Well, what I really mean is this post is about ‘girl power’ and a celebration of WOMEN, because, I am one of those.
A month or so ago the Women’s Center on campus, where I work, sent me an email:
You have been nominated as a Titan LeadHER to be featured in the Women’s Center’s Titan LeadHERship Photo Gallery! The Titan LeadHERship Photo Gallery is a photography exhibition on display during the month of March in the second-floor gallery of Reeve Memorial Union. The exhibit depicts images of women or femme-identified leadHERs on campus and their inspirational narratives. It is intended to promote leadHERship and empowHERment on campus throughout Women’s HERstory Month. The goal of this exhibit is to recognize current and inspire future women and femme-identified leadHERs on campus!
At first I decided, naw, I don’t feel like I have really done anything in the way of leadership examples, or empowering women. But, when I sent an email saying such, they sent back to me possible examples of leadership or empowerment. In other words, they changed my mind.
In this mornings’ work email I see that the exhibit is up and ready for folks to enjoy! There are lots of cool stories from lots of women. Including mine. I encourage you to check it out.
So, in my theme of focusing on the women in my ancestry, most of whom didn’t have much of a voice or power in their time, here are stories of their descendants, standing on the shoulders of their mothers, and mothers mothers, back through time, making their mark on the world. Being heard.
I am afraid that this generation of our family tree starts the ‘tradition’ of knowing very little about the ancestresses, and Eliza is no exception.
Eliza Catherine Stackpole was born on June 7, 1864, probably in Pine Grove, Wetzel County, West Virginia1 (which had become a state all its own almost exactly a year earlier.) She wasn’t alone on this birthing day either, she arrived with a twin brother, William Jackson. [William has a different date of birth in online trees, and the census of 1880 stated their age as 15, the one in 1870 said they were 7, so still not 100% sure.]
Her parents were Thomas R. Stackpole and Lydia Lemasters, both natives of Virginia. The twins ended up being about the middle children of 13 total born to her parents. Two of their siblings were to die young: Elihu/er, who died of scarlet fever at about 1, and Lucy, the youngest, who died at about 4 years of age.
It was a few short weeks after Eliza and William were born that their parents purchased their first property in Wetzel County and according to the deed, they were of Wetzel County at the time. The date on the deed was June 20, 18642.
If Eliza was born in 1864, then she arrived while the Civil War was still raging in the country. But her father Thomas, does not appear to have been involved in any of the fighting. (I can find no record of service for him, on either side.) Whether or not Thomas participated in the war in another capacity, I have no idea. There is no evidence that there were battles or fighting going on in their neck of the woods either, so their family had not been personally affected while living in Wetzel County. Although the situation in and of itself would have created great anxiety in the family and their surrounding relatives.
Eliza, in the 1880 census, is noted as ‘attended school’, and in later censuses we know her education, at the least, taught her how to read and write, because they said she could. This education was most likely acquired at the same school her daughter, Rachel, attended when she was growing up, Pine Grove/Free School.
Pine Grove Schools– …Early settlers’ last names were Morgan, Jolliffe, Stone, Long, Lantz, Allen, Stackpole, Borby, Headley, McAlister, Hayes, Willey, Holbert, Wallace, Renner, Pizarro, Brookfields, Roome, Garvy, McCuskey, Lowe.
First reported school was ran by Ms. Hostutler in her father’s kitchen, year unknown. The first school was built below Wilson Run, called the Free School…
The above interior picture probably looks pretty much the same as when Eliza went to school here. It’s location, on the map above, is around the blue pin.
At the age of 21 Eliza decided it was time to leave the nest and start her own family. The lucky man was Ausburne,( or Ausborn, or Osburn) Hays, (or Hayes) (I am afraid that documents are inconsistent regarding the spelling of Ausburn, or Hays). Maybe she was attracted to the mystery of how to spell his name. The date for their exchange of vows was December 24, 18853. A happy day all around, with the bonus of it happening on Christmas Eve Day. It would certainly make it much easier to remember when one was married too. (That’s why I married on Valentine’s Day, so I would remember it much easier 50 years from then. Now the year — that is a different matter.)
