Plane Down

Well, a Find a Grave memorial has done it again. They have just enough information about a military service member to prompt me to find more. This time, it is a second cousin twice removed on my Thompson line, Second Lieutenant Gene Marion Ashmore.

Thanks to the picture on Find a Grave, I was able to locate the obituary in the 17 Jan 1950 issue of the Greely Daily Tribune on Newspapers.com.

VFW Here Will Have Charge of Ashmore Service

Committal services for Second Lt. Gene M. Ashmore will be held at Linn Grove Saturday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock. Veterans of Foreign Wars will be in charge of military honors and Macys is making arrangements. The body will arrive Saturday.

Survivors are his parents, Mr. and Mrs. M. J. Ashmore of 1230 Twelfth street; three sisters, Miss Jessie and Miss Bernice Ashmore both of Greeley, and Mrs. Doris Anderson of Denver.

Born April 23, 1925, at Hastings, Nebr., the Lieutenant was graduated from Greeley high school and attended CSCE. He was killed Sept. 14, 1945, on Mindanso, Philippine Islands.

Ashmore was reported missing in flight over Luzon Island in late September, 1945. He served as a navigator on a R-24 and began his overseas duty in July, 1945. In August 1945, he was stationed on the island of Ie Shima.

Lt. Ashmore entered the service when he was 18. He was an aviation student at Wofford college, Spartanburg, S.C., where he took a five months course prior to his appointment as an aviation cadet in the army air forces flying training command.

He was classified a navigator at the completion of his course and assigned to the Nashville army air center in Tennessee for determination of branch of air crew service. He took his pre-flight training at Maxwell field, Ala., and received his second lieutenant wings as an aerial navigator at San Marcos, Tex.

The plane went down when its crew was ferrying prisoners of war out of Japan to the Philippine Islands.

“VFW Here Will Have Charge of Ashmore Service,” Greeley Daily Tribune (Greeley, Colorado), 17 January 1950, page 1; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 19 November 2021).

A search of Fold3 for Gene M Ashmore turned up two men of that name in the records for World War II. One is obviously the incorrect Gene Ashmore since he served in the Medical Administrative Corps. Fortunately, the second Gene Ashmore appears in records that help confirm the information in the obituary. One of these results leads to a “Missing Air Crew Report”

Confidential
War Department
Headquarters Army Air Forces
Washington

Missing Air Crew Report
Important: This report will be compiled in triplicate by each Army Air Forces organization within 48 hours of the time an aircraft is officially reported missing.

IE Shima Ryukyus

Organization: Location Retto Japan; Command or Air Force V Air Force
Group 43rd Bomb Group; Squadron 65th Bomb Sq.; Detachment _____

Specify: Point of Departure Moro[xxd]; Course Unknown; Intended Destination Clark Field Luzon; Type of Mission Routine

Weather Condition and Visibility at Time of crash or When Last Reported _______

Give: (a) Date 14 Sep 45; Time Unknown; and Location Moratai of last known whereabouts of missing aircraft.

Aircraft was lost or is believed to have been lost, as a result of ( ) Enemy Aircraft; ( ) Enemy Anti-Aircraft; (x) Other circumstances as follows Unknown

Aircraft: Type, Model and Series B 24 M; A.A.F. Serial Number 1562

The person listed below were reported as (a) Battle Casualty ______ or (b) Non-Battle Casualty __X___

Number of Persons Aboard Aircraft: Crew –5– ; Passengers — 0 — ; Total — 5 —

Crew position — Name in Full — Rank — Serial Number
Pilot Pickens, William E Jr Capt. 01165546
Co Pilot Furman, Clarence J. 2nd Lt 083825[3]
Nav. Ashmore, gene M. 2nd Lt 02081367
Eng. Biergel, William [M] Sgt 31348888
Radio Op. Ryan, William W. Sgt 11067496

Identify below those persons who are believed to have last knowledge of aircraft, and check appropriate column to indicate basis for same:
Unknown

If personnel are believed to have survived, answer yes to one of the following statements: (a) Parachutes were used _____; (b) Persons were seen walking away from scene of crash ______; or (c) Any other reason (Specify) Unknown

Attach aerial photograph, map, chart, or sketch, showing approximate location where aircraft was last seen, UNKNOWN

Attach eyewitness descriptions of crash, forced landing, or other circumstances pertaining to missing aircraft. UNKNOWN

Attach a description of the extent of search, if any, and give name, rank and serial number of officer in charge here UNKOWN

Date of Report: Unknown

Bernie W. White Jr (Signature of Preparing Officer)
Bernie W. White Jr
1st Lt. Air Corps
Commanding

Confidential

—————————————–

Sixty Fifth Bombardment Squadron (H)
Forty Third Bombardment Group (H)
APO 245

30 September 1945

Subject: Casualty Report

To: Commanding General, Far Est Air Force, APO 925

S.W. Pacific
5th A.F. (handwritten)

In compliance with FEAF Regulation 35-45, dated 1 May 1945, the following report is submitted

Cut – Missing

Non-Battle Casualty
Pickens, William E. Jr., Capt., 01165546, White
65th Bomb Sq, 43rd Bomb Op (H)
Pilot – 1092
Missing in flight between Morotai Island and Clark Field, Luzon. Plane took off from Morotai and is unreported at Clark Field
14 September 1945
Body was not recovered
Unknown
Line of Duty – Yes
Not own misconduct
On Flying Status, Yes. Pilot
Award Pay – None
Mrs. Lady Lytle Pickens, wife, 716 N. Church St., Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Presbyterian

Non-Battle Casualty
Furman, Clarence J., 2d Lt., 0838253, white
65th Bomb Sq, 43rd Bomb Op (H)
Pilot – 1051
Missing in flight between Morotai Island and Clark Field, Luzon. Plane took off from Morotai and is unreported at Clark Field
14 September 1945
Body was not recovered
Unknown
Line of Duty – Yes
Not own misconduct
On Flying Status, Yes. Pilot
Award Pay – None
Mrs. Anna Mary Murman, wife, RFD#1, Punsxutawney, Penna
Methodist

Non-Battle Casualty
Ashmore, Gene M., 2d Lt., 02081367, White
65th Bomb Sq, 43rd Bomb Op (H)
Navigator – 1034
Missing in flight between Morotai Island and Clark Field, Luzon. Plane took off from Morotai and is unreported at Clark Field
14 September 1945
Body was not recovered
Unknown
Line of Duty – Yes
Not own misconduct
On Flying Status, Yes. Navigator
Award Pay – None
Mrs. Louis J. Ashmore, Mother, 1230 Twelfth St., Greeley, Colorado
Methodist

Non-Battle Casualty
Biergel, William A., Sgt., 31348888, White
65th Bomb Sq, 43rd Bomb Op (H)
Aerial Engineer – 748
Missing in flight between Morotai Island and Clark Field, Luzon. Plane took off from Morotai and is unreported at Clark Field
14 September 1945
Body was not recovered
Unknown
Line of Duty – Yes
Not own misconduct
On Flying Status, Yes. Aerial Engineer
Award Pay – None
Mrs. Mary Biergel, Mother, Northwest St., Feeding Hills, Mass
Catholic

Non-Battle Casualty
Ryan, William W., Sgt., 11067496, White
65th Bomb Sq, 43rd Bomb Op (H)
Radio Operator – 757
Missing in flight between Morotai Island and Clark Field, Luzon. Plane took off from Morotai and is unreported at Clark Field
14 September 1945
Body was not recovered
Unknown
Line of Duty – Yes
Not own misconduct
On Flying Status, Yes. Radio Operator
Award Pay – None
Mrs. Mary A. Ryan, Mother, 11 Westchester St., Lowell, Mass
Catholic

Report delayed because of lack of information concerning the flight at this Headquarters.

Max W. Williams
Max W. Williams
Capt., Air Corps
Commanding

Even though the “Missing Air Crew Report” indicates there were no passengers on the plan, a letter in the same file names three other people on the plane.

AFPPA-8/FK/d1b/72490
Rm 5E 185 26 September 1946

AFPPA-8
AAF 201 – (14993) Pickens, William E., jr.
0-1165546

30 September 1946

Mrs. Lounora B. Pickens
Box 124
Lewisburg, Tennessee

Dear Mrs. Pickens:

Reference is made to your letter of 8 June 1946, addressed to The Adjutant General and referred to this office for further reply concerning your son, Captain William E. Pickens, Jr.

