Charlotte Hatch is my great grandmother. I have vague recollections of meeting her in the early ’70s after we had moved back stateside from overseas. Mom, (as she was known by close family), along with a couple of other folks, probably including her daughter Evelyn, drove up from Ohio to visit at the time. Unfortunately I was too young for the visit to have made much of an impression, but hopefully by telling a bit of her story I can make up for that.
Charlotte was born in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio on October 10, 1888. She was the daughter of Dillon Franklin Hatch and Almira Brooks and the youngest of their four children. But she only knew one sister and one brother growing up, the eldest son, Harry Douglas, had died at the age of 9 while the family was still living in Vermont.
Her father Dillon was the supervisor of a furniture factory which left the Hatch family comfortably well off. The couple used their good fortune to make sure their children received a well-rounded education, including music lessons. Charlotte learned to play the violin, and possibly the piano. She appeared in the local paper a multitude of times regarding some musical or singing performance, or sometimes simply as part of the local social gossip.
1906-05-13, Sunday, Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), page 54 (GenealogyBank.com>newspaperarchives)
Social News of the Week
Miss Helen Roblee of 9812 Lamont Ave., N. E., entertained five of her friends at an apple blossom luncheon on Monday. The guests were the Misses Mary Fitzpatrick, Helen Whitslar, Charlotte Hatch, Nina Smith and Hazel Lane.
1908-04-14, Tuesday, Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), page 7 (GenealogyBank>newspaperarchive):
Miss Belle C. Hart gave the second of her series of parlor recitals Saturday afternoon at 111424 Mayfield-rd., S. E. Those taking part were Lois Runge, Charlotte Hatch, Elliott Stearns, Harold Huhne, William Fristoe, Carl Patton and Numan Squire assisted by Miss Olive Harris, Miss Lilian Aokley and Miss Anita Runge, accompanists.
1908-12-27, Sunday, Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), page 24 (GenealogyBank>newspaperarchive):
Music and Musicians
Music in the Y.W.C.A.
The musical organizations of the Y.W.C.A. have been considered important enough to be given a department of their own, with a committee voted entirely to their interests.
The members of the music committee…are most enthusiastic, and want to do all in their power to see this new department become a center of helpfulness and joy and inspiration. Most excellent work was done last year in laying the foundation of these organizations, and they have already become indispensable. In the coming year they ought to grow rapidly in numbers and efficiency.
The orchestra is doing splendid work under the directions of Miss Belle C. Hart. On Monday evenings its twenty members meet for practice at the association building, where they have a most enjoyable time. The members are:
First violins…Miss Charlotte Hatch…
Charlotte attended East High School in Cleveland, and graduated in 1908.
Less than a year after graduating from high school, Charlotte, at the age of 20, was married to a young man by the name of Montral Goble Shaw March 8, 1909.
While putting together timelines and mapping out Charlotte and Mont’s lives, something immediately stands out — Montral Shaw and his family were from Clermont County, Ohio which is clear down at the bottom of the state, as opposed to Charlotte’s stomping ground in Cuyohoga County, which is at the top. How on earth did these two people, from such distance challenged places, meet. Thankfully, because I do research on siblings and not just my direct lines, the answer to the question became clear. Charlotte’s brother Herbert attended Denison School, which is located in Licking County, as did Mont and even Mont’s sister Viola Shaw, all at about the same time (1900-1904ish).
So it is quite possible that Herb and Mont met at Denison and became friends. Maybe Mont came home with Herbert for a visit during a holiday or break, saw Charlotte, and ‘POW’ it was love at first sight! (Although they wouldn’t be married until a few years later.)
So now these two young newlyweds began to make a life together. And a year later, in May of 1910, Charlotte and her husband are found renting a farm in Jackson County, Ohio. Mont was supporting his wife as a fruit farm orchidist, while Charlotte was learning how to manage her new home. She was also preparing herself for the birth of their first child, Evelyn, who would be born in three months time. She must have been nervous, excited, and also anxious because her mother was very far away, and this would be a time that a daughter would want her mother around. Maybe her mother took a trip down to Lick Township, around the time Charlotte was due, to help her first grandchild come into the world.
Charlotte with her son John. Montral[?] is standing in the shed/barn. This picture was taken about 1913/1914.
After living in Jackson County for only a few years, they packed up their household goods and moved up north to Huntsburg Township in Geauga County where we find them by 1913, according to the birth of their second child John. Here they bought a farm which they owned until December of 1920 at which time they sold the farm and moved to Texas.
Above are the deeds for both when they bought 60 acres of property in Jackson County in 1915, and when they sold the same property in 1920 in preparation to moving to Texas.
When the railroad line was introduced in Cameron County, Texas a large land boom began taking place. (This is about as far south as you can get in Texas, without being in Mexico or the ocean). Agents from the area went out hawking all the great land deals to farmers in the midwest in order to bring new blood, and white people, into the area. There were even special trains being used to bring these new land owners to town. It sounds like Montral’s brother Norman heard about this great deal, proceeded to buy land, sight unseen, then convinced his brother and Charlotte to pack up their household belongings, and now five children, and come with him.
Here is the story as told by my grandmother Lois, who was only 9 months old when they made this trip:
It was December of 1920 – I was 9 months old, the farm had been sold and a new overland touring car purchased. It was loaded with the five children Evelyn 10, John 11, Margaret 6, Gertrude 4, and me 9 mo., Mom and Pop and the basic necessities of travel for a trip to the Rio Grand Valley in southern Texas.
Now in 1920, traveling more than 2000 miles over the highways of the day was not an adventure for the timid. My knowledge of the trip is strictly from the recounts in bits and pieces heard as I grew up. Pop loved to tell the tale with pleasure in the memories, while Mom sarcastically set him straight with the details of the discomfort and misadventures. She always hated Texas!
