Scavenger Hunt

Do you ever feel like you are on a scavenger hunt when trying to document a family? Well, that’s what it felt like today as I tried to document the family of Cornelius R. Hammond, son of Horatio Hammond.

I had some information for the family in my file that came from a published genealogy.

Frederick Stam Hammond, History and Genealogies of the Hammond Families in America: with an account of the early hisotry of the family in Normandy and Great Britain, [SuplAuthor], [Suplrole] (Oneida, New York: Ryan & Burkhart, 1902–1904), digital image, page 519 (image 1290 of 1659) viewed online 28 March 2021.

I also had some census records. When a hint led to an obituary for who might beCornelius’ wife, trying to match up the children was its own puzzle.

Mrs. Hammond Dies at Eastside
Mrs. Sarah Houston Hammond, 88, died at 6:00 a.m. today at Eastside at the home of her two sons, W. J. Hammond and L. A. Hammond. She had been ill for the past two weeks.
Mrs. Hammond had lived at Eastside for the past five years coming here from Grants Pass. She is survived by a son, Alvi Hammond of Grants Pass: three daughters, Mrs. Nellie McComas of Roseburg, Mrs. Olive Patterson of Roseburg and Mrs. H. R. Williams of Eastside and two sons of Eastside.
The body is at the Campbell funeral home, where the funeral will beheld at 2:00 o’clock Friday, with interment at Sunset.

“Mrs. Hammond Dies at Eastside,” The World (Coos Bay, Oregon), 21 December 1932, page 1; digital image, ( : viewed online 27 March 2021).

Since W. J. could be Warren J and L. A. could be Lorin A., along with Alvi Hammond, the sons appear to match up. When it comes to the daughters, the book shows a daughter named Nellie, but she is married to a Williams instead of a McComas. And Flora and Lottie are married to men named Harrington and Stubbs and not Patterson and Williams.

Hoping the FamilySearch tree would help figure out whether this obituary fit the family of Cornelius Hammond, I checked the tree to see whom the tree had as the husband of Flora B. Hammond. I discovered that the tree did not have a husband or children for Flora. I found the same to be true for Lettie Hammond: no husband and no children. The tree did have a McComas husband for Nellie, Joseph Leonard McComas. However, it did not have John Williams listed as her husband. Thus, the FamilySearch tree was not helpful in figuring out whether this obituary was for the wife of Cornelius Hammond.

Thus, I turned to Ancestry hints. Most of the hints for the children were for census records. However, one hint for Lettie Hammond was to a newspaper announcement of the marriage of Miss Letta Hammond to Richard Stubbs.

Mr. Richard Stubbs and Miss Letta Hammond, both of this county, were married at the residence of the bride’s parents, south of this city, at three o’clock on Thursday, Octtober 23, 1890; Rev. J. M. Wright, officiating. Mr. Stubbs is a brother to Sam. Stubbs, of the Central Grocery, and holds a position there; he is steady in his habits and has many friends among our people. Miss Hammond is a very popular young lady and has many friends amoung our people

“Local News,” The Journal-Democrat (Dodge City, Kansas), 25 October 1890, page 4; digital images, ( : viewed online 27 March 2021).

The puzzling aspect of this hint was that it was in a newspaper from Dodge City, Kansas. The records I had for the family indicated that they were in Illinois, Iowa and Oregon – but not Kansas.

However, Cornelius’ brother, Richmond Fisk Hammond was in Dodge City. Thus, I decided to search the Dodge City papers for Cornelius Hammond between 1885 and 1895. This search revealed that Cornelius Hammond and his son, Alva, homesteaded in Ford county, Kansas.

