Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - William Wesley Dawson, Nancy (Cleveland) Dawson

McCauley Cemetery, Edgar Co, Illinois

These images are scans of 1970 era photocopies of photographs, so excuse the quality.

William Wesley Dawson was born about 1760 in Cocke Co, Tennessee.  Nancy Cleveland [possible middle name of Graves] was born 10 October 1781 in Tennessee.  So far, I, and several other researchers, have not been able to discover their parents' names.  Nancy died 3 days after a rattlesnake bit her. 

On a third side of the gravestone, Sarah J Peer is etched.  Sarah was the daughter of Jane (Dawson) and John Peer.  She died the same year as her grandmother, Nancy Dawson.

Wm Dawson
Born About 1770
Died Mar 8, 1855

Wife of Wm Dawson
Born Oct 10, 1781
Died Aug 27, 1845

Sarah J Peer
Born 1837
Died 1845

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Johannes "John" Rodenberger

While visiting the Clay Co. Genealogy Society in Center Point, Indiana, I found the following abstract in the Rodenbarger Family File.

Dem. Archives, Oct. 27, 1870
   d. John Rodenbarger, at res, Wash. Twp, Sat. Oct 22, 1870, 86 yrs.  res of twp for more than 25 yrs.  Member German Reform Church. father of 19 ch., step-father of 2 ch.

Johannes was born on 22 July 1785 in Pennsylvania.  His parents were Johann Georg  and Elisabeth (unknown) Rothenberger.  Johannes married Elisabeth prior to 1809 when their son Samuel was born.  Johannes and Elisabeth's first three children (Samuel, Leah, and Rachel) were born in Upper Milford Twp, Northampton Co, Pennsylvania. 

In March of 1829, the Rodenberger family was living near Montgomery Co, Ohio.  In July 1832, Johannes purchased land in Wayne Co, Indiana and sold the property in December 1846.  He purchased land in Clay Co., Indiana in January 1846.  

I believe Elisabeth died while the family was living in Wayne Co, Indiana after the 1840 Federal Census. Johannes married Catharine (March) Schromyer, a widow with two children, between 1842 and 1844.

The September 20, 2011 post has photos of Johannes' gravestone.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

One Member of "The Greatest Generation" - Raymond Hill Beamer, Jr.

Raymond Hill Beamer, Jr., son of Raymond Hill and Maud Lucy (Dunbar) Beamer, was born 24 December 1917 in Cherokee Co, Kansas.  He died 23 August 2003 in Topeka, Shawnee Co, Kansas.

"When he had a chance to be transferred to Hawaii he gladly accepted it. He enjoyed many things about his life in Hawaii. They got to travel to the different islands and he was thrilled at seeing an active volcano. He sent us pictures of it in eruption. My husband knew Dr. F. X. Williams, an Entomologist stationed in Hawaii at that time and suggested to Ray he go to see Dr. Williams. They were more than kind to the boy away from
home. When we sent him movies of the family for his Christmas, he could take them to the Williams’ and they would project them for him. They offered him many kindnesses.
     On Dec. 7, 1941, Ray took his pack and climbed a nearby mountain alone, just hiking. While on the mountain, he began noticing unusual activities back toward camp. At first he thought it was just a practice. But when it continued he saw something strange was going on and he hastily sped down the mountain to Camp to see the last of the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor. He has never liked to talk about it very much. He admits we all did foolish things. We had had no training for such an emergency. Everyone knew nobody would dare attack the US. I think he could have stayed in Hawaii for the duration of the war but after a time he felt he wanted a change and asked to be transferred. He was transferred to a camp in California and after some months training there was sent overseas.
     One observation he made after war was declared may be of interest. He felt that before Pearl Harbor, the residents of Hawaii looked down on the men in uniform. They were careful not to have their daughters meet soldiers they passed by in their cars and did not offer rides when soldiers were hiking into town. But after Pearl Harbor they couldn't do enough for a man in uniform. . .
     November 13, 1943, Ray and Eleanor were married in a simple but lovely service in the Reilly home in Topeka. Eleanor followed Ray from camp to camp while he was in the USA. When he was sent overseas to the European Theater, Eleanor came home to live with her mother and sister, Lena, while he was away. On December 1, 1944, Beth was born. She was a darling baby and Eleanor was a lovely mother; but it was hard to have the father so far away.
      And of course the uncertainty was agonizing for Ray. Ray was in the Battle of the Bulge and after the Armistice was signed he was in the Army of Occupation in Germany for some time. The training he received from the GI Bill was a Godsend to him. . ."
[Source:  The Lucy Beamer Memoirs - RAYMOND BEAMER, JR essay, pages 5-6]

