Gifts from Dorothy

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Every once in a while my sister Dorothy will come to my house bearing genealogical gifts. (My favorite kind =D) Her most recent gift was the guest registry from our father’s (John Weston Ramsell 1932-1970) memorial service held 12 November 1970, in Monterey Park, California, USA.

As I was reading through the signatures, I didn’t recognize most of the names, and I couldn’t help but wonder who these people were, and how they knew my father.

As I’ve mentioned before, my father died when I was very young, and consequently, I don’t know much about him. With that in mind, I’ve decided to post the signature pages here in hopes that one of the attendees might come across this blog post and be willing to “tell me a story” about my dad. I realize it has been 46 years, but…..



Casket Bearers: James Reifeiss, John C. Ostrom, Phillip C. Gardener?, Hugh Lomas, James Johnson, Drew Popson


Lowell J. Campbell, Marie Melford, Evelyn Pittman, Jackie Cargemi, Michael E. Neuman, Vincent Loomis, Chris Blassman, Sandy Taylor, James E. Johnson, Peggy Baker, Alise Shearer, Irene Brandenberg, Darrell Henderson, Job Dragan, George J. Huston, Joe Caricchio


Walter W. Doman, Mr. & Mrs. Ray Colvin, Mr. & Mrs. Arlis Keller, Mr. & Mrs. James Wilson, Mr. & Mrs. Richard F. Greenwood, Mr. & Mrs. Robert Pommerville, Charles Vogl, Mr. & Mrs. Nelson Lyons, Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Blassman, Lady E. Alexander, Dan Taylor,  Alan R. Smith, Paul Ramsell, Anne Ramsell, Dorothy Zane, John C. Ramsell


Don Hamilton, Mary Ramsell, Cathy Ramsell, Mr. & Mrs. C.K. O’Neill, Ira D. Brown, Phillip C. ?, Mr. & Mrs. August A. Giacomelli, Jack & Peggy Johnson, Mike Trujillo, Mr. & Mrs. Frank Lillo, Chet & Meg Gilgen, Vi Flowers, Connie Hall, Tiffy Newbigging, Gene Homenick, Olga Jenkins


Eleanor Popson, Roberta Urban Ramsell, Mr. & Mrs Edwards, Edith W Smith, Mr. & Mrs Jo Creacy, Steve Dupre, Vivienne Dupre, Donna Raines, Sandra Raines, Bell Dulglest, Leona Pennington, Audrey Tyler, Mary Kendrich, Patty Reifriess, Karen Ostrom, Mickie Coughlin, Harold Toyn, Stephen D. Foreman, Clifford H. Marker


Mr. & Mrs. Hugh Lomas, Lorie Lomas, Mr. & Mrs. Phillip Gark?, Jay Peterson, Marina Garcia, Lionel Harrison, Nola Hoover, Clara Yocum, Mildred Hatch, J. Barlow Hatch, Joe Stein, James J. Reifeiss,  Mr. & Mrs. T.E. VanWimble?, Karen L. Byers, Kris Hurst, Carolyn Byers, Mr. & Mrs Oran Pittman


Hilda Haug, Peggy Baker, Charlide Vogl, Mr. & Mrs. G.S. Medley,  Mr. & Mrs. Arlin Keller, Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Beassman, Ron Crouch, Nadina Flackman,  Marie Goss, Mr. & Mrs. James E. Johnson, Randy Johnson, Matt Johnson, Lon Matthis, John Johnston, Samuel Seigle, Pat Hines


Rick Hines, Mr. & Mrs. Paul L. Denenport, Paul L. Denenport III, Mark Pearson, Kenny Nissle,  Anthony J.L. Crawford, Olga H. Thomas, Robert B. Levy?, Ray Colvin, Joseph J. Dropchick, Rose B. Ralzioli, Mary Alsop, Gary Selcer, Jerry Fogel, Michael Pearson, Dern Korff, Carmen Mendoza


Mr. & Mrs. Ronald L. Call, Ira D. Brown, Dan A. Aedy?, Mr. & Mrs. Leo Curran, Lisa Hansen, Bishop & Mrs. DeVere Anderson, Lori Anderson, Jeff Anderson, Annetta Gibson, Beverly Schofield, Mrs. Marie Sanchez, Kenneth L. Branford, Mrs. Virginia Plummer, Roger W. Temple, Donald W. Helgren, Russell Call, Nate Pearman


Sandra Raines, Ted & Carolyn Black, Bea Mansfield, Mrs. Jack D. Johnson, Barbara A. Spurling, Ray Sparks, Deborah Greene, Vena McGuire



Jeannine Mayer, Brent Mayer, Maurine Byers, Tom Byers, Marilyn Johnson, Glen Byers, Drew Popson, Irene Koepp, Sandy Taylor, Chris Blassman, Stephanie Penrich, Linda Gallentine, Mr. & Mrs Russ Gallentine, L. Dee Gardner, Mr. & Mrs. W. Klerks, Jackie Zurinskas


Claire Thurner, Del Aldrich

McWhirter-Barrett, Harry c1939_edited

Harry McWhirter-Barrett c 1939 Denver, Colorado, United States

Harry M. Barrett received the A.B. Degree at Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania, in 1891. He received other degrees including the Doctor of Letters from the University of Denver. In 1893 he came to Colorado, and taught Latin in East High School. An editorial experience in Erie, Pennsylvania, during those two years had prepared him, no doubt, to be interested in the same sort of work here; and, together with a little reportorial work, for years he had much to do with the Colorado School journal, both has advisor and as editor.

Harry McWhirter-Barrett c1892_edited

Harry McWhirter-Barrett 1891 Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania, United States

In 1907, I believe, he left East High School to become principle of Central High School in Pueblo Colorado. 5 years later, in 1912, he returned it to Denver as principal of East High School, and remained there during the troublesome days of the war of 1914 to 1918. In 1920, he went to Boulder Colorado. There he remained In charge of the College of Education until 1937. During the two or three years before his retirement he endured much physical and mental suffering, which almost killed him. A year or more of travel, apparently gave him back his health; and he remained fairly well until the Nazis rolled through Holland. 3 days later, he was dead. Had he lived a few weeks longer, he would have received one more degree, the PhD from his alma mater. At least, he had the comfort of knowing that last Monday, that this honor would be his.

Such is the brief outline of the life of a man who made himself a quiet force in everything educational in one state, and in many of its religious movements; who was known and respected as highly in Greeley and Fort Collins and Gunnison as in Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Boulder, and Denver.

My acquaintance with Barrett began in January of 1896. During that winter, his doctor said he had appendicitis. Accordingly, he remained in bed for a week, and I took his classes in Latin. I remember that they knew their Latin, perhaps better than I, myself, at that time. From that time on I knew Harry Barrett as a man as well as anyone ever knew him, I guess, unless it were Aaron Gove, and Dorus Ruben Hatch. Barrett loved to sing; and for a while he and two other men and I formed a quartet for mutual pleasure mostly. When he brought his wife to Denver in 1896 and thereafter when the children came, we were drawn together through somewhat similar interests.

Harry McWhirter-Barrett Family c1912_edited

Almira Barrett (standing), Charles McWhirter Barrett, Jessie Davis Edwards Barrett, Hugh Edwards Barrett 1912 Denver, Colorado, United States

During the war he lost his older son at Fort Logan. I truly believe the anguish caused by that loss, and the repression of his grief at that time contributed to the weakness of heart which took him off 20 odd years later. He was intensely patriotic, and in his desire to appear all that the leader of so many young men and women should appear in a national emergency, he denied himself the legitimate relief of sorrow acknowledged and expressed. Perhaps, too, the memory of those days of terrible sadness came back and overwhelmed him, when Holland was snuffed out.

Barrett, Hugh Edwards Obituary April 1918_edited

Hugh Barrett Edwards (1897-1918)

He joined the school masters Club in 1895. He was not, therefore, a charter remember, for the club had been in existence nearly a year. But charter member or no, he was one of the old guard, that old guard who with Aaron Gove were interested and active in every matter educational or politic-educational. May I assure you, gentleman, that in those days this club was not exactly a rather sprawling social aggregation. It was a close knit, earnest unit, with eyes and ears wide open for any method by which the cause of education in Colorado could be helped. Whether the need were for a pedagogical talk a political interview, some move for reorganization, or a combination of the three, Harry Barrett’s thorough education, practical and keen mind, and his ability to present–were in valuable.