Notice for Publication
Land office at Garden city, Kansas
March 10th, 1890
Notice is hereby given that the following named settler, who made homestead entry No 1,581 has filed notice of his intention to make final proof in support of his claim, and that said proof will be made before the judge or in his absence the clerk of the district court of Ford county, Kansas at his office in Dodge City, Kansas, on the 25th day of April 1890, viz:
Alva M Hammond, of Ford county, Kansas, final homestead, for lots 3, 4, 5 and southeast quarter northwest quarter section No. 6 township No. 27 south range No. 26 west, Ford county, Kansas. He names the following witnesses to prove his continuous residence upon and cultivation of said land, viz: S. F> Coates and Wallace Johnson, of Dodge City, Kansas, F. A. Etrick of Ensign, and Eugene Hall of Cimarron, Kansas.
Also at the same time and place Cornelius R. Hammond, final homested No. 1582, for the lots 6 and 7, and southwest quarter southwest quarter of secton No. 6, township No. 27 south range No. 26 west, ford county, Kansas. He names the following witnesses to prove his continuous residence upon and cultivation of said land, viz: S. F. Coates and Wallace Johnson, both of Dodge City, Kansas, F. A> Etrick of Ensign, Eugene Hail of Cimarron, Kansas.
20 25
D. M. Frost, Reigster
First publication March 12th, 1890

“Notice for publication,” The Dodge City Globe (Dodge City, Kansas), 19 March 1890, page 8; digital image, ( : viewed online 27 March 2021).

The notice regarding the homestead claim was in a March 1890 newspaper. Thus, the announcement of the marriage of Letta Hammond to Richard Stubbs is likely for the daughter of Cornelius Hammond.

Thinking that Lettie’s husband, Richard had died, I started searching for an obituary for Richard or a second marriage for Lettie prior to 1932. I did not find an obituary. Instead I found a couple of references to a Richard Stubbs having been divorced. At this point, I don’t have enough information to say it is the same Richard Stubbs, but it would explain a remarriage for Lettie. And that is what is puzzling. I found a marriage record for Lettie L. Stubbs to Sam R. Brisbin dated 21 Apr 1923 occurring in Douglas County, Oregon.

There is a Lettie Brisbine on the 1930 census in Douglas county with an 18 year old Charles Stubbs in the household. The ages for Lettie are almost identical between the 1920 and 1930 census. However the 1920 census for the Richard Stubbs household includes an 8 year old boy named Charles. Even though Lettie is listed as a widow on the 1930 census, Samuel Brisbin is also found living in Douglas County, Oregon in 1930. Even though the couple appear to be separated on the 1930 census, Lettie is mentioned in the obituary found on Samuel Brisbin’s Find a Grave site.

Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave ( : viewed online 27 March 2021), memorial for Samuel Rice Brisbin (1860-1931), Find a Grave Memorial no. #10686310, created by Robin, citing Roseburg IOOF Cemetery, Roseburg, Douglas County, Oregon; accompanying photograph by Ida Baker, Samuel Rice Brisbin.

Lettie died in 1941 and her obituary identifies her as Mrs. Samuel R. Brisbin.

Mrs. Samuel R. Brisbin Summoned by Death
Mrs. Samuel R. (Lettie Louise) Brisbin, of Roseburg, died at Mercy hospital Tuesday afternoon following a short illness. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, she had been a resident of Roseburg for many years.
Surviving are a son and two daughters, Carl E. Stubbs, Roseburg; Maude Stone, Pomona, Calif., and Flora Mason, Long Beach, Calif.
Funeral services will be held at the Roseburg undertaking company parlors at 2 p.m. Friday, Rev. John Barney officiating.

“Mrs. Samuel R. Brisbin Summonded by Death,” The News-Review (Roseburg, Oregon), 6 August 1941, page 3; digital iamges, ( : viewed online 27 March 2021).

Again, a Charles Stubbs is mentioned as a son. The names of the daughters, Flora and Maud, also match the names of the daughters found in the Richard and Leta Stubbs household on the 1910 census. Thus, I am concluding that Lettie Hammond was first married to Richard Stubbs and then to Samuel R Brisbin. No evidence has been found for Lettie going by the name of Mrs. Olive Patterson or Mrs. H. R. Williams as suggested by the obituary of Sara Hammond.

That leaves Flora. According to the Hammond genealogy, Flora was married to Asa Harrington. A marriage record for Flora and Asa has not been found. However, there is a 1900 census record in Coos County, Oregon for a widowed Flora Harrington. Also listed in the household is a 6 year old female, Minnie Harrington. By 1910, Flora is identified as Flora Williams of Myrtle Point in her father’s obituary.

