Monday, April 30, 2012

Military Monday: Army Discharge - L. E. Runyan

Lawrence Everett Runyan was my maternal grandfather. He served in the U. S. Army in World War I as Private First Class, in Co. M, 78th Infantry at Camp Custer, Michigan. He enlisted on August 29, 1918 in New Castle, Indiana at the age of 25 and was honorably discharged five months later on January 21, 1919  These are his original discharge papers, now in my possession.

My grandfather dearly loved to fish, which is evident from the permit stamps on these papers placed there over the years.

Inside (or front) of Army Discharge paper of Lawrence E. Runyan

Outside portion (or back) of Army Discharge paper of Lawrence E. Runyan

Lawrence's Army induction papers can be seen at this link:


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday's Obituary: Oral Perry Crim 1879-1953

                                       ORAL P. CRIM
National Road Traveler
dated 24 Dec 1953
     Oral P. Crim, 74, of southeast of New Castle, died Friday morning in his home after a brief illness. He was a lifelong resident of Henry County and a retired employe of the Chrysler forge division. He worked thirty-one years at the Chrysler plant before his retirement. He was a member of the New Castle Baptist Church.

     Survivors include his wife, Grace; a daughter, Mrs. Lyle Redelman of New Castle; two sons, Paul E. of New Castle and Clyde C. of New Lisbon; two grandchildren and a sister, Mrs. John Beavers of Springport.

Oral P. Crim 1942
     Funeral services were held Monday with the Rev. G. W. Hurt in charge. Burial in South Mound Cemetery.


     Oral was the son of Miles and Lorinda (Sanders) Crim. He was married to Grace Anna Runyan, the sister of my maternal grandfather, Lawrence Everett Runyan. Oral was also married 8 years to Blanche K. Bond who died in 1908.

Oral's memorial at can be seen by clicking on the link below:


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Newby - Three Generations

Newby Family
Photo from about 1910 and probably taken on S. Hill St. in Knightstown, Indiana
L to R: Siblings Morris Henry and Mary Fern, their grandparents: John Alby and Julia Ann, and their parents: Ida May and Charles Lee. 
(Julia is second wife of John and not biologically related)


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Phoebe Maud Trowbridge

Phoebe Maud Trowbridge
24 Nov 1876 - 6 Jul 1891

Raysville Cemetery, Wayne Twp., Henry Co., Indiana
Photo taken by me in May of 1999

Phoebe Maud was the daughter of John Calvin and Phoebe (Cook) Trowbridge, and sister of my maternal great grandmother, Ida May Newby. Her birth is written in the Memorandum section of  Ida May's Bible. Her death is not mentioned. She was only 14 years old.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Those Places Thursday: L. P. Newby's Queen Anne

Ancestral home of Leonidas P. Newby, Knightstown, Indiana
This is the ancestral home of my maternal great, great granduncle, Leonidas Perry Newby. It is located on west Main Street in the wonderfully quaint town of Knightstown, Indiana. According to the book "Henry County Interim Report - Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory", this home is an "Italianate/Queen Anne" style and was built in 1882. 

Leonidas's children, Floyd and Florence "Floss", were both born in the late 1870s and they grew up in this home. They both married and had families, but by the 1930 census, nearly the entire family of Leonidas was again living in this home. His wife, his son Floyd and Floyd's wife and one of their two boys, and his daughter, Floss Cooper, now divorced, were all living under his roof. 

In the 1940 census there were only three family members living there, Leonidas - age 85, his wife Mary - age 82, and their daughter, Floss Cooper - age 65. (Floss had one daughter, Mary E., with husband Paul Marsh Cooper, before they divorced, and Mary was married in April of 1930 and living in LaPort, Indiana.)

The current owner of this home is doing research on the house itself, and on the family of Leonidas. She contacted me earlier this week, after finding my blog and the various articles on the Newby family. I think we have both enjoyed the ensuing correspondence.

My mother remembered this home of her great granduncle but didn't remember if she had ever actually been in it. She was much more familiar with L. P.'s son Floyd. Floyd was the family attorney and was employed at different times to take care of family legal matters such as wills and deeds.

