School Souvenirs

#52Ancestors

We are all likely familiar with school yearbooks, but have you seen the small souvenir books that schools produced in the early 1900s?

My grandfather had kept several of his. And, fortunately, his wife, my grandmother, saved them and passed them down to me.

Rock Creek School
District No. 69
Burlington, Kansas
September 18, 1899 – April 13, 1900

Board of Education
C. W. Belles, Clerk
John L. Carroll, Dir.
John L. Clark, Treas.

Presented by Ella E. Gibson, Teacher

Pupils
Mabel Belles
Earl Belles
Byron Belles
Osmund Briles
Ethel Briles
Glenn Briles
Charlie Carroll
Agnes Carroll
Iva Carson
Eva Carson
Joseph Carson
Ethel Beach
Nettie Beach
Dee Beach
Walter Carson
Willie Carson
Johnny Johnston
Harry McCartney
Libbie McCartney
Lora McCartney
Alice McCartney
Fred Merkle
Vicie Merkle
Willie Merkle
Dale Belles
Joe Belles
Tommy Merkle
Grant Morris
Claude Morris
Alvin Morris
Lizzie Moews
Frank Moews
Ethel Simmons
May Simmons
Blanche Sinclair
Harry Sinclair
Lewis Sinclair
George Weigand
Nella Weigand
Lyda Weigand
George Wagner
Laura Wagner
Earle Jones
Allie Weigand
Omer Weigand
Josie Weigand
Maud Wilson
Grace Rockhill
Pearl Rockhill
Virgie Potts
Herman Stewart
Mamie Stewart
Clara Stewart
Nettie Garton
Wilce Garton
Harry Kaufman
Willard Garton
Elsie Kaufman

H. G. Phillips Publisher, Williamsport, PA

Souvenir

Rock Creek School
District No. 69
Burlington, Kansas

September 4, 1905 – March 30, 1906

Presented By
Nora C Grennan, Teacher

Board of Education, John Harris, Clerk;
T. N. Bell, Director; J. W. Weigand, Treas.

Names of Pupils
Clara Stewart
Jennie Neff
Elizabeth Neff
Melvena Harris
Ellen Harris
Dollie Harris
Ethel Briles
Osmund Briles
Lulu Briles
Glen Briles
Anna Nikodim
Rudolph Nikodim
William Nikodim
Frank Nikodim
Harry Pollock
Delbert Pollock
Mildred Pollock
Walter Swenson
Hilda Swenson
Guy McCartney
Eugene McCarthey
George Weigand
Omer Weigand
Josie Weigand
Stella Fryer
Mabel Benzer
Elsie Coffman
Paul Wiegand
Florence Weigand
Harvey Weigand
Harrold Weigand
Stella Weigand
Frank Grose
Ethel Grose
Harry Grose
Edna Davidson
Gertrude Crockett
Harry Crockett
Ervin Clark
Porley Clark
Dale Houck
Margueriette Houck
George Cory
Robbie Harris
Elmer Fields
Benjamin Letak
Mary Quigley
Marian Quigley
Alpha Quigley
Ernest Quigley
Hazel Quigley
Ernest Kiefer
Willie Kiefer
Otto Kiefer
Loyd Williams
Nellie Sharr

Souvenir

1908

Phelps
Public School

District No.. 50

Liberty Twp., Woodson Co. Kansas

Josie Guy, Teacher

Pupils
Willard Brown
Edith Smith
Ines Smith
Grace Smith
Henry Smith
Lulu Briles
Osmund Briles
Roy Smith
Elsie Smith
Lee Smith
Grant Smith
Ethel Briles
Glen Briles
Herman Park
Ellen Delong

School Board
Robert Cragg
John Brown
Charles Watkins

’10

Phelps School
Grace Etter
Teacher

District No. 50

Membership of Board

Robert Cragg, Treasurer
W. L. Smith, Clerk
Charles Watkins, Director

Pupils
Ethel Briles
Hermon Park
Henry Smith
Marie Charlier
Cecil Withers
Grace Smith
Jesse Helmick
Lulu Briles
Willard Brown
Myrtle Smith
Glen Briles
Grant Smith

Character of Dodge

#52Ancestors

What do you think of when you hear the word, character? Do you have a ‘character’ in your family tree?

‘Character’ is the #52Ancestors blogging prompt for this week. Not knowing how to approach this topic, I tried a newspapers search for the term ‘character’ in the Dodge City, Kansas newspapers between 1875 and 1885. I limited the search to Dodge City because that is my dad’s hometown. I used the 1875-1885 date range because it represents the time period in which the Crawford family migrated to Dodge City.

Instead of finding articles about a person, I found several articles about changing the character of the town. One of those articles discussed how the character of the town was appearing in newspapers around the world. So, I changed my search to look for ‘Dodge City character’ in 1883.

That search found a letter from several of the prominent citizens of Dodge City that was published in the Topeka Daily Capital (Topeka, Kansas) on 18 May 1883.

A Plain Statement

Of the Recent Troubles at Dodge City, KS

As Made by the Officials of that City – Simply a Desire to Rid their Community of Blacklegs and Gamblers.

Dodge City, Ks, May 15, 1883 — There has been quite a commotion among the papers of Kansas City and Topeka, and while they would have the readers of their respective papers believe that Dodge is in the hands of a mob, and that the persons and property of peaceable citizens are in constant jeopardy from destruction, the city itself and its inhabitants have been pursuing the even tenor of their way, the city assuming an aspect peaceable — if anything more so than it has for years. The doings of violence to persons and property by the mob in Dodge City is all being done in Kansas City and Topeka through the press, while in fact Dodge City itself, the scene of all the lawlessness as stated, is quiet, orderly and peaceable.

The occasion for what the press have called trouble is only a repetition of what is found to be necessary about every two years in Dodge City; that is, a clearing out of an element composed of bold, daring men of illegal profession who, from toleration by the respectable portion of the community, are allowed to gain a prestige found difficult to unseat. This element has to be banished, or else the respectable people have to be bulldosed and browbeat by a class of men without any vested interest or visible means of support, who should be allowed to remain in a decent community only by toleration, but who, instead, after gaining prestige, they undertake to dictate the government of the better class. This is the element which Dodge City has recently ordered out of town, an act which is done in every town of good government. The facts have been misunderstood, both to and by the press and to the Governor. The true state of facts is about as follows:

At the last April election, Deger and Harris ran for mayor of the city. Harris is a gambler by profession and living in open adultry with a public prostitute, and the interest which he has in the town is merely of a local character. He could close up and settle his affairs one day. The only real estate that he owns, and on which he pays taxes, is a small house in which he lives, and he would not own that only it is cheaper than for him to rent. It is worth about $400. He is a man whose character no respectable man in the community in which he lives would vouch for. He is a man that is recognized by the decent people as a sympathizer friend and shielder of the gambler, thug, confidence man and murderer, who may be arrested by the authorities for offenses against the law. He is always to be found on their bond for recognizance, no matter how glaring the deed or heinous the offense for which they stand charted.

This man was the candidate for mayor representing the gambling element. Dager, who is a man of irreproachable character and honesty, is an old resident o f the town and represented the better class of people and as a matter of course, as was conceded, he was elected by a large majority, but it was very apparent that Harris felt very sore over his defeat. It was also very apparent that he and some of his followers who were mostly composed of gamblers were going to buck against everything the new administration done.

At the first meeting of the new administration it was found necessary to pass and revise certain ordinances and among them was one to prohibit women of lewd character from loitering around saloons and upon the streets. This ordinance was passed upon the application of a majority of the business men including the saloon men of the town. They also passed another ordinance in regard to gamblers, which they considered stringent and loudly denounced it, and upon the application of a committee representing the gamblers, the councilman made conceptions, and in fact, made all the concessions asked, in order to preserve peace and harmony. The ordinance in regard to women, went into effect two days before the concessions was made by the councilmen. The first day and night the women obeyed the ordinance without a single exception, but the second night which was the night of the concession made b the mayor and councilman, Short, Harris and another gambler, who were loud in their abuse of the ordinance, there being no women down town, went to a house of ill fame, and according to their spoken works, forced two of the inmates down to their saloon to violate the ordinance, saying that they would pay the fines and costs assessed against the women. the women, after being tried and fined for the offense had to pay their fines and costs themselves, and when ordered to leave town, and after Short and Harris refused t pay their fines, as above stated, they made a statement as above set forth, before the police judge, and since.

