Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lessons from the Bible

I wrote a story recently about finding a 1902 Tampa newspaper article about my great grandfather, William Augustus Lundy, going to visit the Glenn Springs Resort in South Carolina. Glenn Springs was well known as a mineral springs that many thought had healing waters.
At the time I speculated he was going there to compare it to his own fountain of youth enterprise in Manatee County Florida.
A cousin in Bradenton, Florida ended up with the Lundy family bible and found many old letters inside. This one, dated August 10, 1902 was written by William Lundy to his daughter Viola Lundy Wilson and actually mentions they were leaving the next day for Glenn Springs. He died of cancer five months later.
It is clear from the letter that they were going to the resort to see if it would help his cancer. He says "maybe it will be some help to me." He ends the letter saying "my trust is in God and his will be done." 
He also tells Viola: "I was more than glad to hear that you had thought of a Savior. Trust God with all your heart and you will never find that life is so burdensome."
I guess this is the last letter he wrote her since he died in January.
Viola's family has been a mystery in many ways. She and her sister Ida married brothers. She was first, marrying James A. Wilson in 1901 and my great grandparents, Benjamin Franklin Wilson and Ida Lundy were married in 1903.
Viola died young, at age 22 in 1905. The family story is that she was buried in Major Adams Cemetery in Bradenton but there is no marker for her there. Her husband James disappeared shortly after and the story is that he moved to Quincy, Florida. Their son, Emery Lundy Wilson who was born in 1904 was raised by his aunt Ellen Wilson Dortch in Tampa. The last record I've found of Emery was the 1930 census when he was living in Detroit.   

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Decoration Day Memories

This being Memorial Day weekend I thought I would write about two brothers of my great grandfather James Henderson Hogan. They both died while serving in the CSA during the Civil War.

Ellis Hogan Death Notice
Their parents James and Elizabeth Paulk Hogan had three sons and two daughters, all born in Stewart County Georgia. My great grandfather had gotten married and moved to Taylor County Florida by the time the war started so he enlisted in the Florida Second Battalion. His younger brothers both enlisted in the CSA in Georgia.
Ellis H. Hogan was born in 1836. He married Emoline Smith on November 8, 1857 in Nashville. Georgia. They had two daughters Arcina born in 1859 and E. Harvey in 1862, the same month her father died. On August 22, 1861 Ellis enlisted as a Private in Company G, 29th Georgia Infantry Regiment at Brunswick, GA.
Claim filed by widow
Ellis Hogan's army record states he died of Pneumonia on February 7, 1862 in the Confederate hospital in Darian, Georgia. I haven't found where he was buried. The McIntosh County Georgia records that are available online are pretty humble.

Micajah Hogan Death Notice
His widow, Emoline Hogan applied to the Confederate Army for money due him at the time of his death, his monthly pay and the bounty for enlistment. Her claim of September 15,1863 was filed in Berrien County Georgia. Emoline died several months later and their two daughters were raised by Emoline's sister Jemima Smith Tygert and her husband William.

One of E. Harvey Hogan's granddaughters Emma Morris did a lot of research on the Hogan and Paulk family history. Even though I never met her, I was fortunate to receive a copy of her files from a relative after Emma died in 1993.
Micajah Hogan was born in 1845. He never married and stayed home at the beginning of the war since he was too young to enlist and both his brothers had already left. He was eighteen when he enlisted as a Private on February 5, 1864 in Company F, 46th Georgia Infantry Regiment. His regiment fought in almost daily battles from that date until June 19, 1864 when he was wounded at Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia and captured by Union troops. He was taken to a hospital in Atlanta and then shipped by train as a POW to Camp Douglas, outside of Chicago, Illinois. While in the prison camp he contracted Smallpox and died on November 25, 1864.

Over 4,000 Confederate soldiers who died at Camp Douglas were eventually buried in a mass grave after the war in the Oak Woods Cemetery in Chicago. It was eventually because of a real estate deal. Camp Douglas was named for Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas who leased the government land for the POW camp.

As part of the deal they agreed to not only vacate the site but put it back as it was before. So the Confederate soldiers who had been buried there during the war had to be moved. The Confederate graves at Camp Douglas and nearby City Cemetery didn't have any markers or identification, so they decided in 1867 to put them in a large plot in Oak Woods. They call it the "Confederate Mound."

Confederate Mound

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Finding Minnie

I wrote a story a while back about the Mora family from Cortez, Florida. Joseph Augustine Mora was one of the earliest settlers in the area and had been fishing in South Florida since at least the 1870s.

Joseph Mora Plot
While I was in the Cortez area recently I went by the Palma Sola Cemetery to see if I could locate the graves of Joseph Mora and his wife Mary "Minnie" Hazel Mora. Minnie died in 1917 and Joseph in 1931.

I knew from newspaper and death records they were both buried at Palma Sola but there was no marker that could be found for them when a census of the older graves was done.

I obtained an old map of the cemetery from the Manatee Historical Library showing the original owners of the plots from around 1920.

