Friday, April 21, 2017

Wilson Affidavit of Heirship

This Affidavit of Heirship was found in papers belonging to Charles B Wilson.  The affidavit appears to have been created to prove the heirs of William Wilson, the father of Charles B Wilson. There is no record of it being filed with a court in Oklahoma or Colorado.  It was working copy, because there were still dates and places that needed to be filled out and it was never signed by a Notary Public.

Affidavit of Heirship pg1

Affidavit of Heirship pg 2
Affidavit of Heirship pg 3
Transcription of Affidavit:


CHARLES B. WILSON, of lawful age, being first duly sworn upon his oath deposes and says:
That he is 73 years of age, and that his post office address is Cortez, Colorado.

That he was personally and well acquainted with William Wilson, commonly known as Bill Wilson, during his lifetime, having known him for more than 40 years; that the said William Wilson is dead, having departed this life at Orr, Love County, Oklahoma, on or about the ___ day of July, 1918, being of the age of 83 years, or thereabouts, at the date of his death, and at which time he was a resident of Love County, State of Oklahoma.

Affiant further states that he is a son of said decedent, and that he was personally and well acquainted with the family and near relatives of said decedent, and those who under the laws of the State of Oklahoma, may be his heirs; that the statements herein made are based upon the personal knowledge of this affiant, and are true and correct.

Affiant states that said decedent died intestate, and that no administration proceedings were ever had on the estate of said decedent, and that all debts, including doctor bill, expenses of last sickness and funeral expenses have long since been paid.

Affiant further states that the said William Wilson, commonly known as Bill Wilson, was married but one time, and one time only, and then to Mary Huff, which marriage was solemnized on or about the ____ day of ____ , 1859, unto which union
the following children were born, to-wit:

Doris Fanning, nee Wilson, a daughter, born ______ 18__, who married John Fanning; moved to Montana many years ago; affiant has not heard from them, or either of them in more than 45 years and believes both are deceased.

William (Billy) Wilson, a son, born _____ 18__, who after attaining the age of majority, or thereabouts, being about 50 years of age, became engaged in a quarrel with one of his brothers, which quarrel terminated in a fight and William (Billy) leaving the country, taking with him his personal belongings, including his saddle, saddle horse and pack horse, and this affiant nor any member of his family have heard from or of him since, and believe that he died many years ago, and that he was single and unmarried.

Laura Means, nee Wilson, a daughter, born May 10, 1868, who married John M. Means.  John M. Means died January 1, 1936, and Laura Means, nee Wilson, died May 19th, 1938.

Rosa V. Baugh, nee Wilson, a daughter, born ______ 18__, married Daniel Baugh, who is now living at La Junta, Colorado.  Rose V. Baught, nee Wilson, Died on or about  ____ 1901.

Lillian Marrs, nee Wilson, a daughter, born ______, 1882, married John Marrs, who is now living at Ellscott, Alberta, Canada.  Lillian Marrs, nee Wilson, died November 21, 1915.

James E. Wilson, a son, born March, 1865, married Melissa King, who died July 8th, 1938; James E. Wilson died November 20th, 1941.

Charles B. Wilson, a son, this affiant, born April 6th, 1876, now living at Cortez, Colorado.

Affiant states that the said William Wilson, commonly known as Bill Wilson, died leaving surviving him the following named persons as his heirs:
Laura Means, nee Wilson, a daughter, now deceased,
James E. Wilson, a son, now deceased,
Charles B. Wilson, a son, now living at Cortez, Colorado,

and the following named grand-children:
William L. Baugh, a grandson, being the only child of Rosa V. Wilson Baugh, a deceased daughter of said William Wilson, deceased, now living at Dallas, Texas.
[Page 3]
Charles L. Marrs, a grandson
Nellie M. Burrus, a granddaughter, and
Irene Marrs, now Chaney, a granddaughter,
Being the only children of Lillian Marrs, nee Wilson, a deceased daughter of William Wilson, commonly know as Bill Wilson, deceased.