According to information received in this Headquarters, the following are the names of the passengers who were aboard your son’s aircraft when it crashed in the Pacific area. The names and addresses of their emergency addresses are also furnished.

Private First Class Paul W Fors Killed — Mrs. Anna C. Fors (Mother) Ewen, Michigan
Private First Class Pasquale Castigliola Killed– Mrs. Mary Castigliola (Mother) 414 Columbus Street, Brooklyn, NY
Private First Class Leonard W. Jennings Killed — Mrs. Ella M. Jennings (Mother) Route 1 Morrill, Nebraska

It is noted from a review of the War Department reports regarding your son that all of the known details concerning your son’s death have been conveyed to you in correspondence from this Headquarters and The Adjutant General.

Again, my deepest sympathy is extended to you in your great loss.

Sincerely yours,

Leon W. Johnson
Brigadier General, J. S. Army
Deputy. AC/AS-1

Little additional information about the Gene Ashmore has been found. However, some news articles about the pilot and others on the plane has been found.

Capt. Pickens, B-24 Pilot, Is Reported Missing Off Luzon

Capt. William E. Pickens, Jr., husband of the former Miss Lady Houston of Murfreesboro, is reported missing off Luzon since September 14, a message received from the War department yesterday by Mrs. Pickens brought word.

Pilot of a B-24, Captain Pickens went overseas the past June.

Messages from the War department stated that Mrs. Pickens would be notified if any further word was obtained regarding her husband. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S. F. Houston, she and Captain Pickens were married in June, 1944. He is a native of Lewisburg.

The Daily News-Journal (Murfreesboro, TN), 14 Oct 1945, page 1 on Newspapers.com

Confirm Death of Captain Pickens, Missing Off Luzon

Word of the death of Capt. William E. Pickens, Jr., 28 husband of the former Miss Lady Houston of Murfreesboro, in a plane crash off Luzon last September, has been received from the War department.

Captain Pickens had been reported missing since last September 14, when a four-plane flight of B-24 Liberators, en route from Morotai to Manila, encountered a typhoon. Three of the planes reached Manila safely, but Captain Pickens’ plane, which he was piloting, was lost in the storm.

Captain Pickens had been overseas since June of last year, and had participated in many raids on Tokyo. He was stationed at Ie Shima, and witnessed the arrival there of the Jap surrender plane, bearing envoys to meet MacArthur’s representative in Manila.

A native of Lewisburg, where he was graduated from the high school, Captain Pickens was the son of W. E. Pickens, Sr., Marshall county circuit court clerk, and Mrs. Lounora Pickens. He was in charge of the city electric department there prior to entering service. His marriage to Miss Houston occurred in June, 1944.

The Daily News-Journal (Murfreesboro, TN), 30 Jan 1946, page 1 on Newspapers.com

A page dedicated to Sergeant William A. Biergel on the QuestMaster.us site contains more information about the plane and the crash.

  • Newly delivered B-24M-30-FO “Liberator” Bomber Serial Number 44-51562
  • Attached to 65th Bomb Squadron, 43rd Bomb Group
  • Flight occurred 14 Sept 1945
  • Aircraft crashed in Pacific Ocean for unknown reasons
  • Remains of St. Biergel were eventually recovered to a U.S.A.A.F. cemetery on Leyte and later repatriated to Massachusetts.

Rest of Story – Hers

I recently wrote about Ernest Eugene Ricketts who was captured while serving for the U.S. Navy, help prisoner at Cabannatun and rescued by the Army Rangers. However, there is another side to his story — and that is her story.

Ernest Rickett married Alice Mok on September 20, 1937 in Shanghai, China.

Ernest Rickett was called back to active service in October 1940 leaving behind his wife Alice along with their three young children. In March 1942, Ernest Rickett was reported missing in action. In October 1942, Ernest Rickett was imprisoned at Cabannatun. In January, 1945, Ernest and about 500 other prisoners were rescued. By March 1945, Ernest was back in Iowa, while his wife and children were still in China.

So far, I haven’t found any newspaper articles about the arrival of Alice and her children in the United States. However, there is a 1959 article about the family that indicates they arrived in 1946. There is a short article on the front page of the 13 Nov 1946 Hedrick Journal which indicates the family had purchased a house in Hedrick.

Mrs. Ernest Rickett and family have moved into the property they recently purchased which is located on North Main street and which was formerly occupied by the Aben Swanstrom family. Mrs. Ricketts is glad of an opportunity to live in her husband’s hometown and to know his relatives and friends. Ricketts is still confined to the Navy hospital.

“Local news,” Hedrick Journal (Hedrick, IA), 18 November 1946, page 1; digital images, Advantage-Preservation (hedrick.advantage-preservation.com : viewed online 17 November 2021).

In December 1946, Mrs. Ricketts visited her husband at the Great Lakes Naval hospital.

Mrs. Ernest Rickett returned Sunday after a few days spent with her husband who is in the Great Lakes Naval hospital. Rickett’s condition is somewhat improved.

“Local news,” Hedrick Journal (Hedrick, IA), 18 December 1946; digital images, Advantage-Preservation (hedrick.advantage-preservation.com : viewed online 17 November 2021).

Ernest Rickett died 18 Jan 1947 leaving behind his wife, Alice and their 3 children: Margaret, Ernest and Pauline.

In November 1948, Alice and her children moved to Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

Interesting newcomers from Hedrick, are the Alice Rickett family who have purchased the Lee Courtney property here. Mrs. Rickett is a native of China and her three children: Margret, Ernest and Paulne, al were born in China prior to world War II. Their father, an American, a former resident of Hedrick, is now deceased.

“Local Happenings,” The Mount Pleasant News (Mount Pleasant, Iowa), 22 November 1948, page 3; digial images, Southeast Iowa Advantage-Preservation (seiowa.advantage-preservation : viewed online 17 November 2021).

In July 1949, Alice Mok Rickett took the exam to become a naturalized citizen. Alice Rickett was naturalized on 19 Sep 1949 in Ottumwa, Iowa.

Alice Rickett Widow of Ernest Rickett veteran of World war 2 had a thrilling experience September 19th when she became a citizen of the United States of America. A native of China, she and her children, Margaret, Ernest Jr. and Pauline, came to this country to join Chief M. M. Ernest Rickett following the close of World War II. The arrived at Hedrick, Iowa where relatives gave them a warm welcome. Then it was that Alice Rickett applied for naturalization papers in Wapello county. She took the written examinations July 29th and it was a happy day for her and her American citizen children when she received notice to appear at the Post Office building in Ottumwa for the final proceeding. with seven other persons she was presented a certificate of citizenship following an impressive address by a member of the American Legion — it was a dramatic moment in Alice Rickett’s life when, by a member of the D.A.R. she was presented a small American Flag. How did you feel at that moment, we asked Alice, and she quickly answered, “Like a million — I am proud to be a citizen of the United States of America.”

“Around Town and Countryside,” The Mount Pleasant News (Mount Pleasant, Iowa), 8 October 1949, page 6; digial images, Southeast Iowa Advantage-Preservation (seiowa.advantage-preservation : viewed online 17 November 2021).

Thanks to another user of the FamilySearch tree, I was able to quickly locate the ‘Petition for Naturalization’ of Alice Mok Rickett.

