Inspirational Message

Inspirational Message

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday - Great Grandpa's Scrapbook

When my uncle passed away in 2003, my aunt asked me if I would like to have some family treasures.  I was pleased to receive my great grandpa's scrapbook.  She showed me his college photo album which is still in pristine condition!  She is the "family treasures archivist" for my mother's side of the family.

Great Grandpa Hoag, Jared, was the son of William Cushing Hoag and Electa Ann Mitchell Hoag.  He was born in Danvers, McLean County, IL on 23 December 1857.

Jared attended the college in Danvers and participated in the theater.  Inside his scrapbook begins with newspaper clippings of poetry and notices of plays presented by the Danvers Dramatic Club.  He also clipped marriage notices of his friends while still living in Danvers.

After I received the scrapbook, I enclosed each page in archive safe sheet protectors.  The clippings were in pretty good shape for the most part, but you can see spots on them.  I scanned the pages that have notices regarding his family and burned them to a CD to share with other family members.

 Page 20 begins with clippings of his marriage to Florence Graves at the home of her parents, Gilbert and Sarah Graves in Mingona Township, Barber county, Kansas on the 25th of January in 1888.  On the same page is Florence's death notice, in 1897.    Jared had a nice set of horse called 'trotters,' as another clipping on this page points out.  Jared and Florence had three children, Mitchell William, Elsie May and Ray.  Ray was two years old when his mother died of consumption. Her parents had gone to Oklahoma Territory in the Land Rush and came back for the funeral.  The children were taken to their farm in Oklahoma Territory and remained with their grandparents.  My grandfather was Mitchell.  When a teenager, he traveled back to Barber county, Kansas in search of his father.  He didn't stay once he found him but they did keep in touch.  Jared lost his land, horses, cattle, etc. in a Breach of Promise suit filed against him, which he lost.  Jared lived with the Gano family on their ranch and later at the hotel they purchased and operated in Belvidere, Kansas.

Jared (left) in later years in front of the hotel in Belvidere, Kansas.

Jared went to stay with his son in Webster Township, Woodward County, Oklahoma sometime prior to his death on the 18th day of June in 1938.

There are a total of 33 pages of clippings in this book covering 1873 to 1937.  It includes the death notice of Alice Gano and an article with photo of Mrs. W. A. Espy holding her "Stradivarius" violin.
 This is the last clipped article in Jared's scrapbook.  The Espy family was not related to Jared.  The article, I believe, was printed in the Wichita, Kansas newspaper and is quite interesting.  The violin was rescued from a burning home during "Sherman's march to the sea."  It was found by John Loftenhizer, Mr. Espy's brother-in-law.

I feel blessed to be in possession of this scrapbook.  The poems, lyrics and published writings that were clipped and pasted into it are a reflection on the personality of my great grandpa.  I will always treasure it!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Reading County History Books - Clues In the Biographies

I took over the position of County Coordinator for the Lucas County, Iowa GenWeb project in 2010.  I do not live in Iowa and none of my ancestors ever lived in Lucas county. I browse the Internet for PDF files of books, microfilm of census records, etc. that I can transcribe and post on the Lucas county page. I just finished transcribing the biographies included in a history of Lucas county published in 1881. Check the "What's New" page for a link to these biographies. As I am transcribing, I find that I am learning alot about Iowa history.  It is very fascinating.    It is amazing the stories told in the biographies.  One man walked to the gold mines in Nevada, it took him a year to reach his destination.  Many of the men, were Civil War soldiers, some Confederate and some Union.  All of these sketches inform the readers of the locations where the subjects were born, how long they lived there, were they moved to and when, etc. Some went back to their previous home to marry and brought the new bride to his home in Lucas county. One man told of falling off of a wagon on their migration to Iowa when he was an infant.  His leg was crushed by the wagon wheel and his father had to amputate his leg nine days later, saving his life. There are so many great stories of courage and strength possessed by these pioneers.

I haven't taken the time to put together a migration time line for Lucas county, but I can imagine the wonderful data that could be presented!  I can envision a map with lines beginning at the point of origin.  Perhaps a table of locations and the names of the families who came to Lucas county from that location.  Not everyone who came to Lucas county stayed, many moved on to other locations. There is a later book that I  have transcribed and posted of Lucas county history published in 1913.  Both of these books offer many clues for those whose ancestors stopped in Lucas county, if even for a short time.

I enjoy reading county history books published 100 years ago and older.  They are less politically correct and you never know what you might find.  That's not to say that what is written is 100% accurate.  Skeletons may still be hidden from public view.  Still these county histories offer clues to the past and should not be overlooked!

Go find a county history!  You'll be glad you did!