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.

Throwback Thursday

Do you ever encounter something related to your recent genealogy research in a strange place? Well that was my experience as I was trailing my great niece thru Science City in Kansas City’s Union Station.

We ended the morning in the train exhibit that included a model railroad. At first my focus was on the trains. Then all of a sudden I looked at the buildings and realized one was a replica of a building where my Crider cousins worked.

According to a newspaper ad, the Crider Brothers Commission Company was in rooms 245-6-7-8-9 of the Live Stock Exchange Building.

So, keep your eyes open! You never know where you will encounter something related to your research.

R1b Crawford

Are you the manager of a yDNA test? If so, has it helped you figure out your paternal lineage? I know that I began this yDNA journey hoping that the results would break down my Crawford brick wall. Even though my brick wall is still solid, clues are emerging thanks to an excellent Crawford project administrator and many who have completed BigY testing.

My brother’s yDNA test has placed our branch of the Crawford tree in the R1b-01 supergroup. Testers in this group are all under

M269>L23>L51>P310>L151>P312>ZZ11>U152>L2>
Z367>L20>CTS9733>BY3554>A13338>BY34013>A13336


Unfortunately, most of the others in this supergroup have brick walls hinting at a connection to Augusta County, Virginia.

Breaking down my Crawford brick wall likely means researching several of these lines. Unfortunately that also means

  • dealing with multiple men named James Crawford
  • dealing with trees determined to link to Alexander Crawford and Mary McPheeters
  • dealing with the very large area that original Augusta County covered, including Botetourt and Montgomery counties in Virginia
Early Botetourt County, Virginia

Thus, when I saw a post by Lucas McCaw in the R1b Y DNA Project group on Facebook about steps one could take to ‘maximize yDNA matching and genealogy’ I was challenged to see if I could use some of these steps – particularly steps 2 and 3 – to help with research in Augusta county.

Instead of contacting (re-contacting) my 37-111 yDNA matches, I started by building a spreadsheet for my matches. Fortunately, many of my matches have a tree attached to their test. This allowed me to put information about their Crawford line into the spreadsheet.

I plan to contact those who do not have a tree attached to see if they can provide enough information to fill in the blanks for their test. Surprisingly, very few of these lines have an obvious connection.

In creating this spreadsheet, I also discovered seven of my matches that do not have an ‘earliest known ancestor’ configured for their test. Nor, does it appear that they are part of the Crawford project. Thus, I plan to contact the managers of these tests to encourage them to attach an ancestor and to also join the Crawford yDNA project.

As a future task, I’m hoping to create a document containing links to these earliest known ancestors on sites such as FamilySearch, WikiTree and Geni.com. Since I have researched at least four of these lines, I will also include a link to those ancestors in my Ancestry tree.

With some of these lines appearing to converge in early Augusta County, I’m hoping that figuring out these various lines will help me sort out the various families in the records.

Rigby Printing Company

Do you do descendency research? If so, do you sometimes find yourself following a cousin’s family that takes you off on a tangent that doesn’t really connect to your family?

Well, that’s where some of my research regarding the Rigby family is taking me. I recently visited the gravesite of Elizabeth Jane Currey Rigby, daughter of Hiram Currey and Angelina Burke Currey. Elizabeth was the second wife of Robert M. Rigby.

As mentioned in his obituary, Robert M. Rigby was the president of R. M. Rigby Printing Company.

Robert M. Rigby Dies
End to Printing Company Head is at 74
Robert M. Rigby, 74 years old, president of the R. M. Rigby Printing Company, 915 Wyandotte street, and a printer here since 1884, died last night of heart disease at his home, 3816 the Paseo.
Mr. Rigby was known widely in printing circles. He was born in Chicago and came to Kansas City when a young man. He had been in ill health several years. Mr. Rigby leaves his widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Rigby, of the home, two daughters, Mrs. Helen Ranson, Detroit, and Mrs. Grace G. Bennett, Hollywood, Cal.
Funeral services will be at 2:30 o’clock Monday at the home. The Rev. Burris A. Jenkins will conduct the services.