"He taught us to love our country and told many stories (over and over!) about the war--how he stood on Oahu overlooking Pearl Harbor (it was his day off) and watched as the bombing of WWII began. Later, he landed in Normandy and with his battalion fought his way to Berlin. As he made his way from "foxhole" to "foxhole" with his machine gun, he found a ferret which became his pet. It is still hard to picture this soldier hiding in the ground with a ferret peeking out of his pocket, while crocheting his much loved doilies."
[Source:  Beth Beamer Deakins' A Eulogy to Raymond Hill Beamer, Jr., August 2003]

Monday, November 28, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Irvin Johnston's Will

From the Huntingdon County, PA Will Book No. 9, 1878-1882,  page 33, located at Huntingdon Co. Court House, Huntingdon, PA -

Huntingdon County ss:
     Before me, Register for the probate of wills and granting Letters of Administrations in and for said county, personally appeared J. Wesley Johnston, who, being duly sworn, doth depose and say that Irvin Johnston, late of West Township died on or about the 25th day of November 1878 at 4:35 oclock a.m. to the best of his knowledge and belief.
Sworn and subscribed this 3rd day of March A.D. 1879 before J.D. Kuntzelman, Register. 

The abstract of Irvin Johnston's Last Will and Testament -
Irvin Johnston of the township of West in the county of Huntingdon… To my beloved wife Tiney Johnston, all my household furniture that is now in my house and in my possession, also my horse, carriage and carriage harness, two cows, three young cattle, six heads of hogs and three hundred dollars of money out of the sale of my personal property…Executors will lease my farm on which I now live for the sum of three years after my decease and then put it to sale.  My wife Tena Johnston to remain in the house until the expiration of the lease…bequeth to my wife Tenay Johnston five hundred dollars out of the sale of the farm to be invested in a homestead…I do hereby bequeath to my son Wesley Johnston three hundred dollars…the balance of my money…shall be equally divided between the following names heirs:  Alfred Johnston, Wesley Johnston, Franklin Johnston, Howard Johnston, and Molley Johnston, my five children and I do further bequeath to Teney Johnston my wife all the firewood she may need during the term of the lease on the farm… appoint my son Wesley Johnston of Fulton County, Pennsylvania, Executor of this my will.  In witness whereof, I the said testator Irvin Johnston have to this my last will and testament set my hand and Seal the 14th day of November A.D. 1878.
Signed Irvin Johnston by his mark
Witnesses:  Ephraim Fisher and Henry Davis, Jr.

The Huntingdon Journal
Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
Friday, October 8, 1880
[Source:  Newspaper Archive]
Orphans’ Court Sale of Valuable Real Estate (Estate of Irvin Johnston, Deceased.)
     By virtue of an order of the Orphans’ Court of Huntingdon county, Penn’s, the undersigned will expense to sale, on the premises, in West township at one o’clock, p.m., on Tuesday, October 26, 1880, the following described valuable real estate, vis:  A tract of land situate in West township, Huntingdon county, Pa., adjoining land of Henry Davis, Jr., Richard Cunningham’s heirs, John Cunningham, John Gregory, and others, containing 117 ACRES, all cleared and tillable limestone land.  It is in the Shaver’s Creek Valley, about three miles from Petersburg, and has thereon erected a GOOD BRICK HOUSE, BANK BARN, NEW WAGON-SHED AND CORN-CRIB, SPRING HOUSE, GOOD FRAME HOG PEN, and other outbuildings.  There is a never-failing spring at buildings, running water in barnyard and in six of the fields.  A good apple orchard of nursery fruit, belle pears, cherries, etc., with church, schools, mill and stores all convenient.  Possession given April 1st, 1881.
TERMS OF SALE:  One-third of purchase money at confirmation of sale, balance in two equal annual payments with Interest, to be secured by judgement notes or bonds or mortgage of the purchaser.
J.W. Johnston, Admr.of Wells Tannery, Pa.

Final Account of J. Wesley Johnston, Executor of Irvin Johnston, Late of West Twp.  Book 5, 1881 No. 205, page 412 - The complete Executor’s report is recorded.
Irvin Johnston’s five children, as listed, W. A. Johnston, T. F. Johnston, Howard Johnston, J. Wesley Johnston, and Mary M. Baumgardner, received distributions of  1/5 of 2/3 of his estate, in the amount of  $313.93 each. 
Signed by William A. Johnston for himself and as Grantee of Interest of T.F. Johnston and Howard Johnston; J. Wesley Johnston; and Mary M. Baumgardner.
[Source: Huntingdon Co. Court House, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania]

Notes of interest:
Irvin's will mentions each son by their middle name.  In the Final Account, three of the sons are referred to my their first and middle name initials with W.A. signing as William A. Johnston.  Howard is Henry Howard Johnston.