No. 709

United States of America

Petition for Naturalization

[Of a Married Person, under Sec. 310(a) or(b), 311 or 312, of the Nationality Act of 1940 (54 Stat. 1144-1145)]

To the Honorable the United States District southern District Court of Iowa at Ottumwa, Iowa

This petition for naturalization, hereby made and filed pursuant to Section 310 of the Nationality Act of 1940, respectfully shows:

(1) My full, true, and correct name is Alice Mok Rickett

(2) My present place of residence is 306 E. Clay, Mt Pleasant, Henry County, Iowa. (3) My occupation is housekeeper

(4) I am 43 years old. (5) I was born on December 23, 1905 in Provin of Kwong Tse, China

(6) My personal description is as follows: Sex: Female; Color Oriental: complexion Medium, color of eyes Dk Brown, color of hair black, height 5 feet 1 inches, weight 110 pounds; visible distinctive marks mole on chin; race Chinese; present nationality Chinese

(7) I was married; the name of my husband was Ernest E. Rickett; we were married on September 20, 1937 at shanghai, China; he was born at Hedrick, Keokuk County, Iowa on Dec. 19, 1895

entered the United States at XXX on XX for permanent residence in the United States, and now resides at

deceased January 18 1947 and was naturalized on XXX at XXX

certificate No XX; or became a citizen by birth in the United States

(8) I have three children; and the name, sex, date and place of birth, and present place of residence of each said children who is living, are as follows:

Margaret (f) Dec. 2,1933, Hankow, China, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

Ernest (m) March 12, 1936, Hankow, China, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

Pauline (f) Sept. 11, 1940, Shanghai, China, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

(9) My last place of foreign residence was Shanghau, China (10) I emigrated to the United States form Shanghai, China

(11) My lawful entry for permanent residence in the United States was at San Francisco, Calif under the name of Alice Nok Rickett on June 2, 1946 on the SS Gen J. C. Breckenbridge as shown by the certificate of my arrival attached to this petition.

(12) Since my lawful entry for permanent residence I have not been absent from the United States, for a period or periods of 6 months or longer, as follows:

(18) I have resided continuously in the United States of America for the term of three years at least immediately preceding the date of this petition, to wit: since June 2, 1946

(19) I have not heretofore made petition for naturalization

Signed: Alice Mok Rickett

Iowa Naturalization Records, 1859-1990, Alice Mok Rikett, 2 June 1946; database with images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : viewed online 17 November 2021).

In 1959, Alice Rickett’s visit to Iowa was chronicled in the article, “Ernest Rickett Would Have Been Proud of His Family.”

Ernest Rickett Would Have Been Proud of His Family

Mrs. Ernest Rickett, now of Fullerton, Calif., is visiting friends and relatives in this community, and her youngest daughter, Pauline, who is enrolled as a freshman at the state University of Iowa, this fall.

Mrs. Rickett, a native of China, formerly lived in Hedrick, having come form China in 1946 with her three children to join her husband, Ernest, who had been freed from a Japanese prison camp, in the Philippine a few months earlier. Rickett met his wife in China, while serving with the U.S. Navy.

The family moved to Hedrick in the fall and the children entered school. However, Mr Rickett became ill and only lived five months after the arrival of his family. He died in a Naval hospital in Illinois, a victim of tuberculosis, which he had contracted in the prison camp.

The family lived in Hedrick about two years, before moving to Mt. Pleasant, where the two older children, Margaret and Ernest, graduated from high school with high honors. Margaret graduated from the State University three years ago, having maintained a high average, serving in several offices, and was vie-president of the Motor Board. She is now employed in the data processing division of I.B.M. in Long Beach, Calif., and lives with her mother.

Ernest attended Grinnel college one year, having received a scholarship, and transferred to State University, graduating in 1958. He enlisted in the Navy and is now at Officer’s Candidate School in the east.

Pauline, the youngest, graduated from Fullerton high school in California as an honor student. She received a scholarship to the University of California, but preferred to come to Iowa as the others had graduated here.

Mrs. Ricketts is employed as a dietitian’s aid in the Veterans Administration hospital near her home. She has attended Adult Education classes, and paints as a hobby. She owns her home, dries a car, and with her family are typical Americans, having made the best of the opportunities which are offered to the family on one who gave his life for his country.

“Ernest Rickett Would Have Been Proud of His Family,” Hedrick Journal (Hedrick, IA), 7 October 1959, page 1; digital images, Advantage-Preservation (hedrick.advantage-preservation.com : viewed online 16 November 2021).

Ernest Rickett’s story is not complete without also knowing his wife’s story.

Rest of the Story

When researching a distant cousin, do you ever run across some information about that cousin that just begs you to research more of the story? Well, that’s the case with one of the descendants of William Taylor Thompson that I’m researching.

The Find a Grave site for Ernest Eugene Rickett contains a copy of an obituary.

Hedrick Journal, January 22, 1947

Chief Machinist’s Mate Ernest Rickett, 51, who survived 38 months of imprisonment by the Japanese at Cabannatun, Philippine Islands during World War II, died at 10 p.m. Saturday in the Naval Hospital at Great Lakes, Illinois.

Rickett had been in the hospital since August but was improving and his death was unexpected. His wife, who with their children live in Hedrick, had visited him at the hospital a week before his death. He was born and reared in Hedrick and had been in the Navy 30 years. He was living in Shanghai with his family when recalled to active duty prior to the outbreak of World War II and was serving at Manila Bay when captured.

He was liberated January 30, 1945 and arrived in Hedrick March 3, 1945. When his family first arrived in Iowa, they lived in Oskaloosa, lately moving to their home in Hedrick. He was a member of the American Legion Post at Oskaloosa. Surviving are his wife, Alice, two daughters, Margaret, 13, and Pauline, 6, and a son, Ernest Jr., three sisters, Mrs. Earl Hamilton of Hedrick, Mrs. Ollie Tennis of Beacon, and Mrs. Herbert Dickey of Cantril, and two brothers, Andrew Rickett of Knoxville and Clifford Rickett of Phoenix, Arizona.

The body arrived in Ottumwa at 8:30 this morning and will remain at the Cooperative Burial Association in Fremont until time for the funeral services Thursday. The funeral services will be conducted at the Christian Church Thursday afternoon at 2 o’clock with complete military services at the grave. Interment will be made in Brooks Cemetery beside his mother.

****Ernest Rickett gave a good accounting of his life in a Japanese POW camp. His story was published in the Hedrick Journal on March 07, 1945. Excerpts from the story are below, but the entire story is a good read.

“Before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Chief Rickett was a member of the Naval Reserves and resided in China. He was called into action and was on shore patrol at Manila Bay, where he was captured on May 6, 1942.”

“The camp [Cabannatun] was a half mile long and a quarter mile wide, surrounded by high wire fence. Outside the camp was a 900 acre farm on which the prisoners labored. Their food was principally rice, radish tops, a native sweet potato plant, and a native lettuce. Every ten days they were given a small portion of meat with which they made gravy.”

“At the time of his release, he was preparing for bed and was clothed only in his shorts. When the firing started, everyone fell to the ground for they thought these shots were from Japanese guns. He said he heard shouts, ‘Come on, the Yanks are here!’ At these words, all made a dash to freedom. In Rickett’s own words, “I didn’t wait for my clothing; I grabbed my shoes and left.'”

“Chief Rickett, who has been in the Navy for 28 years, is wearing seven service stripes and four campaign medals; they are South West Pacific, American Defense, China Service, Filipino Defense, for World War II. For World War I, he has the Victory Medal, Second Nicaraguan Campaign, Yanks Sea Service, and Good Conduct.”

This information on Find a Grave challenged me to learn more about Ernest Eugene Rickett and his military service. My initial search of Fold3 was unsuccessful. Not willing to give up, I turned to newspapers — and located articles that help fill in the details.

Ernest Ricket Is Reported Missing

Mrs. Earl Hamilton has received word from the navy department that her brother, Ernest Eugene Rickett, 47, machinist’s mate first class of the U.S. Naval Reserve, is reported missing in action May 6, 1942, in the Manila Bay area, when Corregidor fell.

Mr. Rickett enlisted in the navy in 1917, serving in World War No. 1, and retired in 1937, after 20 years service and had residedin Shanghai, China, since. He was called back to active service Oct. 18, 1940, and was assigned tot he U.S.S. Luzon, which was severely damaged by enemy gun fire and was sunk by U.S. forces, when capture appeared imminent. So far as is known no casualties resutled and it is feared he may be a prisoner of war.

He is the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Rickett of Hedrick and was born and reared in Hedrick and attended the Hedrick schools from which he graduated in 1913. As far as can be learned his wife and three children are still in China.

“Ernest Rickett Is Reported Missing,” Hedrick Journal (Hedrick, IA), 23 December 1942, page 1; digital iamges, Advantage-Preservation (hedrick.advantage-preservation.com : viewed online 14 November 2021).

Rickett Believed Rescued at Luzon

Included in the rescue of 513 Yank prisoners ant Luzon, Phillippines, recently was one Earnest E. Rickett with address of Shanghai, China. Mrs. Earl Hamilton, of Hedrick, has a brother by that name and address, who is the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Rickett, of Hedrick.

