Dads in my tree

(2) My Dad (1927-2006)

  • 4 children – 3 sons and 1 daughter
  • 1 child died at a day old
  • Served in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. Oneida (APA-221)
  • College graduate
  • was a science teacher in high schools, Dodge City Junior College and Kansas State Teachers College (now called Emporia State University)

(4) Leon Crawford (1894-1976)

  • Married Winnie Letha Currey (1903-1992) in 1919
  • 3 children – 2 sons and a daughter
  • 1 child died as an infant and another died as a young adult
  • Served in the U.S. Army as a wagoner at St. Misner 2nd Battle of the Marne
  • worked as a switchman for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad at Dodge City, Kansas

(6) Edward Osmond Briles (1891-1956)

  • Married Pauline Edith Mentzer (1896-1984) in 1915
  • 5 children – 2 sons and 3 daughters
  • 1 child died as an infant
  • did not serve in the military
  • Farmed and ran a threshing machine
  • Owned a Briles Auto Repair and Garage before 1930
  • Owned movie theaters after 1930

(8) Judson Foster Crawford (1866-1949)

  • Married Josie Winifred Hammond (1874-1954) in 1890
  • 7 children – 3 sons and 4 daughters
  • 1 son died in a railroad accident
  • Did not serve in the military
  • Worked for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad

(10) Hiram Miles Currey (1866-1891)

  • Married Winnie May Hutchinson (1871-1913) in 1891
  • 9 children – 5 sons and 4 daughters
  • 2 children died as infants; 1 son died at age 13
  • Wife died when youngest child an infant
  • Did not serve in the military
  • Attended college
  • held a variety of jobs: miner, magnetic healer, preacher, farmer, teamster, baker, carpenter

(12) Edward Grant Briles (1869-1951)

  • Married Frances Artlissa “Artie” Ricketts (1868-1947) in 1890
  • 4 children – 2 sons and 2 daughters
  • Did not serve in the military
  • Farmer

(14) Charles Oliver Mentzer (1869-1955)

  • Married Nettie Adell Wells (1873-1939) in 1893
  • 5 children – 3 sons and 2 daughters
  • Married Nettie Adell Wells in 1893
  • Did not serve in the military
  • Farmer

(16) Washington Marion Crawford (1838-1889)

  • Married Mary Foster (1842-1929) in 1860
  • 5 children – 3 daughters and sons
  • 1 daughter died as a teen
  • Served for 2nd New York Calvary during Civil War
  • Captured and held prisoner at Andersonville and Libby Prison
  • Homesteaded in Ford County, Kansas
  • Farmer

(18) Richmond Fisk Hammond (1840-1928)

  • Married Sarah Ellen Ralston (1849-1892) in 1867
  • 9 children identified in Hammond genealogies – but 3 born prior to marriage; 6 sons and 3 daughters
  • son, Glenn, died as an infant
  • Served as a private in Company E 17 Illinois Volunteers
  • Served in the 1st Illinois Cavalry Volunteers
  • Served as a private in Company D of the 14th Illinois Cavalry
  • Captured near Atlanta and held prisoner at Andersonville
  • Homesteaded in Ford County, Kansas
  • Married Mary McClure in 1897 and had another daughter
  • Married Mary A. Reynold in 1906
  • Carpenter

(20) Hiram M. Currey (1835 – 1901)

  • Married Angelina Jane Burke (1836-1901) in 1856
  • 10 children – 6 sons and 4 daughters
  • 1 child died as an infant while another died at age 12
  • Served in Company B of the 12th Cavalry Regiment of the Kansas State Militia
  • farmer

(22) Albert Hutchinson (1838-1896)

  • Married Julia Harding (1840-1892) in 1859
  • 11 Children – 7 sons and 4 daughters
  • Death dates unknown for 4 of the children; another son died at age 14
  • Married Honore Eliza Van Valkenburg in 1893 and had another son
  • Served in Company D of the 1st Regiment of the Iowa Cavalry
  • May have farmed, but moved around a lot

(24) Noah Washington Briles (1840-1879)

  • Married Sarah Jane Thompson in 1866
  • 2 Children – a son and a daughter
  • Served in Company I, 1st Regiment Iowa Cavalry Volunteers
  • Farmer

(26) James Marshall Ricketts (1847 – 1920)

  • Married Rachel Elmeda Christy (1845-1927) in 1866
  • 8 Children – 2 sons and 6 daughters
  • Twin daughters died about 13 months old
  • Served as a private in Co. K of the 7th Regiment of the Indiana Cavalry Volunteerss
  • Farmer

(28) George Mentzer (1838-1912)

  • Married Emeline Minnick (1848-1927) in 1867
  • 8 Children – 6 sons and 2 daughters
  • Served in Company C of the 24th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers
  • Learned trade of comb making
  • managed a meat market
  • Farmed
  • Plaintiff in court case, Menzer, et al. vs Creamery Association of Yates Center

(30) Thurston Kennedy Wells (1821-1893)

  • Married Sarah Hall (d bef 1860) in 1851; she was the mother of 2 sons
  • Married Salome Adell Crandall (1836-1893) in 1861; she was the mother of 4 children – 2 of whom died young; 2 daughters survived to adulthood
  • Did not serve during civil war due to injury
  • Farmed

Gold Star Mother

Have you encountered a ‘Gold Star Mother’ in your genealogy research. Even though I’ve researched women who lost sons in battle I’ve come across my first mention of a ‘Gold Star Mother’ in an obituary.

