Sunday, November 22, 2015

Mary Smith Cook and Her Family

Mary Smith Cook was one of the sisters of my 3rd Great Grandmother, Ruth Smith Simmons Webb.  They were just a few years apart, numbers five and six of Jonathan and Rachel Smith's 10 children.  About 1846, Mary was married to Mathias Cook.  After some quick searching, I have found some things about Mary Cook and her family.  

In the 1850 census, the sisters and their families are living next to each other in Cool Spring Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania.  Mathias and Mary had two children, daughter Mary, age 3 and an as yet unnamed son, age 1.  

In 1860, the Cook family was in Ritchie County, Virginia (now West Virginia).  That is where in 1854 Mary's sister Ruth married Cyrus Webb after the death of her first husband.  In the census shown below, Mary's daughter Mariah was born in Pennsylvania and Martha was born in Virginia, so they had moved there between 1853 and 1856.  They were probably there for Ruth's wedding.  Ruth & Cyrus Webb moved to Fulton County, Illinois about 1858.  Ritchie County may have been the last place that the two sisters saw each other and may be where Mary was living when Ruth died.

          Mathias, 41, Blacksmith, born N York 
          Mary, 32 born N Hampshire
          Mary P, 12, born PA
          Matthias W, 10, born PA
          Mariah J, 7, born PA
          Martha S, 4, born VA
          Melissa R, 2, born VA 

Ten years later, the Cook family shows up in York, Noble County, Indiana.  Mathias is no longer a Blacksmith, but a farmer.  Wife Mary is 43, the kids are all ten years older with four additional children - Mason, 10; Miranda, 7; Mosell, 4 and Edith, 2.  

It's interesting here - I think the name Mosell could be Rosella as I found in the 1885 census.  At age 4, she was born very near the time that Mary's niece Rosella Simmons Davee (who was probably named after her father's sister) died in Illinois. 

By 1880 they all moved once again to Rock Creek Township, Saunders County, Nebraska.  That would be about 200 miles east of where Ruth's oldest daughter Rachel, my Great Great Grandma, would moved to about 1886.  Matthias was now 63 and Mary, 52.  The older girls and Mason were not with the family, but Washington, "Maridy", Mosella, and Edith were there. 

The Nebraska State census in 1885 below shows them still living in Rock Creek Township.  Edith, listed as Lenora, Rosell and M. W. are there.  Also a John Hedkins, 27 from Virginia is with them.

Family Search has a database of some Nebraska marriage records (definitely not all for the time period it covers).  I found marriage records that could be for five of the daughters of Mathias and Mary: 

Mariah J. Cook married John J Ingram, January 11, 1872 in Lancaster Co., NE
Mary P. Cook married Thomas Hoover, September 15, 1874 in Lancaster Co., NE
Martha Cook married William Misner, January 1, 1876 in Saunders Co., NE
Melissa R. Cook married Levi Mayfield, March 14, 1880 in Saunders Co., NE 
Miranda married James W. Cheever, June 29, 1881 in Saunders Co., NE

I have not been able to find anything on the death or burial for either Mathias or Mary Cook.  The Saunders County GenWeb page has some cemetery listings and for Mt Zion Cemetery there is one listing for Cook.  "Munson J. dau of M & M Cook, d. 10 SEP 1876 15 Y 11 mo 7 days".   Going by the age that should be the son Mason, not a "dau.", so it may be a different Cook family.

At, I've found possible memorials.  One for Washington Cook, buried in Potter Field, Omaha, died July 23, 1924.  That memorial has a note "Family: Mrs. Martha Misner.", but they are not linked.  William and Martha are buried in Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln.  Martha died September 18, 1926 and William August 17, 1911.

That's all I've found on the Cook family and won't search for more unless I run across something.  Maybe next spring I can go to the Mt Zion Cemetery and see if there are some other Cook graves not mentioned in that listing.  If you are a descendant of Mathias and Mary, please leave a comment! 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday's Faces from the Past - One or Two Cute Kids?

