Dear Dick & Dad:- Just a line to let you know we’re O.K. We took Burch up to the lake with us Sat. and Ruth and he are staying for the week. I’m batching [as in being a bachelor]. We are having a large window put in the north side of the living room at the cottage, taking out the two small one’s and having aluminum siding put on over that old paint job. We thought Burch would be able to help the carpenter a little besides giving him a change of scenery for awhile. We are only going to put the siding on the one side this year hope to finish the job next year. Ruth bought drapery material and took her sewing machine along so she could make the drapes while she was there. Burch is feeling O.K. but says time passes slow. He said staying at the lake brought back memories to him of the time they lived at Baltimore. Believe it or not Ruth got him in shorts.
[page 2] I received a letter from Lois today, says they are living in a tourist cottage for the time being and that the kids really enjoy the water. Ken went back to Chicago on the 14th and Bill was away in New York State some where. She also said their things from Germany had not arrived yet.
Have you heard anything lately from Rena? I just called Elise to see if she wanted me to write you anything and she said she had a wonderful letter from you and that she tried to answer it, but the words just wouldn’t come. She will try again later and said she and Kate are going to come up as soon as she gets a few detail ironed out. I suppose legal details in regards to his death.
How is the building project coming along and where are you building it? I’m about out of news so will close for now. Love H.O.
P.S. I’ll try to mail you Eastern Star material so be on the look out.
I am keeping my promise to tell about all the women in my tree by working my way back in time, starting with my great grandmothers. It has been a while since Charlotte Hatch, but here is my second one.
She was known by family and friends as ‘Dick’. What can one say about Dick. Most of what I know about her has either been told to me by her granddaughter, gleaned from looking through all the old family pictures, researched, or heard in one poorly recorded interview from about 1982. The person that I recollect was what you would call a ‘character’. She very short statured, loved cocktails, and wore awesome eyeglasses when she was older.
This is her life, as well as I have been able to piece it together.
Rachel started her life journey September 19, 18881. She was the second child, and second daughter, of Osborn and Eliza (Stackpole) Hays, and had been named in honor of her grandmother, Rachel (George) Hays. Osborn and Eliza would eventually have 10 children together, but from what I recollect hearing, Rachel was always her father’s favorite.
‘Dick’, as she became nicknamed by the family, grew up in Grant Township, Wetzel County, West Virginia. In fact her family lived there their whole lives, farming, and making a living off the land. She was a tomboy, and always had a preference for boys to keep company with. I guess she didn’t have much use for girls. The hills and landscape that she grew up in probably made for great exploration and tomboyish proclivities.
As was typical of children during the time she was growing up, she only went through the 8th grade2 in school*. Which means she was about 14 when she was done with learnin’. As the Hays family had settled in the Pine Grove area of Wetzel County, it would seem likely that Dick attended the Pine Grove School (although we don’t know that for sure). It was known in its early years as Free School.
Of course over time, as is wont, she got older. Then along comes William Atkinson Shepard, a newly minted teacher who recently arrived in Wetzel County, having received his teaching certificate from a Normal School, (although at this time we don’t know which one). Family rumor has it that this is how Dick and he met. It is not likely that they met because he was her teacher, because he would have been about 16 years old or younger in order for that to happen, which is doubtful. So it is possible that they met when she went to pick up some of her younger siblings from school. Maybe the locals took turns having the new teacher to dinner to get to know him, or they met at church or a local festivity. We might not know the exact how of it, but she definitely took a shine to him.
A quote from Dick’s son William:
My father, William, had received “higher education” beyond the customary 8th grade and attended normal school which prepared him to become a teacher. He taught in several places, and I think his last was in Jacksonburg, where he taught several of my aunts and uncles (Hays). He met and married Rachel Ann here.
–William A. Shepard, Dick’s son
They were married by the Rev. Reid of the M. E. Church in New Martinsville, Wetzel County, on March 9, 1907.