Blanche Eva Lighter
The Rev. Lee Webb, pastor of the Grace Baptist Church, will officiate at funeral services to be conducted in the chapel of the Brusie Funeral Home Saturday at 2 p.m. for Mrs. Blanche Eva Lighter, who died at her home on Tuesday morning.
Memorial services, under the auspices of the Chico Chapter of the Gold Star Mothers, will be conducted in the chapel of the Brusie Funeral Home Friday at 7 p.m.
Interment will take place in Pine Creek Cemetery by the side of her late husband, Ray Lighter.


“Blance Eva Lighter,” The Chico Enterprise-Record (Chico, California), 8 November 1962, page 3; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 27 May 2021).

For Eva Lighter to be a Gold Star Mother, one of her children had to have died while serving in the military. 1930 census records for the family indicated that Eva and her husband, Ray, had three sons: Howard, Bruce and Aaron.

1930 U.S. Census, Orange County, California, population schedule, Newport Beach Township, Orange County, California, ED 30-51, Sheet 12A Image 23 of 61, family 334, Ray Lighter; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 27 May 2021); NARA microfilm publication T626.

Since I have death dates after 1980 for Howard Lighter and Bruce Lighter, that left Aaron Lighter as the possible person who died while serving our country. A quick search of Find a Grave, shows two records for Aaron Ralston Lighter.

The entry for Pine Creek cemetery includes a picture of a tombstone for Aaron Lighter.

While the entry for the manila American Cemetery and Memorial has links to his parents and a brother.

Knowing that Aaron Lighter was killed in action in1945, a search of newspapers for more details about his death turned up several articles. An article in the Chico Record indicates that Aaron Lighter died when the ship he was on was struck by a suicide Japanese bomber.

Aaron Ralston Lighter Killed in Mindoro Explosion Navy Says
Aaron Ralston Lighter, of Chico, seaman first class of the U.S. Naval Reserve, lost his life in January of this year during a suicide attack on his ship, the U.S.S. Lewis L. Dycke, by a Japanese plane, a navy department message to his mother revealed yesterday.
The Lewis L. Dycke was anchored in Mindoro Harbor of the Philippines, on January 4, when the attack occurred, the communication revealed.
The ship, cargoed with bombs and fuses, exploded in a manner “so violent that it caused the ship to disintegrate completely,” H. B. Atkinson, commander, USNR, wrote to Mrs. Ray Lighter of Route 2, Box 235A, here.
The ship sane immediately, and left no trace of survivors, according to the communication.

“Aaron Ralston Lighter Killed in Mindoro Explosion Navy Says,” Chico Record (Chico, California), 8 December 1945, page 8; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 27 May 2021).

The story of the U.S.S. Lewis L. Dyche can be found on Wikipedia.

Thus, the death of Aaron Ralston Lighter aboard the U.S.S. Lewis L. Dyche in Mindora Bay made his mother, Eva Northern Lighter a Gold Star Mother.

Duplicate Citations

Have you ever thought about why someone blogs? I know I don’t think about that question when I’m reading other blogs.

I was asked about my blog recently and I think my answer surprised the person asking. Of course, I want to reach other family members thru my blog. That’s why I have posts dedicated to sharing pictures or transcribing records.

However, some of my posts are more for me than for others. Even though my narrative report posts might help other researchers, I post them because they make me work thru the facts and sources I have for an individual.

I’m currently working my way thru my 2nd great grandparents, whom I’ve had in my files for quite some time. Thus, some of my citations are older and deficient, leading to lots of work to bring those citations up to today’s standards.

My current project is Thurston Kennedy Wells (1821-1893).

Fixing the sentences is a relative easy task. The sources, however, are a different story. As would be the case with a wide variety of source types, some of my sources are used for multiple facts. In RootsMagic 7, that means finding all of the different places a source is used and either correcting each one individually or using the memorize/paste feature to copy the corrected source from one fact to another.

That tedious work is why I’m sitting here wishing for the features of RootsMagic 8. It is my understanding that in RM 8, I can change the information for a citation and that change will be made for every use of that citation. To verify that I am correct in my understanding of this new feature, I decided to try it out with Thurston Kennedy Wells in my RM8 database. (NOTE: First, my understanding about the ability to merge citations was wrong. Second, I am using a copy of my database and NOT my primary version since RM8 is still in preview.)

One of the sources that appears a couple of times is a reference to a civil war draft record. Not only do I have multiple citations, but I have two sources that refer to this one source.

