Golden Anniversary

As we have recently celebrated Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d reshare one of the poems my great-grandmother, Josie Winifred Hammond wrote, titled “Our Golden Wedding.”

Fifty years, ’tis a long look back
To that far off winter day,
When we started out, just a pair of kids.
Together to tread life’s way
There were no airplanes or radios then
Automobiles were unheard of too
There wasn’t a telephone in the town
And electric lights were few.
When we started housekeeping by ourselves
There wasn’t much work to do,
For the house we had was very small,
And the table was set for two.
Then the babies started coming along,
And we worked early and late,
By the time we moved into a home we owned
The table was set for eight.
Then another girl happened along
But before she had a place of her own,
The oldest girl and the man of her choice
Had started another home.
Then two boys went away to war
And things were in an awful fix.
We worked for the Red Cross and sold liberty bonds
And the table was set for six.
Then the boys came home, but soon Cupid’s darts
Drove a boy and a girl from the hive.
And death’s cold hand took another boy
And the table was set for five.
Then a boy and a girl went away to school
A teacher and a nurse to be.
And now the table looks awfully small,
When its only set for three
The boy at school found a wee small girl
That he just must have for a wife
But the nurse still seems content
To live a single life.
Then the youngest girl met a farmer
And married as most girls do.
And we’re right back where we started from
And the table is set for two.
But as the years have come and gone.
And good times or hard times we’d see
I’ve never grown tired of seeing
That same face across the table from me.

Josie kept a ledger containing poems and other writings about her family and her life in Dodge City, Kansas. Josie’s ledger was transcribed and shared via the Kansas Collection.

Valentine’s Love

It’s Saturday and time again for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun! It is also the day before Valentine’s day and there is a ‘Valentine’s Day Challenge’ going around Facebook.

Mike and I met while attending Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia, Kansas. I’m not sure when we first met. It was sometime during our sophomore year when we were both chemistry lab assistants and also in a class together. We became engaged on Valentine’s Day during our junior year and were married after graduation. We will be celebrating our 48th year of marriage this May.

So here’s our Valentine’s Day Challenge story

How’d we meet? chemistry class in college
First Date? I don’t remember
How long have you been together? Engaged February 1973
Married? Yes – 47 years this May
Age Difference? 5 months
Who was interested first? Not sure
Who said ‘I Love you’ first? probably him
Most impatient? likely me
Most sensitive? not sure
Loudest? him
Most stubborn? likely equally stubborn in our own ways
Falls asleep first? Me
Cooks better? Both
Better morning person? Me
Better driver? Me of course (he is a good driver)
Most competitive? Neither
Who is the funniest? him
Who is more social? neither very social
Who is the neat freak? neither
Where was your first kiss? parents’ front porch
How long did it take to get serious? don’t remember
Plans date night? neither
Who picks where you go to dinner? Usually mutual discussion
Who is the first one to admit when they’re wrong? Usually both admit errors
Who wears pants in relationship?
Who has more tattoos? Neither of us has a tattoo
Who sings better? not sure
Hogs the remote the most? Me — early in the evening
Spends the most? Me
Did you go to the same school? No – until college
Who drives when you are driving together? Share driving
Where is the farthest you have traveled together? West coast

Throwback Thursday

Each Thursday, I am trying to share some of the family pictures that have been passed down to me by my grandmothers. Today’s set of pictures comes from my Dodge City collection.

According to the description on the back, a couple of these pictures were taken at the ‘Airport Restaurant’. This was one of my grandmother’s favorite restaurants. It was a small cafe with about 5 booths and a small counter. Several of the booths overlooked the runway. Thus, we would sit in a booth, eating traditional American food, as we watched the activity around the hangars and runway.

The pictures are from a celebration of Alma Currey Taylor Grenier’s 75th birthday in 1987. Included in the pictures are Alma’s husband, Nap; Alma’s sister and my grandmother, Winnie Currey Crawford; and Winnie’s sister-in-law, Esther Crawford Noll.

Esther Noll, Winnie Crawford, Alma Grenier
Alma Grenier, Esther Noll, Winnie Crawford
Esther Noll, Winnie Crawford, Nap Grenier
Winnie Currey Crawford and her sister, Alma Currey Taylor Grenier


Do you ever get bored and unable to focus on your genealogy research? With area research libraries limiting access and a personal decision to try and stay home until vaccinated, boredom is starting to affect my ability to focus my research.

So today, I’m taking a detour and working the light bulbs on my RootsMagic 7 pedigree that connect to Ancestry hints. Most of those light bulbs were to marriage announcements in Kansas newspapers – which I had already found.