Their first child, Herman Osborn Shepard, was born November 28, 1907 (pretty much 9 months later). That was fast work.
The birth was a hard one for Dick, as Herman was quite a large infant when he was born and Rachel was a small woman. Her injuries were such that Herman was raised by Dick’s parents in his early years, so that Rachel could recover her health. The doctor’s also told the couple that she shouldn’t have any more children, as the next one could kill her. This news must have put much stress on their early years of marriage. Decent birth control was not readily available to folks then like it is now.
Her husband was working in the steel mill in the town of Parkersburg by 1910, and possibly sooner. I imagine a school teacher’s wages were not all that great to raise a growing family on, so he decided to try for better wages. However, by 1912 they had moved to Ohio and were living in Columbus, where William started working as a clerk for the US Post Office with the rail road. He continued in this line of work until he retired in the 1950s as a supervisor. This job, no doubt, helped the family get through the depression with less damage than those around them.
Rachel was a typical woman of her time. She stayed at home, raised her child and kept the home. For other income they bought properties and made money renting the lots, or homes. It didn’t make them rich, but they were able to buy a home in Florida to retire in, and land in Canada to make their summer vacation spot. (A spot that is mentioned many times in family letters.)
1919 might have been an especially tense and worrying year for Dick and Dad, because Dick found out she was pregnant again. She was due in late December to early January. And on January 4, 1920 she delivered a healthy baby boy, William Atkinson Shepard, jr. Dick did okay too. There was no long hospital stay to recover from the delivery, so she was able to give junior her undivided attention, and she had her 13 year old son to help. This would be the last child that they would have though, possibly the second pregnancy caused problems we are unaware of–and Dick didn’t share that part of her life with her children, or grandchildren.
The Shepard family moved over the years in and around Ohio. In 1920 they were in Pickaway County, in 1930 it was Franklin County, in 1940 Delaware County. But no matter where they moved, Dad was always working for the US Postal Service for the railroad, in fact he told his sons that when they were older to get jobs working for the government, because they were the most steady and secure. One of them heeded his advice.
Over the years they visited with family and friends (Dick was remembered by others as a very gracious and hospitable person), built their own cottage, from scratch, on Thessalon Lake in Canada, (and went there often to fish and barbecue), then they retired to a cute little house in Safety Harbor. The cottage in Canada they sold in the 1960s, and Dick gave the money from the sale to her sons.
She was quite a pill, was Dick. I, no doubt, don’t even know a single percent of the shenanigans she could get up to. The only story I vaguely remember hearing happened shortly after her eldest Herman, started dating his future wife, Ruth Kring. Apparently Dick, (no doubt with malevolent glee), decided that Ruth needed taking down a peg or two, because she somehow made sure that they conveniently ran into an old girlfriend of Herman’s. I guess that’s how she kept herself busy while Dad was at work.
When Dick and Dad moved to Florida to officially retire, Dick kept busy with the Woman’s Civil Club and her Order of the Eastern Star Safety Harbor Chapter (No. 173).
MOVIES AT WOMAN’S CIVIL CLUB HALL NOV. 7TH On Monday, November 7, at 8 P. M., a program of free movies at the Woman’s Civic Club Hall will present the Rich Plan __ Frozen Foods. Attendance will give the Commercial Award credits. Light refreshments will be served gratis. Movies of the Cape Coral Development, near Ft. Myers will also be shown by Mr. Jerry Flynn… The new members received at the meeting of October 14 are: Mrs. William Shepard…Members please add these names to your Blue Books. Several former members expect to attend the Club meetings this year.