After carefully studying these two sources, I believe they are the same source and thus wish to merge them. To do this in the current version (7.9.300.0 dated 11 Jun 2021) of RM8, I highlight the source that I want to keep and then click on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner of the sources window.

From that menu, I selected ‘Merge Sources’. The Select Source window opened and I located the duplicate source using the search function.

Making sure that I have the duplicate source highlighted, I click on the OK button at the bottom of the box. This opens a window comparing the primary and duplicate sources. In my case, they are not exactly the same. Thus, I need to proceed with caution, making sure (a) I want to merge them and (b) that the source I want to keep is in the pane on the left.

Once I have verified that everything is as I want it, I can click ‘Merge Dupblicates”. Now, I have one source with 25 citations. Some of these citations are not very informative and will require some extra work to correct. Since these citations are not for Thurston K. Wells, I am going to ignore them for now. At the bottom of the list are two citations for Thurston K. Wells. One is attached as a source for his name and the other is attached as a source for his draft fact.

Since these two citations should be the same, I am going to use the ability to edit the citation from the Sources screen so that the two instances for Thurston K. Wells match.

After looking at the two citations, I have concluded that I want to keep the bottom citation. Thus, I take a screen shot of the Citations Details for that citation.

With that image visible on my screen, I can fill in the Citation Details for the other Citations. Now, when I go back to Thurston Wells and look at the two uses of this source, they have been updated to newer standards and they are the same.

Ideally, I would like to be able to ‘merge’ these citations. However, being able to see the citations and edit them based on the source is easier than trying to find them attached to various facts.

In RootsMagic 8, there is the ability to ‘Merge Duplicate Citations’.

It is my understanding that this function will ONLY work if the citations match exactly — spacing, punctuation, etc. It also goes thru all citations and merges any/all duplicates found. I believe this is a task I will need to do when I first transfer my data over to RM8.

Out of curiosity, I ran this ‘Merge All Duplicate Citations’ function on my test database and it merged over 40,000 citations. (Be patient, this can take a while.)

Going back to my civil war draft source, I was curious as to which citations were merged.

My two citations for Thurston K. Wells were NOT merged since one has a period after the K and the other one does not. However, the 5 incorrect citations at the top were merged — even though they likely should not have been.

So what have I learned thru this experiment in RM8

  • I don’t want to use the Merge All Duplicate Citations feature unless I’m willing to admit that some citations will get merged that I don’t want merged.
  • It is easier to clean up citations in RM8 from the Sources screen than having to locate each use of a source for an individual in RM7.
  • I still have work to do getting the sources cleaned up for my report on Thurston Kennedy Wells.

Crossing Paths 2

As you are researching your ancestors do you ever find a family living in the same county as ancestors or cousins from a totally different branch of your tree? That’s been my experience recently.

Yesterday, while following up on a comment on a blog post about a reader’s potential connection to my Garrard County, Kentucky research, I stumbled upon such a situation. I discovered a reference to Osbourn Bland as one of the survivors taken prisoner at Blue Licks in the Winter 2006 issue of Kentucky ancestors.

Trowbridge, John M. “‘We Are All Slaughtered Men’: The Battle of Blue Licks,” Kentucky Ancestors. Winter 2006 Vol. 42, No. 2 p. 61.

This would place an Osburn Bland in Madison County, Kentucky a little before my Crawford line. Now this may not be my Osburn Bland, but it might be. I have tax lists showing an Osborne Bland living in Nelson county prior to 1800. Much more research will need to be done to figure out if this is the same person – or NOT.

Again, my Bland line is on my dad’s mother’s side of the tree while my Garrard/Madison County, Kentucky research is on my dad’s dad’s side of the tree, my Crawford line.

Because of this instance where one branch of my tree seems to cross paths with another branch, I decided to investigate the ‘Who Was There’ report in my genealogy software. I’ve used this report to identify people in Kansas in 1950. However, I’ve never run the report for a specific county or for a range of time or both. Thus, I decided to try this report for Kentucky prior to 1800.

Because I have a relatively large database with lots of facts, this report takes a long time to create. To help speed up the process, I created a marked group using the option to ‘select people by data fields’

Then I configured the ‘Search for Information’ to find ‘Any Fact’ with the ‘place’ containing ‘Kentucky’.

After saving the group, I can now go back to the ‘Who Was There List’ Report and use that marked group instead of ‘Everyone’ for the people to include.

The report still takes a bit of time to generate results, but it produced a 24 page report of the individuals with a fact placing them in Kentucky between 1750-1799. To narrow that down to the area of Garrard, Madison and Lincoln Counties, I created a new marked group. (Note: This uses OR between each of the statements.)

Using this new ‘AnyFact Garrard Madison Lincoln’ group, I re-created the ‘Who Was There’ Report.

This produced an 8 page report.

