Saturday, June 11, 2016

Mary Jane Stewart Baldwin

Mary Jane Stewart Baldwin is my 2nd great-grandmother.  She was born October 3rd, 1872 in Nashville, Tennessee, the oldest daughter of Henry Stewart and Bettie Medlin.  The Stewart family eventually moved to Texas.  While living in Young County, Texas, Mary met Allen Baldwin.  They were married in Graham, Young County, Texas on 22 Aug 1893.   Mary and Allen lived in Eliasville, probably near the Baldwin family, until about 1899.  After living in Throckmorton, Texas for a few years, Mary and Allen moved to Kiowa County, Oklahoma in 1904 and lived near the Stewart in-laws.  Allen died on June 5, 1931 in Fort Cobb, Oklahoma.  Mary moved back to Kiowa County and lived in Mountain Park until her death in 1959.

Family Photo and information about the Allen and Mary Jane Stewart family can be found here.

Mary Jane Baldwin's Obituary was found in the Lawton Constitution (Newspaper), Lawton, Oklahoma, 22 Nov 1959.

Mrs. Mary Baldwin
Snyder (Special)
Services for Mrs. Mary J. Stewart Baldwin, 77, Kiowa county pioneer, were held at the Mt. Park Baptist church Saturday. Rev. John Matthieson officiated.
Burial was in Mt. Park Cemetery with Preston-Leckie funeral home in charge.
Born Oct. 3, 1872, in Nashville, she moved to Graham, Tex., as a child. She was married in Graham to Allen H. Baldwin. They moved to Oklahoma in 1904 and settled on a farm in Richland community. She was a member of the Baptist church.
Survivors include four daughters, Mrs. Etta Barker and Mrs. Maudie Killian, both of Mt. Park; Mrs. Betty Miller, Lancaster, Calif., and Mrs. Mattie Mitchell, Stratmore, Calif; four sons, Jessie, Cortez, Colo.; Charlie, Corcoran, Calif.; Clyde, Lancaster, Calif., and Tom, Lodi, Calif. Other survivors include 55 grandchildren, 88 great grandchildren and 10 great-great grandchildren.

Mary was buried in Mountain Park Cemetery in Kiowa County, Oklahoma.
Mary Jane Baldwin Headstone
Find-A-Grave Memorial Page
To view Mary's Find-A-Grave Memorial Page, click here.

Weldon Baldwin 1919-1953

Weldon A. Baldwin
Army Air Corps

Father - Husband - Son - Brother

Weldon Baldwin as a youth
Weldon Baldwin was my mom's oldest brother.  Since Weldon died when I was young, I have no specific memories of him. But, I have heard many stories of him over the years -- it seems that everyone loved Weldon.  His sister Esther adored him.  His brother-in-laws trusted him and liked being around him.  Weldon was a friend to all who knew him.

Weldon Albert Baldwin was born January 30, 1919 in Mountain Park, Kiowa County, Oklahoma. He was the oldest of fourteen children born to Jesse and Mabel (Leffel) Baldwin.  Weldon spent the first fifteen years of life living in Oklahoma.  

Weldon started school in 1925 in Fort Cobb, Caddo County, Oklahoma.  Below are two of his school enrollment cards.  Weldon was enrolled in school by his middle name of Albert in 1925.  In 1929, he was still enrolled on the school records as Albert, but in 1930 he was listed was Weldon Baldwin.
Albert Baldwin
1925 School Enrollment, Fort Cobb, Caddo, Oklahoma
Weldon Baldwin
1930 School Enrollment, Fort Cobb, Caddo, Oklahoma
While the family lived in Mountain Park, Weldon’s great-grandmother Betty Medlin Stewart lived with them, and a lot of extended family members lived close by -- aunts and uncles from both sides of the family.  
Baldwin Family 1928 Oklahoma (Weldon on far left)
The Great Depression was taking a toll on Weldon's family in Oklahoma. It was hard for his father Jesse to feed and care for the growing Baldwin family.  In addition, Jesse did not like living with the threat of tornadoes.  Jesse’s uncle, Charley Stewart, talked Jesse into moving to Gilbert, Arizona.  Charles Stewart had citrus groves and cotton fields and needed help. So Jess and Mabel sold their home in Oklahoma and moved to Arizona right after their daughter, Verna, was born in 1934.  Once they were living in Arizona, Weldon was old enough to help his family by working in the orange groves and cotton fields.

The Baldwin family lived in Arizona several years, before moving to Summit Point, San Juan County, Utah. Summit Point was located on the Utah–Colorado border.  Grandma Baldwin's brother, Lane Leffel, who had previously homesteaded in Southwestern Colorado, encouraged them to move into the area.

