No Car

#52Ancestors #Transportation

Did you ever have a grandparent or older relative tell you that they walked to school – 3 miles in the snow and uphill all the way? Even though we view that statement as an exaggeration today, parts of it were likely true for many of our ancestors. They often did walk to school even in the snow. And it may have been 3 miles to school.

Having a car has always been part of my life, but it wasn’t always a part of my parents’ life. A car was not part of my dad’s life growing up either. His dad, Leon Crawford, walked to work at the Santa Fe railroad yards in Dodge City.

When the family lived at 510 Avenue G, near the corner of Military Avenue and Avenue G, the walk to the railroad shops on the south sides of the tracks would have been fairly short.

That walk to work got significantly longer when the family moved to 911 Second at the corner of Elm Street and Second Avenue. While living on 2nd avenue, not only was Leon walking to work, but his wife, Winnie was also walking to work. Winnie worked in the Eckles department store at the corner of Walnut and Second. Even though this was only a four block walk, Winnie made this walk in high heels. (Map pictured above is from a 1911 Sanborn map.)

I’m not sure when my grandparents purchased their first car, but it was prior to my dad’s marriage in 1951. My parents were married in Emporia, Kansas in June of 1951. Although Kansans remember the 1951 flood that occurred in July, it was also flooding at the time of my parents’ wedding. My dad described the flooding during an interview with him prior to his death as he described how he and his parents traveled from Dodge City to Emporia, Kansas.

D – We got married in First Christian Church in Emporia, Kansas June 9 1951, 1951 was the year of the great flood. But the great flood didn’t occur until after June. Minor floods occurred the end of May and all of June before the major one in July and if you get out a Kansas map we traveled from Dodge City to  — o jeepers – should’ve got out a Kansas map myself – o just a minute – now I can’t even read it

Me ah Florence

D – We traveled from Dodge City on 50 to Florence and had to go North at Florence and then across Herington and then across and then clear across north of Emporia and then south into Emporia and my best man Curt Craig and he traveled for 3 hours in various distances to get to Emporia and my usher Clair Conard was in Lawrence and he had a hard time I don’t know how long it took him a while to get to Emporia. That flood also cost me several jobs that summer

Since my dad was riding with his parents to his wedding, he did not own a car at the start of his marriage. After their marriage, my parents moved to Glasco, Kansas where my father taught science in the local high school. During that first year of their marriage, my parents did not own a car. My mother shared that she rode in the back of the doctor’s car to get from Glasco to the hospital in Beloit, Kansas for the birth of her first child.

We lived in Glasco Kansas we did not own a car. The hospital was in Concordia, no Beloit. The doctor said don’t worry about it, I’ll drive you. So when the time came, yea he came and picked us up and drove us. The problem was he had a brand new car and at that time you were supposed to break new cars in by driving them at varying speeds and not very fast. I thought we would never ever get to the hospital.

Later in the interview, my parents discussed how they would get from Glasco to their parents in Emporia or Dodge City for visits.

Me – I didn’t realize you hadn’t had a car when you lived in Glasco until probably the last month but when you were telling me about that you also told me how you got to Dodge City or Emporia to see your parents from Glasco

D – first of all we didn’t have a car when we lived in Glasco. We didn’t own a car until we lived in Emporia for the first time.  Getting — I don’t remember many times us that we went to Emporia or that we went to Dodge City

M – Yes – we I can’t remember I think it was probably with (you said it was with friends) drove with

Me – you rode with them part way …

M – yea they took us and there was a rest area on the high way coming down this side of Marion and daddy met us there and brought us on in to Emporia and they lived in what town close to Great Bend –

D Ellinwood –

M – and we would ride with them to Ellinwood and Gene’s folks would come there to pick us up.

It is hard for me to imagine life without a car to go to work, to church or even the grocery store. And I live in a small town where walking to these places is feasible.

I am thankful that I took the time to interview my parents for these glimpses into their daily life. I have a transcription of the interviews and have uploaded them as memories for my father on FamilySearch.

Lewis Crandall Heirs

Which type of source do you often use to help piece together potential family relationships? For me, land records have proven over and over again to hold information to help me verify a relationship.

When it came to figuring out the parents and siblings of Salome Crandall Wells, I not only had to use land records but also probate records.

In November of 1834, Jane Crandall petitions the court for payment for her support of the minor children of Lewis Crandall.

The undersigned administrators
of the Estate of Lewis Crandall, dec’d, makes the
following statement, Jane Crandall, one of the heirs
of the dec’d having charge of the minor children, one
of which is rendered helpless by siness. It is
therefore asked that there be [???] order made b the
Court for her [???], this 11th day of November 183.
$15 will probably be necessary
A. H. McCrurry, Attorney

Ordered that the administrator of the Estate
of Lewis Crandall pay to Jane Crandall for the
support of the children in her care and to supply the
wants of the one that is sick, the sum of fifteen
dollars and any money in his hand belonging
to said Estate, and the receipt of said Jane
shall be his voucher.
Nov. 11th 1834
E Mayne, County Judge

Van Buren County Probate Court Volume E page 48

In a filing in Probate Court, Anna Crandall, widow of Lewis Crandall, petitioned for her dower to be set aside.

Estate of Lewis Crandall
To the County Court of
Van Buren County
I am petitioners Anna Crandall [Attorney?]
to the Court that she is the widow of Lewis Crandall dec’d
Your petitin shows that the said husband departed
this life [unto] about the ? day of March 1832 and at the time
of his decease he was seized of and owned in fee simple the following
described real estate, lying in said County of Van Buren to wit
[W] part of S.E. [1/11] Sec 28 Town 69 Range 9 one hundred acres
Your petitioning [showed] that as widow of Lewis Crandall dec’d she
is entitled to one third in value of said real estate in fee simple
as her dower.
Your petitioner therefore [proposes] the Court to appoint
informed to set apart and assigns to your petitioner forever, one third
in value of said real estate as her dower
Respectfully Submitted
[????? ss ?] Caldwell
Attorney for Anna Crandall

Ordered that [???] the [?????] bu [publication in the
newspaper [????] until the [??? ??? ] of the County
[ ] petition will be

[????] County Judge

Van Buren County Iowa, Probate Record Volume E, page 271.