“Robert M. Rigby Dies,” The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri), 14 February 1932, page 23; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 29 May 2021).

A search of Newspapers.com in the Kansas City area for Rigby Printing produced an article about the filing of articles of association for the Rigby printing and stationary company.

A New Printing Company

The Rigby printing and stationary company filed its articles of association withthe county recorder yesterday. It has a capital stock of $22,000, the incorporators being George Dugan, Walter C. Carr and Robert M. Rigby. The company will carry on a general printing, stationary and book binding business.

Curious about what happened to the R. M. Rigby Printing Company after Robert’s death, I did a broader search and discovered a 1965 article about a new building for the R. M. Rigby Printing Company.

A Google search turned up incorporation information for Rigby, the Visual Dynamics Corporation that referenced R. M. Rigby Printing Company.

Since Google didn’t produce a web site or any current information about the company, I returned to the newspapers where I found an article about the company filing for bankruptcy.

Rigby Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Owners of the Rigby Corporation, a Lenexa printing company, have asked the U.S. district Court in Kansas City, Kansas, to initiate chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

The company, which operates in a 9-year-old, 100,000 square-foot plant at 14685 W. 10tth filed the request Tuesday. the petition lists assets of $6,307,208 and debts of $4,171,946; it lists other liabilities of $1,012845 and authorized capital of 4350,000.

Benjamin Franklin, federal bankruptcy judge, was to meet with Rigby officials this week to schedule a hearing.

The petition lists Robert P. Ingram as owning more than 25 per cent of the Rigby stock. No other persons were listed as owning more than 25 per cent. Ingram bought Rigby in March, 1972, from American Standard, Inc., a New York conglomerate.

Rigby was started as a printing company in 1883. It employs about 300 persons in three shifts. The company moved from 816 Locust in 1967.

Ingram, builder of the TenMain Center in the early 1960s, sold the building October, 1974, to Prudential Insurance Company of America. He bought KBEA-Radio from Intermedia, Inc., in September 1972, and KXTR-Radio from Senthesound Broadcasting Associations, Inc.

The land and factory building, funded by $1,325,000 in industrial revenue bonds are leased from Lenexa by Rigby, Don Capper, Lenexa administrative assistant said.

The Kansas City Times (Kansas City, Missouri), 29 Oct 1976, page 5.

Even though I have not uncovered what happened to the company immediately after Robert Rigby’s death, thanks to newspapers I’ve been able to document its move to Lenexa and then its move to bankruptcy court.

Family Tales

Do you use newspapers for your research? Have you ever sat in front of a microfilm reader and ‘read’ an older newspaper issue after issue?

Since I live about 75 miles from the Kansas State Historical Society, I’ve had access to the states wonderful collection of newspapers. Thus, I have sat in front of a microfilm reader and turned that knob to slowly move thru a local Kansas newspaper. At times, I was looking for a specific item such as a birth announcement, marriage announcement or obituary. Other times, I was just looking for mention of the family to see what I could learn.

With today’s computer technology and digital images of those newspapers, it is even easier to locate those little bits of information in the papers. This past week, my husband and I have both been celebrating our newspaper finds. I often use ‘gossipy newspapers’ when talking about our finds. I use this term because I have often found where one relative visited another relative for Sunday dinner. This might seem like an insignificant piece of ‘gossip’ but it provides hints of a relationship.

The Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas), July 23, 1974

Not only have I found birth announcements for my niece and nephew, I’ve found articles about the family dating back to the 1800s. Think about that for a minute. Newspapers have survived for a very long time.

Now, look into the future. We still have newspapers, but I don’t believe we have ‘gossipy’ newspapers. Even my small town newspaper has seen a reduction in what is submitted for the ‘gossip’ section.

