Jane Jones Is Inspired

In my quest to learn more about my female ancestors than the usual boring facts, I am stymied, because I am mostly running into the usual boring facts. They were born, married, had kids, died. And sometimes we don’t even know their names. An egregious state of affairs, you will agree. Of course there was more to these women than this boring litany of facts, but unfortunately that is usually the only legacy they are able to leave. If you were one of the many who couldn’t read or write, there was little chance of you leaving a journal, or diary, for your children or grandchildren to pour over years after you were gone. Very rarely do they appear in newspaper articles or other publications either, the husbands, sons, brothers, or fathers got the bulk of local attention.

But, on occasion something different shows up. In this case it is my 6x great-grandmother Jane Jones, the mother of Nancy Lee who married Rev. Bethuel Riggs. (My grandmother Lois Shaw’s side of the family.)

Jane was born about 1739 in Rowan County, North Carolina. She married a man named James Lee, when she was about 15 or 16, and with him had at least two children: James, jr. and Nancy. Her husband, James, sr., was either killed by Indians, or just died, (no one really knows for sure, as far as I can tell), about 5 years after they were married. She married her second husband, Closs Thompson, a few months after James’ death.* The family was of the Baptist persuasion. Her husband James, and son James were renowned preachers. As was Bethuel Riggs, who married her daughter.

A Baptist publication called the Primitive Monitor, in 1887, published the following1:

Goldendale, W. T., February 15, 1887.
Brethren Thompson and Goble: The lines below were composed by old grandmother Jane Thompson when she was between 90 and 95 years old. She was Elder Wilson Thompson’s grandmother, and lived to be 104 years old. The cause of her composing them was as follows: Some of her grandchildren, by the name of Jones, had been out to hear a Campbellite preacher, and they had related to her, on their return, the substance of the discourse, after which, lying on her bed, she fell asleep while composing these lines. After waking she recited them to her grandchildren, who wrote them down [it is believed that she was blind or poorly sighted, so could not write them herself]. I, being a playmate of these children, copied them, and have preserved them. Not knowing they have ever been published, I send them to you for publication if you think best.  J.T. Brooks.

Jones Jane Poem (dragged)

image

According to a descendant of Jane’s brother Thomas, Jane “was a staunch Primitive Baptist, and was quite upset with some of her grandchildren for associating with the “Campbellites” as the Disciples were then called.”2

What an excellent legacy to leave. And one that gives one a good sense of her personality.

(Right now, I have been unable to find much about her parentage, or her husband James’ lineage, they are both still a work in progress. So hopefully I will have more to share in the future.)

*Fun fact — Daniel Boone’s signature is on the marriage bond of Jane Jones Lee and Closs Thompson (Rowan County, mid October, 1759).


Source:

  1. Digital image of Primitive Monitor page with poem, posted by a descendant of Jane’s on the tjones-ky yahoo discussion group.
  2. https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/tjones-ky/conversations/messages/1337
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April 6, 1954 William Shepard to his parents

16 April 54

Dear Dick & Dad,

Received your letter yesterday. Even if I am out of ink, Ill write. Lois has probably kept you informed of what little news I have.

Work is  not very heavy. When I get my files straightened out the way I like them I wont have too much to do. That is, unless I get another job too.

The time goes fast enough, as there is plenty to do. I seem to be getting 9-10 hours sleep every night & feel like a million. The food is very good. Weather is typical spring weather. In fact it is hot today.

I have met quite a few people I knew previously, but that is to be expected

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expected. Ive been in the service almost 12 years now.

I suppose that you will be going to Canada soon. It will be time to fish in a few weeks!

When I get home next year it should be about April 1. If it isnt too cold I would like for Lois & I to go up for a week or 10 days. I cant remember when we have gone on a trip by outselves. Its our own fault I suppose because we were parents so young.

I hope that you & dad are feeing OK. Take it easy. Ill write gain sooner that you think! Not a year between letters any more!

Goodbye for now
Bill

Jail Not To His Liking

6628510059_d2cc6f2696_z
No, this is not Frank. Just a mugshot that is a few years newer than I would like, but you get the jist.

