, Henry, aged 5.

1860 U.S. Census – Spring Prairie, Walworth, Wisconsin

Abel Harding was listed as a 27 year old male farm laborer in the household of Stephen Jones in Spring Prairie Township, Walworth County, Wisconsin. The census listed N Brunswick as the place of birth for Abel Harding.

1860 Census – Somers, Kenosha County, Wisconsin

Abel G Harding is listed in the household of 62 year old Abel Harding. According to the Census, Abel Harding owned 1800 in real estate and 600 in personal estate. Abel Harding was a farmer. All members of the household were born in New Brunswick. The census listed Abel G Harding as a 26 year old male. Also listed in the household was Ann Harding, a 62 year old female and John C Harding a 17 year old male.

1865 Civil War Soldiers Records and Profiles, 1861-1865

Abel G Harding enlisted on 9 Feb 1865 as a Corporal in Company K Wisconsin 49th Infantry Regiment. He was mustered out of service on 8 Nov 1865 in St. Louis, Missouri.

1870 U.S. Census – Ward 2, Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Able Harding was listed as a 72 year old ‘gentleman’ born in New Brunswick on the 1870 census in Racine County, Wisconsin. Also listed in the household was Ann Harding a 72 year old female born in New Brunswick.

1870 U.S. Census – Ward 2, Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Abel Harding was listed as a 36 year old Master Vecil on the 1870 census in Racine County, Wisconsin. According to the census, Abel Harding was born in New Brunswick. Abel Harding owned 1000 in real estate and 500 in personal estate. Also listed in the household was Mary, a 30 year old female born in Ohio; Clara, an 8 year old female born in Wisconsin; Edwin, a 7 year old male born in Wisconsin; Harry, a 5 year old male born in Wisconsin; and Guy, a 2 year old male born in Wisconsin.

1870 U.S. Census – Fremont Township, Fayette, Iowa

Abel Harding was listed as a 36 year old male farmer who was born in New Brunswick on the 1870 census for Fremont Township, Fayette County, Iowa. Also listed in the household was Cinthy, age 22 and born in N York; Edna, female, aged 3 and born in Iowa and May, female aged 2 and born in Iowa.

1875 Plat Map – Bremer County, Iowa

The 1875 plat map of Jackson Township, Bremer County, Iowa shows a ‘A Harding’ owning land in the NE ¼ of section 29.

1876 Delayed Birth Record for Nina Belle Harding

Nina Belle Harding was born in Osage, Mitchell County, Iowa on Nov. 24, 1876. The delayed birth certificate indicates that Nina Belle was the fifth child in the family. The record lists Abel Harding, aged 42 and born New Brunswick as the father of Nina Belle. The record lists Cynthia Gertrude Edwards, aged 28 and born in Binghamton, N.Y. as the mother. The physician, midwife or other person attending the birth was listed as Caroline Orcutt.

1876 U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index

The Social Security record for Nina HardingHalverson lists Nina’s birth date as 24 Nov 1876. Nina was born in Osage, Mitchell, Iowa. According to the record, her parents were Abel Harding and Cynthia G. Edwards.

1880 – Iowa Births and Christenings Index, 1800-1999

The Iowa, Births and Christenings Index lists a child of Abel Harding being born on 10 Aug 1880. Film number 1502984 is cited. [LOCKED – TODO Created]

1880 U.S. Census

Abel Harding was listed as a 48 year old laborer who was born in Canada on the 1880 census in Cedar Township, Mitchell County, Iowa. Also listed in the household was his wife, Cynthia, age 35 and born in New York; daughter, Ada, age 14 and born in Iowa; daughter, Mary, age 13 and born in Iowa; daughter, Clara, age 8 and born in Michigan;  and daughter, Linn, age 3 and born in Iowa.

1880 U.S. Census Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Ablel G Harding was listed as a 47 year old head of household in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin on the 1880 census. According to the census, Ablel (Able) and his parents were born in New Brunswick. Ablel’s occupation was listed as Capt. Of Vessel. Also listed in the household was his wife, Mary E. age 41 and born in Ohio; daughter, Clara J, age 18 and born in Wisconsin; son Edwin R, age 16 and born in Wisconsin; son, Harry G, age 14 and born in Wisconsin; son, Guy G, age 12 and born in Wisconsin; son, Willia A, age 7 and born in Wisconsin; daughter, May E, age 5 and born in Wisconsin, and daughter, Jennie N, age 2 and born in Wisconsin.

