Bowers Family History 1757 – 1955 Part 6

Elizabeth Bowers

Elizabeth Bowers

 

 

Elizabeth Bowers was the first daughter born to Charles and Alexena Bowers in 1871 in Ottawa, Illinois.[1]  Elizabeth grew up in Ottawa, Illinois.  Elizabeth graduated from Ottawa High School.[2]   Elizabeth became a school teacher and taught school at Lincoln School in Ottawa, Illinois.[3]  She was educated at the University of Chicago.  Later she became a primary supervisor in the Ottawa grade school system.  Elizabeth spoke at teacher institutes and professional meetings throughout the state. Elizabeth lived in Ottawa until the time of her death in 1947.[4]  She attended the First Church of Christ, Scientist of Ottawa.[5]  She is buried at the Ottawa Avenue Cemetery in Ottawa, Illinois.[6]

A personal Note:  When I was a child we would visit family friends in Ottawa.  They had a daughter, Barb, who was about my age, and I would spend anywhere from a week to three weeks during summer staying with the family.  Barb and I would play on the Lincoln School playground.  Of course I wasn’t interested in genealogy at the time.  I had some vague knowledge that my grandmother came from Ottawa, Illinois and we had ancestors who lived there, but that was all.  While playing on school playground, I didn’t know that I had an ancestor who had been a school teacher at this school.  Now I think about how I walked on the same ground that Elizabeth walked on many years before me.  It makes me feel connected to her in some small way. She looks like my grandmother or should I say my grandmother looks like her so I feel as though I knew her.

Elizabeth's Retirement Party one

Elizabeth's Retirement Party threeElizabeth's Retirement Party two

Elizabeth’s Retirement Party

 

Copyright © 2013 Gail Grunst


[1] Year: 1880; Census Place:  Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois; Roll: 79_223; Family History Film: 1254223; Page: 516.2000; Enumeration District: 81 Image: 0554.  Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.

[2] Obituary for Elizabeth Bowers; Obituary given to author by Helen Kaiser.  No notations as to what paper obituary is from.

[3] Ottawa Old and New: A Complete History of Ottawa Illinois 1823 – 1914 (Ottawa, Illinois: Republican – Times Ottawa, 1912 – 1914), p. 175

[4] Obituary for Elizabeth Bowers; Obituary given to author by Helen Kaiser.  No notations as to what paper obituary is from.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Cemetery Record for Elizabeth Bowers, Ottawa Avenue Cemetery, Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois; Date of Death January 31, 1947; Burial location OT, 18-7; Funeral Home Gladfelter; Cemetery card CCNF-noTS; Record number 10315.

 

Bowers Family History 1757 – 1955 Part 5

Richard Bowers

Richard Bowers was the oldest son born to Charles and Alexena Bowers in 1869.[1]  It is not known how far Richard went school.  Richard worked as a clerk, motorman, and janitor.[2]  He spent many years working as janitor at Washington School, probably the same one he attended as a boy.[3]  He also worked for the Illinois Power and Light Company.[4]  He married Emma Barnhardt in 1892 in Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois[5]   This is just speculation, but I am wondering if Richard’s parents Charles and Alexena didn’t accept his marriage to Emma.  The reason I say this is that Richard’s parents are not mentioned in the marriage announcement in the Free Trader newspaper dated 30 July 1892.[6] Emma and Richard made their home in Ottawa, Illinois.[7] [8] [9] There is no evidence that Richard and Emma had any children.

Richard is the only one of my grandmother, Helen Bowers, father’s family that she knew.  She came to know Richard after everyone else in her father’s family had passed away.  She referred to him as Uncle Lamb.   She never mentioned how she came to know him.  But it was her only connection to her father and his family.  The pictures of the family probably come from him.  I found a letter from Richard’s wife, Emma, to my grandmother.  I have transcribed it below as well as posted copies of the original letter.  It was very hard to read the writing and did my best to transcribe it.

 

Ottawa, Ill Aug 17th 1954

Dear Helen and all,

Glad to hear from you.  I am same but Uncle Lamb’s memory is so bad, he doesn’t remember things or people and now he has been in bed quite a while.  We have the Dr. and had him every day and now he comes twice a week and gives him liver shots.  Uncle Lamb is awfully weak and so makes it still harder for me.  I don’t get to rest and sleep I need.  He is restless at night and worries me should I go to sleep I wouldn’t hear him.  I don’t hear so good in one ear especially.  Some time ago, I had an abscess in that ear and suppose that is the reason now that I don’t hear so good.  I don’t know what I would do without Helen she sure is awfully good to us.  Nice you can go to your daughter’s when you want to.  It is to bad Russ had to be away, no doubt you are awfully lonely without him.  I’ve been having awful head aches and never feel good but have to keep going and hope I can.  I don’t want him taken to the hospital if it is possible he can stay home.  Sorry about Francis, I haven’t heard from her since she wrote at Christmas time.   Was glad to see your card and was sorry we were not here.  Decorating time when she called although true Uncle Lamb could ride out but of course not go out of the car so me now to decorate our graves and we have a lot to decorate.