Then, in November 1855, the court ordered a ‘Legal Notice” to the heirs of Lewis Crandall be placed in the Kasangua Republican newspaper.

Lewis Crandall Estate
And now comes up for hearing the matter of the petitioner
of Anna Crandall widow of Lewis Crandall dec’d in which
she prays the Court to appoint referee to make an appportionment
of dower to her in the real estate of her late husband
An order having been made at the October term of the cases
court that notices should be given by publication in the
Kasangua Republican a copy of which notice being this day
filed together with the proof of the same, it is ordered
that they be recorded in words as follows to wit

Legal Notice
To the heirs and all others interested in the Estate of
Lewis Crandall Deceased ;
You will take notice that
there is now on file in the office of the County Judge of
Van Buren County Iowa a petition of Anna Crandall
claiming that she is the widow of Lewis Crandall, deceased, and
praying the County Court of said County to appoint referees
to set apart and assign to her dower in the following decd
certified bond of which said Lewis died siezed to wit:
the North part of the South East quarter section twenty eight (28)
township sixty nine (69) range nine(9) containing one hun
dred (100) acres said petitioner claims that she is entitled
to one third in value of said land in fee simple as her claim
as aforesaid. Said petition will be heard and determined
before said Court on the first Monday in November 1855
By order of the County Court
? A. Caldwell
Attorney for Petitioner

Van Buren County, Iowa Probate Records Vol. E page 299

To figure out the heirs of Lewis Crandall, I had to turn to the records for the land. In 1841, this fractional quarter of section twenty eight (28) in township number sixty nine (69) of range number nine (9) west was purchased by Lewis Crandall.

This indenture made the 1st day of March in the year
of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and forty one between
E Manning of the County of Van Buren and Territory of

Iowa of the first part and Lewis Crandall of the county
and territory aforesaid of the second part witnesseth that
the said party of the first for and in consideration of the
sum of one hundred and twenty-five dollars and other cons
iderations in hand paid by the said party of the second
part the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged hath given
granted bargained sold conveyed and confirmed and
to those presents do give grant bargain sell convey and
confirm unto the said party of the second part to his heirs
and assigns forever the following descripbed [Messauge] piece
or parcel of land to wit the South East fractional quarter
of section twenty eight (28) in township number sixty
nine (69) of range no nine (9) West excepting said reser
ving however forty four acres and fourty four hundredths
sold and conveyed by Ruben Wright to James McMann
which part or particion of said tract is surveyed & set off
on the south part of said fractional quarter being the
quantity of land hereby conveyed or intended to be
conveyed to be one hundred acres agreeable to the
certificate of purchase dated at Burlinton IT Novem
ber 15th 1838 be the same
Together written all and singular the appurtances There
unto belonging To have and to hold the same unto the
same party of the second part his heirs and assigns forever
and the said party of the first part doth covenant and
forever defend the title to the said premises against
the claim of all and every person whatever claiming
the same by from or under him. In testimony where
of the said party of the first part hereto sets his hand and
seal the day and year first above written;
Signed seald and delivered in presence of
George G. Wright (witness)
Jacob Lane (witness)
Edwin Manning (signed / sealed)

Territory of Owa County of Van Buren
In and for said County do hereby certify that on this
day the within named Edwin Manning known to
me to be the person whose name is subscribed to thee fore
going instrument as party think personally appeared
before me said acknowledged the execution thereof to
be his free and voluntary act and deed for the uses and
proposed therein expression given under my hand

Livale Kinney J
Filed for record March 1st 1841 at 2 o’clock PM
Isiah Lane Recorder

In December 1856, Anna Crandall sells the land set aside as her dower to Owen Tuttle.

Ann Crandall to Owen Tuttle

For and in consideration of the sume of two hundred
Dollars, I hereby sell and convey unto Owen Tuttle of the County
of Van Buren and State of Iowa the following described real
estate to wit thirty acres off the South part of the North part
of the South East Quarter of Section Twenty Eight Township
Sixty Nine Range Nine West in the County of Van Buren and
State of Iowa it being the dower of Anna Crandall as set
apart by the commissioners appointed by the County Court for that
purpose from the Estate of Lewis Crandall Dec’d as the same appraised
by the report of said Commissioners and as the same appears of Record
on Page 336 of Probate Record for said County and Dated December
16th 1855 and I [recant] and defend the title against the
lawful claims of all person whomsoever witness my hand this
the 18day of December AD 1856
Anna Crandall

Van Buren County, Iowa Deed Book R page 195

That left about seventy acres of the north side of the SE fractional quarter of Section 28 in township 69 of range 9 West. In April of 1855, Freelove Crandall sold her undivided seventh to Thomas C Dodson. This deed was recorded in 1867.

Free[l]ove Crandall to Thomas C. Dotson

Know all men in these presents that I Freelove Crandall of the County of Van
Buren and State of Iowa for and in consideration of the sum of one Hundred
dollars to me paid by Thomas C Dodson the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged
[have] granted bargained and sold and by these presents do convey unto the said
Thomas C Dodson all my rights title and interest as heir to the estate of
Lewis Crandall due on undivided seventh of South (70) acres off the North
side of the South East fractional quarter of section twenty eight (28) township
sixty nine (69) north of range nine (9) west containing seventy acres to
have and to hold the same forever and I hereby warrant and affix the same
to the said Thomas C Dodson his heirs and his assignees forever [by my]
hand this [twentieth] day of April AD 1855. Freelove [Crandall]

Deed Book 3, page 208
State of Iowa
Van Buren County
On this 19th day of April 1860 before me J.S. Steven County Judge in and for said county personally
Came Freelove Crandall personally know to be me to the identical person whose
Name is affixed to the above deed as grantor and acknowledged the same to be
Her voluntary act and deed. Witness by my hand and the seal of said County the
Day and year above mention.
J. S. Sloan Co Judge
Filed for Record the 26th day of Dec AD 1867 at 11 o’clock AM

Van Buren County, iowa Deed Book 3 page 207 and 208

On 31 January 1856, Jane Crandall married Clinton Dodson (Thomas C. Dodson.)

