4 Generations!

Today I took a picture of 4 generations of women with some interesting facts I had never realized or known before.  In the picture is my mother, my sister, my sisters daughter and her daughter.

All four women have a middle name beginning with a “J”.  Gloria Jane, Beverly Jean, Amy Jo and the youngest Nora Jane.

Also, in each family there is only one women.  My mom had one brother and no sisters.  My mom gave birth to six boys and one daughter, Beverly Jean.  Bev had one daughter, Amy Jo.  And now Amy Jo has three boys and finally one daughter, Nora Jane.  Amy told me that it has always been a dream of hers since she was little to have a daughter and give her a name that begins with a “J”.

This is a genealogy post with all living people in it!

4 generations

2017 Road Trip #1

First road trip of the year.  2,426 miles starting with a visit to Oxford, Michigan for Austin’s graduation open house (I have a grandson graduated from high school already?!?). Then on the Lia, Chris and Emma’s for a couple days where we also met up with Stephen and Heidi and Lexi.  So a couple days in and I already have seen 5 of my grandchildren.  Emma is losing her teeth!

Emma

Next up was Pennsylvania for a 5 day visit with Brian, Amy and Sammy.  Spent a lot of time at the ball diamond since Brian coaches one team and Sammy is on another team.  Sammy is going in the seventh grade now and he is also doing some cross country training this summer.  Must have some of Uncle Ted’s genes in his system.

Sammy and I had a great hike in the governor Dick trail system, including climbing the ladders to the top of the observation tower.

I also had an encounter with an assassin bug.  I did not know what it was at first, and discovered that if I put my finger near it, it would walk towards my finger instead of away.  Fortunately for me, I did not let it get to my finger.  Whew!  Also saw a butterfly on our hike.  Kind of the beauty and the beast.

Then on to Maryland with a short visit with my cousin Susan McArdell.  Did not stay for long but had a great visit and did a lot of talking about all our relatives.  Got some new information for my genealogy research and also had a long talk via phone with my cousin Tom McArdell who has done much research also.  I see more trips in my future!

Susan & Me

Then on to Stephanie and Steven’s in North Carolina (via lunch at Steve and Kathy Clemons in Salem, VA).  Had a great visit there for about 4 days, including a visit to see Dan Warren in Easley, SC with a nice lunch downtown Greenville and a visit to Bob Jones University.

Dan Warren

Made it one day to Mount Airy, NC which is the boyhood home of Andy Griffith.  Had lunch at Snappy’s (which blew up Stephanie’s diet) and visited the museum (not so great) and many gift shops.  Saw the huge school she teaches at (9 classes in each grade!) in South Carolina, Harrisburg Elementary school.  Ended the trip coming home through Troy Ohio and overnight stay with Lia, Emma and Grandpa Risheill.

And last but not least, meet my new girlfriend Thelma Lou!

Me & Thelma Lou

Mary Ann (Hyde) Davenport – Part 1

Time for a little foray into the Davenport side of the family.  The picture below will be my starting point.  This appears to be a reunion of some kind which would have been in Rhode Island probably around 1930 give or take a few years.  The picture had names on the back written by my dad (Frank H Davenport II) which I note as underlined words below the picture.  There are 14 adults (only 13 names, probably since there is someone hidden on the left side) and four children.

Notably missing is the husband (or should I say former husband) of Mary Ann Hyde whose name is William Edgar Davenport.  More on this man, my great grandfather, later.

Mary Hyde Davenport & Clan1

Back Row Left to Right:

  • Arthur Rodgers and “Auntie” Martha Rodgers (this couple appears to be family friends in Pawtucket, RI) and in fact the 1925 census has Charles Arthur Davenport as next door neighbors to the Rodgers.
  • Hidden person behind Martha Rodgers (not named on back).  My guess it is Charles Lawton who married Mabel Davenport and she is next in the picture.
  • Auntie Mabel (McSparren) Lawton (Mabel L Davenport) b. 1886 in RI
  • Aunt Lillian (Lillian Lucy Davenport) b. 12 Sep 1889 in RI, d. 20 Apr 1957 in CA
  • Earl Quincy (Husband of Ethel)
  • Arthur Davenport (Charles Arthur Davenport), b.22 Jan 1899 in RI, d.21 Feb 1959 probably in RI
  • Ethel Quincy (Ethel Burton Davenport) b.17 Mar 1894 in RI, d. Nov 1979 in RI
  • Robert Davenport (Robert Darling Davenport), b.15 Nov 1907 in RI, d.17 May 1981 in CA
  • Mildred (Heywood) Davenport (Mildred L Heywood, spouse of Robert) holding Robert (Buster), Not sure who “Buster” is.  But Ancestry shows Robert and Mildred had a son born in 1934 in White Bear Lake, Minnesota named Heywood Grant Davenport.
  • Grandma Davenport (Mary Ann Hyde) b. 18 Jan 1863 in England, d. 20 May 1939 in Pawtucket RI.
  • Uncle Arthur’s wife (?), (Mary Louise Otis) b. abt 1904 in RI, d. abt 1972
  • Daddy (FHD), (Frank Howard Davenport I), b. 9 Mar 1884 in RI, d. 31 Jul 1945 in St. Paul, Minnesota.  In 1930 he would have been married 11 years with 5 children (including my dad born in 1929), so I assume he traveled alone for this reunion, if that is what this is.
  • John, (John Milton Davenport) b. 5 Nov 1905 in RI, d. 20 Jan 1955 in CA

Front Row Left to Right:

  • Priscilla Quincy (Priscilla F. Quincy) b. Jul 1924
  • Betty Lawton (Elizabeth H. Lawton) b. 1921, d. 1990
  • Phyliss Quincy (Phyliss Gifford. Quincy) b. abt. 1926
  • Uncle Arthur’s Son (Charles Arthur Davenport Jr.) b. 24 Sept 1924 in RI, d. 29 Jul 1990

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Matilda Matney

Great grandmother on our mom’s side.

Mary Matilda Matney was born on August 6, 1875 in Appanoose, Iowa, her father, William, was 40 and her mother Mary (Van Dyke) was 34.  She married John Magill in 1892 (when she was 17 years old) and they had 10 children in 19 years.  She died on May 9, 1936, in Hoisington, Kansas, at the age of 60.  Her husband John Magill passed away in 1954 at the age of 89.  I vaguely remember meeting him in Saginaw at Grandpa and Grandma’s house and I would have been 3 years old at the most.

After giving birth to five sons, her first daughter was Mary Esther Magill, who was to marry Hudson Dexter Mead II.  The fruit of their loins is our mother Gloria Jane Mead.

Mary grew up in Kansas, married and started raising her family in Kansas, but sometime before 1913 the family moved to Falls City, Nebraska where the last three of her children were born.  Around 1923 it appears the family moved to South Dakota and sometime before 1930 she would move back to Kansas where she lived out her remaining days.

Hudson Mead II and her daughter Mary Esther were married in 1927 in Chadron, Nebraska, which is near South Dakota.  Don’t know how they met, but maybe she went to see a band called the “Revelers” and fell in love with him at first sight!

I would guess that the picture shown here was probably taken around the time she was married and she indeed was a beautiful looking woman.

Mary Matilda Matney

Arthur J. Mead – Part 2

I have discovered some additional information on Arthur, who would be our great uncle, stepbrother of Grandma Nora.  Thanks to some direction from Char… I was pointed to the Vernal Express (originally the Uintah Papoose) which is a newspaper founded by Grandma Nora’s step mother, Catherine (Kate) Jean Boan.  More on her another time.

Arthur did indeed commit suicide as evidenced by the newspaper article in the January 13, 1911 edition of the Vernal Express.  The letters that are referenced in this newspaper as written by the hand of Arthur are the very letters that my mom has and which I attached to the previous post.  Although the letters mentioned in the newspaper article were addressed to his brother and his children, the letters I have are addressed to his brother and his mother.

His son that would have found him as noted in the article would be Hudson Stuart Mead and he would have just turned 11 years old.  His other three daughters would have been 18, 14 and 7 at the time.  What a horrible thing for his son Hudson Stuart to have gone through.

Thanks to the http://www.findagrave.com website I learned he was buried at the Greenwood Cemetery in Chadron, Nebraska, Plot: Block 7, Lot 46, Space 7.  So now I need to make a trip to Chadron (where I was born) and see if I can find the headstone.

Vernal Express AJ Mead ref 1911-01-13 Suicide

Pine Haven Recreation Area 2017-05-13

Good hiking trail especially with the great weather today.  Only about 30 minutes from Bay City just west of Sanford Lake.  The Salt River is one boundary and the Mud Creek runs through the area also, which gives it some elevation changes.  Lots of standing water in some areas with mosquito’s out in deadly force already.

I saw two pileated wood peckers and a large eastern garter snake.  Only ran into one other person on my approximate 4 mile hike.  There were three levels of trails marked out and I took the most difficult of course.  But this is Michigan and not the Appalachian mountains.  Some of the trails were designed more for mountain bikes than for walking, which I think is it’s main attraction.

Here’s a few pics of the trail.

pine-haven-map
Trail Map
Mud Creek
Mud Creek
Salt River
Salt River
Swamp
Wet Trail
Mosquito
Mosquito’s Attack!
Snake
Eastern Garter Snake
Trail
Trail
Trail1
Nice Trail

Arthur J. Mead

Born in December 1862 in Niles, Michigan.  His dad was John Groot Mead and mother was Delia Louise Corell.  Delia passed away in 1866.  John Groot Mead married Mary Eliza Dexter (nicknamed “Dan”) in Connecticut in 1867 and they had one child, Hudson Dexter Mead who is my great grand-father.

So, Arthur J. Mead would be a step brother to Hudson Sr.  My mom, Gloria, who is a granddaughter of Hudson Mead Sr. has no recollection of hearing of Arthur.  But, my mom also has a couple letters, signed by Arthur addressed to his mom and his brother Hud.  Through ancestry also found a document by a great granddaughter of Arthur (Laura Squires) referring to Arthur and his possible suicide in 1910.

Arthur married Laura Belle Bryant on 15 Feb 1892 in Uintah, Utah.  She was quite young at the time being only 17 years old while Arthur would have been 29.  They had 4 children, Delia, Nila, Hudson S. and Gertrude.  Sometime after 1903 when Gertrude was born and 1910, it appears that Laura ran off with another man to California leaving Arthur with the children.

Below are scanned copies of the letters from 1910 which are hard to read.  I have also attached my transcription of the letters along with a copy of the document from Laura Squires. 

Arthur_Mead_Letters_0005Arthur_Mead_Letters_0006Arthur_Mead_Letters_0007Arthur_Mead_Letters_0008

Transcript of Arthur letter to Hud:

Chadron, Nebraska         Dec 29, 1910

 Dear Hud,

                You’re a Prince and I realize to the full the difference between you and I.  No doubt I have about the same natural ability as you, but you have used yours while I have wasted mine.  I remember a remark Grandma Mead made to me when I was a little boy “Hell is paved with good intentions”.  If I could have fully realized then what this meant my life’s story might have been different.  I have intended to do things.  You have done them.  Results speak for themselves.  I have been figuring out why a black hen laid a white egg while you have been getting the egg.  That explains the whole situation.  Sentiment is a good thing when under proper control, but instead of keeping it under control I have allowed it to control me and the result is wreck and ruin.  No man ever lived who loved his wife and children and home more devotedly than I did, but I did not seem to know how to mix the business in and make it combine.  So I lost my wife and when I lost her I lost everything that made life worth living for me, because I had allowed sentiment instead of judgement, to rule.  To say that I have suffered the fortunes of the damned during the past 15 months is putting it mildly.  No words can express what I have suffered.  This suffering has rendered me worthless to the world, my family, my friends and myself, so I am getting out of the way to make room for someone more worthy.  I fully appreciate what you have done for me, but the prospect of repaying you seems utterly hopeless, so I want to get out of the way before the debt grows larger.

Sincerely Yours,

Arthur

Transcript of Arthur letter to his mom:

Chadron, Nebraska         Dec 29, 1910

 Dear Mother,

                I am so sorry that you don’t think I appreciate what you have done for me and mine.  I appreciate it in my heart.  I guess my acts do not show it, but that’s my misfortune more than my fault.  I have no recollection whatever of the remark you mention concerning Grandma Mead.  I may have uttered the words you quote, but if I did, they were said without reference to you.  You were always entirely welcome at our house both by Laura and myself and the only fault we ever found with you was that you would not rest and take life easy while you were with us, instead of being the first one up in the morning and digging into the work as though you were getting paid by the hour.  We have both made our mistakes but neither of us ever had any unkind remarks to make about you while you were present nor while you were absent.  I did not try to answer you when you were talking to me because I am unable to control my emotions and I was too much choked up to talk.  I appreciate fully what you have done for us and the fact that I have been unable to do my share in return is one of the things which has made life so miserable for me.  I’m sorry you have misunderstood me but I can’t help it now.  It’s too late.  If I had been the fortunate possessor of a spirit like yours things would, no doubt, have been different with me.

Sincerely,

Arthur

Information in letter by Laura Squires:

Laura B. MacLean’s Marriages

Posted 09 Nov 2015 by Laura Squires

My great grandmother, born Laura Belle Bryant, married Arthur J. Mead in 1892.  They had four children, Delia, Nila (my grandmother), Hudson and Gertrude.  Arthur was a train master in Cedar City, Utah and sometime between 1903 when Gertrude was born and the 1910 Census, Walter MacLean happened through Cedar City and met my great grandmother.  She left her husband and children and ran off with Walter MacLean to San Jose, California.  The 1920 census shows them living in San Jose and that my grandmother and my dad (Robert P. Squires) were living with them at that time.  My dad would have been less than one year old (he was born on December 1, 1919).

The 1910 Census shows that Arthur Mead took the four children (Delia, Nila, Hudson and Gertrude) and moved back to Dawes, Nebraska where he lived with his parents at that time.  According to the story told by my grandmother Nila, Arthur Mead committed suicide, but I’m not certain when that happened.

Hudson Dexter Mead Sr.

Hudson Dexter Mead Sr. (my great grandfather) was born on August 26, 1868 in Niles, Michigan.  He died sometime in May 1950 in Chadron, Nebraska.Hudson_Mead_Sr

His dad’s name was John Groot Mead and his mother’s maiden was Mary Eliza Dexter, affectionately called “Dan”.

On Sept 16, 1902 he married Nora O’Melia Blake in Carbon, Utah.

They had four children:

            Hudson Dexter Mead II (Gloria’s dad) – b. 11 Sep 1906, d. 18 Mar 1985
            Mary Elizabeth Catherine Mead (Denny) – b. 18 Nov 1910, d. Oct 1984
            Kate Jean Mead (Bristow) – b. 7 Nov 1913, d. 1979
            John Mead (died when 18 months old)

In the 1880 census he was living in Bon Homme, Dakota Territories and in 1900 lived in Dry Creek, Dawes County, Nebraska.  Somewhere along the way he lived in Utah where he met our great Grandma Nora, got married and then ended up in Chadron a few years later where he lived out his days and passed away in 1950, one year before I was born in Chadron. He is buried in Chadron, Nebraska at the Greenwood cemetery.

According to mom (Gloria) he was an only child, but according to my research on Ancestry he had a brother name Arthur J. who was born (also in Niles, Michigan) in 1862.  Arthur did get married and had some children, and I did find a handwritten letter from Arthur to his mom and to Hudson.  (more on this to come)

His occupation according to the census information was as a civil engineer in Chadron.  At one point, he was the water commissioner of Chadron.

Nora O’Melia Blake

Nora O’Melia Blake (my great grandmother) was born on Jan 1, 1883 in Maryland.  She died sometime in May 1975 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Her dad’s name was Wesley Blake and her mother’s name was Kate Jean O’Melia.

On Sept 16, 1902 she married Hudson Dexter Mead in Carbon, Utah.

They had four children:

Hudson Dexter Mead II (Gloria’s dad) – b. 11 Sep 1906, d. 18 Mar 1985

Mary Elizabeth Catherine Mead (Denny) – b. 18 Nov 1910, d. Oct 1984

Kate Jean Mead (Bristow) – b. 7 Nov 1913, d. 1979

John Mead (died when 18 months old)

Mary-Nora-Kate
Aunt Mary – Grandma Nora – Aunt Kate
Nora-Grandpa
Grandma Nora and Hudson II (Grandpa)

 

 

In the 1900 census she was living in Uintah Valley Indian Reservation, Uintah, Utah.  At some point she moved to Chadron, Nebraska where Grandpa Mead (Hudson II) was born in 1906.  She lived in Chadron until sometime in the 1950’s and then moved to Omaha, Nebraska.  She passed away in 1979 and is buried in Chadron, Nebraska at the Greenwood cemetery.

The story goes that as a young girl she actually met Chief Sitting Bull (of the battle of Little Big Horn fame).  Sitting Bull was killed in 1890 (at 59 years old) so Nora would have been very young.  Sitting Bull did travel around with an exhibition show, even working with “Buffalo Bill”, until 1885, and then retired to an Indian reservation in the Dakotas, probably not too far from Chadron Nebraska.