Affiant further states that the said Mary Huff Wilson wife of said William Wilson, commonly known as Bill Wilson, predeceased her said husband by many years, having died about the year 1898 at Quinlan, in the Cherokee Strip, now Woodward County, Oklahoma.

Affiant further states that the said decedent, William Wilson, commonly known as Bill Wilson, left no other child or children, nor any child or children of a deceased child or children, other than these above named; nor was there an adopted child of said deceased.

Further affiant sayeth not: 

Charles B. Wilson, Affiant

Subscribed and sworn to before me this __ day of April, A.D., 1949.

Notary Public, ________ County, State of Colorado, My commission expires: ________. 19__.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Cotter-Morris Pedigree Chart

This chart was given to me about 25 years ago by my aunt.  She had received it from Grandma.  Not sure who gave the chart to my grandma.  Several people have asked me if I had ever seen the chart or knew of it's whereabouts, so I though I would post it.
Someone went to a lot of work to make it.  I think it was originally made to show the relationships of the John and Lizzie (Morris) Cotter Family.  On the chart, John and Lizzie are the two branches that merge together at the top

The surnames contained in the chart are: Copelin, Moser, Gray, Morris, Cotter, Whizenant, Box, Leffel.

The chart is quite large -- 24x36.  I scanned the chart full-sized and have a PDF which can be found on or  It can be found attached to the main people on the tree -- John and Lizzie (Morris) Cotter and their close family.  You can download it from those sites or email me so I can send it to you.
I'll add the pdf to this post when I figure out how to.:)

John Edgar Cotter was my mother's cousin.  John, the son of John Cotter and Susan Leffel, was born in 1904 in Chichasha, Oklahoma.  He married Lizzie Ellen Morris on 20 November 1927 in Chickasha.  Lizzie was the daughter of Joseph L Morris and Sarah E Copelin and was born in 1909 in Oklahoma.  They were the parents of eight children.  John and Lizzie are both buried in the Gruver Cemetery in Gruver, Texas.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Lillie Smith


Lillian Victoria Hatfield Smith was the older sister to my great-grandmother, Minnie Pearl Hatfield Wilson.  During the last few years of her life, Lillie lived with her sister, Pearl, in Pearl's small house in Cortez, Colorado.   I would often walk with my Grandma Maymie from her house across town to visit with her mother Pearl and her Aunt Lillie. I remember that Lillie was taller than my great-grandmother.  Lillie was always nice,  and she must have worn a floral perfume because she smelled like flowers. 
Ray and Lillie Smith
Lillian Victoria Hatfield was born 9 April 1884 in Jewell County, Kansas.  She was the third child and first daughter born to Martin and Nancy (McNeil) Hatfield.  When Lillie was about 14 years old the family moved to Oklahoma.  Her father, Martin Monroe Hatfield, homesteaded land in Woods County, Oklahoma. 

Wedding Photo for Lillie and Ray
Lillie married Ray Ruggles Smith on 7 Jun 1905 in Alva, Woods, Oklahoma.  Lilly was 21 years old and Ray was 26 years old.  Their wedding photo is shown above and Lillie's record of their marriage from her family bible is shown below.  The only witness is Myrtle Hatfield, wife of her brother John.

Lillie's Baby
By 1910, the Smith's had moved to Sidney, Nebraska.  Three years later, their son Ray Douglas Smith was born in Sidney on Thursday, 4 Sep 1913, at 6 o’clock pm.   The only record that I have been able to find for Lillie's son is a bible record and a notation inside a photo album. 
Ray Douglas Smith - 4 months
It is not known how long little Ray lived, but there are no photos of him except for the two baby pictures shown here.  I have been unsuccessful in finding a record of his death or where he was buried.  But, I do remember Lillie showing me these pictures of her son.  At the time it made me sad to think she lost her little baby boy - maybe because she was sad when she told me about him.  I'm not sure why Lillie did not make a record his death.  Perhaps, she could not bring herself to think about it.  
Lillie and little Ray
In 1918,  when Ray registered for the WWI draft, he and Lillie were living in Malta, Phillips County, Montana.  Ray stated that his occupation was in Real Estate and that his next of kin was his wife, Mrs. Lillie V. Smith.  Ray was 39 years old and his physical description was tall, stout build, blue eyes, and dark hair.