Death of Old Timer
C. R. Hammond of Hugo, who has spent the past month in this city under the doctor’s care, died Wednesday evening, cause of heath being heart trouble. Deceased was 7[4] years old at the time of his death and had been a sufferer from asthma for several years, until death relieved him of his pain. He leaves a wife, Mrs. Sarah Hammond, of this city and two sons, Loren and Alva Hammond, two daughters, Mrs. Flora Williams of Myrtle Point, and Mrs. Lettie Stubbs of Roseburg, all of whom were with him at the time of his death. Another son who resides in Washington, and a daughter in Colorado are expected to arrive in time for the funeral services, which will take place at Pleasant Valley cemetery Friday at 2 o’clock p.m. The deceased was a kind husband and father and held the respect of all who knew him.

“Death of Old TImer,” Weekly Rogue River Courier (Grants Pass, Oregon), 16 December 1910, page 5; digital image, ( : viewed online 27 March 2021).

In 1910, there is a Flora Williams listed as the wife of Joseph Williams living in Myrtle Point, Oregon. Also listed in the household is an 11 year old nephew, Warren Hammond. This Warren Hammond is likely Warren Raymond Hammond, son of Flora’s brother, Warren Jepthie Hammond and his first wife Alpha Reed. Since Warren J. Hammond is remarried in 1905, his children by his first wife appear to be living with relatives. There are two obituaries for Warren Jepthie Hammond. One is apparently written by his siblings and the other by his second wife. A son, Warren, is named in one obituary but not the other.

W. J. Hammond of Eastside Called at Independence
W. J. Hammond, 66 resident of Eastside for may years and of Coos Bay since 1912, died at Independence late Thursday or early Friday, children at Eastside were advised by telephone. HE had been working in the valley for two months, his wife and daughter, Belva, being with him. Cause of death was not learned here.
The body will be brought to the Campbell funeral home here where the funeral will be held probably at 2 p.m. Monday, with burial in Sunset cemetery.
Survivors include the widow, three daughters, Belva, Mrs. Eva Hagquist of Bunker Hill, and Mrs. Flora Fitzpatrick of Vancouver, Was.; also three sons, A. E., Cecil J. of Eastside and Warren R. Hammond of New York. Mrs. Nellie McComas of Roseburg is a sister and Loren Hammond of Eastside is a brother. Mr. Hammond was formerly watchman at Broadway motors and for the McKenna mill.

“W. J. Hammond of Eastside Called at Independence,” The World (COos Bay, Oregon), 22 August 1942, page 1; digital image, ( : viewed online 27 March 2021).

Hammond Funeral Held Monday in Marshfield
Independence — Funeral services for Warren Jepthie Hammond, who died last Friday at the Wigrich hop ranch south of Independence, were held Monday at Marshfield.
Mr. and Mrs. Hammond had lived here for three months and in Marshfield for 25 years. He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Fern Hammond, two sons, Alva and Cecil Hammond, Marshfield; two daughters, Mrs. Flora Fitzpatrick, Vancouver, Wash; and Belva Hammond, at home. Also a brother and sister, Loren Hammond of Marshfield and Mrs Nellie Commosoff of Roseburg.

“Hammond Funeral Held Monday at Marshfield,” Statesman Journal (Salem, Oregon), 28 August 1942, page 11; digital image, ( : viewed online 27 March 2021).

Flora William’s site on Find a Grave provides even further evidence that she was a Hammond and a sibling of Lettie. The image included on the site is of Flora’s death certificate. This death certificate identifies her parents as C. R. Hammond and Sarah Huston. The informant identified on the death certificate is Lettie Brisbane.

Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave ( : viewed online 27 March 2021), memorial for Flora Bell Hammond Wiliams (1875-1940), Find a Grave Memorial no. #136015467, citing Norway Cemetery, Norway, Coos County, Oregon; accompanying photograph by Ernie Krewson, Flora Bell Hammond Williams.

Thus, Flora Hammond was a Flora Williams. However, she was Mrs. Joseph Williams and not Mrs. H.R. Williams.

Even though I still can’t figure out the ‘Mrs. Olive Patterson’ mentioned in the obituary, I do believe that the obituary in question is for Sarah Houston, wife of Cornelius Hammond. I also believe that the information found in the Hammond Genealogy, even though basically correct, is incomplete.

