Lincoln and Hazel (Ward) (Jacobs) John…

Victor Hugo John, the youngest of Frederick William John and Johanna Deadrich’s children, had three children with his wife Gertrude Cain. They were all boys.

Today I want to talk about Lincoln William John (Link), their second son, and apparently the shortest. He must have gotten his height from his mother Gert.

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Here is a great picture of Victor with his three sons in order of birth: Clarence, Link, Vic jr.

Link was born 7 Feb 1901 in Wabeno, Forest County, Wisconsin. He grew up and played in the woods of Wisconsin, but when he hit the age of about 21 he must have developed restless feet because he left the bosom of his family and headed out to the wild west, and other exotic places. He was definitely no longer living in Wisconsin by 1930. (I believe that I found him in the 1930 census as: William John, living in Beckton, Sheridan County, Wyoming, age 23, lodging and working as a farm hand. The age is off, but he is also listed as being born in Wisconsin, so it could be the same Lincoln William of this biography. Then again, if Link was working for the railroad, he might have been missed in this census altogether.)

While I am not 100% that I have found him in the 1930 census, I did find this article in the Forest Republican, a weekly Crandon paper, from April of 1922:

Lincoln John, who has been employed at Casper, Wyoming, is expected to return to Crandon to-day to drive taxi for H. H. Patterson.

And in 1926 he took a trip to Cuba. Holiday?:

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Interestingly, the 1930 census for Hazel is dated April 1 of 1930, and it was only a few weeks later that Link was married in Hot Springs, Fall River County, South Dakota to Hazel (Ward) Jacobs, a 28 year old divorcé with an adopted son, Martin Jacobs. Martin was 5 years of age at the time.

Hazel and Link possibly met through the railroad company, because in 1920, when she was living in Kansas with her parents, Hazel was working as a messenger in a railroad office, and Link was employed as a railroad fireman in the 1940 census.

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Link’s employment in the railroad, no doubt came about because of his father and grand father’s involment with the railroad in Wisconsin. He grew up around trains and the railway. His father Victor, sr. was a station agent for many years before going into banking.

Ten years later, (1940), Link and Hazel were still living in Casper, Wyoming, however Martin is no longer in the household.

The family story was that Martin was ‘given up’ because Hazel and Link went to Panama, where Link was going to be working in the Canal Zone, and they weren’t allowed to take Martin with them. From my research, it appears that Martin went to live with his father in Texas, where he appears in the 1940 census. I don’t know when he went to live with his father, but it was before Link was starting to make trips Panama.

Passenger lists can be found from 1944, ’45, ’47 and ’48 with Link’s name on them. He is traveling to and from the Canal Zone in Panama for work. Hazel appears with him in 1945 and 1947. But I could find only one passenger list showing them leaving the US for Panama, the rest are all arrivals back to the US.

So it appears that a short time after 1940 (about 1944) to about 1948 the Johns had moved to Panama. I imagine that Link’s work with the railroad is what led to his being transferred to the Canal Zone to help with construction or other activities related to railroad work there.

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This is a cool passenger list from 1944, because it is actually from Pan American Airlines. Link is flying in to New Orleans from Panama on his way back to Wyoming. Maybe it had been his first trip to Panama to get things ready for Hazel to  join him.

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Unfortunately, I don’t know much about their experiences in Panama, other than that they were there. It was during part of WWII, and also in a time where there was much unrest in the area, as the majority of the locals really wanted the Americans out of their backyard. (Maybe someone in Hazel’s family has pictures and stories.) We do have one letter that Hazel wrote where she mentions that my mother should enjoy the ‘housegirls’ she had when we lived overseas, in reference to Hazel and Link’s time in Panama:

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This would be one of the types of ships that were traveling through the canals at the time they lived there.

When Link and Hazel retired they did so in Fresno, California. I can recall visiting with them in Fresno in the early 1970s, and being delighted with the train set-up Link had in the house. It was pretty cool, with all the little buildings and landscaping. They also kept a wonderful garden on their lot. Hazel always sent hand crocheted slippers for Christmas. I guess we always sent them cheese.

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This is a doodle drawing that Link made. Hazel makes a reference to Link always drawing train pictures in one of her letters to us.

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This is definitely a picture of Link, but I am not positive of the women beside him, it could be Hazel. Looks like she is working on the car.

Hazel passed away in 1987, Link stuck around a few years longer, passing away in 1992. They had no children of their own to pass on their legacy. I remember them fondly, and we do still have the letters they sent to us.