SAFETY HARBOR CHAPTER 173, ORDER OF EASTERN STAR, INSTALLS Mrs. William A. Shepard was installed as Worthy Matron of Safety Harbor Chapter 173, Order of the Eastern Star…in ceremonies recently held at the Masonic Temple here… Mrs. Shepard stood under an arbor made of fresh red roses while Thomas Peasley, Past Grand Patron of the State of Maine, sang, “How Great Thou Art.” Mr. and Mrs. Herman Sheppard, son and daughter-in-law of Mrs. Shepard, came from Worthington, Ohio, to be present for the ceremony and Shepard presented his mother the gavel she will use throughout her term of office.
O.E.S. RUMMAGE SALE MAY 4TH The O.E.S. will hold a rummage sale Saturday, May 4, in the lot next to Clark’s 5&10 store. Anyone having clothing or other items they don’t use bring them to Mrs. Rachel Shepard, 305 7th Ave. N., or the day of the sale.
Ashley Chapter 147 members heard comments by Mrs. Bess Evans, past matron, on her attendance at a meeting of a Florida chapter of Order of the Eastern Star. Mrs. Evens’ sits, Mrs. Rachel Shepard, is active in that Florida chapter, Safety Harbor No. 173.
1975-04-16 Marion Star, Marion, Ohio, p26
I don’t know what Dad did, when he retired. Maybe he walked to the ocean and fished everyday. He was the quiet type, at least when we were around, so one never knew what he got up to.
Dick lost her husband on April 19, 1973. They had been married for just over 66 years. (Unfortunately, our family was overseas and unable to attend the funeral.) She was a widow for 13 years before she died April 27, 1986. I heard tell that she spent many a Friday evening at the local bar flirting with all the old widowers after Dad died. As I mentioned before, she did enjoy cocktails.
I have an audio recording (be sure to download it) that I have had digitized of Dick talking to her niece Evelyn Conning (1980sish). It is about 30 minutes long, and is of very poor quality. The interviewer definitely wasn’t a professional, and there were no questions asked that I would have asked. But it beats having nothing. Too bad we don’t have one of Dad, apparently he told great stories.
I am very glad that I was able to meet my great grandmother, and I was at an age that I can remember her these many years later, even if only vaguely. I definitely remember her voice, and hearing it on the audio recording helps to bring back those fond memories of my visits to their house in Safety Harbor, Florida. (You can read my post on their house here.)
*Here is a great web page that gives an excellent synopsis of rural schools in the latter part of the 1800s: http://www.heritageall.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Americas-One-Room-Schools-of-the-1890s.pdf. ————————— SOURCES: 1. Rachel Hays birth entry, 19 Sep 1888, General index and register of births, Wetzel County, West Virginia, page 74a. Parents O. Hays and Eliza Hays. 2. 1940 US Federal Census, Genoa Township, Delaware County, Ohio details; SD 17, ED 21-17, Sheet 3A, Enumerated April 4, 1940; household 48, home owned [by parents], not a farm, lines 33-34 . What is the highest grade finished is one of the questions on census. 3. W. A. Shepard and Rachel Hays marriage, 1907; Marriage Record, book no. 13, page 180; West Virginia, Wetzel County, Clerk of the County Commission.
Just a line to let you know we arrived home safe and sound. It was 1083 miles from you house to Lucilles in Gahanna [Ohio]. We drove until 10:10 PM Monday and covered 679 miles then started out again at 6AM from Yadkinville N.C. and drove the rest of the way home arriving at Lucilles at 4:50 PM We didn’t have a bit of trouble and the weather was all good except on the W Va turnpike where we had a light snow. The temperature here this morning was 25 degrees.
We found everything here O.K. so all I got to do now is get on the ball and get back to work, which shouldn’t be to bad after a nice vacation like we had. Lucille said that was the first real vacation she had ever had, one that she could remember for ever, and we all want to thank you
[page 2] for making it possible.
We left Ralph a bag of grape- fruit and some oranges. of course they wanted to know all about you and dad and how things were in Safety Harbor. We ate supper at Lucilles and then went up to Mom & Pop Krings where we had to give them all the news and we got home about 11 P.M. Ralph and the boys got along O.K. so Lucille felt relieved about them.