Rickett graduated from the Hedrick high school with the class of 1913. Shortly after graduating he entered the navy and served over 20 years. He retired from the navy service and established a home in Shanghai, China, where he lived with his wife and three children at the start of the present war.

He was called into service with the outbreak of the war and shortly after re-entering the service was reported missing. His wife made an attempt to correspond with his relatives in Hedrick and her communication was answered. No reply has been received and relatives have been unsuccessful in receiving information through several other sources.

His relatives believe that the Earnest E. Ricktt rescured fits the description of the former Hedrick man with the same name, address and rating. Also from the fact that when he was last heard from he was in the Philippine area. Other relatives are a sister, Mrs. H. A. Dickey of Cantril, a brother, Andrew at Knoxville, and a brother Clifford address unkown.

Hedrick Journal — Feb. 7th 1945 page 1

Rickett Home From Phillippines

Chief machinist Mate Earnest E. Rickett, who was recently released as a prisoner of war from Camp Cabannatuan in the Phillippines, and arrived in Hedrick Sunday, gave the following story of his life as a prisoner of the Japanese:

Before the attack on Pearl Harbor Chief Rickett was a member of the Naval Reserves, and resided in China. He was then called into action and was in shore patrol at Manilla Bay, later assigned to defense patrol at Ft. Hughes, where he was captured May 6 1942, following the fall of Corregidor. He was among 7,000 other Americans who were then sent to various prison camps. On October 29, 1942, he was sent to Cabannatun, where he remained until his recent release.

Rickett described Cabannatun as a former Phillippine army training camp, and mamy barracks still remained. The camp was half a mile long and a quartr mile wide, surrounded by high wire fence. Outside the camp was a 900-acre farm on which the prisoners labored.

Their food was principally rice, radish tops, a native sweet potato plant, a native lettuce called pichi, and very ten days they were given a small portion of meat with which they made gravy. They had no bread, but during the later months they ground rice from which they made a bread which would not keep well. Their food was eaten from regular army mess kits and the prisoners made rude stools and tables. There beds were nothing but bamboo slats and Chief Rickett sad one was very lucky if they had and bedding.

At the time of his release with the 511 disabled men the resto of the 7,000 had been moved for war work and to various other camps.

Regular church services were held in the prison camp, with Chaplains for every denomination. There were plenty of doctors but a very small amount of medical supplies. In the early part of 1943 they received a small amount of medical supplies.

Rickett said that time moved quickly until the planes started coming over last September. He said he had never given up hope for freedom, and that the planes made them realize something was ready to happen.

At the time of the release he was preparing for bed, and was clothed only in his shorts. When the firing started everyone fell to the ground for they thought these shots were from Japanese guns. He said he heard shouts, “Come on, the Yanks are here!” At these words, all made a dash to freedom. In Rickett’s own words, “I didn’t wait for my clothing; I grabbed my shoes and left.”

When asked about his feeling when he was released he said, “If there was a happier man in the world than I was, I would have like to have seen him.” Of General MacArthur, Rickett said, “He is the grandest general in the world, and there will always be a soft spot in my heart for the MarArthurs, for at one time the General’s brother, Capt. Arthur MacArthur, was captain of my ship.”

Rickett flew from Pearl Harbor to San Francisco on the flying boat the Mars with eight other prisoners of war. The thing that impressed him most was the improvement and change in the navy and their new weapons.

Chief Rickett, who has been in the navy for 28 years is wearing seven service stripes, and four campaign medals; they are South West Pacific, American Defense, China Service, Phillippine Defence for World War II. For World War I, he has the Victory Medal, Second Nicaraguan Campaign, Yanks Sea Searvice and Good Conduct.

This is the first time Chief Rickett ahs been in Hedrick since 1929. A family reunion was held Sunday at the Earl Hamilton home in his honor. The following relatives were present: Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Rickett, Mrs. Vance Sterling and daughter Charlotte, Mrs George Slocum and daughter Connie Joe, all of Knoxville; Mrs. George Perry and daughter Marilyn of Oskaloosa; Mr. and Mrs. H. A. Dickey and son Zane, of Cantril and Herschel Dickey.

Hedrick Journal – March 7, 1945

Still determined to find muster rolls, I turned to Google and searched for “u.s. naval reserves muster rolls 1939”. The first item was a link to the National Archives. However, the second and third item led me to digital versions of these muster rolls on Ancestry and on Fold3.

A search of the Ancestry database resulted in 6 records that are likely for the same Ernest Rickett.

The Fold3 link led me to the ‘WWII Navy Muster Rolls’.

A search of this Fold3 record set for Ernest Rickett resulted in links to the actual muster rolls.

World War II Resources

Ernest Eugene Rickett

Ernest Eugene Rickett12 was born on 19 Dec 1895 in Iowa, United States.1,34

He lived in Highland Township, Wapello, Iowa, United States on 5 Jun 1900.1 Earnest Ricket was listed as the son of Earnest Ricket on the 1900 census. He was born Dec 1895 (age 4) in Iowa.

He lived in Hedrick, Keokuk, Iowa, United States in 1905.5

Ernest lived in Benton Township, Keokuk, Iowa, United States in 1910.6

He served in the military U.S. Navy in 1917.7

He lived aboard the U.S.S. Chattanooga in Harwich, England in 1920.8

Ernest lived in Hedrick, Keokuk, Iowa, United States in 1925.9

On 26 Mar 1927 he was a was licensed as assistant Engineer of Steam Vessels in New York City, New York County, New York Colony, British Colonial America.10

He retired from the U.S. Navy after 20 years of service in 1937.7

Ernest lived in Shanghai, China in 1939.11

He was called back to active service and reported aboard the U.S.S. Augusta on 18 Oct 1940.7,1213

He served in the military aboard the U.S.S. Luzon (PR7) on 31 Dec 1940.14

Ernest served in the military aboard the U.S.S. Luzon (PR7) on 31 Mar 1941.12

He served in the military aboard the U.S.S. Luzon (PR7) on 30 Sep 1941.15

He was reported missing in action when Corregidor fell on 6 May 1942 in Manilla Philippines.7

On 29 Oct 1942, Ernest was sent to prison camp in Cabannatun.1617

In in Jan 1945,he was rescued from the prisoner of war camp in Cabanatuan, Philippines.16,18

He was listed aboard the U.S.S. Hearld of the Morning (AP-173) on 15 Feb 1945–28 Feb 1945.1920

Ernest was on list of nonenlisted pasengers on U.S.S.Triangulum (AK-102( on 27 Feb 1945.21

On 4 Mar 1945, he arrived home from the war in Hedrick, Keokuk, Iowa, United States.16

He died on 18 Jan 1947 at the age of 51 in Great Lakes, Lake, Illinois, United States.24,2223

Ernest was buried at Brooks Cemetery in Hedrick, Keokuk, Iowa, United States.34

ENDNOTES:

1. 1900 U.S.Census, Wapello County, Iowa, population schedule, Highland Township, Wapello County, Iowa, ED 133, Sheet 2B Image 4 of 22, household 36, A.D. Ricket; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online Juen 2017); NARA T623

2. Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave (www.findagrave.com : viewed online 12 November 2020), memorial for William Andrew Rickett (1882-1964), Find a Grave Memorial no. #146462885, created by Cindy Lovell & Steve Hols, citing Westview Cemetery, Kirkville, Wapello County, Iowa; accompanying photograph by Cindy Lovell & Steve Hols, William Andrew RIckett.

3. Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave (www.findagrave.com : viewed online 14 November 2021), memorial for Ernest Eugene Rickett (1895-1947), Find a Grave Memorial no. #88524800, created by Jane Cockayne weaver, citing Brooks Cemetery, Hedrick, Keokuk County, Iowa; accompanying photograph by djtruitt, Ernest Eugene Rickett.

4. “Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index 1916-1947,” database online, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 16 November 2021), Ernest Eugnee Rickett.

5. “Iowa State Census 1905,”The State Historical Society of Iowa, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : Hedrick, Keokuk, Iowa, viewed online (13 November 2021), Manda A Rickett.