The map showed Joseph Mora owned a plot next to my great uncle Nathan Fulford. The older plots have room for 8 graves.

Marker for Minnie and Ernest
I found the Mora plot and also a marker that had the name Minnie and Ernest on it. It is barely legible but you can see the names and the date of death says 1915 and 1914.

It was next to a round concrete grave cover that had the initials "MM" cut into the base.

Next to this was a small marker with just the initials "EM." Joseph and Minnie had a son named Ernest who died in 1916 so this must be his grave.

The one next to him with the MM initials must be Minnie's. The marker has the wrong year of death for both of them but it was probably put there years later.

Joseph A Mora Grave
Next to her is one without any identification just a concrete cover. I am pretty sure it would be Joseph's grave since all the others in the plot are from later years.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Birthday Cards

I've written about my other three grandparents this year on their birthdays. Today would have been my grandfather Millard Fillmore Green's 133rd.  

He was born May 16, 1880 and died on July 8, 1973. He was the oldest of twelve in the family of Andrew Jackson and Rebecca Oliff Hogan Green of Taylor County Florida.

I try to send birthday cards to everyone in my family but sometimes it gets difficult to remember to get them in the mail.

This is the card my grandfather received on birthday number seventeen in 1897.

"Dear Fillmore

Many Glad Birthdays is the wish of your teacher.
Eddie L. Morres"
"Your birthdays are milestones and you never know how many more are to be passed. Be sure that each one is on the right road to Eternity." 

I tried to locate information about his teacher but haven't been able to find him listed on any of the census or lists of Taylor County teachers. My grandfather kept the card for 76 years. 

May 16, 1935 card

He liked to celebrate the day and was unique in that he often sent cards or photos to other people on his birthday. He quoted or made up poems for the occasion.

He sent this card to my Dad in 1935 while he was living in Gainesville, Florida. 

The photo is one he had taken on his 58th birthday in 1938. He sent copies of it to his sons who had all left Taylor County by then.

MF Green May 16, 1938

He lived all his life in Taylor County. I didn't come around until he was an old man so I never knew him as anything else.

From records and other folk's memory, I've found he held a wide variety of jobs. He was the County Census Enumerator from around 1905 to 1915 but it was just part time. He did both the Federal and State census. Florida conducted a state census in 1915 but all the individual family records have been lost.

He lived in the Shady Grove area after he got married and bought a 160 acre farm in 1907 but then moved the family to Perry in 1910.

He owned a General Store in Perry for several years but got in an argument with his partner and sold his share. He was listed as a clerk for Faulkner Brother's Store in Perry on his 1918 WWI draft registration card. On the 1920 census he was listed as the County School Attendance Officer. Raising five boys after his wife died in 1915 and making sure they all stayed in school, he was qualified for that job.

He had a Singer Sewing machine business in the late teens and early twenties and travelled around North Florida selling them out of the back of a horse drawn wagon. He would leave his five boys with one their uncles, Gene or Auley Rowell in Shady Grove when he was gone overnight.

On the 1930 census at age 50 he was listed without any occupation but on the 1935 census was listed as a gardener. He had a empty lot next to his house where he grew vegetables for the local grocery store. On his Social Security application in 1939 he said he was working at the City Billiard Parlor. From 1940 on he was shown as retired.

When they first moved to Perry the family lived on Green street. That house burned sometime around 1920 and he moved several times before he bought half a dozen lots and built rental houses on Sparrow and Robin Street.

He bought farm land when he was young that he rented out, so between them and the rental houses he always had money. He rarely spent any of it. He didn't have a car and heated his house with an old wood stove. He cut the wood for it himself even at age 90. He put a small kerosene heater in the living room a couple years before he died and it's amazing he didn't have a fire or get sick from carbon monoxide poisoning. He had a 20 year old wringer washing machine on the back porch.

He loved to quote bible verses, at least those that fit with whatever he thought important. He had strong opinions about politics and the issues of the day. I can still hear him saying: "Woe unto you lawyers! For you've laden men with burdens grievous to bear."

He wasn't shy about letting folks know how he felt. My cousin said Grandpa once told the wife of the Buckeye Paper Mill manager, who was wearing a mini skirt in the grocery store "lady looks to me like you jumped too far through that skirt."

He didn't trust banks, for good reason. In 1930 when the depression hit and banks started going bust the manager of the bank in Perry tipped him off that they were going to close the next day. My dad said Grandpa found him at Taylor County High School and had him withdraw his college savings. Doing so meant Daddy was able to start college at the University of Florida in the fall. Grandpa took out all his money that day too and wasn't quick to put it back in.

In the 1960s he and a friend of my Grandpa Fulford's, Albert "Gator" Mora had a running feud about which one of them owed the other money. They both claimed the other one had their money buried in coffee cans in the yard. I was the conduit of several of their extended conversations, each one telling me to be sure to tell the other that they wanted their money and they were going to come dig up the cans. It wouldn't surprise me to hear someone finds a couple of those cans in Grandpa's yard one day. If so I bet they find a birthday card in them too.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

In Death Not Divided

I've written several times about Capt. William Hawkins Fulford. He settled the area that is now called North Miami Beach, Florida. It was originally called Fulford. He is a 2nd cousin, several times removed.

New York Herald Tuesday, July 5, 1870

The City of North Miami Beach has been doing research on him for a while to document his life since he was their founder. The President of their historical society sent me an email recently which prompted me to do some more research on him.

In the process I came across this death notice in the New York Herald dated July 5, 1870. It reports on the death and burial of two of his children. I didn't know about them because they were born and died between 1860 and 1870. The census which was done every 10 years is one of the few ways to document children in a family from that era.

Birdie and Bennie died on the same day, July 3, 1870, I assume from disease. I found a Columbia University web page that listed all the epidemics in New York during the 1800s but there wasn't any shown for 1870.

The newspaper says they were buried in Greenwich, Connecticut. It took a while to figure out which cemetery. Their mother Mary Lent Fulford's family was from Greenwich and her grandparents, John and Mary Sackett were buried in the Second Congregational Church Cemetery in Greenwich. There are many other of her family members buried there. The funeral was held in her mother Abigail Sackett Lent's house in New York. I am pretty sure if they took the children to Greenwich they would have buried them in the Sackett family plot at the Second Congregational Church.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

I sincerely believe, yes, very much so

Today is my grandmother Ila Rowell Green's birthday. She would have been one hundred, twenty-six years old.
Ila Rowell abt age 15

She shares the birthday with both her father and my wife & shares her name with my sister.

Unfortunately she didn't make it anywhere near the century mark. In fact she was only twenty eight years old when she died on August 24, 1915.

She was the oldest child in the family of Seth David and Martha Williams Rowell who lived in the Shady Grove area of Taylor County Florida. Their youngest, another daughter, Mary Emma Rowell Grantham died at the same age. I wrote about that sad coincidence in another story.

Ila was seventeen when she married on January 8, 1905. Her first child, Alton was born a year and four days later.

She had six children and five of them, all boys survived her. My father was the fourth son and only three years old when his mother died. The youngest, Floyd was only eleven months old.

MF and Ila Green family abt 1911

She had one daughter which I didn't know of until I saw a reference on the 1910 census. It said she had three children but only two were living. Doing some checking I determined she had a daughter that had died soon after birth. The daughter wasn't listed in the family bible so I don't know if she had a name.

This family photo from about 1911 shows her and my grandfather, Millard Fillmore Green with sons Alton, Bryant and Lester. Bryant and Lester got stuck in the dresses. It's the only photo I have of her as an adult. Many in the Rowell family have red hair but her's looks dark.

She died of heart failure, or at least that is the story that has been passed down and was reported in her death notice. Her father Seth died young also, at age 46 and with her sister's death at age 28 maybe there was a heart problem running in the family. Her brother Auley was only 45 when he died in 1935. None of her children had any inherited health problems so I guess they were lucky at that.

This faded newspaper clipping about her death was in my Grandfather's papers when he died in 1973. It talks of her being in better health so it must have been known that she had been sick for a while. She was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Perry, Florida.

Her concrete grave marker had worn out and the name was no longer legible after almost 60 years so my grandfather bought a new marble one about a year before he died.

June 29, 1930
I came across this letter written on June 29, 1930 by my uncle William Bryant Green. He was in the Navy at the time and wrote it to his aunt Eva Green.

Eva was living in Manatee County Florida, teaching at the one room school in Cortez, Florida. It is six pages long and talks about his life in the Navy, troubles that two of his brothers were having and later his doubts about God. 

Growing up in a house with five boys and no mother was not easy and his father was strict. I am sure they were struggling to make a living in Perry, Florida two years into the Great Depression.

This small section of the letter is reflecting on the loss he still felt because his mother died so young. He was six years old when his mother died and fifteen years later writes:

"I often wonder if things would have been different if mother would have lived. I sincerely believe, yes, very much so."

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Looking for Negatives

Urchie Chadwick Ellis (1866-1910) was my 1st cousin, several times removed. His father David was the brother of my great great grandmother Mary Ellis Fulford.

U.C. Ellis House Wilmington, NC
On his death certificate his occupation was listed as photographer and it showed his home address at 116 Church Street in Wilmington, North Carolina. I decided to google the address and found that his home had been preserved and listed as a historic structure by the Historic Wilmington Foundation.

The plaque on his house reads:

"Queen Anne style cottage built for Urchie Chadwick Ellis (1866-1910), photographer; and wife, Eliza Winnifred Tindall (1866-1945)."

U. C. Ellis had a photography business and must have been pretty good at it. I've found his name online credited as the photographer for many photos of people, school groups, local buildings and even street scenes that had been made into post cards.

Finding photos of relatives from the 1800s is very unusual so having a photographer in the family could be a valuable resource. Unfortunately I don't know anyone in his immediate family to know if any family photos have survived.

Having a name like Urchie should make him easy to track down so I'm hoping to find some negatives soon.