Socially, in the club, he was, I should say, the most popular remember ever enrolled, and yet one who never quite broke down his dignity and reserve. Many of you never had a chance to enjoy his repartee, his wit, or his yarns. A teller of stories he was by instinct and self-training; and many a time he has tickled this club with some piquant anecdote. I will say, however, that his stories if piquant were not risqué or malodorous.

Barrett’s singing voice was an odd one but thoroughly musical. He could sing a very respectable baritone, lead the gang like a second tenor, or even squeal into the “barber shop” notes of the lyric. But whatever part he sang, he threw himself into the singing with such whole-hearted zeal that for years he was the acknowledged chorister of the Schoolmasters, and was relied upon even longer to lead off in an emergency. Somewhere or other he picked up the most of the modern streamlined mumbles and wails, even as he remembered all the ditties of an older vintage, and the names of person who he met anywhere.

He made a point of knowing every member of this club, as long as such a feat was possible. He was a very agreeable and sympathetic table companion, who never did all of the talking. His mind was alert and he felt his way into the attitude of his neighbor at dinner. So warmly did he take the Schoolmasters Club to his heart that more than once I have heard men mention it as “Barrett’s Club.”

As educator he was never in that class of leaders who immediately and infallibly know all the answers. Before he attempted to help or advise he would listen patiently and long. Then, if he approved your action, he said so. If he disapproved, you had no doubts. He studied all modern trends. He sifted from each whatever seemed to him good; but forever kept one foot on the ground, and so firmly that he did not lose his equilibrium.

Somehow, notwithstanding his many other studies and diverse activities, he managed to maintain his direct participation in religious life and with his church. At the time of his death, he was president of the Board of Trustees of the bill if school of the ology.

Nature did not endow Barrett with an athletic body. Not that he was physically weak. Anyone who ever shook hands with him and experienced is truly Methodist grip, knew better than to take him for a weakling. But a slender frame and did defect of vision prevented him from the whole hearted plunging into athletic which many of us have enjoyed. Perhaps for that very reason he evinced a more intense enthusiasm than most men for the fortunes of his school in college teams, and a more intelligent comprehension of the relation which athletics bear to education in general and to any boy in particular.

Men have deferred (as in the case of any outstanding individual) as to Barrett’s precise value as an educator. Such differing is probably all to the credit of the man in question; and simply proves that he is not easily stamped pell-mell in any one direction. So much I can say, that whenever I have learned post factum the circumstances surrounding some professional act of his which I had failed to understand, I have found a conscientious man struggling, as very few of us do struggle, to do his duty as he saw his duty, and to meet obstacles as a Christian gentleman. As to Barrett’s qualifications as a friend I have heard only one story: kind, sympathetic, intelligent, forbearing, willing, steadfast.

I am told that Barrett was as popular in the Rotary Club as he used to be here. The reasons are not hard to find. Well-read on topics of today, of yesterday, and of yesteryear, he could match almost anyone anywhere in conversation; but he was so considerate of other fellow’s viewpoint that he seldom was over persistent, or gave one the appearance of superiority. Then he was unfailingly witty, with the kind of clean clear-cut humor which pleases all.

“The old order changeth, yielding place to new,” and it should do so, if our old is to be anything but stagnant. Yet I feel that in the death of Harry McWhirter Barrett, not only the Schoolmasters Club but education in Colorado has lost one of its foundation piers, that the gap thus created is probably one which will never be exactly and completely be filled.

Harry McWhirter-Barrett is buried at Fairmount Mausoleum & Cemetery in Denver, Colorado.

Harry McWhirter-Barrett Gravemarker_edited

Harry McWhirter-Barrett (1869-1940) Grave-marker

Fairmount Mausoleum, Denver, Colorado, United States_edited

Fairmount Mausoleum & Cemetery Denver, Colorado, United States

Elbridge M. Hosmer (1832-1863) and his wife, Susannah Owens (1835-1887) were the parents of 3 children. Charles E. Hosmer, born 16 March 1858, Susannah Augusta Hosmer, born 4 July 1860 and Clara L. Hosmer, born 29 December 1861. All of the children were born in Middlebury, Addison County, Vermont.

My 2nd great grandparents, Samuel and Almira Blake McWhirter, were enumerated with this family in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Middlebury, Addison, Vermont, taken 24 July of that year.  Although I can find no  connection (yet) between the Hosmer/Owens families and my own,  I feel compelled to share what I know of their story here.

Of their three children, only Susannah and Clara reached adulthood.  Charles E. Hosmer (1858-1861) died 1 November 1861 in Middlebury, Vermont at the age of three.  He is buried with his father in Middlebury Cemetery, Middlebury, Addison, Vermont.


Middlebury Cemetery, Middlebury, Vermont2Middlebury Cemetery, Middlebury, Addison, Vermont
(Photo courtesy of Jen Snoots)

Susannah Augusta Hosmer (1860-1936) grew up and married Samuel James Preston (1855-1933) on 30 July 1885 in Waltham, Addison, VermontAt the time of their marriage, Samuel was living in  Mamaroneck, Westchester, New York where he was employed as a teacher.  Samuel and Susannah had four children: Elbridge Hosmer Preston (1887-1889)  Robert Hall Preston (1889-1953) Clara Louise Preston (1892-1962) and  James Samuel Preston (1902-1903).


Prospect Vergennes  Sam Preston, Susan Hosmer, Elbridge, James, ClaraPreston Family Gravestone
Prospect Cemetery, Vergennes, Addison, Vermont
(Photo courtesy of Alan Lathrop)

Clara L. Hosmer (1861-1898) married John Fletcher Noe (1865-?) on 12 November 1890 in Middlebury, Addison, Vermont.  To this union was born one child: James Elbridge Noe (1894-1985). Clara passed away 9 August 1898 in Vergennes, Addison, Vermont, of typhoid fever. She is buried in Albany Rural Cemetery, Menands, Albany, New York.


Clara Noe HeadstoneClara L. Hosmer Noe Gravestone
Albany Rural Cemetery, Menands, Albany, New York
(Photo courtesy of Marte @ Findagrave.com)


Susannah Owens Hosmer Lovett (1837-1887) was born about 7 June 1837 in England.  Her parents were Benjamin Owens (1818-1893), and  Lydia Roberts (1819-1864). She died on 21 October 1887 in Middlebury, Addison, Vermont. She is buried in Middlebury Cemetery with her second husband, John Wesley Lovett (1839-1923)


Susan Owens Hosmer Lovett GravestoneSusan Owens Hosmer Lovett Gravestone
Middlebury Cemetery, Middlebury, Addison, Vermont
(Photo courtesy of Jen Snoots)


Elbridge M. Hosmer (1832-1863) served his country during the U.S. Civil War in the  1st United States Sharpshooters,  Company F, under the command of Captain Edmund Weston.

He was wounded in the Battle of Locust Grove at Brandy Station, Culpepper, Virginia on 27 November 1863, and died from his injuries on 4 December 1863.

Corporal Charles B. Mead (1843-1864) 1st U.S. Sharpshooters, who served with Elbridge in Company F, wrote the following  entries  in his personal journal the night Elbridge was injured, and on the occasion of his death seven days later.  I was so moved by the words that he wrote, I wanted to share it here.


Charles B. Mead c 1863Charles B. Mead c 1863
(Photo courtesy of Jen Snoots)

Nov. 27, 1863 [Battle of Locust Grove]

Hosmer was struck on the forehead over the left eye – very bad wound.

Dec. 4, 1863

Elbridge M. Hosmer’s body came to camp to day. He died last night at half past two. His wound was dressed but once, and he has had no other care. It is sad, very sad for him to die. He leaves a fine woman and two charming children to mourn his loss. Noble, heroic man, – he sealed his devotion to his country with his life.

Late in the afternoon the Co. went to do the saddest duty of a soldier – to bury a comrade killed in battle – Slowly, sadly, we carried Hosmer across the fields, lowered him into the “sacred soil” (made sacred by his life’s blood) and fired volleys over his grave. Oh! My God! that we could be spared such scenes – but this is only part of WAR. 