I thought I was finished. That was until I scanned this report and discovered it didn’t pick up Osborn Bland. After much hair pulling, consultation with others and more hair pulling, I discovered that Osborn Bland wasn’t included on the ‘Who Was There’ report because I didn’t have a birth fact and a death fact for Osborn Bland.

This discovery led me to the ‘Missing Information List’ report. To start with I selected the ‘death’ fact and set the criteria to either be missing or with a blank date. I then changed the people to include to my marked group for Garrard, Madison and Lincoln counties.

I discovered three pages of people in the marked group for Garrard, Madison and Lincoln counties that don’t have a death fact. Thus none of these people will show up on a ‘Who Was There Report’ for Garrard, Madison and Lincoln Counties.

_, Hannah-10231
Abrams, Elizabeth-10219
Adams, Jane Jean-13252
Adams, Reuben-13286
Anderson, Anne-10225
Anderson, Betsey-10224
Anderson, Isaac-10227
Anderson, James-10226
Anderson, Mary-10223
Anderson, Samuel-10228
Banta, Hendrick-16927
Brown, Aristippus-13500
Brown, Margaret-10210
Campbell, Susannah-10212
Clark, William-10383
Crawford, Anne-1447
Crawford, Archibald-10209
Crawford, Elizabeth-10380
Crawford, Elizabeth-13499
Crawford, Isaac-1454
Crawford, James-8577
Crawford, Jenny-10217
Crawford, John-1412
Crawford, John-8574
Crawford, John-10062
Crawford, John-10071
Crawford, Joseph-10211
Crawford, Milton-10218
Crawford, Molly-8579
Crawford, Oliver-10220
Crawford, Rebecca-8578
Crawford, Sarah-6761
Crawford, Sarah-10384
Crawford, William-10385
Croucher, Edward-14946
Crutcher, Absolem-14949
Crutcher, David-14951
Crutcher, Elizabeth-14948
Crutcher, Lucinda-14950
Crutcher, William-14945
Davis, Betsy-10386
Davis, Elizabeth-9980
Dooley, Henry-13306
Elder, William-5260
Ellis, Sally-10382
Estes, Delina-10221
Garrett, Ignatius-10379
Gass, John-10232
Harris, David-16730
Harris, Leah-16734
Kennedy, Elizabeth-14971
Maxwell, Bazeleel-10229
McAlester, Sarah-6762
McClary, Samuel-172
Miller, Elizabeth-13541
Miller, Jacob-13498
Montgomery, Benjamin-10206
Moore, Alexander-11622
Morrison, William M.-10478
Reed, Joseph-14024
Rolston, Andrew-10216
Seever, Annie-16797
Sellers, John Finley-5252
Sellers, Nathan-5257
Sellers, Samuel-10381
Shuck, Sally-16928
Smith, Polly-10207
Yewell, Mary-5258

Thus, I have work to do if I want this report to include everyone in the region. I will probably use FamilySearch to figure out approximate birth and death dates.

Crossing Paths

As you are researching your ancestors do you ever find a family living in the same county as ancestors or cousins from a totally different branch of your tree? That’s been my experience recently.

I’ve been researching three generations of descendants of James Barr Ralston recently. As I’ve been working my way thru his children and their families, I have encountered quite a few of them with ties to Black Hawk County, Iowa. Black Hawk County, Iowa is where my ancestor, Julia Harding was married to Albert Hutchinson. My Ralston line is on my dad’s dad’s side of my tree. My Hutchinson/Harding branch is on my dad’s mom’s side of the tree. These two lines do not connect in my tree until my grandparents marry in Dodge City, Kansas.

Curious as to who all was in Black Hawk county at some time, I decided to create a ‘Who Was There’ report. Since this report takes a while to generate, I created a ‘Marked Group’ for anyone with a fact place containing Black Hawk, Iowa.

With the marked group created, I can now generate a ‘Who Was There’ report limited to the people in this marked group.

Not only does this create a nice report of everyone with a fact placing them in Black Hawk County Iowa between 1850 and 1940, but it keeps the color coding. The color coding is a visual clue to the fact that different branches of my tree were in Black Hawk County.

This report confirms what I was seeing while researching the descendants of James Barr Ralston. The color coding makes it easy to spot the various family lines.

NOTE: The above report may not contain everyone who should be on it. I recently discovered that if I don’t have a birth and death date for an individual, then they will not be included on this report.

What Happened Then?

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun — What Happened On Your Mother’s Birth Date?

 Calling all Genea-Musings Fans:  It’s Saturday Night again – 
Time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along – cue the Mission Impossible music!):
1)  What day was your Mother born? Where was she born?  What day of the week was it?  Tell us how you found out.

2) What has happened in recorded history on your Mother’s birth date (day and month)? Tell us how you found out, and list five events.

3)  What famous people have been born on your Mother’s birth date?  Tell us how you found out, and list five of them.

Instead of doing this for my mother, I’m going to use my grandmother, Winnie Letha Currey.