Instead of submitting info about the family that gathered for a birthday party to the newspaper, this event is being shared on social media. I love viewing these posts! However, they likely will not survive years into the future. So, what can I do to help these stories and pictures survive for another 50 to 100 years?

Forest Hills Part 2

Over Memorial Day weekend, my husband and I visited Forest Hills Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri. During that visit, we located the Crider family plot and the Rigby family plot.

Like the Crider plot, the Rigby plot was on the South side of this historic cemetery in Block 23.

Buried in this plot were the following Rigby family members:

Since the FamilySearch site doesn’t have a death date for Robert, Jr., I decided to see what other sources I could find to verify the death. Thus, I searched Newspapers.com to look for an obituary, which I found in the Kansas City Star.

Death of Robert M. Rigby, Jr.
Robert M. Rigby, jr., 33 years old, died this morning at St. Mary’s Hospital. With his wife and a party of relatives, Mr. Rigby had spent last night at an amusement park. Returning home, 820 Charlotte Street, he suffered an attack of convulsions. He was taken to St. Mary’s, where he died soon after. Dr. Fritz Moennighoff, deputy coroner, said death was due to uraemic poisoning. Besides the widow a daughter, Myrtle Rigby, his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Rigby, sr., three sisters, Miss Helen Rigby, Miss Grace Rigby and Miss Dorothy Rigby, and a brother Glen Rigby, survive.

“Death of Robert M. Rigby, Jr.,” The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri), 1 June 1915, page 4; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 29 May 2021).

Then, in an attempt to figure out Robert Rigby Senior’s children, I looked for his obituary. This obituary only names two children: Helen and Grace.

Robert M. Rigby Dies
End to Printing Company Head is at 74
Robert M. Rigby, 74 years old, president of the R. M. Rigby Printing Company, 915 Wyandotte street, and a printer here since 1884, died last night of heart disease at his home, 3816 the Paseo.
Mr. Rigby was known widely in printing circles. He was born in Chicago and came to Kansas City when a young man. He had been in ill health several years. Mr. Rigby leaves his widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Rigby, of the home, two daughters, Mrs. Helen Ranson, Detroit, and Mrs. Grace G. Bennett, Hollywood, Cal.
Funeral services will be at 2:30 o’clock Monday at the home. The Rev. Burris A. Jenkins will conduct the services.

“Robert M. Rigby Dies,” The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri), 14 February 1932, page 23; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 29 May 2021).

Robert M. Rigby was married twice. His first marriage was to Ellen Curtin by whom he had at least 4 children: Robert M. Rigby, Grace Rigby Bennett, Helen Rigby Pinkley and Francis Rigby. According to an obituary in the 28 Dec 1892 issue of the Kansas City Times, Ellen Rigby died 27 Dec 1892.

Mrs. Nellie Rigby, wife of R. M. Rigby, died at her home, 2012 Baltimore avenue, at 5 o’clock yesterday morning of pneumonia, aged about 32 ears. The funeral will occur tomorrow morning. Mrs. Rigby leaves five children.

“Tips from Tuesday,” The Kansas City Times (Kansas City, Missouri), 28 December 1892, page 8; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 23 June 2021).

Even though Ellen’s obituary does not name the children, it does indicate that there were five children. I currently have only identified four of those children: Robert M. Rigby Jr, Grace Rigby Bennett, Helen Rigby Rason and Francis Rigby.

After the death of his first wife, Ellen, Robert M. Rigby married Elizabeth Jane Currey on 8 Feb 1894 in Jackson County, Missouri. Eight years later, Robert’s 12 year old daughter by his first wife, Francis, would take her life.

Girl of 12 a Suicide
Frances Rigby, Fearing a scolding for Being Tardy at School, Takes Carbolic Acid
Died at City Hospital
She wandered about in the Rain after Getting the Poison and took it in a Vacant Lot
Joined Church Week Ago
The child was the daughter of R. M. Rigby, President of the Rigby Printing Company

Frances Rigby, 12 years old, daughter of Robert M. Rigby, president of the Rigby Printing company, whose residence in Hyde Park is at 111 East thirty-Ninth street, ended her life yesterday afternoon by swallowing most of the contents of a two-ounce vial of carbolic acid. As far as can be learned the only reason for the child’s deed was that she was late at school yesterday morning and was afraid of a scolding either from her teacher or at home.

