Saturday, March 17, 2012

What Ever Happened to Jennie Bickett?

I don't know why Jennie Bickett haunts me so. Maybe it's because she is an unknown ghost in my husband's family. She wasn't forgotten by these living ones, they simply never knew about her. Poor Jennie!

Born Mary Genevieve Bickett on July 23, 1880 to William Barton and Julia Ann (Hardesty) Bickett, Jennie married my husband's great grandfather Charles Alexander Logsdon when she was 40 and Charles was 64. She was Charles' second wife and it was her first marriage*. Jennie and Charles had one child, a son named Thomas, born and died on February 22, 1922.

In 1930 Charles and Jennie lived on the Loretto and St. Mary's Pike, also known as Old St. Mary's Pike, in St. Mary, Marion Co., Kentucky. Charles' son, my husband's grandfather, Joseph Leslie Logsdon, had died suddenly at the age of 25 in 1919 leaving three children and a pregnant wife. I would have thought that all four of those children would have had the opportunity to know their paternal grandfather before he died in 1938. It also seems they should have known his wife Jennie, because she would have been the only paternal grandmother they would have known. Charles and Jennie were married 18 years. Charles' first wife, Josie Bean, had died in 1907, long before any of her grandchildren were born. 

Uncle Ern's barn, still standing - May 2011
Charles and Jennie lived on the same road as Thomas Ernest and Annetta Mae (Mattingly) Abell, otherwise known as "Uncle Ern and Aunt Nettie". Nettie was sister to Joseph Leslie's widow, Rose. Years later, in the late 1940s through the 1970s, my husband and his siblings all remember visiting the farm of their grandaunt and uncle many times as children. I often wonder: was Jennie still living nearby for part of that time?

Apparently none of my husband's siblings remember ever hearing their father, or his sisters, mention their grandfather Charles, or their step-grandmother, Jennie. My father-in-law would have been 22 when his grandfather died and Jennie lived another 17 years after that. By the time Jennie died in 1955, my husband and his siblings were 8, 11, and 12 years of age, but until I told them about her, none of them ever knew of great grandmother Jennie, even though she lived in a nearby county.

Of course, Charles had 7 other children and many grandchildren before he died, not just those of his son Leslie. Perhaps some of the others loved and cared for their step grandmother. It's also possible that Leslie's wife, Rose Mattingly Logsdon, may have chosen not to continue a relationship with her dead husband's family. Widowed at age 33, Rose would remain single for the rest of her life, content to be surrounded by her children and grandchildren.

I don't yet know where Jennie was buried. I probably need her death certificate to find out. Her last name was still Logsdon on the death record, so we know she never remarried. Her mother and father are buried in St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Raywick, Marion Co., Kentucky and her husband Charles and his first wife Josephine are buried in St. Charles Cemetery in St. Mary of the same county.

Perhaps someday, another descendant of one of Charles' 8 children will be able to tell me what ever became of Jennie Bickett.

*Note: Some researchers have confused Jennie with another, younger Mary G. Bickett who married E. A. Nugent in Marion Co., Kentucky in 1904.

Map of St. Mary, including Uncle Ern's farm and St. Charles Church


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