Helen does ever thing she can for us.  I just don’t know what I would do without her.  My Sister was here for a little while last Tuesday she, her son, her daughter, and husband was so glad see them.  You see out of a large family only my sister and I are still here.  My sister’s son has been out of work for some time is of course trying to get work he had to quit the last place he worked was to hard for him he hasn’t been very well so I worry about them along with my own worrys but I so want him to get work.  Well dear Helen give our love to Francis and Pat.  I have written a couple of times so when she cans she will write.  I am sorry she is not well. 

Have to stop now but we send love to all and hope you keep well and think of us some time.  Do you hear from Ralph’s folks.  I can tell you just love Uncle Lamb, he sure is not good. I am so tired all the time as I say I don’t get the rest and sleep I need.  Thank you dear Helen for wishing us well, we sure do need it he is quiet now the reason I am writing have to hurry so I hope you can read it.  Pray your son get home safe and Francis gets better give them our love.

                                                                                                                                                Lovingly,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Aunt Emma Uncle Lamb

Will try to do better next time.

Image (4)Image (5)Image (6)Image (7)Image (8)

Richard died in 1955 and is buried at the Ottawa Avenue Cemetery.[10]  Emma died a few years later in 1961 and is buried next to Richard in the Ottawa Avenue Cemetery.[11]

Note:  I changed the title of the blogs to Bower Family History 1757 – 1955.  When I started writing these stories, I was thinking that Richard’s sister Elizabeth was the last of Charles’ children to die in 1947.  When writing Richard’s biography, I realized that I was wrong, so therefore have changed the last part of post title to 1955.

Copyright © 2013 Gail Grunst


[1] Cemetery record for Richard Bowers, Ottawa Avenue Cemetery, Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois; Date of Birth March 9, 1869; Date of Death November 18, 1955;  Funeral Home:  Hulse; Burial location: OT-23-7 (NW ¼); Cemetery Card: CCY-TS;  Record Number 8573

[2] Ottawa City Directories 1884, 1888, 1894.  LaSalle County, Illinois Genealogy Guild, 115 West Glover, Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Obituary for Richard Bowers, Daily Republican Times, Ottawa, Illinois, Vol 79, no 121, 1955,

p. 12.

[5] Marriage Record for Richard Bowers and Emma Barnhart, Illinois State Board of Health, Return of Marriage to the County Clerk, July 28, 1892, Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois.

[6] Marriage announcement for Richard Bowers and Emma Barnhardt, Free Trader, July 30, 1892.  File at LaSalle County Genealogy Guild, 115 West Glover, Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois, Marriages 1888 – 1893.

[7]Ottawa City Directories 1884, 1888, 1894.  LaSalle County, Illinois Genealogy Guild, 115 West Glover, Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois.

[8]Year: 1920; Census Place: Ottawa Ward 2, La Salle, Illinois; Roll: T625_379; Page: 5A; enumeration District: 138; Image 123.  Ancestry.com 1920 Untied States Federal Census [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA:  The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.  For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA

[9] Year: 1930; Census Place: Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois; Roll: 532; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 68; Image 88.0.  Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo,  UT, USA:  The Generations Network, Inc., 2002

[10] Cemetery record for Richard Bowers, Ottawa Avenue Cemetery, Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois; Date of Birth March 9, 1869; Date of Death November 18, 1955;  Funeral Home:  Hulse; Burial location: OT-23-7 (NW ¼); Cemetery Card: CCY-TS;  Record Number 8573.