Ausburn and Eliza do not seem to have owned property during their time together, census records from 1900-1920 list them as being renters, (although, at the time of this writing I have been unable to view deeds of relative’s estates that might have left them property, other than the property left to her by her father’s estate in 1899, that land was sold by her and all her sibling.) In all the census records found for them they were living amidst GEORGEs and HAYSs, in fact you couldn’t turn around without smacking into a cousin, sibling, aunt, uncle, or grandparent. My grandfather remembers that Ausburn and his only other sibling, his brother Edmund, lived next door to each other, and census records concur. For all appearances it seems they spend their whole life in the same spot. Eliza and her husband likely rented part of one of their relatives property. Maybe they used a barter system instead of money, or a bit of both.
Eleven months after Eliza’s marriage she had the first of what would be 10 children during their marriage. Ausburn supported this large brood by working timber, and the family also did a little farming to help supplement the table. The land in this area would have been hard to farm, it was very hilly, so lumbering sounds like a good way to have made a living.
Being so close to all that family would have been a boon in hard times — or weird times as seen in this article from the ‘Fairmont West Virginian’ newspaper of July 13, 1918:
A huge mass of large yellow worms—said to be not less than three miles long and 100-yards wide—is crawling toward Littleton in Wetzel County, W.Va.
The Fairmont newspapers inform that on Sunday morning, June 31, Milliard McDougal, a well-known county farmer, woke to find millions of worms heaped high against the side of his house. Since then, the worms have hidden many buildings from view simply by crawling over them.
Jim Fox, another Wetzel County farmer, was forced to stop plowing when he and his horses were attacked by the worms. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of people from Littleton and elsewhere have been traveling on foot, on horseback, by teams and buggies and wagons, and in automobiles, to see the weird worms as they wiggle and stretch and creep and crawl westward across Wetzel County.
One newspaper report is to the effect that it requires three days and two nights for the worms to wiggle past a given point. The mass is at some places a foot thick. It covers completely the hills and hollows and level sections over which it moves. So far, though—and thank the Lord for it!—the worms have done no visible damage. They seem not to eat anything, and some observers believe they are crawling to commit suicide and will pile themselves up and die.
Stock will not eat any grass the worms have crawled across, and chickens will not eat the worms. It is the deepest mystery that ever occurred in this country. The worms are about two inches long and one-eighth of an inch in diameter. They are a bright, brownish-yellow, in color, and they have hundreds of legs, it seems.
Where did the weird worms come from? Where are they going? Will they eventually destroy Wetzel County, as some observers believe?
Prof. Peairs, a university entomologist, does not know why the weird worms march. He has visited Wetzel County for a first-hand look and says:
“Ordinarily, this type of worm does not venture into open country. It does not feed on any food that people eat but subsists entirely on decayed vegetation, rotting logs, and stumps, leaves, etc. It lives in shady, damp places, and will soon perish without abundant moisture.”
The professor says he never heard of the worms appearing in such great numbers and is at a loss to understand how such a thing could happen. He states that, indeed, the march of the weird worms is phenomenal and unique, and that nothing like it has ever been known before in his experience.
The march, however, has finally stopped, and most of them along the way are dead and lying in heaps along the railroad. Prof. Peairs says there is very little recorded information about these worms. Their scientific name is, the professor says, “polydesmus.” [Polydesmus is a genus of millipedes in the family Polydesmidae]
Fairmont-West Virginian, July 13, 1918.
All I gotta say is ICCKKKKK! I am not fond of any worm that has a large amount of legs wriggling about and to see them in such a large number would have had me running, screaming, to the next state over. I would imagine that there were some pretty interesting conversations at the dinner table when this was going on.
Four months after this crazy incident appeared in the newspaper, a matter of a more personal nature could be found in the columns:
WELL KNOWN CITIZEN CALLED BY DEATH
Ausburn Hays, a widely known resident of Grand district, died at his home near Jacksonburg, Tuesday, October 8, of heart trouble in the 53rd year of his age.
The deceased was a son of Ezra Hays, and a member of one of the oldest Wetzel county families.