This family is a great example of why one has to do significant digging and follow any and all small clues to piece the family together.

1857 Martha Scranton Letter

In 1806, Rachel Currey married Samuel Colver in Champaign County Ohio. Rachel and Samuel had five children: Abigail, Sarah, Samuel, Rachel and Hiram. Sarah married Lyman Konkrite in 1827. By 1860 the Konkrites had migrated to Texas where Sarah died in 1874. Rachel married Robert Wilson in 1833 and moved to Illinois. Samuel married Huldah Callender in Logan County Ohio in 1843. Prior to his marriage, Samuel was in Texas where he served as a Texas Ranger under Colonel Edward Burleson. Hiram married Mariah Ward in 1841 in Madison County, Ohio.

In 1849, Samuel and Hiram had moved with their families to St. Joseph, Missouri where they were preparing to move to Oregon. In a letter dated in November (year not specified), Hiram writes his parents about their stay in St. Joseph and the desire to move west. Samuel added a note at the end of this letter. According to their respective land claims, Samuel and Hiram arrived in Oregon in 1850. The two families settled in Jackson County Oregon. In July 1851 Hiram again writes his parents describing the land and explaining why he doesn’t believe his mother would be happy in Oregon.

In 1853, Samuel and Rachel write to their sons in Oregon. The letter urges one of the sons to come back east and help them move to Oregon.

In 1857 Martha Scranton writes to her sister in Oregon.

Green Plain Feb 8 1857
Dear brother and sister
I have once more been permitend to see a letter from you I had almost discouraged of
hearing from you again. There was a report here that the Indians was very bad in your
Vicinity and I was afraid you were all massacred – but the deads alive and the lost if
found but before I proceed further I will tell you we are well my family consist of my
husband self and two boys Lake and George ?my health has been very poor since you left
Ohio bit it now is improving We live near homer on the Moses Patrick farm owned by
James Billington land has become so high here that we hardly ever expect to buy land
here if we owned but one hundred acres of land here I could be content to stay here and
let them go west that love money better than I do I visited you old farm last winter it
value is at 50 dollars an acre I should think Maria you might write to Lydia and I I would
write if I had to take a baby on one knee and my paper on the other I want to know how
many babies Sams folks have how the Old gentleman and Lady likes and so and so Lake
Ellworth is with us some of the time this winter their family has grown up till they have
two young men and three young woman they quite intelligent young people Lake is
teaching in an adjoiny district to us
I don’t know whether you have heard of Quincys death or not he died two years ago last
Aug he left a little girl I had a letter from Alma last week she talks of coming back to
Ohio and I believe Harlow died since you left his girl is now 20 years old she writes she
thinks of visiting us in the spring Isaac has gone to Illinois he owns a little farm near
Springfield Turners widow has married again I have not heard from Wales for three years
the last he wrote me he was married and had a daughter he was carrying on a shop in
Cleveland but his wife had gone to Cincinnatti to make her last visit they were going to
California so you see I correspond with what few relatives I have left on this Earth Our
old father it seemed to me suffered a great deal before he died he was in London he had
rented a little shop and thought to make his living by a few little groceries he couldn’t
bear liquor for six months before he died I had thought many times my heart like stone
towards him but alas I pitied him he had no home and I hand none to ask him to be had
spent all his property and Alma wouldn’t have him about their house and he died among
strangers I believe Lydia has had two children since you left Harlow and Oscar I suppose
Martha and Abi think themselves young woman now for my Lake begins to talk about
the pretty girls and he is not 13 yet althougt he is a large as most boys at 16 my other is 4
and small of his age I will bring my harangue to a close for this is the second long letter I
have written today excuse mistakes for Lake Ellsworth and Scranton have kept such an
incessant gabbling I hardly know what I was writing.
My husband joins in sending his respects to you all
Martha A. Scranton
To Maria Colver
If you think it worthwhile to write

Transcribed by Marcia Philbrick
From photocopy of letter received from
Southern Oregon Historical Society
106 N. Central Ave.
Medford, OR 97501
March 2002