[11] Cemetery record for Emma Barnhardt Bowers, Ottawa Avenue Cemetery, Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois; Date of Birth; November 17, 1866; Date of Death; January 18, 1961; Funeral Home Hulse; Burial location: OT-23-7(NS ¼) Cemetery Card CCY-noTS; Record Number 8572

Bowers Family History 1757 – 1955 Part 4

Alexena Frazier Bowers

Alexena Frazier Bowers

Alexena Frazier was born in 1847 in NassagaweyaTownship, Halton, Ontario, Canada[1] to David Frazier and Catherine McBean.[2]  Both David Frazier and Catherine McBean were born in Scotland.[3]  It is likely that David and Catherine Frazier were Highlander’s belonging to the Kirk as large numbers of these people settled in Nassagaweya forming a major Scottish block.[4]

“To the European settlers who came to southern Ontario, the land was a hostile wilderness, waiting to be tamed. For agriculture to proceed the forest had to go and much of it was piled and burned. Until the 1850s, farming was dominated by land clearing and the incessant toil of pioneer life.”[5]  Wheat and Lumber were the main products of Halton County Ontario in the 1840’s and 1850’s.[6]

Alexena came to Ottawa, Illinois in 1865,[7] and married Charles Bowers in 1868.[8]  Charles and Alexena made their home at 543 Chapel Street.[9]  They had five children, Richard, Robert, Elizabeth, Genevieve and Ethelyn. [10]

She attended the First Methodist Episcopal Church and was an active member with a large circle of friends. [11]

Alexena’s granddaughter, Helen Bowers, told stories that her grandparents did not want to acknowledge that their son Robert married and had children.  Helen claimed that they thought they were better than her mother’s family.  Therefore she did not know her father’s family[12].  The probate of Alexena’s will confirms this story to be true.

The following is a transcript from Alexena’s will in Probate Court for proof of heirship:

On the 26th day of June 1926 R Ethel Vittum, a competent witness of lawful age produced sworn and examined on oath in open court, testified as follows, to-wit:

C. B. Chapman

Q. Your name is R. Ethelyn Vittum?

A. Yes

Q. You reside in Ottawa, Illinois?

A. Yes

Q. You are a daughter of Alexena Bowers?

A. Yes

Q. When did she die?

A. March 7, 1926

Q. Where did she die?

A. At her residence 543 Chapel Street

Q. At the time of her death was she an actual resident of the city of Ottawa, County of LaSalle, State of Illinois?

A. She was

Q. About what was her age?

A. 79 years in August

Q. She was a citizen of the United States?

A. She was

Q. Did she leave a surviving husband?

A. No

Q. What was her husband’s name?

A. Charles Bowers

Q. And about how long ago did he die?

A. I think it was about thirty years ago

Q. Was she married more than once?

A. No

Q. How many Children were born of the marriage?

A. Five

Q. What were their names?

A. Richard L. Bowers, Elizabeth A. Bowers, Robert F. Bowers, Genevieve L. Bowers, myself.

Q. R. Ethel Bowers is yourself?

A. Yes

Q. And you are residing in Ottawa, Illinois?

A. Yes

Q. Is R. L. Bowers living?

A. He is

Q. And he is living in Ottawa, Illinois?

A. In Ottawa

Q. And Elizabeth Ann Bowers is living in Ottawa?

A. Yes

Q. Is Richard Bowers living?

A. Richard and R. L. are one and the same.  You mean Robert?

Q. Robert, I should say.

A. He is dead

Q. About how long ago did he die?

A. 13 years ago, I think.

Q. And was he married?

A. I don’t know, Mr. Chapman

Q. You haven’t any knowledge so that you could testify as to whether or not he was ever married?

A. No.

Q. Do you know whether or not there are living any persons who claim to be his children?

A. There was a few years ago.

Q. And do you know there names or the names that they go by?

A. I don’t think of the name, Mr. Chapman.

Q. Let me refresh your recollection.  Do you remember whether the persons who claim to be his children are Ralph Bowers?

A. Yes Ralph is one

Q. And Helen Kaiser?

A. I don’t know the Kaiser, but I know a Helen.

Q. Helen claimed to be Helen Bowers and you don’t know whether she is now married and whether her name is Kaiser.

A. No

Q. And Frances Bowers, who also claimed -

A. I think so.

Q. And do know that she is now married and her present name is Beck?

A. I don’t know.

Q.  Were there any other parties than Ralph, Helen and Frances that clamed to be children of Robert?

A. I don’t know of any others.

Q.  Never heard of any others?

A. Never.

Q.  And in matters where the question of the heirship of Robert was raised you knew that there was proof made and these three parties were found to be children of Robert, did you?

A. Yes

Q.  And found to be the only children of Robert?

A. Yes

Q. and the other child of Alexena Bowers was what?

A. Genevieve L.

Q. And she died in infancy?

A. Yes – Oh, no –

Q. Because she was-

A. Why she died about 29 years ago.

Q. Was she ever married?

A. No.

Q. Did your mother at any time ever adopt any children?

A. No.[13]

Alexena died on March 7, 1926 in her home in Ottawa.[14] [15] She was considered one of Ottawa’s oldest citizens having been a resident of more than 60 years when she died.[16]  She died of Carcinoma of the Gall Bladder[17] and is buried in the Ottawa Avenue Cemetery, in Ottawa, Illinois[18] along side her husband Charles and children.