In September of 1857, Salome Crandall sold her portion of the land to Thomas C. Dodson.

Salome Crandall to Thomas C Dodson
Know all men by these presents that I Salome Crandall of the County of Mahaska and State of Iowa for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred dollars the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged do hereby convey all my rights to the
And interest to the un? South of seventy acres in the South East fractional quarter of Section no twenty eight (28) in Township no Sixty nine north of Range no nine West to Thomas C. Dodson of the County of Van Buren and State of Iowa and I hereby warrant and defend the title to said property to the said Thomas C. Dodson his heirs and assigns forever In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my name on the 15 day of September in the year of our Lord one Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty Seven
Salome Crandall
A. West
H. Temple
State of Iowa Mahaska County
On this the 15th day of September AD 1857, before me the undersigned Notary
Public in and for said County appeared the above named Saloma Cordwell
Personally known to me to be the identical person whose name is affixed to the foregoing
[ ?deed?] conveyance as granter and acknowledge the same to be her voluntary act
And deed for the purpose therein approved In testimony whereof I have hereunto
Set my hand and affixed my Notarial Seal at my office in Oskaloosa this
Day and year above noted.
Henry Temple
Notary Public
Filed for record the 26th day of Dec AD 1867 at 11 o’clock A. M.

Van Buren County, Iowa Deed Book 3 page 207

In October 1862, Mr. T. A. H. McCrary, guardian of the minor heirs of Lewis Crandall sold four sevenths of those 70 acres to Thomas C. Dodson. The deed identified those minor heirs as John N. Crandall, Eliza Ann Crandall, Elsey Crandall and Lewis Crandall, Jr.

John N. Crandall & others by guard’n to T. C. Dodson
Know all men by these presents Mr. T. A. H. McCrary of th County of
Van Buren and State of Iowa Guardian for the minor heirs of Lewis Crandall
Dec ?ver? John N. Crandall, Eliza Ann Crandall, Elsey Crandall & Lewis
Crandall JR by virtue of the power conferred upon me by law for an in consideration
Of the sume of four hundred and eighty dollars the receipt whereof is hereby
Acknowledge do hereby convey to Thomas C. Dodson his heirs and assignes the
Undivided interests of the above mentioned heirs being four sevenths of seventy
Acres off the north side of the SouthEast fractional quarter of Section no twenty
Eight in Township sixty nine north of Range no nine West The said A.
H McCrary hereby ???? himself his heirs and assigns to ???? and one ????
The title to said Real Estate to the said Thomas C. Dodson and his heirs
Forever In testimony whereof thereunto [execute] my name this October 18th
AD 1862.
H. McCrary
Guardian
State of Iowa
County of Van Buren Before me a Notary public in and for said County
And State this day personally approved A. H. McCrary to me [with] known and
Who regard the foregoing instrument of writing in my presence as guardian and
Grantor and acknowledged the same to be his voluntary act and [deed] [Jr] [Minor]
Whereof I have set my hand and Seal Notarial this the 18th day of October
AD 1862 To [action] whereof I have set my hand and Seal Notarial this
The 18th day of October AD 1862 James L. Loring
State of iowa
Van Buren County
And now comes the matter of the foregoing deed of
Conveyance of A. H. McCrary guardian of John N.
Crandall, Eliza Ann Crandall, Elsey Cranall and Lewis Crandall Jr
Minor heirs of Lewis Cranda deceased to Thomas C Dodson and the Court
After fully understanding the matter of said heirs it is therefore ordered and
[ ] by the Court that the same to and [m ] is confirmed and approved
Dec 5th 1862 H [Shanklin], Co Judge
Filed for record the 28th day of December AD 1867 at 11 o’clock AM

Van Buren County, Iowa Deed Book 3 page 207-208

The deeds for the land identify six of the heirs of Lewis Crandall: Freelove, Salome, John N., Eliza Ann, Elsey, and Lewis, Jr. Since there were 7 portions of land, there is a 7th heir. I believe that heir to be Jane Crandall, wife of Clinton Dodson. Since other records refer to Jane’s husband as Thomas C. Dodson, I believe that the Thomas C. Dodson who purchased the land from the 6 identified heirs is Thomas C. Dodson. Thus, 70 acres of Lewis Crandall’s land likely passed to his son-in-law, Thomas Clinton Dodson, husband of Jane Dodson.

I would never have figured out this family if I hadn’t used both the probate and land records, along with the marriage record for Jane Crandall.

Thurston Wells’ Marriages

When researching your ancestors, have you encountered a biography that has a grain of truth to it, but has some of the facts confused?

That is my case with the biography of Thurston K. Wells found in Woodson County Historical Society’s publication “In the Beginning”.

The Thurston K. Wells Family

Thurston K. Wells was born Feb. 26, 1821 in Sullivan, New York. His parents were Ozias and Mary Kennedy Wells. Thurston spent his early life in Michigan and Iowa. He was a log sealer or woodsman and injured his knee with an ax and he was unable to serve in the Civil War.

Thurston was married twice. He was married first Mar. 20, 1861 in Van Buren, N.Y. but his first wife’s name is not known. They had 2 sons, Francis Owen Wells and William Hall Wells, both being born in N.Y. State.

After the death of his first wife Thurston evidently went to the state of Michigan. He was married to Salone Crandall. Their first three children’s, Freddie L., Mary A., Anna M. Wells were born in Michigan, but their youngest daughter was born in Woodson County, KS., Feb. 5, 1873.

Thurston K. Wells and family must have came to Woodson County about 1871. He took a claim of 80 acres of land from the State of Kansas, in the north half of the N.E. quarter of Sec. 22, Twp. 24, Range 15. This would be five miles north of Yates Center and on west side. Here Thurston probably with the help of his son Francis O. Wells. They had worked together in the timber in Iowa before coming to Kansas, where Francis helped build the railroad from Neosho Falls to Yates Center.

Thurston Wells received the Patent for his 80 A. of school land Aug. 15, 1876, when he fulfilled his five years of living there in their cabin. Thurston died June 3, 1893.