I called Dick Sheridan to night and he says every thing at the shop is O.K. so I suppose I still got a job. “darn it”.
Well I’ll sign off for now as I don’t know any other news to write. Love to all Ruth & H.O.
Dear Dick and Dad:– Looks like we had your trip planned just right. The weather here has been “stinkin” ever since we got home. Thursday night was a “dilley”. I went to the Foremans Club dinner meeting as the Fair Grounds and when I started for home we had about 5 inches of snow on the ground and winds up to 20-25 M.P.H. I don’t think they got the snow plows out till after midnight. I’m glad it stopped snowing because it wasn’t as bad as I expected the next morning.
page 2 Everything wasn’t bad that night, I won a gift certificate good for a 20 lbs turkey at Big Bear Stores for Christmas. Looks like we will have enough turkey for the gang. Also Lester at Quality Bakery gave me a case of assorted pies, and Rodenfels paid me my regular wages while I was off. Now what do you think about that? I’ll be sending you a refund one of these days.
I’m glad everything worked out for the good and we enjoyed the trip Sure hated to leave that nice weather. I put the fruit out in the garage but had to bring it in to keep it from freezing as the temperature
page 3 dropped down to 3 degrees above zero for two nights. I’ll be giving some of the fruit away because it will not keep in the basement. We took a basket out to Krings and they can divide it among the kids. I gave Lucile some of the kum quats although she wasn’t home to receive them. She ws into the hospital with her mother, Ralph says she can’t last much longer.
That’s about all the news for now, except we had Kernal Sander Chicken and Livers for supper last night couldn’t hilp but think of you.
I thought this Veteran’s Day that I would talk about an uncle of mine who was a soldier for the Union Army during the Civil War and died in 1862 at the age of 22, having had no chance to leave much of a legacy.
Clayton Webb Shaw’s short life consisted of: being born, which happened on the 8th of May, 1840 in Clermont County, Ohio, (he was the oldest son of John Shaw and Idea Webb); growing up; volunteering in 1861 in the 5th Ohio Cavalry O.V.C., Company M (as a musician); dying.
Reports of his death are a bit confusing.
The regiment that he joined was organized at Camp Dick Corwin, at the end of 1861, and the men who signed up were in for a three-year stint. The regiment was composed mostly of men from Hamilton and Clermont counties in Ohio.
On February 26, 1862, the 5th received orders to report to Brig.-Gen. W. T. Sherman in Paducah, Kentucky. So off they went.
On the night of March 15 the regiment dropped down to Pittsburg landing and the next evening an expedition, consisting of six squadrons of the regiment, was ordered in the direction of Corinth and when 5 miles from the landing, in front of Shiloh chapel, was suddenly fired upon by a considerable body of the enemy. A charge was immediately made, in which several prisoners were taken.
On April 4 the second battalion of the regiment had a sharp skirmish with Confederate cavalry, infantry and artillery at Crump’s landing, in which the battalion had 2 wounded, but brought in 14 prisoners.
At the battle of Shiloh the regiment was constantly under fire. Gen. Grant giving direct orders to it and assigning it various difficult and dangerous duties and positions in the field. The behavior of officers and men throughout their virgin battle was highly commended by both Gens. Grant and Sherman. The regiment advanced with the army in the slow “siege” of Corinth, and had its share of picket duty and other exposure.1
Here is a list of their battles, skirmishes, etc.: March from Danville to Savannah, Tennessee, March 10-11, 1862. Expedition to Mobile & Ohio Railroad to destroy bridges March 14-15. Beach Creek Bridge, Tennessee, March 13. Near Eastport, Mississippi, March 14. Burnsville March 14-15. Reach Pittsburg Landing March 15. Skirmish Pittsburg Landing March 16. Reconnoissance toward Corinth March 16. Black Jack Forest March 16 (Detachment). Near Shiloh Church March 24 (1st and 2nd Battalions). Expedition to Chickasaw, Alabama, and Eastport, Mississippi, April 1. Near Monterey, Tennessee, April 3. Crump’s Landing April 4 (Detachment). Battle of Shiloh April 6-7. Corinth Road April 8. Beech Creek Bridge April 13 (3rd Battalion). Affair with Cavalry April 14. Advance on and siege of Corinth, Mississippi, April 29-May 30.