However, one of those light bulbs took me to an obituary in a newspaper that I would have never looked in. The obituary titled, “Died,” was published in the Western Veteran in Topeka, Kansas. The text of the obituary contains information found in other sources for my great great grandfather, Washington Marion Crawford who died in Dodge City, Kansas.

Died — W. Mari n Crawford. He has been called by the reveil’e on the other shore and is enrolled with the silent majority. Like the true soldier he was ready at any time, and when the order came for his transfer, though the warning was short it found him ready. He was born in Warren county, Indiana, April 21, 1838, where he passed the greater portion of his life. He enlisted August 27, 1861, in Co. H 2d New York Cavalry, better known as the “Harris Light Horse.” He was captured September 22, ’63, and for nearly fifteen months he suffered all the cruelties and privations of Belle Isle, Andersonville, Florence and other prisons of the South, was paroled December 13, ’64 reaching home and friends on the last day of that year, a mere wreck of his former self, from which he never recovered. He was converted to Christianity while a prisoner, and ever after lived a consistent Christian life. He was especially interested in the welfare and comfort of his late comrades. He had a cheerful and kind word for every one. His last act was to respond cheerfully and promptly to a call to take charge of old Fort Dodge which is being fitted for a Soldier’s home. He was a member of Lewis Post No. 294 and had been an officer of the post. He died suddenly August 23, 1889, of heart disease, resulting from disabilities contracted while a prisoner of war. It was his request to be buried by his comrades which request was fulfilled, with ex-Andersonville prisoners as pall-bearers. His remains were laid to rest in the beautiful G.A.R. cemetery of Lewis post near Dodge City.

“Died,” Western Veteran (Topeka, KS), 4 September 1889, page 8; digital image, ( : viewed online 26 January 2021).


Do you have farmers in your tree? Do you know where the family homestead is (was) located? Since I have a rich Kansas heritage, there are two definitions for homestead:

  • a house, particularly a farmhouse and outbuildings
  • an area of public land in the west (i.e. Kansas) usually comprising 160 acres that was granted to any U.S. citizen willing to settle the land and farm it for at least five years.

My great great grandfather, Washington Marion Crawford was a homesteader — and the only ancestor for whom I’ve obtained a homestead record. To put this land on a map, I use the web site First Landowners Project at HistoryGeo ($).

Washington Crawford’s land is in the lower left of the above map. Toward the top of the map is land his brother, James H. Crawford owned. The two pieces of land just south of Dodge City were homesteaded by his nephew and his daughter. The purple dot on the map identifies the location of the land Richmond Hammond homesteaded. Richmond’s daughter, Josie, would later marry Judson, son of Washington Crawford.

Zooming in on the map, the original neighbors of Washington Marion Crawford can be identified.

In March of 1885, Washington M. Crawford paid $2 to register his claim at the Garden City Land Office.

Land Office at Garden City, Kansas
Mar 31 1885
Mr. Washington M. Crawford has this day paid Two dollars, the Reiger’s and Receiver’s fees to file a Declaratory Statement, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged.
A J Hoisington, Receiver
No. 125
Mr. Washington M. Crawford having paid the fees, has this day filed in this Office his Declaratory Statement, No. 125 for SE 1/4 section 31 township 28S of Range 26 W containing 160 acres selected March 31, 1885 being [?] offered.

In July 1889, Washington M. Crawford filed his “Testimony of Claimant’ by answering several questions. Interesting bits of information from these questions includes the following:

  • had made a previous filing for another tract of land but did not remember the description and never obtained title to it
  • there is no timber on the land
  • in March of 1886, he built a house and broke 5 acres of land
  • Description of buildings: house – frame shingle roof 15 ft x 15 ft with sod addition 10 ft x 12 ft; 3 doors & 4 windows; sod stable 16ft x 32 ft; hen house 8 ft x 8 ft; well 92 ft deep;
  • planted 2000 mulberry trees
  • owns a plow and a buggy
  • owns 1 cow, 1 calf and 2 horses
  • raised crops for 3 seasons
  • spent 4 months in 1887 in Dodge City working to earn money to support family

The final certificate for the land was received by the family in May 1890 after Washington M. Crawford’s death in August 1889.