No author, “The Thurston K. Wells Family,” In the Beginning (Woodson County Historical Society), Vol. 19 (#73): page 8.

Aspects of this biography may be accurate, but the information regarding his marriages is not. First, the date of 20 March 1861 is the date of his second marriage. This marriage was to Saloma Crandall and occurred in Van Buren County, Iowa.

Thurston K. Wells Affidavit of T. K. Well
March 19th 1861
to
Saloma Crandle Affidavit of T. K. Wells

To the County Court of Van Buren County Iowa
This certifies that on the 20th day of March AD 1861 at Mr. George
Tuttles in said County according to law and by authoriaty I duly
joined in marriage Mr. Thurston K. Wells and Miss
Saloma Crandle.
Given under my hand the 20th day of March AD 1861
Eld. David Thomson

Iowa, Van Buren County. Marriage records v. A-C 1837-1861. Film #967640 DGS 4309553. Saloma Crandle, 19 Mar 1861 Book C: page 221; digital images, FamilySearch http://www.familysearch.org : viewed online 1998.967640 DGS 4309553

Even though many records indicated that Thurston was married and had two sons before his marriage to Salome Crandall, locating a marriage record has proven difficult. However, another researcher provided a clue to a short news story. This one sentence news story provides more details about Thurston’s first marriage.

Married
In this town on the [18]th inst, by Rev. George Colgrove, Mr. Thurston K. wells and Miss Sarah A. Hall, all of this town.

“Married,” Chittenango Phenix (Cazenovia, New York), 21 May 1851, page 3; digital image, Advantage Preservation – The Cazenovia Public Library (http://cazenovia.advantage-preservation.com/ : viewed online 30 May 2021).

This newspaper account provide the name of Thurston’s first wife and the date of their marriage. This information helps piece together not only the life of Thurston Kennedy Wells, but also that of his sons, Francis Owen Wells and William Hall Wells.

Patriots

Does your tree go back to colonial times? If so, have you tried to find revolutionary war ancestors? When I first started researching my tree, I looked for a Crawford that served. Unfortunately, I still haven’t been able to get my tree back far enough on my Crawford line to have a potential patriot.

Since I had a copy of my great grandmother’s application to the Daughters of the American Revolution, I gave up looking for a Crawford patriot and applied using her application — and I was denied. Her application used Jason Hammond (1762-1842) as her patriot ancestor.

However, the line thru this Jason Hammond is closed. My application was modified to go thru Jason’s father, Nathaniel Hammond (#A050625) who provided patriotic service for Connecticut.

After my application was approved, I quit looking at most of my other branches. Wanting to have a patriot ancestor on my mom’s side of the tree, I did investigate the Buckles line.

Recently, I was curious about how many patriot lines I might have in my tree. Thus, I started researching the men in the 8th generation of my tree to see if someone with similar information was listed in the DAR ancestor file. And I found quite a few ancestors on the DAR site.

Paternal Side

  • Elizur Talcott (1709-1797 #A113367 provided patriotic service and served as a Colonel for Connecticut in the 6th Regiment militia under Brigadier General Wolcott
  • John Foster (1735-1800) #A041635 served as a private for Maryland under Capt. Peter Mantz
  • Daniel Harris (abt 1737-1821) #A051563 served as a private for Virginia under Capt. James Kearny, Cols Thomas Hartly, Hubley
  • Samuel Demarest (1707-1785) #A131555 possibly served for York County, Pennsylvania.
  • Simon Van Arsdale (1746-1802) #A117118 served as a Major for Pennsylvania under Col. Andrew in the York County militia and also as a Captain under Col. McPherson and an ensign under Capt. Hugh Campbell
  • Henry Banta (1718-1805) #A005785 provided patriotic service for Pennsylvania
  • Harmanus Ostrander (1729-1803) #A210554 served as a private for new York in the Ulster county militia
  • Ebenezer Merry (1748-1809) #A078189 served as a private for Connecticut under Lt. Seymour and Maj Newberry
  • Stephen Peabody (1753-1838) #A086830 served as a sergeant for Massachusetts under Capt. Jabes West and Col. Jonathan Eddy

Maternal Side

  • Benjamin Rush (1752-1819) #A100014 provided patriotic service in North Carolina by furnishing supplies in 1780
  • James Buckles (1733-1797) #A016515 served as a Captain for Virginia in the Berkeley County militia
  • Thomas Dawson (1760-1832) #A030832 provided patriotic service for Virginia by furnishing supplies
  • Oliver Miles (1738-1820) #A078880 served as a private for Massachusetts under Lt. Ephraim Wheeler and Col Eleazor Brooks
  • John Josselyn Junior (1735-1810) #A063118 served as a Captain for Massachusetts under Col. John Whetcomb at Lexington and in the 8th Worcester County Militia under Col Job Cushing. He was also a town treasurer.
  • Nathaniel Wells Senior (1730-1804) #A122573 served as a private for Connecticut under Capt. James Chapman and Col. Samuel Holden Parsons
  • Oliver White (1724-1789) served as a private for Massachusetts under Capt Eliakim Smith at Lexington and under Captains Smith, Moses Kellogg and Col. Jonathan Ward
  • David Kennedy (1730-1792) #A064685 served as a private for Connecticut at Lexington
  • Comfort Barnes (1737-1816) #A006295 was a civil servant and provided patriotic service for Massachusetts. He served on the Committee of Safety or Correspondence.

I never dreamed I had this many potential patriots in my tree! Now, I have to not only document their service but make sure I have documented my line back to them.

Iowa Deeds

Do you have an ancestor that seemed to move around a lot? Have you tried to locate him/her between census years?

I have such an ancestor, Thurston Kennedy Wells. According to the 1860 and 1870 census records, he was living in Kansas. However, family history indicates there is a lot more to the ‘story’.

In 1860, Thurston Wells was a widower with two young sons. Clues are still being sought as to what took him to Iowa, but Thurston married Salome Crandall in Van Buren County, Iowa in 1861. After their marriage, they evidently moved to Michigan where some of Thurston’s siblings lived. By 1868, they are back in Van Buren County, Iowa where their daughter, Anna was born.