The reason for this safari was to farm a piece of land in the Rio Grand near Mercedes, Texas which Pop’s brother, Uncle Norman had bought sight unseen.
On the trip down I was awarded the top seat in the Overland a laundry basket made into a bassinet. I’m sure I was held on laps too, but I wonder if the trip created my fear in cars that lasted thru many years of travel all over as an air force wife. They called me a back seat driver when I was 4 & 5 years old. There were floods in Arkansas on the way down and Pop stripped the gears on the Overland and Mom and us children were put on a train for Little Rock, where Pop rejoined us after repairs were made.
Why Uncle Norman, an intelligent person I had always assumed, would buy land sight unseen and then let his younger brother make such a trip, I’ll never know.1
When the family arrived in Mercedes they found the land Uncle Norman had purchased had no water available – so they rented some land that did. It raised great truck crops but seems they couldn’t sell much as they couldn’t ship it north for some reason. The second year they were able with the other farms in the area to send a shipment of tomatoes north, 2000 bushels. A neighbor went with the shipment and evidently skipped with the money.”
Things did not work out as planned. Two years later they moved back to Ohio, leaving everything behind to be shipped. Pop sent money for shipping, but their things were never sent. Winter was coming on, and they had no winter clothes. John H and Evelyn [the two eldest children] lived with John and Sally Shaw in New Richmond for about two years (1922-1923) Pop and Mom moved to Westerville Jersey Farm in 1923 and the family was reunited.
Life in Texas was very unpleasant for Charlotte, especially when she developed malaria. So she would have been very relieved to be heading back to Ohio in 1922, where the weather was milder and the scorpions and malaria were non-existent.
By 1923 the family is back in Ohio, reunited, and living in Westerville, Delaware County (see Ohio map above), trying to get themselves back on their feet. Charlotte was also pregnant with their sixth child.
Nancy Jean was born 5 Feb 1924, but sadly she didn’t live long past her 1st birthday, as she died on the 21st of Mar in 1925. She was the only child of Charlotte’s who died young. They had one last child, Mary Ellen, who was born when Charlotte was 43 years old.
Charlotte was the practical one in their marriage. Like most domestic goddesses, she did the majority of the work: raising the children, taking care of their home, feeding everyone, doing all the laundry, managing, etc. Most of her life the cooking was done on a stove that was heated using wood and coal. Laundry was done in a tub with a washboard.
And while the life was hard and sometimes exhausting, Charlotte always let her children know that she actually enjoyed living on the farm much better than in a city.
Lois — “She liked to bake – always seemed to have cookies on hand – and made ice cream in refrigerator, which tasted like heaven to us kids. She passed on her mint-making skills to her granddaughter and namesake. Charlotte!”
Lois remembering her parents:
Pop seemed always the optimist, living from his dreams perhaps as much as his labors. A mischievous eye, finding joy in so much of life, loving to tell stories of people and events which we heard over and over but didn’t mind as he greatly enjoyed the telling. Mom, the realist, was more pesimistic she had to deal with the numerous tasks of each day, ending in weariness, I’m sure.
When we girls would be dressed up for some occasion he would say “you look very nice, but you will never be as pretty as your Mother”. This never hurt our feelings as by then Mom had gained quite a bit of weight and as we had little money she had no fancy clothes. I’m sure it boosted her ego a little. And she was very pretty before she became so tired and worn. Later when she could afford to go to the hair dresser she looked much prettier and had nicer clothes. She came from a city family and though not rich they had two “hired girls” in those days.
According to their daughter Lois, Charlotte and Mont made another move in 1947. The move kept them in the same county, but their address was now in Powell.
Early in 1947 they bought the farm at Powell, Ohio, in partnership with John and Bertha Shaw. There was a big apple orchard, and many a fall day was spent by the grandchildren in picking up apples for cider. Then the aunts, uncles and cousins would come to make applebutter. The children picked up apples, the women sat in the kitchen peeling, and the men “stirred” the applebutter, while drinking the cider (they had all the fun!)
Charlotte and Montral continued to live and work on their farm in Powell for many more years. Montral passed away in 1976 leaving everything including the farm to Charlotte. He was 90 when he died. Charlotte went on for another 8 years before she died in 1984 at the age of 95.
Her last letter to her daughter Lois was written August 14 of 1984 and talked about the mundane bits of everyday life, including the problems she was having with her current crochet project. Two weeks later she passed away. (I wonder if she was able to finish her afghan.)
Of Centerburg Charlotte H. Shaw
Charlotte H. Shaw, 95, of Centerburg, died Aug. 31 at St. Ann’s Hospital.
She was a member of the Centerburg United Methodist Church.
Mrs. Shaw was preceded in death by her husband, Mont G. Shaw; two daughters, Evelyn Nevitt and Nancy Jean Shaw; a brother, Herbery Hatch; and a sister, Frances Herterprime.
She is survived by one son, John H. Shaw, Centerburg; four daughters, Mrs. Margaret Bevelhymer, and Mrs. Gertrude Van Tassell, Westerville; Mrs. Lois Shephard, West Bath, ME; and Mrs. Mary Ellen Adkins, Lucasville; 22 grandchildren, four step-grandchildren; 44 great grand-children; and seven great-great grandchildren.
The funeral service was Sept. 4 in Centerburg with Rev. Mac Kelly officiating. Burial was in Eastview Cemetery, Centerburg.
1 (Uncle Norman [Ewing Shaw] served as Secretary of the State of Ohio for several years under both Democrats and Republicans, he was a Democrat, He was killed in an auto accident in 1930 at 54 years of age. Rockhouse State park in Hocking County Ohio is dedicated to him for his conservation policies. Editor of Ohio Farmer Magazine.)