He was a member of the Church of Christ for many years, and a well known and honored citizen who has many friends who will be grieved to lear of his death.
Funeral services were held from his late home Thursday, October 10, Rev. David Maine officiating and interment was at the Lyon cemetery on Indian Creek, in Tyler county, Harry Palmer, undertaker, of Pine Grove, being in charge.
The deceased is survived by his widow, five sons and five daughters, his father and one brother.
CARD OF THANKS
We wish to thank the many friends and relatives for their kindness during the sickness and death of our loving husband and father; also Rev. David Main for his consoling words; and Palmer and Fair, undertakers for their efficient services.
Mrs. Ausburn Hays, Sons and Daughters
According to my grandfather, Ausburn was in the middle of carving a new yoke for the oxen he used to haul timber out of the woods when he became ill. It was never finished.
After Ausburn’s death4 Eliza continued running the farm, likely with the help of her sons and their families. I found her noted as being on the 1920 agriculture census, but, the actual record no longer exists, so I don’t know what crops or livestock she was farming. Eliza and her sons together continued to work the land until she was in her 60s at which time she decided it was time to retire:
Eliza C., Hayes, mother, female, white, 75, wid. did not attend school, highest grade 0, born in West Virginia, resided in same place in 1935, did not work and no income [her son Leslie was supporting her at this time.]
Details of 1940 Census Jacksonburg (Unincorporated) Grant District, Wetzel County, West Virginia: p12B (ancestry.com image 24 of 32), 16 Apr, ED 52-10, 191, line 42
NOTE: The census regarding her education is possibly correct in that she didn’t finish a particular grade, we don’t know how long she attended school. It could have been only long enough to get some reading and writing in. Earlier census records do indicate she was attending school sometime when she was younger.
In the photo above, Eliza looks like a pretty strong woman. She had to have been to raise all those children. She survived her husband by 33 years. On May 26, 1951 she passed away at a home in Marion, Ohio.
Mrs. Eliza Hayes
Pine Grove, May 26 – Mrs. Eliza Hayes, 87, of Pine Grove, one of the oldest twins in West Virginia, died at 1:30 p.m. Friday at a convalescent home in Marion, Ohio, after a short illness. She was the sister of Jackson Stackpole, of Pine Grove.
Born June 7, 1863, in Wetzel County, she was a daughter of Thomas and Lydia Lemasters Stackpole. Her husband was Osburn Hayes, who died nearly thirty years ago. Until three years ago, Mrs. Hayes had spent her life in this section. She had visited among her ten children since that time.
Her children are Mrs. Vada Edgell, of Smithburg [? Jacksonburg or Smithfield]; Mrs. Rachel Shepherd of Westerville, Ohio; Mrs. Lydia Williams, of Fairport, Ohio; Ellis, of Jacksonburg; Leslie, of Pine Grove; Mrs. Essie Morris, of Jacksonburg; Harvey, of Fairview, Ohio [?]; Simon, of Smithfield; John, of Reader, and Mrs. Bessie Johnson, of Ashley, [Delaware Co., Ohio].
She also leaves her twin, Jackson, of Pine Grove, and a second brother, Tommy, of Pine Grove. Mrs. Ruth George, of Ravenna, Ohio, and Mrs. Amanda Fluharty, of Jacksonburg, are sisters. There are thirty-seven grandchildren and twenty-one great-grandchildren. The body will be returned to Pine Grove.
Transcribed from a clipping in Arlene Cozart’s Obit collection, publ. in Wetzel Co. Gen. Soc. newsletter.
If you don’t know where Eliza is in our family tree then visit my website and find out.