Fortunately, there are deed records to help support this return to Iowa.

In March of 1867, Thurston purchased two lots in the town of South Kesauqua, Van Buren County, Iowa

Mary White to Thurston K Wells
For the consideration of three hundred dollars the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged I Mary white do hereby sell and convey to Thurson K Wells the following described real estate to wit Lots No twelve (12) and fourteen (14) in block two (2) situated in South Kesauqua Van Buren Cuonty Iowa and I covenant that I am lawfully seized [in fee] of the foregranted premises that they are free from all incumbrances and that I will warrant and defend the title thereto against the lawful claims of all persons whomsoever.
Dated this 15th day of March AD 1867
Mary (her mark) white
Revenue Stamp
50 M W
March 15 1867

Iowa, Van Buren. Deeds, Volume 6. Film #967298 DGS 8584531. Thurston K Wells, 15 Mar 1867 vol. 6: page 51; digital images, FamilySearch http://www.familysearch.org : viewed online 9 June 2021.967298 DGS 8584531.

In 1870, Thurston and his wife, Salome, sold those two lots. This would have been close to the time Thurston was said to have visited Woodson County, Kansas prior to moving to Kansas.

T K Wells & wife to L W Cauhil
For the consideration of one hundred and sixty dollars we hereby convey to L W [Cauhill] the following real estate to wit Lots No Twelve (12) and fourteen (14) in block No (2) Two situated in South Kesauqua Van Buren County Iowa and we warrant the title against the lawful claims of all persons whomesoever.
Dated this March __ 1870
T K Wells
Salome Wells
Revenue Stamp
50C TKW
March 5th 1870

State of Iowa
Van Buren County
Personally appeared before me E Goddard a Notary Public in and for said county Thurston K Wells and Salome Wells hi wife personally known to me to be the identical persons whose mark appear to the above deed of conveyance as grantors and acknowledged the signing of the same to be their voluntary act and deed for the uses and purposes therein expressed
Given under my hand this 5th day of March 1870
E Goddard
Notary Public
Filed for Record March 5th AD 1870 at 9 oclock AM

Iowa, Van Buren. Deeds, Volume 6. Film ##967298 DGS 8584531. Thurston K wells, March 1870 Vol. 6: page 57; digital images, FamilySearch http://www.familysearch.org : viewed online 9 June 2021.#967298 DGS 8584531.

Incorrect Dates

Do you have conflicting dates for an event such as a birth, marriage or death? I realize that the incidence of conflicting dates is not uncommon. Most of the time when I find multiple dates, I can locate multiple sources in support of one date and very few sources for the other date(s).

However, that is not the case for the marriage date of George Mentzer and Emeline Minnick. I have multiple sources say they were married 1 Jan 1867 and then many other sources with a marriage date of 1 Jan 1868. Looking at the sources, it appears that I can basically group those sources into two groups: his and hers.

He Said

The biography of George Mentzer published in the History of Woodson and Allen Counties, Kansas indicates that George and Emeline were married 1 Jan 1867. (See Mentzer Hints post)

In Henry county, Illinois, Mr. Mentzer was united in marriage to Miss Emeline Minnick, a daughter of John Minnick, a Pennsylvania German, who had a family of five daughters and one son. The wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Mentzer was celebrated on the 1st of January, I867,

The Mentzer biography found in the Woodson County (KS) Historical Society publication, In the Beginning from July 1970 also has a marriage date of 1 Jan 1867. (See Mentzer Hints post)

George Mentzer and Emeline Minnick were married on January 1, 1867, at Kewaunee. His bride was a daughter of John Minnick, a Pennsylvania German.

George’s obituary is consistent with the biographies in that it gives the marriage date of Jan. 1, 1867.

Friday, Jan. 26, 1912
Obituary
Mentzer
George Mentzer was born in Stowe, Mass., June 12, 1838, and died at his home near Yates Center, Woodson Co., Kansas, on Jan. 19, 1912, of paralysis, aged 73 years, 7 months and 7 days.
He enlisted in Co. C 24th Massachusetts regiment on Sept. 25, 1861, and served three years, until discharged on Sept. 28, 1864.
After the Civil War he moved to Kewanee, Ill, where he was married to Emeline Minnick, Jan. 1, 1867. To this union were born eight children, one, Susie May Tunnicliff, preceded him to the better land on Jan., 8, 1909, besides his wife he leaves to mourn his loss, Mrs. Clara E. William; Charles O., Fred J., Henry A., Phillip E., Ernest E., and Clarence A. Mentzer, and 22 grandchildren.
Mr. Mentzer joined the Methodist Episcopal church in 1866 at Kewanee, Ill.
In 1871 he moved to Kansas, settling on the farm where he died.
Mr. Mentzer was well and favorably known throughout Woodson County. He has lived among us for more than 50 years and was known to us as a faithful Christian gentleman. His dealings with men were characterized by honesty and he governed his conduct with men by the high standard of moral rectitude.
The bereaved ones have the sympathy of the entire community in their sad loss. Funeral services were held at the family home Monday morning by Rev. W. L. French. Interment in the Yates Center Cemetery.
A precious one from us has gone;
A voice we loved is stilled;
A place is vacant in our home,
Which never can be filled.
God in his wisdom has recalled
The boon his love had given
And though the body slumbers in the grave,
His soul is safe in Heaven.

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

He Said

The first hint of a different marriage date was found in George Mentzer’s military pension file. In a Bureau of Pensions Document dated 2 Jun 1890, the marriage date is given as 1 Jan 1868. This document was signed by George Mentzer and dated 4 May 1898.