  • Born 30 Jun 1903
  • Born in Lansing, Leavenworth County, Kansas
  • Born on a Tuesday

What happened on 30 June 1903? A Google search of the date led to a Wikipedia page for June 1903. On that page, major events for each of the days of the month are listed. According to this site, the following happened on 30 June 1903.

meteorite fall, classification L6, is observed in Rich Mountain (Watauga County, North Carolina), United States.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_1903

For the second question, I googled “What Happened on 30 June”. The top site on the list of results led to the ‘On This Day‘ website. Below are some of the events that occurred during her lifetime on her birthday.

  • 1921 – U.S. President Warren G. Harding appointed former President William Howard Taft chief justice of the United States.
  • 1936 – Margaret Mitchell’s book, “Gone with the Wind,” was published.
  • 1950 – U.S. President Harry Truman ordered U.S. troops into Korea and authorizes the draft.
  • 1951 – On orders from Washington, General Matthew Ridgeway broadcasts that the United Nations was willing to discuss an armistice with North Korea.
  • 1952 – CBS-TV debuted “The Guiding Light.”
  • 1953 – The first Corvette rolled off the Chevrolet assembly line in Flint, MI. It sold for $3,250.
  • 1955 – The U.S. began funding West Germany’s rearmament.
  • 1957 – The American occupation headquarters in Japan was dissolved.
  • 1958 – The U.S. Congress passed a law authorizing the admission of Alaska as the 49th state in the Union.
  • 1962 – Los Angeles Dodger Sandy Koufax pitched his first no-hitter in a game with the New York Mets.
  • 1970 – The Cincinnati Reds moved to their new home at Riverfront Stadium.
  • 1971 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the government could not prevent the Washington Post or the New York Times from publishing the Pentagon Papers.
  • 1971 – The 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified when Ohio became the 38th state to approve it. The amendment lowered the minimum voting age to 18.
  • 1974 – The July 4th scene from the Steven Spielberg movie “Jaws” was filmed.
  • 1977 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced his opposition to the B-1 bomber.
  • 1984 – The longest professional football game took place in the United States Football League (USFL). The Los Angeles Express beat the Michigan Panthers 27-21 after 93 minutes and 33 seconds.
  • 1985 – Yul Brynner left his role as the King of Siam after 4,600 performances in “The King and I.”
  • 1986 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that states could outlaw homosexual acts between consenting adults.

When it comes to the third question, it is easy to google ‘who was born’ on a date. However, it is more difficult to find people that my grandmother might have known. Of the several lists I found, Michael Tyson’s name was the only one that my grandmother might have recognized.

Tackling this ‘question’ from a different perspective, there is a RootsMagic report called, ‘On This Day List’. Setting the options on that report to “Famous Births” and “Famous Deaths” produces a list of famous people born on June 30th.

Another report in RootsMagic that provides a different perspective for this question is the ‘Birthday and Anniversary List’ Report. By removing the checks by ‘Marriage Anniversaries’ in the report setup, a report of birthdays can be printed.

Since I included everyone, this report is quite lengthy. There are quite a few people in my database who share a birthday with my grandmother.

I’m thankful I investigated the RootsMagic reports. I find it more interesting to see who I have in my file who shares a birthday with my grandmother than which famous people might share her birthday.

South Side of the Bridge

#52Ancestors

Have you ever counted the number of bridges you cross as you travel from one community to another? In today’s society, I know that I take those bridges for granted and am guessing that you may do likewise.

However, when one is on the south side of a river (stream or creek) and need to get to the other side, those bridges become important. That was very true for my husband and I when he interviewed for a teaching job at Nemaha Valley High School. We were students at Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia, Kansas and the interview was in Seneca, Kansas. Between Emporia and Seneca is one of the major rivers in Kansas – the Kansas River.

We had looked at the maps and figured out a route to get from Emporia to Seneca. Since he was a ‘poor’ college student, he wasn’t interested in taking the turnpike from Emporia to Topeka and then going to Seneca. Ruling out that route, he elected to take the most direct route going thru Maple Hill to Saint Marys and then north to Seneca.

Reaching Maple Hill, we discovered that the bridge across the Kansas River was closed for construction. Thus, a search of the map began for another bridge to get us from the South side of the river to the North side. We ended up going thru Paxico. Fortunately, we were able to locate a pay phone and call ahead to warn the superintendent that we would be late due to our issue with the bridge.

My Crawford relatives were greatly impacted by this need for a bridge when they migrated to Dodge City. The majority of their land holdings were on the South side of the Arkansas River while the Santa Fe trail, railroad and business district were all on the North side of the river.

By the time James H. Crawford and his family arrived in Dodge City, the Dodge City Bridge Company had erected a toll bridge across the river. Tolls to cross the bridge were $1.50 for a team and wagon, $2.00 for a four to six horse team and $.25 for men on horseback (or pedestrians). [Toll information from the article, “John T. Riney: the First Toll Keeper” by Kathie Bell for the Dodge City Daily Globe. A clipping of the article was shared in the Facebook group, Growing Up in Dodge City.]