More on Hazel’s early life:
Hazel Ward was born in Kansas in 1899. Her mother Eva was married more than once. When we find the family in the 1910 census her mother is married to Henry Piper and they had one child together. Hazel had two sisters, Blanche and Gladys, and a brother Robert, also one half sister.
Hazel’s first husband was probably Martin Jacobs, sr. and they most likely married in Kansas, where they were both living in the 1910s. I don’t know when they were married, although the 1920 census indicates that she was already divorced. Martin had a child with another women when they were married, because Martin jr was adopted by Hazel according to the 1930 census.
A Martin Frank Jacobs jr., who appears in the Social Security applications and claims index at Ancestry, has the same year of birth as the Martin Jacobs from the 1930 census, and applied from Casper, Wyoming. He died in Texas in February of 1986. This same Martin, jr. appears in the 1940 census living with Martin, sr. and Lucy Jacobs in Texas. Martin, sr. was probably Hazel’s first husband, who took his son back to live with him sometime between 1930 and 1940.

 

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Bet you didn’t see this coming…

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY DAD (just a little early).

Over the years the research on my JOHN side of the family has brought to light our German, Norwegian, Dutch and Irish heritage and has been quite an interesting trip. And now, thanks to recent in-depth research on my great grandmother Gertrude (Cain) John’s ancestors, we can also add English and Welsh to this side of the tree. In fact, thanks to the English ancestry on this side of the tree, we can add another gateway ancestor, AKA a Royal Line (I am still waiting on my tiara). Which also means that I have found a common ancestor for my parents: Henry I.

“What!? How than this be?” You ask. Well I’ll tell you.

Gertrude’s parents were John Cain, our Irish line, and Carrie Rosa. Carrie’s father Abram adds Dutch on the Rosa (originally Roosa) side, however, his mother Clarrisa Cross is where the English pops in. It is believed very likely,  (but not 100% proven, although the evidence is pretty compelling), that Clarissa’s parents were Joseph Cross and Zerviah Warner, both of whom’s ancestors can be traced back to New England, where they can be found mostly in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Today’s focus, however, is on one of Zerviah Warner’s great great great grandfathers, Rev. William Skepper/Skipper, (the name is seen both ways).

William was baptized in Boston, Lincolnshire, England on the 27th of November in 1597 the son of Edward and Mary (Robinson) Skepper. When he was about 14 years old he attended Sidney College in Cambridge, graduating after 2 years, having acquired a seminary style education. Due to, most likely, family connections he became a Rector of Thorpe by Wainfleete. Ten years later he is found as a curate and/or vicar of the same.

William was married twice, the name of his first wife is not known and they had several children together. His second wife, my ancestress, was Sarah Fisher. They had only one child, a daughter Sarah, who was born about 1640, it is assumed in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts.

1639 is believed to be the time period that the Skepper family moved to New England with other folks from Boston. A large contingent from the area at that time was making the exodus from England. William didn’t live long in the new world though as he died before 1650, which we know because a son-in-law was in court in 1650 petitioning that the estate be divided.

William’s grandmother Joan Legard was the 7xg grandchild of King Edward III and Queen Philippa Hainault (see images above). Not only did she have English royal blood, she also had French and Scottish royal blood in the mix. My favorite great grandmother is Eleanor of Aquitaine, who is such an awesome chick, and who I was very disappointed wasn’t one of my grandmothers in Mom’s royal line. (Descent on Mom’s side is through an illegitimate son of Henry I, whereas on Dad’s side it is through a legitimate daughter of Henry I, who marries and proceeds to birth the future Henry II.)

It is easy to think dismisively that this is ridiculous, every genealogist wants to be descended from royalty. (Insert eye-roll here). But actually it is pretty easy to believe, these folks had kids, some lots of kids, not every child was going to be king or queen, so the younger kids married, had kids, and so on, in each successive generation the oldest inheriting the most and the youngest getting less and less, and so on down the line. Until, you have the not so landed gentry ending up down here with us common folk. Personally, I have never done my research with the intent of finding famous ancestors. I have always been surprised if I did and mostly just thought, Cool! And, as a reminder, there are hundreds of thousand of descendants that can claim the same royal ancestry as me.

Still. Cool!