The United States of America
To All to Whom These Presents Shall Come, Greeting:
Homestead Certificate No. 1180
Application 4505
Whereas there has been deposited in the General Land office of the United States a Certificate of the Register of the Land Office at Garden City, Kansas, whereby it appears that pursuant to the Ace of Congress appeared 20th May, 1862 “To secure Homesteads to actual settlers on the public domain,” and the acts supplemental thereto, the claim of Washington M. Crawford has been established and duly consummated in conformity to law for the South East quarter of Section Thirty one in township Twenty Eight South of Range twenty-six West of the Sixth Principal Meridian in Kansas, containing one hundred and sixty acres.
according tot he Official Plat of the Survey of the said land returned to the General Land Office by the Surveyor General.
Now know ye, That there is therefore granted by the United States unto the said Washington M. Crawford the tract of land above described to have and to hold the said tract of land with the appurtenances thereof unto the said Washington M. Crawford and his heirs and assigns forever.
In testimony whereof I, Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States of America have caused these letters to be made Patent, and the Seal of the General Land Office to be hereunto affixed.
Given under my hand, at the City of Washington, the twenty seventh day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and and fourteenth.
By the President: Benjamin Harrison
By M. McKean Sec’y
J. M. Townsend, Recorder of the General Land Office

His widow, Mary Foster Crawford, sold the homesteaded land in 1907. [Ford County Kansas, Deeds, Vol 31, page 570; Mary Crawford, et al to Peter Hinemann, 18 September 1907; Register of Deeds, Dodge City Kansas.]

From Mary Crawford et al
To Peter Hinemann
Entered in Transfer Record in my office this 18th day of Oct A.D. 1907
S H Cennaway, County Clerk
Filed for record on the 18 day of Oct A.D. 1907 at 4 o’clock P.M.
Geo A Stumph, Register of Deeds

This Indenture made this 18th day of September A.D. 1907 between Mary Crawford widow, Nelson G. Crawford and Cora Crawford his wife, J. F. Crawford and Josie Crawford his wife, Lida A LIghter and Alvin H LIghter her husband all of Ford County Kansas and Ida K Sherman and A O Sherman her husband of Tacoma Washington sole and only heirs of Washington M Crawford deceased of the first part and Peter Hinemann of Ford County, in the State of Kansas of the second part;
Witnesseth, that said parties of the first part, in consideration of the sum of Two Thousand ($2000.00) and no Dollars the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, do by these presents, grant, bargain, sell and convey unto said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns, all the following described Real Estate, situated in the County of Ford, and State of Kansas, to wit:
The Southeast quarter of Section Thirty-on (31) in Township Twenty eight (28) South of Range Twenty Six (26) West of the 6th PM containing 160 acres.
To have and to hold the same, together with all and singular the tenements, hereditaments and appurtenances thereunto belonging or in anywise appertaining, forever. And said grantors for themselves their heirs, exeuctors or administrators do hereby covenant, promise and agree to and with said party of the second part that at the delivery of these presents they are lawfully seized in their own right of an absolute and indefeasible estate of inheritance, in fee simple, of and in all and singular the above granted and described premises, with the appurtenances; that the same are free, clear, discharged and unincumbered of and from all former and other grants, titles, charges, estates, judgments, taxes, assessments and incumbrances of what nature or kind soever and that they will warrant and forever defend the same unto said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns, against said parties of the first part their heirs, and all and every person or persons whomsoever, lawfully claiming or to claim the same.
In witness whereof, the said parties of the first part have hereunto set their hands the day and year first above written.
Lida A Lighter
Alvin H LIghter
Ida K Sherman
A. O. Sherman
Mrs. Mary Crawford
Nelson G Crawford
Cora Crawford
J F Crawford
Josie Crawford

State of Kansas, Ford County, SS
Be it remembered, that on this 18th day of October A.D 1907, before me, the undersigned, a notary public in and for the County and State aforesaid, came Mary Crawford, a widow Nelson G Crawford and Cora Crawford his wife, J. F. Crawford and Josie Crawford his wife Lida A Lighter and Alvin Lighter her husband who are personally known to me to be the same persons who executed the within instrument of writing, and such persons duly acknowledged the execution of the same.
In Testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my notarial seal, the day and year last above written.
C. E. Smith, Notary Public
Term Expires Mar 15 1909

Along side of deed:
State of Washington, Pierce County, ss
Be it remembered that on this 24th day of September A.D. 1907 before me the undersigned a Notary Public in and for the County and State aforesaid came Ida K. Sherman and A. O. Sherman her husband is who are personmally known to me to be the same persons who executed the within instrument of writing and such persons duly acknowledged the execution of the same. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my notarial seal the day and year last above written.
Robert W Janes
Notary Public
Term expire April 10th, 1910

East Side Bible Class

While growing up, 911 Second in Dodge City was my grandparents home. Even though my grandmother would sometimes refer to their former house on Avenue G, I didn’t know much about their life on Avenue G until I started researching the family. Not only did my grandparents live in the 500 block of Avenue G, but my grandfather’s parents also lived in that block.