Dodge City Daily Globe. 1 Jan 1878, page 7

Being entrepreneurs, the Crawford family established a Branding Corral one mile south of the river. They also purchased and refurbished the South Side Hotel. Both of these businesses would have attracted cattlemen and other travelers coming to Dodge City from Texas.

Branding Corral

The undersigned has a large and convenient corral for the branding of through Texas cattle, one mile south of the Arkansas river bridge. Apply at the residence south end of river bridge, or at my place of business inthe city.

J.H. Crawford

Dodge City Times, July 24, 1884

The South Side Hotel

Has been repaired, refitted and refurnished, and is now opened to the traveling public. Everything home-like and pleasant.

A good Feed Stable and large Horse Pasture in connection.

Prices reasonable. No drinks sold on the premises.

J.H. Crawford

Dodge City Times, July 2, 1885

Crossing the river was an almost daily task for J. H. Crawford and his family since he ran Crawford Grocers in Dodge City.

The need to connect those settlers on the south side of the river with the commerce district on the north side was behind the ‘Free Bridge’ movement.

Free Bridge

There is nothing that would assist business in Dodge City and the improvement of Ford county so materially as a free bridge across the Arkansas river. Complaint reaches us every day in the week from the numerous settlers who are locating on the south side of the river. It looks to them like an outrage to be compelled to pay a dollar for bridge toll whenever they wish to visit the city or haul a load to the settlements. The business men of Dodge City should make some effort in this direction, as it is creating a prejudice in the minds of the settlers against the town. A dollar is a small sum in the eyes of many western people, but tot hose who are just from the east where dollars are not picked up so easily it is different, and they will go a good ways around rather than pay a dollar. If Spearville or Cimarron should build a bridge we would lose a very large trade. It should be the duty of the county officers, whose salaries have been increased to a very handsome pile, to spend a little time looking up this matter, knowing it to be for the benefit of their constituents, and notify the people through the Globe just what steps are necessary to be take in order to build a bridge or purchase the old one.

The Dodge City Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 25 March 1879, page 3.

In April of 1885, an agreement between the township board and the Dodge City Bridge Company was reached for the purchase of the existing bridge.

At a meeting of the Township Board the bridge bond question was the all absorbing topic before that body. As was reported in our last issue, the bridge bonds were issued on the 18th inst., and all that now remained was to get the bridge company to accept of the same as per agreement, which we regret to say the bridge company, through its president, R. M. Wright, refused todo, unless certain further concessions were made on the part of the board, to-wit: That on account of certain expenditures on the the part of the bridge company, incurred in investigating the validity of the bonds and in subduing the opposition of the Santa Fe railroad company on the issuance of the same, he proposed to accept the $6,00 in bond for the bridge and would give possession to the same on or before July 1st, 1885, the township to have the interest on said bonds from time of issuance to time of turning property over tot he township, the bridge company entering into a bond of $10,000 with G. M. Hoover as surety, for the faithful performance of the contract so entered into with the township board. The board after consulting with a large number of tax-paying citizens, and finding a majority of the opinion that the proposition should be accepted as the best that could be done, accordingly delivered the bonds to the bridge company. So the question is settled. Before the great Fourth of July, with its spirit of Freedom, rolls around, the bridge will be free and those passing over independent of toll. The bridge is insured, and the policy will be assigned to the township.

The Dodge City Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 28 April 1885, page 4

Thus, the toll bridge was no more and the South Dodge was connected to the main business district by a free bridge.

Emaline Minnick Mentzer

(Note: her first name was spelled many ways)

Emeline Minnick1 was born on 26 Aug 1848 in Pittsburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania.23

Emiline Menick was listed as a 1 year old female in the household of John Menick on the 1850 U.S. census living in Franklin county, Pennsylvania.4

E. Minnick was listed in the household of Jno Minnick on the 1860 U.S. Census living in Kewanne, Henry County, Illinois. E. Minnick was listed as an 11 year old female born in Pennsylvania.2,5

She became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church on 14 Jul 1867 in Kewanee, Henry, Illinois, United States.6

She married George Mentzer on 1 Jan 1868 in Kewanee, Henry, Illinois, United States.2,715

On 1 Jul 1869, Charles Oliver Mentzer was born in Kewanee, Henry, Illinois, United States.12,1618

Emma Mentzer was listed in the household of Geo Mentzer on the 1870 census living in Kewanee, Henry County, Illinois. According to the census, Emma was 22 years old and born in Pennsylvania.19

On 3 Mar 1871, John Frederick Mentzer was born in Kewanee, Henry, Illinois, United States.12,1617

She lived in Woodson, Kansas, United States in 1872.2

Between 1873 and 1914, Emeline was a member Pleasant View M.E. Church in Woodson, Kansas, United States.2

On 28 Feb 1873, Susan May Mentzer was born in Yates Center, Woodson, Kansas, United States.12,1617

On 31 Dec 1874, Henry Arnold Mentzer was born in Woodson, Kansas, United States.12,1617,20