In March of 1889 Frank Cross, my notorious cousin of past posts, found himself in trouble. Surprise! Not.

In this case we find him in the newspaper under court goings on. Whatever could he have done now?:

Circuit Court — Justice French’s Court.
People vs. Frank Cross, larceny of an axe on complaint of Elihu B. Averill, pleaded guilty on the 11th and sentenced to pay a fine of $5.00 and in default of payment to ten days in jail. The fine was not paid and commitment was issued today.1

So Frank, being short of blunt, or just cheap, thought that he would pass on paying his fine. The court had no problem having him picked up and sent to the hoosegow in lieu of payment. A day or two later this notice appeared in the newspaper:

Frank Cross tired of prison life and went before Justice French and paid up his fine after a few hours in the jail.2

Now that’s a knee slapper! Maybe he didn’t realize how hard it would be to get a drink in jail.


Sources:

  1. The Kalamazoo Daily Telegraph, Thu Feb 28, 1889, page 7, col 3
  2. The Kalamazoo Daily Telegraph, Fri Mar 1, 1889, page 7, col 1

March 28, 1954 William Shepard to parents

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1954_03_28

28 March 54

Dear Dick & Dad:

Things have slowed down enough for me to write a letter now. I have been managing to write Lois, and that is about all.

I had a good trip over, leaving 17 March and arriving on the 20th. I rode in a Lockheed Constellation, which is one of the more luxurious planes. We stopped 6 hours in Honolulu and one hour on Wake Island. I spent three days in Japan and arrived in Rosia[?] on 24 March.

Was assigned to the 18th Fighter Bomber Wing at Osass Kova[?]. They call this base K-55. I am communications — Electronics Staff Office for the wing. They have F-86s, however, I am flying C-47s and letting the young fellows have the jets.

I am just settled down now and ready to put in my time and today is Sunday, so Ill close to go to church.

Bill

Clarence Goes To Court

On October 30, 1931 Clarence John was driving home from a long day at work at his bowling alley in Oconto. It was 11:30ish at night and pouring rain.

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This is the road Clarence was driving on, Hwy 22 going west.

newspaper_johnclarence_motorcycleaccident1931 copy

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Here is a photograph of the damage done to Clarence’s 1929 Roosevelt Coupe (the photos were in the court case file).

The driver of the motorcycle was Harvey, a 20-year-old, who was accompanied by a friend. Harvey lost a leg due to the severity of his injury. His father, acting as his guardian, sued Clarence for damages and the case was brought to Brown County Court in March of 1932, however there was a request to change the venue to Oconto County, which was consented to.

There were no witnesses to the accident other than the three people involved. The only testimony in the case is from Clarence. Below is a scan of the first page from the testimony.

court_johncf_127471

According to his testimony, he had half interest in a bowling alley in Oconto, at the armory, which he ran all by himself. He was living in Gillett with his wife, Myrtle, and his parents. They had no children at that time.

Clarence answered the suit against him with a definite ‘not my fault’, stating that the driver of the motorcycle was driving too fast for the conditions and lost control. Harvey’s lawyers and guardian denied the fault was his.

The damage that is visible on Clarence’s car does look like the other driver hit him, not the other way around. But in the end, we only have Clarence’s testimony, none from Harvey.

And, of course, no matter what we conclude seeing the evidence and reading the testimony, the jury’s opinion is the only one that matters. They found Clarence at fault, and ruled in favor of him paying damages of around $5100 for personal injuries sustained by the plaintiff. (If payment was for reparation for the loss of Harvey’s leg, it seems a bit cheap to me.)

In 1948, 15 years later, we find the case continued, because Clarence had yet to pay the $5100 he owed to the plaintiff.

The record, which consists of sworn affidavits of attorneys and the defendant, and the statements of counsel made in the record on this application, raises a serious question as to the truth of the allegations of the defendant in his affidavit. The plaintiff’s attorney at the time of the trial…swears that after the rendition of the judgment and for about nine years thereafter he industriously attempted to ascertain the financial condition of the defendant in Oconto and Forest Counties and that his investigation disclosed to his satisfaction that the defendant during that period was judgment-proof.*

From 1942-1948 no action or activity appeared to be going on regarding the collection of the debt. Until Harvey got impatient, and in 1948 started pushing for his money. Here is an excerpt from a letter from one lawyer to another regarding the matter, dated October 21, 1948:

I have checked with Findorff and they tell me that John terminated his employment with them sometime during the spring of this year. However, the motor vehicle dept. informs me that he has an automobile registered in his name – – -1936 Plymouth coach…residence being Crandon, Wisconsin.