Elbridge Hosmer GravestoneGravestone of Elbridge M. Hosmer and his son Charles Hosmer
Middlebury Cemetery, Middlebury, Addison, Vermont
(Photo courtesy of Jen Snoots)

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Agnes Honora “Nora”  Maloney was born in 1850 in Canada.  She married my second great grand uncle,  Isaac Elder Blake (1844-1906) on   7 September 1867  in Pennsylvania. Isaac is the 10th child and youngest son of Isaac Blake (1804-1883) and Azubah Caswell (1803-1872).

Agnes Maloney Blake (maybe) San Francisco, CaliforniaAgnes Honora “Nora” Maloney Blake c 1885
San Francisco, California
(Photo courtesy of Chuck Snakard)

Isaac Elder BlakeIsaac Elder Blake 

While much is written about Nora’s  famously wealthy husband and the exploits of some of her more colorful offspring, (explanatory blog posts coming soon) the only newspaper article I could find in which she is mentioned, is her own obituary.  But even here, she is identified only as “Mrs. I.E. Blake wife of…”, with  a short explanation of her brief  illness and death, book-ended by a listing of  her husbands business accomplishments and renown, essentially reducing  her to a footnote in her own obituary.


Agnes Maloney Blake Obituary

Agnes Honora “Nora”  Maloney Blake Obituary
Wednesday, 2 August 1899
New York Herald-Tribune (New York, New York) pg #7

Nora and Isaac’s first three children; Winfield  Blake (1868-1932), Allie Blake Manly (1870-1959), and Belle Blake Robinson (1875-1925) were all born in Pennsylvania, where her husband made his first fortune in the oil production business. As the company expanded, the  family moved progressively west and then back.  Their three youngest children; Evarts Isaac Blake (1877-1933), Annette Agnes “Nettie”  Blake Rispin (1881-1941) and Robert Ivan Blake (1886-1972), were born in Wyoming, California, and Colorado respectively.


Isaac Elder Blake children Allie, Belle & WinfieldAllie, Belle & Winfield Blake c 1880

Nora’s death on 1 August 1899, after a brief illness, caught the family by surprise. The following transcription is from a letter written by Isaac to two of their daughters, Allie Blake Manly, her husband George C. Manly (1863-1936)  and Belle Blake, who were living in Denver, Colorado at that time.  While I have left  the grammar, spelling and punctuation as it appeared in the original text, I’ve broken the letter up into paragraphs to make it easier to read.


One brief  note of explanation: Nora’s oldest son, Winfield Blake, was a  famous comedy actor/opera singer in his day.  The letter references Nora and her daughter Nettie attending a matinee performance of one of his shows in New York the day she fell ill.


ISAAC E. BLAKE PRESIDENT                                                                                                                                    Dictated August 2, 1899

Written August 5th 1899

Allie, Belle & George (Manly)
512 Tuxedo Place
Denver, Colorado

Dear Children,

Belle’s letter of July 30th, and Allie’s without date, written presumably at the same time, is received this morning.

Last night we telegraphed you your dear mother’s death at 3:20 yesterday afternoon. She died peacefully without the slightest suffering, just simply stopped breathing.

I am going over to Greenlawn Cemetery, on Long Island, to select a family plot. It is said to be very well located, and sufficiently remote so that it will not be disturbed for genereations; I expect to find it very new, but under all the circumstances, it seems to be as desirable as anything I have learned of.

We have tried to give you all of the details of mother’s illness, but many things will have to wait until we see you before things can be fully explained, I will however this morning, make a brief resume of the entire period of her illness, and perhaps after you receive this letter, there will be some special points that you wish to inquire concerning, which, if you mention, I will try to answer.

On June 10th, being Saturday, your mother and Nettie (Annette Blake) attended a matinee at the Cusine Theatre, where Winfield (Blake) was playing with the Jefferson De Angelis Opera Company; your mother seemed to enjoy the performance very much and laughed heartily at the comedian’s work.

That evening at six o’clock, I was to leave for Chicago, to meet various parties on important financial matters. On going to the house a little after five, for my trip, I overtook your mother and Nettie a few blocks from the house, just returning from the matinee. I did not have sufficient time to spare to get supper, and I kissed mama goodbye in the hall, she wishing me “good-luck” and I left for Chicago.

When I reached Chicago, I found that Mr. Newhouse, whom I had hoped to meet there, had just undergone a surgical operation, and could not, at that time, come to Chicago, so I went through directly to Salt Lake City.

On the 19th, I received a telegram from Evarts (Blake) saying that mother was very sick with her old difficulty and that the doctors thought that another operation would have to be performed. So I replied immediately advising him to follow Dr. Curley’s advice, and on the 21st at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, the operation was performed. I received a telegram two days later saying that conditions were favorable for recovery, but as soon as I possibly could, I hurried homeward expecting to stop in Erie a day to transact some business there, but on reaching the hotel, I found a telegram from Evarts saying that the doctors stated that mother was liable not to last through the night. This was a terrible shock to me as I had supposed she was getting along all right, not having heard for several days.

I took the train for New York, leaving Erie about 11 o’clock and reached New York the following afternoon, and as soon as possible, went to your mother’s bedside. I found that although she had passed through a most critical night, she was somewhat relieved from her high state of fever, and her temperature had fallen even a little below normal, but it gradually raised again up to 105 or 106, and she had another chill at midnight, and in the paroxysms following the chill each time, the doctors had grave doubts that she would be able to live but a very short time. However there was about two days intervening between the next chill, the second one a little longer and the third one, after I came home, seemed to be the climax of all, her temperature reaching 107.

From that time forward the maximum temperatures began to decline until about the 17th of July, when the fever became less alarming, ranging from normal to 102- and occasionally to 103. This began to give us hope that she might recover, but at the very best state, about this time, the doctors only admitted that she perhaps had an even chance to live. Before that they considered that she only had one chance in ten.

On Monday the 17th she sat up two hours, and that night I left for Erie. That was Monday night. I got back Thursday the 20th, and they told me that she had been sitting up each day for two hours. So from the 17th to the 20th seemed to be the most hopeful time in her illness, as the danger from the pyemic condition seemed to be very much lessened.

Just the nature or exact cause of pyemia (septicemia) we shall never know; whether an abscess formed in the liver, or whether it was simply a general poisoning of the blood to a limited extent no one can tell, probably the latter. Just at this time occurred the characteristic result of pyemia.

When I went into her room on the morning of the 20th she called my attention to her right hand that she could not use; the hand from the wrist down seemed to be useless, the rest of her arm seemed to be all right and the remainder of her right side was at that time unaffected. I noticed in her talk that she lisped at that time, no one seemed to notice it until my return that morning and had called their attention to it. The cause of this is unquestionably what is called “thrombosis”, described in my previous letters.

On account of some heart lesion, or condition of the walls of the blood vessels becoming roughened, on account of the poisonous matter passing through the blood, began to coagulate at some point near the base of the brain, this coagulum beginning gradually, and not entirely stopping the flow of blood, so it only caused a slight paralysis at first, the brain getting a limited supply, and the impairment of the mental faculties became greater and greater each day from the moment of the beginning of this thrombosis until her death. It was a constant increasing paralysis and less of mental faculty.

You could scarcely say that at any time after she arrived home on Wednesday whether she realized all that you were saying or not. But at times she would appreciate more than at others, but I think that at no time after Sunday of the 23rd did she have full control of her mental powers; she apparently knew us, and when we asked her to say words, she would make an effort to say them, and she would pat us on the check or put her arm around our necks, or squeeze our hands as a token of her affection, until next to the last day of her life. If she did think and realize anything, she was unable to express it scarcely, after the 23rd.

She would rally a little after a good day, seeming to have great natural vitality, but each day would leave her a little lower than the one previous until yesterday, at the time named, she expired without struggle.

Since my return home I have endeavored to get a clear history of all the facts which occurred on the night I left, and the time the operation was performed: I get most of my information from Robert (Blake), Nettie being almost dazed with grief and does not seem to remember clearly, and Evarts was at the office that period.