Here we go again:
Pipin the Short=Bertrada of Laon
Emp.Charlemagne=Hildegarde
Emp. Louis I=Judith of Bavaria
Emp. Charles II=Ermentrude of Orleans
Judith=Baldwin I, C. of Flanders
Baldwin II, C. of Flanders=Elfrida of Wessex
Arnulf I, C. of Flanders=Adela of Vermandois
Baldwin III, C. of Flanders=Matilda of Saxony
Arnulf II, C. of Flanders=Rozela of Italy
Baldwin IV, C. of Flanders=Ogive of Luxembourg
Baldwin V, C. of Flanders=Adela of France
Matilda of Flanders=King William I of England
King Henry I of England=Matilda of Scotland <–daughter of King Malcolm III Scotland
Matilda=Geoffrey Plantagenet, C. of Anjou
King Henry II of England=Eleanor of Aquitaine <–MY FAV
King John of England=Isabella of Angouleme
King Henry III of England=Eleanor of Provence
King Edward I of England=Eleanor of Castile-Leon
King Edward II of England=Isabella of France
King Edward III of England=Philippa of Hainault <–daughter of King Philip IV France
Lionel of Antwerp, D. of Clarence=Elizabeth de Burgh
Philippa of Clarence=Edmund de Mortimer, 3rd E. of March
Elizabeth Mortimer=Sir Henry ‘Hotspur’ Percy
Elizabeth Percy=John Clifford, 7th Ld. Clifford
Mary Clifford=Sir Philip Wentworth
Elizabeth Wentworth=Sir Martin de la See
Joan de la See=Sir Peter Hildyard
Isabel Hildyard=Ralph Legard, Esq.
Joan Legard [royal line enters our JOHN tree]=Richard Skepper, Lord of Ingoldmels Manor
Edward Skepper, Lord of Ingoldmels Manor=Mary Robinson
Rev. William Skepper/Skipper=Sarah Fisher
Sarah Skipper=Walter Fairfield
Sarah Fairfield=Thomas Abbe
Tabitha Abbe=John Warner
Daniel Warner
=Ann Pember
Zerviah Warner
=Joseph Cross
Clarissa Cross=Garrett Rosa
Abram Rosa=Jennie/Janett Smith
Carrie Rosa=John Cain
Gertrude Cain=Victor John
Clarence John=Myrtle Hamm
Victor John=Margaret Shepard
ME <– 10 greats to the Rev., 21 to Edward III

 

 

Nazis and secret bases in Greenland…

During WWII my grandfather Clarence Fredrick4 (Victor Hugo3, Fredrick William2, Ludwig1) John was too old to join as a soldier, being about 45 years of age. However, his expertise in road building, that he acquired working for the Forestry department in CCC camps in Wisconsin, was put to use in Greenland where he helped build runways for the military.

Clarence left his wife and 3 children for about a year to do his part to assist in the cause. Below is his SS Fairfax passenger list entry, after its arrival back in the US, at Boston at the end of December 1943.

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During his time in and around Greenland he took, and had taken, many pictures to remember his time there. (Because of all the snow it is difficult to see the details in many of the pictures.) He put together an album of all these pictures so that he would have something to show the students in the Crandon Grade School, when he gave a talk to over 400 students with whom he shared his adventures.

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Along with all the wonderful Inuit artifacts that he brought back with him and the stories of all he saw, there is one picture that he took that is important because of its historical military significance:

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Photo taken by Clarence.

 

The mission was boringly named by Germans as the “German Greenland Expedition,” and it wasn’t their first attempt to establish radio stations in Greenland.

The US Navy haunted the coast of Greenland with the purpose of hunting and destroying secret radio and weather bases that were being set-up in various remote locations Greenland by the enemy. And it wasn’t until  many months after this particular event occurred that the US Navy revealed what had happened, for security reasons no doubt.

Early in 1943 this secret base had been discovered, in May it was bombed by Army Air Force planes, and in September it was finally wiped out by a Coast Guard-Army expedition. The Germans occupying the small base had evacuated. But two German soldiers were eventually taken prisoner, one who had been captured and one who stumbled, accidentally, into the hands of the Americans.

The base on an uninhabited small island off the east coast of Greenland, had a small contingent of men from the German Navy. It was discovered by a sledge patrol consisting of Danish hunters who kept an eye on the coast for the US Navy while hunting. The two groups engaged in a battle and two Danes ended up being taken prisoner, another was killed. However, there were survivors who managed to get away and report the discovery to the US soldiers. After the battle the Germans banded together a party and headed north with the intentions of attacking the Danish weather station there. With machine guns under the cover of night, they attacked, but most of the Danes managed to escape.

The German commander attempted to get one of the Danish prisoners to collaborate on a mission up the coast, but at the first opportunity the Dane overpowered the Nazi and after a 40 day trip back, delivered him to the Americans.