So right away Clayton’s company was pretty much thrown into the blender. Okay, so far we can see Clayton’s company’s activities up to and beyond Shiloh. And then Clayton dies. This is where things get a bit confusing. According to the ‘Graves Registration Card’ found at ancestry.com, Clayton died at Shiloh, Tennessee, KIA on May 22, 1862.
But…the Battle of Shiloh occurred April 6-7. The Union Army was advancing to, and sieging at Corinth, Mississippi from April 29-May 30. So how did he die at Shiloh? Maybe he was in a picket type situation, or they were reconnoitering in the area and there was a skirmish he died in.
Here is the story as told by his brother James:
James F. Shaw ….son of John and Ida (Webb) Shaw…Five children were born to this union:…Clayton, enlisted at the beginning of the Civil war in the Fifth Ohio Cavalry and died at Pittsburg Landing soon after the battle…2
So according to his brother, Clayton died at Pittsburg Landing, which is also what the Battle of Shiloh is called, shortly after the battle. (You can see the landing on the map above.)
But then we get to his headstone, the one that was applied for that honors his service:
He volunteered in Co. M 5th O.V.C. October 3, 1861 Was in the battle at Shiloh Fields. Sent home sick, arrived May 9, died on 22, 1862 Aged 22 years 19 days3
His headstone states that he died at home due to illness. However, it doesn’t specifically state what kind of illness. Was he recovering from wounds received in battle? Did he catch one of the prevalent diseases that killed many his fellow soldiers? Regardless of what illness killed him, it looks like he was not actually killed in action, but died at home surrounded by his family–I guess if you have to go, it’s not as bad as dying in a muddy, bloody field of battle.
In the end, despite the confusion on the details of his final days, Private Clayton Webb Shaw died in service to his country. So I thank him, and am only sorry that he is one of many young men whose life was cut so brutally short by war.
Here is a slide show of three of the only decent images I could find online regarding Shiloh, or the 5th Ohio, (the company is unknown in that image though). Found these at the National Archives.
From—5th Ohio Cavalry Soldier Roster – Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866, Volume 11, by Ohio Roster Commission (Joseph B. Foraker, Governor, James S. Robinson, Sec’y of State and H. A. Axline, Adjutant-General), 1886.
Farming has always been known as a dangerous job, even more so when complicated machinery started being invented to make farming faster and more efficient, as the machinery was built with very little to no thought of operator safety at the time.
That being said, the following farm accident which occured about 1811 was caused by a scythe, a very old timey, uncomplicated and simple tool, although, apparently, still extremely dangerous:
“When [(Dr.) John George Rogers] the doctor was a lad only fourteen years old, William Goble, a farmer living near Bethel [Clermont County, Ohio], was severly and it was thought fatally cut by a scythe upon his back and shoulder, and a messenger came for his father to come and dress Mr. Goble’s wounds; but the father being miles away on his professional duties, his wife persuaded her son, John, to go and attend the wounded man. The boy went, examined and dressed the wounds, and sewed them, putting in eleven stitches an inch and a half apart, and such was his success that his father on examining him the next day, declared it to be a perfect surgical job.”1
Dr. John George Rogers was one of the most noted of the physicians and surgeons of the pioneer days of Clermont County, who practiced at a time when it was necessary for great sacrifice of personal comfort for the taking of long, arduous rides over poor roads in sparsely settled districts.