1880 U.S. Census – Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Able Harding was listed as an 83 year old head of household on the 1880 census in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin. According to the census, Able was born in New Brunswick and his parents were born in New York. Also listed in the household was his wife, Anna, age 83 and born in New Brunswick and his granddaughter, Edith Jane, age 18 and born in Wisconsin.

1885 South Dakota, Birth Index

According to the South Dakota, Birth Index, 1856-1917, James Earl Harding was born 13 Jun 1885 in Brookings, South Dakota. The record lists Abel Harding and Cynthia Gertrude Edwards as the parents. The record was filed on 31 Mar 1942. The state file number is 582711.

1890 Veterans Schedule: Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

The 1890 veterans schedule for Racine County, Wisconsin lists an Abel G Harding. According to the schedule, this Abel G. Harding served as a corporal in Company K 49th Wisconsin Infantry. The schedule indicates an enlistment date of 9 Feb 1865 and a discharge date of 8 Mar 1865.

1895 Wisconsin State Census – Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Able G Harding was listed on the 1895 Wisconsin census in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin. His household contained 2 males and 4 females. Five members of the household were born in the United States and one was listed as being born in ‘all other countries’.

1900 U.S. Census – Fremont, Clark County, Wisconsin

Able V Harding was listed as the head of household on the 1900 census in Fremont, Clark County, Wisconsin. According to the census, Abel was born Aug 1869 in Wisconsin. Able’s father was born in Canada (Eng) and his mother was born in Maine. Able was listed as a farmer. Able and his wife had been married 5 years. Also listed in the household was his wife, Edith B., born April 1878 in New York; son, Chester A, born Nov 1895 in Wisconsin; son Able G, born Dec 1887 in Wisconsin; and son Jay F born March 1900 in Wisconsin. Edith was listed as the mother of 3 children all of whom were living.

1900 U.S. Census -Norden Township, Deuel County, South Dakota

Able Harding was listed on the 1900 census as a 66 year old head of household. According to the census, Able was born Apr 1834 in Canada (Eng). The census indicated that Abel migrated to the United States in 1855. According to the census, Abel was a farmer and rented his house. Also listed in the household was his wife, Nutty, born Sep 1946 in New York, daughter, Lola born Mar 1883 in South Dakota; son, Jmes, born June 1885 in South Dakota; daughter Marthe, borh Oct 1888 in South Dakota and widowed brother Henry, born Apr 1845 in Canada. Henry was listed as a farm laborer.

1906 Death / Burial – Find A Grave

According to Find a Grave, Abel Harding died 13 Nov 1906. He was buried in Redmens Cemetery, Port Townsend, Jefferson County, Washington.

1907 City Directory for Port Angeles, Washington

The 1907 city directory for Port Angeles, Washington listed Cynthia Harding, widow of Abel, living at 313 Scott. Other Hardings listed in the directory included Hattie Harding, maid John Iffland; James Harding, lab, b313 Scott; Marthat G Harding, mangler Pt Townsent Stm Lndy, b 313 Scott.

1909 City Directory for Port Angeles, Washington

The 1909 City Directory of Port Angeles, Washington lists Cynthia G Harding, widow of Abel, living at 210 ½ Harrison. Other Hardings listed at the same address include, housekeeper:  Etta; boarder, James E., a plumber; and boarder, Martha G who was a worker at Pt Townsend Stm Lndy.

1910 Census – Racine County, Wisonsin

The 1910 census for Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin shows Able G. Harding as the had of the household living at 1544 Phillum Avenue. According to the census record, Able was 76 years old and born in New Brunswick Can England. The census shows Able in his second marriage having been married 7 years. Able migrated to the U.S. in 1849. Able was listed as a retired contractor. Able owned his house and did not have a mortgage on it. Listed in the household was his wife Lena. Lena was 50 years old and had been born in Wisconsin. The census indicates that Lena’s marriage to Able was her second marriage and that they had been married 7 years. Lena was the mother of 2 living children. Also listed in the household was a step-daughter, Jeanette Cartstile, age 15. Jeaneatte was born in Wisconsin.

1920 U.S. Census – Ward 11, Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Abel G. Harding was listed as the head of household on the 1920 census in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin. Abel was an 8t year old widower. He immigrated to the United States in 1897 and was naturalized Mar 1909. Abel Harding was born in Canada and spoke English. Both of his parents were born in Canada and spoke English. Also listed in the household was his son in law, William Steven, aged 56 and born in Illinois; daughter, Clara, age 56 and born in Wisconson; and grandson, Gilford, aged 19 and born in Wisconsin.