1898 May 4
Bureau of Pension – Act June 27 1890

Certificate No. 598867
Name Geo Mentzer

Department of the Interior
Bureau of Pensions
Washington, D.C. January 15, 1898

Sir:
In forwarding to the pension agent the executed voucher for your next quarterly payment please favor me by returning this circular to him with replies to the questions enumerated below.
Very Respectfully
M Clay Evans

First: are you married? If so, please state your wife’s full name and her maiden name.
Answer: yes Emmeline Mentzer, Emmeline Minnick
Second: When, where and by whom were you married:
Answer: Jan 1, 1868, Kewanee, Ill, Rev. Aplebee
Third: What record of marriage exists?
Answer: marriage certificate, family record
Fourth: Were you previously married? If so, please state the name of your former wife adn the date and place of her death or divorce
Answer: No
Fifth: Have you any children living? If so, please state their names and the dates of their birth.
Answer. Yes. Charles Oliver, July 1, ‘69, John Fredric Mar 3 ‘71, Susan May, Feb 28th ‘73, Henry rnold Dec 31 ‘75, Philip Embry Feb 22 ‘77, Ernest, May 10, ‘88, Clara, Sept 20 ‘82, Clarence Albert, April 7th, 1886

Signed: George Mentzer
Date of Reply, May 4, 1898

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

She Said

And then we get to documents related to his wife, Emeline. In her ‘Declaration of a Widow for Original Pension’ she gives the date of their marriage as 1 Jan 1868.

Declaration ofo a Widow for Original Pension
State of Kansas
County of Woodson
On this 13 day of Feb., A.D. one thousand and twelve personally appeared before me, a county clerk within and for the county and State aforesaid, Emeline Mentzer, aged 63 years, a resident of Center twp., County of Woodson, State of Kansas, who being duly sworn according to law, make the following declaration in order to obtain pension under the acts of Congress granting pension to the widows of soldiers and sailors who have died by reason of wound or injury received, or disease contracted, in the service of the United States and in the line of duty.
That she is the widow of George Mentzer, who was enlisted under the name of George Mentzer at Northboro on the 25 day of September, 1861 as a Private in Co. C, 24 Mass. Vol. Inf. and was discharged on the 25 day of Sept. 1864, and who died at Yates Center on the 19 day of Jan, 1912 of Paralysis, due to _ incurred in the above-named service. That the said soldier was in the military or naval service of the United States except as state above.
That the said soldier was born June 12, 1838 at Stow, Mass. that his personal description at enlistment was as follows: height, ; complexion, ; color of eyes, ; color of hair, ; permanent marks or scars, ; that his occupation was
That she was married under the name of Emeline Minnich to said soldier at Kewanee, Ill on the 1 day of Jan. 1868 by Rev. Applebee; that there was no legal barrior to the marriage; that she had not been previously married; that the soldier had not been previously married.
That she was never divorced from said soldier, and that she has not remarried since his death.
That said soldier left the following-named children under 16 years of age at the date of his death, to -wit:
(none listed)
That she has not heretofore applied for pension, none
That her post-office address is Yates Center, County of Woodson, State of Kansas

Signed: Emeline Mentzer
Attest: Cecil Clare Turner
Bert Mentzer

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

An obituary clipping for Emaline Minnick Mentzer gives the marriage date as New Year’s day, 1868. This clipping was saved by her granddaughter, Pauline Mentzer Briles.

Died
Mentzer
Emeline Minnick was born near Pittsburg, Pa. Aug, 26, 1848 at which place she spent her childhood in the home of her parents, John and Mary Minnick. At the age of 12 years her parents with their five daughters and one son, moved to Kewanee, Ill. where she attended the public schools and grew to young womanhood.
On New Year’s Day, 1868, she was united in marriage to George Mentzer, living in Kewanee until the pioneer spirit brought them to the state of Kansas where they located on the old Mentzer homestead in West Center township in May 1872. On this place she resided until Feb. 1914 when she moved to Yates Center where she died Tuesday evening, Sept. 13, 1927, at the age of 79 years and 17 days.
To this union 8 children were born and grew to manhood and womanhood. One son, Albert C., in 1919 and one daughter, Susie M. Tunnicliffe, in 1908, and her husband in 1912, having preceded her in death.
She was raised in a Christian home and early in life she was converted uniting with the M.E. church in Kewanee, ILL and later transferring her membership in 1873 to Pleasant view M.E. church in Woodson county Kansas and later to Yates Center of which church she was a faithful member up to her death. She was one of the truly great Christian characters, who lived each day in faith and humility. Although her last days were spent in suffering, she lived in beautiful resignation and patience.
She leaves to mourn her passing, her sons, C. O. of Neosho Falls, Kansas; F.F., H.A., P.E. and E.E., of Yates Center, and one daughter Clara E. Williams of Yates Center, Kansas and 18 grandchildren; one sister, Mrs. Ellen Frink, of Shenandoah, Iowa besides her friends and relatives.
Funeral services were held in her memory at the M.E. church, Thursday afternoon, conducted by her pastor Rev. A.W. Johnson, assisted by the Rev. JE.E. Latimer. The pall bearers were six of her grandsons. The body was laid to rest in the family lot by the side of her husband.
Thus passes away another of the early pioneers of Woodson county.

Another Date

In an attempt to determine the actual date, I turned to actual records – and found a THIRD date of 27 Dec 1867.

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

Which Is Correct?

Finding the actual marriage license helped me resolve this date conflict.

The People of the State of Illinois

To any person authorized to solemnize Marriage

Greeting

You are hereby authorized to celebrate & certify

The Rites of Marriage of

George Mentzer

Emiline Minnick

Now of this County According to the

Usual Custom and Laws of the State of Illinois

Witness Daniel Bonar Clerk of the County Court in and for the County of Henry and the Seal of said Court hereto affixed at Cambridge, this 27 Day of Dec A.D. 186?

J D Bonar, Clerk

State of Illinois, Henry County, SS.

I hereby certify that on the first day of janury AD 1868 Ijoined in the Holy State of Matrimony George Mentzer and Miss Emaline Minnock according to the Custom and Laws of the State of Illinois.

Given under my hand and seal this 1st day of January A.D. 1868

Benj Applebee

Pastor of M E Church
Kewanee Ills

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

Analyzing these records made me realize why it is necessary to locate any and every record for an ancestor.

Partners

47 Years

We met in college – likely on 2nd floor of ‘science hall’. That’s where we both worked as lab assistants. Science hall was where we were in Quantitative Chemical Analysis and Modern Physics together.