Move to Florida
The Smith family cannot not be found in the 1920 census, so it is not known where Ray and Lillie were living at that time.  By 1929, Ray and Lillie were listed in the city directory of Miami, Florida.  In the 1930 census, Ray and Lillie were living in Hialeah, Dade County, Florida.  Lillie gave her occupation as a dress maker in dress factory.  In the photo below, Lillie is seated at the sewing machine in the back (3rd from left).  Not sure if this is part of the dress factory or not? 
Lillie Smith working as a dress maker.
In the 1932 city directory for Miami, Ray’s occupation is listed as a clerk for the law firm Jarrell, Brooks, and Rogers.  But, in the 1940 census, Ray’s occupation is real estate.  Below is a photo of Ray working at his desk in his real estate office. 
Ray Smith sitting at his desk in his real estate office.
Ray and Lillie Smith
 Ray died in March 1956 in Dade County, Florida.  After the death of her husband, Lillie moved to Cortez, Colorado and lived with her sister, Pearl.  The photo below is of Lillie, her mother Nancy, and her sister Pearl.  Since Nancy died in 1946, Lillie must have made the trip out to see her mother prior to that time.
Pearl, Nancy, Lillie
Lillie died on 20 July 1959 in Cortez.  She is buried next to her brother, Charles, in the Dove Creek Cemetery in Dove Creek, Colorado. 

To view Lillie's Find-A-Grave memorial page: click here.

Since Lillie had no living descendants, Maymie ended up with the few photos that told Lillie's story.  Eventually, I ended up with the photos and some memories, and knew they needed to be shared.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Searching for the ‘Hidden Half’ of our Family

Searching for the ‘Hidden Half’ of our Family

March is Women’s History Month and it’s soon coming to an end.  Women’s History Month is an observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.  As a family historian, I am glad we celebrate Women’s History.  But in some ways, the phrase "Women’s History" is an oxymoron.  Throughout the early part of America’s history, most women are not only difficult to find, their history is almost non-existent.

Finding female ancestors is challenging at the best and almost impossible at other times.  Women changed their name when they married and took their husband’s name.  So, unless a marriage record can be found, a woman's maiden name is often elusive.   Laws, legal rights, and social mores further complicates the finding of information about our female ancestors.  Under common law, a husband controlled everything – even land or money given to a woman by her father.  

Prior to 1850, the United States census only listed the head of household.  So, if a woman was married, only her husband would be listed.   Obituaries are wonderful sources of genealogical information, but women were often referred to by their husband’s name -- such as “Mrs John Doe”.  This would happen even in their own obituary!  In their husband’s will, women were often referred to as “my wife”, or in a probate she might be called the “Widow”. It was not until 1920 when the 19th Amendment was ratified that women were granted the right to vote.  Prior to that time women did not even show up on voter lists or in poll books. 

My goal is to remember the women in our family history and try to find their stories.  Below are photos of the grandmothers in my family.  They were the very heart 💗 and soul of their families.  They settled new lands, traveled in wagons, gave birth at home with only their husband or neighbor to help, cooked over wood stoves, washed clothes on a washboard, grew gardens, made bread, preserved their own food, buried their children and husbands, and loved their families.  We would not be here without their strength and courage.
3 generations of grandmothers from my family tree
I have spent countless hours searching for the “hidden half” of our family.  Many of our female ancestors have stories written and/or photos posted on this blog.  They are listed below by generation.  Just click on their name to go to their story.