Copyright©2013 Gail Grunst

_________________________________________

 [1] Obituary for Alexena Frazier Bowers: Republican Times (Ottawa, LaSalle County, Illinois) July 4, 1898.

 [2] “Death Certificate for Alexena Bowers”, March 7 1926 (filed March 9, 1926), registered number 37, State of Illinois, Department of Public Health – Division of Vital Statistics, Springfield, IL.

[3] Ibid.

  [4] Campey, Lucille H,. Scottish Pioneers of Upper Canada, 1784-1855: Glengarry and Beyond (Natural Heritage/Natural History Inc., 2005), p. 98.

 [6] Ibid.

[7]  Obituary for Alexena Bowers. Daily Republican Times, (Ottawa, LaSalle, IL) Monday Evening, 8 March, 1926; Vol XLIX, No 208, Page 1 (Front Page).

[8] “Marriage License for Charles Bowers and Alexena Frazer”, issued 25 November 1868, married 2 December 1868, filed 4 December 1868, Marriage license no 1862, State of Illinois, LaSalle County, La Salle County Courthouse, Ottawa, Illinois.

[9] Obituary for Alexena Bowers. Daily Republican Times, (Ottawa, LaSalle, IL) Monday Evening, 8 March, 1926; Vol XLIX, No 208, Page 1 (Front Page).

[10] Year 1880; Census Place: Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois; Roll: 79_223; Family History Film 1254223; Page: 516.1000 & 516.2000; Enumeration District: 81; Image: 0553, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. United States Federal Census [database on-line].  Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, 2005

                [11]  Obituary for Alexena Bowers. Daily Republican Times, (Ottawa, LaSalle, IL) Monday Evening, 8 March, 1926; Vol XLIX, No 208, Page 1 (Front Page).

                [12]   Story told to author many times over the years (1960 – 1981) by Helen Bowers Kaiser.

                [13] “Probate of  will of Alexena Bowers” (Proof of Heirship), 26 June 1926, LaSalle County, Illinois,  Old Estate Books,  File 1,  Box 954., LaSalle County Court House, Ottawa, Illinois. Photocopy of original in possession of this writer.

[14] “Death Certificate for Alexena Bowers”, March 7, 1926 (filed March 9, 1926), registered number 37, State of Illinois, Department of Public Health – Division of Vital Statistics, Springfield, IL.

                [15] Obituary for Alexena Bowers. Daily Republican Times, (Ottawa, LaSalle, IL) Monday Evening, 8 March, 1926; Vol XLIX, No 208, Page 1 (Front Page).

                [16] Ibid.

                [17]  “Death Certificate for Alexena Bowers”, March 7, 1926 (filed March 9, 1926), registered number 37, State of Illinois, Department of Public Health – Division of Vital Statistics, Springfield, IL.

                [18] Ibid.

Aunt Emma’s Two Lives

Emma age 19

Emma age 19

My grandmother had three Aunt’s, Aunt Emma, Aunt Liz, and Aunt Agnes.  Each one had an interesting life.  I wrote about Aunt Liz in my blog dated 4/13/2013.  Today I am writing about Aunt Emma.

Emma Reinhardt was born on June 6, 1885 in Illinois.,[1] [2]  Emma was raised in Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois along with her two brothers and four sisters.  Not much is known about Emma’s early life.  In 1910 at age 25 she married Dr. Fredrick L. Orsinger[3] who was 33 years her senior.[4]  He had been married before and had five children with his first wife who died in 1903.[5]

Fredrick L. Orsinger came to the United States from Germany in 1871.  He arrived in Chicago on the same day as the Chicago Fire.  He decided not to stay in Chicago at this time and went to LaSalle, Illinois to work in his Uncle’s bakery.  He later opened a pharmacy in LaSalle and practiced medicine.  He studied medicine and surgery in Zurich, Switzerland and Paris, France.   He later spent five years studying medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago, and later had a years experience working at Cook County Hospital. [6]   He had quite a colorful life too.  I am not going to write about it at this time as I would like to concentrate on Emma’s life.  I will write about his life in more detail at another time.