6. 1910 U.S. Census, Keokuk County, Iowa, population schedule, Benton Township, Keokuk County, IA, ED 44, sheet 5A Image 9 of 20, family 131, Albert Di Rickett; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online October 2018)

7. “Ernest Rickett Is Reported Missing,” Hedrick Journal (Hedrick, IA), 23 December 1942, page 1; digital images, Advantage-Preservation (hedrick.advantage-preservation.com : viewed online 14 November 2021).

8. 1920 U.S. Census, Military and Naval Forces – U.S.S. Chattanooga in Harwich, England, population schedule, U.S.S.Chattanooga, Harwich, England, Sheet 2B Image 4 of 6, line 82, Ernest E Rickett; digital imge, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 16 November 2021); NARA microfilm publication T625

9. 1925 Iowa State Census, Keokuk County, Iowa, Iowa state census, Hedrick, Keokuk County, Iowa, image 49 of 96 Image 49 of 96, Rickett Albert D; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online September 2018)

10. U.S., Merchant Marine Applications for License of Officers, 1914-1949, Ernest E Rickett, 26 March 1927; database with images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 16 November 2021). Original Source: Merchant Marine Applications for Licenses of Officers.

11. Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave (www.findagrave.com : viewed online 14 November 2021), memorial for Albert Virgil Rickett, Find a Grave Memorial no. #53768061,

12. WWII Navy Muster Rolls, Rickett, Ernest Eugene, 31 March 1941; database withimages, Fold3 (www.fold3.com : viewed online 15 November 2021).

13. WWII Navy Muster Rolls, Ernest E Rickett, 18 October 1940; .

14. WWII Navy Muster Rolls, Ernest E Rickett, 31 December 1940; .

15. WWII Navy Muster Rolls, Ernest RIckett, 30 September 1941; .

16. “Rickett Home from Phillippines,” Hedrick Journal (Hedrick, IA), 7 March 1945, page 1; digital images, Advantage-Preservation (hedrick.advantage-preservation.com : viewed online 15 November 2021).

17. Navy Casualties Books, 1776-1941, Rickett, Ernest, database with images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 16 November 2021). Original Source: U.S. Navy Department Library.

18. “Rickett Believed Rescued at Luzon,” Hedrick Journal (Hedrick, IA), 7 February 1945, page 1; digital images, Advantage-Preservation (hedrick.advantage-preservation.com : viewed online 15 November 2021).

19. WWII Navy Muster Rolls, Ernest E. Rickett, 28 February 1945; .

20. WWII Navy Muster Rolls, Ernest Ricketts, 15 February 1945; .

21. WWII Navy Muster Rolls, Ernest E Rickett, 27 February 1945; .

22. Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave (www.findagrave.com : viewed online 14 November 2021), memorial for Harry Clifton Rickett (1893-1947), Find a Grave Memorial no. #167656528,

23. Iowa World War II Bonus Case Files for Beneficiaries, 1947-1959, Ernest Eugene Rickett, 16 May 1949; databast with imags, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 16 November 2021). Original Source: State Historical Society of Iowa.

Details Needed

‘Do you ever run across some information that does fill in the birth-marriage-or-death blanks that leave a lot of questions. That’s the situation I’m in as I research descendants of my ancestor, William Taylor Thompson.

Meredith C. Hall’s record on Find a Grave indicates he or she died 1 Mar 1942 at sea.

Based on the death indicating a loss at sea in 1942, I assumed this was a military related death. Hoping to learn more about Meredith C. Hall, I started by trying to find an obituary or a death notice in a South Dakota paper in March 1942. My initial search on Newspapers.com wasn’t very productive.

So I turned to Google to try and find out what military event(s) resulted in deaths at sea on March 1,1942. One of the results was a Naval History Homepage site that listed casualties from the U.S.S. Houston which sunk on March 1, 1942. Since I didn’t find Meredith Hall on this page, I turned to Fold3.

On Fold3, I found several rosters listing a Meredith C. Hall aboard the U.S.S. Houston.

31 Dec 1939

31 March 1940 Roster

30 June 1940 Roster

4 August 1940 Roster

The entry for Meredith Hall in the booklet, State Summary of War Casualties [South Dakota] by the U.S. Navy in 1946 indicates that Meredith Hall was from Artesian and the son of Mrs. Anna Hall. This matches the descendant of William Thompson that I’m researching.

Also on Fold3 was a page created by the American Battle Monuments Commission for Meredith C Hall. This page indicates a death date of 15 Dec 1945.

Since the memorial contains a different date of death than the Find a Grave record, I returned to Newspapers.com and broadened the search to include the years of 1942 thru 1946. That turned up the article, “11 More S.D. Men in Navy Are Missing’ in the 15 May 1942 issue of the Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, South Dakota).

11 More S.D. Men in Navy Are Missing

Department Issues Third Casualty List — 18 Reported Before

Washngton, May 15. – (AP) – Eleven South Dakota navy men were listed today by the navy department as missing as the department issued casualty list No. 3. The list covered the period from December 7, 1941 to April 15, 1942. In previous casualty lists, the navy reported 12 dead and six injured from this state in the same period.
The missing and next of Kin:
carl R. Davidson, second lieutenant, marine corps; father, Harry B. Davidson, 412 west Twenty-sixth st., Sioux Falls.
(Parents of lieutenant Davidson wee notified as of May 5 that their son had been removed from the “missing” classification and is now officially considered dead).
Elra Franklin Barringer, fire controlman, second class; mother, Mrs. Marjorie Jan Barringer, 945 Wisconsin street, Huron
John Roger Bell, water tender, second class; father , Clement Henry Bell, Watertown.
Frank Joseph Glesen, chief torpedoman; sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Wermers, Dimock.
Meredith Carrol Hall, seaman, first class; mother, Mrs. Anna D. Hall, Artesian.
Elmer Charles Halverson, seaman, first class; brother, Francis Herbert Halverson, McIntosh.
Wendell Herbert Hanson, signalman, second class; father, Herbert Miller Hanson, Hartford.
Lawrence Headly, machinists’s mate, first class; mother, Mrs. Eva M. Headly, 203 S.E. Fourth street, Watertown.
Clifford Emil Henn, seaman, first class; father, Emil Emanuel Hehn, 308 North Jay, Aberdeen.
Thayne Charles Smith, torpedoman, second class; father, Lester Irvin Smith, 17 South Ohio street, Clark.
Dwyce Donald Wince, machinist’s mate, second class; mother, Mrs. Ruth Elizabeth Wince, 314 E. Main street, Vermillion.

So far, these records indicate the following:

  • Meredith Hall was aboard the U.S.S. Houston
  • In May of 1942, Meredith Hall’s name was added to the list of U.S. Navy men who were missing
  • Meredith Hall was declared dead in 1945 with burial at sea

Since the rosters place Meredith Hall aboard the U.S.S. Houston, the tale of the U.S.S. Houston adds more to the story of Meredith Hall’s death. Quoting from the Wikipedia article about the U.S.S. Houston,

On board Houston, shells were in short supply in the forward turrets, so the crew manhandled shells from the disabled number three turret to the forward turrets. Houston was struck by a torpedo shortly after midnight, and began to lose headway.[5] Houston‘s gunners had scored hits on three different destroyers and sunk a minesweeper, but she was struck by three more torpedoes in quick succession.[5] Captain Albert Rooks was killed by a bursting shell at 00:30, and as the ship came to a stop, Japanese destroyers moved in, machine-gunning the decks and men in the water. A few minutes later, Houston rolled over and sank.[5] Of the 1,061 aboard, 368 survived, including 24 of the 74-man Marine Detachment, only to be captured by the Japanese and interned in prison camps. Of 368 Navy and Marine Corps personnel taken prisoner, 77 (21%) died in captivity.

Aftermath

Houston‘s fate was not fully known by the world for almost nine months, and the full story of her last fight was not told until the survivors were liberated from prison camps at the end of the war.

The web page, The ‘Nightmare’ Night USS Houston Went Down, tells the story of that last night. A survivor has also shared his story: A Survivor’s Story: by David Flynn USN

I may never find an obituary for Meredith C. Hall. However, these various records and web pages help tell his story.

Meredith C. Hall was born on 3 Jun 1918 in Artesian, Sanborn, South Dakota, United States.