SOURCES: 1. There is no birth record for the twins. The date of birth is found on her headstone, so is not a primary source.If the birth date on Eliza’s headstone is correct, Lydia, her mother, being so close to giving birth, would have been in no mood to be making a major family move to a different county, which is why I believe she would have been born in Wetzel County–if the birthdate is correct. 2. Thomas Stackpole deed v9 p235-236, Wetzel County, West Virginia Deeds, 1845-1902; deed index, 1845-1970; Clerk of the County Court; Deeds, v. 8-9 1870-1872 – Digital Film #8285414 – image 436-437 of 505, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. This deed was dated a couple of weeks after the birth of the children using 7 Jun 1864 date, and indicated that they (Thomas and Lydia Stackpole) were of Wetzel County. 3. Thomas R. Stackpole and Lydia Lemaster marriage, Tyler County Marriage book, book 1, p. 99, returns of Jacob Yeater, Tyler County, West Virginia. April 1, 2003. 4. A. B. Hayes certificate of death, register no. 136, October 18, 1918, Wetzel County, Grant District, Jacksonburg; West Virginia State department of Health. Online digital image from http://www.wvculture.org.
I have to say the news was a bit of a shock. No one in the family even knew he was ill, other than his wife. His death was not a result of COVID-19, not that that is any consolation. It appears that he died from complications due to a brain tumor that he had been suffering from at least since last October (but we don’t really know the details).
The saddest part of this news was knowing that David’s life had not an easy one because he had suffered from schizophrenia. A disorder that manifested when he was a teenager. So, what had started out as a promising life became complicated, and troubled.
I didn’t see much of David when I was growing up, being part of a military family we were never around. So I never saw the struggles that he had to deal with just to get through the day. Or the struggles that my grandparents had in trying to help him, and themselves, deal with his symptoms. I do know that it was difficult and stressful for all of them.
I am glad that my few memories of David over the years were good ones. Well, except for that time he backed into our rental car when my husband and I were visiting my grandparents in Maine. (Thankfully the damage was minor.)
On the bright side he was a wonderful piano player.
Images are always the best way to remember so here are some photographs of David through the years, in many of them he is with his younger brother Alan. (At least I hope that they are all of David, I have to admit sometimes I can’t tell the difference between David and Alan especially when they got older.)
The last two pictures: with a great nephew teaching him how to play guitar; with his wife and step-daughter very early in his marriage.
David was the second to last child born to William and Lois Shepard. He lost his youngest brother, Alan, in 1978 when he was killed in a car accident.
The last letter, previous to this one, from Germany was in 1900, so there is a large gap in time between correspondence. It is unknown if letters were sent but never kept. From the tone of this letter it appears that there probably was a large chunk of time where no one was keeping in touch, this gap included the events of World War I. His sister and brother-in-law give a good sense of what the German’s were going through after the war.
None of George’s siblings or their children left Germany, even with all the hard times they were having. George’s sister gives a good accounting of the family, and shares the tragic list of dead due to the war and time.
Schwabsburg [Germany], February 14, 1923
Dear brother and family, Your dear letter that you wrote on December 25 arrived on January 13, 1923. We were very pleased to receive the nice gift. Many thanks. Your letter came quickly. We would have written sooner, but I am still sick. then we wanted to wait until we had the money, which we still don’t have today. Dear brother, I could tell you so much if we could just be together. It’s impossible to write everything. Dear brother, you wanted to know where our brothers and sisters are. Brother Andreas is 1918 goes [?]1 He has 2 sons and 2 daughters. One son was killed in the war. Brother Johannes has been dead a long time. Sister Kathchen died in 1902. She lived in Bodenheim. She had 6 children, 3 sons and 3 daughters, and three of them are still living. Sister Gretchen died in 1911. She had 4 sons. They were all in the war, and the eldest son was killed. She lived in Sachsenhausen. Brother Heinrich died in 1885. Sister Lieschen died in October 1920. She had 12 children. They are not all living. Most are married. Brother Jakob lives in Bitteborn with his second wife. His children from his first marriage are married, and he has 2 sons with his second wife. Fritz lives in Nierstein and has 4 children, 2 sons and 2 daughters. Brother Karl lives here and has no children. You heard from sister Lischen that I was sick. Well, I am still not well even today. Brother Karl and I are still alone here. Dear brother, you also wanted to know who of your good friends are still around. Still left of those in your generation are Adam Josten and Adam Zimmermann, called Bettevatter, and Mrs. Heinrich Horn nee Eimermann. I don’t know of any more other than these. Your good friends Johannes and Heinrich Muller have been gone a long time. Peter Klaus has also been dead for a long time. Dear brother, we sympathize with you that your wife has died, but be consoled. She was not supposed to go on. Naturally it’s hard when one is taken from the other.