There are absolutely no clues as to the identity of these two kids.  I don't even know if these are two different kids (twins?), or maybe the same kid in different clothes.  They look so much alike.  

As with other photos in my "Friday's Faces from the Past" posts, these were in the Old Trunk in the Attic.  Most likely the subjects were residents of the Harvard and Eldorado area in Clay County, Nebraska around 1900.  

They sure are cute.  If you think you know who they might be, please leave a comment!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Great Grandpa Menke's Birthday

My Great Grandpa Albert Menke was born 129 years ago today, November 7, in 1886.   His first name was actually Charles, but he went by his middle name.  He is the first of six generations of Menke boys with the name Charles (either first or middle), but none of them goes by that name. 

He must have known all about large families.  He was the youngest of the 11 children of Henry & Eliza Menke (with four other half siblings who were grown by the time he was born).  Then he was the father of 13 children with his wife of 59 years.  On October 18, 1906 he married Charlotte Roscoe at the home of her parents in Clatonia, Nebraska. 

Albert lived and farmed in Gage County Nebraska his entire life and at age 78, on September 16, 1965 he passed away.  His family at that time included his 12 children, 34 grandchildren, 18 or 23 great grandchildren and two sisters.  Two different obituaries have those different great grandchildren figures and I haven't determined yet how many would be correct at that point.  At any rate, he left a large family. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Newspaper Clippings - Franklin, Nebraska, 1906

Mary Jones Harwood is a half-sister to my Great Great Grandmother Nancy Jane (Clemie) Mann.  Just two years apart in age, they had different fathers, but the same mother, Mary Jane Hull.  They grew up in Iowa, both got married, moved around with their families and about 1882 both made their homes in Nebraska.  Nancy Jane lived near Plymouth, in Gage County and Mary near Riverton, in Franklin County, a distance of just over 100 miles.  

After learning her death date from a distant cousin, I found her obituary in the Franklin paper.  It was split over two columns, so along with it here's a little news from Franklin County, Nebraska.

Franklin Free Press, March 2, 1906

Column 1, top image


Our village marshal walks on two canes because of a hurt from a fall. 
Walter Carnahan came home last week and will remain here for a while.
B. H. Hancock left Sunday night for Montana to purchase horses for this market.
The Chitwood sale last week was largely attended and stock brought good prices.
The H. L. Dunkin sale, which was to have been last week, was called off for want of a sufficient number of people to bid.
The Burlington Bridge gang was here this week and put a new foundation and frame-work under the scales at the stock yards, which was greatly needed.
Norman Mead recently rented the Tom Clarke farm on Farmers creek, which created some suspicion for a time, but since Norman has taken on to himself a wife we see why he wanted a farm.
J. D. Fulton shipped his cattle this week, upon which he realized 5 cents, and now John says he has had enough of farming.  He has bought the Bowers property in town and will move back to his old place.
W. O. Renkin of Red Oak, Ia., arrived here last week and has rented rooms on the south side of Lincoln street in which he will open up a barber shop.  He comes highly recommended as a barber.
John Watt from near Red Oak, Ia., has rented the Duncan section north-west of town and moved onto it the latter part of last week.  Mr. Watt is a well-to-do man, but came out here on....

Column 1, bottom image

account of his wife's health.
H. Crilly stopped off here on his way home from St. Joe Thursday to see that his new tenants were properly installed and to look after his stock here.  Mrs. Crilly and son Howard drove down from Campbell to meet him.
A. Holdridge and family, together with his son-in-law, arrived home Sunday morning.  They brought a fine collection of California fruits such as lemons, oranges, etc., which they plucked from the trees 
themselves.  This fruit is on exhibition in the post office.
This is moving time, D. R. Schenck has moved to the Enos farm just north of town.  B. A. Crosby has gone onto the Livengood place west of town and J. H. Benson takes the place vacated by Crosby.  Mr. Pierce from Missouri goes onto the S. J. Taylor farm while Geo. Fisher occupies the H. Crilly place.