He lived in Diana Township, Sanborn, South Dakota, United States in 1920.1

He lived in Artesian, Sanborn, South Dakota, United States in 1930.2

Meredith served in the military aboard the U.S.S. Houston as a seaman 2nd class on 31 Dec 1939.3

He served in the military aboard the U.S.S. Houston as a seaman 2nd Class on 31 Mar 1940.4

He served in the military aboard the USS Houston as a seaman 2nd class on 30 Jun 1940.5

Meredith served in the military aboard the USS Houston as a seaman 2nd class on 24 Aug 1940.6

He served in the military aboard the USS Houston as a seaman 1st class in Dec 1940.7

He served in the military aboard the USS Houston as a seaman 1st class on 30 Sep 1941.8

Meredith served in the military aboard the USS Houston as a seaman 1st class on 31 Dec 1941.9

He served in the military aboard the USS Houston as a seaman 1st Class on 1 Mar 1942.10

The U.S.S. Houston was sunk on 1 Mar 1942 during the Battle of the Java Sea.

He appeared on causalty list as missing at sea on 15 May 1942.11

Meredith was missing at sea and declared dead on 15 Dec 1945 at the age of 27.12–14

ENDNOTES:

1. 1920 U.S. Census, Sanborn County, South Dakota, population schedule, Diana Township, Sanborn County, South Dakota, ED 220, Sheet 6B Image 4 of 7, family 39, Walter Hall; digital iamge, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 12 November 2021); NARA microfilm publicatin T625

2. 1930 U.S. Census, Sanborn County, South Dakota, population schedule, Artesian, Sanborn County, South Dakota, ED 56-2, Sheet 4B Image 8 of 12, family 117, Anna Hall; digital iamge, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 12 November 2021); NARA microfilm publication T626

3. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949, Meredith Carrol Hall, 31 December 1939; database with imges, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 12 November 2021). Original Source: Muster Rolls of U.S. Navy Ships, Stations and Other Naval Activities.

4. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949, Meredith Carrol Hall, 31 March 1940; .

5. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949, Meredith Carrol Hall, 30 June 1940; .

6. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949, Meredith C Hall, 24 August 1940; .

7. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949, Meredith C Hall, 31 December 1940; .

8. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949, Meredith C Hall, 30 September 1941; .

9. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949, Meredith C Hall, 31 December 1941; .

10. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949, Meredith C Hall, 1 March 1942; .

11. “11 More S.D. Men In Navy Are Missing,” Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, South Dakota), 15 May 1942, page 5; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 12 November 2021).

12. American Battle Monuments Commission, Meredit C Hall, 15 December 1945; database, Fold3 (www.fold3.com : viewed online 12 November 2021). Original Source: American Battle Mounuments Commission.

13. World War II Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Casualties, 1941-1945, Meredith Carrol Hall, databae with images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 12 November 2021). Original Source: Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel.

14. , State Summary of War Casualties [South Dakota] U.S. Navy 1946 (N.p.: Navy Department, 1946), page 2; digital images, Fold3, http://www.fold3.com viewed online 13 November 2021.

U.S.S. Houston

Mothers in My Tree

#52Ancestors #MothersDay

(Maiden names are being used)

(3) My Mom

  • Four children
  • 1 died infancy

(5) Winnie Letha Currey

  • Three children
  • 1 died in infancy
  • 1 died as a young adult prior to marriage

(7) Pauline Mentzer

  • Five children
  • 1 died around 9 months

(9) Josie Winifred Hammond

  • Seven children
  • 3 boys and 4 girls

(11) Winnie Mae Hutchinson

  • Nine children
  • one baby only lived a month
  • a second baby lived about 5 months
  • son, Henry Currey, died at age 13
  • Winnie died in 1913, leaving Herbert 18, Myrtle 14, Mary 12, Winnie 10, Earnest 7, and Alma 1 1/2
  • Total of 5 boys, 4 girls with 2 boys and 4 girls in 1913 when their mother died

(13) Frances Artlissa “Artie” Ricketts

  • Four children
  • 2 boys and 2 girls

(15) Nettie Adell Wells

  • Five children
  • 3 boys and 2 girls

(17) Mary Foster

  • Five children
  • 2 boys and 3 girls

(19) Sarah Ellen Ralston

  • Hammond Genealogy say 9 children
  • No documentation of first three children: William R. R. Hammond b 1864 and Homer L. Hammond b 1865 and Judson F. E. Hammond b 1866 found at this time
  • First three children have birth dates prior to her marriage
  • A fourth child, Glenn M. Hammond, is listed in the Hammond Genealogy. This child only lived one year. No other documentation found to date
  • Five documented children
  • 2 boys and 3 girls

(21) Angelina Jane Burke

  • Ten children
  • 6 boys and 4 girls

(23) Julia Harding

  • Eleven Children
  • Death dates currently unknown on 4 of the children: Frederick b1867, Cary b1869, Francesca b1879 and Elvira b 1884
  • 7 boys and 4 girls with 4 boys and 3 girls reaching adulthood

(25) Sarah Jane Thompson

  • Two children
  • 1 boy and 1 girl

(27) Rachel Elmeda Christy

  • Eight children
  • Set of twins did not survive. One died when almost one month old and the other died when a little over 3 months old.
  • 2 boys and 6 girls with 2 boys and 4 girls surviving to adulthood

(29) Emeline Minnick

  • Eight children
  • 6 boys and 2 girls

(31) Salome Adell Crandall

  • Four children
  • A boy, Freddie, lived about 7 years
  • A girl, Mary, lived about 9 months
  • Two girls survived to adulthood and married brothers

Sarah Jane Thompson

Sarah Jane Thompson was born on 7 Aug 1843 in Warrick, Indiana, United States.19

She moved to Iowa with her parents in 1847.9

In 1850, Sarah Thompson was listed as a 6 year old female who was born in Indiana and was living in the household of William Thompson in Wapello County, Iowa.10

She lived in Richland Township, Wapello, Iowa, United States in 1856.11

Sarah J. Thompson was listed as a 16 year old female who was  born in Indiana living in the household of William T Thompson in Richland Township, Wapello County, Iowa in 1860.12

She married Noah Washington Briles on 9 Aug 1866 in Ottumwa, Wapello, Iowa, United States.5,9,1322

Sarah lived in Crandall, Coffey, Kansas, United States in 1867.9

On 19 Mar 1868, Ida Angelina Briles was born in Wapello, Iowa, United States.9

On 18 Jul 1869, Edward Grant Briles was born in Coffey, Kansas, United States.9,23

In 1870, Sarah Briles was listed as a 26 year old female born in Indiana in the household of Noah Brile living in Coffey County, Kansas.24

In 1875, S. J. Briles is listed as a 31 year old female who was born in Indiana in the household of N. W. Briles living in Neosho Township, Coffey County, Kansas.25

Sarah Briles’ husband, Noah Briles, died on 14 Jul 1879 in Coffey, Kansas, United States.26

In 1880, Sarah Briles was listed as a 36 year old female head of household living in Neosho township, Coffey County, Kansas. Also living in the household are a 12 year old daugheter, Ida A.and a 10 year old son, Edward G.27

In 1885, Sarah Briles was listed on the census as a 41 year old female with 120 acres who was born in Indiana. Also living in the household was 15 year old Edgar Briles28

Sarah J. Briles applied for a pension based on the civil war service of Noah Brileson 22 Oct 1885. Noah W. Briles served in the Iowa Cavalry.29

She mortgaged the W 1/2 NE 1/4 Section 12 Township 23 Range 15 for $150 to W. H. Fear on 13 Nov 1886 in Coffey, Kansas, United States.30

She married J. D. Davis on 10 May 1888 in Coffey, Kansas, United States.7,3136

She had paid off 1886 mortage to W. H. Fear of the W 1/2 of the NE 1/4 of Section12, township 23, range 15 on 19 Dec 1888 in Coffey, Kansas, United States.30

Sarah and J.D. Davis, her husband and E. G. Briles, a single man, mortgaged the W 1/2 NE 1/4 Section 12 Township 23 Range 15 for $165 to Angeline Myers on 2 Dec 1889 in Coffey, Kansas, United States.37

In 1895, S. J. Davis was listed as a 51 year old female who was born in Indiana on the census. She was living  in the household of J. D. Davis in Neosho Township, Coffey County, Kansas.38