Below are photos of Weldon and his friend, Crock, when they were teenagers living at Summit Point.  Arthur "Crock" Cressler was Weldon's neighbor and friend.  Crock said of Weldon: "I never met a man as upstanding and true to his word as Weldon."  
Weldon's sisters said he had a pair of pants that looked looked like sailor pants and he would wear them all the time.  It looks as if Weldon had his "sailor pants" on when the below photos were taken.  Cute:)
Weldon (right) and friend, Crock.

Weldon (left) playing accordion, Crock playing guitar
Weldon goofing off on horse

Weldon was musically gifted.  He could sing and play an accordion, guitar, saxophone, and piano.  In a photo above, he's playing his accordion.   
While living at Summit Point, Weldon was mentioned several times in the Monticello, Utah newspaper -- The San Juan Record.  Below is an article that mentioned some car trouble he had while returning home from a dance with his friends.  

San Juan Record, 8 Sep 1938

Marriages and Military
After living in Summit Point for several years, Weldon's family moved to Montrose, Colorado.  It was there that Weldon met Louise Hotchkiss.   Their marriage record is found in Clark County, Washington for the 6th of July 1942.  Two children were born to Weldon and Louise.  Weldon moved his family to Yamhill County, Oregon.  On 7 Oct 1942, he enlisted in the Army and soon left for basic training.  After Weldon was gone, Louise did not like being tied down with their children.  One day she took the children and left them on the steps of the court house.  When Weldon returned home on leave, he found his children were in foster care.  Weldon divorced Louise and with the help of his sister, Esther, he got his children back.  But, since this was during WWII, Weldon had to return to his military duty.  Esther eventually adopted the children.  

After joining the Army, Weldon was sent to basic training in San Antonio.  He was trained to be a pilot for the Army Air Corps.  After he completed his training as a navigator for B17's,  he was made an instructor for pilots.  According to different family members, Weldon was an instructor at Fort Hood and also at a military base at Sioux City, Iowa.

The US Army Air Corps was the military aviation arm of the US Army during WWII and was the forerunner of the US Air Force.

After the war, Weldon returned home.  His sister Esther introduced him to one of her friends named Nancy Jane Tingstrom, a native of California.  In about 1948, Weldon married Nancy in California. They had one daughter.
Weldon and Nancy - Wedding Day
Weldon and family
Weldon continued to fly airplanes after the war ended and he returned home to civilian life.  He and a friend, Alan Thomas, started flying supplies into Alaska. In September 1948 while flying an empty cargo plane back to Portland, they had a plane crash. His co-pilot died and Weldon almost froze to death before he was rescued.
28 Sep 1948; Oregonian newspaper
In another business venture, Weldon is said to have invented a fork-lift and obtained a patent for the fork-lift.  But, I have not been able to find a patent in his name.  After Weldon died, his brother Joe sold the fork-lift business.

Weldon and a friend started a business to investigate airplane failures and crashes for the military and insurance companies.  Below are photos of Weldon transporting airplanes.

Died in a Flaming Truck Crash
In 1953, Weldon was hauling airplane parts on a flat-bed trailer behind his truck when he was hit head-on by a car trying to pass a logging truck.  Weldon's truck exploded during the crash and he was burned over 80% of his body.  Six days later on July 31, 1953, Weldon died in a Eugene hospital from injuries and burns caused by the accident.
Weldon's truck after the crash
Newspaper articles about the crash

The Oregon Statesman (Salem, Oregon) 26 July 1953

Eugene Guard newspaper, 31 July 1953
Weldon was only thirty-four years old at the time of his death.  
He had lived an extraordinary life in a short time

Eugene Guard (Eugene, Oregon) 1 Aug 1953

Funeral program for Weldon
Army Air Corps
Father - Husband - Son - Brother

To view Weldon's Find-A-Grave Memorial Page, click here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Henry R Stewart Civil War Pension II

For part 1, see previous post: Henry R Stewart Civil War Pension 

Henry's health declined to the point that in 1912, Henry left Oklahoma and traveled to the Army Hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  He died in the Army Hospital on 19 September 1912. Henry R. Stewart is buried in the Little Rock National Cemetery in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Henry's widow, Bettie Medlin Stewart, applied for a Widow's pension.  The papers Bettie had to provide in order to receive her pension are rich in clues and/or information about her early life.  Bettie had told her grandchildren and great-grandchildren that she was an orphan and did not know anything about her family.  But, she provided the pension board just enough information that her family was found.  Blog posts about Bettie can be found here and here.