1920 Find A Grave – Mound Cemetery, Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Abel G. Harding, memorial #140187390, is listed in block 11 of the Mound Cemetery, Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin. Abel’s death date is given as 17 Sep 1920. His birth date is listed as 27 Mar 1884. However, when the image of the tombstone is enlarged, it looks like the birth date could be 27 Mar 1834. Individuals attached to the memorial are his wife, Mary Gallien Harding (1839-1895), and children Guy G. Harding (unknown-1893), Sidney Harding (unknown-1890), Harry G, Harding (1866-1888) and William Able Harding (1872-1948)

1930 – Washington, Select Death Certificates, 1907-1960

The death record for Edna Harding Allen indicates she was born abt 1866 and died 16 Aug 1930 in Medical Lake, Spokane County, Washington. The record lists her father as Abel Harding. The record lists Synthia Edwards as her mother. [FHL film number 2022720, reference ID 366]

1947- Washington, Select Death Certificates, 1907-1960

The death record for James Earl Harding indicates he was born about 1885 and died 19 Nov 1947 in Renton, King County, Washington. The record lists his father as Abel Harding and his mother as Cynthia Edwards. Pearl is listed as the spouse of James Earl Harding. [FHL film # 2032616, reference ID 164170]

1974 Emporia Tornado


“At least six people were killed, more than 80 hospitalized and an unknown additional number injured by a tornado that ripped across the northwest corner of Emporia early Saturday evening. The twister virtually demolished the Lincoln Village Mobile Home Park and the Flint Hills Village Shopping Center.” (The Emporia Gazette – Extra – Sunday, the Ninth Day of June 1974 on Newspapers.com)

This is one of those ‘Where were you when’ moments.

On June 8th, my husband and I had been married for about 3 weeks. We had a 2nd floor apartment on 5th Avenue just East of Rural Street in Emporia. Mike’s brother was visiting Emporia to pre-enroll and was spending the night with us. I was just finishing preparations for supper when I heard a loud noise. A couple of minutes later, the tornado sirens went off. We proceeded toward our landlord’s basement. I don’t believe my husband ever made it to the basement. Instead he was on the front porch trying to figure out where the tornado was.

Unlike today’s reliance on cell phones and the Internet for news, our main source of information was KVOE, the local radio station. Thus, we had the radio tuned in to find out what was going on. That’s when we heard that the tornado had hit the shopping center. Thinking that the tornado likely continued to the northeast, I was concerned about my parents’ home on 21st street West of Prairie street. Since my parents were at Lake Reading for the weekend, I wasn’t exactly sure who would be home but figured my brother and his fiance may have been at the house.

My brother shared the following memory of that evening:

I lived on 21st street and my fiancee and I were the only ones home at the time. We did not hear any siren but when the electricity went off my fiancee (wife) looked out the window and said she thought it was a tornado. I can’t say I saw a funnel but it was the blackest cloud I had ever seen. We took the dog and cat to the basement. We could hear some glass breaking and when we decided it was OK to leave the basement I went down my driveway in bare feet and started visiting with a neighbor from across the street. I hadn’t looked to the east until he said something and I couldn’t believe what I saw – a few houses east and major damage. I went back inside and got some shoes on and started walking around the neighborhood. A sheriff’s deputy stopped me and asked if I had a crescent wrench, which I did. He instructed me to go around the neighborhood and shut off the gas lines.

At the time, I was working as a ward clerk (glorified secretarial aide) at St. Mary’s Hospital. Part of staff training was the expectation that staff would report during a disaster. Thus, my husband dropped me off at the hospital while he and his brother went to check on my parents’ house.

They weren’t able to drive into the area from 15th and Prairie. However, they were able to get close by going thru the park. They found the worst damage at the East end of 21st Avenue (a little over 1 block East of my parents). A house on the corner had imploded. Another house had been lifted off of its foundation with a car dropped into the basement. A house on the cul-de-sac at the bottom of the hill had a 2×4 going thru the corner of the bedroom.

While walking into the neighborhood, they found my brother and his fiance. The four of them continued walking the neighborhood looking for those that needed help. They helped put a tarp on the roff of an Emporia State University biology professor’s house. He lived close to the 21st and Prairie corner. My husband remembers putting his foot thru the ceiling of their bathroom as they struggled to get the tarp on the roof.