She mortgaged the West half of the northeast quarter of Section in 12 Township and  23 Range 15 for $800 to E G Briles on 15 Jul 1896 in Coffey, Kansas, United States.39

She  purchased land being the West half of the northeast quarter of Section 12 of Township 23 Range and the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section thirty six in township twenty two of range fifteen 15 for $1000 from Jeremiah D Davis on 20 Jul 1898 in Coffey, Kansas, United States.40

Sarah J. Davis and J. D. Davis were divorced on 8 Sep 1898 in Coffey, Kanss.41

Sarah J Briles was listed as the head of household on the 1900 census. According to the census, Sarah was born Aug 1844 in Indiana. Sarah was a widow. According to the census, Sarah was not the mother of any children.42

Sarah mortgaged the West half of the northeast quarter of  Section 12 in Township 23 Range 15 for $350 to R Waldron on 15 Jul 1901 in Coffey, Kansas, United States.43

She entertained Rev. Smith and family in May 1903 in Rock Creek Township, Carroll, Indiana, United States.44

Sarah was listed as a 60 year old head of household on the 1905 census living in Neosho Township, Coffey County, Kansas.45

She sold land being the West 1/2 Section 12 in Township 23 of Range 15 for $800 to H. E. Myers on 15 Mar 1910 in Coffey, Kansas, United States.46

Sarah J Briles was listed as the mother in law of Harry E Myers on the 1910 census. According to the census, Sarah was a 67 year old widow who was born in Indiana. Sarah was the mother of 2 living children.47

In 1915, S. J. Briles was listed as a 70 year old female born in Iowa in the household of H. E. Myers in Coffey County, Kansas.48

On 7 Oct 1916, Sarah registered for a pension as a the remarried widow of Noah W Briles who served in the 1st Iowa Cavalry .49

On 10 Apr 1917, she received pension based on her husband, Noah Briles, service during the civil war .50

Sarah J. Briles was listed as a head of household on the 1920 census. According to the census, Sarah was a 76 year old widow who was born in Indiana.51

She spent day with granddaughter, Mrs. Bethel Allen and fmaily in Jan 1922 in Coffey, Kansas, United States.52

 Sarah Briles was listed in the household of Angine Myers on the 1925 Kansas census. According to the census, Sarah was an 81 year old widow who was born in Indiana.4,53

Sarah J Briles was listed as the mother in law of Ed C Barr on the 1930 census. According to the census, Sarah was an 86 year old widow who was born in Indiana.54

Sarah died on 17 Aug 1930 at the age of 87 in Neosho Township, Coffey, Kansas, United States.23,89,5556

She was buried on 19 Aug 1930 at Big Creek Cemetery in Coffey, Kansas, United States.3,89,57

ENDNOTES:

    1. Edmund West, comp., “Family Data Collection — Individual Records,” database online, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online July 2017), Sarah Jane Thompson.

        2. Edmund West, comp., “Family Data Collection — Individual Records,” database online Sarah Jane Thompson.

        3. Ancestry Database, U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012).

        4. Ancestry.com, Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925 (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009), Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, Kansas; 1925 Kansas Territory Census; Roll: KS1925_26; Line: 11.

        5. Yates Publishing, U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004), Source number: 167.000; Source type: Electronic Database; Number of Pages: 1; Submitter Code: MP1.

        6. , Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925, Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, Kansas; 1875 Kansas Territory Census; Roll: ks1875_4; Line: 16.

        7. Publishing, U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900, Source number: 205.000; Source type: Electronic Database; Number of Pages: 1; Submitter Code: MP1.

        8. BillionGraves, digital images of tombstone, BillionGraves (billiongraves.com : viewed online 13 March 2021), memorial for Noah W Briles (1840-1877), BillionGraves created by mcphilbrick, citing Big Creek Cemetery, Coffey County, Kansas; accompanying photograph by donw1948@yahoo.com, Noah W Briles.

        9. “Sarah J. Briles Dead”, Leroy Reporter, (Leroy, Kansas), 29 August 1930, page 1, microfilm; Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, Kansas.

        10. 1850 U.S. Census, Wapello County, Iowa, population schedule, District 13, Wapello County, IOwa, page 89 (image 103 of 204), household 695, William T Thompson; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online June 2017).

        11. 1856 Iowa Census, Wapello County, Iowa, Iowa state census, Richland Township, Wapello County, Iowa, page 391 Image 24 of 24, household 166, William T Thompson; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online (image very faint) June 2017); State Historical Society of Iowa

        12. 1860 U.S. Census, Wapello County Iowa, population schedule, Richland Township, Wapello County, Iowa, page 54, family 578, William T Thompson; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 14 March 2021); NARA microfilm publication M653.

        13. Briles Genealogy (Crandall, Kansas: Max Briles, aft 1952), p. 5

        14. “Iowa, Select Marriages Index, 1758-1996,”Ancestry.com,  (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/60284/ : Wapello County Iowa, viewed online (March 2017), Noah W. Briles – Sarah J Thompson; Family Search.

        15. Iowa Marriages, 1809-1992, Noah W. Briles – Sarah J. Thompson, 9 August 1866; database, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : viwed online March 2017).

        16. U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934, Sarah Briles, October 1885; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed online July 2017).

        17. NSDAR, Wapello County Iowa Marriage Records 1846-1880 (Iowa: NSDAR, 1943). (N.p.: n.p., n.d.), p. 31 (Thompson.IA.012).

        18. , Iowa Marriages, 1809-1992, database, FamilySearch http://www.familysearch.org : . (N.p.: n.p., n.d.), viwed online; March 2017; Noah W. Briles – Sarah J. Thompson; 9 Aug 1866.

        19. National Archives and Records Administration, U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000), viewed online; July 2017; Sarah Briles; Oct 1885.

        20. “Family Data Collection — Individual Records,”Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : viewed online (13 March 2021), Noah W. Briles.

        21. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 database, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7836/). Yates Publishing. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 : viewed online 13 March 2021; Noah Washington Briles – Sarah Jane Thompson.

        22. Mrs. F. A. Gordon. Wapello County, Iowa Marriage Records 1846-1869.  Film #film #851207 DGS 8211139. Noah Briles, : p. 31; digital images, FamilySearch : viewed online 13 March 2021.film #851207 DGS 8211139

        23. “E. G. Briles”, Yates Center News, (Yates Center, Kansas), 2 August 1951, page 5, microfilm; Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, KS.

        24. 1870 U.S. Census, Coffey County, Kansas, population schedule, Neosho Township, Coffey County, Kansas, page 10 Image 9 of 16, household 60, Briles Noah; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online November 2017); NARA microfilm publication T132

        25. 1875 Kansas State Census, Coffey County, Kansas, Kansas State Census, Neosho Township, Coffey County, Kansas, page 10-11 Image 6 of 13, household 81, N W Briles; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online November 2017); Kansas State Historical Society

        26. “Died,” Burlington Democrat (Burlington, Kansas), 18 July 1879, p. 3; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online July 2018).

        27. 1880 U.S. Census, Coffey County, Kansas, population schedule, Neosho Township, Coffey County, Kansas, ED 49, Page 8 Image 8 of 13, household 72, Sarah A Briles; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online November 2017); NARA microfilm publication T9

        28. 1885 Kansas Census, Neosho County, State Census, Neosho Township, Coffey County, Kanss, page 28 Image 15 of 62, family 66, Sarah Briles; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 14 March 2021); Kansas State Historical Society

        29. U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934, Sarah J Briles, .

        30. Coffey County, Kansas, Deeds, Mortgage book 17 page 522, Sarah J Briles / W. H. Gear, 15 November 1886; Recorder of Deeds, Burlington, Kansas.

        31. Marriages, p. 32, 33 (Briles.KS.001).

        32. “The Burlington Independent”, (Burlington, Kansas), “Married” page 3 col. 3 18 May 1888 (Briles.KS.036);

        33. Coffey County, Kansas, Marriage Records, Vol. D:54, J. D. Davis-Sarah J. Briles, 10 May 1888; digital image, “Kansas County Marriages, 1840-1935,” FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org:  accessed 18 January 2017).

        34. , “The Burlington Independent”, (Burlington, Kansas), to (); , . Hereinafter cited as “The Burlington Independent”. (N.p.: n.p., n.d.), “Married” page 3 col. 3 18 May 1888 (Briles.KS.036).