In the time between the will and the final account, Molley Johnston became Mary M. Baumgardner.

Why did William A. Johnston sign the Final Accounting for himself and two of his brothers?  I found all three brothers and their families living in El Paso, Woodford Co, Illinois in the 1880 U. S. Federal Census.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Donald Blessing

The Daily Californian
News in Brief: UC Hall of Famer, Olympian Dies Friday, July 7, 2000
Don Blessing, Olympic Gold Medalist and UC Hall of Fame member, died Tuesday. He was 94. After leading an undefeated UC Berkeley crew team as coxswain, Blessing won a gold medal for the U.S. in the 1928 Olympics, according to his grandson, Warren
"Cal was the only university that has had three Olympic champions (for crew)," Fallat said. "(Blessing) was good friends with all the Cal coaches."
He said Blessing was one of the eight original owners of the Oakland Raiders football team and was inducted into the National Rowers' Hall of Fame in 1967. Blessing was also a founding member of the San Francisco Grid Club, which raised money for UC Berkeley's football program.
"He was an avid sportsman," Fallat said. "It was my grandfather who showed up at all my football games. He took me hunting and fishing. He was one hell of a fisherman."
Avril Fallat, Blessing's granddaughter-in-law, said Blessing also had a knack for making people feel good.
"He really was the most energetic man, even at his advanced age," she said. "And he was ferociously loyal to Cal."
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday in the Travers Big Game Room in the Memorial Stadium.

Don Blessing 2nd from left
Other names:  Ray Anderson, Pete Donlon, Dean Witter, Jim Lemmon
[Source:  Warren Fallat]

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sports Center Saturday - Donald Blessing, Olympian

Don Blessing married Nola Dillon, daughter of John Laban and Lu (Lawrence) Dillon. Don, with his teammates, won an Olympic gold medal at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam.

Donald F. Blessing (December 26, 1905 – July 4, 2000) was an American coxswain who competed in the 1928 Summer Olympics, held in Amsterdam. Don was born in Holister, California.
In 1928 he was the coxswain of the American boat, which won the gold medal in the eights. Don was the Most Valuable Man as voted by his teammates on the UC/USA crew. The USA eight was composed of men from the University of California and was the first of 3 Olympic eights that would come from Cal and win gold. The University sent gold medal-winning crews in 1932 (Los Angeles) and 1948 (London) as well.
Don Blessing was also one of the original eight owners of the Oakland Raiders Football Club (AFL, now the NFL) and was a lifelong Californian, residing in Piedmont, CA and Belvedere, CA for most of his adult life. He also was a lifelong Bear Backer, a charter member of the San Francisco Grid Club and among the first group of inductees to the University California Hall of Fame.
[Source:  Wikipedia]

SS President Roosevelt Manifest
Sailling from Cherbourg, France on Aug 14th, 1928
Arriving Port of New York on Aug/ 22nd, 1928
Line 8 - Blessing, Donald
[Source:  Ancestry]
Oakland Tribune, California
August 31, 1928, Page 3
[Source:  Newspaper Archive]
The Bears Who Rowed Their Way to World-Wide Fame Are Home
     Hailed as "the greatest ambassadors we have sent to Europe since the signing of the peace treaty," and loaded down with congratulations and gifts of a more substantial nature, the University of California's Olympic championship crew is home.  Enthusiasm transcending that of the biggest "big game" ever held rocked the college city yesterday when members of the crew and their coach, Ky Ebright, arrived on the Gold Coast Limited and passed through streets lined with thousands of cheering citizens to the university campus.   There the university welcomed them home, and students staged a rally in the Greek theater to mete out their praise and their greeting to these heroes.  Last night the city claimed them back again for a mammoth banquet, once more paying tribute to the sturdy boys who pulled the hearts out of the best crews the rest of the world had to offer.  Pictures show:  Left, DON BLESSING, diminutive coxswain, being greeted by his mother, MRS. IVY BLESSING; lower right, first greetings at the Berkeley station - left to right, JACK BRINCK, MARVIN STALDER, MAYOR M. B. DRIVER, PRESIDENT W. W. CAMPBELL, CARROLL DRESSLER, COXSWAIN DON BLESSING, and AL RYDLANDER; upper right, view of a small section of the crowd gathered at the station. - TRIBUNE photos.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Hallowell, Kansas Farewell Party

Not Thanksgiving gathering, but a family/friends gathering - Farewell party to the John Beamers, August 1909, Lem Holmes' home in Hallowell, Cherokee Co, Kansas. 