HARWOOD - Mary Jones Harwood was born in Canada Nov. 17, 1840; died at her home east of Riverton Thursday, Feb. 22, aged 65 years.  She came to Iowa in an early day; was married to Charles Harwood in 1867 and to them were born eight children, four sons and one daughter surviving.  
They came to Nebraska in 1882 and Mr. Harwood died here in 1898.  Mrs. Harwood united with the Baptist church when quite young, which faith she adhered to all her life.  She was more than usually attached to her children, who loved their mother as only good children should.
Funeral services were conducted at the Congregational church Tuesday by Rev. G. W. Knapp, after which the remains were laid to rest in the Riverton cemetery.  A sister, Mrs. Margaret Shoemaker, and her son from Burr...

Column 2, top image

Oak, Kans., and a step son from Mankato, Kans., were present at the funeral.
The children wish through these columns to extend their thanks for the help which was so freely furnished during the short illness and during the long period during which the funeral was delayed waiting for the one son, Bert, to arrive from California.

HUNT - Don, the six months old son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Hunt, died Sunday, Feb. 25.  Funeral services were conducted at the home Monday afternoon by Rev. W. T. Owen and the little one laid to rest.


Special Correspondence
Chas. Murray has moved onto the Will Burr farm.
Phones have been put in at the Carlson place and Chaney ranch.
J. E. Thompson of Bloomington was a home visitor over Sunday.
Mr. Steele is boring for a well near the house on his place.
Chas. Wharton made a trip to Smith Center Saturday returning Monday.
Joel Fager and family of Denver are visiting at the home of F. N. Phillips.
Chas. Wharton is assisting Fred Wineland is building a dipping tank.
Jay Palmer was thrown from a horse Wednesday and received a sprained ankle.
James Palmer and family of Franklin were visitors at the home of his son Charles Sunday.
Andy Anderson is moving to town this week.  Wm. Mucklow has moved onto the Anderson farm.
John Dunafen has moved onto the Beck property. Mrs. Beck is staying...

Column 2, bottom image 

with her daughter Mrs. Ezra Fager.
O. E. Madison has moved onto S. G. Palmer's place in Kansas.  Mr. Palmer has been making some repairs on the house.


Special Correspondence
Mr. and Mrs. Bird Smith visited at J. H. Chapman's Sunday.
Mrs. L. N. Wentworth boasts the first young chickens of the season.
Several ladies of the neighborhood spent the day Monday with Mrs. L. L. Livengood.
Roy Yapp and sister Miss Rae are visiting friends and relatives in Orleans this week.
Mr. and Mrs. Will Buster and Joe Chapman and sisters spent the evening at L. N. Wentworth's Monday.
Roy Pecht, from Hardy arrived Thursday night with two loads of household goods preparatory to moving on the place vacated by J. H. Chapman.
Lewis, the little son of John Larraway, while out hunting Saturday afternoon accidentally shot himself through the heel.  Dr. McElwee dressed the wound and it is not likely to prove serious.
Mr. and Mrs. W. Q. Lee, who have been spending the winter in California, returned Sunday and are spending a few days with the latter's parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Yapp.  They will go to housekeeping on their farm near Atlanta.
For the past five years we have endeavored to keep posted on items of interest for the benefit of FREE PRESS readers, but this week  we lay aside the pen with the hope that our readers have enjoyed the items as much as we have enjoyed writing them.  May God bless the FREE PRESS and all the dear old friends of Franklin and vicinity.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Great Grandpa McGrath's Birthday

Thanksgiving, 1963  Photo by Virg McGrath

Arthur Levi McGrath was born 139 years ago on October 17, 1876. He was the youngest child of John and Rachel (Simmons) McGrath.  He had two older sisters who married while he was a young boy.  They all lived near Henry, Illinois until about 1886 when he moved with his parents and sister Minnie Patterson from Illinois, to Cozad in Dawson County, Nebraska.  

His mother died in 1896 and his father remarried a year and a half later. Sometime before 1900, Art moved to Clay County, Nebraska near his other sister, Becky Smith.  He worked as a farm laborer for Horace Iliff in 1900.  In 1910 he was living in York County working as a foreman for the railroad.  In 1920 he was a laborer in a poultry house and living in Aurora.  His brother-in-law, Cal Negley, was also in the poultry business after having worked on the railroad.  This advertisement was one of several I saw in the Aurora News-Register, this one from 1919.    