Sometime that evening, my parents were able to make it home. I remember my father saying that he helped the placement director move stuff out of her home that night. My husband remembers my father telling of his ‘overnight security’ detail where he turned the governor away from the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, I was at St. Mary’s Hospital along with many of their employees, expecting to be put to work. As stated in the disaster plan, one-half of Emporia’s physicians had also reported to St. Marys. Unfortunately, triage failed that evening. The ambulances did not divide their patients evenly between the two hospitals. The ambulances, walking wounded and those being helped by neighbors showed up outside of Newman Memorial Hospital. Since Newman’s was overwhelmed, the physicians went to Newmans to help. Most of the extra nursing staff went home since they weren’t needed.

Since I had been dropped off, I was stuck at the hospital — with no information on my family. Knowing that their telephone lines were underground, I didn’t think the tornado could have damaged them. Thus, I tried calling, but the call didn’t go thru.

Thus, I was waiting on first floor for my husband when the tornado sirens sounded around 9 pm. The director of nursing (a nun) ran out of her office and grabbed me saying, “We need to get the kids in peds (pediatrics on 4th floor) to the basement.” So, we ran up the stairs to 4th floor, grabbed a child and ran back down to the basement where we comforted those scared children. Relief workers at the shopping mall on the West side of town confirmed seeing a storm cell. Rumor said that there was a tornado dancing over the top of the hospital. Fortunately, no tornado struck the building and we were able to return the children to their beds on 4th floor.

What are your memories of that night?





Wedding Tales – True or False?

weddingMy parents, Eugene and Roberta Crawford were married on June 9, 1951 in Emporia, Kansas. When they would talk about their wedding, they would always tell stories of the ‘flood’. According to my dad, his parents, his best friends and many of the Dodge City guests had trouble getting into Emporia because of flooding.

My mother’s stories centered around her father, who ran the local movie theater. In the 50’s the movies came in large rolls which had to be returned as soon as the last showing was over. According to mom, her father had to take the reels out of Emporia by row boat and trade them for the reels for the new show.

For the longest time, I assumed that these flood stories associated with their June wedding were about the great flood of 1951.


It was likely 1993 when I realized that the flood of 1951 was in July and not June. The above image verifies the July 1951 flooding in Emporia. The article is from July 19, 1951 issue of The Emporia Weekly Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) found on Newspapers.com.

So, was there flooding at the time of my parents wedding — or did they attach stories from July to their wedding memories? Since Emporia was surrounded by flood waters in July, my grandfather would have had to take the movie reels out by boat. However, my dad’s parents and friends would not have had a reason to travel to Emporia from Dodge City in July by automobile.

So, was there flooding that made it difficult to travel from Dodge City to Emporia in early June of 1951? With the Neosho River on the North and East sides of town and the Cottonwood River on the South side of town, it is possible that roads were closed due to flooding.


Currently, the primary route from Dodge City to Emporia is Highway 50. (Blue line on the map)


A look at a map from 1950-1951 shows that there were only 2 highways into or out of Emporia: Kansas Highway 99 from the North to the South and U.S. Highway 50S from the West to the East. (Map available on KDOT: Historic State Maps)


Kansas Highway 99 crosses the Neosho River on the North side of town and the Cottonwood River on the South side of town. According to the 1950-1951 map, US 50S paralleled the Cottonwood River from Florence to Emporia. The highway crossed the river at Florence. If both rivers were flooding, then both highways likely would close and the town would have been cut off.

Two newspaper articles verify that the Cottonwood River was flooding the weekend of June 9, 1951. Both articles are from the June 11, 1951 issue of The Emporia Gazette. On page 2 of the paper is an article about sightseers going across the bridge at Soden’s Grove (where Highway 99 crosses the Cottonwood River).


The second article was on the first page of the paper and discussed flooding of the Cottonwood River along the highway at Elmdale.


Based on the newspaper accounts, the Cottonwood River was flooding the weekend of my parents wedding. This flooding may have impacted US highway 50S from Florence into Emporia. While we have the technology to warn us of road closures, my grandparents likely were unaware of the flooding issue until they reached a flooded roadway. A lot of backtracking would have been needed to get around the flooded Cottonwood River. June 10, 1951 issues of other newspapers report flooding on the Saline River, Kansas River and Blue River.

Thus, I believe the tales of family members and wedding guests having a difficult time getting to Emporia for the wedding to be true.