“Girl of 12 a Suicide,” The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri), 25 April 1902, page 1; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 23 June 2021).

Since Elizabeth Currey Rigby’s children (Glenn and Dorothy) preceded her in death, her obituary doesn’t provide any clues to the children of Robert M. Rigby by his first wife.

Mrs. Elizabeth Rigby Services
Services for Mrs. Elizabeth Rigby, 70, formerly of 3816 the Paseo, will be held at 3:30 o’clock friday at the Freeman chapel. Burial will be in Forest Hill cemetery. She was the widow of Robert M. Rigby, founder of the R.M. Rigby Printing Company, 816 Locust street.

“Deaths in Greater Kansas City,” The Kansas City Times (Kansas City, Missouri), 7 June 1945, page 11; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 23 June 2021).

Even though I haven’t identified the fifth child of Robert M. Rigby and Ellen Curtin Rigby, I have found a clue in an article found while searching for Robert Rigby Jr’s obituary. Robert Rigby, Jr. was stabbed in a bar fight by his brother-in-law James W. Dix.

Robert Rigby, Jr., Stabbed
James W. Dix Wounded His Brother-In-Law in a Saloon Fight
Robert Rigby, jr., vice-president of the C.H.R. Bindery and a son of R. M. Rigby of the R. M. Rigby Printing Company, is at his father’s home, 27 Janssen Place, suffering from stab wounds inflicted by his brother-in-law, James W. Dix. The two fought Friday night in a saloon at Eighth and Main streets where Rigby had gone in response to a telephone call informing him that Dix was there and drinking heavily.
Dix was arrested after the fight, but was released. He is said to be in Texas now. Rigby’s wounds, cuts about the head and back, were treated at the emergency hospital and he was sent to his father’s home. Rigby told his parents that he found Dix at the saloon in a quarrelsome mood and when he tried to persuade him to go home Dix attacked him with a knife.
R. M. Rigby, the father, said today that Dix probably would not be prosecuted. He declared his son’s injuries were not dangerous.

“Robert Rigby, Jr. Stabbed,” The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri), 29 November 1910, page 1; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 23 June 2021).

Since none of the known daughters were married to James W. Dix, the missing child is likely the daughter married to James W. Dix. So far, she is still a mystery.

Without this trail of obituaries and other articles, I would not have been able to piece together much of Robert M. Rigby’s family.

Throwback Thursday

While searching for a birth announcement in the Iola, Kansas newspapers, I came across this interesting little article.

My aunt and uncle owned an airplane!

Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Mentzer and Mr. and Mrs. Bill Mentzer enjoyed a visit and plane ride Friday when Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Thompson flew their plane down from Emporia. While here they got a birdeye view of Woodson and Allen County. Mrs. Thompson is the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. O. E. Briles of Emporia, who lived here many years ago.

“Local News,” 18 Nov 1954, The Iola Register (Iola, Kansas), page 8, Marvin Thompson; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 10 June 2021).

Thurston Kennedy Wells

Thurston Kennedy Wells16 was born on 26 Feb 1821 in Sullivan, Madison, New York, United States.311

He was the child of Mary Kennedy and Ozias Wells.5

Thurston Wells was listed as a 30 year old carpenter who was born in New York in the household of Orville Russel in Sullivan, Madison County, New York on the 1850 census.12

He married Sarah Hall on 18 May 1851 in Chittenango, Madison, New York, United States.6,1315

On 23 Feb 1853, Francis Owen Wells was born in Oneida, New York, United States.