On 22 Feb 1877, Philip Embry Mentzer was born in Yates Center, Woodson, Kansas, United States.12,1617

On 10 May 1880, Earnest Everett Mentzer was born in Woodson, Kansas, United States.12,1617

Emaline Mentzer was listed as the wife of Geo Mentzer on the 1880 census living in Center Township, Woodson County, Kansas. According to the census, Emaline was 32 years old and born in Pennsylvania.21

On 20 Sep 1882, Clara Edith Mentzer was born in Woodson, Kansas, United States.12,1617

Emeline Mentzer is listed as a 36 year old female in the household of George Mentzer on the 1885 Kansas census living in Center Township, Woodson County, Kansas.22

On 7 Apr 1887, Clarence Albert Mentzer was born in Woodson, Kansas, United States.12,1617,23

E Mentzer was listed as a 46 year old female in the household of Geo Mentzer on the 1895 Kansas census living in Center Township, Woodson County, Kansas.24

Emma Mentzer was listed as the wife of George Mentzer on the 1900 census living in Center Township, Woodson County, Kansas. According to the census, Emma was born Aug 1848 in Pennsylvania. Emma and George and been married 32 years in 1900. Emma was the mother of 8 children, all of whom were living in 1900.25

Emeline Mentzer was listed in the household of George Mentzer on the 1905 Kansas census living in Center Township, Woodson County, Kansas. According to the census, Emeline was 50 years old.26

Emeline Mentzer was listed as the wife of George Mentzer on the 1910 census living in Center Township, Woodson County, Kansas. According to the census, Emeline was 61 years old and born in Pennsylvania. Emeline was the mother of 8 children, 7 of whom were living.27

On 26 Jan 1912, she thanked friends and neighbors for their kindness and sympathy during the sickness and death of her husband in Yates Center, Woodson, Kansas, United States.28

She filed a declaration of a widow for original pension  on 13 Feb 1912 in Yates Center, Woodson, Kansas, United States.12

Between 1914 and 1927, Emeline was a member in Yates Center, Woodson, Kansas, United States.29

She lived in Yates Center, Woodson, Kansas, United States in Feb 1914.2

Mrs. Emeline Mentzer was listed as the head of household on the 1915 census living in Center Township, Woodson County, Kansas. According to the census, Mrs. Mentzer was 66 years old. Also living in the household was Hazel, age 18 and Cecil, aged 16.30

She lived in Woodson, Kansas, United States in 1919.23

Emaline Mentzer was listed as a head of household on the 1920 census. According to the census, Emaline was 70 years old and born in Pennsylvania. Her sister, Mary E Minnick was also listed in the household.31

Emeline Mentzer was listed as the head of household on the 1925 Kansas census living in Yates Center, Woodson County,Kansas. According to the census Emeline was a 76 year old female born in Pennyslvania. Also listed in the household was listed a sister Mary E. Minnick.32

Emeline died on 13 Sep 1927 at the age of 79 in Woodson, Kansas, United States.2,3335

She was buried on 15 Sep 1927 at Yates Center Cemetery in Yates Center, Woodson, Kansas, United States.2,3335

ENDNOTES: 

       1. 1860 U.S. Census, Henry County Illinois, population schedule, [CivilDivision], enumeration district (ED) [ED], [PageID], [HouseholdID], [Person]; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.con : [AccessType] [AccessDate]); NARA microfilm publication M653.

        2. “Died – Mentzer,” undated clipping, 1927, from unidentified newspaper; Crawford Family Papers, saved by Pauline Briles and passed down to Marcia Philbrick; privately held 2021 by Marcia Crawford Philbrick, [address for private use], Seneca, KS 66538. likely from Yates Center newspaper.

        3. Yates Publishing, U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004), Source number: 122.000; Source type: Electronic Database; Number of Pages: 1; Submitter Code: MP1.

        4. 1850  U.S. Census, Franklin County Pennsylvania, population schedule, Montgomery Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, image 52 of 78, family 692, John Menick; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online July 2017); NARA microfilm publication M432.

        5. 1860 U.S. Census, Henry County Illinois, population schedule, Kewanee, Henry County, Illinois, page 78, family 593, Jno Minnick.

        6. Lifetime Pass Certificate, Photocopy of Certificiate of Church Membership received from Doris Ryan, Yates Center, KS (Minnick.IL.014), The Atchison, Topkea and Santa Fe Railroad

        7. Mentzer, George, Family Bible of Emeline Minnick Mentzer (no place: no publisher, no date); Doris Ryan, Yates Center, KS, (Doc. #: Mentzer.KS.006)

        8. Marriage, 24 March 1869, , . , photocopy of letter in possession of Alfred C. Young, Burtonsville, MD (Minnick.IL.029).

        9. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 database, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7836/). Yates Publishing. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 : viewed online 2016.

        10. Edmund West, comp., “Family Data Collection — Individual Records,” database online, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online July 2017), George Mentzer.