There's a fairly recent photo of this home at this link:


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Mary Fern Newby 1916

My maternal grandmother, Mary Fern Newby
1916 - age 23 - Knightstown, Indiana


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Leander Sizemore Davis

 18 Nov 1859 - 29 Dec 1883
Tombstone of Leander Sizemore Davis
Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Pulaski Co., Kentucky

"May he rest in peace"

Leander was the son of Forney J. and Mary Ann (Evans) Davis and brother to my paternal great, great grandfather, John Miller Davis. Leander married Sarah F. Debord, daughter of Logan G. and Clarissa B. (Cummins) Debord, on 27 Jan 1881. No children from this union.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: A Heavy Heart

L to R: Sarah Frances (Davis) Wallen/Livesay, Myrtle D. Livesay,
Robert L. "Bobby" Wallen and Iva Illinois "Noy"  (Townsend) Wallen
This photo was taken around September of 1921. On the left is my paternal great grandmother, Sarah, and her youngest child Myrtle. Next is my father, Bobby, who is Sarah's first grandchild, son of her first born son William Jesse Wallen, and her daughter-in-law, Noy, holding my dad. Baby Myrtle was born October 1920 and Baby Bobby (Myrtle's nephew) was born March 1921.

Myrtle is the last living child of my great grandmother. She is 91 years old and sharp as a tack. It is with a heavy heart that I learned just yesterday that she will be leaving us soon and may not see her 92nd birthday. For the past few years, Myrtle has given me the most wonderful encouragement in what I do as far as family history research. Her appreciation has been a joy. In return, Myrtle has helped me to come to a much better understanding of some of the relationships and personalities in family members that I never had the chance to know personally. One of those relationships was that of my grandfather, who all but disappeared from our lives when I was very young and was probably badly misjudged by us all.

Just a few months ago I was able to send Myrtle photos of her maternal grandparents, John Miller and Ursula Ann (Martin) Davis/Burnette that were taken circa 1874. John and Ursula both died long before Myrtle was born and none of us ever knew any photos of them existed until a cousin alerted me that he had uploaded them to Myrtle's joy and elation over seeing those photos was a priceless moment. I was looking forward to sending her more happy discoveries with the release of the 1940 census, but some things will not be discovered until the indexing is complete. 

Time is not on my side.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Military Monday: Pvt. Paul Eugene Crim

Pvt. Paul Eugene Crim - circa 1943

Pvt. Paul E. Crim was the son of Oral Perry and Grace Anna (Runyan) Crim. He was born 14 Jan 1924 and died 13 Nov 1992. He was my mother's first cousin and close friend. Paul enlisted in the United States Army on 13 Mar 1943 at Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Indiana.

A snippet from the local news...

National Road Traveler (Cambridge City, Indiana) April 6, 1944:

National Road Traveler article dated Apr. 6, 1944

"Clyde Crim visited with his brother Pvt. Paul Crim at College Park, Md. where Pvt. Crim has been taking a specialized training course at the University of Maryland. They were also at Washington, D.C."


Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Family of Madison Sowder - Part 2

Denton Co., Texas - Birdseye view map 1883 - click to enlarge

 Continued from Part 1

A little less than two years after the death of her husband, Lucy Jane Wallen married Madison "Mattie" Sowder on 5 Nov 1879 in Rockcastle Co., Kentucky. Madison was the son of Logan and Isabelle "Ibby" (Sutton) Sowder and was born 11 May 1859 in Rockcastle Co., Kentucky. The marriage was performed by John B. Abbot at the home of Lucy's widowed mother, Louisa (Tyree) Wallen. The marriage was witnessed by John Bolen and Lucy's brother, Oliver P. Wallen. The surety was William Sowder, Mattie's paternal uncle, oldest brother of his father. Madison was the nephew of Lucy's first husband, William Renex Sutton, brother of his mother Isabelle. Isabelle was also the sister of my paternal great, great grandmother, Serena Susan (Sutton) Wallen, wife of William M. Wallen.