The officers, as was their duty, arrested the women and locked them up in the calaboose, for a violation of the city ordinance. After their arrest, Short, the partner of Harris, who is a gambler and an acknowledged hard character, attempted to assassinate L. C. Hartman, a special policeman who assisted in the arrest, by shooting at him from an obscure spot after night, which happened about as follows:

After making the arrest, Hartman walked down the principal street, and when in front of a general store, which was closed the front being dark, Hartman met Short and another gambler coming up the street. While passing by, Short and his companion, Short turned and drew a pistol and said, “There is one of the son’s of _____; lets throw it into him,” immediately firing two shots at Hartman from his six-shooter. Hartman, in his endeavor to turn upon Short, in some way fell to the ground. Short, supposing he had killed him, started to the saloon of one Tom Land, near by, but Hartman, immediately recovering himself, fired one shot at Short. Strange to say, neither of the shots fired took effect.

Short gave bonds in the sum of 42,000 and afterwards filed a complaining against Hartman, stating that Hartman had fired the first shot, half a dozen of Short’s confederates being ready to testify that he (Hartman) had done so, although there are several reliable business men who witnessed the affair, who will testify that Short fired the two first shots as above stated.

The women were locked up. Short and Harris were bound they should not remain locked up all night, as is customary with prisoners when locked up by city authorities. By intimidating some of the city officers by threats, etc., they affected their purpose. In all these proceedings, Short was the leader and spokesman. He is the man who but a few weeks ago pulled out his pistol and best one of our most respectful citizens over the head until he was carried home on a stretcher, and his life was despaired of for several days. He is a man who, on several occasions, has picked up chairs and broke them over the heads of men who, as it happened, had done something in his place of business that displeased him. He is a man that killed his man, an old gray-headed man 57 years old, in Tombstone, Arizona, and has been run out of that and other places by respectable people. He is a man who was an intimate friend of such men as Jack McCarty, the notorious and well known three card monte and confidence man, known all through the west as being a hard character, and who recently died near this place after being convicted of highway robbery and about to receive his sentence of ten years.

Harris and Short keep a saloon that is a refuge and resort for all confidence men, thieves and gamblers that visit the town, and the statements that have been made in regard to the place kept by Webster are false. He is regarded as a man of personal honor and integrity, and as mayor of the city, an office he held for two terms, he so conducted the affairs of the city, and made such vigorous war on bunko, steerers, thugs and confidence men as to gain the gratitude and respect of every law abiding citizen of the place.

It was very apparent to the mayor and councilmen of the city that this element, with Harris and short at their head, were gong to violate, encourage, shield and protect all violators of the laws of the city, and that the probability was that there would be trouble n the city during the whole of their administration if they and their followers remained. Short had attempted to assassinate an officer in the discharge of his duty, had bulldozed the city officers, had violated, aided an abetted in the violation of the laws, and at a meeting of the mayor and a large number of citizens, including the council, it was after due deliberation and consideration, determined to arrest Luke Short and his followers and let them leave town, and accordingly, he, with six other associates, were arrested on complaint and warrant and locked in the calaboose and precautions taken that they did not escape, and were allowed to leave town the next day. There was no mob violence used whatever. None but regular officers of the city made the arrest, but in the case they were resisted there was sufficient force composed of armed citizens held in reserve to aid in the arrest.

It was afterwards ascertained by one of the parties arrested, who peached on the balance, that it was known by Short and party they were to be arrested, and as soon as the officers came to arrest them it was understood they were organized and that Short was to start the shooting and the balance of the party were to follow it up, but as stated by him “somebody weakened.” The citizens understood the characters of the men they were dealing with and were prepared for them, and this was the occasion for the circulation that it was a mob. It was bona fide citizens armed to aid the officers if necessary in the enforcement of the laws.

Much of the confusion and misunderstanding regarding the situation in our city is due to the misrepresentations made to the Governor by one W. F. Petillon. Petillon is clerk of the district court and lives about six miles north of Dodge City on a claim of 160 acres. He had been recognized and identified as a Harris man some time before the lection, which cam about as follows: Jack McCarty had been arrested at this point for highway robbery, and had given bond for $2,000. Harris, as one of the bondsmen, and Short, having no property against which execution could issue, got a citizen worth some real estate to sign the bond and he (Short) deposited the amount to secure the party so signing. The bond was given for McCarty’s appearance to be tried. McCarty appeared and in the course of the trial it was evident from the evidence McCarty would be convicted. After conviction and before sentence, McCarty escaped. When his escape became known, the clerk, Petillon, was applied to for the bond, he being the proper custodian of the papers in the case. Upon application, he could not give it, as he did not know where it was. He had it at the last day of court and was the one seen to have it last. The bond was never found, although he acknowledged it was properly filed, and it is impossible to obliterate from the minds of a great many respectable people here that Petillon knew why and where that bond disappeared. it has been a noticeable feature that since that time Petillon has been a firm believer and supporter of the Harris and Short combination. This is the kind of man Governor Glick sends for, instead of sending for a proper representative as any reasonable, intelligent, discreet man should to investigate.

The condition of Dodge City at present is orderly and law-abiding, and the prospects are it will so continue if these men remain away. If they are allowed to remain it will be against the will and without the consent of a majority of the law-abiding citizens of this community, and if the Governor, through his interference and encouragement, forces these men back on us he does so at his peril, and if there is bloodshed as a result the responsibility will not rest entirely with the Governor, who had he not given the matter encouragement,, it would have passed by unnoticed, as an occurrence frequent in all cities desirous of being law-abiding, and of good government.

Dated at Dodge City, Kansas the 15th day of May, 1883.

L. E. Deger, Mayor
H. B. Bell
H. T. Drake
George S. Emerson
H. M. Beverly, Councilmen of Dodge City
R. E. Burns, Police Judge
N. B. Klaine, City Treasurer
L. C. Hartman, City Clerk
C. E. Chipman, Assistant Marshal
Fred T. M. Wente, City Attorney
J. L. Bridges, City Marshal
T. L. McCarty, City Physician

About a year after this letter was written, my 2nd great grandfather, Washington Marion Crawford, would move his family from Warren County, Indiana to Dodge City where he would join his older brother who was already living in Dodge City. Obviously the conflict in Dodge City did not prevent my ancestor from moving there. Perhaps that is due to the fact the citizens of Dodge City fought to change the character of the town.

Tragedy

When looking for an obituary, do you quit looking after finding one? I have to admit that I would quit looking after locating one, particularly prior to the digitization of the newspapers.

I’ve had found the obituary for Marion Crawford, my grandfather’s brother, in microfilm copies of the local newspaper some time ago. Today, I located a digital copy. His death at age 24 was indeed a tragedy.

Injury Fatal to M. R. Crawford
Death This Morning Follows Accident

Young Man Missed Footing when
Attempting to Mount Switch Engine
and Fell Beneath Wheels –
One Leg Severed and the Other
Amputated by Physicians

Marion R. Crawford, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Crawford, 504 Avenue D, was fatally injured early Thursday morning about 2:30 when attempting to step upon the back of an oncoming switch engine. He accidentally missed his footing and fell under the wheels. One of his legs was cut off next to the hip and the other was so badly mangled as to make amputation necessary.
It was necessary to jack the rear of the engine in order to keep from running over the boy a second time. As soon as this was accomplished he was taken to the McCarty hospital with all possible speed, where everything that could possibly be done was performed to save the young man’s life. He remained unconscious almost to the time of his death, which occurred at 8:30 this morning.
Marion R. Crawford was born in Dodge City October 24, 1895. He was well known here, having lived practically his entire life in the community. During the war he enlisted in the army, serving with Battery D, of the 13th Field Artillery, stationed at Camp Green, Charlotte, North Carolina. He was overseas and fought for his country in the Argonne, afterwards serving with the army of occupation. Marion Crawford was quiet, reserved and had a host of friends in Dodge City. After returning from the army he obtained a position with the Santa Fe railroad as switchman, and it was at this job that he was working when the accident happened. He was a member of the A.O.U.W. in good standing and also a member of the Brotherhood of Switchmen.
He is survived by his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Crawford, four married sisters, Mrs. Bernice Allen, of Cimarron, Mrs. Russell Horton of Dodge City, Esther and Lois Crawford and two brothers, Leon and High. His grandmother, Mrs. Mary Crawford, also lives in Dodge City, and Nelson Crawford, an uncle is an employee in the post office.
The funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

“Injury Fatal to M. R. Crawford,” The Dodge City Kanss Journal (Dodge City, Kansas), 29 July 1920, page 1; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 8 August 2021).