After having acquired the knowledge usually taught in the schools of his day, John was placed under the instruction of his father at home…His father, having a large practice, was often away from home and many of the duties were placed on his son, who in boyhood acquired great dexterity in extracting teeth, bleeding and many of the operations of minor surgery, as well as dispensing medicine in the absence of his father. When fourteen years of age, William Goble, a farmer near Bethel, was severely and thought to be fatally wounded by a cut from a scythe upon the back and shoulder, which in the absence of his father, the boy was compelled to attend. He took eleven stitches into the wound, with such success that the next day, upon examination, his father pronounced a perfect surgical job.2
The William Goble of this story was my 4x great grandfather. He managed to survive the accident, and surgery, and went on to live another 40 years, still farming. No doubt due to the loving care administered by his wife Ruth, and of course the ‘perfect surgical job’ of his young doctor.
Sources: 1. The History of Clermont County 1795-1880, by Louis H. Everts. p414 2. History of Clermont and Brown Counties 1913, by Byron Williams p
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): In Society 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.)
Theodosia (aka Theodocia) is believed to be the name of Clayton Webb’s mother. Her being named as one of the administrators of John Webb’s estate seems to give credence to this theory.
At a special court of the Common Pleas, June 8, 1805 — John WEBB deceased. Administrators Theodosia WEBB & William WELLS.
Theodosia and John Webb are believed to be the parents of Clayton, John, jr., and William Webb, and possibly others. (Her last name is given as Clevenger, because it is said to be Clayton’s middle name, I have no evidence of any such thing; doesn’t mean it isn’t true, I just have no evidence of it.)
Using the ages of their children, we can assume they were born in about the mid-1700s. We know when John, sr. died because of his probate record from 1805. The only death date I could ever find for Theodosia was after 1811, because in a will for their son William, who died in 1811, Theodosia was again named an administrator.
So, over all the years that people have been researching the Webb family, the only death date they could come up with for Theodosia was ‘after Oct something 1811.’
While I was researching Clayton Webb’s land records in Hamilton County, Ohio something in one of the documents caught my eye.
The above deed was dated 1821, and it clearly shows ‘Theodocia Webb‘ as one of the witnesses to this deed. In fact I saw her signature as a witness on three of Clayton’s deeds in this time period.
The main take-away from this document is that, obviously, Theodosia Webb was alive in 1821 when she witnessed these documents. Which means she died 1821 or later. Once again land records show their worth.
I am curious why am I the first to make note of this information, in all the years folks have been researching the Webb family? Because if they have, I have seen no evidence of it in online family trees.
I have always wondered if I was wasting my time researching what appeared to be already thoroughly researched surnames. But this just proves that even though others have researched, and even written books about a particular ancestor and their descendants, there can be something new to learn.
I don’t remember seeing much of my great Aunt and Uncle Ruth and Herman Shepard when I was growing up. But I do remember some of the stories my mother would tell about Herman and his barn storming days, and how Grandma Dick use to like telling Ruth all about Herman’s old girlfriends. (Dick was kind of mean that way.)
Herman and Ruth never had any children of their own, and since I know lots about where Herman came from and his growing up years, but little about Ruth, other than she didn’t want Herman flying anymore when they were married, I thought I would improve that lack. (I have to say, she must have been a saint to put up with her mother-in-law Dick.)
Ruth Mae Kring was born the 1st of March in 1908, the daughter of Lowell Athelston Kring and Tressa Belle Hults, in Ohio. She grew up with two brothers and one sister: Ralph M., Vaughn A., and Esther. The family lived in Mifflin, Franklin County, Ohio where in 1930 her father was working as a welder for the Oxiste Company, and her mother raised the kids, as was typical of the times. Ruth, by 1930, was working as a sales clerk in a local department store.
Ruth and Herman were married in 1934 in Franklin, Ohio.
Ruth’s father Lowell’s parents, Andrew Kring and Mary Alma Kramer, were of German descent.
Andrew’s parents were Conrad Kring and Catherine Siedner (nothing is known about Catherine’s family).