Under the circumstances , there is no point in my filing the certified copy of the judgment, inasmuch as there is absolutely no chance of my garnisheeing his salary or having execution issued. In the event he is traced to Madison again, I will be happy to grab him by his pants. There may be a chance for you to have his car picked up if he has returned to Crandon.

This process continued until July of 1953. At this time Clarence was finally found in Wausau, and served, Harvey had made action to start the process of suing him, he was worried because the judgment would lapse in August of that year.

Clarence refused to show up in court, instead sending his attorney to file one paper which stated that since the judgment, he and his family had resided in Wisconsin all that time. They never received papers regarding the execution of the judgment, or even an attempt at communication, and that such in-action in all this time negates the ‘good cause’ requirements of the judgment. Basically, making it null and void.

But the lawyers for the plaintiff had this to say:

court_johncf_12741 (dragged)court_johncf_12741 (dragged) 2court_johncf_12741 (dragged) 3

It looks like Clarence really didn’t want to pay this debt. But he never asked for an appeal to the judgment, which kind of makes his excuse a bit thin.

In the end all this work that Harvey put into getting his money came to nothing. My grandfather, Clarence, died in February of the next year, (1954). On his father’s birthday.

*Wikipedia definition of judgment-proof: In the context of debt collection and civil litigation, the term judgment proof is commonly used to refer to defendants  who are financially insolvent, or whose income and assets cannot be obtained in satisfaction of a judgment.
     Being “judgment proof” is not a defense to a lawsuit. If sued, the defendant cannot claim being “judgment proof” as an affirmative defense. The term “judgment proof” instead refers to the inability of the judgment holder to obtain satisfaction of the judgment.
     If a plaintiff were to secure a legal judgment against an insolvent defendant, the defendant’s lack of funds would make the satisfaction of that judgment difficult, if not impossible, to secure.


Sources:

  1. Auto-Motorcycle Collide Friday Eve. on H’y 22, The Gillett Times, Gillet, Wisconsin, Thursday, November 5, 1931; No. 11, page 1, column 2. 
  2. Harvey Andrianssen vs. Clarence John, Circuit Court case #12741, Oconto Series 36, Green Bay ARC, UW Green Bay, Green Bay, WI. (Photographs from the accident taken from case file.)   If interested in case just ask me for a copy.

July 7, 1953 Herman Shepard To Parents

 

 

Columbus, Ohio
July 7 1953

Dear Dick, Dad & Ken:

How are you folks getting along? the weather here has been mostly hot and stuffy. According to the Omar Weather man on T.V. you have been having much cooler weather than here. We were glad to hear that you found everything O.K. How is the motor running? I kinda wondered about it as I didn’t get to try it out before you left. Ralph & Johnie [his brothers-in-law] Kring were to Harbor View with us over the 4th and he brought the Old Sea King along but it still wasn’t any better. Ralph is going to work on it some more, maybe he’ll run across the right solution some day. I’ve given it up for lost. Our boat broke loose in a storm last week, but didn’t do any damage to the boat, but did tear several places in the cover. Mr. Daymon saved the day by going out and retrieving the boat for me. Simon & Hazel are not coming over for their vacation, we received a letter from them yesterday and they gave 18 dozen different reasons why they couldn’t make it now. I was in hopes they could come over for a while.

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Dosh & Burch [Aunt and Uncle on his Mother’s side] were over to Parkersburg over the 4th and I guess every body is OK as of now. Hod & Edna [Aunt and Uncle on his Mother’s side] went down south for their vacation so guess they weren’t so interested in going to Canada after all.