2nd Great-Grandmothers:
Anna Maria Heim Weiss

3rd and 4th Great-Grandmothers
Rebecca ‘Beckie’Morgan Medlin
SarahGilbert Stewart

Monday, March 27, 2017

"Wedded Bliss"

John Martin and Elizabeth Weiss

John S Martin and Elizabeth D Weiss were married on 21st day of November 1882 in Rural Township, Rock Island, Illinois.  John was thirty-five years old and Elizabeth was twenty-five years old at the time of their marriage.
Marriage Record: John S Martin and Elizabeth Weiss
Their marriage was reported in the Rock Island Argus newspaper.  The news article gave detailed list of the wedding presents and wedding guests who gave the presents.

Rock Island Argus, 23 Nov 1882

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Our 'First Families' in America

'First Families' are considered those who have high social status or those of descent from the first settlers of a place.  I have joined several 'First Families' groups/organizations representing states, regions, or counties within the United States.  For the purposes of this blog post, our 'First Families' will be those ancestors who were our family's first immigrants to America.

I have written about a few of our immigrant families, but to tell the truth I don't know a large majority of them.  Most of our ancestors are still stuck in South Carolina or Virginia in the early 1700's, Northwest Territory in the late 1700's, or east Tennessee in the early 1800's.😞  This list of 'First Families' will hopefully grow as more of our immigrant ancestors are found.

Coming to America
Harbor at Charles-Town, South Carolina, ca 1770  (
The 'First Families' will be separated into my four grandparent lines.  Both husband and wife will be listed, even if they immigrated together as a family.  If a direct line ancestor came over as a child, that ancestor will be listed along with his/her parents.  The list will give name, country of origin, date of immigration (or about date of immigration), and first place of residence in America.
If an ancestor's story has been written in the blog, their name will be the link.

'First Families' of the Martin-Weiss family lines:
Johann Mathias Martin: Germany, 1847, Wisconsin
Catherina Kastner: Germany, 1849, Wisconsin
John Stephan Martin: Germany, Came as child with mother, 1849, Wisconsin
Philip Jacob Weiss: Germany, 1848, died shortly after arriving
Maria Barbara Maendle: Germany, 1848, Illinois
Johann Michael Weiss: Germany, 1852, Illinois
Anna Maria Heim: Germany 1852, Illinois

'First Families' of the Wilson-Hatfield family lines:  
James Cole: England, 1633, Massachusetts
Mary Tibbs: England, 1633, Massachusetts
Captain John Luther: England, abt 1634, Massachusetts
Elizabeth Turner: England, abt 1632, Massachusetts
Henry Lake: England, abt 1635, Massachusetts
Alice Lake: England, abt 1635, Massachusetts
Thomas Cornell: England, 1631, Massachusetts
Rebecca Briggs: England, 1631, Massachusetts
Richard Foxwell: England, 1631, Massachusetts
Edward Gray: England, 1643, Massachusetts
Dorothy Lettice: England, 1935, Massachusetts
Robert Abell: England, 1631, Massachusetts
Thomas Butts: England, 1660, Massachusetts
Anthony Chamness: England, 1724, Maryland
John Coddington: England, 1635, Massachusetts
Philip Hoggatt: England, abt 1700?, North Carolina
Henry Reynolds: England, abt 1670, New Jersey
Thomas Goble: England, abt 1630, Massachusetts
Alice Mousall: England, abt 1630, Massachusetts
Stephen Cawood: England, 1670, Maryland

'First Families' of the Baldwin-Stewart family lines:
James Lindley: Ireland, 1713, Pennsylvania
Eleanore Parke:  Ireland, 1713, Pennsylvania
Thomas Lindley: Ireland, Came as a child with parents 1713, Pennsylvania
Ruth Hadley: Ireland, Came as a child with parents 1715, Delaware/Pennsylvania
Simon Hadley: Ireland, 1715, Delaware/Pennsylvania
Ruth Keran Miller: Ireland, 1715, Delaware/Pennsylvania
Robert Parke: Ireland, 1713, Pennsylvania
Nicholas Pyle: England, 1683, Pennsylvania
Abigail Bushell: England, abt 1683, Pennsylvania
John Whitley: England, 1650, Virginia