We graduated from Kansas State Teachers College with majors in physical science education.

And then, we vowed to walk alongside each other.

And walked into the world to spend the next 47 years in the small town of Seneca, Kansas.

It was at Nemaha Valley High School where we taught alongside each other. When I migrated away from the classroom, in 1985, our partnership changed. Instead of sharing classroom experiences, my partner became the ‘hardware’ tech that I could rely on to replace parts in broken printers or replace hard drives and motherboards in computers. I’m not sure the district ever realized all of the help I got from my partner during my years as technology coordinator.

As partners we ventured into this world of retirement in 2016 and still share many of the same interests, including researching our respective family histories. So to the person, who has backed me up all these years, I want to say

Thank You

Ricketts Will

James M. Ricketts died November 28, 1920 in Woodson County, Kansas. HIs will was probated in Woodson County.

Petition for Probate of Will
In the Probate Court within and for the County of Woodson and State of Kansas

In the matter of the Estate of James M. Ricketts, Deceased

Petition for Probate of will

Comes now Rachel E. Ricketts and respectfully represents to said Probate Court that James M. Rickert’s, late of the County of Woodson, State of Kansas, departed this life on the 28th day of November, A.D. 1920 leaving a last will and testament, which said last will and testament is hereto attached, marked “Exhibit A,” and made a part hereof. The said Last Will and testament has been executed in all respects according to las. And your petitioner further says that the said J. M. Ricketts left surviving him as his heirs at law, Rachel E. Ricketts, his widow, Artlissa Briles, May Kokley, Anna Belle Howell, Pearl Isreal, his daughters, Manford Ricketts, Charles H. Ricketts his sons and Hazel Ricketts his grand daughter,
And your petitioner further says that at the time of the execution of said Last Will and Testament, said
James M. Ricketts was of sound mind and memory and not under any restraint.
That in said Last Will and Testament the said James M. Ricketts appointed as Executrix of the same Rachel E. Ricketts of Woodson County, and requested that she be not required to give bond.
In consideration whereof, and to the end that said Will may be proved, established, performed and admitted to Probate, your petitioner prays that the Court set a time for the hearing of said petition, causing the witness thereto to attend, and that upon such hearing said Last Will and Testament may be duly admitted to Probate, and letters testamentary be issued to Rachel E. Ricketts as Executrix of said Last Will and Testament of James M. Ricketts, deceased.
Rachel E. Ricketts

State of Kansas, Woodson County, ss.
Rachel E. Ricketts, of lawful age, being duly sworn, upon oath says that she signed the foregoing petition; that she knows the contents thereof, and that all the statements therein contained are true.
Rachel E. Ricketts

Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 6th day of December, A.D. 1920
D. H. Scheachs

Exhibit A:

Will of James M. Ricketts

Be it known, that I, J. M. Ricketts, of Woodson County, in the State of Kansas, being now of sound an disposing mind and memory, do make and publish this my last will and testament.

Item One. I will and direct that all my just debts and the expenses of my funeral and burial be paid out of my personal estate.

Item Two. I give, devise and bequeath to my beloved wife, Rachel E. Ricketts, all my property, real, personal and mixed, of which I may die seized, to have and to hold the same during the natural life of her, the said Rachel E. Ricketts, and upon her death to be divided and disposed of as hereinafter provided.

Item Three: I give and devise to my beloved son, Charles H. Desmond Ricketts, all the following described real estate situated in the County of Woodson and State of Kansas, to wit: The South half of the South-east quarter of the South-east quarter o Section Thirty-give (35) in Township Twenty-three (23), Range Fifteen (15), East of the6th P.M.
To have and to hold the same, subject however to the life estate of the said Rachel E. Ricketts herein above devised, forever.

Item Four. I give and devise to my beloved granddaughter, Hazel Ricketts, all the following described real estate situated in the County of Woodson and State of Kansas, to wit: The South half of the the South-west quarter of the South-east quarter of Section Thirty-five (35), in Township Twenty-three (23), Range Fifteen (15) East of the 6th P.M.
To have and to hold the same, subject however to the life estate of the said Rachel E. Ricketts herein above devised, forever.

Item Five. I give and devise to my beloved daughters, Artlisie Briles, May Kokley, Annie Bell Howell and Perley Israel, and to my beloved son Manford Ricketts, all the following described real estate situated in the County of Woodson and State of Kansas, to wit: TH e North half of the South-east quarter and the North half of the South half of the South-east quarter of Section thirty-five (35), in Township Twenty three (23), Range Fifteen (150, East of the 6th P.M. to be equally divided among the, the said Artlisie Briles, May Kokley, Annie Bell Howell, Perley Israel and Manford Ricketts, share and share alike in value. IN case any of my said children named in this item five shall die before the termination of the life estate hereby created in and by item two of this will leaving no issue of her or his body her or him surviving, then I will and direct that the real estate in this item five described shall upon the termination of said life estate be divided equally among th survivors of my said children including my said son Charles H. Desmond Ricketts, and their children surviving them; but the child or children of any deceased child shall take only the share its or their parent would have taken if then living.
TO have and to hold the same, subject however to the life estate of the said Rachel E. Ricketts herein above devised, forever.

Item Six; In case the life estate to my said wife shall terminate before my said granddaughter, Hazel Ricketts, shall arrive at the age of majority , or in the event that I should survive my said wife and shall die before the said Hazel shall arrive at the age of majority, I hereby designate, constitute and appoint my said son, Charles H. Desmond Ricketts, guardian and trustee of the said estate herein and hereby devised to said Hazel Ricketts, to receive, care for and rent for the use and benefit of the said Hazel Ricketts until she shall arrive at the age of majority. I further will and direct that said guardian and trustee shall not be required to give any bond as such guardian and trustee.

Item Seven. I give and bequeath to my said children and to the living issue of any prior deceased child, if any, all the rest and residue of my personal estate which shall remain at the death of my said wife and after the payment of the funeral and burial and expenses of her, the said Rachel E. Ricketts, to be divided share and share alike, but the child or children of any deceased child, if any, shall take only the share which such deceased child would have taken if then living.