        11. “Illinois, Marriage Index, 1851-1900,”Ancestry.com,  (www.ancestry.com : viewed online (October 2017), George Mentzer.

        12. George Mentzer (Company C, 24th Regiment Massachuses Infantry), pension no. WC 741.913, Case FIles of Approved Pension Applications, 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files, Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

        13. Illinois, Henry County. Index to Marriages. County Clerk, Mentzer, George, Jan 1 1868 Index to Marriages, surnames G-N: image 620 of 751; digital images, Family Search http://www.familysearch.org : viewed online August 2018.

        14. Illinois, Henry County. Marriage Register. County Clerk,  Film #1435944 DGS 4031862. Mentzer, George, 27 Dec 1867 Digital Images, Family Search http://www.familysearch.org : viewed online August 2018.1435944 DGS 4031862

        15. Henry County Illinois, “Return of Marriage,” Book A, page 313, George Mentzer and Emeline Minnick, 1 January 1868; County Clerk, Henry County, Illinois.

        16. “Obituary – Mentzer,” The Yates Center News (Yates Center, Kansas), 26 January 1912, image 4; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed onlnie August 2018).

        17. , “The George Mentzer Family,” In the Beginning, Woodson County Historical Society, 3 No. 11 (July 1970): p. 9-12.

        18. Charles O. Mentzer, death certificate #55 011802 (1955), Kansas State Board of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, Topeka, Kansas.

        19. 1870 U.S. Census, Henry County, Illinois, population schedule, Kewanee, Henry County, Illinois, page 52 Image 52 of 106, household 382, Geo Mentzer; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online November 2017); NARA microfilm publication M593

        20. Social Security Administration, “Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007,” database on-line, Ancestry, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/60901/ : viewed online October 2017), Henry Arnold Mentzer.

        21. 1880 U.S. Census, Center Township, Woodson County, Kansas, population schedule, Center Township, Woodson County, Kansas, ED 56, Page 9 Image 3 of 9, household 97, Geo Mentzer; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online November 2017); NARA microfilm publication T9

        22. 1885 Kansas Census, Neosho County, State Census, Center Township, Woodson County, Kansas, page 1 Image 1 of 31, line 25, George Mentzer; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online August 2018); Kansas State Historical Society

        23. “Obituary,” Woodson County Journal (Yates Center, Kansas), 30 January 1919, page 1; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 27 January 2020).

        24. 1895 Kansas State Census, Woodson County Kansas, Kansas State Census, Center Township, Woodson County, Kansas, page 8 (image 12 of 51) Image 12 of 51, Household 5, Geo Mentzer; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online June 2017); Kansas State Historical Society

        25. 1900 U.S. Census, North Township, Woodson County, Kansas, population schedule, Yates Center, Woodson County, Kansas, ED 184, sheet 21B Image 42 of 46, household 464, George Mentzer; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online November 2017); FHL microfilm: 1240503

        26. 1905 Kansas Census, Neosho Falls, Woodson County, state census, Center Township, Woodson County, Kansas, page 206 Image 11 of 63, family 4, George Mentzer; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 12 May 2021); Kansas State Historical Socity

        27. 1910 U.S. Census, Woodson County, Kansas, population schedule, Center Township, Woodson County, Kansas, SD 4, ED 145, sheet 5B Image 10 of 15, household 101, George Mentzer; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online September 2016); NARA microfilm publication T624

        28. “Card of Thanks,” The Yates Center News (Yates Center, Kansas), 26 January 1912, image 4; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online August 2018).

        29. , Obituary Clipping (N.p.: saved by Mrs. Pauline Briles, n.d.), [Page].

        30. 1915 Kansas Census, Woodson County, 1905 State Census, Yates Center, Woodson County, Kansas, page 33 Image 65 of 150, family 284, Mrs. Emeline Mentzer; digital image, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 17 May 2021); Kansas State Historical Society

        31. 1920 U.S. Census, Woodson County, Kansas, population schedule, Yates Center, Woodson County, Kansas, ED 160, Sheet 11B Image 21 of 47, household 276, Mentzer Emaline; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online November 2017); NARA microfilm publication T625

        32. 1925 Kansas census, Woodson County Kansas, State Census, Yates Center, Woodson County, KS, page 18 Image 68 of 121, family 596, Emiline Mentzer; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 17 May 2021)

        33. Emiline Mentzer, Yates Center, Woodson County, Kansas death certificate 104 1475 (13 September 1927).

        34. George Mentzer, 1838-1912, Yates Center Cemetery, Yates Center, Woodson County, Kansas. center drive, east of gazebo by road (Doc. #: Mentzer.KS.001).

        35. Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave (www.findagrave.com : viewed online September 2016), memorial for Emaline Mentzer (1848-1927), Find a Grave Memorial no. #56845678, created by Judy Mayfield, citing Yates Center Cemetery, Yates Center, Woodson County, Kansas; accompanying photograph by Judy Mayfield, Emaline Mentzer.