Muriel Grey Thomas – Part 1

Affectionately known as Gaga to our family, Muriel Grey Thomas was born on November 11, 1895 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  She had an older brother Louis Chester Thomas born in 1893 and a younger sister Olive Antoinette Thomas born in 1897.

Muriel Grey (Thomas) Davenport

She married Frank Howard Davenport on June 24, 1919 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. They had six children in all.  Olive Anne (b.1920) and Lois Mary (b.1921) in Canada, Barbara Grey (b.1922) and Marion Ethel (b.1925) in North Dakota, and Frank Howard (b.1929) and George Thomas “Mickey” (b.1933) in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

Below is a wedding photo I found that was about 2″ diameter at most and mounted in a small jewelry like frame.

I believe that would be Muriels parents Louis and May Thomas on either side of them and I would guess Olive Thomas her sister standing behind her mother and I have no idea of the other two, but the young boy in front sure looks like he is having fun.

Next is a family portrait with all six children.

Marion_Lois_Olive_Barb Frank2_Muriel_Tom_Frank1

I believe standing are Marion, Lois, Olive and Barb and in front are Frank II (Dad), Muriel, George Thomas (Mickey) and Frank I.

And here are a couple more Grandma pictures:

The picture on the left is Mary Esther (Magill) Mead and Muriel and on the right is Muriel and Great Grandma Nora.

Aren’t grandma’s the best!

Memories of Mom and Dad

It has been a while since I last posted as I have taken a break for a bit since our mom passed away August 28th.  So to start, just a few pictures of my mom and dad.

The first two pictures are from a yearbook called the “The 1950 Crucible” which is from my mom and dad’s freshmen year at Bay City Junior College.  They got married in February of 1951 so it is probable they knew each other at this time, although I did not see where mom signed the yearbook (the yearbook was my dad’s copy based on the comments from his friends).  I note the name of Lawrence Gordon in the Vet’s Club photo, whose family became lifelong friends of our family.  At least I assume that it is the same family.

Dad JC editedMom JC edited

And 51 years later here are a few pictures taken for their 50th wedding anniversary celebration in 2001.

 

A mother named ‘Glo’

Part 1 (from late 1960’s)

There once was a mother named Glo’
Who had so many kids she was Po’
She loved them that’s true
And when she was through
She said “That’s it I ain’t havin’ no more!”

Part 2 (2017)

Now her blessed Savior she’ll meet
And throw all her crowns at His feet
While the memory lingers on
(Like a Belafonte song)
Of a life that is full and complete

Gloria Jane (Mead) Davenport

Gloria Jr College
Gloria Jane (Mead) Davenport

Obituary

Gloria J. Davenport, age 86 years, died peacefully at home Monday, August 28, 2017 with her family by her side. She was born to the late Hudson Dexter II and Mary Esther (Magill) Mead on March 12, 1931 in Kimball, Nebraska. On February 3, 1951, she was united in marriage to Frank H. Davenport, II in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Saginaw and he preceded her in death on August 10, 2014. Gloria was an active member of Trinity Episcopal Church and past President of the St. Elizabeth’s Guild. She enjoyed reading, politics, watching sports, spending time with her family at the cabin “up north”, and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Surviving family members include her seven children: Frank Davenport III of Essexville, Thomas (Diane) Davenport of Bay City, Charin Davenport of Hazel Park, David (Julia) Davenport of IL, James Davenport of Essexville, Beverly (Leonard) Fauble of Bay City and Daniel (Patti) Davenport of FL; 15 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; Gloria was preceded in death by her daughter-in-law Faye Davenport, and brother, Hudson Dexter Mead III.

A private Celebration of Gloria’s life will take place. Memorial contributions may be directed to McLaren Hospice. The Davenport family would like to express their grateful appreciation to the staff of McLaren Hospice for the genuine care, respect and support shown to Gloria.

Gloria Jr College
Gloria Jane (Mead) Davenport

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

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

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.