Since the obituary didn’t contain information about the funeral or burial, I decided to look further. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find such an article in the one 1920 Dodge City newspaper on Newspapers.com. Since his sister was living in Cimarron, Kansas at the time, I decided to broaden my search to the state of Kansas. That’s when I found two additional articles about his death.

Under Engine an Hour
Santa Fe Switchman Died from Loss of Blood
Marion Crawford, a Santa Fe switchman in the Dodge City yards, who was run over by a switch engine severing his left let, died later from the injuries and loss of blood. He was a son of J. F. Crawford night yardmaster at Dodge City. He served overseas in an artillery outfit.
Santa Fe railway men say Crawford lay for nearly an hour under the engine before he could be moved. The locomotive had to be raised with jacks to get him out, and he sustained an enormous loss of blood. His leg was severed close to his body.

“Under Engine an Hour,” The Hutchinson News (Hutchinson, Kansas), 2 August 1920, page 15; Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 8 August 2021).

Even more details of Marion’s death were included in the obituary published in The Hutchinson Gazette.

Dodge City Switchman Killed under Engine
Dodge City, July 30. — Marion Crawford, Santa Fe switchman and a son of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Crawford, 504 Ave. G, died yesterday morning as a result of an accident when a switch engine passed partially over him, severing his left leg close to the body. He sustained considerable loss of blood before he could be removed from beneath the locomotive.
Crawford had fallen from the switch engine as it was backing and fell beneath the wheels, about half the locomotive passing over him before his screams warned Engineer L. O. Pierson of the accident. Foreman George Anderson, Switchman R. C. Nickerson, and the engine crew rushed to Crawford’s aid, but investigation proved that he could not be removed until the locomotive was raised with jacks, his position being such that to move the engine would have inflicted further injuries. Dr. C. E. McCarty, Santa Fe physician and surgeon was immediately summoned, but it is said it was forty-five minutes before the locomotive could be jacked up and the injured man removed to the hospital, causing an enormous loss of blood. The knee cap and thigh bone in the left leg also were broken.
Marion Crawford was one of the most popular of the employes in the Santa Fe yards here. He was m[b]orn in Dodge City, oct. 24, 1895, being over 24 years of age when he died, and had spent practically all his life in the community. As soon as the United States entered the world war, Marion, with his brother, Leon, enlisted for army service. He was stationed as a member of the coast artillery in California, in Texas and in South Carolina, before he was sent overseas, where he saw many months of service in the expeditionary forces, and later in the army of occupation. His contingent participated in several important engagements, among them the Argonne.

“Dodge City Switchman Killed Under Engine,” The Hutchinson Gazette (Hutchinson, Kansas), 31 July 1920, page 7; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 8 August 2021).

Each one of these death notices provide different details regarding the tragic death of Marion Crawford.

Mumps, Measles, Chicken Pox

#52Ancestors, #Health, #SaturdayNightGenealogyFun

Well, it’s not Saturday night, nor is it Sunday. but I haven’t forgotten about doing a Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post. So, let’s pretend, it is Saturday night and some time for some genealogy fun.

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music):

1)  What memories do you have of family sickness or death?  Tell us about one or more of them and how the family dealt with it.

2)  Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or on Facebook.  Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog post on this post.

Do you remember being sick or in the hospital as a child? I was in the hospital to have my tonsils removed around age 5 and had a bad case of influenza while a kindergartner. However, my best memories are of when I got the childhood illnesses of mumps, measles and chicken pox.

Towards the end of first grade, I evidently wasn’t very careful when I used the drinking fountain because I got the mumps. The theory was that another student who had recently had the mumps passed them to me via the drinking fountain.

I remember being placed in my parents’ room and the room being kept dark. I also remember being told that the dishes and silverware I used had to be kept separate from the other dishes and silverware. I even have a vague memory of the doctor visiting me in that room. My mom’s efforts to keep me isolated from the rest of the family remind me a lot of what families are going thru today when someone gets COVID. Thanks to my mom’s efforts no one else in the family got the mumps.

I couldn’t have been released from my ‘quarantine’ very long before I got the measles. This time, I wasn’t alone. Both of my brothers also got the measles.

After recovering from the measles and being released from our confinement, the three of us came down with chicken pox. Thus, we were confined again. I remember the oatmeal baths and the constant reminders not to scratch.

So basically, I spent the entire summer between first and second grade confined to the house. And my mother spent the entire summer caring for a 7 year old, a 5 1/2 year old and a 2 year old.

When I interviewed my parents, I asked my mom about what I referred to as the ‘summer from hell’. Below is a transcription of that portion of the interview:

Me – Do you remember what must have been the summer from ‘hell’ when you had three kids with measles and chicken pox

M – well I remember it wasn’t too bad thanks to grandma and grandpa Crawford and uncle LR. Cause LR was I’ll never forget him sitting there oohing and aahing at the fireworks when you guys still had the chicken pox. Cause you couldn’t go outdoors. And you couldn’t go out and see the fireworks but we could see them from the picture window there in Dodge and he was sitting down there by that window and course Gene was gone he had gone away to school that summer

D – you remember that

Me – I don’t remember that

M – he had left a week early because you got the mumps and he had never had the mumps and how the boys escaped the mumps I’ll never know

Me – you kept me in isolation

M – ya but you know even so, they probably, they’re lucky, they got vaccine as soon as the mumps vaccine came out

Thankfully, we have now have vaccines for the mumps, measles and chicken pox. These vaccines keep children (and their parent caregivers) from going thru a summer like mine.

As adults, we have another vaccine that we can take. This one is to prevent COVID-19. Currently, young children cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19. To protect them, we need to create a circle of vaccinated people around them. So please, protect the children in your life by getting a COVID vaccine.

Corsets

#52Ancestors #Fashion

Even though they are evidently back in style, I can confess that I have never worn a corset. However, my grandmother wore a corset – every day. As a child, I once asked her why and she said it helped her back.

While grandma may have been wearing a corset in her later years to help her back, I doubt that is why she started wearing a corset. Like Sphinx Shapewear and corsets of today, corsets were worn to ‘shape’ the figure. A search of the Emporia, Kansas newspapers for the word corset between the years 1930 and 1950 supports the notion that a corset was a fashion ‘necessity’.

The Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) 24 Sep 1934 at Newspapers.com – https://www.newspapers.com/image/12269276/

In 1939, the article “New Styles Call for Old Fashioned Corsets” promotes the need to wear a corset.

Chicago, Aug. 1 (AP) – The business of putting women back into corsets, the kind with laces and stays, came to light at the Merchandise Mart style clinic today.

There was an emphasis on bustle effects and smaller waists, posing the immediate question of how to get the smaller waist line.

“By corsets, and in some instances, of course, corsets that lace,” said Mrs. Katherine Ratto, stylist in charge of the clinic, a feature of the fall-winter wholesale apparel market.

“Hip interest,” she said is achieved by the bustle effects — bows in back, loops of material, peplum jackets or nipped-in waists.

The Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) 1 Aug 1939 page 4 on Newspapers.com – https://www.newspapers.com/image/10813881/

So, where did my grandmother purchase her corsets? Since Newmans was one of my grandmother’s favorite stores, my first guess would have been Newmans.

The Emporia Daily Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) 28 March 1935 page 6 on Newspapers.com – https://www.newspapers.com/image/12335898/
Polk’s Emporia City Directory 1940-1941 available on Ancestry in their U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 database

However, Newman’s wasn’t the only clothing store selling corsets at the time. There are several ads in the newspapers indicating that Poole’s sold corsets. One of the most interesting ones is from the February 1942 paper discussing the rationing of rubber and the impact that had on the making of corsets.

The Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) 4 Feb 1942, page 2 on Newspapers.com – https://www.newspapers.com/image/12552683/
Polk’s Emporia City Directory 1940-1941 available on Ancestry in their U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 database

In the December 1949 issue of The Emporia Weekly Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) was a short news item about the corset department at Poole’s.

Mrs. Ann Van Cleave, of Poole’s corset and lingerie department, has recieved a certificate indicating that she has recently attended and completed a prescribed training course in the fundamentals of corsetry. The course is conducted by Warner’s of Chicago.