Not much was left of the base when the Americans were done bombing it, as can be seen in the pictures. The Germans were pretty persistent and continued making attempts to establish bases, as the Navy encountered several German air patrols and engaged them over the next few months.

Clarence must have been along for the ride when the US soldiers made a trip to the base to make sure it was destroyed. At no time is an exact location given, but it must have been pretty remote for it to take 40 days to get a prisoner back to your allies.

You can read the complete details in the article, which was published in November of 1943. Clarence had a small clipping of the event from another paper in his scrapbook. He didn’t see combat, but he did get to witness an exciting intrigue related to the war. Spies and secret bases oh, my!

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A similar base discovery was filmed in 1944, so one can get a feel of what the Navy was doing when they found the bases and how the ships were getting around the frozen ice in the area at the time. While not the 1943 event, it is close enough for horseshoes.

 

 

 

 

Brother in arms…

Mary (Schaal) and Augustus C. Johns, (I believe this
 photo was taken at their home in Minnesota),
early 1900s.

My g-g-grandfather Fredrick William John had a younger brother Augustus, (who went by the surname Johns after he arrived in America). He was also a soldier in the Civil War. In fact he enlisted August 13, 1862 with Company F of the 21st Wisconsin Infantry, under the command of Col. B. J. Sweet. He was living in Oakfield, Dodge County, Wisconsin at the time. His brother F.W. didn’t join up until several years later.

Augustus, a cooper by trade, had only been in America a year when he met and then married Maria Schaal in Dodge County in 1856. When war broke out in 1861, according to his wife Maria, Augustus enlisted because of their deep belief in the inherent evilness of slavery. She recalls his leaving:

“We had just built us a 5 room cottage but the upstairs was still un-plastered. My husband left me with this cottage, a cow, a few chickens, and three children, the eldest a little over four years old. My husband was so afraid he would miss the train, that was to take him to war, that he sat up all the previous night!”

Not only was she now alone to take care of the homestead, but she was three months pregnant at the time.

The 21st organized itself in Oshkosh to start its journey to the front. They arrived in Cincinnati, Ohio, by way of Chicago and Indianapolis, on September 13, 1862 about noon. As the enemy forces were marching upon Cincinnati and Louisville, they were ordered to report to Gen. Wallace at Covington, Kentucky, so they quickly crossed the Ohio river, at which time they were assigned to the 3rd division of Gen.Wallaces Corps and proceeded to take positions in the trenches. The 21st was at that time 960 strong.

On their arrival at Cincinnati, Col. Sweet reported to Gov. Solomon of Wisconsin that “everything in the way of equipping the men seems to be in a state of uncertainty and confusion. We have no tents. They cannot give us any here.”

In fact, the 21st was organized so quickly that the men hadn’t even had time to practice drills in their rush to the battlefield. And they had no tents, no clothes, no guns. While the Union Army was in a hurry to recruit men to fight the war, they didn’t seem to be well prepared to arm and supply them. It was a good thing they brought their own rations, otherwise they wouldn’t have been eating either.

The next morning the 21st was going to be sent to the front two miles away. Col. Sweet was hoping that they would have a few moments to drill the men “and teach them the whole art of war.”

After arriving at Covington’s front, they spent their time changing positions twice over the next few days and sitting around in the trenches. On the 17th were then ordered to report to Louisville, Kentucky. They were to report to General Sheridan, who was commanding the Army of the Ohio. They remained in the area until October 1st. The men were marched to the trenches at 3:00 every morning and stayed until 6 am, changing position from one side of the city to another over the course of their stay. It was at this time that they finally obtained tents and were now thoroughly equipped for field duty. However, because of the constant marches, trench duty, the company paperwork and organization of the regiment, they had only been drilled three or four times.

Their assignment now was to the 28th Brigade commanded by Col. John Starkweather, part of Rousseau’s Division.

On October 1 they proceeded to march to route out the rebel army from the state of Kentucky. Eight days of intense heat and very little running water. at the end of which they engaged in the Battle of Chaplin Hills. They arrived at the battlefield about 4:00 in the afternoon on the 8th of Oct where they were immediately ordered to take position in a cornfield at the extreme left of the line of battle, a battle which was in the midst of action and had been for some time. General Jackson’s Division was in the immediate front of their position. Many of the 21st were shot down while getting into position, the bullets passing through the front and hitting whomever was behind. Because of the Jackson line in front of them they were unable to fire back at the enemy, unless they wanted to decimate their own troops. Eventually, as the battle progressed, the 21st was facing the enemy line and fired, it was “only when overpowered by superior numbers” did the regiment commense its retreat behind a new line of battle.