During the time they lived in that area of town, my grandmother and great-grandmother were members of the East Side Bible Class. Below is a clipping of a newspaper article about the East Side Bible Class that my grandmother kept.

Throwback Thursday

The following photos were in my grandmother’s things. Based on my grandmother’s activities, these pictures could be the ‘Old Timer’s Club’ or the ‘East Side Bible Study Group’ of Dodge City, Kansas.

Top Row (L-R) Mabel Christy, De Ette Zimmer, Bertie Brown, Winnie Crawford, Dora Fritzlen / 2nd Row: Sadie Archer, Laura Burnett, Lena Tucker, Florence Sullivan / 3rd Row: Gertie Falkner, Nan Wright Dewar, Lena Paulen, Ida Olive / 4th Row: Ethel Moody, IDa Teeter, Icy Crutchley, Josie Crawford, L.R.
Top Row: ? – Winnie Crawford – ? – Una Paulen, Lena Tucker, Bertie Br[a?] / 2nd ROw: IDa Teeter sister – ? – Dora JOnes, De Ette Zimer, Florence Sullivan / 3rd Row: Nina Dellar, Edna Williams, Ida Olive, Ethel Moody, Gertie Falkner, Cora Wood, LR

The names on the back of the photos appear to be some of the same names in the newspaper article, “Some Things Never Change for Old Timers … Well Some Things,” that was published in the December 8, 1975 issue of the Dodge City Daily Globe (Dodge City, Kansas).


Have you ever wondered whether you are named after someone? Are your siblings named after someone? For me and my brothers, I have not found any evidence that we are named after other family members. Even though we aren’t carrying any family names, my great nieces and nephew were named after family members — and their parents are sharing the family stories with these young children!

As I look at my pedigree, I do see several lines where it appears that names have been passed down. In my Crandall line, Sarah Adell Crandall’s middle names is passed down thru several generations. Thus, this name might (or might not) be a clue to previous generations.

In my Mentzer line, there are two generations of Phillip Mentzers. The name is then passed on to a grandson and a great grandson. Also common in this family line is the middle name, Andrew.

In my Briles line, the given names of John, Frederick, George and Noah are popular. The names, John and Frederick, go back to early Briles families in Randolph County, North Carolina. Investigation of the Noah Briles’ in my files reveals that many with this given name are descendants of Noah Rush. Thus, they may have been named after this grandfather. However, there is at least one Noah Briles who is not a descendant of Noah Rush.

In my Crawford line, there is little evidence that a family name was passed down as I follow the line back to my 2nd great grandfather. My great-grandfather, Judson Foster Crawford, gets his middle name from his mother’s Foster line. However, the given name Judson is unique. Judson’s father, Washington Marion Crawford’s name is also unique. I’m guessing that he may have been named after President George Washington. However, that is just a guest on my part. Washington Marion Crawford did name his youngest son after his father, Nelson G. Crawford. This has caused me to wonder whether there is a Nelson Crawford further back on my Crawford line.

Even though most of my lines do not have a name repeated generation after generation, my Currey line is the exception.

I believe I have four generations of men named Hiram M. Currey. I have to say ‘believe’ because two of the generations just disappear leaving few records connecting them to any children. Thus, I have bits and pieces of evidence that alone do not connect these generations. These pieces of evidence are like a jigsaw puzzle. When put together, these pieces of evidence supports this lineage.

Even though my 5 generation pedigree doesn’t indicate that any naming convention was used, I still refer back to those conventions in hopes that my ancestors followed a convention. For more information on naming conventions, see the following:

Check out your own pedigree to see how names were passed down in your family.

GAR Encampment

While searching for ‘Marion Crawford,’ I came across the following G.A.R. article.


We are under obligations to Mr. J. L. Slaven for the names of the members of Lewis Post, of this city, who contemplate attending the encampment at St. Louis. Thos of the Post who attend will leave this city on Sunday, September, 25th. So far as is known at present the following members will attend.

H. Juneau
Dr. D. D. Rose
N. P. Laughton
W. J. Howard
Marion Crawford
Wm. Tilghman
P. R. Hobble
C. C. Routzhan
J. L. Slaven
Col. J. H. Straughn

The above list not only mentions Marion Crawford but his brother-in-law, Dr. Daniel Rose. Further information about Marion Crawford’s attendance at the encampment have not been found. Many newspapers contain an extensive account of the encampment.

This YouTube video provides a brief history of the G.A.R. in St. Louis