I learn however, that on the Sunday following the day I left she had an attack, evidently a gall stone had started to escape through the common duct, they applied the hot water bags, and during the day she recovered and was around the house the rest of the day. The following day about half past three she had a recurrence of the attack, and from that time forward until she was taken to the hospital, she grew continually worse; she was so bad that she could scarcely breathe, and it was necessary to revive her with compound oxygen.

Dr. Abbe made an examination with Dr. Korley, who was with her daily, and he decided to wait until Wednesday the 21st, before performing the operation, which was more than a week after the attack, the operation being performed at the Roosevelt Hospital. She had already developed a high fever at the house, on account of the purulent matter being forced back into the system by the closing of the common duct with a large gall stone. This I believe covers the entire history of the case.

We have one consolation, that the last two months of her life, before she was taken ill, were probably the happiest she ever had. We had come to understand each other better, and to enjoy the mutual confidence and love. Never before did I really appreciate her worth, and I hope her daughters will emulate her worthy example, and you may be sure, on my testimony of more than thirty three years of intimate association that your mother, no steadier, purer or truer woman ever lived.


Isaac added this next part of the letter two days after the funeral services were over.  I love the insight he shares into  what a close relationship Winfield  had with his younger sister Nettie. She would later name her only son Allen Winfield Rispin (1901-1946).

I want to say something about Nora’s son Evarts here.  Evarts was just 22 at the time of his mother illness and subsequent death. His father mentions receiving telegrams from Evarts regarding his mothers illness, and Evarts being the one he directed to follow the doctors orders concerning her medical treatment.  He had to have been overwhelmed/terrified handling all of that in his father’s absence.

Isaac briefly mentions a few of the people who were able to  attend, or attempted to attend the funeral service.  Among those listed was Frank Snakard (1867-1964). Frank was Nora’s nephew by her sister Ellen Maloney Snakard (1840-1898).

Frank SnakardFrank Snakard
(Photo courtesy of Charles Snakard)

Also mentioned is their cousin Nellie.  I’m not sure, but I think he’s referring to Grace Eleanor Barrett (1870-1940) who lived in Titusville, Pennsylvania at that time.

Grace BarrettGrace Eleanor Barrett 




Saturday, August 5, 1899

Dear Children,

Allie’s and George’s letter of the 2nd are received. Mother was buried on Thursday, the services being performed at the house. Robert, Mr. Little, the treasurer of our company, and Mr. Beardsley and myself and Evarts were present at the services, and Winfield.

Winfield thought Nettie could not stand any further strain so he took her up to one of her girl friends house to stay until after the services were over. Winfield, Robert, Evarts and myself rode to the cemetery known as Greenlawn referred to above, and attended the burial. Frank Snakard, and your cousin Nellie came from Bradford to attend the funeral, but their train was delayed several hours and they arrived too late.

It was decided to send Nettie and Robert back to Bradford with them until our plans for the future could be more settled, and it will do Nettie a great deal of good to be among new scenes and sympathetic friends.  Evarts took them to the train and got them off this morning.

Winfield has been of great help and comfort to Nettie; he has purchased her all the apparel she needed for her trip, and has paid her expenses to Bradford. He also had a beautiful cross of flowers, wreath and loose flowers placed on the casket at the funeral.

We have had many letters of sympathy, and telegrams, from ours and the children’s friends, among which are letters and telegrams from Mr. & Mrs Gummer, Mr. Woodbury, Mr. Purdy, Bishop Fowler, and many others, which we will keep and show you sometime.

Yours affectionately,
Popa Blake


Isaac Blake Letter

Isaac Blake Letter 2

Isaac Blake Letter 3Isaac Elder Blake Letter
5 August 1899, New York, New York
(Letter courtesy of Beatrice Aldrich Nelson)

Agnes Honora “Nora” Maloney Blake was buried on Thursday,  3 August 1899, in Greenlawn Memorial Park Cemetery on Long Island.

Greenlawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Warners, New YorkGreenlawn Memorial Park Cemetery
Warners, Onondaga, New York
(Photo courtesy of Paul G. Healy)

James Walter Grimes Sr.James Walter Grimes Sr.
25 December 1903, Cambridge, Guernsey, Ohio
(Photo courtesy of Eric Recht)

  James Walter Grimes Sr., (who went by Walter) was born 20 October 1869, in Cambridge, Guernsey, Ohio. He was the youngest child and only son of Sarah A. Davis (1842-1898) and James O. Grimes (1822-1890), who was a prominent attorney in Ohio. His maternal aunt, Allie Davis Edwards (1846-1918), was my 2nd great grandmother, which makes him my 1st cousin 3 times removed.

  On 9 September 1891 he married Bertha Scott, daughter of Winfield Taylor Scott (1847-?) and Mary Ellen Burt (1849-1906), in Cambridge, Guernsey, Ohio. My 2nd great grandfather, Hugh Barrett Edwards (1835-1908), performed the ceremony. The following  article appeared in the 17 September 1891 edition of the Cambridge Jeffersonian newspaper.


  J.W. Grimes, son of the late J.O. Grimes, and Miss Bertha Scott, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W.T. Scott, were united in marriage last Wednesday evening, at the home of the bride on East Wheeling Avenue. Rev. H.B. Edwards performed the ceremony in the presence of about seventy guests, after which an elegant supper was enjoyed by all.

  Those from a distance who were in attendance were: Walter Shipley, and sister Miss Ada Shipley, of Columbus, Ohio; Mr. Will Brown and, sisters, Martha and Mary of Senecaville, Ohio.

  The bride wore a beautiful dress of of rose silk with a white corsage, and the groom, of course, wore the conventional black. Many beautiful presents were received.

  They will reside with the brides parents during fall and winter. We extend congratulations.

James W. Grimes and Bertha Scott Marriage AnnouncementPublication: Cambridge Jeffersonian
Location: Cambridge, Ohio
Issue Date: September 17, 1891, pg #3


  Bertha and Walter found out in December of 1891 that they would become parents around August 1st the of following year. But in June of 1892,  on what had begun as a typical summer day, Walter’s life was changed forever. Bertha developed eclampsia and died one month before their baby was due.

Death of Mrs. Bertha Grimes

Last Thursday the friends and relatives of Mrs. Walter Grimes of this place were shocked to learn that she had been taken suddenly and fatally ill.  She had been in good health and spirits, and though on arising that morning she had not felt so well as usual, she was but slightly indisposed.  About 10 0’clock a.m. she was seized by a severe convulsion, and from then until about five o’clock p.m. she passed from one almost directly into another.  A physician was summoned at once upon the attack appearing and he remained with her constantly.

During the time that the convulsions continued it was thought that each would result in death.  After five 0’clock, the remedies administered seemed to be producing some effect, for the pulse of the patient became better, and ground for hope was found.

  About eleven o’clock in the night, a perfectly formed and well developed female child was born, and from thence onward until about twelve hours later, when she died, the sufferer sank away. The child lived until six o’clock Friday morning, and had she survived, she would have been named Margaret, for her dead grandmother. In the natural course, the child would not have been born until  about August 1st, and the immediate cause of death of Mrs. Grimes, as will appear from what has already been stated, was puerperal convulsions, resulting in the premature birth of the child. It is understood that the attending physician does not regard these as having been brought on by any accident or injury. but as having resulted in a constitutional disturbance which was not known beforehand.  The case was similar to that of Mrs. Lena White nee McBurnev.

    On Sunday afternoon at two o’clock, the funeral services under the direction of Dr. S. Burt, occurred at the house of the grief stricken parents, on Wheeling Ave. Appropriate and beautiful selections were sung by a choir, Rev F.A. Brown and Dr. McFarland, read scripture lessons, Dr. W.V. Milligan and Dr. Burt offered prayer, and touching remarks were made by Rev. L.B. Moore and Rev. H.B. Edwards, of Stuebenville, who had officiated at the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Grimes, September 9, 1891.

  The interment was made to Cambridge Cemetery, and though the weather was sultry and rainy, many friends and relatives from a distance attended, and a long concourse followed the remains through the rain to the cemetery.  Mother and child were interred in the same casket.

    Mrs. Grimes was the only child of Winfield T. Scott and Mary E., daughter of the late William Burt, and was just approaching the 23rd year of her age, having been born January 19 1870. She was vivacious and sprightly in disposition, kind and womanly in manner, and a favorite with all of her friends.  Her death coming so unexpectedly and being so nearly tragic in its character, causes sorrow and sympathy throughout the town and vicinity.  If the bereavement could be added to by anything beyond the circumstances already indicated, it is made more crushing to the parents by the fact that during last winter Mrs. Margaret Burt, mother of Mrs. Scott, and a loved member of their family, was instantly killed by an accident upon the B. & O. railroad near Monroeville.

Mrs. Scott’s condition since Friday morning has been such as to arouse the greatest concern in the minds of her friends. She was so prostrated, that she has since been unable to leave the home, even to attend the interment.

Bertha Scott Obituary 1

Bertha Scott Obit 2

Bertha Scott Obituary 3

Bertha Scott Obituary 4Publication: Cambridge Jeffersonian
Location: Cambridge, Ohio
Issue Date: June 23, 1892, pg #3

City Cemetery, Cambridge, Guernsey, OhioOld City Cemetery, Cambridge, Guernsey, Ohio
(Photo courtesy of Willis @ Findagrave.com)

The newspaper article above makes reference to the death of Margaret Rainey Burt (1827-1891), maternal grandmother of Bertha Scott, in a train accident in November of 1891. It also makes mention of Mary Scott’s (Bertha’s mother) emotional state.

” Mrs. Scott’s condition since Friday morning has been such as to arouse the greatest concern in the minds of her friends. She was so prostrated, that she has since been unable to leave the home, even to attend the interment.”

 Mary had lost three of the most important people in her world, quite unexpectedly,  in less than 8 months time and under incredibly dramatic circumstances. Her inability to attend the services comes as no surprise.

 The following is Margaret’s obituary from the Cambridge (Ohio) Jeffersonian Newspaper dated 22 October 1891.

Death of Mrs. Margaret Burt

Mrs. Margaret Burt, widow of William Burt, who died in Cambridge, May 22nd 1888, was killed in the terrible wreck on the B. & O. railroad at Hicksville.  She with her sister, Mrs. Simeon Davis, of Jackson township, this county, was returning from a visit with friends in the west, and they were passengers on the ill-fated train. Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Burt were occupying the same seat in the lady’s car when the crash came. Mrs. Davis was painfully, but not seriously, hurt and is now out of danger and rapidly recovering.  Mrs. Burt was so severely crushed about the head and breast as to be rendered unconscious, except to give her name and speak once till death relieved her agony.

  The news of the wreck soon reached Cambridge and her son in law, Winfield Scott, Esq., at once started for the scene.  He reported the situation and Mrs. Scott and daughter, Mrs. Grimes, hastened to reach the dying woman, but before they arrived, she was dead.  the suspense was very great pending the final result, and little else was thought of or talked about in Cambridge until a telegram announced the fatal termination.

  Upon the arrival of the train bearing the remains of  Mrs. Burt and the injured Mrs. Davis, a large crowd of friends and neighbors were in waiting and escorted the one, and tenderly bore the other upon a stretcher to the residence of Mr. Scott on East Wheeling Avenue, with whom Mrs. Burt resided since her husband’s death.  Universal sorrow prevailed, for Mrs. Burt was an amiable and lovely woman, sincerely loved by all who knew her.

  Loving hands had prepared the bruised and disfigured form for the casket and many tears were shed by those who gazed upon the cruel wounds that robbed her beautiful features of their wonted comeliness.

  The funeral services were largely attended.  Rev. L.B. Moore, her pastor, conducted them reading a scripture lesson and delivering a beautiful eulogy upon the life and character of the deceased.  Rev. Dr. Milligan led in an appropriate and earnest prayer; Rev. Dr. Burt spoke tenderly and beautifully; the choir of the Baptist church assisted by Mr.s Professor Sarchet sang in an anthem and appropriate hymns and the body was followed to the cemetery near the Cambridge Baptist church where her husband and other deceased relatives lay buried.  

  Mrs. Burt was a daughter of William and Mary Rainey, late of Jackson township this county; was born in Pennsylvania April 24th, 1827; came with her parents to this county in 1837; married to Wm. Burt,  February 21, 1848.  To them were born three children: James, who died in infancy; Asbury, who was killed by a boiler explosion east of Cambridge a few years ago, and Mary E., wife of Winfield Scott, who lives in Cambridge. She became a Christian more than forty years ago, was baptized by the venerable Baptist preacher Rev. Hugh Broom.  During the past twenty years she was connected with the church in Cambridge an was, as stated by her pastor, “an earnest, outspoken disciple, always in her place in church, deeply and intelligently interested in church work.”

  As a wife and mother, she was a model, ever cheerful and exemplary.  In youth, she was remarkably beautiful in form and feature, and this grace and loveliness of person were preserved through life, heightened by the dignity and force of an intellect and character of rare excellence, that won and held the love and respect of all with whom she came in contact, as relative, friend,  neighbor and Christian.

  Mr. Scott desires us to say that the family of Joseph cook, of Hicksville, with whom she was domiciled after the accident, showed every possible kindness and tenderness to her and Mrs. Davis; he says, “they could not have been more kind.”

Margaret Burt Obituary

Margaret Burt Obituary #2

Margaret Burt Obituary #3

Margaret Burt Obituary #4

Margaret Burt Obituary #5Publication: Cambridge Jeffersonian
Location: Cambridge, Ohio
Issue Date: October 22, 1891

    Walter remarried six years later  to Mary J. Green (1874-1969) on 11 May 1898 in Cambridge, Guernsey, Ohio.  Among the wedding guests in attendance was his former mother-in-law, Mary Ellen Scott.

 Their marriage announcement appeared in the May 19th, 1898 edition of the Cambridge Jeffersonian.

Mary J. Green GrimesMary J. Green Grimes
25 December 1903, Cambridge, Guernsey, Ohio
(Photo courtesy of Eric Recht)

  The marriage of Mr. J.W. Grimes and Miss Mary Green occurred Wednesday at one o’clock a the beautiful country residence of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Green, near Freeport, Harrison county.  The impressive but simple marriage ceremony of the M.E. church  was performed by Rev. H.B. Edwards, of Cambridge, uncle of the groom. The ceremony was performed in a corner bower of white and green, made from dogwood blossoms, blue and fragrant white lilacs.

  The house decorations were beautiful throughout and tastefully arranged; the mantels being banked with white lace and pine; the table decorations consisting of roses and violets; the favors of the occasion being carnations. After receiving the congratulations of the many guests, the entire company was escorted to the spacious dining rooms where an elaborate course dinner was served consisting of choice substantials and dainties.

  Mr. and Mrs. Grimes left Freeport on the evening train and came direct to their new home already furnished on Stuebenville Street.

 Mrs. Grimes is the accomplished daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Green, and has lived in Freeport from childhood.  She is welcomed to Cambridge society and will become a valuable addition thereto.

  Mr. Grimes has grown up from infancy in Cambridge, and  is a member of the enterprising hardware firm of Carlisle and Grimes, and enjoys the respect and esteem of all who know him. We heartily congratulate the young married couple and bespeak for them a right royal welcome to our city.

  The guests from a distance were: Mr. B. Johnson and Miss Mary Cadwalinder, of Richmond Indiana; Mr. and Mrs. E. French, Damascue, Ohio; Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Green, Hartford City, Indiana; Mrs. P.W. Bailey, Spiceland, Indiana; Mrs. H.J. Hollway,  Miss Edith Conrow, and the Misses Hobson of Flushing, Ohio; Mrs. Maude Wherry of Elyria, Ohio; Mrs. Fred L. Rosemond, Miss Jessie Grimes, Mr. and Mrs. John H. Sarchet, Mrs C.J. Bonnell and son Paul, Mrs. W.T. Scott, Mr. and Mrs. L.E. Carlisle, Mr. and Mrs. E.P. Jones, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Pace, Cambridge, Ohio.