After this battle over the next month they marched to Lebanon, Kentucky, and then on to Bowling Green. From Bowling Green they headed to Mitchellsville Station, Tennessee, then on to Nashville, at which time they set up camp. Then on December 26th they marched with the army in its advance upon the rebels who were at Murfreesboro 30 miles from Nashville.

On December 30th while the army was taking position at Stones River the brigade of which the 21st regiment was a part was positioned on the extreme left flank covering the Jefferson Pike. At 7:00 in the morning, as the brigade train was approaching, it was attacked from the rear by Wheeler’s Confederate cavalry which consisted of about 3500 men. The Union regiment lay in two lines nearest to the point of attack and immediately proceeded double quick by the left flank down the road past the train to drive the revels from the line, but not before twenty one of the wagons were driven off and set on fire. The 21st at once formed line on the side of the road for protection of the trains which passed on. Wheeler’s cavalry charged upon the regiment but was unable to dislodge them and fell back out of musket range. The Union army was finally able to place some battery in a convenient enough spot to cause the rebels to retreat in haste and confusion. But, not before they were able to take 64 sick men, teamsters, and conveyances from the brigade train. One of those men captured was Augustus.

Augustus was, at this point, being listed in the rolls as “prisoner at Jefferson on 30th of December 1862” until September of 1863, at which time he finally shows up as “in the hospital at Stevenson, Alabama.” It appears that he was a prisoner at least through May of 1863. The records do not indicate when he was released, nor when he entered the hospital, but at least by September he is now free from imprisonment with the rebels and recovering in a hospital. It is possible that he was part of a prisoner exchange between the two armies as there is no indication that he was ever in a particular prison during the war.

Augustus continued his service with the Union Army until he was mustered out at the end of the war.
The following excerpts are from Maria’s interview:

“And news of big battles came. My husband was in Murphysboro, Chattanooga, Atlanta, and marched with Sheridan eastward to the sea. We had always written each other once a week, but now all news of Sherman’s army ceased and I heard nothing from my husband for weeks. When a letter came from my husband, I used to put it under my pillow and pray to the Father not to let my babes become orphans as I had been. When I nursed my baby, the hot tears rolled down my cheeks and my baby looked up as if she wondered why I wept.

My husband drew $13 a month as a soldier. Of this he kept $3 for his own use, and sent me $10 every month. Also, he washed shirts for the other soldiers who did not like to do such work, and who did not save their money. These shirts would get full of vermin and had to be washed in boiling water. My husband got 10 cents for each shirt he washed. All that he earned this way, he saved up and sent me a $50 gold bond and a gold ring that he purchased with these savings. He wrote that the food the soldiers got was not good. “I get only cow tail to eat”, he said. So I sent him a box of food once, but the freight on it was $9, which I found hard to pay.

Still with Sherman, my husband marched to Washington, and was mustered out. He came home by way of Milwaukee, where he bought a cheap linen duster to protect his cloths. The night I expected him, I never went to bed. When he got in at the station, he started right for our cottage, and the neighbors said his feet never touched the ground, because he flew to his family. He was neatly shaved and clean — cleanest of the whole company that returned. I had just lain down when the train pulled in, and the children ran in to say, “There is a soldier coming.” A moment after that, my husband came in with the children clinging to him. My little 2 year old, Flora, who had never seen him, was clinging to him, too! Then, for the one time in my life, I fainted!!!”

Marie never mentions Augustus’ capture in her memoirs.

During the month of travel to the battle that would imprison Augustus, he also served as a Provost Guard, these were the military police of the Union Army during this particular war. On the field they were also the security detachment for Division and Corps Headquarters. They protected Headquarter’s units, provided men to guard captured Confederates on their way to the rear, and provided security against Confederate guerrillas and raiders. In Augustus’s case he was probably handpicked by his CO as a temporary measure to fill in a spot as needed. The position was a well respected one by the Union troops.

A little nachtmusik…

Here’s a fun one. I actually found this picture last fall and while cleaning out my iPhoto image library was reminded that I had it.

My dad and his sisters attended the Crandon, Wisconsin school system when they were younger. The county library has been digitizing their yearbooks from the schools. This image popped up during one of my searches:

It is of interest because my Aunt Claire is in this picture. She is in the third row from the bottom about in the middle of the line. I never knew she was musically inclined.