Photos:  Lucy Beamer's Beamers Photo Album.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - John Wesley Johnston

John Wesley Johnston, son of Irvin and Christina (Nelson) Johnston, was born in August 1846 in Pennsylvania and died 16 May 1907 in Minneapolis, Hennepin Co, Minnesota.  He married Mary Elizabeth Porter about 1867 in Pennsylvania.  Wesley and Lizzie had four children:  Elmer Porter, James Edwin, William Howard, and Ida Mable.

J. W. Johnston (1846 - 1907)
Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis, Hennepin Co, Minnesota
Wesley J Johnston
Lakewood Cemetery burial
[Source:  MN Historical Society]
Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota
James E. Johnston, age 72, died Apr 9, 1943
 J. Wesley Johnston, age 59, died May 16, 1907
Mary E. Johnston, age 89, died Dec 13, 1934
Beatrice Johnston age 12, died Feb. 13, 1919

Thursday, November 17, 2011

FGS - John L Spring and his two wives

Family Group Sheet for John L. Spring and Margaret Williams

Husband – John L. Spring
                                Born:                     12 February 1794 in Massachusetts
                                Spouse:                 Margaret Williams
                                Married 1:            27 August 1818 in Harrison Co, Ohio
                                Spouse 2:            Martha L. Moreland
                                Married:               7 September 1830 in Miami, Ohio
                                Died:                     Before 3  January 1872
                                Buried:                 Old Hill Cemetery, Brazil, Clay Co, Indiana

Wife 1 – Margaret Williams
                                Born:                     11 March 1792 in Virginia
                                Died:                     19 January 1830 in Ohio
                                Buried:                 Terre Haute Cemetery, Terre Haute, Champaign Co, OH

Child 1 – John Finley Spring
         M                   Born:                     3 February 1821

Child 2 – Mary Ann Spring
        F                      Born:                     30 August 1824 in Ohio
                                Spouse 1:            John W. Getty
                                Married:               15 April 1850 in Owen Co, Indiana
                                Spouse 2:            ---- Jenkins

Child 3 – Sarah Williams Spring
         F                     Born:                     1 December 1826 in Piqua, Ohio
                                Spouse:                 Paul Rodenberger
Married:              10 July 1854 in Owen Co, Indiana
Died:                     28 June 1915 in Cherokee Co, Kansas
Buried:                 McKee Cemetery, Hallowell, Cherokee Co, Kansas

Child 4 – William Waitt Spring
        M                    Born:                     16 May 1828 in Ohio
                                Spouse:                 Amy Coffelt
                                Married:               26 October 1854 in Owen Co, Indiana
                                Died:                     14 May 1916 in Ames, Story Co, Iowa
                                Buried:                 Ames Cemetery, Ames, Story Co, Iowa
Wife 2 – Martha L. Moreland
                                Born:                     21 February 1803 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania
                                Died:                     12 August 1841 in Putnam Co, Indiana
                                Buried:                 City Cemetery, Greencastle, Putnam Co, Indiana

Child 1 – Rachel Byers Spring
         F                     Born:                     25 March 1832 in Ohio
                                Spouse:                 William B. Holt
                                Married:               7 September 1851 in Owen Co, Indiana

Child 2 – Martha Lowry Spring
        F                      Born:                     27 August 1835
                                Died:                     22 August 1836

Child 3 – Elizabeth Lowry Spring
         F                     Born:                     28 April 1837 in Ohio
                                Spouse:                 John Harland Rodenberger
                                Married:               27 April 1854 in Owen Co, Indiana
                                Died:                     8 September 1895 in Cherokee Co, Kansas
                                Buried:                 McKee Cemetery, Hallowell, Cherokee Co, Kansas

Child 4 – David R. Spring
        M                    Born:                     About 1838 in Putnam Co, Indiana
                                Died:                     24 January 1840 in Greencastle, Putnam Co, Indiana
                                Buried:                 City Cemetery, Greencastle, Putnam Co, Indiana

Child 5 – Alexander Bayley Spring
        M                    Born:                     10 August 1841 in Greencastle, Putnam Co, Indiana
                                Died:                     16 August 1841

Child 6 – David Baber Spring
        M                    Born:                     10 August 1841 in Greencastle, Putnam Co, Indiana
                                Died:                     August 1841

Child ? – Margaret Humphrey Spring
       F                       Born:                     Before August 1841 in Putnamville