The Emporia Weekly Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) 15 Dec 1949 on Newspapers.com – https://www.newspapers.com/image/2755890/

However, the ad that appeared the most often in the search results was for a small shop on 823 West Street run by Mrs. Roe G. Collins.

The Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) 20 Mar 1946 on Newspapers.com – https://www.newspapers.com/image/12746200/

My ‘corset’ search of the Emporia papers also turned up some interesting medical information regarding the wearing of corsets. The first article involved having monkeys wear corsets.

Wants Monkeys to Wear Corsets Two Full Years

Chicago (Oct. 11 (AP) – Dr. Andrew C. Ivy, physiologist and vice president of the University of Illinois wants 40 monkeys to wear corsets for two years in an experiment which may determne how grandma got her ulcers.

Dr. Ivy said he believes tight corsets, proposed for American women by Paris designers, help peptic ulcers. Research disclosed, he said, that women had more ulcers when they laced themselves tightly.

The experiment with the monkeys, estimated to cost $5,000 would establish, or disprove his belief, Dr. Ivy said, and he plans to go through with it as soon as he can find 40 monkeys, the tightest corsets and $5,000.

To prevent stripping, he’ll put the monkeys into plaster caste molded from the corsets. After two years Dr. Ivy will tell women what, if anything has happened to the monkeys’ insides.

The Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) 11 Oct 1947 on Newspapers.com – https://www.newspapers.com/image/10258820/

Even though Dr. Ivy’s proposal sounds inhumane to us today, there may have been some truth to his hypothesis that corsets caused ulcers since he was quoted about the corset-ulcer issue in an article about the issue in the Oct. 1950 issue of The Emporia Gazette.

Ulcers Less Numerous When Women Discarded Tight Fitting Corsets

Palm Springs (AP) – Old-fashioned corsets went out of style and peptic ulcers among women declined says a medical expert.

Using the year 1900 as a turning point, Dr. Andrew C. Ivy said that before the turn of the century there were about three times as many peptic ulcer cases among women as among men.

Today, since the stiff stays and tight lacings have been tossed out the style window, the ratio is reversed.

Dr. Ivy, vice president of the University of Illinois, added in his lecture to a dental medicine seminar Monday that the beneficial effect of more comfortable foundations for the ladies was accompanied by a general change in the American way of life and increased tensions among men.

The Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) 17 Oct 1950 on Newspapers.com – https://www.newspapers.com/image/10723293

While I disagree with Dr. Ivy’s conclusion that the disappearance of the corset “increased tensions among men,” I do believe that wearing a corset every day would have been uncomfortable and may have impacted the body. One will never know whether my grandmother’s wearing of a corset helped her back or caused other medical issues. She was accustomed to it and continued to wear one even after styles changed.

However, I’m thankful that I live in a time period where I don’t have to don a corset.

Land Dispute

#52Ancestors #Conflict

Do you have copies of records that have never been transcribed? I know that I have quite a few in my files. That is one of the reasons I’m going back thru my direct line ancestors and creating narrative reports. In the process of creating those reports, I’m making sure I work on transcribing their records.

I recently started working to update the descendants of Hiram M. Currey of Peoria County, Illinois. In the process, I noticed a fact for a land dispute with an incomplete source. That source turned out to be Box 29 from the Peoria County, Illinois court records for the H. M. Curry vs Isaac Underhill case.

Unfortunately, the documents in the box do not indicate who won the court case.

Below is a transcription of those documents:

Peoria County, Illinois
Court Records Box 29

H.M. Curry vs Isaac Underhill

Copy obtained by Fred Vatko (Peoria County Genealogical Society)

Quincy
No 8250
Hiram M Curry
Recd in letter from this
[Honl] John T Stuart, dated
30 Dec 1839

Sec Comm & reply of
The 2 Jany 1840

———————————————————
State Bank of [Illinois] 45 {?] 4.20
Receiver’s Office, Quincy, Illinois
No. 8250
May 30 1836
Received from Hiram M Currey
Of Peoria County, Illinois the sum of
Forty four
Dollars and twenty cents, being in full payment for the
Southwest fractional
Quarter of section five
Township No. Ten north of the base line of Range Nine
East of the 4th principal meridian, containing thirty five
Acres and 36/100 of an acre at the rate of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre
$44.20 Tho Carlin receiver

Pre act 1834
Conflicting with county
7392


No. 8250
30 May 1836
I Hiram M Curry
Of Peoria
County, and State of Illinois do hereby apply for the purchase of the South
West fractional qr of section numbered five
in township numbered ten north of range numbered
Nine East of the fourth principal meridian
containing thirty five 36/100 acres
35.36
8.84
44.20
According to the returns of the Surveyor General, for which I have agreed with the Register to
give at the rate of one dollar and twenty five cents per acre.

I, Samuel Alexander, Register of the Land Office at Quincy, Illinois, do hereby certify
that the quarter section above described, contains 35 36
acres, as mentioned; and that the price agreed upon is $1.25 per acre
Re Act 1834
[?]icting 7392
Saml Alexander, Register

[CUMBERLAND COUNTY}

State of illinois
Peoria County

I Thomas Phillips County Surveyor within & for the aforesaid county; do
hereby state on oath, that I surveyed in the year 1837 fractional section
#5 10 North Range 9 East of the 4th principal meridian; and that no part of
the south west fractional quarter of the fractional section aforesaid bore any
appearance of ever having been enclosed or cultivated. The cultivation by which
it appears Hiram M Currey proved a right of presumption to the said fractional
quarter; was on the adjoining patented quarter. The nearest part of the said cultivation
does not come within fourteen chains, of the fractional quarter claimed by Curry.
deponent further states that certificate signed by himself and forwarded to the
commissioner of the general land office certifying that “Curry’s improvements
were on said fraction aforesaid; was an imposition practised on said deponent
by one Charles Balla[ne] of Peoria, Ills; and that said deponent signed the same
without fully understanding the contents of said certificate; said deponent
further states from the best of his knowledge & belief the above plat of said
fractional qtr claimed by Curry is a correct on; given under my
hand this twenty fourth day of May in the year


One thousand eight hundred & thirty Eight
[?] Phillips CSPC

Subscribed and sworn to before me William Mitchell
Clerk of the County Commissioners Court within and
For the County of Peoria and State of Illinois this
26 day of May AD 1838. Given under my hand
and seal of said Court of Peoria
this 26 day of May AD 1838
William Mitchell
Clerk


Survey & Affidavit of
Thos Philipps County Surveyor
Peoria Cy Ill. Relative to
Twp 5 10N 9E

In relation to Hiram M
Curry’s claim to sd qr section
G.S.O.
Fifled by King & Wilson 9th
Jun 1838
C.S.P.

Rec’d June 1838


Surveyor’s Office
Peoria County
State of Illinois

I Thomas Phillips sur-
veyor of said county do
hereby certify that I have
surveyed section no five in township ten
North of the base line and range nine east of the
fourth principal meridian according to
the original field notes a copy of which I
have procured from the surveyor general’
office at St. Louis and find by accurate
measurement that the East and West line run-
ning through the middle of said sec-
tion runs through the field said to have been
cultivated by Hiram M. Curry in the year
1833 dividing it in such a manner as to throw
a part of said cultivation on the South
West fractional quarter and the reside which
is much the larger portion on the north
West fraction quarter of said section given
from under my hand at my office this 26
Day of November 1836
Thomas Phillips SPC


State of Illinois
Peoria County

I William Mitchell Clerk of the County Commissioners
Court within & for said County,do hereby certify that
Thomas Phillips Esqr is the County Surveyor within and for the County
of Peoria aforesaid (duly commissioned & qualified) that his commission
was dated on the 12th day of August A.D. 1835 and will expire in
August 1839 — as it appears to me of record in my office and
that his signature following certificate is genuine
in testimony whereof I have hereunto set
my hand and seal of said Court at
Peoria this 15th day of May AD 1838
William Mitchell
Clerk

I Charles Ballan[ce] upon oath do state that the above certificte of
Thomas Phillips was signed by him in my presence
C Ballance

Subscribed & sworn to before me
This 15 day of May AD 1838
William Mitchell
Clk County Commissioners
Court Peoria County
Ills