My grandmother had told me that the Reinhardt’s and Orsinger’s were friends.  I know there was an Orsinger’s Bakery in Ottawa.  I don’t know if they had another one in LaSalle or if the source is wrong about the location of the bakery.  However, Emma would have not been born yet when he came to LaSalle County.  By the time she was old enough to get married he was living in Chicago.  So how they got together is unknown.  I’m guessing that they knew each other because the families were friends.  I still can’t help but wonder how her family felt about the age difference, and how his children felt as some were older than Emma.  My grandmother would say with disgust in her voice, “Aunt Emma married old Doc Orsinger.”  They lived in Chicago and he practice medicine in Chicago. Dr. Orsinger died in 1925.[7]

In 1933 Emma married Iber Mataway in Chicago.[8]  He was from Iran and changed his name when he was naturalized from Isaac Abraham to Iabry Abraham Mataway.[9]  They must have led a quiet life.  I can’t find them in many records.  He was 12 years her junior.[10]  She went from some way older than her to someone quite a bit younger than her.

I’ve had a hard time finding them on any census records.  I do know they lived on a farm in Wisconsin.  I also know they lived in an apartment in Chicago, Illinois.  My mother loved Aunt Emma and she would stay with her sometimes in Chicago and on the farm in Wisconsin when she was young.  I believe they lived in Chicago, then moved to the farm in Wisconsin, and then moved back to Chicago.

I have a letter that Emma wrote to her sister Liz.   I will try to transcribe it as written with mistakes and all. 

Sat Mch. 1 – 1947 

Dear Eliz,

            Just a few lines, as we are trying to get ready to go to Saxon to shop.  We got your package yesterday.  Everything was swell.  And thanks so much.  So what do I owe you for groceries.  The shirts will come in handy this summer at laying time. Even good enough to go to town in as you don’t have to dress up so much around here.  Gosh, I’ve been rushing around, the oil man came first thing this morning, I was just about out of bed.  Iber was milking, then I had to look after him.  By the time he filled all the tanks and checked them, Iber came in for breakfast, and now I just got thru with the dishes, milk pails, and strainers.  Iber has been hauling hay everyday.  He got 4 or 5 tons of hay very cheap, but has to haul it himself.  It keeps a person busy, but it isn’t bad.  Well, I don’t know if you can say March came in like a loin or not.  It was quite warm this morning, but now it has turned a little cooler and is snowing that fine snow.  So I hope it doesn’t get too bad until we get back at least.  Well, I was so surprised at that article of Fred Orsinger.  It was funny, I opened the box and I thought it was just some paper you stuck in for a filler.  Then a couple of hours later, I was straightening everything up, so I looked again and was looking at the man with the alligator.  And, I said to myself that man reminds me of Doc.  He combs his hair just like he did.  So I threw it in with the rest of the papers.  When Iber came in he happened to see it, and asked me what he was doing with an alligator.  I said oh I don’t know let me see.  Well, when I read it, I started to laugh.  No wonder he minded me of Doc.  That was so funny.  He is quite a big shot.  Gosh he is getting old.  I figured he would be about 70. 

I suppose you received my last letter.  I too wish poor Tim could at least be able to go into the other room.  I may be down sometime in the middle of April if nothing happens.  Then he had better get up or I’ll pull him out of bed.  I hope Mrs. Fox is home by morn, poor soul.  I suppose she feels quite alone since he is gone.  Is she going to stay there in the apartment.  Have you heard yet from Mark.  Iber says to tell Tim to keep his chin up.

I do wish Iber could make a trip to Chicago.  Well, we’ll see how things turn up.  He needs a change.  I feel guilty when I go all the time.  I guess Clara is going to stay in her apt. for a while.  Well, if I have forgotten anything I’ll write it next time.  I must get ready.  Iber is almost thru shaving. 

Love to you both and God Bless you as ever.  Emma & Iber 

The Fred Orsinger she mentions in the letter is the son of her late husband.  I am posting the original letter here.

Letter from Aunt Emma 2

Letter from Aunt Emma 3

Letter from Aunt Emma 1Letter from Aunt Emma 4

I remember visiting Aunt Emma a couple of times in her apartment in Chicago.  She made a doll bed for me out of a wooden cigar box.  I wish I had a picture of it.  She painted it white and it had a headboard.  The legs were cloths pins (the old fashioned wood ones) cut down so only the top curved part was used for the legs.  She made a little mattress and pillows.  She made a blanket and crocheted a bedspread for it.  I loved it and had it for a long time.  I found instructions for making one on the Internet, and also found pictures, but none that looked as good as mine.  Mostly what I remember of Aunt Emma was a very nice old lady and the doll bed.