'First Families' of the Leffel-Box family lines:
Balzar Leffel: Germany, 1750, Pennsylvania
Reinhold Abendschon: Germany, 1749, Pennsylvania

Our Weiss Immigrant Family

Our First American Ancestors in the Weiss Family
Philip Jacob Weiss & Maria Barbara Maendle

Philip Jacob Weiss was born 14 December 1794 in Uhingen, Wurttemberg, Germany.  He was the third child of Michael Weiss and Catherine Traub Weiss.  On 18 June 1822, he married Maria Barbara Maendle.  Barbara, the daughter of Johann Michael Maendle and Susanna Kissling, was born 6 Apr 1802 in Uhingen, Wurttemberg, Germany.

Below is a copy of the Parish Family Record for the Philip Jacob Weiss family. It is from the Family Register of Uhingen, Vol II, page 426.
Family Register; Uhingen, Wuerttemberg, Germany
Philip Jacob Weiss and his family emigrated to America from their home in Uhingen, Wurttemberg, Germany.   The German people were tired of religious persecutions, wars, political oppression, and social unrest.  And, the Weiss family was looking for a better way of life and a place to raise their children.

The Weiss family sailed from Havre, France on the ship “Seth Sprague”, which was captained by Alexander Wadsworth.  
Ship Seth Sprague, Captained by Alexander Wadsworth

Passenger list of the ship Seth Sprague.  Weiss family starts on line 23.
After a three month voyage, the Weiss family arrived at New Orleans on June 17, 1848.    Soon after, the family started their travel up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, Missouri.  Jacob Weiss became ill and died of cholera in St Louis.  He was buried in a cemetery that was later destroyed by fire so no trace of his grave has ever been found.

After the death of Philip Jacob Weiss, the family continued by boat up the Mississippi River to Rock Island, Illinois.  There was a large German settlement in Coal Valley Township, Rock Island County and it was there that Maria Barbara Weiss and her family settled.  It is possible that they located in that particular area because neighbors or friends in Germany may have located there before the arrival of the Weiss family.  In a short time after their arrival Maria Barbara purchased a two hundred acre farm for which she paid $1,060.00.
It is not known where the Weiss family stayed when they arrived at their destination. After they settled in their new home, a log house, members of the family started getting the farm ready for crops.   While their log house was not very large it always had room for others.  Many people coming from Germany stayed at the Weiss home until they could locate a farm of their own.  As in all German families everyone worked, including the younger children.  They were sent to the store, a distance of about fourteen miles.  They carried butter which was wrapped in a shawl and this was exchanged for necessary supplies.

Pages from the Weiss Bible brought from Germany
Maria Barbara Weiss only lived ten years after coming to America, passing away in 1858. She was buried on the Weiss homestead, Rural Township, Rock Island County, Illinois.  The small cemetery, located north of the house of John Michael Weiss, is now abandoned and supposedly has three tombstones, and several more unmarked graves.  The cemetery is on private property and was posted with a "No Trespassing" sign in 1997.  Alta made the following chart of the cemetery.
Much of the above story came from the book, Weiss Family by Alta Sherrard Waugh.
Weiss Family Book:
Waugh, Alta S., Weiss Family 1600-1983.  Washington, District of Columbia: American Memoirs Publishing, 1983.  
See post about the book, click here.
Family Register: 
Evangelische Kirche Uhingen (OA. Göppingen), Parish Record; Uhingen, Donaukreis, Wuerttemberg, Germany; Uhingen Kirchenbuch, 1634-1900.
Ship Passenger List: New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1820-1945 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA. Original data: New Orleans, Louisiana. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1820-1902. Micropublication M259. RG036. Rolls # 1-93. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Box Family Mystery Solved

On Monday January 9th the Oklahoma State Department of Health launched it's index for vital records.  The new site is called OK2Explore (
I was up all Monday night searching the death index for death record information.:)

Box Family Mystery
One of the long time mysteries in my family tree was in the Grief Johnson Box family.  Grief and his wife, Roenna Box, were our Grandma Mabel Baldwin's grandparents.  They were the parents of 10 known children, although in the 1900 Census Roenna states that she gave birth to 13 children with only 4 still living in 1900.  Those four children that Roenna referred to as still living in 1900 (Mary, Caldona, Matilda, & Tom) are the only children with information known about them and their posterity.  This mystery concerns one of the other children not much is known about: Susan Ann Box Tucker and her children.