State of Illinois
Peoria County
I Linus Scovil of lawful age being
girst duly sworn depose and say that I am the
justice of the peace of said county before whom
the witnesses were sworn who established Hiram
M. Curry’s right of re-emption to the South West
fractional quarter of Section No 5 in Township
10 North of the base line and Range No 9 East of the
4th principal meridian when James Cannon and Har-
ris Whittaker were afterwords brought before me by
Isaac Underhill to recount upon oath the statements
they had formerly made I at first refused to
swear them to said last mentioned affidavits on ac
count of its apparently involving them in perjury
and I inquired of them their motive for so great in-
consistency. They informed me that Isaac Underhill
and Jefferson Taliaferro (who had [floated] on said
Curry’s claim) informed them that they (said Under-
hill & Taliaferro) had had said land surveyed and
had ascertained that no part of the field which said
Curry had cultivated in 1833 was on said tract
of land and therefore as said Curry had [during] said
was cultivated nowhere else they were guilty of perjury
in swearing he had cultivated a part of said
tract during said year and that said Underhill
and Taliaferro had threated to persecute them for
perjury unless they wold recant upon oath
the statements aforesaid respecting said Curry’s
pre-emption. I further state that I am well
acquainted with all the parties and the premises in
dispute that said Curry is a poor man who to
my certain knowledge has lived upon the land
in dispute ever since some time in the year
1832 until a few months past his family has


Been absent (as is said) upon a visit to distant
relatives That I called to see said Curry some
time the fall of 1833 and found him sowing
a crop of wheat and had at the time a crop of corn
and pumkins grown The field he was cultivating
was always understood to be the fraction of section
5 township 10 North of range 9 East partly on the
NW qr and partly on the SW qr but having [nev]
er surveyed it can not say possibly where an East
& west line would run but have no dougt that
the house and part of the field are on the SW frac-
tional quarter Said Witnesses are vry young
and could I presume be easily frightened or per-
suaded to make such recantation without any criminal
intention I was at the time said Curry settled on
said land living in said neighborhood and have
ever since lived there Given from under my
hand this 28th day of January 1837.
Linus Scovill (seal)

State of Illinois
Peoria County

This day personally appeared
Before me William Mitchell
A notary Public of said County Linus Scovill
personally known to me to be the identical
person who subscribed and swore to the foregoing
instrument of [[writing] and deposed that the
statements therein made are just and true
according to the best of his knowledge & beliefs
I also certify that the said Linus Scovill is
a man of integrity & credibility and that his
statements on oath may be relied on Given
under my hand and seal notarized
at Peoria this 28th January AD 1837
William Mitchell


I Alexander [Forsh] being of lawful age and first duly
sworn testify that sometime in the summer of the
year 1836 in the town of Peoria I heard a conver-
sation between Isaac Underhill and another indi-
vidual respecting his speculations at Rome on the
Illinois River in which said Underhill boasted of
having defeated the pre-emption of a settler in that
neighborhood by procurring his witnesses to swear that
their affidavits by which they established the pre-emp-
tion were not true In that part of the conversation
which was in my hearing he stated distinctly that he had
paid one of said witnesses to with William M. E. Bogar-
dus the sum of two hundred dollars or four hundred
dollars (I am not certain which) to procure him to go
before a justice of the peace and recant upon oath
his former affidavit My impression is that he
did not give the name of the person whose pre-emp-
tion he had endeavored to destroy but he described it
as being a fraction and otherwise so spoke of it as
to have no doubt that it was the pre-emption of
Hiram M. Curry to which he alluded and further this
affiant [soweth] not
Alex H Fash

State of Illinois
Peoria County
I William Martin a justice of the peace
in and for said county do hereby certify that
on the ninth day of November A D 1837 person
all appeared before me Alexander H [Forsh] and
was by me sworn to the truth of the foregoing
affidavit given under my hand the date
aforesaid
W Martin J P


State of Illinois
Peoria County

I, William Mitchell, Clerk of the County
Commissioners’ Court for said county, do hereby certify that William
Martin, Esquire, whose name appears to the foregoing certificate, was, on
the day of the date thereof, an acting Justice of the Peace, in and for the county
aforesaid, duly commissioned and qualified, as it appears to me of record in my
office; and that, as such, full faith and credit are due to all his official acts.
In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto set my
hand, and affixed the seal of said court, at Peoria
this Seventh day of December 1839
William Mitchell Clerk


I Charles Ballomce do solemnly swear that shortly
after Isaac Underhill had filed the affidavits of
William M C [Bojordne] and others in the land office
to defeat H. M. Curry’s right of pre-emption to a tract of
land adjoining Rome in the county of Peoria Ill that
said Curry state to me that said Bogardus had ackn-
owledged to him that said Underhill had bribed him
for the sum of four hundred dollars to swear to an affi
davit contradicting his former affidavit which he
[had] given to establish said Curry’s pre-emption
that supposing if said statement was
true it was not susceptible of proof I paid little
attention to it until about two months ago said Curry in-
formed me he could prove said charge by Alexander H.
[Forsh] part not having an opportunity to take his
affidavit then and his residence being several
miles from here I had not a convenient opportunity
to take it until November 9th last past and it was not
then forwarded to the general land office because I
wished to procure furthere testimony especially
the testimony of Luther sears who was an associate
of said Underhill and who I understood from Forst
knew all about it On this day I called on said Sears who stated
that he heard said [Bocardus] and Underhill bargain-
ing about said affidavit Underhill offered a price
to Bocardus if he would upon oath recant his former affidavit
Bocardus refused to do it for the price offered but agreed
to do it for a large price after a number offers were
made and refused a sum was agreed upon and


the affidavit was made out and sworn to by said Bocardus,
and the price paid by said Underhill, as he understood from
them both, but what was the amount paid said Sears,
could not recollect. After said matter was arranged said
Sears stated that said Underhill explained the transaction
to him and told him that it was Hiram M. Curry’s pre-
emption claim near Rome that said affidavit was
taken to defeat. Said Underhill explained his having to give
so high a price for this affidavit to be that in addition
to the reluctance of the witness to contradict himself he was
interested in Curry’s claim, and it was necessary to give
him more then his interest amounted to to get him
to swear against Curry said Seas who seemed to know all about
the said transaction stated that he had ‘no doubt there was
perjury in the business.” I then asked him if he would
give an affidavit stating these fact, to which he answere-
ed that being a friend of Mr.Underhills he would not
give any statement on oath on the subject, unless required
in a court of justice and in this case he would swear
to the facts as declared to me and related above and further this affi
ant [south] not
Charles Balland
Subsribe and sworn to before me this 7th day
of December AD 1839. In testimony whereof
I have hereunto set my hand and
seal of the County Commissioners Court
of Peoria County, Sate of Illinois this
day & year last aforesaid
william Mitchell Clk


State of Illinois
Peoria County

Clerks Office County Commissioners [County]
William Mitchell clerk of said Court
do hereby certify that Linus Scovill Esqr whose
name appears written to the within certificate was at
this time the same was made an acting Justice
of the Peace in and for said County duly
Commissioned and qualified as affiant of
record in my office and that as such full
faith and credit an [act of rights] ought
to be given to [?] his official acts given
under my hand and seal
said Court at Peoria this
25th day of May AD 1836
William Mithcell
Clk Co Commr PC


8250
Cancelled
Quincy

Money ordered to be re-
funded by the Secretary
of the Treasurey — See letter
to the Regt & Recv dated
11th April 1845

Cancelled

Money ordered to be
refunded see letter to
R & R 3d Oct 1838

See letter from Honr John t
Stuart enclosing live affidavits
herewith filed — & letter dated 30th
Dec 1839 – & Commr reply of 2 Jany
1840 – also letter to R&R of same
date


We James Cannon and Harris Wittaker
do solemnly swear that Hiram M curry
is not entitled to a preemption to the South
West fractional qtr of Sec No 5 10 N 9 East
for which he has our evidence to his
preemption papers being date 19th March
AD 1836, we were at together unacquainted
with the boundarys of said fractional qr
until a recent survey of the same
and hereby swear that said Curry
never cultivated any part thereof to
our knowlege as set forth in said
preemption papers
James Cannon
his
Harris Wittaker
Sworn to and subscribed before me
this 24th day of May 1836
Linus Scoville
Justice of the Peace


I William M C Bogardus hereby make
oath that Hiram M Curry is not entitled
to a presentation to the SW fractional qr
of Sec no 5 10 North 9 East for which
he has my affadavit concerning I do
not want the Register to receive said
affadavit as there is a mistake inthe
same and further that I swear
that the section lines do not
come within three or four rods of teh
fence where he states that he cultivated
the same, and further one of the [whitnesses]
is Curry’s own son, and the other is
under age
[W M ? Bogandus]

State of Illinois
Peoria County
I Lewis Bigelow, an acting
Justice of the Peace within and for
the county of Peoria, hereby certify that on the 23d day
of May AD 1836 the above named William M. C. Bogar
dens personally appeared before me and made oath to
the truth of the foregoing affidavit by him subscribed

Lewis Bigelow, J. Peace


State of Illinois
Peoria County
Clerks Office County Commissioners Court
William Mitchell Clerk of said Court
I hereby certify that Lewis Bigelow Esqr whose
name appears to the foregoing certificate was at
the time the same was mad an acting Justice
of the Peace in and for said county regularly
commissioned and qualified as appoint of
record in my office and as such full
faith and credit are[and ? rights]
[?] given to are his official acts. In Tes-
timony whereof I have hereunto
set my hand and seal of said
County at Peoria this twenty fifth
day of May A.D. 1836
William Mitchell
Clk


Cancelled
Certificate
8250
and proof belonging thereto

Certificate Cancelled
See letter to R & R 3d Oct
1838 also letter
from the Hon John T stuart
dated 30 Oct 183[7] & Commr
reply of 2d Jany 1840 & letter
of same date to R & R


Charles Ballance of Peoria of lawful age deposes
and says in addition to his foregoing that he
has been acquainted with Hiram M Curry
since early in 1832 That in the latter part
said year this deponent and said Curry were
two of the Commissioners appointed by the County
of Peoria to locate a road towards Knoxville to
pass on the North line of the above described
tract that this deponent was then in the house
of said Curry and has frequently been on
the premises same and states of his own knowl-
edge that said Curry has ever since resided on
said land with his family neither has
he ever heard of his having had any othe rhome
during said time nor has he heard of any
other person having a claim to said land
unti the last week
C Ballance
Subscribed & Sworn to
before me on this 30th
day of May 1836.
J H [Racton] J. P.


Sworn to and subscribed before me on this 19th day
of March 1836
Linus Scovill J P

We do swear that the subscribing witnesses to the
within preemption proof are persons of
respectability and their oath entitled to credit
William, Fletcher, Thompson
Linus Scoville junr
Swortn to and subscribed before me on this
26th day of March 1836
Linus scovill JP

I do hereby certify that the above named wienesses
are persons of respectability and their oath entitled
to credit
Linus Scovill J P

State of Illinois
Peoria County
To wit: William Mitchell clerk of the county
Commissioners Court for said county do certify that Linus
Scovill Esqr whose name appears to the foregoing certificates
was on the day of the date therof an acting Justice of the Peace
in and for said county, dully commissioned and qualified
[seal covering ] to me of record in my office and that as such
[seal covering] and credit are due & are his official acts
In testimony whereof I have hereunto
set my hand and affixed the seal of said
Court at Peoria this 21st day of may 1836
William Mitchell, Clk


I do solemnly swear that I was in actual occupancy
of and raised a crop on the South west fractional
qr of sec 5 town 10 north of range 9 East of the
4th principal meridian in the year 1833 and
that I was in actual possession and occupancy
of the same at the passage of the law on the 19th
of June 1834 and am still in possession and I
hereby apply to enter the same by preemption
agreably to the Act of Congress in that care
made and provided
Hiram M Currey
Sworn to and subscribed before me on this
19th day of March 1836
Linus Scovill JP

We do solemnly swear that Hiram m Currey was
in actual occupancy of and raised a crop on the South
west fractional qr of Sec 5 in Town 10 North of Range
9 East of the 4th principal Meridian in the year
1833 and that he was in actual occupancy of the same
on the 19th of June 1834 and still is in possession
and that we are not interested directly or indirectly
in his obtaining a preemption
Silas Allen
Hames Camon
Harris (his mark) Whitaker


To the Honorable Thomas Ford Judge of the
Peoria Circuit Court in Chancery sitting humbly
complaining showeth unto your Honor your [or tor]
Hiram M. Curry that heretofore to wit in the year one
thousand eight hundred and thirty [twp] your orator found
the south West fractional quarter of section no. five Township ten
North of the base line and Range nine East of the
fourth principal meridian vacant and unoccupied
land belonging to the government of the United States of
America and your orator being desirous of obtaining a
home in this part of the country and aid land having
not then been proclaimed for sale took possession
thereof with the intention of making thereon a preman-
nent home and paying for the same when it should
be offered for sale by the government Your orator fur-
there showeth unto our Honor that he cultivated a portion
of said fractional section of land in and during the year
AD one thousand eight hundred thirty-three
and had a dwelling house thereon which he was living
with his family on the nineteenth of June A D 1834
and was consequently entitled to enter a right of pre-emp
tion thereto under the laws of Congress of said last and
was thereby entitled to buy said tract at one dollar and twen-
ty five cents per acre at any time before the nineteenth
day of June A D 1836 And your orator well hoped
that he would be permitted the peaceable enjoyment of
his [family] home made in those early times amidst
privations and dangers But now so it is may
it Please your Honor one Isaac Underhill who
is hereby made a defendant to this bill sometime
the second day of April in the year A D 1836
went
to the land office at Quincey Illinois and fraudently represented said
tract of land to the Register of said land office as
government land on which no right of pre-emption


existed and entered said land by means of a floating
right obtained under said pre-emption law in the name of
one Charles Hayes who is hereby prayed to be made a
defendant to this bill And afterwards to wit
in or about the second day of My Ad 1836 the said
Underhill presured said Hayes to make an assignment
of said tract of land to one Jefferson Taliaferro who is
also prayed to be made a defendant to
this bill
Your orator further shares that in the
month of April AD 1836 said Underhill surveyed said
tract into town lots and had a plat thereof made and
recorded in the recorders office of said county under the
name of ‘Taliaferro’s Additon Rome’ and on the
fifteenth of said month obtained from said Taliferro
a deed to a portion thereof but whether the whole legal
title that said Taliaferro obtained or may [cu] supposed
to have obtained from said Hayes has been conveyed
to said Underhill your orator does not know
And your orator showeth unto your honor that said
Underhill further to embarrass and defraud your orator sold divers
portions of said tract of land to divers persons
whose names are at present unknown to your orator but
whose names when ascertained your orator prays may
[?] have and they made defendants hereunto
Your orator further showeth unto your honor that your
orator during the existence of said pre-emption land to wit
on the day of June AD 1836 procured all the neces-
sary proofs to be filed in said land office to establish a
right of pre-emption in your orator to said tract of land
whereupon said register and Receiver decided that your
orator was entitled to said land notwithstanding the


orator was entitled
———————
said entry made by said Underhill as aforesaid and
your orator thereupon bought said land of said Register
and Receiver pursuant to the provisions of said pre-
emption law and received the usual duplicate receipt
showing that fact which duplicate is herewith shown
to the court and prayed to be taken as a part of this
bill Your orator further showeth unto your Honor
that after said last mentioned entry or purchase was
made said Underhill procured and sent tot he commissioners
of the general land office, certain affidavits tending to prove that
if the line between the North and South halves of said
section was properly surveyed the cultivation would fall on the
north half whereas his house was on the South half to
rebut which your orator procured and sent to the commissioner
of the General land office an official certificate of the county
surveyor of Peoria county certifying that he had run said
line bounding to the original field notes and a portion of said
cultivation was on the tract in controversy on the
reception of which said commissioner adjudged your
orators evidence conclusive but for form’s sake sent
back the surveyors certificate with a request that the
county seal might be attached to[document] the official
[hamiter] of said surveyor whereupon your orator [pro-]
[red]said sent to be attached this to with the certificate of
said clerk that of the official character of said surveyor
and all that said commissioners required being complied
with your orator rested cont[ent] and well hopes the
question was settled forever but to your orators utter as-
tonishment and dismay some months afterwards he
received a letter from Samuel [Leech] Commissioner of the
said land office at Quincy enclosing a copy of a letter
which it was stated that the claim of your orator was
adjudged bad and the claim of said Underhill who
held under said Haye’s as aforesaid adjudged good and
that it was filed away for a patent to issue in due
course