Parting hurts. Then it is surely in God’s plan that we have to part from those who are dearest to us. My husband and I have also been heavily afflicted with illness. Then one is doubly poor when one has no one. Dear brother, just the day before your letter came, we had spoken of you and commented that our brother doesn’t write any more. We often talk and yearn like that. Dear brother, during the war you wrote to us, and I also answered you, but unfortunately the letter came back. I still have it, and if postage weren’t so expensive I would send it along with this. Dear brother, with the money that you sent us, we want to buy a little pig and a pair of shoes for my husband. He has to walk all day long. There is no use thinking about clothes or food, because everything is so terribly expensive. I would gladly go without meat and sausage if he had some fat. A pound of American lard costs 10,000 marks, butter 20,000, one egg 400 marks, a pound of wheat flour 2,000. Where will it all end? One is supposed to enjoy life, but those who have already gone to their rest, one has to envy them. Dear brother, you asked whether I needed dresses. I could use them, yes, but what we need most is underwear, something warm. There are many things I could use, but I’m not that demanding. If you want to send us something, we’ll be grateful, but only if you are able and are in a position to do it. Dear brother, you didn’t say anything about your children. How many do you have? Does one of them live with you? There is a lot more I could write you. Your godfather, Gerd Knobloch, is still living. He has 6 children, 2 daughters and 4 sons. Two were killed in the war. He is doing very well. I will close now, with fond regards from far away to your children and especially you, dear brother. Your dear sister and aunt, Anna Marie Eigelsheimer
I want to add my thanks for the lovely gift, which was very welcome and much needed, because my wife has been ill continually for the last two years, and especially now, as we go through these hard, expensive times, anyone who doesn’t have a good income and can’t set aside any of his farm produce must have serious doubts about how he can go on living. We have no other income other than my monthly salary, and this has been very low from the start. I have been a police officer since 1899, and I was still getting the same starting salary of 600 marks until 1919. My salary has now been increased a little, but food and all the necessities of life have gone sky-high, so that you can hardly buy anything any more if you don’t have the means to spend so much every day. Groceries get higher day by day, and our German mark is hardly worth a penny. Dear brother-in-law, for the 10 dollars that you sent is, I want to buy myself a little pig weighing 60 to 70 pounds, for a pound live weight costs 3000 to 3500 marks according to our mark. We still face hard times here. All the railway stations here are occupied by the French and they are also riding the trains, and hundreds of railway employees and laborers are out of work. What the future will bring, well just have to wait and see. Its almost impossible to get coal or wood any more. A hundred metric pounds of coal costs 5,000 to 7,000 marks. All railroads and ships are barricaded and have stopped running until further notice.
Again, thank you so much, and many German greetings from your brother-in-law and uncle and aunt and sister, Jakob Eigelsheimer & Anna Marie Eigelsheimer
Well folks, I have been a busy, busy, bee. Only I have not been doing much genealogy. Ack! No I have been working on getting a blog setup for my beadwork. And today I finally finished getting my first post published, which is my intro post.
It took me a while to find a template that worked and decide on a look that I was happy with, but I finally did. Welcome to Warped Designs a trade-name I have been using since the 1990s. (Although, it appears others have unimaginatively co-opted the name, and so I have had to make a slight, annoying, change to the url.)
If you are interested have a look. If not that’s cool too. I still plan to post genealogy stuff. Unfortunately, time is in short supply these days, as is access to data. I haven’t been able to get to Salt Lake City for research, and travel elsewhere is going to be non-existent for the next year, at least.
I received the invitation to your silver anniversary. I was pleased to be invited and might have come, but it was already December 20 when I received the letter, so I would have gotten there too late, and the sea voyage is also not very pleasant in the winter. I gave the letter and card to your brothers and sisters to read. Last winter we had neither snow nor ice, and the vintage year 1899 was very good for us. Grain, wine, fruit, and potatoes were all plentiful.