Grief died in 1874 in Cooke County, Texas.  In the Cooke County, Texas 1880 census Grief's widow Roenna is listed as head of household and the following is a list of persons in her household:
(Name, relationship to head of household, age, birthplace, Father's Birthplace, Mother's Birthplace)
Rowena Box, head of household, 57, Alabama, TN, TN
T.A. Box, son, 15, Texas, AL, AL
H.J. Box, son, 10, Texas, AL, AL
John Tucker, son-in-law, 47, Alabama, ?, ?
S.A. Tucker, daughter, 37, Mississippi, AL, AL
F.C. Tucker, granddaughter, 13, Texas, AL, MS
F.M. Tucker, granddaughter, 10, Texas, AL, MS
W.H. Rodgers, great-grandson, 2, Texas, ?, AR
Lewis McCoy, Laborer, 16, Texas, IL, MO

1880 U.S. Federal Census, Cooke County, Texas, Prec. 1, pg 209/34 B.
Roenna's daughter (Grandma Baldwin's aunt) Susan Ann is listed by her initials "S.A. Tucker."  Also listed is her husband John Tucker and their two daughters: F.C age 13 and F.M. age 10.

Susan Ann Box, age 16, married John Tucker, age 22, on 10 Feb 1860 in Bradley County, Arkansas. A copy of the marriage record is shown below.
Bradley County, Arkansas Marriage Records, page 123
Found on FamilySearch: Arkansas County Marriage Collection
 Susan died between the 1880 census, previously shown, and the 1900 census, when John was found as a widower living in Jack County, Texas.  He was enumerated next to Susan's sister, Matilda Box Ewing.  John was "head of household" and living by himself in the 1900 Census -- so what happened to the daughters, F.C and F.M that were listed in the 1800 census?
(I really-really dislike census takers who used initials and not the full name!!)

What were the full names for F.C. Tucker and F.M. Tucker?  
What happened to them after the 1880 Census - did they die or marry and move away or what?  

F.C. Tucker and F.M. Tucker were first cousins to our Grandma Baldwin, but no one in the family that I contacted seemed to know about them or what happened to them.

Leffel Family
On our Leffel side of the family, my great-grandmother, Caldona Jane Box, married Charles E Leffel.  Charles E Leffel, had a brother, George Leffel whose first wife had died.  He then married a widow by the name of Mrs. Florida Stanford on 16 Jun 1898 in Graham, Young County, Texas.  I wanted to know Florida's maiden name since Stanford was her married name.  After some research, I found a marriage record for Florida Tucker to Rufus Stanford on 29 Sep 1889 in Wichita, Texas.  So, the maiden name for Florida Stanford who married George Leffel was Tucker.
I started wondering if the Florida Tucker Stanford Leffel could be our lost "F. M. Tucker" in the 1880 Census.  They were both born in 1870 in Texas.  And both were in the same proximity in Texas where family lived.  Widower George Leffel would have known widow Florida Tucker Stanford through family relationships -- his brother Charles was married to Caldona Box who was Susan Box Tucker's sister - mother of our mystery F.M. Tucker.  But, I could never find proof to support the theory.

In the past I have not had good experiences trying to obtain Death Certificates from Oklahoma.  So, I was excited to at least see an index of deaths placed online.
Florida Leffel was one person I wanted to find in the newly launched Oklahoma Death Index.  And after finding her on  OK2Explore, I immediately ordered her death certificate.  It arrived within just a few days at our office and I had my son open it and read the information from the certificate, all the while holding my breath...was she or was she not the daughter of John Tucker and Susan Box.  
She was!!
The death certificate gave the names of Florida's parents and she was the daughter of John Tucker and Susan Box.  My hunches were right and "Florida Melissa Tucker" Stanford Leffel is the mystery "F. M. Tucker" in the 1880 census.
Now, what happened to her sister who was listed in the 1880 census as F.C. Tucker??