And afterwards to with on the twenty first day of
January AD one thousand eight hundred and forty a
patent was made out in due form granting said land
absolutely from the United States to said Charles’ Hayes

But if your orator charges
the legal title to said land is in said Hayes and has
not passed so said Taliaferro Underhill& many of their
[minders] for your orator charges that said assignment
is not such an instrument as can pass the legal
title in said premises
All of which outings and doings of the said under
Hayes, Taliaferro and their confederate are contrary
to equity and good [measure] and tend to the many
injury and impoverishment of your orator whereupon
you as much as your orator is without relief under the [strict]
ness of the common laws but is re[trevable]
in a court of equity only where matters of this


sort are properly cognizable and relievable therefore
May it please your honor to grant unto your orator
the People’s most gracious writ of summons to be directed
to the said Isaac Underhill, Charles Hayes and Jefferson
Taliaferro thereby commanding them and each of them at
a certain day and under a certain point therein to be lim[it]
personally to be and appear before your Honor in this Honora
ble court and then and there the said Hayes’ or his corporate oath
and the said Underhill and Taliaferro without full true [?]
perfect answers make to all and singular the premises
And may the said Hayes be required to answer on oath afore-
said particularly whether he was entitled to a floating right to
any land under the pre-emption law aforesaid and
if he was what facts [earsted] to entitle him thereto and
more particularly whether he lived on government land or
on land that had long before been granted to or private indi-
vidiual on the nineteenth day of June A D 1834
And whether the South West fractional quarter of section
five in Township ten North of the base line and Range nine
East of the fourth principal meridian was entered by him or by another
in his name without his consent and whether he has
since conveyed the same away to any other person or
persons. If he h[ears] to whom he has conveyed And may
the said Underhill and Taliafero parties only state without
oath as aforesaid what title they jointly or severally have in
said premises what parts they have sold to each other or to
others at what time and to whom sold and for what price
And may said Hays, Underhill and Taliferro
be compelled
to execute and deliver to your orator a good and sufficient
deed of conveyance conveying to your orator all the right title
and interest which they or either of them has in said premises
with [increments] of warranty warranting said premises to your
orator against the acts of the said Hays Underhill and Talia-
fero by them sincerely done and [committed] and against
all persons claiming by through or under the person thus
warranting and further may they stand to abid
and perform such further orders direction and [direct]
therein as to your honor shall sum [mut]
And may it please your Honor to grant unto your
orator such other and further relief as equity any justice shall
require and to your Honor shall seem mut and your orator
as in duty bound will ever pray
Hiram M. Curry
Pr C. Bullance [solicitor]


Hiram M Curry
vs
Isaac Underhill et al
Bill in Equity

Filed July 7th AD 1840
William Mitchell


In this case the clerk will issue summons to the county
of Peoria against Isaac Underhill to the county of Tazewell
against Jefferson Taliferro and to the county of McDonough
against Charles Hayes
C. Ballance sol. for compt


The summon of Isaac Underhill to the bill
in chancery filed by one Hiram M
Curry in the Circuit Court for Peoria
County against himself Charles Hays
and Jeferson Taliaferro.
This respondent admits that the South
West fractional quarter of section five T 10 N
(E belonged to the government of the United
States in AD 1832, but he says it is [not true]
complainant cultivated any
portion of this tract of land in the
year AD 1833 nor at any time since
as the respondent is informed and
verily believes.
This respondent further says that he
never did represent tot he Register of the land
office at Quincy that no preemption rights
existed to said tract of land though had
such representation been [noodes] to want
have been justified by the facts He admits
that said Taliaferro purchased a floating
claim of said Hays and entered the said
tract of land in April 1836. Hays
then assigned the certificate of entry to said
Taliaferro who conveyed all his right
and interests in the land to this person
and by deed. He also admists that he laid off
the town of Rome on a portion of the said tract of land
and has since sold some of the lots to different
individuals.
This respondens also admits that the com-
plainant by misrepresenting the situation of
the land impose and some individuals
so far as to indue them to attempt to prove
a right of presumption in said Curry and this
respondent thinks it not impossible that
Register and Receiver of the land office
unsuspecting of a fraud and no [caus?]


evidence being before them might have per-
mitted to complainant to enter the land.
This respondent also admits to the time that
soon after the land it [sacmoured] that Curry
had been permitted to enter the land, to purchase
the affidavits of several persons acquainted
with the facts (among them were the witnesses
who proved Curry preemption) in which
affidavits it was stated that Curry never
had cultivated the aforesaid tract of land
This respondent also admits that one
Charles Ballance who was then acting as the
attorney for the complainant by misrepre-
senting to the county surveyor the course
of the lines indused him to give the certificate
mentioned in the bill, then the said Ballance
was enabled the to induce the county surveyor more easily to believe these
false statements, as he had been [coerced]
by surveyor himself was at time [prevailing]
This respondent also says that the said county
surveyor soon after he had given the certificate
to the said Ballance, discovered the [imposetion]
that had been practiced and him, and having
surveyed the land accurately according [to the] field
notes, gave this respondent a certificate stating
the above parts and was no appearance
of them said having been any cultivation on the
said tract of land. This respondent sent
the aforesaid testimony to the commissioner
of the General Land office and he thinks [?]
the complainent ought not to have been surprised,
should have issued to Hays after this fraud
had been thus fully brought tot he know-
ledge of the land officers.
This respondent admits that he sold
several of the towns lots laid off on said land
but when & to whom he cannot now
answer with precision having no mem


orandum of the sales. He thinks he sold the
most of them in AD 1836 and supposes that
the owners names may be found in the reco
ders office, as acceptable to the complainant
as to this respondent he has forgotten to whom
the lots were sold, and could only ascertain
them by searching the said records.
This respondent further answers and says that
he denies that the said complainant ever had a
right or preemption to the said South west fraction
quarter
And the respondent having
this fully answered [froze] that
he may be dismissed with his
costs.
Isaac Underhill

[?] known to befor
[?] 8 day of August 1840
William Mitchell


Deposition of George C McFaddon of the County of Peoria and
State of Illinois taken on the fifth and sixth days of October AD
1840 between the hours of 10 in the morning and five in evening of
the said Hays in the office of William Mitchell Clerk of the Circuit
Court within the said county to be used in evidence in a cause
pending in the Circuit Court of said County with Chancery
[bids] thereof wherein Hiram M Curry is complainant
and Isaac Underhill, Jeferson Taliaferro and Charles Hays are
defendants on behalf of the said defendants the said
George C McFadden doth depose Hays, in answer to
the following interrogations


1st Have you surveyed the South West qr Section five
Township 10 North Range 9 East of the [4] Meridian

Ans: He Has

2ns: State whether there is any appearance of cultivation
on said quarter

Ans: Witness was requested to examine as to whether
the said quarter had been cultivated and was not
able to discover that there had been anything like
cultivation upon it

3rd Had there been any cultivation upon it in the
year 1833 would have perceived the evidence
of it

Ans: should think there might

4th Is there any appearance of cultivation in the vicinity of this quarter?

Ans: witness refers to a map which is marked A and
made a part of this deposition, the place on said
map marked “orchard cultivated ground” and
the place marked “old cultivated ground called
the Taliferro place” appeared to have been cultivated
and they are the only places in the vicinity of said
quarter which have been cultivated

5th Are you the County surveyor of Peoria county
and is the said map is a correct survey of
said ground

Ans: witness is the county surveyor of Peoria County
and the map and survey is correct

Cross Examination by the complainant
1st What is the description of the said quarter section and
the adjacent ground?

Ans: Prairie

2nd: Are any of ancient corners of said section remaining

Ans: None that he could find

3rd: How did you ascertain the true position of the
line through the middle of said frac section?

Ans: witness commenced about a mile and a half
in the township line between ten North Eight & Nine
[fall] and run North to the center of section six north
west side then run East one mile to the quarter
section corner between five & six, then to [prove ther]
that was right run South to the river, thirty one
chains then run from same corner North to
the corner of section five & six on township line


the corner of Section five & six on township line

then run East 33 chains & 6 links to the Illinois
river, which comes out within a few [links] of
the field with distance and that witness judges
was about right

4th Is the bank of the River where the three lines as
laid down on the map strike it, a sudden
cliff or a gradual slope?