The 1930 census has his occupation listed as a "Drayman on a Dray line", meaning he drove a delivery truck.  In 1931 he was a truck driver for the Oberg Transfer Company.  In the 1940 census, he was 63 years old with no occupation given.  

This business card was in the old trunk in the attic.  I have not yet found out when the McGrath's Service Station was in operation.

Art married Sadie Ellen Negley on October 8, 1908, 9 days before his 32nd birthday.  They were married by a County Judge in York, Nebraska.  Four children were born to them, Virgil, Alice, Orville and Violet.  At age 88 on June 19, 1965 he died in the Aurora hospital.  Survivors included his four children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren including me.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday's Faces from the Past - 5 Girls from Eldorado?

These 5 old photographs are from the Old Trunk in the Attic.  First names only are written on the backs.  Chances are good that these young ladies were friends of my Great Grandmother Sadie Negley McGrath and her sister Alice Negley who went to school in Eldorado, Nebraska right around the turn of the century.  Click on each photo to enlarge for a better look.  

 This is Alice, but not Alice Negley.  Alice Yost was 19 in 1900, living in Eldorado Precinct, Clay County, Nebraska.  This could be her.  Another slight possibility is Alice Grosshans, who in 1900 was 9, living in Sutton.  This girl definitely looks older than 9, but Sutton is not far away and there is another family connection to the Grosshans family.  Not knowing for sure what year this photo was taken, there's a slight chance it could be either girl. 

Ethel is written on the back of both of these, but I don't think that these two photos are of the same person.  Ethel Pitt was 11 and Ethel Smith was 13 in 1900.  Ethel Smith was later a niece of Sadie Negley after her marriage to Art McGrath.  There are three Ethel's who lived in Harvard, Miss Clark, Miss Wadsworth and Miss Calame who were teenagers and might have known the Negley's.  

Myrtle here looks younger than the other girls.  There was a Myrtle Brenneman who was 6 years old in 1900.   Or Myrtle Peterson and Myrtle Kitzinger were both 8.  One more Myrtle, Miss McKinsey, was 16.  All of them lived in Eldorado Precinct. 

This is Saddie - spelled that way on the back.  Not my Great Grandmother Sadie, I'm sure.  Sadie being a nickname for Sarah, there was a Sarah Ochsner who was 15 in 1900, it could be her.  Other candidates are Sarah Kilmer, age 8 and Sarah Schwartz, 14.  There were a couple other Sarah's who were older and married so not likely them.    

There are other photos in my stash that have this same style frame, some with names and ages written on the back.  From those names I can determine who those people were and about when their photograph was taken.  So I think these photos were probably all taken by the same photographer sometime between 1900 and 1910.  That's why I used the 1900 census to come up with these possibilities.  The fact is, I don't really know who these 5 girls are.  

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Great Grandma Menke's Birthday

September 20, 1887 was the day Lottie Roscoe was born in DeWitt, Nebraska.  That was 128 years ago.  She lived her entire life in Gage County, Nebraska.

Charlotte Isabelle Roscoe's parents were William Roscoe and Lena Jorgenson.  Isabelle was also the middle name of her mother's sister.  Lottie grew up with one older sister and six brothers.  Her youngest brother Cecil died of pneumonia at age five, brother Charles committed suicide at age 23, brother Oliver died during the flu epidemic at age 23 and brother Frank died of typhoid fever at age 34.  Another brother David Harlow had a disability of some kind.  

She married Charles Albert Menke on October 8, 1906 at age 19.  They had 13 children, eight boys and five girls.  One son drowned at the age of 14.  At her death she was survived by 30 grandchildren, 37 great grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.

Great Grandma Lottie died of natural causes on March 24, 1975 in Beatrice and is buried in the Clatonia Cemetery.  I was 12 when she died, but I don't remember ever seeing her.