Friday, August 10, 2018

Finding Martha Smith - A Case Study and Connecting the Dots

Finding Martha Smith – A Case Study
My 2x great grandfather, Francis Marion Smith, had 3 sisters: Martha, Dorcas and Hannah. The only piece of documentation I had was the 1850 US Federal Census in Pine Twp., Warren county, Indiana. Dated 11 September 1850.

According to the 1850 Census, Martha was 12 years old. I do the math and find she was born abt 1838. Francis Marion was not on this census because he was not born until 1 Sept 1853 in Rainsville, Warren, Indiana.
The next logical thing to look at would be the 1860 US Federal Census for Joseph Smith.
29 July 1860 is the census date.

I see Jossph Smth age 44 and Ferry man (do they mean farrier another term for blacksmith?)
WAIT! What happened to Mary? His wife. I guess may be died and he remarried a woman with 2 children. There is Hannah 10 years older and a small child named Mary. I figured Martha would not be there as she would be 22 years old. WAIT! Where is Francis? He would have been 6 years old. He is not with his father?
So now I look for a Francis or Frank Smith age 6 in 1860. I did find something interesting. A census in Springfield, Sangamon, IL dated 19 July 1860.

Here I find a Martha age 22 born in Indiana and there is a Francis Smith age 6. I never heard that Martha was married, remember I knew nothing about her. This is where is gets interesting. I think it is time to look up Robert Whist, Machinist born in Germany.

In Logan, Fountain, Indiana 1850 Census dated 30 September 1850 I do find a Robert Whist.
Here I do find a Robert Whist who was a machinist from Germany. Fountain and Warren counties are not very big and they are close in proximity. It is another clue.

I knew Francis (Frank) was living with his other sister Dorcas in Indiana in 1870. The next clue I found when I really looked at the 1900 US Census dated 6 June 1900, Frank was living in Stockland, Iroquois, IL with his then 3rd wife Minnie and I see there is a sister, Martha in the household and it says wd. I do believe that is short for widowed.

Ok, now I am feeling confident that Martha Smith did marry. I will see if there is a marriage record.

I find a marriage registration for Robert Whist and Martha Smith dated 30 September 1857 in Fountain county, Indiana. I feel confident that this is my Martha Smith, but I do need more proof.
I was able to find a death date for Martha Whist in the Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths, Index, 1916-1947. Martha Whist born 23 Sept 1838 in Indiana died 28 Sept 1916 and buried in the Greenwood Cemetery. The parents were Joseph Smith and Rebecca Best. Wait, mother was Mary Ann Best. I was able to get a copy of the death certificate film # 1530824 which was digitized at Family Search. The informant was one of her sons, he probably didn’t know her mother’s name. I filed this information away in my folder.
Recently, I went on Ancestry to further pursue Martha and I found on Find A Grave the headstone for Martha and Robert Whist and a transcription of her obituary.

"Mrs. Martha Whist, widow of Robert Whist, died at 8 oclock Monday evening at her home, 1044 N. Morgan street, following a stroke of paralysis. She was seventy eight years old last Saturday. She had lived in Decatur for a long time and had many friends.
Mrs.Whist was born at Ranesville, Ind, Sept, 23, 1838. She was a member of Grace Methodist church and also of the Womans Relief Corps.
She is survived by two sons, C. F. Whist of Decatur and R. F. Whist of Mattoon. She also leaves a brother, Frank Smith of Washington and a sister, Mrs. Pindie Gates of Peru, Ind.
The funeral will be held at 3 oclock Thursday afternoon at Grace Methodist church. The interment will be in Greenwood."
(from the Daily Review Newspaper in Decatur, Illinois)
The obituary says she leaves a brother, Frank Smith of Washington. Yes, Frank Smith and his wife Minnie did move to Washington. They lived in Colfax to be exact. The last proof is this next piece from the Journal Gazette in Mattoon, IL. November 26, 1913.

I rest my case. This is Martha Smith daughter of Joseph and Mary Smith and sister to Francis Marion Smith.

I connect the dots with a sister, Mrs. Pindie Gates of Peru, Indiana.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Obituary Sunday - Peter Peroe "Champ Knitter Passes"

Peter Peroe was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1860 and learned the trade of baker.  In 1884 he and two friends came west. Mr. Peroe left his friends in St. Paul, MN and he went on to Billings, MT to work for the Yegen Brothers Bakery.  He later established his own bakery on Montana Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets.  After a fire destroyed the block, Mr. Peroe opened a confectionery at 2603 Montana Avenue.

He was acquainted with such characters as Calamity Jane, Crow Davis, Livercating Johnson, and J. I. Allen, a well known trader in the Columbus region at the time, who purchased his tobacco from Mr. Peroe.