I think the first half of her life was probably more eventful than the last half.  Being married to “Old Doc Orsinger” must have been very eventful from some of the things I have read about him.  Like I said, that is for another time.  The second half of her life being married to Iber, her life was quiet.  Reading the letter, her life was just about the ordinary every day things like the weather, washing dishes, milk pails and strainers.  The exciting time was going to town.  I wish I knew more about her life.  As far as I know, she never had any children to carry on her legacy.  I hope I helped a little to carry on her legacy today.

Aunt Emma, my mom, Aunt Liz 1943

Aunt Emma, my mom, Aunt Liz 1943

Emma died on August 18, 1956, and Iber died in 1974.

Copyright © 2013 Gail Grunst


[1] Emma Reinhart’s birth date June 6 came from Helen Kaiser’s (her niece) date book.

[2] 1900 United State Census entry for Emma Reinhardt.  Original data:  United States of America, Bureau of the Census.  Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900.  Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration 1900 T623 1854 rolls.  Ancestry.com 1900 United States Federal Census.  [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:  Ancestry Operations, Inc.,2004.

[3] Joseph Seymour Curry, Chicago: its history and its builders, a century of marvelous growth, volume 4 (Chicago:  The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912), Pgs. 624 – 628. Digitized by Google.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Find-a-grave website at www.findagrave.com

[8]Ancestry.com.  Cook County, Illinois Marriage Index, 1920 – 1960  [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:  Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.

[9] Naturalization Record for Iabry Abraham Mataway name chanced at naturalization from Isaac Abraham. Ancestry.com. US Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791 – 1992 (Indexed in World Archive Project) [database on-line].  Provo, UT, USA:  Ancestry Operations, Inc., 2010.  Original data: Selected U.S. Naturalization Records.  WashingtonD.C.: National Archives and Records Administration.

[10] Ibid.

Finding Brother William

Picture from:

Henley B. J., The Art of Longevity (Google eBook) (Syracuse, N.Y, 1911), p. 222.

I always wondered how or why my Great-Great Grandfather, Charles Bowers, ended up in Ottawa, LaSalle County, Illinois.  His Obituary in 1897 said he had two brothers, Robert and William, living in Syracuse, New York[1].  I did find a Robert living in Syracuse in 1900[2] and Richard Bowers[3] living in Syracuse, New York in 1892, but no William.  I often wondered if Richard was William.  Maybe William was his middle name.  I gave up looking for William and thought perhaps the newspaper or person giving the information had it wrong.

A while ago I ordered microfilm from the Family History Library in Utah to look for my great-great grandfather Charles Bower’s baptism on 2 October 1828 in England.[4]  I knew it was there from the online index.  When I got the microfilm reels of the church records it covered the years 1772 – 1905.  I started looking for anyone and everyone with the last name Bowers.  I found my third great grandparents Bonnet Bowers and Eliza Linford marriage which stated that Eliza was a widow.[5]   I also found baptism records for a Richard,[6] Robert[7] and Eliza Bowers[8] born to Bonnet and Eliza Bowers.  I never found a William Bowers that was a son of Bonnet and Eliza.  Along the way, I found Eliza in the marriage banns to Robert Linford.[9]  I also found two children she had with her first husband.  William was baptized 28 August 1811,[10] and Elizabeth was baptized November 30, 1814.[11] I made copies of all the pages that listed these events.  I then came home and entered the Bowers information into my family tree.  I filed the papers in my file cabinet under their family name and moved on to another branch.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to start scanning documents that I have collected over the years into my computer.  I started with the Bowers folder because it is the first one in my file cabinet.  As I was scanning them into the computer, I was looking over them again, when I came across the name William Linford born in 1811 to Eliza and her first husband.[12]  I guess it pays to take a second look at documents because at that moment it struck me that if William lived he would be a step brother to my great-great grandfather Charles.  Could this be the brother William mentioned in the Obituary?  The next thing I did was a search on William Linford.  The first thing in that popped up was the 1850 census which had a William Linfor (spelled without the d) living in Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois.[13]  So this was most likely brother, William, and this why Charles ended up in Ottawa, Illinois.  Finding out why Charles ended up in Ottawa, Illinois was a thrill for me.  Now I wonder what drew William to Ottawa, Illinois.