Thank you Oklahoma 
for providing us with an online death index!

Death Certificate for Florida Melissa Leffel

Death Certificate Information:
Name: Florida Mellissa Leffel 
Death Date: 3 Feb 1938 
Death Place: Marlow, Stephens, Oklahoma 
White, Female 
Widowed Spouse name: George Leffel 
Birth Date: 30 May 1870 
Birth Place: Hunt County, Texas 
Father: John Tucker, b. Texas 
Mother: Susan Box, b. Tenn 
Informant: Jimmie Leffel of Marlow, Oklahoma 
Burial Place: Marlow 
Burial Date: 4 Feb 1938 

Note: Florida and George Leffel had 5 children.  All of their descendants will be double cousins to descendants of Mabel Leffel Baldwin, because we share common ancestors on the Leffel family and on the Box family.  I have just been in contact with one of their descendants today.:)
In the Box family, Florida is the daughter of our 2nd great-aunt, Susan Ann Box Tucker.  In the Leffel family, she was the wife of our 2nd great-uncle, George Leffel.

Grief Johnson Box Family Blog Posts:
Roenna Box Headstone
Caldona Jane Box and Charles Leffel
Caldona Jane Box Leffel

Monday, November 14, 2016

Baldwin Family 1947

Jess and Mabel Baldwin Family
Jess and Mabel with their three youngest children.
Montrose, Colorado

Jess and Mabel (Leffel) Baldwin

Jess and Mabel (Leffel) Baldwin
Taken at Lions Park, Montrose, Colorado
Family Reunion

Mabel and Jess Baldwin

Monday, October 31, 2016

Whistle While You Work

Robert H "Babe" Cowley
Whistled While He Worked

Cowley's Ferry was on the Cumberland River 15 miles above Nashville, located at the mouth of Stones River.  The ferry was started in the 1850's by John B Cowley.  The early ferry was pulled by oars.  After John retired, his son, Robert H "Babe" Cowley operated the ferry.
In 1948, when Babe Cowley turned 85 years old, his daughter-in-law submitted the following tribute to the "Top O'the Mornin' " section of the Nashville Tennessean Newspaper. 
The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) Friday, March 19, 1948 

The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) Friday, March 19, 1948, page 8
Abstract of above article:
"From Mrs. Lee Cowley, Old Hickory, Tenn... I want to tell you about R H (Uncle Babe) Cowley who is celebrating his 85th birthday.  Many readers will recall Uncle Babe.  He operated the old horse boat at the mouth of Stones river.  Later the gasoline ferry, which was known as the Stone's Ferry.
Thousands have crossed with Uncle Babe.  He whistled while he worked and it never got too hot, too cold or the water too high for him to work -- or whistle.  He owned the first radio in his neighborhood and on Saturday night folks would come from miles away to listen to the Grand Ole Opry programs.  Back then only Judge Hay and Uncle Jimmy Thompson were the cast.
Uncle Babe is my father-in-law -- and though retired, still whistles."

Robert Howell "Babe" Cowley Obituary
The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) Friday, March 11, 1949
Robert H Cowley is related to us through through our Stewart and Medlin families.

Murder in the Family

Murder mysteries seem to be very popular on TV and in books, but finding a murder within the family is a little scary!
Murder of Fred Kibbe
Fred Kibbe, along with Albert Hilpot, was found murdered on September 17, 1910 at an abandoned stage station on the Fort Apache road.  Kibbe, 22 years old, was a businessman from Globe, Arizona, where he owned a grocery store.  He had married in 1908 to Martha Whalley and they had a year old baby daughter.
On Monday September 12, Kibbie and Hilpot left Globe on a deer hunting trip into the White Mountains.  They found shelter at Montano, a stage station which had recently been abandoned on the Fort Apache road.  On September 17, their bodies were found by a teamster hauling passengers from Fort Apache to Rice.  Kibbe and Hilpot had been shot in the head and robbed of all their possessions, including their horses.
Arizona Republic, Saturday, 17 Sep 1910, page 1.
Two ex-cavalry men, James Steele (whose real name was John Goodwin) and William Steward, from Fort Apache were suspected. The fugitives were pursued by Globe Sheriff Thompson, several deputies, hounds, and Indian trackers.  After a six-day chase and many miles from the scene of the killing, Steele and Steward were apprehended.