Widow's Pension 
Widow's Pension 

Widow's Pension 

Widow's pension 

Widow's Pension 
Widow's Pension 
Below is an affidavit by Bettie's brother-in-law,  J M Stewart.
Widow's Pension - JM Stewart Letter1
Widow's Pension - JM Stewart Letter2

Bettie stated that in 1870 she was living with "William Brown his wife Emma Brown and their children names were Clerry Jane Brown, Permela Brown and Smith Brown in Putnam Co., Tenn."  William A. Brown wrote a letter that is included in the pension file.
Widow's Pension - WA Brown Letter1

Widow's Pension - WA Brown Letter2

Henry R Stewart Civil War Pension

I have written several posts about my 2nd great-grandfather, Henry Riley Stewart.
Henry Stewart - Civil War Veteran
Old Stone House
Our Family Blacksmiths
Stewarts of Putnam County, Tennessee
Henry R Stewart Civil War Pension II

Henry was born 10 Dec 1843, the third child of Harrison and Sarah (Brown) Stewart. In his pension application, Henry states that he was born in Double Springs, Jackson County, Tennessee.  On 31 December 1863 at Carthage, Tennessee, Henry enlisted in the Union Army as a private in D Company 1st Tennessee Volunteers, Mounted Infantry. His pension is File # 1244,834.  At the end of the war, Henry was discharged honorably from the army on 25 April 1865 at Nashville, Tennessee.  Below are a few pages from his pension file.

Henry R Stewart Pension 1

Henry R Stewart Pension 2

Henry R Stewart Pension 3

Henry R Stewart Pension 4

Henry R Stewart Pension 5
Below is the official death record found in the pension file for Henry Stewart. It is from the Army and Navy General Hospital, Hot Springs, Arkansas.  I
Henry R Stewart Pension 6 - Death Record 

Army and Navy General Hospital, Hot Springs, Ark., Jan. 25, 1914 To the Commissioner of Pensions, Dept of the Interior, Washington, D.C. The records of this hospital show that Henry R. Stewart late Private Co. D, 1st Tennessee Volunteer Infantry, died at this hospital at 11:30 am September 19, 1912. Diagnosis: "Prostatic hypertrophy with chronic cystitis". Immediate cause of death: "Hypertrophied prostate, retention of urine, pyonephrosis, left, and secondary pneumonia." F.A. Winter Lieut. Colonel Medical Corps, Commanding

The Army-Navy General Hospital at Hot Springs, Arkansas was the first combined general hospital for both U.S. Army and Navy patients in the nation. In the early 1800s, people believed that bathing in mineral waters had therapeutic value, which brought many people to the town of Hot Springs (Garland County). The groundwork for the hospital was proposed in 1882. $100,000 was approved for the building of a thirty-bed, joint military hospital, the first such effort in U.S. history. President Chester A. Arthur signed the bill in 1882. The Army-Navy Hospital opened to patients in January 1887 under the direct jurisdiction of the secretary of war. The 1880s version of the Army-Navy Hospital was made of red brick, slate, and wood. the hospital (as a federal facility) was one of the top five employers in Garland County.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Britton Medlin Update

This is an update to the previous post about Britton Medlin's War of 1812 Pension,  The pension papers filled out by Britton's widow, Margaret Medlin, left some question as to the correct spelling of her maiden name -- McDole or McDowell.  A McDowell descendant has recently contacted me and Margaret's maiden name is McDowell.

The following message was sent to me:
"Margaret is a daughter of Andrew McDowell and his second wife, Mary McKean, McKeown or McKane. They were from Winnsboro, Fairfield Co., SC. Andrew was a surveyor in SC, and came to White Co. to work between 1805 and 1810. Mary's father was Alexander McKean, and he and Andrew McDowell can be seen on jury lists in Fairfield Co. Mary had died before her father died. In his estate quibbles it is mentioned that she was the wife of Andrew McDowell and had 2 daughters named Margaret and Jane. In 1820 Andrew and the 2 daughters are in the census in White County."

The Elizabeth McDowell Elrod, whose sons K Harrison Elrod and John Elrod were witnesses for Margaret Medlin, may be the daughter of Margaret's older half-brother, John McDowell.  That would explain the close relationship and the reason K Harrison Elrod and John Elrod were chosen to be witnesses for Margaret Medlin in the widow's pension.
K Harrison and John Elrod - Witnesses for Margaret Medlin

To find out more about the McDowell family, go to the blog: