Sunday, May 17, 2015

Adventurous Ancestor: Archibald Colombat Yow Jr.

While researching one of my cousin lines today, I found a very interesting newspaper story.

Arch Yow is my 1st cousin twice removed. His full name is Archibald Colombat Yow Jr. and he is the grandson of my great-great-grandfather, John Henry Yow.

Archie Yow was born in 1916 in Henderson, North Carolina and he lived in North Carolina until at least 1953. He traveled to Niagara Falls (Canadian side) when he was 18.

Yearbook photo of Archie C. Yow at East Carolina Teachers College

He attended East Carolina Teachers College and University of North Carolina, with a stint in the army in between. In 1943 he was listed in a city directory as an engraver, and in 1944 he was listed as a student.

The sailboat incident happened in 1949. It must have been quite famous because besides this article that appeared in the Danville Bee on November 15, 1949, versions of this story also appeared in newspapers in Wisconsin, Indiana, and more.

The next record found of him is a document that has him traveling 1959 from Havana, Cuba, to England. The document said he planned to be in England for about 2 months to study and write.

After that, not much is known, except that in 1995 he was in Seguin, Texas, and in 2000, he was in Corpus Christie, Texas. I could find no evidence that he ever married or had children.

I could not find a death date for him, but I did find an obituary for his brother-in-law, Boyd Mack Stokes, that mentioned that Boyd's wife Ada had one remaining brother living, Alexander Jensen Yow. Boyd passed away in 2012, so Arch must have passed away between 2000 and 2012.

What an adventurous life he led!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Black Sheep Sunday: Charles Frederick Hisey

Today I was looking at a newspaper site for information on a distant Hisey cousin, when I ran into a newspaper account from a newspaper in Moberly, Missouri, of a "Fred Hisey" being arrested in Washington, DC, for murdering Virginia Lyttle, described as a "roomer in his house."

This of course piqued my interest. I love a good scandal.

(As far as I can see, there is no connection between Fred Hisey and Moberley Missouri--so basically this story got distributed by something like AP and picked up by newspapers all over the country.)

Further searching led me to two articles in the Shenandoah Free Press. The first one, from August 22, 1935, read as follows:

"Charles Fred Hisey, 52 year old linotype operator, of Washington, who was arrested charged with the murder of his sister-in-law, Miss Vergie Lyttle and wounding officer Robert T. Talbert of the Washington Police force, was employed as a linotypist in Woodstock in 1925. It was further pointed out that he was born in Edinburg and was the son of the late Homer Hisey. He has a brother, Russell Hisey, employed as a barber in the city of Harrisonburg. According to a Washington newspaper story, Hisey killed his kin following a dispute over a personal loan of $200."

The 2nd article was from April 2, 1936:

"On last Friday Charles F. Hisey, native of Edinburg and former employee of the Herald printing office at Woodstock, was sentenced to life imprisonment in District of Columbia Court following a charge of killing Miss Vergie R. Lyttle last August. The prosecution charged that Hisey had killed the young department store clerk on account of jealousy because of attentions paid by other men. The defense contended that Hisey, age 52, married and with a family, had threatened to commit suicide in the presence of the ultimate victim and that in her effort to prevent the rash act, Miss Lyttle was mortally wounded by the bullet fired in the struggle from the pistol held by Hisey."

Charles Frederick Hisey's Early Life

Charles Frederick Hisey was born to Joseph Homer Hisey and Phoebe Scothern Hisey on December 5, 1882.

When he was 18, he enlisted in the army, and remained in the army for a total of 10 years, until August 1911. He lived on army bases in Virginia and New York.

The next record I could find of Charles or Frederick was his marriage to Grace Christian, in Richmond Virginia, in March of 1916. This record is confirmed because it lists his parents, Joseph and Phoebe, although it lists his middle initial as T. rather than F. Sadly, Grace passed away on September 29, 1916 and is buried in Union Forge Cemetery in Edinburg, Virginia.

His next location was in St. Louis, Missouri. He registered for the draft for WWI in Sept. of 1917 or 1918. He lists his father in Edinburg, Virginia, as his contact person.

I could not find a listing for Charles or Fred Hisey in the 1920 census. The article quotes above say that he worked for a printer in Woodstock in 1925.

In 1930 he appears in a Washington, D.C. census, married to Eunice Reynolds, no children.

After the Murder

Charles Frederick Hisey was incarcerated at the D.C. Reformatory Prison, where he appears on the 1940 census. That prison was actually located in Fairfax County, Virginia.

It is unknown whether he died in prison, or was paroled before his death, but he died in 1952, only 16 years after his sentencing.

His wife Eunice died in 1981 and they are buried under a united headstone in the Old Edinburg Cemetery, Edinburg, Virginia.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thriller Thursday: Amos Franklin Haun

Just came across this little tidbit while digging deep into my distant cousin ancestors:

Amos Franklin Haun

Born: 18 September 1848
Died: 28 March 1873

Killed in Washington, D.C., by an employee of his family who robbed him of the money from the sale of a flock of sheep. His daughter, Alice, was born 7 months after his death. The man who killed him was hanged for his crime.

Amos had just married Elizabeth "Bettie" Clarinda Hisey just 2 years earlier, on the 24th of December, 1871. Bettie Hisey Haun never remarried, and raised her daughter in the Shenandoah County homes of her sisters, according to the censuses. 

Amos and Bettie's daughter, Alice Nellie Haun was born on 28 October 1873. She married James Madison Hill, as his 2nd wife, after his first wife died. Alice Haun Hill died on 11 December 1953.

Friday, January 17, 2014

William Henry Monger, 1713-1788

A long excerpt from The Mongers: A Family of Old Virginia, by Billie Jo Monger, published in 1980. (with links and illustrations added) The Mongers are my ancestors on my Crabill side.

pages 71-74
William Henry Monger was born in Virginia in 1713. This man is referred to as both William and as Henry Monger in legal documents; however, one must remember the custom of the German people using the middle name as the called name and the English using the first name as the called name. In documents originating in Canada or in the Courts, he is referred to as William Monger (File 117 Chancery Court of Augusta County, Virginia). In documents originating from his family here in the Valley, he is referred to as Henry Monger. In both sets of documents he has the same children and wife. See also N.S. 4, Augusta County, Virginia, Chancery Court.

He married Susannah Brodbeck about 1751. It is possible that this was a second marriage for William Henry; however, nothing has been found to document this supposition.

Susannah Brodbeck Monger's parents and birth date are unknown. Her maiden name is found on the baptismal records of the Upper Peaked Mountain Church in Rockingham County, Virginia (Baptismal Record No. 48) No additional information concerning Susannah Brodbeck Monger prior to her marriage has come to light. It is known that the Brodbeck family came from Switzerland prior to the 1750's.

The Peaked Mountain Church in McGaheysville, Virginia.
This building was built in about 1804, and has since been torn down and replaced.
Photo scanned from Armentrout Family History by Russell S. Armentrout
For a clearer photo, click HERE.
She was still living with her son Charles Monger on Grosse Isle, Michigan in 1792 (See Canadian Public Archives Call No. R G 1, 13 Vol. 377). Many historians have felt that Susannah Brodbeck Monger died before the family removed to Kentucky in 1779; however, she did not. The document that has caused this confusion is found in File 117 of the Chancery Court of Augusta County, Virginia. The letter states that David Monger married 5 or 6 years before the family removed to Kentucky, not William Henry Monger as has been recorded incorrectly.

William Henry and Susannah Brodbeck Monger led lives that  are of interest to us, as they were typical of the settlers who bore the necessary hardships of life in order to provide a better future for their families.

William Henry Monger was an industrious, hardworking man. He was a skilled blacksmith (Records in File 117 Chancery Court of Augusta County, Virginia. Also, Deed Book II 397 Page 217 of Augusta County, Virginia, dated December 22, 1762). He passed this skill on to his sons, who in turn passed it on to their sons. Charles's Land Petition in Canada gives him a recommendation from his neighbors as a skilled blacksmith. File 117 Chancery Court of Augusta County, Virginia, shows that David Monger kept part of William Henry's blacksmith equipment prior to 1779. Many grandsons were also skilled blacksmiths-check their individual family lines.

Colonial-era blacksmith.
He was one of the early settlers in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. In 1758, he voted for George Washington in Frederick County, Virginia (See list of that ballot in Frederick County, Virginia, or in one of the many books that contains the list).

On April 26, 1762, William Henry Monger purchased Lot No. 88 in the "new town" of Woodstock, Virginia. He and his family owned many acres in the present counties of Rockingham, Page, and Shenandoah in Virginia (Abstracts of Land Surveys, Ed. by P.C. Kaylor, Rockingham County Historical Society. See also, Court Records for Deeds in both Augusta and Rockingham Counties. The above states that the property adjoined on the North side, Martin Tofflemire's property which laid in the forks of Naked Creek. This creek forms the present boundary between Page and Rockingham Counties; however this area has fluctuated between counties, and was once included in the area claimed by the Fairfax Patent. Residents paid taxes, recorded deeds, wills, marriages, etc. at several Courthouses. This tends to make one believe the individuals moved; however this is not the case. The county boundaries moved from time to time).

William Henry and Susannah Brodbeck Monger had seven known children to reach adulthood. Those seven were John, Henry, David, William, Charles, Mary and Eve (File 117 Chancery Court, Augusta County, Virginia). Some of these were baptized at the Upper Peaked Mountain Church in Rockingham County, Virginia (Baptismal records No. 48 and No. 56).

The Shenandoah Valley was a natural passage for adventurers and settlers seeking less populated areas in which to settle. Families moved into this Valley from Pennsylvania and other points. Some stayed. Some moved on. It was difficult to enforce the "laws" of English rule beyond the Blue Ridge. This Valley was the frontier. Williamsburg was the Capitol of Virginia, but had been so for only a few years when the Valley was first settled. A freedom to do as people chose, including religion, was a deciding factor in the migration to the Valley beyond the Blue Ridge. People of all nationalities found their way to the Valley of Virginia. In reality, this part of the Shenandoah Valley was the first 'melting pot' in America.

The Scotch-Irish settled in the river bottoms east of this area. They located their homes in the foothills, which was similar to their native Scotland. Usually, their built their homes in a small valley, under the hills. A good spring for water seems to have been the only requirement required after the "valley" had been found that was surrounded by hills. These people were of Celtic temperament. They never feared a "good brawl" with each other or with the Indians.

The English who settled in the Valley of Virginia were explorers,  adventurers; people who wanted to be independent, yet be able to make a profit from their labors. They were interested in trade with  the colony, not isolation from English goods and her law. They settled primarily upon the Naked Creek area and on up into the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The Germans were found primarily west of McGaheysville, but they were also found in the rich river bottoms east of McGaheysville. They were farmers. They chose a site for a home that was farmable. They built their barn first; then a house. They were peace-loving people, having come from an area of Europe that had seen nothing but war for several lifetimes.

The Swiss, Irish, French and Negroes were intermingled among these major groups.

Most of these settlers wanted to take advantage of the opportunity available. "Land free for the taking." It must be remembered that  in this time period, a man was measured by the amount of land he owned, as the custom was in Europe. It was almost impossible to climb the social ladder in Europe, as all available land was owned; however, in America the story was quite different. Fortunes were made and lost. For once in the history of mankind, the common everyday man had his opportunity to own his land and to be his own man.

Daniel Boone was known by these early residents of the Elkton-East Rockingham County area (This area was known as Conrad's Store before it became known as Elkton). A creek was named for the Boone family in this area. It is still called Boone's Run today. It is easy to understand the excitement, the call of adventure that persuaded these people to leave their home, friends and property to venture forth to explore the yet unknown.

Daniel Boone, drawing by Jack Kennedy Hodgkin.
In 1779, William Henry Monger, his wife Susannah Brodbeck Monger and several of their children, with their respective families, joined with a group of settlers going to Kentucky. Many different reasons have been given for the removal to Kentucky of this band of settlers from the Valley of Virginia. Many of this group were considered "Hot" Patriots in an area that was known for its support of the Colonial Cause. A need was felt by the leaders of that Cause to make secure the "western frontier" of Virginia. It is only logical that this was one of the major factors that made that decision inevitable. Rockingham County was part of the Tenth Legion of Democracy. This area was spoken of by General Washington and other colonial leaders as a stronghold of Independence, and thus Democracy. Patrick Henry was a lawyer in the Augusta County Courts from 1763-1775. In the book by F.H. Hart, "The Valley of Virginia and the American Revolution," on page 83, Hart has this to say: "No frontier area of Colonial America surpassed the Valley in its zeal for  the Revolutionary movement." Kentucky was Virginia's western frontier (at least part of it, as West Augusta County, Virginia, extended to the Great Lakes). These people were not leaving Virginia, they were merely moving West to protect Virginia's frontier from the British. Many things have been written by many persons alluding to these settlers' inability to protect themselves; however, it is necessary to realize these were men and women who were quite capable of self-protection. These men were the backbone of Washington's army. General Lafayette commented on their capabilities time and time again, maintaining they were the finest, most capable individuals he had ever served with - these men from the Virginia frontier West of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Isaac Ruddell, a Captain in Clark's Regmeint, was the leader of this group. He was married to Elizabeth Bowman. Her family had settled in the present county of Shenandoah. She had a brother, Colonel John Bowman of Kentucky. The children of Captain Isaac Ruddell and his wife Elizabeth Bowman Ruddell were Captain George, Stephen, Abram, Elizabeth, John, Isaac, Cornelius, and an infant who was killed in his mothers' arms. (For more material on this see "A History of Shenandoah County," by Dr. John W. Wayland.)

From the very beginning, the expedition was plagued with problems. Leonard Kratz (Cratts, Scratch) was hired as the guide. Leonard had been born in Teutenhoofer, near Frankfurt, Germany on the 14th of February 1756. Leonard was well-qualified for his job (note: other sources dispute his qualifications other than as a strong back who was good with a gun) as he had been drafted into the army at age 20 and sent to aid Great Britain during the American Revolution. Great Britain fell back upon the practice of hiring mercenaries when her recruiting program lagged. The German mercenaries were called Hessians, as more than half of the German troops came from the principality of Hesse-Cassel. The Duke of Hesse-Cassel exchanged one out of every four men in his kingdom for the (blood money) of the English. Over 30,000 German mercenaries came to the New World, and over 12,000 never returned home. These Hessians were greatly feared by all, as all mercenaries have been in history. They were allowed to plunder and keep whatever came their way. They made a fearsome sight, marching - always marching - in their immaculate uniforms, black mustaches (they had been ordered to grow mustaches and to blacken them with boot polish), topped off with their hats. They spoke very little, if any, English, and were rumored to "eat babies."

Hessian Soldiers. See for more information on Hessian mercenaries.
He (Leonard Kratz) participated in several battles and was finally wounded. After the surrender of his army under General John Burgoyne, the soldiers were given their choice of free passage home to Germany or free land in the colonies. Congress had previously offered any Hessian free land if he would leave or desert the British Army. Leaflets advertising this were wrapped around tobacco cans and scattered all over Long Island where the Hessians had proven their skill at "looting."

This offer was made in 1779, when Leonard was on furlough. Upon his return, he found his regiment disbanded; therefore, he remained in the New World. Leonard Kratz decided to make the best of a bad situation. He started to see more of this new land with new opportunities. He was familiar with the woods due to the many and varied expeditions he had been engaged in since his arrival in the colonies; therefore, he drifted South.

Note: Other accounts state that Leonard Kratz was captured, and transported to Albemarle, Virginia, as a prisoner, and then escaped. These accounts also state that Leonard met the Monger family before signing up for the expedition. See 

Soon after joining the expedition to Kentucky, Leonard Kratz met Mary Monger. He soon realized that he loved her and wanted her to be his wife. When he proposed marriage, William Henry Monger, Mary's father, objected to him as a stranger. Desperate situations called for desperate measures. As the party advanced into the wilderness, in constant danger of Indian attacks, Leonard brought it to a halt by announcing that he would go no farther until Mr. Monger gave his consent to his marriage with Mary. After some delay, Mr. Monger gave in. The Mongers were very slow to forgive their new son-in-law.

Their destination was a fertile valley on the east bank of the South Fork of the Licking River, 3 miles below the junction of Hinkston and Stories Branches, about 7 miles from Paris in Bourbon County, Kentucky (Collins, History of Kentucky).

They arrived in Kentucky too late to plant crops. This did not endear Leonard to his new in-laws, but everyone felt that they should have few serious problems, if everyone used the provisions they had brought with them wisely.

This proved to be a very difficult time for these settlers, as it was on of the worst winters ever recorded in the New World. Problems arose over food, clothing, fuel, and with the Indians who were looking for the same things. These people had to depend, day after day, upon what God provided as they used their supplies up faster than they had anticipated.

The War for American Independence was being fought during this time period. General George Washington had broken camp at Valley Forge on June 19, 1778. These settlers were all members of Captain Isaac Ruddell's Company, which was in Clark's regiment. The War for Independence encompassed the whole eastern part of the United States.

In the spring of 1780, Colonel Henry Byrd (Bird), and Lt. Simon Girty of the Indian Department, with approximately 600 Indians of various tribes descended first the Maumee River and from there the Miami River. Boats carried men and supplies. The purpose of this expedition was to secure Kentucky for the British. A cannon was brought along with the expedition to insure the success of this goal.

The Indians became so very excited over the prospect of blasting an entrance to the frontier stockades that it was decided to strike the populous central section of Kentucky instead of Louisville as had been planned. It is difficult to realize that bounty was paid to the Indians for the scalps of white colonials, but it was being done by the British in Canada. The Indians were by nature cruel; it was considered a sign of weakness in them to show or ask for mercy. They respected physical strength and the ability to endure torture.

Ruddell's Station, with its 300 inhabitants, was the first to be attacked. The cannon was successful. After two shots had been fired, the pioneers were forced to realize that resistance was useless; they were even out of supplies due to their late arrival and their sojourn in the wilderness. Captain Ruddell answered a demand to surrender by replying that he would do so only if the prisoners would be under the protection of the British troops and not turned over to the Indians. This conditions was agreed upon by Captain Byrd.

The gates were opened. The Indians forgot Byrd's pledge, if they had ever been made aware of it. They looted, plundered, raped and murdered. They worked themselves into a frenzy. Men, women and children were brutally murdered, their bodies dismembered and mutilated. There remains no reliable estimate of the number who died in the massacre that day. Ruddell's station contained about 300 inhabitants. The majority were butchered. Another 50 prisoners were taken at Martin's Station.

The surviving prisoners were divided among the Indians at the forks of the Licking River. Captain Hinkson made an escape. The prisoners were taken to Detroit for ransom. They were not released for 4 years. A large number of those were never released, but remained with the Indians. Of the 350 persons captured in Kentucky at Martin's and Ruddell's Stations, only 100 or so reached Detroit.

For more info on Ruddell's Station massacre and capture:'s_Station

Of those who remained with the Indians, little is known. It is known that Captain Isaac Ruddell's sons Stephen and Abraham remained with the Indians until they were grown men. Abram never became civilized. He married a squaw and in all manners was an Indian. He was in several battles with the whites, as was Stephen Ruddell his brother. Rev. Stephen Ruddell grew up in the same village as Tecumseh. He was converted to Christianity about 1800, was given an education of a sort and became a Baptist Preacher. He made missionary journeys to the Shawnees and Delawares. He preached in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. He died in Adams County, Illinois in 1845. His wife, an Indian, returned to her people after his death. John M. Ruddell, son of Rev. Stephen Ruddell, represented Adams county in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1846-1848.

Ruddell's Station was captured on June 20, 1780. The male prisoners were marched to Detroit where the commander, General McCoombs, paid for their freedom from the Indians in blankets (they were not freed, simply exchanged from being a prisoner of the Indians to being a prisoner of the British). The women captives were put into canoes and taken by water to Detroit. (Like many characters of this period in history, Mr. McCoombs was either a scoundrel or a great man, depending on whose side the person was on who was doing the speaking. Many say he was a renegade trader; others that he was a General for the British. Nevertheless, these people were not set free. They were merely freed from the Indians - that is, the ones the Indians wanted to give up. Some were adopted into the tribes, as were the Ruddell boys. The ransomed prisoners were held on Hog Island (now called Belle Isle) near Detroit for over 4 years.)

The Monger family survived the capture and the period of captivity, but not without scars. (to be continued in chapter on Leonard and Mary Monger Kratz)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Bascum Stanford and Hettie Brewer Lawrence

A call about one of my very distant relatives this morning, prompted me to research what I could find out about them on familysearch, to document my sources. I have long been a "collector" of names, but have not been too picky about proving the "facts" I found, or documenting the sources. The new makes it so easy to document your sources (and with Rootsweb, I can transfer sources from FamilySearch straight to Rootsweb), that I have now become obsessed with finding whatever records I can on FamilySearch, and, and documenting things.