James W. Grimes and Mary Green Wedding Announcement #1

James W. Grimes and Mary Green Wedding Announcement #2

James W. Grimes and Mary Green Wedding Announcement #3Publication: Cambridge Jeffersonian
Cambridge, Ohio
Issue Date: May 19, 1898

Walter, Mary, and their two children, Sara and James Jr.,  moved to Asheville, Buncombe, North Carolina in 1904, where he resided until his death on 11 October 1940 from heart disease.

 He is buried in Riverside Cemetery in Asheville, North Carolina.

James Walter Grimes Sr. Grave Stone

James Walter Grimes Sr. Gravestone

Riverside Cemetery, Asheville, Buncombe, North Carolina

Riverside Cemetery, Asheville, North Carolina

Riverside Cemetery, Asheville, Buncome, North Carolina (Photo courtesy of Richard Howell)


His second wife, Mary J. Green, died at age 95 on  22 April 1969 in Asheville, Buncombe, North Carolina.  She is also buried in Riverside Cemetery.

Tree Heart Border

In March of 2002, my brother John and I went on a genealogy field trip to Vermont where our great grandfather, Harry McWhirter (1869-1940), was born.  At that time, I had been corresponding for over a year with a distant cousin, Bea Aldrich, regarding Blake family history. She was living in Derby, Vermont, just a few miles from the Vermont/Canadian border.  We met with her and she also allowed us to scan old family photographs she had in her possession.  She had many. =))

So many, in fact, that she had recently given a box full of old family photographs to a gentleman in Stanstead, Quebec, who was maintaining a repository for old photos that people didn’t know what to do with, but couldn’t bear to throw away.  When I expressed an interest in seeing those pictures as well, Bea called him and asked if he had time to see us.  He did. =)

He had converted an old gas station into a storage facility. There were rows of shelves, floor to ceiling, packed with boxes full of old photographs and memorabilia.  He led me to a table, brought me the box, and then left me alone.

Some of the faces I immediately recognized. With others, I recognized the names, and even knew some of their life stories, but that was the first time I had ever seen their faces.  I remember sitting there with tears streaming down my cheeks. Even now, as I write this, I find myself tearing up yet again at the memory.

I heard the gentleman in the next room on the phone, talking to my cousin Bea in Vermont. His end of the conversation went something like this:

“Hey Bea.  Yeah. Um, that lady you sent over? She’s here looking through the box of pictures you gave me, and, well…..she’s crying. Can I just give them to her?”

She agreed to let me have them. =)

This first photo is one of my favorites that came from that collection. The photograph is of my great grandfather Harry’s cousin, Charles Enoch Davis (1855-?)  and his oldest child Mabel E. Davis (1877-1955). Charles is a son of Dudley M. Davis (1822-1892) and Lydia Blake Davis (1827-1900) oldest sibling of Almira Blake McWhirter (1837-1871). I believe the photograph was taken around 1890.

I love this picture of father and daughter.

In March of 2002, my brother John and I went on a genealogy field trip to Vermont where our great grandfather, Harry McWhirter (1869-1940), was born.  At that time, I had been corresponding for over a year with a distant cousin, Bea Aldrich, regarding Blake family history. She was living in Derby, Vermont, just a few miles from the Vermont/Canadian border.  We met with her and she also allowed us to scan old family photographs she had in her possession.  She had many. =))

So many, in fact, that she had recently given a box full of old family photographs to a gentleman in Stanstead, Quebec, who was maintaining a repository for old photos that people didn’t know what to do with, but couldn’t bear to throw away.  When I expressed an interest in seeing those pictures as well, Bea called him and asked if he had time to see us.  He did. =)

He had converted an old gas station into a storage facility. There were rows of shelves, floor to ceiling, packed with boxes full of old photographs and memorabilia.  He led me to a table, brought me the box, and then left me alone.

Some of the faces I immediately recognized. With others, I recognized the names, and even knew some of their life stories, but that was the first time I had ever seen their faces.  I remember sitting there with tears streaming down my cheeks. Even now, as I write this, I find myself tearing up yet again at the memory.

I heard the gentleman in the next room on the phone, talking to my cousin Bea in Vermont. His end of the conversation went something like this:

“Hey Bea.  Yeah. Um, that lady you sent over? She’s here looking through the box of pictures  you gave me, and, well…..she’s crying. Can I  just give them to her?”

She agreed to let me have them. =)

This first photo is one of my favorites that came from that collection. The photograph is of my great grandfather Harry’s cousin, Charles Enoch Davis (1855-?)  and his oldest child Mabel E. Davis (1877-1955). Charles is a son of  Dudley M. Davis (1822-1892) and Lydia Blake Davis (1827-1900) oldest sibling of Almira Blake McWhirter (1837-1871). I believe the photograph was taken around 1890.

I  love this picture of father and daughter.

Charles and Mabel Davis (2)Charles E. Davis & Mabel E. Davis c 1890
(Photo courtesy of Beatrice Aldrich Nelson)

Charles married Mabel’s mother, Carrie M. Grow (1854-?), on 1  January 1877, in Charleston, Orleans, Vermont. Their first child, Mabel E. Davis, was born 25 December 1877 in Charleston, Orleans, Vermont. The couple’s second child, a son,  Bertie B. Davis was born 14 November 1885, in Derby, Orleans, Vermont.

This next photograph is of Mabel E. Davis and her 1st cousin once removed, Mary Zuba Barrett (1878-1955).  Mary was the daughter of  Eleanor “Nellie” Blake Barrett (1846-1942), youngest sister of Lydia Blake Davis (Mabel’s grandmother). The girls were born just six months apart.

I am including it here not only because Mabel is pictured in it, but also because I believe it speaks to how close the Blake family was.  At the time this picture was taken, Mabel Davis and her family lived in Charleston, Vermont, and Mary Barrett and her family lived in Titusville, Pennsylvania, a distance of  over 550 miles.

Mabel Davis,Mary Barrett (3)Mabel E. Davis & Mary Zuba Barrett c 1882
(Photo courtesy of Beatrice Aldrich Nelson)

The next record I found for Charles E. Davis is the U.S. Federal Census, taken 5 June 1900 in Manhattan, New York, New York. He is recorded as living in a boarding house, and widowed, indicating that Carrie died some time between 14 November of 1885 (the birth of their son) and 1 June 1900. I can find no record for either Carrie Grow Davis, or their son, after Bertie’s birth in November of 1885.

The U.S. Federal Census taken 23 June 1900 in Waunakee, Dane, Wisconsin, records Mabel Davis, age 22,  living with her cousins, Dr. Austin M. Blake (1864-1959), Ida Watson Blake (1865-1950), Samuel E. Blake (1893-1959), and Ruby R. Blake (1897-1982). 

Austin Morris BlakeDr. Austin Morris Blake c 1895
Waunakee, Wisconsin
(Photo courtesy of Beatrice Aldrich Nelson)

The Wisconsin State Census taken 1 June 1905 shows Mabel still living with Austin and Ida Blake, now age 26, and employed as the Postmistress for Waunakee, Wisconsin. I had found this record of her years ago, but could find  no trace of  her after that. I didn’t know if she had gotten married, moved back to Vermont, died, or all of the above. Until today.

While searching through old newspaper archives in Wisconsin for information on Austin Blake and his family,  I came across this wedding announcement for Mabel Davis and Anthony Patrick Kenney (1878-1944) in the Waunakee Index Newspaper dated 3 December 1906. The marriage took place in Waunakee, Wisconsin, on 26 November 1906, which was Thanksgiving Day.


  Last Thursday morning at nine o’clock at St. John’s church in this village occurred the marriage of two of our most popular young people, Mr. Anthony P. Kenney and Miss Mabel Davis.  the solemn high mass was sung by the rev. Father John N. Shiltz, of Lodi.  A number of relatives and close friends of the contracting parties were present and witnesses the ceremony. Miss Agnes Rafferty of Token Creek, acted as bridesmaid, and Mr. T.K. Kenney of Madison, a brother of the groom, acted as best man.

  The bride was gowned in a beautiful dress of white French lawn and trimmed with Irish brocade, and the groom was dressed in conventional black. 

  Mr. Kenney is a native of Indiana, and after locating temporarily in Ohio for a few years, came to Waunakee in 1902 and was one of the founders of The Waunakee State Bank with which institution he has since served in the capacity as cashier. Since coming here he has won the friendship and respect of the entire community, and through his increasing work at the bank has been a very large factor in building up one of the largest and most substantial country banks in this section. Everyone has a kind word for Mr. Kenney.  