Weekly Journal-Miner (Prescott, Arizona) - 28 Sep 1910 - Page 5

Steele and Steward confessed to the killing but said it was self-defense.  Later they blamed each other for the killing.  After years of court cases, both men were finally hanged for the murder of Kibbe and Hilpot.
Fred Kibbe was the son of William A Kibbe and Laura Jackman.  Laura Jackman was the daughter of W H Jackman and Sarah McNeil (sister of our ancestor, William S McNeil).

Murder of Fred H Baldwin
World War II Veteran
Fred Harmon Baldwin, born 26 September 1898 in Throckmorton, Texas, was the son of C. R. Baldwin and Della Choate.  When he was 27 years old, Fred married Geneva Estella Tyer.  She died the same year after giving birth to their daughter, Geneva Estella Baldwin.   Fred and his new baby daughter moved in with his parents.  Fred joined the Army Air Forces during WWII and after he was discharged in 1944, he got a job as a security guard at the South Plains Army Air Field in Lubbock County.  On December 15, 1946, Fred stopped at a steak house to get some dinner after leaving work.  He had a half-month's salary in his wallet, along with $50 his mother had given him.  After leaving the restaurant, Fred was attacked and robbed.  His death was caused by blunt force upon the head, and his empty wallet was found next to his body.
Lubbock Evening Journal, Monday, December 16, 1946
Fred H Baldwin was the son of C R Baldwin and the grandson of Francis Marion Baldwin.

Murder of Riley C Medlin
One night five days before Christmas 1932, two men entered a small grocery in Nashville owned by Riley C Medlin.  Medlin was in the back room off the grocery, eating with his family.  One of the men called him to come forward into the grocery.  Medlin picked up his shot gun and walked forward.  Upon seeing the shotgun, one of the men raised a pistol and shot Riley Medlin in the center of his forehead while his wife looked on.  The men who entered the grocery ran away. It is not known if they were ever apprehended and charged with the murder.
Riley C Medlin (1873-1932) was the son of Isaac Pinkney Medlin and Mary Evaline Leaver, and the grandson of Samuel Medlin and Rebecca Morgan.  He married Mamie Lillian Randalls and they were the parents of seven children.  The youngest two daughters, Pearl and Ruth, were at the back of the grocery when their father was murdered.
The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) Wednesday, December 21, 1932 
Murder Strikes Again to the Medlin Family
45 years Later
Riley Medlin's son, Elliot Columbus Medlin,  owner of the Happy Grill in Nashville was killed by a shotgun blast to the back of his head during a robbery at the restaurant.  A Tennessee State Prison escapee and two other men were charged with the murder.

Murder of Willie Cowley
Sometimes murder is committed by a family member which makes it even more horrific.  And, sometimes murder can be self defense.  Willie Cowley died after being hit over the head with an axe by his brother-in-law, John Heflin.  John Heflin was arrested and charged with murder.  But Heflin's father-in-law (and the father of the victim) posted bond.  Apparently, Cowley and Heflin became engaged in an argument over the division of crop money.  Cowley made several lunges at Heflin with his fists and then pulled out his knife to attack, whereupon Heflin snatched an axe from the ground and struck out in self-defense.  Members of the family said that Cowley had been hauling his and Heflin's crops to Nasville, selling them and spending most of the money on drinking.  When Heflin insisted on a fair division of the money the argument followed which resulted in Cowley's death.
Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) Thursday, October 22, 1931 - Page 1