Ans: A gradual slope, a little rough on the start
but gradual afterwards

5th Do the lines as you have surveyed them terminate
at high or low water mark?

Ans: The North line would terminate at high
water [nexth] with the field [in the] distances, the
other two lines are about average distance
between high & low water marks

6th By what field notes did you survey this tract

Ans: by the field notes which witness purchased from
Captain Phillips the former County surveyor, and witness
has no doubts they are true copies of the original notes
as they have always agreed with his surveys

7th Have you any personal knowledge that they were
copied from the original field notes?

Ans: Has not


8th In running the lines of said quarter how much
did you allow for the variation of the compass?

Ans: Seven degrees & twenty minutes

9th If a mistake was made in the degree of variation
how much wold it make in missing a [field]

Ans: One chain and forty links

10th Is any part of the fence remaining on the South
side of the piece marked on the map “old cultivated
ground”?

Ans: thinks not

11th How far does the North line of said fractional
quarter run south of where cultivation appears
to have been as marked on the plat?

Ans: From fifty to seventy five links

By the defendants

Was the corner you started from, the one established
by the United States?

Ans: Witness supposed it was, on the township line
containing that quarter

What is the true varratin of the compass

Ans: seven degrees & twenty minutes


By the complainant

How did you ascertain the true variation of eh compass?

Ans: By running on different lines and making the
variation to follow said lines witness has been surveying
in Peoria County more or less for four years, and has
been county surveyor about a year
G. C. McFadden

State of Illinois
Peoria County
I William Mitchell Clerk of the Circuit Court
within and for said county do hereby certify that George C
McFadden was by me sworn to testify the truths, the
whole truth and nothing but the truth, as a witness in the
above entitled cause, and that foregoing deposition by him
submitted was taken as the time and place aforesaid and
reduced to writing by me
Given under my hand and seal
of said Court at Peoria this 6th day
of [December] AD 1840
William Mitchell
Clerk

Fees for taking Dep 1.87


Hiram M. Curry
vs
Underhill

Deposition of E McFaden Hays et al


A survey of teh S.W. quarter of Section5 Township 10 N R 9 E of teh 4th Prl Meredian
(For Isaac Underhill) Beginning at a part of sstone set for 1/4 secton corner between sections
5 7 6 thence East 20 chains to the bank of the Illinois river, thence S 30 [W] two chains
thence S 30 degrees E three chaines, thens S 56 degrees W four chains and fifty links, thence S 30 degrees W eight
chains, thens S 34 degrees W twelve chains, thens S 41 degrees W nine chanes (the corner described in the
field notes is destroyed) thence North thirty one chains to the place of beginnings, containg
31 83/100 acres of land, surveyed according tot he original field notes, July 22nd 1840
Variation 7 degrees 20 minutes
G. C. McFadden CSPC


A Survey of the
S.W. Qr of Sect. 5
T10 N R 9 E pr
Isaac Underhill

Attest William Mitchell

Membership

#52Ancestors #Groups

When entering details about an acestor’s life, do you use a ‘member’ fact? I do – sometimes. But if I were grading myself on the use of this fact, I would probably give myself a ‘D’. Since I do use the fact, I don’t deserve an ‘F’. However, my usage is very inconsistent.

For example, my grandmother, Winnie Currey Crawford was a member of the Old-Timers club in Dodge City. Growing up, I remember her talking about either hosting or attending Old-Timers meetings. I’ve even written a blog post about the Old-Timers club. Grandma was also a member of the East Side Bible class. However, my grandmother does not have a ‘member’ fact for either of these organizations.

I admit that I’m a bit lazy with the use of this fact. I think another issue I have with this fact is the process of assigning a date. I don’t know when my grandmother joined these organizations. Thus, I don’t have a ‘beginning’ date. Her participation was also over a span of years.

In preparing for this post, I also discovered that, at times, I don’t provide enough information when entering the fact. If the description field is left blank, then the sentence created for the fact is meaningless.

Member Fact – Missing Description Info – Meaningless Sentence

This also impacts a ‘Fact List’ report. Without the details that should be in the description, the report just gives the place. The ‘fact list’ report is under the ‘Lists’ section of reports in RootsMagic 7.

Creating a fact list report for the member fact is relatively simple. I just selected the member fact and then generated the report.

Fact List Report – Selecting Member Fact

This produced an 8 page report. Below is a sample of that report showing both facts with sufficient information along with facts that do not have enough information.

Member Fact List Report – Highlighted entries are missing information in the Description field

Since I am previewing RootsMagic 8, I decided to see how this works in RM8. Instead of going to the ‘Reports’ menu at the top of RM7, I need to use the ‘Publish’ menu down the left side of RM8.

Based on my limited experience in RM8, I believe the Publish screen shows 4 of the reports I’ve recently used. Since the Fact List report does not show, I need to click on ‘All Reports and Charts’.

RM8 Publish Menu

That opens a screen showing all of the available reports. From here, I selected Fact List.

List of available reports -RM8

Instead of opening a separate window for the report options, they appear on the left side of the screen. Again, I need to select the fact type, ‘member’. Clicking on the > to the right of the ‘birth’ fact type opens a window where I can scroll down to locate the Member fact.

Selecting type of fact – RM8

Clicking OK on the window changes the ‘fact type’ in the settings for the report to Member. I then removed the check mark from Print Private Facts and from Print Preparer Info.

Settings Screen Fact List Report

Once the settings are configured to my wishes, I click the Generate report button at the bottom of the column. This report appears in the large space to the right of the report settings.

Fact List Report RM8

When I look at the same area of the report as in RM7 (Washington Marion Crawford, etc.), the major difference is that every other member fact is highlighted blue.

RM8 Fact List Report Example

Magic didn’t happen in RM8. I’m still missing the description information for William Clay Craford’s member facts. I’m not sure whether the highlighting affected the spacing or whether a different font and font size was used, but the report is 13 pages long in RM8 compared to the 8 pages in RM7.

This experiment with the Member Fact list report

  • Revealed my laziness in entering this type of fact
  • Revealed member facts that are missing descriptive details
  • Helped me realize that the process of creating reports in RootsMagic 8 is similar to that in RM7. It just looks different.

My to-do list just got a bit longer.

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

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.

Call to Add GPS

#52Ancestors

Have you visited cemeteries in search of a grave? Did a family member help you find the gravesite?

Each memorial day, my mom would load us kids up in the car along with cut flowers from the garden to meet my grandparents at the cemetery to decorate graves. Thus, I grew up knowing where the Crawford family plot was in the Dodge City cemetery.

However, I did not remember where all of the other family graves were, including my great grandfather and 2nd great grandparents. I learned where those gravesites were when my grandmother took me on a ‘family plot’ tour of the cemetery. Thanks to her guidance, I can walk to most of those family plots.

When I’ve gone to other cemeteries looking for graves, I’ve sometimes walked the entire cemetery before locating the stone. In larger cemeteries, I’ve been able to visit the office and get a general location for the stone. Even when armed with that information, I’ve haven’t been able to walk right up to the stone.

That’s where GPS technology can be very helpful. While on a Memorial Day cemetery visit to locate graves of collateral relatives in Kansas city, I was very thankful for that technology. We were looking for a grave in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Kansas City, Kansas and the office was overwhelmed. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the entire cemetery on BillionGraves. Using the BillionGraves app, we were able to drive to the section and then I was able to walk to the grave.

I had a similar experience while visiting the Olathe Memorial Cemetery in Olathe, Kansas. I can generally locate the stone of my great grandmother, Winnie Currey (Curry) who is buried there. During a visit to the cemetery a couple of years ago, we discovered that they had GPSed the entire cemetery and made it searchable on their website.

Since Find a Grave is the go-to source for many people looking for burial information, I was curious about the ability to add GPS coordinates to a record on Find a Grave. If using a GPS enabled device such as a smart phone, then adding those coordinates appears to be fairly simple. Pictured below are the directions from the Find a Grave site.

Curious as to what that looks like on the app, I checked the Find a Grave record for a collateral relative who is buried in the Dodge City cemetery. His record already has a tombstone picture. Thus, I can’t take a photo and quickly add it to the record. However, while using the app (and not the web site), there is a handy little button to Add GPS.

So, my plans for this memorial day weekend is to work on getting this GPS data out there by making sure a photo has been uploaded to BillionGraves and either adding a photo or adding the GPS coordinates to Find a Grave. Won’t you join me in this endeavor?