  Miss Davis claims Vermont as her native state, but for a number of years has made her home with Dr. A.M. Blake in this village. She was an assistant to Postmaster Riphahn for several years, and while serving in that capacity made the acquaintance and won the respect of the people of the entire neighborhood who speak of her only in highest praise and with one accord pronounce her a most estimable young lady. 

  The many friends of the bride and groom join with the INDEX in extending to them heartiest congratulations and wish them a long life of happiness and prosperity.

  Mr. and Mrs. Kenney left on the noon train for a short wedding trip to Chicago, returning Sunday evening. They will be at home in the house recently vacated by L.H. Stewart on Second Street, and their many friends will be pleased to welcome them as neighbors. 

Mabel Davis  & Anthony Kenney Marriage Announcement

Mabel Davis & Anthony Kenney Marriage Announcement #2Mabel Davis & Anthony Kenney Marriage Announcement #3Publication: Waunakee Index
Location: Waunakee, Wisconsin
Issue Date: December 3, 1908

Mabel’s husband, Anthony Patrick Kenney died 16 February 1944 at age 66, in Waunakee, Wisconsin.  This obituary appeared in the Madison, Wisconsin State Journal.  It reads in part:

A.P. Kenney Dies at 66

WAUNAKEE- A.P. Kenney, 66 organizer and cashier of the Waunakee State bank for 40 years, died at his home Thursday night after a long illness.

Survivors include his wife;  a son, Roger, Sheyboygan Falls; three grandchildren; a sister, Mrs. William Adang, Geneva, Ind., and three brothers, William, Kiliam, Canada; Peter, Newport, N.J., and Leo, in Alaska.

Funeral services will be held Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Kuestner Funeral Home, and at 9:30, St. John’s Catholic Church. The Reverend Michael Jacobs officiating.  Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Mr. Kenney was born in Geneva, Indiana, and lived there until 1896, when he entered University of Ada, Ohio. He  taught school, was graduated from Valparaiso College, Indiana, was on the staff of the Luther County, Indiana, Standard, and with the First National Bank at Galena, Illinois. 

He came to Waunakee in 1902, and with the residents formed the Waunakee State Bank, which he served as cashier until he retired in 1942.  He served as chairman of the bank board and continued an insurance business until he died.  

A.P. Kenney Obituary #1 Madison Tribune

A.P. Kenney Obituary #2 Madison TribunePublication: Madison Wisconsin State Journal
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Issue Date: February 17, 1944

Anthony P. KenneyAnthony Patrick Kenney c 1944

And finally this last newspaper article that appeared in the Waunakee, Wisconsin Tribune on 10 February 1955, announcing the death of Mable Davis Kenney in Florida while living at the home of her son, Roger Kenney.

Mabel Davis Kenney Obit 1955

Mrs. Mabel Kenney, 75, Dies on February 2 in Florida

  Mrs. Mabel Kenney, 75, well known former resident of Waunakee for about fifty years, died at the hospital at Lake Wales, Florida, Wednesday, after an illness of two weeks.

Mrs Mabel Davis Kenney, the widow of A.P. Kenney, one of the founders and former cashier of the Waunakee State Bank, was born on December 25, 1878, in Charleston, Vermont.  She came to Waunakee when she was sixteen years of age, and made her home with the Dr. A.M. Blake family. She was united in marriage to Anthony P. Kenney on Thanksgiving Day,  November 26, 1907

She made her home in Sheboygan Falls for about eight years before going to Florida.

Mrs. Kenney was a member of St. John’s Christian Mother’s Society, the Waunakee Contract Bridge Club, and The Royal Neighbors of America.

Survivors include one son, Roger Kenney,  Lake Wales, Florida, and four grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Monday at 9 a.m. at the Schwab Funeral Home, and 9:30 at St. John’s Catholic Church, with the Rev. Raymond Ziegler officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery.

Pallbearers were John Klinglehofer, Edwin Kuestner, Henry L. Spahn, Leo J. Adler, Sam Murphy, and Edward Murphy.

Tree Heart Border(Family Tree Heart designed by Rachel Halversen)

Both sides of my family are predominantly Irish, hailing from various counties in Ireland.  My paternal 2nd great grandfather, Nicholas Bergan, was  born in 1818 in County Kilkenny, Ireland.

County Kilkenny Ireland MapMap of County Kilkenny, Ireland

His wife, Anna Drew, was born 13 February 1830  in County Limerick, Ireland.  She emigrated to the United States in 1848, traveling directly to Peoria, Illinois. 

County_Limerick Map of County Limerick, Ireland

Nicholas Bergan married Anna Drew on 25 January 1851, in Peoria, Peoria, Illinois. He  became a naturalized citizen of the United States on 5 May 1856.

Nicholas Bergan Naturalization to US Record.jpgNicholas Bergan Naturalization Record, 5 May 1856

From 1850-1868 his occupation was given as a “Dray-man”. A dray is a low, flat-bed wagon without sides, pulled generally by horses or mules that were used for transport of all kinds of goods. He was sort of like the UPS/FED EX  guy of his day. The 1870 indicates that he had retired from this occupation by 15 June of that year.

Horse and Dray

Nicholas Bergan died May 1895 in Peoria, Peoria, Illinois. This very brief announcement of his death appeared in the Logansport, Indiana Daily Pharos newspaper on 24 May 1895.

Nicholas Bergan ObituaryNicholas Bergan Obituary

Nicholas is  buried in St. Mary Cemetery in  West Peoria, Illinois.

Nicholas Bergan GravestoneNicholas Bergan Gravestone
St. Mary Cemetery, West Peoria, Peoria, Illlinois

Anna Drew Bergan died 4 August 1897 in Peoria, Illinois, from heart disease, and was buried in St. Mary Cemetery, Peoria, Peoria, Illinois on 5 August 1897. The following obituary for Anna  appeared in the Peoria (Illinois) Daily Transcript on 5 August 1897.

Peoria Daily Transcript, 5 Aug 1897

Mrs. Anna Bergan, relict of Nicholas Bergan, died at her home at #617 North Jefferson Ave., at 2:00 yesterday afternoon of heart disease, aged 67 years. The funeral will be held Friday morning from the house to St. Mary’s Cathedral at 9:30 a.m. The Deceased was an old resident of Peoria and well known. She was born in County Limerick, Ireland, February 13 1830, and came to America in 1848, coming direct to Peoria, where she was married to Nicholas Bergan, who died in May 1895. Eight children survive as follows: Mrs. Patrick (Anna) Welsh and M.E. (Michael) Bergan, both of Kansas City, Mo., Theresa Bergan of San Francisco, CA, Mrs. B.A. (Bridget) Gallagher, Mrs. F.C. (Katherine) Misner, John P. Bergan, William. Bergan, and Patrick J. Bergan, all of Peoria.

Anna Drew Bergan Obituary 1897Anna Drew Bergan Obituary, 5 August 1897
Peoria (Illinois) Daily Transcript

Anna Drew Bergan Death CertificateAnna Drew Bergan Death Certificate, 4 August 1897

Anna Drew Bergan gravestoneAnna Drew Bergan Gravestone
St. Mary Cemetery, West Peoria, Peoria, Illinois

St. Mary's Cemetery, Peoria, IllinoisSt. Mary Cemetery, West Peoria, Peoria, Illinois

Tree Heart Border

Julia Anna Barcus Davis (1818-1907) was my 3rd great grandmother, and grandmother-in-law to my great grandfather, Harry McWhirter Barrett, of whom I’ve written about previously.

Julia Anna Barcus DavisJulia Anna Barcus Davis (c 1900)

The following article appeared in the local newspaper in Cambridge, Ohio on December 31, 1903. She had recently held a large family reunion at the home of her daughter, Emma Davis Sarchet (1852-1938).

Cambridge Jeffersonian

Thursday, December 31, 1903, Cambridge, Ohio

On Christmas day at the home of Prof, and Mrs. John H. (Emma Davis) Sarchet there was a happy reunion of the family of Mrs. Julia A. Davis. The house was beautiful in its Christmas dress of green and red  and while. Some of the members  of this family are gone and we will never see their faces again on earth, but the surviving members of the family were all present, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. All at  home and the broken circle was filled up again with   loved ones.