We had about 3 weeks of cold weather, but now its warming up. Your brother-in-law Eigelsheimer has become a policeman. He and your sister are doing well and send their regards. Grandmother is also still well and sends her regards. You didn’t say anything about the picture that I sent you. You can probably still sing it. I can’t think of anything else in particular to write about. Best regards from all of us, especially to you,
Since I have not yet been able to speak with all my brothers and sisters and it will be too long to wait until I get together with them, I want to write in the meantime to let you know that your pictures arrived here safely, which you already knew from Johann Müllers letter. I therefore also delayed writing, since sister Lieschen and Peter Claus were going to write to you right away too, and I didn’t want all the letters to reach you at the same time.
We were so very happy to receive your pictures. You are still very much recognizable, and your children definitely show a resemblance to you. Your wife has also not changed much, for you had sent us her picture to our departed father earlier. I recognized her at once. I will reciprocate next summer. When our Elischen is stronger, I want to have my picture taken with the whole family too. Brothers Carl and Andreas seem a little miffed because you didn’t send along any pictures for them. I will now get in touch with our other siblings by mail. I have no time to talk with them in person, for I am here at Senfters and I have to be there on Sundays if needed not for nothing, of course. In any case, the others plan write to you right away, as far as I know, and there is no hurry anyway.
Now to change the subject. How did your harvest turn out? And are you finished with your building work? Is everything back to normal? The harvest is over here, and the fruit was abundant. Potatoes also seem to have done well, and the grape harvest seems to be an excellent one, plentiful and good. The grape harvest was good last year too, at least plentiful, but this year its much better and more plentiful, that much we know already. We had a very hot summer, alternating with favorable rains. In many areas of our fatherland, the people were sorely afflicted with lightning, hail, and flooding. In Bavaria, Württemberg, and Saxony it was very bad. Many houses there were carried away, and many people lost their lives. We live in a good area here, and therefore the crop prices have risen colossally. We can drink wine cheaply this year – you can get a bottle for as little as 15 pfennigs 5 kreuzers in our old currency. Last year I had also put up a 100-glass keg of wine for myself, for I had laid in several of them in the yard. But this year I’m getting even more. If some time you feel inclined to visit your old homeland, I will see to it that you can refresh yourself with a glass of this pure wine. If I had the money, I would have looked you up in your new home totally unexpectedly. Well, life’s not over yet. Your contemporary Johannes Jung from Schwabsburg died two weeks ago. He had been sick for an entire year. But if you were to come here, you would be amazed at how everything has changed. All our fathers old friends and comrades and even some of the younger ones are no longer around.
I must close, with many brotherly regards, Fritz and family
Greetings from all of us. Please forgive me for waiting so long to write. I’ll count on hearing from you soon.
7 This is hard to translate without knowing the situation being alluded to. Fremde Leute means other people (not family or close friends). 8 footnote * I don’t know what part of the village is the back, but my guess is its the side furthest from the nearest center of commerce. 9 I have no idea what this word means, but it seems to refer to the poem that follows (yes, it rhymes in German). Because of some unusual spellings, I’m not sure I’ve interpreted all the words of the poem correctly.
Your letter came as a big surprise on February 27, for I expected it to take longer. I was able to determine from it that it took just 13 days. When I was out walking and the mail carrier told me he had delivered a letter from America to my house, I couldn’t help but go straight home and see what news there was from you. I’m pleased to see from your letter that you are doing very well over there. That is not the case with us here, for when you have a family here, its all you can do to get them through. You know how it is here. I don’t need to point it out any more. But we are all well, thank God, and the children will soon be big. Then, God willing, we will make more progress than were making now.