He lived in Osawatomie, Miami, Kansas, United States in 1857.8

On 24 Aug 1857, William Hall Wells was born in Osawatomie, Miami, Kansas, United States.1,16

Thurston and Sarah, his wife, purchased a mortgage from Samuel Chambers on 5 Jun 1858 in Eaton, Michigan, United States.17

In May 1859, he  filed a claim against John Graham in Chancery Court regarding mortgage owed on NE 1/4 of SW 1/4 of SE 1/4 of NW 1/4 Section 26 in Township 4 North of Range Four West containing 80 acres  in Eaton, Michigan, United States.1718

K. T. Wells was listed in the household of James Londers on the 1860 census. According to the census, K. T. was a 30 year old laborer with $400 in real estate. K. T. was born in Michigan. Listed below K.T. on the census were 2 young males, Franklin, age 6 born in Michigan and William, age 3 born in Kansas Territory.19

He married Salome Adell Crandall on 20 Mar 1861 in Van Buren, Iowa, United States.610,2023

On 16 Jan 1862, Freddie L. Wells was born in Eaton, Michigan, United States.

In 1863, in Chester, Eaton, Michigan, United States, Thurston K Wells was registered for the draft. The remarks, indicate a ‘bad rupture’. According to the record, Thurston was 42 years old and born in New York.4

On 1 Jan 1866, Mary A. Wells was born in Eaton, Michigan, United States.

He  purchased land being lots no 12 and 14 in block 2 for the sum of $300 from Mary White on 15 Mar 1867 in Keosauqua, Van Buren, Iowa, United States.24

On 12 Jun 1868, Anna May Wells was born in Pleasant Hill (historical), Van Buren, Iowa, United States.

Thurston lived in Kansas, United States in 1870.8,25

In Mar 1870, he sold land  in Keosauqua, Van Buren, Iowa, United States.26

On 5 Feb 1873, Nettie Adell Wells was born in Woodson, Kansas, United States.

T. K. Wells was listed on the 1875 census owning 80 acres of land in Liberty Township, Woodson County, Kansas. T. K. Wells was listed as a 54 year old male who was born in New York and came to Kansas from Iowa.2728

On 15 Aug 1876, he filed land patent for land being the N 1/2 NE 1/4 Section 22 Township 24 South range 15 East in Woodson, Kansas, United States.29

T. K. Wells was listed as a head of household on the 1885 Kansas census. According to the census, T. K. was 64 years old. Also listed in the household were Saloma, Anna and Nettie Wells.30

Thurston lived in Yates Center, Woodson, Kansas, United States on 29 Mar 1889.31

He lived in Yates Center, Woodson, Kansas, United States in 1891.32

He died on 3 Jun 1893 at the age of 72 in Woodson, Kansas, United States.5,710,33

Thurston was buried at Yates Center Cemetery in Yates Center, Woodson, Kansas, United States.5

ENDNOTES:

        1. “Iowa, Select Marriages Index, 1758-1996,”Ancestry.com,  (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/60284/ : viewed online (11 June 2021), Thurston Wells; Family Search.

        2. Marriage Records, 1880-1940, William Hall Wells, 7 August 1881; database on-line, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed online 11 June 2021).

        3. Ancestry.com, Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925 (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009), Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, Kansas; 1885 Kansas Territory Census; Roll: KS1885_143; Line: 12.

        4. “U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865,”Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com:  accessed June 2021), card for Thurston K Wells, Chester Township,Calhoun County, Michigan; citing Consolidated Listsof Civil War Draft Registrations, 1863-1865, NM-65.

        5. Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave (www.findagrave.com : viewed online September 2016), memorial for Thurston Kennedy Wells (1821-1893), Find a Grave Memorial no. #55747283, created by J. Geoghan, citing Yates Center Cemetery, Yates Center, Woodson County, Kansas; accompanying photograph by RisingSun, Thurston Kennedy Wells.

        6. 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 11 June 2021.

        7. Crawford Family Papers; privately held by Marcia Philbrick, Seneca, Kansas, 2016. Wells Family Bible. copy obtained from Doris Ryan, daughter of Cecile Mentzer Beine.