Item Eight. I do hereby constitute my beloved wife the sole executrix of this my last will and testament, and at her death I will will and direct that my said son Charles H. Desmond Ricketts shall succeed her the said Rachel E. Ricketts as such executor. I further will and direct that neither of such executors be required to give any bond for the discharge of the duties as such executor.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 11th day of February, A.D. 1909.

James M. Ricketts

The above and foregoing last will and testament of J. M. Ricketts was signed by said J. M. Ricketts in our presence, and we hereto subscribe our names as attesting witnesses in his presence and in the presence of each other and at his request; and we do hereby certify that we say the said J. M. Ricketts sign the said foregoing instrument of writing and heard him publish and declaer the same to be his last will and testament.
In testimony whereof, we have hereunto set our hands this 11th day of February, A.DE. 1909

G R Stephenson
Bert Manifold

Be It Known, that I, J. M. Ricketts, of Woodson county, in the state of Kansas, being now of sound and disposing mind and memory, do make and publish this codicil to my last will and testament, which last will and testament bears date the 11th day of February A.D. 1909.

Item One: I give and devise to my beloved son, Manford Ricketts, all the following described real estates, situated in the county of Woodson, state of Kansas, to wit: Twenty-four (24) acres off the East side of the North-east quarter of the South-east quarter of Section Thirty-five (35), in Township Twenty-Three (230, Range Fifteen (15), East of the 6th P.M. To have and to hold the same, subject however to the life estate of Rachel E. Ricketts as in said last will and testament provided, forever.

Item Two. I give and devise to my beloved daughters, Artlisie Briles, May Kokley, Anna Bell Howell and Perley Israel, all the rest and residue of said South-west quarter of Section thirty-five (35) in Township Twenty-three (23) Range Fifteen (15), in Woodson County, state of Kansas, not herein and in Item Three of said last will and testament otherwise specifically devised, to be equally divided among them. The said Artlisie Briles May Kokley, Anna Bell Howell and Perley Israel, share and share alike in value. In case any of my said children named in items one and two of this codicil shall die before the termination of the life estate created in and by item two of said last will and testament leaving no issue of her or his body her or him surviving, then I will, direct that the real estate in this Item two of this codicil described shall, upon the termination of said life estate be divided equally among the survivors of my said children including my sons Charles H. Desmond Ricketts and Manford Ricketts, and their children surviving them; but the child or children of any deceased child shall take only the share its or their parent would have taken if then living. To have and to hold the same, subject however to the life estate of said Rachel E. Ricketts as in said last will and testament provided, forever.

Item Three. I do hereby revoke “Item Five” of my said last will and testament; but each and all the other provisions of said last will and testament shall be and remain in full force and effect

In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 16th day of April, AD> 19193.

James M. Ricketts

The above and foregoing instrument of writing was signed by J. M. Ricketts in our presence, and we hereto subscribe our names as attesting witnesses in his presence and in the presence of each other and and at his request; and w do hereby certify that we say the said j. M. Ricketts sign the said foregoing instrument of writing and heard him publish and declare the same to be his first and only codicil to his last will and testament of date of teh 11th day of February, 1909.
In testimony whereof, we have hereunto set our hands this 16th day of April, A.D. 1913.

G R Stephenson
[S] Stephenson

Ricketts Military Service

The following documents are from the pension record for James Marshall Ricketts of Indiana and Kansas.

Executive Department of Indiana
Adjutant General’s Office
June 3, [1981]
Indianapolis
This certifies, that the official records of which I am the lawful custodian on file in this office show that James M. Ricketts
joined for duty and was enrolled as a Private of Company I, 119th 7 Cavalry
Regiment Indiana Volunteers at Indianapolis, Indiana on
the 18th day of August 1863, by Lt. Sahm
and that he was duly mustered into the Military
Service of the United States at Indianapolis, Indiana on the 11th
day of September 1863, for the term of three (3) years by
Captain Miller Mustering Officer
Age: 18
Mustered out at Hempstead, Texas on September 19, 1865
This Certificate is given as official evidence of enlistment, service, and
mustered out of James M. Ricketts of
Company K 119th 7 Cavalry Regiment Indiana Volunteers
Witness my hand and official seal
Alfred F. Ahner
Adjutant General, Indiana
State of Indiana
Commission on Public Records
For the Director
Debbie S. Dwenger
Archives Division

Adjutant General’s Office
Washington, D. C. Nov 26, 1870
Sir
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt from your Office
of application for Pension No. 155503, and to return it
herewith, with such information as is furnished by the files of this
Office.
It appears from the Rolls on file in this Office that
James M. Ricketts was enrolled on the 18
day of Aug 1863 at Indianapolis in Co. K
7 Regiment of Ind Cav Volunteers to
serve 3 years or during the war, and mustered into
service as a Privt on the 11 day of Sept
1863 at Indianapolis, in Co K 7
Regiment of Ind Cav Volunteers to serve 3
years or during the war. On the Muster Roll of Co. K
of that Regiment for the months of Nov. an Dec.
1863 he is reported Sick in Hospital at Memphis
Tenn (date not stated) Present on all sub
rolls of Co to Aug 31/65 Mustered out
on detachment Muster out roll Sep 19/65
at Hempstead Tex as a Corpl


Certificate of Service
To all Whom it May Concern:
This is to Certify, that James m. Ricketts who was enrolled
on the 18 a of August one thousand eight hundred & sixty-three to
serve three years was Discharged on the 19 day of September 1865
with detachment at Hempstead, Texas, while holding
the grade of Corporal in Co K 7 Regiment of
Indiana Cavalry Volunteers
This Certificate is given upon evidence that the original discharge has been lost or destroyed
and in all cases upon the condition imposed by the Act of Congress approved March 3, 1873,
that it shall not be accepted as a voucher for the payment of any claim against the United States
for pay, bounty or other allowance, or as evidence in any other case.”
Given at the War Department, Washington, D.C. this 21 day of
February A.D. 1893

By authority of the Secretary of War
T C Ainswortjh
Colonel, U.S. Army
Chief, Record & Pension Office

358653