You wanted to know where all your brothers and sisters are, so I’ll begin. Andreas lives in Nierstein and cultivates vineyards. He has 4 children. Jakob is in Büttelborn and has one daughter. He is doing very well. Maria lives in our fathers house and has one son. Johannes keeps moving. Usually he goes to Wiesbaden in the summer to work in the brick factory. He has one daughter. Karl, in Schwabsburg, married one of shoemaker Staabs daughters and has no children. Then I’m next. Kretche [Gretchen] lives in Frankfurt. She has a husband from Switzerland who runs a delicatessen. They have 3 children. Kätche lives in Bodenheim. Her husband is employed with the railway, and they have 5 children. Heinrich has gone to his eternal rest. Lieschen is married to Erhard Müller and has 7 children, 3 of whom are deceased. So most of them have quite large families.
I also want to tell you that when our late father died, several of the siblings came into conflict with each other. Sister Maria talked our father out of the house for 1400 marks on his deathbed, when he was no longer thinking clearly. Today its worth 2000 marks, and [she] also hauled off a lot of other money and everything. And brother Andreas, once back when he was working, got 150 M from him to pay his debt at Bayerthal. He had this made out to him, and all the other siblings are at the back of the line. So I, for one, can never forget what they did, and I stay out of their way entirely.
This week I spoke with Peter Claus. He said you were going to send your family picture to him too. He plans write to you again soon. This summer we will have our picture taken too and then well exchange with you. So go ahead and send us your picture soon.
Johann Müller could hardly believe that you had sent him your regards until I showed him the letter. But even from a distance, he recognized your handwriting. He plans to write you a few lines too, in the near future.
Well, that’s all for now. I look forward to an early reply.
With fond brotherly regards,
Fritz and family
Also, best regards to your wife and children.
I am enclosing my picture as dragoon. Its faded, but still quite a good likeness. I had it hanging on the wall for 17 years. I am the only one who served in the cavalry.
This is the picture that Fritz sent to his brother George. It is still in the family. Fritz is the second one from the right standing with his hand on the gentleman sitting, and what looks like a cigar in his mouth, but that could just be a scratch in the picture. You can tell that this picture was cobbled together, some of the men have distinct white outlines where they have been cut and pasted in .
Sarah (Sallie) was born on the 15th of March 1853 in New Richmond, Clermont County, Ohio. The youngest daughter of Alice Brown and Stephen Goble.
The picture of Sallie at left is the earliest photograph I have been able to find that our family owns. She is in her 60s at the time it was taken.
Sallie grew up in a Baptist household of 5 siblings until the youngest child, and only boy, William, died at the age of 8. Then there were only 5 girls left.
Her father work on the river as a steamboat engineer for over 40 years, and also farmed according to the census records. I am not sure how he found time for both!
New Richmond, where she grew up, was a hotbed of abolitionist activity. In the 1830s a man started an abolitionist newspaper in Kentucky, much to the outrage of pro-slavery citizens. Because of the violence perpetrated against himself and his shop by pro-slavery rioters he had to move his operations to a safer location. He looked to New Richmond, which welcomed him with open arms. Many prominent folks in the town were squarely on the side of anti-slavery and suffered outrages from pro-slavery rioters for a while, but the offenders were eventually persuaded to leave. The town itself was composed of a very diverse population, which was made even more so by the fact that it was a major stop on the steamboat trail of folks traveling on the river.
Sallie’s education would have been pretty decent, if she had a mind to learn. New Richmond found education to be an important part of their community, so didn’t stint on putting money into its maintenance. We don’t know to what grade Sallie attended, possibly it was just to the 8th grade. And, of course, if she was done with school, then it was full time household and farm work.
As I mentioned before, while her father worked on the river, he also farmed. I am sure that Sallie spent many a day keeping the chickens alive, the plants weeded, putting the food up for winter, helping to get dinner on the table, doing the laundry, making butter. The usual. Or, they could have been a more prosperous family, who could afford to purchase a few of those household goods already made or hire help in the house. Although there is no evidence of such a thing happening. Census records are a good indicator of ‘help’ in a family and none of the census records found indicate such a person living in the household.
When she was 22 Sallie accepted a marriage proposal from a local lad by the name of John Charles Shaw.1 His family had been settled in the area about as long as hers, so they possibly grew up together. The marriage was performed by Pastor Seigfried on 27 Oct 1875. I do not know where they married, it could have been in the Baptist Church, or in the bride’s parent’s home.