Conrad was an Evangelical Church minister, and apparently made up his mind, at 12 years of age, that a life of ministry was calling to him. This ministry led the family to move around from Pennsylvania to Ohio to Kansas, and finally back to Ohio where they made their final stop. Andrew grew up with 11 siblings.
Conrad’s parents were George and Magdalena Fry Kring, of Bedford County, Pennsylvania.
George Kring was the FIRST generation Kring born in the United States. He made a living as a shoemaker, a farmer and a minister (George would use his barn on the Sabbath to minister to the people living close to their farm). When he was young George spent much of his time making boots, harnesses, and shoes for George Washington’s army, and helping his father work on the farm. George hated working indoors, he wanted to be outside enjoying nature’s bounty.
George had a great urge to join the fight during the revolution as a drummer, his father discouraged his dreams, no doubt preferring his son home safe with the family. So home George stayed. George’s second wife was Magdalena Fye, of whom their son Conrad was born.
Magdalena Fye was born in Saxony, Germany. Her parents (whose names we do not know) came to American when she was a young child. The political strife going on in their homeland at the time was great incentive to move somewhere else and make a better life for themselves and their children.
The original Kring emigrant was Johan Jost Kring. He came to America with his brother. They were from Haigler, which is now in Western Germany. As teenagers, they left Germany to avoid service in the Thirty Years War and went to the Netherlands for several years before immigrating to Philadelphia on the ship Two Brothers. They arrived in America on July 21, 1751. They settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. John was also a cobbler.
I can not find much on Ruth’s mother’s side of the family, the Hults they are more elusive. It looks like Ruth’s great grandfather Henry Wells was born in England and came to America in 1850, when he was 15. He traveled on the ship Amazon with his mother, Sarah, and 6 siblings. Sarah was not with her husband (dead?), and never married after emigrating. She supported the family as a seamstress.
The Hults themselves appear to come from Illinois before moving to Ohio, where James W. Hults, Ruth’s grandfather was born. I do know that her maternal grandparents were James W. Hults and Cora Belle Wells. And a death record for James indicates that his parents were Milton Hults and Margaret Dempsey. (Dempsey is probably Irish.) One online tree indicates that the Hults line descends from the immigrant Benjamin Holsaert of the Netherlands born about 1675. There are no sources with this statement.
So, an admittedly cursory search into Ruth’s ancestral background. But it was a fun frolic up a different family tree.
We have lots of letters from Ruth and Herman that will be showing up in future posts, and I am looking forward to them giving more insight into Ruth and Herman’s lives.
Well-Bill will be gone to Washington State tomorrow – & Evelyn leaves tomorrow nite so I shall be all alone. And Bill had to check the beds & bedding back in today so we have one daybed for all of us tonite. Nice life —
Bill wants me to stay here as he can get back to see me at times & there is a chance that he will be sent back to Pendleton Field in a month or two. Here is a proposition — Would you like to come out the last of May & stay until things are decided. Then if I decide to come back to Ohio you can help me with the children which would be one h– of a job alone. Bill is still trying for flight training –
it will be either that or overseas — and you will want to see him before he goes.
I am going to try to get a second hand bed next week to do me. The kids are having a good time with their Easter basket this A.M. And bill hasn’t had a day at home yet. We went to a formal dance at the Officer’s Club last nite & had a very good time. I initiated the skirt & it held its own with all the other formals & I had one Tom Collins a& after one fast rhumba it started its effects but I managed to conrol myself. I only wish Bill could stay for it would be so much fun to go all the places with him. We have got to go a little in spite of this dam army– One day Bill will come home & pack to go somewhere
& then come back & unpack.–It keeps you guessing till you don’t care whether it happens or not.
Well Sue must have her bath so please write & let me know if you will come or not. Bill wants you to & he wants me to stay for a couple of months at least. I might have gotten ready & come back with Evelyn but we now know what might happen.