Mr. Cline took a picture of the family and flash light pictures were taken of the dining room and Christmas tree. The taking of these pictures occupied but a moment but they will have associations that will make them dear as long as we live.

All morning through every crevice came odors that made us hungry and when we were called to dinner we found it was no wonder for there was a Christmas feast, two tables beautifully decorated, one a children’s table, with a huge ring of well filled stockings
hanging from the chandelier and in the center of the table was a large snow ball with a holly top. The other table for the papas and mamas, uncles and’ aunts was bright with holly and at each plate hand painted name cards and a pretty box of home made candy. After dinner came the Christmas tree for the children and the grown-up were included in the category. The tree was covered with
gifts for all with love and Christmas joy.

At this home gathering were: Mr. Julia A. (Barcus) Davis, Rev. and Mrs. Hugh Barrett  (Julia Allie Davis) Edwards, of Leesville, Ohio., and their daughter, Mrs. Harry McWhirter (Jessie Edwards) Barrett , of Pueblo, Colo., and her two children, Edwards Barrett and Almira Barrett; Prof and Mrs. John H. (Emma Davis) Sarchet, Mr. and Mrs. Charles J. (Annie Davis) Bonnell and their son Paul D. Bonnell and wife (Allie Linkhorn): James W. Grimes and wife (Mary Green) and two children. Sara Grimes and James Walter Grimes Jr.: Miss Jessie Grimes, Mr. and Mrs. Fred L. (Ellie Grimes) Rosemond and their children, Alice Rosemond, Marjorie Rosemond, Philip Rosemond and Leslie Rosemond: Miss Sue Rosemond, Judge and Mrs. J. W. Campbell, Mrs. Mary (Barcus) Bullock., of Waco, Texas, a niece of Mrs. Davis who is making her first visit with Cambridge relatives.

The Christmas at Grandmother’s, that dear old lady, whose gentle life is a blessing to all, was a happy one and long to be remembered. Christmas love and joy and peace.

Julia Barcus Davis Christmas Family Reunion Dec #1

Julia Barcus Davis Christmas Family Reunion Dec 1903 #2

Julia Barcus Davis Christmas Family Reunion Dec 1903 #3Cambridge Jeffersonian, 31 December 1903, pg #4

John Henry Sarchet HouseHome of John & Emma Davis Sarchet

Edwards Christmas Family Reunion Cambridge Ohio
Taken on the steps of the Guernsey County Courthouse
801 Wheeling Ave., Cambridge, Guernsey, Ohio
(Photo courtesy of Eric Recht)

Tree Heart Border

I’ve been researching my McWhirter family line for over 20 years now, and have been tracking the descendants of Thomas McWhirter Sr. (1800-1867) and Eliza Jane Beatty (1800-1846) forward in time.

I recently came across some articles in the archives of an old San Francisco newspaper regarding Mary Jane “Jennie” McWhirter. Jennie was one of Thomas and Eliza’s granddaughters through their son Thomas McWhirter Jr. (1835-1876) and his wife Esther Sherer (1841-1885).

Mary Jane McWhirter  was born 31 August 1865 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts.

Mary Jane McWhirter Birth RecordSource Information: Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 

Jennie married John Jacob Klapperich (1864-1943) in San Francisco, California in 1886. They divorced 0n 2 April 1902,  in San Francisco, California. The following three newspaper articles appeared in the San Francisco Call Newspaper regarding their divorce.

I found the first one kind of amusing.

Mrs. Klapperich Files Answer

Mrs. Jennie M. Klapperich who is being sued for divorce by John J. Klapperich, filed an answer and cross complaint yesterday. She denies that she ever said her husband was crazy, or that the drove him from home by her ill treatment.  She also denies having compelled him to mend his clothes.  In her cross complaint the wife alleges that her husband deserted her.  The Klapperichs were married in 1886 and reside at 179 Albion Ave.

Klapperich Divorce FiledSan Francisco Call, Volume 87, Number 113, 23 March 1902

Divorces were granted to…Jennie M. Klapperich from John J. Klapperich for  desertion.

Klapperich Divorce GrantedSan Francisco Call, Volume XCI, Number 122, 1 April 1902

John J. Klapperich, a wagonmaker, who was divorced April 2 1902, from Jeannie M. Klapperich, was ordered by Judge Seawell yesterday to be taken into custody and held in jail until he pays $100 back alimony to Mrs. Klapperich.

Klapperich Alimony ArticleSan Francisco Call, Volume 101, Number 74, 12 February 1907

Jennie remarried on 28 February 1912 to Hermann Schaffner (1851-1921). The following wedding announcement appeared in the newspaper.

   A quiet wedding was performed in the First Congregational Church of this city on Wednesday evening, when Mrs. Jennie Klapperich and Hermann Schaffner were married.  Only the immediate families witnessed the ceremony, which was performed by Dr. Charles F. Aked.  Mr. and Mrs. Schaffner are passing their honeymoon in the southern part of the state.  On their return they will reside permanently in San Francisco, where a pretty home awaits them at 1134 Castro Street.  Both Schaffner and his bride are well known in this city, with whose social life they have been identified for a number of years.  Before the catastrophe of 1906, Mrs. Schaffner was a prominent resident of the old Mission district, and since then she has resided in Ashbury heights.  Schaffner is a member of a number of fraternal societies, having been grand keeper of records and seal of the Knights of Pythias of California for 26 years.  He is also a past brigadier general of the uniform rank of that order, and a past imperial prince of the Dramatic Order, Knights of Khorassan.

Jennie McWhirter Klapperich RemarriesSan Francisco Call, Volume 111, Number 94, 3 March 1912

Jennie McWhirter Klapperich Schaffner  died just nine months after her marriage to Hermann on 20 December 1912, in San Francisco, California.  The following obituary appeared in the newspaper on 22 December 1912.  It does not mention cause of death or where she was buried.

SCHAFFNER- In this city, December 20 1912

Jennie H., beloved wife of Herman Schaffner, beloved mother of Louis Klapperich, and loving sister of H.E. and W.J. McWhirter, a native of Boston, Mass. A member of Mission Lodge No. 296, G.F.B. (Boston Mass., papers please copy)

Interment private.

Mary Jane 'Jennie' McWhirter Klapperich Schaffner ObitSan Francisco Call, Volume 113, Number 22, 22 December 1912

Tree Heart Border

Tonight I discovered the following picture of my aunt Jean posted on the Findagrave.com website by a very nice gentleman named Charles Lay. Thank you Charles!

I had never met her, and had no idea what she looked like until now. I of course became weepy at first sight.  I think she’s beautiful.  I see so much of my nieces Meegan and Monna in her, and my sister Annie has her nose. =)

Jean Irene RamsellJean Irene Ramsell c 1947
Los Angeles, California

The following obituary was also posted at the Findagrave site.

Jean Irene Brandenburg (née Ramsell) died peacefully at her home in Ontario, California on December 5, 2011 after several months of declining health.

She was born on November 30, 1926 in Los Angeles, to Grover Weston Ramsell and Annette Marie Misner.

She received her RN degree from Los Angeles County General Hospital in 1947.

On June 22, 1957, she married Patrick Henry Brandenburg from Ohio.

Together, they raised five daughters: Irene McDermott, Jane Hershberger, Cecilia Foster, Lisa Brandenburg, and Patricia Bowman. Patrick died in 1983.

In the 1970s and 80s, Jean worked as a nurse at Casa Colina Center for Rehabilitation in Pomona.

Jean’s daughters, nine grandchildren, and sister-in-law Roberta Ramsell miss her very much.

They will remember her at a gathering at Stone Funeral Home, 355 East 9th Street in Upland on Saturday, December 17 at 11 a.m.

She will be interred with her husband at Holy Cross Cemetery in Pomona at a later time.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association : donate.americanheart.org.

Published in Inland Valley Daily Bulletin on December 15, 2011

Holy Cross Cemetery, Pomona, Los Angeles, CaliforniaHoly Cross Cemetery
Pomona, Los Angeles, California

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