The name I was exploring was Bascombe Stanford Lawrence. At least that was the way I thought it was spelled. This man was one of the sons of Alice Priscella Yow Lawrence, who was one of the daughters of Enoch Spinks Yow, my great-great-great grandfather.

I looked for sources on FamilySearch, and found several for him, but not as many as I would have liked.

I found him in the 1900 census as a child (Bascom Lawrence):

the 1930 census (as Bascom S. Lawrence):

and the 1940 census (as B.S. Lawrence):

In the 1930 and 1940 censuses, his wife was listed as Lenora, and he had 2 children.

Then I found a 1917 WWI Draft Registration Card.

On the draft registration, his name was spelled "Bascum" instead of Bascom. At the bottom, he signed that everything on the card was true, which makes me wonder if that's how he really spelled his first name, or if he didn't notice the misspelling. It's spelled that way on his gravestone, too, so I've decided to re-spell his name in my genealogy program. On the draft card, Bascum mentions having a wife and three children to support. This was interesting, because in the records I had found previously on this family, only two children were listed.

Then the tragedy started. I found a death record for Wilbur Lawrence, son of "Boocum Lawrence" (someone's really bad handwriting or bad misspelling) and Hettie Brewer Lawrence. Wilbur passed away on April 16, 1918 at the age of nearly 2 years, from "dilated heart (blue baby)."

The next thing I found was almost too tragic to imagine. Infant Lawrence, born to "Boscom Lawrence" and Hettie Brewer Lawrence, was born on April 16, 1918. I can't find a death record for this baby, but the lack of a name leads me to believe that he died the same day or soon thereafter. Which means that Bascum and Hettie Lawrence lost not one, but two children on the same day.

I can't imagine how sad this would be. But the tragedy continued. Exactly one year later, Hettie Brewer Lawrence passed away.

Whoever the friend is who wrote this obituary, they were a terrible name speller (they even list the deceased as "Nettie"). Of course, it could have been the typesetter at the newspaper who made the misspellings, too.

She was buried in the Hope Methodist Church Cemetery, in Bonlee, Chatham County, North Carolina, where they were living at the time.

Bascum and Hettie's two living children, Mollie Alice Louise (called Louise) and James Leighton (called Leighton) were 8 and 5 when they lost their mother.

Bascum remarried at some point, to Lenora Mattie Bray, who was 9 years older than him.

Bascum passed away in 1953. Lenora passed away in 1967.

Bascum and Lenora are buried in Whynot Cemetery, in Seagrove, Randolph County, North Carolina.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Black Sheep Sunday: George Dallas Crabill and His Two Families

George Dallas Crabill was not that much of a black sheep, really. He wasn't a criminal or a con man. But I imagine if you asked my grandfather, his firstborn son, Charles Lemuel Crabill, he would emphatically say that he was a black sheep.

George Dallas Crabill was born to Charles Edward Crabill and Melia (or Permelia) Stickley Crabill, on February 20, 1884, in Strasburg, Virginia. He was the firstborn of 6 children. Not much is known of his early life. He was usually called by his middle name, "Dallas."

Update: I now know that he served in the Navy from November 3, 1902 to November 2, 1906, and was honorably discharged. My grandfather felt that his trouble with alcoholism developed while he was in the Navy.

When George was about 23, he married Della "Jean" Munger, whose family came from Rockingham County, Virginia. They lived in the Washington DC area. Dallas and Jean had 3 children who were either stillborn or did not live very long, in 1908, 1909, and 1910. These children are all buried in The Olde Cemetery, in Strasburg, Virginia.

In 1912, Charles Lemuel Crabill was born. I like to imagine how happy they must have been with their first child who lived. 

Two more children followed in 1915 and 1917 (Mildred Helen and George Dallas).

George worked in Washington DC. In 1917 he filled out a Draft Registration Card, on which he indicated that he worked at Old Dutch Market (seen in the photo below), and lived at 38th and Newton in Mt. Rainier, Maryland. Old Dutch Market was a small chain of markets in the Washington DC area. Mt. Rainier was a nice place to live if you had a job in Washington, DC, because there was a streetcar that went through Mt. Rainier into Washington.