Madison, his wife Lucy, his step-daughters Louisa and Fannie Mae, and his sisters, Mary Jane and Rebecca, left for Kentucky in a wagon train of eighteen people, mostly family members, and headed for the northeastern part of Texas in the last week of September 1880. Three of Lucy's four brothers traveled with them to Texas: Oliver P. Wallen, Isaac Newton Wallen, and Daniel Thomas Wallen.

Map of Cooke Co., Texas
Lucy and Madison had five children, all born in Era, Cooke Co., Texas:

 1) William Robert "Bob" Sowder b. 24 Dec 1882. Bob married Eula Maude James on 14 Sep 1902 in Era, Cooke Co., Texas. Eula was the daughter of John B. and Martha (Crane) James. Bob d. 21 May 1961 in Plains, Yoakum Co., Texas and Eula d. 13 Jan 1957 in Bailyboro, Bailey Co., Texas. They are both buried in the Morton Cemetery in Cochran, Waller Co., Texas. Bob and Eula had 7 children.

2) Rebecca Ellen Sowder b. 9 Sep 1885. Rebecca married John Bitton Anderson on 13 Apr 1902 in Cooke Co., Texas. John was the son of Samuel Peters and Susannah (Collins) Anderson. Rebecca d. 14 Oct 1967 and John d. 8 Sep 1947, both in Comanche, Stephens Co., Oklahoma and they are buried there in the Fairlawn Cemetery. Rebecca and John had 9 children.

3) Jesse Newton Sowder, Sr. b. 15 Jun 1888. Jesse married Erin Eva Harrell about 1911 in Texas.  Jesse d. 13 Sept 1936 and Erin d. 26 Jan 1978, both in Texas (probably Lubbock Co.) and both are buried in the Idalou Cemetery in Idalou, Lubbock Co., Texas. Jesse and Erin had 6 children.

4) Emmit Logan Sowder b. 25 Feb 1891. Emmit married Rosa Lillian Pennington about 1920 in Texas.  Emmit d. 12 Oct 1955 and Rosa d. 1 Oct 1938, both in Lubbock, Lubbock Co., Texas and are buried in the Idalou Cemetery in Idalou, Lubbock Co., Texas. Emmit and Rosa had 7 children.

5) T. M. Sowder b. 2 Feb 1898 and d. 27 May 1898 in Era, Cooke Co., Texas. T. M. Sowder is buried in the Pollard Cemetery in Denton, Co., Texas.

Lucy died on 5 Feb 1898, almost 30 years before Madison. Her death was very likely caused by complications with the birth of her 5th child just 3 days earlier. Lucy was buried in the Pollard Cemetery in Denton, Co., Texas. Almost 8 years after Lucy died, Madison married 28-year-old Ella Flag on 13 Sep 1906, in Cooke Co., Texas.  Ella died about 2 and 1/2 years later on 15 Feb 1909 and was also buried in the Pollard Cemetery. There were no children from that union.

Map of Lubbock Co., Texas
Sometime between the 1910 and 1920 census, Madison and all three of his sons and their families moved to Lubbock Co., Texas and are  found living close together in separate households, but probably on acreage owned by Madison, in 1920. Madison died in 1927 in Lubbock and his sons brought his body back and buried him beside his two wives in the Pollard Cemetery in Denton Co. where many other family members were interred. His sons returned to the farm in Lubbock county. William moved, presumably to Yoakum county where he later died, before 1940. Jesse was dead by this time, so only Jesse's widow and children and his brother Emmit and his family were still in Lubbock county in 1940. Many of their family members are buried in the Idalou Cemetery in Idalou, Lubbock Co., Texas.

Madison's two sisters who traveled with the wagon train from Kentucky to Texas, are not to be left out.

1) Mary Jane "Mollie" Sowder married Lorenzo Dow Clampit, Jr., on 3 Feb 1884 in Denton, Denton Co., Texas. Lorenzo was the son of Lorenzo Dow Clampit, Sr. and his second wife Nancy Ellege. Lorenzo Sr.'s first wife was Isabel Walker, and Lorenzo Jr. came into the world with at least 7 older half siblings.  Mollie d. 22 Oct 1944 and Lorenzo d. 19 Sep 1934 and they are both buried in the Morton Memorial Cemetery in Morton, Cochran Co., Texas. Mollie and Lorenzo had 7 children. Two of their sons married daughters of the Sowder and Nance families.

2) Rebecca "Becky" Sowder married William M. "Bill" Nance on 10 Sep 1883 in Denton Co., Texas. William was the son of Isaac Newton and Rutha Jane (Pritchett) Nance. Becky d. 1919 in Granite, Greer Co., Oklahoma and John d. 8 Sep 1927 at the same place and they are both buried in the Granite City Cemetery.  Becky and William had 5 children. Their youngest son Jack owned and operated the Nance Hotel in Granite City for many years.

I'm not a Sowder descendant, but I do have a lot of information on the ancestry of Lucy and both her husbands through the Wallen and Sutton lineages. I can be contacted at the e-mail link near the bottom of this page, just above the photo of my "furchildren". As always, I love to hear from cousins, no matter how distant!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Family of Madison Sowder - Part 1

Rockcastle Co., Kentucky - view southwest from Skaggs Creek Church
photographed on May  23, 2011

Madison Sowder is related to me through his mother, Isabelle Sutton, who's parents, Uriah and Euna (Delaney) Sutton were my paternal third great grandparents. He is also related to me by marriage through his wife, Lucy Jane Wallen, who's parents, Jesse B. and Louisa (Tyree) Wallen, were also my paternal third great grandparents. This is not typically how I like to write my family history. There are far too many dates and repetitious places to keep the interest of the casual reader. However, if you have interest in the surnames Wallen, Sowder, Sutton, Gregory, Baker, Clampitt or Nance, you may find that you can wade through the data and pull out the bits of story within.

The Family of Madison Sowder includes his grandparents, his parents, his sisters, his wives, his step daughters, and his maternal uncle, William Renex Sutton. To keep things in order, I will have to start with my paternal great, great grand-aunt, Lucy Jane.

Lucy Jane Wallen, was the daughter of Jesse B. and Louisa (Tyree) Wallen. She was born on 2 Apr 1858 in Rockcastle Co., Kentucky.

Lucy married William Renex Sutton, son of Uriah and Euna (Delaney) Sutton, when she was about 15 years old. William was born about 1845 in Lincoln Co., Kentucky. William and Lucy had two daughters, both born in Rockcastle Co., Kentucky:

1) Louisa Sutton b. 15 Aug 1874. Louisa married John William Gregory about 1898 in Cooke Co., Texas. John was the son of Isaac and Mary Ellen (Copenhaver) Gregory. Louisa d. 10 Oct 1950 in Ft. Worth, Tarrant Co., Texas and is buried in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Ft. Worth. John d. 20 Sep 1934 in Cooke Co., Texas and is buried in the Pollard Cemetery in Denton Co., Texas. Louisa and John had 4 children.

2) Fannie Mae Sutton b. 11 Apr 1877. Fannie married William Joseph Baker on 5 Dec 1897 in Cooke Co., Texas. William was the son of George Washington and Cornelia Indiana (Davis) Baker. (William was born in Double Branch, Milton Co., Georgia. Milton Co. no longer exists. It was merged with Fulton Co. in the early 1930s in order to save it from bankruptcy.) Fannie d. 4 Jun 1951 in Lubbock, Lubbock Co., Texas and William d. 17 Jan 1959 in Claude, Armstrong Co., Texas. Fannie's and William's residence at the time of Fannie's death was Portales, Roosevelt Co., New Mexico. Perhaps she had been visiting family members who lived in Lubbock when she became ill and died at the Lubbock Memorial Hospital. Fannie and William are buried in the Abernathy Cemetery in Hale Co., Texas.  Fannie and William had 10 children.

William Renex Sutton d. 5 Feb 1878 in Rockcastle Co., Kentucky and Lucy became a widow before she turned 20 years old. Lucy's father, Jesse B. Wallen, had preceded his son-in-law in death just 6 months earlier. Both men are buried in the Wallen/Francisco Cemetery in Wabd, Rockcastle Co., Kentucky.

A little less than two years later, Lucy married her deceased husband's nephew, Madison "Mattie" Sowder.

Click here to continue in Part 2

Friday, April 6, 2012

GO WEST! Eighteen on a Wagon Train to Texas 1880

I've known for years that all four siblings of my paternal 2nd great grandfather, William M. Wallen, left Kentucky shortly after the 1880 census was taken, but I was never certain of just exactly when they left. I only knew through births and deaths that they were in Texas by 1882. William's siblings were Oliver P., Isaac Newton, Lucy Jane, and Daniel Thomas. These five were the children of Jesse B. and Louisa (Tyree) Wallen.

Interior Journal - 20 Aug 1880
Last year I came across two articles in Kentucky's "Interior Journal" newspaper, that gave me new clues. The first one, dated August 20, 1880, told of the Justice of the Peace in the Skaggs Creek precinct, O. C. Brewer, resigning his official position in contemplation of moving out West. The second article, dated October 1, 1880, was more exciting: "O. C. Brewer and Oliver Wallen with their families, and several others - in all eighteen persons - left here last week for Texas. They will settle in Honey Grove or Paris, others are to follow." So, now I had a very close date, they left the last week of September 1880.
Interior Journal - 1 Oct 1880

To the best of my knowledge, through research, these are the eighteen people that left Rockcastle Co., Kentucky for Texas, grouped by families:

1) Orville C. Brewer and his wife 2) Marinda R. "May" (Bolin) Brewer, daughter of  Orville's former neighbors, George and Phoebe Brewer, who were already living in Cooke Co., Texas.

3) Oliver P. Wallen and wife 4) Mary Jane "Mollie" (Collier) Wallen and their three daughters: 5) Laura Ellen, 6) Lucy A., and 7) Lucinda. Mollie was 7 months pregnant with Sarah E. when she made this trek.

8) Isaac Newton Wallen and wife 9) Mary Frances "Fannie" (Sutton) Wallen and their two sons: 10) Andrew J. and 11) Daniel Thomas. In 1938, Fannie was interviewed about her life in Kentucky, Texas, and Oklahoma and the resulting story became a part of the "Indian Pioneer Papers". That interview can be read here: Pioneers to Indian Territory 1881. That title isn't exactly correct now as we know they left in 1880 and, not only that, they also lived in Texas for 10 years and didn't actually arrive in Indian Territory until 1890. However, the story Fannie tells is an excellent testament to the history, the hardship, and the grit of these early Kentuckians who traveled west by wagon and how some lived after settling at their destination.

12) Lucy Jane (Wallen) Sowder and her second husband, 13) Madison "Mattie" Sowder, and Lucy's two daughters by her first husband, William R. Sutton: 14) Louisa Sutton and 15) Fannie Mae Sutton, and Madison's two sister's: 16) Mary Jane Sowder and 17) Rebecca Sowder. I will write more about this family in my next post.

18) Daniel Thomas "Uncle Tom" Wallen - I wrote about Uncle Tom in this post: Treasure Chest Thursday: From Diamond Came Gold.

These families did not settle in Fannin or Lamar counties as indicated by the Interior Journal's October article; instead they traveled a little farther west and settled in the counties of Denton and Cooke.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Ida May Trowbridge 1880

Ida May Trowbridge - circa 1880
My maternal great grandmother


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Elijah and Onedia Darling

Elijah D. Darling   May 28, 1859 - July 8, 1915
Married August 11, 1884
Onedia C. Morris   May 1867 - 1923

Buried Circle Grove Cemetery, Spiceland Twp., Henry Co., Indiana
Elijah was the twin of my maternal great grandmother,
Mary Elizabeth (Darling) Runyan.
Elijah and Onedia had 10 known children, 2 daughters died in infancy.