        8. “Died,” The Yates Center News (Yates Center, Kansas), 9 June 1893, page 2; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 30 May 2021).

        9. Crawford Family Papers; privately held by Marcia Philbrick, , Seneca, Kansas, 2016. Descendants of Ozias Wells. copy obtained from Doris Ryan of Yates Center, KS.

        10. Duncan L. Wallace, History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas (Iola, Kansas: Iola Register, 1901), digital copy, page 831-832 http://www.ancestry.com viewed online 12 June 2021.

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

        12. 1850 U.S. Census, Madison County, New York, population schedule, Sullivan, Madison County, New York, page 29, household 405 (hotel), Thurston Wells; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online September 2016); NARA microfilm publication M432

        13. Chittenango Phenix, , Notes by paid researcher Nancie Davis indicating marriage was in the 21 May 1851 issue of the paper. No copy of the notice was received..

        14. “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).

        15. Crawford Family Papers; privately held by Marcia Philbrick, , Seneca, Kansas, 2016. Wells Family Papers from Preston Wells. copies obtained by Valerie Radee (Calhoun County Genealogical Society) for Marcia Philbrick.

        16. Montana, State Deaths, 1907-2018, William Hall Wells, 9 September 1939; database with images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed online 5 October 2020). Original Source: State of Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Office of Vital Statistics.

        17. Joyce Marple Liepins, Eaton County Michigan Newspapers (Charlotte, Michigan: J M Liepins, 1968), p. 29 – Thurson K. and Sarah A. (wife) Wells mortgager.

        18. Thurston K. Wells, Chancery Court Record, Eaton County, Michigan, May 1859, Thurston K. Wells, Complainant vs. John Graham, Defendant (Doc. #: Wells.MI.041).

        19. 1860 U.S. Census, Lykins County Kansas Territory, population schedule, Miami Ville, Osage Township, Lykins County, Kansas Territory, page 80, household 608, K T Wells; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online November 2017); NARA Microfilm Publication M653.

        20. Iowa Marriages, 1809-1992, Thurston K. Wells – Saloma Crandle, 20 March 1861; database, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : viewed online March 2017).

        21. “Salome Crandall,” obituary, The Yates Center News (Yates Center, Kansas), 8 September 1893, page 3; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online April 2018).

        22. 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.

        23. Olive K. Porter, Marriage Records from Van Buren County (np: Iowa Daughters of the American Revolution, 1936), p.208 Wells, Thurston K.

        24. 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.

        25. Duncan, L. Wallace and Chas F. Scott, History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas (Iola, Kansas: Iola Register, 1901), pp. 831-832 (Doc. #: Mentzer.KS.025).

        26. 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.

        27. 1875 Kansas Census, Woodson County, Kansas, Kansas State Census, Liberty Township, Woodson County, Kansas, page 10 Image 6 of 14, line 9, T. K. Wells; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online December 2018)

        28. 1875 Kansas Census, Woodson County, Kansas, Kansas State Census, Liberty Township, Woodson County, Kansas, page 5, line 31, T. K. Wells.

        29. Woodson County, Kansas, Deeds, Vol. G page 324, T K Wells, 15 August 1876; Register of Deeds, Yates Center, Kansas.

        30. 1885 Kansas State Census, Woodson County, Kansas, Kansas State Census, Liberty Township, Woodson County, Kansas, page 43, household 36, T. K. Wells; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online September 2016); Kansas State Historical Society

        31. “Locals,” The Yates Center News (Yates Center, Kansas), 29 March 1889, page 3; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online December 2018).

        32. Portrait and Biographical Album of Barry and Eaton Counties, Michigan (Chicago: Chapman Bros., 1891), p. 278.

        33. Woodson County (Kansas) Clerk. Woodson County Kansas Deaths (Yates Center, Kansas: ), transcription by Betty J. Wasmer, page 93 (Doc. #: Mentzer.KS.016)

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.