Max Hinkle and family were camping up at the State Park at East Harbor over the 4th so he took his boat and I took mine along with Johnie & Ralph and we went out to Middle Bass. We found Bess’s place and talked to her for a while. I enjoyed the trip a lot and hope to go again soon maybe we can do some fishing over around the islands. Ruth caught a 2 1/2 lb. cat fish week before last which is some what of a record us as far as Lake Erie fishing is concerned. That about all the news I can think of now so will turn it over to Ruth for a few lines, hope you are not catching all the fish leave a few for starter etc.

Herm

Crandon doings

The Crandon newspapers have been providing me with much amusement lately. Here is an article that includes my grandfather and his Uncle Harry:

The masquerade given here last Friday night by the Woodman Lodge drew over fifty couples, including many maskers. Prizes were won by…Harry Cain, dressed as Charlie Chaplin, and most comic gentleman…Clarence John in an Odd Fellow’s suit was best dressed gentleman. The Royal Neighbors served supper on the stage.1

I think all that fame went to gramp’s head, and he felt the need to celebrate:

Clarence John has suddenly taken a musical turn of mind and has whittled a ukalale out of a cigar box and slab and with the aid of a little hay wire is now putting in his spare time playing those popular Keith & Hiles lumberyard strains, “The Curse Of An Aching Back”, and “Working For Whisnant At Two Bones A Day.”2

ukulelelrg


Sources:
1. Friday, Mar 1 1918, p8c3, No. 26 32nd year; Forest Republican, Crandon, WI —Crandon Public library digital images.

2. Friday, Mar 22, 1918, p1c2, No. 29 32nd year; Forest Republican, Crandon, WI —Crandon Public library digital images.

  1. Ukulele plans found online: https://stansplans.com/ukulele_prplans.html. Get krackin’!

 

September 3, 1952 Herman Shepard to Parents

Columbus Ohio
Sept. 3 1952

Dear Dick & Dad:-

Just a line to let you know we arrived home okay we had dinner in St. Ignace and got across the straight about 2 P.M. We took Route 23 down to Standish where we stopped to ice the fish which lasted until we got home today. We ate supper in Vasser and got to Harbor View at 12:30 A.M. Every thing at Harbor View was O.K. we left there at 11:45 AM 11:45 A.M. today and arrived home about 3 P.M. found everything here OK. the fish were still frozen solid when we got here.

Charlie & Julie surly had a wonderful time and want to thank you for everything. Charlie said he forgot to thank you for the bread you sent home with us.

I surly hate to go back to work in the morning but at least I have some swell memories to take along with me. Ruth & I really enjoyed ourselves and want to thank you for the swell time. We all talked about different little incidents happened while we were there. Every time we eat one of those fish we will be catching it all over again.

We are going to take Ruths mom and dad out a couple of the Pike tonight and get all the latest news from Gahana. Also we are going to take Ralph a loaf of bread. Ruth is now getting supper and we are having bread and tea.

So will write you later when I get all the news Ruth & Herm (over)

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P.S.
We will call Edw to nite if we can get him that is find him home.

I just called aunt Dosh and she and Burch are okay. She mailed your check. Pauline & Lloyd & Jamie were over for Labor Day weekend. Jenny started to school this week. Brooks & Zara & the kids were up Sunday evening. Tommy just got over a bad case of poison ivy. The baby is getting real cute.

Ada wrote that Aunt Lib isn’t a bit good. Her heart doesn’t pump enough blood and she blacks out.

Well I guess this is about all the news. So will close. Ruth.

The fish kept swell. The frozen ones were stiff and the iced ones were so cold I could hardly handle them when I put them in freezer.

We had chilly weather all the way down. The rain was behind us most all the way. Only got in one little sprinkle.

Shirley says it’s been cool here in the last four days, but it sure was hot last week.

Margie was down home last weekend. She said Opel almost died from a miscarriage. She had twins at five months. They couldn’t tell for a while if she was dead or alive, but she pulled through. She must’ve been at the hospital because Margie said she was at home now and doing alright. The doctor said she must have an operation as soon as she can stand it. I hope she does before it is too late.

Everyone else in W Va was okay I will call Margie tomorrow, as I won’t have a chance to-nite. I want to go out home write. The bread is not spoiled Ha! Ha !Love Ruth.

We sure had a good time.