I continued to search for William Linfor(d) and found out the following information. He married Dinah Essaby in 1833.[14]  They had four children John 1837, William 1840, Sarah 1844, Robert 1846.[15]  They came to the US 22 August 1849 and to Ottawa, Illinois on 1 October 1849.[16]  In 1851 William applied for citizenship and in 1854 he became a citizen of the United States.[17]  He worked as a Sexton at the West Ottawa Cemetery until the family moved to Section 20 in Allen Township, LaSalle County, Illinois in 1856.  William farmed the land until 1879 when Dinah died and he moved to Syracuse, New York.[18]

In 1911 William Linfor was living at 1516 Grape Street in Syracuse, New York.  At the age of 99 he was just beginning to carry a cane.  The previous winter he was seen climbing a ladder to clean snow the roof of his house.  He attributed his long life to never eating beyond what he knew he could digest.  He was still in possession of all his faculties except his hearing.[19] William Linfor died on 28 January 1912 of pleurisy at the ripe old age of 100.[20] 

John served in the Civil War, and upon return home he continued to live and work on the family farm.  In 1865 he married Martha E. Patton, and they had two children, Flossie E. and Ida L.  Flossie married John Blair of Allen Township and they had one Child, Flossie.  Ida L. married Otto Strobel also of Allen Township and they had two children Martha C. and William O.[21]

Robert also served in the Civil War. After the war he returned home to farm with John.  In 1875 Robert started farming his own tract of 160 acres.  In 1867 he married Cynthia Alice Isgrig, and they had four children Carrie, Lottie, John W, Mabel.  Carrie married West Grant of Chicago, Illinois and Lottie married A. Berge of Allen Township. [22] 

William (Son) moved to Walnut, Iowa and married Lodema.  They had five children Cora S, William G, Robert, Charles, and Claud.[23] [24] 

Sarah Linfor Golder died in Kansas in 1873.[25]

There is still more searching to do as I would like to continue down to today’s descendants.


[1] Obituary for Charles Bowers; Republican Times  (Ottawa, LaSalle County, Illinois) 18 February 1897.

[2]United States Census; Year: 1900; Place: Village of Danforth, Onondaga, New York; enumeration District: 161 District 2 Scyracuse City Ward 19, Onondaga, New York; Page: 3B; Family; 63; NARA Publication Film T623; Microfilm: 1241138.

[3]New York State Census; Year 1892; Place: Syracuse, Onondaga, New York; Ward: 7; enumeration District: 9; Image: 10.

[4] Baptism Record for Charles Bowers 2 October, 1828; Terrington St. Clement, Norfolk, England; Parish Registers, Baptisms 1813 – 1841 Vol 3, Page 112, No 891;  Microfilmed by Genealogical Society Salt Lake City, Utah at Wisbech and Fenland Museum, Wisbech, Cambs; filmed 26 July 1988, film #13640109, film Unit 2161, MCD 2, Roll # 5.

[5] Marriage Record for Bonnet Bowers and Eliza Linford  7 April 1822; Terrington St. Clement, Norfolk, England; Parish Registers, Marriages 1813 – 1838 volume 4 Page 35; Microfilmed by Genealogical Society Salt Lake City, Utah at Wisbech and Fenland Museum, Wisbech, Cambs; filmed August 1988, film #13640109, film unit ser no 2161 MCD 2 Roll #11.

[6] Baptism Record for Richard Bowers 28 April 1822; Terrington St. Clement, Norfolk, England; Parish Registers, Baptism 1813 – 1841 Vol e, Page 68, No 539; ;  Microfilmed by Genealogical Society Salt Lake City, Utah at Wisbech and Fenland Museum, Wisbech, Cambs; filmed 26 July 1988, film #13640109, film Unit 2161, MCD 2, Roll # 5.

[7] Baptism Record for Robert Bowers 25 February 1825; Terrington St. Clement, Norfolk, England; Parish Registers, Baptism 1813 – 1841 Vol 3 Page 90 No 713; Microfilmed by Genealogical Society Salt Lake City, Utah at Wisbech and Fenland Museum, Wisbech, Cambs; filmed 26 July 1988, film #13640109, film Unit 2161, MCD 2, Roll # 5.

[8] Baptism Record for Eliza Bowers 18 June 1827; Terrington St Clement, Norfolk, England; Parish Registers, Baptism 1813 – 1841 Vol 3 Page 105 No 835; Microfilmed by Genealogical Society Salt Lake City, Utah at Wisbech and Fenland Museum, Wisbech, Cambs; filmed 26 July 1988, film #13640109, film Unit 2161, MCD 2, Roll # 5.

[9] Marriage Banns for Robert Linford and Elizabeth Huggleson dated 7 day October 1810, 14 October, 1810, and 21 October 1810, Terrington St. Clement, Norfolk, England; Parish Registers, Banns 1806 – 1905, Item 4, Vol. 1, Page 8, no 39; Microfilmed by the Genealogical Society Salt Lake City, Utah at the Wisbech and Fenland Museum, Wisbech, cambs; filmed 9 August 1988, film #13640109, film unit ser. No 2161 MCD 2, Roll # 12

[10] Baptism for William Linford 28 August 1811; Terrington St. Clement, Norfolk, England; Parish Register Baptism and Burials 1772 – 1812  Item 2; Microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Salt Lake City, Utah at Wisbech and Fenland Museum, Wisbech, Cambs., filmed 26 July 1988, Film Number 13640109, film unit # 2161 NCD 2 Roll # 5.

[11] Baptism Record for Elizabeth Linford 30 November 1814; Terrington St Clement, Norfolk, England; Parish Registers Baptisms 1813 – 1841 Vol 3, # 114; Microfilmed by Genealogical Society Salt Lake City, Utah at Wisbech and Fenland Museum, Wisbech, Cambs; filmed 26 July 1988, film #13640109, film Unit 2161, MCD 2, Roll # 5.

[12] Baptism for William Linford 28 August 1811; Terrington St. Clement, Norfolk, England; Parish Register Baptism and Burials 1772 – 1812  Item 2; Microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Salt Lake City, Utah at Wisbech and Fenland Museum, Wisbech, Cambs., filmed 26 July 1988, Film Number 13640109, film unit # 2161 NCD 2 Roll # 5

[13]  Year: 1850; Census Place: Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois; roll: M432_115; Page: 269B; Image: 191.

[14] “England, Marriages, 1538 – 1973,” Index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/Pal:MM9.1.1/NF4Q-JXW: accessed 18 Nov 2012), William Linfor and Dinah Essaby, 1833; citing reference 2:3GJG91D, FLH microfilm 1542146.

[15] Year: 1850; Census Place: Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois; roll: M432_115; Page: 269B; Image: 191

[16] Biographical and Genealogy Record of LaSalleCountyIllinois(Google eBook) (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1900), p. 227.

[17] National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D. C.; Soundex Index to Naturalization Petitions for the United States District and Circuit Courts, Northern District of Illinois and Immigration and Naturalization service District 9 1840 – 1950 (M1285); microfilm Serial: M1285; Microfilm Roll 112

[18] Biographical and Genealogy Record of LaSalleCountyIllinois(Google eBook) (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1900), p. 224 & 227.

[19] Henley B. J., The Art of Longevity (Google eBook) (Syracuse, N.Y, 1911), p. 223 & 224.

[20] Health News. Monthly Bulletin (Google ebook) (New York State Division of Public Health Education, Albany, New York), New Series, Vol. VIII, No 1, Full Series Vol. XXIX No 1,  January 1013

[21] Biographical and Genealogy Record of LaSalleCountyIllinois(Google eBook) (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1900), p. 227 & 228.

[22] Biographical and Genealogy Record of LaSalleCountyIllinois(Google eBook) (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1900), p. 224 & 225.

[23] Biographical and Genealogy Record of LaSalleCountyIllinois(Google eBook) (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1900), p. 224.

[24]United States Census; Year: 1880; Place: Walnut, Pottawatomie, Iowa; Roll: 361; Family History Film: 1254361; Page: 192D; Enumeration District: 190; Image 0387

[25] Biographical and Genealogy Record of LaSalleCountyIllinois(Google eBook) (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1900), p. 227.

Copyright © 2012 Gail Grunst

Sunday’s Obituary: Genevieve Bowers

One of the saddest Obituaries, I have come across while researching my ancestors is the one for Genevieve Bowers.  She was only 21 years old when she died of appendicitis.  I had an obituary that my grandmother had saved from a newspaper.  Genevieve was an Aunt of my grandmothers.  The obituary that my grandmother had saved said Genevieve had her trunks packed as she planned on visiting friends or relatives in Colorado.  Unfortunately the paper was so old that it disintegrated and I no longer have it.  I made a trip to Ottawa, Illinois where she lived and died to get a copy of the obituary.  I went to the Lasalle County IL Genealogy Guild Library and found two obituaries for her, but neither mention having her trunks packed for a trip to Colorado.    I also tried the public library and they had the same ones as the Genealogy Guild.

I’d like to know if she was going to visit friends or relatives because I have hit a brick wall when it comes to her mother Alexena Frazier, born in Nassagaweya, Ontario, Canada.  It seems I cannot find Alexena’s parents or a record of her birth.  I thought if it were relatives she was visiting in Colorado, perhaps it was her mother’s family.  I have no idea if Alexena had brothers or sisters.

I found it sad that she only lived to age 21 and had not had a chance to experience all that life has to offer.  She did not yet fall in love, get married, or have children.  Obituary on left is from the Ottawa Journal dated July 3, 1898.  The Obituary on the right is from the Republican Times dated July 4, 1898.

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