In 1893, he married Emilie Elizabeth Steingruber at Hebron, ND. (Emilie's sister Anna Sybilla is my great grandmother). The couple had a son, Robert George (1894) and a daughter, Jennie (1902).

He retired from business in 1914 and leaned to knit was acclaimed the champion knitter in the area during the first world war.
Mr. Peroe was President of the Billings Opera House prior to its incorporation  with the Babcock Opera House and  also a member of the old Maverick Hose Company. He also served as a juror on many juries.

 He died at home on May 17, 1944 of a kidney ailment. He had been ill for three years.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday - Zimri Hobson

Sugar Creek Chapel Cemetery Stockland, Iroquois, Illinois

"Zimri Hobson died at his family residence on Grant Avenue, Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock, of Bright's disease.  The deceased was the son of Andrew and Ruthea Hobson and was born in Highland County, Ohio, January 27, 1820.  The family left Ohio in 1827 and settled in Warren County, Indiana and afterwards moved to Iowa where his parents died.  Mr. Hobson was married in Indiana, March 21, 1841, to Mary A Waymire, and settled in iroquois County, Stockland township, unitl the fall of 1876, when he moved to Milford.  He was an honest man, one who had the confidence and respect of all who knew him.  he united with the Methodist church in 1844 and received a license to preach in 1865.  He has filled several township offices acceptably and has been assessor for the past 12 years."

(Watseka Republican, Wednesday, September 18, 1889--Excerpt from Milford Herald)

Zimri Hobson was my 3x great grandfather and is the father of Mary A Hobson, who married Francis Marion Smith. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

On This Day - January 23, 1862

On This Day....January 23,1862, my 2x great grandparents, Lars O. Olstad and Margaret (Margith) Gunderson were married in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Lars, born in Ringsaker, Hedmark, Norway, immigrated with his parents, Ole Haagensen and Anna Hansdatter, and sister, Helene in 1850.

Margaret, born in Bo, Telemark, Norway, immigrated about 1853 with her mother, Gunild, brothers, Sigurd and Ole, a sister, Anna and a half brother, Andreas (Andrew) Gulbrandson Margaret's farther died 1847. 

Lars and Margaret settled on the farm in Holmen, Wisconsin. In the Long Coulee area and raised two sons, Olaus and George and two daughters, Ovidia and Anbertina. Anbertina is my great grandmother an mother of Edith Viola Dahl, my grandmother.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Funeral Card Friday - Florence Bassett


April 4, 1907  Billings, Montana
November 20, 1986  Spokane, Washington

Saturday, November 22, 1986  2:00 p.m.
United Church of Christ
Chewelah, Washington

Reverend Peter Shober

Soloist: Will Rowe  Organist: Jean Merrill

Vern Claflin     Robert Breza
Leroy Potter   Charles Singer
Max Hollinberger   Sherman Edwards

Phillip Skok    Sid Kulzer
Howard Hollinberger   Rolland Millay

Chewelah Memorial Park
Chewelah, Washington

Monday, January 11, 2016

Military Monday - Regulations For Chauffeurs (Frank P Smith) World War I

Headquaters S  O.  S.


1.  Drivers are responsible for careful driving and compliance with the traffic rules herein prescribed.  They will prevent all men from riding on the fenders, running-boards and tops of their trucks.

2. the maximum speed of motor vehicles is prescribed as follows:
     In cities and villages:

Trucks of one tone or more        8 miles per hour
Other trucks...............................10          --
Automobiles and motorcyles     15         --

The driver's accident report will be made out on the spot and submitted immediately upon return to the garage.  Drives who fail to make this report will be brought to trial by Court-Martial.

   By Command of General Kerman :

                                               JOHNSON HAGOOD
                                                 Chief of Staff

Official :
Adjutant General

F. P. Smith A. E. F.  Motor# 6186190

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Obituary Sunday - Florence Bassett


FLORENCE S. BASSETT, 79, died Thursday, November 20, 1986 at Spokane, Washington.  She was born April 4, 1907 at Billings, Montana.  Florence married her first husband, William Wickenkamp June, 1930.  He preceded her in death December, 1970.  She married her second husband, William Bassett in Chewelah on January 5, 1974.  He preceded her ind death March, 1979.

Mrs. Bassett came to Valley, Washington in 1951 and began to work in sales in retail stores and was manager of retail sales for L.G.A. dry goods department.  She was a member of the United Church of Christ in Chewelah, Washington.
Survivors include one daughter: Jerry Lynn Smith, Novato, California, one foster daughter, Patricia Guthmiller, Kent, WA., two grandaughters, and one brother, Charles Koch of Valley, WA.

(November 26, 1986 - Chewelah Independent Page 11)