        35. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 database, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7836/) : [AccessType] [AccessDate]; Sarah Jane Thompson – J D Davis.

        36. , Kansas, County Marriages, 1811-1911, database with images, Ancestry.com http://www.ancestry.com : . Original Source: Marriage Records. Kansas Marraiges. Family Search, Salt Lake City, UT. (N.p.: n.p., n.d.), Sarah J. Briles.

        37. Coffey County, Kansas, Deeds, Mortgage Book 23 page 484.

        38. 1895 Kansas Census, Coffey County, State Census, Neosho Township, page 16 Image 24 of 66, J. D. Davis; microfilm, Kansas State Historical Society (Topeka, KS : viewed online March 2016)

        39. Coffey County, Kansas, Deeds, Mortgage book 34 page 521.

        40. Coffey County, Kansas, Deeds, Book 51 page 383.

        41. Kansas, Coffey County. Divorce Packets, 1861-1917.  Film #Film 1508586 DGS #008215152. Jeremiah D. Davis vs. Sarah J. Davis, 1898 Packet Nos. 3574-4582 1895-1903: image 921; digital images, FamilySearch http://www.familysearch.org : viewed online 11 March 2021.Film 1508586 DGS #008215152

        42. 1900 U.S. Census, Coffey County, Kansas, population schedule, Neosho Township, Coffey County, Kansas, ED 41, sheet 6B Image 12 of 16, fanukt 121, Sarah J Briles; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online November 2017); NARA T623

        43. Coffey County, Kansas, Deeds, Mortgage book 41 page 349.

        44. “Rock Creek,” Burlington Republican (Burlington, Kansas), 21 May 1902, page 6; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online July 2018).

        45. 1905 Kansas Census, Coffey County, Kansas, State Census, Neosho Township, Coffey County, Kansas, page 8 Image 16 of 72, line 15, Sarah Briles; digital image, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 15 March 2021)

        46. Coffey County, Kansas, Deeds, Book 77 page 427.

        47. 1910 U.S. Census, Liberty Township, Coffey County, Kansas, population schedule, Neosho Township, Coffey County, Kansas, ED 17, Sheet 6B Image 12 of 16, household 94, Harry E Myers; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online November 2017)

        48. 1915 Kansas Census, Coffey County, State Census, Neosho Township, page 3 Image 5 of 58, household 22, H. E. Myers; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online March 2016)

        49. U.S., Civil War and Later Wars Index to Remarried Widow Pension Applications, 1848-1934, Sarah J Briles, 7 October 1916; database with images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed online October 2018). Original Source: Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, 1773-2007.

        50. Pension File for Noah Washington Briles (: U.S. Government), , (Briles.Noah.Notebook).

        51. 1920 U.S. Census, Coffey County, Kansas, population schedule, Neosho Township, Coffey County, Kansas, ED 18, Sheet 6B Image 7 of 12, househld 72, Harry Myers; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online November 2017); NARA microfilm publication T625

        52. “Crandall,” The Daily Republican (Burlington, Kansas), 1 February 1922; Newspapers.com (http://www.newspaprs.com : online September 2015).

        53. 1925 Kansas Census, Coffey County, Kansas, Kansas State Census, Neosho Township, Coffey County, Kansas, page 13 Image 15 of 45, family 91, Angine Myers; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 14 March 21); Kansas State Historical Society

        54. 1930 U.S. Census, Coffey County, Kansas, population schedule, Neosho Township, Coffey County, Kansas, ED 10, Sheet 5B Image 10 of 11, household 120, Barr Ed C; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online November 2017); NARA T626

        55. Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave (www.findagrave.com : viewed online July 2017), memorial for Sarah J Briles (1843-1930), Find a Grave Memorial no. #30672553, created by Janis Humbert, citing Big Creek Cemetery, Burlington, Coffey County, Kansas; accompanying photograph by Janis Humbert, Sarah J Briles.

        56. “Family Data Collection — Individual Records,”Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : [OriginalSource], [OriginalCreator], [Location], [Book]; Birth year: 1843; Birth city: Warrick Co; Birth state: IN[AccessType] ([AccessDate]), [Entry].

        57. Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave (www.findagrave.com : viewed online September 2016), memorial for Sarah J. Briles (1843-1930), Find a Grave Memorial no. #30672553,

Sarah Briles Obituary

Do you ever find you have a record that you didn’t think you had tucked away somewhere?

That’s what happened with me. I didn’t have a citation on Sarah Jane Thompson Briles’ death for an obituary. I had even tried finding one online – with no luck. Thus, in the back of my mind was a ‘to do’ whenever archival type research returns.

Then, I was going thru my Briles notebook and transcribing some of the records and I found her obituary! It’s just a transcript and my notations on it indicate that it was transcribed during my early days of research. Thus, I had found the obituary prior to having computer software to create citations. For some reason, that citation never got created until now.

Sarah J. Briles Dead
Mrs. Sarah Jane Briles died at the home of her daughter Mrs. E. C. Barr near Crandall Sunday August 17. Her death was caused by hardening of the arteries and she has been in poor health for more than a year and suffered much during the past few months. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Thompson pastor of the United Brethren church at Crandall Tuesday Aug 19 at 2:30. A quartet composed of Mrs. L. E. Crandall, Flora Schlichter, Dorin Levering and Elmer Thompson accompanied by Mrs. Thompson at the piano sang. Burial was in Big Creek cemetery by the side of her husband who died 51 years ago last month.
Mrs. Briles maiden name was Sarah Jane Thompson. She was born Aug 7, 1843 in Indiana. She was 87 years and 10 days old at the time of her death. She moved to Iowa with her parents when four years old and on Aug 3 1866 was married to N W Briles. They came to Kansas in 1867 and settled in Coffey county near Crandall. There her husband died and there death came to her. She joined th Baptist church in Iowa and after coming to the Crandall neighborhood transferred her membership to the United Brethren church there and remained active in that church until her death. Two children were left to mourn her loss, Ida Angeline Barr and Edward Grant Briles; also 9 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren and 3 sisters Belle Goudy of Nebraska, Anna Rickettes of Iowa and Martha Ingersoll of Kansas. She joined the Crandall church in 1867 and spent 63 years in active service.

“Sarah J. Briles Dead”, Leroy Reporter, (Leroy, Kansas), 29 August 1930, page 1, microfilm; Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, Kansas.

Same Name

This week’s #52Ancestors prompt is ‘Name’s the Same’. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you are aware that my research involves a lot of James Crawfords, with most of them being unrelated.

It is a challenge to separate records for people of the same name living in the same community at the same time. That is the issue that has plagued my Crawford research. I have at least two and often more James Crawford families in the same area at the same time. (See: Untangling James Crawfords)

Like my Crawford research, I’ve had to be careful when researching several other families because there’s another family of the same name.

My William Thompson research is one area where I’ve encountered this. In Wapello county, Iowa, there are several William Thompsons in the early census records. My ancestor, William T. Thompson (1820-1898) is buried in the Ottumwa cemetery in Ottumwa, Iowa. Also buried in that cemetery is another William Thompson (1813-1892). This William Thompson was born in Ireland while my ancestor was born in Kentucky.

My Currey / Curry research is another area where I’ve struggled with same name issues. My great grandfather, Hiram M. Currey (1866-1945) was the son of Hiram M. Currey (1835-1901) who I believe was the son of Hiram M. Currey (1787-?) of Peoria, Illinois who may be the son of Hiram Mirick Currey of Ohio fame. Not only am I struggling with 4 generations of men of the same name, but the name Hiram seems to be a name commonly found among descendants of Thomas Currey of Adams county, Ohio.

One of those descendants, Hiram Meyrick Currey (1827-1898), son of William C. Currey and Hannah Adkins, is often confused in family trees with the Hiram Currey of Peoria, Illinois. Although there are not many records for the Hiram Currey of Peoria, there are records identifying his occupation as a lawyer. This piece of information helps separate the two men since Hiram Meyrick Currey (1827-1898) was a doctor. Additional research is needed, but these two men are likely first cousins.

All of this experience with ‘same name’ issues has taught me to question whether I could be encountering that complication when researching a family in a new area. My efforts to locate as many records as possible and to build out the family is what has helped me to separate these families. Keeping the families straight is why I often maintain information about the other family in my genealogy file.