Here is the church today:
The couple made their home around family by staying in Clermont County where they purchased property and farmed, first in Ohio Township, then eventually moving to Monroe Township. They raised a family of three children consisting of 1 daughter and 2 boys. (Tragically, their 3rd son Stephen died at the age of 1). Their youngest son grew up to become my great grandfather Montral Goble Shaw.
Sallie and John were married for 49 years when he died in 1924. By 1928 Sallie was living in Los Angeles County, California. I know this because she sold property in Ohio that she inherited from her husband, and the deed stated her location at the time of the transaction. However, she didn’t lived there a long time. She was probably just visiting with relatives for a long visit when the land was sold.
By the 1930 census, Sallie and her daughter Viola, who never married, were living together in Columbus, Ohio, at the house seen in the picture below. Although, I am sure it didn’t look like that when they lived there in the 1930s.
Sadly that is really all I know about Sally. We have a few pictures and no stories, just pieced together official documents that inform us of a tiny bit of her life.
Sources: 1. Copy of Marriage Certificate in possession of researcher, no source as to where it came from. Reads: “This is to certify that John C. Shaw of New Richmond, O and Sallie Goble of the same place were by me united together in Holy Matrimony on the 27th day of October in the year of our lord 1875 in the presence of Ruth Goodwin, Jennie Goss, Simeon Seigfried.” Very ornate border around edge, which means copy that was given to couple and not the registration seen in a register of deeds office.
We received your picture and note and were very pleased that you finally thought of us.
I would have written you earlier, but didn’t have a proper address. We have often spoken of you, and Erhard keeps saying, ‘Doesn’t he remember the prank that he played in our house? If he could write to Peter Glaus [Klaus], he could write to us some time too.’
I didn’t know but what our father had written to you that I am marred to Erhard Müller. Dear brother, please excuse me for not writing right away. On July 1 we were blessed once again with a little son. Now we have 2 boys and 3 girls, and 3 have died. Our oldest girl is 12 years old. We have had a heavy burden of illness with our children.
We had your name recorded with our little one. I hope it will be fun for you to have another godchild in Germany. My brother-in-law Heinrich stood in for you at the baptism. We don’t want to burden anyone else, because if you have too many, you probably know very well how it was with us earlier. I heard that our sister Maria was miffed at me because she didn’t get a picture. What an ass she is. We haven’t spoken a word to each other for 13 years. She didn’t want me to marry Erhard. I couldn’t have gotten a better one. But we agree. That’s the main thing. Brother Fritz has probably already told you, one by one, where our other siblings are. We live in Erhards fathers house, and we have made a lot of changes. And when you have a lot done, that costs a lot of money right away. But it was necessary. You remember how it was before.
Dear brother you probably know very well that as long as the children are still small you don’t have anyone to help you. It must have been that way for you too. But now you are a wealthy man, so I hear.
I have shown your picture to various friends, and they don’t even believe its you. But Erhard said right away that if you didn’t have the beard you would look the same as ever. Our aunt Mrs. Matter complains that you’ve never even sent her a greeting. She and Christina are still alone, i.e. not yet married. When I showed them your picture, they laughed again and said I should remind you about the time when there was such a severe thunderstorm that you and her Johannes prayed, but you were holding the prayer book upside down.
Dear brother, I wish I could talk with you in person, but that cannot be. Were too far apart.
If our father had allowed it, perhaps I might have been with you right now. When Mothers Lischen was in Germany, she absolutely wanted to take me with her. She even wanted to pay for my passage. But he wouldn’t give in. I was 18 years old then. That would have been the best age, and I would have gone at once. If our little one stays healthy, we are thinking of having our picture taken this fall, and then well send you our picture too.
My sister-in-law, Eva Müller, sends you her best regards and also would like you picture. I wont need to write you our address. There is only one Erhard Müller in Schwabsburg. Erhard wants to write to you next time. He is currently working in Nackenheim, where they are building a dam. He comes home so tired at night that he doesn’t get around to writing.
Dear brother Georg, Ill close now, until next time. But don’t keep me waiting as long as I did you.