All was not well, however. My Aunt Jean (one of Charles Lemuel Crabill's daughters) tells me that Dallas Crabill was a binge drinker who would stay out for days when he was drinking. Unfortunately I would imagine that his binges often coincided with paydays, and that made it difficult for the family to make ends  meet. Della Jean Crabill took in laundry and did some sewing. Aunt Jean remembers her father telling her that Della Jean had holes in the soles of her shoes, and she would put newspaper in the bottom of her shoes so she could go out and hang up laundry, and go pick up dirty laundry and deliver the clean laundry, in all kinds of weather.

This may be how she picked up diphtheria in December of 1918. With her lowered resistance from a lack of warm clothing, this illness proved to be fatal. When Della Jean got sick, little Charlie was 6, Mildred was 3, and George Jr. was 1. And daddy George Dallas Crabill was off on one of his drinking binges. Imagine a six-year-old trying to care for his sick mother, and taking care of his two young siblings, all by himself. And then imagine that your mother passed away, and you didn't know what to do. Aunt Jean says that Charlie was in the house with his mother's body, and his siblings, for over a day, until someone found them. George Dallas returned to the house just as his wife's body was being carried out, and was too drunk to know what was going on.

After that, George Dallas sent the three children to live with relatives. Charlie was sent to live with his grandparents in Strasburg, Virginia. Mildred and George Jr. were raised by spinster aunts. It's probably not surprising that Charlie did not have a lot of love for his father. He also didn't have a lot of respect or love for alcoholics and told his children they should never drink.

A Second Family

George Dallas Crabill remarried sometime before 1920. His new wife was Frances Nora Lee Crabill. I've combined information from a couple of sources to come up with that name. The Frances Nora part came from my grandfather (Charlie), and the Frances Lee appeared on her gravestone. So I'm not sure if Lee was her surname before her marriage, or a middle name.

It is apparent that Frances had a child before she married George Dallas. Samuel G. was born in 1915, in Florida (where Frances was also born). I wonder if she had been married and her husband was killed in WWI, and she moved up to the DC area to live with relatives.

Update: I have learned that Frances's maiden name was Wilson, and she married a Joseph Ganus in 1911. They had one child, Andrew Ganus, in 1915, and they moved to Washington DC in 1916 because Joseph was submitting a patent for a hose coupler for railway cars. The patent was successfully granted, but Joseph was apparently suffering from a mental illness. He was committed to St. Elizabeth's Hospital, where he resided until his death in 1937.

George Dallas and Frances had 5 children, starting in 1920 with Bessie. Helen came along in 1922, followed by Evelyn in 1924, Alvin in 1925, and Norma in 1928.

Very little is known of what happened to most of these children. I would love to hear from any descendants of:

Bessie Crabill McDonough
Helen Crabill Good
Evelyn W. Crabill Milling
Alvin W. Crabill
Norma Crabill Grey

I do know that Evelyn passed away in 1970 at age 46. Charlie apparently kept up with her, because there were a couple of pictures of her, and her obituary, in his collection.

George Dallas Crabill passed away in 1954 and he is buried in Arlington National Cemetery Frances passed away 10 years later and is also buried there.

Update: I have been in contact with a few of the descendants of these children and of Andrew Ganus. The story is told that Andrew/Samuel had the last name of Crabill and did not know that he was not a Crabill until he got a job doing some roadwork near Strasburg, Virginia. People in that town told him that they knew he was not a Crabill. He was not treated very well by George Dallas. He dropped the Crabill name and went by Ganus for the rest of his life. I'm told he was a wonderful, kind man.

Another sad story: One day three teenagers drove up to George Dallas and Nora's home. It was Charlie, Mildred and George Jr. Nora was heard to exclaim, "If I had known about you children, I would have raised you." So it seems that George Dallas never told Nora he had had children before he married her, and she was unaware until Charlie tracked him down and paid a visit.

From obituary notices of George Dallas's father and siblings, it is apparent that he was disowned (he is not listed as a child or sibling in those death notices.)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday's Obituary -- Carl Jay Yow, Sr.

My grandmother, Merle Mae Briggs Yow, just passed away on Saturday. Her obituary is not available yet, but here is the one from my Grandfather Yow, who passed away two years ago.

This is a picture from a visit to my grandparents in 2000.